The Project Gutenberg EBook of Homes and haunts of the most eminent
British poets, Vol. II (of 2), by William Howitt

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

Title: Homes and haunts of the most eminent British poets, Vol. II (of 2)

Author: William Howitt

Illustrator: H. W. Hewet

Release Date: June 5, 2014 [EBook #45887]

Language: English

Character set encoding: UTF-8


Produced by Peter Podgoršek and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at (This book was
created from images of public domain material made available
by the University of Toronto Libraries








The Illustrations Engraved by H. W. Hewet.

"An indissoluble sign of their existence has stamped itself on the abodes of all distinguished men, a sign which places all kindred spirits in communion with them."—The Citizen of Prague.





CRABBE Belvoir Castle 5
HOGG   34
COLERIDGE Coleridge Enlisting 81
MRS. HEMANS Residence at Rhyllon 122
L. E. L. Cape Coast Castle 145
SCOTT Abbotsford 167
  Tomb, Dryburgh Abbey 536
CAMPBELL Gateway of Glasgow College 231
SOUTHEY Residence at Keswick 255
  Birthplace at Bristol 284
WORDSWORTH Grasmere 295
MONTGOMERY Fulneck Moravian Settlement 334
LANDOR Residence near Fiesole 369
LEIGH HUNT Birthplace at Southgate 396
ROGERS House in St. James's Place 420
MOORE Cottage at Sloperton 445
ELLIOTT The "Ranter" Preaching 462
WILSON   501
TENNYSON Birthplace at Somersby 513
  Antique Cross 532
Concluding Remarks 533

Belvoir Castle

Belvoir Castle


When a youth, with a voracious appetite for books, an old lady, who kindly supplied me with many, put one day into my hands Crabbe's Borough. It was my first acquaintance with him, and it occasioned me the most singular sensations imaginable. Intensely fond of poetry, I had read the great bulk of our older writers, and was enthusiastic in my admiration of the new ones who had appeared. The Pleasures of Hope, of Campbell, the West Indies and World before the Flood, of Montgomery, the first Metrical Romances of Scott, all had their due appreciation. The calm dignity of Wordsworth and the blaze of Byron had not yet fully appeared. Every thing, however, old or new, in poetry, had a certain elevation of subject and style which seemed absolutely necessary to give it the title of poetry. But here was a poem by a country parson; the description of a sea-port town, so full of real life, yet so homely and often prosaic, that its effect on me was confounding. Why, it is not poetry, and yet how clever! Why, there is certainly a resemblance to the style of Pope, yet what subjects, what characters, what ordinary phraseology! The country parson, certainly, is a great reader of Pope, but how unlike Pope's is the music of the rhythm—if music there be! What an opening for a poem in four-and-twenty Books!

"Describe the Borough—though our idle tribe
May love description, can we so describe,
That you shall fairly streets and buildings trace,
And all that gives distinction to the place?
This can not be; yet moved by your request,
A part I paint—let fancy form the rest.
Cities and towns, the various haunts of men,
Require the pencil; they defy the pen.
Could he, who sung so well the Grecian Fleet,
So well have sung of Alley, Lane, or Street?
Can measured lines these various buildings show,
The Town-Hall Turning, or the Prospect Row?
Can I the seats of wealth and want explore,
And lengthen out my lays from door to door?"

No, good parson! how should you? I exclaimed to myself. You see the absurdity of your subject, and yet you rush into it. He who sung of the Greek Fleet certainly would never have thought of singing of Alley, Lane, or Street! What a difference from

"Achilles' wrath, to Greece the direful spring
Of woes unnumbered, heavenly goddess, sing!"


"The man for wisdom's various arts renowned,
Long exercised in woes, O Muse, resound!"

What a difference from—

"Arms and the man I sing, who forced by fate,
And haughty Juno's unrelenting hate!"

Or from the grandeur of that exordium:—

"Of man's first disobedience, and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste
Brought death into the world, and all our woe,
With loss of Eden, till one greater Man
Restore us, and regain the blissful seat,
Sing, heavenly Muse! that on the secret top
Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire
That shepherd, who first taught the chosen seed
In the beginning, how the Heavens and Earth
Rose out of chaos; or, if Sion-hill
Delight thee more, and Siloa's brook, that flowed
Fast by the Oracle of God, I thence
Invoke thine aid to my adventurous song,
That with no middle flight intends to soar
Above the Aonian mount, while it pursues
Things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme.
And chiefly Thou, O Spirit! that dost prefer
Before all temples the upright heart and pure,
Instruct me, for Thou knowest: Thou from the first
Wast present, and, with mighty wings outspread,
Dove-like sat'st brooding on the vast abyss,
And mad'st it pregnant; what in me is dark
Illumine, what is low raise and support;
That to the height of this great argument
I may assert Eternal Providence,
And justify the ways of God to men."

With this glorious sound in my ears, like the opening hymn of an archangel—language in which more music and more dignity were united than in any composition of mere mortal man, and which heralded in the universe, God and man, perdition and salvation, creation and the great sum total of the human destinies,—what a fall was there to those astounding words—

"Describe the Borough!"

It was a shock to every thing of the ideal great and poetical in the young and sensitive mind, attuned to the harmonies of a thousand great lays of the by-gone times, that was never to be forgotten. Are we then come to this? I asked. Is this the scale of topic, and is this the tone to which we are reduced in this generation? Turning over the heads of the different Books did not much tend to remove this feeling. The Church, Sects, the Election, Law, Physic, Trades, Clubs and Social Meetings, Players, Almshouse and Trustees, Peter Grimes and Prisons! What, in heaven's name, were the whole nine Muses to do with such a set of themes! And then the actors! See a set of drunken sailors in their ale-house:—

"The Anchor, too, affords the seaman joys,
In small smoked room, all clamor, crowds, and noise;
Where a curved settle half surrounds the fire,
Where fifty voices purl and punch require;
They come for pleasure in their leisure hour,
And they enjoy it to their utmost power;
Standing they drink, they swearing smoke, while all
Call, or make ready for a second call."

But, spite of all, a book was a book, and therefore it was read. At every page the same struggle went on in the mind between all the old notions of poetry, and the vivid pictures of actual life which it unfolded. When I had read it once, I told the lender that it was the strangest, cleverest, and most absorbing book I had ever read, but that it was no poem. It was only by a second and a third perusal that the first surprise subsided; the first shock gone by, the poem began to rise out of the novel composition. The deep and experienced knowledge of human life, the sound sense, the quiet satire, there was no overlooking from the first; and soon the warm sympathy with poverty and suffering, the boldness to display them as they existed, and to suffer no longer poetry to wrap her golden haze round human life, and to conceal all that ought to be known, because it must be known before it could be removed; the tender pathos, and the true feeling for nature, grew every hour on the mind. It was not long before George Crabbe became as firmly fixed in my bosom as a great and genuine poet, as Rembrandt, or Collins, or Edwin Landseer are as genuine painters.

Crabbe saw plainly what was become the great disease of our literature. It was a departure from actual life and nature.

"I've often marveled, when by night, by day,
I've marked the manners moving in my way,
And heard the language and beheld the lives
Of lass and lover, goddesses and wives,
That books which promise much of life to give
Should show so little how we truly live.
To me it seems, their females and their men
Are but the creatures of the author's pen;
Nay, creatures borrowed, and again conveyed
From book to book, the shadows of a shade.
Life, if they'd seek, would show them many a change;
The ruin sudden and the misery strange;
With more of grievous, base, and dreadful things,
Than novelists relate, or poet sings.
But they who ought to look the world around,
Spy out a single spot in fairy ground,
Where all in turns ideal forms behold,
And plots are laid, and histories are told."

To these home-truths, succeeds that admirable satirical description of our novel literature, which introduces the sad story of Ellen Orford. My space is little, but I must give a specimen of the manner in which the Cervantes of England strips away the sublime fooleries of our literary knight-errantry.

"Time have I lent—I would their debt were less—
To flowing pages of sublime distress;
And to the heroine's soul-distracting fears
I early gave my sixpences and tears;
Oft have I traveled in these tender tales,
To Darnley Cottages and Maple Vales.
* * * * * *
I've watched a wintry night on castle walls,
I've stalked by moonlight through deserted halls;
And when the weary world was sunk to rest,
I've had such sights—as may not be expressed.
"Lo! that chateau, the western tower decayed,
The peasants shun it, they are all afraid;
For there was done a deed! could walls reveal
Or timbers tell it, how the heart would feel.
Most horrid was it:—for, behold the floor
Has stains of blood, and will be clean no more.
Hark to the winds! which, through the wide saloon,
And the long passage, send a dismal tune,—
Music that ghosts delight in; and now heed
Yon beauteous nymph who must unmask the deed:
See! with majestic sweep she swims alone
Through rooms all dreary, guided by a groan.
Though windows rattle, and though tapestries shake,
And the feet falter every step they take,
Mid moans and gibing sprites she silent goes,
To find a something which shall soon expose
The villainies and wiles of her determined foes:
And having thus adventured, thus endured,
Fame, wealth, and lover, are for life secured.
"Much have I feared, but am no more afraid,
When some chaste beauty, by some wretch betrayed,
Is drawn away with such distracted speed
That she anticipates a dreadful deed.
Not so do I. Let solid walls impound
The captive fair, and dig a moat around:
Let there be brazen locks and bars of steel,
And keepers cruel, such as never feel.
With not a single note the purse supply,
And when she begs let men and maids deny.
Be windows those from which she dare not fall,
And help so distant 'tis in vain to call;
Still means of freedom will some power devise,
And from the baffled ruffian snatch the prize."

From all this false sublime, Crabbe was the first to free us, and to lead us into the true sublime of genuine human life. How novel at that time, and yet how thrilling, was the incident of the sea-side visitors surprised out on the sands by the rise of the tide. Here was real sublimity of distress, real display of human passion. The lady, with her children in her hand, wandering from the tea-table which had been spread on the sands, sees the boatmen asleep, the boat adrift, and the tide advancing:—

"She gazed, she trembled, and though faint her call,
It seemed like thunder to confound them all.
Their sailor-guests, the boatman and his mate,
Had drank and slept, regardless of their state;
'Awake!' they cried aloud! 'Alarm the shore!
Shout all, or never shall we reach it more!'
Alas! no shout the distant land can reach,
No eye behold them from the foggy beach:
Again they join in one loud, fearful cry,
Then cease, and eager listen for reply;
None came—the rising wind blew sadly by.
They shout once more, and then they turn aside
To see how quickly flowed the coming tide;
Between each cry they find the waters steal
On their strange prison, and new horrors feel.
Foot after foot on the contracted ground
The billows fall, and dreadful is the sound;
Less and yet less the sinking isle became,
And there was weeping, wailing, wrath, and blame."

It has been said that Crabbe's poetry is mere description, however accurate, and that he has not a spark of imagination. The charge arises from a false view of the man and his objects. He saw that the world was well supplied with what are poems of the creative faculty, that it was just as destitute of the poetry of truth and reality. He saw human life lie like waste land, as worthless of notice, while our poets and romancers

"In trim gardens took their pleasure."

He saw the vice, the ignorance, the misery, and he lifted the veil and cried—"Behold your fellow-men! Such are the multitude of your fellow-creatures, among whom you live and move. Do you want to weep over distress? Behold it there, huge, dismal, and excruciating! Do you wish for a sensation? Find it there! Follow the ruined gentleman from his gaming and his dissipation, to his squalid den and his death. Follow the grim savage, who murders his shrieking boy at sea. Follow the poor maiden to her ruin, and the parent weeping and withering under the curse of a depraved child. Go down into the abodes of ignorance, of swarming vice, of folly, and madness—and if you want a lesson, or a moral, there they are by thousands."

Crabbe knew that the true imaginative faculty had a great and comprehensive task, to dive into the depths of the human heart, to fathom the recesses and the springs of the mind, and to display all their movements under the various excitements of various passions, with the hand of a master. He has done this, and done it with unrivaled tact and vigor. Out of the scum and chaos of lowest life, he has evoked the true sublime. He has taught us that men are our proper objects of display, and that the multitude has claims on our sympathies that duty as well as taste demand obedience to. He was the first to dare these desperate and deserted walks of humanity, and prove to us that still it was humanity. At every step he revealed scenes of the truest pathos, of the profoundest interest, and gave instances of the most generous sacrifices, the most patient love, the most heroic duty, in the very abodes of unvisited wretchedness. He made us feel that these beings were men! There is no picture so touching in all the million volumes of romance, as that of the dying sailor and his sweetheart. What hero ever breathed a more beautiful devotion, or clothed it in more exquisite language, than this poor sailor youth, when believing himself dying at sea:—

"He called his friend, and prefaced with a sigh
A lover's message—'Thomas, I must die.
Would I could see my Sally, and could rest
My throbbing temples on her faithful breast,
And gazing go!—if not, this trifle take,
And say till death I wore it for her sake:
Yes, I must die—blow on, sweet breeze, blow on!
Give me one look before my life be gone,
Oh! give me that and let me not despair,
One last fond look—and now repeat the prayer.'
* * * * *
She placed a decent stone his grave above,
Neatly engraved—an offering of her love,
For that she wrought, for that forsook her bed,
Awake alike to duty and the dead."

It was by these genuine vindications of our entire humanity, that Crabbe, by casting the full blaze of the sunshine of truth and genius on the real condition of the laboring population of these kingdoms, laid the foundations of that great popular feeling which prevails at the present day. Patriots and patrons of the people are now plentiful enough, but in Crabbe's day the work had to be begun; the swinish multitude had yet to be visited in their sties; and the Circe of the modern sorceries of degradation, to feel the hand of a hero upon her, compelling her to restore the swine to their human form. George Crabbe was not merely a poet, but the poet who had the sagacity to see into the real state of things, and the heart to do his duty—the great marks of the true poet, who is necessarily a true and feeling man. To him popular education, popular freedom, popular advance into knowledge and power, owe a debt which futurity will gratefully acknowledge, but no time can cancel.

George Crabbe was born on the borders of that element which he so greatly loved, and which he has so powerfully described in the first chapter of the Borough. He has had the good-fortune to have in his son George a biographer such as every good man would desire. The life written by him is full of the veneration of the son, yet of the candor of the historian; and is at once one of the most graphic and charming of books.

From this volume we learn that the poet was born at Aldborough, in Suffolk, on the Christmas-eve of 1754. His birthplace was an old house in that range of buildings which the sea has now almost demolished. The chamber projected far over the ground-floor; and the windows were small, with diamond panes almost impervious to the light. A view of it by Stanfield forms the vignette to the biography.

The father as well as grandfather of Crabbe bore the name of George, as well as himself. The grandfather, a burgess of Aldborough, and collector of customs there, yet died poor. The father, originally educated for trade, had been in early life the keeper of a parochial school in the porch of the church at Orford. He afterward became schoolmaster and parish clerk at Norton, near Loddon, in Norfolk, and finally, returning to his native Aldborough, rose to the collection of the salt duties, as Salt-master. He was a stern, but able man, and with all his sternness not destitute of good qualities. The mother of Crabbe was an excellent and pious woman. Beside himself there were five other children, all of whom, except one girl, lived to mature years. His next brother, Robert, was a glazier, who retired from business at Southwold. John Crabbe, the third son, was a captain of a Liverpool slave-ship, who perished by an insurrection of the slaves. The fourth brother, William, also a seafaring man, was carried prisoner by the Spaniards into Mexico, and was once seen by an Aldborough sailor on the coast of Honduras, but never heard of again. This sailor brother, in his inquiries after all at home, had expressed much astonishment to find that George was become a clergyman, when he left him a doctor; and on this incident Crabbe afterward founded the sailor's story in The Parting Hour. His only surviving sister married a Mr. Sparkes, a builder of Aldborough, and died in 1827. Such were Crabbe's family. The scenery among which he spent his boyhood has been frequently described in his poetry, especially in the opening letter of his Borough. It is here equally livingly given in his son's prose.

"Aldborough, or, as it is more correctly written, Alderburgh, was, in those days, a poor and wretched place, with nothing of the elegance and gayety which have since sprung up about it, in consequence of the resort of watering-parties. The town lies between a low hill or cliff, on which only the old church and a few better houses were then situated, and the beach of the German ocean. It consisted of two parallel and unpaved streets, running between mean and scrambling houses, the abodes of seafaring men, pilots, and fishers. The range of houses nearest to the sea had suffered so much from repeated invasions of the waves, that only a few scattered tenements appeared erect among the desolation. I have often heard my father describe a tremendous spring-tide of, I think, the 17th of January, 1779, when eleven houses here were at once demolished; and he saw the breakers dash over the roofs, and round the walls, and crush all to ruin. The beach consists of successive ridges—large rolled stones, then loose shingles, and, at the fall of the tide, a stripe of fine, hard sand. Vessels of all sorts, from the large, heavy troll-boat, to the yawl and pram, drawn up along the shore—fishermen preparing their tackle, or sorting their spoil—and, nearer, the gloomy, old town-hall, the only indication of municipal dignity, a few groups of mariners, chiefly pilots, taking their quick, short walks backward and forward, every eye watchful of the signal from the offing—such was the squalid scene which first opened on the author of The Village!

"Nor was the landscape in the vicinity of a more engaging aspect: open commons and sterile farms, the soil, poor and sandy, the herbage, bare and rushy, the trees, 'few and far between,' and withered and stunted by the bleak breezes of the sea. The opening picture of The Village was copied, in every touch, from the scene of the poet's nativity and boyish days:—

'Lo! where the heath, with withering brake grown o'er, Lends the light turf that warms the neighboring poor; From thence a length of burning sand appears, Where the thin harvest waves its withered ears; Rank weeds, that every art and care defy, Reign o'er the land, and rob the blighted rye; There thistles spread their prickly arms afar, And to the ragged infants threaten war.'

"The broad river, called the Ald, approaches the sea close to Aldborough, within a few hundred yards, and then turning abruptly, continues to run for about ten miles parallel to the beach, from which a dreary stripe of marsh and waste alone divides it, until it at length finds its embouchure at Orford. The scenery of this river has been celebrated as lovely and delightful, in a poem called Slaughden Vale, written by Mr. James Bird, a friend of my father's; and old Camden talks of 'the beautiful vale of Slaughden.' I confess, however, that though I have ever found an indescribable charm in the very weeds of the place, I never could perceive its claims to beauty. Such as it is, it has furnished Mr. Crabbe with many of his happiest and most graphical descriptions; and the same may be said of the whole line of coast from Orford to Dunwich, every feature of which has, somewhere or other, been reproduced in his writings. The quay of Slaughden, in particular, has been painted with all the minuteness of a Dutch landscape:—

'Here samphire banks and saltwort bound the flood,
There stakes and sea-weeds withering on the mud;
And higher up a range of all things base,
Which some strong tide has rolled upon the place….
Yon is our quay! those smaller hoys from town,
Its various wares for country use bring down,' etc.
* * * *

"For one destined to distinction as a portrayer of character," continues his son, "few scenes could have been more favorable than that of his infancy and boyhood. He was cradled among the rough sons of the ocean—a daily witness of unbridled passions, and of manners remote from the sameness and artificial smoothness of polished society. At home, as has already been hinted, he was subject to the caprices of a stern and imperious, though not unkindly nature; and probably few whom he could familiarly approach but had passed through some of those dark tragedies in which his future strength was to be exhibited. The common people of Aldborough in those days are described as—

'A wild, amphibious race,
With sullen woe displayed in every face;
Who far from civil arts and social fly,
And scowl at strangers with suspicious eye.'"

Crabbe, though imbibing every thing relating to the sea, and sailors, and fishermen, was by no means disposed to be one of this class himself. He early exhibited a bookish turn, and was reckoned effeminate; but his father saw his talent, and gave him a good education. He was then put apprentice to a surgeon, who was also a farmer, and George alternately pounded the pestle and worked in the fields, till he was removed to another surgeon at Woodbridge. Here he became a member of a small literary club, which gave a new stimulus to his love of poetry, already sufficiently strong, and in his eighteenth year he fell in love with the young lady who was destined to be his wife. Before the expiration of his apprenticeship he had published a volume of poems. His apprenticeship terminated, he set out for London; but unfurnished with money to attend the hospitals, he remained awhile in mean lodgings in Whitechapel, and then returned to Aldborough, and after engaging himself as an assistant for a short time, commenced practice for himself. It would not do, however, his practice was profitless; and as he filled up his leisure time by botanizing in the country, the people got a notion that he gathered his medicine out of the ditches. At length, starved out, he resolved to return to London as a literary adventurer. With £5 in his pocket, a present for the purpose, from Dudley North, brother to the candidate for Aldborough, he took his passage in a sloop for town.

In thinking of Crabbe, we generally picture him to ourselves as the well-to-do clergyman, comfortably inditing his verse in a goodly parsonage; but Crabbe commenced as a regular hack-author about town, and went through all the racking distress of that terrible life, utterly without funds, without patrons, or connections. Chatterton had perished in the desperate undertaking just before, and it appeared likely enough for a long time that Crabbe might perish too. In vain he wrote, nobody would publish; in vain he addressed ministers of state in verse and prose, nobody would hear him. He maintained this fearful struggle for twelve months. He had lodgings at a Mr. Vickery's, a hairdresser, near the Exchange, who afterward removed to Bishopsgate-street, whither he accompanied them. The people appeared to behave well to him, and gave him more trust than is usual with such people, though at length even their patience seems to have been exhausted, and he was threatened with a prison.

While he resided there he often spent his evenings at a small coffee-house near the Exchange, where he became acquainted with several clever young men, then beginning the world like himself. One of these was Bonnycastle, afterward master of the military academy at Woolwich; another was Isaac Dalby, afterward professor of mathematics in the military college of Marlowe; and a third, Reuben Burrow, who rose to high distinction in the service of the East India Company, and died in Bengal. To obtain healthy exercise, he used to walk much in the daytime; and would accompany Mr. Bonnycastle on his visits to different schools in the suburbs; but more frequently stole off alone into the country, with a small edition of Ovid, Horace, or Catullus, in his pocket. Two or three of these little volumes remained in his possession in later days, and he set a high value on them, saying they were his companions in his adversity. His favorite haunt was Hornsey wood, where he sought for plants and insects. On one occasion he had strolled too far from town to return, and having no money he was compelled to lodge on a mow of hay, beguiling the time while it was light with reading Tibullus, and in the morning returned to town.

Of the depth of distress to which Crabbe was reduced, his journal, kept through that dark time, testified, but nothing more so than this prayer:—

"My God, my God, I put my trust in thee; my troubles increase, my soul is dismayed; I am heavy and in distress; all day long I call upon thee; O be thou my helper in the needful time of trouble.

"Why art thou so far from me, O my Lord? why hidest thou thy face? I am cast down; I am in poverty and affliction; be thou with me, O my God; let me not be wholly forsaken, O my Redeemer!

"Behold, I trust in thee, blessed Lord. Guide me, and govern me unto the end. O Lord, my salvation, be thou ever with me. Amen."

Unlike poor Chatterton, Crabbe had a firm trust in Providence, and was neither so passionate nor so reservedly haughty. He determined to leave no stone unturned; and at length he wrote to the only man of the age who was likely to lend him a kindly ear—that was Edmund Burke. From that moment his troubles were at an end, and his fortune made. Burke sent for him, looked at his manuscripts, perceived his claims to genius well founded, and received him to his own table. He then introduced him to Dr. Johnson, Sir Joshua Reynolds, and the surly old Lord Chancellor Thurlow; the last of whom, though he had paid no attention to a letter he had before written to him, nor to a stinger which he had sent him in consequence, now sent for him, and told him that he ought to have noticed the first letter, and that he forgave the second, and that there was his reply. He put a sealed paper into Crabbe's hand, which on being opened contained a banknote, value one hundred pounds! Burke advised Crabbe to take orders, as they were walking together one day at Beaconsfield, whither Burke had invited him. This was soon managed; he was examined and admitted to priest's orders by the Bishop of Norwich, and was sent, to the astonishment of the natives, to officiate as curate in his native town. But Burke soon procured him the chaplaincy to the Duke of Rutland, and he went down to reside at Belvoir Castle. At this splendid establishment, and in a fine country, Crabbe did not enjoy himself. His son says: "The numberless allusions to the nature of a literary dependent's existence in a great lord's house, which occur in my father's writings, and especially in the tale of The Patron, are quite enough to lead any one that knew his character and feelings to the conclusion that, notwithstanding the kindness and condescension of the duke and duchess themselves—which were, I believe, uniform, and of which he always spoke with gratitude,—the situation he filled at Belvoir was attended with many painful circumstances, and productive in his mind of some of the acutest sensations of wounded pride that have ever been traced by any pen." He was always delighted to get away from the cold stateliness of Belvoir, with its troops of insolent menials, to the small seat of Chevely, about the period of the Newmarket races; or to Croxton, another small seat near Belvoir, where the family sometimes went to fish in the extensive ponds. Here the servants were few, ceremony was relaxed, and he could wander in the woods after his insects and his plants. Thurlow gave him two small livings in Dorsetshire, Frome St. Quintin, and Evershot; saying at the time, "By G—d, you are as much like Parson Adams as twelve to a dozen." He now published The Village, which was at once popular, and he got married.

Miss Sarah Elmy, to whom he became engaged at eighteen, had, through all his struggles in the metropolis, with unswerving affection, maintained the superiority of his talents, and encouraged him to persevere. The Duke of Rutland being appointed lord-lieutenant of Ireland, the ducal family quitted Belvoir for Dublin, and Crabbe being left behind, was, on his proposed marriage, invited to bring his wife to the castle, and occupy certain apartments there. This was done; but the annoyance of another man's, and a great man's menials to attend on you, was too much for Crabbe, and he fled the castle, and took up his abode as curate of Stathern, in the humble parsonage there.

In this obscure parsonage Crabbe lived four years. He had three children born there—his two sons, George and John, and a daughter, who died in infancy. There he published, too, his poem, The Newspaper, which also was well received; and then he laid by his poetic pursuits for two-and-twenty years! Nay, his son says, that after this period of two-and-twenty years, he published The Parish Register, and again lay by from his thirty-first year till his fifty-second; and so completely did he bury himself in the obscurity of domestic and village life, that he was gradually forgotten as a living author, and the name of Crabbe only remembered through some passages of his poems in the Elegant Extracts.

Of the four years spent in Stathern, he used to speak as the very happiest of his life. He had won a pleasant retreat after his desperate clutch at fortune. His perseverance was rewarded by the society of her who had been the one faithful and congenial friend of his youth, and they could now ramble together at their ease amid the rich woods of Belvoir, without any of the painful feelings which had before checkered his enjoyment of the place. At home, a garden afforded him healthful exercise and unfailing amusement; and, as a mere curate, he was freed from any disputes with the villagers about him. Here he botanized, entomologized, and geologized to his heart's content. At one time he was tempted to turn sportsman, but neither his feelings nor his taste would allow him to continue one; and he employed his leisure hours much more to his satisfaction in exercising his medical skill to relieve the pains of his parishioners.

At the instance of the Duchess of Rutland,—Thurlow having exchanged the poet's Dorsetshire livings for those of Muston, in Leicestershire, and Allington, in Lincolnshire, but near each other,—Mr. Crabbe, in 1789, left Stathern, and entered on his rectory at Muston. Here his life continued much the same, but the country around was open and uninteresting. "Here," says his son, "were no groves, nor dry green lawns, nor gravel roads, to tempt the pedestrian in all weathers; but still, the parsonage and its premises formed a pretty little oasis in the clayey desert. Our front windows looked full on the church-yard, by no means like the common forbidding receptacles of the dead, but truly ornamental ground; for some fine elms partially concealed the small beautiful church and its spire, while the eye traveled through their stems, and rested on the banks of a stream, and a picturesque old bridge. The garden inclosed the other two sides of the church-yard; but the crown of the whole was a gothic archway, cut through a thick hedge and many boughs; for through this opening, as in the deep frame of a picture, appeared, in the center of the aerial canvas, the unrivaled Belvoir."

The home picture of Crabbe, at this period, is given by his son, with a glow of grateful remembrance of the happiness of the time to himself, then a child, that is beautiful. "Always visibly happy in the happiness of others, especially of children, our father entered into all our pleasures, and soothed and cheered us in all our little griefs, with such overflowing tenderness, that it was no wonder we almost worshiped him. My first recollection of him is, of his carrying me up to his private room to prayers, in the summer evenings, about sunset, and rewarding my silence and attention, afterward, with a view of the flower-garden through his prism. Then I recall the delight it was to me to be permitted to sleep with him during a confinement of my mother's—how I longed for the morning; because then he would be sure to tell me some fairy tale of his own invention, all sparkling with gold and diamonds, magic fountains, and enchanted princesses. In the eye of memory I can still see him as he was at this period of his life; his fatherly countenance, unmixed with any of the less lovable expressions that, in too many faces, obscure that character—but preëminently fatherly; conveying the ideas of kindness, intellect, and purity; his manners grave, manly, and cheerful, in unison with his high and open forehead; his very attitudes, whether he sat absorbed in the arrangement of his minerals, shells, and insects, or as he labored in his garden, until his naturally pale complexion acquired a tinge of fresh, healthy red, or as coming lightly toward us with some unexpected present, his smile of indescribable benevolence spoke exultation in the foretaste of our raptures.

"But I think even earlier than these are my first recollections of my mother. I think the very earliest is of her combing my hair one evening, by the light of the fire, which hardly broke the long shadows of the room, and singing the plaintive air of 'Kitty Fell,' till, though I could not be more than two or three years old, my tears dropped profusely."

Equally charming is the writer's recollection of a journey into Suffolk with his father while a boy. This was to Parham, the house of Mrs. Crabbe's uncle Tovell, with whom she had been brought up. The picture presented of the life and establishment of a wealthy yeoman is so vivid, that I must take leave to add it to the passage already quoted.

"My great-uncle's establishment was that of the first-rate yeoman of that period—the yeoman that already began to be styled by courtesy an esquire. Mr. Tovell might possess an estate of some eight hundred pounds per annum, a portion of which he himself cultivated. Educated at a mercantile school, he often said of himself, 'Jack will never make a gentleman;' yet he had a native dignity of mind and manners which might have enabled him to pass muster in that character with any but very fastidious critics. His house was large, and the surrounding moat, the rookery, the ancient dovecote, and the well stored fishponds, were such as might have suited a gentleman's seat of some consequence; but one side of the house immediately overlooked a farmyard, full of all sorts of domestic animals, and the scene of constant bustle and noise. On entering the house there was nothing, at first sight, to remind one of the farm: a spacious hall paved with black and white marble, at one extremity a very handsome drawing-room, and at the other a fine old stair-case of black oak, polished till it was as slippery as ice, and having a chime clock and a barrel organ on its landing-places. But this drawing-room, a corresponding dining-parlor, and a handsome sleeping apartment up stairs, were all tabooed ground, and made use of on great and solemn occasions only, such as rent-days, and an occasional visit with which Mr. Tovell was honored by a neighboring peer. At all other times the family and their visitors lived entirely in the old-fashioned kitchen, along with the servants. My great-uncle occupied an arm-chair, or, in attacks of gout, a couch on one side of a large open chimney. Mrs. Tovell sat at a small table, on which, in the evening, stood one small candle, in an iron candlestick, plying her needle by the feeble glimmer, surrounded by her maids, all busy at the same employment; but in winter a noble block of wood, sometimes the whole circumference of a pollard, threw its comfortable warmth and cheerful blaze over the apartment.

"At a very early hour in the morning, the alarum called the maids and their mistress also; and if the former were tardy, a louder alarum, and more formidable, was heard chiding the delay—not that scolding was peculiar to any occasion, it regularly went on through all the day, like bells on harness, inspiriting the work whether it was done ill or well. After the important business of the dairy and a hasty breakfast, their respective employments were again resumed; that which the mistress took for her especial privilege being the scrubbing the floors of the state apartments. A new servant, ignorant of her presumption, was found one morning on her knees, hard at work on the floor of one of these preserves, and was thus addressed by her mistress:—'You wash such floors as these? Give me the brush this instant, and troop to the scullery, and wash that, madam!… As true as G—d's in heaven, here comes Lord Rochford to call on Mr. Tovell. Here, take my mantle,'—a blue woolen apron—'and I'll go to the door.'

"If the sacred apartments had not been opened, the family dined in this wise: the heads seated in the kitchen at an old table; the farm-men standing in the adjoining scullery, with the door open; the female servants at a side-table, called a bouter; with the principal at the table, perchance some traveling rat-catcher, or tinker, or farrier, or an occasional gardener in his shirt-sleeves, his face probably streaming with perspiration. My father well describes, in The Widow's Tale, my mother's situation, when living in her younger days at Parham:

'But when the men beside their station took,
The maidens with them, and with these the cook;
When one huge wooden bowl before them stood,
Filled with large balls of farinaceous food;
With bacon, mass saline! where never lean
Beneath the brown and bristly rind was seen:
When, from a single horn, the parties drew
Their copious draughts of heavy ale and new;
When the coarse cloth she saw with many a stain,
Soiled by rude hands who cut and came again;
She could not breathe, but with a heavy sigh,
Reined the fair neck, and shut the offended eye;
She minced the sanguine flesh in frustrums fine,
And wondered much to see the creatures dine.'

"On ordinary days, when the kitchen dinner was over, the fire replenished, the kitchen sanded and lightly swept over in waves, mistress and maids, taking off their shoes, retired to their chambers for a nap of one hour to a minute. The dogs and cats commenced their siesta by the fire. Mr. Tovell dozed in his chair, and no noise was heard, except the melancholy and monotonous cooing of a turtledove, varied with the shrill treble of a canary. After the hour had expired, the active part of the family were on the alert; the bottles—Mr. Tovell's tea equipage—placed on the table; and, as if by instinct, some old acquaintance would glide in for the evening's carousal, and then another and another. If four or five arrived, the punch-bowl was taken down, and emptied and filled again. But whoever came, it was comparatively a dull evening, unless two especial knights-companions were of the party. One was a jolly old farmer, with much of the person and humor of Falstaff, a face as rosy as brandy could make it, and an eye teeming with subdued merriment, for he had that prime quality of a joker, superficial gravity. The other was a relative of the family, a wealthy yeoman, middle-aged, thin, and muscular. He was a bachelor, and famed for his indiscriminate attachment to all who bore the name of woman—young or aged, clean or dirty, a lady or a gipsy, it mattered not to him; all were equally admired. Such was the strength of his constitution, that, though he seldom went to bed sober, he retained a clear eye and stentorian voice to his eightieth year, and coursed when he was ninety. He sometimes rendered the colloquies over the bowl peculiarly piquant; and as soon as his voice began to be elevated, one or two of the inmates—my father and mother, for example—withdrew with Mrs. Tovell into her own sanctum sanctorum; but I, not being supposed capable of understanding much that might be said, was allowed to linger on the skirts of the festive circle; and the servants, being considered much in the same point of view as the animals dozing on the hearth, remained to have the full benefit of their wit, neither producing the slightest restraint, nor feeling it themselves."

This jolly old Mr. Tovell being carried off suddenly, Mr. Crabbe, induced by the desire to be in his own county, and among his own relatives, placed a curate at Muston, and went to reside at Parham in Mr. Tovell's house. It was not a happy removal. It was a desertion of his proper flock and duty in obedience to his own private inclinations, and it was not blessed; his son says, that as they were slowly quitting Muston, preceded by their furniture, a person who knew them, called out in an impressive tone—"You are wrong, you are wrong!" The sound, Crabbe said, found an echo in his own conscience, and rung like a supernatural voice in his ears, through the whole journey. His son believes that he sincerely repented of this step. At Parham he did not find that happiness that perhaps the dreams of his youth—for there lived Miss Elmy during their long attachment—had led him first to expect there. Mrs. Elmy, his wife's mother, and Miss Tovell, the sister of the old gentleman, were the coheiresses of their brother, and resided with him. The latter seems to have been a regular old-fashioned fidget. She used to stalk about with her tall ivory-tipped walking-cane, and on any the slightest alteration made, were it but the removal of a shrub, or a picture on the walls, would say, "It was enough to make Jacky (her late brother) shake in his grave if he could see it," and would threaten to make a cadicy to her will.

Mr. Crabbe stood it for four years—memorable instance of patience!—and then found a residence to his heart's content. This was Great Glemham Hall, belonging to Mr. North, and then vacant. He took it, and continued there five years. We may imagine these five of as happy years as most of Crabbe's life. The house was large and handsome. It stood in a small, but well wooded park, occupying the mouth of a glen; and, in this glen, lay the mansion. The hills, that were on either hand, were finely hung with wood; a brook ran at the foot of one of these, and all round were woodlands, "and those green, dry lanes, which tempt the walker in all weathers, especially in the evenings, when, in the short grass of the dry, sandy banks, lies, every few yards, a glowworm, and the nightingales are pouring forth their melody in every direction." Just at hand was the village; and the church at which he preached at Sweffling was convenient. At Parham, he was not more popular out doors than he was in, because he was no jovial fellow, like Mr. Tovell, and did not like much visiting. Here, he was popular as a preacher, drew large congregations, and, in Mr. Turner, his rector, had an enlightened and admiring friend. In such a place, too, a paradise to his boys, he was as busy in botany as ever; wrote a treatise on the subject, which, however, he was advised, to the public loss, not to publish, because such books had usually been published in Latin! He therefore burned it, as he used to do novels, which it was his great delight to write scores of, and then make bonfires of; his boys carrying them out to him by armfuls in the garden, and glorying in the blaze as he presided over it.

He returned in 1805, to Muston, to which he was called by the bishop. At the end of five years he had been obliged to quit his beautiful retreat at Glemham. It was sold, the house pulled down, and another built in its place. For the four further years that he continued in Suffolk, he lived at the village of Rendham. At Muston, the shepherd being absent, all had gone wrong; the warning voice had been fulfilled. The Methodist and the Huntingtonian had, in the absence of the pastor, set up their tabernacles, and had become successful rivals. Crabbe was not destitute of professional feelings or zeal. He preached against these interlopers, and only increased the evil. The farmers here were shy of him, for they had heard that he was a Jacobin, of all things! that is, he was no advocate for the terrible war which was raging with France, and which kept up the price of their corn. In this cold, clayey, and farming county, he continued nine years. Here he issued to the world his Parish Register and his Borough, perhaps, after all, his very best work, for it is full of such a variety of life, all drawn with the force and clearness of his prime; here also he published his Tales in verse; but here, too, he lost his wife, who had been an invalid for many years. It was therefore become to him a sad place. His health and spirits failed him; and it was a fortunate circumstance, that at this juncture, the living of Trowbridge was conferred on him by the Duke of Rutland. He removed thither in June, 1814.

From long before the time of Mr. Crabbe's removal to Trowbridge, he had been in the habit of making, during the season, occasionally a visit to London. His fame, especially after the publication of The Borough, was established. His power of painting human life and character, the bold and faithful pencil with which he did this, the true sympathies with the poor and afflicted and neglected which animated him, were all fully perceived and acknowledged; and he found himself a welcome guest in the highest circles of both aristocracy and literature. He who had been the humble curate of Belvoir, subject to slights and insults from pompous domestics, which are difficult to complain of, but are deeply felt, had, long before quitting the neighborhood of the castle, been the honored guest in the midst of the proudest nobles. In London, all the literary coteries were eager to have him. Holland-house, Lansdowne-house, the Duke of Rutland's, and other great houses, found him a frequent guest amid lords and ladies, dukes and duchesses; and at Holland-house, and Mr. Rogers's, he was surrounded by all that was at the time brilliant and famous in the political and literary world. These visits, after the death of his wife, became annual, and the old man wonderfully enjoyed them. The extracts which his son has given from his journal, teem with men and women of title and name. He is dining or breakfasting with Lady Errol, Lady Holland, the Duchess of Rutland. He meets Mr. Fox, Mr. Canning, Foscolo; Lords Haddington, Dundas, Strangford, etc.; Moore, Campbell, Sir Walter Scott, Sir James Mackintosh; Ladies Spencer and Besborough; Duke and Duchess of Cumberland; in fact, every body. He became much attached to the Hoares, of Hampstead, and used to take up his quarters there, and with them make summer excursions to Hastings, the isle of Wight, and the like places. With them he saw Miss Edgeworth, Joanna Baillie, etc. So popular was he become, that John Murray gave him £3000 for his Tales of the Hall, and he carried the bills for that sum home in his waistcoat pocket. His meeting with Sir Walter Scott caused him to accept a pressing invitation from him to Scotland, whither he happened to go at the time of George IV.'s visit to Edinburgh; by which means, though he saw all the gala of the time, and all Highland costumes, he missed seeing Scott at Abbotsford. At Scott's house, in Castle-street, occurred his adventure with the three Highland chiefs, which has caused much merriment. He came down one morning and found these three portly chiefs in full Highland costume, talking at a great rate, in a language which he did not understand; and not thinking of Gaelic, concluded that they were foreigners. They, on their part, seeing an elderly gentleman, dressed in a somewhat antiquated style, with buckles in his shoes, and perfectly clerical, imagined him some learned abbé, who had come on a visit to Sir Walter. The consequence was, that Sir Walter, entering the breakfast-room with his family, stood a moment in amazement to hear them all conversing together in execrable French; and then burst into a hearty laugh, saying,—"Why, you are all fools together! This is an Englishman, and these Highlanders, Mr. Crabbe, can speak as good English as you can." The amazement it occasioned may be imagined.

Trowbridge is not the sort of place that you would imagine a poet as voluntarily choosing as a place of residence. It is a manufacturing town of about twelve thousand inhabitants, chiefly of the working class, with a sprinkling of shop-keepers and wealthy manufacturers. It has no striking features, but, to a person proceeding thither from London, has a mean, huddled, and unattractive aspect. The country round is a good dairy country, but is not by any means striking. Crabbe, however, found there families of intelligence and great kindness. His sons married well among them, and John acted as his curate; George, the writer of his biography, had the living, and occupied the parsonage of Pucklechurch, about twenty miles only distant. These were all circumstances, with a good parsonage, and a wide field of usefulness in comforting and relieving his poor parishioners, as well as instructing them, which were calculated to make a man like Crabbe happy. By all classes he soon became much beloved; and was, in all senses, a most excellent pastor. In his own children he seems to have been peculiarly blest; his two sons, clergymen, being all that he could desire, and they and his grandchildren held him in the warmest and most reverential affection.

One of his great haunts were the quarries near Trowbridge, where he used to geologize assiduously; for, after his wife's death, he ceased to retain his taste for botany; her youthful botanical rambles with him no doubt now coming back too painfully upon him.

His parsonage was a good, capacious old house, of gray stone, and pointed gables, standing in a large garden surrounded by a high wall. It lies almost in the heart of the town, and within a hundred yards of the church-yard. In his time, I understand, the garden was almost a wood of lofty trees. Many of these have since been cut down. Still it is a pleasant and spacious retirement, with some fine trees about it. The church is a very old building, and threatening to tumble. At the time of my visit workmen were busy lowering the tower, and the northern aisle showed no equivocal marks of giving way, and must come down. The church-yard was also undergoing the process of leveling; the turf was removed, and it altogether looked dismal. A very civil and intelligent sexton, living by the church-yard gate, in a cottage overhung with ivy, showed me the church, and appeared much interested in the departed pastor and poet. I ascended into the pulpit, and imagined how often the author of The Borough had stood there and addressed his congregation. There is a monument to his memory in the chancel, by Baillie. The old man is represented as lying on his death-bed, by which are two celestial beings, as awaiting his departure. The likeness to Crabbe is said to be excellent. The inscription is as follows: "Sacred to the memory of the Rev. George Crabbe, LL.B., who died February the third, 1832, in the seventy-eighth year of his age, and the nineteenth of his services as rector of this parish. Born in humble life, he made himself what he was. By the force of his genius he broke through the obscurity of his birth; yet never ceased to feel for the less fortunate. Entering, as his works can testify, into the sorrows and privations of the poorest of his parishioners; and so discharging the duties of his station, as a minister and a magistrate, as to acquire the respect and esteem of all his neighbors. As a writer he is well described by a great cotemporary, as 'Nature's sternest painter, yet her best.'"

In the north aisle is also a tablet to the memory of the wife of his son George, who it appears died two years after Crabbe himself, and in the very year, 1834, in which her husband published his excellent and most interesting life of his father.

Trowbridge impressed me, as numbers of other places have done where men of genius have lived, with the fleeting nature of human connections. Crabbe, so long associated with Trowbridge, was gone; his sons were gone; neither of them succeeding him in the living; and all trace of him, except his monument, seemed already wiped out from the place. Another pastor occupied his dwelling and his pulpit; and the population seemed to bear no marks of a great poet having been among them; but were rich subjects for such a pen as that of Crabbe. The character of the place may be judged of by its head inn. It was a fair; and I found the court-yard of this old-fashioned inn set out with rows of benches, all filled with common people drinking. On one side of the yard was a large room, in which the fiddle went merrily, and a crowd of dancers hopped as merrily to it. At a window near that room, on the same side, a woman was delivering out pots of ale, as fast as somebody within could supply them, to the people in the yard. On the other side of the court lay, however, the main part of the inn. Here a gallery ran along which conducted to the different bedrooms, through the open air, and from this sundry spectators were surveying the scene below. All was noise; loud and eager talking; and odors not the most delectable, of beer, fish, and heaven knows what. The house was dirty, dark, and full of the same fumes. People, of all sorts, were passing up and down stairs, and in and out of the house in crowds. The travelers' room was the only place, I was informed, where there was much room or comfort. Thither I betook myself; and while my dinner was preparing, I heard the fine, strong, clear voice of a woman in an adjoining room, which I instantly recognized, by the style of singing, to be German. I walked into the said room to see who was the singer, and what was her audience. It was a strong-built, healthy-looking German girl, who was accompanying her singing on a guitar, in a little room close packed with the ordinary run of people. To these she was singing some of the finest airs of Germany, with no mean skill or voice; but in a language of which they did not understand a syllable. My appearance among them occasioned some temporary bustle; but this soon passed, and they politely offered me a chair. I stayed to hear several songs, and proposed some of the most rare and excellent that I knew, among them some Austrian airs, which, in every instance, the poor girl knew and sung with great effect. As I went out, two Frenchwomen were entering with a tambourine; and I soon heard them, accompanied by a fiddle, also performing their parts. Thus, through the whole day, the strolling musicians of the fair entered this little concert-room of the head inn of Trowbridge, and entertained the fair-going bacchanals. It was a scene which Crabbe would have made much of.


Among the many remarkable men which the humble walks of life in Scotland have furnished to the list of poets, Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd, is one of the most extraordinary. There have been Allan Ramsay, the barber, Burns, the ploughman, Allan Cunningham, the stone cutter, Tannahill and Thom, the weavers. Had there been no Burns, Hogg would have been regarded as a miracle for a rural poet; yet how infinite is the distance between the two! Burns's poetry is full of that true philosophy of life, of those noble and manly truths which are expressions for eternity of what lives in every bosom, but can not form itself on every tongue.

"His lines are mottoes of the heart,
His truths electrify the sage."

Such a poet becomes at once and forever enshrined in the heart of his whole country; its oracle and its prophet. To no such rank can James Hogg aspire. His chief characteristics are fancy, humor, a love of the strange and wonderful, of fairies and brownies, and country tradition, mixed up with a most amusing egotism, and an ambition of rivaling in their own way the greatest poets of his time. He wrote The Queen's Wake, in imitation of Scott's metrical romances, and bragged that he had beaten him in his own line. Byron, Wordsworth, Southey, Rogers, Campbell, all the great poets of the day he imitated, and that in a wonderful manner for any man, not simply for a poor shepherd of Ettrick. Scott had a poem on Waterloo, Hogg had a Waterloo too, and in the same metre; Byron wrote Hebrew Melodies, and Hogg wrote Sacred Melodies; and On Carmel's Brow, The Guardian Angels, The Rose of Sharon, Jacob and Laban, The Jewish Captive's Parting, etc., left no question as to the direct rivalry. His third volume was one published as avowed poems by Scott, Byron, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Southey, and Wilson. He had conceived the scheme of getting a poem from each of these popular authors, and publishing them in a volume, by which to raise money for the stocking of a farm. Byron consented, and destined Lara for Hogg's benefit; but Scott at once refused, not approving the plan, for which Hogg most unceremoniously assailed him; and Byron being afterward induced not to send Lara, Hogg set about at once, and wrote poems for them and the others named, and published them under the title of the Poetic Mirror. Of these poems, which were clever burlesques rather than serious forgeries, I may speak anon; here I wish only to point out one of the most striking characteristics of Hogg, that of imitation of style. This was also shown in the famous Chaldee Manuscript, which appeared in Blackwood's Magazine, and created so much noise. But this great versatility of manner; this ambition of rivaling great authors in their own peculiar fields, marked a want of a prominent caste of genius of his own. There was an absence of individuality in him. There was nothing, except that singular egotism and somewhat extravagant fancy, which could lead you on reading a poem of his to say, that is Hogg and can be no one else. His poems are generally extremely diffuse; they surprise and charm you on opening them, at the vigor, liveliness, and strength of the style, but they are of that kind that the farther you go the more this charm wears off; you grow weary, you hardly know why; you can not help protesting to yourself that they are very clever, nay, wonderful; yet there wants a certain soul, a condensation, a something to set upon them the stamp of that genius which seizes on your love and admiration beyond question or control. Accordingly, while you find every man and woman in Scotland, the peasantry as much as the more cultivated classes, having lines and verses of Burns's treasured in their memories, as the precious wealth of the national mind, you rarely or never hear a similar quotation from Hogg. "A clever, ranting chiel was the shepherd," is the remark; his countrymen read, and admire, and do justice to his genius, but he can not, with all his ambition, seat himself in their heart of hearts like Robert Burns.

There is nothing so amusing as Hogg's autobiography. His good-natured egotism overflows it. The capital terms on which he is with himself makes him relate flatteries and rebuffs with equal naïveté; and the familiarity with which he treats the greatest names of modern literature, presenting the most grave and dignified personages as his cronies, chums, and convivial companions, is ludicrous beyond every thing. He opens his narrative in this style:—"I like to write about myself: in fact, there are few things which I like better; it is so delightful to call up old reminiscences. Often have I been laughed at for what an Edinburgh editor styles my good-natured egotism, which is sometimes any thing but that; and I am aware that I shall be laughed at again. But I care not: for this important memoir, now to be brought forward for the fourth time, at different periods of my life, I shall narrate with the same frankness as formerly; and in all relating either to others or to myself speak fearlessly and unreservedly out. Many of those formerly mentioned are no more; others have been unfortunate; but of all I shall speak the plain truth, and nothing but the truth."

Immediately afterward he adds—"I must apprise you, that, whenever I have occasion to speak of myself and my performances, I find it impossible to divest myself of an inherent vanity." Of this no one can doubt either the truth or the candor of the confession. He tells us that he was the second of four sons of Robert Hogg and Margaret Laidlaw, the wife in Scotland often retaining her maiden name. That his father was a shepherd, but, saving money, had taken the farms of Ettrick-house and Ettrick-hall. At the latter place Hogg was born, he says, on the 25th of January, 1772; but he assigns this date to his birth out of his desire to resemble Robert Burns, so much as even to have been born on the same day and month. He used to boast of this, and even of some similar occurrence, as of having been in some sort of danger at his birth through a storm, and the necessary help for his mother being difficult to procure in night and tempest. He has related, in his life, that he was born on the same day of the same month as Burns, but on referring to the parish registry it did not bear him out, but showed him to have been born on the 9th of December, 1770. He tells us that his father was ruined, and that they were turned out of doors without a farthing when he was six years old, but that a worthy neighboring farmer, Mr. Brydon of Crosslie, took compassion on them, leased the farm of Ettrick-house, one of those Hogg's father had occupied, and put him as shepherd upon it. Here the embryo poet went to the parish school just by for a few months, and then at Whitsuntide was sent out to service to a farmer in the neighborhood, as a herd-boy. The account that he gives of himself, as a lad of seven years old, in this solitary employment on the hills, is curious enough. "My wages for the half-year were a ewe-lamb and a pair of new shoes. Even at that early age my fancy seems to have been a hard neighbor for both judgment and memory. I was wont to strip off my clothes, and run races against time, or rather against myself; and in the course of these exploits, which I accomplished much to my own admiration, I first lost my plaid, then my bonnet, then my coat, and finally my hosen, for as for shoes, I had none."

The next winter, he tells us, he went to school again for a quarter, got into a class who read in the Bible, and "horribly defiled several sheets of paper with copy lines, every letter of which was nearly an inch long." This, he says, finished his education, and that he never was another day at school. The whole of his career of schooling he computes at about half-a-year, but says that his old schoolmaster even denied this, declaring that he never was at his school at all! What a stock of education on which to set up shepherd, farmer, and poet!

Like Lord Byron, Sir Walter Scott, and other illustrious men, Hogg, of course, fell in love in his very childhood, and, to say truth, his relation of this juvenile passion is as interesting as that of any of theirs. "It will scarcely be believed that at so early an age I should have been an admirer of the other sex. It is, nevertheless, strictly true. Indeed, I have liked the women a great deal better than the men ever since I remember. But that summer, when only eight years old, I was sent out to a height called Broadheads, with a rosy-cheeked maiden, to herd a flock of new-weaned lambs, and I had my mischievous cows to herd beside. But as she had no dog, and I had an excellent one, I was ordered to keep close by her. Never was a master's order better obeyed. Day after day I herded the cows and lambs both, and Betty had nothing to do but to sit and sew. Then we dined together every day, at a well near to the Shiel-sike head, and after dinner I laid my head down on her lap, covered her bare feet with my plaid, and pretended to fall sound asleep. One day I heard her say to herself, 'Poor little laddie! he's joost tired to death:' and then I wept till I was afraid she would feel the warm tears trickling on her knee. I wished my master, who was a handsome young man, would fall in love with her, and marry her, wondering how he could be so blind and stupid as not to do it. But I thought if I were he, I would know well what to do."

By the time he was fifteen years of age he says he had served a dozen masters, being only engaged for short terms, and odd jobs. When about twelve years old, such was the flourishing state of his circumstances that he had two shirts, so bad that he could not wear them, and therefore went without, by this means falling into another difficulty, that of keeping his trowsers up on his bare skin, there being no braces in those days. Yet he had a fiddle, which cost five shillings, with which he charmed the cow-houses and stable-lofts at night, after his work was done. In his eighteenth year he entered the service of Mr. Laidlaw, of Black-house, near St. Mary's Loch, on Yarrow. He had been in the service of two others of the same family, probably relatives by his mother's side, who was a Laidlaw, at Willensee, and at Elibank, on the Tweed; and he now continued with Mr. Laidlaw, of Black-house, ten years, as shepherd. William Laidlaw, the son of his master, and afterward the bailiff of Sir Walter Scott, and also the author of the sweet song of "Lucy's Flitting," was here his great companion, and here they read much together, and stimulated in each other the flame of poetry. These must have been happy years for Hogg. The year after Burns's death he first heard Tam o' Shanter repeated, and heard of Burns, as a ploughman, who had written beautiful songs and poems. "Every day," says he, "I pondered on the genius and fate of Burns. I wept, and always thought with myself, what is to hinder me from succeeding Burns? I too was born on the 25th of January, and I have much more time to read and compose than any ploughman could have, and can sing more old songs than ever ploughman could in the world. But then I wept again, because I could not write. However, I resolved to be a poet, and follow in the steps of Burns!" A brave resolve, to be a poet, in a man that could not write. Nevertheless, he composed songs, and one of these, called M'Donald, had the luck to get sung at a great masonic meeting at Edinburgh, and was taken up by a General M'Donald, who fancied it was written upon him, and had it sung every week at his mess. Hogg, now thirty-one years of age, resolved to astonish the world with his genius, and the account of the way he took is not a little amusing.

"In 1801, believing that I was then become a grand poet, I most sapiently determined on publishing a pamphlet, and appealing to the world at once. Having attended the Edinburgh market one Monday, with a number of sheep for sale, and being unable to dispose of them all, I put the remainder into a park until the market on Wednesday. Not knowing how to pass the interim, it came into my head that I would write a poem or two from my memory, and get them printed. The thought had no sooner struck me than it was put in practice; and I was obliged to select, not the best poems, but those that I remembered best. I wrote several of these during my short stay, and gave them all to a person to print at my expense; and having sold off my sheep on Wednesday morning, I returned to the forest. I saw no more of my poems until I received word that there were one thousand copies of them thrown off. I knew no more of publishing than the man in the moon; and the only motive that influenced me was, the gratification of my vanity by seeing myself in print. All of them were sad stuff, although I judged them to be exceedingly good. Notwithstanding my pride of authorship, in a few days I had discernment enough left to wish my publication heartily at the devil, and I had hopes that long ago it had been consigned to eternal oblivion, when, behold! a London critic had, in malice of heart, preserved a copy, and quoted liberally out of it last year, to my intense chagrin and mortification;" i.e., while Hogg was, but four years before his death, lionizing in London.

His adventures afterward in Edinburgh, publishing his subsequent poems, are equally curious. How he published by subscription, and one third of his subscribers took his books, but never paid for them. How he set up a weekly literary paper—"The Spy," which he continued a year. How he became a great spouter at a debating club called "The Forum." How he wrote a musical farce, and a musical drama; all ending in ruin and insolvency, till he brought out the Queen's Wake, and won a good reputation. Here he with great simplicity tells us, that Mr. Jeffrey never noticed the poem till it had got into a third edition, and having given offense to Mr. Anster by comparing the two poets, he never afterward took any notice of any of his writings. Whereupon, Hogg says, proudly, he thinks that conduct can do him no honor in the long run; and that he would match the worst poem he ever published with some that Mr. Jeffrey has strained himself to bring forward. But Hogg was now a popular man. His Queen's Wake went on into edition after edition. He was introduced to Blackwood, who became his publisher, and Hogg looked upon himself as on a par in fame with the first men of his time. The familiar style in which he relates his first acquaintance with Professor Wilson, will excite a smile.

"On the appearance of Mr. Wilson's Isle of Palms, I was so greatly taken with many of his fanciful and visionary scenes, descriptive of bliss and woe, that it had a tendency to divert me occasionally of all worldly feelings. I reviewed this poem, as well as many others, in a Scottish review then going in Edinburgh, and was exceedingly anxious to meet with the author; but this I tried in vain for the space of six months. All I could learn of him was, that he was a man from the mountains of Wales, or the west of England, with hairs like eagle's feathers, and nails like bird's claws, a red beard, and an uncommon degree of wildness in his looks. Wilson was then utterly unknown in Edinburgh, except slightly to Mr. Walter Scott, who never introduces any one person to another, nor judges it of any avail. However, having no other shift left, I sat down and wrote him a note, telling him that I wished much to see him, and if he wanted to see me, he might come and dine with me at my lodgings in the road of Gabriel, at four. He accepted the invitation, and dined with Grieve and me; and I found him so much a man according to my own heart, that for many years we were seldom twenty-four hours asunder when in town. I afterward went and visited him, staying with him a month at his seat in Westmoreland, where we had some curious doings among the gentlemen and poets of the lakes."

It was now that Hogg wrote his Poetic Mirror, in which he passed off a number of poems as those of the most popular writers of the day. It must be confessed that the different compositions display uncommon ability, and if they were written as Hogg says, that is, a volume of nearly three hundred pages 8vo. in three weeks, they are wonderful. As is common with such poems, they catch the mannerisms of the authors rather than their spirit. To have risen to an equal height of sublime feeling and philosophical thought with such writers as Byron, Wordsworth, Coleridge, etc. would have been to place himself not on an equality with them, but far beyond, for he must in himself have combined the various lofty qualities of them all. Some of them, and especially those attributed to Wordsworth, are admirably grave quizzes. We may take one specimen:—

"A boy came from the mountains, tripping light,
With basket on his arm,—and it appeared
That there was butter there, for the white cloth
That over it was spread, not unobserved,
In tiny ridges gently rose and fell,
Like graves of children covered o'er with snow;
And by one clumsy fold the traveler spied
One roll of yellow treasure, all as pure
As primrose bud reflected in the lake.
'Boy,' said the stranger, 'wilt thou hold my steed,
Till I walk round the corner of that mere?
When I return I will repay thee well.'"

This stranger who has approached leaves the horse with the boy, and never does return. All the hot day the boy stands holding the horse on the dusty road, till the steed, taking alarm at a thunder-storm, breaks away,—

"And never more
Was in those regions seen."…

As for the boy, he lifted up his basket, and he felt

"With his left hand how it affected was
By the long day and burning sun of Heaven.
It was all firm and flat—no ridges rose
Like graves of children—basket, butter, cloth,
Were all one piece, coherent. To his home
The boy returned right sad and sore aghast."

According to Hogg, he had the honor of being the projector and commencer of no less a periodical than Blackwood's Magazine. This is his account of it. "From the time I gave up 'The Spy,' I had been planning with my friends to commence the publication of a magazine on a new plan; but for several years we only conversed about the utility of such a work, without doing any thing further. At length, among others, I chanced to mention it to Mr. Thomas Pringle; when I found that he and his friends had a plan in contemplation of the same kind. We agreed to join our efforts, and try to set it a-going; but as I declined the editorship, on account of residing mostly on my farm at a distance from town, it became a puzzling question who was the best qualified among our friends for that undertaking. We at length fixed on Mr. Gray as the fittest person for a principal department, and I went and mentioned the plan to Blackwood, who, to my astonishment, I found had likewise long been cherishing a plan of the same kind. He said he knew nothing about Pringle, and always had his eye on me as a principal assistant; but he would not begin the undertaking till he saw that he could do it with effect. Finding him, however, disposed to encourage such a work, Pringle, at my suggestion, made out a plan in writing, with a list of his supporters, and sent it in a letter to me. I inclosed it in another, and sent it to Mr. Blackwood, and not long after that period Pringle and he came to an arrangement. Thus I had the honor of being the beginner and almost sole instigator of that celebrated work—'Blackwood's Magazine.'"

One can not avoid smiling over this account, in which Hogg cuts so great a figure, and especially at the idea of his becoming the editor of such a work; a man who, though a good poet, and wonderful, all things considered, could just write, and that was all. In the accounts given by Pringle and Lockhart of the origin of this famous magazine, we have little or no mention of James Hogg, far less of the probability of his editorship of it. In this account we must attribute the largeness of James's figure on the canvas to "that inherent vanity," which he says he could not for the life of him divest himself of when speaking of himself. It is true and notorious, however, that he became and continued for many years one of its chief contributors, and figured most conspicuously in those admirable papers, the Noctes Ambrosianæ. In these, language of the most beautiful and poetical kind was often put into the Shepherd's mouth; but it must also be confessed, much oftener language of a very different kind. He was made to figure as a coarse toper and buffoon. That he was at once proud of figuring so largely in the Noctes, and yet felt acutely the degrading character fixed on him there, is evident from his own statement in his autobiography. In speaking of Professor Wilson, to whom he deservedly awards a noble nature, he says: "My friends in general have been of opinion that he has amused himself and the public too often at my expense: but, except in one instance, which terminated very ill for me, and in which I had no more concern than the man in the moon, I never discerned any evil design on his part, and thought it all excellent sport. At the same time, I must acknowledge that it was using too much freedom with any author, to print his name in full to poems, letters, and essays, which he himself never saw. I do not say that he has done this; but either he or some one else has done it many a time."1

But speaking of Blackwood, the publisher, he assumes a different tone. "For my part, after twenty years of feelings hardly suppressed, he has driven me beyond the bounds of human patience. That magazine of his, which owes its rise principally to myself, has often put words and sentiments into my mouth of which I have been greatly ashamed, and which have given much pain to my family and relations; and many of these, after a solemn written promise that such freedoms should never be repeated. I have been often urged to restrain and humble him by legal measures, as an incorrigible offender deserves. I know I have it in my power, and if he dares me to the task, I want but a hair to make a tether of."2

It must be confessed that no justification can be offered for such treatment. Such was my own opinion, derived from this source, of Hogg, and from prints of him, with wide open mouth and huge straggling teeth, in full roars of drunken laughter, that, on meeting him in London, I was quite amazed to find him so smooth, well-looking, and gentlemanly a sort of person.

There are many truths which James Hogg in his honest candor speaks out, that not one author in a thousand, stand as high and as strong as he may, dares speak out, for fear of the trade, as it is called. For instance, who will not set the seal of his authorly experience to this: "I would never object trusting a bookseller, were he a man of any taste; for, unless he wishes to reject an author altogether, he can have no interest in asserting what he does not think. But the plague is, they never read works themselves, but give them to their minions, with whom there never fails to lurk a literary jealousy; and whose suggestions may be uniformly regarded as any thing but truth. For my own part, I know that I have always been looked on by the learned part of the community as an intruder in the paths of literature, and every opprobrium has been thrown on me from that quarter. The truth is, that I am so. The walks of learning are occupied by a powerful aristocracy, who deem that province their own peculiar right; else, what would avail all their dear-bought collegiate honors and degrees?"3

So true is James, so far as regards the practice of publishers never reading the MSS. submitted to them, but consigning them to readers;—i.e., publishers being the only dealers who never pretend to judge of the article they deal in;—that since the publication of the Book of Seasons, which was declined by half-a-dozen of the principal publishing houses in London, I never suffered a MS. of mine to be inspected by any publisher. What is more, finding that publishers in bargaining for copyrights never offered more than half the profits of a single edition, I have always persisted in refusing to sell copyrights, and sold only editions. This is a point that all authors should attend to. An author is not justified in selling the copyrights of his works, which should become the property of his family, especially as he may rest assured that he will, in nine cases out of ten, never get more for the whole copyright than he ought to have for a single edition. The late Mr. Longman once spoke to me a great truth—a truth confirmed by all experiences of all authors, in all ages, the present forming no exception—that "Authorship is an agreeable addition to a tolerable fixed income, but as a total dependence is a wretched reed." Scott, the most successful author of any age, though possessed of a good income independent of literature, died a bankrupt. Maginn, Hood, Blanchard, and a host of others, have yet to swell the history of the calamities of authors.

Speaking again of a certain publisher, James says, "The great fault of the man is, that the more he can provoke an author by insolence and contempt, he likes the better. Beside, he will never confess that he is in the wrong, else any thing might be forgiven. No, no, the thing is impossible that he can ever be wrong! The poor author is not only always in the wrong, but, 'Oh! he is the most insufferable beast!'"

And the truth is, that authors are in the wrong. They are in the wrong not to have combined long ago, like other professions, for the maintenance of their common interests, and for the elevation of the character of the class. They are a rope of sand. Cliques and small coteries may and do congregate, but there has ever been wanting among authors a comprehensive plan of union. It is true that their body is continually swelled by adventurers, and often characterless adventurers. He who succeeds in nothing else, thinks he can succeed as an author, or the master of a school. These men, often unprincipled, or poor, bring great reproach upon the whole body, and accordingly you hear authors commonly spoken of by publishers, as a most reckless, improvident, unprincipled, and contemptible set of men. This is the tone in which publishers are educated, it is the tone that pervades their publishing houses, it is the spirit and gospel of the Row. The authors of the present day are regarded by publishers exactly as they were in the days of Grub-street. In their eyes, they are poor, helpless, and untractable devils. And whence arises this? It is because authors have taken no single step to place themselves on a different footing. Are authors now what authors were in the days of Grub-street? They are a far different body. They are a far more numerous, and far more respectable body. We may safely assert, that there is no profession which includes so much talent, as there is none which diffuses such a vast amount of knowledge and intelligence through the world. They are the class, indeed, which are the enlighteners, and modelers, and movers of society. Yet, strange to say, invincibly powerful in the public cause, they are weak as water in their own: capable of challenging offenders in the very highest places; arraigning at the public tribunal, lords, peers, or the very crowned heads themselves; and sure, when they have truth on their side, of being victorious: yet they lie prostrate in individual weakness at the foot of every well-fed seller of a book, and receive his kicks with an astonishing patience. Nay, they have not the shrewdness of our butchers and bakers, who hang together and grow rich; they are a set of Ishmaelites, whose hands are against every man of their own class, and every man's hand is against them. From behind the barricades of newspapers and reviews, they fire with murderous rage on each other, instead of turning their force on the common enemy.

When we call to mind the men who are now actually living as members of the great community of authors, rich bankers, men of titles and large estates, wealthy traders, ladies and gentlemen of the most respectable private fortunes, professional men, clearing large incomes by their professions, distinct from literature, it must be confessed that the world has no such instance of infatuation to show as that of authors. Combine, and they may defy poverty and the world. How small a sum, contributed annually by every author, would soon raise a fund capable of not only succoring all cases of professional need, without recourse to the present Literary Fund, which is a degrading charity toward those who should establish a claim on a proper professional fund for themselves! How small a sum would not only do this, but also present a noble fund for the support of every authorly interest, the defense of every authorly right! If the men of property, character, and influence in the body, would but bestow a very small portion of their time and attention to the general interests of the body, how soon would the whole body feel the animating, and, I may add, reforming spirit of such coalition! The upright and honorable would acquire confidence, the unprincipled would be discountenanced, and the tone of publishers would rapidly alter toward men who had not only learned to respect themselves, but were resolved to establish respect for the body. "Get authors to combine! Sooner," exclaim both publishers and authors themselves, when such a notion is avowed, "chain the winds, or make granite slabs out of sea-sand!" Yet, spite of this humiliating opinion of authors, let but a number of the most respectable names once unite for the purpose, and it will be seen that the rest of the worthy will flock round them, and that few would venture to stand alone, as individuals improvident, or indifferent to the interests and the character of the body.

I have considered it my duty to corroborate the main opinions of James Hogg on this point. In the course of inquiries necessary for the writing of this work, I have had to stand on so many spots marked by the miseries of authors; in rooms where they have shed their own blood, or perished by poison in the hour of destitution and despair; by dismal pools, where they have plunged at midnight from starvation to death; or where, covered with fame, they have lain on their death-beds with scarce any other covering; and I have vowed, on those awful spots, to call on my fellow-authors to come forward and vindicate their most glorious profession, and to found an association which shall give a motive to every member to respect the name he bears—that of a prophet and an apostle of truth to the world—and a hope of ultimate aid to him and his, if such aid be needful, as a right and not a boon.

Nearly twenty years of authorship have shown me much and sad experience; but nothing ever revealed to me the low estimation in which authors are held by publishers, so much as a simple fact, mentioned some time ago, in Chambers' Journal, but which was witnessed by myself. I was in an eminent publisher's, when the principal addressed the head clerk thus:—

Principal.—"Mr. —— wishes to open an account with us. He is a publisher of some standing, and seems getting on very well; I think we may do it."

Clerk.—(Drawing himself up in an attitude of ineffable surprise)—"Sir! he is an author!"

Principal.—"Oh! that alters the question entirely. I did not know that. Open an account? Certainly not! certainly not!"

Is there an author who hears this, who does not ask himself the question, why they who ought to be regarded only with reverence, and whose talents should invest them with a panoply of salutary fear, should thus be the objects of uttermost contempt? But take another anecdote. The publisher of a celebrated review and myself were conversing on literary matters, when a very popular author was announced, who begged a word with the publisher, and they retired together. Presently the publisher came back.

Publisher.—"We were talking of the relative merits of authors and publishers just now."


Publisher.—"Well, you authors regard yourselves as the salt of the earth. It is you who are the great men of the world; you move society, and propel civilization; we publishers are but good pudding-eaters, and paymasters to you."

Myself.—"True enough; but you think that you are the master manufacturers, and we authors the poor devil artisans who really have no right to more than artisan wages."

Publisher.—"Ay, if you will take them as wages, and often before they are earned. Grant that you are the salt of the earth; methinks the salt has wonderfully lost its savor, when it has to come with a manuscript in one hand, and holds out the other for the instant pay, or the kettle can not boil. See, there now is a man just gone, that will be a name these five hundred years hence; yet what does he come to me for? For a sovereign! I tell you candidly, that if no hero can be a hero to his valet de chambre, neither can an author be a hero to his publisher, when he comes in forma pauperis every day before him. For the life of me I can not maintain an admiration of a man, when, like a rat, he is always nibbling at my purse-strings, and especially when I know—and what publisher does not know it?—that give the coin before the work is done, and it never is done. I content myself with things as I find them, and I leave all homage to the reader."

Let the whole body of authors lay these things duly to heart, and there will not long be an association for the maintenance of its honor and its interests in every profession but theirs.

Of his cotemporary authors Hogg speaks in his life with the highest honor. He confesses that he used most unmeasured language toward both Sir Walter Scott and John Wilson, when they offended him, but records their refusal to be offended with him, and their cordial kindness. Of Southey, Lockhart, Sym, the Timothy Tickler of Blackwood, Galt, etc., his reminiscences are full of life and interest. Of Wordsworth's poetry he entertained the high notion that a true poet must do; but there occurred a scene at Rydal which James gives in explanation of his caricaturing Wordsworth, which, as it is his own account, is worth transcribing.

"I dined with Wordsworth, and called on himself several times afterward, and certainly never met with any thing but the most genuine kindness; therefore people have wondered why I should have indulged in caricaturing his style in the Poetic Mirror. I have often regretted that myself; but it was merely a piece of ill-nature at an affront which I conceived had been put upon me. It was the triumphal arch scene. This anecdote has been told and told again, but never truly; and was likewise brought forward in the Noctes Ambrosianæ, as a joke; but it was no joke: and the plain, simple truth of the matter was this:—

"It chanced one night, when I was there, that there was a resplendent arch across the zenith, from the one horizon to the other, of something like the Aurora Borealis, but much lighter. It was a scene that is well remembered, for it struck the country with admiration, as such a phenomenon had never before been witnessed in such perfection; and, as far as I can learn, it had been more brilliant over the mountains and pure waters of Westmoreland than anywhere else. Well, when word came into the room of the splendid meteor, we all went out to view it; and on the beautiful platform of Mount Rydal, we were walking in twos and threes, arm-in-arm, talking of the phenomenon, and admiring it. Now, be it remembered, that there were present, Wordsworth, Professor Wilson, Lloyd, De Quincy, and myself, beside several other literary gentlemen, whose names I am not certain that I remember aright. Miss Wordsworth's arm was in mine, and she was expressing some fears that the splendid stranger might prove ominous, when I, by ill luck, blundered out the following remark, thinking that I was saying a good thing:—'Hout, me'em! it is neither mair nor less than joost a triumphal airch, raised in honor of the meeting of the poets.'

"'That's not amiss. Eh? eh?—that's very good,' said the professor, laughing. But Wordsworth, who had De Quincy's arm, gave a grunt and turned on his heel, and, leading the little opium-chewer aside, he addressed him in these disdainful and venomous words: 'Poets? Poets? What does the fellow mean?—Where are they?'

"Who could forgive this? For my part, I never can, and never will! I admire Wordsworth, as who does not, whatever they may pretend? But, for that short sentence, I have a lingering ill-will at him which I can not get rid of. It is surely presumption in any man to circumscribe all human excellence within the narrow sphere of his own capacity. The 'Where are they?' was too bad. I have always some hopes that De Quincy was leeing, for I did not myself hear Wordsworth utter the words."

Whether Wordsworth did utter these words, or De Quincy only quizzed Hogg with them, it is a great pity that poor Hogg's mind was suffered to the last to retain the rankling supposition of it. The anecdote appeared in the Noctes; it was made the subject of much joke and remark, and must have reached Wordsworth's ears. What a thousand pities, then, that, by a single line to Hogg, or in public, he did not take the sting out of it. Nobody was so soon propitiated as Hogg. To have been acknowledged as a brother poet by Wordsworth would have filled his heart with much happiness. Immediately after his death Wordsworth hastened to make such a recognition; but of how little value is posthumous praise! Hogg died on the 21st of November, and on the 30th Wordsworth sent the following lines to the Athenæum, which I quote entire, because they commemorate other departed lights of the age.


Extempore Effusion, upon reading, in the Newcastle Journal, the notice of the death of the poet, James Hogg.

"When first descending from the moorland,
I saw the stream of Yarrow glide
Along a fair and open valley,
The Ettrick Shepherd was my guide.
"When last along its banks I wandered,
Through groves that had begun to shed
Their golden leaves upon the pathways,
My steps the Border Minstrel led.
"The mighty minstrel breathes no longer,
'Mid moldering ruins low he lies:
And death upon the braes of Yarrow
Has closed the shepherd poet's eyes.
"Nor has the rolling year twice measured
From sign to sign his steadfast course,
Since every mortal power of Coleridge
Was frozen at its marvelous source.
"The rapt-one of the godlike forehead,
The heaven-eyed creature sleeps in death;
And Lamb, the frolic and the gentle,
Has vanished from his lonely hearth.
"Like clouds that robe the mountain summits,
Or waves that own no curbing hand,
How fast has Brother followed Brother,
From sunshine to the sunless land!
"Yet I, whose lids from infant slumbers
Were earlier raised, remain to hear
A timid voice that asks in whispers,
'Who next will drop and disappear?'
"Our haughty life is crowned with darkness,
Like London with its own black wreath,
On which with thee, O Crabbe, forth-looking,
I gazed from Hampstead's breezy heath.
"As if but yesterday departed,
Thou, too, art gone before; yet why
For ripe fruit, seasonably gathered,
Should frail survivors heave a sigh?
"No more of old romantic sorrows,
The slaughtered youth and love-lorn maid;
With sharper grief is Yarrow smitten,
And Ettrick mourns with her their shepherd dead."

These extracts throw a deal of light on the peculiar character of Hogg's mind. Simple, candid to an astonishment, vain without an attempt to conceal it, sensitive to an extreme, with such a development of self-esteem that no rebuffs or ridicule could daunt him, and full of talent and fancy. But, to estimate the extent of all these qualities, you must read his prose as well as his poetry; and these, considering how late he began to write, and that he did not die very old, are pretty voluminous. During the greater part of his literary life he was a very popular contributor to various magazines. Of his collected works he gives us this list.

The Queen's Wake 1
Pilgrims of the Sun 1
The Hunting of Badlewe 1
Mador of the Moor 1
Poetic Mirror 1
Dramatic Tales 2
Brownie of Bodsbeck 2
Winter Evening Tales 2
Sacred Melodies 1
Border Garland 1
Jacobite Relics of Scotland 2
The Spy 1
Queen Hynde 1
The Three Perils of Man 3
The Three Perils of Woman 3
Confessions of a Sinner 1
The Shepherd's Calendar 2
A Selection of Songs 1
The Queer Book 1
The Royal Jubilee 1
The Mountain Bard 1
The Forest Minstrel   1
Total 31

It may be imagined that while the produce of his literary pen was so abundant, that of his sheep-pen would hardly bear comparison with it. That was the case. Hogg continually broke down, as a shepherd and a farmer. He

"Tended his flocks upon Parnassus hill;"

his imagination was in Fairyland, his heart was in Edinburgh, and his affairs always went wrong. To give him a certain chance of support, the Duke of Buccleugh gave him, rent-free for life, a little farm at Altrive in Yarrow, and then Hogg took a much larger farm on the opposite side of the river, which he called Mount Benger. From this it will be recollected that he often dated his literary articles. The farm was beyond his capital, and far beyond his care. It brought him into embarrassments. To the last, however, he had Altrive Lake to retreat to; and here he lived, and wrote, and fished, and shot grouse on the moors. Let us, before visiting his haunts, take a specimen or two of his poetry, that we may have a clear idea of the man we have in view.

In all Hogg's poetry there is none which has been more popular than the Legend of Kilmeny, in the Queen's Wake. It is the tradition of a beautiful cottage maiden, who disappears for a time and returns again home, but, as it were, glorified and not of the earth. She has, for her purity, been transported to the land of spirits, and bathed in the river of immortal life.

"They lifted Kilmeny, they led her away,
And she walked in the light of a sunless day:
The sky was a dome of crystal bright,
The fountain of vision and fountain of light:
The emerald fields were of dazzling glow,
And the flowers of everlasting blow.
Then deep in the stream her body they laid,
That her youth and beauty never might fade;
And they smiled on Heaven when they saw her lie
In the stream of life that wandered by.
And she heard a song, she heard it sung,
She kenned not where, but so sweetly it rung,
It fell on her ear like a dream of the morn;
O! blest be the day that Kilmeny was born.
Now shall the land of the spirits see,
Now shall it ken what a woman may be!
The sun that shines on the world sae bright,
A borrowed gleid frae the fountain of light;
And the moon that sleeks the sky sae dun,
Like a gowden bow, or a beamless sun,
Shall wear away, and be seen nae mair,
And the angels shall miss them traveling the air.
But lang, lang after baith night and day,
When the sun and the world have elyed away;
When the sinner has gaed to his waesome doom,
Kilmeny shall smile in eternal bloom!"

But Kilmeny longs once more to revisit the earth and her kindred at home, and,

"Late, late in a gloaming, when all was still,
When the fringe was red on the westlin hill,
The wood was sere, the moon i' the wane,
The reek of the cot hung over the plain,
Like a little wee cloud in the world its lane;
When the ingle glowed with an eiry leme,
Late, late in the gloaming Kilmeny came hame!
'Kilmeny, Kilmeny, where have you been?
Lang hae we sought baith holt and den;
By linn, by ford, and greenwood tree,
Yet ye are hailsome and fair to see.
Where gat ye that joup o' the lily scheen?
That bonny snood o' the birk sae green?
And these roses, the fairest that ever were seen?
Kilmeny, Kilmeny, where have you been?'
"Kilmeny looked up with a lovely grace,
But nae smile was seen on Kilmeny's face;
As still was her look, and as still was her ee,
As the stillness that lay on the emerant lea,
As the mist that sleeps on a waveless sea.
For Kilmeny had been she knew not where,
And Kilmeny had seen what she could not declare;
Kilmeny had been where the cock ne'er crew,
Where the rain never fell, and the wind never blew!"

But on earth the spell of heaven was upon her. All loved, both man and beast, the pure and spiritual Kilmeny; but earth could not detain her.

"When a month and a day had come and gone,
Kilmeny sought the greenwood wene;
There laid her down on the leaves so green,
And Kilmeny on earth was never mair seen.
But O the words that fell from her mouth
Were words of wonder, and words of truth!
But all the land were in fear and dread,
For they kennedna whether she was living or dead.
It was not her hame, and she couldna remain;
She left this world of sorrow and pain;
And returned to the land of thought again."

The Legend of Kilmeny is as beautiful as any thing in that department of poetry. It contains a fine moral; that purity of heart makes an earthly creature a welcome denizen of heaven; and the tone and imagery are all fraught with a tenderness and grace that are as unearthly as the subject of the legend.

There is a short poem introduced into the Brownie of Bodsbeck, worthy of the noblest bard that ever wrote.

"Dweller in heaven high, Ruler below!
Fain would I know thee, yet tremble to know!
How can a mortal deem, how it may be,
That being can ne'er be but present with thee?
Is it true that thou sawest me ere I saw the morn?
Is it true that thou knewest me befere I was born?
That nature must live in the light of thine eye?
This knowledge for me is too great and too high!
"That, fly I to noonday or fly I to night,
To shroud me in darkness, or bathe me in light,
The light and the darkness to thee are the same,
And still in thy presence of wonder I am!
Should I with the dove to the desert repair,
Or dwell with the eagle in cleugh of the air;
In the desert afar—on the mountain's wild brink—
From the eye of Omnipotence still must I shrink!
"Or mount I, on wings of the morning, away,
To caves of the ocean, unseen by the day,
And hide in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there to be living and moving in thee!
Nay, scale I the clouds, in the heaven to dwell,
Or make I my bed in the shadows of hell,
Can science expound, or humanity frame,
That still thou art present, and all are the same?
"Yes, present forever! Almighty! Alone!
Great Spirit of Nature! unbounded! unknown!
What mind can embody thy presence divine?
I know not my own being, how can I thine?
Then humbly and low in the dust let me bend,
And adore what on earth I can ne'er comprehend:
The mountains may melt, and the elements flee,
Yet a universe still be rejoicing in thee!"

The last that we will select is one which was written for an anniversary celebration of our great dramatist; yet is distinguished by a felicity of thought and imagery that seem to have sprung spontaneously in the soul of the shepherd poet, as he mused on the airy brow of some Ettrick mountain.

"Spirit all-limitless,
Where is thy dwelling-place?
Spirit of him whose high name we revere!
Come on thy seraph wings,
Come from thy wanderings,
And smile on thy votaries who sigh for thee here!
"Come, O thou spark divine!
Rise from thy hallowed shrine!
Here in the windings of Forth thou shalt see
Hearts true to nature's call,
Spirits congenial,
Proud of their country, yet bowing to thee!
"Here with rapt heart and tongue,
While our fond minds were young,
Oft thy bold numbers we poured in our mirth;
Now in our hall for aye
This shall be holyday,
Bard of all nature! to honor thy birth.
"Whether thou tremblest o'er
Green grave of Elsinore,
Stayest o'er the hill of Dunsinnan to hover,
Bosworth, or Shrewsbury,
Egypt, or Philippi;
Come from thy roamings the universe over.
"Whether thou journeyest far,
On by the morning star,
Dreamest on the shadowy brows of the moon,
Or lingerest in Fairyland,
Mid lovely elves to stand,
Singing thy carols unearthly and boon:
"Here thou art called upon,
Come, thou, to Caledon!
Come to the land of the ardent and free!
The land of the lone recess,
Mountain and wilderness,
This is the land, thou wild meteor, for thee!
"O, never, since time had birth,
Rose from the pregnant earth
Gems, such as late have in Scotia sprung;—
Gems that in future day,
When ages pass away,
Like thee shall be honored, like thee shall be sung!
"Then here, by the sounding sea,
Forest, and greenwood tree,
Here to solicit thee, cease shall we never.
Yes, thou effulgence bright,
Here must thy flame relight,
Or vanish from nature forever and ever!"

Such strains as these serve to remind us that we go to visit the native scenes of no common man. To reach Ettrick, I took the mail from Dumfries to Moffat, where I breakfasted, after a fresh ride through the woods of Annandale. With my knapsack on my back, I then ascended the vale of Moffat. It was a fine morning, and the green pastoral hills rising around, the white flocks scattered over them, the waters glittering along the valley, and women spreading out their linen to dry on the meadow grass, made the walk as fresh as the morning itself. I passed through a long wood, which stretched along the sunny side of the steep valley. The waters ran sounding on deep below; the sun filled all the sloping wood with its yellow light. There was a wonderful resemblance to the mountain woodlands of Germany. I felt as though I was once more in a Suabian or an Austrian forest. There was no wall or hedge by the way: all was open. The wild raspberry stood in abundance, and the wild strawberries as abundantly clothed the ground under the hazel bushes. I came to a cottage and inquired,—it was Craigieburn Wood, where Burns met "The lassie wi' the lintwhite locks."

But the pleasure of the walk ceased with the sixth milestone. Here it was necessary to quit Moffat and cross over into Ettrick dale. And here the huge hills of Bodsbeck, more villainous than the Brownie in his most vindictive mood, interposed. I turned off the good road which would have led me to the Gray-Mare's-Tail, to the inn of Innerleithing (St. Ronan's Well), and St. Mary's Lake on Yarrow, and at Capel-gill forsook Moffat water and comfort at once.

And here, by the by, as all the places in these dales are called gills, and hopes, and cleughs, as Capel-gill, Chapel-hope, Gamel-cleugh, etc., I may as well explain that a hope is a sort of slight ravine aloft on the hillside, generally descending it pretty perpendicularly; a cleugh, a more deep and considerable one; and a gill, one down which a torrent pours, continuing longer after rains than in the others. At least, this was the definition given me, though the different terms are not, it seems, always very palpably discriminative.

Turning off at Capel-gill, I crossed the foot-bridge at the farm of Bodsbeck, where the Brownie used to haunt, and began to ascend the hill, assuredly in no favor with the Brownie. These hills are long ranges, inclosing deep valleys between them; and there are but few entrances into the dales, except by crossing the backs of these great ridges. I found the ascent of the Bodsbeck excessively steep, rugged, boggy, stony, and wet, and far higher than I had anticipated. A more fatiguing mountain ascent I never made. I was quite exhausted, and lay down two or three times, resolving to have a good long rest and sleep on the grass, with my knapsack for a pillow; but the Brownie came in the shape of rain, and woke me up again. I suppose I was two hours in getting to the summit; and then I did lie down, and slept for a quarter of an hour; but the Brownie was at me again with a bluster of wind and rain, and awoke me.

Preparing to set forward, what was my astonishment to see a cart and horse coming over the mountain with a load of people. It was a farmer with his wife and child; and they were about to descend the rugged, rocky, boggy, steep hillside, with scarcely a track! They descended from the cart; the man led the horse; the woman walked behind, carrying the child; and they went bumping and banging over the projecting crags, as if the cart was made of some unsmashable timber, the horse a Pegasus, and the people without necks to break. 'Tis to be hoped that they reached the bottom somehow.

I had supposed by my map that from Moffat to Ettrick kirk would be about six miles. Imagine, then, my consternation at the tidings these adventurous people gave me, that I had still eight miles to go! That, instead of six, it was sixteen from Moffat to Ettrick kirk! There was a new road made all down this side of the mountain; very fair to look at in the distance, but infamous for foot travelers, being all loose, sharp cubes of new broken whinstone. My feet were actually strained with coming up the mountain; and were now so knocked to pieces and blistered in going down it, that I suppose I crawled on at about two miles an hour. In fact, I was seven hours and a half, between Moffat and Ettrick kirk, on foot. Down, down, down I went for eight weary miles, one long descent, with nothing on either hand but those monotonous green mountains which extend all over the south of Scotland. Soft they can look as the very hills of heaven under the evening light, with their white flocks dotting them all over, and the shepherds shouting, and their dogs barking from afar. And dark, beautifully dark, they can look beneath the shadow of the storm, or the thunder-cloud. Wild, drearily wild, they can look when the winds come sweeping and roaring like some broken-loose ocean, fierce and strong as ocean waters, and with this mighty volume fill the scowling valleys, and rush, without the obstacle of house or tree, over the smooth, round heights; and men at ease, especially if in want of a stroll, and in good company, may, and no doubt do, find them very attractive. But to me they were an endless green monotony of swelling heaps; and Ettrick dale, with its stream growing continually larger in its bottom, an endless vale of bare greenness, with but here and there a solitary white house, and a cluster of fir-trees, with scarcely a cultured field even of oats or potatoes for eight miles. It was one eternal sheep-walk; and, for me, eight miles too much of it. Yet the truth is, that every one of these hills, and every portion of this vale, and every house with its hope, or its cleugh, or its plantation, and every part of the river where the torrent has boiled and raged for a thousand years, till it has worn the iron-like whinstone into the most hideous channels and fantastic shapes, has its history and its tradition. There is Phaup, and Upper Phaup, and Gamelshope, and Ettrick-house, and all have their interest; but to me they were then only white houses with black plantations, many of them on the other side of the water, without bridge, or any visible means of access; and with huge flocks of sheep collected and collecting in their yards and pens, with the most amazing and melancholy clamor. It was the time when they prepare for the great lamb fairs, and were separating those they meant to sell; and there was one loud lamentation all through these hills. It is amazing what a sentiment of attachment and distress can exist in mutton!

But no sentimental piece of mutton was ever more in distress than I was. I was quite famished and knocked up; and when at length I saw the few gray houses at Ettrick kirk, I actually gave a shout of exultation. I shouted, however, before I was out of the wood; for Ettrick kirk was not, as I had fancied, a Kirk Ettrick—that is, a village,—it was Ettrick kirk, and nothing more. I knew that Hogg was born and buried here, and that here I must stop; but unluckily I saw no village, no stopping-place. To my left hand stood the kirk, a little elevated on the side of the valley, and what was clearly the manse near it, in a garden. A little farther on was a farmhouse, and then a cottage or two, and that was all. I saw a large, queer sign over a door, and flattered myself that that at least must be a public-house; but a Gipsy with his stockings off in a little stream tickling trout, while his basket and his set of tea-trays stood on the road, soon told me my fortune. "Is that an inn?" "No, sir, the inn is three miles farther down!"

Three miles farther down! It was enough to have finished all Job's miseries! "What! is it not a public-house even?" "No, it is a shop."

And a shop it was; and when I hoped at least to find a shop that sold bread, it turned out to be a tailor's shop!

Just as I was driven to despair, I fancied that the next building looked like a school; in I went, and a school it was. I had hopes of a Scotch schoolmaster. He is generally a scholar and a gentleman. The master was just hearing his last class of boys: I advanced to him, and told him that I must take the liberty to rest, for that I was outrageously tired and hungry, and was told that it was three miles to the next inn. He said it was true, but that it was not three hundred yards to his house, and he would have much pleasure in my accompanying him to tea. Never, of all the invitations to tea which I have received in the course of this tea-drinking life, did I ever receive so welcome a one as that! I flung off my knapsack, laid up my legs quite at my ease on a bench, and heard out the class with great satisfaction. Anon, the urchins were dismissed, and Mr. Tait, the master, a tall and somewhat thin young man, with a very intelligent and thoughtful face, declared himself ready to accompany me. I told him I wanted to visit the birthplace and grave of Hogg, and presented my card. "Ha!" exclaimed he, on reading the name, "why, we are not strangers, I find—we are old friends. A hearty welcome, Mr. Howitt, to Ettrick!" Mr. Tait was an old friend of Hogg's, too—the very man of all others that I should have sought out for my purpose. We were soon at a very handsome new cottage, with a capital garden, the upper end full of flowers, and the lower of most flourishing kitchen-garden produce. Tired as I was, I could not avoid staying to admire this garden, which was the master's own work; and was then introduced to his mother and sister. The old lady was in a consternation that, by one of those accidents that sometimes in mountainous districts afflict a whole country, the baker had upset his cart, broken his leg, and by his absence deprived all the vales from Moffat to the very top of Ettrick, namely, Upper Phaup, of wheaten bread. It was a circumstance that did not in the least trouble me, except on account of the lady's housewifery anxiety. An old friend of mine once said that he never knew the want of bread but once in his life, and then he made a good shift with pie-crust, and I made an actual feast on barley cake and tea.

The schoolmaster and I were now soon abroad, and on our way up the valley to Hogg's birthplace. Ettrick-house, where Hogg saw the light, according to the people, though according to his tombstone it was Ettrick-hall, on the opposite side of the valley, is now a new-built farm-house, standing within a square embankment, which is well grown with a row of fine trees. This marks the site of an old house, and no doubt was the site of Ettrick old house. But the house in which Hogg was born, or, if not born, where he lived as a child, was only a sort of hind's house, belonging to the old house. That, too, is now pulled clean down. Hogg, during his lifetime, never liked to hear its demolition proposed. Here he had lived as a child, and here he lived when grown up, and rented the farm, before going to Altrive. He used always to inquire of people from Ettrick, if the house really were yet destroyed. I believe it stood till after his death, but it is now quite gone. The bricklayers? There is no such thing here; all is built of the iron-like, hard whinstone of the hills;—the builders, then, with a sentiment which does honor to them, were reluctant to pull down the birthplace and home of the shepherd-poet; and, when obliged to do so, to mark and commemorate the exact spot, when they built the wall along the front of the ground which they cleared by the highway, built a large blue sort of stone upright in it. The stone is very conspicuous, by its singular hue and position, and on it they have subscribed the poet's initials, J. H. Ettrick-hall, as already said, lying on the opposite side of the valley, was in Hogg's father's hands. Afterward, in Mr. Brydon's, of Crosslee, with whom Hogg was shepherd. This Mr. Brydon, who, Hogg says, was the best friend their family had in the world, died worth £15,000; and, indeed, these sheep-farmers generally do well. There was a Mr. Grieve here, who used to live up the valley, at a house where I saw a vast flock of sheep collected, who was also a most excellent friend of Hogg's. Hogg had lived as a herd-boy at most of the houses in this valley, and from that association he laid the scene of most of his poems and tales here.

Hogg's birthplace and his grave are but a few hundred yards asunder. The kirk-yard of Ettrick is old, but the kirk is recent; 1824 is inscribed over the door. Like most of the country churches of Scotland, it is a plain fabric, plainly fitted up within with seats, and a plain pulpit. Such a thing as "a kist full of o' whitles" the Scotch can not endure. It is a curious fact, that neither in Scotland nor Ireland do you find those richly finished old parish churches that you do in England. This is significant of the ancient state of these countries. Catholic though they all were, neither Scotland nor Ireland could at any age pretend to any thing like the wealth of England. Hence, in those countries, the fine abbeys and cathedrals are rare, the parish churches are very plain; while, in England, spite of all the ravages of Puritanism, the country abounds with the noblest specimens of cathedral and convent architecture, and the very parish churches in obscure villages are often perfect gems of architecture and carving, even of the old Saxon period.

Ettrick kirk lifts its head in this quiet vale with a friendly air. It is built of the native adamantine rock, the whinstone; has a square battlemented tower; and, what looks singular, has, instead of Gothic ones, square doorways, and square, very tall sash windows. Hogg's grave lies in the middle of the kirk-yard. At its head stands a rather handsome headstone, with a harp sculptured on a border at the top, and this inscription beneath it:—"James Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd, who was born at Ettrick Hall, 1770, and died at Altrive Lake, the 21st day of November, 1835."

After a wide space, left for other inscriptions, as of the widow and children, this is added:—"This stone is erected, as a tribute of affection, by his widow, Margaret Hogg."

As Hogg used to boast that he was born on the same day as Burns, and as this assertion was negatived by the parish register, we can not but admire the thoughtful delicacy which induced the widow to omit the day of his birth altogether, though carefully inserting the day of his death.

On the right hand of the poet's headstone stands another, erected by the shepherd himself, as follows: "Here lieth William Laidlaw, the far famed Will o' Phaup, who, for feats of frolic, agility, and strength, had no equal in that day. He was born at Ettrick, A.D. 1691, and died in the eighty-fourth year of his age. Also Margaret, his eldest daughter, spouse to Robert Hogg, and mother of the Ettrick Shepherd, born at Over Phaup in 1730, and died in the eighty-third year of her age. Also Robert Hogg, her husband, late tenant of Ettrick-hall, born at Bowhill, in 1729, and died in the ninety-third year of his age."

There are several curious particulars connected with these stones. Those which I have pointed out—Hogg's birthday being omitted; Ettrick-hall being given as his birthplace, yet the people asserting it to be Ettrick-house; and the much shorter life of the poet than those of his parents and ancestors. His father died at the age of ninety-three, his mother at eighty-three, his grandfather at eighty-four; he died at sixty-three. The poet had lived faster than his kindred. What he lost in duration of life he had more than made up in intensity. They held the quiet tenor of their way in their native vale; he had spread his life over the whole space occupied by the English language, and over generations to come. In his own pleasures, which were of a far higher character than theirs, he had made thousands and tens of thousands partakers. Many of Hogg's family and friends were not pleased at the memorial he thus gives to Will o' Phaup; but it is very characteristic of the Shepherd, who gloried as much himself in the sports, feats, and exploits of the borders, as in poetry.

Hogg, in his younger years, displayed much agility and strength in the border games, and in his matured years was often one of the umpires at them. In Lockhart's Life of Scott are related two especial occasions in which James Hogg figured in such games. One was of a famous football match, played on the classic mead of Carterhaugh, between the men of Selkirk and of Yarrow, when the Duke of Buccleugh, and numbers of other nobles and gentlemen, as well as ladies of rank, were present. When the different parties came to the ground with pipes playing, the Duke of Buccleugh raised his ancient banner, called the banner of Bellenden, which, being given by Lady Ann Scott to young Walter Scott, he rode round the field displaying it; and when Sir Walter led on the men of Selkirk, and the Earl of Home, with James Hogg as his aid-de-camp, led on the men of Yarrow. The other occasion was at the annual festival of St. Ronan's Well, when James Hogg used to preside as captain of the band of border bowmen, in Lincoln Green, with broad blue bonnets; and when, already verging on three score, he used often to join at the exploits of racing, wrestling, or hammer-throwing, and would carry off the prizes, to universal astonishment; afterward presiding, too, at the banquet in the evening, with great éclat, supported by Sir Walter Scott, Professor Wilson, Dr. Adam Fergusson, and Peter Robertson.

Another curious thing is, that he states himself, in his Life, to be one of four sons, and, on the headstone, that his father and three sons lie there. Now he, himself, was living, of course, when he set up the stone, and his brother William still survives. There could, then, be but two, if he were one of four.

Hogg died at Altrive, but was buried here, as being his native parish; and, indeed, I question whether there be a nearer place where he could be buried, though Altrive is six miles off, and over the hills from one valley to another. His funeral must have been a striking thing in this solitary region—striking, not from the sensation it created, or the attendance of distinguished men, but from the absence of all this. The shepherd-poet went to his grave with little pomp or ceremony. Of all the great and the celebrated with whom he had associated in life, not an individual had troubled himself to go thus far to witness his obsequies, except that true-hearted man, Professor Wilson. An eye-witness says: "No particular solemnity seemed to attend the scene. The day was dull and dismal, windy and cloudy, and every thing looked bleak, the ground being covered with a sprinkling of snow. Almost the whole of the attendants were relatives and near neighbors, and most of them, with solid irreverence, were chatting about the affairs of the day. Professor Wilson remained for some time near the newly-covered grave, after all the rest had departed."

I walked over this road to Altrive, the day after my arrival in Ettrick. But before quitting Ettrick, I must remark, that every part of it presents objects made familiar by the Shepherd. At the lower end are Lord Napier's castle, Thirlstane, a quaint castellated house, with round towers, and standing in pleasant woodlands; and the remains of the old tower of Tushielaw, and its hanging-tree, the robber chief of which strong-hold James VI. surprised, and hanged on his own tree where he had hanged his victims, treating him with as little ceremony as he did Johnny Armstrong, and others of the like profession. All these the hearty and intelligent schoolmaster pointed out to me, walking on to the three-mile distant inn, and seeing me well housed there.

What is called Altrive Lake, the farm on the Yarrow, given for life by the Duke of Buccleugh to Hogg, and where he principally lived after leaving Ettrick, and where he died, stands in a considerable opening between the hills, at the confluence of several valleys, where the Douglas burn falls into the Yarrow. Thus, from some of the windows, you look up and down the vale of Yarrow, but where the vale has no very striking features. The hills are lower than on Ettrick, and at a greater distance, but of the same character, green and round. Shepherds are collecting their flocks; the water goes leaping along stony channels; you see, here and there, a small white farmhouse with its clump of trees, and a circular inclosure of stone wall for the sheep-fold. A solitary crow or gull flies past; there are black stacks of peat on the bogs, and on the hill-tops—for there are bogs there, too, and you perceive your approach to a house by the smell of peat. This is the character of the whole district.

Altrive Lake is, in truth, no lake at all. One had always a pleasant notion of Hogg's house standing on the borders of a cheerful little lake. I looked naturally for this lake in the wide opening between the streams and hills, but could see none. I inquired of the farmer who has succeeded Hogg, for this lake, and he said there never was one. Hogg, he said, had given it that dignified name, because a little stream, that runs close past the house, not Douglas burn, but one still less, is called the Trive Lake. The present farmer, who is an old, weather-beaten Scotchman, eighty-two years of age, but hardy, and pretty active, and well off in the world, expressed himself as quite annoyed with the name, and said it was not Altrive Lake; he would not have it so called. It should be Aldenhope, for it was now joined to his farm, which was the Alden farm. I believe the Altrive farm is but about a hundred acres, including sheep-walk on the hills, and lets for £45 a-year; but old Mr. Scott, the present tenant, has a larger and better farm adjoining; and in his old house, which is just above this, across the highway from Ettrick, but almost hidden in a hollow, he keeps his hinds. Hogg's house is apparently two white cottages, for the roof, in the middle, dips down like it, but it is really but one. It stands on a mound, in a very good and pleasant flower-garden. The garden is inclosed with palisades, and the steep bank down from the house, descending to the level of the garden, is gay with flowers. It has another flower-garden behind, for the tenant has his kitchen-garden at his other house; and around lie green meadows, and at a distance, slope away the green pastoral hills. As you look out at the front door, the Yarrow runs down the valley at the distance of, perhaps, a quarter of a mile on the left hand, with a steep scaur, or precipitous earthy bank, on its farther side, in full view, over the top of which runs the highway from Edinburgh to Galashiels. Down the valley, and on the other side of the water, lies, in full view also, the farm of Mount Benger, which Hogg took of the Duke of Buccleugh after he came to Altrive. It is much more inclosed and cultivated in tillage than Altrive. The house where Hogg lived, however, is now pulled down, all except one ruinous white wall, and a very capital farmhouse is built near it; with a quadrangle of trees, which must have been originally planted to shelter a house long ago gone.

An old farmer and his wife in the neighborhood, who seemed the last people in the world to admire poets or poetry, though very worthy people in their way, blamed Hogg extremely for taking Mount Benger. He was more fitted for books than for farming, said they. "Perhaps," I observed, "he did not find that little farm of Altrive enough to maintain him." "Why should he not?" asked they. "He had nothing to do there but look after his little flock—that was all he had to care for—and that was the proper business of a man that called himself the Ettrick Shepherd—as though there was never a shepherd in Ettrick beside himself. And if he wanted more income, had not he his pen, and was not he very popular with the periodicals? But he was always wanting to take great farms, without any money to stock them. He was hand and glove with great men in Edinburgh, Professor Wilson, and Scott, and the like; he was aye going to Abbotsford and Lord Napier's; and so he thought himself a very great man too, and Mrs. Hogg thought herself a great woman, and looked down on her neighbors. These poets think nothing's good enough for them. Hogg paid the duke no rent, but he caught his fish, and killed his game; he was a desperate fellow for fishing and shooting. If people did not do just what he wanted, he soon let them know his mind, and that without much ceremony. He wrote a very abusive letter to Sir Walter Scott, because he would not give him a poem to print when he asked him, and would not speak to him for months; and when he took Mount Benger he wrote to his generous friend, Mr. Grieve, of Ettrick, and desired him to send him £350 to stock the farm, which Mr. Grieve refused, because he knew that the scheme was a ruinous one; on which he wrote him a very abusive letter, and would not speak to him for years. The upshot was, that he failed, and paid eighteenpence in the pound; and yet the duke, though he got no rent, allows the widow the rental of Altrive."

It is curious to hear the estimation that a man is held in by his neighbors. It is generally the case, that a man who raises himself above those with whom he set out on equal or inferior terms in life, is regarded with a very jealous feeling. I found Grace Darling denied all merit by those of her own class in her own neighborhood. Hogg, who is admired by the more intellectual of his countrymen, is still, in the eyes of the now matter-of-fact sheep farmers of Ettrick and Yarrow, regarded only as an aspiring man, and bad farmer. They can not comprehend why he should be so much more regarded than themselves, who are great at market, great on the hills, and pay every man, and lay up hard cash. Yet these men who pay eighteen pence in the pound, have farms for nothing, and their families after them, and associate with lords and dukes. That is very odd, certainly.

For worldly prudence, I am afraid, we can not boast of Hogg; and he confesses that he did rate Sir Walter soundly for not giving him a poem for his Poetic Mirror, and that he would not speak to him, till Scott heaped coals of fire on his head by sending the doctor to him when he was ill, and by Hogg finding out that Scott had come or sent daily to inquire how he was going on, and had told his friends not to let Hogg want for any thing. Hogg was a creature of the quickest impulse; he resented warmly, and he was as soon melted again by kindness. He had the spirit of a child, sensitive, quick to resent, but forgiving and generous. His imprudence in taking Mount Benger is much lessened, too, when we learn that he expected £1,000 from his wife's father, who, however, proved a bankrupt, and Hogg had already, through the intervention of Scott, obtained possession of the farm, and incurred the debt for the stocking of it before he became aware of the disastrous fact. In truth, he was probably too good a poet to be a good farmer; nor need we wonder at the opinion yet held of him by some of his neighbors, when we find him relating, in his Life, that when leaving Edinburgh once because his literary projects had failed, he found his character for a shepherd as low in Ettrick as it was for poetry in the capital, and that no one would give him any thing to do. Such are the singular fortunes of men of genius!

It is said in his own neighborhood, that his last visit to London hastened his death. That the entertainments given him there, and the excitement he went through, had quite exhausted him. That he never afterward seemed himself again. That he was listless and feeble, and tried to rally, but never did. Probably his breach with Blackwood might prey upon his spirits; for, on Blackwood declining to give a complete edition of his works, he had entered into arrangements with Cochrane and Johnstone of London, who commenced his edition, but failed on the issue of the first volume. By the act of quitting Blackwood, all the old associations of his life, its happiest and most glorious, seemed broken up. After that, his name vanished from the magazine, and was no more seen there, and the new staff on which he leaned proved a broken reed. Truly many are the verifications of the melancholy words of Wordsworth:

"We poets in our youth commence in gladness;
But thereof comes in the end, despondency and madness."

I have received the following account of his last days from one of his oldest and most intimate friends:

"Innerleithen, 21st Feb., 1846.

"Mr. Hogg, although apparently in good health, had been ailing for some years previous to his death, with water in the chest. When this was announced to him by his friend, Dr. W. Gray, from India, a nephew of Mr. Hogg, he seemed to laugh at the idea, and pronounced it impossible, as one drop of water he never drank. Notwithstanding, he very shortly after had a consultation with some of the Edinburgh medical folks, who corroborated Dr. Gray's opinion. Mr. Hogg, on his return from town, called upon me in passing, and seemed somewhat depressed in spirits about his health. The Shepherd died of what the country folks call black jaundice, on the 21st November, 1835, and was buried on the 27th, in the church-yard of Ettrick, within a few hundred yards of Ettrick-house, the place where he was born. It was a very imposing scene, to see Professor Wilson standing at the grave of the Shepherd, after every one else had left it, with his head uncovered, and his long hair waving in the wind, and the tears literally running in streams down his cheek. A monument has been erected to the memory of Hogg by his poor wife. At this the good people of the forest should feel ashamed. Mr. Hogg was confined to the house for some weeks, and, if I recollect right, was insensible some days previous to his death. He has left one son and four daughters; the son, as is more than probable you are aware, went out to a banking establishment, in Bombay, some two years ago. Mr. Hogg left a considerable library, which is still in the possession of Mrs. Hogg and family. With regard to the state of his mind at the time of his death, I am unable to speak. I may mention, a week or two previous to his last illness, he spent a few days with me in angling in the Tweed; the last day he dined with me, the moment the tumblers were produced, he begged that I would not insist upon him taking more than one tumbler, as he felt much inclined to have a tumbler or two with his friend Cameron, of the inn, who had always been so kind to him, not unfrequently having sent him home in a chaise, free of any charge whatever. The moment the tumbler was discussed, we moved off to Cameron's; and by way of putting off the time until the innkeeper returned from Peebles, where he had gone to settle some little business matter, we had a game at bagatelle; but no sooner had we commenced the game, than poor Hogg was seized with a most violent trembling. A glass of brandy was instantly got, and swallowed; still the trembling continued, until a second was got, which produced the desired effect. At this moment, the Yarrow carrier was passing the inn on his way to Edinburgh, when Mr. Hogg called him in, and desired him to sit down until he would draw an order on the Commercial Bank for £20, as there was not a single penny in the house at home. After various attempts, he found it impossible even to sign his name, and was, therefore, obliged to tell the carrier, that he must, of necessity, defer drawing the order until next week. The carrier, however, took out his pocket-book, and handed the Shepherd a five-pound note, which he said he could conveniently want until the following week, when the order would be cashed. A little before the gloaming, Mr. Hogg's caravan cart landed for him, which he instantly took possession of; but, before moving off, he shook hands with me, not at all in his usual way, and at the same time stated to me, that a strong presentiment had come over his mind, that we would never meet again. It was too true. I never again saw my old friend, the Shepherd, with whom I had been intimately acquainted since the year 1802.

"Yours truly,

"P. Boyd."

I went over his house at Altrive with much interest. His little study is in the center of the front of the house, and within that is the equally small bedroom where he died. The house has been much improved, as well as the garden about it, since his time, for all agree that Hogg was very slovenly about his place. However, as Lockhart has justly observed, there will never be such another shepherd.

He has a brother still living, William Hogg, who has always been considered a very clever man. He lives somewhere in Peebleshire, as a shepherd. His widow and family live in Edinburgh.

In many of my visits to the homes and haunts of the poets, I have fallen in with persons and things which I regret that I could not legitimately introduce, and which yet are so full of life, that they deserve to be preserved. Exactly such a person did I meet with at Altrive Lake, at Mr. Scott's, the successor of Hogg. It was a jolly wool-buyer. He was a stout, fine, jovial-looking man, one of that class who seem to go through the world, seeing only the genial side of it, and drawing all the good out of it, as naturally as the sun draws out of the earth flowers and fruit. The hearty fellow was sitting at luncheon with Mr. Scott as I went in, and I was requested to join them. His large, well fed person, and large, handsome face, seemed actually to glow and radiate with the fullness of this world's joyousness and prosperity. His head of rich, bushy, black hair, and his smooth, black suit, both cut in town fashion, marked him as belonging to a more thronged and bustling region than these tawny, treeless, solitary hills. The moment I mentioned Hogg, and my object in visiting Altrive and Ettrick, the stranger's countenance lit up with a thorough, high-flowing tide of rosy animation. "Eh, but ye should ha' had me in Ettrick wi' ye! I know every inch of all these hills, and the country round. Haven't I bought the wool all over this country these twenty years? Hogg! why, sir, I've bought his wool many a time, and had many a merry 'clash' and glass of toddy wi' him at this verra table." Nothing would do, but I must accept half his gig thence to Galashiels that evening, a distance of twenty miles. It was a very friendly offer, for it saved me much time. Our drive was a charming one, and my stout friend knowing all the country, and apparently, every body in it, he pointed out every thing, and had a nod, a smile, a passing word, for every one that we met, or passed in their cottages by the road-side. He pointed out the piece of a wall, the only remains of Hogg's old house, at Mount Benger, adding,—"Ay, I bought his wool!" We descended the vale of Yarrow, passing through the beautiful woods of Hangingshaw. "Ye'll remember," said he, "what was said by some English noblemen in the rising in '45, when they heard that the lairds of Hangingshaw and Gallowshiels were among the Scotch conspirators. These are ominous names, said they, we'll have nothing to do with 'em; and withdrew, and thereby saved their own necks." So we went on, every few hundred yards bringing new histories of my jolly friend's wool-buying, and of matters which seemed nearly as important in his eyes. There was Newark tower, a beautiful object, standing on a lofty green mound on the other side of the Yarrow, the banks of which are most beautifully wooded. The tower, indeed, is included in the pleasure-grounds of Bowhill, a seat of the Duke of Buccleugh's, within sight; and you see neat walks running all along the river side for miles amid the hanging woods, and looking most tempting. Opposite to Newark, my friend pointed out a farmhouse. "Do you know what that is?" "A farmhouse," I replied. "Ay, but what farmhouse, that's the thing? Why, sir, that's the house where Mungo Park lived, and where his brother now lives." He then related the fact recorded in Scott's Life, of Sir Walter finding Mungo Park standing one day in an abstracted mood, flinging stones into the Yarrow; and asking him why he did that, he told Scott that he was sounding the depth of the river, it being a plan he had discovered and used on his African tour; the length of time the bubbles took coming to the top indicating the comparative depth, and showing whether he might venture to ford the stream or not. Soon after, Park again set out for Africa, never to return. "There, too, I buy the wool," added my companion. "But do you see," again he went on, "the meadow there below us, lying between those two streams?"—"Yes."—"Well, there meet the Ettrick and Yarrow, and become the Tweed; and the meadow between is no other than that of Carterhaugh; you've heard of it in the old ballads. I buy all the wool off that farm." I have no doubt, if the jolly fellow had fallen in with the fairies on Carterhaugh, he would have tried to buy their wool.

Ever and anon, out of the gig he sprung, and bolted into a house. Here there was a sudden burst of exclamation, a violent shaking of hands. Out he came again, and a whole troop of people after him. "Well but Mr. ——, don't you take my wool this time!" "Oh! why not? What is it? what weight? what do you want?" "It is so and so, and I want so much for it." "Oh, fie, mon! I'll gie ye so much!" "That's too little." "Well, that's what I'll gie—ye can send it, if ye like the price;" and away we brushed, the man all life and jollity giving me a poke in the side with his elbow, and a knowing look, with—"He'll send it! It won't do to spend much time over these little lots;" and away we went. At one house, no sooner did he enter, than out came a bonny lass with a glass and the whisky-bottle, and most earnestly and respectfully pressing that I should take a glass! "What could the bonny girl mean by being so urgent that I should take some of her whisky?" "Oh," said he, laughing heartily, "it was because I told her that ye were a Free-church minister frae London, and they're mighty zealous Free-church folk here."

At Selkirk my jolly friend put himself and horse to a great deal of labor in ascending the steep hill into the town, which we might have avoided, that I might see the statue of Sir Walter Scott, by Richie, in the market-place. This, however, was but part of his object. Leaving the gig at the inn, he said we must just look in on a friend of his. It was at a little grocer's shop, and, in a little dusky parlor, he introduced me to a young lady, his wife's sister, and we must have some tea with her. The young lady was a comely, quiet, dark-complexioned person, who seemed to have a deal of quiet sense, and some sly humor; just such a person as Scott would have introduced into one of his stories as a Jenny Middlemass; or the like; and it was most amusing to sit and listen to all their talk, and jokes, and his mystifications, and her quick detection of them, and their united mirth over them. The good man finally landed me in Galashiels, and there I had no little difficulty in getting away to my inn; as he thought of nothing less than my staying to supper with him, and hearing a great deal more of all the country round, of Scott and Burns, Hogg and wool-buying, trading and tradition, the old glories of border reiving, and new glories of Galashiels, and its spinning and weaving, without end.

Coleridge Enlisting

Coleridge Enlisting


Coleridge, whose simple, unworldly character is as well known as his genius, seems to have inherited his particular disposition from his father. His father was the Rev. John Coleridge, the vicar of Ottery St. Mary, in Devonshire. He was a learned man, the head master of the free grammar-school at Ottery, as well as vicar. He had been previously head master of the school at South Molton, and was one of the persons who assisted Dr. Kennicott in his Hebrew Bible. "He was an exceedingly studious man," says Gillman, on the authority of Coleridge himself, "pious, of primitive manners, and the most simple habits: passing events were little heeded by him, and therefore he was usually characterized as 'the absent man.'" Coleridge was born October 21st, 1772, the youngest of thirteen children, of which nine were sons, one of whom died in infancy. Of all these sons Coleridge is said to have most resembled his father in mind and habit. His mother was, except for education, in which she was deficient, a most fitting wife for such a man. She was an active, careful housekeeper and manager, looked well after worldly affairs, and was ambitious to place her sons well in the world. She always told them to look after good, substantial, sensible women, and not after fine harpsichord ladies. Coleridge used to relate many instances of his father's absence of mind, one or two of which we may quote. On one occasion, having to breakfast with his bishop, he went, as was the practice of that day, into a barber's shop to have his head shaved, wigs being then in common use. Just as the operation was completed, the clock struck nine, the hour at which the bishop punctually breakfasted. Roused as from a revery, he instantly left the barber's shop, and in his haste forgetting his wig, appeared at the breakfast-table, where the bishop and his party had assembled. The bishop, well acquainted with his absent manners, courteously and playfully requested him to walk into an adjoining room, and give his opinion of a mirror which had arrived from London a few days previously, and which disclosed to his astonished guest the consequence of his haste and forgetfulness.

The old gentleman, Coleridge also related, had to take a journey on some professional business, which would detain him from home for three or four days: his good wife, in her care and watchfulness, had packed a few things in a small trunk, and gave them in charge to her husband, with strong injunctions that he was to put on a clean shirt every day. On his return home, his wife went to search for his linen, when, to her dismay, it was not in the trunk. A closer search, however, discovered that the vicar had strictly obeyed her injunctions, and had put on daily a clean shirt, but had forgotten to remove the one underneath. This might have been the pleasantest and most portable mode of carrying half-a-dozen shirts in winter, but not so in the dog-days.

The poor idolized him and paid him the greatest reverence; and among other causes, for the odd one of quoting the original Hebrew liberally in his sermons. They felt themselves particularly favored by his giving them "the very words the Spirit spoke in;" the agricultural population flocked in from the neighborhood with great eagerness to hear him on this account; and such an opinion did they acquire of his learning, that they regarded his successor with much contempt, because he addressed them in simple English. This worthy old man died when Coleridge was about seven years old only.

He seems to have been a delicate child, of timid disposition. Being so much younger than his brothers, he never came in to be a playfellow of theirs, and thus to acquire physical hardihood and activity. "I was," he says, "in earliest childhood huffed away from the enjoyment of muscular activity in play, to take refuge at my mother's side, or on my little stool to read my book, and to listen to the talk of my elders. I was driven from life in motion, to life in thought and sensation. I never played except by myself, and then only acting over what I had been reading or fancying; or half one, half the other, with a stick cutting down weeds and nettles, as one of the seven champions of Christendom. Alas! I had all the simplicity, all the docility of a child, but none of the child's habits. I never thought as a child, never had the language of a child. I forget whether it was in my fifth or sixth year, but I believe the latter, in consequence of some quarrel between me and my brother, in the first week in October, I ran away from fear of being whipped, and passed the whole night—a night of rain and storm—on a bleak side of a hill on the Otter, and was there found at daybreak without the power of using my limbs, about six yards from the naked bank of the river."

This anecdote has been differently related by Cottle, and by the author of Pen and Pencil Sketches. They state that little Sammy Coleridge, as they call him, when between three and four years of age, had got a thread and a crooked pin from his elder sister Ann, and, unknown to the family, had set out to fish in the Otter. That he had wandered on and on, till, overtaken by fatigue, he lay down and slept. That he continued out all night, to the consternation of the family, and was found by a wagoner the next morning, who, going along the road at four o'clock, thought he heard a child's voice. He stopped, and listened. He now heard the voice cry out, "Betty! Betty! I can't pull up the clothes." The wagoner went to the margin of the river, where he saw, to his astonishment, a little child with a withy bough in his hand, which hung over the stream, pulling hard, and on the very point of dragging himself into the water. The child when awakened, as well as frightened, could only say his name was Sammy, and the wagoner carrying him into Ottery, joy indescribable spread through the town and the parsonage.

Which version of this story is the more correct, who shall decide? Little Coleridge, at the age of ten, was placed in Christ's Hospital in London, through the influence of Judge Buller, who had been educated by his father. This school was then, it seems, conducted in a very miserable and unkind manner. Coleridge was half starved there, neglected and wretched. The first bitter experiences of children who have had tolerable homes, of such as have had a decent house over their heads, and decent parents or friends, is on going to school. There has, no doubt, been much improvement in these as in other respects of late years. Schoolmasters, like other men, have felt the growing influences of civilization and true feeling. But there is yet much to be done in schools. Let it be remembered that fagging and flogging still continue in our great public schools of Westminster, Eton, and others. Riding the other day on the top of an omnibus through London, we could, from that popular eminence, see the master of a naval and military school exercising his vocation with the cane on one of his unhappy scholars. This I presume is a part of what the boys are systematically taught there—the preparatory initiation into the floggings that they are likely to get in the army or navy. That is bad and brutalizing enough, but that we are not yet advanced beyond the absurd idea of driving learning into our gentlemen with the cudgel and the birch, says very little indeed for our advance in true social philosophy. Southey gives a very lively idea of the school change in a boy's life, in his Hymn to the Penates.

"When first a little one I left my home,
I can remember the first grief I felt,
And the first painful smile that clothed my front
With feelings not its own. Sadly at night
I sat me down beside a stranger's hearth;
And when the lingering hour of rest was come,
First wet with tears my pillow."

In The Retrospect he has still more clearly depicted it:—

"Corston, twelve years in various fortunes fled
Have passed in restless progress o'er my head.
Since in thy vale, beneath the master's rule,
I roamed an inmate of the village school."

The place, he tells us, had been the ample dwelling of the lord of the manor, but—

"Here now in petty empire o'er the school,
The mighty master held despotic rule;
Trembling in silence, all his deeds we saw,
His look a mandate, and his word a law;
Severe his voice, severe and stern his mien,
And wondrous strict he was, and wondrous wise, I ween.
"Even now, through many a long, long year I trace
The hour when first with awe I viewed his face;
Even now, recall my entrance at the dome,—
'Twas the first day I ever left my home.
Years, intervening, have not worn away
The deep remembrance of that wretched day.
"Methinks e'en now the interview I see.
The mistress's kind smile, the master's glee.
Much of my future happiness they said,
Much of the easy life the scholars led;
Of spacious playground, and of wholesome air,
The best instruction, and the tenderest care;
And when I followed to the garden door
My father, till, through tears, I saw no more,—
How civilly they soothed my parting pain,
And how they never spake so civilly again."

Bravo! Southey! In these lines how many feelings of how many oppressed little hearts you have given vent to! Improvement, I do believe, has found its way, in a great degree, since then into private schools; but in many of them still, how much remains to be done! How much more may the spirits of masters and mistresses be humanized! How much more the law of love be substituted for the law of severity! It can not be too deeply impressed on the hearts of those who take the charge of children often at a great distance, that there is no tyranny so cowardly and mean as that which is exercised, not over grown men, but over tender children.

Coleridge calls this change, being "first plucked up and transplanted;" and adds—"Oh, what a change! I was a depressed, moping, friendless, poor orphan, half-starved;—at that time the portion of food to the Bluecoats was cruelly insufficient for those who had no friends to supply them." For those who had friends to supply them, the distinction set up was of the most detestable kind. They had luxuries brought in and served up before these poor half-starved little wretches. Charles Lamb, under the title of Elia, describes his own case as one of these favored ones. "I remember Lamb at school, and can well remember that he had some peculiar advantages, which I and others of his schoolfellows had not. His friends lived in town and were at hand, and he had the privilege of going to see them almost as often as he wished, through some invidious distinction which was denied us. The present treasurer of the Inner Temple can explain how it happened. He had his tea and hot rolls in the morning, while we were battening upon our quarter of a penny loaf; our crug moistened with attenuated small beer in wooden piggins, smacking of the pitched leathern jack it was poured from. On Mondays, milk porritch, blue and tasteless, and the pease soup of Saturday, coarse and choking, were enriched for him with a slice of 'extraordinary bread and butter' from the hot loaf of the Temple. The Wednesday's mess of millet, somewhat less repugnant—(we had three banyan to four meat days in the week)—was endeared to his palate with a lump of double-refined, and a smack of ginger, or the fragrant cinnamon, to make it go down the more glibly. In lieu of our half-pickled Sundays, or quite fresh boiled beef on Thursdays, strong as caro equina, with destestable marigolds floating in the pail to poison the broth; our scanty mutton crags on Fridays; and rather more savory, but grudging portions of the same flesh, rotten-roasted, or rare, on the Tuesdays—the only dish which excited our appetites, and disappointed our stomachs in almost equal proportion; he had his hot plate of roast veal, or the more tempting griskin, exotics unknown to our palates, cooked in the paternal kitchen."

"I," says Coleridge, giving us the other side of the case, "was a poor friendless boy; my parents, and those who should have cared for me, were far away. Those few acquaintances of theirs, which they could reckon on being kind to me in the great city, after a little forced notice, which they had the grace to take of me on my first arrival in town, soon grew tired of my holyday visits. They seemed to them to recur too often, though I thought them few enough; one after another, they all failed me, and I felt myself alone among six hundred playmates. O, the cruelty of separating a poor lad from his early homestead! The yearnings which I used to have toward it in those unfledged years! How in my dreams would my native town, far in the west, come back, with its churches, and trees, and faces! To this late hour of my life do I trace the impressions left by the painful recollections of those friendless holydays. The long, warm days of summer never return but they bring with them a gloom from the haunting memories of those whole day's leave, when, by some strange arrangement, we were turned out for the live-long day, upon our own hands, whether we had friends to go to or none. I remember those bathing excursions to the New river, which Lamb recalls with such relish, better, I think, than he can, for he was a home-seeking lad, and did not care for such water parties. How we would sally forth into the fields, and strip under the first warmth of the sun, and wanton like young dace in the streams, getting appetites for the noon which those of us that were penniless had not the means of allaying; while the cattle, and the birds, and the fishes were at feed about us, and we had nothing to satisfy our cravings: the very beauty of the day, the exercise of the pastime, and the sense of liberty, setting a keener edge upon them! How, faint and languid, finally, we would return, toward nightfall, to our desired morsel, half-rejoicing, half-reluctant, that the hours of uneasy liberty had expired!

"It was worse, in the days of winter, to go prowling about the streets objectless; shivering at cold windows of print-shops, to extract a little amusement; or, haply, as a last resort, in the hope of a little novelty, to pay a fifty times repeated visit to the lions in the Tower, to whose levee, by courtesy immemorial, we had a prescriptive right of admission, and where our individual faces would be as well known to the warden as those of his own charges."

What an amount of cruelty may be perpetrated even under the show of favor! what hard days for the stomach, under the guise of holydays! Coleridge was, from all accounts, at this time, "a delicate and suffering boy." His stomach was weak, his feet tender, so that he was obliged to wear very large, easy shoes. This might be one cause why he more readily fell into sedentary reading habits. He was to be found during play hours, often, with the knees of his breeches unbuttoned, and his shoes down at the heel, walking to and fro, or sitting on a step, or in a corner, deeply engaged in some book. The future author of the Ancient Mariner, and translator of Wallenstein, sitting on door-steps and at corners, with his book on his knee, was a very interesting object, if the Ancient Mariner and Wallenstein could have been seen seated in that head of black, cropped hair; as it was, it did excite attention; and Bowyer, one of those clever brutes who, on the strength of a good store of Latin and Greek, think themselves authorized to rain a good store of blows on the poor children in their power, testified his hopes of Coleridge's progress by continually and severely punishing him. He was often heard to say that "the lad was so ordinary a looking lad, with his black head, that he generally gave him, at the end of a flogging, an extra cut; for, said he, you are such an ugly fellow."

Books were the poor fellow's solace for the flagellations of the masters and the neglect of the boys, among whom Lamb was not to be reckoned, for he was very fond of him and kind to him. "From eight to fourteen I was a playless day-dreamer," he observes; "a helluo librorum; my appetite for which was indulged by a singular incident a stranger who was struck by my conversation, made me free of a circulating library in King-street, Cheapside."

This incident, says Gillman, was indeed singular. Going down the Strand, in one of his daydreams, fancying himself swimming across the Hellespont, thrusting his hands before him as in the act of swimming, one hand came in contact with a gentleman's pocket. The gentleman seized his hand; turned round, and looked at him with some anger, exclaiming "What! so young and so wicked!" at the same time accusing him of an attempt to pick his pocket. The frightened boy sobbed out his denial of the intention, and explained to him how he thought himself Leander swimming across the Hellespont. The gentleman was so struck and delighted with the novelty of the thing, and with the simplicity and intelligence of the boy, that he subscribed, as before stated, to the library, in consequence of which Coleridge was further enabled to indulge his love of reading.

It is stated that at this school he laid the foundation of those bodily sufferings, which made his life one of sickness and torture, and occasioned his melancholy resort to opium. He greatly injured his health, it is said, and reduced his strength by his bathing excursions; but is it not quite as likely that the deficiency of food, and those holyday days when he was turned out to starvation, had quite as much to do with it? On one occasion he swam across the New river in his clothes, and dried them on his back. This is supposed to have laid the foundation of his rheumatic pains; but may not that lying out all night in the rain at a former day have been even a still earlier predisposing cause? However that might be, he says, that "full half the time from seventeen to eighteen was passed in the sick-ward of Christ's Hospital, afflicted with jaundice and rheumatic fever."

At an earlier day he had undergone a medical treatment, which was oddly enough the cause of his breaking out into verse. He had a remarkably delicate white skin, which was once the cause of great punishment to him. His dame had undertaken to cure him of the itch, with which the boys of his ward had suffered much; but Coleridge was doomed to suffer more than his comrades, from the use of sulphur ointment, through the great sagacity of his dame, who with her extraordinary eyes, aided by the power of glasses, could see the malady in the skin, deep and out of power of common vision; and consequently, as often as she employed this miraculous sight, she found, or thought she found, fresh reason for continuing the friction, to the prolonged suffering and mortification of her patient. This occurred when he was about ten years of age, and gave rise to his first attempt at making a verse, as follows:

"O Lord, have mercy on me!
For I am very sad!
For why, good Lord? I've got the itch,
And eke I've got the tad!"

the school name for ringworm.

In classical study Coleridge made wonderful progress, though but little in mathematics. He read on through the catalogue, folios and all, of the library in King-street, and was always in a low fever of excitement. His whole being was, he says, with eyes closed to every object of present sense, to crumple himself up in a sunny comer, and read, read, read; fancying himself on Robinson Crusoe's island, finding a mountain of plum-cake and eating a room for himself, and then eating out chairs and tables—hunger and fancy!

So little affection had Coleridge for the school, that he greatly wanted, at fifteen, to put himself apprentice to a shoemaker. It was of the same class of odd attempts as his future one at soldiering.

"Near the school there resided a worthy and, in their rank of life, a respectable middle-aged couple. The husband kept a little shop and was a shoemaker, with whom Coleridge had become intimate. The wife, also, had been kind and attentive to him, and that was sufficient to captivate his affectionate nature, which had existed from earliest childhood, and strongly endeared him to all around him. Coleridge became exceedingly desirous of being apprenticed to this man, to learn the art of shoemaking; and in due time, when some of the boys were old enough to leave the school and be put to trade, Coleridge, being of the number, tutored his friend Crispin how to apply to the head master, and not to heed his anger, should he become irate. Accordingly, Crispin applied at the hour proposed to see Bowyer, who, having heard the proposal to take Coleridge as an apprentice, and Coleridge's answer and assent to become a shoemaker, broke forth with his favorite adjuration:—'Ods my life, man, what d'ye mean?' At the sound of his angry voice Crispin stood motionless, till the angry pedagogue, becoming infuriate, pushed the intruder out of the room with such force that Crispin might have sustained an action at law against him for the assault. Thus, to Coleridge's mortification and regret, as he afterward in joke would say, 'I lost the opportunity of supplying safeguards to the understandings of those who, perhaps, will never thank me for what I am aiming to do in exercising their reason.'"

Disappointed in becoming a shoemaker, he was next on fire to become a surgeon. His brother Luke was now in London, walking the London hospitals. Here, every Saturday, he got leave and went, delighted beyond every thing if he were permitted to hold the plasters, or attend dressings. He now plunged headlong into books of medicine, Latin, Greek, or English; devoured whole medical dictionaries; then fell from physic to metaphysics; thence to the writings of infidels; fell in love, like all embryo poets, and wrote verse. He was, however, destined neither to make shoes nor set bones, but for the university; whither he went in 1791, at the age of nineteen, being elected to Jesus College, Cambridge.

Here his friend Middleton, afterward Bishop of Calcutta, who had been his most distinguished schoolfellow at Christ's Hospital, had preceded him, and was an under-graduate at Pembroke College. Their friendship was revived, and Coleridge used to go to Pembroke College sometimes to read with him. One day he found Middleton intent on his book, having on a long pair of boots reaching to the knees, and beside him, on a chair next to the one he was sitting on, a pistol. Coleridge had scarcely sat down before he was startled by the report of the pistol. "Did you see that?" said Middleton, "See what?" said Coleridge. "That rat I just sent into its hole again. Did you feel the shot? It was to defend my legs that I put on these boots. I am frightening these rats from my books, which, without some precaution, I shall have devoured." Middleton, notwithstanding his hard studies, failed in his contest for the classical medal, and so in his hopes of a fellowship—a good thing eventually for him, for it drove him out of college into the world and a bishopric.

Coleridge came to the university with a high character for talent and learning; and the Blues, as they are called, or Christ's Hospital boys, anticipated his doing great honor to their body. This he eventually did by his poetical fame, and might have done by his college honors, had he but been as well versed in mathematics as in the classics. In his first year he contested for the prize for the Greek ode, and won it. In his second year he stood for the Craven scholarship, and, of sixteen or eighteen competitors, four were selected to contend for the prize; these were Dr. Butler, late Bishop of Lichfield; Dr. Keate, the late head master of Eton; Mr. Bethell, and Coleridge. Dr. Butler was the successful candidate, and Coleridge was supposed to stand next. But college honors were contingent on a good mathematical stand; this Coleridge, who hated mathematics, despaired of, and determined to quit the university. He was, moreover, harassed with debts, the most serious of which, it seems, was incurred immediately on his arrival at Cambridge. He was no sooner at his college, than a polite upholsterer accosted him, requesting to be permitted to furnish his rooms. The next question was, "How would you like to have them furnished?" The answer, prompt and innocent enough, was, "Just as you please, sir"—thinking the individual employed by the college. The rooms, were, therefore, furnished according to the taste of the artisan, and the bill presented to the astonished Coleridge. On quitting the college, it seems that his debts were about one hundred pounds—no great matter, but to him as overwhelming as if they had been a thousand. Cottle, in his account of him, says he had fallen in love, as well as into debt, with a Mary G——, who rejected his offer. He made his way to London, and there, of all things in the world, enlisted for a soldier. The story is very curious, and as related, both by Cottle and Gillman, who were intimate with him at different periods of his life, is no doubt true.

In a state of great dejection of mind, he strolled about the streets of London till night came on, when he seated himself on the steps of a house in Chancery-lane, speculating on the future. In this situation, overwhelmed with his own painful thoughts, and in misery himself, he had now to contend with the misery of others; for he was accosted by various kinds of beggars importuning him for money, and forcing on him their real or pretended sorrows. To these applicants he emptied his pockets of his remaining cash. Walking along Chancery-lane, he noticed a bill posted on the wall—"Wanted, a few smart lads for the 15th Elliott's Light Dragoons:" he paused a moment, and said to himself, "Well, I have had all my life a violent antipathy to soldiers and horses; the sooner I cure myself of these absurd prejudices the better; and so I will enlist in this regiment." Forthwith, he went as directed to the place of enlistment. On his arrival, he was accosted by an old sergeant, with a remarkably benevolent countenance, to whom he stated his wish. The old man, looking at him attentively, asked him if he had been in bed? On being answered in the negative, he desired him to take his, made him breakfast, and bade him rest himself awhile, which he did. This feeling sergeant, finding him refreshed in his body, but still suffering apparently from melancholy, in kind words begged him to be of good cheer, and consider well the step he was about to take; gave him half-a-guinea, which he was to repay at his convenience, desiring him, at the same time, to go to the play, and shake off his melancholy, and not to return to him. The first part of the advice Coleridge attended to; but returned, after the play, to the quarters he had left. At the sight of him, this kind-hearted man burst into tears. "Then it must be so," said he. This sudden and unexpected sympathy from an entire stranger deeply affected Coleridge, and nearly shook his resolution; but still considering that he could not in honor even to the sergeant retreat, he kept his secret, and, after a short chat, they retired to rest. In the morning the sergeant mustered his recruits, and Coleridge, with his new comrades, was marched to Reading. On his arrival at the quarters of the regiment, the general of the district inspected the recruits, and looking hard at Coleridge, with a military air, "What's your name, sir?" He had previously determined to give one thoroughly Kamtschatkan; but having observed one somewhere, over a door, Cumberbatch, he thought this sufficiently outlandish, and therefore gave it with a slight alteration, which implied a joke on himself as a horseman, Silas Tomken Comberbacke, as thus it is spelled in the books at the War-office. "What do you come here for?" said the officer, as if doubting that he had any business there. "Sir," said Coleridge, "for what most other persons come, to be made a soldier." "Do you think," said the general, "you can run a Frenchman through the body?" "I don't know," replied Coleridge, "as I never tried; but I'll let a Frenchman run me through before I'll run away." "That will do," said the general, and Coleridge was turned into the ranks.

Here, in his new capacity, laborious duties devolved on Mr. Coleridge. He endeavored to think on Cæsar, Epaminondas, and Leonidas, with other ancient heroes, and composed himself to his fate, remembering that in every service there must be a commencement; but still he found confronting him no imaginary difficulties. Perhaps he who had most cause of dissatisfaction was the drill-sergeant, who thought his professional character endangered; for, after using his utmost efforts to bring his raw recruit into any thing like a training, he expressed the most serious fears, from his unconquerable awkwardness, that he never should be able to make a proper soldier of him. It appears that he never advanced beyond the awkward squad, and that the drill-sergeant was obliged continually to warn the members of this squad by vociferously exclaiming—"Take care of that Comberback! take care of him, for he will ride over you!" and other such complimentary warnings.

Coleridge, or Cumberbatch, or Comberback, could never manage to rub down his own horse. The creature, he said, was a vicious one, and would return kick or bite for all such attempts; but then in justice to the poor animal, the awkwardness of the attempts should be taken into the account. Comberback at this time complained of a pain at the pit of his stomach, accompanied with sickness, which totally prevented his stooping, and in consequence he could never rub the heels of his horse at all. He would very quietly have left his horse unrubbed, but then he got a good rubbing down himself from the drill-sergeant. Between sergeant and steed he was in a poor case, for when he mounted his horse, it, like Gilpin's nag,

"What thing upon its back had got,
Did wonder more and more."

But the same amiable and benevolent conduct which was so interwoven in his nature, soon made him friends, and his new comrades vied with each other in their endeavors to be useful to him. They assisted to clean his horse, and he amply repaid the obligation by writing all their letters to their sweethearts and wives. Such an amanuensis we may well affirm no lucky set of soldiers ever had before. Their lasses and good wives must have wondered at the new burst of affectionate eloquence in the regiment.

Poor Comberback's skill in horsemanship did not progress. He was always encountering accidents and troubles. So little did he often calculate for a due equilibrium, that in mounting on one side perhaps—the wrong stirrup—the probability was, especially if his horse moved, that he lost his balance, and if he did not roll back on this side, came down ponderously on the other! The men, spite of their liking for him, would burst into a laugh, and say to one another, "Silas is off again!" Silas had often heard of campaigns, but he never before had so correct an idea of hard service.

From his inability to learn his exercise, the men considered him a sort of natural, though of a peculiar kind—a talking natural. This fancy he stoutly resisted, but no matter—what was it that he could do cleverly?—therefore a natural he must be.

But now came a change. He had been placed as a sentinel at the door of a ball-room, or some public place of resort, when two of his officers passing in, stopped for a moment near Coleridge talking about Euripides, two lines being quoted by one of them as from that poet. At the sound of Greek the sentinel instinctively turned his ear, when, with all deference, touching his cap, he said, "I hope your honor will excuse me, but the lines you have repeated are not quite accurately cited. These are the lines;" which he gave in their true form. "Beside," said Comberback, "instead of being in Euripides they will be found in the second antistrophe of the Œdipus of Sophocles." "Why, who the d—-l are you?" said the officer, "old Faustus ground young again?"—"I am only your honor's humble sentinel," said Coleridge, again touching his cap.

The officers hastened into the room, and inquired about that "odd fish" at the door; when one of the mess, the surgeon, it is believed, told them that he had had his eye upon him, but he could neither tell where he came from, nor any thing about his family of the Comberbacks. "But," continued he, "instead of an 'odd fish,' I suspect him to be a 'stray bird' from the Oxford or Cambridge aviary." They learned also the laughable fact that he was bruised all over by frequent falls from his horse. The officers kindly took pity on the poor scholar, and had him removed to the medical department, where he was appointed "assistant" in the regimental hospital. This change was a vast improvement in Mr. Coleridge's condition; and happy was the day also on which it took place, for the sake of the sick patients; for Silas Tomken Comberback's amusing stories, they said, did them more good than all the doctor's physic. If he began talking to one or two of his comrades,—for they were all on a perfect equality, except that those who were clever in their exercise lifted their heads a little above the awkward squad, of which Comberback was, by acclamation, the preëminent member,—if he began to talk, however, to one or two, others drew near, increasing momently, till by and by the sick beds were deserted, and Comberback formed the center of a large circle. Many ludicrous dialogues occurred between Coleridge and his new disciples, particularly with the "geographer."

On one occasion he told them of the Peloponnesian war, which lasted twenty-seven years. "There must have been famous promotions there," said one poor fellow, haggard as a death's head. Another, tottering with disease, ejaculated, "Can you tell, Silas, how many rose from the ranks?"

He now still more excited their wonderment by recapitulating the feats of Archimedes. As the narrative proceeded, one restrained his skepticism till he was almost ready to burst, and then vociferated, "Silas, that's a lie!" "D'ye think so?" said Coleridge, smiling, and went on with his story. The idea, however, got among them that Silas's fancy was on the stretch, when Coleridge, finding that this would not do, changed his subject, and told them of a famous general called Alexander the Great. As by a magic spell, the flagging attention was revived, and several, at the same moment, to testify their eagerness, called out, "The general! the general!" "I'll tell you all about him," said Coleridge, and impatience marked every countenance. He then told them who was the father of this Alexander the Great—no other than Philip of Macedon. "I never heard of him," said one. "I think I have," said another, ashamed of being thought ignorant. "Silas, wasn't he a Cornish man? I knew one of the Alexanders at Truro."

Coleridge now went on, describing to them, in glowing colors, the valor, the wars, and the conquests of this famous general. "Ah," said one man, whose open mouth had complimented the speaker for the preceding half-hour, "Ah," said he, "Silas, this Alexander must have been as great a man as our colonel!" Coleridge now told them of the "Retreat of the Ten Thousand." "I don't like to hear of retreat," said one. "Nor I," said a second; "I'm for marching on." Coleridge now told of the incessant conflicts of those brave warriors, and of the virtues of "the square." "They were a parcel of crack men," said one. "Yes," said another, "their bayonets fixed, and sleeping on their arms day and night." "I should like to know," said a fourth, "what rations were given with all that hard fighting;" on which an Irishman replied, "To be sure, every time the sun rose, two pounds of good ox beef, and plenty of whisky."

At another time he told them of the invasion of Xerxes, and his crossing the wide Hellespont. "Ah!" said a young recruit, a native of an obscure village in Kent, who had acquired a decent smattering of geography, knowing well that the earth went round, was divided into land and water, and that there were more countries on the globe than England, and who now wished to show off a little before his comrades—"Silas, I know where that 'Hellspont' is. I think it must be the mouth of the Thames, for 'tis very wide."

Coleridge now told them of the heroes of Thermopylæ; when the geographer interrupted him by saying, "Silas, I know, too where that there Moppily is, it's somewhere up in the north." "You are quite right, Jack," said Coleridge, "it is to the north of the line." A conscious elevation marked his countenance; and he rose at once five degrees in the estimation of his friends.

But the days of Comberback were drawing to an end. An officer, supposed to be Captain Nathaniel Ogle, who sold out of that regiment toward the end of the same year that Coleridge left it, had, it is said, had his attention drawn toward this singular private, by finding the following sentence written on the walls of the stable where Comberback's horse equipage hung: "Eheu! quam infortunii miserrimum est fuisse felicem!" He showed him particular distinction. When Captain Ogle walked the streets, Coleridge walked behind him as his orderly; but when out of town, they walked abreast, to the great mystification of his comrades, who could not comprehend how a man out of the awkward squad could merit this honor. It was probably Ogle who wormed the secret out of Coleridge, and informed his friends where he was. It has, however, been said to have been through a young man, who had lately left Cambridge for the army, and, on his road through Reading to join his regiment, met Coleridge in the street, in his dragoon's dress, who was about to pass him; on which he said, "No, Coleridge, this will not do; we have been seeking you this six months. I must and will converse with you, and have no hesitation in declaring that I shall immediately inform your friends that I have found you."

Whether owing to one or both of these causes, but as Comberback was sitting as usual at the foot of a bed, in the hospital, in the midst of one of his talks, and surrounded by his usual gaping auditors, the door suddenly opened, and in came two or three gentlemen, his friends, looking in vain some time for their man, amid the uniform dresses. At length they pitched on their man, and taking him by the arm, led him in silence out of the room. As the supposed deserter passed the door, one of the astonished auditors uttered, with a sigh—"Poor Silas! I wish they may let him off with a cool five hundred!"

Comberback was no more! but his memory was long and affectionately preserved among his hospital companions, one of whom he had volunteered to attend during a most malignant attack of small-pox, when all others deserted him, and had waited on him, and watched him for six weeks. To prevent contagion, the patient and his noble-hearted nurse, and eventual savior, were put into an out-house, where Coleridge continued all that time, night and day, administering medicine, guarding him from himself during violent delirium, and when again capable of listening, sitting by his bed, and reading to him. In the annals of humanity, that act must stand as one of the truest heroism.

Connected with this singular passage in Coleridge's life, an old friend of his told Cottle this anecdote. The inspecting officer of his regiment, on one occasion, was examining the guns of the men; and coming to one piece which was rusty, he called out in an authoritative tone, "Whose rusty gun is this?"—"Is it very rusty, sir?" asked Coleridge. "Yes, Comberbatch, it is," said the officer, sternly. "Then, sir," replied Coleridge, "it must be mine!" The oddity of the reply disarmed the officer, and the "poor scholar" escaped without punishment.

There are various anecdotes abroad, at once illustrative of Coleridge's queer horsemanship and happy knack at repartee, of which a specimen or two may be given here, before we dismiss him as a trooper.

His awkwardness on horseback was so marked that it attracted general notice. Once riding along the turnpike-road in the county of Durham, a wag approaching him, noticed his peculiarity, and thought the rider a fine subject for a little fun. Drawing near, he thus accosted Coleridge, "I say, young man, did you meet a tailor on the road?" "Yes," replied Coleridge, "I did, and he told me if I went a little farther I should meet a goose." The goose trotted on, quite satisfied with what he had got.

Coleridge is represented as being at this time on his way to a neighboring race-course. That a farmer at whose house he was staying, knowing his sorry horsemanship, had put him on the least and poorest animal he had, with old saddle and bridle and rusty stirrups. On this Rosinante, Coleridge went in a black dress coat, with black breeches, black silk stockings and shoes. Two other friends, as better horsemen, were intrusted with better steeds, and soon left him on the road. At length, reaching the race-ground, and thrusting his way through the crowd, he arrived at the spot of attraction to which all were hastening. Here he confronted a barouche and four, filled with smart ladies and attendant gentlemen. In it was also seated a baronet of sporting celebrity, steward of the course, and member of the House of Commons; well known as having been bought and sold in several parliaments. The baronet eyed the figure of Coleridge, as he slowly passed the door of the barouche, and thus accosted him: "A pretty piece of blood, sir, you have there."—"Yes!" answered Coleridge.—"Rare paces, I have no doubt, sir!"—"Yes," answered Coleridge, "he brought me here a matter of four miles an hour." He was at no loss to perceive the honorable baronet's drift, who wished to show off before the ladies: so he quietly waited the opportunity of a suitable reply. "What a free hand he has!" continued Nimrod; "how finely he carries his tail! Bridle and saddle well suited, and appropriately appointed!"—"Yes!" said Coleridge.—"Will you sell him?" asked the sporting baronet.—"Yes," was the answer, "if I can have my price."—"Name your price, then, putting the rider into the bargain!"—"My price," replied Coleridge, "for the horse, sir, if I sell him, is one hundred guineas; as to the rider, never having been in parliament, and never intending to go, his price is not yet fixed." The baronet sat down more suddenly than he had risen—the ladies began to titter—while Coleridge quietly now moved on.

Coleridge returned to Cambridge, but only for a very short time. The French Revolution, in its early promise, had raised the spirit of enthusiasm for liberty in the bosom of all generous-natured young men. This had brought together Coleridge, Southey, and others of the like temperament. Coleridge now went to visit Southey, at Oxford, where they hit upon the Pantisocracy scheme, an offshoot from the root of Rousseau's visions of primitive life. Coleridge is said first to have broached it, and that it was eagerly adopted by Southey, and a college friend of his, George Burnet. These young men, soon after, set off to Bristol, Southey's native place, where they were soon joined by Coleridge. Here Southey, Coleridge, and Burnet occupied the same lodging; Robert Lovell, a young Quaker, had adopted this scheme, and they all concluded to embark for America, where, on the banks of the Susquehannah, they were to found their colony of peace and perfection, to follow their own ploughs, harvest their own corn, and show forth to the world the union of a patriarchal life of labor, with the highest exercise of intellect and virtue. Luckily for them, the mainspring was wanting. Without the root of all evil, they could not rear this tree of all good fruits. They were obliged to borrow cash of Cottle even to pay for their lodgings; and the shrewd bookseller, while he listened to their animated descriptions of their future transatlantic Eden, chuckled to himself on the impossibility of their ever carrying it out. The dream gradually came to an end. Lovell died unexpectedly, being carried off by a fever, brought on through a cold, caught on a journey to Salisbury. Symptoms of jarring had shown themselves among the friends, which were rather ominous for the permanence of a pantisocracy. Coleridge had quarreled with Lovell before he died, because Lovell, who was married to a Miss Fricker, opposed Coleridge's marriage with her sister till he had better prospects. Coleridge and Southey quarreled about the pantisocracy afterward. The most important results to Southey and Coleridge of this pantisocratic coalition were, that they eventually married the two sisters of Lovell's wife. Both these young poets, with their minds now fermenting with new schemes of politics and doctrines of religion, commenced at Bristol as lecturers and authors. The profits of the lectures were to pay for the voyage to America; they did not even pay the rent. Coleridge lectured on the English Rebellion and Charles I., the French Revolution, and on Religion and Philosophy; Southey, on General History: both displaying their peculiar talents and characters—Coleridge all imagination, absence of mind, and impracticability; Southey, with less genius, but more order, prudence, and worldly tact. Both of those remarkable men began by proclaiming the most ultra-liberalism in politics and theology—both came gradually back to the opinions which early associations and education had riveted on them unknown to themselves, but with very different degrees of rapidity, and finally with a very different tone. Coleridge ran through infidelity, unitarianism, the philosophy of Berkeley, Spinoza, Hartley, and Kant; and came back finally to good old Church-of-Englandism, but full of love and tolerance. Southey, more prudent, and notoriously timid, was at once startled by the horrors of the French committed in the name of liberty; saw that the way of worldly prosperity was closed for life to him who was not orthodox, and became at once orthodox. But the consciousness of that sudden change hung forever upon him. He knew that reproach would always pursue the suspicious reconversion, and on that consciousness grew bitterness and intolerance. Coleridge, having wandered through all opinions himself, was afraid to condemn too harshly those who differed from him. He contented himself with loving God, and preaching the true principles of Christianity.

"He prayeth best who loveth best
Both man and beast, both great and small;
For the great God who loveth us
He made and loveth all."

Southey, on the contrary, stalked into the fearful regions of bigotry, assumed in imagination the throne and thunder-bolts of Deity, and

"Dealt damnation round the land
On all he deemed his foes."

But this was the worst view of Southey's character. He had that lower class of virtues which Coleridge had not, and out of his prudence and timidity sprung that worldly substance which Coleridge was never likely to acquire, and by which he kindly made up for some of Coleridge's deficiencies. Coleridge could not provide properly for his family; Southey helped to provide for them, and invited Coleridge's wife and daughter to his house, where for many years they had a home. In all domestic relations, Southey was admirable; he failed only in those which would have given him a name, perhaps, little short of Milton for glorious patriotism, had he proceeded to the end as he began.

Of the literary life of Southey, Coleridge, and Wordsworth, who soon after joined them in the west, I have yet to speak. We must now follow Coleridge.

The circumstances which had brought Coleridge to Bristol, though they did not end in pantisocracy, ended in marriage, which for some years fixed him in that part of the country. Cottle, who, a poet of some merit himself, saw the great talent of these young men, offered Southey fifty guineas for his Joan of Arc, and became its publisher. He also offered Coleridge thirty guineas for a volume of poems, the cash to be advanced when he pleased from time to time. On this slender foundation, Coleridge began the world. He took a cottage at Clevedon, some miles from Bristol, and thither he took his bride. It appears truly to have been the poetic idea—love in a cottage, for there was love and little more. Cottle says it had walls, and doors, and windows, but as for furniture, only such as became a philosopher. This was not enough even for poetic lovers. Two days after the wedding, the poet wrote to Cottle to send him the following unpoetical, but very essential articles:—"A riddle-slice; a candle-box; two ventilators; two glasses for the wash-hand stand; one tin dust-pan; one small tin tea-kettle; one pair of candlesticks; one carpet brush; one flour-dredge; three tin extinguishers; two mats; a pair of slippers; a cheese-toaster, two large tin spoons; a Bible; a keg of porter; coffee, raisins, currants, catsup, nutmegs, allspice, rice, ginger, and mace."

So Coleridge began the world. Cottle, having sent these articles, hastened after them to congratulate the young couple. This is his account of their residence. "The situation of the cottage was peculiarly eligible. It was in the extremity, not in the center of the village. It had the benefit of being but one story high; and, as the rent was only five pounds per annum, and the taxes naught, Mr. Coleridge had the satisfaction of knowing that, by fairly mounting his Pegasus, he could make as many verses in a week as would pay his rent for a year. There was also a small garden, with several pretty flowers, and the 'tallest tree-rose' did not fail to be pointed out, which 'peeped at the chamber window,' and has been honored with some beautiful lines."

The cottage is there yet in its garden; but Coleridge did not long inhabit it. He soon found that even Clevedon was too far out of the world for books and intellect; and returning to Bristol, took lodgings on Redcliff-hill. From this abode he soon again departed, being invited by his friend, Mr. Thomas Poole, of Nether Stowey, to visit him there. During this visit, he wrote some of his first volume of poems, including the Religious Musings; he then returned to Bristol, and started the idea of his Watchman, and made that journey through the principal manufacturing towns, to obtain subscribers for it, which he so amusingly describes in his Biographia Literaria. This was a failure; but about this time, Charles Lloyd, the eldest son of Charles Lloyd, the banker, of Birmingham, whom Byron has commemorated in the alliterative line of

"— — — —Lovell, Lamb, and Lloyd,"

was smitten with the admiration of Coleridge's genius, and offered to come and reside with him. He therefore took a larger house on Kingsdown, where Lloyd was his inmate. Mr. Poole, of Stowey, however, was not easy to be without the society of Coleridge; he sent him word that there was a nice cottage there at liberty, of only seven pounds per annum rent, and pressed him to come and fix there. Thither Coleridge went, Lloyd also agreeing to accompany them. Unfortunately, Lloyd had the germs of insanity, as well as poetry, in him. He was subject to fits, which agitated and alarmed Coleridge. They eventually disagreed, and Lloyd left, but was afterward reconciled, well perceiving that his morbid nervousness had had much to do with the difference.

This place became for two years Coleridge's home. Here he wrote some of his most beautiful poetry. "The manhood of Coleridge's true poetical life," has been observed by a cotemporary, "was in the year 1797." He was yet only twenty-five years of age; but his poetical faculty had now acquired a wide grasp and a deep power. Here he wrote his tragedy of Remorse, Christabelle, the Dark Ladie, the Ancient Mariner, which was published in the Lyrical Ballads jointly with Wordsworth's first poems, his ode on the Departing Year, and his Fears in Solitude. These works are at once imbued with the highest spirit of his poetry, and the noblest sentiments of humanity. Here he was visited by Charles Lamb, Charles Lloyd, Southey, Hazlitt, De Quincy, who had previously presented him generously with £300; the two great potters, the Wedgwoods, and other eminent men. Wordsworth lived near him at Allfoxden, and was in almost daily intercourse with him. The foot of Quantock was to Coleridge, says one of his biographers, a memorable spot. Here his studies were serious and deep. They were directed not only to poetry, but into the great bulk of theological philosophy. Here, with his friend, Thomas Poole, a man sympathizing in all his tastes, and with Wordsworth, he roamed over the Quantock hills, drinking in at every step new knowledge and impressions of nature. In his Biographia Literaria, he says, "My walks were almost daily on the top of Quantock, and among its sloping coombs." He had got an idea of writing a poem, called The Brook, tracing a stream which he had found, from its source, in the hills, among the yellow-red moss, and conical glass-shaped tufts of bent, to the first break, or fall, where its drops become audible, and it begins to form a channel; thence to the peat and turf barn, itself built of the same dark masses as it sheltered; to the sheepfold; to the first cultivated spot of ground; to the lonely cottage, and its bleak garden won from the heath; to the hamlets, the market-towns, the manufactories, and the sea-port. It will be seen, that this was not quite on so fine a scale as Childe Harold, and that Wordsworth has carried out the idea, in the Sonnets on the river Duddon, not quite so amply as the original idea itself. He says, when strolling alone, he was always with book, paper, and pencil in hand, making studies from nature, whence his striking and accurate transcripts of such things. It will be noticed, in the article on Wordsworth, that these rambles, in the ignorant minds of the country people, converted him and Coleridge into suspicious characters. Coleridge was so open and simple, that they said, "As to Coleridge, he is a whirlbrain, that talks whatever comes uppermost; but that Wordsworth! he is a dark traitor. You never hear him say a syllable on the subject!"

Coleridge himself, in his Biographia Literaria, tells us, that a certain baronet, in the neighborhood, got government to send down a spy to watch them. That this spy was a very honest fellow, for a wonder. That he heard them, he said, at first, talking a deal of Spy Nosey (Spinosa), and thought they were up to him, as his nose was none of the smallest; but he soon found that it was all about books. Coleridge also gives the amusing dialogue between the innkeeper and the baronet, the innkeeper having been ordered to entertain the spy, but, like the spy, soon found that the strange gentlemen were only poets, and going to put Quantock into verse.

Many are the testimonies of attachment to this neighborhood, and the wild Quantock hills, to be found in the poems of Coleridge; and in the third book of the Excursion, Wordsworth describes the Quantock, and their rambles, with all the gusto of a fond memory. First, we have a peep at his own abode. We are conveyed—

"To a low cottage in a sunny bay,
Where the salt sea innocuously breaks,
And the sea breeze as innocently breathes
On Devon's leafy shores; a sheltered hold
In a soft clime, encouraging the soil
To a luxuriant bounty. As our steps
Approach the embowered abode—our chosen seat
See rooted in the earth, her kindly bed
The unendangered myrtle, decked with flowers,
Before the threshold stands to welcome us!
While, in the flowering myrtle's neighborhood,
Not overlooked, but courting no regard,
Those native plants, the holly and the yew.
Give modest intimation to the mind
How willingly their aid they would unite
With the green myrtle, to endear the hours
Of winter, and protect that pleasant place."

This, though placed in Devon instead of Somerset, accurately describes Wordsworth's pleasant nook there; but the Quantock walks are more strikingly like.

"Wild were the walks upon those lonely downs,
Track leading into track, how marked, how worn,
Into light verdure, between fern and gorse.
Winding away its never ending line
On their smooth surface, evidence was none;
But, there, lay open to our daily haunt,
A range of unappropriated earth,
Where youth's ambitious feet might move at large;
Whence, unmolested wanderers, we beheld
The shining giver of the day diffuse
His brightness o'er a track of sea and land
Gay as our spirits, free as our desires,
As our enjoyments boundless. From those heights
We dropped at pleasure into sylvan coombs,
Where arbors of impenetrable shade,
And mossy seats detained us side by side,
With hearts at ease, and knowledge in our breasts
That all the grove and all the day was ours."

In Coleridge's poem of Fears in Solitude, a noble-hearted poem, these hills, and one of these very dells, are described with equal graphic truth and affection.

"A green and silent spot amid the hills,
A small and silent dell! O'er stiller place
No singing skylark ever poised himself;
The hills are heathy, save that swelling slope,
Which hath a gay and gorgeous covering on,
All golden with the never bloomless furz
Which now blooms most profusely; but the dell
Bathed by the mist is fresh and delicate
As vernal cornfields, or the unripe flax,
When through its half-transparent stalks at eve
The level sunshine glimmers with green light.
Oh! 'tis a quiet, spirit-healing nook!
Which all, methinks, would love: but chiefly he,
The humble man, who, in his youthful years,
Knew just so much of folly as had made
His early manhood more securely wise!
Here might he lie on fern or withered heath,
While from the singing lark, that sings unseen
The minstrelsy that solitude loves best,
And from the sun and from the breezy air,
Sweet influences trembled o'er his frame;
And he with many feelings, many thoughts,
Made up a meditative joy, and found
Religious musings in the forms of nature!
And so his senses gradually wrapped
In a half-sleep, he dreams of better worlds,
And dreaming hears thee still, O singing lark,
That singest like an angel in the clouds."

Here, buried in summer beauty from the world, in this green and delicious oratory, he lay and poured out those finely human thoughts on war and patriotism, which enrich this poem; which closes with a descriptive view of these hills, the wide prospects from them, and of little quiet Stowey lying at their feet.

"But now the gentle dew-fall sends abroad
The fruit-like perfume of the golden furz;
The light has left the summit of the hill;
Though still a sunny gleam lies beautiful
Aslant the ivied beacon. Now farewell,
Farewell, awhile, O soft and silent spot!
On the green sheep-track, up the heathy hill,
Homeward I wend my way; and lo! recalled
From bodings that have well nigh wearied me,
I find myself upon the brow, and pause
Startled! And after lonely sojourning
In such a quiet and surrounded nook,
This burst of prospect,—here the shadowy main,
Dim-tinted, there the mighty majesty
Of that huge amphitheater of rich
And dewy fields, seems like society
Conversing with the mind, and giving it
A livelier impulse and a dance of thought!
And now, beloved Stowey! I behold
Thy church-tower, and, methinks, the four huge elms
Clustering, which mark the mansion of my friend;
And close behind them, hidden from my view,
Is my own lowly cottage, where my babe,
And my babe's mother, dwell in peace! With light
And quickened footsteps thitherward I tend
Remembering thee, O green and silent dell!
And grateful that, by nature's quietness
And solitary musings, all my heart
Is softened, and made worthy to indulge
Love, and the thoughts that yearn for all mankind."

Stowey, like all other places where remarkable men have lived, even but a few years ago, impresses us with a melancholy sense of rapid change, of the swift flight of human life. There is the little town, there ascend beyond it the green slopes and airy range of the Quantock hills, scattered with masses of woodland, which give a feeling of deep solitude. But where is the poet, who used here to live, and there to wander and think? Where is his friend Poole? All are gone, and village and country are again resigned to the use of simple and little-informed people, who take poets for spies and dark traitors. The little town is vastly like a continental one. It consists of one street, which at an old market-cross diverges into two others, exactly forming an old-fashioned letter Y. The houses are, like continental ones, white, and down the street rolls a little full stream, quite in the fashion of a foreign village, with broad flags laid across to get at the houses. It stands in a particularly agreeable, rich, and well wooded country, with the range of the Quantock hills, at some half-mile distance, and from them a fine view of the sea and the Welsh coast, on the other side of the Bristol Channel.

The house in which Thomas Poole used to live, and where Coleridge and his friend had a second home, is about the center of the village. It is a large, old-fashioned house, with pleasant garden, and ample farmyard, with paddocks behind. It is now inhabited by a medical man and his sister, who do all honor to the memory of Coleridge, and very courteously allow you to see the house. The lady obligingly took me round the garden, and pointed out to me the windows of the room overlooking it, where so many remarkable men used to assemble.

Mr. Poole, who was a bachelor and a magistrate, died a few years ago, leaving behind him the character of an upright man, and a genuine friend to the poor. On his monument in the church is inscribed, that he was the friend of Coleridge and Southey.

The cottage inhabited by Coleridge is the last on the left hand going out toward Allfoxden. It is now, according to the very common and odd fate of poets' cottages, a Tom and Jerry shop. Moore's native abode is a whisky-shop; Burns's native cottage is a little public-house; Shelley's house at Great Marlowe is a beer-shop; it is said that a public-house has been built on the spot where Scott was born, since I was in that city; Coleridge's house here is a beer-shop. Its rent was but seven pounds a-year, and it could not be expected to be very superb. It stands close to the road, and has nothing now to distinguish it from any other ordinary pot-house. Where Coleridge sat penning the Ode to the Nightingale, with its

"Jug, jug, jug,
And that low note more sweet than all;"

which the printer, by a very natural association, but to his infinite consternation, converted into

"Jug, jug, jug,
And that low note more sweet than ale;"

sat, when I entered, a number of country fellows, and thought their ale more sweet than any poet's or nightingale's low notes. Behind the house, however, there were traces of the past pleasantness, two good, large gardens, and the old orchard where Coleridge sat on the apple-tree, "crooked earthward;" and while Charles Lamb and his sister went to ascend the hills and gaze on the sea, himself detained by an accident, wrote his beautiful lines, "This Lime-tree Bower, my prison," including this magnificent picture:—

"Yes, they wander on
In gladness all: but thee, methinks, most glad,
My gentle-hearted Charles! for thou hast pined
And hungered after nature, many a year;
In the great city pent, winning thy way,
With sad yet patient soul, through evil and pain,
And strange calamity! Ah! slowly sink
Behind the western ridge, thou glorious sun!
Shine in the slant beams of the sinking orb,
Ye purple heath flowers! richlier beam, ye clouds!
Live in the yellow light, ye distant groves!
And kindle, thou blue ocean! So my friend,
Struck with deep joy, may stand as I have stood,
Silent with swimming sense: yea, gazing round
On the wide landscape, gaze till all doth seem
Less gross than bodily; and of such hues
As veil the Almighty Spirit when yet he makes
Spirits perceive his presence."

The woman in the house,—her husband was out in the fields,—and her sister, had neither of them heard of such a thing as a poet. When I asked leave to see the house and garden, on account of a gentleman who had once lived there, "Yes," said the landlady, quite a young woman, "a gentleman called one day, some time ago, and said he wished to drink a glass of ale in this house, because a great man had lived in it."

"A great man, did he say? Why, he was a poet."

"A poet, sir! what is that?"

"Don't you know what a poet is?"

"No, sir."

"But you know what a ballad singer is?"

"Oh, yes; to be sure."

"Well, a poet makes ballads and songs, and things of that kind."

"Oh, lauks-o'me! why the gentleman said it was a great man."

"Well, he was just what I tell you—a poet—a ballad maker, and all that. Nothing more, I assure you."

"Good lauk-a-me! how could the gentleman say it was a great man! Is it the same man you mean, think you?"

"Oh! no doubt of it. But let me see your garden."

The sister went to show it me. There were, as I have said, two gardens, lying high above the house, so that you could see over part of the town, and, in the other direction, the upland slopes and hills. Behind the garden was still the orchard, in which Coleridge had so often mused. Returning toward the house, the remains of a fine bay-tree caught my attention, amid the ruins of the garden near the house, now defaced with weeds, and scattered with old tubs and empty beer barrels.

"That," said I, "was once a fine bay-tree."

"Ay, that was here when we came."

"No doubt of it. That poet planted it, as sure as it is there. That is just one of those people's tricks. Where they go they are always planting that tree."

"Good Lord! do they? What odd men they must be!" said the young woman.

Such is the intelligence of the common people of the west, and in many other parts of England. Is it any wonder that the parents of these people took Coleridge for a spy, and Wordsworth for a dark traitor? But these young women were very civil, if not very enlightened. As I returned through the house, the young landlady, evidently desirous to enter into further discourse, came smiling up, and said, "It's very pleasant to see relations addicting to the old place." Not knowing exactly what she meant, but supposing that she imagined I had come to see the house because the poet was a relation of mine, I said, "Very; but I was no relation of the poet's."

"No! and yet you come to see the house; and perhaps you have come a good way?"

"Yes, from London."

"From London! what, on purpose?"

"Yes, entirely on purpose."

Here the amazement of herself, her sister, and the men drinking, grew astoundingly. "Ah!" I added, "he was a great man—a very great man—he was a particular friend of Mr. Poole's."

"Oh, indeed!" said they. "Ay, he must have been a gentleman, then, for Mr. Poole was a very great man, and a justice."

Having elevated the character of Coleridge from that of a poet into the friend of a justice of the peace, I considered that I had vindicated his memory, and took my leave.

In September, 1798, Coleridge quitted Stowey and England, in company with Wordsworth, for a tour in Germany. His two wealthy friends, Thomas and Josiah Wedgwood, the great Staffordshire potters, had settled on him £150 a-year, for life, which, with other slight means, enabled him to undertake this journey, with Wordsworth and his sister. The Wedgwoods were Unitarians, and now looked on Coleridge as the great champion of the cause, for he preached at Taunton and other places in the chapels of that denomination; and in his journey on account of the Watchman, had done so in most of the large manufacturing towns, entering the pulpit in a blue coat and white waistcoat, that not a rag of the woman of Babylon might be seen on him. These are his own words, in his Biographia Literaria. Thomas Wedgwood either died long before Coleridge, and so the annuity died with him, or he might have withdrawn his moiety when Coleridge ceased to fulfill his religious hopes: it did, however, cease; but the £75 from Josiah Wedgwood was paid punctually to the day of his death.

From this journey to Germany we may date a great change in the tone of Coleridge's mind. He became more metaphysical, and a thorough Kantist. From this period, there can be no doubt, on looking over his poems, that his poetry suffered from the effects of his philosophy. But to this journey we owe, also, the able translation of Wallenstein, which was then a new production—the original being published only on the eve of Coleridge's return to England, September, 1799, and the translation appearing in 1800. In Coleridge's own account of this tour, the description of the ascent of the Brocken is one of the most living and graphic possible. Having gone over the ground myself, the whole scene, and feeling of the scene, has never since been revived by any thing which I have read, in any degree, like the account of Coleridge. In that, too, is to be found the same story of their rude treatment at an inn in Hesse, which is given in the article on Wordsworth.

On Coleridge's return to England, he settled in London for a time, and brought out his translation of Wallenstein, which was purchased by the Messrs. Longman, on the condition that the English version, and Schiller's play in German, should be published simultaneously. Coleridge now engaged to execute the literary and political department of the Morning Post, to which Southey, Wordsworth, and Lamb were also contributors. In this situation he was accused by Mr. Fox, under the broad appellation of the Morning Post, but with allusion to his articles, of having broken up the peace of Amiens, and renewing the war. It was a war, said Fox, produced by the Morning Post. His strictures on Bonaparte occasioned that tyrant to select him for one of the objects of his vengeance, and to issue an order for his arrest when in Italy. Coleridge, on quitting the Morning Post, went to reside near his friends Southey and Wordsworth. He was much at the houses of each. In 1801, he regularly took a house at Keswick, thinking, like his two great friends, to reside there permanently. The house, if not built for him, was expressly finished for him by a then neighbor, Mr. Jackson; but it was soon found that the neighborhood of the lakes was too damp for his rheumatic habit. In 1803, his health was so much worse, that it was considered necessary for him to seek a warmer climate; and he accepted an invitation from his friend Mr., and since Sir John Stoddart, to visit him at Malta, which he accepted. Here he acted for some time as public secretary of the island. In 1805 he returned, not much benefited by his sojourn. He came back through Italy, and at Rome saw Allston, the American painter, and Tieck, the German poet. It was on this occasion that he was warned of the order of Bonaparte to arrest him; and hastening to Leghorn with a passport furnished him by the Pope, was carried out to sea by an American captain. At sea, however, they were chased by a French vessel, which so alarmed the American that he compelled Coleridge to throw all his papers overboard, by which all the fruits of his literary labors in Rome were lost.

On his return to England he again went to the lakes, but this time was more with Wordsworth than with Southey. Wordsworth was at this time living at Grasmere, and we have a humorous account of Coleridge, in his "Stanzas in my pocket copy of Thomson's Castle of Indolence," as "the noticeable man with large gray eyes." In another place Wordsworth has, in one line descriptive of him there, given us one of the most beautiful portraitures of a poet dreamer,—

"The brooding poet with the heavenly eyes."

At Grasmere he planned The Friend, Wordsworth and some other of his friends furnishing a few contributions. From this period till 1816 he appears to have been fluctuating between the Lakes, London, and the west of England. In 1807 we find him at Bristol; and then at Stowey again, at Mr. Poole's. It was at this time that De Quincey sought an interview with him. He went to Stowey, did not meet with Coleridge, but stayed two days with Mr. Poole; and describes him and his house thus:—"A plain-dressed man, in a rustic, old-fashioned house, amply furnished with modern luxuries, and a good library. Mr. Poole had traveled extensively, and had so entirely dedicated himself to his humbler fellow-countrymen, who resided in his neighborhood, that for many miles round he was the general arbiter of their disputes, the guide and counselor of their daily life; beside being appointed executor and guardian to his children by every third man who died in or about the town of Nether Stowey."

De Quincey followed Coleridge to Bridgewater, and found him thus:—"In Bridgewater I noticed a gateway, standing under which was a man, corresponding to the description given me of Coleridge, whom I shall presently describe. In height he seemed to be five feet eight inches; in reality he was about an inch and a half taller, though, in the latter part of life, from a lateral curvature in the spine, he shortened gradually from two to three inches. His person was broad and full, and tended even to corpulence; his complexion was fair, though not what painters technically style fair, because it was associated with black hair; his eyes were large and soft in their expression; and it was by a peculiar appearance of haze or dimness which mixed with their light, that I recognized my object. This was Coleridge. I examined him steadily for a moment or more, and it struck me that he neither saw myself, nor any other object in the street. He was in a deep revery; for I had dismounted, made two or three trifling arrangements at the inn door, and advanced close to him, before he seemed apparently conscious of my presence. The sound of my voice announcing my name first awoke him. He stared, and for a moment seemed at a loss to understand my purpose, or his own situation, for he repeated rapidly a number of words which had no relation to either of us. There was no mauvaise honte in his manner, but simple perplexity, and an apparent difficulty in recovering his position among daylight realities. This little scene over, he received me with a kindness of manner so marked that it might be called gracious."

Mr. De Quincey then tells us that Coleridge was at this moment domesticated with a most amiable and enlightened family, descendants of Chubb, the philosophic writer; and that walking out in the evening with Coleridge, in the streets of Bridgewater, he never saw a man so much interrupted by the courteous attentions of young and old.

In 1809 we find him again at the Lakes; in 1810 he left them again with Mr. Basil Montague, and remained some time at his house. In 1811 he was visiting at Hammersmith with Mr. Morgan, a common friend of himself and Southey, whose acquaintance they had made at Bristol; and here he delivered a course of lectures on Shakspeare and Milton. While still residing with Mr. Morgan, his Tragedy of Remorse was brought upon the stage at Drury-lane, at the instance of Lord Byron, then one of the managing committee, with admirable success. After this he retired to the village of Calne, in Wiltshire, with his friend Morgan, partly to be near Lisle Bowles; where he arranged and published his Sibylline Leaves, and wrote the greater part of the Biographia Literaria. He also dedicated to Mr. Morgan the Zapolya, which was offered to Mr. Douglas Kinnaird, for Drury-lane, and declined. The effect of this refusal Coleridge has noticed in some lines at the end of the Biographia Literaria, quoted from this very play:—

"O we are querulous creatures! Little less
Than all things can suffice to make us happy;
Though little more than nothing is enough
To make us wretched."

In 1816, he took refuge under the roof of Mr. Gillman, the surgeon, at Highgate, where he continued till his death. The motive for his going to reside with this gentleman was, that he might exercise a salutary restraint upon him as it regarded the taking of opium. His rheumatic pains had first led him to adopt the use of this insidious drug; and it had, as usual, in time, acquired so much power over him as to render his life miserable. He became the victim of its worst terrors, and so much its slave, that all his resolutions and precautions to break the habit, he regularly himself defeated. At one time, a friend of his hired a man to attend him everywhere, and to sternly refuse all his solicitations for, or attempts to get opium; but this man he cheated at his pleasure. He would send the man on some trifling errand, while on their walks, turn into a druggist's shop, and secure a good stock of the article. Mr. Gillman, who had only himself and wife in his family, was recommended to him as the proper man to exercise a constant, steady, but kindly authority over him in this respect. Coleridge, at the first interview, was so much delighted with the prospect of this house, that he was impatient to get there, and came very characteristically with Christabel in his hand, to send to his host. With the Gillmans Coleridge continued till his death; and his abode here is too well known to need much mention of it. Here he held a species of soirée, at which numbers of persons were in the habit of attending to listen to his extraordinary conversations, or rather monologues. Those who heard him on these occasions used to declare, that you could form no adequate idea of the intellect of the man, till you had also heard him. Yet, by some strange neglect, or some wish of his own, these extraordinary harangues were never taken down; which, if they merited the praises conferred on them, is a loss to the world, as well as to his full fame.

The house which Mr. Gillman occupied is now occupied by a Mr. Brendon. There is nothing remarkable about the house except its view. Coleridge's room looked upon a delicious prospect of wood and meadow, with a gay garden full of color under the window. When a friend of his first saw him there, he said he thought he had taken his dwelling-place like an abbot. There he cultivated his flowers, and had a set of birds for his pensioners, who came to breakfast with him. He might be seen taking his daily stroll up and down near Highgate, with his black coat and white locks, and a book in his hand; and was a great acquaintance of the little children. He loved, says the same authority, to read great folios, and to make old voyages with Purchas and Marco Polo; the seas being in good visionary condition, and the vessel well stocked with botargoes.

Residence at Rhyllon

Residence at Rhyllon


If the lives of our poets had been written with the same attention to the placing of their abodes as clearly before you as that of Mrs. Hemans has been, both by Mr. Chorley and by her own sister, it might have saved me some thousand of miles of travel to visit and see them for myself.

Felicia Dorothea Browne, the future poetess, bearing the familiar name of Mrs. Hemans, was born in Duke-street, Liverpool, on the 25th of September, 1793. The house is still pointed out to strangers, but has nothing beside this event to give it a distinction from other town-houses. Her father was a considerable merchant, a native of Ireland. There seems to have been a particular connection with the state of Venice, for her mother was descended from an old Italian family. Her father was the Imperial and Tuscan Consul at Liverpool. The old name of Mrs. Hemans's maternal ancestry is said to have been Veniero, but had got corrupted to the German name of Wagner. Mrs. Hemans was the fifth of seven children, one of whom died in infancy. Before she was seven years old, her father, having suffered losses in trade, retired from business, and settled at Gwrych, near Abergele, in Denbighshire, close to the sea, in a large, old, solitary mansion, shut in by a range of rocky mountains. Here the family resided nine years, so that the greater and more sensitive part of her girlhood was passed here. She was sixteen when they removed. Here, then, the intense love of nature and of poetry, which distinguished her, grew and took its full possession of her. How strong this attachment to the beauty and fresh liberty of nature had become by her eleventh year, was shown by the restraint which she felt in passing a winter in London at that age, with her father and mother, and her intense longing to be back. Her rambles on the shore, and among the hills; her wide range through that old house, with a good library, and the companionship of her brothers and sisters, were all deeply calculated to call forth the spirit of poetry in any heart in which it lay. Her elder sister died; and she turned for companionship to her younger sister, since her biographer, and her younger brother, Claude Scott Browne, who also died young. Her two elder brothers, who with her younger sister only remain, became officers in the army; and this added a strong martial tendency to the spirit of her genius. Her mother, who was a very noble-minded and accomplished woman, bestowed great care on her education, and her access to books filled her mind with all the food that the young and poetical heart craves for. The Bible and Shakspeare were her two great books; and the traces of their influence are conspicuous enough in the genuine piety and the lofty imagery of her writing. She used to read Shakspeare among the branches of an old apple-tree. In this secret retreat, and in the nut-wood, the old arbor and its swing, the post-office tree—a hollow tree, where the family put letters for each other, the pool where they launched their little ships, used to be referred to by her as belonging to a perfect elysium of childhood. She was fond of dwelling on "the strange creeping awe with which the solitude and stillness of Gwrych inspired her." It had the reputation of being haunted—another spur to the imaginative faculty. There was a tradition of a fairy grayhound, which kept watch at the end of the avenue, and she used to sally forth by moonlight to get a sight of it. The seashore was, however, her favorite resort; and one of her biographers states, that it was a favorite freak of hers, when quite a child, to get up of a summer night, when the servants fancied her safe in bed, and, making her way to the water side, indulge in a stolen bathe. The sound of the ocean, and the melancholy sights of wreck and ruin which follow a storm, are said to have made an indelible impression upon her mind, and gave their coloring and imagery—

"A sound and a gleam of the moaning sea,"

to many of her lyrics. In short, a situation can not be imagined, more certain to call forth and foster all the elements of poetry than this of the girlhood of Mrs. Hemans. To the forms of nature, wild, lonely, and awful, the people, with their traditions, their music, and their interesting characteristics, added a crowning spell. The young poetess was rapidly springing in this delightful wilderness into the woman. She is described by her sister, at fifteen, as "in the full glow of that radiant beauty which was destined to fade so early. The mantling bloom of her cheeks was shaded by a profusion of natural ringlets, of a rich, golden brown; and the ever varying expression of her brilliant eyes gave a changeful play to her countenance, which would have made it impossible for any painter to do justice to it."

According to all accounts, at this period she was one of the most lovely and fascinating creatures imaginable; she was at once beautiful, warm-hearted, and enthusiastic. Her days had been spent in wandering through mountain and glen, and along the sea-shore, with her brothers and sister, or in brooding over the pages of Froissart and Shakspeare. Her mind was full of visions of romance, her heart of thrilling sensibilities; and at this moment the feeling of martial glory came to add a new enthusiasm to her character. Her two elder brothers were in the army, and one was fighting in Spain. There were many poetic and chivalrous associations with this country, which now were felt by her with double force, and which turned all her heart and imagination in this direction. In this critical hour a young officer, who was visiting in the neighborhood, was introduced to the family, and her fate was decided. It was Captain Hemans. The hero of the hour, he became completely so when he also set sail for Spain. It was natural for so enthusiastic and poetic a damsel to contemplate him as a warrior doing battle for the deliverance of that land of Gothic and of Moorish romance, in the most delusive coloring. When he returned, it was to become her husband in an ill-fated marriage.

In the mean time, in 1809, and when she was about seventeen, her family quitted Gwrych, so long her happy home. Since then the greater part of the house has been pulled down, and a baronial-looking castle has arisen in its stead, the seat of Mr. Lloyd Bamford Hesketh. Bronwylfa, near St. Asaph, in Flintshire, became the residence of her family. Here she lived for about three years, or till 1812, when Captain Hemans returned, and they were married. For a short time she lived with her husband at Daventry, when they returned to Bronwylfa, where they lived till 1818, or about six years, the whole period of their married life that they lived together. From that time till the death of Mrs. Hemans, seventeen years more, they lived apart—she in Wales, England, and Ireland, he in Italy.

At the time of Captain Hemans's first acquaintance with her, or in 1808, she was already an avowed poetess, having not only written much verse, but having already published a volume. While they lived together, though called upon to care for a rapidly increasing family—for at the time of Captain Hemans's departure for Italy he was the father of five boys—she still pursued her studies, and wrote and published her poems. In 1812 appeared, Domestic Affections and other Poems; and soon after, Tales and Historic Scenes. After her husband's departure she continued her writing with undaunted fortitude. In 1819 she contended for the prize for a poem on Sir William Wallace, and bore it away from a host of competitors. In 1820 she published The Skeptic; and the following year she won another prize from the Royal Society of Literature, for the best poem on Dartmoor. From this time Mrs. Hemans may be said to be fairly before the public; and her fame, from year to year, continued steadily to advance. There is something admirable in the manner in which Mrs. Hemans, as a deserted wife, her father also now being dead, and at such a distance from the literary world, marched on her way, and at every step won some fresh ground of honor. During this period she made a firm and fatherly friend of Dr. Luxmore, the Bishop of St. Asaph, and, at his house, became acquainted with Reginald Heber. Her sister returning from a visit to Germany, where one of her brothers then was, brought with her a store of German books, and a great enthusiasm about German literature. This opened up to her a new field of intellectual life, and produced a decided effect on her poetic tone and style. From the hour of Mrs. Hemans's acquaintance with the German literature you perceive that she had discovered her own forte, and a new life of tenderness and feeling was manifest in all she wrote. She became an almost constant writer in Blackwood's and Colburn's Magazines. Schiller, Goethe, Körner, and Tieck—how sensibly is the influence of their spirit felt in The Forest Sanctuary; how different was the tone of this to all which had gone before! The cold classical model was abandoned, the heart and the fancy spoke out in every line, warm, free, solemn, and tenderly thoughtful. She dared the stage, in The Vespers of Palermo; and though the tragedy was cruelly used in London, she bore up bravely against the unkindness, and was afterward rewarded by a reception of it in Edinburgh, as cordially rapturous, and which brought her the friendship of Sir Walter Scott.

In 1825, Mrs. Hemans made another remove, though but a short one. The house in which she lived at Bronwylfa had been purchased by her elder brother, who came to live in it; and she, with her mother, sister, and her children, removed about a quarter of a mile, to Rhyllon, yet in full view of the old house. This house at Rhyllon is described as being a tall, staring, brick building, almost destitute of trees, of creepers on the walls, or of shrubbery; while Bronwylfa, on the contrary, was a perfect bower of roses, peeping, says her sister, like a bird's nest out of the foliage in which it was embosomed. "In spite, however," continues the same sisterly biographer, "of the unromantic exterior of her new abode, the earlier part of Mrs. Hemans's residence at Rhyllon may, perhaps, be considered as the happiest of her life; as far, at least, as the term happiness could ever be fitly applied to any period of it later than childhood. The house, with all its ugliness, was large and convenient; the view from the windows beautiful and extensive; and its situation, on a fine green slope, terminating in a pretty woodland dingle, peculiarly healthy and cheerful. Never, perhaps, had she more thorough enjoyment of her boys than in witnessing and often joining in their sports, in those pleasant, breezy fields, where the kites soared so triumphantly, and the hoops trundled so merrily, and where the cowslips grew as cowslips never grew before. An atmosphere of home soon gathered round the dwelling; roses were planted, and honeysuckles trained; and the rustling of the solitary poplar near the window was taken to her heart, like the voice of a friend. The dingle became a favorite haunt, where she would pass many dream-like hours of enjoyment with her books, and her own sweet fancies, and her children playing around her. Every tree and flower, and tuft of moss that sprung amid its green recesses, was invested with some individual charm by that rich imagination, so skilled in

"Clothing the palpable and the familiar
With golden exhalations of the dawn."

Here, on what the boys would call "mamma's sofa,"—a little grassy mound under her favorite beech-tree—she first read The Talisman, and has described the scene with a loving minuteness, in her Hour of Romance.

"There were thick leaves above me and around,
And low sweet sighs, like those of childhood's sleep,
Amid their dimness, and a fitful sound,
As of soft showers on water. Dark and deep
Lay the oak shadows o'er the turf, so still,
They seemed but pictured glooms; a hidden rill
Made music—such as haunts us in a dream—
Under the fern-tufts; and a tender gleam
Of soft green light, as by the glow-worm shed,
Came pouring through the woven beech-boughs down."

Many years after, in the sonnet, To a distant Scene, she addresses, with a fond yearning, this well remembered haunt—

"Still are the cowslips from thy bosom springing,
O far off grassy dell!"

How many precious memories has she hung round the thought of the cowslip, that flower, with its "gold coat," and "fairy favors," which is, of all others, so associated with the "voice of happy childhood," and was, to her, ever redolent of the hours when her

"Heart so leapt to that sweet laughter's tune!"

Another favorite resort was the picturesque old bridge over the Clwyd; and when her health admitted of more aspiring achievements, she delighted in roaming to the hills; and the announcement of a walk to Cwm, a remote little hamlet, nestled in a mountain hollow amid very lovely sylvan scenery, about two miles from Rhyllon, would be joyously echoed by her elated companions, to whom the recollection of those happy rambles must always be unspeakably dear. Very often, at the outset of these expeditions, the party would be reinforced by the addition of a certain little Kitty Jones, a child from a neighboring cottage, who had taken an especial fancy to Mrs. Hemans, and was continually watching her movements. This little creature never saw her without at once attaching itself to her side, and confidingly placing its tiny hand in hers. So great was her love for children, and her repugnance to hurt the feelings of any living creature, that she never would shake off this singular appendage, but let little Kitty rejoice in her "pride of place," till the walk became too long for her capacity, and she would quietly fall back of her own accord.

Those who only know the neighborhood of St. Asaph from traveling along its highways, can be little aware how much delightful scenery is attainable within walks of two or three miles' distance from Mrs. Hemans's residence. The placid beauty of the Clwyd, and the wilder graces of its sister stream, the Elwy, particularly in the vicinity of "Our Lady's Well," and the interesting rocks and caves at Cefu, are little known to general tourists; though, by the lovers of her poetry, it will be remembered how sweetly she had apostrophized the

"Fount of the chapel, with ages gray;"

and how tenderly, amid far different scenes, her thoughts reverted to the

"Cambrian river, with slow music gliding
By pastoral hills, old woods, and ruined towers."

This is a peep into the daily life of the poetess, which is worth a whole volume of ordinary biography. We see her here amid the lonely magnificence of nature; yet, at the same time, surrounded by those affectionate ties that make the only real society on earth. The affectionate mother, the beloved brother and sister, the buoyant hearts and voices of her own children. We see that there and then she was and must be happy. We see how wise was that instinctive love that drew the poetic heart from the flattering and worshiping things of the city, to dwell apart with God, with nature, and with family affection. What has all the society of ordinary city and literary life to equal that? The throng of drawing-rooms, where people stand and look at each other, and remain strangers as much as if they were sundered by half the globe! Nay, it is not half a globe, it is a whole world of fast succeeding engagements; dissipations that beget indifference; flittings of the eye from face to face, and of the ear from gossip to gossip, where neither eye nor ear ever finds any power or wish for rest, but the heart yawns in insufferable weariness, if decorum keep the mouth shut. It is this dreary world which is thrust between man and man, and kills at once time and enjoyment. What has such a life, with all its petty scandals, and bitterness, and foul criticisms, and rankling jealousies, to compare with the breezy mountain, and the blue sky soaring high above; with the gray ruin, and the rushing river; with the dell and its whispering leaves, soothing down the mind to a peaceful consciousness, in which thoughts of eternity steal into it, and come forth again to the eternal page?

It is a deep consolation to know that the teachers and refiners of men do sometimes enjoy a life thus heavenly, and repose at once on the gracious bosom of nature, and on those of long tried and beloved friends. Such was, for a time, the life of Mrs. Hemans here. For a time the elements of happiness seemed daily to augment themselves. Her younger brother, a man of a most genial nature, and his amiable wife, came from service in Canada, and settled down among them. The circle of affinity and social pleasure seemed complete; but time rapidly causes a change upon the completest combinations of earth. In rapid succession death and sorrow fell on the house of her elder brother; her mother sickened and died; her younger brother was called to an appointment in Ireland, and her sister was married, and was withdrawn to a distance. The fatal inroad was made into the circle of happiness; and from that time Mrs. Hemans began to contemplate quitting the scene of so many years' sojourn. She made a visit to Liverpool, which ended in her concluding to quit Wales, and settle there, for more congenial society and the education of her children. One of her last pleasures in Wales was the enjoyment of the society of Miss Jewsbury, who passed part of the summer and autumn of 1828 in the neighbourhood of St. Asaph.

For about thirty years she had resided in Wales; the bulk of her life; for she was but about six years of age when her family went to reside there; and she survived her departure from it only the same number of years. The whole of her existence, therefore, excepting that twelve years, was spent in her favorite Wales. For the short remainder of her life she seemed rather a wanderer in the earth than a settled resident. She was at Liverpool, at the Lakes, in Scotland, in Ireland; and there, finally, seldom long in one place.

Her choice of Liverpool seemed to be determined by the consideration of education already mentioned, and by the desire to be near two families to which she was much attached,—those of Mrs. Lawrence, of Wavertree-hall, and the Chorleys, of Liverpool. She took a house in the village of Wavertree, a little apart from the road. It must have been a dreary change from the fine, wild, congenial scenery of North Wales, to the flat, countryless neighborhood of Liverpool. Nothing, surely, but the sense of maternal duty could have made such a change endurable to a mind like Mrs. Hemans's. This residence has been described by the author of Pen and Ink Sketches, who, though some of his relations have been much called in question, seems, in this instance, to have stated the simple facts. "The house," he says, "was one of a row, or terrace, as it was called, situated on the high-road, from which it was separated only by the foot-way, and a little flower-garden, surrounded by a white-thorn hedge. I noticed that all the other houses on either side of it were unadorned with flowers; they had either grass lawns or a plain gravel surface; some of them even grew cabbages and French beans,—hers alone had flowers.

"I was shown into a very small apartment, but every thing about it indicated that it was the home of genius and taste. Over the mantle-piece hung a fine engraving of William Roscoe, author of the Lives of the De Medici, with a presentation line or two in his own handwriting. The walls were decorated with prints and pictures, and on the mantle-shelf were some models in terra cotta, of Italian groups. On the table lay casts, and medallions, and a portfolio of choice prints and water-color drawings."

The writer was first received by Miss Jewsbury, who happened to be there, and whom he truly describes as one of the most frank and open-hearted creatures possible. He then adds:—

"It was not long before the poetess entered the room. She held out her hand and welcomed me in the kindest manner, and then sat down opposite to me, first introducing Miss Jewsbury. I can not well conceive a more exquisitely beautiful creature than Mrs. Hemans was; none of the portraits or busts I have ever seen do her justice, nor is it possible for words to convey to the reader any idea of the matchless, yet serene beauty of her expression. Her glossy, waving hair was parted on her forehead, and terminated on the sides in rich and luxuriant auburn curls. There was a dove-like look in her eyes, and yet a chastened sadness in their expression. Her complexion was remarkably clear, and her high forehead looked as pure and spotless as Parian marble. A calm repose, not unmingled with melancholy, was the characteristic expression of the face; but when she smiled, all traces of sorrow were lost, and she seemed to be but 'a little lower than the angels,'—fitting shrine for so pure a mind!"

The writer says, that he, some time after, paid a second visit to Wavertree. "Some time I stood before the well remembered house. The little flower-garden was no more—but rank grass and weeds sprung up luxuriously; the windows were, many of them, broken; the entrance-gate was off its hinges; the vine in front of the house trailed along the ground, and a board, with 'This house to let' upon it, was nailed on the door. I entered the deserted garden, and looked into the little parlor—once so full of taste and elegance; it was gloomy and cheerless. The paper was spotted with damp, and spiders had built their webs in the comers. Involuntarily I turned away; and during my homeward walk mused upon the probable home and enjoyments of the two gifted creatures I had formerly seen there. Both were now beyond the stars; and as I mused on the uncertainty of human life, I exclaimed, with the eloquent Burke,—'What shadows we are, and what shadows, alas, do we pursue!'"

Spite of the warm and congenial friends Mrs. Hemans had at Liverpool, she soon found that it was not the location for her. She had lost all that her mind and heart had been accustomed to sustain themselves upon in a beautiful country; her hopes of educational advantages were not realized, and she was subjected to all the annoying interruptions which celebrity has to endure from idle curiosity, without any of its attendant advantages. To fly the evils and regain some of her old pleasures, she in 1829 made a journey into Scotland, to visit her friends Mr. Hamilton and his lady, at Chiefswood, near Abbotsford. This, of course, brought her into immediate contact with Sir Walter Scott. She was invited to Abbotsford, and the great minstrel showed her over his estate, and through the classic beauty of all that border-land fame which must from her early years have been regions of deepest romance to a mind like hers. The particulars of this visit, so cheering and delightful to her whole nature, are to be found in the biography written by her sister. She was, of course, received in Edinburgh with the cordial hospitality characteristic of that capital, and which was sure to be shown with double extent, in consequence of her great fame, and the pleasure which every one had derived from her productions. During this visit she was introduced, among other distinguished people, to Mrs. Grant, of Laggan; Lord Jeffery; Captain Basil Hall; Mr. Alison; Kirkpatrick Sharpe; Baron Hume; Sir Robert Liston, and the old literary veteran, Henry Mackenzie.

The advantage and the happiness of this visit to the north, determined her the next summer to pay a visit to the Lakes. Here she took up her abode for a fortnight with Wordsworth, at Rydal Mount, and there so charmed was she with the country, and so much did her health need the quiet refreshment of rural retirement, that she took for the remainder of the summer a small cottage overlooking Windermere, called Dove's Nest. But quiet as the spot appeared, secluded as it is, it was a great mistake to suppose that a woman of any reputation could escape the inroads of the Tourist Vandals so near Ambleside, and Lowood. If any one wants to set up for a lion or lioness, let him or her go and take a cottage in the Lake country: there they will be lionized to their heart's content. There, in the height of summer, the whole region is alive with tourists and idlers, who are all on the lookout for any novelty; and a literary creature is a fascinating monster, more piquant to the tribe than badger or fox to the old race of Nimrods. If I heard of a literary person settling at the Lakes, I should at once say, that person is anxious to be lionized. But this was not the case with Mrs. Hemans. To avoid all such notoriety, she never, after her reputation was spread, would visit London; she sought for peace, but here she could not find it. "The soothing and healthful repose which had been so thoroughly and thankfully appreciated," says her sister, "was, alas! not destined to be of long continuance." Subsequent letters speak of the irruption of parties hunting for lions in Dove's Nest; of a renewal of "the Album persecution;" of an absolute mail storm of letters and papers, threatening "to boil over the drawer to which they were consigned;" till at last the despairing conclusion is come to, that "one might as well hope for peace in the character of a shadowless man as of a literary woman."

The inundation was irresistible and overwhelming; in August she fled in desperation, and again made a journey into Scotland.

Mrs. Hemans had three of her boys with her at Dove's Nest, and they enjoyed the place to perfection. It was just the place for boys to be turned loose in; and with fishing, sketching, and climbing the hill above the Nest, they were in elysium. Her own health, however, was so far undermined now, that she complains in her letter she can not follow them as she would, but that she is more a child in heart than any of them. Her own description of the Dove's Nest is this: "The house was originally meant for a small villa, though it has long passed into the hands of farmers; and there is in consequence an air of neglect about the little demesne, which does not at all approach desolation, and yet gives it something of attractive interest. You see everywhere traces of love and care beginning to be effaced; rose-trees spread into wildness; laurels darkening the windows with too luxuriant branches; and I can not help saying to myself, 'Perhaps some heart like my own in its feelings and suffering, has here sought refuge and repose.' The ground is laid out in rather an antiquated style, which, now that nature is beginning to reclaim it from art, I do not at all dislike. There is a little grassy terrace immediately under the window, descending to a small court with a circular grass plat, on which grows one tall white rose-tree. You can not imagine how I delight in that fair, solitary, neglected-looking tree. I am writing to you from an old-fashioned alcove in the little garden, round which the sweet-brier and moss-rose trees have completely run wild; and I look down from it upon lovely Windermere, which seems at this moment even like another sky, so truly is our summer cloud and tint of azure pictured in its transparent mirror."

This cottage is, in fact, a very simple affair. It is regularly let by the people, farmers, who live in one end of it, and who have now built another house near it with farm buildings. It stands, perhaps, at half the elevation of Professor Wilson's house at Elleray, and not at such a distance from Windermere, and nearer to Lowood inn than to Ambleside. A considerable wild wood ascends above it to the top of the rocky hills; and it seems, indeed, to have had its place cut out of the front of the wood for it. You can ascend from Lowood by a steep, straight carriage road, all bordered with laurels luxuriantly grown, and overshadowed by forest trees; or you may, if coming from Ambleside, ascend a foot-path, which is by far the most charming way. Yes, a very charming way it is—a regular wild wood walk, reminding you of many of those in Germany. It is narrow, and overhung with hazels; at the time of my visit full of nuts, in abundant and large clusters. Here water is running by the wayside, clear, and in fleet abundance. The wood opens its still solitudes, ever and anon; and far above you the rocks are seen lifting themselves into the heavens in a gray silence. This wood walk goes on and on, bordered with wild flowers, and odorous with the scent of meadow-sweet, till you arrive in about half-a-mile at the cottage.

This consists of but four rooms in front; two little sitting-rooms, and two bedrooms over them. It is a little white battlemented affair, with a glass door. The woman of the house pointed out to me the chamber, that on the right hand as you face the house, at which Mrs. Hemans, she said, used to write; and which commands a fine view of the lake and its encircling hills.

The woman is a regular character. She was very violent against steam, railroads, and all sorts of new-fangled things. She wondered what parliament was about that they did not stop the steam. "What are your Sir Robert Peels, your Grahams, and your Stanleys good for, if they can not stop the steam?" She would make them sit, if she could have her way, till they did some good; for they had done none yet. She almost preferred O'Connell to them, for he did get master of the queen!

"You seem to be a great radical," I said.

"Nay, nay!" she replied; "I'm naw radical. I stick fast to the church; but I am a great politic! And what will all those navies do when the railways are all made? What is to become of the poor boatmen when there are nothing but steamers?"

"Well, but has not Mr. Wordsworth written against the railroads?"

"Ay, he may write; but there's more nor Mister Wordsworth nowadays. People are got too clever now; and if he writes there's twenty ready to write against him."

All the time that the woman was getting on in this style, she had a sort of smile on her face as if she was merely talking for talking's sake; and, as she proceeded, she led the way to show me the garden, which is a very pleasant little retirement, looking down the hill, and toward Lowood upon the lake, and far across to its distant shores and mountains. We then passed into a second garden, at the top of which is the alcove mentioned by Mrs. Hemans. It is in the wall, arched above, and whitewashed within, and with seats set round, and a most luxuriant Ayrshire rose climbing and mantling it about, high and thick. Here, said the woman, Mrs. Hemans sat in fine weather, generally to write. At the lower end of the garden stood the tall white rose-tree which Mrs. Hemans so much admired. From this the landlady plucked a flower, and begged me to send it to my wife; as well as a number of moss-roses growing about, which she said Mrs. Hemans admired; but not so much as this white rose. The strange woman, unpolished, but evidently full of strong independent feeling, and keen spirit of observation, was also as evidently possessed of tender feelings too. She declared it often made her melancholy to see that rose-tree and that alcove.

"Ah, poor thing!" said she, "it was a pity she did not open her situation sooner; but she did not open her heart enough to her rich relations, who were very fond of her. It was anxiety, sir; it was anxiety, you may depend on it. To maintain five boys, and edicate 'em with one pen, it was too much, you are sure. Ay, I have thought a deal more of her since, than I did at the time; and so many ladies come here, and wished she had but opened her situation sooner, for when government did something for her, it was too late!"

"Did she seem quite well here?"

"Oh, yes; she seemed pretty well; and she had three of her children with her: and well behaved, nice children they were. Charles, they tell me, is turned Catholic, and Henry is gone abroad, and Claude is dead. Who could have believed it, when they were all so merry here! Poor thing! if she had but made known her situation—it was wearing her away. Mr. Graves, who was the tutor to the boys, and is now rector of Bowness, came here with the boys when she went to Dublin, and she was to come back, and be with me by the year; and then the boys could have been still with Mr. Graves, for he got the living just then. He always comes to tell me when he hears any thing about them—and her husband is dead too, I hear."

Such was the woman's information; and there may be more truth in it than we would like to believe. There can be no doubt that Mrs. Hemans taxed all her strength and power to maintain her family. It is not to be believed but that her brothers and sister, who were well off, did all she would allow them to do; but we know the honorable pride of a truly noble mind—not to be burdensome when it can itself do its own work. How sensitive and shrinking it is! That Mrs. Hemans, in her praiseworthy endeavor to furnish the means of her boys' education, did overtax herself, and was obliged to write more than either her inclination or her true fame prompted, we have the evidence of herself, in one of her very last letters to her friend, Mrs. Lawrence. "You know into how rugged a channel the poor little stream of my life has been forced, and through what rocks it has wrought its way; and it is now longing for repose in some still valley. It has ever been one of my regrets that the constant necessity of providing sums of money, to meet the exigences of the boys' education, has obliged me to waste my mind in what I consider mere desultory effusions:

Pouring myself away,
As a wild bird, amid the foliage, tunes
That which within him thrills, and beats, and burns,
Into a fleeting lay.

My wish ever was to concentrate all my mental energy in the production of some more noble and complete work; something of pure and holy excellence, which might permanently take its place as the work of a British poetess. I have always hitherto written as if in the breaking times of storms and billows. Perhaps it may not even yet be too late to accomplish what I wish, though I sometimes feel my health so deeply penetrated, that I can not imagine how I am ever to be raised up again. But a greater freedom from these cares, of which I have been obliged to bear up under the whole responsibility, may do much to restore me; and though my spirits are greatly subdued by long sickness, I feel the powers of my mind in full maturity."

This is a plain enough confession;—and it is the old melancholy story, of genius fighting for the world, and borne down by the world which should be its friend. Once more, and for the ten thousandth time under such circumstances, we must exclaim with Shakspeare—

"O what a noble mind is here o'erthrown!"

We have here the bright, warm-hearted, fascinating girl of Bronwylfa, full of all the romance of life and the glorious visions of poetry, now sinking the martyr of the heart betrayed in its tenderest trust, doomed to labor like Pegasus in the peasant's cart and harness, perishing of exhaustion, and feeling that the unequal contest of life had yet left undeveloped the full affluence of the spirit. I could not avoid gazing again on the empty alcove,—the beautiful prospect, and the wildly growing white rose, and feeling the full contagion of their and the good woman's melancholy.

But at once, out broke the strange creature with a different look and tone—"And we have now got another writer-lady down at Ambleside."

"A poet?"

"Nay, nothing of the sort; another guess sort of person, I can tell you."

"Why, who is that?"

"Who is that? Why Miss Martineau they call her. They tell me she wrote up the Reform Bill for Lord Brougham; and that she's come from the Lambtons here; and that she's writing now about the taxes. Can she stop the steam, eh? can she, think you? Nay, nay, I warrant, big and strong as she is. Ha! ha! good lauk! as I met her the other day walking along the muddy road below here—'Is it a woman, or a man, or what sort of an animal is it?' said I to myself. There she came stride, stride,—great heavy shoes,—stout leather leggins on, and a knapsack on her back! Ha! ha! that's a political comicalist, they say. What's that? Do they mean that she can stop steam? But I said to my husband—goodness! but that would have been a wife for you. Why she'd ha' ploughed! and they say she mows her own grass, and digs her own cabbage and potatoes! Ha! ha! well, we see some queer 'uns here. Wordsworth should write a poem on her. What was Peter Bell to a comicalist?"

The good woman laughed outrageously at the images she had raised in her own mind, and infected by her mirth, as I had been by her melancholy, I bade her good-by. Her husband, a quiet man, sat all this time, and spite of all our talk, never for one moment looked up from his newspaper, nor uttered a syllable. Possibly he might be deaf; otherwise he was as impassive as an old Indian.

The warnings of failing health, which often operate insensibly on the mind, seemed now to draw Mrs. Hemans toward the society of her younger brother and his amiable wife, who were then settled in Ireland, and were living at the Hermitage near Kilkenny, where Colonel Browne was acting as a stipendiary magistrate. Here she joined them, and from this point visited Woodstock near Thomas-town, the residence of Mrs. Tighe, and where she is buried. At these places we must not linger. Her brother removed to Dublin, as Commissioner of Police, and she went there also. It was in 1831 that she took up her abode in Dublin. She first resided in Upper Pembroke-street; then removed to 36, Stephen's-green, and finally to 20, Dawson-street, still within a hundred yards of Stephen's-green or so.

It is needless to say that, in Dublin, Mrs. Hemans received all the respect that was due to her genius and virtues; but her health was so delicate, as to oblige her to live as quietly as possible. Her boys were now a good deal off her hands, or, rather, did not require her immediate attention. And she was enabled, the first autumn of her abode in Dublin, to make an excursion to the mountains of Wicklow. Dawson-street was well situated for quietness and airiness. Stephen's-green is one of the largest squares in the world, far larger than any London one. While she resided in it, she had a set of backrooms, the noise of Upper Pembroke-street having been too much for her. The College grounds, of great extent, are at the bottom of Dawson-street, this spacious green at its top. And near, are Merrion-square, and the gardens of what was once the palace of the Duke of Leinster; so that no part of Dublin could offer more openness. Her lodgings in Dawson-street consisted of the apartments over the shop of the proprietor, Mr. Jolliffe, a very respectable tailor. These could, London fashion, be thrown into one drawing-room, but were generally used as two rooms; and in the backroom she nearly always sat and wrote.

In 1833, her sister and brother-in-law arrived in Dublin, and Mrs. Hemans and they met after a five years' separation. "The ravages of sickness," says her sister, "on her worn and faded form, were painfully apparent to those who had not seen her for so long; yet her spirits rallied to all their wonted cheerfulness, and the powers of her mind seemed more vivid and vigorous than ever." With all her own cordial kindliness, she busied herself in forming various plans for the interest and amusement of her visitors; and many happy hours of delightful converse, and old home communion were passed by her and her sister in her two favorite resorts, the lawn of the once stately mansion of the Duke of Leinster, now occupied by the Dublin Society, and the spacious gardens of Stephen's-green.

In the gardens of the Dublin Society, Mrs. Hemans took that cold, which, seizing on an already enfeebled frame, terminated fatally. She had one day taken a book with her, and was so much absorbed by it, that she was thoroughly chilled by the autumnal fog, and feeling a shudder pass through her frame, she hastened home, already filled with a strong presentiment that her hours were numbered.

In her illness, by which she was gradually wasted to a skeleton, she enjoyed all the consolations which affection can bestow. Her sister attended her assiduously till she was called away by the serious illness of her husband. Her place was then tenderly supplied by her sister-in-law, the lady of Colonel Browne; and her son Charles was with her the whole time; George, now a prosperous engineer, for some days; and Henry, then a school-boy at Shrewsbury, likewise, during the Christmas holydays. For a time, she was removed to Redesdale, a seat of the Archbishop of Dublin, about seven miles from the city; but she returned, and died in Dawson-street, on the 16th of May, 1835. During her last illness, she wrote some of the finest poetry that she ever produced, especially that most soul-full effusion, Despondency and Aspiration; and the Sabbath Sonnet; which she dedicated to her brother, less than three weeks before her death, the last of her lays.

Her remains were interred in a vault beneath St. Ann's Church, but a short distance from her house, on the same side of the street; where, on the wall, under the gallery, on the right hand, as you enter, you observe a tablet, bearing this inscription—"In the vault beneath are deposited the Mortal Remains of Felicia Hemans, who died, May 16, 1835.

"Calm on the bosom of thy God,
Fair spirit, rest thee now;
Even while with us thy footsteps trod,
His seal was on thy brow.
Dust to its narrow house beneath,
Soul to its place on high!
They that have seen thy look in death
No more will fear to die."

The same vault, as nearly as possible three years afterward, received the remains of her faithful and very superior servant, Anna Creer, a native of the isle of Man, who had lived with her seven years, and, after her death, married Mr. Jolliffe, the master of the house. The worthy man was much affected in speaking of the circumstance, and bore also the highest testimony to the character of Mrs. Hemans, saying, "it was impossible for any one to know her without loving her." To such a tribute, what can be added? The perfection of human character is to excite at once admiration and lasting affection.

Cape Coast Castle

Cape Coast Castle

  L. E. L.

There is not much to be said about the homes and haunts of Mrs. Maclean, or, as I shall call her in this article, by her poetical cognomen, L. E. L. She was a creature of town and social life. The bulk of her existence was spent in Hans-place, Sloane-street, Chelsea. Like Charles Lamb, she was so molded to London habits and tastes, that that was the world to her. The country was not to her what it is to those who have passed a happy youth there, and learned to sympathize with its spirit, and enjoy its calm. In one respect she was right. Those who look for society alone in the country, are not likely to be much pleased with the change from London, where every species of intelligence concentrates; where the rust of intellectual sloth is pretty briskly rubbed off, and old prejudices, which often lie like fogs in low still nooks of the country, are blown away by the lively winds of discussion. Though descended from a country family, and spending some time, as a child, in the country, she was not there long enough to cultivate those associations with places and things which cling to the heart in after-life. Her mind, naturally quick, and all her tastes, were developed in the city. City life was part and parcel of her being; and as she was one of the most brilliant and attractive of its children, we must be thankful to take her as she was. It robs us of nothing but of certain attributes of the picturesque in the account of her abodes.

Her ancestors, it seems, from Mr. Blanchard's memoir of her, were, about the commencement of the eighteenth century, settled at Crednall in Herefordshire, where they enjoyed some landed property. A Sir William Landon was a successful participator in the South Sea Bubble, but afterward contrived to lose the whole patrimonial estates. A descendant of Sir William was the great-grandfather of L. E. L. He was rector of Nursted and Ilsted in Kent, and a zealous antagonist of all dissent. His son was rector of Tedstone Delamere, near Bromyard, Herefordshire. At his death, the property of the family being exhausted, his children, eight in number, were left to make their way through the world as they could. Miss Landon's father, John Landon, was the eldest of these children. He went to sea and made two voyages, one to the coast of Africa, and one to Jamaica. His friend and patron, Admiral Bowyer, dying, his career in the naval service was stopped. In the mean time, the next of his brothers, Whittington Landon, had acquired promotion in the Church, and eventually became Dean of Exeter. By his influence the father of the poetess was established as a partner in the prosperous house of Adair, army agents, in Pall Mall. On this he married Catherine Jane Bishop, a lady of Welsh extraction, and settled at No. 25, in Hans-place. Here Miss Landon was born, on the 14th of August, 1802. Beside her, the only other surviving child was a brother, the present Rev. Whittington Henry Landon.

In her sixth year she was sent to school to Miss Rowden at No. 22, Hans-place; the house in which she was destined to pass the greater part of her life. This lady, herself a poetess, afterward became Countess St. Quentin, and died near Paris. In this school Miss Mitford was educated, and here Lady Caroline Lamb was for a time an inmate. At this period, however, Miss Landon was here only a few months. She had occasionally been taken into the country to a farm in which her father was deeply interested, called Coventry-farm, in Hertfordshire. She now went with her family to reside at Trevor-park, East Barnet, where her education was conducted by her cousin, Miss Landon. She was now about seven years old, and here the family continued to live about six years. Here she read a great deal of romance and poetry, and began to show the operation of her fancy by relating long stories to her parents, and indulging in long, meditative walks in the lime walk in the garden. Her brother was her companion, and, spite of her nascent authorship, they seemed to have played, and romped, and enjoyed themselves as children should do. They read Plutarch, and had a great ambition of being Spartans. An anecdote is related of their taking vengeance on the gardener for some affront by shooting at him with arrows with nails stuck in them for piles, and of his tossing them upon a quickset hedge for punishment; most probably one of the old-fashioned square-cut ones, where they would be rather prisoners than sufferers. This man, whose name was Chambers, Miss Landon taught to read; and he afterward saved money, and retired to keep an inn at Barnet.

Now she read the Arabian Nights, Scott's Metrical Romances, and Robinson Crusoe, beside a book called Silvester Trampe. This last professed to be a narrative of travels in Africa, and seems especially to have fascinated her imagination. No doubt that the united effects of this book, of other African travels, and of the fact of her father and one of her cousins having made voyages to that continent, had no little influence in deciding the fatal step of marrying to go out to Cape Coast. To the happy days spent at Trevor-park, and the reading of books like these, always a period of elysium to a child, Miss Landon makes many references, both in her poems, and her prose sketches, called Traits and Trials of Early Life. Some lines addressed to her brother commemorate these imaginative pleasures very graphically:—

"It was an August evening, with sunset in the trees,
When home you brought his voyages, who found the fair South Seas.
For weeks he was our idol, we sailed with him at sea,
And the pond, amid the willows, our ocean seemed to be;
The water-lilies growing beneath the morning smile,
We called the South Sea Islands, each flower a different isle.
Within that lovely garden what happy hours went by,
While we fancied that around us spread a foreign sea and sky."

From this place the family removed to Lower-place, Fulham, where they continued about a year, and then removed again to Old Brompton. Miss Landon now gave continually increasing signs of a propensity to poetry. Mr. Jordan, the editor of the Literary Gazette, was a neighbor of her father, and from time to time her compositions were shown to him, who at once saw and acknowledged their great promise. It does not appear very clear whether Miss Landon continued at home during this period—that is, from the time the family came to live here when she was about fourteen, till the death of her father when she was about twenty,—but it is probable that she was for a good part of this time at the school, No. 22, Hans-place, which was now in the hands of the Misses Lance, as she says of herself,—"I have lived all my life since childhood with the same people. The Misses Lance," etc. However, it was at about the age of eighteen that her contributions appeared in the Literary Gazette, which excited universal attention. These had been preceded by a little volume now forgotten, The Fate of Adelaide, a Swiss romantic tale; and was speedily followed by the Improvisatrice. It was during the writing of this her first volume of successful poetry that her father died, leaving the family in narrow circumstances.

The history of her life from this time is chiefly the history of her works. The Improvisatrice was published in 1824; the Troubadour in 1825; the Golden Violet in 1826; the Venetian Bracelet, 1829. In 1830, she produced her first prose work, Romance and Reality. In 1831, she commenced the editorship of Fisher's Drawing-room Scrap Book, which she continued yearly till the time of her marriage—eight successive volumes. In 1835, she published Francesca Carrara; the Vow of the Peacock, 1835; Traits and Trials of Early Life, 1836; and in the same year, Ethel Churchill. Beside these works, she wrote immensely in the annuals and periodicals, and edited various volumes of illustrated works for the publishers.

None of the laborious tribe of authors ever toiled more incessantly or more cheerfully than Miss Landon—none with a more devotedly generous spirit. She had the proud satisfaction of contributing to the support of her family, and to the last minute of her life this great object was uppermost in her mind. On her marriage, she proposed to herself to go on writing still, with the prospect of being thus enabled to devote the whole of her literary profits to the comfort of her mother and the promotion of the fortunes of her brother. In all social and domestic relations no one was ever more amiable or more beloved. It has been said that the same generous and disinterested spirit actuated her in her literary character; and that, in the many opportunities which she possessed of giving an opinion from the press on the works of cotemporaries, she displayed not only a fair, but a magnanimous disposition. I regret to say that from documents—manuscripts of her own—which chanced to fall into my hands, I can not by any means fully subscribe to this opinion. But no mortal is perfect; and let these exceptions to the generally amiable spirit of a high-hearted and gifted woman sleep with her in the grave.

With occasional visits to different parts of the kingdom, and once to Paris, Miss Landon continued living in Hans-place till 1837. The Misses Lance had given up the school, I believe, about 1830, but she continued still to reside there with Mrs. Sheldon, their successor. In 1837 Mrs. Sheldon quitted Hans-place, for 28 Upper Berkeley-street West, whither Miss Landon accompanied her. Here she resided only a few months, when, at the request of some much attached friends, she took up her abode with them in Hyde-park-street. On the 7th of June, 1838, she was married to Mr. Maclean, Governor of Cape Coast Castle, and almost immediately left this country, never to return.

Of the abode where the greater part of Miss Landon's life was spent, and where almost every one of her works was written, the reader will naturally wish to have some description. The following particulars are given by Laman Blanchard, as from the pen of a female friend. "Genius," says our accomplished informant, "hallows every place where it pours forth its inspirations. Yet how strongly contrasted, sometimes, is the outward reality round the poet with the visions of his inward being. Is it not D'Israeli, in his Curiosities of Literature, referring to this frequent incongruity, who mentions, among other facts, that Moore composed his Lalla Rookh in a large barn. L. E. L. remarks on this subject, 'A history of the how and where works of imagination have been produced, would often be more extraordinary than the works themselves.' Her own case, is, in some degree, an illustration of independence of mind over all external circumstances. Perhaps to the L. E. L. of whom so many nonsensical things have been said—as, 'that she should write with a crystal pen, dipped in dew, upon silver paper, and use for pounce the dust of a butterfly's wing;' a dilettante of literature would assign, for the scene of her authorship, a fairy-like boudoir, with rose-colored and silver hangings, fitted with all the luxuries of a fastidious taste. How did the reality agree with this fairy sketch? Miss Landon's drawing-room, indeed, was prettily furnished, but it was her invariable habit to write in her bedroom. I see it now, that homely looking, almost uncomfortable room, fronting the street, and barely furnished; with a simple white bed, at the foot of which was a small, old, oblong-shaped sort of dressing-table, quite covered with a common, worn writing-desk, heaped with papers, while some strewed the ground, the table being too small for aught beside the desk; a high-backed cane chair, which gave you any idea rather than that of comfort. A few books scattered about completed the author's paraphernalia."

Certainly one would have imagined a girl's school in London just the last place that a poet would have fixed upon to live and work in. But as London was the city of cities to Miss Landon, so, no doubt, Hans-place, from early associations, was to her the place of places; and, when she was shut in her little bedroom, was just as poetical as any other place in the world. I recollect there was a little garden behind the house, which, if I remember right, you saw into through a glass door from the hall. At all events, a person full of poetic admiration once calling upon her, saw a little girl skipping very actively in this court or garden, and was no little astonished to see the servant go up to her, and announce the caller, whereupon the little girl left her skipping, and turned out to be no other than Miss Landon herself.

Of her person, Mr. Blanchard gives this description:—"Nobody who might happen to see her for the first time, enjoying the little quiet dance, of which she was fond, or the snug corner of the room where the little lively discussion, which she liked still better, was going on, could possibly have traced in her one feature of the sentimentalist which popular error reported her to be. The listener might only hear her running on from subject to subject, and lighting up each with a wit never ill-natured, and often brilliant; scattering quotations as thick as hail, opinions as wild as the winds; defying fair argument to keep pace with her, and fairly talking herself out of breath. He would most probably hear from her lips many a pointed and sparkling aphorism, the wittiest things of the night, let who might be around her,—he would be surprised, pleased; but his heroine of song, as painted by anticipation, he would be unable to discover. He would see her looking younger than she really was; and perhaps, struck by her animated air, her expressive face, her slight but elegant figure, his impression would at once find utterance in the exclamation which escaped from the lips of the Ettrick Shepherd on being presented to her, whose romantic fancies had often charmed him in the wild mountains—'Hey! but I did not think ye'd bin sae bonnie!'

"Without attempting an elaborate description of the person of L. E. L., we cite this expression of surprise as some indication that she was far prettier than report allowed her to be, at the period we are speaking of. Her easy carriage and careless movements would seem to imply an insensibility to the feminine passion for dress; yet she had a proper sense of it, and never disdained the foreign aid of ornament, always provided it was simple, quiet, and becoming. Her hair was darkly brown, very soft and beautiful, and always tastefully arranged; her figure, as before remarked, slight, but well formed and graceful; her feet small, but her hands especially so, and faultlessly white, and finely shaped; her fingers were fairy fingers; her ears also were observably little. Her face, though not regular in any feature, became beautiful by expression; every flash of thought, every change and color of feeling, lightened over it as she spoke, when she spoke earnestly. The forehead was not high, but broad and full; the eyes had no overpowering brilliancy, but their clear intellectual light penetrated by its exquisite softness; her mouth was not less marked by character; and, beside the glorious faculty of uttering the pearls and diamonds of fancy and wit, knew how to express scorn, or anger, or pride, as well as it knew how to smile winningly, or to pour forth those short, quick, ringing laughs, which, not even excepting her bon-mots and aphorisms, were the most delightful things that issued from it."

This may be considered a very fair portrait of Miss Landon. Your first impressions of her were—what a little, light, simple, merry-looking girl. If you had not been aware of her being a popular poetess, you would have suspected her of being nothing more than an agreeable, bright, and joyous young lady. This feeling in her own house, or among a few congenial people, was quickly followed by a feeling of the kind-heartedness and goodness about her. You felt that you could not be long with her without loving her. There was a frankness and a generosity about her that won extremely upon you. On the other hand, in mixed companies, witty and conversant as she was, you had a feeling that she was playing an assumed part. Her manner and conversation were not only the very reverse of the tone and sentiment of her poems, but she seemed to say things for the sake of astonishing you with the very contrast. You felt not only no confidence in the truth of what she was asserting, but a strong assurance that it was said merely for the sake of saying what her hearers would least expect to hear her say. I recollect once meeting her in company, at a time when there was a strong report that she was actually though secretly married. Mrs. Hofland, on her entering the room, went up to her in her plain, straightforward way, and said, "Ah! my dear, what must I call you?—Miss Landon, or who?" After a well feigned surprise at the question. Miss Landon began to talk in a tone of merry ridicule of this report, and ended by declaring that, as to love or marriage, they were things that she never thought of.

"What, then, have you been doing with yourself this last month?"

"Oh, I have been puzzling my brain to invent a new sleeve; pray how do you like it?" showing her arm.

"You never think of such a thing as love!" exclaimed a young, sentimental man, "you who have written so many volumes of poetry upon it?"

"Oh! that's all professional, you know!" exclaimed she, with an air of merry scorn.

"Professional!" exclaimed a grave Quaker, who stood near—"why, dost thou make a difference between what is professional and what is real? Dost thou write one thing and think another? Does not that look very much like hypocrisy?"

To this the astonished poetess made no reply, but by a look of genuine amazement. It was a mode of putting the matter to which she had evidently never been accustomed.

And, in fact, there can be no question that much of her writing was professional. She had to win a golden harvest for the comfort of others as dear to her as herself; and she felt, like all authors who have to cater for the public, that she must provide, not so much what she would of her free-will choice, but what they expected from her. Still, working for profit, and for the age, the peculiar idiosyncrasy of her mind showed itself through all. Before we advance to the last melancholy home of L. E. L., let us take a review of her literary career; rapid, yet sufficiently full to point out some particulars in her writings which I think too peculiar not to interest strongly the reader.

The subject of L. E. L.'s first volume was love; a subject which we might have supposed, in one so young, would have been clothed in all the gay and radiant colors of hope and happiness; but, on the contrary, it was exhibited as the most fatal and melancholy of human passions. With the strange, wayward delight of the young heart, ere it has known actual sorrow, she seemed to riot and to revel amid death and woe; laying prostrate life, hope, and affection. Of all the episodical tales introduced into the general design of the principal poem, not one but terminated fatally or sorrowfully; the heroine herself was the fading victim of crossed and wasted affections. The shorter poems which filled up the volume, and which were mostly of extreme beauty, were still based on the wrecks and agonies of humanity.

It might be imagined that this morbid indulgence of so strong an appetite for grief was but the first dipping of the playful foot in the sunny shallows of that flood of mortal experience through which all have to pass; and but the dallying, yet desperate pleasure afforded by the mingled chill and glittering eddies of the waters, which might hereafter swallow up the passer through; and that the first real pang of actual pain would scare her youthful fancy into the bosom of those hopes and fascinations with which the young mind is commonly only too much delighted to surround itself. But it is a singular fact, that, spite of her own really cheerful disposition, and spite of all the advice of her most influential friends, she persisted in this tone from the first to the last of her works, from that time to the time of her death. Her poems, though laid in scenes and times capable of any course of events, and though filled to overflowing with the splendors and high-toned sentiments of chivalry; though enriched with all the colors and ornaments of a most fertile and sportive fancy, were still but the heralds and delineations of melancholy, misfortune, and death. Let any one turn to any, or all, of her poetical volumes, and say whether this be not so, with few, and in most of them, no exceptions. The very words of her first heroine might have literally been uttered as her own:—

"Sad were my shades; methinks they had
Almost a tone of prophecy—
I ever had, from earliest youth,
A feeling what my fate would be."
The Improvisatrice, p. 3.

This is one singular peculiarity of the poetry of L. E. L., and her poetry must be confessed to be peculiar. It was entirely her own. It had one prominent and fixed character, and that character belonged wholly to itself. The rhythm, the feeling, the style, and phraseology of L. E. L.'s poetry were such that you could immediately recognize it, though the writer's name was not mentioned. Love was still the great theme, and misfortune the great doctrine. It was not the less remarkable that, in almost all other respects, she retained to the last the poetical tastes of her very earliest years. The heroes of chivalry and romance, feudal pageants, and Eastern splendor, delighted her imagination as much in the full growth as in the budding of her genius.

I should say, that it is the young and ardent who must always be the warmest admirers of the larger poems of L. E. L. They are filled with the faith and the fancies of the young. The very scenery and ornaments are of that rich and showy kind which belongs to the youthful taste;—the white rose, the jasmine, the summer garniture of deep grass and glades of greenest foliage; festal gardens with lamps and bowers; gay cavaliers, and jeweled dames, and all that glitters in young eyes and love-haunted fancies. But among these, numbers of her smaller poems from the first dealt with subjects and sympathies of a more general kind, and gave glimpses of a nobility of sentiment, and a bold expression of her feeling of the unequal lot of humanity, of a far higher character. Such, in the Improvisatrice, are The Guerilla Chief, St. George's Hospital, The Deserter, Gladesmure, The Covenanters, The Female Convict, The Soldier's Grave, etc. Such are many that might be pointed out in every succeeding volume. But it was in her few last years that her heart and mind seemed every day to develop more strength, and to gather a wider range of humanity into their embrace. In the latter volumes of the Drawing-room Scrap Book, many of the best poems of which have been reprinted with the Zenana, nothing was more striking than the steady development of growing intellectual power, and of deep, generous, and truly philosophical sentiments, tone of thought, and serious experience.

But when L. E. L. had fixed her character as a poet, and the public looked only for poetical productions from her, she suddenly came forth as a prose writer, and with still added proofs of intellectual vigor. Her prose stories have the leading characteristics of her poetry. Their theme is love, and their demonstration that all love is fraught with destruction and desolation. But there are other qualities manifested in the tales. The prose page was for her a wider tablet, on which she could, with more freedom and ampler display, record her views of society. Of these, Francesca Carrara, and Ethel Churchill, are unquestionably the best works, the latter preëminently so. In these she has shown, under the characters of Guido and Walter Maynard, her admiration of genius, and her opinion of its fate; under those of Francesca and Ethel Churchill, the adverse destiny of pure and high-souled woman.

These volumes abound with proofs of a shrewd observation of society, with masterly sketches of character, and the most beautiful snatches of scenery. But what surprise and delight more than all, are the sound and true estimates of humanity, and the honest boldness with which her opinions are expressed. The clear perception of the fearful social condition of this country, and the fervent advocacy of the poor, scattered through these works, but especially the last, do honor to her woman's heart. These portions of L. E. L.'s writings require to be yet more truly appreciated.

There is another characteristic of her prose writings which is peculiar. Never were the feelings and experiences of authorship so cordially and accurately described. She tells us freely all that she has learned. She puts words into the mouth of Walter Maynard, of which all who have known any thing of literary life must instantly acknowledge the correctness. The author's heart never was more completely laid open, with all its hopes, fears, fatigues, and enjoyments, its bitter and its glorious experiences. In the last hours of Walter Maynard, she makes him utter what must at that period have been daily more and more her own conviction. "I am far cleverer than I was. I have felt, have thought so much! Talk of the mind exhausting itself!—never! Think of the mass of materials which every day accumulates! Then experience, with its calm, clear light, corrects so many youthful fallacies; every day we feel our higher moral responsibility, and our greater power."

They are the convictions of "higher moral responsibilities and greater power," which strike us so forcibly in the later writings of L. E. L.

But what shall we say to the preparation of prussic acid, and its preservation, by Lady Marchmont? What of the perpetual creed of L. E. L., that all affection brings woe and death? What of the Improvisatrice, in her earlier work already quoted—

"I ever had, from earliest youth,
A feeling what my fate would be;"

and then the fate itself?

Whether this melancholy belief in the tendency of the great theme of her writings, both in prose and poetry; this irresistible annunciation, like another Cassandra, of woe and desolation; this evolution of scenes and characters in her last work, bearing such dark resemblance to those of her own after-experience; this tendency in all her plots, to a tragic catastrophe, and this final tragedy itself—whether these be all mere coincidences or not, they are still but parts of an unsolved mystery. Whatever they are, they are more than strange, and are enough to make us superstitious; for surely, if ever

"Coming events cast their shadows before,"

they did so in the foreboding tone of this gifted spirit.

The painful part of Miss Landon's history is, that almost from the first outbreak of her reputation, she became the mark of the most atrocious calumnies. How far any girlish thoughtlessness had given a shadow of ground on which the base things said of her might rest, is not for me, who only saw her occasionally, to say. But my own impressions, when I did see her and converse with her, were, that no guilty spirit could live in that bright, clear, and generous person, nor could look forth through those candid, playful, and transparent eyes. It was a presence which gave you the utmost confidence in the virtuous and innocent heart of the poetess, however much you might regret the circumstances which had directed her mind from the cultivation of its very highest powers. In after-years, and when I had not seen her for a long time, rumors of a like kind, but with a show of foundation more startling, were spread far and wide. That they were equally untrue in fact, we may reasonably infer from the circumstance, that they who knew her best, still continued her firm and unflinching friends. Dr. and Mrs. Todd Thomson, Mr. and Mrs. S. C. Hall, Mr. Blanchard, General Fagan and his family, and many others; among them, Lady Emmeline Stuart Wortley, Miss Jane Porter, Miss Strickland, Miss Costello, and Mrs. and Miss Sheldon, whose inmate she had been for so many years; who began with prejudice against her, and who soon became, and continued to the last, with the very best means of observation, her sincere friends.

These calumnies, however, must for years have been a source of anguish to her, haunting, but, happily, not disabling her in the midst of her incessant exertions for the holiest of purposes. They put an end to one engagement of marriage; they very probably threw their weight into the decision which conducted her into the fatal one she ultimately formed.

The circumstances connected with her marriage and death are too well known, to require narrating here. Time has shown no clear light on the mystery. Mr. Laman Blanchard, in his memoir of her, has labored hard to prove that she did not die by the poison of prussic acid. His reasoning will not bear a moment's examination. That she died with a bottle in her hand, which contained it, he confesses is proved by other evidence than that of Mrs. Bailey, who first found her dead. He quotes Dr. Thomson, who furnished her order for her medicine-chest, and examined the list of articles actually put into it, and who also, on referring to the prescriptions written by him for her on former occasions, certified that on no occasion had he ordered her prussic acid. On this, Mr. Blanchard says, very innocently, how then could she possibly have got it? and adds, that very probably she was quite ignorant of its existence and nature; as he says he himself was! That is, that hydrocyanic acid was prussic acid!

Unfortunately, the fact stands that she was found by the surgeon with an empty bottle, labeled "hydrocyanic acid," in her hand, and was dead. "An empty bottle, though it bear on its label the words, 'hydrocyanic acid,' ceases to be a proof of her having taken any, when it is found there in her hand!" Poor Blanchard! How little did he think, in his generous desire to rescue his friend from the stigma of self-destruction, that no person, except himself, would require more conclusive evidence of the fact of a person's dying from the taking of prussic acid, than that of finding her dead on the floor, with an exhausted bottle of it in her hand! But, unfortunately, there are other facts which, however we may conclude as to the circumstance of her having thus taken it willfully, leave us no doubt of her being well acquainted with the effects of this poison; of her being in the habit of keeping it; and of her having actually, years before, threatened to make a fatal use of this very remedy.

In Ethel Churchill will be found her own recital of the Countess Marchmont distilling herself this very poison from the laurel, and keeping secretly by her this poison, for the purpose of self-destruction under certain circumstances. This shows, most unanswerably, that Miss Landon not only was well aware of the character of this poison, but of the mode of its preparation. She does not send her heroine at once to the druggist's shop for it; though scores, as is too well known, have found no difficulty in procuring it there; but she details to us the process of its distillation, bottling, and secreting for use.

There is a still more painful fact in existence, which, I believe, has never been before adverted to in print, but is unquestionable, which brings the matter more painfully home. During the agonies of mind which Miss Landon suffered, at a time when calumny was dealing very freely with her name, her old friend, and, for a long time, co-inmate, Miss Roberts, came in one day, and found her very much agitated. "Have those horrible reports," she eagerly inquired, "got into the papers, Miss Roberts?" Miss Roberts assured her they had not. "If they do," she exclaimed, opening a drawer in the table, and taking out a vial, "I am resolved—here is my remedy!" The vial was a vial of prussic acid. This fact I have on the authority of the late Emma Roberts herself. There remains, therefore, no question that Miss Landon was well acquainted with the nature of prussic acid, for she kept it by her, and had declared, under circumstances of cruel excitement, her resolve to use it on a certain contingency. Being found, therefore, with an emptied vial of this very poison in her hand, and dead on the floor, can leave no rational doubt that she died by it, and by her own hand.

But there remains the question, whether she took it purposely; and it may be very strongly doubted that she did. From all that has transpired, it is more probable that she had taken it by mistake. That being in the habit of taking, by Dr. Thomson's prescription, the Tinctura Hyosciami, she had been misled, in seeking hastily in her spasms for it, by the similar label of Acidum Hydrocyanicum; and, perceiving her mistake, had hurried toward the door to call for assistance, but in vain; the usual quantity of Hyosciamus being an almost instant death-draught of the acid.

That Mrs. Maclean was likely to take this poison purposely, there is no ground to imagine. On the contrary, to the very last, her letters to England were full of a cheerfulness that has all the air of thorough reality. It is true, there are many circumstances that we could wish otherwise: that her husband had a connection with, and, it is believed, a family by, a native Fantee woman; that he insisted on the marriage with Miss Landon in England remaining a secret till just before sailing, as if fearful of the news preceding him home; that he went on shore in the night, through the surf, and at great risk, as if to remove this woman from the spot, or see that she was not on it; that the last two letters written to her family in England, were detained by her husband; that the Mrs. Bailey, who attended on Mrs. Maclean, and was about to sail the next day with her husband for England, not only gave up these letters, but stayed there a year longer; and that she turned out to be any thing but truthful in her statements. Beside these, there are other facts which surprise us. That Mrs. Maclean should have married under the impression that she was not to go out to Cape Coast at all; that then she was to stay only three years; that though Mr. Maclean knew the position L. E. L. had held here—that she had been occupied with writing, and not with cooking; that a woman who had been, as she had been for the greater part of her life, the cherished and caressed favorite of the most intelligent society of London, could not make, for the man of her choice, a more entire sacrifice, than to go out to a distant barbarous coast and settlement, in which was no single Englishwoman, except the wife of a missionary; and might, therefore, reasonably expect that that man should make every arrangement possible for her comfort; that he should not object to her taking an English maid; that he should at least have pots and pans in his house, where his celebrated wife was to become housekeeper, and almost cook; that he should not lie in bed all day, and leave her to entertain strange governors and their suites. There are these and other things, which we must always wish had been much otherwise; but all these will not induce us to let go the belief to which we cling, that L. E. L., though she unquestionably died by her own hand, died so through accident, and not through resolve or cause for it.

The circumstances connected with this last home of the young poetess are strange enough in themselves, independent of the closing tragedy. That she who was educated in, and for, London; who could hardly bear the country; who says, she worshiped the very pavement of London; who was the idolized object of the ever moving and thronging social circles of the metropolis, should go voluntarily out to the desert of an African coast, to a climate generally fatal to Englishwomen, and to the year-long solitude of that government fort, was a circumstance which astonished every one. The picture of this home of exile, and of herself and her duties in it, is drawn livingly by herself. Before giving this, we may here simply state that Cape Coast Castle is one of the eight British settlements on the Gold Coast. The castle stands on a rock of gneiss and mixed slate, about twenty feet above the level of the sea, in 5° 6′ N. lat., and 1° 10′ W. long. Outside there is a native town; and the adjacent country, to a considerable distance, has been cleared, and rendered fit for cultivation. The ruling natives are the Fantees, a clever, stirring, turbulent race.

In one of her letters, she gives this account of the situation and scenery of the castle:—"On three sides we are surrounded by the sea. I like the perpetual dash on the rocks—one wave comes up after another, and is forever dashed in pieces, like human hopes, that only swell to be disappointed. We advance,—up springs the shining froth of love or hope,—'a moment white, then gone forever!' The land view, with its cocoa and palm-trees, is very striking—it is like a scene in the Arabian Nights. Of a night, the beauty is very remarkable; the sea is of a silvery purple, and the moon deserves all that has been said in her favor. I have only been once out of the fort by daylight, and then was delighted. The salt lakes were first dyed a deep crimson by the setting sun, and as we returned they seemed a faint violet by the twilight, just broken by a thousand stars; while before us was the red beacon-light."

We may complete the view, exterior and interior, by other extracts. "I must say, in itself, the place is infinitely superior to all that I ever dreamed of. The castle is a fine building—the rooms excellent. I do not suffer from heat; insects there are few, or none; and I am in excellent health. The solitude, except an occasional dinner, is absolute: from seven in the morning till seven, when we dine, I never see Mr. Maclean, and rarely any one else. We were welcomed by a series of dinners, which I am glad are over,—for it is very awkward to be the only lady; still the great kindness with which I have been treated, and the very pleasant manners of many of the gentlemen, made me feel it as little as possible. Last week we had a visit from Captain Castle of the Pylades. We had also a visit from Colonel Bosch, the Dutch governor, a most gentlemanlike man. But fancy how awkward the next morning!—I can not induce Mr. Maclean to rise; and I have to make breakfast, and do the honors of adieu to him and his officers—white plumes, mustaches, and all. I think I never felt more embarrassed.

"The native huts I first took for ricks of hay; but those of the better sort are pretty white houses, with green blinds. The English gentlemen resident here have very large houses, quite mansions, with galleries running round them. Generally speaking, the vegetation is so thick, that the growth of the shrubs rather resembles a wall. The solitude here is Robinson Crusoeish. The hills are covered to the top with what we should call calf-weed, but here is called bush: on two of these hills are small forts built by Mr. Maclean. The natives seem obliging and intelligent, and look very picturesque, with their fine dark figures, with pieces of the country cloth flung round them: they seem to have an excellent ear for music. The band seems to play from morning to night.

"The castle is a fine building, a sort of double square, shaped like an H, of which we occupy the middle. A large flight of steps leads to the hall, on either side of which is a suite of rooms. The one in which I am writing would be pretty in England. It is of a pale blue, and hung with some beautiful prints, for which Mr. Maclean has a passion.

"You can not imagine how different every thing is here to England. I hope, however, in time to get on pretty well. There is, nevertheless, a deal to do. I have never been accustomed to housekeeping, and here every thing must be seen to by yourself; it matters not what it is, it must be kept under lock and key. I get up at seven, breakfast at eight, and give out flour, butter, sugar, all from the store. I have found the bag you gave me so useful to hold the keys, of which I have a little army. We live almost entirely on chickens and ducks, for if a sheep be killed it must be all eaten that day. The bread is very good: they use palm wine for yeast. Yams are a capital substitute for potatoes; pies and puddings are scarce thought of, unless there is a party. The washing has been a terrible trouble, but I am getting on better. I have found a woman to wash some of the things, but the men do all the starching and ironing. Never did people require so much looking after. Till Mr. Maclean comes in from court at seven, I never see a living creature but the servants. * * * The weather is now very warm; the nights so hot that you can only bear the lightest sheet over you. As to the beds, the mattresses are so hard, they are like iron. The damp is very destructive; the dew is like rain, and there are no fireplaces: you would not believe it, but a grate would be the first of luxuries. Keys, scissors, every thing rusts. * * * I find the servants civil, and not wanting in intelligence, but industry. Each has servants to wait on him, whom they call sense-boys, i.e., they wait on them to be taught. Scouring is done by the prisoners. Fancy three men employed to clean a room, which, in England, an old woman could do in an hour, while a soldier stands over them with a drawn bayonet."

Such was the last strange, solitary home of L. E. L.; such the strange life of one who had been before employed only in diffusing her beautiful fancies amid her countrymen. Here she was rising at seven, giving out flour, sugar, etc. from the stores, seeing what room she would have cleaned, and then sitting down to write. In the midst of this new species of existence, she is suddenly plunged into the grave, leaving the wherefore a wonder. The land which was the attraction of her childhood, singularly enough, thus became her sepulcher. A marble slab, with a Latin inscription, is said to be erected there by her husband; and in Brompton Church a monument has been placed by her admiring friends.




Many and wonderful as are the romances which Sir Walter Scott wrote, there are none of them so wonderful as the romance of his own life. It is not that from a simple son of a Writer to the Signet, he raised himself to wealth and title;—that many have done before him, and far more than that. That many a man of most ordinary brain can achieve; can, as it were, almost stumble into, he knows not how. That many a scrivener, a paviour, or a pawnbroker, has accomplished, and been still deemed no miracle. The city of London, from the days of Dick Whittington to those of Sir Peter Laurie, can show a legion of such culminations. But Sir Walter Scott won his wealth and title in fields more renowned for starvation and "Calamities," than for making of fortunes—those of literature. It was from the barren hills of Parnassus that he drew down wealth in quantities that struck the whole world with astonishment, and made those famous mountains, trodden bare with the feet of glorious paupers, rivals of the teeming heights of Mexico and Peru. At a period when the sources of literature appeared to have exhausted themselves; when it was declared that nothing original could be again expected in poetry, that all its secret places were rifled, all its fashions outworn, all its imagery beaten into triteness; when romance was grown mawkish and even childish; when Mrs. Radcliffe and Horace Walpole had exhausted its terrors, and the novelist's path through common life, it was thought, had been gleaned of all possible discovery by Fielding, Richardson and Smollett, Goldsmith and Sterne,—when this was confirmed in public opinion by the sentimentalities of Henry Mackenzie, forth started Scott as a giant of the first magnitude, and demolished all the fond ideas of such dusty-brained dreamers. He opened up on every side new scenes of invention. In poetry and romance, he showed that there was not a corner of these islands which was not, so far from being exhausted, standing thick with the richest materials for the most wonderful and beautiful creations. The reign of the schoolmen and the copyists was at an end. Nature, history, tradition, life, every thing and every place, were shown by this new and vigorous spirit to be full to overflowing with what had been, in the dim eyes of former soi-disant geniuses, only dry bones; but which, at the touch of this bold necromancer, sprung up living forms of the most fascinating grace. The whole public opened eyes of wonder, and in breathless amazement and delight saw this active and unweariable agent call round him, from the brooks and mountains of his native land, troop after troop of kings, queens, warriors, women of regal forms and more regal spirits; visions of purity and loveliness; and lowly creations of no less glorious virtues. The whole land seemed astir with armies, insurrections, pageantries of love, and passages of sorrow, that for twenty years kept the enraptured public in a trance, as it were, of one accumulating marvel and joy. There seemed no bounds to his powers, or the field of his operations. From Scotland he descended into England, stepped over into France, Germany, Switzerland, nay, even into Palestine and India; and people asked, as volumes, any one of which would have established a first-rate reputation, were poured out, year after year, with the rapid prodigality of a mountain stream,—is there no limit to the wondrous powers of this man's imagination and creative faculty? There really seemed none. Fresh stories, of totally novel construction, fresh characters, of the most startling originality, were continually coming forward, as from an inexhaustible world of soul. Not only did the loftiest and most marked characters of our history, either the Scotch or English, again move before us in all their vitality of passions and of crimes, of virtue and of heroism as—Bruce, James V. and VI., Richard Cœur de Lion, Elizabeth, Mary of Scots, Leicester, James I. of England, Montrose, Claverhouse, Cumberland the butcher; not only did the covenanters preach and fight anew, and the highland clans rise in aid of the Stuart, but new personages, of the rarest beauty, the haughtiest command, or the most curious humor, swarmed out upon the stage of life, thick, as if their creation had cost no effort. Flora M'Ivor, Rose Bradwardine, Rebecca, the high-souled Jewess, the unhappy Lucy Ashton and Amy Robsart, the lowly Effie Deans, and her homely yet glorious sister Jenny, the bewitching Di Vernon, and Brenda Troil of the northern isles, stand radiant amid a host of lesser beauties; while Rob Roy, the Robin Hood of the hills, treads in manly dignity his native heather; Balfour of Burley issues a stalwart apparition from his hiding-places; and for infinitude of humor, and strangeness of aspect and mood, where are the pages that can present a troop like these: the Baron of Bradwardine, Dominie Sampson, Meg Merrilies, Monkbarns, Edie Ochiltree, Dugald Dalgetty, Old Mortality, Bailie Nicol Jarvie, Andrew Fairservice, Caleb Balderstone, Flibbertigibbet, Norna of the Fitful Head, and that fine fellow, the farmer of Liddesdale, with whom every one feels a desire to shake hands, honest Dandie Dinmont, with all his Peppers and Mustards yaffling at his heels?

It may be safely said that, in twenty years, one man enriched the literature of his country with more story of intense beauty, and more original character, than all its literati together for two hundred years before. And this is only part of the wonder with Sir Walter Scott; he was all this time a man of business, of grave and various business—a Clerk of Session, sitting in the Parliament-house of Edinburgh daily, during term, from ten to four o'clock—the Sheriff of Selkirk, with its calls—an active cavalry volunteer—a sitter on gas and other committees—a zealous politician and reviewer—mixed up in a world of printing and publishing concerns, and ready to run off and traverse as diligently sea and land, in all directions, at every possible interval. Beside all this, he was a buyer of lands, a planter of extensive woods, a raiser of a fairy castle, a keen sportsman with grayhound and fish-spear. Amid all these avocations and amusements, his writing appeared the produce of his odd hours; and this mass of romance, on which his fame chiefly rests, after all, but a fragment of his literary labor. In the enormous list of his works, to be found at the end of his Life by Lockhart, his novels and poems appear but a slight sprinkling amid his heavier toils: reviews, translations, essays, six volumes; Tales of a Grandfather, twelve volumes; sermons, memoirs, a multitude; editions of Swift and Dryden, in nineteen volumes and eighteen volumes; Somers's Tracts, in thirteen volumes; antiquities, lives, etc., etc. The array of works, written and edited, is astounding: and when we recollect that little of this was done before forty, and that he died at the age of sixty-one, our astonishment becomes boundless. It is in vain to look for another such life of gigantic literary labor, performed by a man of the world, and no exclusive, unmitigated bookworm; much less of such an affluent produce of originality. In these particulars, Scott stands alone.

But though the wonder of his life is seen in this, the romance of it yet remains. He arose to fill a great and remarkable point of time. A new era was commencing, which was to be enriched out of the neglected matter of the old. The suppression of the rebellion of 1745 was the really vitalizing act of the union of Scotland and England. By it the old clan life and spirit were extinguished. The spirit which maintained a multitude of old forms, costumes, and modes of life, was by that event annihilated; and the rapid amalgamation of the two nations in a time of internal peace, would soon have obliterated much that was extremely picturesque and full of character, were it not seized and made permanent by some mighty and comprehensive mind. That mind was Scott's! He stood on the threshold of a new world, with the falling fabric of the past close beneath his view. Every circumstance which was necessary to make him the preserver of the memory and life of this past world met in him, as by a marked decree of the Almighty. He had all the sensibility and imagination of the past, with the keenest relish of every thing that was prominent in living character among his fellow-men. He was inspired with the love of nature, as an undying passion, by having been, in his earliest years, suffered to run wild amid the rocks of Smailholm, and the beautiful scenery of Kelso. The Reliques of Ancient English Poetry—that herald of nature to all that were capable of loving her at that period, and which, without saying a word about the false taste of the age, at once awoke in it the true one, was to him but the revelation of still further relics of the like kind in his own country. He had heard similar strains from his nurses—from the country people among whom he had been cast, from the ladies of his family; and Percy's volume was but as a trumpet note, awakening him to a consciousness of poetic wealth, that lay all around him thick as the dews of a spring morning. In highland and in lowland, but especially along that wild border-land which had become the delight of his boyhood, the lays and the traditions of the past were in every mouth, and awaited some fortunate hand to gather them. His was the hand destined to do that and more. Every step that he made in the pursuit of the old ballad literature of his country, only showed him more and more of the immense mass of the materials of poetry and romance which the past ages had neglected as vulgar. The so-called poets of two or three generations had gone about on the stilts of classical pride; and had overlooked, nay, had scorned to touch even with their shoe-toes, the golden ore of romantic character and deed, that lay in actual heaps on every mountain, and along every mountain stream. Young Scott, transported at the sight, flew east and west; traversed mountain and heath, with all the buoyancy of youth and the throbbing pulse of poetry. He went among the common people; and amid shepherds, and with housewives at their wheels, and milk-maids over their pails, he heard the songs and ballads which had been flashed forth amid the clash of swords, or hymned mournfully over the fallen, in wild days of wrong and strife, and still stirred the blood of their descendants when they were become but the solace of the long watch on the brae with the flock, or the excitement of the winter fireside. Nay, he found not only poetry and romance, but poets and romancers. Hogg and Leyden, Laidlaw and Shortreed, all men of genius, all glowing with love of their native land, became his friends, companions, and fellow-gatherers. The romance of his life had now begun. Full of youth and the delicious buoyancy of its enjoyment, full of expanding hopes and aspirations, dreams of power came upon him. He put forth his volumes of The Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, and found them realized. His horizon was at once wonderfully widened. The brightest spirits of England, as well as of his own country, hailed him as a true brother. The dawn of this new era was kindling apace. The hearts which had caught the same impulse from the same source as himself, and owned the native charms of nature, were now becoming vocal with the burden of this new music. Campbell, Wordsworth, Southey, Coleridge, and others, were sending forth new strains of poetry, such as had not been heard since Shakspeare, and Spenser, and Milton had lived. But Walter Scott was to become something more than a poet. His destiny was to become the great romance writer of his age; to gather up and mold into a new form the life and spirit of the past many-colored ages of his country, and to leave them as a legacy of delight to the world forever. For this purpose he was qualified, by sundry accomplishments and experiences. He studied the literature of Germany, and drew thence a love of the wild and wonderful; he became a lawyer, and thus was brought into closer contact with the inner workings of society, its forms and formalities. He was brought to a close gaze upon family history, upon the passions that agitate men in the transitions of property, and in the committal of crime, or the process of its arrest and punishment. He was made to study men, both as they were and had been, and was enriched with a knowledge of the technicalities which are so essential to him who will describe, with accuracy, trials and transactions in which both life and property are at stake, and the crooked arts of villains, especially the villains of the law. To these most auspicious preparations for his great task—a task not yet revealed to him—he added a keen relish for antiquities; and a memory as gigantic as his frame was robust. Did there yet want any thing? It was a genial humor, which rejoiced in the social pleasures of life, and that, while it lived amid the open hearts of his fellow-men, in the hours of domestic freedom and convivial gayety, saw deep into their hearts, and hoarded up without knowing it theories of the actuality of existence, and of original character. This too was eminently his.

His Border Minstrelsy published, he turned his views northward, and a still more stirring scene presented itself. The Highlands, with their beautiful mountains and lakes, their clan life, their thrilling traditions and stories of but recently past conflicts, bloodshed, and sorrow;—their striking costume, their pipers blowing strains that, amid the rocks, and forests, and dark heather of that romantic region, kindled even in the heart of the stranger a strange enthusiasm,—all was to him full of the fire of poetry, and of a romance too large, with all its quick and passionate characters, and its vivid details, for poetry itself. First came forth his Metrical Romances—themselves a new and inspiriting species of poetry, founded, indeed, on an old basis, but quickened with the soul of modern knowledge, and handled with the harmonious freedom of a modern master. These, however, now we may regard them as somewhat overstepped by the more impassioned lays of Byron, and by the more expansive wonders of the author's own prose romances, were, at the time, an actual infusion of new life-blood into the public. They were the opening up of a totally new world, fresh and beautiful as the imagination could conceive. They actually seemed to smell of the heather. Every rock, hung with its dark pines, or graceful birches; every romantic lake, bosomed in its lonely mountains; the hunt careering along its richly colored glens; the warrior, full of a martial and chivalrous spirit; the lithe Highlander, with dirk and philibeg, crouching in the heath, like the Indian in his forest, or speeding from clan to clan with the fiery cross of war,—every one of these vivid images was as new to the English public as if they had been brought from the farthest regions of Japan. Then the whole of these newly discovered regions, the Highlands, for such they were, was covered with traditions of strangest exploits; the people were a wild, irritable, vengeful, but still high-minded people, exhibiting the equally prominent virtues and crimes of a demi-civilized race. How refreshing was the contemplation of such scenes and people to the jaded minds of the English, so long doomed to mediocre monotony! I well remember, then a youth, with what avidity a new poem of Walter Scott's was awaited for and devoured. It was a poetry welcome to all, because it had not merely the qualities of good poetry, which would have been lost on the majority of readers, but it had all this novelty of scenery and character, and the excitement of brilliant story, to recommend it. Then it was perpetually shifting its ground. It was now amid the lonely regions of the south of Scotland; now high up amid heaths, and lochs, and pine-hung mountains, the shepherd's sheiling, the roar of the cataract, and the cry of the eagle, mixing with the wild sound of the distant pibroch; and now amid the green, naked mountains and islands of the west, and savage rocks, and thundering seas, and the cries of sea-birds, as they were roused by the wandering Bruce and his followers, on their way to win back the crown of Scotland from the English invader.

The sensation which these poems produced is now forgotten, and can only be conceived by those who can remember their coming out; but these were soon to be eclipsed by the prose romances of the same author. The ground, the spirit, and the machinery were the same; but these were now allowed to work in broad, unfettered prose, and a thousand traits and personages were introduced, which could by no possibility have found a place in verse. The variety of grotesque characters, the full country dialect and dialogues of all sorts of actors in the scenes, thus gave an infinite superiority to the prose over the poetry. The first reading of Waverley was an era in the existence of every man of taste. There was a life, a color, a feeling given to his mind, which he had never before experienced. To have lived at that period when, ever and anon, it was announced that a new novel by the Author of Waverley was coming out; to have sat down the moment it could be laid hold of, and have entered through it into another world, full of new objects of admiration, new friends, and new subjects of delight and discussion,—was, in truth, a real privilege. The fame of Scott, before great, now became unbounded. It flew over sea and land. His novels were translated into every language which could boast of a printing-press; and the glory of two such men as himself and Byron made still more proud the renown of that invincible island, which stood against all the assaults of Napoleon, and had now even chained that terrible conqueror, as its captive, on a far sea-rock.

I say the fame of Scott was thus augmented by the Waverley Novels. Yes, they were, long before they were owned to be his, felt by the public to be nobody else's. The question might be, and was agitated, but still there was a tacit feeling that Scott was their author, far and wide diffused. Dense, indeed, must they have been who could doubt it. What were they but prose amplifications of his Lady of the Lake, his Marmion, and his Lord of the Isles? So early as 1820, rambling on foot with Mrs. Howitt in the Highlands, we came to Aberfoil, where the minister, Mr. Graham, who had written Sketches of the Scenery of Perthshire, accompanied us to spots in that neighborhood which are marked ones in the novel of Rob Roy. It was he who had first turned the attention of Scott to the scenery of Lock Katrine and the Trosachs. "Can there be any doubt," we asked, "that Scott is the author of Waverley?" "Could it possibly be any body else?" he replied. "If the whole spirit and essence of those stories did not show it, his visits here during the writing of Rob Roy would have been decisive enough. He came here, and inquired out all the traditionary haunts of Rob. I accompanied him upon Loch Ard, and at a particular spot I saw his attention fixed; he observed my notice, but desired his daughter to sing something, to divert it; but I felt assured that before long I should see that spot described—and there, indeed, was Helen Macgregor made to give her celebrated breakfast." Long before the formal acknowledgment was made, few, in fact, were they who were not as fully satisfied of the identity of Walter Scott and the author of Waverley, as was the shrewd Ettrick Shepherd, who, from the first, had had the Waverley Novels bound and labeled, "Scott's Novels." No one could have seen Abbotsford itself without being at once convinced of it, if he had never been so before. Without, the very stones of the old gateway of the Tolbooth of Edinburgh stared the fact in his face; within, it was a perfect collection of testimonies to the fact. The gun of Rob Roy; the pistols of Claverhouse; the thumbikins which had tortured the Covenanters; nay, a whole host of things cried out—"We belong to the author of Waverley."

And never did fame so richly follow the accomplishment of deeds of immortality as in the case of Sir Walter. From the monarch to the meanest reader; from Edinburgh to the farthest wilds of Russia and America, the enthusiastic admiration of "The Great Northern Magician," as he was called, was one universal sentiment. Wherever he went he was made to feel it; and from every quarter streamed crowds on crowds to Abbotsford to see him. He was on the kindliest terms of friendship with almost every known writer; to his most distinguished cotemporaries, especially Byron, Miss Edgeworth, and Miss Joanna Baillie, he seemed as though he could not testify sufficient honor; and, on the other hand, the highest nobility, nay, royalty itself, felt the pride of his presence and acquaintance. Never had the glory of any literary man, not even of those who, like Petrarch, had been crowned publicly as the poetic monarchs of the age, reached such a pitch of intense and universal splendor. The field of this glory was not one country,—it was that of the vast civilized world, in which almost every man was a reader. No evidences more striking of this were ever given than on his tour in Ireland, where the play was not allowed to go on in Dublin till he showed himself to the eager people; and on his return from whence, he declared that his whole journey had been an ovation. It was the same on his last going on the Continent. But the fact mentioned by Lockhart as occurring during his attendance in London at the coronation of George IV., in 1821, is worth a thousand others, as it shows how truly he was held in honor by the common people. He was returning from the coronation banquet in Westminster Hall. He had missed his carriage, and "had to return on foot, between two and three in the morning, when he and a young gentleman, his companion, found themselves locked in the crowd, somewhere near Whitehall; and the bustle and tumult were such, that his friend was afraid some accident might happen to the lame limb. A space for the dignitaries was kept clear, at that point, by the Scots Grays. Sir Walter addressed a sergeant of this celebrated regiment, begging to be allowed to pass by him into the open ground in the middle of the street. The man answered shortly, that his orders were strict—that the thing was impossible. While he was endeavoring to persuade the sergeant to relent, some new wave of turbulence approached from behind, and his young companion exclaimed, in a loud voice—'Take care, Sir Walter Scott, take care!' The stalwart dragoon hearing the name, said—'What! Sir Walter Scott? He shall get through, anyhow.' He then addressed the soldiers near him—'Make room, men, for Sir Walter Scott, our illustrious countryman!' The men answered—'Sir Walter Scott! God bless him!' and he was in a moment within the guarded line of safety."

This is beautiful. Sir Walter had won a proud immortality, and lived now in the very noon of its living radiance. But the romance is still behind. When about six-and-twenty, at the pleasant little watering-place of Gilsland, in Cumberland, he fell in love with a young French lady, Charlotte Margaret Charpentier. The meeting was like one of those in his own novels. He was riding with his friend, Adam Fergusson—the joyous, genial friend of his whole life—one day in that neighborhood, when they met a young lady taking an airing on horseback, whom neither of them had before seen. They were so much struck with her appearance, as to keep her in view till they were sure that she was a visitor at the wells. The same evening they met her at a ball, and so much was Scott charmed with her that he soon made her a proposal, and she became his wife. All who knew her in her youth speak of her as a very charming person; though I confess that her portrait at Abbotsford does not give me much idea of her personal charms. But, says Mr. Lockhart, who had the best opportunity of knowing, "Without the features of a regular beauty, she was rich in personal attractions; 'a form that was fashioned as light as a fairy's;' a complexion of the clearest and the brightest olive; eyes large, deep-set and dazzling, of the finest Italian brown; and a profusion of silken tresses, black as the raven's wing: her address hovering between the reserve of a pretty Englishwoman who has not mingled largely in general society, and a certain natural archness and gayety that suited well with the accompaniment of a French accent. A lovelier vision, as all who remember her in the bloom of her days have assured me, could hardly have been imagined."

With his charming young wife, Scott settled at Lasswade, about seven miles from Edinburgh. Here he had a lonely and retired cottage, in a most beautiful neighborhood; and was within an easy distance of Edinburgh and his practice there as an advocate. Here he busied himself in his literary pursuits, and made those excursions into Liddesdale, and Ettrick forest, and other parts of the border country, in quest of materials for his Border Minstrelsy, in which he found such exquisite delight. Here he found Shortreed, Hogg, Laidlaw, men all enthusiastic in the same pursuits and tastes. At this time, too, he became acquainted, in Edinburgh, with Leyden, also a border man, full of ballad and poetry, and with powers as gigantic as Scott himself, though uncouth as a colt from the moors. There is nothing in any biography which strikes me so full of the enjoyment of life as Scott's raids, as he called them, into Liddesdale, and other border wildernesses, at that period. He found everywhere a new country, untrodden by tourists, unknown to fame, but richly deserving of it. There was a new land discovered, full, from end to end, of wild scenery, and strange, rude, but original character, rich in native wit, humor, and fun. Down Liddesdale there was no road; in it there was no inn. Scott's gig, on the last of seven years' raids, was the first wheel-carriage that ever entered it. "The travelers passed from the shepherd's hut to the minister's manse; and again from the cheerful hospitality of the manse, to the rough and jolly welcome of the homestead." "To these rambles," says Lockhart, "Scott owed much of the material of his Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, and not less of that intimate acquaintance with the living manners of those unsophisticated regions, which constitutes the chief charm of one of the most charming of his prose works." "He was makin' himsel' a' the time," said Mr. Shortreed; "but he did na ken, may be, what he was about till years had passed. At first he thought o' little, I dare say, but the queerness and the fun." That overflowing enjoyment of life which so much distinguished Scott at all periods, except the short melancholy one of his decline, now exhibited itself in all its exuberance. "Eh me!" says Mr. Shortreed, "sic an endless fund o' humor and drollery as he then had wi' him! Never ten yards but we were either laughing, or roaring, and singing. Wherever we stopped, how brawlie he suited himsel' to every body! He aye did as the lave did; never made himsel' the great man, or took ony airs in the company." It was in one of these raids that they fell in with the original Dandie Dinmont.

His Border Minstrelsy came out; his fame spread. His Metrical Romances followed; and he was the most popular man of the day. In matters of business he rapidly advanced. He was made Clerk of Session and Sheriff of Selkirk. He quitted his cottage at Lasswade, for the still more beautiful, but more solitary farm of Ashestiel, on the banks of the Tweed. Lord Byron's poetry blazed out; but Scott took another flight, in the Historical Novel, and was still, if not the greatest poet, the most popular man of his age. Never had there been any evidence of such pecuniary success in the literary world. He made about £15,000 by his poetry; but by his prose he made, by a single work, his £5,000, his £10,000, his £12,000. His facility was equal to his success; it was no long and laborious task to complete one of these truly golden volumes; they were thrown off as fast as he could write; and, in three months, a novel, worth eight or ten thousand pounds in the market, was finished! Well might his hopes and views tower to an unprecedented height. The spirit of poetry and romance reveled in his brain, and began to show itself not only in the construction of volumes, but in the building of a castle, an estate, a family to stand amid the aristocratic families forever. The name of Walter Scott should not only descend with his children as that of an illustrious writer, but should clothe them with the world-honored mantle of titular rank. And every thing was auspicious. The tide and the wind of fortune, and public favor, blew wondrously. Work after work was thrown off; enormous sums often were netted. Publishers and printers struggled for his patronage; but Constable and the Ballantynes, acquaintances of his youth, were selected for his favor; and great became their standing and business. There seemed not one fortune, but three secure of accomplishment. The poet, in the romantic solitude of Ashestiel, or galloping over the heathy hills in the neighborhood, as he mused on new and ever succeeding visions of romances among them, conceived the most fascinating scheme of all. It was to purchase lands, to raise himself a fairy castle, to become, not the minstrel of a lord, as were many of those of old, but a minstrel-lord himself. The practical romance grew. On the banks of the Tweed, then, began to rise the fairy castle. Quaint and beautiful as one of his descriptions, it arose; lands were added to lands; over hill and dale spread the dark embossment of future woods; and Abbotsford began to be spoken of far and wide. The poet had chosen his seat in the midst of the very land of ancient poetry itself. At three miles' distance stood the fair pile of Melrose, which he had made so attractive, by his Lay of the Last Minstrel, to the whole world. Near that showed themselves the Eildon hills, the haunt of True Thomas; at their feet ran the classic stream of Huntly burn. The Cowdenknows lifted its black summit farther down the Tweed; and upward was a whole fairy land—Carterhaugh, Newark Tower, Ettrick forest, St. Mary's Lake, and the Dowie Dens of Yarrow. There was scarcely an object in the whole country round—neither hill, nor wood, nor stream, nor single rock—which was not full of the associations of ballad fame. Here, then, he lived, like an old feudal lord, with his hounds and his trusty vassals; some of the latter, as Laidlaw and Tom Purdie, occupying the station of those humble, faithful friends, who tend so much to complete the happiness of life. In truth, never did the poet himself dream a fairer dream beneath a summer oak than he had now realized around him. His lovely wife, the lady of the domain; his children shooting fast up into beautiful manhood and womanhood; his castle and domain built, and won, as they were, from the regions of enchantment; and friends and worshipers flocking from every country, to behold the far famed minstrel. Princes, and nobles, and men of high name in every walk of life, were his guests.

Every man of any note called him friend. The most splendid equipages crowded the way toward his house; the feast was spread continually as it were the feast of a king; while on the balcony, ranging along the whole front, stalked to and fro, in his tartans, the wild piper, and made the air quiver with the tempestuous music of the hills. Arms and armor were ranged along the walls and galleries of his hall. There were portraits of some of the most noted persons who had figured in his lays and stories—as of Claverhouse, Monmouth, the Pretender, the severed head of the Queen of Scots; with those of brother poets, Dryden, Thomson, Prior, and Gay. There were the escutcheons of all the great clan chieftains blazoned round the ceiling of his hall; and swords, daggers, pistols, and instruments of torture, from the times and the scenes he had celebrated.

Such was the scene of splendor which had sprung from the pen of one man. If it were wonderful, the streams of wealth which continued to pour from the same enchanted goose-quill were still more astounding. From Lockhart's Life we see that, independent of what these works have made since, he had pretty early netted above £13,000 by his poems, though he had sold some of them in their first edition.

  £ s. d.
Border Minstrel, 1st and 2d vol. 1st edit. 78 10 0
Copyright of the same work 500 0 0
Lay of the Last Minstrel, copyright sold 769 6 0
Marmion, copyright sold 1,000 0 0
Lady of the Lake, copyright sold 2,100 0 0
Rokeby, copyright sold 5,000 0 0
Lord of the Isles 3,000 0 0
Halidan Hill   1,000 0 0
  £13,447 16 0

But this was nothing to the produce of his romances. Of Waverley, fifty-one thousand copies had been sold when that Life was published, and Scott tells us that he cleared £400 by each one thousand copies, that is £20,400.

Guy Mannering, 60,000, or £24,000 0 0
Rob Roy, 53,000, or 21,200 0 0

Of the rest we have no total amount given; but, at a similar rate, his twenty-one novels would make an amount of £460,000! Beside this, he received for the Life of Napoleon above £18,000. In three months he wrote Woodstock, for which he tells us that he received £8,400 at once. Then there are his Tales of a Grandfather, twelve volumes, a most popular work, but of which no proceeds are given. For his History of Scotland for Lardner's Cyclopædia, £1,500; for editing Dryden, £756; for seven Essays for the Encyclopædia Britannica, £300; Paul's Letters to his Kinsfolk, £1,350; for a contribution to the Keepsake, £400, which he says he considered poor pay. Then he wrote thirty-five Reviews for the Edinburgh and Quarterly Reviews, for which such a writer could not, on an average, receive less than £50 each, probably £100; but say £50, that is £1,750. And these items are exclusive of the vast mass of edited editions of Swift, of Memoirs, Antiquities, etc., etc. They do not either, except in the three novels specified, include the proceeds of the collective editions of either his prose or his poetry. It appears certain that his works must have produced to the author or his trustees, at the very least, half-a-million of money!

Truly this was the revenue of a monarch in the realm of letters! Popular as Lord Byron was, I suppose the whole which he received for his writings did not realize £30,000. Scott cleared that by any two of his novels. He could clear a third of it in three months. Well might he think to lay field to field, and house to house, and plant his children in the land as lords of the soil, and titled magnates forever!

But, as the fabric of this glorious estate had risen as by the spell of a necromancer, so it fell. It was like one of those palaces, with its fairy gardens, and lawns scattered with diamonds instead of dews, in the Arabian Nights, which, with the destruction of the spell, passed away in a crash of thunder. A house of cards is proverbial, and this house of books fell at one shock, and struck the world with a terrible astonishment. It was found that the great minstrel was not carefully receiving his profits, and investing them; but was engaged as partner in the printing and publishing of his works. His publisher and his printers, drained on the one hand by the vast outlay for castle-building, land-buying, and the maintenance of all comers; and, on the other, infected with the monstrous scene of acquisition which was revealed to their eyes—were moving on a slippery course, and at the shock of the great panic in 1826 went to the ground; leaving Scott debtor to the amount of £120,000, beside a mortgage of £10,000 on his estate!

In some instances the darkness and the difficulty come in the early stages, and wind up in light and happiness; in others, the light comes first, and the darkness at the end. These latter are tragedies, and the romance of Scott's life was a tragedy. How sad and piteous is the winding up here to contemplate! The thunderbolt of fate had fallen on the "Great Magician." The glory of his outward estate was over, but never did that of his inner soul show so brilliantly. Gentle, and genial, and kindly to all men, had he shown himself in his most prosperous days; but now the giant strength of his fortitude, and the nobility of his moral principle, came into magnificent play. He was smitten, sorely smitten, but he was not subdued. Not a hero which he had described could match him in his contest with the rudeness of adversity. He could have paid his dividend, as is usual in such cases, and his prolific pen would have raised him a second fortune. But, then, his honor! no, he would pay to the uttermost farthing! And so, with a sorrowful but not murmuring or desponding heart, he went to work again on his giant's work, and, in six years, with his own hand, with his single pen, paid off £16,000 a-year! This is an achievement which has no parallel. With failing health, with all his brilliant hopes of establishing a great family dashed to the ground, with the dearest objects of his heart and health dropping and perishing before him, he went on and won £60,000, resolved to pay all or perish. And he did perish! His wife, shattered by the shock, died; he was left with a widowed heart still to labor on. Awful pangs and full of presage seized his own frame; a son and a daughter failed too in health; his old man, Tom Purdie, died suddenly; his great publisher, and one of his printers, died, too, of the fatal malady of ruined hopes. All these old connections, formed in the bright morning of life, and which had made his ascent so cheering and his toil so easy, seemed now to be giving way; and how dark was become that life which had exceeded all others in its joyous luster!

Yet, in the darkness, how the invincible soul of the heroic old man went on rousing himself to fight against the most violent shocks of fortune and of his own constitution. "I have walked the last on the domains I have planted; sat the last in the halls I have built; but death would have taken them from me if misfortune had spared them. My poor people whom I loved so well! There is just another die to turn against me in this run of ill luck; i.e., if I should break my magic wand in the fall from this elephant, and lose my popularity with my fortune!… But I find my eyes moistening, and that will not do; I will not yield without a fight for it." "Well, exertion, exertion. O invention, rouse thyself! May man be kind! may God be propitious! The worst is, I never quite know when I am right or wrong." "Slept ill, not having been abroad these eight days; now a dead sleep in the morning, and, when the awakening comes, a strong feeling how well I could dispense with it for once and forever. This passes away, however, as better and more dutiful thoughts arise in my mind." Poor man! and that worst which he feared came. His publisher told him, though reluctantly, that his power had departed, and that he had better lay by his pen! To a man like Scott, who had done such wonders, and still doggedly labored on to do others as great, that was the last and the bitterest feeling that could remain with life.

Is there any thing in language more pathetic than the words of Sir Walter, when, at Abbotsford, he looked round him after his wife's death and wrote thus in his journal:—"When I contrast what this place now is, with what it has been not long since, I think my heart will break. Lonely, aged, deprived of my family—all but poor Anne; an impoverished, an embarrassed man, deprived of the sharer of my thoughts and counsels, who could always talk down my sense of the calamitous apprehensions which break the heart that must bear them alone."

Sir Walter was the Job of modern times. His wealth and prosperity had been like his, and the fabric of his fortune was smitten at the four corners at once by the tempest of calamity; but his patience and resignation rivaled even those of the ancient patriarch. In no period of his life, though he was admirable in all, did he display so lofty a nobility of nature as in that of his adversity. Let us, who have derived such boundless enjoyment from his labors, praise with a fitting honor his memory. How descriptive are the words of Prior, which in his last days he applied to himself:—

"Whate'er thy countrymen have done,
By law and wit, by sword and gun,
In thee is faithfully recited;
And all the living world that view
Thy works, give thee the praises due—
At once instructed and delighted."

That tragic reverse which bowed down himself and so many of those who had shared with him in his happiness, did not stop with his death. His daughters and one of his sons soon followed him. His eldest and only surviving child, the present Sir Walter, has no family; there is no heir of his name, though, I believe, there are two of his blood, the son and daughter of Mr. Lockhart, of the third generation. As in the greatest geniuses in general, in Milton, Shakspeare, Byron, the direct male line has failed in Sir Walter Scott. "The hope of founding a family," says Lockhart, "died with him."

Such is the wonderful and touching romance of the life of Sir Walter Scott. We might pause and point to many a high teaching in it—but enough; in the beautiful words of Sir Egerton Bridges, quoted by Lockhart—"The glory dies not, and the grief is past."

We will now visit seriatim the homes and haunts of this extraordinary man.

Sir Walter has pointed out himself in his autobiography the place of his birth. He says, "I was born, I believe, on the 15th of August, 1771, in a house belonging to my father at the head of the College Wynd. It was pulled down with others to make room for the northern part of the new college." In ascending the Wynd, it occupied the left-hand corner at the top, and it projected into what is now North College-street. According to the account of my friend, Mr. Robert Chambers, in his Reekiana, it has been pulled down upward of sixty years. "The site," he says, "is now partly occupied as a wood-yard, and partly used in the line of North College-street. Mr. Walter Scott, W. S., father of the poet, here lived au troisième, according to the simple fashion of our fathers, the flat which he occupied being accessible by a stair leading up from the little court behind. It was a house of what would now be considered humble aspect, but at that time neither humble from its individual appearance, nor from its vicinage. When required to be destroyed for the public convenience, Mr. Scott received a good price for it; he had some time before removed to a house on the west side of George's-square, where Sir Walter spent all his school-boy and college days. At the same time that Mr. Scott lived in the third flat, the two lower floors were occupied as one house by Mr. Keith, W.S., grandfather to the late Sir Alexander Keith, knight-marischal of Scotland.

"In the course of a walk through this part of the town in 1825, Sir Walter did the present writer the honor to point out the site of the house in which he had been born. On Sir Walter mentioning that his father had got a good price for his share of it, in order that it might be taken down for the public convenience, the individual who accompanied him took the liberty of expressing his belief that more money might have been made of it, and the public much more gratified, if it had remained to be shown as the birthplace of a man who had written so many popular books. 'Ay, ay,' said Sir Walter, 'that is very well; but I am afraid it would have been necessary for me to die first, and that, you know, would not have been so comfortable.'"

Thus, the birthplace of Scott remains to this hour exactly in the condition described above, being used for a wood-yard, and separated from North College-street merely by a wooden fence.

The other spots in Edinburgh connected with Scott, are, his father's house in George's square; his own house, 39, North Castle-street; 19, South Castle-street, the second flat, which he occupied immediately after his marriage; the High-school and the Parliament-house. We may as well notice these at once, as it will then leave us at liberty to take his country residences in consecutive order.

George's-square is a quiet and respectable square, lying not far from Heriot's hospital, and opposite to Watson's hospital, on the left hand of the Meadows-walk. Mr. Robert Chambers—my great informant in these matters in Edinburgh, and who is an actual walking history of the place—every house, and almost every stone, appearing to suggest to him some memorable fact connected with it—stated that this was the first square built, when Edinburgh began to extend itself, and the nobility and wealthy merchants to think of coming down from their lofty stations in flats of the old town ten-storied houses, and seeking quieter and still more airy residences in the suburbs. It was the first sign of the new life and growth before the new town was thought of. No doubt, when Scott's father removed to it, it was the very center of fashion, and still it bears traces of the old gentility. Ancient families still linger about it, and you see door-plates bearing some aristocratic title. At the top, or north side of the square, lived Lord Duncan, at the time that he set out to take command of the fleet, and fight the battle of Camperdown. Before his setting out, he walked to and fro on the pavement here before his house, and, with a friend, talked of his plans; so that the victory of Camperdown may be said to have been planned in this square. The house still belongs to the family. Many other remarkable people have lived just about here. Blacklock, the blind poet, lived near; and Anderson, the publisher of the series of the The Poets, under his name, lived near also, in Windmill-street. A quieter square now could not, perhaps, be found; the grass was growing greenly among the stones when I visited it. The houses are capacious and good, and from the upper windows, many of them look out over the green fields, and have a full view of the Pentland hills. The new town, however, has now taken precedence in public favor, and this square is thought to be on the wrong side of the city. The house which Scott's father occupied, is No. 25.

On the window of a small backroom, on the ground-floor, the name of Walter Scott still remains written on a pane of glass, with a diamond, in a school-boy's hand. The present occupiers of the house told us, that not only the name, but verses had been found on several of the windows, undoubtedly by Walter Scott, and that they had had the panes taken out and sent to London, to admirers of the great author.

The room in which this name is written on the glass, used to be his own apartment. To this he himself, in his autobiography, particularly refers; and Lord Jeffrey relates, that, on his first call on young Walter Scott, "he found him in a small den, on the sunk floor of his father's house, in George's-square, surrounded with dingy books." Mr. Lockhart says, "I may here add the description of that early den, with which I am favored by a lady of Scott's family:—'Walter had soon begun to collect out-of-the-way things of all sorts. He had more books than shelves; a small painted cabinet, with Scotch and Roman coins in it, and so forth. A claymore and Lochabar ax, given him by Mr. Invernahyle, mounted guard on a little print of Prince Charlie; and Broughton's Saucer was hooked up against the wall below it.' Such was the germ of the magnificent library and museum at Abbotsford; and such were the 'new realms' in which he, on taking possession, had arranged his little paraphernalia about him, 'with all the feelings of novelty and liberty.'" "Since those days," says Mr. Lockhart, "the habits of life in Edinburgh, as elsewhere, have undergone many changes; and 'the convenient parlor' in which Scott first showed Jeffrey his collection of minstrelsy, is now, in all probability, thought hardly good enough for a menial's sleeping-room." This is very much the fact; such a poor little damp den did this appear, on our visit, being evidently used by the cook, as it was behind the kitchen, for a sort of little lumber-room of her own, that my companion contended that Scott's room must have been the one over this. The evidence here is, however, too strong as to its identity; and, indeed, who does not know what little dingy nooks children, and even youths, with ardent imaginations, can convert into very palaces.

This house will always be one of the most truly interesting spots connected with Scott's history. It was here that he lived, from a very child to his marriage. Here passed all that happy boyhood and youth which are described with so much beautiful detail in his Life, both from his own autobiography and from added materials collected by Lockhart. These show, in his case, how truly and entirely

"The child was father of the man;"

or, as Milton had it long before,

"The childhood shows the man
As morning shows the day."
Paradise Regained, Book iv. p. 63.

Here it was that he led his happy boyhood, in the midst of that beautiful family life which he has so attractively described: the grave, careful, but kind father; the sweet, sensible, ladylike, and religious mother; the three brothers, various in their fortunes as in their dispositions; and that one unfortunate sister, Anne Scott, whom he terms from her cradle the butt for mischance to shoot arrows at. She who had her hand caught by the iron gate leading into the area of the square in a high wind, and nearly crushed to pieces; who next fell into a pond, and narrowly escaped drowning; and was finally, at six years of age, so burned by her cap taking fire, that she soon after died. Here, as school-boy, college student, and law student, he made his early friendships, often to continue for life, with John Irvine; George Abercrombie, son of the famous general, and now Lord Abercrombie; William Clerk, afterward of Eldin, son of Sir John Clerk, of Pennycuick-house; Adam Fergusson, the son of the celebrated Professor Fergusson; the present Earl of Selkirk, David Boyle, present lord justice clerk, Lord Jeffrey, Mr. Claude Russell, Sir William Rae, David Monypenny, afterward Lord Pitmilly; Sir Archibald Campbell of Succoth, bart.; the Earl of Dalhousie, George Cranstoun (Lord Corehouse), John James Edmonstone, of Newton; Patrick Murray, of Simprim; Sir Patrick Murray, of Ochtertyre; David Douglas (Lord Preston); Thomas Thompson, the celebrated legal antiquary; William Erskine (Lord Kinedder); Alexander Frazer Tytler (Lord Woodhouselee), and other celebrated men, with many of whom he was connected in a literary club.

Here it was that, with one intimate or another, and sometimes in a jovial troop, he set out on those country excursions which were to render him so affluent in knowledge of life and varied character; commencing with their almost daily strolls about Arthur's Seat and Salisbury Crags, repeating poetry and ballads; then to Preston-Pans, Pennycuick, and so extending their rambles to Roslyn, Lasswade, the Pentlands, down into Roxburghshire, into Fife, to Flodden, Chevy Chase, Otterburn, and many another scene of border renown, Liddesdale being, as we have stated, one of the most fascinating; and finally away into the Highlands, where, as the attorney's clerk, his business led him among those old Highland chiefs who had been out in the '15 and '45, and where the veteran Invernahyle set him on fire with his stories of Rob Roy, Mar, and Prince Charlie; and where the Baron of Bradwardine and Tullyveolan, and all the scenes of Waverley, and others of his Scotch romances, were impressed on his soul forever. Here it was, too, that he had for tutor that good-hearted, but formal clergyman, Mr. Mitchell, who was afterward so startled when Sir Walter, calling on him at his manse in Montrose, told him he was "collecting stories of fairies, witches, and ghosts:" "intelligence," said the pious old presbyterian minister, "which proved to me an electric shock;" adding, that moreover, "these ideal beings, the subjects of his inquiry," were not objects on which he had himself wasted his time. And here, finally, it was that, in the ballads he read,—as in that of Cumnor-hall, the germ of Kenilworth, of which he used as a boy to be continually repeating the first verse,

"The dews of summer night did fall—
The moon, sweet regent of the sky,
Silvered the walls of Cumnor-hall,
And many an oak that grew thereby;—"

in the lays of Tasso, Ariosto, etc., he laid up so much of the food of future romance, and where Edie Ochiltrees and Dugald Dalgettys were crossing his everyday path.

It was here that occurred that singular scene, in which his mother bringing in a cup of coffee to a gentleman who was transacting business with her husband, when the stranger was gone, Mr. Scott told his wife that this man was Murray of Broughton, who had been a traitor to Prince Charles Stuart; and saying that his lip should never touch the cup which a traitor had drank out of, flung it out of the window. The saucer, however, being preserved, was secured by Scott, and became a conspicuous object in his juvenile museum.

Such to Scott was No. 25, George's-square. Is it not the secret charm of these old and precious associations which has recently led his old and most intimate friend, Sir Adam Fergusson, to take a house in this square, and within, I believe, one door of Scott's old residence?

We may dismiss in a few words No. 19, South Castle-street, the house where he occupied a flat immediately on his marriage, and the Parliament-house, where he sat, as a clerk of session, and the Outer house, where he might, in his earlier career, be seen often making his acquaintance merry over his stories;—these places will always be viewed with interest by strangers: but it is his house, 39, North Castle-street, around which gather the most lively associations connected with his mature life in Edinburgh.

Here it was that he lived when in town, from soon after his marriage till the great break up of his affairs in 1826. Here a great portion of the best of his life was passed. Here he lived, enjoyed, worked, saw his friends, and felt, in the midst of his happy family, the sense of the great name and affection that he had won among his fellow-men. It is evident, from what he says in his journal, when it had to be sold, that he was greatly attached to it. It was his pride very often when he took strangers home with him, to stop at the crossing of George-street, and point out to them the beauty and airiness of the situation. In one direction was St. George's Church, in another the whole length of George-street, with the monuments of Pitt and Dundas. In one direction, the castle on its commanding rock, in the other the frith of Forth, and the shores of Fife beyond. It was in this house that "the vision of the hand" was seen from a neighboring one in George-street, which is related in Lockhart's Life. A party was met in this house which was situated near to, and at right angles with, George-street. "It was a party," says the relator, "of very young persons, most of them, like Menzies and myself, destined for the bar of Scotland. The weather being hot, we adjourned to a library, which had one large window looking northward. After carousing here an hour or more, I observed that a shade had come over the aspect of my friend, who happened to be placed immediately opposite to myself, and said something that intimated a fear of his being unwell. 'No,' said he, 'I shall be well enough presently, if you will only let me sit where you are, and take my chair; for there is a confounded hand in sight of me here, which has often bothered me before, and now it won't let me fill my glass with a goodwill.' I rose to change places with him accordingly, and he pointed out to me this hand, which, like the writing on Belshazzar's wall, disturbed his hour of hilarity. 'Since we sat down,' said he, 'I have been watching it—it fascinates my eye—it never stops—page after page is finished and thrown on that heap of manuscript, and still it goes on unwearied, and so it will be till candles are brought in, and God knows how long after that. It is the same every night—I can't stand a sight of it when I am not at my books.' 'Some stupid, dogged, engrossing clerk, probably,' exclaimed myself, or some other giddy youth of our society. 'No, boys,' said our host, 'I well know what hand it is—'tis Sir Walter Scott's.' This was the hand that in the evenings of three summer weeks, wrote the two last volumes of Waverley."

I went with Mr. Robert Chambers into this house to get a sight of this window, but some back wall or other had been built up and shut out the view. In the next house, occupied I think by a tailor, we, however, obtained the desired sight of this window on the second story at the back of Scott's house, and could very well have seen any hand at work in the same situation. The house is now inhabited by Professor Napier, the editor of the Edinburgh Review.

The houses and places of business of the Ballantynes and Constable are not devoid of interest, as connected with Scott. In all these he was frequently for business or dining. The place of business of Constable, was at one time that which is now the Crown hotel, at the east end of Princes-street. That which is now the commercial room, or the first floor, was Constable's book-dépôt, and where he sat a good deal; and a door near the window, looking out toward the Register Office, entered a lesser room, now altered, where Scott used to go and write occasionally. The private residence of Constable was at Palton, six or seven miles from Edinburgh. James Ballantyne's was in St. John-street, a row of good, old-fashioned, and spacious houses, adjoining the Canongate and Holyrood, and at no great distance from his printing establishment. John Ballantyne's auction-rooms were in Hanover-street, and his country house, styled by him Harmony-hall, was near the frith of Forth by Trinity. Of both the private and convivial entertainments at these places we have full accounts given by Lockhart. Sometimes, he says, Scott was there alone with only two or three intimate friends; at others, there were great and jovial dinners, and that all guests with whom Scott did not wish to be burdened were feasted here by John Ballantyne, in splendid style; and many were the scenes of uproarious merriment amid his "perfumed conversations," and over the Parisian delicacies of the repast.

But, in fact, the buildings and sites in and around Edinburgh, with which associations of Scott are connected, are innumerable, almost universal. His Marmion, his Heart of Mid-Lothian, his Tales of the Canongate, have peopled almost every part of the city and neighborhood with the vivid characters of his creation. The Canongate, the Cowgate, the Nether and West Bows, the Grass-market, the site of the old Tolbooth, Holyrood, the Park, Muschat's cairn, Salisbury-craig, Davie Dean's cottage, Liberton, the abode of Dominie Butler, Craigmillar Castle, and a thousand other places, are all alive with them. We are astonished, on visiting Edinburgh, to find how much more intense is the interest cast over different spots by his genius than by ordinary history.

A superb monument to his memory, a lofty and peculiarly beautiful gothic cross, now stands in Princes-street, within which stands his statue.

The first place in the country which Scott resided at, is the scene of a sojourn at a very early age, and of subsequent visits—Sandy-knowe, near Kelso. In his autobiography he gives a most picturesque account of his life here. He says that it was here that he came soon after the commencement of his lameness, which was attributed to a fever, consequent on severe teething when he was about eighteen months old. He dates his first consciousness of life from this place. He came here to be strengthened by country air, and was suffered to scramble about among the crags to his heart's content. His father, Walter Scott, was the first of his family who entered on a town life. His grandfather, Robert Scott, then very old, was living at this Sandy-knowe. The place is some five or six miles from Kelso. The spot lies high, and is still very wild, but in the time of Scott's childhood would be far wilder. It was then surrounded, far and wide, with brown moorlands. These are now, for the most part, reclaimed by the plough; but the country is open, naked, and solitary. The old tower of Smailholm, which stands on the spot, is seen afar off as a tall, square, and stern old border keep. In his preface to the Eve of St. John, Scott says, "The circuit of the outer court being defended on three sides by a precipice and a morass, is accessible only from the west by a steep and rocky path. The apartments, as usual in a border keep or fortress, are placed one above another, and communicate by a narrow stair. On the roof are two bartizans, or platforms, for defense or pleasure. The inner door of the tower is wood, the outer an iron grate; the distance between them being nine feet, the thickness, namely, of the walls. Among the crags by which it is surrounded, one more eminent is called the Watchfold; and is said to have been the station of a beacon in the times of war with England."

Stern and steadfast as is this old tower, being, as Scott himself says, nine feet thick in the wall, each room arched with stone, and the roof an arch of stone, with other stones piled into a steep ridge upon it; and being built of the iron-like whinstone of the rocks around, it seems as if it were a solid and time-proof portion of the crag on which it stands. The windows are small holes, and the feeling of grim strength which it gives you is intense. Since Scott's day, the inner door and the outer iron grate are gone. The place is open, and the cattle and the winds make it their resort. All around the black crags start out of the ground; it is an iron wilderness. There are a few laborious cotters just below it, and not far off is the spot where stood the old house of Scott's grandfather, a good modern farmhouse and its buildings. This savage and solitary monument of the ages of feud and bloodshed, stands no longer part of a waste where

"The bittern clamored from the moss,
The wind blew loud and shrill,"

but in the midst of a well cultivated corn farm, where the farmer looks with a jealous eye on visitors, wondering what they can want with the naked old keep, and complaining that they leave his gates open. He had been thus venting his chagrin to the driver of my chaise, and wishing the tower were down—a stiff business to accomplish—but withdrew into his house at my approach.

Sterile and bare as is this wild scene, Scott dates from it, and no doubt correctly, his deep love of nature and ballad romance. In the Introduction to the third canto of Marmion, he thus refers to it:—

"It was a barren scene and wild,
Where naked cliffs were rudely piled;
But ever and anon between
Lay velvet tufts of loveliest green;
And well the lonely infant knew
Recesses where the wall-flower grew,
And honeysuckle loved to crawl
Up the low crag and ruined wall.
I deemed such nooks the sweetest shade
The sun in all his rounds surveyed;
And still I thought the shattered tower
The mightiest work of human power:
And marveled as the aged hind
With some strange tale bewitched my mind—
Of forayers, who, with headlong force,
Down that same strength had spurred their horse,
Their southern rapine to renew,
Far in the distant Cheviots blue;
And home returning, filled the hall
With revel, wassail-rout, and brawl.
Methought that still with trump and clang
The gateway's broken arches rang;
Methought grim features, seamed with scars,
Glanced through the window's rusty bars.
And even, by the winter hearth
Old tales I heard of woe and mirth,
Of lover's slights, of lady's charms:
Of witches' spells, of warriors' arms;
Of patriot battles won of old
By Wallace wight and Bruce the bold;
Of later fields of feud and fight,
When, pouring from their Highland height,
The Scottish clans in headlong sway,
Had swept the scarlet ranks away.
While stretched at length upon the floor,
Again I fought each battle o'er;
Pebbles and shells in order laid,
The mimic works of war displayed;
And onward still the Scottish lion bore,
And still the scattered southron fled before."

Here we have the elements of Waverley at work in the child of four or five years old. In fact, the years that he spent here were crowded with the impressions of romance and the excitement of the imagination. He was surrounded by singular and picturesque characters. The recluse old clergyman;—old MacDougal, of Markstoun, in his little laced cocked hat, embroidered scarlet waistcoat, light-colored coat, and white hair tied military fashion, kneeling on the carpet before the child, and drawing his watch along to induce him to follow it. Old Ormistoun, the herdsman, that used to carry him out into the moorlands, telling him all sorts of stories, and blew his whistle when the nurse was to fetch him home. The nurse herself, who went mad, and to escape from this solitude, confessed that she had carried the child up among the crags, under a temptation of the devil, to cut his throat with her scissors, and bury him in the moss; and was therefore dismissed at once, but found to be a maniac. All these things were certain of sinking deep into the child's mind, amid the solitude and wildness of the place; but all this time too he was stuffed daily with all sorts of border and other ballads: Watt of Harden, Wight Willie of Aikwood, Jamie Telfer of the fair Dodhead, Hardyknute, and the like; and the stories of the cruelties practiced on the rebels at Carlisle, and in the Highlands, after the battle of Culloden, related to him by a farmer of Yethyn who had witnessed them—"tragic tales which," said Scott, "made so great an impression upon me." In fact, here again were future materials of Waverley. Before quitting the stern old tower of Smailholm, and Sandy-knowe, why so called, and why not rather Whinstone-knowe, it were difficult to say,—we may, in the eloquent words of Mr. Lockhart, point out the celebrated scenes which lie in view from it. "Nearly in front of it, across the Tweed, Lessudden, the comparatively small, but still venerable and stately abode of the lairds of Raeburn; and the hoary abbey of Dryburgh, surrounded with yew-trees as ancient as itself, seem to lie almost at the feet of the spectator. Opposite him rise the purple peaks of Eildon, the traditional scene of Thomas the Rhymer's interview with the Queen of Faerie; behind are the blasted peel which the seer of Erceldoun himself inhabited, 'The Broom of the Cowdenknowes,' the pastoral valley of the Leader, and the black wilderness of Lammermoor. To the eastward, the desolate grandeur of Hume Castle breaks the horizon, as the eye travels toward the range of the Cheviot. A few miles westward, Melrose, 'like some tall rock with lichens gray,' appears clasped amid the windings of the Tweed; and the distance presents the serrated mountains of the Gala, the Ettrick, and the Yarrow, all famous in song. Such were the objects that had painted the earliest images on the eye of the last and greatest of the border minstrels."

The next place which became a haunt of the boyhood of Scott was Kelso. Here he had an uncle, Captain Robert Scott, and an aunt, Miss Janet Scott, under whose care he had spent the latter part of his time at Sandy-knowe. Scott, as I have observed, was one of the most fortunate men that ever lived in the circumstances of his early life, in which every possible event which could prepare him for the office of a great and original novelist concurred, as if by appointment of Providence. He was led to visit and explore all the most beautiful scenery of his country—the Borders, the Highlands, those around Edinburgh; and in every place at that time existed multitudes of singular characters, many of them still retaining the quaint garb and habits of a former day. We have seen that his school and college fellows comprised almost all the afterward distinguished men of their age, no trivial advantage to him in his own progress. At Sandy-knowe, beside the characters we have referred to, his old grandfather and grandmother, and their quiet life—"Old Mrs. Scott sitting, with her spinning-wheel, at one side of the fire in a clean, clean parlor; the grandfather, a good deal failed, in his elbows-chair opposite; and the little boy lying on the carpet at the old man's feet, listening to the Bible, or whatever good book Miss Jenny was reading to them." He was away sometimes at Prestonpans, and there, as fortune would have it, for he must be enriched with all such treasure, he saw in George Constable the original of Monkbarns, and also the original Dalgetty. Kelso now added to the number of his original characters, and scenes for future painting. Miss Janet Scott lived, he tells us, in a small house in a large garden to the eastward of the church-yard of Kelso, which extended down to the Tweed. This fine old garden of seven or eight acres, had winding walks, mounds, and a banqueting house. It was laid out in the old style, with high pleached hornbeam hedges, and had a fine plane-tree. In many parts of the garden were fine yews and other trees, and there was also a goodly old orchard. Here, as in a very paradise, he used to read and devour heaps of poetry. Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered, Percy's Reliques, and the works of Richardson, Fielding, Smollett, Mackenzie, and other of the great novelists. The features of this garden remained deeply imprinted in his mind, and have been reproduced in different descriptions of his works. Like the garden of Eden itself this charming old garden has now vanished. Indeed, he himself relates with what chagrin he found, on revisiting the place many years afterward, the good old plane-tree gone, the hedges pulled up, and the bearing trees felled! I searched for some trace of it on my visit there in vain, though its locality is so well defined. There was, however, the old grammar-school not far off to which he used to go, and where he found, in Lancelot Whale, the prototype of Dominie Sampson, and in two of the boys, his future printers, James and John Ballantyne. The neighborhood of Kelso, the town itself, quiet and old-fashioned, was well calculated to charm a boy of his dreaming and poetry-absorbing age. The Tweed here is a fine, broad stream, the banks are steep and magnificently hung with splendid woods. The adjoining park and old castle, the ruins of the fine abbey in the town, and charming walks by the Tweed or the Teviot, which here unite, with their occasional broad, sandy beach, and anglers wading in huge boots; all made their delightful impressions upon him. He speaks with rapture of the long walks along the river with John Ballantyne, repeating poetry and telling stories. His uncle, Captain Robert Scott, lived somewhat farther out on the same side as his aunt, at a villa called Rosebank, which still stands unchanged amid much fine lofty timber, and with its lawn running down to the Tweed.

Kelso was the last country abode of the boyhood of Scott. Edinburgh, with his occasional flights into the Highlands, and his raids into Liddesdale, kept him till his manhood. That found him with his blithe little wife in his cottage at Lasswade.

Lasswade is a lovely neighborhood. It is thrown up with lofty ridges all finely wooded. The country there is rich, and the noble woods, the fine views down into the fertile valleys, and the Esk coming sounding along its channel from Rosslyn and Hawthornden, make it very charming. It is in the immediate neighborhood not only of Rosslyn with its beautiful chapel, and the classic cliffs and woods of Hawthornden, but of Dalkeith; and Lord Melville's park is at Lasswade itself.

The cottage of Scott is still called Lasswade cottage. Every one still knows the house as the one where he lived. A miller near said, "He minded him weel. He was an advocate then, and his wife a little dark Frenchwoman." The house is now occupied as a ladies' school, kept by two Miss Mutters. It looks somewhat neglected, and wants painting and keeping in more perfect order; but it is itself a very sweet, secluded place. It is before you come to the village of Lasswade, about half-way down the hill, from an ordinary hamlet called Loanhead. It stands about fifty yards from the roadside; and, in fact, the road divides at the projecting corner of its higher paddock; the main highway descending to the left to Lasswade, and the other to the right proceeding past several pleasant villas to the Esk. There are two roads leading from the highway up to the house; one being the carriage drive up to the front, and the other to the back, past some laborers' cottages. It is a somewhat singular-looking house, having one end tall, and thatched in a remarkably steep manner; and then a long, low range, running away from it. The whole is thatched, whitewashed, and covered with Ayrshire roses, evergreen plants, and masses of ivy. When you get round to the front, for it turns its back on the road, you find the lofty part projecting much beyond the low range, and having a sort of circular front. A gravel walk or drive goes quite round to this side, and is divided from a paddock by laurels. There are three paddocks. One opposite to the tall end, and extending down to the road, one in front, and one behind the house, in which stands, near the house, in a still smaller inclosure, a remarkably large sycamore-tree. The paddocks are all surrounded by tall, full-grown trees, and they shut in the place to perfect retirement. At the end of the low range lies a capital large kitchen garden, with plenty of fruit trees; and this extends to the backlane, proceeding toward the valley of the Esk. The neighborhood is full of the houses of people of wealth and taste. Here for many years lived Henry Mackenzie, the Man of Feeling. Here, at this cottage, however secluded, Scott found plenty of literary society. He was busy with his German translations of Lenore, Gôtz von Berlichingen, etc.; and his Border Minstrelsy. Here Mat. Lewis, and Heber, the collector of rare books, visited him; as well as the crabbed Ritson, whom the rough and impatient Leyden put to flight. Then came Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy, from a tour in the Highlands; and Scott set off on a ramble down to Melrose and Teviotdale. He had here partly written the Lay of the Last Minstrel, and edited and published Sir Tristram. These facts are enough to give a lasting interest to the cottage of Lasswade. The duties of his sheriffdom now called him frequently to the forest of Ettrick, and he fixed his abode at the lovely but solitary Ashestiel.

Ashestiel occupied as an abode a marked and joyous period of Scott's life. He was now a happy husband, the happy father of a lovely young family. Fortune was smiling on him. He held an honorable and to him delightful office, that of the sheriff of the county of Selkirk; which bound him up with almost all that border ballad country, in which he reveled as in a perfect fairy land. He was fast rising into fame, and in writing out the visions of poetry which were now warmly and rapidly opening upon his mind, he was located in a spot most auspicious to their development. The solitude of Ashestiel was only felt by him as a refreshing calm, for his spirit was teeming with life and action, and his rides over hill and dale, his coursing with his favorite dogs and friends, along the hills of Yair, "his burning of the water," in the deep and dark Tweed, which rolled sounding on beneath the forest banks below his house—that is, spearing salmon by torch-light: these were all but healthy and joyous set-offs to the bustle of inward life in the composition of The Lay of the Last Minstrel, Marmion, The Lady of the Lake, The Lord of the Isles, of Waverley, and the active labors on Dryden, and a host of other literary undertakings. I believe Scott resided about seven years at Ashestiel; and it is amazing what a mass of new and beautiful compositions he worked off there. It was here that his poetic fame grew to its full height; and he was acknowledged, though Southey, Wordsworth, Campbell, and Coleridge were now pouring out their finest productions, to be the most original and popular writer of the day. There was to be one fresh and higher flight even by him, that of "The Great Unknown," and this was reserved for Abbotsford. There the fame of his romances began, there grew into its full-blown greatness; but here the sun of his poetic reputation ascended to its zenith. In particular, the poem of Marmion will forever recall the memory and the scenery of Ashestiel. The introductions to the several cantos, than which there are no poems in the English language more beautiful of this kind, are all imbued with the spirit of the place. They breathe at once the solitary beauty of the hills, the lovely charm of river, wood, and heath, and the genial blaze of the domestic hearth; on which love, and friendship, and gladsome spirits of childhood, and the admiration of eager visitors to the secluded abode of "The Last Minstrel," had made an earthly paradise. The summer rambles up the Ettrick or Yarrow, by Newark Tower, St. Mary's Loch, or into the wilds of Moffatdale, when

"The lavroch whistled from the cloud:
The stream was lively, but not loud;
From the white-thorn the May-flower shed
Its dewy fragrance round our head:
Not Ariel lived more merrily
Under the blossomed bough than we."

Then how the time flew by in the brighter season of the year, by dale and stream, in wood and wold, till the approach of winter and the Edinburgh session called them to town. How vividly are these days of storm and cloud depicted.

"When dark December glooms the day,
And takes our autumn joys away:
When short and scant the sunbeam throws
Upon the weary waste of snows,
A cold and profitless regard,
Like patron on a needy bard—
When sylvan occupation's done,
And o'er the chimney rests the gun,
And hang, in idle trophy near,
The game-pouch, fishing-rod, and spear:
When wiry terrier, rough and grim,
And grayhound with its length of limb,
And pointer, now employed no more,
Cumber our narrow parlor floor:
When in his stall the impatient steed
Is long condemned to rest and feed:
When from our snow-encircled home
Scarce cares the hardiest step to roam,
Since path is none, save that to bring
The needful water from the spring:
When wrinkled news-page, thrice conned o'er,
Beguiles the dreary hour no more,
And darkling politician, crossed,
Inveighs against the lingering post,
And answering housewife sore complains
Of carriers' snow-impeded wains:
When such the country cheer, I come,
Well pleased to seek our city home;
For converse, and for books, to change
The forest's melancholy range;
And welcome, with renewed delight,
The busy day and social night."
Introduction to Canto v.

It was on a fine, fresh morning, after much rain, that, with a smart lad as driver, I sped in a gig from Galashiels up the valley on the way to Ashestiel. The sweet stream of the Gala water ran on our left, murmuring deliciously, and noble woods right and left, among them the classic mansion of Torwoodlee, and wood-crowned banks, made the way beautiful. Anon we came out to the open country, bare but pleasant hills, and small light streams careering along the valleys, and shepherds, with their dogs at their heels, setting out on their long rounds for the day. There was an inspiriting life and freshness in every thing—air, earth, and sky. The way is about six miles in length, from Galashiels to Ashestiel. About three parts of this was passed when we came to Clovenfoot, a few houses among the green hills, where Scott used often to lodge for days and weeks at the little inn, before he got to Ashestiel. The country about Ashestiel consists of moorland hills, still showing the darkness of the heather upon them. It is wilder, and has an air of greater loneliness than the pastoral mountains of Ettrick and Moffatdale; and the pleasant surprise is the more lively, when at once, in the midst of this brown and treeless region, after going on wondering where this Ashestiel can have hidden itself, not a house or a trace of existence being visible, but bare hill beyond hill, you suddenly see before you, down in a deep valley, a mass of beautiful woodlands emerging into view; the Tweed displays its broad and rapid stream at the foot of this richly wooded scene, and a tasteful house on the elevated bank beyond the river shows its long front and gables over the tree-tops. This is Ashestiel, the residence of Scott, where he wrote Marmion and commenced Waverley. We descended to the Tweed, where there is no bridge, but a ford, called by Scott "none of the best," "that ugly ford," which after long rains is sometimes carried away, and instead of a ford becomes a gulf. I remembered the incident of Scott himself being once pushed into it, when his horse found no bottom and had to swim across; and of a cart bringing the new kitchen-range being upset, and leaving the much desired fireplace at the bottom. The river was now much swollen, but my stout-hearted lad said he did not fear it; he often went there; and so we passed boldly through the powerful stream, and up the woodland bank to the house. The proprietor and present occupant, Major General Sir James Russell, a relative of Sir Walter's, was just about to mount his horse to go out, but very kindly turned back and introduced me to Lady Russell, an elegant and very agreeable woman, the sister of Sir James and Captain Basil Hall. They showed me the house with the greatest pleasure, and pressed me to stay luncheon. The house, Sir James said, was in Scott's time much less than at present. It was a farmhouse made out of an old border tower, by his father, and in the room looking down the Tweed, a beautiful view, Scott wrote Marmion, and the first part of Waverley, as well as the conclusion of the Lay of the Last Minstrel, and the whole of the Lady of the Lake. That room is now the center sitting-room, and Sir Walter's little drawing-room is Sir James's bedroom. Sir James has greatly enlarged and improved the house. He has built a wing at each end, running at right angles with the old front, and his dining-room now enjoys the view which Scott's sitting-room had before. The house is very elegantly furnished, as well as beautifully situated. The busts of Sir Walter Scott and Captain Basil Hall occupy conspicuous places in the dining-room, and recall the associations of the past and the present. The grounds which face the front that is turned from the river and looks up the hill, are very charming; and at a distance of a field is the mound in the wood called "The Shirra's knowe," because Scott was fond of sitting there. Its views are now obstructed by the growth of the trees, but if they were opened again would be wildly woodland, looking down on the Tweed, and on a brook which rushes down a deep glen close by, called the Stiel burn. The knowe has all the character of a cairn or barrow, and I should think there is little doubt that it is one. It does not, however, stand on Sir James's property, and therefore it is not kept in order. Above the knowe, and Sir James's gardens, stretch away the uplands, and on the distant hill lies the mound and trench called Wallace's trench.

One would have thought that Scott was sufficiently withdrawn from the world at Ashestiel; but the world poured in upon him even here, and beside the visits of Southey, Heber, John Murray, and other of his distant friends, the fashionable and far wandering tribes found him out. "In this little drawing-room of his," said Sir James Russell, "he entertained three duchesses at once." Adding, "Happy had it been for him had he been contented to remain here, and have left unbuilt the castle of Abbotsford, so much more in the highway of the tourist, and offering so much more accommodation." That is too true. The present house is good enough for a lord, and yet not too good for a private gentleman; while its situation is, in some respects, more beautiful than that of Abbotsford. The site of the house is more elevated, standing amid its fine woods, and yet commanding the course of the bold river deep beneath it, with its one bank with dark hanging forests, and that beyond open to the bare and moorland hills. But Scott would to Abbotsford, and so must we.

I have, somewhere else, expressed how greatly the landlords of Scotland are indebted to Scott. It is to him that thousands of them owe not merely subsistence, but ample fortunes. In every part of the country where he has touched the earth with his magic wand, roads have run along the heretofore impassable morass, rocks have given way for men, and houses have sprung up full of the necessary "entertainment for man and horse." Steamers convey troops of summer tourists to the farthest west and north of the Scottish coast; and every lake and mountain swarms with them. On arriving at Melrose, I was greatly struck with the growth of this traffic of picturesque and romantic travel. It was twenty years since I was in that village before. Scott was then living at Abbotsford, and drew up to the inn door to take post-horses on to Kelso. While these were got out, we had a full and fair view of him as he sat, without his hat, in the carriage reading, as we ourselves were breakfasting near the window of a room just opposite. Then, there was one small inn in the place, and very few people in it; now, there were two or three; and these, beside lodging-houses, all crammed full of guests. The inn-yards stood full of traveling carriages, and servants in livery were lounging about in motley throngs. The ruins of the abbey were like a fair for people, and the intelligent and very obliging woman who shows them said, that every year the numbers increased, and, that every year, foreigners seemed to arrive from more and more distant regions.

At Abbotsford it was the same. It must be recollected, that there had been a summer of incessant rain, yet both at the inn and at the abbey the people said that it had appeared to make no difference, they had been constantly full. As I drove up toward Abbotsford it was getting toward evening, and I feared I might be almost too late to be allowed to see through the house, but I met three or four equipages returning thence, and as many fresh ones arrived while I was there. Some of these were obliged to wait a long time, as the housekeeper would not admit above a dozen persons or so at once; and carriages stood about the court as though it were some great visiting day there. That visiting day endures the whole summer through; and the money received for inspection alone must be a handsome income. If the housekeeper gets it all, as she receives it all, she will eventually match the old housekeeper of the Duke of Devonshire, at Chatsworth, who is said to have died a few years ago, worth £120,000! and was still most anxious to secure the reversion of the post for her niece, but in vain; the duke probably and very justly thinking, that there should be turn-about even in the office of such liberal door-keeping.

Abbotsford, after twenty years' interval, and having then been seen under the doubly exaggerating influence of youth and the recent influence of Scott's poetry, in some degree disappointed me. I had imagined the house itself larger, its towers more lofty, its whole exterior more imposing. The plantations are a good deal grown, and almost bury the house from the distant view, but they still preserve all their formality of outline, as seen from the Galashiels road. Every field has a thick, black belt of fir-trees, which run about, forming on the long hillside the most fantastic figures. The house is, however, a very interesting house. At first, you come to the front next to the road, which you do by a steep descent down the plantation. You are struck, having a great castle in your imagination, with the smallness of the place. It is neither large nor lofty. Your ideal Gothic castle shrinks into a miniature. The house is quite hidden till you are at it, and then you find yourself at a small, castellated gateway, with its crosses cut into the stone pillars on each side, and the little window over it, as for the warden to look out at you. Then comes the view of this side of the house with its portico, its bay windows with painted glass, its tall, battlemented gables, and turrets with their lantern terminations; the armorial escutcheon over the door, and the corbels, and then another escutcheon aloft on the wall of stars and crescents. All these have a good effect; and not less so the light screen of freestone finely worked and carved with its elliptic arches and iron lattice-work, through which the garden is seen with its espalier trees, high brick walls, and greenhouse, with a doorway at the end leading into a second garden of the same sort. The house has a dark look, being built of the native whinstone, or grau-wacke, as the Germans call it, relieved by the quoins and projections of the windows and turrets in freestone. All looks classic, and not too large for the poet and antiquarian builder. The dog Maida lies in stone on the right hand of the door in the court, with the well known inscription. The house can neither be said to be Gothic nor castellated. It is a combination of the poet's, drawn from many sources, but all united by good taste, and forming an unique style, more approaching to the Elizabethan than any other. Round the court, of which the open-work screen just mentioned is the farther boundary, runs a covered walk, that is, along the two sides not occupied by the house and the screen; and in the wall beneath the arcade thus formed, are numerous niches, containing a medley of old figures brought from various places. There are Indian gods, old figures out of churches, and heads of Roman emperors. In the corner of the court, on the opposite side of the portico to the dog Maida, is a fountain, with some similar relics reared on the stone-work round it.

The other front gives you a much greater idea of the size. It has a more continuous range of façade. Here, at one end, is Scott's square tower, ascended by outside steps, and a round or octagon tower at the other; you can not tell, certainly, which shape it is, as it is covered with ivy. On this the flag-staff stands. At the end next to the square tower, i.e., at the right-hand end as you face it, you pass into the outer court, which allows you to go round the end of the house from one front to the other, by the old gateway, which once belonged to the Tolbooth of Edinburgh. Along the whole of this front runs a gallery, in which the piper used to stalk to and fro while they were at dinner. This man still comes about the place, though he has been long discharged. He is a great vagabond.

Such is the exterior of Abbotsford. The interior is far more interesting. The porch, copied from that of the old palace of Linlithgow, is finely groined, and there are stags' horns nailed up in it. When the door opens, you find yourselves in the entrance-hall, which is, in fact, a complete museum of antiquities and other matters. It is, as described in Lockhart's Life of Scott, wainscoted with old wainscot from the kirk of Dumfermline, and the pulpit of John Knox is cut in two, and placed as chiffonniers between the windows. The whole walls are covered with suits of armor and arms, horns of moose deer, the head of a musk bull, etc. At your left hand, and close to the door, are two cuirasses, some standards, eagles, etc., collected at Waterloo. At the opposite end of the room are two full suits of armor, one Italian, and one English of the time of Henry V., the latter holding in its hands a stupendous two-handed sword, I suppose six feet long, and said to have been found on Bosworth field. Opposite to the door is the fireplace of freestone, imitated from an arch in the cloister at Melrose, with a peculiarly graceful spandrel. In it stands the iron grate of Archbishop Sharpe, who was murdered by the Covenanters; and before it stands a most massive Roman camp kettle. On the roof, at the center of the pointed arches, runs a row of escutcheons of Scott's family, two or three at one end being empty, the poet not being able to trace the maternal lineage so high as the paternal. These were painted accordingly in nubibus, with the motto, Nox alta velat. Round the door at one end are emblazoned the shields of his most intimate friends, as Erskine, Moritt, Rose, etc., and all round the cornice ran the emblazoned shields of the old chieftains of the Border, with this motto, in old English letters:—"These be the Coat Armouries of the Clannis and Chief Men of name who keepit the Marchys of Scotland in the aulde tyme of the King. Trewe weare they in their tyme, and in their defence, God them defend it."

The chairs are from Scone Palace. On the wall hangs the chain shirt of Cromwell; and on a table at the window where visitors sign their names, lies the huge, tawny lion skin, sent by Thomas Pringle from South Africa.

A passage leading from the entrance-hall to the breakfast-room has a fine groined ceiling, copied from Melrose, and the open space at the end, two small full-length paintings of Miss Scott, and Miss Anne Scott.

In the breakfast-room where Scott often used to read, there is a table, constructed something like a pyramid, which turns round. On each side of this he laid books of reference, and turned the table as he wanted one or the other. Here is also a small oak table, at which he breakfasted. His daughter Anne used generally to join him at it; but if she did not come, he made breakfast himself, and went to work again without waiting. In this room—a charming little room, with the most cheerful views up the valley—there is such a collection of books as might serve for casual reading, or to refresh the mind when weary of writing, poetry and general literature: beside a fine oil painting over the fireplace of the Wolf's craig, in Lammermoor, i.e., Fast Castle, by Thomson, and numbers of sweet water-color pictures. Also a bust of Mackenzie, the Man of Feeling, in a niche.

Then there is the library, a noble room, with a fine cedar ceiling, with beautiful compartments, and most lovely carved pendants, where you see bunches of grapes, human figures, leaves, etc. It is copied from Rosslyn or Melrose. There are three busts in this room: the first, one of Sir Walter, by Chantrey; one of Wordsworth; and in the great bay window, on a table, a cast of that of Shakspeare, from Stratford. There is a full-length painting of the poet's son, the present Sir Walter, in his hussar uniform, with his horse. The work-table in the space of the bay window, and the fine carved ceiling in this part of the room, as well as the brass hanging lamp brought from Herculaneum, are particularly worthy of notice. There is a pair of most splendidly carved box-wood chairs, brought from Italy, and once belonging to some cardinal. The other chairs are of ebony, presented by George IV. There is a tall silver urn, standing on a porphyry table, filled with bones from the Piræus, and inscribed as the gift of Lord Byron. The books in this room, many of which are secured from hurt by wire-work doors, are said to amount to twenty thousand. Many, of course, are very valuable, having been collected with great care by Scott, for the purpose of enabling him to write his different works. Then, there is a large collection of both printed and MS. matter, relative to the rebellions of '15 and '45; and others connected with magic and demonology. Altogether the books, many of which are presentation copies, from authors, not only of this but various other countries, make a goodly show, and the room is a noble one.

In the drawing-room, the wood also is of cedar; and here hangs the large painting by Raeburn, containing the full-length portrait of Sir Walter, as he sits under a wall, and of his two dogs. This, one often sees engraved. It is said to be most like him, and is certainly very like Chantrey's bust when you examine them together. There is a portrait of Lady Scott, too. Oh! such a round-faced little blackamoor of a woman! One instantly asks—where was Sir Walter's taste? Where was the judgment which guided him in describing Di Vernon, Flora MacIvor, or Rebecca? "But," said the housekeeper, "she was a very brilliant little woman;" and this is also said by those who knew her. How greatly, then, must the artist have sinned against her! The portrait of Miss Anne Scott is lovely, and you see a strong likeness to her father. Scott's mother is a very good, amiable, motherly-looking woman, in an old-fashioned lady's cap. Beside these articles, there is a table of verd antique, presented by Lord Byron. This is placed between the front windows, and bears a vase of what resembles purple glass, a transparent marble, inlaid beautifully with gold. There is also a black ebony cabinet, which was presented by George IV. with the chairs now in the library.

The armory is a most remarkable room; it is the collection of the author of Waverley; and to enumerate all the articles which are here assembled, would require a volume. Take a few particulars. The old wooden lock of the Tolbooth of Selkirk; Queen Mary's offering-box, a small iron ark or coffer, with a circular lid, found in Holyrood-house. Then Hofer's rifle—a short, stout gun, given him by Sir Humphry Davy, or rather by Hofer's widow to Sir Humphry for Sir Walter. The housekeeper said, that Sir Humphry had done some service for the widow of Hofer, and in her gratitude she offered him this precious relic, which he accepted for Sir Walter, and delighted the poor woman with the certainty that it would be preserved to posterity in such a place as Abbotsford. There is an old white hat, worn by the burgesses of Stowe when installed. Rob Roy's purse and his gun; a very long one, with the initials R. M. C., Robert Macgregor Campbell, round the touch-hole. A rich sword in a silver sheath, presented to Sir Walter by the people of Edinburgh, for the pains he took when George IV. was there. The sword of Charles I., afterward belonging to the Marquis of Montrose. A collection of claymores, and of the swords of German executioners, of the very kind still used in that semi-barbarous, though soi-disant philosophical country; a country of private trials without juries, of torture in prison, and of the bloodiest mode of execution possible. There the criminal, if not—as was a poor tailor of Köningsberg, in 1841—broken on the wheel inch by inch for killing a bishop, is seated in a chair on the platform, with his head against a post, and the executioner strikes off his head. The head falls, the blood spouts like fountains from the struggling trunk, and falls in a crimson shower all over the figure—a horrible spectacle!

On the blades of one of these swords is an inscription, thus translated by Scott himself:

"Dust, when I strike, to dust; from sleepless grave,
Sweet Jesu, stoop a sin-stained soul to save."

The hunting-bottle of James I.; the thumbikins with which the Covenanters were tortured; the iron crown of the martyr Wishart; Bonaparte's pistols, found in his carriage at Waterloo; the pistols of Claverhouse, all of steel, according to the fashion of that time, and inlaid with silver. Two great keys of the Tolbooth of Edinburgh, found after the doors were burned by the mob who seized and hanged Captain Porteus; and innumerable other objects of the like kind.

In the dining-room, the most curious thing is the painting of the head of Mary Queen of Scots, immediately after decapitation. Of this, it is said, Sir Walter took great pains to establish the authenticity. It is by Amias Cawood, and, to my fancy, strange as it may seem, gives a better notion of the beauty of Mary than any of her living portraits. But the hair is still black, not gray, or rather white, as stated by the historians. There are a considerable number of good portraits in this room. A fine one of Nell Gwynn, also much handsomer than we generally see her; it is a fellow to the one in Glammis Castle. An equestrian portrait of Lord Essex, the parliament general. Thomson, the poet, who must likewise have been handsome, if like this. John Dryden. Oliver Cromwell, when young. The Duke of Monmouth. The marriage of Scott of Harden, to muckle-mouthed Meg, who is making the widest mouth possible, with a very arch expression, as much as to say, "As you will be obliged to have me, I will, for this once, have the pleasure of giving you a fright." Charles XII. of Sweden. Walter Raleigh, in a broad hat, very different to any other portrait I have seen of him—more common looking. Small full-lengths of Henrietta, queen of Charles I., and of Ann Hyde, queen of James II. Prior and Gay, by Jervas. Hogarth, by himself. Old Beardie, Scott's great-grandfather. Lucy Walters, first mistress of Charles II., and mother of the Duke of Monmouth; with the Duchess of Buccleugh, Monmouth's wife.

Lastly, and on our way back to the entrance-hall, we enter the writing-room of Sir Walter, which is surrounded by book-shelves, and a gallery, by which Scott not only could get at his books, but by which he could get to and from his bedroom, and so be at work when his visitors thought him in bed. He had only to lock his door, and he was safe. Here are his easy leathern chair and desk, at which he used to work, and, in a little closet, is the last suit that he ever wore—a bottle-green coat, plaid waistcoat, of small pattern, gray plaid trowsers, and white hat. Near these hang his walking-stick, and his boots and walking-shoes. Here are, also, his tools, with which he used to prune his trees in the plantations, and his yeoman-cavalry accouterments. On the chimney-piece stands a German light-machine, where he used to get a light, and light his own fire. There is a chair made of the wood of the house at Robroyston, in which William Wallace was betrayed; having a brass plate in the back, stating that it is from this house, where "Wallace was done to death by Traitors." The writing-room is connected with the library, and this little closet had a door issuing into the garden; so that Scott had all his books at immediate command, and could not only work early and late, without any body's knowledge, but, at will, slip away to wood and field, if he pleased, unobserved. In his writing-room, there is a full-length portrait of Rob Roy, and a head of Claverhouse. The writing-room is the only sitting-room facing the south. It ranges with the entrance-hall, and between them lies a little sort of armory, where stand two figures, one presenting a specimen of chain armor, and the other, one of wadded armor—that is, silk stuffed with cotton.

Here, then, is a tolerable account of the interior of Abbotsford. I perceive that Mr. Lockhart, in his recent People's Edition of his Life of Scott, has given an account said to have been furnished by Scott himself to an annual. If it were correct at the time it was written, there must have been a general rearrangement of paintings and other articles. Mr. Lockhart says, he suspects its inaccuracy; but what makes me doubt that Scott drew up the account is, that some of the most ornamental ceilings, which can not have been changed, are stated to be of dark oak, whereas they are of pencil cedar.

I again walked up the mile-long plantation, running along the hillside from the house up the valley, and found it again merely a walk through a plantation—nothing more. It is true that, as you get a good way up, you arrive at some high ground, and can look out up the valley toward Selkirk, and get some views of the Tweed, coming down between its moorland hills, which are very sweet. But the fault of Abbotsford is, that it is not laid out to the advantage that it might be. The ground in front of the house, highly capable of being laid out in beautiful lawn and shrubbery, is cut up with trees that shut out the noblest feature of the scene—the river. One side of the house is elbowed up with square brick garden walls, which ought to be at a distance, and concealed; the other with an unsightly laundry-yard, with its posts and lines. Just down before the house, where the sweet and rich verdure of lawn should be, is set the farmyard; and then comes the long, monotonous wood. This, in some degree, might be altered, and probably sometime will. At present, the fault of the whole estate is stiffness and formality. The plantations of fir have, necessarily, a stiff, formal look; but this, too, will mend with time. They are now felling out the fir timber; and then what is called the hard-wood, that is, the deciduous trees, will in course of time, present a softer and more agreeable look.

I ranged all through these plantations, from the house to the foot of the Eildon hills, down by the Rhymer's glen and Huntly burn. It is amazing what a large stretch of poor land Sir Walter had got together. It is not particularly romantic, except for the fine background of the Eildon hills; but Sir Walter saw the scene with the eyes of poetic tradition. He saw things which had been done there, and sung of; and all was beautiful to him: and in time, when the trees are better grown, and have a more varied aspect, and the plantations are more broken up, it will be beautiful. The views from the higher grounds are so now. Down at the house the trees have so grown and closed up the prospects, that you can scarcely get a single glimpse of the river; but when you ascend the woods, and come to an opening on the hills, you see up and down the valley, far and wide. Near a mount in the plantations, on which an old carved stone is reared, and held upright by iron stays, probably marking the scene of some border skirmish, there are seats of turf, from which you have fine views. You see below Abbotsford, where the Gala water comes sweeping into the Tweed, and where Galashiels lies smoking beyond, all compact, like a busy little town as it is. And in another direction, the towers and town of Melrose are discerned at the foot of the bare but airy Eildon hills; and, still farther, the black summit of the Cowdenknowes.

Something beyond this spot, after issuing out of the first mass of plantations, and ascending a narrow lane, I came to a farmhouse. I asked a boy in the yard what the farm was called; and a thrill went through me when he answered—Kaeside. It was the farm of William Laidlaw, the steward and the friend of Sir Walter. We have seen how, in his earlier, joyous days, Sir Walter fell in with Laidlaw, Hogg, and Leyden. The expeditions into Ettrick and Yarrow, in quest of old border ballads, brought Scott into contact with the two former. He found, not only poetry, but actual living poets, among the shepherds and sheep-farmers of the hills. I know nothing more beautiful than the relation of these circumstances in Lockhart's Life of Scott. In Chambers's Edinburgh Journal of July and August, 1845, there is also a very interesting account of Laidlaw, and especially of the coming of Scott and Leyden to Blackhouse farm, in Yarrow, Laidlaw's farm, and of their strolling over all the classic ground of the neighborhood; to St. Mary's Loch, to the thorn of Whitehope, Dryhope Tower, the former abode of "the Flower of Yarrow," Yarrow Church, and the Seven Stones, which mark the graves of the Seven Brothers, slain in "The Douglas Tragedy." How Laidlaw produced the famous ballad of "Auld Maitland," and how Leyden walked about in the highest excitement while Scott read it aloud. Then follows the equally interesting account of the visit of Scott and Laidlaw to Hogg, in Ettrick. These were golden days. Laidlaw and Hogg were relatives, and old friends. Hogg had been shepherd at Blackhouse, with Laidlaw's father. The young men had grown poets, from the inspiration of the scenes they lived among, and their mutual conversation. Then comes the great minstrel of the time, seeking up the scattered and unedited treasures of antiquity, and finds these rustic poets of the hills, and they become friends for life. It is a romance. Laidlaw was of an old and famous, but decayed family. The line had been cursed by a maternal ancestress, and they believed that the curse took effect: they all became lawless men. But Laidlaw went to live at Abbotsford, as the factor or steward of Scott; and in him Scott found one of the most faithful, intelligent, and sympathizing friends, ready either to plant his trees or write down his novels at his dictation, when his evil days came upon him. In our daydreams we imagine such things as these. We lay out estates, and settle on them our friends and faithful adherents, and make about us a paradise of affection, truth, and intellect; but it was the fortune of Scott to do this actually. Here, at his little farm of Kaeside, lived Laidlaw, and after Scott's death went to superintend estates in Rosshire; and his health at length giving way, he retired to the farm of his brother, a sheep-farmer of Contin; and there, in as beautiful scenery as Scotland or almost any country has to show, the true poet of nature, this true-hearted man, breathed his last on the 18th of May, 1845.

Those who wander through the woods of Abbotsford, and find their senses regaled by the rich odor of sweet-brier and woodbines, with shrubs oftener found in gardens, as I did with some degree of surprise, will read with interest the following direction of Scott to Laidlaw, in which he explains the mystery:—"George must stick in a few wild roses, honeysuckles, and sweet-briers, in suitable places, so as to produce the luxuriance we see in the woods which nature plants herself. We injure the effect of our plantings, so far as beauty is concerned, very much by neglecting underwood." In the woods of Abbotsford the memory of Laidlaw will be often recalled by the sight and odor of these fragrant plants.

Descending into a valley beyond Kaeside, I came to the forester's lodge, on the edge of a little solitary loch. Was this cottage formerly the abode of another worthy—Tom Purdie, whom Scott has, on his grave-stone in Melrose abbey-yard, styled "Wood-forester of Abbotsford?"—a double epithet which may be accounted for by foresters being often nowadays keepers of forests where there is no wood, as in Ettrick, etc. Whether this was Tom Purdie's abode or not, however, I found it inhabited by a very obliging and intelligent fellow, as porter there. The little loch here I understood him to be called Abbotsford Loch, in contradiction to Cauldshiels Loch, which is still further up the hills. This Cauldshiels Loch was a favorite resort of Scott's at first. It had its traditions, and he had a boat upon it; but finding that it did not belong to his estate, as he supposed, by one of his purchases, he would never go upon it again, though requested to use it at his pleasure by the proprietor. By the direction of the forester, I now steered my way onward from wood to wood, toward the Eildon hills, in quest of the glen of Thomas the Rhymer. The evening was now drawing on, and there was a deep solitude and solemnity over the dark pine woods through which I passed. The trees which Scott had planted were now in active process of being thinned out, and piles of them lay here and there by the cart tracks through the woods, and heaps of the peeled bark of the larch for sale. I thought with what pleasure would Scott have now surveyed these operations, and the beginning of the marketable profit of the woods of his own planting. But that day was passed. I went on over fields embosomed in the black forest, where the grazing herds gazed wildly at me, as if a stranger were not often seen there; crossed the deep glen, where the little stream roared on, lost in the thick growth of now lofty trees; and then passed onward down the Rhymer's glen to Huntly burn: every step bearing fresh evidence of the vanished romance of Abbotsford. How long was it since Miss Edgeworth sat by the little water-fall in the Rhymer's glen, and gave her name to the stone on which she was seated? The house at Huntly burn, which Scott had purchased to locate his old friend Sir Adam Fergusson near him, was now the house of the wood-factor; and piles of timber, and sawn boards on all sides, marked its present use. Lockhart was gone from the lovely cottage just by at Chiefswood. And Scott himself, after his glory and his troubles, slept soundly at Dryburgh. The darkness that had now closed thickly on my way, seemed to my excited imagination to have fallen on the world. What a day of broad hearts and broad intellects was that which had just passed! How the spirit of power, and of creative beauty, had been poured abroad among men, and especially in our own country, as with a measureless opening of the divine hand; and how rapidly and extensively had then the favored ministers of this intellectual diffusion been withdrawn from the darkened earth! Scott, and almost all his family who had rejoiced with him—Abbotsford was an empty abode—the very woods had yielded up their faithful spirits—Laidlaw and Purdie were in the earth—Hogg, the shepherd-poet, had disappeared from the hills. And of the great lights from England, how many were put out!—Crabbe, Southey, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, Keats, Campbell, Mrs. Hemans, Miss Landon, Hood, and Lamb, many of them bidding farewell to earth amid clouds and melancholy, intense as was the contrasting brightness of their noonday fame. "Sic transit gloria mundi." The thought passed through me—but a second followed it, saying, "Not so—they only by whom the glory is created travel onward in the track of their eternal destiny.

'Won is the glory, and the grief is past.'"

The next morning I took my way to Dryburgh, the closing scene of the present paper. Dryburgh Abbey lies on the Tweed, about four miles from Melrose. You turn off—when you have left the Eildon hills on your right, and have seen on your left, in the course of the river, the Cowdenknowes, Bemerside, and other classic spots—down a steep and woody lane, and suddenly come out at a wide bend of the river, where, on your side, the gravel brought down by the floods spreads a considerable strand, and the lofty banks all round on the other are finely wooded. Few are the rivers which can show more beautiful scenery in their course than the Tweed. But what strikes you strangely are the ruins of a chain bridge, which some time ago was carried away by the wind. There stand aloft the tall white frames of wood to which the bridge was attached at each end, like great skeletons; and the two main chains stretch across, and fragments of others dangle in the air—iron rags of ruin. It has a most desolate and singular look. This, I suppose, was put up by the late whimsical Earl of Buchan, to whom Dryburgh belonged, as now, to his nephew. At the opposite end of the bridge peeps out of the trees the top of a little temple. It is a temple of the Muses, where the nine sisters are represented consecrating Thomson the poet. Aloft, at some distance in a wood, you descry a gigantic figure of stone; and this, on inquiry, you find to be William Wallace, who, I believe, was never here, any more than Thomson. It was intended for Burns, but as the block was got out of the quarry on the opposite side of the river, close to where you land from the ferry-boat, the fantastic old fellow took it into his head that, as it was so large a block, it should be Wallace.

As you ascend a lane from the ferry to go to the abbey, you find a few cottages, and a great gate, built in the style of an old castle gateway, with round stone pillars with lantern summits, and the cross displayed on each—a sort of poor parody on the gateway at Abbotsford. This castle gateway is the entrance, however, to no castle, but to a large orchard, and over the gate is inscribed—"Hoc Pomarium sua manus satum Parentibus suis optimis sac: D. S. Buchaniæ Comes." That is, "This orchard, sown by his own hands, the Earl of Buchan dedicates to his best of parents." The whole is worthy of the man. If there be any sense in it, the orchard was sown by this silly old lord, not the trees; and these were merely sown by him, and not planted. And why dedicate an orchard to his deceased parents? Were they so excessively fond of apples? Why not satisfy himself with some rational monument? But then he must have been rational himself; and it must be recollected that this was the man who, when Scott was once very ill, forced himself into the house in order to get at the invalid, and arrange with him, in his last moments, the honors of a great heraldic funeral procession; the same man that Scott afterward congratulated himself was dead first, lest he should have made some foolish extravagance of the sort over his remains.

But, to return to the orchard gateway—it is droll enough, immediately under the pious and tender inscription to his parents, in Latin, to see standing this sentence, in plain English—"Man-traps and spring-guns placed in this orchard." Quere? Are they, too, dedicated to his best of parents, or only to his poor brethren of mankind?

Dryburgh is a sweet old monastic seclusion. Here, lying deep below the surrounding country, the river sweeps on between high, rocky banks, overhung with that fine growth of trees which no river presents in more beauty, abundance, and luxuriance. A hush prevails over the spot, which tells you that some ancient sanctity is there. You feel that there is some hidden glory of religious art and piety somewhere about, though you do not see it. As you advance, it is up a lane overhung with old ashes. There are primitive-looking cottages, also overshadowed by great trees. There are crofts, with thick, tall hedges, and cattle lying in them with a sybaritic luxury of indolence. You are still, as you proceed, surrounded by an ocean of foliage, and ancient stems; and a dream-like feeling of past ages seems to pervade not only the air, but the ground. I do not know how it is, but I think it must be by a mesmeric influence that the monks and the holy dreamers of old have left on the spots which they inhabited their peculiar character. You could not construct such a place now, taking the most favorable materials for it. Take a low, sequestered spot, full of old timber and cottages, and old gray walls; and employ all the art that you could, to give it a monastic character—it would be in vain. You would feel it at once; the mind would not admit it to be genuine. No, the old monastic spots are full of the old monastic spirit. The very ground, and the rich old turf, are saturated with it. Dig up the soil, it has a monastery look. It is fat, and black, and crumbling. The trees are actual monks themselves. They stand and dream of the Middle Ages. With the present age and doings they have no feelings, no sympathies. They keep a perpetual vigil, and the sound of anthems has entered into their very substance. They are solemn piles of the condensed silence of ages, of cloistered musings; and the very whisperings of their leaves seem to be muttered aves and ora pro nobises.

This feeling lies all over Dryburgh like a living trance; and the arrangements of these odd Buchans for admitting you to the tomb of Scott, enable you to see the most of it. You perceive a guide-post, and this tells you to go on to the house where the keys are kept. You descend a long lane amid these old trees and crofts, and arrive at a gate and lodge, which seem the entrance to some gentleman's grounds. Here probably you see too a gentleman's carriage waiting, and present yourself to go in. But you are told that, though this is the place, you must not enter there. You must go on still farther to the house where the keys are kept. At length, you find yourself at the bottom of another stretch of lane, and here you stop, for the simple reason that you can go no farther—you have arrived at the bank of the river. Necessarily then looking about you, you see on one side a gate in a tall wall, which looks into an orchard, and on the other a cottage in a garden. On this cottage there is a board, bearing this long-sought-after inscription—"The abbey keys kept here." You knock, and ask if you can see the abbey; and a very careless "Yes," assures you that you can. The people appointed to show the ruins and Scott's grave, are become notorious for their lumpish, uncivil behavior. It would seem as if the owner of the place had ordered them to make it as unpleasant to visitors as possible; a thing very impolitic in them, for they are making a fortune by it. Indeed, Scott is the grand benefactor of all the neighborhood, Dryburgh, Melrose, and Abbotsford. At Abbotsford and Melrose they are civil, at Dryburgh the very reverse. They seem as though they would make you feel that it was a favor to be admitted to the grounds of Lord Buchan; and you are pointed away at the gate of exit with a manner which seems to say, "There!—begone!"

The woman of the cottage was already showing a party; and her sister, just as sulky, ungracious a sort of body as you could meet with, was my guide. The gate in the wall was thrown open, and she said, "You must go across the grass there." I saw a track across the grass, and obediently pursued it; but it was some time before I could see any thing but a very large orchard of young trees, and I began to suppose this another Pomarium dedicated by old Lord Buchan to his parents, and to wish him and his Pomaria under the care of a certain old gentleman; but, anon!—the ruins of the abbey began to tower magnificently above the trees, and I forgot the planter of orchards and his gracious guides. The ruins are certainly very fine, and finely relieved by the tall, rich trees, which have sprung up in and around them. The interior of the church is now greensward, and two rows of cedars grow where formerly stood the pillars of the aisles. The cloisters and south transept are more entire, and display much fine workmanship. There is a window aloft, I think in the south transept, peculiarly lovely. It is formed of, I believe, five stars cut in stone, so that the open center within them forms a rose. The light seen through this window gives it a beautiful effect. There is the old chapter-house also entire, with an earthen floor, and a circle drawn in the center, where the bodies of the founder and his lady are said to lie. But even here the old lord has been with his absurdities; and at one end, by the window, stands a fantastic statue of Locke, reading in an open book, and pointing to his own forehead with his finger. The damp of the place has blackened and mildewed this figure, and it is to be hoped will speedily eat it quite up. What has Locke to do in the chapter-house of a set of ancient friars?

The grave of Scott, for a tomb he has not yet got, is a beautiful fragment of the ruined pile, the lady aisle. The square from one pillar of the aisle to the next, which in many churches, as in Melrose, formed a confessional, forms here a burial-place. It is that of the Scotts of Haliburton, from whom Scott descended; and that was probably one reason why he chose this place, though its monastic beauty and associations were, no doubt, the main causes. The fragment consists of two arches' length, and the adjoining one is the family burial-place of the Erskines. The whole, with its tier of small Norman sectional arches above, forms, in fact, a glorious tomb, much resembling one of the chapel tombs in Winchester; and the trees about it are dispersed by nature and art so as to give it the utmost picturesque effect. It is a mausoleum well befitting the author of the Lay of the Last Minstrel; and, though many wonder that he should have chosen to be interred in another man's ground and property, yet, independent of all such considerations, we must say, that it would be difficult to select a spot more in keeping with Scott's character, genius, and feelings. But that which surprises every one, is the neglect in which the grave itself remains. After thirteen years it is still a mere dusty and slovenly heap of earth. His mother lies on his right hand, that is, in front of him, and his wife on his left. His mother has a stone laid on her grave, but neither Scott nor his wife has any thing but the earth which covers them; and lying under the arched ruin, nature herself is not allowed, as she otherwise would, to fling over the poet the verdant mantle with which she shrouds the grave of the lowliest of her children. The contrast is the stranger now, that so splendid a monument is raised to his honor in Edinburgh; and that both Glasgow and Selkirk have their statue-crowned column to the author of Waverley. The answer to inquiries is, that his son has been out of the country; but a plain slab, bearing the name, and the date of his death, would confer a neatness and an air of respectful attention on the spot, which would accord far more gratefully with the feelings of its thousands and tens of thousands of visitors than its present condition.

As this goes to press, I hear that at length a stone is preparing for Sir Walter's grave.

Gateway of Glasgow College

Gateway of Glasgow College


Thomas Campbell was born in Glasgow, on the 27th of July, 1777. His father was a resident of that city, and a respectable shopkeeper, or merchant as the Scotch say, which is equivalent to the Kauffman of their kindred the Germans. Merchant Campbell was descended from an old Highland family, upon which circumstance it is said the poet prided himself no little, though most probably he himself was the greatest man his family had ever produced. He was the tenth and youngest child of his parents, and was born in the sixty-seventh year of his father's age, at which age it is somewhat remarkable that he himself died. He was baptized by his father's intimate friend, Dr. Thomas Bird, Professor of Moral Philosophy in the university, after whom he was also named. The house in which Campbell was born stood very near the university, close, I believe, to the east end of George-street; it has been, however, cleared away in effecting some of the modern improvements of the city; but as to how much is now known about it, or the place where it stood, may be best shown from my own experience in Glasgow in the autumn of last year.

My peregrinations in that city in quest of traces of Campbell, was one of the most curious things I ever met with. Accompanied by Mr. David Chambers, the younger brother of Messrs. William and Robert Chambers, of the Edinburgh Journal, I called on a Mr. Gray, a silversmith in Argyle-street, a cousin of Campbell, and the gentleman at whose house he stayed when he came there. Here we made ourselves sure of our object, at least as to where Campbell was born. We were not so sure, however. Mr. Gray, a tall gray man, made his appearance; and on my asking if he could oblige me by informing me where Campbell was born, to our great astonishment he replied, that he really did not know. "And, indeed," asked he, very gravely, "what may be your object in making this inquiry?" I presented my card, and informed him that it was to gain information for a work on the residences of celebrated poets. The tall gray man reared himself to an extraordinary height, and looked very blank, as though it was a sort of business very singular to him, and quite out of his line. Had my name been that of a silver merchant, no doubt it would have been instantly recognized; as it was, it was just as much known to him as if it had been Diggery Mustapha, the Ambassador of the Grand Turk himself. He shook his head, looked very solemn, and "could really say nothing to it." "What!" I exclaimed, "not know where your celebrated cousin was born?" "Well, he had an idea that he had sometime heard that it was in High-street." "In what house?" "Could not say—thought it had been pulled down." "Could he tell us of any other part of the city where Campbell had lived?" You might just as well have asked the tallest coffee-pot in his shop. He put on a very forbidding air,—"Gentlemen, you will excuse me,—I have business to attend to. Good-morning!" Away went Mr. Gray, and away we retreated as precipitately.

This was an odd beginning. We then proceeded to the shop of Mr. Robertson the bookseller, who entered most cordially into the inquiry, and said at once, "Oh! Mr. Gray, the silversmith, is the man!" We laughed, and related our adventure. On this, Mr. Robertson, with the most zealous kindness, accompanied me to various parties; but it was not till we reached Mr. Strang, the city chamberlain, that we got a glimpse of intelligence. Mr. Strang most politely offered to accompany me in my search. He believed it was in High-street. Away we went, and called on the secretaries of the Campbell Club; but they, like the tall Mr. Gray, and still more like the Shakspeare Club, who know nothing about Shakspeare, knew nothing of Campbell. So we proceeded to the very end of the town, to a blind gentleman, a nephew, I believe, of Campbell; but he was not so blind but that he had found his way out. He was not at home. On returning, we met another Mr. Gray, a brother of the former one, and Mr. Strang exclaimed, "Now we have it! Mr. Gray is a particular friend of mine, and we shall learn all about it." We accosted him with the question, but he shook his head—and "really did not know!" This was rather too much for my gravity, and I observed that I supposed the fact was, that Campbell was not known in Glasgow at all. This remark seemed not quite lost. He replied gravely—"They had heard of him." And we too, had heard of him, but not where he was born. On this we went and asked two or three other people, with the like result. We then went across the bridge, I suppose a mile, to Mr. Strang's house, and consulted several books. Mr. Dibdin in his Northern Tour, we found, gave a very long account of many things in Glasgow, and incidentally mentioned that Campbell, the poet, was a native of the town. We referred to other books, and learned just as much. Taking my leave of Mr. Strang, a man of much literary taste, and a friend of the late poet Motherwell, and who had amid pressing public business devoted some hours to assist my inquiry, I went and dined, and afterward set out afresh to clear up this great mystery. Had I wanted but a manufacturer of any stuff but poetry, how soon could I have found him! I directed my way to High-street itself, a very long street, running up to the High Kirk, that is, the old cathedral, and in which the college stands; and inquired of the booksellers. It was in vain. One bookseller had been forty years on the spot, but had never heard where Campbell was born. Seeing all inquiries vain, I went on to the cemetery, to see the grave of Motherwell. Now Motherwell, too, was born in Glasgow, and he is buried here. He was not only a poet, but an active editor of a paper. I asked a respectable-looking man, walking near the cemetery gate, if he knew where he lay. "Oh," said he, "ye'll find his grave, and that of Tennant too." "What! is Tennant dead then?" "Oh, ay, sure is he." "What! Tennant the author of Anster Fair? Why, he did not live here, and I fancy is still living." "Oh, no," replied the man, "I mean Mr. Tennant of the Secret Chemical Works there;" pointing to a tall smoking chimney. Heaven help us! what is a poet in Glasgow!—I went on and found tombs and mausolea as big as houses, ay, and fine large houses too; but Motherwell has not a stone as big as an ostrich egg to mark the spot where he lies! One of the grave-diggers, however, knew the place. "Strangers," he said, "often inquired after it; but you'll not find it yourself," he said, "there's nothing to distinguish it"—so he went and pointed it out. There stand, however, on the spot a thorn and a laburnum. It is at a turn of the carriage-road, as you ascend at the north end of the cemetery. God save the mark! There is the poet's grave, sure enough, without a stone or epitaph, and opposite to it is a large Doric temple, with wreaths of bay on its front, the resting-place, no doubt, of some mighty man of mills. Such was my day's perambulation in Glasgow in quest of the traces of poets.

But to return now to Campbell, as a boy living in Glasgow. As a child he gave evidence of considerable powers of mind, and before he attained the age of twelve was a good Latin scholar. At twelve he commenced his studies in the university, where he distinguished himself greatly. As regards this part of his life we can not do better than quote from a well written biographical sketch of his life, published last year in Hogg's Weekly Instructor. "In his thirteenth year, Campbell succeeded, after a formidable competition with a student nearly twice his own age, in gaining the bursary on Archbishop Leighton's foundation. He continued seven years at the university, receiving at the close of each session numbers of prizes, the reward of his industry and zeal. The exercises which gained him these distinctions were often of a very difficult nature, and such as tested his powers severely; but his correct taste and sound judgment, combined with his diligence and application, enabled him to accomplish the tasks prescribed to him, in a manner highly creditable to himself and most satisfactory to his teachers. In translations from the Greek especially he excelled; so much so, indeed, that his fellow-students were afraid to enter the lists with him. His poetical versions of several Greek plays of Aristophanes, Æschylus, and others, obtained the highest commendations of his professor; who, in awarding the prize for the translation of The Clouds of Aristophanes, thus eulogized, in terms the most flattering, the production of the youthful poet—that, in his opinion, it was the best performance which had ever been given within the walls of the university. Portions of these translations have been published in his works.

"At this period of his life, Campbell is described as being a fair and beautiful boy, with pleasant and winning manners, and a mild and cheerful disposition. That he had at this early age an innate perception of his own growing powers, is proved by his commencing to write poetry at the age of thirteen, and by his great desire, even while still but a year or two at college, to see himself in print. Having got one of his juvenile poems printed, to defray the expense of this, to him, then bold adventure, it is related that he had recourse to the singular expedient—whether of his own accord, or suggested to him by some of his class-fellows, is not known—of selling copies to the students at a penny each. This anecdote has been told by one who remembers having seen the beautiful boy standing at the college gate with the slips in his hand. Campbell himself, in after-years, used to be angry when he was reminded of this incident; but surely it reflects any thing but discredit on him.

"The Greek chair, during his attendance at the university, was filled by Professor Young, who was a complete enthusiast in Greek literature. From him Campbell caught the same enthusiasm, which, nourished and strengthened as it was by his success at college, endured during his whole life. Often, in his latter years, has the writer of this sketch, while sitting in his company, been electrified by the beauty and power with which he recited his favorite passages from the Greek poets; with whose writings his mind was richly stored, and which he appreciated and praised with the characteristic warmth of one who was himself a master in their divine art.

"On leaving college he went to reside for about a year on the romantic banks of Loch Gail, among the mountains of Argyleshire. His paternal grandfather possessed the estate of Kernan, in the Highlands; and it was in reference to it, that the beautiful and pathetic stanzas, beginning, 'At the silence of twilight's contemplative hour,' were composed. He was for some time tutor in a private family residing on the sea-coast of the island of Mull; and while in that situation he planned and wrote a considerable part of his most celebrated poem, The Pleasures of Hope. His youthful musings were nourished amid the magnificent scenery around him; and by the contemplation of the wild aspects of nature that presented themselves on every side, his ideas were expanded, and his imagination was filled with many bright and majestic images, which he afterward introduced with such admirable effect into his poetry. Lochiel's Warning and Lord Ullin's Daughter, for instance, could only have been written by one who cherished an intense love and admiration for Highland scenery and Highland associations. He himself has mentioned the delight with which he used to listen, at the distance of many leagues, to the far famed roar of Corryvreckan. 'When the weather is calm,' he says, 'and the adjacent sea scarcely heard on these picturesque shores, the sound of the vortex, which is like the sound of innumerable chariots, creates a magnificent effect.'"

The poem, however, into which it seems to me he has most thoroughly infused the spirit of the wild and romantically desolate scenery of the Western Isles, is Reullura, one of the most exquisite poems of the language. Without any apparent attempt at description, either of scenery or individual character, both stand forth in strong and clear distinctness: Aodh, the far famed preacher of the word in Iona; and Reullura, beauty's star, with her calm, clear eye, to which visions of the future were often revealed; and those desolate, treeless islands, the savage shores of which, riven by primeval earthquakes, will be lashed by the waves of a wild, stormy sea, to the end of time. The church of Iona again stands aloft, the Gail listens to the preaching of the word, and the heathen sea-kings come from Denmark for plunder and massacre. This poem it is, above all others, into which the wild music of the Corryvreckan entered; and, though it was written many years after the poet's residence amid these scenes, nothing can be clearer evidence of the deep impression which they made upon his mind.

After leaving Mull, Campbell removed to Edinburgh, where he also was engaged in private tuition. He lived in Alison-square, or court, in the old town, with his mother, who, it is said, being afflicted with an unhappy temper, did not make her son's home as pleasant as it might have been. It was during this time, and amid these home annoyances, with narrow income and with a portion of his time devoted to the drudgery of teaching, that he completed his longest and greatest poem, The Pleasures of Hope. It is said, that at this time he was much given to solitude, and might often be seen wandering alone over the bridge, or in the vicinity of the city. This seems probable enough. The Pleasures of Hope was published in April, 1799, when Campbell was twenty-two—about the same age that Shelley published his Revolt of Islam; Keats, his Lamia and Hyperion; and Byron, his first two cantos of Childe Harold. The public heart, refreshed and purified by the writings of Cowper, was in a fit state to receive with the deepest love and the warmest admiration a poem like The Pleasures of Hope. The success of the work was instantaneous, and at once the young author and humble private tutor found himself in the possession of a brilliant reputation, and taking rank among the first poetical names of the age. This poem, remarkable for the harmony of its versification, and the genuine fervor of its style, and for the generous sentiments and feelings of patriotism which pervade it, gained for him the notice and friendship of Dugald Stewart, Professor Playfair, Henry Mackenzie, author of the Man of Feeling, and also gained him the acquaintance of Brougham, Jeffrey, and Sidney Smith.

"The profits of this work," says the able writer we have already quoted, "which ran through four editions in the year, enabled him to make a tour in Germany. Early in 1800, he accordingly proceeded from Leith to Hamburg, and remained for about a year on the Continent, visiting several of the German states. War was at that time raging in Bavaria, and thither he hastened, with a strong desire, as he himself expressed it, animating his breast of seeing human nature exhibited in its most dreadful attitude. From the walls of the monastery of St. Jacob, he witnessed the celebrated battle of Hohenlinden, fought on the 3d of December, 1800, between the French and Austrians. 'The sight of Ingoldstadt in ruins,' he said, in a letter he wrote, descriptive of the scene, 'and Hohenlinden covered with fire seven miles in circumference, were spectacles never to be forgotten.' His spirit-stirring lyric of Hohenlinden was written upon this event. He afterward proceeded in the track of Moreau's army over the scene of combat, and then continued his route. He used to relate the following incident, as illustrative of the phlegm and attention to his own interest of his German postillion, which happened at this time. The latter, while driving him near a place where a skirmish of cavalry had occurred, suddenly stopped, alighted, and disappeared, without uttering a word, leaving the carriage, with Campbell in it, alone in the cold, for the ground was covered with snow; and he was absent for a considerable time. On his return, the poet discovered that the provident German had been engaged cutting off the long tails of the slain horses, which he deliberately placed on the vehicle beside him, and silently pursued his journey. When Ratisbon was occupied by the French, Mr. Campbell happened to be in the town at the time, but he was treated with kindness by the victors. The enthusiasm and genius of the young traveler seem to have made a very favorable impression on the French officers, who evinced their respect for him by entertaining him at their different mess-tables, and furnishing him with a pass that carried him in safety through the French army. Afterward, however, he was not so fortunate, as he was plundered of nearly all his money, books, and papers, while endeavoring to cross into Italy, by the route of the Tyrol, which prevented him from proceeding farther in that direction. While he continued in Germany, he devoted himself to acquiring the German language, and also resumed his Greek studies, under Professor Heyne. He made the friendship of the two Schlegels, and of other eminent men of that country, and passed an entire day with the venerable Klopstock, who died two years afterward. On his return to Hamburg, on his way home, he casually became acquainted with some refugee Irishmen, who had been engaged in the rebellion of 1798, and their story suggested to him his beautiful ballad of The Exile of Erin, which he wrote at Altona. The hero of the poem was an Irish exile, named Anthony M'Cann, whom he had met at Hamburg. After remaining in that city for a few weeks, he embarked for Leith; but the vessel he was on board of, being, while on its passage, chased by a Danish privateer, was compelled to put in at Yarmouth. Finding himself so near London, he at once decided upon paying it a visit. He entered the metropolis for the first time, without being provided with a single introduction; but his reputation had preceded him, and he soon found admission into literary society. In one of his letters, published by Washington Irving, he describes his impressions of a sort of literary social club, to which he had been introduced by Sir James Mackintosh, in the following terms: "Mackintosh, the Vindiciæ Gallicæ, was particularly attentive to me, and took me with him to his convivial parties at the King of Clubs—a place dedicated to the meetings of the reigning wits of London—and, in fact, a lineal descendant of the Johnson, Burke, and Goldsmith society, constituted for literary conversations. The dining-table of these knights of literature was an arena of very keen conversational rivalship, maintained, to be sure, with perfect good-nature, but in which the gladiators contended as hardly as ever the French and Austrians, in the scenes I had just witnessed. Much, however, as the wit and erudition of these men pleases an auditor at the first or second visit, this trial of minds becomes at last fatiguing, because it is unnatural and unsatisfactory. Every one of these brilliants goes there to shine; for conversational powers are so much the rage in London, that no reputation is higher than his who exhibits them. Where every one tries to instruct, there is, in fact, but little instruction; wit, paradox, eccentricity, even absurdity, if delivered rapidly and facetiously, takes priority, in these societies, of sound reasoning and delicate taste. I have watched sometimes the devious tide of conversation, guided by accidental associations, turning from topic to topic, and satisfactory upon none. What has one learned? has been my general question. The mind, it is true, is electrified and quickened, and the spirits finely exhilarated; but one grand fault pervades the whole institution; their inquiries are desultory, and all improvements to be reaped must be accidental." Campbell's own conversational powers were of the highest order, and he showed singular discrimination in the choice of subjects of an interesting and instinctive nature. Mere talk for display on the part of others, must, therefore, have been exceedingly disagreeable to him.

"After a short sojourn in London, the poet returned to Edinburgh, where, strange to say, he was subjected to a private examination by the authorities as a suspected spy, from his having been known to have been in the society, while on the Continent, of some of the Irish refugees. He easily satisfied the civic guardians of his unshaken loyalty, and continued to reside for about a year in Edinburgh, during which time he wrote his Lochiel's Warning, and others of his well known ballads and minor poems. It is related, as an instance of the wonderful powers of memory of Sir Walter Scott, that on Lochiel's Warning being read to him in manuscript, he requested to be allowed to peruse it for himself, and then astonished the author by repeating it from memory from beginning to end. Campbell now determined upon removing to London, as the best field for literary exertion. Accordingly, early in 1803, he repaired to the metropolis, and on his arrival he resided for some time in the house of his brother poet, Mr. Telford, the celebrated engineer. In the autumn of the same year he married his cousin, Miss Matilda Sinclair, of Greenock, a lady of considerable personal beauty, and fixed his residence in the beautiful village of Sydenham, in Kent, about seven miles from London. At the time of Campbell's marriage, it appears that hope, and reliance on his own exertions, formed by far the largest portion of his worldly fortune; for, on his friend Telford remonstrating with him on the inexpediency of marrying so early, he replied, 'When shall I be better off? I have £50, and six months' work at the Encyclopædia.' The Encyclopædia here mentioned was Brewster's Edinburgh Encyclopædia, to which he contributed several papers."

Campbell resided at Sydenham eighteen years. His house was on Peak-hill, and had a quiet and sweet view toward Forest-hill. The house is one of two tenements under the same roof, consisting of only one room in width, which, London fashion, being divided by folding doors, formed, as was needed, two. The front looked out upon the prospect already mentioned. To the left was a fine mass of trees, amid which showed itself a large house, which, during part of the time, was occupied by Lady Charlotte Campbell. The back looked out upon a small neat garden, inclosed from the field by pales; and beyond it, on a mass of fine wood, at the foot of which ran a canal, and now along its bed, the atmospheric railway from London to Croydon. The house is, as appears, small, and very modest; but its situation is very pleasant indeed, standing on a green and quiet swell, at a distance from the wood, and catching pleasant glimpses of the houses in Sydenham, and of the country round. In the little back parlor he used to sit and write; and to prevent the passage of sound, he had the door which opened into the hall covered with green baize, which still remains. This at once defended him from the noise of the passing, and operations of the housemaid, as the door was near the stairs, and also from any one so plainly hearing him, when, in poet-fashion, he sounded out sonorously his verses as he made them.

The next door to Campbell lived his landlord, a Mr. Onis, and who is still living there, an old man of ninety, having every one of his windows in front filled with strong jealousies, painted green, which give a singular and dismal air to the house, as the dwelling of one who wishes to shut out the sight of the living world, and the sun at the same time. To prevent too familiar inspection from his neighbor's premises, Campbell ran up a sort of buttress between the houses at the back, and planted trees there, so that no one could get a sight of him as he sat in his little parlor writing. In the village is still living Miss Mayhew, a lady afterward alluded to, and now of course, very aged. Here Campbell lost a son, of about eleven or twelve years of age, who is buried at Lewisham. His wife was ill at the time he left in 1821, and he had much trouble about that time. He went to reside in London in 1821, on account of his literary engagements. Here he wrote Gertrude of Wyoming. The country, which then was so fresh and retired, is now cut up with railroads, and new buildings are seen rising like crowding apparitions on every side.

Soon after his settlement at Sydenham, he published, anonymously, a compiled work, in three volumes 8vo, entitled, Annals of Great Britain, from the accession of George III. to the Peace of Amiens, intended, probably, as a continuation of Hume and Smollett's histories. This was the first of his commissions from a London publisher. He now devoted himself to writing and compiling for the booksellers, and furnishing occasional articles to the daily press and other periodical publications. His conversational powers, as we have already stated, were very great; and these, with his other qualities, acquired for him an extensive circle of friends. In the social parties and convivial meetings of Sydenham and its neighborhood, his company was at all times eagerly courted; and among the kindred spirits with whom he was in the habit of associating there, were the brothers James and Horace Smith, Theodore Hook, and others who afterward distinguished themselves in literature. Through the influence of Charles James Fox, he obtained in 1806, shortly before that statesman's death, a pension from government of £300 per annum.

Campbell was at this period, and for many years afterward, a working author, the better portion of his days being spent in literary drudgery and task-work. His gains from the booksellers were not always, however, in proportion to the merit of the matter supplied to them; and an anecdote is recorded which strongly illustrates his feelings in regard to them. Having been invited to a booksellers' dinner, soon after Pam, one of the trade, had been executed by command of Napoleon, he was asked for a toast, and with much earnestness as well as gravity of manner, he proposed to drink the health of Bonaparte. The company were amazed at such a toast, and asked for an explanation of it. "Gentlemen," said Campbell, with sly humor, "I give you Napoleon,—he was a fine fellow,—he shot a bookseller!"

In the beginning of 1809, he published his second volume of poems, containing Gertrude of Wyoming, a simple Indian tale, in the Spenserian stanza, the scene of which is laid among the woods of Pennsylvania; Glenara, the Battle of the Baltic, Lochiel, and Lord Ullin's Daughter. A subsequent edition contained also the touching ballad of O'Connor's Child. This volume added greatly to his popularity, and the high reputation which he had now acquired must have been very gratifying to his feelings. Indeed, even in the meridian of his living renown, the native simplicity and goodness of his heart rendered him peculiarly pleased with any attention of a complimentary nature which was shown to him. Of this many instances might be given, but the following, related by himself, may be quoted here:—In writing to a friend in 1840, respecting the launch of a man-of-war at Chatham, at which he was present, he mentioned that none of the compliments paid to him on that occasion affected him so deeply as the circumstance of the band of two regiments striking up "The Campbells are coming," as he entered the dockyard.

Campbell himself preferred Gertrude of Wyoming to the Pleasures of Hope. It is said that one cause of this preference was, that from hearing himself so exclusively called the author of the Pleasures of Hope, it became so hackneyed, that he felt toward it as the Athenian did, who was tired of hearing Aristides called the Just.

"His mode of life at Sydenham," says Mr. Cyrus Redding, in a memoir of the poet now publishing in the New Monthly Magazine, "was almost uniformly that which he afterward followed in London when he made it a constant residence. He rose not very early, breakfasted, studied for an hour or two, dined at two or three o'clock, and then made a call or two in the village, often remaining for an hour or more at the house of a maiden lady, of whose conversation he was remarkably fond. He would return home to tea, and then retire early to his study, remaining there to a late hour; sometimes even to an early one. His life was strictly domestic. He gave a dinner party now and then, and at some of them Thomas Moore, Rogers, and other literary friends from town were present. His table was plain, hospitable, and cheered by a hearty welcome. While he lived at Sydenham," continues Mr. Redding, "or at least during a portion of the time, there resided in that village the well known Thomas Hill, who was a sort of walking chronicle. He knew the business and affairs of every literary man, and could relate a vast deal more about them than they had ever known themselves. There was no newspaper office into which he did not find his way; no third-rate scribbler of whom he did not know his business at the time. But his knowledge was not confined to literary men, he knew almost all the world of any note. It was said of him, that he could stand at Charing-cross at noonday, and tell the name and business of every body that passed Northumberland-house. He died of apoplexy in the Adelphi four or five years ago, nearly at the age of eighty, few supposing him more than sixty.

"At the table of this singular personage at Sydenham, there used to meet occasionally a number of literary men and choice spirits of the age. There was to be found Theodore Hook, giving full swing to his jests, at the expense of every thing held cheap or dear in social life, or under conventional rule. There, too, came the authors of the Rejected Addresses, whose humor was only the lowest among their better qualities. The poet living hard by, could not in the common course of things miss being among those who congregated at Hill's. Repartee and pun passed about in a mode vainly to be looked for in these degenerate days at the most convivial tables. Some practical jokes were played off there, which for a long time afterward formed the burden of after-dinner conversations. Campbell was behind none of the party in spirits. He entered with full zest into the pleasantries of the hour. Some of the party leaving Sydenham to return home by Dulwich, to which they were obliged to walk on one occasion, for want of a conveyance, those who remained behind in Sydenham escorted their friends to the top of the hill to take leave, in doing which the poet's residence had to be passed. But he scorned to leave his party. All went on to the parting-place on the hill summit, exchanging jokes, or manufacturing indifferent puns. When they separated, it was with hats off and three boisterous cheers."

In 1820, Campbell undertook the editorship of the New Monthly Magazine; and in this magazine appeared some of his most beautiful minor poems. For some time he had lodgings at 62, Margaret-street, Cavendish-square. In 1824, he published Theodoric, a poem, by no means equal to his former productions. "To Mr. Campbell," says his anonymous biographer, "belongs the merit, we believe, of originating the London University, in which project Lord Brougham was an active coadjutor. During the struggle for independence in which Greece was engaged, and in which she was ultimately successful, he took a strong interest in the cause of that country, as he subsequently, and indeed all his life did in that of Poland." In November, 1826, he was chosen lord rector of the university of Glasgow. It was with the utmost enthusiasm, as might well be supposed, that this election took place; it was a triumphal return to the scenes of his early life; and among the numerous incidents which might be given in evidence of the enthusiasm felt by all classes toward their illustrious townsman may be mentioned, the notice which was taken of a very beautiful rainbow, which was seen on the day he entered his native city, and which fond admirers of his genius regarded as a token that Heaven was smiling on the event.

"The poet, after the death of his wife, and suffering from an accumulation of domestic calamities, gave up the editorship of the New Monthly Magazine, and went into chambers, where he resided for some years in a state of comparative loneliness at No. 61, Lincoln's-inn-fields. His chambers were on the second floor, where he had a large, well furnished sitting-room, adjoining which was his bedroom. One side of his principal room was arranged with shelves, like a library, which were full of books. In that room has the writer of this sketch passed many a pleasant and profitable hour with him, and he never shall forget the active benevolence and genuine kindliness of heart displayed by the poet on one occasion when he called upon him. On entering the room one forenoon in the year 1839, he found Mr. Campbell busy looking over his books, while, near the fireplace, was seated an elderly gentlewoman in widow's weeds. He was desired to take a chair for a few minutes. Presently the poet disappeared into his bedroom, and returned with an armful of books, which he placed among a heap of others that he had collected together, on the floor. 'There now,' he said, addressing the widow, 'these will help you a little, and I shall see what more I can do for you by the time you call again. I shall get them sent to you in the course of the day.' The widow thanked him with tears in her eyes, and shaking her cordially by the hand, he wished her a good-morning. On her departure, the poet said, with great feeling—'That lady whom you saw just now is the widow of an early friend of mine, and as she is now in somewhat reduced circumstances, she wishes to open a little book and stationery shop, and I have been busy looking out all the books for which I have no use, to add to her stock. She has taken a small shop in the neighborhood of town, and I shall do all I can to serve her, and forward her prospects, as far as my assistance and influence extend. Old times should not be forgotten.' He mentioned the name of the place, and asked if the writer had any acquaintances in the vicinity to whose notice he might recommend the widow, but was answered in the negative. The abstraction of the volumes he thus so generously bestowed on the poor widow made a sensible alteration in the appearance of his library. On another occasion, soon after this, when the writer introduced to him a friend of his of the name of Sinclair, he said, while he shook him by the hand, 'I am glad to see you, sir, your name recommends you to me;' adding, with much tenderness, 'my wife's name was Sinclair.'

"In 1832, the interest excited by the French conquest and colonization of Algiers induced him to pay it a visit, and on his return he furnished an account of his journey to the New Monthly Magazine, which he afterward published under the name of Letters from the South, in two volumes. He did not confine himself to Algiers, but made an excursion into the interior of the country as far as Mascara; and his work, with a great deal of light gossiping matter, contains much interesting information respecting Algiers and the various races inhabiting that part of Barbary. The same year, in conjunction with the Polish poet Niemcewiez, Prince Czartoryski, and others, he founded the society styled the Literary Association of the Friends of Poland. He also originated the Clarence Club, where he occasionally dined. In 1834 he published his Life of Mrs. Siddons. On the death, that year, of his friend Mr. Telford the engineer, after whom he had named his surviving son, he, as well as Mr. Southey, was left a legacy of £500; which, added to the gains from his works, placed him in very comfortable circumstances so far as money was concerned.

Soon after the queen's coronation, she made Campbell a present of her portrait. It was highly prized by him, and is especially mentioned in his will, together with the silver bowl given to him by the students of Glasgow; which two articles, says the said will, were considered by him the two jewels of his property. With regard to this picture, which always filled him with ecstasy and admiration, I can not do better than again quote the biographical sketch to which I am already so much indebted.

"It was, or rather is, a large, full-length engraving, inclosed in a splendid frame, and was hung up in his sitting-room in Lincoln's-inn-fields, on the same side as the fireplace, but nearer the window. The writer of this called upon him a day or two after he received it, and the explanation he then gave of the way in which it was presented to him, is so nearly alike what has already appeared regarding it, that it may be given here in nearly the same words. Indeed, he was so much flattered by the unexpected compliment of a present of her portrait from his sovereign, that he must have spoken of it in a somewhat similar manner to every one on terms of intimacy with him, who about that time happened to come into his company. 'I was at her majesty's coronation in Westminster Abbey,' said Campbell, 'and she conducted herself so well, during the long and fatiguing ceremony, that I shed tears many times. On returning home, I resolved, out of pure esteem and veneration, to send her a copy of all my works. Accordingly, I had them bound up, and went personally with them to Sir Henry Wheatley, who, when he understood my errand, told me that her majesty made it a rule to decline presents of this kind, as it placed her under obligations which were unpleasant to her. Say to her majesty, Sir Henry, I replied, that there is not a single thing the queen can touch with her scepter in any of her dominions, which I covet; and I therefore entreat you, in your office, to present them with my devotion as a subject. Sir Henry then promised to comply with my request; but next day they were returned. I hesitated,' continued Campbell, 'to open the parcel, but, on doing so, I found, to my inexpressible joy, a note inclosed, desiring my autograph upon them. Having complied with the wish, I again transmitted the books to her majesty, and in the course of a day or two received in return this elegant engraving, with her majesty's autograph, as you see below.' He then directed particular attention to the royal signature, which was in her majesty's usual bold and beautiful handwriting.

"In 1842, his Pilgrim of Glencoe, and other Poems, appeared, dedicated to his friend and physician. Dr. William Beattie, whom he also named one of his executors; Mr. William Moxon, of the Middle Temple, brother of Mr. Edward Moxon, his publisher, being the other. He also wrote a Life of Petrarch, and a year or two before his death he edited the Life of Frederic the Great, published by Colburn. In this year, that is, in 1842, he again visited Germany. On one occasion, in the writer's presence, he expressed a strong desire to go to Greece; but he never carried that intention into effect, probably from the want of a companion. On his return from Germany, with which he was now become familiar, he took a house at No. 8, Victoria-square, Pimlico, and devoted his time to the education of his niece, Miss Mary Campbell, a Glasgow lady, whom he took to live with him. But his health, which had long been in a declining state, began to give way rapidly. He was no longer the man he was; the energy of his body and mind was gone, and in the summer of 1843 he retired to Boulogne, where at first he derived benefit from the change of air and scene. But this did not continue long, and he gradually grew feebler; he seldom went into society, and for some months before his death he corresponded but little with his friends in this country. A week before his decease Dr. Beattie was sent for from London, and on his arrival at Boulogne he found him much worse than he had anticipated. The hour was approaching when the spirit of the poet of Hope was to quit this transitory scene, and return to God who gave it. On Saturday afternoon, the 15th June, 1844, he breathed his last, in the presence of his niece, his friend Dr. Beattie, and his medical attendants. His last hours were marked by calmness and resignation. The Rev. Mr. Hassell, an English clergyman, was also with Mr. Campbell at the time of his death.

"Campbell's funeral," continues this able writer, "was worthy of his fame. He was buried in the Poet's Corner of Westminster Abbey, on Wednesday, July 3, 1844. The funeral was attended by a large body of noblemen and gentlemen, and by several of the most eminent authors of the day. Mr. Alexander Campbell and Mr. Wiss, two nephews of the deceased poet, with his executors, were the chief mourners; and the pall was borne by Sir Robert Peel, the Earl of Aberdeen, the Duke of Argyle, Lord Morpeth, Lord Brougham, Lord Campbell, Lord Dudley Coutts Stuart, and Lord Leigh. The corpse was followed by a large number of members of parliament and other distinguished gentlemen. The following interesting account of the funeral was written by an American, who was present among the crowd of spectators, on the mournful occasion:—

"'At twelve o'clock the procession, which had been formed in the Jerusalem Chamber, adjoining the abbey, came in sight, as you looked through the length of the abbey toward the western door. All you could see, at first, at this immense distance, was a dark mass; and so slowly did the procession advance, that it scarcely seemed to move. As it came near, every voice was hushed, and, beside the solemn tramp of the procession, the only voice audible was the voice of the clergyman echoing along the vaulted passages, "I am the resurrection and the life." Borne before the coffin were a number of mourning plumes, so arranged as to correspond with it in shape. When the procession halted, and the coffin was laid upon the temporary scaffold before the desk, the plumes were placed upon it. There was no other attempt at splendor. All was as simple as in the most ordinary funeral solemnity. It was a grand spectacle, and such as I never expect to see again. Not merely the nobles of the land, but its ablest men, who, from day to day, are directing the destinies of the mightiest monarchy on the globe, and whose names will live in after-times, were bearing the remains of the departed poet to the hallowed palace of the dead. Among the pall-bearers were Lord Brougham, Sir Robert Peel, and Lord Aberdeen; among the mourners, Macaulay, D'Israeli, Lockhart, and many others known to fame. I had hoped to see Wordsworth, and, perhaps, Carlyle, but neither of them were there. The burial-service was read by the Rev. Dr. Milman [canon of Westminster, and rector of St. Margaret's], author of The Siege of Jerusalem, History of the Jews, and other works. At the close of the service, the plumes were taken from the coffin, and the body lowered into the grave. As the mourners gathered around the opening, the sound of what seemed distant thunder called my attention to the windows. It was a dull, dark day, and I supposed, for a moment, that a storm was at hand, till the sweet strain of a beautiful melody, from the organ in the choir, in the rear, undeceived me. Then followed again the rumbling of thunder, like the marching of mighty masses of the dead, varied occasionally by snatches of harmony, and conveying an impression of unutterable solemnity. It was the Dead March in Saul.

"'There was one part of the ceremony more impressive still. A deputation from the Polish Association was present, in addition to the Poles who attended as mourners; and when the officiating clergyman arrived at that portion of the ceremony in which dust is consigned to dust, one of the number (Colonel Szyrma) took a handful of dust, brought for the occasion from the tomb of Kosciusko, and scattered it upon the coffin. It was a worthy tribute to the memory of him who has done so much to immortalize the man and the cause; and not the less impressive because so perfectly simple. At the conclusion of the service, the solemn peals of the organ again reverberated for some minutes through the aisles of the abbey, and the procession retired as it came.

"'The barrier with iron spikes, which protected the mourners from the jostling of the crowd, was then removed, and there was a rush to get a sight of the coffin. After waiting a little while, I succeeded in looking into the grave, and read the inscription on the large gilt plate:—

Died June 15, 1844.
Aged 67.

"'On visiting the abbey the next day, I found the stone over the grave so carefully replaced, that a stranger would never suspect there had been a recent interment. To those who may hereafter visit the spot, it may be interesting to know that it is situated between the monument of Addison and the opposite pillar, not far from that of Goldsmith, and closely adjoining that of Sheridan. His most Christian wish is accomplished. He lies in the Poet's Comer, surrounded by the tombs and monuments of kings, statesmen, warriors, and scholars, in the massy building guarded with religious care, and visited from all parts of the land with religious veneration.'"

Residence at Keswick

Residence at Keswick


The great home and haunt of Robert Southey was Keswick. Of the sixty-nine years that he lived, he spent exactly forty there. He settled there at the early age of twenty-nine, and commenced a life of the most unremitting industry, which he pursued till nature gave way, and the powers of his mind sunk under their taskmaster. There never was a more thorough fixture as a literary man. It seemed to be the highest enjoyment of his life to work; and having taken the bent in time to work on the right side, he avoided the general fate of literary men, and died in good esteem with the powers that be, and worth £12,000.

Of the period of Southey's life previous to settling at Keswick, there is little to be said in this work. No good biography of him exists, and the materials for his life are still in the hands of his executors, and not issued in due form to the public. He was born in Bristol, 1774. His father was a linendraper there,—a most extensive wholesale linendraper, says a short memoir of him affixed to a French selection from his poems. This, I suppose, is one of the statements usually made to take off from the lives of men who have risen to eminence, the writers think, something of their vulgar origin. But what care all sensible people what a man's origin was, so that his career was honorable? Who thinks, because Shakspeare was the son of a wool-comber; because Ben Jonson was apprenticed to a mason; because Milton was a schoolmaster; because Sir Walter Scott was the son of an attorney; because Moore was the son of a grocer and spirit dealer, and Chatterton was a charity boy, that they are one whit less the genuine nobles of the land? It is high time that we got rid of this vulgar way of thinking, and regarded all men, all trades, all origins honorable, when there has been no moral obliquity about the persons themselves. Whether Southey's father, then, was "a most extensive linendraper," and could say with John Gilpin,

"I am a linendraper bold,
As all the world doth know;"

there is no doubt that he was a retail as well as wholesale trader. His shop was at the sign of the Golden Key, in Wine-street; and there the shop still remains in the very same trade, and with the golden key hanging in front still, as the sign. In this shop Robert used to serve as a boy. I believe his father was then deceased, and the concern was in the hands of his uncle, who brought him up. However, he was a gay youth, and served only of a fashion. At one time he was measuring off his drapery goods with his yard-wand, at another he was measuring the fields after the hounds, and used to come in amid all the shop customers in his splashed boots and scarlet coat. His uncle did not augur much success in trade from this style of doing business, and destined him for the Church. His friends and associates were chiefly dissenters; but young dissenters, caught early and well drilled, make the stanchest churchmen. He was first educated by a Baptist minister, Mr. Foote, a very able, but very old man. He was then removed to a school at Corston, where he remained about two years, and it was probably at the conclusion of this schooling that it was intended to put him to the drapery business. On the plan of devoting him to the Church opening itself, he would naturally be sent to one of the Church preparatory schools; and accordingly he went to Westminster, in 1787, where, in 1790, he fell under censure, for his concern in the rebellion excited against the master, Dr. Vincent. In 1792, he became a student under Baliol College, Oxford, but Unitarian principles and the revolutionary mania put an end to that design. So strongly did he imbibe the new opinions on politics, which the explosion in France had produced, that he, with his friends Lovell and Coleridge, projected a plan of settling on the banks of the Susquehannah, in North America, and there founding a new republic, under the name of the Pantisocracy. This utopian scheme was soon dissolved for the want of means; and in 1795, Mr. Southey married Miss Fricker. Every one remembers Byron's lines in Don Juan, when speaking of Coleridge, he says:

"When he and Southey, following the same path,
Espoused two partners, milliners of Bath."

Coleridge and Lovell were townsmen of Southey's, and youthful companions. Lovell was of a Quaker family, and all were connected with the dissenters. Soon after his marriage, Southey accompanied his maternal uncle, the Rev. Dr. Hill, to Portugal, that gentleman being appointed chaplain to the Factory at Lisbon. In 1810, Southey obtained the appointment of secretary to the Right Hon. Isaac Corry, chancellor of the exchequer for Ireland. In retiring from office with his patron, our author went to reside at Keswick, where also dwelt, under the same roof, the widow of his friend Lovell, and the wife of Mr. Coleridge, both which ladies were sisters to Mrs. Southey. Such were the movements of Southey till he settled down at Keswick, and there, busy as a bee in its hive, worked out the forty years of his then remaining life. The mere list of his works attests a wonderful industry:—Joan of Arc, 4to, 1796. Poems, 1797. Letters from Spain and Portugal, 8vo. 1797. Annual Anthology, edited by him, 2 vols. 1799-1800. Amadis de Gaul, from a Spanish version, 4 vols. 1803. Edited the works of Chatterton, 3 vols. 1803. Thalaba, 2 vols. 1804. Madoc, 1805. Specimens of Latin Poets, 3 vols. 1807. Palmerin of England, from the Portuguese, 4 vols. 1807. Espriello's Letters, 3 vols. 1807. Edited the Remains of H. K. White, 2 vols. 1807. The Chronicle of the Cid, from the Spanish, 1808. The History of Brazil, 3 vols. 1809. The Curse of Kehama, 1811. Omniana, 3 vols. 1812. Life of Nelson, 2 vols. 1813. Carmen Triumphale, 1814. Odes to the Allied Sovereigns, 1814. Roderick, the Last of the Goths, 1814. The Vision of Judgment. The Life of Bunyan. Morte Arthur, 2 vols. 1817. Life of Wesley, 2 vols. 1820. Expedition of Orsua and Crimes of Aguirre, 1821. All for Love, or the Sinner Well Saved, 1829. Pilgrimage to Compostella. Tales of Paraguay, etc. Essays Political and Moral, 2 vols. 1831. Book of the Church, 2 vols. Sir Thomas More, or Colloquies on the State of Society, 2 vols. 1832. Lives of British Admirals, 5 vols. 1839-40. Vindicia Ecclesiæ Anglicanæ. The Doctor, 5 vols.; etc., etc.

This is a striking list of the works of one man, though he took nearly fifty years of almost unexampled health and industry to complete it. But this does not include the large amount of his contributions to the Quarterly and other periodicals; nor does the mere bulk of the work thrown off convey any idea of the bulk of work gone through. The immense and patient research necessary for his histories, was scarcely less than that which he bestowed on the subject matter and illustrative notes of his poems. The whole of his writings abound with evidences of learning and laborious reading that have been rarely equaled. But the variety of talents and humor displayed in his different writings is equally extraordinary. The love of fun, and the keenness of satire, which distinguished his smaller poems, are enough to make a very brilliant reputation. The Devil's Walk, so long attributed to Porson, but, as testified by themselves, conceived and written by Southey, with some touches and additions from the hand of Coleridge; The Old Woman of Berkeley; The Surgeon's Warning; The Pig; Gooseberry Pie; Ruprecht the Robber; The Cataract of Lodore; Bishop Hatto; The Pious Painter; St. Antidius, the Pope, and the Devil; The March to Moscow;—these and others of the like kind would make a volume, that might be attributed to a man who had lived only for joke and quiz. Then the wild and wandering imagination of Thalaba and Kehama; the grave beauty of Madoc; the fine youthful glow of liberty and love in Joan of Arc; and the vivid fire and vigor of Roderick the last of the Goths, are little less in contrast to the jocose productions just mentioned, than they are to the grave judgment displayed in his histories, or the keenness with which he enters, in his Book of the Church, the Colloquies, and his critiques, into the questions and interests of the day, and puts forth all the acumen and often the acidity of the partisan.

With all our admiration of the genius and varied powers of Southey, and with all our esteem for his many virtues, and the peculiar amiability of his domestic life, we can not, however, read him without a feeling of deep melancholy. The contrast between the beginning and the end of his career, the glorious and high path entered upon, and so soon and suddenly quitted for the pay of the placeman and the bitterness of the bigot, cling to his memory with a lamentable effect. Without doing as many hastily do, regarding him as a dishonest renegade; allowing him, on the contrary, all the credence possible for an earnest and entire change in his views; we can not the less mourn over that change, or the less elude the consciousness that there was a moment when this change must have been a matter of calculation. They who have held the same high and noble views of human life and social interests, and still hold them, find it impossible to realize to themselves the process by which such a change in a clear-headed and conscientious man can be carried through. For a man whose heart and intellect were full of the inspiration of great sentiments, on the freedom of man in all his relations as a subject and a citizen as well as a man, on peace, on religion, and on the oppressions of the poor, to go round at once to the system and the doctrines of the opposite character, and to resolve to support that machinery of violence and oppression which originates all these evils, is so unaccountable as to tempt the most charitable to hard thoughts. Nothing is so easy of vindication as a man's honesty, when he changes to his own worldly disadvantage, and to a more free mode of thinking; but when the contrary happens, suspicion will lie in spite of all argument. We can well conceive, for instance, the uncle of the young poet, with whom he went out to Portugal, a clergyman of the Church of England, saying to him, "Robert, my dear fellow, these notions and these terrible democratic poems,—this Wat Tyler, these Botany Bay Eclogues, and the like, are not the way to flourish in the world. No doubt you want to live comfortably; then just look about you, and see how you are to live. Here are church and state, and there are Wat Tyler and the Botany Bay Eclogues. Here are promotion and comfort, there are poverty and contempt. Take which you will." We can well conceive the effect of such representations on a young man who, with all his poetic and patriotic devotion, did not like poverty and contempt, and did hope to live comfortably. This idea once taking the smallest root in a young man having a spice of worldly prudence as well as a great deal of ambition, we can imagine the youth nodding to himself and saying,—"True, there is great wisdom in what my uncle says. I must live, and so no more Wat Tylers, nor Botany Bay Eclogues. I will adhere to the powers that be, but I will still endeavor to infuse liberal and generous views into these powers." Very good, but then comes the transplanting to a new soil, and into new influences. Then come the hearing of nothing but a new set of opinions, and the feeling of a very different tone in all around him. Then comes the facilis descensus Averni, and the sed revocare gradum hoc opus, hic labor est. The metamorphosis goes on insensibly—Nemo repentè fuit turpissimus; but the end is not the less such as, if it could have been seen from the beginning, would have made the startled subject of it exclaim, "Is thy servant a dog, that he should do this thing?"

Allowing Dr. Southey the full benefit of all these operating influences, so as to clear his conscience in the metamorphosis as much as possible, yet what a metamorphosis that was! The man who set out in a career that augured the life of a second Milton, ending as the most thorough, though probably unconscious tool of tyranny and state corruption. The writer of Wat Tyler lauding George IV. and Castlereagh! The author of The Battle of Blenheim, singing hymns to the allied sovereigns, and hosannas over the most horrible war and carnage, and for the worst purposes in history. The advocate of the pauper and the mill operative, supporting the power and the system which made pauperism universal, and manufacturing oppressive to the artisan. And last, and worst, the man who justly lashed Lord Byron for his licentious pen, being subjected to the necessity of slurring over the debaucheries of such a monster as George IV., and singing his praises, as a wise, and just, and virtuous prince. While Southey congratulated himself on never having prostituted his pen to the cause of vice, he forgot that to prostitute it to the praise of those who were the most libidinous and vicious characters of their age, was only the same thing in another form. No greater dishonor could have befallen a man of Southey's private character, than to have so fully justified the scarifying strictures of his aristocratic satirist:—

"He said—I only give the heads—he said
He meant no harm in scribbling; 'twas his wa
Upon all topics; 'twas beside his bread,
Of which he buttered both sides; 'twould delay
Too long the assembly, he was pleased to dread,
And take up rather more time than a day,
To name his works—he would but cite a few—
Wat Tyler—Rhymes on Blenheim—Waterloo.
"He had written praises of a regicide;
He had written praises of all kings whatever;
He had written for republics far and wide,
And then against them bitterer than ever:
For pantisocracy he once had cried
Aloud, a scheme less moral than 'twas clever;
Then grew a hearty anti-Jacobin—
Had turned his coat—and would have turned his skin.
"He had sung against all battles, and again
In their high praise and glory; he had called
Reviewing, 'the ungentle craft,' and then
Become as base a critic as e'er crawl'd—
Fed, paid, and pampered by the very men
By whom his muse and morals had been mauled.
He had written much blank verse, and blanker prose,
And more of both than any body knows."
Byron, The Vision of Judgment.

Spite of the indecencies of Byron's muse, and the orthodox character of Southey's, it must be confessed that the former is much less mischievous than the latter. Everywhere, Byron speaks out boldly his opinion of men and things. Everywhere, he hates despotism, and laughs to scorn cant and hypocrisy. If he be too free in some of his sentiments, he is equally free where he ought to be so. The world will never have to complain that the liberties of mankind have been curtailed through the inculcations of Lord Byron; or that he has endeavored to confound all just sense of morals, by heaping incense on the vilest of princes. What an impressive contrast is there between the Laureate's hymning of the bloated George IV. into Dublin, and the Irish Avater of Byron:—

"Oh, what a joy was there!
In loud huzzas prolonged.
Surge after surge the tide
Of popular welcome rose;
And in the interval alone
Of that tumultuous sound of glad acclaim
Could the deep cannon's voice
Of duteous gratulation, though it spake
In thunder, reach the ear.
From every tower the merry bells rung round,
Peal hurrying upon peal,
Till with the still reverberating din
The walls and solid pavement seem to shake,
And every bosom with the tremulous air
Inhaled a dizzy joy.
Age, that came forth to gaze
That memorable day,
Felt in its quickened veins a pulse like youth;
And lisping babes were taught to bless their king,
And grandsires bade their children treasure up
The precious sight, for it would be a tale,
The which in their old age
Would make their children's children gather round,
Intent all ears to hear."
Southey's Ode on the King's Visit to Ireland.

Who would not have believed that this was some virtuous monarch, the father of his people? What had the Irish to bless this king for? What ears now are intent to hear of this vaunted boon of this great and good king's visit sung by this paid poet, the pious Southey? What a much more healthy though terrible truth exists in the Irish Avater, by Lord Byron!

It is a circumstance that redeems the age, that when despotism was making its most hardy attempts in England, when too many of our literary men were disposed to flatter and follow in its train, and when such a man as Southey was the loudest to hymn the follies and crimes of the despots, Lord Byron, the very man who was accused of corrupting the public morals, should still have been the man to denounce, with all the powers of poetry, wit, and withering sarcasm, the nefarious attempt. What a fall was that of Southey, from the poet of liberty to the laudator of crime, tyranny, and carnage! What a position in which to see him stand, crying for a continuance of religious slavery, for the slavery of the press, and advancing beyond all former example of fanatic bigotry, assuming the office of the Deity himself, and dooming those who differed in opinion from him to perdition in the next world! If Robert Southey, as he wrote the epitaph to Algernon Sidney, or the sonnet to Mary Wollstoncraft, could have been shown himself, writing his Vision of Judgment, representing Junius as afraid to speak in his own defense, and George IV. lauded as good, and wise, and "treading in the steps of his father," with what horror would he have regarded himself. With what shame would he have seen Lord Byron, like his avenger, ever ready at hand to turn his solemn adulation to ridicule, and to lash him with a merciless scourge of immortal indignation.

It is with deepest sorrow that I view Southey in this light; but the lesson to future poets should never be withheld. Truth is of eternal interest to mankind, and it can never be too often impressed on youth, that no temporary favor or emolument can make a millionth part of amends for the loss of the glorious reputation of the patriot. Allowing that Southey became sincerely convinced that he was right in his adopted political creed, his own private opinion can not alter the eternal nature of things, and the fact is not the less a fact that his change was a mischievous and an unworthy one. If, while he lived in dread of public opinion, as evinced in his Colloquies, "First the Sword governs; then the Laws; next in succession is the government of Public Opinion. To this we are coming. Already its claims are openly and boldly advanced … timidly, and therefore feebly resisted!" (vol. ii. p. 114) he could have seen to what a pitch this government of public opinion has now arrived, and how peacefully and beneficially all advances under it, with what regret must he have looked back on his own acts and counsels. How much he must have deplored the terms of factionists, seditionists, schismatics, and "lying slanderers," which he had heaped on all who dared to utter an independent opinion. See, especially, his Vision of Judgment. And that the laureate's feelings were very keen, circumstances always showed; for though he declares in his Colloquies that his enemies might as well shoot their arrows at a rhinoceros as at him, yet on every occasion when an able antagonist adverted to his peculiar career, he writhed and turned in bitterest resentment; as on William Smith, of Norwich, for his remarks on Wat Tyler in parliament, and on Lord Byron. That outward policy, and a regard for the position which he had assumed, tended to make him write in a more church and state strain than he otherwise would, is rendered more than probable by the freedom of opinion which he allowed himself in The Doctor, where he was shielded by his incognito.

Deploring the grand error of Southey's life—for we bear no resentment to the dead—more especially as England has gone on advancing and liberalizing, spite of his slavish dogmas, and thus rendered his most zealous advocacy of narrow notions perfectly innoxious—we would ask, whether this peculiar change of his original opinions may not have had a peculiar effect on his poetry? Much and beautifully as he has written, yet, if I may be allowed the expression, he never seems to be at home in his poetry, any more than in the country which, with his new opinions, he adopted. We can read once, especially in our youth, his poems, even the longest—but it is rarely more than once. We are charmed, sometimes a little wearied, but we never wish to recur to them again. There are a few of his smaller poems, as the Penates, the Bee, Blenheim, and a few others, which are exceptions, with some exquisite passages, as that often quoted one on love in Kehama. But, on the whole, we are quite satisfied with one reading. There is a want, somehow, of the spiritual in his writing. Beautiful fancy, and tender feeling, and sometimes deep devotion, there are; but still there lacks that spirit, that essence of the soul which makes Wordsworth and many of the poems of Lord Byron, a never satiating aliment and refreshment—a divine substance on which you live and grow, and by its influence seem to draw nearer to the world of mind and of eternity. Southey's poetry seems a beautiful manufacture; not a part of himself. He carries you in it, as in an enchanted cloud, to Arabia, India, or America; to the celestial Meru, to the dolorous depths of Padalon, or to the Domdaniel caves under the roots of the ocean; but he does not seem to entertain you at home; to take you down into himself. He does not seem to be at rest there, or to have there "his abiding city."

It is exactly the same as to the country in which he lived. He seemed to live there as a stranger and a sojourner. That he loved the lakes and mountains around, there can be no question; but has he linked his poetry with them? Has he, like Wordsworth, woven his verse into almost every crevice of every rock? Cast the spell of his enchantment upon every stream? Made the hills, the waters, the hamlets, and the people, part and parcel of his life and his fame? We seek in vain for any such amalgamation. With the exception of the cataract of Lodore, there is scarcely a line of his poetry which localizes itself in the fairy region where he lived forty years. When Wordsworth is gone, he will leave on the mountains, and in all the vales of Cumberland, an everlasting people of his creation. The Wanderer, and the Clergyman of the Excursion, Michael, and Matthew, and the Wagoner, and Peter Bell, Ruth, and many a picturesque vagrant will linger there forever. The Shepherd Lord will haunt his ancient hills and castles, and the White Doe will still cross Rylston fells. A thousand associations will start up in the mind of many a future generation, as they hear the names of Helvellyn, Blencathra, or Langdale Pikes. But when you seek for evidences of the poetic existence of Southey in Cumberland, you are carried at once to Greta-hall at Keswick, and there you remain. I suppose the phrenologists would say it was owing to his idiosyncrasy—that he had much imitativeness, but very little locality. It is most singular, that look over the contents of his voluminous poems, and you find them connected with almost every region of the world, and every quarter of these kingdoms, except with the neighborhood of his abode. He would seem like a man flying from the face of the world, and brushing out all traces of his retreat as he goes. In Spain, France, America, India, Arabia, Africa, the West Indies, in Ireland, Wales, England, and Scotland, you perceive his poetical habitations and resting-places; but not in Cumberland. He has commemorated Pultowa, Jerusalem, Alentejo, Oxford, Blenheim, Dreux, Moscow, the Rhine. He has epitaphs and inscriptions for numbers of places in England, Spain, and Portugal. In his Madoc, Wales; in his Roderick, Spain; in his Joan of Arc, France, find abundance of their localities celebrated. In his Pilgrimage to Waterloo, Flanders has its commemorations; but Cumberland—no! You would think it was some district not glorious with mountain, lake, and legend, but some fenny flat on which a poetic spirit could not dwell.

Almost the only clews that we get at are to be found in the Colloquies. Here we learn that the poet and his family did sometimes walk to Skiddaw Dod, Causey Pike, and Watenlath. At page 119 of vol. i., where these names occur, we find the poet proposing an excursion to Walla Crag, on the waters of the Derwentwater. "I, who perhaps would more willingly have sat at home, was yet in a mood to suffer violence, and making a sort of compromise between their exuberant activity and my own inclination for the chair and the fireside, fixed on Walla Crag." Beside this mention, you have in Colloquy XII., pages 59 to 69, an introduction to a long history of the Clifford family, in which you are introduced to Threlkeld farm and village. This peep into the mountains makes you wonder that Southey did not give you more of them; but no, that is all. It is evident that his heart was, as he hinted just above, "at home in the chair by the fireside." It was in his library that he really lived, and there is little question that when his children did get him out on the plea that it was necessary for his health, his mind was gone off with some Thalaba or Madoc or other, or with that other favorite hero of his, whose "walk," and whose exploits with old women, he has described with a gusto that might have fitly fixed on him the appellation he gave to Lord Byron—the head of the Satanic school.

To Keswick we must then betake ourselves as the sole haunt of Robert Southey. My visit there in the summer of 1845 was marked by a circumstance which may show how well the fame of Dr. Southey, the laureate of Church and State, and the bard who sung the triumphs of legitimacy on the occasion of the allied sovereigns coming to England in 1814, is spread among the nations which are the strictest maintainers of his favorite doctrines; a fettered press, a law church, and a government maintained by such statesmen as Castlereagh and Metternich. I was traveling at that time with four of the subjects of these allied sovereigns, whom our laureate had so highly lauded; a Russian, a Cossack, an Austrian, and a Bohemian; the Cossack no other than the nephew of the Hetman Platoff, and the Bohemian, Count Wratislaw, the present representative of that very ancient family of which the queen of our Richard II., "the good Queen Anne," who sent out Wickliffe's Bible to Huss, and was thus the mother of the Reformation on the Continent; and, singularly also, still closely connected with our royal family, his mother being sister to the Princess of Leiningen, wife to the half-brother of Queen Victoria. Austrian and Russian nobles are not famous for great reading, but every one of these were as familiar with Dr. Southey's name as most people the world over are with those of Scott and Byron. They not only went over the laureate's house with the greatest interest, but carried away sprigs of evergreen to preserve as memorials.

Southey's house, which lies at a little distance from the town of Keswick, on the way to Bassenthwaite water, is a plain stuccoed tenement, looking as you approach it almost like a chapel, from the apparent absence of chimneys. Standing upon the bridge over the Greta which crosses the high-road here, the view all round of the mountains, those which lie at the back of Southey's house, Skiddaw being the chief, and those which lie in front, girdling the lake of Derwentwater, is grand and complete. From this bridge the house lies at the distance of a croft, or of three or four hundred yards, on an agreeable swell. In front, that is, between you and the house, ascends toward it a set of homelike crofts, with their cut hedges and a few scattered trees. When Southey went there, and I suppose for twenty years after, these were occupied as a nursery ground, and injured the effect of the immediate environs of the house extremely. Nothing now can be more green and agreeable. On the brow of the hill, if it can be called so, stand two stuccoed houses; the one nearest to the town, and the largest, being Southey's. Both are well flanked by pleasant trees, and partly hidden by them, that of Southey being most so. The smaller house has the air of a good neighbor of lesser importance, who is proud of being a neighbor. It is at present occupied by a Miss Denton, daughter of the former vicar of Crosthwaite, the place just below on the Bassenthwaite road, and where Southey lies buried.

The situation of Southey's house, taking all into consideration, is exceeded by few in England. It is agreeably distant from the road and the little town, and stands in a fine, open valley, surrounded by hills of the noblest and most diversified character. From your stand on Greta bridge, looking over the house, your eye falls on the group of mountains behind it. The lofty hill of Latrig lifts its steep, green back with its larch plantations clothing one edge, and scattered in groups over the other. Stretching away to the left, rises the still loftier range and giant masses of Skiddaw, with its intervening dells and ravines, and summits often lost in their canopy of shadowy clouds. Between the feet of Skiddaw and Greta bridge, lie pleasant knolls and fields with scattered villas and cottages, and Crosthwaite Church. On your right hand is the town, and behind it green swelling fields again, and the more distant inclosing chain of hills.

If you then turn your back on the house, and view the scene which is presented from the house, you find yourself in the presence of the river, hurrying away toward the assemblage of beautifully varied mountains, which encompass magnificently the lake of Derwentwater.

The vicinity to the lake itself would make this spot as a residence most attractive. I think I like Derwentwater more than any other of the lakes. The mountains all round are so bold and so diversified in form. You see them showing themselves one behind another, many tending to the pyramidal form, and their hues as varied as their shapes. Some are of that peculiar tawny, or lion color, which is so singular in its effect in the Scotch mountains of the south; others so softly and smoothly green; others so black and desolate. Some are so beautifully wooded, others so bare. When you look onward to the end of the lake, the group of mountains and crags there, at the entrance of Borrowdale, is one of the most beautiful and pictorial things imaginable. If any artist would choose a scene for the entrance into fairy land, let him take that. When, again, you turn and look over the town, there soars aloft Skiddaw in his giant grandeur, with all his slopes, ridges, dints, ravines, and summits clear in the blue sky, or hung with the cloud-curtains of heaven, full of magnificent mystery. There is a perfect pyramid, broad and massy as those of Egypt, standing solemnly in one of its ascending vales, called Carrsledrum. Then, the beautifully wooded islands of Derwentwater, eight in number, and the fine masses of wood that stretch away between the feet of the hills and the lake, with here and there a villa lighting up the scene, make it perfect. In all the changes of weather, the changes of aspect must be full of new beauty; but, in bright and genial summer weather, how enchanting must it be! As it was at our visit, the deep-black, yet transparent shadow that lay on some of the huge piles of mountain, and the soft light that lay on others, were indescribably noble and poetical, and the strangers exclaimed continually,—"Prächtig!" "Wunderschön!" and "Très beau!"

When we ascend to the house, it is through a narrow sort of croft or a wide shrubbery, which you will. The carriage-road goes another way, and here you have only a single footpath, and on your right hand a grassy plot scattered with a few flower-beds, and trees and shrubs, which brings you, by a considerable ascent, to the front of the house, which is screened almost wholly from view by tall trees, among which some are fine maples and red beeches. Here, on the left hand, a little side gate leads to Miss Denton's house, and on the other stretches out the lawn, screened by hedges of laurel and other evergreens. Behind this little lawn, on the right hand of the house, lie one or two kitchen gardens, and passing through these, you come to a wood descending toward the river, which you again find here sweeping around the house. Down this wood or copse, which is half-orchard, and half of forest trees, you see traces of winding footpaths, but all now grown over with grass. The house is deserted; the spirits which animated the scene are fled, some one way, and some another; and there is already a wildness and a desolation about it. The Greta, rushing over its weir beneath this wood, moans in melancholy sympathy with the rest of the scene. You see that great pleasure has sometime been taken in this spot, in these gardens, in this shadowy and steeply descending wood; and the river that runs on beneath, and the melancholy feeling of the dreamlike nature and vanity of human things, its fame and happiness included, seizes irresistibly upon you. A little footpath which runs along the Greta side toward the town deepens this feeling. Through the trees, and behind the river, lie deep and grassy meadows with masses of woodland, having a very Cuyp or Paul Potter look; and, between the higher branches of the trees you see the huge green bulk of Skiddaw, soaring up with fine and almost startling effect. You may imagine Southey walking to and fro along the footpath under the trees, in the fields leading to the town, by another route, and thinking over his topics, while he took the air, and had in view a scene of mountain magnificence, of the effect of which the poet was fully conscious. "The height and extent of the surrounding objects seem to produce a correspondent expansion and elevation of mind, and the silence and solitude contribute to this emotion. You feel as if in another region, almost in another world."4 Here, too, you may imagine Coleridge lying and dreaming under the trees of the wood within sound of the river. He was here, at one time, a great while.

To return to the house, however. It is a capacious house enough, but not apparently very well built. The floors of the upper rooms shake under your tread; and I have heard, that when Southey had these rooms crowded and piled with books, there was a fear of their coming down. The house is one of those square houses of which you may count the rooms without going into them, but at each end is a circular projection, making each a snug sort of ladies' room. The room on the right hand as we entered, was said to be the sitting-room, and that on the left, the library, while the room over it was Southey's writing-room; and most of these rooms, as well as the entrance-hall, were all crowded with books. We were told that, after several days' sale at home, where some books as well as the furniture were sold, fourteen tuns of books and similar articles were sent off for sale in London.

If Southey has not told us much about his haunts in the mountains, he has, however, particularly described that where his heart lay—his library. To this he has given a whole chapter in his Colloquies; and in this volume we must, as a matter of course, give a few extracts, for it is almost the only haunt of Southey, of which he has left us any glimpse in his writings.

"I was in my library," he says, "making room upon the shelves for some books which had just arrived from New England, removing to a less conspicuous station others which were of less value, and in worn dress, when Sir Thomas entered.

"'You are employed,' said he, 'to your heart's content. Why, Montesinos, with these books, and the delight you take in their constant society, what have you to covet or desire more?'

"Montesinos.—'Nothing, … except more books.'

"Sir Thomas More.—'Crescit, indulgens sibi, dirus hydrops.'

"Montesinos.—'Nay, nay, my ghostly monitor, this at least is no diseased desire! If I covet more, it is for the want I feel, and the use I should make of them. "Libraries," says my good old friend, George Dyer, a man as learned as he is benevolent, … "libraries are the wardrobes of literature, whence men, properly informed, might bring forth something for ornament, much for curiosity, and more for use." These books of mine, as you well know, are not drawn up here for display, however much the pride of the eye may be gratified in beholding them; they are on actual service. Whenever they may be dispersed, there is not one among them that will ever be more comfortably lodged, or more highly prized by its possessor; and generations may pass away before some of them will again find a reader…. It is well that we do not moralize too much upon such subjects, …

"For foresight is a melancholy gift,
Which bears the bald, and speeds the all-too swift."

But the dispersion of a library, whether in retrospect or anticipation, is to me always a melancholy thing.'

"Sir Thomas More.—'How many such dispersions must have taken place to have made it possible that these books should be thus brought together here among the Cumberland mountains!'

"Montesinos.—'Many, indeed; and in many instances, most disastrous ones. Not a few of these volumes have been cast up from the wreck of the family or convent libraries, during the Revolution. Yonder Acta Sanctorum belonged to the Capuchins, at Ghent. This book of St. Bridget's Revelations, in which not only all the initial letters are illuminated, but every capital throughout the volume was colored, came from the Carmelite nunnery at Bruges. That copy of Alain Chartier, from the Jesuits' College at Louvain; that Imago Primi Sæculi Societatis, from their college at Ruremond. Here are books from Colbert's library; here others from the Lamoignon one. And here are two volumes of a work—Chronicles of the barefooted Franciscans in the Philippines, China, Japan, etc.—for which I am indebted to my friend Sir Robert Harry Inglis; a work, not more rare than valuable for its contents, divorced, unhappily, and it is to be feared forever, from the volume which should stand between these. They were printed in a convent at Manilla, and brought from thence when that city was taken by Sir William Draper. They have given me, perhaps, as many pleasurable hours, passed in acquiring information which I could not otherwise have obtained, as Sir William spent years of anxiety and vexation in vainly soliciting the reward of his conquest.'

"'About a score of the more out-of-the-way works in my possession, belonged to some unknown person, who seems carefully to have gleaned the bookstalls a little before and after the year 1790. He marked them with certain ciphers, always at the end of the volume. They are in various languages, and I never found his mark in any book that was not worth buying, or that I should not have bought without that indication to induce me. All were in ragged condition, and having been dispersed on the owner's death, probably as of no value, to the stalls they had returned; and there I found this portion of them, just before my old haunts as a book-hunter in the metropolis were disforested, to make room for improvements between Westminster and Oxford-road. I have endeavored, without success, to discover the name of their former possessor.' * * * *

"'Yonder Chronicle of King D. Manoel, by Damiam de Goes, and yonder General History of Spain, by Esteban de Garibay, are signed by their respective authors. The minds of these laborious and useful scholars are in their works; but you are brought into a more perfect relation with them when you see the page upon which you know that their eyes have rested, and the very characters which their hands have traced. This copy of Casaubon's Epistles was sent to me from Florence by Walter Landor. He had perused it carefully, and to that perusal we are indebted for one of the most pleasing of his Conversations. These letters had carried him in spirit to the age of their writer, and shown James I. to him in the light in which James was regarded by cotemporary scholars; and, under the impression thus produced, Landor has written of him in his happiest mood, calmly, philosophically, feelingly, and with no more favorable leaning than justice will always manifest when justice is in good-humor, and in charity with all men. The book came from the palace library at Milan … how or when abstracted I know not; but this beautiful dialogue would never have been written had it remained there in its place upon the shelf, for the worms to finish the work which they had begun.' * * * *

"'Here is a book with which Lauderdale amused himself, when Cromwell kept him prisoner in Windsor Castle. He has recorded his state of mind during that imprisonment, by inscribing in it, with his name and dates of time, the Latin word Durate, and the Greek Οὶστέον καὶ ἐλπιοτέον. The date is 22d Oct. 1657. The book is the Pia Hilaria Angelini Gazæi…. Here is a memorial of a different kind, inscribed in this "Rule of Penance of St. Francis," as it is ordered for religious women…. "I beseech my dear mother humbly to accept of this exposition of our holy rule, the better to conceive what your poor child ought to be who daly beges your blessing. Constantia Francisco." And here are the Apophthemata, collected by Conrad Lycosthenes, and published, after drastic expurgation by the Jesuits, as a commonplace book,—some Portuguese has entered a hearty vow, that he would never part with the book, nor lend it to any one. Very different was my poor old Lisbon acquaintance, the abbé, who, after the old humorous form, wrote in all his books, and he had a rare collection, Ex libris Francisci Garnier, et amicorum.'

"Sir Thomas More.—'How peaceably they stand together…. Papists and Protestants side by side!'

"Montesinos.—'Their very dust reposes not more quietly in the cemetery. Ancient and modern, Jew and Gentile, Mohammedan and Crusader, French and English, Spaniards and Portuguese, Dutch and Brazilians, fighting their old battles silently now upon the shelf; Fernam Lopez and Pedro de Ayala; John de Laet and Barlæus, with the historians of Joam Ferandes Vieira; Fox's Martyrs, and the Three Conversations of Father Persons; Cranmer and Stephen Gardiner; Dominican and Franciscan; Jesuit and Philosophe, equally misnamed: Churchmen and Sectarians; Roundheads and Cavaliers!

"Here are God's conduits, grave divines; and here
Is nature's secretary, the philosopher;
And wily statesmen, which teach how to tie
The sinews of a city's mystic body;
Here gathering chroniclers; and by them stand
Giddy fantastic poets of each land."—Donne.

Here I possess these gathered treasures of time, the harvest of so many generations, laid up in my garners; and when I go to the windows, there is the lake, and the circle of the mountains, and the illimitable sky.'"

This noble collection, of which their possessor might well be proud, which is said to have included by far the best collection of Spanish books in England, and the gathering of which together, through many researches, many inquiries, and many years, had, perhaps, given him almost as much pleasurable excitement as their perusal, is once more dispersed into thousands of hands. The house, indeed, at the time we visited it, was in the act of being repaired, fresh painted and papered, ready for a new tenant; and, of course, looked desolate enough. All the old paper had been torn off the walls, or scraped away; and workmen, with piles of rolls of new paper, and buckets of paste, were beginning their work of revival. The whole house, outside and inside, had an air of dilapidation, such as houses in the country are often allowed to fall into; but, no doubt, when all furnished and inhabited, would be comfortable and habitable enough.

But death had been there, and the appraiser and auctioneer, and a crowd of eager sale-attenders after them; and the history of the poet and the poet's family life was wound up and done there. A populous dwelling it must have been when Southey and his wife and children, and Mrs. Coleridge and her daughter, and perhaps other friends, were all housed in it. And an active and pleasant house it must have been when great works were going on in it, a Thalaba, a Madoc, an article for the Quarterly, and news from London were coming in, and letters were expected of great interest, and papers were sending off by post to printers and publishers, and correspondents. All that is now passed over as a dream; the whole busy hive is dispersed many ways, and the house and grounds are preparing to let at £55 a-year, just as if no genius had set a greater value on them than on any other premises around. It is when we see these changes that we really feel the vanity of human life. But the beauty of the life of genius is, that though the scene of domestic action and sojourn can become as empty as any other, the home of the poet's mind becomes thenceforth that of the whole heart and mind of his nation, and often far beyond that. The Cossack and the Bohemian—did they not also carry away from it to their far-off lands tokens of their veneration?

Before quitting Southey's house for his tomb, I can not resist referring to a little fact connected with his appointment to the laureateship. It is well known that the post was first offered to Walter Scott, who declined it, but recommended Southey, who was chosen. The letters on the whole transaction are given in Lockhart's Life of Scott (chap. xxvi.), and certainly present one of the most luxurious bits of human nature imaginable. Scott, who was then only plain Walter Scott; who was not made Sir Walter for seven years after; who had published the greater number of his popular poetical romances, but had not yet published Waverley; felt, however, quite terrified at the offer of the laureateship. He was quite agonized with shame at the prospect, and wrote off to the Duke of Buccleugh to ask his advice how he was to get decently out of the scrape without offending the prince regent. "I am," says Scott, "very much embarrassed by it. I am, on the one hand, very much afraid of giving offense, where no one would willingly offend, and perhaps losing the opportunity of smoothing the way to my youngsters through life; on the other hand the offer is a ridiculous one; somehow or other, they and I should be well quizzed," etc. * * * "I feel much disposed to shake myself free of it. I should make but a bad courtier, and an ode-maker is described by Pope as a man out of his way, or out of his senses."

Almost by return of post came the duke's answer. "As to the offer of his royal highness to appoint you laureate, I shall frankly say, that I should be mortified to see you hold a situation which, by the general concurrence of the world, is stamped ridiculous. There is no good reason why it should be so; but it is so. Walter Scott, Poet Laureate, ceases to be Walter Scott, of the Lay, Marmion, etc. Any future poem of yours would not come forth with the same probability of a successful reception. The poet laureate would stick to you and your productions like a piece of court plaster. * * * Only think of being chanted and recitatived by a parcel of hoarse and squeaking choristers, on a birthday, for the edification of the bishops, pages, maids of honor, and gentlemen-pensioners! Oh, horrible! thrice horrible!"

Scott replied, "I should certainly never have survived the recitative described by your grace; it is a part of the etiquet I was quite unprepared for, and should have sunk under it."

Such was the horror of Scott, and his great patron Buccleugh, at the very idea of this most ridiculous of offers, of this piece of court plaster, of this horrible, thrice horrible of all quizzes—Scott at once declined the honor; and though he said he should make a bad courtier, assuredly no courtier could have done it in better style, professing that the office was too distinguished for his merits; that he was by no means adequate to it. Now Scott, all this time, had but an income of £2,000 a-year, out of all his resources; we have these calculated and cast up on the very same page, opposite to his letter to Buccleugh; nay, he is in embarrassments, and in the very same letter requests the duke to be guaranty for £2,000 for him: and he thought the laureateship worth £300 or £400 a-year. These facts all testify to his thorough idea of the ignominy of the office. How rich, then, is the sequel! This ignominy, this burning shame of an office, this piece of adhesive court plaster, he goes at once and recommends to Southey! "Hang it," he says to himself, "it would never do for such a man as me; but, by the by, it will do very well for Southey!" Well, he writes at once to Southey—tells him that he has had this offer, but that he has declined it, because he has had already two pieces of preferment, and, moreover, "my dear Southey, I had you in my eye." He adds—and now let any one who thinks himself flattered on any particular occasion, remember this delicious bam—"I did not refuse it from any foolish prejudice against the situation—otherwise how durst I offer it to you, (ay, how, indeed!) my elder brother in the muse?—but from a sort of internal hope that they would give it to you, on whom it would be so much more worthily conferred. For I am not such an ass as not to know that you are my better in poetry, though I have had, probably but for a time, the tide of popularity in my favor. I have not time to add the thousand other reasons, but I only wished to tell you how the matter was, and to beg you to think before you reject the offer which, I flatter myself, will be made to you. If I had not been, like Dogberry, a fellow with two gowns already, I should have jumped at it like a cock at a gooseberry. Ever yours, most truly, Walter Scott."

The whole is too rich to need a remark, except that Southey accepted it, and Scott wrote him a letter of warmest congratulation on getting this piece of court plaster clapped on his back, and putting himself into a position to be "well quizzed;" but was quite confounded to learn that the honorarium for the "horrible! thrice horrible!" was not £400 a-year, but only £100 and a butt of wine. I wonder whether poor Southey lived to read Scott's life!

The present illustrious holder of this post accepted it with a dignity worthy of his character and fame, declining it till it was stripped of all its disgusting duties. The next step, it is to be hoped, will be to abolish an office equally derogatory to monarch and subject. No poet of reputation should feel himself in a position to pay mercenary praise; no monarch of this country need purchase praise; to a worthy occupier of the throne it will be freely accorded from the universal heart of the nation.

Crosthwaite Church, in whose grave-yard Robert Southey's remains lie, is about a quarter of a mile from the house, on the Bassenthwaite water-road. It is a very simple and lowly village church with a low square tower, but stands finely in the wide open valley, surrounded at a considerable distance, by the scenery I have described. I suppose it is nearly a mile from the foot of Skiddaw. From Southey's house the walks to it, and again from it along the winding lanes, and over the quiet fields toward Skiddaw, are particularly pleasant. Southey in his Colloquies speaks of the church and church-yard with much affection. He quotes the account of an old man who more than fifty years ago spoke of the oldest and finest yew-trees in the country standing in this church-yard, and of having seen all the boys of the school-house near, forty in number, perched at once on the boughs of one of them.

At the northwest comer of the church-yard, stands Southey's tomb. It is a plain altar-tomb of reddish freestone, covered with a slab of blue slate, with this inscription,—"Here lies the body of Robert Southey, LL.D. Poet Laureate; Born August 12, 1774. Died March 26, 1843. Also of Edith his wife, Born May 20, 1774; Died Nov. 16, 1837. I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord."

Close in front of the tomb lies the grave of Mrs. Southey; and behind, and close to the hedge, stands a stone bearing this inscription,—"The Lord gave and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord. Sacred to the memory of Emma Southey, who departed in May 1809, aged 14 months. And of Herbert Southey, who departed April 17th, 1816, in the tenth year of his age. Also of George Fricker, their uncle, aged 26, 1814. Also, Isabel Southey, their sister, who departed on the 16th of July, 1826, aged 13 years. Also of Edith Southey, their mother, who departed May, 1837, aged 63. Requiescat in pace."

I recollected that there was something peculiar connected with the death of the son, Herbert. The old clerk said that his disorder could not be discovered till after his death, but that on opening him, a human hair was found fast round his heart!

I wished to see the pew where the Southeys used to sit, but I found the interior of the church, as well as of his house, undergoing the revolution of repair, or rather of renewal. It seemed as if people had only waited for Southey's death, to begin and clear off all traces of his existence here. The church is fine and capacious within, but all the old pews, all the old seats, pulpit, and every thing belonging to them, have been cleared away, and the whole replaced by fittings in the ancient style. There are nothing but open benches, with a single exception. The benches are of solid oak, with heavy, handsome carving, and have a very goodly and substantial look. The windows are also renewed with handsome painted glass, and the tables of the Decalogue, etc. placed behind the altar, are all painted in the old missal style. The church will be very handsome, at the same time that it is a sign of the times. Of course Southey's pew is gone. In the church is an ancient monument of the Radcliffes, ancestors to the Earl of Derwentwater; and two of the Brownrigs of Armathwaite, immediate maternal relations of my wife.

The close of Southey's life was melancholy. His mind gave way, probably from having been overtasked, and he sunk into a condition of utter imbecility. Shortly before this event he had married, as his second wife, his friend of many years' standing, Caroline Bowles, one of the sweetest and most genuine poetesses of the age. In her early widowhood she has the satisfaction of reflecting, that, as one of the tenderest nurses and most assiduous companions, she did all that mortal power could do to render his last gloomy stage on earth easy and comfortable. She wrote for him when he could no longer write, read to him for days, weeks, months, when he was not allowed to read himself, and watched over him with untiring affection when he was no longer sensible of the value and devotion of these services. What is to be deeply regretted is, that we believe her pecuniary sacrifices by this marriage were as serious as those demanded in the shape of anxiety, vigilance, and physical exertion, from a mind of the quickest feeling and a frame never strong; her own personal income being contingent on such a circumstance. Such a woman, who has adorned the literature of her country with some of its most exquisite contributions, and sacrificed every thing to render the last days of one of its finest writers as serene as possible, ought not to be left to wear away the remainder of her life in the res augustæ domi, stripped of those simple elegances and enjoyments to which, as a gentlewoman, she has always been accustomed. Even they who differ most in opinion from that writer, and most regret the direction which his mind took on many great questions, still admit most cheerfully the brilliant services rendered by him to the national literature and fame, and would desire that the wife of Robert Southey should enjoy that ease and consideration which his merits, independent of her own, ought to secure her.

Birthplace at Bristol

Birthplace at Bristol


The powerful dramatic writer, the graceful and witty lyrist, and the sweet and gentle woman, who has for so many years, in her quiet retreat at Hampstead, let the world flow past her as if she had nothing to do with it, nor cared to be mentioned by it, was born in one of the most lovely and historical districts of Scotland. She was born in a Scottish manse, in the upper dale of the Clyde, which has, for its mild character and lavish production of fruit, been termed "Fruitland." As you pass along the streets of Scotch towns, you see on fruit-stalls in the summer, piles of plums, pears, and other fruits, labeled "Clydesdale Fruit." One of the finest specimens of the fruit of this luxuriant and genial dale, is Joanna Baillie, a name never pronounced by Scot or Briton of any part of the empire, but with the veneration due to the truest genius, and the affection which is the birthright of the truest specimens of womanhood. The sister of the late amiable and excellent Dr. Baillie, the friend of Walter Scott, the woman whose masculine muse every great poet has for nearly half-a-century delighted to honor, Joanna Baillie, wrote because she could not help pouring out the fullness of her heart and mind, and the natural consequence was fame; otherwise, whoever sees that quiet, amiable, and unassuming lady, easy and cheerful as when she played beneath the fruit-laden boughs of her native garden, sees that, though not scorning the fair reputation of well exercised intellect, she is at home in the bosom of home, and lets no restless desire for mere fame disturb the pure happiness of a serene life, and the honor and love of those nearest and dearest to her. Had the lambent flame of genius not burned in the breast of Joanna Baillie, that of a pure piety and a spirit made to estimate the blessings of life, and to enjoy all the other blessings of peace and social good which it brings, would have still burned brightly in her bosom, and made her just as happy though not as great.

The birthplace of Joanna Baillie is the pretty manse of Bothwell, in the immediate neighborhood of Bothwell brig; and, therefore, as will at once be seen, in the center of ground where stirring deeds have been done, and where the author of Waverley has added the vivid coloring of romance to those deeds. Bothwell manse, from its elevated site, looks directly down upon the scene of the battle at Bothwell brig; upon the park of Hamilton, where the Covenanters were encamped; and upon Bothwellhaugh, the seat of Hamilton, who shot the regent Murray. This is no mean spot in an historical point of view, and it is richly endowed by nature. Near it also, a little farther down the river, stands Bothwell Castle, on Bothwell bank, on which the charm of poetry has been conferred with an almost needless prodigality, for it is so delightful in its own natural beauty.

The country as you proceed to Bothwell from Glasgow, from which it is distant about ten miles, though from the first rich and well cultivated, is not so agreeable, from the quantity of coal that is found along the roads into Glasgow, and which seems to have given a blackness to every thing. As you advance, however, it grows continually more elevated, open, airy, and pleasant. About a mile before you reach Bothwell, the tall, square church steeple of which, seen far before you, serves you for a guide, a pair of lodge gates on your right hand marks the entrance to the grounds of Bothwell Castle. By writing your name and address in a book kept by the gate-keeper, you are admitted, and can then pursue your way alone to the castle, and make your own survey without the nuisance of a guide. The castle lies about half-a-mile from the high-road. You first arrive at very beautifully kept pleasure grounds, in which stands a good modern mansion, the seat of the proprietor, Lord Douglas. Passing through these grounds, and close to the right of the house, you soon behold the ruins of the old castle. It is of a very red sandstone, extensive in its remains, and bearing evidence of having been much more extensive. Its tall red walls stand up amid fine trees and masses of ivy, and seem as if created by Time to beautify the modern scene with which they blend so well. The part remaining consists of a great oblong square, with two lofty and massy towers overlooking the river which lies to your left. There are also remains of an ample chapel. From the openings in the ruins, the river below, and its magnificent valley or glen, burst with startling effect upon you. The bank from the foot of the castle descends with considerable steepness to the river far below, but soft and green as possible; and beyond the dark and hurrying river, rise banks equally high, and as finely wooded and varied. Advancing beyond the castle you come again to the river, which sweeps round the ruins in a fine curve. Here every charm of scenery, the great river in its channel, its lofty and well wooded banks, the picturesque views of Blantyre Priory opposite, the slopes and swells of most luxurious green, and splendid lime-trees hanging their verdurous boughs to the ground, mingle the noble and the beautiful into an enchanting whole. A gravel walk leads you down past the front of the castle, and presents you with a new and still more impressive view of it. Here it stands aloft on the precipice above you, a most stately remnant of the old times; and nature has not stinted her labors in arraying it in tree, bush, and hanging-plant, so as to give it the grace of life in its slow decay, making it in perfect harmony with herself. Few scenes are more fascinating than this. Above you the towers of the castle, which once received as its victorious guest Edward I. of England; which again sheltered the English chiefs fleeing from the disastrous field of Bannockburn; which was the stronghold of Archibald the Grim, and the proud hall of the notorious Earl Bothwell. Below, slopes down in softest beauty the verdant bank, and the stately Clyde, dark and deep, flows on amid woods and rocks worthy of all their fame. The taste of the proprietor has seized on every circumstance to give a finish to a scene so lovely; and it is impossible not to exclaim, in the words of the celebrated old ballad—

"Oh, Bothwell bank, thou bloomest fair."

The village of Bothwell is, as I have said, a mile farther on the way toward Hamilton. The church and manse lie to the left hand as you enter it, and the latter is buried, as it were, in a perfect sea of fruit trees. You may pass through the church-yard to it, and then along a footpath between two high hedges, which leads you to the carriage-road from the village to its front. The house in which Miss Baillie was born, and where she lived till her fourth year, seems to stand on a sort of mount, on one side overlooking the valley of the Clyde, and on the other the church-yard and part of the village. The situation is at once airy and secluded. Between the manse and the church-yard lies the garden, full of fruit trees; and other gardens, or rather orchards, between that and the village, add to the mass of foliage, in which it is immersed. Between the church-yard and the manse garden commences a glen, which runs down, widening and deepening as it goes, on the side of the manse most distant from the village, to the great Clyde valley. This gives the house a picturesqueness of situation peculiarly attractive. It has its own little secluded glen, its sloping crofts, finely shaded with trees, and beyond again other masses of trees shrouding cottages and farms.

The church has been rebuilt within these few years, of the same red stone as Bothwell Castle; but the old chancel of the church still remains standing, in a state of ruin. The church-yard is extensive, scattered with old-fashioned tombs, and forming a famous playground for the children of the neighboring village school, who were out leaping in the deep damp soil, and galloping among its rank hemlocks and mallows to their hearts' content. Having, by the courtesy of the minister, Dr. Matthew Gardner, seen the manse, and had a stroll in the garden, I again wandered over the church-yard, watching the boys at their play, and reading the inscriptions on the tombs and headstones; one of which I copied in evidence of the state of parochial education in Scotland, where it has existed as a national institution, I believe ever since the days of Knox:—

"Erected by Margaret Scott, in memory of her husband, Robert Stobo, Late Smith and Farrier o' Gowkthrapple, who died 7th of May 1834, in the 70th year of his age.

"My sledge and hammer lies declined,
My bellows pipes have lost its wind;
My forge's extinct, my fires decayed,
And in the dust my vice is laid.
My coal is spent, my iron is gone,
My nails are drove, my work is Done."

What struck me as not less curious was the following handbill, posted on the jamb of the church door:—"Gooseberries for sale, by public roup. The gooseberries in the orchards of Bothwell manse, also at Captain Bogles Laroyet, and in, etc., etc. Sale to begin at Bothwell manse, at five o'clock, P.M. 10th of July." This was, certainly, characteristic of "Fruitland."

Though Miss Baillie only spent the first four years of her life at this sweet and secluded parsonage, it is the place which she has said she likes best to think of, of any in her native country. And this we may well imagine; it is just the place for a child's paradise, embosomed amid blossoming trees, with its garden lying like a little hidden yet sunny fairy land in the midst of them, with its flowers and its humming bees, that old church and half-wild church-yard alongside of it, and its hanging crofts, and little umbrageous valley.

To Bothwell brig you descend the excellent highway toward Hamilton, and coming at it in something less than a mile, are surprised to find what a rich and inviting scene it is. The brig, which you suppose, from being described as a narrow, steep, old-fashioned concern in the days of the Covenanters, to be something gray and quaint, reminding you of Claverhouse and the sturdy Gospelers, is, really, a very respectable, modern-looking affair. The gateway which used to stand in the center of it has been removed, the breadth has been increased, an additional arch or arches have been added at each end, and the whole looks as much like a decent, everyday, well-to-do, and toll-taking bridge as bridge well can do. There is a modern toll-bar at the Bothwell end of it. There is a good house or two, with their gardens descending to the river. The river flows on full and clear, between banks well cultivated and well covered with plantations. Beyond the bridge and river the country again ascends with an easy slope toward Hamilton, with extensive plantations, and park walls belonging to the domain of the Duke of Hamilton. You have scarcely ascended a quarter of a mile, when, on your left hand, a handsome gateway, bearing the ducal escutcheons, and with goodly lodges, opens a new carriage way into the park. Every thing has an air of the present time, of wealth, peace, and intellectual government, that make the days of the battle of Bothwell brig seem like a piece of the romance work of Scott, and not of real history.

Scott himself tells us in his Border Minstrelsy, in his notes to the old Ballad of Bothwell Brig, that "the whole appearance of the ground as given in the picture of the battle at Hamilton Palace, even including a few old houses, is the same as the scene now presents. The removal of the porch or gateway, upon the bridge, is the only perceptible difference." There must have been much change here since Scott visited the spot. The old houses have given way to new houses. The old bridge is metamorphosed into something that might pass for a newish bridge. The banks of the river, and the lands of the park beneath, are so planted and wooded, that the pioneers would have much to do before a battle could be fought. All trace of moorland has vanished, and modern inclosure and cultivation have taken possession of the scene. When we bring back by force of imagination the old view of the place, it is a far different one.

"Where Bothwell's bridge connects the margin steep,
And Clyde below runs silent, strong, and deep,
The hardy peasant, by oppression driven
To battle, deemed his cause the cause of Heaven.
Unskilled in arms, with useless courage stood,
While gentle Monmouth grieved to shed his blood;
But fierce Dundee, inflamed with deadly hate,
In vengeance for the great Montrose's fate,
Let loose the sword, and to the hero's shade
A barbarous hecatomb of victories paid."
Wilson's Clyde.

When we picture to ourselves the Duke of Monmouth ordering his brave footguards under command of Lord Livingstone, to force the bridge, which was defended by Hackstone of Rathillet, and Claverhouse sitting on his white horse on the hillside near Bothwell, watching the progress of the fray, and ready to rush down with his cavalry and fall on the infatuated Covenanters who were quarreling among themselves on Hamilton haughs, we see a wild and correspondent landscape, rough as the Cameronian insurgents, and rude as their notions. The Bothwell brig of the present day has all the old aspect modernized out of it. Its smiling fields, and woods that speak of long peaceful times, and snug modern homes—oh! how far off are they from the grand old melancholy tone of the old ballad:—

"Now farewell father, and farewell mother,
And fare ye weel, my sisters three;
An' fare ye weel, my Earlstoun,
For thee again I'll never see!
"So they're away to Bothwell hill,
An' waly they rode bonily!
When the Duke of Monmouth saw them comin'
He went to view their company.
* * * *
"Then he set up the flag o' red,
A' set about wi' bonny blue;
'Since ye'll no cease, and be at peace,
See that ye stand by ither true.'
"They stelled their cannons on the height,
And showered their shot down in the howe;
An' beat our Scots' lads even down,
Thick they lay slain on every knowe.
* * * *
"Alang the brae, beyond the brig,
Mony brave man lies cauld and still;
But lang we'll mind, and sair we'll rue,
The bloody battle of Bothwell hill."

To the left, looking over the haughs or meadows of Hamilton, from Bothwell brig, you discern the top of the present house of Bothwellhaugh over a mass of wood. Here another strange historical event connects itself with this scene. Here lived that Hamilton who shot in the streets of Linlithgow the Regent Murray, the half-brother of the Queen of Scots. The outrage had been instigated by another, which was calculated especially in an age like that when men took the redress of their wrongs into their own hands without much ceremony, to excite to madness a man of honor and strong feeling. The regent had given to one of his favorites Hamilton's estate of Bothwellhaugh, who proceeded to take possession with such brutality that he turned Hamilton's wife out naked, in a cold night, into the open fields, where before morning she became furiously mad. The spirit of vengeance took deep hold of Hamilton's mind, and was fanned to flame by his indignant kinsmen. He followed the regent from place to place seeking an opportunity to kill him. This at length occurred by his having to pass through Linlithgow on his way from Stirling to Edinburgh. Hamilton placed himself in a wooden gallery, which had a window toward the street, and as the regent slowly, on account of the pressure of the crowd, rode past, he shot him dead.

Add to these scenes and histories that Hamilton Palace, in its beautiful park, lies within a mile of the Bothwell brig, and it must be admitted that no poetess could desire to be born in a more beautiful or classical region. Joanna Baillie's father was at the time of her birth minister of Bothwell. When she was four years old he quitted it, and was removed to different parishes, and finally, only three years before his death, was presented to the chair of divinity at Glasgow. After his death Miss Baillie spent with her family six or more years in the bare muirlands of Kilbride, a scenery not likely to have much attraction for a poetical mind, but made agreeable by the kindness and intelligence of two neighboring families. She never saw Edinburgh till on her way to England when about twenty-two years of age. Before that period she had never been above ten or twelve miles from home, and, with the exception of Bothwell, never formed much attachment to places. Since then she has only seen Scotland as a visitor, and at distant intervals.

For many years Joanna Baillie has been a resident of Hampstead, where she has been visited by nearly all the great writers of the age. Scott, as may be seen in his letters to Joanna Baillie, delighted to make himself her guest, and on her visit to Scotland, in 1806, she spent some weeks in his house at Edinburgh. From this time they were most intimate friends; she was one of the persons to whom his letters were most frequently addressed, and he planted, in testimony of his friendship for her, a bower of pinasters, the seeds of which she had furnished, at Abbotsford, and called it Joanna's bower. In 1810 her drama, The Family Legend, was through his means brought out at Edinburgh. It was the first new play brought out by Mr. Henry Siddons, and was very well received, a fortune which has rarely attended her able tragedies, which are imagined to be more suitable for the closet than the stage. There they will continue to charm, while vigor of conception, a clear and masterly style, and healthy nobility of sentiment, retain their hold on the human mind.




William Wordsworth was born at Cockermouth on the 7th of April, 1770. He was educated at Hawkeshead school, in High Furness, and at St. John's College, Cambridge. He had several brothers. One was lost at sea, as commemorated in his poems in various places, as in vol. iii. p. 96, in the sixth poem on the naming of places; and in vol. iv. p. 332, in Elegiac Stanzas; and again in the very next poem—To the Daisy. He was, as we learn from a note, commander of the East India Company's vessel, the Earl of Abergavenny. Another brother was the late Master of Trinity College, Cambridge; and a third, a solicitor in Staples inn. On quitting college, he lived some time in the west of England, and then traveled abroad; resided a year and a half in France, at Orleans, Nantes, Paris, etc. He then went into Germany. In these countries he traveled much on foot, and often quite alone; passing through the solitary forests, and penetrating into the most obscure villages. I have heard him relate that coming late, accompanied by his sister and Coleridge, into a desolate German hamlet, in Hesse Cassel,—and wretched places they are often, as every one knows who has had to seek rest or refreshment in them,—they were refused admittance, and thought they must have to pass the night in the open street. Knocking, however, pretty determinedly at the door of the village inn, the landlord, as if provoked by being disturbed, suddenly rushed out upon them, and fell upon them with a huge cudgel, so that they considered themselves in great personal danger, as well they might at that time of day, when the visits of foreigners were not very common; and not only were the common village publicans very boorish, but, if we are to believe the hand-books of the traveling handicrafts, many a foul murder was committed in those obscure places for the stranger's purse and knapsack. Neither Wordsworth nor Coleridge, however, were destined to be extinguished in that manner. They succeeded in defending themselves, in making their way into the house, and by appealing to them as Christian people, whose duty it was to entertain, and not abuse strangers, they secured a night's lodging, such as it was. Coleridge relates the anecdote somewhat differently in his Biographia Literaria. He says, the rudeness of the landlord within, was seconded by a rabble without. That the travelers could get neither supper, coffee, nor beds; and finally, asking for some bundles of straw to sleep upon, these possibly might have been granted, but that he, Coleridge, happened to ask impatiently, if there were no Christians left in Hesse Cassel; which so incensed them, that being reported in the street, the rabble rushed in and expelled them from the house, by hurling the burning brands from the hearth at them; and that they bivouacked where they could; Coleridge passing his night under a furz bush, well punctured by its thorns. You may find many traces of Wordsworth's wanderings thus in his poems, particularly in vol. iii., and also in vol. iv., where he very characteristically narrates the adventures of a fly on a cold winter's day, as it traverses the stove before which he sat warming himself.

Before going abroad he lived some time in Dorsetshire and Somersetshire. It is probable that he made the acquaintance of Coleridge at Cambridge. Coleridge had now become connected with Southey and Lovell, two Bristol men, and was in a great measure located there. The spirit of poetry had revived again after a long period of mere imitation; and by these circumstances three of the chief leaders of literary reform were thus brought together. Southey was a Bristol man, Coleridge was a Devonshire man, Wordsworth a Cumberland man; but here they were drawn together, and Bristol for a time seemed as though it were to have the honor of becoming a sort of western Athens. But Bristol itself had no sympathy with any literary spirit. It is one of those places that have the singular fortune to produce great men, though it never cherishes them. It produced Chatterton, and let him perish; it produced Southey, and let him go away to rear the fabric of his fame where he pleased. The spirit of trade, and that not in its most adventurous or liberal character, was and is the spirit of Bristol. By a wretched and penny-wise policy, even of trade, it has allowed Gloucester, at many miles' distance from the sea, to become a great port at its expense; by the same spirit it has created Liverpool; and whoever now sees its wretched docks coming up into the middle of the town, instead of stretching, business-like and compactly, along the banks of the Avon, its dusty and unwatered streets, and altogether dingy and sluggish appearance, feels at once, that not even the poetry of trade can flourish there. Yet Bristol had the honor thrust upon it, of issuing to the world the first productions of Wordsworth, Southey, and Coleridge. Joseph Cottle, the author of Alfred, an epic poem, whom Byron so mercilessly handled, grafting upon him the name of his brother Amos, for the sake of more ludicrous effect—Joseph Cottle was a bookseller here, and became the patron of those three young, aspiring, but far from wealthy young men.

Coleridge had made the acquaintance of a Mr. Thomas Poole, of Nether Stowey, a gentleman of some property, and a magistrate. Mr. Poole was a friend of the two great brother potters, Josiah and Thomas Wedgewood, of Staffordshire; he introduced Coleridge to them, and eventually they settled on him an annuity of £150 a-year. Poole invited Coleridge to come down to Stowey to see him, and after his marriage prevailed on him to go and live in Stowey. The Wedgewoods were accustomed also to visit Mr. Poole; and the same causes drew Wordsworth and Southey occasionally down there. Thus Bristol ceased to be the general rendezvous of this new literary coterie, and the solitudes of Somersetshire received them. People have often wondered what induced this poetical brotherhood to select a scene so far out of the usual haunts of literary men, so inferior to Wordsworth's own neighborhood, as Stowey and its vicinity. These are the circumstances. It was Mr. Poole and cheapness which had a deal to do with it. Poole drew Coleridge, Coleridge and the dreams of Pantisocracy drew most of the others. Wordsworth, I believe, never speculated on the exclusive happiness of following the plough on the banks of the Susquehannah; but the whole of the corps had made the discovery that true poetry was based on nature, and that it was to be found only by looking into their own minds, and into the world of nature around them. They therefore sought, not cities, but solitude, where they could at once read, reflect, and store up that treasury of imagery, full of beauty and truth, which should be reproduced, woven into the living tissue of their own thought and passion, as poetry of a new, startling, and high order. To this life of country seclusion Wordsworth and Southey adhered, from choice, all their after-lives.

Wordsworth first resided at Racedown in Dorsetshire, where Coleridge visited him. When Coleridge went to settle at Stowey, Wordsworth also removed to Allfoxden, about five miles farther down, near the Bristol Channel. Here his secluded habits gave rise to some ludicrous circumstances, annoying enough, however, to drive him out of the neighborhood. He was deep in the composition of poetry. He had a Tragedy on the anvil, a poem called Salisbury Plain, never yet published, and Peter Bell, beside his Lyrical Ballads, which last Cottle brought out while he was here. He sought the deepest solitude, and here, if anywhere, he could find it. Allfoxden house is situated at the very extremity of the Quantock hills, and within about a mile and a quarter of the Bristol Channel. As you advance from Stowey, the Quantock hills run along at some little distance on your left hand. They are of the character of downs, open and moorland on the top, and with great masses of wood here and there on their slopes. The country on your right is level, rich, and well wooded. On arriving near Allfoxden, you turn abruptly to the left, and winding about through a woody lane, and passing through a little hamlet, you begin to feel as if you were going quite out of the world of mankind. You are at the foot of the hills, and a thick wood terminates your way. But through this wood you have to pass to find the house where Wordsworth had hidden himself. Passing into this wood at a gate, you find yourself in a most Druidical gloom. The wood is of well grown, tall, and thickly growing oak; filled still closer with hollies, which were once underwood, but which have shot up, and emulated the very oaks themselves in altitude. They are unquestionably among the loftiest hollies in England. Altogether the mass of wood is dense, the scene is shadowy, the ground is strewn with its brown carpet of fallen leaves. As you advance, on your right hand you catch a sound of water, and pursuing it you find it issues from the bottom of a deep narrow glen or dean, which no doubt gives the name to the place—All fox den, or glen of all the foxes. This glen is a very poetical feature of the place, and especially attractive to a man in Wordsworth's then turn of mind, which led him to the deepest seclusion for the sake of abstraction. Tall trees soar up from its sides, and meet above; some of them have fallen across, dashed down by the wind. Wild plants grow luxuriantly below; woodbines and other creepers climb and cling from bough to bough; and the pure and crystal water hurries along over its gravelly bed, beneath this mass of shade and overhanging banks, with a merry music to the neighboring sea.

Leaving this glen, you hold on through the wood to the left, and soon emerge into a park, inclosed by hills and woods, where a good country-house looks out toward the sea. It is one of the most secluded, and yet pleasantly secluded, houses in England. Around it sweep the hills, scattered with fine timber, beneath which reposes a herd of deer, and before it stretches the sea at a little distance. The house is somewhat raised above the level of the valley, so as to catch the charming view of the lands, woods, and outspread waters below. To the left, near the coast, you catch a view of the walls of St. Audrey, the seat of Sir Peregrine Ackland, pleasingly assuring you that you are not quite cut off from humanity. Below the house lies a sunny flower-garden, and, behind, the ascending lawn is enriched by finely disposed masses of trees; among them some enormous old oaks, and elms of noblest growth. There are two elms, growing close together, of remarkable size and height, beneath which a seat is placed, commanding a view of the park and sea; and just below it a fine, well grown larch, which used to be a very favorite tree of the poet. Under these trees he used to sit, and read and compose; and no man could have coveted a more congenial study. Here originated or took form many of his lyrical ballads.

If you ascend the park, you find yourself, after a good, stout climb, on the open hills. One summit after another, covered with clumps of Scotch firs, allures you to ascend, till at length you find yourself far from any abode, on the high moorland hills, amid a profound, but a glorious solitude. Fine glens, with glittering streams, and here and there a lonely cottage sending up its quiet smoke, run among these hills, and extensive tracts of woodland offer you all the charms of forest seclusion. The hills which range along behind Stowey cease here, and were the great haunt of Coleridge and Wordsworth. They might, if they pleased, extend their rambles over them, from the abode of the one to that of the other. We find numerous evidences of their haunting of these hills, among their poems. The ballad of The Thorn is said to be derived hence. Coleridge mentions their name occasionally. He has a poem to a brook among the Quantock hills; and the opening of his Fears in Solitude, written in 1798, when he was at Stowey, is most descriptive of their scenery:—

"A green and silent spot amid the hills,
A small and silent dell! O'er stiller place
No singing skylark ever poised herself.
The hills are heathy, save that swelling slope,
Which hath a gay and gorgeous covering on,
All golden with the never bloomless furz,
Which now blooms most profusely; but the dell,
Bathed by the mist, is fresh and delicate
As vernal cornfield, or the unripe flax,
When, through its half-transparent stalks at eve,
The level sunshine glimmers with green light.
Oh! 'tis a quiet, spirit-healing nook!
Which all, methinks, would love; but chiefly he,
The humble man, who in his youthful years
Knew just so much of folly as had made
His early manhood more securely wise!
Here he might lie on fern or withered heath,
While from the singing lark, that sings unseen
The minstrelsy that solitude loves best,
And from the sun, and from the breezy air,
Sweet influences trembled o'er his frame,
And he with many feelings, many thoughts,
Made up a meditative joy, and found
Religious musings in the forms of nature!
And so, his senses gradually wrapped
In a half-sleep, he dreams of better worlds,
And dreaming hears thee still, O singing lark,
That singest like an angel in the clouds!"

But the views from the Quantock hills are as charming as the hills themselves. From above Allfoxden you look down directly on the Bristol Channel, the little island of Steepholms lying in the liquid foreground, and the Welsh hills stretching along in the back. On your right you see the whole level but rich country stretching away to Bridgewater, and on toward Bristol.

In this pleasant but solitary region we must recollect, however, that the young poets were not left entirely to their solitary rambles and cogitations. Coleridge had his wife and one or two young children with him. Wordsworth had his sister, and great companion in his many wanderings through various parts of the kingdom, Dorothy. Then there was Mr. Poole, their common friend at Stowey; Charles Lloyd, the son of the Quaker banker of Birmingham, a poet, with the usual fate of a poet, sorrow and an early death, was there part of the time, as a great admirer of, and boarder at, Coleridge's. Southey, Cottle, Charles Lamb, and the two Wedgewoods, and others, visited them. We may well believe that this knot of friends, young, full of enthusiasm, of the love of nature, and the dreams of poetry, became a source of the strangest wonder to the simple and very ignorant inhabitants of that part of the country. People, whose children at the present hour, as will be seen by the account of Coleridge, do not know what a poet means, were not very likely to comprehend what could bring such a number of strange young men, all at once, into their neighborhood. What could they be after there? The honest people had no idea of persons frequenting a place but in pursuit of some honest or dishonest calling. They could not see what calling these young gentlemen were following there, and they very naturally set down their business to be of the latter description. They were neither lawyers, doctors, nor parsons. They were neither farmers, merchants, nor, according to their notions, thorough gentlefolks, i.e., people who lived in large houses, kept large numbers of servants, and drove about in fine carriages. On the contrary, they went wandering about among the hills and woods, and by the sea. They were out, it was said, more by night than by day; and I have heard people of rank and education, which ought to have informed them better, assert, and who still do assert, that they led a very dissolute life! The grave and moral Wordsworth, the respectable Wedgewoods, correct Robert Southey, and Coleridge dreaming of glories and intellectualities beyond the moon, were set down for a very disreputable gang! Innocent Mrs. Coleridge, and poor Dolly Wordsworth, were seen strolling about with them, and were pronounced no better than they should be! Such was the character which they unconsciously acquired, that Wordsworth was at length actually driven out of the country.

Coleridge, writing to Cottle, says, "Wordsworth has been caballed against so long and so loudly, that he has found it impossible to prevail on the tenant of the Allfoxden estate to let him the house, after their first agreement is expired, so he must quit it at midsummer. Whether we shall be able to procure him a house and furniture near Stowey, we know not, and yet we must; for the hills, and the woods, and the streams, and the sea, and the shores, would break forth into reproaches against us, if we did not strain every nerve to keep their poet among them. Without joking, and in serious sadness, Poole and I can not endure to think of losing him.

"At all events, come down, Cottle, as soon as you can, but before midsummer; and we will procure a horse, easy as thy own soul, and we will go on a roam to Linton and Limouth, which, if thou comest in May, will be in all their pride of woods and water-falls, not to speak of its august cliffs, and the green ocean, and the vast valley of stones, all which live disdainful of the seasons, or accept new honors only from the winter's snows."

This poetic trip, in company with another strange man, would, of course, be considered by the neighbors to be another smuggling or spy excursion. What else could they be going all that way for, to look at "the green sea," and at great "valleys of stones?" I remember the knowing laughter with which a country innkeeper in Cornwall once broke out, when, on his asking me what was my business in that part of the country, I replied, "to look about me."

"To look about! Oh, yes, the gentleman knows very well! To look about! Yes, indeed, make me believe that people go a great way off, into strange neighborhoods, merely to look about them!" The people of Somersetshire were equally sagacious at finding a mare's nest. Wordsworth, always a solemn-looking mortal, even in his youth, was particularly obnoxious to their suspicions, especially as he lived in that large house, in that very solitary place. Hear Cottle's account of the affair.

"Mr. Wordsworth had taken the Allfoxden house, near Stowey, for one year, during the minority of the heir; and the reason why he was refused a continuance by the ignorant man who had the letting of it, arose, as Mr. Coleridge informed me, from a whimsical cause, or rather a series of causes. The wiseacres of the village had, it seems, made Mr. Wordsworth the object of their serious conversation. One said, that 'he had seen him wander about by night, and look rather strangely at the moon! And then, he roamed over the hills like a partridge.' Another said, 'he had heard him mutter, as he walked, in some outlandish brogue, that nobody could understand!' Another said, 'It's useless to talk, Thomas, I think he is what people call "a wise man"' (a conjurer!). Another said, 'You are every one of you wrong. I know what he is. We have all met him tramping away toward the sea. Would any man in his senses take all that trouble to look at a parcel of water! I think he carries on a snug business in the smuggling line, and in these journeys, is on the lookout for some wet cargo!' Another very significantly said, 'I know that he has got a private still in his cellar; for I once passed his house at a little better than a hundred yards' distance, and I could smell the spirits as plain as an ashen fagot at Christmas.' Another said, 'However that was, he is surely a desperd French jacobin; for he is so silent and dark that nobody ever heard him say one word about politics.' And thus these ignoramuses drove from their village a greater ornament than will ever again be found among them."

Southey once thought of settling near Neath instead of the Lakes, and had pitched on a house which was to let, but the owner refused to receive him as tenant, because he had heard a rumor of his being a jacobin.

Cottle gives an amusing adventure at Allfoxden, which must not be omitted. "A visit to Mr. Coleridge at Stowey, in the year 1797, had been the means of my introduction to Mr. Wordsworth. Soon after our acquaintance had commenced, Mr. Wordsworth happened to be in Bristol, and asked me to spend a day or two with him at Allfoxden. I consented, and drove him down in a gig. We called for Mr. Coleridge, Miss Wordsworth, and the servant at Stowey; and they walked, while we rode to Mr. Wordsworth's house, distant two or three miles, where we purposed to dine. A London alderman would smile at our bill of fare. It consisted of philosopher's viands; namely, a bottle of brandy, a noble loaf, and a stout piece of cheese; and, as there was plenty of lettuces in the garden, with all these comforts we calculated on doing very well.

"Our fond hopes, however, were somewhat damped, by finding that our stout piece of cheese had vanished! A sturdy rat of a beggar, whom we had relieved on the road, with his olfactories all alive, no doubt, smelled our cheese; and, while we were gazing at the magnificent clouds, contrived to abstract our treasure! Cruel tramp! an ill return for our pence! We both wished that the rind might not choke him. The mournful fact was ascertained a little before we drove into the court-yard of the house. Mr. Coleridge bore the loss with great fortitude, observing that we should never starve with a loaf of bread and a bottle of brandy. He now, with the dexterity of an adept, admired by his friends around, unbuckled the horse, and putting down the shafts with a jerk, as a triumphant conclusion of his work,—lo! the bottle of brandy that had been placed most carefully behind us on the seat, from the inevitable law of gravity, suddenly rolled down, and before we could arrest the spirituous avalanche, pitching right on the stones, was dashed to pieces! We all beheld the spectacle, silent and petrified! We might have collected the broken fragments of the glass; but the brandy, that was gone! clean gone!

"One little untoward thing often follows another, and while the rest stood musing, chained to the place, regaling themselves with the Cognac effluvium, and all miserably chagrined, I led the horse to the stable, where a fresh perplexity arose. I removed the harness without difficulty, but after many strenuous attempts I could not get off the collar. In despair, I called for assistance, when aid soon drew near. Mr. Wordsworth first brought his ingenuity into exercise, but, after several unsuccessful efforts, he relinquished the achievement as altogether impracticable. Mr. Coleridge now tried his hand, but showed no more grooming skill than his predecessors; for after twisting the poor horse's neck, almost to strangulation, and to the great danger of his eyes, he gave up the useless task, pronouncing that the horse's head must have grown—gout or dropsy! since the collar was put on! 'For,' said he, 'it is a downright impossibility for such a huge os frontis to pass through so narrow a collar!' Just at this instant, the servant girl came near, and understanding the cause of our consternation, 'La, master,' said she, 'you do not go about the work in the right way. You should do like this;' when, turning the collar completely upside down, she slipped it off in a moment, to our great humiliation and wonderment; each satisfied, afresh, that there were heights of knowledge in the world, to which he had not attained.

"We were now summoned to dinner; and a dinner it was, such as every blind and starving man in the three kingdoms would have rejoiced to behold. At the top of the table stood a superb brown loaf. The center dish presented a pile of the true cos lettuces, and at the bottom appeared an empty plate, where the stout piece of cheese ought to have stood!—cruel mendicant! and though the brandy was clean gone, yet its place was well, if not better supplied by a superabundance of fine sparkling Castalian champagne! A happy thought at this time started into one of our minds, that some sauce would render the lettuces a little more acceptable, when an individual in the company recollected a question once propounded by the most patient of men—'How can that which is unsavory be eaten without salt?' and asked for a little of that valuable culinary article. 'Indeed, sir,' said Betty, 'I quite forgot to buy salt.' A general laugh followed the announcement, in which our host heartily joined. This was nothing. We had plenty of other good things, and while crunching our succulents, and munching our crusts, we pitied the far worse condition of those, perchance as hungry as ourselves, who were forced to dine alone, off ether. For our next meal, the mile-off village furnished all that could be desired, and these trifling incidents present the sum and the result of half the little passing disasters of life."

The Lyrical Ballads having been brought out about midsummer, 1798; in September of that year Wordsworth and Coleridge set out for Germany. On his return to England he settled at Grasmere, about the beginning of this century. At Grasmere, he resided in two or three different houses; one was Town-end, where his friends, the Cooksons, now reside; another at Allen-bank, at a white house on the hillside, conspicuous in our vignette. He continued to live at Grasmere fifteen years, and has since resided at his present abode, Rydal Mount, about thirty years.

Mr. Wordsworth, after finishing his education, seems to have made choice of no profession but that of poetry. His patrimony could not have been large, as I have heard Mrs. Wordsworth say, that, at the time of their marriage, they had in joint income about £100 a-year. This, however, would go a good way with a young couple, of simple habits, in a place like Grasmere at that time of day. Mrs. Wordsworth was a Miss Hutchinson of Cockermouth. Poetry was Wordsworth's real business from the first, as it has been the great and continued business of his life. His sister Dorothy, also gifted with considerable poetic power, as may be seen in the Address to a Child during a boisterous winter evening, and The Mother's Return, at pp. 9 and 12 of the first volume of his poems, as well as in the Journal of their Wanderings together, was his great and congenial companion. She had a passion for nature, not less ardent than his own; and went on at his side, fearless of rain, or cold, or tempest, nor shrinking from heat. She was ready to climb the mountain, to cross the torrent, or slide down the slippery steep with equal boldness and skill, derived from long practice. With him she traversed a great part of Scotland, Wales, and parts of England. He describes their thus setting out from Grasmere:—

"To cull contentment upon wildest shores,
And luxuries extract from bleakest moors;
With prompt embrace all beauty to infold,
And having rights in all that we behold."

To this ramble, chiefly on foot, we are indebted for some of the most vigorous and characteristic lyrics that Wordsworth ever wrote. He was young, ardent, and overflowing with enthusiasm; and the soil of Scotland, on which so many deeds of martial fame had been done, or where Ossian had sung in the misty years of far-off times, or other bards whose names had for centuries been embalmed in the strains which the spirit of the people had perpetuated, kindled in him a fervent sympathy. We can imagine the delighted brother and sister marching on, over the beautiful hills, the dark heaths, and down the enchanting vales of the Highlands, conversing eagerly of the scenes they had seen, and the incidents they had heard, till the glowing thoughts had formed themselves, in the poet's mind, into almost instant song. These poems have all the character of having been cast, hot from the furnace of inspiration, into their present mold. There is a life, an original freshness, and a native music about them. Such are Ellen Irvine, or the Braes of Kirtle; To a Highland Girl; Glen Almain, or the Solitary Glen; Stepping Westwood; The Solitary Reaper; Rob Roy's Grave; Yarrow Revisited; In the Pass of Killicranky; The Jolly Matron of Jedburgh and her Husband; The Blind Highland Boy; The Brownie's Cell; Cora Linn, etc.

It was to this beloved companion of his wanderings that he, the year afterward, addressed these beautiful verses, on revisiting Tintern.—Vol. ii. p. 179.

——"Thou art with me, here, upon the banks
Of this fair river; thou, my dearest friend,
My dear, dear friend, and in thy voice I catch
The language of my former heart, and read
My former pleasures in the shooting lights
Of thy wild eyes. Oh! yet a little while
May I behold in thee what I was once,
My dear, dear sister! and this prayer I make,
Knowing that nature never did betray
The heart that loved her; 'tis her privilege,
Through all the years of this our life, to lead
From joy to joy: for she can so inform
The mind that is within us, so impress
With quietness and beauty, and so feed
With lofty thoughts, that neither evil tongues,
Rash judgments, or the sneers of selfish men,
Nor greetings where no kindness is, nor all
The dreary intercourse of daily life,
Shall e'er prevail against us, or disturb
Our cheerful faith, that all which we behold
Is full of blessings. Therefore let the moon
Shine on thee in thy solitary walk;
And let the misty mountain winds be free
To blow against thee; and, in after-years,
When these wild ecstasies shall be matured
Into a sober pleasure, when thy mind
Shall be a mansion of all lovely forms,
Thy memory be a dwelling-place
For all sweet sounds and harmonies; oh! then,
If solitude, or fear, or pain, or grief
Should be thy portion, with what healing thoughts
Of tender joy wilt thou remember me,
And these my exhortations. Nor, perchance,
If I should be where I no more can hear
Thy voice, nor catch from thy wild eyes those gleams
Of past existence, wilt thou then forget
That on the banks of this delightful stream
We stood together; and that I, so long
A worshiper of nature, hither came,
Unwearied in that service; rather say
With warmer love, oh! with far deeper zeal
Of holier love. Nor wilt thou then forget,
That after many wanderings, many years
Of absence, these steep woods, and lofty cliffs,
And this green pastoral landscape, were to me
More dear both for themselves and for thy sake!"

Was there something in "the shooting gleams of those wild eyes," which foretold that, like the lights of a fitful sky, they should flash and quickly disappear? The mind of that beloved sister has for many years gone, as it were, before her, and she lives on in a second infancy, carefully cherished in the poet's home.

Wordsworth, as I have observed, devoted himself to no profession but that of poetry. He followed the stream of life as it led him down the retired vale of poetic meditation, but not without, at times, being visited by fears of what the end might be. Of this he gives a graphic description in his poem of Resolution and Independence, the hero of which is the old leech gatherer.

"I heard the skylark warbling in the sky;
And I bethought me of the playful hare:
Even such a happy child of earth am I;
Even as these blissful creatures do I fare:
Far from the world I walk and from all care,
But there may come another day to me—
Solitude, pain of heart, distress and poverty.
"My whole life I have lived in pleasant thought.
As if life's business were a summer mood;
As if all needful things would come unsought
To genial faith, still rich in genial good.
But how can he expect that others should
Build for him, sow for him, and at his call
Love him, who for himself will take no care at all?
"I thought of Chatterton, the marvelous boy.
The sleepless soul that perished in his pride;
Of him who walked in glory and in joy,
Following his plough along the mountain side.
By our own spirits are we deified:
We poets in our youth begin in gladness,
But thereof comes in the end despondency and madness."

But this sad and common fate of poets, was not to visit Wordsworth. The devotion he had vowed to nature was to remain hallowed, happy, and unbroken to the end. His lot was to be the very ideal of the poetic lot. He was to live amid his native mountains, guarantied against care and poverty; at liberty to roam at will amid beauty and solitude; to work out his deepest thoughts in stately verse, and in his old age to receive there the reverence of his countrymen. He had the interest of the Lowther family. By that he was appointed distributor of stamps for the counties of Cumberland and Westmoreland; in his case a mere sinecure, for the business of the office is easily executed by one or more experienced clerks. Since then, two out of his three children have married well. His son, a clergyman, to a daughter of Mr. Curwen, formerly M.P., and his daughter, to Mr. Quillinan. His second son has succeeded him in his stamp-distributorship. He has succeeded Southey in the laureateship, and has had, superadded, a pension of three or four hundred a-year. Perhaps none of the purely poetic tribe have labored less for fortune, and few have been more fortunate. The early experience of himself and his poetic cotemporaries is very instructive to all who seek to realize a reputation; it is, to have faith, to persevere, and believe nature and not critics. Never was a fiercer onslaught made than by the Edinburgh Review, on the whole race of poets who then arose. With the same fatality which has since led that journal to declare that no steamer would be able to cross the Atlantic, and that Grey, the author of the railway system, was a madman, and ought to be put into Bedlam, it denounced the whole class of young poets, who were destined to revive real poetry in the land, as it afterward did Lord Byron, as drivelers, and fools. Scotland, having stoned to death its own Burns, made a determined attempt to annihilate all the rising poetry of England. It commenced the review of Wordsworth's Excursion with the ludicrous words,—"This will never do!" and declared that there was not a line of poetry, or scarcely of common sense, in it, "from the hour that the driveler squatted himself down in the sun, to the end of his preaching." Let every youthful aspirant remember this history; and that if criticism could prevail over genius, we should not at this moment have one great established poet on our list of fame.

Wordsworth's poetical philosophy is now thought to be too well known to need much explanation. He has indeed expounded it himself in almost every page.

Yet, after all the brilliant and profound criticism which has been expended upon it, by almost every review in these kingdoms, and by every writer on poetry and poets, the simple truth remains to be told. The fact lay too much on the surface for very deep and metaphysical divers to perceive. It was too obvious to be seen by those who profess to see farther into a millstone than any body else. And what, then, is the fundamental philosophy of Wordsworth?

It is, what he, perhaps, would himself start to hear, simply a poetic Quakerism. The Quaker's religious faith is in immediate inspiration. He believes that if he "centers down," as he calls it, into his own mind, and puts to rest all his natural faculties and thoughts, he will receive the impulses and intimations of the Divine Spirit. He is not to seek, to strive, to inquire, but to be passive, and receive. This is precisely the great doctrine of Wordsworth, as it regards poetry. He believes the Divine Spirit which fills the universe, to have so molded all the forms of visible nature, as to make them to us perpetual monitors and instructors:—

"To inform
The mind that is within us; to impress
With quietness and beauty, and to feed
With lofty thoughts."

Thus, in Expostulation and Reply, this doctrine is most distinctly pronounced:—

"'Why, William, on that old gray stone
Thus for the length of half-a-day,
Why, William, sit you thus alone,
And dream your time away?
"'Where are your books? that light bequeathed
To beings else forlorn and blind!
Up! up! and drink the spirit breathed
From dead men to their kind.
"'You look round on your mother earth,
As if she for no purpose bore you;
As if you were her first-born birth,
And none had lived before you!'
"One morning thus by Esthwaite Lake,
When life was sweet, I knew not why,
To me my good friend Mathew spake,
And thus I made reply:—
"'The eye it can not choose but see;
We can not bid the ear be still;
Our bodies feel, where'er they be,
Against or with our will.
"'Nor less I deem that there are powers
Which of themselves our minds impress;
That we can feel, this mind of ours
In a wise passiveness.
"'Think you, mid all this mighty sum
Of things forever speaking,
That nothing of itself will come,
But we must still be seeking?
"'Then ask not wherefore, here, alone,
Conversing as I may,
I sit upon this old gray stone,
And dream my time away.'"

The same doctrine is inculcated in the very next poem, The Tables Turned. Here the poet calls his friend from his books, as full of toil and trouble, adding:—

"And hark! how blithe the throstle sings!
He, too, is no mean preacher:
Come forth into the light of things,
Let nature be your teacher.
"She has a world of ready wealth
Our minds and hearts to bless—
Spontaneous wisdom breathed by health,
Truth breathed by cheerfulness.
"One impulse from a vernal wood
May teach you more of man,
Of moral evil and of good,
Than all the sages can.
"Sweet is the lore which nature brings;
Our meddling intellect
Misshapes the beauteous forms of things;
We murder to dissect.
"Enough of science and of art;
Close up their barren leaves;
Come forth, and bring with you a heart
That watches and receives."

Now, if George Fox had written poetry, that is exactly what he would have written. So completely does it embody the grand Quaker doctrine, that Clarkson, in his Portraiture of Quakerism, has quoted it, without however perceiving that the grand and complete fabric of Wordsworth's poetry is built on this foundation; that this dogma of quitting men, books, and theories, and sitting down quietly to receive the unerring intimations and influences of the spirit of the universe, is identical in Fox and Wordsworth; is the very same in the poetry of the one as in the religion of the other. The two reformers acquired their faith by the same process, and in the same manner. They went out into solitude, into night, and into woods, to seek the oracle of truth. Fox retired to a hollow oak, as he tells us, and with prayers and tears sought after the truth, and came at length to see that it lay not in schools, colleges, and pulpits, but in the teaching in a passive spirit of the great Father of Spirits. Wordsworth retired to the

"Mountains, to the sides
Of the deep rivers, and the lovely streams,
Wherever nature led."

And he tells us that to this practice he owed

"A gift
Of aspect most sublime; that blessed mood
In which the burden of the mystery,
In which the heavy and the weary weight
Of all this unintelligible world
Is lightened: that serene and blessed mood
In which the affections gently lead us on,
Until the breath of this corporeal frame,
And even the motion of our human blood,
Almost suspended, we are laid asleep
In body, and become a living soul.
While with an eye made quiet by the power
Of harmony, and the deep power of joy,
We see into the life of things."—Vol. ii. p. 181.

This is perfect Quakerism; the grand demand of which is, that you shall put down "this meddling intellect, which misshapes the beauteous forms of things;" shall lay at rest the actions and motions of your own minds, and subdue the impatience of the body, till, as Wordsworth has most clearly stated it,

"The breath of this corporeal frame,
And even the motion of our human blood.
Almost suspended, we are laid asleep
In body, and become a living soul."

It was this very doctrine of the non-necessity of human interference between us and all knowledge, of the all-sufficiency of this invisible and "great teacher," as Wordsworth calls him, which led George Fox and the Quakers to abandon all forms of worship, to strip divine service of all music, singing, formal prayers, written sermons, and to sit down in a perfectly passive state of silence, to gather some of

"All this mighty sum
Of things forever speaking,"


"A heart
That watches and receives."

Whoever sees a Friends' meeting, sees a body of men and women sitting in the full and abstract practice of this very doctrine, by which Wordsworth, in the very words of George Fox, says we come to

"See into the life of things."

"Come out," says Fox, "from all your vain learning and philosophy, from your schools and colleges, from all your teachings and preachings of human instruction, from all your will-worship and your man-made ministers, and sit down in the presence of Him who made all things, and lives through all things; who made the ear, the eye, and the heart of man, and lives in and through them, and can and will inform them. Put down every high and airy imagination, every carnal willing and doing; cease to strive in your own strength, and learn to depend on the teaching and strength of the Holy Spirit that filleth heaven and earth; and the light given to enlighten every man that cometh into the world will soon shine in upon you, and the truth in all its fullness will be made known to you far beyond the teaching of all bishops, archbishops, professors, or other swelling men, puffed with the vain wind of human learning. Come out from among them; be not of them; leave the dead to bury the dead. He that sits at the king's table needeth not the dry crumbs and the waste offal of hireling servitors; he that hath the sun itself shining on his head, needeth no lesser, much less artificial lights."

In this state he regards man as restored to the original privilege of his nature, and admitted to communion with the spirit of the Creator, and into contact with all knowledge. "He sees into the life of things." So duly did Fox consider that he saw into the life of things, that he believed that the knowledge of the quality of all plants, minerals, and physical substances was imparted to him, and that had he not had a still higher vocation assigned him, as a discerner and comforter of spirits, he could have practiced most successfully as a physician. He believed and taught, and Barclay, his great disciple, in his famous Apology, teaches the same thing, that in this state of communion with the Spirit of all knowledge, a man needs no interpreter of the Scriptures; that without any knowledge of the original languages, he can instinctively tell where they are erroneously rendered, and what is the true meaning. He has penetrated to the fountain of truth, and not only of truth, but, to use Wordsworth's words again, of "the deep power of joy." He is raised above all earthly evil and anxiety, and breathes in the invisible presence, the pure air of heaven. He is in a kind restored to the unity of his nature, of power, intelligence, and felicity. How exactly is this the language of our poet!

"I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean, and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man:
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things. Therefore am I still
A lover of the meadows, and the woods
And mountains; and of all that we behold
From this green earth; of all the mighty world
Of eye and ear, both what they half create,
And what perceive: well pleased to recognize,
In nature and the language of the sense,
The anchor of my purest thoughts, the nurse,
The guide, the guardian of my heart, and soul
Of all my moral being."—Vol. ii. pp. 183, 184.

But this great Quaker doctrine is not the casual doctrine of one or two casual or isolated poems; it is the foundation and fabric of the whole. It is the great theme everywhere pursued. Of his principal and noblest production, The Excursion, it is the brain, the very backbone, the vitals, and the moving sinews. Take away that, and you take all. Take that, and you reduce the poet to a level with a hundred others. His hero, the wanderer, is a shepherd boy grown into a pedler, or pack-merchant, who has been educated and baptized into this sublime knowledge of God speaking through nature. In his sixth year he tended cattle on the hills.

"He, many an evening, to his distant home
In solitude returning, saw the hills
Grow larger in the darkness, all alone
Beheld the stars come out above his head,
And traveled through the wood, with no one near
To whom he might confess the things he saw.
So the foundations of his mind were laid.
In such communion, not from terror free,
While yet a child, and long before his time,
He had perceived the presence and the power
Of greatness."

"He had received a precious gift," the poet tells us, that gift of spiritual perception which the poet himself tells he also has received.

"Thus informed,
He had small need of books:
In the fixed lineaments of nature, rocks and caves,
Even in their fixed and steady lineaments,
He traced an ebbing and a flowing mind,
Expression ever varied."

There "was wanting yet the pure delight of love" in his inspiration, but that came also, and—

"Such was the boy; but for the growing youth
What soul was his, when, from the naked top
Of some bold headland, he beheld the sun
Rise up, and bathe the world in light! He looked—
Ocean and earth, the solid frame of earth
And ocean's liquid mass, beneath him lay
In gladness and deep joy. The clouds were touched,
And in their silent faces did he read
Unutterable love. Sound needed none,
Nor any voice of joy; his spirit drank
The spectacle: sensation, soul, and form
All melted into him: they swallowed up
His animal being; in them did he live,
And by them did he live: they were his life.
In such access of mind, in such high hour
Of visitation from the living God,
Thought was not: in enjoyment it expired.
No thanks he breathed, he proffered no request,
Rapt into still communion that transcends
The imperfect offices of prayer and praise,
His mind was a thanksgiving to the Power
That made him; it was blessedness and love!"

That is one of the finest pieces of Quakerism that ever was written; there is nothing in George Fox himself more perfect. It is a description of that state to which every true Quaker aspires; which he believes attainable without the mediation of any priest, or the presence of any church; which Fox and the early Friends so often describe as having been accorded to them in the midst of their public meetings, or in the solitude of the closet, or the journey. It is that state of exaltation, the very flower and glorious moment of a religious life, which is the privilege of him who draws near to and walks with God. That

"Access of mind,
Of visitation from the living God,"


"Thought is not; in enjoyment it expires."

It is an eloquent exposition of the genuine worship to which, according to the Friends, every sincere seeker may and will be admitted, when

"Rapt into still communion that transcends
The imperfect offices of prayer and praise,
His mind is a thanksgiving to the Power
That made him; it is blessedness and love."

But to show how completely Wordsworth's system is a system of poetical Quakerism, I should be obliged to take his Excursion, and collate the whole with passages from the writings of the early Friends, Fox, Penn, Barclay, Pennington, and others. The Excursion is a very bible of Quakerism. Every page abounds with it. It is, in fact, wholly and fervently permeated by the soul of Quaker theology. The Friends teach that the great guide of life is "the light which enlighteneth every man that cometh into the world;" hence they were originally termed "children of light," till the nickname of Quakers superseded it. They declare this light to be "the infallible guide" of all men who will follow it. What says Wordsworth?

"Early he perceives
Within himself a measure and a rule,
Which to the Sun of Truth he can apply,
That shines for him, and shines for all mankind.
* * * he refers
His notions to this standard; on this rock
Rest his desires; and hence in after-life,
Soul-strengthening patience, and sublime content."

The whole of the fourth Book, from which this extract is made, is no other than a luminous and vivid exposition of pure Quakerism. The Wanderer is its apostle. He shows how in all ages and countries men have been influenced by this voice of God in nature; and, not comprehending it fully, have mixed it up with the forms and phenomena of nature itself, and shaped religions out of it. Hence the Chaldean faith; hence the Grecian mythology.

"They felt
A spiritual Presence, ofttimes misconceived,
But still a high dependence, a divine
Beauty and government, that filled their hearts
With joy and gratitude, and fear and love;
And from their fervent lips drew hymns of praise,
That through the desert rung. Though favored less,
Far less than these, yet rich in their degree,
Were those bewildered pagans of old time."—P. 169.

So say the Friends; and to such a pitch do they carry their belief in their "universal and saving light," that they contend, that to the most savage nations, "having not law, it becomes a law," and that through it the spirit, if not the history of the Savior is revealed and made operative, and that thus the voice of salvation is preached in the heart where never outward gospel has been heard. The Friends contend that science and mere human wisdom most commonly tend to darken and weigh down this divine principle, to cloud this eternal luster in the soul. So says the eloquent Wanderer, the preacher of the Quakerism of poetry. He asks, Shall our great discoverers obtain less from sense and reason than these obtained?

"Shall men for whom our age
Unbaffled powers of vision hath prepared,
To explore the world without, and world within,
Be joyless as the blind? Ambitious souls,
Whom earth, at this late season, hath produced
To regulate the moving spheres, and weigh
The planets in the hollow of their hand;
And they who rather dive than soar, whose pains
Have solved the elements, or analyzed
The thinking principle;—shall they in fact
Prove a degraded race? And what avails
Renown, if their presumption makes them such?
O! there is laughter at their work in heaven!
Inquire of ancient wisdom; go, demand
Of mighty nature, if 'twas ever meant
That we should pray far off, yet be unraised;
That we should pore, and dwindle as we pore.
* * * * *
That this magnificent effect of power,
The earth we tread, the sky that we behold
By day, and all the pomp which night reveals—
That these, and that superior mystery,
Our vital frame, so fearfully devised,
And the dread soul within it, should exist
Only to be examined, pondered, searched,
Probed, vexed, and criticised?—Accuse me not
Of arrogance, unknown Wanderer as I am,
If, having walked with nature three score years,
And offered, far as frailty would allow,
My heart a daily sacrifice to Truth,
I now affirm of Nature and of Truth,
Whom I have served, that their Divinity
Revolts, offended at the ways of men,
Swayed by such motives, to such ends employed."—Pp. 170-1.

This divine principle, which can thus outsoar and put to shame the vanity and conceit of science, can also baffle and repulse all the sophistries of metaphysics.

"Within the soul a faculty abides,
That with interpositions which would hide
And darken, so can deal, that they become
Contingencies of pomp, and serve to exalt
Her native brightness."—P. 174.

There, too, Wordsworth and the Friends are entirely agreed, and yet further. This faculty exists in and operates for all; and whoever trusts in it shall, like the Friends, pursue their way careless of all the changes of fashions or opinions.

"Access for you
Is yet preserved to principles of truth,
Which the imaginative Will upholds
In seats of wisdom, not to be approached
By the inferior faculty that molds,
With her minute and speculative pains,
Opinion, ever changing."

He illustrates the operation of this inward and primeval faculty by the simile of the child listening to a shell, and hearing, as it were, the murmurs of its native sea. Such a shell, he says, is

"The universe itself
Unto the ear of faith;"

and in this you have a sanctuary to retire to at will, where you will become victorious over every delusive power and principle. The Friends consider this the glory of our mortal state, and Wordsworth says,—

"Yes, you have felt, and may not cease to feel,
The estate of man would be indeed forlorn,
If false conclusions of the reasoning power
Made the eye blind, and closed the passages
Through which the ear converses with the heart."—P. 178.

But the poet and the Friends agree that there is a power seated in the human soul, superior to the understanding, superior to the reasoning faculty, the sure test of truth, to which every man may confidently appeal in all cases, for it is the voice of God himself. With the poet and the Friends the result of this divine philosophy is the same;—the most perfect patience, the most holy confidence in the ever present divinity; connected with no forms, no creeds, no particular conditions of men; not confined by, not approachable only in, temples and churches, but free as his own winds, boundless as his own seas, universal as his own sunshine over all his varied lands and people; whispering peace in the lonely forest, courage on the seas, adoration on the mountain tops, hope under the burning tropics and the blistering lash of the savage white man, joy in the dungeon, and glory on the death-bed.

"Religion tells of amity sublime,
Which no condition can preclude: of One
Who sees all suffering, comprehends all wants,
All weakness fathoms, can supply all needs."—P. 175.

Perhaps this perfected spirit, this divine patience, this God-pervaded soul of man, gentle, loving, yet stronger than death or evil, never were more beautifully expressed than by the repentant and dying Quaker, James Naylor.

"There is a spirit which I feel, that delights to do no evil, nor to revenge any wrong; but delights to endure all things, in hope to enjoy its own in the end. Its hope is to outlive all wrath and contention, to weary out all exaltation and cruelty, or whatever is of a nature contrary to itself. It sees to the end of all temptations. As it bears no evil in itself, so it conceives none in thought to any other; if it be betrayed, it bears it, for its ground and spring are the mercies and forgiveness of God. Its course is meekness; its life is everlasting love unfeigned; it takes its kingdom with entreaty, and not with contention, and keeps it by lowliness of mind. In God alone it can rejoice, though none else regard it, or can own its life. It is conceived in sorrow, and brought forth without any to pity it; nor doth it murmur at grief and oppression. It rejoiceth, but through sufferings, for with the world's joy it is murdered. I found it alone, being forsaken. I have fellowship therein with those who live in dens and desolate places of the earth, who through death obtained this resurrection, and eternal holy life."

There is an illumination for the critics! For these thirty years have they been astounding themselves at the originality of Wordsworth's philosophy, and expounding it by all imaginable aids of metaphysics. We have heard endless lectures on the ideality, the psychological profundity, the abstract doctrines of the poet; his new views, his spiritual communion with and exposition of the mysteries of nature, and of the soul in harmony with nature, etc., etc. That is the simple solution; it is Quakerism in poetry, neither more nor less. The question is, how Wordsworth stumbled on this doctrine; a doctrine on which his great poetical reputation is, in fact, built. Possibly, like George Fox, he found it in his solitary wanderings, and cogitations; but more probably he drew it direct from his Journal itself. It is a curious, but a well known fact, that all that knot of young and enthusiastic writers at Bristol, and afterward at Stowey and Allfoxden, Wordsworth, Southey, and Coleridge, were deeply read and imbued with the old Quaker worthies. Probably they were made acquainted with them by their two Quaker friends Lovell and Lloyd. Coleridge was so impressed with their principles that, though he preached, he did it in a blue coat and white waistcoat, that, as he said, "he might not have a rag of the woman of Babylon on him." He imbibed and proclaimed all the Quaker hatred of slavery and war. He declares in his Biographia Literaria his admiration of Fox. "One assertion I will venture to make, as suggested by my own experience, that there exist folios on the human understanding, and the nature of man, which would have a far juster claim to their high rank and celebrity, if, in the whole huge volume, there could be found as much fullness of heart and intellect, as bursts forth in many a simple page of George Fox." Southey always cherished the idea of writing the life of George Fox, but never accomplished it. Charles Lamb, another visitor of Stowey, at the time of this youthful effervescence, has recorded his visit to a Friends' meeting, and says, that in it he soon began to ask himself far more questions than he could quickly answer. He declares Sewell's History of the Quakers worth all ecclesiastical history put together. Wordsworth was not only as deeply read in these books as any of them, but is still, to my knowledge, remarkably well acquainted with the history and opinions of Friends; he has immortalized the very spade of one of them, Thomas Wilkinson, and—Ecce signum—has perfected the development of this great poetical system.

Whence Wordsworth, however, gathered his philosophy, whether from the books of the Friends, or from his own meditations, it is, nevertheless, a great truth. Jacob Behmen, Emanuel Swedenborg, Kant, Justinus Kerner, and many another philosopher and poet, proclaim and maintain the same. That the Spirit of God lives throughout the universe and in the soul of man; that the more we commune with his Spirit, the more our ears and eyes, or, in better phrase, our spiritual sense, becomes open to perceive it. The closer we draw to it, and live in it, the more we become strengthened, purified, and enriched by it; the more we are able to walk amid all the fascinations, glories, and deceptions of the world, as the men of God walked in the midst of the fiery furnace, so scathless that the very smell of fire passed not on their garments. It is called by the Friends The Truth, as superior to, and including all other truths. Wordsworth gives it the same magnificent title. Standing by this central light of the universe, man learns to see how far all other offered lights, whether of books or spoken doctrines, are lights, or are actually darkness—are great or small. Holding fast by this true substance, he learns to feel how far all other things are substance or shadow; and, if he hold on, at length walks the highway of life free, invincible, and rejoicing; all nature yielding him aliment and peace.

"As the ample moon,
In the deep stillness of a summer even
Rising behind a thick and lofty grove,
Burns, like an unconsuming fire of light,
In the green trees; and kindling on all sides
Their leafy umbrage, turns the dusky veil
Into a substance glorious as her own,
Yea, with her own incorporate, by power
Capacious and serene: like power abides
In man's celestial spirit: virtue thus
Sets forth and magnifies herself; thus feeds
A calm, a beautiful, and silent fire,
From the incumbrances of mortal life,
From even disappointment—nay, from guilt:
And sometimes, so relenting justice wills,
From palpable oppressions of despair."—P. 174, 175.

As this is a curious subject, and particularly curious, as it has escaped the research of those who have thought themselves the most profound, I have gone the more fully into it. But to compare all such passages in Wordsworth and the writings of the early Friends, as would amply prove the fact here introduced, would make a very large volume. The writings of these old worthies are one mass of Wordsworthisms. In some particulars, he has not reached the sublime moral elevation of his masters, as in regard to war; he is martial, and thinks Slaughter, God's daughter. They very sensibly set Slaughter down as the daughter of a very opposite personage. In fact, had not the Friends overshadowed their great doctrines by broad brims, and disguised them in collarless coats; had they not put forward as the outward signs of their community, formality and singularity, the great doctrines which they hold of the great and immutable truth, more than any other people, would have made them far greater than any other people; the high and universally acknowledged instructors of the world in the principles of freedom, moral greatness, and social happiness. As it is, they have made them the most sturdy and efficient agents of peace, right notions of church government, and liberty to the enslaved; and, not the less certainly, the greatest of modern reformers in poetical philosophy. As Fox and his disciples were fiercely attacked as innovators in religion, so Wordsworth was as fiercely attacked as an innovator in literature. Little did the cold and material spirit of Scotch skeptical criticism dream that it was running its head against the old sturdy spirit of Quakerism, in the new heresy, of what they were pleased to term the Lake school.

There is, perhaps, no residence in England better known than that of William Wordsworth. Rydal Mount, where he has now lived for more than thirty years, is as perfectly poetical in its location as any poet could possibly conceive in his brightest moment of inspiration. As you advance a mile or more on the road from Ambleside toward Grasmere, a lane overhung with trees turns up to the right, and there, at some few hundred yards from the highway, stands the modest cottage of the poet, elevated on Rydal Mount, so as to look out over the surrounding sea of foliage, and to take in a glorious view. Before it, at some distance across the valley, stretches a high screen of bold and picturesque mountains; behind, it is overtowered by a precipitous hill, called Nab-scar; but to the left, you look down over the broad waters of Windermere, and to the right over the still and more embosomed flood of Grasmere. Whichever way the poet pleases to advance from his house, it must be into scenery of that beauty for mountain, stream, wood, and lake, which has made Cumberland so famous over all England. He may steal away up backward from his gate, and ascend into the solitary hills, or diverging into the grounds of Lady Mary Fleming, his near neighbor, may traverse the deep shades of the woodland, wander along the banks of the rocky rivulet, and finally stand before the well known water-fall there. If he descend into the highway, objects of beauty still present themselves. Cottages and quiet houses here and there glance from their little spots of Paradise, through the richest boughs of trees; Windermere, with its wide expanse of waters, its fairy islands, its noble hills, allures his steps in one direction; while the sweet little lake of Rydal, with its heronry and its fine background of rocks, invites him in another. In this direction the vale of Grasmere, the scene of his early married life, opens before him, and Dunmail-raise and Langdale-pikes lift their naked corky summits, as hailing him to the pleasures of old companionship. Into no quarter of this region of lakes, and mountains, and vales of primitive life, can he penetrate without coming upon ground celebrated by his muse. He is truly "sole king of rocky Cumberland."

The immediate grounds in which his house stands are worthy of the country and the man. It is, as its name implies, a mount. Before the house opens a considerable platform, and around and beneath lie various terraces and descend various walks, winding on amid a profusion of trees and luxuriant evergreens. Beyond the house, you ascend various terraces, planted with trees now completely overshadowing them; and these terraces conduct you to a level above the house-top, and extend your view of the enchanting scenery on all sides. Above you tower the rocks and precipitous slopes of Nab-scar; and below you, embosomed in its trees, lies the richly ornate villa of Mr. William Ball, a Friend, whose family and the poet's are on such social terms, that a little gate between their premises opens them both to each family alike. This cottage and grounds were formerly the property of Charles Lloyd, also a Friend, and one of the Bristol and Stowey coterie. Both he and Lovell have long been dead; Lovell, indeed, was drowned, on a voyage to Ireland, in the very heyday of the dreams of Pantisocracy, in which he was an eager participant.

The poet's house, itself, is a proper poet's abode. It is at once modest, plain, yet tasteful and elegant. An ordinary dining-room, a breakfast-room in the center, and a library beyond, form the chief apartments. There are a few pictures and bust, especially those of Scott and himself, a good engraving of Burns, and the like, with a good collection of books, few of them very modern. In the dining-room there stands an old cabinet, which is a sort of genealogical piece of furniture, bearing this inscription:—

Hoc op′ fiebat Aº D ni MºCCCCCºXXVo ex suptu Will′mi Wordsworsh, filii W. fil. Joh. fil. W. fil. Nich. viri Elizabeth filia et hered W. P′ctor de Pengsto qoru aneabus p′ picietur De'!

A great part of the labor of laying out the garden, raising the terraces at Rydal, and planting the trees, has been that of the poet himself. The property belongs to Lady Fleming, but Wordsworth has bought a piece of land lying just below, with the fatherly intent, that should his daughter at any time incline to live there, she may, if she choose, erect a house for herself in the old and endeared situation.

The trees display a prodigality of growth, that make what are meant for walks almost a wilderness. On observing to the poet that he really should have his laurels pruned a little, the old man smiled, paused, and said, with a pardonable self-complacency,—"Ay, I will tell you an anecdote about that. A certain general was going round the place, attended by the gardener, when he suddenly remarked, as you do, the flourishing growth of the trees, especially of the evergreens, and said, 'Which of all your trees do you think flourishes most here?"

"'I don't know, sir,' said James; "but I think the laurel.'

"'Well, that is as it should be, you know,' added the general.

"'Why it should be so, James could not tell, and made the remark.

"'Don't you know,' continued the general, 'that the laurel is the symbol of distinction for some achievement, and especially in that art of which Mr. Wordsworth is so eminent a master? therefore it is quite right that it should flourish so conspicuously here.'

"By this," continued the poet, "James acquired two new pieces of intelligence; first, that the laurel was a symbol of eminence, and, that his master was an eminent man, of both which facts he had been before very innocently ignorant."

It may be supposed that, during the summer, Wordsworth being in the very center of a region swarming with tourists and hunters of the picturesque, and in the very highway of their route is regularly beset by them. Day after day brings up whole troops of them from every quarter of these kingdoms, and no few from America. The worthy old man professes a good deal of annoyance at being thus lionized, but it is an annoyance which obviously has its agreeable side. No one can doubt that it would be a far greater annoyance, if, after a life devoted to poetry, people, all in quest of "the sublime and beautiful," hurried past, scoured over all the hills and dales, and passed unnoticed the poet's gate. As it is, he has an ever swinging censer of the flattery of public curiosity tossing at his door. Note after note is sent in, the long levee continues from day to day—the aged minstrel votes it a bore, and quietly enjoys it. If not, how easy it would be, just, during the laking season, to vanish from the spot to another equally pleasant, and yet more retired. Yet why should he? It is not as if the visitor interrupted the progress of a life's great labor. That labor is done; competence and fame are acquired; the laurel and the larder have equally flourished at Rydal Mount: and what is more agreeable than to receive the respect of his fellow-men, and diffuse the pleasure of having seen and conversed with one of the lights of the age?

Some years ago, spending a few days there with Mrs. Howitt, we witnessed a curious scene. The servant came in, announcing that a gentleman and a large party of ladies wished to see the place. "Very well, they can see it," said Mr. Wordsworth.

"But the gentleman wished to see you, sir."

"Who is it?—Did he give his name?"

"No, sir."

"Then ask him for it."

The servant went, and returned, saying, "The gentleman said that he knew Mr. Wordsworth's name very well, as every body did, but that Mr. Wordsworth would not know his if he sent him his card."

"Then say, I am sorry, but I can not see him."

The servant once more disappeared, and the poet broke forth into a declamation on the bore of these continual and importunate, not to say impudent, visits. In the midst of it the servant entered.

"Well, what did the man say?"

"That he had had the honor to shake hands with the Duke of Wellington, and that his last remaining wish in life was to shake hands with Mr. Wordsworth."

This was too good. A universal scream of merriment burst from us. The poet rose, laughing heartily. Mrs. and Miss Dora Wordsworth, laughing as heartily, gently seized him, each by an arm, and thus merrily pushed him out of the room. In another minute, we beheld the worthy host bowing to the man who possessed such irresistible rhetoric, and to his large accompaniment of ladies, and doing the amiable, by pointing out to them the prominent beauties of the view. The cunning fellow was a Manchester manufacturer.

It is well known that the dread of a railroad into the lake country has alarmed Wordsworth into the firing off a sonnet against it, and that his annoyance has been increased by the lanch of a steamboat on Windermere. There is some mitigation of our surprise, that the poet who knows and has so well described the nuisances of cities and manufacturing towns, should thus see with disgust the beautiful and breezy region of the lakes laid open to them, when we know that this railroad is proposed to be carried close under his beloved retirement; but still it is befitting the generosity of the man, who has, in so many forms, given us an interest in the toil-worn and the lowly, to be prepared to make some sacrifice of that quiet which he has so long and so richly enjoyed, to the spread of truth and rational pleasure among the humble workers of the mill; remembering his own impressive words:—

"Turn to private life
And social neighborhood: look we to ourselves;
A light of duty shines on every day
For all, and yet how few are warmed or cheered!"
Fulneck Moravian Settlement

Fulneck Moravian Settlement


Sheffield has been poetically fortunate. It has had the honor, not to give birth to two eminent poets—a mere accident—but to produce them. Neither Montgomery nor Elliott was born in Sheffield; but they were drawn to it as the trading capital of the district in which they were born; and there their minds, tastes, and reputations grew. In both poets are strongly recognizable the intellectual features of a manufacturing town. They are both of a popular and liberal tendency of mind. They, or rather their spirits and characters, grew amid the physical sufferings and the political struggles of a busy and high-spirited population, and by these circumstances all the elements of freedom and patriotism were strengthened to full growth in their bosoms. Montgomery came upon the public stage, both as a poet and a political writer, long before Elliott, though the difference of their ages is not so vast as might be supposed from this fact, being as near as possible ten years only.

It is not my object in this article to compare or to contrast the intellectual characters of these two genuine poets. They are widely different. In both the spirit of freedom, of progress, of sympathy with the multitude, and of steady antagonism to oppression, manifest themselves, but with much difference of manner. Both possess great vigor and fervor of feeling; but in James Montgomery the decorums of style are more strictly preserved. We feel that he received his education in a very different school to that of Ebenezer Elliott. In the still halls and gardens of the Moravian brethren, Montgomery imbibed the softness of bearing, and that peculiarly religious tone which distinguish him. Amid the roughest and often most hostile crowd of struggling life, Elliott acquired a more fiery and battling aspect, and he learned involuntarily to thunder against evils, where Montgomery would reason and lament. Yet it would be difficult to say in which all that characterizes real patriotism, and real religion, most truly resides. In very different walks they have both done gloriously and well, and we will leave to others to decide which is the greater poet of the two. Elliott, by both circumstance and temperament, has been led to make his poetry bear more directly and at once upon the actual condition of the working-classes; Montgomery has displayed more uniform grace, and in lyrical beauty has far surpassed his townsman, though not in the exquisite harmony of many portions of his versification. But, they are not now to be compared, but to be admired; and nothing is more beautiful than to hear in what tone and manner they speak of each other. Montgomery gives Ebenezer Elliot the highest praise for his genius, and says, that for years in the Iris he was the only one who could or would see the merit of the great but unacknowledged bard; while Elliott modestly dedicates his poem of Spirits and Men to the author of The World before the Flood, "as an evidence of his presumption and his despair."

Mr. Montgomery had a strictly religious education; he was the son of religious parents, and belonged to a pre-eminently religious body, the Moravian brethren; and the spirit of that parentage, education, and association, is deeply diffused through all that he has written. He is essentially a religious poet. It is what of all things upon earth we can well believe he most would desire to be; and that he is in the truest sense of the word. In all his poems the spirit of a piety, profound, and beautifully benevolent, is instantly felt. Perhaps there are no lyrics in the language which are so truly Christian; that is, which breathe the same glowing love to God and man, without one tinge of the bigotry that too commonly eats into zeal as rust into the finest steel. We have no dogmas, but a pure and heavenly atmosphere of holy faith, filial and fraternal affection, and reverence of the great Architect of the universe, and of the destinies of man. There is often a tone of melancholy, but it is never that of doubt. It is the sighing of a feeling and sensitive heart over the evils of life; but ever and anon this tone rises into the more animated one of conscious strength and well placed confidence; and terminates in that pæan of happy triumph which the Christian only can ascend to. There is no "dealing damnation round the land" in the religious poetry of James Montgomery; we feel that he has peculiarly caught the genuine spirit of Christ; and a sense of beauty and goodness, and of the glorious blessedness of an immortal nature, accompanies us through all his works. That is the spirit which, more than all other, distinguishes his lyrical compositions; and how many and how beautiful are they! as, The Grave, The Joy of Grief, Verses on the Death of Joseph Browne, a prisoner for conscience' sake in York Castle, commencing, "Spirit, leave thine house of clay;" The Common Lot, The Harp of Sorrow, The Dial, The Molehill, The Peak Mountains, A Mother's Love, those noble Stanzas to the Memory of the Rev. Thomas Spencer, The Alps, Friends, Night, and the many in the same volume with the Pelican Island, perhaps some of them the most beautiful and spiritual things he ever wrote. The poetry of Montgomery is too familiar to most readers, and especially religiously intellectual readers, to need much quotation here; but a few stanzas may be ventured upon, and will of themselves more forcibly indicate the peculiar features of his poetical character, than much prose description.

The opening stanzas on the death of Thomas Spencer embody his very creed and doctrine as a poet.

"I will not sing a mortal's praise,
To thee I consecrate my lays,
To whom my powers belong;
Those gifts upon thine altar thrown,
O God! accept;—accept thine own:
My gifts are Thine,—be Thine alone
The glory of my song.
"In earth and ocean, sky and air,
All that is excellent and fair,
Seen, felt, or understood,
From one eternal cause descends,
To one eternal center tends,
With God begins, continues, ends,
The source and stream of good.
"I worship not the Sun at noon,
The wandering Stars, the changing Moon,
The Wind, the Flood, the Flame;
I will not bow the votive knee
To Wisdom, Virtue, Liberty;
'There is no God but God,' for me:
Jehovah is his name.
"Him through all nature I explore,
Him in his creatures I adore,
Around, beneath, above;
But clearest in the human mind,
His bright resemblance when I find,
Grandeur with purity combined,
I must admire and love."

I can not resist transcribing one more specimen. It is one in which the quaint but adoring spirit of Quarll, Withers, or Herrick, seems to speak; nor shall I ever forget the thrilling tone in which I have heard it repeated by a sainted friend, in whom the love of her Savior was the very life-blood of her heart, and who resembled him in his beneficent walk on earth as much, perhaps, as it is possible for mortal to do.


"Ye have done it unto me."—Matt., xxv. 40.

"A poor wayfaring man of grief
Hath often crossed me on my way,
Who sued so humbly for relief,
That I could never answer, 'Nay:'
I had not power to ask his name,
Whither he went, or whence he came;
Yet there was something in his eye
That won my love, I knew not why.
"Once when my scanty meal was spread,
He entered;—not a word he spake;—
Just perishing for want of bread,
I gave him all; he blessed it, brake,
And ate,—but gave me part again:
Mine was an angel's portion then,
For while I fed with eager haste,
That crust was manna to my taste.
"I spied him where a fountain burst
Clear from the rock; his strength was gone;
The heedless waters mocked his thirst,
He heard it, saw it hurrying on.
I ran to raise the sufferer up;
Thrice from the stream he drained my cup,
Dipped, and returned it running o'er;
I drank, and never thirsted more.
"'Twas night; the floods were out; it blew
A winter hurricane aloof;
I heard his voice abroad, and flew
To bid him welcome to my roof;
I warmed, I clothed, I cheered my guest,
Laid him on my own couch to rest;
Then made the hearth my bed, and seemed
In Eden's garden while I dreamed.
"Stripped, wounded, beaten, nigh to death,
I found him by the highway side;
I raised his pulse, brought back his breath,
Revived his spirit, and supplied
Wine, oil, refreshment; he was healed:
I had myself a wound concealed;
But from that hour forgot the smart,
And peace bound up my broken heart.
"In prison I saw him next, condemned
To meet a traitor's doom at morn;
The tide of lying tongues I stemmed,
And honored him 'mid shame and scorn:
My friendship's utmost zeal to try,
He asked if I for him would die;
The flesh was weak, my blood ran chill,
But the free spirit cried, 'I will.'
"Then in a moment to my view,
The stranger darted from disguise;
The tokens in his hands I knew,
My Savior stood before mine eyes:
He spake; and my poor name He named:
Of me thou hast not been ashamed:
Those deeds shall thy memorial be:
Fear not, thou didst them unto Me.'"

But it is not merely in the lyrical productions of his muse that Montgomery has indicated the deep feeling of piety that lives as a higher life in him; in every one of those larger and very beautiful poems, in which we might have rather supposed him bent on indulging his literary ambition, and sitting down to a long and systematic piece of labor, which should remain a monument of the more continuous, if not higher flights of his genius, we perceive the same still higher object of a sacred duty toward God and man. In no instance has he been content merely to develop his poetical powers, merely to aim at amusing and delighting. Song has been to him a holy vocation, an art practiced to make men wiser and better, a gift held like that of the preacher and the prophet, for the purposes of heaven and eternity. In every one of those productions are still recognized the zealous and devoted spirit of one of that indefatigable and self-renouncing people, who from the earliest ages of the Christian Church have trod the path of persecution, and won the burning crown of martyrdom; and in the present age continue to send out from their still retreats in Europe an increasing and untiring succession of laborers, male and female, to the frozen regions of the north, and to the southern wilds of Africa, to civilize and Christianize those rude tribes, which others, bearing the Christian name, have visited only to enslave or extirpate. The Wanderer of Switzerland, the poem which first won him a reputation, was a glowing lyric of liberty, and denunciation of the diabolical war-spirit of the revolutionary French. It was animated by the most sacred love of country, and of the hallowed ground and hallowed feelings of the domestic hearth. The West Indies was a heroic poem, on one of the most heroic acts which ever did honor to the decrees of a great nation—the abolition of the slave-trade. But it was a work not merely of triumph over what was done, but of incentive to what yet remained to do—to the abolition of slavery itself. Time has shown what a stupendous mustering of national powers that achievement has demanded. What a combination of all the eloquence, and wisdom, and exertions, of all the wisest, noblest, and best men of, perhaps, the most glorious period of our history, was needed! Time has shown that the very slave-trade was only abolished on paper. That like a giant monster, that hideous traffic laughed at our enactments, and laughs at them still, having nearly quadrupled the number of its annual victims since the great contest against it was begun. But among those whose voice and spirit have been in fixed and perpetual operation against this vile cannibal commerce, none have more effectually exercised their influence than James Montgomery. His poem, arrayed in all the charms and graces of his noble art, has been read by every genuine lover of genuine poetry. It has sunk into the generous heart of youth; and who shall say in how many it has been in after-years the unconscious yet actual spring of that manly demand for the extinction of the wrongs of the African, which all good men in England, and wherever the English language is read, still make, and will make till it be finally accomplished. What fame of genius can be put in competition with the profound satisfaction of a mind conscious of the godlike privilege of aiding in the happiness of man in all ages and regions of the earth, and feeling that it has done that by giving to its thoughts the power and privileges of a spirit, able to enter all houses at all hours, and stimulate brave souls to the bravest deeds of the heroism of humanity?

There are great charms of verse displayed in the poem of The West Indies. One would scarcely have believed the subject of the slave-trade capable of them. But the genial, glowing descriptions of the West-Indian islands, of the torrid magnificence of the interior of Africa—

"Regions immense, unsearchable, unknown—
Amid the splendors of the solar zone;
A world of wonders,—where creation seems
No more the work of Nature, but her dreams,—
Great, wild, and wonderful."

The white villains of Europe, desecrating the name of Christian—Spaniards, Englishmen, Frenchmen, Dutchmen, Danes, and Portuguese, all engaged in the brutal traffic, are all sketched with the same vigorous pencil; but the portraiture of the Creole is a master-piece, and I quote it because it still is not a mere picture, but a dreadful reality in the shape of Brazilian and North American, on which the humane can not too fully reflect. If any one would see all that is here described, he has only now to make a ten days' voyage, and he will see it on an enormous scale in the southern states of the Free Republic of North America, as well as on the plains of the more torrid south.

"Lives there a reptile baser than the slave?
—Lothsome as death, corrupted as the grave;
See the dull Creole, at his pompous board,
Attendant vassals cringing round their lord;
Satiate with food, his heavy eyelids close,
Voluptuous minions fan him to repose;
Prone on the noonday couch he lolls in vain,
Delirious slumbers mock his maudlin brain;
He starts in horror from bewildering dreams;
His bloodshot eye with fire and frenzy gleams;
He stalks abroad; through all his wonted rounds,
The negro trembles, and the lash resounds,
And cries of anguish, thrilling through the air,
To distant fields his dread approach declare.
Mark, as he passes, every head reclined;
Then slowly raised—to curse him from behind.
This is the veriest wretch on nature's face,
Owned by no country, spurned by every race;
The tethered tyrant of one narrow span;
The bloated vampire of a living man:
His frame,—a fungus form of dunghill birth,
That taints the air, and rots above the earth;
His soul;—has he a soul, whose sensual breast
Of selfish passions is a serpent's nest?
Who follows headlong, ignorant and blind,
The vague, brute instincts of an idiot mind;
Whose heart 'mid scenes of suffering senseless grown,
Even from his mother's lap was chilled to stone;
Whose torpid pulse no social feelings move;
A stranger to the tenderness of love;
His motley harem charms his gloating eye,
Where ebon, brown, and olive beauties vie:
His children, sprung alike from sloth and vice,
Are born his slaves, and loved at market price:
Has he a soul?—With his departing breath
A form shall hail him at the gates of death,
The specter Conscience,—shrieking through the gloom,
'Man, we shall meet again beyond the tomb!'"

There are few more pathetic passages in the English language than these, describing the labors and the extinctions of the Charib tribes:—

"The conflict o'er, the valiant in their graves,
The wretched remnant dwindled into slaves:
—Condemned in pestilential cells to pine,
Delving for gold amid the gloomy mine.
The sufferer, sick of life-protracting breath,
Inhaled with joy the fire-damp blast of death;
—Condemned to fell the mountain palm on high,
That cast its shadow from the evening sky,
Ere the tree trembled to his feeble stroke,
The woodman languished, and his heart-strings broke;
—Condemned in torrid noon, with palsied hand,
To urge the slow plough o'er the obdurate land,
The laborer, smitten by the sun's fierce ray,
A corpse along the unfinished furrow lay.
O'erwhelmed at length with ignominious toil,
Mingling their barren ashes with the soil,
Down to the dust the Charib people passed,
Like autumn foliage, withering in the blast;
The whole race sunk beneath the oppressor's rod,
And left a blank among the works of God."

When we bear in mind that these beautiful passages of poetry are not the mere ornamental descriptions of things gone by and done with; but that, though races are extinguished, and millions of negroes, kidnapped to supply their loss, have perished in their misery, the horrors and outrages of slavery remain, spite of all we have done to put an end to them,—we can not too highly estimate the productions of the muse which are devoted to the cause of these children of misery and sorrow, nor too often return to their perusal. According to the calculations of the Anti-slavery Society, there were, half-a-century ago, when the anti-slavery operations began, from two to three millions of slaves in the world; there are now said to be FROM SIX TO SEVEN MILLIONS! There were then calculated to be one hundred thousand slaves annually ravished from Africa; there are now calculated to be FOUR HUNDRED THOUSAND ANNUALLY! With these awful facts before us, I fear it will be long before the eloquent appeals of such writers as Montgomery and Cowper will cease to possess a living interest.

In the World before the Flood, and Greenland, the same great purpose of serving the cause of virtue is equally conspicuous. The one relates the contests and triumphs of the good over the vicious in the antediluvian ages, and is full of the evidences of a fine imagination and a lofty piety. Many think this the greatest of Mr. Montgomery's productions. It abounds with beauties which we must not allow ourselves to particularize here. In Greenland he celebrates the missionary labors of the body to which his parents and his brother belonged. In the Pelican Island he quitted his favorite versification, the heroic, in which he displays so much force and harmony, and employed blank verse. There is less human interest in this poem, but it is, perhaps, the most philosophical of his writings, and gives great scope to his imaginative and descriptive powers. He imagines himself as a sort of spiritual existence, watching the progress of the population of the world, from its inanimate state till it was thronged with men, and the savage began to think, and to be prepared for the visitation of the Gospel messengers of peace and knowledge. It may be imagined that vast opportunity is given for the recital of the wonders, awful and beautiful, of the various realms of nature—the growth of coral islands and continents in the sea, and the varied developments of life on the land. The last scene, with a noble savage and his grandchild, in which the old man is smitten with a sense of his immortality, and of the presence of God, and praying, is followed in his act of devotion by the child, is very fine. But I must only allow myself to quote, as a specimen of the style of this poem, so different to all others by the same author, one of its opening passages already referred to.

"I was a Spirit in the midst of these,
All eye, ear, thought; existence was enjoyment;
Light was an element of life, and air
The clothing of my incorporeal form,—
A form impalpable to mortal touch,
And volatile as fragrance from the flower,
Or music in the woodlands. What the soul
Can make itself at pleasure, that I was
A child in feeling and imagination;
Learning new lessons still, as Nature wrought
Her wonders in my presence. All I saw,
Like Adam, when he walked in Paradise,
I knew and named by surest intuition.
Actor, spectator, sufferer, each in turn,
I ranged, explored, reflected. Now I sailed,
And now I soared; anon, expanding, seemed
Diffused into immensity, yet bound
Within a space too narrow for desire.
The mind, the mind, perpetual themes must task,
Perpetual power impel, and hope allure.
I and the silent sun were here alone,
But not companions: high and bright he held
His course: I gazed with admiration on him—
There all communion ended; and I sighed
To feel myself a wanderer without aim,
An exile amid splendid desolation,
A prisoner with infinitude surrounded."

James Montgomery was born November 4th, 1771, in the little town of Irvine, in Ayrshire; a place which has also had the honor of giving birth to John Galt, and of being for about six months the abode of Robert Burns, when a youth, who was sent there to learn the art and mystery of flax-dressing, but his master's shop being burned, he quitted Irvine and that profession at the same time. The house in which Burns resided does not seem to be now very positively known, but it was in the Glasgow Vennel. The house where Montgomery was born is well known. It is in Halfway-street, and was pointed out to me by the zealous admirer and chronicler of all that belongs to genius, Mr. Maxwell Dick, of Irvine, in whose possession are some of the most interesting of the autograph copies of Burns's Poems, especially the Cotter's Saturday Night.

The house of Montgomery, at the time of his birth and till his fifth year, was a very humble one. His father was the Moravian minister there, and probably had not a large congregation. We know how the ministers of this pious people will labor on in the most physically or morally desolate scene, if they can hope but to win one soul. The cottage is now inhabited by a common weaver, and consists of two rooms only, on the ground-floor, one of which is occupied by the loom. The chapel, which used to stand opposite, is now pulled down. This cottage stands in a narrow alley, back from the street. Mr. Dick said he accompanied Mr. Montgomery, some years ago, to this lowly cottage of his birth, and that no sooner had he entered the first room, which used to be, as it is still, the sitting-room, than the memory of his childhood came strongly back upon him, and he sat down and recounted various things which he recollected of the apartment, and of what had taken place in it.

Yet, as we have said, he was sent thence in his fifth year to Grace hill, a settlement still of the Moravian Brethren, near Ballymony, in the county of Antrim, in Ireland; and in which the poet, I believe, has at present a niece residing. In the following year he was again removed to the seminary of the Brethren at Fulneck, in Yorkshire. Soon after this his parents were sent out as missionaries to the West Indies, to preach to the poor slave the consoling doctrine of another and a better world, "where the wretched hear not the voice of the oppressor," and "where the servant is free from his master." There they both died. One lies in the island of Barbadoes, the other in Tobago.

"Beneath the lion-star they sleep,
Beyond the western deep,
And when the sun's noon-glory crests the waves,
He shines without a shadow on their graves."

In the Fulneck academy, among a people remarkable for their ardor in religion, and their industry in the pursuit of useful learning, James Montgomery received his education. He was intended for the ministry, and his preceptors were every way competent to the task of preparing him for the important office for which he was designed. His studies were various: the French, German, Latin, and Greek languages; history, geography, and music: but a desire to distinguish himself as a poet among his school-fellows, soon interfered with the plan laid out for him. When ten years old he began to write verses, and continued to do it with unabated ardor till the period when he quitted Fulneck in 1787; they were chiefly on religious subjects.

This early devotion to poetry, irresistible as it was, he was wont himself to regard as the source of many troubles. That it retarded his improvement at school, and finally altered his destination in life, seducing him to exchange an almost monastic seclusion from society, for the hurry and bustle of a world, which, for a time, seemed disposed to repay him but ill for the sacrifice. We can not think that his opinions of this change remain the same now. In whatever character James Montgomery had performed his allotted work in this world, I am persuaded that he would have performed it with the same conscientious steadfastness. In his heart, the spirit of his pious parents, and of that society in which he was educated, would have made him a faithful servant of that Master whom he has so sincerely served. Whether he had occupied a pulpit here, or had gone out to preach Christianity in some far-off and savage land, he would have been the same man, faithful and devout. But it may well be questioned whether in any other vocation he could have been a tenth part as successfully useful as he has been. There was need of him in the world, and he was sent thither, spite of parentage, education, and himself There was a talent committed to him that is not committed to all. He was to be a minister of God, but it was to be from the hallowed chair of poetry, and not from the pulpit. There was a voice to be raised against slavery and vice, and that voice was to perpetuate itself on the rhythmical page, and to kindle thousands of hearts with the fire of religion and liberty long after his own was cold. There was a niche reserved for him in the temple of poetry, which no other could occupy. It was that of a bard who, freeing his most religious lays from dogmas, should diffuse the love of religion by the religion of love. He himself has shown how well he knew his appointed business, and how sacredly he had resolved to discharge it, when, in A Theme for a Poet, he asks,—

"What monument of mind
Shall I bequeath to deathless fame,
That after-times may love my name?"

And after detailing the characteristics of the principal poets of the age, he adds:—

"Transcendent masters of the lyre!
Not to your honors I aspire;
Humbler, yet higher views
Have touched my spirit into flame;
The pomp of fiction I disclaim:
Fair Truth! be thou my muse:
Reveal in splendor deeds obscure—
Abase the proud, exalt the poor.
"I sing the men who left their home,
Amid barbarian tribes to roam,
Who land and ocean crossed,—
Led by a loadstar, marked on high
By Faith's unseen, all-seeing eye,—
To seek and save the lost;
Where'er the curse on Adam spread.
To call his offspring from the dead.
"Strong in the great Redeemer's name,
They bore the cross, despised the shame;
And, like their Master here,
Wrestled with danger, pain, distress,
Hunger, and cold, and nakedness,
And every form of fear;
To feel his love their only joy.
To tell that love their sole employ."

The highest ambition of James Montgomery was, then, to do that by his pen which his brethren did by word of mouth. He had not abandoned that great object to which he had as an orphan been, as it were, dedicated by those good men in whose hands he had been left; he had only changed the mode of attaining it. At the very time that he quitted their tranquil asylum and broke forth into the world, he was, unknown to himself and them, following the unseen hand of Heaven. His lot was determined, and it was not to go forth into the wilderness of the north or south, of Labrador or South Africa, but of the active world of England. There wanted a bold voice, of earnest principle, to be raised against great oppressions; a spirit of earnest duty, to be infused into the heart of poetic literature; and a tone of heavenly faith and confidence given to the popular harp, for which thousands of hearts were listening in vain; and he was the man. That was the work of life assigned to him. He was to be still of the Unitas Fratrum—still a missionary;—and how well has he fulfilled his mission!

Fulneck, the chief settlement of the Moravian Brethren in England, at which we have seen that Montgomery continued till his sixteenth year, is about eight miles from Leeds. It was built about 1760, which was near the time of the death of Count Zinzendorf. It was then in a fine and little inhabited country. It is now in a country as populous as a town, full of tall chimneys vomiting out enormous masses of soot, rather than smoke, and covering the landscape as with an eternal veil of black mist. The villages are like towns, for extent. Stone and smoke are equally abundant. Stone houses, door-posts, window-frames, stone floors, and stone stairs, nay, the very roofs are covered with stone slabs, and when they are new, are the most complete drab buildings. The factories are the same. Where windows are stopped up, it is with stone slabs. The fences to the fields are stone walls, and the gate-posts are stone, and the stiles are stones, reared so close to one another, that it is tight work getting through them. Not a bit of wood is to be seen, except the doors, water-spouts, and huge water-butts, which are often hoisted in front of the house, on the level of the second floor, on strong stone rests. The walls, as well as wooden frames in the fields, are clothed with long pieces of cloth, like horses, and women stand mending holes or smoothing off knots in them, as they hang. Troops of boys and girls come out of the factories at meal-times, as blue as so many little blue devils—hands, faces, clothes, all blue, from weaving the fresh-dyed yarn. The older mill-girls go cleaner and smarter, all with colored handkerchiefs tied over their heads, chiefly bright red ones, and look very continental. Dirty rows of children sit on dirty stone door-sills, and there are strong scents of oat-cake and Genoa oil, and oily yarn. There is a general smut of blackness over all, even in the very soil and dust. And Methodist chapels—Salems and Ebenezers—are seen on all hands. Who, that has ever been into a cloth-weaving district, does not see the place and people?

Well, up to the very back of Fulneck, throng these crowds and attributes of cloth manufacturing. Leaving the coach and the high-road, I walked on three miles to the left, through this busy smoke-land, and a large village, and then over some fields. Everywhere were the features of a fine country, but like the features o the people, full of soot, and with volumes of vapor rolling over it. Coming, at length, to the back of a hill, I saw emerging, close under my feet, a long row of stately roofs, with a belfry or cupola, crowned with a vane in the center. These were the roofs of the Moravian settlement of Fulneck, the back of which was toward me, and the front toward a fine valley, on the opposite slope of which were fine woods, and a fine old brick mansion. That is the house, and that the estate of a Mr. Tempest, who will have no manufactory on his land. This is the luckiest tempest that ever was heard of; for it keeps a good open space in front of Fulneck clear, though it is elbowed up at each end, and backed up behind with factories, and work-people's houses; and even beyond Mr. Tempest's estate, you see other tall, soot-vomiting chimneys rearing themselves on other ridges; and the eternal veil of Cimmerian smoke-mist floats over the fair, ample, and beautifully wooded valley, lying between the settlement and these swarthy apparitions of the manufacturing system, which seem to long to step forward and claim all—ay, and finally to turn Fulneck into a weaving-mill, as they probably will, one day.

The situation, were it not for these circumstances, is fine. It has something monastic about it. The establishment consists of one range of buildings, though built at various times. There are the school, chapel, master's house, etc., in the center, of stone, and a sister's and brother's house, of brick, at each end, with various cottages behind. A fine broad terrace-walk extends along the front, a furlong in length, being the length of the buildings, from which you may form a conception of the stately scale of the place, which is one-eighth of a mile long. From this descend the gardens, playgrounds, etc., down the hill for a great way, and private walks are thence continued as far again, to the bottom of the valley, where they are further continued along the brook-side, among the deep woodlands. The valley is called the Tong Valley; the brook, the Tong; and Mr. Tempest's house, on the opposite slope, Tonghall.

At the left hand, and as you stand in front of the building, looking over the valley, lies the burial-ground, or, as they would call it in Germany, the "Friedhof," or court of peace. It reminded me much of that of Herrnhut, except that it descends from you, instead of ascending. It is covered with a rich green turf, is planted round and down the middle with sycamore-trees, and has a cross-walk, not two or three, like Herrnhut. I asked Mr. Wilson, the director, who walked with me, whether this arrangement had not, originally, a meaning—these walks forming a cross. He said he believed it had, and that the children were buried in a line, extending each way from the center perpendicular walk, along the cross-walk, from a sentimental feeling that they were thus laid peculiarly in the arms of Jesus, and in the protection of his cross. The grave-stones are laid flat, just as at Herrnhut, and of the same size and fashion. Here, however, we miss that central row of venerable tombs, of the Zinzendorf family, and those simple memorial stones lying around them, every one of which bears a name of patriarchal renown in the annals of this society of devoted Christians. Yet, even here, we can not avoid feeling that we walk amid the ashes of the faithful descendants of one of the most remarkable and most ancient branches of God's church, whose history Montgomery has so impressively sketched in a few lines:—

"When Europe languished in barbarian gloom,
Beneath the ghostly tyranny of Rome,
Whose second empire, cowled and mitred, burst
A phœnix from the ashes of the first;
From persecution's piles, by bigots fired,
Among Bohemian mountains Truth retired.
There, mid rude rocks, in lonely glens obscure,
She found a people, scattered, scorned, and poor;
A little flock through quiet valleys led,
A Christian Israel in the desert fed;
While roaming wolves that scorned the shepherd's hand,
Laid waste God's heritage through every land.
With those the lonely exile sojourned long;
Soothed by her presence, solaced by her song,
They toiled through danger, trials, and distress,
A band of virgins in the wilderness,
With burning lamps amid their secret bowers,
Counting the watches of the weary hours,
In patient hope the Bridegroom's voice to hear,
And see his banner in the clouds appear.
But when the morn returning chased the night,
These stars that shone in darkness, sunk in light.
Luther, like Phosphor, led the conquering day,
His meek forerunners waned, and passed away.
"Ages rolled by; the turf perennial bloomed
O'er the lorn relics of those saints entombed:
No miracle proclaimed their power divine,
No kings adorned, no pilgrims kissed their shrine;
Cold, and forgotten, in their grave they slept:
But God remembered them:—their Father kept
A faithful remnant; o'er their native clime
His Spirit moved in his appointed time;
The race revived at his almighty breath,
A seed to serve him from the dust of death.
'Go forth, my sons, through heathen realms proclaim
Mercy to sinners in a Savior's name.'
Thus spoke the Lord; they heard and they obeyed.
—Greenland lay wrapped in nature's heaviest shade;
Thither the ensign of the cross they bore;
The gaunt barbarians met them on the shore
With joy and wonder, hailing from afar,
Through polar storms, the light of Jacob's star."

The internal arrangements of the establishment are just the same as at all their settlements. The chapel, very much like a Friends' meeting, only having an organ; and the bedrooms of the children as large, ventilated from the roof, and furnished with the same rows of single, curtainless beds, with white coverlets, reminding you of the sleeping-rooms of a nunnery.

My reception, though I took no introduction, was most kind and cordial. The brethren and sisters were well acquainted with the writings of both Mrs. Howitt and myself, and, of course, with our visit to Herrnhut. They have here about seventy boys and fifty girls, as pupils, who had just returned from the midsummer holydays, and were, many of them, very busy in their gardens. As I heard their merry voices, and caught the glance of their bright, eager eyes among the trees, I wondered how many would look back hereafter to this quiet, sweet place, and exclaim, with the poet who first met the muse here—

"Days of my childhood, hail!
Whose gentle spirits wandering here,
Down in the visionary vale
Before mine eyes appear,
Benignly pensive, beautifully pale:
O days forever fled, forever dear,
Days of my childhood, hail!"

When Montgomery removed from Fulneck, says a memoir, to which the poet has directed my attention as accurate in its facts, the views of his friends were so far changed, that we find him placed by them in a retail shop, at Mirfield, near Wakefield. Here, though he was treated with great kindness, and had only too little business, and too much leisure to attend to his favorite pursuit, he became exceedingly disconsolate, and after remaining in his new situation about a year and a half, he privately absconded, and with less than five shillings in his pocket, and the wide world before him, began his career in pursuit of fame and fortune. His ignorance of mankind, the result of his retired and religious education; the consequent simplicity of his manners, and his forlorn appearance, exposed him to the contempt of some, and to the compassion of others to whom he applied. The brilliant bubble of patronage, wealth, and celebrity, which floated before his imagination, soon burst, and on the fifth day of his travels, he found a situation similar to the one he had left, at the village of Wath, near Rotherham. A residence in London was the object of his ambition; but wanting the means to carry him thither, he resolved to remain in the country till he could procure them. Accordingly, he wrote to his friends among the Moravian Brethren, whom he had forsaken, requesting them to recommend him to his new master, conscious that they had nothing to allege against him, excepting the imprudent step of separating himself from them; and not being under articles at Mirfield, he besought them not to compel him to return. He received from them the most generous propositions of forgiveness, and an establishment more congenial to his wishes. This he declined, frankly explaining the causes of his late melancholy, but concealing the ambitious motives which had secretly prompted him to withdraw from their benevolent protection. Finding him unwilling to yield, they supplied his immediate necessities, and warmly recommended him to the kindness of the master he had chosen. It was this master, with whom he remained only twelve months, that, many years afterward, in the most calamitous period of Montgomery's life, sought him out amid his misfortunes, not for the purpose of offering consolation only, but of serving him substantially by every means in his power. The interview which took place between the old man and his former servant, the evening previous to his trial at Doncaster, will ever live in the remembrance of him who could forget an injury, but not a kindness. No father could have evinced a greater affection for a darling son; the tears he shed were honorable to his feelings, and were the best testimony to the conduct and integrity of James Montgomery.

From Wath he removed to London, having prepared his way by sending a volume of his manuscript poems to Mr. Harrison, then a bookseller in Paternoster-row. Mr. Harrison, who was a man of correct taste and liberal disposition, received him into his house, and gave him the greatest encouragement to cultivate his talents, but none to publish his poems; seeing, as he observed, no probability that the author would acquire either fame or fortune by appearing at that time before the public. The remark was just; but it conveyed the most unexpected and afflicting information to our youthful poet, who yet knew little of the world, except from books, and who had permitted his imagination to be dazzled with the accounts which he had read of the splendid success and magnificent patronage which poets had formerly experienced. He was so disheartened by this circumstance, that, on occasion of a misunderstanding with Mr. Harrison, he, at the end of eight months, quitted the metropolis, and returned to Wath, where he was received with a hearty welcome by his former employer. While in London, having been advised to turn his attention to prose, as more profitable than verse, he composed an Eastern story, which he took one evening to a publisher in the east end of the town. Being directed through the shop, to the private room of the great man, he presented his manuscript in form. The prudent bookseller read the title, marked the number of pages, counted the lines in a page, and made a calculation of the whole; then, turning to the author, who stood in astonishment at this summary mode of deciding on the merit of a work of imagination, he very civilly returned the copy, saying, "Sir, your manuscript is too small—it won't do for me—take it to K——, he publishes those kind of things." Montgomery retreated with so much confusion from the presence of the bookseller, that in passing through the shop, he dashed his unfortunate head against a patent lamp, broke the glass, spilled the oil, and making an awkward apology to the shopmen, who stood tittering behind the counter, to the no small mortification of the poor author, he rushed into the street, equally unable to restrain his vexation or his laughter, and retired to his home, filled with chagrin at this ludicrous and untoward misfortune.

From Wath, where Montgomery had sought only a temporary residence, he removed in 1792, and engaged himself with Mr. Gales of Sheffield, who then printed a newspaper, in which popular politics were advocated with great zeal and ability. To this paper he contributed essays and verses occasionally; but though politics sometimes engaged the service of his hand, the muses had his whole heart, and he sedulously cultivated their favor; though no longer with those false, yet animating hopes, which formerly stimulated his exertions. In 1794, when Mr. Gales left England, a gentleman, to whom Montgomery was an almost entire stranger, enabled him to undertake the publication of the paper on his own account: but it was a perilous situation on which he entered; the vengeance which was ready to burst upon his predecessor, soon fell upon him.

At the present day it would scarcely be believed, were it not to be found in the records of a court of justice, that in 1795, Montgomery was convicted of a libel on the war then carrying on between Great Britain and France, by publishing, at the request of a stranger whom he had never seen before, a song written by a clergyman of Belfast, nine months before the war began. This fact was admitted in the court; and though the name of this country did not occur in the libel, nor was there a single note or comment of any kind whatever affixed to the original words, which were composed at the time and in censure of the Duke of Brunswick's proclamation and march to Paris, he was pronounced guilty, and sentenced to three months' imprisonment, and a fine of £20. Mr. M. A. Taylor presided on this occasion. The first verdict delivered by the jury, after an hour's deliberation, was "Guilty of publishing." This verdict, tantamount to an acquittal, they were directed to reconsider, and to deduce the malicious intention, not from the circumstances attending the publication, but from the words of the song. Another hour's deliberation produced the general verdict of "Guilty." This transaction requires no comment.

Scarcely had Montgomery returned to his home, when he was again called upon to answer for another offense. A riot took place in the streets of Sheffield, in which, unfortunately, two men were shot by the military. In the warmth of his feelings he detailed the dreadful occurrence in his paper. The details were deemed a libel, and he was again sentenced to six months' imprisonment, and a fine of thirty pounds. The magistrate who prosecuted him on this occasion is now dead, and Montgomery would be the last man in the world who could permit any thing to be said here, in justification of himself, which might seem to cast a reflection on the memory of one, who afterward treated him with the most friendly attention, and promoted his interest by every means in his power.

The active imagination of Montgomery had induced him to suppose that the deprivation of liberty was the loss of every earthly good; in confinement he learned another lesson, and he bore it with fortitude and cheerfulness. In York Castle he had opportunities of amusement, as well as leisure for study; and he found kindness, consolation, and friendship within the walls of a prison. During confinement he wrote, and prepared for the press, a volume of poems, which he published, in 1797, under the title of Prison Amusements; but his spirits and hopes were now so broken that he made no exertion to recommend this work to the public.

I went in August, 1845, to visit York Castle, with the particular object of seeing the room which Montgomery occupied during his last imprisonment, and where he wrote the Prison Amusements, and by his own description of it corrected a curious mistake which the keepers had made. "The room which I occupied," said Mr. Montgomery to me, "is up stairs, and is distinguished by a round window between two Ionic pillars, at the end of the building nearest to the city and Clifford's Tower, and facing the courthouse." On requesting the turnkey to show me that as the room where Montgomery had been confined, he assured me that it was not the room, but the true place was the corresponding room at the opposite end of the building. It was not easy to persuade him. He went to the gatekeeper, who supported his view of the case, assuring me that his father was turnkey at the time, and that it was well known, and had been always shown as Montgomery's room. There could be no mistake. I asked them if they thought it possible that a man could be shut up six months in a prison, and after fifty years could give so exact a description of the spot as Montgomery had given me—showing the above identification in my note-book, as written down from Montgomery's statement at the moment—and be mistaken? But men in authority are not readily convinced. What! could all the clever turnkeys of York Castle, for fifty years almost to a day, have been showing a wrong room to thousands of visitors? Impossible! I was therefore obliged to bring another impossibility to render their impossibility more impossible, and that was the impossibility of seeing through, not merely a stone wall, but a stone house. I told them that Montgomery said that he could see the meadows along the Ouse from his window; and that such intense longings for liberty did the sight of people taking their walks there daily give him, that the moment he was liberated he hurried out of the court, descended to the Ouse, and perambulated its banks just where he had seen the people so often walking. This was a poser. It was only from the window described by Montgomery that any such view could be obtained. Facing it, was merely the court wall, over which the river could be seen; but facing the other window stood the court-house—that was a terribly stout impossibility; and so the lords of locks and bolts gave up the point, and said, "Well, it was very odd that every body should have been wrong for fifty years, and that the room should be wrong—how could it have got wrong?" That is an interesting question, which, perhaps, in the course of the next half-century their united wisdom may contrive to set right.

The castle is a spacious affair. It consists of buildings of different dates and styles, and an ample court. No part of it is old, except a large round tower, called Clifford's Tower, which stands on a mount just within the walls. The rest consists of four buildings. One is the court-house, in which the county assizes are held, parallel with the river Ouse, from which it is but a few hundred yards distant. Opposite to this is what was once the felons' and crown-prisoners' prison; a building with several Ionic columns in the center, and two at each end. This is now chiefly occupied by a turnkey's family, and the female prisoners. The large area between these buildings is closed at one end by the debtors' prison, and at the other by Clifford's Tower. Between the tower and the turnkey's house just mentioned, stands the new felons' prison. This, as well as the outer court walls and entrance-gate, is built of solid stone in castellated style. The room occupied by Montgomery is now in the turnkey's house, and is the bedroom of the servant.

The felons' prison is much in the shape of a fan, forming alternate ranges of cells and court-yards, where the prisoners walk in the daytime. The assizes being just over, there were scarcely any prisoners in the jail except those convicted and awaiting their punishments, of which none were capital, but most of them transportation. These men were all clothed in the convict's dress, a jacket and trowsers of coarse cloth, of broad green and yellow check. They were mostly basking in the sun in groups, on the pavement of their respective court-yards, and appeared any thing but sad. The whole prison seemed as if hewed out of solid stone; and everywhere were gates of iron, closing with a clang and a twank of the lock behind you, which must sound any thing but cheering to a prisoner just conducted in. The openings into the different court-yards were filled with massy iron railing; and the pavements, walls, every thing else, was one mass of solid stone. Many of the stones in the wall were nine feet long, and of proportionate quadrature. The chapel presented a range of partitions with strong bars, as for a wild beast's den, in front, and doors behind, so that the prisoners from separate cells are let in there, and can not get sight of each other. The partition for the women is boarded up in front, so that they are quite unseen, except to the preacher. The windows were everywhere, as it were, a complete network of knotted iron bars; and the dining-rooms of the prisoners were those long winding passages of massy stone, along which we went to their cells. In these, with the iron gates locked behind them, they stand at a long, narrow board fixed to the wall, about the width of a plate, and take their meals. No place surely was at once so clean, and so hopelessly ponderous and strong. The very idea of it seemed to weigh on one like a nightmare, and make one stretch ourself, as for a sense of freedom.

The few women who were in prison, were, of course, convicts. They all rose at our entrance into their room, where they were all together, and courtesied very respectfully, and if one were to judge from their countenances, we could not think them very criminal. The men seemed hardy, reckless, and inclined to be insolent, for every word uttered in passing along these courts of solid stone was flung back from wall to wall, and was heard in the remotest corners; and more than once, we heard the convicts take up our words, imitate them in a burlesque style, and then join in laughter at their own audacity. There were numbers of them that we should not be glad to meet in a solitary wood. But the women, had I not known that they were convicts, I should have regarded as a set of as decent, modest, and honest women of the working class as one usually sees. There was no expression of hardened guilt or gross depravity about them. A thoroughly debased woman is one of the most revolting objects in creation; but how rarely is woman's nature so thoroughly degraded! How long do the feminine qualities of gentleness and amiability outlive in them the temptations and incentives to crime! How often are they the tools and victims of men, and how often and readily might they be called back from error to the purest and most devoted virtue!

The beds of all the prisoners were laid on iron frames, supported on solid stones, so that they could cut no wood from them for any purposes of escape. Everywhere, above and below, all was stone, stone, solid stone, and bars of massy iron; and yet out of even this place there have been escapes.

But the most extraordinary scene in the whole place is an iron cage in the lobby of the keeper's house, containing the irons of the most signal malefactors, and the weapons with which they committed their murders. There are Dick Turpin's shackles, with a massy bar of iron, about two feet long, and more than twenty-eight pounds' weight, which were put on his legs when he had twice escaped out of the castle; and a girdle of iron to put round his waist, with chains and iron handcuffs for his hands. There is the most horrid collection of hedge-stakes, huge and knotted pieces of rails, of pokers, and hammers, of guns, and knives, and razors, with which murders have been perpetrated, each of which the jailer relates. There is a huge piece of a spar and a heavy stone with which one murderer destroyed his victim. The stakes with which three men knocked out the brains of another in a wood. There is a stone, I suppose ten pounds' weight, at least, hanging by the cord which a mother put round the neck of her infant, and sunk it to the bottom of a pond. There is a piece of the skull of Daniel Clarke, murdered, as it is said, by Eugene Aram; and hats battered in, or shot through by the assassin. There are iron bludgeons terminated with knobs of lead, to conceal under coats; and crowbars bent at the end, to force open doors. These, with the casts of the heads of some of the most noted murderers, form a sufficiently horrible spectacle. It is a history of human ferocity and guilt, actually written in iron and in blood, which still dyes the dreadful instruments of its perpetration with its dismal rust of death. Escaping from this exhibition, I did not do as one of the visitors said he must go and do—get a stout glass of brandy to rid him of his queerness,—but I did as Montgomery did on escaping from the prison,—went and walked along the footpath by the Ouse, under the noble elms which he had so often seen waving in their greenness from his cell.

From the period of his imprisonment in this place, Mr. Montgomery has continued to reside in Sheffield. For the long period of half-a-century he has been essentially bound up with the literary and social progress of the place. Editing, for the greater part of that period, the Iris newspaper, on which his name and writings conferred a popular celebrity; and from time to time sending forth one of his volumes of poetry, there is no question that the influence of his taste and liberal opinions has been greatly instrumental in the growth of that spirit of intelligence and moral culture which highly distinguish Sheffield. With the religious world, as was to be expected, James Montgomery has always stood in high esteem, and in the most friendly relation. The names of Montgomery and Sheffield will always mutually present each other to the mind of the man of taste. Through his own exertions, the proceeds of his pen, and a small pension of £150 a-year, in testimony of his poetic merit, the poor orphan who set out from the little shop at Mirfield to seek fame and fortune with less than five shillings in his pocket, has now for some years retired to an enjoyment of both; and no man ever reached the calm sunshine of life's evening with a purer reputation, or a larger share of the grateful affection of his townsmen, or of the honor of his countrymen in general. One of his oldest friends, from whose written statements I have been enabled to draw some of the facts here given, has sketched the following well merited character of James Montgomery: "It may be said, that nature never infused into a human composition a greater portion of kindness and general philanthropy. A heart more sensibly alive to every better, as well as every finer feeling, never beat in a human breast. Perhaps no two individuals, in manners, pursuits, character, and composition, ever more exactly corresponded with each other, than Montgomery and Cowper. The same benevolence of heart, the same modesty of deportment, the same purity of life, the same attachment to literary pursuits, the same fondness for solitude and retirement from the public haunts of men; and to complete the picture, the same ardent feeling in the cause of religion, and the same disposition to gloom and melancholy. His person, which is rather below the middle stature, is neatly formed; his features have the general expression of simplicity and benevolence, rendered more interesting by a hue of melancholy that pervades them. When animated by conversation, his eye is uncommonly brilliant, and his whole countenance is full of intelligence. He possesses great command of language; his observations are those of an acute and penetrating mind, and his expressions are frequently strikingly metaphorical and eloquent. By all who see and converse with him he is esteemed; by all who know him, he is beloved."

Strangers visiting Sheffield will have a natural curiosity to see where Montgomery so many years resided, and whence he sent forth his poems and his politics. That spot is in the Hartshead; one of the most singular situations for such a man and purpose often to be met with. Luckily, it is in the center of the town, and not far to seek. Going up the High-street, various passages under the houses lead to one common center—the Hartshead, a sort of cul de sac, having no carriage-road through, but only one into it, and that not from the main street. The shop, which used to be the Iris office, is of an odd ogee shape, at the end of a row of buildings. It has huge ogee-shaped windows, with great, dark-green shutters. The door is at the corner, making it a three-cornered shop. It is now a pawnbroker's shop, the door and all round hung with old garments. The shelves are piled with bundles of pawned clothes, ticketed. The houses round this strange, hidden court, in which it stands, are nearly all public houses, as the Dove, and Rainbow, and the like, with low eating-houses, and dens of pettifogging lawyers. From what funny corners do poetic lucubrations, to say nothing of political ones, sometimes issue! The Hartshead seems just one of that sort of places in which the singular orgies of the working children of Sheffield, traced out by the Commissioners of Inquiry into the condition of children and young persons in the manufacturing districts, are held. "There are beer-houses," says the Rev. Mr. Farish, "attended by youths exclusively, for the men will not have them in the same houses with themselves. In those beer-houses the youths of both sexes are encouraged to meet, and scenes destructive of every vestige of virtue or morality ensue."

The sub-commissioner visited several of these places, attended by a policeman. He says: "We commenced our visits at about half-past nine at night. In the first place we entered, there were two rows of visitors along each side of the room, amounting to forty or fifty. They were almost entirely boys and girls under seventeen years old. They were sitting together, every boy having apparently his companion by his side. A tall woman, with one or two attendants, was serving them with drink, and three or four men were playing on wind instruments in a corner. Several boys were questioned as to their ages and occupations. Some were grinders, some hafters, and a few had no calling which it was convenient to name to the police. Some were as young as fourteen, but mostly about fifteen or sixteen years old. The younger children do not usually remain so late at these places. We visited several others. In some they were singing, in others dancing, in all drinking. In three successively they were playing at cards, which the police seized. On one occasion we went into a long and brilliantly lighted room, of which the ceiling was painted like a bower. Benches and tables were ranged along the side of each wall. This place was up a dark and narrow lane, and was crowded with young people and men and women of notorious character. There must have been a hundred persons there."

But from a glance at the orgies, which, spite of all that education and the philanthropist have so long been doing, still are to be found in the dark purlieus of the manufacturing town, we must hasten to bid adieu to the poet of religion and refinement. James Montgomery resides at the Mount, on the Glossop road, the West End of Sheffield. It is, I suppose, at least a mile and a half from the old Iris office, and is one regular ascent all the way. The situation is lovely, lying high; and there are many pleasant villas built on the sides of the hill in their ample pleasure-grounds, the abodes of the wealthy manufacturers. The Mount, par excellence, is the house, or rather terrace, where Montgomery lives. It is a large building, with a noble portico of six fine Ionic columns, so that it looks a residence fit for a prince. It stands in ample pleasure grounds, and looks over a splendid scene of hills and valleys. The rooms enjoy this fine prospect over the valleys of the Sheaf and Porter, which, however, was obscured while I was there with the smoke blowing from the town.

In the drawing-room hangs the portrait of the Incognita, on whom the beautiful lyric under that title was written, and which may be found in the same volume as Greenland. As is there stated, he saw the picture at Leamington; it hung, in fact, in his lodgings, and completely fascinated his fancy—and no wonder. One may imagine the poet, continually met on returning from his walks by that "vision of delight," addressing it in the words of that charming poem.

It is evidently a family portrait, and is no doubt by Lely or Kneller, probably by the latter; at all events by a master. It is of the size of life, three-quarters figure; a slender young lady in a pale silk dress. She is very beautiful, and the expression of her countenance is extremely amiable. All that Mr. Montgomery could learn from his landlady was, that it had belonged to Sir Charles Knightly of Warwickshire; and there can, therefore, be little doubt that this fascinating creature, fit to inspire any poet, was one of his family. The landlady, no great judge of either beauty or art, said she was willing to sell it for two guineas, and Montgomery, in a joyful astonishment, at once paid her the money, and secured the prize.

Below Mr. Montgomery's house, on the other side of the road, lie the botanic gardens. These stretching down the hillside, lie charmingly. They are extensive and delightful. The kind and active poet, though in his seventy-fifth year, would accompany me to see them. You enter by a sort of Grecian portico, and to the right hand along the top of the gardens, see a fine long conservatory, in which the palms, parasitical, and other tropical plants are in the most healthy state. The curator, a very sensible Scotchman, seemed to have a particular pleasure in pointing out his plants to us. What struck me most was, however, not so much the tropical plants, as the size to which he has cultivated certain plants which we commonly see small. The common, sweet-scented heliotrope, in a pot, was at least five feet high, and had a stem quite woody, and at least an inch in diameter. It formed, in fact, a tree, and being in full bloom, filled all the conservatory with its odor. The fuchsias were the same, though this is not so unusual. They were tied up to rods, and reaching to the very roof, formed archways hung with their crimson blossoms. The scarlet geraniums were the same; had stems nearly as thick as one's wrist, and were not, I suppose, less than twelve feet high. How much superior to the dwarf state in which we usually keep this magnificent plant! The curator said that they cut all the side branches from these plants quite close, in the autumn or early spring, and that they shoot out afresh and flower.

The gardens themselves are extensive, beautifully varied, richly stocked, and sloped with fine turf. In one place you come to secluded waters and thickets; in another to an open wide lawn, all filled with beds of every imaginable kind of roses in glowing masses; in another, to the remains of the original forest, with its old trees and heathery sward; and with fine views over the neighboring valleys in different directions. It is a most delightful place for walking in, and is naturally a great resort and luxury of the poet. We traversed it, I suppose, for a couple of hours in all directions, and talked over a multitude of poets and poetry. I was glad to find Montgomery as ardent an admirer of Tennyson and of Moile's State Trials as myself, my review of the latter poet in the Eclectic having first brought them under his notice. At the gate of these pleasant gardens I take my present adieu of James Montgomery, the most genuinely religious poet of the age. With a wisdom, founded not on calculation, but on a sacred sense of duty, he had made even his ambition subservient to his aspirations as a Christian, and he has thus reared for himself a pedestal in the poetic Walhalla of England peculiarly his own. The longer his fame endures, and the wider it spreads, the better it will be for virtue and for man.

Residence near Fiesole

Residence near Fiesole


Walter Savage Landor is one of the class of fortunate authors. He was born with the silver spoon in his mouth; and he was far more fortunate than the host of those who are born thus; he cared little for the silver spoon of indulgence, and has always been ready to help himself to his share of the enjoyment of life with the wooden ladle of exertion. His fortune has given him all those substantial advantages which fortune can give, and he has despised its corrupting and effeminating influence. It gave him a first-rate education; a power of going over the surface of the earth at his pleasure, of seeing all that is worth seeing at home and abroad, of indulging the real and true pleasure of surveying the varieties and the sublimities of scenery, and studying the varieties and genuine condition of man. Hence his original talents, which were strong, have been strengthened; his mind, which was naturally broad, has been expanded; his classical tastes have been perfected by the scenery of classic countries, while he read the ancient works of those countries, not twisted into pedantic one-sidedness in monkish institutions of barren learning. To him classical literature was but the literature of one, though of a fine portion of the human race. He imbibed it with a feeling of freshness where it grew, but at the same time he did not avert his eyes from the world of to-day. It was humanity in its totality which interested him. Hence the universality of his genius; the healthiness of his tastes; the soundness of his opinions. In stretching his inquiries into all corners of the world he loosened himself from the restrictions of sects, parties, and coteries. Born an aristocrat, he has nevertheless remained fully conscious of the evils of aristocracy; educated at the schools and in the bosom of the Established Church, he is as vividly sensible of the pride and worldliness of the hierarchy as any dissenter, without the peculiar bigotry and narrowness of dissent. Born a gentleman, he has felt with and for the poor; being interested, if men of landed estate are interested, in things remaining as they are, he has announced himself, in no timid terms, for advance, liberty, and law for the many.

These are the characteristics of the man and of his works. His prose and his poetry, his life and his conversation, alike display them. The man is a man of large and powerful physical frame, of a passionate, impulsive, yet reflective mind. There is no disguise about him. He lives, he writes, he talks, from the vigorous strength of this great and equally developed nature, and you can not be a day in his society without hearing him enunciate every principle of his action, and much of its history. His sentiments and doctrines seem continually to radiate on all around him, from the living central fire of a heart which feels, as a sacred duty, every great truth, which the mind has received into its settled conviction. It is therefore astonishing, after a few hours' conversation with him, to find on opening his works how much of his philosophy you are acquainted with. But though you soon learn, through the noble transparency of Landor's nature, what are his principles of action, you do not soon reach the extent of his thoughts. Those which play about his great principles, which illustrate and demonstrate them, are endless in their variety, and astonish you not the less by their originality than by their correctness. His extensive range of observation through nature, through men and things, has stored his mind with an inexhaustible accumulation of imagery, equally beautiful and effective. Whenever you meet with similes drawn from life or from nature in Landor's writings, you may rely upon their accuracy.

The same accuracy marks his conclusions regarding man and society. He is one of the few who, with the inherited means to distinguish himself in politics, to ascend in the scale of artificial life, to acquire fame and wealth by the ordinary means of promotion, has reserved himself for a higher ambition, that of directing the future rather than the present, and of living as a philosophical reformer when the bulk of his cotemporaries are dead forever to this world. For this purpose he has stood aloof from the movements of the hour; he has refused to sit in Parliament; he has gone and spent years abroad, when shallower thinkers would presume the only patriotic position was at home; and by these means he has qualified himself, in various countries and various society, but chiefly through the steady use of his faculties in poring through men and books, and viewing them on all sides, unfettered by interest and uninfluenced by hope, except that of arriving at a true knowledge of things, to speak with authority. From these causes it is that there have been and there are few men who will so permanently and so beneficially act on the progress of society as Walter Savage Landor. The independence of his position and of his nature, his thoroughly high and honorable disposition, seeking truth and hating meanness, thus aided by the wide sphere of his observation, stamp upon his experience the characters of indisputable truth and genuine wisdom. He has no petty bias to any party, any school, any religious sect—all his aspirations are for the benefit of man as man, and whatever comes in the way of the growth of what is intrinsically true, beautiful, and beneficent, he attacks with the most caustic sarcasm; strikes at it with the most ponderous or trenchant weapons that he can lay hands upon, and, careless of persons or consequences, calls on all within hearing to help him to annihilate it. In this respect his fortune has enabled him to do much with impunity.

He promulgates doctrines, and attacks selfish interests, in a manner which would, on the other hand, bring down destruction on an author who had to live by his labors. There are critics, and those calling themselves liberal, too, who have crushed others for the very deeds for which they have applauded and still continue to applaud Savage Landor. Why? Because they know that Landor is invulnerable through his property. If they raised the hue and cry against him of democrat, republican, of violent or revolutionary, he would still eat and drink independent of them; his book would remain, and his position and influence would enable it at length to testify against them. There is, moreover, a large class of critics who see principles, when they see them at all, through the medium of a man's condition in the world, and that which is audacious in a poor man, becomes only a generous boldness in a rich. If I were to select the opinions of Savage Landor on half-a-dozen great questions from his works, and quote him in all his undisguised strength upon them, I could show half-a-score men of less fortune who have been immolated by Landor's own admirers for the proclamation of these identical opinions, or whose works have been left unnoticed because they could not very consistently condemn in them what they had eulogized in him! How few men in this country can afford to be honest!

But not the less do I recognize, nor the less estimate, the sacrifices of Landor to immortal truth. Though he could not be deprived of his daily bread for his sins of plain speaking, yet he has had his share of the malevolence of the low and selfish. The reptiles have bitten, and no doubt have stung, at times, deeply, when he has trodden them beneath his feet, or flung among them his clinging and scalding Greek fire. But he knows that the fruit of his life will not be lost. Already he has lived long enough to see that the tide of opinion and reform is setting in strongly in the direction which he has indicated. It is amazing what progress the truth has made within the last twenty years; and a man like Landor knows that at every future step it must derive fresh strength from his writings. He has pandered to no corruption, he has flattered no fashion; his efforts are all directed to the uprooting of error and the spread of sound reason; and, therefore, the more the latter prevails the more his writings will grow into the spirit of the age. There are those who say that Landor's writings never can be popular. They are greatly mistaken. There is a large reading class, every day becoming larger, in which, were they made cheap enough, they would find the most lively acceptation. It is the class of the uncorrupted people itself. His opinions, and his manly, uncompromising spirit, are just what fall on the popular spirit like showers in summer. They are drank in with a thirsty avidity, and give at once life and solace. In this respect I do not hesitate to place them among the very first of the age.

The poetry of Savage Landor has not been so much read as his prose. His Imaginary Conversations have eclipsed his verse. Yet there is great vigor, much satire, and much tender feeling in his poems, which should render them acceptable to all lovers of manly writing. His Gebir was written early. The scene lies chiefly in Egypt, and introduces sorcerers, water nymphs, and the like characters, which might charm a youthful imagination, but are too far removed from reality to make them general favorites. Yet there is much fine, imaginative, and passionate poetry in this composition. His Hellenics transport you at once to the ordinary life of ancient Greece, and are written with great force, clearness, and succinct effect. His dramas of Count Julian, Andrea of Hungary, Giovanna of Naples, Fra Rupert, The Siege of Ancona, etc., are reading dramas, very fine of their kind. They abound with splendid writing and the noblest sentiments. Giovanna of Naples is one of the finest and most beautiful characters conceivable; and Fra Rupert has furnished Landor with a vehicle for expressing his indignant contempt of a proud, arbitrary, and hypocritical priest. There are many occasional verses, in which the poet has expressed the feelings of the moment, arising out of the connections and incidents of his life; and these are equally remarkable for their tenderness and their very opposite quality of caustic satire. I must not allow myself to do more than quote a few passages from his poetical writings, which are characteristic of the man. This fine one occurs in the last of his Hellenics, p. 486, vol. ii. of his uniform edition:—

"We are what suns, and winds, and waters make us;
The mountains are our sponsors, and the rills
Fashion and win their nurslings with their smiles.
But where the land is dim from tyranny,
There tiny pleasures occupy the place
Of glories and of duties; as the feet
Of fabled fairies, when the sun goes down,
Trip o'er the grass where wrestlers strove by day.
Then justice, called the Eternal One above,
Is more inconstant than the buoyant form
That burst into existence from the froth
Of ever varying ocean; what is best
Then becomes worst; what loveliest, most deformed.
The heart is hardest in the softest climes,
The passions flourish, the affections die."

This true sentiment is put into the mouth of Count Julian—page 506, vol. ii.

"All men with human feelings love their country.
Not the high-born or wealthy man alone,
Who looks upon his children, each one led
By its gay handmaid from the high alcove,
And hears them once a-day; not only he
Who hath forgotten, when his guest inquires
The name of some far village all his own;
Whose rivers bound the province, and whose hills
Touch the lost clouds upon the level sky:
No; better men still better love their country.
'Tis the old mansion of their earliest friends,
The chapel of their first and best devotions.
When violence or perfidy invades,
Or when unworthy lords hold wassail there,
And wiser heads are drooping round its moats,
At last they fix their steady and stiff eye,
There, there alone, stand while the trumpet blows,
And view the hostile flames above its towers
Spire, with a bitter and severe delight."

There is not less truth than satire in this:—

"In all law-courts that I have ever entered
The least effrontery, the least dishonesty,
Has lain among the prosecuted thieves."—P. 557.

I shall have occasion to quote a few more verses when speaking of Mr. Landor's life. His Imaginary Conversations is the work on which his fame, a worthy and well earned fame, will rest. From his great experience of men of various nations, and his familiar acquaintance with both ancient and modern literature, he has been enabled to introduce the greatest variety of characters and topics, and to make the dialogues a perfect treasury of the broadest and most elevated axioms of practical wisdom. As I have observed, his station and personal interests have not been able to blind him to the claims of universal justice. He attacks all follies and all selfish conventionalisms with an unsparing scorn, which, in a poor man, would have been attributed to envy; but in his case, can not be otherwise regarded than as the honest convictions of a clear-seeing and just mind. In all his writings he insensibly slides into the dramatic form; even in his Pentameron, not less than in his Citation and Examination of William Shakspeare. His Pericles and Aspasia is in the form of letters, a form but one remove from conversation; in fact, conversation on paper. He must raise up the prominent characters of all ages, and, bringing the most antagonistic together, set them to argue some great or curious topic suited to their minds and pursuits. Through all these the author's own sentiments diffuse themselves, and become the soul of the book. Whoever converse, we are made to feel that virtue, generosity, self-sacrifice, and a warm sense of the wants and the true claims of the multitude, animate the soul of the author, and maintain a perpetual warfare against their opposite qualities, and the world's acquiescence in them. Mr. Landor, no doubt, like his fellows, does not despise the advantages which fortune has conferred on him; but he prides himself far more obviously on the power which resides in his pen. In his conversation with the Marchese Pallavicini, that nobleman relates the atrocious conduct of an English general at Albaro, and says, "Your Houses of Parliament, Mr. Landor, for their own honor, for the honor of the service, and the nation, should have animadverted on such an outrage; he should answer for it." To which Landor replies:—"These two fingers have more power, marchese, than those two houses. A pen! he shall live for it. What, with their animadversions, can they do like this?"

In his conversation between Southey and Porson, he puts into the mouth of Southey a sentence which all people would do well to ground firmly into their minds, and remember when they are reading reviews:—"We have about a million of critics in Great Britain; not a soul of which critics entertains the least doubt of his own infallibility. You, with all your learning, and all your canons of criticisms, will never make them waver." Into Porson's mouth he puts also a great fact, which, had he been a poor man, would have been hurled back on his head, and have crushed him to death. "Racy wine comes from the high vineyard. There is a spice of the scoundrel in most of our literary men; an itch to filch and detract in the midst of fair-speaking and festivity. This is the reason why I have never much associated with them. There is also another. We have nothing in common but the alphabet. The most popular of our critics have no heart for poetry: it is morbidly sensitive on one side, and utterly callous on the other. They dandle some little poet, and never will let you take him off their knees; him they feed to bursting, with their curds and whey. Another they warn off the premises, and will give him neither a crust nor a crumb, until they hear that he has succeeded to a large estate in popularity, with plenty of dependents; then they sue and supplicate to be admitted among the number; and, lastly, when they hear of his death, they put on mourning, and advertise to raise a monument or a club-room to his memory."

In the same conversation he has a striking illustration of the nature of metaphysics. "What a blessing are metaphysics to our generation! A poet or any other who can make nothing clear, can stir up enough sediment to render the bottom of a basin as invisible as the deepest gulf of the Atlantic. The shallowest pond, if turbid, has depth enough for a goose to hide its head in." He has a remark, not the less happy, on the folly of our reading ill-natured critiques on ourselves, and on the light in which those who inform you of them ought to be regarded. "The whole world might write against me, and leave me ignorant of it to the day of my death. A friend who announces to me such things, has performed the last act of his friendship. It is no more pardonable than to lift up the gnat net over my bed, on pretext of showing me there are gnats in the room. If I owed a man a grudge, I would get him to write against me; but if any one owed me one, he would come and tell me of it."

Here are two opinions worthy of the deepest reflection. "In our days, only men who have some unsoundness of conscience and some latent fear, reason against religion; and those only scoff at it, who are pushed back and hurt by it."—Vol. i. p. 372. "More are made insurgents by firing on them than by feeding them; and men are more dangerous in the field than in the kitchen."—P. 379. Mr. Landor's opinion of gambling, even ordinary, everyday play in private houses for money stakes, is expressed with a virtuous force which proves the depth of the feeling against it. "You played! Do you call it playing, to plunder your guests and overreach your friends? Do you call it playing, to be unhappy if you can not be a robber, happy if you can be one? The fingers of a gamester reach farther than a robber's, or a murderer's, and do more mischief. Against the robber or murderer, the country's up in arms at once; to the gamester every bosom is open, that he may contaminate or stab it."-Vol. ii. p. 76. Stern to faults which are tolerated, nay, are cherished by society, Savage Landor would be lenient where the wide-spreading misery and degradation of women in the present day calls loudly for a change in our social philosophy.

"Marvel.—Men who have been unsparing of their wisdom, like ladies who have been unfrugal of their favors, are abandoned by those who owe most to them, and hated or slighted by the rest. I wish beauty in her lost estate had consolations like genius.

"Parker.—Fie, fie! Mr. Marvel! consolations for frailty!

"Marvel.—What wants them more? The reed is cut down, and seldom does the sickle wound the hand that cuts it. There it lies; trampled on, withered, and soon to be blown away."

Perhaps there is no one conversation in which so many popular fallacies and customs are so ruthlessly dealt with, as in that between the Emperor of China and his servant Tsing-Zi, who has been in England. His description of the Quakers is most characteristic. Tsing-Zi is astonished at the anti-Christian pugnacity of those calling themselves Christians. They make wars to make their children's fortune, and the preachers of the peaceful gospel are ready, if they disagree in a doctrine, to fight like a pair of cockerels across a staff on a market-man's shoulder. One scanty sect is different. "These never work in the fields or manufactories; but buy up corn when it is cheap, sell it again when it is dear, and are more thankful to God for a famine than others are for plenteousness. Painting and sculpture they condemn; they never dance, they never sing; music is as hateful to them as discord. They always look cool in hot weather, and warm in cold. Few of them are ugly, fewer handsome, none graceful. I do not remember to have seen a person of dark complexion, or hair quite black, or very curly, in their confraternity. None of them are singularly pale, none red, none of diminutive stature, none remarkably tall. They have no priests among them, and constantly refuse to make oblations to the priests royal."—Vol. ii. p. 119.

But there is, in fact, scarcely any great question of religion, morals, government, or the social condition, on which in these conversations the boldest opinions are not expressed in the most unshrinking style. Landor strips away all the finery in which follies, vices, and imposture are disguised for selfish ends, with a strong and unceremonious hand. He lifts up the veil of worldly policy, and showing us the hideous objects behind, says, "Behold your gods, O Israel!" His doctrines are such as would, less than ages ago, have consigned him to a pitiless persecution; they are such as, perhaps, in less than half another century, through the means of popular education, will be the common property of the common mind. The works of Savage Landor, both prose and poetry, place him among the very first men of his age. They are masterly, discriminating, and full of a genuine, English robustness. "They are energy and imagination that make the great poet," he has said in conversation. If he does not equal some of our poets in intensity of imagination, there are few of them who can compete with him in energy; and what is peculiarly fortunate, the instinct by which he cleaves to the real, and spurns the meretricious with contempt, makes him eminently safe for a teacher. You can find no glittering, plausible, destructive monstrosity, whether in the shape of man or notion, which Landor, like too many of our writers, has taken the perverse fancy to deify. His opinion of Bonaparte is a striking example of this. Hazlitt, acute and discriminating as he often was, placed this selfish and brutal butcher on a pedestal for adoration. Landor, in his conversation between "Landor, English visitor, and Florentine visitor," has given us an analysis of his character. He commences this with this remark. "Bonaparte seems to me the most extraordinary of mortals, because I am persuaded that so much power never was acquired by another, with so small an exertion of genius, and so little of any thing that captivates the affections; or maintained so long unbroken in a succession of enormous faults, such scandalous disgraces, such disastrous failures and defeats." He shows that he lost seven great armies in succession, which in every case of defeat he abandoned to destruction. If he has not said it in his works he has in conversation, that the true mark of a great man is, that he has accomplished great achievements with small means. Bonaparte never did this. He overwhelmed all obstacles by enormous masses of soldiery. He was as notorious for his recklessness of human life, for no possible end but his own notoriety, for his private cruelties and murders, as for his insolence and undignified anger; scolding those who offended him like a fishwoman, boxing their ears, kicking them, etc. Landor's words have always been my own—"It has always been wonderful to me, what sympathy any well educated Englishman can have with an ungenerous, ungentlemanly, unmanly Corsican."

Such is Walter Savage Landor as a writer, let us now look at him as a man. Landor's physical development is correspondent to that of his mind. He is a tall, large man; broadly and muscularly built, yet with an air of great activity about him. His ample chest, the erect bearing of his head, the fire and quick motion of his eye, all impress you with the feeling of a powerful, ardent, and decided man. The general character of his head is fine; massy, phrenologically amply developed, and set upon the bust with a bearing full of strength and character. His features are well formed and full of the same character. In his youth, Landor must have been pronounced handsome; in his present age, with gray hair and considerable baldness, he presents a fine, manly, and impressive presence. There is instantaneous evidence of the utter absence of disguise about him. You have no occasion to look deep, and ponder cautiously to discover his character. It is there written broadly on his front. All is open, frank, and self-determined. The lower part of his face displays much thought and firmness; there is a quick and hawk-like expression about the upper, which the somewhat retreating yet broad forehead increases. His eyebrows, arched singularly high on his forehead, diminish the apparent height of the head; but on looking at his profile, you soon perceive the great elevation of the skull above the line running from the ear to the eye. The structure, the air of the whole man, his action, voice, and mode of talking, all denote an extraordinary personage. His character is most unequivocally passionate, impulsive, yet intellectual and reflective; capable of excitement and of becoming impetuous, and perhaps headlong, for the fire and strength in him are of no common intensity. One can see that the quick instincts of his nature, that electric principle by which such natures leap to their conclusions, would render him excessively impatient of the slower processes or more sordid biases of more common minds. That he must be liable to great outbursts of indignation, and capable of becoming arbitrary and overbearing; yet you soon find, on conversing with him, that no man is so ready to be convinced of the right, or so free to rectify the errors of a hasty judgment. He has, in short, an essentially fine, high, vigorous nature; one which speaks forth in every page of his writings, and yet is so different to the stereotype of the world as to incur its dictum of eccentric.

Walter Savage Landor was born at Warwick, on the 30th of January, 1775, consequently he is in his seventy-first year. The house in which he was born is near the chapel, and has a fine old spacious garden, well kept up by its present inhabitant, his only surviving sister. It is the best house in the town, and had a beautiful front before the improvement of the street required that four or five feet of the basement should be erased. Savage Landor's mother used to spend nearly half the year there, as his sister does now; for the garden has great charms, swarming with blackbirds, thrushes, and even wood-pigeons, which haunt several lofty elms and horse-chestnuts. His family had considerable estates both in Staffordshire and Warwickshire many centuries ago. His mother was eldest daughter and coheiress of Charles Savage, Esq., of Tachbrook, whose family were lords of that manor and of the neighboring manor of Whitmarsh, in the reign of Henry II. and much earlier. One of this family, according to Rapin, played a conspicuous part in demanding a charter from the weak king, Edward II., and in bringing his minion, Piers Gaveston, to his end. This was Sir Arnold Savage, whom Landor has commemorated by a conversation between him and Henry IV., and by a note at the end of it, viz.—"Sir Arnold Savage, according to Elsyne, was the first Speaker of the House of Commons who appeared upon any record, to have been appointed to the dignity as now constituted. He was elected a second time, four years afterward, a rare honor in earlier days; and during this presidency he headed the Commons, and delivered their resolutions in the plain words recorded by Hakewell." One of these was that the king should receive no subsidy till he had removed every cause of public grievance. Landor has come of good patriot blood. The Savages have also figured in Ireland; and Landor has introduced one of them, Philip Savage, Chancellor of the Irish Exchequer in Swift's time, in his Conversation with Archbishop Boulter, also connected by marriage with the Savage family. "Boulter," says Landor, "Primate of Ireland, and president of the council, saved that kingdom from pestilence and famine in the year 1279, by supplying the poor with bread, medicines, attendance, and every possible comfort and accommodation. Again, in 1740 and 1741, two hundred and fifty thousand were fed twice a-day, principally at his expense, as we find in La Biographie Universelle; an authority the least liable to suspicion. He built hospitals at Drogheda and Armagh, and endowed them richly. No private man, in any age or country, has contributed so largely to relieve the sufferings of his fellow-creatures; to which object he and his wife devoted their ample fortunes, both during their lives and after their decease. Boulter was certainly the most disinterested, the most humane, the most beneficent man that ever guided the councils of Ireland." Philip Savage, the chancellor, was so irreproachable, that even Swift, the reviler of Somers, could find in him no motive for satire and no room for discontent. Such was the ancestry of Walter Savage Landor.

Mr. Landor spent the first days of his youth at Ipsley-court, near Redditch, in Warwickshire, which manor belongs to him. You may trace his life and his residence by glimpses in his works; and of his old family mansion he speaks in his Conversation with the Marchese Pallavicini.

"Pallavicini.—We Genoese are proud of our door-ways.

"Landor.—They are magnificent; so are many in Rome, and some in Milan. We have none in London, and few in the country; where, however, the stair-cases are better. They are usually oak. I inherit an old, ruinous house, containing one, up which the tenant rode his horse to stable him."

In his poems, too, occurs this:—

"Ipsley! when hurried by malignant fate
I passed thy court, and heard thy closing gate,
I sighed, but sighing to myself I said,
Now for the quiet cot and mountain shade.
Oh! what resistless madness made me roam
From cheerful friends and hospitable home!
Whether in Arrow's vale, or Tachbrook's grove,
My lyre resounded liberty and love.
Here never love hath fanned his purple flame,
And fear and anger start at Freedom's name.
Yet high exploits the churlish nation boasts
Against the Norman and the Roman hosts.
'Tis false; where conquest had but reaped disgrace
Contemptuous valor spurned the reptile race.
Let me once more my native land regain,
Bounding with steady pride and high disdain;
Then will I pardon all the faults of fate,
And hang fresh garlands, Ipsley, on thy gate."

Landor laughingly calls this old house a barracks. It is nearly a hundred feet in front, if not quite, but this portion formed only the offices of the old March-house, which the steward of the Savages, the clergyman, pulled down, and built his own with!

He received his education at Rugby, and at Trinity College, Oxford. At Rugby, as we are told by Mr. Horne in his New Spirit of the Age, he was famous for riding out of bounds, boxing, leaping, net-casting, stone-throwing, and making Greek and Latin verses. A droll anecdote is related of his throwing his casting-net suddenly over the head of a farmer who found him fishing in his ponds, and keeping him there till the fellow was tame enough to beg to be allowed to go away, instead of seizing Landor's net, as he had threatened. He was conspicuous there for his resistance to every species of tyranny, either of the masters and their rules, or the boys and their system of making fags, which he violently opposed against all odds; and he was considered arrogant and overbearing in his own conduct. All this, I have no doubt, is quite correct—it is most characteristic of the man and his writings; as well as that he was a leader of the boys in all things, and yet did not associate with them. This trait sticks by him to the present hour. He declares that he never can bear to walk with men; with ladies he can, but not with men, and that to walk in the streets of London drives him mad. To this peculiarity he alludes in the opening of the conversation between Southey and Landor; where also Southey mentions another, which no one can be long in Landor's society without noticing—his hearty peals of laughter at some merry story or other, often of his own.

"Landor.—The last time I ever walked hither in company (which, unless with ladies, I rarely have done anywhere), was with a just, a valiant, and a memorable man, Admiral Nichols.

"Southey.—I never had the same dislike to company in my walks and rambles as you profess to have, but of which I perceived no sign whatever when I visited you, first at Lantony Abbey, and afterward on the Lake Como. Well do I remember four long conversations in the silent and solitary church of Sant' Abondio (surely the coolest spot in Italy), and how often I turned back my head toward the open door, fearing lest some pious passer-by, or some more distant one in the wood above, pursuing the pathway which leads toward the tower of Luitprand, should hear the roof echo with your laughter, at the stories you had collected about the brotherhood and sisterhood of the place."

At Oxford, Mr. Horne informs us, Landor was rusticated for firing off a gun in the quadrangle, and, as he never intended to take a degree, he never returned. On quitting the university, he published, in 1793, a small volume of poems. After spending some time in London studying Italian, he went to reside at Swansea, where he wrote "Gebir."

Having been pressed in vain by his friends to enter the army, or to study the law, he was moved by his old spirit of resistance to oppression, by the French invasion of Spain. He embarked for that country, raised a number of troops at his own expense, and—being the first Englishman who landed in Spain for the purpose of aiding it—marched with his men from Corunna to Aguila, the head-quarters of General Blake. For this, he received the thanks of the supreme junta, in the Madrid Gazette, together with an acknowledgment of the donation of twenty thousand reals from Mr. Landor. On the subversion of the constitution by Ferdinand, he returned the letters and documents, with his commission, to Don Pedro Cevallos, telling Don Pedro that he was willing to aid a people in the assertion of its liberties against the antagonist of Europe, but he could have nothing to do with a perjurer and traitor.

I suppose it was before he left Spain that a circumstance occurred which led to his being robbed by George III., of which he often talks. Expressing to a Spanish nobleman a desire to have a ram and a couple of ewes of his celebrated Merino breed, the nobleman replied, "Oh, I will give you a score." Mr. Landor thanked him, but replied, that he did not wish to tax his generosity to that extent. "Oh," said he, "I kill them for mutton; you shall have a score. The King of England is to have a cargo of them, and I will send yours in the same ship." The ship arrived; a letter from the Spanish nobleman also arrived to say, that, according to promise, there they were, and that on applying to the king's steward, he would have them. Away went Landor to the steward, showed his letter, and demanded his sheep. The steward said he had no commands on the subject. "But his majesty," suggested Landor, "has undoubtedly information of the fact." "That," replied the steward, "is in his own breast." "But on seeing this letter," continued Landor, "his majesty will certainly give commands for the sheep to be delivered to me. Be so good as to see that it is laid before his majesty." The steward declined, declaring that it would be at the risk of his place.

On this, Landor applied to a nobleman in high favor with the king, and who was well known to himself. On announcing that he wanted him to do him a service, the nobleman replied, "With all the pleasure in the world: any thing that is in my power." Landor then explained the case, showed his letter from the Spanish nobleman, and begged that his noble friend would lay the matter before the king. The nobleman seemed struck dumb. After a while, recovering his speech, he exclaimed—"Lay the case before his majesty! Advise his majesty to have a score of Merinos of this quality delivered up to you! Why, Landor, you must be mad. There is not a man in the kingdom who dare do any such thing. It would be his ruin." All similar efforts were in vain, and so the royal farmer kept Landor's sheep. They were at that time worth £1,000. He has the subject in his mind when he makes Sheridan say to Wyndham, "I do believe in my conscience he would rather lose the affection of half his subjects than the carcass of one fat sheep. I am informed that all his possessions in Ireland never yielded him five thousand a-year. Give him ten, and he will chuckle at overreaching you; and not you only, but his own heirs forever, as he chuckled when he cheated his eldest son of what he pocketed in twenty years from Cornwall, Lancashire, and Wales."—Vol. ii. p. 179. Landor never relates one of these facts without the other, adding, "When George was asked to account for the revenues of the duchies of Cornwall and Lancaster, and the Principality, during the prince's minority, he said he had spent the money in the prince's education! What an education George IV., the prince, must have had!"

If the life of Savage Landor was written, it would be one of the most remarkable on record. He has lived much abroad, in the most eventful times in the history of the world. He witnessed the progress of the French Revolution; saw Bonaparte made First Consul; saw him and his armies go out to victory; saw and conversed with the greatest of his generals, and the most remarkable men of those times and scenes. His conversation, therefore, abounds with facts and personages from his own actual knowledge, of which most other men have only read, and many of which no one has read. On the fall of Napoleon, he saw him ride, followed by one servant, into Tours, whose inhabitants hated him, and would have rejoiced to give him up to his enemies. He was disguised, but Landor recognized him in a moment. Hating and despising the man as he did, yet he never for a moment dreamed of betraying him. He, however, went close to the fallen emperor, and touching his arm, said, "You are not safe here. I have penetrated your disguise, and others may." "Sir," replied Bonaparte, "you are, I perceive, an Englishman. My secret is in good keeping." He mounted and rode away, wholly undiscovered by the townsmen.

Before this time, however, he had done what gave him infinite annoyance. I quote the account from Mr. Horne: "In 1806, Mr. Landor sold several estates in Warwickshire, which had been in his family nearly seven hundred years, and purchased Lantony and Comjoy in Monmouthshire, where he laid out nearly £70,000. Here he made extensive improvements, giving employment daily, for many years, to between twenty and thirty laborers in building and planting. He made a road at his own expense, of eight miles long, and planted and fenced half-a-million of trees. The infamous behavior of some tenants caused him to leave the country. At this time he had a million more trees ready to plant, which, as he observed, 'were lost to the country, by driving me from it. I may speak of their utility if I must not of my own.' The two chief offenders were brothers, who rented farms of Mr. Landor to the amount of £1500 per annum, and were to introduce an improved system of Suffolk husbandry. Mr. Landor got no rent from them, but all manner of atrocious annoyances. They even rooted up his trees, and destroyed whole plantations. They paid nobody. When neighbors and work-people applied for money, Mr. Landor says, 'they were referred to the devil, with their wives and families, while these brothers had their two bottles of wine upon the table. As for the Suffolk system of agriculture, wheat was sown upon the last of May, and cabbage, for winter food, was planted in August or September.' Mr. Landor eventually remained master of the field, and drove his tormentors across the seas; but so great was his disgust at these circumstances that he resolved to leave England. Before his departure he caused his house, which had cost him some £8000, to be taken down, that his son might never have the chance of similar vexations in that place."

To this there wants a few additional facts. It was not only the Suffolk farmers, but the general spirit and brutality of the people of the country which wearied and disgusted him beyond endurance. In the verses we have recently quoted he vents unmitigated hatred of the Welsh, as a "churlish nation," and a "reptile race." He seems to have been subjected to a system of universal plunder and imposition. None but they who have lived among such a rude, thievish, and unattractive crew can conceive the astonishment and exasperation of it to an intelligent and generous mind. He used to have twenty watchers on his moorland hills night and day to protect his grouse. He had twelve thousand acres of land, and never used to see a grouse upon his table. He says the protection of game that he never eat or benefited by, cost him more than he now lives at. Disgusted by all these circumstances, he left the place and resolved never to return to it. But it was not yet that he ordered the destruction of his new and splendid house, in which he only resided six months. He ordered his steward to let it. Five years went on, and it still remained unlet. He then chanced to meet with a nobleman in Italy who had once applied to him for its occupation, "How was it," he asked, "that you did not take my house at Lantony?" "How, why it was not to be let." "It has been to let this five years." "You amaze me. I was most anxious to take it, but your steward assured me it was not to be let on any account."

Landor immediately wrote to England to make particular inquiries, and found that the steward was keeping the house to accommodate his own friends, who came down there in parties to shoot his master's grouse. With characteristic indignation, Mr. Landor at once ordered the steward to quit his service and estate, and that the house should be leveled to the ground.

In 1811, Mr. Landor married Julia, the daughter of J. Thuillier de Malaperte, descendant and representative of the Baron de Neuve-ville, first gentleman of the bedchamber to Charles VIII. He went to reside in Italy, and, during several years, occupied the Palazzo Medici, in Florence. The proprietor dying, and the palace being to be sold, he looked out for a fresh residence, and found that the villa Gherardesca, at Fiesole, with its gardens and farms, about three thousand acres, was to be sold; and he purchased it. The villa Gherardesca lies only two miles from Florence, on the banks of the Affrico. It was built by Michael Angelo, and is one of the most delightful residences in the world. Here Landor resided many years, and here his family still resides. In both poetry and prose, he frequently refers to this beloved spot with deep feeling and regret, as in the verses commencing—

"Let me sit here and muse by thee
Awhile, aerial Fiesole!
Thy sheltered walks and cooler grots,
Villas, and vines, and olive plots,
Catch me, entangle me, detain me,
And laugh to hear that aught can pain me."—Vol. ii. p. 625.

And the

"I leave thee, beauteous Italy; no more
From thy high terraces at even-tide
To look supine into thy depths of sky,
Thy golden moon between the cliff and me,
On thy dark spires of fretted cypresses,
Bordering the channel of the milky-way.
Fiesole and Valdarno must be dreams
Hereafter, and my own lost Affrico
Murmur to me but in the poet's song.
I did believe,—what have I not believed?—
Weary with age, but unoppressed by pain,
To close in thy soft clime my quiet day,
And rest my bones in the Mimosa shade.
Hope! hope! few ever cherished thee so little;
Few are the heads thou hast so rarely raised;
But thou didst promise this, and all was well.
For we are fond of thinking where to lie
When every pulse hath ceased, when the lone heart
Can lift no aspiration … reasoning
As if the sight were unimpaired by death,
Were unobstructed by the coffin lid,
And the sun cheered corruption. Over all
The smiles of nature shed a potent charm,
And light us to our chamber at the grave."—Vol. ii. p. 647.

Let us conclude our quotations with one from his Conversations, equally redolent of Italy. It is in his conversation between himself and the Marchese Pallavicini. The scene is on the lake of Como, and a more beautiful tribute was never paid to trees, especially to that soft, graceful, and fragrant tree, the linden.

"Grumello! Let me enjoy the sight while I can. He appears instinct with life, nodding the network of vines upon his head, and beckoning, and inviting us, while the fig-trees, and mulberries, and chestnuts, and walnuts, and these lofty and eternal cypresses, stand motionless around. His joyous mates, all different in form and features, push forward; and, if there is not something in the air, or something in my eyesight, illusory, they are running a race along the borders. Stop a moment; how shall we climb over these two enormous pines? Ah, Don Pepino! old trees in their living state are the only things that money can not command. Rivers leave their beds, run into cities, and traverse mountains for it; obelisks and arches, palaces and temples, amphitheaters and pyramids, rise up like exhalations at its bidding; even the free spirit of man, the only great thing on earth, crouches and cowers in its presence. It passes away and vanishes before venerable trees. What a sweet odor is here! Whence comes it? Sweeter it appears to me, and stronger than the pine itself."

"I imagine," said he, "from the linden; yes, certainly."

"Is that a linden? It is the largest, and, I should imagine, the oldest upon earth, if I could perceive that it had lost any of its branches."

"Pity that it hides half the row of yon houses from the palace! It will be carried off with the two pines in the autumn."

"O, Don Pepino!" cried I, "the French, who abhor whatever is old, and whatever is great, have spared it; the Austrians, who sell their fortresses and their armies, nay, sometimes their daughters, have not sold it; must it fall? Shall the cypress of Soma be without a rival? I hope to have left Lombardy before it happens; for events, which you will tell me ought never to interest me at all, not only do interest me, but make me—I confess it—sorrowful."

"Who in the world could ever cut down a linden, or dare, in his senses, to break a twig off one? To a linden was fastened the son of William Tell, when the apple was cloven on his head. Years afterward, often did the father look higher and lower, and search laboriously, to descry if any mark were remaining of the cord upon its bark! Often must he have inhaled this very odor! What a refreshment was it to a father's heart! The flowers of the linden should be the only incense offered up in the churches of God. Happy the man whose aspirations are pure enough to mingle with it!

"How many fond, and how many lively thoughts have been nurtured under this very tree! How many kind hearts have beaten here! Its branches are not so numerous as the couples they have invited to sit beside it, nor its blossoms and leaves as the expressions of tenderness it has witnessed! What appeals to the pure all-seeing heavens! What similitudes to the everlasting mountains! What protestations of eternal truth and constancy! from those who are now earth, they, and their shrouds, and their coffins! The caper and fig-tree have split the monument. Emblems of past loves and future hopes, severed names which the holiest rites united, broken letters of brief happiness, bestrew the road, and speak to the passers by in vain. To see this linden was worth a journey of five hundred miles!"

Walter Savage Landor now resides at Bath. In his modest house in St. James's-square, he has surrounded himself with one of the most exquisite miniature collection of paintings in the world. Every thing is select, from the highest masters, Raphael, Titian, Corregio, and older and more quaint hands, and every thing perfect of its kind. These, including some by our own Wilson, he collected in Italy. His larger collection of larger pictures he gave to his son, on leaving Italy, and brought these only as more adapted to the house he proposed to inhabit. Peace, meditation, and the gradual resumption of simple tasks and habits, seem the leading objects of his present hale old age. "I have a pleasure," said he, "in renouncing one indulgence after another; in learning to live without so many wants. Why should I require so many more comforts than the bulk of my fellow-creatures can get? We should set an example against the selfish self-indulgence of the age. We should discountenance its extravagant follies. The pride and pomp of funerals is monstrous. When I die, I will spend but six pounds on mine. I have left orders for the very commonest coffin that is made for the commonest man; and six of the stoutest and very poorest men to carry me to the grave, for which each shall receive one sovereign."

"But don't you pine for your beautiful Fiesole and its beautiful climate; don't you want your children; especially that daughter whose bust there opposite reminds one so of Queen Victoria?"

"I could wish it, but it is better as it is. I can not live there. They can, and are happy. I have their society in their letters; they are well off, and therefore—I am contented."

With this he diverted the conversation to the decease of a mutual friend. "Ah! what a good, warm-hearted creature that was! There never was a woman so self-forgetting and full of affection. She lies in the church-yard just by here. We used to joke merrily on what is now half-fulfilled. 'I shall be buried in —— church-yard,' she once said. 'Why, I mean to be buried there myself. My dear Mrs. Price, we'll visit! Being such near neighbors, we'll have a chair, and make calls on one another!'" And at this idea he burst forth into one of those hearty, resounding laughs, that show in Landor how strangely fun and feeling can live side by side in the human mind.

Walter Savage Landor is one of those men who are sent into the world strong to teach. Strong in mind and body, strong in the clear sense of the right and the true, they walk unencumbered by prejudices, unshackled by force. They tread over the trim borders of artificial life, often oversetting its training glasses, and kicking over its tenderest nurslings. They break down the hedge of selfish monopoly, and carry along with them a stake from the gap, to have a blow at the first bull or bully they meet in the field. They stop to gaze at the idol of the day when they reach the city, and pronounce it but the scarecrow of last summer new dressed. They enter churches, and are oftener disgusted with the dreadful religion made for God, than delighted with the preaching of that divine benevolence sent down by God for man. They weep at some recollected sorrow, but remembering that this is but a contagious weakness, they laugh, to make their neighbors awake from sad thoughts, and are pronounced unfeeling. They attack old and bloody prejudices, and are asked if they are wiser than any one else? They know it: the divine instinct, the teaching faculty within them, replies—"Yes." They go on strong and unmoved, though fewer perceive their great mission than feel them poking them in the delicate sides of their interests; fewer sympathize with their tenderest and purest feelings than are shocked by their ridicule of old and profitable humbugs. Misunderstood, misrepresented, and calumniated, they go on—nothing can alter them—for their burden and command are from above; yet every day the world is selecting some truth from the truths they have collected, admiring some flower in the bouquet of beauties they have gathered as they have gone through the wilderness, picking up some gem that they have let fall for the first comer after them, till eventually comparing, and placing all side by side, the world, with a sudden flash of recognition, perceives that all these truths, beauties, and precious things, belonged to the strange, rude man, who was actually wiser than any body else. Long may Savage Landor live to see the fruit of his undaunted mind gradually absorbed into the substance of society!

Birthplace at Southgate

Birthplace at Southgate


Some thirty years ago, three youths went forth, one fine summer's day, from the quiet town of Mansfield, to enjoy a long, luxurious ramble in Sherwood forest. Their limbs were full of youth—their hearts of the ardor of life—their heads of dreams of beauty. The future lay before them, full of brilliant, but undefined achievements in the land of poetry and romance. The world lay around them, fair and musical as a new paradise. They traversed long dales, dark with heather—gazed from hill-tops over still and immense landscapes—tracked the margins of the shining waters that hurry over the clear gravel of that ancient ground, and drank in the freshness of the air, the odors of the forest, the distant cry of the curlew, and the music of a whole choir of larks high above their heads. Beneath the hanging boughs of a wood-side they threw themselves down to lunch, and from their pockets came forth, with other good things, a book. It was a new book. A hasty peep into it had led them to believe that it would blend well in the perusal with the spirit of the region of Robin Hood and Maid Marian, and with the more tragical tale of that Scottish queen, the gray and distant towers of one whose prison-houses could be descried from their resting-place, clad as with the solemn spirit of a sad antiquity. The book was The Story of Rimini. The author's name was to them little known; but they were not of a temperament that needed names—their souls were athirst for poetry, and there they found it. The reading of that day was an epoch in their lives. There was a life, a freshness, a buoyant charm of subject and of style, that carried them away from the somber heaths and wastes around them to the sunshine of Italy—to gay cavalcades and sad palaces. Hours went on, the sun declined, the book and the story closed, and up rose the three friends drunk with beauty, and with the sentiment of a great sorrow, and strode homeward with the proud and happy feeling that England was enriched with a new poet. Two of these three friends have for more than five-and-twenty years been in their graves; the third survives to write this article.

For thirty years and more from that time the author of Rimini has gone on adding to the wealth of English literature, and to the claims on his countrymen to gratitude and affection. The bold politician, when it required moral bravery to be honest; the charming essayist; the poet, seeming to grow with every new effort only more young in fancy and vigorous in style—he has enriched his country's fame, but his country has not enriched him. It is still time to think of it, and it might save many future regrets, if a government becoming daily more liberal, were to show that it knows the wishes of the public, and is glad to fulfill them.

We have the authority of Mr. Leigh Hunt himself, in a memoir written six-and-thirty years ago, for the fact that he was born in 1784, at Southgate. His parents were the Rev. J. Hunt, at that time tutor in the family of the Duke of Chandos, and Mary, daughter of Stephen Shewell, merchant of Philadelphia, whose sister was the lady of Mr. President West. Thus the poet was by his mother's marriage nearly related to the great American painter; and here, he says, he could enlarge seriously and proudly; but this boasting, it turns out very characteristically, is not of any adventitious alliance with celebrated names, but of a truer and more happy cause of gratulation:—"If any one circumstance of my life could give me cause for boasting, it would be that of having had such a mother. She was, indeed, a mother in every exalted sense of the word—in piety, in sound teaching, in patient care, in spotless example. Married at an early age, and commencing from that time a life of sorrow, the world afflicted, but it could not change her: no rigid economy could hide the native generosity of her heart, no sophistical skulking injure her fine sense, or her contempt of worldly-mindedness, no unmerited sorrow convert her resignation into bitterness. But let me not hurt the noble simplicity of her character by a declamation, however involuntary. At the time when she died, the recollection of her sufferings and virtues tended to imbitter her loss; but knowing what she was, and believing where she is, I now feel her memory as a serene and inspiring influence, that comes over my social moments only to temper cheerfulness, and over my reflecting ones to animate me in the love of truth."

That is a fine filial eulogy; but still finer and more eloquent has been the practical one of the life and writings of the son. Whoever knows any thing of these, perceives how the qualities of the mother have lived on, not only in the grateful admiration of the poet, but in his character and works. This is another proud testimony added to the numerous ones revealed in the biographies of illustrious men, of the vital and all-prevailing influence of mothers. What does not the world owe to noble-minded women in this respect? and what do not women owe to the world and themselves in the consciousness of the possession of this authority? To stamp, to mold, to animate to good the generation that succeeds them, is their delegated office. They are admitted to the co-workmanship with God; his actors in the after-age are placed in their hands at the outset of their career, when they are plastic as wax, and pliant as the green withe. It is they who can shape and bend as they please. It is they—as the young beings advance into the world of life, as passions kindle, as eager desires seize them one after another, as they are alive with ardor, and a thirst for knowledge and experience of the great scene of existence into which they are thrown—it is they who can guide, warn, inspire with the upward or the downward tendency, and cast through them on the future ages the blessings or the curses of good or evil. They are the gods and prophets of childhood. It is in them that confiding children hear the Divinity speak; it is on them that they depend in fullest faith; and the maternal nature, ingrafted on the original, grows in them stronger than all other powers of life. The mother in the child lives and acts anew; and numberless generations feel unconsciously the pressure of her hand. Happy are they who make that enduring pressure a beneficent one; and, though themselves unknown to the world, send forth from the heaven of their hearts poets and benefactors to all future time.

It is what we could hardly have expected, that Leigh Hunt is descended of a high Church and Tory stock. On his father's side his ancestors were Tories and Cavaliers who fled from the tyranny of Cromwell and settled in Barbadoes. For several generations they were clergymen. His grandfather was rector of St. Michael's, in Bridgetown, Barbadoes. His father was intended for the same profession, but, being sent to college at Philadelphia, he there commenced, on the completion of his studies, as a lawyer, and married. It was, again, curious that, the Revolution breaking out, the conservative propensities of the family broke out so strong in him as to cause him to flee for safety to England, as his ancestors had formerly fled from it. He had been carted through Philadelphia by the infuriated mob, only escaped tarring and feathering by a friend taking the opportunity of overturning the tar-barrel set ready in the street, and, being consigned to the prison, he escaped in the night by a bribe to the keeper. On the arrival of his wife in England, some time afterward, she found him who had left America a lawyer, now a clergyman, preaching from the pulpit, tranquillity. Mr. Hunt seems to have been one of those who are not made to succeed in the world. He did not obtain preferment, and fell into much distress. At one time he was a very popular preacher, and was invited by the Duke of Chandos, who had a seat near Southgate, to become tutor to his nephew, Mr. Leigh. Here he occupied a house at Southgate, called Eagle-hall; and here his son, the poet, was born, and was named after Mr. Leigh, his father's pupil.

Mr. Hunt, in his autobiography, describes his mother as feeling the distresses into which they afterward fell very keenly, yet bearing them patiently. She is represented as a tall, lady-like person, a brunette, with fine eyes, and hair blacker than is seen of English growth. Her sons much resembled her.

At seven, Leigh Hunt was admitted into the grammar-school of Christ's hospital, where he remained till he was fifteen, and received a good foundation in the Greek and Latin languages. Mr. Hunt describes very charmingly the two houses where, as a boy, he used to visit with his mother; one of these being that of West, the painter, who had married his mother's aunt; the aunt, however, being much of the same age as herself: the other was that of Mr. Godfrey Thornton, of the great mercantile house of that name. "How I loved," says Leigh Hunt, "the graces in the one, and every thing in the other! Mr. West had bought his house not long, I believe, after he came to England; and he had added a gallery at the back of it, terminating in a couple of lofty rooms. The gallery was a continuation of the hall passage, and, together with the rooms, formed three sides of a garden, very small, but elegant, with a grass-plot in the middle, and busts upon stands under an arcade. In the interior, the gallery made an angle at a little distance as you went up it; then a shorter one, and then took a longer stretch into the two rooms; and it was hung with his sketches and pictures all the way. In a corner between the two angles, and looking down the lower part of the gallery, was a study, with casts of Venus and Apollo on each side of the door. The two rooms contained the largest of the pictures; and in the farther one, after stepping softly down the gallery, as if respecting the dumb life on the walls, you generally found the mild and quiet artist at his work; happy, for he thought himself immortal." West, it is well known, was brought up a Quaker, and had been so poorly educated that he could hardly read. Leigh Hunt states his belief that West did a great deal of work for George III. for very little profit; then, as since, the honor was thought of itself nearly enough.

"As Mr. West," continues Leigh Hunt, "was almost sure to be found at work in the farthest room, habited in his white woolen gown, so you might have predicated, with equal certainty, that Mrs. West was sitting in the parlor reading. I used to think that if I had such a parlor to sit in, I should do just as she did. It was a good-sized room, with two windows looking out on the little garden I spoke of, and opening into it from one of them by a flight of steps. The garden, with its busts in it, and the pictures which you knew were on the other side of its wall, had an Italian look. The room was hung with engravings and colored prints. Among them was the Lion's Hunt, by Rubens; the Hierarchy, with the Godhead, by Raphael, which I hardly thought it right to look at; and two screens by the fireside, containing prints from Angelica Kauffman, of the Loves of Angelica and Medoro, which I could have looked at from morning till night."

Here Mrs. West and Mrs. Hunt used to sit talking of old times and Philadelphia. West never made his appearance, except at dinner and tea-time, retiring again to his painting-room directly afterward; but used to contrive to mystify the embryo poet with some such question as, "Who was the father of Zebedee's children?" "The talk," he says, "was quiet; the neighborhood quiet; the servants quiet; I thought the very squirrel in the cage would have made a greater noise anywhere else. James the porter, a fine athletic fellow, who figured in his master's pictures as an apostle, was as quiet as he was strong. Even the butler, with his little twinkling eyes, full of pleasant conceit, vented his notions of himself in half-tones and whispers."

The house of the Thorntons was a different one, and a more socially attractive place. "There was quiet in the one; there were beautiful statues and pictures; and there was my Angelica for me, with her intent eyes at the fireside. But, beside quiet in the other, there was cordiality, and there was music, and a family brimful of hospitality and good-nature; and dear Almeria T., now Mrs. P——e, who in vain pretends that she is growing old. These were indeed holydays on which I used to go to Austin Friars. The house, according to my boyish recollections, was of the description I have been ever fondest of; large, rambling, old-fashioned, solidly built; resembling the mansions about Highgate and other old villages. It was furnished as became the house of a rich merchant and a sensible man, the comfort predominating over the costliness. At the back was a garden with a lawn; and a private door opened into another garden, belonging to the Company of Drapers; so that, what with the secluded nature of the street itself, and these verdant places behind it, it was truly rus in urbe, and a retreat. When I turned down the archway, I held my mother's hand tighter with pleasure, and was full of expectation, and joy, and respect. My first delight was in mounting the stair-case to the rooms of the young ladies, setting my eyes on the comely and sparkling face of my fair friend, with her romantic name, and turning over, for the hundredth time, the books in her library."

The whole description of this charming and cordial family, is one of those beautiful and sunny scenes in human life, to which the heart never wearies of turning. It makes the rememberer exclaim:—"Blessed house! May a blessing be upon your rooms, and your lawn, and your neighboring garden, and the quiet, old monastic name of your street; and may it never be a thoroughfare; and may all your inmates be happy! Would to God one could renew, at a moment's notice, the happy hours we have enjoyed in past times, with the same circles, in the same houses!"

But a wealthy aunt, with handsome daughters, came from the West Indies, and Great Ormond-street, and afterward Merton, in Surrey, where this aunt went to live, became a new and happy resort for him.

After Leigh Hunt quitted Christchurch, of which, and of the life there, he gives a very interesting description, at the age of sixteen was published a volume of his school-boy verses. He then spent some time in what he calls "that gloomiest of all 'darkness palpable'"—a lawyer's office; he became theatrical critic in a newly established paper, the News; and his zeal, integrity, and talent formed a striking contrast to the dishonest criticism and insufferable dramatic nonsense then in public favor. In 1805, an amiable nobleman, high in office, procured him a humble post under government; but this was as little calculated for the public spirit of honest advocacy which lived in him as the lawyer's office. He soon threw it up, having engaged with his brother in the establishment of the well known newspaper, the Examiner. The integrity of principle which distinguished this paper, was as ill suited to the views of government at that dark and despotic period, as such integrity and boldness for constitutional reform were eminently needed by the public interests. He was soon visited with the attentions of the attorney-general; who, twice prosecuting him for libel, branded him "a malicious and ill disposed person." It is now matter of astonishment for what causes such epithets and prosecutions were bestowed by government at that day. On one occasion, in quoting an account of some birthday or levee, to the fulsome statement of the hireling court scribe, that the prince regent "looked like an Adonis," he added the words "of fifty"—making it stand "the prince looked like an Adonis of fifty!" This was cause enough for prosecution, and an imprisonment of two years in Horsemonger-lane jail. It was here, in 1813, that Lord Byron and Moore dined with him. They found him just as gay, happy, and poetical, as if his prison was a shepherd's cot in Arcadia, and there was no such thing as "an Adonis of fifty" in the world. The "wit in the dungeon," as Lord Byron styled him in some verses of the moment, had his trellised flower-garden without, and his books, busts, pictures, and piano-forte within. Byron has recorded his opinion at that time of Mr. Hunt, in his journal, thus:—"Hunt is an extraordinary character, and not exactly of the present age. He reminds me more of the Pym and Hampden times: much talent, great independence of spirit, and an austere, yet not repulsive aspect. If he goes on qualis ab incepto, I know few men who will deserve more praise, or obtain it. He has been unshaken, and will continue so. I don't think him deeply versed in life: he is the bigot of virtue (not religion), and enamored of the beauty of that 'empty name,' as the last breath of Brutus pronounced, and every day proves it."

What a different portrait is this to that of the affected, finicking, artificial cockney, which the critics of that day would fain have made the world accept for Leigh Hunt. Lord Byron was a man of the world as well as a poet; he could see into character as well as any body when there were no good-natured souls at his elbow to alarm his aristocratic pride. He was right. Mr. Hunt has gone on qualis ab incepto; and deserved and done great things. The critic-wolves have long ceased to howl; the world knows and loves the man.

In process of time the Examiner was made over to other parties, and Mr. Hunt devoted his pen more exclusively to literary subjects. His connection with Byron and Shelley led him to Italy, where the Liberal, a journal, the joint product of the pens of those three celebrated writers, was started, but soon discontinued; and Leigh Hunt, before his return, saw the cordiality of Lord Byron toward him shaken, and witnessed one of the most singular and solemn spectacles of modern times—the burning of the body of his friend Shelley on the sea-shore, where he had been thrown up by the waves.

The occasion of Leigh Hunt's visit to Italy, and its results, have been placed before the public, in consequence of their singular nature, and of the high standing of the parties concerned, in a more prominent position than any other portion of his life. There has been much blame and recrimination thrown about on all sides. Mr. Hunt has stated his own case, in his work on Lord Byron and his Cotemporaries. The case of Lord Byron has been elaborately stated by Mr. Moore, in his Life and Letters of the noble poet. It is not the place here to discuss the question; but posterity will very easily settle it. My simple opinion is, that Mr. Hunt had much seriously to complain of, and, under the circumstances, has made his statement with great candor. The great misfortune for him, as for the world, was, that almost immediately on his arrival in Italy with his family, his true and zealous friend, Mr. Shelley, perished. From that moment, any indifferent spectator might have foreseen the end of the connection with Lord Byron. He had numerous aristocratic friends, who would, and who did spare no pains to alarm his pride at the union with men of the determined character of Hunt and Hazlitt for progress and free opinion. None worked more earnestly for this purpose, by his own confession, than Moore. From that hour there could be nothing for Mr. Hunt but disappointment and mortification. They came fast and fully. With all the splendid qualities of Lord Byron, whether of disposition or intellect, no man of sensibility would willingly have been placed in any degree of dependence upon him; no man of genius could be so without undergoing the deepest possible baptism of suffering. Through that Leigh Hunt went, and every generous mind must sympathize with him. Had Shelley lived, how different would have been the whole of that affair, and the whole of his future life. He died—and all we have to do is now simply to notice the residences of Leigh Hunt in Italy, without further reference to these matters.

The chief places of Mr. Hunt's Italian sojourn were Pisa, Genoa, and Florence. At Leghorn he and his family landed, and almost immediately went on with Shelley to Pisa, where Byron joined them; but at Monte Nero, near Leghorn, was at once introduced to a curious scene of mixed English and Italian life. "In a day or two, I went to see Lord Byron, who was in what the Italians call villeggiatura, at Monte Nero; that is to say, enjoying a country house for the season. I there met with a singular adventure, which seemed to make me free of Italy and stilettos, before I had well set foot in the country. The day was very hot; the road to Monte Nero was very hot, through dusty suburbs; and when I got there, I found the hottest-looking house I ever saw. Not content with having a red wash over it, the red was the most unseasonable of all reds, a salmon color. Think of this flaming over the country in a hot Italian sun.

"But the greatest of all the heats was within. Upon seeing Lord Byron, I hardly knew him, he was grown so fat; and he was longer in recognizing me, I was grown so thin. He was dressed in a loose nankeen jacket and white trowsers, his neckcloth open, and his hair in thin ringlets about his throat; altogether presenting a very different aspect from the compact, energetic, and curly-headed person whom I had known in England.

"He took me into an inner room, and introduced me to a young lady in a state of great agitation. Her face was flushed, her eyes lit up, and her hair, which she wore in that fashion, looked as if it streamed in disorder. This was the Countess Guiccioli. The Conte Pietro, her brother, came in presently, also in a state of agitation, and having his arm in a sling. I then learned, that a quarrel having taken place among the servants, the young count had interfered, and been stabbed. He was very angry; Madame Guiccioli was more so, and would not hear of the charitable comments of Lord Byron, who was for making light of the matter. Indeed, there was a look in the business a little formidable; for though the stab was not much, the inflictor of it threatened more, and was at that minute keeping watch under the portico, with the avowed intention of assaulting the first person that issued forth. I looked out of the window, and met his eye glaring upward like a tiger. The fellow had a red cap on like a sans culotte, and a most sinister aspect, dreary and meager, a proper caitiff. Thus, it appeared, the house was in a state of blockade; the nobility and gentry of the interior all kept in a state of impassibility by a rascally footman.

"How long things had continued in this state I can not say: but the hour was come when Lord Byron and his friends took their evening ride, and the thing was to be put an end to somehow. Fletcher, the valet, had been dispatched for the police, and was not returned…. At length we set out, Madame Guiccioli earnestly entreating 'Bairon' to keep back, and all of us uniting to keep in advance of Conte Pietro, who was exasperated. It was a curious moment for a stranger from England. I fancied myself pitched into one of the scenes in the Mysteries of Udolpho, with Montoni and his tumultuous companions. Every thing was new, foreign, and violent. There was the lady, flushed and disheveled, exclaiming against the 'scelerato;' the young count, wounded and threatening; the assassin waiting for us with his knife; and last, not least in the novelty, my English friend metamorphosed, round-looking, and jacketed, trying to damp all this fire with his cool tones, and an air of voluptuous indolence. He had now, however, put on his loose riding-coat of mazarine blue, and his velvet cap, looking more lordly then, but hardly less foreign. It was an awkward moment for him, not knowing what might happen; but he put a good face on the matter; and as to myself, I was so occupied with the novelty of the scene, that I had not time to be frightened. Forth we issued at the door, all squeezing to have the honor of being the boldest, when a termination is put to the tragedy by the vagabond throwing himself on a bench, extending his arms, and bursting into tears. His cap was half over his eyes; his face gaunt, ugly, and unshaven; his appearance altogether more squalid and miserable than an Englishman could conceive it possible to find in such an establishment. This blessed figure reclined weeping and wailing, and asking pardon for his offense, and to crown all, he requested Lord Byron to kiss him."

This was a curious introduction to Italian life. Leghorn, Mr. Hunt says, is a polite Wapping, with a square and a theater. The country around, though delightful to a first view, from its vines hanging from the trees, and the sight of the Apennines, is uninteresting when you become acquainted with it. They left here and proceeded to Pisa. There they occupied the ground-floor of the Casa Lanfranchi, on the Lung' Arno. The house is said to have been built by Michael Angelo, and is worthy of him. It is, says Mr. Hunt, in a bold and broad style throughout, with those harmonious graces of proportion which are sure to be found in an Italian mansion. The outside is of rough marble.

Here poor Shelley saw his friends settled in their apartments, and took his leave forever! Here they spent their time in the manner which has been made so well known by the Life and Letters of Lord Byron,—talking or reading till afternoon in the house; then riding out to a wood or a vineyard, and firing pistols, after which they would occasionally alight at a peasant's cottage, and eat figs in the shade—returning to dinner. "In the evening," observes Mr. Hunt, "I seldom saw Byron. He recreated himself in the balcony, or with a book; and at night when I went to bed, he was just thinking of setting to work with Don Juan."

In the autumn, they left Pisa for Genoa; and in their way visited the deserted house of Shelley. Wild as the place is, it now seemed additionally so. It was melancholy, its rooms empty, and its garden neglected. "The sea fawned upon the shore, as though it could do no harm."

Genoa now became, as it would appear, the residence of Leigh Hunt for the greater part of the time that he continued in Italy, for he describes himself as quitting it for Florence, three years afterward. Mrs. Shelley had preceded them thither, and had furnished houses both for herself and Lord Byron, in the village of Albaro. With her they took up their residence in the Casa Negroto. There were forty rooms in it, some of them such as would be considered splendid in England, and all neat and new, with borders and arabesques. The balcony and stair-case were of marble; and there was a little flower-garden. The rent was twenty pounds a-year. Byron paid for his twenty-four pounds. It was called the Casa Saluzzi, was older and more imposing, with rooms in still greater plenty, and a good piece of ground. Mr. Hunt describes himself as passing a melancholy time at Albaro, walking about the stony alleys, and thinking of Shelley. Here the first number of that unfortunate publication, The Liberal, reached them; here they prepared the few numbers which succeeded it, and here the coldness between Byron and Hunt grew to its height, and they parted.

We next, and lastly, find Mr. Hunt at Florence. "I hailed it," he says, "as a good omen in Florence, that the two first words that caught my ears were flowers and woman—fiori and donne. The night of our arrival, we put up at an hotel in a very public street, and were kept awake by songs and guitars. It was one of the pleasantest pieces of the south we had experienced; and for the moment, we lived in the Italy of books. One performer to a jovial accompaniment, sung a song about somebody's fair wife—bianca moglie—which set the street in roars of laughter. From the hotel, we went into a lodging in the street of beautiful women—Via delle Belle Donne—a name which is a sort of tune to pronounce. We there heard one night a concert in the street, and looking out, saw music-stands, books, etc., in regular order, and amateurs performing as in a room. Opposite our lodging was an inscription on a house, purporting that it was the Hospital of the Monks of Vallombrosa. Wherever you turned was music or a graceful memory. From the Via delle Belle Donne, we went to live in the Piazza Santa Croce, next to the church of that name, containing the ashes of Michael Angelo. On the other side of it was the monastery in which Pope Sixtus V. went stooping as if in decrepitude; 'looking,' as he said afterward, 'for the keys of St. Peter.' We lodged in the house of a Greek, who came from the island of Andros, and was called Dionysius; a name which has existed there, perhaps, ever since the god who bore it."

"The church of Santa Croce," says Mr. Hunt, "would disappoint you as much inside as out, if the presence of great men did not always cast a mingled shadow of the awful and beautiful over our thoughts." He then adds, "Agreeably to our old rustic propensities, we did not stop long in the city. We left Santa Croce to live at Maiano, a village on the slope of one of the Fiesolan hills, about two miles off. I passed there a very disconsolate time; yet the greatest comfort I experienced in Italy was from being in that neighborhood, and thinking, as I went about, of Boccaccio. Boccaccio's father had a house at Maiano, supposed to have been situate at the Fiesolan extremity of the hamlet. That divine writer, whose sensibility outweighed his levity a hundredfold—as a divine face is oftener serious than it is merry—was so fond of the place, that he not only laid the two scenes of the Decamerone on each side of it, with the valley his company resorted to in the middle, but has made the two little streams that embrace Maiano, the Affrico and the Mensola, the hero and heroine of his Nimphale Fiesolano. A lover and his vestal mistress are changed into them, after the fashion of Ovid. The scene of another of his works is on the banks of the Mugnone, a river a little distant; and the Decamerone is full of the neighboring villages. Out of the windows of one side of our house, we saw the turret of the Villa Gherardi, to which his 'joyous company' resorted in the first instance; a house belonging to the Machiavelli was nearer, a little on the left; and farther to the left, among the blue hills, was the white village of Settignano, where Michael Angelo was born. The house is still remaining in the possession of the family. From our windows on the other side, we saw, close to us, the Fiesole of antiquity and of Milton, the site of the Boccaccio house before mentioned still closer, the valley of Ladies at our feet; and we looked toward the quarter of the Mugnone, and of a house of Dante, and in the distance beheld the mountains of Pistoia. Lastly, from the terrace in front, Florence lay clear and cathedraled before us, with the scene of Redi's Bacchus rising on the other side of it, and the villa of Arcetri, illustrious for Galileo.

"But I stuck to my Boccaccio haunts, as to an old home. I lived with the divine human being, with his friends of the Falcon and the Basil, and my own not unworthy melancholy; and went about the flowery hills and lanes, solitary, indeed, and sick to the heart, but not unsustained. * * * My almost daily walk was to Fiesole, through a path skirted with wild myrtle and cyclamen; and I stopped at the cloister of the Doccia, and sat on the pretty melancholy platform behind it, reading, or looking through the pines down to Florence. In the valley of Ladies, I found some English trees,—trees not vine and olive,—and even a bit of meadow; and these, while I made them furnish me with a bit of my old home in the north, did no injury to the memory of Boccaccio, who is of all countries, and finds his home wherever we do ourselves, in love, in the grave, in a desert island."

In the twenty-third article of the Wishing Cap, Mr. Hunt gives us this further description of Fiesole and the valley of Ladies:—

"Milton and Galileo give a glory to Fiesole beyond even its starry antiquity; nor perhaps is there a name eminent in the best annals of Florence, to which some connections can not be traced with this favored spot. When it was full of wood, it must have been eminently beautiful. It is at present, indeed, full of vines and olives, but this is not wood woody: not arboraceous, and properly sylvan. A few poplars and forest trees mark out the course of the Affrico; and the convent ground contrived to retain a good slice of evergreens, which make a handsome contrast on the hillside with its white cloister. But agriculture, quarries, and wood-fires have destroyed the rest. Nevertheless, I now found the whole valley beautiful. It is sprinkled with white cottages; the cornfields presented agreeable paths, leading among vines and fig-trees; and I discovered even a meadow; a positive English meadow, with the hay cut, and adorned with English trees. In a grassy lane, betwixt the corn, sat a fair rustic, receiving the homage of three young fellows of her acquaintance. In the time of Boccaccio, the Affrico formed a little crystal lake, in which (the said lake behaving itself, and being properly sequestered) the ladies of his company, one day, bathe themselves. The gentlemen, being informed of it, follow their example in the afternoon; and the next day the whole party dine, take their siesta under the trees, and recount their novels. This lake has now disappeared before the husbandman, as if it were a fairy thing, of which a money-getting age was unworthy. Part of the Affrico is also closed up from the passenger by private grounds; but the rest of it runs as clearly as it did; and under the convent, a remnant of the woodier part of the valley, a delicious remnant, is still existing. The stream jumps into it, as if with delight, and goes slipping down little banks. It is embowered with olives and young chestnut-trees, and looks up to the long, white cloister, which is a conspicuous object over the country.

"A white convent, a woody valley, chestnut-trees intensely green, a sky intensely blue, a stream at which it is a pleasure to stop and drink,—behold a subject fit for a day in August.

"This then is the 'Valle delle Donne.' If Boccaccio's spirit ever visits his native country, here must it repose. It is a place for a knight in romance to take his rest in, his head on his elbow, and the sound of the water in his ear.

"I whisk to England in my Wishing Cap, and fetch the reader to enjoy the place with me.

"How do you like it? Is it not a glen most glen-icular? a confronting of two leafy banks, with a rivulet between? Shouldn't you like to live in the house over the way, where the doves are? If you walk a little way to the left, through the chestnut-trees, you see Florence. The convent up above us on the right is the one I spoke of. There is nobody in it now, but a peasant for housekeeper. Look at this lad coming down the path with his olive complexion and black eyes. He is bringing goats. I see them emerging from the trees; huge creatures, that when they rise on their hind legs to nibble the boughs, almost look formidable. There is Theocritus for you. And here is Theocritus or Longus, which you will; for a peasant-girl is with him, one of the pleasantest countenances in the world, with a forehead and eyes fit for a poetess; as they all have. I wish the fellow were as neat as his companion, but somehow these goatherds look of a piece with their goats. They love a ragged picturesque."

From this charming and celebrated spot of earth, Leigh Hunt turned northward and homeward through Switzerland and France. Every lover of true poetry and of an excellent and high-hearted man, must regret that his visit to Italy was dashed by such melancholy circumstances, for no man was ever made more thoroughly to enjoy that fine climate and classical land. Yet as the friend of Shelley, Keats, Charles Lamb, and others of the first spirits of the age, Mr. Hunt must be allowed, in this respect, to have been one of the happiest of men. It were no mean boon of providence to have been permitted to live in the intimacy of men like these; but, beside this, he had the honor to suffer, with those beautiful and immortal spirits, calumny and persecution. They have achieved justice through death—he has lived injustice down. As a politician, there is a great debt of gratitude due to him from the people, for he was their firm champion when reformers certainly did not walk about in silken slippers. He fell on evil days, and he was one of the first and foremost to mend them. In literature he has distinguished himself in various walks; and in all he has manifested the same genial, buoyant, hopeful, and happy spirit. His Sir Ralph Esher, a novel of Charles II.'s time, is a work which is full of thought and fine painting of men and nature. His Indicator and his London Journal abound with papers which make us in love at once with the writer and ourselves. There is a charm cast over everyday life, that makes us congratulate ourselves that we live. All that is beautiful and graceful in nature, and love-inspiring in our fellow-men, is brought out and made part of our daily walk and pleasure. His Months, a calendar of nature, bears testimony to his intense love of nature, which breathes equally in every page of his poetry. In these prose works, however, as well as in some of his earlier poetry, we find certain artificialities of phrase, fanciful expressions, and what are often termed conceits, which the critics treated as cockneyisms, and led them to style him the head of the Cockney school. There are certainly many indications, particularly in The Months, of his regarding the country rather as a visitor than an inhabitant. His Standpunct, as the Germans call it, his point of standing, or in our phraseology, his point of view from which he contemplates nature, is the town. He thus produces to a countryman a curious inversion of illustration. For instance, he compares April to a lady watering her flowers at a balcony; and we almost expect him, in praising real flowers, to say that they are nearly equal to artificial ones. But these are but the specks on a sun-disk, all glowing with the most genuine love of nature. In no writer does the love of the beautiful and the good more abound. And, after all, the fanciful epithets in which he endeavors to clothe as fanciful notions, are, as he himself has explained, nothing whatever belonging to London, or the land of Cockayne, but to his having imbued his mind long and deeply with the poetry, and, as a matter of course, with the poetic language of our older writers. In a wider acquaintance with nature, the world, and literature, these have vanished from his style; and I know of no more manly, English, and chastely vigorous style than that of his poems in general. In conformity with the strictures of various critics, he has, moreover, rewritten his fine poem Rimini. It was objected that the story was not very moral, and he has now, in the smaller edition published by Moxon, altered the story so as to palliate this objection as much as possible, and, as he says, to bring it, in fact, nearer to the truth of the case. For my part, I know not what moral the critics would have, if wretchedness and death, as the consequences of sin, be not a solemn moral. If the selfish old father, who deceives his daughter into a marriage by presenting to her the proxy as the proposed spouse, is punished by finding his daughter and this proxy prince, who went out from him with pomp and joy, soon come back to him in a herse, and with all his ambitious projects thus dashed to the ground, is not held as a solemn warning, where shall such be found? However, the poet has shown his earnest desire to set himself right with the public, and the public has now the poem in its two shapes, and can accommodate its delicate self at its pleasure. I regret that the space allowed for this notice does not permit me to point out a number of those delightful passages which abound in his beautiful and graceful poems. The graphic as well as dramatic power of Rimini, the landscape and scene-painting of that poem, are only exceeded by the force with which the progress of passion and evil is delineated. The scene in the gardens and the pavilion, where the lovers are reading Lancelot du Lac, is not surpassed by any thing of the kind in the language. The sculptured scenes on the walls of this pavilion are all pictures living in every line:—

"The sacrifice
By girls and shepherds brought, with reverend eyes,
Of sylvan drinks and foods, simple and sweet,
And goats with struggling horns and planted feet."

The opening of the poem, beginning—

"The sun is up, and 'tis a morn of May
Round old Ravenna's clear-shown towers and bay,"—

all life, elasticity, and sunshine;—and the melancholy ending—

"The days were then at close of autumn—still,
A little rainy, and toward nightfall chill:
There was a fitful moaning all abroad;
And ever and anon over the road,
The last few leaves came fluttering from the trees," etc.,

are passages of exquisite beauty, marking the change from joy to sorrow in one of the loveliest poems in the language. We have in it the genuine spirit of Chaucer, the rich nervous cadences of Dryden, with all the grace and life of modern English. But it is in vain here to attempt to speak of the poetic merits of Leigh Hunt. A host of fine compositions comes crowding on our consciousness. The Legend of Florence, a noble tragedy; The Palfrey; Hero and Leander; The Feast of the Poets; and The Violets; numbers of delightful translations from the Italian, a literature in which Leigh Hunt has always reveled; and above all, Captain Sword and Captain Pen. We would recommend every body, just now that the war-spirit is rising among us, to read that poem, and learn what horrors they are rejoicing over, and what the Christian spirit of this age demands of us. But we must praise the lyrics of the volume:—the pathos of the verses "To T. L. H., six years old, during a sickness," and the playful humor of those "To J. H., four years old," call on us for notice; and then the fine blank verse poems, Our Cottage, and Reflections of a Dead Body, are equally importunate. If any one does not yet know what Leigh Hunt has done for the people and the age, let him get the pocket edition of his poems, and he will soon find himself growing in love with life, with his fellow-men, and with himself. The philosophy of Leigh Hunt is loving, cheerful, and confiding in the goodness that governs us all. And when we look back to what was the state of things when he began to write, and then look round and see what it is now, we must admit that he has a good foundation for so genial a faith.

It remains only to take a glance or two at his English homes. To several of these we can trace him. Soon after his quitting Horsemonger-lane prison, he was living at Paddington, having a study looking over the fields toward Westbourne-green. In this he had a narrow escape one morning of being burned, owing his escape to some "fair cousin" not named. There he was visited by Lord Byron and Wordsworth. At one time he was living at 8, York-buildings, New-road, Marylebone. In the London Journal of January 7, 1835, Mr. Hunt gives a very charming account of a very happy Twelfth Night spent there, and in commemoration of it planted some young plane-trees within the rails by the garden gate. Under these trees, but a year or two ago, he had the pleasure of seeing people sheltering from the rain; but they are now cut down. Here he first had the pleasure of seeing John Keats, and here he was visited by Foscolo. At other times he lived in Lisson-grove; at Hampstead, in the Vale of Health, where, as already observed, Keats wrote Sleep and Poetry; at Highgate, near Coleridge; and at Woodcote-green, near Ashstead-park, in Surrey, where he laid the scene, and, I believe, wrote the romance, of Sir Ralph Esher.

Since his return to England he has lived chiefly in the suburbs of London, in what Milton called "garden houses;" for some years in Chelsea, near Thomas Carlyle; and now in Edwardes-square, Kensington, a square of small, neat houses, built by a Frenchman, it is said in expectation of the conquest of England by Bonaparte, and with a desire to be ready settled, and with homes for his countrymen of more limited means against that event. The speculation failing with the mightier speculation of Napoleon, the poor Frenchman was ruined.

Such is a hasty sketch of the many wanderings and sojourns of Leigh Hunt. May his age be rewarded for the services of his youth. In closing this article I would, also with this wish, express another, and that is, that he would sometime publish that small, but most beautiful manual of domestic devotion, called by him Christianism, and printed only for private circulation, some years ago. The object of this little work seems to be, to give to such as had not full faith in Christianity an idea of what is excellent in it, and by which they might be benefited and comforted, even though they could not attain full belief in its authenticity. The spirit and style of it are equally beautiful.

House in St. James's Place

House in St. James's Place


One of the greatest pleasures that an author can have, is to record the delight which he has derived from other authors; after a long career of intellectual enjoyment, to pay the due tribute of gratitude to those writers of an antecedent period who have laid the foundations of his taste, and stimulated him in that career which has made his happiness. This is always an act of love, an act of reverence and regard, which is full of its own peculiar pleasure. But how much is this pleasure augmented, when this tribute can be paid to the living; to one who preceded us, and yet is still among us; to the teacher of the past, to the patriarch of the present! Of the writers, and especially the poets, who charmed our young and inexperienced spirits, how few are those whose works will bear the test of time; how few to whom we can turn, at a mature age, and find them all that we ever believed them to be! Mr. Rogers is one of this rare class. Among the very earliest literary pleasures which I can remember, was that of reading—and that time after time—his Pleasures of Memory: and the reading of this poem is now, after nearly half-a-century, not only one of my pleasures of memory, but, on reperusal, is equally fresh, equally true to nature, and equally attractive, by the soundness and the beauty of its sentiments. Mr. Rogers stands among us, if not the very oldest living literary man, yet by far the oldest of our poets; and it is a welcome testimony to the good sense and feeling of the age, that he stands among us with all the affectionate respect and the honor which he has so well won. Mr. Rogers, I believe, has never met with that species of Mohawk criticism, that scalping and scarifying literary assault and battery, which so many of his cotemporaries have had to undergo. There was a gentleness and a calm suavity about his writings which disarmed the most eager assailant of merit. There was in him an absence of that militant and antagonistic spirit which provokes the like animus. There was felt only the purity of taste, the deep love of beauty in art and nature, the vivid yet tender sympathy with humanity, which put every one dreadfully in the wrong who should attempt to strike down their possessor. The very first line of criticism applied to the writings of Mr. Rogers, was in the Monthly Review, on his Ode to Superstition, with some other Poems, published by Cadell, in 1786, and was this—"In these pieces we perceive the hand of a master."

The master thus discovered in the first essay of his power, has never ceased since to be acknowledged. In 1792, or six years afterward, he published the Pleasures of Memory, which was received with universal and delighted acclamation. It took hold, at once, of the English heart; and became, and remains, and is likely to remain, one of the classic beauties of our national poetry. From that day, to so late a period as 1830, Mr. Rogers, at leisurely but tolerably regular intervals, has gone on adding to the riches of our hoards of taste and genius. In 1798, or in another six years, he published his Epistle, with other Poems; in 1812, or fourteen years afterward, The Voyage of Columbus; two years after that, Jacqueline, i.e., in 1814; five years later, or in 1819, Human Life; and, finally, in 1830, or when he was sixty-seven years of age, his Italy.

These works have steadily extended his fame; and amid the truest enjoyment of that fame, Mr. Rogers has lived a long and honored, and, singularly for a poet, fortunate life. His wealth and position in society, not less than his wealth and position in the world of mind, have drawn around him all the distinguished characters of his time; and his house, filled from top to bottom with evidences of his taste, and of his means of indulging it, has been the resort of most of those who have given its intellectual stamp to the age. Amid the great struggles and events of that period, the wars, the revolutions, and the social contests which have communicated their fiery elements to the spirit of genius, and produced works of a like extreme character, the mind of Rogers, calm and self-balanced, has pursued its course, apparently uninfluenced by all that moved around him. With human nature, and human life in general, he sympathized; but the love of the true and beautiful in it has prevailed over the contagion of the vast and violent: he has dealt rather with the pure and touching incidents of existence, than with the passionate and the tragic. Many, on this account, have been disposed to attribute to him a want of power and greatness, forgetting that the predominating character of his taste has inevitably decided the character of his subjects, and that to these subjects he has given all the power and beauty which they were capable of. Mr. Rogers is a great master in his own department. In him taste lives as strongly as genius. He is a poetic artist. The beautiful and the refined mingle themselves with the structure as inseparably as with the material of his compositions. He knows that there is greatness in the broad champagne, with its woods and towns, as well as in the huge and splendid mountain; in the lofty but pure and placid sky, as well as in the stormy ocean. It is not the creator only of the Laocoon in all his agonies, that is a great artist—the Apollo Belvedere, and the Venus de Medicis, and the Mourning Psyche, calm in most perfect repose, or depressed with grief, equally demonstrate the hand of a master. There is often the most consummate display of genius in the stillest statue. Poussin or Claude are not the less admirable because they do not affect the robust horrors of Rubens, or the wildness of Salvator. In Rogers, the true, the pathetic, all those feelings, and sentiments, and associations, that are dear to us as life itself, are evolved with a skill that is unrivaled; and the language is elaborated to a perfection that resembles the finish of a beautiful picture, or the music to inimitable words. If we need the excitement of impetuous emotions, we would turn to Byron; if the influence of calm, and soothing, and harmonizing ones, we would sit down to Rogers. Each is eminent in his own department, each will exercise the supremacy of his genius upon us.

In the Pleasures of Memory we are forcibly reminded of Goldsmith and the Deserted Village. We feel how deeply the genius of that exquisite writer had affected the mind of Rogers in his youth. There is a striking similarity of style, of imagery, and of subject. It is not a deserted village, but a deserted mansion, which is described, and where we are led to sympathize with all that is picturesque in nature, and dear to the heart in domestic life.

"Mark yon old mansion peering through the trees,
Whose hollow turret woos the whistling breeze.
That casement, arched with ivy's brownest shade,
First to these eyes the light of heaven conveyed.
The moldering gateway shows the grass-grown court,
Once the calm scene of many a simple sport;
When nature pleased, for life itself was new,
And the heart promised what the fancy drew.
See, through the fractured pediment revealed,
Where moss inlays the rudely sculptured shield,
The martin's old hereditary nest—
Long may the ruin spare its hallowed guest!
As jars the hinge, what sullen echoes call!
Oh haste, unfold the hospitable hall!
That hall, where once in antiquated state,
The chair of justice held the grave debate.
Now stained with dews, with cobwebs darkly hung,
Oft has its roof with peals of rapture rung;
When round yon ample board in due degree,
We sweetened every meal with social glee.
The heart's light laugh pursued the exciting jest;
And all was sunshine in each little breast.
'Twas here we traced the slipper by the sound.
And turned the blindfold hero round and round.
'Twas here, at eve, we formed our fairy ring;
And Fancy fluttered on her wildest wing.
Giants and genii chained each wondering ear;
And orphan sorrows drew the ready tear.
Oft with the babes we wandered in the wood,
Or viewed the forest feats of Robin Hood.
Oft, fancy-led, at midnight's fearful hour,
With startling step we scaled the lonely tower,
O'er infant innocence to hang and weep,
Murdered by ruffian hands, when smiling in its sleep.
Ye household deities! whose guardian eye
Marked each pure thought we registered on high;
Still, still ye walk the consecrated ground,
And breathe the soul of inspiration round.
As o'er the dusky furniture I bend,
Each chair awakes the feelings of a friend.
The storied arras, source of fond delight,
With old achievement charms the wildered sight;
And still with heraldry's red hues impressed,
On the dim window glows the pictured crest;
The screen unfolds its many colored chart;
The clock still points its moral to the heart—
That faithful monitor 'twas heaven to hear,
When soft it spoke a promised pleasure near;
And has its sober hand, its simple chime,
Forgot to trace the feathered feet of Time?
That massive beam with curious carvings wrought,
Whence the caged linnet soothed my pensive thought;
Those muskets cased with venerable rust.
Those once-loved forms still breathing through their dust,
Still from the frame in mold gigantic cast,
Starting to life—all whisper of the past!"

This is so exquisite and old-English that it will continue to charm as long as there are hearts and memories. The whole of the first part of the poem is of the like tone and feature; the old garden, the old school and its porch, the Gipsy group, the old beggar, the village church and church-yard—

"On whose gray stone, that fronts the chancel door,
Worn smooth by tiny feet now seen no more,
Each eve we shot the marble through the ring,
When the heart danced, and life was in the spring."

As it advances, however, it takes a wider range, and gradually embraces higher topics and more extensive regions. History, and death, and eternity, all swell into its theme.

A new element of style also marks the progress of this poem. There are more animated invocations, and a greater pomp of versification. It looks as if the muse of Darwin had infused its more ambitious tone, without leading the poet away from his purely legitimate subjects. By whatever passing influences, or what processes of thought, this change was produced, there it is. This poem, and this peculiar style of versification, soon caught the ear and fascinated the mind of Campbell, when a very young man, and out of the Pleasures of Memory sprung the Pleasures of Hope. The direct imitation of both style, manner, subject, and cast of subject, by Campbell, is one of the most striking things in the language; the peculiarities of the style and phraseology only, as was natural by an enthusiastic youth, much exaggerated. In Campbell, that which in Rogers is somewhat sounding and high-toned, becomes, with all its beauty, turgid, and often bordering on bombast. The very epithets are the same. "The wild bee's wing"—"the war-worn courser," and "pensive twilight in her dusky car," continually in the Pleasures of Hope remind you of the Pleasures of Memory.

"Hark, the bee winds her small but mellow horn,
Blithe to salute the sunny smile of morn.
O'er thymy downs she bends her busy course,
And many a stream allures her to its source.
'Tis noon, 'tis night. That eye so finely wrought,
Beyond the reach of sense, the soar of thought,
Nor vainly asks the scenes she left behind:
Its orb so full, its vision so confined!
Who guides the patient pilgrim to her cell?
Who bids her soul with conscious triumph swell?
With conscious truth retrace the mazy clew
Of summer scents, that charmed her as she flew?
Hail, Memory, hail! thy universal reign
Guards the least link of being's glorious chain."—Rogers.

In the disciple the manner is reproduced, and yet modified as in these lines:—

"Auspicious Hope! in thy sweet garden grow
Wreaths for each toil, a charm for every woe;
Won by their sweets, in Nature's languid hour.
The way-worn pilgrim seeks thy summer bower;
There as the wild bee murmurs on the wing,
What peaceful dreams thy handmaid spirits bring!
What viewless forms th' Æolian organ play,
And sweep the furrowed lines of conscious thought away."

How the master and the scholar may be again recognized in the following passages:—

"So, when the mild Tupia dared explore
Arts yet untaught, and worlds unknown before;
And with the sons of science wooed the gale,
That rising, swelled their strange expanse of sail;
So when he breathed his firm, yet fond adieu,
Borne from his leafy hut, his carved canoe,
And all his soul best loved, such tears he shed
While each soft scene of summer beauty fled.
Long o'er the wave a wistful look he cast,
Long watched the streaming signal from the mast;
Till twilight's dewy tints deceived his eye,
And fairy forests fringed the evening sky."—Rogers.
"And such thy strength-inspiring aid, that bore
The hardy Byron to his native shore,—
In horrid climes where Chiloe's tempests sweep
Tumultuous murmurs o'er the troubled deep,
'Twas his to mourn misfortune's rudest shock,
Scourged by the winds, and cradled on the rock,
To wake each joyless morn and search again
The famished haunts of solitary men;
Whose race, unyielding as their native storm,
Know not a trace of nature but the form;
Yet at thy call the hardy tar pursued,
Pale, but intrepid, sad, but unsubdued;
Pierced the deep woods, and hailing from afar
The moon's pale planet, and the northern star;
Paused at each dreary cry unheard before,
Hyenas in the wild, and mermaids on the shore;
Till led by thee o'er many a cliff sublime,
He found a warmer world, a milder clime,
A home to rest, or shelter to defend,
Peace and repose, a Briton and a friend!"—Campbell.

Into every form of expression the scholar follows his master:—

"When Diocletian's self-corrected mind
The imperial fasces of a world resigned,
Say, why we trace the labors of his spade
In calm Salona's philosophic shade?
Say, when contentious Charles renounced a throne,
To muse with monks unlettered and unknown,
What from his soul the parting tribute drew,
What claimed the sorrows of a last adieu?"—Rogers.
"And say, when summoned from the world and thee,
I lay my head beneath the willow-tree,
Wilt thou, sweet mourner! at my stone appear,
And soothe my parting spirit lingering near?"—Campbell.

But the likeness is found everywhere—in phrase, in imagery, in topics, and in tone. When, after a lapse of twenty-seven years, Mr. Rogers produced his poem of Human Life, what a change of manner, what a transformation of style had taken place in him! No longer the grandiloquent invocations were found; no longer the sounding style, no longer the easy recurrence of the cadence, pausing on the cæsura and falling at the close of the line. Here the whole rhythm and construction were of a new school and a new generation. The style was more simple and more vigorous. The sentences marched on with a rare recurrence of the cæsura, the cadence did not fall with the end of the line, but oftener far in the middle of it, and the verse abounded with triplets.

"He reads thanksgiving in the eyes of all—
All met as at a holy festival!
—On the day destined for his funeral!
Lo! there the friend, who, entering where he lay,
Breathed in his drowsy ear—'Away, away!
Take thou my cloak—Nay, start not, but obey!
Take it, and leave me.'"

What a total revolution is here! The old chime is gone, the old melody is exchanged for a new. All depends on entirely new principles, and seeks to give pleasure through an utterly fresh medium. But the poem itself is one of the most beautiful things in any language. It is human life from the cradle to the tomb, with all its pleasures, aspirations, trials, and triumphs. Every thing which clings round the spirit of man as precious, every thing which wins us onward, and sustains us in sorrow, and soothes us under the infliction of wrong—the glory of public good, and the hallowed charm of domestic affection, is thrown into this poem, with the art of a master and the great soul of a sanctified experience. Never either were the varied scenes of English life more sweetly described. The wedding and the burial, the village wake and the field sports, the battle and the victory, all are blended inimitably into the great picture of existence, and at times the aged minstrel rises into a strain of power and animation, such as rebuke the doubters of those attributes in him.

"Then is the age of admiration—Then
Gods walk the earth, or beings more than men;
Who breathe the soul of inspiration round,
Whose very shadows consecrate the ground!
Ah! then comes thronging many a wild desire,
And high imagining, and thought of fire!
Then from within, a voice exclaims—'Aspire!'
Phantoms, that upward point, before him pass,
As in the cave athwart the wizard's glass;
They, that on youth a grace, a luster shed,
Of every age, the living and the dead!"

Still this poem of Human Life is but the life of one section of our fellow-men—that of the gentry. It is curious, that it does not descend into the midst of the multitude, and give us any of those deep and somber shades which abound so much in Crabbe. The reason is obvious. Crabbe had seen it and felt it. He had been born among it, and had himself to struggle. Rogers has gone on that easy path of life that is paved with gold, and "the huts where poor men lie," therefore, probably never for a moment protruded themselves through the charmed circle of his poetic inspiration. Happily for him his are fully the Pleasures of Memory. Yet it is not the less true, or less honorable, that in actual life, there is no man who has remembered the struggling more sympathetically, nor has held out so generous a hand to the aid of unfriended merit.

From the Voyage of Columbus the following extract will afford an example of the beautiful description and rich imaginative power which abound in that poem:—

"Long on the deep the mists of morning lay,
Then rose, revealing, as they rolled away,
Half-circling hills, whose everlasting woods
Sweep with their sable skirts the shadowy floods:
And say,—when all to holy transport given,
Embraced and wept as at the gate of Heaven,
When one and all of us, repentant, ran,
And on our faces, blessed the wondrous man,—
Say, was I thus deceived, or from the skies
Burst on my ear seraphic harmonies?
'Glory to God!' unnumbered voices sung,
'Glory to God!' the vales and mountains rung—
Voices that hailed creation's primal morn,
And to the shepherds sung a Savior born.
Slowly, bareheaded, through the surf we bore
The sacred cross, and kneeling, kissed the shore.
But what a scene was there? Nymphs of romance!
Youths graceful as the fawn, with eager glance
Spring from the glades, and down the alleys peep;
Some headlong rush, bounding from steep to steep,
And clap their hands, exclaiming as they run,
'Come and behold the children of the sun!'
When hark, a signal-shot! The voice it came
Over the sea, in darkness and in flame!
They saw, they heard; and up the highest hill,
As in a picture, all at once were still!
Creatures so fair, in garments strangely wrought,
From citadels, with Heaven's own thunder fraught,
Checked their light footsteps—statue-like they stood,
As worshiped forms, the Genii of the Wood!
At length the spell dissolves! the warrior's lance
Rings on the tortoise with wild dissonance!
And see, the regal plumes, the coach of state!
Still, where it moves, the wise in council wait!
See now borne forth the monstrous masks of gold,
And ebon chair of many a serpent fold;
These now exchanged for gifts that thrice surpass
The wondrous ring, and lamp, and horse of brass.
What long-drawn tube transports the gazer home,
Kindling with stars at noon the ethereal dome?
'Tis here: and here circles of solid light
Charm with another self the cheated sight;
As man to man another self disclose,
And now with terror starts, with triumph glows!"

Italy, Mr. Rogers's last published poem of any length, is a fine production, full of that glorious land, and abounding with the finest subjects for the painter and the sculptor; but we must not be tempted to speak further of it here.

The changes of Mr. Rogers's life, or of his abodes, have not been many. He was born at Newington-green, in 1763, and is, consequently, eighty-three years of age. Newington-green, his birthplace, has all the marks of an old locality. In this neighborhood the Tudor princes used to live a good deal. Canonbury, between this green and Islington, was a favorite hunting-seat of Elizabeth, and no doubt the woods and wastes extended all round this neighborhood. There is Kingsland, now all built on, there is Henry VIII.'s walk, and Queen Elizabeth's walk, all in the vicinity; and this old, quiet green seems to retain a feeling and an aspect of those times. It is built round with houses, evidently of a considerable age. There are trees and quietness about it still. In the center of the south side is an old house standing back, which is said to have been inhabited by Henry VIII. At the end next to Stoke Newington stands an old Presbyterian chapel, at which the celebrated Dr. Price preached, and of which, afterward, the husband of Mrs. Barbauld was the minister. Near this chapel De Foe was educated, and the house still remains. In this green lived, too, Mary Wollstoncraft, being engaged with another lady in keeping a school. Samuel Rogers was born in the stuccoed house at the southwest corner, which is much older than it seems. Adjoining it is a large, old garden. Here his father, and his mother's father, lived before him. By the mother's side he was descended from the celebrated Philip Henry, the father of Matthew Henry, and was therefore of an old Non-conformist family. Mr. Rogers's grandfather was a gentleman, pursuing no profession, but his father engaged in banking. Mr. Rogers continued to reside in this house till after his father's death, and wrote and published here his Pleasures of Memory, which appeared a short time before his father's decease.

On quitting Newington-green, Mr. Rogers took chambers in the Temple, where he continued to reside five years, or till about 1800, when he removed to his present house; so that he has occupied his present abode the greater part of half-a-century. In this house, 22, St. James's-place, he has not only written every one of his chief poems, except the Pleasures of Memory, but he has been visited in it by a vast number of the most celebrated men of his time, among them Byron, Scott, Moore, Crabbe, Fox, Campbell, Wordsworth, Southey, Coleridge, etc.

At an early period of his life he was anxious to purchase an estate in the country, not too far from London, where he could build a house after his own taste. He pitched on Fredley farm, in Norbury-park, near Mickleham, in Surrey, which was to be disposed of. By some means it escaped him, and disappointed in his object, he seems to have given up the search for another situation, and contented himself with building his house on paper. The result was the abode described in his Epistle to a Friend, published in 1798. His villa is placed in a rustic hamlet, has few apartments, but is not without its library and cold bath, and is furnished with prints after the best painters, and casts from the antique. The whole of this poem breathes the love of the country, of simplicity of life, and condemns the pomp and the follies of London fashionable life. Its accompaniments, its exterior and interior, are all of the same unostentatious character—it is an abode that any man of taste might possess without any great wealth.

"Still must my partial pencil love to dwell
On the home prospects of my hermit-cell:
The mossy pales that skirt the orchard green
Here hid by shrub-wood, there by glimpses seen;
And the brown pathway that with careless flow
Sinks, and is lost among the trees below.
Still must it trace, the flattering tints forgive,—
Each fleeting charm that bids the landscape live.
Oft o'er the mead, at pleasing distance pass,
Browsing the hedge by fits, the panniered ass;
The idling shepherd-boy with rude delight,
Whistling his dog to mark the pebble's flight;
And, in her kerchief blue, the cottage maid,
With brimming pitcher from the shadowy glade
Far to the south a mountain vale retires,
Rich in its groves, and glens, and village spires;
Its upland lawns, and cliffs with foliage hung,
Its wizard stream, nor nameless, nor unsung.
And through the various year, the various day,
What scenes of glory burst and melt away!"

His interior embellishment shall be my last extract:—

"Here no state chambers in long line unfold,
Bright with broad mirrors, rough with fretted gold:
Yet modest ornament, with use combined,
Attracts the eye to exercise the mind.
Small change of scene, small space his home requires,
Who leads a life of satisfied desires.
What though no marble breathes, no canvas glows,
From every point a ray of genius flows!
Be mine to bless the more mechanic skill,
That stamps, renews, and multiplies at will;
And cheaply circulates through distant climes
The fairest relics of the purest times.
Here from the mold to conscious being start
Those finer forms, the miracles of art;
Here chosen gems, impressed on sulphur shine,
That slept for ages in the secret mine;
And here the faithful graver dares to trace
A Michael's grandeur and a Raphael's grace!
Thy gallery, Florence, gilds my humble walls,
And my low roof the Vatican recalls."

But Mr. Rogers had the power to procure the originals; and therefore the same taste put him in possession of them. He was destined to spend his life in London, and only premising that the front of his house overlooks the Green-park, and possesses a gateway into it, I shall present the account of its interior, or rather of its treasures of art, from the pen of the well known Professor Waagen of Berlin, knowing from the poet himself that it is accurate.

"By the kindness of Mr. Solly, who continues to embrace every opportunity of doing me service, I have been introduced to Mr. Rogers the poet, a very distinguished and amiable man. He is one of the few happy mortals to whom it has been granted to be able to gratify, in a worthy manner, the most lively sensibility to every thing noble and beautiful. He has accordingly found means, in the course of his long life, to impress this sentiment on every thing about him. In his house you are everywhere surrounded and excited with the higher productions of art. In truth one knows not whether more to admire the diversity or the purity of his taste. Pictures of the most different schools, ancient and modern sculptures, Greek vases, alternately attract the eye, and are so arranged, with a judicious regard to their size, in proportion to the place assigned them, that every room is richly and picturesquely ornamented, without having the appearance of a magazine from being overfilled, as we frequently find. Among all these objects none is insignificant; several cabinets and portfolios contain, beside the choicest collections of antique ornaments in gold that I have hitherto seen, valuable miniatures of the middle ages, fine drawings by the old masters, and the most agreeable prints of the greatest of the old engravers, Marcantonio, Durer, etc., in the finest impressions. The enjoyment of all these treasures was heightened to the owner by the confidential intercourse with the most eminent, now deceased, English artists, Flaxman and Stothard; both have left him a memorial of their friendship. In two little marble statues of Cupid and Psyche, and a mantle-piece, with a bas-relief representing a muse with a lyre and Mnemosyne by Flaxman, there is the same noble and graceful feeling which has so greatly attracted me from my childhood in his celebrated compositions after Homer and Æschylus. The hair and draperies are treated with great, almost too picturesque softness. Among all the English painters, none, perhaps, has so much power of invention as Stothard. His versatile talent has successfully made essays in the domains of history, or fancy and poetry, of humor, and lastly, even in domestic scenes, in the style of Watteau. To this may be added much feeling for graceful movements, and cheerful, bright coloring. In his pictures, which adorn a chimney-piece, principal characters from Shakspeare's plays are represented with great spirit and humor; among them Falstaff makes a very distinguished and comical figure. There is also a merry company, in the style of Watteau; the least attractive is an allegorical representation of Peace returning to the earth, for the brilliant coloring approaching to Rubens can not make up for the poorness of the heads and the weakness of the drawing.

"As there are among the pictures some of the best works of Sir Joshua Reynolds, fine specimens of the works of three of the most eminent British artists of an earlier date are here united.

"Beside portraits, properly so called, Sir Joshua Reynolds was the happiest in the representation of children, where he was able, in the main, to remain faithful to nature, and in general an indifferent but naïve action or occupation alone was necessary. In such pictures, he admirably succeeded in representing the youthful bloom and artless manners of the fine English children. This it is which makes his celebrated strawberry girl, which is in this collection, so attractive. With her hands simply folded, a basket under her arm, she stands in her white frock, and looks full at the spectator, with her fine, large eyes. The admirable impasto, the bright, golden tone, clear as Rembrandt, and the dark landscape background, have a striking effect. Sir Joshua himself looked upon this as one of his best pictures. A sleeping girl is also uncommonly charming, the coloring very glowing; many cracks in the painting, both in the background and the drapery, show the uncertainty of the artist in the mechanical processes of the art. Another girl with a bird does not give me so much pleasure. The rather affected laugh is, in this instance, not stolen from nature, but from the not happy invention of the painter; in the glowing color there is something specky and false. Puck, the merry elf in Shakspeare's Midsummer Night's Dream, called by the English Robin Goodfellow, represented as a child, with an arch look, sitting on a mushroom, and full of wantonness, stretching out arms and legs, is another much admired work of Sir Joshua. But though this picture is painted with much warmth and clearness, the conception does not at all please me. I find it too childish, and not fantastic enough. In the background, Titania is seen with the ass-headed weaver. Psyche with the lamp, looking at Cupid, figures as large as life, is of the most brilliant effect, and, in the tender, greenish half-tints, also of great delicacy. In the regard for beautiful leading lines, there is an affinity to the rather exaggerated grace of Parmeggiano. In such pictures by Sir Joshua, the incorrect drawing always injures the effect. I was much interested at meeting with a landscape by this master. It is in the style of Rembrandt, and of very strong effect.

"Of older English painters, there are here two pretty pictures by Gainsborough, one by Wilson; of the more recent, I found only one by the rare and spirited Bonington, of a Turk fallen asleep over his pipe, admirably executed in a deep, harmonious chiaro-oscuro. Mr. Rogers's taste and knowledge of the art are too general for him not to feel the profound intellectual value of works of art in which the management of the materials was in some degree restricted. He has therefore not disdained to place in his collection the half-figures of St. Paul and St. John, and fragments of a fresco painting from the Carmelite Church at Florence, by Giotto; Salome dancing before Herod, and the beheading of St. John, by Fiesole; a coronation of the Virgin, by Lorenzo de Condi, the fellow-scholar and friend of Leonardo da Vinci, whose productions and personal character were so estimable. Next to these pictures is a Christ on the Mount of Olives, by Raphael, at the time when he had not abandoned the manner of Perugio. This little picture was once a part of the predella to the altar-piece which Raphael painted in the year 1505 for the nuns of St. Anthony, at Perugio. It came with the Orleans gallery to England, and was last in the possession of Lord Eldin, in Edinburgh. Unhappily it has been much injured by cleaning and repairing, but in many parts, particularly in the arms of the angel, there are defects in the drawing, such as we do not find in Raphael even at this period. So that, most probably, the composition alone should be ascribed to him, and the execution to one of the assistants, who painted the two saints belonging to the same predella now in Dulwich College.

"From the Orleans gallery, Mr. Rogers has Raphael's Madonna, well known by Flipart's engraving, with the eyes rather cast down, on whom the child standing by her fondly leans. The expression of joyousness in the child is very pleasing. The gray color of the under-dress of the virgin, with red sleeves, forms an agreeable harmony with the blue mantle. To judge by the character and drawing, the composition may be of the early period of Raphael's residence at Rome. In other respects, this picture admits of no judgment, because many parts have become quite flat by cleaning, and others are painted over. The landscape is in a blue-greenish tone, differing from Raphael's manner.

"Of the Roman school I will mention only one more. Christ bearing his cross, by Andrea Sacchi, a moderate-sized picture from the Orleans gallery, is one of the capital pictures of this master, in composition, depth of coloring, and harmony.

"The crown, however, of the whole collection, is Christ appearing to Mary Magdalene, by Titian. It was formerly in the possession of the family of Muselli at Verona, and afterward adorned the Orleans gallery. In the clear, bright, golden tone of the flesh, the careful execution, the refined feeling, in the impassioned desire of the kneeling Magdalene to touch the Lord, and the calm, dignified refusal of the Savior, we recognize the earlier time of this master. The beautiful landscape, with the reflection of the glowing horizon upon the blue sea, which is of great importance here, in proportion to the figures, proves how early Titian obtained extraordinary mastery in this point, and confirms that he was the first who carried this branch to a higher degree of perfection. This poetic picture is, on the whole, in very good preservation; the crimson drapery of the Magdalene is of unusual depth and fullness. The lower part of the legs of Christ have, however, suffered a little. The figures are about a third the size of life.

"The finished sketch for the celebrated picture, known by the name of La Gloria di Tiziano, which he afterward, by the command of Philip II., King of Spain, painted for the church of the convent where the Emperor Charles V. died, is also very remarkable. It is a rich, but not very pleasing composition. The idea of having the coffin of the emperor carried up to heaven, where God the Father and Son are enthroned, is certainly not a happy one. The painting is throughout excellent, and of a rich, deep tone in the flesh. Unfortunately, it is not wanting in re-touches. The large picture is now in the Escurial.

"As the genuine pictures of Giorgione are so very rare, I will briefly mention a young knight, small, full-length, noble and powerful in face and figure; the head is masterly, treated in his glowing tone; the armor with great force and clearness in the chiaro-oscuro.

"The original sketch of Tintoretto, for his celebrated picture of St. Mark coming to the assistance of a martyr, is as spirited as it is full and deep in the tone.

"The rich man and Lazarus, by Giacomo Bassano, is, in execution and glow of coloring, approaching to Rembrandt, one of the best pictures of the master.

"There are some fine cabinet pictures of the school of Carracci: a Virgin and Child, worshiped by six saints, by Lodovico Carracci, is one of his most pleasing pictures in imitation of Corregio. Among four pictures by Domenichino, two landscapes, with the punishment of Marsyas, and Tobit with the fish, are very attractive, from the poetry of the composition and the delicacy of the finish. Another likewise very fine one of Bird-catching, from the Borghese Palace, has unfortunately turned quite dark. A Christ, by Guido, is broadly and spiritedly touched in his finest silver tone.

"There is an exquisite little gem by Claude Lorraine. In a soft evening light, a lonely shepherd, with his peaceful flocks, is playing the pipe. Of the master's earlier time; admirable in the impasto, careful and delicate, decided and soft, all in a warm golden tone. In the Liber Veritatis, marked No. 11. Few pictures inspire like this a feeling for the delicious stillness of a summer's evening.

"A landscape by Nicolas Poussin, rather large, of a very poetic composition and careful execution, inspires, on the other hand, in the brownish silver tone, the sensation of the freshness of morning. There is quite a reviving coolness in the dark water and under the trees of the foreground.

"Two smaller historical pictures by Poussin, of his earlier time, class among his careful and good works.

"Of the Flemish school there are a few, but very good, specimens.

"There is a highly interesting picture by Rubens. During his residence in Mantua, he was so pleased with the triumph of Julius Cæsar, by Mantegna, that he made a fine copy of one of the nine pictures. His love for the fantastic and pompous led him to choose that with the elephants carrying the candelabra; but his ardent imagination, ever directed to the dramatic, could not be content with this. Instead of a harmless sheep, which in Mantegna is walking by the side of the foremost elephant, Rubens made a lion and a lioness, which growl angrily at the elephant. The latter, on his part, is not idle, but, looking furiously round, is on the point of striking the lion a blow with his trunk. The severe pattern which he had before him in Mantegna has moderated Rubens in his usually very full forms, so that they are more noble and slender than they generally are. The coloring, as in all his earlier pictures, is more subdued than in the later, and yet powerful. Rubens himself seems to have set much value on this study; for it was among the effects at his death. During the revolution, Mr. Champernowne brought it from the Balbi Palace, at Genoa. It is three feet high, and five feet five inches wide.

"The study for the celebrated picture, the Terrors of War, in the Pitti Palace at Florence, and respecting which we have a letter in Rubens's own hand, is likewise well worth notice. Rubens painted this picture for the Grand Duke of Tuscany. Venus endeavors, in vain, to keep Mars, the insatiable warrior, as Homer calls him, from war; he hurries away to prepare indescribable destruction. This picture, one foot eight inches high, and two feet six and a half inches wide, which I have seen in the exhibition of the British Institution, is, by the warmth and power of the coloring, and the spirited and careful execution, one of the most eminent of Rubens's small pictures of this period.

"Lastly, there is a Moonlight by him. The clear reflection of the moon in the water, its effect in the low distance, the contrast of the dark mass of trees in the foreground, are a proof of the deep feeling for striking incidents in nature, which was peculiar to Rubens. As in another picture the flakes of snow were represented, he has here marked the stars.

"I have now become acquainted with Rembrandt in a new department; he has painted in brown and white a rather obscure allegory on the deliverance of the United Provinces from the union of such great powers as Spain and Austria. It is a rich composition, with many horsemen. One of the most prominent figures is a lion chained at the foot of a rock, on which the tree of liberty is growing. Over the rock are the words, 'Solo Deo gloria.' The whole is executed with consummate skill, and the principal effect striking.

"His own portrait, at an advanced age, with very dark ground and shadows, and, for him, a cool tone of the lights, is to be classed, among the great number of them, with that in the Bridgewater Gallery; only it is treated in his broadest manner, which borders on looseness.

"A landscape, with a few trees upon a hill, in the foreground, with a horseman and a pedestrian in the background, a plain with a bright horizon, is clearer in the shadows than other landscapes by Rembrandt, and therefore, with the most powerful effect, the more harmonious.

"Among the drawings I must at least mention some of the finest.

"Raphael. The celebrated Entombment, drawn with the utmost spirit with the pen. From the Crozat collection. Mr. Rogers gave £120 for it.

"Andrea del Sarto. Some studies in black chalks, for his fresco paintings in the Chapel del Scalzo. That for the young man who carries the baggage in the visitation of the Virgin is remarkably animated.

"Lucas Van Leyden. A pen drawing, executed in the most perfect and masterly manner, for his celebrated and excessively rare engraving of the portrait of the Emperor Maximilian I. This wonderful drawing has hitherto been erroneously ascribed to Albert Durer.

"Albert Durer. A child weeping. In chalk, on colored paper, brightened with white; almost unpleasantly true to reality.

"Among the admirable engravings, I mention only a single female figure, very delicately treated, which is so entirely pervaded with the spirit of Francisco Francia, that I do not hesitate to ascribe it to him. Francia, originally a goldsmith, is well known to have been peculiarly skilled in executing larger compositions in niello. How easily, therefore, might it have occurred to him, instead of working as hitherto in silver, to work with his graver in copper, especially as in his time the engraving on copper had been brought into more general use in Italy, by A. Mantegna and others; and Francia had such energy and diversity of talents that, in his mature age, he successfully made himself master of the art of painting, which was so much more remote from his own original profession. Beside this, the fine delicate lines in which the engraving is executed indicate an artist who had been previously accustomed to work for niello-plates, in which this manner is usually practiced. The circumstance, too, that Marcantonio was educated in the workshop of Francia, is favorable to the presumption that he himself had practiced engraving.

"Among the old miniatures, that which is framed and glazed and hung up, representing, in a landscape, a knight in golden armor, kneeling down, to whom God the Father, surrounded by cherubim and seraphim, appears in the air, while the damned are tormented by devils in the abyss, is by far the most important. As has been already observed by Passavant, it belongs to a series of forty miniatures, in the possession of Mr. George Brentano, at Frankfort-on-Maine, which were executed for Maître Etienne Chevalier, treasurer of France under King Charles VII., and may probably have adorned his prayer-book. They are by the greatest French miniature painter of the fifteenth century, Johan Fouquet de Tours, painter to King Louis XI. In regard to the admirable, spirited invention, which betrays a great master, as well as the finished execution, they rank uncommonly high.

"An antique bust of a youth, in Carrara marble, which, in form and expression, resembles the eldest son of Laocoon, is in a very noble style, uncommonly animated, and of admirable workmanship. In particular, the antique piece of the neck and the treatment of the hair are very delicate. The nose and ears are new; a small part of the chin, too, and the upper lip, are completed in a masterly manner in wax.

"A candelabrum in bronze, about ten inches high, is of the most beautiful kind. The lower part is formed by a sitting female figure holding a wreath. This fine and graceful design belongs to the period when art was in its perfection. This exquisite relic, which was purchased for Mr. Rogers, in Italy, by the able connoisseur, Mr. Millingen, is, unfortunately, much damaged in the epidermis.

"Among the elegant articles of antique ornament in gold, the earrings and clasps, by which so many descriptions of the ancient poets are called to mind, there are likewise whole figures beat out in thin gold leaves. The principal article is a golden circlet, about two and a half inches in diameter, the workmanship of which is as rich and skillful as could be made in our times.

"Of the many Greek vases in terra cotta, there are five, some of them large, in the antique taste, with black figures on a yellow ground, which are of considerable importance. A flat dish, on the outer side of which five young men are rubbing themselves with the strigil, and five washing themselves, yellow on a black ground, is to be classed with vases of the first rank, for the gracefulness of the invention, and the beauty and elegance of the execution. In this collection, it is excelled only by a vase, rounded below, so that it must be placed in a peculiar stand. The combat of Achilles with Penthesilia is represented upon it, likewise, in red figures. This composition, consisting of thirteen figures, is by far the most distinguished, not only of all representations of the subject, but, in general, of all representations of combats which I have hitherto seen on vases, in the beauty and variety of the attitudes, in masterly drawing, as well as in the spirit and delicacy of the execution. It is in the happy medium between the severe and the quite free style, so that in the faces there are some traces of the antique manner."

It remains only to add, that Mr. Rogers has embellished his works with the same exquisite taste as his house. They are splendid specimens of typography, and are rich in the most beautiful designs by Stothard and Turner, from the most celebrated burins of the day. I believe more than fifty thousand copies of them have been circulated.

Cottage at Sloperton

Cottage at Sloperton


The author of Lalla Rookh, like most of the race of genius, is one whom his own genius has ennobled. The man who has not to thank his ancestors for what he enjoys of wealth, station, or reputation, has all the more to thank himself for. The heralds, says Savage Landor, will give you a grandfather if you want one, but a genuine poet has no need of a grandfather; he is his own grandfather, his own shield-bearer, and stands forth to the world in the proud attitude of debtor to none but God and himself, the shield-bearer and the grandfather of others. Thomas Moore was born in a humble house in Dublin, the son of humble but respectable parents. He has made his own way in the world, and given to those parents the honor of having produced a distinguished son. That is as it should be. People should honor their parents, it is rarely that parents can honor their children. They can not bequeath their genius to them; it is not always that they can succeed in engrafting on them their virtues; and if parents be glorious in reputation and in goodness, if the children do not walk worthy of that glory, the glory itself is only a blaze that exposes them to the world; lights up and aggravates every blemish to the general eye. How truly is honor, true honor, in nine cases out of ten, a self-acquisition. Wealth you may entail, station you may entail; but well won honor is a thing which, like salvation, every man must achieve for himself. Poets in general know no ancestry. In their poetic character they are as truly and newly created as Adam himself. Who cares a button for the ancestors of Byron, of Milton, of Shakspeare, of Goëthe, or of Schiller? These men start out to our eyes in the blaze of their own genius, which darkens all around them. They are creations of God, and not of man. They are sent forth into the world, and not born into it. Their ancestors are not the ancestors of their genius. They are the progenitors of the earthy caterpillar,—the butterfly, the Psyche of genius, is born of itself. With the splendid spirit which breaks forth sometimes from an old line, that line commonly has nothing more to do than the earth on which we tread, the common mother of us all, has to do with our soul and its celestial powers. These come out of the hand of God, gifts to us and the world; luminaries burning in a divine isolation; priests after the order of Melchisedec, whose ancestry and whose posterity are not known. God has vindicated to himself the origination of Genius and Christianity. They both came into the world independent of governments and princes; they spring out of the habitations of the poor, and walk among the poor: they disdain to confer on worldly pride the honor of their alliance, but they do their mission in the strength of their sender, and mount to heaven.

These are great truths that every man of genius should see, acknowledge, and act upon. His birth is higher than that of any prince, even be it more lowly than that of the Son of God, in a stable and a manger, with a stalled ox instead of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and an ass instead of a prime minister, attending as witnesses. Nobles can confer no nobility on him: he bears his patent of honor in his own bosom; the escutcheon of genius in his broad and exalted brow. He should remember this; and the world will not then forget it. He should think of himself as sent forth by God, doing God's work in the earth, and having to render up to God the account of his embassy. With this idea within him and before him, his work will be done the more nobly; and the public which is made what it is by him,—effeminate through his effeminacy, corrupt through his corruption, wise through his wisdom, will soon place him in his true rank, above all heaps of metal and spadefuls of earth, and honor him as the only true noble, the only man who has no need of heraldic lies and fictitious grandfathers. These are great truths that the children of men of genius too should bear in mind. They should feel that they can not inherit genius, but they may possess it in some new shape, an equal gift of heaven. This will keep alive in them the spirit of honorable action; and they may come to live, not in the moonshine of their ancestral lights, but in a genuine warm sunshine of their own. The honor of a distinguished parent is not our honor but our foil, if we do not seek to establish an alliance with it by our own exertion, and above all, by goodness.

For want of poets and poets' children entertaining these rational ideas, what miseries have from age to age awaited them! In the course of my peregrinations to the birthplaces and the tombs of poets, how often have these reflections been forced upon me. Humble, indeed, are frequently their birthplaces; but what is far worse, how wretched are often the places of their deaths! How many of them have died in the squalid haunts of destitution, and even by their own hand. How many of them have left their families to utter poverty; how many of those caressed in their lives, lie without a stone or a word of remembrance in their graves! Scott, with all his glory and his monuments in other places, has not even a slab bearing his name laid upon his breast. Chatterton's very bones have been dispersed to make a market. Motherwell, amid all the proud cenotaphs in the Necropolis at Glasgow, such men as Major Monteith having whole funeral palaces to themselves, has not even a cubic foot of stone, or a mere post with his initials, to mark his resting-place. But still more melancholy is the contemplation of the beginning and the end of Robert Tannahill, the popular song-writer of Paisley. Tannahill was no doubt stimulated by the fame of Burns. True, he had not the genius of Burns, but genius he had, and that is conspicuous in many of those songs which during his lifetime were sung with enthusiasm by his countrymen. Tannahill was a poor weaver at Paisley. The cottage where he lived is still to be seen, a very ordinary weaver's cottage in an ordinary street; and the place where he drowned himself may be seen too at the outside of the town. This is one of the most dismal places in which a poet ever terminated his career. Tannahill, like Burns, was fond of a jovial hour amid his comrades in a public-house. But weaving of verse and weaving of calico did not agree. The world applauded, but did not patronize; poverty came like an armed man; and Tannahill in the frenzy of despair resolved to terminate his existence. Outside of Paisley there is a place where a small stream passes under a canal. To facilitate this passage, a deep pit is sunk, and a channel for the waters is made under the bottom of the canal. This pit is, I believe, eighteen feet deep. It is built round with stone, which is rounded off at its mouth, so that any one falling in can not by any possibility get out, for there is nothing to lay hold of. Any one once in there might grasp and grasp in vain for an edge to seize upon. He would sink back and back till he was exhausted and sunk forever. No doubt Tannahill in moments of gloomy observation had noted this. And at midnight he came, stripped off his coat, laid down his hat, and took the fatal plunge. No cry could reach human ear from that horrible abyss; no effort of the strongest swimmer could avail to sustain him: soon worn out he must go down, and amid the black, boiling torrent be borne through the subterranean channel onward with the stream. Thus died Robert Tannahill, and a more fearful termination was never put to a poetical career. This place is called Tannahill's hole, and cats and dogs drowned in it, from its peculiar fitness for inevitable drowning, float about on the surface, and add to the revolting shudder which the sight of it creates.

Such are some of the dominant tendencies of poetic fate which made Wordsworth exclaim,

"We poets in our youth begin in gladness,
But thereof come in the end despondency and madness;"

and such must there be till genius respect itself, and cause the public to respect it; till it reflect that it is a heavenly endowment, and not a trade stock.

Among the more fortunate men of genius,—among those who by strength of pinion, and by various resources of prose, poetry, and music, have soared above the poet's ordinary path, beset with ropes, poison, throat-cutting, razors, pistols, and drowning holes,—is the gay and genial Thomas Moore. Moore was born, as I have said, in Dublin. His father kept a shop in Aungier-street, and was a respectable grocer and spirit dealer. The shop continues exactly as it was to the present day, is employed for the same trade, and over it is the little drawing-room in which Mr. Moore himself tells us, that he used to compose his songs, and with his sister and some young friends, act plays as a boy.

He was first educated by Mr. Samuel Whyte, to whom in his fourteenth year he addressed a sonnet, which was published in a Dublin magazine, called the Anthologia. This Mr. Whyte was fond of dramatic representation, and is mentioned by Moore as having superintended private theatricals at different gentlemen's and noblemen's houses, as at the Duke of Leinster's, at Marly, the seat of the Latouches, etc., where he supplied prologues. Sheridan had been a pupil of Whyte's, and it is further stated by Mr. Moore, that many parents were alarmed at the danger of his instilling a love for these things into his scholars. Can there be a doubt that he did so with Sheridan and Moore?

He was sent to the university in Dublin, where the unfortunate Robert Emmet was at the time. Moore soon formed an acquaintance with him, and became a member of a debating society, at which Emmet and other young patriots assembled to prepare themselves for public life. On the approach of the frightful explosion of 1798, the university was visited by Lord Clare, its vice-chancellor, with a rigorous examination, government having become aware of the students being deeply engaged in the organization of the Irish union. Among those found to be thus implicated, were Emmet, John Brown, and others. They became marked men. Moore himself underwent examination, but came clear off. From these connections and early impressions, however, we may date his steady adherence to liberal and patriotic sentiments.

At the university his poetic genius early displaying itself, he soon found his way over to England, where his wit, his songs, and his conversational brilliancy, introduced him to the first circles of fashionable life, and to government patronage. He was appointed to the situation of Registrar to the Admiralty Court at the Bermudas. This appointment turned out unfortunately for him, but it enabled him to extend his knowledge of the world. He published on his return a collection of odes, epistles, and fugitive poems, illustrative of the scenery and life of that island; and he made a tour in the United States, from which he indited a series of most caustic and satirical epistles. From the hour that he settled down again in England, notwithstanding the time which he must have devoted to society, into which his peculiar powers of pleasing have continually drawn him, he has displayed an extraordinary industry. The catalogue of his writings from first to last is enormous. The Odes of Anacreon translated. A Candid Appeal to Public Confidence, or Considerations on the dangers of the Present Crisis, 1803. Corruption and Intolerance, two poems. Epistles, Odes, and other Poems, 1806. Little's Poems, 1808. A Letter to the Roman Catholics of Dublin, 1810. M.P., or the Blue Stocking; a comic opera, in three acts, performed at the Lyceum, 1811. Intercepted Letters, or the Twopenny Post Bag, by Thomas Browne the younger, 1812: this has gone through upward of fourteen editions. Irish Melodies. Arthur Murphy's Translation of Sallust completed. The Skeptic, a philosophical Satire. Lalla Rookh, 1817. The Fudge Family in Paris, 1818. Ballads, Songs, etc. Tom Crib's Memorial to Congress, in verse. Trifles Reprinted, in verse. Loves of the Angels. Rhymes on the Road. Miscellaneous Poems by Members of the Procurante Society. Fables for the Holy Alliance. Ballads, Songs, Miscellaneous Poems, etc. Memoirs of Captain Rock. Life of Sheridan. The Epicurean. Odes on Cash, Corn, Catholics, etc. Evenings in Greece. Life and Letters of Lord Byron, in 17 vols. History of Ireland, etc., etc., etc.

If Mr. Moore has been a gay man, it can not be said that he has been an indolent one. He was born in May, 1780, and is, consequently, now only sixty-six. It would appear that, on coming to England, he destined himself for the bar, as he entered himself of the Middle Temple, in 1799. But instead of legal studies, poetical ones seem to have occupied him in his chambers; for in the course of 1800, and before he had completed his twentieth year, he published his translation of the Odes of Anacreon. This seems to have decided his fate for literature. In 1801 out came Little's Poems, many of which, I am persuaded, the author would give a great portion of his fame to be able to cancel forever; and, indeed, in his late edition, in one volume, I am glad to see that the most exceptionable are excluded. In 1803 he set sail to take possession of his office in the West Indies; on which occasion he was absent something more than a year. To pursue a rapid outline of his life;—on his return to England he married a Miss Dyke, said to be a lady of great personal beauty, most amiable disposition, and accomplished manners. I believe she has always shown herself a woman of much energy of character and tact of judgment, and that the poet has found great cause to rely on her opinion in matters of daily life. His great poem, Lalla Rookh, appeared in 1817; and in the summer of that year Moore visited Paris, where he collected the materials for that humorous production, The Fudge Family in Paris. In the following year he made a visit to Ireland, where he was received with the highest enthusiasm and public honor. In 1822 he again visited Paris, where great respect was shown him by the French literati, and a public dinner was given to him by the English nobility and gentry resident there. In one of his prefaces to his different volumes, which, in fact, contain his literary life, we learn, that he was compelled to live in France at this time, in consequence of the responsibilities under which he had fallen from the conduct of his deputy in the Bermudas. He was, indeed, liable to demands of at least six thousand pounds, and it was not safe for him to remain in England till this matter was arranged; which was at length done by his friends, and the sum reduced to one thousand; of which the deputy's uncle paid three hundred. Two summers Moore states himself and family to have lived in a cottage of some Spanish friends, near their seat. La Butte Coaslin. He says that it conjured up an apparition of Sloperton, which by a happy quotation from Pope he defines—

"A little cot with trees a row.
And, like his master, very low."

Here he used to wander in the noble park of St. Cloud, with his pocket-book and pencil, composing verses, and pondering on the Epicurean; and closing the evening by practicing duets with the lady of his Spanish friend, or listening to her guitar. King, the dramatic writer, lived near them, and Washington Irving visited him there. In 1823 he published The Loves of the Angels; and since then, beside the Life of Sheridan, and various other productions, the Life and Letters of Lord Byron.

Perhaps the most important event connected with his later life was the destruction of the Memoirs of Lord Byron, which had been intrusted to him for publication after his death. These Memoirs had been given to Mr. Moore, and Mr. Moore had sold the copyright of them to Mr. Murray, for two thousand guineas. Lord Byron being dead, and the time for publication come, the relatives of Lord Byron took alarm, and implored Mr. Moore to allow them to be destroyed. To this Mr. Moore was weak enough to consent. That he did so from a sense of the most delicate honor, there could be no question; even had he not proved that by the sacrifice of two thousand guineas and interest, which he repaid to Mr. Murray, though he had to borrow it of Messrs. Longman. But if honor to Lord Byron's relatives was preserved, it was neither so to Lord Byron nor the public. It was a sacred trust of the one for the gratification of the other, and had Mr. Moore had any scruples on the subject of publication, he should have returned the MS. to Lord Byron while living. When dead, there was no such way out; there was no alternative, without a betrayal of the most sacred trust that could be reposed in man, but to allow the noble donor's intention to be faithfully carried out. There has been much controversy on this topic, but this still continues, and will continue to be, the result of public opinion.

One of the secrets of Mr. Moore's successful industry, perhaps, may be found in the fact of his having, spite of his social disposition, and of all the fascinations of society for a man of his fame, wit, and accomplishments, lived the greater part of his life since his marriage in the country. Among the various places of his abode, two only have been residences of much duration. These are Mayfield cottage, near Ashbourne, in Derbyshire, and Sloperton cottage, near Devizes, in Wiltshire.

At Mayfield he lived several years, and here he wrote Lalla Rookh. This village is not particularly picturesque, nor is the immediate neighborhood striking; but it lies in a fine country, and within a short distance of it are Dovedale, and other beautiful scenes in Derbyshire and Staffordshire. The recommendations of Mayfield have been thus enumerated by a cotemporary writer in a periodical. "Moore's cottage is in a secluded part of Mayfield, a village on the Staffordshire side of the river Dove, about two miles from Ashbourne. It is a spot not often alluded to in literature, though the neighborhood has been peculiarly honored by literary men. Three miles from Mayfield is Wootton-hall, where Rousseau lived several years; where he botanized, and where he wrote his Confessions. One mile from Mayfield, on the other side of the Dove, lived a great, and perhaps, a much better man than Rousseau, but who will not attain an equal renown—Michael Thomas Sadler. At Oakover, one mile from Mayfield, is the residence of the late Mr. Ward, author of Tremaine. Two miles farther up the river, in the loveliest of all villages, a grotto is still preserved in which Congreve wrote his first drama. A ten minutes' walk affords a view of the grand entrance to Dovedale, immortalized by old Izaak Walton. At Tissington, another most exquisite village, like the former without work-house or ale-house, lived Greaves, the author of the Spiritual Quixote. Dr. Taylor, one of Dr. Johnson's most esteemed friends, was an inhabitant of Ashbourne. The great lexicographer was a visitor of this neighborhood, and some of his most amusing conversations and peculiarities are recorded by Boswell while staying in this quiet town. Mayfield cottage bears now some claim to the notice of the lovers of literature, from its being the residence of Mr. Alfred Butler, the clever author of the novels of Elphinstone and The Herberts."

It was not, however, the attractions enumerated in the above passage which determined the settlement of Moore there. His wife and himself were traveling along from a scene of great aristocratic splendor, of which they had become so weary, that they sighed for the utmost simplicity, retirement, and repose, and vowed that they would take the very first place of such a character that they found vacant. Mayfield cottage was the one. "It was a poor place," said Moore to myself, "little better than a barn, but we at once took it, and set about making it habitable."

It is no doubt from some such remark on the part of the poet that a paragraph originated which I have lately seen going the round of the newspapers, that he wrote Lalla Rookh in a barn. That barn was, in fact, Mayfield cottage. The right-hand front window is pointed out as belonging to Moore's little parlor; the window at the side belonged to his not very extensive library, and the trees visible above the roof are part of the orchard, his favorite study, in which some of his choicest lyrics were composed.

The warm-hearted poet, though it is many years since he quitted Mayfield, speaks with pleasure of the enjoyment he experienced there. The country around, both in Derbyshire and Staffordshire, has many charms for a poetic eye. There are, too, many persons of taste and intelligence living in it, from whom he and his family received every cordial attention. He was zealously engaged in working out what he deemed was to be the crowning work of his fame, Lalla Rookh, and he regarded the cottage at Mayfield, and the scene immediately surrounding it, peculiarly favorable for this purpose. "It was indeed," he observes, in the preface to his eighth volume, "to the secluded life I led during the years 1813-1816, in a lone cottage in the fields of Derbyshire, that I owed the inspiration, whatever may have been its value, of some of the best and most popular portions of Lalla Rookh. It was amid the snows of two or three Derbyshire winters that I found myself enabled, by that concentration of thought which retirement alone gives, to call up around me some of the sunniest of those Eastern scenes which have since been welcomed in India itself as almost native to its clime." It is, he says, a peculiarity of his imagination that it is easily broken in upon and diverted by striking external objects. "I am," said he to me, "at once very imaginative, and very matter-of-fact. The matter-of-fact can at any moment put to flight all the operations of the imagination. It was, therefore, necessary for me to exclude matter-of-fact, and all very striking or attractive objects, and to concenter all my imagination on the objects I wished to portray. My story lay in the East, and I must imbue and saturate my imagination entirely with Eastern ideas, and Eastern imagery. I must create, and place, and keep before me a peculiar world, with all its people and characteristics. No place could be more favorable for this than Mayfield, because it had nothing prominent or seducing enough to rush through and force itself into the world which I had evoked, created, and was walking and working in. The result was most complete. Never having been into the East myself, yet every one who has been there declares that nothing can be more perfect than my representations of it, its people, and life, in Lalla Rookh."

But though living in the country, Moore was always in the pretty regular habit of visiting town during the season. Here he was the charm of the circles of the Whig nobility, especially at Lansdowne and Holland houses. At these places, and especially the latter, he met all the distinguished men of the time. Byron, Jeffrey, Sidney Smith, Campbell, Brougham, and the like. Even in the country he has lived much at times in the houses of his great friends. In particular he records his visit at Chatsworth, and at Donnington-park, the seat of Lord Moira, where he describes himself as passing whole weeks in the library there, even when the family was absent, "indulging in all the freest airy castle-building of authorship." Here he met, oddly enough, with the rival princes of France, poor Charles X. and his brother, the Duc de Montpensier, and the Comte Beaujolais, at the same time with the Duke of Orleans, the present Louis Philippe, who in the library at the same house would be deep in a volume of Clarendon, "unconsciously preparing himself by such studies for the high and arduous destiny which not only the good genius of France, but his own sagacious and intrepid spirit had early marked out for him." Rogers and Moore have been for many years very intimate friends, and of course Moore has for years been much at home in the classic abode of the latter poet. During Byron's residence in Italy, Moore visited him there, and received the unlucky gift of the Memoirs, out of which, and his two thousand guineas, he was so shamefully wheedled by those who could so very well afford to pay the price of that burnt offering, to him a serious sacrifice.

But Lord Lansdowne was anxious to get the wit and poet down into his own neighborhood, and pressed him to come and live near Bowood. "Tommy, who dearly loves a lord," was the designation given to Moore by his dear friend, Lord Byron. As he obliged the relatives of Byron by burning the horror-creating Memoirs, so he was willing to oblige Lord Lansdowne by living near him. His lordship sent him word that there was a house just the thing for him, at Bromham, not far from Bowood. Moore went to it, but found it far too large and expensive for a poet's income. He, however, told Mrs. Moore on his return that he had seen a cottage on the road that was every thing that he desired, with a most delicious garden, and in a sweet situation. With her usual energy, Mrs. Moore at once took coach, hastened to the cottage, liked it as well as her husband did, and took it at once. This was Sloperton cottage, and here they have resided nearly thirty years.

It is Sloperton cottage which hereafter will be regarded with the chief interest as the residence of the poet. It stands in the midst of a delightful country, and though itself buried, as it were, in an ordinary thickly wooded lane, branching off to the left from the high-road, about two miles from Devizes, on the way to Chippenham, yet from its upper windows, as well as from its garden, enjoys peeps through the trees into lovely scenes. Down southward from the far end of the house opens the broad and noble vale toward Trowbridge; in front to the right, across a little valley, stands on a fine mount, amid nobly grown trees, the village of Bromham, with a gentleman's house standing, boldly backed and flanked by the masses of wood, and the church spire peering above it. More to the left, in front, you look across some miles of country, and see the historical foreland of Roundaway hill, the termination of the chalk-hills of the White-house-vale, proudly overlooking Devizes. This hill, my driver gravely assured me, was Roundaway hill, where King John signed the charter! Behind the cottage, across some rich fields, are the wooded slopes of Spy-park, once the property of Sir Andrew Baynton.

At a few hundred yards' distance, on the left-hand side of the lane as you advance from the Devizes road, there stands the old manor-house of Nonsuch, which has gone through many hands, and has, I believe, lately been sold, and is now refitting for a modern mansion. A narrow foot-lane descends past its grounds down through the valley, between tall hedges and embowering alders, to the village of Bromham, which gives you a view of the ancient knolls of the parklike environs of Nonsuch. Old sturdy oaks are standing here and there on these knolls, and every thing presents an air of great antiquity. A footpath runs through these grounds, by which you are admitted to loiter at your leisure amid the retired slopes and woodland hollows of this old English scenery. The footway which, I have said, leads also down past it, to Bromham, is peculiarly rural. It is paved, as the bottom abounds in water, where a beautiful spring gushes up from the foot of the ascent toward the village; and in passing along it, you feel yourself to be shrouded amid a luxuriant growth of water-loving trees, and surrounded by the quietness of woodland banks, and rustic farm lands. The village is purely agricultural, and has a fine church, with a singularly richly ornamented battlement.

Such is the immediate situation of Moore's cottage. Views of it every one has seen; but it is only when you stand actually before it, see it covered with clematis, its two porches hung with roses, and the lawn and garden which surround it kept in the most exquisite order, and fragrant with every flower of the season, that you are fully sensible of what a genuine poet's nest it is.

The house was originally quite a common cottage. This part forms still the end next to the Devizes road, which road, however, is three quarters of a mile distant; but fresh erections have been added, so that now it is not a very large, but a very goodly and commodious dwelling. The old entrance has been left, as well as a new one made in the new part, so that no unnecessary interruption may be occasioned to the family by visitors. The old entrance leads to the little drawing-room, the newer one to the family sitting-room. The poet's study is up stairs. In the garden there is a raised walk running its whole length, bounded by a hedge of laurel. This gives you the view over the fields of Spy-park, and its finely wooded slopes. This is a favorite walk of the poet; and it was, indeed, the fascination of this garden which originally took his fancy, and occasioned him to think of securing it.

At present Thomas Moore is suffering one of the afflictions to which all men are liable, but which press, perhaps, most sensibly on the poetic temperament—the loss of a son, an officer in foreign service. What is worthy of remark, and is an evidence of his independent and unselfish disposition, is that, I believe, with the exception of his Bermuda appointment, which turned out a loss, through the dishonesty of an agent, he has never received any other appointment, or any pension, though he has been so thoroughly identified with, and caressed by the Whigs. He can say, and does say, with a just pride,—What I am, I have made myself—what I have, I have won by my own hand. He has been careful to tell us himself, in his preface to his third volume, the actual amount of royal patronage which he had been said to have received, and unworthily repaid, by quizzing the modern Heliogabalus. It is this, and is worth reading: "Luckily, the list of benefits showered upon me from that high quarter may be dispatched in a few sentences. At the request of the Earl of Moira, one of my earliest and best friends, his royal highness graciously permitted me to dedicate to him my Translation of the Odes of Anacreon. I was twice, I think, admitted to the honor of dining at Carlton-house; and when the prince, on his being made regent, in 1811, gave his memorable fête, I was one of the envied—about fifteen hundred, I believe, in number—who enjoyed the privilege of being his guests on the occasion." The obligation was certainly not overpowering, especially when the country had to pay for it. Moore adds, that history has now pretty well settled the character of this royal patron. The obligation to nobility is not much more onerous. This, to the poet himself, is highly honorable; but to the party, and the noblemen of that party—the Lansdownes, Hollands, and Russells—what is it? The cause of these men the warm and patriotic pen of the Irish poet has essentially served. His wit, in songs and squibs in the morning papers, and through various vehicles, has been to them a sharp and glittering cimiter, lopping off the heads of whole hosts of heavy arguments and accusations. Around their tables he has cast a radiance and a merriment that would else have been sought for in vain. To them he has been a genuine and a daily benefactor. They have had the honor of his countenance, while they probably thought that they were gracing him with theirs. How posterity laughs at all such aristocratic self-delusions! How it reduces things to their real dimensions! What may be the ideas of Thomas Moore, on this subject, I do not know. I speak merely according to the impressions which the contemplation of his peculiar career leaves upon me; and these are, that his aristocratic friends have had a very good friend in him, and he a very indifferent one in them. While, on all occasions, they have been filling their families and ordinary hangers-on with wealth, the ablest man of their party has been rewarded with a shake of the hand and invitations to dinners, because he was too proud to ask for any thing better. If he has dearly loved a lord, it must be confessed that it has been with a very disinterested affection. Lord Byron was the most generous to him of his class; but Lord Byron's friends robbed him of that solitary benefit. And so, at the age of sixty-six, the champion of the Whigs, the poet of the loves, the merry wit, and the pungent satirist, the friend of the richest men in England, still sits at his desk, and works for honest bread. Long may he enjoy it!

The "Ranter" Preaching

The "Ranter" Preaching


The manufacturing town, as well as the country, has found its Burns. As Burns grew and lived amid the open fields, inhaling their free winds, catching views of the majestic mountains as he trod the furrowed field, and making acquaintance with the lowliest flower and the lowliest creatures of the earth, as he toiled on in solitude; so Elliott grew and lived amid the noisy wilderness of dingy houses, inhaling smoke from a thousand furnaces, forges, and engine chimneys, and making acquaintance with misery in its humblest shapes, as he toiled on in the solitude of neglect. The local circumstances were diametrically different, to show that the spirit in both was the same. They were men of the same stamp, and destined for the same great work; and, therefore, however different were their immediate environments, the same operating causes penetrated through them, and stirred within them the spirit of the prophet. They were both of that chosen class who are disciplined in pain, that they may learn that it is a prevailing evil, and are stimulated to free not only themselves, but their whole cotemporary kindred. Of poets, says Shelley:

"They learn in suffering what they teach in song;"

and the names of Milton, Chatterton, Byron, and of Shelley himself, remind us how true as well as melancholy is the assertion. Burns and Elliott were to be great teachers, and they both had their appointed baptisms. The same quick and ardent passions; the same quivering sensibility; the same fiery indignation against tyranny and oppression; the same lofty spirit of independence, and power of flinging their feelings into song, strong, piercing, and yet most melodious, belong to them. They are both of the people—their sworn brethren and champions. For their sakes they defy all favor of the great; they make war to the death on the humbug of aristocratic imposition; to them humanity is alone great, and by that they stand unmoved by menace, unabashed by scorn, unseduced by flatterers. As messengers of God, they honor God in man; and if they show a preference, it is for man in his misery. They are drawn by a divine sympathy to the injured and afflicted. The world knows its own, and they know it, and leave the world to worship according to its worldly instinct. For them the gaudy revel goes on, the chariot of swelling property rolls by, the palace and the castle receive or pour out their glittering throngs, unmarked save by a passing glance of contempt; for they are on their way to the cabins of wretchedness, where they have their Father's work to do. In their eyes, "the whole need not a physician, but those that are sick." They leave the dead to bury their dead, and have enough to do to soothe the agonies of the living; of those who live only to suffer, the martyr mass of mankind who groan in rags, and filth, and destitution, under the second great curse—not that of earning their bread by the sweat of their brow, but of not being able to do it.

England owes a debt of thanks to a good Providence, who, affluent in his gifts of honor and beneficence, has raised up great men in every class and every location on her bosom, where they were most needed. In that magnificent work which England has assuredly to do in the earth—that of spreading freedom, knowledge, arts, and Christianity over every distant land and age, gross errors have been committed, and malignant powers have been developed, like pestilential diseases in her constitution; but these have not been suffered to stop, though they may have retarded her career. New infusions of health have been made, new strength has been manifested; out of the pressure of wretchedness new comfort has sprung; and when hope seemed almost extinct, new voices have been heard above the wailing crowd, that have startled the despairing into courage, and shed dismay into the soul of tyranny. As the population has assumed new forms and acquired new interests, out of the bosom of the multitude have arisen the poets who have borne those forms, and have been made familiar with those interests from their birth. Byron and Shelley, from the regions of aristocracy, denounced, in unsparing terms, its arrogant assumptions; Burns, beholding the progressing work of monopoly and selfishness, uttered his contempt of the spirit that was thrusting down the multitude to the condition of serfs, and haughtily returning glance for glance with pride of rank and pride of purse, exclaimed—

"A man's a man for a' that!"

But the work of evil went on. While war scourged the earth in the defense of the doting despotism of kingship, and monopoly shut out the food of this nation in defense of the domestic despotism of aristocracy, millions and millions of men were born to insufferable misery, to hunger, nakedness, and crime, the result of maddened ignorance; and that in a land teeming with corn and cattle, and the wealth that could purchase them; and in a land, too, that sent out clothing for a world. The work of selfishness had proceeded, but had not prospered; wealth had been accumulated, but poverty had been accumulated too, a thousandfold; rents had been maintained, but ruin looked over the wall; there was universal activity, but its wages were famine; there was a thunder of machinery, and a din of never ceasing hammers; but amid the chaos of sounds there were heard—not songs, but groans. It was then that Elliott was born, and there that he grew, in the very thick of this swarming, busy, laborious, yet miserable generation. He saw with astonishment that all that prodigious industry produced no happiness; there was pomp and pauperism; toil and starvation; Christianity preached to unbelieving ears, because there were no evidences of its operation on hearts that had the power to bless; and thus famine, ignorance, and irritation were converting the crowd into a mass of ravenous and dehumanized monsters. There needed a new orator of the patriot spirit. There needed a Burns of the manufacturing district, and he was there in the shape of Elliott. Had Burns been born again there, and under those circumstances, he would have manifested himself exactly as Elliott has done. He would have attacked manfully this monstrous bread-tax, which had thus disorganized society, disputing the passage of God's blessings to the many, and stamping a horrible character on the few. He would have vindicated the rights of man and his labors, and have sung down with fiery numbers all the crowding bugbears that armed monopoly had gathered round the people to scare them into quiet. Elliott has done that exactly; done that and no less. In the unpresuming character of "A Corn-Law Rhymer," of "The Poet of the Rabble," he sent out, right and left, songs, sarcasms, curses, and battle-cries, among the people. His words, never ceasing, fell like serpents among the multitude deadened by long slavery, and stung them into life. His voice once raised, never faltered, never paused; wherever the multitude met they heard it; wherever they turned they saw it embodied in largest handwriting on the wall. "Up! bread-taxed slave! Up! our bread is taxed—arise!" It was Elliott who sounded from day to day, and month to month, these ominous words in the nation's ears. He took the very form of Burns's patriot song, and instead of "Scots, wha ha' wi' Wallace bled," exclaimed—

"Hands, and hearts, and minds are ours;
Shall we bow to bestial powers?
Tyrants, vaunt your swords and towers!
Reason is our citadel.
"With what arms will ye surprise
Knowledge of the million eyes?
What is mightier than the wise?
Not the might of wickedness.
"Trust in force!—So tyrants trust!
Words shall crush ye into dust;
Yet we fight, if fight we must—
Thou didst, Man of Huntingdon!5
"Heirs of Pym! can ye be base?
Locke! shall Frenchmen scorn a race
Born in Hampden's dwelling-place?
Blush to write it, Infamy
"What we are our fathers were;
What they dared their sons can dare:
Vulgar tyrants! hush! beware!
Bring not down the avalanche.
"By the death which Hampden died
By oppression mind-defied!
Despots, we will tame your pride—
Stormily, or tranquilly!"

These brave words were not uttered in vain. The Burns of Sheffield did not speak to the dead. The fire which he scattered was electric. It spread rapidly, it kindled in millions of hearts, it became the soul of the sinking multitude. It was slower to seize on the moist and comfortable spirits of the middle classes and master-manufacturers; but the progress of foreign competition soon drove even them into action against the landlord's monopoly. The League arose. The prose-men took up the cry of the poet, and with material and ground prepared by him, went on from year to year advancing, by force of arguments and force of money, the great cause, till at this moment it may be said to be won. The prime minister of England pronounced the doom of the Corn-Law, and fixed the date of its extinction. All honor to every man who fought in the good fight, but what honor should be shown to him who began it? To the man who blew, on the fiery trumpet of a contagious zeal, defiance to the hostile power in the pride of its strength, and called the people together to the great contest? In that contest the very name of Ebenezer Elliott has of late ceased to be heard. Others have prolonged the war-cry, and the voice of him who first raised it seems to be forgotten; but not the less did he raise it. Not the less does that cause owe to him its earliest and amplest thanks. Not the less is it he who dared to clear the field, to defy the enemy, to array the host, to animate them to the combat, and proclaim to them a certain and glorious victory. And when the clamor of triumph shall have ceased, and a grateful people sit down to think, in their hours of evening or of holyday ease, of the past, they will remember the thrilling songs of their poet, and pay him a long and grateful homage.

In comparing Ebenezer Elliott to Robert Burns, I do not mean to say that their poetry is at all points to be compared. On the contrary, in many particulars they are very different, but the great spirit and principles of them are the same. In the felicitous power of throwing a popular sentiment into a popular song, Elliott can not come near Burns; nay, in the lyrical portion of his composition, we do not find the full stature and strength of Elliott; it is in his larger poems that he more completely presents himself, and no one can read them without feeling that he is not only a true but a great poet.

There are many people who have read only his corn-law effusions in newspapers and periodicals, who are at a loss to find the warrant for the high character assigned by others to his writings. These give them an idea of a fierce, savage, and often coarse demagogue. And when they add to the expression of these compositions that of the only portraits hitherto published of him, they are perfectly confirmed in the idea that he is a stern, hard-souled, impetuous, and terrible man of iron. Such are the false judgments derived from a one-sided knowledge, and the cruel calumnies of bad artists! Ebenezer Elliott is one of the gentlest, most tender-hearted of men; and, however strange it may seem, it is this very character, this compassion for the unhappy, this lively and soft sympathy for human suffering, that has roused him to his loftiest pitch of anger, and put into his mouth his most terrible words. It is the noble and feeling soul, which creates the patriot, the savior, and champion of men. It was Christ, who died for the world, and prayed for his enemies, and taught us to pray for ours, that uttered those awful and scarifying denunciations—"Woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!" It is impossible that it should be otherwise. It is impossible that a feeling soul, endowed with power as well as feeling, should not rise into the battle attitude at the sight of oppression, and with the sledge-hammer of a great indignation demolish the gates of cruelty, when the poor are crying within. But it must never be forgotten, that it is out of the excess of love that springs this excess of zeal. It is this that marks the great distinction between the tyrant and the savior; the one is inspired by cruelty, the other by mercy.

Whoever sees Ebenezer Elliott, having first only seen the portrait prefixed to some of his works—a vile caricature—and having read only his Corn-law Rhymes, will see with wonder a man of gentle manners, and in all his tones, the expression of a tender and compassionate feeling. But those who have read the whole of his poetry, will not be surprised at this. It is what they will expect. Elliott, though born in a manufacturing town, and having lived there most of his life, displays, like Burns, the most passionate attachment to nature, and what is more, a most intimate acquaintance with her. He possesses a singular power of landscape painting; and what he paints, possesses all the beauty of Claude, and the wild magnificence of a Salvator Rosa, with the finest and most subtile touches of a Dutch artist. In his landscapes you are not the more amazed by the sublimity of the tempest on the dark and crag-strewn moorland mountains of the Peak, than you are by the perfect accuracy of his most minute details. In the woodland, on the vernal bank, and in the cottage garden, you find nothing which should not be there; nothing out of place, or out of season; and the simplest plant or flower is exactly what you will find; not nicknamed as the poor children of nature so often are by our writers. There is one instance of Ebenezer Elliott's taste that meets you everywhere, and marks most expressively the peculiar, delicate, and poetic affection of his feelings. It is his preeminent love for spring, and its flowers and imagery. The primrose, the snow-drop, "the woe-marked cowslips," the blossom of the hawthorn and the elm, how constantly do they recur. In what favorite scene has he not introduced the wind-flower? Thus, in this admirable picture of a mechanic's garden—

"Still nature, still he loves thy uplands brown—
The rock that o'er his father's freehold towers!
And strangers hurrying through the dingy town
May know his workshop by its sweet wild flowers.
Cropped on the Sabbath from the hedge-row bowers,
The hawthorn blossom in his window droops;
Far from the headlong stream and lucid air,
The pallid alpine rose to meet him stoops,
As if to soothe a brother in despair,
Exiled from nature, and her pictures fair.
Even winter sends a posy to his jail,
Wreathed of the sunny celandine; the brief,
Courageous wind-flower, loveliest of the frail;
The hazel's crimson star, the woodbine's leaf,
The daisy with its half-closed eye of grief;
Prophets of fragrance, beauty, joy, and song."—P. 63.

Or in this passage, as remarkable for the sweet music of its versification as for its suggestive power, winging the imagination into the far-off woodland with the plover's cry—

"When daisies blush, and wind-flowers wet with dew;
When shady lanes with hyacinths are blue;
When the elm blossoms o'er the brooding bird,
And wild and wide the plover's wail is heard
When melt the mists on mountains far away,
Till morn is kindled into brightest day,
No more the shouting youngsters shall convene
To play at leap-frog on the village green," etc.—P. 87.

These are beautiful; but Elliott can be strong as beautiful, and sublime as strong; and the great charm of all his poetry is, that he makes his description subservient to the display of human life and passion, human joys, and sorrows, and struggles, and wrongs. He deals, as the poet of the people, with the life of the people. The thronged manufacturing town,—thronged with men, and misery, and crime, but not destitute of domestic virtues, nor precious domestic affections,—lives nowhere as it does in Elliott's pages. The village and the cottage, with its gardens, and their inhabitants, all come before us with their beloved characteristics, and also with their tales of trial and death.

Elliott has been said to have copied from Crabbe and Wordsworth, and heaven knows who. Every page of his tells that he has read and loved them, and been deeply impressed with their compositions; but he is no copyist. Like a fine landscape, he is tinted by the colors and harmonies of the sky, the sun, the season, and the hour; but like that, his features and lasting beauties are his own. In his earlier poems, he often reminds you, by the tone and rhythm of his verse, of Campbell and Rogers; but anon, and he has molded his own style into its peculiar and native beauty, and like a river for a while obstructed by rocks and mounds, he at length finds his way into the open plain, and in his full growth and strength goes on his way vigorous, majestic, and with a character all his own. He delights in the heroic measure, varying and alternating the rhymes at his pleasure; and in this versification he exhibits a singular breadth of scope, and pours forth a harmony grand, melancholy, and thrilling. Beautifully as he clothes his themes with the pathos and the hues of poetry, they are yet the stern themes of real and of unhappy life. They are, as he tells us, and as we feel and know from our own experience, all drawn from actual knowledge. He finds his fellow-men oppressed by the false growth of society, and he boldly and vehemently lays bare their calamities. He draws things as they are, and with the pencil of a giant. The misery that springs out of the corn-laws, and other measures of monopoly and unjust legislation, he denounces and deplores with unceasing zeal. He assaults and wrestles with the monster growth of injustice with undying and unappeasable hatred. He limns England as it was, and as it is; and asks the aristocratic and the millocrat if they are not ashamed of their deeds? If they do not blush at their philosophy; if they do not recoil from these scenes of woe, and crime, and ferocity, that they have created?

In every form and disguise, injustice and inhumanity—

"Man's inhumanity to man"


"Makes countless thousands mourn,"

are the monster serpents that he seeks to crush beneath his relentless heel, and to fling forth from the dwellings of men. In delineating the consequences of crime, Ebenezer Elliott has few equals for masterly command of language. Byron never recorded the agonies of sin and passion with more awful vigor, nor the woes of parting spirits with more absorbing pathos. In the Exile, where two lovers meet in America—in the days when our settlements there were called the plantations, and they were penal colonies,—the woman as a convict, and that through her lover's errors and desertion, nothing can be more vividly sketched than the mental sufferings of both parties, or finer than the scene where the unhappy woman dies in her lover's arms on a night of awful tempest.

"Then with clasped hands, and fervent hearts dismayed,
That she might live for him, both mutely prayed.
But o'er their silence burst the heavy blast;
And, wrapped in darkness, the sky-torrent passed,
And down the giants of the forest dashed;
And pale as day the night with lightning flashed;
And through awed heaven, a peal that might have been
The funeral dirge of suns and systems crashed.
More dread, more near, the bright-blue blaze was seen,
Peal following peal, with direr pause between.
On the wild light she turned her wilder eye,
And grasped his hands in dying agony,
Fast and still faster as the flash rushed by.
'Spare me!' she cried, 'oh, thou destroying rod!
Hark! 'tis the voice of unforgiving God!
A mother murdered, and a sire in woe!
Alfred, the deed was mine! for thee, for thee,
I broke her heart, and turned his locks to snow.
Hark! 'tis the roaring of the mighty sea!
Lo! how the mountain billows fall and rise!
And while their rage, beneath the howling night,
Lifts my boy's tresses to the wild moonlight,
Yet doth the wretch, the unwedded mother live,
Who for those poor unvalued locks would give
All save her hope to kiss them in the skies!
But see! he rises from his watery bed,
And at his guilty mother shakes his head!
There, dost thou see him, blue and shivering, stand,
And lift at thee his little, threatening hand?
Oh, dreadful!—Hold me!—Catch me!—Die with me!—
Alas! that must not, and it should not be.
No—pray that both our sins may be forgiven;
Then come—and heaven will, will, indeed be heaven!'"

Among the largest and best poems of Ebenezer Elliott, perhaps the Village Patriarch, the Splendid Village, and the Ranter, will always be the greatest favorites; not because they possess more passion or poetry than the vigorous drama, of Bothwell and Kerhonah, but because they depict England as it has become in our day, and awaken our love for both country and people, while they make us weep for the desolation which aristocratic legislation has everywhere diffused. The Splendid Village, unlike the Deserted Village of Goldsmith, has not become released of its inhabitants by the change of times, but has become the scene of heartless wealth, of fine houses, where humble cottages stood, and of purse-proud cits and lawyers, who leave the work-house, or the jail, as the only refuges of the once happy poor. The surly "Constable, publican and warrener," "Broad Jim the poacher," and in the Village Patriarch, the poor old Hannah Wray, whose cottage is unroofed by Mr. Ezra White, the farmer, and who is hanged for killing the savage with a stone, in the act, though it was really done by her half-sharp daughter, are sketches too sadly full of that lamentable life which has, of late years, distorted the fair rural face of England. They are things which can not be too well pondered on by every man who desires the return of better days to this country. But we turn for the present to the more attractive society of blind Enoch Wray.

In Enoch Wray, blind, and one hundred years old, Elliott has drawn one of those venerable village patriarchs, that every one can remember something of in his younger days. Men of hale and well developed powers, who, in a calm life, not devoid of its cares, yet leaving leisure for thought, have cherished the love of nature and the spirit of a pure wisdom in them, worthy of man's highest estate. Such men, who that has spent his youth in the country, has not known, and has not loved? Enoch Wray is one of these, old and blind, yet with a heart full as that of a child of the tenderness for nature, and the spirit of heaven. The author describes his strolls with him into the hills; and we will take our last extracts from these, because they are fine specimens of landscape painting, and show what a fresh charm the poet confers on his compositions, by the very names of the places he introduces. In this there is a striking difference between him and James Montgomery, Sheffield's other eminent poet, whose writings, beautiful as they are, and full as they are of the love of nature, might have been written anywhere. They do not localize themselves.

"Come, father of the hamlet! grasp again
Thy stern ash plant, cut when the woods were young;
Come, let us leave the plough-subjected plain,
And rise with freshened hearts and nerves restrung,
Into the azure dome, that proudly hung
O'er thoughtful power, ere suffering had begun.
"Flowers peep, trees bud, boughs tremble, rivers run:
The redwing saith it is a glorious morn.
Blue are thy heavens, thou Highest! And thy sun
Shines without cloud, all fire. How sweetly borne
On wings of morning, o'er the leafless thorn,
The tiny wren's small twitter warbles near!
How swiftly flashes in the stream the trout!
Woodbine! our father's ever watchful ear
Knows by thy rustle that thy leaves are out.
The trailing bramble hath not yet a sprout;
Yet harshly to the wind the wanton prates,
Not with thy smooth lips, woodbine of the fields!
Thou future treasure of the bee that waits
Gladly on thee, spring's harbinger! when yields
All bounteous earth her odorous flowers, and builds
The nightingale in beauty's fairest land."

The poet then enumerates the "five rivers, like the fingers of a hand," which so remarkably convene at Sheffield, and then gives one of the most characteristic features of Sheffield scenery, and a graphic notice of that extraordinary body of men, the Sheffield grinders, who perish early from the effects of their trade, yet pursue it with the most hardy indifference.

"Beautiful rivers of the desert! ye
Bring food for labor from the fordless waste.
Pleased stops the wanderer on his way to see
The frequent weir oppose your heedless haste,
Where toils the mill by ancient woods embraced.
Hark, how the cold steel screams in hissing fire!
But Enoch sees the grinder's wheel no more.
Couched beneath rocks and forests, that admire
Their beauty in the waters, ere they roar
Dashed in white foam, the swift circumference o'er,
There draws the grinder his laborious breath;
There, coughing, at his deadly trade he bends;
Born to die young, he fears nor man nor death;
Scorning the future, what he earns he spends:
Debauch and riot are his bosom friends.
He plays the Tory sultan-like and well:
Woe to the traitor that dares disobey
The Dey of Straps! as ratanned tools shall tell.
Full many a lawless freak by night, by day,
Illustrates gloriously his lawless sway.
Behold his failings! hath he virtues too?
He is no pauper, blackguard though he be.
Full well he knows what minds combined can do,
Full well maintains his birthright—he is free!
And, power for power, outstares monopoly!
Yet Abraham and Elliott, both in vain,
Bid science on his cheek prolong the bloom;
He will not live! he seems in haste to gain
The undisturbed asylum of the tomb,
And old at two-and-thirty, meets his doom!
Man of a hundred years, how unlike thee!"

The Abraham and Elliott mentioned here were inventors of the Grinder's Preservative, which the grinders will not use! But of these strange men more anon.

"The moors—all hail! ye changeless, ye sublime,
That seldom hear a voice save that of Heaven!
Scorners of chance, and fate, and death, and time,
But not of Him, whose viewless hand hath riven
The chasm through which the mountain stream is driven!
How like a prostrate giant—not in sleep,
But listening to his beating heart—ye lie!
With winds and clouds dread harmony ye keep,
Ye seem alone beneath the boundless sky:
Ye speak, are mute, and there is no reply.
Here all is sapphire light, and gloomy land,
Blue, brilliant sky, above a sable sea
Of hills like chaos, ere the first command,
'Let there be light!' bade light and beauty be.
* * * * * * *
Father! we stand upon the mountain stern,
That can not feel our lightness, and disdains
Reptiles that sting and perish in their turn,
That hiss and die—and lo! no trace remains
Of all their joys, their triumphs, and their pains!
Yet to stand here might well exalt the mind;
These are not common moments nor is this
A common scene. Hark, how the coming wind
Booms like the funeral dirge of woe, and bliss,
And life, and form, and mind, and all that is!
How like the wafture of a world-wide wing
It sounds and sinks, and all is hushed again!
But are our spirits humbled? No; we string
The lyre of death with mystery and pain,
And proudly hear the dreadful notes complain
That man is not the whirlwind, but the leaf,
Torn from the tree, to soar and disappear.
Grand is our weakness, and sublime our grief.
Lo! on this rock I shake off hope and fear,
And stand released from clay!—yet am I here,
And at my side are blindness, age, and woe."

Would any one imagine, after reading the poetry of Ebenezer Elliott, that that poetry could ever have found difficulty in struggling to the light of day? With our host of acute and infallible critics, would one think it possible that this noble poetry should not have been immediately discovered, and made universal in its acceptation? But what was the fact? For twenty years the poet went on writing and publishing, but in vain. Volume after volume, his productions fell dead from the press, or were treated with a passing sneer, or were "damned with faint praise." But living consciousness of genius was not to be extinguished, the undaunted spirit of Elliott was not to be frozen out by neglect. He wrote, he appealed to sense and justice—it was in vain. He became furious, and hurled a flaming satire at Lord Byron in the height of his popularity, in the hope that the noble poet would give him a returning blow, and thus draw attention upon him. It was in vain, neither lord nor public would deign him a look, and the case seemed desperate. But it was not so. Chance did what merit itself could not do. Chance led Dr. Bowring to Sheffield, and there some one put into his hands The Corn-Law Rhymes, and The Ranter. At once Bowring, a poet himself, recognized the singular merit of the compositions, printed as they were in four pamphlet sheets, on very ordinary paper. With his usual zeal, he began to talk everywhere of the wonderful poet of Sheffield, not Montgomery, but a new name. He talked thus at my house, and I instantly procured them. Wordsworth happened to be my guest at the time. He was as much struck with the wonderful power of these compositions as ourselves, and I begged him to convey them at once to Southey. He did so, and the laureate immediately gave a notice of them in the Quarterly, in an article on what he called Uneducated Poets. But, in the mean time, Dr. Bowring went on to London, and there continued talking of the Corn-Law Rhymer, till, falling in with Bulwer at a party, he showed those long neglected poems to him, and the thing was done. Bulwer wrote an out-speaking article in the New Monthly Magazine, which told like the match put to the long laid train. Wordsworth, on his way home, had made the poems known to Miss Jewsbury, at Manchester, and she gave a nearly simultaneous notice in the Athenæum. At such decided and generous verdicts in such quarters, the scales fell from the eyes of the whole critic tribe—all cuckoo-land was loud with one note; and the poet, who had been thundering at every critical door in the kingdom in vain, now saw the gates of the land of glory at once expand, and was led in by a hundred officious hands, as if he were a new-born bard, and not of twenty years' growth.

Such a history awakes involuntarily some curious reflections. If Elliott had chanced to die before Bowring had chanced to visit Sheffield—what then? Where would now be the fame of the Corn-Law Rhymer? I know that there is a very favorite doctrine in many mouths, that true genius is sure, sooner or later, to find its way—that it can not be destroyed, and is never lost. This may be very consolatory doctrine for those who have wielded a merciless pen, and are visited by compunctions of remorse; but it is just as true as that untimely frosts never cut down buds and flowers, or that swords and cannons will not kill honest men, or that a really beautiful scene may not be ravaged and laid waste by bears or swine. If there be one thing that murders early genius, it is the bludgeon of critical unkindness; if there be one thing that gives life and spirit, it is encouragement. Kindness! encouragement! they are the sunshine of the mind, as necessary as the sunshine of Heaven for the unfolding of earth's flowers and the ripening of earth's fruits. How many a bright soul has sunk in the frosty valleys of neglect; how many have shrunk hopelessly from the vile sneer of scorn; how many that have survived have reached only a partial development of their strength and beauty; being crippled in their youth by the blows of private malice, or enfeebled by the want of the cordial aliment of acknowledged merit. Honor, then, to the few sturdy souls that contempt has not been able to subdue! To those who have returned kick for kick to the insolent opposers of their progress; who have been able to keep alive self-respect in their souls, through a long, dark career of frowns, and jeers, and cuffs, as the due award of a spiritual pauperism. Honor to those brave souls—they are the few victorious survivors in the great battle of fame, where thousands have fallen by butcher hands. The endurance of harsh treatment is no proof of genius—it is only a proof of a certain amount of power of resistance; but it is a lucky thing for the world that genius and endurance sometimes lodge in the same bosom. Byron knocked down his deriders on the spot; Elliott, like Wellington at Waterloo, stood out a whole long day of pitiless contest, and triumphed at the last.

And it was not a single fight only that he had to maintain. He waged a double contest against fortune—for life as well as for fame; and in both, with desperate odds against him, he came off victorious. Ebenezer Elliott is certainly one of the greatest "Curiosities of Literature." He has not only proved himself a poet, in spite of twenty years of most dogged deafness to his claims, but a poet that has set fortune as well as the critics at defiance, and has at once won fame and wealth. I believe that on his settling in Sheffield he possessed nothing but a wife and three or four children, but he has managed to retire from trade with some eight or ten children, and a good round sum of thousands of pounds. He has bravely scorned all

"The perils that environ
The man who meddles with cold iron;"

and has set a glorious example to future genius—to rely on its own intimations, and not on reviews; to assert the rights of mind, and yet not to neglect business. In him stands a living proof that poetry and worldly prosperity can go hand in hand.

By his own statement to me, it appears that he was born the 17th of March, 1781, being one of eight children. His father was a commercial clerk in the iron-works at Masborough, near Rotherham, with a salary of £70 a-year, "and consequently," says he, "a rich man in those days."

There is no complete biography of Mr. Elliott published, nor ever written. There is one in manuscript, written by himself, but only up to a certain period. Beyond that he has not been able to proceed, and has expressed doubts whether he ever shall. It no doubt relates to some crisis in his life, that from his desperate conflict with circumstances is recollected only with a horror that disables his pen; the bottom of that Jordan of affliction through which he passed, that he might become the interpreter of the sons of suffering. At the very memory of this stern baptism, that Herculean resolution which bore him through it falters; it is to be hoped, for the sake of posterity, one day, however, to collect itself again into a great effort, and to add another autobiography full of life's great lessons to those of Franklin and William Hutton. From a notice in a periodical some years ago, and which I believe, from good authority, to be correct, I extract the few particulars that are related of his early life.

"Ebenezer Elliott, in childhood, boyhood, and youth, was remarkable for good-nature, as it is called, and a sensitiveness, exceeded only by his extreme dullness and inability to learn any thing that required the least application or intellect. His good-nature made him rather a favorite in his childhood with servant girls, nurses, and old women. One of the latter was a particular favorite with him—Nanny Farr, who kept the York Keelman public-house, near the foundry at Masborough, where he was born. She was a walking magazine of old English prejudices and superstitions;—to her he owes his fondness for ghost stories. When he was about ten years old, he fell in love with a young girl, now Mrs. Woodcock of Munsber, near Greasborough, to whom he never to this day spoke one word. She then lived with her father, Mr. Ridgeway, a butcher and publican, close to the bridge on the Masborough side of the river Don. Such was his sensitiveness, that if he happened to see her as she passed, and especially if she happened to look at him—which he now believes she never did,—he was suddenly deprived almost of the power of moving.

"His unconquerable dullness was improved into absolute stupidity by the help he received from an uncommonly clever boy, called John Ross, who did him his sums. He got into the rule-of-three without having learned numeration, addition, subtraction, and division. Old Joseph Ramsbotham seemed quite convinced, gave him up in despair, and at rule-of-three the bard jumped all at once to decimals, where he stuck. At this time he was examined by his father, who discovered that the boy scarcely knew that two and one are three. He was then put to work in the foundry on trial, whether hard labor would not induce him to learn his 'counting,' as arithmetic is called in Yorkshire. Now it happened that nature, in her vagaries, had given him a brother called Giles, of whom it will be said by any person who knew him, that never was there a young person of quicker or brighter talents; there was nothing that he could not learn, but the praise he received ruined him in the end. His superiority produced no envy in Ebenezer, who almost worshiped him. The only effect it produced on him was, a sad sense of humiliation, and confirmed conviction that himself was an incurable dunce. The sense of his deficiencies oppressed him, and in private he wept bitterly. When he saw Giles seated in the counting-house, writing invoices, or posting the ledger; or when he came dirty out of the foundry, and saw him showing his drawings, or reading aloud to the circle, whose plaudits seemed to have no end, his resource was solitude, of which from his infancy he was fond. He would go and fly his kite, always alone, and he was the best kite-maker of the place; or he would saunter along the canal bank, swimming his ships, or anchoring them before his fortresses—and he was a good ship-builder.

"His sadness increased;—he could not post books—he could not write invoices—he could not learn to do what almost every body could learn, namely, to do a single sum in single division; yet by this time he had discovered that he could do 'men's work,' for he could make a frying-pan. It ought to be observed here, that the assistance he received from John Ross accompanied him, like his double, to every school to which his parents, in their despair, had sent him; and they sent him to two, beside Mr. Ramsbotham's. When it was found that he could not do decimals, he was put back to the rule-of-three, and then pronounced incurable. Labor, however, and the honor paid to his brother, at length made him try one effort more. He had an aunt at Masborough, one of whose sons was studying botany. He was buying, in monthly numbers, a book called Sowerby's English Botany, with beautifully colored plates. They filled him with delight; and she showed him that by holding the plates before a pane of glass, he might take exact sketches of them. Dunce though he was, he found he could draw, and with such ease, that he almost thought he was a magician. He became a botanist, or rather a hunter of flowers; but, like his cousin Ben, though not Greek-learned like him, he too had his Hortus Siccus. He does not remember having ever read, or liked, or thought of poetry until he heard his brother recite that passage in Thomson's Spring, which describes the polyanthus and auricula. His first attempt at poetry was an imitation in rhyme of Thomson's Thunder Storm, in which he described a certain flock of sheep running away after they were killed by lightning. Now this came to pass because the rhyme would have it so. His critic, cousin Ben the learned, though the bard most imploringly told him how the miracle happened, nevertheless exercised the critic's privilege, and ridiculed him without mercy. Never will he forget that infliction. His second favorite author was Shenstone, whose translations of passages from the classics, prefixed to his elegies, produced an effect on his mind and heart which death only can obliterate. His next favorite was Milton, who slowly gave way to Shakspeare. He can trace all his literary propensities to physical causes. His mind, he says, is altogether the mind of his own eyes. A primrose is to him a primrose, and nothing more; for Solomon in his glory was not more delicately arrayed. There is not a good passage in his writings, which he can not trace to some real occurrence, or to some object actually before his eyes, or to some passage in some other author. He has the power, he says, of making the thoughts of other men breed; and he is fond of pointing out four or five passages in his poems, all stolen from one passage in Cowper's Homer. We will give the original, and one of the imitations. He made the thought his own, he says, by substituting the word 'hymn' for the word 'trumpet;' and the imitation will show his power of making other men's thoughts breed; they describe poetically and philosophically the reflection of light from the heavenly bodies:

'The earth beneath them trembled, and the heavens
Sung them together with a trumpet's voice.'
Cowper's Iliad.

Thus imitated—

'Oh, Light, that cheer'st all worlds, from sky to sky,
As with a hymn to which the stars reply.'

"When he became a poet, he became also more and more ashamed of his deficiencies. He actually tried to learn French, and could with ease get his lesson, but could never remember it an hour. Nor could he ever write correctly till he met with Murray's Grammar, which he learned at the wrong end, namely, the Key,—and never reached the beginning. To this day he does not thoroughly know a single rule of grammar; yet, by thinking, he can detect any grammatical errors. If he errs, it is in the application of words derived from the Latin or Greek, which, although he has a strong propensity to use them, he now avoids, unless they are very melodious, or harmonize with his Saxon, and seldom without consulting his dictionary, that he may guess at their meaning. He has more than once shown his fondness for learned words by begging Latin and Greek quotations, for his prefaces and notes, of the writer of this article. But his propensity to use fine words will be still better elucidated by the following anecdote, of the truth of which the reader may be assured. Having written a sonorous poem in blank verse, on the American Revolution, he wished for a learned title. He wished to call it 'Liberty,' so his learned cousin baptized it in Greek by the name of 'Eleutheria;' but the bard having found out that Eleutheria also signifies fire, humbled himself to Latin, expunged the Greek, and wrote in place of it, 'Jus Triumphans.' He then read Johnson's Dictionary through, and selected several dozen words—fifty-three, we believe—of six or seven syllables, which he wrote on slips of paper, and pasted over his verses where they would occur and read grammatically! In this state the manuscript was sent to Whitbread, the brewer, who returned it with a flourishing compliment; and, if it be in existence, certainly it is a curiosity that a bibliographer would place in his cabinet.

"One of Mr. Elliott's early companions was a youth of cultivated mind, with whom he read much and conversed more, Joseph Ramsbotham, the son of his schoolmaster, who was educated for the ministry. This excellent young man, who died too soon, used to recite Greek to him; and the poet, without knowing any thing of that language, was so delighted with the music of Homer, that he committed to memory the introductory lines of the Iliad, and could repeat them when the writer of this article first became acquainted with him. In the opening of his poem. Withered Wild Flowers, Elliott pays a tribute to these two excellent men, father and son.

"Mr. Elliott's memory is very retentive, and he does not easily forget what he has once learned. Translations have made him familiar with the classic poets of Greece and Rome. Among the tragedians, Æschylus is his favorite; whom he admires as the most original and sublime of the Athenian dramatic writers. His reading is extensive, and it has not been confined to poetry. History and political economy seem to have been his favorite studies; the latter has inspired some of his most admired productions. He writes prose as well as verse, and the style of some of his Letters on the Corn-Laws has the condensed fire and energy of Junius; less polished, indeed, but equally pointed and severe. In conversation he is rapid and short; his sentences, when he is animated by the subject on which he is speaking, have all the force and brevity of Spartan oratory; they are words of flame; and in his predictions of calamity and woe—as, in his opinion, a necessary consequence of adhering to the present system of politics—it may be truly said, in his own language, 'his gloom is fire.' In argument every muscle of his countenance is eloquent; and when his cold blue eye is fired with indignation, it resembles a wintry sky flashing with lightning; his dark, bushy brows writhing above it, like the thunder-cloud torn by the tempest. You see at once, in his strongly marked features, how much he has suffered; like Dante, he looks as if he had gone through his own hell! His voice, when reading his own verses—and no man can give them so much effect—is the most melancholy music that ever was heard; and his whole manner, expression, and appearance irresistibly impress you with the conviction that he has dwelt with disappointment, and too long experienced the sickness of the heart which arises from 'hope deferred.' This is the fact. In his mercantile pursuits he has not always been fortunate; and his literary career, till lately, was unattended with one cheering circumstance. He has endured cold neglect for years, and had to struggle with difficulties of every kind. The firm and proud spirit which he manifested in contending with these, hurling back unmerited censure with scorn, and relying fully on his own powers for final success, is, next to his works, the strongest proof of his possessing intellectual superiority, however much it may indicate a want of the milder graces of the Christian character. His was not the weak spirit that sinks under misfortunes; his strong and powerful genius rose above them. He boldly grasped and eventually strangled the serpents that have stung so many others to death. Timid in his youth, as the modest flower that hides its beauty from all the world in some rural retirement, he was no sooner trampled upon than he became bold; and when storms roared around his head, he stood in the midst of them like the gnarled oak, battling with tempests, and laughing at their impotent rage. To whomsoever else adversity has been fatal, to him it was of essential service: it called forth his powers, it roused him to the contest, it strengthened him for victory. Where thousands would have despaired, he held up with undaunted resolution; and he has, at length, surmounted every obstacle that opposed his rising. His triumph is a glorious proof of what mind can effect, and we hail and exhibit it as a great moral lesson to the world."

Little as is the amount of biography contained in these passages I have quoted, I presume that it is all that we are to expect during the poet's life. It will be sufficient to add that, having thus triumphed over all resistance, both literary and mercantile, Mr. Elliott has now retired from business, to enjoy the calm evening of his days in the country. We will anon follow him to his retreat; but first we must pay a visit to his haunts in and around Sheffield, where the greater portion of his life has been spent, and where his poetry has left its stamp on a thousand objects.

They who class Ebenezer Elliott with poets of the working class, or look upon him as a poor man, are amazingly mistaken. It is true that he commenced life as a working-man. That he came to Sheffield, under the circumstances already related, and, as I have heard, some hundred and fifty pounds worse than nothing; and, after suffering and enduring much like a man of iron, he struck into the right track; and, such was the prosperity of the town and trade of Sheffield, that he says he used to sit in his chair, and make his £20 a-day, without even seeing the goods that he sold; for they came to the wharf, and were sold again thence, without ever coming into his warehouse or under his eye. The Corn-Laws, he says, altered all this, and made him glad to get out of business with part of what he had got, the great panic and revulsion of 1837 sweeping away some three or four thousands at once. The trade in which Ebenezer Elliott made his money at Sheffield, was that of a bar-iron merchant. He first began this business in Burgess-street. The house is pointed out at the right-hand corner, at the top as you go up. Here prosperity first visited him, and the place becoming too small for his growing concerns, he removed his warehouse to Gibraltar-street, Shalesmoor; and took or built quite a handsome villa, in a garden of an acre in extent, inclosed with a high stone wall. This pleasant retirement was in the pleasant suburb of Upper Thorpe; whence, by a footpath over the hills at the back of the house, he could soon mount and see all Sheffield smoking at his feet, and then dive down at the back of the hills, into his favorite haunt, the valley of the Rivelin.

Before, however, following the poet into these haunts, we will make a call at his place of business. Gibraltar-street, Shalesmoor, I found in the lower part of the town, almost every place thereabout bearing the old name of moor, although no trace of a moor could there be seen, but, on the contrary, crowded houses, reeking chimneys, and the swarming of human beings. Here I soon caught sight of a lowish, humblish sort of building, with "Elliott and Co.'s Iron and Steel Warehouse," painted in large letters along the front. This was the place where the Corn-Law Rhymer had at once pursued trade and poetry, with equal success. The business is now in the hands of two of his sons. On entering the front door, which, however, you are prevented doing, till a little iron gate in the doorway is first opened for you, you find yourself in a dingy place, full of bars of steel and iron, of all sorts and sizes, from slenderest rods to good, massy bars, reared on almost every inch of space, so that there is but just room to get among them; and, in the midst of all, stands aloft a large cast of Shakspeare, with the Sir Walter Raleigh ruff round his neck, and mustaches. Your eye, glancing forward, penetrates a large warehouse behind, of the like iron gloom and occupation. On the left hand is a smallish room, into which you directly look, for the door is open, if door there be, and which is, properly, the counting-house, but is nearly as crowded with iron bars all round as the rest.

The son of Mr. Elliott, whom I found there, showed me the place with great good-nature, and seeing me look into this room, he said, "Walk in, sir; that is the Corn-Law Rhymer's study; that is where my father wrote most of his poetry." We may safely assert that there is no other such poetical study in England, if there be in the world.

The center of the room is occupied by a considerable office-desk, which, to judge from its appearance, has for many a year known no occupation but that of being piled with the most miscellaneous chaos of account-books, invoices, bills, memorandum-books, and the like, all buried in the dust of the iron age through which they have accumulated. To be used as a desk appears to have ceased long ago; it is the supporter of old chaos come again; and a couple of portable desks, set on the counter under the window, though elbowed up by lots of dusty iron, and looked down upon by Achilles and Ajax in wonder, seem to serve the real purposes of desks.

But Achilles and Ajax, says some one, what do they here? All round the room stand piles of bars of iron, and amid these stand, oddly enough, three great plaster casts of Achilles, Ajax, and Napoleon. The two Grecian heroes are in the front, on each side of the window, and Napoleon occupies an elevated post in the center of the side of the room, facing the door. Such was at once the study and the warehouse of Ebenezer Elliott!

Surely, never were poetry and pence united together in such a scene before! You may imagine Robert Bloomfield stitching away at ladies' shoes, and tagging rhymes at the same time, in great peace and bodily comfort; being a journeyman for a long time, and when he had got his work from his master, being liable to very little interruption. You may imagine him thumping away on his last in poetic ardor, and in the midst of his enthusiasm hammering out a superior piece of soling leather and triumphant verse at the same instant; but imagine Ebenezer Elliott, in the midst of all this iron wilderness, in the midst of bustling and clanging Sheffield, and the constant demands of little cutlers and the like—for constant they must have been for him to accumulate a fair fortune out of nothing,—imagine him in the midst of all this confusion of dusty materials, and the demands of customers, and the din and jar of iron rods and bars, as they were dragged out of their stations for examination and sale, and were flung into the scales to be weighed; imagine this, and that the man achieved a fortune and a fame at the same time—weighed out iron and ideas—took in gold and glory—cursed corn-laws, and blessed God, and man, and nature; established a large family, two sons as clergymen of the Church of England—three in trade—two of them his successors in steel, though not in stanzas—in iron, though not in irony; and then retired to his own purchased land, built his house on a hill-top, and looked down on the world in philosophical ease, at little more than sixty years of age; and you may look a good while for a similar man in history.

Quitting this singular retreat of the Muses, under the guidance of my worthy friend Mr. John Fowler, an old friend of the poet, I proceeded to visit the Rhymer's haunts in the country round. And first we ascended the hills to the east of the town, above Pittsmoor and Shirecliffe-hall, to the place where Elliott makes his most interesting field-preacher, Miles Gordon, the Ranter, go to his last Sabbath service of the open air. As we went, all the beautiful imagery of that exquisitely pathetic poem came before me. The opening of the poem breathing such a feeling of Sabbath rest to the weary, such a feeling of the actual life of the pious poor in the manufacturing towns.

"Miles Gordon sleeps; his six days' labor done,
He dreams of Sunday, verdant fields, and prayer.
Arise, blest morn, unclouded! Let thy sun
Shine on the artisan, thy purest air
Breathe on the bread-taxed laborer's deep despair!
Poor sons of toil! I grudge them not the breeze
That plays with Sabbath flowers, the clouds that play
With Sabbath winds, the hum of Sabbath bees,
The Sabbath walk, the skylark's Sabbath lay,
The silent sunshine of the Sabbath day.
"The stars wax pale, the morn is cold and dim;
Miles Gordon wakes, and gray dawn tints the skies:
The many-childed widow, who to him
Is as a mother, hears her lodger rise.
And listens to his prayer with swimming eyes.
For her and for her orphan poor he prays.
For all who earn the bread they daily eat;—
Bless them, O God, with useful, happy days,
With hearts that scorn all meanness and deceit:
And round their lowly hearths let freemen meet!
This morn betimes she hastes to leave her bed.
For he must preach beneath the autumnal tree:
She lights her fire, and soon the board is spread
With Sabbath coffee, toast, and cups for three.
Pale he descends; again she starts to see
His hollow cheek, and feels they soon must part—
But they shall meet again—that hope is sure;
And oh! she venerates his mind and heart,
For he is pure, if mortal ere was pure!
His words, his silence, teach her to endure.
And then he helps to feed her orphans five!
O God! thy judgments cruel seem to be!
While bad men linger long, and cursing thrive.
The good, like wintry sunbeams, fade and flee—
That we may follow them, and come to thee."

That lovely passage, where the widow wakes her eldest son, who wishes to accompany the preacher, one of the most beautiful things in poetry, recurred with fresh vividness:—

"Like sculpture, or like death, serene he lies;
But no, that tear is not a marble tear!
He names in sleep his father's injuries;
And now in silence wears a smile severe.
How like his sire he looks, when drawing near
His journey's close, and that fair form bent o'er
His darkening cheek, still faintly tinged with red,
And fondly gazed,—too soon to gaze no more!—
While the long tresses o'er the seeming dead
Streamed in their black profusion from the head
Of matron loveliness—more touchingly.
More sadly beautiful, and pale, and still—
A shape of half-divine humanity,
Worthy of Chantry's steel, or Milton's quill.
Or heaven-taught Raphael's soul-expressing skill!
And must she wake that poor o'erlabored youth?
Oh yes, or Edmund will his mother chide;
For he this morn would hear the words of truth
From lips inspired on Shirecliffe's lofty side.
Gazing o'er tree and tower on Hallam wide."

I seemed then to hear the trumpet-voice of the poet exclaiming:—

"Up, sluggards, up! the mountains, one by one,
Ascend in light, and slow the mists retire
From vale and plain. The cloud on Stannington
Beholds a rocket—no! 'tis Morthen spire!
The sun is risen! cries Stanedge, tipped with fire:
On Norwood's flowers the dew-drops shine and shake;
Up, sluggards, up! and drink the morning breeze.
The buds on cloud-left Osgathorpe awake;
And Wincobank is waving all his trees
O'er subject towns, and farms, and villages.
And gleaming streams, and woods, and water-falls.
Up! climb the oak-crowned summit! Hoober Stand
And Keppel's Pillar gaze on Wentworth's halls,
And misty lakes, that brighten and expand.
And distant hills that watch the western strand.
Up! trace God's footprints where they paint the mold
With heavenly green, and hues that blush and glow
Like angel's wings; while skies of blue and gold
Stoop to Miles Gordon on the mountain's brow.
Behold the Great Unpaid! the prophet lo!
Sublime he stands beneath the Gospel-tree,
And Edmund stands on Shirecliffe at his side."

This striking scene is on the ridge of the hill, about the highest point, and the Gospel-tree is an ash-tree standing there. From this point, the view all round the country is most extensive. The poet has finely described it:—

"Behind him sinks, and swells, and spreads a sea
Of hills, and vales, and groves: before him glide
Don, Rivelin, Loxley, wandering in their pride,
From heights that mix their azure with the cloud;
Beneath his spire and grove are glittering;
And round him press his flock, a woe-worn crowd.
To other words, while forest echoes ring—
'Ye banks and braes of bonny Doon,' they sing;
And far below, the drover, with a start
Awakening, listens to the well-known strain
Which brings Shihallian's shadow to his heart,
And Scotia's loneliest vales; then sleeps again,
And dreams on Lockley's banks of Dunsinane.
The hymn they sing is to their preacher dear:
It breathes of hopes and glories grand and vast:
While on his face they look with grief and fear;
Full well they know his sands are ebbing fast:
But hark! he speaks, and feels he speaks his last!"

Such was the view to the eye of the poet; to that of the stranger, there are features in it that give it a peculiar picturesqueness. Below you, the town of Sheffield on one hand, partly stretching along the valley of the Don, partly stretching upward toward the Mount; its various churches, and its multitude of tall engine-chimneys, rearing themselves above the mass of houses, as poplars ascend above the rest of the wood; and from these chimneys, and from innumerable shops and forges, volumes of smoke and steam poured forth in clouds over the whole wilderness of brick, and with the distant sound of forge hammers, and roar of the forge-bellows and fires, give you a lively feeling of the stir of industry. In the other direction, you look into far-off plains, over many a distant ridge, and upon fine and broad masses of wood dotting the bold hills. Wincobank and Keppel's column in the more remote woods of Wentworth, and church spires at vast distances, attest the truth of the poet's lines; and in a third direction, you look down into the converging valleys of the Don, the Loxley, and the Rivelin, running between high, wide-lying, and round hills, on which the whole country is mapped out as in many parts of Lancashire or the Peak. With their very green fields, scattered, thinly scattered with clumps of copse, or a long range of black fir wood here and there; their gray, flag-roofed houses, and good portion of stone walls, the similarity is striking. From the valleys, full of woods, shine out winding waters, and peep forth tall chimneys, and roll up volumes of smoke, betraying the busy life of industry where all looks, from the distance, wooded silence; while some manufacturer's great stone house stands amid its flourishing woods, and fronting open lawns, in stately solemnity of cutler-aristocracy.

On the topmost center of this unique scene, has Elliott fixed his Ranter on the Sunday morning; and on the piece of table-land fenced in with woods, over whose heads you still for the most part look, has congregated his flock, gathered from the cottages of the neighboring hamlets, and the smoky wilderness of the great city of knives and hammers below. The tree stands now in the line of a stone wall, and upon a little precipice of sandstone, four or five feet high, so that it would really be as it no doubt has been, for Elliott, as he tells us, draws from the life a capital position for a preacher. Into the tree Elliott has driven a nail, about four feet from the ground, so that any of his friends who visit the spot can at once identify it. He advises you to climb to the top of the tree, on account of the splendid, uninterrupted view, an exploit not likely to be very often performed, and which yet has been done more than once, and was done by poor Charles Pemberton, the Miles Gordon of social improvement.

Close by, on the hill, two or three men were working in a stone quarrel, as they called it, where huge blocks of freestone seemed to have been dug for many and many a year. I asked them why people visited this tree. They said they could not conceive, except "it was for th' view." I asked them if they never heard that Thomas à Becket preached under it in Henry VIII.'s time; at which they set up a perfect shriek of delight at the joke. A Sheffield quarrel man is not to be mystified like a Jerry Chopstick.

Our next visit was to the valley of the Rivelin, so often named in Elliott's poetry. The Rivelin is one of the five rivers that run from the moorland hills and join near Sheffield; and the scenery is very peculiar, from the singular features which art and trade have added to those of nature. The river is one of those streams that show their mountain origin by their rapid flow over their rugged beds, scattered with masses of stone. It has a tinge of the peat-moss, and is overhung by woods and alternate steep banks of sandstone rock, clothed with the bilberry-plant. But what gives to a stranger the most striking character, are the forges and grinding-wheels, as they call them, scattered along them. Formerly these stood chiefly out among the neighboring hills, being turned by the streams that descend from them, and you still find them in all the neighboring valleys, the rivulets and rivers which run along them being dammed up into a chain of ponds, which give a peculiar character to the scene. These ponds look dark-brown, as from the rust of iron, which is ground off with the water, and are generally flanked by dark alders, or are overhung by the woods which clothe the side of the valleys: and you now come to a forge where the blast roars, and the flame glances out from the sooty chimney-tops, and the hammers resound and tinkle in various cadences from within; and now to low, mill-like buildings, with huge wheels revolving between two of them, or beside one of them; and these are the grinding-mills, or wheels, as they are termed. Formerly, they were all turned by those streams, which are conveyed in channels cut for them, and spouts, and let fall on those great wheels; but now, steam is applied, as to every thing else; and large grinding-wheels, as they are still called, that is, mills, meet you along all the lower parts of the town, as they still require a good supply of water for their engines and for their wet-grinding, that is, to keep their grindstones wet for some particular articles. Owing to this introduction of steam, as you advance farther up among the moorland hills and streamlets, you find the old and picturesque grinding-wheels falling to decay. Such is the scenery of Rivelin. Far up, solitude and falling wheels give a pleasing melancholy to the scene; but as you return nearer to Sheffield, you see the huge hammers of forges put in motion by stream or steam, thumping away at the heated bars of iron, while water is kept trickling upon their great handles to keep them cool.

The external appearance of the great steam grinding-wheels in the town is very singular. Amid the other swarthy buildings these look tawny with sand, which has flown out through the numerous windows, and coated the whole of the walls, and even roof; and the windows, which are often, I believe, of paper, are broken in, just as if the mills had been stormed by a mob.

No person who has read Elliott's description of the reckless race of grinders, or the account of them in the Report of the Commissioners to inquire, in 1841, into the condition of the people in mines and factories, can see these places without a lively interest. At this deadly trade, the workmen sit at work astride of rounded blocks of wood, which they call grinding-horses, in front of their grindstones, which are fixed on axles or spindles turned by the steam or water; and fixing the knife, or other steel article, in a sort of case which covers the upper side of it, and enables them to grind it more regularly, as it can not give way unequally,—they make the most brilliant posies of sparks stream from them at every pressure on the stone. Others polish the articles ground, by holding them to the edges of small wooden wheels covered with leather.

Grinders never live long; but the dry-grinders perish soonest, because the particles of sandstone are driven in whole clouds from the grindstones, and fill the whole air and the grinder's lungs. Five minutes in a dry-grinding room is quite sufficient to satisfy you of its nature and effects. We have seen Ebenezer Elliott's character of the grinder:—

"There draws the grinder his laborious breath,
There coughing, at his deadly trade he bends;
Born to die young, he fears nor man nor death;
Scorning the future, what he earns he spends;
Debauch and riot are his bosom friends."

The Commissioners state, on the authority of Dr. Knight of Sheffield, that a dozen years ago the number of grinders was two thousand five hundred; the life of a wet-grinder seldom reached forty-five years; that of a dry-grinder not more than thirty-five. The number is now larger, and the average of life, according to other evidence, is shorter. Table-knife grinders work on wet stones, and are the longer lived; the fork-grinders work on dry stones, and are the short-lived ones. Children are put to this fatal trade at fourteen years old usually, but to some lighter branches as early as eight or nine years of age. They who have good constitutions seldom experience much inconvenience till they are about twenty years old, when the symptoms of their peculiar complaint begin to show themselves. They are affected with a terrible species of asthma, followed by a train of physical sufferings, which drag them piecemeal to the grave. Flues to carry off the dust have been introduced into the wheels, but the men refuse to use them, and often kick them down and tread upon them. They get high wages, and think that if the trade were made innoxious, there would be more to enter it, and prices would fall. They are for a short life and a merry one. Those who drink most are often the longest lived, owing to their more frequent absence from their work. The doctors often say to those who come to consult them, "Now, if you go back to this trade you go back to die;" but this never had the effect of deterring them from going back, nor from apprenticing their children to the same fatal trade.

Inquiring in Sheffield where Ebenezer Elliott now resided, I was told, by five different persons, five different places. One said it was near Rotherham, another near Barnsley, another near Tickhill, another near Wakefield, and another near Pontefract. It turned out to be near Darfield, on the railroad between Rotherham and Wakefield. Getting out at the Darfield station, I found that I had a pleasant walk of three miles to his house, at some distance beyond the village of Great Houghton. The country is very different to that about Sheffield, in which Elliott seems to have taken such great delight. It is a fine farming country. The lanes have all a foot causeway of one row of stones, like those of Derbyshire; and, like it, the fields are rich with grass, and corn, and hedge-row trees. The village of Houghton, the only one that I saw, is a regular old farming village, with one large, old stone hall standing, about a hundred yards from the road, and falling evidently to decay, while the great stone wall which separates its grounds from the road, massy as it is, is equally dilapidated. Elliott's house, which he has built, is a good stone house in the style of the country, with a flag roof, and is fit for gentleman or farmer. It occupies the top of a hill on the edge of a common. It has a good garden lying round it; the views from it are fine and very extensive, including distant towns and villages, and here and there a great mass of wood. There is a fine airiness about the situation; but the prospect of suitable society is not so easy to be perceived. One naturally connects the idea of Ebenezer Elliott and the brisk movements of a populous town; but he complains that the constant political excitements of a town had wearied him, and gave too much interruption to his literary enjoyments. Here certainly he has withdrawn to complete leisure for books and the country; and yet, if he need the intercourse with towns, the various railroads put half-a-dozen within the speediest access. He says that time, instead of hanging heavily, never went so fast with him.

I found Ebenezer Elliott standing at his porch, with his huge Newfoundland dog beside him. I merely introduced myself as an admirer of his poetry, who had a desire in passing to pay my respects to him. He gave me a very cordial welcome. We entered his room, and were soon deep in conversation. And we were soon, too, high in conversation; for our talk, among other things, turning on a certain class of society, I happened to say that, "spite of all their faults as a class, many of them, as individuals, were very amiable people." This was a little too much for him. The latent fire of the Corn-Law Rhymer blazed up; he started from his chair, and pacing to and fro with his hands at his back, exclaimed, "Amiable men! amiable robbers! thieves! and murderers! Sir! I do not like to hear thieves, robbers, and murderers, called amiable men! Amiable men indeed! Who are they that have ruined trade, made bread dear, made murder wholesale, put poverty into prison, and made crimes of ignorance and misery? Sir! I do not like to hear such terms used for such men!"

I laughed, and said, "Well, Mr. Elliott, you and I shall certainly not quarrel about any such people; and I ought not to sit talking thus as a perfect stranger—it creates a false position and false conclusions." I then mentioned my name. He sprung across the room, caught hold of my offered hand with both his, gave it a great shake, and then hastened out to call Mrs. Elliott. Very soon Mrs. Elliott and a daughter appeared, and we were speedily afloat on an ocean of talk. When people of the same tastes meet for the first time, and especially on a rainy day in the country, what a multitude of themes present themselves! Books, people, poetry, mesmerism, and heaven knows what, leave not room for silence to show his little finger in. Mrs. Elliott, a tall, good-looking woman, I soon found as lady-like, sensible, and well informed as any poet could desire for his companion. Miss Elliott, a fine-grown and comely, but very modest young lady, was the only one who did not act the part rather of talker than listener. For six hours, the time I stayed, it was one long, uninterrupted talk. The hearty host declared that I should not leave for a week; but England, Scotland, and Ireland lay before me, and only a limited time to traverse a good deal of them in. Yet what greater pleasure, could one command it, than a week with such a man—far from the tone and spirit of coteries, in the heart of fresh and pure nature, with books, and woods, and flowery fields fanned by the purest breezes, to wander through, and compare the impressions of men and things, of great thoughts, great deeds, and great projects for the good of society, as they come before you unbiased and uncolored by the world as it shows its protean shapes in cities—in the refined sneer, the jealous thought, the weary indifference of overstimulated tastes? Were I at liberty to pen down the dialogue of that one afternoon, in all its freedom of remark, it would make the brightest but most startling chapter of these volumes. But that can not be, and I must add nothing more to this article than simply to say, that in a strange place I should never have recognized Ebenezer Elliott by his portrait. There is no good one of him. He is somewhat above the middle height. He is sixty-five, but not old-looking for his years. His hair is white, and his manner and tone, except when excited by those topics that rouse his indignation against cruelty and oppression, mild, soft, and full of feeling. Perhaps no man's spirit and presence are so entirely the spirit and presence of his poetry. Unlike many who could be named, who, drilled from youth into the spirit and tone of the gay circles that they frequent, present that spirit and tone there, and reserve the spirit and tone of the poet for the closet—men of two worlds, in the world of the world, in the closet of the world of mind—Ebenezer Elliott has conversed too much with nature, and with men in their rough, unsophisticated nature, to have merged one jot of his earnestness into conventionalism of tone or manner. In society or out of it he is one and the same—the poet and the man.


The progress of my work warns me to be brief where I would fain be most voluminous. To John Wilson, of the Isle of Palms, the City of the Plague, and of volumes of other beautiful poetry, it would be a delightful task to devote a volume. The biography of Professor Wilson, whenever given to the world, if written as it should be, would be one of the most curious and intensely interesting books in the world. The poet and the periodical writer, Christopher North at the Noctes and in his shooting-jacket, and John Wilson, the free, open-hearted, yet eccentric man, could, combined, furnish forth, with glimpses of his cotemporaries and social doings, a most fascinating work. As it is we must take but a glimpse, and a hasty glimpse, at his residences.

John Wilson was born at Paisley. His father was a wealthy manufacturer, and the house which he inhabited, and where the professor first saw the light, is perhaps the best and largest house in the town, standing in High-street. It is a large, white house, standing somewhat back, with a little shrubbery before it. Wilson was educated at Oxford, and in the London Magazine of 1820 we find an account of his indulging himself in a pedestrian journey from the university to Edinburgh, in all manner of country life. Now joining a strolling company of players; now camping with a gang of Gipsys; then acting the beggar; and ever and anon falling in with a village wake, and entering into all the contests of flinging at will-pegs, jumping in sacks, leaping and racing. On these occasions he would astonish the natives with his wonderful talk over their beer, or equally amaze the village damsels by his grace and activity in the dance. Any one who has seen John Wilson may imagine with what gusto and success he would go through all these parts, while hoarding up knowledge of the people's life, that would tell in future.

It is also said, that, quite as a youth, he made an excursion of this kind, nobody knowing whither he had vanished, till a Paisley man, happening to enter an inn at Conway, to his amazement saw him acting as a waiter there. Information was immediately sent to his father, it is said, who hastened into Wales, and surprised John by his presence, requesting him to return forthwith home. But here the boniface interfered, declaring that he could not part on any terms with his waiter, for such a waiter he had never had in his house in his life. So active, so expert, so full of wit and good-humor, that every one of his guests was charmed with him. In short, he was the making of the house, and go he should not. It was only when mine host was convinced who and what the youth was, and that it was only a lark, that he gave way and consented to his loss.

His life in Edinburgh, his contest for the chair of Moral Philosophy there, which he has so long and honorably occupied, his splendid writings in Blackwood, and his association with all the distinguished men of that literary corps and of the Scottish metropolis, are too familiar matters to dwell upon. The haunts of Wilson in town are the gathering places of genius and conviviality. In the country they are the mountains, the moors, and the streams. His tall and athletic form, and active and ardent character, mark him out for a deep enjoyment of all the loveliness of nature, and the sports of the wild. He has been a great wrestler, a great angler, a great shooter, and a great walker. In life, or in the pages of Blackwood, the angle and the gun have been his companions, amid the most splendid and solitary scenery of the kingdom. At one time he has been traversing the piny mountains and the lonely lochs of the Highlands, at another strolling through the defiles of Patterdale, or scaling the heights of Skiddaw. Once taking refuge in a farmhouse in the Highlands of Scotland, I was told that Professor Wilson and his wife had done the same thing just before, on their way toward the western coast, on foot, with a view to visit Staffa and Iona. With a happy family around him, John Wilson seemed for years to breathe nothing but the spirit of happiness and the full enjoyment of life. Laboring away at his lectures and his magazine articles, and partaking the society of Edinburgh during the college terms, he was ever ready to fly off, on their close, to his beloved hills and streams. In Edinburgh, his house has long been in Gloucester-place of the new town. In the country, his favorite abode at Elleray, near Windermere, in Westmoreland.

Many anecdotes of his manly humor, kindliness, and exploits of physical vigor, are related of him in this neighborhood: among others, that he was once balloted for the local militia there, and declined finding a substitute, but chose to serve. Here, then, might be seen the poet and philosopher passing his drill, and manœuvering rank and file. He would attend for his ration and his tommy, and, sticking them on the point of his bayonet, march down the town where the regiment lay, and present them to the first old woman he met. For these vagaries he was called up before the officers, to be reprimanded; but the affair was sure to change very speedily from a grave to a merry one, and to end by the officers inviting him to partake of their mess. How long he continued to indulge his whim does not appear.

Hogg gives, somewhere, a very amusing account of a week that he spent with him at Elleray, where, he says, they had curious doings among the gentlemen and the poets of the lakes. According to his account, they used to ramble far and wide among the lakes and mountains, fishing, and climbing, and talking, and would give each other a challenge to write a poem on some given subject, in the evening, after dinner. Hogg's relation of these poetical contests is most laughable. They seated themselves in separate rooms; but, according to a custom very common, and perhaps universal among poets, of chanting their verses aloud as they form them, Hogg could always hear how the matter was progressing with his antagonist. If the verse did not flow well, there was a dead silence; if it began to flow and expand, there was heard a pleasant murmur, as of a mountain stream. As the inspiration grew, and the work sped, the sound rose and swelled, like the breeze in the sonorous forest of northern pines; and when there was a passage of supposed preëminence of beauty and strength struck out, then it rose into a grand and triumphal tide of song, like the wind pealing through the mountain passes, or the ocean pouring in riotous joy on the shore. When it reached so grand a climax, Hogg says he used to exclaim,—"There, it's all over with me; I'm done for!" and with that he gave up the contest for the day, knowing that the case was hopeless.

This humming habit of poets is a singular characteristic. A certain one of my acquaintance, riding one day on the highway, and seeing no one near, broke out into a loud and continuous chant, when a fellow put his head suddenly over the hedge, and shouted out—"What is all that about!" At which the startled bard was first struck into a sudden silence, and then into as sudden a burst of laughter at the oddity of the circumstance. Wordsworth, among the woods, and rocks, and solitary crags of Cumberland, may be heard murmuring to himself a music of his own; so that a stranger, seeing the grave and ancient man strolling along, often with a little bundle of sticks under his arm, that he has unconsciously gathered, and humming out some dimly intelligible stanzas in a breeze-like and Æolian harp-like wildness of cadence, might take him for a very innocent old man, not overburdened with business or other matters. Among the great luxuriant laurels that flourish round his house, you may trace his retired perambulations by his top-like humming, and say,—

"Over its own sweet voice the stock-dove broods."

Southey's garden, and that of his only neighbor, were merely divided by a hedge. In the garden of the neighbor was sitting once with the neighbor a visitor from a distance, when a deep and mysterious booming, somewhat near, startled the stranger, and caused him to listen. Recollecting that they were near the lakes, the sound, which at first seemed most novel and unaccountable, appeared to receive a solution; and the visitor exclaimed,—"What! have you bitterns here?" "Bitterns!" replied the host; "oh no; it is only Southey, humming his verses in the garden-walk on the other side of the hedge!"

The cottage of Wilson at Elleray is a simple, but elegant little villa, standing on high ground overlooking Windermere, but at the distance of some miles. As you approach Ambleside from Kendal, you pass, as you begin to descend the hill toward Lowood, a gate leading into a gentleman's grounds. The gateway is, on either side, hung with masses of the Ayrshire rose. There is a poetical look about the place; and that place is the country retreat of John Wilson. A carriage-road, winding almost in a perfect circle, soon introduces you to a fine lawn, surrounded by plantations, and before you, on a swelling knoll, you discern the cottage. It is hung with ivy and Ayrshire roses; and commands a splendid view over the lake, and all the mountains round. At the back a plantation of larches ascends the hill, screening it from the north. At the foot of these plantations, and sheltered in their friendly bosom, lie the gardens, with bees, and pleasant nooks for reading or talk. Walks extend all through these woodlands, and one of them conducts you through the larch copse, up the hill, and from its summit beyond the house, gives you a most magnificent panoramic view of the whole country, with its mountains, and lakes, and plains, and the very ocean. In one direction, you have Morecomb Bay and Ulverstone sands, with the crags of Cartmell; in another, Coniston and other fells; then Eskdale fells, Dunmail raise; Bow fell, far beyond, and Langdale pikes. In another, you catch the summit of Skiddaw, and the lofty ridges in the neighborhood of Patterdale, with Shap fell. Below you is all the breadth and the scenery of Windermere.

Such a view is a perpetual enjoyment. The constant changes of cloud and sun cast over it a constant change of aspect. Now all is shining out airy, and clear, and brilliant; and now dark and solemn lie the shadows, black often as night, and wild from passing tempests, in the mysterious hollows of the hills. When you descend to the house, the scene around is made all the more soft and attractive to the senses by the change from such immense range of vision, and stern character of many of the objects presented. Here all is beauty and repose. The knoll on which the house stands is particularly round, and is well laid out in lawn and flower-beds. The house itself is simple, and consists principally of one long room, which, by folding doors, can be formed into two with a hall between them. Behind this lie the kitchen and offices. At the end next to the Windermere, is a large bay window, overlooking the upper part of the lake, toward Langdale and Coniston fell. The window is provided with seats, for the full enjoyment of this splendid view. A pleasantly swelling slope descends to the meadows which lie between its feet, and the house of the late Bishop Watson. The front door is in a bay window, lined with stands of plants, and having in direct view Ray Castle on the far side of the lake.

Such is the poet's cottage at Elleray, in itself unostentatious, but surrounded by the magnificence of nature in the distance, and by its quiet sweetness at hand. Years ago, when Mrs. Wilson was living, and the children were young and about them, we can conceive no happier spot of earth. No man was more formed to enjoy all that life had to offer, both at home and abroad, in such scenery; his wife was a most charming woman, and his children full of spirit and promise. The affectionate tenderness which diffused itself through the whole of Wilson's being, and the depth of that happiness which he enjoyed here, are manifested in such poems as the Children's Dance, and the Angler's Tent. When his tent was pitched in a Sabbath valley far off, he thus referred to the homes of both himself and his companion, the poet of Rydal:—

"Yet think not in this wild and fairy spot,
This mingled happiness of earth and heaven,
Which to our hearts this Sabbath-day was given,
Think not that far-off friends were quite forgot.
Helm-crag arose before our half-closed eyes,
With colors brighter than the brightening dove;
Beneath that guardian mount a cottage lies;
Encircled by a halo breathed from love!
And sweet that dwelling rests upon the brow,
Beneath that sycamore, of Orest hill,
As if it smiled on Windermere below,
Her green recesses and her islands still!
Thus gently blended many a human thought
With those that peace and solitude supplied,
Till in our hearts the musing kindness wrought
With gradual influence like a flowing tide,
And for the lovely sound of human voice we sighed."

But the great charm and ornament of that house has vanished; the young steps have wandered forth, and found other homes; and it must now be a somewhat solitary spot to him who formerly found collected into it all that made life beautiful. Nay, steam, as little as time, has respected the sanctity of the poet's home, but has drawn up its roaring iron steeds opposite to its gate, and has menaced to rush through it, and lay waste its charmed solitude. In plain words, I saw the stakes of a projected railway running in an ominous line across the very lawn, and before the very windows of Elleray.


As the most beautiful flowers are found in the most arid deserts, so out of the dry study of law comes forth now and then the most genial and tender spirit of poetry. Such has been the case with Mr. Procter, or Barry Cornwall, for we delight in that old favorite nom de guerre; and although I have been able to obtain but little knowledge of his homes and haunts, still these volumes would be incomplete without some notice of a man whose writings hold so firm a place in the public heart.

About seven-and-twenty years ago, Mr. Procter, then a young man, just called to the bar, and in very delicate health, published his first volume of poetry. Byron, Shelley, Keats, Campbell, and Leigh Hunt, were then pouring out volume after volume; and Scott, who was crowned with the laurels of his metrical romances, was riveting the attention of the whole world by his earlier romances; while Crabbe, as if woke up out of his slumber of twenty-two years by this great constellation of genius, had just put forth his new work, the Tales of the Hall. It was not a moment when a poet of ordinary power had any chance of sustaining his existence; but the young aspirant stood among those gigantic men, as one who, if not equal to them in all points at that moment, was yet kindred with them; and, although the Sicilian story, Diego de Montilla, Mirandola, and the Flood of Thessaly, have rather become pleasant memories than the actualities of the present day, the poet has established a lasting reputation by his volume of "English Songs, and other small Poems"—a volume, in which there are gems of as noble and perfect poetry as any in the language, and which abounds with the most healthy, manly sentiment, and the broadest sympathies with suffering and struggling humanity. It is now the fashion to sympathize with the people—and a noble fashion it is—the only fear being of this otherwise holy Christian sentiment becoming, in some minds, morbid, if not mawkish. In Barry Cornwall, it is as genuine as any other part of his nature; feigning and falsehood are as impossible to it as darkness to the sun. He h