Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 53, No. 332, June, 1843 by Various

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BLACKWOOD'S EDINBURGH MAGAZINE

NO. CCCXXXII. JUNE, 1843. VOL. LIII.

CONTENTS.

MARSTON; OR, THE MEMOIRS OF A STATESMAN THE VIGIL OF VENUS. TRANSLATION FROM THE LATIN CHAPTERS OF TURKISH HISTORY. RISE OF THE KIUPRILI FAMILY SIEGE OF CANDIA.--NO. IX. A PASSAGE IN THE LIFE OF A MAÎTRE-D'ARMES AMMALÁT BEK. A TRUE TALE OF THE CAUCASUS, FROM THE RUSSIAN OF MARLÍNSKI.--CONCLUSION MR BAILEY'S REPLY TO AN ARTICLE IN BLACKWOOD'S MAGAZINE THE VICAR OF WAKEFIELD. ILLUSTRATED BY MULREADY THE ATTORNEY'S CLERK IN THE MONK'S HOOD IGNACIO GUERRA AND EL SANGRADOR; A TALE OF CIVIL WAR MEMORANDUMS OF A MONTH'S TOUR IN SICILY COMMERCIAL POLICY--RUSSIA INDEX

MARSTON; OR, THE MEMOIRS OF A STATESMAN.

PART I.

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

Why I give the world a sketch of my career through it, is not among the discoveries which I intend to make. I have been a public man; let those who know public life imagine what interest may be felt in reviewing the scenes and struggles of which such a life is full. May there not be a pleasure in conceiving once again the shapes and circumstances of things, as one sitting by his fireside sees castles and cottages, men, women, and children in the embers, and shapes them the better for the silence and the solitude round him? Let the reader take what reason he will. I have seen the world, and fought my way through it; have stumbled, like greater men, have risen, like lesser; have been flung into the most rapid current of the most hurried, wild, and vivid time that the world has ever seen--I have _lived_ through the last fifty years. In all the vigour of my life, I have mingled in some of the greatest transactions, and been mingled with some of the greatest men, of my time. Like one who has tumbled down Niagara, and survived the fall, though I have reached still water, the roar of the cataract is yet in my ears; and I can even survey it with a fuller gaze, and stronger sense of its vastness and power, than, when I was rolling down its precipice.

I have been soldier, adventurer, traveller, statesman. I have been lover, husband, father--poor and opulent; obscure and conspicuous. There are few sensations of our nature, or circumstances of our life, which I have not undergone. Alternately suffering to the verge of ruin, and enjoying like an epicurean deity: I have been steeped in poverty to the lips; I have been surcharged with wealth. I have sacrificed, and fearfully, to the love of power; I have been disgusted with its possession. I figured in the great Babel until I loved even its confusion of tongues; I grew weary of it, until I hated the voice of man.

Every man is born for a special purpose, and with a special passion. The multitude, possessing both, exhibit neither; they are flung, or choose to be flung, into the pond, where they float only to perish, like blind puppies. But there are others who stem the great tide, and are only the stronger for the struggle. From my first sense, the passion to be known and felt, nay, at the expense of being feared, was my impulse. It has been the impulse of all men who have ever impressed the world. With great talents it is all-commanding: the thunderbolt in the hands of Jove. Even with inferior faculties, and I make no pretence of mine, it singularly excites, urges, and animates. When the prophet saw the leopard _winged_, he saw a miracle; I claim for my powers only those of the muscle and sinew.

Ambition was the original passion of my nature. It rose before me, as the sun ascends before the Indian, until its fire drives him to the shade. I, too, have been scorched, have shrunk, and now I regret my shrinking. But time deals alike with all. I can now amuse myself only by images of the past; and, in the darkness and solitude of years, I take their Magic Lantern, and replace life by the strange, wild, and high-coloured extravagances, the ghosts and genii of the phantasmagoria of ambition.

I was the seventh son of one of the oldest families of England. If I had been the seventh son of the seventh son, I should, by all the laws of juggling, have been a conjurer; but I was a generation too early for fame. My father was an earl, and as proud of his titles as if he had won them at Crecy or Poictiers, and not in the campaigns of Westminster, consummated on the backstairs of Whitehall. He had served his country, as he termed it, in a long succession of Parliaments; and served her still more, as his country neighbours termed it, by accepting a peerage, which opened the county to any other representative among the sons of men. He was a strong-built, stern-countenanced, and haughty-tongued personage--by some thought a man of sense; by others a fool, with all his depth, arising from his darkness. My own experience convinced me, that no man made more of a secret, or thought less of a job. From my boyhood I own I feared more than honoured him; and as for love, if I had been more susceptible, mine would have flown round the globe before it could have fixed on that iron visage. The little love that I could afford for any human being, was for another and a different order of existence. Boys have a natural fondness for the mother; and mine was gentle, timid, and fond. She always parted with me, on my going to school, as if she had lost a limb, and when I returned, received me as if she had found a pinion in its place. She perhaps spoiled me by indulgence, as much as my lord and father spoiled me by severity; but indulgence is the pleasanter of the two, and I followed the course of nature, and gave her whatever heart I have. I still remember her. She was remarkably indebted to nature, at least for externals. She had fine eyes--large, dark, and sentimental; her dress, which would now be preposterous, seemed to me, then, the perfection of all taste, and was in the highest fashion of her time. Her beauty worked miracles; for now and then I have observed even my father's eye fixed on her, with something of the admiration which we might conceive in an Esquimaux for a fixed star, or in an Italian highwayman for some Parian statue which he had stumbled on in his thickets. But the admiration was soon absorbed in the job in hand, and he turned away--to scribble to the Minister. Of the younger portion of the family I shall say but little. Children are happiest in the nursery, and there I leave them. I had two sisters, sweet little creatures, one with black eyes and the other with blue. This is enough for their description. My four brothers were four rough, bold, well-looking animals, all intended for ambassadors, admirals, generals, and secretaries of state--for my father had too long tasted of the honey of official life to think that there was any other food for a gentleman in the world. He had been suckled for too many years at those breasts, which, like the bosom of the great Egyptian goddess, pour the stream of life through whole generations of hangers-on, to believe that any other fount of existence was to be named but the civil list. I am strongly inclined to surmise that he would have preferred a pencil, purloined from the Treasury, to all the cedars of Lebanon.

It may be presumed that I was destined for public life--in other words, to live on the public; and, to prepare me for the performance of a part, alternately menial and master--supple as the slave, and superb as the minister--I was sent to Eton. At this great school of the aristocracy, would-be and real--barons and dukes _in esse_, and the herald's office alone, or bedlam, knows what _in posse_, I remained for the customary number of years. If whoever does me the honour to read these pages, hates the history of schooldays as much as I do their memory, he will easily pardon my passing by the topic altogether. If the first purpose of all great public institutions is to stand still; the great schools of England, fifty years ago, were righteous adherents to their contract; they never moved. The world might whirl round them as it would; there remained the grey milestones, only measuring the speed with which every thing on the road passed them. This, they say, has largely and fortunately changed in later years. But the change must proceed; the venerable cripples must throw by their crutches, and try the effect of flesh and blood. Flogging and fagging, are the education for a footman; they disgrace the common sense, and offend the feelings of a manly people. The pugilist must be expelled, and the puppy must follow him. The detestable grossness of classical impurity, must be no longer the price at which Latin "quantities" are to be learned. The last lesson of the "prodigal son," must not be the first learned by the son of the gentleman of England--to be fed on the "husks" fit only for the swine.

* * * * *

On my delighted release from this supreme laboratory of statesmen, I found the state of things considerably altered at Mortimer Castle. I had left it a stately but rather melancholy-looking household; I found the mansion glittering in all the novelty of French furniture, gilding, and _or-molu_--crowded with fashion, and all its menial tribe, from the groom in the stables to the gentleman's gentleman, who slipped along the chambers in soft silence, and seemed an embodying of Etiquette, all in new equipments of all kinds--the avenue trimmed, until it resembled a theatrical wood; and the grounds, once sober and silent enough for a Jacques to escape from the sight of human kind, and hold dialogues with the deer; now levelled, opened, shorn, and shaved, with the precision of a retired citizen's elysium.

The heads of the family were equally changed; my mother, unhappily, for the worse. Her fine eyes beamed with joy as she threw herself upon my neck, and murmured some of those mingled blessings and raptures which have a language of their own. But when the first flush was past, I perceived that the cheek was thin, the eye was hollow and heavy, and the tremulous motion of her slight hand, as it lay in mine, alarmed me; in all my ignorance of the frailty of the human frame. But the grand change was in the Earl. My father, whom I had left rather degenerating into the shape which three courses and a bottle of claret a-day inflict on country gentlemen "who live at home at ease," was now braced and laced, costumed in the newest fashion, and overflowing with exuberant volatility. He breathed of Bond Street. He welcomed me with an ardour which astonished, more than delighted, me; Talked fragments of French, congratulated me on my "_air distingué_," advised me to put myself "_en grande tenue_;" and, after enchanting me in all kinds of strange ways, concluded by making an attempt to kiss me on both cheeks, like a true Frenchman. My Eton recollections enabled me to resist the paternal embrace; until the wonder was simplified, by the discovery that the family had but just returned from a continental residence of a couple of years--a matter of which no letter or word had given me the knowledge at my school. My next discovery was, that an old uncle had died, and left us money enough to carry the county; and the last and crowning one was, that my eldest brother had just been returned for the North Riding.

This was such an accumulation of good-luck as might have thrown any elderly gentleman off the balance of his gravity. It was like Philip's three plates at the Greek horse-races, crowned by the birth of Alexander. If my lordly father had danced the "Minuette de la Cour" over the marble tesselation of his own hall, I should now not have been surprised. But, from my first sense, or insensibility, I had felt no great delight in matters which were to make my own condition neither better nor worse; and after a remarkably brief period, the showy _déjeûnés_ and dinners which commemorated the triumphs of the heir-apparent of our house, grew tiresome to me beyond all count, and I openly petitioned to be sent to college, or to the world's end.

My petition was listened to with a mixture of contempt for my want of taste, and astonishment at my presumption. But before the reply had time to burst out from lips, at no time too retentive, I was told, that at the end of one week more I should be suffered to take my way; that week being devoted to a round of especial entertainments in honour of my brother's election; the whole to be wound up by that most preposterous of all delights, an amateur play.

To keep a house in commotion, to produce mysterious conversations, conferences without number, and confidences without end; and to swell maidens' hearts and milliners' bills, let me recommend an amateur play in the country. The very mention of it awoke every soul in the Castle; caps and complexions were matched, and costumes criticised, from morning till night, among the ladies. The "acting drama" was turned over leaf by leaf by the gentlemen. The sound of many a heavy tread of many a heavy student, was heard in the chambers; the gardens were haunted by "the characters" getting their parts; and the poet's burlesque of those who "rave, recite, and madden round the land," was realized to the life in the histrionic labours of the votaries of Thalia and Melpomene, who ranged the groves of Mortimer Castle.

Then we had all the charming difficulty of fixing on the play. The dullest and dreariest of our country Rosciuses were uniformly for comedy; but the fair sex have a leaning to the tragic muse. We had one or two, who would have had no objection to be piquant in Lady Teazle, or petulant in Lady Townley; but we had half a dozen Desdemonas and Ophelias. The soul of an O'Neil was in every one of our party conscious of a pair of good eyes, a tolerable shape, and the captivation which, in some way or other, most women in existence contrive to discover in their own share of the gifts of nature. At length the votes carried it for Romeo and Juliet. The eventful night came; the _élite_ of the county poured in, the theatre was crowded; all was expectancy before the curtain; all was terror, nervousness, and awkwardness behind. The orchestra performed its flourish, and the curtain rose.

To do the heads of the household justice, they had done their duty as managers. The theatre, though but a temporary building, projecting from the ball-room into one of the gardens, was worthy of the very handsome apartment which formed its vestibule. The skill of a famous London architect had been exerted on this fairy erection, and Verona itself had, perhaps, in its palmiest days, seldom exhibited a display of more luxuriant elegance. The audience, too, so totally different from the mingled, ill-dressed, and irregular assemblage that fills a city theatre; blooming girls and showy matrons, range above range, feathered and flowered, glittering with all the family jewels, and all animated by the novelty of the scene before them, formed an exhibition which, for the night, inspired me with the idea, that (strolling excepted) the stage might not be a bad resource for a man of talents, after all.

But the play was--must I confess it? though I myself figured as the Romeo--utterly deplorable. The men forgot their parts, and their casual attempts to recover them made terrible havoc of the harmony of Shakspeare. The ladies lost their voices, and carried on their loves, their sorrows, and even their scoldings, in a whisper. Our play perfectly deserved the criticism of the old gentleman, who, after a similar performance, being asked which of the personages he liked best, candidly replied, "the prompter, for of him he had heard the most and seen the least."

However, every thing has an end; and we had carried Juliet to the tomb of all the Capulets, the chant was done, and the mourners were gathered in the green-room. I was standing, book in hand, preparing for the last agonies of a love very imperfectly committed to memory, when I heard a slight confusion in the court-yard, and shortly after the rattle of a post-chaise. The sound subsided, and I was summoned to my post at the entrance to the place where the lovely Juliet lay entranced. The pasteboard gate gave way to knocks enforced with an energy which called down rapturous applause; and in all the tortures of a broken heart, rewarded by a profusion of handkerchiefs applied to bright eyes, and a strong scent of hartshorn round the house, I summoned my fair bride to my arms. There was no reply. I again invoked her; still silent. Her trance was evidently of the deepest order. I rose from the ground, where I had been "taking the measure of my unmade grave," and approaching the bier, ventured to drop a despairing hand upon her pillow. To my utter surprise, it was vacant. If I had been another Shakspeare, the situation was a fine one for a display of original genius. But I was paralyzed. A sense of the general embarrassment was my first impression, and I was absolutely struck dumb. But this was soon shaken off. My next was a sense of the particular burlesque of my situation; I burst out into laughter, in which the whole house joined; and throwing down my mattock, rushed off the stage. My theatrical dream was broken up for ever.

* * * * *

But weightier matters now absorbed the universal interest. The disappearance of the heroine from the stage was speedily accounted for by her flight in the carriage whose wheels had disturbed my study. But where fled, why, and with whom? We now found other defalcations in our numbers; the Chevalier Paul Charlatanski, a gallant Polish exile, who contrived to pass a very pleasant time on the merit of his misfortunes, a man of enormous mustaches and calamities, was also missing. His valet, his valise, every atom that ever appertained to him, had vanished; the clearance was complete. The confusion now thickened. I never saw the master of the mansion in such a rage before. Pistols and post-chaises were in instant requisition. He vowed that the honour of his house was involved in the transaction, and that nothing should tempt him to slumber until he had brought the fugitive fair one to the arms of her noble family; my Juliet being the ward of a duke, and being also entitled to about twenty thousand pounds a-year on her coming of age.

As for the unlucky, or rather the lucky, Chevalier, nothing human ever received a hotter shower of surmise and sarcasm. That he was "an impostor, a swindler, a spy," was the Earl's conviction, declared in the most public manner. The whole body of matrons looked round on their blooming innocents, as if they had been snatched from the jaws of a legion of wolves and thanked their own prudence which had not trusted those men of mustaches within their hall doors. The blooming innocents responded in filial gratitude, and, with whatever sincerity, thanked their stars for their fortunate escape.

Still, the Earl's indignation was of so _ultra_ a quality; his revenge was so fiery, and his tongue so fluent; that I began to suspect he had other motives than the insulted laws of hospitality. I reached this discovery, too, in time. The declining health of his partner had made him speculate on the chances of survivorship. He certainly was no longer young, and he had never been an Adonis. Yet his glass did not altogether throw him into the rank of the impracticable. A coronet was a well-known charm, which had often compensated for every other; in short, he had quietly theorized himself into the future husband of the ducal ward; and felt on this occasion as an Earl should, plundered, before his face, of a clear twenty thousand a-year.

But he was not to suffer alone. On further enquiry, it was ascertained that the chevalier's valet had not gone with him. This fellow, a Frenchman, had taken wing in another direction, and carried off his turtle-dove, too; not one of the full-blown roses of the servant's-hall, but a rosebud, the daughter of one of the bulkiest squires of the Riding; a man of countless beeves and blunders; one of our Yorkshire Nimrods, "a mighty hunter," until club dinners and home-brewed ale tied him to his arm-chair, and gout made him a man of peace and flannels, the best thriven weed in the swamps of Yorkshire. The young lady had been intended for my eldest brother, as a convenient medium of connexion between two estates, palpably made for matrimony. Thus we received two mortal blows in one evening; never was family pilfered more ignominiously; never was amateur play more peevishly catastrophized.

It must be owned, to the credit of "private theatricals," that the play had no slight share in the plot. The easy intercourse produced by rehearsals, the getting of tender speeches by heart, the pretty personalities and allusions growing out of those speeches, the ramblings through shades and rose-twined parterres, the raptures and romance, all tend prodigiously to take off the alarm, or instruct the inexperience, of the female heart. I know no more certain cure for the rigidity that is supposed to be a barrier. At all events, the Chevalier and his valet, probably both footmen, alike had profited of their opportunity. Our play had cost us two elopements; two shots between wind and water, which threatened to send the ship down; two breakings of that heart which men carry in their purse. I laughed, and the world laughed also. But I was then thoughtless, and the world is malicious. My father and the member, though they had "never told their love," felt the blow "like a worm in the bud," and from that night I date the family decline.

Of course, the two whiskered vagabonds could not be suffered to carry off their laurels without an attempt to diminish them, and my father and brother were too much in earnest in their objects to lose time. In half an hour, four post-horses to each britchska whirled them off;--my father, to take the northern road, some hints of Gretna having transpired in the slipshod secrecy of the servants' hall--my brother, to pursue on the Dover road, conjecturing, with more sagacity than I had given him credit for, that as the fox runs round to his earth, the Frenchman always speeds for Paris.

The company soon dispersed, after having stayed long enough to glean all that they could of the family misfortune, and fix appointments for every day in the week to meet each other, and make the most of the whole transaction. But still a tolerable number of the steadier hands remained, who, to show their sympathy with us, resolved not to separate until they received tidings of his lordship's success. I was voted to the head of the table, more claret was ordered, the wreck of the general supper was cleared for one of a snugger kind; and we drew our chairs together. Toast followed toast, and all became communicative. Family histories, not excepting our own, were now discussed, with a confidence new to my boyish conjectures. Charlatanski's career abroad and at home seemed to be as well known as if he had been pilloried in the county town; the infinite absurdity of the noble duke who suffered him to make his way under his roof, and the palpable _penchant_ of his ward, next underwent discussion; until the ignorance of my noble father on the subject, gave, with me, the death-blow to his penetration. The prettinesses which had won the primrose heart of my brother's intended spouse, I found were equally notorious; the Earl's project was as plain as if he had pronounced it _viva voce_; and before we parted for the night, which did not occur until the sun was blazing through the curtains of our banqueting room, I had made up my mind, once for all, that neither character nor cunning can be concealed in this world; that the craftiest impostor is but a clumsier kind of clown; and that the most dexterous disguise is but a waste of time.

I must hasten to the _dénouement_. Our excellent friends indulged us with their company, and bored us with their society for a mortal week. But, as Sterne says of the sentimental traveller, scenes of sentiment are always exhibiting themselves to an appetite eager for knowing what the world is doing; the knowledge was contributed with a copiousness which left nothing to learn, and but little to desire. Our guests were of that class which usually fills the houses of noblemen, in the annihilation of life in town; clubmen, to whom St James's Street was the terraqueous globe; guardsmen, on leave of absence for the shooting season, and saturated with London; several older exhibitors in the fashionable circles, who as naturally followed where young guardsmen and wealthy squires were to be found, as flies wing to the honey on which they live; and two or three of the most opulent and dullest baronets who ever played whist and billiards, for the advantage of losing guinea points to gentlemen more accomplished in the science of chances.

At length, on the sixth day, when I really began to feel anxious, an express announced that his lordship had arrived at a village, about fifty miles off, on his way home, wounded, and in great danger. I instantly broke up the convivial party, and set out to see him. To the imagination of a boy, as I was then, nothing could be more startling than the aspect of the habitation which now held the haughty Earl of Mortimer. After passing through a variety of dungeon-like rooms, for the house had once been a workhouse, or something of the kind, I was ushered into the chamber where the patient lay. The village doctor, and one or two of the wise people of the neighbourhood, who thought it their duty to visit a stranger, that stranger being a man of rank, were standing by; and the long faces of those persons, seconded by the professional shake of the doctor's head, told me, that they at least had no hope. It was not so with the sufferer himself, for he talked as largely and loftily of what he was to do within the next ten years, as if he was to survive the century. He still breathed rage and retribution against the Chevalier, and actually seemed to regard the lady's choice as a particular infraction of personal claims. He had pursued the fugitives day and night, until the pursuit threw him into a kind of fever. While under this paroxysm he had met the enamoured pair, but it was on their way from that forge on the Border where so many heavy chains have been manufactured. Useless as challenging was now, he challenged the husband. The parties met, and my father received a bullet in his body, while he had the satisfaction of lodging one in his antagonist's knee-pan. The Chevalier was doomed to waltz no more. But his bullet was fatal.

As I looked round the wretched chamber in which this bold, arrogant, and busy spirit was evidently about to breathe its last, Pope's lines on the most splendid _roué_ of his day involuntarily and painfully shot across my recollection:--

"In the worst inn's worst room, with mat half hung, The walls of plaster, and the floor of dung; The George and Garter dangling from the bed, Where tawdry yellow strove with dirty red, Great Villiers lies; alas, how changed from him The glass of fashion!"

I say no more of those scenes; a few days, only enough to collect the branches of the family round the bed, terminated every thing. Grief, they say, cannot exist where there is no love, but I was not inclined, just then, to draw subtle distinctions. I was grieved; and paid the last duties, without blame to myself, or, I hope, irreverence in the sight of others. The funeral was stately, and all was over.

Matters now took a new shape at the castle. My brother returned, to find himself its possessor. His journey had been equally unproductive with my unfortunate father's. By dint of bribing the postilions, he had even overpassed the fugitives on the Dover road. But, as he stopped to dine in Canterbury, where he had prepared a posse of constables for their reception, he had, unluckily, been accosted by an old London acquaintance, who had accidentally fixed his quarters there for a day or two, "seeking whom he might devour." The dinner was followed by a carouse, the carouse by a "quiet game," or games, which lasted till the next day; and when my brother rose, with the glow of a superb sunset giving him the first intimation that he was among the living, he made the discovery that he was stripped of the last shilling of five hundred pounds, and that the Frenchman and his prize had quietly changed horses at the same hotel half a dozen hours before.

* * * * *

The young forget quickly, but they feel keenly. The event which I had just witnessed threw a shade over me, which, in the want of any vigorous occupation, began to affect my health. I abjured the sports of the field, for which, indeed, I had never felt much liking. I rambled through the woods in a kind of dreamy idleness of mind, which took but little note of any thing, time included. As mendicants sell tapes and matches to escape the imputation of mendicancy, I carried a pencil and portfolio, and seemed to be sketching venerable oaks and patches of the picturesque, while my mind was wandering from Line to Pole. But in this earth no one can be singular with impunity. The gentlemen were "convinced" that my meditations were heavy with unpaid college bills; and the ladies, from high to low, from "Tilburina, mad in white satin," to her "confidant, mad in white linen," were all of opinion that some one among their peerless selves had destroyed the "five wits of young Mr Marston." I could have fallen on them with a two-handed sword; but as the massacre of the sex was not then in my power, I had only to escape.

There were higher matters to move me. Clouds were gathering on the world; the times were fitful; the air was thick with rumours from abroad; the sleep of the Continent was breaking up, and Europe lay in the anxious and strange expectancy in which some great city might see the signs of a coming earthquake, without the power of ascertaining at what moment, or from what quarter, its foundations were to be flung up in sight of the sun.--We were then in the first stage of the French Revolution!

I resolved to linger and be libelled no more; and being ushered, by appointment, into the library--for the new master was already all etiquette--I promptly stated my wishes, and demanded my portion, to try my fortune in the world.

Our conference, if it had but little of the graces of diplomacy, had much more than its usual decision. It was abrupt and unhesitating. My demand had evidently taken his "lordship" by surprise. He started from the magisterial chair, in which he was yet to awe so many successions of rustic functionaries, and with a flushed cheek asked "Whether I was lunatic, or supposed him to be so?"

"Neither the one nor the other," was my answer. "But, to waste life here is out of the question. I demand the means of entering a profession."

"Are you aware, sir, that our interest is lost since the last change of ministers? that my estate is loaded with encumbrances? that every profession is overstocked? and what can you do in the crowd?"

"What others have done--what I should do in a crowd in the streets--push some aside, get before others; if made way for, be civil; if resisted, trample; it has been the history of thousands, why not mine?"

The doctrine was as new to this son of indulgence, as if I had propounded the philosopher's stone. But his courage was exhausted by a controversy perhaps longer than he had ever ventured on before. He walked to the glass, adjusted his raven ringlets, and having refreshed his spirits with the contemplation, enquired, with a smile which made the nearest possible approach to a sneer, whether I had any thing more to say?

I had more, and of the kind that least suited his feelings. I demanded "my property."

The effect of those two words was electrical. The apathy of the exquisite was at an end, and in a voice of the most indignant displeasure, he rapidly demanded whether I expected money to fall from the moon? whether I was not aware of the expense of keeping up the castle? whether I supposed that my mother's jointure and my sisters' portions could ever be paid without dipping the rent-roll deeper still? and, after various and bitter expostulation, "What right had I to suppose that I was worth the smallest coin of the realm, except by his bounty?"

One query answered them all. "My lord, is it not true that I am entitled to five thousand pounds?"

"Five thousand ----?" what word was to fill up the interval I can only guess. But the first lesson which a man learns at the clubs is, to control his temper when its display is not likely to be attended with effect. He saw that I stood his gaze with but few symptoms of giving way, and he changed his tactics with an adroitness that did honour to his training. Approaching me, he held out his hand. "Charles, why should _we_ quarrel about trifles? I was really not acquainted with the circumstance to which you allude, but I shall look into it without delay. Pray, can you tell me the when, the where, the how?"

"Your questions may be easily answered. The _when_ was at the death of our uncle, the _where_ was in his will, and the _how_--in any way your lordship pleases." The truce was now made; he begged of me, "as I valued _his_ feelings," to drop the formality of his title, to regard him simply as a brother, and to rely on his wish to forward every object that might gratify my inclination.

Our conference broke up. He galloped to a neighbouring horse-race. I went to take a solitary ramble through the Park.

The hour and the scene were what the poet pronounces "fit to cure all sadness but despair." Noble old trees, the "roof star-proof" overhead, the cool velvet grass under the feet--glimpses of sunlight striking through the trunks--the freshened air coming in gusts across the lake, like new life, bathing my burning forehead and feverish hands--the whole unrivalled sweetness of the English landscape softened and subdued me. Those effects are so common, that I can claim no credit for their operation on my mind; and, before I had gone far, I was on the point of returning, if not to recant, at least to palliate the harshness of my appeal to fraternal justice.

But, by this time I had reached a rising ground which commanded a large extent of the surrounding country. The evening was one of those magnificent closes of the year, which, like a final scene in a theatre, seems intended to comprehend all the beauties and brilliancies of the past. The western sky was a blaze of all colours, and all pouring over the succession of forest, cultured field, and mountain top, which make the English view, if not the most sublime, the most touching of the earth!

But as I stood on the hill, gazing round to enjoy every shape and shade at leisure, my eye turned on the Castle. It spoiled all my serenity at once. I felt that it was a spot from which I was excluded by nature; that it belonged to others so wholly, that scarcely by any conceivable chance could it ever be mine; and that I could remain within its walls no longer, but with a sense of uselessness and shame.

If I could have taken staff in hand and pack on shoulder, I would have started at that moment on a pilgrimage that might have circled the globe. But the most fiery resolution must submit to circumstances. One night more, at least, I must sleep under the paternal roof, and I was hastening home, brooding over bitter thoughts, when I suddenly rushed against some one whom I nearly overthrew.--"Bless me, Mr Marston, is it you?"--told me that I had run down my old tutor, Mr Vincent, the parson of the parish. He had been returning from visiting some of his flock, and in the exercise of the vocation which he had just been fulfilling, he saw that something went ill with me, and taking my arm, forced me to go home with him, for such comfort as he could give.

Parsons, above all men, are the better for wives and families; for, without them, they are wonderfully apt to grow saturnine or stupid. Of course there are exceptions. Vincent had a wife not much younger than himself, to whom he always spoke with the courtiership of a _preux chevalier_. A portrait of her in her bridal dress, showed that she had been a pretty brunette in her youth; and her husband still evidently gave her credit for all that she had been. They had, as is generally the fate of the clergy, a superfluity of daughters, four or five I think, creatures as thoughtless and innocent as their own poultry, or their own pet-sheep. But all round their little vicarage was so pure, so quiet, and so neat--there was such an aspect of order and even of elegance, however inexpensive, that its contrast with the glaring and restless tumult of the "great house" was irresistible. I never had so full a practical understanding of the world's "pomps and vanities," as while looking at the trimmings and trelisses of the parson's dwelling.

I acknowledge myself a worldling, but I suppose that all is not lead or iron within me, from my sense of scenes like this. In my wildest hour, the sight of fields and gardens has been a kind of febrifuge to me--has conveyed a feeling of tranquillity to my mind; as if it drank the silence and the freshness, as the flowers drink the dew. I have often thus experienced a sudden soothing, which checked the hot current of my follies or frenzies, and made me think that there were better things than the baubles of cabinets. But it did not last long.

I mention this evening, because it decided my future life; or at least the boldest, and perhaps the best portion of it. We had an hour or two of the little variations of placid amusement which belong to all parsonages in romances, but which here were reality; easy conversation on the events of the county; a little political talking with the vicar; a few details of persons and fashions at the castle, to which the ladies listened as Desdemona might have listened to Othello's history--for the Castle was so seldom visited by them, that it had almost the air of a Castle of Otranto, and they evidently thought that its frowning towers and gilded halls belonged to another race, if not to another region of existence; we had, too, some of the last new songs, (at least half a century old, but which were not the less touching,) and a duet of Geminiani, performed by the two elder proficients on a spinet which might have been among the "chamber music" of the Virgin Queen; all slight matters to speak of, and yet which contributed to the quietude of a mind longing for rest--sights of innocence and sounds of peace, which, like the poet's music--

"Might take the prison'd soul And wrap it in Elysium."

The moon shining in through panes covered with honeysuckle and fragrance of all kinds, at length warned me that I was intruding on a household primitive in their hours, as in every thing else, and I rose to take my leave. But I could not be altogether parted with yet. It seems that they had found me a most amusing guest; while, to my own conception, I had been singularly spiritless; but the little anecdotes which were trite to me had been novelties to them. Fashion has a charm even for philosophers; and the freaks and follies of the high-toned sons and daughters of fashion--who wore down my gentle mother's frame, drained my showy father's rental, and made even myself loathe the sight of loaded barouches coming to discharge their cargoes of beaux and belles on us for weeks together--were nectar and ambrosia to my sportive and rosy-cheeked audience. The five girls put on their bonnets, and looking like a group of Titania and her nymphs, as they bounded along in the moonlight, escorted us to the boundary of the vicar's territory.

We were about to separate, with all the pretty formalities of village leave-taking; when their father, in the act of shaking hands with me, fixed his eye on mine, and insisted on seeing me home. Whether the thought occurred to him that I had still something on my mind, which was not to be trusted within sight of a brook that formed the boundary to the Castle grounds, I know not, but I complied; the girls were sent homewards, and I heard their gay voices mingling, at a distance, and not unsuitably, with the songs of the nightingale.

I took his arm, and we walked on for a while in silence. At length, slackening his pace, and speaking in a tone whose earnestness struck me, "Charles," said he, "has any thing peculiarly painful lately happened to you?--if so, speak out. I know your nature to be above disguise; and with whom can you repose your vexations, if such there be, more safely than with your old tutor?"

I was taken unawares; and not having yet formed a distinct conception of my own grievances, promptly denied that I had any.

"It may be so," said my friend; "and yet once or twice this evening I saw your cheek alternately flush and grow pale, with a suddenness that alarmed me for your health. In one of your pleasantest stories, while you were acting the narrative with a liveliness evidently unconscious, and giving me and mine a treat which we have not had for a long time, I observed your voice falter, as if some spasm of soul had shot across you; and I unquestionably saw, that rare sight in the eyes of man, a tear."

I denied this instance of weakness stoutly; but the old man's importunities prevailed, and, by degrees, I told him, or rather his good-natured cross-examination moulded for me, a statement of my anxieties at home.

The Vicar, with all his simplicity of manner, was a man of powerful and practical understanding. He had been an eminent scholar at his university, and was in a fair way for all its distinctions, when he thought proper to fall desperately in love. This, of course, demolished his prospects at once. I never heard his subsequent history in detail; but he had left England, and undergone a long period of disheartening and distress. Whether he had not, in those times of desolation, taken service in the Austrian army, and even shared some of its Turkish campaigns, was a question which I heard once or twice started at the Castle; and a slight contraction of the arm, and a rather significant scar which crossed his bold forehead, had been set down to the account of the Osmanli cimeter.

* * * * *

Vincent had never told the story of either, but a rumour reached his college of his having been seen in the Austrian uniform on the Transylvanian frontier, during the campaigns of the Prince of Coburg and Laudohn against the Turks. It was singular enough, that on this very evening, in arguing against some of my whims touching destinies and omens, he illustrated the facility of imposture on such points by an incident from one of those campaigns.

"A friend of mine," said he, "a captain in the Lichtenstein hussars, happened to be on the outpost service of the army. As the enemy were in great force, and commanded by the Vizier in person, an action was daily expected, and the pickets and videttes were ordered to be peculiarly on the alert. But, on a sudden, every night produced some casualty. They either lost videttes, or their patrol was surprised, or their baggage plundered--in short, they began to be the talk of the army. The regiment had been always one of the most distinguished in the service, and all those misfortunes were wholly unaccountable. At length a stronger picket than usual was ordered for the night--not a man of them was to be found in the morning. As no firing had been heard, the natural conjecture was, that they must all have deserted. As this was a still more disgraceful result than actual defeat, the colonel called his officers together, to give what information they could. The camp, as usual, swarmed with Bohemians, fortune-tellers, and gipsies, a race who carry intelligence on both sides; and whose performances fully accounted for the knowledge which the enemy evidently had of our outposts. The first order was, to clear the quarters of the regiment of those encumbrances, and the next to direct the videttes to fire without challenging. At midnight a shot was heard; all turned out, and on reaching the spot where the alarm had been given, the vidette was found lying on the ground and senseless, though without a wound. On his recovery, he said that he had seen a ghost; but that having fired at it, according to orders, it looked so horribly grim at him, that he fell from his horse and saw no more. The Austrians are brave, but they are remarkably afraid of supernatural visitants, and a ghost would be a much more formidable thing to them than a discharge of grape-shot.

"The captain in question was an Englishman, and as John Bull is supposed, among foreigners, to carry an unusual portion of brains about him, the colonel took him into his special council in the emergency. Having settled their measures, the captain prepared to take charge of the pickets for the night, making no secret of his dispositions. At dark, the videttes and sentries were posted as usual, and the officer took his post in the old field redoubt, which had been the headquarters of the pickets for the last fortnight.

"All went on quietly until about midnight; the men off duty fast asleep in their cloaks, and the captain reading an English novel. He, too, had grown weary of the night, and was thinking of stretching himself on the floor of his hut, when he saw, and not without some perturbation, a tall spectral figure, in armour, enter the works, stride over the sleeping men without exciting the smallest movement amongst them, and advance towards him. He drew his breath hard, and attempted to call out, but his voice was choked, and he began to think himself under the dominion of nightmare. The figure came nearer still, looking more menacing, and drew its sword. My friend, with an effort which he afterwards acknowledged to be desperate, put his hand to his side to draw his own. What was his alarm when he found that it had vanished? At this moment his poodle, which, against all precautions, had followed him, began barking fiercely, and rushing alternately towards him and a corner of the redoubt. Though his sabre was gone, a brace of English pistols lay on the table beside him, and he fired one of them in the direction. The shot was followed by a groan and the disappearance of the spectre. The men started to their feet, and all rushed out in pursuit. The captain's first step struck upon a dead body, evidently that of the spy who had fallen by his fire. The pursuit was now joined in by the whole regiment, who had been posted in the rear unseen, to take advantage of circumstances. They pushed on, swept all before them, and bore down patrol and picket until they reached the enemy's camp. The question then was, what to do next? whether to make the best of their way back, or try their chance onward? The Englishman's voice was for taking fortune at the flow; and the accidental burning of a tent or two by the fugitives showed him the Turks already in confusion. The trampling of battalions in the rear told him at the same time that he had powerful help at hand, and he dashed among the lines at once. The hussars, determined to retrieve their reputation, did wonders--the enemy were completely surprised. No troops but those in the highest state of discipline are good for any thing when attacked at night. The gallantry of the Turk by day, deserts him in the dark; and a night surprise, if well followed up, is sure to end in a victory. From the random firing and shouting on every side, it was clear that they were totally taken unawares; and the rapid and general advance of the Austrian brigades, showed that Laudohn was in the mind to make a handsome imperial bulletin. Day dawned on a rout as entire as ever was witnessed in a barbarian campaign. The enemy were flying in all directions like a horde of Tartars, and camp, cannon, baggage, standards, every thing was left at the mercy of the pursuers."

"But the captain, the Englishman, what became of him?" I asked, slightly glancing at the countenance of the narrator.

"Oh, very well off indeed! Foreign Governments are showy to the soldier, and Joseph the Second, though an economist in civil matters, was liberal to his successful officers. The captain received a pension; a couple of orders; was made a colonel on the first opportunity; and, besides, had his share of the plunder--no slight addition to his finances, for the military chest had been taken in the baggage of the Seraskier."

"And by this time," said I, with an unenquiring air, "he is doubtless a field-marshal?"

"Nothing of the kind," replied my reverend friend, "for his victory cured him of soldiership. He was wounded in the engagement, and if he had been ever fool enough to think of fame, the solitary hours of his invalidism put an end to the folly. Other and dearer thoughts recurred to his mind. He had now obtained something approaching to a competence, if rightly managed; he asked permission to retire, returned to England, married the woman he loved; and never for a moment regretted that he was listening to larks and linnets instead of trumpets and cannon, and settling the concerns of rustics instead of manoeuvring squadrons and battalions."

"But what was the ghost, after all?"

"Oh, the mere trick of a juggler! a figure projected on the wall by some ingenious contrivance of glasses. The instrument was found on the body of the performer, who turned out to be the colonel's valet--of course in the enemy's pay, and who furnished them with daily intelligence of all our proceedings. As for the loss of the sabre, which actually startled the ghost-seer most, he found it next morning hanging up in the hut, where he himself had placed it, and forgotten that he had done so."

"And the captain, or rather the colonel, brought with him to England, a cimeter-cut on his arm, and another on his forehead?" I asked, fixing my eyes on him. A crimson flush passed over his countenance, he bit his lip and turned away. I feared that I had offended irreparably. But his natural kindliness of heart prevailed, he turned to me gently, laughed, and pressing my hand in his, said, "You have my secret. It has escaped me for the first time these thirty years. Keep it like a man of honour."

* * * * *

I have always held that the life of man's mind, where man _has_ a mind--which is not always the case--is a thing of fits and starts. I even doubt whether any one who will take the trouble to recollect, will not be able to put his finger on the precise periods at which new views of every thing suddenly opened before him, and he emerged at once, if not into new powers, at least into a new use of them. The frame may grow like a tree; the faculties may grow as imperceptibly as the frame; but the mind acquires that knowledge of life which forms its exercise, its use, and perhaps its essence, by bounds and flights. This moonlight walk with my old and honoured Mentor, was the beginning of my mental adolescence. My manhood was still to come, and with a more severe instructor.

As we were passing slowly through the plantations which encircled the Castle with all the noble and profuse shelter and ornament which our ancestors loved, a distant sound of music came on the wind. I then remembered, for the first time, that my brother had, on that evening, given a ball to the county, and a sudden sense of the difference of our lots in life, came painfully over me;--the course of secure wealth and English enjoyment, contrasted with the dependence and wandering which must form the existence of myself, and so many thousands of younger brothers.

I was awakened from my reverie by the voice of my companion. His face was upturned to the cloudless sky, and he was murmuring the fine passage in the Merchant of Venice.

"Look, how the floor of heaven Is thick inlaid with patines of bright gold; There's not the smallest orb which thou behold'st, But in his motion like an angel sings, Still quiring to the young-eyed cherubins: Such harmony is in immortal souls."

"Do you know, Charles," said he, "what changed the whole current of my life? what, in fact, brought me back to England?" and there was a slight pause. "What made me a Christian? It was such a night as this. As you now know the chief part of my story, I need have no further concealment on the subject. I had recovered from my wounds, and was preparing to set out for Vienna, when one night a tempest blew down our tents, and left us to trust to the open air for the hours till morning. Tempests in the south are violent, but they are generally brief, and this gale cleared the sky of every cloud. As I lay on the ground, and gazed on the unusual splendour of the stars, the thought occurred to me, Why should doubts of a future state ever come into the mind of man? Why should he hesitate about its reality? Was it not there, before his eyes? Were not the very regions of future existence already within the reach of one of his senses? Why might they not yet be within the reach of all? Of course I do not give you all the vague thoughts which passed through my mind; but the permanence, power, and astonishing multitude of those bright worlds, impressed themselves on me with a new force. I had known all those matters before, but on this night I felt them. My next thoughts were of the power, the wisdom, and the majesty of the mighty Being by whom all this had been formed, moved, and sustained through thousands of years. I need not follow the history of my conversion--for a conversion it was. When I looked round me on the sleeping troops, I saw nothing but clods of the valley--gallant beings, but as insensible to their high inheritance as the chargers they rode. My heart moved me towards them; and perhaps, in some instances, I succeeded in giving them my own ideas. But Austria defies, at least, all human change. I was not a fanatic, and I had no wish to strive with impossibilities. I sent in my resignation; abandoned the 'pride, pomp, and circumstance' of the most tempting of all human pursuits, and returned to England to be, what you see me now."

With this man I could have no reserves, and I freely asked his advice on the plunge which I was about to make into that fathomless tide of good and ill, the world. I mentioned the Church as the profession which my mother had suggested, but for which I did not conceive either my temper or my habits suitable.

"You are right, then, in abandoning the idea altogether," was the answer; "and yet I know no profession more capable of fulfilling all the objects of a vigorous mind. I am not now talking of mitres; they can fall to but few. I speak of the prospects which it opens to all; the power of exerting the largest influence for the highest purposes; the possession of fame without its emptiness, and the indulgence of knowledge without its vanity; energy turned to the most practical and lofty uses of man; and the full feast of an ambition superior to the tinsel of the world, and alike pure in its motives, and immeasurable in its rewards."

"And, yet," said I, naming one or two of our clerical slumberers, "the profession seems not to be a very disturbing one."

"Those men, was the answer, would have been slumberers at the bar, in senates, or in the field. I may be prejudiced in favour of the choice which I made so long since, and which I have never found reason to repent. But I have not the slightest wish to prejudice any one in its favour. There is no profession which more requires a peculiar mind; contentment, with whatever consciousness of being overlooked; patience, with whatever hopelessness of success; labour, for its own sake; and learning, with few to share, few to admire, and fewer still to understand."

"If my father had lived," said I, "it was his intention to have tried my chance in diplomacy."

"Probably enough; for he had figured in that line himself. I remember him secretary of embassy at Vienna. Perhaps you will scarcely believe, that I, too, have had my experience on the subject? Accident once made me an attaché to our envoy at Naples. The life is an easy one. Idleness was never more perfectly reduced to a system, than among the half dozen functionaries to whom the interests of the British empire were entrusted in the capital of the Lazzaroni. As the Frenchman said of the Academy, 'We had nothing to do, and we did it.'"

"Italy," said I, "is the land of pleasure, and the Lazzaroni are its philosophers, but one cannot sleep like them in the face of day, and all day long. Let what will come, I have no desire to be a weed on the shore."

"No; we had our occupations; for we had the attendance on the court days--a business of as much formality, as if the fate of mankind depended on it. Then we had the attendance on the opera at night, a matter nearly as tiresome. The post from England reached Naples but once a-week, and scarcely once a month conveyed any intelligence that was worth the postage. But, if politics were out of the question, we had negotiation in abundance; for we carried on the whole diplomacy of the opera-house in London, engaged _primo tenores_, and settled the rival claims of _prima donnas_; gave our critical opinions on the merits of dancers worthy of appearing before the British _cognoscenti_; and dispatched poets, ballet-masters, and scene-painters, to our managers, with an activity worthy of the purest patriotism. What think you of the bar?"

"I have no head for its study; and no heart for its employment."

"It leads more rapidly to rank than any other profession under the sun; profit beyond counting, and a peerage. Those are no bad things."

"Both capital, if one could be secure of them. But they take too much time for me. I never was born to sit on the woolsack. No; if I were to follow my own inclination, I should be a soldier."

I have already said that I have been, throughout life, a kind of believer in omens. I have seen such a multitude of things decided by some curious coincidence, some passing occurrence, some of those odd trifles for which it is impossible to account, but which occur at the instant when the mind is wavering on the balance; that I feel no wonder at the old superstitions of guessing our destiny from the shooting of a star, or the flight of birds. While we were rambling onward, discussing the merits and demerits of the profession of arms, we heard the winding of the mail-guard's horn. I sprang the fence, and waited in the road to enquire the last news from the metropolis. It was momentous--the Revolution had effectually broken out. Paris was in an uproar. The king's guards had taken up arms for the people. The Bastile was stormed!

If I had hesitated before, this news decided me; not that I pretend to have even dreamed of the tremendous changes which were to be produced in the world by that convulsion. But it struck me as the beginning of a time, when the lazy quietude of years was about to be broken up, and room made for all who were inclined to exert themselves. Before we had reached the level lawns and trim parterres which showed us the lights of the family festivity, I had settled all the difficulties which might impede the career of less fortunate individuals; time and chance were managed with the adroitness of a projector; and if Bellona had been one of the Nine Muses, my speculations could not have been more poetical. Somewhat to my surprise, they received no check from my venerable tutor; quite the contrary. The singular sympathy with which he listened to my most daring and dashing conceptions, would have betrayed his early history if I had still the knowledge to acquire. His very looks, as he listened to my rodomontades, recurred to me, when I read, many years after, Scott's fine description of his soldier-monk in the Lay of the Last Minstrel:--

"Again on the knight look'd the churchman old, And again he sigh'd heavily, For he had himself been a warrior bold, And fought in Spain and Italy. And he thought on the days that were long gone by, When his limbs were strong, and his courage was high."

* * * * *

The news from France produced a sensation throughout England totally indescribable at the present day. Every tongue and every heart was full of it. It offered something for every mind of the million to seize on. Like a waterspout, such as I have seen sweeping over the bosom of the Atlantic, half-descending from the skies, and half-ascending from the deep; every second man whom one met gave it credit for a different origin, some looking at the upper portion and some at the lower; while, in the mean time, the huge phenomenon was blackening, gathering, and rushing onward, threatening to turn all above into darkness and all below into storm. It made the grand subject of parliamentary eloquence, and parliament was never more eloquent; it filled the speeches of the factious, it was hailed by the shouts of the multitude, and it disturbed the fireside with fear and hope, with wishing and wonder. It must be acknowledged that a vast quantity of this excitement was absolute folly; but, at the same time, there was a sincerity in the folly which redeemed it from ridicule. Nothing could be more evident than that this French patriotism was as theatrical, in the countless majority of instances, as the loves and sorrows of its stage. Yet, however the speeches might be got by heart, or the frippery and actors hired, the _drame_ was powerfully performed; and all Europe sat by, giving it the tribute of its tears and its terrors. Even we of England, with all our more sober recollections that the heroes were ragamuffins, and the heroism imaginary, gave ourselves up to the illusion. I shall not say that I was wiser than the rest of mankind. I liked excitement, wherever it was to be found. The barriers to distinction were still too firmly closed against the youngest son of an embarrassed family, not to suggest many a wish for whatever chance might burst the gate, or blow up the rampart; and my first effort in political life was a harangue to the rabble of the next borough, conceived in the most Gallic style. Yet this act of absurdity had the effect of forwarding my views more rapidly than if I had become an aristocratic Demosthenes. My speech was so much applauded by the mob, that they began to put its theories in practice, though with rather more vigour than I had dreamed of. There were riots, and even some attempts at the seizure of arms; and the noble duke, our neighbour, had received a threatening letter, which sent him at full gallop to the Home Secretary. A note, by no means too gentle in its tone, was instantly despatched to my noble brother, enquiring why he did not contrive to keep the minor branches of his family in better order, and threatening him with the withdrawal of the county patronage. My demand of a commission in the Guards was no longer answered by the head of our house with astonishment at the loftiness of my expectations, and statements of the utter emptiness of the family exchequer. The result of his brief correspondence with Downing Street was a letter, notifying that his majesty was pleased to accept my services in the Coldstream.

I was enraptured, and my brother was enraptured, for we had both gained our objects. I had got rid of him and ennui. He had got rid of me, and the displeasure of the grand dispensers of place and pension. No time was lost in forwarding me to make my bow at the Horse Guards; and my noble brother lost as little time in making me put my hand to a paper, in which, for prompt payment, I relinquished one half of my legacy. But what cared I for money? I had obtained a profession in which money was contemptible, the only purse the military chest, and the only prize, like Nelson's, a peerage or Westminster Abbey. The ferment did not cool within the week, and within that period I had taken leave of half the county, been wished laurels and aiguillettes by a hundred or a thousand of the fairest of our country belles; and been wished a thousand miles off by the wise matrons, to whom the sight of a "younger son without house or land" is a nuisance, a kite among their family pigeons.

At that moment, however, all their dovecots were secure. I should not have spent a sigh on the Venus de Medicis had she sprung from her pedestal to enchant me. The world was open before me; and trite and trifling objects were no more to occupy my time. I felt like one who, after wandering all day through the depths of an American forest, suddenly reaches its border, and sees before him the boundless prairie, with its boundlessness still more striking, from the absence of any distinct object on which the eye could rest. What were horses, dogs, and country dinners, to the world of London and of life which now came in full, and, I will own it, extravagant vision before me? The ideas which I conceived of men and things, of my own fortunes, and the fortunate exercise of my own powers, were of an order which, in my calmer days, have often made me smile; yet what is the whole early life of man but a predisposition to fever? and I was then throbbing on the fiery verge of the disease.

I shall say but little of my first sensations on reaching London. My eyes and ears were in full activity. But the impression upon all who enter this mightiest of capitals for the first time, is nearly the same. Its perpetual multitude, its incessant movement, its variety of occupations, sights and sounds, the echo of the whole vast and sleepless machinery of national existence, have been a thousand times the subject of description, and always of wonder. Yet, I must acknowledge, that its first sight repelled me. I had lived in field and forest, my society had been among my fellows in rank; I had lived in magnificent halls, and been surrounded by bowing attendants; and now, with my mind full of the calm magnificence of English noble life, I felt myself flung into the midst of a numberless, miscellaneous, noisy rabble, all rushing on regardless of every thing but themselves, pouring through endless lines of dingy houses; and I nothing, an atom in the confusion, a grain of dust on the great chariot wheel of society, a lonely and obscure struggler in the mighty current of human life, which rolled along the sullen channels of the most cheerless, however it might be the largest, of capitals.

For the first week, I was absolutely unable to collect my thoughts. All that I learned was, to make my way through the principal thoroughfares, and know the names of her chief buildings. In later days, I took a more practical view of matters, and regarded them only as places in which the business of the hour was to be done. But in my first view, something of the romance and revival of my forest walks clung to me. I remember that, when I first saw the Horse Guards, to which, of course, one of my earliest visits was paid, I found no slight difficulty in thinking of it as only a remarkably clownish mass of brick and stone, crowded with clerks. To me it was the very palace of war; the spot from which the thunderbolts of England were launched; the centre and the stronghold of that irresistible influence with which England sways and moulds mankind. The India House was another of my reveries. I could not think of it as but a huge pile in a vulgar outlet of the city, as a place of porters and messengers loitering in gloomy corridors, of busy clerks for ever scribbling in nooks unvisited by the sun, or even of portly directors, congregating in halls encrusted with the cobwebs of centuries. To my eyes it was invested with the mystery and dignity of Orientalism. I thought of the powers by which rajahs were raised and overthrown, of the mandates which spread war and restored peace over regions wide as Europe, and a thousand times more brilliant. I had rambling visions of armies of elephants, superb cavalry, and chieftains covered with gold and diamonds. As I traversed the dusky halls, I thought of the will which pronounced the fate of kingdoms, the fallen glories of Aurengzebe, the broken sceptre of the Mahratta, and the crushed tiara of Mysore. Round me was the moving power of an empire, the noblest that the East has ever seen, and which, in the act of assuming additional greatness, by a contradiction to all the laws of extended conquest, was hourly assuming additional stability.

And yet, and yet, are not those the true views, after all? Are the effects to be forgotten in the instruments, or is it not the result which forms the character of the whole? Are we to think of the dagger which strikes the master of a throne, as only the steel in the hand of an assassin, or as the summoner to civil war and the subversion of thrones? Is the pen which pours political frenzy through the hearts of living millions, or sheds the splendours of poetry over millions still to come, to be valued only as the feather of a bird? Or is the press itself to be remembered only as a dexterous combination of springs and screws; or to be bowed down to as the steward of all the hidden treasures of mind--as the breaker of intellectual chains, the avenger of injured rights, the moral Hercules that goes forth turning the wilderness to fertility, and smiting the monsters of the world?

But among the wonders of the time, there was one which struck me with prodigious force, which has remained on my recollection to this hour, and which still survives with undiminished vividness. It was the acting of Siddons.

The stage is now almost undone. The absurd liberalism of the day has given every corner of London a theatre, and has degraded the character of the stage in all. By scattering the ability which still exists, it has stripped the great theatres of the very means of representing dramatic excellence; while, by adopting popular contrivances to obtain temporary success, they have driven away dramatic genius in contempt or in despair. Our stage is now condemned to be fed like a felon from the dungeons, and, like the felon, to feel a stigma in every morsel which it puts between its lips. It must stoop to French frivolity, or German extravagance, and be glad to exist upon either. Yet, why should not higher names come to its aid? Why should not the State relieve the difficulties of a great institution, which might be made to repay its assistance a thousand-fold? Is there nothing that could be withdrawn from the waste of our civil lists, or the pomp of public establishments, to reunite, to purify, and even to exalt the stage? The people _will_ have theatres. Good or evil, noble or degraded, the stage will be demanded by the people. Is it a thing indifferent to our rulers, to supply them with this powerful and universal excitement in its highest degree of moral influence, or in its lowest degree of impurity; to bring before them, with all the attractions of the drama, the memory of heroes and sages, patriots and martyrs, or leave them to rake for the indulgence of eye and ear in the very kennels of crime?

"They order those things better in France."

Unquestionably. The care of Government there protects the national taste, and prevents the theatres from looking for subsistence to the history of the highway. The vices which now haunt theatres are no more necessary to their nature, than to the senate or the palace. Why should not the State interpose to prevent the sale of poison on the stage, as in the streets? Why should it not offer prizes and honours for great tragedies and comedies, as soon as it would for a voyage to the Arctic or Antarctic? But is dramatic genius dead in England? What, in England! where nothing dies--where every faculty of the heart and understanding is in the most perpetual activity--where the noblest impulses are perpetually pushing forward to the noblest ends--where human nature moves in all its vigour, from hour to hour, without disguise--where the whole anatomy of the moral frame is visible, and all its weakness, and all its wonders, are the daily spectacle of all mankind!

In giving these opinions of the powers of the stage, need I guard them by saying, that I contemplate a higher spirit than the drama even of Shakspeare has ever displayed--one which, to the vigour of his characters, and the splendours of his poetry, should add a moral of which his time was scarcely conscious? My idea would approach more nearly the objects of the great Greek dramas, in which the first sympathies of the people were appealed to by the most powerful recollections of historic virtue; their national victories over the Persian, the lofty conceptions of their Olympus, the glories of their national power, and the prospects of their imperishable renown. I contemplate nothing of the weakness, locality, or license, of our old drama. I think only of a rich and lofty combination of characters above the level of our time, thoughts belonging to that elevation, feelings more generous, vivid, and majestic, and exploits uniting the soaring spirit of old romance with the sustained strength of modern energy; Greece in her brightest days of intellectual lustre, Rome in her most heroic days of patriotism, and England in those days which are yet to come, and which shall fill up her inheritance of glory.

Siddons was then witching the world--witching, in its more solemn sense; for though her smile was exquisite, she might have sat for the picture of a Sybil or a Pythoness. The stage had never seen her equal, and will probably never see another so completely formed to command all its influences. Yet her beauty, her acting, even her movement, were characteristic, and their character was noble melancholy. I never saw so mournful a countenance combined with so much beauty. Her voice, though grand, was melancholy--her step, though superb, was melancholy; her very smile was melancholy; and yet there was so much of living intellect in her expression, such vast variety of passion in her look and gesture; she so deeply awoke the feelings, or so awfully impressed the mind; thus it was impossible to escape the spell, while she moved upon the stage.

In this language there is not the slightest exaggeration. I have seen a whole audience burst into tears at a single tone of her voice. Her natural conception was so fine, that the merest commonplace often received a living spirit from her lips. I have seen a single glance from her powerful eye hush an audience--I have seen her acting sometimes even startle and bewilder the actors beside her. There is perhaps a genius for every art, and hers was the genius of the stage--a faculty of instant communication between the speaker and the hearer, some unaccountable sympathy, the power to create which belongs to but one in millions, and which, where it exists, lifts its possessor to the height of the Art at once, and constitutes perfection.

It may be presumed that I saw this extraordinary being whenever it was possible. But her _chef-d'oeuvre_, in my eyes, was the "wife of Macbeth." The character seemed made for her, by something of that instinct which in olden times combined the poet and the prophet in one. It had the ardour and boldness mingled with the solemnity and mystery that belonged to the character of her beauty.

Her entrance was hurried, as if she had but just glanced over the letter, and had been eager to escape from the crowd of attendants to reperuse it alone. She then read on, in a strong calm voice, until she came to the passage which proved the preternatural character of the prediction. "They have more in them than mortal knowledge. When I burnt with desire to question them further, they made themselves into air and--_vanished_." As she was about to pronounce the last word, she paused, drew a short breath, her whole frame was disturbed, she threw her fine eyes upwards, and exclaimed "_Vanished_!" with a wild force, which showed that the whole spirit of the temptation had shrunk into her soul. The "Hail, king that shall be!" was the winding-up of the spell. It was pronounced with the grandeur of one already by anticipation a Queen.

Her solitary summons to her distant lord followed, like an invocation--

"Hie thee hither, That I may pour my spirits in thine ear; And chastise with the valour of my tongue All that impedes thee from the golden round."

The murder scene was the next triumph: her acting was that of a triumphant fiend. I must follow these recollections no further; but the most admirable piece of dumb show that perhaps ever was conceived, was her "Banquet scene." That scene, from the terrible business on the stage--the entrance of Banquo's ghost, the horrors of Macbeth, stricken in the moment of his royal exultation, and the astonishment and alarm of the courtiers--is one of the most thrilling and tumultuous. Yet Siddons, sitting at the extremity of the royal hall, not having a syllable to utter, and simply occupied with courtesies to her guests, made her silence so expressive, that she more than divided the interest with the powerful action going on in front. And when at last, indignant at Macbeth's terrors, stung by conscience, and alarmed at the result of an up-breaking of the banquet with such rumours in their lips, she rushed towards her unhappy husband, and burst out with the words, still though but whispered, yet intensely poured into his passive ear--

"Are you a _man_? This is the very painting of your fear! This is the air-drawn dagger, which, you said, Led you to Duncan!-- Why do you make such faces? When all's done, _You look but on a stool_!"

In those accents all else was forgotten.

But her sleep-walking scene! When shall we see its "second or its similar?" Nothing so solemn, nothing so awful, was ever seen upon the stage. Yet it had one fault--it was too awful. She more resembled a majestic shade rising from the tomb than a living woman, however disturbed by wild fear and lofty passion. It is a remarkable instance of the genius of Shakspeare, that he here found the means of giving a human interest to a being whom he had almost exalted to the "bad eminence" of a magnificent fiend. In this famous soliloquy, the thoughts which once filled and fired her have totally vanished. Ambition has died; remorse lives in its place. The diadem has disappeared; she thinks only of the blood that stains her for ever. She is the queen no more, but an exhausted and unhappy woman, worn down by the stings of conscience, and with her frame dying by the disease of her soul.

But Siddons wanted the agitation, the drooping, the timidity. She looked a living statue. She spoke with the solemn tone of a voice from a shrine. She stood more the sepulchral avenger of regicide than the sufferer from its convictions. Her grand voice, her fixed and marble countenance, and her silent step, gave the impression of a supernatural being, the genius of an ancient oracle--a tremendous Nemesis.

I have seen all the great tragedians of my day, but I have never seen an equal to the sublime of this extraordinary actress. I have seen beauty, youth, touching sensibility, and powerful conception; but I never saw so complete an union of them all--and that union was the sublime. Shakspeare must have had some such form before his mind's eye, while he was creating the wife of Macbeth. Some magnificent and regal countenance, some movement of native majesty, some imaginary Siddons. He could not have gone beyond the true. She was a living Melpomene.

The business of the War-Office was not transacted in those days with the dispatch subsequently introduced by the honest Duke of York. After a delay of weeks I found myself still ungazetted, grew sad, angry, impatient; and after some consideration on the various modes of getting rid of _ennui_, which were to be found in enlisting the service of that Great Company which extended its wings from Bombay to Bengal, as Sheridan said, impudently enough, like the vulture covering his prey; or in taking the chance of fortune, in the shape of cabin-boy on board one of the thousand ships that were daily floating down the Thames, making their way to the extremities of the earth; or in finishing my feverish speculations in a cold bath at the bottom of the Thames itself; I did what I felt a severer exertion than any of them--I wrote a full and true statement of my vexations to my lordly brother.

His answer was lordly enough. He had been "so much occupied with the numberless duties devolving upon him as landlord, magistrate, lord-lieutenant, and fifty other things, that he absolutely had not been able to find a moment to think of me;" and what was rather more perplexing to my immediate sensibilities, "he had not been able to send me a shilling. However, he did all that he could, and gave me a note to a particular friend," Mr Elisha Mordecai of Moorfields.

There is nothing which quickens a man's movements like a depletion of the purse; and instead of lounging at my hotel until the morning paper brought me the scandals and pleasantries of the day before fresh for my breakfast-table, I threw myself out of bed at an hour which I should not have ventured to mention to any man with whom I walked arm-in-arm during the day, and made my way in a hackney coach, to avoid the possibility of being recognised, to the dwelling of my new patron, or rather my guide and guardian angel.

I make no attempt to describe the navigation through which I reached him; it was winding, dark, and dirty beyond all description, and gave the idea of the passages of a dungeon rather than any thing else that I could name. And in a hovel worthy to finish such a voyage of discovery, I discovered Mr Elisha Mordecai, the man of untold opulence. For a while, on being ushered into the office, where he sat pen in hand, I was utterly unable to ascertain any thing of him beyond a gaunt thin figure, who sat crouching behind a pile of papers, and beneath a small window covered with the dirt of ages. He gave me the impression in his dungeon of one of those toads which are found from time to time in blocks of coal, and have lain there unbreathing and unmoving since the deluge. However, he was a man of business, and so was I for the moment. I handed him my brother's note; and like a ray of sunshine on the torpid snake, it put him into immediate motion. He now took off his spectacles, as if to indulge himself with a view of me by the naked eye; and after a scrutinizing look, which, in another place and person, I should probably have resented as impertinent, but which here seemed part of his profession, he rose from his seat and ushered me into another apartment. This room was probably his place of reception for criminals of a more exalted order; for it was lined with foreign prints, had one or two tolerable Dutch pictures, and a bookcase. Out of his bookcase he took down a folio, examined it, compared the writing of my credentials with the signatures of a book which, as Cromwell's son said of his trunk, contained the lives and fortunes, or at least that on which depended the lives and fortunes, of half the noble _roués_ of England, their "promises to pay," bonds, mortgages, and post-obits, and then performed the operation on myself. My L.2500 in prospect was mulcted of a fifth for the trouble of realizing it; of another fifth for prompt payment, and of another for expediting the affair of my commission. "Another such victory would have ruined me."

However, I bore the torture well. In truth, I had so little regard for any object but the grand one of wearing a sword and epaulette, that if Mordecai had demanded the whole sum in fifths, I should have scarcely winced. But my philosophy stood me in good part, for it won a grim smile from the torturer, and even a little of his confidence.

"This," said he, running his finger down a list which looked endless, "I call my peerage book." Turning to another of equal dimensions, "there lies my House of Commons. Not quite as many words wasted in it as in the Honourable House, but rather to the purpose."

Mordecai grew facetious; the feeling that he had made a handsome morning's work of it put him into spirits, and he let me into some of the secrets of high life, with the air of a looker-on who sees the whole game, and intends to pocket the stakes of the fools on both sides. "Money, Mr Marston," said my hook-nosed and keen-eyed enlightener, "is the true business of man. It is philosophy, science, and patriotism in one; or, at least, without it the whole three are of but little service. Your philosopher dies in a garret, your man of science hawks telescopes, and your patriot starves in the streets, or gets himself hanged in honour of the 'Rights of Man.' I have known all these things, for I was born a German, and bred among the illustrissimi of a German university. But I determined not to live a beggar, or at least not to die one. I left Gottingen behind on a May morning, and trudged, fought, and begged, 'borrowed' my way to London. What I am now, you see."

Probably, the glance which I involuntarily gave round the room, did not exhibit much admiration.

"Ha," said he with a half smile, which, on his gigantic and sullen features, looked like a smile on one of the sculptures of a mausoleum, "you are young--you judge by appearances. Let me give you one piece of advice: If the Italian said, 'distrust words, they are fit only to disguise thoughts,' take a Londoner's warning, and distrust your eyes--they are only fit to pretend to see." He paused a moment, and turned over some memorandums. "I find," said he, "by these papers, that I shall have occasion to leave town in the beginning of next week. You shall then see how I live. If I am to be found in this den, it is not for want of a liking for light and air. I am a German. I have seen plains and mountains in my time. If I had been a fool, there I should have remained a bear-shooter; if I were a fool here, I should act like others of the breed, and be a fox-hunter. But I had other game in view, and now I could sell half the estates in England, call half the 'Honourable House' to my levee, brush down an old loan, buy up a new one, and shake the credit of every thing but the Bank of England."

This was bold speaking, and at another time I should have laughed at it; but the times were bold, the language of the streets was bold, the country was bold, and I, too, was bold. There was something singular in the man; even the hovel round him had a look which added to his influence. I listened to the Jew as one might listen to a revealer of those secrets which find an echo in every bosom, when they are once discovered, and on which still deeper secrets seem to depend. My acquiescence, not the less effective for its being expressed more in looks than words, warmed even the stern spirit of the Israelite towards me, and he actually went the length of ordering some refreshments to be put on the table. We eat and drank together; a new source of cordiality. Our conversation continued long. I shall have more to say of him, and must now proceed to other things; but it ended in my acceptance of his invitation to his villa at Brighton, which he termed "a small thing, simply for a week's change of air," and where he promised to give me some curious explanations of his theory--that money was the master of all things, men, manners, and opinions.

On one of the finest mornings of autumn, I was on the box of the Royal Sussex Stage.

I had full leisure to admire the country, for our progress occupied nearly the whole day. We now laugh at our slow-moving forefathers, but is not the time coming when our thirty miles an hour will be laughed at as much as their five? when our passage from Calais to Dover will be made by the turn of a winch, and Paris will be within the penny-post delivery? when the balloon will carry our letters and ourselves; until that still more rapid period, when we shall ride on cannon-shot, and make but a stage from London to Pekin?

On the roof of the coach I found a strong-featured and closely wrapped-up man, who, by degrees, performed the part of my cicerone. His knowledge of the localities was perfect; "every bush and bosky dell," every creek and winding, as the shore came in sight, was so familiar to him, that I should have set him down at once for a smuggler, but for a superiority of tone in his language, and still more from the evident deference to him by the coachman, in those days a leading authority with all the passengers. His occupation is now nearly o'er. Fire and water have swept him away. His broad back, his broad grin, and his broad buttons, are now but recollections.

My new acquaintance exhibited as perfect a knowledge of the country residents as of its map, and nothing could be more unhesitating than his opinions of them all, from the prince and his set, as he termed them, to Mordecai himself. Of my Jew friend, he said, with a laugh, "There is not a better friend to the King's Bench in all England. If you have any thing to lose, he will strip you on the spot. If you have nothing, you may escape, unless he can make something by having you hanged." I begged of him to spare my new friend. "Why," said he, "he is one of my oldest friends, and one of the cleverest fellows alive. I speak tenderly of him, from admiration of his talents. I have a liking for the perfection of a rogue. He is a superb fellow. You will find his 'Hermitage,' as he calls it, a pond of gold fish. But all this you will soon learn for yourself." The coach now stopped on a rising ground, which showed the little fishing village beneath us, basking in the glow of sunset. My cicerone got down, and bade me farewell. On enquiring his name from my fellow-travellers, a group of Sussex farmers, I found a general disinclination to touch on the subject. Even the coachman, the established source of information on all topics, exhibited no wish to discuss the stranger; his official loquacity was almost dumb. "He merely believed that he was something in the navy, or in the army, or in something or other; but he was often in those parts, and generally travelled to London by the Royal Sussex Stage."

No country in Europe has changed its appearance more than the greater part of England during the last fifty years. Sussex was then as wild as the wildest heath of Yorkshire. The population, too, looked as wild as the landscape. This was once the very land of the bold smuggler; the haunt of the dashing defier of the customhouse officer, who in those days generally knew his antagonist too well to interfere with his days or nights, the run between every port of the west of France and the coasts of the Channel, being, in fact, as familiar to both as the lounger in Bond Street to the beau of the day.

We passed groups of men, who, when they had not the sailor's dress, had the sailor's look; some trudging along the road-side, evidently not in idleness; others mounted on the short rough horse of the country, and all knowing and known by our coachman.

On our passing one group, leaning with their backs against one of the low walls which seemed the only enclosure of this rugged region, I, half-laughingly, hinted to one of my neighbours, a giant of a rough-headed farmer, that "perhaps a meeting with such a party, at a late hour, might be inconvenient, especially if the traveller had a full purse." The fellow turned on me a countenance of ridicule. "What?" said he, "do you take them for robbers? Heaven bless you, my lad, they could buy the stage, horses, passengers, and all. I'll warrant you, they will have news from over there," and he pointed towards France, "before it gets into the newspapers, long enough. They are the richest fellows in the county."

"Are they smugglers?" I asked, with sufficient want of tact.

"Why, no," was the answer, with a leer. "We have nothing of that breed among us; we are all honest men. But what if a man has an acquaintance abroad, and gets a commission to sell a cargo of tea or brandy, or perhaps a present from a friend--what shall hinder him from going to bring it? I'm sure, not I."

It was evidently not the "etiquette" on the roof of the Royal Sussex to think much on the subject, and before my curiosity could reach the length of actual imprudence, the coachman pulled up, and informed me that I had reached the nearest turn to "the Hermitage." My valise was lowered down, a peasant was found to carry it, and I plunged into the depth of a lane as primitive as if it had been a path in Siberia.

It was brief, however, and in a few minutes I was within sight of the villa. Here I at once discovered that Mordecai was a man of taste; perhaps the very roughness of the Sussex jungle, through which I had just come, had been suffered to remain for the sake of contrast. A small lodge, covered with late blooming roses, let me into a narrow avenue of all kinds of odorous shrubs; the evening sun was still strong enough to show me glimpses of the grounds on either side, and they had all the dressed smoothness of a parterre. The scene was so different from all that I had been wearied of during the day, that I felt it with double enjoyment; and the utter solitude and silence, after the rough voices of my companions in the journey, were so soothing, that I involuntarily paused before I approached the house, to refresh not more my senses than my mind. As I stood leaning against a tree, and baring my hot brain and bosom to the breeze, that rose with delicious coolness, I heard music. It was a sweet voice, accompanied at intervals by some skilful touches of a harp; and, from the solemnity of the measure, I supposed it to be a hymn. Who was the minstrel? Mordecai had never mentioned to me either wife or daughter. Well, at all events, the song was sweet. The minstrel was a woman, and the Jew's household promised me more amusement than I could have expected from the man of Moorfields. The song ceased, the spell was broken, and I moved on, fully convinced that I had entered on a scene where I might expect at least novelty; and the expectation was then enough to have led me to the cannon's mouth or the antipodes.

* * * * *

THE VIGIL OF VENUS.

TRANSLATED FROM THE LATIN.

This old poem, which commemorates the festivities with which ancient Rome hailed the returning brightness of spring, may, perhaps, awaken in our readers some melancholy reflections on the bygone delights of the same season in our own country. To the Romans, it would seem, this period of the year never ceased to bring rejoicing holidays. There is good reason to suppose that this poem was written in the declining times of the empire; if so, it seems that, amidst the public misfortunes that followed one another during that age, the people were not woe-worn and distressed; that they were able to forget, in social pleasures, the gradual decay of their ancient glory. Rome "smiled in death." England is still great and powerful, but she is no longer Merry England.

Most people have heard of the Floralia, and have learned to deduce the frolics of Maid Marian and her comrades from the Roman observances on that festive occasion. But few are aware of the close similarity which this poem shows to have existed between the customs of the Romans and those of our fathers. In the denunciations of the latter by the acrid Puritans of the 17th century, we might almost imagine that the tirade was expressly levelled against the vigils described in the _Pervigilium Veneris_. If the poem had ever fallen into the hands of those worthies, it would have afforded them an additional handle for invective against the foul ethnic superstitions which the May-games were denounced as representing. Hear Master Stubbes, in his _Anatomie of Abuses_, published in 1585:--

"Against May, Whitsonday, or other time, all the yung men and maides, old men and wives, run gadding over the night to the woods, groves, hils, and mountains, where they spend all the night in pleasant pastimes, and in the morning they return, bringing with them birch and branches of trees, to deck their assemblies withall; and no meruaile, for there is a great Lord present amongst them as superintendent and Lord of their sports, namely, Sathan prince of hel. But the chiefest jewel they bring from thence is their May-pole, (say rather their stinking poole,) which they bring home with great veneration."

Who does not remember Lysander's appointment with Hermia:

----"in that wood, a league without the town, Where I did meet thee once with Helena, To do observance to a morn of May, There will I stay for thee."

These passages point us to the time when man and nature met to rejoice together on May-day: to the time before the days of the workhouse and factory; when the length and breadth of the land rung to the joyaunce and glee of the holiday-rejoicing nation, and the gay sounds careered on fresh breezes even where now the dense atmosphere of Manchester or Ashton glooms over the dens of torture in which withered and debauched children are forced to their labour, and the foul haunts under the shelter of which desperate men hatch plots of rapine and slaughter.

The poem shows that the Romans, like the English of those days, celebrated the season by betaking themselves to the woods throughout the night, where they kept a vigil in honour of Venus, to whose guardianship the month of April was assigned, as being the universal generating and producing power, and more especially to be adored as such by the Romans, from having been, through her son Æneas, the author of their race. The poem seems to have been composed with a view to its being sung by a choir of maidens in their nocturnal rambles beneath the soft light of an Italian moon. The delicious balm of that voluptuous climate breathes through every line of it, and vividly presents to the reader's imagination the scene of the festivity; but whether we can claim these celebrations for our own May-day, is a doubtful point; for Wernsdorf, who has included the Pervigilium Veneris in his edition of _Poetæ Latini Minores_, vol. iii., maintains that it is to be referred to the Veneralia, or feast of Venus, on the 1st of April. The Kalendar of Constantius marks the 3d day of April as Natalis Quirini. If, then, the morrow spoken of in the poem is to be taken to mean this birthday of Romulus, we must suppose the vigil of three nights to have begun on the night of the last day of March. But perhaps our readers will agree with us, that there are quite as good grounds for attributing this vigil to the Floralia, which commenced on the 27th of April, and ended on the first of May. For although the rites of the Floralia were in honour of Flora, yet we may easily conceive the principle by which the worship of Venus, the spirit of beauty, and love, and production, would come to be intermingled with the homage paid to the flower-goddess. And then the three nights would denote the nights of the Floralia already past, if we suppose the hymn to have been sung on the night before the 1st of May. This seems more natural, as coinciding with the known length of the festival, than Wernsdorf's hypothesis, which makes the vigil commence before the month of Venus had opened. As regards the time of year, too, May is far more suited than April, even in Italy, for outwatching the Bear on woodland lawns.

The question regarding the author of the Pervigilium Veneris is still a _lis sub judice_. Aldus, Erasmus, and Meursius, attributed it to Catullus; but subsequent editors have, with much more probability, contended that its age is considerably later. We may notice a scholastic and philosophical spirit about it, which is ill-suited to the Bard of Verona. Lipsius claimed it for the Augustan age, in consequence of the mention of Cæsar which is introduced. But we think we may safely assume, that the observance of this vigil grew into custom after the time of Ovid, otherwise it is difficult to account for the total absence of all allusion, in his Fasti, to a subject so perfectly adapted to his verse. But we will not enter any further into a discussion which Salmasius and Scaliger could not settle, but shall at once present our readers with the following translation of the Pervigilium Veneris:--

He that never loved before, Let him love to-morrow! He that hath loved o'er and o'er, Let him love to-morrow!

Spring, young Spring, with song and mirth, Spring is on the newborn earth. Spring is here, the time of love-- The merry birds pair in the grove, And the green trees hang their tresses, Loosen'd by the rain's caresses. To-morrow sees the dawn of May, When Venus will her sceptre sway, Glorious, in her justice-hall: There where woodland shadows fall, On bowers of myrtle intertwined, Many a band of love she'll bind. He that never, &c.

To-morrow is the day when first From the foam-world of Ocean burst, Like one of his own waves, the bright Dione, queen of love and light, Amid the sea-gods' azure train, 'Mid the strange horses of the main. He that never, &c.

She it is that lends the Hours Their crimson glow, their jewel-flowers: At her command the buds are seen, Where the west-wind's breath hath been, To swell within their dwellings green. She abroad those dewdrops flings, Dew that night's cool softness brings; How the bright tears hang declining, And glisten with a tremulous shining, Almost of weight to drop away, And yet too light to leave the spray. Hence the tender plants are bold Their blushing petals to unfold: 'Tis that dew, which through the air Falls from heaven when night is fair, That unbinds the moist green vest From the floweret's maiden breast. 'Tis Venus' will, when morning glows, 'Twill be the bridal of each rose. Then the bride-flower shall reveal, What her veil cloth now conceal, The blush divinest, which of yore She caught from Venus' trickling gore, With Love's kisses mix'd, I trow, With blaze of fire, and rubies' glow, And with many a crimson ray Stolen from the birth of day. He that never, &c.

All the nymphs the Queen of Love Summons to the myrtle-grove; And see ye, how her wanton boy Comes with them to share our joy? Yet, if Love be arm'd, they say, Love can scarce keep holiday: Love without his bow is straying! Come, ye nymphs, Love goes a Maying. His torch, his shafts, are laid aside-- From them no harm shall you betide. Yet, I rede ye, nymphs, beware, For your foe is passing fair; Love is mighty, ye'll confess, Mighty e'en in nakedness; And most panoplied for fight When his charms are bared to sight. He that never, &c.

Dian, a petition we, By Venus sent, prefer to thee: Virgin envoys, it is meet, Should the Virgin huntress greet: Quit the grove, nor it profane With the blood of quarry slain. She would ask thee, might she dare Hope a maiden's thought to share-- She would bid thee join us now, Might cold maids our sport allow. Now three nights thou may'st have seen, Wandering through thine alleys green, Troops of joyous friends, with flowers Crown'd, amidst their myrtle bowers. Ceres and Bacchus us attend, And great Apollo is our friend; All night we must our Vigil keep-- Night by song redeem'd from sleep. Let Venus in the woods bear sway, Dian, quit the grove, we pray. He that never, &c.

Of Hybla's flowers, so Venus will'd, Venus' judgment-seat we build. She is judge supreme; the Graces, As assessors, take their places. Hybla, render all thy store All the season sheds thee o'er, Till a hill of bloom be found Wide as Enna's flowery ground. Attendant nymphs shall here be seen, Those who delight in forest green, Those who on mountain-top abide, And those whom sparkling fountains hide. All these the Queen of joy and sport Summons to attend her court, And bids them all of Love beware, Although the guise of peace he wear. He that never, &c.

Fresh be your coronals of flowers, And green your overarching bowers, To-morrow brings us the return Of Ether's primal marriage-morn. In amorous showers of rain he came T' embrace his bride's mysterious frame, To generate the blooming year, And all the produce Earth does bear. Venus still through vein and soul Bids the genial current roll; Still she guides its secret course With interpenetrating force, And breathes through heaven, and earth, and sea, A reproductive energy. He that never, &c.

She old Troy's extinguish'd glory Revived in Latium's later story, When, by her auspices, her son Laurentia's royal damsel won. She vestal Rhea's spotless charms Surrender'd to the War-god's arms; She for Romulus that day The Sabine daughters bore away; Thence sprung the Rhamnes' lofty name, Thence the old Quirites came; And thence the stock of high renown, The blood of Romulus, handed down Through many an age of glory pass'd, To blaze in Cæsar's at last. He that never, &c.

All rural nature feels the glow Of quickening passion through it flow. Love, in rural scenes of yore, They say, his goddess-mother bore; Received on Earth's sustaining breast, Th' ambrosial infant sunk to rest; And him the wild-flowers, o'er his head Bending, with sweetest kisses fed. He that never, &c.

On yellow broom out yonder, see, The mighty bulls lie peacefully. Each animal of field or grove Owns faithfully the bond of love. The flocks of ewes, beneath the shade, Around their gallant rams are laid; And Venus bids the birds awake To pour their song through plain and brake. Hark! the noisy pools reply To the swan's hoarse harmony; And Philomel is vocal now, Perch'd upon a poplar-bough. Thou scarce would'st think that dying fall Could ought but love's sweet griefs recall; Thou scarce would'st gather from her song The tale of brother's barbarous wrong. She sings, but I must silent be:-- When will the spring-tide come for me? When, like the swallow, spring's own bird, Shall my faint twittering notes be heard? Alas! the muse, while silent I Remain'd, hath gone and pass'd me by, Nor Phoebus listens to my cry. And thus forgotten, I await, By silence lost, Amyclæ's fate.

* * * * *

CHAPTERS OF TURKISH HISTORY. RISE OF THE KIUPRILI FAMILY--SIEGE OF CANDIA.

NO. IX.

The restraint which the ferocious energy of Sultan Mourad-Ghazi, during the latter years of his reign, had succeeded in imposing on the turbulence of the Janissaries,[1] vanished at his death; and for many years subsequently, the domestic annals of the Ottoman capital are filled with the details of the intrigues of women and eunuchs within the palace, and the sanguinary feuds and excesses of the soldiery without. The Sultan Ibrahim, the only surviving brother and successor of Mourad, was in his twenty-fifth year at the time of his accession; but he had been closely immured in the seraglio from the moment of his birth; and the dulness of his temperament (to which he probably owed his escape from the bowstring, by which the lives of his three brothers had been terminated by order of Mourad) had never been improved by cultivation. Destitute alike of capacity and inclination for the toils of government, he remained constantly immersed in the pleasures of the harem; while his mother, the Sultana-Walidah Kiosem, (surnamed _Mah-peiker_, or the _Moon-face_,) who had been the favourite of the harem under Ahmed I., and was a woman of extraordinary beauty and masculine understanding, kept the administration of the state almost wholly in her own hands. The talents of this princess, aided by the ministers of her selection, for some time prevented the incompetency of the sultan from publicly manifesting itself; but Ibrahim at last shook off the control of his mother, and speedily excited the indignant murmurs of the troops and the people by the publicity with which he abandoned himself to the most degrading sensuality. The sanctity of the harem and of the bath had hitherto been held inviolate by even the most despotic of the Ottoman sovereigns; but this sacred barrier was broken through by the unbridled passions of Ibrahim, who at length ventured to seize in the public baths the daughter of the mufti, and, after detaining her for some days in the palace, sent her back with ignominy to her father. This unheard-of outrage at once kindled the smouldering discontent into a flame; the Moslem population rose in instant and universal revolt; and a scene ensued almost without parallel in history--the deposition of an absolute sovereign by form of law. The grand-vizir Ahmed, and other panders to the vices of the sultan, were seized and put to death on the place of public execution; while an immense crowd of soldiers, citizens, and janissaries, assembling before the palace of the mufti early on the morning of August 8, 1648, received from him a _fetwa_, or decree, to the effect that the sultan (designated as "Ibrahim Abdul-Rahman Effendi") had, by his habitual immorality and disregard of law, forfeited all claim to be considered as a true believer, and was therefore incapable of reigning over the Faithful. The execution of this sentence was entrusted to the Aga of the Janissaries, the Silihdar or grand sword-bearer, and the Kadhi-asker or chief judge of Anatolia, who, repairing to the seraglio, attended by a multitude of military officers and the _ulemah_, proceeded without ceremony to announce to Ibrahim that his rule was at an end. His furious remonstrances were drowned by the rude voice of the Kadhi Abdul-Aziz Effendi,[2] who boldly reproached him with his vices. "Thou hast gone astray," said he, "from the paths in which thy glorious ancestors walked, and hast trampled under foot both law and religion, and thou art no longer the padishah of the Moslems!" He was at last conducted to the same apartment whence he had been taken to ascend the throne, and where, ten days later, his existence was terminated by the bowstring; while the Sultana-Walidah, (whose acquiescence in this extraordinary revolution had been previously secured,) led into the _salamlik_ (hall of audience) her eldest grandson Mohammed,[3] an infant scarcely seven years old, who was forthwith seated on the imperial sofa, and received the homage of the dignitaries of the realm.

[1] See "Chapters of Turkish History," No. III., November 1840.

[2] He was afterwards, in 1651, mufti for a few months; but is better known as an historian, (under the appellation of Kara-Tchelibi-Zadah,) and as having been tutor to Ahmed-Kiuprili.

[3] His name, according to Evliya, was originally Yusuf, but was changed to Mohammed on the entreaty of the ladies of the seraglio, who said that Yusuf was the name of a slave.

Sultan Mohammed IV., afterwards surnamed _Avadji_, or the Hunter, who was destined to fill the throne of the Ottoman Empire during one of the most eventful periods of its history, possessed qualifications which, if his education had not been interrupted by his early accession to supreme power, might have entitled him to a high place among the monarchs of his line. Unlike most of the imperial family, he was of a spare sinewy form, and lofty stature; and his features are said by Evliya to have been remarkably handsome, though his forehead was disfigured by a deep scar which he had received in his infancy, by being thrown by his father, in an access of brutal passion, into a cistern in the gardens of the seraglio; and a contemporary Venetian chronicler says that his dark complexion and vivid restless eye gave him rather the aspect of a _Zigano_, or gipsy, than an Osmanli. In the first years of his reign, his grandmother, the Walidah Kiosem, acted as regent; but the rule of a woman and a child was little able to curb the turbulent soldiery of the capital; and the old feuds between the spahis and janissaries, which had been dormant since the death of Abaza, broke out afresh with redoubled violence. The war in Crete, which had been commenced under Ibrahim, languished for want of troops and supplies; while the rival military factions fought, sword in hand, in front of the imperial palace, and filled Constantinople with pillage and massacre. The janissaries, who were supported by Kiosem, for some time maintained the ascendency; but this ambitious princess was at length cut off by an intrigue, in the interior of the harem, fomented by the mother of Mohammed, who suspected her of a design to prolong her own sway by the removal of the sultan, in favour of a still younger son of Ibrahim. Seized in the midst of the night of September 3, 1651, by the eunuchs whom her rival had gained, Kiosem was strangled (according to a report preserved by Evliya) with the braids of her own long hair; and the sultan was exhibited at daybreak by the grand-vizir Siawush-Pasha to the people, who thronged round the palace on the rumour of this domestic tragedy, to assure them of the personal safety of their youthful sovereign.

The supreme power was now lodged in the hands of the young Sultana Walidah, and her confidant the Kislar-Aga; but their inexperience was little qualified to encounter the task which had wellnigh baffled the energies of Kiosem; and the expedient of frequently changing the grand-vizir, in obedience to the requisition of which ever party was for the time in the ascendant, prevented the measures of government from acquiring even a shadow of consistence or stability. Twelve vizirs, within eight years from the deposition of Ibrahim, had successively held the reins of power for short periods; and not less than six had been raised to, and deposed from, that precarious dignity, within the last ten months, while the audacity of the troops, and the helplessness of the executive, had reached an unparalleled climax. In a memorable insurrection, arising from the depreciation of the coinage, which marked the spring of 1656, the revolters, not contented with their usual license of plunder and bloodshed, forced their way into the palace, and exacted from the young sultan the surrender of two of his favourite domestics, who were instantly slaughtered before his eyes; while various obnoxious public functionaries were dragged to the At-meidan, and summarily hanged on the branches of a large plane-tree;[4] and for several weeks this proscription was continued, till the cry of "Take him to the plane-tree!" became a watchword of as well-known and fearful import, as that of "A la lanterne!" in later times. In this emergency, when the fabric of government seemed on the verge of dissolution, an ancient Anatolian pasha, Mohammed-Kiuprili, who had lately repaired to the capital, was named by her confidential advisers to the Sultana-Walidah as a man whose eminent discernment and sagacity, not less than his fearless intrepidity, rendered him especially fitted for the task of stilling the troubled waters. In opposition to these views it was contended, that the poverty of the proposed premier would prevent his securing the adherence of the troops by the largesses which they had been accustomed to receive, and the project was apparently abandoned; but the incapacity and unpopularity of the grand-vizir, Mohammed-Pasha, (surnamed _Egri_, or the Crooked,) soon made it obvious that a fresh change alone could prevent another convulsion. On the 15th September 1656, therefore, in a fortunate[5] hour for the distracted empire, Kiuprili was summoned to the presence of the sultan, who had now, nominally at least, assumed the direction of affairs, and received from his hands the seals of office.

[4] The Turkish historian, Naima, fancifully compares this plane to the fabulous tree in the islands of Wak-Wak, the fruit of which consisted of human heads, as is fully detailed in the romance of Hatem Tai, besides various passages of the Thousand and One Nights. Under this same plane, by a singular instance of retribution, the heads of the janissaries massacred in the At-meidan in 1826, were piled by order of Sultan Mahmood.

[5] The Turkish annalists do not fail to remark, that Kiuprili crossed the imperial threshold at the moment when the call to noon prayers was resounding from the minarets--an evident token of the Divine protection extended to him!

Such were the circumstances of the elevation of this most celebrated of Ottoman ministers, whose name stands pre-eminent, not only from his own abilities and good fortune, but as the founder of the only family which ever continued to enjoy, during several generations, the highest honours of the empire. He was the son of an Arnaut[6] soldier, who had settled in Anatolia, on receiving a _timar_ or fief in the district of Amasia, near the town of Kiupri, ('the bridge:') from which (since distinguished from other places of the same name as _Vizir_-Kiupri) his descendants derived the surname under which they are generally mentioned in history. He commenced his career as a page in the imperial seraglio; which he left for a post in the household of Khosroo, afterwards grand-vizir, who was then aga of janissaries. Passing through various gradations of rank, he held several governments in Syria, and was raised to the grade of pasha of three tails: till, at an advanced age, he obtained permission to exchange these honours for the post of _sandjak_ of his native district, to which he accordingly withdrew. But his retirement was disturbed, in 1648, by the insurrection of Varvar-Ali, pasha of Siwas, who, rather than surrender a beautiful daughter, the affianced bride of his neighbour Ipshir, pasha of Tokat, to the panders of the imperial harem, had raised the standard of revolt, and had been joined by the pasha of Erzroom, Gourdji-Mohammed, (to whose suite the annalist Evliya was then attached,) and by many of the Turkman clans of Anatolia. The Sultana-Walidah herself, who was then at variance with her degenerate son, secretly encouraged the insurgents, who endeavoured to gain over Kiuprili to their party; but as they failed in all their efforts to shake his loyalty, Varvar suddenly marched against him, routed the troops which he had collected, and made him prisoner, with two beglerbegs whom he had summoned to his aid. "I saw these three pashas" (says Evliya, who had come to the rebel camp on a mission from Gourdji-Mohammed) "stripped of their robes and turbans, and fastened by chains round their necks to stakes in front of the tent of Varvar-Ali, while the seghbans, and even the surridjis" (irregular horse) "brandished their sabres before their faces, threatening them with instant death. Thus we see the changes of fortune, that those who were the drivers become in their turn the driven," (like cattle.)

[6] In a narrative by a writer named Chassipol, (Paris, 1676,) professing to be the biography of the two first Kiuprili vizirs, Mohammed is said to have been the son of a French emigrant, and this romance has been copied by most European authors. But the testimony of Evliya, Kara-Tchelibi, and all contemporary Turkish writers, is decisive on the point of his Albanian origin.

Evliya, who seems to feel a malicious pleasure in relating this mishap of the future grand-vizir, confesses to having himself received a horse and a slave out of his spoils; but even before his departure from the camp, the rebellion was crushed, and Kiuprili released, by the base treachery of Ipshir-Pasha,[7] for whose sake alone Varvar-Ali had taken up arms. Won by the emissaries of the Porte, by the promise of the rich pashalic of Aleppo, he suddenly assailed the troops of his father-in-law, and seizing his person, cut off his head, and sent it with those of his principal followers to Constantinople--an act of perfidious ingratitude, which, even among the frequent breaches of faith staining the Ottoman annals, has earned for its perpetrator the sobriquet of _Khain_, or the traitor, _par excellence_. After this unlucky adventure, we hear no more of Kiuprili in his Anatolian sandjak, till, in the spring of 1656, we find him accompanying Egri-Mohammed on his way to the Porte to assume the vizirat: from which, in less than four months, he was removed to make way for his quondam _protégé_, in whose elevation he had thus been an involuntary instrument.

[7] Ipshir Mustapha Pasha was originally a Circassian slave, and said to have been a tribesman and near relation of the famous Abaza. During the revolutions which distracted the minority of Mohammed, he became grand-vizir for a few months, (Oct. 1654-May 1655,) but was cut off by an unanimous insurrection of the spahis and janissaries, who forgot their feuds for the sake of vengeance on the common enemy.

Mohamned Kiuprili was at this period nearly eighty years of age, and so wholly illiterate that he could neither read nor write; yet such was the general estimation of his wisdom and abilities, that the young sultan, on entrusting to him the ensigns of office, voluntarily pledged himself to leave entirely at his discretion the regulation of the foreign and domestic relations of the empire, as well as the disposal of all offices of state--thus virtually delegating to him the functions of sovereignty. The measures of Kiuprili soon showed that these extraordinary powers would not be suffered to remain dormant. The impatience of the troops at the strict discipline which he enforced, erelong announced the approach of a fresh tumult; and the ringleaders, in the confidence of long-continued impunity, openly boasted that "the plane-tree would soon bear another crop"--when on the night of Jan. 5, 1657, the grand-vizir, accompanied by the aga of the janissaries, and fortified by a fetwa from the mufti, legalizing whatever he might do, made the round of the barracks with his guards, and seized several hundreds of all ranks in the various corps, whose bodies, found floating the next day in the Bosphorus, revealed their fate to their dismayed accomplices. The Greek patriarch, on suspicion of having endeavoured to engage the Vaivode of Wallachia in a plot for a general rising of the Christians, was summoned to the Porte, and forthwith bowstrung in the presence of Kiuprili; and in the course of a few weeks, not fewer than 4000 of those who had been implicated in the previous disorders perished under the hands of the executioner: "for as in medicine," remarks a Turkish historian, "it is necessary to employ remedies which are analogous to the disease, so by bloodshed alone could the state be purified from these lawless shedders of blood!"

These terrible severities broke the spirit of insubordination in the capital; and the irregularity of their pay, which had been one of the chief grievances of the janissaries, was remedied by the good order which Kiuprili had from the first introduced in the finances. "He proportioned the expenditure of the empire," says Evliya, "to its revenues, which he also greatly enlarged, so that he gained the name of _Sahib-Kharj_," (master of finance.) The Venetians, who had availed themselves of the anarchy reigning at Constantinople to occupy Tenedos and Lemnos, so as to blockade the Dardanelles, were dislodged by the activity of the vizir, who directed the sieges in person, bestowing honours and rewards on the soldiers most distinguished for their bravery; and though the Turkish fleet was defeated (July 17, 1657) at the entrance of the straits, the Venetians sustained an irreparable loss in their valiant admiral Mocenigo, who was blown up with his ship by a well-aimed shot from one of the batteries on shore. But though the janissaries were thus reduced to order and obedience, the flame of disaffection was still smouldering among the spahis of Asia Minor, and broke out, in the course of the ensuing year, into a formidable and widely-organized rebellion. Not fewer than forty pashas and sandjaks followed the banner of the insurgent leader Abaza-Hassan, pasha of Aleppo, who advanced towards the Bosphorus at the head of 70,000 men, assuming the state of a monarch, and demanding the heads of Kiuprili and his principal adherents as the price of his submission. Morteza-Pasha, governor of Diarbekr, who attempted to oppose him in the field, was routed with the loss of nearly his whole army; and though the emissaries who attempted to seduce the troops in Constantinople from their allegiance were detected and put to death by the vigilance of Kiuprili, the revolt spread throughout Anatolia and Syria, and the sultan was preparing to take the field in person, when treachery succeeded in accomplishing what force had failed to effect. It has been an uniform maxim of the Ottoman domestic policy, which singularly contrasts with their scrupulous observance of the treaties entered into with foreign powers, that no faith is to be kept with _fermanlis_, or traitors to the Padishah; and in the assured belief, confirmed by hostages and solemn oaths, that the sultan was willing to accede to his demands, Abaza-Hassan suffered himself to be drawn from his headquarters at Aintab, with thirty of his officers, to a conference with Morteza at Aleppo: but, in the midst of the banquet which followed this interview, Abaza and his comrades found themselves in the grasp of the executioners--while their followers, dispersed through the town, were slaughtered without mercy on the signal of a gun fired from the castle; and the army, panic-stricken at the fate of its leaders, quickly melted away. But no sooner was the semblance of tranquillity restored, than the Kaimakam Ismail Pasha, an unscrupulous agent of the merciless decrees of the vizir, was sent into Asia under the new title of Moufetish, or inquisitor; and an unsparing proscription almost utterly exterminated all the remaining partizans of Abaza-Hassan, without distinction of rank; while the suppression of numerous _timars_ or fiefs, and the removal of the occupants of others from their ancient abodes to remote districts, so effectually loosened the bands which had hitherto united the spahis, like the janissaries, into a compact fraternity, that this once powerful body was divided and broken; and they no longer occupy, as a separate faction, their former conspicuous place in the troubled scene of Ottoman history.

The termination of this great revolt freed Kiuprili from the apprehension of military sedition, and left him in the enjoyment of more absolute and undivided authority than had ever been possessed by any of his predecessors in office. The sultan, from whose mind the impression of the bloody scenes witnessed in his youth had never been effaced, rarely visited Constantinople; devoting himself to the pleasures of the chase in the forests and hills of Roumelia, and repairing only at intervals to the ancient palace of his ancestors at Adrianople, whither his harem and household had been transferred from the capital. The uncontrolled administration of the state was left in the hands of the vizir, but his implacable severity towards all who failed in implicit devotion to his will, continued unabated. "He was unacquainted" (says his contemporary, Rycaut) "with mercy, and never pardoned any who were either guilty of a fault, or suspected for it;" and neither rank nor services afforded protection to those who had incurred his jealousy or resentment. Among the numerous victims of his suspicious cruelty, the fate of Delhi-Hussein-Pasha was long remembered in Constantinople. Originally a _battadji_ or lictor in the seraglio, he had attracted the notice of Sultan Mourad-Ghazi by his strength and address in bending a bow sent as a challenge by the Shah of Persia, and which had baffled the efforts of all the _pelhwans_ or champions of the Ottoman court. His first advancement to the post of equerry was only a prelude to the attainment of higher honours, and he became successively governor of Buda and of Egypt, capitan-pasha and serasker in Candia. His exploits in the latter capacity had endeared him to the troops, while his noble figure and frank bearing made him equally the idol of the citizens, but his unbounded popularity led Kiuprili to foresee a future rival in this favourite hero, and the fate of Delhi-Hussein was sealed. In an interview with the vizir, he was graciously received, and invested with a robe of honour; but as he quitted the Porte he was arrested and carried to the Seven Towers, where, two days after, (in spite of the intercession of the Sultana-Walidah, and the refusal of the mufti to ratify the unjust doom,) he was bowstrung in his cell, as the murmurs of the troops prevented the vizir from risking a public execution.

But though thus inexorable to all whose popularity or pretensions might interfere with his own supremacy, and haughty even beyond all former precedent in his intercourse with the representatives of the Christian powers,[8] Kiuprili deserved, by the merits of his domestic administration, the high place which has been assigned to him by the unanimous voice of the Ottoman historians. The exact regularity which he enforced both in the payment and disbursement of the revenue, relieved the people from the irregular imposts to which they had been subject, in order to make up the deficiencies arising from the interception, by the pashas, of the tributes of distant provinces, and the peculation which had long reigned unchecked at the seat of government--while the sums thus rendered disposable were laid out chiefly in improving the internal communications, and strengthening the defences, of the empire. The Dardanelles, hitherto guarded only by Mohammed II.'s two castles of Europe and Asia, was made almost impregnable by the construction of the formidable line of sea defences still existing; the necessity for which had been demonstrated by the recent attack of the Venetians; and fortified posts were established along the line of the Dnieper and Dniester, to keep in cheek the predatory Cossacks between these rivers, who were at this time engaged in a furious civil contest with the king of Poland, the ally of the Porte. The Hungarian fortresses were also repaired, and vast warlike preparations made along the Danube, as the peace which for fifty years had subsisted with the empire appeared on the verge of inevitable rupture. The succession to the principality of Transylvania, the suzerainté of which had long been a point of dispute between the Porte and Austria, was now contested between Kemény and Michael Abaffi--the latter being the nominee of the sultan, while Kemény was supported by the emperor, to whom the late Prince Racoczy had transferred his allegiance a short time before his death in battle against the Turks, in 1660. The Imperialists and Turks had more than once encountered each other as auxiliaries of the rival candidates, and Kiuprili was on the point of repairing in person to the scene of action, when he died at Adrianople of dropsy, (Oct. 31, 1661,) in the eighty-sixth year of his age, and was buried in a splendid mausoleum, which he had erected for himself, near the Tauk-bazar (poultry market) at Constantinople--the vault of which, during his life, he had daily filled with corn, which was then distributed to the poor to purchase their prayers! "Thus," says a Turkish annalist, "died Kiuprili-Mohammed, who was most zealous and active in the cause of the faith! Enjoying absolute power, and being anxious to purify the Ottoman empire, he slew in Anatolia 400,000[9] rebels, including seventeen vizirs or pashas of three tails, forty-one of two tails, seventy sandjak-beys, three mallahs, and a Moghrabiu sheikh. May God be merciful to him!"

[8] De la Haye, the French ambassador, was imprisoned in 1658, and his son bastinadoed in the presence of Kiuprili, for being unable or unwilling to give a key to some letters in cipher from the Venetians; and some years later, the envoy of the Czar, Alexis Mikhailowitz, was driven, with blows and violence, from the presence of the sultan, who was irritated by the incompetency of the interpreter to translate the Czar's letter! This latter outrage, however, was not till after the death of the elder Kiuprili.

[9] This monstrous exaggeration is reduced by Rycaut to the more credible, but still enormous number of 36,000 victims during the five years of his ministry.

The genius of the Ottoman institutions is so directly opposed to any thing like the perpetuation of offices in a family, which might tend to endanger the despotism of the throne by the creation of an hereditary aristocracy, that even in the inferior ranks, an instance had hitherto scarcely been known of a son succeeding his father. The immediate appointment, therefore, of Fazil-Ahmed, the eldest son of the deceased minister, to the vizirat, was so complete a departure from all established usages, as at once demonstrated to the expectant courtiers that the influence of the crafty old vizir had survived him, and that "the star of the house of Kiuprili" (in the words of a Turkish writer) "had only set in the west to rise again with fresh splendour in the east." Ahmed-Kiuprili was now thirty-two years of age, and joined to an intellect not less naturally vigorous than that of his father, those advantages of education in which the latter had been deficient. At an early age he had been placed under the historian, Abdul-Aziz Effendi, as a student of divinity and law, in the _medressah_ or college attached to the mosque of Sultan Mohammed the Conqueror, and had attained, in due course, the rank of _muderris_ or fellow therein; but the elevation of his father to the vizirat transferred him from the cloister to the camp, and he held the governments successively of Erzroom and Damascus--in the latter of which he distinguished himself by his moderation and firmness in reducing to order the refractory chiefs of the Druses, of the two great rival houses of Shahab and Maan-Oghlu. Recalled, at length, to Constantinople to assume the office of kaimakam, he had scarcely entered on his new duties when he was summoned to Adrianople, to attend the deathbed of his father, and to succeed him in the uncontrolled administration of the empire.

The numerous executions which marked the accession of the new vizir, (in accordance, as was believed, with the dying injunctions of his father,) struck with terror the functionaries of government, who anticipated a continuance of the iron rule under which they had so long trembled; but the disposition of Ahmed-Kiuprili was not naturally sanguinary, and few measures of unnecessary severity characterized his subsequent sway. The war in Hungary, meanwhile, had assumed a serious aspect; for though Kemény had perished in battle, the Imperialists still continued to oppose the claims of Abaffi to the crown of Transylvania; and their armies, guided by the valour and experience of Montecuculi, a general formed in the Thirty Years' War, were making rapid progress in the reduction of the principality. War was now openly declared between the two empires; and Kiuprili, assuming the command in person, opened the campaign of 1663, in Hungary, with 100,000 men--a force before which Montecuculi had no alternative but to retreat, as the rapidity with which the Turks had taken the field, had completely outstripped the dilatory preparations of the Aulic Council[10]. The exploits of the Ottomans, however, were confined to the capture of Ujvar, or Neuhausel, after a siege maintained on both sides with such extraordinary vigour, as to have given rise to a Hungarian proverb--"As fixed as a Turk before Neuhausel,"--after which both armies withdrew into winter-quarters. The campaign of 1664 opened also to the advantage of the Ottomans; but in attempting the passage of the Raab, (Aug. 1,) at the fords near St Gothard, the sudden swelling of the stream cut off the communication between one division of their army and the other; and being attacked at this juncture by Montecuculi, they sustained the most signal overthrow which the Osmanlis had ever yet received from a Christian power--17,000 of their best troops were slain or drowned, and the vizir, hastily drawing on the remains of his forces, sent proposals of peace to the Austrian headquarters. Yet such was the indefinite awe with which the prowess and resources of the Ottomans were at that time regarded, that the Imperialists made no further use of their victory than to conclude a truce for twenty years, the conditions of which, in effect, ceded all the points for which the war had been undertaken. Abaffi was recognised as Prince of Transylvania, and as a tributary of the Porte--the two important fortresses of Great-Waradin and Neuhausel, which the Turks had taken during the war, were left in their hands, and a breathing-time was thus afforded to the two empires for the mortal struggle which was to be decided, nineteen years later, under the walls of Vienna.

[10] "The Turk," says Montecuculi, "who is always armed, never finds time bald, but can always seize him by the forelock: the number of his victories, and the extent of territory which he has taken from the Christians, and which they have never been able to recover, sufficiently proves this, and shows the rashness and folly of those who pretend to make light of his power."

Notwithstanding the ill success of his arms, the vizir was received by the sultan, on his return with the army in the ensuing spring to Adrianople, with such extraordinary distinction, that those who had hoped to profit by his expected fall, could explain such continued favour only by the supposition that sorcery had been practised on the mind of the monarch by the mother of the all-powerful minister. Solicitous to retrieve his military reputation in the eyes of the soldiery, Kiuprili now determined to assume in person the conduct of the long-continued war in Crete, and to bring the struggle to a close by the capture of Candia, the siege of which had already reached near twice the duration of that of Troy. To supply the deficiencies of the Turkish marine, which had been almost ruined by the repeated naval victories of the Venetians, an overture was made to the English ambassador, Lord Winchilsea, for permission to hire the services of a number of British vessels; but this strange request being evaded, the expedition was postponed for a year, while every nerve was strained in the building and equipment of galleys; and at length, in the autumn of 1666, the fleet set sail from Monembasia in the Morea, under the command of the Capitan-pasha Mustafa, surnamed _Kaplan_, or the Tiger, the brother-in-law of Kiuprili, and anchored off Canea in the beginning of November. But before we proceed to narrate the closing scenes of the Cretan war, we must retrace our steps, to give some account of its origin and progress.

The dominions of the Venetian Signory in the Levant, which had at one time comprehended, besides the scattered isles of the Cyclades, the three subject _kingdoms_ (as they were proudly called) of Candia,[11] Cyprus, and the Morea, were confined, in the middle of the seventeenth century, to the first-named island--the last relics of the Morea having been wrested from the republic by the arms of Soliman the Magnificent in 1540, and Cyprus having been subdued by the lieutenants of his son Selim, a few months before the destruction of the Turkish fleet at the battle of Lepanto in 1571.[12] The sovereignty of Candia had been acquired by purchase from the Marquis of Montferrat, to whom it was assigned on the partition of the Greek empire, after the conquest of Constantinople, in 1204, by the Latins of the fourth crusade: but the four centuries and a half of Venetian rule present little more than an unvarying succession of revolts, oppression, and bloodshed. In pursuance of their usual system of colonial administration, which strangely contrasted with their domestic policy, they had introduced into the island a sort of modified feudal system, in order to rivet their ascendancy over this remote possession, by the interposition of a class of resident proprietors, whose interest it would be to maintain the dominion of the parent state: but the _cavaliers_, as the Venetian tenants of Cretan fiefs were termed, proved at times even more refractory than the candidates themselves, and made the island for many years a source of endless difficulties to the Signory. In 1363, complaining of their exclusion from the high dignities of the republic, the _cavaliers_ openly threw off their allegiance, elected a doge from among themselves, and raised the banner of St Titus of Retimo in opposition to the standard of St Mark. As they were supported both by the native Candiotes and the Greeks of Constantinople, it was not till after a harassing warfare of two years that they were reduced, and their fortresses razed, by the Provveditori sent from Venice; a second effort at independence, a few years later, was not more successful. The Greek inhabitants were throughout subjected to a degree of merciless tyranny, in comparison of which the worst severities of Turkish rule must have appeared lenient. The Sphakiote tribes in particular, who were strong both from their arms and martial temperament, and from their habitations among the lofty ridges of the _Aspro-Bouna_, or White Mountains, in the south of the island, acknowledged at all times but an imperfect allegiance to their Venetian lords: and the acts of fiendish barbarity by which their frequent revolts were chastised, can scarcely find a parallel even in the worst horrors of the French Revolution. Unborn infants torn from the womb in pursuance of a judicial sentence solemnly pronounced--the head of the father exacted as the ransom for the life of the son--such were the methods by which the Provveditori of the Most Serene and Christian Republic enforced its authority, and which are related, not only without reprehension, but with manifest complacency and approval, by the chroniclers of the state.[13]

[11] The name of Candia, which is the Italianized form of Kandax, (now Megalo-Kastro,) is unknown at the present day to the Greek inhabitants of the island, which they call by its classic name of [Greek: Kraetae].--See PASHLEY'S _Travels in Crete_, i. chap. 11.

[12] A notable retort is on record from the vizir to the Venetian envoy, who, on repairing to Constantinople after the battle, expressed his astonishment at the progress already made in the equipment of a new fleet. "Know," (said the haughty Osmanli,) "that the loss of a fleet to the Padishah is as the shaving of his beard, which will grow again all the thicker; whereas the loss of Cyprus is to Venice as the amputation of an arm from the body, which will never be reproduced."

[13] "Thus were they annihilated, and all men who were faithful and devoted to God and their prince, were solaced and consoled."--_MS. Chronicle by the notary Trivan, quoted by_ PASHLEY, chap. 33. These atrocities were perpetrated in the early part of the 16th century.

Though the coasts had often been ravaged in former wars by the Turkish fleet, particularly under Barbarossa in 1538, no attempt appears ever to have been made to effect the conquest of the island by the reduction of the fortified cities of the coast, in which the main strength of the Venetians lay: and since the treaty of 1573, Venice had remained more than seventy years at peace with the Porte. In 1645, however, a fresh rupture arose from the capture of a richly-laden Turkish vessel by the Maltese cruisers,[14] who were allowed, contrary to the existing conventions between the Porte and the Republic, to sell the horses which were on board their prize in one of the remote havens of Crete, beyond the surveillance of the Venetian authorities. Slight as was the ground of offence, it produced an instantaneous ferment at Constantinople: the janissaries, calling to mind similar omens said to have preceded the conquest of Rhodes and of Cyprus, exclaimed that the land whose soil had once been trodden by Moslem horse hoofs, was the predestined inheritance of the Faithful: and the flame was fanned by the capitan-pasha Yusuf, a Dalmatian renegade, who, independent of the hatred which from early associations he bore Venice, dreaded being sent on a bootless expedition against the impregnable defences of Malta--an enterprise which, since the memorable failure in the last years of Soliman, had never been attempted by the Osmanlis. Preparations for war, meanwhile, were carried on with unexampled activity, though the destination of the armament was kept profoundly secret; till, on April 30, 1545, the most formidable expedition which had ever been equipped in the Turkish ports, set sail from the Bosphorus. Eight thousand janissaries, 14,000 spahis, and upwards of 50,000 _timariots_ or feudal militia, were embarked on board the fleet, which consisted of eighty galleys, and more than 300 transports, besides the auxiliary squadrons of the Barbary regencies, which joined the armada, May 7, at the general rendezvous at Scio.

[14] Among the captives was the ex-nurse of the heir-apparent, afterwards Mohammed IV., with her son, who was mistaken for a prince of the Imperial family; and being carried to Malta, was brought up there as a monk under the name of Padre Ottomanno! During the siege of Candia he was brought to the beleaguered fortress, in the hope that the presence of this supposed Turkish prince of the blood would shake the allegiance of the janissaries--but this notable scheme, as might have been foreseen, was wholly without success.

From Scio the united fleet sailed to Navarino--a course purposely adopted to spread the belief that Malta was the point of attack; but no sooner were they again at sea, than the capitan-pasha, summoning the principal officers on board his galley, read the _khatt sheeref_ of the sultan, announcing that he had taken up arms for the conquest of Candia. War had, in the mean time, been formally declared against the Republic at Constantinople, and the Venetian envoy, Soranzo, imprisoned in the Seven Towers: but he had previously contrived to communicate to the Signory his suspicions of the impending storm; and supplies and reinforcements had been hastily dispatched from Venice to Andrea Cornaro, the _inquisitore_, or governor of Crete, in the event of its bursting in that quarter. Little serious apprehension seems, however, to have been entertained; and great was the consternation of the Candiote population, when, on the morning of June 24, the vast armament of the Ottomans was seen rounding Cape Spada, and disembarking the troops near Canea, on the same spot where, according to tradition, the standards of Islam had first been displayed, 820 years before, by the Saracens of Spain.

The strong ramparts of Canea opposed but an ineffectual resistance to the numbers and resolution of the Ottomans, who pressed the siege with all the ardour arising from the confidence of success; and after fifty days of open trenches, and the failure of two assaults, the second fortress of the island capitulated, August 17. The churches and the cathedral of St Nicholas were converted into mosques: and Delhi-Hussein (whose subsequent tragical fate has been already commemorated) was sent out to take the government of this new conquest. The brave Yusuf, returning to Constantinople at the end of the year, was at first received with the highest honours by Ibrahim, but soon after put to death in one of his fits of senseless cruelty; but the Ottomans in Crete, under the gallant leadership of Delhi-Hussein, who now became _serdar_ or commander-in-chief, overran and occupied the inland districts almost without opposition from the Greek inhabitants, in whose eyes any alternative was preferable to the bloody tyranny under which they had so long groaned:[15] while the Venitian garrisons, shut up in the fortified towns along the northern shore, depended for supplies on the Christian fleet, which the Turks did not venture to bring to action. The campaign of 1646 was marked by the capture of the important city of Retimo, which surrendered Nov. 15, after a murderous siege of thirty-nine days, in which both the governor Cornaro and the provveditor Molino were slain: but though the Turks received reinforcements to the amount of 30,000 men, including 10,000 janissaries, in the course of the following year, it was not till May 1648 that the trenches were at length opened before Candia, the capital of the island, and the only fortress of importance still in the hands of the Venetians.

[15] Many of them adopted the faith of the invaders--and Tournefort, who visited Crete in 1700, says that "the greater part of the Turks on the island were either renegades, or sons of renegades." The Candiote Turks of the present day are popularly held to combine the vices of the nation from which they descend with those of their adopted countrymen.

The leaguer of Candia was pushed during several months by the Turks, animated by the courage and example of their general, with the same fanatic zeal which they had displayed before Canea and Retimo; but the besieged, whose tenure of Crete depended on this last stronghold, held out with equal pertinacity: and their efforts were aided by the presence of a large body of Maltese auxiliaries, as well as by the succours which the naval superiority of the Venetians enabled them continually to introduce by sea. In one sortie, a detachment of the garrison penetrated even to the tent of the serdar, who owed his safety to his personal prowess; while the outworks of the town were ruined by the constant explosion of mines, and the Ottoman standards were planted on the bastion of Martinengo, and on several of the redoubts which covered the interior defences. But in spite of their repeated assaults, the besiegers failed to make any impression on the body of the place; and the serdar was compelled to withdraw his diminished army into winter-quarters. The anarchy at Constantinople which followed the deposition of Ibrahim, combined with the blockade of the Dardanelles by the Venetians, prevented any reinforcements from reaching the seat of war--yet the siege was renewed in the ensuing summer, and carried on with such vigour, that the garrison, weakened by the loss of half its numbers, including the valiant governor, Colloredo, was reduced to the last extremity; when the arrival of the Maltese squadron, under Balbiani, baulked the Turks of their expected prize; and the janissaries, breaking out into furious mutiny, compelled Delhi-Hussein once more to abandon the hopeless enterprise. All the remainder of the island, however, had now peaceably submitted to the Ottoman rule, and had been organized into sandjaks and districts; so that the garrison of Candia were rather the occupants of a solitary post in a hostile country, than defenders of the soil against the invasion; and the Turkish commanders, ill supplied from Constantinople, during the troubled minority of Mohammed, with siege equipage and munitions of war, contented themselves with blockading the town by the erection of redoubts, and guarding the open country with their cavalry. While the war thus languished in Crete, the events of the maritime contest continued to justify the proverbial saying of the Turks, that "Allah had given the land to the true believers; but the sea to the infidels!" Not only was the blockade of the Dardanelles so strictly kept up, that it was only in winter, when the Venetian fleet was unable to remain on its station, that the Turks could convey reinforcements to their brethren who were waging the _holy war_ in Crete, but repeated and disastrous defeats were sustained by the Ottoman navy, whenever it attempted to dispute the sovereignty of the sea with the Lion of St Mark. In July 1651, a formidable armament with supplies and troops for Crete was almost entirely destroyed off Naxos by Mocenigo: and on July 6, 1656, the same commander inflicted on the Turkish fleet, off the mouth of the Straits, the most decisive overthrow which it had sustained since the fatal day of Lepanto. Seventy sail of ships and galleys were sunk or taken; the Capitan-pasha escaped into the Bosphorus with only fourteen vessels; and the inhabitants of Constantinople, in the first access of consternation, expected the apparition of the Christian ensigns in the Golden Horn; but the victors contented themselves with the occupation of Tenedos and Lemnos, which they held till dislodged in the following year by Kiuprili.

The serdar, Delhi-Hussein, who had for eleven years gallantly upheld the renown of the Ottoman arms in Crete, withstanding with equal firmness the efforts of the enemy, and the mutinous spirit of his own soldiers, had been recalled early in 1656 to assume the vizirat; a fleeting glimpse of honour, which, though cancelled even before he reached Constantinople in favour of the Kaimakam Mustapha, subsequently (as already related) cost him his life from the jealousy of Mohammed Kiuprili. His successors possessed neither his energy nor his military skill; and the Venetians, taking courage from the change of commanders, sallied from Candia, and even ventured, though without success, to attempt the recovery of Canea. Negotiations for peace, meanwhile, had been kept on foot almost from the first; but as the Ottoman pride absolutely refused to listen to any propositions which did not include the total and unconditional surrender of Candia, no pacification could be effected; and the war continued to linger till Ahmed-Kiuprili, secured on the side of Hungary by the peace with Austria, collected all the forces of the empire, to crush this last fragment of Venetian dominion in the Levant.

The advanced season of the year when the vizir disembarked in Candia, and the disorganized state of the forces which he found there, prevented the immediate commencement of offensive operations; but in the course of the winter, the arrival of the contingents of Egypt and Africa, as well as of a squadron with fresh troops from Constantinople, raised his army to between 40,000 and 50,000 effective men; and on the 20th of May 1667, the trenches were once more opened in form on the western side of the city, while 300 pieces of cannon, thundering from the Ottoman lines, covered the approaches of the pioneers.[16] Of the seven[17] great bastions which formed the principal defences on the land side, those of Panigra, Bethlehem, and Martinengo, were the chief points of attack; the vizir himself taking post opposite the first, while the Beglerbeg of Anatolia and the Pasha of Egypt were stationed against the Bethlehem and the Martinengo. The assault, as on former occasions, was conducted chiefly by the slow process of sap and mine; but the superior skill of the Christian engineers, enabled them frequently to explore and countermine the works of the enemy; and the mining parties were thus surprised and blown into the air, while murderous combats took place under ground, from the accidental rencounters of the soldiers employed in these subterranean galleries. The garrison, which had at first numbered about 12,000, under the command of the Marchese di Villa, a Piedmontese officer of approved skill and courage, received, at the end of June, a reinforcement of 1000 veteran troops, brought by the Venetian Captain-General Morosini, who arrived with the fleet at the Isle of Standia, off the entrance of the port; and a concourse of volunteers, from all parts of Europe, hastened to share in the defence of this last bulwark of Christendom in the Grecian seas; while the Maltese, Papal, and Neapolitan galleys cruised in the offing, to intercept the supplies brought by sea to the Ottoman camp. The Turks, meanwhile, with their usual stubborn perseverance, continued to push their sap under the ravelin of Mocenigo, and the Panigra bastion which it covered; and though their progress was retarded, and their works often ruined, by the sallies of the defenders, the foundations were at length shaken, and the ramparts rent and shattered, by the explosion of innumerable mines; and the janissaries, fired with fanatic zeal, and stimulated by promises of reward, rushed again and again to the attack under the eye of the vizir. "Many and various," says Rycaut, in his quaint narrative, "were the valiant assaults and sallies, the traverses extraordinary, the rencounters bloody, the resistance vigorous, not known or recorded in any siege before;" and the struggle continued with unabated fury on both sides, till the approach of winter; while, after each unsuccessful assault, the Venetians, emulating the ferocity of their enemies, displayed the heads of the slain and prisoners (for no quarter was given or taken) in barbarous triumph from the wall. At length, after a desperate conflict on November 16, the janissaries effected a lodgement in the Mocenigo bastion and the Panigra; and the Ottoman banners, for the first time, were displayed from the summit of the works. But this valiant forlorn hope, in the moment of triumph, was hurled into the air by the explosion of a previously-prepared mine; and Kiuprili, dismayed at this last failure, drew off his troops into their lines, where they lay inactive, till the inundation of the camp by the winter rains compelled them to withdraw to a greater distance.

[16] The use of parallels is usually said to have been introduced at this time by Kiuprili; but they were certainly employed before Neuhausel, four years earlier.

[17] These were, the Sabionera, covered by the detached fort of St Demetrius, the Vetturi, Jesus, Martinengo, Bethlehem, Panigra, and St Andrew.

Great was the rejoicing throughout Europe at the tidings that the pride of the Ottoman battle had once more been driven back discomfited, for the best and bravest of nearly every nation in Christendom were now to be found in the ranks of the defenders:[18] and great, on the other hand, was the perplexity of the divan, and the chagrin of the Turkish population, at the apparently endless duration of an enterprise, a speedy and glorious termination of which had been expected from the presence of the vizir. The sultan even dispatched a confidential agent to the seat of war, to examine personally into the state of affairs; and finding from his report that the army was reduced, by the sword and the ravages of disease, to half its original effective strength, he issued peremptory firmans to the pashas of the empire to hasten the equipment of their contingents; and even announced his intention of repairing in person to Crete, to share the perils and glories of the _holy war_. Kiuprili, meanwhile, was indefatigable in his exertions to reorganize his army, and restore his artillery to efficiency, even casting new guns to fit the Venetian bullets, 30,000 of which are said to have been picked up in the Turkish lines during the preceding campaign! A strict blockade was kept up on the city, while the Venetian cruisers, and the Papal galleys under Rospigliosi, the nephew of Pope Clement IX., were equally vigilant in preventing supplies from reaching the besiegers by sea; and various maritime encounters took place, generally to the advantage of the flag of St Mark. The unworthy jealousy[19] entertained by Morosini of Di Villa, led, however, early in the spring of 1668, to the withdrawal of that gallant soldier from his command, in which he was succeeded by the Marquis Montbrun St André, a French volunteer, inferior neither in valour nor diligence to his predecessor.

[18] The majority of these volunteers were supplied by the fiery noblesse of France, among whom the crusading spirit of their ancestors seems to have been revived at this period. At the battle of St Gothard, a considerable body of French auxiliaries was present, under the Duc de la Feuillade, (whose name was travestied by the Turks into, _Fouladi, man of steel_;) and his subsequent expedition to Candia, as well as the more formidable armament under Noailles, seem to have received the direct sanction of Louis XIV. Yet the old treaties between France and the Porte were still in force; so that it was not without some reason that Kiuprili replied, a few years later, to the Marquis de Nointel's professions of amity on the part of France, "I know that the French are our friends, but I always happen to find them in the ranks of our enemies!"

[19] Villa is said to have produced before the senate of Venice a letter from Morosini to the vizir, offering to betray him into the hands of the Turks.

It was not till the beginning of June that the vizir recommenced active operations against Candia; but the plan of attack was now changed. In order to command the narrow entrance of the harbour,[20] and so cut off the constant reinforcements which reached the besieged by sea, the principal batteries were directed against the bastion of Sabionera, (called by the Turks the _Kizil-Tabîyah,_ or Red Fort,) at the seaward extremity of the works on one side, and against that of St Andrew on the other; but the events of the siege during this year present nothing to distinguish them from the endless succession of mines, sorties, assaults, and countermines, which had marked the campaign of last year. The Venetian commanders at length, seeing the Turks preparing to pass the winter in their trenches, and sensible that (concentrated as the forces of the two contending powers were now for the attack and defence of a single fortress) they must eventually be overwhelmed by the ponderous strength of the Ottoman empire, once more made overtures for peace, offering an annual tribute for Candia, and the cession of the rest of the island to the Porte; but the vizir sternly rejected the proffered compromise; and his reply to the envoy, Molino--"The Sultan is not a merchant, nor does he need money--he has but one word, and that is--Candia,"--showed that the long dispute could only be decided by the sword. Elated by the hope of speedy triumph, the Turks now ran their approaches so close to the bastion of St Andrew, which was held by the Maltese knights and militia, that the muzzles of the muskets almost touched each other; and the vizir wrote to the Sultan, that they had only three yards more of ground to win, when, at this critical moment, the spirits of the besieged were revived by the arrival, early in December, of the Duc de la Feuillade and the Count de St Pol, with a gallant band of 600 volunteers, many of them of the best families of France. But the boiling valour of these fiery youths was equally difficult to restrain or direct; and, after losing two-thirds of their number in desperate, but irregular, sallies against the Turkish lines, the survivors of this piece of knight-errantry re-embarked for Christendom in January, leaving the heads of their fallen comrades ranged on pikes before the tent of Kiuprili. A stancher reinforcement was received in the spring of 1669, by the arrival of 3000 Lunenburghers, whose commander, Count Waldeck, fell a few days after, in repulsing an assault on the breach of St Andrew, as did also the former governor, Di Villa, whose thirst for glory had brought him back, as general of the Papal auxiliaries, to the scene of peril.

[20] The harbour of Candia (now almost choked up) was at all times so small, and with so little depth of water, as to afford shelter only to galleys, the station of the larger vessels being at the isle of Standia, at some leagues' distance.

These repeated reinforcements, joined to the knowledge that the Pope was exerting himself to unite all the princes of Christendom in a league for the relief of their hardly-beset brethren, still encouraged the heroic defenders of Candia, though the Turks had by this time carried their mines at several points within the bastions and exterior defences, and compelled the garrison to shelter themselves behind an inner rampart, constructed during the winter in anticipation of this extremity:--"So that, in effect," says Rycaut, "this most impregnable fort of the world was forced and taken by the spade and shovel, and by a crew of unarmed labourers, who understood nothing more than the plough and harrow." The promised succours, however, were now at hand. On the 22d of June, a French fleet appeared off the port, having on board 7000 of the flower of the French troops and nobility, who were commanded by the Dukes de Noailles and Beaufort, and comprised in their ranks several princes of the sovereign houses of Lorrain and Bouillon, the Marshals Colbert and De la Motte-Fenelon, the Count of St Pol, and many other names of the noblest and bravest in France, who had crowded to embark as volunteers in this new and glorious crusade. These gallant auxiliaries landed amidst the acclamations of the Venetians; and, on the night of the 27th, a general sortie was made, in order to raise the siege by driving the Turks from their trenches. The janissaries were driven from their works by the impetuous onset of the assailants; but, in the tumult of the fight, a large powder-magazine, between the Sabionera and Fort St Demetrius, which had been occupied by the French, was accidentally blown up. The Duke de Beaufort, and many others, perished in the explosion, or were buried under the ruins; and the survivors, panic-stricken at the catastrophe, were driven within the walls with terrible slaughter by the Turks, who rallied and returned to the charge. The usual hideous trophies of Ottoman triumph--the heads of the slain, were laid at the feet of the vizir; but the body of the Duc de Beaufort, though anxiously sought for at the prayer of his comrades, who offered, through a flag of truce, to redeem it at its weight in gold, could never be discovered.

This dreadful blow not only threw a fatal gloom over the ardour of the French, but gave rise to an altercation between Morosini and De Noailles, each of whom threw on the other the blame of the failure; till, after a month thus unprofitably spent, the French commander re-embarked his troops, and sailed for Toulon, August 31, leaving the town to its fate. The Maltese and Papal galleys departed in his company;--"for thus did these accursed swine of Nazarenes" (says the Turkish historiographer, Rashid) "withdraw from the doom of hell, which awaited them at the hands of the Faithful." The condition of the remaining defenders, thus deserted by their allies, and separated from the Turks only by breastworks hastily thrown up in the interior of the town, was now utterly hopeless, as not more than 3600 men remained fit for duty, while the loss in slain and disabled averaged more than a hundred a-day. In these desperate circumstances, a council of war was summoned by Morosini, to consider whether it might not even yet be practicable to avoid the ignominy of a surrender, by evacuating the town, and escaping, with the inhabitants, by sea. Their deliberations were hastened by a furious assault from the Turks, who were impatient to seize their prey; and, though the enemy were repulsed for the time by the remains of the Lunenburghers, two officers were eventually dispatched to the vizir's headquarters, to announce the submission of the garrison, and arrange the terms of capitulation. They were courteously received by Kiuprili, who appointed an officer of his own household, with Panayoti,[21] the dragoman of the Porte, to confer with them; and the articles were settled without much difficulty. Peace was concluded between the Porte and the Republic. Candia and the whole of Crete was ceded to the Sultan, with the exception of the harbours of Grabusa, Suda, and Spinalonga, which the Venetians were allowed to retain for purposes of commerce; the garrison and inhabitants of Candia were to embark with their arms, baggage, and a certain proportion of artillery, and the Ottomans were not to enter the town till the embarkation was completed. These conditions were scrupulously observed by the victors; till the 27th of September, the evacuation being effected, the standard of the cross was at length lowered from the walls; and the vizir, standing on the breach of the St Andrew's bastion, (thence called by the Turks the _Fort of Surrender_,) in the midst of a crowd of pashas and generals, received the keys of the city in a silver basin. A body of Turkish troops immediately entered by the breaches, and mounted guard on the principal posts; but it was not till the 4th of October that the vizir made his triumphant entry at the head of his army, (now reduced to about 15,000 regular troops, and 11,000 pioneers and irregulars,) and proceeded, bearing in his hand the sacred standard of the Prophet, to the cathedral, which was purified from the dead bodies interred within its walls, and re-consecrated as a mosque. All the other churches underwent the same transformation, with the exception of two which Panayoti purchased for the use of the Greeks; for so completely was the town deserted, that there remained only, in the words of an anonymous eyewitness, "two Greeks, three Jews, and eight other strangers, whom the vizir would also have suffered to depart; but they chose rather to change their religion than their quarters."

[21] The appointment of the _Greek_ Panayoti marks an important change in the system of Ottoman diplomacy; as previously the Porte had disdained to employ the _rayahs_ in places of trust, depending wholly, in their intercourse with foreign ambassadors, on the interpreters attached to the suite of the latter.

Thus ended this famous siege, the longest, and one of the most memorable, recorded in history. During its continuance, the Venetians and their allies lost 30,000 men, and the Turks more than 100,000; fifty-six assaults were made on the town above ground, and the same number through the mines; and nearly an equal number of sorties was made by the garrison. 460 mines were sprung by the Turks, and no less than 1172 by the Venetians; and the quantity of missiles hurled into the town exceeded all calculation. The fortifications were, however, speedily repaired by the care of Kiuprili, who remained in the island nine months after the surrender, employed in the final organization of this new province, which was divided into the three pashaliks of Canea, Retimo, and Candia--the last being the residence of the beglerbeg, or supreme pasha. The arrangements being at length completed, he quitted Candia for Constantinople, whither the capitan-pasha had preceded him with the fleet; and, on the 3d of July 1670, he replaced in the hands of the Sultan, in his hunting-camp near Rodosto, the _sandjak-sheeref_, which had been committed to his charge for the war against the infidels. "In this manner," says Rycaut, writing not in a spirit of prophecy, three years only before the battle of Vienna, "expired the action of the year, fortunate in its success to the Turks; for though they gained but thirty acres of land, with expense inestimable of blood and treasure, yet the glory and fame which attended it, being the consummation of twenty-five years' war, and the theatre where the whole world were spectators, was of greater value to the Turks than any other consideration, and may with time prove a place of advantage to the further increase of their western empire, unless God Almighty, by his mercy and providence, give a stop to the progress of this grand oppressor."

* * * * *

A PASSAGE IN THE LIFE OF A MAÎTRE-D'ARMES

The excitement produced in St Petersburg on the occasion of a rash conspiracy which had broken out on the inauguration of the Emperor Nicholas, had ample time to die away before the sentence pronounced upon the conspirators became known. Six months elapsed, months of terrible suspense and anxiety to the friends of the unfortunate prisoners. At length, on the 14th of July, the decision of the high court of justice appeared in the _St Petersburg Gazette_. Six-and-thirty of the accused were condemned to death, the others to the mines and to exile. My friend and patron, Count Alexis W----, was included in the former list; but an act of clemency on the part of the Emperor tempered the severity of justice, and only five of the condemned were left for execution, while the remaining thirty-one had their sentence commuted to banishment. My friend's name was, God be thanked! among the latter.

On reading this announcement, I rushed into the street, and ran, without once stopping, until I reached the house of his beloved Louise. Of her, for the present, it will be sufficient to say, that she was a young, lovely, and intelligent Frenchwoman, whose sister I had known in Paris, and to whose patronage, from her position as a first-rate _modiste_ in St Petersburg, I was much indebted. Between this truly amiable woman and the Count had for some years existed an attachment, not hallowed, indeed, by the church, but so long and deeply-rooted in the hearts of both, and so dignified by their mutual constancy and worth, as to have won the sympathies even of the Count's mother and sisters. To return, however, to Louise, whom I found with a copy of the _Gazette_ in her hand, and bathed in tears, but they were tears of joy--

"He is saved!" cried she, on seeing me enter; "thank God and the Emperor!"

The first moment of joy over, Louise's thoughts turned to the mother and sisters of her lover. She calculated that the _Gazette_ would only leave St Petersburg by the post of that night, and that by sending off an express immediately the news might reach Moscow twelve hours sooner. She asked me if I knew a trusty messenger, who could start without delay to bear the glad tidings to the Count's family. I had a Russian servant, an intelligent active fellow, and I offered his services, which she accepted with delight. The only difficulty was the passport, and through the kindness of the ex-chief of police, Monsieur de Gorgoli, it was procured in half an hour. At the expiration of that time the courier set off, with a thousand rubles in his pocket for travelling expenses.

He arrived at Moscow fourteen hours before the post; fourteen hours of mortal anxiety saved to the Count's mother and sisters.

The letter he brought back, was one of those that seem written with a feather plucked from an angel's wing. The old Countess called Louise her daughter, and the young girls named her their sister. They entreated that, when the day was known on which the prisoners were to set off for their banishment, a courier might be despatched to Moscow with the news. I accordingly told my servant to hold himself in readiness to start, to his no small satisfaction; for the Count's mother had given him a thousand rubles for his first trip, and he trusted the second might be equally well rewarded.

There had not been an execution in St Petersburg for sixty years, and the curiosity and excitement caused by the anticipation of this one, were proportionably great. The day was not fixed beforehand, and the inhabitants of the capital got up each morning, expecting to hear that the bloody tragedy had been enacted. I had requested a young Frenchman attached to Marshal Marmont's special mission, and who was on that account likely to have early information, to let me know when it was to take place; and on the evening of the 23d of July, he sent me word that the marshal and his suite had been invited to repair by four o'clock the following morning to the hotel of the French embassy, the windows of which commanded the place of execution.

I hastened to communicate this intelligence to Louise. All her fears returned. Was it certain that Alexis was pardoned? Might not the commutation of punishment announced in the _Gazette_ be a ruse to conceal the truth from the people? These, and a thousand other doubts, arose in her mind; but I at last succeeded in tranquillizing her, and returned home to take some repose till the hour of the execution. Before doing so, however, my servant was sent off to Moscow, to inform the Countess W---- that the following day her son would leave St Petersburg for his place of exile.

At half-past three, I left my house and hastened in the direction of the citadel. A grey tinge in the east announced the approach of day, and a thin white fog hung like a veil over the Neva. As I passed the corner of the French embassy, Marmont and his suite entered the house, and a minute afterwards they appeared upon the balcony.

A few persons were standing upon the quay, not in expectation, or because they were informed of what was going to take place, but because the bridge of the Trinity was occupied by troops, and they were thereby prevented from proceeding whither their affairs called them. They seemed uneasy, and uncertain whether it might not be dangerous to remain there.

Some minutes before four, a large fire was lighted on the platform of the fortress. My attention being drawn to that point, I perceived, by the now increasing daylight, a wooden scaffolding, on which were erected five black and ominous looking gibbets.

Four o'clock struck, and the prisoners whose punishment had been commuted to banishment appeared upon the platform, and ranged themselves round the scaffold. They were all in full uniform, wearing their epaulettes, and the stars and ribands of their different orders. Their swords were carried by soldiers. I tried to distinguish the Count, but the distance, and still imperfect light, rendered the attempt fruitless.

The five who were to suffer death now ascended the scaffold, dressed in coarse linen frocks, and with a sort of white hood over their heads. They doubtless arrived from separate dungeons, for, as they met, they were allowed to embrace one another. Immediately afterwards, a man went up to them and said something, which was followed by a cheer from the soldiers and others attending the execution. It was afterwards reported, I know not with what truth, that this man was sent to offer them their lives if they chose to beg them; but that they replied to the offer by cries of Russia and Liberty!--cries that were rendered inaudible by the hurras of the guards and attendants.

The executioners stepped forward, passed the halters round the necks of the condemned, and pulled the hoods over their eyes. A neighbouring clock struck the first quarter after four, and simultaneously with the sound, a trap-door gave way under the feet of the culprits. There was a great cry and much confusion, and a number of soldiers jumped upon the scaffold.

Two of the ropes had snapped, and the unhappy men round whose necks they had been fastened, had fallen through the scaffolding to the platform; one of them had broken his thigh, and the other his arm. Ladders were brought, and the sufferers carried up to the scaffold and laid upon their backs, for they were unable to stand. In a few minutes new halters were ready, and with the help of the executioners, the victims managed to drag themselves under the gibbets. Their last words were, Russia and Liberty! This time the ropes did their duty.

It was said, that when the Emperor was afterwards informed of this incident, he was much vexed at its not having been immediately reported to him; but nobody had dared take upon himself the responsibility of suspending the execution.

It was now the turn of the exiles. Their sentence was read, declaring them to have forfeited every thing, rank, possessions, orders, family, all that bound them to the world, and the executioners then tore off their epaulettes and decorations, which they threw into the fire. Then taking the prisoners' swords from the soldiers who held them, they seized them by the hilt and point, and broke them over their owners' heads, exclaiming, as each snapped in two, "This is the sword of a traitor!" This ceremony over, they were stripped of their uniforms, which were replaced by coarse grey smock-frocks, and they were then led back to prison. The evening of the same day they set out for Siberia.

I returned to Louise, whom I found on her knees, praying and weeping. She looked at me as I entered the room as though afraid to interrogate me; but I relieved her anxiety by informing her that all had passed as announced in the _Gazette_. She raised her eyes to heaven with an expression of pious gratitude.

After a pause, "How far is it from here to Tobolsk?" she enquired.

"About eight hundred leagues."

"It is not so far as I thought," was her observation. I looked at her for a moment in silence. I began to suspect her intentions.

"Why do you ask the question?" enquired I.

"Can you not guess?"

"But, Louise, it is impossible, at least at this moment."

"Do not be uneasy, my friend. I know my duty to my child, and my affection for its father shall not make me forget it. I will wait."

It was not without a motive that the Count's mother and sisters had been anxious to obtain the earliest possible intelligence of his departure from St Petersburg. The road from that capital to Tobolsk ran through Iroslaw, a town about sixty leagues from Moscow, and they entertained hopes of being able to see their son and brother as he passed. Their passports were ready, and arrangements made; and as soon as they received from my servant the news of the departure of the prisoners, they got into a _kubiltka_, and without saying a word to any body of their intentions, set out for Iroslaw.

Travelling is rapid in Russia; in less than twenty-four hours they reached their destination, and learned with delight that the prisoners had not yet passed. As their stay at Iroslaw might have excited suspicion, they left that town, and took up their quarters in a small village on the road, at a solitary cottage, near which the carriages containing the exiles were to change horses. In all such cases in Russia, the persons in charge of criminals are forbidden to stop or to change horses in towns, or even in villages.

After waiting two days, a servant whom the Countess had stationed upon the road to watch for the convoy, hastened to her with the news that the first division of the prisoners had just arrived in five carriages, and that the corporal in charge had sent men to fetch horses from the village. The ladies got into their carriage, and set off at full gallop for the cottage at which the convoy had halted. They stopped upon the high-road opposite the hut, and gazed eagerly through the half-open door of its only room. It was crowded with prisoners; but Alexis was not amongst them.

In a quarter of an hour horses were brought; the prisoners re-entered the carriage, which immediately set off.

Half an hour later the second division of the convoy arrived; but the Count was not with it. The third, fourth, and fifth passed, each being obliged to wait longer than the preceeding one for horses, those at the post-house and in the immediate neighbourhood having all been taken.

It was some time after nightfall when the sixth and last division was heard approaching. The poor women clasped their trembling hands together. The much wished-for moment had arrived, yet their greatest difficulty was to come. It was more than uncertain whether they would be permitted to embrace their son and brother.

The convoy stopped, Alexis got out of the third carriage. In spite of the darkness and of his ignoble garb, the Countess and her daughters recognized him. One of the latter was about to call out his name; but her mother placed her hand on her mouth in time to prevent the imprudence, and the Count entered the cottage.

The corporal commanding the escort began enquiring about horses, and on learning that they were scarce, he sent off his soldiers with orders to seize all they could find in the name of the Emperor. The men departed, and he remained alone with the prisoners. There was no danger of an attempt at escape. In the heart of the Czar's immense dominions, whither could a fugitive betake himself without a certainty of being overtaken, or of dying from hunger before he reached the frontier?

Corporal Ivan remained then walking up and down in front of the cottage, alternately whistling and floging his leathern overalls with his riding whip, and occasionally stopping to gaze at the Countess's travelling carriage, which was standing without horses in the road. Presently the door of the vehicle opened, three ladies alighted and advanced towards the corporal. Two of them remained a little behind, the third approached him with clasped hands.

"My friend," said the Countess, "my son is amongst the prisoners you are escorting; let me see him but for a moment, and name your own reward."

"It is impossible, madam," replied the corporal respectfully. "My orders are strict to allow no one to communicate with the prisoners, and the knout is the least I may expect if I transgress them."

"But who will know that you have transgressed them?" cried the Countess, her voice trembling with eagerness and suspense. Her daughters stepped forward, and joined their hands, as in supplication to the soldier.

"It is quite impossible, madam," repeated the man.

"My mother!" cried Alexis, pushing open the cottage door. He had heard her voice, and in an instant was clasped in her arms.

The corporal made a movement as though to seize his prisoner; but at the same moment the two young girls fell at his feet, and embracing his knees, pointed to the touching spectacle before them.

Corporal Ivan was a good fellow in the main. He uttered something between a sigh and a growl, and the sisters saw that their prayer was granted.

"Mamma," said one of them in a low tone, "he will allow us to embrace our brother." The Countess extricated herself from her son's arms, and held out a heavy purse to the corporal.

"You risk a punishment for our sakes, my friend, and it is fair you should be recompensed for it."

Ivan looked hard at the purse for a moment, then shaking his head and putting his hands behind his back, "No, your ladyship," said he, "I am committing a breach of duty, but it is not for gold. Here is the best excuse I can give my judges, and if they don't accept it, God will;" and he pointed to the two weeping girls. The Countess seized the soldier's rough hand and pressed it to her lips.

"The horses cannot be here yet;" continued Ivan, "get into your carriage and pull down the blinds. By that means nobody will see you, and I may perhaps avoid making acquaintance with the knout."

"Thank you, corporal," said Alexis; "but at least take this purse.

"Take it yourself, lieutenant," said Ivan in a low voice, from habit giving the Count a title to which he had no longer a right. "You will find the use of it at the end of your journey."

"But on arriving they will search me."

"You can give it to me before the search, and I will return it to you. But I hear the gallop of a horse; quick into the carriage!" The corporal pushed Alexis into the carriage; the ladies followed, and he shut the door upon them.

An hour elapsed, an hour of mingled joy and sorrow. At the expiration of that time, the door opened, and Ivan appeared. "You must separate," said he, "the horses are arriving."

"A few moments longer!" cried the ladies, with tearful voices.

"Not a second, or I am ruined. Go on to the next relay; it is dark, no one will see you, and I sha'n't be punished more for twice than once."

"Oh! you will not be punished at all," cried the ladies; "surely God will reward you."

"Hum," said the corporal doubtingly, and half pulling his prisoner out of the carriage.

At the next relay, things went equally well. A third interview was rendered impossible by the approach of day. The sad word _farewell_ was pronounced, and the weeping women took the road to Moscow, having previously arranged a plan of correspondence, and carrying with them a few affectionate lines that Alexis had scrawled in pencil for Louise.

The Countess had ordered my servant to wait at Moscow till she returned, and on her arrival there immediately dispatched him to St Petersburg. He brought Louise the Count's note, and a letter from his mother, inviting her to go to Moscow, for that she was impatient to embrace her as her daughter.

Louise kissed her lover's note. She shook her head on reading the Countess's letter, and smiled one of those sad smiles that were peculiar to her. "I shall not go to Moscow," said she, "my place is elsewhere."

As I had suspected, Louise had resolved to join Count W---- at Tobolsk; but she could not set out till after her confinement, which was to take place in a couple of months. Meantime she busied herself with preparations. By turning every thing she possessed into money, she got together a sum of thirty thousand rubles. At her request, I applied to my kind friend, Monsieur de Gorgoli, to obtain from the Emperor permission for her to rejoin her lover. Her intentions had got wind in St Petersburg, and every body spoke with admiration of the devoted attachment of the young Frenchwoman. Many thought, however, that her courage would fail her when the moment of departure arrived; but I knew her better, and felt assured of the contrary.

At the commencement of September, she became the mother of a boy. I wished her to write to the mother of Alexis to announce this event; but she refused. The Countess heard of it, however, and wrote to Louise, to say that she was expecting her with her child.

Her recovery was slow, the various emotions she had undergone during her pregnancy having weakened her health. She would have left St Petersburg long before she was strong enough to do so; but the permission to join Count W---- was to come through me, and I refused to apply for it till her medical attendant gave her leave to travel.

One morning the door of my apartment opened and Louise entered, her face radiant with joy. "He will escape!" cried she.

"Who?"

"He--Alexis."

"How! Escape? It is impossible."

"Read that," she said and handed me a letter in the Count's hand-writing. It was as follows:--"Dearest Louise--Place all confidence in the bearer of this letter. He is more than my friend--he is my saviour.

"I fell ill upon the road, and was obliged to stop at Perm. The physicians declared I was not able to continue my journey, and it was decided I should pass the winter in the prison of that town. As good fortune would have it, the jailer's brother is an old servant of my family and willing to aid my escape. He and his brother fly with me; but I must have means of indemnifying them for what they give up on my account, and for the risk they run. Give the bearer all the money and jewels you possess. As soon as I am in safety I will write to you to come and join me. Adieu. W----."

"Well," said I after reading the letter twice over, "what have you done?"

"Can you ask the question?"

"What!" cried I. "You have given ...?"

"Every ruble I had," interrupted she.

"And if this letter were not from the Count? If it were a forgery?"

She changed colour, and snatched the paper from my hand.

"Oh, no!" said she. "I know his hand-writing. I cannot be mistaken." But, on reading the letter again, I observed that she grew still paler.

"I do not think," I observed, "that Alexis would have addressed such a demand to you."

"And why not? Who loves him better than I do?"

"Understand me rightly. For an act of friendship or devotion he would have applied to _you_, but for money to his mother. I tell you again, either I do not know Count W----'s character, or this letter is not written by him."

"But what will become of me? I have given every thing I possessed."

"How did the Count usually sign his letters?"

"Alexis always."

"You see this one is signed W----. It is evidently a forgery and we must immediately inform the police."

"And if we are mistaken? If it is not a forgery, by doing so I shall prevent his escape. Oh, no! Better lose the money. I can manage without. All that I am anxious to know is, whether he is at Perm."

It occurred to me, that I might easily ascertain this latter point through a lieutenant of gendarmerie to whom I gave lessons; and begging Louise to wait my return, I hastened to his quarters. I told him I had particular reasons for wishing to know whether my friend W---- had reached Tobolsk, and asked him if it were possible to ascertain. He immediately sent an orderly for the non-commissioned officer who had commanded the Count's division. Ten minutes afterwards, Corporal Ivan entered the room; and, although I was not then aware of the service he had rendered the Countess and her daughters, I was immediately prepossessed in his favour, by his frank open countenance and soldierly bearing.

"You commanded the sixth division of the prisoners lately sent to Siberia?" enquired I.

"I did so, your excellency."

"Count W---- was in your division?"

The corporal hesitated, and did not seem much to like the question.

"Fear nothing," said I, "you are speaking to a friend, who would sacrifice his own life for him. Tell me the truth, I beseech you. Was Count W---- ill on the road?"

"Not the least."

"Did he stop at Perm?"

"Not even to change horses. I left him at Koslowo, a pretty little village on the Irtich, twenty leagues from Tobolsk."

"You are sure of what you say?"

"Quite sure. I had a receipt from the authorities, which I delivered over to his excellency the grand-master of police."

I now hastened to Monsieur de Gorgoli, and related all that had passed. When I had finished--

"Is this young girl decided to go penniless, as she now is, to join her lover in Siberia?"

"Quite decided, your excellency; and I am persuaded nothing will alter her resolution."

"Then go, and tell her from me, that she shall have the permission."

I hurried back to Louise, and informed her of the result of my two interviews. She appeared indifferent to the loss of her little fortune, but overjoyed to learn that she would be allowed to join her lover. Her only anxiety now was to obtain the requisite permission as soon as possible.

Before leaving her, I placed at her disposal what money I had, which, unfortunately, was only two or three thousand rubles; for I had, a short time previously, remitted to France all that I had laid by during my residence at St Petersburg.

The same evening I was at Louise's house, when one of the Emperor's aides-de-camp was announced. He brought her a letter of audience for the following day. Monsieur de Gorgoli had kept his word.

Early the following morning I called upon Louise, to accompany her to the palace. I found her waiting for me, dressed in deep mourning, and without a single ornament; but her pale, melancholy style of beauty, was rather improved than impaired by the simplicity and sombre colour of her attire.

At the palace gate we separated, and I awaited her return in the carriage. On presenting her letter of audience, an officer on duty conducted her to the Emperor's private cabinet, and desiring her to wait there, left the room. She remained alone for about ten minutes, during which time, she afterwards told me, she was more than once near fainting away. At last a step was heard in the adjoining apartment; a door opened, and the Emperor appeared. On seeing him, she, by a spontaneous movement, fell upon her knees, and, unable to find words, clasped her hands together in mute supplication.

"Rise!" said the Emperor kindly, advancing towards her. "I have been already spoken to on the subject of your application. You wish for permission to join an exile?"

"Yes, sire, if such a favour may be granted."

"You are neither his sister nor his wife, I believe?"

"I am his--friend, sire," replied poor Louise, a tinge of pink over-spreading her pale cheek. "He must sadly need a friend."

"You know that he is banished for life to a country where there are scarcely four months of spring, and the rest of the year is one dreary winter?"

"I know it, sire."

"Do you know, also, that he has neither rank, fortune, nor title to share with you--that he is poorer than the poorest mendicant in St Petersburg?"

"Yes, sire."

"You have doubtless some fortune, some resources of your own?"

"Alas, sire, I have nothing! Yesterday I had thirty thousand rubles, produced by the sale of all I possessed, but even that little fortune was stolen from me."

"I know it. By a forged letter. It was more than a theft, it was a sacrilege; and, should its perpetrator be detected, he shall be punished as though he had broken open the poor-box in a church. But there are means of repairing your loss?"

"How, sire?"

"Inform his family of the circumstance. They are rich, and will assist you."

"I thank your Majesty; but I desire no assistance save that of God."

"But without funds how can you travel? Have you no friends who would help you?"

"Pardon me, sire, but I am too proud to borrow what I could never repay. By selling what little property I have left, I shall raise two or three hundred rubles."

"Scarcely sufficient for a quarter of the journey. Do you know the distance from here to Tobolsk, my poor girl?"

"Yes, sire--about eight hundred French leagues."

"And how will you get over the five or six hundred leagues you will still have to travel when your last ruble is spent?"

"There are towns on the road, sire. When I reach a town I will work till I have enough to continue my journey to the next."

"That may do as far as Perm," replied the Emperor; "but after that you have the Ural mountains, and you are at the end of Europe. After that nothing but a few scattered villages; no inns upon the road; large rivers without bridges or ferries, and which must be traversed by dangerous fords, whence men and horses are frequently swept away."

"Sire, when I reach the rivers they will be frozen; for I am told that in those regions the winter begins earlier than at St Petersburg."

"What!" cried the Emperor, astonished, "do you think of setting out now--of performing such a journey in winter?"

"It is during the winter that _his_ solitude must be most intolerable."

"It is impossible. You must be mad to think of it."

"Impossible if your Majesty so wills it. No one can disobey your Majesty."

"_I_ shall not prevent it; but surely your own reason, and the immense difficulties of such an undertaking, will."

"Sire! I will set out to-morrow."

"But if you perish on the road?"

"If I perish, sire, he will have lost nothing, for I am neither his mother, his daughter, nor sister, but only his mistress--that is, a woman to whom society gives no rights, and who must consider herself fortunate if the world looks upon her with no harsher feeling than indifference. But if I _am_ able to join him, I shall be _every thing_ to him--mother, sister, family, and friends. We shall be two to suffer instead of one, and that fearful exile will lose half its terrors. You see, sire, I _must_ rejoin him, and that as soon as possible."

"You are right," said the Emperor, looking fixedly at her, "and I no longer oppose your departure."

He rang; an aide-de-camp appeared.

"Is Corporal Ivan in attendance?"

"He waits your Majesty's orders."

"Let him come in."

The aide-de-camp bowed, and disappeared. Two minutes afterwards the door reopened, and Corporal Ivan stepped into the room, then halted, upright and motionless, one hand on the seam of his overalls, the other to the front of his schako.

"Draw near," said the Emperor, in a stern voice.

The corporal made four paces to the front, and relapsed into his former position.

"Nearer!"

Four more paces, and Ivan was close to the Emperor's writing-table.

"You are Corporal Ivan?"

"Yes, sire."

"You commanded the escort of the sixth division?"

"Yes, sire."

"You had orders to allow the prisoners to communicate with no one?"

This time the corporal's tongue seemed embarrassed by something, and his affirmative was uttered in a less steady tone than the preceding ones.

"Count Alexis W---- was one of the prisoners in your division, and in spite of your orders you allowed him to have two interviews with his mother and sisters. You knew the punishment you exposed yourself to by so doing?"

Ivan grew very pale, and was forced to support himself against the table.

"Pardon, sire!" gasped he.

Louise seemed about to speak, but a motion of the Emperor's hand warned her to remain quiet. After a moment's silence--

"You are pardoned," said the Emperor.

The soldier drew a deep breath. Louise uttered an exclamation of joy.

"Where did you leave Count W----?"

"At Koslowo, your Majesty."

"You will set off again, and escort this lady thither."

"Oh, sire!" exclaimed Louise, who began to understand the Emperor's feigned severity,

"You will obey her in all respects, consistently with her safety, for which you answer to me with your head; and if, on your return, you bring me a letter from her, saying that she is satisfied with your conduct, you shall be made sergeant."

"Thanks, father," said Ivan, forgetting for a moment his military stiffness, and falling upon his knees. The Emperor gave him his hand to kiss, as he was in the habit of doing to the lowest of his subjects. Louise was going to throw herself at his feet and kiss his other hand, but the Emperor stopped her.

"You are indeed a true and admirable woman," said he. "I have done all I can for you. May God bless and protect you!"

"Oh, sire!" exclaimed Louise, "how can I show my gratitude!"

"When you pray for your child," said the Emperor, "pray also for mine." And waving his hand kindly to her, he left the room.

When Louise returned home she found a small packet that had been sent from the Empress during her absence. It contained thirty thousand rubles.

It had been arranged that I should accompany Louise as far as Moscow, a city that I was desirous of visiting, and thence she would pursue her journey under Ivan's escort. The day after her interview with the Emperor, we started in a carriage that Ivan brought, and the combined strength and elegance of which surprised me, until I observed on a corner of the pannel the mark of the imperial stables. It was an excellent travelling berline, lined throughout with fur. Ivan was provided with an order, by virtue of which post-horses would be furnished us the whole of the journey, at the Emperor's expense. Louise got into the carriage with her child in her arms; I seated myself beside her, Ivan jumped on the box, and in a few minutes we were rattling along the Moscow road.

Louise was received with open arms by the Countess W---- and her daughters. The nature of her connexion with Alexis was lost sight of and forgotten in the devotion and disinterestedness of her attachment. A room was prepared for her in the Countess's house; and, however anxious the Count's mother and sisters were that he should have society and consolation in his exile, they nevertheless entreated her to pass the winter at Moscow, rather than run the risk of so long a journey during the bad season that was approaching. But Louise was inflexible. Two days were all she would consent to remain. She was forced, however, to leave her child in charge of its grandmother, for it would have been madness to have done otherwise.

I had been offered an apartment in the Countess's house, but preferred taking up my quarters at an hotel, in order to have liberty to spend my time in visiting whatever was remarkable at Moscow. On the evening of the second day I went to call upon the Countess. The ladies were making another effort to persuade Louise to defer her perilous journey till a more favourable season. But no arguments, no entreaties, could move her: she was determined to set off the following morning. I was invited to breakfast, and to witness her departure.

I had been for some days turning over in my mind a project that I now resolved to put in execution. I got up early the next morning and bought a fur coat and cap, thick furred boots, a carbine, and a brace of pistols, all of which I gave to Ivan, and desired him to place them in the carriage. I then hastened to the Countess W----'s.

Breakfast over, the carriage drove up to the door. Louise was alternately clasped in the arms of the Countess and her daughters. My turn came, and she held out her hand. I made a motion to assist her into the carriage. "Well," said she, astonished, "don't you bid me farewell?"

"Why should I?"

"I am going to set off."

"So am I."

"You!"

"Certainly. You recollect the Persian fable--the pebble that was not the rose, but had caught some of its fragrance by living near it."

"Well?"

"Well, I have caught some of your devotedness, and I shall go with you to Tobolsk. I will deliver you safe and sound to the Count, and then come back again."

Louise looked me earnestly in the face. "I have no right," said she, "to prevent your doing a good action--come."

The Countess and her daughters were in tears. "My child! my child!" cried Louise, who had remained firm up to this moment, but burst into a passion of weeping as she clasped her infant for the last time in her arms.

"Adieu! Adieu!" The whip cracked; the wheels rattled over the pavement. We were off to Siberia. On we went, day and night. Pokrow, Vladimir, Nijni-Novogorod, Casan. "_Pascare! Pascare!_" Quicker! Quicker! was Ivan's cry to each new postilion. The snow had not yet begun to fall, and he was anxious, if possible, to cross the Ural mountains before it set in. The immense plains between Moscow and Perm were traversed with tremendous rapidity. On reaching the latter place, Louise was so much exhausted that I told Ivan we must halt one night. He hesitated a moment, then looking at the sky, which was dark and lowering, "It will be as well," said he; "we must soon have snow, and it is better it should fall before than during our journey." The next morning his prediction was verified. There were two feet of snow in the streets of Perm.

Ivan now wished to remain till the cold increased, so that the snow might become hard, and the rivers frozen. But all his arguments could only induce Louise to wait two days. On the third morning we set off, leaving our carriage, and packed into a sort of small vehicle without springs, called a _télègue_.

On reaching the foot of the Ural mountains, the cold had so much increased that it became advisable to substitute a sledge for our wheels. We stopped at a miserable village, composed of a score of hovels, in order to effect this exchange, and entered a wretched hut, which did duty both as posting-house and as the only inn in the place. Eight or nine men, carriers by trade, were crowded round a large fire, lighted in the centre of the room, and the smoke of which found a vent through a hole in the roof. They paid no attention to our entrance; but when I had taken off my cloak, my uniform at once obtained for us the best place at the hearth. The landlord of this wretched hostelry met my enquires about supper with a stare of astonishment, and offered me a huge loaf of hard black bread as the whole contents of his larder. Ivan, however, presently appeared, having managed to forage out a couple of fowls, which, in an inconceivably short space of time, were plucked, and one of them simmering in an iron pot over the fire, while the other hung suspended by a string in front of the blaze. Supper over, we wrapped ourselves in our furs, and lay down upon the floor, beds in such a place being of course out of the question.

Before daybreak, I awoke, and found Ivan and the carriers already afoot, and in consultation as to the practicability of continuing our journey. The question was at last decided in favour of the march; the waggoners hastened to harness their horses, and I went to inspect our carriage, which the village blacksmith had taken off its wheels and mounted upon a sledge. Ivan meantime was foraging for provisions, and shortly returned with a ham, some tolerable bread, and half a dozen bottles of a sort of reddish brandy, made, I believe, out of the bark of the birch-tree.

At length all was ready, and off we set, our sledge going first, followed by the carriers' waggons. Our new companions, according to a custom existing among them, had chosen one of their number as a chief, whose experience and judgment were to direct the movements of the party, and whose orders were to be obeyed in all things. Their choice had fallen on a man named George, whose age I should have guessed to be fifty, but who, I learned with astonishment, was upwards of seventy years old. He was a powerful and muscular man, with black piercing eyes, overhung by thick shaggy eyebrows, which, as well as his long beard, were of an iron grey. His dress consisted of a woollen shirt and trousers, a fur cap, and a sheepskin with the wool turned inside. To the leathern belt round his waist were suspended two or three horse-shoes, a metal fork and spoon, a long-bladed knife, a small hatchet, and a sort of wallet, in which he carried pipe, tobacco, flint, steel, nails, money, and a variety of other things useful or necessary in his mode of life. The garb and equipment of the other carriers were, with some small differences, the same.

The first day's journey passed without incident. Our march was slow and even dangerous, all trace of the road being obliterated, and we were obliged to feel our way, as it were, by sending men forward with long pikes to sound the depth of snow before us. At nightfall, however, we found ourselves in safety on a sort of platform surmounted by a few pine-trees. Here we established our bivouac. Branches were cut, and a sort of hut built; and, with the aid of enormous fires, the night passed in greater comfort than might have been expected on a mountain-side, and with snow many feet deep around us.

At daybreak we were again in movement. Our difficulties increased as we ascended the mountain: the snow lay in prodigious masses, and more than once we were delayed by having to rescue one or other of our advanced guard from some hole or ravine into which he had fallen. No serious accident, however, occurred, and we had at length the satisfaction of finding ourselves descending. We had passed the highest point of the road.

We had been going downhill for some three hours, the way zig-zaging among rocks and precipices, when suddenly we were startled by a loud cracking, followed by a noise that resembled a clap of thunder repeated by many echoes. At the same moment a sort of whirlwind swept by us, and the air was darkened by a cloud of snow-dust. "An avalanche!" cried George, stopping his waggon. Every body halted. In another instant the noise ceased, the air became clear, and the avalanche continued its downward course, breaking, as it passed, a couple of gigantic pines that grew upon a rock, some five hundred feet below us. The carriers gave a hurra of joy at their escape, nor was it without reason. Had we been only half a verst further on our road, our journey had been at an end.

The avalanche had not passed, however, without doing us some harm, for, on reaching the part of the road over which it had swept, we found it blocked up by a wall of snow thirty feet thick and of great height. There were several hours' work for all of us to clear it away; but unfortunately it was already nightfall, and we were obliged to make up our minds to remain where we were till morning.

No wood was to be had either for hut or fire. The want of the latter was most unfortunate; for independently of the cold rendering it very necessary, it was our chief protection against the wolves. Doing the best we could under such unfavourable circumstances, we drew up the carts in the form of a half circle, of which the two extremities rested against the wall of snow it our rear, and within the sort of fortification thus formed we placed the horses and our sledge. Our arrangements were scarcely completed when it became perfectly dark.

In the absence of fire Louise's supper and mine consisted of dry bread. The carriers, however, made a hearty meal on the flesh of a bear they had killed that morning, and which they seemed to consider as good raw as cooked.

I was regretting the want of any description of light in case of an attack from the wolves, when Louise suddenly recollected that Ivan had put the lanterns belonging to the travelling carriage into our _télègue_ when we changed horses. On searching I found them under the seat, each furnished with a thick wax taper.

This was, indeed, a treasure. We could not hope to scare away the wolves by the light of our two candles; but it would enable us to see them coming, and to give them a proper reception. We tied the lanterns to the top of two poles fixed firmly in the snow, and saw with pleasure that they cast their clear pale light nearly fifty yards around our encampment.

We were ten men in all. Two stood sentry on the carts, while the remainder set to work to pierce through the obstacle left by the avalanche. The snow had already become slightly frozen, so that they were able to cut a passage through it. I joined the working party as being a warmer occupation than standing sentry. For three or four hours we toiled incessantly, and the birch-tree brandy, with which I had provided myself, and which we had carefully economized, was now found most useful in giving strength and courage to the labourers.

It was about eleven o'clock at night when a long howl was heard, which sounded so close and startling that with one accord we suspended our work. At the same moment old George, who was on sentry, called to us. We ran to the waggons and jumped upon them. A dozen enormous wolves were prowling about the outside edge of the bright circle thrown by our lanterns. Fear of the light kept them off; but each moment they were growing bolder, and it was easy to see that they would not be long without attacking us.

I looked to the priming of my carbine and pistols. Ivan was similarly armed; but the carriers had only their pikes, hatchets, and knives. With these weapons, however, they boldly awaited the attack.

Half an hour passed in this state of suspense, the wolves occasionally advancing a pace or two into the circle of light, but always retreating again. At length one of them approached so near that I asked George if it would not be advisable to reward his temerity with a bullet.

"Yes," was the answer, "if you are certain of hitting him."

"Why must I be certain?"

"Because if you kill him his companions will amuse themselves with eating him; to be sure," added he to himself, "if once they taste blood they will be mad for more."

"The mark is so good," said I, "I can hardly miss him."

"Fire, then, in God's name!" returned George; "all this must have an end one way or the other."

Before the words were out of his mouth I fired, and the wolf writhed in agony on the snow. In an instant half a dozen wolves darted forward, and, seizing their comrade, carried him off into the darkness.

The howlings now increased, and it was evident more wolves were arriving. At length there was a moment's silence.

"Do you hear the horses," said George, "how they neigh, and paw? It is a signal for us to be prepared."

"I thought the wolves were gone," replied I; "they have left off howling.

"No, they have finished their repast, and are preparing for an attack. Here they come."

And that moment eight or ten wolves, that in the imperfect flickering light looked as big as jackasses, rushed forward, and instead of endeavouring to pass under the waggons, bounded boldly upon them. By some chance, however, none of them attacked the waggon on which I was posted.

The cart on my right, defended by George, was escaladed by three wolves, one of which was immediately disabled by a thrust of the vigorous old man's pike. A ball from my carbine settled another, and seeing George's hatchet raised over the head of the third I knew he wanted no further aid, and looked to see what was going on to my left. Two wolves had attacked the waggon which was defended by one of George's sons, who received the first of his foes with a lance thrust. But apparently no vital part was touched, and the wolf had broken the pike with his teeth; so that for a moment the man opposed to him had nothing but the pole wherewith to defend himself. The second wolf was scrambling along the cart, and on the point of attacking him, when I sprang from one waggon to another, and fired one of my pistols into the animal's ear. He fell dead beside his companion, who was rolling in the snow, and making violent efforts to tear the broken lance from his wound.

Meantime Ivan was hard at work, and I heard a carbine or two pistol shots, which told me that our adversaries were as warmly received on the left as on the right of the line. An instant later four wolves again crossed the circle of light, but this time in full retreat; and at the same moment, to our no small astonishment, three others, that we had thought dead or mortally wounded, raised themselves up and followed their companions, leaving large tracks of blood behind them. Three carcasses remained upon the field of battle.

"Load again, and quickly," cried George. "I know their ways; they will be back directly." And the old man pointed with his finger into the darkness. I listened, and heard distant howlings replying to the nearer ones. What we had as yet had was a mere skirmish. The general engagement was to come.

"Look behind you!" cried a voice. I turned and saw two fiery eyes gleaming on the top of the snow wall in our rear. Before I could draw a trigger the wolf gave a leap, and falling upon one of the horses struck his fangs into its throat. Three men left their waggons.

"There is but one wolf," cried George, "and one man is enough. Let the others remain at their posts."

Two of the men resumed their places. The third crept upon his hands and knees among the horses who, in their terror, were kicking and plunging violently, and throwing themselves against the carts by which they were surrounded. The next instant I saw the gleam of a knife blade, and the wolf let go the horse, which reared up on its hind-legs, the blood streaming from its throat. A dark mass was rolling and struggling on the ground. It was the man and the wolf.

At the end of a few seconds the man stood up. "David," said he to one of his comrades, "come and help me to carry away this carrion. The horses wont be quiet while it lies here."

They dragged the wolf towards George's waggon, and then raising it up from the ground, the old man took it by the hind-legs, as though it had been a hare, and threw it outside the line of carts.

"Well, Nicholas," said George to the successful combatant, "don't you take your place again."

"No," replied the other; "I have enough as it is."

"Are you wounded?" cried Louise, opening the door of the _télègue_.

"I believe I have killed my last wolf," answered the poor fellow in a faint voice.

I gave George my carbine, and hastened to the wounded man. A part of his jaw was torn away, and the blood flowed abundantly from a large wound in his neck. I for a moment feared that the carotid artery was opened, and scarcely knowing whether I did right or wrong, I seized a handful of snow and applied it to the wound. The sufferer uttered a cry and fainted away.

"O God!" cried Louise, "have mercy upon him!"

"To your posts," shouted George in a stentorian voice; "the wolves are upon us."

I left the wounded man in Louise's care, and jumped upon the cart.

I can give no details of the combat that followed. I had too much occupation myself to attend to what my companions were doing. We were attacked by at least twenty wolves at once. After discharging my two pistols, I armed myself with an axe that George gave me. The fight lasted nearly a quarter of an hour, and certainly the scene was one of the most terrible it is possible to imagine. At length, and just as I was splitting the skull of a wolf that hung on to one of the wheels of my waggon, a shout of victory resounded along our line, and again our enemies fled, but this time it was for good.

Three of our men were wounded, besides Nicholas, who was still alive, but in a desperate state. We were obliged to shoot the horse that had been torn by the wolf.

By daybreak, a passage was opened through the wall of snow, and we resumed our journey. The evening of the same day we reached a small village, where we found an inn, that, under any other circumstances, would have been pronounced abominable, but which appeared a palace after three such days as we had passed. The following morning we parted from our friends the carriers, leaving George five hundred rubles to divide among them.

All now went well. Thanks to the imperial order with which we were provided, the best horses were always for us, and, when necessary, escorts of ten or twelve men galloped on either side of our sledge. The country was flat and the pace good, and exactly a week after leaving the Ural mountains we entered Tobolsk.

We were dreadfully fatigued, but yet Louise would only remain long enough to take a bath; and at two in the morning we set out for the little town of Koslowo, which had been selected as the abode of twenty of the exiles, among whom was Alexis. On arriving, we hastened to the officer commanding there, and showing him the Emperor's order, which produced its usual effect, enquired after the Count. He was well, was the answer, and still at Koslowo.

It had been agreed between Louise and myself that I should go and see him first, and inform him of her arrival. I asked the governor for a pass, which he gave me without hesitation, and a Cossack conducted me to a part of the town composed of some twenty houses enclosed within high palisades, and guarded by sentries. We stopped before a door, and my guide knocked. "Come in!" said a voice which I recognized as that of Alexis.

When I opened the door, he was lying on his bed, dressed, and with a book on the floor near him. I stopped upon the threshold. He stared at me without speaking, and seemed hardly to believe his eyes.

"Well," said I, "have you forgotten me?"

At the sound of my voice, he sprang from his bed and threw his arms round me. But the next instant he started back. "Good heavens!" exclaimed he, "you are exiled, and I am probably the cause."

"No, indeed," I replied, "I come here as an amateur." He smiled bitterly.

"As an amateur! Into the heart of Siberia! Explain your meaning. But first--Louise--what of her?"

"I have just now left her."

"Just now? A month ago, you mean?"

"Five minutes ago."

"Good God! what do you mean?" cried Alexis, growing very pale.

"That Louise has accompanied me, and is now here."

"Oh woman! woman! Thy heart is ever the same," murmured Alexis, while tear after tear rolled down his cheek. He was then silent for a time, but his lips moved, and I doubt not in thanksgiving to God for such happiness.

"Where is she?" he at length exclaimed.

"At the governor's house."

He rushed towards the door. "I am mad," said he, pausing, "I forget that I cannot leave my cage without permission. My dearest friend, bring her here, I beseech you! Or stay, this man will go." He spoke in Russian to the Cossack, who went out.

In a few minutes, and before I could answer a tithe of the numerous questions Alexis asked me, the man returned, but alone.

"Well?" said the Count, changing countenance.

"The governor says you must be aware that the prisoners are not allowed to receive visits from women."

The Count struck his forehead with his clenched hand, and fell back upon a chair. His features were almost convulsed by the violence of his emotions. At last he turned to the Cossack.

"Beg the sergeant to come here." The soldier left the room.

"Can any thing be more horrible?" cried Alexis. "She has come nine hundred leagues to see me; she is not a hundred yards from me, and we are forbidden to meet!"

"There must surely be some blunder," said I; "an order misunderstood, or something of the kind."

Alexis shook his head doubtingly. There was a wild look of despair in his large dark eyes that alarmed me. At this moment, the sergeant who had charge of the prisoners entered.

"Sir," cried the Count with vehemence, "the woman I love has left St Petersburg to join me, and after a thousand dangers and hardships has arrived here. I am now told that I shall not be allowed to see her. It is doubtless a mistake?"

"No, sir," replied the sergeant coolly. "You know very well that the prisoners are not permitted to see women."

"But Prince Troubetskoy has that permission. Is it because he is a prince?"

"No, sir, it is because the princess is his wife."

"And if Louise were my wife, should I be allowed to see her?"

"Undoubtedly, sir!"

"Ha!" ejaculated the Count, as though a weight were removed from off his heart. "I should like to speak with the priest," said he to the sergeant, after a moment's pause.

"He shall be sent for immediately," was the reply.

"And now my friend," said Alexis, turning to me, and taking my hands in his, "you have been Louise's guardian and defender, will you for once act as her father?"

The following morning at ten o'clock, Louise, accompanied by the governor and myself, and Alexis by Prince Troubetskoy and the other exiles, entered the little church of Koslowa by two different doors. Their first meeting was at the altar, and the first word they exchanged was the _yes_ that united them for ever.

The Emperor by a private letter to the governor, of which Ivan was the bearer, had ordered that the Count should only be allowed to see Louise as his wife. It has been seen how willingly my friend obeyed, I should rather say anticipated, the Emperor's commands. And rich was his reward for thus promptly acknowledging the just claims of this devoted and very admirable woman. She was one of "nature's own nobility"--refined and graceful, intelligent and high-minded--and would have graced higher rank than that to which she was raised by the gratitude of Count Alexis W----.

* * * * *

AMMALÁT BEK.

A TRUE TALE OF THE CAUCASUS. FROM THE RUSSIAN OF MARLÍNSKI.

CHAPTER X.

"Will you hold your tongue, little serpent?" said an old Tartar woman to her grandson, who, having awakened before daylight, was crying for want of something better to do. "Be quiet, or I will kick you into the street."

This old woman was Ammalát's nurse: the hut in which she lived stood close to the tents of the Begs, and had been given to her by her foster-son, Ammalát. It was composed of two clean whitewashed rooms, the floor of both was strewed with coarse mats, (ghasil;) in niches close to each other, for the room was without windows, stood boxes bound with iron, and on them were arranged a feather-bed, blankets, and all the utensils. On the cornices, at half the height of the wall, were ranged porcelain cups for pillau, having tin covers in the form of helmets, and little plates hanging side by side on wires: the holes with which they were pierced showing that they served not for use, but for ornament. The face of the old woman was covered with wrinkles, and expressed a sort of malicious sorrow: the usual consequence of the lonely pleasureless life of a Mussulman woman. As a worthy representative of persons of her age and country, she never for a moment ceased scolding her grandson from under her blanket, and to grumble to herself. "Kess," (be quiet,) she cried at length, yet more angrily, "or I will give you to the ghaóuls, (devils!) Do you hear how they are scratching at the roof, and knocking at the door for you?"

It was a stormy night; a thick rain pattering on the flat roof which served as a ceiling, and the roaring of the wind in the chimney, answered to her hoarse voice. The boy became quiet, and straining his eyes, hearkened in a fright. It really seemed as if some one was knocking at the door. The old woman became frightened in her turn: her inseparable companion, a dirty dog, lifted up his head from sleep, and began to bark in a most pitiful voice. But meanwhile the knocking at the door became louder, and an unknown voice cried sternly from without, "Atch kapini, akhirin akhirici!" (open the door for the end of ends.) The old woman turned pale. "Allah bismallah!" she exclaimed, now addressing heaven, then threatening the dog, and then quieting the crying child. "Sh, accursed beast! Hold your tongue, I say, kharamzáda, (good-for-nothing son of shame!) Who is there? What honest man will enter, when it is neither day nor dawn, into the house of a poor old woman? If you are Shaitán, go to neighbour Kitchkína. It has been long time to show her the road to hell! If you are a tchaóuth, (tax-gatherer,) who, to say the truth, is rather worse than Shaitán, then go about your business. My son-in-law is not at home; he serves as nóuker at Ammalát Bek's; and the Bek has long ago freed me from taxes; and as for treating idle travellers, don't expect from me even an egg, much less a duck. Is it in vain, then, that I suckled Ammalát?"

"Will you open, you devil's distaff?" impatiently exclaimed the voice, "or I will not leave you a plank of this door for your coffin."

The feeble doors shook on their hinges.

"Enter, pray enter," said the old woman, undoing the iron hasp with a trembling hand. The door flew open, and there entered a man of a middling stature, and of a handsome but melancholy countenance. He was clad in the Circassian dress: the water trickled down his bóurka and bashlík.[22] Without any apologies, he threw it on the feather-bed, and began to untie the lopasti of his bashlík which half covered his face--Fatma, having in the mean time lighted a candle, stood before him with fear and trembling. The long-whiskered dog, with his tail between his legs, pressed himself into a corner, and the child, in a fright, climbed into the fire-place--which, used only for ornaments, was never heated.

[22] Bashlík--a bonnet worn in bad weather.

"Well, Fatma, you are grown proud," said the unknown; "you do not recognize old friends."

Fatma gazed at the new-comer's features, and her heart grew light within her. She recognized Sultan Akhmet Khan, who had ridden in one night from Kiafir Kounik to Bouináki.

"May the sand fill my eyes that did not recognize their old master!" she replied, respectfully crossing her arms on her breast. "To say truth, they are blinded by tears, for her country--for Avár! Forgive an old woman, Khan!"

"What old age is yours, Fatma? I remember you a little girl, when I myself could hardly reach the young crows from their nests."

"A strange land makes every one old, Khan. In my native mountains I should still have been fresh as an apple, and here am I like a snowball fallen from the hill into the valley. Pray come hither, Khan, here it is more comfortable. What shall I entertain my precious guest with? Is there nothing the Khan's soul can wish for?"

"The Khan's soul wishes that you should entertain him with your goodwill."

"I am at your will; speak, command!"

"Listen to me, Fatma! I have no time to waste in words. This is why I am come here: render me a service with your tongue, and you shall have wherewithal to comfort your old teeth. I will make you a present of ten sheep; I will dress you in silk from top to toe."

"Ten sheep and a gown!--a silk gown! O gracious Aga! O kind Khan! I have not seen such a lord here since the accursed Tartars carried me away, and made me marry a hateful ... I am ready to do every thing, Khan, that you wish. Cut my ears off even, if you will!"

"What would be the good of that? They must be kept sharp. This is the business. Ammalát will come to you to-day with the Colonel. The Shamkhál of Tárki will arrive also. This Colonel has attached your young Bek to him by witchcraft; and having taught him to eat swine's flesh, wants to make a Christian of him: from which Mahomet preserve him!"

The old woman spat around her, and lifted her eyes to heaven.

"To save Ammalát, we must make him quarrel with the Colonel. For this purpose you must go to him, throw yourself at his feet, and fall a-weeping as if at a funeral. As to tears, you will have no need to go and borrow them of your neighbours. Swear like a shopkeeper of Derbénd; remember that each oath of yours will bring you a dozen sheep; and at last tell him that you have heard a conversation between the Colonel and the Shamkhál: that the Shamkhál complained of his sending back his daughter: that he hates him out of fear that he should take possession of the crown of his Shamkhalát: that he implored the Colonel to allow him to kill him in an ambuscade, or to poison him in his food; but that the other consented only to send him to Siberia, beyond the end of the world. In one word, invent and describe every thing cleverly. You were formerly famous for your tales. Do not eat dirt now. And, above all, insist that the Colonel, who is going on a furlough, will take him with him to Georgieffsk, to separate him from his kinsmen and faithful nóukers; and from thence will dispatch him in chains to the devil."

Sultan Akhmet added to this all the particulars necessary to give the story the most probable form; and once or twice instructed the old woman how to introduce them more skilfully.

"Well, recollect every thing accurately, Fatma," said he, putting on his bóurka; "forget not, likewise, with whom you have to do."

"Vallah, billah! let me have ashes instead of salt; may a beggar's tchóurek close my eyes; may" ...

"Do not feed the Shaitáns with your oaths; but serve me with your words. I know that Ammalát trusts you completely; and if, for his good, you will arrange this--he will come over to me, and bring you with him. You shall live, singing, under my wing. But I repeat, if, by chance or on purpose, you betray me, or injure me by your gossiping, I will make of your old flesh a kibab for the Shaitáns!"

"Be easy, Khan! They have nothing to do either for me or with me. I will keep the secret like the grave, and I will _put my sarótchka_[23] on Ammalát."

[23] Give him her feelings--a Tartar phrase.

"Well, be it so, old woman. Here is a golden seal for your lips. Take pains!"

"_Bathóusta, ghez-óusta_!"[24] exclaimed the old woman, seizing the ducat with greediness, and kissing the Khan's hand for his present. The Sultan Akhmet Khan looked contemptuously at the base creature, whilst he quitted the sákla.

[24] Willingly, if you please? Literally, "on my head, on my eyes."

"Reptile!" he grumbled to himself, "for a sheep, for a piece of cloth of gold, thou wouldst be ready to sell thy daughter's body, thy son's soul, and thy foster-son's happiness!"

He did not reflect upon what name he deserved himself, entangling his friend in deceit, and hiring such vile creatures for low slander and for villanous intentions.

_Fragment of a Letter from Colonel Verkhóffsky to his Betrothed_.

Camp near the Village of Kiafir Koumík, August.

... Ammalát loves, and how he loves! Never, not even in the hottest fire of my youth, did my love rise to such a frenzy. I burned, like a censer lighted by a sunbeam; he flames, like a ship set on fire by lightning on the stormy sea. With you, my Maria, I have read more than once Shakspeare's Othello; and only the frantic Othello can give an idea of the tropical passion of Ammalát. He loves to speak long and often of his Seltanetta, and I love to hear his volcanic eloquence. At times it is a turbid cataract thrown out by a profound abyss--at times a fiery fountain of the naphtha of Bakou. What stars his eyes scatter at that moment--what light plays on his cheeks--how handsome he is! There is nothing ideal in him: but then the earthly is grand, is captivating. I myself, carried away and deeply moved, receive on my breast the youth fainting from rapture: he breathes long, with slow sighs, and then casting down his eyes, lowering his head as if ashamed to look at the light--not only on me--presses my hand, and walks away with an uncertain step; and after that one cannot extract a word from him for the rest of the day.

Since the time of his return from Khounzákh, he is become still more melancholy than before; particularly the last few days. He hides the grandest, the noblest feeling which brings man near to divinity, as carefully as if it were a shameful weakness or a dreadful crime. He imploringly asked me to let him go once more to Khounzákh, to sigh at the feet of his fair one; and I refused him--refused him for his own good. I wrote long ago about my favourite to Alexéi Petróvitch, and he desired me to bring him with me to the waters, where he will be himself. He wishes to give him some message to Sultan Akhmet Khan, which will bring undoubted advantage to him and to Ammalát. Oh, how happy I shall be in his happiness! To me, to me, he will owe the bliss of his life--not only empty life. I will force him on his knees before you, and will make him say--"Adore her as a deity!" If my heart were not filled with love to Maria, thou wouldst not take possession of Seltanetta. Yesterday I received an express from the commander-in-chief--a noble-minded man! He gives wings to happy news. All is arranged; my darling, I go to meet you at the waters. I shall only lead the regiment to Derbénd--and then to the saddle! I shall know neither fatigue by day nor drowsiness by night, till I repose myself in your embrace. Oh, who will give me wings to fly to you! Who will give me strength to bear my--_our_--bliss! ... I, in delicious agitation, pressed my bosom, that my heart might not burst forth. For a long time I could not sleep: imagination painted our meeting in a thousand forms, and in the intervals appeared the most trivial but delightful cares, about wedding trifles, dresses, presents. You will be clad in my favourite colour, green. ... Is it not true, my soul? My fancies kept me from sleeping, like a strong perfume of roses; but the sweeter, the more brilliant was my sleep. I saw you by the light of dawn, and every time different, every time more lovely than before. My dreams were twined together like a wreath of flowers; but no! there was no connexion between them. They were wonderful phantoms, falling like colours from the kaleidoscope, and as impossible to retain. Notwithstanding all this, I awoke sorrowful this morning; my awakening took from my childish soul its favourite toy.... I went into Ammalát's tent; he was still asleep. His face was pale and angry--let him be angry with me! I taste beforehand the gratitude of the ardent youth. I, like fate, am preparing his happiness in secret....

To-day I bid adieu to these mountains for long--I hope for ever. I am very glad to quit Asia, the cradle of mankind, in which the understanding has remained till now in its swaddling-clothes. Astonishing is the immobility of Asiatic life, in the course of so many centuries. Against Asia all attempts of improvement and civilization have broken like waves; it seems not to belong to time, but to place. The Indian Brahmin, the Chinese Mandarin, the Persian Bek, the mountain Ouzdén, are unchanged--the same as they were two thousand years ago. A sad truth! They represent, in themselves, a monotonous though varied, a lively though soulless nature. The sword and the lash of the conqueror have left on them, as on the water, no trace. Books, and the examples of missionaries, have produced on them no influence. Sometimes, however, they have made an exchange of vices; but never have they learned the thoughts or the virtues of others. I quit the land of fruit to transport myself to the land of labour--that great inventor of every thing useful, that suggester of every thing great, that awakener of the soul of man, which has fallen asleep here, and sleeps in weakness on the bosom of the seducer--nature.

And truly, how seducing is nature here! Having ridden up the high mountain to the left of Kiafir Koumík, I gazed with delight on the gradually lighted summit of the Caucasus. I looked, and could not look enough at them. What a wondrous beauty decks them as with a crown! Another thin veil, woven of light and shadow, lay on the lower hill, but the distant snows basked in the sky; and the sky, like a caressing mother, bending over them its immeasurable bosom, fed them with the milk of the clouds, carefully enfolding them with its swathe of mist, and refreshing them with its gently-breathing wind. Oh, with what a flight would my soul soar there, where a holy cold has stretched itself like a boundary between the earthly and the heavenly! My heart prays and thirsts to breathe the air of the inhabitants of the sky. I feel a wish to wander over the snows, on which man has never printed the seal of his blood-stained footsteps--which have never been darkened by the eagle's shadow--which the thunder has never reached--which the war spirits have never polluted; and on the ever-young summits where time, the continuation of eternity, has left no trace.

Time! A strange thought has come into my head. How many fractional names has the weak sense of man invented for the description of an infinitely small particle of time out of the infinitely large circle of eternity! Years, months, days, hours, minutes! God has nothing of all this: he has not even evening nor morrow. With him all this has united itself into one eternal _now_!... Shall we ever behold this ocean in which we have hitherto been drowning? But I ask, to what end will all this serve man? Can it be for the satisfaction of an idle curiosity? No! the knowledge of truth, i.e. the All-knowing Goodness, does the soul of the reflecting man thirst after. It wishes to draw a full cup from the fountain of light which falls on it from time to time in a fine dew!

And I shall imbibe it. The secret fear of death melts like snow before the beam of such a hope. I shall draw from it. My real love for my fellow-creatures is a security for it. The leaden ways of error will fall asunder before a few tears of repentance, and I shall lay down my heart as an expiating sacrifice before the judgment-seat which will have no terrors for me!

It is wonderful, my beloved--hardly do I look at the mountains, the sea, the sky, ... but a solemn but inexpressibly sweet feeling o'er-burthens and expands my heart. Thoughts of you mingle with it; and, as in dreams, your form flits before me. Is this a foretaste of earthly bliss, which I have only known by name, or a foreboding of ... etern ...? O dearest, best, angelic soul, one look of yours and I am cured of dreaming! How happy am I that I can now say with assurance--_au revoir_!

CHAPTER XI.

The poison of calumny burnt into the soul of Ammalát. By the instructions of the Khan, his nurse Fatma related, with every appearance of disinterested affection, the story which had been arranged beforehand, on the same evening that he came with Verkhóffsky to Bouináki, where they were met by the Shamkhál in obedience to the Colonel's request. The envenomed shaft struck deep; now doubt would have been welcomed by Ammalát, but conviction, it seemed, cast over all his former ties of friendship and blood, a bright but funereal light. In a frenzy of passion, he burned to drown his revenge in the blood of both; but respect for the rites of hospitality quenched his thirst for vengeance. He deferred his intention for a time--but could he forget it? Every moment of delay fell, like a drop of melted copper, on his heart. Memory, conviction, jealousy, love, tore his heart by turns; and this state of feeling was to him so new, so strange, so dreadful, that he fell into a species of delirium, the more dreadful that he was obliged to conceal his internal sensations from his former friend. Thus passed twenty-four hours; the detachment pitched their tents near the village Bougdén, the gate of which, built in a ravine, and which is closed at the will of the inhabitants of Bougdén, serves as a passage to Akóush. The following was written by Ammalát, to divert the agony of his soul while preparing itself for the commission of a black crime.... ----

MIDNIGHT.

... Why, O Sultan Akhmet! have you cast lightning into my breast? A brother's friendship, a brother's treachery, and a brother's murder!... What dreadful extremes! And between them there is but a step, but a twinkling of the eye. I cannot sleep, I can think of nothing else. I am chained to this thought, like a criminal to his stake. A bloody sea swells, surges, and roars around me, and above gleams, instead of stars, the lightning-flash. My soul is like a naked peak, where only birds of prey and evil spirits assemble, to share their plunder, or to prepare misfortune. Verkhóffsky, Verkhóffsky! what have I done to you? Why would you tear from heaven the star of my liberty? Is it because I loved you so tenderly? And why do you approach me stealthily and thief-like? why do you slander--why do you betray me, by hypocrisy? You should say plainly, "I wish your life," and I would give it freely, without a murmur; would have laid it down a sacrifice like the son of Ibrahim, (Abraham!) I would have forgiven you, if you had but attempted my life, but to sell my freedom, to steal my Seltanetta from me, by burying me alive! Villain--and you still live!

But sometimes like a dove, whose wings have been scorched in the smoke of a fire, appears thy form to me, Seltanetta. How is it, then, that I am no longer gay when I dream of you, as of old?...

They would part us, my love--they would give you to another, to marry me on the grave-stone. But I will go to you--I will go to you over a bloody carpet--I will fulfil a bloody promise, in order to possess you. Invite not only your maiden friends to your marriage feast--invite also the vultures and the ravens, they shall all be regaled abundantly. I will pay a rich dower. On the pillow of my bride I will lay a heart which once I reckoned more precious than the throne-cushion[25] of the Persian Padishah. Wonderful destiny!... Innocent girl!... You will be the cause of an unheard of deed. Kindest of beings, for you friends will tear each other like ferocious beasts--for you and through you--and is it really for you alone--with ferocity--with ferocity only! Verkhóffsky said, that to kill an enemy by stealth, is base and cowardly. But if I cannot do it otherwise? But can he be believed?... Hypocrite! He wished to entangle me beforehand; not my hands alone, but even my conscience. It was in vain.

[25] This cushion is embroidered with jewels, and is invaluable.

... I have loaded my rifle. What a fine round barrel--what admirable ornaments! The rifle I received from my father--my father got it from my grandfather. I have heard of many celebrated shots made with it--and not one, not one was fired by stealth.... Always in battle--always before the whole army, it sent death; but wrong, but treachery, but you, Seltanetta!... My hand will not tremble to level a shot at him, whose name it is afraid even to write. One loading, one fire, and all is over!...

One loading! How light, but how heavy will be each grain of powder in the scales of Allah! How far--how immeasurably will this load bear a man's soul? Accursed thou, the inventor of the grey dust, which delivers a hero into the hand of the vilest craven, which kills from afar the foe, who, with a glance, could have disarmed the hand raised against him! So, this shot will tear asunder all my former ties, but it will clear a road to new ones. In the cool Caucasus--on the bosom of Seltanetta, will my faded heart be refreshed. Like a swallow will I build myself a nest in a stranger land--like a swallow, the spring shall be my country. I will cast from me old sorrows, as the bird sheds its feathers.... But the reproaches of conscience, can they fade?... The meanest Lézghin, when he sees in battle the man with whom he has shared bread and salt, turns aside his horse, and fires his gun in the air. It is true he deceives me; but have I been the less happy? Oh, if with these tears I could weep away my grief--drown with them the thirst for vengeance--buy with them Seltenetta! Why comes on the dawn of day so slowly? Let it come! I will look, without blushing, at the sun--without turning pale, into the eyes of Verkhóffsky. My heart is like iron--it is locked against mercy; treachery calls for treachery ... I am resolved ... Quick, quick!

* * * * *

Thus incoherently, thus wildly wrote Ammalát, in order to cheat time and to divert his soul. Thus he tried to cheat himself, rousing himself to revenge, whilst the real cause of his bloody intentions, viz. the desire of possessing Seltanetta, broke through every word.

In order to embolden himself for his crime, he drank deeply of wine, and maddened, threw himself, with his gun, into the Colonel's tent; but perceiving sentinels at the door, he changed his intention. The natural feeling of self-preservation did not abandon him, even in his madness. Ammalát put off till the morning the consummation of the murder; but he could neither sleep nor distract his thoughts ... and re-entering his tent, he seized Saphir Ali by the throat, who was lying fast asleep, and shaking him roughly: "Get up, sleepy rascal!"; he cried to him, "it is already dawn."

Saphir Ali raised his head in a discontented mood, and yawning, answered: "I see only the dawn of wine on your cheek--good-night, Ammalát!"

"Up, I tell you! The dead must quit their graves to meet the new-comer whom I have promised to send to keep them company!"

"Why, brother, am I dead?... Even the _forty Imaums_[26] may get up from the burial-ground of Derbénd--but I will sleep."

[26] The Mussulmans believe, that in the northern burial-ground of Derbénd, are buried the forty first true believers, who were martyred by the idolaters.

"But you love to drink, Giaour, and you must drink with me."

"That is quite another affair. Pour fuller, _Allah verdi_![27] I am always ready to drink and to make love."

[27] God gave--Much good may it do you.

"And to kill an enemy!... Come, some more! A health to the devil!--who changes friends into mortal enemies."

"So be it! Here goes, then, to the devil's health! The poor fellow wants health. We will drive him into a consumption out of spite, because he cannot make us quarrel!"

"True, true, he is always ready for mischief. If he had seen Verkhóffsky and me, he would have thrown down his cards. But you, too, will not, I hope, part from me?"

"Ammalát, I have not only quaffed wine from the same bottle with thee, but I have drained milk from the same breast. I am thine, even if you take it into your head to build yourself, like a vulture, a nest on the rock of Khounzákh.... However, my advice would be"----

"No advice, Saphir Ali--no remonstrances.... It is now too late!"

"They would be drowned like flies in wine. But it is now time to sleep."

"Sleep, say you! Sleep, to me! No, I have bidden farewell to sleep. It is time for me to awaken. Have you examined the gun, Saphir Ali--is the flint good? Has not the powder on the shelf become damp with blood?"

"What is the matter with you, Ammalát? What leaden secret weighs upon your heart? Your face is terrible--your speech is yet more frightful."

"And my deeds shall be yet more dreadful. Is it not true, Saphir Ali, my Seltanetta--is she not beautiful? Observe! _my_ Seltanetta. Is it possible that these are the wedding songs, Saphir Ali? Yes, yes, yes! I understand. 'Tis the jackals demanding their prey. Spirits and wild beasts, be patient awhile--I will content you! Ho, wine--more wine! more blood!... I tell you!"

Ammalát fell on his bed in a drunken insensibility. Foam oozed out of his mouth: convulsive movements shook his whole body. He uttered unintelligible words, mingled with groans. Saphir Ali carefully undressed him, laid him in the bed, enveloped him in the coverings, and sat up the rest of the night watching over his foster-brother, in vain seeking in his head the explanation of the, to him, enigmatical speech and conduct of Ammalát.

CHAPTER XII.

In the morning, before the departure of the detachment, the captain on duty came to Colonel Verkhóffsky to present his report, and to receive the orders for the day. After the customary exchange of words, he said, with an alarmed countenance: "Colonel, I have to communicate a most important thing: our yesterday's signal-man, a soldier of my company, Hamitóff, heard the conversation of Ammalát Bek with his nurse in Bouináki. He is a Tartar of Kazán, and understands pretty well the dialect of this country. As far as he could hear and understand, the nurse assured the Bek that you, with the Shamkhál, are preparing to send him off to the galleys. Ammalát flew into a passion; said, that he knew all this from the Khan, and swore to kill you with his own hand. Not trusting his ears, however, the soldier determined to tell you nothing, but to watch all his steps. Yesterday evening, he says, Ammalát spoke with a horseman arrived from afar. On taking leave, he said: 'Tell the Khan, that to-morrow, by sunrise, all will be over. Let him be ready: I shall soon see him.'"

"And is this all, Captain?" demanded Verkhóffsky.

"I have nothing else to say; but I am much alarmed. I have passed my life among the Tartars, Colonel, and I am convinced that it is madness to trust the best of them. A born brother is not safe, while resting in the arms of a brother."

"This is envy, Captain. Cain has left it as an eternal heirloom to all men, and particularly to the neighbours of Ararat. Besides, there is no difference between Ammalát and myself. I have done nothing for him but good. I intend nothing but kindness. Be easy, Captain: I believe the zeal of the signal-man, but I distrust his knowledge of the Tartar language. Some similarity of words has led him into error, and when once suspicion was awakened in his mind, every thing seemed an additional proof. Really, I am not so important a person that Khans and Beks should lay plots for my life. I know Ammalát well. He is passionate, but he has a good heart, and could not conceal a bad intention two hours together."

"Take care you be not mistaken, Colonel. Ammalát is, after all, an Asiatic; and that name is always a proof. Here words hide thoughts--the face, the soul. Look at one of them--he seems innocence itself; have any thing to do with him, he is an abyss of meanness, treachery and ferocity."

"You have a full right to think so, my dear Captain, from experience: Sultan Akhmet Khan gave you a memorable proof in Ammalát's house, at Bouináki. But for me, I have no reason to suspect any mischief in Ammalát; and besides, what would he gain by murdering me? On me depends all his hope, all his happiness. He is wild, perhaps, but not a madman. Besides, you see the sun is high; and I am alive and well. I am grateful, Captain, for the interest you have taken in me; but I entreat you, do not suspect Ammalát: and, knowing how much I prize an old friendship, be assured that I shall as highly value a new one. Order them to beat the march."

The captain departed, gloomily shaking his head. The drums rattled, and the detachment, in marching order, moved on from its night-quarters. The morning was fresh and bright; the road lay through the green ramparts of the mountains of the Caucasus, crowned here and there with forests and underwood. The detachment, like a stream of steel, flowed now down the hills, and now crept up the declivities. The mist still rested on the valleys, and Verkhóffsky, riding to the elevated points, looked round frequently to feast his eyes with the ever-changing landscape. Descending the mountain, the detachment seemed to be swallowed up in the steaming river, like the army of Pharaoh, and anon, with a dull sound, the bayonets glittered again from the misty waves. Then appeared heads, shoulders; the men seemed to grow up, and then leaping up the rocks, were lost anew in the fog.

Ammalát, pale and stern, rode next to the sharpshooters. It appeared that he wished to deafen his conscience in the noise of the drums. The colonel called him to his side, and said kindly: "You must be scolded, Ammalát; you have begun to follow too closely the precepts of Hafiz: recollect that wine is a good servant but a bad master: but a headache and the bile expressed in your face, will surely do you more good than a lecture. You have passed a stormy night, Ammalát."

"A stormy, a torturing night, Colonel! God grant that such a night be the last! I dreamed dreadful things."

"Aha, my friend! You see what it is to transgress Mahomet's commandments. The conscience of the true believer torments you like a shadow."

"It is well for him whose conscience quarrels only with wine."

"That depends on what sort of conscience it is. And fortunately it is as much subject to prejudice as reason itself. Every country, every nation, has its own conscience; and the voice of immortal, unchangeable truth is silent before a would-be truth. Thus it is, thus it ever was. What yesterday we counted a mortal sin, to-morrow we adore. What on this bank is just and meritorious, on the other side of a brook leads to the halter."

"I think, however, that treachery was never, and in no place, considered a virtue."

"I will not say even that. We live at a time when success alone determines whether the means employed were good or bad; where the most conscientious persons have invented for themselves a very convenient rule--that the end sanctifies the means."

Ammalát, lost in his reflections, repeated these words, because he approved of them. The poison of selfishness began anew to work within him; and the words of Verkhóffsky, which he looked on as treacherous, poured like oil on flame. "Hypocrite!" said he to himself; "your hour is at hand!"

And meanwhile Verkhóffsky, like a victim suspecting nothing, rode side by side with his executioner. At about eight versts from Kieként the Caspian Sea discovered itself to them from a hill; and the thoughts of Verkhóffsky soared above it like a swan. "Mirror of eternity!" said he, sinking into a reverie, "why does not your aspect gladden me to-day? As of old, the sun plays on you; and your bosom breathes, as sublimely as of old, eternal life; but that life is not of this world. You seem to me to-day a mournful waste; not a boat, not a sail, not a sign of man's existence. All is desolate!

"Yes, Ammalát," he added; "I am tired of your ever-angry, lonely sea--of your country peopled with diseases, and with men who are worse than all maladies in the world. I am weary of the war itself, of invisible enemies, of the service shared with unfriendly comrades. It is not enough that they impeded me in my proceedings--they spoiled what I ordered to be done--they found fault with what I intended, and misrepresented what I had effected. I have served my sovereign with truth and fidelity, my country and this region with disinterestedness; I have renounced, a voluntary exile, all the conveniences of life, all the charms of society; have condemned my intellect to torpidity, being deprived of books; have buried my heart in solitude; have abandoned my beloved; and what is my reward? When will that moment arrive, when I throw myself into the arms of my bride; when I, wearied with service, shall repose myself under my native cottage-roof, on the green shore of the Dniéper; when a peaceful villager, and a tender father, surrounded by my relations and my good peasants, I shall fear only the hail of heaven for my harvests; fight only with wild-beasts? My heart yearns for that hour. My leave of absence is in my pocket, my dismission is promised me.... Oh, that I could fly to my bride!... And in five days I shall for certain be in Geórgieffsk. Yet it seems as if the sands of Libya, a sea of ice----as if the eternity of the grave itself, separated us!"

Verkhóffsky was silent. Tears ran down his cheeks; his horse, feeling the slackened rein, quickened his pace--and thus the pair alone, advanced to some distance from the detachment.... It seemed as if destiny itself surrendered the colonel into the hands of the assassin.

But pity penetrated the heart of Ammalát, maddened as he was, and burning with wine--like a sunbeam falling in a robber's cave. He beheld the sorrow, the tears of the man whom he had so long considered as his friend, and hesitated. "No!" he thought, "to such a degree as that it is impossible to dissimulate...."

At this moment Verkhóffsky started from his reverie, lifted up his head, and spoke to Ammalát. "Prepare yourself: you are to go with me!"

Unlucky words! Every thing good, every thing noble, which had arisen anew in Ammalát's breast, was crushed in a moment by them. The thought of treachery--of exile--rushed like a torrent through his whole being "With you!" he replied, with a malicious smile--"with you, and into Russia?--undoubtedly: if you go yourself!" and in a passion of rage he urged his horse into a gallop, in order to have time to prepare his arms; suddenly turned back to meet him; flew by him, and began to ride rapidly in a circle around him. At each stride of his horse, the flame of rage burned more fiercely within him: it seemed as if the wind, as it whistled past him, kept whispering "Kill, kill! he is your enemy. Remember Seltanetta!" He brought his rifle forward from his shoulder, cocked it, and encouraging himself with a cry, he galloped with blood-thirsty decision to his doomed victim. Verkhóffsky, meanwhile, not cherishing the least suspicion, looked quietly at Ammalát as he galloped round, thinking that he was preparing, after the Asiatic manner, for the djigítering (equestrian exercises.)

"Fire at your mark, Ammalát Bek!" he exclaimed to the murderer who was rushing towards him.

"What mark can be better than the breast of a foe?" answered Ammalát Bek, riding up, and at ten paces' distance pulling the trigger!... the gun went off: and slowly, without a groan, the colonel sank out of his saddle. His affrighted horse, with expanded nostrils and streaming mane, smelt at his rider, in whose hands the reins that had so lately guided him began to stiffen: and the steed of Ammalát stopped abruptly before the corpse, setting his legs straight before him. Ammalát leaped from his horse, and, resting his arms on his yet smoking gun, looked for several moments steadfastly in the face of the murdered man; as if endeavouring to prove to himself that he feared not that fixed gaze, those fast-dimming eyes--that fast-freezing blood. It would be difficult to understand--'twere impossible to express the thoughts which rolled like a whirlwind through his breast. Saphir Ali rode up at full gallop; and fell on his knees by the colonel--he laid his ear to the dying man's mouth--he breathed not--he felt his heart--it beat not! "He is dead!" cried Saphir Ali in a tone of despair. "Dead! quite dead!"

"So much the better ... My happiness is complete!..." exclaimed Ammalát, as if awakening from a dream.

"Happiness for you--for you, fratricide! If you meet happiness, the world will take to Shaitán instead of Allah."

"Saphir Ali, remember that you are not my judge!" said Ammalát fiercely, as he put his foot into the stirrup: "follow me!"

"May remorse alone accompany you, like your shadow! From this hour I am not your companion."

Pierced to the very bottom of his heart by this reproach from a man to whom he had been from infancy bound by the closest ties, Ammalát uttered not a word, but pointing to his astounded nóukers in the ravine, and perceiving the pursuit begun, dashed into the mountains like an arrow.

The alarm soon spread through the advanced guard of the detachment: the officers, who were in front, and the Don Kazáks, flew to the shot, but they came too late. They could neither prevent the crime nor seize the flying assassin. In five minutes the bloody corpse of the treacherously murdered colonel was surrounded by a crowd of officers and soldiers. Doubt, pity, indignation were written on all their faces. The grenadiers, leaning on their bayonets, shed tears, and sobbed aloud: unflattering drops poured above the brave and much-loved chief.

CHAPTER XIII.

For three days and nights did Ammalát wander about the mountains of Daghestán. As a Mussulman, even in the villages subject to the Russian dominion, he was safe from all pursuit among people for whom robbery and murder are virtues. But could he escape from the consciousness of his own crime? Neither his heart nor his reason could find an excuse for his bloody deed; and the image of Verkhóffsky falling from his horse, presented itself unceasingly before his eyes, though closed. This recollection infuriated him yet more, yet more tortured him. The Asiatic, once turned aside from the right road, travels rapidly over the career of villany. The Khan's command, not to appear before him but with the head of Verkhóffsky, rang in his ears. Without daring to communicate such an intention to his nóukers, and still less relying on their bravery, he resolved upon travelling to Derbénd alone. A darksome and gloomy night had already expanded it ebon wings over the mountains of Caucasus which skirt the sea, when Ammalát passed the ravine which lay behind the fortress of Narín-Káli, which served as a citadel to Derbénd. He mounted to the ruined turret, which once formed the limit to the Caucasian war that had extended through the mountains, and tied his horse at the foot of that hill from which Yermóloff had thundered on Derbénd when but a lieutenant of artillery. Knowing where the Russian officers were buried, he came out upon the upper burial-ground. But how to find the new-made grave of Verkhóffsky in the darkness of the night? Not a star glimmered in the sky: the clouds lay stretched on the hills, the mountain-wind, like a night-bird, lashed the forest with its wing: an involuntary shudder crept over Ammalát, in the midst of the region of the dead, whose repose he dared to interrupt. He listens: the sea murmurs hoarsely against the rocks, tumbling back from them into the deep with a sullen sound. The prolonged "slóushai" of the sentinels floated round the walls of the town, and when it was silent there rose the yell of the jackals; and at last all again was still--every sound mingling and losing itself in the rushing of the wind. How often had he not sat awake on such nights with Verkhóffsky--and where is he now! And who plunged him into the grave! And the murderer was now come to behead the corpse of his former friend--to do sacrilege to his remains--like a grave-robber to plunder the tomb--to dispute with the jackal his prey!

"Human feeling!" cried Ammalát, as he wiped the cold sweat from his forehead, "why visitest thou a heart which has torn itself from humanity? Away, away! Is it for me to fear to take off the head of a dead man, whom I have robbed of life! For him 'twill be no loss--to me a treasure. Dust is insensible!"

Ammalát struck a light with a trembling hand, blew up into a flame some dry bourián, (a dry grass of South Russia,) and went with it to search for the new-made grave. The loosened earth, and a large cross, pointed out the last habitation of the colonel. He tore up the cross, and began to dig up the mound with it; he broke through the arch of brickwork, which had not yet become hardened, and finally tore the lead from the coffin. The bourián, flaring up, threw an uncertain bloody-bluish tinge on all around. Leaning over the dead, the murderer, paler than the corpse itself, gazed unmovingly on his work; he forgot why he had come--he turned away his head from the reek of rottenness--his gorge rose within him when he saw the bloody-headed worms that crawled from under the clothes. Interrupted in their loathsome work, they, scared by the light, crept into a mass, and hid themselves beneath each other. At length, steeling himself to the deed, he brandished his dagger, and each time his erring hand missed its aim. Nor revenge, nor ambition, nor love--in a word, not one of those passions which had urged him to the frenzied crime, now encouraged him to the nameless horror. Turning away his head, in a sort of insensibility he began to hew at the neck of Verkhóffsky--at the fifth blow the head parted from the trunk. Shuddering with disgust, he threw it into a bag which he had prepared, and hastened from the grave. Hitherto he had remained master of himself; but when, with his dreadful treasure, he was scrambling up, when the stones crumbling noisily under his feet, and he, covered with sand, fell backwards on Verkhóffsky's corpse, then presence of mind left the sacrilegious. It seemed as if a flame had seized him, and spirits of hell, dancing and grinning, had surrounded him. With a heavy groan he tore himself away, crawled half senseless out of the suffocating grave, and hurried off, dreading to look back. Leaping on his horse, he urged it on, over rocks and ravines, and each bush that caught his dress seemed to him the hand of a corpse; the cracking of every branch, the shriek of every jackal, sounded like the cry of his twice-murdered friend.

* * * * *

Wherever Ammalát passed, he encountered armed bands of Akoushlínetzes and Avarétzes, Tchetchenétzes just arrived, and robbers of the Tartar villages subject to Russia. They were all hurrying to the trysting-place near the border-limits; while the Beks, Ouzdéns, and petty princes, were assembling at Khourzákh, for a council with Akhmet Khan, under the leading, and by the invitation of whom, they were preparing to fall upon Tárki. The present was the most favourable moment for their purpose: there was abundance of corn in the ambárs, (magazines,) hay in the stacks, and the Russians, having taken hostages, had established themselves in full security in winter-quarters. The news of Verkhóffsky's murder had flown over all the hills, and powerfully encouraged the mountaineers. Merrily they poured together from all sides; every where were heard their songs of future battles and plunder; and he for whom they were going to fight rode through them like a runaway and a culprit, hiding from the light of the sun, and not daring to look any one in the face. Every thing that happened, every thing that he saw, now seemed like a suffocating dream--he dared not doubt, he dared not believe it. On the evening of the third day he reached Khounzákh.

Trembling with impatience, he leaped from his horse, worn out with fatigue, and took from his saddle-straps the fatal bag. The front chambers were filled with warriors; cavaliers in armour were walking up and down, or lay on the carpets along the walls, conversing in whispers; but their eyebrows were knit and cast down--their stern faces proved that bad news had reached Khounzákh. Nóukers ran hurriedly backwards and forwards, and none questioned, none accompanied Ammalát, none paid any attention to him. At the door of the Khan's bed-chamber sate Zoúrkhai-Khan-Djingká, the natural son of Sultan Akhmet, weeping bitterly. "What means this?" uneasily demanded Ammalát. "You, from whom even in childhood tears could not be drawn--you weep?"

Zoúrkhai silently pointed to the door, and Ammalát, perplexed, crossed the threshold. A heart-rending spectacle was presented before the new-comer's eyes. In the middle of the room, on a bed, lay the Khan, disfigured by a fierce illness; death invisible, but inevitable, hovered over him, and his fading glance met it with dread. His breast heaved high, and then sank heavily; his breath rattled in his throat, the veins of his hands swelled, and then shrank again. In him was taking place the last struggle of life with annihilation; the mainspring of existence had already burst, but the wheels still moved with an uneven motion, catching and entangling in each other. The spark of memory hardly glimmered in him, but fitfully flashed like falling stars through the darkness of night, which thickened over his soul, and reflected themselves in his dying face. His wife and daughter were sobbing on their knees by his bed-side; his eldest son, Noútsal, in silent despair leaned at his feet, resting his head on his clenched fists. Several women and nóukers wept silently at a distance.

All this, however, neither astounded Ammalát nor recalled him to himself, occupied as he was with one idea: he approached the Khan with a firm step, and said to him aloud--"Hail, Khan! I have brought you a present which will restore a dead man to life. Prepare the bridal. Here is my purchase-money for Seltanetta; here is the head of Verkhóffsky!" With these words he threw it at the Khan's feet.

The well-known voice aroused Sultan Akhmet from his last sleep: he raised his head with difficulty to look at the present, and a shudder ran like a wave over his body when he beheld the lifeless head. "May he eat his own heart who treats a dying man with such dreadful food!" he murmured, scarce intelligibly. "I must make my peace with my enemies, and not----Ah, I burn, I burn! Give me water, water! Why have you made me drink scalding naphtha? Ammalát, I curse you!" This effort exhausted the last drops of life in the Khan; he fell a senseless corpse on the pillow. The Khansha had looked with horror on the bloody and untimely present of Ammalát; but when she saw that this had hastened her husband's death, all her grief broke out in a torrent of anger. "Messenger of hell!" she exclaimed, her eyes flashing, "rejoice; these are your exploits; but for you, my husband would never have thought of raising Avár against the Russians, and would have now been sitting in health and quiet at home; but for you, visiting the Ouzdens, he fell from a rock and was disabled; and you, blood-drinker!--instead of consoling the sick with mild words, instead of making his peace with Allah by prayers and alms--bring, as if to a cannibal, a dead man's head; and whose head? Thy benefactor's, thy protector's, thy friend's!"

"Such was the Khan's will," in his turn replied Ammalát.

"Do not slander the dead; defile not his memory with superfluous blood!" screamed the Khansha: "not content with having treacherously murdered a man, you come with his head to woo my daughter at the deathbed of her father, and you hoped to receive a recompense from man, when you deserved the vengeance of God. Godless, soulless being! No! by the graves of my ancestors, by the swords of my sons, I swear you shall never be my son-in-law, my acquaintance, my guest! Away from my house, traitor! I have sons, and you may murder while embracing them. I have a daughter, whom you may bewitch and poison with your serpent looks. Go, wander in the ravines of the mountains; teach the tigers to tear each other; and dispute with the wolves for carcasses. Go, and know that my door opens not to a fratricide!"

Ammalát stood like one struck by lightning: all that his conscience had indistinctly whispered to him had been spoken out to him at once, and so unexpectedly, so cruelly. He knew not where to turn his eyes: there lay the head of Verkhóffsky with its accusing blood--there was the threatening face of the Khan, printed with the seal of a death of torture--there he met the stern glance of the Khansha.... The tearful eyes of Seltanetta alone appeared like stars of joy through a rainy cloud. To her he resolved to approach, saying timidly, "Seltanetta, for you have I committed that for which I lose you. Destiny wills it: be it so! One thing tell me--is it possible that you, too, have ceased to love me--that you, too, hate me?"

The well-remembered voice of the beloved pierced her heart: Seltanetta raised her eyes glistening with tears--eyes full of woe; but on seeing Ammalát's dreadful face, spotted with blood, she covered them again with her hand. She pointed with her finger at her father's corpse, at the head of Verkhóffsky, and said, with firmness, "Farewell, Ammalát! I pity thee; but I cannot be thine!" With these words she fell senseless on her father's body.

All his native pride, all his blood, rushed to Ammalát's heart; his soul fired with fury. "Is it thus I am received?" casting a scornful glance at both the women; "is it thus that promises are fulfilled here? I am glad that my eyes are opened. I was too simple when I prized the light love of a fickle girl--too patient when I hearkened to the ravings of an old woman. I see, that with Sultan Akhmet Khan have died the honour and hospitality of his house!"

He left the room with a haughty step. He proudly gazed in the face of the Ouzdens, grasping the hilt of his dagger as if challenging them to combat. All, however, made way for him, but seemingly rather to avoid him than from respect. No one saluted him, either by word or sign. He went forth into the court-yard, called his nóukers together, silently mounted into the saddle, and slowly rode through the empty streets of Khounzákh.

From the road he looked back for the last time upon the Khan's house, which was blackening in the darkness, while the grated door shone with lights. His heart was full of blood; his offended pride fixed in its iron talons, while the useless crime, and the love henceforth despised and hopeless, poured venom on the wounds. Grief, anger, and remorse mingled in the glance which he threw on the harem where he first saw, and where he lost, all earthly joy. "And you, and you, Seltanetta!" he could utter no more. A mountain of lead lay on his breast; his conscience already felt that dreadful hand which was stretched forth against it. The past terrified him; the future made him tremble. Where will he rest that head on which a price is set? What earth will give repose to the bones of a traitor? Nor love, nor friendship, nor happiness, will ever again be his care; but a life of misery, a wanderer's bread....

Ammalát wished to weep, his eyes burned ... and, like the rich man tormented in the fire, his heart prayed for one drop, one tear, to quench his intolerable thirst.... He tried to weep, and could not. Providence has denied this consolation to the guilty.

* * * * *

And where did the murderer of Verkhóffsky hide himself? Whither did he drag his wretched existence? No one knew. In Daghestán it was reported that he wandered among the Tchetchenétzes and Koi-Sou-Boulinétzes, having lost his beauty, his health, and even his bravery. But who could say this with certainty? Little by little the rumours about Ammalát died away, though his villanous treachery is still fresh in the memory of Russians and Mussulmans who dwell in Daghestán. Even now his name is never pronounced without a reproach.

CHAPTER XIV.

Anápa, that manufactory of arms for the robbers of the mountains, that bazar where are sold the tears, the blood, the sweat of Christian slaves, that torch of rebellion to the Caucasus--Anápa, I say, was, in 1808, invested by the Russian armies, on the sea and on the mountain side. The gun-boats, the bomb-vessels, and all the ships that could approach the shore, were thundering against the fortifications. The land army had passed the river which falls into the Black Sea, under the northern wall of Anápa, and was posted in swampy ground around the whole city. Then they constructed wooden trenches, hewing down, for that purpose, the surrounding forest. Every night new works arose nearer and nearer to the walls of the town. The interior of the houses flamed from the effects of the shells; the outer walls fell under the cannon-balls. But the Turkish garrison, reinforced by the mountaineers, fought desperately, made fierce sorties, and replied to all proposals for surrender by the shots of their artillery. Meanwhile the besiegers were incessantly harassed by the Kabardinétz skirmishers, and the foot-archers of Abazékhs, Shamsóukhs, Natoukháitzes, and other wild mountaineers of the shores of the Black Sea, assembled, like the jackals, in hope of plunder and blood. Against them it was necessary to erect redans; and this double work, performed under the fire of cannon from the fortress and from the forest, on irregular and boggy ground, delayed long the capture of the town.

At length, on the eve of the taking of Anápa, the Russians opened a breaching-battery in a ravine on the south-east side of the town: its effect was tremendous. At the fifth volley the battlements and parapets were overthrown, the guns laid bare and beaten down. The balls, striking against the stone facing, flashed like lightning; and then, in a black cloud of dust, flew up fragments of shattered stone. The wall crumbled and fell to pieces; but the fortress, by the thickness of its walls, resisted long the shattering force of the iron; and the precipitous steepness of the ruins offered no opportunity for storming. For the heated guns, and for the weary artillerymen, worn out by incessant firing, repose was absolutely necessary. By degrees the firing from the batteries by land and sea began to slacken; thick clouds of smoke, floating from the shore, expanded over the waves, sometimes concealing, sometimes discovering, the flotilla. From time to time a ball of smoke flew up from the guns of the fortress, and after the rolling of the cannon-thunder, far echoing among the hills, a ball would whistle by at random. And now all was silent--all was still both in the interior of Anápa and in the trenches. Not one turban was seen between the battlements, not one carabineer's bayonet in the intrenchment. Only the Turkish banners on the towers, and the Russian ensign on board the ships, waved proudly in the air, now undimmed by a single stream of smoke--only the harmonious voices of the muezzins resounded from afar, calling the Mussulmans to their mid-day prayer. At this moment, from the breach opposite the battery on the plain, descended, or rather rolled down, supported by ropes, a horseman on a white horse, who immediately leaped over the half-filled ditch, dashed to the left between the batteries, flew over the intrenchments, over the soldiers dozing behind them, who neither expected nor guessed any thing like this, and, followed by their hasty shouts, plunged into the woods. None of the cavalry had time to glance at, much less to pursue him: all remained thunderstruck with astonishment and vexation; and soon forgot all about the brave cavalier, in the alarm of the renewed firing from the fortress, which was recommenced in order to give the bold messenger time to escape to the mountains. Towards evening the breaching battery, which had thundered almost incessantly, had accomplished its work of demolition. The prostrate wall formed a kind of bridge for the besiegers, who, with the impatience of bravery, prepared for the assault; when suddenly an unexpected attack of the Tcherkéss, who had driven in the Russian scouts and outposts, compelled the besiegers to direct the fire of the redans against the furious mountaineers. A thundering Allah-il-Allah, from the walls of Anápa, greeted their encounter: the volleys of cannon and musketry arose with redoubled violence from the walls, but the Russian grape tore asunder and arrested the crowds of horsemen and infantry of the Tcherkéss, as they were preparing to throw themselves upon the batteries with their sabres; and they, with furious cries of "Giaour, giaourla!" turned back, leaving behind them the dead and wounded. In a moment the whole field was strewn with their corpses and their disabled, who, staggering to their feet, fell back, struck by the balls and grape-shot; whilst the cannon-shot shattered the wood, and the grenades, bursting, completed the destruction. But from the beginning of the action, till the moment when not one of the enemy remained in sight, the Russians saw before them a well-built Tcherkéss on a white horse, who rode, at a slow pace, up and down before their redans. All recognized in him the same horseman who had leaped over the trenches at mid-day, probably in order to induce the Tcherkéss to fall upon the Russians from the rear, at the moment when the now unsuccessful sortie was to be made from the gate. Crashing and thundering danced the grape-shot around him. His horse strained at the bridle; but he, looking calmly at the batteries, rode along them as if they were raining flowers upon him. The artillerymen ground their teeth with vexation at the unpunished daring of the cavalier: shot after shot tore up the earth, but he remained unhurt as if enchanted. "Give him a cannon-ball!" shouted a young officer of artillery, but lately released from the military college, who was above all enraged at their want of success: "I would load the gun with my head, so glad would I be to kill that bragger: it is not worth while to waste grape upon one man--grape--look out! a cannon-ball will reach the guilty!" So saying, he screwed up the quoin and levelled the gun, looking through the sight; and having exactly calculated the moment when the horseman would ride through the line of aim, he stepped aside and ordered the fatal fire.

For some moments the smoke enveloped the battery in darkness: when it floated away the frightened horse was dragging the blood-stained corpse of his rider, with the foot entangled in the stirrup. "Hit--killed!" was shouted from all the trenches; and the young artillery officer, taking off his cap, piously crossed himself, and with a joyous face jumped down from the battery to seize the prey which he had earned. He soon succeeded in catching by the reins the horse of the slain Tcherkéss, for he was dragging the body sideways on the ground. The unfortunate man had his arm torn off close to the shoulder; but he still breathed, groaned, and struggled. Pity touched the good-natured youth: he called some soldiers, and ordered them to carry the wounded man carefully into the trench, sent for the surgeon, and had the operation performed before his eyes. At night, when all was quiet, the artilleryman sat by the side of his dying prisoner, and watched him with interest by the dim light of the lantern. The serpent-marks of sorrow, graven on his cheek by tears, the wrinkles on his forehead, dug, not by years but passions, and bloody scratches, disfigured his handsome face; and in it was painted something more torturing than pain, more terrible than death. The artilleryman could not restrain an involuntary shudder. The prisoner sighed heavily, and having, with difficulty, raised his hand to his forehead, opened his heavy eyelids, muttering to himself in unintelligible sounds, unconnected words.... "Blood," he cried, examining his hand ... "always blood! why have they put _his_ bloody shirt upon me? Already, without that, I swim in blood.... Why do I not drown in it?... How cold the blood is to-day!... Once it used to scald me, and this is no better! In the world it is stifling, in the gave so cold.... 'Tis dreadful to be a corpse. Fool that I am, I sought death. O, let me live but for one little day--one little hour, to live!..."

"What? Why have I hidden another in the grave, _whisperest thou_? Learn thyself what it is to die!..." A convulsive paroxysm interrupted his raving, an unspeakably dreadful groan burst from the sufferer, and he fell into a painful lethargy, in which the soul lives only to suffer.

The artilleryman, touched to the very bottom of his heart, raised the head of the miserable being, sprinkled his face with cold water, and rubbed his temples with spirits of wine, in order to bring him to himself. Slowly he opened his eyes, shook his head several times, as if to shake the mist from his eyelashes, and steadfastly directed his gaze on the face of the artilleryman, which was faintly lighted up by the feeble gleam of the candle. Suddenly, with a piercing cry, he lifted himself on his bed, as if by some superhuman force: his hair stood upright, his whole body shook with a fevered trembling, his hand seemed endeavouring to push something from him, an ineffable horror was expressed on his countenance.... "Your name!" he cried at length, addressing the artilleryman. "Who are thou, stranger from the grave?"

"I am Verkhóffsky?" ... answered the young artilleryman. This was a shot that went straight to the heart of the prisoner. The ligature on the principal artery gave way from a rush of blood, which poured through the bandages. Yet a few struggles, yet the throat-rattle, and the leaden hand of death choked the wounded man's last sigh, imprinted on his brow the seal of the last grief; gathering whole years of repentance into one rapid moment, in which the soul, tearing itself from the body, fears equally the tortures of life and of nothingness, feels at once all the gnawing of the past and all the agony of the future. Terrible was it to look on the convulsed face of the dead. "He surely must have been a great sinner," said Verkhóffsky, in a low voice to the general's interpreter, who stood near him, and he shuddered involuntarily.

"A great villain," rejoined the interpreter: "it appears to me he was a Russian deserter. I never met with a mountaineer who spoke Russian so correctly as this prisoner. Let me look at his arms. We may, perhaps, find some marks on them." With these words he unsheathed, with a look of curiosity, the dagger which had been taken from the dead man, and bringing it to the lantern, deciphered and translated the following inscription:--

"Be slow to offend--swift to revenge!"

"Quite a robber's rule," said Verkhóffsky; "my poor brother Evstafli! you fell a victim to such a fanatic principle as this!"

The eyes of the good youth filled with tears.... "Is there not something else?" he asked.

"This is apparently the slain man's name," replied the interpreter.

"It is: Ammalát Bek!"

* * * * *

MR BAILEY'S REPLY TO AN ARTICLE IN BLACKWOOD'S MAGAZINE.

We have just been favoured with a pamphlet from Mr Bailey, entitled "A Letter to a Philosopher, in Reply to some Recent Attempts to Vindicate Berkeley's Theory of Vision, and in further Elucidation of its Unsoundness." Our article on Mr Bailey's review of Berkeley's theory, which appeared in _Blackwood's Magazine_ of June 1842, was one of these attempts. Had the author merely attacked or controverted our animadversions on his book, we should probably have left the question to its fate, and not have reverted to a subject, the discussion of which, even in the first instance, may have been deemed out of place in a journal not expressly philosophical. There is, in general, little to be gained by protracting such controversies. But, as Mr Bailey accuses us, in the present instance, of having misrepresented his views, we must be allowed to exculpate ourselves from the charge of having dealt, even with unintentional unfairness, towards one whose opinions, however much we may dissent from them, are certainly entitled to high respect and a candid examination, as the convictions of an able and zealous enquirer after truth.

In our strictures on Mr Bailey's work, we remarked, that he had represented Berkeley as holding that the eye is not directly and originally cognizant of the outness of objects in relation to each other, or of what we would call their reciprocal outness; in other words, we stated, that, according to Mr Bailey, Berkeley must be regarded as denying to the eye the original intuition of space, either in length, breadth, or solid depth. It was, however, only in reference to one of his arguments, and to one particular division of his subject, that we laid this representation to his charge. Throughout the other parts of his discussion, we by no means intended to say that such was the view he took of the Berkeleian theory. Nor are we aware of having made any statement to that effect. If we did, we now take the opportunity of remarking, that we restrict our allegation, as we believe we formerly restricted it, to the single argument and distinction just mentioned, and hereafter to be explained.

In his reply, Mr Bailey disavows the impeachment _in toto_. He declares that he never imputed to Berkeley the doctrine, that the eye is not directly percipient of space in the two dimensions of length and breadth. "The perception of this kind of distance," says he, "never formed the subject of controversy with any one ... That we see extension in two dimensions is admitted by all."--(_Letter_, p. 10.) If it can be shown that the doctrine which is here stated to be admitted by all philosophers, is yet expressly controverted by the two metaphysicians whom Mr Bailey appears to have studied most assiduously, it is, at any rate, possible that he may have overlooked, in his own writings, the expression of an opinion which has escaped his penetration in theirs. To convince himself, then, how much he is mistaken in supposing that the visual intuition of longitudinal and lateral extension is admitted by all philosophers, he has but to turn to the works of Dr Brown and the elder Mill. In arguing that we have no immediate perception of visible figure, Dr Brown not only virtually, but expressly, asserts that the sight has no perception of extension in any of its dimensions. Not to multiply quotations, the following will, no doubt, be received as sufficient:--"They (i.e. philosophers) have--_I think without sufficient reason_--universally supposed that the superficial extension of _length and breadth_ becomes known to us by sight originally."[28] Dr Brown then proceeds to argue, with what success we are not at present considering, that our knowledge of extension and figure is derived from another source than the sense of sight.

[28] Brown's Lectures, Lecture xxviii.

Mr James Mill, an author whom Mr Bailey frequently quotes with approbation, and in confirmation of his own views, is equally explicit. He maintains, in the plainest terms, that the eye has no intuition of space, or of the reciprocal outness of visible objects. "Philosophy," says he, "has ascertained that we derive nothing from the eye whatever but sensations of colour--that the idea of extension [he means in its three dimensions] is derived from sensations not in the eye, but in the muscular part of our frame."[29] Thus, contrary to what Mr Bailey affirms, these two philosophers limit the office of vision to the perception of mere colour or difference of colour, denying to the eye the original perception of extension in any dimension whatever. In their estimation, the intuition of space is no more involved in our perception of different colours than it is involved in our perception of different smells or different sounds. Dr Brown's doctrine, in which Mr Mill seems to concur, is, that the perception of superficial extension no more results from a certain expanse of the optic nerve being affected by a variety of colours than it results from a certain expanse of the olfactory nerve being affected by a variety of odours.[30] So much for Mr Bailey's assertion, that _all_ philosophers admit the perception of extension in two dimensions.

[29] Mill's Analysis, vol. i. p. 73.

[30] This reasoning of Dr Brown's is founded upon an assumed analogy between the structure of the optic nerve, and the structure of the olfactory nerves and other sensitive nerves, and is completely disproved by the physiological observations of Treviranus, who has shown that no such analogy exists: that the ends of the nervous fibres in the retina being elevated into distinct separate _papillæ_, enable us to perceive the extension, and discriminate the position of visible bodies, while the nerves of the other senses being less delicately defined, are not fitted to furnish us with any such perception, or to aid us in making any such discrimination. See _Müller's Physiology, translated by W. Baly, M.D._, vol. ii. pp. 1073, 1074. Although the application of Treviranus's discovery to the refutation of Dr Brown's reasoning is our own, we may remark, in justice to an eminent philosopher, that it was Sir William Hamilton who first directed our attention to the _fact_ as established by the great physiologist.

But, of course, our main business is with the expression of his own opinion. In rebutting our charge, he maintains that "the visibility of angular distance (that is of extension laterally) is assumed, by implication, as part of Berkeley's doctrine, in _almost_ every chapter of my book."--(_Letter_, p. 13.) That word _almost_ is a provident saving clause; for we undertake to show that not only is the very reverse assumed, by implication, as part of Berkeley's doctrine, in the _single_ chapter to which we confined our remarks, but that, in another part of his work, it is expressly avowed as the only alternative by which, in the author's opinion, Berkeley's consistency can be preserved.

At the outset of his enquiry, Mr Bailey divides his discussion into two branches: first, Whether objects are originally seen to be external, or at _any_ distance at all from the sight; and, secondly, Supposing it admitted that they are seen to be external, or at _some_ distance from the sight, whether they are all seen in the same plane, or equally near. It was to the former of these questions that we exclusively confined our remarks;[31] and it was in reference to it, and to an important argument evolved by Mr Bailey in the course of its discussion, that we charged him with fathering on Berkeley the doctrine which he now disavows as his interpretation of the bishop's opinion. He further disputes the relevancy of the question about our perception of lateral extension, and maintains that distance in a direction from the percipient, or what we should call protensive distance, is the only matter in dispute; and that it is a misconception of the scope of Berkeley's essay to imagine otherwise. The relevancy of the question shall be disposed of afterwards. In the mean time, the question at issue is, Can the allegation which we have laid to Mr Bailey's charge be proved to be the fact, or not?

[31] Mr Bailey seems disposed to carp at us for having confined our remarks to this first question, and for not having given a more complete review of his book. But the reason why we cut short our critique is obvious; for if it be proved, as we believe it can, that objects are originally seen at _no distance whatever_ from the sight, it becomes quite superfluous to enquire what appearance they would present if originally seen at _some_ distance from the sight. The way in which we disposed of the first question, however imperfect our treatment of it may have been, necessarily prevented us from entering upon the second; and our review, with all its deficiencies, was thus a complete review of his book, though not a review of his complete book.

In discussing the first of the two questions, it was quite possible for Mr Bailey to have represented Berkeley as holding, that visible objects, though not seen to be external to the sight, were yet seen to be out of each other, or laterally extended within the organism or the mind. But Mr Bailey makes no such representation of the theory, and the whole argument which pervades the chapter in which the first question is discussed, is founded on the negation of any such extension. All visible extension, he tells us, must, in his opinion, be either plane or solid. Now he will scarcely maintain that he regarded Berkeley as holding that we perceive solid extension within the organism of the eye. Neither does he admit that, according to Berkeley, and in reference to this first question, plane extension is perceived within the organism of the eye. For when he proceeds to the discussion of the _second_ of the two questions, he remarks that "we must, _at this stage_ of the argument, consider the theory under examination, as representing that we see all things _originally in the same plane_,"[32] obviously implying that he had not _as yet_ considered the theory as representing that we see things originally in the same plane: in other words, plainly admitting that, in his treatment of the first question, he had not regarded the theory as representing that we see things originally under the category of extension at all.

[32] Review of Berkeley's Theory, p 35.

But if any more direct evidence on this point were wanted, it is to be found in the section of his work which treats of "the perception of figure." In the chapter in which he discusses the first of the two questions, he constantly speaks of Berkeley's theory as representing that "our visual sensations, or what we ultimately term visible objects, are originally mere internal feelings." The expression _mere internal feelings_, however, is ambiguous; for, as we have said, it might still imply that Mr Bailey viewed the theory as representing that there was an extension, or reciprocal outness of objects within the retina. But this doubt is entirely removed by a passage in the section alluded to, which proves that, in Mr Bailey's estimation, these mere internal feelings not only involve no such extension, but that there would be an inconsistency in supposing they did. In this section he brings forward Berkeley's assertion, "that neither solid nor plane figures are immediate objects of sight." He then quotes a passage in which the bishop begs the reader not to stickle too much "about this or that phrase, or manner of expression, but candidly to collect his meaning from the whole sum and tenour of his discourse." And then Mr Bailey goes on to say, "endeavouring, in the spirit here recommended, to collect the author's meaning when he affirms that the figures we see are neither plane nor solid, it appears to me to be _a part or consequence_ of his doctrine already examined, which asserts that visible objects are only internal feelings."[33] We can now be at no loss to understand what Mr Bailey means, and conceives Berkeley to mean, by the expression "mere internal feelings." He evidently means feelings in which no kind of extension whatever is involved: for, in the next page, he informs us that all visual extension or extended figure, "_must_ be apprehended as either plane or solid, and that it is impossible even to conceive it otherwise." Consequently, if the figures we see are, as Berkeley says, apprehended neither as plane nor as solid, Mr Bailey, entertaining the notions he does on the subject of extension, _must_ regard him as holding that they cannot be apprehended as extended at all--and accordingly such is the express representation he gives of the theory in the passage just quoted, where he says that "the doctrine of Berkeley, which affirms that the figures we see are neither plane nor solid, (that is, are extended in _no_ direction, according to Mr Bailey's ideas of extension,) appears to him to be _a part_ of the doctrine which asserts that visible objects are only internal feelings." Now if that be not teaching, in the plainest terms, that, according to Berkeley, no species of extension is implied in the internal feelings of vision, we know not what language means, and any one thought may be identical with its very opposite.

[33] Ibid. p. 136.

Here we might let the subject drop, having, as we conceive, said quite enough to prove the truth of our allegation that, in reference to the first question discussed, in which our original visual sensations are represented by Berkeley to be mere internal feelings, Mr Bailey understood and stated those feelings to signify sensations in which no perception of extension whatever was involved. However, as Mr Bailey further remarks that, "although Berkeley's doctrine about visible figures being neither plane not solid, is thus consistent with his assertion that they are internal feelings, it is in itself contradictory,"[34] we shall contribute a few remarks to show that while, on the one hand, the negation of extension is not required to vindicate the consistency of Berkeley's assertion, that visible objects are internal feelings, neither, on the other hand, is there any contradiction in Berkeley's holding that objects are not seen either as planes or as solids, and are yet apprehended as extended. Mr Bailey alleges that we are "far more successful in involving ourselves in subtle speculations of our own, than in faithfully guiding our readers through the theories of other philosophers." Perhaps in the present case we shall be able to thread a labyrinth where our reviewer has lost his clue, and, in spite of the apparent contradiction by which Mr Bailey has been gravelled, we shall, perhaps, be more successful than he in "collecting Berkeley's meaning from the whole sum and tenour of his discourse."

[34] Review of Berkeley's Theory, p. 137.

First, with regard to the contradiction charged upon the bishop. When we open our eyes, what do we behold? We behold points--_minima visibilia_--out of one another. Do we see these points to be in the same plane? Certainly not. If they are in the same plane we learn this from a very different experience from that of sight. Again, do we see these points to be _not_ in the same plane? Certainly not. If the points are not in the same plane we learn this, too, from a very different experience than that of sight. All that we see is that the points are out of one another; and this simply implies the perception of extension, without implying the perception either of plane or of solid extension. Thus by the observation of a very obvious fact, which, however, Mr Bailey has overlooked, is Berkeley's assertion that visible objects are apprehended as extended, and yet not apprehended either as planes or solids, relieved from every appearance of contradiction.

It must, however, be admitted that Mr Bailey has much to justify him in his opinion that extension must be apprehended either as plane or as solid. None of Berkeley's followers, we believe, have ever dreamt of conceiving it otherwise, and finding in their master's work the negation of solid extension specially insisted on, they leapt to the conclusion that the bishop admitted the original perception of plane extension. But Berkeley makes no such admission. He places the perception of plane extension on precisely the same footing with that of solid extension. "We see planes," says he, "in the same way that we see solids."[35] And the wisdom of the averment is obvious; for the affirmation of plane extension involves the negation of solid extension, but this negation involves the conception (visually derived) of solid extension; but the admission of that conception, so derived, would be fatal to the Berkeleian theory. Therefore its author wisely avoids the danger by holding, that in vision we have merely the perception of what the Germans would call the _Auseinanderseyn_, that is, the _asunderness_, of things--a perception which implies no judgment as to whether the things are secerned in plane or in protensive space.

[35] Essay, § 158.

With regard to the supposition that, in order to preserve Berkeley's consistency, it was necessary for him to teach that our visual sensations, (colours namely,) being internal feelings, could involve the perception neither of plane nor of solid extension, that is to say, of no extension at all, according to Mr Bailey's ideas, we shall merely remark, that there appears to us to be no inconsistency in holding, as Berkeley does, that these colours, though originally internal to the sight, are nevertheless perceived as extended among themselves.

We shall now say a few words on the _relevancy_ of the question, for Mr Bailey denies that this question, concerning the reciprocal outness of visible objects, ought to form any element in the controversy. We shall show, however, that one of his most important arguments depends entirely on the view that may be taken of this question; and that while the argument alluded to would be utterly fatal to Berkeley's theory, if the perception of reciprocal outness were denied, it is perfectly harmless if the perception in question be admitted.

Mr Bailey's fundamental and reiterated objection to Berkeley's theory is, that it requires us to hold that conceptions or past impressions, derived from one sense, (the touch,) are not merely recalled when another sense (the sight) executes its functions, but are themselves absolutely converted into the present intuitions of that other sense. In his own words, (_Review_, p. 69,) the theory is said to require "a transmutation of the conceptions derived from touch into the perceptions of sight." "According to Berkeley, (says he, _Review_, p. 22,) an internal feeling (i.e. a visual sensation) and an external sensation (i.e. a tactual sensation) having been experienced at the same time: the internal feeling, when it afterwards occurs, not only suggests the idea, but, by doing so, suggests the idea, or, if I may use the figure, infuses the perception of its own externality. Berkeley thus attributes to suggestion an effect contrary to its nature, which, as in the case of language, is simply to revive in our conception what has been previously perceived by the sense."

Now, this objection would be altogether insurmountable if it were true, or if it were a part of Berkeley's doctrine, that the sight has no original intuition of space, or of the reciprocal outness of its objects--in other words, of colours out of colours; for it being admitted that the sight has ultimately such a perception, it would be incumbent on the Berkeleian to show how conceptions derived from another sense, or how perceptions belonging to another sense, could be converted into that perception. We agree with Mr Bailey, in thinking that no process of association could effect this conversion; that if we did not originally see colours to be out of each other, and the points of the same colour to be out of each other, we could never so see them; and that his argument, when thus based on the negation of all original visual extension, and on the supposition that the touch is the sole organ of every species of externality, would remain invulnerable.

But, with the admission of the visual intuition of space, the objection vanishes, and the argument is shorn of all its strength. This admission relieves the theory from the necessity of maintaining, that conceptions derived from touch are transmuted into the perceptions of sight. It attributes to the sight all that ever truly belongs to it, namely, the perception of colours out of one another; it provides the visual intuitions with an externality of their own--and the theory never demands that they should acquire any other; and it leaves to these visual intuitions the office of merely suggesting to the mind tactual impressions, with which they have been invariably associated in place. We say, _in place_; and it will be found that there is no contradiction in our saying so, when we shall have shown that it is the touch, and not the sight, which establishes a protensive interval between the organ and the sensations of vision.

Visible extension, then, or the perception of colours external to colours, being admitted, Mr Bailey's argument, if he still adheres to it, must be presented to us in this form. He must maintain that the theory requires that the objects of touch should not only be suggested by the visual objects with which they have been associated, but that they should actually be _seen_. And then he must maintain that no power of association can enable us to see an object which can only be touched--a position which, certainly, no one will controvert. The simple answer to all which, is, that we never do see tangible objects--that the theory never requires we should, and that no power of association is necessary to account for a phenomenon which never takes place.

We cannot help thinking, that not a little of the misconception on this subject which prevails in the writings of Mr Bailey, and, we may add, of many other philosophers, originates in the supposition that we identify vision with the eye in the mere act of seeing, and in their taking it for granted that sight of itself informs us that we possess such an organ as the eye. Of course, if we suppose that we know instinctively, or intuitively, from the mere act of seeing, that the eye is the organ of vision, that it forms a part of the body we behold, and is located in the head, it requires no conjurer to prove that we _must_ have an instinctive, or intuitive, knowledge of visible things as larger than that organ, and, consequently, as external to it. In this case, no process of association is necessary to account for our knowledge of the distance of objects. That knowledge must be directly given in the very function and exercise of vision, as every one will admit, without going to the expense of an octavo volume to have it proved.

But we hold that no truth in mental philosophy is more incontestable than this, that the sight originally, and of itself, furnishes us with no knowledge of the eye, as we _now_ know that organ to exist. It does not inform us that we have an eye at all. And here we may hazard an observation, which, simple as it is, appears to us to be new, and not unimportant in aiding us to unravel the mysteries of sensation; which observation is, that, in no case whatever, does any sense inform us of the existence of its appropriate organ, or of the relation which subsists between that organ and its objects, but that the interposition of some other sense[36] is invariably required to give us this information. This truth, which we believe holds good with regard to all the senses, is most strikingly exemplified in the case of vision, as we shall now endeavour to illustrate.

[36] It would not be difficult to show, that as, on the one hand, _distance_ is not involved in the original intuitions of sight, so, on the other hand, _proximity_ is not involved in the original intuitions of touch; but that, while it is the touch which establishes an interval between the organ and the objects of sight, it is the sight which establishes _no_ interval between the organ and the objects of touch. Sight thus pays back every fraction of the debt it has incurred to its brother sense. This is an interesting subject, but we can only glance at it here.

Let us begin by supposing that man is a mere "power of seeing". Under this supposition, we must hold that the periphery of vision is one and the same with the periphery of visible space; and the two peripheries being identical, of course whatever objects lie within the sphere of the one must lie within the sphere of the other also. Perhaps, strictly speaking, it is wrong to say that these objects are apprehended as internal to the sight; for the conception of internality implies the conception of externality, and neither of these conceptions can, as yet, be realized. But it is obvious what the expression _internal_ means; and it is unobjectionable, when understood to signify that the Seeing Power, the Seeing Act, and the Seen Things, co-exist in a synthesis in which there is no interval or discrimination. For, suppose that we know instinctively that the seen things occupy a locality separate from the sight. But that implies that we instinctively know that the sight occupies a locality separate from them. But such a supposition is a falling back upon the notion just reprobated, that the mere act of seeing can indicate its own organ, or can localise the visual phenomena in the eye--a position which, we presume, no philosopher will be hardy enough to maintain, when called upon to do so, broadly and unequivocally. The conclusion, therefore, is irresistible, that, in mere vision, the sight and its objects cling together in a union or synthesis, which no function of that sense, and no knowledge imparted to us by it, (and, according to the supposition, we have, as yet, no other knowledge,) can enable us to discriminate or dissolve. Where the seeing is, there is the thing seen, and where the thing seen is, there is the seeing of it.

But man is not a mere seeing animal. He has other senses besides: He has, for example, the sense of touch, and one of the most important offices which this sense performs, is to break up the identity or cohesion which subsists between sight and its objects. And how? We answer, by teaching us to associate _vision in general_, or the abstract _condition_ regulating our visual impressions, with the presence of the small tangible body we call the eye, and _vision in particular_, or the individual sensations of vision, (i.e. colours,) with the presence of immeasurably larger bodies revealed to us by touch, and tangibly external to the tangible eye. Sight, as we have said, does not inform us that its sensations are situated in the eye: it does not inform us that we have an eye at all. Neither does touch inform us that our visual sensations are located in the eye. It does not lead us to associate with the eye any of the visual phenomena or operations _in the first instance_. If it did, it would (_firstly_) either be impossible for it _afterwards_ to induce us to associate them with the presence of tangible bodies distant and different from the eye: or, (_secondly_), such an association would merely give birth to the abstract knowledge or conclusion, that these bodies were in one place, while the sensations suggesting them were felt to be associated with something in another place; colour would not be seen--as it is--incarnated with body: or, (_thirdly_), we should be compelled to postulate for the eye, as many philosophers have done, in our opinion, most unwarrantably, "a faculty of projection"[37] by which it might dissolve the association between itself and its sensations, throwing off the latter in the form of colours over the surface of things, and reversing the old Epicurean doctrine that perception is kept up by the transit to the sensorium of the ghosts or _simulacra_ of things,

Quæ, quasi membranæ, summo de corpore rerum, Direptæ, volitant ultro citroque per auras.[38]

It is difficult to say whether the hypothesis of "cast-off films" is more absurd when we make the films come from things to us as spectral effluxes, or go from us to them in the semblance of colours.

[37] We observe that even Müller speaks of the "faculty of projection" as if he sanctioned and adopted the hypothesis.--See _Physiology_, vol. ii. p. 1167.

[38] Lucretius.

But according to the present view no such incomprehensible faculty, no such crude and untenable hypothesis, is required. _Before_ the touch has informed us that we have an eye, _before_ it has led us to associate any thing visual with the eye, it has _already_ taught us to associate in place the sensations of vision (colours) with the presence of tangible objects which are not the eye. Therefore, when the touch discovers the eye, and induces us to associate vision in some way with it, it cannot be the particular sensations of vision called colours which it leads us to associate with that organ; for these have been already associated with something very different. If it be not colours, then what is it that the touch compels us to associate with the eye? We answer that it is the abstract _condition_ of impressions as the general law on which all seeing depends, but as quite distinct from the particular visual sensations apprehended in virtue of the observance of that law.

Nor is it at all difficult to understand how this general condition comes to be associated with the eye, and how the particular visual sensations come to be associated with something distant from the eye: and further, how this association of the condition with one thing, and of the sensations with another thing, (an association established by the touch and not by the sight,) dissolves the primary synthesis of seeing and colours. It is to be observed that there are two stages in the process by which this secernment is brought about--_First_, the stage in which the visual phenomena are associated with things different from the organ of vision, the very existence of which is as yet unknown. Let us suppose, then, the function of sight to be in operation. We behold a visible object--a particular colour. Let the touch now come into play. We feel a tangible object--say a book. Now from the mere fact of the visible and the tangible object being seen and felt together, we could not associate them in place; for it is quite possible that the tangible object may admit of being withdrawn, and yet the visible object remain: and if so, no association of the two in place can be established. But this is a point that can only be determined by experience; and what says that wise instructor? We withdraw the tangible object. The visible object, too, disappears: it leaves its place. We replace the tangible object--the visible object reappears _in statu quo_. There is no occasion to vary the experiment. If we find that the visible object invariably leaves its place when the tangible object leaves its, and that the one invariably comes back when the other returns, we have brought forward quite enough to establish an inevitable association in place between the two. The two places are henceforth regarded, not as two, but as one and the same.

By the aid of the touch, then, we have associated the visual phenomena with thing which are _not_ the organ of vision; and well it is for us that we have done so betimes, and before we were aware of the eye's existence. Had the eye been indicated to us in the mere act of seeing; had we become apprised of its existence _before_ we had associated our visual sensations with the tangible objects constituting the material universe, the probability, nay the certainty, is that we would have associated them with this eye, and that then it would have been as impossible for us to break up the association between colours and the organ, as it now is for us to dissolve the union between colours and material things. In which case we should have remained blind, or as bad as blind; brightness would have been in the eye when it ought to have been in the sun; greenness would have been in the retina when it ought to have been in the grass. A most wise provision of nature it certainly is, by which our visual sensations are disposed of in the right way before we obtain any knowledge of the eye. And most wisely has nature seconded her own scheme by obscuring all the sources from which that knowledge might be derived. The light eyelids--the effortless muscular apparatus performing its ministrations so gently as to be almost unfelt--the tactual sensations so imperceptible when the eye is left to its own motions, so keen when it is invaded by an exploring finger, and so anxious to avoid all contact by which the existence of the organ might be betrayed. All these are so many means adopted by nature to keep back from the infant seer all knowledge of his own eye--a knowledge which, if developed prematurely, would have perverted the functions, if not rendered nugatory the very existence of the organ.

But, _secondly_, we have to consider the stage of the process in which vision is in some way associated with an object which is _not_ any of the things with which the visual sensations are connected. It is clear that the process is not completed--that our task, which is to dissolve the primary synthesis of vision and its phenomena, is but half executed, unless such an object be found. For though we have associated the visual sensations (colours) with something different from themselves, still vision clings to them without a hair's-breadth of interval and pursues them whithersoever they go. As far, then, as we have yet gone, it cannot be said that our vision is felt or known to be distanced from the fixed stars even by the diameter of a grain of sand. The synthesis of sight and colour is not yet discriminated. How, then, is the interval interposed? We answer, by the discovery of a tangible object in a different place from any of the tangible objects associated with colour; and then by associating, in some way or other, the operations of vision with this object. Such an object is discovered in the eye. Now, as has frequently been said, we cannot associate colours or the visual sensations with this eye; for these have been already disposed of otherwise. What, then, do we associate with it--and how? We find, upon experiment, that our apprehension of the various visual sensations depends on the presence and particular location of this small tangible body. We find that the whole array of visual phenomena disappear when it is tactually covered, that they reappear when it is reopened, and so forth. Thus we come in some way to associate vision with it--not as colour, however, not as visual sensation. We regard the organ and its dispositions merely as a general condition regulating the apprehension of the visual sensations, and no more.

Thus, by attending to the two associations that occur,--the association (in place) of visual sensations with tangible bodies that _are not_ the eye; and the association (in place) of vision with a small tangible body that _is_ the eye--the eye regarded as the condition on which the apprehension of these sensations depends; by attending to these, we can understand how a protensive interval comes to be recognised between the organ and its objects. By means of the touch, we have associated the sensations of vision with tangible bodies in one place, and the apprehension of these sensations with a tangible body in another place. It is, therefore, impossible for the sight to dissolve these associations, and bring the sensations out of the one place where they are felt, into the other place where the _condition_ of their apprehension resides. The sight is, therefore, compelled to leave the sensations where they are, and the apprehension of them where it is; and to recognize the two as sundered from each other--the sensations as separated from the organ, which they truly are. Thus it is that we would explain the origin of the perception of distance by the eye; believing firmly that the sight would never have discerned this distance without the mediation of the touch.

Rightly to understand the foregoing reasoning--indeed to advance a single step in the true philosophy of sensation--we much divest ourselves of the prejudice instilled into us by a false physiology, that what we call our organism, or, in plain words, our body, is necessarily _the seat_ of our sensations. That all our sensations come to be associated _in some way_ with this body, and that some of them even come to be associated with it _in place_, is undeniable; but so far is it from being true, that they are all essentially implicated or incorporated with it, and cannot exist at a distance from it, that we have a direct proof to the contrary in our sensations of vision; and until the physiologist can prove (what has never yet been proven) an _à priori_ necessity that our sensations must be where our bodies are, and an _à priori_ absurdity in the contrary supposition, he must excuse us for resolutely standing by the fact as we find it.

This is a view which admits of much discussion, and we would gladly expatiate upon the subject, did time and space permit; but we must content ourselves with winding up the present observations with the accompanying diagram, which we think explains our view beyond the possibility of a mistake.

A B_a_ _á_C

Let A be the original synthesis, or indiscrimination of vision and its sensations--of light and colours. Let _á_ be the visual sensations locally associated by means of the touch with the tangible bodies C _before_ vision is in any way associated with B--before, indeed, we have any knowledge of the existence of B. Then let _a_, the general condition on which the sensations, _after a time_, are found to depend, and in virtue of which they are apprehended, be locally associated with B--the eye discovered by means of the touch--and we have before us what we cannot help regarding as a complete _rationale_ of the whole phenomena and mysteries of vision. Now, the great difference between this view of the subject and the views of it that have been taken by _every_ other philosopher, consists in this, that whereas their explanations invariably implicated the visual sensations _á_ with B from the very first, thereby rendering it either impossible for them to be afterwards associated with C, or possible only in virtue of some very extravagant hypothesis--our explanation, on the contrary, proceeding on a simple observation of the facts, and never implicating the sensations _á_ with B at all, but associating them with C _à primordiis_, merely leaving to be associated with B, _a_, a certain general condition that must be complied with, in order that the sensations _á_ may be apprehended,--in this way, we say, our explanation contrives to steer clear both of the impossibility and the hypothesis.

We would just add by way of postscript to this article--which, perhaps, ought itself to have been only a postscript--that with regard to Mr Bailey's allegation of our having plagiarised one of his arguments, merely turning the coat of it outside in, we can assure him that he is labouring under a mistake. In our former paper, we remarked that we could not see things to be _out_ of the sight, because we could not see the sight itself. Mr Bailey alleges, that this argument is borrowed from him, being a mere reversal of his reasoning, that we cannot see things to be _in_ the sight, because we cannot see both the sight and the things. That our argument might very naturally have been suggested by his, we admit. But it was not so. We had either overlooked the passage in his book, or it was clean out of our mind when we were pondering our own speculations. It did not suggest our argument, either nearly or remotely. Had it done so, we should certainly have noticed it, and should probably have handled both Mr Bailey's reasoning and our own to better purpose, in consequence. If, notwithstanding this disclaimer, he still thinks that appearances are against us, we cannot mend his faith, but can merely repeat, that the fact is as we have stated it.

* * * * *

THE VICAR OF WAKEFIELD.

WITH THIRTY-TWO ILLUSTRATIONS, BY WILLIAM MULREADY, R.A.

In a review we made last January of Goldsmith's "Deserted Village," illustrated by the Etching Club, we concluded our notice with recommending to those able artists the "Vicar of Wakefield;" and expressed a hope that Mr Maclise would lend his powerful aid, having in our recollection some very happy illustrations of his hand in pictures exhibited at the Royal Academy Exhibition.

What the Etching Club are about, we know not; but the subject has been taken up by Mr Mulready; and we now feel it incumbent upon us to notice this new and illustrated edition of that immortal work. Immortal it must be; manners pass away, modes change, but the fashion of the heart of man is unalterable. The "Vicar of Wakefield" bears the stamp of the age in which it was written. Had it been laid aside by the author, discovered, and now first brought out, without a notice of the author, or of the time of its composition, received it must have been indeed with delight, but not as belonging to the present day. It differs in its literature and its manners. It is at once a most happy work for illustration, and the most difficult. It is universally known. Who has not shed previous and heart-improving tears over it? Taking up the tale now, for the hundredth time, we are become, from somewhat morose, tender as a lamb--propitious condition for a critic! We opened upon the scene where Mr Burchell so cruelly tries poor Sophia, by offering her a husband in Mr Jenkinson; we know the whole transaction perfectly, the bitter joke, the proposal

"impares Formas atque animas in juga ahenea Sævo mittere cum joco."

Yet how strangely are we moved! Had the taxman at the moment called for the income-tax, he would have concluded we were paying the last farthing of our principal. What art is this in a writer, that he should by one and the same passage continue to move his readers, though they know the trick! Readers, too, that would have turned the cold shoulder to real tales of greater distress, and met suspicion that all was a cheat halfway; but the acknowledged fictitious they yield to at once their whole hearts, throwing to the winds their beggarly stint. Never was there a writer that possessed to so great a degree as did Goldsmith this wondrous charm; and in him it is the more delightful in the light and pleasant _allegria_ with which he works off the feeling. The volume is full of subjects that so move; and in this respect it is most admirable for illustration, inviting the ablest powers. But the difficulty, wherein does that lie? Look at all illustrations that have hitherto appeared in print, and you cry out to all--Away with the failure! Certain it is that but slender abilities have been hitherto employed; and when we hear of better artists coming to the undertaking, we are hardened against them. And then, how few come fresh to the tale. To those who do, perhaps a new illustration may have a tenfold charm; but to any one past five-and-twenty, it must come "with a difference." It is very difficult to reconcile one to a new Dr Primrose, a new Mrs Primrose. Beauty ever had the power of beauty, and takes us suddenly; we can more readily dismiss the old idea and pitch on the new, so that the Miss Primroses are more reconcilable and transferable creatures, than the Vicar and his wife, or the incomparable Moses and the unyielding Mr Burchell. We cannot pretend to tell how all these characters would have fitted their images given by Mr Mulready, had the work now first come into our hands. As it is, we can only say they are new to us. It requires time to reconcile this. In the meanwhile we must take it for granted, that they actually do represent those in Mr Mulready's vision, and he is a clear-sighted man, and has been accustomed to look into character well. His name as the illustrator, gave promise of success. Well do we remember an early picture by him--entitled, we believe, the Wolf and the Lamb. It represented two schoolboys--the bully, and the more tender fatherless child. The history in that little picture was quite of the manner of Goldsmith. The orphan boy's face we never can forget, not the whole expression of his slender form, though it is many years ago that we saw the picture. So that when the name of Mulready appeared as illustrator, we said at once, That will do--down came the book, and here it is before us. The pages have been turned over again and again. We cannot, nevertheless, quite reconcile our ideas to the new Dr and Mrs Primrose; but in attempting to do so, so many real artistical beauties have beamed from the pages, that we determined at once to pour out our hearts to Maga, and turn over page after page once more. The illustrations are thirty-two in number; one to head each chapter, though, and which we think a defect, the subject of the illustration is not always in the chapter at the head of which it is. The first is the choice of a wife--"and chose my wife as she did her wedding-gown." The intended bride is a very beautiful graceful figure, with a most sweet simplicity of countenance. This never could have resembled Mrs Deborah Primrose; the outline is most easy and graceful, even as one of Raffaelle's pure and lovely beings. The youth of the bride and bridegroom, fresh in their hopes of years of happiness, is happily contrasted with the staid age of the respectable tradesman, evidently one of honest trade and industrious habits--the fair dealer, one of the old race before the days of "immense sacrifices" brought goods and men into disrepute. The little group is charming; every line assists another, and make a perfect whole.

"The Dispute between the Vicar and Mr Wilmot."--"This, as may be expected, produced a dispute, attended with some acrimony." Old Wilmot is capital; there is acrimony in his face, and combativeness in his fists--both clenching confidently his own argument, and ready for action; the very drawing back of one leg, and protrusion of the other, is indicative of testy impatience. The vicar is a little too loose and slovenly, both in attitude and attire; the uniting of the figures (artistically speaking) is with Mr Mulready's usual ability.

"The Rescue of Sophia from Drowning by Mr Burchell."--"She must have certainly perished, had not my companion, perceiving her danger, instantly plunged in to her relief." This is altogether a failure, yet it is a good subject; nor has Mr Mulready been at all happy in the female beauty. The vicar stands upon the bank too apathetic; and the group in the vehicle, crossing the stream above, seem scarcely conscious of the event, though they are within sight of it. Mr Mulready has here, too, neglected his text. Sophia fell from her horse; all the party set out on horseback; there is no carriage mentioned.

"The Vicar at Home, with Neighbour Flamborough and the Piper."--"These harmless people had several ways of being good company; while one played, the other would sing some soothing ballad." The happy father, with his children climbing up his chair, and clinging to him, is a beautiful group, and quite worthy of Mr Mulready's pencil.

"Squire Thornhill."--"At last a young gentleman, of a more genteel appearance than the rest, came forward, and for a while regarding us, instead of pursuing the chase, stopped short, and giving his horse to a servant who attended, approached us with a careless, superior air." The family are sweetly grouped--the story well told--the easy assurance of the squire undeniable. The father holds his two boys, one on his lap, the other between his knees; but is he "_the_ vicar?"

"Mr Burchell and Sophia"--A most charming illustration. It is the haymaking scene. "I could not avoid, however, observing the assiduity of Mr Burchell, in assisting my daughter Sophia in her part of the task." Sophia is a lovely creature, just what she should be. We are not quite sure of Mr Burchell: possibly he may look too young; he was a character, and must have borne about him some little acquired oddity, sturdy, and not undignified. In the illustration he is too prettily genteel; but we do not wish to see any but Sophia--delightful, loving, lovable Sophia. In the background, Moses lies on the ground with his book, and the vicar has rather too suspicious a look; but we can forgive him that, and, for Sophia's sake, forgive Mr Mulready that he has paid less attention to her admirer--for at present he is no more. But his admiration is better, and more to the purpose than other men's love.

"Moses defeated in Argument, or rather borne down by the arrogant, ignorant volubility of the Squire."--"This effectually raised the laugh against poor Moses." It is well grouped; but the only successful figure is Moses. The squire is not the well-dressed, designing profligate. If the story were not well told by the grouping, we might have taken the squire for an itinerant "lecturer." The squire is so prominent a person in the tale, that we think there should have been a well-studied representation of the accomplished villain and fine gentleman.

No. 8.--Beyond the skill in grouping, Mr Mulready has not attempted any great interest in this illustration. It represents the family, with their friend Burchell, interrupted in their enjoyment by the chaplain, or rather the chaplain's gun; for that only presents its muzzle. "So loud a report, and so near, startled my daughters; and I could perceive that Sophia, in the fright, had thrown herself into Mr Burchell's arms for protection." We do not recognize the alarmed and lovely Sophia--here she might be any miss; so that the greatest miss is Mr Mulready's, for he has missed an opportunity of showing the beauty of the sweet sisters in alarm. In this chapter, we have Goldsmith's delightful ballad, "Turn, gentle hermit of the dale." Surely this was worthy an illustration or two; and if Mr Mulready felt himself confined to the heads of chapters, might he not, for once, have made his digression from the tale, as Goldsmith has done, and given us that charming episode?

"The Family Group on Horseback, going to Church."--"And when I got about halfway home, perceived the procession marching slowly forward towards the church." "The colt that had been nine years in the family, and Blackberry, his companion," are not the best horse-flesh. Mr Mulready does not draw the horse like Mr Herring; so, having failed in the feet of the colt, he has, though rather awkwardly, hidden Blackberry's behind a convenient stone, which yet makes us fear that the "family pride" will have a fall, and spare the Vicar's reproof. The party on Blackberry is good; and the patient, blind face of the animal is well attempted.

"The Visit to Neighbour Flamborough's on Michaelmas Eve."--"But previously I should have mentioned the very impolitic behaviour of Mr Burchell, who, during this discourse, sat with his face turned to the fire; and, at the conclusion of every sentence, would cry out, 'Fudge!'" This is scarcely the subject of the illustration, for Mr Burchell is quite in the background. We should like to have seen his face. Miss Carolina Wilhelmina Amelia Skeggs is good; Lady Blarney is not the overdressed and overacting peeress. The whole is very nicely grouped. Perhaps we are not so pleased with this illustration, remembering Maclise's more finished picture of the subject.

Moses departing for the "Fair." Hopeful and confident are the group, and not least so Moses himself. We fancy we recognize in Moses a similar figure in a sweet picture exhibited last year by Mr Stonhouse, one of the "Etching Club." We are not quite satisfied with the other figures--they all hide their faces, as well they might, for their simplicity in trusting to the "discreet boy" that can "buy and sell to very good advantage"--so off go Moses and the colt that had been nine years in the family. "We all followed him several paces from the door, bawling after him good-luck! good-luck! till we could see him no longer."

No. 12 exhibits simplicity upon a larger scale, and shows the head of the family, verifying the old proverb, "like father like son"--though it should be here like son like father. The colt was fitly turned over to the son, grave blind Blackberry was a horse for the father's art and wisdom. "By this time I began to have a most hearty contempt for the poor animal myself, and was almost alarmed at the approach of every customer." Poor Blackberry! He is quite conscious of his depreciation; he is a wise animal, and can see that "with half an eye." Alas! we fear he has not that half. Blackberry is good--yet will he sell for nothing; how patiently he lets them handle his leg, and a handle it is; we can imagine the creature thinking, "pray, sir, would you like to look at the other poor thing of a leg?" The rascally Fair, in which Mr Mulready has shown, according to his author, that the Vicar ought not to have been, is well given; but we should have liked a full length portrait of Mr Jenkinson pronouncing [Greek: Anarchon ara chai atelentaion to pan.]

The reading the letter, the well-known letter of Mr Burchell to "The Ladies." "There seemed, indeed, something applicable to both sides in this letter, and its censures might as well be referred to those to whom it was written, as to us; but the malicious meaning was obvious, and we went no further." This, as usual, is well grouped; the Vicar ponders, and cannot tell what to make of it. We should have preferred, as a subject, the Vicar confronting Mr Burchell, and the cool effrontery of the philosopher turning the tables upon the Vicar, "and how came you so basely to presume to break open this letter?" or better still, perhaps, the encounter of art between Mr Burchell and Mrs Deborah Primrose. And why have we not Dick's episode of the dwarf and the giant? Episodes are excellent things, as good for the illustrations as for the book. No. 14, the contrivance of Mrs Primrose to entrap the squire, properly belongs to another chapter. "Then the poor woman would sometimes tell the squire that she thought him and Olivia extremely of a size, and would bid both stand up to see which was tallest." The passage is nicely told; there is, however, but one figure to arrest attention, and that is quite right, for it is Olivia's, and a sweet figure it is. Dear Olivia! We have not seen her portrait before, and we shall love her, beyond "to the end of the chapter," to the end of the volume, and the more so, that hers after all was a hard fate. It is the part of the tale which leaves a melancholy impression; Goldsmith has so determined it--and to his judgment we bow implicitly. Had any other author so wretchedly disposed of his heroine, in a work not professedly tragic, we should have been pert as critics usually are. Mrs Primrose is certainly here too young. We cannot keep our eyes off Olivia; and see, the scoundrel has slyly taken her innocent hand, and the other is put up to her neck in such modest doubt of the liberty allowed. Here, as in other instances, the squire is not the well-dressed man of the world, whose gold lace had attracted Dick's attention. We could linger longer over this illustration, but must pass on--honest Burchell has been dismissed, villany has full sway. We must leave poor Olivia to her fate, and turn to the family picture "drawn by a limner;" capital--"limner" well suiting the intended satire--some say a good-natured, sly cut at Sir Joshua. We should certainly have had Mrs Primrose as Venus, and the two little ones as Cupids, and the Vicar presenting to her his books on the Whistonian controversy, and the squire as Alexander. Whoever wishes to see specimens of this kind may see some ludicrous ones at Hampton court--particularly of Queen Elizabeth, and the three goddesses abashed by her superiority. We thought to leave poor Olivia to her fate--Mr Mulready will not let us give her up so easily, and takes us to the scene of her quitting her home for her betrayer; and this is the subject of--

"Yes, she is gone off with two gentlemen in a post-chaise; and one of them kissed her, and said he would die for her;" and there she is, hiding her beautiful face with her hands, and poor good Dick is pulling her back by her dress, that she may not go; but a villain's hand is round her waist, and one foot he has upon the step of the chaise, and the door is open. Poor Dick, you have nothing left you to do but to run home as fast as you can; and there you will find such a scene of innocent enjoyment, how to be marr'd! at the very moment, too, that the good Vicar had been feeling and saying, "I think myself happier now than the greatest monarch upon earth. He has no such fireside, nor such pleasant faces about it. We are descended from ancestors that knew no stain, and we shall leave a good and virtuous race of children behind us. While we live they will be our support and our pleasure here, and when we die they will transmit our honour untainted to posterity. Come, my son, we wait for a song: let us have a chorus. But where is my darling Olivia? That little cherub's voice is always sweetest in the concert." O Dick, Dick! at such a moment as this to run in and tell him to be miserable for ever; for that his cherub, his Olivia is gone, and gone, as it appears, to infamy, a thousand times more grievous than death. Was there ever so touching a scene?--Mr Mulready feared it. That is a wonderful chapter--the happiness is so domestically heightened, that the homefelt joy may be more instantly crushed. We know we shall not see dear darling Olivia again for a long, long time; and feel we want a pause and a little diversion--so we will go back to Bill the songster for amusement, and take it if we can; and here is for the purpose Bill's "Elegy on the Death of a Mad Dog," alas! taught him, too, by honest Mr Williams; we only hope young, sturdy farmers have strong nerves, and don't break their hearts in love's disappointments. Here is Dick's Elegy; and as we, too, have a Moses at home of a "miscellaneous education," we will put on the Vicar's simplicity, and cheerful familiarity with his own flesh and blood--and thus we address our Moses, "Come, my boy, you are no hand at singing, so turn the Elegy another way: let us have a little Latin, for your music is Hexameter and Pentameter." Our Moses, "That's a hard task, sir, for one that cannot mount to Parnass Hill without his 'Gradus ad Parnassum.'" "Well, then get your Gradus, and put your foot in that first step of the ladder." Our Moses, waggishly--"I must mind my feet, sir, or they will be but lame verses, and go halting and hobbling--but I suppose you won't be very particular as to Latinity. I have heard you tell how Farmer Williams"--"No," said we, "not Williams, any other farmer you please; poor Williams is not likely to have any children; yet I know what you were going to say." "Farmer any body, then," said our Moses, "when he took his boy to school, left him with the master; and shortly returned to inform him, that, discoursing upon the subject at the 'public,' he had heard that there were two sorts of Latin, and so he brought the master a gammon of bacon, for he wished his son to have the best: now I think, sir, one of these two sorts must be 'dog Latin,' and that must be best fitted for the Elegy in question." Our Moses beats the Vicar's hollow in waggery, so we are proud of him. He takes after his mother. We condescended to be familiar enough to laugh. Now, then, Moses, to _your_ task and we to _ours_. And here we are at--

The scene of Mr Arnold and his family breaking in upon his butler personating his master, we are rather inclined to think a failure. There is Mr Mulready's good grouping, but somehow or other it is rather flat for so piquant an incident; "I was struck dumb with the apprehension of my own absurdity, when whom should I next see enter the room but my dear Miss Arabella Wilmot." We should like to have seen, in illustration, the political butler ordering the Vicar out of his house, or at least a more decided portrait of Arabella Wilmot. "Beauty is," as Miss Skeggs said of virtue, "worth any price;" and we are sorry to look about, and continue, in her words, "but where is that to be found?" What had Mr Mulready to do, that he would not let us have a sight of Arabella Wilmot. We, therefore, pass on to her lover, the Vicar's eldest son George, delivering his letter of recommendation to the nobleman's footmen, with his fee, which brings us to--

"However, after bribing the servants with half my worldly fortune, I was at last shown into a spacious apartment, my letter being previously sent up for his lordship's inspection." The Vicar's son is a fine fellow in the illustration: we are glad to see him, but rather wish Mr Mulready had chosen a better subject. George's adventures were written with a nice satire; for Goldsmith knew what and whom he had to describe. The reasons why he would not do for an usher, are well put. Is it not possible that Mr Dickens took his first hint of Do-the-boys' Hall from reading this passage in Goldsmith? Indeed, there may be a suspicion that Mrs Primrose gave the idea of Mrs Nickleby, though he has made her an original. But to return to the traveller--we should like to have seen an "illustration" of his interview with the principal of the College of Louvain, a passage quite in the spirit of Le Sage. "The principal seemed at first to doubt my abilities; but of these I offered to convince him, by turning a part of any Greek author he should fix upon into Latin. Finding me perfectly earnest in my proposals he addressed me thus, 'You see, young man,' continued he, 'I never learned Greek, and I don't find that I have ever missed it. I have had a doctor's cap and gown without Greek; I have ten thousand florins a year without Greek; and, in short,' continued he, 'as I don't know Greek, I do not believe there is any good in it.'"

The office of Mr Crispe, who fitted becoming situations upon every body. "There I found a number of poor creatures, all in circumstances like myself, expecting the arrival of Mr Crispe, presenting a true epitome of English impatience." And there is Mr Crispe himself, in the distance indeed, but certainly the principal figure. The expectants are good enough, but Mr Crispe, with his audacious, confident, deceitful face, is excellent; the fellow rattling the money in both his pockets, with fraud, successful laughing fraud filling out both his cheeks. The audacious wretch! little cares he for the miserable expectants whom he means to ship off to America and slavery. Preferring to see the Vicar's son among "the harmless peasants of Flanders," we turn over the leaves.

Here is a delightful group,--a fine sturdy fellow holding his dog by a handkerchief through his collar, and how naturally the honest brute leans against his master, as claiming a sort of kindred--the expression of the young woman with the child in her arms, is attention and admiration. It is not quite certain that one of the loungers is pleased with that admiration. This is a pleasant scene, and happily illustrated. "I had some knowledge of music, with a tolerable voice, and now turned what was once my amusement into a present means of subsistence." That is a pleasant, happy scene, though the personages are the poorest. Of another character is the next scene, and quite other personages act in it; for we come again to poor Olivia in her distress, grossly, brutally insulted by the wealthy profligate.

The profligate scoundrel in the very lowest baseness of his character.--It is poor Olivia speaks. "Thus each day I grew more pensive, and he more insolent, till at last the monster had the assurance to offer me to a young baronet of his acquaintance." This scene is not fit for picture; it is seemingly nothing but successful villany, and of too gay a cast to be pathetic. The chapter from which it is taken would have furnished a much better one--the meeting between the Vicar and his poor Olivia. We can bear the suffering of a Cordelia, because all in that is great though villany be successful; but there is a littleness in mere profligacy that infects even the victim. We could have wished that Mr Mulready had taken the "Meeting" for his illustration. How exquisitely beautiful is the text! The first impulse of affection is to forget, or instantly palliate the fault. "Welcome, any way welcome, my dearest lost one, my treasure, to your poor old father's bosom!" Then how exquisite her observance of the effect of grief upon the parent's appearance. "Surely you have too much wisdom to take the miseries of my guilt upon yourself." How timely has Goldsmith thrown in this, when we are most willing to catch at a straw of excuse for the lovely sufferer! No, we say, she never contemplated the misery she has inflicted; and then how natural is the instantaneous remembrance of her guilt! The taking it up and laying it down at a moment's call, from affection, is most touchingly beautiful. "Our wisdom, young woman," replied I--"Ah, why so cold a name, papa?" cried she. "This is the first time you ever called me by so cold a name." "I ask pardon, my darling," returned I; "but I was going to observe that wisdom makes but a slow defence against trouble, though at last a sure one." Admitting the subject chosen by Mr Mulready, we do not approve of his manner of telling it; we scarcely know which is the principal figure. Nor is Olivia's good. It has nothing of the madness the text speaks of. "My answer to this proposal was almost madness." We are glad to quit the scene, though our next step is into deeper misery; and--

"The return of the Vicar to his home in flames," a pitiable sight; but here is the triumph of love over misery, and the subject is good. "Now," cried I, holding up my children, "now let the flames burn on, and all my possessions perish." The scene is well told, and not the worse for a justifiable theft from Correggio in the fainting figure--it is the _mother_ in the Ecce Homo in the National Gallery. The failing of the hands at the moment of action, is true to the original and to nature. We rejoice that Mr Mulready did not take the return of Olivia as his subject. We should not like to see Mrs Primrose in that odious light; and though admirable in the tale, she is no favourite already. The parent had called his child, "woman--young woman"--the coldness passed away, and the word was changed for "darling." The word was again to be resumed, and how applied!--to the unforgiving--That even the Vicar's anger, we must rather say indignation, should be virtuous. "Ah, madam!" cried her mother, "this is but a poor place you have come to after so much finery. My daughter Sophy and I can afford but little entertainment to persons who have kept company only with people of distinction. Yes, Miss Livy, your poor father and I have suffered very much of late; but I hope Heaven will forgive you." Not a word of her own forgiving, not a word of endearment; and we suspect the word madam had, when written, more blame in it than it now retains--and how do the words "my daughter Sophy and I" cut off the forlorn one from the family!--and the plural "persons" avoiding the individuality, the personality of her daughter was another deep cut into the very flesh of the lost one's heart. Now then comes the reproof, and the good man shines in the glory of goodness and greatness, indignation for love's sake. "During this reception the unhappy victim stood pale and trembling, unable to weep or to reply; but I could not continue a silent spectator of her distress; wherefore, assuming a degree of severity in my voice and manner, which was ever followed with instant submission, 'I entreat, woman, that my words may be now marked once for all: I have brought you back a poor deluded wanderer: her return to duty demands the revival of our tenderness. The real hardships of life are now coming fast upon us; let us not therefore increase them by dissensions among each other." The words to the conclusion of the chapter should be written in letters of gold, were not the better place for them out of sight, upon the hearts of all; for none of us have too much charity, though some may have an excess of love.

No. 22 is an affecting scene. The Vicar with his wounded arm is on his bed, with his distressed family about him. Olivia has fainted on hearing the news of her betrayer's intended marriage, and the mother is attending her. "My compassion for my poor daughter, overpowered by this new disaster, interrupted what I had further to observe. I bade her mother support her, and after a short time she recovered." The countenance of the Vicar in this scene is the best among the illustrations--of that good man enduring affliction, that sight worthy the gods to look at, as said the Stoic. But we that have human sympathies, would willingly turn away from such a sight; and where shall we find refuge? for sorrow is coming on--sorrow upon sorrow--an accumulation of miseries no Stoic would have borne; for he, with all his boasted indifference, would have borne them no longer, but ended them and life together, if he might so end them, as he thought. And now, happily, "_our_ Moses" comes to our relief, not with extracts from chapters on stoicism, or any other false philosophy, but holding up to us what he is pleased to call his "dogrel." So, between him and Bill the Songster, we will have a duet. But as we have no Bill present, we will take his part ourselves, and, like other acting substitutes, go through the part, reading. "Now we hope," addressing our Moses, "you have not lengthened out your Latin to four lines for the four short English in each stanza. If you have, to the flames with them!"

_Our Moses_.--

"CARMINA ELEGIACA IN MORTEM CUJUSDAM CANIS ISLINGTONIENSIS."

(_We_.--Not in such a hurry--"An Elegy on the death of a mad dog;" and what made you put in Islingtoniensis? Well, I suppose you call that a Ciceronic flourish! Now, I will read the English--you the Latin.)

_We_.--Good people all, of every sort, Give ear unto my song, And if you find it wondrous short, It cannot hold you long.

_Our Moses_.--Quotlibet huc, ubicunque hominum, auscultate canenti, Si breve vos teneam;--non ego longus ero.

_We_.--In Islington there was a man Of whom the world might say, That still a godly race he ran Whene'er he went to pray.

_Our Moses_.--Quidam Islingtoniensis erat, quem donec adibat Templa pius, sacra diximus ire via.

_We_.--A kind and gentle heart he had To comfort friends and foes; The naked every day he clad When he put on his clothes.

_Our Moses_.--Suavis amico, inimico, ita mitis, nudum ut amictu, Quum se vestibat, cotidie indueret.

_We_.--And in that town a dog was found, As many dogs there be, Both mongrel, puppy, whelp, and hound, And curs of low degree.

_Our Moses_.--Et canis oppido eodem erat huic, ubi plurimus, et grex Et fæx, cum catulis plebs numerosa canum.

_We_.--This dog and man at first were friends, But when a pique began, The dog, to gain some private ends, Went mad and bit the man.

_Our Moses_.--Grandis amicitia, at Canis, ut sibi gratificetur Fit rabidus, rabido dente hominemque petit.

_We_.--Around from all the neighbouring streets The wondering neighbours ran, And swore the dog had lost his wits, To bite so good a man.

_Our Moses_.--Concurrunt cives, O illum Cerberun, at aiunt, Qualem amens rabido dense momordet herum.

_We_.--The wound it seem'd both sore and sad To every Christian eye, And while they swore the dog was mad, They swore the man would die.

_Our Moses_.--O sævum vulnus, clamant lachrymosius omnes, En rabidus canis, et mox moriturus homo.

_We_.--But soon a wonder came to light, That show'd the rogues they lied; The man recover'd of the bite, The dog it was that died.

_Our Moses_.--Mendaces cives monstrat res prodigiosa, Sanus homo subito fit--moriturque canis.

"A very good boy, Bill, upon my word," said the Vicar, "and an Elegy that may truly be called tragical." So we present our Moses a sovereign for his verse--"A sovereign for a verse, my boy." "I will never," quoth he, "be averse to a sovereign. We have heard of a monarch who gave a crown for a song." A little refreshed, let us turn to the book. Here is

No. 23.--Very well, Mr Mulready, artistically performed; but we fear we shall not relish too many of these distressing subjects. We know, from distress to distress, you will take us into prison. Artists and writers of the present day delight in prison scenes; we are not of that class, but endure it. We would on no account sit down with that rascally-looking fellow that is driving and taking an inventory of the Vicar's stock. It is winter too. "The consequence of my incapacity was his driving my cattle that evening, and their being appraised and sold the next day for less than half their value."

No. 24--Is the attempt at a rescue. The Vicar represses and reproves the violence of his enraged parishioners. The drawing is good; but it is not a subject we delight to look at; and we begin to fear that further on we shall fare worse. Why did not Mr Mulready give us the interview between the Vicar and his old acquaintance, Mr Jenkinson? Artists of skill like to show it in grouping, and prefer that to giving character. "The consequences might have been fatal, had I not immediately interposed, and with some difficulty rescued the officers from the hands of the enraged multitude."

"The Prison." We have little wish to stay there long, and look at the odious villains that surround the good man "paying his footing." "I was apprised of the usual perquisite required upon these occasions, and immediately complied with the demand, though the little money I had was nearly exhausted." The next illustration, too, takes us into equally bad company.

The Vicar's attempt to reform the jail. The mockery, and roguery, and Vicar's perseverance, while a practised hand is picking his pocket--are admirably represented. "I therefore read them a portion of the service, with a loud unaffected voice, and found my audience perfectly merry upon the occasion."

The penitent scene. "My design succeeded, and in less than six days some were penitent, and all attentive." We now began to say, what a happy thing it was that Dr Primrose was sent to jail. Doubtless Goldsmith intended to show how good comes out of evil. There are some good figures in this illustration.

The seizure of poor Sophia--and very good it is--not that we congratulate Mr Mulready on his Sophia here; she is rather a vulgar dowdy figure, the others are very good, and the incident well told. "A post-chaise and pair drove up to them, and instantly stopped. Upon which a well-dressed man, but not Mr Thornhill, stepping out, clasped my daughter round the waist, and, forcing her in, bid the postilion drive on, so that they were out of sight in a moment." Now, Mr Mulready, in the next edition, you must positively illustrate the rescue by Mr Burchell.

"The Vicar delivering his sermon"--Charmingly grouped are the attentive and subdued audience. Mrs Primrose is surely too young a figure. If we could get over our early impression of the Vicar's countenance, his figure here would probably please. "The prisoners assembled themselves according to my directions, for they loved to hear my counsel--my son and his mother supported me on either side."

The return of dear Sophia, with her true but singular lover and deliverer--Perhaps the vicar takes it more coolly than the text justifies. "Just as he delivered this news, my dearest girl entered, and with looks almost wild with pleasure, ran to kiss me in a transport of action." There should have been an illustration of the scene where Mr Burchell is discovered to be Sir William Thornhill; and above all, where he proposes Jenkinson to Sophia.

The complete detection of the squire's villainies, and his great disappointment. "And to convince you that I speak nothing but truth, here is the license by which you were married together." All here is good but the figure of the Squire. In appearance we are to presume that Squire Thornhill was a gentleman, or Miss Wilmot could not have endured his addresses, nor indeed would Olivia have been deceived by him. In this illustration he has neither the appearance, dress, nor attitude of one in that condition.

The last illustration, or "All's Well that End's Well." It is, however, near ending badly, both as to the incident and the illustration--in the latter all is good, excepting only Arabella Wilmot; perhaps there is a defect in the printing, which gives her an odd look--but altogether she is not a good figure. She should have been elegance personified. Burchell looks the sturdy runner that could overtake the chaise, and rescue manfully his Sophia, to win and wear a favour, though he seems here in little hurry; but that is in character. "But as I stood all this time with my book ready, I was at last quite tired of the contest, and shutting it, 'I perceive,' cried I, 'that none of you have a mind to be married.'" We should like to have seen the dinner-party, and the two Miss Flamboroughs ready to die with laughing. "One jest I particularly remember: old Mr Wilmot drinking to Moses, whose head was turned another way, my son replied, 'Madam, I thank you.' Upon which the old gentleman, winking upon the rest of the company, observed that he was thinking of his mistress; at which jest I thought the two Miss Flamboroughs would have died with laughing." We should like to have seen their faces by Mr Mulready's hand, because we are sure that the two Miss Flamboroughs were thinking of themselves, in conjunction with Moses and the jest.

We have noticed every illustration. We hope there will be another edition, and then we may have a few more plates. We have therefore, as we have gone on, ventured to suggest some subjects--but, above all, we would recommend Mr Mulready to supply a few portraits, heads only, such as that of the "Schoolmaster in the Deserted Village," by the Etching Club.

* * * * *

THE ATTORNEY'S CLERK IN THE MONK'S HOOD.

"I thought of Chatterton, the marvellous boy-- The sleepless soul that perish'd in his pride."

Had the "resolution and independence" which dignify the lowly, and strengthen the unhappy, when no visible eye befriends them, been among the rich endowments of Chatterton's wonderful mind--had he possessed and cherished the courage that bears up against obloquy and neglect--had he pursued the rough tenour of his way undaunted, in spite of "solitude, pain of heart, distress, and poverty," how different must have been the fate of the inspired boy of Bristol! He might be alive yet; he would be ninety years old, graced with honour, love, obedience, troops of friends, and all that should accompany old age. He might have achieved some great epic, or some gorgeous historical dramas,--have finished the Fairy Queen, or given us a Fairy King of his own creation.

Among the lighter honours of social distinction, we can fancy his reception as a London "lion," by the fair and noble in proud places. Still pleasanter is the vision of his less public hours of idleness spent among congenial spirits. We can fancy him, the patriarch of living poets, seated as a guest at the breakfast-table of Samuel Rogers, who is about twelve years his junior, and those fine lads, Lisle Bowles, James Montgomery, and William Wordsworth, and those promising children, Tom Moore and Tom Campbell, and that braw chiel John Wilson--(_palmam qui meruit ferat_)--the youngest of the party something, perhaps, but not much, under seventy, except the bard of the Isle of Palms, who is no chicken; and unless the master of the feast have summoned those pretty babes from the Wood, the two Tennysons. But alas for Chatterton! the vision will not hold: he disappears from his chair at the feast, like Banquo--"and, when all's done, you look but on a stool." The ghost of the slayer of himself, after long haunting Strawberry Hill, to rebuke the senile complacency of the chronicler of royal and noble authors, repaired, after the death of that prosperous man of wit and fashion, to his native town, to prowl in Redcliff church, and about the graves of his fathers in its churchyard, and the graves which they had successively dug there during a century and a half. His bones were left to moulder among those of other pauper strangers in the burial-ground of Shoelane workhouse. We attach no credit to the story of the exhumation of his body, and its mysterious reinterment in Redcliff. His fathers were sextons; and he, too, was in some sort a sexton also--but spiritually and transcendantly. He buried his genius in the visionary grave of Rowley, "an old chest in an upper room over the chapel on the north side of Redcliff church;" and thence, most rare young conjurer, he evoked its spirit in the shape of fragments of law-parchment, quaintly inscribed with spells of verse and armorial hieroglyphics, to puzzle antiquaries and make fools of scholiasts. Puzzle them he did; and they could not forgive a clever stripling, whom hunger had tempted to don an ancient mask, and impose himself on their spectacled eyes as a reverend elder. Rogue!--vagabond! Profligate impostor! The slim, sleek, embroidered juggler of the Castle of Otranto had not a kind word for this ragged orphan of his own craft. He, whose ambition was to shine among writers who have given intellectual grace to their noble lineage--among whom assuredly he does and will shine--but whose acute consciousness of something meretricious in his metal, made him doubt if the public would accept coinage from his mint; and so caused him to wear tentative disguises, whether he elaborated a romance or a keen and playful witticism--and who really did injustice to his own powers,--not from modesty but meanness,--even he, the son of a prime minister and heir to a peerage--a man who was himself always something of a trickster, now mystifying a blind old woman at Paris; now sending open letters, privately nullified, recommending the bearers to his friend the envoy at Florence; now, with the mechanic aid of village carpenters and bricklayers, rearing a frail edifice bristling with false points, and persuading the world that it was all pure Gothic, perhaps chuckling at his assurance--even this shrewd mummer gravely shook his head at Chatterton, and frowned on him as a cheat! True; they were both cheats; Horace Walpole from apprehensive vanity; Chatterton from proud oblique humility. The Bristol boy knew his worth; but, doubting the equity as well as the sagacity of his judges, he did not venture to produce it as his own. He supposed that an obscure and penniless youth, such as he, could have little chance of attention or fair play in the world if he appeared in his proper character; so he painfully assumed another, of a nature that could not long have been supported even had he been a various linguist deeply versed in etymologies, and especially proficient in our extinct idioms, and their several dates of usage, instead of wanting even Latin enough to understand the easiest parts of Skinner's Etymology of the English tongue, one of the books that he consulted and guessed at.

Of all modern suicides this youth was the most interesting; of all literary impostors the least unpardonable, though his ways were, unhappily for himself, of indefensible crookedness. He neither ascribed his fictions to a great name as Ireland did, nor did he, like Macpherson, steal the heart out of national ballads and traditions, to stuff a Bombastes Penseroso of his own making.

Any competent, yet moderately indulgent reader, who should for the first time take up Chatterton's works, and beginning at the beginning, in Tyrwhitt's first edition, for example, peruse no more than sixty or seventy pages, would probably lay down the volume somewhat disappointed not to have found the very extraordinary merit he had expected. The compositions that this partial examination would take in are three--Eclogues, Elinour and Juga, Verses to Lydgate, with Song to Ella, Lydgate's Answer, and the Tournament.

The first Eclogue is a conversation between two fugitive shepherds, who bewail the wretched condition to which the barons' wars have reduced them. It contains some pleasing lines.

As the rustics discuss their grievances in a valley under cover of

"... Eve's mantle gray, The rustling leaves do their white hearts affray. They regret the pleasures of their forsaken home, ... the kingcup decked mees, The spreading flocks of sheep of lily white, The tender applings and embodied trees, The parker's grange, far spreading to the sight, The gentle kine, the bullocks strong in fight, The garden whiten'd with the comfrey plant, The flowers Saint Mary shooting with the light-- ... The far-seen groves around the hermit's cell, The merry fiddle dinning up the dell, The joyous dancing in the hostry court-- But now, high song and every joy farewell, Farewell the very shade of fair disport."

In the second Eclogue, a good son invokes blessings on his father, who is gone with the crusaders to Palestine. He describes with much animation the voyage, the landing in Syria, the warring Saracens, King Richard of lion's heart, and anticipates victory and the return to England.

"Thus Nigel said, when from the azure sea The swollen sail did dance before his eyne. Swift as the wish he to the beach did fly, And found his father stepping from the brine. Sprites of the blest, the pious Nigel said, Pour out your pleasance on my father's head!"

The third Eclogue, if divested of certain exuberances--for Chatterton was precocious in every thing, and many of his fancies want the Bowdler pruning-knife--might be seasonably transferred to some of the penny publications for the benefit of Mr Frost's disciples. A poor man and woman, on their way to the parson's hayfield, complain to each other of their hard lot in being obliged to earn their bread by the sweat of their brows. "Why," asks the woman, "should I be more obligated to work than the fine Dame Agnes? What is she more than me? The man, unable to solve so knotty a point, says he doesn't see how he himself is not as good as a lord's son, but he will ask Sir Roger the parson, whom he consults accordingly.

"_Man_.--By your priestship now say unto me, Sir Godfrey the knight, who liveth hard by, Why should he than me Be more great In honour, knighthood, and estate?

"_Sir Roger_.--If thou hast ease, the shadow of content, Believe the truth, none happier is than thee. Thou workest well; can that a trouble be? Sloth more would jade thee than the roughest day. Could'st thou the secret minds of others see, Thou would'st full soon see truth in what I say. But let me hear thy way of life, and then Hear thou from me the lives of richer men.

"_Man_.--I rise with the sun, Like him to drive the wain, And, ere my work is done, I sing a song or twain. I follow the plough-tail With a bottle of ale. On every saint's day With the minstrel I'm seen, All footing away With the maids on the green. But oh, I wish to be more great, In honour, station, and estate!

"_Sir Roger_.--Hast thou not seen a tree upon a hill, Whose ample boughs stretch wide around to sight? When angry tempests do the heavens fill, It shaketh drear, in dole and much affright: While the small flower in lowly graces deck'd Standeth unhurt, untroubled by the storm. The picture such of life. The man of might Is tempest-chafed, his woe great as his form; Thyself, a floweret of small account, Would harder feel the wind as higher thou didst mount."

Sir Roger's moral is trite enough, yet it seems to have escaped the consideration of our Chartists and Socialists.

Elinour the nut-brown, and Juga the fair, are two pining maidens, who, seated on the banks of the Redbourne, a river near St Alban's, are each bemoaning their lovers, gone to fight in that neighbourhood for the Rose of York. Presently, racked with suspense, they hasten nearer to the scene of action.

"_Like twain of clouds that hold the stormy rain, They moved gently o'er the dewy meads_ To where Saint Alban's holy shrines remain. There did they find that both their knights were slain. Distraught they wander'd to swoln Redbourne's side, Yell'd there their deadly knell, sank in the waves, and died."

The verses to Lydgate consist of ten lines of no merit at all, and supposed to be sent to him by Rowley, with the Ode to Ella, which has a movement that recalls Collins, a lyrical artist perhaps unexcelled in our language, and in whose manner Chatterton so obviously and frequently composes, that the fact alone might have settled the Rowley question, though we are not aware that it was ever particularly insisted on in the controversy.

"Oh Thou, or what remains of Thee, Ella! the darling of futurity, Let this my song bold as thy courage be, As everlasting to posterity--

"When Dacia's sons, with hair of blood-red hue, Like kingcups glittering with the morning dew, Arranged in drear array, Upon the fatal day, Spread far and wide on Watchet's shore, Then didst thou furious stand, And by thy valiant hand Besprinkle all the meads with gore.

"Driven by thy broadsword fell, Down to the depths of hell, Thousands of Dacians went.

* * * * *

"Oh Thou, where'er, thy bones at rest, Thy sprite to haunt delighteth best, Whether upon the blood-embrued plain-- Or where thou ken'st from far, The dismal cry of war, _Or see'st some mountain made of corses slain,_

"Or see'st the war-clad steed That prances o'er the mead, And neighs to be among the pointed spears-- Or in black armour stalk around Embattled Bristol, once thy ground, Or haunt with lurid glow the castle stairs,

"Or, fiery, round the Minster glare! Let Bristol still be made thy care; Guard it from foeman and consuming fire; Like Avon's stream embrace it round, Nor let a sparkle harm the ground, Till in one flame the total world expire."

The quatrains entitled Lydgate's answer, are amply complimentary on the foregoing song, but otherwise as prosaic as the lines that introduce it.

* * * * *

"Among the Grecians Homer was A poet much renown'd; Among the Latins _Virgilius_ Was best of poets found.

"The British Merlin often had The gift of inspiration; And Afled to the Saxon men Did sing with animation.

"In Norman times Turgotus and Good Chaucer did excel; Then Stowe, the Bristol Carmelite, Did bear away the bell.

"Now Rowley, in these murky days, Sends out his shining lights, And Turgotus and Chaucer live In every line he writes."

The next is the Tournament, an interlude. Sir Simon de Burton, its hero, is supposed to have been the first founder, in accomplishment of a vow made on the occasion, of a church dedicated to _Our Lady_, in the place where the church of St Mary Redcliff now stands. There is life and force in the details of this tourney; and the songs of the minstrel are good, especially the first, which is a gallant hunting stave in honour of William the Red King, who hunts the stag, the wolf, and "the _lion_ brought from sultry lands." The sentiment conveyed in the burden of this spirited chorus sounds oddly considerate, as the command issued by William Rufus:--

"Go, rouse the lion from his hidden den, Let thy darts drink the blood of any thing but men."

To the paternity of the next in order--the Bristol Tragedy, or Death of Sir Charles Baldwin--Chatterton confessed; and such an admission might have satisfied any one but Dean Milles. The language is modern--the measure flowing without interruption; and, though the orthography affects to be antiquated, there is but one word (bataunt) in the whole series of quatrains, ninety-eight in number, that would embarrass any reader in his teens; though a boy that could generate such a poem as that, might well be believed the father of other giants whom he chose to disown. It is a masterpiece in its kind, almost unexceptionable in all its parts. The subject is supposed to have been suggested by the fate of Sir Baldwin Fulford, a zealous Lancastrian, beheaded at Bristol in 1461, the first year of the reign of Edward IV., who, it is believed, was actually present at the execution.

Now comes Ella, a tragical interlude, or discoursing tragedy, by Thomas Rowley, prefaced by two letters to Master Canning, and an introduction. In the first letter, among various sarcasms on the age, is one, complaining that

"In holy priest appears the baron's pride."

A proposition, we fear, at least as true in our day as in the fifteenth century. From the same epistle we would recommend to the consideration of the Pontius Pilates of our era, the numerous poets who choose none but awfully perilous themes, and who re-enact tremendous mysteries more confidently than if they were all Miltons, the annexed judicious admonition:--

"Plays made from holy tales I hold unmeet; Let some great story of a man be sung; When as a man we God and Jesus treat, In my poor mind we do the Godhead wrong."

And the following piece of advice, from the same letter, would not be ill bestowed on modern shopocracy:--

"Let kings and rulers, when they gain a throne, Show what their grandsires and great-grandsires bore; Let trades' and towns'-folk let such things alone, Nor fight for sable on a field of ore."

Yet he who could give this sensible counsel did by no means follow it. Chatterton, who really could trace back his ancestors for 150 years as a family of gravediggers, drew out for himself a pedigree which would have astonished Garter king-at-arms, and almost abashed a Welsh or German genealogy. He derived his descent from Sire de Chasteautonne, of the house of Rollo, the first Duke of Normandy, who made an incursion on the coast of Britain in the ninth century, and was driven away by Alfred the Great! Nine shields, exhibiting the family arms, were carefully prepared by him, and are preserved, with many other and very various inventions by the same hand, in the British Museum; and neat engravings of those Chatterton escutcheons are furnished by Mr Cottle, in his excellent essays on this tortuous genius. He was equally liberal in providing a pedigree for his friend Mr Burgham, a worthy and credulous pewterer in his native town, convincing him, by proofs that were not conclusive at the Herald's College, that he was descended from the De Burghams, who possessed the estate and manor of Brougham in the reign of Edward the Confessor, and so allying the delighted hearer with the forefathers of an illustrious Ex-Chancellor of our day. No less a personage, too, than Fitz-Stephen, son of Stephen Earl of Ammerle in 1095, grandson of Od, Earl of Bloys and Lord of Holderness, was the progenitor gravely assigned to Chatterton's relative, Mr Stephens, leather-breeches-maker of Salisbury. Evidence of all sorts was ever ready among the treasures in the Redcliff muniment room, the Blue-Coat boy's "Open Sesame!"

The plot of Ella may be told in a few words. Ella, a renowned English warrior, the same who is invoked in the fine song already quoted, marries Bertha, of whom his friend and fellow warrior, Celmond, is secretly enamoured. On the wedding-day he is called suddenly away to oppose a Danish force, which he defeats, but not without receiving wounds severe enough to prevent his immediate return home. Celmond takes advantage of this circumstance, and under pretence of conducting Bertha to her husband, betrays her into a forest that chances to be the covert of Hurra, the Danish general, and other of the discomfited invaders. Her shrieks bring Hurra and his companions to her aid. They kill Celmond, and generously resolve to restore Bertha to her lord. He in the mean time, impatient to rejoin his bride, has contrived to get home, where, when he hears of her ill-explained departure, believing her false, he stabs himself. She arrives only in time to see him die.

Celmond, soliloquizing on the charms of Bertha, exclaims,--

"Ah, Bertha, why did nature frame thee fair? Why art thou not as coarse as others are? _But then thy soul would through thy visage shine_; Like nut-brown cloud when by the sun made red, So would thy spirit on thy visage spread."

At the wedding-feast, so unexpectedly interrupted by news of the Danes, the following pretty stanzas are sung by minstrels representing a young man and woman.

"_Man_.--Turn thee to thy shepherd swain; Bright sun has not drunk the dew From the flowers of yellow hue; Turn thee, Alice, back again.

_Woman_.--No, deceiver, I will go, Softly tripping o'er the mees, Like the silver-footed doe Seeking shelter in green trees.

_Man_.--See the moss-grown daisied bank Peering in the stream below; Here we'll sit in dewy dank, Turn thee, Alice: do not go.

_Woman_.--I've heard erst my grandam say That young damsels should not be, In the balmy month of May, With young men by the greenwood tree.

_Man_.--Sit thee, Alice, sit and hark How the blackbird chants his note, The goldfinch and the gray-morn lark, Shrilling from their little throat.

_Woman_.--I hear them from each greenwood tree Chanting out so lustily, Telling lectures unto me, Mischief is when you are nigh.

_Man_.--See, along the mends so green Pièd daisies, kingcups sweet, All we see; by none are seen; None but sheep set here their feet.

_Woman_.--Shepherd swain, you tear my sleeve; Out upon you! let me go; Keep your distance, by your leave, Till Sir Priest make one of two.

_Man_.--By our lady and her bairn, To-morrow, soon as it is day, I'll make thee wife, nor be forsworn, So may I live or die for aye.

_Woman_.--What doth hinder but that now We at once, thus hand in hand, Unto a divine do go, And be link'd in wedlock-band? (Sensible woman!)

_Man_.--I agree, and thus I plight Hand and heart and all that's mine. Good Sir Herbert do us right, Make us one at Cuthbert's shrine.

_Both_.--We will in a cottage live, Happy though of no estate; Every hour more love shall give; We in goodness will be great."

The two Danish generals, Hurra and Magnus, warm their blood to the fighting temperature before the battle by quarreling with and abusing each other, like Grecian heroes. They are both bullies, but Hurra is brave and Magnus a craven. Chatterton's sarcastic humour plays them off admirably. The result of the struggle between the two armies is pithily announced by one of the fugitives:--

"Fly, fly, ye Danes! Magnus the chief is slain; The Saxons come with Ella at their head: Fly, fly, _this is the kingdom of the dead_."

In this drama is the exquisite melody, "O, sing unto my roundelay!" with which every one is familiar, as it is introduced into all our popular selections from the poets.

Here is a cunning description of dawn.

"The morn begins along the east to sheen, _Darkling the light doth on the waters play_; The faint red flame slow creepeth o'er the green, To chase the murkiness of night away, Swift flies the hour that will bring out the day. The soft dew falleth on the greening grass; The shepherd-maiden, dighting her array, _Scarce sees her visage in the wavy glass_."

Such extracts do not, and are not intended to, convey any notion of Chatterton's dramatic power in this play. Mere extracts would not do justice to that, and therefore we confine ourselves to selections of a few out of many passages that can stand independent of plot or action, without detriment to their effect. The same remark will not apply to the next piece, or rather fragment. Godwin, a Tragedy, by Thomas Rowley. It is short, and the dramatic interest weak. In the following noble chorus, however, we recognise the genius of Chatterton:--

"When Freedom, drest in blood-stained vest, To every knight her war-song sung, Upon her head wild weeds were spread, A gory broadsword by her hung. She paced along the heath, She heard the voice of death.

"Pale-eyed Affright, his heart of silver hue, In vain essay'd her bosom to congeal: She heard inflamed the shrieking voice of Woe, And cry of owls along the sadden'd vale. She shook the pointed spear, On high she raised her shield; Her foemen all appear, And fly along the field.

"Power, with his head uplifted to the skies, His spear a sunbeam and his shield a star, Like two bright-burning meteors rolls his eyes, Stamps with his iron feet, and sounds to war. She sits upon a rock, She bends before his spear, She rises from the shock, Wielding her own in air.

"Hard as the thunder doth she drive it on; Keen wit, cross muffled, guides it to his crown; His long sharp spear, his spreading shield are goe; He falls, and falling rolleth thousands down."

A short prologue by Master William Canning, informs us that this tragedy of Godwin was designed to vindicate the Kentish earl's memory from prejudices raised against him by monkish writers, who had mistaken his character, and accused him of ungodliness "for that he gifted not the church." There are but three scenes in the play. In the first, Godwin and Harold confer together on the distressed state of the nation, and the weakness of the king, whose court is overrun with Norman favourites to the exclusion of the English knights, and the great oppression of the people. Harold, young and impetuous, is for instant rebellion; but the father tries to moderate his rage, recommending patience and calm preparation.

"_Godwin_.--What tidings from the king? _Harold_.-- His Normans know. _Godwin_.--What tidings of the people? _Harold_.--Still murmuring at their fate, still to the king They roll their troubles like a surging sea. Has England, then, a tongue but not a sting? Do all complain, yet will none righted be? _Godwin_.--Await the time when God will send us aid. _Harold_.--Must we, then, drowse away the weary hours? I'll free my country, or I'll die in fight. _Godwin_.--But let us wait until some season fit. _My_ Kentishmen, _thy_ Somertons shall rise, Their prowess warmer for the cloak of wit, Again the argent horse shall prance in skies."

An allusion, says Chatterton, to the arms of Kent, a horse salient, argent. As to the cloak of wit, it may possibly be preserved in Somersetshire; but the mantle certainly was not tied as an indefeasible heirloom over the broad shoulders of the county of Kent. No ancient Saxons, or even Britons, ever displayed prowess so stolid as those brave wild-wood savages of Boughton Blean, near Canterbury, who recently fell in battle with her Majesty's 45th regiment, opposing sticks to balls and bayonets, under their doughty leader Sir William Courtenay, Earl of Devonshire, Knight of Malta, King of Jerusalem, and much more. And there were other blockheads, substantial dunces, of respectable station in East Kent, among this ignorant and ambitious madman's supporters; men who had been at school to little purpose. Such an insurrection of satyrs, and such a Pan, in the middle of the nineteenth century, within earshot of the bells of Christchurch! But this by the bye.

The next poem is styled English Metamorphosis, by T. Rowley. It consists of eleven stanzas of ten lines each, all fluent and spirited, and some of very superior merit. It is the fable of Sabrina, Milton's "daughter of Locrine," transliquefied to the river Severn, while her mother, Elstrida, was changed to the ridge of stones that rises on either side of it, Vincent's rocks at Clifton, and their enemy, the giant, was transformed to the mountain Snowdon. This giant was a very Enceladus.

"He tore a ragged mountain from the ground; Hurried up nodding forests to the sky: Then with a fury that might earth astound, To middle air he let the mountain fly, _The flying wolves sent forth a yelling cry_."

In illustration of Elstrida's beauty,--

"The morning tinge, the rose, the lily flower, In ever-running race on her did paint their power."

The most vulgar and outworn simile is refreshed with a grace by the touch of Chatterton.

Of the next poem--An excellent ballad of Charity, by the good priest, Thomas Rowley, 1454--it is clear that the young author thought highly, by a note that he transmitted with it to the printer of the "Town and Country Magazine," July 4, 1770, the month preceding that of his death. Unlike too many bearers of sounding appellations, it has certainly something more than its title to recommend it.

The octosyllabic lines--twenty only--on Redcliff Church, by T.R., show what nice feeling Chatterton had for the delicacies of that florid architecture:--

"The cunning handiwork so fine, Had wellnigh dazzled mine eyne. Quoth I, some artful fairy hand Uprear'd this chapel in this land. Full well I know so fine a sight, Was never raised by mortal wight."

Of its majesty he speaks in another measure:--

"Stay, curious traveller, and pass not by Until this festive pile astound thine eye. Whole rocks on rocks, with iron join'd, survey; And oaks with oaks that interfitted lie; This mighty pile that keeps the winds at bay, And doth the lightning and the storm defy, That shoots aloft into the realms of day, Shall be the record of the builder's fame for aye. Thou see'st this mastery of a human hand, The pride of Bristol, and the western land. Yet is the builder's virtue much more great; Greater than can by Rowley's pen be scann'd. Thou see'st _the saints and kings in stony state, As if with breath and human soul expand_. Well may'st thou be astounded--view it well; Go not from hence before thou see thy fill, And learn the builder's virtues and his name. Of this tall spire in every country tell, And with thy tale the lazy rich men shame; Show how the glorious Canning did excel; How he, good man, a friend for kings became, And glorious paved at once the way to heaven and fame."

The "Battle of Hastings" is the longest of Chatterton's poems, and the reader who arrives at its abrupt termination will probably not grieve that it is left unfinished. The whole contains about 1300 lines in stanzas of ten, describing archery fights and heroic duels that are rather tedious by their similarity, and offensive from the smell of the shambles; and which any quick-witted stripling with the knack of rhyming might perhaps have done as well, and less coarsely, after reading Chapman's or Ogilby's Homer, or the fighting scenes in Spenser, the Border Ballads, &c. But even this composition is not unconscious of the true afflatus, such as is incommunicable by learning, not to be inhaled by mere imitative powers, and which might be vainly sought for in hundreds of highly elaborated prize poems.

There is nothing more interesting in British history than the subject; and it is one which Chatterton, with all his genius, was much too young to treat in a manner at all approaching to epic completeness. Yet a few specimens might show that he is not deficient in the energy of the Homeric poetry of action. But here is metal more attractive, a young Saxon wife:--

"White as the chalky cliffs of Britain's isle, Red as the highest-coloured Gallic wine, Gay as all nature at the morning smile, Those hues with pleasance on her lips combine; Her lips more red than summer evening's skies, Or Phoebus rising in a frosty morn; Her breast more white than snow in fields that lies, Or lily lambs that never have been shorn, Swelling like bubbles in a boiling well, Or new-burst brooklets gentling whispering in the dell,

* * * * *

"Brown as the filbert dropping from the shell, Brown as the nappy ale at Hocktide game-- So brown the crooked rings that neatly fell Over the neck of that all-beauteous dame. Grey as the morn before the ruddy flame Of Phoebus' chariot rolling through the sky; Grey as the steel-horn'd goats Conyan made tame-- So grey appear'd her featly sparkling eye.

* * * * *

"Majestic as the grove of oaks that stood Before the abbey built by Oswald king; Majestic as Hibernia's holy wood, Where saints, and souls departed, masses sing-- Such awe from her sweet look far issuing, At once for reverence and love did call. Sweet as the voice of thrushes in the spring, So sweet the words that from her lips did fall.

* * * * *

"Taper as candles laid at Cuthbert's shrine, Taper as silver chalices for wine, So were her arms and shape.-- As skilful miners by the stones above Can ken what metal is inlaid below, So Kennewalcha's face, design'd for love, The lovely image of her soul did show. Thus was she outward form'd; the sun, her mind, Did gild her mortal shape and all her charms refined."

The next poem, and the last of the _modern-antiques_ that it may be worth while to note, is the story of William Canning, the illustrious founder of Redcliff Church, and is worthy of the author and his subject.

"Anent a brooklet as I lay reclined, Listening to hear the water glide along, Minding how thorough the green meads it twined, While caves responded to its muttering song, To distant-rising Avon as it sped, Where, among hills, the river show'd his head.

Engarlanded with crowns of osier-weeds, And wreaths of alders of a pleasant scent.

"Then from the distant stream arose a maid, Whose gentle tresses moved not to the wind. Like to the silver moon in frosty night, The damsel did come on so blithe and bright. No broider'd mantle of a scarlet hue, No peakèd shoon with plaited riband gear, No costly paraments of woaden blue; Nought of a dress but beauty did she wear; Naked she was, and looked sweet of youth, And all betoken'd that her name was Truth."

The few words then spoken by this angelical lady--who unhappily favoured Chatterton but with "angel visits, short and far between"--throw him into a reverie on the life of William Canning, whose boyhood was more fortunate than the poet's; for it is here reported of Canning, that

"He ate down learning with the wastlecake."

Chatterton, poor fellow, had neither fine bread to eat, nor fine learning within the possibility of his acquisition. Yet even the worthy Corporation of his native city will, we doubt not, be willing to allow that the Blue-Coat Charity boy might be entitled to the praise he gives Canning in the next couplet: that he--

"As wise as any of the Aldermen, Had wit enough to make a Mayor at ten."

We have limited these slight notices to the Rowley Poems; and such readers of our extracts as have been repelled from the perusal of those poems, by the formidable array of uncouth diction and strange spelling, may enquire what has become of the hard words. Here are long quotations, and not an obsolete term or unfamiliar metre among them. Chatterton took great pains to encrust his gold with verd-antique; it requires little to remove the green rubbish from the coin. By the aid of little else than his own glossary, "the Gode Preeste Rowleie, Aucthoure," is restored to his true form and pressure, and is all the fairer for the renovation.

We have no space for examination of the "numerous verse," and verses numerous, that Chatterton left undisguised by barbarous phraseology. His modern poems, morally exceptionable as is much of the matter, are affluent of the genius that inspired the old. African Eclogues, Elegies, Political Satires, Amatory Triflings, Lines on the Copernican System, the Consuliad, Lines on Happiness, _Resignation_, The Art of Puffing, and Kew Gardens--to say nothing of his equally remarkable prose writings--attest the versatility of his powers, and the variety of his perception of men and manners. His knowledge of the world appears to have been almost intuitive; for surely no youth of his years ever displayed so much. Bristol, it is true, was, of all great towns in England, one of the most favourable to the development of his peculiar and complicated faculties. His passion for antiquarian lore, and his poetical enthusiasm, found a nursing mother in a city so rich in ancient architecture, heraldic monuments, and historical interest; his caustic humour was amply fed from the full tide of human life, with all its follies, in that populous mart; and his exquisite sensibility to the beautiful and magnificent in nature, was abundantly ministered to by the surrounding country. We are told that he had been by some odd chance taught his alphabet, and his first lesson in "reading made easy," out of a black-letter Bible! That accident may have had its share in forming his taste for old-fashioned literature. But he was an attorney's clerk! The very name of a lawyer's office seems to suggest a writ of ejectment against all poetical influences in the brain of his indented apprentice. Yet Chatterton's anomalous genius was in all likelihood fostered by that dark, yet subtle atmosphere. His duty of copying precedents must have initiated him in many of the astute wiles and twisted lines of reasoning that lead to what is termed sharp practice, and so may have confirmed and aided his propensities to artifice; while the mere manual operation tutored his fingers to dexterity at quaint penmanship. He had much leisure too; for it is recorded that his master's business seldom occupied him more than two hours a-day. He was left to devote the rest of his time unquestioned to all the devices of an inordinate imagination.

After all, it is no unreasonable charity to believe, that what was unworthy and unsound in his character, and probably in his physical temperament, might, under more auspicious circumstances of condition and training, have been kept in check till utterly expelled by the force of his own maturer mind. In weighing his faults against his genius and its better fruits, it should never be forgotten that when he terminated his existence he was only seventeen years and nine months old.

"More wounds than nature gave he knew, While misery's form his fancy drew In dark ideal hues and horrors not its own."[39]

May we not even dare to hope, then, though he "perished in his pride," that he is still a living genius, assoiled of that foul stain of self-murder, and a chartered spiritualized melody where want and trouble madden not?

[39] T. Warton's "Suicide."

* * * * *

IGNACIO GUERRA AND EL SANGRADOR;

A TALE OF CIVIL WAR.

On a June evening in the year 1839, four persons were assembled in the balcony of a pleasant little villa, some half-league from the town of Logroño in Navarre. The site of the house in question was a narrow valley, formed by a double range of wood-covered hills, the lower limbs of a mountain chain that bounded the horizon some miles in rear of the villa. The house itself was a long, low building, of which the white stone walls had acquired the mellow tint that time and exposure to the seasons can alone impart. A solid balcony of carved unpainted oak ran completely round the house, its breadth preventing the rays of the sun from entering the rooms on the ground floor, and thereby converting them into a cool and delightful refuge from the heats of summer. The windows of the first and only story opened upon this balcony, which, in its turn, received shelter from a roof of yellow canes, laid side by side, and fastened by innumerable packthreads, in the same way as Indian matting. This sort of awning was supported by light wooden pillars, placed at distances of five or six feet from each other, and corresponding with the more massive columns that sustained the balcony. At the foot of these latter, various creeping plants had taken root. A broad-leafed vine pushed its knotty branches and curled tendrils up to the very roof of the dwelling, and a passion-flower displayed its mystical purple blossoms nearly at as great a height; while the small white stars of the jasmine glittered among its narrow dark-green leaves, and every passing breeze wafted the scent of the honeysuckle and clematis through the open windows, in puffs of overpowering fragrance.

About two hundred yards to the right of the house, rose one of the ranges of hills already mentioned, and on the opposite side the eye glanced over some of those luxuriant corn-fields which form so important a part of the riches of the fertile province of Navarre. The ground in front of the villa was tastefully laid out as a flower garden, and, midway between two magnificent chestnut trees, a mountain rivulet fell into a large stone basin, and fed a fountain, from which it was spouted twenty feet into the air, greatly to the refreshment of the surrounding pastures.

The party that on the evening in question was enjoying the scent of the flowers and the song of the nightingales, to which the neighbouring trees afforded a shelter, consisted, in the first place, of Don Torribio Olana, a wealthy proprietor of La Rioja, and owner of the country-house that has been described. He had been long used to pass the hot months of each year at this pleasant retreat; and it was no small calamity to him when the civil war that broke out on the death of Ferdinand, rendered it scarcely safe, in Navarre at least, to live out of musket-shot of a garrison. Sometimes, however, and in spite of the advice of his friends, who urged him to greater prudence, the worthy Riojano would mount his easy-going round-quartered cob, and leave the town for a few hours' rustication at his _Retiro_. After a time, finding himself unmolested either by Carlists or by the numerous predatory bands that overran the country, he took for companions of his excursions his daughter Gertrudis, and an orphan niece, to whom he supplied the place of a father. Five years of impunity were taken as a guarantee for future safety, and Don Torribio now no longer hesitated to pass the night at his country-house as often as he found it convenient. It was observed, also, that many of those persons who had at first loudly blamed him for risking his neck, and that of his daughter and niece, in order to enjoy a purer atmosphere than could be inhaled in the dusty streets of Logroño, at length gathered so much courage from his example, as to accompany him out to the _Retiro_, and eat his excellent dinners, and empty his cobweb-covered bottles, without allowing their fear of the Carlists to diminish their thirst or disturb their digestion.

Upon this occasion, however, the only guest was a young and handsome man, whose sunburnt countenance and military gait bespoke the soldier, while a double stripe of gold lace on the cuff of his blue frock-coat, marked his rank as that of lieutenant-colonel. Although not more than thirty years of age, Don Ignacio Guerra had already attained a grade which is often the price of as many years' service; but his rapid promotion was so well justified by his merit and gallantry, that few were found to complain of a preference which all felt was deserved. Both by moral and physical qualities, he was admirably suited to the profession he had embraced. Slender in person, but well knit and muscular, he possessed extraordinary activity, and a capacity of enduring great fatigue. Indulgent to those under his command, and self-denying in all that regarded himself personally, his enthusiasm for the cause he served was such, that during nearly two years that he had been the accepted lover of Donna Gertrudis Olana, this was only the second time he had left his regiment for a few days' visit to his affianced bride. He had arrived at Logroño the preceding day from a town lower down the Ebro, where the battalion he commanded was stationed; and Don Torribio, with whom he was a great favourite, had lost no time in taking him out to the _Retiro_; nor, perhaps, were the lovers sorry to leave the noise and bustle of the town for this calm and peaceful retreat.

It was about an hour after sunset, and Don Torribio sat dozing in an arm-chair, with his old black dog Moro coiled up at his feet, and his niece Teresa beside him, busying herself in the arrangement of a bouquet of choice flowers, while at the other end of the balcony Gertrudis and her lover were looking out upon the garden. The silence was unbroken, save by the splashing noise of the fountain as it fell back upon the water-lilies that covered its basin. The moon was as yet concealed behind the high ground to the right of the house; but the sky in that direction was lighted up by its beams, and the outline of every tree and bush on the summit of the hill was defined and cut out, as it were, against the clear blue background. Suddenly Gertrudis called her companion's attention to the neighbouring mountain. "See, Ignacio!" exclaimed she, "yonder bush on the very highest point of the hill! Could not one almost fancy it to be a man with a gun in his hand? and that clump of leaves on the top bough might be the _boina_ of one of those horrid Carlists?"

While she spoke the officer ran his eye along the ridge of the hill, and started when he caught sight of the object pointed out by Gertrudis; but before he could reply to her remark, she was called away by her father. At that moment the supposed bush made a sudden movement, and the long bright barrel of a musket glittered in the moonbeams. The next instant the figure disappeared as suddenly as though it had sunk into the earth.

The Christino colonel remained for a moment gazing on the mountain, and then, turning away, hastened to accompany his host and the ladies, who had received a summons to supper. On reaching the foot of the stairs, however, instead of following them into the supper-room, he passed through the house-door, which stood open, and, after a moment's halt in the shade of the lattice portico, sprang forward with a light and noiseless step, and in three or four bounds found himself under one of the large chestnut trees that stood on either side the fountain. Keeping within the black shadow thrown by the branches, he cast a keen and searching glance over the garden and shrubberies, now partially lighted up by the moon. Nothing was moving either in the garden, or as far as he could see into the adjacent country. He was about to return to the house, when a blow on the back of the head stretched him stunned upon the ground. In an instant a slip-knot was drawn tight round his wrists, and his person securely pinioned by a strong cord to the tree under which he had been standing. A cloth was crammed into his mouth to prevent his calling out, and the three men who had thus rapidly and dexterously effected his capture, darted off in the direction of the house.

Desperate were the efforts made by Don Ignacio to free himself from his bonds, and his struggles became almost frantic, when the sound of a scuffle in the house, followed by the piercing shrieks of women, reached his ears. He succeeded in getting rid of the handkerchief that gagged him, but the rope with which his arms were bound, and that had afterwards been twined round his body and the tree, withstood his utmost efforts. In vain did he throw himself forward with all his strength, striking his feet furiously against the trunk of the tree, and writhing his arms till the sharp cord cut into the very sinew. The rope appeared rather tightened than slackened by his violence. The screams and noise in the house continued; he was sufficiently near to hear the hoarse voices and obscene oaths of the banditti--the prayers for mercy of their victims. At length the shrieks became less frequent and fainter, and at last they died away entirely.

Two hours had elapsed since Ignacio had been made prisoner, hours that to him appeared centuries. Exhausted by the violence of his exertions, and still more by the mental agony he had endured, his head fell forward on his breast, a cold sweat stood upon his forehead, and had it not been for the cords that held him up, he would have fallen to the ground. He was roused from this state of exhaustion and despair by the noise of approaching footsteps, and by the arrival of a dozen men, three or four of whom carried torches. They were dressed in the sort of half uniform worn by the Carlist _volantes_, or irregular troops; round their waists were leathern belts filled with cartridges, and supporting bayonets and long knives, in many instances without sheaths. Ignacio observed with a shudder that several of the ruffians had their hands and weapons stained with blood.

"Whom have we here?" exclaimed a sallow, evil-visaged fellow, who wore a pair of tarnished epaulets. "Is this the _negro_ you secured at the beginning of the affair?"

One of the men nodded assent, and the chief bandit, taking a torch, passed it before the face of the captive officer.

"_Un militar_!" exclaimed he, observing the uniform button. "Your name and rank?"

Receiving no reply, he stepped a little on one side, and looked to the coat-cuff for the usual sign of grade.

"_Teniente coronel_!" cried he on seeing the double stripe.

A man stepped forward, and Ignacio, who knew that death was the best he had to expect at the hands of these ruffians, and was observing their proceedings in stern silence, immediately recognized a deserter from his battalion.

"'Tis the Colonel Ignacio Guerra," said the man; "he commands the first battalion of the Toledo regiment."

An exclamation of surprise and pleasure burst from the Carlists on hearing the name of an officer and battalion, well known and justly dreaded among the adherents of the Pretender. Their leader again threw the light of the torch on the features of the Christino, and gazed at him for the space of a minute with an expression of cruel triumph.

"Ha!" exclaimed he, "_el Coronel Guerra! He_ is worth taking to headquarters."

"We shall have enough to do to get away ourselves, laden as we are," said one of the men, pointing to a number of large packages of plunder lying on the grass hard by. "Who is to take charge of the prisoner? Not I, for one."

A murmur among the other brigands approved this mutinous speech.

"_Cuatro tiros_," suggested a voice.

"Yes," said the leader, "to bring down the enemy's pickets upon us. They are not a quarter of a league off. Pedro, lend me your knife. We will see," he added with a cruel grin, "how the gallant colonel will look cropped."

A knife-blade glanced for a moment in the torchlight as it was passed round the head of the Christino officer.

"_Toma! chicos!_" said the savage, as he threw the ears of the unhappy Ignacio amongst his men. A ferocious laugh from the banditti welcomed this act of barbarous cruelty.

The leader sheathed the knife twice in his victim's breast before restoring it to it's owner, and the Carlists, snatching up their booty, disappeared in the direction of the mountains.

At daybreak the following morning, some peasants going to their labour in the fields saw the body of the unfortunate officer still fastened to the tree. They unbound him, and, perceiving some signs of life, carried him into Logroño, where they gave the alarm. A detachment was immediately sent out to the Retiro, but it was too late to pursue the assassins; and all that could be done was to bring in the bodies of Don Torribio, his daughter, and niece, who were lying dead in the supper-room. An old groom and two women servants had shared a like fate; the horses had been taken out of the stable, and the house ransacked of every thing valuable.

For several weeks Ignacio Guerra remained wavering, as it were, between life and death. At length he recovered; but his health was so much impaired, that the surgeons forbade his again encountering the fatigues of a campaign. Enfeebled in body, heartbroken at the horrible fate of Gertrudis, and foreseeing the speedy termination of the war, consequent on the concluded treaty of Bergara, he threw up his commission, and left Spain to seek forgetfulness of his misfortunes in foreign travel.

In all French towns of any consequence, and in many whose size and population would almost class them under the denomination of villages, there is some favourite spot serving as an evening lounge for the inhabitants, whither, on Sundays and fête-days especially, the belles and _élégants_ of the place resort, to criticize each other's toilet, and parade up and down a walk varying from one to two or three hundred yards in extent.

The ancient city of Toulouse is of course not without its promenade, although but poor taste has been evinced in its selection; for, while on one side of the town soft well-trimmed lawns, cool fountains, and magnificent avenues of elm and plane trees, are abandoned to nursery-maids and their charges, the rendezvous of the fashionables of the pleasant capital of Languedoc is a parched and dusty _allée_, scantily sheltered by trees of recent growth, extending from the canal to the open square formerly known as the Place d'Angoulême, but since 1830 re-baptized by the name of the revolutionary patriarch General Lafayette.

It was on a Sunday evening of the month of August 1840, and the Allée Lafayette was more than usually crowded. After a day of uncommon sultriness, a fresh breeze had sprung up, and a little before sundown the fair Toulousaines had deserted their darkened and artificially cooled rooms, and flocked to the promenade. The walk was thronged with gaily attired ladies, smirking dandies, and officers in full dress. In the fields on the further side of the canal, a number of men of the working-classes, happy in their respite from the toils of the week, were singing in parts, with all the musical taste and correctness of ear for which the inhabitants of that part of France are noted; while, on the broad boulevard that traverses the lower end of the _allée_, a crowd of recruits whom the conscription had recently called under the colours, stood gazing in open-mouthed astonishment and infinite delight at some rudely constructed booths and shows, outside of which, clown and paillasse were rivalling each other in the broad humour of their lazzi. Parties of students, easily recognizable by their eccentric and exaggerated style of dress, and the loud tone of their conversation, were seated outside the cafés and ice-rooms, or circulating under the trees, puffing forth clouds of tobacco smoke; and on the road round the _allée_, open carriages, smart tilburies, and dapper horsemen were careering.

Among the various groups thronging the promenade was one, which, in Hyde Park or on the Paris boulevards, would have attracted some notice; but the persons composing it were of a class too common of late years in the south of France to draw upon them any attention from the loungers. The party in question consisted of three men, who, by their bronzed complexions, ragged mustaches, and sullen, dogged countenances, as well as their whole air and _tournure_, were easily distinguishable as belonging to the exiled and disappointed faction of the Spanish Pretender. Their threadbare costume still exhibited signs of their late military employment, probably from a lack of means to replace it by any other garments. The closely buttoned blue frock of one of them still had upon its shoulders the small lace straps used to support the epaulets, and another wore for headdress a _boina_, with its large starlike tassels of silver cord. The third and most remarkable of the party, was a man in the prime of life and strength, whose countenance bore the impress of every bad passion. It was one of those faces sometimes seen in old paintings of monkish inquisitors, on viewing which, one feels inclined to suspect that the artist has outdone and exaggerated nature. The expression of the cold, glassy, grey eye, and thin, pale, compressed lips, was one of unrelenting cruelty; while the coarsely moulded chin and jaw gave a sensual character to the lower part of the face. The scar of a sabre-cut extended from the centre of the forehead nearly to the upper lip, partly dividing the nose, and giving a hideously distorted and unnatural appearance to that feature. The man's frame was bony and powerful; the loose sheepskin jacket he wore was thrown open, and through the imperfectly fastened shirt-front, it might be seen that his breast was covered with a thick felt of matted hair.

It was the moment of the short twilight that in the south of France intervenes between day and night. The Carlists had reached the upper end of the walk, and, turning round, began to descend it again three abreast, and with the man who has been particularly described in the centre. On a sudden the latter stopped short, as though petrified where he stood. His countenance, naturally sallow, became pale as ashes, and, as if to save himself from falling, he clutched the arm of one of his companions with a force that made him wince again, while he gazed with distended eyeballs on a man who had halted within half-a-dozen paces of the Spaniards. The person whose aspect produced this Medusa-like effect upon the Carlist was a man about thirty years of age, plainly but elegantly dressed, and of a prepossessing but somewhat sickly countenance, the lines of which were now working under the influence of some violent emotion. The only peculiarity in his appearance was a black silk band which, passing under his chin, was brought up on both sides of the head, and fastened on the crown under the hat.

"_Que tienes, Sangrador_? What ails thee, man?" enquired the Carlists of their terror-stricken companion, addressing him by a _nom-de-guerre_ that he doubtless owed to his bloody deeds or disposition. At that moment the stranger sprang like a bloodhound into the centre of the group. In an instant El Sangrador was on the ground, his assailant's knee upon his breast, and his throat compressed by two nervous hands, which bade fair to perform the office of a bowstring on the prostrate man. All this had passed in far less time than is required to narrate it, and the astonishment of the Carlists at their comrade's terror and this sudden attack, was such, that, although men of action and energy, they were for a moment paralysed, and thought not of rescuing their friend from the iron gripe in which he was held. Already his eyes were bloodshot, his face purple, and his tongue protruding from his mouth, when a gendarme came up, and aided by half-a-dozen of those agents who, in plain clothes, half-spy and half-policeman, are to be found in every place of public resort in France, succeeded, but not without difficulty, in rescuing the Carlist from the fierce clutch of his foe, who clung to him with bull-dog tenacity till they were actually drawn asunder by main force.

"_Canalla! infame!_" shouted the stranger, as he writhed and struggled in the hands of his guards. "By yonder villain have all my hopes in life been blasted--an adored mistress outraged and murdered, myself tortured and mutilated in cold blood!" And, tearing off the black fillet that encircled his head, it was seen that his ears had been cut off. A murmur of horror ran through the crowd which this scene had assembled. "And shall I not have revenge?" shouted Ignacio (for he it was) in a voice rendered shrill by furious passion. And by a violent effort he again nearly succeeded in shaking off the men who held him.

El Sangrador, whose first terror had probably been caused by astonishment at seeing one whom he firmly believed numbered with the dead, had now recovered from his alarm.

"_Adios_, Don Ignacio," cried he with a sneer, as he walked away between two gendarmes, while his enemy was hurried off in another direction.

The following day El Sangrador was sent to a depôt of Spanish emigrants in the interior of France. On his departure, the authorities, who had made themselves acquainted with the particulars of this dramatic incident, released Don Ignacio from confinement; but he was informed that no passport would be given him to quit Toulouse unless it were for the Spanish frontier.

At the distance of a few leagues from the town of Oleron, and in one of the wildest parts of the Pyrenees, is a difficult pass, scarcely known, except to smugglers and izard-hunters whose hazardous avocations make them acquainted with the most hidden recesses of these rugged and picturesque mountains. Towards the close of the summer of 1841, this defile was occasionally traversed by adherents of the Ex-Queen-Regent Christina, entering Spain secretly and in small parties, to be ready to take share in the abortive attempt subsequently made to replace the reins of government in the hands of Ferdinand's widow. Not a few Carlists also, weary of the monotonous inactive life they were leading in France, prepared to join the projected insurrection; and, leaving the towns in which a residence had been assigned them, sought to gain the Spanish side of the Pyrenees, where they might lie _perdus_ until the moment for active operation arrived, subsisting in the meanwhile by brigandage and other lawless means. Owing to the negligence, either accidental or intentional, of the French authorities, these adventurers usually found little difficulty in reaching the line of demarcation between the two frontiers; but it was there their troubles began, and they had to take the greatest precaution to avoid falling into the hands of the Spanish _carabineros_ and light troops posted along the frontier.

Among those who intended to take a share in the rebellion, Don Ignacio Guerra occupied a prominent place. Being well known to the Spanish Government as a devoted adherent of Christina, it would have been in vain for him to have attempted entering Spain by one of the ordinary roads. Repairing to Oleron, therefore, he procured himself a guide, and one of the small but sure-footed horses of the Pyrenees, and, after a wearisome march among the mountains, arrived about dusk at a cottage, or rather hovel, built on a ledge of rock within half-an-hour's walk of the Spanish frontier. Beyond this spot the road was impracticable for a horse, and dangerous even for a pedestrian, and Don Ignacio had arranged to send back his guide and horse and proceed on foot; in which manner, also, it was easier to avoid falling in with the Spanish troops. The night was fine, and having had the road minutely explained to him by his peasant guide, Ignacio had no doubt of finding himself, in a few hours, at a village where shelter and concealment were prepared for him. Leaving the horse in a sort of shed that afforded shelter to two or three pigs, the Christino officer entered the hut, followed by his guide and by a splendid wolf-dog, an old and faithful companion of his wanderings. It was some seconds, however, before their eyes got sufficiently accustomed to the dark and smoky atmosphere of the place, to distinguish the objects it contained. The smoke came from a fire of green wood, that was smouldering under an enormous chimney, and over which a decrepit old woman was frying _talloua_ or maize-meal cake, in grease of a most suspicious odour. The old lady was so intent on the preparation of this delicacy, a favourite food of the Pyrenean mountaineers, that it was with difficulty she could be prevailed upon to prepare something more substantial for the hungry travellers. Some smoked goats' flesh and acid wine were at length obtained, and, after a hasty meal, Ignacio paid his guide and resumed his perilous journey. The moon had not yet risen--the night was dark--the paths rugged and difficult, and the troops on the alert; to avoid falling in with an enemy, or down a precipice, so much care and attention were necessary, that nearly three hours had elapsed before Ignacio perceived that his dog had not followed him from the cottage. The animal had gone into the stable and lain down beside his master's horse, doubtless imagining, by that sort of half-reasoning instinct which dogs possess, that, as long as the horse was there, the rider would not be far off.

Ignacio's first impulse, on discovering the absence of his four-footed companion, was to return to the cottage; but the risk in so doing was extreme, and as he felt certain his guide would take care of the dog, and that he should get it at some future day, he resolved to pursue his journey. Meantime the night became darker and darker--thick clouds had gathered, and hung low--there was no longer the slightest trace or indication of a path, and the darkness preventing him from finding certain landmarks he had been told to observe, he was obliged to walk on nearly at hazard, and soon became aware he had lost his way. To add to his difficulties, the low growlings of distant thunder were heard, and some large drops of rain fell. A violent storm was evidently approaching, and Ignacio quickened his pace in hopes of finding some shelter before it came on, resolving to wait at all risks till daylight before continuing his route, lest he should run, as it were, blindfolded into the very dangers he wished to avoid. A sort of cliff or wall of rock he had for some time had on his left hand, now suddenly ended, and a scene burst on his view which to him was commonplace enough, but would have appeared somewhat strange to a person unaccustomed to such sights. The mountain, which had been steep and difficult to descend, now began to slope more gradually as it approached nearer its base. On a sort of shelving plateau of great extent, a number of charcoal-burners had established themselves, and, as the most expeditious way of clearing the ground, had set light in various places to the brushwood and furze that clothed this part of the mountain. To prevent, however, the conflagration from extending too far, they had previously, with their axes, cleared rings of several feet wide around the places to which they set fire. The bushes and furze they rooted up were thrown into the centre, and increased the blaze. In this manner the entire mountain side, of which several hundred acres were overlooked from the spot where Ignacio stood, appeared dotted with brilliant fiery spots of some fifty feet in diameter, the more distant ones assuming a lurid blood-red look, seen through the fog and mist that had now gathered over the mountain. Ignacio approached the nearest of the fires, lighted close to a crag that almost overhung it, and that offered a sufficient shelter from the rain which had begun to descend in torrents. Throwing himself on the ground with his feet towards the flames, he endeavoured to get a little sleep, of which he stood much in need. But it was in vain. The situation in which he found himself suggested thoughts that he was unable to drive away. Gradually a sort of phantasmagoria passed before his "mind's eye," wherein the various events of his life, which, although a short one, had not the less been sadly eventful, were represented in vivid colours. He thought of his childhood, spent in the sunny _vegas_ of Andalusia--of the companions of his military studies, high-spirited free-hearted lads, of whom some had achieved honours and fame, but by far the greater part had died on the battle-field--the smoke of the bivouac fire, the merry laugh of the _insouciant_ soldier--the din and excitement of the fight--the exultation of victory, and the well-won and highly relished pleasures of the garrison town after severe duty in the field;--the graceful form of Gertrudis now flitted across the picture--her jetty hair braided over her pure white forehead, the light of her swimming "eye, that mocked her coal-black veil," flashing from under the mantilla. Her father, with his portly figure and good-humoured countenance, was beside her. They smiled at Ignacio, and seemed to beckon to him. So life-like was the illusion of his fancy, he could almost have sprung forward to join them. But again there was a change. A large and handsome room, a well-covered table--all the appliances of modern luxury--plate and crystal sparkling in the brilliant lights--a happy cheerful party surrounding the board. Alas, for the tragedy played on this stage! The hand of the spoiler was there--blood and womens' screams, dishevelled hair and men's deep oaths, the wild and broken accents of despair, the coarse jest and ferocious exultation of gratified brutality. And then all was dark and gloomy as a winter's night, and through the darkness was seen a grave-stone, shadowy and spectral, and a man still young, but with heart crushed and hopes blighted, lying prostrate before it, his breast heaving with convulsive sobs of agony, until at length he rose and moved sadly away, to become an exile and a wanderer in a foreign land.

Maddened by these reflections, Ignacio started to his feet, and was about to rush out into the storm, and fly, he knew not whither, from his own thoughts, when he suddenly became aware of the presence of a man within a few yards of him. The projecting crag, under which he had sought a shelter, extended all along one side of the fire. In one corner an angle of the rock threw a deep shadow, in which Ignacio now stood, and was thus enabled, without being seen himself, to observe the new-comer, who seated himself on a block of stone close to the fire. As he did so, the flame, which had been deadened by the rain, again burned up brightly, and threw a strong light on the features of the stranger. They were those of _El Sangrador_.

With stealthy pace, and trembling at every step, lest his prey should take the alarm, and even yet escape him, Ignacio stole towards his mortal foe. The noise of the storm, that still raged furiously, enabled him to get within five paces of him without being heard. He then halted, and silently cocking a pistol, remained for some time motionless as a statue. Now that his revenge was within his grasp, he hesitated to take it, not from any relenting weakness, but because the speedy death it was in his power to give, appeared an inadequate punishment--a paltry vengeance. Had he seen his enemy torn by wild horses, or broken on the wheel, his burning thirst for revenge would hardly have been slaked; and an easy, painless death by knife or bullet, he looked upon as a boon rather than a punishment. An end was put to his hesitation by the Carlist himself, who, either tormented by an evil conscience, or oppressed by one of those unaccountable and mysterious presentiments that sometimes warn us of impending danger, became restless, cast uneasy glances about him, and at last, turning round, found himself face to face with Ignacio. Almost before he recognized him, a hand was on his collar, and the muzzle of a pistol crammed into his ear. The click of the lock was heard, but no discharge ensued. The rain had damped the powder. Before Ignacio could draw his other pistol, the Carlist grappled him fiercely, and a terrible struggle commenced. Their feet soon slipped upon the wet rock, and they fell, still grasping each other's throats, foaming with rage, and hate, and desperation. The fire, now nearly out, afforded little light for the contest; but as they rolled over the smouldering embers, clouds of sparks arose, their clothes and hair were burned, and their faces scorched by the heat. The Carlist was unarmed, save with a clasp-knife, which, being in his pocket, was useless to him; for had he ventured to remove one hand from the struggle even for a moment, he would have given his antagonist a fatal advantage. At length the contest seemed about to terminate in favour of Ignacio. He got his enemy under, and knelt upon his breast, while, with a charred, half-burned branch which he found at hand, he dealt furious blows upon his head. Half-blinded by the smoke and heat, and by his own blood, the Carlist felt the sickness of death coming over him. By a last effort he slipped one hand, which was now at liberty, into his pocket, and immediately withdrawing it, raised it to his mouth. His teeth grated upon the blade of the knife as he opened it, and the next instant Ignacio, with a long deep sob, rolled over among the ashes. The Carlist rose painfully and with difficulty into a sitting posture, and with a grim smile gazed upon his enemy, whose eyes were glazing, and features settling into the rigidity of death. But the conqueror's triumph was short-lived. A deep bark was heard, and a moment afterwards a wolf-dog, drenched with mud and rain, leaped into the middle of the embers. Placing his black muzzle on Ignacio's face, he gave a long deep howl, which was succeeded by a growl like that of a lion, as he sprang upon the Carlist.

The morning after the storm, when the charcoal-burners returned to their fires, they found two dead bodies amidst the ashes. One of them had a stab in his breast, which had caused his death. The other was frightfully disfigured, and bore marks of the fangs of some savage animal. In that wild district, the skirmishing-ground of smugglers and _douaniers_, the mountaineers think little of such occurrences. A hole was dug, the bodies thrown into it; and a cross, rudely cut upon the rock, alone marks the spot where the midnight conflict took place.

* * * * *

MEMORANDUMS OF A MONTH'S TOUR IN SICILY.

LEAVING NAPLES.

STEAM-BOATIANA.

The _Francesco Primo_ was to leave the harbour at ten o'clock. Better acquaintance with Mediterannean _pyroscaphs_, as they call themselves, whose axle-trees turn not except when the police pleases, ought to have led us to all the latitude of uncertainty; but when two hours and more had elapsed with all the passengers aboard, we began to suppose some extraordinary cause for so long a detention. A deputation is accordingly dispatched to the captain, which brings back an abrupt reply, that he is not going _yet_; and that it is for him and the proprietors to be dissatisfied, who are wasting steam, while we are only losing patience. It shortly transpired that he was under Government orders, and would not proceed for another hour at _least_, nor even then, unless he received permission from the minister of police. The affair now looked serious. We must have some _carbonaro_ on board, who was, in due time, to be arrested; and no further doubt could remain of this, when, that other hour being past, we saw a longboat leaving shore, with two officers and six stout rowers, who soon brought her under our bow. What can it be? The senior epaulet rises in the boat--the second follows his example--both are on deck; the captain, hitherto unseen, now comes forward with alacrity, and, stretching forward _both_ his hands, receives with profound reverence a thin, square enclosure, with an immense seal attached to it, and retires to put it in a place of safety. The uniforms disappear over the side of the vessel--the paddles begin to paw the water--we swing round--and in a few seconds our prow points for the _Sorrentine_ coast, and we are on our watery way to _Sicily_. What, then, had detained us? It is always very provoking to have a miserable solution of a promising mystery! We were on the exact spot for a new edition of some "_Verbosa et grandis Epistola_" from the tyrants of the land; and so it was, but only not _from_ Capreæ or Tiberius this time. Yes! The actual cause of the delay of a great steam-boat, full of passengers, for three hours, attended, among other melancholy results, with that of exciting the choler of a new-made cardinal, was a _letter_ that the Queen of Naples, who had probably overslept herself, had occasion to write to the king on conjugal affairs!--his majesty having left her majesty only the day before, to show himself to his loving subjects at Palermo. Hem! Campania _felix_! If we were known to be inditing this unreverential passage, and its disloyal apostrophe, we should, no doubt, be invited to leave "Campania the happy" at a day's notice; whereas our comfort is, that this day three months it is quite possible that it will have been read in Bengal!

We are now in the middle of the Bay of Naples; the spot from which panoramas have been so often sketched on that noble elevation, the deck of a lofty ship, swinging on her cables. What numberless sites of unparallelled interest are hence visible to the newly arrived and insatiable stranger! _Misenum, Baiæ, Puteoli, Gaurus, Vesuvius, Herculaneum, Pompeii_! But the office of the cicerone here cannot--alas for Britain!--be confined to the old classics, or the mere indication of places whose very _names_ are things to _conjure with_! In America, we converse with nature only, whose voice is in her woods and waterfalls; but, in our threadbare Europe, all _sites_ are _historical_, and chiefly in one sad sense--for Waterloo only brings up the rear of fields illustrated by the wholesale destruction of mankind! In the position which we now occupy, volumes might be written--ay, and _have been written_.

Look at that proud, impregnable Castle of St Elmo, culminating over all Naples! Look at those sea-washed fortresses which guard the entrance of her harbour! The garrisons of those strong places having, in the year 1799, from the turn of public affairs, judged it expedient to capitulate to Ferdinand and his allies, on conditions which should leave their honour without blemish, and assure their own safety and that of the city; and this capitulation having been solemnly accepted and ratified by _Cardinal Ruffo, as the king's legate and plenipotentiary_, by the late _Sir Edward Foote_, as acting commodore of the British force, and by the representatives of _two European governments_, officially residing in the revolutionized city, and the surrender of the forts having accordingly taken place, it came to pass, in an evil hour, that Lord Nelson, entering the bay as commander-_in-chief_, took upon himself the odious responsibility of rescinding the British guarantee, and of supporting Ferdinand, powerless but through him, in his refusal to hold himself bound by a convention made _by his own viceroy_!--thus delivering over the defenceless city to its own implacable sovereign. Then came a political persecution unknown in the annals of mankind; till, _hebetes lasso lictore secures_, even Naples could bear no more! The noblest blood and the most distinguished talent were no protection at the bar of a special tribunal, with a low-born monster at its head, not surpassed in its atrocities by the revolutionary tyrants of Paris and of Lyons. The ships shared the infamy; the venerable and noble Caraccioli, seventy-five years of age, himself an admiral, was the first _piaculum_! Summarily condemned by a court-martial _held on board Nelson's flag-ship_, he was executed like a felon, and cast overboard from a Neapolitan frigate floating on the same anchorage, and subject to the same authority!

But Nelson's star was then in the ascendant; the presence and notorious influence of Emma Hamilton in these frightful transactions, was unaccountably connived at by the British nation. The officer who has been a party to a convention, which his commander-in-chief thinks proper not only to disapprove but to violate, must inevitably suffer in that fame and popularity which our public services so justly cherish. And in the state of men's passions during that memorable war, _so that it were against the French, a successful_ commander-in-chief could do no wrong! Yet here, probably, the matter would have rested; but when, nine years afterwards, _Stanier Clarke_ so little appreciated the duty of a biographer as to relate a transaction susceptible of no excuse, in terms unjustified by the facts, and sought to render his hero _immaculate_ at the _expense of others_, the excellent officer whose feelings and character had been so cruelly sacrificed, felt himself compelled at last to publish his "Vindication," judicious in every thing but _the title_. He most properly printed the _Convention itself_ in the original words, and with all the signatures it bore. Such works, however, even when the affairs they refer to are _recent_, are never read but by _friends_--or _enemies_. A late atonement was made by William IV. in conferring on Sir Edward Foote a titular distinction, which the public heed not; but the tables are now turned, and Europe, taught by Cuoco, Coletta, and by Botta, the great historian of Italy, has irrevocably closed this _great account_. The name of Foote is recorded in all their pages in terms which, had he seen them, might well have consoled him for the past; while the last and most popular biographer of Nelson (Southey) feels himself compelled to admit, and the frank admission does him infinite honour, that this is a passage of his hero's life which the muse of history "must _record with sorrow and with shame_."

But the sea spray is dashing splendidly on our bows--we are clearing Capri, and have, as we pass it, a fine view of that high and precipitous rock, thinking of Tiberius and the soothsayer Thrasyllus, and of all the monstrous scenes which those unapproachable cliffs concealed from the indignation even of a Roman world. But twilight was already coming on, and the city and the coast were gradually withdrawn from the panorama--dark night came rushing over the deep, an Italian summer's night, and yet with no stars or moon; meanwhile steadily rides our vessel along the Calabrian waters, confident alike of her strength and her bearings, which we soon left her to pursue, and went down to see what the cabin and the company promised below. And thus the hours passed away; and when the suspended lamp began to burn dimly under the skylight, and grey morning found stealthy admittance through the cabin windows, although we had been unable to sleep, the anticipation of all the marvels we were to see in Sicily had answered the purpose of a night's rest, and sent us active and alert on deck to fresh air and the rising sun. Nor were we a moment too soon. A large flotilla of little boats manoeuvring between two of larger size, placed to defend the space destined for their operations, were now in the full activity of the thunny and spada fishery; and a most picturesque rock, right over our bow, proved to be no other than _Monte Pelegrino_, at the foot of which lay Palermo and our breakfast--in short, after a voyage of little more than a summer's night, we are again on _terra firma_, if that name can be given to volcanic soils, and long before noon are actively engaged in perambulating the streets of the Sicilian capital of the _fæcunda Panormos_.

Among the most striking peculiarities of the interior or street views, presented to the stranger's eye at Palermo, are its very unusually situated convents, buildings which, even in cities, are commonly and naturally in _retirement_; but here, in whichever of the most public ways you walk, a number of extraordinary trellised balconies are observed on the upper stories of almost every large house, while business and bustle of all kinds are transacted as usual in the street below. You may well be surprised to see the nunnery over the _Marchande de Modes_! The unhappy inmates thus tormented by the sight and sound of worldly activity, have not in Palermo even the solace of a garden; and if these places of more than usual mortification have any connexion with the world without, it is by an under-ground passage to some church in the neighbourhood! Thither repair the poor victims of superstition to warble _Aves_ to the Virgin behind their screens, and then back again to their monotonous cloister. There are twenty-four nunneries in the city of Palermo alone, each containing from thirty to sixty women, and there are as many monasteries! With open doors like coffee-houses, full upon the street, are placed at Palermo innumerable _consulting shops_ of so many _lawyers_; the earliest to begin business, the last to close, you may have the luxury of law at any hour of the day till bedtime. Nay, your Sicilian lawyer, unlike the lazy tradesman who puts up his shutters and sleeps from twelve to four, takes no _siesta_; his _atra janua lilis_ is always open, and there sit the _firm_, one listening to a client, another smoking a cigar, a third chatting with an acquaintance over his coffee or the newspaper. Scarcely less mischievous than these sowers of dissension, is the _barber-surgeon_, who still flourishes in Trinacria. The bleeding arm over the peruke shop is often to be seen in Rome and Naples; but at Palermo almost at every third house, you read _Salassatore_ over a half-naked figure in wood or canvass, erect like Seneca in his bath, or monumentally recumbent, the blood spouting, like so many Tritons, from twenty orifices at once. Led by professional curiosity, we enter one of these open doors; and, desiring the ordinary service of the razor, and intending to ask some questions parenthetically touching the double craft, we have scarcely occupied the chair, when a smart youth comes up with a razor and a lancet, and quietly asks "_Which_?" Why, surely he could not think of _bleeding_ us without a warrant for our needing it. "_Eperchè? Adesso vi le dîrò subito_--Why not? I'll tell you whether you want it without a doctor,"--feeling for our pulse. "_Non c'è male_--not so much amiss," pursued the functionary; "but a few ounces bleeding would do you _no harm_! Your hand is hot, it must be _several months_ since you were last bled!" "A year." "Too long: you should be bled, at your age, at least _twice a-year_ if you would keep your health!" "What amount of depletion did he recommend?" "_Depende--di sei a dieci oncie_," at which portion of the dialogue our mouth was shut to all further interrogations by a copious supply of soap-suds, and now he became the tonsor only, and declares against the mode in which we have our hair cut: "They have cut your hair, Signor, _à condannato_--nobody adopts the toilette of the guillotine now; it should have been left to grow in front _à la Plutus_, or have been long at the sides _à la Nazarène_, which is the mode most of our Sicilian gentlemen prefer." We were about to rise, wash, and depart, but an impediment is offered by the artist. "_Non l'ho_ raffinato _ancora, Signor, bisogna_ raffinarlo _un poco_!" and before we could arrive at the occult meaning of _raffinare_, his fingers were exploring very technically and very disagreeably the whole surface over which his razor had travelled, and a number of supplementary scrapings were only stopped by an impatient _basta_ of the victim. _Still_ he was unwilling to part with us. _Would_ we like, now that we are on the spot, to _lose a few ounces of blood_ before he takes a stranger in hand, (who is waiting for the one or other operation;) and, as we most positively declined, he turned to the latter to ask him whether he was come for his "_piccolo salassio di sei oncie_." "_Gia_!" said Signor Antonio, taking off his coat, and sitting down with as much _sangfroid_ as if he were going to take his breakfast. "Can you shave _me_?" asks a third party, standing at the door. "_Adesso_," after I have _bled_ this gentleman. Such are all the _interiors_ where _Salassatore_ is written over the door; they bleed and they shave indifferently, and doing either, talk of the last _take_ of _thunny_, the _opera_ that has been or is to be, and the meagre skimmings of their permitted newspaper, _which_ begins probably with the advertisement of a church ceremony, and ends always with a charade--for our subscribers!!

CHURCHES.

The clergy are wealthy, the bishop's salary is 18,000 scudi, and many of the convents are very opulent; but there is scarcely one of the churches which you care to visit twice. Most of them are disgraced by vulgar ornaments, in which respect they surpass even the worst specimens at Naples! Gilt stucco, cut and stamped into flowery compartments, shows off like a huge twelfth cake! but the _Matrice_ or _Duomo_, and the Saracenic _Chapel of the Palazzo Reale_, and the cathedral of _Monreale_, four miles beyond the town, are noble exceptions; these in their several ways are all interesting, both within and without. The old Siculo-Norman archway of _Monreale_, and its fine bronze gates crusted with a beautiful hard polished _coin-like patina_, would repay the excursion, even were the interior less fine. Here we have columns from whose high architraves the Gothic arch springs vigorously; walls perfectly covered with old Byzantine mosaics; a roof of marvellous lightness, and almost modern elegance; still the critic, who is bound by _métier_ to find fault with violated canons, will, we must own, be at no loss for a text in the church of Monreale--a building which is, however, of sufficient importance in ecclesiastical architecture to have been designed, measured, and engraved, in whole and in part, in a splendid volume, published in folio, by the Duke of Serra di Falco.

VISIT TO THE GARDEN OF THE DUKE OF SERRA DI FALCO, NEAR PALERMO.

After a delicious half hour's drive through country lanes hedged with cactus, aloes, and pomegranates, we find ourselves in front of a small villa distant about two miles from the sea. As to the house, many an English gentleman, in very moderate circumstances, has a far better; but on passing the archway of this Sicilian country-box into its garden, two trees, which must be astonished at finding themselves out of Brazil--trees of surpassing beauty--are seen on a crimson carpet of their own fallen petals, mixed with a copious effusion of their seeds, like coral. At the northern extremity of Italy (Turin) this _Erythinia corallodendron_ is only a small stunted shrub; nor is it much bigger at Naples, where it grows under cover. Six years in the _open air_ have in Sicily _produced_ the tree before you: it is, in fact, larger than most of our fruit-bearers. We next recognise an agreeable acquaintance, formed two years ago, in the _Neapolis Japonicus_; it bears a delicate fruit, of the size of a plum, whose yellow, freckled skin contains such a nectar-like juice that the pine-apple itself scarcely excels it. Our fellow-passenger, the infallible voice of a new-made cardinal of the warlike name of Schwarzenburg, who tasted it here, as he told us, for the first time, has already pronounced a similar opinion, and no dissentients being heard, the Japan medlar passed with acclamation. The _Buggibellia spectabilis_ of New Holland, calls you to look at his pink _blossoms_, which are no other than his leaves in masquerade. We grub up, on the gardener's hint and permission, some of the _Cameris humilis_, to whose filamentous radicles are attached certain little grains, of great sweetness and flavour. The banana-tree, "_Musa paradisaica_," which, cooped in our low hot-houses at home, breaks its neck, and might well break its heart, as its annual growth is resisted by the inexorable glass dome, is here no prisoner but an acclimated denizen of sun and air. The _Cactus Opuntiæ_, or Indian fig, is here for vulgar tastes; and the _Cactus cochinellifera_ for the Luculluses of the day, who could afford to pay for its rearing. The small _sneezing plant_, a vegetable smelling-bottle, is still employed in headach by the common people of Sicily, who bruise the leaves and sniff their pungency: its vulgar name, _malupertusu_, is the corruption of Marum del Cortuso, as we find it in the ancient herbal of Durante. The _Ferula communis_ or _Saracinisca_, a legacy left to the Sicilian pedagogues by their eastern lords, is sold in fagots at the green-grocers, and fulfils the scholastic office of _birch_; and, being more elastic, must be pleasant to _flog with_. We recommend it to _head masters_. The _sumac_, _Rhus coriaria_, is not only to be seen here, but every where else in Sicily; and they say there is a daily exportation of one thousand sacks of its ground leaves. The ancients knew it well, and employed it for giving a flavour to their meat, as they do now in Nubia and Egypt, according to Durante, who deems its many virtues deserving of Latin verse. We smell pepper!--a graceful shrub, whose slender twigs stand pencilled out like sea-weed spread upon paper; and the _Schinus mollis_, a leaf of which we have gathered ignorantly, is the source of the smell. We strew some leaves on the basin of a neighbouring fountain, and amuse ourselves by seeing them swim about as if they were bewitched, parting at the same time with a whitish fluid, which, spreading on the surface of the water, gives it an iridescent hue. The _Fuchsia arborescens_ of Japan flowers here, they say, every month, just as we see him in all his pink luxuriance, and makes himself quite at home; and here is that little blue vegetable butterfly, the _Polygala_! Who can overlook his _winged_ petals, peeping out of their myrtle-looking bower? Then the _geraniums_!--not potted, as in Covent-Garden, or the _Marché aux Fleurs_, but forming vast parti-coloured _hedgerows_, giving to every pathway its own _particular flower and perfume_; so that a connoisseur might be taken blindfold and declare where each kind grew. _Hedges of geranium seven feet high_! Think of that, ye _Dicksons_ and nursery-ground men about _Brompton_ and the _King's Road_! The stalks a mass of real ligneous matter, fit for the turner's lathe if it were but hard enough. A small mound enables us to look about us more at large; and now we discern the stately _bamboo_, thicker than your arm, and tall as a small mast; and the _sugar-cane_, formerly cultivated for his juice, but now looking as if he were ill-used and neglected. His biography (but as it is not _auto_-biography, and written with his own _reed_, there may be some mistake) is remarkable. Soon after the annexation of Sicily to Spain in 1420, he was carried from Syracuse into Spanish captivity; he then escaped to Madeira and the Canaries, and at length saved himself in the West Indies. The _pistachia_ is also here, with its five-partite sessile leaf, like a dwarf walnut; the capsule holding the nut containing at present only a white germ, which it will require four months more to bring to nutty maturity. The _manna_-tree is very like an _alder_ in its general character, but thicker in its stem, and bears the cicatrices of last year's _ill treatment_; its wounds, however, will not bleed afresh now; but towards August the _salassatore_ of trees will run his steel into its limbs, taking care to place under the bleeding orifices leaves from the _cactus_ hedge hard by to serve as recipients, and drain its juices till it faints.

That a _leaf_ might not be _wanting_ to record these vegetable treasures, the pagoda-topped _papyrus_ nodded to us gracefully, and offered its services; while, to finish the picture, Angola goats are browsing amid the green and yellow ribbed _agaves_; and the beautiful blue sea peeps in through gaps of the wall of _cactus_, whose green stems are now all fringed with yellow blossoms. Leaving the flower garden, we enter a labyrinth, and arrive at a small hut, with a closed door, upon the threshold of which we have scarcely pressed, when the wicket flies open, and a big brown friar, with long beard and sandals, starts up in act to frighten us, which he succeeds in doing. This automaton _Schedoni_ might really well produce abortion, and would not care if he did: he cannot, we suppose, be placed there as a lawful instrument of relief, for all the _donzelle_ of Palermo must be _aware_ of, and be used to him. This, however, is thought so good a joke, that it is repeated with variations; for on releasing another spring a similar contrivance introduces us to another monk of the same convent, who is reading a huge tome on the lives of the saints: resenting the interruption, he raises his head, and fixes his eyes on the intruder, at the same time beckoning to him with his hand, and intimating that if he will do him the favour to come a little nearer, he will knock him down with the folio, as Johnson did Osborn the bookseller.

Another surprise is--but really these are surprising enough--and we came here to see vegetable rarities, and not the tricks of an overgrown toyshop.

THE THUNNY FISHERY.

[Greek: Tan baitan apodys eis chymaia taena haleymai, Hopeth tos Oynnos schopiazeiai 'Olpis o' gripeys.]--THEOC.

The thunny fishery, if not as exciting as that of the whale, is far from uninteresting to the uninitiated. We were rowing about in want of an object, when our boatmen proposed to take us to see this animating species of labour; and off we went to a spot about two miles from shore, where we came upon a little flotilla of boats, all occupied in the common pursuit. A large quantity of floating cork announced our arrival on the fishing ground; then came long lines of buoys, to which the drop-nets were attached, and at last we drew alongside a small boat, hailing which, we learn that the net is already half-drawn, and that _la pipa_ (the sword-fish) is _in_ it. Now, we had long wanted to see a live sword-fish, but there was no need to stimulate our rowers, who appeared equally eager that we should assist at the fun, and made great exertions to reach the spot in time. "_Questa_," says our guide, showing the boundary of the space circumscribed by walls of net; "_questa è la camera della morte_, (this is the chamber of death,) _piano, piano_, (or we shall shoot ahead.") The space thus designated lay between two long barges, one of which was fixed by anchor, and had few people on board, while the other was crowded with naked limbs, and fine heads in Phrygian bonnets, academy figures every man of them. What symmetry of form! what jet black beard and mustache! what dark flashing eyes! what noses without reproach! All were in the various combinations of action which their position demanded, hauling away at what seemed to our impatience an endless net; by the shortening of which, however, as their boat received it, layer upon layer, fold upon fold, coil upon coil, they were slowly bringing up the reticulated wall. As the place of captivity came nearer, every body was intensely anxious to get a first view of the fish; and many other boats were coming up alongside of ours, which fortunately lay right over the meshes of the prison, which was becoming every second more and more restricted in size. At length some of us obtained a first view of the _spada_ and his long sword, and testified our delight with vociferation. The fish, meanwhile, who hates publicity, backs off, and would back out, to the opposite end of the net, where, still finding himself an object of unpleasant remark, he tries by violence to escape sideways; but that is _no go_ even for a sword-fish, for a sword is his which cannot cut cords, and he soon finds he can make nothing of it. Smaller and smaller, meanwhile, is becoming the condemned hold, and greater and greater the perturbation within. The captive fish begins to swim round and round, and to watch a new opportunity, but it is too late!--too many are on the look-out for him! Every man gets ready his hooked pole, and there is more tightening of the tackle! The terrified fish now rises to the surface, as it were to reconnoitre, and then down he dives with a lash of his tail, which sends buckets of water into the boat of the assailants. This dive, of course, only carries him to the false bottom of the net, and come up presently he must! Every eye now looks _fishy_, and every man's hand is armed for the first blow. One tall athletic fellow takes aim, and misses; another is more successful, and hits. Stunned by the blow, the poor fish flounders on this side and on that, and the water is discoloured by his blood! One, two, three pointed poles at once, are again in his flank; and now he rushes about like a rounded lion, brandishing his tail, and dashing up whirlpools of water. More Blows! more blood! He rushes desperately at the net, and running his long snout into the meshes, is hopelessly entangled. It is all over with him! Countless wounds follow, till he turns over on his side, and is handed up lifeless into the boat.

"There," says one, "goes fifteen scudi's worth, and no harm done to _the net_." "Little enough, too; but he is worth two thunny, anyhow," says another. "Ay! and gives more _sport_," exclaims a third. Such piscatory eclogue fell upon our ear, when our guide announced to us that we had now seen every thing. The excitement over, we sat down in our boat to make a note of what we have written, while the boatmen clave the phosphorescent water homewards, and landed us neatly at sunset, with their oars dripping luminous drops at every stroke, in the beautiful harbour of Palermo.

Some days after we were still more fortunate; we had observed the scouts with a white hood over their boat, _looking keenly down_ (_vide_ our quotation from Theocritus) into the deep blue sea, and watching with all-eyed attention for the apparition of some giant shadow which should pass athwart the abyss, and give the signal for a new chase, while their comrades were hauling in an immense miscellaneous _take_ of fish, the acquisition of the morning. We shot the outpost, (placed to prevent larger vessels from entering the fishing preserves and injuring the nets,) and remarked our boatmen uncovering to a small _Madonna_ railed in alongside. We were just in time on this occasion to see the water enclosed in the _camera della morte_, already all alive with fish; for a shoal of _palamide_, and of immense _pesce di moro_, filled the reticulated chamber. They darted here and there as the net was raising, and splashed so furiously about, that the whole water became one lather; meanwhile, the men who had been singing gaily, now prepared their landing-nets, shouting in a way which certainly _did_ seem to increase the terror of their prisoners, who redoubled their efforts to escape.

The rich hues of the _palamide_, in shape and colour not unlike our mackerel, but with longitudinal, in place of transverse, green bands, were beautiful objects as they were raised all iridescent in their freshness out of the water, and transferred to the side boat. We also noticed in the net one or two immense fish, in shape like rounded parallelograms, with tough shagreen hides, goggle eyes, and two immense leathery fins placed at the lower part of the abdomen. They kept flapping these valves up and down, but not offering to strike, though lugged out by a hook. The haul was a good one, each fish worth a ducat; and had they, in fact, been at this price converted into coin at once, the money would have made no mean show in the bottom of the net. The treacherous _camera della morte_ was emptied quickly, and in one minute more, down it went again into the depths below.

We should have mentioned a singular practice of the fishermen of the present day in Sicily, to _pat_ the thunny while he is in the net, as you pat a horse or dog: They say it makes him docile. This done, they put their legs across his back, and _ride_ him round the net room, an experiment few would practise on the dolphin's back, at least in these days; yet Aulus Gellius relates that there was a dolphin who used to delight in carrying children on his back through the water, swimming out to sea with them, and then putting them safe on shore! Now, _but for the coins_, taking the above custom into consideration, one might have supposed the ancients' _delphinus_ to have been the modern _thunny_.

THE FISH MARKET.

"Dragged through the mire, and bleeding from the hock," lay a continuous mass of slaughtered thunny, mouths wide open, bloody sockets, from which the eyes had been torn to make lamp-oil, gills ripped off to be eaten fresh, and roes in baskets by their sides. There was also a quantity of a fish of dirty white belly and dusky back, the _alalonga_, and two huge _dolphins_, with skins full of lamp-oil. This really ugly creature looks far better in the _delphin_ title-pages, with his lamp and his "_alere flammam_" on clean paper, than on the stall; but his very best appearance is on a fine Sicilian coin, with _Arion on his back_. The snouts of four large sword-fish were also conspicuous; and there was thunny enough for all the world: some of the supply, however, was to be hawked about the streets, in order to which cords are placed under the belly of a thunny of fifteen cwt., and off he goes slung on a pole, with a drummer before and a drummer behind, to disturb every street and alley in Palermo till he is got rid of; not that the stationary market is quiet; for the noise made in selling the mutest of all animals is in all countries really remarkable; but who shall do justice to a _Sicilian_ Billingsgate at _mezzogiorno_! "_Trenta sei, trenta sei_," bawls out the Padrone, cleaving a fish in twain with one stroke of an immense chopper kept for the purpose. "_Trenta sei, trenta sei_," repeat the two journeymen accomplices, one counting it on his fingers to secure accuracy and telegraph the information to distant purchasers, or such as cannot _hear_ in the noise; another holds up a slice as a specimen; three fellows at our elbow are roaring "_tutti vivi, tutta vivi_," "_a sedici, a sedici_." The man of _whitings_, and even he of _sardines_, have a voice and a figure of their own. As you approach each stall, the noisy salesmen suspend their voices, and enquire, in gentler accents, if you intend to buy; if you do not, like the cicada their stunning sound returns as soon as you are past. We have hinted that the thunny, "_Integer et cadavere toto_," does not look handsome: vastly less attractive is he when mutilated. Big as an elephant's thigh, and with flesh like some black-blooded bullock of ocean breed, his unsavoury meat attracts a most repulsive assemblage, not only of customers, but of flies and wasps, which no flapping will keep off from his grumous liver. The _sword-fish_ cuts up into large bloodless slices, which look on the stall like so many fillets of very white veal, and might pass for such, but that the head and shoulders are fixed upon a long lance, high above the stall, to inform the uninitiated that the delicate looking meat in question was fed in the pastures of the deep. The _price_ of thunny, a staple commodity and object of extensive Sicilian commerce, varies considerably with the supply; as to the demand, it never ceases. During our stay in Palermo, a whole fish would fetch about eight _scudi_, and his retail price was about twopence _per English pound_. Think of paying three or four _francs_ for less than half a pound _sott 'olio_ in Paris. The supply seems very constant during the season, which, on the Palermo side of the island, is from May to July, and continues a month later along the _Messina_ coast; after which, as the fish cease to be seen, it is presumed here that they have sailed to the African coast. The flesh of the _spada_ fish is generally double in market price to that of the thunny, selling during the greater part of June at about fourpence a-pound. Every thunny is weighed upon landing, and a high tax paid upon it to the king, who, in consideration thereof, charges his Sicilian subjects no duty for gunpowder or salt. The fixed fisheries for thunny, round the Sicilian coast, are upwards of a dozen, the most famous being that of Messina. At Palermo, however, they sometimes take an immense strike of several hundred in one expedition. The average weight of a full grown thunny, is from 1000 to 1200 pounds; of course the men with poles who land him, can carry him but a little way, and he reaches the market by relays. Every bit of him is eaten, except his bones and his eyes, and even these yield a quantity of oil.

The spada, too, is pickled down to his bones--he is in great request for the hotels, and his eyes, duly salted, are considered a sort of luxury; in some places these are the perquisite of the fishermen, yielded by their employers, who farm the fisheries, and having satisfied the king, make what terms they can with the subject.

* * * * *

COMMERCIAL POLICY--RUSSIA.

From the brief review, in our last Number, of Spain, her commercial policy, her economical resources, her fiscal rigours, her financial embarrassments, these facts may be said to have been developed:--In the first place, that theoretically--that is, so far as legislation--Spain is the land of restrictions and prohibitions; and that the principle of protection in behalf, not of nascent, but of comparatively ancient and still unestablished interests, is recognized, and carried out in the most latitudinarian sense of absolute interdict or extravagant impost. Secondly, that under such a system, Spain has continued the exceptional case of a non or scarcely progressing European state; that the maintenance and enhancement of fiscal rigours and manufacturing monopoly, jealously fenced round with a legislative wall of prohibition and restriction, has neither advanced the prosperity of the quarter of a million of people in Catalonia, Valencia, and Biscay, in whose exclusive behalf the great and enduring interests of the remaining thirteen millions and upwards of the population have been postponed or sacrificed--nor contributed to strengthen the financial resources of the government, as proved by the prostrate position and prospects of a bankrupt and beggared exchequer; that, as the necessary and inevitable consequence, the progress of agriculture, the ascendant interest of all-powerful communities and vast territorially endowed states--of Spain, the almost one only interest and element of vitality, economical and political--has been impeded, and continues to be discouraged; that the march of internal improvements is checked or stunted, when not absolutely stayed; finally, that public morals--the social health of a great people, inheritors of glorious antecedents, of an historic renown for those qualities of a high order, the deep-seated sentiment of personal, as of national honour and dignity, the integrity, fidelity, and gallantry, which more loftily spurn contaminating approximation with action springing out of base, sordid, and degrading motives and associations--have been sapped and corrupted by the debasing influences of that gigantic system of organized illicit trade which covers Spain with hordes of _contrabandistas_, more numerous and daring than the bands of _aduaneros_ and the armies of regulars whom they set at defiance, and infests the coast of Spain with fleets of smuggling craft, which all the _guardas costas_, with the ancient armada of Spain, were it in existence, would be powerless to annihilate. And all this fine nation, of warm and generous temperament, of naturally noble and virtuous aspirations, thus desperately to be dismantled of its once-proud attributes, and demoralized in its character; its exhaustless riches of soil and climate to be wantonly wasted--per force of false legislation to be left uncultured--and for why? Shades of the illustrious Gabarrus and Jovellanos, why? Why, to enable some half dozen _fabricantes_ of Barcelona to keep less than half-a-dozen steam-engines at work, which shall turn some few thousands of spindles, spinning and twisting some few millions of pounds of yarn, by which, after nearly three quarters of a century that the cotton manufacture has been planted, "swathed, rocked, and dandled" with legislative fondness into a rickety nursling, some fifty millions of yards of cotton cloths are said to be painfully brought forth in the year; the value of which may probably be equal to the same or a larger quantity of French cottons introduced by contraband, and consumed in the provinces of Catalonia and Arragon themselves--the first being sole seat of the cotton manufacture for all Spain. And for this deplorable consummation, the superabundant harvests of the waving fields, the luscious floods of the vineyards, the full flowing yield of the olive groves of Spain--of the wine, the oil, and the corn, of which nature is more bountiful than in Egypt of old--the produce and the wealth of the millions, (which, permitted, would exchange advantageously for foreign products, and, bye all the value, add to the store of national wealth, and create the means of reproduction,) are left to run waste and absolutely perish on the ground, as not worth the cost of transport to markets without demand. "The production of this soil," observes the Ayuntamiento of Malaga, in their eloquent _Exposicion_ to the Cortes cited in our last Number, after referring to their own port and province, in whose elaboration thousands and thousands of hands are employed, millions and millions of capital invested, "are consumed, if not in totality, at least with close approximation, in England;" and after enumerating the wines, oil, raisins, grapes, oranges, lemons, and almonds, as products so consumed in this country--"We have active and formidable rivals in France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, the Greek Archipelago, and other countries. We shall say nothing of the wools, corn and other fruits of Spain, so important, and some so depressed in England by foreign competition with those of this province. If the treaties of commerce of England with Italy and Turkey are carried into effect, the exportation of our oils and dried fruits will receive its death warrant--_queda herida demuerte_. France, Germany, and Portugal, accepting favourably the idea of the British Government, will cause our wines to disappear from the market; their consumption is already very limited, inasmuch as the excessive duty, to one-third the amount of which the value of the wine does not reach, at the mouth of the Thames, prevents the sale of the inferior dry wines. The same excessive duty tends to diminish the consumption of our fruits from year to year. Our oil has alone been able to find vent by favour of the double duty imposed till now upon Sicilian, superior to ours in quality. But the English speculators are already shy of purchasing, in the expectation of an assimilation of duties on oils of whatever origin." The Ayuntamiento proceeds to urge the necessity of a "beneficial compensation" to British manufactures in the tariff of Spain, without which, "the flattering perspective" of prosperous progress for the industry and agriculture of the Andalusias will be destroyed, and that those vast, rich, and fertile provinces will become a desolate desert. "The admission or prohibition of foreign woven cottons," says the _Exposicion_, "is for Malaga and its province of vital importance under two aspects--of morality and commerce. Until now we have endured the terrible consequences of prohibition. The exorbitant gain which it supports is the germ of all the crimes perpetrated in our country. The man who carries a weapon, who uses it and sheds the blood of an agent of the law in the defence of his illegally acquired goods, will not hesitate in shedding the blood of a fellow citizen who may stand in the way of his desires. And hence the frequent assassinations. He who with gold seduces others for the increase of his own property and for antisocial purposes, does not scruple, when fortune is adverse, to possess himself by violence of the gold of the honest husbandman, or peaceful trader: from hence the constant robberies in the less frequented places; from hence the general abuse of carrying prohibited arms of all sorts, and using them criminally against any one on the least provocation, already accustomed to use them against the Government. Who shall venture to enumerate the assassinations, the robberies, the ruined families, the misfortunes of all kinds, which, directly and indirectly, spring from contraband trade?"

Such is the _Exposicion_, such the experience, and such the views of a patriotic and enlightened corporation, representing and ruling over one of the most populous, wealthy, and industrially disposed districts of Spain. Our object in prefacing at this length, and with seeming irrelevance, perhaps, our review of the commercial policy of Russia, with its bearings on the interests of Great Britain, is to show the differing action of the same commercial system, in the present case of the prohibitive and restrictive system in different countries, both in respect of the mode in which the internal progress and industry of countries acting upon the same principle are variously affected themselves and in respect of the nature and extent of the influences of such action upon those relations of interchange which they entertain, or might otherwise entertain, with other countries where an opposite or modified system prevails. In its broad features the system of Russia varies from that of Spain only in being more rigorous and intractable still. Both, however, are founded on the same exclusive principle, that of isolation--that of forcing manufactures at whatever cost--that of producing all that may be required for domestic consumption--of exporting the greatest possible maximum--of importing the lowest conceivable minimum. Starting from the same point, and for the same goal, it will not be without interest or instruction to accompany and observe the progress of the one, as we have already endeavoured to illustrate the fortunes of the other--to present Russia, industrial and commercial, side by side, or in contrast with Spain, as we have described her. Your absolute theory men, your free-traders with one idea, like Lord Howick, your performers in the economic extravaganza now rehearsing in the Parliament-house under the style of "leave imports free, and the exports will take care of themselves," may chance to meet with many strange facts to confound their arbitrary theorems on the banks of the Neva. Absolute of wisdom, however, as they arrogate to be, and casehardened as they are, against assaulting results which should destroy their self-willed principle--a principle, like the laws of the Medes and Persians, proclaimed to be unchanged and unchangeable--in face of which facts are powerless and adverse experience contumeliously scouted, or mendaciously perverted, it is sufficiently obvious that lessons in political economy will, less than from any quarter of the globe, perhaps, be accepted from St Petersburg--they will fall upon unwilling ears--upon understandings obtuse or perverted.

We are not of the number of those who would contend that, under all times or circumstances, should a principle, or rather the system built upon a principle, be rigorously upheld in its application intact, sacred equally from modification on the one hand, as against radical revolution on the other. It cannot be denied that, under the protective system, have grown into their present gigantic proportions all the great manufacturing interests of Great Britain. But, with customary hardihood of assertion, maintain the economists--in whose wake follow the harder-mouthed, coarser-minded Cobdens of the League--although manufactures have flourished under such a system to an extent which has constituted this country the workshop of the world, they have so flourished in spite of the system; and, in its absence, left exposed to free unrestricted competition from abroad, must inevitably have progressed at a more gigantic rate of speed still. This is asserted to be in the order of nature, but as nature is every where the same--as the same broad features and first elements characterize all countries more or less alike--we ask for examples, for one example only, of the successful establishment and progress of any one unprotected industry. The demand is surely limited, and reasonable enough. The mendacious League, with the Brights and Cobdens of rude and riotous oratory, are daily trumpeting it in the towns, and splitting the ears of rural groundlings with the reiterated assertion that, of all others, the cotton manufacture owes nothing to protection. What!--nothing? Were general restrictive imposts on foreign manufactures no protection? Was the virtually prohibited importation of the cotton fabrics of India no boon? of India, root and branch sacrificed for the advancement of Manchester? Why, there are people yet alive who can recollect the day when Manchester cottons could not have stood one hour's competition with the free, or even 100 per cent taxed fabrics of India.[40] How, indeed, could competition have been possible, with the wages of weaving and spinning in India at three-halfpence per day, whilst for equal quantities and qualities of workmanship, the British weaver was earning five shillings, and the spinner ten shillings per day on the average? In 1780, Mr Samuel Crompton, the ingenious inventor of the mule frame for spinning, such as it exists to this day, and is the vast moving machine of cotton manufacturing greatness, stated that he obtained _fourteen_ shillings per lb. for the spinning and preparation of No. 40 yarn, twenty-five shillings for No. 60, and two guineas for No. 80. The same descriptions of yarns are now profitably making at prices ranging from about tenpence to twentypence per lb. At the same period common calicoes were saleable at about two shillings per yard, which now may be purchased for threepence. Will it be said that the Indian spinner and weaver by hand could not, at the same epoch, have produced their wares at one-half the price, had not importation, with unrelenting jealousy, been interdicted? Was the rigid prohibition of the export of machinery no concession, all exclusively and prodigiously in the interest of the cotton manufacture, to the zealous promotion and ascendancy of which the mining and agricultural interests are unhesitatingly, not to say wantonly, prejudiced, if not absolutely perilled? We say wantonly, because the free exportation of cotton yarn, tolerated at the same moment, was an absurd and mischievous violation of the very principle on which the prohibited exportation of machinery was alone and could be justified. In face of these incontrovertible facts, of which hereafter, and now that the record of them is consigned to that wide circulation through the world which the pages of Blackwood only can afford, misrepresentation remains without excuse on the question of that fostering protection to which, in a larger degree, if not exclusively, the cotton manufacture of Great Britain is indebted for its growth to its present colossal, mammoth-like, and almost unwieldy grandeur. We do not, however, whilst re-establishing facts in their purity, dream the practical impossibility of confounding and disarming the ignorance of men unfortunately so ill educated and unread, and with intellect so incapable, apparently, of appreciating instruction, if not wilfully perverse, as the Cobdens, or of restraining the less coarse but more fluent flippancy and equally unscrupulous assurance of friend Bright, from resort to that stock and stale weapon of vulgar minds which is so readily drawn from the armoury of falsehood. To the end of the chapter they will lie on, until doomsday arrive, and they sink, like the Henry Hunts, _et id genus omne_, their at least as well-bred predecessors of the popularity-hunting school, to their proper level in the cess-pool of public contempt. Time, which executes justice upon all in the long run, cannot fail to lay the ghost of cotton and anti-corn law imposture, even in the troubled waters of the muddy Irk and Irwell, where first conjured from. And now, having shown how the cotton manufacture of Great Britain was from its birth cradled, rocked, and dandled into successful progress; how it was fostered and fenced round with protection and prohibitive legislation as against competition from abroad; we shall proceed with our review of the rise and career of _protected_ manufactures in Russia. And we would counsel "one who has whistled at the plough," whose "farming notes" in the _Morning Chronicle_, when confined to such matters of practical detail as may be supposed to lie within the scope of his own experience and comprehension, are not destitute of interest and information, though with distorted and exaggerated views, to ponder well before a next reiteration of the random and absurd assertion that the "corn-law has done to agriculture _what every law of protection has done for every trade that was ever practised_--it has induced negligence, and, by its uncertain operation, has obstructed enterprise." Instead of whistling at the plough, such a writer almost deserves to be whipped at the cart's tail for so preposterously dogmatic an assumption. It has yet to be demonstrated, and the proof is challenged, that ever a great interest, whether manufacturing or agricultural, was established in any part of the world, since the creation, without the aids and appliances of legislative and guernatorial patronage. The degree, the qualification the practical limitations, which in the progress of time, with social and industrial changes supervening at home and abroad, may be rendered expedient or necessary in the application of the principle, constitute quite a different question, which may be discussed and entertained without any disparagement of the soundness of the policy, as best adapted to existing circumstances, of the system when first applied. The theory of free trade may be, in its entirety, as plausibly it is presented to us, founded on just principle; the abstract truth and perfection of which are just as unimpeachable as that of the social theory propounded by Rousseau in the Savoyard's profession of faith, or that of the "liberty, equality, and community of property" (to say nothing of women) theory preached, and practically developed to some extent, in the paganish philosophies and New Harmony vagaries of the St Simonians, the Fourierians, and of Robert Owen, in these our days. And yet, from the beginning of time--whether from the world before the flood, or since the reconstruction of the world after--never, to this present epoch, has one single example come down to us of the sober realization of either the economical abstraction or the social abstraction. Primeval chaos, chaos existing before all time, could alone have represented the _beau-ideal_ of each. So far indeed as their own demesnes and domains, Laban and Pharaoh were not without their practical proficiency in the elements of economical science--for the one knew how to sell his daughters, as the other his corn, in the "dearest market;" and each to buy his labour and his money at the "cheapest." And never will these free-trade and social day-dreams be accomplished to the end of all time; never until chaos come again; never, unless perchance the Fitzwilliams and the Phillipses, impregnated with the beatific reveries of socialist Robert Owen, should throw open, the one, Wentworth hall, with its splendid parks and spacious domains--the other, his Manchester mills, wonder-working machinery, and million of capital stock, to joint-stock occupancy, with common right of possession of the rural labourers who till the ground, and the urban operatives who ply the shuttle--the producers, in fact, of all their wealth--share and share alike; themselves, in future, undertaking the proportion of daily task-work; driving the "teams afield," or tenting the mule-frame. Should, perhaps, the Phalansterial system of Fourier preferably suit their taste, they will be entitled to enter into the "phalanx of harmony," and share _à des degrés différents, dans la répartition des trots facultés--capital, travail, talent_, ... with the enjoyment of such an apartment in the Phalansterial "palace" for four hundred families, the minimum of the phalanx being eighty, which may compare with the quality of _répartition_ corresponding to them, as expounded by Madame Gatti de Gamond, the principal legatee of Fourier and his system.

[40] The cotton piece goods of India were still subject, in 1814, to a duty on importation equal to 85 per cent. This duty was reduced on the 5th of July 1819, but to L.67, 10s. per cent only. Finally, in 1825 the duty was again reduced to 10 per cent, at which it remains. The duty on cotton yarn imported from India was at the same time subject to a duty of 10d. per lb., and so remained till 1831 at least. It must be borne in mind, that India was the only country in the world which, before and during the rise of the cotton manufacture in Great Britain, was, or could be, an exporter of cotton fabrics and yarns.

In the course of the discussions which terminated in the treaty of commerce and navigation with Russia, laid before parliament on the opening of the session--the stipulations of which, however, chiefly bore upon the extension of certain reciprocal rights of navigation--the Emperor Nicholas, in answer to representations pressed upon him from this country, for a liberal extension of the same principle to the general commerce of Russia, to foreign imports as well as shipping and exports--to let in a glimmer of the free-trade principle, in fact--replied, as we observed in a former article, that "the system, such as it was, he had received from his predecessors, and it was found to work well for the interests of his empire." The Autocrat, despot as he may be, was not singular in the opinion; for even our esteemed friend Count Valerian Krasinski, distinguished no less for the solidity of his literary attainments than for the liberality of opinion and the patriotism which condemns him to the penalty of exile in a "dear country's cause," who therefore will not be suspected of undue bias in favour of Russian systems, had written and published in an able article on Russia, treating _inter alia_ of the rise and progress of her manufactures and commerce, to the following effect:--"The manufacturers of Russia commenced, as in other countries, with the beginning of its political importance, but have been chiefly indebted for their encouragement and progress to the efforts of the Government ... The (protective) system has been steadily adhered to with constantly increasing energy, and _the most brilliant success_, up to the present time." This was published in 1842. We shall proceed to test the merits of the case by reference to documents of official origin, Russian and British--both to the latest dates to which made up in a sufficiently complete shape for the object in view, and the former in some instances later than any yet published in this country, and, as believed, exclusively in our possession. We shall have to deal with masses of figures; but to the general reader in search of truth, they can hardly fail to be more acceptable than whole pages of allegations and assumptions unsupported by proof, however eloquently worked out to plausible conclusions.

We commence with laying the foundation for a comprehension of the industrial progression of Russia, by a comparative statement of the average imports of a few of the chief articles of consumption, raw materials of manufacture, and manufactures, for two series, of three years each; the first series being the earliest for which official records can be cited, or were perhaps kept. Accidental circumstances, and the special influences which, favourably or unfavourably, may act upon particular years, producing at one time a feverish excess of commercial movement, and at another, a reacting depression as unnatural, are best corrected and balanced by taking averages of years. Thus, the mean term of imports for 1793, 1794, and 1795, may be thus contrasted with that for 1837, 1838, and 1839, of the following commodities:--

Annual imports, 1793-95 1837-9 Sugar, 341,356 poods 1,675,806 poods Olive oil, 42,239 ib. 345,455 ib. Machines and Instruments of all kinds, for 111,300 silver rubles 1,025,264 silver rubles Woollen cloths for 3,978,000 ib. 570,000 ib. Raw cotton, 10,000 poods 315,000 ib. Cotton-yarn, 50,000 ib. 600,000 ib. Cotton fabrics for 2,600,000 silver rubles 3,866,000 ib.

During the first triennial period, a large proportion of the sugars imported was in the refined state, the number of sugar refineries being then very limited; in the second period, the imports consisted exclusively of raw sugar for the numerous existing refining establishments, which consumed besides 125,000 poods of beet-root sugar, the produce of the beet-root works established in Southern Russia. Woollen manufactories have so rapidly and extensively increased, that, whereas, comparatively a few years past only, the manufacture of woollens was confined almost exclusively to the coarser sorts for army use, whilst the better qualities for the consumption of the more easy classes, and for export to Asia, were imported from abroad, chiefly from Great Britain; for the fifteen years preceding 1840 the case has been completely altered. The import of foreign woollens has almost altogether ceased for internal consumption in Russia, whilst no woollens but of Russian make are now exported to Asia, and especially China. The export of these home-made woollens figures far above two millions of rubles yearly in the tables of Russian commerce with eastern countries. It will be seen that while the imports of cotton yarn, in the space of forty-two years, had increased in the proportion from 1 to 12 only, that of raw cotton had advanced in the proportion from 1 to 32. The facts are significant of the growing extension both of spinning factories and the cotton manufactories. It is difficult to understand or credit the increased imported values of cotton fabrics here represented, knowing, as we do, the decreased export to Russia in our own tables of values and quantities. But we shall have occasion hereafter, perhaps, to notice some peculiarities in the Russian official system of valuations, which may probably serve to clear up the ambiguity. But although importing foreign cottons for internal consumption, Russia is moreover an exporter of domestic fabrics, to the value of about one million of silver rubles, on the side of Asia. In order to avoid as far as possible the multiplication of figures by the accompanying reduction of the moneys and weights of Russia into English quantities, it may be convenient to state, that the silver ruble is equal to 37-1/2d. sterling, and, in commercial reckoning, the pood answers to 36 lbs. avoirdupois.

Limiting our views for the present to the trade in cottons, as the manufacture of cottons is of much more recent growth in Russia than woollen and other manufactures, we find that the exact imports, quantities, or values, of cotton and yarn, are thus quoted in Russian official returns for the three last years to which made up _seriatim_.

1839. 1840. 1841. Raw cotton, 354,832 398,189 314,000 poods. Cotton yarn, 535,817 519,189 560,799 ...

The depressed state of the cotton trade in 1841 in this country, with the very low prices of yarn, from consignments pushed, in consequence, for sale at any rates against advances, were doubtless the cause of the increased imports of yarn, and the decrease in raw cotton, exhibited in the returns for 1841. Otherwise, the import of raw cotton has been comparatively much more on the increase than cotton yarn for some years past. Thus, beginning with 1822, when the cotton industry began more rapidly to develope itself, but omitting the years just given, the imports stood thus:--

1822. 1830. 1838. Raw cotton, 55,838 116,314 326,707 poods Cotton-yarn, 156,541 429,736 606,667 ib.

Now, it will not be denied that the cotton manufacture in this country has enjoyed supereminent advantages over that of any other in the world, whether we look at the protective scale of duties maintained for half a century in its favour against foreign competition, or regard those glorious inventions and improvements in machinery, of which rigorous prohibitive laws against export, during the same period in force, long secured it a strict, and, even to a more recent period, a _quasi_ monopoly, and gave it a start in the race, which seemed to leave all chance of foreign concurrence, or equal ratio of progression, out of the question altogether. Neither for spinning nor weaving could Russia, in particular, possess any other than machinery of the rudest kind, with hand labour, until perhaps subsequently to 1820. Her tariffs, even by special treaty of commerce, in 1797, were entirely favourable to the entrance and consumption of British fabrics. The prohibitory, or Continental system of Bonaparte, was indeed substituted after the treaty of Tilsit; but in 1816 a new tariff was promulgated, modifying the "prohibiting system of our trade," as the Emperor Alexander, in his ukase on the occasion, expressed it. By this tariff, cotton fabrics of all kinds were taxed twenty-five per cent in value only; cotton yarn, seven and a half copecs per cent; fine woollens, 1 ruble 25 copecs per arschine; kerseymeres and blankets, twenty-five per cent on value; flannels, camlets, druggets, cords, &c., fifteen per cent. How, then, has Russia, subject to all these disadvantages and drawbacks, and so late in the field, fared in comparison with this country, so long and so far before her? Let us take the Russian data first given for the two triennial periods, and ascertain the issue.

The mean annual imports of cotton taken for consumption into Great Britain, deducting exports, may be thus stated in round numbers for the two terms, 1793-4-5 and 1837-8-9.

Annual imports, 1793-5. 1837-9. Raw cotton, 22,000,000 lbs. 391,830,000 lbs.

The ratio of progress of the manufacture, therefore, from one term to the other, of the forty-four years, was not far from eighteenfold.

Reducing the quantities of cotton-yarn imported into Russia into the state of raw cotton, by an allowance of about three ounces in the pound, or nearly seven pounds per pood, for waste in the operations of spinning, we have the following approximate results:--

Annual imports, 1793-5. 1837-9. Raw cotton, 69,700 poods. 1027,500 poods.

The ratio of increase from term to term being thus the greater part of fifteenfold.

But as the cotton manufacture, from circumstances referred to of favourable tariffs for importation--comparatively free-trade tariffs--did not begin fairly to shoot forth until 1822, it will be only right to try the question of comparative increase by another list, namely, as between the returns of the consumption of cotton respectively in the two countries for that year, and one of the later years, 1839, 1840, or 1841; but say rather an average of the three. We are unable, however, to strike a corresponding average three years forward from, but inclusive of 1822, for want of the corresponding Russian official returns for two of the years. On the other hand, to take the one year of 1839, when the quantity of cotton taken for consumption in this country was at a low ebb, would be like straining for an effect, which the impartial seeker after truth can have no object in doing, whilst the return for 1840 would be as much in excess the other way. Thus the total quantities of raw cotton taken for consumption in Great Britain were--

For the year 1822, 144,180,000 lbs. Average of the three years 1839, 1840, 1841, 440,146,000 ib.

The ratio of progression in Great Britain, for the term of eighteen years, was somewhat more than threefold.

The imports of raw cotton, and of cotton-yarn, rendered into cotton by an allowance in addition, at the rate of about three ounces per lb. for waste, or nearly seven pounds per pood, stand thus for Russia in round numbers:--

For the year 1822, in the shape of raw cotton, 55,838 poods. ... ... Cotton yarn calculated into about 186,900 ------- Total cotton, 242,738 Average raw cotton imports of 1839-40-41 355,673 Id. of cotton yarn calculated into cotton, 643,300 ------- Total cotton, 998,973

The ratio of increase in the cotton manufacture of Russia, for the same term of eighteen years, was therefore considerably more than fourfold. And this steady but extraordinary superiority of Russian progression took place in the face of all those prosperity years, when, from 1833 to 1838, the British cotton manufacture was stimulated, and bloated to excess, with the high prices resulting from the flash bank-paper and loan system of the United States, and the mad joint-stock banking freaks of Lancashire.

The average import and consumption of raw cotton in Russia, and of yarn calculated into cotton, was at the rate, on the average of the three years cited, of about, 35,963,000 lbs. per annum;

Which approximates the position of the Russian with that of the cotton manufacture of France as existing in the year 1818, when the consumption of raw cotton is officially stated at, 16,974,159 kilogrammes;

And with that of the cotton manufacture of the United States in 1828, when the quantity consumed at home was stated at about, 35,359,000 lbs.

It will still be insisted, doubtless, as all along it has never failed to be the cuckoo-note of unreflecting theorists, that the manufactures of Russia have flourished, and are flourishing, in spite of protection; that the only effect of protection is to repress their growth and mar their perfection. The assertion stands ready-made, and ever the stock on hand; it is a rash and blindfold speculation upon chance and futurity, at the best; a building without a corner stone; a _chateau-d'Espagne_ nowhere to be found. Where, except in the glowing fictions of Scheherezade, may the personification of such a phantom be detected? History, whether ancient or modern, may be ransacked in vain for one footprint of the realised existence and miraculous economical prodigies worked upon the absolute free-trade principle, in the spontaneous creation, the progress unrivalled, the prosperity Pactolean, of ingenious manufactures. The El-Dorado region has yet to be discovered; will Cobden, like another Columbus in search of new worlds, adventure upon the desperate enterprise, and furnish the writer of romance with apt materials for the frights and freaks of another "phantom ship" on the wide ocean? If so inclined, indeed, we may commend him to an undertaking now, at this present writing, in actual progress, as we learn from assured sources and high quarters, in Paris. A goodly ship of substantial proportions is now preparing in a French port, richly freighted for an interesting voyage with the products of French industry, with destination for the great sea-river of the Amazons, for navigating its thousands of miles of unploughed course, and exploring those realms untold of, those interminable wastes recorded, and those numberless nations as yet unknown, if existing, which coast the vast expanse of its waters to the utmost limits of Brazil, and the very confines of Bolivia, Peru, and Colombia. The King of the French is himself the patron and promoter of this great enterprise. Hasten, then, friend Cobden, erratic and chivalrous as Quixote of old, to "swell the breezes and partake the gale" of an expedition so glorious; for know, that on the banks of the noble Amazons itself, the magnificent queen-river, most worthy in the world of such distinction, have poets, romancers, and chroniclers, undoubting, from all time, sung of and planted the resplendent empire of the El-Dorado itself.

Our design being to demonstrate, by the force of example and contrast, the sophistical absurdity of absolute theories, that, however naturally and harmoniously their parts may be made to correspond in thesis and system as a whole, according to which the same consequences, upon a given principle, should inevitably flow from certain causes, yet that, practically, it is found the same causes do not produce the same effects, even when circumstances are most analogous; that, for instance, the protective, or restrictive system of industry, under the rule of which Spain languishes, notwithstanding the abundant possession of the first materials for the promotion of manufacturing, and the prosperity of agricultural interests, proves, at the other extremity of Europe, the spring of successful progress and industrial accumulation, and renders Russia prosperous, though proportionally not more largely gifted with those natural elements of wealth and production which consist in fertility of soil, in mines of the precious metals, of coal, iron, &c. We shall pursue our task to its completion before we proceed to draw and sum up those conclusions which must follow from the premises established, before we enter in order upon the analysis and dissection of the one absolute principle or theory, by which, in the conceit of certain sage travellers on the royal railroad to wisdom, eager for the end and impatient of the toil of thinking, the economical destinies of all nations should be cut, carved, and adjusted _secundum artem_, with mathematical precision and uniformity, according to the rule invariable of robber Procrustes, the ancient founder of the sect, who constructed a bed--that is, a system of certain proportions of size--that is, upon a certain principle--upon which he laid his victims; those found too short to fit the dimensions of the pallet, he stretched and tortured into the length required; those too long he fitted by decapitating the superabundance of head and shoulders, or by squaring off the legs and feet; just as economists would sever nations with their invariable system; just as, with their selfish and one-sided, sordid idea, the junta of Leaguers, rule and plummet in hand, would deal with the British empire, with its vast possessions in every clime, on which the sun never sets, peopled by races numerous and diverse of origin as of interests, multifarious, complicated, often conflicting. "_L'etât_," said Louis le Grand, "_c'est moi_." "The British empire"--bellows Syntax Cobden--"'tis _me_ and printed calicoes." "The British government and legislature"--exclaims Friend Bright--"'tis I and Rochdale flannel."

It is a strange, and, with our qualified and not exclusive opinions, not less a discouraging complication of affairs with which we have to deal, that, look among the great nations where we will, we find, to a great extent, that the protective system of commerce, where in force, or where it has superseded a _quasi_ free-trade system before in force, has conduced, in no small degree, to the advancement of material interests. The Germanic Customs' Union, that peculiar handicraft creation of Lord Palmerston, is there to confirm the fact, no less than Russia, than France, than Belgium, and other lands. The League themselves ostentatiously proclaim it, whilst pretending to impugn the retention of the very shadow of a shade of the same principle, for the country, above all others, which has grown to greatness under it--the very breath of whose nostrils it has been, during the struggles of infancy and progress to that full-blown maturity, when assuredly it seeks, (and need seek only,) willingly proffers, and readily accepts, equality of condition--reciprocity of interchange, with all the world. "The Manchester manufacturer"--the false _nom-de-guerre_ of a calico printer, who was not a manufacturer at all, and could scarcely distinguish a calico from a cambric at the time of writing, who erst was, is yet, perchance, the trumpeter of Russian policy, Russian principles, and Russian progress in the East and elsewhere--must be grateful for the information we have already afforded on the full careering ascendency of Russian material interests also. His gratitude will expand as he accompanies these pages.

Peter the Great laid the foundations of Russian manufactures, as of the Russian empire itself. He founded manufactories in all the larger cities. But with his death they fell into decay until the reign of Elizabeth. With that epoch began their revival, and the more rigorous revival also of the prohibitory system. Their present imposing appearance and magnitude date, however, from the peace of 1815, the great parent and promoter of all continental manufactures. In 1812 no more than 2,332 manufacturing establishments in the whole empire were in existence, employing 119,000 work-people; in 1835 the number of the former had reached to 6,015, and of the latter to 279,673, the half of the free labourers. At the beginning of 1839, says the report of the department of manufactures and internal commerce--the last which, hitherto, has been made up or come to our hands--the number of factories and manufactories had risen to 6,855, an increase over the year preceding of 405, whilst the number of workmen employed in them was 412,931, an increase over the year before of 35,111. Thus, in the space of three years, from 1835 to the end of 1838, 810 new establishments had been organized, and the number of workmen augmented by one-half. These industrial establishments were non-inclusive of mining works, iron works, &c., and the people employed in them. They were classed as follows:--

Woollen manufactories, 606 Silk ib. 227 Cotton ib. 467 Linen ib. 216 Tanneries, 1918 Tallow works, 554 Candle ib. 444 Soap ib. 270 Hardware ib. 486

The seat of Russian manufactures is principally in the central portion of the empire, in its ancient capital Moscow, and the surrounding provinces. The progress of Moscow itself may be thus briefly sketched, after remarking that in the beginning of 1839 there existed in the government, of which it was the capital city, 1058 manufactories, employing 83,054 work-people. In the 315 manufactories of the neighbouring province of Vladimir, 83,655 work-people were employed; in the equally adjacent province of Kalouga, 164 manufactories gave work to 20,401 workmen. The population of Moscow, the Manchester of Russia, amounted in 1825 to 241,514; in 1827 it had risen to 257,694; in 1830 to 305,631; in 1833 to 333,260; in 1840 to 347,224. The principal manufactories were thus classed for the latter year.

Silk manufacture, 68 looms, 2217 Cotton ib. 139 ib. 7252 Woollen cloth ib. 51 ib. 2960 Other woollen stuff ib. 16 ib. 579 Shawl ib. 17 ib. 282

In thirteen of the chief factories there were 263 spinning machines; three cotton factories alone contained 138. Besides these larger establishments, 3122 workshops, not considerable enough to be ranked as manufactories, employed alone 19,638 work-people; and 142 industrial establishments, such as founderies, breweries, distilleries, tallow and soap works, &c., gave bread to thousands more.

The consumption of the principal raw materials of manufacture is thus stated as an average of that and recent preceding years.

Cotton for the twenty spinneries of Moscow, 100,000 poods per an. Cotton yarn, 300,000 ... Dyed cotton yarn 200 ... Raw silk, 30,000 ... Dye woods, 100,000 ... Madder, 250,000 ...

The machinery for the manufactories is made for the most part in the founderies and machine-works of Vladimir, Tamboff, Kalouga, and Riazan, but, above all, in the city of Tula and the village of Parlovo. In McCulloch's _Statistical Dictionary_, the number of steam-engines in the government of Moscow is stated, for 1830, at about 100--in 1820, two only being in existence. On what authority the statement is given does not appear; our own documents, to 1841 inclusive, are silent on that head. For Moscow, with its immediate environs, the total number and the produce of the cotton looms are thus given:--

Cotton loom, 17,000 Producing annually, 450,000 pieces of calico Do. 400,000 do. of nankeen Do. above, 2,000,000 do. of handkerchiefs In the whole, inclusive of other goods, such as muslins, velvets, &c., &c., equal to above, 40,000,000 arschines of fabrics Valued at 7,500,000 silver rubles.

The arschine is about twenty-eight English inches. The silk manufacture, of recent establishment only in Moscow, presented the following results, for that city and the surrounding districts:--

Number of common looms, 10,000 Jacquard, more than 5,000 Producing annually, 15,000,000 arschines of st Valued at 10,000,000 silver rubles.

The woollen manufactories of Moscow, inclusive of the environs, employed apart smaller loom shops:--

Looms, 5,139 Producing yearly, 30,000 pieces of superior quality Do. more than 50,000 do. ordinary for the army And do. 700,000 arschines of light cloths for China.

The values not given. The imports of merchandise from Moscow by water, of which alone exact and detailed particulars are stated, amounted in--

1837, to 22,881,000 rubles assignation 1838, 22,074,563 ... 1839, 17,467,391 ... 1840, 28,283,877 ...

Three and a half rubles assignation, are equal to one silver ruble. Moscow enjoys the advantage of being an internal bonded port, or port of intrepôt, a privilege now seeking by Manchester, so that importers of foreign merchandise are not called upon for the payment of duties until the moment when, withdrawing their imports, or any other portion of them as occasion requires, the payment becomes necessary. Formerly the duties had to be paid in the frontier ports, and often in bulk. The customhouse revenue resulting, amounted in--

1837, to 637,074 rubles assignation 1838, 614,464 ... 1839, 626,764 ... 1840, 776,021 ... 1841, 898,398 ...

These returns are proof indisputable of industrial and social progress. It is unnecessary further to remark upon the great and growing importance of other branches of industry in Moscow, or to extend the limits of this notice so far as to comprise a review of the iron and hardware manufactories, and the numerous tanneries of Tula and Perm. The active movement of internal commerce, may, however, be inferred from the returns of products exhibited and sold at twelve fairs held annually, with one thrice, and another twice, in the year, the total value of which exposed for sale in 1840, was stated at 101,551,000 silver rubles, and of the quantity actually sold at 64,326,700 rubles. Of which alone at--

On Sale. Sold. Nijny Novgorod, for 47,264,967 38,828,984 silver rubles Irbit, 12,232,286 7,682,000 ... Romna, 2d fair 9,001,904 4,454,747 ... Kharkoff, 1st fair, 5,743,280 2,944,390 ... Koursk, 7,014,802 2,014,834 ...

The great fair of Nijny Novgorod may rival with Leipzig in the magnitude of its transactions. In 1841, the general movement of values at this fair is thus returned:--

Merchandise for sale, 50,506,606 silver rubles, or 176,773,121 rbls. ass. Sold, 41,704,236 ... 145,964,826 ...

By decree of the government, within the last three years, the public accounts, before kept in rubles assignation, that is government paper money, were ordered to be reckoned in silver rubles. For purposes of comparison with former years, we state them in both. Of the mass of commodities thus in motion at the fair, there were of Russian manufactures and indigenous products, to the total value of 37,132,693 silver rubles exposed for sale, and for 29,762,473 sold; some other chief articles ranging thus;--

For sale. Sold. Cotton goods, 7,336,665 5,947,865 silver rubles. Woollens, 3,448,295 2,620,175 ... Linen and hempen fabrics, 3,126,736 2,375,736 ... Silks, 3,220,489 2,239,989 ... Leather, worked and not, 1,043,583 876,083 ... Produce of mines and founderies, iron, copper, hardware, jewellery, 7,600,330 6,450,330 ...

Tea, for 7,107,500 rubles assignation, and other products of China, were brought to the fair; raw cotton, cotton-yarn, shawls, silks, skins, &c. from Persia and Asia, to the value of 29,796,819 roubles assignation, and chiefly sold. Of the products of Western Europe, which make but a miserable exhibit, the following are the chief:--

Woollen stuffs, for 256,455 silver rubles. Cottons, 510,830 ... Linens and hempen fabrics, 192,300 ... Silks, 423,130 ... Indigo, 918,000 ...

The growing magnitude of this fair will be appreciated by the following returns of former years:--

Total commodities for sale. Rubles assignation. 1829, 104,018,586 of which sold for 50,104,971 rbls. ass. 1831, 129,457,600 ... 98,329,520 ... 1833, 146,207,311 ... 117,210,670 ... 1835, 143,369,240 ... 117,743,340 ... 1837, 146,638,181 ... 125,507,881 ... 1838, 156,192,500 ... 129,234,500 ... 1839, 161,643,674 ... 137,100,774 ... 1840, 165,427,384 ... 135,901,454 ...

The convenience of these fairs for the purposes of interchange, both between different industries and the populations of different provinces of the same empire, and with contiguous countries from which so great an affluence of merchants with their merchandise for exchange was attracted, has induced the government to decree the establishment of eleven new fairs in different towns, and fifty-nine others in as many large villages, which, in growing size, may be already compared with towns.

The internal commercial communications of Russia are chiefly carried on by means of those innumerable rivers and canals, that network of natural and artificial canals, by which she is intersected through all her extent, and which, taking their rise in various central parts of the empire, pursue their course singly, or falling into each other, and so constituting mighty streams, to the White sea and the Baltic, or fall into the Black sea and the Caspian. The total movement of this internal navigation in all the rivers, presented the following results:--

Departures from the different ports in the interior in 1839, 60,277 barques. ( do. 24,421 rafts. Arrivals at ( do. 46,850 barques. ( do. 17,469 rafts.

They were the convoys of merchandise dispatched from the ports to the value of 737,814,276 rubles ass. Of merchandise forwarded to do. 538,921,730 ... In 1837 the values dispatched from, ascended only to 618,990,306 ... Do. forwarded to 490,505,940 ...

The various and many basins of river and water communication, scientifically arranged, and showing how all parts of that vast empire are connected with each other through all and nearly every portion of its territorial extent, as in the report before us, is a document worthy of study and more minute analysis, but our limits forbid.

The foreign commerce of Russia presents the following results for 1841:--

Exports to foreign countries, 86,382,179 silver rubles. Imports from do. 79,429,490 ...

The Russian official tables include, under the head of foreign commerce, the exports and imports with Finland and Poland; but as they fall within the range, in reality, of internal commerce, the accounts are better simplified by their exclusion. The system of separate returns results, doubtless, from the political arrangements and conventions by which Russia acquired the possession of those two countries.

The progress of exports and imports may be thus indicated:--

1838. 1839. 1840. Exports, 85,718,930 94,857,788 82,731,386 silver rubles. Imports, 69,693,824 69,993,589 76,726,490 ...

The remarkable excess of exports in 1839 resulted from the large demand for, and shipments of, corn in that year--the official value of which is stated at 25,217,027 silver rubles; the smallest export, so far as value, being that of 1841, valued at 10,382,509 silver rubles only. Exclusive of corn, the exports would stand thus:--

1838 for 70,562,252 silver rubles. 1839 69,640,761 ... 1840 68,704,971 ... 1841 75,999,670 ...

Gold and silver, in bars or specie, are not comprised in these returns.

For 1841 the values thus exported were, 4,023,728 silver rubles. ... ... ... imports, 9,347,867 ib.

It is necessary, however, to travel more backwards in order to a right appreciation of the progress of the foreign trade of Russia. This comparison is here instituted with earlier years, premising that the exports to Poland and Finland, amounting to some ten or twelve millions of rubles assignation, and imports from, amounting to about three millions, are included, and therefore swell the amount of the imports and exports of the following years. However, to facilitate the comparison, the silver ruble values of 1841 are multiplied into corresponding ruble assignation values:

Exportations. Importations. Balance in favour of Russia. In 1830 268,887,342 197,115,340 71,772,002 rb. as. 1836 283,748,233 237,251,204 13,733,196 1837 264,485,160 251,757,177 12,727,983 1841 302,337,626 378,003,215 24,334,411

Add 11,808,743 rubles assignation for exports to, and 4,792,346 imports from, Poland and Finland in 1841, and the real comparison would be, for 1841, exports 314,146,349, imports 282,795,561; balance in favour of 1841, 31,350,688 rubles assignation.

The bulk of Russian exportations consists of raw or first materials, such as flax, hemp, flax-seed, oil, tallow, leather, woad, metals, and of which to the aggregate value in 1841, of 59,773,354 silver rubles was exported; an amount nearly stationary as compared with the three previous years. But the export of Russian manufactures, viz. woollens, cottons, linens, candles, cordage, and cloths for China, had improved in aggregate amount from,--

Silver Rubles. In 1838, 6,527,222 To, in 1841, 10,259,209

It was the trade with China by Kiachta, and latterly also by the line of Siberia, which, however, had perhaps taken the most remarkable extension, and was held to be most promising of future progress and profit. The imports, and therefore the consumption, of tea in Russia, are growing annually larger; and the exports of Russian products and manufactures to China, equally in proportion. For by mutual convention, as dictated by China, for regulating the commercial intercourse between the two countries strictly limited to that frontier river port, although now indirectly countenanced by Siberia, the trade is exclusively one of barter; tea and silks for leather, furs, cottons, woollens, and linens. A condition, be it observed, which serves to place beyond all doubt the fact, that it was not the introduction and consumption, with the deterioration to the health of the population resulting, physically and morally, from the use of opium, which had so much effect with the celestial Emperor in provoking the late war with Great Britain, as the abstraction by export in payment, and the drain so constant, of Sycee silver. The imports of tea in--

Poods. Silver Rubles. 1838, By Kiachta, were, of good and ordinary quality, 127,645 value 2,015,189 By the line of Siberia, 10 ... 600 -------- --------- 127,655 ... 2,015,789 -------- ---------

1841, By Kiachta, 168,218 ... 6,976,363 By the line of Siberia and Caspian Sea, 1,364 ... 66,293 -------- --------- 169,582 ... 7,012,656

Besides which, the imports of an inferior tea, called _brick tea_, amounted to the value of 359,223 silver rubles in 1841. In three years, the general trade, China silks inclusive, had therefore more than trebled so far as value; for it is remarkable, that though larger quantities of tea are imported, yet prices, so far from declining, had actually considerably advanced; which proves that the commodity was becoming a favourite beverage, and gaining into more general consumption, in Russia. The values of the Russian merchandise, such as stated, which passed in barter, are said to have been equally sustained. It may be noted, indeed, as an extraordinary fact, that whilst, as the official report of the department of commerce observes, the prices and values of almost all foreign raw products and manufactured wares imported into Russia, during the three or four years preceding 1841, and including 1841, entered constantly, and some at considerably depreciated rates, in the reverse the products of Russia, exported to Europe and elsewhere during the same period, quantity for quantity, generally improved in prices and ascended in value.

The foreign commerce of Russia by sea was carried on, during the year 1841, by 2,596 vessels, inwards loaded, tonnage, 452,760 2,174 do. in ballast, do. 410,164 ----- ------- Totals, 4,770 862,924 ----- ------- 4,582 do. outwards loaded, do. 819,232 312 do. do. in ballast, do. 58,046 ----- ------- Totals, 4,894 877,278

In the coasting trade in the Northern seas, the number of vessels dispatched from port to port was 2007, in the Black Sea, 5,275.

The revenue from customs in 1841 amounted to 27,387,494 silver rubles, or upwards of two-fifths in excess of the receipts of 1830.

In order to exemplify the nature of the trade betwixt Great Britain and Russia, and exhibit it in its most disadvantageous aspect, we shall add here, from statements verified as authentic by competent authorities on the spot, the returns of British trade and shipping with certain Russian ports for 1842, which we have recently received direct. They will assist us to a conception of the relative importance of each place in respect of its commercial connexion with this country.

The commerce of the port of Archangel, omitting from the table Onega, Kola, Kemi, and Soumsk, the other ports in the White Sea, their traffic being inconsiderable, is thus represented.

1842.--Total shipping outward, 212, of which, British, 153, tonnage, 31,704 Total imports, (exclusive of L.13,816 by Norway coasters,) L.18,384 Of which from Great Britain, L.801 Total exports, (omitting L.22,236 to Norway,) L.427,789 Of which to Great Britain, L.305,823 In 1841, 176 vessels exported for Great Britain the value, L.408,077 Exclusive of cargoes by 2 other vessel, to the amount of L.7,208, for the Hanse towns and Holland. In 1840, 250 vessels, tonnage 48,249, exported to Great Britain the value of L.442,381 Exclusive of 6 British vessels which carried cargoes to the Hanse towns, France, and Italy, of the aggregate value of L.12,858.

The commerce with Riga exhibits a somewhat more favourable proportion between imports and exports, and we are induced, therefore, to give the return of imports for 1842 in same detail as received.

Nature and value of merchandise imported into Riga from Great Britain during the year 1842:--

Coffee, L.2,500 0 0 Cotton, 11,011 0 0 Cotton twist, L.21,159, 10s; do. goods, L.1135, 22,294 0 0 Woollen goods, 4,100 16 8 Woollen twist, 19,057 3 4 Indigo and other dyes, 13,764 0 0 Dye-woods, 2,718 6 8 Salt, 53,269 3 4 Sugar, 24,882 10 0 Wines and brandies, 19,200 13 4 Iron and steel wares, 7,025 0 0 Spices and drugs, 13,440 6 8 Non-enumerated articles, 12,527 10 0 ----------- Total, L.205,791 0 0

Countries from whence British vessels have arrived at the port of Riga during the year 1842:--

No. of vessels. Tonnage. Remarks. United Kingdom, 387 59,629 With cargoes and in ballast. Hamburg, 6 1,261 In ballast. Denmark, 21 3,730 ... Norway, 13 2,438 ... France, 5 670 ... Belgium, 1 484 ... Holland, 6 1,018 ... Prussia, 4 562 ... Sweden, 3 669 ... --- ------ Total, 446 70,461

Total value of Countries to exportations whence exported. 1842 exports. Tons. to Great Britain. British vessels, 446 70,461 L.1,527,810 5 4 United Kingdom.

The commerce of Odessa represents a closer approximation still between imports and exports; and they would perhaps nearly balance, but for the large shipments of wheat to this country, which contribute to swell the exports.

In 1842, 174 British ships entered, tonnage 44,428, sailed 176 tonnage, L.44,929 Total value of imports by them, 185,870 Of which, from the United Kingdom, 184,370 The remainder by 64 British vessels entering from Leghorn, Turkey, Algiers, Amsterdam, mostly in ballast. Total average of exports, 784,865 Of which, to the United Kingdom, 776,995 The remainder to the countries above named. 1841, Total imports by British ships, 147,950 Do. exports do. 590,570 1840, Total imports by British ships, 130,660 Do. exports do. 859,090

The commerce of St Petersburg is stated, for 1812, imports and exports together, at the value of 97,795,415 silver rubles. And of 1147 foreign vessels which left that port and Cronstadt with cargoes, more or less, 515 were British, of 117,793 tonnage--being a rather considerably less number than in either 1840 or 1841.

The present is the proper occasion to remark upon and explain the system of official valuation pursued in Russia, by which it will be observed how the real value, both of imports and exports, is swelled, probably with a view to the vain display of a greater commerce than is really carried on. As the system is nearly the same for both imports and exports, it cannot, of course, materially interfere with, or impeach the accuracy of the general balance-sheet. It is desirable, however, that the facts should be fairly represented, for the guidance of those who may be in the habit of consulting and comparing the official documents of different countries; and they will serve moreover to explain, in some degree, the extraordinary discrepancies which have been found betwixt the declared values of British products and manufactures exported to Russia, as published in the Board of Trade tables, and the same exports as exhibited in Russian customhouse returns.

In calculating the annual value of importations, it is the rule in the Russian customhouses to add the duties paid on the entry of goods to their original value. This practice in Russia, where the duties are so high, swells the value of imports far beyond their true amount, and gives a false and exaggerated view of them.

With respect to the exports, nearly the same practice exists. In calculating their value, all the shipping charges are added to the cost of the article; and we are informed by merchants resident in Russia, that on comparing the annual Government statements of exports for their establishments, they are found to correspond with the invoices forwarded to their foreign correspondents, which, of course, include commission, and all the expenses attendant on the shipping of the goods. The law also requires that the shipper, on clearing merchandise for export through the customhouse, should declare its value. With a view of preserving uniformity, the Russian authorities, from time to time, fix a standard price at which particular articles shall be valued for export at the customhouse. To exemplify the evil of this system, it is necessary only to mention that oats, for example, could lately be purchased at a Baltic port at sixty silver rubles per last, while the latest customhouse standard values them at eighty silver rubles per last. This practice is no way injurious to the merchant, but only unnaturally swells the tables of exports when annually made up by the Russian Government. A shipper, therefore, of any of the articles included in the Russian standard, is compelled to state a much greater value at the customhouse than he furnishes to his foreign correspondent, who, of course, only pays the market price of the article, with the additional shipping expenses.

The difficulty, such as it is, might be obviated, were the masters of British merchantmen compelled by law to submit their ship's papers, on arrival and departure, to the British consuls at each port, who would then be placed on the same footing with the consuls of other countries, and be enabled to communicate much important statistical information to their Government, of the opportunity for acquiring and transmitting which they are now deprived.

Our review of Russian commerce and industry would be more incomplete than it is, if we were to omit all notice of the vast mining wealth of that empire. But our limits, already nearly reached, do not admit of more than a passing reference. Suffice it, that in coal, both bituminous and anthracite, in iron and other metals, and salt, constituting the raw materials, Russia is rich enough for all her wants, and indeed supplies the great bulk of those wants within herself, with to spare in some of these products for her neighbours and other countries. Her mines are annually increasing in productiveness and number, as enterprise is extended and capital invested in them, and as domestic manufactures and improving agriculture increasingly absorb their produce. The treasure-yielding progress of her gold mines is one of the extraordinary events of the age. The existence of gold in Siberia was scarcely suspected till 1829. The first researches of adventuring individuals were attended with no success. Feodot Popoff, one of the earliest, succeeded at length in that year, when all others had abandoned the undertaking as hopeless, in discovering traces, and procuring some inconsiderable specimens, of gold--not in quantity, however, to repay the working; and the doubts before existing seemed confirmed as to the fruitlessness of further perseverance in the search. Major-General Kovalevsky, of the engineers of mines, having been appointed governor of Tomsk, renewed the attempt in 1830; and, at the close of that year, his indefatigable labours, and more methodical plan of operations, were rewarded with the discovery of a first considerable stratum of auriferous sands, which was designated Yégorievsky, (St George.) Adventurers flocked into the district forthwith, and in numbers, upon the widespreading news; and excellently did renewed labours recompense the zeal of the more fortunate; numerous were the discoveries of layers of golden sands. In one of these, last year, a massive piece of native gold, weighing 24-1/2 pounds Russian, (the Russian pound is about 1-1/2 oz. less than the English,) was discovered embedded in a fragment of quartz, and is now deposited in the museum of the School of Mines at St Petersburg. The yield of the Siberian mines has since been at the following rate of progression--omitting the intermediate years for brevity, although in every year there was an increase of quantity upon the preceding:--

1830 5 poods, 32 lbs., 59-1/2 zdotnicks. 1832 21 --- 34 --- 68-3/4 --- 1834 65 --- 18 --- 90-3/8 --- 1836 105 --- 9 --- 41 --- 1838 193 --- 6 --- 47-1/2 --- 1840 255 --- 27 --- 26-3/8 --- 1842 631 --- 5 --- 21-1/4 ---

The total of the thirteen years has been 2093 poods, 38 lbs., 46 zd. The pood, be it remembered, is equal to (rather more than) 36 lbs. avoirdupois.

The total general yield of the older worked mines of the Oural mountains for 1842, was, besides, 149 poods, 18 lbs., 58 zd. And of platina, 53 -- 33 -- 67 --

On a rough estimation, the produce of all the gold, platina, and silver from the silver mines, could not have amounted to less, perhaps, for the year 1842, than three millions sterling.

According to the learned academician Köppen, of St Petersburg, in a lengthened memoir upon the subject, the total population of Russia, inclusive of Poland, Finland, and Trans-Caucasian provinces, ascended in

1839 to 65,000,000 Or of Russia Proper alone, 55,500,000

With an empire so gigantic, a population so large, however disproportioned as compared with territory, and with resources so incalculable, it must appear extraordinary that foreign commercial relations are so limited. The total of exports and imports together for 1841, represents only, in round numbers, a commercial movement to the value of 165,811,000 silver rubles, or in sterling, about L.25,907,300. The matter which most concerns this country, is the very disproportionate interest which results to its share in the export and import trade of Russia. Taking the latest British returns of the value of Russian products imported into England, for the Board of Trade tables give quantities only, as we find them stated by Mr McGregor, the indefatigable secretary of that board, for 1838, at L.6,977,396, or say,

in round numbers L.7,000,000 And British exports at the declared value here of, say, 1,700,000 ----------- There would appear to result the very heavy difference against the United Kingdom of L.5,300,000

But bad as the case may be, it is not quite so bad as these figures would represent. It must not be forgotten in this sort of calculation, that shipping, freights, insurances, and commissions, represent property quite as substantially in the commercial sense, as even Mr Cobden's printed calicos, or friend Bright's flannel pieces. Now, we think it might admit of proof, that as much as nine-tenths of all the produce brought to this country from Russia, is so brought in British bottoms, and so also of the exports to Russia; although in 1840, the last of the Board of Trade tables containing such particulars, no more than 1629 British vessels, of 340,567 tonnage, against 296 foreign, of 79,152 tonnage, entered British ports from Russia--the proportions being much the same outwards; but whether the foreign were all Russian vessels may be doubted. Let us assume, however, that no more than three-fourths of both imports and exports were so carried, and leaving three-fourths British freights outwards to balance Russian one-fourth freights inwards and outwards, let us in fairness estimate the worth of that freightage in reduction of the enormous balance against us. As for Spain, in our last Number, we took twenty per cent to cover all the freightage charges, before indicated, on her commodities of less bulk though more value in proportion, twenty-five per cent on the average will not be too much, certainly, to cover those charges on the more bulky products of Russia, more especially when the long, costly, and intricate navigation of the Baltic, and the White and Black Seas, are taken into account. The calculation will then stand thus:--

Imports from Russia, L.7,000,000 Deduct twenty-five per cent freightage, &c. as British property and profit, 1,750,000 ----------- Real value of imports as on board in Russia, L.5,250,000 Declared value of ex-British exports to Russia, L.1,700,000 Value of British freightage, &c., as above, 1,750,000 ----------- L.3,450,000 ----------- Real approximative balance in favour of Russia, L.1,800,000

or say two millions, as the three-fourths produce of outward freight would, perhaps, not quite compensate the one-fourth on inward and outward cargoes to the Russian shipping. Even such a balance is exclusively and unjustly large against a country which, like Great Britain, is a consumer of Russian products to the extent of seven-twelfths of the total exports of Russia to all the world. The consequence is, that the rate of exchange is almost invariably against this country. Lord Howick, indeed, most quixotically deals with adverse exchanges; he disposes of them summarily, and in a style that must have astonished the people on 'Change. This disciple and representative of Mr Edward Gibbon Wakefield's economics in the House of Commons, as Lord Durham was before his political disciple, and the victim of his schemes colonial, thus decisively disposes of adverse exchanges in the celebrated debate on Import Duties, taking Portugal for an example.

"A large increase of importations from Portugal would necessarily be attended by a proportionate increase of our export trade. Was it not clear that every merchant who imported a pipe of wine would anticipate the bills drawn against him on account of it, and that, whatever would be the increase in the amount of imports, there would be a corresponding increase in the amount of the bills drawn against us? How were our merchants to provide for them? There would be no difficulty in it, whether the trade of Portugal increased legally or illegally. Suppose an increase of imports into Portugal, there would be an immediate demand for bills to Portugal. _The consequence would be, that if there was any other country from which Portugal received more than it exported, the bill-brokers would get bills from that country_, and our manufactures would be sent there instead of to Portugal. Admit that you could not find in any other country the means of discharging your debt by importation of your manufactures, bills on Portugal should then rise to a certain premium, and gold and silver would be sent to discharge the debt. The gold and silver would come from some other country, and the consequence would be that we should send our manufactures, not to Portugal, but to South America; while Portugal would be obliged to send the bullion to some other country that it might carry on a smuggling trade with its neighbour, Spain. It was impossible for the ingenuity of man to point out any different result."

The "bill-brokers" will be greatly amused with the new line of business chalked out for them, of "getting bills" from other countries when short in this. There are two descriptions of "bill brokers," but the class bearing that designation purely deal with domestic bills only. The other class are known as "exchange brokers," because they meddle only with foreign bills; but as to "getting bills" from abroad when bills are wanting here, that trustworthy and respectable description of agents certainly never dreams of such an occupation. Lord Howick would seem to imagine that manufactories of bills existed specially abroad, and that people could draw with as much nonchalance from Paris or from Hamburg, upon Jack Nokes and Tom Styles at Amsterdam or Frankfort, as here Lord Huntingtower accepted for his dear friend the Colonel values uncared for, or as folks familiarly talk of valuing an Aldgate pump when an accommodation bill is in question. May we venture to hint to the member for commercial Sunderland, the _ex_ for Northumberland, that the functions of "exchange brokers" extend no further than to ask A if he has any bills to sell, and B if he is a buyer; whereupon he has only further to learn what rate the one will purchase and the other sell at; that knotty point arranged, the bargain is concluded, and he receives his very small percentage. The operations are carried on every day, more or less, but on Tuesdays and Fridays, being especially "post days" on London 'Change, where Lord Howick any day may be initiated in the mystery, if not punctilious about being unceremoniously elbowed and jostled about.

In the principle of protection, we hold Russia to be perfectly in her right and her interest; in the abuse of it, she damages herself. Prohibition is not protection; restrictive duties equal to absolute prohibition, like the 85 per cent prohibitory tax, formerly levied here on Indian cotton fabrics, in favour of Lancashire, are not protection in the legitimate sense. The late Emperor Alexander hit the true nail of principle on the head when, in 1819, he reformed the Russian tariff on the calculation of imposts ranging from fifteen to forty per cent. We are, nevertheless, bound to say, that, even as protection is understood in its exaggerated sense by the Autocrat, the system has worked well for Russia, as indeed we have shown. She has accumulated wealth by that system; she has secured by it the possession of a large proportion of those precious metals, which are indispensable no less as the medium of foreign exchanges and balances, than as the means by which, above all other means, the operations of industry, and the employment of labour, are facilitated at home. How would industry progress, and wages be dispensed, if the master manufacturer could offer payment of wages only in yards or pieces of cloth, the iron-master in ore, or the land-proprietor in oxen, sheep, corn, hay, or cabbages? In respect of commercial balances, that of Great Britain against Russia is liquidated probably, to some extent, by the yearly balance resulting against Russia in her dealings with Persia; for the policy of Russia is to favour the commerce of Asia, whilst oppressing that with Europe, and Persia is always indebted to Great Britain. She has, however, the game in her own hands. Can we wonder that she plays it to her own advantage, half-political, half-commercial? She knows as well as we feel keenly, that the raw materials, in which she is so rich, are indispensable for our use; she charges accordingly. The time may come when we shall be more independent of her, and then, then only, she will conform to altered circumstances. The able and distinguished diplomatist at her court, Lord Stuart de Rothesay, who succeeded in the arduous task of negotiating the recent treaty of navigation with that crafty Government, is the man also who will not be slow to avail himself of any favourable conjuncture for turning circumstances to account, and redressing the adverse balance now against this country.

As before said, our intention, on this occasion, is not to dissect principles or theories, but to present facts. We have still more in store for the absolute theory men. But, in concluding, we may be allowed to observe, that the causes why a restrictive and exclusive system does answer for Russia, and, on the contrary, tends to the ruin of Spain, are simply these:--The raw materials of Russia are indispensable for this and other manufacturing countries, because cheaper and more abundant than can be elsewhere procured, and the price of labour is low. The raw products of Spain necessary for manufactures are, on the reverse, dear priced; her products of luxury, even, are dear; her rates of labour are higher than in this or any other country of Europe. Two shillings and sixpence a-day, or fifteen shillings a-week; with, besides Sundays, a hundred saints' days or holidays in the year, put her labour and produce quite _hors de combat_ in the race of competition. A Spanish operative would no more toil on a _dia de dos cruces_, (two saints on one day,) than he would fast on a feast-day, with an odorous _olla podrida_ before him on the table.

* * * * *

INDEX TO VOL. LIII.

[Transcriber's note: The page numbers refer to editions 327 to 332, published between January and June 1843, according to the following table:

Edition 327, pages 1-140, dated January 1843, 328, 141-280, February, 329, 281-414, March, 330, 415-550, April, 331, 551-692, May, 332, 693-826, June.]

Aden, on the occupation of, 484. Affghanistan, the war in, 17 review of the events in, 239 the evacuation of, 266. Agriculture, the practice of, 415. Akhbar Khan, murder of Macnaghten by, 257 defeat of, at Tazeen, 269. Amalia, from the German of Schiller, 442. Ammalát Bek, a tale, translated from the Russian, Translator's preface, 281 Chap. I., 288 Chap. II., 296 Chap. III., 464 Chap. IV., 471 Chap. V., 478 Chap. VI., 568 Chap. VII., 573 Chap. VIII., 579 Chap. IX., 584 Chap. X., 746 Chap. XI., 750 Chap. XII., 752 Chap. XIII., 755 Chap. XIV. 759. Anti-Corn Law League, failure of the, 6. Antique at Paris, the, from Schiller, 312. Antique, the, to the Northern Wanderer, 312. Aristocracies of London life, the, 67 the aristocracy of fashion, 68 of power, 227 of talent, 386. Arnold's lectures on history, review of, 141. Astronomical works, from Schiller, 311. Attorney's Clerk in the Monk's Hood, the, a review of Chatterton, 780. Auckland, Lord, remarks on his policy in India, 18, 266.

Bailey, Mr, his Reply to an Article in Blackwood's Magazine, on Berkeley's Theory of Vision, 762. Ballads of Schiller, the, see Schiller. Battle, the, from Schiller, 446. Battle of the Blocks, the, 614. Berkeley's Theory of Vision, further remarks on, 762. Book of the Farm, review of the, 415. Buckingham, the Duke of, his resignation, 5. Burial march of Dundee, the, 537. Burnes, Sir Alexander, murder of, 244.

Cabul, Eyre's Narrative of the Operations in, reviewed, 239. Caleb Stukely, Part X. The Revulsion, 33 Part XI. Saints and Sinners, 213 Part XII. The Parsonage, 314 Part XIII. The Fugitive, 496 Part last, Tranquillity, 651. Candia, the siege of, 718. Capello, Bianca, history of, 554. Chapters of Turkish History, No. IX, Rise of the Kiuprili family siege of Candia, 718. Chatterton's Poems, review of, 780. Chief End of Man, the, from Schiller, 311. China, state of our relations with, at the commencement of 1843, 19 justice of the war with, 20 future prospects of, 21. Claverhouse's Burial March, a poem, 537. Columbus, from Schiller, 312. Commercial Policy in relation to Spain, review of, 673 In relation to Russia, 807. Comte, Auguste, review of his Cours de Philosophie Positive, 397. Corn-Law, Sir Robert Peel's alteration in the, defended, 5. Correctness, from Schiller, 310. Count Eberhard the Grumbler, from Schiller, 628. Cromwell and Sir Oliver Cromwell, Imaginary conversation between, 209. Cunningham's Life of Reynolds, strictures on, 596. Curse of Glencoe, the, by B. Simmons, 121.

Death of Thomas Hamilton, Esq., 280. Delta, the Lost Lamb, by, 395. Disturbances in the manufacturing districts, the, 11. Division of Ranks, the, from Schiller, 311. Dream of Lord Nithsdale, the, by Charles Mackay, 83. Dumas' Travels in Italy, review of, 552. Dundee, the burial march of, 537.

East and South of Europe, the, 101. Eberhard of Wurtemberg, from Schiller, 628. El Empecinado, passage in the career of, 343. Ellenborough, Lord, policy of, in India, 18 his policy with regard to Affghanistan, 266 his proclamation on evacuating the country, 276 defended against the charges of the Whigs, 539. Elysium, from Schiller, 628. Europe, the east and south of, 101. Evacuation of Affghanistan, the, 266. Expectation and Fulfilment, from Schiller, 439. Eyre's narrative of the events in Cabul, review of, 239.

Fantasia to Laura, from Schiller, 638. Favour of the moment, the, from Schiller, 438. Fight with the dragon, the, from Schiller, 175. Financial position of Great Britain at the close of 1842, 6. Florence, sketches of, 561. Flowers, from Schiller, 445. Foreign affairs, aspect of, at the commencement of 1843, 15. Fortune and Wisdom, from Schiller, 631. Fortune-Favoured, the, from Schiller, 439. Founding of the Bell, the, by Charles Mackay, 462. Funeral phantasie, from Schiller, 626.

Genius, from Schiller, 310. Gentility-mongering, on, 379. Goldsmith's Vicar of Wakefield illustrated, review of, 771. Good and the Beautiful, the, from Schiller, 309. Great Britain at the commencement of 1843, 1 her position on the meeting of parliament, 5 financial state, 7 aspect of domestic affairs, 14 and of foreign relations, 15 state of her Indian empire, 18 and of affairs in China, 19. Group in Tartarus, a, from Schiller, 627.

Hamilton, Thomas, Esq., death of, 280. Hector and Andromache, from Schiller, 441. History, Arnold's Lectures on, reviewed, 141. Honour to Woman, from Schiller, 173.

Ideal, the, from Schiller, 433. Ideal and the Actual Life, the, from Schiller, 435. Ignacio Guerra and El Sangrador, a tale of civil war, 791. Imaginary Conversations, by Walter Savage Landor between Tasso and Cornelia, 62 between Cromwell and Sir Oliver Cromwell, 209 between Sandt and Kotzebue, 338; by Edward Quillinan between W.S. Landor and Christopher North, 518. Imitator, the, from Schiller, 310. Income Tax, discussion on the, 7 remarks on, 8 causes which led to its imposition, 10. Infanticide, the, from Schiller, 631. Ireland, state of, at the commencement of 1843, 14. Italy, Dumas' travels in, reviewed, 552.

Jeweller's Wife, the, a passage in the career of El Empecinado, 343. Jove to Hercules, from Schiller, 311.

Khelat, occupation of, by the British, 274. Khoord Cabul pass, retreat of the British through the, 262. Kiuprili Family, rise of the, a chapter in Turkish history, 718.

Landor, Walter Savage, Imaginary Conversations by between Tasso and Cornelia, 62 Cromwell and Sir Oliver Cromwell, 209 Sandt and Kotzebue, 338 lines by, 337 Imaginary conversation between, and Christopher North, 518. Last of the Shepherds, the, Chap. I., 447 Chap. II., 449 Chap. III., 451 Chap. IV., 453 Chap. V., 455 Chap. VI., 458 Chap. VII., 460. Lay of the Bell, the, from Schiller, 302. Leap Year, a tale, Chap. I., 603 Chap. II., 606 Chap. III., 611. Lesurques, or the victim of Judicial error, Chap. I., the four guests, 24 Chap. II., the four horsemen, 25 Chap. III., the robbery and murder, ib. Chap. IV., the arrest, 26 Chap. V., the trial, 28 Chap. VI., the execution, 30 Chap. VII., the proofs, ib. Chap. VIII., the way in which France rectifies an error, 32. London, the world of, see World. Londonderry, the Marquis of, review of his steam voyage to Constantinople, &c., 101. Lost Lamb, the, by Delta, 295. Love's Triumph, from Schiller, 635.

Mackay, Charles, dream of Lord Nithsdale, by, 83 Founding of the Bell, by, 462. Mackenzie, Captain, account of the murder of Macnaghten, by, 257. Macnaghten, Sir William, description of the murder of, 257. Maître-d'Armes, a passage in the life of a, 733. Marlínski's Ammalát Bek, translation of, Chap. I., 288 Chap. II., 296 Chap. III., 464 Chap. IV., 471 Chap. V., 478 Chap. VI., 568 Chap. VII., 573 Chap. VIII., 579 Chap. IX., 584 Chap. X., 746 Chap. XI., 750 Chap. XII., 752 Chap. XIII., 755 Chap. XIV., 759. Marston; or, the memoirs of a statesman. Part I., 693. Martyr's Monologue, the, a poem, 125. Master, the, from Schiller, 310. Memorandums of a month's tour in Sicily--leaving Naples steam boatiana, 799 churches, 802 visit to the gardens of the Duke of Serra di Falco, near Palermo, ib. the Thunny fishery, 804 the fishmarket, 805. Merchant, the, from Schiller, 312. Might of Song, from Schiller, 172. Monaco, sketch of the history of, 573. Moralist, to a, from Schiller, 630. Mulready's illustrations to the Vicar of Wakefield, review of, 771. Music in England, state of, Part I., 127. Mystery of reminiscence, the, from Schiller, 442.

Natural history of the salmon and sea-trout, the, 640. Non-intrusion controversy, account of the, 352. Nott, General, movements of, in Cabul, 270.

Occupation of Aden, on the, 484. Opium question, the, 22.

Parr, natural history of the, 640 its identity with the salmon, 643. Passage in the life of a Maître-d'Armes, 733. Paul de Kockneyisms, by a Cockney, 366 a cit's soirée, 373. Paving Question, the, 614. Peel, Sir Robert, difficulties of his position on his accession to power, 2 errors of his predecessors, 5 his alteration in the corn-law, 5 his financial policy, 7 his tariff, 11. Philosophy of Dress, the, 230. Poems and Ballads of Schiller. See Schiller. Poetry, the dream of Lord Nithsdale, by Charles Mackay, 83 the curse of Glencoe, by B. Simmons, 121 the martyr's monologue, 125 the poems and ballads of Schiller, Part V., 166 Part VI., 302 Part VII., 433 Part VIII., 626 the young grey head, 202 lines by W.S. Landor, 337 the lost lamb, by Delta, 395 the founding of the bell, by Charles Mackay, 462 sonnet, on viewing my mother's picture, 495 the burial march of Dundee, 537 the vigil of Venus, 715. Poetry of Life, the, from Schiller, 313. Pollock, General, advance of, into Affghanistan, 269. Poor-law, support of the, by the Conservatives, 14. Practice of Agriculture, the, 415. Pretenders to Fashion, on, 234.

Quillinan, Edward, imaginary conversation by, between W.S. Landor and Christopher North, 518.

Retreat from Cabul, description of the, 261. Reviews, Londonderry's steam voyage to Constantinople, 101 Reynolds's discourses, Part II., 181 conclusion, 589 Eyre's Cabul, 239 Auguste Comte's cours de philosophie positive, 397 Stephens' Book of the Farm, 415 Dumas' Travels in Italy, 552 Young and Shaw on Salmon and Sea-Trout, 640 The Vicar of Wakefield, illustrated by William Mulready, R.A., 771 Chatterton's poems, 780. Reynolds, Sir Joshua, review of the discourses of, Part II., 181 conclusion, 589 defence of, against the aspersions of Allan Cunningham, 496. Riots in the manufacturing districts, the, 13. Rousseau, from Schiller, 631. Rowley's Poems, review of, 780. Rudolph of Hapsburg, from Schiller, 169. Russia, commercial policy in reference to, 807. Russian Literature, remarks on, 281.

Salmon, Natural History of the, 640. Sandt and Kotzebue, imaginary conversation between, by Walter Savage Landor, 338 Sangrador, El, and Ignacio Guerra, a tale of civil war, 791. Schiller, the Poems and Ballads of, translated. No. V. The victory-feast, 166 Rudolph of Hapsburg, 169 the words of error, 171 the words of belief, 172 the might of song, ib. honour to woman, 173 the fight with the dragon, 175 No. VI. The lay of the bell, 302 votive tablets, 309 the good and the beautiful, ib. to ----, 310 genius, ib. correctness, ib. the imitator, ib. the master, ib. to the mystic, ib. astronomical works, 311 the division of ranks, ib. theophany, ib. the chief end of man, ib. Ulysses, ib. Jove to Hercules, ib. the sower, 312 the merchant, ib. Columbus, ib. the antique to the northern wanderer, ib. the antique at Paris, ib. the poetry of life, 313 No. VII. The ideal, 433 the ideal and the actual life, 435 the favour of the moment, 438 expectation and fulfilment, 439 to the proselyte maker, ib. value and worth, ib. the fortune-favoured, ib. Poems of the first period, introductory remarks on them, 441 Hector and Andromache, ib. to Laura, the mystery of reminiscence, 442 to Laura, rapture, ib. to Laura, playing, 444 flowers, 445 the battle, ib. No. VIII. A funeral fantasie, 626 a group in Tartarus, 627 Elysium, 628 Count Eberhard, the grumbler, of Wurtemberg, ib. to a moralist, 630 Rousseau, 631 fortune and favour, ib. the infanticide, ib. remarks on it, 634 the triumph of love, 635 fantasie to Laura, 638 to the spring, 639. Scinde, occupation of, by the British, 273. Sea-Trout, natural history of the, 640. Shah Shoojah, death of, 266, _note_. Shaw, Mr, on sea-trout and salmon, 640. Shaw, Thomas B., translation of Ammalát Bek by, introductory remarks, 281 Chap. I., 288 Chap. II., 296 Chap. III., 464 Chap. IV., 471 Chap. V., 478 Chap. VI., 568 Chap. VII., 573 Chap. VIII., 579 Chap. IX., 584 Chap. X., 746 Chap. XI., 750 Chap. XII., 752 Chap. XIII., 755 Chap. XIV., 759. Shepherds, last of the, a tale, Chap. I., 447 Chap. II., 449 Chap. III., 451 Chap. IV., 453 Chap. V., 455 Chap. VI., 458 Chap. VII., 460. Sicily, memorandum of a month's tour in, leaving Naples, steam-boatiana, 799 churches, 802 visit to the garden of the Duke of Serra di Falco, near Palermo, ib. the Thunny fishery, 804 the fishmarket, 805. Siege of Candia, the, 718. Simmons, B., the curse of Glencoe, by, 121. Song of the bell, the, from Schiller, 302. Sonnet, by the author of the Life of Burke, 495. Sower, the, from Schiller, 312. Spain, commercial policy of Great Britain towards, 673. Spring, address to, from Schiller, 639. Statesman, memoirs of a, see Marston. Stephens' Book of the Farm, review of, 415.

Tale of a Tub, the, an additional chapter, how Jack ran mad a second time, 352. Tariff, reconstruction of the, difficulty of the task, 11. Tasso and Cornelia, imaginary conversation between, by Walter Savage Landor, 62. Taste and Music in England, state of, Part. I., 127. Theophany, from Schiller, 311. Thunny fishery, the, 804. To ----, from Schiller, 310. To Laura, the mystery of reminiscence, from Schiller, 442. To Laura, rapture, from Schiller, 443. To Laura, playing, from Schiller, 444. To a Moralist, from Schiller, 630. To the Mystic, from Schiller, 310. To the Proselyte-maker, from Schiller, 439. To the Spring, from Schiller, 639. Triumph of Love, the, from Schiller, 635. Turkish History, chapters of; No. IX. rise of the Kiuprili family siege of Candia, 718. Two Hours of Mystery, a tale, Chap. I., 85 Chap. II., 89 Chap. III., 93.

Ulysses, from Schiller, 311.

Value and Worth, from Schiller, 439. Vicar of Wakefield illustrated, review of, 771. Victory Feast, the, from Schiller, 166. Vigil of Venus, the, translated from the Latin, 715. Votive Tablets, from Schiller, 309.

Whigs, the, and Lord Ellenborough, 539. Wood Paving, remarks on, 614. Words of Error, the, from Schiller, 171 and of belief, 172. World of London, 2d series. Part I. Aristocracies of London life, 67 the aristocracy of fashion, 68 Part II. Concerning slow fellows, 225 the aristocracy of power, 227 the philosophy of dress, 230 pretenders to fashion, 234 Part III. Aristocracies of London life continued, of gentility-mongering, 379 the aristocracy of talent, 386.

Young, Mr, on grilse and salmon, review of, 640. Young grey head, the, a poem, 202.

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END OF VOL. LIII.

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_Edinburgh: Printed by Ballantyne and Hughes, Paul's Work._

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