The Project Gutenberg EBook of Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 56,
Number 347, September, 1844, by Various

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Title: Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 56, Number 347, September, 1844

Author: Various

Release Date: April 28, 2008 [EBook #25208]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Brendan OConnor, Jonathan Ingram, Louise Pryor
and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at (This file was produced from images
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Transcriber's Note

Spellings are sometimes erratic. A few obvious misprints have been corrected, but in general the original spelling has been retained. Accents in the French phrases are inconsistent, and have not been standardised.




M. Louis Blanc,265
A Night on the Banks of the Tennessee,278
The Execution of Montrose,289
The Witchfinder. Part I.,297
Natural History of Man,312
Poems by Coventry Patmore,331
Marston; or, the Memoirs of a Statesman. Part XIII.,343
It is No Fiction,364
The Burns’ Festival,370
Stanzas for the Burns’ Festival. By Delta,399

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






M. Louis Blanc, a democratic journalist, with all, and perhaps more than the usual talents of the Parisian journalist—with all, and more than the usual faults of one—has undertaken to write the history of his country, during and since the revolution of 1830. What can we expect to be the result of such an undertaking? What can we expect from a man who sits down to a task of this description, animated with all the party virulence which gives zest to a democratic newspaper? It is not a history, but a scandal, that he will write. M. Louis Blanc has distilled the bile of journalism; he has paused over the hasty sarcasm which political animosity deals forth, not to correct, or moderate, or abate, but merely to point and envenom it. His appreciation of men, their character, their talents, their designs—all bear the hue of the atrabilious journalist. There is this difference only between his history and the daily portion of envy and malignity which a democratic newspaper pours forth, that the dye is more deeply engrained. In the mind of the author, the stain of his party has become ineffaceable. Those who are pleased—and the number is not few—with having high names and established reputations laid at their feet, soiled, trod upon, will meet here with ample gratification. To be sure they will be occasionally required, in lieu of such as they have thrown down, to set up the bust of some democratic celebrity, whose greatness, or whose genius, they were not previously aware of. But, not to say that the justice of party requires this substitution, it is a penalty which writers of this description will invariably impose upon them. It is the common trick of the envious, and the mock magnanimity with which they seek to conceal their true nature—to exalt the lowly, while they debase the exalted. Since some idol there must be, let it be one of their raising. Even while helping to raise it, they enjoy, too, the secret consciousness that it is of brittle metal.

But in the composition of a history, the spirit of party, however eager it may be, cannot always guide the pen. The mere interest of the narrative, the strangeness and peculiarity of circumstances, will claim their share of the author’s mind. The politician must sometimes be absorbed in the chronicler; and so it happens with M. Louis Blanc. His narrative often interests by its details; and if it has the partiality, it has also the vivacious colouring, of a contemporary. It possesses, also, a richness of anecdote—the fruit, probably, of his position as a   journalist; add to which, that M. Louis Blanc is not without a species of off-hand, dashing eloquence. He can say daring things in a daring manner, and give the pungency of epigram to his political paradoxes. He has a full share of that rhetoric of journalism which is so well calculated to make an impression on the careless reader, but which requires that the reader should continue careless, in order to retain the impression he has received. It results from all this, that while we constantly distrust our guide, while we perpetually refuse the appreciation he offers to us of men and events, we still read on with interest a work which is, at least, relieved from the charge of insipidity or dulness; and indeed, if we had not derived some entertainment from its perusal, we should not have thought of bringing it under the notice of our readers. To have engaged ourselves merely in combating its errors and misrepresentations, would have been a dreary and an endless task.

To enable the reader at once to judge of the tone and temper of M. Louis Blanc’s politics, we present him the following passage. It is the object of the long Introduction which precedes his history, to show that the events which have transpired in France since 1793, have had, for their great result, the establishment of the government of the middle classes through a Chamber of Deputies—a view which we think is incontestably right. That France has its House of Commons, is the great fruit of all its struggles, its calamities, and its victories. It must not be supposed, however, that this is a result in which M. Louis Blanc rejoices. Nothing he so much detests as this government of the middle classes; nor is there any portion of society he vilifies more cordially than the bourgeoisie. Hear how he speaks of them. After relating the history of the Carbonari, who troubled by their plots the reign of Louis XVIII., he says:—“This Carbonarism never descended into the depths of society; it never moved the lower strata. How, then, could it be preserved from the vices of the middle class—egoism, littleness of ideas, extreme love of a mere material happiness, gross instincts!”—(P. 115.) So that he finds Carbonarism to have lacked in virtue, because it had not descended, for its disciples, sufficiently low in the scale of society!—to have grown corrupt, by reason of its not having penetrated to the “lower strata!” And yet the duties of the Carbonari seem to have been precisely calculated for these lower strata. These were, he had already told us himself, “to have a gun and fifty cartridges, to be ready to devote one’s-self, and to obey blindly the orders of unknown leaders.”—(P. 101.)

When we describe M. Louis Blanc as a democrat, it is rather for want of a better and more accurate title, than because this exactly describes him. A democrat is generally understood to be one who has a large faith in the lowest class of the people, such as they really exist; our author has a faith only in the future of this class. He does not fail to give vent, when the occasion prompts him, to his compassion or contempt for the ignorant mass of mankind. The democracy he worships is one to be established in some distant age, by a people very different, and living under some modification of the law of property, which he has not thought fit to explain. It is a democracy which has nothing distinct but its hatreds—a shadowy monster, peculiarly disagreeable to deal with. Our historian writes with overflowing gall against kings, against aristocracies, against the middle class. You would say he is a stanch republican, and that the people are to be his depositaries of power. But no; a lamentation, which escapes him from time to time—as bitter as any which Tory or Legitimist would utter—over the blindness of the people, their passions and their ignorance, contradicts this conclusion. Where is the power, and in whom lodged, that M. Louis Blanc would willingly obey, or see obeyed? It exists nowhere. Society is corrupt, is chaotic; nor can it, by any organ it possesses, exercise a sound or rational power. A new era must arise—how, whence, when, we are not instructed.

It is the peculiar characteristic of French democracy, that there is always mixed up with it the principle, more or less distinctly avowed, of the   community of goods. Perhaps the vagueness we complain of in M. Louis Blanc, is dictated by mere prudence; perhaps there is no vagueness to the eye of a propagandist. One sentiment of French democracy he certainly expresses with sufficient hardihood. It is not often we meet with the principle of intervention between state and state, asserted in these days with so much boldness as in the following passage:—“Men have stigmatized the war in Spain, calling the principle of intervention an oppressive principle. Puerile accusation! All people are brothers, and all revolutions cosmopolite. When a government believes that it represents a just cause, let it make it triumph wherever a triumph is possible. This is its right; it is more—it is its duty.”—(Introduction, p. 120.)

How exactly analogous to this is the reasoning which leads to persecution in religion—to the Holy Inquisition, and all its philanthropic schemes of intervention! The conviction in a good cause allowed to overrule the fundamental principles of justice between man and man—to overrule them, not occasionally and by way of exception, but systematically—this is the very essence of persecution. But let no one think that, by any such representation, he would gain an advantage over the republican propagandist. He no longer fears religious persecution—it is a thing past: he braves it. He would adopt his favourite principle, and all its consequences. He would probably admit that it was the duty of the priest, according to his priestly intelligence, to ban and persecute. Not mutual toleration, but reciprocal compulsion, would be his principle. Combat thou for thy truth—let me fight for mine; such would be his formula.

In a writer bent upon startling and surprising us, there is often a sort of premeditated haste, a voluntary forgetfulness, which it is curious to remark. One who weighs his matter well before he speaks, will often end, alas! in having something very tame and moderate to propound—something which, after all his turmoil and reflection, may sound very like a good old commonplace. Now this approximation to commonplace is the great horror of shallow writers; and the way to avoid it appears to be this:—Proclaim your thought at once, in all its crude candescence, before it has had time to cool and shape itself; then, in order to save your credit with the more captions and scrutinizing, give, at some convenient interval, such an explanation or modification as will show that, after all, you were as wise as your reader. State your paradox in all the startling force of unmitigated diction, and refute it yourself afterwards, or say enough to prove that you could have done so. This, well managed, gives two occasions for brilliant display; a sober statement has been converted into a couple of bold and glancing propositions. Truth, it is well proved, like the diamond, shines the more by being cut into surfaces.

M. Louis Blanc, for instance, makes a startling remark on the incompatibility of royalty and a representative chamber. The two powers are represented to us as flatly irreconcilable. “Can society,” he asks, “have two heads? Is the sovereignty divisible? Between the government of a king and the government of an assembly, is there not a gulf which every day makes wider? And wherever this dualism exists, are not the people condemned to fluctuate miserably between a 10th of August and an 18th Brumaire?”—(Int., p. 64.) And a little further on, speaking of the times of Louis XVIII., he writes—“Meanwhile Europe began to be disquieted on the state of things in France. Foreign sovereigns had thought to establish peace in our country, by establishing the empire of the charter, and the political dualism which it consecrates. The error was great, and they ended by discovering it. M. de Richelieu, who had been present at the congress at Aix-la-Chapelle, brought back with him a very lively apprehension of the future fate of the monarchy in France. A change of the electoral law was proposed. Unhappily, it was not in the law of the 5th February that lay the danger which occupied the congress of Aix-la-Chapelle. To consolidate the throne, and raise it above the storms which threatened it, not this or that electoral law, but the electoral power itself, should, if possible,   be abolished. For in whatever hands this formidable lever was placed, it was impossible that royalty could long resist its action. To shift the elective power was only to give the monarchy other enemies, not to save it. * * * The aim of the new ministry was to preserve the electoral law; which amounted to this—the monarchy chose ministers whose programme was the destruction of monarchy.”

On reading such passages, we naturally set about recalling certain old-fashioned political truisms, bearing on the character and interest of that middle class of society in which the electoral power is generally lodged. We recollect that the middle classes have been held to have an interest as well in preserving, as in checking and controlling the monarchy. Alone, they could not govern society; and they have a larger share in the government, as partners with the monarchy, than if they were absorbed in the general mass of the population. They have every thing to lose by the abolition of a royalty which they have ceased to fear, and which they have bound by laws. Such a royalty, with its sway over the imagination of the multitude, with its strong hand of military power—hand in which the sword is allowed always to rest, as pomp in time of peace, as weapon in time of war—such a royalty they feel to be their best protection. Why, then, should they, in their electoral capacity, be thrust on by a blind rage to destroy it? But all this train of reflection we might have spared ourselves. M. Louis Blanc knows it all, and, if you will wait a reasonable time, he will show you that he knows it. He will put it to you very forcibly—in another place. Accordingly, some ninety pages off, he tells us:—“At bottom, the middle class (la bourgeoisie) sees in the monarchy a permanent obstacle to democratic aspirations: it would have subjected royalty, but not destroyed it.”

For the enlightenment of those who may wish to write history in the most captivating manner, and at the least possible expense to themselves, we will reveal another fruitful expedient. There are two ways of writing history. You may either deduce its great events from certain wide and steadily-operating causes, as the growing wealth or intelligence of a people, or you may raise a vulgar wonder by describing them as the result of some quite trivial incident. In the one case, you appeal to a philosophic taste; in the other, to a popular love of the marvellous. A revolution may be represented as the inevitable outbreak of the discontent and misery of the people; or it may be traced, with all its disasters, to the caprice of a courtier, or perhaps the accidental delay of a messenger. For want of a nail, the shoe was lost; for want of a shoe, the horse was lost; for want of a horse, the man—and so all was owing to the want of a nail!

The two manners seem incompatible. Never mind. Use them both—both freely, independently—just as occasion prompts, and the effect requires. Flatter the philosophic taste that delights in generalities, and please the childish wonder which loves to fancy that the whole oak—trunk, branches, leaves—lay in the acorn. M. Louis Blanc has certainly no idea of forfeiting either of these attractions by laying claim to the other. Observe the ease and boldness with which he embraces them in his narrative of the fall of Napoleon, and the restoration of the Bourbons. He commences in the generalizing mood.

“The fall of Napoleon lay in the laws of the development of the middle classes. Can a nation be at the same time essentially commercial and essentially warlike? Napoleon must have renounced his great part of military chieftain, or he must have broken with the spirit of citizenship and commerce. It was madness to think of reigning by the sword, and continuing the Constituent Assembly. France could not have, at the same time, the destinies of Rome and Carthage. Napoleon succumbed, and must have succumbed, to the Carthaginian party of the people of France. But if the necessary development of the middle classes called for the overthrow of the empire, it demanded also the return of the Bourbons. To prove this, we have only to present, in its instructive simplicity of detail, that narrative of the restoration which so many historians have distorted.”—(Int., p. 18.)

  Well, he proceeds with this simple and instructive detail; and his first object is evidently to deprive Talleyrand, to whom on all occasions he manifests a singular bitterness, of the credit generally given him of having aided materially in the recall of the Bourbons in 1814. But does he effect this by showing, as from this exordium we might expect, that his countrymen of the middle class, wearied of the costly triumphs and disasters of the empire, had begun to sigh for peace and their old kings? Not at all. He transfers the personal share in the drama from Prince Talleyrand to Baron de Vitrolles. The Duke d’Alberg had introduced the baron to Talleyrand, whose intention was to employ him merely to sound the views of the Allies. Talleyrand was to have accredited him by some lines of his own writing, but ultimately refused to commit himself. How was Baron de Vitrolles, who by no means limited himself to the subordinate part designed for him, and on whom it will be seen so much really depended, to get accredited to the Allies?

The Duke d’Alberg was intimately acquainted with the Count de Stadion, representative of Austria at the congress. Now these two friends had formerly, at Munich, had a certain tender intimacy with two young girls, whose names the Duke d’Alberg remembered; he wrote them on the leaf of a pocket-book, and they served as a letter of credence to the adventurous ambassador. “Such,” exclaims our lately generalizing historian—“such is the manner in which God disposes of the fate of nations!—Voilà de quelle sorte il plait à Dieu de disposer du sort des peuples!

The Baron de Vitrolles, we are told, found the Emperor Alexander possessed with a strong repugnance against the Bourbons. It cost him three hours’ conversation to gain him over. But he succeeded. It was he who did gain him over. On the 31st of March, when the Emperor of Russia entered Paris, Talleyrand stepped forward to receive him.

“Well,” said Alexander, “it seems that France recalls the Bourbons.”

These words occasioned M. Talleyrand a profound surprise, which, however, he was too skilful a diplomatist to betray. From that moment, he was a convert to what he considered the successful cause. “Thus,” continues our historian, “this restoration took place contrary to the will of the people, to whom the Bourbons in 1814 were unknown; contrary to the sympathies of Alexander, who feared the dangers of a reaction; contrary, in fine, to the opinion of M. Talleyrand, who had never thought it possible, and had desired only the regency of Marie Louise!”

What particle of truth there may be in this narrative, we do not stop to enquire; we refer to it only as an example of the bold union of the two historic manners. The restoration of the Bourbons was “in the laws of the development of the middle classes!” It was all owing to the Baron de Vitrolles, and that lucky little intrigue at Munich!

It is one of the boasts and privileges of history to reverse the judgment that contemporaries have formed of the character of the actors in it. This privilege M. Louis Blanc, since he writes history, is determined at all events to seize upon; and he can boast, perhaps, of having reversed more judgments of this kind than any other historian, however voluminous. M. Talleyrand has obtained his reputation for ability—his moral reputation it would be too commonplace a matter to attack—by “speaking in monosyllables one half his life, and saying nothing the other half.” M. Guizot is a man “whose talent consists in concealing, under the solemnity of expression and the pomp of formulæ, an extreme poverty of views, and sentiments without grandeur.” M. Dupin, the elder, is “skilful in concealing, under an affectation of rudeness, the pusillanimity of his heart.” Cuvier, whose scientific reputation is untouched, probably because no motive led him to assail it, is “homme plus grand par l’intelligence que par le cœur.” Of Metternich he writes—“A lover of repose from selfishness, he sought it also from incapacity. He wished to enjoy a reputation easily usurped, the falsehood of which the least complication of events would have exposed.” And the picture he gives throughout of Casimir   Perier is that of an “illustrious charlatan,” in whom nothing was genuine but his pride, his hate, and his physical infirmities.

The ministers of Charles X. meet with a much fairer appreciation than those of Louis Philippe. Towards them, one might even say that he is indulgent. This is easily accounted for: in the war of party, those with whom we come into the closest and most frequent collision, must, of course, excite the largest share of our animosity. M. de Polignac seems to have been aware that he had little to fear from the fierce democrat: he has not disdained a sort of literary participation in the work, having contributed some manuscript notes of his own, explanatory of his share in the transactions of 1830. Altogether, we may presume that the history, so far as it relates to the ministers of Charles X., is not unfairly written. Let us approach the narrative by this quarter.

It is a singular picture that M. de Polignac presents to the imagination, with his unruffled serenity, his extreme audacity, his violent measures, his negligent preparation, his strong will, his weak intelligence. The minister is always smiling, and, in the midst of disaster and ruin, is still beaming with self-confidence; he seems to have thought that self-confidence wrought like magic, or like faith, and could of itself remove mountains. If difficulties occurred, his resource was to be still more self-confident. He was well aware of the hostility his ordonnances would create; he was well aware that the army must be their veritable support: yet observe with what a sublime air of nonchalance he prepares himself for the subjection of a people. “How many men,” asked M. d’Haussez, as the ministers sat round the council-table, “can you reckon on at Paris?—have you twenty-eight or thirty thousand?” “More,” said the premier; “I have forty-two thousand;” and, rolling up a paper which he held in his hands, he threw it across the table to d’Haussez. “But,” said the latter, as he looked over the statement that had been given to him, “I see here only thirteen thousand. Thirteen thousand men on paper—that amounts to about seven or eight thousand actually ready to fight your battles. And the other twenty-nine thousand to complete your number, where are they?” M. de Polignac assured him that they were spread about the neighbourhood of Paris, and in ten hours, if it were necessary, could be assembled in the capital. The ministers felt, adds our historian, that they were entering into a dreadful game blindfold.

M. de Polignac appears to have relied upon the army, much in the same way that a speculative writer, theorizing upon government, rests upon his great abstraction, the military power. He treated it as if it were a principle, an idea, that developed itself without his aid, and not a palpable fact of there being a certain number of armed men, then and there, to fight for his ordonnances.

There is no virtue so much applauded in the present day as resolution—will; and there are who regard a strong will as the essence of all virtue. But the history of M. de Polignac proves, (if this needed proof,) that the weak can have will enough. Your strong will may be purchased at the sole expense of reason. Let there be one idea in a brain that cannot hold two, and you have a strong will. M. de Polignac never wavered once; he was always seen with a smiling countenance, calm, radiant with hope and self-approval. When others around him began to despond, when the Duke of Ragusa, commander of the forces, writing to the king, said that it was not a riot, but a revolution, and advised him to retreat while he could still retreat with honour, the minister had, for all answer, but one word—“Fire!” It was still, Fire! But what if the troops, it was asked, desert to the people? “Then fire on the troops!”

On the publication of the ordonnances, the members of the Chamber who were in Paris met at each others’ houses to discuss measures of resistance. But it was not from the members of the Chamber that the movement was to emanate. Those who had any position to compromise looked on, for the most part, with anxiety and astonishment, waiting to see what current the disturbed waters would finally take. “On the evening of the 27th, a man, name unknown, appeared   on the Quai d’Ecole, and paraded the banks of the river with the tri-coloured flag, which had been folded up and hidden away for fifteen years.” The symbol was adopted by the people. The revolution had commenced.

Then followed all those strange scenes of levity and blood, buffoonery and heroism, which the history of Parisian revolutions has familiarized to the imagination, but which, nevertheless, have an inexhaustible interest. The people arm themselves wheresoever and howsoever they can. One brings into the Place de la Bourse two large hampers, full of muskets and accoutrements. They come from the Théâtre du Vaudeville, where a piece had been played, a few days before, which required that a number of actors should be armed. To command men thus equipped there were extemporary generals, whose epaulets were obtained from the wardrobe of the Opera Comique. The students of the Polytechnic were, as usual, on the alert to practise whatever they had learned of military science; the younger sort entering into the war with the same spirit that other schoolboys partake of any minor mischief that is going forward. A student of the Polytechnic is standing on the left bank of the river; he has a musket, but no ammunition. A fellow-student, a lad of fifteen, has a packet of cartridges, but no musket: “You shall share them,” said he, showing his treasure, “if you will lend me the gun to shoot my half.” A party of the royal guard were coming over the bridge. He started with the gun to have his shots. He was swept off with others by the fire of the military.

On one side comes a party led by a violin, women applauding. But the women do more than applaud. They carry great paving-stones to the top of the house, to be thence precipitated on the heads of the soldiers; they tend the wounded, they bruise charcoal for gunpowder.

There was, no doubt, some severe fighting during the Three Days; but, generally speaking, the military seem to have entered into the contest with reluctance. Some instances are here given of singular forbearance on their part. At a time when, in certain quarters of Paris, each house was converted into a sort of fortress whence the military was assailed, three men had placed themselves behind a stack of chimneys, and had, from this shelter, directed a destructive fire on the troops. They were at length discovered, and a cannon was levelled against the chimney. But, before firing, the gunner made signal to the men to escape, contenting himself with demolishing their breastwork. As another company of soldiers, led by its officer, was marching through the streets, one of the mob rushed forward, and, with a mad audacity, struck the officer on the head with a bar of iron. He staggered, and his face overflowed with blood; but he still had strength enough to raise his sword to put aside the muskets of his men, who were in the act of firing on the assailant.

We have here a vivid description of the taking of the Tuileries by the populace. Some amused themselves by mutilating the statues of kings, or by firing at the portraits of such of the marshals as they considered to have been guilty of treason to Napoleon. A number of artisans installed themselves in the chamber of the throne; they sat, each in his turn, upon the royal seat, afterwards they placed a corpse in it. Some of them drew, over shirts stained with blood, the court-dresses which had circled the waist of royal princesses, and strutted about in this masquerade. Riot and destruction as much as you please, but no theft—such was the order of the day. A young man was bearing off a hat, decorated with plumes of a costly description. “Where are you going,” cried his companions, “with that hat?” “It is only a souvenir,” said he of the hat. “Ha! good; but in that case the value is nothing.” So saying, they took the hat and trampled it under their feet, and then returned it to him—doubly valuable as a souvenir. Many striking traits of honesty were exhibited. One man brought a vase of silver to the prefect of police, and did not even leave his name. Another found a bag of three thousand francs in the Louvre, and hastened with the money to the Commune. The next day he was probably   amongst the number who were wandering about Paris without bread and without work, driven out of employment by the commercial panic of their own glorious revolution.

A scene of a like grotesque description took place, at a later period, on the return of the mob from Rambouillet, where they had gone in search of the unhappy Charles X. The king had left Rambouillet before the mob reached it, so that they had nothing to do but to return, unless any work of demolition should invite them to stay. M. Degoussée, at that moment the man in authority, in order to save the royal carriages from destruction, bethought him of the expedient of offering a ride home in them to the most violent and redoubtable of the mob. In a moment these gilded vehicles, blazoned with the royal arms, were filled with the lowest of the rabble, who projected their pipes and their bayonets from the windows. These state carriages, drawn by eight horses, and driven by silken postilions, were heaped up, inside and out, with this riotous crew, who entered Paris in triumph, amidst the responsive jests and shouts of the populace. Driven up to the Palais Royal, they there descended from their splendid vehicles, and delivered them over to their new owner. “Tenez—voilà vos voitures!” they shouted, as they alighted under the windows of the Duke of Orleans.

It is curious to remark the contrast between the thoughtless, reckless bravery of the combatants of July, and the watchful timidity of the politicians who were ultimately to profit by their courage and infatuation. The soldiers had, at many points, fraternized with the people—all was success for the popular party—and the drawing-room of M. Lafitte was full of distinguished men of that party.

“The court of the hotel,” continues M. Blanc, “was now full of soldiers. Five of the royal officers entered the saloon. M. Lafitte, who had been wounded in the leg, received them sitting in an arm-chair. He received them with great blandness and dignity. ‘Gentlemen,’ said he, ‘keep your arms, but swear never to turn them against the people.’ The officers extended their hands, as if to take an oath. ‘No oath, gentlemen,’ said M. Lafitte with much emotion; ‘kings have dishonoured oaths. The word of the brave is sufficient.’ This was received with universal applause, and every one present resigned himself to the excitement of the hour; when suddenly a discharge of musketry was heard. How describe the tumult that in a moment filled the apartment! The royal guard was certainly victorious—the enemy would be down on them—every one fled. They rushed into the hall, they pushed, they struggled for egress. Some jumped through the windows of the ground-floor into the garden. Two deputies were found hiding in the stables. In an instant, M. Lafitte was abandoned by all those who had besieged his arm-chair. His nephew was the only person who remained with him. And what had happened? The soldiers of the 6th had followed the example of their comrades of the 55th, and, gained over to the cause of the people, they had fired their muskets in the air!”

Already, at the first outbreak of the revolution, some one had remarked—“here were a good game for the Duke of Orleans, if he has the courage to play it.” Courage he had, but equal caution it seems, equal prudence. A deputation had proceeded from the house of Lafitte to Neuilly, the residence of the Duke, to invite him to the throne; but it was the Duchess who received them. The Duke himself had taken refuge at Raincy. To Raincy messengers were sent. The Duke of Orleans ordered his carriage. Those who were waiting his arrival at Neuilly heard the wheels approach—heard them suddenly recede. The carriage had turned, and was regaining Raincy with all the speed possible. The resolution was not quite taken, or the pear was not quite ripe.

His entry into Paris, according to M. Blanc, was made on foot in the evening, and he clambered like a common citizen over the barricades. Arrived at the Palais Royal, he sent to notify his presence to Lafitte and Lafayette—representatives, the one of the Chamber, and the other of the Hotel de Ville—and also to the Duke de Mortemart, minister of Charles X. The interview with this last took place the same evening, and had for its apparent   object to proclaim, in the presence of the minister, his attachment and unalterable fidelity to the elder branch of the Bourbons. When De Mortemart arrived, he was ushered into a little cabinet on the right, which looks upon the court, not ordinarily used as an apartment of the family.

The Duke of Orleans was stretched upon the floor, lying on a mattrass, in his shirt. His forehead was bathed in sweat;B the glare of his eyes, and every thing about him, betrayed a great fatigue, and a singular state of excitement. On seeing the Duke de Mortemart enter, he began to speak with great rapidity. He expressed himself with much volubility and ardour, proclaiming his attachment to the elder branch, and protesting that he came to Paris only to save the town from anarchy. At this moment a great noise was heard in the court, and the cry was raised of Vive le Duc d’Orleans! “You hear that cry,” said the minister; “it is you the people call for.” “No, no!” answered the Duke with increasing energy. “They shall kill me before I accept the crown.”

The next morning the deputation from the Chamber presented itself at the Palais Royal; and so far was resolved, that the Duke of Orleans was proclaimed lieutenant-general of the kingdom.

M. Louis Blanc gives several anecdotes respecting the King of the French, and his successive ministers, which we should be disposed to extract, but that his political antipathies lying exactly in this quarter, we have not felt sufficient confidence in their authority. For this reason we will pass on abruptly to a portion of the work where the political bias of the writer is harmless, or where it may have induced him to inform himself more accurately on his subject than the generality of persons.

This last is evidently the case in his account of the doctrines and practices of the St Simonians. One who felt no sympathy with any portion of their creed, would not have taken the trouble to obtain accurate information, or an intimate knowledge on this subject. Not that M. Blanc is a St Simonian; to do him justice, he has argued with ability and clearness against their leading tenets or maxims; but being a man devoted to a new order of things of some kind or other, he has given naturally a more than usual attention to this sect, and we think our readers will hold themselves obliged to us, if we abridge some portion of his account of St Simon and his disciples.

“The founder of the St Simonian school had been deceased five years when the revolution of July broke out. He belonged to one of the noblest houses of France, bearing the name and arms of that famous Duke de St Simon, the historian of the reign of Louis XIV., and the last of our veritable grands seigneurs. Yet it was the privilege of birth that he attacked, and the impiety of war that he proclaimed. He was a man of singular independence of mind, and of extreme moral courage. Convinced that, before dictating a code for the regulation of human life, it was necessary to have attentively analysed that life as it actually exists, he spent the first half of his days in studying society under all its aspects; recoiling from no experience, practising, in the character of an observer, even vice as well as virtue; drawing a lesson from his own frailties, and making a study of his own follies. He dissipated his fortune in premeditated prodigality, and terminated a studious opulence in excessive poverty; living on the miserable salary of a copyist, when in idea he was governing the world. In the estimation of some, a sage—of others, a madman; at one time sanguine to enthusiasm, at another discouraged to the point of attempting suicide; reduced at last to the condition of a mendicant, after having so often united round his table, in order to observe and judge them, the most celebrated men in art and literature. Such was St Simon in life and character: it remains to see what were the intellectual results he arrived at.”—(Vol. III. p. 96.)

  His first project of a code for human life was sufficiently ridiculous. In a work entitled Letters from an Inhabitant of Geneva to his Contemporaries, he addressed himself to the learned portion of the world, inviting them to undertake the government of the human race. The programme was as follows. A subscription was to be opened before the tomb of Newton. Every one was called upon to subscribe according to his means, rich and poor, man and woman; and each subscriber was to have a voice in the selection of—three mathematicians, three natural philosophers, three chemists, three physiologists, three men of letters, three painters, and three musicians. These several threes, amounting to twenty-one, besides having the produce of the subscription, were to form a council, called the Council of Newton, and undertake the spiritual government of the world, directing the efforts of the several nations of the globe towards one common end.

The learned portion of the world made no response to this invitation; he therefore next addressed himself to the operatives, declaring that the time was come to tear the crown from the brow of idleness, and establish the reign of labour. The king was now to be the chief of artisans, his ministers enlightened workmen; and the electoral right was to be so placed as to transfer all power from the proprietor of the soil to the cultivator, from the capitalist to the journeyman. One would say that, piqued with the indifference of the most literate portion of mankind, he was determined to offer the government of the world to the most illiterate. Since the Royal Society would not accept the ball and sceptre which he had placed at its disposal, he gave them over to the Trades’ Union.

But neither would this satisfy him. He who appeals to the lowest order of minds must confine himself to what is intelligible to, and influential on the lowest; and this would hardly accord with one who, at all events, had led an intellectual life, of however wild an order. He again reverted to the thinking classes, and to some modification of his first idea; and his New Christianity—his last and most complete effort—has for its object to erect an intellectual and spiritual government of the world. Taking his analogy from the spiritual dominion of the church of Rome, but finding that that power was too restricted in its exercise, inasmuch as the material interests and scientific labours of mankind were not embraced by it, he called for the foundation of “a religious power, which, embracing humanity in all its interests, should conduct it towards a Christian purpose—the amelioration of the lot of the great multitude of mankind; by their sentiments employing artists, by their reason employing the learned, and by their activity employing the operative.”

Whatever may be the importance of this conception, it answered one purpose—it satisfied the builder’s mind. St Simon died full of faith and hope. When he bade his eternal adieus to the few disciples who surrounded his dying bed, he regarded his work as completed, his mission as fulfilled. “The fruit is ripe,” said he; “you will gather it.”

The disciples of St Simon still further elaborated and disseminated his doctrines; and a school was formed which recognised MM. Enfantin and Buzard for its chiefs. It need hardly be said, that the new order of society was to be founded on universal benevolence—no war, and no rivalry—and the industry of mankind organized in such sort, that to each man would be assigned according to his capacity, and to each capacity according to its works.

We quote with pleasure the remarks (tinctured though they are by his own peculiar opinions) which M. Blanc makes on this famous formula:—“In preaching a universal association of men, founded on benevolence—in demanding that industry should be regularly organized, and that she should establish her empire on the ruins of a system of violence and war, the St Simonians showed a thorough intelligence of the laws which will one day govern humanity. But they overthrow with one hand the edifice they erect with the other, when they announce this famous formula—To each according to his capacity; to each capacity according to its works—a formula wise and equitable in   appearance, but in reality subversive and unjust.

“If we say that a man, in virtue of his intellectual superiority, is to adjudge to himself a larger share than others of the goods of this world, what right have we to censure the sturdy barbarian, who, in virtue of his physical superiority, was wont to take the lion’s share to himself? We have changed the basis on which the tyranny rested—the tyranny remains. The St Simonians, it is true, justify their formula on the grounds of public utility; it is well, say they, to stimulate talent by recompense. But is it necessary that the recompense of talent be of this gross and material kind? that it be counted down in so much wealth? Thank Heaven! man has other and more energetic motives. With a piece of riband to be attached to the buttonhole, Napoleon could make an army of a million of men rush forward upon danger and death. The word glory, well or ill understood, has always decided the destinies of the world. What is amply sufficient when the work of destruction is in hand, by what disastrous fatality does it become incompetent when the task is to produce and to create? Is it not true that great men have always sought and found their principal recompense in the very exercise of their high faculties? If society had wished to recompense Newton, it would have been utterly powerless to do so; there was for Newton, in all the world, no other or sufficient recompense, but the joy he must have felt when his genius discovered the laws which govern the planets. * * * The greater the intelligence, the greater the sphere of action; but not necessarily the greater the material recompense. The inequality of capacities can legitimately conduct to the inequality only of duties.”

The revolution of 1830 gave a wonderful stimulant to the little society of St Simon. It extended rapidly, and adjourned its sittings from a private house to an ample theatre, where three tiers of boxes held the admiring or ironical auditory. Fêtes, and the presence of charming women, increased the number of proselytes; artists, physicians, advocates, poets, flocked to share in the generous hopes of the new era. The capital and the provinces were portioned out into new departments, to accord with the new administration of affairs, and St Simonism had also its map of France. The two chiefs, or fathers, took upon themselves the ambitious title of popes. They already cast their eyes upon the Tuileries. Louis-Philippe was summoned by letter to yield his place to MM. Enfantin and Buzard. St Simonism was already a government destined to replace the authority of the Catholic church.

But there were schisms in this new church—Pope Enfantin thinking one thing and Pope Buzard another; and that, too, on the important topic of matrimony. The principal adepts of the sect met together, and held strange fanatical discussions for the discovery of the truth on these controverted points. It is worthy of remark, that St Simonism, as well as Irvingism or Mesmerism, could boast of its convulsions and its prophecies.

“At this time there passed in the Rue Monsigny, in the midst of this sceptical and mocking France, scenes so extraordinary, that, to find their parallel, we must revert to the history of the Anabaptists. Those who had hitherto resisted the extreme doctrines of Father Enfantin, felt as if impelled against their will to the borders of some immense abyss. With the rest, it was an accession of fervour altogether indescribable, an exaltation which ended in delirium. There, in a room, the doors of which were carefully closed, and whose thick walls betrayed no sound, discussions were continued whole days and whole nights without interruption, without relief, without repose. It sometimes happened that a young man, incapable of sustaining these consuming vigils, reeled and fainted; they removed the apparently lifeless body without suspending the discussion. M. Caseaux was in an ecstasy for an hour, and began to prophesy. Another day, M. Olinde Rodrigues was struck as if by apoplexy; because, asking each of the members in turn whether it was not true that the Holy Spirit was in him, (M. Olinde Rodrigues,) one of the persons interrogated had the temerity to answer by certain expressions of incredulity.   The fit was extremely violent, and Dr Fuster, in order to save the patient, had recourse to a formal retractation from the inconsiderate respondent, who, on his part, was full of affliction for the mischief he had occasioned. Such, even on men of serious thought and elevated understanding, may be the effect produced by a belief carried to a certain point of excitement.”

Such, too, may be the danger of contradicting a prophet; and we intend to take the hint, and never be guilty of so great an imprudence. These dissensions, accompanied with certain financial difficulties, led to a rupture, and the family of the Rue Monsigny were compelled to dissolve.

“In this crisis, the profound calm of Enfantin never deserted him. He possessed, at Ménilmontant, a house and garden; here he resolved to seek a place of retreat, of study, and of labour, for himself and his more faithful disciples. Forty of these followed him to this retreat, and there commenced the life in common, combined always with a just sentiment of the true hierarchy of society. Poets, artists, officers, musicians, all devoted themselves in turn to the rudest and coarsest labours. They repaired the house, they swept the courts, they cleaned the chambers and polished the floors; they dug up the uncultivated soil, they covered the walks with gravel, extracted from a pit which they themselves had excavated. To prove that their ideas on the nature of marriage, and the emancipation of women, were pure from any selfish or sensual calculations, they imposed upon themselves the law of celibacy. Morning and evening they nourished their mind with the words of the father, or, in the lives of the Christian saints read aloud, they found example, encouragement, and precept. Hymns, the music of which one of their members had composed, served to elevate their minds and charm their labours. At five o’clock, dinner was announced by the sound of a horn. Then these philosophic workpeople piled up their tools, arranged their wheel-barrows symmetrically, and took their place, after having first sung ‘the prayer before repast.’”

In this retreat they adopted a distinctive dress, of which one portion, the waistcoat, was symbolical; it was so made that it could not be put on without the help of a brother—and thus was calculated perpetually to call to mind the necessity of mutual aid. On the day of the institution of this habit, Enfantin declared that he and his followers had renounced all rights to property according to the existing law, and had duly qualified themselves to receive “the honourable wages” of labour.

But this fantastical experiment was cut short by the interference of the law. A public prosecution was instituted against the St Simonians; and Père Enfantin, and other chiefs of the sect, were brought before the tribunal at Paris. It will be easily understood that the court that day was crowded with spectators, eager to see the St Simonians, especially Enfantin, who appeared in a violet-coloured robe, with the words Le Pére written in large letters on his breast. When asked by the president, whether he did not style himself the Father of Humanity—whether he did not profess to be the Living Law—he answered, “Yes!” with perfect calmness and assurance. The discourse he delivered in his own defence was chiefly remarkable for the long pauses he made from time to time, occupying himself with looking steadfastly at the president, or the advocate-general. He said he wished to make them feel “the power of the flesh.” But this species of animal magnetism appears to have had no other effect than that of irritating the court. He and some others were condemned to pay a fine, and suffer a year’s imprisonment. The family was dispersed. For the present there was an end to St Simonism.

A history is hardly complete without a plague, or pestilence, or famine, or some such wide-spreading calamity, on which the historian can spend the dark colours of his descriptive eloquence. Considering that M. Louis Blanc had but the space of ten years under him, he must have regarded himself as very fortunate in meeting with the cholera, which figures here as a very respectable pestilence. The carrying forth the dead, naked and uncoffined, in open carts, is an image often presented   to us in descriptions of this nature; but it is perhaps surpassed in terrible effects by the one here offered to us, of the bodies of those who had died of the cholera piled up in carts and tumbrils, in coffins so hastily and slightly constructed, that, as they rattled over the stones, there was constant danger of their horrible contents being poured upon the pavement. But the strange reports that were afloat amongst this credulous and passionate populace, form the most striking feature in the picture. It was reported in Paris, as our readers will probably remember, that there was, in reality, no cholera, but that poison had been poured into the fountains of the metropolis, and had been mingled with the wine and the flour; and thus it was that the people were dying. It was dangerous to be found with a phial in the hand, or to be seen sitting, without any ostensible cause, near one of the public fountains. A young man was looking into a well; he was massacred. Another met the same fate, who was leaning over the door of a dealer in wine and spirits, in order to see what o’clock it was. A Jew in the market-place was thought to have a sinister laugh; they searched him, found a packet of white powder—it was camphor—they killed him, and set on the dogs to tear the body.

And then that insurrection against the mud-carts—what an insight does it give into the wide-spreading and tangled interests of a modern capital! It was impossible to touch the mud of Paris without periling the subsistence of eighteen hundred persons. What more fit, what more innocuous to all parties, it would seem, than to clear away the mud from the streets—to clear it away as soon as possible, that it should not lie there, exhaling pestilence during the heat of the day? But stop—there are in Paris some eighteen hundred persons who gain their bread out of this mud, groping in it, and extracting from it every article of the least commercial value. With a basket slung upon their back, and a crook in their hand to facilitate their search, these chiffoniers are to be seen in every quarter of the city, congregating wherever there is dirt. And now, if all that is thrown out of the houses of Paris is taken away before these industrious persons have had time to search it, what is to become of the whole profession of chiffonerie? These new mud-carts, with their ruthless sweepers, traversing the city at dawn of day, must be broken up and thrown into the Seine; and it was done so accordingly.

There is a peculiar charm, we think, in having related to us, for the first time, in the shape of history, what we remember to have read and talked over as the news and gossip of the day. We seem to be present at the making of history. We see facts, as the death of princes, which made so much stir and confusion, sink into the commonplace of the historical record; while anecdotes, which were repeated and forgotten, may stand forward as instructive proofs of the temper of the times, and the spirit of the past age. More than one such anecdote we think we could select from the pages before us; but it is possible we might draw them from a purer source than the work of M. Louis Blanc, to which our readers will perhaps think that we have already given more than sufficient space.

A Histoire de Dix Ans, 1830-1840. Par M. Louis Blanc.

B As well it might, if he had been clambering over barricades in those hot days of July; for the three glorious days were remarkable for their heat.


“Can you tell us how far we are from Brown’s ferry?” said I to a man, who came suddenly and silently upon us from a narrow side-path.

We were on the banks of the Tennessee: the evening was drawing in; the fog, that hung over land and river, was each moment thickening. The landscape had a wild chaotic appearance, and it was scarcely possible to distinguish objects at five paces distance.

The horseman paused some moments before answering my question. At last he replied, accompanying his words with an ominous shake of the head—

“To Brown’s ferry? Perhaps you mean Cox’s ferry?”

“Well, then—Cox’s ferry,” said I, rather impatiently.

“Ay, old Brown is dead,” continued the man, “and Betsy has married young Cox. Ain’t it him you mean?”

“That we know nothing about,” replied I; “but what we wish to learn is, whether we are far from the ferry, and if this is the right road to it.”

“Ah! the way to the ferry—that’s the rub, man! You’re a good five miles off, and might just as well turn your horse’s head another way. I guess you’re strangers in these parts?”

“Heaven preserve us!” whispered my friend Richards, “we are in the hands of a Yankee; he is guessing already.”A

Meantime the horseman had drawn nearer to us, in spite of the thorns and of the wet boughs, that each moment slapped and slashed him across his face; and he was now close to our horse. As far as we could distinguish through the rapidly-increasing gloom, he was a middle-aged man, bony and long-legged, with a sallow unprepossessing physiognomy surmounting his long ungainly carcass, and metal buttons upon his coat.

“And so you’ve lost your way?” said the stranger after a long pause, during which the thick fog had had the kindness to convert itself into a close penetrating rain. “That’s queer too, seein’ that the ferry ain’t fifteen paces from the road, which runs right along the side of the river. A very queer mistake to be goin’ up the stream, instead of followin’ yer nose and the run of the water.”

“What do you mean?” cried Richards and I in a breath.

“That you’re goin’ up the Tennessee instead of down it, and are on the road to Bainbridge. That’s all!” replied the supposed Yankee.

“On the road to Bainbridge!” repeated we, in voices in which astonishment and vexation were tolerably evident.

“You hadn’t a mind to go to Bainbridge, then?”

“How far is the infernal place from here?” asked I.

“How far, how far?” repeated the man with the metal buttons. “It’s not to say very far, nor yet so very near, as I may guess. Perhaps you know Squire Dimple?”

“I wish you and Squire Dimple were at the devil!” muttered I. But Richards, who took things more quietly, replied—

“No, we have not the honour of his acquaintance.”

“Humph! And whereaway may you be goin’?” enquired our tormentor, who was apparently waterproof.

“To Florence in Alabama,” answered Richards, “and thence down the Mississippi.”

“Ah, fine city, Florence! such as one only finds in this country. Ain’t it now? And a good market, too. Talkin’ of that, what’s the price of flour in the north? You’re come from   thereaway, I guess. I did hear it was six and four levies, and Injun corn five and a fip—butter three fips.”

“Are you mad?” cried I, losing all patience, and unconsciously raising my whip as I spoke—“are you stark staring mad, to keep us talking here about flour and butter, and fips and levies, while the rain is falling by bucketsfull?”

“Hallo, stranger!” cried the man, raising himself for the first time out of his lounging position on the saddle. “Guess you’re gettin’ wolfish. I’m for you—stick, fist, or whiphandle, rifle or bowie-knife. Should like to see the man as could leather Isaac Shifty!”

“The road, the road, Mister Isaac Shifty!” interrupted friend Richards in a conciliating tone. There was another long pause.

“I guess you’re traders,” said the fiend at last.

“No, man.”

“And what may you be, then?”

Our answer was followed by another long inspection of our persons and physiognomies. He gazed at us for a couple of minutes or more, examining us from head to foot; at last he spoke.

“And so you’ve a mind to go down the Mississippi?”

“Yes, in the Jackson, which starts to-morrow, we are told.”

“Ah, the Jackson! a mighty good steamboat too—ain’t it now? But I guess you ain’t a thinkin’ of takin’ that thing and your horse with you?” continued the Yankee, pointing to our gig.

“Yes, we are.”

“Oh, you are! Well.—You haven’t seen two women in a dearborn on the road, have you?”

“No, we have not.”

“Well, then,” continued the man in the same indifferent tone, “it’s a’most too late now to get to Bainbridge; and yet you might try it, too. Better turn your horse round, and follow the road till you come to a big walnut-tree; there it divides. Take to the right hand for half a mile, till you come to neighbour Dims’s hedge; then you must go through the lane; and then, for about forty rods, right through the sugar-field; keep to your left till you come to some rocks, but then turn to your right, if you don’t want to break your necks. There’s a bit of a stream there; and when you are over that, the left-hand road will take you straight to Cox’s ferry. You can’t miss it,” concluded he, in a self-satisfied tone, striking his horse a blow with his riding-whip. The animal broke into a smart trot, and in ten seconds our obliging friend had disappeared into the fog.

My countenance, during the Yankee’s interminable directions, must have somewhat resembled that of a French recruit, to whom some scarred and mustached veteran is relating his Egyptian campaigns, and telling him wonderful stories of snakes and crocodiles at least half a mile long—monsters who made nothing of swallowing a drum-major to their breakfast, bearskin cap, cane, and whiskers, included. I was so completely bothered and confounded with the rights and lefts, that the metal-buttoned individual was out of sight and hearing before I thought of explaining to him, that, dark as it then was, we should never be able to find even the walnut-tree, let alone neighbour Dims’s hedge and the break-neck rocks. Patience is by no means one of my virtues; but the man’s imperturbable phlegm and deliberation, in the midst of the most pouring rain that ever wetted poor devil to the skin, tickled my fancy so exceedingly, that the sound of his horse’s hoofs had hardly died away, when I burst into an almost interminable fit of laughter. “First right, then left—look out for the big walnut-tree, and don’t break your neck over the crags!” repeated I, in a tone between merriment and despair. Richards, however, saw nothing to laugh at.

“The devil take the Yankee!” cried he. “May I be hanged if I know what you find so amusing in all this!”

“And hang me if I know how you manage to look so grave!” was my answer.

“How could we possibly have missed the ferry?” cried Richards; “and, what is still more stupid, to come back instead of going forward!”

“Not very astonishing,” replied I, “considering the multitude of by-roads and cross-roads, and waggon-tracks   and cattle-paths, and the swamp into the bargain. It is quite impossible to see which way the river runs. And then you have been sleeping all the afternoon, and I had to find the way by myself.”

“And you found it after an extraordinary fashion—retracing your own steps,” said Richards in a vexed tone. “It is really too stupid.”

“Very stupid,” said I—“to sleep.”

As may be seen, we were on the verge of a quarrel; but we were old and sincere friends, and stopped in time. The discussion was dropped. The fact was, that our mistake was by no means a very surprising one. The country in which we were, seemed made on purpose to lose one’s-self in. The road winds along at some distance from the river, frequently out of sight of it; the shore is uneven, covered with crags and hillocks; nothing like a landmark to be seen, or a mountain to guide one’s-self by, except occasionally, when one gets a peep at the Appalachians rising out of the blue distance. The fog, however, had hidden them from us, and that just at the time when we most wanted them as guides. We found ourselves in a long low clearing—a sort of bottom, as they call it in that country—which was laid out in sugar-fields, and through which there ran nearly as many cart-roads as there were owners to the land. The morning had been bright and beautiful; but, towards noon, a grey mist had begun to rise in the south-western corner of the horizon, and had gone on, thickening and advancing, till it spread like a pall over the Tennessee. With a grey wall of fog on one side, and the swamp, intersected with a hundred cross-paths, on the other, we had gone on for about a mile; until it got so thick and dark, that it was quite as possible we should find our way into the marsh as over the Mussel shoals.B So certain was I, however, of the proximity of the latter, that I pushed on, expecting each moment to find the ferry, until the unlucky Yankee brought all my hopes to a termination.

It was now quite night—one of those dreary pitch-dark nights that are of no unfrequent occurrence in the south-western states. I would as soon have been on the banks of Newfoundland as in this swamp, from which nothing was more probable than that we should carry away a rattling fever. The Yankee’s directions concerning the road were, as may be supposed, long since forgotten; and even had they not been so, it would have required cat’s eyes to have availed ourselves of them. Even the owls, the nightingales of that neighbourhood, seemed puzzled by the extreme darkness. We could hear them whooping and screaming all around us; and now and then one flew against us, as if it had lost its way as well as ourselves. The road we were now following ran close to the bank of the river; so close, indeed, that a single stumble of our horse might have precipitated us into the water, which was then very high.

“I think we should do our best to get out of the gig,” said I to my companion; “or else we have a very good chance of passing the night in the Tennessee.”

“No danger,” replied Richards, “Cæsar is an old Virginian.”

A shock that made our very ribs crack again, and as nearly as possible threw us backwards out of the gig, came rather opportunely to interrupt this eulogium on Cæsar, who had suddenly reared furiously up on his hind-legs.

“There must be something in the path,” cried Richards. “Let us see what it is.”

We got out, and found a huge walnut-tree lying right across the road. Here was an end to our journey. It was an absolute impossibility to get the gig over the enormous trunk; the boughs, which spread out full twenty yards in every direction, had given Cæsar timely warning of the impediment to our further progress. The road, moreover, was so narrow that it was impossible to turn. There was nothing for it but to back out. Richards began hunting about for a cross-road, where we might turn; I set   to work to back the gig. I had no sooner, however, set one foot out of the road, than my cloak was almost torn from my shoulders by a thorn half a yard long. To get through this detestable wilderness with a whole skin, one ought to have been cased in complete armour. I had only just taken my unfortunate garment off this new-fashioned cloak-peg, when Richards returned.

“This is the most infernal wilderness in all the west!” said he. “Neither road nor path, mud up to the ears, and, to add to my enjoyment, I have left one of my boots in the swamp.”

“And, for my part, there are as many holes in my cloak as thorns on that cursed acacia-tree,” replied I by way of consolation.

These were the last words we spoke in any thing like a jesting tone; for we were now wet to the skin: and of all situations, I believe a damp one to be the least favourable to jocularity. I confess a certain partiality for adventures, when they are not carried too far. There is nothing I detest like a monotonous wearisome Quaker’s journey, with every thing as tame, and dull, and uniform, as at a meeting of broad-brims; but to be overtaken by darkness and a deluge in the middle of a maple-swamp, to be unable to go three steps on one side without falling into the Tennessee, with an impenetrable morass and thicket on the other hand, a colossal walnut-tree barring the way in front, and no possibility of turning back—this was, even to my taste, rather too much of an adventure.

“Well, what is to be done now?” said Richards, who had placed himself in a sort of theatrical posture—his bootless foot on the gig-step, the other sticking fast in the mud.

“Take out the horse, and draw the gig back,” suggested I.

Easily said, but rather more difficult to accomplish. We set to work, however, with a will; and pushed, and tugged, and pulled, till at last, after much labour, we got the gig about thirty paces backwards, where the road became wider. We then turned it, and were putting Cæsar into the shafts, when, to our inexpressible delight, a loud hallo was given quite close to us.

Reader, if you were ever at a hard contested election, where you had bet your fifty or a hundred dollars on your favourite candidate, and just when you made sure of losing, and your five senses were almost extinguished by noise, brandy, and tobacco smoke, you heard the result proclaimed that secured you your stake, and a hundred per cent to boot; if you have ever been placed in such circumstances, then, and then only, can you form an idea of the joyful feeling with which we heard that shout. After such a thorough Yankee fashion was it given, that it caused the fog to break for a moment, and roused the obscene inhabitants of the neighbouring swamp from their mud-pillowed slumbers. They set up a screeching, and yelling, and croaking, that was lovely to listen to.

“And now have patience, for Heaven’s sake!” whispered Richards to me, “and hold your tongue for a quarter of an hour, or you will spoil all with this infernal Yankee.”

“Do not be afraid,” replied I; “I am dumb.”

My blood was certainly tolerably cooled by the shower-bath I had had—to say nothing of the prospect of passing the night in this vile hole; and I would willingly have given the tenacious Yankee information concerning the prices of flour and butter in every state of the Union, upon the sole condition that he should afterwards help us out of this reservoir of fever.

It was, as we had at once conjectured, our friend Mr Isaac Shifty, in soul, body, and buttons. In true Connecticut fashion, he stood a couple of minutes close to us without saying a word. It almost looked as if he took a delight in our difficulties, and was in no particular hurry to extricate us from them. For our part, we kept very much on our guard. The cross-grained scarecrow might likely enough have left us to our fate again, if we had said any thing that did not exactly chime in with his queer humour. Richards at last broke silence.

“Bad weather,” said he.

“Well, I don’t know. I shouldn’t say it was though, exactly,” returned the Yankee.

“You have not met the two women you were looking for, have you?”

  “No. Guess they’ll have stopped at Florence, with cousin Kate.”

“You are not thinking of going there too, are you?” said Richards.

“No. I’m goin’ home. I thought you were at the ferry by this time.”

“Perhaps we should have been, if your roads were better, and the holes in them filled up with stones instead of walnut-trees,” returned Richards, laughing.

“Guess you ain’t inclined to go to the ferry to-day?”

“Inclined we are, but able we are not,” replied Richards; “and you will acknowledge, my friend, that is a pretty strong reason for not going.”

“Well, so it is,” replied the man sententiously. “It ain’t very agreeable lyin’ out in the swamp; and so, stranger, if you like to go to Bainbridge, you can come with me. Better let me drive, and my mare can follow behind.”

It took at least five minutes before the wearisome, pedantical fellow had finished his arrangements and preparations. At last, to the infinite satisfaction of Richards and myself, we sat three in the gig. After undergoing a questioning and cross-questioning that would have done honour to an experienced diplomatist, we had succeeded in striking up a sort of alliance with Mr Isaac Shifty, and were on our way to one of the hundred famous cities of Alabama—cities which have decidedly not their match in the whole of the United States.

I do not know how it happens, but I am constantly finding myself disappointed in my expectations. I had hoped that the distance between the infernal maple swamp and the place to which we were going, would have borne some sort of relative proportion to the agreeableness of our situation—that is to say, that it would not be very great. It nevertheless appeared to me enormous, and Horace’s impatience during his celebrated walk was trifling compared to mine. Our Yankee, like the Roman babbler, had abundance of time to discourse on fifty different subjects. The first which he brought before our notice was naturally his own worthy person. From the interesting piece of biography with which he favoured us, we learned that he was originally from Connecticut, and that his first occupation had been that of usher in a school; which employment he had, after a short trial, exchanged for the less honourable but more independent one of a pedlar. From that he had risen to be a trader and shop-keeper, and was now, as he modestly informed us, a highly respectable and well-to-do man. He next gave us an account of all the varieties of merchandise in which he dealt, or ever had dealt; intermixing the details with an occasional side-blow at a certain Mr Bursicut, who had dared to set up an opposition store, and whom Providence had punished for his presumption by the loss of sundry dozen knives and forks, and pairs of shoes, upon the Mussel shoals. He then found occasion to talk of the thousand and one mishaps that had occurred upon the aforesaid Mussel shoals; and thence branched off into the various modes of water-carriage which the enlightened inhabitants of Alabama were accustomed to employ. After amusing us for some time with long histories concerning steam-boats and keel-boats, barks and flat-boats, broad-horns, dug-outs, and canoes, he glided into some canal-making scheme, which was to connect the waters of the Tennessee with Heaven knows what others. It was a most monstrous plan—that I remember; but whether the junction was to be made with Raritan bay or Connecticut river, I have clean forgotten. At last we came to the history of Bainbridge—a sure sign, as I thought, with much inward gratulation, that we were approaching the end of our journey; yet the accomplishment of this hope, reasonable as it was, was doomed to be deferred a long time. We had first to listen to the whole history and topographical description of that celebrated city; how it had sprung up in the right corner, he reckoned; and how flourishing and industrious it was; and whether we had not a mind to settle there—because if we had, he, Mr Isaac Shifty, had some almighty fine building land to sell; and how the town already boasted of three taverns, just the right proportion to the ten houses of which Bainbridge consisted. We should find two of the taverns chokeful of people, he   said, because there was a canvass going on for the Florence election; as to the third, it was a poor place, hardly habitable indeed.

At the word canvass, Richards and I looked aghast.

“An election coming on!” stammered Richards.

“An election!” repeated I, the words dying away upon my tongue from consternation at this unwelcome news. An election in Alabama, which even in old Kentucky is considered as backwoods! Farewell, supper and sleep, and comfortable bed and clean linen! every thing, in short, which we had flattered ourselves with obtaining, and which we stood so much in need of, after such a hard day’s journey.

Before we had time to make any further enquiries, Cæsar, who had for some time been splashing through a sea of mud, stood suddenly still. The light of a tallow candle, glimmering and flaring through an atmosphere of tobacco-smoke, and the hoarse and confused sounds of many voices, warned us that we had reached the haven. We sprang out of the gig; and whilst Richards was tying Cæsar to a post, I hurried to the door, when I felt myself suddenly seized by the skirt of my cloak.

“Not there—not there! This is the house where you are to stop,” exclaimed Mr Isaac Shifty, pointing anxiously to an adjacent edifice, that looked something between a house and a pigsty.

“Don’t go with him,” whispered I to Richards, heartily glad to be at last independent of the insupportable Yankee, and to be able to vex him a little in my turn. My hand was already on the latch; I opened the door, and we entered.

There sat the burgesses of Bainbridge, with their heels upon the table—those, at least, for whom there were chairs; while those for whom there were none, made shift with tubs, or stood up in various elegant attitudes. There was a prodigious amount of talking, shouting, drinking, and laughing going on; and my first feeling was, that I would rather have been any where else than in that worshipful assembly. Richards, however, stepped boldly forward, in spite of his bootless foot; and luckily the men appeared disposed to be upon their best behaviour with us. They pressed back right and left, forming a lane about a foot wide, enclosed between living palisades, six feet and upwards in height, through which we passed, subjected, as we did so, to a searching inspection. Richards stepped smartly up to the table, then turned round, and confronted the group of half-horse, half-alligator visages there assembled.

“A hurra for old Alabama!” cried he, “and the devil take the Bainbridge roadmaster!”

“Are you mad?” I whispered to him.

“May I be scalped if you don’t soon feel the weight of these five bones upon your carcass, stranger!” growled a voice, proceeding from a sort of mammoth that had just filled itself a half-pint tumbler of Monongahela. Before the double-jointed Goliath put his threat into execution, he swallowed the whisky at a gulp, and then, striding forwards, laid his open hand upon my companion’s shoulder, with a force that threw the poor fellow on one side, and gave him the appearance of being crooked. At the same time the giant stared Richards in the face, with an expression which the natural hardness of his features, and the glimmer of his owl-like eyes, rendered any thing but agreeable.

“The devil take the Bainbridge roadmaster—I repeat it!” cried Richards, half in earnest and half laughing, raising his muddy and bootless foot as he spoke, and placing it on a chair. “See there, men! I may thank him for the loss of my boot. The cursed swamp between here and the ferry was kind enough to pull it off for me.”

The roar of laughter that responded to these words would inevitably have broken the windows, had there been any glass in them. Fortunately the latter luxury was wanting; its place being supplied by fragments of old inexpressibles, and of ci-devant coats and waistcoats.

“Come, lads!” continued Richards, “I mean no offence; but of a surety I have to thank your bad roads for the loss of my boot.”

  Richard’s jest, exactly adapted to the society in which we found ourselves, was the most fortunate impromptu that could have been hit upon. It seemed at once to have established us upon a footing of harmony and friendship with the rough backwoodsmen amongst whom we had fallen.

“May I be shot like a Redskin, if that ain’t Mister Richards from Old Virginny, now of the Mississippi,” suddenly exclaimed the same colossus who had so recently had his hand upon Richards’s shoulder, twisting, as he spoke, his wild features into a sort of amicable grin. “May I never taste another drop of rale Monongahela, if you sha’n’t drink a pint with Bob Snags the roadmaster!”

It was the very dignitary whom Richards had insulted with such imminent risk to his shoulder-blade.

“A hurra for old Virginny!” shouted the master of the roads, biting, as he spoke, into a piece of tobacco from that famous state. “Come, mister—come, doctor!” continued the man, offering Richards with one hand a roll of tobacco, with the other a pint glassful of whisky.

“Doctor!” repeated the whole assembly—“a doctor!”

A man possessing power over gin and whisky, and whose word is an indisputable veto against even a smaller, is no unimportant personage in that feverish neighbourhood. In this instance, Richards’s doctorship was of the double utility of delivering us from the threatened pint-glasses, and of causing us to be considered as privileged guests—no small advantage in a backwoods’ tavern, occupied as the headquarters of an electioneering party. Cæsar, however, was the first to derive a positive profit from the discovery. Bob left the room for a minute or two, and we could hear the horse walking into the stable. When the roadmaster returned, he had assumed a patronizing sort of look.

“Mister Richards!” said he confidentially, “Mister Richards! May I be shot if you ain’t continually a sensible man, with more rale blood in your little finger than a horse could swim in. Yes, and I’ll show you that Bob Snags is your friend. I say, doctor, what countryman is your horse?”

“A thorough-bred Virginian,” replied Richards.

“The devil he is!” cried Bob. “Well, doctor, to prove to you that I’m your friend, and that I ain’t forgotten old times, I’ll swop with you without lookin’ at him. May I be shot if I ain’t reg’larly cheatin’ myself. Well, I’m uncommon glad to see you again. Bob Snags has no reason to fear lookin’ a rale gemman in the face. Come, lads, none of yer jimmaky, and slings, and poorgun,C and suchlike dog’s wash, but ginuine Monongahela—that’s the stuff. Hurra for Old Virginny! Well, doctor, it’s a deal—ain’t it?”

“No, Bob,” said Richards, laughing; “your generosity is so truly Alabamian, that I cannot make up my mind to accept it. For the present, at least, I must keep my Virginian. It is my wife’s saddle-horse.”

“But Swiftfoot,” replied Bob, in a cordial confidential manner—“Swiftfoot is a famous trotter.”

“It won’t do, Bob,” was the answer. “I should not dare show myself at home without Cæsar.”

Bob bit his lips, a little vexed at not being able to make a deal; but another half-pint of whisky, which he poured down as if it had been spring water, seemed to restore him to good humour. Meanwhile my wet clothes were beginning to hang heavy upon me, and to steam in the hot atmosphere in which we were. Bob, who had already cast several side-glances at me, now turned to Richards.

“And who may the mister be?” said he.

The mention of my name and condition, procured me a welcome that I could willingly have dispensed with. After the shake of the hand with which Bob favoured me, I looked at my finger-nails, to see if the blood was not starting from under them. The fellow’s hands were as hard and rough as bear’s paws.

“Very glad that you’re come, boys,” said Bob in a low confidential tone.   “I’m just makin’ a try for the next Assembly; and it’s always good, you know, to have somebody to speak to one’s character. How long is it, Mister Richards, since I left Blairsville.”

“Eight years,” replied my friend.

“No, Harry,” whispered the roadmaster; “may I be shot if it’s more than five.”

“But,” replied Richards, “I have been living five years by the Mississippi, and you know”——

“Ah, nonsense!” interrupted Bob. “Five years—not an hour more. D’ye understand?” added he cautiously—“five years, if you’re asked.”

The facts were thus. This respectable candidate for the representation of his fellow-citizens, had made his escape from his previous residence, the birthplace of Richards, on account of certain misdeeds, of which the sheriff and constables had taken cognizance, and after wandering about for a few years, had settled in Bainbridge county, where he seemed to have thriven—as far, at least, as whisky and human weakness had allowed him. We could hardly help laughing outright at the importance which Bob thought proper to attribute to us before his companions, the independent electors, whose votes he was desirous of securing. Æsculapius himself was a mere quacksalver compared to Squire Richards, whose twenty-five negroes were rapidly multiplied into a hundred; while my poor neglected plantation was, between brothers, well worth five hundred thousand dollars. We allowed Mr Bob to have it his own way; for it might have been dangerous to contradict a giant of his calibre, who was always ready to support his arguments with his huge cocoa nut-coloured fists. At last Richards was able to slip in a word.

“You are not going to make your speech now, are you?”

“May I be shot if I ain’t, though! I’ll begin at once.”

“Cannot we manage to change our clothes, and get some supper first?” said Richards.

“Change your clothes!” said Bob contemptuously. “And what for, man? Not on our account; you’re quite smart enough, quite good enough for us—no occasion to bother yourselves. If it’s for your own pleasure, however, you can do it. Hallo, Johnny!”

And he commenced a negotiation with Johnny, the host, who, to our great joy, took up a candle, and led the way into a sort of back parlour, with a promise that we should have our supper before very long.

“Is there no other room where we can dress ourselves?” said I.

“To be sure there is,” was the answer. “There’s the garret—only there’s my daughter and a dozen gals sleepin’ there; then there’s the kitchen, if you like it better.”

I looked round the room. A servant girl was beginning to lay the table; and, unluckily, the apartment was connected by an open door with the kitchen, in which there was a loud noise of voices. I would have given a good deal for a quarter of an hour’s undisturbed possession of the room. I looked about for our portmanteaus, but could see nothing of them.

“Six smalls it ain’t buffalo hide!” vociferated a young Stentor in the kitchen.

“Six smalls its cow hide!” roared another.

“If I am not very much mistaken,” said Richards, “it is our portmanteaus that those fellows are betting about.”

“That would really be too bad,” said I.

Nevertheless, it was as Richards had said. We had little occasion to fear that the portmanteaus would be lost or injured; but we knew very well that the only way to get them out of the claws of these rough backwoodsmen would be by some well-contrived joke. And those jokes were exactly what I feared; for one had often to risk breaking an arm or a leg by them. There was a crowd of men in the kitchen. One young fellow, upwards of six feet high, held a lighted candle; and they were all busily engaged examining something which lay in the middle of the floor.

“No,” cried a voice, appealing apparently from a decision that had been given, “I won’t pay without I see the inside.”

They were debating whether the portmanteaus were of buffalo or cow hide. They had caught sight of them   as they were being carried through the kitchen into the back-room, and had at once seized upon them as good subjects for a bet. It was time for us to interfere, if we did not wish to see our trunks ripped open, for the sake of ascertaining the quality of the leather.

“Sixteen smalls,” cried Richards, “that it’s deer hide!”

“Done!” thundered half a score voices, with loud peals of laughter.

“It is a bet, then,” said my friend; “but let us see what we are betting about.”

“Make way for the gemmen!” cried the men.

“Our portmanteaus!” exclaimed Richards, laughing. “No, certainly, they are not deer hide. Here is my bet.”

A loud hurra followed the payment of the dollar which my friend handed over; and we now found ourselves in undisputed possession of our baggage. The next thing to be done was to endeavour to get the room to ourselves for a few minutes.

“We wish to be left alone for a short time,” said I to the help, who was bustling in and out, and covering the table with innumerable plates of preserved fruits, cucumbers, beet-root, and suchlike edibles.

I shut the door.

“That is the surest way to have it opened again,” said Richards.

He had hardly uttered the words, when, sure enough, the door flew open, amidst a peal of uproarious laughter.

“Tail!” cried one fellow.

“Head!” shouted another.

“They want another dollar,” said Richards. “Well, they must have it, I suppose. Head!” cried he.

“Lost!” roared the fellows in chorus.

“There is something for you to drink,” said my friend, whose wonderful patience and good-humour was bringing us so fortunately through the shoals and difficulties of this wild backwoods’ life. We now shut the door, and had time enough to change our wet clothes for dry ones. We were nearly dressed, when a gentle tapping at the only pane of glass of which the room window could boast attracted our attention. On looking in the direction of the sound, we distinguished the amiable features of Mr Isaac Shifty, who, upon our entering the tavern, had thought proper to part company.

“Gentlemen,” whispered he, removing the remains of an old waistcoat, which supplied the place of one of the absent panes, and then applying his face to the aperture—“Gentlemen, I was mistaken. Our spies say you are not come to the election, but that you are from lower Mississippi.”

“And if we are, what then?” replied I dryly. “Didn’t we tell you as much at first?”

“So you did, but I wasn’t obliged to believe it; and d’ye see, they’re a-canvassing here for next election, and we’ve got an opposition in the other tavern; and as we knew that Bob Snags’s people were expectin’ two men from down stream, we thought you might be they.”

“And so, because you thought we should vote against you, you allowed us to stick in the mud, with the agreeable prospect of either breaking our necks or tumbling into the Tennessee?” said Richards laughing.

“Not exactly that,” replied the Yankee; “though if you had been the two men that were expected, I guess we shouldn’t have minded your passing the night in the swamp; but now we know how matters stand, and I’m come to offer you my house. There’ll be an almighty frolic here to-night, and p’r’aps somethin’ more. In my house you can sleep as quiet as need be.”

“It won’t do, Mr Shifty,” said Richards, with a look that must have shown the Yankee pretty plainly that his object in thus pressing his hospitality upon us was seen through; “it won’t do, we will stop where we are.”

The latch of the door leading into the kitchen was just then lifted, which brought our conversation to a close. During the confabulation, our Yankee’s sharp grey eyes had glanced incessantly from us to the door; and hardly was the noise of the latch audible, when his face disappeared, and the old waistcoat again stopped the aperture.

“He wants to get us away,” said   Richards, “because he fears that our presence here will give Bob too much weight and respectability. You see they have got their spies. If Bob and his people find that out, there will be a royal row. A nice disreputable squatter’s hole we have fallen into; but, bad as it is, it is better than the swamp.”

The table was now spread; the tea and coffee-pots smoking upon it. The supper was excellent, consisting of real Alabama delicacies. Pheasants and woodcocks, and a splendid haunch of venison, which, in spite of the game-laws, had found its way into Johnny’s larder—wheat, buckwheat, and Indian-corn cakes; the whole, to the honour of Bainbridge be it spoken, cooked in a style that would have been creditable to a Paris restaurateur. By the help of these savoury viands, we had already, to a considerable extent, taken the edge off our appetite, when we heard Bob’s voice growling away in the next room. He had begun his speech. It was high time to make an end of our supper, and go and listen to him under whose protecting wings we were, and to whom we probably owed it, that we had got so far through the evening with whole heads and unbroken bones. Backwoods’ etiquette rendered our presence absolutely necessary; and we accordingly rose from table, and rejoined the assemblage of electors.

At the upper end of the table, next to the bar, stood Bob Snags, in his various capacity of president, speaker, and candidate. A thickset personage, sitting near him, officiated as secretary—to judge at least from the inkstand with which he was provided. Bob looked rather black at us as we entered, no doubt on account of our late arrival; but Cicero pleading against Catiline could not have given a more skilful turn to his oration than did Bob upon the occasion of our entrance.

“And these gemmen,” continued he, “could tell you—ay, and put down in black and white—no end of proofs of my respectability and character. May I be shot by Injuns, if it ain’t as good as that of the best man in the state.”

“No better than it should be,” interposed a voice.

Bob threw a fierce look at the speaker; but the smile on the face of the latter showing that no harm was meant, the worthy candidate cleared his throat and proceeded.

“Yes,” said he, “we want men as know what’s what, and who won’t let themselves be humbugged by the ’Ministration, but will defend our nat’ral born sovereign rights. I know their ’tarnal rigs, inside and out. May I be totally swallowed by a b’ar, if I give way an inch to the best of ’em; that is to say, men, if you honour me with your confidence and”——

“You’ll go the whole hog, will you?” interrupted one of the free and independent electors.

“The whole hog!” repeated Bob, striking his fist on the table with the force of a sledge-hammer; “ay, that will I! the whole hog for the people! Now lads, don’t you think that our great folks cost too much money? Tarnation to me if I wouldn’t do all they do at a third of the price. Why, half a dozen four-horse waggons would have enough to do to carry away the hard dollars that JohnnyD and his ’Ministration have cost the country. Here it is, lads, in black and white.”

Bob had a bundle of papers before him, which we had at first taken for a dirty pocket-handkerchief, but which now proved to be the county newspapers—one of which gave a statement of the amount expended by the first magistrate of the Union during his administration, reduced, for the sake of clearness, into waggon-loads. Bob was silent, while his neighbour the secretary put on his spectacles, and began to read this important document. He was interrupted, however, by cries of “Know it already! Read it already! Go on, Bob!”

“Only see here now,” continued Bob, taking up the paper. “Diplomatic missions! what does that mean? What occasion had they to send any one there? Then they’ve appointed one General Tariff, who’s the maddest   aristocrat that ever lived, and he’s passed a law by which we ain’t to trade any more with the Britishers. Every stocking, every knife-handle, that comes into the States, has to pay a duty to this infernal aristocrat. Where shall we get our flannel from now, I wonder?”

“Hear, hear!” cried a youth in a tattered red flannel shirt, to whose feelings this question evidently went home.

“Moreover,” continued Bob, “it’s a drag put upon our ships, to the profit of their Yankee manyfacters. Manyfacters, indeed! Men! free sovereign citizens! to work in manyfacters!”

“Hear, hear!” in a threatening tone from the audience.

“But that ain’t all,” continued Bob, nodding his head mysteriously. “No, men—hear and judge! You, the enlightened freemen of Alabama, listen and judge for yourselves! Clever fellows, the ’Ministration and the Yankees! D’ye know what they’ve been a-doin’?”

“No, no. Tell us!” repeated twenty voices.

“You don’t know?” said Bob, with a fine oratorical movement. “I’ll tell you then. They’ve been a-sendin’ clothes, powder, rifles, flour, and whisky to the Creeks! Two full shiploads have they sent. Here it is!” yelled Bob, taking another paper from his pocket, and dashing it upon the table.E

A breathless silence reigned during the reading of the important paragraph, while Richards and myself were making almost superhuman efforts to restrain our laughter. Bob continued—

“You see, men, they want to get the scalpin’ plunderin’ thieves back ag’in over the Mississippi into Georgia—ay, and perhaps into Alabama too. And they’re holdin’ meetin’s and assemblies in their favour, and say that we owe our independence to these Creeks; and talk about their chiefs—one Alexander the Great, and Pericles, and Plato, and suchlike names that we give our niggers. And the cussed Redskins are fightin’ against another chief whom they call Sultan, and who lives upon Turk’s island. Where shall we get our salt from now, I should like to know?”F

The storm that had been for some time brewing, now burst forth with a roar that shook the rafters of the log-built tavern. Although immeasurably tickled by Bob’s speech, Richards and I had struggled successfully with our disposition to laugh. At this moment, however, a stifled giggling was heard behind us, which immediately attracted the attention of Bob and his friends. “A spy! a spy!” shouted they; and there was a sudden and general rush to the door, through which an unfortunate adherent of the opposite party had sneaked in to witness their proceedings. The poor devil was seized by a dozen hands, and dragged, neck and heel, before Bob’s tribunal, to account for his intrusion. He set up a howl of terror, and probably pain, that immediately brought to his assistance a whole regiment of his friends, who were assembled in the adjacent tavern. A furious fight began, from which Richards and myself hastened to escape. We made our way into the kitchen, and thence into a court at the back of the house.

“Stop!” said a whispering voice, as we were groping about in the darkness; “you are close to a pool that would drown an ox. I guess you won’t refuse my invitation now?”

It was no less a person than Mr Isaac Shifty; and we began to consider whether it would not really be better to put ourselves under his guidance. Indoors we could hear the fight raging furiously. We paused to think what was best to be done. Suddenly, to our great astonishment, the noise of the contest ceased, and was replaced by a dead silence. We hurried through the kitchen to the field of battle, and found that the charm which had so suddenly   stilled the fury of an Alabamian election fight, was no other than the arrival of the constable and his assistants, who had suddenly appeared in the midst of the combatants. Their presence produced an effect which scarcely any amount of mere physical force would have been able to bring about; and a single summons in the name of the law to keep the peace, had caused the contending parties to separate—the intruding one retiring immediately to its own headquarters.

We passed a quiet and tolerably comfortable night, except that Bob thought proper to favour us with his society, so that we lay three in one bed. Before break of day he got up, and went away. Tired as we were, it was much later before we followed his example. Upon entering the common room of the tavern, we found it empty, but bearing pretty evident marks of the recent conflict. Chairs, benches, and tables, lay in splinters upon the floor, which was, moreover, plentifully sprinkled with fragments of broken jugs and glasses; and even the bar itself had not entirely escaped damage. On repairing to the stable, to pay Cæsar a visit, I found my gig, to my no small mortification, plastered all over with election squibs—“Hurras for Bob Snags!” and the like; while poor Cæsar’s tail was shorn of every hair, as close and clean as if it had been first lathered and then shaved. Our breakfast, however, was excellent—the weather fine; and we set out upon our journey to Florence under decidedly more favourable auspices than those that attended us on the preceding day.

A There is no surer way of ascertaining the State from which an American comes, than by his thinkings and guessings. The New-Englander guesses, the Virginians and Pennsylvanians think, the Kentuckian calculates, the man of Alabama reckons.

B The Mussel shoals are broad ridges of rocks, above Florence, which spread out into the Tennessee.

C A corruption of Bourgogne, Burgundy wine.

D John Quincy Adams, then president of the United States.

E The Greeks, who at that time were struggling for their independence, had received various succours from the United States. The Creeks are a well-known tribe of Indians on the frontiers of Georgia.

F Turk’s island is a small island from which the Western States, North and South Carolina, Georgia, &c., get their salt.


The most poetical chronicler would find it impossible to render the incidents of Montrose’s brilliant career more picturesque than the reality. Among the devoted champions who, during the wildest and most stormy period of our history, maintained the cause of Church and King, “the Great Marquis” undoubtedly is entitled to the foremost place. Even party malevolence, by no means extinct at the present day, has been unable to detract from the eulogy pronounced upon him by the famous Cardinal de Retz, the friend of Condé and Turenne, when he thus summed up his character:—“Montrose, a Scottish nobleman, head of the house of Grahame—the only man in the world that has ever realized to me the ideas of certain heroes, whom we now discover nowhere but in the Lives of Plutarch—has sustained in his own country the cause of the King his master, with a greatness of soul that has not found its equal in our age.”

But the success of the victorious leader and patriot, is almost thrown into the shade by the noble magnanimity and Christian heroism of the man in the hour of defeat and death. It is impossible now to obliterate the darkest page of Scottish history, which we owe to the vindictive cruelty of the Covenanters—a party venal in principle, pusillanimous in action, and more than dastardly in their revenge; but we can peruse it with the less disgust, since that very savage spirit which planned the woful scenes connected with the final tragedy of Montrose, has served to exhibit to the world, in all time to come, the character of the martyred nobleman in by far its loftiest light.

There is no ingredient of fiction in the historical incidents recorded in the following ballad. The indignities that were heaped upon Montrose during his procession through Edinburgh, his appearance before the Estates, and his last passage to the scaffold, as well as his undaunted bearing, have all been spoken to by eyewitnesses of the scene. A graphic and vivid sketch of the whole will be found in Mr Mark Napier’s volume, “The Life and Times of Montrose”—a work as chivalrous in its tone as the Chronicles of Froissart, and abounding in original and most interesting materials; but, in order to satisfy all scruple, the authorities for each fact are given in the shape of notes. The ballad may be considered as a narrative of the transactions, related by an   aged Highlander, who had followed Montrose throughout his campaigns, to his grandson, shortly before the splendid victory of Killiecrankie:—

Come hither, Evan Cameron,
Come, stand beside my knee—
I hear the river roaring down
Towards the wintry sea.
There’s shouting on the mountain side,
There’s war within the blast—
Old faces look upon me,
Old forms go trooping past.
I hear the pibroch wailing
Amidst the din of fight,
And my old spirit wakes again
Upon the verge of night!
’Twas I that led the Highland host
Through wild Lochaber’s snows,
What time the plaided clans came down
To battle with Montrose.
I’ve told thee how the Southrons fell
Beneath the broad claymore,
And how we smote the Campbell clan
By Inverlochy’s shore.
I’ve told thee how we swept Dundee,
And tamed the Lindsays’ pride;
But never have I told thee yet
How the Great Marquis died!
A traitor sold him to his foes;A
O deed of deathless shame!
I charge thee, boy, if e’er thou meet
With one of Assynt’s name—
Be it upon the mountain’s side,
Or yet within the glen,
Stand he in martial gear alone,
Or back’d by armed men—
Face him, as thou would’st face the man
Who wrong’d thy sire’s renown;
Remember of what blood thou art,
And strike the caitiff down!
They brought him to the WatergateB
Hard bound with hempen span,
As though they held a lion there,
And not a fenceless man.
They set him high upon a cart—
The hangman rode below—
They drew his hands behind his back,
And bared his lordly brow.
Then, as a hound is slipp’d from leash,
They cheer’d the common throng,
And blew the note with yell and shout,
And bade him pass along.
It would have made a brave man’s heart
Grow sad and sick that day,
To watch the keen malignant eyes
Bent down on that array.
There stood the Whig west-country lords
In balcony and bow,
There sat their gaunt and wither’d dames,
And their daughters all a-row;
And every open window
Was full as full might be,
With black-robed Covenanting carles,
That goodly sport to see!
But when he came, though pale and wan,
He look’d so great and high,C
  So noble was his manly front,
So calm his steadfast eye;—
The rabble rout forbore to shout,
And each man held his breath,
For well they knew the hero’s soul
Was face to face with death.
And then a mournful shudder
Through all the people crept,
And some that came to scoff at him,
Now turn’d aside and wept.
But onwards—always onwards,
In silence and in gloom,
The dreary pageant labour’d,
Till it reach’d the house of doom:
But first a woman’s voice was heard
In jeer and laughter loud,D
And an angry cry and a hiss arose
From the heart of the tossing crowd:
Then, as the Græme look’d upwards,
He caught the ugly smile
Of him who sold his King for gold—
The master-fiend Argyle!
The Marquis gazed a moment,
And nothing did he say,
But the cheek of Argyle grew ghastly pale,
And he turn’d his eyes away.
The painted harlot at his side,
She shook through every limb,
For a roar like thunder swept the street,
And hands were clench’d at him,
And a Saxon soldier cried aloud,
“Back, coward, from thy place!
For seven long years thou hast not dared
To look him in the face.”E
Had I been there with sword in hand
And fifty Camerons by,
That day through high Dunedin’s streets
Had peal’d the slogan cry.
Not all their troops of trampling horse,
Nor might of mailéd men—
Not all the rebels in the south
Had borne us backwards then!
Once more his foot on Highland heath
Had stepp’d as free as air,
Or I, and all who bore my name,
Been laid around him there!
It might not be. They placed him next
Within the solemn hall,
Where once the Scottish Kings were throned
Amidst their nobles all.
But there was dust of vulgar feet
On that polluted floor,
And perjured traitors fill’d the place
Where good men sate before.
With savage glee came WarristounF
To read the murderous doom,
And then uprose the great Montrose
In the middle of the room.
“Now by my faith as belted knight,
And by the name I bear,
And by the red Saint Andrew’s cross
That waves above us there—
Ay, by a greater, mightier oath—
And oh, that such should be!—
By that dark stream of royal blood
That lies ’twixt you and me—
I have not sought in battle field
A wreath of such renown,
  Nor dared I hope, on my dying day,
To win the martyr’s crown!
“There is a chamber far away
Where sleep the good and brave,
But a better place ye have named for me
Than by my father’s grave.
For truth and right, ’gainst treason’s might,
This hand has always striven,
And ye raise it up for a witness still
In the eye of earth and heaven.
Then nail my head on yonder tower—
Give every town a limb—
And God who made shall gather them.—
I go from you to Him!”G
The morning dawn’d full darkly,
The rain came flashing down,
And the jagged streak of the levin-bolt
Lit up the gloomy town:
The heavens were speaking out their wrath,
The fatal hour was come,
Yet ever sounded sullenly
The trumpet and the drum.
There was madness on the earth below,
And anger in the sky,
And young and old, and rich and poor,
Came forth to see him die.
Ah, God! That ghastly gibbet!
How dismal ’tis to see
The great tall spectral skeleton,
The ladder, and the tree!
Hark! hark! It is the clash of arms—
The bells begin to toll—
He is coming! he is coming!
God’s mercy on his soul!
One last long peal of thunder—
The clouds are clear’d away,
And the glorious sun once more looks down
Amidst the dazzling day.
He is coming! he is coming!
Like a bridegroom from his room,H
  Came the hero from his prison
To the scaffold and the doom.
There was glory on his forehead,
There was lustre in his eye,
And he never walk’d to battle
More proudly than to die:
There was colour in his visage,
Though the cheeks of all were wan,
And they marvell’d as they saw him pass,
That great and goodly man!
He mounted up the scaffold,
And he turn’d him to the crowd;
But they dared not trust the people,
So he might not speak aloud.
But he look’d upon the heavens,
And they were clear and blue,
And in the liquid ether
The eye of God shone through:
Yet a black and murky battlement
Lay resting on the hill,
As though the thunder slept within—
All else was calm and still.
The grim Geneva ministers
With anxious scowl drew near,I
As you have seen the ravens flock
Around the dying deer.
  He would not deign them word nor sign,
But alone he bent the knee;
And veil’d his face for Christ’s dear grace
Beneath the gallows-tree.
Then radiant and serene he rose,
And cast his cloak away:
For he had ta’en his latest look
Of earth, and sun, and day.
A beam of light fell o’er him,
Like a glory round the shriven,
And he climb’d the lofty ladder
As it were the path to heaven.J
Then came a flash from out the cloud,
And a stunning thunder roll,
And no man dared to look aloft,
For fear was on every soul.
There was another heavy sound,
A hush and then a groan;
And darkness swept across the sky—
The work of death was done!

W. E. A.

A “The contemporary historian of the Earls of Sutherland records, that (after the defeat of Invercarron) Montrose and Kinnoull ‘wandered up the river Kyle the whole ensuing night, and the next day, and the third day also, without any food or sustenance, and at last came within the country of Assynt. The Earl of Kinnoull, being faint for lack of meat, and not able to travel any further, was left there among the mountains, where it was supposed he perished. Montrose had almost famished, but that he fortuned in his misery to light upon a small cottage in that wilderness, where he was supplied with some milk and bread.’ Not even the iron frame of Montrose could endure a prolonged existence under such circumstances. He gave himself up to Macleod of Assynt, a former adherent, from whom he had reason to expect assistance in consideration of that circumstance, and, indeed, from the dictates of honourable feeling and common humanity. As the Argyle faction had sold the King, so this Highlander rendered his own name infamous by selling the hero to the Covenanters, for which ‘duty to the public’ he was rewarded with four hundred bolls of meal.”—Napier’s Life of Montrose.

BFriday, 17th May.—Act ordaining James Grahame to be brought from the Watergate on a cart, bareheaded, the hangman in his livery, covered, riding on the horse that draws the cart—the prisoner to be bound to the cart with a rope—to the Tolbooth of Edinburgh, and from thence to be brought to the Parliament House, and there, in the place of delinquents, on his knees, to receive his sentence—viz., to be hanged on a gibbet at the Cross of Edinburgh, with his book and declaration tied on a rope about his neck, and there to hang for the space of three hours until he be dead; and thereafter to be cut down by the hangman, his head, hands, and legs to be cut off, and distributed as follows—viz., His head to be affixed on an iron pin, and set on the pinnacle of the west gavel of the new prison of Edinburgh; one hand to be set on the port of Perth, the other on the port of Stirling; one leg and foot on the port of Aberdeen, the other on the port of Glasgow. If at his death penitent, and relaxed from excommunication, then the trunk of his body to be interred, by pioneers, in the Greyfriars; otherwise, to be interred in the Boroughmuir, by the hangman’s men, under the gallows.”—Balfour’s Notes of Parliament.

It is needless to remark that this inhuman sentence was executed to the letter. In order that the exposure might be more complete, the cart was constructed with a high chair in the centre, having holes behind, through which the ropes that fastened him were drawn. The author of the Wigton Papers, recently published by the Maitland Club, says, “the reason of his being tied to the cart was in hope that the people would have stoned him, and that he might not be able by his hands to save his face.” His hat was then pulled off by the hangman, and the procession commenced.

C “In all the way, there appeared in him such majesty, courage, modesty—and even somewhat more than natural—that those common women who had lost their husbands and children in his wars, and who were hired to stone him, were upon the sight of him so astonished and moved, that their intended curses turned into tears and prayers; so that next day all the ministers preached against them for not stoning and reviling him.”—Wigton Papers.

D “It is remarkable, that of the many thousand beholders, the Lady Jean Gordon, Countess of Haddington, did (alone) publicly insult and laugh at him; which being perceived by a gentleman in the street, he cried up to her, that it became her better to sit upon the cart for her adulteries.”—Wigton Papers. This infamous woman was the third daughter of Huntly, and the niece of Argyle. It will hardly be credited that she was the sister of that gallant Lord Gordon, who fell fighting by the side of Montrose, only five years before, at the battle of Aldford!

E “The Lord Lorn and his new lady were also sitting on a balcony, joyful spectators; and the cart being stopt when it came before the lodging where the Chancellor, Argyle, and Warristoun sat—that they might have time to insult—he, suspecting the business, turned his face towards them, whereupon they presently crept in at the windows: which being perceived by an Englishman, he cried up, it was no wonder they started aside at his look, for they durst not look him in the face these seven years bygone.”—Wigton Papers.

F Archibald Johnston of Warristoun. This man, who was the inveterate enemy of Montrose, and who carried the most selfish spirit into every intrigue of his party, received the punishment of his treasons about eleven years afterwards. It may be instructive to learn how he met his doom. The following extract is from the MSS. of Sir George Mackenzie:—“The Chancellor and others waited to examine him; he fell upon his face, roaring, and with tears entreated they would pity a poor creature who had forgot all that was in the Bible. This moved all the spectators with a deep melancholy; and the Chancellor, reflecting upon the man’s great parts, former esteem, and the great share he had in all the late revolutions, could not deny some tears to the frailty of silly mankind. At his examination, he pretended he had lost so much blood by the unskilfulness of his chirurgeons, that he lost his memory with his blood; and I really believe that his courage had been drawn out with it. Within a few days he was brought before the parliament, where he discovered nothing but much weakness, running up and down upon his knees, begging mercy; but the parliament ordained his former sentence to be put to execution, and accordingly he was executed at the cross of Edinburgh.”

G “He said he was much beholden to the parliament for the honour they put on him; ‘for,’ says he, ‘I think it a greater honour to have my head standing on the port of this town, for this quarrel, than to have my picture in the king’s bedchamber. I am beholden to you, that, lest my loyalty should be forgotten, ye have appointed five of your most eminent towns to bear witness of it to posterity.’”—Wigton Papers.

H “In his downgoing from the Tolbooth to the place of execution, he was very richly clad in fine scarlet, laid over with rich silver lace, his hat in his hand, his bands and cuffs exceeding rich, his delicate white gloves on his hands, his stockings of incarnate silk, and his shoes with their ribands on his feet; and sarks provided for him with pearling about, above ten pund the elne. All these were provided for him by his friends, and a pretty cassock put on upon him, upon the scaffold, wherein he was hanged. To be short, nothing was here deficient to honour his poor carcase, more beseeming a bridegroom than a criminal going to the gallows.”—Nicholl’s Diary.

I The Presbyterian ministers beset Montrose both in prison and on the scaffold. The following extracts are from the diary of the Rev. Robert Traill, one of the persons who were appointed by the commission of the kirk “to deal with him:”—“By a warrant from the kirk, we staid a while with him about his soul’s condition. But we found him continuing in his old pride, and taking very ill what was spoken to him, saying, ‘I pray you, gentlemen, let me die in peace.’ It was answered, that he might die in true peace, being reconciled to the Lord and to his kirk.”—“We returned to the commission, and did show unto them what had passed amongst us. They, seeing that for the present he was not desiring relaxation from his censure of excommunication, did appoint Mr Mungo Law and me to attend on the morrow on the scaffold, at the time of his execution, that, in case he should desire to be relaxed from his excommunication, we should be allowed to give it unto him in the name of the kirk, and to pray with him, and for him, that what is loosed in earth might be loosed in heaven.” But this pious intention, which may appear somewhat strange to the modern Calvinist, when the prevailing theories of the kirk regarding the efficacy of absolution are considered, was not destined to be fulfilled. Mr Traill goes on to say, “But he did not at all desire to be relaxed from his excommunication in the name of the kirk, yea, did not look towards that place on the scaffold where we stood; only he drew apart some of the magistrates, and spake a while with them, and then went up the ladder, in his red scarlet cassock, in a very stately manner.”

J “He was very earnest that he might have the liberty to keep on his hat; it was denied: he requested he might have the privilege to keep his cloak about him—neither could that be granted. Then, with a most undaunted courage, he went up to the top of that prodigious gibbet.”—“The whole people gave a general groan; and it was very observable, that even those who at his first appearance had bitterly inveighed against him, could not now abstain from tears.”—Montrose Redivivus.


Part I.

It was towards the close of an autumnal evening, in the commencement of the sixteenth century, that a crowd of human beings was dispersing from the old market-place of Hammelburg, an ancient and, at that time, considerable town of Franconia, after witnessing the performance of a hideous and living tragedy. The Ober-Amtmann, or governor of the town, who had presided over the awful occasion, had left, attended by his schreibers, or secretaries, the small balustraded terrace which advanced out before the elevated entrance of the old Gothic town-hall. The town-guard were receding in various directions, warning the crowd to seek their homes, and sometimes aiding with a gentle admonition of their pike-heads those who lingered, as, slowly retreating, they moved down the different narrow streets that led from the central market-place, like streams flowing off in different channels after an inundation. Window after window was closing in the quaintly-carved and strangely-decorated gables of the houses; and many a small casement had been pulled to, over sundry withered old faces, that, peering from the dark and narrow aperture, and illumined by the glaring light that had filled the market-place, had resembled some darkly-traced picture placed against the opening. In the middle of the square still smoked, in a heavy volume of cloud, the last gleaming ashes of a lately blazing pile, still filling the air with a noisome stench. The night was closing darkly in, and one human being alone seemed yet to linger in the market-place.

It would have been difficult, indeed, to discover that the dark object just discernible upon the edge of the blackened mass of smoking cinders really was a human being, so shapeless was the form, so strangely was it crouched down before the spot where the pile had been consumed. From time to time only an upward-flung movement of two thin arms, as if in the violent emotion of earnest prayer or deprecation, showed that this object was a living thing; until, when the moon rose from behind the old town-hall, disengaging itself, ever and anon, from among the heavy clouds of a gathering storm, its light fell full upon this indistinct apparition, and revealed the form of a man, curiously bent together in a half-squatting, half-kneeling position. His head was bare. His long tangled black locks hung around a swarthy face, young still in years, but worn and withered, and prematurely aged by sickness, sorrow, or violence of passion—perhaps by the constant operation of all three. At this moment it was ghastly pale, and bore the marks of the faintness and exhaustion attendant upon a reaction after intense excitement. The dress of this creature was not the usual costume of the lower classes, and consisted almost entirely of a ragged and soiled garment of coarse brown linen, made somewhat in the shape of a modern blouse, and bound round his waist by a coarse leathern band. Around his neck hung a square bag, or satchel, which at once designated his calling to be that of a common beggar, privileged by the religious authorities of the place. The stoop of his broad shoulders, between which the head was deeply sunk, told a tale of long sickness, which had broken a frame originally bold and strong, and given a peculiarly ill-favoured appearance to a form naturally well built; and when he arose from his squatting posture, the bent and withered appearance of his crooked legs, which no longer possessed sufficient strength to support the bulkier frame above, gave painful evidence that the wretched man had suffered cruelly from those common scourges of his class at that period—rheumatism and ague. Clasped between his hands was a rosary of wood; and, as he rose, he pressed it to his lips, and then deposited it in the upper part of his garment.

“No, no!” exclaimed the cripple aloud, when he had staggered to his feet. “No, it is not vengeance—it is not, God knows; although the malevolence of those hideous and accursed   hags, those lemans of Satan”—and he spat upon the ground—“have made me the wretched outcast of humanity I am. The blood of the foul one has been shed for His glory only, and that of the blessed Virgin, to the destruction of the arch-enemy of mankind and his delusions!”

“Thou knowest it is so,” he added, again clutching forth the rosary from his bosom, which, after gazing upon a rude personification of the Virgin, stamped upon a tiny plate of copper at the end of the string of beads, and devoutly making the sign of the cross, he returned to its usual depository.

“I have cried against the handmaid of Beelzebub—uttering cry for cry as she shrieked out her wretched soul. I have prayed earnestly and long, and I am athirst,” continued the cripple, as he dragged his distorted limbs with difficulty over the rough stones towards a large covered well, which occupied the lower part of the market-place.

As the beggar approached the parapet of the well, to drink from one of the buckets which reposed upon its edge, he became first aware of the presence of another human being. Half-concealed behind one of the twisted columns that supported the Gothic pavilion above, sat upon the parapet a female figure, dressed in a black garb of such a form and nature, that, without being the exact costume of any known religious order, it bore a monastic character. Her face, as she sat with her head bent down over her clasped hands, in an attitude of mournful humiliation, was fully concealed by a black hood. But when, upon the approach of the beggar, she started up hastily, as if impelled by feelings of horror and disgust, the moon shone full upon her, and revealed the features of a woman of an advanced period of life, who formerly might have possessed much beauty, although now so washed out by tears, and furrowed by sorrow, that the whole character of her face was changed. Her years, too, were probably very much fewer than her appearance denoted, for the signs of age upon her face bore less the marks of time than of mental suffering. The symptoms of aversion which her manner displayed upon the beggar’s approach, although instinctive and involuntary, and almost immediately restrained, had not escaped his eye. His features expressed the bitter resentment of his heart at this insult, and worked with ill-repressed feelings of anger and spite.

“Ha! Mother Magdalena—it is thou! Why flinchest thou at my approach? Hast thou cause to fear me, then?” exclaimed the cripple with a sneer, as he drew nearer.

The female thus addressed shuddered at the sound of his voice; and, hastily pulling her dark hood more closely over her face, endeavoured to pass on without reply; but the beggar caught her by the arm.

“Not so fast, beldam!” he cried. “I would have a word with thee. Dost thou not know me?”

“Not know thee!” exclaimed the dark female. “Who in this wretched town does not know Schwartzer Claus, the witchfinder? What wouldst thou with me? Let me go!”

“Why dost thou tremble, then, and turn away thy head?” continued the cripple. “Why does Black Claus, the witchfinder—since such thou callest me—make thee shudder thus in every limb? The innocent have no cause to fear.”

“Thou askest me why I shudder?” said Magdalena in an excited tone, forgetting in her agitation her purpose of self-control. “Thou hast forced me to speak, and I will tell thee. Is not thy hand yet reeking with the bloody ashes of thy last victim? Has not a seventh unhappy woman suffered this very day a cruel death at the stake upon thy hideous denunciation; and thou askest me why I shudder?”

“Beware, woman—beware!” cried the witchfinder, lifting up his long right arm with a gesture of menace. “Those who defend the evil-doer, and malign the just and heaven-directed accuser, are not far from being arraigned as accomplices themselves!”

“What! thou seekest already another innocent sacrifice, wretched man!” continued the female, tearing away her arm, which the beggar still held clenched in his left hand. “Thou art not sated with the innocent blood thy false witness has this day shed?”

“It is a lie!—it is a damning lie!” screamed the cripple, foaming with   passion. “I have borne no false witness! Besides, did not she avow her deeds of darkness? did she not confess her complicity with the spirits of hell, and her harlotries with the arch-deceiver of mankind?”

“Ay! when, tortured in mind and body, her poor weak old head gave way, and she unconsciously affirmed all that her torturers had for hours past been pressing upon her wavering understanding. Ye had driven her mad, poor wretch!”

“’Tis false again!—’tis false!” repeated the witchfinder. “The truth spoke out of her at last, when her treacherous paramour, the demon, had deserted her. God’s glory and that of the holy church, for which I work, had triumphed over the powers of darkness.”

“Thou serve the holy church! Hear not the blasphemy, O Lord!” cried the excited woman, raising up her hands to heaven. “Thou, miserable wretch! who, for the favour of the Amtmann or the priest, for the pittance bestowed on thee in reward of thy discovery of the supposed foul practices of witchery and magic, art ever ready to sell the innocent blood of the aged, helpless, and infirm!”

“For the lucre of gain!” screamed the cripple, but in a tone as much of despair at this accusation as of wrath. “For the lucre of gain! No—no; as God is my judge, it is not! My motives are pure; God and the Holy Virgin know they are! It is not even a spirit of revenge that instigates me. No—no! it cannot be; it is not! If the words of my mouth have condemned and killed, it is because my voice was uplifted in the cause of religion, and to the confusion of the prince of evil!” But as he spoke, the beggar covered his face with his hands, with a shudder, as though there passed in his soul a struggle with himself—a doubt of his own real motives.

Magdalena was about to quit in haste her dangerous companion, when a sentiment of pity at the sight of the cripple’s evident emotion seemed to mingle strangely with her disgust and aversion to the witchfinder. It was even with an uncontrollable feeling of interest that she stopped for a moment to look upon the wretched man.

After a pause, the beggar removed his hands from his face, and uttering in a low tone the words, “I thirst,” staggered to the edge of the well, and seized the bucket within his hands. He bent over it but for a moment to drink, and could scarcely have swallowed many mouthfuls, before, flinging back the bucket into the well, he started up, and spat the water from his mouth.

“Horror!” he said, with a look of mingled terror and insanity—“it tastes of blood!”

“It is thy own conscience, poor man, that troubles the taste of the fresh element,” said Magdalena solemnly; “the water is pure and sweet!”

“Thou hast done this, old hag!” cried the witchfinder wildly; unheeding her remark. “Thou hast corrupted the waters at the source. Why did I find thee sitting here, cowering over the surface of the well, if it were not to cast malefick spells upon the water, and turn it into poison—in order to give ills, and ails, and blains, and aches, and pains, and sickness, and death to thy fellow-creatures? Ha! ha! I have long thought it. Thou also art one of the accursed ones!”

“Thou ravest, miserable wretch!” replied the female; “thou knowest not what thou utterest. God forgive thee, cripple, thy wicked thought, and change thy perverted mind!”

She was again about to turn away, and leave her angry questioner, when, fearing the result of the evil feeling now fully excited in the witchfinder’s mind, she again paused to excuse herself in the eyes of the dangerous man, and added—

“Thou canst not mean what thou sayest, Claus; I sat by the well but to cool my heated brow in the night-air, and taste the breath of heaven; for my mind was saddened, and my head whirled, with the horrors that this day has witnessed.”

But her words were but oil upon the flame, and only served to augment the wild infatuation of the witchfinder.

“Ah! thy mind was saddened! Thou hadst pity for that vile hag of hell! Was she thy comrade? Perchance thou hadst fear for thyself? Thou thought’st thy own time might come? Thy own time will come, old Magdalena. My eye is upon thee and thy   dark practices; it has been upon thee since thou camest, unknown and unacknowledged, to this place, none could tell when, and whence, and how. Ay, my eye is upon thee, and—beware!”

Willingly would the woman now have shrunk away before the maddened witchfinder’s objurgation; but the wild accusation thus thundered against her froze her with terror, and riveted her to the spot.

“I have marked thee well,” continued the frantic man, “and I have seen thee pause upon the threshold of the holy house of God, and kneel in mockery upon the steps before it: but thou hast never dared to enter it. Thou knewest well that the devil thou servest would have torn thee in pieces hadst thou done it. Ha! do I catch thee there?” he continued, as at these words the woman buried her face between her hands.

“Thou canst not deny it!” shouted the witchfinder with an air of triumph.

“God best judges the motives of the heart,” murmured Magdalena.

“I will tell thee more, vile hag, and thou shalt hear it face to face,” pursued the cripple, seizing the poor woman’s arms with his long bony fingers, and dragging her hands from before her face, in spite of her efforts at resistance. “Thou watchest at street corners and in doorways, on the bridge or on the causeway, to see fair Fraulein Bertha, the Ober-Amtmann’s daughter, ride past upon her ambling jennet, or mount the church-steps, her missal in her hand. Thou watchest her to cast thy spells upon her. Thou hatest her for her youth and beauty and spotless purity, like all thy wretched tribe, whom the sight of innocence and brightness sickens to the heart’s core. Thou wouldst fascinate her with thy eye of evil and thy deadly incantations.”

The moon, the light of which still struggled faintly through the fast-accumulating clouds, shone for a moment upon the face of old Magdalena, as the cripple pronounced these words. Her features were more deadly pale than usual, and convulsed with an excess of agitation at this mention of Bertha’s name, which she evidently struggled to control in vain.

“Ah! I have thee there again!” screamed Claus in triumph a second time. “Already have I seen her cheek grow pale, her head bow down like a blighted flower, her walk become weary with faintness. Hast thou already been at thy filthy machinations? But Black Claus, the witchfinder, is there to wrestle with the powers of evil. And hear me! That fair sweet girl is the only comfort of my wretched life. My soul grows calm and soothed when I look upon that lovely face. A ray of sunshine gleams upon the darkness of my path when her smile beams upon me. My heart leaps within me for joy when her small white hand drops an offering into my beggar’s bowl. She is my only life, my only joy, and my guardian angel. And couldst thou harm her, woman, no torment should be too horrible for thee, body and soul. The chains of the stake still lie upon the market-place—the ashes of yon pile still reek with heat; and the pile shall rise again, the chains shall bind once more. Wretched hag! I bid thee again beware!”

As with one hand the raving witchfinder pointed to the spot where one unhappy woman had already perished that day, a victim to the superstition of the times, Magdalena, who, during his praise of the fair girl, had again looked at him with awakened interest, disengaged herself from the other. “God’s will be done!” she said with humility. “I am prepared for all. But thou, unhappy man!” she continued, “beware in turn, lest, before thou hast time to repent thee of the hardness and cruelty of thy heart, His judgement fall on thee, and his justice punish thee.”

She spoke with hand upraised to heaven; and then, pulling her hood over her face, hurried from the market-place.

The witchfinder gazed after her, fixed to the spot, and for a moment awe-struck by her words. As he still stood struggling with his various passions, the storm, which had been gathering ever since sunset, began to burst over his head. The rain came down in torrents.

“Ah! was it that?” screamed the beggar, with a fit of wild laughter. “The miserable old beldam! she stretched out her finger to the sky, and it was to bring down these waterspouts   upon my head. Curses on the foul malicious fiend!” And he spat upon the ground, as if to exorcise the evil spirit.

“But I must find shelter,” he murmured. “Already pains rack my limbs; my bones ache; a shudder runs through my frame! The old hag has worked her spell upon me. Apage, Sathanas! Anathema!”

Speaking thus, the wretched man shuffled along as fast as the crippled state of his limbs, and the acute pains of rheumatism, which the damp night-air had again brought upon him, would allow him to proceed. He staggered to the shelter of a doorway, which was placed under the advancing terrace of the town-hall, and between two staircases which descended on either side on to the market-place. The protruding vault of the Gothic archway afforded him some refuge from the storm, which now burst down with increased violence. But the excited witchfinder’s brain seemed to wander, as he caught an indistinct vision of the gaping jaws of the dragons and other grotesque monsters, which protruded as waterspouts from the roofs of the surrounding houses, and now disgorged torrents of rain.

“Spit, spit, ye devils all!” he shouted aloud. “Ye cannot reach me here. Ha! ha! rage, storm, spew forth your venom, do the bidding of your mistress—I defy you!” And as the wind swept round the corners of the building, and spattered some of the water of the gushing cataracts in his face, he cried, “Avaunt!” as if speaking to a living thing, and, clinging to the bars of an aperture in the upper part of the door, turned away his face.

As he thus came to look upon the strongly-barred opening in the door, the current of his ideas changed. Within was the small and wretched prison of the town, which just occupied the space of the terrace above—a miserable hole.

“There she lay this morning,” he murmured, looking into the interior, which was now in utter darkness, and quite empty—“there she lay, old Martha Dietz, and called in vain upon the demon who deserted her. There have lain all the foul hags who tortured my poor aching limbs. There shall she lie also, the scoffer and reviler, the worker of evil. The witchfinder will be revenged. Revenge! no, no! He will do the work of the holy church. Who shall say the contrary? Not thou, old Martha—nor thou—nor thou. If ye say so, ye lie in death, as ye have lied in life. Ay! glare upon me with your lack-lustre eyes. Ye are powerless now, though ye are there, and make mouths at me. One—two—three—God stand by me! There they are—all seven!

With a wild scream of horror, the cripple covered his eyes with his hands, and rushed forth into the tempest.

Situated in the picturesque and fertile valley of the Saale, the town of Hammelburg stands upon a gentle declivity, commanding one of the numerous windings of the river, and sloping downwards to its banks. A part of the old walls of the town is thus bathed by the waters of the stream, which, calm and peaceful in the summer months, become tumultuous, and even dangerous, during rainy weather, or after the melting of the snows. From the ancient gateway of the town on the river side, a triple bridge of great length and many arches, which, in the dry season, seems to occupy a most unnecessary space across the narrower waters, but which, at other times, scarce suffices to span the extent of the invading inundation, affords a communication with the high-road.

At the commencement of the sixteenth century, this bridge was only constructed of wood, and although put together with rude strength, ill-sufficed to resist the force of the torrents, and had been repeatedly swept before them.

Not far from the town gateway that commanded this bridge, stood a huge mansion, constructed as a palace for the Prince Bishops of Fulda, the sovereign rulers of the district; although, at the period in question, it had been ceded to the Ober-Amtmann, a near relation of the reigning bishop, as his official dwelling. On the side of this ancient palace furthest removed from the town gate, ran, along the river’s banks, its spacious gardens, abutting at their extremity upon the premises of an extensive Benedictine monastery,   from which they were only separated by a narrow lane, that led from the town to the river. At the very angle of this lane, where it opened by a small water-gate upon a narrow towing-path, skirting alike the town-walls and the banks of the stream, there stood a low building attached to the monastery, the upper story of which thus overlooked the old gardens of the palace on the one hand, and, on the other, the river banks.

At one of the windows of this humble dwelling, that which overlooked the palace gardens, stood a young man, intently gazing through its small octagon panes. Two or three times he turned away with a heavy sigh, as if wearied with long and vain watching, and as often returned again to his previous occupation. At length the opening of the door of the room startled him from his position; and as if ashamed of being caught in the act of looking out, he hurried to a table in the middle of the room, and flung himself into an old chair.

The various objects with which the table was covered, as well as those which filled and littered the room in all directions, clearly designated the young man’s employment to be that of a sculptor and colourer of images for the ornament of churches, as well as an illuminator of missals and manuscripts—an occupation at that time still pursued, although gradually falling into disuse since the invention of printing. Scattered about upon the table were several old parchment manuscripts, which had served as models for the artist’s use, or had been confided to his hands to clean. Old illuminated missals, some of the gorgeous illustrations of which were open, as if lately retouched by the hand of the young painter, lay here and there. At the further end of the table stood a small figure of a Virgin and Child, delicately and exquisitely carved, and painted with the richest colours. The group was bright with its fresh finish, and evidently had not long been completed by the hand of the artist. Upon an elevated bench or dresser were littered the tools of the sculptor and wood-carver, with a few unfinished trials of small saintly figures; and around the room were fragments of wooden images of saints, some discoloured, some broken, a few in tolerable preservation, which were either destined to be restored and repainted, or had served as studies for the artist. Upon the walls hung a few pictures of female saints, bedecked with garlands of flowers, which showed them to be objects of devotion and respect in the eyes of the possessor. Among all this confusion, space was scarcely left, in the small chamber of the artist, for the pallet-bed and cumbrous press that formed his only furniture.

Immediately before the chair into which the young man so hastily flung himself, lay a rich missal, upon the adornment of which he had been employed, before other thoughts and feelings had sent him to the window; and when he again resumed his work, it was upon the face of a fair saint, which formed the headpiece of a chapter, peering out from among the various graceful arabesques that twined in the brightest colours along the margin of the leaf.

In truth, the face of the young artist was almost as fair as that of the bright being he was engaged in painting. His light brown hair was parted in the middle, over a high white forehead, and fell in faintly waving curls almost to his neck, forming a frame to the soft oval face, to which his violet-blue melancholy-looking eyes, his calm, finely-chiselled features, and the serious repose of his imaginative mouth, imparted an air of gentleness and thoughtfulness combined. His dark, sober-coloured, simple dress, although somewhat too severe to suit his youthful figure, accorded well with the character of his physiognomy. His falling collar displayed a full white throat, which might have served as a model for a statue of Antinous, had it not borne more the stamp of genius in its proportions than of physical voluptuousness. The hands, which now hastily resumed their neglected occupation, had all the fairness and well-moulded contour of a woman’s, without that delicacy of size which would have stamped them as effeminate. Had he been aware of his own beauty, he might have copied his own graceful form for a personification of the lily-bearing angel in a group of the Annunciation.

  The person who had startled him from the window, by opening the door of his room, was an aged-looking woman, in a plain dress of coarse black serge. She bore in her hands a coarse brown porringer filled with steaming viands, a lump of dark homely bread, and a white cloth.

“Ah! my good Magdalena, art thou there?” said the young artist, raising his head with an almost unconscious affectation of surprise, as though unexpectedly disturbed at his work.

“You forget all hours, and all human wants, in your zeal for your beautiful art, Master Gottlob,” said the woman. “I bring you your noon-day repast, which you would never have called for, had I allowed it to stand by even until sundown. But I have ventured to transgress your orders. You must be faint with long fasting;” and the old woman made a movement as if to place the food upon the table before the artist.

“Thanks, good Magdalena! thanks!” said the young man, looking at her with that sweet smile, and tender expression of his mild blue eyes, which had procured him, among all who knew him, the constant designation of “Gentle Gottlob;” but at the same time repelling the porringer. “Not here. Place the food elsewhere. I will eat anon. I am not hungry now; and I must not leave my work. I have promised it to his noble reverence the prior, for the eve of the fête of St Ursula, and to-morrow is the very day. There is still much to do. It seems as if I could never give sufficient finish to this face, or impart to it, with my dull colours and rebellious pencil, that look of heavenly brightness that ought to dwell upon it. And yet, alas! I would it never could be finished! It will break my heart to part with it—although I love not my own work, nor deem it excellent. But still I cherish it—all imperfect as it is—I know not why; and when to-morrow comes, and I must give it up into his reverence’s hands, it seems that my life and spirit would depart from me with its loss, and that all around me would be dark and joyless.”

After placing the porringer and bread upon a spare corner of the sculptor’s working bench, Magdalena moved gently behind the young man’s chair, and having asked respectfully his pardon, looked over his shoulder. At the sight of the fair face upon which the young artist was bestowing so much care, her looks betrayed feelings of surprise, mingled with much emotion. Once or twice she passed her hand over her eyes, as if doubting the reality of what she saw. It was some time before she could sufficiently master her agitation to speak; and when at last she spoke, after a long-drawn sigh, it was with a tone which still betrayed, in spite of her efforts, the interest inspired in her by the painter’s work of art.

“It is indeed a fine performance, and right bravely limned,” she said; “and in truth the countenance you have given to yonder saint, with the pale glory, is one of exquisite beauty. I wonder not that you should be grieved to look upon so sweet a face no more; although, methinks, I know a face as fair, to which it bears a marvellous resemblance.”

“What meanest thou, Magdalena?” said the young artist, bending his head still lower over his work. “Whom dost thou know who could bear a likeness to this creation of my own imagination?”

“Of your own memory, Master Gottlob! you should have said,” pursued Magdalena. “Surely—or my eyes deceive themselves most strangely—although in that sweet face they were not easily deceived; surely the face is that of”——

The old woman again paused, as if to suppress her emotion.

“Of whom?” enquired Gottlob in a low tone, also in much agitation.

“Of the fair Fraulein Bertha, the noble Ober-Amtmann’s daughter.”

“You think so, Magdalena?” replied the young man. “Perhaps it maybe a slight shade of a resemblance, caught unconsciously”——

“It is she herself,” exclaimed Magdalena. “It is the same angelic smile—the same beam of innocent brightness athwart her brow! It is she!”

“Perhaps thou art right,” stammered Gottlob, still in much confusion, but evidently well pleased with the species of praise thus bestowed   upon his performance. “There is, in truth, more resemblance to the Fraulein Bertha than I had thought.”

Magdalena seemed for a minute lost in her reflection, as if a new and painful idea had struck her; and after giving a long and anxious look at the window, from which the young artist had drawn back upon her entrance, she pressed her hand heavily to her heart, as if to support her in a sudden resolution, and, advancing to the artist’s side, said in an earnest tone, “Young man! thou lovest her!”

“Magdalena! thou knowest not what thou sayest,” cried Gottlob, more harshly than as the wont of his gentle nature.

“Oh! pardon me if I have offended. Condemn me not!” said the excited woman. “But I do entreat you, tell me! Tell me your secret as you would confide it to a mother—to your own mother, Gottlob. It is the purest interest for you—for her—that guides me! I swear it to you! Oh! tell me—is it not so? You love that fair and gentle girl!”

The young man looked at his strange interrogator with some astonishment at her evident agitation. The tears were swelling in her eyes. But without pausing to question the reasons of her emotion—so absorbed is love in its own self—he rose, and took the old woman’s hand.

“Yes! I will speak; my heart has long been overcharged with its own secret, even to bursting,” he said; “and it throbs to unburden itself into some sympathizing heart! And why not thine, good Magdalena? Ever since fate has brought us so strangely together, thou hast been like a mother to me!”

“Do not I owe you all?” interrupted the old woman; “my life—my daily bread—a shelter for my old limbs in the cell below?”

“Alas! I have but little to give, poor Magdalena!” said the young man kindly.

“And that little thou hast shared with me as a son,” continued Magdalena bending her head over his hand as if to kiss it.

“Yes, thou shalt know all,” pursued Gottlob; “for it would seem as though the destiny that threw thee in my way were linked with hers. Her image it was that led me to the spot where first I saw thee. It was the last day of the Carnival, at the beginning of this year, and there was a fête at the palace of the Ober-Amtmann. I had long gazed with adoration upon that angelic face, and treasured it in my heart. I already worshipped yon saintly portraits, because in one—God forgive me the profane thought!—I had found a faint forth-showing of the beam of her bright eye; in another, the gentle, dimpled smile of her sweet mouth; in a third, her pure and saint-like brow. It was not for such as I, a poor artist, to be invited to the noble Amtmann’s fête; but I thought that, through the windows in the illuminated halls, I might perchance trace her passing shadow. I fancied that, by some unforeseen accident, she might come forth upon the terrace, overhanging the river’s banks—a foolish fancy, for the night was wintry and cold. I hoped to see her, no matter how; and I wandered out of the town—for its gates were open for that holiday—to look upon the lighted windows of the palace from the opposite side of the stream. The snow was on the ground. My mantle scarcely preserved me from the bitter cold. But I felt it not. It was only when a groan sounded near me, that I thought on the sufferings of others in such a night. I looked around me; and there, not far from me, on the snow, before the very windows of the palace, where within was music and dancing, and feasting and mirth, lay thy form, poor Magdalena! Feeble, helpless, stiff with cold, thou appearedst to me in the last agonies of death.”

“Yes; I had laid me down to die, in sorrow and despair. It is too true,” sobbed the old woman, in a voice choked with tears. “But your hand raised me up—your arms warmed me into life—your voice encouraged me, and gave me force. You brought me to your home, fostered me, and nursed me—me, an unknown outcast, whose very history you did not even seek to know—whose silence and secrecy you respected. Your kindness saved me from despair, and gave me hope; and   I lived on, in order to pay, were it possible, my debt of gratitude to my preserver.”

“Good Magdalena,” said the young man soothingly, taking her withered hands between his own, “I did but the duty of a Christian man.”

“And you love her, then?” resumed Magdalena, recalling her young preserver to his promised confidence.

“Love her!” exclaimed Gottlob with an impassioned fervour, which gave his gentle face a look of inspiration. “Love her! She is my vision by day—my dream by night. When I read, it is her voice that seems to speak to me from the Minnesinger’s poesy. When I paint, it is her form that grows under my pencil. When I pray, it is her seraphic smile that seems to beam upon me down from heaven. I wander forth: it is to meet her in her walks. I kneel in the church: it is to breathe the same air as she!” At these words, Magdalena covered her face, and uttered a suppressed groan. “I rise from my labour, which of old was a labour of love to me, and now is oft an irksome task: it is to watch for her coming forth into the garden. I have neither rest by day nor by night. Where there was repose in my heart, there is now eternal fever.”

“And she?” said Magdalena with a low tone of anxiety, as if fearful of the answer she might receive. “Does she know—does she return your love?”

“How should she deign to remark a worm like me?” was the young artist’s answer. “How should I dare to breathe my affection in her ear, were it even possible for me to approach her? And yet she looks upon me kindly,” continued the young lover, encouraging himself in vague hopes, at the same time that he condemned their presumption. “When I doff my cap to the noble Amtmann’s daughter, as she ambles forth by her proud father’s side, she will answer with so sweet a smile, and greet me with a wave of her riding-switch—with what a grace!—and then grow red thereby, and then grow pale. When I offer her the holy water as she passes from the church, she will cast down her trembling eyelids, and yet will see withal who offers it; and when I stand at yon window, as she rambles in the garden, she will pluck flower after flower, as though she knew not why; then fling them all aside, then pick them up with care; then disappear as if she had gone back, and yet come forth again.”

Magdalena’s brow grew thoughtful and anxious as Gottlob proceeded in his enumeration of these symptoms. Her bosom heaved painfully, her hands were clenched together.

“Poor child! should it be so!” she murmured, casting her eyes upon the ground; and then, raising them again to Gottlob’s face, into which she looked with scrutinizing eagerness, she said aloud—“And yet you do not think she loves you?”

“She love me!” cried the young man. “Such a dream of bliss were madness! Can I forget the immeasurable gulf that separates the noble daughter of the high-placed Amtmann from the poor and humble artist—the dependent of a cloister? No, Magdalena. I must die as I have lived, the poor unloved and uncared-for orphan—die without a sigh of pity, without a tear of sorrow from her eye.”

“Have you, then, no friends, poor youth?” said Magdalena.

“None. Yes! I am ungrateful. I have one—a kind protector; but he is far removed, and I have seen him seldom.”

“The Prince Bishop of Fulda!” repeated the old woman, with some degree of agitation. “Perhaps—yet it is a wild and foolish thought—perhaps all hope is not shut out to you.”

“What sayest thou, then, old Magdalena?” said the youth. “Hope were but torture were it vain; and so it must be”——

“Yes. I was wrong. Heed not my words! But know you not that your patron, the bishop, is close at hand? Already I have heard that he arrived this morning at his castle of Saaleck, at half a league’s distance from the town; and he will probably shortly enter Hammelburg, as is his wont.”

“These are glad tidings!” said Gottlob, his eyes beaming with joy. “I will at once to Saaleck, and, if the prince admit me to his presence, throw myself at his feet, assure him of all my gratitude for the past, and offer him my poor service for the future.”

  With these words the young man hurried to his cumbrous chest, and pulling out a short cloak, flung it around him. A small cap of black velvet, of the cut of the time, which showed off to advantage the beauty of his youthful face, was hastily thrown upon his head. He was about to quit the chamber, when Magdalena caught him by the arm.

“Thy repast, Master Gottlob.”

“Have I time to think of that?” said the eager youth, swallowing, however, in haste a few mouthfuls of the broth, to satisfy the old woman’s look of supplication.

“And when you mount or descend the mountain-path that leads to the castle on its brow,” said the old woman, during Gottlob’s hasty meal, “if you can still have a thought for poor old Magdalena, she begs you enter the chapel on the mountain-side, which is esteemed so holy that it is permitted to be a sanctuary of refuge to the criminal, and say a short prayer for her soul’s weal.”

“Can those so good and kind as thou, Magdalena, need the prayers of such as I?” said the young man.

“The fervent supplications of the young and pure at heart are always acceptable,” replied Magdalena evasively, but in a sad and earnest tone.

“So be it—and fare-thee-well,” said Gottlob, finishing his last mouthful, and hurrying to depart.

“And heed you, gentle youth,” again cried Magdalena, “as you cross the bridge to leave the town. The river is much swollen with the late rains, so much as to threaten destruction to the tottering fabric.”

“I fear no such danger,” was the young man’s reply; “and besides, have I not thy charm?” he continued, laughing, holding up a black ring inscribed with strange characters, that hung about his neck.

“Oh, say not so!” said the old woman earnestly, as a recollection of the Witchfinder’s dreadful threats the night before came across her mind. “Call it not a charm! The holy church permits not of such dealings. It was but a remembrance that I gave you, to think sometimes on the poor wretch whose life you had preserved. It was of little value; but I had nought else to give. I prayed only that it might bring happiness to you, boy, for it had brought nothing but misery and wretchedness to me.”

Long before old Magdalena could complete her sentence, the eager youth had left the room. The old woman looked after him for a time with a look of gratitude, and then, hurrying to the artist’s table, threw herself down upon her knees beside the open missal, and gazed with intense eagerness upon the picture of the fair saint upon which he had been painting. She approached her lips as if to kiss it; then again drew back, as if she feared to mar the colouring by her caress: then gazed again, until her eyes filled with tears: and at last, with the cry, “Yes! it is she—her very self!” burst into a fit of convulsive sobbing, and buried her face between her hands.

As she still lay crouched upon her knees, a partly-concealed door, which led towards the monastery, and was almost in disuse, slowly opened, and a figure, enveloped in a monk’s robe and cowl, entered the room.

Magdalena was not at first aware of the entrance of the stranger; and it was only when, after looking about the room, as if to assure himself that no one was there, he approached the table, that she heard the footstep, and lifted up her head in surprise. The intruder evidently as little expected to find the room already tenanted; for he also started upon seeing the kneeling woman. But the astonishment of both parties was greatly increased when their eyes met each other. Far from attempting to rise from her knees, Magdalena remained in an attitude of supplication before the stranger, who was an aged man of mild aspect, and folding her arms across her heart, bent down her head like a penitent, in order to avoid his scrutinizing look.

“Magdalena! thou here!” said the seeming monk, in a tone of voice which, naturally that of benevolence, he evidently strove to render harsh and severe. “How comes this? Thou hast left, without my knowledge, the seclusion of the convent in which I placed thee? In defiance of thy solemn promise, and thy accepted vow of penitence, thou hast approached this town—thou hast sought, perhaps, forgetful of thy oath”——

  “No, no,” interrupted the agitated woman, “that cruel oath has sealed my lips for ever. God knows, and you, reverend father—you know, that I had accepted the bitterest trial woman can bear on earth, in expiation of my past sin. Long did I observe my vow of penitence without a murmur to heaven or to you. But I thought to die. A fever had seized me, and a burning thought came over me that I no longer could withstand. O God, forgive me—but my head was turned—I knew not what I did! I longed to see once more on earth that object that was my only earthly joy. That uncontrollable desire overcame the stubborn resolution of a vow, which long years of tears and mortification had striven to fortify in vain. I fled. I hoped once more to glad my eyes—but once——but once, my father, and then to lay me down and die, trusting in God’s pardon and your reverence’s.” And Magdalena bowed her head to the ground, as a criminal awaiting her sentence.

“Thou hast erred, woman—bitterly and grievously,” replied the stranger harshly, adding, however, with a feeling of indulgence that his kindly nature evidently could ill suppress, “but the struggle of the spirit with the weakness of the body, in sickness and in fever, is heavy to bear. And yet,” he continued, again assuming a severity of manner, “thou livest, and I still find thee here. Thou hast remained to feast thy eyes upon thy earthly treasure, in forgetfulness of thy vow of mortification for thy soul’s weal.”

“Pardon!” cried Magdalena, raising her hands in supplication.

“But thou must leave this place forthwith,” continued the monk. “Return to the convent, and employ thyself in such acts of penitence as my orders shall prescribe.”

“Pardon!” again cried the unhappy woman, “for my vow is heavier than I can bear. It is a task beyond the force of human nature!”

“Foolish woman!” exclaimed the stranger. “Wouldst thou compromise the happiness and peace of mind of the being thou lovest best, by the danger of a discovery to which thy presence here might lead? Thy expiation is severe. Such as we, alas!” and the monk heaved a sigh, “who cannot feel the vibration of some of the tenderest chords of humanity, know not how to sound in its profundity; but I can judge that it must be grievous to bear. Still it must be so. Go, then, in peace—but go. What I command no longer in the name of thy salvation, I ask of thy heart, for the repose of thy heart’s treasure.”

“Father,” said the penitent, sobbing at his feet—“I obey! But I have still a secret to impart to you, upon which depends, perhaps, the happiness of that beloved one. Oh! deign to hear me.”

“In three days hence, let me receive thy shrift at the convent of Saint Bridget,” continued the ecclesiastic. “There also I will hear thy secret. But tell me,” he added, looking round the room with some surprise—“how comest thou here in gentle master Gottlob’s studio?”

“It was he who saved my life,” answered Magdalena, striving to repress her sobbing, “when in the midst of the snows, and the keen blast of winter, death had laid hands upon me. Ever since, he has cherished and nourished the unknown outcast in his abode.”

“Generous youth!” said the stranger. “I came to witness, alone and unbiassed, his progress in his noble art; and I find that the heart soars as nobly as the head. So should ever be true genius! Yes, yes!” he murmured to himself, looking around, “he advances towards perfection with rapid strides. This arabesque is exquisite. And this head, how beautiful! And yon statue of our Holy Mother—what heavenly grace in its fashioning!”

And with more of such commendatory observations, interspersed now and then with a few gentle criticisms, which showed the connoisseur as well as the gratified admirer, he took up and examined the various designs dispersed upon the table. When his curiosity seemed fully satisfied, he again turned to Magdalena.

“I must away,” he said; “for I have still many arduous and painful duties to perform, and my time is limited. I rely upon thy strict secrecy, Magdalena. I would not it should be known that I was here.   And remember, in three days at Saint Bridget’s convent!”

With these words he stretched forth his hand. She again knelt, and kissed it devoutly; and pulling his black robe and cowl more closely about his face and person, the monk disappeared by the concealed door.

Magdalena still knelt, overcome by her various emotions, when a sound from the window looking into the river startled her, and caused her to turn round. An involuntary scream burst from her lips; for from among the branches of a tree that grew upon the river’s banks, and overhung the window, peered, through the dingy panes, the pale face of the witchfinder.

It was about the hour of vespers; and an unusually dense crowd of the town’s people of Hammelburg, of all ages, ranks, and sexes, swarmed in the small open space before the fine old Gothic church of the town, and stood in many a checkered group—here, of fat thriving bourgeois and their portly wives, dragging in their hands chubby and rebellious little urchins, who looked all but spherical in their monstrous puffed hose or short wadded multifold petticoats, the miniature reproductions of the paternal and maternal monstrosities of attire—there, of more noisy and clamorous artizans, in humbler and less preposterous dress—on the one side, of chattering serving-damsels, almost crushed under their high pyramidical black caps, worn in imitation of an ancient fashion of their betters—on the other, of grave counsellors and schreibers in their black costumes, interlarding their pompous phrases with most canine Latin—here again, of the plumed and checkered soldiers of the civic guard—there, of ragged-robed beggars, whose whine had become a second nature—all in a constant ferment of movement and noise, until the square might be fancied to look like the living and crawling mass of an old worm-eaten cheese.

The congregation of the multitude had been induced by a report prevalent throughout the town, that the Prince Bishop, whose arrival from Fulda at his castle of Saaleck, close at hand, had been announced, was about to make his entrance in grand state, and that a holy and solemn service to celebrate this event was to be performed at the high church.

Already, however, other rumours were afloat among the crowd; and it began to be confidently stated, that a sudden change of plans had forced the Prince Bishop to renounce his intention.

Listening with anxiety, on the outskirts of a group, to the discussion upon the probabilities or improbabilities of the service taking place in the absence of the Prince, stood Magdalena. She was attired in her usual dark semi-monastic dress; but to this was now added the scrip, wallet, and tall crossheaded staff of the wandering pilgrim. As the prevailing opinion appeared to be that the Ober-Amtmann would attend, at all events, at the celebration of the church rites intended to be performed, Magdalena turned away with a calmer air, murmuring to herself the words—

“I shall see her once more—once, and for the last time: and God surely will forgive the sin, if such it be. One look of last farewell! and then again a long expiation of penitence and prayer.”

So saying, she traversed the small square to the broad stairs of the church, where she sat herself down upon the highest step, among a group of beggar women and ragged children, and, sinking her head to the ground, seemed to dispose herself to wait with patience.

Shortly afterwards, a young man also began to mount the steps leading to the great entrance of the church, as if with the intention of placing himself near the arch, in so favourable a position as to be close by all those who should pass into the interior. He bounded upwards with anxious haste and beating heart—although there was yet a long interval before the commencement of the service—and with a movement so hurried and agitated, that he brushed rudely against one person of a group in his way. He turned, with a gentleness of feeling unusual at the time towards the lower classes, to crave of the female he had pushed a pardon for his awkwardness. At the sound of his voice the old woman raised her head.

  “Magdalena!” cried the young man with surprise, as he recognised upon her the evident symbols of travel and wayfaring peculiar to that age, “What means this pilgrim’s garb?”

“Alas! kind, gentle Master Gottlob,” replied Magdalena in a tone of the bitterest sadness, as she rose from her seat, “my hour is arrived, and I must leave you. Ask me not why. I must go as I have come, in silence and mystery. But oh! I beseech you, deem me not ungrateful. I had not quitted you without a last farewell—a last assurance that all your gentle charities are engraven here, upon my heart for ever.”

“Magdalena!” again exclaimed Gottlob, still astonished at this unexpected announcement, “thou leavest me thus abruptly?”

“Again, I pray you, gentle Master,” said the old woman sobbing, “think me not unkind or cold. The will of another is far stronger than my own. The will of God is above all. We shall meet no more on earth, young man; at least I fear so: my destiny leads me from the world. But my prayers shall be offered up, morning and evening, at my noontide meal as at my lying down; at all times, and in all places, whenever it shall please Heaven to hear them, for my generous benefactor.”

“But you must not quit me thus,” said the young man—“thus unassisted, in penury and want. I have but little, it is true, but that little shall be thine. What matter the gauds I thought to purchase? the dainty plume to deck my cap?” Still, in spite of himself, an unconscious sigh broke, as he spoke, from the breast of “Gentle Gottlob,” at the anticipated renunciation of the braveries that were to give him a price in the eye of the fair object of his adoration. “Can my poor savings be better bestowed than upon thee?”

“I need not thy generous sacrifice, kind youth,” replied Magdalena. “The pilgrim lacketh nothing in a Christian land; and soon I shall be beyond all want.”

“Oh! speak not thus sadly,” said Gottlob, taking her hand.

“I meant it not so sadly as you deem. I am resigned still to live on, until it please God to release me from this world of sin and sorrow, more easily resigned and with a calmer spirit, since, through the mist of solitary darkness around me, I see a way of hope that shines not upon me, but upon the bright forms most dear to me.”

“What meanest thou, Magdalena?” cried the young man.

“Strive not to comprehend me,” said the old woman in a more subdued tone—“I would not foster vain delusions;” and, as if to remove the impression of what she had said from Gottlob’s mind, she hastily added, “You have not seen the Prince at Saaleck?”

“Alas, no!” replied the young artist. “My noble patron had already left the castle with a small retinue, and I was too late to meet him. It was said that he was gone upon a visit to all the various monasteries in this part of the country, in order to hold secret counsel with the different dignitaries of the church in his domain, respecting the late heresies that have appeared, and already spread so widely throughout the land.”

Magdalena was about to answer, when a new and general movement among the crowd, showed that the expectation of the multitude was aroused. The tapers upon the altars in the church had been lighted in splendid profusion. The vapour of incense already scented the air, as it floated down the aisles. The organ pealed through the church; and the priests, in their sacerdotal robes, were seen advancing along the middle aisle towards the entrance, to meet the expected dignitary. But Gottlob and Magdalena gazed not upon this priestly show; their heads were turned in another direction, and looked from the church across the square. Their hearts beat with one feeling. Both murmured to themselves with one accord, “She comes!”

Already the pikes of the guard preceding the noble Ober-Amtmann appeared emerging from the street leading to the episcopal palace, and the soldiers, entering the square, cleared the way rudely through the crowd, when Magdalena again pressed tightly her companion’s arm.

“Swear to me, young man,” she whispered in a low and solemn tone, “as you value your salvation—swear   to me ever to respect the purity and peace of mind of that innocent and happy girl, upon whose fair face I shall now gaze for the last time!”

Gottlob looked at the excited woman with much surprise.

“Swear to me that you will not trouble her unconscious heart with words of love, until, perhaps, a better time may come!” she continued, with hesitation.

“Magdalena, I understand thee not,” replied the young man. “But before me she is as a holy saint of heaven, at whose shrine we may bow down and pray, but whom we cannot pollute with earthly touch.”

“God grant you happiness, young man!” said Magdalena, dropping her flowing tears upon the hand she held in her own.

Gottlob’s attention was too much absorbed in the sight of the one object of his eager gaze, to heed more seriously, at that moment, the strange and solemn adjuration of the old woman. His heart beat with intense violence, his cheek flushed, his mild blue eyes dilated with animation, as he followed along the square the form of Bertha, who was advancing in the procession by her father’s side. And now she was about to mount the church steps, she would be obliged to pass close by him, perhaps near enough for her dress to touch his own; for the crowd was dense behind, and pressed forward upon those who stood, like him, in the foremost row. The agitation of his companion equaled, perhaps exceeded, his own.

The clergy now stood under the church gate—the preceding guards had stationed themselves on either side of the arch—the Ober-Amtmann, leading his daughter by the hand, had reached the broad surface of the highest step, where stood the aged female and the young artist, when the agitated Magdalena, unable to control her feelings as the governor and his fair child passed so near, bent lowly down, and seized the hem of Bertha’s garment to kiss it unperceived. At that moment, a rude gripe seized her arm and dragged her up, and a harsh voice shrieked in her ear—“Touch her not, hag of hell, to cast thy infernal spells upon her!” A scream of terror burst from Magdalena as she recognised Black Claus, the witchfinder.

“Noble Ober-Amtmann, hear me!” cried the cripple, pushing forward with force, and arresting with a wild gesture the progress of the dignitary. “I here denounce, before your noble honour, this wretched woman as a most foul and most notorious witch.”

In the rude attack thus made upon the unhappy woman—on her terror and surprise—the cross-topped pilgrim’s staff slipped from her grasp, and slightly wounding the fair neck of Bertha, it fell upon the pavement, and was splintered into several pieces.

“See, see!” screamed the witchfinder, “how she strives to harm the innocent and good, and destroys and tramples under foot—curses on her!—the holy symbols of the church.”

With a feeling of horror and alarm, for which the credence in witchcraft and its agents that pervaded all ranks and classes at that age gave full warrant, Bertha clung with a scream to her father’s breast, and sought protection in his arms. At this sight the unhappy Magdalena uttered a bitter cry of despair, and raising her clasped hands aloft, exclaimed—“O God! Thou punishest me too bitterly.”

“Hear ye,” cried the witchfinder, “how she owneth her crime even in her blasphemy!”

With one arm the Ober-Amtmann pressed the terrified Bertha to his bosom, and, with the other, signed to some of the guards to surround the old woman. At this moment the sight of the blood which had trickled in a few insignificant drops upon her veil, caught the eye of the alarmed girl, and turning very pale, she held forth a crucifix, which hung about her neck, towards the spot where stood Magdalena, as if to exorcise the powers of witchcraft directed against her, and sobbed—“Oh! take her from my sight—save me—she would destroy me!”

“It is she condemns me!” cried Magdalena; and, with another heart-rending exclamation of despair, she fell forward to the earth as if in violent convulsions.

“See, see!” shouted Claus in triumph,   “how the sight of the holy cross causes the devil within her to tear and rend her.”

The bystanders shrank in horror from the prostrate form of the unhappy woman. The guards, who had approached, kept at a sufficient distance to avoid all contact with the reputed witch, although near enough to prevent her escape.

Petrified with astonishment and dismay at the strange scene that had passed thus rapidly before him, and shocked at the sight of Bertha’s wound and terror, Gottlob had stood at first incapable of movement. But when he saw Magdalena thus stricken to the earth, he forgot all the terrors of witchcraft—he forgot the horrible denunciation—he forgot even Bertha’s fainting form; the instinctive impulse of his kindly nature was to rush forward and to raise the poor old woman. Before he could reach her, however, twenty hands had pulled him back with force—twenty voices screamed in his ear, “Touch her not—beware!” In vain he struggled, and strove to extricate himself—in vain he protested the poor woman’s innocence—he was held back by force.

In the meanwhile, although those nearest to the accused woman drew back with terror, the remoter crowd rushed forward towards the church steps in violent excitement, preferring loud cries of “A witch!—a witch! To the stake with her—to the stake!” The deeper voices of the men mingling with the shriller cries of the women and children.

In the midst of this scene of tumult, the Ober-Amtmann conveyed his daughter in his arms—for she had now completely fainted—to the church, and confided her to the care of her women. Upon returning, he sternly gave orders that the accused female should be placed in the prison of the town, with a guard before the door, until the denouncer should be heard against her.

“Come hither man, black cripple!” he continued, with some disgust, to Claus: “We know that the dreadful crime of witchcraft has, like heresy, made much and notable progress in the land of late; and although our reverend brother views the former abomination with more lenient eye than ourselves, we think that fagot and stake are but too slight a punishment for such black and damning sin. But still, of late, thy denunciations against this crime have much multiplied; and sometimes, it has seemed to our justice, upon but small and vague proof—although popular voice demanded the condemnation of the wretched women. Have a care, then, how thou wrongfully preferrest such a charge—have a care how thou jugglest with our sense of right and wrong; for though there seemeth, in truth, to be some appearance of the demon and his works in the horror which that woman has expressed for the symbols of our holy religion, and in the manner in which she has drawn blood from our young and innocent daughter, yet were we to find thy accusation to be inspired by motive or the spirit of falsehood, as we live that pile which threatens the sorceress and hag shall be thy own seat—the fire thy death-garment.”

“Noble Amtmann,” cried the witchfinder, undaunted by this address, “I fear not the proof. Again I denounce that woman as dealing in witchcraft, and consorting with the powers of darkness.”

As the guard drew nearer, to force the unhappy woman with their pike-heads to rise from the ground, where she still lay crouched together, the wretched Magdalena raised her head, and her eyes fell upon the dark face of the witchfinder, as it glared upon her in triumph. The hideous yells of the crowd prevented her hearing the only faint voice of pity raised in her behalf—that of gentle Gottlob. Her brain whirled with terror—she thought that her last hour was come; and, with a heavy shudder throughout her whole frame, she fell senseless to the ground.


It has probably occurred to the reflecting student of logic, that the philosophers of the schools must have been sorely straitened in seeking for a definition of man, before they would have had recourse to such a derogation from his apparently higher attributes, as to define him by “animal risibile,” or “animal bipes implumis.” An attentive consideration will, however, show the enquirer, that to distinguish man from the remainder of the animal kingdom by his structural characteristics alone, is not so easy a task as would at first sight appear; and he will be obliged at length to return to some such humiliating designation of the genus animal, species homo, as those above given. Physical differences, indeed, there are between man and the other tribes of mammalia; but these differences are more matters of anatomical detail, than such salient notable exponents as would at once be recognised and admitted by the sceptical objector. The strength, moreover, of these differences resides in the whole collectively, and not in any one taken singly. If, however, the student take as his grounds for induction the habits of the species, instead of its structure, he will find a much broader line of demarcation. Wherever he examines the existing relations or former records of his race, and compares them with those of other animals, he will find that the instincts of the one are variable and progressive, those of the other are definite and stationary. As far as has ever been ascertained by the most accurate observer, the nest of the grossbeak, the dam of the beaver, the cone of the termites, were, ages ago, each similar in character, and equal in perfection, to those of the present day; while, whether we compare the rude wigwam of the uncivilized savage, or the more finished architecture of ancient Thebes, with the buildings, railroads, and shipping of the present day, we still find a continual variation, and a progressive adaptation to new wants. The psychological characteristics stand out then in fuller relief than the physiological; but yet the former are by no means free from grounds for cavil. Domestic animals acquire new habits, varying from their natural instincts. Admitting these to result from the teaching of man, it still shows—as does, indeed, the fact of domestication—a capability of progression; and some feeble instances of the faculty of learning may be detected even in the wild tribes of animals. Thus every thing becomes, if hypercritically examined, a question of degree, “demo unum, demo etiam unum,” and the hundred years become an hour; nought is every thing, and every thing is nought. Rational investigation, then, should lead us to reject, or at least to set no undue value upon, extreme instances, or the merging shadows of boundaries; the spectrum consists of separate colours, though we may not tell where the red ends and the yellow begins.

The fair questions in examining the physiology and psychology of man, with a view to his place in the creation, are, 1st, Whether his distinctive marks and attributes, taken collectively, are such as broadly separate him from the rest of the animal kingdom; 2dly, Supposing such distinctions to exist now, whether they have existed at all periods of which we can acquire any evidence; and, 3dly, Whether these distinctions are common to the whole of the race to which the term man is applied, or whether different tribes of men differ inter se as much as the species viewed collectively differs from other species.

These, with other minor questions which arise out of them, are, as far as we can gather, the propositions discussed in the work before us—a work abounding in elaborate research and erudition, but somewhat deficient in logical precision or lucid arrangement;   a mass of details is given, but the links whereby the generalizations from these are sought to be established, are here and there wanting, and here and there obscure. It is probably the fault of the subject, which is in its character inexact; but we certainly expected that more had been done; and from some passages in the early portions of the work, we were induced to believe that the author had succeeded in proving races of mankind to be more distinctly deducible from their sources, and that their physical and moral relations were more definitely traced. The following passage, in which the object of the work is enounced by the author, is wanting in precision and perspicuity:—

“That great differences in external conditions, by the double influence of their physical and moral agency, should have effected, during a long series of ages, remarkable changes in the tribes of human beings subjected to their operation—changes which have rendered these several tribes fitted in a peculiar manner for their respective abodes—is by no means an improbable conjecture; and it becomes something more than a conjecture, when we extend our view to the diversified breeds of those animals which men have domesticated, and have transferred with themselves from one climate to another. Considered in this point of view, it acquires, perhaps, the character of a legitimate theory, supported by adequate evidence, and by an extensive series of analogous facts.

“But we must not omit to observe, that to this opinion there is an alternative, and one which many persons prefer to maintain; namely, that the collective body of mankind is made up of different races, which have differed from each other in their physical and moral nature from the beginning of their existence. To determine which of these two opinions is the best entitled to assent, or at least to set before my readers a clear and distinct notion of the evidence that can be brought to bear upon the question, will be my principal object in the following work.”

Now, as they are here stated, the two opinions are not necessarily contradictory; differences in external condition may effect remarkable changes in tribes of human beings, and yet the collective body may be made up of different races: and to set before the reader a clear and distinct notion, is to prove nothing, although indeed, as we shall see in the sequel, the author has a very strong conviction, and believes that he succeeds in proving, as far as a matter incapable of mathematical demonstration can be proved, the negative of the latter proposition. What the author seems to intend, or rather what the whole tenor of his book imports, though his expressions at times go much further, is, not that community of origin is proved inductively by the researches which have been made into the existing and past state of man, but that the natural history of man presents nothing inconsistent with such a view.

The researches of Cuvier and others have negatived the theory of Lamarcke as to the transmutation of species. The “nisus formativus” is admitted, but admitted with limits, “quos ultra citraque nequit consistere rectum”.

The extreme rarity of hybrids, their inability of continuous procreation, the absence of any well-authenticated cases of a permanent species formed by the union of two distinct ones, the return to the original type when the disturbing causes are removed, with various other arguments tending the same way, have been considered, by the most competent and impartial judges, as conclusive evidence of the real and permanent existence in nature of distinct species. These arguments are stated in detail in the second volume of Lyell’s Principles of Geology, to which we refer those of our readers who wish for further information.

Having briefly stated these and similar arguments, Dr Prichard expresses his conclusion as follows:—

“It seems to be the well-established result of enquiries into the various tribes of organized beings, that the perpetuation of hybrids, whether of plants or animals, so as to produce new and intermediate tribes, is impossible.

“Now, unless all these observations are erroneous, or capable of some explanation that has not yet been pointed out, they lead, with the strongest force of analogical reasoning, to the conclusion, that a number of different tribes,   such as the various races of men, must either be incapable of intermixing their stock, and thus always fated to remain separate from each other; or, if the contrary should be the fact, that all the races to whom the remark applies, are proved by it to belong to the same species.

“I believe it may be asserted, without the least chance of contradiction, that mankind, of all races and varieties, are equally capable of propagating their offspring by intermarriages, and that such connexions are equally prolific, whether contracted between individuals of the same or of the most dissimilar varieties. If there is any difference, it is probably in favour of the latter.”

This conclusion is repeated a little further on.

“It appears to be unquestionable that intermediate races of men exist and are propagated, and that no impediment whatever exists to the perpetuation of mankind when the most dissimilar varieties are blended together. We hence derive a conclusive proof—unless there be, in the instance of human races, an exception to the universally prevalent law of organized nature—that all the tribes of men are of one family.

“Perhaps the solution of the problem which we have undertaken to discuss might be left on this issue, or considered as obtained by this argument. But further light may be thrown on the subject, by a careful analysis of the facts which can be collected relative to the nature and origination of varieties; and it may be satisfactory to my readers to survey this field of enquiry.”

Granting, then, the truth of the limitation of species to be established, and taking as the definition of species the power of continual propagation, we have it proved at the commencement of the work, that “all human races are of one species;” the only question which remains is, whether, admitting them to be of one species, the deduction that they have a common origin is necessary; or, if not necessary, whether it is proved in the course of the author’s work. It does not appear to us a necessary conclusion; for there appears no reason à priori why the Creator should not as well form separately an indefinite number of creatures of the same species as a single pair. This point is not adverted to in the work before us; and whenever identity of origin is assumed, it is upon the same grounds from which identity of species is deduced. In fact, they are generally coupled; thus, at page 487, we have the expression—

“If now it should appear, on enquiry, that one common mind, or psychical nature, belongs to the whole human family, a very strong argument would thence arise, on the ground of analogy, for their community of species and origin.”

And in the last page we have—

“We are entitled to draw confidently the conclusion, that all human races are of one species and one family.”

The great point as to identity of species being proved, it would be certainly more simple, and more in unison with the economy of nature, to suppose that all were descended from one pair, than that numerous identical members of a common species were simultaneously created. On the other hand, a physiological difficulty occurs, in viewing a race as descended from a single pair, from the fact universally recognised in the later periods of history, viz. the degeneration, and, in the end, destruction or indefinite deterioration of both physical and mental faculties, by continual intermarriage. The houses of Braganza and Hapsburg are notorious instances of this; and, as far as we are aware, there are no counter instances.

A gentler scion to the wildest stock,
And make conceive a bark of baser kind
By bud of nobler race; this is an art
Which does mend nature, change it rather, but
The art itself is nature.”

The matter is incapable of absolute proof—we mean inductive proof; for it is in this point that the work before us regards it. Any arguments, such as similarity of habits, of languages, of opinions, which may be used to deduce community of origin, would be equally explained by community of species; for, supposing that different individuals of the same species were simultaneously created, the same physical formation would necessarily engender   similar habits, and the power of intermarriage would induce a similarity of language, long before any period to which our histories go back. Taking, then, as a fair assumption, that, if identical in species, mankind have a common origin, we get in the outset of the book the conclusion stated at the end, viz. that all human races are of one species and one family. The great body of the work is, therefore, only accessory and corroborative; and its value would consist not so much in proving the affirmative of the author’s thesis, as in placing in a prominent point of view the principal facts known respecting the natural history of man.

It may be thought that, in the existing state of man, few marks remain from which his early history may be deduced; but those unacquainted with the progress of inductive research, would be astonished at the magnitude and importance of results derivable from an apparently simple and worthless object. An unthinking wanderer, stumbling upon an ancient tombstone, if reproached with inattention, would ask what is to be learned from such a relic. A word of inscription would give a clue to the language, and, coupled with other observations, to the date of the monument; the character of the stone, whether roughly hewn or elaborately carved, would give evidence as to the tools used in its formation, and consequently furnish a key to the manufacturing and metallurgic knowledge of the fabricators. The stone itself might possibly not be similar to those in the immediate vicinity, and thence would indicate that travelling and the power of transfer were practised, and the skeleton within would indicate the physical formation of the men of that day. We have selected here a case of an ordinary grave, but how much stronger would the case be were we to take a sarcophagus of Egypt, enclosing a mummy? The inscription, the fabric of the cere-cloth, the chemical substances with which it is impregnated, as well as those by which the body is preserved, and the relics commonly deposited with it, would lead, by careful investigation, to a tolerably accurate knowledge of the character and habits of the time; and where many relics of different descriptions, collected from different parts, are skilfully compared, a body of evidence is arrived at, minutely circumstantial in its details, and the veracity of which admits of no dispute. As the researches of comparative anatomists have enabled us, from the examination of a single bone, to pronounce with certainty upon the general conformation and habits of the animal to which it belonged; and as, in many cases, from the existence of such animals, we may go on, step by step, to the nature of the earth’s surface at the period when they lived: so the meanest relic of art will serve the natural historian of man as a fulcrum by which he may turn up a mass of genuine information; with which, as with all knowledge, as its store increases, the power of applying it becomes more facile; until at length it scarcely becomes an exaggeration to say, that every material relic bears in itself its own natural history, and, if artificially modified, the history of its fabricators—what the germ is to futurity the relic is to the past.

From the data which Dr Prichard has given us, in a somewhat scattered form, we shall endeavour to collect and group the most interesting of his facts and opinions. In order to ascertain what modifications of physical structure, variation of climate, food, and habits, may effect upon mankind, it is necessary, first, to review the effects produced by such variation upon domesticated animals. It is indeed questionable whether we can in any case, with certainty, trace these to their native wilds; but, in many cases, we have instances of their return to a savage state, as with the wild horses, goats, oxen, &c.; and although it does not necessarily follow that their conformation, induced by such return, is identical with their original structure, yet there is a reasonable probability that such is the case, and we must take these cases for want of better. How far, then, has the outward form been altered by the changes induced by domestication; how far are instincts acquired by such changes capable of hereditary transmission, and is there any, and what, connexion between the changed instincts and the changed structure? These questions, involving   among other things the infant and difficult science of phrenology, Dr Prichard has left very much to conjecture. Whether he considers the data too imperfect, or is afraid of trusting himself with any decided expression of opinion on a subject which has been so obscured by charlatanry, and which is open to so much misapprehension, does not appear; but it certainly is an apparently striking defect, that where a large portion of the work is devoted to the explanation of the different forms of the cranium in the inferior animals and in man, and to which the largest portion of his pictorial illustrations apply, he should give us so little insight into his opinions as to what extent phrenology is fairly entitled to credibility. His having taken so much pains in collecting facts and drawings on this point, necessarily leads to the inference that he attaches much value to the craniological distinctions. We shall take an opportunity presently of recurring to this subject. We will now take some of the most interesting instances, given by Dr Prichard, of structural changes and hereditary instincts, acquired by domesticated animals, and again lost by them on returning to a wild state:—

“Swine transported from Europe to America, since the discovery of the western continent by the Spaniards in the fourteenth century, and wandering at large in the vast forests of the New World, and feeding on wild fruits, have resumed the manner of existence which belonged to the original stock. Their appearance nearly resembles that of the wild boar. Their ears have become erect; their heads are larger, and the foreheads vaulted at the upper part; their colour has lost the variety found in the domestic breeds. The wild hogs of the American forests are uniformly black. The hog which inhabits the high mountains of Paramos bears a striking resemblance to the wild boar of France. His skin is covered with a thick fur, often somewhat crisp, beneath which is found, in some individuals, a species of wool. From excessive cold and defect of nourishment, the hog of that region is of small and stunted figure. In some warm parts of America, the swine are not uniformly black, as above described, but red, like the young pecari. At Melgara and other places, there are some which are not entirely black, but have a white band under the belly reaching up to the back; they are termed cinchados. The restoration of the original character of the wild boar in a race descended from domesticated swine, removes all reason for doubt, if any had really existed, as to the identity of the stock; and we may safely proceed to compare the physical characters of these races, as varieties which have arisen in one species. The restoration of one uniform black colour, and the change of thin sparse hair and bristles for a thick fur with a covering of wool, are facts that must be noticed in the observations of M. Roulin. The difference in the shape of the head between the wild and domestic hog of America, is very remarkable. Blumenbach long ago pointed out the great difference between the cranium of our swine and that of the primitive wild boar. He remarked that this difference is quite equal to that which has been observed between the skull of the Negro and the European. ‘Those persons,’ he says, ‘who have no opportunity of verifying the fact, have only need to cast their eyes on the figure which Daubenton has given of both the former. I shall pass over,’ he adds, ‘the lesser varieties of breeds which may be found among swine, as among men, and only mention that I have been assured by M. Sobzer, that the peculiarity of having the bone of the leg remarkably long, which in the human kind is observed among the Hindoos, has been remarked with regard to swine in Normandy. They stand very long on their hind legs; their back, therefore, is highest at the rump, forming a kind of inclined plane; and the head proceeds in the same direction, so that the snout is not far from the ground.’

“‘Swine,’ continues Blumenbach, ‘in some countries have degenerated into races which, in singularity, far exceed every thing that has been found strange in bodily variety among the human race. Swine with solid hoofs were known to the ancients, and large breeds of them are found in Hungary and Sweden. In like manner, the European swine first carried by the Spaniards in 1509 to the island of Cubagua, at that time celebrated for its pearl fishery, degenerated into a monstrous race, with toes which were half a span in length.’ There are breeds of solid-hoofed swine in some parts of England. The hoof of the swine is also found divided into five clefts.

“Buffon had before remarked the   varieties of the hog tribe. ‘In Guinea,’ he observes, ‘this species has acquired very long ears, couched upon the back; in China, a large pendant belly, and very short legs; at Cape Verde and other places, very large tusks, crooked like the horns of oxen; in domestication, half pendant and white ears.’”

* * *

“A very remarkable fact relative to the oxen of South America is recorded by M. Roulin, to which M. Geoffrey St Hilaire has particularly adverted, in the report made by him on M. Roulin’s Memoir, before the Royal Academy of Sciences.

“In Europe, the milking of cows is continued through the whole period, from the time when they begin to bear calves till they cease to breed. This secretion of milk has become a constant function in the animal economy of the tribe; it has been rendered such by the practice, continued through long series of generations, of continuing to draw milk long after the period when it would be wanted for the calf; the teats of the cow are larger than in proportion, and the secretion is perpetual. In Columbia, the practice of milking cows was laid aside, owing to the great extent of farms and other circumstances. ‘In a few generations,’ says M. Roulin, ‘the natural structure of parts, and withal, the natural state of the function, has been restored. The secretion of milk in the cow of this country is only an occasional phenomenon, and contemporary with the actual presence of the calf. If the calf dies, the milk ceases to flow, and it is only by keeping him with his dam by day, that an opportunity of obtaining milk from cows by night can be found.’ This testimony is important, by the proof which it affords that the permanent production of milk in the European breeds of cows is a modified function of the animal economy, produced by an artificial habit continued through several generations. Two other very important observations made by M. Roulin in South America, were pointed out by M. Geoffrey St Hilaire in his report to the Academy of Sciences. They refer to the fact of the hereditary transmission of habits originally impressed with care and art upon the ancestors. Of this fact I shall adduce other examples in the sequel; at present I only advert to M. Roulin’s observations. The horses bred in the grazing farms on the table-land of the Cordillera, are carefully taught a peculiar pace, which is a sort of running amble. This is not their natural mode of progression, but they are inured to it very early, and the greatest pains are taken to prevent them from moving in any other gait. In this way the acquired habit becomes a second nature. It happens occasionally that such horses, becoming lame, are no longer fit for use; it is then customary to let them loose, if they happen to be well-grown stallions, into the pasture grounds. It is constantly observed that these horses become the sires of a race to which the ambling pace is natural, and requires no teaching. The fact is so well known, that such colts have received a particular name; they are termed ‘aguilillas.’

“The second fact is, the developement of a new instinct, which, as M. Roulin declares, seems to become hereditary in the breed of dogs found among the borderers on the river Madeleine, which are employed in hunting the pecari. I shall cite the author’s own words:—‘L’addresse du chien consiste à modérer son ardeur à ne s’attacher à aucun animal en particulier, mais à tenir toute la troupe en échec. Or, parmi ces chiens, on en volt maintenant qui, la première fois qu’on les amène au bois, savent dejà comment attaquer; un chien d’une autre espèce se lance tout d’abord, est environné, et quelle que soit sa force, il est dévoré dans un instant.’”

To these cases we may add a case familiar to the sportsmen of this country, and one of which we have ourselves seen an unquestionable instance, viz. the acquired habit of the setting-dog in arresting his steps, and crouching, when in pursuit of game; the origin of which was probably a pause in his career, in order the better to ascertain the position of the game of which he was in quest; but this, by constant teaching, has become hereditary to such an extent, that occasionally a dog of pure breed will, the first time he is taken out, as soon as he gets on the scent of game, crouch or place himself in a setting attitude, and remain perfectly immobile until forced to proceed; nay further—as it is necessary that the sportsman teach the dogs who are in the same field with that one who discovers the game, as soon as they see the latter setting to arrest their steps likewise; or, as it is termed, to back,   in order not to disturb the game—in the instance which came under our notice, a dog of eight or nine months old, which had never been out of a town, when taken into the fields for the first time with an old well-trained dog, as soon as the latter had discovered game, and pointed to it, instantly backed him—i.e. remained stiffly standing in the position in which he was when he first caught sight of the older dog: probably many sportsmen could be found who would vouch to similar facts.

We may here state that we quite agree with Dr Prichard, as to the absence of any foundation for the general belief, that all the acts of inferior animals are performed without their consciousness or view to any object or end; on the contrary, there is every probability that they, in carrying into effect their several instincts, seem to themselves to act from similar internal impulses of will and intention, as human beings do.

We need not enter into the vast number of varieties which the most domestic of all domesticated animals, the dog, exhibits; we shall only remark, that, in all their varieties, Dr Prichard says,—

“Restored to a state of comparative wildness, which approaches to their unreclaimed and primitive condition, the tribes of dogs every where make a corresponding approximation to the type which may be supposed to have belonged to the species in its original state.”

But this passage is enigmatical, as the original type seems to be involved in dense obscurity. Buffon considered the shepherd dog to be the least modified by domestication—very erroneously, according to Dr Prichard; it is still a vexata questio, whether the original progenitor of the dog be a wolf, a jackal, a fox, or an unknown animal differing from all these.

“The sheep is one of the most anciently domesticated animals, and it is one in which great varieties display themselves. It has been long believed, and this appears to have been the opinion of Baron Cuvier, that all the breeds of tamed sheep are descended either from the argali of Siberia, or from the moufloun or musmon of Barbary. This is at present doubted by most naturalists. There seems, however, to be no reason for believing that the domestic breeds belong to more than one species, though they differ much in different countries. In Europe, the breeds of sheep vary much in stature, in the texture of their wool, the number and shape of their horns, which are in some large, in some small, in others wanting to the female, or altogether absent from the breed. The most important varieties in Europe are the Spanish breeds, some with fine, others with crisp wool, in which the rams have long spiral horns; the English breeds, which differ greatly in size and in the quality of the wool; and, in the southern parts of Russia, the long-tailed breed. The breeds of sheep in India and in Africa are remarkable for the length of their legs, a very convex forehead, and pendant ears; these also have long tails. Their covering is not wool, but a smooth hair. In the northern parts of Europe and Asia the sheep have short tails. The breeds spread through Persia, Tartary, and China, have their tails transformed into a double spherical mass of fat. The sheep of Syria and Barbary, on the other hand, have long tails, but likewise loaded with a mass of fat. In both of these varieties of the sheep the ears are pendant, the horns of the rams large, and those of the ewes and lambs of moderate size, and the body is covered with wool, mixed more or less with hair.

“New breeds of sheep are frequently formed in different countries in which particular qualities predominate, according to the preference of the breeders. This is done, partly by crossing or intermixing races already constituted and well known; but in great part also by selecting individuals from the stock in which the particular qualities are more strongly marked than in the generality of the same breed. In these instances, the natural or congenital variety which the individual animal displays, perhaps for the first time, becomes perpetuated by the hereditary transmission of such characters, which is a law of the animal economy. A striking instance of this fact is to be found in the origination of a new breed of sheep in the state of Massachusetts, which has been noticed by many writers in connexion with this subject. In the year 1791, one ewe on the farm of Seth Wright gave birth to a male lamb, which, without any known cause, had a longer body and shorter   legs than the rest of the breed. The joints are said to have been longer, and the fore-legs crooked. The shape of this animal rendering it unable to leap over fences, it was determined to propagate its peculiarities, and the experiment proved successful; a new race of sheep was produced, which, from the form of the body, has been termed the otter breed. It seems to be uniformly the fact, that when both parents are of the otter breed, the lambs that are produced inherit the peculiar form.”

We might extract other instances of physiological and psychological changes induced by domestication, but we think enough have been given to show the character and degree of such changes. The least important change, and that which appears the soonest affected, is the colour of the skin and hair. This is universally of an uniform tint in wild animals, and generally bears a close approximation to the colour of the land in which the animal lives: thus the ptarmigan, inhabiting snowy regions, is white; the grouse has the colour of heath; the hare that of dry fern or furze—a provision which has the effect of protecting the weaker tribes from the stronger and predatory ones. In domesticated animals, from causes apparently not as yet traced, the colour is variegated and various. Closely connected with the colour and nature of the skin, are the size and shape of the horns, their presence and absence. Great as is the apparent variety of appearance effected by horns, changes in these appear to be easily induced: they are connected with the epidermic structure, generally the most easily modified; and we need not cite instances to prove that different breeds of the same tribe, and occasionally different individuals of the same breed, differ materially as to horns. According to Azara, horned horses are sometimes seen in Paraguay.

Very little appears to be known, at least scarcely any intimation is given in the work before us, of the proximate or final cause of these changes. Great as they are, certainly, as far as we can judge, no nisus formativus can account for the enormous horns of the Spanish sheep; nor, looking to the final cause; does there appear any reason why domestic animals should need such overgrown instruments of defence. When, however, we come to the more important anatomical modifications, such as the length and shape of the legs, the bones of the pelvis or of the jaw, the object is more apparent. A greyhound, with the muzzle of a bull-dog, would be an obvious natural inconsistency.

We now pass to the physical distinctions of the different races of men. Here we may observe that a much greater importance is to be attached to comparatively slight variations. Considering the surprising external differences that exist in domesticated animals of the same species, the wonder rather is, that the different races of men differ physically so little as they do, than that they differ so much. Here we will take first, the least important shades of difference—the texture of the skin, hair, and complexion; and then pass on to the more prominent diversities of the bony fabric, cranium, &c.

“The texture of the body, in which all these varieties have their seat, is the extracorial or exodermal structure, constituting, if I may so speak, the outer coating of the body, external to the true skin, which corresponds to the cuticular and corneous excrescences of animals—a structure which includes horns, hoofs, hair, feathers, and all similar appendages in different orders of animals. This structure displays infinite diversities in colour, constitution, and organization, and is the most variable tissue on the whole body. Many different opinions have, however, been lately maintained, and much research has been made, as to the nature and texture of the parts on which the variety of colour depends.”

The ancient anatomists, it appears, recognised only two parts of the skin—the true skin, and the outer cuticle or epidermis. Malpighi discovered a third layer interposed between these, consisting of a sort of network, thence called rete mucosum, and believed to be the seat of colour in the negro. Albinus showed this to be a continuous layer, and not a network. Cruikshank discovered four layers—three membranes, and the fourth a layer of colour. Flourens, at a more recent period, made the number of intermediate layers five, four of which he showed to the French Academy; one   of these, a mucous membrane underlying the pigment, is, according to this anatomist, a distinct organized body, existing only in men of dark colour, and entirely wanting in the white races, or else (which appears the more probable conjecture) maceration, and the ordinary process of examination, fail to detect it in the skin of white men. Lastly, the microscopical researches of Henle, Purkinje, and Schwann, go to prove that the outer integument does not consist of separate membranes, but is of a cellular structure, and that of these cells or “cytoblasts,” there are three distinct kinds. We will not further analyse the different opinions as to the texture of the skin and position of the colouring material; it certainly throws no inconsiderable degree of doubt over certain classes of scientific investigation, to find each subsequent research entirely altering, and in some cases overturning, the previously received views.

To the different characters of human complexion, Dr Prichard gives three distinctive terms—the melanous or brunette; the xanthous or blonde; and the leucous or albino; the melanous predominating in the southern countries, the xanthous in the northern. It is observable here, that although the natural divisions of territory with respect to complexion, (supposing climate to have the principal modifying effect upon complexion,) would be the equatorial and polar regions, or the zones of the earth which differ in latitude, yet, with some few exceptions, it is only on the northern side of the equator that the xanthous complexion prevails—the inhabitants of Australia and the South Sea Islands being very generally melanous. The distribution of land and water cannot well be conceived to have any influence upon climate which would account for such diversity; it is probably, therefore, a result of long-continued civilization, the covering the body with clothes, and being for the most part sheltered from the direct rays of the sun. The leucous complexion is an abnormal variety, and occurs occasionally in all countries. It proceeds from the absence of the dark colouring matter, or pigment; there appears in this case, however, no difference of anatomical structure, the pigment being sometimes subsequently developed in persons who have been born albinoes. The change from the xanthous to the melanous complexion, is a circumstance of constant occurrence; there are few children born, whose complexion does not darken as they grow up, in many cases undergoing a total change: the passage from dark to fair is rare, but it constantly occurs that xanthous, or even leucous children, are born of melanous parents. There is nothing, therefore, in the diversities of complexion which indicates specific diversity in different human races. Of the conformation of the bony fabric in the human race, the formation of the skull is the part of the greatest importance; we shall only therefore briefly notice, as to the other parts of the skeleton, that between the most uncultivated races of men, and those tribes of apes which most nearly approach man, there is a wide difference—the arms of the orang-outang reach to the ankle, and those of the chimpanzee below the knee; the pelvis, or central bony fabric, differ much from those of the human race.

With regard to the skull, the value of the distinctions in its form and structure depends upon their connexion with the size and organization of the brain—involving the question, whether this has any, and what, influence upon the powers and habits of the creature. Dr Prichard, as we have already stated, blinks the question of phrenology; though he makes some inferences which prove him to have a general belief in the connexion between mental power and physical formation; nay, further, in the appropriation of different portions of the brain to different faculties.

Few will, we believe, in the present day be disposed entirely to deny that, ceteris paribus, the external formation of the skull, or rather the shape of the brain as shown by the formation of the skull, is a general index of the mental power of the individual to whom it belongs. Look over a collection of busts, or portraits, of eminent men, and, with scarcely an exception, they will be found to have high and capacious foreheads; while uncivilized races, and born idiots, are   lamentably deficient in this respect. The difficulties of phrenology exist in its details, which by many have been carried out into degrees of subdivision certainly not warranted either by the anatomical structure of the brain, or by any empirical data as to the form of different crania, and the biography of the individuals to whom they have belonged. Where, in the existing state of our knowledge, the proper mean may be, it is perhaps difficult to say; but it would have been well, we think, had Dr Prichard given us a little more explicitly his opinions as to what extent phrenology (we use the word in its broadest sense) may be fairly relied on. As far as we can gather from the scattered passages in his book, he seems to take a rational view of it; but a little less caution would certainly have been more instructive to his readers, not only on the subject of phrenology, but on many of the connexions between physical structure and the habits to which such structure is adapted. This is a hiatus in Dr Prichard’s work, the filling up of which would add much interesting matter, and serve to weave together acts which at present are disjointed and isolated; giving the book a dry character, and preventing its arresting the attention of the reader. Throughout a larger portion of the work also, we have, in every third page or so, a minute description of the complexion, hair, &c., of different people; which, however valuable as matter of record, becomes tiresome and uninteresting as a continuous narrative, and would be much better thrown into a tabular form, as matter of reference only, if incapable of being so linked as to present a plausible theory.

The following passage is the most explicit we can find on the subject of the connexion between the physique and morale, and, at the same time, will serve to introduce the three varieties of skull which the author deems principally worth notice:—

“If any method of subdividing the human family into groups, is likely to be of any particular advantage in elucidating the natural history of the species, it must be one founded on some relation between the physical characteristics of different tribes and the leading circumstances of their external condition.

“We shall clearly perceive, in tracing the following outline of ethnography, that the varieties of colour refer themselves, in part, to climates, elevations of land, proximity to the sea-coast, or distance from it. It can hardly be doubted that these conditions have likewise an effect on the configuration of the human body. But there is, perhaps, some truth in the remark, though frequently made on little better foundation than conjecture, that the prevailing form or configuration of the body is more liable to be influenced by the habits of different races, and their manner of living, than by the simple agencies of climate. It would be an interesting discovery, could it be shown that there is any apparent connexion between the display of particular forms, or the leading physical characters of human races, and their habits of existence. If I may venture to point out any such relation, it would be by remarking, in a very general manner, and without pretending to make the observation as one which holds without many exceptions, that there are in mankind three principal varieties in the form of the head and other physical characters, which are most prevalent respectively in the savage or hunting tribes, in the nomadic or wandering pastoral races, and in the civilized and intellectually cultivated divisions of the human family. Among the rudest tribes of men, hunters and savage inhabitants of forests, dependent for their supply of food on the accidental produce of the soil or on the chase, among whom are the most degraded of the African nations and the Australian savages, a form of the head is prevalent which is most aptly distinguished by the term prognathous, indicating a prolongation or extension forward of the jaws; and with this characteristic other traits are connected which will be described in the following pages. A second shape of the head, very different from the last mentioned, belongs principally to the nomadic races, who wander with their herds and flocks over vast plains, and to the tribes who creep along the shores of the Icy Sea, and live partly by fishing, and in part on the flesh of their reindeers. These nations have broad and lozenge-formed faces, and what I have termed pyramidal skulls.

  “The Esquimaux, the Laplanders, Samoïedes, and Kamschatkans, belong to this department, as well as the Tartar nations—meaning the Mongolians, Tungusians, and nomadic races of Turks. In South Africa, the Hottentots, formerly a nomadic people, who wandered about with herds of cattle over the extensive plains of Kafirland, resembling in their manner of life the Tungusians and the Mongols, have also broadfaced, pyramidal skulls, and in many particulars of their organization resemble the Northern Asiatics. Other tribes in South Africa approximate to the same character, as do many of the native races of the New World.

“The most civilized races, those who live by agriculture and the arts of cultivated life, all the most intellectually improved nations of Europe and Asia, have a shape of the head which differs from both the forms above mentioned. The characteristic form of the skull among these nations may be termed oval or elliptical.

“We shall find hereafter that there are numerous instances of transition from one of these shapes of the head to another, and that these alterations have taken place in nations who have changed their manner of life.”

Blumenbach considered that the most important admeasurement of the skull was derivable from the shape and size of the oval, seen when the skull was viewed from above, looking vertically down upon it. Camper took as the basis of his theory of the gradations of different genera of mammalia, the angle formed by a line drawn from the aperture of the ear to the base of the nose, and a tangent to the forehead and jaw. Considering the increasing size of this angle to be the distinctive mark of intellectual superiority, he viewed a negro as an intermediate animal between an European and an ape. But Mr Owen has shown that the observations of Camper and others, being applied to immature animals, are not worthy of reliance; as the relations of all animals more closely approximate if they be examined in an infant, than in an adult state. The facial angle of the orang, which has been estimated at from 60° to 64°, he finds in the adult animal is only 30°—i. e. 40° short of the smallest facial angle in the human race! We should hence be led to suspect a proportionate difference between the infant and adult mind; but the psychological development of infants is a subject which has been strangely neglected by philosophers. A clever Italian authoress who has written an anonymous work upon education, gives as the reason for the dearth of writing on this subject, that philosophers are not mothers, and that mothers are not philosophers. Be this as it may, few theorems appear to us more promising of interest. The struggle of internal force with external resistance, the feelings manifested in the acquisition of new powers, the impressions made by objects seen for the first time, and first questions asked, form grounds for induction as to the psychology of man, which, thanks to the chartered tyranny of nursery-maids over philosophers, have been grossly neglected.

After going through other points of physical difference in human races, with which, being for the most part matter of anatomical detail, we shall not trouble our readers, Dr Prichard concludes:—

“On surveying the facts which relate to difference in the shape of the body, and the proportions of parts in human races, we may conclude that none of these deviations amount to specific distinction. We may rest this conclusion on two arguments. First, that none of the differences in question exceed the limits of individual variety, or are greater than the diversities found within the circle of one nation or family. Secondly, the varieties of form in human races are by no means so considerable, in many points of view, as the instances of variation which are known to occur in different tribes of animals belonging to the same stock, there being scarcely one domesticated species which does not display much more considerable deviations from the typical character of the tribe.”

The only observation we shall make upon this is, that, as before stated, the test of identity of species being the power of continued reproduction, not the slightest evidence having been ever offered that all the various human races have not inter se this power, but the contrary having been proved in every case within human   experience, none of the deviations can amount to specific distinctions.

Having noticed the most remarkable physical distinctions of the human race, we come to its ethnographical divisions—divisions founded partly upon traditional and historical records, and partly upon the internal evidence of similarity of language. The following sketch of hypotheses, as to the original birthplaces of the αυτοχθονες γαιας, although visionary, and in all probability incorrect, forms such an interesting abstract of philosophical speculations and poetical myths, that we cannot refrain from quoting it:—

“The most popular, or generally received distribution of human races in the present day, is that which was recommended by the adoption of Baron Cuvier. It did not entirely originate with that great writer, but was set forth by him in a more decided and complete manner than it had been before his time. This system refers different races of men to certain lofty mountain-chains, as the local seats of their original existence.

“The birthplace, or the primitive station, of the race of men who peopled Europe and Western Asia, is supposed to have been Mount Caucasus. From this conjecture, Europeans and many Asiatic nations, and even some Africans, have received the new designation of Caucasians. The nations of Eastern Asia are imagined, in like manner, to originate in the neighbourhood of Mount Altaï, and they are named after the Mongolians, who inhabit the highest region in that vast chain of hills. The African negroes are derived from the southern face of the chain of Mount Atlas.

“They are, however, named simply the Ethiopian race, from the Ethiopians, who were the only black people known to the ancients in very remote times. A mixture of somewhat vague notions, partly connected with physical theories, and in part derived from history, or rather from mythology, has formed the groundwork of this scheme, which refers the origin of human races to high mountainous tracts. The tops of mountains first emerged above the surface of the primeval ocean, and, in the language of some philosophical theorists, first became the scene of the organizing life of nature. From different mountain tops, Wildenow, and other writers on the history of plants, derive the vegetable tribes; which they suppose to have descended from high places into the plains, and to have spread their colonies along the margins of mountain streams. High mountains thus came to be regarded as the birthplaces of living races.

“Geological theories give their part to render these notions popular; not only the late speculations of the Count de Buffon and the learned Bailly, but the opinions of ancient philosophers, who maintained, before the time of Justin and of Pliny, that the mountains of high Asia must have been the part of the world first inhabited by men, inasmuch as that region must have been first refrigerated in the gradual cooling of the surface of our planet, and first raised sufficiently above the level of the ocean. Moreover, the poetical traditions of the ancient world describe high mountains as the scenes of the first mythical adventures of gods and men—as the resting-places on which celestial or aërial beings alighted from their cloudy habitations, to take up their abode with men, and to become the patriarchs of the human race. Lofty mountains are the points in the geography of our globe on which the first dawn of historic light casts its early beams; hence the legends of the first ages begin their thread. In the cosmogony of the Hindoos, it was on the summit of the sacred mountain Maha-meru, which rises in the midst of the seven dwipas, or great peninsulas, like the stalk between the expanded petals of a lotus, that Brahma, the creator, sits enthroned on a pillar of gold and gems, adored by Rishis and Gandharbhas; while the regents of the four quarters of the universe hold their stations on the four faces of the mountain. Equally famed in the ancient mythology of Iran and of Zoroaster, is the sacred mountain Albordy, based upon the earth, but raising through all the spheres of heaven, to the region of supernal light, its lofty top, the seat of Ormuzd, whence the bridge Ishinevad conducts blessed spirits of pious men to Gorodman, the solid vault of heaven, the abode of Ferouers and Arnshaspands. Even the prosing disciples of Confucius had their sacred mountain of Kuen-lun, where, according to the legends of their forefathers, was the abode of the early patriarchs of their race. The Arabs and the Persian Moslemin   had their poetical Kaf. The lofty hills of Phrygia and of Hellas—Ida, Olympus, Pindus—were, as every one knows, famous in Grecian story. Caucasus came in for a share of the reverence paid to the high places of the earth. Caucasus, however, was not the cradle of the human race, but the dwelling-place of Prometheus, the maker of men, and the teacher of astronomy.”

Abandoning this somewhat dreamy view, Dr Prichard regards, consistently with the Scriptural account, the birthplace of man as being on the banks of fertilizing rivers, and at a period when the world was, by its vegetable and animal productions, prepared for his reception, and adopts three divisions as being those of which we have the earliest records; 1st, the Semitic or Syro-Arabian, inhabiting countries between Egypt and the Ganges. 2dly, the Japetic, Indo-European, or Arian, spreading from the mouths of the Ganges over the greater part of Europe. And 3dly, the Egyptian or Hamitish,B who peopled the banks of the Nile, and of whom the African negroes are probably a degenerate offshoot. With regard to the knowledge of letters possessed by these three nations, our author gives two inconsistent statements. He says:—

“The three celebrated nations whose history we have surveyed, appear alone to have possessed in the earliest times the use of letters, and by written monuments to have transmitted to the last ages memorials of their existence. It seems improbable that each of these nations should have become, by a separate process, possessed of this important art: yet those eminent scholars who have laboured with so great success of late in elucidating the Oriental forms of writing, have not succeeded in tracing any connexion between the alphabetic systems of Egypt, of the Phœnicians, the Assyrians, and the Hindoos.”

And states afterwards:—

“It is plain that the use of letters was entirely unknown to the Arian nations, to those tribes at least of the race who passed into Europe: and that it was introduced among them in long after ages by the Phœnicians, who claim this most important invention, and certainly have the merit of having communicated it to the nations of the west.”

The words “those tribes at least,” are scarcely sufficient to remove the inconsistency.

A fourth division comprehends those various barbarous nations of unknown origin which occupied the territories surrounding the Indo-European race, and were for the most part subdued and expelled by the latter—to this fourth division he applies the term Allophyllian.

This glotto-historical division does not exactly correspond with the physical division as deduced from the form of the skull. The three nations first above mentioned, or the inhabitants of the central regions, from which they at least are supposed, according to this view, to have emanated, have all the oval skull; though, when we pass to the nomadic people of high Asia, we get the pyramidal, and, passing from Egypt to Africa, we get a gradually increasing tendency to the prognathous form.

It would carry us far beyond the usual bounds of an article in this Magazine, were we to give even a condensed abstract of the descriptions, individual and collective, of each of these leading divisions and their various subdivisions. We will observe generally that the central portion of the work, which contains a detailed account of the divisions physical, ethical, and ethnical, of all the most marked varieties of the human race, accompanied with illustrative pictures and woodcuts, evinces the most elaborate research, and, as a work of reference, will be doubtless found of great value. We will, therefore, pass to the fifth great division of the human race, which is discussed in a later portion of the work, and which is not very distinctly connected with the other four—viz. the American. The Sioux tribes, however, who occupy   tracts of land on the Upper Mississippi, are supposed with great probability, from their physical character, language, and tradition, to be the descendants of a Tartar race, who have emigrated across the north-west straits of America.

“The aboriginal people of America are generally considered as a department of the human family very distinct from the inhabitants of the Old World. The insulated situation of the continent, and the fact that it was so long unknown, and the tribes which it contains so long cut off from intercourse with other nations, are among the circumstances which have contributed to produce this impression. The American nations, taken in the aggregate, are neither among themselves so uniform and unvaried in the physical and moral qualities, nor is the line of distinction between them and the rest of mankind so strongly marked and so obvious, as most persons imagine. Yet it must be admitted that certain characters are discoverable which are common, or nearly so, to the whole of this department of nations; that there are strong indications, if not proofs, of a community of origin, or of very ancient relationship among them; and that in surveying collectively the people of the New World, we contemplate human nature under a peculiar aspect. On comparing the American tribes together, we find reasons to believe that they must have subsisted as a separate department of nations from the earliest ages of the world. Hence, in attempting to trace relations between them and the rest of mankind, we cannot expect to discover proofs of their derivation from any particular tribe or nation in the Old Continent. The era of their existence, as a distinct and insulated race, must probably be dated as far back as that time which separated into nations the inhabitants of the Old World, and gave to each branch of the human family its primitive language and individuality.”

The points which are supposed to indicate this relationship of the American aborigines inter se, and their distinction from the inhabitants of our continents, are, 1st, the structure of their language, in which—

“Striking analogies of grammatical construction have been recognised, not only in the more perfect languages, as that of the Incas, the Aymara, the Guarani, the Mexican, and the Cora, but also in languages extremely rude. Idioms, the roots of which do not resemble each other more than the roots of the Sclavonian and Biscayan, have resemblances of internal mechanism similar to those which are found in the Sanscrit, the Persian, the Greek, and the German languages.”

And, 2dly, their moral and social state, indicating a people which has anciently possessed institutions of a highly civilized character, such as, according to Dr Martius—

“A complicated form of government, regulated despotisms or monarchies, privileged orders, hierarchical and sacerdotal ordinances, systematic laws, the results of reflection, and a settled purpose, connected with marriage and inheritance, and family relationships, and other customs, which are strongly contrasted with the simple and unreflective habits of rude and uncivilized nations.

“The languages of these nations abound, as he says, with words expressive of metaphysical views and abstract conceptions. Their opinion respecting a future state, the nature and attributes of invisible agents, are strikingly different from those of nations who have never emerged from primitive barbarism. Another fact which tends, as M. Martius observes, to confirm the opinion that natives of the New World have fallen from a state of greater refinement, is their use, from immemorial ages, of certain domesticated animals and cultivated plants, and the notions which they entertained of the first acquisition of these possessions. Of such animals and plants the people of the Old World have their peculiar stock, and the American nations have their own entirely different.

“In the Old World we know not whence our horses, our dogs, cattle, and the various kinds of cerealian gramina were obtained, and the American nations are equally at a loss, when we enquire for the original stock of the dumb dog of the Mexicans, the llama, the root of the mandioca, the American corn, and of the quinoa.

“In the ancient world there were traditions of some mythical benefactors of mankind. Ceres, Triptolemus, Bacchus, Pallas, and Poseidon, who had contributed their gifts, corn and wine, the sacred olive, and the horse, and we   infer that all these had been known from periods of remote antiquity.

“In America, likewise, tradition refers the knowledge of cultivated plants and domestic animals, and the art of tilling the earth, to some fabulous person who descended from the gods, or suddenly made his appearance among their ancestors, such as the Manco-Capac of the Peruvians, and the Xolotl and the Xiuhtlato of the Tollecas and Chicimecas.

“The remains of ancient sculpture and architecture spread over Mexico, Yucatan, and Chiapa, as well as over the high plain of Quito and other parts of South America, and the extensive works of art, consisting of fortifications and other relics, discovered in the Tenessi country, as well as in the inland parts of New Mexico on the Rio Gila, afford some further support to the hypothesis of M. Martius.

“The possession of arts and acquirements, the most simple improvements of human life, and such as belong to the very infancy of human society, distinctively appropriate, and the origin of which is recorded by mythical legends peculiar to each division of mankind, seems to carry back the era of their separation to the first ages of the world.”

With regard to the physical character of the Americans, it appears, according to Dr Martius, that the principal characteristic is the truncation, or flatness, of the occipital portion of the cranium; the forehead wide, but low, supposed upon rather insufficient data to be moulded to this shape by artificial means; and the nose arched. In the new as in the old continent, the diversities of physical character do not correspond with the ethnical divisions. The principal criterion of the latter adopted by Dr Prichard is the affinity of languages; and, when this is insufficient to found any probable opinions, conjectures derived from geographical or traditional evidence are called in aid. Upon these grounds the Americans are arranged and described by the author, into the details of which, for the same reason as before stated, we regret not being able to follow him.

Since, however, the first pages of this article were written, a discovery has been announced connected with the physiology of the American aborigenes, which, if subsequently verified, will be of much importance, both as to the anthropological classification of the Americans, and as to the natural history of man generally. In a letter addressed to the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, and republished in the Philosophical Magazine for July last, is an account of the researches of Dr Lund, who has been for some time engaged in geological investigation in Minas Geraes, a province of Brazil. While examining the caverns of calcareous rocks, he has found in one of them, mixed with the bones of extinct races of animals, human bones, having all the character of fossils; they are stated to be in part petrified, and in part penetrated with iron particles, which gave to them a metallic lustre resembling bronze; they were of extraordinary weight; the crania presented the narrow forehead, prominent zygomatic bones, the facial angle, the maxillary and orbital conformation of the American race. The depression of the forehead in many instances is said to amount to a total disappearance. With the bones was found a smooth stone, about ten inches in circumference, apparently intended to bruise seeds or hard substances. In other caverns were found human bones, but unaccompanied with those of other animals. These facts, if confirmed, will furnish us with most important evidence as to the past state of the Americans, and the ancient history and physiology of the human race; but the novelty of the results, and the recent date of the communication, induce us to abstain from hasty comment.

The general physiological comparison of human races, the similarity of periodic changes, and the average duration of life, are points upon which we can very briefly touch. Dr Prichard considers the different ages at which women are said to be marriageable in different climates to be very much exaggerated. He states his reasons, which do not appear to us to be very conclusive. The exceptional cases from the normal physiology would be more interesting, had we space for them, than the analogies, for which probably all our readers would be prepared. Thus, among the most curious national anomalies   are the Quichuas and Aymaras, who, from the constant habit of breathing an attenuated atmosphere, have their chests enormously expanded; the Mandans, who, without any apparent cause, have the hair grizzled or grey in youth. Among the instances of individual peculiarity, no one is more extraordinary than the horned man, whose entire person was covered with a rugged bark, or hide, having bristles here and there, which hide he was said to shed annually; and this peculiar form of monstrosity appears to have been capable of hereditary transmission, as he had six children with a similar covering. How he procured a wife to bear these children to him does not appear. The children were, it is to be presumed, not equally successful, as the breed of these human rhinoceri has become extinct. Some curious instances of longevity are collected. Of 15 negroes, the names and residences of whom are given, the average age is 135 years; from European nations, there are 1310 recorded instances of persons aged from 100 to 110, and 3 from 180 to 190. We do no more than briefly notice these exceptions, as we are anxious to devote our small remaining space to what will by many be considered the most interesting portions of the book, viz. the author’s psychological view of the different races of mankind, or the comparison of their different mental faculties.

“Though inhabiting, from immemorial times, regions in juxtaposition, and almost contiguous to each other, no two races of men can be more strongly contrasted than were the ancient Egyptian and Syro-Arabian races; one nation, full of energy, of restless activity, changing many times their manner of existence—sometimes nomadic, feeding their flocks in desert places—now settled, and cultivating the earth, and filling their land with populous villages, and towns, and fenced cities—then spreading themselves, impelled by the love of glory and zeal of proselytism, over distant countries; the other, reposing ever in luxurious ease and wealth on the rich soil, watered by their slimy river, never quitting it for a foreign clime or displaying, unless forced, the least change in their position or habits of life. The intellectual character, the metaphysical belief, and the religious sentiments and practices of the two nations were equally diverse; one adoring an invisible and eternal spirit, at whose almighty word the universe started into existence, and ‘the morning stars sang together, and the sons of God shouted for joy;’ the other adorning splendid temples with costly magnificence, in which, with mysterious and grotesque rites, they paid a strange and portentous worship to some foul and grovelling object—a snake, a tortoise, a crocodile, or an ape. The destiny of the two races has been equally different: both may be said still to exist; one in their living representatives, their ever-roving, energetic descendants; the other reposing in their own land—a vast sepulchre, where the successive generations of thirty centuries, all embalmed, men, women, and children, with their domestic animals, lie beneath their dry preserving soil, expecting vainly the summons to judgment—the fated time for which is to some of them long past—before the tribunal of Sarapis, or in the hall of Osymandyas.”

We are far from agreeing with this estimate of the ancient Egyptians. Their progress in mechanical arts, their hieroglyphical literature, and even their theology, with its mystic trine, marked them as a people far surpassing their contemporaries; and they were not the less great because their greatness is now extinct. The ArianC tribes, though unskilled in many of the most useful arts of life, yet had—

“National poetry, and a culture of language and thought, altogether surprising when compared with their external condition and habits. They had bards or scalds, vates, who were supposed, under divine impulse, to celebrate the history of ancient times, and connect them with revelations of the future, and with a refined and metaphysical system of dogmas, which were handed down from age to age, and from one tribe to another, as the primeval creed and possession of the enlightened race. Among them in the West, as   well as in the remote East, the doctrine of metempsychosis held a conspicuous place, implying belief in an after state of rewards and punishment, and a moral government of the world. With it was connected the notion that the material universe had undergone, and was destined to undergo, a repetition of catastrophes by fire and water; and after each destruction, to be renewed in fresh beauty, when a golden age was again to commence, destined in a fated time to corruption and decay. The emanation of all beings from the soul of the universe, and their refusion in it, which were tenets closely connected with this system of dogmas, border on a species of Pantheism, and are liable to all the difficulties attendant upon that doctrine.

“Among most of the Indo-European nations, the conservation of religious dogmas, patriarchal tradition, and national poetry, was confided, not to accidental reminiscences and popular recitations, but to a distinct order of persons, who were venerated as mediators between the invisible powers and their fellow mortals, as the depositories of sacred lore, and interpreters of the will of the gods, expressed of old to the first men, and handed down, either orally in divine poems, or preserved in a sacred literature, known only to the initiated. In most instances they were an hereditary caste, Druids, Brahmans, or Magi.

“Among the Allophylian nations, on the other hand a rude and sensual superstition prevailed, which ascribed life and mysterious powers to the inanimate objects. The religion of fetisses, of charms, and spells and talismans, was in the hands not of a learned caste, the twice-born sons of Brama, but of shamans or sorcerers, who, by feigning swoons and convulsions, by horrible cries and yells, by cutting themselves with knives, by whirling and contortions, assumed the appearance of something preternatural and portentous, and impressed the multitude with the belief that they were possessed by demons. Of this latter description were the wizards of the Finns and Lappes, the angekoks of the Esquimaux; and such are the shamans of all the countries in Northern Asia, where neither Buddhism nor Islamism has yet penetrated.”

Of the American nations, the prevailing opinion, according to Loskiel, is—

“‘That there is one God, or, as they call him, one Great and Good Spirit.’ It seems, from the testimony of this writer, which is supported by the evidence of all those who have conversed with the aboriginal nations of North America, that the conceptions of these nations respecting the Deity are much more complete and philosophical than those of the most savage people in the Old Continent. They suppose him literally to be the creator of heaven and earth, of men and all other creatures; they represent him as almighty, and able to do as much good as he pleases; ‘nor do they doubt that he is kindly disposed towards men, because he imparts power to plants to grow, causes rain and sunshine, and gives fish and venison to man for his support;’ these gifts, however, to the Indians exclusively. ‘They are convinced that God requires of them to do good, and to eschew evil.’ We may observe that, in these particulars, the Americans resemble the Northern Asiatics. We are assured by the late traveller, M. Erman, on the authority of the metropolitan Philophei, who lived among the Ostiaks on the Oby, that these people had, before Christian missionaries ever came among them, a belief in the existence of a Supreme Deity, of whose nature they had pure and exalted ideas, and to whom they affirmed that they never made offerings, nor had they represented his form; while to inferior gods, and particularly to Oertidk, who was a sort of mediator, and whose name, as it was preserved among the Magyars, Oerdig, was used by the monks as a designator for the devil, they made divers gifts; they performed before his image dances, which Erman, who visited the Kolushians on the Sitcka, declares to be precisely similar to the war-dances of those Americans. Some of the American people make images of the Manittos.

“Besides the Supreme Deity, the American nations believe in a number of inferior spirits, whom the Delaware Indians term Manittos; they are both good and evil. ‘From the accounts of the oldest Indians,’ says Loskiel, ‘it appears that when war was in contemplation, they used to admonish each other to hearken to the good, and not to evil spirits—the former always recommending peace.’ They had formerly no notion of a devil, or evil being, in the Christian or Eastern sense of the term, but readily adopted, according to Loskiel, such a belief from the white people. They have among them preachers, who   pretend to have received revelations, and who dispute and teach different opinions. Some pretend to have travelled near to the dwelling of God, or near enough to hear the cocks crow, and see the smoke of the chimneys in heaven; others declare that no one ever knew the dwelling-place of God, but that the abode of the Good Spirit is above the blue sky, and that the road to it is the milky way—a notion, by the way, which Beausobre and others have traced in the remains of the Manicheans, and other Eastern philosophers. The Americans believe in the existence of souls distinct from bodies, and many of them in the transmigration of souls. According to Loskiel, they declare, ‘that Indians cannot die eternally; for even Indian corn is vivified, and rises again.’ The general opinion among them is, that the souls of the good alone go to a place abounding in all earthly pleasures, while the wicked wander about dejected and melancholy. Like other nations, they had sacrifices. ‘Sacrifices,’ says Loskiel, ‘made with a view to pacify God and the subordinate deities, are of a very ancient date among them, and considered in so sacred a light, that unless they are performed in a time and manner acceptable, illness, misfortune, and death would befall them and their families.’ They offer on these occasions hares, bear’s flesh, and Indian corn. Many nations have, besides other stated times of sacrifice, one principal festival in two years, when they sacrifice an animal, and make a point of eating the whole.

“A small quantity of melted fat is poured by the oldest men into the fire, and in this the main part of the offering consists. The offerings are made to Manittos. The Manittos are precisely the Fetisses of the African nations, and of the Northern Asiatics. They are tutelary beings, often in visible forms. Every Indian has a guardian Manitto; one has the sun for his Manitto; one the moon; one has a dream, that he must make his Manitto an owl; one a buffalo. The Delawares had five festivals in the year, one in honour of fire, supposed to have been the parent of all the Indian nations. Like other nations, these people believed in the necessity of purification from guilt, by fasting and bodily mortification. Some underwent for this end the pain of being beaten with sticks from the sole of their feet to their head. ‘Some gave the poor people vomits as the most expeditious mode.’

“Like the Northern Asiatics, the American nations had, instead of a regular priesthood, jugglers or sorcerers, who pretended to have supernatural power and knowledge. They appear to conform in every respect to the schamans of the Siberians, and the Fetiss-seers of the African nations.”

We have, in the above extracts, placed in juxtaposition the leading psychical characteristics of the five divisions of mankind. There are some points in which the different races of man seem, in their various superstitions and creeds, curiously agreed. The doctrine of sacrificial atonement seems almost universally prevalent, and forms the basis of the various sacerdotal institutions. The care of the dead is also another peculiarity, and one in which mankind appear, from the earliest historical period, to have differed from other animals.

The susceptibility to receive the doctrines of Christianity is a circumstance of agreement among the various races of mankind, from which the Bushmen of South Africa are the only exception; and, viewing these as a branch of the Hottentots, this exception would seem to disappear—for the latter have been converted. The following is the satisfactory account of the Hottentot missionaries as to the moral effect of Christianity:—

“It is the unvarying statement of these missionaries, deduced from the experience of a hundred years of patient service and laborious exertions among the rudest and most abject tribes of human beings; that the moral nature of man must be in the first instance quickened, the conscience awakened, and the better feelings of the heart aroused, by the motives which Christianity brings with it, before any improvement can be hoped for in the outward behaviour and social state; that the rudest savages have sufficient understanding to be susceptible of such a change; and that, when it has once taken place, all the blessings of civilization follow as a necessary result.”

The gypsy tribe, of which Dr Prichard takes no notice, would seem to form an exception from the great mass of mankind as to the absence of religious   creed. The opinions and theories respecting it we must leave, as it forms of itself a wide field for discussion; and, having fully occupied the space allotted to us, we must here bring to a close our sketch of a work which, notwithstanding the somewhat unreadable character of the central portion, has supplied to the public a valuable collection of recorded facts, expressed for the most part in clear, untechnical language. We have not entered into questions of contrast or similitude with the opinions of other authors. Had we done so, we must have adopted a style of criticism interesting only to those who are specially engaged in the subject, and so incapable of limitation that every paragraph would serve for an article longer far than that which we have here written. Dr Prichard appears nowise unwilling to refer to each author his due share of merit, and is by no means sparing of copious extracts, taken with no partial view of supporting a theory. At the risk of being considered only a compiler, he has, at all events, avoided any affectation of originality.

With regard to the proposition sought to be established by the author, the book before us does not appear to be conclusive. The question as to the community of origin of mankind, viewed purely as an inductive one, appears still involved in obscurity. On the one hand, the fact of continual degeneration, resulting from the intermarriage of members of the same family, would require for its explanation either a miraculous interference in the first periods of human existence, or a gradual change in the constitution of man, whereby what once was harmless has become injurious, when the necessity for it is removed; moreover, according to the evidence contained in this book, the races of mankind cannot be traced backward to a single pair. But, taking the three great divisions, the Semitic, the Hamitish, and the Japetic, as derived from Shem, Ham, and Japhet, the various Allophyllian and American aborigines would appear to have existed, and to have been spread over the world before the above nations overran it. On the other hand, supposing that the mere power of reproduction be not of itself sufficient evidence of identity of species, the similarity of physical formation, of periodic changes, and of psychical instincts, are strongly corroborative of this evidence, and would of themselves lead to the deduction of such identity. Upon the whole, we consider the merits of the work before us to consist, not in the demonstration of a theorem, but in presenting to the reader a compendious record of physical, historical, and psychological facts and relations. Viewed in this light, it is an interesting contribution to ethnology; while the size of the book, the pictorial illustrations, and the absence of unnecessary technicality, make it a convenient manual for the general reader.

A The Natural History of Man. By J. C. Prichard, M.D.

B The term Hamitish is not used by Dr Prichard; but as he gives no distinctive appellation to his third division, we adopt that which has been used by Beke and others.

C The term Arian, used by Dr Prichard, is objectionable as having received a very different application.


This is certainly an age of very merciful tendencies. The severity of the criminal laws has been greatly abated; and, in conformity with the views of the legislature, we have, of late years, been gradually relaxing the stringency of our critical code. Yet we question whether the change has been productive of good, and whether the result can be said to have answered the expectations either of government or of ourselves. We doubt whether crime has diminished in consequence of the legislative clemency; and, in our own humble department, we are now convinced that the mild method is not the best way of bringing singers to repentance. The experiment has been fairly tried, and the numerous trashy publications put forth by the young writers of the day, particularly in the poetical line, convince us that our mercy has been misplaced; and that a little well-timed severity, and a few examples held up in terrorem, might have greatly benefited the literary wellbeing of England. The “spirit of the age” might have been different from what it is, if the just sentence of the law had been more frequently carried into effect. Our timely strictures might not have kindled into song any masculine intellect, but they might have prevented the temple of the Muses from being desecrated. They might have prevented the appearance of such a publication as this. In the days of the knout, we believe that no such volume as Mr Coventry Patmore’s could have ventured to crawl out of manuscript into print. While we admit, then, that we have to blame our own forbearance in some degree for its appearance, we think it our duty to take this opportunity of amending our code of criticism, and shall try the volume simply as it stands, and somewhat according to the good old principles of literary jurisprudence.

We are further instigated to this act of duty by the laudatory terms in which the volume has been hailed by certain contemporary journalists. Had Mr Patmore’s injudicious friends not thought proper to announce him to the world as the brightest rising star in the poetical firmament of Young England, we would probably have allowed his effusions to die of their own utter insignificance. But since they have acted as they have done, we too must be permitted to express our opinion of their merits; and our deliberate judgment is, that the weakest inanity ever perpetrated in rhyme by the vilest poetaster of any former generation, becomes masculine verse when contrasted with the nauseous pulings of Mr Patmore’s muse. Indeed, we question whether the strains of any poetaster can be considered vile, when brought into comparison with this gentleman’s verses. His silly and conceited rhapsodies rather make us sigh for the good old times when all poetry, below the very highest, was made up of artifice and conventionalism; when all poets, except the very greatest, spoke a hereditary dialect of their own, which nobody else interfered with—counted on their fingers every line they penned, and knew no inspiration except that which they imbibed from Byssh’s rhyming dictionary. True that there was then no life or spirit in the poetical vocabulary—true that there was no nature in the delineations of our minor poets; but better far was such language than the slip-slop vulgarities of the present rhymester—better far that there should be no nature in poetry, than such nature as Mr Patmore has exhibited for the entertainment of his readers.

The first poem in the volume, entitled “The River,” is a tale of disappointed love, terminating in the suicide of the lover. Poor and pointless as this performance is, it is by far the best in the book. As Mr Patmore advances, there is a marked increase of silliness and affectation in his effusions, which shows how sedulously he has cultivated the art of sinking in poetry; and that the same adage which   has been applied to vice, may be applied also to folly, “Nemo repente fuit stultissimus.” Never was there a richer offering laid on the shrine of the goddess Stultia than the tale of Sir Hubert, with which the volume concludes. But our business at present is with “The River.”

The common practice of writers who deal with stories of love, whose “course never did run smooth,” is to make their heroes commit suicide, on finding that the ladies whom they had wooed in vain were married to other people. But in the poem before us, Mr Patmore improves upon this method; he drowns his lover, Witchaire, because the lady, whom he had never wooed at all, does not marry him, but gives her hand (why should she not?) to the man who sues for it. Did Witchaire expect that the lady was to propose to him? The poem opens with some very babyish verses descriptive of an “old manor hall”:—

“Its huge fantastic weather-vanes
Look happy in the light;
Its warm face through the foliage gleams,
A comfortable sight.”

And so on, until we are introduced to the lady of the establishment:—

“That lady loves the pale Witchaire,
Who loves too much to sue:
He came this morning hurriedly,
Then out her young blood flew;
But he talk’d of common things, and so
Her eyes are steep’d in dew.”

The lady, finding that her lover continues to hang back, dries her tears, and very properly gets married to another man. During the celebration of the ceremony, the poet recurs to his hero, who has taken up his position in the park—

“Leaning against an aged tree,
By thunder stricken bare.
“The moonshine shineth in his eye,
From which no tear doth fall,
Full of vacuity as death,
Its slaty parched ball
Fixedly, though expressionless,
Gleams on the distant hall.”

Witchaire then goes and drowns himself, in a river which “runneth round” the lady’s property—a dreadful warning to all young lovers “who love too much to sue.”

On a fine day in the following summer, the poet brings the lady to the banks of this river. His evident intention is, to raise in the reader’s mind the expectation that she shall discover her lover’s body, or some other circumstance indicative of the fatal catastrophe. This expectation, however, he disappoints. The only remarkable occurrence which takes place is, that the lady does not find the corpse, nor does any evidence transpire which can lead her to suppose that the suicide had ever been committed; and with this senseless and inconclusive conclusion the reader is befooled.

The only incident which we ever heard of, at all rivaling this story in an abortive ending, is one which we once heard related at a party, where the conversation turned on the singular manner in which valuable articles thrown into the sea had been sometimes recovered, and restored to their owners—the ring of Polycrates, which was found in the maw of a fish after having been sunk in deep waters, being, as the reader knows, the first and most remarkable instance of such recoveries. After the rest of the company had exhausted their marvellous relations, the following tale was told as the climax of all such wonderful narratives; and it was admitted on all hands that the force of surprise could no further go. We shall endeavour to versify it, à la Patmore, conceiving that its issue is very similar to that of his story of “The River.”

The Ring and the Fish.

A lady and her lover once
Were walking on a rocky beach:
Soft at first, and gentle, was
The music of their mutual speech,
And the looks were gentle, too,
With which each regarded each.
At length some casual word occurr’d
Which somewhat moved the lady’s bile;
From less to more her anger wax’d—
How sheepish look’d her swain the while!—
And now upon their faces twain
There is not seen a single smile.
A ring was on the lady’s hand,
The gift of that dumb-founder’d lover—
  In scorn she pluck’d it from her hand,
And flung it far the waters over—
Far beyond the power of any
Duck or drag-net to recover.
Remorse then smote the lady’s heart
When she had thrown her ring away;
She paceth o’er the rocky beach,
And resteth neither night nor day;
But still the burthen of her song
Is, “Oh, my ring! my ring!” alway.
Her lover now essays to soothe
The dark compunctious visitings,
That assail the lady’s breast
With a thousand thousand stings,
For that she had thrown away
This, the paragon of rings.
But all in vain; at length one day
A fisher chanced to draw his net
Across the sullen spot that held
The gem that made the lady fret,
And caught about the finest cod
That ever he had captured yet.
He had a basket on his back,
And he placed his booty in it;
The lady’s lover bought the fish,
And, when the cook began to skin it,
She found—incredible surprise!—
She found the ring—was not within it.

The next tale, called “The Woodman’s Daughter,” is a story of seduction, madness, and child-murder. These are powerful materials to work with; yet it is not every man’s hand that they will suit. In the hands of common-place, they are simply revolting. In the hands of folly and affectation, their repulsiveness is aggravated by the simpering conceits which usurp the place of the strongest passions of our nature. He only is privileged to unveil these gloomy depths of erring humanity, who can subdue their repulsiveness by touches of ethereal feeling; and whose imagination, buoyant above the waves of passion, bears the heart of the reader into havens of calm beauty, even when following the most deplorable aberrations of a child of sin. Such a man is not Mr Patmore. He has no imagination at all—or, what is the same thing, an imagination which welters in impotence, far below the level of the emotions which it ought to overrule. The pitfalls of his tale of misery are covered over with thin sprinklings of asterisks—the poorest subterfuge of an impoverished imagination; and besotted indeed is the senselessness with which he disports himself around their margin. Maud, the victim, is the daughter of Gerald, the woodman; and Merton, the seducer, is the son of a rich squire in the neighbourhood. Maud used to accompany her father to his employment in the woods.

“She merely went to think she help’d;
And whilst he hack’d and saw’d,
The rich squire’s son, a young boy then,
For whole days, as if aw’d,
Stood by, and gazed alternately
At Gerald and at Maud.
“He sometimes, in a sullen tone,
Would offer fruits, and she
Always received his gifts with an air,
So unreserved and free,
That half-feign’d distance soon became
“Therefore in time, when Gerald shook
The woods at his employ,
The young heir and the cottage-girl
Would steal out to enjoy
The music of each other’s talk—
A simple girl and boy.
“They pass’d their time, both girl and boy,
Uncheck’d, unquestion’d; yet
They always hid their wanderings
By wood and rivulet,
Because they could not give themselves
A reason why they met.
—It may have been in the ancient time,
Before Love’s earliest ban,
Psychëan curiosity
Had broken Nature’s plan;
When all that was not youth was age,
And men knew less of Man;
“Or when the works of time shall reach
The goal to which they tend,
And knowledge, being perfect, shall
At last in wisdom end—
That wisdom to end knowledge—or
Some change comes, yet unkenn’d;
“It perhaps may be again, that men,
Like orange plants, will bear,
At once, the many fine effects
To which God made them heir—
Large souls, large forms, and love like that
Between this childish pair.
  “Two summers pass’d away, and then—
Though yet young Merton’s eyes,
Wide with their language, spake of youth’s
Habitual surprise
He felt that pleasures such as these
No longer could suffice.”

What the meaning of the three stanzas beginning with—

“It may have been in the ancient time,”

may be, we are utterly at a loss to conjecture. We seek in vain to invest them with a shadow of sense. Perhaps they are thrown in to redeem, by their profound unintelligibility, the shallow trifling of the rest of the poem. But it was not enough for young Merton that the girl accepted the fruits which he offered to her in a sullen tone. He had now reached the age so naturally and lucidly described as the period of life when the “eyes, wide with their language, speak of youth’s habitual surprise,” and he began to seek “new joys from books,” communicating the results of his studies to Maud, whose turn it now was to be surprised.

“So when to-morrow came, while Maud
Stood listening with surprise,
He told the tale learnt over night,
And, if he met her eyes,
Perhaps said how far the stars were, and
Talk’d on about the skies.”

The effect of these lucid revelations upon the mind of Maud was very overpowering.

“She wept for joy if the cushat sang
Its low song in the fir;
The cat, perhaps, broke the quiet with
Its regular slow purr;
’Twas music now, and her wheel gave forth
A rhythm in its whirr.
“She once had read, When lovers die,
And go where angels are,
Each pair of lover’s souls, perhaps,
Will make a double star;
So stars grew dearer, and she thought
They did not look so far.
“But being ignorant, and still
So young as to be prone
To think all very great delights
Peculiarly her own,
She guess’d not what to her made sweet
Books writ on lovers’ moan.”

And so the poem babbles on through several very sickly pages, in which the following descriptive stanza occurs:—

“The flat white river lapsed along,
Now a broad broken glare,
Now winding through the bosom’d lands,
Till lost in distance, where
The tall hills, sunning their chisell’d peaks,
Made emptier the empty air.”

During one of their ramblings, Maud becomes visibly embarrassed.

“But Merton’s thoughts were less confused:
‘What, I wrong ought so good?
Besides, the danger that is seen
Is easily withstood:’
Then loud, ‘The sun is very warm’—
And they walk’d into the wood.”

The wood consisting of a forest of as shady asterisks as the most fastidious lovers could desire.

“Months pass’d away, and every day
The lovers still were wont
To meet together, and their shame
At meeting had grown blunt;
For they were of an age when sin
Is only seen in front.”

The father, however, who was also of an age to see sin in front, suspects that his daughter is with child, and taxes her with it. Maud confesses her shame; upon which, as we are led to conjecture, old Gerald dies broken-hearted—while the girl is safely delivered under a cloud of asterisks. She is deterred from disclosing her situation to Merton, the father of the child—and why? for this very natural reason, forsooth, that

“He, if that were done,
Could hardly fail to know
The ruin he had caused, he might
Be brought to share her woe,
Making it doubly sharp.”

So, rather than occasion the slightest distress or inconvenience to her seducer, she magnanimously resolves to murder her baby; and accordingly the usual machinery of the poem is brought into play—the asterisks—which on former occasions answered the purpose of a forest and a cloud, being now converted into a very convenient pool, in which she quietly immerses the offspring of her illicit passion. And the deed being done, its appalling consequences   on her conscience are thus powerfully and naturally depicted—

Lo! in her eyes stands the great surprise
That comes with the first crime.
“She throws a glance of terror round—
There’s not a creature nigh;
But behold the sun that looketh through
The frowning western sky,
Is lifting up one broad beam, like
A lash of God’s own eye.”

Were we not right in saying that there is nothing in the writings of any former poetaster to equal the silly and conceited jargon of the present versifier? Having favoured us with the emphatic lines in italics, to depict the physical concomitants of Maud’s guilt, he again has recourse to asterisks, to veil the mental throes by which her mind is tortured into madness by remorse: and very wisely—for they lead us to suppose that the writer could have powerfully delineated these inner agitations, if he had chosen; but that he has abstained from doing so out of mercy to the feelings of his readers. We must, therefore, content ourselves with the following feebleness, with which the poem concludes:

“Maud, with her books, comes, day by day,
Fantastically clad,
To read them near the poor; and all
Who meet her, look so sad—
That even to herself it is
Quite plain that she is mad.”

“Lilian” is the next tale in the volume. This poem is an echo, both in sentiment and in versification of Mr Tennyson’s “Locksley Hall;” and a baser and more servile echo was never bleated forth from the throat of any of the imitative flock. There are many other indications in the volume which show that Mr Tennyson is the model which Mr Patmore has set up for his imitation; but “Lilian,” more particularly, is a complete counterpart in coarsest fustian of the silken splendours of Mr Tennyson’s poem. It is “Locksley Hall” stripped of all its beauty, and debased by a thousand vulgarities, both of sentiment and style. The burden of both poems consists of bitter denunciations poured forth by disappointed and deserted love; with this difference, that the passion which Mr Tennyson gives utterance to, Mr Patmore reverberates in rant. A small poet, indeed, could not have worked after a more unsafe model. For while he might hope to mimic the agitated passions of “Locksley Hall,” in vain could he expect to be visited by the serene imagination which, in that poem, steeps their violence in an atmosphere of beauty. Even with regard to Mr Tennyson’s poem, it is rather for the sake of its picturesque descriptions, than on account of its burning emotions, that we recur to it with pleasure. We rejoice to follow him to regions where

“Never comes the trader, never floats an European flag,
Slides the bird o’er lustrous woodland, droops the trailer from the crag.”

It is rather, we say, on account of such lines as these (no picture of tropical loveliness ever surpassed, in our opinion, the description printed in italics) that we admire “Locksley Hall,” than on account of the troubled passions which it embodies; knowing as we do, that poetry has nobler offices to perform than to fulmine forth fierce and sarcastic invectives against the head of a jilt; and if, as Mr Tennyson says, “love is love for evermore,” we would ask even him why he did not make the lover in “Locksley Hall” betray, even in spite of himself, a more pitiful tenderness for the devoted heroine of the tale? How different the strain of the manly Schiller under similar circumstances! His bitterness cannot be restrained from breaking down at last in a flood of tenderness over the lost mistress of his affections.

“Oh! what scorn for thy desolate years
Shall I feel! God forbid it should be!
How bitter will then be the tears
Shed, Minna, oh Minna, for thee!”

But if it be true that “Locksley Hall” is somewhat deficient in the ethereal tenderness which would overcome a true heart, even when blighted in its best affections, it was not to be expected that its imitator should have been visited with deeper glimpses of the divine. The indignant passions of his unrequited lover are, indeed, passions of the most ignoble clay—not one touch of elevated feeling lifts   him for a moment out of the mire. The whole train of circumstances which engender his emotions, prove the lover, in this case, to have been the silliest of mortal men, and his mistress, from the very beginning of his intercourse with her, to have been one of the most abandoned of her sex. “Lilian” is a burlesque on disappointed love, and a travestie of the passions which such a disappointment entails. We know not which are the more odious and revolting in their expression—the emotions of the jilted lover, or the incidents which call them into play.

The poem is designed to illustrate the bad effects produced on the female mind by the reading of French novels. We have nothing to say in their defence. But the incongruity lies here—that Lilian, who was seduced by means of these noxious publications, was evidently a lady of the frailest virtue from the very first; and her lover might have seen this with half an eye. Her materials were obviously of the most inflammable order; and it evidently did not require the application of such a spark as the seducer Winton, with his formidable artillery of imported literature, to set her tinder in a blaze—any other small contingency would have answered equally well. All that she wanted was an opportunity to fall; and that she would soon have found, under any circumstances whatsoever. The lover, however, sees nothing of all this, but relates the story of his unfortunate love-affair with as much simplicity as if he had been mourning the fall of the mother of mankind from paradise.

The lover relates his tale to his friend, the author. He begins by entreating him to

“Bear with me, in case
Tears come. I feel them coming by the smarting in my face.”

And then he proceeds to introduce us to this Lilian, the immaculate mistress of his soul—

“She could see me coming to her with the vision of the hawk;
Always hasten’d on to meet me, heavy passion in her walk;
Low tones to me grew lower, sweetening so her honey talk,
“That it fill’d up all my hearing, drown’d the voices of the birds,
The voices of the breezes, and the voices of the herds
For to me the lowest ever were the loudest of her words.”

“Heavy passion in her walk!”—what a delicate and delectable young lady she must have been! Then, as to the fact so harmoniously expressed, of her accents drowning “the voices of the birds, the voices of the breezes, and the voices of the herds,” we may remark, that the first and second never require to be drowned at all, being nearly inaudible at any rate, even during the most indifferent conversation—so that there was nothing very remarkable in their being extinguished by the plaintiveness of the lady’s tones; while, with regard to the voices of the herds, if she succeeded in drowning these—the cattle being near at hand, and lowing lustily—she must indeed have roared to her lover “like any nightingale.”

The description of her is thus continued—

“On her face, then and for ever, was the seriousness within.
Her sweetest smiles (and sweeter did a lover never win)
Ere half-done grew so absent, that they made her fair cheek thin.
“On her face, then and for ever, thoughts unworded used to live;
So that when she whisper’d to me, ‘Better joy earth cannot give’—
Her lips, though shut, continued, ‘But earth’s joy is fugitive.’
“For there a nameless something, though suppress’d, still spread around;
The same was on her eyelids, if she look’d towards the ground;
When she spoke, you knew directly that the same was in the sound;”

By and by, a young gentleman, of the name of Winton, comes to visit Lilian and her father:—

“A formerly-loved companion—he was fresh from sprightly France,
And with many volumes laden, essay, poem, and romance.”

  He, and his pursuits after leaving school, are thus elegantly described:—

“When free, all healthy study was put by, that he might rush
To his favourite books, French chiefly, that his blood might boil and gush
Over scenes which set his visage glowing crimson—not a blush.”

This gentleman and Lilian’s lover strike up a strong friendship for one another, and the latter makes Winton his confidant. As yet no suspicions arise to break the blind sleep of the infatuated dreamer.

“Delights were still remaining—hate—shame—rage—I can’t tell what,
Comes to me at their memory; none that, more or less, was not
The soul’s unconscious incest, on creations self-begot.”

He still continues to doat on Lilian.

“Oh friend, if you had seen her! heard her speaking, felt her grace,
When serious looks seem’d filling with the smiles which, in a space,
Broke, sweet as Sabbath sunshine, and lit up her shady face.
“Try to conceive her image—does it make your brain reel round?
But all of this is over. Well, friend—various signs (I found
Too late on rumination) then and thenceforth did abound,
“Wherefrom—but that all lovers look too closely to see clear—
I might have gather’d matter fit for just and jealous fear.
From her face, the nameless something now began to disappear.
“What I felt for her I often told her boldly to her face;
Blushes used to blush at blushes flushing on in glowing chace!
But latterly she listen’d, bending full of bashful grace.
“It was to hide those blushes, I thought then, but I suspect
It was to hide their absence.”

How great this writer is on the subject of blushing we shall have another opportunity of showing.—(See Lady Mabel’s shoulders, in the poem of Sir Hubert.) Meanwhile, the fair deceiver is now undergoing a course of French novels, under the tuition of young Winton. The consequence was,

Her voice grew louder”—no great harm in that—

“Her voice grew louder—losing the much meaning it once bore,
The passion in her carriage, though it every day grew more,
Was now the same to all men—and that was not so before.”

We suppose that there was now “heavy passion in her walk,” whoever the man might be that approached her.

“And grosser signs, far grosser I remember now; but these
I miss’d of course, and counted with those light anomalies,
Too frequent to disturb us into searching for their keys.”

These misgivings, which might have ripened into suspicions, are suddenly swept away by a stroke of duplicity on the part of his mistress, inconceivable in any woman except one inclined naturally, and without any prompting, to practise the profoundest artifices of vice.

“Even the dreadful glimpses now began to fade away,
And disappear’d completely, when my Lilian asked one day,
If I knew what reason Winton had to make so long a stay
“In England—‘For,’ said Lilian, with untroubled countenance,
‘Winton of course has told you of the love he left in France.’
I seized her hand, and kiss’d it—joy had left no utterance.”

Winton, according to the account of the false Lilian, having a love in France, could not, of course be supposed to be paying court to her. Thus the lover is thrown off the scent, and his doubts are entirely laid asleep. He is again in the seventh heavens of assured love, and continues thus:—

  “Another calm so perfect I should think is only shed
On good men dying gently, who recall a life well led,
Till they cannot tell, for sweetness, if they be alive or dead.
I’ll stop here. You already have, I think, divined the rest.
There’s a prophetic moisture in your eyes:—yet, tears being blest
And delicate nutrition, apt to cease, too much suppress’d,
I’ll go on; but less for your sake than my own:—my skin is hot,
And there’s an arid pricking in my veins; their currents clot:
Tears sometimes soothe such fever, where the letting of blood will not.”

At length his eyes are opened, and the whole truth flashes upon him, on overhearing an acquaintance ask Winton whether his suit with Lilian has been successful. Upon this he writes out his opinion of the lady’s behaviour, presents it to her, and watches her while she peruses it, occupying himself at intervals as follows:—

“I turn’d a volume, waiting her full leisure to reply,
The book was one which Winton had ask’d me to read, and I
Had stopp’d halfway for horror, lest my soul should putrify.”

When Lilian has finished the perusal of the document, she endeavours at first to stand on the defensive,—

“She stood at bay, depending on that crutch made like a stilt,
The impudent vulgarity wherewith women outstare guilt.”

But she finally succumbs under the influence of the following refined vituperation:—

“Don’t speak! You would not have me unacquainted with what led
To this result? No! listen, and let me relate what bred
Thy tears and cheapen’d chasteness—(we may talk now as if wed.)
“This book here, that lay open when I came in unaware,
Is not the first—I thought so!—but the last of many a stair
Of easy fall. Such only could have led you to his lair.
“These drugs, at first, had scarcely strength to move your virgin blood;
They slowly rose in action, till they wrought it to a flood,
Fit for their giver’s purpose, who—who turn’d it into mud!

The lover then leaves Lilian to her own meditations, and commences to rant and rave against her seducer in good set terms, of which the following is a specimen:—

“Pardon, Heaven! that I doubted whether there was any hell.
Oh! but now I do believe it! Firmly, firmly! I foretell
Of one that shall rank high there: he’s a scoffer, and must dwell
“Where worms are—ever gnawing scoffers’ hearts into belief;
Where weepings, gnashings, wailings, thirstings, groanings, ghastly grief,
For ever and for ever pay the price of pleasures brief;
“Where Gallios, who while living knew but cared for none of these,
Now amazed with shame, would gladly, might it God (Fate there) appease,
Watch and pray a million cycles for a single moment’s ease.”

After having thus breathed his passion, in a diatribe which beats in abomination any slang that was ever ranted out of a tub by a mountebank saint, he harps back upon the prodigious attractiveness of his mistress, in the following pathetic, though not very consistent terms—

“Ah but had you known my Lilian! (a sweet name?) Indeed, indeed,
I doted on my Lilian. None can praise her half her meed.
Perfect in soul; too gentle—others’ need she made her need;
Quite passionless, but ever bounteous-minded even to waste;
Much tenderness in talking; very urgent, yet no haste;
And chastity—to laud it would have seem’d almost unchaste.
  “Graced highly, too, with knowledge; versed in tongues; a queen of dance;
An artist at her playing; a most touching utterance
In song; her lips’ mild music could make sweet the clack of France.”

Amid such outpourings of feculent folly, it is scarcely worth our while to take notice of the minor offences against good taste that abound in these poems; yet we may remark, that the writer who here condescends to use such a word as clack, and who, on other occasions, does not scruple to talk of a repeat and a repay, instead of “a repetition,” and “a repayment,” does not consider the word watch-dog sufficiently elevated for his compositions. Whenever he alludes to this animal, he calls him a guard-hound—a word which we do not remember ever to have encountered either in conversation or in books, but which, for ought we know, may be drawn from those “pure wells of English undefiled,” which irrigate with their fair waters the provincial districts of the modern Babylon.

The author of “Lillian” evidently piques himself on the fidelity with which he has adhered to nature in his treatment of that story. But there are two ways in which nature may be adhered to in verse; and it is only one of these ways which can be considered poetical. The writer may adhere to the truth of human nature, while he elevates the emotions of the heart in strains which find a cordial echo in the sentiments of all mankind. Or, if his whole being is sicklied over with silliness and affectation, he may adhere to the truth of his own nature, and while writing perfectly naturally for him, he may unfold his delineations of character in such a manner as shall strip every passion of its dignity, and every emotion of its grace. Now, it is only by reason of their adherence to the latter species of nature, that “Lillian” and the other compositions of Mr Patmore can be considered natural, and, viewed under this aspect, they certainly are natural exceedingly.

The story of “Sir Hubert” finishes the volume. This tale is versified from Boccacio’s story of the Falcon, with which many of our readers may be acquainted; if not, they will find it in the fifth day, novel ninth, of the Decameron. We can only afford space for a short outline of its incidents, and shall substitute Mr Patmore’s names for those of the personages who figure in Boccacio’s story. This will save both ourselves and readers the trouble of threading the minutiæ of Mr Patmore’s senseless and long-winded version of the tale. A few specimens will suffice to exhibit the manner in which he deals with it. Sir Hubert is a rich gentleman, who squanders almost all his substance in giving grand entertainments to the Lady Mabel, whom he makes love to without meeting with any return. Finding his suit unsuccessful, and his money being all spent, he retires to a small and distant farm, having nothing left but one poor hawk, upon which he depends for his means of subsistence. Meanwhile, the Lady Mabel marries, and has a son. After a time, (her husband being dead,) she comes to reside in a castle in the neighbourhood of Sir Hubert’s cottage, where her son, who has often remarked the prowess and beauty of the above-mentioned hawk, falls sick, assuring his mother that nothing can save his life except the possession of the bird. The lady very reluctantly pays a visit to Sir Hubert, and tells him that she has a request to proffer, which she will make known to him after dinner. Though Sir Hubert is delighted to see her, the mention of dinner throws him into a state of great perplexity, as he has nothing in the house which they can make a meal of. Going out of doors, “he espies his hawk upon the perch, which he seizes, and finding it very fat, judges it might make a dish not unworthy of such a lady. Without further thought, then, he pulls his head off, and gives it to a girl to dress and roast carefully.”

This being done, the lady and her admirer sit down to dinner, and make an excellent repast. When their meal is over, then comes the éclaircissement. The lady proffers her petition for the hawk; and discovers from Sir Hubert’s answer, and to her own consternation, that she has eaten the very article she came in quest of, and which she had expected to carry home alive; as the only means of saving the life of   her son. The young gentleman dies on finding that he cannot obtain what he wants; and Mabel marries Sir Hubert, and settles upon him all her possessions, as a reward for his magnanimity in sacrificing that which (next to herself) he held dearest in the whole world, rather than that she should go without a dinner.

Such is a short sketch of Boccacio’s tale of the Falcon—a good enough story in its way; and more creditable than many that were circulated among the loose fish, male and female, that play their parts in the Decameron. This novel has been versified by Mr Patmore, and versified (as our specimens shall show) as he alone could have versified it. The following is his description of the much-longed-for, but sorely-ill-treated, hawk of Sir Hubert.

“It served him, too, of evenings:
On a sudden he would rise,
From book or simple music,
And awake his hawk’s large eyes,
(Almost as large as Mabel’s)
Teasing out its dumb replies,
“In sulky sidelong glances,
And reluctantly flapp’d wings,
Or looks of slow communion,
To the lightsome questionings
That broke the drowsy sameness,
And the sense, like fear, which springs
“At night, when we are conscious
Of our distance from the strife
Of cities; and the memory
Of the spirit of all things rife,
Endues the chairs and tables
With a disagreeable life.”

A Scotch lyrist, who, we are told, sings his own songs to perfection, has also recorded the very singular fact of various articles of household furniture (not exactly tables) being occasionally endued “with a disagreeable life.” One of his best ballads, in which he describes the bickerings which, even in the best-regulated families, will at times take place between man and wife, and in which various domestic missiles come into play, contains the following very excellent line—

The stools pass the best o’ their time i’ the air”—

than which no sort of life appertaining to a stool can be more disagreeable, we should imagine—to the head which it is about to come in contact with. We doubt whether Mr Patmore’s, or rather Sir Hubert’s, chairs and tables ever acquired such a vigorous and unpleasant vitality as that. What may have happened to the “stools” after Mabel was married to Sir Hubert, we cannot take it upon us to say. At any rate, we prefer the Scotch poet’s description, as somewhat the more pithy, and graphic, and intelligible of the two. The coincidence, however, is remarkable.

After Sir Hubert has retired to his farm, the state of his feelings is described in the following stanzas. We suspect that the metaphysical acumen of Boccacio himself would have been a good deal puzzled to unravel the meaning of some of them.

“He gather’d consolation,
As before, where best he might:
But though there was the difference
That he now could claim a right
To grieve as much as pleased him,
It was six years, since his sight
“Had fed on Mabel’s features;
So that Hubert scarcely knew
What traits to give the vision
Which should fill his eyes with dew:—
For she must needs, by that time,
Have become another, who,
“In girlhood’s triple glory,
(For a higher third outflows
Whenever Promise marries
With Completion,) troubled those
That saw, with trouble sweeter
Than the sweetest of repose.
“It, therefore, was the business
Of his thoughts to try to trace
The probable fulfilment
Of her former soul and face,—
From buds deducing blossoms.
For, although an easy space
“Led from the farm of Hubert
To where Mabel’s castle stood,
Closed in, a league on all sides.
With wall’d parks and wealthy wood,
No chance glimpse could be look’d for,
So recluse her widowhood.
“Hence seasons past, and Hubert
Earn’d his bread, but leisure spent
  In loved dissatisfaction,
Which he made his element
Of choice, as much as, till then,
He had sought it in content.”

If the verses above would have baffled the sagacity of the father of Italian literature, what would he have thought of the following, in which the interview between Sir Hubert and Mabel is described, when the lady comes to negotiate with him about the hawk? She accosts him, “Sir Hubert!” and then there is presented to our imaginations such a picture of female loveliness, as (thank Heaven!) can only be done justice to in the language which is employed for the occasion.

“‘Sir Hubert!’—and, that instant,
Mabel saw the fresh light flush
Out of her rosy shoulders,
And perceived her sweet blood hush
About her, till, all over,
There shone forth a sumptuous blush
“‘Sir Hubert, I have sought you,
Unattended, to request
A boon—the first I ever
Have entreated.’ Then she press’d
Her small hand’s weight of whiteness
To her richly-sloping breast.”

At first we thought that it should have been Hubert, and not Mabel, who saw “the fresh light flush out of her rosy shoulders”—particularly if the blush extended, as no doubt it did, to the lady’s back: but on further consideration we saw that we were wrong; for Sir Hubert could not have perceived “her sweet blood hush about her”—this hushing of the blood about one being, as all great blushers know, a fact discernible only by the person more immediately concerned in the blush. The propriety, therefore, of making Mabel perceive the blush, rather than Sir Hubert, is undeniable. The writer must either have left out the hushing altogether, which would have been a great blemish in the picture, or he must have written as he has done. How profoundly versed in the physiology of blushing he must be! We are doubtful, however, whether the costume of the picture is altogether appropriate; for we question very much whether the Italian ladies of the thirteenth, or any other century, were in the habit of paying forenoon visits in low-necked gowns; and whether Mabel could have walked all the way from her castle to Sir Hubert’s cottage, in an attire which revealed so many of her charms, without attracting the general attention of the neighbourhood. She had no time, be it observed, to divest herself of shawl or mantilla in order to show how sumptuously she could blush—for her salutation is made to Sir Hubert, and its roseate consequences ensue the very first moment she sees him. But let that pass. We should have been very sorry if such a “splendiferous” phenomenon had been obscured by envious boa or pelisse, or lost to the proprieties of costume. The Lady then

“Said that she was wearied
With her walk—would stay to dine,
And name her wishes after.”

Meanwhile the poet asks—

“How was it with Sir Hubert?
—Beggarly language! I could burst
For impotence of effort:
Those who made thee were accurst!
Dumb men were gods were all dumb.
But go on, and do thy worst!—
“His life-blood stopp’d to listen—
Her delivering lips dealt sound—
Oh! hungrily he listen’d,
But the meaning meant was drown’d;
For, to him, her voice and presence
Meaning held far more profound.
“He gave his soul to feasting,
And his sense, (which is the soul
More thoroughly incarnate,)
Backward standing, to control
His object, as a painter
Views a picture in the whole.
“She stood, her eyes cast downwards,
And, upon them, dropp’d halfway,
Lids, sweeter than the bosom
Of an unburst lily, lay,
With black abundant lashes,
To keep out the upper day.
A breath from out her shoulders
Made the air cool, and the ground
Was greener in their shadow;
All her dark locks loll’d, unbound,
About them, heavily lifted
By the breeze that struggled round.
“As if from weight of beauty,
Gently bent—but oh, how draw
  This thousand-featured splendour—
Thousand-featured without flaw!
At last, his vision reveling
On her ravishing mouth, he saw
It closed; and then remember’d
That she spoke not.—‘Stay to dine,
And name her wishes after’—
To these sounds he could assign
A sense, for still he heard them,
Echoing silvery and divine.”

Sir Hubert having reveled on her ravishing mouth, and having, by a strong effort of intelligence, mastered the meaning of the very occult proposition which issued therefrom, namely, that the lady would “stay to dine, and name her wishes after;” and, moreover, having seen—“It closed”—he shortly afterwards saw it opened, for the purpose of eating his hawk, which, as the reader knows, he had felt himself under the necessity of killing for the fair widow’s entertainment. We pass over the relation of the circumstances which, as the lady discovers, render her mission fruitless, and which are detailed in a strain of the most vapid silliness—and proceed to the interview which brings about the union of Mabel and Sir Hubert. The latter, some time after these occurrences, pays a visit to the castle.

“Half reclined
Along a couch leans Mabel,
Deeply musing in her mind
Something her bosom echoes.
O’er her face, like breaths of wind
“Upon a summer meadow,
Serious pleasures live; and eyes
Large always, slowly largen,
As if some far-seen surprise
Approach’d,—then fully orb them,
At near sound of one that sighs.”

Her eyes having recovered their natural size, a good deal of conversation ensues, the result of which is given in the following stanza, which forms a fit conclusion for the story of such a passion—

“Her hands are woo’d with kisses,
They refuse not the caress,
Closer, closer, ever closer,
Vigorous lips for answer press!
Feasting the hungry silence
Comes, sob-clad, a silver ‘yes.’

There are several smaller poems interspersed throughout the volume. Mr Tennyson has his “Claribels,” and “Isabels,” and “Adelines,” and “Eleanores”—ladies with whom he frequently plays strange, though, we admit, by no means ungraceful vagaries; and Mr Patmore, as in duty bound, and following the imitative bent of his genius, must also have his Geraldine to dally with. The two following stanzas of playful namby-pambyism, are a specimen of the manner in which this gentleman dandles his kid:—

“We are in the fields. Delight!
Look around! The bird’s-eyes bright;
Pink-tipp’d daisies; sorrel red,
Drooping o’er the lark’s green bed;
Oxlips; glazed buttercups,
Out of which the wild bee sups;
See! they dance about thy feet!
Play with, pluck them, little Sweet!
Some affinity divine
Thou hast with them, Geraldine.
“Now, sweet wanton, toss them high;
Race about, you know not why.
Now stand still, from sheer excess
Of exhaustless happiness.
I, meanwhile, on this old gate,
Sit sagely calm, and perhaps relate
Lore of fairies. Do you know
How they make the mushrooms grow?
Ah! what means that shout of thine?
You can’t tell me, Geraldine.

Our extracts are now concluded; and in reviewing them in the mass, we can only exclaim—this, then, is the pass to which the poetry of England has come! This is the life into which the slime of the Keateses and Shelleys of former times has fecundated! The result was predicted about a quarter of a century ago in the pages of this Magazine; and many attempts were then made to suppress the nuisance at its fountainhead. Much good was accomplished: but our efforts at that time were only partially successful; for nothing is so tenacious of life as the spawn of frogs—nothing is so vivacious as corruption, until it has reached its last stage. The evidence before us shows that this stage has been now at length attained. Mr Coventry Patmore’s volume has reached the ultimate terminus of poetical degradation; and our conclusion, as well as our hope is, that the fry must become extinct in him. His poetry (thank Heaven!) cannot corrupt into any thing worse than itself.

A London: Moxon. 1844.


Part XIII.

“Have I not in my time heard lions roar?
Have I not heard the sea, puft up with wind,
Rage like an angry boar chafed with sweat?
Have I not heard great ordnance in the field,
And Heaven’s artillery thunder in the skies?
Have I not in the pitched battle heard
Loud ’larums, neighing steeds, and trumpets clang?”


I had been familiar with the debates of the French Convention, and had witnessed the genius of French eloquence in its highest exertions. Nothing will cure this people of their aversion to nature. With them, all that is natural is poor—simplicity is meanness. The truth of things wants the picturesque, and thus wants every charm. I had listened to some of their public speakers with strong interest, while they were confined to detail. No man tells a story better than a French conteur. There lies the natural talent of the people. Nothing can be happier than their seizure of slight circumstances, passing colours of events, and those transient thoughts which make a story as pretty as a piece of ladies’ embroidery—a delicate toil, a tasteful display of trivial difficulties gracefully surmounted. But even in their higher order of speakers, I could perceive a constant dissatisfaction with themselves, unless they happened to produce some of those startling conceptions which roused their auditory to a stare, a start, a clapping of hands. I had seen Mirabeau, with all his conscious talent, look round in despair for applause, as a sailor thrown overboard might look for a buoy; I had seen him as much exhausted, and even overwhelmed, by the want of applause, as if he had dropped into an exhausted receiver. If some lucky epigram did not come to his rescue, he was undone.

I was now to be the spectator of a different scene. There was passion and resentment, the keenness of rivalry and the ardour of triumph—but there was no affectation. Men spoke as men speak when their essential interests are engaged—plainly, boldly, and directly—vigorously always, sometimes vehemently; but with that strong sincerity which administers eloquence to even the most untaught orders of mankind, and without which the most decorated eloquence is only the wooden sword and mask of harlequin.

Pitt took the lead, in all senses of the phrase. He was magnificent. His exposition of the state of Europe, perfectly unadorned, had yet an effect upon the House not unlike that of opening a volume to a multitude who had but just learned to read. All was novelty, conviction, and amazement. His appeal to the principles by which a great people should shape its conduct, had all the freshness and the strength of feelings drawn at the moment from the depths of his own blameless bosom; and his hopes of the victory of England over the temptations to public overthrow, exhibited all the fire, and almost all the sacred assurance of prophecy.

He described the system of France as “subversion on principle,” its purpose universal tumult, its instrument remorseless bloodshed, and its success a general reduction of society to the wild fury and the squalid necessities of the savage state. “This,” he exclaimed, turning his full front to the House, raising his hand, and throwing up his eyes to heaven with the solemnity of an adjuration—“This we must resist, in the name of that Omnipotent Disposer who has given us hearts to feel the blessings of society, or we must acknowledge ourselves unworthy to hold a name among nations. This we must resist—live or die. This system we must meet by system—subtlety by sincerity—intrigue by resolution—treachery by good faith-menace by courage. We must remember that we have been made trustees of the honour of the past, and of the hopes of the future. A   great country like ours has no alternative but to join the enemy of all order, or to protect all order—to league against all government, or to stand forth its champion. This is the moment for our decision. Empires are not afforded time for delay. All great questions are simple. Shrink, and you are undone, and Europe is undone along with you; be firm, and you will have saved the world!”

The feelings with which this lofty language was heard were intense. The House listened in a state of solemn emotion, hour after hour, deeply silent, but when some chord was so powerfully touched that it gave a universal thrill. But those involuntary bursts of admiration were as suddenly hushed by the anxiety of the House to listen, and the awful sense of the subject. It was not until the great minister sat down that the true feeling was truly exhibited; the applause was then unbounded—a succession of thunder-peals.

I had now leisure to glance at the Opposition. Fox, for a while, seemed good-humouredly inclined to give up the honour of the reply to some of the popular speakers round him; but the occasion was too important to be entrusted to inferior powers, and, on a general summons of his name, he at length rose. The world is too familiar with the name of this celebrated man to permit more than a sketch of his style. It has been said that he had no style. But this could be said only by those who regard consummate ability as an accident.

Of all the public speakers whom I have ever heard, Fox appeared to me the most subtle—of course, not in the crafty and degrading sense of the word; but in the art of approaching an unexpected case, he was a master. He loitered, he lingered, he almost trifled by the way, until the observer began to believe that he had either no object in view, or had forgotten it altogether. In the next moment he rushed to the attack, and carried all by storm. On this occasion he had a difficult part to play; for the hourly violences of the French capital had begun to alienate the principal aristocracy of England, and had raised abhorrence among that most influential body, the middle class. The skill with which the orator glided over this portion of his subject was matchless; no Camilla ever “flew o’er the unbending corn” with a lighter foot. He could not altogether evade the topic. But he treated it as one might treat the narrative of a distressing casualty, or a disease to be touched on with the pity due to human infirmity, or even with the respect due to a dispensation from above. He often paused, seemed to find a difficulty of breathing, was at a loss for words, of which, however, he never failed to find the most pungent at last; and assumed, in a remarkable degree, the appearance of speaking only from a strong compulsion, a feeling of reluctant duty, a sense of moral necessity urging him to a task which burdened all his feelings. I will acknowledge that, when he had made his way through this difficult performance, I followed him with unequivocal delight, and acknowledged all the orator. He had been hitherto Milton’s lion “pawing to get free his hinder parts.” He was now loose, in all his symmetry and power, and with the forest and the plain before him. “Why has the monarchy of France fallen?” he explained, “because, like those on whom the malediction of Scripture has been pronounced, it had eyes and yet would not see, and ears, yet would not hear. An immense population was growing up round it year after year, yet it could see nothing but nobles, priests, and princes. In making this war,” said he, “you are beginning a contest of which no man can calculate the means, no man can state the objects, and no man can predict the end. You are not warring against the throne of France, nor even against the people of France; but warring against every people of the earth which desires to advance its own prosperity, to invigorate its own constitution, and to place itself in that condition of peace, purity, and freedom, which is not more the desire of man than the command of Providence.”

The House burst into loud reprobations of the name of aristocrat and democrat, which he declared to be mere inventions of party prejudice. “Do you require to make political hostilities immortal, give them names; do you wish to break   down the national strength, divide it in sections: arm against your enemy, if you will, but here you would arm one hand against the other.”

To the charge of defending the French mob, his answer was in the most prompt and daring style.

“Who are the French mob? The French nation. Dare you put eight and twenty millions of men into your bill of attainder? No indictment ever drawn by the hand of man is broad enough for it. Impeach a nation, you impeach the Providence that made it. Impeach a nation, you are impeaching only your own rashness and presumption. You are impeaching even the unhappy monarch whom you profess to defend. Man is every where the creature of circumstances. Nations are what their governments make them. But France is in a state of revolt. Be it so. I demand what nation ever revolted against justice, truth, and honour? You might as well tell me, that they rebelled against the light of heaven; that they rejected the fruits of the earth; that they refused to breathe the air. Men do not thus war against their natural benefactors; they are not mad enough to repel the very instincts of preservation. I pronounce it, fearlessly, that no nation ever rose, or ever will rise, against a sincere, national, and benevolent authority. No nation was ever born blind. Infatuation is not a law of human nature. The monarchy of France was the criminal.”

Another burst, which produced vast effect on the House, referred to the exclusiveness of the chief public employments.

“The people have overthrown the titles and dignities of France. I admit it. But was it from a natural hatred of those distinctions? That I deny. They are congenial to the heart of man. The national hatred lay in the sense of that intolerable injustice which turns honour into shame. For centuries, those titles and dignities were to the people not badges of honour, but brands of scorn. They were not public calls to generous emulation, but royal proclamations of everlasting contempt. They were not ramparts surrounding the state, but barriers shutting out the people. How would such insults to the common origin of man, to the common powers of the human mind, to the common desires of distinction born with every man, be endured in this country? Is it to be wondered at, that France should have abolished them by acclamation? I contend, that this was a victory gained, not for a populace, but for a people, for all France, for twenty-eight millions of men—over a portion of society who had lost their rank, a body already sentenced by their personal inefficiency—a caste, who, like a famished garrison, had been starved by the sterility of the spot in which they had inclosed themselves; or, like the Indian devotees, had turned themselves into cripples by their pretence of a sacred superiority to the habits of the rest of mankind.”

Opposition still exhibited its ranks but slightly diminished, and the chief passages of this impassioned appeal, which continued for three hours, were received with all the fervour of party. Burke then rose. Strong interest was directed to him, not merely for his eminent name, but from the public curiosity to hear his explanation of that estrangement which had been for some time spreading, under his auspices, through the leading personages of the Opposition. Like most men who have made themselves familiar with the works of a great writer, I had formed a portraiture of him by anticipation. I never was more disappointed. Instead of the expressive countenance and commanding figure, I saw a form of the middle size, and of a homely appearance, a heavy physiognomy, and the whole finished by two appurtenances which would have been fatal to the divinity of the Apollo Belvidere, spectacles and a wig. His voice and manner were scarcely less prepossessing; the one was as abrupt and clamorous, as the other was rustic and ungraceful. He had the general look of a farmer of the better order; and seemed, at best, made to figure on a grand jury.

But I soon felt how trivial are externals in comparison of genuine ability; or perhaps, how much even their repulsiveness may add to the power of genius. I had listened but a few minutes when I forgot every thing, except that a man of the highest faculties was before me; with those   faculties wrought to the highest tension by the highest subjects. Taking a line of argument, equally distinct from the leaders of the Ministry and the Opposition, he dwelt as little on the political views of England and Europe with Pitt, as he did upon the revolutionary regeneration of France and Europe with Fox. His view was wholly English; the reference of the revolutionary spirit to our own institutions. “I do not charge,” he exclaimed, turning full on the Opposition bench, “individuals with conspiracy; but I charge them with giving the sanction of their name to principles, which have in them all the germs of conspiracy. Sir, the maxim of resisting the beginnings of evil, is as sound in the concerns of nations as in the morality of individual minds. Nay, I am not sure whether mischief is not more effectually done in that incipient state, than when the evil comes full-formed. It is less perceived, and it thus destroys with impunity. The locust, before it gets its wings, destroys the crop with a still more rapacious tooth than when its armies are loading the wind.

“Honourable members have talked largely of their zeal for the constitution. Sir, I am content to follow the wisdom which judges of the faith by the works. In my humble measure, I have been a zealous worshipper of the constitution. There was a time when those honourable gentlemen and myself—and I speak of that time with the regret due to long friendship—took ‘sweet counsel together,’ and bowed before that common worship as friends. That time is past. We have since taken different paths. I have been charged with apostasy. What is my apostasy? That I have not followed the frenzy and ingratitude of the hour; that, while the most awful event in the history of human change has been transacting before us, I have not shut my ears and eyes to its moral; that I have not followed the throng into the valley, and there joined the fabricators of the new idolatry, the priesthood of the golden calf of revolution, and shared the polluted feast and the intoxicated dance; while the thunders of divine vengeance were rolling on the hill above.”

It was obvious from his manner, and his frequent return to the topic, that that charge of deserting his party had deeply wounded his generous and sensitive nature; and nothing struck me as more characteristic of his mind, than the variety and richness of his fine amplification on this subject.

“In those ranks,” said he, “I fought for nearly the half of that portion of life allotted to man; certainly for that portion of my course, in which the desires, the vigour, and the applicability of all the best parts of human nature have their fullest play. I came to it a volunteer—I fought side by side with its foremost—I shared the ‘winter of their discontent,’ as willingly as the summer of their prosperity. I took the buffets of ill fortune, and they were many, with as cheerful a countenance and as unshaken a fidelity as any man. But when I saw a new banner raised among them, blazoned with mottoes of evil, and refused to follow, who were the deserters? They or I?” As he spoke these words, he drew his otherwise rather stooping form to its full height, lifted his hand above his head, and stood like one at once demanding and defying the investigation of the empire.

The roar of applause which followed seemed to shake the very walls. He was powerfully moved; his countenance changed from its usual pallidness to strong suffusion; his hands rather tossed than waved in the air. At last I saw one of them thrust strongly into his bosom, as if the gesture was excited by some powerful recollection. “Do I speak without proof of the public hazards?” he exclaimed. “I can give you demonstration—I need invoke neither powers above nor powers below to enlighten you. I have the oracle within my hand.” The House fixed all its eyes upon him. He dropped his voice, and spoke with a faint, but clear tone which formed a remarkable contrast to his usually bold, and even harsh enunciation: “Sir,” said he, in this half-whispered voice, “before I join these gentlemen in their worship, I must know what deity presides in their temple; I must see that the incense which fumes before its altar is taken from the sacred repositories of the constitution, not the smuggled importation of foreign fabrications   of revolt—that pernicious compound of civil mischief and mad metaphysics—which, instead of consummating and purifying the sacrifice, only poisons the air. I must see something of the priest too, before I join in his aspirations; I must see that he is lawfully inducted to his office, that he is not a rebel in the garb of loyalty—a blasphemer where he professes to pray, and a traitor where he propounds allegiance.”

Fox here, evidently taking the description to himself, exhibited palpable signs of displeasure. Burke caught the expression at once, and instantly changed the whole current of his conceptions. “If,” said he, “the honourable gentleman thinks that I designate him as the high-priest of this new worship, he does me as much injustice as himself. No, no! When we shall see the Republican Pantheon thrown open, he, and such as he, will not be called to officiate at the altar. He is much more likely to be the victim. The popular ornaments, now flung so lavishly upon him, will find him no further favour, than the speedier offering on the same abhorred altar, which reeks with so much of the best blood of France.” Here a corpulent noble, peculiarly hostile to Burke, laughed contemptuously. The orator instantly turned upon him. “True,” said he, “there may be a good deal of variety in that procession. There may be the mummer as well as the priest; it may have the mountebank selling his potions, and playing his tricks, as well as the sacrificer with his axe—unless the ambition of the bloated performer should prefer to combine the offices, and be at once the butcher and the buffoon.”

The hit was felt on all sides, and the laughter was unbounded. He then rose, as was his custom, into a higher strain. “I can imagine that procession,” said he, “or rather, that triumph, of the principles of change. Like the return of the classical Bacchus from his Indian conquests, the demigod,” and he now cast a look at Fox, “secure of supremacy, exulting in his prowess, and thinking the civilized world at his feet; but not without the companionship of his trusty Silenus”—and here he turned his glance on the noble lord—“that veteran follower, whose ambition is limited to his cups, and the vigour of whose fidelity is shown only in the constancy of his intoxication; the whole procession being drawn by the wild lords of the forest and the wilderness, who, harnessed as they may be for the moment, will no sooner find their food stinted, than they will resume the natural instincts of the lion and the tiger, turn on their drivers and devour them.

“But, sir,” he exclaimed, turning to the chair, “I have higher topics, and to those I now call the attention of the representatives of England. I have alluded to the revolutionary temple. I here have its deity.” With these words, he plucked from his bosom a large dagger, held it for a moment up to the light, and then flung it at the foot of the table. The astonishment, and even the alarm, of the whole assembly was beyond description. They all started from their seats, as if assassination had stood before them in a visible shape. Some crowded round Burke, some seized the dagger, which was eventually carried to the Speaker, and became the object of universal curiosity. All was confusion for a considerable time. At length Burke, in a few words delivered in his most impressive tone, explained the phenomenon. “That dagger,” said he, “is one of thousands, perhaps of millions, which the preachers of philosophy are now forging for popular conviction. You see that by its construction it is equally fitted for the head of a pike, or for a dagger—equally serviceable in tearing down the monarchy in the field, or stabbing its friends in their chambers. You have it, at once the emblem of rebellion and assassination. Those are the arguments of the new school—those are the instruments by which the limbs of the state are to be amputated, for replacement by the inventions of the revolutionary mechanists. Those are the keys by which the locks of cabinets and councils are henceforth to be opened, and the secrets of national wealth laid bare to the rapacity of the rabble.” After this speech nothing was listened to.

The debate had been prolonged through the greater part of the night, and yet such was the interest felt in   its subject, that the streets in the neighbourhood continued crowded to the last. All the hotels and coffee-houses were filled with people waiting for the division. Groups, with lighted torches, were lingering everywhere, and passing the intelligence along, as a member happened casually to make his appearance in the course of the night; shouts and expressions of wrath alternately arose, according to the nature of the intelligence, and a species of open-air legislature was held during one of the bitterest nights of winter, with discussions as active, though perhaps not altogether so classical, as those within; yet totally free from tumult, and in the spirit of a people who live with a constant reference to the laws. The rush of the members to the porch, on the breaking up of the debate, produced a corresponding rush of the multitude. Public curiosity was roused to its wildest height—every public sentiment had its full expression; and whether the acclamation was louder when Fox’s corpulent frame was seen toiling its slow way through the pressure, or when Pitt’s slender figure and passionless face was recognised, is a question which might have perplexed the keenest investigators of popular sentiment. All was that uproar in which the Englishman delights as a portion of his freedom.

On returning to my chamber, exhausted, yet animated with a new sense of the value of existence in such a country, and of the noble faculties which she carried in her bosom, I saw a large packet on my table. I gazed on its envelope for a few moments with that strange emotion which sometimes makes us dread to open the very letter which we most desire to receive. It was obviously from Downing Street. At last I opened it. It contained my commission in the Guards!

My destiny was now fixed, and it is impossible to tell how much I felt relieved. I had spent the preceding period in such perplexing indecision, that I felt my heart withering within me. Now all was clear. My course was decided. I was in other hands than my own, and whatever might be the result, I was no longer answerable for either good or ill fortune. No human being who has not felt the trial almost the torment, of being left to decide on the conduct which may make or mar him for life, can conceive the depression into which it plunges the mind. From this I was now relieved; I was wholly free; an established routine, a vigorous profession, a regulated pursuit, and that pursuit one of the most honourable nature, was suddenly prepared for me by the enclosure upon my table. After again and again reading this simple but expressive document, I threw myself on my bed, and attempted to forget it and the world. But I could forget neither; my eyelids would not close; sleep had gone from me. After a useless effort for composure, I rose, relighted my lamp, and spent the rest of the night in writing to my relatives, to Vincent, to Mordecai, and every one to whom I felt his majesty’s sign-manual a vindication of my whole career. There was still one cloud that overhung my prospect, one gloomy and bitter remembrance: but this cloud I had neither the power nor even the wish to dispel; this remembrance was already a part of my being—to extinguish it was impossible. I resolved to cherish it as a sacred recollection, to combine it with the aspirations of my new pursuit, and render them thus still nobler; to reserve it as a treasure inaccessible to the knowledge of mankind, but to which I might return in my hours of discontent with the world, and restore my sense of the beauty of mind and form which might still exist in the shape of human nature.

Yet it may be justly supposed that I did not limit my feelings to this lonely abstraction. I spent an anxious period in making enquiries for the Maréchale, in every quarter which offered the slightest probability of discovering her abode. Though I had seen the announcement of Clotilde’s approaching marriage in the public journals, I had seen no mention of its having taken place. My search was wholly unproductive. The captivating duchess, who received me with the kindness which seemed a part of her nature, while she joined me in my praises of the “young, the lovely, and the accomplished Comtesse,” “her dearest of friends,” could tell   me nothing more than that she had left London, and she believed with an intention of visiting France. There her knowledge ceased. I learned only further, that she had grown singularly fond of solitude, was melancholy, and had no hesitation in expressing the deepest dislike to the marriage proposed by her family. My enquiry was at an end.

Hopeless as this intelligence was, it relieved me from the certainty, which would have been despair. While Clotilde remained unallied to one whom I could not avoid regarding as an uncongenial spirit, if not a hard and tyrannical master, there was, at least, the chance of happiness remaining for me in a world where every day brought changes more extraordinary than our meeting. If there should be a war, my regiment would be among the first to be employed, and France would inevitably be the first object of a British expedition. The “march to Paris” had been proclaimed by orators, exhibited in theatres, and chanted in street ballads. All before us was conquest, and distinctions of every kind that can captivate the untried soldier, glittered in all eyes. I was young, ardent, and active. My name was one known to the table at which I seated myself on my introduction to the Guards, and I was immediately on the best footing with the gallant young men of a corps which has never suffered a stain. I had even some peculiar sources of favour in their eyes. I had actually made a campaign. This was more than had been done by any man in the regiment. The Guards, always brave and always foremost as they were, had not seen a shot fired for a quarter of a century. The man who had heard bullets whistling about his ears, and had, besides, seen the realities of war on the magnificent scale of continental campaigning, possessed a superiority which was willingly acknowledged by the gallant youths round us; and every detail of that most romantic campaign, reluctantly given as it was by me, was listened to with generous interest, or manly intelligence. And I had actually learned enough, under the Duke of Brunswick, a master of tactics, to render my services useful at the moment. The discipline of the British army was not then, what it has since been, the model to Europe. The Englishman’s nature prompts him to require a reason for every thing; and there was no peculiarly strong reason for the minute toil of foreign discipline, in an army which had never been engaged since the American war. But other days were now obviously at hand, and the passion for discipline, and above all others, for the Prussian discipline, became universal. With the exaggeration common to all popular impulses, the tactics of Frederick were now regarded as the secrets of victory. That great soldier, and most crafty of men, by his private reviews, to which no stranger, even of the highest rank, was ever admitted, and by a series of mystifications, had laboured to produce this impression upon Europe, and had largely succeeded. Mankind love being cheated; and what the charlatanism of necromancy effected a thousand years ago, was now effected by the charlatanism of genius. If I had seen the Prussian troops only at Potsdam, I should probably have mistaken the truncheon for a talisman, like the rest of the world. But the field suffers no mystification. I had seen that the true secret of this great tactician, for such unquestionably he was, consisted in his rejecting the superfluities and retaining the substance; in reducing tactics to the ready application of force, and in simplifying the old and tardy manœuvres of the French and Austrian battalions, to the few expeditious and essential formations required before an enemy in the field. I was offered the adjutancy, and I accepted it rejoicingly.

In those days, by a curious anomaly, which can scarcely be believed in ours, every regiment was practically free to choose its own system of manœuvre. The natural consequence was, that no two regiments did any thing alike. To brigade the army was impossible, and every field-day was a scene of ludicrous confusion. But this freedom had the advantage, in the present instance, of allowing me to introduce that Prussian discipline which has since been made the basis of the British. It was then perfectly new, and it had all the effect of brilliant   novelty. Our parade was constantly crowded with officers of the highest grades, anxious to transmit our practice to their regiments. The king, always attached to German recollections, and who would have made as good a soldier as any of his forefathers, was frequently a spectator. The princes and nobility were constant in their attendance; and the regiment, thus stimulated, rapidly displayed all the completeness and precision of movement which to this day makes a review of the Guards the finest military spectacle of Europe.

The adjutant was not forgotten in the general applause and excitement. I was promised promotion in the most gratifying language of royalty itself, and all the glittering prospects of the most glittering of all pursuits opened before me. I still had my moments of depression. Clotilde often rose before me like a departed spirit in the solitude of my chamber, and even in the midst of public festivities, or in those balls and banquets which the nobility gave in such profusion at this period of the year. When a shape, however faintly resembling her incomparable elegance of form, passed before my eye, or a voice, in the slightest degree reminding me of her noble tones, reached my ear, I felt an irresistible pang, that, for the time, embittered all the scene around me.

But I had in no period of my life been suffered to linger in long melancholy. One night, after returning from a dinner at Devonshire House, I found a gentleman in possession of my chamber, with my fire briskly blazing, supper on the table, and every appearance of his having made himself master of the establishment. As I paused at the door, in some surprise at the ease of the proceeding, the intruder turned round, and I saw the face of my old and excellent friend Vincent. I was delighted to take the honest hand of one who was enough to redeem the character of human nature. He was full of congratulations and country news. He told me that this, his first visit to London for years, was simply to shake hands with his pupil; to hear from him his adventures; and to have the opportunity of seeing the regiment on parade. He now enjoyed all his objects together. The regiment “reminded him of the grenadiers of Maria Theresa, in the first Hungarian campaign; and all that he wished for me was, that I had seen Daun or Landohn. However, no man in this world could have every wish gratified; and he was certain that I had in me the materials of a field-marshal.”

But he had more important topics. By an accidental meeting with an old college friend, high in office, he had ascertained that an expedition for Holland had been resolved on; and that it was to take place without delay. The French army had passed the frontier, and taken the strong fortress of Breda. Williamstadt was bombarded, and must fall in a few days if not relieved. With its fall, the Seven Provinces would be thrown open. In this emergency, aid had been solicited from England.

Vincent’s country news was brief. My lordly brother was in pursuit of a neighbouring heiress; and, as a prospective remedy for matrimonial ennui, speculating on the chance of employment on some foreign embassy. Vincent himself had married one of his daughters to a neighbouring squire, whom he denominated an “unlicked cub,” but an honest man. Thus I had the knowledge of all that the country could furnish, and thus—“runs the world away.”

All now was excitement and activity. The intelligence of the French advance into the territories of our old and very helpless ally, awoke England at once. The feeble and perfectly fruitless negotiations, by which the slide from disgust into war is generally managed, had produced their effect; and France, furious for its prey, and England, steady and stubborn, for the first time were brought face to face. The summons, so long wished for, at length reached us; and the Guards were ordered for embarkation. We received it in the spirit of a jubilee. All had been prepared. And on the night before our final parade, I received my appointment to a company. Our parade, next morning, was one which I believe was never forgotten by any individual who had the good fortune to witness it. Of all the striking ceremonials which I have ever seen, it   was the most striking. The king had given notice of his intention to be present, and bid us farewell. At six o’clock, the three regiments were drawn up in front of the Horse-Guards, a body of three thousand men, and finer-looking troops never bore arms. All the avenues to the park were crowded with the multitude. Exactly at the half-hour, a rush of the people towards the parade showed that the king, always punctual, was at hand. He came, surrounded by general officers, with the Prince of Wales, then a most chivalric figure, in the uniform of his regiment of light dragoons, and the Duke of York, as a field-marshal. The enthusiasm of the troops could not be restrained, as this brilliant staff approached their line; and three cheers were given with all the zeal of honest loyalty. There are times when tears are the only substitute for speech; and the king, one of the most kindhearted of men, visibly shed tears at this reception. Another cortège now approached; they were the carriages of the queen and princesses. The scene now became almost painful. There was many a tear from royal and noble eyes—the impulse of high emotion, not of sorrow—or if tinged with the thoughts which always shade the name of war, yet undegraded by weakness. The multitude caught the feeling; the shouts subsided; and all was weeping and waving of handkerchiefs. The king put an end to this embarrassing sympathy. He rode forward, and, taking his station in the centre, gave the word to “march.” He was answered by one gallant “huzza” from the line, repeated by the thousands and tens of thousands who now moved before and around us. Our bands struck up, and, with the monarch and his sons at our head, and the queen and princesses following in their equipages, we marched through streets, crowded to the roof, echoing with acclamations, and wishing us all good fortune as we passed along, until we left the mighty metropolis behind. Even then, it was only to meet the new multitude of the country. The road to Greenwich, where we were to embark, exhibited a population as countless, enthusiastic, and full of good wishes as those with whom we had just parted. The king still rode in our front; flags, banners, and every kind of joyous testimonial met our eyes; and if ever there was a triumph before the victory, it was in that honest and generous display of the true heart of England.

The embarkation took place within a few hours; and on that night we slept on the element which Britain has so long made her field of battle. The weather was serene, and we fully enjoyed the freshness of the air, and the brightness of the view, as we rounded the coast. At the mouth of the Thames, we had met a strong squadron of the line of battle, appointed for our convoy, and bringing numerous transports with troops. Our fleet had now become extensive, and as we moved out from the land, the sight became continually more animated and exciting. The despatch of the look-out frigates, the constant change of signals, the firing of guns to regulate the sailing of the great convoy, the manœuvres of those floating castles, the seventy-fours and three-deckers, the harmony of their bands as they passed us, rushing along under a cloud of canvass, with the hum of the thousands on board—all formed one of the most heart-stirring combinations that could exist to the eye, or even to the heart of a human being.

I stood gazing on the poop of our transport the entire day; and even when twilight came, there was but a change of interest and beauty. We moved on, a moving multitude—a fragment of a mighty nation—almost a nation ourselves, on the face of the deep. Within the horizon which now lay beneath my glance, smooth as glass, and shining in the richness of the departing day, what materials of living power were gathered; what bold hearts; what high hopes; what indefatigable perseverance; what accomplished intelligence! a force inferior to the one before me had more than once changed the fate of the world. It might be now on its way only to change that fate once more. The cause, too, was a noble one. It was sustained by no aggression, perfidy, or desire of change. It was to protect a friendly nation, and to sustain an inspired cause. There was   no taint of cruelty or crime to degrade the soldiership of England. We were acting in the character which had already exalted her name as protectors of the weak and punishers of the powerful.

On the second evening we reached the flat and uninteresting coast of Holland. But if the coast was repellent, nothing could exceed the eagerness of the inhabitants to welcome our arrival. On our first approach to the land every boat that could swim came off, crowded with people, some to take refuge on board the fleet, but thousands to urge our speedy landing. The ferocious plunder which had become the principle of the republican arms had stricken terror into the hearts of the Hollanders: a people remarkably attached to home, and fond, or even jealous, of the preservation of the most trivial article of property connected with that home. The French troops, often pressed with hunger, and adopting the desperate maxim of “making war support war,” had committed such wanton ruin of property in the Netherlands, that, at this distance, the common effect of exaggeration described them as rather demons than men.

War is of all things the most picturesque, and there never was a gala on the waters of the Adriatic more gay or glittering than our landing. But we had infinitely the advantage in the numbers, the brilliancy, and, what gave a higher feeling to the whole, in the reality of all its objects. This was no painted pageant; it was real strength, real soldiership; the cannon that roared above our heads, as we descended into the boats, were the thunderers which had shaken many a battlement; the flotilla of launches, long-boats, and cutters which covered the sea, was manned with the soldiers and sailors sent forth to fight the battle of human freedom on every shore of the globe. The ships were that British fleet whose name was synonymous with the noblest exploits of war, and which it would have been well worth going round the circumference of the globe to see.

On this night we bivouacked; the shore offered no human habitation, and it was too late for the landing of our tents. But the sand was dry; our fires were soon lighted; all was sport and activity; our bands played “Welcome to Holland;” our men danced with the peasantry; all had the look of a magnificent frolic; and, when at last I threw myself on my open air pillow, I dreamed of fairyland.

At daybreak we marched, in the highest spirits, and only longing to have an opportunity of trying our strength with the enemy. From time to time, the sound of a cannonade reached us, and heightened our eagerness to advance. But Holland is proverbially difficult for any movements but those of a trackschuyt; and the endless succession of narrow roads, the perpetual canals, and the monotony of her level fields, rich as they were, exhausted us, more than if we had marched twice the distance. But the spell of human hearts is excitement, and war is all excitement. All round us was new, and from the colonel to the rank and file, the “general camp, pioneers and all,” enjoyed the quaint novelty of Dutch life. The little villages, so unlike our own, and yet so admirably fitted for peasant comfort, the homesteads embedded in plantations of willows, the neatness of every thing round the farm-houses, and even the sleekness of the cattle, which seemed by their tameness to form a part of the habitancy—all were objects of constant remark on our march; and we could easily comprehend the horror with which the arrival of a French commissariat must strike these comfortable burghers. But the punctuality of British payments was perfectly known already; the whole plenty of the land was poured out before us; we regaled sumptuously.

On the second evening of our march through this landscape of fatness, we were warned of our approach to the besieged fortress, by the louder roar of the cannon, and not less by the general desolation of the country. The enemy’s hussars had made a wide sweep, and wherever they were seen, the villagers had fled instantly, carrying off their cattle. We found the traces of those foraying excursions in the fragments of burned mills, a favourite object of destruction with the French—for what purpose I never could comprehend,   except the pleasure of seeing them burn—in cottages unroofed, for the sake of the thatch; in broken moveables, and, in some instances, in the skeletons of horses and remnants of arms; for the peasantry were not always patient sufferers, and some of the smaller detachments of the plunderers had met with severe retaliation.

At length we halted for the night, and orders were issued for a general movement at daybreak, to attack the French force covering the siege of Williamstadt. The order was received with shouts; and the night was spent in great exultation. The cannonade, which was now within a few miles of us, continued with such violence during the night that sleep was next to impossible; and long before the first streak of light in the east, we were busy in the numberless preparations for a first action. Orderlies and aides-de-camp were speedily in motion, and at the first tap of the reveillé all were on parade. The sun rose brightly, gave one broad blaze along our columns, and after thus cheering us, instantly plunged into a mist, which, except that it was not actually black, obscured our road nearly as much as if it had been midnight. This was simply a specimen of the new land on which we now set foot. But it perplexed all the higher powers prodigiously—generals and the staff galloping round us in all directions, the whole one mass of confusion. Yet we still pushed on, toiling our puzzled way, when, as if by magic, a regiment of the enemy’s hussars dashed full into the flank of our column. Never was there a more complete surprise. The enemy were as much astonished as ourselves, for the collision had been the result of an attempt to find their way through the fog back to their camp; but I now for the first time saw the temper of John Bull in the field. The attack of the hussars was evidently looked on by our men less as a military manœuvre, than as a piece of foreign impudence. To fire might be hazardous to some of our advancing columns, which we could hear, though not see; but the word “charge” from our gallant old colonel was enough; they rushed with the bayonet on the cavalry, forced their way in between the squadrons, which had been brought to a stand by the narrowness of the dyke; and in five minutes the whole had laid down their arms, given up their horses to our fifers and drummers, and were marching to the rear.

As if to reward us for this dashing affair, a gust of wind blew aside the fog; the sun gleamed again; and Williamstadt, the French camp, the covering force formed in columns and waiting for us, and the whole country to the horizon, green as a duckpond, and altogether as smooth, burst on our view. The suddenness of the display was like the drawing-up of a stage curtain, with a melo-dramatic army and castle behind. Our advance was now rapid. The skirmishers on both sides began to engage, and our light artillery to throw a long shot now and then into the enemy’s columns. The difficulty of the ground, intersected with high narrow causeways stretching over marshy fields, retarded our progress; and for two hours—and they were the two longest hours which any of us had ever spent—we were forced to content ourselves with firing at our long range, and watching the progress of our more distant columns moving on the flank of the enemy. To a military eye nothing could be more interesting than the view of the vast field on which these concentric movements were developing themselves from hour to hour. At length we received the order to advance, and drive in a strong column which had just debouched from a wood in front of us. Our men rushed on with a cheer, threw in a heavy volley, and charged. Their weight was irresistible, and the French column broke, and took refuge again in the wood. Another glance showed me the whole British force in motion, every where pressing on; the enemy every where retreating, all their columns converging upon their camp. Those are the brilliant moments of a soldier’s life. All was exultation. We had met the enemy, and driven him from his position.

But the most difficult task of the day was still to be achieved. The French camp had been placed in strong ground; heavy batteries commanded every approach; and Dampierre, their   general, an officer of known ability, had exhibited all his skill in rendering the position, if not impregnable, at least one which could not be forced without the most serious loss. The day had been already far spent, and the troops were wearied with six hours’ marching and fighting; but nothing could restrain their eagerness to finish the victory. The heads of columns again advanced, and the firing became tremendous on both sides. The French batteries poured an absolute shower of balls upon us, and we were beginning to lose men, when a strange and indescribable sound suddenly caught every ear. Such was the universal sense of something more singular, and even more formidable, than the work of war, that the fire on our side rapidly subsided, and every eye was turned to look for the cause. It soon exhibited itself. With a roar like thunder, I saw the sea bursting in upon the plain where the enemy lay intrenched. The Dutch garrison had sallied out from Williamstadt, on the repulse of the French, and cut the dyke in several places. The ocean now fought our battle; each chasm in the long mound which protected the fields from inundation, was now the channel of a roaring cataract; the trenches were soon filled; as the waters advanced, the field-works were washed away; still wave rolled on wave; cannon, tents, baggage, every thing but the soldier himself, was seen gradually sinking, or floating away on the surface of the surge. Within the hour, the ground on which we had fought during the day was completely covered with the flood. The French camp was totally buried. The enemy had only time to make a hurried retreat, or rather flight, along the causeways which stood above the waters. As an army, they were utterly ruined; when they at last reached firm ground, they scattered through the country, and those battalions never appeared in the field again.

Our troops entered the relieved fortress, with drums beating and colours flying. We were received as deliverers; all that the place could offer was heaped upon us; and if praise could have repaid our exploits, never was praise more abundant from the lips of the whole population.

The catastrophe was complete; and when at night I broke away from the heat and noise of the huge barrack in which we had been placed, as the post of favour, and walked upon the rampart, nothing could form a more expressive contrast to the tumult of the day. The moon was high, and her light showed the whole extent of the late field of battle. But all now was one immense shining lake. Where cavalry had charged and artillery had roared, and the whole living clash and confusion of a stubborn engagement had filled the eye and ear but a few hours before, all was now an expanse of quiet water, calm as the grave, without a vestige of the struggle, but with hundreds of the combatants sleeping their last sleep below, and the whole artillery and equipment of a powerful army submerged.

I was still gazing from the ramparts, when I observed a body of cavalry advancing along the dike, at a rapid pace, with a group of staff officers among them. The alarm was given by the sentries; and, after some brief pause, it was ascertained that they were the escort of the new commander-in-chief of the allied armies in the Netherlands. My first impression was, that the man to whom so important a trust was given must be Clairfait; and I hastened down to meet him at our quarters. But I was disappointed; and for the dark and decided physiognomy, and military frankness of that distinguished soldier, I saw the Prince Cobourg, stern and lofty in his air, evidently too Austrian to be popular, yet known to be a gallant officer. But my disappointment was considerably assuaged by seeing one of his staff throw himself off his horse, and hasten towards me with almost joyous salutation. My surprise and pleasure were equal when I found him to be Guiscard!

Supper was on the table when I introduced the Prussian philosopher to my brother officers, and they were delighted with him. But he was the philosopher no longer, or rather had thrown off the half misanthropy which had made him so strong a contrast to my honest friend Varnhorst. His very countenance had adopted a   different expression. It was no longer stern and sarcastic, but was lighted up with pleasantry; and the only conception of the change which I could form was, either that he had arrived at that height of philosophy to which every thing seems trivial, or that he had met with some of those extraordinary instances of good fortune which throw all the world into sunshine for the moment.

But he was full of knowledge on the subject most interesting to his hearers; and he gave us his information of the allied councils, and the movements of the armies, with a copiousness and courtesy which all our questioning could not tire.

“We have now,” said he, “the finest army in line that Europe has ever seen; little less than 200,000 men are under the command of the prince. If he is suffered to move them in a mass, they must break through any part of the French territory which they choose. If they divide, they will be beaten. It will now take only three pitched battles to reach Paris—for the three covering armies fight with the guillotine in their rear. But a single unlucky skirmish may bring every peasant in France upon us; and it takes but fifteen days to make the French peasant a soldier. Blows, and those straightforward, are our true policy. If we negotiate, we shall be beaten; if beaten here, we shall be beaten on the Rhine, and perhaps even on the Danube.”

The news of Dumourier’s attempt to overthrow his government had reached us, but in the usual way of mystification. The answer of Guiscard was prompt and plain. “Dumourier,” said he, “is one of those men who has a one-sided understanding. He is a capital soldier, but a childish statesman; and, with an absurdity by no means limited to himself, he thinks that his talent lies in statesmanship. The result has been, that the factions have always managed him as they do all men of his calibre. When he attempted to act for himself, they crushed him without mercy; when he ceased to be a tool, he necessarily became a victim. The army is now in retreat. To the French retreat is always ruin; the horseman sells his horse; the foot-soldier sells his musket; and the artilleryman sells his powder and ball, breaks up his gun-carriage for a fire, and throws his gun into the next ditch. The peasantry then fall on them all, repay their plunder with the pike and the pitchfork, and in three days the army is dissolved.”

“But will Cobourg follow up his blow?” was the question on all sides.

“The commander-in chief,” was the answer, “is intelligent and brave. He has learned his profession under the greatest soldier whom Russia has produced, or perhaps ever will produce—Suwarrow. But he is himself under orders. If he were a republican general he would instantly march, and within a week he would be in the Tuileries. But as an Austrian commander, he must wait for the opinion of men too far off to know a single fact of the campaign, too blind to know them if they were on the spot, and too jealous even of their own general to suffer him to beat the enemy if victory would throw their own nothingness into the shade.”

Every hour now produced its event. A general feu-de-joie announced the first great success of the campaign; Mayence had been taken, with its garrison of 20,000 men. The French general Custine, had made an unsuccessful attack on the lines of the besiegers, to relieve the fortress in its last extremity, had been beaten, and driven back into the Vosges, where he was at liberty to starve among the most barren mountains of France. But this intelligence came qualified by the formidable rumour that Prussia was already making terms with the French, that it had acknowledged the government as the “Republic,” and even that the Prussians had sung the Marsellaise. Thus we had the light and shade.

But while politicians tremble, soldiers are gay. What were all those shiftings and doublings to us? We had all the luxuries of the most luxurious of all lives, the foreign camp. We had now marched from the country of fogs and bogs, and were moving through the richest soil, and not the least beautiful landscape, of the Continent. Holland was left behind, Flanders was round us, France was before us.   We had the finest army of Europe, untouched by disaster, confident in its strength, and the enemy in full flight. If we despised the fugitives, we fully as much despised the politicians; the man with the sword in his hand naturally scorns the man with the pen behind his ear. Thus we galloped, danced, and dreamed on. The spring, too, had come; the harshness of a foreign winter had been changed within a few days to the delightful softness of early summer. The fields were covered with flowers, and the country was filled with the preparations for the rural fêtes of the first of May. I enjoyed the scene doubly, for I had been sent along with a squadron of dragoons to the advanced posts, and thus escaped the turmoil of the camp. My quarters were in one of the old Flemish country-houses, which had been the headquarters of the French general, and had thus escaped the usual ravage. The chateau was large, well furnished in the national fashion, and the half-dozen domestics who remained after the escape of their master, were charmed with the expenditure which always follows the presence of English troops. My companion, the captain of dragoons, was one of the finest specimens of his country—the heir of a noble family, generous and gay, brave as his own sword, and knowing as little of the soldier’s life as became a young aristocrat with the prospect of thirty thousand a-year. He insisted on our giving a ball to the Flemings; and our invitations were sent out accordingly for half a dozen leagues round. They included, of course, the camp; and every lounger who could obtain leave for the night came crowding in upon us. Nothing could succeed better. All was festivity within doors. But not so all without, for the night suddenly changed from serenity to storm. England is not the only spot famed for fickleness of atmosphere. By midnight every beech and elm round the chateau was tossing and bending down to the roots, and a heavy snowfall was already sheeting the fields. As the storm rose, it occurred to me to ascertain what provision might have been made against it by our soldiers, who were lodged in the barns and extensive outhouses of the chateau. Leaving my dragoon friend to act as master of the ceremonies, I sallied forth. The storm was now at its height; and it was with some difficulty that I could make my way. In the midst of the excessive darkness, I felt some animal make a sudden spring on me, which nearly brought me to the ground. Wolves were not common in the country, but there had been some recent instances of their issuing from the forests, and my first idea was that I had been thus attacked. But the barking and bounding of a dog soon put an end to this conception; and I recognised in my assailant the huge house-dog of the chateau, with whom I had already struck up a particular friendship. More sharpsighted than myself, he had rushed across the wood after me, and exhibited all imaginable rejoicing at the rencontre. I reached the barns, found all my men wrapped in that quiet which cares nothing for the troubles of kings and cabinet councils, and was preparing to return, when Cæsar, with every demonstration of having found something of importance, brought me a letter which he had dug out of the snow. By the light of the lantern, I discovered it to be the report of an engineer officer dispatched from the French army to ascertain the condition of our outposts, informing the head of the staff of an intended ball, and proposing a plan for carrying off the whole party together. I was thunderstruck. The letter was dated three days before, and though evidently dropped by some negligence of the officer, yet giving full time for him to make his report in person, and bring the force necessary for our capture. If it succeeded, an exploit of this order might have paralysed the whole campaign; for nearly the entire staff of the army, besides a crowd of regimental officers of all grades, were within the walls of the chateau.

I hastened back, showed the report to one or two of the principal officers, in private, for the purpose of avoiding alarm to our fair partners, and we then considered what means were left to protect us from the approaching catastrophe. Our little council of war was nearly as much perplexed as matters of this kind are in general;   and the propositions, various as they were, came finally to the usual result, that we had got into a scrape, and that we must get out of it as well as we could. To send the ladies away was impossible, in a tempest which already flooded every road, and with all the trees crashing over their heads. To expect reinforcements from the camp, at such a distance, and in such weather, was hopeless; with the recollection that the whole affair might be over in the next quarter of an hour, and our entire assembly be in march before the French hussars. This was the first occasion of my responsibility as a soldier; and I learned, from this time forth, to give commanders-in-chief some credit for their responsibilities. The agonies of that half hour I have never forgotten. Military failure was nothing compared to the universal shame and blighting which must fall on the officer who suffered such a disgrace to be inflicted on him in the presence of the whole army; and such a calamity to arrest the progress of that army, if not the hopes of Europe. My resolution was desperately but decidedly taken, if the post fell into the enemy’s hands, on that night to throw away my sword and abandon my profession, unless some French bayonet or bullet relieved me from all the anxieties of this feverish world. To offer the command of the post to any of the superior officers present was, as I well knew, contrary to rule; and on me and the dragoon devolved the whole duty.

But this state of almost nervous torture was as brief as it was painful, and my faculties became suddenly clear. The service of outposts was a branch of soldiership, at that period, wholly unpractised by the British troops; but I had seen it already on its most perfect scale in the Prussian retreat, which I and my hussars had our share in covering. My first step was to warn my soldiers and the dragoons of the probability of attack, and my second to call for a favourite quadrille, in which I saw all our guests busily engaged before I left the chateau. My next was to repeat my Prussian lesson in reconnoitring all the avenues to the house. This, which ought to have been our first act on taking possession, had been neglected, in the common belief that the enemy were in full retreat. The gallant captain of dragoons prepared to take a gallop at the head of a party along the chaussée, and ascertain whether there were any symptoms of movement along the road. He mounted and was gone. Posting the dragoons in the farm-yard, I went to the front to make such preparations as the time might allow for the enemy. Like the greater number of the Flemish chateaux, it was approached by a long avenue lined with stately trees; but it wanted the customary canal, or the fosse, which, however detestable as an accompaniment to the grounds in peace, makes a tolerable protection in times of war, at least from marauding parties. All was firm, grand, and open, except where the garden walls and hedges of the lawn shut it in. As the avenue was the only approach accessible to cavalry, and as this was the force which would probably be used for a coup-de-main, if it were to be attempted at all, I set all hands to work to secure it. Wild as the night was, my men wielded the spade and mattock with good will; and we had completed a trench of some feet deep and wide, half across the road, when I caught the trampling of cavalry at a distance. My chagrin was irrepressible; the enemy would be upon us before we had got through our work, and we must be taken or fly. My men worked vigorously; but the cavalry were upon us—and to my utter astonishment and infinite relief, our labours produced a roar of laughter. The party were our dragoons, who had looked for the French advance in vain, and were now amusing themselves with our waste of toil. We forgave them their jest; they passed, and we prepared to follow to our quarters. But still the French officer’s report haunted me; the precision of its terms, and the feasibility of the enterprise itself, struck with new force; and even after I had given the word to move, I halted the men, and climbing a little pleasure turret by the side of the avenue, gave a parting glance round the horizon. Nothing was to be seen. The night was dark as a dungeon, and I prepared to descend, when at that moment the distant sound of a trumpet broke on the air. I listened, and thought that I recognised the French call for cavalry   to saddle and mount. I sprang down; every man piled his arms, took spade and mattock in hand once more, and in a few minutes the trench was completed across the road. Still no further notice of approaching troops was to be heard; and I heard a low, but rather provoking laugh among my company. Still I determined to persevere, and ordering some of the trees round us to be cut down, formed a rude species of chevaux-de-frise in front of our trench. It was scarcely finished, when the distant trampling of cavalry was heard in the lull of the gale. All were now convinced, and dispatching a notice to the dragoons to be ready, we stood to our arms. Giving the strictest orders that not a word should be spoken, nor a shot fired, I waited for the enemy. The trampling increased every moment, and it was evident that the body of cavalry must be large, though of its actual numbers we could form no conjecture. They suddenly stopped at the entrance of the avenue, and I was in fear that my trou-de-rat would be discovered; but the national impatience soon spared me this vexation. The cavalry, hearing nothing in the shape of resistance, and not relishing the pelting of the storm in the open country, rushed in without further search, and came pouring on at the gallop. The avenue was long, and the whole corps was already within it, when the leading squadrons came at full speed upon my rude fortifications. In they dashed, into the very heart of my chevaux-de-frise. Nothing could equal the confusion. Some sprang over the trees, but it was only to be flung into the trench; some even leaped the trench, but it was only to be met by our bayonets. The greater number, startled by the cries of their unlucky comrades in front, attempted to rein back; but found it impossible, from the weight of the squadrons still pushing on from behind. At this point, while they stood a struggling mass, wholly unable to move either backward or forward, I gave the word to fire, and poured in a volley with terrible execution. An ineffectual firing of pistols was their only return. Some of their officers now rushed to the front, with the usual gallantry of their character, called on their men to advance, and charged the trench; but this dash only filled it with falling men and horses. I gave them a second volley, which was followed by a howl of despair; the whole of their leading squadron was brought down—every shot had told. The mass still stood, evidently taken by surprise, and wholly unable to extricate themselves. I now ordered our dragoons to mount, take a circuit to the head of the avenue, and, if possible, close them in. In a few minutes, I heard the effect of my order in their galloping through the enclosures, and in the shout of a charge at the further end of the avenue. The staff and other officers in the chateau had hurried out at the sound of our firing, and some had come up to us, and others had joined the dragoons. A proposal was now sent by a general officer to the commandant of the brigade, to surrender, with a threat of being put to the sword in case of an instant’s delay. The brave Frenchman was indignant at the proposal, and threatened to hang the bearer of it to the next tree. But the British camp had palpably been alarmed by this time. Bugles and trumpets were heard in every direction. Our dragoons had already shut up the avenue; and after some slight discussion, the advance of a few squadrons more, which came up at the gallop, proved the total impossibility of escape, and the affair was at an end. This night’s mêlée had no rival in the campaign; it put into our hands twelve hundred of the best cavalry in the French army, and almost wholly stripped the enemy of the means of protecting his flanks, while it made a most brilliant figure in the Gazette—the true triumph of the British soldier.

To me, it was a restoration to life from the depths of despair. It may be perfectly true, that many a post has been surprised, and many an officer captured, without being objects of penalty, or even of public observation; but my case was different. My character as a soldier was essential to my existence. The eyes of many, at home and abroad, were on me; and the scorn of one, wherever she was, would have been fatal to me. But of those bitter extremes I say no more; my spirit was buoyant with a sense that I had done my duty in the most effective style. Nor was I left   to my solitary sense on the subject. My return to the chateau was as triumphant as if I had gained a pitched battle at the head of a hundred thousand men. Our fair guests, who had spent the hour before in the terrors of instant capture, were boundless in their congratulations and expressions of gratitude. The officers, to whom my defence had made the entire difference between a French prison and liberty, spoke in the manliest and most cheering terms of my conduct. The scene of the struggle was visited during the next day by every officer of the army who could obtain a horse and an hour’s leave; and the report which was forwarded to the commander-in-chief contained language which was regarded as a sure pledge of promotion.

Guiscard hurried over to join in the congratulation. He had been employed until a late hour in sending despatches to his court, relative to the growing problems of our politics with Prussia; and taking the first opportunity of throwing aside the envoy, he came at a gallop to shake hands with me. His impatience to see the ground scarcely suffered him to sit down at table; his toast to the brave British army was given, and we went out to traverse the avenue. After having inspected every corner of it with his keen military glance—“You will find my theory right,” said he; “war is always a succession of mistakes. There never has been a battle fought, in which even the successful general could not point out a series of his own blunders, any one of which might have ruined him. The only distinction is, that there are brilliant mistakes and stupid ones. Yours was of the former order—the Frenchman’s of the latter. If, instead of sending his whole brigade headlong down the road, like clowns at a fair, he had dismounted half a squadron of his dragoons, and sent them to fire into the casements of the chateau, while he kept the rest of his men in hand in the neighbourhood, he must have captured every soul of the party, and by this time had you all fast at the French headquarters; but he blundered, and he has paid the price of blundering.” To my laughing reply, “that there was at least some merit in the steadiness of the men who beat him”—“Of course,” was his answer. “The English steadiness is like the English fire, the grand cure for the English contempt of the tactician. Yours is an army of grenadiers; you are fit for nothing but assaults: but it must be owned that your troops of old managed that part of their business well, and I dare say that the art is not lost among you yet. Still, there are other matters to be thought of. Pray,” said he, turning his keen eye on me, “can any one in the chateau tell how near is the French army to-night?” I acknowledged my ignorance. “I ask the question,” said he, “because I think it by no means improbable, that they are at this moment marching down upon you. Not that they can afford to lose a brigade of cavalry a-night, and I therefore think you safe enough for the twelve hours to come; but I am far from answering for the next twenty-four. Dampierre commands them; I know him well—he is a bold and also a clever fellow; the loss of his cavalry last night will leave him no alternative but to attack you or to meet the guillotine. Those are fine times to make a general officer look about him. My last letters from the Rhine state that the two generals of the two covering armies on the frontier have been put under arrest, and that they are now both on their way to Paris, from which Custine and Beauharnais will never return with their heads on their shoulders.”

I shuddered at this fate of brave men, overcome only by circumstances, and asked whether it was possible that such a system could last, or in any case could be endured by men with swords in their hands.

“It can, and will,” was the reply. “Soldiers are the simplest race of mankind, when they come in contact with the cunning men of cities. An army, showy and even successful as it may be, is always an instrument and no more—a terrible instrument, I grant you, but as much in the hands of the civilian as one of your howitzers is in the hands of the men who load and fire it. At this moment sixty commissioners, ruffians and cut-throats to a man—fellows whom the true soldier abhors, and who are covered with blood from top to toe—are on their   way from Paris to the headquarters of the fourteen armies of the republic. Woe be to the general who has a will of his own! Those fellows will arrest him in the midst of his own staff, carry him off in the presence of his army, and send him to give a popular holiday to the Parisians, by his execution within half an hour after his arrival. So much for the power of an army.”

“But Frenchmen are human beings after all. Must not those horrors revolt human nature?” was my question, put with indignant sincerity. He looked at me with a quiet smile.

“You are romantic, Marston, but you are of an age that becomes romance. When you shall have lived as long as I have done, and seen as much of the world as myself, you will know that it is utterly selfish. It may be true, that some generous spirits are to be found here and there, some fond hearts to cling to, some noble natures which inspire an involuntary homage for their superiority; but you might as well expect to be lighted on your way by a succession of meteors. In the world, you will find that every man carries his lantern for himself; and that whether small or great his light, the first object is to guide his own steps, with not the slightest care whether yours may not be into the swamp—unless, indeed, he may have a particular object in bewildering you into the very heart of it. But now, to more pressing affairs than my honest and luckless philosophy. Get leave from your colonel to take a ride with me. I feel a sudden wish to know what Dampierre is doing; and a few hours, and as few leagues, may supply us with information on points which your brave countrymen seem so constitutionally to despise. But recollect that I am a Prussian.”

We returned to the table, which was crowded with visitors, and spent an hour or two in great enjoyment; for what enjoyment can be higher than the conversation of minds willing to give and receive intellectual pleasure? And Guiscard was never more animated, easy, and abundant, in communicating that pleasure. He was a model of the most accomplished order of the continental gentleman. He had commenced life as a scholar; a disappointment in his affections drove him into the army. He discovered that he was made for the profession; and, combining the accomplished diplomatist with the almost chivalric soldier, he had rapidly risen to the highest rank of the royal staff. But he had the still rarer qualities of a sincere heart, and was a firm and willing friend.

The orderly now returned with the leave for which I had applied. The post was left in charge of the captain of dragoons; and Guiscard and I, without mentioning our purpose, rode out quietly, as if to enjoy the cool of the evening. It was well worth enjoying. The storm had gone down at daybreak, and been succeeded by a glowing sun; the fields flourished again, and if I had been disposed to forget the tremendous business which might be preparing for the morrow, I might have lingered long over the matchless luxuriance of the Flemish landscape. There certainly never was one which gave slighter evidence of the approach of two hostile armies. From the first hill which we ascended, the view, for leagues round, exhibited nothing but the rich tranquillity of a country wholly agricultural; soft uplands, covered with cattle grazing; ploughed fields, purpling in the twilight; clumps of trees sheltering villages, from which the smoke of the evening fires rose slowly on the almost breathless air, giving an impression of the comfort and plenty of the meal within; and at intervals, some huge old chateau, with its buttressed and richly-wrought architecture—those carvings and colourings which so strikingly convey the idea of a past age of quaint luxury and lavish wealth—rose from the centre of its beech grove, glaring against the sunset, as if it had been suddenly covered with a sheet of gold. All was peace, and the few peasants whom we met, as the night fell, were all in the same tale, that there had been no patrols in their neighbourhood of late, and that, with the exception of the attack on the “outposts of the English,” they had not heard or seen any thing of the French for a month before.

The night had now fallen, and though calm, it was one of remarkable darkness. We passed village after village, but by this time all were fast asleep, and except the disturbance of   the house-dogs as we rode by, not a sound was to be heard. I felt every inclination to take my share of “nature’s sweet restorer, balmy sleep,” and proposed to my companion to turn our horses into the first farm-yard, and “borrow an hour” or two’s rest from the farmer’s hospitality, and clean straw.

“I agree with you,” was the answer, “that Dampierre is clearly not on this road; but that is no reason why he may not be on some other. On considering the matter, I think that we have been wrong in looking for him here; for his national adroitness is much more likely to have tried a movement in any other direction. He may be marching on either the right or the left of the spot where we are standing. And if he is the officer which I believe him to be, he is trying this game at this moment.”

“What then is to be done, but ride back to our quarters, unless we should prefer being cut off by his advance?” was my question.

“One thing is to be done,” was the reply—“we must not let ourselves be laughed at; and if we return with nothing more for our night’s work than the story that we slept in a Flemish barn, we shall be laughed at. So far as I am concerned, I care nothing for the sneers of ignorance; but, my young friend, your late conduct has inevitably made you an object of envy already; and the only way to pluck the sting out of envy, is by giving the envious some new service to think of.”

We now agreed to separate, and examine the country to the right and left for an hour precisely, meeting at one of the villages in the road, if no advance of the enemy were discernible within that time. We parted, and I commenced as comfortless an expedition as it would be easy to imagine. The Flemish cross-roads, never very passable, were now deep in mire; the rivulets, of which they are generally the conduits, had been swelled by the storm of the night before; and I floundered on for nearly the appointed time, in the full perplexity of a stray traveller. I was on the point of returning, when I observed a sudden light rising above some farm-houses, about half a league off. The light rapidly strengthened, and I rode forward, in some degree guided by its illumination. But after blazing fiercely for a while, it sank as suddenly as it rose; and I was again left bewildered among hedges and ditches. But a loud hum of voices, followed by the sound of many footsteps, now convinced me that a large body of men were near; though whether peasants roused by the fire, or battalions, I was still unable to discover. While I stood under cover of a clump of trees by the roadside, the question was settled by the march of a patrol of cavalry, followed at brief intervals by squadrons and light troops intermixed. It was evident that Dampierre meditated a surprise of the British forces, and that the whole of his skirmishers were already in motion. How long this movement had continued, or how near the enemy might already have approached to the British camp, was entirely beyond my conjecture; and for the first few moments, the probability of the surprise, and the possibility of my being already so completely within the range of the French march as to preclude my bearing the intelligence in sufficient time, made the drops of anxiety and perturbation roll down my forehead. But every thing must be tried. I no longer attempted to wind my way back through the network of lanes; but, in the spirit of an English sportsman, took the country in a straight line towards the British quarters. My horse, a thorough English hunter, evidently preferred leaping the Flemish fences to wading his way through the swamps; and I had the honour of bringing the first information, and the happiness of finding that I had brought it just in the right time.

The camp was immediately under arms; every preparation was made in a silence which gave me a high conception of the capabilities of the British soldier for every species of service; and, without a sound among ten thousand men, we waited for the approach of the enemy.

Dampierre’s manœuvre had been a dashing one—conceived and managed with the skill of an able officer. His purpose had been to throw his main body into the rear of our position; and while he drew off our attention   by a false attack on our front, avail himself of the confusion of a night attack to crush us. Whether the fighting qualities of the Englishman would not have made him repent of his plan under any circumstances, is no longer the question; but the surprise was now wholly his own. The first volley which we poured into his columns, as they crept up stealthily towards our line, was so heavy that it finished the battle. By the blaze of the musketry, we could see the French masses actually rolling back upon each other, staggering and shaken like landsmen at sea, or like any man in an earthquake. Our cavalry were now ordered to follow; but the enemy were too quick in making their escape; and the intersected nature of the country forbade any continued pursuit. A few shots from our howitzers, which ripped up the ground after them, were all that we could send as our parting present; and the engagement, which began in such silence and sternness, finished in roars of laughter from all our battalions.

Day broke, and the order was issued to follow the French general. The troops, animated by the prospect of coming to action at last, and utterly wearied with the idleness of the camp, received the intelligence with shouts; and the whole moved rapidly forward. Dampierre, before his march of the previous night, had provided for casualty, by forming an intrenched camp in the famous position of Famars. It was strong by nature, and he had added to its strength by covering it with fieldworks, and a powerful artillery. It was late in the day before we came within sight of it; and its strength, from the height of its glacis—the natural glacis made by a succession of sloping hills—was all displayed to full and formidable advantage. The troops, fatigued with the length of the march under the burning sun of one of the hottest days which I ever felt, were halted at the foot of the heights; and the plans of attack proposed were various enough to have perplexed the Aulic Council itself. Lines of circumvallation, or bombardment, or waiting the effect of famine, were successively urged. But the British style prevailed at last over the scientific. The Guards were ordered to head the column which was to storm the lines in front, and columns on the right and left were put in motion at the same instant. We rushed forward under a general discharge of the French artillery and musketry, and in a quarter of an hour the position was in our hands. The difficulty of its approach, and the broken nature of the ground in its rear, enabled the French general to make his retreat with the chief part of his forces. But our prize was well worth the trouble; for we brought back two thousand prisoners, and the whole artillery in position.

The war had now begun in earnest; and our advance was unintermitted. On the eighth day from the storm of Famars, we again came in sight of Dampierre. He was now the assailant; our army, which had never exceeded ten thousand men, (such was the military parsimony of those days,) with the Prussian troops, and some of the smaller German contingents, were now unwisely spread to cover a line of nearly thirty miles. The French general had seized the opportunity of retaliating his ill fortune upon the allied troops. At daybreak we were roused by the tidings that the French had broken through our weak extended line in several places, and had got into the rear of the whole army. The force of the enemy, its direction, or its object, were alike matters of total ignorance; and, for some hours, it was impossible to obtain any exact information.

It was in vain that we adopted all the usual expedients, of detaching officers, examining peasants, or judging of the progress of the engagement by the sound of the advancing or retreating fire. We had only to wait, drawn up ready for action, and take our chance of the result. Of all the contingencies of the field, none is more perplexing; but I had a personal source of anxiety to add to the general vexation. I had every reason to believe that my excellent friend, Guiscard, had either fallen into the hands of the enemy, or had been killed on the night when we separated. If either misfortune had occurred, it was solely in consequence of his zeal for my character, and the thought inexpressibly distressed me. I had made the most persevering enquiries for him, but without any success; or   rather, with a painful gathering of facts, all which told against my feelings. His horse had been found straying through the country; his helmet had been also found; and a fragment of a sabre, in a spot evidently much trampled, and which, therefore, appeared to be the scene of the personal rencontre in which he had probably fallen. Every thing had been found but his body.

At length, the firing, which had continued with more or less steadiness during the day, approached our position and we were ordered to advance. The country was now a portion of an ancient forest, and it was difficult to see in front of us beyond a few hundred yards. As we made way, we could hear not only the musketry but the shouting of the troops engaged; as, growing constantly more impatient, we pressed on, a mounted officer came galloping towards us. Judge of my astonishment and delight when I saw Guiscard. As he reined up beside me—

“I have not a moment,” said he, “to speak to you; you shall hear of my adventures by and by. I was in as much fear for you as you probably were for me. But now, tell me where I am to look for the officer in command of the column.”

The general was soon found, and Guiscard communicated to him that the enemy had concentrated his chief force directly in front of us, where a Prussian column had been posted; that the Prussians had resisted vigorously several successive attacks; but that the force converging on it was too powerful, and that it must speedily retire. “Then let it retire,” was the general’s reply, “and we shall take their place.”

“Pardon me, general,” was the prompt suggestion of the pupil of a more experienced school; “but, if you will permit me, I shall ride back to my countrymen, inform them of your advance, and make them hold their position until you come out from the forest upon the enemy’s flank.”

His opinion was received, and he put spurs to his horse and was gone. We now moved with all speed to the right of our former direction; and after half an hour’s toiling through the intricacies of a wood on which no axe seemed to have fallen since the Deluge, passed round the enemy, and came full upon their rear. A few volleys, thrown in upon them in this state of alarm, broke them; the Prussian fire in front, and our’s in the rear, made their disorder irreparable. In this crisis, Dampierre rushed forward with a group of aides-de-camp to restore the engagement, striking the fugitives with his sabre, and desperately exposing his person to the balls which now fell thick as hail around him. For a while he seemed to bear a charmed life; but a rifleman of the Prussian hulans took a sure aim. He fired, and I saw the unfortunate general fall from his horse. He had died instantly. A more gallant death, and scarcely a more expeditious one, than awaited the unsuccessful generals of the merciless Republic. We buried him on the spot where he fell, with the honours due to a distinguished soldier. Before nightfall the French had retired in all quarters; and the remnant of the troops hurried across the Flemish frontier, utterly disheartened and ruined.

This engagement, which was known long after as the battle of the forest of Vicogne, cleared the Netherlands, raised the fame of the British troops to the highest pitch, and left in their hands four thousand prisoners.

The councils of the allied camp now assumed a bolder tone. France was before us. The popular enthusiasm had been cooled by time and calamity. Defeat had taught the nation the folly of supposing that it could contend single-handed with Europe; and the only obstacle to our march to Paris was the line of fortresses erected by Louis XIV. The most powerful of those fortresses lay in the road by which the British columns were advancing; and it was with a singular mixture of rejoicing and anxiety, of ardour and awe, that I saw, at the breaking of a brilliant morning, spread beneath me the strong city of Valenciennes.


“Oh! I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams.”—Hamlet.

“I am wrapp’d in dismal thinkings.”—Shakspeare.

I have been a dreamer all my life. The earliest recollections of my childhood are of dreams of greatness. My boyhood’s visions were peopled with warlike tumults. There were no spring mornings to my brain even in early youth; my heart was clouded with shadow, and sadness reigned when mirth and careless glee should have been pre-eminent. My manhood has been a fitful, feverish, and painful existence. I have outlived all whom I ever cared for; I have seen those whom I idolized lie before me cold and senseless; and now, with every event vividly impressed upon my memory, each tone of the voice of her I loved dropping like liquid fire into my brain, and drying up the tears that would weep away my anguish—feeling all this with intensity, and longing for the free air of heaven, I find myself alone—desolate—and HERE!!

Oh! the horror of this prison-solitude—the anxious watching for the pale morning after sleepless nights—the horrible nights when fantastic shapes are alone visible, mocking at and jeering me—when the only sounds I hear are the ravings of some wretched maniac, confined, like myself, because we have made for ourselves a world, and our imaginations have created a presiding divinity; and, should a laugh disturb the silence, it is the outbreak of a maddened spirit seeking relief from thought—a laugh frightful, because a mockery—sad in its boisterousness—“the laugh which laughs not.”

For many weary years I have been pent up in this prison, pining for freedom, hoping for things which never existed, conjuring up anticipations of a brighter future, calling upon her who made

“The starlight of my boyhood,”

to look down upon me from her blest abode, and woo me back to calmness by one gentle word, one loving glance; and then sinking into hopeless, bitter despondency, when I remembered that she was gone, and that I should see her no more.

Sometimes I can think of her in her exquisite beauty, and my soul drinks in, as it were, the sweet and liquid tones of the voice which once spoke peace to me, and, fancying her again before me, I sink into an unquiet slumber, till some hideous dream oppresses me, and I see the fair brow of my “Julia” contracted, withered; and instead of her silvery voice of enchantment, a hissing sound escapes the lips I have worshipped. I rise, and try to approach, but she recedes. I awake—I start from my uneasy bed—I find this horrible picture, which bore the impress of reality, is but a dream. I awake to the consciousness that my beloved is dead, and that my eyes will gaze upon her beauty no more.

How few there are in this busy world who, when passing those abodes of wretchedness—“private madhouses”—can imagine the agony, the misery, the despair that dwells there! But to my history.

I was the only child of General Sir Frederick and Lady Charlotte B——. I was reared in luxury; the rude air was scarcely allowed to blow upon my delicate frame. I can remember now, though years have passed, and sorrow has bowed me—I can remember the happy days when my wearied head was pillowed on the bosom of my mother, and, after she had sung me to sleep with some wild melody, she would place me in my small luxurious cot, and watch over me with those deep-loving eyes, and be the first to comfort and re-assure me if uneasy dreams—for even then I was a dreamer—made me awake to sorrow. But my mother died. Even now I shudder at the recollection of the desolateness of my agony when I knew I had looked on her for the last time. Even now I can feel the coldness which crept over me as I laid my cheek to hers. My blood was frozen. I could not weep. Oh! tears would have been a relief, but they were denied   me; and though I saw her taken from my embrace, and her beloved form laid in the vault, I could still gaze with speechless agony—but I wept not.

How I wished for the quiet of the grave; for even then there was a whirlwind within my bosom, and my sensitive heart shrank from holding converse with, or bestowing confidence on another as freely or unreservedly as I had done with the dear being whom I had lost.

Shortly after this event my father was ordered upon foreign service, and my childhood was passed among relatives who were strangers to me. It was a childhood without love. I remembered my mother, and none could supply her place. I could not trust in another as I had trusted in her. In my sorrows, real or imaginary, none other could comfort me. I longed for my childhood’s resting-place, where I might again pillow my aching head, and sleep once more the calm sleep hallowed by a mother’s matchless love.

At an early age I was sent to one of our great public schools, and there, although I endured some hardships, yet I experienced also something like the pleasures and pastimes of boyhood.

From having been a weakly, delicate child, I grew strong and active; but a gloom was ever upon me.

In my moments of relaxation I would join some of my companions in their games of play; but even then a dark phantom pursued me, and I would fancy a shadowless spirit was after me: if I ran it always followed me with its noiseless steps, and my constant fear was, that it would overtake me. This was madness—aye, I can see it now—it was madness coming upon me.

I frequently used to endeavour to dispel the illusion by reading; but if I raised my eyes from my book there was the figure, looking at me and sighing, and its lips would move to speak—but there was no sound.

I have sat for hours watching this bane of my existence. I have sat till my eyes were fixed from fright, and I have tried to move, but I felt chained to the spot, and the fetters that appeared to bind me, seemed of cold heavy steel, that fell on my whole body and paralyzed me. Then I could feel my heart growing dead, and yet throbbing with those dull, audible throbs, till at last I have shrieked in the agony of my horror, and only then would the dark being leave me—but it left me moody and mad.

I had one friend at school who would soothe me by gentle words, and tell me my fears were but fancy, and he would hold my hands until I slept, and lost, for a time at least, the phantom which pursued me.

That friend is dead. I have outlived him. Why should the madman live?

When I was about sixteen a new life opened to me. There came as a visitor to one of the ladies belonging to the establishment, a young and lovely girl. I first saw her at the private chapel belonging to the school. The moment I looked at her a gush of hitherto unknown pleasure came to my heart. I felt that I could love her.

I saw her again and again. I have stood for hours by the house in which she was, hoping to catch a glimpse of her. Sometimes I was successful—more frequently not—but it was something to hope for. Once I fancied that her eye fell upon me. Oh, how I was repaid by that one pure glance!

While she remained at ——, my life was one of bright and vivid fancy, and I was cheered by the angel Hope; but at length her visit came to a termination; yet, though I knew she had departed, I would go daily to my accustomed watching place, and gaze until I fancied the beautiful girl was again before me.

At the usual period my school days ended, and my college life began. I was entered at Christ Church, Oxford. I read hard, and obtained the highest honours. My fame was brilliant. I was talked of, and marked by my superiors as a rising man.

Shortly afterwards, I was returned as one of the members of a family borough in my native county, and my first speech in Parliament met with general applause. The world called me a fortunate man. Oh! they little knew the nights of horror I passed—the battling I had with my attendant phantom, which still pursued me, blighted me. But I was mad; and the excitement of madness was called energy.

How often I have laughed them to   scorn, as I have sat alone with the dark spirit!

My sole ambition was that the girl whom I had seen and admired might hear of my career; and that, with honours crowded upon me, I might see her again, that I might place my laurel crown at her feet, lay bare my heart’s best feelings, my undying love for her, and prove to her how entire was my devotion, how earnest my worship.

I saw many young and lovely girls; and I was told that mothers looked upon me as a desirable match—but I was true to my first love. I remembered her in the perfection of maiden beauty—I wished for none other; and to see her again was my sole hope in life.

After a season of unceasing gaiety and dissipation—sick of London and its vanities—I determined to travel, and for seven years I was absent from my native land.

I was recalled to attend the deathbed of my father. I had seen but little of him; he had no sympathy with me, and in heart we were strangers to each other. He was proud of my talents, and I was an only son; but he never bestowed any real affection on me. I honoured him because he was my parent; but I never loved him as I ought to have loved a father.

He died, and I succeeded to the baronetcy and estates; but I was already tired of life—wretched in the midst of my splendour. In a word—I was mad.

At the table of a friend I met a man a few years my senior, whom I had known at school. We renewed our acquaintance; and I accepted an invitation to dine at his house, to meet some old schoolfellows.

I consented to go, but not cheerfully, for a moody state of mind was coming over me. I can remember the struggle, the exertion it was to dress for the party. Twenty times I was tempted to send a message saying I was too unwell to go, but my better angel prevailed—and I went. To what an eventful period was that evening but the prelude!

My friend met and welcomed me with a cordiality which somewhat cheered me; but I had a weight on my spirits from which I could not rouse myself, and most reluctantly accompanied Sir Charles Tracey, with faltering steps and an aching heart and brow, into the inner drawing-room, to be introduced to his wife, Lady Tracey.

She was seated on a low ottoman, with her back to the door, reading. She arose as her husband presented me to her as his old friend, Sir Frederick B——. She turned towards me, and for a moment I was overpowered. I beheld before me the creature I had so long pined for—so earnestly searched for—whose memory I had so devotedly and entirely worshipped.

With exquisite grace she extended her hand to welcome her husband’s guest, and as I held those small taper fingers in mine, thick coming fancies crowded upon me. I was again the schoolboy—the anxious, ardent schoolboy, longing even for a look from this lovely woman, whose hand I now held in mine.

Hot tears rushed into my eyes, and I bent over the fair hand to conceal them.

This momentary cloud passed away, and while seated by her, I forgot that we had ever been parted, and imagination peopled a world of love—a paradise of hope.

“But she in these fond feelings had no share.”

The years which had passed, had changed her from a lovely girl into the more matured loveliness of the matron.

When I had last seen her, her hair, which was a rich and shining black, hung in natural and graceful curls over her beautiful and classically formed head. Now the thick and luxuriant mass was gathered into a knot behind, and laid in soft bands over her pure and polished brow.

Her eyes were of that deep full blue which is so rare, and were large and bright, and full of fire and spirit, which at times gave an appearance of haughtiness to her noble countenance; her throat, neck, and arms, were white as ivory, and formed in the most perfect mould; her height was commanding, and her figure exquisitely proportioned.

Before she spoke I could only look at her with wonder, that any thing so glorious could be earthly; but the   instant she addressed me, a peculiar witchery played over her features and about her mouth; and my wonder was instantly changed into love and adoration, and I drank in with eagerness the silvery sweetness of her voice.

I fancied on this night that Lady Tracey bestowed more attention on me than on her other guests; for women have an intuitive tact in discovering when a man admires devotedly.

For that night I lost my dark phantom, I slept a sweet sleep, dreaming of things which could never be accomplished; and my waking vision, as wild and improbable, was that she might one day return my love.

I would not lose sight of my newly found treasure. I called at her residence. I was admitted. Again I gazed; and worshipped. Lady Tracey looked more lovely by daylight than with the full blaze of candle-light upon her beauty. There was a delicacy about her complexion no daylight could impair; but it spoke also of a delicacy of constitution which made me tremble as I gazed.

The fascination of her manner, the elegance of her movements, her light and airy tread, her musical voice, her bright but subdued laugh; all these combined made me idolize her.

There is but one sun in heaven: there was but one Julia to my eyes on earth. Her shadow had fallen on my heart, as the sun on an island far away from land in the lonely sea. It was filled with light and verdure, and all my best feelings were warmed to ripeness by her glowing smile.

We conversed together on poetry, music, history, the arts; and I discovered she possessed a refined and superior intellect. A sparkling tincture of satire mingled with her mention of men and things; but while she did this with perfect temper and gentleness, it gave a brilliancy to her conversation not to be described. She expressed a wish for a book which I had the happiness to possess; here was an opportunity for another visit. Again and again we met, and I was intoxicated with love; but I saw no reciprocal feeling on her part. She was the same gentle and charming being; but she bestowed no love upon the poor visionary who adored her.

On the days we met I was gay and happy; but on the intervening ones I was in despair. All my darkest thoughts came back upon me, fraught with even greater horrors. I tried to battle with my evil spirit, but I could not subdue it. It grasped me tightly in its fetters; and I had no respite until I was again in the presence of my Julia. The smallest sound of her voice, with its silvery sweetness, broke the sad chain which had bound me, and I was free to look—to love—to worship again. Oh, why did not these moments of rapture last for ever! This holy calm, like an enchanted circle, into which my spirit of evil dared not venture, why was it broken? Why did sickness, and sorrow, and madness—yes, furious, hopeless, desponding madness—darken those sunny days? Why did death come to her, and thick clouds to me?

The sky mocks me with its gemmed radiance. The stars shine on brightly; but they fail to give light and hope to me. I have gazed on them with her. I have seen her stand with her fair brow raised, and her lovely face bathed in moonlight; but, as the pale beams danced around her, to my eyes her own glory dimmed all other brightness.

The winds howl, and the trees wave to and fro in the tempest, and with every blast comes a shriek, as if Julia were in despair, and I arise to rush to her rescue; but the clanking chain of the maniac binds me. I try to break my bonds, but they clasp me; and my hideous companion, the phantom, jeers at me; and I hear the voice of my beloved receding further and further from me, till, with an agonized moan, it dies away in the distance.

And this the world calls fancy—the fantastic vision of a madman’s brain!

There was never a voice like her voice; and though the winds rage tempestuously among the waving branches of the storm-tossed trees, I hear the liquid music of her accents above all, and I strain my eyes to catch a glimpse of her person, but there is nothing; and I crouch down again in my chains and my madness on my desolate bed, feeling how utterly—how entirely, I am alone.

An interruption occurred in our   intercourse, in consequence of Sir Charles Tracey being obliged to go abroad, on business connected with the state. His lady accompanied him, and they were absent for some months. How I spent these months, I scarcely know. I avoided all society—I felt moody—wretched—despairing. I grew violent. Restraint became necessary. Then, indeed, I knew that I was mad. Life was a blank; and some weeks passed while this dark cloud was upon me.

At last, though my recovery had been a work of time, I was called convalescent, and the violence of my frenzy abated.

I heard with joy that Sir Charles and his lady had returned to town. I thought the hour would never come when I might set out on my visit.

I flew, rather than walked, to her residence. I felt startled and alarmed as I trode the streets; for I had not been out for months, and I fancied every one stared at me—that everyone knew I was mad; but the one darling hope of seeing her cheered me on.

At last I reached the house. I was admitted; and in a moment I was by the side of Julia. She was looking pale and ill, but very lovely.

I rushed towards her. I knelt by her side. I took her cold hand in mine, and kissed it ardently. A bright colour suffused her cheek. She endeavoured to withdraw her hand from my grasp; but the demon was within me. I held that pale, small, fragile hand firmly; and pressed it again and again to my lips, and my throbbing, bursting heart. I laughed aloud and wildly, and she looked at me fearfully. She had discovered my secret, and she saw that I was mad.

“You, too, have been ill?” she said.

The honied accents of that beloved voice fell on my ear like dew to the parched flower. I was calmed in a moment, and I endeavoured to look coldly on her who was life—light—all to me in this world.

I found she had been dangerously ill, and I felt, as I looked on her imperial loveliness, that she was not destined long for this world.

Daily I saw her. I could not see enough of one I loved so desperately; and I feigned calmness while I endured agony—but my madness ruined me at last.

One wretched day—I spoke to her of love. I told her of my devotion—my hopeless devotion for so many years. I knelt by her side—I passed my arm round her waist—and for one brief moment I rested my scorching, maddened brow upon her bosom. It was only a moment of reality—but an eternity of bliss in the recollection.

I strained her fragile form to my breast. I kissed her pale cheeks—her brow—her lips. She moved not. I found she had fainted. I thought she was dead, and my brain reeled.

I raised her beautiful form in my arms, and laid her gently on a couch.

She was like marble—so cold, and pale, and breathless. I called no one to my assistance—I was the madman—the desperate, heart-broken madman—and I saw before me the ruin I had wrought.

How long this lasted I cannot tell; I only know my feelings were worked to frenzy. I called upon her by name; I conjured her to look at me, to speak to me once—but once more.

I longed for tears to cool the burning heat of my brain. In my agony, I laughed and shrieked aloud; I could not control myself.

She opened her eyes, those large, bright, lustrous eyes, and looked, I thought, kindly on me. How those glances entered my soul!

“Speak to me, Julia, forgive me,” I said. She smiled, and extended her hand. Her eyes were in a moment fixed and glassy. She tried to speak, when, O God! as her lips separated, the life-blood gushed from her heart, and the purple stream flowed over her neck and bosom.

I was paralyzed—I moved not—I looked on horror-stricken.

She made one movement with her hand, and then it fell lifeless by her side. She gave one deep sigh, and all was over. I saw that she was dead, but I wept not. I stood by, a miserable madman, my heart heaving with agony, but my eyes refusing to weep, and laughing that violent, horrible laugh, that mockery of mirth which belongs only to the maniac’s ravings.

I stood by the couch—I bathed my burning forehead with her blood—I   saw that beautiful being cold and motionless, her eyes closed, and the lofty brow damp with the dews of death. I saw this and yet lived on.

There was stillness, and gloom, and death, around me, but I was not alone. I felt that creeping consciousness that my evil spirit was near. I raised my eyes and saw the phantom—the dark and hideous one; my old companion as standing by me—muttering and mocking at my grief. I shrank from the fiend.

I drew closer to the loved form of her I adored. I took her cold hand and placed it on my burning brow. I can feel the death-like coldness now where that small hand lay. I closed my eyes and tried to pray; but fiendish shouts of laughter rang in my ears, and I felt that an evil spirit was by my side. My whole frame quivered with suppressed agony. I turned. I saw it move; and the shadowless hand was raised as if to touch the precious and costly form of her I loved. I can remember no more; all after for some time was gloom and misery. * * *

Wild spirits are dancing around me, bearing in their arms the dear form of my Julia. Sometimes her voice breaks the stillness of my chamber in the darkness of night, for I never sleep—my brain is too hot for sleep. Sometimes I am roused by feeling the softness of her light taper fingers on my brow, and then I start from my uneasy and wretched bed to look for her once more; but instead of her I see my dark spirit the demon, watching me with that untired eye, following me with that noiseless step, that shadowless form, and then falling on my bed, I bury my face in my pillow, and try to pray for peace, and for tears—but both are denied me.

The sun mocks me with his bright, clear, dancing beams speaking of life, and hope, and joy. It brings back the memory of that wretched day when I had killed by my burning passions the only woman I had ever loved.

She was, indeed, the sun of my gloom; and, without her, I am as a captive in a darkened cell, through the gratings of which thoughts of her stream in, and make a dim twilight—a sad satisfaction. Oh! if I were to be false to her, my soul would be a void; my memory, a curse; my heart, a heap of ashes.

I see again, with terrible reality, that graceful form—that regal face—dead, yet smiling—as I last saw her in that curtained chamber, with the sun shining in glory through the crimson drapery, and shedding a warm glow on the inanimate features.

Even now I see her. I see that last look of unsullied purity and fear. I feel again that warm blood, as it trickled down and fell on my hands and face, as I knelt before her. It fell on my forehead, and I know that it is eating in, deeper and deeper, towards my brain.

Her last words ring in my ears; her last smile is my beacon, my only ray of hope, luring me on towards a happier future.

There is a fire kindled within me that will dry up every thought but recollection of her; for every circumstance connected with her is impressed on my memory with a vivid distinctness.

Can it be?—the thought sometimes occurs to me, with a balmy and consoling power, like that fragrant wind from the Spicy Islands, which the mariner feels blowing cool upon his brow, as he lies becalmed, in the still noon, on the wide and desert sea? Can it be, that the devotion of a lifetime—such as my devotion has been—may be repaid by association in eternity?

May I dare to hope to live hereafter in the shadow of her glory? Shall we meet again in that bright land?

No—the vision is too joyous for the poor maniac, her murderer. I shall see her no more—we are separated for ever!

Hell—deep, deep hell—is the madman’s portion; and heaven, that pure and distant clime, is thy resting-place for ever—thy radiant home—thy peaceful haven—my lost—my adored—my sainted Julia!


Scotland has of late years been exposed to perilous influences. Unused, from its older form of representation, to popular excitement, and stimulated by example from without, the nation threw itself headlong into the revolutionary current which swept the whole empire at the period of Parliamentary Reform, and, with characteristic fervour, seemed inclined to riot in the novel element. Whenever symptoms of such a disposition appear in the body politic, there is manifest danger that, in the new accession of power, the old and sacred landmarks may be disregarded, and little heed be given to the mutual dependence and common interests of every class of society. Thus agitated and disturbed, the Scottish people, once jealously national, and so proud of that nationality that it had passed into a byword throughout Europe, might have lost their cohesive power, loosened the cord which bound the social rods together, and formed themselves into separate sections with apparently hostile interests. Fortunately, however, there was a strong counteracting influence. Even when the storm was wildest, and the clash of conflicting opinions most discordant, it was impossible to eradicate from the minds of any order the vast and stirring memories of the past. New rights might, indeed, be claimed; but it was not alleged that there had been any abuse of the old. Nothing had occurred to weaken the esteem with which the lower ranks were accustomed to regard the ancient aristocracy of the country; and accordingly, throughout the whole of that protracted contest, fervid and determined as it was, there was less rancour shown than might have been expected in the course of so great a political change. As the excitement subsided, the kindly feeling, which never had been extinguished, began more palpably to revive. Before the epoch of agitation approached, we were a peaceful and a happy people. The peerage, the gentry, the yeomen, and the peasantry—all classes were bound together with the links of respect and of affection. The old hereditary attachment between the orders had not been broken. The poor man was proud of the noble, because the noble bore a name conspicuous in the annals of his country; because he was the descendant of those who had fought and died for Scotland, and who had identified their honourable renown with hers; because he was a man every way worthy to bear the titles so gloriously achieved; and, more than all perhaps, because he loved and venerated the poor. And for that love and veneration the noble had ample grounds. Ancient as his race might be, the yeomanry and peasantry of Scotland were yet as ancient in theirs. Not one step of honour could his fathers have gained without the help of the fathers of those who were now living upon his hereditary soil; and the old spell-words of the land were common to them both. Nor was there to be found in wide Europe a better or a braver race. They were industrious, faithful, loyal; they were attached without servility, independent without rudeness, and intelligent to a degree that excited the admiration and the wonder of the stranger. No wonder that the mere thought of estrangement, in such a society as this, should have stricken the bravest bosom with terror, and woe, and dismay! Yet so troublous was the aspect of Europe then, that such fear was not utterly unfelt; and it was the apprehension of that calamity, more than any other worldly cause, that dimmed the soul and darkened the spirit of that great and good man, Sir Walter Scott, in his declining years; for all his large affections were bound up and entwined with the interests of Scotland, and, had the sacrifice been required of him, he would gladly have laid down his life to avert from her the perils which he then foresaw.

These few remarks we cannot consider as inappropriate to our present subject. We have once more been joyful spectators of a truly national gathering. Once more we have seen Scotsmen, of every grade and degree, assemble together without a tinge of   party purpose, to do honour to the memory of a poet who sprang from the ranks of the people, and who was heart and soul a Scotsman in his feelings, his inspiration, and, it may be, in his errors and his prejudices also. It was a stirring and exciting spectacle, such as no other country could have exhibited—to behold peer and senator, poet and historian and peasant—the great and the small, the lettered and the simple of the land—unite, after fifty years of silence, in deep and sincere homage to the genius of one humble man. Nor did they assemble there because his genius was greater than God, in his bounty, had bestowed upon others, but because he had used it for the glory and exaltation of his country; because he loved her with an ardour the most vivid and extreme; because he had shed the light entrusted to his charge both on the lofty dwelling and on the lowly hearth, but most brightly and cheeringly upon the latter, for that was his peculiar charge. We feel assured that the events of that day, and the sentiments which were then inspired and uttered, will produce a marked effect upon the disposition of the country at large. It seemed as if all classes had spontaneously assembled to join hands above the grave of Robert Burns, and then and there to renew the vow of enduring reconciliation and love.

We shall now proceed to give a short account of the proceedings of the day. In our climate, the state of the weather on public occasions is always regarded with anxiety; for enthusiasm, however warm, is apt to expire beneath a deluge of northern rain. On the previous evening the sky promised well. A brilliant sunset and a warm wind seemed security for a placid morrow; and although the glare of the great furnaces in the neighbourhood of Glasgow glowed somewhat ominously large as the night wore on, we retired to rest rather in hope than resignation. But dismal, indeed, was the prospect when we awoke. A vaporous grey mist had entirely usurped the heavens, and the plash of weary rain resounded through the pluvious metropolis of the west. Fortunately, we were not ignorant of the fact, that Glasgow is under the peculiar tutelage of the Pleiades; and accordingly we proceeded to the railway, trusting that matters might mend so soon as we lost sight of the stupendous chimney-stalk of St Rollox. Notwithstanding the inclemency of the weather, and the early hour, every town, as we passed along, seemed in a state of the greatest excitement. There were bands of music, deputations of mason lodges, and the rival brotherhood of Odd Fellows, with hundreds of men and women, all clad in holiday attire, awaiting the arrival of the train at every station. It is a marvel to us, how half of these expectants could have found their way to Ayr. Carriage after carriage was linked to the already exorbitant train, until the engine groaned audibly, and almost refused to proceed. Still the rain continued to fall, and it was not until after we had left Irvine, and were rounding the margin of the bay towards Ayr, that the sky brightened up and disclosed the great panorama of the sea, with Ailsa and Arran looming in the distance, and steamers from every direction ploughing their way into the port. The streets of Ayr were swarming with people, and sounding with the crash of music. There were arches on the bridge, flags streaming from windows, and bells tolling from the steeples—symptoms of a jubilee as great as if Royalty had descended unawares, and the whole district had arisen to pay honour to its Queen. The inns were thronged to excess, and the waiters in absolute despair. What a multitude of salmon must have died to furnish that morning’s meal! Yet every face looked bright and happy, as became those who had engaged in such a pilgrimage. Then the burst of music became louder and more frequent, as band after band, preceding the trades and other public bodies, filed past towards the rendezvous of the great Procession. This was on what is called the Low Green; and the admirable arrangements made by the committee of management—of which Mr Ballantine of Castlehill was convener, and Messrs Bone and Gray secretaries—were manifest. Mr Thwaites undertook the marshaling of the whole. Here, first, the grandeur of the National Festival was displayed, while the immense multitudes   that had come trooping in from all quarters stood congregated in orderly muster, a mighty host, bound in unity by one soul, stretching far and wide from the towers of Ayr to the sea. Suddenly, at signal given, the Procession began to deploy, in admirable order, with streaming banners and crashes of music, and shouts from the accompanying thousands that rent the sky; and we were warned that it was time to proceed, if we wished to obtain a place upon the Platform erected on the banks of Doon.

A unit in the stream of population, we skirted the noble race-course, and reached the Platform just before the head of the Procession had arrived. It was erected in a magnificent situation. Behind was the monument of Burns, and the sweet habitation of Mr Auld, with old Alloway Kirk a little further off. Before it was the immense Pavilion erected for the banquet, all gay with flags and streamers. To the right, were the woods that fringe the romantic Doon, at that point concealed from sight; but not so the Old Bridge, which spans it, with its arch of triumphal evergreen. Every slope beyond was studded with groups of people, content to view the spectacle from afar. The Carrick hills reached far away beyond; and, on the other side, were the town and broad bay of Ayr, and Arran with all its mountains. But we had little leisure then to look around us. On the Platform were collected many of the Ladies and Gentlemen of the county—Sir David Hunter Blair; James Campbell, Esq. of Craigie; W. A. Cunninghame, Esq. of Fairlie; A. Boyle, Esq. of Shewalton, &c.; Archibald Hastie, Esq. M.P.; A. Buchanan, Esq., Charles Neaves, Esq. Mr Sheriff Campbell, Mr Sheriff Bell, Mr Carruthers, &c. &c.; some of the most distinguished of those who had come from afar, and conspicuous in front the surviving Kindred of Burns. There stood, with his beautiful Countess, the noble and manly Eglinton, preux chevalier of his day, and fitting representative of that ancient house of Montgomery, so famous in the annals and peerage of Scotland, and of France. There was the venerable and venerated Lord Justice-General Boyle, the President of the Scottish Courts, and chief magistrate of the land, with the snows of more than seventy winters lying lightly and gracefully upon his head. There stood Wilson, never more fitly in his place than here; for of the many who have interposed to shield the memory of Burns from detraction, he had spoken with the most generous spirit and collected purpose, and came now to rejoice in the common triumph. There, too, were Alison, the sound and strong historian; Chambers, whose delicate generosity to the relatives of Burns, independently of the services he has rendered to our national literature, made him one of the fittest spectators of the scene; and a host of other distinguished men, well and aptly representing the aristocracy and the learning of the country. Many strangers, too, had come to grace the festival; amongst whom, it may be allowed us to specify the names of Mrs S. C. Hall, the charming authoress, and her accomplished husband. We looked in vain for some whose presence there would have given an additional interest to the scene. We would fain have seen the poets of the sister countries represented by Wordsworth and Moore. That might not be; but their sympathies were not withheld.

Among that brilliant group, there stood an elderly female, dressed in deep black, and three men, all past the meridian of life, with quiet, thoughtful looks, and unpretending aspect. These were the sister and the sons of Burns. His sister!—and half a century has wellnigh gone past since the hot heart of the brother was stricken cold, and the manly music of his voice made dumb for ever! Was it too much to believe that, through these many long years of her earthly pilgrimage—sometimes, we fear, darkened by want and neglect—that sister had always clung to the memory of the departed dead, in the hope that the day would arrive when his genius should receive the homage of a new generation, to atone for the apathy and coldness of that which had passed away? What emotions must have thrilled the bosom of that venerable woman, as she gazed on the stirring spectacle before her, and saw her lingering hopes far more than thoroughly realized! What a glorious welcome, too, for the sons to their   native land! They had left it—not quite as the poor man does—but with heavy difficulties before them. They had wrestled their way onwards through half the journey of life, and now, on their return, they were greeted with a welcome which it were almost worth the struggles of a life to obtain. All this they owed to their father; and honoured among the honourable that day were the lineage and kindred of Burns.

Beneath and around the Platform there were thousands already congregated. If any one had wished to paint the character of the Scottish peasantry in its loftiest and most endearing light, the subjects were there before him. Old patriarchal men, on whose venerable temples time had bleached the white locks of age to the softness of those of infancy, stood leaning upon their grandchildren, proud, and yet wondering at the honours which were that day paid to him, whom, long, long ago, reaching away through the vista of memory, they remembered to have seen in their youth. So familiarized were they with his image, and the glorious language he had uttered, that they had almost forgotten the greatness and universality of his fame; and now, when brought forth from their cottages in the far glens and muirlands of the south, they could scarcely believe that the great, and gifted, and beautiful of the land, had come together for no other purpose than to celebrate the genius of their old companion. But they were proud, as they well might be; for it was a privilege even to have beheld him, and in that homage they recognised and felt the tribute that was paid to their order. The instinctive decency of Scottish feeling had accorded to these men a fitting and conspicuous place. Around them were the women of their families of all ages—from the matron in her coif to the bashful maiden with the snood—and even children; for few were left at home on that day of general jubilee. These, and a vast concourse of strangers, already occupied the ground.

Meanwhile the Procession had wound its enormous length from Ayr along a road almost choked up with spectators. Every wall and gate had its burden, and numerous Flibbertigibbets sat perched upon the branches of the trees. The solitary constable of the burgh was not present to preserve order, or, if he was, his apparition was totally unrequired. The old bell of Alloway Kirk was set in motion as the head of the column appeared, and continued ringing until all were past. The whole land was alive. Each road and lane poured forth its separate concourse to swell the ranks of the great Procession. The weather, after one heavy final shower, cleared up; or, if not clear, resolved itself into that indescribable mixture of sunshine and cloud which sets off the beauties of the undulating landscape so well, light alternating with shadow, and, on the ridges of the distant hills, contending radiance and gloom.

On they went, with banners flying and a perfect storm of music, across the new Bridge of Doon, deploying along the road on the opposite side of the river, and finally recrossing by the old bridge, from which they filed past in front of the Platform. The order of the Procession was as follows:—

Provost, Magistrates, Town-Council, and Trades of Ayr.



Dalrymple Burns’s Club, with banners and music.
Motto, “Firm.”

Kilwinning Mother Lodge of Freemasons.

London Newmilns Lodge.

Troon Navigation Lodge.
Girvan Masons.
St James’s, Tarbolton.
St John’s, Ayr.
Thistle and Rose, Stevenston.
St John’s, Largs.
Glasgow Star.

Royal Arch, Maybole.
St Paul’s, Ayr.
St Andrew’s, Ayr.
St John’s, Girvan.
St James’s, Kilmarnock.
St Peter’s, Galston.
St John’s, New Cumnock.
Junior or Knights Templars, Maybole.

St John’s, Dalry.

St John’s, Greenock.
Shoemakers as follows:—
British Prince and attendants.
Indian Prince and Train.

King Crispin and Train.
Souter Johnie, in character.
Highland Chieftains.

Lodge of Odd Fellows.

Robert Burns’s Lodge, Beith.

Banks of Ayr Lodge of Odd Fellows.
Sir T. Makdougall Brisbane Lodge, Largs.
Ancient Order of Foresters, Glasgow.
Captain mounted, with Bow and Arrows.

Kilmarnock Burns’s Lodge of Foresters.
Weavers from Maybole.

Tailors of Maybole.

Boxmakers of Mauchline, with large Scotch Thistle, carried shoulder-high by Four men, and Banner, inscribed,

“I turn’d my weeder-clips aside,
And spared the Symbol dear.”

The Party were on the Establishment of Messrs W. and A. Smith. The Thistle grew near to Mossgiel.

Caledonian Union Odd Fellows, Dunlop.
(Deputations of the Magistracy joined in the Procession from Dumbarton, Dunlop, Maybole, and Irvine.)

  The effect of the Procession as seen from the Platform almost baffles the power of description. The wailing of the bagpipes and the crash of the bands were heard from the bosom of deep wood-thicket behind, long before the ranks became visible. At length, among the trees that skirted the opposite banks, there was a glittering of lances, and a lifting of banners, and a dark-growing line of men, in closest order, marching as if to battle. Gradually it flowed on, in continuous stream, file succeeding to file without gap or intermission, until the head of the column appeared recrossing by the Old Bridge, and winding up the road towards the Platform; and still new banners rose up behind, and fresh strains of music burst forth amidst the leafy screen. And now they reached the platform: lance and flag were lowered in honour of those who stood bareheaded above, and deafening were the cheers that ushered in the arrival of the national pageant. The spectacle was most imposing, and must have conveyed to the minds of the strangers present a vivid impression of the energy and enthusiasm so deeply implanted in the Scottish character, and always so irresistibly manifested at the touching of a national chord. The most interesting part of the Procession by far was the array of Farmers and Shepherds, the flower of the west-country yeomanry, attired in the graceful plaid. Of that same breed of men, of tall and compact mould and hardy sinew, was Robert Burns; nor is it possible to imagine any thing more animated than the appearance of those stalwart sons of the soil, as they lingered for a moment before the platform, and looked with wistful eyes at the sons of the Poet, if haply they might trace in their lineaments some resemblance to the features of him whom, from their infancy, they had learned to love. Then came the Freemasons, and King Crispin with his train, and the Archers, and much more of old Scottish device, until there seemed no end to the flowing tide of population, all keen, and joyful, and exultant. But the full burst of enthusiasm was reserved for the close. In the rear of all appeared an enormous Thistle borne shoulder high; and no sooner was the national emblem in sight, than a universal and long-continued cheer burst forth from the many thousands who were now congregated in the plain beyond. Alas, for that thistle! Though Burns, as the inscription bore,

“Had turn’d his weeder-clips aside,
And spared the symbol dear,”

such was not the fate of the offspring plant. Scarcely had it reached the platform, when Christopher North violently possessed himself of one branch, the Lord Justice-General seized upon another, and in the twinkling of an eye it was torn into fragments, and its rough leaves and rougher flowers displayed upon manly bosoms, from which it would have been difficult to wrest them again. So closed the Procession—but not the gathering. Deafening were the cheers which followed for Burns—for his Sons—for Professor Wilson—for Lord Eglinton; until the last remnant of reserve gave way, and a torrent of people swept forward to obtain, if possible, a pressure of their hands that were gladly and gratefully held forth. Descending from the Platform, we entered the meadow-ground beyond, where the multitude were now assembled. One of the bands struck up the beautiful air—“Ye banks and braes o’ bonny Doon;” and immediately the People, as if actuated by one common impulse, took up the strain, and a loftier swell of music never rose beneath the cope of heaven. We thought of the fine lines of Elliott—

“To other words, while forest echoes ring,
‘Ye banks and braes o’ bonny Doon,’ they sing;
And far below, the drover, with a start
Awaking, listens to the well-known strain,
Which brings Schehallion’s shadow to his heart,
And Scotia’s loveliest vales: then sleeps again,
And dreams on Loxley’s banks of Dunsinane.”

Few could abstain from tears as the last glorious note died solemnly away into the skies. We looked down from the top of the pavilion-stairs upon the vast multitude beneath. There could not have been less than 80,000 souls   collected upon the ground. Of all that mighty mass, not one man had thrown discredit upon the harmony and order of the day. Every face glowed with happiness and congratulation, as if conscious that a good work had been done, and that the nation had at length discharged the duty which she owed to one of her most gifted sons.


The company began to enter the Pavilion almost immediately after the close of the Procession, and the chair was taken about two o’clock. The Pavilion was erected in a field of twenty-two acres, adjoining to the Monument, and was a magnificent building. It measured not less than 120 feet by 110, forming nearly a perfect square. The roof, supported by two rows of pillars, was covered with waterproof felt, and the building inside was lined with white cloth, festooned with crimson. In the centre of the roof was a radiation of the same colours. The tables and seats were arranged in parallel lines from the head to the foot of the apartment, rising with a gentle inclination from the middle on both sides. At each end there was an elevated table for the Chairman, Croupier, and their respective supporters; and on the two remaining sides of the square there were vis-a-vis galleries for the instrumental band and glee-singers, a pianoforte for the accompaniment to Mr Templeton being placed in front of the latter, at which Mr Blewitt took his station. Mr Templeton, between the speeches, sang, with great power and sweetness, appropriate songs from Burns; and Mr Blewitt’s performance was admirable. Mr Wilson came from Paris to the Festival; but unfortunately was prevented by severe illness from delighting the assembly with his exquisite strains. The hall was lighted by twenty-two glass windows, shaded with white cloth. The chairman and croupier’s seats were of oak, made of the rafters of Alloway Kirk; and several splendid silver vases decorated their tables. The hall was seated to accommodate 2000 persons, and was entirely filled, although not inconveniently crowded.

The distinguishing feature of the pavilion was the number of ladies who were present. A great room exclusively filled with men, is at best a dull and sombre spectacle; and so far from social, that it always conveys to us a gross idea of selfishness. The mere scenic effect on this occasion was immensely heightened by the adoption of the polite rule; nor can it be doubted that the tone of the meeting underwent a similar improvement.

The Chairman, the Right Hon. the Earl of Eglinton, was supported on the right by Robert Burns, Esq., late of the Stamps and Taxes, Somerset House, London, eldest son of the poet; Major Burns, youngest son of the poet; Miss Begg, niece of the poet; Henry Glassford Bell, Esq., Sheriff-Substitute of Lanarkshire; Rev. Mr Cuthill, Ayr; Mr Robert Burns Begg, teacher, Kinross, nephew of the poet; Miss Begg, the younger niece of the poet; Mr and Mrs Thomson of Dumfries, (the latter the Jessie Lewars of the bard, who tended his deathbed;)—on the left, by Colonel Burns, second son of the poet; Mrs Begg, sister of the poet; Sir John M’Neill, Bart., late Plenipotentiary to the Court of Persia; the Right Hon. Lord Justice-General; the Countess of Eglinton; Sir D. H. Blair, Bart., of Blairquhan. The Croupier, Professor Wilson, was supported on the right by Archibald Alison, Esq., Sheriff of Lanarkshire, and author of the History of Europe; Colonel Mure of Caldwell, author of Travels in Greece; William E. Aytoun, Esq., Advocate; A. Hastie, Esq., M.P. for Paisley; Jas. Oswald, Esq., M.P. for Glasgow;—on the left by Sir James Campbell, Glasgow; Provost Miller, Ayr; James Ballantine, Esq. of Castlehill; Charles Mackay, Esq., London; James Campbell, Esq. of Craigie.

The Rev. Mr Cuthill of Ayr asked the blessing.

The Earl of Eglinton, after the usual loyal toasts, rose and spoke as follows:—Ladies and gentlemen, The subject of the toast which I have now the honour to bring before your notice, is one of such paramount importance on this occasion, and is so deeply interesting, not only to those whom I am addressing, but to all to whom genius is dear, that I could have wished that   it had been committed to more worthy hands; more especially when I see the great assemblage collected here—the distinguished persons who grace our board to-day. It is only because I conceive that my official position renders me the most formal and fitting, though most inefficient, mouthpiece of the inhabitants of this county, that I have ventured to present myself before you on this occasion, and to undertake the onerous, though most gratifying, duty of proposing, in such an assemblage, the thrilling toast—“The Memory of Burns.” This is not a meeting for the purpose of recreation and amusement—it is not a banquet at which a certain number of toasts are placed on paper, which must be received with due marks of approbation—it is the enthusiastic desire of a whole people to pay honour to their greatest countryman. It is the spontaneous outpouring of a nation’s feeling towards the illustrious dead, and the wish to extend the hand of welcome and of friendship to those whom he has left behind. Here on the very spot where the Poet first drew breath, on the very ground which his genius has hallowed, beside the Old Kirk which his verse has immortalized, beneath the monument which an admiring and repentant people have raised to his memory, we meet after the lapse of years, to pay our homage at the shrine of genius. The master mind who has sung the “Isle of Palms”—who has revelled in the immortal “Noctes”—and who has already done that justice to the memory of Burns which a brother poet alone can do—Christopher himself is here, anxious to pay his tribute of admiration to a kindred spirit. The historian who has depicted, with a Gibbon’s hand, the eventful period of the French empire, and the glorious victories of Wellington, is here—a Clio, as it were, offering a garland to Erato. The distinguished head of the Scottish bench is here. In short, every town and every district, every class and every age, has come forward to pay homage to their poet. The honest lads whom he so praised, and whose greatest boast it is that they belong to the land of Burns, are here. The fair lasses whom he so loved and sung, have flocked hither to justify, by their loveliness, their poet’s words. While the descendant of those who dwelt in the “Castle o’ Montgomerie,” feels himself only too highly honoured by being permitted to propose the memory of him who wandered then unknown along the banks of Fail. How little could the pious old man who dwelt in yon humble cottage, when he read the “big ha’ bible”—“his lyart haffets wearing thin and bare”—have guessed that the infant prattling on his knee was to be the pride and admiration of his country; that that infant was to be enrolled a chief among the poetic band; that he was to take his place as one of the brightest planets that glitter round the mighty sun of the Bard of Avon! In originality second to none, in the fervent expression of deep feeling, and in the keen perception of the beauties of nature, equal to any who ever reveled in the bright fairyland of poesy, well may we rejoice that Burns is our own—well may we rejoice that no other land can claim to be the birthplace of our Homer except the hallowed spot on which we stand! Oh! that he could have foreseen the futurity of fame he has created to himself—oh! that he could have foreseen this day, when the poet and the historian, the manly and the fair, the peer and the peasant, vie with each other in paying their tribute of admiration to the untaught but mighty genius whom we hail as the first of Scottish poets! It might have alleviated the dreary days of his sojourn at Mossgiel—it might have lightened the last hours of his pilgrimage upon earth. And well does he deserve such homage. He who portrayed the “Cottar’s Saturday Night” in strains that are unrivaled in simplicity, and yet fervour—in solemnity, and in truth—He who breathed forth the patriotic words which tell of the glories of Wallace, and immortalize alike the poet and the hero—He who culled inspiration from the modest daisy, and yet thundered forth the heroic strains of “The Song of Death”—He who murmured words which appear the very incarnation of poetry and of love, and yet hurled forth the bitterest shafts of satire—a Poet by the hand of nature, despising, as   it were, the rules of art, and yet triumphing over those very rules which he set at nought—at whose name every Scottish heart beats high—whose name has become a household word in the cottage as in the palace—to whom shall we pay our homage, of whom shall we be proud, if it is not our own immortal Burns? But I feel that I am detaining you too long. I feel that, in the presence of a Wilson and an Alison, I am not a fit person to dilate upon the genius of Burns. I am but an admirer of the poet like yourselves. There are those present who are brother poets and kindred geniuses—men who, like Burns, have gained for themselves a glorious immortality. To them will I commit the grateful task of more fully displaying before you, decked out by their eloquence, the excellences of the poet, the genius of the man, and to welcome his sons to the land of their father: and I will only ask you, in their presence—on the ground which his genius has rendered sacred—on the “banks and braes o’ bonny Doon”—to join with me in drinking an overflowing bumper, and giving it every expression of enthusiasm which you can, to “The Memory of Burns!”

Mr Robert Burns rose along with his brothers, and was received with enthusiastic cheering. He said—My lord, ladies, and gentlemen, Of course it cannot be expected, at a meeting such as the present, that the sons of Burns should expatiate on the merits and genius of their deceased father. Around them are an immense number of admirers, who, by their presence here this day, bear a sufficient testimony to the opinion in which they hold his memory, and the high esteem in which they hold his genius. In the language of the late Sir Christopher Wren, though very differently applied, the sons of Burns can say, that to obtain a living testimony to their father’s genius they have only to look around them. I beg, in name of my aunt, brothers, and myself, to return our heartfelt and grateful thanks for the honour that has this day been paid to my father’s memory.

Professor Wilson then rose and said—Were this Festival but to commemorate the genius of Burns, and it were asked, what need now for such commemoration, since his fame is coextensive with the literature of the land, and enshrined in every household? I might answer, that although admiration of the poet be wide as the world, yet we, his compatriots, to whom he is especially dear, rejoice to see the universal sentiment concentered in one great assemblage of his own people: that we meet in thousands and tens of thousands to honour him, who delights each single one of us at his own hearth. But this commemoration expresses, too, if not a profounder, a more tender sentiment; for it is to welcome his sons to the land he has illustrated, so that we may at once indulge our national pride in a great name, and gratify in filial hearts the most pious of affections. There was, in former times, a custom of crowning great poets. No such ovation honoured our bard, though he too tasted of human applause, felt its delights, and knew the trials that attend it. Which would Burns himself have preferred, a celebration like this in his lifetime, or fifty years after his death? I venture to say, he would have preferred the posthumous as the finer incense. The honour and its object are then seen in juster proportion; for death confers an elevation which the candid soul of the poet would have considered, and such honour he would rather have reserved for his manes, than have encountered it with his living infirmities. And could he have foreseen the day, when they for whom at times he was sorely troubled, should, after many years of separation, return to the hut where himself was born, and near it, within the shadow of his monument, be welcomed for his sake by the lords and ladies of the land; and—dearer thought still to his manly breast—by the children and the children’s children of people of his own degree, whose hearts he sought to thrill by his first voice of inspiration; surely had the Vision been sweeter to his soul than even that immortal one, in which the Genius of the Land bound the holly round his head, the lyric crown that it will wear for ever.

Of his three Sons sitting here, one only can remember their father’s face—those large lustrous eyes of his, so   full of many meanings, as they darkened in thought, melted in melancholy, or kindled in mirth, but never turned on his children, or on their excellent mother, but with one of tender or intense affection. That son may even on this day have remembrance of his father’s head, with its dark clusters not unmixed with gray, and those eyes closed, lying upon the bed of death. Nor, should it for a moment placidly appear, is such image unsuitable to this festival. For in bidding welcome to his sons to their father’s land, I feel that, while you have conferred on me a high honour, you have likewise imposed on me a solemn duty; and, however inadequately I may discharge it, I trust that in nought shall I do any violence to the spirit either of humanity or of truth.

I shall speak reverently of Burns’s character in hearing of his sons; but not even in their hearing must I forget what is due always to established judgment of the everlasting right. Like all other mortal beings; he had his faults—great even in the eyes of men—grievous in the eyes of Heaven. Never are they to be thought of without sorrow, were it but for the misery with which he himself repented them. But as there is a moral in every man’s life, even in its outward condition imperfectly understood, how much more affecting when we read it in confessions wrung out by remorse from the greatly gifted, the gloriously endowed! But it is not his faults that are remembered here—assuredly not these we meet to honour. To deny error to be error, or to extenuate its blame, that makes the outrage upon sacred truth; but to forget that it exists, or if not wholly so, to think of it along with that under-current of melancholy emotion at all times accompanying our meditations on the mixed characters of men—that is not only allowable, but it is ordered—it is a privilege dear to humanity—and well indeed might he tremble for himself who should in this be deaf to the voice of nature crying from the tomb.

And mark how graciously in this does time aid the inclinations of charity! Its shadows soften what they may not hide. In the distance, discordances that once jarred painfully on our ears are now undistinguishable—lost in the music sweet and solemn, that comes from afar with the sound of a great man’s name. It is consolatory to see, that the faults of them whom their people honour grow fainter and fainter in the national memory, while their virtues wax brighter and more bright; and if injustice have been done to them in life, (and who now shall dare to deny that cruelest injustice was done to Burns?) each succeeding generation becomes more and more dutiful to the dead—desirous to repair the wrong by profounder homage. As it is by his virtues that man may best hope to live in the memory of man, is there not something unnatural, something monstrous, in seeking to eternize here below, that of which the proper doom is obscurity and oblivion? How beneficent thus becomes the power of example! The good that men do then indeed “lives after them”—all that was ethereal in their being alone survives—and thus ought our cherished memories of our best men—and Burns was among our best—to be invested with all consistent excellences; for far better may their virtues instruct us by the love which they inspire, than ever could their vices by aversion.

To dwell on the goodnesses of the great shows that we are at least lovers of virtue—that we may ourselves be aspiring to reach her serene abodes. But to dwell on their faults, and still more to ransack that we may record them, that is the low industry of envy, which, grown into a habit, becomes malice, at once hardening and embittering the heart. Such, beyond all doubt, in the case of our great poet, was the source of many “a malignant truth and lie,” fondly penned, and carefully corrected for the press, by a class of calumniators that may never be extinct; for, by very antipathy of nature, the mean hate the magnanimous, the groveling them who soar. And thus, for many a year, we heard “souls ignoble born to be forgot” vehemently expostulating with some puny phantom of their own heated fancy, as if it were the majestic shade of Burns evoked from his Mausoleum for contumely and insult.

Often, too, have we been told by   persons somewhat presumptuously assuming the office of our instructors, to beware how we suffer our admiration of genius to seduce us from our reverence of virtue. Never cease to remember—has been still their cry—how far superior is moral to intellectual worth. Nay, they have told us that they are not akin in nature. But akin they are; and grief and pity ’tis that ever they should be disunited. But mark in what a hateful, because hypocritical spirit, such advices as these have not seldom been proffered, till salutary truths were perverted by misapplication into pernicious falsehoods. For these malignant counsellors sought not to elevate virtue, but to degrade genius; and never in any other instance have they stood forth more glaringly self-convicted of the most wretched ignorance of the nature both of the one and the other, than in their wilful blindness to so many of the noblest attributes of humanity in the character of Burns. Both gifts are alike from heaven, and both alike tend heavenward. Therefore we lament to see genius soiled by earthly stain; therefore we lament to see virtue, where no genius is, fall before the tempter. But we, in our own clear natural perceptions, refuse the counsels of those who with the very breath of their warning would blight the wreath bound round the heads of the Muses’ sons by a people’s gratitude—who, in affected zeal for religion and morality, have so deeply violated the spirit of both, by vile misrepresentations, gross exaggerations, and merciless denunciations of the frailties of our common nature in illustrious men—men who, in spite of their aberrations, more or less deplorable, from the right path, were not only in their prevailing moods devout worshippers of virtue, but in the main tenor or their lives exemplary to their brethren. And such a man was Burns. In boyhood—youth—manhood—where such peasant as he? And if in trouble and in trial, from which his country may well turn in self-reproach, he stood not always fast, yet shame and sin it were, and indelible infamy, were she not now to judge his life as Christianity commands. Preyed upon, alas! by those anxieties that pierce deepest into the noblest hearts—anxieties for the sakes—even on account of the very means of subsistence—of his own household and his own hearth—yet was he in his declining, shall we call them disastrous years, on the whole faithful to the divine spirit with which it had pleased Heaven to endow him—on the whole obedient to its best inspirations; while he rejoiced to illumine the paths of poverty with light which indeed was light on heaven, and from an inexhaustible fancy, teeming to the genial warmth of the heart in midst of chill and gloom, continued to the very last to strew along the weary ways of this world flowers so beautiful in their freshness, that to eyes too familiar with tears they looked as if dropped from heaven.

These are sentiments with which I rejoice to hear the sympathy of this great assemblage thus unequivocally expressed—for my words but awaken thoughts lodged deep in all considerate hearts. For which of us is there in whom, known or unknown, alas! there is not much that needs to be forgiven? Which of us that is not more akin to Burns in his fleshly frailties then in his diviner spirit? That conviction regards not merely solemn and public celebrations of reverential memory—such as this; it pervades the tenor of our daily life, runs in our heart’s-blood, sits at our hearths, wings our loftiest dreams of human exaltation. How, on this earth, could we love, or revere, or emulate, if, in our contemplation of the human being, we could not sunder the noble, the fair, the gracious, the august, from the dregs of mortality, from the dust that hangs perishably about him the imperishable? We judge in love, that in love we may be judged. At our hearthsides, we gain more than we dared desire, by mutual mercy; at our hearthsides, we bestow and receive a better love, by this power of soft and magnanimous oblivion. We are ourselves the gainers, when thus we honour the great dead. They hear not—they feel not, excepting by an illusion of our own moved imaginations, which fill up chasms of awful, impassable separation; but we hear—we feel; and the echo of the acclaim which hills and skies have this day repeated, we can carry home in our hearts, where it shall   settle down into the composure of love and pity, and admiration and gratitude, felt to be due for ever to our great poet’s shade.

In no other spirit could genius have ever dared, in elegies and hymns, to seek to perpetuate at once a whole people’s triumph, and a whole people’s grief, by celebration of king, sage, priest, or poet, gone to his reward. From the natural infirmities of his meanest subject, what King was ever free? Against the golden rim that rounds his mortal temples come the same throbbings from blood in disease or passion hurrying from heart to brain, as disturb the aching head of the poor hind on his pallet of straw. But the king had been a guardian, a restorer, a deliverer; therefore his sins are buried or burned with his body; and all over the land he saved, generation after generation continues to cry aloud—“O king, live for ever!” The Sage who, by long meditation on man’s nature and man’s life, has seen how liberty rests on law, rights on obligations, and that his passions must be fettered, that his will be free—how often has he been overcome, when wrestling in agony with the powers of evil, in that seclusion from all trouble in which reverent admiration nevertheless believes that wisdom for ever serenely dwells! The Servant of God, has he always kept his heart pure from the world, nor ever held up in prayer other than spotless hands? A humble confession of his own utter unworthiness would be his reply alike to scoffer and to him who believes. But, unterrified by plague and pestilence, he had carried comfort into houses deserted but by sin and despair; or he had sailed away, as he truly believed for ever, to savage lands, away from the quiet homes of Christian men—among whom he might have hoped to lead a life of peace, it may be of affluence and honour—for his Divine Master’s sake, and for sake of them sitting in darkness and in the shadow of death. Therefore his name dies not, and all Christendom calls it blest. From such benefactors as these there may seem to be, but there is not, a deep descent to them who have done their service by what one of the greatest of them all has called “the vision and the faculty divine”—them to whom have been largely given the powers of fancy and imagination and creative thought, that they might move men’s hearts, and raise men’s souls, by the reflection of their own passions and affections in poetry, which is still an inspired speech. Nor have men, in their judgment of the true Poets, dealt otherwise with them than with patriot kings, benign legislators, and holy priests. Them, too, when of the highest, all nations and ages have reverenced in their gratitude. Whatever is good and great in man’s being seems shadowed in the name of Milton; and though he was a very man in the storms of civil strife that shook down the throne at the shedding of the blood of kings, nevertheless, we devoutly believe with Wordsworth, that

“His soul was like a star, and dwelt apart.”

But not of such as he only, who “in darkness, and with danger compassed round,” soared “beyond this visible diurnal sphere,” and whose song was of mercy and judgment, have men wisely resolved to dwell only on what is pure and high and cognate with their thoughts of heaven. Still, as we keep descending from height to height in the regions of song, we desire to regard with love the genius that beautifies wherever it settles down; and, if pity will steal in for human misfortunes, or for human frailties reproach, our love suffers no abatement, and religious men feel that there is piety in pilgrimage to such honoured graves. So feel we now at this commemoration. For our Poet we now claim the privilege, at once bright and austere, of death. We feel that our Burns is brought within the justification of all celebrations of human names; and that, in thus honouring his memory, we virtuously exercise the imaginative rights of enthusiasm owned by every people that has produced its great men.

And with a more especial propriety do we claim this justice in our triumphal celebration of poets, who, like Burns, were led by the character of their minds to derive the matter and impulse of their song, in a stricter sense, from themselves. For   they have laid bare to all eyes many of their own weaknesses, at the side of their higher and purer aspirations. Unreserved children of sincerity, by the very open-heartedness which is one great cause of their commanding power, and contagiously diffuses every zealous affection originating in their nobility of nature—by this grown to excess, made negligent of instinctive self-defence, and heedless of misconstruction, or overcome by importunate and clinging temptations—to what charges have they not been exposed from that proneness to disparaging judgments so common in little minds! For such judgments are easy indeed to the very lowest understandings, and regard things that are visible to eyes that may seldom have commerced with things that are above. But they who know Burns as we know him, know that by this sometimes unregulated and unguarded sympathy with all appertaining to his kind, and especially to his own order, he was enabled to receive into himself all modes of their simple, but not undiversified life, so that his poetry murmurs their loves and joys from a thousand fountains. And suppose—which was the case—that this unguarded sympathy, this quick sensibility, and this vivid capacity of happiness which the moment brings, and the frankness of impulse, and the strength of desire, and the warmth of blood, which have made him what he greatly is, which have been fire and music in his song, and manhood, and courage, and endurance, and independence in his life, have at times betrayed or overmastered him—to turn against him all this self-painting and self-revealing, is it not ungrateful, barbarous, inhuman? Can he be indeed a true lover of his kind, who would record in judgment against such a man words that have escaped him in the fervour of the pleading designed to uphold great causes dear to humanity?—who would ignobly strike the self-disarmed?—scornfully insult him who, kneeling at the Muses’ confessional, whispers secrets that take wings and fly abroad to the uttermost parts of the earth? Can they be lovers of the people who do so? who find it in their hearts thus to think, and speak, and write of Robert Burns?—He who has reconciled poverty to its lot, toil to its taskwork, care to its burden—nay, I would say even—grief to its grave? And by one Immortal Song has sanctified for ever the poor man’s Cot—by such a picture as only genius, in the inspiring power of piety, could have painted; has given enduring life to the image—how tender and how true!—of the Happy Night passing by sweet transition from this worky world into the Hallowed Day, by God’s appointment breathing a heavenly calm over all Christian regions in their rest—nowhere else so profoundly—and may it never be broken!—as over the hills and valleys of our beloved, and yet religious land!

It cannot be said that the best biographers of Burns, and his best critics, have not done, or desired to do, justice to his character as well as to his genius; and, according as the truth has been more entirely and fearlessly spoken, has he appeared the nobler and nobler man. All our best poets, too, have exultingly sung the worth, while they mourned the fate of him, the brightest of the brotherhood. But above, and below, and round about all that they have been uttering, has all along been heard a voice, which they who know how to listen for it can hear, and which has pronounced a decision in his favour not to be reversed; for on earth it cannot be carried to a higher tribunal. A voice heard of old on great national emergencies, when it struck terror into the hearts of tyrants, who quaked, and quailed, and quitted for aye our land before “the unconquered Caledonian spear”—nor, since our union with noblest England, ever slack to join with her’s and fervid Erin’s sons, the thrice-repeated cry by which battle-fields are cleared; but happier, far happier to hear, in its low deep tone of peace. For then it is like the sound of distant waterfalls, the murmur of summer woods, or the sea rolling in its rest. I mean the Voice of the People of Scotland—the Voice of her Peasantry and her Trades—of all who earn their bread by the sweat of their brow—her Working Men.

I presume not to draw their character. But this much I will say, that in the long run they know whom it is fitting they should honour and love.   They will not be dictated to in their choice of the names that with them shall be household words. Never, at any period of their history, have they been lightly moved; but, when moved, their meaning was not to be mistaken; tenacious their living grasp as the clutch of death; though force may wrench the weapon from their hands, no force can wrench the worship from their hearts. They may not be conversant with our written annals; but in our oral traditions they are familiar with historic truths—grand truths conceived according to the People’s idea of their own national mind, as their hearts have kindled in imagination of heroic or holy men. Imaginary but real—for we all believe that men as good, as wise, as brave, have been amongst us as ever fancy fabled for a people’s reverence. What manner of men have been their darlings? It would be hard to say; for their love is not exclusive—it is comprehensive. In the national memory live for ever characters how widely different!—with all the shades, fainter or darker, of human infirmity! For theirs is not the sickly taste that craves for perfection where no frailties are. They do not demand in one and the same personage inconsistent virtues. But they do demand sincerity, and integrity, and resolution, and independence, and an open front, and an eye that fears not to look in the face of clay! And have not the grave and thoughtful Scottish people always regarded with more especial affection those who have struggled with adversity—who have been tried by temptations from without or from within—now triumphant, now overcome—but, alike in victory or defeat, testifying by their conduct that they were animated by no other desire so steadily as by love of their country and its people’s good? Not those who have been favourites of fortune, even though worthy of the smiles in which they basked; but those who rose superior to fortune, who could not frown them down. Nor have they withheld their homage from the unfortunate in this world of chance and change, if, in abasement of condition, by doing its duties they upheld the dignity of their own nature, and looked round them on their honest brethren in poverty with pride.

And how will such a people receive a great National Poet? How did they receive Burns? With instant exultation. At once, they knew of themselves, before critics and philosophers had time to tell them, that a great Genius of their own had risen, and they felt a sudden charm diffused over their daily life. By an inexplicable law, humour and pathos are dependent on the same constitution of mind; and in his Poems they found the very soul of mirth, the very soul of sadness, as they thought it good with him to be merry, or to remember with him, “that man was made to mourn.” But besides what I have said of them, the people of Scotland hold in the world’s repute—signally so—the name of a religious people. Many of them, the descendants of the old covenanters, heirs of the stern zeal which took up arms for the purity of the national faith—still tinged, it may be, by the breath of the flame that then passed over the land—retain a certain severity of religious judgment in questions of moral transgression, which is known to make a part of hereditary Scottish manners—especially in rural districts, where manners best retain their stamp. But the sound natural understanding of the Scottish peasant, I use the liberty to say, admits, to take their place at the side of one another, objects of his liberal and comprehensive regard, which might appear, to superficial observation and shallow judgment, to stand upon such different grounds, as that the approbation of the one should exclude the admiration of the other. But not so. Nature in him is various as it is vigorous. He does not, with an over-jealous scrutiny, vainly try to reduce into seeming consistency affections spontaneously springing from many sources. Truth lies at the bottom; and, conscious of truth, he does not mistrust or question his own promptings. An awful reverence, the acknowledgment of a Law without appeal or error—Supreme, Sacred, Irresistible—rules in his judgment of other men’s actions, and of his own. Nevertheless, under shelter and sanction of that rule, he feels, loves, admires, like a man. Religion has raised and guards in him—it does not extinguish—the   natural human heart. If the martyrs of his worship to him are holy—holy, too, are his country’s heroes. And holy her poets—if such she have—who have sung—as during his too short life above them all sang Burns—for Scotland’s sake. Dear is the band that ties the humbly educated man to the true national poet. To many in the upper classes he is, perhaps, but one among a thousand artificers of amusement who entertain and scatter the tedium of their idler hours. To the peasant the book lies upon his shelf a household treasure. There he finds depicted himself—his own works and his own ways. There he finds a cordial for his drooping spirits, nutriment for his wearied strength. Burns is his brother—his helper in time of need, when fretfulness and impatience are replaced with placidity by his strains, or of a sudden with a mounting joy. And far oftener than they who know not our peasantry would believe, before their souls awakened from torpor he is a luminous and benign presence in the dark hut; for, in its purity and power, his best poetry is felt to be inspired, and subordinate to the voice of heaven.

And will such a people endure to hear their own Poet wronged? No, no. Think not to instruct them in the right spirit of judgment. They have read the Scriptures, perhaps, to better purpose than their revilers, and know better how to use the lessons learned there, applicable alike to us all—the lessons, searching and merciful, which proscribe mutual judgment amongst beings, all, in the eye of absolute Holiness and Truth, stained, erring, worthless: And none so well as aged religious men in such dwellings know, from their own experience, from what they have witnessed among their neighbours, and from what they have read of the lives of good and faithful servants, out of the heart of what moral storms and shipwrecks, that threatened to swallow the strong swimmer in the middle passage of life, has often been landed safe at last, the rescued worshipper upon the firm land of quiet duties, and of years exempt from the hurricane of the passions! Thus thoughtfully guided in their opinion of him, who died young—cut off long before the period when others, under the gracious permission of overruling mercy, have begun to redeem their errors, and fortified perhaps by a sacred office, to enter upon a new life—they will for ever solemnly cherish the memory of the Poet of the Poor. And in such sentiments there can be no doubt but that all his countrymen share; who will, therefore rightfully hold out between Burns and all enemies a shield which clattering shafts may not pierce. They are proud of him, as a lowly father is proud of an illustrious son. The rank and splendour attained reflects glory down, but resolves not, nor weakens one single tie.

Ay, for many a deep reason the Scottish people love their own Robert Burns. Never was the personal character of poet so strongly and endearingly exhibited in his song. They love him, because he loved his own order, nor ever desired for a single hour to quit it. They love him, because he loved the very humblest condition of humanity, where every thing good was only the more commended to his manly mind by disadvantages of social position. They love him, because he saw with just anger, how much the judgments of “silly coward man” are determined by such accidents, to the neglect or contempt of native worth. They love him for his independence. What wonder! To be brought into contact with rank and wealth—a world inviting to ambition, and tempting to a thousand desires—and to choose rather to remain lowly and poor, than seek an easier or a brighter lot, by courting favour from the rich and great—was a legitimate ground of pride, if any ground of pride be legitimate. He gave a tongue to this pride, and the boast is inscribed in words of fire in the Manual of the Poor. It was an exuberant feeling, as all his feelings were exuberant, and he let them all overflow. But sometimes, forsooth! he did not express them in sufficiently polite or courteous phrase! And that too was well. He stood up not for himself only, but for the great class to which he belonged, and which in his days—and too often in ours—had been insulted by the pride of superior station, when unsupported by personal merit, to every bold peasant a thing of scorn. They   love him, because he vindicated the ways of God to man, by showing that there was more genius and virtue in huts, than was dreamt of in the world’s philosophy. They love him for his truthful pictures of the poor. Not there are seen slaves sullenly labouring, or madly leaping in their chains; but in nature’s bondage, content with their toil, sedate in their sufferings, in their recreations full of mirth—are seen Free Men. The portraiture, upon the whole, is felt by us—and they know it—to demand at times pity as a due; but challenges always respect, and more than respect, for the condition which it glorifies. The Land of Burns! What mean we by the words? Something more, surely, than that Fortune, in mere blindness, had produced a great poet here? We look for the inspiring landscape, and here it is; but what could all its beauties have availed, had not a people inhabited it possessing all the sentiments, thoughts, aspirations, to which nature willed to give a voice in him of her choicest melody? Nothing prodigious, after all, in the birth of such a poet among such a people. Was any thing greater in the son than the austere resignation of the father? In his humble compeers there was much of the same tender affection, sturdy independence, strong sense, self-reliance, as in him; and so has Scotland been prolific, throughout her lower orders, of men who have made a figure in her literature and her history; but to Burns nature gave a finer organization, a more powerful heart, and an ampler brain, imbued with that mystery we call genius, and he stands forth conspicuous above all her sons.

From the character I have sketched of the Scottish people, of old and at this day, it might perhaps be expected that much of their poetry would be of a stern, fierce, or even ferocious kind—the poetry of bloodshed and destruction. Yet not so. Ballads enow, indeed, there are, embued with the true warlike spirit—narrative of exploits of heroes. But many a fragmentary verse, preserved by its own beauty, survives to prove that gentlest poetry has ever been the produce both of heathery mountain and broomy brae; but the names of the sweet singers are heard no more, and the plough has gone over their graves. And they had their music too, plaintive or dirge-like, as it sighed for the absent, or wailed for the dead. The fragments were caught up, as they floated about in decay; and by him, the sweetest lyrist of them all, were often revivified by a happy word that let in a soul, or, by a few touches of his genius, the fragment became a whole, so exquisitely moulded, that none may tell what lines belong to Burns, and what to the poet of ancient days. They all belong to him now, for but for him they would have perished utterly; while his own matchless lyrics, altogether original, find the breath of life on the lips of a people who have gotten them all by heart. What a triumph of the divine faculty thus to translate the inarticulate language of nature into every answering modulation of human speech! And with such felicity, that the verse is now as national as the music! Throughout all these exquisite songs, we see the power of an element which we, raised by rank and education into ignorance, might not have surmised in the mind of the people. The love-songs of Burns are prominent in the poetry of the world by their purity. Love, truly felt and understood, in the bosom of a Scottish peasant, has produced a crowd of strains which are owned for the genuine and chaste language of the passion, by highly as well as by lowly born—by cultured and by ruder minds—that may charm in haughty saloons, not less than under smoke-blackened roofs. Impassioned beyond all the songs of passion, yet, in the fearless fervour of remembered transports, pure as hymeneals; and dear, therefore, for ever to Scottish maidens in hours when hearts are wooed and won; dear, therefore, for ever to Scottish matrons, who, at household work, are happy to hear them from their daughters’ lips. And he, too, is the Poet of their friendships. At stanzas instinct with blythe and cordial amities, more brotherly the grasp of peasant’s in peasant’s toil-hardened hands! The kindliness of their nature, not chilled, though oppressed with care, how ready at his bidding—at the repeated air of a few   exquisite but unsought-for words of his—to start up all alive! He is the Poet of all their humanities. His Daisy has made all the flowers of Scotland dear. His moorland has its wild inhabitants, whose cry is sweet. For sake of the old dumb fellow-servant which his farmer gratefully addresses on entering on another year of labour, how many of its kind have been fed or spared? In the winter storm ’tis useless to think of the sailor on his slippery shrouds; but the “outland eerie cattle” he teaches his feres to care for in the drifting snow. In what jocund strains he celebrates their amusements, their recreations, their festivals, passionately pursued with all their pith by a people in the business of life grave and determined as if it left no hours for play! Gait, dress, domicile, furniture, throughout all his poetry, are Scottish as their dialect; and sometimes, in the pride of his heart, he rejoices by such nationality to provoke some alien’s smile. The sickle, the scythe, and the flail, the spade, the mattock, and the hoe, have been taken up more cheerfully by many a toil-worn cottar, because of the poetry with which Burns has invested the very implements of labour. Now and then, too, here and there peals forth the clangour of the war-trumpet. But Burns is not, in the vulgar sense, a military poet; nor are the Scottish, in a vulgar sense, a military people. He and they best love tranquil scenes and the secure peace of home. They are prompt for war, if war be needed—no more. Therefore two or three glorious strains he has that call to the martial virtue quiescent in their bosoms—echoes from the warfare of their ancient self-deliverance—menacings—a prophetical Nemo me impune lacesset, should a future foe dare to insult the beloved soil. So nourishes his poetry all that is tender and all that is stern in the national character. So does it inspire his people with pride and contentment in their own peculiar lot; and as that is at once both poetical and practical patriotism, the poet who thus lightens and brightens it is the best of patriots.

I have been speaking of Burns as the poet of the country—and his is the rural, the rustic muse. But we know well that the charm of his poetry has equal power for the inhabitants of towns and cities. Occupations, familiar objects, habitual thoughts, are indeed very different for the two great divisions of the people; but there is a brotherhood both of consanguinity and of lot. Labour—the hand pledged to constant toil—the daily support of life, won by its daily wrestle with a seemingly adverse but friendly necessity—in these they are all commoners with one another. He who cheers, who solaces, who inspirits, who honours, who exalts the lot of the labourer, is the poet alike of all the sons of industry. The mechanic who inhabits a smoky atmosphere, and in whose ear an unwholesome din from workshop and thoroughfare rings hourly, hangs from his rafter the caged linnet; and the strain that should gush free from blossomed or green bough, that should mix in the murmur of the brook, mixes in and consoles the perpetual noise of the loom or the forge. Thus Burns sings more especially to those whose manner of life he entirely shares; but he sings a precious memento to those who walk in other and less pleasant ways. Give then the people knowledge, without stint, for it nurtures the soul. But let us never forget, that the mind of man has other cravings—that it draws nourishment from thoughts, beautiful and tender, such as lay reviving dews on the drooping fancy, and are needed the more by him to whom they are not wafted fresh from the face of nature. This virtue of these pastoral and rural strains to penetrate and permeate conditions of existence different from those in which they had their origin, appears wheresoever we follow them. In the mine, in the dungeon, upon the great waters, in remote lands under fiery skies, Burns’s poetry goes with his countrymen. Faithfully portrayed, the image of Scotland lives there; and thus she holds, more palpably felt, her hand upon the hearts of her children, whom the constraint of fortune or ambitious enterprise carries afar from the natal shores. Unrepining and unrepentant exiles, to whom the haunting recollection of hearth and field breathes in that dearest poetry, not with homesick sinkings of heart, but   with home-invigorated hopes that the day will come when their eyes shall have their desire, and their feet again feel the greensward and the heather-bent of Scotland. Thus is there but one soul in this our great National Festival; while to swell the multitudes that from morning light continued flocking towards old Ayr, till at mid-day they gathered into one mighty mass in front of Burns’s Monument, came enthusiastic crowds from countless villages and towns, from our metropolis, and from the great City of the West, along with the sons of the soil dwelling all round the breezy uplands of Kyle, and in regions that stretch away to the stormy mountains of Morven.

Sons of Burns! Inheritors of the name which we proudly revere, you claim in the glad solemnity which now unites us, a privileged and more fondly affectionate part. To the honour with which we would deck the memory of your father, your presence, and that of your respected relatives, nor less that of her sitting in honour by their side, who, though not of his blood, did the duties of a daughter at his dying bed, give an impressive living reality; and while we pay this tribute to the poet, whose glory, beyond that of any other, we blend with the renown of Scotland, it is a satisfaction to us, that we pour not out our praises in the dull cold ear of death. Your lives have been past for many years asunder; and now that you are freed from the duties that kept you so long from one another, your intercourse, wherever and whenever permitted by your respective lots to be renewed, will derive additional enjoyment from the recollection of this day—a sacred day indeed to brothers, dwelling—even if apart—in unity and peace. And there is one whose warmest feelings, I have the best reason to know, are now with you and us, as well on your own account as for the sake of your great parent, whose character he respects as much as he admires his genius, though it has pleased Heaven to visit him with such affliction as might well deaden even in such a heart as his all satisfaction even with this festival. But two years ago, and James Burnes was the proud and happy father of three sons, all worthy of their race. One only now survives; and may he in due time return from India to be a comfort, if but for a short, a sacred season, to his old age! But Sir Alexander Burnes—a name that will not die—and his gallant brother have perished, as all the world knows, in the flower of their life—foully murdered in a barbarous land. For them many eyes have wept; and their country, whom they served so faithfully, deplores them among her devoted heroes. Our sympathy may not soothe such grief as his; yet it will not be refused, coming to him along with our sorrow for the honoured dead. Such a father of such sons has far other consolations.

In no other way more acceptable to yourselves could I hope to welcome you, than by thus striving to give an imperfect utterance to some of the many thoughts and feelings that have been crowding into my mind and heart concerning your father. And I have felt all along that there was not only no impropriety in my doing so, after the address of our Noble Chairman, but that it was even the more required of me that I should speak in a kindred spirit, by that very address, altogether so worthy of his high character, and so admirably appropriate to the purpose of this memorable day. Not now for the first time, by many times, has he shown how well he understands the ties by which, in a country like this, men of high are connected with men of humble birth, and how amply he is endowed with the qualities that best secure attachment between the Castle and the Cottage. We rise to welcome you to your Father’s land.

Mr Robert Burns replied in the following terms:—My lord, and ladies and gentlemen, You may be assured that the sons of Burns feel all that they ought to feel on an occasion so peculiarly gratifying to them, and on account of so nobly generous a welcome to the Banks of Doon. In whatever land they have wandered—wherever they have gone—they have invariably found a kind reception prepared for them by the genius and fame of their father; and, under the providence of Almighty God, they owe to the admirers of his genius all that they have, and what competencies they now enjoy. We have no claim to attention individually—we are all aware   that genius, and more particularly poetic genius, is not hereditary, and in this case the mantle of Elijah has not descended upon Elisha. The sons of Burns have grateful hearts, and will remember, so long as they live, the honour which has this day been conferred upon them by the noble and the illustrious of our own land, and many generous and kind spirits from other lands—some from the far West, a country composed of the great and the free, and altogether a kindred people. We beg to return our most heartfelt thanks to this numerous and highly respectable company for the honour which has been done us this day.

Sir John M’Neill spoke as follows:—My lord, ladies, and gentlemen—We have now accomplished the main purpose of this assembly. We have done honour to the memory of Burns, and have welcomed his sons to the land of their father. After the address—which I may be permitted to call the address of manly eloquence—which you have heard from our Noble Chairman; after the oration—which I may be permitted to designate as solemn and beautiful—which you have heard from our worthy Vice-chairman—I should be inexcusable were I to detain you long with the subject which has been entrusted to me. The range of English poetry is so vast—it is profuse in so many beauties and excellences, and many of its great names are approached with so much habitual veneration, that I feel great diffidence and difficulty in addressing you on a subject on which my opinions can have little weight, and my judgment is no authority; but to you, whose minds have been stirred with the lofty thoughts of the Poets of England, and are familiar with their beauties, nothing is needed to stimulate you to admire that which I am sure has been the object of your continual admiration, and the subject of your unfailing delight. We have been sometimes accused of a nationality which is too narrow and exclusive; but I hope and believe that the accusation is founded on misapprehension of our feelings. It is true that, as Scotsmen, we love Scotland above every other spot on earth—that we love it as our early home, and our father’s house. We cherish our feelings of nationality as we cherish our domestic affections, of which they are in truth a part. But while we have these feelings, we glory in the might and the majesty of that great country, with which, for the happiness of both, we have long been united as one nation. We are proud of the victories of Cressy, of Agincourt, and of Poictiers, as if they had been won by our own ancestors. And I may venture to say there is not in this great assembly one who is not proud that he can claim to be the countryman of Spenser, and Shakspeare, and Milton, and Wordsworth, and of every one in that long list of glorious Englishmen, who have shed a lustre and conferred a dignity upon our language more bright and more majestic than illuminates and exalts the living literature of any other land. There is, I think, in the history of the progress of the human intellect, nothing more surprising than the sudden growth of literature in England to the summit of its excellence. No sooner had tranquillity been restored after the long civil wars of the Roses—no sooner had men’s minds been set free to enter the fields of speculation opened up by the Reformation, than in the short space of the life of one man—than in the space of seventy years, there arose such men as Spenser, and Milton, and Shakspeare, and Sydney, and Raleigh, and Bacon, and Hobbes, and Cudworth, and a whole phalanx of other great men, inferior only to them in the brightness of original genius. How glorious must have been the soil which could bring to maturity a harvest of such teeming abundance! There are probably many among us who can even now remember with exultation when the first ray of light was cast on their minds from the genius of Spenser—as the first glimmering of day comes to him whose sealed eyes are opened to the light of heaven, discovering objects at first dimly and then more clearly, we at length gazed in wonder and in joy on a creation vaster far, and far more lovely, than it had entered into our hearts to conceive. And if, in our maturer years, we return to live an hour with him in the regions of fairyland that enchanted our youth—if some of the flowers seem less bright, if the murmur of the waters is a more pensive sound, if a soberer   light pervade the scene, and if some of the illusions are broken for ever, we still discover in every stanza beauties which escaped our earlier observation, and we never lose our relish for that rich play of fancy, like the eastern fountain, whose spray descends in pearls and in gems. But, above all, when we look upon him with mature feelings, we can appreciate that lofty strain of godly philosophy which he, the father of our poetry, bequeathed, and which has been followed by his successors. When we call to mind the influence produced on a people by the poetry of a nation—when we call to mind that whatever is desired to be inculcated, whether for good or for evil, the power of poetry has been employed to advance it, even from the times when the Monarch-Minstrel of Israel glorified his Maker in Psalms, to the latest attempts which have been made to propagate treason, immorality, or atheism—when we thus think of these things, we may learn how much of gratitude is due to those men who, having had the precious ointment of poetic genius poured abundantly on their heads, have felt and acknowledged that they were thereby consecrated to the cause of virtue—who have never forgotten that there was a time when

“The sacred name
Of poet and of prophet was the same.”

Such men are Spenser, Milton—such is Wordsworth. Of Milton I shall not venture to speak. He stands alone in his sanctuary, which I would not profane even by imperfect praise. But it is my duty to speak of Wordsworth. Dwelling in his high and lofty philosophy, he finds nothing that God has made common or unclean—he finds nothing in human society too humble, nothing in external nature too lowly, to be made the fit exponents of the bounty and goodness of the Most High. In the loftier aspirations of such a mind, there must be much that is obscure to every inferior intelligence; and it may be that its vast expanse can only be but dimly visible—it may be that the clouds of incense rising from the altar may veil from common eyes some portion of the stately temple they perfume; but we pity the man who should therefore close his eyes on a scene of beauty and sublimity, or turn back from the threshold of the noble edifice in which he has been invited to survey the majesty of creative genius, and where he will be taught to find “Books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in every thing.”

“Blessings be with them, and eternal praise,
The poets who on earth have made us heirs
Of truth and pure delight by heavenly lays.”

—“Wordsworth and the Poets of England.”

Henry Glassford Bell, Esq., advocate, said—My lord, I feel it to be a great distinction and privilege to have been requested to take a part in the proceedings of this day. It is a day which will not soon pass from the recollection of those who have partaken in its admirably-conducted festivities. In assembling to do honour to the memory of Burns, in no idle or frivolous spirit, but impressed with those elevated emotions which have so plainly animated the whole of this mighty gathering, we have a right to feel that we do honour to ourselves as individuals, and as a nation. Our assembling has been prompted by a love of all that is purest and best in our national genius, as represented by our national poet. It has been prompted, too, by that indomitable love of our native land which Burns felt and sang—a love founded on admiration, which grows with our growth and strengthens with our strength, of all that external nature here presents to us—on profound respect for our inestimable and time-hallowed institutions; and in never-dying delight in all that kindred spirits have here shared with us—in all that higher spirits have here achieved for us. No poet ever possessed greater influence in disseminating and strengthening such sentiments, than Burns. My lord, it has been well said that wherever an humble artisan, in the crowded haunts of labour or of trade, feels a consciousness of his own dignity—is stirred with a desire for the beautiful, or haunted with a dream of knowledge, or learns to appreciate the distinction between the “guinea’s stamp” and the “gowd,”   there the royal and gentle spirit of Robert Burns, lion-like in its boldness, and dove-like in its tenderness, still glows, elevates, and inspires. This spirit is also here, and has been evidenced in many ways; perhaps in none more than in this, that in doing honour to the genius of Burns, we are irresistibly led to acknowledge, and speak of the debts we owe to the intellectual achievements of other great minds, not in Scotland only, but in the sister countries. We have just heard, from the eloquent lips of Sir John M’Neill, the well-deserved praises of the English bards. Will this meeting refuse a similar cup of welcome, and of thanks, to the poets of Green Erin? Will this meeting, where so many bright eyes rain influence, and manly hearts beat high, not hail with simultaneous delight the name of one who shines conspicuous as the very poet of youth, of love, and of beauty—the poet, with deference be it spoken, of better things than even beauty—of gentle thoughts and exquisite associations, that give additional sweetness to the twilight hour, and to the enjoyments of home a more endearing loveliness; the poet, too, of his own high-souled country, through whose harp the common breeze of Ireland changes, as it passes, into articulate melody—a harp that will never be permitted to hang mute on Tara’s walls, as long as

“Erin! the tear and the smile in thine eye
Blend like the rainbow that melts in thy sky!”

How many voices have to-day murmured a wish that he were here! But the echo of the acclaim with which we greet the name of Moore will reach him in his solitude, and he will feel, what Burns died too young to feel, that it is something worth living for to have gained a nation’s gratitude. Of Maturin and others now dead, I must not pause to speak. But let me be privileged to express, in name of this meeting, our respect and admiration for the best of the living dramatists—one deeply imbued with the spirit of the Elizabethan age—one who has rescued our stage from the reproach which seemed ready to fall upon it—one to whose exuberant poetical fertility, and bold originality of thought, we are indebted for such beautiful creations as “Virginius” and “William Tell,” the “Hunchback” and the “Love Chase,”—our valued friend, James Sheridan Knowles. And I might have stopped here, had it not been that I have to-day seen that not the gifted sons alone, but also some of the gifted daughters of Ireland, have come as pilgrims to the shrine of Burns; that one in particular, one of the most distinguished of that fair sisterhood who give, by their talents, additional lustre to the genius of the present day, has paid her first visit to Scotland, that she might be present on this occasion, and whom have myself seen moved even to tears by the glory of the gathering. She is one who has lately thrown additional light on the antiquities, manners, scenery, and beautiful traditions of Ireland—one, whose graceful and truly feminine works are known to us all, and whom we are proud to see among us—Mrs S. C. Hall. My lord, feebly and briefly as I have spoken of these great names, I must not trespass longer on your time, but beg to propose the health of “Moore and the Irish Poets.”

Archibald Alison, Esq., Sheriff of Lanarkshire, spoke as follows:—We have listened with admiration to the eloquent strains in which the first in rank and the first in genius have proposed the memory of the immortal bard whose genius we are this day assembled to celebrate; but I know not whether the toast which I have now to propose, has not equal claims to our enthusiasm. Your kindness and that of the committee, has intrusted to me the memory of three illustrious men—the far-famed successors of Burns, who have drank deep at the fountains of his genius, and proved themselves the worthy inheritors of his inspiration. And Scotland, I rejoice to say, can claim them all as her own. For if the Tweed has been immortalized by the grave of Scott, the Clyde can boast the birthplace of Campbell, and the mountains of the Dee first inspired the muse of Byron. I rejoice at that burst of patriotic feeling—I hail it as a presage, that as Ayrshire has raised a graceful monument to Burns, and Edinburgh   has erected a noble structure to the Author of Waverley, so Glasgow will ere long raise a worthy tribute to the bard whose name will never die while Hope pours its balm through the human heart; and Aberdeen will worthily commemorate the far-famed traveller, who first inhaled the inspiration of nature amidst the clouds of Loch-nagarr, and afterwards poured the light of his genius over those lands of the sun where his descending orb set—

“Not as in northern climes obscurely bright,
But one unclouded blaze of living light.”

Scotland, my lord, may well be proud of such men, but she can no longer call these exclusively her own; their names have become household words in every land. Mankind claims them as the common inheritance of the human race. Look around us, and we shall see on every side decisive proofs how far and wide admiration for their genius has sunk in the hearts of man. What is it that attracts strangers from every part of the world into this distant land, and has more than compensated a remote situation and a churlish soil, and given to our own Northern Isle a splendour unknown to the regions of the sun? What is it which has brought together this mighty assemblage, and united the ardent and the generous from every part of the world, from the Ural mountains to the banks of the Mississippi, on the shores of an island in the Atlantic? My lord, it is neither the magnificence of our cities, nor the beauty of our valleys, the animation of our harbours, nor the stillness of our mountains; it is neither our sounding cataracts, nor our spreading lakes; neither the wilds of nature we have subdued so strenuously, nor the blue hills we have loved so well. These beauties, great as they are, have been equaled in other lands; these marvels, wondrous though they be, have parallels in other climes. It is the genius of her sons which has given Scotland her proud pre-eminence; this it is, more even than the shades of Bruce, of Wallace, and of Mary, which has rendered her scenes classic ground to the whole civilized world, and now brings pilgrims from the most distant parts of the earth, as on this day, to worship at the shrine of genius.

“Yet Albyn! yet the praise be thine,
Thy scenes with story to combine;
Thou bid’st him who by Roslin strays
List to the tale of other days.
Midst Cartlane crags thou showest the cave,
The refuge of thy champion brave;
Giving each rock a storied tale,
Pouring a lay through every dale;
Knitting, as with a moral band,
Thy story to thy native land;
Combining thus the interest high
Which genius lends to beauty’s eye!”

But, my lord, the poet who conceived those beautiful lines, has himself done more than all our ancestors’ valour to immortalize the land of his birth; for he has united the interest of truth with the charms of fiction, and peopled the realm not only with the shadows of time, but the creations of genius. In those brilliant creations, as in the glassy wave, we behold mirrored the lights, the shadows, the forms of reality; and yet

“So pure, so fair, the mirror gave,
As if there lay beneath the wave,
Secure from trouble, toil, and care,
A world than earthly world more fair.”

Years have rolled on, but they have taken nothing, they have added much to the fame of those illustrious men.

“Time but the impression deeper makes,
As streams their channels deeper wear.”

The voice of ages has spoken: it has given Campbell and Byron the highest place with Burns in lyric poetry, and destined Scott

“To rival all but Shakspeare’s name below.”

Their names now shine in unapproachable splendour, far removed, like the fixed stars, from the clouds and the rivalry of a lower world. To the end of time they will maintain their exalted station. Never will the cultivated traveller traverse the sea of Archipelago, that the “Isles of Greece, the Isles of Greece,” will not recur to his recollection; never will he approach the shores of Loch Katrine, that the image of Ellen Douglas will not be present to his memory; never will he gaze on the cliffs of Britain,   that he will not thrill at the exploits of the “Mariners of England, who guard our native seas.” Whence has arisen this great, this universally acknowledged celebrity? My lord, it is hard to say whether we have most to admire the brilliancy of their fancy or the creations of their genius, the beauty of their verses or the magic of their language, the elevation of their thoughts or the pathos of their conceptions. But there is one whose recent death we all deplore, but who has lighted “the torch of Hope at nature’s funeral pile,” who has gained a yet higher inspiration. In Campbell it is the moral purposes to which he has directed his mighty powers which is the real secret of his success, the lofty objects to which he has devoted his life, which have proved his passport to immortality. It is because he has unceasingly contended for the best interests of humanity, because he has ever asserted the dignity of the human soul, because he has never forgotten that amidst all the distinctions of time,

“The rank is but the guinea stamp,
The man’s the gowd for a’ that.”

Because he has regarded himself as the high-priest of Nature, and the world which we inhabit as the abode not merely of human care and human joys, but as the temple of the living God, in which praise is due, and where service is to be performed.—“The memory of Scott, Byron, and Campbell.”

William E. Aytoun, Esq., advocate, said—We are met here to-day not only to pay due honour to the memory of that bard whose genius has consecrated this spot, and the scenes around it, as classic ground for ever, but for a wider, a more important, and even a more generous purpose. I look upon this assemblage as a great national gathering—a meeting not only of the Highlands and Lowlands of Scotland, but of kindly strangers also, to testify our reverence and affection for the living lights of fame that are still burning amongst us, and our undying gratitude and exultation for those who have already passed away. Thus, though they belong to the sister countries, we have paid due homage to the venerable name of Wordsworth and to the sparkling genius of Moore. Thus the heart of every one that hears me burned within him—am I not right?—when we saw our own noble Wilson rise amidst us, and heard him, with an eloquence the most pure—for it flowed spontaneously from his soul—speak, as perhaps no other man could speak, of the genius of the immortal dead. Thus, too, we have heard the tribute so touchingly paid to Campbell, who now sleeps among the sages, and the statesmen, and the warriors, and the poets of famous England; and to him who has a happier and a holier sepulture still—for he lies within the bosom of his own dear native land—to Scott, the master-spirit of the age, for whom we well may mourn, since we dare not hope to look upon his like again! I have now, in a few words, to entreat your patience whilst I speak of two other Scottish poets whose memory is yet green amongst us—both reared, like Robert Burns, at the lowly hearth of the peasant—both pursuing, like him, through every discouragement and difficulty, the pathway towards honourable renown—and both the authors of strains which bear the stamp of immortality. And first, let me allude to one of them whom I knew and dearly loved. Who is there that has not heard of the Ettrick Shepherd—of him whose inspiration descended as lightly as the breeze that blows along the mountain side—who saw, amongst the lonely and sequestered glens of the south, from eyelids touched with fairy ointment, such visions as are vouchsafed to the minstrel alone—the dream of sweet Kilmeny, too spiritual for the taint of earth? I shall not attempt any comparison—for I am not here to criticise—between his genius and that of other men, on whom God in his bounty has bestowed the great and the marvellous gift. The songs and the poetry of the Shepherd are now the nation’s own, as indeed they long have been; and amidst the minstrelsy of the choir who have made the name of Scotland and her peasantry familiar throughout the wide reach of the habitable world the clear wild notes of the Forest will for ever be heard to ring. I have seen him many times by the banks of his own   romantic Yarrow; I have sat with him in the calm and sunny weather by the margin of Saint Mary’s Lake; I have seen his eyes sparkle and his cheek flush as he spoke out some old heroic ballad of the days of the Douglas and the Græme, and I have felt, as I listened to the accents of his manly voice, that whilst Scotland could produce amongst her children such men as him beside me, her ancient spirit had not departed from her, nor the star of her glory grown pale! For he was a man, indeed, cast in nature’s happiest mould. True-hearted, and brave, and generous, and sincere; alive to every kindly impulse, and fresh at the core to the last, he lived among his native hills the blameless life of the shepherd and the poet; and on the day when he was laid beneath the sod in the lonely kirkyard of Ettrick, there was not one dry eye amongst the hundreds that lingered round his grave. Of the other sweet singer, too—of Allan Cunningham, the leal-hearted and kindly Allan—I might say much; but why should I detain you further? Does not his name alone recall to your recollection many a sweet song that has thrilled the bosom of the village maiden with an emotion that a princess need not blush to own? Honour, then, to the poets!—whether they speak out loud and trumpet-tongued, to find audience in the hearts of the great, and the mighty, and the brave—or whether, in lowlier and more simple accents, but not less sacred in their mission, they bring comfort and consolation to the poor. As the sweep of the rainbow, which has its arch in heaven, and its shafts resting upon the surface of the earth—as the sunshine which falls with equal bounty upon the palace and the hut—is the all-pervading and universal spirit of poetry; and what less can we do to those men who have collected and scattered it around us, than to hail them as the benefactors of their race? That has been the purpose of our gathering, and we have held it in a fitting spot. Proud, indeed, may be the district that can claim within herself the birthplaces of Burns and of Cunningham; and proud may we all be—and we are proud, from yourself, my lord, to the humblest individual who bore a part in the proceedings of this memorable day—that we have the opportunity of testifying our respect to the genius that will defy the encroachment of time: and which has shed, and will continue to shed, a splendour and a glory around the land that we love so well! My lord, I am honoured in having to propose “The memory of the Ettrick Shepherd, and of Allan Cunningham.”

Sir D. H. Blair, Bart., of Blairquhan, said—My Lord Eglinton and gentlemen, I have been requested to give the next toast, which I very much wish had fallen into abler hands. It is a toast, my lord, that is as well calculated to call forth enthusiastic bursts of eloquence as any we have listened to with such delight to-day; but as on that account I feel quite unable to do it adequate justice, I must trust to that acclamation by which I am confident it will be received, without any effort on my part. We all recollect the words of our immortal bard, when, in alluding to the manner in which nature had finished this fair creation, he says—

“Her ’prentice han’ she tried on man,
And then she made the lasses O!”

I am sure every man in this assembly will join me in an enthusiastic bumper to the health of the “Countess of Eglinton, and the ladies who have honoured this meeting with their presence.”

Colonel Mure of Caldwell, said—In obedience to the order of our noble chairman, I have to request a bumper to the Peasantry of Scotland. In order justly to appreciate the claims of this most estimable class of our fellow-citizens upon our sympathies, I must remind you that to it pre-eminently belongs the honour of having given birth to the remarkable man whose memory we are this day met to celebrate. I must remind you, that while the fact of Burns having raised himself from the rank of a Scottish ploughman, by the innate force of heaven-born genius, to the level of the greatest and most original poets of any age or country, is the noblest feature of his history, the peasantry of Scotland, in their turn, may be entitled to feel pride, even in the presence of the proudest nobles of their land, when they remember   that from them, and not from the privileged orders of society, our greatest national genius was destined to arise. And, in fact, the most striking, and perhaps the most valuable feature in the poetical character of Burns, is the marked ascendancy which the spirit and habits of the peasant, the genius of the man, as it were, continued to exercise on the genius of the poet, even during the most brilliant periods of his subsequent career. Even amid that rich variety of subjects, in the treatment of which his instinctive refinement and delicacy of taste enabled him to combine, with all the higher powers of the man, the courtly graces of the gentleman and scholar—still his happiest effort, the masterpiece of his genius, in which his own mind is displayed in the most agreeable light, and his inspiration breathes forth with the greatest brilliancy and beauty, will be found to be dictated by the associations of his early rustic days. When I reflect, therefore, how copious, how graphic, how true are his own descriptions of the character of the Scottish peasantry, in all its varieties of grave or of gay, of light or of shadow, I cannot but feel it is a sort of presumption to offer in a company, who must be all so familiar with these descriptions, any crude remark of my own, on the more interesting features of those to which they refer. I shall, however, do my best to season the few comments which I am in some degree bound to offer on the subject allotted to me, by taking the poet’s works as my text-book. Were I called upon, therefore, to name the virtues of our peasantry, which chiefly claim our respect and admiration, I should point first to their industry, frugality, and contentment, as those which prominently adorn their own class of society above all others, and also to their piety and their patriotism, as shared, I would fain hope equally, or at least largely, by the mass of our fellow-citizens. Where, then, shall we find a more spirited picture of the influence and effects of the three former qualities—above all, of that most inestimable blessing, contentment—than in the brilliant little poem which bears the humble title of the “Twa Dogs,” where, after so graphically describing the honest toils, often the severe hardships, inseparable from the peasant’s lot, he goes on to say, that yet

“They’re nae sae wretched’s ane wad think,
Though constantly on poortith’s brink;
They’re sae accustom’d wi’ the sight,
The view of it gi’es little fright;
And how it comes I never kent yet,
They’re maistly wonderfu’ contented;
And buirdly chiels and clever hizzies
Are bred in such a way as this is.”

But where are we, after all, to look for the source of this beautiful attribute of contentment? Is it not in the still more admirable one of their piety? It is here almost superfluous to make any close appeal to our poet’s authority—to that most sublime description, so familiar to you all, where the old peasant on the Saturday night collects his scattered family, at the close of the long week’s labour, around his humble but happy cottage fireside, and, after a few sweet but hard-earned hours of social enjoyment, instils, before retiring to repose, from the open Word of God, into their minds those lessons of Divine wisdom which were to guide them during the next week, and through life, in the paths of religion and virtue. Are not such scenes to this day common in our cottages, still, as of old, I firmly believe, the favourite abodes of the genuine spirit of simple Scottish piety? Then as to the last, if not the least, in the above list of the virtues of our peasants—their patriotism. To whom, I would ask, but to the peasantry of Scotland, does our poet so beautifully appeal as having bled with Wallace? To whom, but to our peasantry, did our national hero look—and never look in vain—for support in his gallant effort to restore the fallen fortunes of his country, at the period when our doughty knights and nobles—happily but for a season—had been reduced, by the intrigues or intimidation of our powerful enemy, to crouch submissive beneath the throne of his usurpation. And can we doubt that this proud spirit of patriotism still burns as warm in their hearts as then, if no longer, by God’s blessing, so fearfully or so desperately called into action; or that when after, as our poet again has it,

“They lay aside their private cares
To mind the Kirk and State affairs
  They’ll talk of patronage and priests
Wi’ kindling fury in their breasts,
Or tell what new taxation’s coming,
And ferlie at the folks in Lunnan.”

But I have already detained you too long—if not longer than the interest of the subject, at least than my power of doing justice to it entitles me. I shall therefore conclude by pronouncing a grace over our bumper, also supplied from the stores of the Poet, and the sentiments of which every one here present, I am sure, will cordially sympathize—

“O Scotia! my dear, my native soil,
For whom my warmest wish to Heaven is sent,
Long may thy hardy sons of rustic toil
Be blest with health, and peace, and sweet content.”

Sir James Campbell of Glasgow said—In proposing the toast with which I have been entrusted, I shall content myself by simply expressing my deep regret that, under any circumstances, I could so inadequately express my own sentiments and feelings of admiration—in all the acceptations of that word—of “the Land of Burns.” I am aware, however, that I have the honour of addressing an assemblage who can appreciate, who do appreciate, and who, by their appearance here, and the interest so many of them have taken in the proceedings and associations of this day, give ample proof of their high estimation of, and attachment to, “the Land of Burns.” I am aware, also, that I have the honour to address not a few of those who have, with the pencil or with the pen, done homage to the classical, patriotic, and poetical claims of that land. I feel satisfied, indeed, that there is not an individual in this most interesting and splendid assemblage, who does not greatly prize and admire the fertile soil and landscape beauty of that land; whose bosom glows not with an honest pride at the intelligence, enterprise, and patriotism of the men of that land; and, above all, who does not honour and admire the beauty and accomplishments of the ladies of that land. And therefore is it, my lord, that, without further preface, I would call upon this assembly to dedicate a bumper to “The Land of Burns.”

Lord Eglinton said—Ladies and Gentlemen, Except the toast which I have had the honour and happiness of bringing before you to-day, there is not one which gives me greater pleasure to see committed to my charge than that which I am now about to bring before your notice—I mean the “Provost and Magistrates of Ayr;” and along with it, though not down on the card, my feelings will not allow me to leave out the Interests of Ayr. On such an occasion as this, and so late in the day, I will not occupy your time by dilating on the interest which I feel in that Town, or of the knowledge which I have of the Provost and the Magistrates. From that knowledge I feel convinced that the interests of Ayr could not be placed in more worthy hands. In addition to the respect felt towards them as the Magistrates of the County Town, we all feel gratitude to them for the assistance, support, and countenance, they have given to our proceedings on this occasion.

Provost Miller said—Permit me to return my best thanks, on behalf of my colleagues and myself, for the flattering compliment which has just been paid to them. The manner in which the toast was introduced by the noble lord was particularly gratifying to me; and I am sure it will be appreciated by the entire corporation. I beg to assure the noble lord that the recognition of “Auld Ayr” at a meeting so peculiarly interesting as the present, and combining, as it does, so much of the rank, talent, and worth of the land, will be highly appreciated by the “honest men and bonnie lasses” for which it has been characterized by the immortal bard in honour of whose memory we are this day met.

The Lord Justice-General rose amidst much applause. He said—Ladies and gentlemen, after the uncommon success which has attended every part of the proceedings at this meeting to-day, I am confident that I anticipate the unanimous concurrence of this great assembly I have now the honour to address, when I state that there appears, in addition to many toasts drunk with so much enthusiasm, one that remains as a debt   of gratitude due by this assembly. I consider it a most fortunate circumstance attending this meeting, that we have been presided over by the Noble Lord in the chair. I am sure that the most enthusiastic admirers of Burns must be gratified in thinking that the proceedings of this day have been conducted by my noble friend in so admirable a manner. Every person must be satisfied that it was impossible the proceedings of this day could have been commenced in a happier strain. Without further comment, I beg leave to propose that we drink the health of our excellent Chairman.

Lord Eglinton, in reply, said—My Lord Justice, and ladies and gentlemen, I assure you I feel most deeply grateful to you for the honour you have paid me, as I always ought to be when my health is proposed and drunk at a meeting of Scotchmen. But I assure you I never felt more deeply grateful, or more highly sensible of that honour, than I do at the present moment, when my health is proposed by such a man as the Lord Justice-General, and when it has been received—and, I am proud to say, enthusiastically received—by an assemblage met for such a purpose as to do honour to the memory of our greatest poet. But, gentlemen, I will not at this late hour of the day, and in a temple, as it were, dedicated to the Muses—I will not occupy your time by returning thanks for drinking the health of one who has no merit. But, before we part, there is a toast which claims our especial consideration—“the health of Professor Wilson.” Had it not been for the modesty of the Professor, it ought to have been proposed at a much earlier part of the evening. On such an occasion as this, when we have met from all parts of Scotland, to do honour to the memory of the greatest genius Scotland ever knew, it surely is not only proper, but our bounden duty, to drink the health of the greatest genius which Scotland possesses now. The memories of others have been drunk to-night, and have been received with that deep feeling which Scotchmen feel towards the memory of genius, but the toast which I am now proposing is one which has this additional merit, that the subject of it is alive and hearty, and able to continue, as you have heard to-day, in that career which has hitherto so much delighted his countrymen. In the presence of Professor Wilson I cannot dilate, as I could wish to do, on the character of that gentleman. I will only ask you to drink with me his health in a way that will show that you can pay honour to genius alive, as you can do honour to departed worth.

Professor Wilson rose and simply bowed his acknowledgments.

The Earl of Eglinton then rose and said—Ladies and Gentlemen,

“Nae man can tether time nor tide;
The hour approaches—Tam maun ride.”

This brought the proceedings to a close.

We have thought it due—not less to the character of the meeting than to the sincere and fervid eloquence of the speakers—to place upon our pages an authentic record of the whole proceedings of the day. This “great national gathering,” as it was aptly denominated, must be of enduring and not ephemeral interest, and will be remembered, and spoken of, and quoted, long after events of greater apparent importance have passed away into oblivion. The outpourings of a nation’s heart are immortal. The tributes that were paid, in the ages long since gone by, to the poets of Greece and of Italy, have outlived the most enduring monuments of marble, and we dare not hesitate now to recognise a triumph which will be as everlasting as theirs.

We feel that little comment is necessary upon the various addresses that are given above. But we should not be justified—and no man who was there that day would forgive us—if we passed over in silence the manly and distinguished manner in which Lord Eglinton discharged the duties of the chair. Scotland, as we have already had occasion to say, is proud, and justly so, of her aristocracy; but there is not one of them all, through the whole length and breadth of the land, to whom she can point more exultingly than to this young nobleman. His opening address would have done honour to one long trained in the schools of oratory, and that was its   smallest merit. The emphatic and earnest tone of admiration in which he spoke of the peasantry of his country—his generous and touching allusions to Burns in his earlier years, to what he had done and suffered, and to the honours so long withheld, and now so brilliantly conferred—and the patriotic fervour which pervaded his whole address—carried along with him not only the applauses, but the hearts of the whole assemblage. Lord Eglinton may well look back with pride and satisfaction to the proceedings of that day; for he has secured the affections of thousands who already respected his name.

Of the other speeches, eloquent and impressive as they were, we shall—with only one exception—speak collectively; and the highest praise we can give is to say, that they were every way worthy of the occasion, of the subjects which they celebrated, and of the men by whom they were uttered. There was a delicate propriety in the feeling which excluded from the list of toasts the names of the living poets, with the great and glorious exceptions of Wordsworth and Moore, now beyond all cavil at the head of the literature of their respective countries. Their presence, though ardently hoped for, was hardly to be expected on this occasion; for their advanced years, and the distant journey they must have undertaken, were serious obstacles; but their apologetic letters, full of deep feeling and sympathy, were received, and the reception which greeted their names, showed the respect and love which the Scottish people entertain for the greatness and universality of their fame. Deep also and thrilling was the emotion evinced at the mention of the illustrious dead, who have passed away into their graves in the fulness and maturity of their fame. Strange and powerful is the spell which lies in the mere plain utterance of their names! Scott, and Byron, and Campbell, (just laid in the noblest mausoleum of the world,) the Ettrick Shepherd, and Allan Cunningham—what names for a country to record in its annals, in the brief space of one generation!

But the speech to which all looked forward with the utmost expectation and anxiety, was that of Professor Wilson. His zeal in the cause of Burns, his earnest and reiterated defence of his reputation, were so well known, that on this occasion, when the balance might be held as finally struck, and when the nation, by its own voluntary act, had recognized the position which its poet, through all time coming must maintain, it would have been felt as a vast and serious omission if the last elegy had not been uttered by the greatest vindicator of his fame. It was so uttered, and none but those who listened to that address can conceive the effect which it produced. Elsewhere than in these pages we should assuredly have attempted some comment upon it. As it is, we shall borrow an opinion of the provincial press, from the pen, we believe, of the Editor of the Dumfries-shire Herald, Mr Aird, himself a spectator of the scene, and a man of high intellect and imagination, whose remarks we have been led to adopt, not from the eulogy they contain, but from their just and reverential truth:—

“The remarkable speech of the day was Professor Wilson’s. Since the time when in his ‘bright and shining youth’ he walked seventy miles to be present at a Burns’ meeting, and electrified it with a new and peculiar fervour of eloquence, such as had never been heard among us before, how manifold, how multiform have been this man’s generous vindications of our great Bard! Now broad in humour; now sportive and playful; now sarcastic, scornful, and searching; now calmly philosophic in criticism; now thoughtful and solemn, large of reverent discourse, ‘looking before and after,’ with all the sweetest by-plays of humanity, with every reconciling softness of charity—such, in turns, and in quickest intermingled tissue of the ethereal woof, have been the many illustrations which this large-minded, large-hearted Scotchman, in whose character there is neither corner nor cranny, has poured in the very prodigality of his affectionate abundance around and over the name and the fame of Robert Burns. It became him—and he knew it—that on this great and consummating occasion, so full of reconcilement betwixt human frailty and human   worth, his address, on which so much expectation waited, should be a last Solemn Requiem over the grave of the illustrious dead, pronounced not merely to the congregation of the day, but to mankind in general, and to every future age. With those long, heart-drawn, lingering, slow-expiring tones, solemn as a cathedral chant, the whole of this sacred piece of service (for we can call it nothing else) was to us like some mournful oratorio by Mozart, soft at once and sublime. Some might be disappointed that they heard nothing on this occasion of the varied play of Christopher North; but the heart of Scotland, in its calm retirement, will appreciate this holy oration, as worthily hallowing and sanctifying her meeting.”

The proceedings in that Pavilion were a just and fitting conclusion to the splendid jubilee of the day. Some no doubt were absent, whom the public would gladly have seen there; for, on an occasion like this, the general wish must have been, that all the greatness, and talent, and learning of the land should have united in the National Festival. But that absence, though regretted, did not, in any degree, lessen the enthusiasm. Indeed, as we looked around the meeting, and saw, unelevated to any conspicuous place, Delta, and Chambers, and Ferrier, and a hundred other distinguished men, not only content, but proud to bear testimony by their simple presence to the genuine purpose of the assembly, it was hardly possible to wish for more. Every individual feeling was merged in the common desire, that the day should be consecrated to its own peculiar object; and consecrated it was, if unanimity, and eloquence, and tears, and the outpouring of all that is lofty, and generous, and sincere, can consecrate aught on earth—where error and frailty must abide, but where the judgment of man in his weakness, may not, and dare not, usurp the functions of the All-seeing and Eternal Judge.

And now we close the hasty record of a scene that will be remembered so long as Scotland is a nation. Some there may be—for there are malignant and jaundiced spirits every where—who may sneer at the solemnities we have witnessed; and it is well that they should do so, for the praise of such men is no honour—far better that it should be withheld. We conclude by again adopting the language of Mr Aird, which leaves no word unsaid.

“Such has been the tribute of a country to her national poet. She furnished him with the rich materials of his song—with her dear victories set in blood; with the imperishable memory of her independence; with the character of her sons and daughters, simple as water, but strong as the waterfall; with her snatches of old-world minstrelsy, surely never composed by mortal man, but spilt from the overflowing soul of sorrow and gladness; with her music, twin-born, say rather one with her minstrelsy; with her fairy belief, the most delicately beautiful mythology in the history of the human mind, and strangely contrasted with the rugged character of her people, a people of sturt and strife; with her heroic faith; with the graves of her headless martyrs, in green shaw or on grim moor, visited by many a slip of sunshine streaming down from behind the cloud in the still autumnal afternoon. These, and all the other priceless elements of ‘the auld Scottish glory,’ he—the national bard—compacted and crystallized into a Poetry which, by innumerable points of sympathetic contact, carries back into the national heart, by ever-conducting issue, the thoughts and feelings which itself first gave forth to his plastic genius; and thus there is an eternal interchange of cause and effect, to the perpetuation and propagation of patriotism, and all that constitutes national spirit and character.

“THEREFORE it was fitting that such a national tribute should be paid to such a national benefactor.”



Stir the beal-fire, wave the banner,
Bid the thundering cannon sound—
Rend the skies with acclamation,
Stun the woods and waters round—
Till the echoes of our gathering
Turn the world’s admiring gaze
To this act of duteous homage
Scotland to her poet pays.
Fill the banks and braes with music,
Be it loud and low by turns—
This we owe the deathless glory,
That the hapless fate of Burns.
Born within the lowly cottage
To a destiny obscure,
Doom’d through youth’s exulting spring-time
But to labour and endure—
Yet Despair he elbow’d from him;
Nature breathed with holy joy,
In the hues of morn and evening,
On the eyelids of the boy;
And his country’s Genius bound him
Laurels for his sun-burn’d brow,
When inspired and proud she found him,
Like Elisha, at the plough.
On, exulting in his magic,
Swept the gifted peasant on—
Though his feet were on the greensward,
Light from heaven around him shone;
At his conjuration, demons
Issued from their darkness drear;
Hovering round on silver pinions,
Angels stoop’d his songs to hear;
Bow’d the Passions to his bidding,
Terror gaunt, and Pity calm;
Like the organ pour’d his thunder,
Like the lute his fairy psalm.
Lo, when clover-swathes lay round him,
Or his feet the furrow press’d,
He could mourn the sever’d daisy,
Or the mouse’s ruin’d nest;
Woven of gloom and glory, visions
Haunting throng’d his twilight hour;
Birds enthrall’d him with sweet music,
Tempests with their tones of power;
Eagle-wing’d his mounting spirit
Custom’s rusty fetters spurn’d;
Tasso-like, for Jean he melted
Wallace-like, for Scotland burn’d!
Scotland!—dear to him was Scotland,
In her sons and in her daughters,
In her Highlands,—Lowlands,—Islands,—
Regal woods, and rushing waters;—
In the glory of her story,
When her tartans fired the field,—
Scotland! oft betray’d—beleagur’d—
Scotland! never known to yield!
Dear to him her Doric language,—
Thrill’d his heart-strings at her name;—
And he left her more than rubies,
In the riches of his fame.
Sons of England!—Sons of Erin!
Ye who, journeying from afar,
Throng with us the shire of Coila,
Led by Burns’s guiding star—
Proud we greet you—ye will join us,
As, on this triumphant day,
To the champions of his genius
Grateful thanks we duly pay—
Carlyle—who his bones to save
From the wolfish fiend, Detraction,
Couch’d like lions round his grave.
Daughter of the poet’s mother!
Here we hail thee with delight;
Shower’d be every earthly blessing
On thy locks of silver white!—
Sons of Burns, a hearty welcome,
Welcome home from India’s strand,
To a heart-loved land far dearer,
Since your glorious Father’s land:—
Words are worthless—look around you—
Labour’d tomes far less could say
To the sons of such a father,
Than the sight of such a day!
Judge not ye, whose thoughts are fingers,
Of the hands that witch the lyre—
Greenland has its mountain icebergs,
Ætna has its heart of fire;
Calculation has its plummet;
Self-control its iron rules;
Genius has its sparkling fountains;
Dulness has its stagnant pools;
Like a halcyon on the waters,
Burns’s chart disdain’d a plan—
In his soarings he was heavenly,
In his sinkings he was man.
As the sun from out the orient
Pours a wider, warmer light,
Till he floods both earth and ocean,
Blazing from the zenith’s height;
So the glory of our poet,
In its deathless power serene,
Shines—as rolling time advances—
Warmer felt, and wider seen:
First Doon’s banks and braes contain’d it,
Then his country form’d its span;
Now the wide world is its empire,
And its throne the heart of man.
Home returning, each will carry
Proud remembrance of this day,
When exulted Scotland’s bosom
Homage to her bard to pay;—
When our jubilee to brighten,
Eglinton with Wilson vied,
Wealth’s regards and Rank’s distinctions
For the season set aside;
And the peasant, peer, and poet,
Each put forth an equal claim,
For the twining of his laurel
In the wreath of Burns’s fame!

Edinburgh: Printed by Ballantyne and Hughes, Paul’s Work.

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume
56, Number 347, September, 1844, by Various


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