Project Gutenberg's My Life as an Author, by Martin Farquhar Tupper

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at

Title: My Life as an Author

Author: Martin Farquhar Tupper

Release Date: January 20, 2006 [EBook #17558]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Stacy Brown Thellend, Robert Connal and the
Online Distributed Proofreading Team at
(This file was produced from images generously made
available by the Bibliothèque nationale de France
(BnF/Gallica) at

Martin Tupper's Autobiography




D.C.L.  F.R.S.

Viri, vivo, vivam.


[All rights reserved]


Preliminary—Sonnet—Public Life, not Private—Benjamin Franklin—Samples from Books—Self-judgment 1-6
Infancy and Schooldays—Parentage—Germany and Guernsey, America and Canada—Winsor's Patent Gaslights—King George III.'s Blessing—My Father's Dream—Second Sight—Heredity—First School at Brentford—Next at Brook Green—Third Charterhouse—Dr. Russell—Parson Schoolmasters—Coins and Hoops—Andrew Irvine—Cockshies—Harpies at the Feast—Dr. Stocker—Holt's—M'Neile—Harold Browne 7-25
Young Authorship in Verse and Prose—Melite—Rough Rhymes—Carthage—Umbrella Sapphics—Height of Honesty—Holkar Hall—Melrose Abbey—Heidelberg—Pterodactyles—The Buckstone—Scotch Journal—Vitrified Forts—Ireland—Kingston Caverns—Cornish Letter and Sketches—Penzance—The Logan—Land's End—St. Michael's Mount—Rapid Travel 26-51
College Days—Voice from the Cloister—Gladstone—Aristotle Class—Giants in those Days—Studentship—A Reading-Man—College Larks—D.C.L.—Dr. Bliss 52-61
Failure as to Orders—Stammering—Blewbury Vicarage—Lincoln's Inn—Lewin's Critique—Brodie's Cacography—Inkpen's Entomology—Duke of Wellington—Walters'—Letter as to India—Barrister and Benedict—A Hoax—Theodore Hook—Old Lady Cork 62-71
Stammering—Man's Privilege of Speech—Chess Playing—Anecdotes—Angling—Fishing Sonnets 72-78
Oxford Prize Poems—Verses in the Schools—Parodies—Rhyme and Rhythm—Scriptural Science—Classic Parallels 79-85
Sundry Providences—The Small Semisuicide—A Concussion—Horse Accidents—Perils by Land and Sea—Lydstep Cavern 86-89
Yet more Escapes—White Cross Guild—Evils and Temptations—Potipheras—Heresies—Creeds 90-94
Fads and Fancies—Vegetarian—Teetotalism—The Anglo-Saxon—Opera Colonnade—Moderation—America Revisited—Poem on Temperance and Total Abstinence—Gough—Dr. Hodgkin—A Martyr—Clerical Letter on Pharisaism 95-104
Sacra Poesis—Geraldine—Critiques—John and Tom Hughes—Donnington Priory—Little Providences 105-110
Origin of "Proverbial Philosophy"—M'Neile and Stebbing—N. P. Willis—Harrison Ainsworth—Hatchard's—Moxon's—Cassell's—A Prophecy—My Father's Letter and Gift—Sixty Times—Politeuphuia—Parallels—Mr. Orton's Volume—American Laudations, and English—As to per contra—Copyright Question—Wedding Gifts—An Elizabethan Author—Seldom Seen, and Few Adventures 111-133
A Modern Pyramid—The Vision—A Fearful Flight—Imagination—The Crystal Cubes and Mud Bricks—Sonnets and Sonneteering—Mackay and Shakespeare's 134-144
An Author's Mind—Prefatory Ramble—Addled Eggs—The Mental Cathedral—Probabilities—Job's Trials 145-152
The Crock of Gold—Dramatised in Boston and London—Origin of the Story—The Twins—Heart: drawn from Living Models—Critiques from Ollier and St. John 153-158
Æsop Smith—Mudie's—Rabelaisian Hints—The Early Gallop—Alfred, or Albert Order—Fables 159-162
Stephan Langton—King Alfred's Poems—The Silent Pool—Hard Reading for the History—The Book still in Print—Curious Metrical Translation of Anglo-Saxon Poetry—The Jubilee at Wantage and at Liverpool 163-169
Shakespeare Commemoration—Lord Carlisle—Lord Houghton, Leigh Court—Stratford Church—The Baptismal Font—An American Autograph Hunter—Sonnet 170-172
Translations and Pamphlets—Homer, lib. A.—Tennyson's Vivien—Classical Versions—Hymn for All Nations—Protestant Ballads—Fifteen Pamphlets 173-179
Paterfamilias's Diary—Courier Pierre—Devil's Bridge—Major Hely—Guernsey—The Haro that saved Castle Cornet—Night-Sail in the Race of Alderney—Durham's Statue of Prince Albert—Isle of Man—King Orry—Walter Montgomery—Bishop Powys 180-189
Never Give Up, at Dr. Kirkland's—Harvest Hymns—Gordon Ballads—The Good Earl—John Brown—My Brother—Memory—Evil not Endless 190-199
Protestant Ballads—"So help me, God!"—Nun's Appeal, &c. 200-203
Plays—Alfred—Raleigh—Washington—Twelve Scenes—Family Records 204-207
Antiquariana—Lockhart and my Coin Article in the Quarterly—Farley Finds—Mummy Wheat and Faraday 208-212
Honours—Times' Letter—A Peerage and Baronetcy—Prussian Medal and Chevalier Bunsen's Letter—Authorship a Rank by Itself—Many Inventions and Literary Discoveries, as Punch, Humpty Dumpty, 666, &c. 213-220
Courtly: Prophetic Sonnet on our Empress—Many Royal Poems—Modern Court Suit v. Queen Anne's—A Greeting to Prince Albert Victor 221-228
F.R.S.—Lord Melbourne's Carelessness—Spectrum Analysis—Spiritualism—Vivisection—Painted Windows—Parabolic Teaching 229-233
Personation—Bignor—The Greyhound—Alibis—A Rescue on Snowdon—Fraudulent Collections—Forged Authorials—Boston Unitarianism—Pictures Falsely Signed 234-237
Hospitalities—Farnham Castle—Orchids and Pines—Bishop Sumner—Garibaldi at Gladstone's—Parham and Curzon—Ghosts—Purple Parchments—Uncut Elzevirs—Shenstone's Leasowes—"Little Testy"—Sonnet—Isle of Wight—Sojourns—City Feasts—Ostentatious Hospitality 238-244
Social and Rural—No Scandals—Hawthorne's Visit—Alexander Smith's—Jerdan's Haycock—Otto Goldschmidt and Macdougall—Dark Visitors—Liberian Gold Medal—Noviomagians—Lucky Angling—Albury Waltz—Rustic Stupidity—Redmen—The Drinking Fountain—Our House a Hive of Bees—Foxhunt in Drawing-room—The Donkey Burglar—Anthony Devis—Irvingism 245-256
American Ballads: "Ho, Brother! I'm a Britisher"—The Quasi-Inspiration—"Thirty Noble Nations," and Thirty-three—Many Others—Ground-baiting the Transatlantic 257-259
First American Visit—Too Temperate for 1851; not Temperate enough for 1876—Grand Dinner at Baltimore, and Great Speech—The Astor Dinner—"Amice Davis"—Mayor Kingsland and the Mile-long Procession—Willis, at Golden Square—The Fillmore Dinner at the White House—Jenny Lind's Concert—Gordon Bennet—Squier—Barnum 260-270
Second American Visit—Extreme Gold—Talmage—Bryant—Cooper—"Immortality" at the Tabernacle—Lotus Club—Lord Rosebery—Dr. Levis—Mr. Pettit's Portrait—The Listers at Hamilton—Toronto—Sir Charles Tupper—Elgin—Dufferin—Mackay and Sleighing—Dawson and Eozoa—Vaughan-Tuppers—The Grand John Hopkins' Banquet—Charleston Tuppers—My Palinode to the South—Visit to Williams Middleton—Parting Stanzas—Ruined Mansion—Valete 271-280
English and Scotch Readings, very rapid, from Isle of Wight to Peterhead—My Entrepreneur D.: his Experiences: I Failed with Him, but Succeeded Alone—Specimen of Readings—Local Critiques—Many Friends Unrecorded—Miscellaneous Poems—Mr. Gall's Primeval Man—Arbroath—Mill the Atheist—Mr. Boyd's Piety—Hamilton Mausoleum—Wild Cattle—Burns's Country—James Baird the Millionaire and the Hodman 281-288
Electrics—Sir Culling Eardley at Erith—Atlantic Telegraph—The First Message—Meddlesome Revisers—Antique Telegraphy—Addison and Strada—Professor Morse—A Telegram-Sonnet 289-295
The Rifle, a Patriotic Prophecy in 1845—Early Pamphlet—Defence not Defiance—Albury Club—Blackheath Review—Lord Lovelace—Alarums—Drummond's Scare—A Lucky Shot 296-303
Autographs and Advertisements—Worth Eighteenpence each—A Hundred at Once—Photographs—Oil Paintings—Locks of Hair—Interviewers—Puffs and Anti-puffs 304-311
Kindness to Animals—Louis Napoleon and Alfort—Vivisection—Pontrilas Court—The Omnibus Hack—Divers Ballads 312-315
Orkney and Shetland—Our Voyage—Wick Herring Fair—Balfour at Shapinshay—Kirkwall—Aytoun—Gulf Stream—Snuff-Boxes and Corals—Fair Isle Hosiery—Stennis—Scalloway—Lerwick Literature—Artificial Flora—Thurso Castle—Robert Dick—Cape Wrath—Stornoway—Callanish—Pipers—The brooch of Lorne, &c. 316-321
Literary Friends—Mrs. Somerville, Miss Granville, Mrs. Jameson, Mrs. Beecher Stowe, Ouida, Miss Braddon, Mrs. Carter Hall, Mrs. Grote, Lady Wilde, Miss Mackay, Rogers, Carlyle, Haweis, Tennyson, Browning, Mortimer Collins, Dickens and Son, Owen, Austen, Pengelley, Bowerbank, S. Mackenzie, M. Arnold, S. Brooks, Albert Smith, Mark Lemon, Tenniel, Cooper, P. B. Cole, E. Yates, Frank Smedley, J. G. Wood, Cuthbert Collingwood, Mr. and Mrs. Zerffi, Birch, Miss Hooper, Miss Barlee, G. MacDonald, Ronald Gower, Fred. Burnaby, Charles Marvin—A Diner-Out—A Mormon Guest—Apostles—Frank's Ranche—Twelve Anecdotes—Thackeray and Leech, Longfellow, C. Kingsley, Ainsworth, Lord Elgin 322-350
Some Older Friendships—Nightingale, and Farley Heath—Walter Hawkins—His Tomb—Anchor—Anagrams—Christmas Largesse—Sham Antiques—Joseph Durham—Alice's Statue—"Sir Joe" and the Noviomagians—Prince Albert at St. Peter's Port—Baroness Barnekow—Swedish Proverbial—King Oscar's Poems—Geo. Metivier—French Proverbial—John Sullivan—Canon Jenkins—Barnes, De Chatelain, De Pontigny—Correspondents, &c. 351-362
Political—A Dark Horse—No Party-Man—Gladstone—Ambidextrous Stanzas—Liberal and Tory—The One-Vote System—Fancy Franchises—The Voter's Motto—Fair Trade v. Free Trade—Radically Conservative—Strikes, &c. 363-372
A Cure for Ireland—Racial Difficulties—The Unsunned Corner—Æsop Smith's Prescription—An Irish Balmoral in 1858—My Anti Celtic Ballads—Adventures 373-379
Some Spiritist Experiences—Not a Spiritualist, but an Honest Recorder of Facts—Alexis—Howell—Vernon's Mesmerised Child—Mrs. Cora Tappan—Chauncey Townsend's Book—Spirit-Drawings—Planchette—Showers of Flowers, and Sugar-Plums, and Pearls—Mr. Home—Prayer before Séance—The Table in the Air—Live Coals in My Hand—The Vitalised Accordion—The Colonel's Ghost—Iamblicus—Query Electrical Influence—Our Mysterious Key—Miss Hudson—Thought-Reading 380-399
Fickle Fortune—Losses and Failures—Testimonial—"L'espoir est ma force"—My Levée in 1851—The Missed Codicil—Life and Death 400-403
Henry De Beauvoir, killed in Africa—Archdeacon Kitton—Our Old Chancery Suit: A Lost Fortune—Belgravian Five Fields, another Missed Chance—Earl Grosvenor 404-407
Flying: my Lecture at the Royal Aquarium with Fred. Burnaby as Chairman—Henry Middleton's Invention—De Lisle Hay's "Conquest of the Air"—Ezekiel's Angels—Ovid, and Tennyson—Claude Hamilton—Extracts 408-412
Luther—The Peroration as to his Life and Exploits—Anniversary Stanzas, in many Languages—Bullinger's Music—Wycliffe Ballad—Wondrous Parallel 413-416
Final—Whatever is, is Right—Sick-bed Repentance—Intuitions—What We Shall Be—Protest Against Atheism—The Infinities—A Childlike Hymn—Eternal Hope—Mercy for Ever—The Assurance of Ovid 417-431

[Pg 1]




I have often been asked to prepare an autobiography, but my objections to the task have ever been many and various. To one urgent appeal I sent this sonnet of refusal, which explains itself:—

"You bid me write the story of my life,
And draw what secrets in my memory dwell
From the dried fountains of her failing well,
With commonplaces mixt of peace and strife,
And such small facts, with good or evil rife,
As happen to us all: I have no tale
Of thrilling force or enterprise to tell,—
Nothing the blood to fire, the cheek to pale:
My life is in my books: the record there,
A truthful photograph, is all I choose
To give the world of self; nor will excuse
Mine own or others' failures: glad to spare
From blame of mine, or praise, both friends and foes,
Leaving unwritten what God only knows."

In fact I always rejected the proposal (warned by recent volumes of pestilential reminiscences) and would none of it; not only from its apparent vainglory as[Pg 2] to the inevitable extenuation of one's own faults and failures in life, and the equally certain amplification of self-registered virtues and successes,—but even still more from the mischief it might occasion from a petty record of commonplace troubles and trials, due to the "changes and chances of this mortal life," to the casual mention or omission of friends or foes, to the influence of circumstances and surroundings, and to other revelations—whether pleasant or the reverse—of matters merely personal, and therefore more of a private than a public character.

Indeed, so disquieted was I at the possible prospect of any one getting hold of a mass of manuscript in old days diligently compiled by myself from year to year in several small diaries, that I have long ago ruthlessly made a holocaust of the heap of such written self-memories, fearing their posthumous publication; and in this connection let me now add my express protest against the printing hereafter of any of my innumerable private letters to friends, or other MSS., unless they are strictly and merely of a literary nature.

Biography, where honest and true, is no doubt one of the most fascinating and instructive phases of literature; but it requires a higher Intelligence than any (however intimate) friend of a man to do it fairly and fully; so many matters of character and circumstance must ever be to him unknown, and therefore will be by him unrecorded. And even as to autobiography, who, short of the Omniscient Himself, can take into just account the potency of outward surroundings, and still more of inborn hereditary influences, over both mind and body? the bias to good or evil, and the possession or otherwise of gifts and talents, due very[Pg 3] much (under Providence) to one's ancient ancestors and one's modern teachers? We are each of us morally and bodily the psychical and physical composite of a thousand generations. Albeit every individual possesses as his birthright a freewill to turn either to the right or to the left, and is liable to a due responsibility for his words and actions, still the Just Judge alone can and must make allowance for the innate inclinings of heredity and the outward influences of circumstance, and He only can hold the balance between the guilt and innocence, the merit or demerit, of His creature.

So far as my own will goes, I leave my inner spiritual biography to the Recording Angel, choosing only to give some recollections and memories of my outer literary life. For spiritual self-analysis in matters of religion and affection I desire to be as silent as I can be; but in such a book as this absolute taciturnity on such subjects is practically impossible.

For the matter, then, of autobiography, I decline its higher and its deeper aspects; as also I wish not to obtrude on the public eye mere domesticities and privacies of life. But mainly lest others less acquainted with the petty incidents of my career should hereafter take up the task, I accede with all frankness and humility to what seems to me like a present call to duty, having little time to spare at seventy-six, so near the end of my tether,—and protesting, as I well may, against the charge of selfish egotism in a book necessarily spotted on every page with the insignificant letter I; and while, of course on human-nature principles, willing enough to exhibit myself at the best, promising also not to hide the second best, or worse than that, where I can perceive it.[Pg 4]

That shrewd old philosopher, Benjamin Franklin, thus excuses his own self-imposed task of "autobiography," and I cannot do better than quote and adopt his wise and just remarks:—

"In thus employing myself, I shall yield to the inclination so natural to old men, of talking of themselves and their own actions, and I shall indulge it without being tiresome to those who, from respect to my age, might conceive themselves obliged to listen to me, since they will always be free to read me or not. And (I may as well confess it, as the denial would be believed by nobody) I shall, perhaps, not a little gratify my own vanity. Indeed, I never heard or saw the introductory words, 'Without vanity I may say,' &c., but some vain thing immediately followed. Most people dislike vanity in others, whatever share they may have of it themselves; but I give it fair quarter wherever I meet with it, being persuaded that it is often productive of good to the possessor, and to others who are within his sphere of action; and therefore, in many cases, it would not be altogether absurd if a man were to thank God for his vanity among the other comforts of life.

"And now I speak of thanking God, I desire, with all humility, to acknowledge that I attribute the happiness of my past life to His divine providence, which led me to the means I used, and gave the success. My belief of this induces me to hope, though I must not presume, that the same goodness will still be exercised towards me in continuing that happiness or enabling me to bear a fatal reverse, which I may experience as others have done; the complexion of my future fortune being known to Him only in whose power it is to bless us, even in our afflictions."[Pg 5]

Thus speaketh the honest wisdom of Benjamin Franklin.

I do not see that a better plan can be chosen for carrying out the title of this book than the one I have adopted, namely, tracing from the earliest years to old age the author's literary lifework, illustrated by accounts of, and specimens from, his various books and writings, especially those which are absolutely out of print, or, haply have never been published. No doubt, in such excerpts, exhibited at their best, the critical accusations of unfairness, self-seeking, and so forth, will be made, and may be met by the true consideration that something of this sort is inevitable in autobiography. However, for the matter of vanity, all I know of myself is the fact that praise, if consciously undeserved, only depresses me instead of elating; that a noted characteristic of mine through life has been to hide away in the rear rather than rush to the front, unless, indeed, forced forward by duty, when I can be bold enough, if need be; and that one defect in me all know to be a dislike to any assumption of dignity—surely a feeling the opposite to self-conceit; whilst, if I am not true, simple, and sincere, I am worse than I hope I am, and all my friends are deceived in their kind judgment of me.

But let this book speak for itself; I trust it is honest, charitable, and rationally religious. If I have (and I show it through all my writings) a shrinking from priestcraft of every denomination, that feeling I take to be due to some ancient heredity ingrained, or, more truly, inburnt into my nature from sundry pre-Lutheran confessors and martyrs of old, from whom I claim to be descended, and by whose spirit I am imbued. Not but that I profess[Pg 6] myself broad, and wide, and liberal enough for all manner of allowances to others, and so far as any narrow prejudices may be imagined of my idiosyncrasy, I must allow myself to be changeable and uncertain—though hitherto having steered through life a fairly straight course—and that sometimes I can even doubt as to my politics, whether they should be defined Whig or Tory; as to my religion, whether it is most truly chargeable by the epithet high or low; as to my likings, whether I best prefer solitude or society; as to literature, whether gaieties or gravities please me most. In fact, I recognise good in everything, though sometimes hidden by evil, right (by intention, at least) in sundry doctrines and opinions otherwise to my judgment wrong, and I am willing to believe the kindliest of my opponents who appear to be honest and earnest. This is a very fair creed for a citizen of the world, whose motto is Terence's famous avowal, "Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto."[Pg 7]



In a short and simple way, then, and without any desire ostentatiously to "chronicle small beer," as Iago sneers it, I suppose it proper to state very briefly when and where I was born, with a word as to my parentage. July 17, 1810, was my birthday, and No. 20 Devonshire Place, Marylebone, my birthplace, at that time the last house of London northward. My father, Martin Tupper, a name ever honoured by me, was an eminent medical man, who twice refused a baronetcy (first from Lord Liverpool, and secondly, as offered by the Duke of Wellington); my mother, Ellin Devis Marris, being daughter of Robert Marris, a good landscape artist, of an old Lincolnshire family, and made the heiress, as adopted child, of her aunt, Mrs. Ellin Devis, of Devonshire Place and Albury.

My father's family have sojourned 336 years in Guernsey, having migrated thither from Thuringia, viâ Hesse Cassel, owing to religious persecution in the evil days of Charles V., our remote ancestors being styled Von Topheres (chieftains, or head-lords) of Treffurth (as is recorded in the heraldic MSS. of the British Museum), that being the origin of our name.

Of my mother's family (in old time Maris, as "of the sea," with mermaids for heraldry), I have the commis[Pg 8]sions of one who was an Ironside cavalry officer, signed by Cromwell and Fairfax; and several of her relatives (besides her father) were distinguished artists. In particular, her uncle (my wife's father), Arthur William Devis, the well-known historical painter, and her great-uncle, Anthony Devis, who filled Albury House with his landscapes.

Some of our old German stock crossed the Atlantic in Puritan times, and many of the name have attained wealth and position both in Canada and the United States; notably Sir Charles Tupper northwards, and sundry rich merchants in New York, Virginia, and the Carolines southwardly.

Of my infancy let me record that I "enjoyed" very delicate health, chiefly due, as I now judge, to the constant cuppings and bleedings whereby "the faculty" of those days combated teething fits, and (perhaps with Malthusian proclivities) killed off young children. I remember, too, that the broad meadows, since developed into Regent's Park and Primrose Hill, then "truly rural," and even up to Chalk Farm, then notorious for duels, were my nursery ramblings in search of cowslips and new milk. Also, that once at least in those infantile days, my father took me to see Winsor's Patent Gaslights at Carlton House, and how he prognosticated the domestic failure of so perilous an explosive, more than one blowing-up having carelessly occurred.

Another infantile recollection is memorable, as thus. My father's annual holiday happened one year to be at Bognor, where a patron patient of his, Lord Arran, rented a pleasant villa, and he had for a visitor at the time no less a personage than George the Third: it must have[Pg 9] been during some lucid interval, perhaps after the Great Thanksgiving at St. Paul's. My father took his little boy with him to call upon the Earl, not thinking to see the King; but when we came in there was his kind-hearted Majesty, who patted my curls and gave me his blessing! How far the mysterious efficacy of the royal touch affected my after career believers in the divine rights and spiritual powers of a king may speculate as they please. At all events I got a good man's blessing.

I remember also in my nursery days to have heard this curious story of a dream. My father, when a young man, was a student at Guy's Hospital, from which school of medicine he went to Yarmouth to attend the wounded after the battle of Copenhagen. He was on one occasion leaving Guernsey for Southampton in the clumsy seagoing smack of those days, when, on the night before embarking, he dreamt that on his way to the harbour he crossed the churchyard and fell into an open grave. Telling this to his parents at "The Pollet," they would not let him go, with a sort of superstitious wisdom; for, strangely enough, the smack was seized on its voyage by a privateer, and all the crew and passengers were consigned—for twelve years—to a French prison! I have heard my father tell this tale, and noted early how true was Dr. Watts' awkward line, "On little things what great depend." I might say more about warnings in dreams and other somnolencies, whereof we all have experiences. For instance, my "Dream of Ambition" in Proverbial Philosophy was a real one. And this reminds me now of another like sort of spiritual monition alluded to in my Proverbial Essay on "Truth in Things False," which has several times occurred to myself, as this, for example: Years ago, in Devonshire, for the[Pg 10] first time, I was on the top of a coach passing through a town—I think it was Crediton—and I had the strange feeling that I had seen all this before: now, we changed horses just on this side of a cross street, and I resolved within myself to test the truth of the place being new to me or not, by prophesying what I should see right and left as we passed; to my consternation it was all as I had foreseen,—a market-place with the usual incidents. Now, if reasonably asked how to account for this (and most of us have felt the like), I reply that possibly in an elevated state of health and spirits the soul may outrun the body, and literally foresee coming events both real and ideal. But we must leave this to the Psychical Society for a judgment upon the famous Horatian philosophy of "more things in heaven and earth," &c.

On Mr. Galton's topic of hereditary talent I have little to report as to myself. Neither father nor mother had any leanings either towards verse or prose; but my mother was an excellent pianiste and a fair landscape painter both in oils and water-colour; also she drew and printed on stone, and otherwise showed that she came of an artistic family. As to my father's surroundings, his brother Peter, a consul-general in Spain, wrote a tragedy called Pelayo; and I possess half-a-dozen French songs, labelled by my father "in my late dear father's handwriting," but whether or not original, I cannot tell. As a Guernseyman, he might well be as much French as English. They seem to me clever and worthy of Beranger, though long before him: possibly they are my grandsire's. A very fair judge of French poetry, and himself a good Norman poet, Mr. John Sullivan of Jersey writes and tells me that the songs are excellent,[Pg 11] and that he remembers them to have been popularly sung when he was a boy.

About the matter of hereditary bias itself, we know that as with animals so with men, "fortes creantur fortibus, et bonis;" this so far as bodies are concerned; but surely spirits are more individual, as innumerable instances prove, where children do not take after their parents. If, however, I may mention my own small experience of this matter, literary talent, or at all events authorship, is hereditary, especially in these days of that general epidemic, the "cacoethes scribendi."

I wrote this paper following originally for an American publication; and as I cannot improve upon it, and it has never been printed in England, I produce it here in its integrity.

A true and genuine record of what English schools of the highest class were more than sixty-five years ago cannot fail to have much to interest the present generation on both sides of the Atlantic; if only because we may now indulge in the self-complacency of being everyway wiser, better, and happier than our recent forebears. And in setting myself to write these early revelations, I wish at once to state that, although at times necessarily naming names (for the too frequent use of dashes and asterisks must otherwise destroy the verisimilitude of plain truth-telling), I desire to say nothing against or for either the dead or the living beyond their just deserts, and I protest against any charge of unreasonable want of charity as to my whilom "schools and schoolmasters." It is true that sometimes I loved them not, neither can I in general respect their memory; but the causes of such a feeling on my part shall be made[Pg 12] manifest anon, and I am sure that modern parents and guardians will rejoice that much of my childhood's hard experience has not been altogether that of their own boys.

I was sent to school much too soon, at the early age of seven, having previously had for my home tutor a well-remembered day-teacher in "little Latin and less Greek" of the name of Swallow, whom I thought a wit and a poet in those days because one morning he produced as an epitaph on himself the following effusion:

"Beneath this stone a Swallow lies,
No one laughs and no one cries;
Where he is gone or how he fares
No one knows and no one cares."

At this time of day I suspect this epigram not to be quite original, but it served to give me for the nonce a high opinion of the pundit who read with me Cornelius Nepos and Cæsar and some portions of that hopeless grammar, the Eton Greek, in the midst of his hard-breathing consumption of perpetual sandwiches and beer.

The first school chosen for me (though expensive, there could not have been a worse one) was a large mixed establishment for boys of all ages, from infancy to early manhood, belonging to one Rev. Dr. Morris of Egglesfield House, Brentford Butts, which I now judge to have been conducted solely with a view to the proprietor's pocket, without reference to the morals, happiness, or education of the pupils committed to his care. All I care to remember of this false priest (and there were many such of old, whatever may be the case now) are his cruel punishments, which passed for discipline,[Pg 13] his careful cringing to parents, and his careless indifference towards their children, and in brief his total unfitness for the twin duties of pastor and teacher. A large private school of mixed ages and classes is perilously liable to infection from licentious youths left to themselves and their evil propensities, and I can feelingly recollect how miserable for nearly a year was that poor little helpless innocent of seven under the unrestricted tyranny of one Cooke (in after years a life convict for crime) who did all he could to pollute the infant mind of the little fag delivered over to his cruelty. Cowper's Tirocinium well expresses the situation:—

"Would you your son should be a sot or dunce,
Lascivious, headstrong, or all these at once,
Train him in public with a mob of boys,
Childish in mischief only and in noise,
Else of a mannish growth and, five in ten,
For infidelity and lewdness, men."

My next school was more of a success; for Eagle House, Brookgreen, where I was from eight to eleven, had for its owner and headmaster a most worthy and excellent layman, Joseph Railton. Mr. Railton was gentle, though gigantic, fairly learned, just and kindly. His school produced, amongst others eminent, the famous naval author Kingston, well known from cabin-boy to admiral; there was also Lord Paulet, some others of noble birth, and the two Middletons, nick-named Yankees, whom years after I visited at their ruined mansion in South Carolina after the Confederate War. Through the personal good influence of honest "Old Joe," and his middle-aged housekeeper, Mrs. Jones, our whole well-ordered company of perhaps a hundred boys lived and learned, worked and played purely, and[Pg 14] happily together: so great a social benefactor may a good school chieftain be.

I have little to regret in my Brook Green recollections; the annual fair was memorable with Richardson's show and Gingel's conjuring, and the walks for mild cricketing at Shepherd's Bush, and the occasional Sundays at home; and how pleasant to a schoolboy was the generous visitor who tipped him, a good action never forgotten; and the garden with its flowering tulip-tree, and the syringas and rose-trees jewelled with the much-prized emerald May-bugs; for the whole garden was liberally thrown open to us beyond the gravelled playground; all being now given over to monks and nuns. Then I recollect how a rarely-dark annular eclipse of the sun convulsed the whole school, bringing smoked glass to a high premium; and there was a notable boy's library of amusing travels and stories, all eagerly devoured; and old Phulax the house-dog, and good Mr. Whitmore an usher, who gave a certain small boy a diamond prayer-book, greatly prized then, though long since lost, and suitably inscribed for him "Parvum parva decent;" and the speech days, wherein the same small boy always signalised himself, to the general astonishment, for he was usually a stammerer, owing much to the early worries of Brentford; all these are agreeable reminiscences.

My next school at eleven was Charterhouse, or as my schoolfellow Thackeray was wont to style it, Slaughterhouse, no doubt from the cruel tyranny of another educational D.D., the Rev. Dr. Russell. For this man and the school he so despotically drilled into passive servility and pedantic scholarship, I have less than no reverence, for he worked so upon an over-sensitive[Pg 15] nature to force a boy beyond his powers, as to fix for many years the infirmity of stammering, which was my affliction until past middle life. As for tuition, it must all have grown of itself by dint of private hard grinding with dictionaries and grammars, for the exercises, themes, and other lessons were notoriously difficult, and those before me would be inextricable puzzles now; however, we had to do them, and we did them, unhelped by any teacher but our own industry. As for the masters in school, two more ignorant old parsons than Chapman and "Bob Watki" could not readily be found; and though the four others, Lloyd, Dickens, Irvine, and Penny were somewhat more intelligent, still all six in the lower school were occasionally summoned to a "concio," if the interpretation of any ordinary passage in Homer or Virgil or Horace was haply in dispute between a monitor and his class. In the upper school the single really excellent teacher and good clergyman, Edward Churton, had but one fault, a meek subserviency to the tyrannic Russell, who domineered over all to our universal terror; and I remember kindly Mr. Churton once affected to tears at the cruelty of his chief. What should we think nowadays of an irate schoolmaster smashing a child's head between two books in his shoulder-of-mutton hands till the nose bled, as I once saw? Or, in these milder times when your burglar or garotter is visited with a brief whipping, what shall we judge of the wisdom or equity of some slight fault of idleness or ignorance being visited with the Reverend Doctor's terrible sentence, "Allen, three rods, eighteen, and most severely"?

Let me comment on this line, one of a sharp satire by a boy named Barnes, long since an Indian Judge[Pg 16] and I suppose translated Elsewhere. Allen was head-gown-boy, and so chief executioner, the three rods being some five-feet bunches of birch armed with buds as sharp as thorns, renewed after six strokes for fresh excoriation! sometimes the exhibition was in medio, a public terror to evil-doers, or doers of nothing, but usually in a sort of side chapel to the lower school where the whipping-block stood. Who could tolerate such things now? and who can wonder that I, as a lad, proclaimed that I would rather die than be flogged, for I had resolved in that event to commit justifiable homicide on my flogger? I do not mean Allen, who became Head of Dulwich College, and with whom I have since dined, annually as donor of a picture there, but Russell, concerning whom I vowed that if ever he was made a Bishop (happily he wasn't) I would desert the Church of England; as yet I have not, albeit it has lately become so papalised as to be little worth an honest Protestant's adherence.

As to the exclusively classic education in my young days, to the resolute neglect of all other languages and sciences, I for myself have from youth upwards always protested against it as mainly waste of time and of very little service in the battle of life. For proof of this, before I was eighteen, I wrote that essay on Education to be seen in my first series of Proverbial Philosophy, which long years after the celebrated Dr. Binney of the Weigh-house in Thames Street issued with my leave as a tractate useful to the present generation. And while there was so much fuss made as to the criminality of a false quantity in Greek, or a deficient acquaintance with those awkward verbs in "Mi," or above all a false concord (every one of which derelictions in duty involved[Pg 17] severe punishment), let us remember that all this time Holywell Street was suffered to infect Charterhouse with its poison (I speak of long ago, before Lord Campbell's wholesome Act), and that our clerical tutors and governors professionally recognised no sort of sins or shortcomings but those committed in class! They practically ignored everything out of school, much as a captain knows nothing of his company off duty. It was the idle system of boys set to govern boys, that the masters might have no damage. I think the system was called Lancastrian.

One very noticeable trait in the parson-schoolmasters of those old days (and perhaps it still survives) was the subserviency to rank and wealth towards any pupils likely to give them livings, whereof more anon; at present, an appropriate instance occurs to me. I was in my thirteenth year monitor of the playground, when one Dillon, a scion of a titled family, hunted and killed a stray dog there, and much to their credit for humanity a number of other boys hunted and pelted him into a dry ditch or vallum, dug for the leaping-pole under a Captain Clias who taught us athletics. I was technically responsible for this open insult offered to Hibernian nobility, however well disposed to look another way and let lynch-law take its course. Accordingly, the Doctor had me up for punishment, and he inflicted an almost impossible imposition, Book Epsilon of the Iliad (the longest of all) to be translated word for word, English and Greek, and to be given to him in MS. within a month (it would have been work for a year), that or expulsion. Had Mr. Dillon been a plebeian, no notice would have been taken of the matter, but he was an honourable, so Russell must[Pg 18] avenge his righteous punishment. However, the result of this outrageous set-task was curious and worthy of this its first and only record. All the seventy boys in Irvine's house and others elsewhere, volunteered to do the whole imposition for me, and within a week hundreds of pages closely written with Greek and Latin, were sewn together, making a large quarto pamphlet, which was duly handed by me to the wondering Doctor; who had, however, too much shrewdness to care to inquire closely as to this popular outburst of a general indignation, so he said nothing more about it.

For other playground reminiscences: I saw, even in those tame times for cricket when overhand bowling was illegal, and the fierce artillery of a Spofforth impossible, a poor lad killed in the field, one Honourable Henry Howard; he was taken to the pump for recovery, as from a swoon, but the ball had struck him behind the ear, stone-dead. Again as to that pump; it was sometimes maliciously used for sousing unfortunate day-boys, who were allowed two minutes law out of school to enable them to escape pursuit after lessons, most unjustly, and injuriously, seeing that old Sutton founded his Charterhouse mainly for day-boys (John Leech was one in my time) and for pensioners ("old Cods") whereof Colonel Newcome of Thackeray fame, was another; but both of these charity classes were utterly despised and ignored by the reverend brigands who kept all the loaves and fishes for themselves.

One remarkable playground experience was the fact that it helped to develop in me antiquarian inclinations, and my own discovered hunting-ground for Roman numismatics in the south of England, long after[Pg 19]wards expanded in "Farley Heath" near Albury. At Charterhouse there was a great slope or semi-mound which had in old times been utilised as a wholesale grave for the victims of plague and other epidemics. It strikes me now as most perilous, but we boys used to dig and scratch among bones and other débris for on occasional coin or lead token, whereof I found several; it is only a wonder that we did not unearth pestilence, but mould is fortunately very antiseptic. Another playground peculiarity was that after the hoop season, usually driven in duplicate or triplicate, the hoops were "stored" or "shied" into the branching elms, from which they were again brought down by hockey-sticks flung at them; a great boon to the smaller boys who thus gratuitously became possessed of valuable properties. And for all else, there were fights behind the school, in those pugilistic days scientifically conducted with seconds and bottleholders, and some "claret" drawn, and other like fashionable brutalities; also in its season came football, but not quite so fiercely fought as it is now; and there was Mr. Rackwitz, the man of sweets and pastries at the corner; and another sort of rackets in the tennis court; and for another sort of court there was then extant a bit of ruinous Gothic in old Rutland Court, a ghostly entrance from Charterhouse Square, some thought haunted, and long since cleared away.

And now crossing the Square we come to No. 41, the Queen Anne fashioned mansion where Mr. Andrew Irvine (another Reverend Master, who like all the rest, except Churton, almost never "did duty," and when he did manifestly could neither read, preach, not pray) had a houseful of pupils, whereof the writer was one. That long room is full of ancient memories of past and[Pg 20] gone Carthusians, though it is now humiliated into a local charity school. I remember some humorous scenes there, chiefly owing to the master's notorious niggardliness. Andrew had some Gruyere cheese, easily accessible to the boyish plunderers of his larder. Now we had complained that our slabs of butter laid between the cut sides of the rolls often were salt and strong, so one "Punsonby" (afterwards an earl) managed to put a piece of highly-flavoured Gruyere into a roll, and publicly at breakfast produced it before Mr. Irvine as a proof of the bad butter provided by the unfortunate housekeeper. He was overborne against his own convictions, by the heroic impudence of chief big boys whom he dared not offend, and actually pretended indignation, promising better butter in future!

For another small scholastic recollection: Andrew's Indian brother had brought over a lot of curiosities from the East, including a rhinoceros skin, and bows and arrows, idols, and the like, all of which were carelessly stored away in a cellar near the larder aforesaid. Of course the boys made a raid upon such spolia opima, and divers portions of that thick hide were exhibited as Indian rubber: but Andrew never knew that many other things vanished, and that for example Knighton used to walk home on Saturdays with preternaturally stiff arms, an arrow (possibly poisoned) being hid in each sleeve! some creeses also were appropriated by others. I wonder if any Carthusian of my time survives as the possessor of such loot.

Let me record, too, that in those evil days (for I am not one who can think this age as "pejor avis") boys used to go, on their Monday mornings' return from the weekly holiday, out of their way to see the wretches[Pg 21] hanging at Newgate; that the scenes of cruelty to animals in Smithfield were terrible; that books of the vilest character were circulated in the long-room; and that both morality and religion were ignored by the seven clergymen who reaped fortunes by neglecting five hundred boys. If more memories are wanted of those times, here are two; the planned famine on one occasion, when—under monitorial inspiration—all the juniors clamoured for "more, more," seeing they had slabbed on the underside of the tables masses of bread and butter supposed to have been eaten-out; and on another, that lobsters, surreptitiously obtained from out-of-bounds by the big boys were sworn in the débris of their smaller claws to be pieces of sealing-wax! and nothing else: at least a reckless young aristocrat declared that they were so,—and the mean-spirited Andrew, fearful of giving offence in such high quarters, pretended to believe him.

Yet another trifle; for I find that such trivials are attractive to homeflock readers, by whose taste I feel the more public pulse, even as Rousseau did with his housekeeper. We, that is Knighton and Ellis and I, used to return on Sunday night in my father's carriage by the back way of Clerkenwell to Charterhouse in order to avoid the crowds of cattle; and I well remember that sometimes we would utilise apples and nuts from the dessert as missiles from our carriage window as we sped along. Alas! on one occasion Knighton was skilful enough to smash a chemist's blue bottle with an apple,—and on another I am aware that an oil lamp in Carthusian Street succumbed to my only too-true cockshy: "Et hoc meminisse dolendum."

Another incident was amusing in its way. Poor Mr. Irvine (who was going to be married) mended up a very[Pg 22] much smashed greenhouse to greet his bride thereby with floral joy. Unluckily, the boys preferred broken panes to whole ones, so nothing was easier than by flinging brickbats and even mugs over the laundry wall to revel in the sweet sound of smashed glass; moreover this would go to evidence the popular animosity against a wretched bridegroom. Then, when he reappeared after some temporary absence before the wedding, it was after this ridiculous fashion. There was a wooden staircase screened off one side of the long-room down which he would occasionally creep to listen at the door at bottom to the tattle of the boys about him. He was heard creaking downstairs, and some active young fellow by a round-about byway managed to steal down behind and suddenly pushed him by the burst open door, spread-eagle fashion, into the laughing long-room! The poor victim pretended it was an accident, "Ye see, Mr. Yates, I was coming down the stair, and me foot slipped." It seems that the luckless Andrew was coming, so he averred, expressly to expostulate with the boys, to throw himself on their generosity for a subscription towards his ruined greenhouse, and to ask Messrs. "Punsonby," Yates, & Co. to promote it. This they promised to do, and did after an original fashion. Several pounds worth of pence and half-pence were distributed through the house, so that when Andrew with his traitorous aides went round to collect monies, it miraculously happened to be all coppers, unrelieved by a single sparkle of silver or gold. On which, in a red rage (and he often was in the like) he flung the whole bowlful into the long-room fire, from the ashes whereof for days after the small boys gladly collected hot half-pence. We must recollect that the canny Scot was a[Pg 23] mean over-reaching man, so perhaps he was well paid out. Soon after the wedding, the bridegroom held high festival, and gave a grand dinner to all the masters. Our big boys were equal to the occasion, and as the hired waiters from the Falcon brought out the viands (all was a delusive peace as they went in) our harpies flew upon the spoil, and each meat, fish and fowl was cleared off the great dishes held between the helpless hands of the astonished servitors! It was really too bad, but if a man is so manifestly unpopular no doubt he deserves it. Rugbeians would not have so served Arnold. Nearly all my schoolmates are dead, and I cannot call on Charles Roe or Frank Ellis to corroborate my small anecdotes, but I could till lately on Sir William Knighton and one or two more. In a crowd of five hundred scholars (Russell's average number, afterwards much diminished, until Godalming brought up the tale), there must be many still extant and of eminence whom I would name if I did but know them. Certainly, yes, Trevelyan was my next neighbour in the "emeriti," and there was Hebert, the one distinguished in the State, the other in the Church; also Cole, and his noble chief of Enniskillen, whom I have visited at Florence Court; and Walford, our great genealogist, with many more; among the more recent dead, let me mention my good friend Archibald Mathison, lately an Indian Judge, and Robert Curzon, and Arthur Helps, the historian of Mexico. Thackeray I knew then but very slightly, as he was a lower schoolboy, and John Leech not at all, because he was a day boy, seeing that the upper school was made to keep foolishly aloof from all such; however, in after years I made good acquaintance with both of those true geniuses, and had Leech down to Albury, and[Pg 24] to illustrate my tales, whilst I have several times compared judgments with Thackeray as to Doctor Birch and his young friends and other scholia.

For the matter of my practical education at Charterhouse, I like others went through the usual course, though without much distinction. I never gained a prize, albeit I tried for some, by certain tame didactic poems on the Tower, Carthage, and Jerusalem, and as I couldn't as a stammerer speak in school, high places were out of my reach. Like others, however, I learned by heart all Horace's odes and epodes, the Ajax and the Antigone of Sophocles, and other like efforts of memory, almost useless in after life, except for capping quotations, and thereby being thought a pedant by the display of schoolboy erudition. How often have I wished that the years wasted over Latin verses and Greek plays had been utilised among French and German, astronomy, geology, chemistry and the like; but all such useful educationals were quite ignored by the clerical boobies who then professed to teach young gentlemen all that they needed to know. Sixty years ago I perceived what we all see now (teste Lord Sherborne) that a most imperfect classical education, such as was then provided for us, was the least useful introduction to the real business of life, except that it was fashionable, and gave a man some false prestige in the circle of society. At about sixteen I left Charterhouse for a private tutor, Dr. Stocker, then head of Elizabeth College, Guernsey, seeing my father wished to do him a service for kindly private reasons; I was not at the College, but a pupil in his own house: however, as this other Rev. D.D. proved a failure, I was passed on to a Rev. Mr. Twopeny of Long Wittenham, near Dorchester, staying with him[Pg 25] about a year with like little profit; when I changed to Mr. Holt's at Albury, a most worthy friend and neighbour, with whom I read diligently until my matriculation at Oxford, when I was about nineteen. With Holt, my intimate comrade was Harold Browne, the present Bishop of Winchester, and he will remember that it was our rather mischievous object to get beyond Mr. Holt in our prepared Aristotle and Plato, as we knew he had hard work to keep even in the race with his advanced pupils by dint of midnight oil. With this good tutor and the excellent ministrations of Hugh M'Neile, the famous rector of Albury, my status pupillaris comes technically to an end, Oxford being practically independence; albeit I am sure that education can cease only with human life, even if it be not carried further, onward and upward, through the cycles of eternity.

As I did not care to stop the continuity of this gossiping record (perhaps too light and too frank, but it is best unaltered) I must now hark back for a few years, to fill in whatever small details of early life and primitive literature happened to me, between school and college. Truly, much of this amounts to recording trivialities; but boyhood, not to say life also, is made up of trifles; and there is always interest to a reader in personal anecdotes and experiences, the more if they are lively rather than severe. Let this excuse that lengthy account of "My Schooldays."[Pg 26]



Of my earliest MS., written soon after my seventh birthday, I have no copy, and only a very confused memory: but I remember that my good mother treasured for years and showed to many friends something in the nature of an elegy which a broken-hearted little brother wrote on the death of an infant sister from his first school: this is only mentioned in case any one of my older readers may possibly supply such a lost MS. in a child's roundhand. At school, chiefly as a young Carthusian, I frequently broke out into verse, where prose translation was more properly required: seeing that it pleased my indolence to be poetical where I was not sure of literal accuracy, and (I may add) it rejoiced me to induce a certain undermaster to suspect and sometimes to accuse this small poetaster of having "cribbed" his metrical version from some unknown collection of poems: however, he had always to be satisfied with my assurance as to authenticity, for he was sure to be baffled in his inquiries elsewhere.

One such instance is extant as thus,—for I kept a copy, as the assembled Charterhouse masters seemed to think it too good to be original for a small boy of twelve to thirteen. Here then, as a specimen of one of my early bits of literature, is a genuine and unaltered[Pg 27] poem (for any modern improvements would not be honest) in the shape of a translated Greek epigram from the Anthologia:—

"Not Juno's eye of fire divine
Can vie my Melite, with thine
So heavenly pure and bright;
Nor can Minerva's hand excel
That pretty hand I know so well,
So small and lily-white.
"Not Venus can such charms disclose
As those sweet lips of blushing rose
And ivory bosom show;
Not Thetis' nimble foot can tread
More lightly o'er her coral bed
Than thy soft foot of snow.
"What happiness thy face bestows
When smiling on a lover's woes!
Thrice happy then is he
Who hears thy soul-subduing song,—
O more than blest, to whom belong
The charms of Melite!"

I was head of the lower school then, and I remember the father of Bernal Osborne patting my curly locks and scolding his whiskered son for letting a small boy be above him.

Much about this time, and until I left Charterhouse at sixteen, there proceeded from my pen numerous other mild rhymed pieces and sundry unsuccessful prize poems; e.g., three on Carthage, the second Temple of Jerusalem, and the Tower of London, whereof I have schoolboy copies not worth notice; besides divers metrical translations of Horace, Æschylus, Virgil; and a few songs and album verses for young lady friends, one[Pg 28] being set by a Mr. Sala (perhaps G. A. S. had a musical relative) with an impromptu or two, whereof the following "On a shell sounding like the sea" is a fair specimen for a boy:—

"I remember the voice of the flood
Hoarse breaking upon the rough shore,
As a linnet remembers the wood
And his warblings so joyous before."

Of course, this class of my juvenile lyrics was holiday work, and barely worth a record, except to save a fly in amber, like this.

Whilst I was at Charterhouse, occurred my first Continental journey, when my excellent father took his small party all through France in his private travelling carriage, bought at Calais for the trip (it was long before railways were invented), and I jotted down in verse our daily adventures in the rumble. The whole journal, entitled "Rough Rhymes," in divers metres, grave and gay, was published by the "Literary Chronicle" in 1826, and the editor thereof, Mr. Jerdan, says, after some compliments, "the author is in his sixteenth year,"—which fixes the date. Possibly, a brief specimen or two of this may please: take the livelier first,—on French cookery: if trivial, the lines are genuine: I must not doctor anything up even by a word.

"Now Muse, you must versify your very best,
To sing how they ransack the East and the West,
To tell how they plunder the North and the South
For food for the stomach and zest for the mouth!
Such savoury stews, and such odorous dishes,
Such soups, and (at Calais) such capital fishes!
[Pg 29] With sauces so strange they disguise the lean meat
That you seldom, or never, know what you're to eat;
Such fricandeaux, fricassees epicurean,
Such vins-ordinaires, and such banquets Circean,—
And the nice little nothings which very soon vanish
Before you are able your plate to replenish,—
Such exquisite eatables! and for your drink
Not porter or ale, but—what do you think?
'Tis Burgundy, Bourdeaux, real red rosy wine,
Which you quaff at a draught, neat nectar, divine!
Thus they pamper the taste with everything good
And of an old shoe can make savoury food,
But the worst of it is that when you have done
You are nearly as famish'd as when you begun!"

For a more serious morsel, take the closing lines on Rouen:—

"Yes, proud Cathedral, ages pass'd away
While generations lived their little day,—
France has been deluged with her patriots' blood
By traitors to their country and their God,—
The face of Europe has been changed, but thou
Hast stood sublime in changelessness till now,
Exulting in thy glories of carved stone,
A living monument of ages gone!—
Yet—time hath touch'd thee too; thy prime is o'er,—
A few short years, and thou must be no more;
Ev'n thou must bend beneath the common fate,
But in thy very ruins wilt be great!"

More than enough of this brief memory of "Sixty Years Since," which has no other extant record, and is only given as a sample of the rest, equally juvenile. Three years however before, this, my earliest piece printed, I find among my papers a very faded copy of my first MS. in verse, being part of an attempted prize poem at Charterhouse on Carthage, written at the age[Pg 30] of thirteen in 1823; for auld langsyne's sake I rescue its conclusion thus curtly from oblivion,—though no doubt archæologically faulty:—

"Where sculptured temples once appeared to sight,
Now dismal ruins meet the moon's pale light,—
Where regal pomp once shone with gorgeous ray,
And kings successive held their transient sway;—
Where once the priest his sacred victims led
And on the altars their warm lifeblood shed,—
Where swollen rivers once had amply flowed
And splendid galleys down the stream had rowed,
A dreary wilderness now meets the view,
And nought but Memory can trace the clue!"

The poor little schoolboy's muse was perhaps quite of the pedestrian order: but so also, the critics said, had been stern old Dr. Johnson's in his "London."

Mere school-exercises (whereof I have some antique copybooks before me), cannot be held to count for much as early literature; though I know not why some of my Greek Iambic translations of the Psalms and Shakespeare, as also sundry very respectable versions of English poems into Latin Sapphics and Alcaics still among my archives, should not have been shrined—as they were offered at the time—in Dr. Haig Brown's Carthusian Anthology. However somehow these have escaped printer's ink,—the only true elixir vitæ—and we must therefore suppose them not quite worthy to be bracketed with the classical versification of Buchanan or even of Mr. John Milton,—albeit actually superior to sundry of the aforesaid Anthologia Carthusiana; so of these we will say nothing.

Of other sorts of schoolboy literaria whereof from time to time I was guilty let me save here (by way of change) one or two of my trivial humoristics: here is[Pg 31] one, not seen in print till now; "Sapphics to my Umbrella,—written on a very rainy day," in 1827. N.B. If Canning in his Eton days immortalised sapphically a knifegrinder, why shouldn't a young Carthusian similarly celebrate his gingham?

"Valued companion of my expeditions,
Wanderings, and my street perambulations,
What can be more deserving of my praises
Than my umbrella?
"Under thine ample covering rejoicing,
(All the 'canaille' tumultuously running)
While the rain streams and patters from the housetops,
Slow and majestic,
"I trudge along unwetted, though an ocean
Pours from the clouds, as if some Abernethy
Had given all the nubilary regions
Purges cathartic!
"Others run on in piteous condition,
Black desperation painted in their faces,
While the full flood descends in very pailfuls
Streaming upon them.
"Yea, 'tis as if some cunning necromancer
Had drawn a circle magically round me,
Till like the wretched victim of Kehama,
(Southey's abortion)
"Nothing like liquor ever could approach me!
But it is thou, disinterested comrade,
Bearest the rainy weather uncomplaining,
Oh, my umbrella!
"How many hats, and 'upper Bens,' and new coats,
How many wretched duckings hast thou saved me
Well—I have done—but must be still indebted
To my umbrella!"

Another such trifle may be permissible, as thus: also about an umbrella,[Pg 32] a stolen one. On the occasion of my loss I wrote this to rebuke the thief, "The height of honesty:"—

"Three friends once, in the course of conversation,
Touch'd upon honesty: 'No virtue better,'
Says Dick, quite lost in sweet self-admiration,
'I'm sure I'm honest;—ay—beyond the letter:
You know the field I rent; beneath the ground
My plough stuck in the middle of a furrow
And there a pot of golden coins I found!
My landlord has it, without fail, to-morrow.'
Thus modestly his good intents he told:
'But stay,' says Bob,' we soon shall see who's best,
A stranger left with me uncounted gold!
But I'll not touch it; which is honestest?'
'Your honest acts I've heard,' says Jack, 'but I
Have done much better, would that all folks learn'd it,
Mine is the highest pitch of honesty—
I borrow'd an umbrella and—return'd it!!'".

N.B.—I remember that Dr. Buckland, whose geological lectures I attended, had the words "Stolen from Dr. Buckland" engraved on the ivory handle of his umbrella: he never lost it again.

In the way of prose, not printed (though much later on I have since published "Paterfamilias's Diary of Everybody's Tour") I have kept journals of holiday travel passim, whereof I now make a brief mention. Six juvenile bits of authorship are before me, ranging through the summers of 1828 to 1835 inclusive; each neatly written in its note-book on the spot and at the time (therefore fresh and true) decorated with untutored sketches, and all full of interest ab least to myself in old memories, faded interests, and departed friends. As[Pg 33] very rare survivals of the past (for who cares to keep as I have done his schoolboy journals of half a century ago?) I will give at haphazard from each in its order of time a short quotation by way of sample,—a brick to represent the house. My first, a.d. 1828, records how my good father took his sons through the factories of Birmingham and the potteries of Staffordshire, down an iron mine and a salt mine, &c. &c., thus teaching us all we could learn energetically and intelligently; it details also how we were hospitably entertained for a week in each place by the magnate hosts of Holkar Hall and Inveraray Castle; and how we did all touristic devoirs by lake, mountain, ruin, and palace: in fact, a short volume in MS., whereof quite at random here is a specimen page. "Melrose looks at a distance very little ruinous, but more like a perfect cathedral. While the horses were being changed we walked to see this Abbey, a splendid ruin, with two very light and beautiful oriel windows to the east and south, besides many smaller ones; the architecture being florid Gothic. The tracery round the capitals of pillars is in wonderful preservation, looking as fresh and sharp as on the first day of their creation; instead of the Grecian acanthus Scotch kail being a favourite ornament. Some of the images still remain in their niches. In the east aisle is the grave of the famous wizard, Michael Scott, and at the foot of the tombstone a grim-looking figure,—query himself? In the ruined cloisters the tracery is of the most delicate description, foliage of trees and vegetables being carved on them. This Abbey was founded by David the First, but repaired by James the Fourth, which accounts for his altered crown appearing in stone on the walls," &c. &c. The Scotch kail is curious, as[Pg 34] indicative of national preference: and is the wizard still on guard? Recollect that in those days there were no guide-books,—so every observant traveller had to record for himself what he saw.

The next, in 1829, was a second visit to the Continent, my first having been in 1826, with those quotations from "Rough Rhymes" which have already met your view. In this we took the usual tour of those days, viâ Brussels and the Rhine to Switzerland, and I might quote plenty thereof if space and time allowed. Here shall follow a casual page from the 1829 MS. Journal, now before me.

"Heidelberg has a university of seven hundred students, who wear no particular academicals, but are generally seen with a little red or blue cap topping a luxuriant head of hair, a long coat, and moustaches which usually perform the function of a chimney to pipe or cigar. All along our to-day's route extended immense fields of tobacco, turnips, and vegetals of every description. Most of the women seem to be troubled with goitres, and we observed that all who have them wear rows of garnets strung tight on the part affected, whether with the idea of hiding the deformity, or of rendering the beauty of the swelling more conspicuous, or of charming it away, I cannot tell. The roads in these parts are much avenued with walnut trees: Fels, our courier, told me that of all trees they are most subject to be struck by lightning, and that under them is always a current of air. I insert his information, as he is both a sensible man, and has had great opportunities of observing," &c. &c. Here is a gap of three years.[Pg 35]

In 1832, my journal about Dorsetshire and the Isle of Wight is chiefly geological: as this extract shows, it was mainly a search after fossil spoils at Charmouth:—"Would you like to see a creature with the head of a lizard, wings of a bat, and tail of a serpent? Such things have been, as these bones testify; they are called Pterodactyls, and are as big as ravens. Thus, you see, a dragon is no chimera, but attested by a science founded on observation, Geology. As their bones (known by their hollowness) often occur in the coprolites or fossil dung of Plesiosauri, mighty monsters of the deep like gigantic swans, it is thought they were their special prey, for which the long and flexible neck of the Plesiosaurus is an à priori argument," &c. &c.

The 1833 journal is Welsh; and, inter alia, I therein drew and I now record that recently destroyed and more recently restored Druidical movement, the Buckstone: "A solid mass of rock, not of living adamant but of dead pudding-stone, seemingly 'by subtle magic poised' on the brow of a steep and high hill, wooded with oaks: the top of this mass of rock is an area of fifty-four feet, its base being four, and the height twelve. It was once a logan stone, but now has no rocking properties; though most perilously poised on the side of a slope, and certainly, if in part a work of nature, it must have been helped by art, seeing the mere action of the atmosphere never could have so exactly chiselled away all but the centre of gravity. The secret of the Druids, in this instance at least, was in leaving a large mass behind, which as a lever counteracted the preponderance of the rock." I drew on the[Pg 36] spot two exact views of it, taken to scale,—whereof this is one,—now of some curious value, since its intentional destruction last year by a snobbish party of mischievous idiots. (However, I see by the papers that, at a cost of £500, it has been replaced.) Let this touch suffice as to my then growing predilection for Druidism, since expanded by me into several essays find pamphlets, touching on that strange topic, the numerous rude stone monuments from Arabia to Mona.

The 1834 journal regards Scotland,—a country I have since visited several times, including the Orkneys and Shetlands, and the voyage round from Thurso viâ Cape Wrath to the Hebrides; whereof, perhaps, more anon. For a specimen page of this let me give what follows; the locality is near Inverness and the Caledonian Canal: "We now bent our steps toward Craig Phadrick, two miles north. This is the site of one of the celebrated vitrified forts, concerning the creation of which there has been so much learned discussion. And verily there is room, for there is mystery: I will detail what we saw. On the summit of a steep hill of conglomerate rock we could trace very clearly a double oblong enclosure of eighty yards by twenty, with entrances east and west, a space of five yards being between the two oblongs. The mounds were outwardly of turf, but under a thin skin of this was a thick continuous wall of molten stone, granite, gneiss, and sand[Pg 37]stone, bubbling together in a hotchpot! The existence of these forts (occurring frequently on the heights and of various shapes) is attempted to be explained by divers theories. One man tells us they were beacons; but, first, what an enormous one is here, one hundred and twenty-four feet by sixty of blazing wood, timber being scarce too! next, they sometimes occur in low situations from which a flame could scarcely be seen; thirdly, common wood fire will not melt granite. Another pundit says they are volcanic. O wondrous volcano to spout oblong concentric areas of stone walls! Perhaps the best explanation is that the Celts cemented these hilltops of strongholds by means of coarse glass, a sort of red-hot mortar, using sea-sand and seaweed as a flux. This is Professor Whewell's idea, and with him we had some interesting conversation on that and other subjects." Of this Scotch tour, full of interest, thus very curtly. Turn we now to Ireland in 1835. My record of just fifty years ago is much what it might be now, starvation, beggary, and human wretchedness of all sorts in the midst of a rich land, through indolence relapsed into a jungle of thorns and briars, quaking bogs, and sterile mountains; whisky, and the idle uncertain potato, combining with ignorance and priestcraft, to demoralise the excitable unreasoning race of modern Celts. Let us turn from the sad scenes of which my said diary is full, to my day at the spar caverns of Kingston. "At the bottom of a stone quarry, we clad ourselves in sack garments that mud wouldn't spoil, and with lit candles descended into the abyss, hands, knees, and elbows being of as much service as our feet. Now, I am not going to map my way after the manner of guide-books, nor to nickname the gor[Pg 38]geous architecture of nature according to the caprice of a rude peasant on the spot or the fancy of a passing stranger. I might fill a page with accounts of Turks' tents, beehives, judges' wigs, harps, handkerchiefs, and flitches of bacon, but I rather choose to speak of these subterranean palaces with none of such vulgar similarities. No one ever saw such magnificence in stalactites; from the black fissured roofs of antres vast and low-browed caves they are hanging, of all conceivable shapes and sizes and descriptions. Now a tall-fluted column, now a fringed canopy, now like a large white sheet flung over a beetling rock in the elegant folds and easy drapery of a curtain, everywhere are pure white stalactites like icicles straining to meet the sturdier mounds of stalagmite below; whilst in the smaller caves slender tubes extend from top to bottom like congealed rain. One cavern is quite curtained round with dazzling and wavy tapestry; another has gigantic masses of the white spar pouring from its crannied roof like boiled Brobdingnag macaroni; others like heaps of snowy linen lying about or hanging from the ceiling. The extent of the caves is quite unknown: eleven acres (I was told) have been surveyed and mapped, while there are six avenues still unexplored, and you may already wander for twenty-four hours through the discovered provinces of the gnome king." This is not to be compared with Kentucky, perhaps not quite with Derbyshire; but it seemed to me marvellous at the time. Let this much suffice as hinted reference to those early journals, which, if the world were not already more full of books than of their readers, would be as well worth printing in their integrity as many others of their bound and lettered brethren.[Pg 39]

In connection with these journals, I have been specially requested to add to the above this record following (dated forty-four years ago) as a specimen of my letter-writing in old days: it has pen-and-ink sketches, here inserted by way of rough and ready illustration. The whole letter is printed in its integrity as desired, and tells its own archæological tale, though rather voluminously; but in the prehistoric era before Rowland Hill arose, to give us cheap stamps for short notes, it was an economy to make a letter as long as possible to pay for its exorbitant postage: for example, my letters to and from Oxford used to cost eightpence—or double if in an envelope, then absurdly surcharged.

My Cornish Expedition.

The Arms of Cornwall FOR ONE AND ALL 8th and 9th of January 1840.

My Dear Mother, and all good Domiciliars,—

I suppose it to be the intention of our worshipful and right bankrupt Government that everybody write to everybody true, full, and particular accounts of all things which he, she, or it, may have done, be doing, or be about to do; and seeing I may have something to say which will interest you all, I fulfil the gossiping intentions of the Collective Wisdom, and give you an omnibus epistle. Now, I recommend a good map, a quiet mind, and as Charley says, Attention.—The bright,[Pg 40] clear, frosty morning of the 8th found me at Devonport, and nine o'clock beheld the same egregious individual, well-benjamined, patronising with his bodily presence the roof of the Falmouth coach. A steam ferry-bridge took us across the Hamoaze, which, with its stationed hulks, scattered shipping, and town and country banks, made, as it always makes, a beautiful landscape. At Torpoint we first encountered venerable Cornwall; and a pretty drive of sixteen miles, well wooded, and watered by several intrusions of the unsatisfied sea, brought coach and contents to Liskeard, a clean, granite, country town, with palatial inn, and (in common with the whole of Devonshire and Cornwall) a large many gabled church, covered with carved cathedral windows, and shadowed by ancient elms. Not being able to accomplish everything, I heard of, but saw not, divers antiquities in the distant neighbourhood of St. Clare, such as a circle of stones, an old church and well, and the natural curiosity called the cheese-ring, being a mass of layered granite capriciously decomposed: these "unseen ones" (what a mysterious name for a three-volumed Bentleyism!) I do not regret, for I know how to appreciate those wonders, the only enchantment whereof is, distance. So suffered I conveyance to Lostwithiel, a town lying in a hollow under the pictorial auspices of Restormel Castle, whose ivied ruins up the valley are fine and Raglandish: while the rest were bolting a coach dinner, I betook me to ye church, and was charmed with [Pg 41]a curious antique font, and the tower, an octagon gothic lantern with extinguisher atop, like this: as far as memory serves me. Onward again, through St. Blazey, and a mining district, not ill-wooded, nor unpicturesque, to the fair town of St. Austle, which the piety of Cornish ancestors has furnished with another splendid specimen of ecclesiastical architecture, the upper half of the chief tower, a square one, being fretted on every stone with florid carving, and grotesque devices: but what shall I say of Probus tower, which from top to bottom is covered with delicate tracery cut in granite? it rises above the miserable surrounding village, a satire upon neighbouring degeneracy in things religious: you must often have seen drawings of Probus at the Watercolour Exhibition, as it is a regular artists' lion. At about half-past six we got into Truro, a clean wide flourishing town with London shops, a commemorative column, a fine spired church, bridges over narrow streams, and, like most other West of England towns, well payed and gas-lighted. From this, I had intended to go to Falmouth, but a diligent brain-sucking of coach comrades induced me to jump at once into a branch conveyance to Penzance, so passing sleepy Redruth, Camborne, and St. Erth in the dark, I found myself safely housed at the Union Inn, Penzance, at half-past eleven. Talking of unions, the country is studded here as everywhere with them; fine buildings put to the pernicious use of[Pg 42] imprisoning for life those whose only crime is poverty, and destined to be metamorphosed ere long (so I prophesy) into lunatic asylums for desperate ministerialists, prisons for the Chartists, veterinary colleges for cattle with the rot, and as one good end, hospitals for the poor. Near Redruth, I took notice in the moonlight of Carn-bréh, the remains of a British beacon or hill-fort, much of the antiquarian interest of which has been destroyed by a neighbouring squire having added to it modern ruins, to make it an object from his hall! the whole hill, like much of the country, is sprinkled with granite blocks higgledi-piggledy, and it is a grand dispute among the pundits, whether or not the Archdruid Nature has been playing at marbles in these parts; I wished to satisfy myself about it, but couldn't stop, and so there's no use in grummering about regrets. I've seen enough, to be able to judge à priori, that father Noah's flood piled the hill with blocks, which have served one Dr. Borlase and others as occasions for earning the character of blockheads. One thing is man's doing, without much dispute, and that is, an obelisk in honour of old Lord De Dunstanville, which is a conspicuous toothpick on the hilltop: no doubt, as in this case, nature brought the stones there, and man did his part in arranging them; poor Dr. B. would have you believe that every natural rock had been lifted here bodily for architectural purposes, and as bodily made a most elaborate and labyrinthine ruin afterwards. At Penzance, a broiled fish supper, and to bed by midnight, having ordered a twilight gig, wherein by 7 on the ninth I was traversing the beautiful bay. Penzance is a fine town in a splendid situation; the bay, bounded by the Lizard[Pg 43] and its opposite bold brother-headland, inclosing St. Michael's Mount, and having a fertile and villa-studded background; the town full of good handsome shops (one like the Egyptian Hall), a large cathedralish church, and with a very special market-place, of light granite, in the form of a plain Grecian temple, surmounted at the middle by an imposing dome. As I had duly culled information from the natives, I lost no time in breakfasting, but drove off, bun in hand, to explore the country of the Druids. Now, if the matters I succeeded in visiting were in isolated and plain situations, they might have been less disappointing; but where the face of the whole soil is covered naturally with jutting rocks, and timeworn boulders of granite, one doesn't feel much astonishment to see some one stone set on end a little more obviously than the rest, or to find out by dint of perseverance a little arrangement, which may or may not be accidental: added to this, the cottages, and walls, and field enclosures are built of such immense blocks cleared off the surface of the fields, that one's mind is prepared for far more than the Druids ever did: many a Stonehengeified doorway, many a Titanic pigstye, many a "Pelion-on-Ossa" questionable-sentry box, puts one out of conceit with our puny ancestors. I went first to the Dâns-mene, a famous stone-circle; and felt not a little vexed to find that I, little i, am feet taller than any of the uprights there, not 25 in number, and no bigger than field gateposts. It is evidently the consecrated portion of a battlefield, for there are several single stones dotted about the neighbourhood, to mark where heroes fell; like those at Inveraray, but smaller. The habit all through Cornwall of setting up a stone in every field, for cattle to scratch themselves withal, seems to be a[Pg 44] sly satire against other rubbing-stones for A. S. Ses. A few dreary miles further brought me to the "voonder of voonders," the Logan-Rock, which on the map is near Boskenna. The cliff and coast scenery is superb; immense masses of granite of all shapes and sizes tumbled about in all directions; what wonder that in such a heap of giant pebbles one should be found ricketty? or more, what wonder that the very decomposing nature of coarse granite should have caused the atmosphere to eat away, gradually, all but the actual centre of gravity? both at the Logan, and Land's End, and Mount St. Michael, I am sure I have seen a hundred rocks wasted very nearly to the moving point, and I could mention specifically six, which in 20 years will rock, or in half an hour of chiselling would. In part proof of what I say, the Land-End people, jealous of Logan customers, have just found out a great rock in their parts, which two men can make to move; I recommended a long-handled chisel, and have little doubt that my hint will be acted on; by next season, the Cornish antiquaries will be puzzling their musty brains over marks of "druidical" tools; essays will appear, to demonstrate that the chippings were accomplished by the consecrated golden sickle; the rock will be proved to have been quarried at Normandy, and ferried over; facsimiles of the cuts will be lithographed; and the Innkeeper of the "First and Last house in England" will gratefully present a piece of plate (a Druid "spanning" [consider Ezekiel's "putting the branch to the nose" as a sign of contempt]!) to the author of "Hints for a Chisel," "Proverbial Phil.," &c. &c. &c. But—revenous[Pg 45] à nos moutons: to the Logan: until it was scrupulously pointed out, by so tangible a manner as my boy-guide getting on it, I could scarcely distinguish it from the fine hurlyburly of rocks around. That it moves there is no question; but when I tell you that it is now obliged to be artificially kept from falling, by a chain fixing it behind, and a beam to rest on before, I think you will agree with me in muttering "the humbug!" Artists have so diligently falsified the view, ad captandum, that you will have some difficulty in recognising so old a friend as the Logan: it is commonly drawn as if isolated, thus, and would so, no doubt, be very astonishing; but, when my memory puts it as above, stapled, and obliged to remain for Cockneys to log it, surrounded by a much more imposing brotherhood, my wonder only is that it keeps its lion character, and that, considering the easy explication of its natural cause or accident, it should ever have been conceived to be man's doing; perhaps the Druids availed themselves of so lucky a chance for miracle-mongering, but as to having contrived it, you might as well say that they built the [Pg 46]cliffs. It strikes me, moreover, that Cornwall could never have been the headquarters of Druidism, inasmuch as the soil is too scanty for oaks: there isn't a tree of any size, much less an oak tree in all West Cornwall: they must have cut samphire from the rocks, instead of misletoe from oaks, and the old gentlemen must have been pretty tolerable climbers, victim and all, to have got near enough to touch the Logan: to be sure it was a frosty day, and iron-shod shoes on icy granite are not over coalescible, but I did not dare scramble to it, as a tumble would have insured a particularly uncomfortable death; and although the interesting "Leaper from the Logan, or Martin Martyr" would have had his name enshrined in young lady sonnets, and azure albums, such immortality had little charms for me. I contented myself with being able to swear that I have seen 90 tons of stone moved by a child of ten years old. Near it is another, called the logging lady, a block, upright like its neighbours, about 12 feet high, and which the boy told me could only be made to log by two men with poles; in fact, one end is worn with levers: well, I told him to try and move it; no use, says he; try, said I; he did try, and couldn't; well, I took a sight of where I thought he could do it, and set him to push; forthwith, my lady tottered, and I told the boy, if he would only keep to himself where he pushed it would be a banknote to him. I mention this to illustrate what I verily believe, to wit, that, if a man only took the breakneck trouble to clamber and try, he would discover[Pg 47] several rocking-stones; but the fact is, this would diminish the wonder, and Cockneys wouldn't come to see what is easily explained: your Druids, with imaginary dynamics, invest nature's freaks with mysterious interest. But away to Tol Peden Penwith, where there is another curiosity; in the smooth green middle of a narrow promontory, surrounded and terminated by the boldest rock-scenery, strangely drops down for a perpendicular hundred feet, a circular chasm, not ill named the Funnel, and which not even a stolid Borlase can pretend was dug by the Druids: at the bottom there is communication with the sea by means of a cavern, and in stormy weather the rush up this gigantic earth's chimney-must be something terrible: will this convey a rough idea? the scenery all round is really magnificent, and the looking down this black smooth stone-pit is quite fearful; it slopes away so deceitfully, and looks like a huge lion-ant's nest. Few people see this, because you can only get at it by a walk of a mile, but I think it quite as worth seeing as the logan-rock. My next object was the Land's End, where, as elsewhere, I did signalise myself by not scribbling my autograph on a rock, or carving M. F. T. on the sod: the rocky coast is of the same grand character; granite bits, as big as houses, floundering over each other like whales at play; the cliffs, cavernous, castellated, mossgrown, and weatherbeaten; it looks like a Land's end, a regular break up of the world's then useless ribs:[Pg 48] an outlier of rocks in the sea, surmounted by a lighthouse: looks like the end of the struggle between conquering man, and sturdy desolation. One place, where I tremble to think I have been, struck me as quite awful: helped by an iron-handed sailor, who comforts you in the dizzy scramble with "Never fear, sir, you shan't fall, unless I fall too," you fearfully pick your way to the extreme end, where it goes slick down, and lying prostrate on the slippery granite (which looks disjointed everywhere, and as if it would fall with you, bodily) with head strained over you see under you a dreadful cavern, open nearly to where you are, up which roars the white and angry sea. O brother David, and foot-tingling Sire, never can you take that look; and never would I again. Only think of tipping over! ugh.—Into the gig again, beside my shrewd Sam Weller driver, and away. Here and there about this part of Cornwall are studded rude stone crosses, probably of the time of St. Colomba, as they are similar to those at Iona: about two or three feet high, and very rude. In one place, I noticed what seemed to be a headless female figure, perhaps the Virgin, and as large as life: my Jehu said he had heard that it once had a head. We soon came to a small square inclosure, said to be a most ancient cemetery; I scrambled over the wall, and found among the briars and weeds one solitary tomb of a venerable and Runic aspect, but I soon found out that it recorded the name of somebody who departed Ye LYFE somewhere in 1577; nothing so extremely ancient. A rough rock-besprinkled hill now attracted me, as I heard it was called another Carn-bréh, and was surmounted by some mound, or [Pg 49]ruin: so out of the gig, and up in no time. Clearly it had been an ancient beacon place, as atop are the remains of a small square-built terrace inclosing some upright stones placed irregularly,—a sort of huge fireplace. One of the neighbouring rocks presented on its surface a fine specimen of what are called rock basins; but unluckily for the antiquary, this excavation is on the side of the stone, not on the summit; so that it could not possibly hold water, and is clearly caused by some particular moss eating away the stone.—By three o'clock returned to Penzance, had dinner (it was breakfast too), bought a mineral memorial, and in the gig again, over the sands to the outlandishly named Mara Zion, or Market Jew, words probably of similar import. Opposite to this little place, and joined to it by a neck of rocks passable at low-water, stands that picturesque gem, Mount St. Michael. You know the sort of thing; an abrupt, pyramid of craggy rock, crowned with an edifice, half stronghold and half cathedral. It is a home of the St. Aubyn family, and is well kept up in the ancient style, but in rather a small way: a portcullised entrance, old armour hanging in the guard-room, a beautiful dining-hall with carved oak roof, and panels, and chairs; a chapel to match, with stained windows; an elegant Gothic drawing-room, white and gold; and everything, down to black-leather drinking jugs, in character with the feudal stronghold. I mounted the corkscrew tower, and got to the broken stone lantern they call St. Michael's chair; an uncomfortable job, but rewarded by a splendid panorama, gilt by the setting sun: in the chapel too, I descended into a miserable dungeon communicating with a monk's stall, where doubtless some self-immured penitent had wasted life away, only coming to the light for[Pg 50] matins, and only relieved from solitary imprisonment by midnight mass. This has been discovered but very lately in repairing the chapel: it was walled up, and contained a skeleton. As a matter of course, this old castle contains a little hidden room, where that ubiquitous vagabond, the royal Charles, laid his hunted head: the poor persecuted debauchee sponged upon all his friends like Bellyserious Buggins. Back again, by water this time, to little Mara Zion, but ever and anon looking with admiration on that beautiful mount; the western rocks are really magnificent, as big as the largest hay-stacks, and tumbled about as loosely as an emptied sugar-basin; some hanging by a corner, and others resting on a casual fragment; I am sure of one logan-stone, if a little impertinent bit of rock were only moved away; and I walked under and between more Titanic architecture than Stonehenge can show: the Druids, for my part, shall have their due, but not where they don't deserve it. At nine, after a substantial fried-fish tea, I mounted the night coach to Falmouth,—outside, as there was no room in, and so, through respectable Helstone, remarkable for a florid Gothic arch erected to some modern worthy of the town, to decent Penryn, and then by midnight, to the narrowest of all towns, Falmouth. I longed to get back to my darlings, and resolved to see them by next morning, so booked an outside (no room inside, as before) for an immediate start. Now, you can readily imagine that I was by no means hot, and though the night of Thursday last was rather mild, still it was midwinter: accordingly I conceived and executed a marvellous calorificating plan, which even the mail-coachman had never heard of. Haying comforted my interiors with hot grog of the stiffest, I called for another shillingsworth of brandy, and deliberately emptied it, to[Pg 51] the astonished edification of beholders, into my boots! literal fact, and it kept my feet comfortable all night long. And so, wrapped all in double clothing, sped I my rapid way, varying what I had before seen by passing through desolate Bodmin, and its neighbourhood of rock, moor, and sand: hot coffee at Liskeard, morning broke soon after, then the glorious sun over the sea. Hamoaze, the ferry, and Devonport at 1/2 past 8. Much as I longed to get home, I went forthwith into a hot bath at 102, to boil out all chills, and thence went spick and span to my happy rest, having within 48 hours seen the best part of Cornwall and its wonders, and rode or walked 250 miles. And so, brother David, commend me for a traveller. Here ends my Cornish expedition. Does it recall to thee, O sire, thine own of old time, undertaken (if I remember rightly) with Dr. Kidd?—Mails then did not travel like the Quicksilver, averaging 12 miles an hour, and few people go 40 miles before breakfast. Now, I feel able to get nearer my Albury destination, and in a week or so, shall hope to be residing at Dorchester, near the Blandford of paternal recollections. Did you, dear mother, get a letter from me directed to Albury? I hope so, for it sets all clear: and if not, I'll set the nation against cheap postage. I don't feel the least confidence now in the Post Office, forasmuch as they have no interest in a letter after it is paid, and many will be mislaid from haste and multiplicity. Please to say if it came safely to hand, as I judge it important. If you, dear mother, got my last, I have nothing more to say, and if not, I'll blow up the Post Office: unpopularity would send all the letters by carriers: but whether or not, I can't write any more, so with a due proportion of regards rightly broadcast around, accept the remainder from—Your affectionate son,

M. F. T.

[Pg 52]



In 1829 I was entered as a commoner at Christ Church, Oxford, and went through the usual course of lectures with fair success. As a family we have all favoured Oxford rather than Cambridge: my father and two cousins, Elisha and Carré, were at Exeter College, to take the benefit of its Sarnian Exhibitions; my brother Daniel was at Brasenose, and my brother William gained a scholarship of Trinity. When at Christ Church I wore the same academical gown which my father had,—and have it still; a curious antiquity in the dress line, now some fourscore years old, and perfect for wear and appearance,—such as would have rejoiced the Sartor Resartus of Carlyle. At college I did not do much in the literary line, unless it is worth mention that translations from the Greek or Latin poets were always rendered by me in verse not prose, and that I published anonymously "A Voice from the Cloister," being an earnest appeal to my fellow-collegians against the youthful excesses so common in those days.

From this pamphlet I give an extract, as it is scarce; it began with blank verse and ended with rhyme, all being for the period courageously moral and religious. The end is as thus:—[Pg 53]

"Enough, sad Muse, enough thy downward flight
Has cleft with wearied wing the shades of night:
Be drest in smiles, forget the gloomy past,
And, cygnet-like, sing sweeter at the last,
Strike on the chords of joy a happier strain
And be thyself, thy cheerful self, again.
Hail, goodly company of generous youth,
Hail, nobler sons of Temperance and Truth!
I see attendant Ariels circling there,
Light-hearted Innocence, and Prudence fair,
Sweet Chastity, young Hope, and Reason bright,
And modest Love, in heaven's own hues bedight,
Staid Diligence, and Health, and holy Grace,
And gentle Happiness with smiling face,—
All, all are there; and Sorrow speeds away,
And Melancholy flees the sons of day;
Dull Care is gladden'd with reflected light,
And wounded Sin flies sickening at the sight.
"My friends, whose innate worth the wise man's praise
And the fool's censure equally betrays,
Accept the humble blessing of my Muse,
Nor your assistance to her aim refuse,
She asks not flattery, but let her claim
A kind perusal, and a secret name."

I scarcely like to mention it, as a literary accident, but being a curious and unique anecdote it shall be stated. I had the honour at Christ Church of being prizetaker of Dr. Burton's theological essay, "The Reconciliation of Matthew and John," when Gladstone who had also contested it, stood second; and when Dr. Burton had me before him to give me the £25 worth of books, he requested me to allow Mr. Gladstone to have £5 worth of them, as he was so good a second. Certainly such an easy concession was one of my earliest literary triumphs.[Pg 54]

My first acquaintance with Gladstone, whom I have known from those college days now for more than five and fifty years, was a memorable event, and may thus be worthy of mention. It was at that time not a common thing for undergraduates to go to the communion at Christchurch Cathedral—that holy celebration being supposed to be for the particular benefit of Dean and Canons, and Masters of Arts. So when two undergraduates went out of the chancel together after communion, which they had both attended, it is small wonder that they addressed each other genially, in defiance of Oxford etiquette, nor that a friendship so well begun has continued to this hour. Not that I have always approved of my friend's politics; multitudes of letters through many years have passed between us, wherein if I have sometimes ventured to praise or to blame, I have always been answered both gratefully and modestly: but I have ever tried to hold the balance equally too, according to my lights, and if at one time (on occasion of the great Oxford election, 1864) I published a somewhat famous copy of verses, ending with

"Orator, statesman, scholar, wit, and sage,
The Crichton,—more, the Gladstone of the age,"

my faithfulness must in after years confess to a well-known palinode (one of my "Three Hundred Sonnets") commencing

"Beware of mere delusive eloquence,"

and a still more caustic lyric, beginning with

"Glozing tongue whom none can trust,"

and so forth, as a caution against a great man's special gift, so proverbially dangerous. Some of our most[Pg 55] honest Ministers, e.g., Althorpe and Wellington, have been very bad speakers: some of our most eloquent orators have proved very bad Ministers.

And in this place I may introduce some account, long ago in print, of the famous Aristotle class under the tutorship of Mr. Biscoe at Christ Church, wherein (among far nobler and better scholars) your present confessor took the lowest seat.

Fifty years ago Biscoe's Aristotle class at Christ Church was comprised almost wholly of men who have since become celebrated, some in a remarkable degree; and, as we believe that so many names, afterwards attaining to great distinction, have rarely been associated at one lecture-board, either at Oxford or elsewhere, it may be allowed to one who counts himself the least and lowest of the company to pen this brief note of those old Aristotelians.

Let the central figure be Gladstone—ever from youth up the beloved and admired of many personal intimates (although some may be politically his opponents). Always the foremost man, warm-hearted, earnest, hard-working, and religious, he had a following even in his teens; and it is noticeable that a choice lot of young and keen intelligences of Eton and Christ Church formed themselves into a small social sort of club, styled, in compliment to their founder's initials, the "W. E. G."

Next to Gladstone Lord Lincoln used to sit, his first parliamentary patron at Newark, and through life to death his friend. We all know how admirably in many offices of State the late Duke of Newcastle served his country, and what a good and wise Mentor he was to a grateful Telemachus in America.[Pg 56]

Canning may be mentioned thirdly; then a good-looking youth with classic features and a florid cheek, since gone to "the land of the departed" after having healed up the wounds of India as her Governor-General. Next to the writer, one on each side, sat two more Governors-General in futuro, though then both younger sons and commoners, and now both also gone to their reward elsewhere; these were Bruce, afterwards Lord Elgin, and Ramsay, Lord Dalhousie; the one famous from Canada to China, the other noted for his triumphs in the Punjaub. When at Toronto in 1851, the writer was welcomed to the splendid hospitality of Lord Elgin, and the very lecture-room here depicted was mentioned as "a rare gathering of notables." Lord Abercorn was of the class, a future viceroy; Lord Douglas, lately Duke of Hamilton, handsome as an Apollo, and who married a Princess of Baden; and if Lord Waterford was infrequent in his attendance, at least he was eligible, and should not be omitted as a various sort of eccentric celebrity. Then Phillimore was there, now our Dean of the Arches; Scott and Liddell, both heads of houses, and even then conspiring together for their great Dictionary. Curzon too (lately Lord De la Zouch) was at the table, meditating Armenian and Levantine travels, and longing in spirit for those Byzantine MSS. preserved at Parham, where the writer has delighted to inspect them; how nearly Tischendorf was anticipated in his fortunate find of that earliest Scripture, no one knows better than Lord Zouch, who must have been close upon that great and important discovery! Doyle, now Professor of Poetry, Hill, of Mathematics, Vaughan, of History—all were of this wonderful class; as also the Earl of Selkirk,[Pg 57] celebrated as a mathematician; Bishops Hamilton, Denison, and Wordsworth; and Cornewall Lewis, late Chancellor of the Exchequer; and Kynaston, Head Master of St. Paul's; and a member of Parliament or two, as, for example, Leader, once popular for Westminster.

Now, other names of almost equal eminence may have been here accidentally omitted, but the writer will not guess at more than he actually recollects. Sometimes—for the lecture was a famous one—members of other colleges came in; Sidney Herbert, of Oriel, in particular, is remembered; and if Robert Lowe, of University, was only occasionally seen, it must have been because he seldom went abroad till twilight.

Altogether "there were giants in those days;" and, without controversy, a casual class, containing more than a score of such; illustrious names as are here registered, must be memorable. The lecture-room was next to Christ Church Hall, where that delicate shaft supports its exquisite traceried roof; the book was "Aristotle's Rhetoric," illustrated by each reader with quotations, a record whereof is still penes me, and the lecturer, now no longer living, was that able and accomplished classic, the Reverend Robert Biscoe.

My college days are full of recollections of men, since become famous in literature, art, science, or position: of these the principal are already recorded as having been members of the Aristotle class. Let me add here, that I lived for three weeks of my first term in the gaily adorned rooms in Peckwater of the wild Lord Waterford; and afterwards in Lord Ossulston's, both being then absent from college; that Frank Buckland and his bear occupied (long after I had left) my own[Pg 58] chambers in Fells' Buildings; that I was a class-mate and friend of the luckless Lord Conyers Osborne, then a comely and ruddy youth with curly hair and gentle manners, and that I remember how all Oxford was horrified at his shocking death—he having been back-broken over an arm-chair by the good-natured but only too athletic Earl of Hillsborough in a wine-party frolic; that Knighton, early an enthusiast for art, used to draw his own left hand in divers attitudes with his right every day for weeks; and that some not quite unknown cotemporary used to personate me at times for his own benefit. As he has been long dead, I may now state that he was believed to be Lord Douglas of Hamilton. Here is the true story. One day the Dean requested my presence, and thus addressed me: "I have long overlooked it, Mr. Tupper, but this must never occur again: indeed I have only waited till now, because I knew of your general good conduct."

"What have I done, Mr. Dean: be pleased to tell me."

"Why, sir, the porter states that this is the fifth time you have not come into college until past twelve o'clock."

"I beg your pardon, Mr. Dean; there is some mistake: for I have never once been later than ten."

"Then, Mr. Tupper, somebody must have given your name in the dark: and I request that you will do your best to discover who did this, and report it to me."

As I failed to do it, after some days, again the Dean sent for me; and finding after question made that I pretty well guessed the delinquent but declined to expose him, the Dean kindly added—"This does you credit, sir," and I left. A few days passed, and I was[Pg 59] brought up again with "I think you are intended for the Church, Mr. Tupper." As well as I could manage it, I stammered out that it was impossible, as I could not speak. Then he said he was sorry for that, as he meant to nominate me for a studentship. This, however, never came to pass, and so the matter dropped; until Dean Gaisford succeeded Dean Smith, and Joseph lost his Pharaoh.

At college I lived the quiet life of a reading-man; though I varied continually the desk and the book with the "constitutional" up Headington Hill, or the gallop with Mr. Murrell's harriers, or the quick scull to Iffley, or the more perilous sailing in a boat (no wonder that Isis claims her annual victims), or the gig to Blenheim or Newton-Courtnay,—or that only once alarming experience of a tandem when the leader turned round and looked at me in its nostalgic longing to return home,—or the geological ramble with Dr. Buckland's class,—or the botanic searchings for wild rarities with some naturalist pundit whose name I have forgotten; and so forth. In matters theological, I was strongly opposed to the Tractarians, especially denouncing Newman and Pusey for their dishonest "non-naturalness" and Number Ninety: and I favoured with my approval (valeat quantum) Dr. Hampden. I attended Dr. Kidd's anatomical lectures, and dabbled with some chemical experiments—which when Knighton and I repeated at his father's house, 9 Hanover Square, the baronet in future blew us up to the astonishment of the baronet in præsenti, his famous father. Also, I was a diligent student in the Algebraic class of Dr. Short, afterwards the good Bishop of St. Asaph; and I have before me now a memoria technica of mine in rhyme giving the[Pg 60] nine chief rules of trigonometry, but not easily producible here as full of "sines and cosines, arcs, chords, tangents, and radii," though helpful to memory, and humorous at the time, ending with

"At least I have proved that nothing is worse
Than Trigonometrical Problems in verse:"

there are also similarly to be recorded my mathematical séances with that worthy and clever Professor, A. P. Saunders, afterwards headmaster of Charterhouse; and my Hebrew lectures with the mild-spoken Dr. Pusey, afterwards so notorious; and I know not whatever else is memorable, unless one condescended to what goes without saying about Hall and Chapel, and Examinations: however, some frivolous larks in the Waterford days, wherewith I need not say the present scribe had nothing to do, may amuse. Here are three I remember; 1. An edict had gone out from the authorities against hunting in pink,—and next morning the Dean's and the Canons' doors in quad were found to have been miraculously painted red in the night. 2. There was a grand party of Dons at the Deanery, and as they hung their togas in the hall (for they couldn't conveniently dine in them) there was filched from each proctorial sleeve that marvellous little triangular survival of a stole which nobody can explain, and all these collectively were nailed on the Dean's outer door in a star. 3. A certain garden of small yews and box trees was found one morning to have been transplanted bodily into Peckwater Quadrangle, as a matter of mystery and defiance. And there were other like exploits; as the immersion of that leaden Mercury into its own pond; and town and gown rows, wherein I remember to have seen the herculean Lord Hills[Pg 61]borough on one side of High Street, and Peard (afterwards Garibaldi's Englishman) on the other, clear away the crowd of roughs with their fists, scattering them like duplicates of the hero of Corioli.

Of course I duly took my degrees of B.A. and M.A.,—and long after of D.C.L., when the Cathedral chimes rang for me, as they always do for a grand compounding Doctor.

A mentionable curio of authorship on that occasion is this: whatever may be the rule now, in those days the degree of D.C.L. involved a three-hours' imprisonment in the pulpit of the Bodleian Chapel, for the candidate to answer therefrom in Latin any theological objectors who might show themselves for that purpose; as, however, the chapel was always locked by Dr. Bliss, the registrar, there was never a possibility to make objection. So my three hours of enforced idleness obliged me to use pencil and paper, which I happened to have in my pocket,—and I then and there produced my poem on "The Dead"—to be found at p. 26 of my Miscellaneous Poems, still extant at Gall & Inglis's—a long one of eighteen stanzas, much liked by Gladstone amongst others. I didn't intend it certainly, but, as the poem ends with the word "bliss," it was ridiculously thought that I had specially alluded to the registrar![Pg 62]



Soon after leaving Oxford, and when some attempts to help my speech seemed to be partially successful, my father wished me to take orders, which also from religious motives was my own desire (for M'Neile at Albury, and Bulteel at Oxford, had been instruments of good to me, the first since I was 15, the other as a young collegian) and as Earl Rivers, whom my father had financially assisted promised me a living, and a curacy was easy where the mere licence was enough by way of salary, I soon found myself standing for introductory approval before Bishop Burgess at his hotel in Waterloo Place, a candidate for orders by Examination. The good Bishop being a Hebrew scholar was glad enough to hear that I (with however slight a smattering) had studied that primitive tongue under Pusey and Pauli,—and I began to hope before his awful presence. But, when he told me to read, and soon perceived my only half-cured infirmity, he faithfully enough assured me with sorrow that I could not be ordained unless I had my speech. So that first and sole interview came to an untimely end: for soon after, not meaning to give up the struggle at once, I resolved, before my next Episcopal visit, to go down to Blewbury, the vicarage of my friend Mr. Evanson, who had agreed to license me to his curacy, in order that by reading the lessons in church I might[Pg 63] practically test my competency. Of course, I prepared myself specially by diligence, and care, and prayer, to stand this new ordeal. But I failed to please even the indulgent vicar, though he got his curate for nothing, and though his fair daughter amiably welcomed the not ungainly Cœlebs; and as for the severe old clerk,—he naïvely blurted out, "Tell'ee what, sir, it won't do: you looks well,—but what means them stops?" Alas! they meant the rebellion of tongue and lips against every difficult letter, a t, or a p, or a far too current s. And so I came to the wise conclusion that I was not to be a parson. And perhaps it's as well I'm not; for my natural combativeness would never have tolerated my bishop or my rector, or even the parish churchwarden, specially in these days of Ritualism and Romanism. I was thus thrown back upon myself: and I now see gratefully and humbly how I was being schooled and forced into a mental era of silent thoughtfulness, in after years the seed of several volumes as well as innumerable ballads and poems which have flown as fly-leaves over the world.

After this clerical failure, my good father urged me to turn to the law, thinking that as a chamber counsel my intellectual attainments (and I had worked hard for many years) might yet be available to society and to myself, though on the "silent system:" but alas! verbal explanations are as necessary in a room as at the bar; I soon perceived that all could not be done on paper, and as I thoroughly hated law I speedily turned to other sorts of literature, in especial the fixing of my own rhymed or rhythmed thoughts in black and white.

There is a small chamber in the turret of No. 19 Lincoln's Inn Old Square, on the second floor of rooms[Pg 64] then belonging to my late friend Thomas Lewin (afterwards a Master in Chancery, and well known not only for his Law books, but also for his Life of St. Paul) where I used to dream and think and jot down Proverbial morsels on odd bits of paper which gradually grew to be a book. Lewin once, I remember, picked up from the wastepaper basket these lines which he admired much, and asked me where they came from:

"For that a true philosophy commandeth an innocent life,
And the unguilty spirit is lighter than a linnet's heart."

They occur in my Essay on Ridicule, first series, so I had to confess as found out.

When my book appeared Lewin offered to review it for me in the Literary Gazette, then edited by his friend Mr. Landon, L. E. L.'s brother. An unusual rush of business just then coming in to him, and the editor pressing for copy, Lewin begged me to write the Article myself, to which I most reluctantly assented; resolving however to be quite impartial. The result was that when I handed the critique to my busy friend, he quickly said after a hurried glance, "Why, this won't do at all; you have cut yourself up cruelly, instead of praising, as you ought to have done. I must do it myself, I suppose. Here, copy out this Opinion for me, if you can read it: it's Mr. Brodie's, and I can't." With that he threw my MS. into the wastepaper basket, and I did his work for him, whilst he commended me with due vigour, and sent his clerk off with a too kind verdict in hot haste to the expectant editor.

The mention of Brodie reminds me that I spent a year copying old deeds in his murky chamber, 49 Lincoln's Inn Fields, where nobody could read his hand[Pg 65]writing except his clerk (appropriately yclept Inkpen), and when he couldn't it was handed back to Mr. Brodie for exposition, wherein if he himself failed, as was sometimes the case, he had to write a new Opinion. Inkpen was a character, as a self-taught entomologist, breeding in me then the rabies of collecting moths and beetles, as a couple of boxes full of such can still prove. He lived at Chelsea, near the Botanical Gardens there; and attributed his wonderful finds of strange insects in his own pocket-handkerchief garden to stray caterpillars and flies, &c., that came his way from among the packets of foreign plants. He used also to catch small fowl on passengers' coats and blank walls, as he passed on his daily walks to his office and back, having pill-boxes in his pocket, and pins inside his hat to secure the spoil. In the course of years he had amassed butterflies and beetles to so valuable an extent, that when he was compelled by adverse fortune to sell his cabinets by auction at Stevens's, he netted £1200 for his collection: this he told me in later years himself; immediately after the sale, he commenced collecting anew,—and having been made curator of Lincoln's Inn Fields (through Mr. Brodie's interest), he soon found an infinity of new insects,—derived perhaps from the Surgeon's Hall Museum, or straying to the nine acres of that Garden,—is it not the area of Cephren's Pyramid?—as a refuge for them out of smoky London. The good man always brought a new flower to look at every morning while at desk work; it lived in an old inkbottle of water, till one happy day I bethought me charitably of giving him a pretty China vase,—that good man, I say, is now long since gone to a world of light and beauty—whence, I am sure, flowers and butterflies cannot be excluded.[Pg 66]

About the same time this memorable matter may receive a notice. One day at Brodie's chambers we heard a riotous noise in Lincoln's Inn Fields, and running out, I found that the Duke of Wellington, for some political offence, was being mobbed,—and that too on the 18th of June! He was calmly walking his horse, surrounded by roaring roughs,—a groom being behind him at some distance, but otherwise alone. Disgusted at the scene, I jumped on the steps of Surgeon's Hall, and shouted out—Waterloo, Waterloo! That one word turned the tide of execrations into cheers, and the Iron Duke passed me silently with a military salute: as the mob were thus easily converted ("mob" being, as we conveyancers say, a short form for "mobilé", changeable) and escorted our national hero to his home in safety, I really think the little incident worth recording. We are just now in the throes of such a mobocracy,—and know how much one firm policeman can avail to calm a riot. While speaking of the Duke and Apsley House, let me add here another word of some interest. My uncle, Arthur W. Devis, had painted life-sized portraits of Blucher and Gneisenau, which his widow had given to me: and as the Duke had always been my father's friend, I asked his Grace if he would accept them from me; this he declined, but said, "get Colnaghi to value them and I'll buy them"—as accordingly I did, and the pictures are still I presume either at Apsley House or Strathfieldsaye. My small memories of the Great Duke are summed up in these four monosyllables, plain, blunt, firm, kind.

After Brodie's, my liberal father would give for me another hundred pounds, this time to his cousin Mr. Walters of No. 12 in the Square, to make me more[Pg 67] learned as a conveyancer: but it was all of no use: "He penned a stanza when he should engross:" however, I ate my terms and was duly called to the Bar. At Walters' my most eminent colleague, amongst others, was Roundel Palmer, now Lord Selborne, who, some time after, when we both had chambers in the Inn, wanted me (but I repudiated the idea) to be proposed as a candidate member for Oxford University, just before Gladstone was induced to stand; I daresay he will remember it. As to M.P.ship I may have had other chances, but I never cared for a position of endless care and toil by night and day, to say nothing of my impediment of speech, and as to the magic letters I rather despised them: this being one reason. Not very many years ago my brother Charles was offered Nottingham if he would pay £3000 for the honour,—and so I failed to appreciate any such distinction. I think too that votes were at one time purchasable even at Guildford, my county town: but that was of course at a less upright and immaculate time of day than this.

At Walters' were also three of my cotemporaries,—De Morgan, who had the business after decease of our principal, and whose brother is or was the famous psychological philosopher; Domville, since Sir Charles, I believe; and Gunn, a West Indian, of whom the jest was to inquire of Walters, a very nervous man, if he liked us to have a gun in chambers: all these, and there were more, were clever men and worthy, but as the tide of life flows on I have lost sight of them.

I have just found an old letter of my own, dated December 28, 1839, which (with my own permission asked and granted) I will give as to a matter quite for[Pg 68]gotten by me, viz., that Lady Spencer promised my father to get me an Indian Writership,—as also that previously I had once hopes of the Registrarship from Lord John Russell, afterwards given to Mr. Lyster. The letter proves how much my no-speech hindered both my good father's efforts and my own;—and explains itself. In those days it cost 9d. between Albury and London.

My Dearest Father,—I can fully, though not perhaps so fully as you can, enter into your great anxieties about your five great boys, and actuated by this sympathy I sit down to say a word more about India.—I do hope you have not yet given Lady Spencer a decisive answer, as the horizon seems a little to clear of its indigenous hurricanes. Since my last letter to you I have, I can truly say, made every effort to speak like a man, but, alas I too unsuccessfully: my tongue seems only able to say veto to the Church, and that speaking is a necessary qualification "needs no demonstration." Aunt Fanny has strongly recommended me to think more seriously about it, and Mr. M'Neile has also given me his valuable opinion on the subject, that at least I must inquire what I am more fitted for, and not lightly put aside those opportunities which Providence places in my way. However, I would by no means be hurried in my choice either way: I must inquire what is the office of a writer; whether oratorical powers be not requisite, &c., for as yet I have a very vague and indefinite idea of what I reject or choose. I really do find my impediment most truly a grievous impediment to what appears more desirable; but I would wish to consider this, as every other constitutional infirmity or affliction,[Pg 69] as but an instrument in the hands of God to subserve some wise purpose. Let this letter therefore, if you please, serve as a preventive, if not too late, to your final decision about it, and put me, my dear father, in possession of more of the peculiar features, in a writer's employment if you can, I hope to be with you on Friday.

Till then, and ever believe me, my dear father, your affectionate son,

M. F. Tupper.

Albury, December 28th, Wednesday.

The day after I took my degree as a barrister, I married my cousin after a nine years' engagement; my father having resolved I should not marry without a profession. I did my best at this vocation of the law much against the grain, and actually achieved, with Lewin's help, a voluminous will, and a marriage settlement, with some accessory deeds, procured for me by my mother's friend Mr. Hunt, through one Dangerfield, a solicitor. I have often felt anxious to know how far my conveyancing held water; but the thought of Lewin's skill has comforted me—and besides I have never heard a word about it now for half a century. My fee for all was fifty guineas—pretty well for a first and last exploit in the way of law and its rewards.

As I am just leaving my father's house for Park Village, and thereafter Albury, here I will insert two little memories of past days when I lived with my parents at No. 5. Here is one. Theodore Hook's famous Berners Street hoax had lately made such exploits very catching among schoolboys—and in my Charterhouse days it was repeated by "Punsonby & Co." at my[Pg 70] father's town-house. On a certain Saturday when I had my weekly holiday at home, I marvelled to find the street crowded with vans, coal-carts, trucks, a mourning coach, fishmongers, butchers, and confectioners with trays, and a number of servants wanting places. All these were crowding round No. 5, as ordered or advertised for by Mr. Tupper: of course soon explained away, and rejected, to a general indignation at the hoaxers. Now, as I had my suspicions, I sat unseen at the front drawing-room window, and watched: and as more than once I had noticed P. and his friends pass down the street on the opposite side, I taxed them with their exploit on the Monday; and I rather think it cost them not a trifling sum to satisfy that crowd of disappointed tradesmen. Happily such practical joking is now long since (or ought to be) a social outrage of the past; Hook's being first had the grace of original humour,—but imitations are dull repetition, not to be excused. I only once met Theodore Hook, and that was in his decadence; he looked puffy and only semi-sober; but I recollect with how much deference and expectation the "livener-up" was eagerly surrounded, and how sillily the dupes laughed at every word he uttered, whether humorous or not.

For another last memory of No. 5, in the dining-room whereof Lord Sandwich, who had once lived there, is said to have invented "sandwiches," I will record this.

In those days of long ago, how well I remember our next-door neighbour, old Lady Cork, "The Dowager-Countess of Cork and Orrery," as her door-plate proclaimed, some of whose peculiarities I may mention without offence, as they were notorious and (the phy[Pg 71]sicians judged) innocent and venial. Whenever she found herself alone (and she kept profuse hospitality three or four days a week, with her vast illuminated conservatory full of artificial flowers and grapes and oranges tied on everything), when those famous routs were silent, and dance music no longer kept us awake at night, the little old lady would send in a message, asking "neighbour Tupper to give her a dinner to-day"—sometimes even coming unannounced. She usually appeared all in white, even to her shoes and bonnet, which latter she would keep on the whole evening; the only colour about her being rouged cheeks, sometimes decorated with a piece of white paper cut into the shape of a heart, and stuck on "to charm away the tic." Well, her ladyship was always full of society anecdotes; and I only wish that her diary may soon be published, as probably a more spicy record of past celebrities than even Pepys's in old times, or Greville's in our own; but she is said to have left instructions to her executors not to publish till every one mentioned by her was dead: so we must wait till that tontine is over. But the specialty of the aged countess, who died at past ninety but never owned to more than sixty, was a propensity to annex small properties; always it happened that next morning after a visit either her butler or her lady's-maid would bring to us a spoon or a fork or a piece of bric-à-brac which she had carried off with her in seeming unconsciousness; and as she never inquired for them afterwards, possibly it was so. Let doctors decide. Requiescat. The forthcoming memoirs of that once famous and lovely Miss Monckton will be interesting indeed, if not over-edited.[Pg 72]



One of the apparent calamities of my life (overruled, as I have long since seen, for good) was the before-mentioned affliction of a very bad impediment of speech, which blighted my youth and manhood from fifteen to thirty-five, obliging me to social humiliations of many kinds, to silence in class and on examination occasions (hence my written poetries in lieu of spoken prose), and in early manhood preventing me from taking orders, and thereafter from speaking in the law courts. But I was hopelessly and practically a dumb man, except under special excitations, when I could burst into eloquent speech which surprised third persons more than myself; for when quite alone I could spout like Demosthenes; it was only nervous fear that paralysed my tongue. Accordingly, my good father placed me from time to time with well-meaning and well-paid pretenders to make a perfect cure of my affliction, and I did many things and suffered much from such false physicians. I am sure no one can truly say what I can, viz., that in a purposely monotonous note and syllable by syllable, with a crutch under my chin, and a sort of gag on the rebellious tongue, I have read all through in a loud voice Milton's whole Paradise Lost and Regained, and the most of Cowper's poems![Pg 73] That was the sort of tongue-drill and nerve-quieting recommended and enforced for many hours a day, through weary months, by a certain Mr. C., while Dr. P., his successor to the well-named "patient," gave, first, emulcents, and then styptics, and was fortunately prevented in time by my father from some surgical experiments on the muscles of lip and tongue. However, nobody could cure me, until I cured myself; rather, let me gratefully and humbly confess, until God answered constant prayer, and granted stronger bodily health, and gave me good success in my literary life, and made me to feel I was equal in speech, as now, to the most fluent of my fellows. So let any stammerer (and there are many such) take comfort from my cure, and pray against the trouble as I did, and courageously stand up against the multitude to claim before heaven and earth man's proudest prerogative—the privilege of speech. In my Proverbial Essay "Of Speaking" will be found two contrasted pictures drawn from my own experiences: one of the stifled stammerer, the other of the unbridled orator: which you can turn to as you will. As, however, some of my old groanings after utterance are not equally accessible, I will here give a few lines of mine from the "Stammerer's Complaint," printed in the medical book of one of my Galens:—

"... And is it not in truth
A poisoned sting in every social joy,
A thorn that rankles in the writhing flesh,
A drop of gall in each domestic sweet,
An irritating petty misery,—
That I can never look on one I love
And speak the fulness of my burning thoughts?
That I can never with unmingled joy
[Pg 74] Meet a long-loved and long-expected friend
Because I feel, but cannot vent my feelings,—
Because I know I ought, but must not, speak,—
Because I mark his quick impatient eye
Striving in kindness to anticipate
The word of welcome strangled in its birth?
Is it not sorrow, while I truly love
Sweet social converse, to be forced to shun
The happy circle, from a nervous sense—
An agonising poignant consciousness—
That I must stand aloof, nor mingle with
The wise and good in rational argument,
The young in brilliant quickness of reply,
Friendship's ingenuous interchange of mind,
Affection's open-hearted sympathies?
But feel myself an isolated being,
A very wilderness of widowed thought!"

All this is only sad stern truth; nothing morbid here: let any poor stammerer testify to my faithfulness. Amongst others afflicted like myself was Charles Kingsley, whom I knew well at a time when I had overcome my calamity; whereas he carried his to the grave with him; though he had frequent gleams of a forced and courageous eloquence, preaching energetically in a somewhat artificial voice,—in private he stammered much, as once I used to do, no doubt to his mortification, though humbly acquiescing in God's will.

Chess is a chief intellectual resource to the stammerer; for therein he can conquer in argument without the toil of speech, and prove himself practically more eloquent than the men full of talk whom he so much envies. Accordingly, in days gone by (for of late years I have given it up, as too toilsome a recreation) I played often at that royal game. In these times it is no game at all,—[Pg 75]but a wearisome if seductive science; just as cricket is an artillery combat now, and football a most perilous conflict, and boating breaks the athlete's heart, and billiards can only be played by a bar-spot professional, and tranquil whist itself has developed into a semi-fraudulent system of open rules and secret signs; even so the honest common-sense old game of chess has come to be so encumbered with published openings and gambits and other parasitic growths upon the wholesome house-plant, that I for one have renounced it, as a pursuit for which life is too short and serious (give me a farce or a story instead), and one moreover in which any fool well up to crammed book games may crow over the wisest of men in an easy, because stereotyped, checkmate. However, in this connection, I recollect a small experience which proves that positive ignorance of famous openings may sometimes be an advantage; just as the skilled fencer will be baffled by a brave boor rushing in against rules, and by close encounter unconventionally pinning him straight off. When a youth, just before matriculation, I was a guest at Culham of the good rector there, a chess-player to his own thinking indomitable, for none of the neighbours could checkmate him: so he thought to make quick work of a silent but thoughtful boy-stammerer,—by tempting him at an early period of the game to take, seemingly for nothing but advantage, a certain knight (his usual dodge, it appeared) which would have ensured an ultimate defeat. However, I declined the generous offer, which began to nettle my opponent; but when afterwards I refused to answer divers moves by the card (as he protested I ought), and finally reduced him to a positive checkmate, he flew into such an unclerical rage that I would not play again;[Pg 76] his "revenge" might be too terrible. For another trivial chess anecdote: a very worthy old friend of mine, a rector too, was fond of his game, and of winning it: and I remember one evening that his ancient servitor, bringing in the chessboard, whispered to me, "Please don't beat him again, sir,—he didn't sleep a wink last night;" accordingly, after a respectably protracted struggle, some strange oversights were made, and my reverend host came off conqueror: so he was enabled to sleep happily. I remember too playing with pegged pieces in a box-board at so strange a place as outside the Oxford coach; and I think my amiable adversary then was one Wynell Mayow, who has since grown into a great Church dignitary. If he lives, my compliments to him.

One of the best private chess-players I used often to encounter,—but almost never to beat, is my old life-friend, Evelyn of Wotton, now the first M.P. for his own ancestral Deptford. It was to me a triumph only to puzzle his shrewdness, "to make him think," as I used to say,—and if ever through his carelessness I managed a stale, or a draw,—very seldom a mate,—that was glory indeed. If he sees this, his memory will countersign it.

Let so much suffice, as perhaps a not inappropriate word about the Literary Life's frequent mental recreation, especially, where the player is, like Moses, "not a man of words."

One day, by the by, this text in the original, "lo ish devarim anochi" (Exod. iv. 10), came to my lot in Pusey's Hebrew class, to my special confusion: but every tutor was very considerate and favoured the one who couldn't speak, and Mr. Biscoe in particular used to say when my turn came to read or to answer,—"Never mind, Mr. Tupper, I'm sure you know it,—please to go[Pg 77] on, Mr. So-and-So." This habitual confidence in my proficiency had the effect of forcing my consciousness to deserve it; and it usually happened that I really did know, silently, like Macaulay's cunning augur, "who knew but might not tell."

Speaking of recreation, Izaak Walton's joy as a contemplative man has been mine from youth; as witness these three fishing sonnets, just found in the faded ink of three or four decades ago, which may give a gleam of country sunshine on a page or two, and would have rejoiced my piscatorial friends Kingsley and Leech in old days, and will not be unacceptable to Attwood Matthews, Cholmondeley Pennell, and the Marstons with their friend Mr. Senior in these. I have had various luck as an angler from Stennis Lake to the Usk, from Enniskillen to Killarney, from Isis to Wotton,—and so it would be a pity if I omitted such an authorial characteristic; especially as my stammering obliged me to "study to be quiet."

"Look, like a village Queen of May, the stream
Dances her best before the holiday sun,
And still, with musical laugh, goes tripping on
Over these golden sands, which brighter gleam
To watch her pale-green kirtle flashing fleet
Above them, and her tinkling silver feet
That ripple melodies: quick,—yon circling rise
In the calm refluence of this gay cascade
Marked an old trout, who shuns the sunny skies,
And, nightly prowler, loves the hazel shade:
Well thrown!—you hold him bravely,—off he speeds,
Now up, now down,—now madly darts about,—
Mind, mind your line among those flowering reeds,—
How the rod bends,—and hail, thou noble trout!"
[Pg 78]
"O, thou hast robbed the Nereids, gentle brother,
Of some swift fairy messenger; behold,—
His dappled livery prankt with red and gold
Shows him their favourite page: just such another
Sad Galatæa to her Acis sent
To teach the new-born fountain how to flow,
And track with loving haste the way she went
Down the rough rocks, and through the flowery plain,
Ev'n to her home where coral branches grow,
And where the sea-nymph clasps her love again:
We the while, terrible as Polypheme,
Brandish the lissom rod, and featly try
Once more to throw the tempting treacherous fly
And win a brace of trophies from the stream."
"Come then, coy Zephyr, waft my feathered bait
Over this rippling shallow's tiny wave
To yonder pool, whose calmer eddies lave
Some Triton's ambush, where he lies in wait
To catch my skipping fly; there drop it lightly:
A rise, by Glaucus!—but he missed the hook,—
Another—safe! the monarch of the brook,
With broadside like a salmon's, gleaming brightly:
Off let him race, and waste his prowess there;
The dread of Damocles, a single hair,
Will tax my skill to take this fine old trout;
So,—lead him gently; quick, the net, the net!
Now gladly lift the glittering beauty out,
Hued like a dolphin, sweet as violet."

[Pg 79]



In the course of my Oxford career I tried for two Newdigate Prize poems, "The Suttees" and the "African Desert," won respectively by Claughton, now Bishop of St. Albans, and Rickards, whose honours of course I ought to know, but don't. A good-looking and well-speaking friend of mine, E. H. Abney, now a Canon, was so certain that the said prizes in those two successive years were to fall to me, that he learnt my poems by heart in order to recite them as my speech-substitute in the Sheldonian Theatre at Commemoration, and he used frequently to look in upon me to be coached in his recital. It was rumoured that I came second on both occasions,—one of them certainly had a 2 marked on it when returned to me, but I know not who placed it there. However, my pieces were afterwards printed; both separately, and among my "Ballads and Poems," by Hall and Virtue, and are now before me. As an impartial and veteran judge of such literaria, I am bold to say they are far better than I thought, and might fairly have won Newdigate prizes, even as friend Abney & Co. were sure they would.

At the close of my University career came, of course, the Great Go, which I had to do as I did the Little Go, all on paper; for I could not answer vivâ voce. And[Pg 80] this rule then, whatever may be the case now, prevented me from going in for honours, though I had read for a first, and hoped at least to get a second. Neither of these, nor even a third class, was technically possible, if I could not stand a two days' ordeal of vivâ voce examination, part of the whole week then exacted. However, I did all at my best on paper, specially the translations from classic poets in verse: whereof I'll find a specimen anon. The issue of all was that I was offered an honorary fourth class,—which I refused, as not willing to appear at the bottom of the list of all, alphabetically,—and so my tutor, Mr. Biscoe, not wishing to lose the honour for our college, managed to get it transferred to another of his pupils, Mr. Thistlethwaite, whose father wrote to thank me for this unexpected though not unmerited luck falling to his son.

One short presentable piece of verse-making in the schools is as below from Virgil: there were also three odes of Horace, a chorus from Æschylus, and more from other Greek and Latin poets.

"Sicilian Muses, sing we loftier strains!
The humble tamarisk and woodland plains
Delight not all; if woods and groves we try,
Be the groves worthy of a consul's eye.
Told by the Sibyl's song, the 'latter time'
Is come, and dispensations roll sublime
In new and glorious order; spring again
With Virgo comes, and Saturn's golden reign.
A heavenly band from heaven's bright realm descends,
All evil ceases, and all discord ends.
Do thou with favouring eye, Lucina chaste,
Regard the wondrous babe,—his coming haste,—
For under him the iron age shall cease,
And the vast world rejoice in golden peace," &c. &c.

I select this bit, famous for being one of the places in Virgil which[Pg 81] goes to prove that the Sibylline books (to which the Augustan poets had easy access) quoted Isaiah's prophecies of Christ and the Millennium. It will be considered that my public versifying was quite extempore, as in fact is common with me. For other college memories in the literary line, I may just mention certain brochures or parodies, initialed or anonymous, whereto I must now plead guilty for the first time; reflecting, amongst other topics, on Montgomery's Oxford, St. Mary's theology, Mr. Rickard's "African Desert," and Garbet's pronounced and rather absurd aestheticism as an examiner. Here are morsels of each in order:—

"Who praises Oxford?—some small buzzing thing,
Some starveling songster on a tiny wing,—
(N.B. They call the insect Bob, I know,
I heard a printer's devil call it so)—
So fondly tells his admiration vast
No one can call the chastened strains bombast,
Though epitheted substantives immense
Claim for each lofty sound the caret sense," &c. &c.

Next, a bit from my Low Church onslaught on St. Mary's in the Hampden case, being part of "The Oxford Controversy":—

"Though vanquished oft, in falsehood undismayed,
Like heretics in flaming vest arrayed
Each angry Don lifts high his injured head,
Or 'stands between the living and the dead.'
Still from St. Mary's pulpit echoes wide
Primó, beware of truth, whate'er betide;
[Pg 82] Deinde, from deep Charybdis while you steer
Lest damned Socinus charm you with his sneer,
Watch above all, so not Saint Thomas spake,
Lest upon Calvin, Scylla's rook, you break," &c. &c.

These forgotten trivials, wherein the allusions do not now show clear, are, I know, barely excusable even thus curtly: but I choose to save a touch or two from annihilation. Here is another little bit; this time from a somewhat vicious parody on my rival Rickard's prize poem: it is fairest to produce at length first his serious conclusion to the normal fifty-liner, and then my less reverent imitation of it. Here, then, is the end of Rickard's poem:—

"Bright was the doom which snatched her favourite son,
Nor came too soon to him whose task was done.
Long burned his restless spirit to explore
That stream which eye had never tracked before,
Whose course, 'tis said, in Western springs begun
Flows on eternal to the rising sun!
Though thousand perils seemed to bar his way,
And all save him shrunk backward in dismay,
Still hope prophetic poured the ardent prayer
To reach that stream, though doomed to perish there!
That prayer was heard; by Niger's mystic flood
One rapturous day the speechless dreamer stood,
Fixt on that stream his glistening eyes he kept,—
The sun went down,—the wayworn wanderer slept!"

So much for the prize-taker; the prize-loser vented his spleen as thus:—

"Bright was the doom that diddled Mungo Park,
Yet very palpably obscure and dark.
Long burned his throat, for want of coming nigh
That stream he long'd and pray'd for wistfully,
[Pg 83] Whose course, 'tis said, that no one can tell where
It flows eternal; guessing isn't fair.
Though miles a thousand had he tramp'd along,
And all, save him, were sure that path was wrong,
Still hope prophetic poured the ardent prayer
He'd find that stream,—if it was anywhere!
That prayer was heard, of course, though no one knows
Where this said Niger never flowed, or flows;
All that is known is, that a dreamer stood
In speechless transport by a mystic flood,
And after fixing on't his glistening eyes,
The sun goes down, and so the dreamer dies!"

For the fourth promised specimen, the best excuse is that Garbet really did utter the words quoted,—and the answer he received about love is exact, and became famous:—

"'Didst e'er read Dante!'—Never. 'Cruel man!
Take, take him, Williams,—I—I never can.'"

N.B.—Williams was the other examiner. Garbet went on with a further question nevertheless,—as he was affectedly fond of Italian:—

"'Dost know the language love delights in most?
If thou dost not, thy character is lost.'
'Yes, sir!'—the youth retorts with just surprise,
'Love's language is the language of the eyes!'"

In those days, as perhaps also in these, like Pope, "I spake in numbers," verse being almost—well, not quite—easier than prose. In fact, some of my critics have heretofore to my disparagement stumbled on the printed truth that he is little better than an improvisatore in rhyme. And this word "rhyme" reminds me now of a very curious question I raised some years after[Pg 84] my Oxford days in more than one magazine article, as to when rhyme was invented, and by whom: the conclusion being that intoning monks found out how easily the cases of Latin nouns and tenses of verbs, &c., jingled with each other, and that troubadours and trouveres carried thus the seeds of song all over Europe in about the ninth century, until which time rhythm was the only recognised form of versification, rhyme having strangely escaped discovery for more than four thousand years. Is it not a marvel (and another marvel that no one noticed it before) that not one of the old poets, Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and I think Sanscrit, Arabic, and Celtic too, ever (except by manifest accident, now intentionally ignored) stumbled upon the good idea of terminating their metres with rhyme? Where is there any ode of Horace, or Anacreon,—where any psalm of David; any epigram of Martial, any heroic verse of Virgil, or philosophic argument of Lucretius,—decorated, enlivened, and brightened by the now only too frequent ornament of rhyme?

I have just found among my old archived papers, faded by nearly six decades of antiquity, a treatise which I wrote at nineteen, styled by me "A Vindication of the Wisdom of Scripture in Matters of Natural Science." This has never seen the light, even in extracts; and probably never can attain to the dignity of print, seeing it is written against all compositor law on both sides up and down of a quarto paper book. Therein are treated, from both the scriptural and the scientific points of view, many subjects, of which these are some: Cosmogony, miracles (in chief Joshua's sun and moon), the circulation of the blood revealed in Ecclesiastes, magnetism as mentioned by Job, "He spreadeth out the[Pg 85] north over the empty space and hangeth the world upon nothing," the blood's innate vitality—"which is the life thereof," the earth's centre, or orbit, and inclination, astronomy, spirits, the rainbow, the final conflagration of our atmosphere to purify the globe, and many other matters terrestrial and celestial. Some day a patient scribe may be found to decipher this decayed manuscript and set out orderly its miscellaneous contents. I began it at eighteen, and finished it when at Oxford.

There is also now before me another faded copybook of my early Christ Church days containing ninety-one striking parallel passages between Horace and Holy Writ; some being very remarkable, as Hor. Sat. i. 8, and Isaiah xliv. 13, &c., about "making a god of a tree whereof he burneth part:" also such well-known lines as "Quid sit futurum eras, fuge quærere," and "Quis scit an adjiciant hodiernæ crastina summæ Tempora Di superi?"—compared with "Take no thought for the morrow" and "Boast not thyself of to-morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth." With many more; in fact I collected nearly a hundred out of Horace, besides a few from others of the classics.[Pg 86]



Carlyle somewhere gives utterance to a truism, which the present scribe at least can most gratefully countersign, that "it takes a great deal of providence to bring a man to threescore years and ten." Not only are we in peril every time we take breath, both from the action of our own uncertain hearts and from the living germs of poison floating in the air, but from all sorts of outer accidents (so-called, whereas they all are "well ordered and sure") wherewith our little life is compassed from, cradle to grave; in truth, trifles seem to rule us: "the turning this way or that, the casual stopping or hastening hath saved life or destroyed it, hath built up or flung down fortunes." Every inch and every instant, we are guided and guarded, whether we notice it or not: "the very hairs of our heads are all numbered." Here shall follow some personal experiences in proof. Nearly seventy years ago I knew a small schoolboy of seven who accidentally slit his own throat while cutting a slate-frame against his chest with a sharp knife; there was a knot in the wood, the knife slipped up, a pinafore was instantaneously covered with blood—(though the little semisuicide was unconscious of any pain)—thereafter his neck was quickly strapped with diaculum plaister,—and to this day a slight scar may[Pg 87] be found on the left side of a silvery beard! Was not this a providential escape? Again—a lively little urchin in his holiday recklessness ran his head pell-mell blindly against a certain cannon post in Swallow Passage, leading from Princes Street, Hanover Square, to Oxford Street, and was so damaged as to have been carried home insensible to Burlington Street: a little more, the doctors said, and it would have been a case of concussion of the brain. The post is still there "to witness if I lie," as Macaulay's Roman ballad has it,—and here grown to twice its height, thank heaven! am I. Then again, some ten years after, a youth is seen careering on a chestnut horse in Parliament Street, when a runaway butcher's cart cannoned against his shying steed, the wheel ripping up a saddle-flap, just as the rider had instantaneously shifted his right leg close to the horse's neck! But for that providence, death or a crushed knee was imminent.

Yet again, after some twenty years more: "Æsop Smith" was one dark evening creeping up a hill after a hard ride on his grey mare Brenda, when he was aware of two rough men on the tramp before him, one of whom needlessly crossed over so that they commanded both sides, and soon seemed to be approximating; which when Æsop fortunately noticed, with a quick spur into Brenda he flashed by the rascals as they tried to snatch at his bridle and almost knocked them over right and left whilst he galloped up the hill followed by their curses: was not this an escape worth being thankful for?

Once more: the same equestrian has had two perilous dog-cart accidents, noticeable, for these causes; viz.—broken ribs, and a crushed right hand, have proved to[Pg 88] him experimentally how little pain is felt at the moment of a wound; which will explain the unconscious heroism of common soldiers in battle; very little but weakness through loss of blood is ever felt until wounds stiffen: further, a blow on the head not only dazes in the present and stupefies further on, but also completely takes away all memory of a past "bad quarter of an hour." At least I remembered nothing of how my worst misadventure happened; and only know that I crawled home half stunned by moonlight for three miles, holding both sides together with my hands to enable me to breathe: no wonder,—all my elasticity was gone with broken ribs. Though these two accidents cost me, one three months, and the other much longer of a (partly bedridden) helplessness, were they not good providences to make one grateful? I write my mental thanksgiving with the same healed broken hand.

So much of perils by land, by way of sample: here are three or four by sea, to match them. Do I not remember how a rash voyager was nearly swept off the Asia's slippery deck in a storm, when a sudden lurch flung him to cling to the side rail of a then unnetted bulwark, swinging him back again by another lurch right over the yawning waves—like an acrobat? Had I let go, no one would have known of that mystery of the sea,—where and when a certain celebrity then expected in America, had disappeared! Captain Judkin after that always had his bulwarks netted; so that was a good result of my escape: I was the only passenger on deck, a favoured one,—the captain being on his bridge, two men at the wheel in their covered house, the stormy wind all round in a cyclone, and the raging[Pg 89] sea beneath,—and so all unseen I had been swept away,—but for good providence.

Once again; do I not shudderingly recollect how nearly the little Guernsey steamer was run over by an American man-of-war in the Channel, because a tipsy captain would "cross the bows of that d—— d Yankee:"—the huge black prow positively hung over us,—and it was a miracle that we were not sunk bodily in the mighty waters. What more? Well, I will here insert an escaped danger that tells its own tale in a sonnet written at the time, the place being Tenby and the sea-anemone caverns there, accessible only at lowest neap tide.

"An hour of peril in the Lydstep caves:
Down the steep gorge, grotesquely boulder-piled
And tempest-worn, as ocean hurrying wild
Up it in thunder breaks and vainly raves,—
My haste hath sped me to the rippled sand
Where, arching deep, o'erhang on either hand
These halls of Amphitrité, echoing clear
The ceaseless mournful music of the waves:
Ten thousand beauteous forms of life are here;
And long I linger, wandering in and out
Among the seaflowers, tapestried about
All over those wet walls.—A shout of fear!
The tide, the tide!—I turned and ran for life,
And battled stoutly through that billowy strife!"

Perhaps this is enough of such hairbreadth 'scapes both by land and water: though I might (in America especially) mention many more. Then there are all manner of the ordinary maladies of humanity, which I pretermit. Carlyle was quite right; it does require "a good deal of providence" to come to old age.[Pg 90]



But there are many other sorts of peril in human life to which I may briefly advert, as we all have had some experiences of the same. Who does not know of his special financial temptation, some sanguine and unscrupulous speculator urging him from rock to rock across the rapids of ruin, till he is engulfed as by Niagara? Or of the manifestly disinterested and generous capitalist, who gives to some young legatee a junior partner's free arm-chair, only that he may utilise his money and keep the house solvent for yet a year or two, utterly unheeding that ere long the grateful beneficiaire must be dragged down with his chief to poverty? Or, which of us has not had experience of some unjust will, stealing our rights by evil influence? Or of the seemingly luckless accident killing off our intending benefactor just before that promised codicil? Or of the ruinous investment? Or of the bankrupt Life Assurance? Or of the unhappy fact of your autograph, "a mere matter of form," on the back of some dishonoured bill of one's defaulting friend? Yet all these are providences too,—lessons of life, and parts of our schools and schoolmasters.

And there are many like social evils besides. Let me delicately touch one of them. I desire as an[Pg 91] Ancient, now nearing the close of my career, at least in this the caterpillar and soon to be chrysalis condition of my being, to give my testimony seriously and practically to the fact (disputed by too many from their own worse experience) that it is quite possible to live from youth to age in many scenes and under many circumstantial difficulties, preserving still through them all the innocent purity of childhood. True, the crown of greater knowledge is added to the Man; but although it be a knowledge both of evil and of good, theoretically,—it need not practically be a guilty knowledge. If one of any age, from the youngest to the oldest, has not the power of self-control perpetually in exercise, and the good mental help of prayer habitually at hand to be relied on, he is in danger, and may fall into sin or even crime, at any hour, unless the Highest Power intervene. But, if the senses are trained to resist the first inclinations to unchastity, by the eye that will not look and the ear that will not listen, then the doors of the mind are kept closed against the enemy, and even "hot youth" is safe.

We live in a co-operative cycle of society; and amongst other co-operations are all manner of guilds to encourage, by example, companionship and the like, divers great virtues, and some less important fads and fancies of the day: let me not be thought to disparage any gatherings for prayer, or temperance, or purity; though individual strong men may not need such congregated help as the weaker brethren yearn for. Many a veteran now, changed to good morals from a looser life in the past, may well hope to serve both God and man by preaching purity to the young men around, by vowing them to a white ribbon guild, and giving them[Pg 92] the decoration of an ivory cross. But he is apt to forget what young blood is, his own having cooled down apace; anon he will find that Nature is not so easily driven back—usque recurrit—and he will soon have to acknowledge that if the higher and deeper influences of personal religion, earnest prayer, honest watchfulness, and sincere—though it be but incipient—love of God and desire to imitate Christ, are not chief motives towards the purification of human passion, this brotherhood of a guild may tend to little except self-righteousness, and it will be well if hypocrisy and secret sin does not accompany that open boastfulness of a White Cross Order. After all said and done, a man—or woman—or precocious child—must simply take the rules of Christ and Paul, and Solomon, as his guide and guard, by "Resisting," "Fleeing," "Cutting off—metaphorically—the right hand, and putting out the right eye;" so letting "discretion preserve him and understanding keep him;" but there is nothing like flight; it is easy and speedy, and more a courage than a cowardice. Take a simple instance. Some forty years ago, an author, well-known in both hemispheres, then living in London, received by post a pink and scented note from "an American Lady, a great admirer of his books, &c. &c.: would he favour her by a call" at such an hotel, in such a square? Much flattered he went, and was very gushingly received; but when the lady, probably not an American (though comely enough to be one), after a profusion of compliments went on to complain of a husband having deserted her, and to throw herself not without tears on the kindness of her favourite author, that individual thought it would be prudent to depart, and so promptly remembering another engagement he took up his hat and—fled. He had afterwards[Pg 93] reason to be thankful for this escape, as for others. I, fac simile; as no doubt you have done, and you will do, for there are many Potipheras; ay, and there exist some Josephs too.

Other forms of evil in the way of heterodoxy and heresy have assailed your confessor, as is the common case with most other people, whether authors or not. The rashest Atheism or more cowardly Agnosticism are rampant monsters, but have only affected my own spirit into forcing me to think out and to publish my Essay on Probabilities, whereof I shall speak further when my books come under review. But beyond these open foes to one's faith, who has not met with zealous enthusiasts who urge upon his acceptance under penalty of the worst for all eternity if refused, any amount of strange isms,—Plymouth, Southcote, Swedenborg, Irving, Mormon,—and of the other 272 sects which affect (perhaps more truly infect) religion in this free land? I have had many of these attacking me by word or letter on the excuse of my books. Who, if he once weakly gives way to their urgent advice to "search and see for himself," will not soon be addled and muddled by all sorts of sophistical and controversial botherations, if even he is not tempted to accept—for lucre if not godliness—the office of bishop, or apostle, or prophet, or anything else too freely offered by zealots to new converts, if of notoriety enough to exalt or enrich a sect; such sect in every case proclaiming itself the one only true Church, all other sects being nothing but impostors? We have all encountered such spiritual perils,—and happy may we feel that with whatever faults and failings, there is an orthodox and established form of religion amongst us in the land. For my own[Pg 94] part, I go freely to any house of prayer, national or nonconformist, where the Gospel is preached and the preacher is capable: all I want is a good man for the good word and work—and if he has the true Spirit in him, I care next to nothing for his orders: though to many less independent minds human authorisation may be a necessity. From cradle hymns to the more serious prayings of senility, my own religion in two words is crystallised as "Abba, Father;" my only priest being my Divine Brother; and my Friend and Guide through this life and beyond it the Holy Spirit, who unites all the family of God. May I die, as I have lived, in this simple faith of childhood.

My "Probabilities" has, amongst others apposite, this sentence about the origin of evil, and the usefulness of temptation: "To our understanding, at least, there was no possible method of illustrating the amiabilities of Goodness and the contrivances of Wisdom but by the infused permission of some physical and moral evils; mercy, benevolence, design would in a universe of Best have nothing to do; that universe itself would grow stagnant, as incapable of progress; and the principal record of God's excellences, the book of redemption, would have been unwritten. Is not then the existence of evil justified in reason's calculation? and was not such existence an antecedent probability?"[Pg 95]



In a recent page I have alluded to sundry "fads and fancies of the day," some of greater and others of lesser import, and I have been mixed up in two or three of them. For example;—as an undergraduate at Oxford I starved myself in the matter of sugar, by way of somehow discouraging the slave-trade; I don't know that either Cæsar or Pompey was any the better for my small self-sacrifice; but as a trifling fact, I may mention that I then followed some of the more straitlaced fashions of Clapham. Also, when in lodgings after my degree, I resolved to leave off meat, bought an immense Cheshire cheese, and, after two months of part-consumption thereof, reduced my native strength to such utter weakness as quite to endanger health. So I had to relapse into the old carnality of mutton chops, like other folk: such extreme virtue doesn't pay.

Of course abstinence from all stimulant has had its hold on me heretofore, as it has upon many others,—but, after a persistent six months of only water, my nerve power was so exhausted (I was working hard at the time as editor of "The Anglo-Saxon," a long extinct magazine) that my wise doctor enjoined wine and whisky—of course in moderation; and so my fluttering heart soon recovered, and I have been well ever since.[Pg 96]

Now about temperance, let me say thus much. Of course, I must approve the modern very philanthropic movement, but only in its rational aspect of moderation. In my youth, the pendulum swung towards excess, now its reaction being exactly opposite; both extremes to my mind are wrong. And here let me state (valeat quantum) that I never exceeded in liquor but once in my life: that once serving afterwards as a valuable life lesson all through the wine-parties of Christ Church, the abounding hospitalities of America, both North and South, through two long visits—and the genialities of our own Great Britain during my several Reading Tours. If it had not been for that three days' frightful headache when I was a youth (in that sense a good providence), I could not have escaped so many generous hosts and seductive beverages. That one departure from sobriety happened thus. My uncle, Colonel Selwyn, just returned from his nine years' command at Graham's Town, South Africa, gave a grand dinner at the Opera Colonnade to his friends and relatives, resolved (according to the fashion of the time) to fill them all to the full with generous Bacchus by obligatory toasts, he himself pretending to prefer his own bottle of brown sherry,—in fact, dishonest toast and water; but that sort of practical joke was also a fashion of the day. The result, of course, was what he desired; everybody but himself had too much, whilst his mean sobriety, cruel uncle! enjoyed the calm superiority of temperance over tipsiness. However, the lesson to me (though never intended as such) was most timely,—just as I was entering life to be forewarned by having been for only that once overtaken. I have ever since been thankful for it as a mercy; and few have been so favoured; how many can[Pg 97] truly say, only that once? But I pass on, having a great deal more to write about temperance. On my first visit to America in 1851, all that mighty people indulged freely in strong drinks of the strangest names and most delicious flavours: on my second in 1876,—just a quarter of a century after,—there was almost nothing to be got but iced water. Accordingly when I was at Charleston I took up my parable,—and spoke through a local paper as follows: I fear the extract is somewhat lengthy, but as an exhaustive argument (and the piece, moreover, being unprinted in any of my books), I choose to give it here in full, to be skipped if the reader pleases. It is introduced thus by an editor:—

"In these days of extreme abstinence from wine and spirits, it is refreshing to see what the strong common-sense of an eminent moral philosopher has to say about temperance. We make, then, a longish extract, well-nigh exhaustive of the subject, which occurs in a lecture, entitled 'America Revisited—1851 and 1877,' from the pen of Martin Tupper, explaining itself. The author introduces his poetic essay thus:—'Since my former visit to the States twenty-five years ago, few changes are more remarkable than that in the drinking habits of the people; formerly it was all for spirituous liquors, and now it is "Water, water everywhere, and every drop to drink!" The bars are well-nigh deserted, and the entrance-halls of most houses are ostentatiously furnished with plated beakers and goblets ensuring an icy welcome: in fact, not to be tedious, intemperance has changed front, and excess in water has taken the place of excess in wine.'" To an Englishman's judgment the true "part of Hamlet" in a feast is the more generous fluid, and the greatest luxuries are simply Barmecidal[Pg 98] without some wholesome stimulant to wash them down; accordingly, my too outspoken honesty protested thus in print against this form of folly in extremes, and either pleased or offended, as friends or foes might choose to take it.

"Temperance? Yes! true Temperance, yes!
Moderation in all things, the word is express;
'Nothing too much'—Greek, 'Meden Agan;'
So spake Cleobúlus, the Seventh Wise Man;
And the grand 'golden mean' was shrewd Horace's law,
And Solomon's self laid it down for a saw
That 'good overmuch' is a possible fault,
As meat over-salted is worse for the salt;
And Chilo, the Stagyrite, Peter, and Paul,
Enjoin moderation in all things to all;
The law to make better this trial-scene, earth,
And draw out its strongest of wisdom and worth,
By sagely suppressing each evil excess—
In feasting, of course, but in fasting no less—
In drinking—by all means let no one get drunk—
In eating, let none be a gluttonous monk,
But everyone feed as becometh a saint,
With grateful indulging and wholesome restraint,
Not pampering self, as an epicure might,
Nor famishing self, the ascetic's delight.
"But man ever has been, and will be, it seems,
Given up to intemperance, prone to extremes;
The wish of his heart (it has always been such)
Is, give me by all means of all things too much!
In pleasures and honours, in meats, and in drinks,
He craves for the most that his coveting thinks;
To wallow in sensual Lucullus's sty,
Or stand like the starving Stylités on high,
To be free from all churches and worship alone,
Or chain'd to the feet of a priest on a throne,
To be rich as a Rothschild, and dozens beside,
Or poor as St. Francis (in all things but pride),
[Pg 99] With appetite starved as a Faquir's, poor wretch!
Or appetite fattened to luxury's stretch;
Denouncing good meats, on lentils he fares,
Denouncing good wine, by water he swears—
In all things excessive his folly withstands
The wise moderation that Scripture commands.
"This vice of excess is no foible of mine,
Though liking and needing a glass of good wine,
To help the digestion, to quicken the heart,
And loosen the tongue for its eloquent part,
But never once yielding one jot to excess,
Nor weakly consenting the least to transgress.
For let no intolerant bigot pretend
My Temperance Muse would excuse or defend,
As Martial or tipsy Anacreon might,
An orgy of Bacchus, the drunkard's delight:
No! rational use is the sermon I'm preaching,
Eschewing abuse as the text of my teaching.
"Old Pindar says slyly, that 'Water is best;'
When pure as Bandusia, this may be confest.
But water so often is troubled with fleas
And queer little monsters the microscope sees;
Is sometimes so muddy, and sometimes so mixt
With poisons and gases, both fixt and unfixt,
And seems so connected with juvenile pills—
A thought which the mind with unpleasantness fills—
That really one asks, is it safe to imbibe
So freely the live animalcula tribe,
Unkilled and uncooked with a little wine sauce
Poured in, or of whisky or brandy a toss—
And gulp a cold draught of the colic, instead
Of something to warm both the heart and the head?
"That Jotham-first-fable, the bramble and vine,
Piles up to a climax the praise of good wine;
For in Judges we read—look it up, as you can—
'It cheereth the heart, both of God and of man;'
And everywhere lightness, and brightness, and health,
[Pg 100] Gild the true temperance texts with their wealth,
Giving strong drink to the ready to perish,
And heavy-heartedness joying to cherish.
"What is wanted—and let some Good Templar invent it,
Damaging drunkenness, nigh to prevent it,
Is a drink that is nice, warm, pleasant, and pale,
Delicious as 'cakes,' and seductive as 'ale,'
Like 'ginger that's hot in the mouth' and won't hurt you,
As old Falstaff winks it, in spite of your virtue;
A temperate stimulant cup, to displace
Pipes, hasheesh, and opium, and all that bad race;
Cheap as pure water and free as fresh air—
Oh, where shall we find such a beverage—where?
"No wine for the pure or the wise—so some teach—
Abstinence utter for all and for each,
Total denial of every right use,
Because some bad fools the good creature abuse!
As well might one vow not to warm at a fire,
Nor give the least rein to a lawful desire,
Because some have recklessly burnt down their houses,
Because the rogue cheats, or the reveller carouses!
I see not the logic, the rational logic,
Conclusive to me, coherent and cogic,
That since some poor sot in his folly exceeds,
I must starve out my likings, and stint out my needs.
"Am I that brother's keeper? He is not an Abel,
Is strange to my roof, and no guest at my table:
I know not his mates, we are not near each other,
He swills in the pothouse, that dissolute brother!—
But there's your example?—The drunkards can't see it,
And if they are told of it, scorn it and flee it;
Example?—Your children!—No doubt it is right
To be to them always a law and a light;
[Pg 101] But moderate temperance is the vise way
To form them, and hinder their going astray;
Whereas utter abstinence proves itself vain,
And drunkards flare up because good men abstain.
"The law of reaction is stringent and strong,
A youth in extremis is sure to go wrong,
For the pendulum swings with a multiplied force
When sloped from its even legitimate course.
I have known—who has not?—that a profligate son
Has been through his fanatic father undone;
Restrained till the night of free licence arrives,
And then he breaks out to the wreck of two lives!
"A fierce water-fever just now is red-hot;
Drink water, or perish, thou slave and thou sot!
Drink water alone, and drink more, and drink much—
But, liquors or wines? Not a taste, not a touch!
Yet, is not this fever a fervour of thrift?
It is wine you denounce, but its cost is your drift;
The times are so hard and the wines are so bad
(For good at low prices are not to be had),
That forthwith society shrewdly shouts high
For water alone, the whole abstinence cry!
And, somehow supposed suggestive of heaven,
The cup of cold water is generously given,
But a glass of good wine is an obsolete thing,
And will be till trade is once more in full swing!
I hint not hypocrisy; many are true,
They preach what they practise, they say—and they do,
And used from their boyhood to only cold water,
Enjoin nothing better on wife, son, and daughter;
But surely with some it is merely for thrift,
That they out off the wine, and with water make shift,
Although they profess the self-sacrifice made
As dread of intemperance makes them afraid.
And so, like a helmsman too quick with his tiller,
Eschewing Charybdis they steer upon Scylla,
To perish of utter intemperance—Yes!
The victims of water consumed to excess.
[Pg 102]
"To conclude: The first miracle, wonder Divine,
Wasn't wine changed to water, but water to wine,
That wine of the Kingdom, the water of life
Transmuted, with every new excellence rife,
The wine to make glad both body and soul,
To cheer up the sad, and make the sick whole.
And when the Redeemer was seen among men,
He drank with the sinners and publicans then,
Exemplar of Temperance, yea, to the sot,
In use of good wine, but abusing it not!
We dare not pretend to do better than He;
But follow the Master, as servants made free
To touch, taste, and handle, to use, not abuse,
All good to receive, but all ill to refuse!
It is thus the true Christian with temperance lives,
Giving God thanks for the wine that He gives."

I once heard Mr. Gough, the temperance lecturer: it was at the Brooklyn Concert Hall in 1877. A handsome and eloquent man, his life is well known, and that his domestic experiences have made him the good apostle he is. I remember how well he turned off the argument against himself as to the miracle of the marriage-feast in Cana of Galilee: "Yes, certainly, drink as much wine made of water as you can." It was a witty quip, but is no reply to that miracle of hospitality. Apropos,—I do not know whether or not the following anecdote can be fathered on Mr. Gough, but it is too good to be lost, especially as it bears upon the fate of a poor old friend of mine in past days who was fatally a victim to total abstinence. The story goes that a teetotal lecturer, in order to give his audience ocular proof of the poisonous character of alcohol, first magnifies the horrible denizens of stagnant water by his microscope, and then triumphantly kills them all by a drop or two of brandy! As if this did not prove the wholesomeness of eau de vie in[Pg 103] such cases. If, for example, my poor friend above, the eminent Dr. Hodgkin of Bedford Square, had followed his companion's example, the still more eminent Moses Montefiore, by mixing water far too full of life with the brandy that killed them for him, he would not have died miserably in Palestine, eaten of worms as Herod was! Another such instance I may here mention. When I visited the cemetery of Savannah, Florida, in company with an American cousin, I noticed it graven on the marble slab of a relation of ours, a Confederate officer, to the effect that "he died faithful to his temperance principles, refusing to the last the alcohol wherewith the doctor wanted to have saved his life!" Such obstinate teetotalism, I said at the time, is criminally suicidal. Whereat my lady cousin was horrified, for she regarded her brother as a martyr.

I cannot help quoting here part of a letter just received from an excellent young clergyman, who had been reading my "Temperance," quite, to the point. After some compliments he says, "I need scarcely say I entirely agree with the scope and arguments of this vigorous poem. Nothing is more clear, and increasingly so, to my own perception than the terrible tendency of modern human nature to run into extremes" (quoting some lines). "Your reference to 'thrift' is especially true. I have often smiled at the pious fervour with which the heads of large families with small incomes have embraced teetotalism! I have long thought that the motto 'in vino veritas' contains in it far more of 'veritas' than is dreamt of in most people's philosophy, and that the age of rampant total abstinence is the age of special falseness. Of course, the evils of drunkenness can scarcely be exaggerated,—and yet they can be and[Pg 104] are so when they are spoken of as equal to the evils of dishonesty: the former is indeed brutal, but the latter is devilish, and far more effectually destroys the souls of men than the former. Nevertheless in our poor money-grubbing land, the creeping paralysis of tricks of trade, &c., is thought little of; and the shopman who has just sold a third-rate article for a first-class price goes home with respectable self-complacency and glances with holy horror at the man who reels past him in the street.

"I desire to say this with reverence and caution. For we all need the restraining influences of the blessed Spirit of God, as well as the atonement and example of His dear Son. But when we see the present tendency to anathematise open profligacy, and to ignore the hidden Pharisaism (the very opposite to our Lord's own course), and the subtle lying of the day, it seems as if those who ponder sadly over it ought to speak out."

Doubtless, there are many more fads and fancies, many other sorts of perils and trials that might be spoken of as an author's or any other man's experiences: but I will pass on.[Pg 105]



With the exception of "Rough Rhymes," my first Continental Journal as aforesaid, and a song or two, and a few juvenile poems, my first appearance in print, the creator of a real bound volume (though of the smallest size) was as author of a booklet called "Sacra Poesis;" consisting of seventy-five little poems illustrative of engravings or drawings of sacred subjects, and intended to accompany a sort of pious album which I wished to give to my then future wife. Most of it was composed in my teens, though it found no technical "compositor" of a printing sort until I was twenty-two (in 1832), when Nisbet published the pretty little 24mo, with a picture by myself of Hope's Anchor on the title. The booklet is now very rare, and a hundred years hence may be a treasure to some bibliomaniac. Of its contents, speaking critically of what I wrote between fifty and sixty years ago, some, of the pieces have not been equalled by me since, and are still to be found among my Miscellaneous Poems: but, many are feeble and faulty. Some of the reviews before me received the new poetaster with kindly appreciation; some with sneers and due disparagement,—much as Byron's "Hours of Idleness" had been treated not very many years before: though another cause for hatred and contempt may have[Pg 106] operated in my case, namely this: Ever since youth and now to my old age I have been exposed to the "odium theologicum," the strife always raging between Protestant and Papist, Low Church and High, Waldo and Dominic, Ulster and Connaught: hence to this hour the frequent rancour against me and my writings excited by sundry hostile partisans.

My next volume was "Geraldine and other Poems," published by Joseph Rickerby in 1838. The origin thereof was this,—as I now extract it from my earliest literary notebook:—

"In August 1838 I was at Dover, and from a library read for the first time Coleridge's Christabel;" it was the original edition, before the author's afterward improvements. "Being much taken with the poem, the thought struck me to continue it to a probable issue, especially as I wanted a leading subject for a new volume of miscellaneous verse. The notion was barren till I got to Heine Bay a fortnight after, and then I put pen to paper and finished the tale. It occupied me about eight days, an innocent fact which divers dull Zoili have been much offended withal, seeing that Coleridge had thought proper to bring out his two Parts at a sixteen years' interval; a matter doubtless attributable either to accident or indolence,—for to imagine that he was diligently polishing his verses the whole time (as some blockheads will have it) would indeed be a verification of the parturiunt montes theory. The fact is, these things are done at a heat, as every poet knows. Pegasus is a racer, not a cart-horse; Euterpe trips it like the hare, while dogged criticism is the tortoise, &c." The book had a fair success, both here and in America, and[Pg 107] has been many times reprinted. Critiques of course were various, for and against; the shuttlecock of fame requires conflicting battledores: but, as I now again quote from that early notebook, "It is amusing to notice, and instructive also to any young author who may chance to see this, how thoroughly opposite many of the reviews are, some extolling what others vilify; it just tends to keep a sensible man of his own opinion, unmoved by such seemingly unreasonable praise or censure. When Coleridge first published Christabel (intrinsically a most melodious and sweet performance) it was positively hooted by the critics; see in particular the Edinburgh Review. Coleridge left behind him a very much improved and enlarged version of the poem, which I did not see till years after I had written the sequel to it: my Geraldine was composed for an addition to Christabel, as originally issued." Another note of mine, in reply to a critic of The Atlas, runs thus:—"Nobody who has not tried it can imagine the difficulties of intellectual imitation: it is to think with another's mind, to speak with another's tongue: I acknowledge freely that I never was satisfied with Geraldine as a mere continuation of a story, but as an independent poem, I will yet be the champion of my child, and think with The Eclectic that I have succeeded as well as possible: as honest Pickwick says, 'And let my enemies make the most of it.' At this time of day it is not worth my while by any modern replies to attempt to quench such long extinct volcanoes as 'The Conservative' and 'The Torch,' nor to reproduce sundry glorifications of the new poet and his verses from many other notices, long or short, duly pasted down for future generations in my Archive-book. As to critical verdicts[Pg 108] in this case, black and white are not more contradictory: e.g., let Blackwood be contrasted with the Monthly Review, or the Church of England Quarterly with the Weekly True Sun, &c. &c."

It is a pity (at least the author of sold-out volumes may be forgiven for the sentiment) that most of my books are not to be bought: they are not in the market and are only purchasable at old-literature stores, such as Reeves' or Bickers': some day, I hope to find a publisher spirited enough to risk money in a ten-volumed "Edition of my Prose and Poetry complete," &c.; but in the past and present, the subscription system per Mudie and Smith, buying up whole editions at cost price whereby to satiate the reading public, starves at once both author and publisher, and makes impossible these expensive crown octavo editions, "which no gentleman's library ought to be without." Some of the beat smaller pieces in my "Geraldine and other Poems" will be found in Gall & Inglis's Miscellaneous Tupper before mentioned: but my two Oxford Prize Poems, The African Desert and The Suttees, are printed only in the Geraldine volume.

Anecdotes innumerable I could tell, if any cared to hear them, connected with each of my books, as friends or foes have commented upon me and mine in either hemisphere. In this place I cannot help recording one, as it led to fortunate results. In 1839 I was travelling outside the Oxford coach to Alma Mater, and a gentleman, arrayed as for an archery party with bow and quiver, climbed up at Windsor for a seat beside me. He seemed very joyous and excited, and broke out to me with this stanza,—[Pg 109]

"How fair and fresh is morn!
The dewbeads dropping bright
Each humble flower adorn,
With coronets bedight,
And jewel the rough thorn
With tiny globes of light,—
How beautiful is morn!
Her scattered gems how bright!"

There,—isn't that charming? he said,—little aware of whom he asked the amiable query. But when I went on with the second verse, he opened his eyes wider and wider as I added:

"There is a quiet gladness
On the waking earth,
Like the face of sadness
Lit with chastened mirth;
There is a mine of treasure
In those hours of health,
Filling up the measure
Of creation's wealth!"

Of course, discovery of the author was unavoidable: so we collided and coalesced, and I rejoiced to find in this "Angel unaware" no less a celebrity than John Hughes of Donnington Priory, father of the still greater celebrity (then a youth) Tom Hughes of Rugby and "Tom Brown's Schooldays." Some time after I spent several pleasant days at his fine old place in Berks, and made happy acquaintance with the brightest old lady I ever met, his mother, who had known Burns and Byron and Scott; as also with his pleasant good wife and her clever sons, one of whom, in the ripeness of time, married a then charming little girl, the heiress-ward of my host, and since well appreciated in society as a grande dame; wife also to one famous for a Rugby[Pg 110] in both hemispheres, for rifledom, the White Horse of Wilts, and now full-fledged county judgeship. These excellent friendships survive many long years and will be transplanted elsewhere hereafter. All this grew from a casual encounter outside a coach: but such is life; what we call accidents are all providences, and we are guided inch by inch and minute by minute. Tom Hughes succeeded as a county judge in Yorkshire my old schoolfellow, St. John Yates, mentioned on a recent page in connection with Andrew Irvine's turkeycock irascibility.

"Watch little providences: if indeed
Or less there be, or greater, in the sight
Of Him who governs all by day and night,
And sees the forest hidden in the seed:
Of all that happens take thou reverent heed,
For seen in true Religion's happier light
(Though not unknown of Reason's placid creed)
All things are ordered; all by orbits move,
Having precursors, satellites, and signs,
Whereby the mind not doubtfully divines
What is the will of Him who rules above,
And takes for guidance those paternal hints
That all is well, that thou art led by Love,
And in thy travel trackest old footprints."

[Pg 111]



And this may well be a fitting place wherein to record the origin, progress, and after long years the full completion of what is manifestly my chief authorial work in life, "Proverbial Philosophy." To ensure accuracy, and not leave all the details to oftentimes unfaithful memory, I will give a few extracts from "a brief account" of the book, set down in 1838, at the beginning of Volume I. of "My Literary Heirloom," now grown to many volumes, containing newspaper cuttings, anecdotes, and letters and scraps of all sorts relating to my numerous works.

"In the year 1828, when under Mr. Holt's roof at Albury (anno ætatis meæ 18), I bethought myself, for the special use and behoof of my cousin Isabella, who seven years after became my wife, that I would transcribe my notions on the holy estate of matrimony; a letter was too light, and a formal essay too heavy, and I didn't care to versify my thoughts, so I resolved to convey them in the manner of Solomon's Proverbs or the 'Wisdom' of Jesus the Son of Sirach: and I did so,—successively, in the Articles first on Marriage, then Love, then Friendship, and fourthly on Education: several other pieces growing afterwards. Whilst at Albury, my cousin showed some of these to our rector,[Pg 112] Hugh M'Neile, who warmly praised them, and recommended their publication; but, regarding them as private and personal, I would not hear of it, and in fact it was nine years before they saw print; thus literally, though I meant it not then, exemplifying the Horatian advice, 'nonumque premantur in annum.' However, one day in August 1838, Mr. Stebbing, whose chapel, in the Hampstead Road I used to attend when living at Gothic Cottage, Regent's Park, in my first years of marriage, visiting me and urging me to write something for the Athenæum, which he was then editing, I was induced to show him these earliest essays; but I declined to give them to him, whereat he was angered; perhaps the rather in that I objected to piecemeal publication, possibly also casting some reproach (as the fashion of the day then was) upon magazine and journalistic literature generally. That I made an enemy of him was evidenced by a spiteful little notice in the Athenæum of April 21st (three months after my first series was published) stating that it was 'a book not likely to please beyond the circle of a few minds as eccentric as the author's.' The same false friend excluded me altogether from any notice in the Examiner wherein he had some literary influence." To this day these reviews have been my foes, which I regret.

"Still, Mr. Stebbing did me substantial good; he praised the idea as 'new, because a resuscitation of what was very old,'—and as of my own origination in these latter days, and as a good vehicle for thoughts on many matters: and he promised his valuable assistance to a young author's fame,—performing as above. So, after a last interview with him at his house, wherein I conclusively refused him, I wrote my Preface at once,[Pg 113] jotting down (as I recollect at the street corner post opposite Hampstead Road Chapel) on the back of an old letter my opening paragraph,—

"'Thoughts that have tarried in my mind, and peopled its inner chambers,' &c., &c.

"In ten weeks from that day I had my first series ready,—supposing it then all I should ever write;—the same assurance of a final end having been my delusion at the close of each of my four series. My first publisher was Rickerby of Abchurch Lane, who produced a beautifully printed small folio volume with ornamental initials, and now very scarce: it came to a second edition, but brought me no money,—and the third edition failing to sell, it was in great part sent to America; where N. P. Willis finding a copy, fancied the book that of some forgotten author of the Elizabethan era, and quoted it week after week in a periodical of his, The Home Journal, as such: years afterwards, when he met me in London, he was scared to find that one whom he had thought dead three hundred years was still alive and juvenile and ruddy.

"It might be thought indelicate in me to quote at length the many pleasant greetings of the press to my first odd volumes; suffice it to say, that the kind critics were with few exceptions unanimous in commendation; and some great names, as Heraud, Leigh Hunt, and St. John particularly favoured me,—the latter prophesying a tenth edition: but I must still condescend to pick out at the end of this paper a few of the plums of praise wherewith my early publication was indulged, if only to please the numerous admirers of my chief 'lifework.' One comfort is that no one of my reviewers all my life through has ever been bought or rewarded. As to the[Pg 114] less fulsome style of criticism, I was supposed by the Spectator to have 'written in hexameters,'—as if David or Solomon had ever imitated Homer or some more ancient predecessor of his; and the Sun fancied that I had 'culled from Erasmus, Bacon, Franklin, and Saavedra,' whereas I was totally ignorant of their wisdoms: Saavedra I have since learned is Cervantes. The Sunday Times finds 'Proverbial Philosophy' 'very like Dodsley's "Economy of Human Life,"' but I may say I never saw that neat little book of maxims till my brother Dan gave it to me fourteen years after my Philosophy was public property; I am also by this critic supposed to have 'imitated the Gulistan or Bostan of Saadi,'—whereof I need not profess my total ignorance: however, the writer kindly says of me, 'if he fail to make himself heard, the fault will be rather in the public than in him.' The Metropolitan propounds that 'a book like this would make a man's fortune in the East, but we are afraid that philosophy in proverbs has no great chance in the West: we should recommend the author to get it translated into Arabic.'" [I have since heard that some of it has been.] Let this be enough as to those first fruits of criticism, which might be extended to satiety; but I decline to become "inebriated with the exuberance of my own verbosity," as Beaconsfield has it about Gladstone.

To carry on the story of my old book, its second series was due to Harrison Ainsworth, at all events instrumentally. For, just as he was establishing his special magazine, he asked me to help him with a contribution in the style of that then new popularity, my Proverbs. This I sturdily declined; for in my young days, it was thought ungentlemanlike to write in[Pg 115] magazines, though dukes, archbishops, and premiers do so now: even authorship for money was thought vulgar: but, when there greeted me at home a parcel of well-bound books as a gift from the author, being all that were then extant of Ainsworth's, I was so taken aback by his kindly munificence that I somewhat penitentially responded thereto by an impromptu chapter on "Gifts," wherewith I made the quarrel up and he was delighted: one or two others following. However, I was too quick and too impatient to wait for piecemeal publication month by month,—seeing I soon had my second series ready: and so, leaving Rickerby as an unfruitful publisher (though, as will soon appear, he produced other books for me) I went to Hatchards; with whom I had a long and prosperous career—receiving annually from £500 to £800 a year, and in the aggregate having benefited both them and myself—for we shared equally—by something like, £10,000 a piece. But in the course of time, the old grandfather and the father of the house, excellent men both, went severally to the Better Land, and I had published other books elsewhere, as will be seen, anon: and, amongst other things, Mr. Bertrand Payne, who represented the respectable poetic house of Moxon, desired to include me in his Beauties of the Poets, and in order to that, having previously obtained license both from me and Messrs. Hall & Virtue to select specimens of my lyrics for his volume, asked me to let him add a few bits of Proverbial; to this I willingly assented, but found myself repulsed by the temporary chief at Hatchards'—lately a subordinate—with a direct refusal to permit any portion of my book, of which they had a three years' lease then nearly out, to be included in the specimen volume until, the whole[Pg 116] remainder copies were sold off. Mr. Payne on that immediately bought all they had, writing a cheque of £900 in payment down,—whereof I got one-half, as I should have done if sold at Hatchards'. I then of course went equitably over to Moxon's,—and not long after published my third series with that house, at Mr. Payne's suggestion and solicitation: it was not a financial success, any more than others in that quarter; but I was paid by having my later thoughts on topics of the day so handsomely published at no cost of mine. The house of Moxon having its reverses,—and a fourth and final series of "Proverbial Philosophy" having grown up meanwhile, I concluded to go to Ward & Lock, that my four series might for wider circulation be all included in one cheap volume, beautifully got up, and with them I have since had some small success: for though the royalty is only about a penny a volume, the numbers licensed have been an edition of 20,000 succeeded in the course of years by another of 30,000; and I still leave the book with them so far as that cheap issue is concerned.

As, however, I desired to meet the wish of many friends and others of the public who often asked for a handsomer form, suggesting a reproduction of Hatchards' quarto, with additional illustrations for the new matter, I applied to Cassell, and made arrangements to have the whole four series issued piecemeal in weekly or monthly parts, so as to meet (as Cassell's manager suggested) a certain demand from the middle and artisan class; seeing that the aristocracy and gentry had bought the whole volume so freely, but sixpenny parts in a wider field might bring on a new sale. I did not then know that Cassell's had numerous serials already on[Pg 117] hand, and that many of them were unremunerative; and so I was a little surprised and vexed to find that my book was after all to appear as a whole and not in numbers, and that at a higher price, half-a-guinea, in these cheap times quite prohibitive, I protested vainly as to this; as I did also at the unsatisfactory character of the illustrations to the third and fourth series, promised to be equal to Hatchards' first and second, which had cost £2000: but Cassell's additions were cheaply and insufficiently supplied by old German plates, adapted as much as might be to my words for illustration. This manifest inferiority of the last half of the volume, as well as its too great price, stopped the sale,—and after a time with a high hand all the copies were sold off by auction, to the loss of both publisher and author. As I had supplied gratis the plates of Hatchards' edition, buying up the half not mine and giving the other, I found myself thus mulcted in a large sum, for which I have only to show in return about a hundredweight of wood-blocks and stereotypes:—which may be bought by any publisher at bargain price. Altogether the whole affair was unsatisfactory and disappointing. Individuals may be genial, honest, and considerate, but a company or a partnership simply looks to the hardest bargain in the shrewdest way. Of all this I'll complain, vainly enough, no more.

In their several places, many anecdotes about "Proverbial Philosophy" shall duly appear: I may mention one or two now, as timely. When that good old man, Grandfather Hatchard, more than an octogenarian, first saw me, he placed his hand on my dark hair and said with tears in his eyes, "You will thank God for this book when your head comes to be as white as mine." Let[Pg 118] me gratefully acknowledge that he was a true prophet. When I was writing the concluding essay of the first series, my father (not quite such a prophet as old Hatchard) exhorted me to burn it, as his ambition was to make a lawyer of me, the Church idea having failed from my stammering, and he had very little confidence, as a man of the world, in poetry bringing fortune. However, it did not get burnt, though I had some difficulty in persuading him to let me get it printed instead. The dear good man lived to bless me for it, especially for my essay on Immortality, which I know affected him seriously, and he gave me £2000 as a gift in consequence.

As I may have been only too faithfully frank in mentioning this curious literary anecdote,—which, as known to others, I could scarcely have suppressed,—it is only fair to the memory of my dear and honoured father that I should here produce one of his very few letters to me, just found among my archives and bearing upon this same subject. It was written to me at Brighton, and is dated Laura House, Southampton, October 16, 1842:—

"My dearest Martin,—Anything that I could say, or any praise that I could give respecting your last volume would, in my estimation, fall very far short indeed of its merits. I shall therefore merely say that I look upon your chapter upon Immortality, not only as a most exquisite specimen of fine, sound, and learned composition, but as combating in the most satisfactory manner the wisdom of infidelity, almost perfect. I only hope that you may receive the just tribute of the literary community: your own feelings as the author of that chapter must be very enviable. God bless you, dearest, dearest Martin.—Believe me, ever your affectionate father and sincere friend,

Martin Tupper."[Pg 119]

I need not say that these are "ipsissima verba," and that I here insert the letter in full, as the warmest and most honourable palinode I could have received from a man so usually reserved and reticent as was my revered and excellent father.

The brother of my friend Benjamin Nightingale (to be more spoken of hereafter) was so fascinated with the book that he copied it all out in his own handwriting, word for word, and was jocularly accused of pretending to its authorship. I once met an enthusiast who knew both the two first series by heart,—and certainly he went on wherever I tried to pose him from the open volume,—my own memory being far less faithful. Similarly my more recent friend William Hawkes claims to have read the whole book sixty times; whereof this impromptu of mine is a sort of half proof:—

"Sixty times, you tell me, friend,
You've read my books from end to end.
Perhaps not all my myriad rhymes,
But all my rhythmics sixty times.
Yes, friend, for I have heard you quote
My old Proverbials by rote
Page after page, and anywhere
Have heard you spout them then and there,
Though I myself had quite forgot
What I had writ, and you had not.
"Well, author surely never more
Was complimented so before;
For though I knew in years long past
An amiable enthusiast,
Who copied out in his MS.
My whole Proverbial, as for press,
[Pg 120] Until he half believed that he
Was the real Simon M. F. T.,—
Yet thou, my worthy William Hawkes,
Hast beaten Nightingale by chalks,—
And, years ago, your friends for fame
Have given you Martin Tapper's name,
Because you constantly were heard
Quoting Proverbial word for word!
So then, by heart, as by the pen,
'I live upon the mouths of men,'
Ev'n as Ennius lived of old,
A life worth more than gems or gold."

Two more strange anecdotes may here find their place (others will occur elsewhere in this volume hereafter) respecting "Proverbial Philosophy." Joseph Durham, the sculptor, a great friend of mine, had been known to me for some years, and one day he gave me a curious little book, very ancient and dingy-looking, entitled "Politeuphuia, Wits' Commonwealth: London, 1667;" with this explanation, that he had picked it up at an old bookstall, and, finding it was written somewhat in proverbs gave it to me, adding, in his shrewd way, the humorous fancy that (until he had read it and couldn't discover a line or thought of exact similarity) possibly he might have checkmated me by showing me the mine from which I had dug my wisdoms! As I have before me a memorandum pasted into the booklet itself (it is a minute duodecimo) I will here quote exactly what I wrote in it at the time: the date being Albury House, May 24, 1865:—

"This little book has just been given to me by Durham; it is very scarce, so much so that the British Museum, he says, does not possess a copy; probably there are not six in the world. I never saw it, nor heard[Pg 121] of it till now; just twenty-nine years after the publication of my Proverbial Philosophy. It is a curious coincidence that the headings of this Wits' Miscellany are similar to my own; as Of so and so throughout; I first wrote On so and so; but did not like the sound, and remembering it would be De in Latin, altered it to Of. The treatment also of the subjects has some apparent similitude; but in looking all through the book, it is strange that not one line, not one phrase, is the same as any of mine. Travelling on the same road, and in somewhat of the same proverbial rhythm, this is very curious; whilst it certainly acquits me of even unintended and unconscious plagiarism. The headings begin of God, of Heaven, of Angels, &c.,—and then of vertue, of peace, of truth, &c., and afterwards of love, of jealousie, of hate, of beauty, of flattery, &c., &c.,—all being aphoristic quotations from ancient authors. As before stated, the whole was unseen by me until nearly thirty years after I had published my independent essays on the same theses much in a similar key."

This is a parallel case to the recent statement in a printed book with characteristic illustrations respecting the non-originality of Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress; and Milton's Paradise Lost has been similarly disparaged, Mr. Plummer Ward having written and shown to me a pamphlet by himself to prove that some Italian poem seen by Milton in youth preceded him on the same lines;—while Mr. Geikie quotes from the Anglo-Saxon Cædmon papers nearly identical with some in Paradise Lost. But there is no end to assertions of this sort, impugning authorial honesty and originality: when authors write on the same topics and with much the same stock of words and ideas both religious and educational,[Pg 122] it is only a marvel that the thoughts and writings of men do not oftener collide, and seem to be plagiaristic reproductions. I have spoken of all this at length, that if any one hereafter finds this "Politeuphuia" in the British Museum (which is welcome to have my copy if it lacks one), and years hence accuses my innocence of having stolen from it, he may know that I have thus taken the bull by the horns and twisted him over.

The last anecdote I shall now inflict upon my reader in this connection is as follows:—

One James Orton, an American gentleman whom I have never seen that I know of (unless by possibility in some one of the crowds met anonymously, before whom I may have read in public) was kind enough many years ago to publish a beautifully printed and illustrated volume "The Proverbialist and the Poet," whereof he sent me two copies; but lacking his address, probably with the delicate object of preventing an acknowledgment; and I am almost ashamed to state that his whole book in different inks combines the threefold wisdoms of King Solomon, William Shakespeare, and Martin Tupper; the title-page being decorated in colours with views of the Temple, Stratford-on-Avon, and Albury House! If I ventured to quote the Preface, it would beat even this as the climax of fulsome flattery, and I think that my friends of the Comic Press who have done me so much service by keeping up my shuttlecock with their battledores, and so much honour by placing me prominently among the defamed worthies of the world, would in their charity (for they have some) pity the victim of such excruciating praise, if he failed hereby to repudiate it.

Not but that poor human nature delights in adulation.[Pg 123] I well remember the joy wherewith I first greeted the following from a Cincinnati paper; so hearty too, and generous, and obviously sincere.

"The author of this book will rank, we are free to say, with the very first spirits of the British world. It will live, in our judgment, as long as the English language, and be a text-book of wisdom to the young of all generations of America and England both. We would rather be the author of it, than hold any civil or ecclesiastical office in the globe. We would rather leave it as a legacy to our children, than the richest estate ever owned by man. From our heart we thank the young author for this precious gift, and, could our voice reach him, would pronounce a shower of heartfelt blessings on his soul. When we began to read it with our editorial pencil in hand, we undertook to mark its beautiful passages, should we find any worthy of distinction; but, having read to our satisfaction—indeed to our amazement—we throw down the pencil, and, had we as much space as admiration, we would quote the whole of it. It is one solid, sparkling, priceless gem."

I may as well add a few more such extracts, as strictly within the text of "My Lifework."

"The author of 'Proverbial Philosophy' is a writer in whom beautiful extremes meet,—the richness of the Orient, and the strength of the Occident—the stern virtue of the North and the passion of the South. At times his genius seems to possess creative power, and to open to our gaze things new and glorious, of which we have never dreamed; then again it seems like sunlight, its province not to create, but to vivify and glorify what before was within and around us. Aspirations, fancies, beliefs we have long folded in our hearts as dear and[Pg 124] sacred things, yet never had the power or the courage to reveal, bloom out as naturally in his pages as wild flowers when the blossoming time is come. We are not so much struck by the grandeur of his conceptions, or fascinated by the elegance of his diction, as warmed, ennobled, and delighted by the glow of his enthusiasm, the purity of his principles, and the continuous gushing forth of his tenderness. His words form an electric chain, along which he sends his own soul, thrilling around the wide circle of his readers."—N. P. Willis's Home Journal.

"Perhaps no writer has attracted a greater degree of public attention, or received a larger share of public praise, during the last few years, than Martin F. Tupper,—a man of whom England may well be proud, and whose name will eventually be one of the very noblest on the scroll of fame."—American Courier.

"Everybody knows the 'Proverbial Philosophy' of Martin Tupper; a million and a half of copies—so, publishers say—have been sold in America."—New York World.

"Full of genius, rich in thought, admirable in its religious tone and beautiful language."—Cincinnati Atlas.

"'Apples of gold set in pictures of silver' is the most apposite apophthegm we can apply to the entire work. We have rarely met a volume so grateful to the taste in all its parts, so rich in its simplicity, so unique in its arrangements, and so perfect in all that constitutes the perfection of style, as the volume before us. It must live like immortal seed, to produce a continual harvest of profitable reflection."—(Philadelphian) Episcopal Recorder.

"No one can glance at this work without perceiving that it is produced by the inspiration of genius. It[Pg 125] is full of glorious thoughts, each of which might be expanded into a treatise."—Albany Atlas.

"We cannot express the intense interest and delight with which we have perused 'Proverbial Philosophy.'"—Oberlin's Evangelist.

"The 'Proverbial Philosophy' has struck with almost miraculous force and effect upon the minds and hearts of a large class of American readers, and has at once rendered its author's name and character famous and familiar in our country. It abounds in gems and apt allusions, which display without an effort the deep practical views and the æsthetical culture of the author."—Southern Literary Messenger.

Let all this suffice for America: a few from this side of the Atlantic may be added:—

"Were we to say all we think of the nobleness of the thoughts, of the beauty and virtuousness of the sentiments contained in this volume, we should be constrained to write a lengthened eulogium on it."—Morning Post.

"Martin Farquhar Tupper has won for himself the vacant throne waiting for him amidst the immortals, and after a long and glorious term of popularity among those who know when their hearts are touched, without being able to justify their taste to their intellect, has been adopted by the suffrage of mankind and the final decree of publishers into the same rank with Wordsworth, Tennyson, and Browning."—Spectator.

"It is a book easily understood, and repaying the reader on every page with sentiments true to experience, and expressed often with surprising beauty."—Presbyterian.[Pg 126]

"One of the most thoughtful, brilliant, and finished productions of the age."—Banner of the Cross.

"For poetic imagery, for brightness of thought, for clear and striking views of all the interests and conditions of man, this work has been pronounced by the English and American press as unequalled."—Literary Messenger.

"The principal work of Martin Farquhar Tupper, 'Proverbial Philosophy,' is instinct with the spirit of genial hopeful love: and to this mainly should be attributed the vast amount of sympathetic admiration it has attracted, not only in this country, but also in the United States."—English Review.

"We congratulate ourselves, for the sake of our land's language, on this noble addition to her stock of what Dr. Johnson justly esteems 'the highest order of learning.' If Mr. Tupper be not the high priest of his profession, he is at least no undignified minister of the altar. The spirit of a noble hope animates the exercise of his high function."—Parthenon.

"We know not whether Mr. Tupper, when he was pouring forth the contents of these glorious volumes, intended to write prose or poetry; but if his object was the former, his end has not been accomplished. 'Proverbial Philosophy' is poetry assuredly; poetry exquisite, almost beyond the bounds of fancy to conceive, brimmed with noble thoughts, and studded with heavenward aspirations."—Church of England Journal.

"The 'Proverbial Philosophy,' which first established Mr. Tupper's reputation, is a work of standard excellence. It has met with unprecedented success, and many large editions of it have been sold. It led to the author's being elected a Fellow of the Royal Society; and the King of Prussia, in token of his Majesty's high[Pg 127] approbation of the work, sent him the gold medal for science and literature."—Glasgow Examiner.

"This book is like a collection of miniature paintings on ivory, small, beautiful, highly finished, and heterogeneous: in style something between prose and verse; not so rigid as to fetter the thought, not so free as to exclude absolute distinctness, with the turn and phrase of poetry."—Christian Remembrancer.

"There is more novelty in the sentiments, a greater sweep of subjects, and a finer sense of moral beauty displayed by Mr. Tupper, than we remember to have seen in any work of its class, excepting of course the 'Proverbs of Solomon.' We also discover in his 'Philosophy' the stores of extensive reading, and the indisputable proofs of habitual and devout reflection, as well as the workings of an elegant mind."—Monthly Review.

"Have we not now done enough to show that a poet of power and of promise,—a poet and philosopher both—is amongst us to delight and instruct, to elevate and to guide."—Conservative Journal.

"This work glows and glitters all over with the effluence and lustre of a fine imagination, and is steeped in the rich hues and pervading beauty of a mild wisdom, and a genial and kindly morality."—Scots Times.

"The 'Proverbial Philosophy' contains much sound reflection, moral and religious maxims of the highest importance, elegant figures and allusions, sound and serious observations of life,—all expressed in most appropriate and well-selected language."—Gentleman's Magazine.

"One of the most original and curious productions of our time."—Atlas.

"A book as full of sweetness as a honeycomb, of gentleness as woman's heart; in its wisdom worthy[Pg 128] the disciple of a Solomon, in its genius the child of a Milton. Every page, nay almost every line, teems with evidences of profound thinking and various reading, and the pictures it often presents to our mind are the most imaginative and beautiful that can possibly be conceived."—Court Journal.

"If men delight to read Tupper both in England and America, why should they not study him both in the nineteenth century and in the twentieth? The judgment of persons who are more or less free from insular prejudices is said in some degree to anticipate that which is admitted to be the conclusive verdict of posterity."—Saturday Review.

"The popularity of the 'Proverbial Philosophy' of Martin Tupper is a gratifying and healthy symptom of the present taste in literature, the book being full of lessons of wisdom and piety, conveyed in a style startling at first by its novelty, but irresistibly pleasing by its earnestness and eloquence."—Literary Gazette.

"Mr. Mill, Mr. Herbert Spencer, Mr. Browning, Mr. Morris, Mr. Rossetti—all these writers have a wider audience in America than in England. So too has Mr. Tupper. The imagination staggers in attempting to realise the number of copies of his works which have been published abroad. Unlike most of his contemporaries, further, he has conquered popularity in both hemispheres. He has won the suffrages of two great nations. He may now disregard criticism."—Daily News.

This sonnet, written and published in 1837, nearly half a century ago, explains itself and may fairly come in here as a protest and prophecy by a then young author. And, nota bene, if hyper-criticism objects that[Pg 129] a sonnet must always be a fourteen-liner (this being one only of twelve) I reply that it is sometimes of sixteen, as in the one by Dante to Madonna, which I have translated in my "Modern Pyramid:" and there are instances of twelve, as one at least of Shakespeare's in his Passionate Pilgrim. But this is a small technicality.

To my Book "Proverbial Philosophy," before Publication.
"My soul's own son, dear image of my mind,
I would not without blessing send thee forth
Into the bleak wide world, whose voice unkind
Perchance will mock at thee as nothing worth;
For the cold critic's jealous eye may find
In all thy purposed good little but ill,
May taunt thy simple garb as quaintly wrought,
And praise thee for no more than the small skill
Of masquing as thine own another's thought:
What then? count envious sneers as less than nought:
Fair is thine aim,—and having done thy best,
So, thus I bless thee; yea, thou shalt be blest!"

There were also two others afterward, in the jubilate vein; but I spare my reader, albeit they are curiously prophetic of the wide good-doing since accomplished.

To the above numerous commendations which indeed might be indefinitely extended, it is only fair to add that "Proverbial Philosophy" has run the gauntlet of both hemispheres also in the way of parody, ridicule, plagiaristic imitation, and in some instances of envious and malignant condemnation. It has won on each side both praise from the good and censure from the bad: our comic papers have amused us with its travesties—as Church Liturgies and Holy Writ have been similarly parodied,—and some of the modern writers who are unfriendly to Christian influences have done[Pg 130] their small endeavour to damage both the book and its author through adverse criticism. But their efforts are vain. They have availed only to advance—from first to last now for some forty-five years—the world-wide success of "Proverbial Philosophy."

If it is expected, as a matter of impartiality, that I should here print adverse criticisms as well as those which are favourable, I simply decline to be so foolish: a caricature impresses where a portrait is forgotten: the litera scripta in printer's ink remains and is quotable for ever, and I do not think it worth while deliberately to traduce myself and my book children by adopting the opinions of dyspeptic scribes who will find how well I think of them in my Proverbial Essay "Zoilism;" which, by the way, I read at St. Andrews, before some chiefs of that university, with A. K. H. B. in the chair.

Accordingly, I prefer now to appear one-sided, as a piece of common sense; quite indifferent to the charge of vain-gloriousness; all the good verdicts quoted are genuine, absolutely unpaid and unrewarded, and are matters of sincere and skilled opinion; so being such I prize them: the opposing judgments—much fewer, and far less hearty, as "willing to wound and yet afraid to strike"—may as well perish out of memory by being ignored and neglected. Here is a social anecdote to illustrate what I mean. I once knew a foolish young nobleman of the highest rank who—to spite his younger brother as he fancied—posted him up in his club for having called him "a maggot;" and all he got for his pains in this exposure was that the name stuck to himself for life! so it is not necessary to borrow fame's trumpet to proclaim one's few dispraises.[Pg 131]

Moreover, I have thought it only just to the many unseen lovers of "Proverbial Philosophy" to show them how heartily their good opinions have been countersigned and sanctioned all over the English-speaking world by critics of many schools and almost all denominations. It is not then from personal vanity that so much laudation is exhibited [God wot, I have reason to denounce and renounce self-seeking]—but rather to gratify and corroborate innumerable book friends.

If there had been International Copyright in the more halcyon days of my "Proverbial" popularity, when, as reported (see the New York World on p. 124), a million and a half copies of my book were consumed in America, I should have been materially rewarded by a royalty of something like a hundred thousand pounds: but the bare fact is that all I have ever received from my Transatlantic booksellers in the way of money has been some £80 (three thousand dollars) which Herman Hooker of Philadelphia gave me for the exclusive privilege—so far as I could grant it—of being my publisher. For aught else, I have nothing to complain of in the way of praise, however profitless, of kindliness, however well appreciated, and of boundless hospitality, however fairly reimbursed at the time by the valuable presence of a foreign celebrity. No doubt the public are benefited by the cheapness of books unprotected by copyright, and the author, if he wins no royalty, gains by fame and pleasure; but the absence of a copyright law is a great mistake,—as well as an injustice to the authorship of both nations, by starving the literature of each other, American publishers will not sufficiently pay their own native bookwrights when they can appropriate their[Pg 132] neighbours' works for nothing; and ours in England probably enriched themselves as vastly and cheaply by Mrs. Beecher Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin" as many among the thirty-three States by "Proverbial Philosophy."

As my handsome quarto "Proverbial" has been for two generations a common gift-book for weddings, and has more than once appeared among the gifts at royal marriages, it is small wonder that I have often been greeted by old—and young—married couples as having been a sort of spiritual Cupid on such occasions. Frequently at my readings and elsewhere ladies thitherto unknown have claimed me as their unseen friend, and some have feelingly acknowledged that my Love and Marriage (both written in my teens) were the turning-points of their lives and causes of their happiness. These lines will meet the eyes of some who will acknowledge their truth, and possibly if they like it may write and tell me so: some of my warmest friendships have originated in grateful letters of a similar character.

It may also be worthy of mention that on this side of the Atlantic as well as on the other (see especially the case of N. P. Willis) it has often been taken for granted that the author of "Proverbial Philosophy" has been dead for generations. No doubt this is due both to the antique style of the book and to the retiring habits of its author: comparatively few of my readers know me by sight. I could mention many proofs of this belief in my non-existence: here is one; a daughter of mine is asked lately by an eminent person if she is a descendant of the celebrated Elizabethan author? and when that individual in passing round the room came near to the Professor, and was introduced to him as her father,[Pg 133] the man could scarcely be brought to believe that his long-departed book friend was positively alive before him. The Professor looked as if he had seen a ghost.

Throughout this volume I wish my courteous readers to bear in mind that the writer excludes from it as much as possible the strictly private and personal element; it is intended to be mainly authorial or on matters therewith connected. Moreover, if they will considerately take into account that as a youth and until middle age I was, from the speech-impediment since overcome, isolated from the gaieties of society, as also that I religiously abstained from theatricals at a time before Macready, who has since purified them into a very fair school of morals,—to say less of having been engaged in marriage from seventeen to twenty-five,—I can have (for example) no love adventures to offer for amusement, nor any dramatic anecdotes such as Ruskin might supply. The autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini is full of entertaining and highly coloured incidents which could not be possible to one rather of the Huguenot stamp than that of the Cavalier, and so I cannot compete therewith as to any of the spicier records of hot youth: for which indeed let me be thankful.

If then my reader finds me less lively than he had—shall I say uncharitably?—hoped for, let him take into account that, to quote the splendid but sensuous phrase of Swinburne, I have always been stupidly prone to prefer "the lilies and languors of virtue" to "the roses and raptures of vice."

I will now proceed with the self-imposed duty of recording my authorial performances.[Pg 134]



In 1839, Rickerby was again my publisher; the new book being "A Modern Pyramid; to Commemorate a Septuagint of Worthies." In this volume, commencing with Abel, and ending with Felix Neff, I have greeted both in verse and prose threescore and ten of the Excellent of the earth. Probably the best thing in it is the "Vision Introductory;" and, as the book has been long out of print, I will produce it here as an interesting flight of fancy, albeit somewhat of a long one. If an author can be accounted a fair judge of his own writings, this is my best effort in the imaginative line; and as it is no new brain-child (we always love the last baby best), but was written little short of fifty years ago, the impartial opinion of an old judge is probably a correct one. The sun-dial is still in my garden,—and as I stood by it half a century since, there grew up to my mind's eye this Vision:—

"I was walking in my garden at noon: and I came to the sun-dial, where, shutting my book, I leaned upon the pedestal, musing; so the thin shadow pointed to twelve.

"Of a sudden, I felt a warm sweet breath upon my cheek, and, starting up, in much wonder beheld a face of the most bewitching beauty close beside me, gazing[Pg 135] on the dial: it was only a face; and with earnest fear I leaned, steadfastly watching its strange loveliness. Soon, it looked into me with its fascinating eyes, and said mournfully, 'Dost thou not know me?'—but I was speechless with astonishment: then it said, 'Consider:'—with that, my mind rushed into me like a flood, and I looked, and considered, and speedily vague outlines shaped about, mingled with floating gossamers of colour, until I was aware that a glorious living Creature was growing to my knowledge.

"So I looked resolutely on her (for she wore the garb of woman), gazing still as she grew: and again she said mildly, 'Consider:'—then I noted that from her jewelled girdle upwards, all was gorgeous, glistening, and most beautiful; her white vest was rarely worked with living flowers, but brighter and sweeter than those of earth; flowing tresses, blacker than the shadows cast by the bursting of a meteor, and, like them, brilliantly interwoven with strings of light, fell in clusters on her fair bosom; her lips were curled with the expression of majestic triumph, yet wreathed winningly with flickering smiles; and the lustre of her terrible eyes, like suns flashing darkness, did bewilder me and blind my reason:—Then I veiled mine eyes with my clasped hands; but again she said, 'Consider:'—and bending all my mind to the hazard, I encountered with calmness their steady radiance, although they burned into my brain. Bound about her sable locks was as it were a chaplet of fire; her right hand held a double-edged sword of most strange workmanship, for the one edge was of keen steel, and the other as it were the strip of a peacock's feather; on the face of the air about her were phantoms of winged horses, and of racking-wheels: and from her[Pg 136] glossy shoulders waved and quivered large dazzling wings of iridescent colours, most glorious to look upon.

"So grew she slowly to my knowledge; and as I stood gazing in a rapture, again she muttered sternly,—'Consider!'—Then I looked below the girdle upon her flowing robes: and behold they were of dismal hue, and on the changing surface fluttered fearful visions: I discerned blood-spots on them, and ghastly eyes glaring from the darker folds, and, when these rustled, were heard stifled meanings, and smothered shrieks as of horror: and I noted that she stood upon a wreath of lightnings, that darted about like a nest of young snakes in the midst of a sullen cloud, black, palpable, and rolling inwards as thick smoke from a furnace.

"Then said she again to me, 'Dost thou not know me?'—and I answered her,—'O Wonder, terrible in thy beauty, thy fairness have I seen in dreams, and have guessed with a trembling spirit that thou walkest among fears; are thou not that dread Power, whom the children of men have named Imagination?'—And she smiled sweetly upon me, saying, 'Yea, my son:' and her smile fell upon my heart like the sun on roses, till I grew bold in my love and said, 'O Wonder, I would learn of thee; show me some strange sight, that I may worship thy fair majesty in secret.'

"Then she stood like a goddess and a queen, and stretching forth her arm, white as the snow and glittering with circlets, slowly beckoned with her sword to the points of the dial. There was a distant rushing sound, and I saw white clouds afar off dropping suddenly and together from the blue firmament all round me in a circle: and they fell to the earth, and rolled onwards, fearfully converging to where I stood; and they came[Pg 137] on, on, on, like the galloping cavalry of heaven; pouring in on all sides as huge cataracts of foam; and shutting me out from the green social world with the awful curtains of the skies.—Then, as my heart was failing me for fear, and for looking at those inevitable strange oncomings, and the fixt eyes of my queenlike mistress, I sent reason from his throne on my brow to speak with it calmly, and took courage.

"So stood I alone with that dread beauty by the dial, and the white rolling wall of cloud came on slowly around with suppressed thunderings, and the island of earth on which I stood grew smaller and smaller every moment, and the garden-flowers faded away, and the familiar shrubs disappeared, until the moving bases of those cold mist-mountains were fixed at my very feet. Then said to me the glorious Power, standing in stature as a giant,—'Come! why tarriest thou? Come!'—and instantly there rushed up to us a huge golden throne of light filigree-work, borne upon seven pinions, whereof each was fledged above with feathers fair and white, but underneath they were ribbed batlike, and fringed with black down: and all around fluttered beautiful winged faces, mingled and disporting with grotesque figures and hideous imps. Then she mounted in her pomp the steps of the throne, and sat therein proudly. Again she said to me, 'Come!'—and I feared her, for her voice was terrible; so I threw myself down on the lowest of the seven golden steps, and the border of her dark robe touched me. Then was I full of dread, hemmed about with horrors, and the pinions rustled together, and we rushed upward like a flame, and the hurricane hastened after us: my heart was as a frozen autumn-leaf quivering in my bosom, and I looked[Pg 138] up for help and pity from the mighty Power on her throne; but she spurned me with her black-sandalled foot, and I was thrust from my dizzy seat, and in falling clutched at the silver net-work that lay upon the steps as a carpet,—and so I hung; my hands were stiffly crooked in the meshes like eagle's talons, my wrists were bursting, the bones of my body ached, and I heard the chill whisper of Death (who came flitting up to me as a sheeted ghost) bidding my poor heart be still: yet I would live on, I would cling on, though swinging fearfully from that up-rushing throne; for my mind was unsubdued, and my reason would not die, but rebelled against his mandate. And so the pinions flapped away, the dreadful cavalcade of clouds followed, we broke the waterspout, raced the whirlwind, hunted the thunder to his caverns, rushed through the light and wind-tost mountains of the snow, pierced with a crash the thick sea of ice, that like a globe of hollow glass separates earth and its atmosphere from superambient space, and flying forward through the airless void, lighted on another world.

"Then triumphed my reason, for I stood on that silent shore, fearless though alone, and boldly upbraided the dread Power that had brought me thither,—'Traitress, thou hast not conquered; my mind is still thy master, and if the weaker body failed me, it hath been filled with new energies in these quickening skies: I am immortal as thou art; yet shalt thou fear me, and heed my biddings: wherefore hast thou dared—?' but my wrathful eye looked on her bewitching beauty, and I had no tongue to chide, as she said in the sobriety of loveliness,—'My son, have I not answered thy prayer? yet but in part; behold, I have good store of precious[Pg 139] things to show thee:' with that, she kissed my brow, and I fell into an ecstasy.

"I perceived that I was come to the kingdom of disembodied spirits, and they crowded around me as around some strange creature, clustering with earnest looks, perchance to inquire of me somewhat from the world I had just left. Although impalpable, and moving through each other, transparent and half-invisible, each wore the outward shape and seeming garments he had mostly been known by upon earth: and my reason whispered me, this is so, until the resurrection; the seen material form is the last idea which each one hath given to the world, but the glorified body of each shall be as diverse from this, yet being the same, as the gorgeous tulip from its brown bulb, the bird of paradise from his spotted egg, or the spreading beech from the hard nut that had imprisoned it.—Then Imagination stood with me as an equal friend, and spake to me soothingly, saying, 'Knowest thou any of these?'—and I answered, 'Millions upon millions, a widespread inundation of shadowy forms, from martyred Abel to the still-born babe of this hour I behold the gathered dead; millions upon millions, like the leaves of the western forests, like the blades of grass upon the prairie, they are here crowding innumerable: yet should my spirit know some among them, as having held sweet converse with their minds in books; only this boon, sweet mistress, from yonder mingled harvest of the dead, in grace cull me mine intimates, that I may see them even with my bodily eyes.' So she smiled, and waved her fair hand: and at once, a few, a very few, not all worthiest, not all best, came nearer to me with looks of love; and I knew them each one, for I had met and[Pg 140] somewhile walked with each of them in the paths of meditation; and some appeared less beatified than others, and some even meanly clad as in garments all of earth, yet I loved them more than the remainder of that crowded world, though not equally, nor yet all for merit, but in that I had sympathy with these as my friends. And each spake kindly to me in his tongue, so that I stood entranced by the language of the spirits. Then said my bright-winged guide, 'Hast thou no word for each of these? they love thy greeting, and would hear thee.' But I answered, 'Alas, beautiful Power, I know but the language of earth, and my heart is cold, and I am slow of tongue: how should I worthily address these great ones?'—So with her finger she touched my lips, and in an inspiration I spake the language of spirits, where the thoughts are as incense to the mind, and the words winged music to the ear, and the heart is dissolved into streams of joy, as hail that hath wandered to the tropics: in sweetness I communed with them all, and paid my debt of thanks.

"And behold, a strange thing, changing the aspect of my vision. It appeared to me, in that dreamy dimness, whereof the judgment inquireth not and reason hath no power to rebuke it, that while I was still speaking unto those great ones, the several greetings I had poured forth in my fervour,—being as it were flowing lava from the volcano of my heart,—became embodied into mighty cubes of crystal; and in the midst of each one severally flickered its spiritual song, like a soul, in characters of fire. So I looked in admiration on that fashioning of thoughts, and while I looked, behold, the shining masses did shape up, growing of themselves into a fair pyramid: and I saw that its eastern foot was shrouded in a mist,[Pg 141] and the hither western foot stood out clear and well defined, and the topstone in the middle was more glorious than the rest, and inscribed with a name that might not be uttered; for whereas all the remainder had seemed to be earthborn, mounting step by step as the self-built pile grew wondrously, this only had appeared to drop from above, neither had I welcomed the name it bore in that land of spirits; nevertheless, I had perceived the footmarks of Him, with whose name it was engraved, even on the golden sands of that bright world, and had worshipped them in silence with a welcome.

"Thus then stood before me the majestic pyramid of crystal, full of characters flashing heavenly praise; and I gloried in it as mine own building, hailing the architect proudly, and I grew familiar with those high things, for my mind in its folly was lifted up, and looking on my guide, I said, 'O Lady; were it not ill, I would tell my brethren on earth of these strange matters, and of thy favour, and of the love all these have shown me; yea, and I would recount their greetings and mine in that sweet language of the spirits.'—But the glorious Wonder drew back majestic with a frown, saying, 'Not so, presumptuous child of man; the things I have shown thee, and the greetings thou hast heard, and the songs wherewith I filled thee, cannot worthily be told in other than the language of spirits: and where is the alphabet of men that can fix that unearthly tongue,—or how shouldst thou from henceforth, or thy fellows upon earth, attain to its delicate conceptions? behold, all these thine intimates are wroth with thee; they discern evil upon thy soul: the place of their sojourn is too pure for thee.'

"Then was there a peal of thunder, like the bursting[Pg 142] of a world, whereupon all that restless sea of shadows, and their bright abode, vanished suddenly; and there ensued a flood of darkness, peopled with shoaling fears, and I heard the approach of hurrying sounds, with demoniac laughter, and shouts coming as for me, nearer and louder, saying, 'Cast out! Cast out!' and it rushed up to me like an unseen army, and I fled for life before it, until I came to the extreme edge of that spiritual world, where, as I ran looking backwards for terror at those viewless hunters, I leaped horribly over the unguarded cliff, and fell whirling, whirling, whirling, until my senses failed me—

"When I came to myself, I was by the sun-dial in my garden, leaning upon the pedestal, and the thin shadow still pointed to twelve.

"In astonishment, I ran hastily to my chamber, and strove to remember the strains I had heard. But, alas! they had all passed away: scarcely one disjointed note of that rare music lingered in my memory: I was awakened from a vivid dream, whereof the morning remembered nothing. Nevertheless, I toiled on, a rebel against that fearful Power, and deprived of her wonted aid: my songs, invitâ Minervâ, are but bald translations of those heavenly welcomings: my humble pyramid, far from being the visioned apotheosis of that of a Cephren, bears an unambitious likeness to the meaner Asychian, the characteristic of which, barring its presumptuous motto, must be veiled in one word from Herodotus (2-136),—alas! for the bathos of translation, the cabalistic— φηλικος, 'built up of mud.'

"Was not Rome lutea as well as marmorea? and is not beautiful Paris anciently Lutetia, with its tile-sheds for Tuileries, and a Bourbe-bonne for its Sovereign?"[Pg 143]

All these sonnets, with others, were published by me elsewhere, as I state further on. The volume also contains some of my less faulty translations, as from Sappho, Æschylus, Pythagoras, Virgil, Horace, Dante, Petrarch, &c. And here I will give a chance specimen out of my "Septuagint of Worthies," to each one of whom I have appropriated a page or two of explanatory prose besides his fourteen lines of poetry. Take my sonnet on "Sylva" Evelyn:—

"Wotton, fair Wotton, thine ancestral hall,
Thy green fresh meadows, coursed by ductile streams,
That ripple joyous in the noonday beams,
Leaping adown the frequent waterfall,
Thy princely forest, and calm slumbering lake
Are hallowed spots and classic precincts all;
For in thy terraced walks and beechen grove
The gentle, generous Evelyn wont to rove,
Peace-lover, who of nature's garden spake
From cedars to the hyssop on the wall!
O righteous spirit, fall'n on evil times,
Thy loyal zeal and learned piety
Blest all around thee, wept thy country's crimes,
And taught the world how Christians live and die."

The sonnet is a form of metrical composition which has been habitual with me, as my volume "Three Hundred Sonnets" will go to prove; and I have written quite a hundred more. The best always come at a burst, spontaneously and as it were inspirationally. A laboured sonnet is a dull piece of artificial rhyming, and as it springs not from the heart of the writer, fails to reach the heart of the reader. If the metal does not flow out quick and hot, there never can be a sharp casting. Good sonnets are crystals of the heart and mind, perfect from beginning to end, and are only[Pg 144] unpopular where poetasters make a carnal toil of them instead of finding them a spiritual pleasure. But one who knows his theme may write reams about sonneteering; for instance, see that striking article on Shakespeare's sonnets in a recent Fortnightly (or was it a Contemporary?) by Charles Mackay, himself one of our literary worthiest, who has so well worked through a long life for his country and his kind: my best regards to him.

His discovery, or rather ingenious hypothesis, quite new to me, is, that some of the one hundred and fifty-four in that collection are by other writers than Shakespeare, though falsely printed under his name, and that some more (though by him) were written impersonately in the characters of Essex and Elizabeth; which would account for an awkward confusion of the sexes hitherto inexplicable. Mackay thinks that the publisher included any sonnets by others which he thought worthy of the great bard, as if they were his, and so caused the injurious and wrong appropriation; most of them are exquisite, and many undoubtedly Shakespeare's; some I have said probably by another hand. Critically speaking too, not one of all the one hundred and fifty-four is of the conventional and elaborate fourteen-liner sort, with complicated rhymes; but each is a lyrical gem of three four-line stanzas closed by a distich. Milton's eighteen are all of the more artificial Petrarchian sort; which Wordsworth has diligently made his model in more than four hundred instances of very various degrees in merit.

As I am writing a short memoir of my books, I may state that my own small quarto of sonnets grew out of the "Modern Pyramid."[Pg 145]



My next book, published by Bentley in 1841, is in some sort a psychological curiosity,—its title being "An Author's Mind, the Book of Title-pages;" and when I add that it contains in succession sketches of thirty-four new brain-children, all struggling together for exit from my occiput, it may be imagined how impelled I was to write them all down (fixt, however briefly, in black and white) in order to get rid of them. The book is printed as "edited" by me; whereas I wrote every word of it, but had not then the courage to say so, as certain things therein might well have offended some folks, and I did not wish that. I think I will give here a bit of the prefatory "Ramble," to show how the emptying out of my thought-box must have been a most wholesome, a most necessary relief:—

"Now, reader, one little preliminary parley with you about myself. Here beginneth the trouble of authorship, but it is a trouble causing ease; ease from thoughts, thoughts, thoughts, which never cease to make one's head ache till they are fixed on paper; ease from dreams by night and reveries by day (thronging up in crowds behind, like Deucalion's children, or a serried host in front, like Jason's instant army), harassing the brain, and struggling for birth, a separate existence, a definite[Pg 146] life,—ease, in a cessation of that continuous internal hum of aerial forget-me-nots, clamouring to be recorded. O happy unimaginable vacancy of mind, to whistle as you walk for want of thought! O mental holiday, now as impossible to me as to take a true schoolboy's interest in rounders and prisoner's base! An author's mind,—and remember always, friend, I write in character, so judge not as egotistic vanity merely the well playing of my rôle,—such a mind is not a sheet of smooth wax, but a magic stone indented with fluttering inscriptions,—no empty tenement, but a barn stored to bursting—it is a painful pressure, constraining to write for comfort's sake,—an appetite craving to be satisfied, as well as a power to be exerted,—an impetus that longs to get away, rather than a dormant dynamic—thrice have I (let me confess it) poured forth the alleviating volume as an author, a real author, real, because, for very peace of mind, involuntary,—but still the vessel fills,—still the indigenous crop springs up, choking a better harvest, seeds of foreign growth,—still these Lernæan necks sprout again, claiming with many mouths to explain, amuse, suggest, and controvert, to publish invention, and proscribe error. Truly it were enviable to be less apprehensive, less retentive,—to be fitted with a colander-mind, like that penal cask which forty-nine Danaïdes might not keep from leaking; to be, sometimes at least, suffered for a holiday to ramble brainless in the paradise of fools. Memory, imagination, zeal, perceptions of men and things, equally with rank and riches, have often cost their full price, as many mad have known; they take too much out of a man, fret, wear, worry him,—to be irritable is the conditional tax laid of old upon an author's intellect; the crowd of[Pg 147] internal imagery makes him hasty, quick, nervous, as a haunted, hunted man—minds of coarser web heed not how small a thorn rends one of so delicate a texture,—they cannot estimate the wish that a duller sword were in a tougher scabbard,—the river, not content with channel and restraining banks, overflows perpetually,—the extortionate exacting armies of the ideal and the causal persecute my spirit, and I would make a patriot stand at once to vanquish the invaders of my peace. I write these things only to be quit of them, and not to let the crowd increase,—I have conceived a plan to destroy them all, as Jehu and Elijah with the priests of Baal; I feel Malthusian among my mental nurslings; a dire resolve has filled me to effect a premature destruction of the literary populace superfætating in my brain,—plays, novels, essays, tales, homilies, and rhythmicals; for ethics and poetics, politics and rhetorics, will I display no more mercy than sundry commentators of maltreated Aristotle. I will exhibit them in their state chaotic,—I will addle the eggs, and the chicken shall not chirp,—I will reveal, and secrets shall not waste me; I will write, and thoughts shall not batten on me."

The whole volume, as before-mentioned, is an epitome or quintessence of more than thirty works,—perhaps the best being "The Prior of Marrick," a story of idolatry; "Anti-Xurion," a crusade against razors; and "The Author's Tribunal," an oration; but I confess, not having looked at the book since my hair was black (and now it is snow-white), and considering that I wrote it forty-five years ago, I am surprised to find how well worth reading is my old Author's Mind. It may some day attain a resurrection: possibly even, in more than the skeleton[Pg 148] form of its present appearance, muscles and skin being added, in a detailed filling up and finishing of these mere sketches, if only time and opportunity were given to me. But I much fear at my time of life that my Tragedy of Nero must remain unwritten, as also my Novel of Charlotte Clopton, and that thrilling Handbook of the Marvellous; not to mention my abortive Epic of Home, and sundry essays, satires, and other lucubrations which, alas! may now be considered addled eggs. In a last word, I somewhat vaingloriously claim for authorship, as thus:—

The Cathedral Mind.
"Temple of truths most eloquently spoken,
Shrine of sweet thoughts veil'd round with words of power,
The Author's Mind in all its hallowed riches
Stands a Cathedral; full of precious things—
Tastefully built in harmonies unbroken,
Cloister and aisle, dark crypt and aery tower;
Long-treasured relics in the fretted niches
And secret stores, and heaped-up offerings,
Art's noblest wealth with Nature's fruit and flower.
Paintings and Sculpture, Summer's best, and Spring's,
Its plenitude of pride and praise betoken;
An ever-burning lamp shines in its soul;
Deep music all around enchantment flings;
And God's great Presence consecrates the whole!"


In this our day, Agnosticism, if not avowed Atheism, seems to be making great way, and destroying the happiness of thousands. It may be a truth, though partly an unpleasant one, that "he has no faith who never had a doubt," even as "he has no hope who never had a fear." Well, in my short day and in my own small way I seem to have been through everything,[Pg 149] and there was a time when I was much worried with uninvited difficulties and involuntary unbeliefs. Such troublesome thoughts seemed to come to me without my wish or will,—and stayed too long with me for my peace: however, I searched them out and fought them down, and cleared my brain of such poisonous cobwebs by writing my "Probabilities, an Aid to Faith;" a small treatise on the antecedent likelihood of everything that has happened, which did me great good while composing it, and has (to my happy knowledge from many grateful letters) enlightened and comforted hundreds of unwilling misbelievers. The book, after four editions, has now long been out of print; however, certainly I still wish it was in the hands of modern sceptics for their good. The scheme of the treatise is briefly this: I begin by showing the antecedent probability of the being of a God, then of His attributes, and by inference from His probable benevolence, of His becoming a Creator: then that the created being inferior to His perfection might fall, in which event His benevolence would find a remedy. But what remedy? That Himself should pay the penalty, and effect a full redemption. How? By becoming a creature, and so lifting up the race to Himself through so generous a condescension. I show that it was antecedently probable that the Divinity should come in humble form, not to paralyse our reason by outward glories,—that He might even die as a seeming malefactor; this was the guess of Socrates: and that for the trial of our faith there are likely to be permitted all manner of difficulties and mysteries for us to gain personal strength by combating and living them down. Many other topics are touched in this suggestive little treatise, where[Pg 150]anent a few critiques are available; as thus, "The author has done good service to religion by this publication: it will shake the doubts of the sceptical, strengthen the trust of the wavering, and delight the faith of the confirmed. As its character becomes known, it will deservedly fill a high place in the estimation of the Christian world."—Britannia. And similarly of other English journals, while the Americans were equally favourable. Take this characteristic instance, one of many: the Brooklyn Eagle maintains that "the author is one of the rare men of the age; he turns up thoughts as with a plough on the sward of monotonous usage." And Hunt's Magazine, New York, commends "this reasoning with the sceptical, showing that if they consider probabilities simply, then all the great doctrines of our faith might reasonably be expected."

An extract from the book itself, as out of print, may be acceptable, the more so that it takes a new and true view (as I apprehend) of Job and his restored prosperity:—

"One or two thoughts respecting Job's trial. That he should at last give way was only probable: he was, in short, another Adam, and had another fall, albeit he wrestled nobly. Worthy was he to be named among God's chosen three, 'Noah, Daniel, and Job,' and worthy that the Lord should bless his latter end. This word brings me to the point I wish to touch on,—the great compensation which God gave to Job. Children can never be regarded as other than individualities, and notwithstanding Eastern feelings about increase in quantity, its quality is, after all, the question for the[Pg 151] heart. I mean that many children to be born is but an inadequate return for many children dying. If a father loses a well-beloved son, it is small recompense of that aching void that he gets another. For this reason of the affections, and because I suppose that thinkers have sympathised with me in the difficulty, I wish to say a word about Job's children lost and found. It will clear away what is to some minds a moral and affectionate objection. Now this is the state of the case.

"The patriarch is introduced to us as possessing so many camels and oxen, and so forth, and ten children. All these are represented to him by witnesses, to all appearance credible, as dead; and he mourns for his great loss accordingly. Would not a merchant feel to all intents and purposes a ruined man, if he received a clear intelligence from different parts of the world at once that all his ships and warehouses had been destroyed by hurricanes and fire? Faith given, patience follows: and the trial is morally the same, whether the news be true or false.

"Remarkably enough, after the calamitous time is past, when the good man of Uz is discerned as rewarded by heaven for his patience by the double of everything once lost—his children remain the same in number, ten. It seems to me quite possible that neither camels, &c., nor children, really had been killed. Satan might have meant it so, and schemed it; and the singly coming messengers believed it all, as also did the well-enduring Job. But the scriptural word does not go to say that these things happened; but that certain emissaries said they happened. I think the devil missed his mark—that the messengers were scared by some abortive[Pg 152] diabolic efforts; and that (with a natural increase of camels, &c., meanwhile) the patriarch's paternal heart was more than compensated at the last by the restoration of his own dear children. They were dead, and are alive again; they were lost, and are found. Like Abraham returning from Mount Calvary with Isaac, it was the resurrection in a figure.

"If to this view objection is made, that, because the boils of Job were real, therefore similarly real must be all his other evils; I reply, that in the one temptation, the suffering was to be mental; in the other, bodily. In the latter case, positive personal pain was the gist of the matter—in the former, the heart might be pierced, and the mind be overwhelmed, without the necessity of any such incurable affliction as the children's deaths amount to. God's mercy may well have allowed the evil one to overreach himself; and when the restoration came, how double was the joy of Job over these ten dear children!

"Again, if any one will urge that, in the common view of the case, Job at the last really has twice as many children as before, for that he has ten old ones in heaven, and ten new ones on earth,—I must, in answer, think that explanation as unsatisfactory to us as the verity of it would have been to Job. Affection, human affection, is not so numerically nor vicariously consoled—and it is, perhaps, worth while here to have thrown out (what I suppose to be) a new view of the case, if only to rescue such wealth as children from the infidel's sneer of being confounded with such wealth as camels. Moreover, such a paternal reward was anteriorly more probable."[Pg 153]



The origin of the "Crock of Gold" is so well given in a preface, written by Mr. Butler of Philadelphia, for his American edition of my works in 1851, that I choose here to reproduce it, as below. Our cousins over the water were characteristically very fond of the "Crock of Gold," and some editions of "Proverbial Philosophy" were published by them as "by the author of the 'Crock of Gold'" on the title-page, whereof I have a copy. Moreover, it was dramatised and acted at "the Boston Museum, Tremont Street"—a playbill which I have announcing the twenty-first representation, November 1, 1845; the writer sent it to me in MS., where it lies among the chaos of my papers. In England it has been issued five times in various forms, and a printed play thereof as adapted by Fitzball, who wrote for Astley's and the like, was acted (without my leave asked or granted) in November 1847, at the City of London Theatre in the East End: I did not stop it, as on a certain private scrutiny I saw that the influence of the play upon its crowded audiences seemed a good one. Unseen and unknown in a private box I noted the touching effect of Grace's Psalm (ch. viii.) and the sobs and tears all over the theatre that accompanied it; so it was a wisdom not to interfere with such whole[Pg 154]some popularity and wholesale good-doing. It was a fair method of preaching the Gospel to the poor, for that crowd was of the humblest.

The "Crock of Gold" has been translated complete as a feuilleton both in French and German by newspapers; and I have copies somewhere,—but I know not who wrote the French, the German authoress having been the Fraulein Von Lagerström.

What Mr. Butler says in his preface, no doubt after speech with me, for I was his visitor at the time in 1851, is this:—

"All who have had the good fortune to meet Mr. Tupper during his visit here have been struck with his characteristic impulsiveness. In accordance with this feature of his mind, nearly all of his most successful performances have been occasioned by something altogether incidental and unpremeditated—the result of an impulse accidentally—shall we not say, providentially?—imparted. It was so with the first work in this series (four volumes) respecting the composition of which he has given to me in conversation the following account. Some years ago he purchased a house at Brighton. While laying out the garden, he had occasion to have several drains made. One day observing a workman, Francis Suter, standing in one of the trenches wet and wearied with toil, Mr. Tupper said to him in a tone of pleasantry, 'Wouldn't you like to dig up there a crock full of gold?'—'If I did,' said the man, 'it would do me no good, because merely finding it would not make it mine.'—'But suppose you could not only find such a treasure, but might honestly keep it, wouldn't you think yourself lucky?'—'Oh yes, sir, I suppose I should—but,' after a pause, 'but I am not so sure, sir, that it[Pg 155] is the best thing that could happen to me. I think, on the whole, I would rather have steady work and fair wages all the season than find a crock of gold.'

"Here was wisdom. The remark of the honest trench-digger at once set in motion a train of thought in the mind of the author. He entered his study, wrote in large letters on a sheet of paper these words, 'The Crock of Gold, a Tale of Covetousness,' and in less than a week that remarkable story was written. By the advice of his wife, however, he spent another week in rewriting it, and then gave it to the world in its finished state."

In the same Butlerian volume occurs the following MS. notice written by me (in about 1853) respecting the origins of my two other tales, the three being issued together:—

"As in the instance of my 'Crock of Gold,' both 'The Twins' and 'Heart' were undoubtedly the outcome in after years of early observations, anecdotes, and incidents, whereof memory kept in silence an experimental record. Very few artists succeed in the delineation of life without living models; but no good one servilely will betray the forms they rather get hints from than actually copy. Thus though I sketched Roger Acton from one Robert Tunnel, an Albury labourer, and took the cottage near Postford Pond as his home,—adding thereto Mr. Campion's park and house at Danney, near Hurst (I was then living at Brighton) as the model for Sir John Vincent's estate,—as well as Grace, Ben Burke, and so on from persons I I had seen,—I need not say that my sketches from nature were but outlines to my finished work of art. Simon Jennings, however, is an exact portrait of a man[Pg 156] I knew at Brighton. So also with these tales, and others of my writings."

About "The Twins" a curious and somewhat awkward coincidence happened, in the fact that my totally ideal characters of General Tracey and his family were supposed to be intended for some persons whom the cap (it seems) fitted pretty accurately, and who then lived at the southern watering-place I had too diaphanously depicted as Burleigh-Singleton. It is somewhat dangerous to invent blindly. However, my total innocence of any intentional allusion to private matters whereof I was entirely ignorant was set clear at once by an explanatory letter; and so no harm resulted. In the case of "Heart" similarly, I invented the bankruptcy of a certain Austral Bank, which at the time of my tale's publication had no existence,—the very name having been taken some years after. This is another instance of the literary perils to which imaginative authors may be subject; for litera scripta manet, especially if in printer's ink, and, for aught I know, that offhand word might be held a continuous libel. For all else, by way of notice, the stories speak for themselves; as, Covetousness was the text for "The Crock of Gold," while Concealment and False Witness are severally the morale of "The Twins" and "Heart." I once meditated ten tales, on the Ten Commandments, these three being an instalment; and I mentally sketched my fourth upon Idolatry, "The Prior of Marrick," but nothing came of it. The Decalogue hangs together as a whole, and cannot be cut into ten distinct subjects without reference to one another.

In the chapter headed "The find of the Heartless," I find a manuscript note perhaps worth printing here:[Pg 157]

"If I had been gifted with the true prophetic power, hereabouts should my heartless hero have stumbled on a big nugget of gold (I wrote before the Australian gold discovery), even as the shrewd Defoe invented for his Robinson Crusoe in Juan Fernandez, where gold has not yet been found, though it may be. However, I did not originally make the splendid guess, and will not now in a future edition surreptitiously interpolate such a suggestive incident, after the example of dishonest Murphy in his prognostic of that coldest January 7th. It may be true enough that, for my story's sake, I may wish I had thought of such a not unlikely find: for the uselessness of the mere metal to a positively starving man in the desert might have furnished comment analogous to what was uttered by Timon of Athens; and would have been picturesque enough and characteristic withal."

Here may follow a bit of notice for each tale from two critics of eminence,—as copied from one of my Archive-books, for memory is treacherous, and I must not invent. Of the "Crock of Gold" Mr. Ollier wrote as follows:—

"A story of extraordinary power, and, which is a still greater eulogy, of power devoted to a great and beneficent purpose. Mr. Martin Tupper (the author) is already known to the world by his 'Proverbial Philosophy,' and other works which indicate an extraordinarily gifted mind and an originality of conception and treatment rare indeed in these latter days,—but he has never demonstrated these qualities to such perfection as in his present deeply interesting work, wherein romance is united to wisdom, and both to practical utility. Terror is there in its sternest shape—the hateful lust of gold[Pg 158] is shown in all its hideous deformity and inconceivable meanness, and through the awful suspense that hovers over the incidents, occasional gleams of pure and hallowed love come to humanise the darkness. This is cue of the few fictions constructed to stand the shocks of time."

And of the other tales we find the following from the pen of the celebrated Mr. St. John, when he was editor of the Sunday Times. He speaks of the three tales together:—

"In every page of this work there is something which a reader would wish to bear in his memory for ever. For power of animated description, for eloquent reflections upon the events of everyday life, and for soft, touching, pathetic appeals to the best feelings of the heart, these tales are worthy of a place on every library table in the kingdom. They are well calculated to add to the author's already established reputation."

Of this trilogy of tales, undoubtedly the best is the "Crock of Gold:" "The Twins," though written from living models, is very inferior, as the hero is too goody-goody and the villain too hopelessly wicked: "Heart" has more merit, and has been much praised by a celebrated authoress for its touching chapter on Old Maids. Much of it also is autobiographical, as with "The Twins."[Pg 159]



"Æsop Smith's Rides and Reveries" is one of the books which, really written by me from beginning to end, is nominally only edited. It is a volume of self-experiences, to be read "through the lines,"—and almost every incident and character therein is drawn from living models and actual facts. It grew naturally out of the simple circumstance that I used daily to ride out alone on one of my horses—more exactly, mares—Minna and Brenda, and jotted down my cantering fancies in prose or verse when I got home. Hurst & Blackett were its publishers in 1858,—and it soon was all sold off, but did not come to a second edition in London, though reproduced widely in New York and Philadelphia. The fact is that, between an independent publisher who sells a little over cost price, and a Gargantua purchaser of thousands at a time, like Smith or Mudie, the poor author is sacrificed: he has received his fee for the edition (I got £100 for this first and only) and forthwith finds himself dismissed, while the reading public is made glad by easy perusal instead of costly purchase: and thus he is cheated of his second edition. Most authors know how their interests are affected wholesale by that modern system of subscription libraries: but cheapness pleases the voracious multitude,[Pg 160] and so in this competitive free-trade era the units who feed those devourers are swallowed up themselves. However, "what must be, must,"—che sara sara,—and I care not even to complain of what cannot be helped, and wins fame to the one, whilst it does good to the many, though financially unprofitable to individual authorship.

In the scarce copy of "Æsop Smith" now before me, I find a few manuscript notes of mine perhaps worth transcribing. One has it, "This book is actually autobiographical; but (as Rabelais did) I often mix up irrelevant and extraneous matter by way of gilding pills, &c., and that &c. is like one of Coke's upon Littleton, full of hints to be amplified." Further, "Let readers remember that this book was written and published long before recent changes in our laws of marriage and divorce and libel: also when no Englishman dared to go bearded, and no civilian was permitted to be armed. In advocacy of all these things and many more, then unheard of but now common, I was in advance of the age; and in some degree my private notions conduced to very wholesome public changes." Again: "When Rabelais is diffuse, or a buffoon, or worse, it may be to throw disputers off the scent as to his real mark of satire or philosophy. Perhaps, like Liguori, Æsop has written a book for the sake of a sentence, and veils his true intent in a designed mist of all sorts of miscellaneous matter. I shan't tell you clearly, but you may guess for yourselves." The book includes a hundred and thirty original fables, essayettes, anecdotes, tirades, songs, and musings, all of which thronged my brain as I cantered along, and were set down in black and white as soon as I got home. Stay: some were even pencilled[Pg 161] in the saddle,—in especial this, which became very popular afterwards, particularly in the charming musical composition thereof by Mrs. Stafford Bush, and as sung by Mr. Fox at St. James's Hall and elsewhere. It was printed in an earliest edition of my Ballads and Poems (Hall & Virtue), and is headed there, "Written in the saddle on the crown of my hat." I reproduce it here for the sake of that heading, though it occurs also in my extant volume of poems without it:—

The Early Gallop.
"At five on a dewy morning,
Before the blaze of day,
To be up and off on a high-mettled horse,
All care and danger scorning,
Over the hills away,—
To drink the rich sweet breath of the gorse,
And bathe in the breeze of the downs.—
Ha! man, if you can,—match bliss like this
In all the joys of towns!
"With glad and grateful tongue to join
The lark at his matin hymn,
And thence on faith's own wing to spring
And sing with cherubim!
To pray from a deep and tender heart
With all things praying anew,
The birds and the bees and the whispering trees,
And heather bedropt with dew.—
To be one with those early worshippers,
And pour the carol too!
"Then off again with a slackened rein
And a bounding heart within,
To dash at a gallop over the plain
Health's golden cup to win!
This, this is the race for gain and grace,
Richer than vases and crowns;
[Pg 162] And you that boast your pleasures the most
Amid the steam of towns,
Come taste true bliss in a morning like this,
Galloping over the downs!"

Among the most notable prose pieces (though it is of little use to refer my readers to a book hopelessly out of print) there may be selected my panacea for Ireland, to wit, a Royal Residence there to evoke the loyalty of a warm-hearted people,—I called my fable "The Unsunned Corner:" I mean to quote some of it in a future political page of this book. Also other papers, as "Bits of Ribbon," suggesting as just and wise the more profuse distribution of honours,—in particular recommending an Alfred or an Albert Order. Also, many of my Rifle ballads,—whereof, more anon. And "The Over-sharpened Axe"—applicable to modern Boardschool Educationals: and Colonel Jade's matrimonial tirades, all real life: and "The Grumbling Gimlet," a fable on Content, &c. &c. With plenty more notabilia—which those who have the book can turn to if they will.

I could fill many pages with the critiques pro and con this queer book has provoked, but it is useless now that the world has let it die.[Pg 163]



I wrote "Stephan Langton, a Story of the Time of King John," because, 1st, I had little to do in the country; 2dly, I wished to give some special literary lift to Albury and its neighbourhood, more particularly as my story had a geographical connection with Surrey; 3dly, I had the run of Mr. Drummond's library, and consulted there some 300 volumes for my novel: so it was not an idle work though a rapid one; 4thly, I wanted to show that though in a Popish age England's heart, and especially Langton's, was Protestant, quite a precursor of Luther. As this book is extant, at Lasham's, Guildford, I refer my readers to it. One curious matter is that my ideal scenes have taken such hold upon my neighbourhood that streams of tourists come constantly through Albury to visit "The Silent Pool" and other sites of scenes invented by me, and have thereby enriched our village inn and the flymen, as well as given to us a new sort of fame. The book, so cheap in the Guildford edition, was originally published by Hurst & Blackett in 2 vols., illustrated by Cousins: that edition is very scarce now.

The tragedy at the "Silent Pool" and the Auto-da-fé are perhaps the most dramatic scenes in the book,—[Pg 164]as the Robin Hood gathering in Combe Valley is the most picturesque.

I quote a few particulars from one of my diaries. "This book tended to clear my brain of sundry fancies and pictures, as only the writing of another book could do that. Its seed is truly recorded in the first chapter as to the two stone coffins still in the chancel of St. Martha's. I began the book on November 26, 1857, and finished it in exactly eight weeks, on January 21, 1858, reading for the work included. In two months more it was printed by Hurst & Blackett. I intended it for one full volume, but the publishers preferred to issue it in two scant ones; it has since been reproduced by Lasham, Guildford, in one vol., at one-and-sixpence; it was 14s. I consulted and partially read for it (as I wanted accurate pictures of John's reign in England) the histories of Tyrrell, Hollingshed, Hume, Poole, Markland, Thomson's Magna Charta, James's Philip Augustus, Milman's Latin Christianity, Hallam's Middle Ages, Maimbourg's Lives of the Popes, Ranke's Life of Innocent III., Maitland on the Dark Ages, Ritson's Life of Robin Hood, Salmon's, Bray's, and Brayley's Surrey, Tupper's and Duncan's Guernsey, besides the British and National and other Encyclopædias and Dictionaries as required. It was a work of hard and quick and fervid labour, not an idle piece of mere brain-spinning, and it may be depended on for archæological accuracy in every detail. More than thirty localities in our beautiful county Surrey are painted in the book; of other parts of England twelve; of France and Italy twelve; there are more than twenty historical characters honestly (as I judge) depicted; and some fifteen ideal[Pg 165] ones fairly enough invented as accessories: I preferred Stephan to the commoner Stephen, for etymological and archæological reasons: it is clearly nearer the Greek, and is spelt so in ancient records."

King Alfred's own Poems.

One of the rarest of the books I have written (if any bibliomaniac of some future age desires to collect them) must always be "King Alfred's Poems, now first turned into English metres;" for the little volume was privately printed by Dr. Allen Giles, the edition being only of 250 copies, which soon vanished, a few of them bearing Hall & Virtue's name on a new title, and being dated 1850,—the majority hailing from the private press aforesaid. I constructed it purposely for the "Jubilee Edition of the Works of King Alfred," learning as well as I could (by the help of Dr. Bosworth's Dictionary and a Grammar) in a few weeks a little Anglo-Saxon,—and I confess considerably assisted by Mr. Fox's prose translation of Boethius. There are thirty-one poems in all, some being of Alfred's own, but the major part rendered by the wise king out of Latin into the language of his own people to help their teaching. I turned it into English verse in thirty-one different metres, each being as nearly as I could manage in the rhythm of the original: there were no rhymes in those days; alliteration was the only sort of jingle: in the judgment of Mr. Fox and some other Anglo-Saxon critics my version was fairly close, and for the poetical part of my own production at least nothing is of the slipshod order of half rhymes or alternate prose and verse—too common, especially in our hymnology—but honest double rhyming throughout. Without transcribing the little volume[Pg 166] I could not give a true idea of it: but here shall come three or four samples:—

"Lo, I sang cheerily
In my bright days,—
But now all wearily
Chaunt I my lays,—
Sorrowing tearfully,
Saddest of men,
Can I sing cheerfully
As I could then?" &c. &c.

Here is a verse of another:—

"O Thou that art Maker of heaven and earth,
Who steerest the stars, and hast given them birth,
For ever thou reignest upon Thy high throne,
And turnest all swiftly the heavenly zone," &c.

Yet another:—

"What is a man the better,
A man of worldly mould,
Though he be gainful getter
Of richest gems and gold,
With every kind well fillèd
Of goods in ripe array,
And though for him be tillèd
A thousand fields a day?" &c.


"I have wings like a bird, and more swiftly can fly
Far over this earth to the roof of the sky,
And now must I feather thy fancies, O mind,
To leave the mid earth and its earthlings behind," &c.

And for a last word:—

"Thus quoth Alfred—'If thou growest old
And hast no pleasure, spite of weal and gold,
[Pg 167] And goest weak,—then thank thy Lord for this,
That He hath sent thee hitherto much bliss,
For life and light and pleasures past away;
And say thou, Come and welcome, come what may.'"

These are little bits taken casually: to each of the poems I have added suitable comment in prose. Mr. Bohn in his well-known series has added my verse to Mr. Fox's prose Boethius.

The Anglo-Saxon preface to that volume commences thus: "Alfred, King, was the translator of this book: and from book-Latin turned it into Old English, as it is now done. Awhile he put word for word; awhile sense for sense. He learned this book, and translated it for his own people, and turned it into song, as it is now done." His Old English song, that is, Anglo-Saxon alliteration, is all now modernised in this curious little book of English metres. It was well praised by many critics; but at present is out of the market. When I am "translated" myself, all these old works of mine will rise again in a voluminous complete edition.

"The Alfred Jubilee," on that great king's thousandth year, 1848, is one of the exploits of my literary life, undertaken and accomplished by Mr. Evelyn, the brothers Brereton, Dr. Giles, and myself in the year 1848, chiefly at Wantage, where Alfred was born. We arranged meetings and banquets in several places, notably Liverpool, where Mr. Bramwell Moore, the mayor, gave a great feast in commemoration, a medal was struck, the Jubilee edition of King Alfred's works was at least begun at Dr. Giles's private printing-press, whilst at Wantage itself 20,000 people collected from all parts for old English games, speeches, appropriate songs,[Pg 168] such as "To-day is the day of a thousand years" from my pen, collections for a local school and college as a lasting memorial, and—to please the commonalty—a gorgeous procession and an ox roasted whole, with gilded horns and ribbons,—the huge carcase turned like a hare on a gigantic spit by help of a steam-engine before a furnace of two tons of blazing coal; and that ox was consumed after a most barbaric Abyssinian fashion in the open air. My Anglo-Saxon Magazine came out strong on the occasion,—but it is obsolete now; and I care not to use up space in reprinting patriotic indignation: for let me state that, considered as a national commemoration of the Great King, the chief founder of our liberties, this Wantage jubilee was all but a failure; the British lion slumbered, and it was flogging a dead horse to try to wake him up; very few of the magnates responded to our appeal: but we did our best, nevertheless, as independent Englishmen, and locally achieved a fair success.

If I went into the whole story with anecdotical detail, I should weary my reader: let me only reproduce my song at the grand Liverpool banquet, by way of ending cheerily.

The Day of a Thousand Years.
"To-day is the day of a thousand years!
Bless it, O brothers, with heart-thrilling cheers!
Alfred for ever!—to-day was He born,
Day-star of England, to herald her morn,
That, everywhere breaking and brightening soon,
Sheds on us now the full sunshine of noon,
And fills us with blessing in Church and in State,
Children of Alfred, the Good and the Great!
Chorus—Hail to his Jubilee Day,
The Day of a thousand years.
[Pg 169]
"Anglo-Saxons!—in love are we met,
To honour a Name we can never forget!
Father, and Founder, and King of a race
That reigns and rejoices in every place,—
Root of a tree that o'ershadows the earth,
First of a Family blest from his birth,
Blest in this stem of their strength and their state,
Alfred the Wise, and the Good, and the Great!
Chorus,—Hail to his Jubilee Day,
The Day of a thousand years!
"Children of Alfred, from every clime
Your glory shall live to the deathday of Time!
Hereafter in bliss still ever expand
O'er measureless realms of the Heavenly Land!
For you, like him, serve God and your Race,
And gratefully look on the birthday of Grace:
Then honour to Alfred! with heart-stirring cheers!
To-day is the Day of a thousand years!
Chorus,—Hail to his Jubilee Day,
The Day of a thousand years!"

This song was set to excellent music, and went well, especially in the chorus. Several Americans were of our company, in particular, Richmond, a literary friend of mine. At the dinner I had to make a principal speech, and my cousin Gaspard of the Artillery (now General) answered for the Army.[Pg 170]



On the three-hundredth anniversary of Shakespeare at Stratford-on-Avon I contributed an ode, to be found in my extant book of poems. Among the notabilia of the feastings and celebration, I remember how Lord Houghton raised a great laugh by his pretended indignation when the glee singers greeted the guests at dinner as "Ye spotted snakes with double tongue!"—Doubtless it was a Shakespearean old English piece of music,—but stupidly enough selected for a complimentary greeting. My ode was well received, but I'll say no more of that, as it can speak for itself. Lord Leigh made us all very welcome at his splendid Palladian mansion, and there I met Lord Carlisle, then Viceroy of Ireland, who kindly told me that as he had known my father, and knew me, and my son was then in Ireland (he was a captain in the 29th Regiment), he would put him on his staff, as a third generation of the name. I am not sure if this happened, for my son soon was sent elsewhere; and he has long since gone to the Better Land. But Lord Carlisle's kindness was all the same. At the ball I remember Lord Carlisle's diamonds hanging like a string of glass chandelier drops at his button-hole with a Shakespeare favour, and jingling perilously for chippings as[Pg 171] he danced: for size those half-dozen Koh-i-noors must be—foolishly—invaluable.

At Stratford Church, either then or some while after, I strangely was the means of saving Shakespeare's own baptismal font from destruction, as thus: the church had been "restored,"—i.e., all its best patina was polished away; and among the "improvements," I noticed a brand new font. "Where is the old one?" "O sir, the mason who supplied the new one took it away." So I called and found this font—quite sacred in Shakespearean eyes as where their idol had been christened—lying broken in a corner of the yard. Then off I went to the rector, I think it was a Mr. Granville, expostulating; and (to make the matter short) with some difficulty I got the font mended and put back again, as it certainly never should have been removed. I have since been to Stratford, and find that they use the new font, and have put the old one in a corner of the nave.

An odd thing happened to me in the church, where at the vestry I had just signed my name as other visitors did. An American, utterly unknown to me as I to him, came eagerly up to me as I was inspecting that unsatisfactory bust and inscription about Shakespeare, and said, "Come and see what I've found,—Martin Tupper's autograph,—he must be somewhere near, for he has just signed: do tell, is he here?" I rather thought he might be. "I've wished to see him ever since I was a small boy. Do you know him, sir?" Well, yes, a little. "Show him to me, sir, won't you? I'd give ten dollars for his autograph." After a word or two more, my good nature gave him the precious signature without the dollars,—and I shan't easily forget his frantic joy,[Pg 172] showing the document to all around him, whilst I escaped.

Besides a Pindaric Ode to Shakespeare, to be found in my Miscellaneous Poems, wherein many of his characters are touched upon, I wrote the following sonnet, now out of print:—

The Stratford Jubilee.
"Went not thy spirit gladly with us then,
Most genial Shakespeare!—wast thou not with us
Who throng'd to honour thee and love thee thus,
A few among thy subject fellow-men?
Yea,—let me truly think it; for thy heart
(Though now long since the free-made citizen
Of brighter cities where we trust thou art)
Was one, in its great whole and every part,
With human sympathies: we seem to die,
But verily live; we grow, improve, expand,
When Death transplants us to that Happier Land;
Therefore, sweet Shakespeare, came thy spirit nigh,
Cordial with Man, and grateful to High Heaven
For all our love to thy dear memory given."

[Pg 173]



The best of my unpublished MSS. of any size or consequence is perhaps my translation of Book Alpha of the Iliad, quite literal and in its original metre of hexameters: hitherto I have failed to find a publisher kind enough to lose by it; for there are already at least twelve English versions of Homer unread, perhaps unreadable. Still, some day I don't despair to gain an enterprising Sosius; for my literal and hexametrical translation is almost what Carthusians used to call "a crib," and perhaps some day the School Board or their organ, Mr. Joseph Hughes's Practical Teacher, may adopt my version. Its origin and history is this: finding winter evenings in the country wearisome to my homeflock, I used to read to them profusely and discursively. Amongst other books, a literary daughter suggested Pope's Homer; which, as I read, after a little while, I found to be so very free and incorrect a translation (if my memory served me rightly) that I resolved to see what I could do by reading from the original Greek in its own (English) metre. I soon found it quite easy to be both terse and literal; and having rhythm only to care for without the tag of rhyme, I soon pleased my hearers and in some sort myself, reading "off the reel" directly from the Greek into the English.[Pg 174]

This version is still unblotted by printer's ink: if any compositor pleases he is welcome to work on the copy; which I can supply gratis: only I do not promise to do more than I have done, Book Alpha. Life is too short for such literary playwork.

Here followeth a sample: quite literal: line for line, almost word for word: my translation renders Homer exactly. I choose the short bit where Thetis pleads with Jove for her irate son, because I am sure Tennyson must have had this passage in his mind when he drew his word-picture of Vivien with Merlin.

"But now at length the twelfth morn from the first had arrived; and returning
Came to Olympus together the glorious band of immortals,
Zeus the great king at their head. And Thetis, remembering the cravings
Of her own son, and his claims, uprose to the surface of ocean,
And through the air flew swift to high heaven, ascending Olympus.
There she found sitting alone on the loftiest peak of the mountain
All-seeing Zeus, son of Kronos, apart from the other celestials.
So she sat closely beside him, embracing his knees with her left hand,
While with her right she handled his beard, and tenderly stroked it,
Whispering thus her prayer to Zeus, the great king, son of Kronos," &c. &c.

Let that suffice with a cætera desunt.

I need not say that I have written innumerable other, translated pieces, from earliest days of school exercises to these present. There is scarcely a classic I have not so tampered with: and (though a poor modern linguist)[Pg 175] I have touched—with dictionary and other help, a few bits of Petrarch, Dante, &c.; examples whereof may be seen in my "Modern Pyramid," as already mentioned.

Sundry Pamphlets.

My several publications in pamphlet shape may ask for a page or two,—the chief perhaps (and therefore I begin with it) being my "Hymn for All Nations" in thirty languages, issued at the time of the first great exhibition in 1851, due to a letter I wrote to the Bishop of London on November 22, 1850, urging such a universal psalm. Mr. Brettell, a printer, issued this curiosity of typography: for it has all the strange types which the Bible Society could lend; and several other, versions than the fifty published (some being duplicated) are in a great volume before me, unprinted because neither England, nor Germany, nor America could supply types for sundry out-of-the-way languages contributed by missionaries in the four quarters of the world. My hymn was "a simple psalm, so constructed as scarcely to exclude a truth, or to offend a prejudice; with special reference to the great event of this year, and yet so ordered that it can never be out of season." "This polyglot hymn at the lowest estimate is a philological curiosity: so many minds, with such diversity in similitude rendering literally into all the languages of the earth one plain psalm, a world-wide call to man to render thanks to God." Dr. Wesley and several others contributed the music, and the best scholars of all lands did the literature: the mere printing of so many languages was pronounced a marvel in its way; and I have a bookful of notices, of course laudatory, where it[Pg 176] was not possible to find fault with so small a piece of literature. It may be well to give the hymn admission here, as the booklet is excessively scarce.

The title goes—"A Hymn for all Nations," 1851, translated into thirty languages (upwards of fifty versions).

"Glorious God! on Thee we call,
Father, Friend, and Judge of all;
Holy Saviour, heavenly King,
Homage to Thy throne we bring!
"In the wonders all around
Ever is Thy Spirit found,
And of each good thing we see
All the good is born of Thee!
"Thine the beauteous skill that lurks
Everywhere in Nature's works—
Thine is Art, with all its worth,
Thine each masterpiece on earth!
"Yea,—and, foremost in the van,
Springs from Thee the Mind of Man;
On its light, for this is Thine,
Shed abroad the love divine!
"Lo, our God! Thy children here
From all realms are gathered near,
Wisely gathered, gathering still,—
For 'peace on earth, towards men goodwill!'
"May we, with fraternal mind,
Bless our brothers of mankind!
May we, through redeeming love,
Be the blest of God above!"

Beside this, I give from memory a list of others of the pamphlet sort, perhaps imperfect:—

1. "The Desecrated Church," relating to ancient Al[Pg 177]bury,—whereof this matter is remarkable; I had protested against its demolition to Bishop Sumner, and used the expression in my letter that the man who was doing the wrong of changing the old church in his park for a new one elsewhere would "lay the foundation in his first-born and in his youngest son set up its gates" (Josh. vi. 26); and the two sons of the lord of the manor died in succession as seemingly was foretold.

2. "A Voice from the Cloister," whereof I have spoken before.

3. "A Prophetic Ode,"—happily hindered from proving true, only because the Rifle movement drove away those vultures, Louis Napoleon's hungry colonels, from our unprotected shores. There are also in the poem some curious thoughts about the Arctic Circle, its magnetic heat, and possible habitability; also others about thought-reading and the like; all this being long in advance of the age, for that ode was published by Bosworth in 1852. Also, I anticipated then as now—

"To fly as a bird in the air
Despot man doth dare!
His humbling cumbersome body at length
Light as the lark upsprings,
Buoyed by tamed explosive strength
And steel-ribbed albatross wings!"

With plenty of other curious matter. That ode is extinct, but will revive.

4. So also with "A Creed, &c.," which bears the imprint of Simpkin & Marshall, and the date 1870. Its chief peculiarities are summed up in the concluding lines:—

"So then, in brief, my creed is truly this;
Conscience is our chief seed of woe or bliss;
[Pg 178] God who made all things is to all things Love,
Balancing wrongs below by rights above;
Evil seemed needful that the good be shown,
And Good was swift that Evil to atone;
While creatures, link'd together, each with each,
Of one great Whole in changeful sequence teach,
Life-presence everywhere sublimely vast
And endless for the future as the past."

For I believe in some future life for the lower animals as well as for their unworthier lord; and in the immortality of all creation. Some other poems and hymns also are in this pamphlet.

5. My "Fifty Protestant Ballads," published, by Ridgeway, will be mentioned hereafter.

6. "Ten Letters on the Female Martyrs of the Reformation," published by the Protestant Mission.

7 and 8. "Hactenus" and "A Thousand Lines," most whereof are in my "Cithara" and Miscellaneous Poems.

9. A pamphlet about Canada, and its closer union to us by dint of imperialism and honours, dated several years before these have come to pass.

10. Sundry shorter pamphlets on Rhyme, Model Colonisation, Druidism, Household Servants, My Newspaper, Easter Island, False Schooling, &c. &c. Not to mention some serial letters long ago in the Times about the Coronation, Ireland, and divers other topics. Every author writes to the Times.

11. As a matter of course I have written both with my name and without it (according to editorial rule) in many magazines and reviews, from the Quarterly of Lockhart's time to the Rock of this, not to count numerous reviews of books passim, besides innumerable fly-leaves, essayettes, sermonettes, &c. &c., in the Rock and elsewhere.[Pg 179]

12. I was editor for about two years of an extinct three-monthly, the Anglo-Saxon: in one of which I wrote nine articles, as the contributions received were inappropriate. I never worked harder in my life; but the magazine failed, the chief reason being that the monied man who kept it alive insisted upon acceptance when rejection was inevitable.

13. Some printed letters of mine on Grammar, issued in small pamphlet form at the Practical Teacher office; and sundry others unpublished, called "Talks about Science," still in MS.

14. "America Revisited," a lecture, in three numbers, of Golden Hours.

15. Separate bundles of ballads in pamphlet form about Australia, New Zealand, Church Abuses, The War, &c. &c.

Besides possibly some other like booklets forgotten.[Pg 180]



When I returned in the autumn of 1855 from my principal continental tour, wherein for three months I had conducted my whole family of eleven (servants inclusive) all through the usual route of French and Swiss travel,—I committed my journal to Hatchard, who forthwith published it; but not to any signal success,—for it was anonymous, which was a mistake: however, I did not care to make public by name all the daily details of my homeflock pilgrimage. The pretty little book with its fine print of the Pass of Gondo as a frontispiece, nevertheless made its way, and has been inserted in Mr. Gregory's list of guide-books as a convenience if not a necessity to travellers on the same roads, though in these days of little practical use: indeed, wherever we stopped, I contrived to exhaust, on the spot all that was to be seen or done, with the advantages of personal inspection, and therefore of graphic and true description. The book has been praised for its interest and includes divers accidents, happily surmounted, divers exploits in the milder form of Alpine climbing (as the Mauvais Pas, which I touch experimentally at the end of Life's Lessons, in "Proverbial Philosophy," Series IV.), divers grand sights, as the Great Exhibition,[Pg 181] close to which we lived for some weeks in the Champs Élysées, and many pleasant incidents, as greetings with friends, old and new, and other usual memorabilia. Among these let me mention the honest kindliness of Courier Pierre,—always called Pere by my children, with whom he was a great favourite—the more readily because he has long gone to "the bourne whence no traveller returns," so he needs no recommendation from his late employer. This, then, I say is memorable. At Lucerne, as my remittance from Herries failed to reach me, I seemed obliged to make a stop and to return; but Pierre objected, saying it was "great pity not to pass the Simplon and see Milan,—and, if Monsieur would permit him, he could lend whatever was needful, and could be paid again." Certainly I said this was very kind, and so I borrowed at his solicitation:—it was £100, as I find by the journal; our travel was costing us £40 a week. Well, to recount briefly, when, after having placed in our repertoire Bellinzona, Como, Milan, &c. &c., I found myself at Geneva, and with remittances awaiting me, my first act was to place in Pierre's hands £105,—and when he counted the notes, he said, "Sare, there is one five-pound too many."—"Of course, my worthy Pierre, I hope you will accept that as interest."—"Non, Monsieur, pardon; I could not, I always bring money to help my families:"—and he would not. Now, if that was not a model courier, worthy to be commemorated thus,—well, I hope there are some others of his brethren on the office-books of Bury Street, St. James's, who are equally duteous and disinterested. "Some people are heroes to their valets; my worthy help is a hero to me:" so saith my journal. Here's another extract, after two slight earthquakes at[Pg 182] Brieg, and Turtman (Turris Magna);—"Again a bad accident. One of our spirited wheelers got his hind leg over the pole in going down a hill: at once there was a chaos of fallen horses and entangled harness, and but for the screw machine drag locking both hind-wheels we must have been upset and smashed,—as it was, the scrambling and kicking at first was frightful; but Paterfamilias dragged the younger children out into the road, and other help was nigh at hand, and the providential calm that comes over fallen horses after their initiatory struggle was at hand too, and in due time matters were righted: that those two fiery stallions did not kick everything to pieces, and that all four steeds did not gallop us to destruction, was due, under Providence, to the skill and courage of our good Pierre and the patient Muscatelli."—Railways have since superseded all this peril, and cost, and care: and trains now go through the Simplon, instead of "good horses, six to the heavy carriage, four to the light one," pulling us steadily and slowly over it: thus losing the splendid scenery climaxed by the Devil's Bridge: but let moderns be thankful. "Paterfamilias's Diary" has long been out of print, and its author is glad that he made at the time a full record of the happy past, and recommends its perusal to any one who can find a copy anywhere. My friend, the late Major Hely, who claimed an Irish peerage, was very fond of this "Diary," and thought it "the best book of travels he had ever read."


Guernsey is another of the spots where your author has lived and written, though neither long nor much. He comes, as is well known, of an ancient Sarnian[Pg 183] family, as mentioned before. As to any writings of mine about insular matters while sojourning there occasionally, they are confined to some druidical verses about certain cromlechs, a few other poems, as one given below—"A Night-Sail in the Race of Alderney,"—and in chief that in which I "Raised the Haro," which saved the most picturesque part of Castle Cornet from destruction by some artillery engineer. Here is the poem, supposing some may wish to see it: especially as it does not appear in my only extant volume of poems, Gall & Inglis. It occurs (I think solely) in Hall & Virtue's extinct edition of my Ballads and Poems, 1853, and is there headed "'The Clameur de Haro,' an old Norman appeal to the Sovereign, 1850":—

"Haro, Haro! à l'aide, mon Prince!
A loyal people calls;
Bring out Duke Rollo's Norman lance
To stay destruction's fell advance
Against the Castle walls:
Haro, Haro! à l'aide, ma Reine!
Thy duteous children not in vain
Plead for old Cornet yet again,
To spare it, ere it falls!
"What? shall Earl Rodolph's sturdy strength,
After six hundred years, at length
Be recklessly laid low?
His grey machicolated tower
Torn down within one outraged hour
By worse than Vandals' ruthless power?—
Haro! à l'aide, Haro!
"Nine years old Cornet for the throne
Against rebellion stood alone—
And honoured still shall stand,
[Pg 184] For heroism so sublime,
A relic of the olden time,
Renowned in Guernsey prose and rhyme,
The glory of her land!
"Ay,—let your science scheme and plan
With better skill than so;
Touch not this dear old barbican,
Nor dare to lay it low!
"On Vazon's ill-protected bay
Build and blow up, as best ye may,
And do your worst to scare away
Some visionary foe,—
But, if in brute and blundering power
You tear down Rodolph's granite tower,
Defeat and scorn and shame that hour
Shall whelm you like an arrowy shower—
Haro! à l'aide, Haro!"

When my antiquarian cousin Ferdinand, the historian of "Sarnia" and our "Family Records," saw these lines, he positively made serious objection—while generally approving them—against my saying "six hundred years," whereas, according to him, it was only five hundred and ninety-three! he actually wanted me to alter it, or at all events insert "almost,"—so difficult is it to reconcile literal accuracy with poetical rhyme and rhythm. I seem to remember that he wrote to the local papers about this. However, it is some consolation to know that these heartfelt verses forced the War Office to spare Castle Cornet: the Norman appeal by Haro being a privilege of Channel-Islanders to bring their grievances direct to the Queen in council. As I have continually the honour "Monstrari digito prætereuntium" in the rôle of a "Fidicen," I suppose that poetries in such a self-record as this are not positive[Pg 185] bores—they can always be skipped if they are—so I will even give here a cheerful bit of rhyme which I jotted down at midnight on the deck of a yacht in a half-gale off Cherbourg, when going with a deputation from Guernsey to meet the French President in 1850:—

A Night-Sail in the Race of Alderney.
"Sprinkled thick with shining studs
Stretches wide the tent of heaven,
Blue, begemmed with golden buds,—
Calm, and bright, and deep, and clear,
Glory's hollow hemisphere
Arch'd above these frothing floods
Right and left asunder riven,
As our cutter madly scuds,
By the fitful breezes driven,
When exultingly she sweeps
Like a dolphin through the deeps,
And from wave to wave she leaps
Rolling in this yeasty leaven,—
Ragingly that never sleeps,
Like the wicked unforgiven!
"Midnight, soft and fair above,
Midnight, fierce and dark beneath,—
All on high the smile of love,
All below the frown of death:
Waves that whirl in angry spite
With a phosphorescent light
Gleaming ghastly on the night,—
Like the pallid sneer of Doom,
So malicious, cold, and white,
Luring to this watery tomb,
Where in fury and in fright
Winds and waves together fight
[Pg 186] Hideously amid the gloom,—
As our cutter gladly sends,
Dipping deep her sheeted boom
Madly to the boiling sea,
Lighted in these furious floods
By that blaze of brilliant studs,
Glistening down like glory-buds
On the Race of Alderney!"

A few more words as to my Sarnian literaria. Victor Hugo, when resident in Guernsey, had greatly offended my cousin (the chief of our clan) by stealing for his hired abode the title of our ancestral mansion, Haute Ville House: and so, when I called on him, the equally offended Frenchman would not see me, though I was indulged with a sight of the bric-à-brac wherewith he had filled his residence, albeit deprived of access to its inmate. Hugo was not popular among the sixties at that time. Since then, Mr. Sullivan of Jersey published on his decease some splendid stanzas in French, which by request I versified in English: so that our spirits are now manifestly en rapport.

I wrote also (as I am reminded) an ode on the consecration of St. Anne's, Alderney, when I accompanied the Bishop to the ceremony: and some memorable stanzas about the decent expediency of the Bailiff and Jurats being robed for official uniform, since ornamentally adopted; but before I wrote they wore mean and undistinguished "mufti."

I had also much to do on behalf of my friend Durham, the sculptor, in the matter of his bronze statue to Prince Albert,—advocating it both in prose and verse, and being instrumental in getting royal permission to take a duplicate of the great work now at South Kensington.[Pg 187] My cousin the Bailiff, the late Sir Stafford Carey, dated his knighthood from the inauguration of the statue, now one of the chief ornaments of St. Peter's Port,—the other being the Victoria Tower, also a Sarnian exploit.

Isle of Man.

Under such a title as this, "My Life as an Author," that author being chiefly known for his poetry, though he has also written plenty of prose, it is (as I have indeed just said) not to be reasonably objected that the volume is spotted with small poems. Still, I must do it, if I wish to illustrate by verse, or other extracts from my writings (published or unprinted), certain places where the said author has had his temporary habitat: now one of these is the Isle of Man,—where I and mine made a long summer stay at Castle Mona. The chief literary productions of mine in that modern Trinacria, whose heraldic emblem, like that of ancient Sicily, is the Three legs of Three promontories, are some antiquarian pieces, principally one on the sepulchral mound of Orry the Dane:—

"In fifty keels and five
Rushed over the pirate swarm,
Hornets out of the northern hive,
Hawks on the wings of the storm;
Blood upon talons and beak,
Blood from their helms to their heels,
Blood on the hand and blood on the cheek,—
In five and fifty keels!
"O fierce and terrible horde
That shout about Orry the Dane,
Clanging the shield and clashing the sword
To the roar of the storm-tost main!
[Pg 188] And hard on the shore they drive
Ploughing through shingle and sand,—
And high and dry those fifty and five
Are haul'd in line upon land.
"And ho! for the torch straightway,
In honour of Odin and Thor,—
And the blazing night is as bright as the day
As a gift to the gods of war;
For down to the melting sand
And over each flaring mast
Those fifty and five they have burnt as they stand
To the tune of the surf and the blast!
"A ruthless, desperate crowd,
They trample the shingle at Lhane,
And hungry for slaughter they clamour aloud
For the Viking, for Orry the Dane!
And swift has he flown at the foe—
For the clustering clans are here,—
But light is the club and weak is the bow
To the Norseman sword and spear:
"And—woe to the patriot Manx,
The right overthrown by the wrong,—
For the sword hews hard at the staggering ranks,
And the spear drives deep and strong:
And Orry the Dane stands proud
King of the bloodstained field,
Lifted on high by the shouldering crowd
On the battered boss of his shield!
"Yet, though such a man of blood,
So terribly fierce and fell,
King Orry the Dane had come hither for good,
And governed the clans right well;
Freedom and laws and right,
He sowed the good seed all round—
And built up high in the people's sight
Their famous Tynwald Mound;
[Pg 189]
"And elders twenty and four
He set for the House of Keys,
And all was order from shore to shore
In the fairest Isle of the Seas:
Though he came a destroyer, I wist
He remained as a ruler to save,
And yonder he sleeps in the roadside kist
They call King Orry's Grave."

It was at Castle Mona that I first met Walter Montgomery, who read these very lines to great effect at one of his Recitations, and thereafter produced at Manchester my play of "Alfred." He was, amongst other accomplishments, a capital horseman, and when he galloped over the sands on his white horse, he would jump benches with their sitters, calling out "Don't stir, we shall clear you!" It would have required no small coolness and courage to have abided his charge, and though I saw him do this once, I question if he was allowed to repeat the exploit.

In Douglas was also my artist-friend Corbould, visiting at the romantic place of his relatives the Wilsons, who had to show numerous paintings and relics of John Martin, with whom in old days I had pleasant acquaintance at Chelsea and elsewhere. I remember that on one occasion when I asked him which picture of his own he considered his chef-d'œuvre I was astonished at his reply, "Sardanapalus's death,—and therein his jewels." Martin's Chelsea garden had its walls frescoed by him to look like views and avenues,—certainly effective, but rather in the style of Grimaldi's garden made gay by artificial flowers and Aladdin's gems, à la mode Cockayne. At Bishop's Court too we had a very friendly reception from Bishop Powys, and in fact everywhere as usual your confessor found a cordial author's welcome in Mona.[Pg 190]



Sundry of my short lyrics have gained a great popularity: in particular "Never give up," whereof there are extant—or were—no fewer than eight musical settings. Of this ballad, three stanzas, I have a strange story to tell. When I went to Philadelphia, on my first American tour in 1851, I was taken everywhere to see everything; amongst others to Dr. Kirkland's vast institute for the insane: let me first state that he was not previously told of my coming visit. When I went over the various wards of the convalescents, I noticed that on each door was a printed placard with my "Never give up" upon it in full. Naturally I thought it was done so out of compliment. But on inquiry, Dr. Kirkland didn't know who the author was, and little suspected it was myself. He had seen the verses, anonymous, in a newspaper, and judging them a good moral dose of hopefulness even for the half insane, placed them on every door to excellent effect. When to his astonishment he found the unknown author before him, greatly pleased, he asked if I would allow the patients to thank me; of course I complied, and soon was surrounded by kneeling and weeping and kissing folks, grateful for the good hope my verses had helped them to. And twenty-[Pg 191]five years after, in 1876, I, again without notice, visited Dr. Kirkland at the same place, scarcely expecting to find him still living, and certainly not thinking that I should see my old ballad on the doors. But, when the happy doctor, looking not an hour older, though it was a quarter of a century, took me round to see his convalescents, behold the same words greeted me in large print,—and probably are there still: the only change being that my name appears at foot. I gave them a two hours' reading in their handsome theatre, and I never had a more intensely attentive audience than those three hundred lunatics. The ballad runs thus,—if any wish to see it, as for the first time:—

"Never give up! it is wiser and better
Always to hope than once to despair;
Fling off the load of Doubt's heavy fetter
And break the dark spell of tyrannical care:
Never give up! or the burden may sink you,—
Providence kindly has mingled the cup,
And, in all trials or troubles, bethink you
The watchword of life must be Never give up!
"Never give up! there are chances and changes
Helping the hopeful a hundred to one,
And through the chaos High Wisdom arranges
Ever success, if you'll only hope on:
Never give up! for the wisest is boldest,
Knowing that Providence mingles the cup,
And of all maxims the best as the oldest
Is the true watchword of Never give up!
"Never give up! though the grapeshot may rattle
Or the full thunderbolt over you burst,
Stand like a rock,—and the storm or the battle
Little shall harm you, though doing their worst:
[Pg 192] Never give up!—if Adversity presses,
Providence wisely has mingled the cup,
And the best counsel in all your distresses
Is the stout watchword of Never give up!"

I can quite feel what a moral tonic and spiritual stimulant these sentiments would be to many among the thousand patients under Dr. Kirkland's care.

I recollect also now, that once when I read at Weston-super-Mare, with Lord Cavan in the chair, a military man among the audience, on hearing me recite "Never give up," came forward and shook hands, showing me out of his pocket-book a soiled newspaper cutting of the poem without my name, saying that it had cheered him all through the Crimea, and that he had always wished to find out the author. Of course we coalesced right heartily. Some other such anecdotes might be added, but this is enough.

Year by year, for more than a dozen, I have given a harvest hymn to the jubilant agriculturists: they have usually attained the honour of a musical setting, and been sung all over the land in many churches. Perhaps the best of them is one for which Bishop Samuel Wilberforce wrote to "thank me cordially for a real Christian hymn with the true ring in it." There are, or were, many musical settings thereof, the best being one of a German composer.

"O Nation, Christian Nation
Lift high the hymn of praise!
The God of our salvation
Is love in all His ways;
He blesseth us, and feedeth
Every creature of His hand,
[Pg 193] To succour him that needeth
And to gladden all the land.
"Rejoice, ye happy people,
And peal the changing chime
From every belfried steeple
In symphony sublime:
Let cottage and let palace
Be thankful and rejoice,
And woods and hills and valleys
Re-echo the glad voice!
"From glen, and plain, and city
Let gracious incense rise;
The Lord of life and pity
Hath heard His creatures' cries:
And where in fierce oppression
Stalk'd fever, fear, and dearth,
He pours a triple blessing
To fill and fatten earth!
"Gaze round in deep emotion;
The rich and ripened grain
Is like a golden ocean
Becalm'd upon the plain;
And we who late were weepers,
Lest judgment should destroy,
Now sing, because the reapers
Are come again with joy!
"O praise the Hand that giveth,
And giveth evermore,
To every soul that liveth
Abundance flowing o'er!
For every soul He filleth
With manna from above,
And over all distilleth
The unction of His love.
[Pg 194]
"Then gather, Christians, gather,
To praise with heart and voice
The good Almighty Father
Who biddeth you rejoice:
For He hath turned the sadness
Of His children into mirth,
And we will sing with gladness
The harvest-home of Earth."

My "Song of Seventy," published more than forty years ago, has been exceedingly popular; and I here make this extract from an early archive-book respecting it:—"Dr. Stanley, Bishop of Norwich, was so pleased with this said 'Song of Seventy' that he posted off to Hatchards' forthwith (after seeing it quoted anonymously in the Athenæum) to inquire the author's name." It was published in "One Thousand Lines." I composed it during a solitary walk near Hurstperpoint, Sussex, in 1845, near about when I wrote "Never give up."

Of my several ballads upon Gordon (I think there were nine of them) I will here enshrine one, printed in the newspapers of May 1884, and perhaps worthiest to be saved from evanescence:—

"If England had but spoken
With Wellesley's lion roar,
Or flung out Nelson's token
Of duty as of yore,
We should not now, too late, too late,
Be saddened day by day,
Dreading to hear of Gordon's fate,
The victim of delay.
"He felt in isolation
'Civis Romanus sum,'
[Pg 195] And trusted his great nation
Right sure that help would come:
Could he have dreamt that British power
Which placed him at his post,
In peril's long-expected hour
Would leave him to be lost?
"He lives alone for others,—
Himself he scorns to save,
And ev'n with savage brothers
Will share their bloody grave!
Woe! woe to us! should England's glory,
To our rulers' blame,
Close gallant Gordon's wondrous story,
England! in thy shame."

This was half prophetic at the time, and we all have grieved for England's Christian hero ever since.

When Lord Shaftesbury's lamented death lately touched the national heart, I felt as others did and uttered this sentiment accordingly:—

The Good Earl.
"Grieve not for him, as those who mourn the dead;
He lives! Ascended from that dying bed,
Clad in an incense-cloud of human love,
His happy spirit met the blest above;
And as his feet entered the golden door,
With him flew in loud blessings of the poor;
While in a thrilling chorus from below—
Millions of children, saved by him from woe,
With their sweet voices joined the seraphim
Who thronged in raptured haste to welcome him!
"For God had given him grace, and place, and power
To bless the destitute from hour to hour;
And from a child to fourscore years and four,
All knew and lov'd the Helper of the poor,
[Pg 196] O coal-pit woman-slave! O factory child!
O famished beggar-boy with hunger wild!
O rescued outcast, torn from sin and shame!
Ye know your friend—by myriads bless his name!
We need not utter it—The Good, The Great,
These are his titles in that Blest Estate."

I was much touched and pleased with this little anecdote to the purpose. Speaking casually to a bright-looking boy of the Shoeblack Brigade about Lord Shaftesbury (the boy didn't know me from Adam), to find out how far he felt for his lost friend, with tears in his eyes he quoted to my astonishment part of the above, and told me that he and many of his mates knew it by heart, having seen it in some paper. I never said who wrote it (probably he wouldn't have believed me if I had) but left him happy with some pears.

Perhaps I may here add (and all this has been part of "My Life as an Author") a couple of stanzas I wrote, (but never have published till now) on another worthy specimen of humanity, mourned in death by our highest:—

In Memoriam J. B.
"Simple, pious, honest man,
Child of heaven while son of earth,
We would praise, for praise we can,
Thy good service, thy great worth;
Through long years of prosperous place
In the sunshine of the Crown,
With man's favour and God's grace
Humbly, bravely, walked John Brown.
"Faithful to the Blameless Prince,
Faithful to the Widowed Queen,
[Pg 197] Loved,—as oft before and since
Truth and zeal have ever been,—
His no pedigree of pride,
His no name of old renown,
Yet in honour lived and died
Nature's nobleman, John Brown."

Also, I will here give, as it appears nowhere else, a few lines to a dying brother, for the sake of recording his hopeful last three words:—

Dear Brother Dan's Latest Whisper.
"'Life unto life!' This was the whispered word
That from my dying brother's lips I heard
Faintly and feebly uttered, in the strife
Of Nature's agony,—'Life—unto—life!'
Yea, brother! for thou livest; death is dead,
And life rejoiceth unto life instead;
No sins, no cares, no sorrows, and no pains,—
But deep delights, unutterable gains,
Now are thy portion in that higher sphere,
The heritage of God's own children here
Who loved their Lord awhile on earth, and now
Live to Him evermore in love—as thou!"

And in this connection I will print here a psychological poem of mine, not to be found in any other of my books:—

"When the soul passes Eternity's portal,
In that Hereafter of Being Elsewhere,
When this poor earthworm becomes an Immortal,
Risen to Life Incorruptible There;
If in some semblance of spirit and feature,
Still to be recognised one and the same,
Not in its entity quite a new creature,
But as a growth of the world whence it came,—
[Pg 198]
"Oh, what a river of gladness or sadness
Then must gush out from quick memory's well,
Infinite ecstasy, uttermost madness,
As the quick conscience greets Heaven—or Hell!
Whilst he reviews old scenes and past travels,
Grained in himself and engraved on his soul,
As the knit robe of his timework unravels
And his whole life is unmeshed to its goal.
"Yea, for within him, far more than without him,
Works ever following, evil or good,
Happiness, misery, circling about him,
Plant a man's foot in the soil where he stood:
If he was sensual, sordid, and cruel,
Sensual, cruel, and base let him be,
If he have guarded his soul as a jewel,
Holy and happy and blessed be he!
"For that the seeds both of Hell and of Heaven
Darnel or wheat-corn, crowd memory's mart,
And though all sin be repented, forgiven,
Yet recollections must live in the heart:
Still resurrected each moment's each action
Comes up for conscience to judge it again,
Joy unto peace or remorse to distraction,
Growing to infinite pleasure or pain.
"Thy many sins were the ruin of others,
Though the chief sinner's own guilt may be waived:
What! shall the doom of those sisters and brothers
Not be a sorrow to thee that art saved?
Can utter selfishness be God's Nirwana,
Blest—with our brethren of blessing bereft?
Must not His Heaven seem poorer and vainer,
Where one is taken and others are left?
[Pg 199]
"Oh, there is hope in His mercy for ever—
Yea, for the worst, after ages of woe,
Till on this side of the uttermost Never,
Even the devils His mercy may know!
Punished and purified, Justice and Reason
Well would rejoice if the Judge on His throne
Grant His salvation to all in full season,
Ruling, in bliss, all His works as His own.
"Every creature, redeemed and recovered
Through the One sacrifice offered for all,
Where sin and death so fatally hovered,
Mercy triumphant in full o'er the fall!
Thus shall old memories harmonise sweetly
With the grand heavenly anthem above,
As this sad life that was shattered so fleetly,
Then is made whole in the Infinite Love."

It may count as one of my heresies in an orthodox theological sense, but I certainly cling to the great idea of Eternal Hope; and, after any amount of retributive punishment for purifying the "lost" soul, I look for ultimate salvation to all God's creatures. This short and partial trial-scene of ours is not enough to make an end with: we begin here and progress for ever elsewhere. Evil must die out, and good must survive alone for ever.[Pg 200]



Among my many fly-leaves, scattered by thousands from time to time in handbills or in newspapers all over the world, those in which I have praised Protestantism and denounced the dishonesty of our ecclesiastic traitors have earned me the highest meed both of glory and shame from partisan opponents. Ever since in my boyhood, under the ministerial teaching of my rector, the celebrated Hugh M'Neile, at Albury for many years, I closed with the Evangelical religion of the good old Low Church type, I have by my life and writings excited against me the theological hatred of High Church, and Broad Church, and No Church, and especially of the Romanizers amongst our Established clergy. Sundry religious newspapers and other periodicals, whose names I will not blazon by recording, have systematically attacked and slandered me from early manhood to this hour, and have diligently kept up my notoriety or fame (it was stupid enough of them from their point of view) by quips and cranks, as well as by more serious onslaughts, about which I am very pachydermatous, albeit there are pasted down in my archive-books all the paragraphs that have reached me. But, even as in hydraulics, the harder you screw the greater the force, so with my combative nature, the more I am attacked the more[Pg 201] obstinately I resist. Hence the multitude and variety of my polemical lucubrations,—mostly of a fragmentary character as Sibylline leaves: some, however, appear in my "Ballads and Poems" (among them a famous "Down with foreign priestcraft," circulated by thousands in the Midlands by an unknown enthusiast),—and Ridgeway of Piccadilly has published in pamphlet form my "Fifty Protestant Ballads and Directorium," which originally appeared in the Daily News, and The Rock: I have certainly written as many more, and among these one which I will here reproduce as now very scarce, and lately of some national importance: seeing that it was sent by my friend Admiral Bedford Pim to every member of the two Houses of Legislature on the Bradlaugh occasion, and was stated to have turned the tide of battle in that celebrated case.

"So Help Me, God!"
"'So help me, God!' my heart at every turn
Of life's wide wilderness implores Thee still
To give all good, to rescue from all ill,
And grant me grace Thy presence to discern.
"'So help me, God!' I would not move a yard
Without my hand in Thine to be my guide,
Thy love to bless, Thy bounty to provide,
Thy fostering wing spread over me to guard.
"'So help me, God!' the motto of my life,
In every varied phase of chance and change,
So that nought happens here of sad or strange
But 'peace' is written on each frown of strife.
"For Thou dost help the man that honoureth Thee!
Ay, and Thy Christian-Israel of this land
That hitherto hath recognised Thy hand,
How blest above the nations still are we!
[Pg 202]
"Yet now our Senate schemes to spurn aside
(On false pretence of liberal brotherhood)
The Heavenly Father of our earthly good,
Because one atheist hath his God denied!
"What, shall this wrong be done? Must all of us
Groan under coming judgment for the sin
Of welcoming avowed blasphemers in
To vote with rulers who misgovern thus?
"So help us, God! it shall not: England's might
Stands in religion practised and profest;
For so alone by blessing is she blest,
Christian and Protestant in life and light."

To gratify an eminent friend who wished not to exclude Jews and Mahometans from an open profession of godliness as they viewed the question, I altered, in subsequent reprints, the last line, "Christian and Protestant in life and light," to "Loving and fearing God in faith and light:" though personally my sturdy Orangeism inclined to the original. I will in this place give a remarkable extract in a letter to me from Gladstone, to whom my faithfulness had appealed, exhorting him, as I often have done, to be on the right side: we know how he quoted Lucretius on the wrong: against which I wrote a strong protest in the Times. I like not to show private letters,—but this is manifestly a public one. He says: ... "I thank you for your note, and I can assure you that I believe the promoters of the Affirmation Bill to be already on the side you wish me to take, and its opponents to be engaged in doing (unwittingly) serious injury to religious belief." It is strange to see how much intellectual subtlety combined with interested partisanship can be self-deceived, even[Pg 203] in a man who believes himself and is thought by others thoroughly conscientious.

Amongst other of my recent notorious ballads of the polemic sort, I ought to name a famous couple—"The Nun's Appeal," and "Open the Convents"—which were written at the request of Lord Alfred Churchill, and given to Edith O'Gorman, the Escaped Nun (otherwise the excellent and eloquent Mrs. Auffray), to aid her Protestant Lectures everywhere: she has circulated them over the three kingdoms, and is now doing the like in Australia and New Zealand.

In reply to some excellent members of the Romish Church, who have publicly accused me of maligning holy women and sacred retreats, my obvious answer is that I contend against the evil side both of nunneries and monkeries, whilst I may fairly admit some good to be found in both. My real protest is for liberty both to mind and body, and against coercion of any kind, material or spiritual. Given perfect freedom, I would not meddle with any one's honest convictions: "to a nunnery go" if thou wilt; only let the resolve be revocable, not a doom for ever.[Pg 204]



One of my latest publications is that of my "Trilogy of Plays," with twelve dramatic scenes,—issued by Allen & Co., of Waterloo Place. The first of the three, "Alfred," was put upon the stage at Manchester by that ill-starred genius, Walter Montgomery, who was bringing it out also at the Haymarket, a very short time before his lamentable death. He was fond of the play and splendidly impersonated the hero-king, in the opening scene having trained his own white horse to gallop riderless across the stage when Alfred was supposed to have been defeated by the Danes. The vision in act ii. scene i. was thrillingly effective; and the whole five acts went very well from beginning to end, the audience being preternaturally quiet,—which disconcerted me until my theatrical mentor praised the silence of that vast crowd, as the best possible sign of success: they were held enthralled as one man till the end came, and then came thunder. Not thinking of what was expected of me in the way of thanks for the ovation their concluding cheers assailed me with, I got out of the theatre as quick as I could, and was half way to my hotel when two or three excited supers rushed after me with a "Good God, Mr. Tupper, come back, come back, or the place will be torn down!" so of[Pg 205] course I hurried to the front—to encounter a tumult of applause; although I must have looked rather ridiculous too, crossing the stage in my American cloak and brandishing an umbrella! However, no one but myself seemed to notice the incongruity, and as I had humbly obeyed the people's will, they generously condoned my first transgression. I ought to record that my heroine Bertha was charmingly acted by Miss Henrietta Hodgson, now Mrs. Labouchere, who will quite recollect her early triumph in Martin Tupper's first play. My best compliments and kindly remembrance I here venture to offer to her.

The second play, "Raleigh," is very differently constructed; for whereas the time of action in "Alfred" was three days,—that of "Raleigh" was sixty years: in fact with the former I dramatised a single conquest, with the latter the varied battles of a long life. I have several times read all my plays before audiences at my readings, and know the points that tell. In "Raleigh" the introduction of Shakespeare, the cloak incident, the trial scene, Elizabeth's death, and the terrible climax of the noble victim's execution on the stage, seemed chiefly to interest and excite the audience.

I wrote "Washington" principally to please my many friends in America, whither I was going for a second time; but it rather damped me to find, when at Philadelphia during its Grand Exhibition, and was giving "Readings out of my own Works" through the Star Company, that my entrepreneur stoutly objected to my proposal to read this new play of mine, with the remark,—"No, sir, our people are tired of George Washington,—he's quite played out: give us anything[Pg 206] else of yours you like." As he was my financial provider, and paid well, of course I had to acquiesce.

Perhaps the most interesting thing in the play was the account of my discovery of Washington's heraldry: here is part of the passage; the whole being too long to quote: one asks "Coat-of-arms?—what was this coat-of-arms?" and Franklin answers,—

"I'll tell you, friends,
I've searched it out and known it for myself,
When late in England there, at Herald's College
And found the Washingtons of Wessyngton
In county Durham and of Sulgrave Manor,
County Northampton, bore upon their shield
Three stars atop, two stripes across the field
Gules—that is red—on white, and for the crest
An eagle's head upspringing to the light,
It's motto, Latin, "Issue proveth acts."
The architraves at Sulgrave testify,
And sundry painted windows in the hall
At Wessyngton, this was their family coat.
They took it to their new Virginian home:
And at Mount Vernon I myself have noted
An old cast-iron scutcheoned chimney-back
Charged with that heraldry."

In my first American Journal will be found more about this discovery of mine—in 1851—then quite new even to Americans. Here in London, Mr. Tuffley of Chelsea and Northampton has popularised the original coat-of-arms with a view to ornamental jewellery for our Transatlantic cousins.

Among my twelve dramatic scenes, the most appropriate to mention in this volume of personalia, are the two which detail certain perilous matters affecting the lives of two ancient ancestors, the one on my[Pg 207] mother's side, the other on my father's. The latter records the historic incident whereby John Tupper saved the Channel Islands for William and Mary (receiving from them a gold collar and medal, now in our heraldry) and enabling Admiral Russell to win his naval victory at La Hogue. The former shows how nearly an Arthur Devis at Preston paid the penalty of death owing to his strange resemblance to Charles Edward the Young Pretender, for whom the savage Government of the time offered a reward of £30,000 to any one who could catch him alive or dead. My mother's ancestor was thus very nearly murdered in 1745 for his good looks, as a life-sized portrait at Albury, and an ivory miniature here at Norwood, help to prove. If any wish to know more about these matters, I dare say that Messrs. Allen aforesaid have one copy left: if not, consult Mudie, that virtuous philanthropist who benefits the reading public at the cost of the private author.[Pg 208]



My most literary antiquarianism was an article I wrote for the Quarterly Review on Coins, accepted by Lockhart and inserted in one of the Nos. for 1843; he protested that "I could not be the Proverbial Philosopher, as my looks were too like David's,—it must be my father."—No, I replied, it is my father's son. However, when he read and approved my Coin article, he began to be convinced. I give here his letter to me on his acceptance:—

"Sir,—I am at present terribly overburdened with MSS., and know not whether I can send a proof of your paper for some weeks; but I like it much, and it shall be put into type as soon as I can manage. I assure you I am greatly pleased, and sincerely your obliged

"J. G. Lockhart.

"Sussex Place, February 16, 1843."

I expostulated with him as to divers omissions for space' sake, and for some unauthorised alterations; but editors are nothing if not autocratic, as we all know. My article (I find it noted) was written on the numismatic works of Cardwell and of Akerman, and took me ten days in its composition, I tried Lockhart with a second article on "Ancient Gems," but it failed to[Pg 209] please. I never had an interview with him but once, and then he seemed to me brusque and cynical at first, warming a little afterwards. I have written also on Druidism; and the mystery of Easter Island, which I take to be the remains of a submerged Pacific continent, with its deified statues on the top of an extinct volcano. And I have flung my pen into many other mélées of discussion both old and new; for it may be stated as a feature in my literary life that I have had, one after another, all the ologies on my brain, and have personally made small collections of minerals, fossils, insects, and the like: special hobbies having been agates picked up in my rambles on every beach from Yarmouth to Sidmouth, and coins at Roman stations wherever I found them; besides a host of numismatic treasures bought at Sotheby's auction-room, but long since sold again, as well as sundry Egyptian and other antiquities. In particular, the Roman discoveries at Farley Heath in the neighbourhood of Albury were mainly due to my juvenile antiquarianism, when as a student along with Harold Browne (now Bishop of Winchester) we used to search for coins there, and found one happy day a Gallienus: all which I recorded years after in a now scarce booklet, "Farley Heath, and its Roman Remains," published, with illustrations, by Andrews, Guildford. Ultimately the finds of coin (from Nero to Honorius), some being rare and finely patinated, as well as several small bronzes, and old British money, were given by Mr. Drummond (who as lord of the manor employed labourers in the search for many months) to the British Museum, where they fill a niche near the prehistoric room.

Some of our finds were very curious, e.g., we were digging in the black mould of the burnt[Pg 210] huts round the wall-foundations (all above ground of said hectagonal wall having since been ruthlessly utilised by parochial economists in making a road across the heath), and found amongst other spoil a little green bronze ring,—which I placed on the finger of our guest of the day, Mrs. Barclay of Bury Hill: oddly enough it had six angles exactly like one of gold she wore as her wedding-guard. Again; we had picked up some pieces of pottery decorated with human finger-tips,—just as modern cooks do with pie-crust; a son of mine said, perhaps we shall find a dog's foot on some tile,—and just as he said it, up came from the spade precisely what he was guessing at, the large footprint of dog or wolf stamped fifteen centuries ago on the unbaked clay. Again; I was leaving for an hour a labourer in whose industry and honesty I had not the fullest faith. So in order to employ him in my absence, I set him to dig up an old thorn bush and told him to give me when I returned the piece of money he would find under it. To my concealed but his own manifest astonishment, he gave me when I came back a worn large brass of Nero, saying with a scared face, "However could you tell it was there, sir?" I looked wise, and said nothing.

Among the rarest copper coins was one of Carausius (our English Carew), with two heads on it symbolling the ambition of our native usurper to assert empire over East as well as West, and among more treasure-trove was a unique gold coin of Veric,—the Bericus of Tacitus; as also the rare contents of a subterranean potter's oven, preserved to our day, and yielding several whole vases. Mr. Akerman of numismatic fame told me that out of Rome itself he did not know a[Pg 211] richer site for old-world curiosities than Farley; in the course of years we found more than 1200 coins, besides Samian ware, and plenty of common pottery, as well as bronze ornaments, enamelled fibulæ, weapons of war, household implements, &c., both of the old British and the Roman, the Anglo-Saxon, and more recent periods; Farley having been a prætorian station on the Ikenild highway. This is quite a relevant episode of my literary antiquariana. As also is another respecting "My Mummy Wheat," a record of which found its way into print and made a stir many years ago. It grew from seeds given to me by Mr. Pettigrew out of an Amenti vase taken from a mummy pit by Sir Gardiner Wilkinson, and very carefully resuscitated by myself in garden-pots filled with well-sifted mould at Albury; it proved to be a new and prolific species of the semi-bearded Talavera kind, and a longest ear of 8-1/2 inches in length (engraved in an agricultural journal) was sent by me to Prince Albert, then a zealous British farmer.

Here I will add a very interesting letter to me on the subject from Faraday, the original being pasted among my autographs. It will be seen that he excuses having published my letter to him, and refuses to be called Doctor:—

"Royal Institution, June 11, 1842.

"My dear Sir,—Your note was a very pleasant event in my day of yesterday, and I thank you heartily for it, and rejoice with you at the success of the crop. It so happened that yesterday evening was the last of our meetings, and I had to speak in the lecture-room. The subject was Lithotint: but I placed the one ear in the library under a glass case, and after my first subject was over read the principal part of your letter—all that[Pg 212] related to the wheat: and the information was received with great interest by about 700 persons. Our President, Lord Prudhoe, was in the chair, and greatly desirous of knowing the age of the wheat. You know he is learned in Egyptian matters, and was anxious about the label or inscription accompanying the corn. I hope I have not done wrong, but I rather fear your letter will be published, or at least the wheat part, for a gentleman asked me whether he might copy it, and I instantly gave him leave, but found that he was connected with the press, the Literary Gazette. I hope you will not object since without thought on my part the matter has gone thus far. The news is so good and valuable that I do not wonder at the desire to have it,—Ever your obliged servant,

"M. Faraday.

"M. F. Tupper, Esq.,
&c. &c. &c.

"P.S.—I am happy to say that I am plain Mr. Faraday, and if I have my wish shall keep so.—M. F."

An early volume of my so-called "Critica Egotistica" has many letters and printed communications on this subject: but as not being a recognised agriculturist myself, I did not wish it called by my name,—so it is only known in the markets (chiefly I have heard in Essex) as "Mummy Wheat." Talking of declined honours in nomenclature, I may here mention that a new beetle, found by Vernon Wollaston and urged by him to be named after the utterly "unsharded" me (who had however gratified that distinguished entomologist by my poem on Beetles) was respectfully refused the prefix of my name, as scarcely knowing a lepidopt from a coleopt. Ne sutor ultra crepidam. If honour is to be given, let it be deserved.[Pg 213]



Authorship reaps honour in these latter days quite as much as it did in the classic times of Augustus with Virgil and Horace for his intimates, and of Petrarch crowned at the Capitol laureate of all Italy during the vacancy of a popedom in the Vatican. Not but that, with or without any titular distinction, authorship is practically the most noticeable rank amongst us. Many will pass by a duke who would have stopped and waited to have looked at a Darwin when he was in this lower sphere; and I am quite sure that the grand presence of Alfred Tennyson would attract more affectionate homage than that of any other ennobled magnate in the land. As to his title, I was glad that his good taste and wisdom elected to be called by his own honourable patronymic rather than haply Farringford or Hazlemere: how can great names consent to be eclipsed in such obscure signatures as Wantage or Esher, Hindlip or Glossop, Dalling or Grimsthorpe? One gets quite at a loss to know who's who.

My letter to the Times of December 19, 1883, headed "Literary Honours," in praise of Tennyson's elevation to the House of Lords, and showing how in every age all nations except our own have given honours to authors, literally "from China to Peru," elicited plenty[Pg 214] both of approval and of censure from journals of many denominations. As a matter inevitable when Baron Tennyson was gazetted, the less euphonious Tupper was stigmatised in the papers as desiring to be a Baron too,—at all events, the Echo said so, and the Globe good-humouredly observed that "he deserved the coronet." They little knew that in the summer of 1863 (as paragraphs in my tenth volume of "Archives" are now before me to show) the same derided scribe was seriously announced as "about to be raised to the peerage" all over England and America: see two available and respectable proofs in the British Controversialist (Houlston & Wright) for July 1863, p. 79,—and Bryant's Evening Post for September 17, 1863. I name these, as the reverse of comic papers,—and publishing what they supposed true, as in fact was told me by the editors when inquired of. At the time I repudiated the false rumour openly;—with all the greater readiness, inasmuch as I dispute both the justice of hereditary honour and the wisdom of hereditary legislation; to say less of the "res angusta domi" which, in our Mammonite time and clime, obliges money to support rank, even if, as in sundry late cases of raising to the peerage, it does not purchase it.

It is fair also to state as a fact, that when my father for the second time refused his baronetcy, I, as eldest son, gave the casting vote against myself, not to impoverish my four younger brothers,—all now gone before me to the better world,—and that, for reasons mentioned above, I certainly could not take it now. Let this suffice as my reply to some recent sneers and strictures.

As for letters of the alphabet attached to one's[Pg 215] name, almost any one nowadays may have any amount of them by paying fees or subscriptions; in particular, America has given me many honorary diplomas. And for the matter of gold medals, who can covet them, when even the creators of baking-powder and sewing-machines are surfeited therewith. My poor Prussian medal looks small in comparison. And then, as for knighthood, that ancient honour has been lately so abused that vanity itself could scarcely desire it, and even modesty now might hesitate in its acceptance.

Albeit I have thus spoken only incidentally and with seeming carelessness about my Prussian medal, I am reminded that it will interest readers if I here extract the Chevalier Bünsen's letter to me on the occasion. It runs thus in its integrity:—

"4 Carlton Terrace, 26th September 1844.

"My Dear Sir,—I owe you many apologies for not having answered earlier your letter of the 2d of August. The fact is that since that time I have been travelling all over England with the Prince of Prussia. As to your work, I laid it myself before the King, who perused it with great pleasure, when I was at Berlin. I am now charged by His Majesty not only to express to you his thanks for having thought of him in sending him a book replete with so much Christian wisdom and experience, but also to present to you, in his Royal name, the gold medal for science and literature, as a particular sign of regard. The medal will be delivered to you, or a person authorised by you, at the office of the Prussian Legation, any morning from 11 to 1 o'clock, Sunday of course excepted.

"Allow me to avail myself of this opportunity to[Pg 216] renew to you my own thanks and the expression of my high regard, and believe me, yours sincerely,


"M. F. Tupper, Esq."

Accordingly, I called myself and received the medal from the Chevalier, with whom afterwards I had half-an-hour's talk, chiefly about German history, in which by good fortune I was fairly posted, perhaps with a prescience that the ambassador might allude to it.

An author, if he be a good man and a clever, worthy of his high vocation, already walks self-ennobled, circled by an aureola of spiritual glory such as no king can give, nor even all-devouring time, "edax rerum," can take away. He really gains nothing by a title—no, not even Tennyson; as in the next world, so in this, "his works do follow him," and the "Well done, good and faithful" from this lower world which he has served is but the prelude of his welcome to that higher world wherein he hears the same "good and faithful" from the mouth of his Redeemer.


It may be worth a page if I record here sundry inventions of mine, surely bits of authorship, which I found out for myself but did not patent, though others did. As thus:—

1. A simple and cheap safety horse-shoe,—secured by steel studs inserted into the ordinary soft iron shoes.

2. Glass screw-tops to bottles.

3. Steam-vessels with the wheels inside; in fact, a double boat or catamaran, with the machinery amid-ships.[Pg 217]

4. The introduction of coca-leaf to allay hunger, and to be as useful here as in Chili.

5. A pen to carry its own ink.

6. The colouring of photographs on the back.

7. Combined vulcanite and steel sheathing.

There were also some other small matters wherein authorial energy busied itself. But although I had models made of some, and wrote about others, no good results accrued to me. 1. As for the horse-shoes, blacksmiths did not want to lose custom by steel saving the iron. 2. For the glass-stoppers, I had against me all the cork trade, and the wine-merchants too, who recork old wines. 3. The steamers were never tried on a large scale, and models are pronounced deceptive. 4. The coca loses most of its virtues when in a dried state. 5. The pen (I had it made in silver, a long hollow handle ending with a conical point) either grew clogged if the ink was too thick, or emitted blots when too thin. 6. An establishment in Leicester Square has since worked on this idea. 7. I also troubled the Ordnance Office, and had an interview with Sidney Herbert about two more futile inventions! one a composite cannon missile of quoits tied together: another of a thick vulcanite sheathing for ships, over either wood or iron. I have letters on these to and from the office. Briefly, I did not gain fortune as an inventor: though I urged my horse-shoe at least as a valuable thought, and one worth a trial, to save our poor horses on asphalte pavements and in hard frosts. It is a losing game to attempt to force an invention: so many vested interests oppose, and so many are the competitors: moreover, some one always rushes into the pool of Bethesda before you.

I thought also that there might as well be "essence[Pg 218] of tea," as well as of coffee; but nothing came of it. Also amongst other of my addled eggs of invention, I may mention that in my chemistry days as a youth I suggested to a scientific neighbour, Dr. Kerrison, that glass might be rendered less fragile by being mixed in the casting with some chemical compound of lead,—much as now has come out in the patent toughened glass. Also we initiated mild experiments about an imitation of volcanic forces in melting pounded stone into moulds,—as recently done by Mr. Lindsay Bucknall with slag:—but unluckily we found that the manufacture of basalt was beyond our small furnace power: I fancied that apparently carved pinnacles and gurgoyles might be cast in stone; and though beyond Dr. Kerrison and myself, perhaps it may still be done by the hot-blast melting up crushed granite.

Among these small matters of an author's natural inventiveness, I will preserve here a few of the literary class: e.g., (1.) I claim to have discovered the etymology of Punch, which Mark Antony Lower in his Patronymica says is "a name the origin of which is in total obscurity." Now, I found it out thus,—when at Haverfordwest in 1858 I saw over the mantel of the hostelry, perhaps there still, a map of the Roman earthwork called locally Punch Castle; and considering how that the neighbouring hills are named Precelly (Procella, storm) as often drawing down the rain-clouds,—that Caer Leon is Castrum Legionis, and that there is a Roman bridge over the little river there still styled Ultra Pontem—I decided at once that Pontii Castellum was the true name for Punch Castle. Of course, Pontius Pilate and Judas appear in the mediæval puppet-plays[Pg 219] as Punch and Judy,—while Toby refers to Tobit's dog, in a happy confusion of names and dates. The Pontius of the Castle was Prater of the Second Legion. (2.) Similarly, I found out the origin of "Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall," &c., to refer to the death of William the Conqueror (L'homme qui dompte), who was ruptured in leaping a burnt wall at Rouen; being very stout,—"he had a great fall," and burst asunder like Iscariot, while "all the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't set Humpty Dumpty up again." We must remember that the wise Fools of those days dared not call magnates by their real names,—nor utter facts openly: so accordingly (3) they turned Edward Longshanks into "Daddy Longlegs,"—and (4) sang about King John's raid upon the monks, and the consequent famine to the poor, in "Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie," &c.,—the key to this interpretation being "a dainty dish to set before the king," John being a notorious glutton. My friends at Ledbury Manor, where there is a gallery full of my uncle Arthur's Indian pictures, will remember how I expounded all this to them some years ago. In this connection of literary discovery, let me here give my exposition of the mystic number in Revelations, 666,—which, "more meo" I printed thus on a very scarce fly-leaf, as one of my Protestant Ballads not in any book:—

"Here is wisdom—Let him that hath understanding count the number of the Beast—for it is the number of a Man—and his number is six hundred threescore and six."—Rev. xiii. 18.

"Count up the sum of Greek numeral letters
'Kakoi Episkopoi'—bishops all ill;
Strangely I note that those mystical fetters
Bind in their number this mystery still—
[Pg 220] Six hundred threescore and six is the total,
Spelling the number and name of a man,
Chief of bad bishops and lies sacerdotal,
That of all wickedness stands in the van.
"Antichrist! what? can a feeble old creature,
Pope though they style him, be rank'd in his place
As the Goliath in fashion and feature
Warring gigantic with God and His grace?
Is he so great—to be dreaded, abhorrèd,
Single antagonist, braving God's wrath,
Bearing foul Babylon's seal on his forehead,
Chosen Triumvir with Sin and with Death?
"Yea; the presumption of priestly succession
Make the all one a whole Popedom of Time,
So that each head for his hour of possession
Wears the tiara of ages of crime:
Rome is infallible, Rome is eternal,
Rome is unchangeable, cruel, and strong,
Leagued with the legions of darkness infernal,
Crushing all right and upholding all wrong."

Note.—The value of the Greek letters, as numerals, in the two words above, is as follows:—The three kappas = 60, the three omicrons = 210, the three iotas = 30, the two pis = 160, the one sigma = 200, the one epsilon = 5, and the one alpha = 1; in all exactly making 666. This is "a private interpretation" of the writer's own discovery, not to be found elsewhere, and quite as convincing as Lateinos and the inscription on St. Peter's.

My friend Evelyn contributed to the perfection of the discovery. It was he who suggested Kakoi to Episcopoi, to make up the number. There are also some who say that our eccentric Premier's name sums up ominously to the same three sixes.[Pg 221]



My several royal poems, some twenty in number, may deserve a short and special notice; though it is far from my intention to detail any gracious condescensions of a private nature. I may however state, as a curiosity of literature, that the 35th of my "Three Hundred Sonnets," published by Virtue in 1860, is headed "India's Empress," written certainly twenty years before such a title was thought of, even by Lord Beaconsfield in his pupa phase of D'Israeli. As very few have the volume, long out of print, I will here produce that fortunate prophecy; the "way chaotic" is the Sepoy Mutiny:—

"Our Empress Queen!—Victoria's name of glory
Added as England's grace to Hindostan:
O climax to this age's wondrous story,
Full of new hope to India, and to Man
In heathendom's dark places! For the light
Of our Jerusalem shall now shine there
Brighter than ever since the world began:—
Yet by a way chaotic, drear and gory
Travelled this blessing; as a martyr might
Wrestling to heaven through tortures unaware:
Our Empress Queen! for thee thy people's pray'r
All round the globe to God ascends united,
That He may strengthen thee no guilt to spare
Nor leave one act of goodness unrequited."

Another such curiosity of literature may this be[Pg 222] considered: namely, that the same versifier who in his youth fifty years ago saw the coronation from a gallery seat in Westminster Abbey, overlooking the central space, and wrote a well-known ode on the occasion, to be found in his Miscellaneous Poems, is still in full force and loyalty, and ready to supply one for his Queen's jubilee,—whereof words for music will be found anon. Human life has not many such completed cycles to celebrate, albeit I have lately had a golden wedding; alas! in a short month after, closed by the good wife's sudden death: "So soon trod sorrow on the heels of joy!" But I will not speak of that affliction here and now: my present errand is more cheerful.

With reference, then, to the many verses of mine which I have reason to hope are honoured by preservation in royal albums, I wish only to say that if some few have appeared among my other poetries in print, they shall not be repeated here: though I may record that whatever I have sent from time to time have been graciously acknowledged, and that I have heretofore met with palatial welcomes.

Perhaps I may say a word or two about my having for the best part of half a century occasionally made my duteous bow at Court; which I thought it right to do whenever some poetic offering of mine had been received; in particular at the Princess Royal's marriage, when Prince Albert specially invited me to Buckingham Palace, presenting me kindly to the heir of Prussia, and bidding, "Wales come and shake hands with Mr. Tupper" (my genial Prince will recollect it); and above all adding the honour of personal conversation with Her Majesty.

Of these thus briefly: also I might record (but I[Pg 223] forbear) similar condescensions at Frogmore; as also with reference to my little Masques of the Seasons, and the Nations—wherein Corbould was pictorially so efficient, and Miss Hildyard so helpful in the costumes—both at Osborne and at Windsor. In gracious recognition of these Her Majesty gave me Winterhalter's engravings of all the royal children, now at Albury, as well as some gifts to my daughters. The Masques will be found among my published poems.

At Court I frequently met Lord Houghton, known to me in ancient days as Monckton Milnes; and I remember that we especially came together from sympathy as to critical castigation, Blackwood or some other Scotch reviewer having fallen foul of both of us, then young poets (and therefore to be hounded down by Professor Wilson), in an article pasted in an early volume of Archives, spitefully disparaging "Farquhar Tupper and Monckton Milnes."

Until these days every one wore the antiquated Queen Anne Court suit, now superseded by modern garments, perhaps more convenient but certainly not so picturesque. Bagwig and flowered waistcoat, and hanging cast-steel rapier, and silken calves and buckled shoes,—and above all the abundant real point lace (upon which Lord Houghton more than once has commented with me as to the comparative superiority of his or mine,—both being of ancestral dinginess, and only to be washed in coffee)—these are ill exchanged for boots and trousers and straight black sword, and everything of grace and beauty diligently tailored away. When I last attended at St. James's in honour of Prince Albert Victor's first reception, I was, among twelve hundred, one of only three units who paid our respects in the stately fashions[Pg 224] of Good Queen Anne: and I was glad to be complimented on my social courage as almost alone in those antiquated garments, and on my profusion of snow-white hair so suitably suggestive of the powdered polls of our ancestors. I remember my father in powder.

On this last occasion it was, as I have said, especially to pay my respects to the young Prince at his first levée: both he and his father with great kindness cordially shaking hands with the author of the following stanzas. The young Prince stood between his father and his kinsman, the Duke of Cambridge.

"Albert Victor! words of blessing
Bright with omens of the best,
Truly one such names possessing
Shall be throned among the blest;
Albert,—sainted now and glorious,
Long time in his heavenly rest;
Victor,—everyway victorious
Like our Empress east and west!
"Prince! to-day the Court bears witness
How, thy Royal Sire beside,
With due graciousness and fitness,
Dignity devoid of pride,
Thou (thy gallant kinsman near thee)
Dost with homage far and wide,
And the praise of all to cheer thee,
Humbly meet that glittering tide!
"Prince, accept an old man's greeting,
Now some threescore and fifteen,
Who can testify how fleeting
Life and all its joys have been:
I have known thy Grandsire's favour,
And thy Parents' grace have seen;
And I note the same sweet savour
In the Grandson of my Queen!"

As this is the Jubilee year, and I may not live to its completion,—for[Pg 225] who can depend upon an hour?—I will here produce what has just occurred to my patriotism as a suitable ode on the great occasion. If short, it is all the better for music, and I humbly recommend its adoption as libretto to some chief musical composer.

Victoria's Jubilee: for Music.
(Major forte.)
"Rejoice, O Land! Imperial Realm, rejoice!
Wherever round the world
Our standard floats unfurl'd,
Let every heart exult in music's voice!
Be glad, O grateful England,
Triumphant shout and sing, Land!
As from each belfried steeple
The clanging joy-bells sound,
Let all our happy people
The wandering world around,
Rejoice with the joy this jubilee brings,
Circling the globe as with seraphim wings!"
(Minor piano.)
"Lo, the wondrous story,
Praise all praise above!
Fifty years of glory,
Fifty years of love!
Chastened by much sadness,
Mid the dark of death,
But illumed with gladness
By the sun of faith:
What a life, O Nations,
What a reign is seen
In the consummations
Crowning Britain's Queen!"
[Pg 226]
"Riches of Earth, and Graces of Heaven,
God in His love hath abundantly given,
More by a year than seven times seven,
Blessing our Empress, the Queen!
Secrets of Science, and marvels of Art,
Health of the home, and wealth of the mart,
All that is best for the mind and the heart,
Crowded around her are seen.
Honour, Religion, and Plenty are hers,
Peace, and all heavenly messengers,
While loyalty every spirit upstirs
To shout aloud, God save the Queen!"

Here the words end, as brevity is wisdom. But the music, as a majestic finale, might include touches of Rule Britannia, Luther's Hymn, and the National Anthem.

I have asked my friend Mr. Manns if he will set my words to music, but his modesty declines, as he professes to be mainly a conductor rather than a composer; and he recommends me to apply to some more famous musician, as perhaps Sullivan, or Macfarren, or haply Count Gleichen. All I can say is, nothing would be more gratifying to my muse than for either of those great names to adapt my poetry to his melody.

Suitably enough, I may here insert a page as to my own musical idiosyncrasy as a bit of author-life.

Keble is said to have had no ear for a tune, however perfect as to rhyme and rhythm; and there are those who suppose my tympanum to be similarly deficient, though I persistently dispute it. Living (when at Norwood) within constant free hearing of the best music[Pg 227] in the world, at the Crystal Palace, I ought to be musical, if not always so accredited; but I do penitentially confess to occasional weariness in over long repeated symphonies, where the sweet little motif is always trying to get out but is cruelly driven back,—in the endlessness of fugues, and what seems to my offended ear the useless waste of tone and power in extreme instrumentation, and in divers other disinclinings I cannot but acknowledge as to what is called classical music. Accordingly, no one can accuse me of being fanatico per la musica; albeit I am transported too by (for example) Handel's largo in G, by the Prayer in Mosé in Egitto, the Lost Chord, Rossini's Tell, Weber's Freischutz and Oberon, Tannhauser, Semiramide, and all manner of marches, choruses, ballads, and national airs. In fact, I really do like music, especially if tuneful and melodious, in spite of Wagner's apothegm, but some symphonies might be better if curtailed,—except only Schubert's,—but then his best is the Unfinished, and so the shortest. In my youth I learnt the double flageolet, and could play it fairly.

All this (wherein I am but the honest spokesman for many who do not like to confess as much) is introductory in my authorial capacity to this short poem, not long since pencilled in the concert-room and given to Mr. Manns as soon as clearly written. I insert it here very much to give pleasure to one who so continually ministers to the pleasure of thousands; and I hope some day soon to greet him Sir August, as he well deserves a knighthood.

A Music Lesson.
"Marvellous orchestra! concert of heaven,
Mingling more notes than the musical seven,
[Pg 228] Harmonious discords of treble and base
In strange combinations of guilt and of grace—
O whose is the ear that can hear you aright,
And note the dark providence mixt with the light?
Where, where is the eye that is swift to discern
This lesson in music the dull ear should learn,—
That all, from the seraphim harping on high
Down, down to the lowest, fit chords can supply
To the pæan of praises in every tone,
With thunders and melodies circling the Throne!
"We are each a brief note in that wonderful hymn,
And to us its Oneness is hazy and dim;
We hear the few sounds from the viol we play,
But all the full chorus floats far and away:
Our poor little pipe of an instant is drown'd
In the glorious rush of that ocean of sound;
The player hears nothing beyond his own bars,
Whilst all that grand symphony reaches the stars:
Yet, though our piping seems but little worth
It adds to the Anthem Creation pours forth,
And, whether we know it or not, we can give
Not a note more or less in the life that we live.
"Ah me! we are nothing—or little at best—
But duty with greatness the least can invest:
One note on the flute or the trumpet may seem
A poor petty work for ambition's fond dream,—
But what if that note be a need-be to blend
And quicken the score from beginning to end?
To show forth the mind of the Master, who guides
With baton unerring Time's mixture of tides,
The good with the evil, the blessing and bane,
The Amazon rushing far into the main,
Until, from this skill'd combination of notes,
Bound earth to the heavens His overture floats!"

[Pg 229]



A page or two about my connection with the Royal Society may have some small interest. When my father (who had long been a Fellow) died in 1844, I wished to give to the Society his marble bust by Behnes as a memorial of honour to him; but my mother preferred to keep it, as was natural. Meanwhile, however, some of my father's friends, and in particular his old patron, Lord Melbourne, then recently elected, put me up as a candidate, and as I find recorded in my Archive-book, vol. ii., my certificate "was signed by Argyll, Bristol, Henry Hallam, Thomas Brande, Dr. Paris, P.B.C.S., Sir C. M. Clarke, and Sir Benjamin Brodie: in due time I was elected, and on the 8th of May 1845 was admitted by Lord Northampton." At my election occurred this very strange and characteristic incident. There was only one ball against me among twenty-seven for me in the ballot-box; the meetings were then held at Somerset House, the Society on a less numerous scale than at present, and the elections easier and more frequent. When the President announced the result, up jumped Lord Melbourne, begging pardon for his mistake in having dropped his ball into the wrong hole!—an amusing instance of the laissez-faire carelessness habitual to that good-humoured Minister.[Pg 230]

As I have now been more than forty years a Fellow, I ought to be ashamed to confess that I never contributed a Paper to its learned Proceedings; all of which as they come to me I give appropriately enough to the famous Wotton Library, belonging to my excellent friend Evelyn, heir and successor to the celebrated John Evelyn of the Sylva, one of the Society's founders. That I have seldom even read them is also a pitiful truth; for the mysterious nomenclature of modern chemistry, the incomprehensibility (to my ignorance) of the higher mathematics, the hopeless profundity of treatises on the tides, dynamics, electricity, and microscopic anatomicals, are, I am free to avow, worse to me than "heathen Greek," nay (for I can in some sort tackle that), more difficult than the clay tablets of Assyria or a papyrus of Rameses II. So I must confess to being an idle drone among the working bees.

Only thrice have I ventured to ask questions of consequence, scarcely yet answered by the pundits. One regards Spectrum Analysis: How can we be sure that the lines indicative of gases and other elements are not mainly due to the emanations from our own globe, swathed as it is by more than forty miles of an atmosphere impregnated by its own salts and acids in aerial solution? May we not be deducing false conclusions as to the varying lights of stars and nebulæ, if all the while to our vision they are as it were clouded by our own smoke? Telescopes have to pierce so thick a stratum of earth's aura and ether that it is expectable they, would show us only our own composites in those of other worlds. The spectra are varied, I know, but so may be our wrappings of atmosphere from one night[Pg 231] to another. Let this ignorant query suffice about Dr. Huggins' great discovery.

Again, I certainly (after some knowledge of strange facts) could have wished that Mr. Crookes's philosophical spiritualism had met with a more patient hearing than Dr. Carpenter or Mr. Huxley offered at the time; and that Faraday's clumsy mechanical refutation of table-turning had not been considered so conclusive. For there really are "more things in heaven and earth, Horatio," &c., than even your omniscience is aware of; and without pinning faith on Madame Blavatsky, or Mr. Hume, or any other wonder-worker from America or Thibet, there doubtless are petty miracles in what is called spiritualism (possibly some form of electricity) that demand more scrutiny than our materialists will have the patience to vouchsafe: I for one believe in human testimony even as to the miraculous.

For a third and last inquiry: justly indignant at the horrors of Continental vivisection, and especially in our own humane England at Dr. Ferrier's red-hot wires thrust into live monkeys' brains, I have often vainly asked cui bono such terrible cruelty? The highest authorities are at variance with each other as to the practical utility in human therapeutics of experiments upon agonised brutes; but all must be agreed that, so far as morals are concerned, vivisection only hardens the heart and sears the feelings and conscience of doctors who may surround the dying-bed of our dearest, and very possibly make capital of peculiar symptoms in their patient, by experiments transferred from dogs and rabbits to himself! Single votes are useless against the annual list of selected candidates, or I for one would have at all inconvenience testified both at Oxford and[Pg 232] in the Royal Society against the election of a certain Professor whose glory lies in vivisection.

For an appropriate end to these discursive sentences, let me add this poetic morsel in my own vein. Mr. Butler of Philadelphia was quite right in his judgment of my indoles: I "write by impulse on occasion." Here is a very recent instance in point. I had lately visited Mr. Barraud's painted-window works near Seven Dials, and when I told Mr. Herbert Rix, our Assistant-Secretary, of what you may read below, he exhorted me to put it into verse, which I did impromptu, and sent it to him: now thus first printed:—

"I saw the artist in a colour-shop
Staining some bits of glass variously shaped
To map the painted window of a church,
And marvelled that the tintings all seemed wrong;
Red, green, and brown should have been interchanged
To show the colours right. Why did he use
His brush so carelessly, my folly asked.
'Wait for the fire,—the fire will make all right,
The reds and greens and browns will change again,
Fusing harmoniously,' so Knowledge spake;
And thus a thought of wisdom came to me
Touching the truth, how kindly curative
Must be the pains and cares and griefs of life,
For that the furnace of adversity,
Melts to its proper good each seeming ill.
Again, I noticed how the artist chose
Not clear good glass, whether of plate or crown,
But common-looking stuff, bubbled and flawed,
As if selected for its blemishes
Rather than for transparent purity.
'Why not choose better glass to paint upon?'
To this he answered, 'Wouldn't do at all.
My faces mustn't look lifeless and dull,
But, as instinct with motion, light and life,
[Pg 233] Not in enamelled uniformity:
The sunshine cannot sparkle where all's smooth;
I choose the most imperfect panes to make
A perfect, vigorous picture.'—Then I learnt
How wonderfully Providence is pleased
To cause all evil things to help the good;
Nay, deeper, to ordain that good itself
Can scarcely be discerned without the harm
Of some companion-ill; even as gold
Is useless unalloyed; and Very Light
Unshadowed kills, as unapproachable;
And absolute unmitigated good
Alone is Godhead. Every creature here
(In this our human trial-world at least)
Is full of faults and spots and blemishes,
If only to set off his better self,
His talents, graces, excellent good gifts,
Burnt in the fire to brighter excellence
And fused harmonious into perfect man."

I have often thought that our Great Teacher's parables were true pictures of things around Him; He painted from living models, "impulsively and on occasion." The prodigal son, the unjust judge, the rich fool, the camel unladen to pass the narrow tunnel of the needle's eye, the lost sheep, the found piece of money and the like,—all were real incidents made use of by His wisdom, who spake as never man spake, and did all things well.[Pg 234]



It has several times happened to me, as doubtless to others of my brethren, to find that I have been personated, certainly to my considerable discredit. Take these instances. When at Brighton, a fellow had the effrontery to collect money in my name, and I suppose he somewhat resembled me, as I heard more than once that I had been seen here and there, where I undoubtedly was not, and proved an alibi. At Bignor, where I went to see some Roman pavements on the property of a Sussex yeoman of my name (very possibly a German cousin) the owner received me with more than suspicion when I said who I was,—because "the true Martin Tupper had been his guest for a week, and brought him a book he had written," and one of mine then was lying on the table! But I soon made it clear that he had been deceived, and that the real Simon Pure was now before him. Divers other cases might be mentioned; however, perhaps the most curious is this, and I extract the whole statement from one of my scrap-books now before me. It is headed "An anecdote to account for certain slanders," the date being August 1865:—

"I have heard it seriously asserted of me that I am a great pugilist! and very far in conduct and manners from what one might expect, and so forth. Now it has[Pg 235] just come to my knowledge that a sporting publican and dog-fancier, who called his public-house in the Waterloo Road 'The Greyhound' (my crest), and has my name over the lintel, has claimed to be the author, and is supposed to be myself! Mr. Payne (my publisher) told me about the 'pugilist,' and said he had heard it in the clubs that I was a match for Sayers,—as I conclude my sporting namesake is." In America, too, I found that my double lived at Hardwick, Worcester Co., N.Y., and that another Martin hailed from Buffalo. So, like poor Edgar Poe, who had to suffer from the machinations of a profligate brother, who gave Edgar's name whenever he got into a scrape, I may have sometimes been credited with the sins of strangers. No one is free from this sort of calumny. We all have heard of Sheridan's wicked witticism, in that when taken up in Pall Mall for drunkenness, he gave his name Wilberforce; and it is said that he got drunk on purpose to say so! My venerable friend, Thomas Cooper, the pious and eloquent old Chartist, has been similarly confused with Robert Cooper, the atheist, lecturer; not but that Thomas had once been an atheist too. In this connection, here is a curiously complicated case of alibi, which I abstract verbatim from one of my Archive-books.

"On Sunday, the 17th of September 1848, I was all the afternoon and evening at my house on Furze Hill, Brighton, quietly reading and teaching my children, &c. Next day the 'Rev. J. C. Richmond (an American friend) called with me on the Rev. Mr. Vaughan, and in the course of conversation the latter said to me in a good-natured tone of rebuke: 'Some of my congregation tell me they saw you yesterday afternoon smoking a cigar in a fly on the Marine Parade.' I had hardly time[Pg 236] to deny the soft impeachment, which I might well have done with emphasis, as a loather of cigars, and as little as possible a traveller on Sundays, when Richmond broke out with 'That's impossible; for I saw him myself in Shoreham Church (five miles distant), and noticed that he went away in the middle of the sermon, as I supposed, to get home to Mrs. Tupper.' Mr. Richmond says he could have made oath that I had been there, and that he told several persons after church that I 'had heard part of the sermon in the afternoon.' So, upon human and trustworthy evidence, I could have been proved to have been in three places at once."

My fetch similarly once rescued a young lady from death on Snowdon: at least a stranger in company once came up to me, to thank me for my prowess in having stopped his daughter's pony, which had run away down, the mountain!—in vain I denied it:—and he addressed me by my name, too! Somebody must have given him my card by accident.

And let me here allude (if I can without indelicacy) to another sort of personation of more financial importance to myself. Lately, I have seen some not very refined nor considerate paragraphs in American papers (Mr. Bok, a Brooklyn editor, has told me that more than four hundred repeated them) to the effect that in the battle of life I had—truly enough—suffered reverses, and needed material help from my many professing friends. Moreover I have heard it stated that some sort of collection was volunteered for me. Well, this may have been the case or not; but anyhow the fact is (and it should be announced to those who may have given—and wonder at no acknowledgment of their kindness having come from me) that to this hour I[Pg 237] have received nothing from America (except a few dollars sent by one lady, and some more from a Transatlantic relative), either on account of my so-called testimonial, or these more recent paragraphs. The annoyance in my own mind, and in the suspicion of some others round me, is the awkward fancy that sundry small collections may have been intercepted. Possibly some other Martin Tupper has the spoil.

Another sort of dishonest personation whereto we are all liable, whether authors or not, is the having imputed to us divers forged or garbled sentiments, even in the immutability of print, I have now before me a Boston copy of my first Proverbial published by one Joseph Dowe in 1840, which, though stated to be "from the London edition," designedly omits all allusion to the Trinity, even my whole essay thereon, for Mr. Dowe as a Unitarian chose to make me one! Also, I have seen my name attached to verses I never wrote, and have been claimed both by Swedenborgians and Freemasons as a brother, while Jesuitry has otherwise traduced me. Artists also as well as authors are similarly misrepresented; my son-in-law, Clayton Adams, for instance, tells me that his name has been added to landscapes he never painted, and that they sold by auction at high prices. Modern society should punish such cheateries severely.[Pg 238]



Amongst other memorabilia in no particular order, let me set down a few visits, longer than a mere call, to sundry persons and places of note. As these, for instance. Annually during many years I used to be a guest from Thursday to Monday at Farnham Castle, when the good Bishop's venison was in season. Of course, at such a table I constantly met celebrities, but a mere list of their names would be tedious, and any public record of private hospitalities I hold to be improper. No doubt the kindly and courtly Bishop Sumner held high festival like an ancient Baron, at such a rate (for those were golden times from renewed leases for the see) as no successor with a less unlimited income could well afford. The grandeur of Farnham Castle died with him: and my good friend from boyhood, Bishop Harold Browne, must not be blamed if with less than half his means he cannot compete with him.

I was enabled to gratify Bishop Sumner in a way that touched his heart, as thus. A cousin of mine, De Lara Tupper of Rio Janeiro, a rich merchant prince there, sent me, as a present for my Albury greenhouse, two large bales of orchids, which, however, were practically useless to me, as I had not that expensive luxury, a[Pg 239] regular orchid-house. But I knew that the dear Bishop had, and that orchid-growing was his special hobby: accordingly all were transferred to Farnham, and I need not say how gratefully accepted, as many roots proved to be most rare, and some specimens quite unique. The good man gave me, en révanche, a splendid Horace, in white vellum beautifully illustrated, and inscribed by him "Gratiarum actio," now near me in a bookcase. The same South American cousin sent me also a box of pines, oranges, and shaddocks just when Garibaldi was our visitor at Princes Gate,—and I had the gratification of giving many to him, not only because he mainly lived upon fruit, but also because some of the said fruit came from the farm he and his first wife, the well-beloved Anita, had once owned in South America. Later on, Gladstone invited me to meet the hero at a reception in Carlton Gardens, where I took note of Garibaldi, with his hostess on his arm, as he walked in his simple red shirt, through a bowing lane of feathered fashionables, whom he greeted right and left as if he had been always used to such London high life. On that occasion I had the honour of standing between Palmerston and Lord John Russell, who kindly conversed with me, as also did the chief guest, specially thanking me for those pines and oranges.


Another notable visit of some days, was one to Parham, the ancient—and haunted—seat of my old friend both at Charterhouse and at Christ Church, Robert Curzon, afterwards Lord de la Zouche, the great collector of Armenian and other missals and manuscripts. With him (alas! no more amongst us, and his son has[Pg 240] dropped the "de la") I spent a joyful and instructive time: out of doors we fished in the lake and rode about the park among the antlered deer,—three heads and horns whereof are now in our glass-porch entrance at Albury; indoors, there was the splendid gallery of family armour from feudal days,—several suits of which Curzon told me he had tried to wear on some occasion, but couldn't; most were too small for him, though by no means a tall man; and those which he could struggle into were too heavy. Then there was the interminable companion gallery of full-length portraits, some of whom, probably the wicked ancestors, walked! and I'm sure that when I slept in a tapestried chamber under that gallery, I did hear footsteps—could it be, horrible fancy! in procession? When I told Curzon this, he answered that he had often heard them himself, from boyhood, but that familiarity bred contempt: he said also, with a twinkle in his eye, that there was a room which was usually set apart for new-married couples, as such would probably not be so much startled as lonely maids and bachelors might be, at the whispered conversations across the bed! Moreover, evil wings (possibly owls or bats, looking after glow-worm candles) occasionally flapped at the casements. But Curzon was a humorist as well as inventive. Perhaps one secret as to ghosts at Parham lay in the fact that in the old thick walls were concealed staircases and "priests' chambers," which possibly might be of use, even now, to vagrant lovers (like Mr. Pickwick at Ipswich), or perhaps sleep-walkers,—or burglarious, thieves. Anyhow, I liked to lock my bedroom door there,—as indeed I do generally elsewhere, if lock and key are in good agreement; for once I couldn't get out[Pg 241] without the surgical operation of a carpenter, having too securely locked myself in. This shall not happen twice, if I can help it. Curzon's great glory, however, was his library, full of rarities: he showed me, amongst other MSS., his unique purple parchments, with gold letter types, being (if I remember rightly) Constantine's own copy of the New Testament; and, to pass by other curios, some tiny Elzevirs uncut: imagine his horror when I volunteered to cut these open for him!—their chief and priceless wonder being that no eye has ever seen, nor ever can see, the insides of those virgin pages! I know there is such a rabies as bibliomania,—and I have myself, at Albury, a "breeches" Bible, which belonged to a maternal ancestor, a Faulkner, of course valued beyond its worth as a readable volume; and I might name many other instances; but to esteem a book chiefly because it has never been cut open, did strike my ignorance as an abnormal fatuity. Curzon was one of our Aristotelians, as before mentioned.

Other Visits.

I am also mindful of a very pleasant week spent long ago at Shenstone's Leasowes, a beautiful estate near Birmingham, now being dug up for coal even as Hamilton is, where in those days some good friends of mine resided, of whom (now departed like so many others) I have most kindly recollections. The hostess, a charming and intelligent lady of the old school, wearing her own white ringlets, used to have many talks with me about Emanuel Swedenborg, a half-inspired genius whom she much favoured; the host, a genial county magnate, did his best to enable me to catch trout where Shen[Pg 242]stone used to sing about them, and tried to interest me in farm improvements: but my chief memory of those days is this. Whilst I was there, a splendid testimonial in silver arrived in a fly from Birmingham, well guarded by a couple of police against possible roughs, the result of a zealous gathering from his political supporters; and that Testimonial, "little Testy" as I called it, was a source of care and dilemma to everybody; for care, it was immediately locked away for fear of burglars; and as to dilemma, the white elephant was too tall for the centre of a table, and too short to stand upon the floor. It seemed closely to illustrate to my mind that wise text about a man's life and his possessions. The cheerful spirit of the mansion and its inmates seemed quite subdued by this unwelcome acquisition. When at the Leasowes, I produced some suitable poems which were very kindly received: here is one of them, hitherto unprinted.

An Impromptu Sonnet.
Ticked of at the Leasowes, Aug. 24, 1857, as per order.
"And so you claim a verse of me, good friend,
As from the inspiration of the place;
Well then,—from pastoral trash may taste defend
Your pleasant Leasowes, and the human race!
The Gentle Shepherd's day has had an end,
Nor even could melodious Shenstone here
(False and inflated, we must all allow),
Excite one glowing thought or pensive tear
Unless indeed of wrath or pity now:
Yet dearly can I love these tumbling hills
With roughly wooded winding glens between,
Set with clear trout pools link'd by gurgling rills
And all so natural and calm and green,
That served to enervate your Poetaster
But only strengthen now their Iron Master."

I will also record a hospitable sojourn in old days at Northwood Park,[Pg 243] the splendid abode of Isle-of-Wight Ward (grandfather to my school and college friend Ward of the Aristotle class and Oxonian persecution), where I once spent a week in my father's time: and similarly a visit at Lord Spencer's perfect villa near Ryde: and at other pleasant homes, made to me frequently welcome, the chief being Wotton, the classic mansion of one of my oldest friends.

Also long ago,—see a former page,—I purposely dismissed with only a word our lengthened visits in my father's day at Inveraray Castle with the old Duke of Argyll, and Holkar Hall with Lord George Cavendish, as private domesticities,—whilst a casual other few as at Ardgowan, Rozelle, Herriard, Losely, and the like, gratefully on my memory, shall be thus briefly recorded here: Ardgowan is the magnificent abode of my friend Sir Michael Shaw-Stewart, after whose grandmother as my sponsor I am named Farquhar; Rozelle, the hospitable mansion of Captain Hamilton, where I sojourned many days, meeting the élite of Ayr, and among them the aged niece of Burns in the poet's own country; Herriard House, my old school-friend Frank Ellis's heritage under his name of Jervoise, and Losely—"of the manuscripts," where I have often visited my late excellent friend James More Molyneux.

Of course, like everybody else who may be lifted a trifle above the crowd, I have experienced, almost annually, the splendid hospitalities of the Mansion House and most of the City Companies: may they long continue, and not be spunged away by Radical meanness! all classes are united and gratified thereby, for the poorest get the luxurious leavings, and the feasts are[Pg 244] paid for by benefactors long departed from the scenes of their successful merchandise. All that seeming prodigality and luxury have good uses. But I will mention (of course without the hint of a name or place) one only instance of excessive splendour, quite needless and to my mind vulgar. A great magnate (not a royalty, I need hardly say) invited four guests to dine with his home party; the four were my father and mother, my brother Dan and myself, humble guests enough; and yet behind each of twelve chairs stood a gorgeous flunkey in powder and bright livery, with my lord's gentleman superadded in undertaker's evening trim, while the Earl himself wore his star and garter! Of course too the buffet and the table were loaded, with resplendent plate. That, scene of ostentation has been on the gray matter of my brain ever since young manhood, and I relieve myself now of the reminiscence for the first and last time. In another page I speak of Prince Astor's pure gold service when I dined with him at New. York; and I have grateful memory of the almost palatial splendour wherewith a rich publisher entertained his guest at his castle under Arthur's Seat; but in every case (and I might name others) my heart's aspiration has been, "Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me." Mr. Vanderbilt was not happy with his millions; neither probably is poor Jack without a shot in his locker.[Pg 245]



In such a record of personals as this, it is fortunate both for the author and his readers if he has never been one of those literary lions who are merely histrionic creatures of society. It is a privilege not to have to reproduce the common small-talk of ball-rooms and garden-parties, nor to be obliged to make the most, after a semi-libellous fashion, of after-dinner scandals, or gossip in the smoking-room. Not having heard them he cannot well report racy anecdotes, whereof sundry memoirs have been too full. In the happier condition of a partial anchoritism I have escaped clubs, London seasons, and country mansion gaieties; as a youth and to middle manhood a stammerer, I would not willingly court the humiliations of chattering society, and thereafter, up to to-day, a domestic country gentleman of literary pursuits, I have avoided (as far as possible) fashionable gatherings of every sort, social, theological, or political. Not that I abjure—it is far otherwise—any kind of genial intercourse with my fellows; a few friends are my delight, but I never would belong to a club, though sometimes specially tempted by indulgence as to terms (more than once having been offered a free and immediate entry), nor to any society or charity that expected of me personal publicity or active service,—albeit, once,[Pg 246] and once only, I had to figure as a reluctant chairman at Exeter Hall. Privacy has ever been my preference; whence it will clearly be inferred how much I have had to sacrifice in the way of self-denial when forced by circumstances to enact the "old man eloquent" before assembled hundreds, sometimes thousands, as a public reader. People who have made themselves acquainted with my "Proverbial Philosophy" may remember that my Essay on Speaking contrasts the misery of the man who cannot speak with the happiness of the emancipated orator, and I have experienced them both; whilst it may be seen in what I have written about silence and seclusion how cordially and perhaps foolishly, as "wearing my heart on my sleeve," I have shown that I greatly love to be alone, especially in what I am known to call "holy silence;" in fact, as ill-nature may like to put it, I prefer my own quiet company to that disturbed by the talk of other people. So much, then, as to one cause for the scantiness in this self-memoir of expected spicy anecdotes and perilous revelations. Not but that I could make considerable mischief, and perhaps help my publisher in sales, if I chose to make the most of the many celebrities, both American and English, with whom I have had intercourse both at Albury and elsewhere. My humble hospitalities and the constant welcome I have given to strangers, have been like their author, proverbial; but that is no reason why our converse, free and frank as private fellowship commands, should be produced in print; naturally the host was ever generous, and the guest—equally, of course—appreciative.

Perhaps though, not quite always: and I am tempted here to say just one unpleasant word about the only one[Pg 247] of my many American guests, hospitably, nay almost affectionately treated, who wrote home to his wife too disparagingly of his entertainer, his son having afterwards had the bad taste to publish those letters in his father's Life. One comfort, however, is that in "The Memoirs of Nathaniel Hawthorne," that not very amiable genius praises no one of his English hosts (except, indeed, a perhaps too open-handed London one), and that he was not known (any more than Fenimore Cooper, whom years ago I found a rude customer in New York) for a superabundance of good nature. When at Albury, Hawthorne seemed to us superlatively envious: of our old house for having more than seven gables; of its owner for a seemingly affluent independence, as well as authorial fame; even of his friends when driven by him to visit beautiful and hospitable Wotton; and in every word and gesture openly entering his republican and ascetic protest against the aristocratic old country; even to protesting, when we drove by a new weather-boarded cottage, "Ha, that's the sort of house I prefer to see; it's like one of ours at home." That we did not take to each other is no wonder. This, then, is my answer to the unkindly remarks against me in print of one who has shown manifestly a flash of genius in "The Scarlet Letter;" but, so far as I know, it was well-nigh a solitary one.

One further curious illustration of an uncongenial guest is this: Alexander Smith wrote a "Life Drama," full of sparkling poetic gems, which at once made him popular, apparently with justice enough. I asked him down to Albury, made much of him, praised warmly sundry morceaux of his (which I had marked in my copy), and to my astonishment received the brusque[Pg 248] reply, "O, you like those, do you? I shall alter them in next edition:" as I found afterwards he did. He was a common-looking man, with a rough manner, and a squint. As he seemed upset,—though why I could not guess,—I tried in other ways to please him; as, by a ramble in the woods and a drive in the waggonette: but all would not do,—his day came to an end as gloomily as it began. Long after, I stumbled upon the reason. I had then for the first time read Bailey's "Festus," and found some passages therein very similar to Alexander's; thereafter, other little bits from some other poets (I think Tennyson was one) struck me. Little wonder, then, that I heard no more of Smith,—who clearly had thought himself found out,—and so received my first ignorance of his plagiaristic tendency as if I had known all about it: and years after Aytoun had (as I was told) avenged justice by that cleverest of spasmodic poetries, "Firmilian, by Percy Jones"—a burlesque on Alexander Smith, and a book which the world has too willingly let die. Let no one, however, after all this, fancy that I am unaware of Alexander Smith's true merit. He very neatly fitted into his mosaic word-pictures the titbits he had culled in his commonplace-book out of many poets, and so utilised them. A self-made and self-taught man, "elbow to elbow," as he told me, "with Jack, Tom, and Harry in a workshop," as a designer of patterns, he had well and wisely made the most of his scant opportunities of culture, and it is only a pity that he did not allude to something of this in a preface.

It is not for me to recall here much about the inevitable hospitalities of an old country house, to which a not unkindly host often invited English and foreign[Pg 249] friends, whom something to do with authorship had made celebrities. Do I not pleasantly remember the jolly haymaking, when old Jerdan, calling out, "More hay, more hay!" covered Grace Greenwood with a haycock overturned, and had greeted a sculptor guest appropriately and wittily enough with "Here we are, Durham, all mustered!" the "we" being besides others, Camilla Toulmin, George Godwin, and Francis Bennoch? Do I not remember how much surprised we were at the melodies whereof an old piano was capable when touched by Otto Goldsmidt? Can I forget, also, how marvellously a young Canadian, Joseph Macdougall, of Ottawa, extemporised on the same piano as only a genius can (Mr. Assher was another), and sent me afterwards, as a memory, a vast volume of American photographs, whereof he had munificently prepaid the enormous sum of £6, 18s. for postage? And was not our village stirred to its depths by the visit to Albury House of two black gentlemen and a blue,—all in evening dress?

It was President Roberts of Monrovia, attended by his secretary and chief minister; for they came cordially to return thanks to one who had helped a little in slave emancipation, under the influences of Elliott Cresson, Dr. Hodgkin Garrison, and others,—and, moreover, had given a gold medal for African literature, biennially to be competed for by emancipated slaves;—whereof I have heard very little, since (by the volunteered assistance of Mr. Taylor, the seal engraver) I gave it many years ago: the medal was as large as a crown piece. President Benson, also of Liberia, a magnificent ebon specimen of humanity, visited me with his staff, not long before his lamented death—it was said, by murder.[Pg 250]

Let me add now a word of kindly memory for some good friends long gone to a better world, but once welcome guests at Albury. There was Benjamin Nightingale, the enthusiastic antiquary; there was his fidus Achates, Akerman, secretary to the Numismatic, whom I greatly pleased by enabling him to catch a trout near my carriage gate; there was Chief Baron Pollok, head of the Noviomagians: the eloquent Edwards Lester of America, whose speech at a Literary Fund dinner to which I had treated him was hailed by Hallam, Dickens, and others on the spot as the speech of the Society: and the Warrens of Troy, N.Y., about whose casual visit this singular thing happened. For the first and only time in life I had had the strange luck to catch at Netley Pond three perch of nearly a pound each, and a fine trout of about two: I little knew then the final cause thereof: in those days we could not easily get fish in the country, unless indeed we caught it: now my eminent Transatlantic stranger friends came on a Friday, and proved to be Roman Catholics: could any piscatorial luck have been more timely?

When a few days after I told of my sport to a neighbour (it was Captain Russell of the Cleveland family), a great angler, he, of course, without imputation of my veracity, hinted that he wished I might have such luck again, as he would then come and dine with me. I answered at once, "Come to-morrow, and see what I may have caught." He did,—and I produced from the same old mill-head a three-pound trout,—to his astonishment, as it had been my own to have caught it. I have never had such luck before or since, though always a zealous angler in an unprofessional way.

Let me not forget here also the beautiful "Albury[Pg 251] Waltz," composed in my drawing-room by Miss Armstrong, and published—it must be twenty years ago now—by Robert Cocks, New Burlington Street: wherein by request I originated the idea of song words for the dancers. This singing as you danced has been often done since, but I suppose no one then thought of it but myself since King David. I need say little more about Albury visitors:—for many years there were plenty of them,—but if one put down a tenth part of what even the faithless memory of old age still retains, there would be no end to such inexhaustible recordings.

And here is an Alburian anecdote which may amuse, as illustrative of the mental calibre of some of those myriads of untutored rustics whom our partisan governors have made politically equal with the wisest in the land. Three young friends came to spend a day with us, and for fun brought in their pockets the absurd noses popular at Epsom races. We came upon some turf-diggers, and my visitors mounted their masks to mystify them. The clodpoles looked scared and very quiet, till I went up to one of them who knew me,—of course I was in my natural physiognomy,—and I said to him, "My friend, these are foreigners:" and the poor ignoramus staring at those portentous noses said seriously, "Ees, I sees they be." Clearly he thought all "furriners" were so featured.

Another specimen of agricultural intelligence is this: A labourer in my field one day said to me, "Master, please to tell me where Jerusalem is, because me and my mates have been disputing about it, and I says as its in Ireland, because the Romans goes there!" He meant the Roman Catholics! and he might have heard also that St. John's Pat-mos was in fact an Irish bog,[Pg 252] Pat's-moss: many of our legislative constituency being found to believe that.

But not only is the common labourer thus dense: take these two instances of country guests at my table. One whom I had asked to meet two Americans told me of his disappointment at not finding them—red men! And another (this time a provincial parson) wanted me to expostulate with my friend Hatchard (afterwards Bishop of Mauritius) because he meditated in his philanthropy giving a drinking fountain to Guildford. "Only think, a drinking fountain! surely you cannot approve?" The poor man supposed it was one of those pumping apparatuses for spirits presided over by barmaids! It is manifest that the schoolmaster was not so much abroad a few years ago as he has been since board schools have arisen.

Amongst other specialities of ancient Albury House, which has 1561 on a weathercock and 1701 on a kitchen wing, is the same peculiarity which Tennyson told me at Farringford vexes him in his own less ancient dwelling,—and which Pindar of old declared to be the privilege of poets. We are, and have been for generations, a very house-hive of bees: the whole front of two gables has them under its oak floors and panelled walls throughout,—and when guests sleep in certain rooms they have to be forewarned that the groans at midnight are not those of perturbed spirits, but the hum and bustle of multitudinous bees. We cannot drive them away, nor destroy them utterly,—as often has been attempted; and if we did, the worry would be only worsened, as in that case hornets would come and succeed to the sweet heritage of bee-dom. When the stuccoed front of our house was demolished, to show the oaken[Pg 253] pattern (but it had to be re-roughcast to keep out the weather), there were pailsful of honey carried off by the labourers, of course not without wounds and strife: but in ordinary times it is a strange fact that our bees never sting their hosts; be careful only to remain quiet, and there is no war between man and bee. Two years ago a great comb was built outside an eaveboard, probably because there was no room for more comb inside. It is curious that it should have survived two hard winters. Is not all this apposite, as suited (let Pindar and Tennyson bear witness) to a poet's home?

In this zoological connection (for bees are zoa) let me record that there is a legend of a fox having been killed in our drawing-room (on the ground-floor with French windows) during some tenancy in my absence,—only fancy the havoc of such a strife! but all had been cleared up before our return. Also, it is memorable (and I saw it myself) that a hard-pressed stag from Sir Gilbert Heathcote's hunt took refuge in our harness-room,—to the extreme horror of a gardener's boy, who thought it was a mad donkey,—and no wonder, for as those brave barbarian sportsmen get the antlers sawn off for fear of wounds to themselves or their nobler dogs, the poor scared creature with its uncrowned head and loppity ears is very donkey-like.

Let me give another like homely anecdote of past days.

We are all now so wrapt in security as country dwellers, guarded by the rural police everywhere, that the following ludicrous incident may seem hardly worth a word; but in the good old days, when poor Jack was such a highway brigand that my nurses feared to take the children off the premises, and when burglars were[Pg 254] not infrequent callers at remote residences, what happened long ago, on a certain dark winter's night, at Albury, may amuse. Long after all had gone to bed, we heard with trepidation stealthy steps crunching the snow round the house, and something that now and then touched the ground-floor doors and windows, as if quietly trying to get in: at last it fumbled at the ancient hanging handle of the outside kitchen-door! Now was the time for Paterfamilias to show his pluck, in the universal scare; so, armed cap-a-pied, with candles held in the rear by the terrified household, he valorously drew the bolts and flung open the heavy oaken door,—to greet—his children's donkey, escaped somehow from its stable, and trying to get indoors that cold night for warmth. Laugh as we might, and as you may, the test of courage was all the same; and if this donkey story is pounced upon by some critic or comic as a weak link in my chain of autobiography, I only hope he will behave as bravely if a real ruffian tries his doors and windows by night; by no means an improbable hypothesis in these days of communistic radicalism.

The old house itself may deserve a word. It came to me as a—shall I say?—matrimony, from my mother; if patrimony means from a father, why not matrimony from a mother? her great-uncle, Anthony Devis, having bought it in 1780. He was a remarkable man in his way and before his age; a good landscape painter (as Pilkington avouches), a collector of pictures and curiosities,—mostly sold by executors at his death, aged eighty-nine, though a full gallery remains at Albury; a carver too, and a constructor of cabinets,—whereof two fine specimens (inlaid with brecciated jaspers, and made[Pg 255] of ebony and cedar from his own turning-lathe) decorate our large drawing-room; and the oldest folk in our village still remember the good old gentleman who always had gingerbread in his pockets for them as children, and who was known by them as the "man mushroom," seeing he was the first who ever had an umbrella in the place! There was, however, another and a better reason for this name, inasmuch as he built for himself an outer painting-room on a hilltop near which he called Mushroom Hall, because it was just like one (as a picture in our drawing-room testifies), being a circular turret surmounted by a flat broad dome, with overshadowing eaves all round. This strange summer-house has long vanished.

Anthony came of a good old stock paternally, as the civic archives of Preston, in Lancashire, testify; and his mother was Ann Blackburne, of Marrick Abbey, Yorkshire,—the title-deeds whereof, old slip parchments and maps from Henry II. to Henry VIII., I found in a chest at Albury, and years after transmitted them to Lord Beaumont, the present owner; albeit, as a boy, I had been allowed to cut off the seals and paste them in a copy-book! All these deeds, and the history thereof, I had printed in Nichols's Antiquariana.

The prominent feature of our village, so far as religion is concerned, has for nearly fifty years been the fact of its being the headquarters of the party originated by Edward Irving,—a full history whereof, impartially and ably written by Mr. Miller of Bicester (whose hospitality I have enjoyed for some days at Kineton), will be found at Kegan Paul's, if any wish to read it. I have always lived on kindly terms with my neighbours, though not[Pg 256] quite of their faith; excellent are many of them, and I am glad to number such among my friends, specially as on neither side we meddle with each other's peculiar opinions. I have known nearly all their twelve apostles, men of mark and learning (especially John Tudor, a great Hebraist, and who was skilled even in Sanscrit and the arrow-headed characters), and eleven of them are among the dead, one only surviving in a vigorous old age to meet (may it be so) the Lord at His coming.[Pg 257]



My American Ballads, perhaps after "Proverbial Philosophy," the chief cause of my Transatlantic popularities, had their origin at Albury. The first of these and the most famous, as it induced several friendly replies from American poets, was one whereof this below is the first stanza. I wrote it in 1850, and read it after dinner to four visitors from over the Atlantic to their great delectation, and of course they sent MS. copies all over the States. It begins—

To Brother Jonathan.
"Ho! brother, I'm a Britisher,
A chip of heart of oak,
That wouldn't warp or swerve or stir
From what I thought or spoke;
And you—a blunt and honest man,
Straightforward, kind, and true,
I tell you, brother Jonathan,
That you're a Briton too!"

I would copy more here, but as the whole ballad (equally with the two just following) is printed in my Miscellaneous Poems and still extant at Paternoster Square, I refer my reader thereto if he wants more of it. The next of note was one headed "Ye Thirty Noble Nations," and is remarkable for this strange fact, viz., that I composed about the half of those eighteen eight-[Pg 258]line stanzas in a semi-slumber. I was as I thought asleep, but I got out of bed and pencilled the ballad (or most of it, for I added and amended afterwards) straight off, and went to bed again, of course to sleep profoundly; when I got up next morning and found the MS. on my table, it seemed like a dream, but it wasn't. Those who are curious may look out this piece of "quasi inspiration" in that poem-book aforesaid. But here is the opening verse for those who cannot get the volume in bulk:—

"Ye thirty noble Nations
Confederate in one,
That keep your starry stations
Around the Western sun,—
I have a glorious mission,
And must obey the call,
A claim!—and a petition!
To set before you all."

The claim being love for Mother Britain; the petition for freedom to the slave. It was published in 1851.

A third is chiefly noticeable for this. America had since my last address to her as "Thirty Nations" added three more States; and I was challenged to include them: which I did as thus; here are three of the Stanzas in proof:—

"Giant aggregate of Nations,
Glorious Whole of glorious Parts,
Unto endless generations
Live United, hands and hearts!
Be it storm or summer weather,
Peaceful calm, or battle jar,
Stand in beauteous strength together,
Sister States, as Now ye are!
[Pg 259]
"Charmed with your commingled beauty
England sends the signal round,
'Every man must do his duty'
To redeem from bonds the bound!
Then indeed your banner's brightness
Shining clear from every star
Shall proclaim your joint uprightness,
Sister States, as Now ye are!
"So a peerless constellation
May those stars together blaze!
Three and ten-times threefold Nation
Go ahead in power and praise!
Like the many-breasted goddess
Throned on her Ephesian car,
Be—one heart in many bodies,
Sister States, as Now ye are!"

There are also several other like balladisms, and sundry sonnets, all of which I had from time to time to greet my American audiences withal. And thus before I paid my visits over there, the land was salted with ore and the water enriched with ground-bait, so that when the poetaster appeared he was welcomed by every class as a promoter of International Kindliness.[Pg 260]



A vast volume is before me containing my first American journal, which I sent over piecemeal in letters and newspaper clippings to Albury, where my wife and daughters arranged them and kept them safely, till on my return after three months travel I pasted them duly into this big book. If I were to record a tithe of the myriad memorabilia there entered, the present volume now in progress would not afford space even for a tithe of that: and after all, the result would only appear as a record of numerous private hospitalities (which I object to making public), of sundry well-appreciated kindnesses, compliments, and tokens of honour from stranger friends in many cities, and the numerous incidents that a tourist visitor ordinarily experiences; most of which, although paragraphed in a gossiping fashion through hundreds of the 3000 American papers, are not worth recording here. In fact, I look at this enormous volume with despair,—the more so that there is its other equally bulky brother about my second visit,—and so intend to give only some samples of both. The world is too full of books, and does not call out for another American Journal. The main social interest of my two visits consisted in the contrast shown between the one in 1851 and that in 1876, just a quarter of a century after; between in fact[Pg 261] the extreme drinking habits of one generation and the extreme temperance of another: mainly due, amongst other causes, to the overflowing prosperities of the middle of this century and the comparative adversities of its declining years. "Jeshurun once waxed fat, and kicked,"—but since then he has become one of the "lean kine:" wines and spirits were formerly in abundance as well as hard dollars, but have now been replaced by the cheaper water and discredited paper. Moreover, such shrewd and caustic writers as the Trollopes and Dixon and Charles Dickens have done great good service to their sensible and sensitive American brothers,—who, far from resenting strictures which for the moment stung, took the best advantage of their utterance in self-improvement. My first visit was hospitably redolent of all manner of seductive drinks,—wherein, however, I was (as they thought) too temperate; my second was as hospitably plentiful so far as eating went, but iced water (wherein I was temperate too) appeared solitarily for the universal beverage: though even in the most teetotal homes this English guest was always generously allowed his port or Madeira or even his whisky if he wished it. Temperance was a fashion, a furore, on my second visit, as its opposite had been on my first: and on each occasion, I persisted in a middle course, the golden mean,—which I know to be proverbially a wisdom though not at present universally so accepted.

It is hopeless for me to look through the multitudinous large quarto pages of my first diary and its letters, comments, paragraphs, &c.; they are only too full of compliments and kindnesses from friends in many instances passed away: and I will simply record two or three of the more public hospitalities which greeted me.[Pg 262]

One of these was a grand dinner with the Maryland Historical Society at Baltimore, May 13, 1851, my late friend Mr. Kennedy in the chair as president, while Sir Henry Bulwer and myself supported him right and left, some hundreds of other guests also being present. Of course all was very well done, luxuriously and magnificently; but perhaps the best thing I can do (if my reader's patience and my present tired penmanship will approve it) is to extract from a newspaper, the Baltimore Clipper of the above date, a précis of my speech on the occasion. Some distinguished gentleman having proposed my health,—"This brought to his feet Mr. Tupper, who, having expressed his thanks in an appropriate manner, and acknowledged his superior gratitude to the Author of all good, alluded to that international loving-kindness which he avowed to be one main errand of his life; and he very happily brought in Horace's prophetical description of England and America in their relation of mother and child, 'O matre pulchrâ filia pulchrior.' He followed by relating some striking incidents of the good feeling which pervades the old country in favour of her illustrious offspring. One we cannot fail to give was that the Royal Naval School at Greenwich had inserted his well-known ballad 'To Brother Jonathan' in a collection published for the use of the Royal Navy. The speaker then paid an eloquent compliment to the literature of America—her poets, statesmen, historians, and divines. He rejoiced that 'Insular America and Continental England' were so intimately and inseparably intermingled in the authorial productions of the human mind, as well as bound together by the strongest ties of nature and religion, of lineage, laws, and language. Adverting to the[Pg 263] wise piety of such associations as the one before him, he exhorted to keep together the records of the past, that they may sanctify the present and be an encouragement to good and a warning against evil for the future. He commented severely upon the vandal act of the British troops under General Ross in burning the national archives at Washington. In this connection he introduced the beautiful lines from Milton:—

'Lift not thy spear against the Muse's bower;
The great Emathian conqueror bid spare
The house of Pindarus, when temple and tower
Went to the ground.'

In conclusion, Mr. Tupper related an interesting fact, which in his mind suggested what should be to Americans a pleasing idea—possibly a discovery—as to the origin of the national flag. On making a pilgrimage just lately to Mount Vernon, he was forcibly struck by the circumstance that the ancient family coat-of-arms of the illustrious Washington consisted of three stars in the upper portion of the shield, and three stripes below; the crest represented an eagle's head, and the motto was singularly appropriate to American history, 'Exitus acta probat.' Mr. Tupper said he could not but consider this a most interesting coincidence. He thought the world might well congratulate America upon being the Geographical Apotheosis of that great unspotted character, who, while he yet lived, was prospectively her typical impersonation. The three stars by a more than tenfold increase have expanded into thirty-three; the glorious Issue has abundantly vindicated every antecedent fact; and your whole emergent eagle, fully plumed, is now long risen from its eyrie and soars sublimely to the sun in heaven." I may venture as an[Pg 264] end to all this to quote a bit from my home letter. "At 6 o'clock, and thereafter till 12, I was the honoured guest at the enclosed splendid banquet. Our English ambassador sat on one side of the chairman and I on the other; the newspaper will save me all the trouble of a long account; but it was altogether one of the best triumphs I have ever achieved: see the papers. My dinner was very light, terrapin soup, paté de foie gras aux truffes, and sweetbread: with a deluge of iced water, and very little wine. My two speeches raised whirlwinds of applause, and took the company by storm. It was a most important opportunity for me, and, by God's help, I met it manfully. All the principal people of Maryland were there, besides our own minister; with Lady Bulwer in a side room and that nice young fellow Lytton; and there were many other distinguished strangers. You should have heard the shouts and cheers which greeted the points of my speech, and the after congratulations crowded about me. I begin to feel that if I had had common chances I should have been an orator. When I kindle up, my steam-horse goes off, and carries all his audience with him. While I was speaking, the people moved up en masse, and they gave me three cheers upstanding when I had done."

Another memorable event was a grand dinner given to Washington Irving and myself, as chief guests amongst others, by Prince Astor at his palatial residence in New York. As for the profusion of gold plate, glittering glass, innumerable yellow wax-candles in ormolu chandeliers, and general exhibition of splendid and luxurious extravagance, and all manner of costly[Pg 265] wines and rarest gourmandise, I never have seen its like before or since; and more than this (if I may state the fact without much imputation of vaingloriousness), the intellectual treat was, to my amour propre at least, of a still more exquisite character, when our host protested to his company in a generous and genial speech that, if he could make the exchange, he would give all his wealth for half the literary glory of Washington Irving and Martin Tupper! We whispered to each other we heartily wished he could. I strangely missed visiting Irving at his own home, though urgently invited to it; but somehow other pressing engagements hindered, and so it was not to be.

On the same day with the Astorian dinner, Mr. Davis, a man of high social position, had urged me to dine with him, but I could not come as engaged till the evening. Now he, a local poet himself, had asked me in divers stanzas of fair rhyme; and so, not willing either to beat him in versification or to let him beat me, I made this epigrammatic reply in dog-Latin, which was taken to be rather 'cute:—

"Certes, amice Davis,
Ibo quocunque mavis,
Sed princeps Astor primo
Me rapuit ad prandium;
Cum me relinquit, imo
In me videbis handyum."

This skit was well appreciated. I met at his house divers celebrities, as indeed I did at many other splendid mansions, especially at the Mayor's, Mr. Kingsland: I hear he is the third personage in rank in the United States, and he lives with the grandeur of our London Lord Mayor. I went with him on the 22d of March[Pg 266] 1851 to one of the most magnificent affairs I ever attended. Here is an extract from my home-letter journal of same date:—

"Mr. Kingsland, the Mayor, came early to invite me to a grand day, being the inauguration of the Croton Waterworks. Went off with him at 10 from the City Hall in a carriage and four followed by forty new omnibuses and four, some with six horses, and caparisoned with coloured feathers and little flags, besides a number of private carriages; a gay procession, nearly a mile long, containing all the legislature and magnates of New York State and of the city—several hundreds." They visited in turn divers public institutions, and at most of them I had to speak or to recite my ballads, especially at a Blind Asylum, where, after an address from a blind lady (the name was Crosby), "at the request of the Governor of the State and the Mayor, I answered on the spur of the moment in a speech and a stave that took the room by storm," &c. &c. And so on for other institutions, and to the opening of the Croton Aqueduct. But there is no end to this sort of vainglorious recording. As Willis says in his Home Journal at the time, "Mr. Tupper is among us, feeling his way through the wilderness of his laurels, and realising his share of Emerson's 'banyan' similitude,—the roots that have passed under the sea and come up on this side of the Atlantic rather smothering him with their thriftiness in republican soil." I suppose by thriftiness he meant thrivingness.

My first acquaintance with N. P. Willis arose in this, way. He had (as I have mentioned before) been in the habit of quoting month after month in his own paper passages from my "Proverbial Philosophy," believing[Pg 267] that book to be an obscure survival of the Shakespearean era, and that its author had been dead some three centuries. When he came to town, I called upon him at his lodging near Golden Square, walking in plainly "sans tambour et trompette" but simply announcing the then young-looking author as his old Proverbialist! I never saw a man look so astonished in my life; he turned pale, and vowed that he wouldn't believe that this youth could be his long-departed prophet; however, I soon convinced him that I was myself, and carried him off to dine in Burlington Street. Afterwards we improved into a friendship till he went the way of all flesh in Heaven's good time.

Perhaps another notable matter to record is that President Fillmore invited me to meet his Cabinet at dinner in the White House, and that I there "met and conversed immensely with Daniel Webster, a colossal unhappy beetle-browed dark-angel-looking sort of man, with a depth for good and evil in his eye unfathomable; also with Home Secretary Corwen, a coarse but clever man, who had been a waggon-driver; and with Graham, Secretary of the Navy, and with Conrad, Secretary at War, both gentlemen and having lofty foreheads; and with many more, including above all the excellent President," &c. &c. It was no small honour to meet such men on equal terms.

If I allowed myself to quote more from my first visit to America, it could only amount to variations of the same theme,—the great kindness of all around me to one, however humble, who had shown himself their friend both by tongue and pen. My books and my ballads had made the way to their affections, and so the author thereof reaped their love.[Pg 268]

A little before my departure on this first visit this notable matter happened, and I will relate it in an extract from my last letter homeward.

"The happy thought occurred to me to call on Barnum, as I had brought him a parcel from Brettell; and, through him, to leave a card of respect for Jenny Lind. Barnum received me most graciously, and favoured me with two tickets for Jenny's concert to-night, whereof more anon. Meanwhile I thought of sending to Jenny, through Barnum, a pretty little copy of 'Proverbial Philosophy,' with a pretty little note,—whereof also more anon. Called on Edwards by good providence, and found that J. C. Richmond had misled me—he isn't to be married till next week. A nice visit to Major Kingsland and his good wife:—I find that my oratory has gone everywhere, and has made quite a sensation. Think of my stammering tongue having achieved such triumphs.—I do hope you get the papers I send. A card at Lester's, Union Hotel, as to Mary M. Chase.—Dined.—A full feast of reason with George Copway, the Redman chief, a gentleman, an author, and a right good fellow. Meeting also Gordon Bennett, the great New York Heraldist, who sat next me at dinner, when we had plenty of pleasant talk together; also Squier, the celebrated American Layard, who has discovered so much of Indian archæology, a small, good-looking, mustachioed, energetic man: also Tuckerman, the amiable poet: also Willis, a good sort of man, just now much calumniated for having shown up English society in his books,—but a kindly and a clever every way. Mrs. Willis called and carried off Willis, and I took Tuckerman under my wing to the monster concert at Castle Garden. The immense circular[Pg 269] building, full of heads (it holds 8000!) and lighted by 'cressets' of gas, put me in mind of Martin's illustration of Satan's Throne in Milton! The concert, as per programme, was a cold and dull affair enough,—though Lind did terrible heights and depths in the Italian execution line,—but after the concert came this beautiful episode. Barnum hunted me out from the two or three acres of faces,—because the fair and melodious Jenny had expressed to him an urgent wish to see me. When I got to her boudoir, where Barnum introduced me, I really thought she would have cried outright,—as feeling herself a stranger in a foreign land, and in the presence of an old unseen book-friend; for it seems,—as she told me in beautiful slightly broken English,—that my poor dear 'Proverbial Philosophy,'—which I never thought she had seen till I gave it to her,—has been to her 'such a comfort, such a comfort, many days;' and she was 'so glad, so ver glad,' to see me,—and she looked so unhappy,—though the immense hall was still echoing with those tumults of applause,—and she clasped my hand so often, and would hardly let it go, and made me sit and talk with her, for I was 'her friend,' and really seemed like a child clinging to its elder brother. I was quite sorry to leave her,—and when, putting aside all idle musical compliments, I tried to cheer her by the thought,—how nobly and generously for many good purposes she was using the melodious gift of God to her, poor Jenny only looked up devoutly, and shook her head, and sighed, and seemed unhappy. However, it was time to go, so with another hearty shake-hands, and 'my love to dear England,' Jenny Lind and I took leave. This testimony as to my book's good use for comfort,—she will 'read more now she sees me,'—[Pg 270]is very pleasing,—it is much to do poor Jenny good, who does good to so many others. I think I've forgotten to say that great old Webster, the Secretary of State, avows that he 'always after hard work refreshes his mind' with that book: and—I might fill volumes with the same sort of thing. God has blessed my writings to millions of the human race! And from prince to peasant good has been done through this hand, incalculable.—God alone be praised."[Pg 271]



After the long interval of five-and-twenty years, filled up with many more such volumes and fly-leaves, I called again by pressing invitation on my American constituency, and found them as warm and generous and hospitable as before. This time I was six months a guest among them,—literally so, for I found myself passed on from home to home, and almost never took my bed at an hotel. The chief feature of this visit was that I posed everywhere as a public "reader from my own works," and met with generally good success, in spite of the terrific winter weather manfully encountered half the time. Everybody knows what extremities of cold are endured both in the North-Eastern States and in Canada. At Baltimore I have seen the snow piled almost man-high on each side of the middle lane dug for the tramway,—in New York men skated to their offices; at Ottawa the thermometer was 25° below zero, and at Montreal it was everywhere deep snow (glorious for sleighing), icicles yard long outside the windows,—and of course smaller audiences to a frozen-up lecturer. Yet many came nevertheless, and I am pleased to remember among them good Bishop Oxenden and his family. In spite, then, of positively Arctic influences, as I had to do it, I did it bravely; and sent home[Pg 272] needful dollars, and came back with a pocket full too. All this is surely part of an author's lifework; so I am writing appositely.

Among notabilia of this second visit, which was crowded like the former with abundance of private hospitality and of public honours,—I may record these briefly. Dr. Talmage, my kind and liberal host for two lengthened visits, gave a grand reception on October 26, 1876, to William Cullen Bryant and myself, which was attended by Peter Cooper, Judges Neilson and Reynolds, Mayor Schroeder, Professors Crittenden and Eaton, with some hundred more; the chief features of the evening being Bryant's poetical recitations and mine. On another occasion I read my Proverbial Essay on Immortality at the Tabernacle before 7000 people at Dr. Talmage's special request: and of course at Chickering Hall, the Brooklyn Theatre, and other places I had to give Readings to large audiences. The Lotos Club and other genial hosts gave me complimentary dinners. Mr. Hulbert, the well-known editor, made a partie carrée (only four of us to consume some of the rarest delicacies) for Lord Rosebery, Mr. Barnum and myself: and in fact my journal overflows with elaborate hospitalities. It was the Centennial Year, and at Philadelphia I found abundant welcome, especially as an inmate of the genial homes of Mr. Roberts, the eminent Dr. Levis, the excellent Mrs. Fisher, and of Mr. Pettit, the clever artist who painted my portrait complimentarily. Of course I did the Great Exhibition thoroughly, and was quite surprised at its splendour and extent; I think that the thirty-three States were represented by no fewer than 180 ornamental edifices full of special products and[Pg 273] treasures. At Niagara I stayed twice for a week each, with the kindest of hosts, the Rev. Mr. Fessenden and his good wife, and saw the great cataract in all the magnificence of winter as well as autumn. Also at the pleasant homes, of Mr. Lister in Hamilton, at Toronto, Kingston, and above all Montreal, my new but old book friends were full of liberal greetings, and everywhere I had to exhibit myself as a Reader from my own works; a specialty not common, as combining both author and orator. At Toronto, the ministers, Mr.—now Sir John—Macdonald, and Dr.—now Sir Charles—Tupper were my principal welcomers; and I dined then with the Cabinet, as in 1851 I had with Lord Elgin's in (I think) the same hall. At Ottawa I found myself full of friends, and visited Lord Dufferin. At Montreal the wealthy merchant, Mr. Mackay of Kildonan (since departed and gone up higher), was my generous host: and there in one of the hardest winters known I often made acquaintance with the splendid gallop of his sleighs, all furs and colour and delightful excitement: on one occasion having nearly had nose and ears frost-bitten till my neighbour with his fur gloves and snow rubbed life into them again. With Dr. Dawson of M'Gill University I had plenty of geological talk, especially about the new found Eozoa of the St. Lawrence stratum,—and with his clever son, and my cousin, Professor Selwyn. Thereafter I went south, the welcome guest of other cousins, the Vaughan-Tuppers of Brooklyn, among my most hospitable friends over there: and we routed out all about our family in America, as recorded for ten generations in Freeman's "History of Massachusetts." And I feasted at Mr. Trocke's on trout from "Tupper Lake" in the Adirondacks,—the name[Pg 274] coming from an ancestor, not as after me, though sometimes thought so; and I met with many points both of family and of authorial interest. Then I was entertained by the New England Society, which, amongst abounding luxuries, still produces as a characteristic dish the frugal pork and beans of Puritan times. And the Century and other Clubs made me free of them. And of course Longfellow, Bryant, Fields, Biglow, O. W. Holmes, and many others, opened their houses and hearts to me. And I met and dined in company with General Grant and all sorts of other celebrities,—and so did all I hoped to do. Going south, Brantz Mayer at Baltimore, my cousin the Rev. Dr. Tupper (Bishop of the Baptists), and many others are memorable. Stay, I will give a casual extract from my home-letter, No. 39, of my second visit, giving several names.

"Jan. 18, 1877, evening. Took an oyster tea at Brantz Mayer's, and read to a party several things by request, especially as to the souls of animals. Judge Bond called for me there in his carriage, and took me (as invited by the President) to a great assemblage of Baltimore magnates (inaugurating the John Hopkins University), where I had casually quite an ovation, meeting literally hundreds of friends: I cannot pretend to remember many names, but these will remind me of others: General McClellan, General Ellicott (cousin to our Bishop), Carroll, the State Governor, no end of professors, among them Sylvester, who knew my brother Arthur at the Athenæum, plenty of judges, presidents of institutions, doctors, journalists, lawyers, and many fine figure-heads of elderly magnates; each and all knew me as an early book friend, and I had quite to hold a court for two hours, receiving each as[Pg 275] introduced, and having to say something pretty to him. Mr. Weld (of Lulworth), married to a rich Baltimorean, takes to me monstrously, and with Mr. President Gilman is going to manage a Reading here for me on my return from the South. He took me after the great event to the Maryland Club (making me a member for a month), and we had a glass of wine together, meeting again several of the bigwigs migrated like ourselves for something better than iced-water! for the odd thing is that, although the eating luxuries were profuse at this grand banquet,—whole salmons, bolsters of truffled turkey, oysters in every form, and plenty of terrapines, canvas-back ducks, and other costly comestibles,—not a drop of anything but water (except indeed tea and coffee) was to be had, the excuse being that at least some of the party would be sure to take too much; so all are mulcted for a few as usual." But my American journals are full of that sort of thing, and this honest extract may serve as a sample. I never guessed how crowded up by popularities a poor author may be till I had crossed the Atlantic and reaped the kindness of Greater Britain.

After all this, I went down South,—where I have seen brilliant humming-birds flying about, some two or three days after I had waded through deep snow northwards; my chief host, and a right worthy one, being a good cousin, S. Y. Tupper, President of the Chamber of Commerce at Charleston, S.C. With him and his I had what is called over there a good time, and indited several poetical pieces under his hospitable roof, in particular "Temperance" (see a former page). Also I wrote there another stave of mine which caused great discussion in the States, because I, reputed a Liberian[Pg 276] and Emancipator, was supposed to have recanted and turned to be South instead of North; but I was only just and true, according to my lights. Here is the peccant stave, only to be found in Charleston and other American papers of February 1877, therefore will I give it here:—

To the South.
"The world has misjudged you, mistrusted, maligned you,
And should be quick to make honest amends;
Let me then speak of you just as I find you,
Humbly and heartily, cousins and friends!
Let us remember your wrongs and your trials,
Slander'd and plunder'd and crush'd to the dust,
Draining adversity's bitterest vials,
Patient in courage and strong in good trust.
"You fought for Liberty, rather than Slavery!
Well might you wish to be quit of that ill,
But you were sold by political knavery,
Meshed in diplomacy's spider-like skill:
And you rejoice to see Slavery banished,
While the free servant works well as before,
Confident, though many fortunes have vanished,
Soon to recover all—rich as before!
"Doubtless, there had been some hardships and cruelties,
Cases exceptional, evil and rare,
But to tell truth—and truly the jewel 'tis—
Kindliness ruled, as a rule, everywhere!
Servants, if slaves, were your wealth and inheritance,
Born with your children, and grown on your ground,
And it was quite as much interest as merit hence
Still to make friends of dependents all round.
"Yes, it is slander to say you oppressed them;
Does a man squander the price of his pelf?
Was it not often that he who possessed them
Rather was owned by his servants himself?
[Pg 277] Caring for all, as in health so in sicknesses,
He was their father, their patriarch chief;
Age's infirmities, infancy's weaknesses
Leaning on him for repose and relief.
"When you went forth in your pluck and your bravery,
Selling for freedom both fortunes and lives,
Where was that prophesied outburst of slavery
Wreaking revenge on your children and wives?
Nowhere! you left all to servile safe keeping,
And this was faithful and true to your trust;
Master and servant thus mutually reaping
Double reward of the good and the just?
"Generous Southerners! I who address you
Shared with too many belief in your sins;
But I recant it,—thus, let me confess you,
Knowledge is victor and every way wins:
For I have seen, I have heard, and am sure of it,
You have been slandered and suffering long,
Paying all Slavery's cost, and the cure of it,—
And the great world shall repent of its wrong."

I need not say what a riot that honest bit of verse raised among the enthusiasts on both sides. I spoke from what I saw, and soon had reason to corroborate my judgment: for I next paid a visit on my old Brook Green school-friend, Middleton, at his burnt and ruined mansion near Summerville: once a wealthy and benevolent patriarch, surrounded by a negro population who adored him, all being children of the soil, and not one slave having been sold by him or his ancestors for 200 years. According to him, that violent emancipation was ruin all round: in his own case a great farm of happy dependants was destroyed, the inhabitants all dead through disease and starvation, a vast estate once well tilled reverted to marsh and jungle, and himself and his[Pg 278] reduced to utter poverty,—all mainly because Mrs. Beecher Stowe had exaggerated isolated facts as if they were general, and because North and South quarrelled about politics and protection. Mrs. Stowe, I hear, has learnt wisdom, as I did,—and now like me does justice to both sides. There is no end to extracts from my journals, if I choose to make them; but I think I will transcribe four stanzas which I gave to Williams Middleton in February 1877, on my departure, as they bring together past and present:—

"Ancient schoolmate at Brook Green
Half a century ago
(Nay, the years that roll between
Count some fifty-eight or so),—
Oh, the scenes 'twixt Now and Then,
Life in all its grief and joys,—
Meeting Now as aged men
Since the Then that saw us boys!
"There's a charm, a magic strange,
Thus to recognise once more,
Changeless in the midst of change
Mind and spirit as of yore;
Even face and form discerned
Easily and greeted well,
While our hearts together burned
At school-tales we had to tell.
"Mostly dead, forgotten, gone,—
Few old Railtonites of fame
(Here and there we noted one),
Yet we find ourselves the same!
Sons of either hemisphere
We can never stand apart,
With to me Columbia dear
And my England in your heart.
[Pg 279]
"You, of good old English stock,—
I—some kindred of mine own
Pound themselves on Plymouth Rock,
Five times fifty years agone;
So, I come at sixty-six,
All across the Atlantic main,
With my kith and kin to mix,
And to greet you once again!"

I may here record that, accompanied by Middleton, I watched at an alligator's hole with a rifle, but the beast would not come out, perhaps luckily for me, if I missed a stomach shot; that I was prevented from bringing down a carrion vulture, it being illegal to kill those useful scavengers; that I caught some dear little green tree frogs; that I noted how the rice-fields had become a poisonous marsh; that I noticed the extensive strata of guano and fossil bone pits, securing some large dragon's teeth, and with them sundry flint arrow-heads, suggestive of man's antiquity; that I lamented over the desolation of my friend's mansion and estate, and in particular to have seen how outrageously the Federals had destroyed his family-mausoleum, scattering the sacred relics of his ancestors all round and about. This was simply because he had been a Confederate magnate, and had owned patriarchally a multitude of slaves, born on the spot through two centuries. He and his kind brother, the Admiral,—my friendly host at Washington,—have joined the majority elsewhere; but I heard from him and others down South the truth about American slavery.

For remainder rapid notice. Paul Hayne the poet is remembered well; and the fine old great-grandmother with eighty-six descendants of my name; and thereafter came the inauguration of President Hayes, an[Pg 280] account whereof I wrote to the English papers; and hospitalities at the White House, and records of plenty more Readings and receptions; and all about Edgar Poe at Baltimore, and my acquaintance with Henry Ward Beecher, and my final New York hospitalities, and my pamphlet "America Revisited," written on board the return steamer the Batavia,—and so an end hurriedly.

This was my last farewell to my million friends, published in Bryant's paper;—

"A last Farewell—O many friends!
I leave your love with saddened heart;
And so my grateful spirit sends
This answering love before we part:
I thank you tenderly each one,
I praise your goodness, dear to tell,
And, well-remembered when I'm gone,
Alike will yearn on you as well.
"A last Farewell—O my few foes!
I fear'd you not, by mouth or pen,
But to the battle bravely rose,
A man to fight his fight with men:
And though the gauntlet I have run
You shall not say he fail'd or fell,
Truly recording when I'm gone,
He fought and won his victories well.
"My last Farewell—O brothers both!
No foes at all, but friends all round;
Albeit now homeward, little loth,
To dear old England I am bound—
Accept this short and simple prayer
(A cheerful verse, no parting knell),
To every one and everywhere
My thankful blessing, and Farewell!"

[Pg 281]



I have another vast volume before me, recounting my English and Scotch Reading Tours, with full details of innumerable home kindnesses and hospitalities, from Ventnor in the South to Peterhead in the North, which I need not particularise. I gave twenty-one "Readings from my own Works" southward, in a dozen towns with a regular entrepreneur, who was my avant courier everywhere, making all arrangements, placarding, advertising, hiring halls, engaging reporters, and the like; when all was ready, I used to come forward, as the General does at a review,—and then succeeded the sham-fight and division of the spoils of war—if any; for, to say truth, our partnership did not prove lucrative, so we parted with mutual esteem, and I resolved to accomplish all the rest of my projected tour alone; a great effort and a successful one, for I "orated" all through Scotland, from Ayr to Peterhead (far north of Aberdeen), often to very large audiences (as at Glasgow, where the number was said to be three thousand) and always to fair ones, the Scotch being much more given to literature than the West of England. I could give innumerable anecdotes of the splendid as well as kindly welcome I received from great and small,—for as I now had no attending agent I was all the more eagerly[Pg 282] treated as a solitary guest,—and I found myself handed on from one rich host to another all through the land, with numerous book friends everywhere ready and willing to make all arrangements freely at each town and city. So the tour paid better every way, albeit the toil and excitement of being always to the front, either on platforms or at dinner-parties, was excessive though not exhausting. It is astonishing what one can do if one tries, and if the sympathy of friends and a really good success are at hand to cheer one. I wish there was space here to say more about all this; but the great book before me would print up into several volumes. I will only, add, as below, an interesting extract from this diary, just before I had parted with my worthy agent aforesaid:—"He has told me some curious anecdotes about eminent artistes whom he has chaperoned, e.g. Thackeray came to Clifton to give four readings on the Georges; the first reading had only three auditors, the second not one; so Thackeray went away. Bellew is uncertain; sometimes having empty benches, sometimes overflowing ones, according to the programme, whether serious or laughable. Tom Hood gave a lecture on Humour, which was so dull that the audience left him. Miss Glyn Dallas often reads 'Cleopatra,' magnificently too, to empty benches. Sims Reeves draws a vast audience, but sometimes at the last moment refuses to sing (probably paying forfeit) because he is always afraid of something giving way in his throat. Dickens, though with crowded audiences, was not liked, nor nearly so good as Mr.—— expected: he carried about with him a sort of show-box, set round with lights and covered with purple cloth, in the midst of which he appeared in full evening costume with[Pg 283] bouquet in button-hole, and, as Mr.—— said, 'very stiff.' Mr.—— has just engaged Madame Lemmens Sherrington and six others for sixty-three concerts at a cost of £4000, for he says that good music—after low humour—is the best thing to pay. May his spirited speculation prosper!" Thus much for my quotation of Mr.—— 's experiences.

It may interest a reader if I give, quite at haphazard, a list of one of my readings: "Welcome; Adventure; Yesterday, To-day, and To-morrow; All's for the Best; Energy; Success; Warmth; Be True; Of Love; The Lost Arctic; The Way of the World; Cheerfulness." All these may be found in my Miscellaneous Poems and "Proverbial Philosophy." I varied the programme—of about an hour and a half each (sometimes two)—frequently through my fifty readings on this side of the Atlantic, as well as through my hundred over there. How strange that the stammerer should have so become the orator!—I thank God for this.

Before a final end to this brief record of my home-readings, I will add another page of short extracts from this diary: "Though I continually read for nearly two hours at a stretch (and that sometimes twice a day too) I take no intervals, and hardly anything but a sip of water. Energy and electrical effort are stimulants enough." "I always exert myself quite as much for few as for many; perhaps more so." "No one ever can read well or hold his audience if he doesn't feel what he reads." "Some of the clergy are no great friends of mine; one told me to-day that 'perpetual dearly beloved brethren had spoilt him for eloquence, and he didn't care to hear mine.'" This was at Salisbury, in a coffee-room. "Cathedral towns are always dullest and least[Pg 284] sympathetic with lecturing laymen; for example, at Bristol, Salisbury, Worcester, Gloster, and the like. Are the clerics jealous of lay spouters? Dissenting ministers and Presbyterians seem far more genial." "I travelled about fifteen hundred miles by rail, besides coaches and carriages. My aggregate of paying hearers was about sixteen thousand, the bulk being old book-likers. The gain was nearly four times as much as the cost, good hospitality having been the rule." "I read publicly (private readings additional, as often asked after dinners, &c.) twenty-nine proverbial essays and thirty-eight poems; repeated according to popularity by request to two hundred." I only do not name some of my generous Scotch and English hosts for fear of seeming to have forgotten others by omission; and the list is too lengthy for full insertion; as also is the long story of my adventures and experiences in the hospitable North.

Miscellaneous Poems.

Before dismissing thus curtly, my great Scottish exploit (which, by the way, anticipated by three years my second American visit, but I would not disjoin that from my first) I ought to give some account of the publication of my Miscellaneous Poems by Gall & Inglis at Edinburgh, and of some few of the hospitalities connected therewith, though not revealing domesticities, as against my wholesome rule.

An odd thing happened to me at Mr. Inglis's dinner-table, where I met several literary celebrities. I had just read, and was loud in my praises of a then anonymous work, "Primeval Man Unveiled," and I asked my neighbour, an aged man, if he knew that extraordinary[Pg 285] book? Whereupon the whole table saluted the questioner with a loud guffaw; for I was speaking to its author, whom I had innocently so bepraised. However, my mistake was easily forgiven, as may be imagined. I found that the said author was Mr. Inglis's near relative, Mr. Gall,—so my new publisher and I were immediately en rapport.

There are two simultaneous editions of this book of my poetry—one called the Redlined and the other the Landscape; the first on thick paper, and with eight steel engravings, the latter having every page decorated in colours with beautiful borderings of scenery. The volume contains about one-half or less of all the mass of lyrics I have written, some of the pieces having been in earlier books of my poetry, as Ballads and Poems, Cithara, Lyrics of the Heart and Mind, Hactenus, A Thousand Lines, &c. &c.; and they date, though not printed in systematic order, from my fifteenth year to beyond my sixtieth. Fly-leaf lyrics have been continually growing ever since now to my seventy-sixth.

Here are a few further random, extracts from my Scotch diary:—"Arbroath, Sunday, Nov. 2, 1873.—What a comfort it is for once to feel utterly unknown; for even my luggage has only a monogram, and here at the White Hart I am No. 15, and a commercial gent to all appearance: really, it is quite a relief to be some one else than Martin Tupper."

"Read J. S. Mill's autobiography; poor wretch! from his cradle brought up as an atheist by a renegade father, he can have been hardly more responsible for his no faith than a born idiot. However, in these infidel last times, and with our very broad-church and no-church teachings, a man has only to be utterly godless[Pg 286] (so he be moral) to make himself a name for pure reason. I'd sooner be the most unenlightened Christian than such a false philosopher. Let a Goldsmith say of me, 'No very great wit, he believed in a God,' for I refuse to deny one, like the Psalmist's fool." "I throw myself so into my readings, that I almost forget my audience, till their cheering, as it were, wakes me up,—and I feel every word I say: if I didn't, that word would fall dead. There is a magnetism in earnestness,—an electric power; I am in a way full of it when reciting, and I am aware of it flowing through the mass of my audience." "It was a touching thing to me to hear the aged Mr. B—— conduct his family worship, singing like an old Covenanter the harmonious Puritan dirgy hymn, reading the Bible most devoutly, and praying (as only Presbyterians can pray) from the heart and not from a formal liturgy, earnestly and eloquently; he prayed also for me and mine, and I thank God and him for it." "My host at Ayr drove me in his waggonette to see the mausoleum at Hamilton Palace, with its wonderful bronze doors after Ghiberti, and its inlaid marble floor, much of which is of real verd antique in small pieces. Then we went down among the dead men, and inspected the coffins of nearly all the Dukes of Hamilton. It is an outrage to have expended so much (£100,000) on this senseless mausoleum, and to have left close by and within sight of the great Grecian palace those filthy crowded streets of poverty and disease—the wretched town of Hamilton—as a contrast to profuse extravagance. The last Duke, the very Lord Douglas who was in the same class with me at Christ Church, and is supposed to have personated me in Tom Quad, has a very graceful temple of Vesta all to him[Pg 287]self, with his bust in the middle: his father lies, of all heathenish absurdities, in a real antique Egyptian sarcophagus, into which it is said he was fitted by internal scoopings, the Duke being taller than its former tenant, the Pharaoh. All this done, we drove through some rugged parts of the High Park, to see magnificent oaks, much like some at Albury, in hopes of coming upon the famous wild cattle, grey, with black feet, ears, tail, and nose, and stated to be untameable. To our great satisfaction we did see a herd of thirty-four feeding quietly enough; had we been walking instead of driving we might have fared poorly as hunted ones: though I confess I saw at first no fierceness in the lot of them; but when the herd sighted us, and began ominously to commence encircling our gig, under the guidance of a terrible bull, we turned and fled, as the discreeter part of wisdom; Captain Hamilton, my host, telling me that if they charged us we must jump out and swarm up a tree! I was glad to be out of such a fearful escapade as that." "As to diversities in the Scotch Church, after seeing many clerical specimens of each kind, I judge that (generally) the Established Scotch gives itself the superior airs of the Established English; the Frees are the most intellectual; the U.P.s most pious; the Scottish Episcopal getting excessively high; and some other varieties growing far too broad and pantheistic. I don't wonder to hear Papists say that Protestantism is breaking up; no two parsons are agreed on all points, some on none."

As for social hospitalities, I found them either splendid or kindly—or both—everywhere; and will only name Captain Hamilton of Rozelle, Sir Michael Shaw Stewart of Ardgowan, Mr. Boyd of Glasgow, Mr. Gall[Pg 288] and Mr. Nelson of Edinburgh, Mr. Arthur of Paisley, and such other millionaire hosts as James Baird, William Dickson, and the like, as among my wealthiest and kindest welcomers.

Of course, when a guest for a week at Rozelle, I paid due homage to Burns in his own territory; visiting his natal cottage, his funeral cenotaph, Alloway Kirk, the Auld Brig, &c. &c.—all these in company with the millionaire iron-master and most enthusiastic admirer of Tam-o'-Shanter, Mr. James Baird. When he took me to his magnificent castle hard by, he said to me "Ye're vera welcome to ma hoose,"—and I entered to inspect his gallery of pictures: among them I noticed, with surprise at such an incongruous subject for a painting, an ugly red factory in course of building, and a man on a ladder leaning against it, with a hod on his shoulder. To my inquiry about this, he replied, "Yon's mysel',—I'm proud to say; that's what I was, and this is what I am." He had made, while yet a workman, some discovery about cold blast or hot blast (I don't know which) and gained enormous wealth thereby. He is the man who gave half a million of money to the Scotch Established Church.[Pg 289]



I have something of interest to say about the first laying of the electric telegraph across the Atlantic. Sir Culling Eardley invited a number of savants, among them Wheatstone and Morse, and others, both English and American, to a great feast inaugurating the completion of the cable: and I, amongst other outsiders, had the honour of being asked. I had written, and after dinner I read, the verses following, which had the good and great effect of originating the first message (see the seventh stanza) which was adopted by acclamation and sent off at once; being only preceded, for courtesy-sake, by a short friendly greeting from Queen to President, and President to Queen. The heading runs in my book as "The Atlantic Telegraph."

"World! what a wonder is this,
Grandly and simply sublime,—
All the Atlantic abyss
Leapt in a nothing of time!
Even the steeds of the sun
Half a day panting behind,
In the flat race that is run,
Won by a flash of the mind!
"Lo! on this sensitive, link—
It is one link, not a chain—
Man with his brother can think
Spanning the breadth of the main,—
[Pg 290] Man to his brother can speak
Swift as the bolt from a cloud,
And where its thunders were weak
There his least whisper is loud!
"Yea; for as Providence wills,
Now doth intelligent man
Conquer material ills,
Wrestling them down as he can,—
And lay one weak little coil
Under the width of the waves,
Distance and Time are his spoil,
Fetter'd as Caliban slaves!
"Ariel?—right through the sea
We can fly swift as in air;
Puck?—forty minutes shall be
Sloth to the bow that we bear:
Here is Earth's girdle indeed,
Just a thought-circlet of fire,—
Delicate Ariel freed
Sings, as she flies, on a wire!
"Courage, O servants of light,
For you are safe to succeed;
Lo! you are helping the Right,
And shall be blest in your deed.
Lo! you shall bind in one band,
Joining the nations as one,
Brethren of every land,
Blessing them under the sun!
"This is Earth's pulse of high health
Thrilling with vigour and heat,
Brotherhood, wisdom and wealth,
Throbbing in every beat;
But you must watch in good sooth
Lest to false fever it swerve,—
Touch it with tenderest truth
As the world's exquisite nerve!
[Pg 291]
"Let the first message across—
High-hearted Commerce, give heed—
Not be of profit or loss,
But one electric indeed:
Praise to the Giver be given,
For that He giveth man skill,
Glory to God in the Heaven!
'Peace upon earth, and goodwill!'"

Another Electric poem of mine called "The First Message," also in Gall's edition, was sent over by telegraph to America. What a miserable muddle, by the way, those meddlesome revisers have made of The Angel's Message;—preferring a dubious sigma to a comma, they have utterly spoilt that sublime trilogy by making "Peace upon earth, goodwill towards men," read "Peace upon earth among men in whom he is well pleased." How clumsy and how ungrammatical, in whom! The whole dear Bible has been terribly damaged by their 36,000 needless alterations in the New Testament (not 100 having been really necessary), and I know not how many more myriads in the Old, but happily their Version falls dead, and will soon be as forgotten as Dr. Conquest's "Bible with 20,000 emendations," whereof I now possess a somewhat scarce copy in the library at Albury. I have less than no patience with those principally clerical revisers; albeit for their chairman, Dr. Ellicott, I retain a pleasant memory from Orkney recollections in old days.

But this is a digression, wrung from me by my righteous wrath against those who have done their worst to spoil for us The Angel's Message, the first word uttered by the telegraphic wire under the sea.[Pg 292]

Returning to the subject of Electrics I have something of interest to say which will be news to my readers. One day when casually dipping into Addison's Spectator at Albury, I made the following discovery which I recorded in the newspapers at the time, and give the extract now fully as thus:—

In the 241st No. of Addison's Spectator, bearing date Thursday, December 6th, 1711, and as signed "C." (one of the letters of the mystic Clio), by the great Joseph Addison himself, occurs the following remarkable anticipation of our presumably most modern discovery. Those who have access to the London edition of the Spectator of 1841, published by J. J. Chidley, 123 Aldersgate Street, can verify the verbatim faithfulness of the following extract from page 274:—

"Strada, in one of his Prolusions (Lib. II. prol. 6), gives an account of a chimerical correspondence between two friends by the help of a certain loadstone, which had such virtue in it, that if it touched two several needles, when one of the needles so touched began to move, the other, though at never so great a distance, moved at the same time, and in the same manner. He tells us that the two friends, being each of them possessed of one of those needles, made a kind of dial-plate, inscribing it with four-and-twenty letters, in the same manner as the hours of the day are marked upon the ordinary dial-plate. They then fixed one of the needles on each of these plates in such a manner that it could move round without impediment, so as to touch any of the four-and-twenty letters.

"Upon their separating from one another into distant countries, they agreed to withdraw themselves punctually into their closets at a certain hour of the day, and[Pg 293] to converse with one another by means of this their invention.

"Accordingly, when they were some hundred miles asunder, each of them shut himself up in his closet at the time appointed, and immediately cast his eye upon his dial-plate. If he had a mind to write anything to his friend, he directed his needle to every letter that formed the words which he had occasion for, making a little pause at the end of every word or sentence, to avoid confusion.

"The friend in the meanwhile saw his own sympathetic needle moving of itself to every letter which that of his correspondent pointed at. By this means they talked together across a whole continent, and conveyed their thoughts to one another in an instant over cities or mountains, seas or deserts.

"If Monsieur Scudery, or any other writer of romance, had introduced a necromancer, who is generally in the train of a knight-errant, making a present to two lovers of a couple of these above-mentioned needles, the reader would not have been a little pleased to have seen them corresponding with one another when they were guarded by spies and watchers, or separated by castles and adventures.

"In the meanwhile, if ever this invention should be revived or put in practice, I would propose that upon the lover's dial-plate there should be written not only the four-and-twenty letters, but several entire words which have always a place in passionate epistles, as flames, darts, die, language, absence, Cupid, heart, eyes, hang, drown, and the like. This would very much abridge the lover's pains in this way of writing a letter, as it would enable him to express the most[Pg 294] useful and significant words with a single touch of the needle.—C."

Thus far Addison, a hundred and seventy years ago, and Strada (whoever he may be, for ordinary biographical dictionaries ignore him), perhaps fifty before him, and the two unknown experimentalists, perhaps twenty beyond that, making in all two hundred and forty or fifty years ago as the date of electrical invention: whereof we see no further mention in the Spectator. But is it not also among the "Century of the Marquis of Worcester's Inventions"?—as is possible; the scarce volume is not near me for reference. Let the curious reader who can, turn to it and see. Meanwhile, how strangely Addison and Strada have anticipated the dial-plate, and the needles, and the letters, and the short forms for common words, all so familiar to our telegraphists. Verily there is nothing new under the sun.

Extract from my Archive-book, No. 8. Date October 15, 1856.

"I was again an electric guest, this time at the Great Albion dinner (Liverpool) to Mr. Morse, whom I had met at Erith and in America. A day or two afterwards I sent him a letter of invitation to Albury, enclosing the sonnet below; and not knowing his London address I posted it to my brother Charles in London for him to read and forward. Lucky enough that I did so, for Mr. Morse had just sailed for America: so Charles had both prose and poetry telegraphed to him in New York,—and the Company would not charge any money for it! This is perhaps the only time a sonnet ever[Pg 295] travelled by telegraph, and certainly the only time it ever so travelled gratis."

Here it is, for which I had a very complimentary and grateful note from "Samuel F. B. Morse, as an ardent admirer," &c. As never in print till now, I trust it will be acceptable to my readers. Mr. Morse's published speech was religiously high-minded and true-hearted, as indicated in the sonnet.

To Professor Morse, in pleasant memory of October 10, 1856,
at the Albion.
"A good and generous spirit ruled the hour;
Old jealousies were drowned in brotherhood,
Philanthropy rejoiced that skill and power,
Servants to science, compass all men's good;
And over all Religion's banner stood,
Upheld by thee, true Patriarch of the plan
Which in two hemispheres was schemed to shower
Mercies from God on universal man.
Yes, this electric chain from East to West
More than mere metal, more than Mammon can,
Binds us together kinsmen, in the best
As most affectionate and frankest bond,
Brethren at one, and looking far beyond
The world in an electric union blest."

[Pg 296]



There is an extinct pamphlet, now before me, published by Routledge in 1860, entitled "The Rifle Movement Foreshown in Prose and Verse from 1848 to the Present Time,"—from my pen,—which proves that, in conjunction with my friend Evelyn and a few others, I may justly claim to have originated that cheap defence of England, at Albury, more than a dozen years before it was thought of anywhere by any one else. Take the trouble to read the following longish extract from the fifth edition of the above, and please not to omit the leash of ballads wherewith it ends.

"And now, next, about this Rifle pamphlet. Every page carries its date honestly, and several very curiously. In some of the editions there appears a rifle ballad of mine, written in 1845, and published in 1846 (in the first issue of my Ballads and Poems—Hall & Virtue) with the strange title "Rise Britannia, a Stirring Song for Patriots in the Year 1860:" an anticipation by fourteen years of the actual date of the Rifle Movement. In all the editions, the papers on 'Cheap Security' (being Talks between Naaman Muff (a Quaker), Till (a commercial gent), Dolt (a philanthropist), Funker (an ordinary unwarlike paterfamilias), and a certain Tom Wydeawake (patriotic but peculiar)) contain detailed allusions, though written several years before any[Pg 297] definite existence, to the National Rifle Association, and to exactly such annual prize gatherings of riflemen as those at Wimbledon Common and Brighton Downs, and this latest at Blackheath. The discouragements of Tom Wydeawake and his few compeers were remarkable. He himself might fairly have claimed the honours of origination, discussed some two or three years ago, but he left them to others—Sic vos non vobis, &c."

"Without mentioning names, several—since distinguished as prominent in Rifledom—were once, to my certain knowledge, and still to be evidenced by their extant letters, bitterly opposed to the whole movement,—and I cannot conclude these remarks better or more appositely than by adding here, with real dates, the three following ballads, which tell their own tale briefly and suggestively." I print them here, as they are now to be found nowhere else.

The first, published in newspapers during June 1859 (following several others of a like character, with my name or without it), was the origin of the Volunteers' motto—being headed

Defence not Defiance.
"Nearer the muttering thunders roll,
Blacker and heavier frowns the sky,—
Yet our dauntless English soul
Faces the storm with a steady eye;
Hands are strong where hearts are stout;
Our rifles are ready—look out!
"No one wishes the storm to roll here—
No one cares such a devil to raise,—
And in brotherhood, not in fear,
Only for peace an Englishman prays,—
Yet he may shout in the midst of the rout,
Our rifles are ready—look out!
[Pg 298]
"Keep to your own, like an honest man,
And here's our hand, and here's our heart,
Let the world see how wisely you can
Play to the end a right neighbourly part,—
But if mischief is creeping about,
Our rifles are ready—look out!
"No defiance is on our lips,
Nothing but kindliness greets you here;
Still, in the storm our dolphin ships
Round the Eddystone dart and steer,—
And on shore—no doubt, no doubt—
Our rifles are ready—look out!
"Not Defiance, but only Defence,
Hold we forth for humanity's sake,—
And, with the help of Omnipotence,
We shall stand when the mountains quake:
Only in Him our hearts are stout;
Our rifles are ready—look out!"
A Rhyme for Albury Club.
"A rhyme for the Club, for the brave little Club
That stoutly went forward when others held back,
And, reckless of many a sneer and a snub,
Steer'd manfully straight upon Duty's own tack,—
Though quarrelsome peacemongers did their small worst,
In spite of their tongues and in spite of their teeth,
We stood up for England among the few first,
With rifles and targets on Surrey Blackheath!
"Time was when Tom Wydeawake, ten years agone,
Toil'd to arouse dull old Britain betimes,
By example—he shouldered his rifle alone,
By precept—he showered his letters and rhymes,—
With bullets he peppered old Sherborne's hillside,
With ballads and articles worried the Press,—
The more he was sneer'd at, the stronger he tried,
And would not be satisfied short of Success.
[Pg 299]
"And now is his Fancy the front of the van,
And England an archer, as in the past years,
And stout middle age carries arms like a man,
And all the young fellows are smart Volunteers:
And Herbert, and Elcho, and Spencer, and Hay,
And Mildmay, and all the best names in the land
On a national scale achieve grandly to-day
What Wydeawake schemed with his brave little band!
"Then cheers for the Queen! for the Club! and the Corps!
For Grantley, and Evelyn, and Sidmouth, and all;
With Franklin, and Mangles, and six dozen more,
The first to spring forth at Britannia's call!
And long may we live with all peaceably here—
For olive, not laurel, is Glory's true wreath—
But if the wolf comes, he had better keep clear
Of a Club of crack shots upon Surrey Blackheath!"
July 1860.

And the third is a small record of our Easter Monday's Review, 1864, alluding to the present universality of the Rifle Movement contrasted with its originally small beginnings on the same spot.

Surrey Blackheath.
"Surrey Blackheath! old scene of beginnings
Humble enough some dozen years back,
Gather to-day's rich harvest of winnings,
Sprung of that sowing in Memory's track;
Reap your revenges in honour and pleasure;—
Thousands of riflemen arm'd to the teeth—
Crowds by ten thousands, in holiday leisure,
Throng the wild beauties of Surrey Blackheath!
"We were the first our rifles to shoulder,
First to wake England (though voted a bore);
First in this nation who roused her, and told her
She must go arm'd to be safe, as of yore!
[Pg 300] Those were the days before corps and their drilling,
When the true patriot was check'd with a snub,—
So, on Blackheath, devotedly willing,
Stood your first riflemen—Albury Club!
"Yes, we stood here, in spite of their coldness,
Duty's first marksmen—whate'er should betide,—
Conquering Success—the sure fruit of boldness—
World-witnessed now by this field-day of pride!
And though they laugh'd at Tom Wydeawake's fancies,
Olives and laurels combine in his wreath;
For, the world's peace—in England's and France's—
Sprung of that sowing on Surrey Blackheath!"
March 5, 1864.

Lord Lovelace will remember how much he opposed our rifle-club,—as in those days illegal, and so the Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey might not sanction it: but now his Lordship is our leading volunteer. Besides the three ballads above, I wrote seven others which rang round the land, and some of them, as "Hurrah for the Rifle," and "In days long ago when old England was young," have been sung at Wimbledon and other gatherings.

It may be worth while, seeing the ballads are hopelessly out of print, if I here transcribe a few stanzas from divers other staves I penned in the early days of Rifledom. First, from "Rise, Britannia," before mentioned, which was "written and printed in 1846, and then headed, by a strange anticipation, a stirring song for patriots in the year 1860:" reproduced in my now extinct "Cithara," in 1863: I wrote it to be sung to the tune of "Wha wouldna fecht for Charlie:" even as afterwards I adapted my "In days long ago when old England was young" to "The roast-beef of old[Pg 301] England," published with my own illustration by Cocks & Co.:—

"Rise! ye gallant youth of Britain,
Gather to your country's call,
On your hearts her name is written,
Rise to help her, one and all!
Cast away each feud and faction,
Brood not over wrong nor ill,
Rouse your virtues into action,
For we love our country still,
Hail, Britannia! hail, Britannia!
Raise that thrilling shout once more,
Rise, Britannia! rule, Britannia!
Conqueror over sea and shore!"

After three stanzas which I will omit, the last is

"Rise then, patriots I name endearing,—
Flock from Scotland's moors and dales,
From the green glad fields of Erin,
From the mountain homes of Wales,—
Rise! for sister England calls you,
Rise! our commonweal to serve,
Rise! while now the song enthrals you
Thrilling every vein and nerve,—
Hail, Britannia! hail, Britannia!
Conquer, as thou didst of yore;
Rise, Britannia! rule, Britannia!
Over every sea and shore!"

Another noted alarum, sounded in January 1852, commences thus:—

"Englishmen, up! make ready your rifles!
Who can tell now what a day may bring forth?
Patch up all quarrels, and stick at no trifles,—
Let the world see what your loyalty's worth!
Loyalty?—selfishness, cowardice, terror
Stoutly will multiply loyalty's sum,
When to astonish presumption and error
Soon the shout rises—the brigands are come!"

After four stanzas of happily unfulfilled prognostication, the last is—[Pg 302]

"Up then and arm! it is wisdom and duty;
We are too tempting a prize to be weak:
Lo, what a pillage of riches and beauty,
Glories to gain and revenges to wreak!
Run for your rifles, and stand to your drilling;
Let not the wolf have his will, as he might,
If in the midst of their trading and tilling
Englishmen cannot—or care not to—fight!"

One only stanza more, the last of another also in 1852.

"Arm then at once! If no one attack us
Better than well, for the rifle may rust;
But if the pirates be coming to sack us,
Level it calmly, and God be your trust!
Only, while yet there's a moment, keep steady;
Skilfully, duteously, quickly prepare,—
Then with a nation of riflemen ready,
Nobody'll come because no one will dare!"

In those days of a generation back, so great was the scare everywhere of Napoleon's rabid colonels a-coming that I remember my brother Arthur counselling me to sink our plate down a well for safety; and Mr. Drummond in a pamphlet exhorted the creation of refuges round the coast by getting the owners of mansions to fortify them as strongholds, filling the windows with grates and mattresses, and loopholing garden-walls for shots at marauders on the roads!

Yet, so sleepy was the British Lion that neither Drummond nor I, nor even the Times, which I invoked, could wake him up for many years: and the Volunteer movement did not take effect till Louis Napoleon kindly urged Palmerston to check his rabid colonels by a bold front of preparation.[Pg 303]

I am minded to finish with a mild anecdote which carries its moral. Now, understand that I never pretended to be a crack shot, though I did make fair practice through "the Indian twist," the sling supporting one's arm; if I hit the target occasionally, I was satisfied. But it once happened (at Teignmouth, where I was a casual visitor) that, seeing a squad of volunteers practising at a mark on the beach, I went to look on, and was courteously offered a shot, being not unknown by fame to some of them. The target was at some 500 yards (say about a third of a mile), so it was not likely I could hit it, with a chance rifle, perhaps carelessly sighted; yet, when I did let fly, to the loud admiration of the others and to my own astonishment (which of course I did not reveal), the marker signalled for a bull's eye! Entreated to do it again, this prudent rifleman modestly declined, for he remembered Sam Slick's lucky shot at the floating bottle; it was manifestly his wisdom not to risk fame won by a fluke. So the moral is, don't try to do twice what you've done well once.[Pg 304]



A word or two about autographs, surely a topic suitable to this book: in fact, I have sometimes preferred to spell it authorgraphs: most public men are troubled nowadays with this sort of petty homage, and I more than suspect that some collectors make merchandise of them; "my valuable collection" being often the form in which strangers solicit the flattering boon. Once I had a queer proof as to the money value of my own,—as thus: I went quite casually into an auctioneer's in Piccadilly, to a book-sale; a lot of some half-dozen volumes were just being knocked down for next to nothing (such is our deterioration in these newspaper days) when the wielder of Thor's fateful hammer, dissatisfied at the price, asked for the lot to look at,—and coming amongst others to a certain book with handwriting in it, said, "Why, here's one with Martin Tupper's autograph,"—on which a buyer called out, "I'll give you eighteenpence more for that,"—suggestive to me of my auction value,—as I have sometimes said. If, however, the more than hundreds (thousands) I have been giving for these fifty years, really have so easily gratified friends known or unknown, I am glad to be in that way so much a gainer. Americans in particular ask frequently, and sometimes with wisely enclosed[Pg 305] stamped and addressed envelopes, which is a thing both considerate and praiseworthy; but a very different sort and not easily to be excused are those who send registered albums by post for one's handwriting, expecting to have them returned similarly at no small cost. Longfellow told me of this kind of young lady taxation, and mentioned that he once had to pay twelve shillings for a registered return quarto. I dare say that our popular Laureate has had similar experiences.

The most "wholesale order" for my signature was at New York in 1851, when at a party there my perhaps too exacting hostess put a large pack of plain cards into my hand, posted me at a corner table with pen and ink, and flatteringly requested an autograph for each of her 100 guests! of course, even this was graciously conceded,—though rather too much of a good thing, I thought.

There is wisdom (some have hinted to me) in preferring a card to a sheet of paper; not only because "I promise to pay" might possibly be written ab extra over one's signature, but also because (and far more probably) any special "fad," political, social, or religious, might be added above—to all seeming—your written approbation: e.g., I was told in America that my autographed opinion in favour of Unitarianism had been so seen at Boston. Some zealots for a "cause" even go so far as that. My safe course is to write "the handwriting of so-and-so," where from total ignorance of my correspondent I cannot honestly say "I am truly yours."

Other forms of authorial homage are to be met with in the way of complimentary photographs, and oil or[Pg 306] water-colour portraits. Like all other book celebrities, I have had to stand for minutes or sit for days, dozens of times; and seeing that, wherever I have been on my Reading Tours, on this side of the Atlantic or the other, photographic "artists" have continually "solicited the honour," the result has been that I used to keep "a book of horrors," proving how variously and oftentimes how vulgarly one's features come out when the impartial sun portrays them. As with the contradictory critiques about one's writings, so also is it with the conflicting apparitions of comeliness or ugliness in the heliotyped exploits of different—some of them indifferent—photographers. Several, however, have succeeded well with me; as Sarony in New York, Elliott & Fry of Baker Street and Brighton, Negretti & Zambra at the Crystal Palace, and divers others; but one need not reckon up "our failures," as Brummell's valet has it.

As to the several oil portraitures of me, there is extant a splendid full-length of myself and my brother Dan, with large frilled collars and the many-buttoned suits of the day, when we were severally ten and nine years old, now hanging at Albury, painted by my great-uncle, Arthur William Devis, the celebrated historical painter: this has been exhibited among works of the British old masters in Pall Mall. Also, there is one by T. W. Guillod, in my phase as an author at twenty-seven; another is by the older Pickersgill, so dark and lacking in Caucasian comeliness that the engraving therefrom in one of my books makes me look like a nigger, insomuch that some Abolitionists claimed me as all the more their favourite for my black blood! On the other hand, Mr. Edgar Williams has[Pg 307] made me much too florid; while recently that rising young artist, Alfred Hartley, has caught my true likeness, and has depicted me aptly and well, as may now be seen in the picture-gallery of the Crystal Palace. Then Mr. Willert Beale (Walter Maynard by literary nom de pinceau et de plume, for he is both a painter and an author) has lately portrayed me in crayons, life-sized, an unmistakable likeness; and years ago Monsieur Rochard, in a large water-coloured drawing, made me look very French, quite a petit-maitre, in which disguise I was engraved for some book of mine: all the above, except Rochard's, having been done complimentarily. In America Mr. Pettit's life-sized oil portrait is the most noticeable.

Two queer anecdotes I must give about another form of author-worship to which we poor vain mortals are occasionally exposed, viz., what Pope called in Belinda's case "The Rape of the Lock." I can remember (as once by Lady—— in London) more than one such ravishment attempted if not accomplished; but most especially was I in peril at the Philadelphian Exhibition when three duennas who guarded some lady exhibitors (too modest to ask themselves) pursued a certain individual, scissors in hand, like Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos, in vain hope of sheared tresses; had they been, like many of our American sisters, both juvenile and lovely, very possible success might have crowned their daring; or, instead of the three seductive graces, had they posed as three intellectual muses, I might have succumbed; but a leash of fates obliged a rapid retreat. And for a second queer anecdote take this: a 'cute negro barber had persuaded me to have my hair cut, to which sug[Pg 308]gestion, as it was hissing hot weather, I agreed. He had a neat little shop close to a jeweller's; next morning I passed that shop and noticed my name placarded there, surrounded by gold lockets, for that cunning nigger and his gilded friend were making a rich harvest of my shaved curls. Sambo can be as sharp as Jonathan, when a freeman, if he likes.

"Interviewing" is another sort of homage nowadays to popular authorship; in America it is very rife,—and I never came to any city but, immediately on arrival, two or three representatives of opponent editors would call, and very courteously request to be allowed to turn me inside out, and then to report upon me: I only remember one or two cases (which I will not specify) wherein my inquisitor was not all I could have wished, or treated his patient victim more unkindly than perhaps a venial native humour might make necessary. Almost always the scribes were fair and gentlemanly. And in next morning's papers it was a pleasing excitement to find that one's extorted opinions on all manner of topics—social, religious, and political—were published by tens of thousands in conflicting newspapers, which took partisan views of the obiter dicta of an illustrious being. I have many of these recorded conversations and comments thereon pasted down in the scrap-books aforesaid. In England, also, one does not escape; and indeed the pleasure of being examined for publication is here less mixed; for on this side of the Atlantic it has been found dangerous to report what might be damaging to a man socially or financially; although, however, no judicial notice is taken of ridicule or false criticism; and therein an author (however little he may care for it) can be libelled to any extent and without all remedy.[Pg 309] Not but that some of the society papers have treated my unworthiness generously enough,—in particular, Edmunds' World, which, with too great severity and too little justice, has been taught to tell all truths charitably, if smartly,—and therefore I was glad to welcome his pleasant accredited interviewer, Mr. Becker, a year or two ago at Albury, who compliments me, not quite accurately perhaps, on "good looks and a passion for heart's-eases." Also, the gentleman who represents the Glasgow Mail did his work wisely and kindly: and Mr. Meltzer of the New York Herald; and I might name some others, not excepting my Sydenham friend, Mr. Leyland, who lately wrote a very pleasant paper about me at Norwood for a Philadelphian journal.

As to Advertising.

A word about advertisements, surely an authorial topic. The absurdly extravagant profusion in which thousands of pounds are now being continually flung away in advertising, is one which was never approved by me, and as long as my books remained in print, at my suggestion they all got sold without it. At present there are almost none in the market except Proverbial Philosophy, my Poems, Stephan Langton, and Dramas, and these still live and sell as before, after a silent life of many years. I suppose advertising must answer, or it would not be persisted in; and certainly the newspapers (that chiefly live thereby) exhort all to crowd their columns, if they wish to win fortune: but how the perpetual and reiterated obtrusion of such single words as Oopack, or Syndicates, or Beecham's Pills, or Argosy Braces, or Grateful and Comforting, &c. &c., can prove[Pg 310] seductive baits, I do not see nor feel: the shameless amount of space they fill in our newspapers, and especially the impertinent way in which they intrude upon us while reading, as interleaved into books and magazines, so entirely disgusts me that I have often declared I would rather go without "tea, coffee, tobacco, or snuff" (this is a phrase, for the two latter I abominate) than deign to patronise those persistent advertisers A, B, C, D, or E. And yet I do know a splendid church at Eastbourne wholly built of pills,—and Professor Holloway's ointment has produced a palatial institute, and another wholesale advertiser tells me he spends £30,000 a year on notices and paragraphs, to gain thereby £50,000,—and so one cannot but acquiesce in Carlyle's cynical dictum, so cruelly alluded to by Dean Stanley in his funeral sermon at Westminster, that there are in our community "26,000,000, mostly fools," otherwise how can folks be weak enough to be forced to pay for "goods," or "bads," merely by dint of reiteration?

There is, however, one form of advertisement which I have found to pay,—and that is not praise, but abuse. A certain article, written as I was told by Alaric Watts, and stigmatising my readers as idiots, and their author as a bellman, was said to have actually sold off 3000 copies at a run; and Hepworth Dixon's attack in some other paper—I forget the name—was so lucrative to me in its results that I entreated him at Moxon's one day to do it again.

Once I took it into my head to collect and publish a page of adverse criticisms (if I can find a copy it shall be printed here) to excellent sale-effect as regarded[Pg 311] my tales. And I remember hearing at a publisher's, that when a book didn't sell through puffing, their Herald of Fame upstairs was directed to abuse it, and in one case a society novel by a lady of title was prosecuted (by management) for libel, in order to get off the edition. That publishing-house used to advertise in "five figures"—that is, upwards of £10,000 a year, and was professionally antagonistic to another, from which it had sprung originally. The critical organs of the one house always used to run down the publications of the other. And I daresay other Sosii are aware of the like mutual warfare going on even now.[Pg 312]



As to my several efforts in print to hinder cruelty to animals, beside and beyond what a reader may already find in my published books, let me chiefly mention these two fly-leaves, widely circulated by the Humane Society in Jermyn Street; to wit, "Mercy to Animals," and my "Four anti-Vivisection Sonnets." The latter I must preface with an interesting anecdote. Before Louis Napoleon was Emperor, I accompanied a deputation from Guernsey to Cherbourg, met him, had pleasant speech with him, and gave him a book ("Proverbial Philosophy"), thus making his personal acquaintance; which many years after I utilised as thus. The horrors of that infernal veterinary torture-house at Alfort, where disabled cavalry horses were on system vivisected to death, had been known to us by letters in the Times, of course denouncing the criminality: I remember reading that one poor old horse survived more than threescore operations, and used to be led in daily strapped with bandages and plaisters amid the cheers of the demoniacal students!—and this excited me to make a strong personal effort to stop the outrages at Alfort. Accordingly I wrote from Albury a letter to the Emperor (if I kept and can find a copy I will print it here) as from one gentleman to another[Pg 313] fond of his horse and dog, exhorting him to interfere and hinder such horrors. I told him that I purposely did this in a private way, and not through any newspaper or minister, because I wished him to cure, proprio motu, a crying evil whereof he was ignorant and therefore innocent: leaving the issue of my appeal to his own generous feeling and to Providence, but otherwise not expecting nor requesting any reply. I therefore got none; but (whether post hoc or propter hoc I do not know) the result was that vivisection at Alfort was suspended at once, though how long for is unknown to me. As, after all this, many may like to see my four sonnets before-mentioned, I have no room to place here more than one: it is fair to state that they are easily procurable for a penny at the S. P. C. A. office in Jermyn Street. They were written by me in the train between Hereford and London, at the request of a lady, the chatelaine of Pontrilas Court, for a bazaar at Brighton.

"If ever thou hast loved thy dog or horse,
Or other favourite affectionate thing,
If thou dost recognise in God the source
Of all that live, their Father and their King,
Stand with us on this rescue;—for the force
Of sciolists hath legal right to seize
Such innocents to torture as they please,
Alive and sentient, with demoniac skill;
Ungodly men! hot with the lawless lust
Of violating Nature's holiest fane,
Breaking it open at your wicked will,—
Yet shall ye tremble!—for the Judge is just;
To Him those victims do not plead in vain,
On you for æons crowd their hours of pain."

When I was last at Boston my spirit was stirred by[Pg 314] what I have poetised below: it has only appeared in some American papers, but I hope will be acceptable here.

The Omnibus Hack.
"Worn, jaded, and faint, plodding on in the track,
I praise your great patience, poor omnibus hack;
In whose sad gentle eyes my spirit can trace
The gloom of despair in that passionless face,
While way-wearied muscles, strain'd out to the full
And cruelly check'd by the pitiless pull,
With little for food, but of lashes no lack,
Force me to pray for you, omnibus hack!
"Yes I—if I can pity you, omnibus hack,
For nerves all atremble and sinews awrack,
How should not his Maker, the Father above,
Be just to His creature, and grant him His love?
Why may not His mercy give somewhat of bliss
In some better world to compensate for this,
By animal pleasure for animal pain,
Receiving their lives but to give them again?
"And which of us isn't an omnibus hack,
With galls on his withers and sores on his back,—
Buckled to circumstance, driven by fate,
And chain'd on the pole of a oar that we hate—
Yon ponderous Past which we drag fast or slow
On the coarse-mended Present, this dull road we go,
Hard-curb'd on the tongue and no bearing-rein slack,
Ah! who of us isn't that omnibus hack?
"Yet great is the comfort considering thus
That God doth take thought as for him so for us;
That we shall find rest, reward, and relief
Outweighing, outpaying all pain and all grief;
That all things are kindly remembered elsewhere,
The shame and the wrong and the press and the care,
The evils that keep all better aback,
And make one feel now but an omnibus hack.
[Pg 315]
"An omnibus hack?—and only a drudge?—
Is Duty no more in the eyes of the Judge?
He set thee this toil; His providence gave
These bounds to His freedman; yes, free—not a slave!
And if thou wilt serve Him, content with thy lot,
Cheerfully working and murmuring not,
Be sure, my poor brother—whose skies are so black—
Thou art His dear child, though an omnibus hack!"

My "Mercy to Animals," a simple handbill, has done great good, as it has prose instructions about loading, harnessing, &c. It also is to be had for a penny at Jermyn Street aforesaid: here is the first verse:—

"O boys and men of British mould,
With mother's milk within you!
A simple word for young and old,
A word to warn and win you;
You've each and all got human hearts,
As well as human features,
So hear me, while I take the parts
Of all the poor dumb creatures."

For my own part I have done it all my life. Those of my book-friends who have my Miscellaneous Poems may refer in this connection to verses therein on "A Dead Dog" and "A Dead Cat," and to those on "Cruelty." Also in "Proverbial Philosophy," especially as to the "Future of Animals," and their too shameful treatment in this world, one good reason for a compensative existence.[Pg 316]



I took my family to these Northern Isles of the Sea in 1859, sailing from Aberdeen in a once-a-week steamer; some of our passengers were notable, as Dasent of the Norse Tales (since Sir George) and his sons, Day the Oxonian in Norway, Ellicott, now Bishop of Bristol, Biot Edmondstone, and some others, inclusive of our noble selves. It was a dark night and a dense fog, and we had perilously to thread our careful way through the herring-fleet, fog-horns blowing all night, whilst our distinguished party bivouacked on deck, every cabin having been secured by folks crowding to the Kirkwall fair; and so we enjoyed a seagoing experience which, however cold and dark, was warmed and brightened by the conversation of clever friends all night through.

Next day, jumping into a boat on the top of a wave (it was very rough weather), I and a few others landed at Wick, and witnessed the extraordinary scene of a herring harvest being cured. Much as at Cincinnati they say pigs walk in, and come out at the other end of a long gallery salted and smoked,—live herrings are within some three minutes killed, cleaned, pickled, and tubbed by the fishermen's wives and daughters in their brightest caps and jewellery, for the whole scene is a fair and a festival.[Pg 317]

In due time we arrived at Kirkwall, where we stayed a fortnight, in the course of which we were soon invited to Mr. Balfour's castle at Shapinshay. I call to mind in that mediæval-looking stronghold (but it is a modern structure) his splendid banqueting-room, lighted by the illuminated points of twelve stags' heads, each having twelve tynes, thus 144 of them, ranged on the sides of that baronial hall: the castle, of grey granite in the Norman style, having its own gasometer, all the light was gas; this struck me as a remarkable feature inside: on the outside was one quite as memorable. Those sterile-looking isles of the North Sea are so swept by stormy winds as to be absolutely treeless: insomuch that it is jocularly said, that for cutting down a tree at Kirkwall, the penalty is death! simply because no trees exist there. Well, the wealthy Baron of Shapinshay conquers nature thus; he has dug round the castle vast hollow gardens (not a continuous moat) in which flourishes a profusion of flowers and shrubs and even trees,—till arboriculture is cut shear off, if it dares to look over the mounds. I put it thus:—

"When to the storm-historic Orcades
The wanderer comes, he marvels to find there
A stately palace, towering new and fair,
Bedded in flowers, though unbanked by trees,
A feudal dream uprisen from the seas:
And when his wonder asks,—Whose magic rare
Hath wrought this bright creation?—men reply,
Balfour's of Balfour: large in mind and heart,
Not only doth his duteous care reclaim
All Shapinshay to new fertility,
But to his brother men a brother's part
Doing, in always doing good,—his fame
Is to have raised an Orcade Arcady,
Rich in gems of Nature as of Art."

At Kirkwall we could not help noticing what a fine race of men and[Pg 318] women, blue-eyed and yellow-haired, many of these Northerners are; at St. Magnus Cathedral they trooped in looking like giants, seeming taller perhaps because the pews are on a dead level with the floor. Of course we duly did all the sights of the place, in the way of the ruinous bishop's palace and so forth, and received hearty welcomes from both high and low, the isolation of those parts conducing to the popularity of strangers; to say less of any greed for the cash of tourists.

I made there good acquaintance also with Aytoun, the poet of Dundee and Montrose, of whom it is rememberable that he used to read all through Scott's novels every year. I thought it a marvellous feat, but at any rate he told me so. He was sheriff of all those northern regions; and writer, amongst other things, of "Hints for Authors" in Blackwood, which for their wit and sense ought to be reprinted: but when I urged it in Princes Street, I found such a booklet was not to be—nor "Firmilian" either—which is a pity, as both are admirable for humour. He was a zealous florist and fruitist; the white currants trained by him upon walls were as large as grapes.

Among these Isles of Thule palpable evidences of the Gulf Stream are frequent; besides that it warms the northern seas so well that snow and ice are not too common there as in much lower latitudes they are with us—it is the fact that most of the seafaring men have for snuff-boxes the large brown circular beans from Mexico floated on tropical seaweed, full of hand coral, and found on the island beaches westwardly. Another notable matter in these Orcades is the strange disproportion between the sexes, eleven women to one man, as Mr. Hayes, the[Pg 319] Lerwick banker, told me; this being due to the too frequent drowning of whole boat's crews: hence, one often sees women at the oar. A pleasanter thing to mention is the Fair Isle hosiery, the patterns whereof in the woven worsted are distinctly Moorish, just like those at Tangiers; said to be a survival of some wreck from the Spanish Armada cast upon the shore, with of course its crew and contents, the local manufacture of said patterns having been kept up ever since, with dyes derived from seaweeds, and from flowers. I frequently observed how diligent in knitting the island women were (reminding me of those notable spinsters of Herodotus) working the needles all the while they tended cattle, and with the pile of some costly shawl upon their heads while they fidget at the fringe; its various devices being of natural unstained wools, white, grey, or brown. In those interesting islands I can dimly recall many other noticeable things and people, everywhere having received the warm welcome which is usually the privilege of a bookwright all the world over; visiting the Stones of Stennis with Mr. Petrie, the Celtic tower of Scalloway with Aytoun, and divers similar antiquities, as Maeshow and other refuges of the Picts and Troglodytes.

At Lerwick two of the boatmen who took us to shore from the steamer surprised me by quotations from my old book—even the common folk being full of literature. They are so separate from the great world, and have so little to do, that they cannot help being hard readers,—even of me. A haberdasher told me that though there are in the short summer plenty of simple wild-flowers, there is naturally a dearth all the year round of the brighter and more highly-coloured culti[Pg 320]vated kinds; and so these being scarce and female vanity rather common, there is a large trade in artificial fuchsias, pinks, and roses, &c., thus constantly making chapel and church quite gay; the same ladies who so bedizen themselves on the Sabbath going about all the week carrying burdens of peat, bare-footed and kilted to the knee on account of the bogs, among which they have to chase those small shaggy equines, the Shetland ponies. By the way Mr. Balfour at Oronsay had a special breed of his own, and showed us a pair of little darlings which he valued at £100 apiece. The true race, stunted and shaggy from climate, is rare in these days; and I suspect may be picked up cheaper at Aldridge's than at Shapinshay.

On our return voyage we skirted the whole north of Scotland, having had the rare chance of the steamer which once a year is chartered to take back the herring-fishers from Thurso to the Hebrides. But first Sir George Sinclair most hospitably entertained us at Thurso Castle, whose grim battlements frown flush over the Arctic Sea: all within the walls luxurious warmth, and without them wrecks and desolation. So also with the garden; on one side of the high wall greenhouses and flower-beds in the Italian style,—on the other, in strange contrast, the desolate wild ocean, which you see through windows of thick plate-glass let into the walls. At Thurso town I conversed with the local genius, Robert Dick, made of world-wide fame since by that kind-hearted and clear-minded author, Samuel Smiles, the said genius being a noted self-taught naturalist, who as a small baker struggled with poverty through life, to be inconsistently rewarded after death by a national monument; his fellow-townsmen let the living starve[Pg 321] to deify him when dead. Cervantes and his like have met the same fate elsewhere. Leaving Thurso for the Hebrides, in company with no fewer than 700 Gaelic fishermen, we passed the magnificent cliffs of Cape Wrath in a pleasant calm,—which next day when we had reached Stornoway turned to a furious storm: had we encountered it with those 700 loading the deck it would infallibly have wrecked us,—as it did many other vessels on that night.

Sir James Matheson was our great host at Stornoway, who treated me and mine with magnificent hospitality. If I had wished to shoot a buck or to catch a salmon (the kilted gillie stood ready with his tackle), I might have done so and welcome; but there was no time to spare for anything but a visit to the prehistoric temple of Callanish, where the stones strangely enough are set in the form of a cross instead of the ordinary circle; and to a Pictish tower, and other antiquities,—which I preferred to sport.

Sir James's piper always wakes the guests a'mornings, parading round the terraces with his bagpipes, and after dinner, as usual at the feasts of Highland magnates, he marches round the table in kilt and flying tartans with his drone-like dirge or furious slogan,—being rewarded on the spot with whisky from the chief.

Here I will cease my quick reminiscence of that pleasant northern travel, though I might recount many noticeable matters about Skye and its dolomite Cuchullins, Staffa, Iona, and Oban, where The MacDougal allowed us to see and handle (an unusual honour) the famous brooch of Lorne, the loss of which saved The Bruce's life, when he broke away from his captor, the then MacDougal; leaving tartan and shoulder-brooch in his grasp.[Pg 322]



Among the many literary men and women of my acquaintance there are some (for it is not possible to enumerate all) of whom I should like to make some mention; and, place aux dâmes, let me speak of the ladies first. In my boyhood I can recollect that astronomical wonder of womankind, Mrs. Mary Somerville, a great friend of my father's; she seemed to me very quiet and thoughtful, and so little self-conscious as to be humbly unregardful of her genius and her fame. Strangely enough I first met her in the same drawing-room in Grafton Street (she lived and died at Chelsea) where I acted a silent part years after in some private theatricals with Miss Granville (met during my American visit in her then phase of a German Baroness), herself an authoress and a cantatrice, daughter of Dr. Granville, the well-known historian of Spas. I recollect, too, in those early times, Mrs. Jameson, then a celebrated writer, and a vivacious leader of literary society; and much nearer this day, Mrs. Beecher Stowe, whom I found too taciturn, and as if scared at the notice she excited, quite to realise one's expectation of a famous lioness. With her I have since broken a lance in the interest of Byron, whom I considered maligned in the matter of his "sweet sister," and accordingly wrote on[Pg 323] his behalf a vindicatory fly-leaf of poetic indignation. Another lance, too, have I broken in favour of Ouida, as against a newspaper critic who had tried to crush her "Moths;" I had met her before that, and did my little best in her defence, receiving from her from Italy a charming letter of acknowledgment. "Ouida" is not generally known to have been the nursery name of "Louisa" de la Ramenay, just as "Boz" was of Dickens. Both "Ouida" and Miss Braddon, whom also I have seen as Mrs. Maxwell, remind me of that great and not seldom unfairly judged genius, Georges Sand. There remains a worthy duplicated friendship of later years, Mr. and Mrs. Carter Hall, of whose geniality and kindness I have often had experience; also Mr. and Mrs. Grote, my learned and agreeable neighbours at Albury; also Lady Wilde, admirable both for prose and poetry on Scandinavian subjects, and her eloquent son Oscar, famous for taste all the world over; and as another duplicate the Gaelic historian and cheerful singer, Charles Mackay, with his charming daughter, the poetess.

Of celebrated men whom I have not previously mentioned in this volume, there is Rogers, the poet, with whom I once had an interview at his artistic house in St. James's Place; Carlyle, of course, well known to me by books, but personally only in a single visit, when I found him in Cheyne Row cordially glad to greet me;—after a long talk, taking my leave with a hearty "God bless you, sir," his emphatic reply, as he saw me to the door, was, "And good be with you!"

It was a coincidence, proving (as many things do) the narrowness of the world, that he was living very[Pg 324] near to the house where in my young days I had wooed my cousin.

Near at hand also (in Cheyne Walk) I have visited Haweis, the eloquent preacher of St. James's, Marylebone; he lives in the picturesque old-fashioned house that was Rossetti's, and when I called there last Mr. Haweis showed me the strangest and most unwieldy testimonial that any public man surely ever received, in the shape of a ton-weight bell hung in its massive frame and placed in his sanctum, which, when touched, gave out melodious thunder. This giant-gift had been sent to him from Holland in recognition of his musical genius, especially in the matter of campanology. And this word "musical" reminds me of Mr. Haweis's noble self-sacrifice in giving up his idolised violin that he might concentrate all his energies on religious teaching; when I asked to see his famous "Straduarius," worth three hundred guineas, and found it unstrung, I expressed my disappointment at not having had the chance of hearing its dulcet tones drawn out by himself, but it lies dumb, though he is eloquent. Of course I have visited the great Tennyson at Farringford, and remember him showing me the tree overhanging his garden fence, which "Yankees" climb to have a look at him. Browning also, tantum vidi, I met at Moxon's, a grandly rugged poet; contrasted with the Laureate he seems to me as Wagner is to Mendelssohn. Mortimer Collins has given us "a happy day" at Albury, coming in à pied poudre on one of his dusty walks through Surrey, as recorded in his book; how he enjoyed his tumbler of cool claret and the ramble with my son through the Albury woods as a most genial Bohemian! Dickens I have met several times, and he gave me good[Pg 325] hints on my first American visit; a man full of impulsive kindliness and sincerely one's friend. His son Charles also I have occasionally met, the worthy successor to his illustrious father: I may here state that many of the articles and poems in Household Words are from the pen of my youngest daughter. Richard Owen, too, now worthily K.C.B., our most famous comparative anatomist, I am privileged to number among my true friends; he was one of those who stood sponsor to me when I was to receive a civil service pension. Also I knew for many years my late Surrey neighbour, Godwin Austen, the geologist; and I have met Pengelly, with whom I searched Kent's Cavern; and Dr. Bowerbank, the great authority as to sponges, and my then hobby choanites; he gave me certain microscopic plates of Bacilli which I was glad to transfer to my worthy and eminent friend, Stephen Mackenzie, Physician and Lecturer to the London Hospital. Matthew Arnold also, with whose celebrated father I was in early youth nearly placed as a pupil, I have sometimes encountered; and Shirley Brooks, Albert Smith, and Mark Lemon, once a chief of Punch, who acted Falstaff without padding; and the genial John Tenniel, our most exquisite limner in outline; the venerable Thomas Cooper also, now in his old age the zealous preacher of a faith he once as zealously attacked: an excellent man, and vigorous both in prose and verse. My old friend from boyhood, Owen Blayney Cole, must not be forgotten; year after year for some forty of them he has sent me reams of his poetry. Edmund Yates, than whom a kindlier, cleverer, and better-hearted man does not exist, I have known for years; his father and mother having[Pg 326] been frequent guests at our house in Burlington Street; and I sympathised indignantly with him in his recent editorial trouble wherein he was used so hardly. I remember also how he dropped in upon me at Albury one morning just as I happened to be pasting into one of my Archive-books a few quips and cranks anent my books from Punch: he adjured me "not to do it! for Heaven's sake, spare me!" covering his face with his hands. "What's the matter, friend?" "I wrote all these," added he, in earnest penitence, "and I vow faithfully I'll never do it again!" "Pray, don't make so rash a promise, Edmund, and so unkind a one too: I rejoice in all this sort of thing,—it sells my books, besides—'I'se Maw-worm,—I likes to be despised!'" "Well, its very good-natured of you to say so; but I really never will do it again:" and the good fellow never did—so have I lost my most telling advertisement. I must also not forget to praise that humorous novelist, the late Frank Smedley,—a remarkable instance of the triumph of a strong and cheerful mind over a weak and crippled body, with whom I have many reminiscences as a brother author. It was wonderful to see how he enjoyed—from his invalid chair—"the dances and delights" he could not take part in; and one day I remember finding him unusually exhilarated, as he was just come from a wedding-breakfast,—"rehearsing, rehearsing," he laughingly shouted. Poor fellow,—the victim of an accident in infancy, he lived strapped and banded with steel springs,—but as a gracious compensation Heaven gave him a seeming unconsciousness of his helpless condition, and added the happy mind to make the best of this world while looking forward to a better. And let me not neglect to[Pg 327] record, however slightly, a few more recent authorial friendships much valued by me among my Norwood neighbours. I will begin with J. G. Wood, perhaps our best naturalist, especially in matters entomological. Never were there more humorous no less than instructive lectures than his, illustrated admirably as they are by his own graphic chalk-sketches on the spot: and if any one wishes to be convinced that animals have souls, let him read the said Rev. J. G. Wood's "Man and Beast." Next will I mention Dr. Cuthbert Collingwood, famous as a naturalist and voyager among the China seas, a poet also, well proved by his "Vision of Creation," and a thoughtful writer on religion and metaphysics. There is Dr. Zerffi, too, whose varied orations on history and other topics have filled our Crystal Palace with his advanced wisdom for fifteen years. There is Birch the sculptor, author of the "Godiva" and "The Last Call," exhibited here, and well appreciated by me as another Durham,—really a metempsychosis of character. Among literary ladies here I may mention as my friends Madame Zerffi, Miss Mary Hooper, and Miss Ellen Barlee,—all noted in their several departments, the first as an eloquent lecturer like her husband, the second known by her domestic essays, and the third for religious writings. I will add as casually encountered by me hereabouts George MacDonald, whose magnificent presence in the pulpit is as memorable as his conversation at the dinner-table, and the interest of his books; and Lord Ronald Gower, creator of that finest group of modern statuary "the Apotheosis of Shakespeare," exhibited at the Crystal Palace, where, as well, as by correspondence, I have had with him much pleasant intercourse.[Pg 328]

And here may come a brief memory I wrote lately of Colonel Fred. Burnaby for an American editor.

"I am asked to give a short note of personal reminiscence about my lately departed friend, Colonel Fred. Burnaby, with whom I was intimate for three years before his death. Every one has read his popular life, and heard of his many exploits; how alone in mid-air he navigated a balloon across the Channel; how he accomplished, in spite of State telegrams to the contrary, his adventurous and patriotic ride to Khiva in dead winter and defying perils of all sorts; how he stood six feet four in his stockings (with another foot to be added to that magnificent specimen of manhood when in jack-boots and in his plumed helmet); how he was strong enough to bind a kitchen poker round his neck, to crack cobnuts in his fingers, and to carry a pair of Shetland ponies upstairs under his arms,—how also the genial giant, quite the Arac of Tennyson's Princess, was the gentlest and kindest and least dangerous of knights-errant (unless, indeed, his just wrath was aroused by anything mean or insolent, when doubtless he could be terrible), and how he was the idolised of men, especially his own brother giants of the Royal Regiment of Blues, and naturally was also the adored of women wherever he showed himself. This Admirable Crichton had every social accomplishment, but as he was also gifted with a knowledge of many tongues, even to Turkish and Arabic, beyond the more familiar French, German, Italian, and Spanish, of course he must dare all sorts of perilous travel, if only to prove that he was no carpet-knight, no mere 'gold stick' at court, or silver-casqued statue at the Horse Guards. So he fearlessly risked his life in all ways on every possible occasion which the War Office routine gave him on holiday.[Pg 329]

"Khiva and Kars, and of late at last the fatal Mahdi war, had fascinations for him of danger which his thirst for active service (too much refused to him as obliged officially to be a stay-at-home) had not power to resist; and we all know how gallantly, if indeed too rashly, he fought and fell on what his Viking blood loved best as a deathbed, the field of battle. For he came of an old Teutonic family, and on his mother's side was also a direct descendant, as he told me himself, of our heroic and gigantic King Edward III., whom he is said greatly to have resembled, as the portrait at Windsor Castle proves. We were talking about ancestry and the anecdote came out naturally enough.

"In politics a strong Conservative, he, with characteristic antagonism, chose radical Birmingham for his coveted seat in Parliament, but alas! he has not lived to hazard the election. He was a neat, fluent, and epigrammatic speaker, as potent with his tongue as with his sword; and as for the pen (albeit his handwriting must have puzzled compositors), the myriads of readers who have enjoyed his stirring books in print, can testify how brilliant and eloquent he was for the matter of authorship. He told me of a new novel—of the satirico-political sort—which he had written for the press, but as yet we hear nothing definite of its publication.

"My own personal acquaintance with the familiar 'Fred. Burnaby' was confined to several hospitable dinner-parties at the house of his relative, Lady W——, my near neighbour and friend at Norwood, about which I might anecdotise to any extent; but I never allow myself to record private conversation nor to reveal domesticities. All such are sacred in my memory, and[Pg 330] on principle I despise the modern mischief-maker whose reminiscences are practically reminuisances. On a certain public occasion, however, Burnaby stood by me, to my great pleasure and advantage, and let me record his kindness thus. When I gave my lecture on Flying at the Royal Aquarium, he most appropriately took the chair, and made some excellent remarks. Altogether, let my testimony, however brief, however inadequate, to the merits of Fred. Burnaby be this: I lost in his too sudden death a friend, as I had hoped, for many years to come, and my regrets are for him as one of the noblest of mankind. Let me add a word further, as the worthy witnessing of one, quite a kindred spirit, whose acquaintance I made some long time back, and look for great things from his energy and enterprise, and multifarious talents,—Charles Marvin, then the famous Eastern Pioneer, who in his book on Asia, says: "Yes, our Burnabys, our Bakers, our MacGregors, our Gordons—these are the real pillars of the Empire. These are the men who confer provinces upon England, who risk their lives to guard them. When the world is a little older, and the working man's vote is worth more than the statesman's opinion, then the splendid achievements of such men will be more generously appreciated: and the warm English feeling expended to-day on torpid, stupid, unpatriotic party politicians will be directed towards heroes whose steady undaunted patriotism, in face of public indifference and bureaucratic disdain, conveys a moral as grand as their careers."

A Dining-out Anecdote.

As I have before said, not having been much given to society, nor therefore a professional parasite of Amphi[Pg 331]tryon (though sometimes tempted to his side as "a lion," but more often vainly, for I always refused if I could), I have an instructive anecdote to give about a celebrated conversationist, whom I will not name nor indicate even by initials. One evening I found myself compelled to accompany him to a great man's banquet—nota bene, it was after I had well recovered speech—and so I found myself at his chambers perhaps ten minutes too soon. He called to me from his dressing-room, bidding me to amuse myself till he was ready. Now, on the study table were laid several books, open, with weights to keep them so: and I glanced from one to another to while away the time. Then up came his brougham, and off we went. At dinner my "diner-out" started a topic, whereof innocently enough I remembered instantly a suitable epigram. Not long after another subject gave me occasion to tell a witty story, which somehow came to me at the moment. My "friend" asked me with a keen glance where I had read it, and at once I recollected those open books and understood the position, resolving mischievously to outflank the manæuverer. Accordingly, at each opportunity, with seeming innocence, I "wiped his eye," as they say at a battue, and certainly reaped the anecdotic "kudos" Mr. So-and-so had cunningly contrived and hoped to achieve for himself. I confess it was vicious of me, but who could help taking the benefit of such a chance? Hosts should beware of wits who cram their jokes and anecdotes. Years after I met the same gentleman at another entertainer's table, where I found him in my presence not quite the livener-up they had expected, and he seemed a little shy of me; probably he thought me an omniscient, for I never told the poor[Pg 332] man I had found him out. I fear he has departed to a world where genuine truthfulness is more accepted as a virtue than in this.

A Mormon Guest.

Quite recently I have had a visit from a young American, who brought me a letter from a so-called cousin—at all events a namesake—in the Far West, asking me to tell her about her German ancestry. My visitor was good-looking, well-dressed, fair-spoken, and gentlemanly; also well-bred and well-to-do. I will not indicate his name, but I may state that he is a near relative of the eminent electrician who illuminates so magnificently the fountains at South Kensington. Of course, as pleased with his manners and deportment, I kept him to luncheon; and finding that he hailed from Utah, naturally asked if he knew Salt Lake City and the Mormons there. Certainly; he lived not a hundred miles from the city, and those were his own people: as a Mormon himself from infancy, he had nothing but good to say of them, and we in England had been very much misled by Mrs. Stenhouse and other travellers. As to plurality of wives, not two per cent. of their whole 200,000 had more than one wife. His own father, a rich merchant and a church-hierarch, a "stake" of the tabernacle (much as we should say a pillar), had but one—his own dear mother—and he scarcely knew any one with more. It was quite a European misjudgment that many followed Brigham Young's doctrine, which never had been Joseph Smith's,—and the present chief, Taylor, had but one. He showed us many cabinet photographs of Salt Lake City, his own family, leading Mormons, and the like: especially of the Old Tabernacle,[Pg 333] like a monstrous tortoise, and one from a finished drawing of the new, of even more tasteless architecture, being the most gigantic piece of perpendicular ever perpetrated, and full of unsightly windows. When asked about the golden book,—well he had never seen it, but believed in it thoroughly; because all the twelve apostles had seen it and he trusted their testimony. Eleven of those apostles were now dead, one only surviving. (Just as with our friends of Mr. Irving's sect at Albury, which arose in the same year as Mormonism.) We had never set eyes on the originals of our own Scriptures—in fact, they did not exist—but believed the witnessing of others, as he did. He himself was not a missionary, but would go if he was sent by the Church; though he mightn't like it, he was bound to, obey, authority, &c. &c.

I had plenty more talk with him, and found him intelligent, modest, and in every way a remarkably agreeable young fellow: and I added to my mental repertoire of better judgments that on Mormonism,—even as heretofore Mr. Sinnett has taught me not utterly to despise Buddhism, Dr. Wilkinson to revere Swedenborgianism, and a few other people I might name who are true believers, to be charitable as to other sorts of strange isms: once I met a very religious clergyman who still held by Johanna Southcote; and we have all heard how Lady Hester Stanhope had an Arab horse always ready saddled for Messiah when He is to ride into Jerusalem; and how some other person had a gold spoon and fork laid daily at his table for the sudden coming of a Divine Guest! Our personal lesson is to be tolerant of all manner of innocent enthusiasms, to hear both sides and bear with all opinions,—some[Pg 334]times finding to our astonishment that black sheep may after all be whiter than they looked, and that uncharitable prejudice is but another name for ignorant folly. Before taking leave of my Mormon guest, I ought to report that he was teetotal, handsome, taciturn rather than talkative, a hunter among the Rockies, an author himself, and of course an old book-friend, so I made him happy with some autographic poetries.

With reference to "Joe Smith's" own theological creed, there is a very neat and notable précis of it on p. 171 of a bright little book I have lately read, titled "Frank's Ranche, or my Holiday in the Rockies," easily accessible. That creed is so good that when I read it aloud to my homeflock they said, "Why, we believe all that!"—and as to the evil matter of many wives, not only did the original Joseph repudiate that doctrine, but his namesake son, still a chief among the Mormons, does the same, and so far has seceded from the Brigham heresy: which a son of mine says is not bigamy, but Brighamy.

A few forgotten anecdotes may here find place: take these twelve as samples of many more such trivials which memory may have at the bottom of her well, if she only dipped for them.

1. A banknote experience: when a very small child I used to be taken to the Postford paper-mill at Albury by my nurse, who had a follower (or a followed) in the foreman there. While they talked together, I was deputed to amuse myself by making banknote paper, as thus: a spoonful of pulp put into a shallow tray of wire and shaken deftly made a small oblong of paper duly impressed with Britannia and water-marked: being then dried on a flannel pad. Many years after, when I was[Pg 335] preparing for Oxford under Mr. Holt at Postford House, there was discovered a secret cupboard in the wall of his drawing-room which was found to contain several forged plates for printing banknotes: and this discovery accounted for the recent suicide of a Mr. H——, a previous owner of the paper-mill, who evidently feared exposure and conviction. No one now is allowed to make banknote paper, except the honourable firm of Messrs. Portal, which has the monopoly thereof: but when I was a child, any one might do it, and if there was a forger handy, fraud was possible to any extent. Our "Newland's Corner" on Merrow Downs is so called from Abraham Newland, whose name is printed on old banknotes as F. May is on new ones, and who owned Postford Mill. Hence the word "Sham-Abram" for a forged note.

2. A noted piscatorial editor wishes me to record now I once caught a trout with its own eye—as thus: I was whipping the Tillingbourne, and hooked a fish foul, for it dropped off leaving an eye on the hook. In my vexation I made a cast again over the same spot where I had thrown, and actually caught that eager wounded fish with its own eye.

3. When I was a guest of Captain Hamilton at Rozelle, Ayr, he told me that he and all the crew had seen the sea-serpent!—but that his admiral had interdicted all mention of it in the log for fear of ridicule: on which I told him what I had seen of the same sort. When crossing the great Herring Pond in the Arctic, the passengers were all summoned on deck from dinner to see that mystery of the deep, the sea-serpent. It was very rough at the time, and certainly within a little distance some apparent monster hundreds of feet long was rolling on the top of the waves: but as some por[Pg 336]tions of it spouted, we soon saw there nothing but a school of whales, the big bull leading and the cows and calves following in a line. This looked like the real thing,—but wasn't. From other evidence, however, and the Rev. J. G. Wood supplies one, I do believe there are such monsters of the deep whose nest is in the Sargasso Sea.

4. Here is a curious item of my biography. When I was in Canada in 1851, at an hotel in Kingston, the waiter comes to tell me that two persons wanted to see me on special business. Admitted, there appeared a very decent man and woman dressed in their best, and with ribbons and flowers. What might they want with me? Please, Mr. Tupper, that you would marry us! My good man, I can't, I'm not a clergyman. Oh but, sir, you write religion, and we like your books, and we've come across from New York State to Canada to get married,—so please, &c. &c. Of course, I did not please, and as to marriage at all gave them Punch's celebrated advice to persons about to marry, Don't. On which the hapless pair departed sorrowfully. If I had read the service over them, possibly their respectable consciences might have been satisfied,—and as with Romeo and Juliet a lay friar Lawrence would have sufficed. Moreover, there's no penalty from one State to another: and even on board ship the captain may read services, and on land the Consul marries.

5. A picture story. I am invited to a dinner where a rich New Yorker has asked some connoisseur friends to inspect his new purchase, a Raffaelle Madonna and child, for which he has just given a fabulous amount of dollars. I was asked for special judgment as an artistic Englishman. Well: the drawing was perfect; but I[Pg 337] didn't like the colouring: I knew the picture, having seen the original somewhere on the Continent: but this couldn't be a copy, as it was less than life-size; so, while most of the other guests praised profusely, I requested to withhold my opinion of its merits till I could examine it in daylight,—which, as I was to sleep in the house, was easy next morning. When my eager host appeared, I took him alone after breakfast into his study, and proved to him what, alas! I had too truly suspected, that however well painted with the over-accuracy of a miniature and absolutely correct as was the drawing,—his prize Raffaelle was after all only an oil-coloured engraving! This he wouldn't believe, triumphantly showing me the ancient canvas at the back: but when I told him that between that canvas and the paint he would find paper, and when a penknife scratch under the frame-edge proved it,—he naturally stormed at the dealer who had taken him in, until I suggested a disgorging of the dollars, and promising my own silence as to the discovery, left him a wiser man and a grateful.

6. How often the poor letter H has crushed oratory and destroyed eloquence! Do I not remember how notably a late Lord Mayor raised the echoes of the Egyptian Hall to an explosion of laughter, by commencing grandiloquently, "When hi survey the dignity of my 'igh position," &c. &c.; and similarly what a disastrous effect a certain preacher caused in church by the announcement, "This is the hare, come let us kill him?" But we all know the mysteries of H and W: Æsop Smith wrote a fable about them, whereof this is the finale: "H," said King Cadmus, "one of my oldest friends! never can I spare your respectable presence; your ancestor is the throat-uttered Heth of Moses; even[Pg 338] as you, dear W, are descended from the stately digamma of Homer. Believe me, I value both of you all the more for graceful ambiguities: mystery is priceless to your king, and your usage is obscure: therefore do I lay upon you higher honour. Henceforth, ye vowel magnates, and you my faithful commons consonants, take heed that no one be accounted literate or eloquent who places these my oldest friends in a dilemma. Their right use is a mystery; so be it; but woe be unto those whose innate want of taste profanes that mystery. Honour be to H, and worship be to W; and let those who misuse their secret excellences dread the vengeance of King Cadmus!"

7. Yet a seventh whimsical anecdote rises to the surface. When Prince Albert was made a fellow of Lincoln's Inn, and dined in the New Hall, I was present at the banquet. There was a roast joint and one bottle of port to each mess of four barristers: one would think a supply more than ample: however, some thirsty souls wanted more wine for the great occasion, and the complaint found utterance ludicrously thus. When the National Anthem was sung, some young lawyer who gave the solos, with a good tenor voice and no end of dry humour, raised a gale of laughter and applause by singing very devoutly—

"Long to reign over us
Happy and glorious,
Three half-pints 'mong four of us,
God save the Queen!"

Of course, plenty more bottles were the result,—and the genial Prince Albert laughed as heartily as the rest of us.

8. Yet another anecdote, in these days of professional[Pg 339] mendicancy not uninstructive. One day when calling on the Rev. Robert Anderson, at Brighton, a begging visitor came in, calling himself a Polish refugee, and speaking broken English: Mr. Anderson in his kindness was just about to open his purse, when I said to both of them, "I happen to know a little Polish, and wish to ask a few questions:" accordingly, I rapped out at intervals, with an interrogating air, the opening lines of the Antigone of Sophocles! on which that "banished lord," stammering out that he had been out of Poland so many years that he had forgotten the language, bowed himself from the room as a—discovered, impostor.

9. The recent lamentable fire at Kegan Paul's, wherein so much authorial wealth was cremated,—and especially no fewer than six of the works of that clever authoress, Emily Pfeiffer,—reminds me of an irrevocable loss sustained by "Proverbial Philosophy" owing to Oudinot's capture of Rome in 1849: for it so happened that the Cardinal Archbishop of Bologna had, as instructress to his nieces, a lady who afterwards became Mrs. Robinson of South Kensington Museum: she, a great admirer of the work, translated my book for them into Italian, and had it printed at Rome, where unluckily both the whole MS. and the finished sheets were all burnt in the city's bombardment. I have since asked Mrs. Robinson if she could possibly reproduce it: but—the occasion passed, there is now neither time nor need for it, and so my Italian version has no existence, except possibly as photographed on the "blue ether" whither Professor Tyndall hopes to go. A similar fatality, we may remember, affected Sir Isaac Newton through his little dog Diamond: and my friend in old days, Gilbert Bur[Pg 340]nett, the botanist, had to rewrite his index, a heartrending labour, because a careless housemaid lit a fire with it.

10. And this further reminds me of the perils to which an author's MSS. are perpetually exposed; e.g., before I put a spring lock on my study at Albury (where, by the way, I wrote several of my early Proverbial chapters with a child on my knee) I used to find my papers regularly put out of order by the maid arranging the room; and upon my cautioning her not to destroy anything, I was horrified by the unconscious Audrey's instant reply, "O sir! I never burns no papers but what is spoilt by being written on." Again, I remember to have cautioned my Suffolk friend, Mrs. Crabtree, who had a fine library, not to keep her servants short of firepaper, as they might possibly help themselves out of bound books; whereat she was indignant, as if I was traducing a favourite menial: however, I went round with her, unfortunately proving the delinquency by exhibiting several handsome volumes with middle leaves torn out!—Once more, in the prehistoric days when we sported with loose powder and shot and paper wadding, I was a guest for some days in September with James Maclaren at Ticehurst, and recollect his horror at finding that the luncheon sandwiches were wrapped in some of his most precious MSS.—for he was writing a treatise on finance, and these leaves were covered with calculations—and that his shooting-party were ramming down their charges with the recorded labour of his brains! It was at Maclaren's that I once tasted squirrel; his woods were infested with the pretty creatures, which the keeper shot, and after keeping the skin gave the carcase to the cook: it tasted like very nutty rabbit: but I protested[Pg 341] it was a greater outrage than lark-pudding, which I had recently seen at the Judges' Sentence dinner at Newgate, and said it was a shame to eat the sweet songsters. At Maclaren's I learnt the origin of "high" as applied to eatables. His game-larder was a tower of many bars, the lowest containing a to-day's shooting, the next yesterday's, and so forth, always moving up; hence the stalest were at the top, and so most serviceable as least fresh. Trench on words would approve this reason for "high" game.

11. Providence.
"Lo! we are led; we are guided and guarded
Carefully, kindly, by night and by day;
Punish'd belike, or haply rewarded,
As we go wrong or go right on the way;
Wisdom and Mercy, twin angels of kindness,
Take by both hands the child lost in the night,
Leading him safely, in spite of his blindness,
Guiding him well through the dark to the light.
"All things are ordered,—the least as the greatest;
Motes have their orbits as fixt as a star,—
And thou may'st mark, if humbly thou waitest,
Providence working in all things that are:
Nothing shall fail in its ultimate object,
Good must outwrestle all evil at last;
God is the King, and creation His subject,
And the great future shall ransom the past.
"Ay, and this present,—perplexing, degrading—
None may despise it as futile or worse;
Swift as it flieth, dissolving and fading,
'Tis the wing'd seed of some blessing or curse.
[Pg 342] Telescope, microscope,—which hath most wonder?
Infinite great, or as infinite small?
Musical silence, or world-splitting thunder?—
He that made all things inhabits them all.
"Yea; for this present,—each inch and each second
Hath its own soul in a thought or a word;
Ev'n as I watch, God's finger hath beckon'd,
Ev'n as I wait, God's whisper is heard!
Trifles, some judge them, that finger, that whisper,—
But on such pivots vast issues revolve;
Those are the watchful reminders of Mizpah,
Jazer and Bethel, Life's secret to solve!
"Mizpah,—for carefulness, honour, uprightness;
Jazer,—by penitence, meekness, and faith;
Bethel,—in foretastes of gladness and brightness,—
These are the keynotes to life out of death:
Providence bidding, and prudence obeying,
Thou shalt have peace from beginning to end,—
Thankfully, trustfully, instantly praying,
Walking with God as thy Father and Friend."

12. Apropos to my mention of Mortimer Collins' visit to Albury on another page, I make this extract from his "Pen Sketches by a Vanished Hand," vol. i. pp. 167, 168:—

"A Walk through Surrey.

"At Albury I called upon a poet,—one whom critics love to assail, but who derides critics and arrides the public. Pleasant indeed is the fine old house, with emerald lawn and stately trees, wherein he resides. Not Horace in his Sabine farm, nor Catullus at Tiburs, had a more poetic retreat than the author of "Proverbial[Pg 343] Philosophy" at Albury. But, like Catullus, the advent of May had set the poet longing for a flight far away:

"'Jam ver egelidos refert tepores,
Jam cœli furor æquinoctialis
Jucundis Zephyri silescit auris;
Jam mens prætrepidans avet vagari
Jam læti studio pedes vigescunt.'

And he was about to take wing for sea-side resorts, and the soft cyclades of the Channel, beloved by Victor Hugo.

"Right hospitable was he; a bottle of cool claret cheered the dusty wayfarer, and an hour's pleasant talk was even more cheering. Hence I walked through Albury Park towards Gomshall."

The exquisite bit from Catullus will best excuse my otherwise egotistical quotation.

A few more anecdotes about literary men and things may here find place. Take these respecting Thackeray, and Leech, both of which immortal humorists were my schoolfellows at the Charterhouse; but, as I have said, they having the misfortune to be merely lower-form boys, and your present scribe ranging as a dignified Emeritus, of course there was then a great gulf between us, pleasantly to be bridged over in after life. Thackeray's career has long been fully detailed in public, and I can have little to add of much consequence; but I call to mind how that quiet small cynic—so gigantic in all senses afterwards—used to caricature Bob Watki and the other masters on the fly-leaves of his classbooks, to the scandal of myself and other responsible monitors; these illustrated classics having since been sold by auction at high prices. But "My School-Days" have recorded all that.[Pg 344]

As to Leech, who probably adorned his books similarly, he, being a day-boy and allowed for safety to scuttle out of the playground before school broke up, came not equally under our surveillance in those days; but long years after, when that genial and witty friend and true gentleman was my guest at Albury, I had great delight in his company, and he helped cleverly to illustrate (along with divers other artists) my "Crock of Gold" and "Proverbial Philosophy," and in part "The Anglo-Saxon." I remember a characteristic little anecdote about him, as thus:—

We went angling together to Postford Pond, on a fine hot day, thinking less of possible sport than of sandwiches and sherry, and an idle lounge on a sloping bank in the shade, and haply (though for myself I am no smoker) the calmly contemplative cigar. As we lay there, in dolce-far-niente fashion, all at once Leech jumped up with a vigorous "Confound that float! can't it leave me at peace? I've been watching it bobbing these five minutes, and now it's out of sight altogether—hang it!" With that hearty exclamation of disgust pulling up a brilliant two-pound perch, the glory of the day! Next week's Punch had a pleasant comic sketch of this petty incident, thereby immortalised by the famous "bottled leech."

It always struck me that Tenniel and he were a well-matched pair, in kindliness, cleverness, and good looks; and I never can think of one without the other—arcades ambo; par nobile fratrum.

Thackeray lived to have his full revenge of Dr. Birch, in our day the reigning tyrant of Charterhouse; and Russell well deserved his castigation both by pen and pencil.[Pg 345]

Let me also give a brace of home sketches of Longfellow. I have had two principal interviews with him in his beautiful home at Cambridge, Massachusetts, at the wide interval between those visits of twenty-five years. Of the first of these I record a few words from my American MS. journal in 1851, adding some unwritten thoughts and recollections. On April 16th, then, in the year just named, Longfellow wrote to me cordially, and with much kindly appreciation, and soon after, calling on me at Boston, took me off in his carriage over the flooded lowlands to the ancient (for America) University of Cambridge, where the Queen Anne-like colleges are nestled in fine old elms. He treated me, of course, most hospitably, and had asked several friends to meet the traveller; but one, a chief guest, was otherwise engaged, and so I missed Lowell, to my great disappointment. It is not my "form" to detail private conversation, nor to describe the Lares and Penates of sacred domesticity; but I may reveal generally that I spent several golden hours of intellectual communion with the Abbott Laurences, Ticknor, Fields, Prescott, and Everett—illustrious names, which will sufficiently indicate the reception they gave me. At this time of day I cannot remember the thousand "winged speeches" that flew about that genial board, and, as I failed, from conscientious motives, to record them in my journal, I will not invent, after thirty-four years have passed over my memory, with their crowds of other words and fancies. Be this enough: I recollect to have asked Longfellow why he wrote Excelsior, and not the more grammatical Excelsius, as the title to one of his most famous poems. The reason is a curious one; he wrote those stirring verses, by request, on the motto[Pg 346] for the New York coat-of-arms, which is legended not quite accurately, Excelsior. And when, in the same line of thought, I inquired why he named a German story "Hyperion," with no apparent reason from classical associations, he pertinently enough answered me by pronouncing the name huper-iown, ("going higher"), the story being a tale of progress in human character.

And now to leap over twenty-five years, at which interval I paid my second visit to America in 1876, when again I had the privilege of being Longfellow's guest in the same historic abode where Washington had once his headquarters. My kind-hearted host insisted on my occupying the same arm-chair I had before, and which since, he said, had been the throne of Dickens and Thackeray, and every book-celebrity that had visited Cambridge. Among invited guests unable to come was Oliver Wendell Holmes, but I soon after made up for this loss by having a long talk with that shrewd and amusing writer at Boston; and once more, alas! no Lowell, whom I missed again, though I had waited for him that quarter of a century! Longfellow, out of compliment (so he kindly said) to his English guest, had specially provided pheasants and Stilton cheese, among such more Transatlantic delicacies as wild venison (from Tupper Lake, in the Adirondacks), and canvas-back ducks from Baltimore; to say less of terrapin soup, whereof the unhatched eggs of tortoises are the bonne-bouche! After dinner he gave me an apple from Beaupré, Evangeline's farm, the pips whereof I sent to Albury for planting. Longfellow was much interested to hear that my collateral ancestor had married Martha, the heiress of "the Vineyard" in Rhode Island. Mr. Fields, on this festive occasion, recited some of[Pg 347] Mark Twain's humour, and I had to give sundry of my American ballads, and the host himself his exquisite "Psalm of Life;" my "Venus," in reply to his "Mars," having appeared, and been praised by him, some years before. And this meagre record is all I care, or have space, to give of that feast of reason and flow of soul.

With Charles Kingsley, however seldom we met, I had strong sympathy in many ways, as a man of men, to be loved and admired; but chiefly we could feel for each other in the matter of stammering,—a sort of affliction not sufficiently appreciated. Kingsley conquered his infirmity, as I did mine, and rose to frequent eloquence in his public ministrations: privately his speech would often fail him, and was his "thorn in the flesh" to the end.

I remember a most pleasant day spent with him about the fishponds and cascades of Wotton,—and I noted how skilfully he threw the fly some five-and-twenty feet under the bushes, to the wonder of a gaping trout, soon to find its lodging in the creel: and our kind host may still recollect, as I do, how charming was our intercourse that day with the genial author of "Yeast," "Alton Lock," "Hypatia," "Westward ho!" and other of our favourites. I have met Kingsley later, in his cloistered nest, as Canon of Westminster, and remember how heartily he expressed his abundant charity for all sorts of miserable sinners, especially about one of whom I came to speak, for there never lived a more universal excuser of human imperfection than Charles Kingsley. His bust, very like him, is in a side chapel of the Abbey, near the west door. With the learned and eloquent Canon Farrar, too, I have held converse in the same Broad Sanctuary, though but briefly. Harrison Ains[Pg 348]worth has often crossed my orbit. In particular, as a very early contributor to his magazine (wherein, by the way, my "Flight upon Flying" originally appeared, to be afterwards reproduced at the Royal Aquarium a year or two ago), I was among his invited guests at Kensal Manor house, for the inauguration of his magazine, meeting Douglas Jerrold, Blanchard, Albert Smith, and others of like note. Also, at Lord Mayor's feasts we have periodically met, and at Literary Fund dinners. I may mention that when we came near one another a few years since, at the Mansion-House, an American friend with me was startled at the resemblance between Ainsworth and myself: in fact, our photographic portraits have often been mutually sold for each other, and I remember in a shop window seeing my name written under a photo clearly not myself, however like; and my daughter with me said "It must be a mistake, for you never had such a waistcoat as that," it being a brilliant plaid: so we went in to set matters right, and the shopman, in correcting the mistake, observed he didn't wonder, we were so alike: furthermore, on the outside cover of a cheap edition of Ainsworth's "James II.," his portrait is the very counterpart of one painted, by Rochard, long years ago, of myself.

I was well acquainted, fifty-five years ago, with three eminent men, who afterwards became viceroys, as their fellow classman and collegian at Christ Church. At that time two of them were only younger sons in their "pupa" or pupil phases of Ramsay and Bruce, and wore the same commoner's gown as myself; the third, though a "tuft" by courtesy, had not yet come to his heritage. All these three succeeded one another in the high position of a Governor-General of India, and were[Pg 349] famous architects of our imperial greatness. I remember on either side of me in Biscoe's memorable Aristotle class before mentioned, the young Ramsay, afterwards Dalhousie, that great pro-consul who annexed a third of our Indian Empire; and the young Bruce, afterwards Elgin, famous from Canada to China; the former slim, ascetic, and reserved; the latter a perfect contrast, being stout, genial, and outspoken; while Canning, tall and good-looking, with curly dark hair and florid complexion, is mentionable also for his fluency of speech and cordiality of manner—hereditaments, doubtless, of his distinguished father. Of Lord Elgin I have many pleasant memories, especially when he hospitably received me at Toronto, whither he had recently migrated from Montreal (as I thought unwisely), because the French Canadians there had insulted him. In this connection I may give an anecdote to the point. Soon after my return from America in 1851 I dined with my neighbour at Albury, Henry Drummond, the humoursome M.P., always not a little good-naturedly mischievous. He knew that I had not approved of Lord Elgin's petulant removal of his viceroyal establishment from Montreal to Toronto, and cunningly resolved to draw me out before witnesses on the matter. Now I had taken in to dinner an elderly Scotch lady unknown to me, and sat next to her of course. Soon my lively host somewhat unfairly asked me about my visit to Canada, and what I thought of the then notorious flight of the Governor to far distant Toronto,—forcing me to express my disapproval, which naturally as an honest man I did, on which my left-hand neighbour, a lady of rank whom I knew, whispered "Mind what you are saying, you took in his mother." Accordingly, I had frankly to turn and say,[Pg 350] "And I'm sure Lady Elgin will agree with me, and you too, Mr. Drummond, for no captain should fly from his post because he's laughed at." This candid speech was fortunately applauded all round the table, and not least by the friendly Countess and the baffled mischief lover.

Lord Elgin most kindly interested himself in the restoration of the Brock monument at Queenstown Heights, which had then recently been damaged by gunpowder, and is since rebuilt: my good reason for asking his aid being that Sir Isaac Brock was my near relative (his mother bearing my name), and that he had saved Canada by his death in victory.[Pg 351]



It is only fair and right that I make special mention of some friendships of many years, connected more or less with literary matters. Among such names in the past occurs one, if not very eminent, to me at least very kindly, that of Benjamin Nightingale, an antiquarian friend for nearly forty years. We first became acquainted in Sotheby's auction room, where I perceived at once his generous nature, by this token: we had been competing for a miscellaneous lot of coins, which he bought,—and then lifting his hat he asked me which of them I had specially wanted; these I indicated, of course thinking that he meant me to buy them of him,—but he immediately insisted upon giving them, if I would allow him. This fair beginning led to better acquaintance, often improved under our mutual roof-trees. It was his ambition to be my Boswell, as he has sometimes told me; and probably there are bundles somewhere of his MSS. and of our antiquarian letters (he wrote very well), about which I have vainly made inquiry of a near relative, who knew nothing about them. Some day they'll turn up.

Nightingale was much pleased to find himself recorded in my "Farley Heath," as to both verse and prose. He has been in the Better World some twelve years,[Pg 352] and his widow gave me the collections he called his Tupperiana.

I confess that the following poem wherein my genial friend figures,—and which many judges have liked as among my best balladisms, is one reason for this record of B. N.

Farley Heath.
"Many a day have I whiled away
Upon hopeful Farley Heath,
In its antique soil digging for spoil
Of possible treasure beneath;
For Celts, and querns, and funereal urns,
And rich red Samian ware,
And sculptured stones and centurions' bones
May all lie buried there!
"How calmly serene, and glad have I been
From morn till eve to stay,
My men, no serfs, turning the turfs
The happy livelong day;
With eye still bright, and hope yet alight,
Wistfully watching the mould,
As the spade brings up fragments of things
Fifteen centuries old!
"Pleasant and rare it was to be there
On a joyous day of June,
With the circling scene all gay and green
Steep'd in the silent moon;
When beauty distils from the calm glad hills,
From the downs and dimpling vales;
And every grove, lazy with love,
Whispereth tenderest tales!
"O then to look back upon Time's old track,
And dream of the days long past,
When Rome leant here on his sentinel spear
And loud was the clarion's blast;—
[Pg 353] As wild and shrill from Martyr's Hill
Echoed the patriot shout;
Or rush'd pell-mell with a midnight yell
The rude barbarian rout!
"Yes; every stone has a tale of its own,
A volume of old lore;
And this white sand from many a brand
Has polish'd gouts of gore;
When Holmbury Height had its beacon light,
And Cantii held old Leith,
And Rome stood then with his iron men
On ancient Farley Heath!
"How many a group of that exiled troop
Have here sung songs of home,
Chanting aloud to a wondering crowd
The glories of old Rome!
Or lying at length have basked their strength
Amid this heather and gorse,
Or down by the well in the larch-grown dell
Water'd the black war-horse!
"Look, look! my day-dream right ready would seem
The past with the present to join,—
For see! I have found in this rare ground
An eloquent green old coin,
With turquoise rust on its Emperor's bust—
Some Cæsar, august lord,
And the legend terse, and the classic reverse,
'Victory, valour's reward!'
"Victory—yes! and happiness,
Kind comrade, to me and to you,
When such rich spoil has crown'd our toil
And proved the day-dream true;
With hearty acclaim how we hail'd by his name
The Cæsar of that coin,
And told with a shout his titles out,
And drank his health in wine!
[Pg 354]
"And then how blest the noon-day rest,
Reclin'd on a grassy bank,
With hungry cheer and the brave old beer,
Better than Odin drank;
And the secret balm of the spirit at calm,
And poetry, hope, and health,—
Ay, have I not found in that rare ground
A mine of more than wealth?"

Another long-time friend also of the antiquarian sort was Walter Hawkins, with whom I was intimate for many years. His private collection of coins and curiosities was even larger and costlier than Nightingale's, and was given by his administratrix to the United Service Museum, where I believe the bulk of it (perhaps morally mine) still remains in cases not yet unpacked. He died suddenly, to my great financial loss; for he was very fond of me, offering himself sponsor and giving his name to a son of mine; and as a rich old bachelor he used, to make humorously half promises of benefits to come. In fact, he had called in his lawyer to take instructions for a new will, and partly at least had erased or destroyed the old one of a twelve years agone, when, one raw and wintry morning, he insisted upon seeing a lady from and to her carriage without his hat (punctilio being his forte and his fault), caught cold, took to his bed, and was dead in four days! Accordingly a relative with whom he had not been on the best of terms for years, administered to his half will, and succeeded to his possessions. Such is life and its futile expectations.

Walter Hawkins had many peculiarities: one was this. At great cost he was long building for himself a tomb at Kensal Green, which he would not let me see[Pg 355] till it was finished: he then triumphantly exhibited to my astonished eyes a domed marble temple with four bronze angels blowing trumpets east, west, north, and south,—and waited for my approval, which honestly I could not give. I heard nothing more of this small mausoleum, for he was a taciturn man: but when, some year or two after, I went to his funeral and looked in vain for the temple-tomb, I found it had vanished, and in its stead was a plain marble slab with his simple name and birthday on it, and a blank left for the date of his death. Manifestly he had repented of the vaingloriousness of those herald angels and their dome; and practically took the hint of my dispraise in the adoption of that humbler tombstone.

Here is another characteristic trait: some navvy had found an old rusty anchor near the Thames Tunnel, one of Brunel's ruinous follies,—now, as we all know, finished and utilised by a railway. This anchor, a small one, probably lost by some "jolly young waterman," Mr. Hawkins maintained was Roman; and he had made for it a superb crimson case lined with satin, which hung on his drawing-room wall at Hammersmith as a decoration. He was also proud of possessing the paw of the Arctic bear which had attacked Captain Parry, but from which he escaped, as also did the bear, for no one is said to have shot the beast: however, there was the paw in proof: and there were divers other uncommon properties.

One of the most curious matters about my friend was this: the anagram of his name in full (and he always wrote Esquire and not Esq.) exactly describes him, with his peculiarity of greeting one with "Oh, I'm so glad to see you!" and with his usual signature "W. H.," which[Pg 356] also he put on a medal for good conduct to youths, and gave my son one of those "W. H. medals." Now the words "Oh, Walter Hawkins, Esquire," makes anagrammatically, "W. H., who likes rare antiques!" exactly his idiosyncrasy as a man and a collector.

We all know how strangely "The Right Honourable William Ewart Gladstone, M.P.," spells, "I am the Whig M.P. who'll be a traitor to England's rule:"—may it not prove to be prophetic. And still more strange is the fact that the words "William Ewart Gladstone" spell "Erin, we will go mad at last!" which seems only too likely. Another curious anagram is this,—in a far different vein: "Christmas comes but once a year," makes "So by Christ came a rescue to man." There's no end to these petty word miracles.

But to revert to our theme and to conclude it. As a West India merchant, Mr. Hawkins one day sent me down to Albury a hogshead of sugar and some sacks of rice, to be given (or, as he preferred it, sold at half price for honour's sake and not to pauperise) to my poorer neighbours for a Christmas gift. Well, to please him, I tried to sell, and only raised the rancour of the shopkeepers, who declared I was competing with them as a grocer: then I gave, with the same experience that soup charity had before taught me, to wit, that poor quarrelled with poorer, and both with me, for more or less given. So I was glad when it all came to an end. It is very difficult, as many a Lady Bountiful knows, to be charitable on a wide scale: e.g. once, in my country life, I tried to recommend brown bread and oatmeal; and got nothing by it but ill-will, as if wishing to starve the poor by denial of wheat-flour.

Most of us have been checked in such silly efforts to[Pg 357] do good through forgetfulness of the fact that usually the poorest are the proudest. Even the luxurious débris of London Club kitchens must be flung into swill-barrels for pigs, because starving men and women will not demean themselves to ask for it at the buttery-hatch. Moreover, that such are often extravagant too, everybody has found out—here's an instance: In my legal days, I now and then of course relieved poor folk, and sometimes passed through Seven Dials: casually, I looked in upon an old couple to whom I had occasionally given a trifle, believing them to be near starvation; and I found them roasting a brace of partridges—or was it quails? for they were waistcoated with bacon,—and I had the charity to hope they had not stolen them! Anyhow, I never called there again. And, while I am in Seven Dials, let me record another useful small experience. There was a lapidary handy, who had at times cut my beach-found choanites for me. One day I found him making scarabæi out of bits of agate and lapis lazuli. "Who gave you an order for these," said I. "Well, sir, I don't rightly know his name; but he was a furriner." "Was the name Signor——?" "That's it, sir." Then I set off straight to Sotheby's where I knew the Signor's Egyptian antiquities were soon to be sold, and duly forewarned the auctioneer of these forgeries. I need not detail how at the sale he put buyers on their guard, exposing the fraud, and condemning the peccant scarabæi to extinction. I wonder how many Grecian bronzes and copper Buddhas have been cast in Birmingham!

Yet another old friend for many years, so far literary in that he was a sculptor, is to be recorded in Joseph[Pg 358] Durham: it was he who, more than thirty years ago, modelled in life and made in marble after death my beautiful three-year old daughter, little Alice, epitaphed in my poems. Of Durham's nobleness of character I can here give a charming trait. I used to go about once a week—sometimes less often—to Alfred Place to see how Durham was getting on with the statue (a sleeping infant), and one day, to my astonishment, I perceived that instead of any progress having been made in the work, it had, miraculously to me, retrograded; not half so near completion as it was last week. As I was wondering and perhaps not well pleased, Durham said, "I had hoped you would not call, till I had made it look as it did last week,—and then you needn't have known it." "Known what, friend?" "Well, only this; I came to a stain in the marble, and as I resolved you should have everything of the best,—I took another block, and have worked at it night and day, in hopes you wouldn't find me out. There's the other figure, under that cloth." Now, considering that the new block involved a cost of some twenty pounds,—and that the old one might have been artificially doctored, and that anyhow the risk and loss were equitably as much, mine as his,—and further that the young sculptor had little more than daily bread, if that,—I do say all this proves Durham to have been the noble fellow I found him to be for years. He is long gone, like so many other friends, to that Brighter World. His life-story in this was a touching one, as he told it to me; and I think known to very few besides myself. In youth he loved and was beloved; but friends and circumstances hindered; so she married some one else who, to Durham's constant horror and indignation, treated his[Pg 359] wife brutally: till, one happy day, he died in some fit, probably from his own excesses. And then—here comes the sad climax—when Durham, having achieved fortune and fame, offered himself to his old love, the now rich widow, she deliberately turned away with a refusal, and broke his heart! Was it any wonder that his grief sometimes sought the solace of voluntary forgetfulness, or that certain false friends of his I wot of have in their teetotal Pharisaism made the evil most of an occasional infirmity, and have blackened even with printer's ink the memory of one of God's and Nature's true noblemen! Besides my little daughter in marble (so charmingly asleep that, in the Royal Academy, we heard one lady whisper to another, Hush, don't talk so loud, you'll wake her!)—besides that, his chef-d'œuvre, as I always think, he modelled the bust of her father, now in the Crystal Palace Gallery,—but would not accept any payment for it! So like Durham,—who in many secret ways was ever generous and trying to do good: he was always self-forgetful and only too modest. Apropos, I remember that when Lord Granville asked the sculptor of Prince Albert's statue at South Kensington "Whether the Queen, who was so well pleased, could do anything for him"—suggestive, no doubt, of a knighthood—the dear unselfish Durham replied, "Thank you, my Lord,—if her Majesty's pleased, I'm satisfied." So that chance for a title was thrown heedlessly away,—but we always called him "Sir Joe" ever after: specially among the "Noviomagians," a band of antiquaries who used to dine together jovially at many pretended and picturesque sites of the undiscoverable Noviomagus, and among them I have met and numbered as my friends Chief Baron Pollok, George Godwin,[Pg 360] Francis Bennoch, Thomas Wright, Thornbury and Fairholt and other noted names, some of them still among the living.

It gave me great pleasure as a Guernseyman to have been chiefly accessory to a duplicate in bronze of the Good Prince's statue by Durham being set up at the Pierhead of St. Peter's Port. Interest was exerted by me to get royal permission for a new cast from the original, Government giving the metal of old cannons; a collection from house to house was made throughout the island, granite to any extent was on the spot, meetings were held, and I had the pleasure to see Durham's grand work inaugurated there, and to find him welcomed by all the "Sixties"—ay, and the "Forties" too—with the hospitality for which Sarnia was in those days proverbial.

In this brief record of my literary life, I ought not to ignore sundry true and constant book-friends known to me only by correspondence, and that in some cases through many years. I cannot touch them all, and shrink even from mentioning one or two, for fear of seeming to omit others; but I will endeavour to do my best and wisest in the matter.

Foremost, then, among those unseen favourers of your author is the Baroness Stanislas von Barnekow, of Engelholme, in Sweden; with whom during fifteen years I have interchanged certainly fifty letters, if not more, hers at least being full of the utmost kindliness, cleverness, and (for a foreigner) even truly poetic eloquence. This tribute to her talents and warm feelings is only a debt of gratitude. She it was who voluntarily translated into Swedish my two first series of[Pg 361] "Proverbial Philosophy," and many of my lyrics in "Cithara;" and naturally I was willing to answer her in kind (for the Baroness is an excellent and well-known poetess in her own land), but, as unfortunately the Swedish tongue is not among my few accomplishments, I was glad to turn to a diligent and authorial eldest daughter of mine, who learnt the language for me, and responded to our unseen friend with many of her poems rendered into English verse, as she had similarly favoured mine in Swedish. My said daughter afterwards improved upon the idea by several more like translations, since published in book-form, as some from the Sagas, and in particular many original poems of much merit from the pen of King Oscar and Princess Eugenie, which greatly pleased them, as their photographs and autographs testified; the Baroness's brother, Count Von Wrede, who is the King's Chamberlain, having kindly given facilities. I trust that my old "friend unseen," Stanislas, will not be displeased by this proof that I remember with appreciation her many expressions of esteem for my unworthiness.

Next, I do not know that I have mentioned the late learned Norman poet, George Métivier, as having long ago translated my "Proverbial Philosophy" into French; he died at a great age, I think past ninety, and was highly honoured by his native Guernsey, through life and death; I remember him with much gratitude for his labour of love in respect of my book. Through many years also I have corresponded with another Norman poet, John Sullivan, whose very clever French poems I have often versified into English for him, and he has returned the compliment by sending translated fly-leaves of mine over the Gallic world.[Pg 362]

Let one more in this authorial category be the excellent and learned Canon R. C. Jenkins, whom I have known from his childhood, and who in these latter years has routed out for me, chiefly out of Zedler's "Genealogical Encyclopædia," the heraldry and ancestry of my own Thuringian pedigree; the Canon being one of our keenest antiquaries in that line, and having German at his fingers' ends. He comes, as I do, from old Lutheran stock, and is full both of prose and poetry of a high class. My best regards to him and his.

The Rev. Wm. Barnes, of Dorset dialect fame, is another memory; as also in years past the late Chevalier de Chatelain, a relative of my Norwood friend, Victor de Pontigny, a well-known musical authority.

No doubt I have corresponded with most of the literary men of my day, from Tennyson to—well, I will not sound a bathos, but I do not publish private notes without permission, and in fact there would be no end of such printed amenities of literature battledored and shuttlecocked from one to another. I may, however, mention as a good habit of mine (is it not a good one?) that, whenever I like a book, I take leave to thank its author, and have usually received, en révanche, warm letters of their gratitude from many, especially if young ones. Surely it is proper in a veteran so to encourage a juvenile or even a mature brother, should he seem to deserve it. As also, be it known, that sometimes I have taken up the pen faithfully and honestly to rebuke: in these realistic and atheistic days there are some modern writers, both of prose and poetry, older or younger, who have reason to thank me for timely expostulations,—if they have attended to my friendly strictures.[Pg 363]



Throughout my lengthened spell of life I never was anything of a zealous politician. Well acquainted, as I have been, with many men of all manner of opinions, and having had much the schooling of Ulysses, who had "seen the cities of many men and had known their minds," I know perfectly well that there are in every school of thought good men, and bad men too, whatever may be their alleged principles, and I am quite willing to believe in an honest man, and stand by him if need be. In that spirit, for many years when I was a West Surrey voter (indeed I am so still), I used to give one of my votes to Briscoe, the Whig, and the other to Drummond, the Tory, because I knew and trusted both of them for upright men as well as personal friends, and they sat together as our Parliamentary representatives. As a matter of course, nobody understood my duplex voting,—for they were partisans and I was not,—so in that as in some other matters I have always been a dark horse, quite independent, and of the broadgauge pattern rather than of the narrow. For instance, having known him from youth to age, I do not even yet despair of Gladstone; though I have remained much where we both began, whilst he has gone down lower, step by step, to a zero of—what is it?—inverted am[Pg 364]bition, whither I cannot willingly descend with him; and yet, I do not count him an enemy: he follows his conscience, as I do mine. Here was my judgment of the Man thirty years since, printed in No. 53 of my "Three Hundred Sonnets":

"Gladstone, through youth and manhood many a year
My constant heart hath followed thee with praise
As 'good and faithful;' in thy words and ways
Pure-minded, just, and simple, and sincere:
And as, with early half prophetic ken
I hailed thy greatness in my college days,
The coming man to guide and govern men,
How gladly that instinctive prescience then
Now do I see fulfill'd—because, thou art
Our England's eloquent tongue, her wise free hand
To pour, wherever is her world-wide mart,
The horn of plenty over every land;
Because, by all the powers of mind and lip
Thou art the crown of Christian statemanship."

That high praise was once well-deserved, and was cordially given: but since, alas! according to my lights I have seen fit more than once to "palinode." The great man's rock of peril, whereon to wreck both his country and himself, is that fatal eloquence by which all are captured, but (as with birdlime) are captured to their loss. But I will not reproduce invidiously—as if false to a fifty years' friendship—any harsh reproach, however conscientious, whereby I may have publicly withdrawn my praise. Rather will I pass on,—and after my own fashion will here show my ambidextrous muse in a brace of political unpublished lyrics on either side.[Pg 365]

"Popularis Aura."
"Liberty! dragg'd from the fetters of kings,
Liberty! dug from the cell of the priest—
Rise to thy height upon zenith-borne wings!
Spread to thy breadth from the west to the east!
Slow, through the ages, unbound limb by limb,
Thou hast been rescued from tyranny's maw,
Only glad service still yielding to Him
Who ruleth in love by the sceptre of law!
"Nations have torn thee by fierce civil strife
From the usurpers who trod them to mud;
Saints at the stake gave up agonised life
That superstitions be drown'd in hot blood!
Theirs was the battle—the conquest is ours—
Free souls and bodies the death-wrestled prize
Won from bad kingcraft, despoiled of its powers,
Wrench'd from false priestcraft in spite of its lies!
"God made the freeman, but man made the slave,
Forcing his brother the shackle to wear;
But all those fetters are loosed in the grave,
King, priest, and serf meeting equally there;
Here, too, and now, in these swift latter days,
Freedom all round is humanity's right;
Thought, speech, and action, enfranchised all ways,
Eager for service in Liberty's might."

That may be truly labelled Liberal: the next, in honour of Beaconsfield, may be fairly ticketed Tory:

"Great Achiever, first in place
England's son of Israel's race!
Man whom none could make afraid,
Self-reliant and self-made,—
Potent both by tongue and pen
In the hearts and mouths of men,
[Pg 366] Wielder in each anxious hour
Of the mighty people's power,
Wise to scheme, and bold to do,
Who can this be,—history, who?
"Heaper of a new renown
Even on Victoria's crown,
Mightiest friend of blessed peace
By commanding wars to cease,
Paralysing faction still,
Swift in act and strong of will,
Forcing every foe to cower
Under Britain's patient power,
Like himself, firm, frank, and true,
Who can this be,—justice, who?"

For other of my politicals, take this common-sense essay from my pen, hitherto unpublished:—


In a nation self-governed through its own representatives, it seems reasonable to admit that each citizen should have a vote; each citizen, we say, simply as such; whether male or female, labourer, pauper, civil, military, naval, or official, every one not convicted of crime nor an attested lunatic, of full age, of sufficient capacity (evidenced by being able to read and write), celibate or married, rich or poor,—every person in our commonwealth should equitably, it may well be conceded, have his or her single vote in the government of the country. Poverty is no crime, therefore the Workhouse should not disfranchise; sex is no just disqualification, therefore the woman should have her vote as freely as the man, for surely marriage ought not to[Pg 367] suffer derogation and disgrace by denial of the common right of citizenship as its penalty; the soldier, sailor, policeman, government-official, and any other class which may now be deprived of their birthright by law or custom, should certainly be admitted to the poll like other patriotic citizens; in short, manhood suffrage, it may be theoretically argued, is just and wise—manhood of course including womanhood, as suggested above; for even a wife either sides with her husband or controls him in common cases; and in the less usual instances where he rules, there need be no more tyranny about political matters than about domesticities, and so the home would scarcely be any the worse even for partisan zeal.

However, whilst admitting the theoretical propriety of a one vote for each citizen in the state, there remains to be considered the higher practical justice of many having more than one. Numbers alone are not the strength of a people; if of inferior quality they are rather its weakness. For the Parliament of England representation is demanded of all the virtues, talents, and acquirements, not certainly of the vice, ignorance, poverty, and other evils more rife among the lower rungs of the social ladder than to those above them. The single vote system (so far as the franchise has any influence at all) depresses and demoralises every class, as reducing all to one dead level. The ballot plan is now law and cannot well be done away with; but it is manifestly a humiliation for intelligence to have to sign with "his mark" in order that ignorance may thus feel itself on an equality; and for honest geniality to be hushed into silent secresy, that it may not put to shame the cunning fraud of a partizan who wishes to hide his real opinion. However, it is now too late to mend the[Pg 368] ballot-box: let it be, and let the single voter use it if he pleases.

Another and a wiser scheme presents itself, practically (if possible) even now to avert the national ruin wrought by the machinations of a rash and blind self-seeking spirit of party, often, seen "hoist by its own petard," though too liable to destroy the foundations of society in the explosion. Shortly and simply, the scheme is this. Let every man, high or low, add to his one vote others as he may and can. Be there a vote for the Victoria Cross, another for the Albert Medal, another for long good-service in the household or the farm, another for any such intellectual exploits among the poor as Samuel Smiles has recorded; all these being accessible to the humblest, and so elevating them thus far. And now to ascend a few rungs, let additional votes be given to owners of a stated number of acres, to possessors of a certain amount of money, to those who have been deemed worthy of public honours, and the like. A little further, let every mayor of a town have his official vote, and the Presidents of the Royal Society and Royal Academy, and perhaps two or three other chiefs of science and art; and so forth.

Thus, then, we might get, by way of counterpoise to the voting power of a bare and overwhelming proletariat, the worthier and far sweeter voices of those who have virtues and excellences of various kinds to recommend them,—so that if the lowest constituent counts for one, the highest may add up to six or eight. And thus, while no one of the mob is denied his one vote, those who rise above the crowd receive the more than one they have earned by good-doing or position, and plump them all accordingly to the worthiest candidate.[Pg 369]

The method of ascertaining and ensuring such votes might be this. Let each man who has more than his single suffrage apply for the paper specially prepared to indicate the additional votes. They might be much as thus:—

Surplus Claims—One Vote each.

For the Victoria Cross Signature of Claimant.
For the Albert Medal ditto.
For faithful domestic service in one family twenty-five years ditto.
For field-work on the same farm thirty years ditto.
As a famous self-taught naturalist ditto.
As owner in fee of 50 acres ditto.
As possessed of £1000 in Government funds ditto.
As publicly selected for honour by the Queen ditto.
As mayor of such a city ditto.
As President of the Royal Society ditto.
As President of the Royal Academy ditto.
    &c. &c. &c.

Heavy penalties should attach to false claimants, who would be readily found by their own signatures.

All these surplus votes, openly avowed, of course, and not kept secret as the single one in the ballot-box, would be counted up in the scores of the several candidates.

The surplus-voting papers should be applied for, be supplied, and be returned when filled up—by post, and so all such voting be accomplished on paper, as in the elections for Oxford University, &c. It is a barbarism and anachronism at this time of day to insist on the great cost and inconvenience of a personal appearance, in many cases impossible.

If our people in every class, and our legislators of whatever party, are dissatisfied with the present system of representation as by no means showing the nation at[Pg 370] its best, and thus practically a mistake, let them consider this suggestion; one made long ago by the writer as proved by his published works.

The Voter's Motto.
For Church and State! our father's honoured toast;
Dear England's ancient bulwark and her boast:
Must we now cease to build and man the wall
At base Sanballat's and Tobiah's call?
Shall Atheistic scorn and Jesuit guile
Make Nehemiah quit his work awhile,
That their Arabian host may tear all down,
And trample in the dust our Zion's crown?
May God avert it! No surrender! No!
We will not yield the battle to the foe,
Nor shall the children of our fathers thus
Betray the heritage they left to us!
For Church and State! While so we dread no storm,
Let no man shrink from wise and just Reform;
But with a firm and faithful, yet kind, hand,
Prune cankers and corruptions from the land:
Humble the pride of priestcraft! we are each
Brother to him who doth Christ's gospel preach,
And—though a trivial shibboleth offend—
One who serves God and man shall be my friend:
Ay, and some loaves and fishes should be given
By the rich state to Ministers of Heaven!
So shall both Church and State survive this strife,
And dwell at peace with all, as man and wife.
For Church and State!—Yea: though the King of Heaven
As bridegroom to the Church Himself was given,
Yet is He symbolled in this earth-bound sphere
By the throned presence of our Sovereign here;
[Pg 371] And, ev'n as man and wife in figure show
Christ and his spiritual spouse below,
So by the eye of faith we gladly scan
Our double duty—both to God and man—
In yielding hearts to love, minds to obey
Religion's mandate and the Ruler's sway,
Defending timely, ere it be too late,
Our threatened fortresses of Church and State!

As to the disputed matter of Protection, I am for Free Trade so far only as regards the matter of provisions; but I desire Fair Trade on the reciprocity system where manufactured articles and their raw material are concerned. We absolutely require free food,—but are being ruined by the bad bargain of one-sided Free Trade otherwise. Our ships (Mr. Brockelbank tells me) go out empty, and return full; exports fail, but imports are redundant.

As a final word about my politics, which I suppose may be called Liberal-Conservative, I am free to confess that I am only too half-hearted and am rather of Talleyrand's mind in the matter, "surtout point de zêle." However, I heartily side with any one who protests against hereditary pensions, especially in the case of royal illegitimates, as also against the glaring impropriety of ceasing to exact legacy and probate duties beyond a certain sum, thus favouring the millionaire, as well as of excusing the highest of our society from all manner of taxation. These pieces of favouritism to the rich and great are only too reasonable causes of popular discontent, and must ere long cease. I would shut up half the public-houses in spite of all the brewers in the Lords and Commons; and for Church matters, parishioners should have some control over their pastors. If ever our Establishment is overthrown,[Pg 372] that catastrophe will be due to clerical faults and defaults, rather than to lay apathy or hostility. If rectors were less tyrannical, congregations would love them better; and if curates were more inclined to Luther than to Rome, the Protestant heart of England would the gladlier appreciate their zeal and capabilities. As to the social mischief of Trades' Unions, an organised conspiracy of employed against employers, fatal to both, I have often exposed that evil in newspapers, though anonymously. It is an outrage on the honest working man with a family, that even in starving times he is obliged by paid demagogues to refuse work and wages unless he will give the least labour for the most pay, as the worst of his mates are glad to be forced to do: while the wicked absurdity of strikes, smashing factory windows and destroying machinery in order to coerce unfortunate masters to pay higher wages than they can afford, is climaxed by those brigand processions of idle roughs who go about bawling, "We've no work to do, and wouldn't do it if we had." The British workman (of course with many exceptions) has become a byword for everything unpleasant, which both large contractors and small employers avoid if they can: drink, bank holidays, radical spouters, the conceit of being better than their betters, and above all that suicidal iniquity of strikes, seem in these latter days to have generally demoralised a race of citizens of whose virtues our commonwealth once was proud. No wonder that John Bull had to go to Germany to finish his Law Courts.[Pg 373]



In connection with the above, I will here print for the first time a paper written long ago on the now rife subject of a cure for Irish misery; at all events partially. Ireland has been with me a theme for many kinds of literature; from that usual sort of authorship, letters in the Times, to journalising on occasion, balladising in or out of season, and now and then a political squib or graver article. I have known that hapless land well in old days from Giant's Causeway to Cape Clear; have been a guest in several noted homes, as with geological Enniskillen and astronomical Crampton; know the natives well, and how they have been taught by priests and demagogues to hate the Sassenach, and, like most well-meaning men, who, after every kind effort, find themselves utterly misunderstood, am (as a merely private and quite unprejudiced politician) entirely at a loss to know how to please that impracticable people, or to mend their miserable condition. However, that in my authorial fashion I have tried, let the following paper prove; written and published nearly thirty years ago.

"Nations think and feel and act much as individuals do; for, after all, the largest crowd of men is, only an aggre[Pg 374]gate of units. If contempt provokes a man to anger, and avowed neglect forces him into indolence and hopelessness, we shall see the same result in masses as we do in single persons; and the causes which may have generated hatred and despair will everywhere and everywhen find cures in their contraries, honour being accorded in the place of contempt, and kindly care instead of cold indifference. Thus, the far too common phrase, 'No Irish need apply,' has doubtless wrought infinite ill-feeling; and the Levite's chilling rule of 'passing by on the other side' evermore arouses indignation nationally no less than individually.

"Now, it cannot be denied in an ethnological sense that the Celtic nature is peculiarly sensitive; any more than it can be denied historically that its good feelings have been too often systematically crushed, and its generous impulses seared. If the Teutonic mind illustrates in sterner traits the manhood of human intelligence, the Celt shows its gayer youthfulness, if not indeed the lighter phases of its reckless childhood: and it has been a second nature for the Saxon to hold mastery over the Celt, as a weaker race is everywhere subject to a strong one. Moreover, opposition in religious creed has had its evil influences, scarcely yet extinct, however caustically such a cure may in vain have been hitherto attempted.

"We must take nations as we find them: the Keltoi and the Sakai, always at contrariety, do not seem to have altered in character from the earliest prehistoric reports of old Herodotus even to our own times, more than three thousand years. Racial peculiarities are known to survive the actual transplantation to new lands; see in especial the Irish of America; as the[Pg 375] Roman poet has it, 'Those who cross the sea may change their sky, but not their mind.' Therefore it is that a far-seeing and philosophical statesmanship should ever deal specifically—and as if individually—with national character; for example, if we would convert the typical Irish mind from (must we say it?) hatred of England to the love of her, we must commence as we would in domestic life, by somehow managing to please our too sensitive sister, by showing her our sympathies, and by treating her with honour instead of contemptuous indifference; thus investing her with 'the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.'"

It is a quarter of a century since the writer of this paper published in the course of a book of his, now somewhile out of print ("The Rides and Reveries of Æsop Smith"), the following short chapter, on page 322, here reproduced textually. It was headed "The Unsunned Corner," and runs thus:—

Ireland came upon the tapis, and Æsop said, when his turn came to speak: One of my fields, on the wrong slope of a hill-side and surrounded by trees, scarcely ever sees the sun; and by consequence its crops are short when arable, and when in pasture its grass sour, and the hay musty.

And why then, he went on to say, shouldn't Ireland have a palace—a Balmoral at Killarney, or another Osborne at Killiney?

Poor Erin is that unsunned corner of our Empire's field; and it seems a thousand pities that the kingdom of Ireland should be denied some such special royal home as is even found rather superfluously at the camp at Aldershot. What if one of those lovely arbutus-wooded islands at the foot of M'Gillicuddy's Reeks were[Pg 376] fitted with a Swiss cottage for the Queen? Or if Bantry Bay supplied its marble for a royal castle near Cape Clear? Or if the railroad to Galway were supplied with a gilt carriage or two to waft Majesty and children to some western palace in Connemara?

Think you such gleams of sunshine wouldn't fertilise that poor neglected field, nor make its crops abundant, and its peasants happy? Think you that the gold mine of Royal bounty, and the graciousness of Royal favour, would not work a blessed change for grateful Ireland? Try it, O good Queen!—a Viceregal Court, excellent as ours is now, is but a sorry substitute for the real Majesty, nickel for silver, electrotyped plate instead of the true golden buffet: not without snobbism too, and toadyism and vulgarism and other detestable small heresies. If but once in three years Victoria's rural Court were housed in an Irish palace, her presence would do more for happiness, prosperity, and patriotism than all of these that Maynooth grants have ever hindered.

Thus Æsop Smith in 1858 delivered his mind on the matter. It is by no means pretended or supposed that a palatial residence would of itself cure Irish evils and misfortunes; but it might be a step towards this good result, and at any rate would remove one very allegible accusation of neglect: Ireland should enjoy the like privileges with her sister kingdoms England and Scotland: and however inadequate, per se, such a simple prescription may seem as "Æsop Smith" suggests, his advice contains at least one very obvious and easy cure for Irish disaffection; and I am not aware that either by pamphlet or in Parliament it has yet been seriously[Pg 377] mooted. The Celts are a folk of essentially loyal instincts; but (much as Americans often are heard to complain in their own behalf) they have, as an independent nation, no seen and known object for their loyalty. Since the days of Brian Boroime at his mythic court of Tara, the Irish people have hardly set eyes upon the monarch of their country: perhaps (if we except the conquering William of the Boyne) our elderly Adonis, George the Fourth, was the sole specimen of English Majesty that has illuminated Ireland; until our gracious Queen herself made two very short but notable visitations in 1849 and 1853: yet even in the Georgian instance, unfavourable as personally it must have been, the enthusiastic reception he met with some sixty years ago at the hands of his Irish subjects is still remembered after two generations with a grateful and effusive loyalty. Imagine, if only from such an example as this, what might be the beneficent effect of our good Queen periodically visiting her kingdom of Ireland, and permanently having there some such happy homestead as Osborne or Balmoral; if also, in her absence, one of the princes of our Royal house represented his Imperial mother as Viceroy; and if in their train the tide of aristocracy, wealth, and fashion flowed in upon impoverished Ireland. It is not easy to calculate the advantages of such a social revolution as this; and surely, in spite of many obvious objections, such an experiment might be worth the trial.

A beginning might avowedly be made in the right direction, by building or purchasing some suitable castle as a permanent palace for Ireland's Queen; say, for old association's sake, at Tara, if anyhow adaptable,—or any other picturesque neighbourhood connected with[Pg 378] some ancient chieftain of the Irish quasi-heptarchy; wherein a Royal Establishment might be commenced, in present proof of the serious intention as to an early future residence: the mind of the people might be thus prepared for the speedy coming of their Sovereign and her Court, and would be softened and gratified by the evident confidence and good-feeling thus shown; as well as their condition materially benefited by the necessary expenditure that must be laid out locally in labour and materials, giving work to the needy, and so helping to cure Erin's chief disease,—poverty to the verge of famine. As to actual life-peril,—every due precaution being taken,—the happy result of such a humanising experiment might fairly be left to the generous native loyalty of a kindly treated people, and to the gracious guardianship of God's good providence. I am sure that present Royalty would neither be boycotted nor burked. We remember with what generous cordiality our Prince and Princess were received by all classes and creeds in their recent brave visit to Ireland.

I cannot honestly pretend to have always taken quite so amiable a view of Celtic matters. I plead guilty to having more than once assailed in print Daniel O'Connell and his kind, and to have written a pair of once famous poetical fly-leaves, "Erin go bragh" and "Hurrah for Repeal!" copies of which (beyond my archived ones) can now only be found in the Ballad Collection of the British Museum, which I used to supply with my Sibyllines, at a chief librarian's request: I forget the name, but he collected such placards. I fear the two above were not very complimentary:[Pg 379] but what can one do for a perverse people, who complain of it as a wrong that they are excused the Queen's taxes? Also I wrote certain famous letters on Ireland, especially four long ones signed "T.," in the Times of January 1847.

In Ireland I have caught a salmon at Killarney and cooked it too on an arbutus stake; I have bruised my shins at the Giant's Causeway; I have been an honoured guest at classical Florence Court; have picked up native gold at Avoca; have done the Round Towers, possibly Phœnician Baal-temples; have handled Brian Boroime's harp; and have been shocked everywhere by the poverty and degradation of that musical barbarian's miserable because idle people. What can be done for those who will not help themselves?[Pg 380]



Having often been asked to put on record my few and far-between experiences of spiritualism, as on several occasions I have verbally related them, I have hitherto neglected or declined to do so, on account of having really seen little, whereas many others have seen far more. And on the whole it is to me rather an unwelcome task from several considerations; first, because I have never wished to add, by my apparent testimony, to the rising tide of unwholesome superstition in that or any other direction; secondly, because I had always a crowd of more important matters to look after, and, perhaps, was inclined to indolence in the "dolce far niente" respecting things of less consequence to myself; and thirdly, in chief, because, albeit I have seen and heard a few of the petty miracles (avouched for otherwise by thousands of better witnesses) inexplicable to my own reason, I yet entirely abjure and renounce this so-called spiritualism as any part of my personal belief. In particular, it seems to me quite an inconclusion to give to the spirits of the dead, or to any other existences, good or evil (unless, indeed, by possibility to ourselves as magnetically and sympathetically influenced by some metaphysical potencies whereof we know next to nothing), the seemingly miraculous powers exhibited,[Pg 381] however weakly and childishly, in numberless séances, privileged to possess among the company an ecstatic medium between (as is assumed) themselves and beings immaterial.

The little I have seen and heard shall, however, now, upon a reasonable call, be related simply and honestly, without any theory beyond what is parenthetically alluded to in my last sentence, and with no attempt at explanation, but only the expression of this truth, viz., that no collusion apparently was possible (according to my judgment) in any of the following manifestations, and that I promise only to state plain facts, however, others may seek to expound them. Of course, where cunning and dishonesty may contrive conjuring tricks it is not worth while to treat such "manifestations" seriously, but I speak of what seemed to be genuine, if trifling, marvels.

To begin, then, with my earliest experience, written down the same evening, and sent to the Brighton Gazette, from which I give an extract. The date is Thursday, January 25th, 1849; the host, the late Mr. Howell, of Hove; the performer, Alexis, pupil of M. Marcillet, who accompanied him. After clairvoyance, induced by passes, Alexis is blindfolded carefully, and then, with the host's own pack of cards, wins blindfolded at games of écarté with myself. Next, a French book, brought by an incredulous physician, was placed open upon the forehead of Alexis, who read aloud some lines of it. This experiment, with variations, was several times repeated. The third was my own test. I had sealed up something unknown to all the world but myself in twelve envelopes of white paper. Alexis, placing the parcel on his forehead, in broken and difficult[Pg 382] enunciation, said "it was writing, two names, both commencing with M; one of them an English name, the other French, or some language not English; that the first contained four letters, the second six (being really nine)," but he failed to give the names, which were Mary Magdalene. It was suggested that if they had been written in French his mind might have more easily discerned them. After this, several locks of hair and sealed-up parcels, watches, and lockets, were (with some unsuccessful attempts) guessed at, seemingly to the satisfaction of the ladies and gentlemen who had respectively brought them for explanation. The last experiment regarded a large bon-bon box covered up, in which the host himself had concealed a mystery. Alexis described it as wrapped in several folds, graven all round, oval, a portrait of a young person of eighteen, but done a long time ago, set in gold, "femme habillée en blanc; elle est morte, la tête au droit." In all these respects the object was faithfully described, in particular to the "long time ago," which, by a date on the portrait, was found to be 1769. And there were some other experiments, but Alexis, as appearing to be well-nigh worn out with mental exertion, was then mercifully unmesmerised.

I may mention, by the way, that the said host at whose house Alexis attended was a firm believer in the power of the human will, and as connected therewith, in mesmerism, whereby he used to cure people of headaches and other infirmities; and, at length, through his philanthropic and energetic attraction to himself of other folks' disorders (for he fancied he imbibed for his own behoof the pains he drained ab extrâ), he unhappily became a paralytic, dying not long after. One[Pg 383] of his less perilous attempts at the miraculous, I remember was this: he brought a street Arab into his drawing-room, and put a half-crown down on the carpet for him to pick up if he could, and keep for himself; however, this the boy found, to his wonderment, to be practically impossible, seeing that Mr. Howell had secretly willed that he could not and should not pick up the prize. But such efforts of a man's strong will are well evidenced in numerous other instances, and serve to prove that no spiritual interferences beyond our noble selves are essential to such mysteries.

Amongst other reminiscences of the marvellous, I may refer to a private exhibition in the Berners Street Hotel, to which I was invited by Mrs. Washington Phillips (of whom more anon), to investigate Mr. Vernon's influence over a little girl some twelve years old. The child's specialty was an alleged capability of reading without eyesight, the back of her head low down on the nape doing duty in the way of vision. To omit numerous other successful examples (some failing, which I thought so far evidences of the absence of collusion), I will detail my own conclusive experiment. But let me anticipate an objection relating to the exhibitor himself. Some of our party, a very distinguished one, and known to each other, kept Mr. Vernon in conversation at a distance, while the child was reading our thoughts, or the actual words of print unknown to ourselves, quite independently of his manipulations; he having first comatised her into a mesmeric state of trance. The invited guests were told, as in the Alexis case, that we might bring our own tests; and I had put into my pocket a small volume of Milton, from which she might read on the nape of her neck, if she could. We had[Pg 384] previously bandaged her eyes, even to plaistering them up; and were only bidden to be careful not to let the handkerchief cover the place of reverted seeing on her neck. I stood behind the child, and, without knowing where I opened my little Milton, placed the expanded volume on the back of her head; and forthwith, slowly and with difficulty, as a child might, she read two lines of blank verse, which I and all immediately verified! Now, I state a fact which I cannot explain; for I myself had not seen the lines, so my own brain was not read: neither could Mr. Vernon nor any one else have been concerned in the matter. I believe this sort of thing to be well-known to spiritualists, and they may, for aught I know, refer it to angelic or necromantic interposition: whereas, what physicians tell us of hypochondria is, perhaps, a mysterious explanation nearer the mark.

The same child, refreshed into an abnormal ecstasy, taking the hands of several of our party professed to read their thoughts, with admitted success in some instances. With me she failed, but then I was not considered en rapport. Female believers are always much more susceptible than masculine sceptics. However, I certainly had proof of the child's marvellous power in this slight matter following. Two young ladies had successfully brought her in spirit, into their mother's drawing-room in Berkeley Square, the child graphically explaining all she saw as she was mentally led along, and on being asked if she noticed anything new and pretty on the mantel-piece, she got up and placed herself in an attitude of dancing, and she said there was a figure and it was clothed in lace. This was true; it was a bisque statuette of Taglioni. On being led round the[Pg 385] room, still in spirit and clairvoyante, the child strangely described wax-flowers under a glass, and laughed heartily at "Taffy riding his goat,"—a china ornament which she could have known nothing of.

With respect to the lady who invited us, I can relate a strange story wherewith the Brighton doctors in 1848 were familiar. Mrs. P. had an invalid daughter subject to violent headaches, and as she had read of the remedial powers of mesmerism from Chauncey Townsend's book, privately resolved to try and cure her, and soon set her to sleep by the usual "passes." However, when after twelve and even eighteen hours the girl could not be awakened, Mrs. P. and her husband (a clergyman, who knew nothing of the cause) were alarmed and summoned doctor after doctor, to wake her, if they could. But all was in vain, until some one turning to the peccant and magical volume found that by the simple process of reversing the passes the abnormal slumber might be made to cease. This was done at once, and all came more than right, for the girl woke up without her usual headache, and was cured from that hour. At this time of day, after thirty years and more, society having become wiser, and bur medical men more physiologically hygienic, we all now wot of mesmerism, and innumerable cases of cure through that mysterious form of catalepsy.

For another small experience, I have several times been among a crowd of others at public exhibitions of those who speak off-hand in prose or verse, "inspirationally" as they call it, but as the outer world prefer to believe, improvisatorially, and certainly amid such gifted persons Mrs. Cora Tappan stands out prominently in my memory. At the Brighton Pavilion[Pg 386] I gave her for a theme to be versified on the spot extempore my own heraldic motto, "L'espoir est ma force," and to my astonishment, in a burst of rhymed eloquence she rolled off at least a dozen four-line stanzas on Hope and its spiritual power. Some one else among the audience gave the subject of cremation, and forthwith the lady descanted with terrific force on funeral pyres and the horrors of Gehenna; whilst a male performer affected to personate sundry well-known dead orators of past days (for as the inspirers were supposed to be disembodied spirits no living orators were allowable), and he certainly imitated both voices and topics with singular success. But everybody has heard of this sort of thing, sufficiently remarkable as a mental effort; and we have all similarly witnessed the more material marvels of Maskelyne and Cook, known to be mechanical contrivances which are still riddles to the world.

Again, there are those who draw and paint in a condition of spiritual ecstasy; and I remember visiting a public exhibition in Bond Street, exclusively of most curious and intricate pictures, asserted to have been inspired by dead artists, some being elaborate flourishings of scenes and figures, said to be thus depicted as with lightning speed. As to living artists, there are in existence several excitable youths and damsels who write and draw very rapidly in an ecstatic state; and I myself possess a dreamy conglomerate of microscopic faces crowded together, and stated to have been drawn thus instantaneously to prove to us "the cloud of witnesses," "the innumerable company of angels," by whom we are continually surrounded.

I pretermit with brief mention sundry inexplicable wonders, such as those wherewith the spiritualistic[Pg 387] papers are frequently full, only stating that I was one of those who investigated the case of the Rev. Mr. Vaughan's pew-opener, at St. James's, Brighton, whose daughter was thought to be "bewitched." Certainly, strange knockings accompanied her when she came in at my call, much like those I heard many years ago at Rochester, U.S.; and her mother (a pious and credible widow) assured me, with tears of unfeigned anxiety, that the chairs and stools followed her about!—a statement only half credible, when we reflect that there is an animal magnetism as well as a mineral one, and that we know nothing of the reasons of either. Our ignorance on such matters is so profound that we may fairly be credulous unless we obstinately refuse altogether our belief in human testimony; but if we dare to do this, higher interests are endangered than spiritualistics. Our religion is mainly based upon credible evidence.

There is certainly much that is mysterious in the toy they call "Planchette," a triangular thin slab of polished wood on a couple of small wheels, with a pencil at the apex. Hands laids upon this by two persons properly conditioned, will give apparent vitality and volition to the small machine, and make the pencil seem to write of itself in answer to expressed (or meditated) questions. At a wealthy mansion in South Kensington, for instance, I saw two charming young Italian ladies, sisters, covering rapidly sheet after sheet with the abstrusest essays on occult subjects, given to them to write upon inspirationally; and the chief wonder was (as a learned friend by me well observed) where the knowledge came from, so seemingly infused into two unscientific young girls. Afterwards the said learned friend tried Planchette with me, and we were considerably startled to[Pg 388] find that when I asked of the so-called spirits, "What think ye of Christ?" the pencil under our unconsciously-guided hands made answer, "With the utmost reverence!" I need not assure mankind that neither my friend nor I (both incredulous and unwilling witnesses) lent ourselves or one another to any deception, and were mentally inclined, if at all, to the expectation that the "spirits" might rather blaspheme than bless. It is right to mention that, beyond the pair of young ladies and our two selves, only the host and hostess were in the room; of whom I have this further wonder to report, viz., that the host, whom I must not specify by name without his leave, is afflicted with blindness, notwithstanding which and his alleged incompetence towards poetry as an old naval officer, his wife showed me several copybooks full of blank verse written by him in a hand unlike his own, and supposed by them to be inspired by Young, as a continuation of his "Night Thoughts." The captain and his lady also told us how frequently flowers and sweetmeats (!) were showered on them from the ceiling at their domestic dual séances: and on another occasion a lady showed my wife and me a paper of seed pearls, alleged to have been flung into her lap from the heavens—through the ceiling—by her departed lord and master! Similarly, a lady well known in the professedly spiritualistic circles, deposited round her chair, in the dark, at Mr. S. C. Hall's, a profusion of bouquets—probably from Covent Garden;—and that, notwithstanding the hostess had herself searched the lady before the séance, as it was known that Mrs. G's special gift from the spirits was the multitudinous creation of flowers! Really, there must be a stand somewhere made to credulity; but, at all events, the[Pg 389] venerable host and hostess believed this, on what seemed to them reasonable evidence, and quite forgave me for not believing it too.

And this brings me, naturally enough, to give a detailed account of the two best and last séances I ever took the trouble to attend; for I have, during many years, entirely avoided such exhibitions, as generally childish, mentally unwholesome, and to some people dangerously seductive. I had several times asked my worthy friends last alluded to, to give me and a friend of mine, a lieutenant in the Royal Navy, the privilege of "assisting" at a séance under their experienced guidance: and accordingly we were invited to meet Mr. Home, the high priest of spiritualism, a quiet, well-mannered gentlemanly person enough, known to our host from his birth. The other guests were a countess, the widow of a colonel, and a distinguished physician; in all we numbered eight. My friend and I were requested privately, by our host, to conceal our probable incredulity if we desired the favour of the "spirits" in the way of manifestations; and as these were what we came for, besides our own polite desire to do at Rome as the Romans do, we readily assented to the reasonable request. After the usual greetings and small talk of the day, and tea and coffee and so forth, we all took seats round the drawing-room circular table, a very weighty one, as I proved afterwards, on a gigantic central pillar, and covered with a heavy piece of velvet tapestry; and before commencing the special business we came for, I was pleased to hear our host propose that we should all kneel round the table and offer up prayer: this he did, simply and beautifully, in some words, extemporary, closing with a Church collect and the Lord's[Pg 390] Prayer. On my expressed approval of this course, when we rose, Mr. Home said it was always his custom, as a precautionary measure against the self-intrusion of evil spirits: admittedly a wisdom, even if it seemed somewhat unwise and perilous to be more or less courting the company of such unpleasant guests, if a séance (as experienced afterwards) did not happen to be made safe by exorcism. And now the gaslights bracketed round the room were put as low as possible, making a dim, religious semi-darkness; however, as there was a bright fire in the grate, and some small scintillæ of gas, and one's eyesight soon gets accustomed to any diminution of light, we could soon see nearly as well as usual. This "gloaming" is a common condition in séances, and for aught any one knows may be an electrical sine quâ non as needed for animal magnetism; albeit some paid professionals may possibly find darkness a very useful veil for cheatery. While we were chatting round the table,—and Mr. Home enjoined this as better than the silent sobriety I looked for—suddenly the table shuddered, and a cold wind swept over our hands laid upon it. "They are coming now," said Mr. Home, which everybody seemed glad of, though that cold wind felt to me not a little "uncanny," but I said nothing in disparagement, for fear of stopping a "manifestation." Soon loud knocks were heard, apparently from the middle of the table, and on sundry spirits being alleged to be present, Mr. Home proceeded to question them through the ordinary clumsy fashion, of the alphabet, and some unimportant answers were elicited, which I fail to remember and in common honesty must not invent. We were soon to see stranger things; and I suppose the séance was exceptionally successful, as I afterwards[Pg 391] noticed some of it in print. For while we were looking and expecting, suddenly the table began to tilt this way and that, and then as if by an effort the ponderous mass, with all our hands still upon the velvet pall, positively mounted slowly into the air, insomuch that we were obliged to rise from our chairs and stand to reach the surface. I could see it at least two feet from the carpet, and Mr. Home invited me to take especial notice that none of the company could possibly be lifting the table; indeed, the strength of all of us combined would have been barely enough for such a heavy task. Of course, every one else but myself and friend supposed that the "spirits" had kindly done this miracle to please us; but I unfortunately said "Oh! Mrs. Hall! it will crush your chandelier!" (one of Venice glass, very precious)—at which unbelieving remark, probably, the spirits took umbrage, for at once the table ceased ascending, and with a slow oscillation descended very gently on to the carpet. This sort of petty miracle is a frequent experience among the spiritualists, and how it is effected I cannot imagine. There could be no contrivance or machinery in our host's drawing-room, as must be the case imitatively at the Egyptian Hall; none of the company could be conspiring to deceive, and more than all, that huge, heavy table rising up against the law of gravitation was enough to chase away all incredulity. One fact is stronger than fifty theories; and one reliable success overweighs a thousand failures. I testify to that which I have seen.

But more, and more wondrous, was to follow. All at once Mr. Home flung himself back in his chair, looking wild and white; and then rising slowly and solemnly, went to the still bright fire, into which he[Pg 392] thrust his unprotected hands, and taking out a double handful of live coals, placed them—as a fire offering—upon Mr. Hall's snow-white head, combing the hair over them with his fingers, all which our host appeared to receive more than patiently—religiously. Thereafter Mr. Home placed them in the Countess's blonde-lace cap, and carried them, as a favour vouchsafed by the spirits, to each of us, to hold in our hands. When he came to me, Mr. Hall said: "My friend, have faith." "Yes," I answered, "and courage, too;" whereupon I was blest with a good handful of those wonderful coals, still hot enough to burn any skin; but, somehow or other, I felt no pain and had no mark. Here was another law of nature put to shame, in the miraculous fact that fire was seemingly deprived of the power of burning. How this could be, I cannot guess; but I record manfully the fact as witnessed. After this, an accordion held under the table by Mr. Home with one hand, the other being upon the table, positively played a tune of itself—"Ye banks and braes o' bonnie Doon"—requested by Dr. Chambers, "that being the tune his dead child loved so." I was requested to look under the table to see the "spirit-hand" operating near the carpet; but I saw nothing except the vitalised accordion expanding and contracting of itself, being held tightly at the upper handle by Mr. Home. Some of the company, however, claimed to see and to shake hands with the child, and Mr. Home requested me to ask for a similar favour by placing my hand open under the table; this, accordingly, I ventured to do, with the result of feeling my thumb sensibly touched and thrilled, which I was told was a good sign of favour from the spirits—albeit in my own mind I remembered what our omniscient[Pg 393] Shakespeare sings at the mouth of one of the Macbeth witches,

"By the pricking of my thumbs
Something wicked this way comes"—

and failed to feel quite comfortable. Soon, however, Mr. Home said: "The accordion is leaving my hand;" and I saw the mysterious thing crawling on the floor like a lame dog till it got into a corner. Of course, I suspected a secret string; but all at once it moved out and came back, moaning Æolianly as it went, and stood up beside the chair of Mrs. Colonel N. S., who patted it lovingly; thence passing behind me it went and stood beside the Countess, who also caressed it; and then Mr. Home said: "Now ask the spirit to come to you;" whereto I acceded, and the accordion crept near me, as if unwillingly, and stood up; but when I touched it the thing shrank from my unsympathetic hand, and fell down flop.

After this, I noticed that my naval friend was staring with all his eyes at something over our military widow's head, and that his hair (it is red, which colour is very spiritualistic) stood on end as with fear. "What's the matter, P.?" I asked. "Don't you see it?" responded he. "What?" "The grey figure behind Mrs. N. S., bearded like an Egyptian Sphinx." "That's the Colonel!" exclaimed Mr. Hall, and the widow bowed religiously, with a "Dear! is it you?" On this, as my friend was terribly frightened, we soon took leave; and when we went home, I found that he was so pursued by "spirits" rapping all about him, that he actually vacated his own room and slept in mine, for protection against the invisible, on two chairs till morning broke;[Pg 394] when he feared the spirits no longer. I may mention that this insight into an immaterial world (he having been inclined before to pyrrhonism) quite altered his career, and that soon after he took holy orders. In this connection I may state, that according to a printed account I have seen, both Mr. and Mrs. Hall were converted from avowed materialism by spirit manifestation, and that when the question of "Cui bono?" is raised, his experience and that of divers others (the aforesaid Dr. Chambers in particular) will avouch for the practical usefulness of these inexplicable marvels.

But I must have done, with only one other reminiscence soon after that at Ashley Place. This time the venue is Fitzroy Square, and the company (to omit needless detail) was a polyglot one, consisting chiefly of a German merchant, a Hebrew financier, a French governess, my naval friend aforesaid, who was quick at Latin, and I, who more or less remembered my Greek. Of course English was represented in the two only other guests; and it will be seen how strangely philology enters into this my next and concluding anecdote. After plenty of other rappings and noises (I noticed by the way that all the metal things in the room, as castors and cruets—it was a dining-room—and wine coolers and bronze chandelier, were clicked and clanged), and after the usual stupid alphabet questions and answers had been exhibited; after also the heavy mahogany table on five substantial pillars had been miraculously moved about the room and tilted, as we failed to effect at the finale when we tried; all at once a thundering knock quite shook the table and startled us, on which Dr. Connell, our (unprofessional) medium for the nonce, as he had seen more of spiritualistics than we had, called[Pg 395] for the alphabetical test to ascertain who it could be that knocked so furiously, for the blows were often repeated. So then, by the slow method of letter by letter, he made out the name "Jamblic," and then gave it up in despair, as he said it was a mischievous imp that was sporting with us; but the knocks still continued, and some one suggested that perhaps this strange name was foreign, and that his own language would please the incensed spirit better than English. Accordingly, he was addressed by the assembled circle severally in French, German, Hebrew, and Latin, all in vain; when I bethought me of Greek and the Pythagoreans and spoke out "Ei su Iamblicos" (Art thou Iamblicus?)—on which, as if with joy at having been discovered, there was a rush of noises and knocks all round the room (my perfervid imagination fancied the flapping of wings), and immediately after there ensued a dead silence! So we soon broke up and went home. Opening my classical dictionary at Iamblicus, I read what I certainly had not seen or thought of for more than thirty years, that he was an author on "the mysteries of the Egyptians," and was bracketed with Porphyry as a professor of the black art. Was then this unpleasant visitor to Fitzroy Square no other than that magician redivivus? An awkward possibility.

And now to bring these scattered reminiscences to a practical conclusion. What can I, what can my readers decide, on a rational consideration of the whole matter? It is, no doubt, very baffling to judge how rightly to think about it. I have stated a few facts that have come under my own personal knowledge; but there are thousands of others similar and even more extraordinary, which numerous persons quite as credible as I am can[Pg 396] vouch for in like manner to be true facts while remaining unexplained miracles. For myself, I must suspend judgment; waiting to see what in these wonderful times—some further development of electricity, for example, may haply produce for us. After recent marvels of the telephone, microphone, photophone, and I know not what others, why should not some Edison or Lane Fox stumble upon a form of psychic force emanating from our personal nervous organisation, and capable of operating physically on all things round us, the immaterial conquering the material it pervades? Some such vague theory as to spiritualistic manifestations may be a far more rational as well as pleasing explanation of these modern marvels than to suppose that our dead friends come at any medium's summons to move tables, talk bad grammar, and play accordions; or that angels, good and evil, are allowed to be employed in mystifying or terrifying the frivolous assisters at a séance.

Beyond and after this, I might add, but for its too great length, the indisputable testimony of certain friends of mine as to inexplicable writings on locked slates and paper, the revelation of secrets, nay visible apparitions, and both records of the secret past and revelations of the still more secret future afterwards fulfilled,—to all which I cannot, as an honest man and a believer in human evidence, refuse to give a distinct testimony, even though conjurors perpetually baffle our confused judgment.

In this connection I will extract from one of my Archive-books the curious story of a mysterious key in which my family are still interested: for the secret is not yet solved. In the fourteenth volume, then, of my Archives occurs this long note, accompanied by[Pg 397] the drawing which I made years ago of the weird-looking key: with a loose ring handle, a threefold staircase body, and a strangely ringed column.

"My father died in his sleep, December 8, 1844, at Southwick House, in Windsor Park, on the same night after its owner, Lord Limerick, had also died there in his arms, my father having been his medical friend for thirty years. My father used to carry in his pocket a strange key, whereof the figure was very unusual, as it folded up, and though large he carried it in his pocket habitually: and he used to say in his quietly humorous and reserved manner, 'under that key lies a fortune;' my mother and I and others remember this well. When I came to be executor, there was nearly nothing to guide me as to the amount of my father's property,—and I certainly did not succeed in realising all that he was supposed to have acquired. It was wonderful that with his large income he left so little. So, we all thought that some hoard locked by this key contained the missing treasure; my father's habitual taciturnity, and secretiveness favouring this idea. But, nowhere could the lock to fit it be found; nowhere either at banks or lawyers or anywhere about our old house in Burlington Street or at Albury, appeared the chest or cupboard containing the fancied accumulations; and to this hour, June 12, 1873, nearly thirty years after my father's sudden death, has the mystery not been cleared up. Once, on an occasion of a spiritualistic séance at Mr. Carter Hall's, I handed the said key to Mr. Home when entranced, and he shuddered at it, and uttered the name 'Elizabeth Henderson,'—which I thought at the time a bad guess, as one utterly unknown to me: but oddly enough it[Pg 398] proved to be the name of the Queen's housekeeper at Windsor. However, on inquiry nothing further came of this, for she was not in office when my father died at the Park. To-day I have taken the key to a Miss Hudson, a clairvoyante, who never saw me before, nor was told my name, nor my errand, except that I laid that key silently before her. She can tell me very little, except that the mystery is soon to be cleared up, and that certain spirits (from description possibly my mother and brother William) much wish it. I gave no sort of clues, but the medium guessed at my father's character, and at the long lapse of time since the loss of the chest, and at the hiding of it in some 'bank,'—whether underground or at a banker's did not appear. The medium's 'attendant spirit'—one 'Daisy, an Indian papoose'—says it is 'in a dark place, like a vault, and mouldy.' I am urged to inquire further. Miss Hudson, a common-looking but respectable woman of about thirty,—living in a lodging near Bloomsbury Square,—utterly ignorant who I was and all about me,—said (in her spirit voice) that I was a writer of books, and did great good, and was inspired by two spirits, one of the fair and lively sort all in white, and the other an old philosopher—a strange guess at my mixed medley of writings. Miss Hudson promised me that I should soon know the secret of the key, because the spirits wished it, and because there was a blue magnetic circle round the key."

P.S.—It is only proper to state that up to this present writing, January 13, 1886, I have heard nothing at all from the spirits aforesaid, and that the family key is as mysterious as ever. My own reasonable explanation[Pg 399] of the medium's half true guesses is that she might have read my own dim thoughts about the matter: naturally I would think of my dead mother and brother and myself; and thought-reading is a form of animal magnetism which some people possess more than others.

Of late, as we all know, Mr. Cumberland and others have exhibited their mysterious powers of perceiving and expounding the secret thoughts of those who chose to be thus mentally vivisected: and I myself have this small experience to record. Asked in a drawing-room to think of something, the hostess answered my thought by "I don't know what it means, but there's a great deal of green with a white star going round and round in it." "Quite true," was my reply, "I was thinking of Ewhurst windmill."

In my anonymous prophetic ode, "Things to Come" (Bosworth, 1852, long out of print), at its eleventh section, thought-reading and other like metaphysicals are strangely anticipated, ending with—

"Into some other wicked man's mind
His foolish brother is peeping to find,
Caught in foul excitement's snare,
The Lying Future there!"

[Pg 400]



Ever since Schiller wrote his famous song about a poet's heritage (ay, and long before that, as it will be long years hence), authorship has been noted for anything rather than wealth; albeit, nowadays, we have had such fortunate scribes as Dickens and Thackeray and Trollope, who severally have left piles of well-earned money behind them; though they all had encountered previous mischances before. Accordingly, in this true record of my life, I must not omit its reverses, for, though born with a silver spoon in my mouth (perhaps a bismuth one, such as in my chemical days I melted in hot tea), and always having had plentiful surroundings, there has been often much also of financial embarrassment, though not always nor usually from the author's fault. I am not going to accuse others any more than myself, only hinting that it has been costly to be a sleeping-partner, especially when the chief fails; that it is discouraging to economic thrift when the investments wherein you place your savings come to an untimely end; that in particular the Albert Life Insurance was a notorious swindle, wherein more than twenty years' of banked-up prudent earnings, besides the original policy, vanished in an hour; that my early efforts to win fortune were[Pg 401] stumped from impediment of speech; and that some of those on whom I depended, as well as others dependent on me, met with misfortunes, deserved or undeserved. Anyhow, I have just now no reason to complain of bursting barns or inflated money-bags. Everybody knows (so I need not blink it) that some time ago a few friends kindly got up a so-called testimonial for my benefit; but that sort of thing had been overdone in other instances; and it is small wonder that (although certainly not quite such a fiasco as with Ginx's Baby) the trouble and care and humiliation are scarcely compensated where the costs and defaults are considerable: however, I desire heartily to thank its promoters and contributors, one and all; even those who promised but never paid.

With reference to other efforts, my two Transatlantic visits, and divers reading tours at home, show that self-help never was neglected, as, indeed, former pages will have proved. Accordingly, as Providence helps those who help themselves, or at all events endeavour to do so, I still lean on the heraldic motto, given to General Volkmar von Tophere by Henri Quatre, "L'espoir est ma force." I will here add two American anecdotes whereby it might seem that heretofore I have unwittingly jilted Fortune when she would have blest me with her favour.

I had just landed in New York after a stormy fortnight in the Asia (it was a.d. 1851) and taken up my quarters at the Astor House, to rest before friends found me out. But my arrival had been published, and before, in private, I had taken my first refreshment, the host, a colonel of course, came and asked if I would allow a few of my admirers to greet me. Doubtless,[Pg 402] natural vanity was willing, and through my room, having doors right and left, forthwith came a stream of well-wishers all shaking hands and saying kind words for an hour and more; at last they departed, all but one, who had come first and boldly had taken a chair beside me: when the crowd were gone, he bluntly (or let it be frankly) said, "I'm one of the richest men in New York, sir, and I know authors must be poor; I like your books, and have told my bankers (naming them) to honour any cheques on me you may like to draw." "My dear sir," I replied, "you are most considerate, and all I can say is, if I have the misfortune to lose this packet (it was a roll of Herries's circular notes) I shall gladly accept your offer; but just now I have more than I want—£300." "Well then, sir, come and stay at my house, Fifth Avenue." "This is very kind, but several friends here have specially invited me, so I am compelled to decline." "Then, sir, my yacht in the harbour is at your service." "Pardon me, but I would rather forget all memories of the sea at present,—with due thanks." "Then, sir, my carriage has been waiting at the hotel all this time, let me have the honour of taking you to see Mrs. So-and-so, who is anxious to meet you." Of course I could not refuse this, nor the occasional loan of his handsome turn-out whenever other friends let me go. Who knows how nearly I then missed smiles from the blind goddess, by my sturdy refusal of her favours, for I heard afterwards that the wealthy Mr.—— was childless! Again, at Baltimore, after my Historical dinner (see a former page), comes up to me a very shabby-looking man, as I thought to beg. He sidled up and whispered that he wanted me to go home with him. I'm afraid I rather snubbed[Pg 403] him; but was sorry for it afterwards, when told that he was the rich old miser So-and-so, who had never taken a fancy to any one before. What a dolt I must have been to snub away the possible codicil of a millionaire!

On page 3 of this book I proposed no mention of private domesticities or of personal religious experiences—the one being of interest merely to my family, the other a matter between God and the soul. However, the recent sudden death of one for fifty years my faithful friend and companion in marriage, urges me to record here simply her many excellent qualities, which must not be passed by without a regretful word as if I were a Stoic, or as if my dear good wife of half a century could be silently forgotten by her bereaved husband and children. I began this biography when she was in her usual health and spirits, but soon after its commencement a fit of apoplexy took her unconsciously from our happy circle,—and we are made to feel by this affliction, as also by another over leaf, how truly "in the midst of life we are in death." Her body awaits the Resurrection in Albury Churchyard, and her spirit lives with us in affectionate remembrance.[Pg 404]



My lamented son, Henry de Beauvoir, active and athletic, was killed in South Africa by the most unlikely accident of being jolted off the front seat in a rutty road and crushed to death under the wheel of an ox-waggon creeping at two miles an hour! This sad event occurred on May 31, 1871: and the newspapers at the time, both British and South African, fully recorded not only the accident but the heroism of the brave youth, the kind but unavailing assiduities of friends, and the municipal honours accorded to him at his funeral, when the mayor and council, the volunteers and chief inhabitants of King William's Town (every window shuttered) followed him to the grave, where Archdeacon Kitton read the solemn service; and some months after, a marble headstone was placed over his remains. His two brothers have written some touching stanzas to his memory: but they are private.

I mention all this sadness now by way of publicly acknowledging the kindness of Archdeacon Kitton and, other friends at King William's Town, not forgetting a most friendly officer of the American navy, from whom we have received many excellent letters and presents from all round the world, ever since he was among the first to break to us the death of my son, now fifteen years ago: I desire, then, cordially to thank T. G. for these[Pg 405] kindnesses: as also Mr. Robertson, of Brechin, N.B., whose son was Henry's African comrade, with him at the time of the catastrophe, and following him to the grave.

Henry having been for good ancestral reasons christened de Beauvoir, reminds me of a memorable matter of our family history which, as it is on record, I will here relate. In the days of King James I. (to quote with pedantic omissions from a pedigree), one Peter de Beauvoir, descended from a younger branch of the ducal house of Rutland, had an eldest son, James, whose daughter Rachel married Pierre Martin (my spiritual sponsor after Martin Luther), and her daughter married a Carey of Guernsey, whose descendant married my grandfather. Peter's second son, Richard, married a Priaulx, also related to us, and her daughter married a Benyon, in Charles II.'s time, whose descendant is now the millionaire, Sir Richard Benyon de Beauvoir of Reading, &c. &c. Now, this is the strange fact which has always puzzled me as well as others. The old De Beauvoir was a very thrifty miser, and died two hundred years ago possessed of great wealth, which has increased enormously up to our day, seeing he had landed property in the north of London, now including De Beauvoir Town.

In the second generation, his grand-daughters Rachel Martin of the elder branch and Marie Priaulx of the younger, contended at law for the inheritance after some intestacy: and a terrible lawsuit raged in Chancery for 150 years, between the Tuppers and the Benyons,—and was carried even to the House of Lords, being finally decided in my memory for the Benyons. I remember my uncle saying he would not take thirty thousand pounds for his individual chance,—but my less sanguine father cared not to join in the lawsuit,—saying he would[Pg 406] not "throw good money after bad." For my own judgment, and I can speak as an old conveyancing barrister (though without business or experience) of nearly fifty years' standing, our side as the elder had the best right, though the two sisters might well and wisely have shared in a compromise. But somehow it came to be decided that the younger claimant of that vast property must have all,—and the elder be strangely left out in the cold. After the conclusion of the Lords, further litigation was hopeless: so those whom I now represent (as almost the "last of the Abruzzi") must acquiesce in getting nothing, while the opponent side has the good luck to possess, as Dr. Johnson has it, "wealth beyond the dreams of avarice." Such is life,—and law: the most obstinate and the richest win: the less pertinacious and the poorer are allowed to fail: it is a process of Darwin's survival of the fittest. All this is now "too late to mend:" but I do hope that if ever I go to Engelfield Castle, Sir Richard will be kindly and genial to his far-off cousin, who (but for some legal quibble unknown) might have dispossessed him.

My father numbered among his patients the Duke of Rutland, and I have heard him say that they half-humorously called each other cousins.

A Lost Chance in Belgravia.

In this connection of possible good luck that never happened, let me record this.

Another of my father's patients was the long deceased Earl Grosvenor, grandfather of the present Duke of Westminster; and about him I have a tale to tell, which shows how nearly we might have been possessed of another vast property—but we missed it. One day in[Pg 407] my boyhood, I remember my father coming home after his round and telling my mother that he had a great mind to buy "the five fields" of Lord Grosvenor's, because he thought London might extend that way. Those five fields are now covered with the palatial streets of Belgravia,—but were then a dismal marshy flat intersected by black ditches, and notorious for highway robbery, as a district dimly lit with an oil lamp here and there, and protected by nothing but the useless old watchman in his box: it is the tract of land between Grosvenor Place and Sloane Street. His lordship had a reputation for parsimony, and he fancied it a bargain if he could sell to my father those squalid fields for £2000,—so he offered them to him at that price. When my mother heard of this, she was dead against so extravagant an outlay for that desolate region; so much dreaded by her whenever her aunt's black horses in the old family coach ploughed their way through the slush (MacAdam had not then arisen to give us granite roads) to call on an ancient relative, Mr. Hall, who possessed a priceless cupboard of old Chelsea china, and lived near the hospital. A tradition existed that the said family waggon had once been "stopped" thereabouts by some vizored knight of the road, and this memory confirmed my mother's disapproval of the purchase. So my father was dissuaded, and declined the Earl's offer. I don't suppose that if he had accepted it the property would long have been his, but must have changed hands directly he had doubled his investment: otherwise, imagine what a bargain was there!—However, nobody can foresee anything beyond an inch or a minute, and so this other chance of "wealth beyond the dreams of avarice" long ago faded away.[Pg 408]



A lecture which I gave at the Royal Aquarium on September 28, 1883, on the Art of Human Flight, attracted at the time a good deal of newspaper notice; my friend Colonel Fred. Burnaby being in the chair, supported by several other aeronautical notables. From a rough copy by me I have thought fit to preserve the exordium here, just as spoken.

"'Tis sixty years since,"—as the title-page to Waverley has it,—'tis sixty years since a little Charterhouse schoolboy of thirteen called on one Saturday afternoon (his half-holiday) at a shabby office up a court in Fleet Street, with a few saved-up shillings of pocket-money in his hand. His object was secretly to bribe a balloon agent to give him a seat in the basket on the next flight from Vauxhall: however as, either from prudential humanity or commercial greed, the clerk stated that five pounds was the fixed price for a place, and as the aforesaid little gentleman could only produce ten shillings, the negotiation came to nothing,—and I, who had coveted from my cradle the privilege that a bird enjoys from his nest, was fortunately refused that juvenile voyage in the clouds: whereof when I told my excellent mother, her tearful joy that I had not made the[Pg 409] perilous ascent affectionately consoled my disappointment.

So it is that, as often happens throughout life, and I am a living proof of it, our Failures prove to be the best Successes: for certainly if my boyish whim had been granted, and I had thereafter taken habitually to such aeronautical flights, at once perilous and unsettling, that young Carthusian would scarcely have stood before you this day as an ancient Proverbial Philosopher.

However, let that pass: I only acted—as oftentimes I since have longed to act—on the desire we all feel to have "the wings of a dove, and fly away and be at rest,"—floating afar from the dross and dust of earth into the blue expanse of the heavenly ether:—a thing yet to be accomplished!—or I will confess to be no prophet: in these days of electricity, concentrated and accumulative after the fashion of M. Faure, aided perhaps by some lighter gas, some condensed form of tamed dynamite,—these elevating and motive powers being helped by exquisite mechanism either as attached to the human form (if the flier be an athlete) or quickening a vehicle with flapping wings impelled by electricity, in which he might sit (if said flier is as burdened with "too solid flesh" as some of us)—these mixed potencies, I say, of electricity and gas, ought at this time of the day to be so manipulated by our chemists and mechanicians as to issue—very soon too—in the grand invention than would supersede every other sort of locomotion,—human flight.

I once met at Baltimore, and since elsewhere, a clever young American mathematician and engineer, Henry Middleton by name, who showed me, at his father's place in South Carolina, parts of a model energised[Pg 410] by the motive-powers of gas and electricity, which he hoped would successfully solve the problem of flying; but the Patent Office at Washington was burnt down soon after, and in it I fear was his machine. At all events I have heard nothing of his project since.

I may mention, too, that I believe I have among my audience this evening Mr. De Lisle Hay, the author not only of that recent very graphic book "Brighter Britain," but also of another, more cognate to our present topic, entitled "Three Hundred Years Hence," now out of print, though published only three years ago. In this latter work he has a chapter on "Our Conquest of the Air," and imagines a lighter gas called by him "lucegene," as also a bird-like human flight very much as I had conceived it forty-one years ago. He tells me also that the best vehicle for flying might be an imitation of the sidelong action of a flat fish in water; but how far he has worked upon this idea I know not. Possibly, if in the room, he may tell us after I release you.

It is most worthy of notice, that in the almost solitary Biblical instance of winged angels (see Isaiah vi. 2, and a corresponding passage in Ezekiel—all other angelic ministers being represented as etherealised men) these are somewhat like birds in outline, though having more wings,—with twain covering the head so as to cleave the air, with twain to cover the feet so as to be a sort of tail or rudder, while with twain they did fly: even as Blake, and Raffaelle, and some other painters have depicted them. I mentioned this once to Professor Owen, our great natural philosopher, in a talk I had with him on human flight, and he thought such seraphim very remarkable in the light of analogous comparative anatomy.[Pg 411]

Ovid also in a passage before me advocates our imitation of birds if we would fly bodily: in his "De Icari Casu," he says (with omissions)—

"Naturamque novat: nam ponit in ordine pennas
A minimâ cœptas, longam breviore sequenti: ...
Sic imitentur aves: geminas libravit in alas
Ipse suum corpus, motâque pependit in aurâ."

Which, being interpreted, means this,—

"Nature he reproduces, ranging fine
From least to longest feathery plumes aline,
Thus imitating birds, that on the air
With balanced wings are poised in lightness there."

Whilst our noble Laureate in "Locksley Hall" goes in for aerial machines, "Argosies of magic sails," and "airy navies grappling in the central blue."

As to that essay of mine published in the first number of Ainsworth's Magazine, August 1842, long before the Patent Aerial Company started their projects, and very much noticed at the time,—Mr. Claude Hamilton ingrafted it in his work on Flying; the Duke of Argyll in a note before me commends this principle of copying nature as the true one; a Signor Ignazio of Milan in 1877 adopted almost exactly my Flying Man,—which was for the lecture enlarged from Cruikshank's etching of my own sketch: an aerial flapping machine, a sort of flying wheelbarrow, was some twenty years ago exhibited at Kensington: whilst in the Daily Telegraph for July 10, 1874, you will find recorded the untimely death of one M. de Groof, the Flying Man, who unhappily perished at Cremorne after a successful flight of 5000 feet. All these are on record.[Pg 412]

Extract from Proverbial Philosophy (Series iv. p. 375).

Of Change and Travel.
"All of us have within us the wandering Crusoe spirit;
We come of Norse sea-rovers, and adventurers full of hope:
And man was bade to tame his earth, to rule it and subdue it,—
Whereby our feet-soles tingle at an untrod Alpine peak—
But shall we not fly anon with wings, to shame these creeping paces,
Even as steam hath worked all speed on land and sea before?
Is not this firmament of air part of the human heritage,
Which man must conquer duteously, as first his Maker willed?
There needeth but a lighter gas, well-tutored to our skill,
The springing spirit to some shape of delicate steel and silk,—
A bird-like frame of Daedalus, and gummed Icarian plumes,
Ancient inventions, long forgotten, to be found anew!
When shall the chemist mix aright this rarer lifting essence
To make the lord of earth but equal to his many sparrows?
When will discovery help us to such conquest of the air,
And teach us swifter travel than our creeps by land and water?"

And finally from my "Three Hundred Sonnets" hear Sonnet No. 189—

"Throw me from this tall cliff,—my wings are strong,
The hurricane is raging fierce and high,
My spirit pants, and all in heat I long
To fly right upward to a purer sky,
And spurn the clouds beneath me rolling by;
Lo thus, into the buoyant air I leap
Confident and exulting, at a bound
Swifter than whirlwinds happily to sweep
On fiery wing the reeling world around:
Off with my fetters!—who shall hold me back?
My path lies there,—the lightning's sudden track
O'er the blue concave of the fathomless deep,—
O that I thus could conquer space and time,
Soaring above this world in strength sublime!"

[Pg 413]



I gave a second lecture, one on Luther, at the same place, and on the like solicitation of Mr. Le Fevre, President of the Balloon Society; the date being November 9, 1883.

Of this lecture, not to be tedious, I will here give only the peroration.

"And now, in conclusion, let us answer these reasonable questions: What has Martin Luther done and suffered that we at this distant interval of four centuries should reverence his memory with gratitude and admiration? What was the lifework he was raised up to do, and how did he do it? and what influence have his labours of old on the times in which we live?—We must remember that in the sixteenth century priestcraft had culminated to its rankest height of fraud, cruelty, vice, and superstition: the lay-folk everywhere were its serfs and victims, not to mention also numbers of the worthier clerics who hated but could, not break their bonds. Luther was the solitary champion to head and lead both the remonstrant layman and the better sort of monk up to the then well-nigh forlorn hope of combating Antichrist in his stronghold: Luther broke those chains for ever off the necks of groaning nations,—freeing to this day from that bitter bondage not[Pg 414] alone Germany, Sweden, France, and England, but the very ends of the earth from America to China: without the energies of Luther nearly four hundred years ago, and the living spirit of Luther working in us now, we should be still in our own persons adding to the Book of Martyrs in the flames of the Inquisition, still immersed in blankest ignorance, with the Bible everywhere forbidden, and scientific research condemned, still cringing slaves at the feet of confessors who fraudulently sell absolution for money, still both spiritually and politically the mean vassals of an Italian priest instead of brave freemen under our English Queen. Luther relit the well-nigh, extinguished lamp of true religion, and it shines for him all the more gloriously to this hour: Luther refreshed the gospel salt that had through corruption lost its savour, until now it is more antiseptic than ever as the cure of evil, more purifying than ever as the quickener of good: Luther, under God's good grace and providence, has rescued the conscience and reason of our whole race from the thraldom of self-elected spiritual despots, who worked upon the superstitious fears of men as to another-world in order to strengthen their own power in this: Luther, for the result of his great labours, is more to us now than ever was the fabulous Hercules of old,—for he has cleansed the real Augæan stable,—more than any mythical William Tell,—for he has ensured the boon of everlasting liberty, more to us than a whole army of so-called heroes in conquest, patriotism, or even local philanthropy,—for the enemies he fought and vanquished were our spiritual foes,—the country he opened to us is the heavenly one,—the good-doing, he inaugurated is wide as the world, and shines an[Pg 415] electric universal threefold light of faith, hope, and charity."

Written by request, for the four-hundredth anniversary of his birth.
"Martin Luther! deathless name,
Noblest on the scroll of Fame,
Solitary monk,—that shook
All the world by God's own book;
Antichrist's Davidian foe,
Strong to lay Goliath low,
Thee, in thy four-hundredth year,
Gladly we remember here.
"How, without thy forceful mind,
Now had fared all human kind,—
Curst and scorch'd and chain'd by Rome,
In each heart of hearth and home?
But for thee, and thy grand hour,
German light, and British power,
With Columbia's faith and hope,
All were crush'd beneath the Pope!
"God be thank'd for this bright morn,
When Eisleben's babe was born!
For the pious peasant's son,
Liberty's great fight hath won,—
When at Wittenberg he stood
All alone for God and good,
And his Bible flew unfurl'd,
Flag of freedom to the world!"

The Reverend E. Bullinger set this to excellent music; and it was translated for Continental use into German, French, Swedish, and Hungarian in the same metre.

As quite a cognate subject here shall be added my ballad on Wycliffe, also written by request:—[Pg 416]

"Distant beacon on the night
Full five centuries ago,—
Harbinger of Luther's light,
Now four hundred years aglow,—
Priest of Lutterworth we see
All of Luther-worth in thee!
"Lo, the wondrous parallel,—
Both gave Bibles to their land;
While, the rage of Rome to quell,
Princes stood on either hand,
John of Gaunt, and Saxon John,
Cheered each bold confessor on.
"Both are rescuers of souls,
Cleansing those Augæan styes—
Superstition's hiding holes,
Nunneries and monkeries;
Both gave liberty to men,
Bearding lions in their den!
"Wycliffe, Luther! glorious pair,
Great Twin Brethren of mankind;
Conscience was your guide and care,
Purifying heart and mind;
Both before your judges stood,
'Here I stand, for God and good.'
"Each had liv'd a martyr's life,
Still protesting for the faith;
Yet amid that fiery strife,
Each escap'd the martyr's death;
Rescued from the fangs of Rome,
Both died peacefully at home."

[Pg 417]



A few last words as to sundry life-experiences. Whether we notice it or not, we are guided and guarded and led on through many changes and chances to the gates of death in a marvellously predestined manner; if we pray about everything, we shall see and know that, as Pope says,

"In spite of wrong, in erring reason's spite,
One truth is clear, whatever is, is right;"

and the trustful assurance that the highest wisdom and mercy and power orders all things will give us comfort under whatever circumstances. I believe in prayer as the universal panacea, philosophically as well as devoutly; and that "walking with God" is our highest wisdom as well as our deepest comfort.

Let no man think that a sick-bed is the best place to repent in. When the brain is clouded by bodily ailment there is neither capacity nor even will to mend matters; a man is at the best then tired, lazy, and dull, but if there is pain too all is worse. Listen to one of my old sonnets, and take its good advice:—

"Delay not, sinner, till the hour of pain
To seek repentance: pain is absolute,
[Pg 418] Exacting all the body, all the brain,
Humanity's stern king from head to foot:
How canst thou pray, while fever'd arrows shoot
Through this torn targe,—while every bone doth ache,
And the soared mind raves up and down her cell
Restless, and begging rest for mercy's sake?
Add not to death the bitter fear of hell;
Take pity on thy future self, poor man,
While yet in strength thy timely wisdom can;
Wrestle to-day with sin; and spare that strife
Of meeting all its terrors in the van
Just at the ebbing agony of life."

I have great faith in first impressions of intuitive liking or disliking. Second thoughts are by no means best always nor even often. Charity sometimes tries to induce, one to think better of such a person or such a situation than a first feeling shrinks from,—but it won't do for long: the man or the place will continue to be distasteful. My spirit apprehends instinctively the right and the true; and through life I have relied on intuitions; which some have called a rashness, recommending colder cautions; but these latter have seldom paid their way. A country parson was right in his diagnosis of Iscariot's character as that of "a low mean fellow;" and he judged reasonably that all the patient kindliness of One who strove to make such His "own familiar friend" was so much charity almost thrown away, except indeed as to spiritual improvement of the charitable.

It is right that in a book of self-revelations, like this genuine autobiography, some special recognition should be made before its close of gratitude to the Great Giver of all good, and of the spiritual longings of His penitent.[Pg 419] These feelings I prefer to show after the author's poetic custom in verse. Let the first be a trilogy of unpublished sonnets lately written on

What We Shall Be.
"We—all and each—have faculties and powers
Here undeveloped, lying deep within,
Crush'd by the weight of circumstance and sin;
Latent, as germs conceal their hidden flowers,
Till some new clime, with genial suns and showers
Give them the force consummate life to win:
Even so we, poor prisoners of Time,
Victims of others' evil and our own,
Cannot expand in this tempestuous clime,
But full of excellences in us sown,
Must wait that better life, and there, full blown,
In spiritual perfectness sublime
The prizes of our nature we shall gain,
Which now we struggle for in vain—in vain!"
"Who does not feel within him he could be
Anything, everything, of great and good?
That, give him but the chance, he could and would
Soar on the wings of triumph strong and free?
And think not this is vanity, for he,
If one of Glory's heirs, is of the band
'I said that ye are gods!'—on this we stand
Through the eternal ages infinite,
Growing like Christ in hope and love and light
As grafted into Him: there shall we see,
And know as we are known; no hindrance then
Shall bind our wings, or shut our eyes or ears;
Led upward, onward, through ten million years,
We shall expand in spirit,—but still be Men."
[Pg 420]
"Each hath his specialty; we see in some
Music or painting, eloquence or skill,
With, or without, an effort of the will,
As by spontaneous inspiration come
Ev'n in this mingled crowd of good and ill,
To make us hail a Wonder:—but Elsewhere
Without or let or hindrance we shall use
Forces neglected here, but nurtured there;
Till all the powers of every classic Muse,
Ninefold, may dwell in each—as each may choose:
Since Heaven for creatures must have creature gifts,
Not only love, religion, gratitude,
But also light, and every force that lifts
Man's spirit to the heights of Great and Good."

For a second take my recent open protest against the pestilential atheism so rife in our midst:—

"My Father! everpresent, everwise, and everkind,—
The Life that pulses at my heart, the Light within my mind,—
My Maker, Guardian, Guide, and God, my never-failing Friend,
Who hitherto hast blest me, and wilt bless me to the end,—
How should I not acknowledge Thee in all my words and ways,
And bring my doubts to Thee in prayer, the prayer that turns to praise?
How can I cease to trust Thee, who hast guided me so long,
And been from earliest childhood to old age my strength and song?
"My Father! Great Triunity! For Thou art One in Three,
The mystery of mysteries, a threefold joy to me,—
What deep delight to dwell upon the philosophic plan
Of Thy divine self-sacrifice in God becoming man,
[Pg 421] And taking on Thyself in Christ the sins and woes of all
Redeemed to higher glory from the ruin of their fall,
As humbled and enlightened and enlivened into love,
By the Pure Spirit of sweet peace, the-heart-indwelling Dove!
"My Father, Abba, Father! For Thou callest me Thy child,
As in Thy holy Jesus and Good Spirit reconciled,—
O Father, in this evil day when atheism is found
Dropping its poison seeds about in all our fallow-ground,
Shall I keep coward silence, and ungenerously forget
The Friend that hitherto hath helped me—and shall help me yet?
Shall unbelief, all unabashed, proclaim that God is Not,—
Nor faith with honest zeal be quick this hideous lie to blot?
"Ho! Christian soldier,—to the front! and boldly speak aloud
The dear old truths denied by yonder Sadducean crowd,—
That every inch and every instant we are guided well
By Him who made, and loved, and loves us more than tongue can tell;
That, though there be dread mysteries of cruelty and crime,
And marvellous long-suffering patience with these wrongs of time,
Still, wait a little longer, and we soon shall know the cause
For every seeming error in the Ruler's righteous laws!
"A little longer, and our faith and hope and works of love
Shall reap munificent reward in those blest orbs above,
Where He (who being God of old became our brother here)
Shall welcome us and speed us on' from glorious sphere to sphere,
Until before His Father's throne the Spirit with the Son
Shall give to every Christian then the crown his Lord hath won;
And through the ages in all worlds our wondrous ransomed race
Shall bless the Universal King of Providence and Grace!"

For a third, my testimony as to the wonders that surround us: I have[Pg 422] called this poem The Infinities.

"Lift up your eyes to yon star-jewelled sky,
Gaze on that firmament caverned on high,—
Marvellous universe, infinite space,
Studded with suns in fixt order and place,
Each with its system of planets unseen,
Meshed in their orbits by comets between,
Worlds that are vaster than mind may believe,
Whirling more swiftly than thought can conceive,
O ye immensities! Who shall declare
The glory of God in His galaxies there?
"Look too on this poor planet of ours,
Torn by the storms of mysterious powers,
Evil contending with good from its birth,
Wrenching in battle the heartstrings of earth,—
Ah! what infinities circle us here,
Strangeness and wonderment swathing the sphere!
Providence ruleth with care most minute,
Yet is fell cruelty torturing the mute,
Infinite marvels of wrong and of right,
Blessing and blasting each day and each night.
"All things in mystery; riddles unread;
Nothing but dimness of guesses instead;
Only beginning, where none see the end,
Nor where these infinite energies tend;
Saving that chrysalis-creatures are we,
Till we grow wings in that æon-to-be!
Everything infinite: Nature, and Art,
The schemes of man's mind, and the throbs of his heart;
Infinite cravings for better, and best,
Tempered by infinite longings for rest.
[Pg 423]
"Then, as the telescope's miracle drew
Infinite Heaven's vast worlds into view,
So doth the microscope's marvel display
Infinite atomies, wondrous as they!
A mere drop of water, a bubble of air,
Teems with perfections of littleness there;
Infinite wisdom in exquisite works
All but invisible everywhere lurks,
While we confess as in great so in small,
Infinite skill in the Maker of all.
"And there be grander infinities still,
Where, in Emmanuel, good has quench'd ill;
Infinite humbleness, highest and first,
Choosing the doom of the lowest and worst;
Infinite pity, and patience,—how long?
Infinite justice, avenging all wrong,
Infinite purity, wisdom, and skill,
Bettering good through each effort of ill,
Infinite beauty and infinite love,
Shining around and beneath and above!"

And let this simple hymn be the old man's last prayer, bridging over the long interval of well-nigh fourscore years between cradle and grave with a child's first piety:—

Love and Life.
"'My son, give Me thine heart;'
Yes, Abba, Father, yes!
Perfect in goodness as Thou art,
I will not give Thee less.
"But I am dark and dead,
And need Thy grace to live;
Father, on me Thy Spirit shed,
To me that sunshine give!
[Pg 424]
"Thus only can I say
When Thou dost ask my love,
I will return in earth's poor way
Thy gift from heaven above.
"There is no good in me
But droppeth from on high,
Then quicken me with life from Thee,
That I may never die.
"For if I am a son—
O grace beyond compare!—
A child of God, with Jesus one,
In Him I stand an heir;
"In Him I live and move,
And only so can give
An immortality of love,
To Thee by whom I live.
"Then melt this heart of stone,
And grant the heart of flesh,
That all I am may be Thine own,
Renewed to love afresh."

About the much-vexed question of Eschatology and the final state of the dead, I have long since grown to the happy doctrine of Eternal Hope—ultimately for all; perhaps even siding with Burns, who (as the only logical way of eliminating evil) gives a chance to the "puir Deil:" albeit the path for some must be through the terrible Gehenna of fire to purify, and with few stripes or many to satisfy conscience and evoke character. As for that text in Ecclesiastes about the "tree lying where it fell," commonly supposed to prove an unchanging state for ever,—it is obvious to answer that when a tree is cut down, its final course of useful[Pg 425]ness only then begins, by being sawn up and converted into furniture; much as when a human being's work here is finished, he is taken hence to be utilised elsewhere. Everlasting progress is the law of our existence, whether here or elsewhere,—no stopping, far less annihilation. And then the character of our Maker is Love, this Love having satisfied Justice by self-sacrifice, and nothing is more reiterated in the Psalms than that "His mercy endureth for ever;" which cannot be true if bodies and spirits—even of the wicked—are to be condemned by Him to endless torment. Adequate punishment, and that for the wretched creature's own improvement, is only in accordance with the voice of reason, and the voice of inspired wisdom too; for though our Lord Christ warns against a fearful retribution (involved in the phrase of "the undying worm and the unquenchable fire," as He was looking over the wall of Jerusalem into Tophet and the valley of Hinnom where the offal from the thousands of sacrifices was perpetually rotting and being burned, so taking his parable from an incident, as usual)—He yet "went and preached after death to the spirits in prison," probably to those who were then enduring some such purgatorial punishment. After all, this sentence of King Solomon as to a fallen tree, so often misapplied, is not one of the higher forms of inspiration; even St. Paul qualifies his own sometimes; and there are several disputable texts in Proverbs: and, if taken literally for exposition, we all must admit that the felling, of a tree is the immediate precursor to its further life of usefulness. Let us, then, rationally hope that the dead in Christ will be improved from good to better and best; and that even those who have failed to live for Him in this world may by some purifying[Pg 426] education in the next come finally to the happy far-off end of being saved by Him at last.

The words everlasting and forever are continually used in Scripture to indicate a long time,—not necessarily an eternity (see Cruden for many proofs). Moreover, if all hope of improvement ends with this life (a doctrine in which such extremes as Atheism and Calvinism strangely agree), what becomes of all the commonest forms of humanity, its intermediate failures, too bad for a heaven and too good for a hell; to say less of insane, idiotic, and other helpless creatures; and the millions of the untaught in Christendom, who never have had a chance, and billions of the Heathen brutalised through the ages by birth and evil custom? Yes; for all there must be in the near hereafter continuous new chances of improvement and hopes of better life.

There is one poem in the volume superadded to my Dramatics which I will introduce here, as it is quite a tour de force in its way of double rhyming throughout, and has, moreover, excellent moral uses: so I wish it read more widely.

Behind the Veil.
"Mysteries! crowding around us,
How ye perplex and confound us,—
Each our ignorance screening
Hidden in words without meaning!
"Who knoweth aught that is certain
Veil'd behind mystery's curtain?
Seeing the wisest of guesses
Foolishness only expresses.
"Ancestry? ruthlessly moulding
Bodies and souls in unfolding;
How such a mixture confuses
Judgment's indulgent excuses,—
[Pg 427]
"While the derivative nature,
Still a responsible creature,
Yields individual merits,
Biassed by what it inherits.
"Circumstance? mighty to fashion
Instant occasion for passion,
Gripping with clutch of a bandit
Weakness too weak to withstand it,—
"What? shall it mar me or make me?
Neither, till faith shall forsake me—
For, with good courage to nerve me,
Circumstance only can serve me!
"Destiny? doth it then seem so?
Or can the will we esteem so,
Change the decree at a bidding,
Us of that destiny ridding,—
"If with no fatalist weakness,
Battling in boldness and meekness,
We are determined to master
Every defeat and disaster?
"Providence? ordering all things,
Both of the great and the small things,
Equally each of us guiding,
Guarding, destroying, providing,—
"Fixt, beyond human forecasting,
Both as to blessing and blasting,—
Yet, though we darkly discern Him,
Quick'ning the prayer that may turn Him!
"Evil?—O direst enigma,
Whispered and terrible stigma
By fools to the Good One imputed,
As if everlastingly rooted!
"How so? shall wrong to no ending
Still with the Right be contending?
[Pg 428] Must not the bitterest leaven
Melt in the mercy of Heaven?
"Or can old Baal, the sun-god,
Boast there are two gods, not one god,
Satan, the rebel infernal,
Regent with Christ the Supernal?
"Come, blessed end, through the ages,
When no more wickedness rages,
When no iniquity hinders,
But sin is burnt down to its cinders!—
"Cruelties?—somehow permitted,—
With its mute victims unpitied,
Tortured in nature's defiance
On the false pretext of science,—
"Shall not some æon of gladness,
Balance the throes of pain-madness,—
Must not the crime of the cruel
Burn into souls as its fuel?
"Never can wisdom's creation
Be stultified annihilation,
But every poor unit that liveth
Shall live in the life that He giveth,—
"Yea, for that æon of glory,
Revealed in millennial story,
When earth with beatified features,
Shines the new Heaven of creatures.
"Death? Is it all things, or nothing?
Either the Spirit unclothing
Unto new living for ever,—
Or the dread penalty—never!
"Death,—if thou art but the portal,
Leading to glories immortal,
Why should we tremble to near thee,
How be the cowards to fear thee,
[Pg 429]
"Since the worlds blazing above us,
Peopled by angels who love us,
Stand our fatherly mansions,
Fitted for spirits' expansions?
"Where are the dead? and what doing?
Still their old trifles pursuing?
Or in the trance of a slumber,
Crowded by dreams without number?—
"Dreams of unspeakable sadness,
Breams of ineffable gladness,—
As the quick conscience remembers
Evil and good in their embers,—
"As it lives over in quiet,
Time and its orgies of riot,
Or the good gifts and good graces,
Bright'ning its happier phases,—
"As it sees photograph'd clearly,
Crystalised sharply and nearly,
Life and its million transactions,
Fancies and feelings and factions,—
"Every prayer ever uttered,
Every curse ever muttered,
All the man's lowest and highest,—
These are thyself, when thou diest!
"Filling thee, after thy measure,
From the full river of pleasure,
Or, as the fruit of thy sowing,
Pangs of remorse ever growing,—
"In thee all Heaven upspringing,
Or its dread opposite flinging
Blackness and darkness about thee,—
Both are within, not without thee!
"Yet,—in that darkness, we grope for
Somewhat far off, yet to hope for,
[Pg 430] That through some future repentance,
Justice may soften its sentence.
"Ere from the dead He had risen,
'He preached to the spirits in prison,'—
Is this a text that His aid is
Still to be hoped for in Hades?
"'Wrath may endure for a season,'
Both in religion and reason,—
But if its end must be never,
Where is His mercy for ever'?
"Ay,—after long retribution,
Mercy may drag from pollution
Souls that have suffered for ages,
Working out sin's bitter wages,—
"So that the end shall be glorious,
Good over evil victorious,
And this black sin-night of sorrow,
Blaze into gladness to-morrow!"

And so I make an end of this autobiography, with the humble prayer that I may have grace given to finish my course in this life usefully and with honour, at peace with God and man; mindful of that caution of Tellus, the Athenian, as recorded by Herodotus, "not to judge any man happy until he is dead;"—the Christian adds, "and is alive again!"

Let me conclude with some noble lines of Ovid in his Epilogue to the Metamorphoses, which I have Englished below:—

"Jamque opus exegi: quod nec Jovis ira, nec ignes,
Nec poterit ferrum, nec edax abolere vetustas.
Cum volet illa dies, quæ nil nisi corporis hujus
Jus habet, incerti spatium mihi finiat ævi,—
[Pg 431] Parte tamen meliore mei super alta perennis
Astra ferar: nomenque erit indelebile nostrum.
Quaque patet domitis Romana potentia terris,
Ore legar populi; perque omnia sæcula famâ
Si quid habent veri vatum præsagia vivam."
"Now have I done my work: which not Jove's ire
Can make undone, nor sword nor time nor fire.
Whene'er that day, whose only powers extend
Against this body, my brief life shall end,
Still in my better portion evermore
Above the stars undying shall I soar.
My name shall never die; but through all time
Whenever Rome shall reach a conquer'd clime,
There, in that people's tongue, shall this my page
Be read and glorified from age to age:—
Yea, if the bodings of my spirit give
True note of inspiration, I shall live!"


Transcriber's Notes

There was an illustration of the author as the frontispiece, but it was scanned too poorly to include here. The caption reads "Martin F. Tupper. Elliott & Fry, Photographers."
Page 44: added closing parenthesis after "contempt]!"
Page 296: added closing parenthesis after "patriotic but peculiar"
Page 297: removed opening parenthesis after "Rifledom—were once to a comma"

End of Project Gutenberg's My Life as an Author, by Martin Farquhar Tupper


***** This file should be named 17558-h.htm or *****
This and all associated files of various formats will be found in:

Produced by Stacy Brown Thellend, Robert Connal and the
Online Distributed Proofreading Team at
(This file was produced from images generously made
available by the Bibliothèque nationale de France
(BnF/Gallica) at

Updated editions will replace the previous one--the old editions
will be renamed.

Creating the works from public domain print editions means that no
one owns a United States copyright in these works, so the Foundation
(and you!) can copy and distribute it in the United States without
permission and without paying copyright royalties.  Special rules,
set forth in the General Terms of Use part of this license, apply to
copying and distributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works to
protect the PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm concept and trademark.  Project
Gutenberg is a registered trademark, and may not be used if you
charge for the eBooks, unless you receive specific permission.  If you
do not charge anything for copies of this eBook, complying with the
rules is very easy.  You may use this eBook for nearly any purpose
such as creation of derivative works, reports, performances and
research.  They may be modified and printed and given away--you may do
practically ANYTHING with public domain eBooks.  Redistribution is
subject to the trademark license, especially commercial



To protect the Project Gutenberg-tm mission of promoting the free
distribution of electronic works, by using or distributing this work
(or any other work associated in any way with the phrase "Project
Gutenberg"), you agree to comply with all the terms of the Full Project
Gutenberg-tm License (available with this file or online at

Section 1.  General Terms of Use and Redistributing Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic works

1.A.  By reading or using any part of this Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic work, you indicate that you have read, understand, agree to
and accept all the terms of this license and intellectual property
(trademark/copyright) agreement.  If you do not agree to abide by all
the terms of this agreement, you must cease using and return or destroy
all copies of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works in your possession.
If you paid a fee for obtaining a copy of or access to a Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic work and you do not agree to be bound by the
terms of this agreement, you may obtain a refund from the person or
entity to whom you paid the fee as set forth in paragraph 1.E.8.

1.B.  "Project Gutenberg" is a registered trademark.  It may only be
used on or associated in any way with an electronic work by people who
agree to be bound by the terms of this agreement.  There are a few
things that you can do with most Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works
even without complying with the full terms of this agreement.  See
paragraph 1.C below.  There are a lot of things you can do with Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic works if you follow the terms of this agreement
and help preserve free future access to Project Gutenberg-tm electronic
works.  See paragraph 1.E below.

1.C.  The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation ("the Foundation"
or PGLAF), owns a compilation copyright in the collection of Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic works.  Nearly all the individual works in the
collection are in the public domain in the United States.  If an
individual work is in the public domain in the United States and you are
located in the United States, we do not claim a right to prevent you from
copying, distributing, performing, displaying or creating derivative
works based on the work as long as all references to Project Gutenberg
are removed.  Of course, we hope that you will support the Project
Gutenberg-tm mission of promoting free access to electronic works by
freely sharing Project Gutenberg-tm works in compliance with the terms of
this agreement for keeping the Project Gutenberg-tm name associated with
the work.  You can easily comply with the terms of this agreement by
keeping this work in the same format with its attached full Project
Gutenberg-tm License when you share it without charge with others.

1.D.  The copyright laws of the place where you are located also govern
what you can do with this work.  Copyright laws in most countries are in
a constant state of change.  If you are outside the United States, check
the laws of your country in addition to the terms of this agreement
before downloading, copying, displaying, performing, distributing or
creating derivative works based on this work or any other Project
Gutenberg-tm work.  The Foundation makes no representations concerning
the copyright status of any work in any country outside the United

1.E.  Unless you have removed all references to Project Gutenberg:

1.E.1.  The following sentence, with active links to, or other immediate
access to, the full Project Gutenberg-tm License must appear prominently
whenever any copy of a Project Gutenberg-tm work (any work on which the
phrase "Project Gutenberg" appears, or with which the phrase "Project
Gutenberg" is associated) is accessed, displayed, performed, viewed,
copied or distributed:

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at

1.E.2.  If an individual Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work is derived
from the public domain (does not contain a notice indicating that it is
posted with permission of the copyright holder), the work can be copied
and distributed to anyone in the United States without paying any fees
or charges.  If you are redistributing or providing access to a work
with the phrase "Project Gutenberg" associated with or appearing on the
work, you must comply either with the requirements of paragraphs 1.E.1
through 1.E.7 or obtain permission for the use of the work and the
Project Gutenberg-tm trademark as set forth in paragraphs 1.E.8 or

1.E.3.  If an individual Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work is posted
with the permission of the copyright holder, your use and distribution
must comply with both paragraphs 1.E.1 through 1.E.7 and any additional
terms imposed by the copyright holder.  Additional terms will be linked
to the Project Gutenberg-tm License for all works posted with the
permission of the copyright holder found at the beginning of this work.

1.E.4.  Do not unlink or detach or remove the full Project Gutenberg-tm
License terms from this work, or any files containing a part of this
work or any other work associated with Project Gutenberg-tm.

1.E.5.  Do not copy, display, perform, distribute or redistribute this
electronic work, or any part of this electronic work, without
prominently displaying the sentence set forth in paragraph 1.E.1 with
active links or immediate access to the full terms of the Project
Gutenberg-tm License.

1.E.6.  You may convert to and distribute this work in any binary,
compressed, marked up, nonproprietary or proprietary form, including any
word processing or hypertext form.  However, if you provide access to or
distribute copies of a Project Gutenberg-tm work in a format other than
"Plain Vanilla ASCII" or other format used in the official version
posted on the official Project Gutenberg-tm web site (,
you must, at no additional cost, fee or expense to the user, provide a
copy, a means of exporting a copy, or a means of obtaining a copy upon
request, of the work in its original "Plain Vanilla ASCII" or other
form.  Any alternate format must include the full Project Gutenberg-tm
License as specified in paragraph 1.E.1.

1.E.7.  Do not charge a fee for access to, viewing, displaying,
performing, copying or distributing any Project Gutenberg-tm works
unless you comply with paragraph 1.E.8 or 1.E.9.

1.E.8.  You may charge a reasonable fee for copies of or providing
access to or distributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works provided

- You pay a royalty fee of 20% of the gross profits you derive from
     the use of Project Gutenberg-tm works calculated using the method
     you already use to calculate your applicable taxes.  The fee is
     owed to the owner of the Project Gutenberg-tm trademark, but he
     has agreed to donate royalties under this paragraph to the
     Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation.  Royalty payments
     must be paid within 60 days following each date on which you
     prepare (or are legally required to prepare) your periodic tax
     returns.  Royalty payments should be clearly marked as such and
     sent to the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation at the
     address specified in Section 4, "Information about donations to
     the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation."

- You provide a full refund of any money paid by a user who notifies
     you in writing (or by e-mail) within 30 days of receipt that s/he
     does not agree to the terms of the full Project Gutenberg-tm
     License.  You must require such a user to return or
     destroy all copies of the works possessed in a physical medium
     and discontinue all use of and all access to other copies of
     Project Gutenberg-tm works.

- You provide, in accordance with paragraph 1.F.3, a full refund of any
     money paid for a work or a replacement copy, if a defect in the
     electronic work is discovered and reported to you within 90 days
     of receipt of the work.

- You comply with all other terms of this agreement for free
     distribution of Project Gutenberg-tm works.

1.E.9.  If you wish to charge a fee or distribute a Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic work or group of works on different terms than are set
forth in this agreement, you must obtain permission in writing from
both the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation and Michael
Hart, the owner of the Project Gutenberg-tm trademark.  Contact the
Foundation as set forth in Section 3 below.


1.F.1.  Project Gutenberg volunteers and employees expend considerable
effort to identify, do copyright research on, transcribe and proofread
public domain works in creating the Project Gutenberg-tm
collection.  Despite these efforts, Project Gutenberg-tm electronic
works, and the medium on which they may be stored, may contain
"Defects," such as, but not limited to, incomplete, inaccurate or
corrupt data, transcription errors, a copyright or other intellectual
property infringement, a defective or damaged disk or other medium, a
computer virus, or computer codes that damage or cannot be read by
your equipment.

of Replacement or Refund" described in paragraph 1.F.3, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation, the owner of the Project
Gutenberg-tm trademark, and any other party distributing a Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic work under this agreement, disclaim all
liability to you for damages, costs and expenses, including legal

defect in this electronic work within 90 days of receiving it, you can
receive a refund of the money (if any) you paid for it by sending a
written explanation to the person you received the work from.  If you
received the work on a physical medium, you must return the medium with
your written explanation.  The person or entity that provided you with
the defective work may elect to provide a replacement copy in lieu of a
refund.  If you received the work electronically, the person or entity
providing it to you may choose to give you a second opportunity to
receive the work electronically in lieu of a refund.  If the second copy
is also defective, you may demand a refund in writing without further
opportunities to fix the problem.

1.F.4.  Except for the limited right of replacement or refund set forth
in paragraph 1.F.3, this work is provided to you 'AS-IS', WITH NO OTHER

1.F.5.  Some states do not allow disclaimers of certain implied
warranties or the exclusion or limitation of certain types of damages.
If any disclaimer or limitation set forth in this agreement violates the
law of the state applicable to this agreement, the agreement shall be
interpreted to make the maximum disclaimer or limitation permitted by
the applicable state law.  The invalidity or unenforceability of any
provision of this agreement shall not void the remaining provisions.

1.F.6.  INDEMNITY - You agree to indemnify and hold the Foundation, the
trademark owner, any agent or employee of the Foundation, anyone
providing copies of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works in accordance
with this agreement, and any volunteers associated with the production,
promotion and distribution of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works,
harmless from all liability, costs and expenses, including legal fees,
that arise directly or indirectly from any of the following which you do
or cause to occur: (a) distribution of this or any Project Gutenberg-tm
work, (b) alteration, modification, or additions or deletions to any
Project Gutenberg-tm work, and (c) any Defect you cause.

Section  2.  Information about the Mission of Project Gutenberg-tm

Project Gutenberg-tm is synonymous with the free distribution of
electronic works in formats readable by the widest variety of computers
including obsolete, old, middle-aged and new computers.  It exists
because of the efforts of hundreds of volunteers and donations from
people in all walks of life.

Volunteers and financial support to provide volunteers with the
assistance they need, is critical to reaching Project Gutenberg-tm's
goals and ensuring that the Project Gutenberg-tm collection will
remain freely available for generations to come.  In 2001, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation was created to provide a secure
and permanent future for Project Gutenberg-tm and future generations.
To learn more about the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation
and how your efforts and donations can help, see Sections 3 and 4
and the Foundation web page at

Section 3.  Information about the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive

The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation is a non profit
501(c)(3) educational corporation organized under the laws of the
state of Mississippi and granted tax exempt status by the Internal
Revenue Service.  The Foundation's EIN or federal tax identification
number is 64-6221541.  Its 501(c)(3) letter is posted at  Contributions to the Project Gutenberg
Literary Archive Foundation are tax deductible to the full extent
permitted by U.S. federal laws and your state's laws.

The Foundation's principal office is located at 4557 Melan Dr. S.
Fairbanks, AK, 99712., but its volunteers and employees are scattered
throughout numerous locations.  Its business office is located at
809 North 1500 West, Salt Lake City, UT 84116, (801) 596-1887, email  Email contact links and up to date contact
information can be found at the Foundation's web site and official
page at

For additional contact information:
     Dr. Gregory B. Newby
     Chief Executive and Director

Section 4.  Information about Donations to the Project Gutenberg
Literary Archive Foundation

Project Gutenberg-tm depends upon and cannot survive without wide
spread public support and donations to carry out its mission of
increasing the number of public domain and licensed works that can be
freely distributed in machine readable form accessible by the widest
array of equipment including outdated equipment.  Many small donations
($1 to $5,000) are particularly important to maintaining tax exempt
status with the IRS.

The Foundation is committed to complying with the laws regulating
charities and charitable donations in all 50 states of the United
States.  Compliance requirements are not uniform and it takes a
considerable effort, much paperwork and many fees to meet and keep up
with these requirements.  We do not solicit donations in locations
where we have not received written confirmation of compliance.  To
SEND DONATIONS or determine the status of compliance for any
particular state visit

While we cannot and do not solicit contributions from states where we
have not met the solicitation requirements, we know of no prohibition
against accepting unsolicited donations from donors in such states who
approach us with offers to donate.

International donations are gratefully accepted, but we cannot make
any statements concerning tax treatment of donations received from
outside the United States.  U.S. laws alone swamp our small staff.

Please check the Project Gutenberg Web pages for current donation
methods and addresses.  Donations are accepted in a number of other
ways including checks, online payments and credit card
donations.  To donate, please visit:

Section 5.  General Information About Project Gutenberg-tm electronic

Professor Michael S. Hart is the originator of the Project Gutenberg-tm
concept of a library of electronic works that could be freely shared
with anyone.  For thirty years, he produced and distributed Project
Gutenberg-tm eBooks with only a loose network of volunteer support.

Project Gutenberg-tm eBooks are often created from several printed
editions, all of which are confirmed as Public Domain in the U.S.
unless a copyright notice is included.  Thus, we do not necessarily
keep eBooks in compliance with any particular paper edition.

Most people start at our Web site which has the main PG search facility:

This Web site includes information about Project Gutenberg-tm,
including how to make donations to the Project Gutenberg Literary
Archive Foundation, how to help produce our new eBooks, and how to
subscribe to our email newsletter to hear about new eBooks.