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THB 

WESTMINSTER 

REVIEW 


JA-NUAliY AND APRIL. 

1861 . 


*'Tnitb oftD nerer be oonflnn'd anongh^ 

Though double did erer sleep.'* 

SHAESBMJlBI. 

|t^t fwb fcatiib tfl§ man ubcrall tai (Sutc lu jinbeii unt lu f^dtttn weil. 

OdXBl. 


NEW SERIES. 

VOL.XIX. 


LONDONj 

TRUBNER & CO., 8 & 60, PATERNOSTER-EOW. 


mdccclxi . 




CONTENTS 


Aat. Pxgb 

I. Mr. Kingsley on the Study of History. 

The Limits of Exact Science as applied to History. An Inaugural 
Lecture delivered before the University of Cambridge, by the 
Rev. Charles Kingsley, M.A., Professor of Modern History 
in the UniverRity of Cambridge, Chaplain in Ordinary to the 
Queen, and KMtor of Eversley. Cambridge and London : 
Macmillan and Co. 1860 .805 

II. The Sicilian Revolution. 

1. Kelazione presentata dalOonsiglioStraordinano di State convo. 

cato in Sicilia con Decrcto Dittatoriale del 9 Ottobre, 1860. 

2. Rapporte al Prodittatore dai S^retari di Stato . . . 33r 

III. Voltaire^s Romances and their Moral. 

Voltaire’s Komanccs and Novels. Komans de Voltaire . . 368 

IV. The Universities and Scietitific Education. 

1. Report of the Committee of the Senate of the University of 

I^ndoD, appointed to consider the Propriety of Establishbg 
a Degree or Degrees in Science, and the Conditions on which 
each Degree or Degrees should be conferred. 1858. 

2. On tbe Educational Value of tho Natural History Sciences. By 

Trokas H. H0XLET, F.B.S. London, 1854. 

3. On Natural History, as Knowledge, Discipline, and Power, A 

Lecture delivered at the Royal Institution of Great Briimii, 

Feb. 15, 1856. By Thomas H. Huxlbt, F.K.S. . . .381 

Early Intercourse of England and Germany. 

Bilderaos alt England. Von Rsirhold Pavli. Gotha : Perthes. 
London and Edinburgh: WiUuuns and Korgate. 1860. . 403 


VI. The Cotton Manufacture. 

1, History of the Cotton Manu&ctore in Great Britauif By 

Edward Baihm, Esq. X^ondon, 1834. 

2. The Cotton and Commerce of In<^ By JoHV OHAflirMr. 

licmdon, 1854. -y 

' 3i A Handbook of the Cotton Trade. By Tboxas BEftiMk 
London. 1868. ^ W 




H 


CONTENTS. 


Anr. 

4. Beporta imd Proceedings of the Cotton Supply Assaciation, and 

the Cotton Supply licporter. ManclieBter, ld57> 1S58, 1859} 

, and 1860. 

5. The Cotton Trade of Great Britain^ its Rise, Progress, and 

Present State. By A. Mann. London, 1860. 

6. The Cotton •Circulars of Messrs. Stoltei-foht, Sons, & Co. ; 

CoHu Campbell & Son, Samuel Kearsley & Co., Maurice 
Williams, and Samuel Smith. Liverpool, 1860 . . .419 


VII. Maine on Ancient Lato, 

Ancient Law: its Connexion with the Early History of Society 
and its Relation to Modem Ideas. By H. S. Maine, Reader 
on Jurisprudence and the Civil Iaw at the Middl^Tcnjple, 
and formerly Regius Professor of the Civil Law at tlie Uni¬ 
versity of Cambridge. London: J. Murray. 1661 . . 457 

VIII, Eton, 

1. Sir John T. Coleridge on Public School Education. Second 

Edition. London ; John Murray. 1860. 

2. Eton Befomi. By Willtax Johnson. London: I^ngman 

and Co. 1861 . 477 


IX. Austria a7id her Reforms, 

L’Autricho ct ses R(.Tormcs. Kxtrait du ** Coirespondant.” 


Janvier, 1861.. . • 508 

Contemporary Literature: 

1. Tlieology and Philosophy 528 

2. Politics, Sociology, and Travels.544 

8. Science.557 

4. Uistury and Biography.567 

5. Belles Lettres.588 













THE 


WESTMINSTER 

AKD 

FOREIGN QUARTERLY 

REVIEW. 

.TANUAllY 1. 186U 
Aut. L—Ancient Danisu Ballads. 

Ancient Danish Ballads^ translated from the Originals. By R. 
C. Aloxundor Trior. 2 vols. Williams and Norgate. 

Loudon and Edinburgh. 1800. 

A CENTlIllY, wanting five years, 1ms now elapsed since the 
Bishop of Bromore published his celebrated “ lleliqucs of 
Ancient English Poetry.*’ Cue hundred and seventy-four years 
previously to this first appearance of the “ Percy Ballads” (.\.D. 
17Go), an analogous collection of old Banish songs had been 
issued by Vedcl (a.d. ir>01). Informing this collection Vedel, 
wo are told, had no idea of the antiquarian interest attached to 
the songs of his country.” Ho appears to have been actuated by 
no other motive than the desire to contribute to the innocent en¬ 
tertainment of his readers. 

If to Vedel bo assigned the honour of editorial priority in the 
recension of those poetic effusions of his ancestral compatriots, a 
kindred merit must he conceded to Sophia, the wife of Frederick 
II., King of Benmark, as the direct instrument of their publica¬ 
tion. This nucon, if wo may credit the received tradition, once 
became the temporary guest of the great astronomer, Tycho 
Brahe. Besigning but a brief visit to the illustrious philoso¬ 
pher, she was detained some days at his residence, at the obser¬ 
vatory in Hveen, by the prevailing adverse weather. To fleet 
away the leaden moments the Pastor Anders Sorenson Vedel, 
who happened to be present, was requested to read before her 
Majesty some of the ballads which formed his collection. So 
delighted was the queen with these spirited productions, that she 
expressly commanded Vedel to complete and publish tiia projected 
[Vol. LXXV. No. CXLVIL]-N»w Seeim, Vol. XU. No. I B 



2 


Ancient Panish Ballads. 


work ; constantly renewing and enforcing the commission “both 
by oral and written messages,” till its tinal execution in 1591, 
when this first instalment of tlie ballad literatiu'e of Denmark 
wus printed, and we presume published at llibe by the patriotic 
pastor* 

This collection, which consisted of one hundred ballads cele¬ 
brating the feats or fortunes of kings and heroes, seems to havo 
been primarily intended for the diversion of the peasantry. 
Hence the pervading fault of Vedel’s edition; a preference of tho 
extravagant to the natural, exhibited in the adoption of the most 
preposterous readings which the ancient copies afford. Inju¬ 
diciously, however, as Yedol may have executed his duties as 
editor, he is still entitled to grateful recognition as the preserver 
of many characteristic ancient ballads, as the discoverer of 
“ a fountain of line poeti*y” to Danisli writers of succeeding 
generations,—in a word, as the Bishop Percy of tho north of 
Europe. 

A hundred and four years after the publication of Vedel's col¬ 
lection, Peter Syv reprinted the work, enhancing its value by the 
addition of a hundred hitherto unedited ballads. Since that time 
(1G95) various other collections have been made; the best of 
which are incorporated into tho " Dnnske Viser ’ (ancient 
ballads) of Nyerup, Abrahamson and Kahbek, published in 
1812-13; “a work,” says Mr. Howitt, “of singular value from 
the prominent fact that the great portion of these ballads are the 
common property of the whole of Scandinavia,” Sweden, Nor¬ 
way, the Faroe, the Shetland Isles, and Iceland, which alike 
possess a rich inheritance of legendary song, being all included in 
this geographical circumscription. 

Of the total number of ballads thus published by the com¬ 
pilers of tho “ Danske Viser,” amounting to two hundred and 
twenty-two, Dr. Prior, following the Danish originals as edited 
by them, has rendered into suitable English verse no fewer than 
one hundred and seventy-three, or about one-third of the entire 
ballad litemture of Hcandinavia, Distributing his poetical 
selection into four groups, namely,—the Heroic, liOgendary, 
Historical, and Homantic, the translator prefixes to these popular 
lays a prefatory notice, containing significant elucidations, cri¬ 
tical, tr^itionary, or historical. It is these annotations, the 
general introduction, and the ballads themselves, which supply or 
suggest the subject matter of this article. 

The origin and authorship of these ballads constitute problems 


* Litoatve and Bonumce of Northern ICurop^ by William and 
July aowHw 



Ancient Danish Ballads, 


8 


of difficult solution. Many of them are considered by the pre¬ 
sent translator to bo popular representations of older tales, and 
he rpiotcs with approval the remark of Sir Walter Scott, that 
“ The farther our researches are extended, the more we shall see 
ground to believe that the romantic ballads of later times are, for 
the most part, abridgments of ancient metrical romances, nar¬ 
rated in a smoother stanza and more modern* language.*' Thus 
the apparent originality of the Danish poems vanishes as our ac¬ 
quaintance with those of other countries increases, and wo learn 
to see in the Nortliem ballads elements common to the beau¬ 
tiful romances of the Soutli; those, namely, of Spain and Por¬ 
tugal, the Italian novels, and the lays and fabliaux of the French 
trouvdres, which embody so mucli of tlie floating fiction of the 
Middle Ages." 

The ballad literature of mediaeval Europe seems to have grown 
into general and simultaneous recognition during the fourteenth 
and fifteenth centuries. At any rate the language in which they 
are composed affords, in Dr. Prior's opinion, a satisfactory evi¬ 
dence that it was not till the sixteenth and the preceding century 
that they assumed their present form. Decidedly rejecting the 
hypothesis of Robert Jamieson and the Swedish historian Geijer, 
of the derivation of English, Scotch, and Scandinavian ballads 
from a common historical centre, in “ that remote period when 
we formed one nation together before the immigration of our 
ancestors to this island," Dr. Prior unhesitatingly subscribes to 
the theory of Luudstad of the international communication of 
these ancient songs by the northern races of the Baltic and Ger¬ 
man Ocean, whose kindred character of mind led them all to 
adopt and localize, in tlie centuries already indicated, the eame 
ballad, which separately delighted each, as it travclleil from the 
land of its birth to tlm successive countries of its adoption. 

At this period Eui*op 0 was distinguished by a general commu¬ 
nity of culture. Its religion, its chivalry, its architecture, and 
even its liand-wiitiug, were identical. It possessed, in addition 
to any private or special funds of song, a floating capital of 
numerous lays and romances, “ the common property of all na¬ 
tions.** And not only the argument or fable, but the same 
forms of expression, the same conventional phrases,*’ the some 
metre and representation, re-appeared among all. In sliort, what 
Herder says in his ** Yulkslieder," of the English and German 
ballads is, continues Dr, Prior, of universal application. 
“ The whole tone of this poetry is so uniform, that one may often 
translate word for word, turn for turn, inversion for inversion. 
In all these countries of Europe the spirit of chivalry has only 
one vocabulary, and therefore one mode of relating things. 
Ballads and romances have everywhere the same nouns and aid- 

B 2 



4 


Ancient Danish Bidlaih. 


jeotives, the same kind of teminatioiis (Fallondnnfjeii), the sffmt? 
freedom of metre, even the same favourite tunes, the same 
romantic plants, boasts, and birds.” 

Jiejecting, then, the hypothesis of any extraordinary antiquity, 
y^o incline to acquiesce in the opinion tliat none of our own, or 
the Danish ballads, arc older than the tbirtceutb, and few are 
older than the fifteenth century. 

if 

Next to the problem of their date and orippn comes the ques¬ 
tion of their autliorship. Of course it is quite impossible even 
to conjecture who were the individual composers. But Dr. 
Prior, Oehlenschliiger, N. M. Petersen, and other critics, arc of 
opinion that their generic authorship can bo determined. We nro 
indebted, they say, for most of them to ladies. To justify this 
decision they adduce two arguments—1. 'The manuscripts in 
which they arc preserved, mid ninny of which are throe hnnilrcd 
years old, (ure almost every one of them in female hand-writing,, 
which alone might lead us to expect that females had composed 
them.” 2. “ The wives of these poems invariably give their 
husbands the best possible advice, and men who arc pictured as 
fine characters follow their advice;” a complimentary implica¬ 
tion whicli, as gallantry was not a clmracteristic of tlie Scandi- 
navian, it is supposed precludes the possibility of a more ener¬ 
getic derivation. 

This reasoning, however, appears to us iuconclnsive. For, first, 
the supeiliuous leisure enjoyed by tlie )iigli-born dames and 
damsels of tbo middle ages would naturally enough bo employed 
in making transcripts of the popular lays sung by the minstrel to 
his harp in hall or bower ; the productions probably of various 
romantic poets, wliose ;:ppreeiation of the superior moral grace 
which it is etiquette to consider tlie peculiar appanage of tlio beauti¬ 
ful sex, induced them, in a period of deadly and unreasoning mascu¬ 
line outrage, to attribute to many ii fair and gentle lady, who wuis all 
their fancy painted her, an instinctive wisdom denied to her willui 
and impetuous lord. In the second place, tho old Danes, however 
deficient in the practice of gallantry, may have been at least par¬ 
tial recipients of its theory, glorifying women in tho abstract, as 
so mtiny embodied ideals of goodness, while occasionally giving 
women in the concrete very rough usage; in short, behaving lik<i 
fetish-adorers iu other ages and countries who first worship 
and then “wallop" their divinities. Such conduct seems by 
no means incompatible with the veneration wliich, no doubt, in 
common with their chivalrous ancestors, they entertained for tho 
sybils, priestesses, and proplietcsses of the supcmrftural foretime. 
Nor is this domestic ineonsistency without a parallel. Their 
Teutonic relations in Germany habitually ascribed to tbo women 
cf their country a something holy and prophetic, duly honouring 



Ancient Danish Ballads, 


5 


the iidvice, and regarding the responses of these interesting 
oracles; and yet in startling contrast with this submissive and 
reverential state of mind, visiting with sliameful expulsion and 
flagellation, such of these Sybillino ladies, as in that pre- 
Shakspoarian age liud practically justified the nomenclature of 
the sarcastic llamlcl, when that accomplished misogynist took 
to calling frailty names ! a 

There is however one consideration tha^ives some show of 
probability to the asst‘vt'on, that many of these ballads were really 
written bv women. For in the ethical evaluations with which 


tln*y present ns, not only wives but younger sons, are at an enor¬ 
mous premium, wliilo elder sons no less than husbands are com¬ 
paratively at a discount. From such an appreciation, it might 
be inferred, tlial these small revolutionary epics wore composed 
by the natural enemies of big brutlicrs, namely, the little ones. 
Ihit an alternative hypothesis is equally admissible here. The 
frcjjuent preference of mothers for the latest edition of their own 
fair image is, we understand, an acknowledged fact. A presump 
tiou is thus alforded, that the favourite younger son and the un¬ 
popular elder brother of these poems, arc really creations of the 
maternal mind, wliieh magnifies the virtues of one child, beoause 
be had the grace to he bom last, and exaggerates the vices of the 
other because he was wicked enough to be horn hrst. 3^ut 
whether lljc arguments adduced to establish the claims of women 
to the original copyright of the majority of these poems bo ac¬ 
cepted as conclusive or not, the ju’ctousioiis of tlie sterner sex to 
the authorship of some of them is perhaps litllo likely to be dis¬ 
puted. 

The following ballad, for instance, intended to celebrate 
woman's ready invention and persistent power of response under 
the trying lire of cross-examination, will scarcely be suspected of 
emanating from the female Muse :— 


TIIK HEADY KEPLV. 

“ ^But sister dear,* a brother said, 

‘ Do you then never mean to \vcd ?* 

‘ Oh wait I at this, my tender ago, 

I would not yet my hand engage.’ 

‘ Yet, might I trust the public voice, 

You have already made the choice.* 

‘ So people talk, and talk they may, 

Believe not all that gossips say.* 

* And who was then the handsome knight, 
Rode from your door with morning’s light ? 

* No knight, no high-born cavalier. 

My stable-boy and his horse were here.* 



6 


Ancient Danieh Ballade. 


* Then near your bed two pair of shoes ! 

I^ow whose were they '( pray tell me whose I' 

* No man’s shoe, brother, think not so, 

’Twaa but my slippers lay below/ 

^ And then that little cherub head 
Was lately sleeping upon your bed ?’ 

‘ No cherub that, or baby small; 

What^y there sleeping was my doll/ 

* How neard I then in passing by. 

Within your door an infant cry ?* 

* So cry not infants, ’twas my maid, 

Because of a wardrobe key mislaid/ 

* And pray what might the cradle mean. 

So slily hid behind the screen ?* 

* No cradle; be not rash to blame, 

You’ve seen perhaps my broidery frame ; 

And if you, brother, more will know, 

With answers I shall not be slow. 

When women fail to make reply, 

Then look to sec the ocean dry/ ” 

The frail heroine of this ballad probably fared better than some 
of her delinijiient sisters. For the rough Durthmen had evidently 
no sympathy with tiie sentimental licentiousness of the Houthorn 
Courts of Love. These ferocious moralists made short work with 
interesting lovers. They burned their olfonding wives at the 
faggot, and hanged their paramours. In the case of unraurried 
persons, but possibly only wlaen betrotiial, regarded as the equi¬ 
valent of marriage, rendered tlie olfenco tantamount to a violation 
of matrimonial fidelity, tlie parties wore subjected to the same 
punishment ns conjugal transgressoi's. Thus in one of the ballads 
in this collection, Sedselille informs MedelwoJd of her mother's 
determination to send her to tlie faggot, and him to the gallows. 
So in the ballad of >Sir Buris and Christine, King Waldmar calls 
for five heavy scourges, with which he lushes his sister to death. 
Death, in fact, seems to have been the recognised punishment of 
women who loved deeply, but not well, in other parts of Europe 
besides .Denmark, In u Swedish ballad, called “ Pehr Wattcu* 
man,*’ a son puts his own mother on tho firo; in a Scotcl) one, 
entitled “ Lady Mnisry,’* a brother his own sister, and in a Spanish 
romance a mother threatens her daughter with the stake if “ maid 
she is no more.*' 

The penal code in those good old days was extremely savage. 
The rack and wheel were in constant requisition. Criminals were 
sometimes buried alive. Admitting that the lawlessness of the 
times required a severe and oven appalling treatment, it can 
scarcely be doubted that the ferocity of the punishments tended 
to augment the brutality they were designed to diminish. But 



Ancient Danish Ballads. 


7 


turning from this friglitful feature of the age, let us try to con¬ 
stitute ourselves the interested “ spectators of a moving pano¬ 
rama," to call up a picture, however rude and unfinished, of that 
Scandinavian past with which our own is not unremotely allied, 
for the blood of the old Norse sea kings beats with a prouder 
pulse in their English descendants. It will be pleasant to get a 
glimpse, through what in some sort are contemporary documents, 
of that rude barbaric life of the Northernmen; to watch them in 
their homes, to ** look into the drv schedule of their household 
efl'cets,^’ and take an inventory of their furniture, jewellery, ward¬ 
robe, ana other valuables; to notice iiow they were lodged, 
clothed, and fed; liow they lived, suffered and rejoiced; ti> observe, 
in short, the moral and material heaven under which they sunned 
themselves. 

AVe will begin with a description of the Borg or Manorhouse of 
the Danish country gentleman. In the widest extension of the 
term the Borg consisted of various detached buildings, ranged in 
the Borgegaard, or court-yai*d, access to which was obtained 
through the Borgeled, or cntranco gate. The Borg, in the re¬ 
strictive sense of the word, stood in front; the apartments fortlie 
ladies and retainers at tlie side; the stables, kitchen, and Sten- 
slue, or lying-in-room, in otlier parts of the yard. This yard was 
the play-ground of the pages, and the place of exercise of the 
troopers. Many a sculfie came off here; and many a scolding 
was given tind taken. From it, the visitor, drawing up liis 
scarlet cloak as he crossed, approaclicd the door of the mansion. 
Here ho was received sometimes by the master, cup in hand; 
sometimes by one of the ladies of the house ; with the courteous 
preliminary oiler of mead or wine. Usually the guest ascends 
the stairs (HoieJofts bro’) to the ladies' chamber (Hoieloft) on the 
first floor. Below, it would seem, sat the master with his 
troopers, at the broad table in the banquet room. The sleeping 
arrangements of the family mre not easily understood. Perhaps 
they varied with the rank or number of its members. Sometimes 
they all seem to have slept in one room ; sometimes the chambers 
are described as sepiu’ate. TJie bride’s apartment, called the 
Bridal House, was undoubtedly a detached room. Some of the 
usages of the dormitory were very primitive. The servant lads 
slept in the same bedroom witli the ladies of the family. Thus 
in the ballad called “ The Wake" we find a page ‘'in his red ar¬ 
rayed” quietly conversing with the queen as she lies in bed! Nejr 
was this all: hut with a simplicity worthy of the earliest days 6i 
paradise, liighborn Itidy and simple swain reposed in unadorned 
beauty, yet with apparent innocence, in that seemingly dangerous 
proximity. This fashion, imported from Eden, appears at onetime 
to have prevailed in all the most civilixed parts of tbeWesU Thus 



8 


Ancient Danish Ballads, 


Dr. Prior quotes a Spanish ballad which tells us howBosaflorida 
■was heard weeping by “ a swuin that in her chamber slept and 
introduces us, in a French Romance, to a most amusing old 
woman, whose undisguised astonishment passes into transcendent 
admiration, w'hen she sees some fair maiden, on retiring to her 
couch, retain, in defiance of all precedent, that delicate garment 
which, borrowing the pretty euphemism of Leigh Hunt, wo will 
designate “ The Gentle Armour.” 

From the mansion itself wc pass to its extenial environments. 
Running round the house, and having a covering over it, might 
be seen a terrace rising a foot and a half from the ground. This 
was called the “ Svnle,” and fonned the general rendezvous of the 
family. In these ballads we read often of the Rosenlund, the 
scene of so many adventufes. The Rosenlund is supposed by 
Professor Vedel Simonsen to bo a small park , . , between the 
entrance gate and the house, and to have had its name from the 
rosebuds, the young ladies, who frequented it! This explana¬ 
tion, however, is scornfully rejected by Dr. l^rior, who substitutes 
for the ‘'little cockney pnrk” of the learned professor, the green¬ 
wood of our own ballads,—a coppice of small trees and bushes, 
through which a horseman could ride, as distinguished from a 
dense forest of timber trees. Such a wood of rose he thinks a 
very likely place to meet an Elfin maiden in ! Personal distinctions 
of rank seemed not to have been very definitely marked among 
the ancient Danes. The ballads indeed relate principally to the 
fortunes and adventures of persons of illustrious birth; but the 
systematic chivalry of the south was perhaps hut imperfectly 
recognised by the honest, rough, unsentimental men of the north. 
Accordingly, Dr. Prior considers the knights, of whom we read 
in these old lays, to have been “ many of them men of great 
wealth and local power, in whose courts youths of gentle lineage 
were probably educated and brought up ; destined to enter after¬ 
wards their patrons’ service as valets or pages.” The duty of the 
page was to attend on the ladies night and day; to run errands, 
and collect news for them. The svend, or swain, appears to have 
been the personal attendant of a knight, holding, unlike tlio 
squire of the south, a lower rank in life than that of his master. 
The ung or young is supposed to indicate a youth of family, per¬ 
fectly independent, but neither old nor rich enough to bo a 
knight. The Herr probably denotes the possessor of a house 
and property. Its English representative in this translation of 
ancient ballads is merely “ sir.” 

Coming now to the heroes and heroines of these old songs, we 
find the king dwelling in a castle, presiding over fort and tower, 
feasting amid his knights and swains, or leading his gallant 
champions armed, and sword in hand. On his head he wears a 



Ancient Danish Ballads. 


9 


gleaming crown of ruddy gold ; on his arm he carries a shield 
with a lion blazoned on it. The queen is lioused in a palaue of 
wood, seated on a cushioned bench, veiled in a purple cloak, 
arrayed in red attire, or clothed in silk. She has a crown on her 
head; she wears a jewelled band; she uses a golden comb. 
Princesses and noble maidens also wear crowns of gold or of 
silver, or wreath their tresses with chaplets {)f pearl, or are attired 
in ermine and martin. Among their ornaments are enumerated 
shoes latched with silver; rings and buckles of gold. ^^lantles 
of blue and scarlet, and embroidered silk, and silver-hiltod knives, 
are among the gifts promised to little Kirstiii. Fair Hyldestil 
sits in her bower stitching caps, and, while her thoughts go 
woolgathering, sewing with silken thread what properly should 
he sowed with gold. Noble maidens spin, weave, and braid ; the 
hroidered stag and broidored doe run in the green woodland of 
their silken picture. Such was woman's mission in those primi¬ 
tive days, when even kings’ daugliters were expected to make 
their husbands’ clothes. The costume of the men is very gor¬ 
geous. Sir llosmcr wears a shirt (of silk for ccitain) ; a jacket of 
blue velvet and buckskin boots, with gilded spurs. Sir Asbioni 
Snare spends a fortune in buying garments of silk and sindal 
((iypross or sarcenet). The knights shine resplendent in bur¬ 
nished coats of mail; they carry cjnblazoncd shields ; they wear 
lacc, velvet jackets, silken shirts, purple mantles, as occasion 
serves. A scarlet robe seems to liave been the court dress or 
vest of honour, and was worn as a rule on all grand occasions. 
Persons of lower degree wore wndmal, a kind of sergo or home- 
spun woollen cloth.* Thus in the ballad of Ebbc Galt, the farmer 
is attired in a coat of gray ; and Krngelille, the peasant-shamming 
heroine of another old romance, wi*aps herself in a cloak of coarse 
gray wool, and a goat's skin. 

It is not difficult to conjecture whnt were the pastimes and 
occupations of these for-olf days. Song and tale were held in 
high esteem; the harp was played both by man and woman; 
dice rattled on the board; and fast young ladies, seemingly up 
to everything from literal pitch and toss to metaphorical man¬ 
slaughter, lost their hearts and other valuables, during fascinating 
games of chess, in which these reckless gamesters played for 
none but tho highest stakes—their own peerless beauty and 
priceless love. Of course they always played tho losing game ! 
Below, the castle-yard rang with tho knightly exercise, and the 
greensward was merry with the dance. A characteristic incident 

* Worn in England in the time of Edward I. See ** Liber Albus,” p. 198. 
Translated by II. T. Hiley, M.A. Skarlakan or scarlet, opposed to nadmal, 
was the generic name of a fmo cloth, whose varieties wer^ red, green, and blue. 



10 


Ancient Banish Ballads, 


in these ballads is the porpetaal ascension up the hi^h bower 
stairs, and as in some of them the scrape of the violin is heard, 
we are almost inevitably reminded of the once popular ditty, 

“Such a getting up stairs and a playing of the fiddle.*’ 

Of the viands consumed in those old days, we can say but little. 
We hear of roast and boiled in general, of fish, beef^ flitches of 
bacon, porridge, loaves of bread. 'J’be goblet of wdne is for ever 
circulating; the “luscious mead” is at the stranger's service; 
and the sparkling ale is to be had for the asking. 

Rapidly glancing at a few of the most characteristic usages of 
this somewhat indetenninate and mythical period (for duo allow¬ 
ance must be made for tbe poetic exaggeration as well as for the 
fluctuating chronology of this ballad poetry), we come fii*st to the 
peculiai* institution of all ages and all countries, the matrimonial. 
Dr. Prior, scarcely able to decide what did constitute a marriage 
in those days, is inclined to think that the priest s blessing, uttered 
at tbe bedside, was tlie most essential part of tlie ceremony. We 
find more than one instance of a change of briiiegroom at the last 
hour. Young ladies were often awurtled to their future husbands 
without the slightest reference to their own feelings or wislics. 
The ring was not tbe tc.keii of man’ingc* but betrothal. Roses 
and lilies weic the accredited emblems of an engagement wlrch 
appears to have been most obligingly regarded as equivalent to a 
civil marriage. The young Dunisli girl delighted to wear her long 
flowing yellow locks flung loosely over her shoulders. She fore¬ 
bore to cover her bead till she bad fori'eited her right to wear the 
golden crown or maiden coronet, the virgin crant of Shakspeore’s 
Ophelia, answering to tlie silken snood once, perhaps still, worn in 
the north of Scotland, and recalling the corresponding ornament 
of the fallen Margaret in the characteristic scene in Paust, where 
the spiteful gossiping llcssie declares—“ The boys will tear her 
garland for her, and we will cut straw before lier door.” 

The maiden coronet was of course laid aside on marriage. After 
the betrothal, a very serious ceremony, the bridgroom elect was 
called Fscstemaiid, and tlio maiden Pcestemo (from the word fssten 
to fasten, or secure^, the correspondents of the French fianc6, or 
fiancee, and the English truelovc, properly troth-promised, from the 
Danish ' trolovet.” At the betrothal, presents called “ Fffistegave," 
originally the money value of tlie bride and paid to her parents, 
were given to the lady elect- The Fsestegave treasured by the 
wife, as a sort of marriage certificate, seems in the course of time 
to have become the wife's dowry. The “ Alorgengave,” or Mom- 
ing-gift (recognised in England in Anglo-iSaxon times), w'as a 
“ present which the bride was entitled to demand,” and which could 
not be refused by the husband, the day after her wedding. It 



Ancient Danish Ballads^ 


11 


often consisted of a landed estate, and was tantamount to a marriage 
settlement. Notwitlistanding the ferocious love of virtue among 
tile old Danes, there was nothing discreditable in living with a 
mistress. “It was in fact,” says J)r. Prior, “a morganatic mar¬ 
riage, a compromise with the law that forbad the union of those 
who were not of equal rank.” Second marriages, in Denmark, as 
well as in other countries, were not viewed very favourably; step¬ 
mothers, at least, were in universally ill repute. In the Danish 
ballads young girls are represented as inconsolable for the loss of 
tludr mothoi's ; a representation which our translator, w'ho thinks 
it inconceivable that they slumld have felt much affection for 
mothers who wore ready t(^ give them to any husband without 
consulting their feelings, or to burn them for very venial trans¬ 
gressions, pronounces a stereotyped coniinonphice. It is certainly 
“ beyond everything us (iod Almighty shouhl ha’ made women 
sobut wo are not sure that ho hasn’t. Doubtless, however, 
with all their rigid notions of parental justii’c and prerogative, the 
pi’aotice of our S<inndinaviati ancestresses was not iiufreiiuently 
bettor tliun their theory. Wo can a<iduce, at least, one most 
pathetic instance of the strength and reality of the mateiual in¬ 
stinct even in the Spartan dames of Denmark. In the touching 
ballad of llic “ Diiricd Motlior,*’ Swain Dvrin*^ marries a lovelv 
maiden. Seven vears she sljaroH his home with him, and cverv 
year presents him with one of the sweoU.*»t e-hildren eyes ever saw. 
At the end of the seven years she dies, and the faithless Swain (as 
Juitliless swains will do), wins anotlior maiden’s Inind. The new 
bride steps, grim and harsh, from lier gihhal wain. Sim repels 
tlie wei'piug eliildron: locks up the bread and beer: takes 
away their light and tire ; gives them straw to lie upon: and hr’- 
haves in fact as an “ iujusta uoverca” omjht to behave. Cold and 
starving, the motherless children lament over their sad fortunes.* 

“ They cried one evening till the sound 
Their motlier heard beneath the ground. 

She heard as in her grave she lay, 

‘ But go 1 must their pain to stay.* 

At God*a high throno she bunt her knee, 

‘ O! let me, Lord, my children see.’ 

And such her prayer and tale of woe, 

That God in mercy let her go. 

If- « * « 

As through the streets she glided by. 

Loud all the hounds howled to the sky. 

She reached her husband’s court-yard gate, 

And there her eldest daughter sate. 


* Por euphony’s soke we occasionally omit a rodundaut word in Dr. Prior’s 
able translations. 




12 


Ancient Danish Ballads, 


* 0 ! daugliter mine! why so in tears ? 

How fare my other little dears F* 

* No mother at all ai*t thou of mine, 

ThouVt not like her, though fair and fine. 

My mother’s cheeks were white and red, 

But thine are pale and like the dead.’ 

* And how should 1 he pale and fair, 

When death has bleached the cheeks I bear, 

Or how should I be white and red, 

So long, niy child, as I’ve been dead ?* 

She found her children’s sleeping place, 

And wet with tears each little iace. 

She nursed them all with mother’s care, 

She combed and dressed their silky hair.” 

Lastly she takes tlie babe in her lap and feeds it. These gentle 
duties fulfilled, she sends the eldest daughter to summon to her 
presence the ungracious husband and unnatural father. Swain 
obeys the summons. She chicles, upbraids, and warns him; and 
now as the red, the black, and the white cock announce, with treble 
clarion, the dawn of day, the pule lady returns to her cold church¬ 
yard home, not without some consoling prescience, we would 
hope, of the good effects which followed this revisiting of the 
glimpses of the moon. For— 

“ Whenever hound was heard to whine, 

They gave the children bread and wine. 

Whenever hound vras heard to hark. 

They thought the dead walked in the dark. 

Whenever hound was heard to howl, 

They thought they saw a corpse’s cowl.” 

The social characteristics of Danish life recognised in these 
ballads are many and various. Of the more prominent phe¬ 
nomena, we may instance the compurgation guilt by twelve 
friends of the accused, general on the Continent in the mediajval 
period, and possibly the origin of our jury, as instituted about the 
time of Henry III.; vindictive retribution, grounded on the prin¬ 
ciple of blood for blood, but mitigated by the acceptance of 
pecuniary compensation; the horrible custom of burying women 
alive, and throwing criminals, especially pirates, into a snake fen 
or enclosure filled with thorns and venomous reptiles; the throw¬ 
ing of mould over a lady who took the veil, in token of her being 
dead to the world; the wearing of white as the colour of mourn¬ 
ing; the practice of leechcraft by fair hands; the partial ob¬ 
servance of knightly usage; the compulsory attendance of the 
clergy in the battle field; and the constant migration to the court 
of Byzantium of the Scandinavian exiles or adventurers, who enter- 



Ancient Danish Ballads. 


13 


ing tho Imperial service preserved in common with their English 
brothers in arms, till the Iasi age of the empire, that inheritance 
of spotless loyalty, by which, under tlio name of Varangians, our 
great historian tells us they were so nobly distinguished.* “ With 
their broad and double-edged battle-axes on their shoulders, they 
attended the Greek emperor to the temple, the senate, and the 
hippodrome ; he slept and feasted under their trusty guard; and 
the keys of tho palace, the tniasury, and the capital were held by 
the firm and faithful hands of the Varangians." 

From this imperfect sketch of Danish life and manners, which 
in some of its details carries us back to the old heroic or anti- 
rueditcval period, we pass at once to a closer survey of the poems 
which have furnished our shadowy outline. 

For the natives of the North the Heroic Ballads, which paint 
tlie manners and celebrate the martial deeds of their valiant an¬ 
cestors, “Avhose fleets ten'ifltMl all the coasts of Europe, whose 
grave-hills are still poinhul out to the traveller, whose very wea¬ 
pons are preserved in their museums," have a peculiar interest. 
Their chariKderistics arc frankness and straightforwardness of ex¬ 
pression, a rough, healthy barbaric morality, with a perfect freedom 
from all rose-pink sentiment. There is a rustic heartiness, with 
touches of a practical-joko-kind-of-humoiir about them. A bracing 
Norland breeze seems to breathe through them, blowing away all 
southern sousibilitics and exotic fine feelings. Their poetic atmo¬ 
sphere Iins a gooil salt smell of the sea in it, or. at furthest, is re¬ 
dolent of blossoms lliat take tlie winds of March with bcautv. 
Turning from the stern majesty of 8iward and Brynhild,” tlie 
-/Kschylean grandeur of tlie “ Sword of Vengeance,'’tho picturesque 
power of “ Grimild’s llcvcnge," and the romance that celebrates 
the droll lieroisin of the son of Volant the liaine, the Vulcan of tho 
North, the prototype of Walter Scott’s redoubtable craftsman, 
Wayland Smith,—wo select, for its spirited “ go" and “ Brobdig- 
nian" huinonr, tho only ballad in which an Edda poem has been 
traditionally preserved, “ Thor of Asgard." The Thnsser king, it 
should be premised, is supposed by Dr. Prior to be a Turkish 
potentate, not a very satisfactory supposition, we think. The 
hammer of gold, Miolner, orusber of giants, which Thor of Asgard, 
home of tho Asir, has lost during the winter, and which Loki, 
flame or heat, recovers at the return of spring from tho northern 
genii of cold and darkness, is the not inappropriate symbol of the 
thunderbolt. A Tvold is any supernatural or extraordinary being, 
from a giant to a magician, or a dwarf to a deist. 


Gibbon’s Dcclioc and Fall of the Koman Empire. VoL x. p. 331. 



14 


Ancient Danish Ballads, 


** There rode the mighty of Asgard, Thor, 

His journey across the plain, 

And there his hammer of gold he lost, 

And sought so long in vain. 

’Twas then the mighty of Asgard, Thor, 

His brother his bidding told, 

‘ Up thou and oif to the Northland Fell, 

And seek ray hammer of gold.* 

Ho spake, and Loki the serying man, 

His feathers upon liim drew. 

And launching over the salty sea, 

Away to the Northland flew. 

He stopped, as he crossed the castle yard, 

To cloak him in scarlet pall, 

And greeted the hideous Thusser king, 

And entered his lofty hall. 

* Welcome, Loki, thou serving-man ! 

Bight heartily welcome here! 

Now tell me how matters at Asgard stand, 

And how in the country near/ 

^ In castle at Asgard all is well. 

And eke in the country near, 

Bat Thor has his golden hammer miss'd 
And therefore am I come here.’ 

‘ Hark thou my words! No more shall Thor 
His hammer again behold. 

For fifteen fathoms and forty deep 
It’s buried beneath the mold. 

His hammer no more gets Thor agaii^ 

From under the solid earth, 

Till mine is the maiden Fredensboi^, 

And all that ye all are worth/ ** 

The hftndsome, malicious, crafty Loki, ever plotting against the 
Asir, but ever compelled to serve them (as subtle destructive force 
must ever serve bright intcUigeuce), dies back to Thor with the 
answer. The haughty Fredensbf^rg indignantly rejects the propo¬ 
sition, declaring that even a Christian man would be a preferable 
bridegroom to that lothely Trold. Whereon Loki, as we under¬ 
stand, interposes— 

“'Then let us our aged father take (Thor), 

And com\> him and dress him well. 

And bear hijn in of a fati- 

Away to the Northland Fell. 



Ancient Danish BaUads, 


15 


They brought her to court, the blooming bride, 
And into the banquet hall. 

And largess there with an open hand 
Was dealt to the minstrels all. 

They took her, the young and bashful bride. 

To sit on her bridal chair, 

And forward stopped the Thusser king, 

Himself to serve the fair. 

A whole ox-carcase the maid ate up, 

And thirty sides of swine, 

And took to her meat seven hundred loaves, 
Before she would taste of wine. 

A whole ox-carcase the maid ate up, 

Her loaves and her bacon first, 

And then twelve barrels of ale she drank 
Before she could quench her thirst. 

The Thusser king as he paced the floor, 

Hi.s hands on his bosom beat; 

‘ Who then, and whence, is the youthful bride, 
So monstrous a meal can eat s'* 

And smiling beneath his scarlet cloak, 

'flius Loki, the page, replied, 

* Seven (lay.s it is since she tasted food, 

For longing to be tliy bride.* 

Then brought eight champions stout and strong 
'flic hammer upon a tree, 

And heaved it up fur the youthful bride, 

And laid it across her knee. 

Up rose lirom her scat that tender bride, 

Her l^ammer she took in hand. 

And only tlie sober truth to tell. 

She brandished it like a wand. 

The first she slew was the Thusser king. 

So lothely and fierce and tail: 

She came indeed to the wedding feast. 

She slaughtered them great and small. 

* And now,’ said Loki, the wily page, 

* ’Tis time that we all retire. 

And home to our country bend our stepsi 
And oomfort our widow sire.’ ” 


A similar achievement is celebrated in the ballad of Sir Gen- 
selin, where the lady Brynild—delicate young virgin!—after a light 
repast on two oxen, five tons of ale and aeven of porridge, con- 



Ancient Danish Ballads. 


]G 

eludes the amusements of the evening by flourishing her stay-lace 
end with such good efibet that she leaves no few'er than fifteen 
champions dead “ out on the grassy lea.” 

The feather dress woru by Loki recalls the winged sandals of 
Mercury. This light and airy costume is very fashionable with 
the ladies and gentlemen of these ballads. In one of them, the 
young prince Gladenswein tricks himself out in his mother’s old 
flying finery, the queen carelessly remarking, that when midsum¬ 
mer comes again, she w’ill make herself another and bettor pair of 
wings. We have not been able to discover the secret of this mys¬ 
terious tailoring; but it appears to have been known to more 
than one happy lover, in Denmark, in the days that are no more. 
Of these the most noteworthy was evidently Master Hildebrand, 
who, to win the love of a fair lady, who had vowed to give her liand 
to none but a flying knight, “ learned to dress him in guise of bird,” 
and, in plumes of silver and %vinga of gold, came fluttering round 
her bower, nearer and nearer, till finally accepting her dainty in¬ 
vitation (for something seemed to draw her to him), he flitted in, 
to the lady’s musical warble— 

“ 01 bird! pretty bird ! wert thou but tame, 

I*d scat thee here on luy broitlcry freme. 

Oh 1 bird! i)retty bird! wert thou but mine, 

I’d set for thy perch my gilded shrine.” 

The dew falls. Tlic maiden retires. I’he dark hours pass slowly. 
As the morning bell rings to matins, the gentle bird twitters. The 
lady wakes, in fear and wonder, and asks who is in the bower ? 
“ ’Tis only your pretty bird,” replies the maid. 

“ And down from liis pole he flew below, 

And strutted him boldly to and fro : 

He flew and perched on the lady’s bed, 

And hopped and chirrup’d about her head : 

He played with her hair, licr p<>arls and band, 

And gently he pecked the lady’s hand. 

‘ Dear bird, wert thou from feathers free 
None other I’d take to wed but thee.’ 

‘ You’ve plighted your word, and now be true. 

Give hither your hand, my claw take you.’ 

The lady she gave the bird her hand, 

And free from feathers she saw him stand. 

He shook his limbs from the plumage iree, 

And straight a gallant young knight was he. 

‘ By day in thy cage thou still shalt keep, 

By night 'shalt here in my bosom sleep.’ 

So long did the knight her chamber share, 

Till Ingelille two little babies bare, 

For summer amiisement the lady won 
A bonny fair maid and a comely son. 



Ancient Danish Ballads. 


17 


Her father came in the bahcs to see. 

And thus to his daughter dear, said he, 

‘ O say, my daughter, whom thou dost call 
The father to these pretty babes so small ?’ 
‘Hear father, to you the truth I’ll tell, 

I found them both in a woody dell. 

I raised them from off* the cold damp gi’ound, 
And hero have a foster mother found.* 

‘ Well, well, my daughter, so let that be, 

The babies jierhaps Iwlong to thee.’ ” 


Those babes in the wood are not obsolete yet! No one ever 
knows how they come, but there they arc, indubitable “infant 
phenomena I" I'lie present mysterious arrivals, however, happily 
bring no trouble to their casual discoverer, 'fho father promises 
Sir Jlihlebnind fifteen estates if he will wed the fair philanthro¬ 
pist ; but Sir Hildebrand, with a supreme contempt for all such 
sublunary things, iiiagniUcently bids him keep his estates, and 
give liiin Ins daughter, and nothing more. In the end, our “ lily 
llowor’* lays her grief aside, regardless Iioucefortli of joke and 
banter, for “the knight she has wedded can wing the air." A 
somewhat dangerous aceoinplishiueiit, us Ingellilo may one day 
learn to her cost, wlion her gay aeronaut “ takes a flight t'» heaven 
to-night, and leaves dull earth heliind him 1" 

Jn tliis ballad it would appear that Sir Hildebrand in a'^suming 
thedr*‘ss, artpurcK Hie prnportioiis. and l•vell the form of a hivil. 
Instances of :i still more* niinicuUms trarjs;orjnati''n (»ceur in those 
po(nns : nndamorphoscs as wonderful fliose in (Ivid, compa- 
'rahlc t‘veu to the singular variations of form in the “ Arabian 
Nights* Hnterlaimneiit.” Now wo have a maiden bewitched into 
li werwolf, or into a snake, or into a linden tree; now wo have a 
knight who, in the shape of a lindworm, entices a lady into his 
cave, and is restored to human shape l»y the sweetest and most 
wcloomo of kisses; or else a lothely elf, availing himself of the 
same c^xquisite panacea, is disenchanted into the most beautiful 
King Charming that ever lived. Sometimes these changes of fonn 
are effected with bewildcnng facility and in astonishingly rapid 
succession, as in the poem of the Nightingale:— 


“ I well know where a castle stands, 

And richly it is dight, 

With silver and with ruddy gold, 

And marble polished bright. 

Within its yard a linden stands, 

With tender leaflets hung, 

And dwells therein a Nightingale 
That sweetly tunes her tongue. 
fVol. LXXV. No. CXLVIL]— New Seeies, VoL XIX. No. L 


0 



Id 


Ancient Danish Ballads. 


A gentle knight at midnight hour 
Came riding there along. 

And stood awhile in wonder lost 
To hear the warbler’s song. 

‘ Now hark, thou jittle Nightingale, 

A lay I prithee sing: 

And then thy neck 1*11 hang with pearl, 

With beaten gold thy wing.’ 

‘ I value not the plumes of gold 
That you would have me wear. 

I roam the world a wild-wood bird. 

Whom man shall never snare.’ ” 

* * * # 

This winged Arab of the woods is reminded by the knight of 
the cold and hunger that await her when the trees arc bare. To 
which tlio wanderer replies that it is not hunger, wind or snow that 
trouble her. She has a secret sorrow ! Tlie brawling mountain 
stream, sho moralizes, may <lisappcai* in tlio valley; but ‘^memory 
of one wo love can never bo so lost.” *Tis tbo old story with the 
old dramatis 'personoi : a fair lady in distress, a brave and gallant 
knight, and a wicked stepmother (stepmothers always arc wicked). 
Transformed into a wolf by the runic sp(dl of this domestic inter¬ 
loper, the knight had happily broken the spell and recovered his 
shape, but, continues our princess in disguise (for the Nightingale 
does duty for this second victim of a detestable social tyranny), 

“ I am still a little bird 
That Hies on heath so wide, 

And pass in pain the weary hours, 

But most at winter-tide. 

« * # . ^ 

‘ While others slept, I’ve on my hough 
Sung through the midnight hour, 

Nor ever found a better home 
Than in my greenwood bower.* 

‘Now hark thee, little Nightingale, 

With this my wish comply: 

The winter in my chamber sing, 

And off in summer lly.* 

‘ Thanks to your offer, gentle knight, 

Your room I cannot share, 

For that my mother’s spell forbids 
While feathered wings I wear.’ ” 

The knight, however, watches his opportunity, and captures the 
unsuspecting Nightingale, as she sits musing, by the foot, carries 
her home, shuts door and window, and tbe^ sees her go through 
a whole menagerie of metamorphoses. 



Ancient Danish Ballads, 


19 


To lion and to bear she turned, 

And many monsters more, 

Or as an ugly lindworm laughed, 

And seemed athirst for gore.” 

The kuight at last interposes, and by one of thoso operations 
so effective in the therapeutic practice of Fairyland, he terminates 
the series with one crowning transformation, by which his patient 
recovers (and a most wonderful recovery it is) her bright original 

“ Ho cut hc*r witli his little knife, 

And drew a stream of blood. 

And there .at once before his eyes 
A blooming inuidoii stootl.” 

The runic sp(‘Ii of tbo wicked bU'iimotln-r lua)koii, the lady dries 
her tears, announces lau’self as daugldor ()f the king and ijucon of 
Egypt, and is clniiiied ns s^^^er i)y the gallant woll’, wlio now in 
a far more presenlablc shape idenlilies in the pretty lady the com¬ 
panion and playfellow of clul'lliond's lumpiest days. 

“ And was then Egypt’s king tby sire, 

And was thy mother queen ? 

Then thou art e’en iny sister dear, 

Who long a Inrd has boon. 

And loud was over house and laud 
'fho voice of joy ami song, 

Tliat he that little bird hail caught. 

In liiiclen lived so long.” 

We are referred by tlie translator of these poems, in a note, to a 
graceful Flemish poem, possibly the original of this Danish lay, 
which cannot ho traced farther back than the beginning of the 
last century. He also j>reseiit3 us witli a parallel to the trans¬ 
formations here recorded, in those described in a Scottish ballad. 
In this singular composition, a youth who has been carried off 
by the fairies, tells his sweetheart, Janet, that these ^‘good people” 
will turn him into an adder and a snake; and counsels her, as 
she would be his wife, whatever liappens, to hold him fast. Janet, 
continues the narrator, held him fast os she hod been directed to 
do, till, after many transformations, “ they shaped him in her arms 
at last a mother-naked man”—the most foghtful surely, suggests 
Dr, Prior, of all the shocking forms he assumed : and it certainly 
does sound very horrible ! J anet, however, nothing daunted, very 
wisely “ wrapped him in her green mantle, and sae her true love 
wonwhich is pleasant to leom. 

In the poem from which we have just quoted, mention is made 
of runic spells. 

One of the most remarisable cbaracteriatics of the ancient Scandi^ 

G 2 




Ancient Danish Ballads. 


ao 

nayian mythology (say the authors of the Literature and Komance of 
the North), was the mighty power which was attributed to runes, or 
the old Norse letters. By them, Odin, who was the great master of 
runes, was represented as capable of doing the most miraculous things. 
By runes he compelled the Yala to awake from the dead in the realms 
of Hela, and answer his inquiries regarding the fate of Balder. By 
runes he could vanquish armies, destroy the edge of weapons, raise or 
lay tempests on land or sea, put out fires, fill the hearts of men with 
terror, or tranquillize the heart in deepest sorrow. But not Odin 
only, but all gods, and many of the giants and giantesses, or enchan- 
tresses, kings, queens, prophetesses, Yalkyrior, and poets possessed the 
secret and power of the runes. These runes were the ancient, primi¬ 
tive, rudely shaped letters of the Gothic race. They were cut on 
‘ staves of wood, called Runstafvar, or Rimstafvar, or on rocks and 
stones.” 

It ia a singular fact that this Scandinavian alphabet was never 
rendered available for literary pui-poses. At most it was em¬ 
ployed only to write an occasional letter; while the conservation 
of talcs, poems, and historic narratives, was entrusted to the prac¬ 
tised and disciplined, but fallacious and unchecked memories of 
Scalds and Sagamen. Reserved almost exclusively to form in¬ 
scriptions on staves and memorial stones, the Norse letters were, 
in the popular belief, accredited with a mysterious power or 
magical efficacy, which was supposed to bo immanent in them. 
It is not diflicult to explain the genesis of this superstition. 

“The people saw that tlirmigli r:^se runes ideas were conimuiii- 
eated, and their imaginations were <‘as:ly excited to credit any wonders 
that were attributed to them. They were precisely in the case of 
the South-Sea Islanders, who set up and worshipped a chip on which 
Williams, the missionary, had written a niessagc to his wife. They 
were persuaded that there was a spirit in the chip; and the ancient 
Scanffinaviims, in their superstitious simplicity, were persuaded that 
there was a mighty spirit in the runes.”* 

This magical alphabet, these letters that lived and talked, at¬ 
tained extraordinary popularity with all persons and classes in 
Denmark. Heroes and heroines, princes and princesses, the lovely 
maiden and the enamoured knight, the dwarf’s daughter and the 
wicked stepmother—all effect their several purposes, ensuring 
conquest, inspiring love, securing power, gratifying malice. Of 
Runes there are many kinds. It is sufficient to enumerate Runes 
of Victory; Drink-runes; Runes of Freedom; Storm-runes; 
Herb-runes, for healing wounds; Mind-runes, for the acquisition 
of intellectual superiority; and Speech-runes, to prevent personal 
injury. Many instances of the efficacy of runes might be cited 
from those volumes. A curious instance occurs in the ballad of 


* Literature and Romance of Northern Burope, voL i., p. 71. 





Ancient Danish Ballads* 


21 


“ Sir Tideman and Blideliil,” where the knight lures the maiden 
on board his ship by a pair of potent runes, “ two little scribbloil 
cliips,” whicii lie tosses on the sea, and which she linds on the 
shore, brings homo and places under her pillow, to the sorrow 
and destruction of both. i\>r, vexed at the discourteous taunt of 
her lover, poor Blideliil leaps into the “billows blue,” and is 
drowned; and Sir Tideman, in his sore anguish, tossing aside his 
cloak and plunging into the sen, is buried in tliat wandering 
purple grave. 

A hapnier fate attends the lovers in the “ Retorted Rune." 
Here the love-sick Prince corves and throws the magical letters 
with such skill, that they leap up beneath the cloak and under 
the scarlet gown of the lady of his thoughts, following the pre¬ 
scribed ceremony, Fair Margaret sits motionless out on the rocky 
fell for nine nights and nine long days, and so retorts the runic 
spell on the Prince, who then for the first time tells his love; 
lamenting that, in the silent prosecution of his suit, he had wasted 
no less than five years; a waste which, as the young lady coquet- 
tishly but sensibly remarked, he had no one to thank for but 
himself: 

“ Full five years earlier, noble Prince, 

My hand you might liavc won; 

If only what you’ve done to-day 
You from the first had done.” 

i.e., ridden across the land like a man, and made a formal and iii- 
tolligible declaration! 

One of the most graceful and fascinating of the Ballads of 
Romance, the fourth group in this collection, admirably illustrates 
the Runic mesmerism, so popular in those old days. We give it 
here, noting first, that the King of Iceland whom it celebrates is 
a myth. There never was any King of Iceland. Iceland, like 
England the Italy of Denmark, stands for any distant country. 
The piping Jute in plaid dress is too considerable a figure to ho 
passed over. Did Scotland, indeed, derive her national music and 
costume from the countrymen of this redoubtable Jutish knight ? 

SIR TONN^. 

“ Sir Tonn6 forth from Alsey rode, 

His sword slung at his side, 

Alike on touted field and sea, 

A hero stout and tried. 

“ Sir Tonn4 to the green-wood rode, 

To chase the hind and hare; 

And there the Dwarf-King’s daughter met, 

With other maidens fair. 



22 


Ancie^it Danish Ballads. 


“ She sat with golden harp in hand, 

Beneath a linden tree; 

‘See hither the knight Sir Toiin6 rides. 

I’ll make him come to me.’ 

“‘Sit down, sit down, my maidens all, 

And thou, my page, be still; 

I’ll play a runo that shall with flowers 
The field and mcaflowa fill.* 

“ She played a rune on golden harp, 

And when she touch’d the string, 

The wild bird sitting on the bough 
His song forgot to sing. 

“ The wild bird sitting on the bough 
His song forgot to sing; 

The hart that in the greed-wood skipp’d 
With joy forgot to spring. 

“ Charm’d with her runes the meadow bloom’d, 
And greener grew tlie wood ; 

In vain Sir Tonne spurred his steed, 

Move he no longer could. 

“ Sir Tonne sprang from ofi* his liorse. 

No further wished to ride, 

And to the DwarFs fair daughter went, 

And sat him at her side. 

“ ‘ All liail, Dwarf’s daughter, lovely maid! 

Of flowers tlie peerless rose! 

No moi*tal man thy beauty sees, 

But straight with passion glows. 

“ * Hear me, Dwarf’s daughter, beauteous maid 
Plight thou thy love to me, 

Aud all the days I have to live, 

I’ll faithful be to thee.* 

” ‘ Oh stay, Sir TonniJ, gallant knight. 

Nor me thy homage bring ; 

My hand another lover claims, 

Our own Dwarf-people’s king. 

“ ‘ My father dwells in mountain cave, 

His courtiers round him stand ; 

My mother dwells there, too, and plays 
With gold in lily hand. 

“ ‘ Myself have stolen from out the cave 
My golden harp to play; 

But in a month my bridegroom comes 
To fetch me hence away.’ 

* * # • 



Ancient Danish Ballads. 


S3 


Out from the cave her mother came, 

With fierce and angry mien; 

* But how, then, Ulf'hild, daughter mine, 

Here in the wood so green ? 

« * ’Twere better in thy mountain cave 
To work thy bride-attire, 

Than here to sit beneath a tree, 

And strike the golden lyre. 

“ ‘ The King of Dwarfs didst thou betroth, 

To him thine honour plight; 

Nor ought’st thus with runic strain 
To *ve bound yon gallant knight.* 

“ The Dwarf-wife went with all her train 
Within the cavern door; 

And with her went Sir Tonn6 too, 

But saw and heard no mure. 

“ For o’er a chair she spread for him 
A costly silken cloak, 

And on it sat the knight in trance, 

At cockcrow first awoke. 

The Dwarfs wife call’d her little page, 

And bade him bring the book. 

And therewithal from off the knight 
Her daughter’s s|)ell she took. 

“ ‘ Awake! I’ve tlice for honour’s sake 
Unbound from runic spell; 

And full securely mayst thou now 
My daughter’s art repel. 

“ ‘ And further still, Sir knight, to prove 
What love for thee 1 boar, 

I’ll woo a gentle bride for thee, 

A rose of beauty rare.’” 

This “ rose of beauty rare” is none other than the Princess Erma- 
lino, daughter of the Queen of Iceland, stolen, sought in vain, and 
now a captive maid in Upsal. Young Allevod, the nephew of the 
king, anticipating his own happy accession to the throne, intends 
some day to claim his beautiful prisoner for his bride. This pro¬ 
ject Thorelille, the dwarfs wife (who, notwithstanding her present 
heathenish connexion, was a good Christian bom, being, in fact, 
sister of the lady Adeline, the mother of the fair captive), deter¬ 
mines to defeat. Accordingly, giving all her interest to Sir Tonn^, 
she invites him to become the rival of Allevod, and to this end 
furnishes the knight with the usual natural and supernatural ap¬ 
pliances, a steed, a saddle, a broad red shield inlaid with jewels, 
golden spurs, a goldcn-braided dress, and a golden band with 
such potent runes inclosed in it, that when he speaks, “ every 



24 


Ancient Danish Ballads, 


word as from a book shall sound/’ To these indisponsablo gifts 
from the mother, Ulfhild, the daughter (such love she bore the 
knight), adds a sword, a lanco, the art of never losing his way, in¬ 
vulnerability, and victory. Thus equipped, and having drunk of 
the sparkling cup, though presented by the suspiciously ex- 
Christian hands of Thorelille, Sir Tonne rides with gleaming 
spear through the green-wood. On his way he is greeted by the 
dwarf, who, learning liis errand, bids Sir Tonne, noble knight, ride 
on in peace, promising him, however, that he •will find n champion 
in Upsal who will try his strength. Heaving this, Sir Tonne, like 
a valiant gentleman, rides bravely forward, enters Swedish land, 
and seeing, beneath u spreading tree, nine stnlw’art knights, ready 
armed, gives them fair and courtef>us challenge thus:— 

“ ‘ There stand ye nine stout Swedish knights, 

Will ye your valour prove ? 

For ruddy gold, or glory fight. 

Or for your lady love ?* 

“ Upspake the first. Prince Allevod, 

So proud was he and bold: 

‘ Enough have wc, and crave no more 
Of glory or of gold. 

^ A noble maid at Upsal sits, 

And Ermeline her name; 

For her sake let us break a spear, 

See which her hand shall claim.’ 

“ Their first charge rode with all their force, 

Those gallant heroes twain; 

And spears fell shiver’d on the grass, 

And shields were rent in twain.” 

At the second charge, Allevod is unhorsed! He falls, never 
again to look a noble foe in the face. In vain the Swedish knights 
try to avenge him. Fortune is unfriendly to them, and Sir Tonne- 
beats them all. 

“ F^ o’er their shoulders did the knights 
Their purple mantles fling, 

And mounted up to the lofty hall, 

And stood before the king. 

‘‘' A Jutish knight is come to land 
With raiment pied and striped, 

Eight knights he has wounded on the Held, 

So ill for them he piped. 

“ * Eight knights he has wounded on the field, 

And left them halt and lame ; 

And Allevod, thy nephew, kill’d, 

Curso on his Jutish name V 



Ancient Danish Ballads. 


25 


“ Then answered them the aged king, 

All with his long gray hair, 

‘ Avenge me on the plaided Jute, 

And sable ye shall wear.* 

“ Out rode those Swedish warriors all, 

And thought a prize to gain, 

But soon their laughter turn’d to woe, 

And all their joy to pain.” 

There is no help for it. This Jntish man is invincible. Hence- 
forth thev must give up all thought of snble robe, lay aside their 
purple inaiilles, and wTtip their limbs in cloth of wudmal gray. So 
fares it this day with these mournful, discomfited knights; but— 

“ Sir Tonn6 he to Upsal rode 
With glory clad and grace; 

The Swedisli warriors dared no more 
That doughty knight to face. 

“ He kill’d the bear that watch’d the door, 

He broke the bar in twain: 

And he released the lovelv maid 
So long in thrall had lain. 

“ The Swedish courtiers all were still, 

No word escaped their tongue; 

A gnxdging grim consent the Jute 
From all of them had wrung. 

“He worsted all those Swedish knights, 

The lion and eke the bear, 

And enter’d into the lofty bower, 

To sec that peerless fair. 

“‘Welcome, Sir Tonne, gallant kniglit! 

Right welcome thou to me ! 

For if I should the truth avow, 

I’ve sorely long’d for thee. 

“ Twas told mo while a little cliild 
A foreign knight should come, 

And AUevod, my gaoler, slay, 

And take me with him home. 

“ ‘ And now, Sir Tonn6, gallant knight. 

Be true and good to me; 

For in the world is other none 
1 rather wed than thee.’ ” 

Sir Tonne hears, and like a gallant knight, clasps the willing 
fair, and bearing her off with all her treasure, brings her to 
his Jutland home, amid the joyous gi'atulations of the Alsey 
people. And now the news travels to Iceland, and Queen Ade¬ 
line hears that her long-lost daughter is found. Sir Tonne is 




Ancient Danish Ballads, 


26 

summoned to the Iceland court. Launching his gallant, ship, 
■with sail spread on gilded mast, he reaches, after a t'wo montlis* 
voyage, the ^vished-for hmd. Tl»e aged king and queen are 
waiting on the strand with glad welcome for tho knight and his 
bride. No sooner do they step on shore, tlmn the venerable 
monarch, in an ecstasy of generous delight, abdicates the crown, 
making a present of his island-kingdom to his popular and pros¬ 
perous son-in-law. 

“Now is Sir Tonne, gallant knight, 

A happy man, I ween; 

He rules in Iceland for and wide, 

And sleeps with Ermeline. 

“ He’s now become a mighty king, 

Whom towns and forts obey, 

And never wish the Swedish knights. 

To see him come their way.” 

In selecting the passages cited from these ballads, wc have 
made no attempt to preserve the distinction of groups into which 
the translator has thrown them, but naturally commencing with 
the first or heroic division, and following the thread of refiective 
or fanciful association, have extracted those poilions which 
seemed best suited to our puipose. Of the numerous remaining 
ballads in tho present collection, some are too long to admit of 
satisfactory exposition here: as, for instance, the pathetic and 
popular talc of Axel and Walhorg. Yet if compelled to abstain 
from detailed description and continuous quotation, we may at 
least indicate the subject matter and general characteristics of 
these singular productions. 

Briefiy, then, we find among their number some that move us 
with their deep pathos and passionate imagination; some that 
charm us with their wild but delicate beauty, and some that are 
rigid as with Dantesquo sternness. Others again are joyous, 
laughing, gamesome, sparkling with sportive grace or quaint • 
fancy ; while a third class ai*e resonant with a schoolboy mirth 
that borders on horse-play. Their topics are very various, 
ranging from love and elopement to battle and murder; from 
sublime heroism and angelic goodness to deadly crime and tragic 
repentance. Extravagant, improbable, and outrageously impos¬ 
sible are the incidents and adventures which they commonly 
record. Now, a dreadful giant is trapped and destroyed; now, a 
good king rescues a lion from a horrible dragon; now, a valiant 
monk defends his cloister against twelve stalwart ohampions, 
and afterwards becomes its abbot; and now, frying frofti famine, 
which is far more credible, every third man in Denmark goes to 
-seek his fortone in smiling llombardy. Next we read of the 
destmotion of a cannibal Trold, or the safe convoy of a lady's 



Ancient Danish Ballads, 


27 


love-letter by a roraantio raven. Presently, changing secular 
chronicle for ecclesiastical legend, we leam how Mary Magdalene 
does penance for her sins; how a martyred wife ascends to 
heaven in the shape of a wliite dove ; or, how two cavaliers go 
hunting on the Habbath-day, quarrel, and come to a bad end. 
There is notliing too astonishing for these ballads. Mermen and 
mermaids, liill-kings and dwarf-kings, water sprites, and knights in 
Elliaud, arc the ordiiuuy inhabitants of their poetic world. Nature 
is charmingly (;apricious here, and has evidently no notion of regu¬ 
lating lier actions by fixed laws and invariable uniformities. Accord¬ 
ingly, when a jealous king makes mincemeat t»f a noble Algravo, 
and servos him up for the qiieoirs dinner, and her discriminating 
majesty, detecting the trick, takes the dear remains and dips them 
in Maribo well, wo are not in the least siurpriscd to find these 
come together again, and form an entire Christian man. In the 
same way, when a roasted cock crows on the table of king Herod, 
to announce the birth of Jesus, we take it all as a matter of 
course. “(Jod forbid that I slioiild doubt it,” said the model 
beggar woman, who sang it at Pantoppidun’s door, at the begin¬ 
ning of the last century. 

These ballads, it has been remarked, have a sort of family re¬ 
semblance to those of England, Scotland, and flcrmany. Many 
of the north country ballads were perhaps transmitted through 
Scotland from the Scandinavian Islands. Among the resembling 


poems are “ Eair jMctclille,” whicJi may bo compared with the 
Twa Knights” in “ liuclian;” “ Sir Sallemand,” the last stanzas 
in which arc similar to the concluding verses in Prince liobert,'* 
in Scott’s Minstrelsy, as also to those of the well-known ditty of 
“ Lord Jjovel“ ilosiner," from the Scottish edition of which is 
derived the quotation of Ktlgar, in King Jjear:—Ghildc Roland 
to the dark tower came, (fee.; ” “ ’fhe Victory of Patience,” the 
counter-part of ‘‘the Patient Countess” in Percy’s Ballads, and 
•he Danish version of the touching tale of Griselidis, borrowed 
from "the Lay of the Ash;” and finally, “Sir Ogoy and Lady 
Elsey," which finds a representative in “ Sweet William’s Oliost.” 
Of these international ballads we select the last, remarkable for 


pathetic beauty and imaginative truth. 


“ * Now hear me, dear Sir Ogey, 
The truth I pray theo tell, 
How under ground thou fareat 
Down in thy cell.’ 


“ * ’Tis BO down in that earth-house, 
Where I must tarry now, 

’Tis as the joys of heaven, 

If happy thou.^ 



28 


Ancient Danish Ballads. 


“ ‘ Then hear me, knight Sir Ogey, < 

And grant the boon I crave, 

To go with thee, my dearest, 

And share thy grave,* 

“ ‘*Tis so down in that eai’th-housc, 

My narrow, lonely cell; 

’Tia like to hellish tortui’e, 

O cross thyself well! 

“ ‘ So oft as thou art weeping, 

And grievest thee so sore, 

Is brimming full my coffin 
With blood and gore. 

“ * Above my head is growing 
The grass so sweet; 

But lothely snakes arc twining 
About my feet. 

“ ‘ Yet when I hear thee singing, 

And thou art glad. 

Then is my grave’s small chamber 
With roses clad. 

“ ‘ The white cock now is crowing, 

And 1 must down below ; 

To earth wend all my fellows. 

And with them I must go. 

* The red cock now is crowing, 

And I must do^vn below ; 

To earth must wend all dead men, 

And 1 too must go. 

“ ‘ And now the black cock’s crowing, 

Home I must below; 

Unlock’d are all the portals. 

And I too must go.* " 

And now ns Lady Elsey, sorrowful of mood, walks beside her 
bridegroom, mark the preternatural change that comes over Sir 
Ogey, and compare it with the withering of the Elysian beauty, 
the throwing of the Stygian hue over the roseate lips of Protesi- 
laus, in Wordsworth’s majestic poem, “Laodamia/’ 

“ But when she reach’d the churchyard, 

.She saw his golden h^, 

How pale it grew and paler, 

That once had been so fair. 



Ancient Danish Ballads, 


29 


And when she had cross’d the churchyard, 
Up to the church’s door, 

Grew pale Sir Ogey’s cheek too, 

As roses red before. 


“At hand and foot Sir Ogey 
Was fading away; 

Fading his cheerful rosy checks 
To clods of clay. 

“ ‘ Now hear me, Lady Elsey, 

Hear me, my bride so dear, 

No longer mourn thy husband, 
Nor drop for him a tear; 

“ ‘But wend thee home, dear Elsey, 
In peace to sleep; 

No longer mourn thy bridegroom, 
No longer weep. 

“ ‘ Sec yon small stars above thee, 
How wanes their light; 

And sec how fast is ilecting 
The hour of night.* ** 


As the lady turns her towni’ds tlio heavons and observes tlio 
waning stars, her dead lover glides into that dark underworld, 
and disappears. Sore grieving, this Bride of ] hub's re-soeks her 
houn.*, imd cro tiiat luoutli is ended, is ou Jier bier and dead.” 

I'hc bcauliful fooling and delicate faney of this 2 )oein are not 
easily matched; but we may eompare with the poetic reality of 
its representations, a sublime conception in the line ballad of “Mar 
Stig,” a conception whicli as W. Grimm observes, has (juite a 
Slmkspearian character. In this ballad the phantasm in the 
wood is the ideal impersonation of an evil conscience; the haunt- 

R ng sense of guilt in a man of* luxurious emotion creating Furies 
rith “beautiful regards,” and the external loveliness evoked by his 
voluptuous imagination, suggesting as by a principle of antago¬ 
nism, the damning ugliness of the crime Avhicli prohibits the hope 
of sympathy and precludes the power of enjoyment. 


“ The king into the thicket peer’d, 
As closed the darkling night, 

And soon was ware of a small house, 
“Where burnt a fire and light. 


“ He stepp’d within the woodland hut, 
And sad at heart was he. 

But found a lovely maiden there 
As eye could wish to see. 



80 


Ancient Danish Ballade. 


** Her he clasp’d foodly round her waist, 
And straight began to woo: 

* Hear me, fair maid, nor say me nay, 
To-night I sleep with you.* 

** ‘ Answer me first,* the maid replied, 

In laughing merry tone; 

‘ Answer me first, King Erick, you, 

What deed you last have done ?* 

** * Sweet lovely maid, if that you know, 
More tidings you can give; 

So tell me, lovely maid, but this— 

How long I*vc yet to live ?* 

‘‘ With hearty glee laugh’d the fair maid, 
And this her dubious word : 

‘ That question ask the little hook 
Wlicroon is hung your sword.’ 

** King Erick fain had held the maid, 

Hut lliis he tried in vain ; 

She slipp’d away between his hands, 

He saw her not again. 


“ So long as with the king she stood, 
Blazed there a cheerful iire; 

But soon as she had lied away, 

AVas nought hut tangled briar.” 


With the workings of removseful passion as hero portrayed 
with profound psychological truth, wo may compare the repent¬ 
ance of a guilt-stricken man under the compulsion of an inevitable 
doom, in the fine ballad called “ Sir Jolm llimord’s Son’s Shrift.” 
In addition to its great poetic merit, this powerful and picturesque 
composition,with its panoramic glimpse into a lawless and supersti¬ 
tious age, forms no inappropriate close to this ballad representation 
of the extinct social existence of the North, calling up as it does 
before the mind's eye the rough sea life of old Denmark, antf 
leaving us thoughtful listeners to the plunging waves, with th? 
sharp smell of tlic hrino and the cold blore from the north as fresh 
and strong as over, while the deserted boat, emblem of that wild 
Scandinavian world, which having fulfilled its purpose has died 
out, lies dry and useless, in its last dreary resting-place. 


** The grass is green beneath the ship, 
She is rotting on the shore: 

A captain brave as was Sir John, 
Shall never steer her more. 


“ In B.ib4 sits the Banish king, 
And writes a stem decree, 

To summon out his liege men all, 
And bid them put to sea. 



Ancient Danish Ballads. 


81 


“ ‘ Now,* said Sir John, as o*er his neck 
His linked mail ho threw, 

* Who sails not out with us to-day 
Nor loyal is, nor true. 

“'Aye,* said Sir John, said Itimord’s son, 

And girded on his sword, 

‘ Wlio sails not out with us to-da}', 

Is traitor to his lord. 

“ ‘ To-night wo’ll drink a full carouse, 

Can wc but got tho ale; 

To-niorrow, if the bruezo is fair. 

We’ll put to sea and sail.’ 

# * # # 

^‘Scareo out from land they saw tho waves 
With fury rage and roar; 

T!i( 5 old skipj)er Ifogeii through the mist 
Could see the lea no more. 

In A'arful sport on tho wild sea 
They saw the billows rise, 

And mule and sad tho old skipper sat, 

Tho tear-drops in his eyes. 

“ ’Pore wind and wave drove on the ship, 

Amid the tempest din, 

And still and gloomy sat Sir Jolni, 

His hand beneath his chin. 

“While every squall across tho dock 
The salty billows drove, 

Still, as though ladies cut his hair, 

Was he not seen to move. 

“ ‘ But where are now the trooj)ers bold, 
Yest’reen such speeches made ? 

Let them now take the helm in hand. 

The anchor’s fairly weigh’d. 

“ ‘ Aye, where are all the bn^garts now, 

Who lately made such boast ? 

Let them go stand beside the helm. 

The sail is fairly loos’d.* 

“ ’Twas so that ancient skipper spake, 

His face with terror pale; 

‘ There's here some murderous wretch on board. 
Hinders the ship to sail. 

“ ‘ Up men, we’ll cast the lots about, 

On whom it falls we’ll see; 

’ And if there sails a villain here, 

Go overboard shall he.” 



32 


Ancient Danish Ballads. 


They cast lots; the lot falls on Sir John. No holy priest is 
near,but in his peril he makes his shrift to the “great good Christ,’’ 
“before the mast out on the roaring sea,*’ not, however, without a 
pious fiction, pardonable, we will hope, for his filial love’s sake. 

“ * But if, when you shall be on land, 

My mother ask for mo; 

Tell her I serve the king at court, 

And live iu health and glee.’ 

“ Three money-pouches took Sir John, 

And firmly about him bound : 

‘ A boon for him who lays my corse 
Beneath some holy ground.* 

“ Loud rose their cry, as crosswise spread 
He sank to rise no more, 

And took a wild untravell’d path 
Down to the Ocean’s floor. 

“ Of all the seven and seventy men, 

That forth from court had gone, 

There came no more than five to land. 

Sir John’s small page was one. 

“ Now let us to the churchyard go, 

For liiiuord’s son to jiray ; 

For never again will Djuiish king 
His equal have in ; 

“ There’s lying dry at Borringholm, 

The riven and useless boat; 

And tossing on the ruthless stream, 

Their wretched corpses float.” 

With tliis striking quotation wo close the volumes, rejoicing to 
have met with such fiuo specimens of ancient Danish literature 
in so pleasant an English dress; and to have realized more vividl;|| 
our intimate relationship with a brave northern people. For wtn 
the Danes, perhaps even more closely than with the Germans, is 
the great English nation allied. Our devotion to freedom, our 
genius for empire and colonization, our spirit of mai’iiime adven¬ 
ture and exploration, seem to refer us, for their immediate source, 
to the old ycaudinavinn heroes, the discoverers of Iceland, the 
settlers in Greenland, the predecessors of Columbus in America, 
the loyal life-guardsmen of Constantinople, the co-inheritorB 
of English soil, the besiegers of Paris, and impropriators of 
Normandy under Rolf, the ' Sea-horse,* renowned forefather of that 
errible * Splendour of God,’ the second Duke William, who, in 
due time, conquered from the ill-starred Saxons our beautifid 
England, the mythical ‘ paradise * of his ancestors; and who, by 



Alcohol, Si? 

that final act of conquest rendered it henceforth for ever unron- 
qiicrablc ! 

Associating with these meinorios of rude energy and wild ad¬ 
venture, the gentler triumphs of our own happier day, W'e offer 
our farewell homage to the brave people of the North, tlie children 
of Odin who worshipped valour in the morning of time, the land 
of ancient ballad and prophecy, of modem art and science, the 
birthplace of Sreinund and Oclicnsehlilger, Andersen and llremer, 
'J’hoi’waldscn, and Danekor, Tycho Jlrahe, .Berzelius, and 
Oersted. 




Art. TI.—Alcohol ; what becomes of it in the 

Living Body ?* 


iJt(, Hole de VAlcool et des Ancsthesiques dam VOrganiamc, Rc^ 
cherches FjxperimcnUdes. IVir Ludger Lallemaiid et Maurice 
Berriu, Medecins-Majors, Profosseiirs Agreges a TKcole Im- 
periale de Medecine et de Pharmneie Militaircs; otJ. L. P. 
i)nroy, JMembre de la Societc de Plianiiacie de J^aris. Avee 
10 figures iutcrculeus dans Ic texle. J^iris, 1800. 


'NOTWITHSTANDING that so much lias been said and 
. .M written upon the modus operandl of alcohol and alcoliolic 
<lrinks on tlie living organism, the experimental inquiries whiedi 
Jiavc been undertaken with the view of (letermining wliat becomes 
of this agent, wlion it has been received into the stomach or in¬ 
jected into tlie blood-current, liove been lew and by no means 
satisfactory. By far the most complete were those of Dr. Percy, 
executed more than twenty years ago, oi which an ticcount was 
given in his Prize Thesis ;t but so little have Dr. Percy's re- 
' searches become known beyond a very limited circle, that we have 


* Our readers who recollect the views expressed in an article entitled '* The 
Physiolomcal Errors of Tectolalism,** whicii we published in July, 1855, will 
observe Inat they differ widely from those put forward in the present article. 
Since the date oi our former article, scientific research has brought to light 
important facts which necessarily modify the opinions wo then expressed con¬ 
cerning the r6le of alcohol in the animal body. Faithful to the revelations of 
science, rather than mindful of consistency, we hasten to lay before our readers 
the last results of a lon^ and laborious scries of experiments bearing on the 
subject in question.— 

f **An Experimental Inquiry concerning the presence of Alcohol in the 
Ventricles of the Brain, after poisoning by that liquid; toother with E™ri- 
ments illustrative of the Physiological Action of Alcohol. Xondon and Edin¬ 
burgh. 1830.“ 

[Vol. LXXV. No. CXLYH.]— New Sekies, Vol. XIX. No. I. D 



84 


Alcohol: what becomes of it 

never seen them referred to, suve nt second-hand, by any Conti¬ 
nental writoi*s; and his clear and definite results seem to liave 
'been almost entirely ignortjd by subsequent experimenters, none 
of whom, previously to the inquiry of which the details are re¬ 
corded in the volume before us, liad even approached the success 
which he obtained. 

Dr. Percy’.s investigations, w'hich were made partly upon the 
human subject, but chiefly upon dog.s, were directed, in the first 
instnnee, to test the statement of ]ir. Ogston, of Aberdeen, that 
ill cas(!S of death from alcoholic poisoning, the fluid cfliiscd 
into the ventricles of the brain occasionally contains alcohol. IJo 
very propci’ly refused to rely upon the inevc odour or inflamma- 

bilitv of the eftused fluid as an evidence of its alcoholic clmractor: 

• ^ 

and rested his conclusion as to the presence of alcohol on his 
ability to procure by distillation a sulliciont (piantity of liquid 
w'liicli sliould give, when Ircuted ^Yith sub-carbonate of potass, a 
stratum wbosc alcobolic character was indicated, not only by its 
inllammability, but by its powder of dissolving camphor. Having 
introduced nlcoliol into the stomachs of several dogs, somciimes 
in quantity sufficient to produce immediate dcatli, in oilier casijs 
in such dilution as only to produce the ordinary phenomena of 
alcoholic intoxication, he found no difficulty in extracting alcohol, 
not merely from their blood, but also from the substaniic of tho 
braiu, aHliough he was unable to detect it in the fluid eftused into 
its ventricles; and he distinctly states that the pvoportimi obtainable 
from tho brain is larger than that yielded by an equivalent amount 
of blood, so that (as he remarks) “it would almost seem that a 
kind of affinity existed between alcohol and tlie cerebral matters.” 
He fiuther obtained alcoliol from the substance of the liver and 
from bile, from which (be says) “it may be separated with great 
facility;” and he also detected it uumistakeahly in the uriue, 
both of the dog and of man, although two of the higliost contem- 
porai'v authorities, ]5cr;^elius and Muller, had most explicitly dc-< 
nied tlie fact of its passage into that excretion. Dr. Percy further 
showi'd that when alcohol is introduced into the ciimmt of the 
circulation, it occasions death, not, as stated by Orfila, by coagu¬ 
lating the blood, but in virtue of its specific effect upon the 
nervous centres. And his experiments afford strong ground for 
the conclusion, that except in those cases in which the introduc¬ 
tion of a sufficient quantity of concentrated alcohol into the 
stomaoU acts through its nerves, like a blow upon the epigastrium, 
so as to produce a shock to tho nervous centres, the effect is due 
to the absorption of tho alcohol, and to its conveyance in sub¬ 
stance to the organ on which its peculiar influence is exerted. 
Familiar ns we have since become with this idea, it is one which 
Was at that time very commonly regarded as hypothetical; and 



in the Living Body. 


35 


vfe regard Dr. Percy’s demonstration as having contributed not a 
little to the general acceptance it has ance met Avith. 

If these results had been more extemively known, and had been 
more fully appreciated, we doubt if the Liebigiaii doctrine of the 
alimentanj value of alcohol Avoiild have been so generally ud- 
mittod as it has been both by the supporters and by tlic opponents 
of the habitual use of alcoholic beverages. On the one Iiund it 
has been urged that alcohol, though not entitled to be regarded 
as a tissue-forming material, is ncveidljcless a very efficient calo- 
rilving ai'CLt; whilst on the other it has been muiutained that 
whatever may be its value ns a ealorifying agent, it sljotild bo 
excluded from ordinary use in favour of other substuuecs which 
do not (like it) exert a decidedly prejudicial iufluenee on the sys¬ 
tem when taken in even ainall excess. Yet no proof ol’ any kind 
Avas adduced by Liebig that alcohol is eliminated from the? blood, 
AA'heii it has been receiA’ed into the current of the circulation, hv 
a eonibiistive process : the fact of such eliniiiiation haA’ing Ixum 
tiikcm for granted as a deduction fr(mi the eminently combustive 
MJilurc of this subslanoe, which Avoiild render it (as it Avas sup¬ 
posed) pre-eminently diyp<^sed to change itself into water and car¬ 
bonic ju*id, Avbon brought into relation with nlcoliol in the capil- 
liiries cd’tho lungs. It might hiu'e been urged on the other side, 
that tic: fact t)f alcoliol being ciimiimted Avithuut cliatige by the 
i)iliary and unnary excretions, to say nothing of its loss certain 
but still j)]'ol)able passage in substance inti) the pulnionai'y and 
cutam*()us exhulalion fas indicated by the alcoliolie odour conti¬ 
nually observable in the breath and sometimes in the persinration 
of tlioso who have imbibed any considerable amount of alcoholic 

w 

iluids), furnishes a strong argument against the assumption that 
it imdi.-rgoes a combustive process like articles of food and their 
derivatives; since we know of no proper aliiuentaiy substance 
Avhieli is east out iinohauged from the system l»y the excretory 
processes, except Avhen (as in diabetes and albuminuria) tliero is 
some derangement in the organic functions. \Vc are not aware, 
hoAvcver, that this argument was ever explicitly advanced; and 
tlui general opinion seems to IniA’e been, tlmt alcohol Avould only 
thus find its Avay into the tissues and excretions, Avhen received 
into the circulating current more rapidly than it could be elimi¬ 
nated through the lungs by the combustive process. 

Modern science, however, takes nothing for granted, but re* 
quii*es the precise determination, step by step, of every point 
as to which a question can possibly be raised; and its more 
exact method of reasoning has caused it to become apparent, tliat 
so long as no proof can be afforded that alcohol is got rid of by a 
combustive process, so long the probability is decidedly the other 
way. It is obAious that no certain indications can be drawn from 

D 2 



so 


Alcohol: what becomes of it 


the study of the respiratory products; since, of the water ^which 
is exhaled in the breath w^iavc no direct means of determininghow 
much has been formed b)^ie combustive process, and how much is 
mere transudation; *md of the carbonic acid it is impossible to say 
■whether it is the product of the combustion of alcohol, or of that of 
the hydrocarbons (sugar and fat) ordinarily present in the blood. 
Several experimenters liave noticed a diminution in the amount 
of carbonic acid exhaled after the ingestion of alcoholic beverages ; 
and this has been generally accounted for on the supposition, 
tlmt as liydrogen bears to carbon a much larger proportion in 
alcohol than it docs in the ordinary hydrocarbons of the blood, 
a larger pro])ortion of the inspired oxygen will be convtu'tcd by 
tho combustive process into water, and a smaller proportion into 
carbonic acid,—an explniiution which might he accepted if it 
were proved that alcohol actually undergoes the combustive pro¬ 
cess, but which obviously can alibrd no support to the assumption 
which is really its basis. And the more recent researches of Dr, 
Edward Smith liave shown tliatthe several kinds of alcoholic lirpiids 
exert very different efi'ects upon the exhalation of carbonic acid ; 
its quantity being increased in various degrees by the ingestion 
of alcohol, rum, sherry wine, mid good malt liquors ; whilst it is 
diminished by brandy and gin; different samples of whisky 
affording diverse results. 

Another method of research, however, has been devised for tlie 
determination of this question; that, namely, of endeavouring to 
ascertain if any of those derivatives of alcohol can bo detected in 
the blood, the presence of which would indicate that it undergoes 
gradational oxidation. The first of the derivatives formed by tho 
agency of oxidizing substances on alcohol, is known us aldehyde; 
this is alcohol minus two equivalents'of hydrogen, which have 
united with oxygen to form water. The second of these deriva¬ 
tives, which results from a further process of oxidation, is acetic 
acid: in w’^hich substance the two equivalents of hydrogen thus 
removed to form water, are replaced by two additional equivalents 
of oxygen. Now, MM. Jloucliardat and Sandras,* whilst main¬ 
taining that alcohol is ordinarily “ burned off” by respiration, so 
as at once to form water and carbonic acid, thought that they had 
occasionally discovered the presence, in the vapour expired from 
the lungs, of small quantities of alcohol, and of acetic acid as a 
derivative from it. They attributed the death of animals poisoned 
by alcohol to its greed of oxygen, which (according to them) so 
completely abstracts it from the other constituents of the blood, 
that the effect is tho same as if the animals wore asphyxiated by 

* De la Pigestion des Boissons Alcooliques, et de lear r61e daoa la Nutri¬ 
tion/’ ia AtmaUs de Chimie e( de PAytiqw, 1847. Tom. XXL 



37 


in the Living Body, 

being plunged in an ntmos])lioi*o containing no oxygen. More 
recently M. Piicliek-'^- lias cssiiyoil to proNC that iilcoln)! intro¬ 
duced into the circulation is lirst changed into aldehyde, then 
into acetic acid, and then gives rise to the lormation of oxali<; 
acid, before being linally disposed of in the form of carbonic acid 
and water. If this were uuinistiikeably proved, it would doubtless 
alibi’d a very strong argr.nieut in favour of the corabustivc theory; 
but M. Duehek seems to have hecu so strongly possessed with 
the liiehigian doctrine that aleohol is food, as to have limited him¬ 
self to oiM side of the inepury, and to have aeeeptod as conclusivo 
evidence m his favour, indications whose validity needed A be 
carefully examined hy a greater variety of tests. His conclusions 
W(5rc soon called in (juestiou by Jluckheim. a higlier authority ou 
a mailer of this kind ;t who pointed out that Duehek really ad¬ 
duced no sulUeient proof of tlie presence of aldehyde in the blood 
of animals poisoned by aleohol, and that the probability is very 
strong against the assumplion. Hu determined with certainty 
the presence ofah^oliol in llio condensed respiratory products and 
in the urine, both in tlie ease of dogs and in that of two men ; ou 
the other hand, ho failed to detect either tlio acetic or the oxalic 
acid, wlioso presence either in the blood or in the excretions would 
iudicate a further metamoriihosis of alcohol within the system. 

Sucdi was the condition of the question when it was taken up by 
the authors of the remarkable work before us; who state that 
they have been led to the inquiry into the cflccts of alcohol on 
the living body, by tlic study (in which they have been for several 
years engaged) of tlie modus opemm/i of ana;sthetic agents. 
Having invented amotbod of detecting the presence of chloroform 
in the blood and in the tissues of the body, they had succeeded in 
proving tliat Avhenthis agent isinhalcd it is received in substance 
into tiic blood, and is conveyed to the brain, from which it may bo 
extracted after death ; whilst, on the other hand, if the inhalation 
of the vapour be suspended, the chloroform is rapidly eliminated 
from the system, not hy a combustivc process, hut by passing in 
substance into the pulmonary exhalation. Encouraged by these 
results, they desired to extend the same method of inquiry not 
merely to other anmsthetie agents, hut also to various substances 
which had more or less of affinity to them; and they natur¬ 
ally turned tlieir attention in the first instance to alcohol, the 
relation of which to the ordinary anscsthetics is the closest both 
in its chemical composition and in its physiological action. 

In their earlier researches they employed, like Dr, Percy, the 

* “ Uber das Vcrhalten des Alkobols in thicriseben Organismus,” in Vier- 
tcljahrs-Scbrift die praktischc Heilkundc. Prag. 1833. 

t Lehrbucli der Arzncimittellehre, p. 103. 



'*58 Alcohol: u'hat becomes of it 

method of distillation and condensation as a means of detoetiug 
the presence of alcohol; and apparently in ignorance of whal lie 
had long before demonstrated, they proved, as ho had done, that 
alcohol received into the stomach is absorbed into the blood, and 
is withdrawn from it into tlic substance of tbc nervous centres. 
They then applied the same inetiiod to the search for alcohol iu 
the exlmlation from tlio lungs ; causing two men, of whom each 
liad taken brandy, to exjiire Ihrougli an ap[)uratus tilted to con¬ 
dense tlie vapour of the breath ; and tlien distilling the liquor so 
obtained. Tlio 3*esults were entirely negative, not a trace of ai- 
coho®boing detected in the product of distillation. It fortunately 
liappened, however, tlnit they had placed at the extremity of the 
apparatus a tube containing a solution of bichromate of potass iu 
sulphurie acid,—a red liquor which is turned to an emerald green 
by the presence of certain organic eompoumls, the chromic acid 
being decomposed and rcdiu^cd to the coiulition of green oxido 
of chromium ;—and they observed timt the expired air, after the 
separation of its watery vapour, rapidly cheeted this eonversion as 
it passed tlirough the tubii. Ih’olitiug by this suggestion, they 
applied themselves to the dotcnniuatioii of the value of tiieir 
]iew tost: and having ascertained in tlio first phn'e, that pei’soua 
who had taken no alcohol for some hours previously might expire 
for any lengtli of lime tlirough the solution without producing 
the least (liscoJorutiou of it, they wei’e justified in concluding 
that such discoloration indicated the presence oiiher of alcohol 
or of some of its derivatives in the (.*xpired air. A careful senes 
of experiments was next made for the purpdfeo of aseerlaining 
^Yhether aldehyde is present in the blood of animals that have 
received alcohol into their stomachs; and although no dif¬ 
ficulty was experienced in deieoling aldehyde in the blood when 
it had itself been administered, not the least trace of it could be 
found after the administration of alcohol. Evidence was ob¬ 
tained, that when alcohol remains suiiicieiitlv long in the stomach, 
a trifling amount of it is converUal into acetic acid under the in¬ 
fluence of the ferment contained in the gastric juice ; and truces 
of acetic acid were occasionally found in the blood ; but as such 
traces may bo detected also when no alcohol has been taken, pro¬ 
vided that the food coutaius starchy or saccharine components, 
there is an entire absence of evidence that alcoliol goes tlirough 
a conversion into acetic acid in the course of its circulation with 
the blood-current. Further, when tlio blood or the cerebral sub¬ 
stance of animals poisoned by alcohol, was subjected to the clu'o- 
mic test, the indications which it afibrded were iu precise accor¬ 
dance with the proof obtained, by tlie distillation of actual alcohol, 
of its presence iu those parts of their bodies. The value of this 
test, as employed under proper precautions, having thus been 



in the Living Body* iJO 

conclusively estnLlislied, nntl its delicacy having been sliown to 
be far greater than that of the separation of alcohol by distillation, 
our nutfiors availed themselves of this now process to carry out a 
fresh iuqiiirv into tlie mode in which alcohol is disposed of when 
introduccMl into the stomach of a living animal. 

Alodcrn chemistry makes groat use, in quantitative analysis, of 
what is termed the “ method of volumes.” honnerly, wlien a re¬ 
agent w’as employed to throw down from its solution some sub¬ 
stance wdiose amount had been determined, it was the precipitate 
tJjat was earefully collected aiid weighed, no account l)(!ing taken 
of t))e qiianutv of the reagent that was recjuired (or its production. 
JUit it is now found to be far more easy, and (with due ])recim- 
tioii) not h’.ss accurate, to employ a test-li(]uid ol‘ a certain known 
strength, and to estimate the amount of Ihc substance which it is 
employed to dekict, by the quantity of it that may bo ivijuired for 
the c'omjdetc precipitation of that substance. This method, with 
a dillcrciice arising out of the nature of the case, was ibund ap¬ 
plicable in the use of the chromic test for alcohol. A solution of 
bicliromate of potass in sulpliuric acid was ])repared of a certain 
Jsiiown strengili, and a delinite measure ()f it was put into a glass 
tul»o of iix(jd diameter. When air containing ulcoJiolic vapour 
was passed through this, conversion of its red Jiuc to emerald- 
grccu allbrded a delinite standard of comparison; and one tube 
heiiig substituted after atiother, as the conversion bccjimii com¬ 
plete in each, until no furtlier (diango could he pcu'ceivcd, the pro¬ 
portional auuniut of alcohol-vapour given oil* in dilfenmt experi¬ 
ments was readily dtiterminablo by the total ([uantity of the solution 
thus <‘hangcd; whilst the time required for the conversit)n, the 
quantity of air passed through the tube being the same, gav(i the 
inoasui'e of tlie proportion of alcolu)! vapour existing in the aii’— 
a measure wdiicli wtis exceedingly ready and us(dul In tlie appli¬ 
cation of this process to the detection of alcohol in the pi’uducts 
of respiration. Thus, in one of the experiments, a man having 
taken at breakfast a Hire of red wine eojitaiuiiig 11) per cent, of 
alcohol, and his meal having terminated at IO.^a.m., his breath 
was found at noon and at I p.m. to convert a centimetre of the 
test-liquid in two minutes; at 2 p.m., in four minutes; at 4 p.m., 
in ten minutes; and at 0 p.m., in fifteen minutes; whilst at 0 P.M., 
after fifteen minutes the colour was but partially changed, and at 
7 P.M. no conversion whatever took place; the gradual diminution, 
and the period of the entire cessation, of the elimination of alco¬ 
hol by pulmonary exhalation being thus very definitely indicated. 
So, again, the urine of the same subject being submitted to the 
chromic-test at similar intervals, it was found that whilst 60 
grammes of that excretion passed at mid-day gave of alcoholic 
vapour enough to change the colour of guteen cubic centimdtrea 



40 


Alcohol: what becomes of it 

of tho tcst-liiiuor; the siinu; qiumtity passed at 2 i».m. produced 
the like effect ou fifteen cnhic coutiinetres; at 4 p.m., ou tu'clve; 
nt (> P.M., on ten ; at H p.m., on four; at 10 p.m., ou one; wliilst 
that passed at midni^fht i^ave hut a very faint trace of tlie cha¬ 
racteristic reaction. 

It is not only, however, hy the lunirs and hy the kidneys that 
tho progi’essivo elimination of alcohol is thus shown to be effected; 
for the aj)plicati(ni of tho same method of research has enabled our 
authors to delect the presoncci of alcohol in the vapour exlniled 
from tho skin of a dog in a state of alcoholic intoxication. And 
theyhuve further been able to truce tho passage of alcohol (di*cu- 
lating in tho blood-current into all the tissues of the body,—the 
liver and the brain, liowovcr, being the parts in which it most 
tends to accumulate. It is not a little curious that the proportions 
obtainable from these two organs should differ notably, according 
iis the alcohol has been taken into the stomacli and absorbed 
through tho portal system (winch will bring it into direid relation 
with the substance of the liver) into the gciicTul circubitiou, or 
as it has been at once introduced into Die general circulation by 
direct injection. In tho former case, the proportion of alcohol 
obtainable from a given weight of blood being represented by 
I’OO, the proportions yielded by Die same weights of brain and 
liver were 1*31 and 1*48 respectively. But in tho latter, tho pro¬ 
portion obtainable from a given weight of blood being still repre¬ 
sented by 1*00, the proportions yielded by the same weights of 
brain and liver were 3'00 and 1*75 respectively. In cither ease, 
the proportion obtainable from muscidur ffesU was much less than 
tliat yielded by the blood. 

Experiments of this kind, repeated and varied in divers modes, 
seem to leave no doubt whatever, that not only is alcohol sepa¬ 
rated from tho blood by the tissues of the body, especially the 
substance of the brain and of the liver, but that the excretory 
organs arc continually engaged in its elimination, even w’hen tho 
quantity introduced into the system has been but small; ami that 
the larger the quantity of alcohol introduced into the system, the 
longer is the period required for its entire removal from tho 
oircttluting current. From these experiments our authors think 
themselves justified in drawing the conclusion, that alcohol under¬ 
goes no combustive action in the living body, but that the wholo 
of what is ingested is excreted unchanged ; so that this substance 
has no claim whatever to rank among articles of food, but must 
be placed iu the category of those medicinal or toxic agents, 
whose presence in tho living body exerts an important influence 
on its functions, though they do not themselves enter into combi¬ 
nation with any of its components. They readily admit that they 
have not succeeded in reproducing in any instance from the excre- 



41 


in the Living Body. 


tory protluot*? tiic wliolo jimcMint of flio iilooliol introducpil into 
the system ; but tlioy vcrv justly urge that such a (lcmonstvatii>a 
cannot fairly bn (‘xaeted, all cireuinstaiio(‘s considered ; and that 
all the evideuee wliicb the naturo of th(j case admits, points in one 
direction, f’or there is on tlu^ one band, an entire absence of posi¬ 
tive evidence that {ilnohol is eliminated from the system bv a com- 


bustiv(^ process ; whilst the assuniplion that it is so eliminated 
is oppos(‘d (o flat fact that none of the d<3rivalives of alcohol are 
detectable in the blond, althotigh the presence of either of them 
would 1)0 recognised without dilliciiltv if it were really there; and 
is rendered si ill more improhablc by the length of time during 
which alcobt)] can b(' sltown to remain in the Ixulv, even when 


ingestiid in small (pmntitics. On the other hand wo have the 
jiositive evidenee alfordcd by the detection of al(;ohol in tlie 
pulmonary and eutaneous exhalations and iji the urinary excre¬ 
tion, in (piantities at tirst considerable, but gradually diminishing 
with Liie inia’oase of the interval, until (as parallel analyses of the 
blood HTul of t])o tissues indicate) there is reason to bclicvo that 
this substaiu'e has h«'cn entirely removed from the system. Our 
aiitliors justly lay stress on the fact that it is not the mnro excess 
of alcohol, whieli the system cannot proKtably use up, that linds 
its way inlo the oxcrotious; for they detected alcohol in the 
urino of a man witliin half an hour after ho had taken no more 


tlinn grammes (lUM grains) of hruudy ; and in th(3 case already 
cited, tlio ingestion of only a litre (or ordinary bottle) of weak wine 
gave rise to aeontinmxl elimination of alcohol by tlie lungs during 
ciglit liours, and by the kidneys during fourteen hours. A very 
striking jn-oof of the length of time during which alcohol remains 
unmodiliod in the sy.stom, after being ingested in any consider¬ 
able amount, is atlorded by tlio fact that it was found in abun- 
danco in the brain, liver, and blood of a vigorous man, who died 
of tlie remote results of alcoholic })oisoning thirty-two hours after 
driTiking a litre of brandy, notwithstamling the early use of 
emetics and other remedial means. 


If, then, wo refrain from adopting our authors* conclusion as a 
demonstrated fact, wo feel justilied in admitting its claim (until 
any opposing data shall have been furnished by fresh inquiries) to 
as firm a basis of probability as that on which has been erected 
the greater part of the existing fabric- of pliysiologicnl doctrine. 
.Doubtless the advocates of the “ food" hypothesis will bo both 
able and ready to show the insufficiency of the proofs on the 
strength of which that hypothesis is now pronounced to be falla¬ 
cious : the candid inquirer, however, will not test the validity of the 
new doctrine by its accordance with one to which he has been 
long accustomed to give an unquestioning assent, but will rather 
turn his thoughts to the claims which the latter has upon his 



42 


Alcohol: what becomes of it 

acceptance, and will exumiue if these are really such as to demand 
liis neffation of the btr<jng probabilities that can bo urged on the 
other side. A very good rule in all such cases is to make the old 
and the now doctrine change places, admitting the new one, pro 
t€7nj)ore^ to the place which the idd one has long held, aud then 
considering wdiethcr, if the old ouc were now advnuced for the 
first time, it would he able to establish any claim to reception. 
To us it api)eai‘s perfectly clear that if the minds of physiologists 
had been in the iirst instance thorougldy imbued with the im¬ 
portant facts adduced by the authors of the work before us, as to 
the progressive elimination of ideohol in substance from the living 
boily by eacli of the three principal emunctories provided for the 
purification of the blood, tliey would have at once rejected as a 
baseless assumption the notion that alcohol undergoes « process 

of combustion in the body and is entitled to take rank as an 

* 

alimentary materiuL If this be really so, this is surely the atti¬ 
tude which, on a fair balance of the cvideuco now before them, 
they are bound to assume in regard to this important question. 

It is not requisiU^ for us to follow' our authors through tlieir 
detailed inquii’y into the patliology of alcoholic poisoning, since 
they do not add anything of importance to what was pi’cviously 
known on the subject, and their general result is iu accordanro 
with what has hecn commonly taught by physiologists and toxi¬ 
cologists in tin’s country—namely, that tdcohol in largo doses 
exerts a specific inllucnce, analogous to that of other nar(50li{5 
poisons, upon the nervous coutres; and that deatli njsnlts frt)m 
the susj)cusiou of tlie respiratory inoveincnts, the lieart continuing 
to beat Cor some time after these liavc ceased. I’he most important 
new fact which they have substantiated, is that of the pi'csence of 
globules of fat distinguishable l)y the miked eye as brilliant points, 
floating on tlie suiTaeo of the blood drawn from animals in a state 
of alcoholic intoxication. 1'luit such n change should be pro¬ 
duced by the ingestion of a single dose of alcohol is not a little 
remarkable, aud fully confirms the statements of those patliolo- 
gists who asseit that the habitual excessive use of alcoholic 
drinks produces such a notable increase in the fatty matter of the 
blood, CIS altogether to pervert tho constitution of the nutritive 
fluid. We may here mention that the sumo effect is produced on 
the blood by the anajsthetic agents, chloroform, sulphuric ether, 
and amylene; and it disappears, os do the other phenomena of 
intoxication, wlien (as is shown by chemical tests) the blood has 
been freed by the excretory processes from the presence of the 
toxic agent. 

The second part of this voljuable treatise is devoted to a similar 
inquiry into the modus operaitdi of aucesthctic agents; chloroform, 
sulphuric etlier, and amylene being specially investigated. As iu the 



43 


in the Living Body. 

case of alcoiiol, tlic first object wjis to devise an exact metliod of 
recognising tlio presence and estimating the amount of these sub¬ 
stances in the vapours raised from the blood, the tissues, or the 
exen'tions of animals wliicli Imd been subjected to their influence. 

In the case of clilorofonn (which is a compound of chlorine, 
hydrogen and carbon) advanf.ige was taken of the change which its 
vapour undergoes when passed through a rod-bot porcelain tube in 
contact with coinmon air; the products of its decomposition being 
hydrochloric acid (the (piantity of wliich is readily estimated by 
causing its vapour to pass through a nidulion of nitrate of silver, 
the amount of the preeipitate of chloride of silver thus produced 
alfordiim fho mejisurecd' the amount of chloroform wlneli bad been 
subjected to the process), cldorido cd‘ carbon which is dt'posited 
in ciTslals, and (larbonic acid and chlt}riue wliich are. set free. 
It was ascertaiiKul that no effect was produced upon the testing 
appaintus, wlien vaporized air was ti'ansmitted tbixmgb it from 
the blood and tissiujs of animals to whieli chloroform luul not 
been given, whilst the addition of a minute (juantityof chhiroform 
fo flic.-e substances immediately gave the anticipated results; and 
whenibe hlood and tissues of animals killed by the inhalation of 
chloroform wore subjected to the same process, very decided evi- 
denec was obtained that it had been received into the circulation, 
and dillUsed tbrougli ilie body. Its special atiinity for tlio sub¬ 
stance of the brain was found to bo even more remarkable than 
that of alcohol ; the proporlional amounts yielded by e<|ni valent 
(pianlilu's of blood and of cerebral tissue being 1 ‘00 and parts 
vespciclivcly, whilst the liver yielded ii'08 parts, and the muscular 
substance generally O'10 parts. 'J1ie brain and liver, moreover, 
seemed to hold it more teioiciously tlmii the blood ; ns it could 
be detected in those organs aJlcr it had disappeared fnim the 
blood. In the case of animals rendered temporarily insensible 
l)v the inhalation of chloroform, it was ascertained bv the com- 

•r ' “ , • . 

parativc examination of blood drawn during the state of insensi¬ 
bility, and of blood drawrn when consciousiKJss and motor power 
had returned, that tlio recovery from that state is e()incident with 
the complete removed of chloroform from the blood. 'I’liis re¬ 
moval is chiefly effected by the exhalation of its vapour from tho 
lungs; the presence of chloroform being distinctly discoverable 
by the means already indicated in the breath of animals that arc 
under its influence, but ceasing to be thus traceable at a much 
earlier period than the vapour of alcohol, as might be anticipated 
from the much more speedy supervention of recovery after the 
inhalation of chloroform than after alcoholic intoxication. Traces 
of chloroform are to be found also in the products of the cuta¬ 
neous exhalation; but this substance has not been detected in 
tho urine. 



44 


AlcolioL: what hecowcs of it 

The mcKle of detecting snlpliuric ether, is the same as that cm- 
]>loycrl for tln^ detection of alcohol; and as the result is not 
diflcrent in the t\s'o eiises, this t<;st does not serve to distinguish 
one of tliesc snhstnnces from the other. But as there is no reason 
whatever to suppose tliat ah;ohol can bo changed into ether, or 
etlier into alcoljol, in the living body, the’reduction of the green 
oxide of chroniiuni may bo safely attributed to the presence of 
alcoholic vapour when alcohol has been administered, and to 
that of <‘ther-vapour u lien ether lias been adininistorcd. Tested 
in this niannor, the blood and the tissues of the body generally 
were found to ho impregnated with other, in animals killed by its 
inhalation, the proportions yielded by the substance of the brain 
and of the liver being respectively and 2*25 to TOO pro¬ 
portional yielded by an e(iuivalcnt quantity of blood, whilst the 
tissue of the muscles yielded only 0*25. The eliininalion 
of ether from the system is effected, like that of chloroform, 
chiefly by the lungs, and in a slight degree by the skin ; but it is 
also shared by the kidneys, ether having been detected in small 
quantity in the urine. 

AmyleiiO is anotlier substance allied to the preceding in chemi- 
C!il composition (though consisting of carbon luid hydrogen only) 
and liaving very similar physiological cllects; but as it is with 
difficulty obtained pure (although the fnsel oil from which it is 
procured is abundant in the refuse of distilleries), and is mucli 
loss managenblo than either ether or chloroform, it cannot be used 
with advantage as an anaesthetic agent. Our autliors, however, 
included it in their inquiry; and they were able to substantiate 
by (dicmioal tests tlie same general facts in regard to its passage 
into the blood and its dillusion through the body, as they had 
previously demonstrated in regard to ether and clilorofonn. TJie 
proportion yielded by the blood and by tlie substance of the liver 
was here the same; but the substance of the brain gave twice ns 
much, whilst only a trace could be detected in tlie muscles. The 
recovery from the state of insensibility, when the inhalation of 
amylene has not been carried too far, takes place with peculiar 
rapidity; and this seems duo to its very rapid elimination by the 
lungs, the breath being strongly impregnated with its peculiar 
garlicky odour. 

Thus we see that there is a perfect accordance between alcohol 
and the anrostlietic agents in what chemists would term their 
“behaviour” in the living system. When alcohol is taken into the 
stomach, it is absorbed into the general currentof the circulation and 
is carried by it to every tissue and organ in the body. In the tissues 
generally only feeble traces of its presence can be detected ; but 
It fastens ou the buLstnnee of the brain and of the liver bv a 
peculiar elective affinityso as to be yielded by these in'far 



45 


i)i the Living Body. 

larger proportion than by an equivalent amount of blood. 
Prociselythe same is the case with chloroform, ether, and amylcne, 
when they are introduced into the current oftlie cireuhition byiu- 
halation through tlie lungs ; the elective affinity of the first two 
of tliese for the brain and liver being somewhat stronger than 
that of alcohol, whilst that of the third is weaker. From the 
time when alcohol and the aiuBsthetics have boon introduced into 
the circulation, tlie system oomincnces to free itself from them, 
by yetting in action the throe* great eliminating apparatuses, the 
lungs, the skin, and the kidneys. 'J'he most volatile of those sub¬ 
stances are got rid of most rapidly (as might have been anti- 
<;ipiitcd) by exhalation from the lungs, the skin also slightly 
assisting; and ooiucidcntly with their removal from the blood, 
their physiological effects pass off likewise. Partly, it would seem, 
iVoiii their insolubility in water, but chiefly perhaps owing to the 
short duration of their sojourn in tlie liody, liaise highly volatile 
substances do not find their way in any (luantiiy into the urine. 
A much greater length of time is required, however, for the re¬ 
moval of alcohol from the body, partly through its inferior vola¬ 
tility, but chiefly (as it scorns to us) because the ingestion of a 
mueh larger quantity is required tt) produce any decided perver¬ 
sion of the nervous functions; and the duration of that perver¬ 
sion is accordingly prolonged. Further, alcohol being readily 
niiseihle with water, and its sojourn in tlic body without change 
being protracted for many hours, it passes into the urinary e.vcre- 
tion, which becomes, in fact, one of the principal channels of its 
elimination, an important part however being still performed by 
tlio lungs, and the skin being by no means inactive. 

The striking accordance which has thus been shown to exist in 
every fundamental particular between alcohol and the unmsthetics, 
—the differences in their behaviour being only of a secondary 
character, aud being obviously referrible to their chemical 
and physical properties,—must surely he regarded as most 
strikingly confirmatory of the position taken up by the authors 
of this treatise in antagonism to the Liobigian doctrine that alcohol 
is food. For there is not a single point of difference in their 
actions, which can justify their being i»luced in difl'erent categories. 
Their physiological effects in large doses are essentially the same. 
Their special affinity fur the substance of the brain and of the 
liver is u most striking point of conformity. Whether alcohol be 
taken into the stomach, or tho vapour of chloroform or other be 
inhaled through the lungs, no sooner has it heen received into the 
circulating current, than it is treated as a substance altogether 
foreign to the body, which is to be removed by the excretory 
organs as rapidly as possible. Those organs continue to elimi¬ 
nate it, until the blood has been entirely freed from it; and tlien, 



46 


Alcohol: ivhat becomes of it 

but not till then, its perverting influence upon the nervous func¬ 
tions ceases to be manifested. There is no more evidence of alcohol 
being in any way utilized in the body, than there is in regard to 
ether or chloroforar. If alcohol is to be still designated fis food, we 
must extend the meaning of that term so as to make it compre¬ 
hend not only etfier and (dilorofonn, but all medicines and poisons, 
—in fiujt everything which can bo swallowed and absorbed, how¬ 
ever foreign it may be to the normal <‘onstitntion of the body, and 
however injurious to its functions. On the other hand, from no 
deflnition that can be framed of a poison, which should iufdude 
those more powerful aniesthetic agents whose poisonous character 
has been unfortunately too clearly manifested in a great number 
of instances, can alcohol he fairlv shut out. 

If tl)is view bo adopted, tuid the “ food ” hypothesis he put aside, 
the (piestioTi naturally unscs as to the; nature of the inilucnce 
exerted by alcohol on the livijig system when biken habitually ns 
an article of diet, and especially as to the power which it seems to 
possess of rcpldchiff food when the supply of the latter is 
deficient,—a power which has been lV(‘ely eoneoded to it hy snnu* 
of those who have argued most strongly for “total abstineiico" as 
the teaching of an enlightened physiology in regard to such as 
arc placed (or can ])hico thcniselves) in the conditions most 
favourable to liealth. Here, again, the more exact methods of 
modern scientific research liave given ns a clue, which, without 
leading us to the complete elucidation of the mystery, seems to 
afford definite guidaneo towards its discover)\ When food is 
deficient, the body loses substance and power, day by day, from 
the progressive “ wasting ” of tlio tissues ; and if means can ho 
found to retard that process, a quantity of food otherwise insuffi¬ 
cient may serve to sustain the pt)wcrs of the system. Now there 
is evidence that such is the mode in which small and repeated 
doses of alcohol exert an influence, which forthe time atanv rate is 
beneficial, under such privations. The subject has of late attracted 
much attention in Crcimanv, where vanous scries of rescoi’ches 
have boon prosecuted with the view of ascertaining the compara¬ 
tive influence of alcohol, tea, coffee, and tobacco, when the body 
is normally supplied with food, and when food is partially with¬ 
held ; of which researches a useful summary is given by Dr. T. King 
Chamboi’s, in the British and Toreign Mcdico-Chirurgical Review 
for October, 1851, and in tlie chapter on “Arresters of Meta¬ 
morphosis,” in his work on Digestion and its Derangements. More 
recently an inquiiy of the same kind has been carried out by a 
young American physician, Dr. Hammond;* and as, from our 


American Journal of ibe Medical Sciences, October, 1866. 



47 


in the Living Body, 

personal knowledge of him, we are inclined to fed great confidonce 
in his results, we are glad to take tliis opportunity of making 
them movo generally known. * 

J)r. Hammond's iinpiiries wore directed to the throe following 
objects:— 

1. To observe the eifects of alcohol upon a system in which the 
weight of the body was raaiutaiued at a nearly uniform standard by' 
a builicieney of food. 

2. To Jiscertain its influence upon an organism in which a loss of 
weight was taking place from deficiency of food. 

3. To determine its action upon an organism which was gaining 
weight by excess of nutriment. 

JS’ow to determine the first point, Dr. llaininond, having iisccr- 
tainod that Iiis system was in the required condition of balance, 
and liaviiig determined on tho one hand tlie widglit of food re¬ 
quired 1.0 maintain it, on tho otlier tliatof the various products of 
exta'dion, continued precisely the same diet and mode of life for 
live davs, with tlio addition of four draclinis of alcohol diluted 
with mi e(pial quanlily of water at eaeli meal. At tho end of tins 
time Dr. Hammond found that lie had increased in weight some- 
thing less than huif-a-pound, owing to a diminution in the amount 
of the excretory products; this diminution being especially 
inarkcd in tlie carbonic acid expired from tlie lungs, and in the 
solid matters of tlio urine. The general health was somewhat 
disturbed, tlicro being headache and increased lieat of skin ; the 
mental faculties were not so clear as when no nloohol was taken; 
and there was an indisposition to any kind of exertion, with les.s 
eonstaiicy of tho ap])etito. 

J'lio administration of alcohol was then repeated with siudi a 
diminution in the amount of hiod as had previou‘<ly been ascer- 
luinod to cause a dimiuntiou of weight at tho rale of more than 
u ([uarter of a pound per day; and the very remarkable result was 
obtained, that during the five days through which this experiment 
was continued, there was not merclv a cessation of that diminii- 
tion, but a positive slight increase of weight, whicli was chiefly 
owing, as before, to the diminution of tho carbonic acid exhaled 
from tho lungs, and of the solid matters excreted in the urine. 
And it is worthy of note that tho amount thus added to the weight 
of the body by the doses of alcohol taken, considerably exceeded 
the aggregate amount of those doses; tbo gain being altogether 
above a pound and a half, whilst the whole weight of the alcohol 
taken was not a third of that amount. It must obviouslv, there- 
fore, have done something more than simply replace food. I’he 
general condition of his system is stated by Dr. Hammond to 
have been never better than during this experiment. 



46 


Alcohol: what becomes of it 

He then tried the effectH of the same doses of alcohol when the 
system was gaining weight from excess of food; and he found, 
as before, thalftlio products of excretion were diminished, so that 
a further increase in weight took place. During the live days 
through which this experiment was continued, thcj general health 
was much disordered ; Ihcre being constant headache, disturbed 
sleep, and hot skin, with quick, full, and bounding pulse. 

As the general result of his experiments, Dr. Hammond con¬ 
cludes that when the food is sufficient for the requirements of the 
system, alcohol is injurious, by exciting tlie circulation, and tend¬ 
ing to induce a plethoric habit of body,—its influence in this 
respect being the same ns that of an excessive amount of food ; 
and still more injurious effects arc of course produced when the 
food is in cxeess. When the supply of food, liowever, is in- 
sufficient to maintain the vigour of the system, the beneficial effect 
of alcohol in limiting the waste of the body is considered by Dr. 
Hammond to stand in marked contrast to its pernicious influence 
in the preceding cases. 

“ The use of alcohol, even in moderation,” (lie remarks) cannot 
therefore be cither exclusively approved or exclusively condemned. The 
labouring man, who can hardly procure bread and meat enough to pre¬ 
serve the balance between the formation and decay of his tissues, finds 
here an agent which, within the limits of health, enables him to dis¬ 
pense with a certain amount of food, and yet keeps up the strength and 
weight of his body. On the other hand, he who uses alcohol wlion his 
food is more than sufficient to supply the waste of tissue, and at the 
same time docs not increase the amount of his physical exercise, or 
drink an additional quantity of water (by which the decay of tissue 
would be accelerated), retards the metamorphosis, while an increased 
amount of nrutriment is being assimilated, and thus adds to the ple^ 
thoric condition of the system, which excessive food so generally 
induces.** 

With regard, however, to inferences founded on the results of 
the foregoing and similar experiments continued for a short time 
only, we think it necessary to interpose a caution, based on the 
recent inquiries of Dr. Edward Smith as to the influence of various 
dietetic and other conditions on the excretion of urea. For (ns 
we have learned from himself) although a marked alteration is 
generally produced by almost any change in diet, for a few days, 
this alteration progressively disappears, and the previous average 
is soon restored. Still we are disposed to believe, with the 
authors of the work which has given occasion to our renewed dis¬ 
cussion of this subject, that the retardation of the metamorphosis 
of tissue indicated by the experiments just cited, is the true 
rationale of the results of a large experience, in regard, on the 



49 


in the Living Body, 

one hand, to the powci* which even small doses of alcohol seem to 
have of replncinjf food when this is deficient (as in the well- 
known case of Captain Bligh and liis companions), and on the 
other, to the special infiiicncc wdiich they seem to exert in re¬ 
straining the waste of the nervous system, under the wear and 
tear of continued anxiety or jirolongcd intellectual tension. But 
it is quite anotlier question wliether alcohol can he hahituully 
employed w'ith advantage for either of these purposes, without in 
tlie end doing more harm than good. If it be true, as modem 
dynamical science decidedly indicates, that the amount of force 
capable of heiiig put forth by the system is proportionate to the 
nraount of tissue that undergoes mctamoiq)hosis, wo should expect 
that nltljough the immediate effect of alcoholic stimulation may 
be to excite the ncrvo-muscular system to cxti’aordinary effort, 
yet tlmt a continuance of snob cHbrt woiUd he far loss ctHcicutly 
sustained with inadequate aliment plus alcohol, than it is w'ith 
adequate food combined with abstinence from alcoholic drinks; 
and tliis seems to accord with the verdict of a large experience as 
to the matter of fact. In particular, it is well known to those who 
have made inquiries amongst men engaged in very lahprious em- 
ploYim.'uts at high temperatures, that whatever the meii may 
drink in the intervals of their work, they cannot take alcoliolio 
drinks whilst actually engaged in it, without such a decided loss 
of power as quite unfits them for its performance. As Dr. T. 
King Chambers well remarks, “metamorphosis of tissue is life or 
an inseparable part of lifeand while it may bo decidedly advan¬ 
tageous to prevent the body from living too fast, and thus being 
worn out by its own energy, it is absurd to suppose that if by the 
use of any of the “ arresters of mct»imoi*phosis ” wo could 
materially retard that proecss, we could get as much good work 
out of the system, as if, with an adequate supply of nutriment, 
there were free play given to the excretory operations by which 
the effete products of the metamorphosis arc carried off. If we 
cut off the ingress of air to a stove, we diminish the combustion 
of its fuel,—but at tho same time, and in the same proportion, 
we lessen the heat it gives forth. 

It appears from tho experimental inquiries of Dr. Bdcker and 
others, that tho copious internal use of water has exactly the 
antagonistic effect to that of alcohol, increasing the amount of the 
excretions and accelerating the metamorphosis of tissue; and 
those who have watched the results of the hydropathic treatment 
judiciously applied in appropriate eases, cannot fail to be struck 
with its renovating and invigorating effects. These again corre¬ 
spond closely with the results of the system of *ti*ainiDg* for any 
great feat of nei’vo-muscular power; this being unconsciously 

[Vol. LXXV. No. CXLVII.]— New Series, Vol. XIX. No. 1. E 



^0 


Alcohol: what becomes of it 

directed in every particular to promote the metamorphosis of 
tissue. What Horace told us long ago is equally true now:— 

Qui Btudet optatam cursu contingere metam 

Multa tulit fecitque pucr; sudavit et alsit, 

Abstinuit Vcnerc ct vino. 

Wo are glad to find our own views on this point confirmed by 
those of so high an autliority as Dr. Porkes, the former Professor 
of Clinical Medicine in University College, now Professor of 
Hygieiio in the Army Medical School, recently established by the 
government, at Chatham. 

“ It seems to me,” says Dr. Parkes, in his recently published trea¬ 
tise “The Composition of the Urine in Health and Disease,” (p. 70,) 
“ that the obvious deduction from our present physiological knowledge 
is, that the more rapid the healthy metamorphosis of the body, within 
certain limits, the more urea and pigment are formed, the more perfect 
is nutrition, as long as nutriment is Rup})lied in sufficient amount, and 
as long as the formative powers can use it. In the immense excretion 
of children, and in the retarded metamorphosis of old age, we see tlie 
two ends of the scale, and have the proof that growth and progress 
are corollaiics of rapid metamorphosis and elimination. Have avc 
then a right to conclude that anything wliich impedes healthy meta¬ 
morphosis is hurtful, and that in checking disintegration it will equally 
cheek formation ? IVrhaps, without going at present quite to this 
length, we may believe that the mo.«t perfect condition of health is 
rapid building and rapid unbuilding; and all the most strengthening 
hygienic means, as exercise, sea air, saline baths, and abundant nutri¬ 
tious food, act by forwarding both these processes. Appetite in¬ 
creases, hut at the same time the action of the eliminating organs is 
also increased; the body gains weight, although there must be in¬ 
creased rapidity of the molecular currents and chemical changes.” 

“ The training for the ring may be taken Jis an illustration of my 
meaning. The prize-fighter eats largely of animal food: he thus, if 
BischofUs and Volt’s experiments bo received, increases both the forma¬ 
tion and the disintegration of tissue; and it is to be presumed that the 
■excretion of urea during training must be increased. Thu prize-fighter 
brings into play another factor of elimination, for he gradually in¬ 
creases his muscular movements to an enormous extent, and*by so 
doing he must absorb much more oxygen than usual, and give out 
more carbonic acid. All the three great factors of metamorphosis, 
viz., nitrogenous food, oxygon, and movements, arc thus increased, and 
the amount of metamorphosis must also go on augmenting up to a 
•certain, point, as the bulk of the tissues increases. So far the prize¬ 
fighter may be said to follow the dictates of common sense; but now 
how does he act with regard to alcohol and wine, and the substances 
usually supposed to give strength, and to limit the necessity for food ? 
Why, be idmost discards their use: he takes no spirits, no wine, only 
a little weak beer (which he might with advantage leave off), but 
xlrinks to any amount of pure wat^r, or fluids equivalent to it; and 



61 


in the Living Body, 

thus, taught by experience, he employs another most potent agent in 
ehminatiou. Under this regime \\\s health improves wonderfully; ho 
can bear any fatigue; morbitic causes are comparatively inoperative ; 
injuries are recovered from, and, for the time, he is the very type of 
health and vigour. That the class is not a healthy one, ia owing to 
reckless living between the periods of training/* 

These remarks were written, Dr. Uarkes tells us, long before 
the attention of the public and of the medical ))rofesHion was 
strongly directed by tho recent prize-fight to tho subject of 
“training; ” and he anticipates that this celebrated contest will 
not bo without its good eilect in making it more generally under¬ 
stood that the true soui’ce of strengUi of body is to be found in 
nutritious food aud active exertion, rather than in the use of alco¬ 
holic drinks. 

But whilst, for tlio maintenance of tlic fall vigour of health 
under conditions striclly normal, it is undesirable to place any 
chock upon tiie mctamorjdjic processes, there arc conditions 
which in this busy life of ours can scarcely he considered as 
abnormal, in which tho use of some of the “Arresters of Metamor¬ 
phosisis clearly indicated. As Dr. Cljamhors has truly ro- 
iniirked:— 

“ The proverbs of all tongues show how work purely mental ex¬ 
hausts the body; how, for instance, not only the painful emotions, 
care, sorrow, anxiety, hut the nobler enthusiasms, the nlHatus of the 
poet, the ambition of the patriot, the fixed attention of tho scholar, 
the abstraction of the lover, fret to dust their tenement of clay.” 

There is n tendency that is common to most persons of more 
than average mental activity, though much greater in some tem¬ 
peraments than in others, to an irritable condition of the ucivoiis 
system, in which every impression produces an exaggerated eilect, 
tho smallest and most <;ommonplace mattor becomes a won*y and 
a care, nud genuine repose and traiKpiiility are banislied by 
the inti’usion of trains of thought aud the access of poriurbatious 
of feeling which it is almost beyond the capacity of the indivi¬ 
dual to restrain. Now it is in their power of relieving this con¬ 
dition, and of keeping in check the tendency to it, that we 
consider the great value of the “ arrestors of metamorphosis to 
lie. Universal experience shows that alcohol (in small doses), 
tea, and tobacco, alike have the power of exerting a most potent 
calmitive influence on these irritable states ; an influence which 
seems precisely in harmony with the teachings of science in regard 
to their physiological action. The choice among these may be 
guided by the experience of each individual as to what ho flnds 
most suitable to himself, provided that he has self-command 
enough to keep within the limits which sound judgment ^re- 

£ 2 



52 Alcohol: what becomes of it 

scribes, and docs not bej^in with either alcohol or tobacco as a 
medicine, to continue its use ns a habit of sensual indulgence. 
We need scarcely point out llie special risk that attends the fic- 
(juent employment of any ai'ticlcs possessing the extraordinary 
seductive powers which each of those can exert to the detriment 
of such as yield to their fascinations; the moral enslavement 
wliich results from the weakening or dethronement of the govern¬ 
ing power of the will, being, in our apprehension, the most perni¬ 
cious of its consequences. Tlie dreamy listlossness in which the 
habitual smoker passes a large portion of his time, is only in 
degree less ptu'uicious than the sottish stupidity of the drunkard; 
the want of the healthful vigour of the well-stored and well-dis¬ 
ciplined mind being as obvious in the one case as in the other. 
The moderate use of tea is not equally liable to objection ; and 
the daily experience of millions testifies to its virtues. “ Tho 
cup that cheers but not inebriates," has, no less than alcoliol, the 
power of allaying that peculiar weariness of brain which is tho 
first stage of the irritative condition just now alluded to. Whe¬ 
ther or not it does this by acting as an “ arrester of metamor¬ 
phosis" seems questionable; the statements of llockcr and others 
upon this point being opposed by J)r. Kdwurd Smith, who main¬ 
tains that the use of tea rather promotes than retards the meta¬ 
morphoses of tissue?, ft would eertoinly appear, however, from 
that general and long-continued experience, wdiich, when care¬ 
fully scrutinized, affords a better basis for deduction than brief 
and limited experiments, that tea shares with alcohol in the power 
of making a limited quantity of food go further. It is marvel¬ 
lous upon how small an allowance of solid food the poor busket- 
womnu can manage to keep body and soul together witliout 
grievously feeling lier privation, so long ns she can comfort Jier- 
self with her cup of tea; which, so far iriim being an expensive 
luxury, is probably to her, in regard to what it saves, the cheapest 
portion of her dietary. And there is abundant evidence that 
when privation has reached its extreme point (ns in tho case of 
the first Arctic expedition of b’ranklin and Richardson), where 
there has been a choice between tea and alcohol, the former has 
been preferred on a(;count of its more constant and more lasting 
benefit. Doubtless tea has seductions of its own, especially to 
the man of studious habits, who avails himself of the stimulating 
action which it possesses when taken in excess, to get more work 
out of his brain than it can be rightly called on to perform; but 
however long the evil results of such habitual overtasking may 
be postponed, they are sure to manifest themselves at last in that 
general break-down which is the necessary sequence of a long- 
continued excess of expenditure over income^ 

• There is one evil which it is probable that the habitual use of 



53 


in the Living Body. 

any of the arresters of metamorphosis has a tendency to pro¬ 
duce, hut which seems especially liable to result from the regular 
use of alcoholic beverages :—namely, the progressive degenera¬ 
tion of the blood and of the tissues by the substitution of fatty 
matter for their normal constituents. This degeneration, as is 
now well known to pathologists, lies at the foundation of a large 
proportion of the diseases of advanced life : and though precise 
evidence that it is produced or even favounulby the moderate use of 
alcoholic liquors is yet wanting, yet thcio is so mucli that points 
in this direction in the results of observation and cxp(u*imcuts, 
that a remote source of danger in such “ moderation ” is not 
vaguely hut distinctly indicated. That tlie tissues and blood of 
drunkards, as well as of such as (like brewer’s draymen) are 
always drinking yet never drunk, arc ordinarily in a state of fatty 
degeneration, has now been fully estahlislicd; and the explanation 
of this fact is made pretty obvious by the power which the pre¬ 
sence of alcohol in the blood has been shown to possess of retard¬ 
ing the elimination of eirote matters from tiic body,—fat being 
one of the forms through wliich the hydrocarhunnccuus portions 
of ihos(i matters pass in the course of their removal. Now llm 
re(jciit Frenoh experimenters, as we have already mentioned, wero 
struck by tlic fact, that tliis excess of fat made itself apparent in 
the blood after even a single large dose of alcoliol; and their re¬ 
searches also give evidence of the unex])cctcdly long time during 
which alcohol, even when taken in very inodcvatc quanlity, rc- 
mtiins in the current of tho eircailation. The blood of a man, 
therefore, who takes his pint of brandied wine, or his three or four 
pints of strong malt li((uor per day, can seurcedy (?ver ho free from 
aluohul; and its continued presence must exert a prejudiinal 
elfect upou his general nutrition, whicli must fur outweigli any 
henefit which the ingestion of that amount of alcohol can possibly 
confer upon a man in ordinary heaUh, the real utility of alcohol 
(save in extraordiuai*y eases) being limited to wJiat may properly 
he termed its medicinal power, and this being exerted iu small 
doses. 

Now that the course of events has forced the condition of our 
Indian Empire upon the attention of tho British public, and every 
question relating to its administration is felt to be one in which 
the nation and not a mere faction of it is involved, it is to be 
hoped that tho teachings of science and experience on the subject 
of the use of alcoholic, and especially of spirituous liquors, by the 
European soldiery in India will no longer he ignored, as they 
have too generally been. Owing to a prevalent idea that alcohol 
could impart a power of resistance to the depressing and morbific 
influences of a tropical climate, it was long the regular practice 
iu our Indian Army to issue a spirit ration before breakfast; and 



54 


Alcohol: tvhat becomes of it 

the soldier ^lio thus commenced witli n morning dram, finding 
himself tormented hy thirst nil day, "wns driven by it to the can¬ 
teen, ^vhere, in the cheapness of the common spirit of the country, 
ho found too great encouragement to the gratification of his cra¬ 
ving for stimulants. The consequence has naturally followed that 
drunkenness, as all our Indian commanders and medical officers 
know too well, has been a most prolific source both of crime and 
of (liaeasc; frequently bringing a large proportion of our troops 
into a state of reckless insubordination (as in the woll-remembej’ed 
case of tlic capture of Bclhi), and frightfully increasing the ratio 
of sickness and mortality. A most important step was taken 
many years ago by the authorities of the Madras Vresidency, in 
the abolition of the spirit ration and the substitution of malt licpior; 
and its advantages have become so apparent that, in spite of con¬ 
siderable difficulties, the example has been followed, wherever it 
has been deemed practicable to do so, in the other Presidencies. 
Still, however, the canteen system is continued; and though 
intemperance, with its concomitant insubordination and disease, 
has notably diminished, yet much still remains to be done; and 
it is of great importance that the force of enlightened public 
opinion should bo bronglit to bear on tliis matter. 

We have as yet no ])ositive data for asserting that the elimi¬ 
nating process by which alcohol is got rid of from the system is 
carried on more slowly in hot climates than in cold ; but it may 
bo taken as a certainty, that either from this or from some other 
cause, a given dose of alcohol will produce more violent effects in 
the fomier case than in the latttn*. 'J’ho amount of spirit which 
many a Swede or a Highlander swallows doily without showing the 
least excitement, would bring one of our soldiers in India into a 
state of furious drunkenness; and a continuance of the like dose 
for two or three weeks will almost certainly induce an attack of 
tielirium tremens. The use of every possible means to discourago 
the abuse of alcoholic beverages is therefore specially called for 
in the Indian service. We are told on the authority of an ex¬ 
perienced Indian medical officer, that 

“ Medical men are unanimous on this point, and have urged the 
authorities^ again and again, through their hospital reports, to abolish 
tins pernicious custom, and the canteen system altogether, and to sub¬ 
stitute in its place wholesome beverages adapted to the climate, and 
an improved kind of refreshment room; ” and that “ such truths have 
been so repeatedly brought forward by medical men and the advocates 
of t!ie temperance cause, that one would think there could be no noces- 
Bity for reiterating them, did not exporience convince us of the neces¬ 
sity of doing so, and of endeavouring by every means to convince 
those who differ on this point, of the advantages to be expected by 



in the Livvig Body, 55 ^ 

adopting the plan proposed for the European soldier in India, viz., 
that of total abstinence from wine or spirit.” 

Mi\ Baddeley, from the appendix to whose interesting work on 
Whirlwinds and Dust-storms in India (noticed in a later part of 
our present number), we extract the foregoing observations, 
iurthur tells us as the result of liis pei-sonal experience :— 

‘‘ Before commencing hospital w'ork in the early morning, during 
times of prcwailiug sickness, I have made it a practice to take hot tea 
or coffee, by which means the system has been invigorated and ren¬ 
dered capable of resisting atmospheric influences, which otherwise, 
there is reason to believe, would have produced injurious effects. J 
liave thus repeatedly escaped sickness.*’ 

And ho cites, in support of his views, the following important 
testimony, from officers high in tlie service. 

Colonel Dawes, of the Bengal Artillery, Avrites thus:— 

“ My experience is, that nearly all the crime affecting our European 
troops ill India has originated in the use of spirituous liquors. I con¬ 
sider abstinence from spirits a turning point in the life of many a 
soldier. The man becomes quite an altered character when he drops 
the pernicioas stimulant; more cleanly in person, respectful to his 
superiors, and respectable in character, and from the increased depend¬ 
ence lliat may generally be placed upon him, ho becomes altogether a 
more valuable man, both in the field and in quarters. I have seen 
many a bad character converted by abstinence from spirits into a 
steady, able-bodied, hard-working, coun^eous soldier. On the other 
hand, I have remarked that the best men have at times become next 
to useless from indulgence in liquor. My conviction is, that the less 
liquor the European gets the better: but 1 am not prepared to say 
that the allowance of a quart of beer or porter is injurious, though 
many, I am sure, do better without it. As you arc aware, the soldier 
can do without liquor, as has been proved on many occasions. At 
Jellalhabad this fact was well illustrated. The 13th Light Infantry, 
bele^ucrcd there, was not supplied with spirits during the siege, which 
lasted Jive montJis. The men were nevertheless remarkably healthy dnring 
the whole period, notwithstanding incessant bard work, which was 
carried on with great alacrity and cheerfulness, the men being always 
well-behaved and good-tempered. After the garrison was relieved, 
liquor was again issued, and the difference in the conduct and appear¬ 
ance of the men was very marked. At Caubul too, in a fine climate, this 
regiment was not nearly so healthy as before, from the same cause, 
and lost many men during the winter months. 

“ A great advantage will be gained when once spirituous liquor is 
abolished entirely. The soldier’s life in India will then be both a 
happier and a longer one. The free introduction of malt liquor would 
enable the change to be effected without difficulty. Care should be 
taken, however, to have good coffee and tea provided regularly in each 



66 Alcohol: what becomes of it in the Living Body, 

troop aud company; and the first thing in the morning, each man 
should have some offered to liim before going out to duty; and also 
in the evening, as he may desire it. The men soon learn the value of 
this, and when properly managed, it is alike beneficial to health and 
morals. 1 have been assured by one of the ablest of our surgeons in 
India, that he attributed the remarkable healthiness of a portion of the 
troops in a large station, at a time of great sickness prevailing among 
the rest of the troops, to nothing else but the early morning cup of 
coffee. A man should be selected from each company to superintend 
the proper supply of good coffee, aud be allowed a small profit for his 
trouble. I believe the men will, in almost every case, willingly join 
these coffee-clubs.” 

On this, Mr. Baddeley remarks :— 

“ My own experience corresponds entirely with what Colonel Dawes 
says. The arrangement he recommends is essential to success: when 
the tea or coffee is bad, or its preparation is left to native servants or 
cook-boys, the beverage is not drinkable, and the men would reject 
it with disgust, and again have recourse to s^jirits or intoxicating 
liquoj’s.” 

Aud lie adds the followiug strong expression of well-considered 
conviction from Major-General Wyllie, C.B., of the Bombay 
Army. 

“ I quite concur in the opinion expressed by Colonel Dawes, tliat it 
is very desirable to abolisli the spirit-ration in the Indian army; be¬ 
cause it appears to me to foster a habit of dram-drinking that leads to 
much evil. Some years ago, when serving in Scindc and Affghanistan, 
1 remarked that little or no crime was committed by our European 
soldiers while quartered in those countries, chiefly owing to tlieir in¬ 
ability to procure spirits with the same facility as in India. On our 
return to India, many of the non-commissioned officers of one of the 
same well-conducted regiments, were reduced to the ranks in conse¬ 
quence of indulgence in spirituous liquors at a station where, ns usual, 
it was easily procurable. My own observation and experience incline 
me to assert that indulgence in spirituous liquor in a climate like 
India shortens life to an alarming extent. A certain quantity of hcer 
or porter, without spirits, seems to me quite sufficient stimulant for a 
heathy man ; good coffee and tea, properly prepared, should also be 
freely supplied morning and evening.” 

General Wyllie judiciously adds:— 

Want of employment is doubtless a source of great evil in India. 
In addition to the usual privilege of being j)ennitted to work at their 
respective trades when off duty, on the western side of India, the men 
have ground allotted to them at the different European stations for 
the purposes of gardening; which plan, as far as it goes, has been found 
to answer remarkably well.” 



57 


Art. hi.—Canada, 

1. Traveh m Caneula, aiid- thiwit/h the States of Neio York and 

Pennsylvania. By J. 0. Koul. Translalotl by Mrs. 
J’ekcv SiNNKTT. Kovised by tlic Autlior. 2 vols. Jjondon. 
J8Gi. 

2. The Victoria Bridge^ at ^lontreal, Canada. Kliiborately 

Illustrated with Views, Vliins, Kicviitious, and Details oi the 
Bridge. Together with the Ilhistrations of the Maehiuery 
and (Jc^trivaiices used in the Construction of* tliis stupcii' 
dously important ami valuable Engiucjering Work. The 
whole produced in tlio finest stylo of Art, pictorially and 
geometrically drawn, and tlie views highly coloured, and a 
Descriptive Text. Dedicated to H.R.Jl. the Brince of Wales, 
and presented to H.B.II. on tlic opening of the Bridge, 
August 25, iSfiO. By James Itomii-.s, Engineer to the 
Contractors. Loudon. 1 SCO. 

“ VEllY day, every hour of this long tour has only convinced 
me more and more how little the Bluglish people know of 
their brothers in Canada.” So runs the conclusion of the Times 
chronicler of the tour of the Prinec of Wales. And he was not 
iai‘ wrong. The mass of our cdueated people, ev(,*n, have a dim, 
vague idea of Canada as a dreary region, covered with dense 
ieiele-huug woods, that are scantily peopled with fur-clad back¬ 
woodsmen, who linve to keep bears and wolves off Avliilc tlicy 
wield the axe ; in fact, as a country the very thought of which 
makes one shiver and shudder : and, as if the liorrors of such a 
picture could he heightened, they imagine frequent raids from 
grim, inexorable Indians, wlio silently, but surely, carry off a full 
tale of scalps fnim the aforesaid unfortunates. All other American 
varieties are calmly lumped together as almighty-dollar-worship- 
jnng, dinnor-boltiug, tobacco-chewing, spitting, liquoring, snivel¬ 
ling Yankees. 

Canada has been singularly unknown among us Europeans 
from her discovery down to our own times. Her industrial 
progress may be said to have first dawned on us at the Great 
Exhibition, of 1851; and it was at the Exposition Univcrsello of 
Paris, in 1855, Count Jaubert observed, that his countrymen 
could now estimate the value of those few acres of snow ceded to 
England in 1763. 

The recent Transatlantic tour of the Prince of Wales vvill 



Canada. 


r >8 

probably, bowcver, havo done more than anything hitherto towards 
acquainting our people Avith their kinsmen wlio have left the 
mother-country. We hope it may also have a beneticial eftecl on 
the counsels of liritish statesmen, when called upon to handle 
one of the oft-occurring “ difficulties" in the delicate relations 
between the old coimt ]7 and tlie new—between the ancient king¬ 
dom and her nominal proA'ince. 

Coincidcntly Avith the return to the home country of the hoir- 
appnreut to botli kingdom and outlying half-independent pro¬ 
vince, Avo AvelcoDie the appearance of an English translation of 
the book in Avhich M. Kohl exhibits, on a new field, his avcH- 
kuoAvn pOAver of vividly portraying a country. Ilis reminiscences 
avo well put together. ICe is particularly happy 4ii avoiding 
Avearisome minuteness and needless triviality. He has been 
foiiuiiato in having his pleasant, shrewd, and scholarly hook 
Avorthily set before the British public, Avith Avliom it would 
naturally he in greatest demand. 

M. Kohl enters Canada from Now York, by the Hudson river 
and Lake Champlain route; the most impressive approacli to it, 
save that of its vast osluaiT, and “ the most direct route from the 
great central organ of A’ilality in the Union to the valley of tlic 
lower St. Lawrence." 

Montreal, about 400 miles from New York in the south, and 
the Gulf of St. Lawrence in the north-o.ist, is the actual point of 
confiuonce, in Avhich what may he tenned the Champlain-Hud- 
soiiian and the Laurentian arteries meet. In Montreal, too, the 
latter is joineil by the mighty Ottawa from the north-west, 
Erom ^lontreal, again, the tAVo gigantic iloods roil on in one 
channel to the northern Atlantic. As the meeting-point of these 
four great arteries, Montreal may be considered the heart of 
Canada. And it is such, not only in a geographical, but also 
in a financial, a commercial, and an ethnological point of view. 
It is to Canada what NeAv York is to the United States. 

Let us now trace up to this heart of C^ada, what must be 
viewed as the main artery of that country, the lower St. Law¬ 
rence, her natural channel of communication with the northern 
Atlantic. The most interesting mode of doing this is in company 
Avitli the European voyagera Avho explored it. On Midsummer- 
day. in the year 1497, nearly four months before Columbus 
sighted tho mainland, John Cabot, the Venetian merchant of 
“ Bristowe," hearing letters patent from our Henry VII., disco¬ 
vered a coast south of Greenland, which he significantly named 
Prima-Vista, but Avhich afterwards changed its name to La¬ 
brador, on supplying the Portuguese slave-merchants with excel¬ 
lent labourers. Parted from it by the narrow Strait of Belle 



Canada, 


60 


Isle, Cabot found the large island noy called Newfoundland.* 
He named it Ht. John, as having been discovered on the festival 
of tho Baptist. The sailors and tho chroniclei-s, however, termed 
it Baccailaos, the native name of tho codfish with which its 
waters abounded. It forms the main partition between the great 
Atlantic and a basin some two hundred miles wide, throwing out 
horns to tiie noilh-oast and to tho west, to the Strait of Bello 
1 ih iijid i\iG embouchiii'c of the great Canadian riyer. Gomez, 
tlio Spnnian!, is supposcLl to have entered this basin in 1526, but 
the lii*st well-authenticated visits to it arc those of Jacques Car- 
tier, who coasted mutdi of it in 16.‘U and 1636. In the latter 
year ho gave tho name of St. Lawrence to a bay of its north 
shore, which he entered on tlie 10th of August, the festival of 
that saint. This insignificant bay has long lost that name, 
which, however, has been honoured by translation, not, indeed, to 
a group of stars in the heavens, like the heroes and heroines of 
Greek legend, but to a goodly paii; of our globe’s surface, to ii 
little world of “ waters under the firmament.” Like Hellas, 
Italia, and Asia, the name of St. Lawrence has in process of 
time extended to tlio whole basin, and even up the huge long 
Hood, which enters it from the west ;t nay, it is now 
assigned to the whole of the enonnons system of rivers and 
inland seas which unite in that flood, and it is thus carried more 
than two thousand miles inland. Below the original Gulf of 
St. liawrenco, Coi’ticr found tho large island now called Anti¬ 
costi.! '.Iho ascent of tho St. Lawrence llivcr is usually consi- 
dered to begin here, and its southern shore with Gaspc, the stjouc of 
Jiongfcllow’s Evangeline. If, however, a river he a stream of 
fresh water, tho domain of the St. Lawrence Biver can scarcely 
be considered to begin, or that of the Atlantic Ocean to end, 
until wo are at least tbreo hundred and sixty miles above the 
cliffs of Gaspc.§ It is about three liundred miles above that the 


* It has been conjectured to have been that now called Princo Edward’s 
Island, but the position of the latter does not tally with Cabot^s log. 

f Cartier sjicaka of the river as that of Hochelaga, or of Canada. Till but 
lately, the part between Montreal and Lake Ontario lias been called Cataraqui, 
or Iroqnois. 

J It was long unexplored, thouffh in 1825 transferred from Labrador to 
Canada, and mime a Seigneurie. The geological survey under Sir. W. Logan 
has removed the erroneous belief in its worthlessness, and shown it to be well 
wooded, and to contain much arable land. Its situation at the mouth of the 
estuary is a noteworthy one. 

$ Wc were told that the water is quite salt at the rocks called ** The 
Pillars,” sixty miles below Quebec. Bonchette (Topographical and Statistical 
Description of Canada, voL i.) says, at Kamouraska, ninety miles below, but 
that the water has a taste twenty-oue miles below Quebec. 




00 


Canada. 


greatest subsidiary volume of water is contributed by tbe Sa¬ 
guenay, a river navigable for the largest vessels seventy miles up, 
and what with its stupendous depth,* its sombre colour,t and the 
grandeur of the cliffs through which it there rolls, one of the 
most wonderful in our globe, l^eyond this part of its course are 
rapids and cataracts, and a hundred and twenty miles up it issues 
from a round lake, some thirty miles in diameter, and called ] inko 
Hi. John, above which, again, it can be traced to a source at letist 
two hundred and fifty miles to the north-west. It was on the 
1st of yepteraber, 1535, that Cartier entered this king of rivers, 
wliose grandeur impressed him with tliat of the land he had 
discovered. We ourselves ascended it towards the close of 
August two years since, and would rank it, scenically, as second 
only to that which may be called the Niagara branch of the 
St. Lawrence. It is, at all events, the Niger or Joliba, the 
“dark-rolling” flood of the New World. Cartier surveyed its 
entrance, and passed on up the St. liawrcnce to the island which 
he named from the filberts it then abounded in. 3t is notewortliy, 
as inhabited by the most primitive Franco-Canadians and their 
purest breed of horses.J Closing a string of islands above. Car- 
tier found a larger one, then a tangled maze of trce-olimbing, 
luxuriant wild vines, no otlier than those of “ the good vine-land” 
of voyager TiCif and antiquary llafn, Cartier appropriately 
named it L'llc de Ihiocliiis. It is now, as Ti'Isle d'Orleans, 
famous for its plums. Next day the great Frenchman anchored 
in the fine basin between this island and Quebec. Beneath tlic 
site of the present fortress there lay the wigwams of a cliief, 
with whom he had much friendly intercourse, and wliom ho 
terms “ il signor de Camida.” On the northern shore of the St. 
Lawrence, the graceful cascade of the'Montmorency, falling into 
it, is here visible, while between it and the mountains in the 


* Bayfield’s trustworthy Survey, published by the Admiralty, makes it 
usually 100 fathoms deep at the sides, and 150 in the centre, in one recess, 
one iuid a quarter mile, and in another one and a half, and states that, were the 
St. Lawrence pumped dry, there would still be 100 fathoms of water in the 
Samiciiay. 

f The colour of the Saguenay is, perhaps, caused by Ibc pitch-pines on its 
banks, deepened by its prodigious depth, and the shade of its lofty margin. It 
is to those trees, more than to bogs, tliat Professor Agassis attributes the 
brown hue of the streams that fall into Lake Superior, one of which wc 
ascended. The same hue one observes in the Ottawa. M. Kohl attributes it 
there to plants; Sir R. Bounycastle to its chemical components. That of the 
Saguenay can scarcely be accounted for by anything short of a mineral 
cause. 

X M. Kohl gives an interesting account of them. He “was often reminded 
*of the almost indestructible horses of Polaud and Russia.” (Kohl, vol. i. 
p. 232.) 




Canada. 


61 


bactground, which shoot up many a peak parallel with the lower 
river, is a fine bit of cataract-scenory, termed the Natural Steps. 
The Indian group of wigwams, called Stndicona, gave place, 
in ItiOiS, to the renowned city of Quebec,* then founded by 
Cluunphtin. Passing the mouth of the large tributary, now called 
St. Maurice, wliose sources, some 250 miles northward, mingle 
with those of the Saguenay, Cartier reached Hochelaga, a larger 
native settlement than Stadicona. On its site now stands the 
city of ^lontreal.f 

Accompanying again the route of discovery, we soon reach 
La Cliine, a village so called from La Salle’s enthusiastic 
hope of achieving by the iDute of the St. Lawrence a communica¬ 
tion with China ; an idea tliat may yet be worked out, wlien the 
oft-talked-of railroad is carried across the continent, and steamers 
in connexion witli it start from Vancouver's Island. It is worthy 
of note—and a curious coiucid<nice—that lia Chino is now the 
residence of the Governor of the Hudson’s Pay Company, a body 
whoso power is felt from Atlantic to Pacific. The ascent of tlie 
ujiper St. Lawrence was attempted by Cartier in 15 U, but stopped 
by the rapids, now surmounted by canals. Nor did Champlain 
reach Iiake Ontario by this route, or grope his way througli the 
beautiful labyrinth of the Thousand Islands. Alter his second 
oxpeditio]! up the Ottawa, he crossed the forest to that large and 
det^ji oval body of fresh water, J wJaichis chiefly I’cinarkablefor the 
disLinctuess of those terraces on its north-eastern shores, in which 
8ir C, J ..yell saw evidence of its area having been formerly greater. 
At its outlet is the town that has successively borne the names of 
Cataracoui, Frontenac, and Kingston, still second only to Quebec 
as a British stronghold in North America, but destined to yield 


* Charlevoix says tliat the name Quebec is Indian, si^fying retrdcissmmt 
in the Algonquin tongue, while in a kindred dialect, Quelibec means ce qui est 
fermc. La Pothcric says it originated from Cartieris Normans exclaiming Qttel 
bee ! when they saw it, (!) It is more pmhably Frcncli, the rmme, as that of a 
locality, appearing on a seal of 1420, bcarii^ the legend, “Sigillum Willielmi 
de la role, Comitis Suffoickim, Domini de mmburg ct de Quebec.” 

t Montreal is a corruption of Mont Royal, the name he gave to “The 
Mountain,” 

■ ■ I qui proximus urbi 

Immiuet, 


a commanding and far-visible liill, such as Homer and Pindar would have called 

It was not, however, till 1641 that a palisaded town called Yille Marie was 
built on the Island of Montreal, destined like York (Toronto), and Bytown 
(Ottawa), to change her name, but become the parent or a great city. 

X Lake Ontario is at least as large as the tract covered by the south-western 
peninsula of Bogland—the counties of Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, and 
Dorset, and much larger than Yorkshire. 



62 


Canada, 


that place, at least, to Ottawa City. Its importanco was at its 
climax in the days of tlie great man from wliom it got its second 
name; but it was scarcely less in the American war of 1812. 6n the 
union of the Canadas in 1841, it was made the seat of Government 
for a sliort time; hut, since its loss of that distinction, it has been 
outstripped by Toronto in the western x)art of the northern shore 
of the lake, while Hamilton in the extreme west is fast approach¬ 
ing it in importance. The Canadian shore has, commercially, even 
“ gone a-head of" the “Yankee.” It is lined with growing and 
thriving communities, reminding one of the Greek colonies on tiio 
coast of Sicily. The history of Toronto is a more than usually 
interesting one. It owes its creati«i to Lieutenant-Governor 
Simcoe, who selected its site for the scat of Government in pre¬ 
ference to that at the mouth of the Niagara lliver, or to Kingston, 
the governor-general’s favourite. Kingston he seems to have 
rejected as too far east, Newark (the present Niagara) as too near 
tho United States—a moat of no great W'idth intervening. 
Though Toronto is not witliin range of an American Fort, its 
exposure to American gun-boats, in event of a war, was rcccntlv 
considered a fatal objection to it as a candidate for tho seat of 
Government. Its site, when surveyed in 1793, was a luxuriant 
swamp, containing the wigwams of two Indian families, and wild 
fowl in abundance for the diversion of the British officers. Tlje 
town of York was commenced no.xt year in this imliealthy spot, 
better fitted, it has been said, “for a frog-pond or a heaver-mendow 
than for the residence of human beings.” Tlic irreolaimablo 
swampiness of its eastern part still keeps up a peq)ctual low fever; 
it is only at some little distance up the gentle slope from the lake 
that it is fairly eligible for habitation, with, of course, groat 
attention to drainage. Its recommendation was its harbour, 
formed by one of those sandy spits (such as is called in the Baltic 
a nehrung) that ore found in the great lakes ; hut this foreland, 
which was, indeed, attached to the shore by only a swamp, has 
now, like Long Point in Lake Krie, become literally “ The Island,” 
to the ruin of Toronto as a harbour of refuge—a disaster that 
might have been averted by timely precaution. The Pailiamcnt 
of Upper Canada met there from 1790 to 1841, when the two 
Canadas were united after a separation of fifty years, and again 
in 1850 and '51, on the huniing of the Parliament-buildings of 
Montreal. Since that year it has met for alternate periods of 
four years at Quebec and Toronto, but, after its present session 
at the former, it is understood that the new buildings at Ottawa, 
of which tho foiHidation-stone was recently laid by the heir- 
apparent, will receive it pennonently—^if any niTangement in 
Canada can yet hope for anytliing like permanence. In 1813 tho 
young settlement was twice burnt by the American invaders. 



Canada, 


03 


In 1834, having attained a population of above 9000, it \7as 
thought that its dignity and thatof itsinhabitantswould be enhanced 
by a more dignified name. To distinguish it from York in the 
mother country, and New York in the States, it had been nick¬ 
named liittle York, or, from the muddiness of its streets, J)irty 
Little York, 'riie Indians had called either the spot or tlie bay 
Toronto.* I'his sonorous name was substituted, M. Kohl heard, 
by a special Act of the Provincial Parliament. He thinks the 
authority of thcPostmastor-Oencral should have sufficed. It was, 
we understood, an act eftVeted hy a few strokes of the pen of the 
Anglican Ihshop.t With regard to population, it was very scanty 
even thirty years after Parlhment had met here, but in the next 
thirty it swelled to 50,000, the return of the census of 1850. (In 
the east side of tlic city, a river sluggishly winds into tlio lake 
out of a pretty wooded valley. Beyond its swampy cvibouchnre 
rise the only cliffs of Ontario. The land hack of Toronto ascends, 
in the terraces avo have mentioned, to a height of 750 feet, luidwa}' 
between it and an elevated basin 70 miles in circumference, which 
bears tlic name of the energetic founder of liittle York. One of 
his first acts was the Appian work of a road to it, called Y'onge- 
street, a term reminding us of our Watling-slreet. This charming 
forcstnicrc, now connected with Toronto by a railro'ul, contributes 
its sinplus water to liake Huron—or rather its lnkc-lik(» Georgian 
Bay—through a smaller lake, called Lake Couchiching or Jvut- 
chutliing, and a rivei* full of cataracts. Springs about 10 miles from 
Lake Ontario send down into this loftier reservoir slreanis that, 

^ Some say that Toronto meant “the place of meeting;” others, “trees in 
tlio water.’* The former Interpretation fitted well the comiHum of Canada. 
Th('. latter, M. Kohl gives, as referring to the uprooted trunks of trees drifting 
ill the water, and we can testify to tlie crowd of logs that rocked among the 
rushes of the Bon swamp, in front of the old town, which lias spread west¬ 
ward. It has been also referred to the ajipearanco from tJic lake of either the 
trees growing on the low shore, or those on the sandy spit. 

t Imagiuc Bishop Blomfield having quietly, in a public document, sub.sii' 
tuted some old sonorous name, say Augusta, for ourliondon! This is a trifle, 
indeed, and a mere joke, but “ straws show which way the wind blows,** and 
the fact is tliat Bishop Sirachan down, at least, to the date of the Mackenzie 
rebellion in 1837, say rather to the passing of the Clergy Reserves Bill in 1854 
(correcting the grievance which caused that serious outbreak, and jeopardized 
the connexion witli Great Britain), exercised for some lime such a sway in 
secular matters as our old couutiy even has not seen since the anachronisn^s of 
Laud. 

Auo the of our colonics. New Zealand, has recently been the scene of a 
medimval-likc appearance on the secular domain of a Bishop and an Archdeacon 
of the Church of England; not, indeed, on the exclusive side in opposition to 
the claims of the excluded, but in defence—to the extent, it woula seem, of 
approving armed resistance—of the claims of the Aborigines against our Go- 
vcriimeut. Whatever be the justice of those claims, ecclesiastics should con¬ 
fine themselves, or be confined, to the spiritual domain. 



G4 


Canada. 


after a course of at least 800 miles, pass by the place of their 
birth, iiuding their way into Ontario, by meandering on a truly 
American scale through a string of inland seas, and over the 
greatest of cascades.* From Toronto, in the summer months, a 
steam of some forty miles brings one to the mouth of the 
Niagara River, from which one can proceed to the Falls either by 
railroad along the Canadian side, or by steamer and railroad on 
the American. Outside, the lake shore is a wooded, gentle slope. 
The steamer takes one as far as a lofty ridge, seven miles up the 
river, vdiich, half a mile wide, and forty fathoms deep, flows down, 
thenceforward quietly, through walls from forty to fifty feet high, 
of soft red rock relieved by a few tree#. M. Kohl thinks that the 
straightness and depth of this channel through a low flat can only 
he explained by volcanic agency. It is well known that Sir C, 
Lycll places the original Niagara Fall at a ridge now half way 
between it and Lake Ontario, and 330 feet above the present level 
of that basin, conjecturing that this ridge was, at a remote epoch, 
the margin of the ocean, and afterwards that of the great lake, 
which is now six miles from it. M. Kohl urges that the river, 
wliile it fell into the lake, could not have operated on the rock 
beneath, and, therefore, at the contraction of that body of water 
must have formed a delta. He appears to have overlooked the 
softness of the rock here, and the force of the concentrated 
fall of 10,0001 tons of water from a heiglit of 300 feet. 
The depth of the hole below the greater branch of the present 
fall is supposed to be very great.J From that spot to the ridge, 
at which the cascade is supposed to have formerly stood, with the 
additional grandeur of double height, and nearly double volume, 
the river rolls rapidly through a wall of clifls some 300 feet high. 
The Americans, with characteristic daring, have actually hewn a 
path for their railroad along the ever-splintering cliff. The river 
rolls beneath one’s feet; loose stones overhang one, and often 
drop in the spring.§ The railroad is only compelled to leave 

♦ The watershed of Yonge-strcct is 230 feet above Lake Simcoc, and that 
lake is 120 above Lake Huron, 134 above Lake St. Clair, 140 above Lake 
Erie, and 470 above Lake Ontario. It is 100 above- even Lake Superior, 
There is, however, a small lake, contributing to Lake Huron, 700 feet nigher 
than Lake Simeoe. It is on tbc watershed mween it and the Ottawa, about 
100 miles from tlic former, and^SO from the latter. 

t It may have been at one time far more. A very slight upheaval of the 
surface of ^orth America, west of the great lakes, would send over the Falls of 
Niagara much of the water that now flows into the Arctic Ocean and the Gulf 
of Mexico. The watersheds are very low that divide La^c Superior from Lake 
Wiimi]>eg, and the Red River, ana the Mississippi, Lake Michigan from the 
latter river and its tributaries, or Lake Eric from the Ohio system. 

t Even outside the deepest part, it is 60 fathoms deep. 

I In the spring of 1859, shortly before one of our trips along this line, a traiu 




Canada. 


G5 


the gorge by the great side-uhasm^ termed the Devils Hole, the 
scene of the Indian ambuscade of 1768. Beyond is the bcauti- 
ful part of the river-scenery, containing the whirlpool, where the 
width of the stream is about twice its average of 1600 feet, and it 
is eleven feet higher on the western side than on the eastern. 
About a mile above the whirlpool the width is, for n short space, 
but 700 feet, and hero it is crossed by the magnificent suspension- 
bridge,* which comprises two stories^ the upper for railway-trains, 
the lower for carriages and foot-passengers. The work was com¬ 
menced by the transmission of paper-kites bearing thin wires, 
as the swiftness of tlm current at this part prevented even a small 
boat from crossing with a rope. It is now proposed even to 
supersede this grand structure, which requires caution, by a 
tubular l)ndge,t between the suspension-bridge and the Falls, at 
or near the spot whore we saw Blondin cross on a slack rope in 
the noon-tide glare of the 14th of July, 1859. It v^>uld be hard 
for even Professor Kingsley to say anything ne\f'' in a ‘ word- 
painting* of the Falls. ^M. Kohl gives us some graphic descrip¬ 
tions, especially of the scene behind the Horse-shoe Fall, and of 
a lunar spray-bow on the Ameiicau, for which we must refer to 
his book. Of the former he says :— 

“ At a little distance, as long as the hissing spray is not overpower¬ 
ing, and you can keep your eyes open, the sight is most beautiful. 
Yon see above you a transparent mass of greenish crystal spring in a 
bold arch into the air, and all around you streams arc dashing down 
upon the dark rocks, and then, as if frightened at what they saw there, 
shooting up again in showers of glittering drops towards the regions 


had been but just saved from destruction. A man liad been allowed, as is usual 
in America, to walk along the line, a single one, and came to a yawning gap in 
it, formed by the giving way of the rock. Ho returned to Lewiston, and iii- 
formed the clerk in time for his stopping the next train by telegraph. The 
New York and Erie Railroad carried us thus sonic 100 miles along the 
Delaware. 

* The gorge was crossed in 1819 by an iron basket attached to a wire, let 
down the indinc, and drawn up on the other side by a windlass. The bridge 
was begun in 1852, and Grst used Sth of March, 1855. It is 250 feet above 
the river; there arc 28 feet between the two stories, and its weight is 800 
tons. There arc about 100 tons of ballast. 


f There is a view of ibis proposed tubular bridge in the book (placed at the 
head of this article) on that across tlie St. Lawrence, at Hontreu. Wo sub¬ 
join its dimensions 

Total length . 840 feet 

Centre-span ... . 400 

Side-span.200 

Height above water.224 

Width of tube for double track.24 

Ditto, carriage-way, each side ...... 13 

Ditto, foot-path, ditto.13 

[Vol. LXXV, No. CXLVU.]— New Sbeies, Yol. XIX. No. I. F 


$$ 

>1 

» 

if 


it 


if 











66 


Canada, 


of sunsLine they have quitted; flashing, like showers of sparks, forwards, 
aidewaya, in all directions, from the rocky walls, but all at last falling 
into the deep gulf, and being seen no more. 

“ It was wild work inside the cavern. Furious gusts of wind blew 
from all corners, heavy showers dashed in our faces, and in a few 
moments, in spite of our mummy-like wrappages, we were wet to the 
skim lost our breath, and were so blinded by the torrents of spray, that 
we Ihd to trust entirely to our sense of touch, and feel our way along 
the rocky walls. The roaring, hissing, and boiling of the waters made 
such an uproar, that, to communicate with each other, we had to 
scream with all our might under the flaps of oil-skin by which our ears 
were defended. 1 was rather before the rest, and was crawling to one 
of the last rocks, when the figure of our negro moved swiftly towards 
me through the cloud of spray; the great black mouth opened, and I 
heard under my ear-flap the ‘ winged words,*—‘ Stop, sir I Here is 
the termination rock! If mast^ goes a step further, master fall down 
fifty feet!’ ” 

The writer of this paper was neither armed cap~d’pie “ in wax¬ 
cloth, oil-cloth, and India-rubber,” nor saved by a ghost-like 
apparition resembling a photographic “ negative.” Warned 
by the correspondent of the New York Herald^ who stated 
that he had found all those elaborate protections useless, and 
had envied “ a smart little Yankee with only an umbrella,” he 
imitated the latter, and went, moreover, alone. True, he got 
drenched; but his thin coat soon dried, spread out in the July 
sun. 

Mr. Ruskin's “ catenary curves ” of high water-falls were ob¬ 
served by Professor Agassiz's* party, in their close approach to 
these great cataracts on board the little steamer that whisks one 
all round the tossing cauldron. Here 'again the gusts make 
of little use the oil-cloth cloaks and hoods, in which you sit like 
the group of devils in the Ingoldsby Legends.*' 

The corpses of those who tumble over the Falls are, if ever 
seen again, found spinning round in the whirlpool, stripped of 
all clothing. Great sturgeons seem to be the only creatures that 
can shoot them unscathed. The otter alone is too wide awake” 
to go over, M. Kohl heard firom the ferryman. Father Hennepin, 
^*who travelled and wrote in 1678,” is commonly said to have 
been the first white man that beheld the Falls of Niagara.' It 
aeems not improbable that Champlain saw them in the course of 
his sojourn among friendly Indians on the southern shore of 
Ontario in 1615. At all events, they could scarcely have 
escaped the knowledge of the Jesuits, who were so often in this 
neighbourhood between 1634 and 1647, or of La Salle in 1670. 
M. Kohl thinks that the old Franciscan got his account only 


• Agasais’s “Lake Superior,” (Boston, I860,) p. 18. 





Canada, 


67 


from hearsay \ * since, ** for instance, he estimates the height of the 
Falls at 700 feet, that is, about three times what it really is/’ “ A 
traveller’s tales” are, however, proverbial, and, if we were to reject 
the claims of all exaggerating eyewitnesses, our “ historic doubts’’ 
would prove Very sweeping. Passing by the oft-described rapids, we 
ascend the broad river to Lake Erie, a comparatively shallow 
body of water, with flat and monotonous shores. m 

The break in navigation, caused by the rapids and falls, is met 
by a canal across the Canadian side of the Niagara River, while 
the Americans will soon have a similar and shorter link between 
Ontario and Erie on their own side of the isthmus, from the site of 
the original cataract to Buffalo. This city, though burnt to the 
ground in the war of 1812, is twice as populous as Toronto on 
Lake Ontario, and scarcely less than Chicago on Lake Michigan. 
The disasters of the Ontario mart on the one side were balanced 
by that of tlie Erie one on the other in the drawn game of 1812, 
which was fought out by land on the Niagara isthmus, by water 
on those two lakes. Though Canada cannot show one city on 
Lake Erie, while the States have no less than five, and their craft 
swarm on its tossing waters, a tract that may be called “ the 
garden” of Canada, lies along its northern shore, bounded on the 
east by Ontario, on the west by the clear dark-blue depths of 
Huron. 

As the cultivated* part of Canada along the great lakes cannot 
bo fairly extended north of the southern half of this basin, we 
shall not in this article pursue, as we could with the aid of per¬ 
sonal experience, the great Laurentian water-system up the wind¬ 
ing channel between l^akes Huron and Superior, and then by the 
mountainous coast and virgin islands of the northern half of the 
latter, or follow it up to the chain of imperfectly explored lakes 
beyond, and sources mapped, like those of the Nile, only from the 
reports of wandering savages. 

On the eastern side of Lake Huron stretch two bodies of 
water, commonly called the North Channel and the Georgian 
Bay, but virtually separate basins, communicating with that lake 
by narrow entrances. The main partition is a large island called 
Great Manitoulin, deriving its name, as so many do, from the 
Indian equivalent to Spirit. A little south of the labyrinth of 
islets that divide from the North Channel the Georgian Bay 
(sometimes called Lake Manitoulin), is what in railway language 
would be called Ottawa Road Junction. From this point it is 
about one hundred miles, as the crow flies, across to the River 
Ottawa. It is an old canoe-route, involving a few short por- 


♦ The Canadian Government has but recently been selling, in lots for settle¬ 
ment, land on St. Mary Klver, between Lakes Huron and Superior. 

F 2 




C8 


Canada, 


tages. About half the interval is occupied by French River, the 
outlet of a basin, about a hundred and fifty miles in circumfe¬ 
rence, called Lake Nipissing, shortly beyond which is a small 
lake discharging into the River Ottawa. It was by this route, 
the shortest from Montreal to the upper lakes, that the Jesuit 
missionaries passed up to Lake Superior in the seventeenth cen¬ 
tury^ and Henry, the English trader, late in the eighteenth 
(1780). When the canal and railroad, already designed, are 
made, it will probably be, in the twentieth, a link in the chain of 
communication between the seaboards of the Northern Atlantic 
and the Northern Pacific, between Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa 
City, Saut Ste. Marie, and the chief towns of Rupei*t’s Iiand, and 
British Columbia. The point where this route strikes tho Ottawa 
is four hndred and sixty-three miles from its northern sources. 
There ore othei*s, however, some hundred and fifty miles to tho 
east of the northern, near those of the Saguenay. Tlicse dis¬ 
tances serve to give a notion of the extent of tho Ottawa 
country. The area drained hy that water-system is at l(*ast 
eighty thousand square miles, a tract six times as large ns Hol¬ 
land. Risiug in the watershed between the Hudson’s Bay and 
St. Lawrence valleys, its streams pass through lakes of consi¬ 
derable size, and a country hitherto uncleared and imperfectly sur¬ 
veyed. Even south of the old poi’tage and future Huron and 
Ottawa canal, a tract measuring one hundred miles by one hun¬ 
dred and filly is still in its wild state. At the junction with the 
Ottawa, wo are fifty-three miles above the present liead of 
steamer navigatiou, one hundred and ninety-seven above Ottawa 
City, and three hundred and seventeen above Montreal, where the 
iiver unites with the St. Lawrence. When the canals that ob¬ 
viate its rapids are finished, steamer-navigation will be able to 
reach some seven hundred miles above Montreal in this direction. 
Above Ottawa City the combination of wood, rock, and water is 
])nrticularly fine. At one part— 

“The current seems to have cut through the rocks like a cannon¬ 
ball, and formed a broad channel of from thirty to forty miles in 
length, between high perpendicular walls of stone. You can look 
through it with a glass fi’om one end to the other; the depth of 
water is everywhere equal, and it flows quite smoothly.**—(Kohl, i. 
243). 

Its volume is remarkably great. Where it has to receive tri¬ 
butaries equal to the Hudson, the Shannon, tlie Thames, the 
Tweed, the Spey, and the Clyde, it displays, when unconfined, a 
width of half n mile of strong, boiling rapid; and, when at the 
highest, while the north waters are passing, the volume, by cal- 



Canada, 69 

culated approximation, is fully equal to that passing Niagara— 
that is, double the common volume of the Ganges."* 

The view from Barrack Hill, at the city of Ottawa, is a very fine 
one, especially at sunrise, or, as we enjoyed it, at sunset. You are 
here at that confluence of four great watercourses, which makes this 
oity a centre of Canadian life second only to Montreal. From the 
“ forest primseval'' of the north-west comes the mighty Otjjpwa, 
laden with many a raft of the ^lumber men,' its yellow timber re¬ 
lieved by their red jerseys and flags. A little to your left it issues 
from woods, backed by blue mountains, amass of dancing snow, in 
which, on a nearer approacli, the fleecy foam is beautifully set off 
■by the black rocks and the effervescing pools, which bear those 
tints of coffee or amber, that the T^yns of North Devon imbibe 
from the hogs of Exmoor. From the North, a little lower down 
tlie great river, comes a tributary w'hose unexplored course is 
probably one of 420 miles. Eastward, picking up subsidiaries 
as it goes, tho flood proceeds to its confluence with tiio St. 
Eawreuco, and the greater heart of British America. Toward the 
south-east the Kideau Canal, whose designer deserved to “ call the 
city after his own namc,"t unites the new seat of Government 
with Kingston and Lake Ontario. We may add that southward 
is a railway to the St. Lawrence, from which another passes one 
on to the Hudson and to New York. Thus the city is by rail¬ 
way 54 miles from the St. Lawrence, by water 120 miles from 
Alontreal, and J20 from Kingston; the former of which cities is 
about the same distance by water from Quebec that the latter is 
from Toronto. When, recently, nearly as many cities claimed to 
be the seat of Canadian Government as did of old to he the ac¬ 
credited birthplace of Homer, Ottawa won the honour, on account 
of her central position, her comparative distance from the frontier 
of the States, and her possession of an excellent acropolis in 
Barrack Hill. A hint too was ttiken from Brother Jonathan, who 
has not made New York tlio seat of the Federal Government, or 
even of that of the Empire State, and. there wtis the warning of the 
doings of the Montreal mob in 1850, when they burnt down the 
Parliament Houses, and pelted Lord Elgin with rotten eggs. 
For soma time at least, Ottawa will probably be to Alontreal 
what Albany is to New York. We must not conclude this 
brief sketch of the great arteries of Canada, without giving some 
account of the formation of those rafts that one sees just above 
Quebec, in the cove which bears the name of the young English 


* Keport of Railway Committee of Canadian House of Assembly, 
f Its name was, till recently, Bytown, from Colonel By, of the Royal En¬ 
gineers. The canal was intended to secure a communication, besides that of 
the St. Lawrencei between Montreal and the Lakes, in time of war. 



70 


Canada, 


hero -who landed there before his first and last battle-field'* 
They are the product chiefiy of the enterprising capitalists 
termed * lumber-men/ and of the men and their woodmen, whose 
^French name is “ Gens de Chantier,'* &om that habit of singing 
as they ply their task which was made known to our people by 
Moore's “ Canadian Boat-song." Their log-houses are called 
chantiers, whence the English shanty, and shanty-men. These 
men live chiefly on salt meat and bacon,* washed down with tea 
and coffee, the latter of which beverages was formerly only a 
sham material made from toasted com, sweetened with the sugar 
they get by ‘ tapping' the maple tree, which is to Canadians what 
the olive was to the Athenians of yore, and well deserves to be 
the emblem of Canada. Their masters are chiefly of that nation 
which has given the Hudson Bay Company Lord Selkirk, Sir 
George Simpson, and most of the ‘superintendents’of its ‘Eorts;' 
that nation whose sons have shown such capacity for adminis¬ 
tration in our East Indian Empire also. Tho Scotch workmen^ 
too, are said to surpass in hardihood even the experienced 
Eranco-Canadians. With regard to the rafts themselves, the: 
difficulties they have to contend with forbid their being con¬ 
structed so simply as those of the Bhine or Danube. They consist 
of several portions, termed * bonds,' each of which is divided 
again into ‘cribs.’ A whole ‘bond* is sent down a cataract, 
while, where a wooden slide termed a * timber-shoot * is provided, 
each ‘ crib’ speeds down it separately, under the guidance of three 
or four hardy fellows, to be collected below. It was this lumber 
population that sent forth a little fleet of canoes to welcome the 
Prince of Wales to their capital, and it was down one of these 
‘timber-shoots’ that he descended with the Governor-General and 
the Duke of Newcastle. The timber was formerly sent to Quebec 
in tlie rough state, but now it is sawed and planed in mills 
that avail themselves of what Americans call ‘ water-privileges* 
of the wide Ghaudi6re Falls at Ottawa. We may add that the 
‘ Ixunber-men* pay Government a yearly ground-rent per acre, 
and a duty of a halfpenny per cubic foot on the timber, when 
brought to market. If they bring to market less than a certain 
proportion, their ground-rent is doubled, or their license with¬ 
drawn. Thus they cannot, by renting large tracts and leaving 
them untouched, selfishly benefit themselves in the consequent 
rise of the price of wood, and simultaneously injure the public 
revenue. 

The climate of Canada—especially in regard to its effects on 
man—is a subject exceedingly interesting to those who think of 


• « Oni, monsieur,’* said a ?ranco-Canadian to M. Kohl, ** da loard [baoonl 
c*e8t bon poor vox; pa leor donne bftauooup de force.” (y<d. i. p. 866.) 




Canada, 


71 


emigrating. If they consult the publications that invite them to 
that country, they will find the favourable side of it dwelt upon, 
but in a fair spirit. If they think a private friend more trust¬ 
worthy, and consult him or her, they should make allowance for 
their friend’s constitution. Speaking from an experience of nearly 
two years, we would say of Upper Canada—the main resort of 
emigrants—^that, in the case of a man of fair constitution, health 
very much depends on the domestic comforts he may be fortunate 
enough or wise enough to procure. Let the man who can afford 
it live in a substantial stone house, and pay proper attention to 
his drainage. Let him clothe himself warmly, and eat plenty of 
meat, in the long winter. Let him abstain from excess of iced 
water and fruit, in the short hut intense summer-heat. As long 
as the country is being cleared, there will be more or less risk of 
ague and malaria in various forms, and they will affect a man ac¬ 
cording to the vicinity of his residence to uncultivated land. We 
may add, that he should stay indoors as much as possible during 
the hot weather, except in early morning and late evening. If he 
can spend that part of the year on the Atlantic coast or the inland 
watere, so much the better. There arc fogs sometimes, especially 
on the shores of the lakes; but, on the average, the air is dry, 
pure, and stimulating. Hence it is more trying, however, than 
England to young children, whom it is, comparatively speaking, 
hard to rear, especially during the summer, when they are carried 
off by diarrhoea. 

As to Lower Canada, it is only necessary to add, that the 
winter is longer and severer, while, on the other hand, as its 
settled part—which is tantamount to both banks of the St. Law¬ 
rence, save the coast from the Montmorenci to Labrador—con¬ 
tains little or no uncleared land, it Las got rid of ague and malaria. 
In both divisions of Canada it is well to prefer good open-grate 
fires to the stoves j^olly adopted, recommended by an injudicious 
economy, but apt vw overheat the room and exhaust the air. To 
their effects, and also to the habit of sitting indoors which they 
encourage, is to he traced, we believe, the sallowness, delicacy, or 
positive unhealthiness of Transatlantic women, as compared with 
those of their own stock in the British isles. We need scarcely 
mention that the climate of America is, in corresponding latitudes, 
far colder than that of Europe, owing to its lack of the Northern 
Ocean and the many indentations of the sea which temper that 
of the latter. The north wind is of course particularly keen in 
Canada, blowing, as it does, firom huge fields of polar ice without 
being softened by intervening water. The west wind, too, is a 
cold one, coming, as it does, over so^vast a mass of land. In 
Upper Canada, however, the climate is modified by the vast bodies 
of firesh water that bem it in, contcasting well with that of Ulinoia 



72 


Canada, 


and even New York. Its superiority to even the New England 
States is shown by the fact that the black walnut, whose wood is 
such a valuable material for furniture in the skilful hands of its 
Canadian compatriots, scarce extends ite habitation above the 
city of New York on the Atlantic seaboard. Its very summer- 
heat is an advantage to Canada, in an agricultural point of view, 
added to its humidity and the particularly suitable distribution of 
its rain. 

In a geological point of view, the Lnurentian valley is palffio- 
zoic; the mountainous tract north of it is azoic. 

With regard to the former part, the lake-girt peninsula is De¬ 
vonian and Upper Silurian; the country east of it is Lower Silu¬ 
rian as far as Lake Memphramagog and Quebec; then come 
Lower Silurian along the St. Lawrence, and Upper Silurian from 
the aforesaid lake to Gasp^ ; while, southward again, is a tract of 
Devonian in the interior, and a strip of carboniferous rock on the 
coast. This last is a part of the great New Brunswick coal-field, 
but contains no workable seams. The country, however, from 
Gasp6 to Lake Champlain, contains great mineral wealth. Though 
the gold found in the drift is too scanty to he made much of, 
and the quantity of the highly argentiferous lead-ore is small, the 
beds of chromic iron are promising, and copper mines arc worked 
with fair success,* The magnetic and specular oxides of iron in 
this region are often accompanied by titanium, the possession of 
which, in a small proportion, constitutes the value of Swedish 
iron for the manufiicture of steel. Roofing-slates are transported 
hence to Chicago. Numerous marbles may he expected from the 
calcareous rocks, and from a long range of serpentine, traced nearly 
three hundred miles. There are thick beds of soapstone, pot- 
stone, and whetstone, and large masses of mt^nesite, yielding a 
cement that resists the decomposing power of sea-wnter. 

The great iron-rocks of Canada, lioweYer^jjte associated with 
the azoic Laurentian mountains which extetflKom Labrador to 
the British frontier on the west of Lake Superior. Beds from 10 
to 500 feet occur, containing from GO to 70 per cent, of pure 


• "lu piM weeks after mining oprations commenced last year, 300 tons of 
ore, cQutrining about 30 per cent, of pure copper, were obtained, and the work 
sUll continues with much the same results.** 

** Valuable deposits of the ores here occur in beds, as they do in the copper 
states of Germany; and this has been confirmed by the r^ent discovery at 
A<^n ^Bagot County), of a ment remarkable mass of the vitreous vari^ated 
ap pyntous ^ sulphur^ of copper, constituting apparently the paste of a con- 

n wate with limestone pebbles, subordinate to the stratification. This 
vev naturally enhances the teportance with whi^ smaller indioations are 
regarded in other parts.*; The Canadian Settler's Guide, 10th edition: London. 
Stanford, I860, (a compilation embodying the latest information for emigrants), 
contains the auhstance of Sir W. Ix^iui’s Geological JReports. 


Canada, 


73 


iron. There are mines east of Kingston, and furnaces west of 
that city. The exports to Pittsburgh, in Pennsylvania, have 
amounted to 15,000 ton^f ore in two years. In these Lnurentian 
ores titanium is abnn^H. Veins of lead, seemingly work¬ 
able, and rensselaerito, re^ibling limestone in hardness and soap¬ 
stone in its uses, exist in bands of crystalline limestone, which 
also sometimes show graphite or plumbago, mica, and phosphate 
of lime, with indications of corundum or emery. The chief repre¬ 
sentative of the copper region on tlie Canadian sides of Jjakes 
Huron and Supedor is the district of the Bruce and Wellington 
mines. The Canadian part of this region is 500 miles long. If 
its breadth be but 12, it is tea times as large as all the mineral 
country of Devon and Cornwall. Silver, nickel, lead, and zinc 
accompany the copper. A Montreal company has recently leased 
the mine in Michipicoten Island (I*ake Superior), where “native 
copper is found in the body of an amygdaloid rock."* We wish 
we could find room for the entertaining account of this island, 
and the Indian legend of the discovery of its copper, given in the 
lleport of the Jesuit missionary, Dahlon.f Smelting, for whicli 
formerly the ore of this region was sent to Swansea, or to Boston, 
or Baltimore, is now done at Bruce Mine, where one could not 
recently trace the metamorphoses of the ore beyond its mud-paste 
condition after passing through the crushing process, tlie “jigger- 
works," and the “puddling-troughs.'* Nor do these mineral 
regions monopolize that important element in the w’ealth of a 
country. There is what is called bog iron-ore, as well as superior 
stone for building and glass-making, white and red brick clays, 
peat, fresliwater shell-marl occasionally, petroleum-springs, sup¬ 
plying, as we can personally testify, higiily serviceable oil, and 
bituminous shales, which, at Bowmanville on Lake Ontario, were 
set down as coal, till shown to Professor Chapman, of Toronto 
University. 

The trees of G^paa are her especial glory. Those of the 
Western Peninsula are as remarkable now as when Bouehette, 
in his survey, observed them, for their sturdiness and variety. 
The elm, the red (or pitch) and white pine, the oak, and the 
button-wood are particularly fine trees, of which the elm may 
be rauked first. Sir R. Bonnycostle took the dimensions of a 
hale red pine—V merely a chance one by the path-side*'— 
between Lakes Simcoe and Huron, and found its height 200 
feet, its girth twenty-six. It would have made a plank eight 
feet broad. Mr. Linton (“ Life of a Backwoodsman," &c.) counted 


^Montrtal Advertiter, Beo. 16,1859. 

t ** Relation! de ce qae s'est pass5 de plus Remarquable aax Missions des 
P^es de la Compaguie de Jesus en la Nouvelle France.** (1660—1670.) 



T4 


Canada, 


tbe rings of on oak midway between Lake Huron and the head 
of Lake Ontario^ and calculated that “it had been a sapling 
about the time when Sir William W^^oe and Bobert Bruce 
were defending’' his “native country/'^Banadian oaks and elms 
shoot up to a great height, straight as^m arrow. The red pine 
we have mentioned would certainly have served for 

“ —the mast 
Of some great admiral,’* 

if not for the spear of Milton’s Titanic spirit, but the white pine, 
which grows to a height of 160 feet, is much used for masts, 
though the size of the red is greater, and it is the Jack-oi-all' 
trades, par excellence^ of all the forest-giants. For general pur¬ 
poses serve also, especially, the tough, compact red and white 
beech, tbe red cedar, and the tulip tree. Mallets are made out 
of the heavy iron-wood, tool-handles and handspikes out of the 
hickory, posts and roils out of the red cedar. One’s furniture is of 
the black walnut, the maple, or the cherry. The white oak is the 
favourite of the wheelwright, the white ash that of the carriage- 
builder, the white oak, larch, and red cedar, those of the ’ship¬ 
builder, while the black spruce supplies him with spars, and the 
white pine with masts. The chestnut and the white cedar pro¬ 
duce good charcoal, the beeches, the maples, and the bircbee 
good fhel. The red elm and the sassafras are useful medicinally. 
The balk of the oaks and that of the hemlock are used by the 
tanner. The trunk of the balsam spruce yields the turpentine 
vulgarly called “ balm of Gilead, ’ and the “ spruce-beer " is ex¬ 
tracted from the young branches of tbe block spruce, while gin is 
distilled from the berry of the red cedar. The tree-fruits are 
numerous. 

The flowers of Canada, though, in geno rd. scentless, surpass 
ours in variety and beauty. To make tl^B^cquaintance, one 
must not be satisfied with walking along tflpigh-roads or even 
along the paths in the “ hush,” but make on^wa^ delicately and 
deftly over soft spongy swamp, or resolutely through the strongly- 
matted thicket. Those who do so are amply rewarded; and the 
British public, which cannot, would, we believe, warmly welcome 
a popular account of them with coloured illustrations. 

The nature of the timber is the guide to the quality of the soil 
for agricultural purposes. The best land exhibits a growth of 
“ hard-wood” (oak, ash, elm, beech, basswood, and sugar-maple), 
vMth a few pines and balsams. Undulations, tiie result of the Ml 
of trees, indicate a loose soil suitable for wheat, which loves a rich 
loam above the clay. 

Two great tracts, each of nearly 3,000,000 acres, remain un- 
cnltivated, the one in Lower, the other ia Upper Canada. The 



Canada^ 


75 


former is in the Eastern Townships, the latter is the area already 
mentioned below Lake Nipissing, an undulating country, show¬ 
ing a rich growth of hard wood, and bounded, most advantage¬ 
ously, by the great lumbfr-counky on the east, and Lake Huron 
on the west. The former has yet to be opened up, as the latter is 
being, by colonization-roads. Along these, in the latter, Govern¬ 
ment is offering free grants, not exceeding 100 acres, on condi¬ 
tions that insure bond fide settling.* 

Speaking generally. Lower Canada is the abode of i^e grazier 
and dairyman. Upper Canada that of the wheat-grower, owing to 
the ravages in the former of the midge or weevil, but lately got rid 
of in the main. From thoir grossly bad farming, Canadians have 
not merely not done justice to their excellent soil, but even im¬ 
poverished it till of late. The yield, however, rises to thirty or 
forty bushels per acre. Barley averages twenty-seven and a half 
bushels in Upper Canada, and its growth is increasing. Flax and 
hemp have a suitable soil and climate, with ample means of water- 
rotting, and will doubtless be much grown when the scutching is 
genei’ally done on the spot. 

In Upper Canada, the average weight of sheep is, of carcass 
seventeen pounds per quarter, of fleece four pounds eight ounces. 
Indian corn, hops, and tobacco flourish, while melons, tomatoes, 
and especially pumpkins are enormous, these last having exceeded 
300 lbs. The plums of the Isle of Orleans, and the apples of 
Montreal are renowned. Peaches ripen in the open air in the 
western peninsula, where, as well as in the Eastern Townships, 
vines do also, and a native grape has been successfully domes¬ 
ticated. 

We regret that our spatia iniqua do not admit of our touching 
on the indigenous food of Canada as it deserves. M. Kohl was 
reminded by the maple-“ tapping” for sugar of the custom of 
getting a syrup frg|^the apple-tree “among the Tartar families 
of the Crimea," ‘^Plhe children of the Letts in Courland,” who 
run into the in March to tap the bircb-tree, and obtain its 

fermenting sap for “household purposes," and of the turpentine 
got similarly from the pine in “the mountainous part of Lombardy 
and tho Tyrol.” The wild rice, of which M. Kohl gives an inte¬ 
resting account, is extremely nutritious, and considered for superior 

* Firstly, the settler must have completed hia eighteenth year; secondly, 
he must take possession within a month; thirdly, he must bring into cultiva¬ 
tion twelve acres within four years; fourthly, he must biUia a log-house^ 
twenty feet by eighteen and reside there till he has fulfilled the third cona¬ 
tion. The same offer is made along roads that are being cut on the right bank 
of the Lower St. Lawrence. Government is also offering several mulions of 
acres at from lOd. to 4«.per acre. A pound per acre is the lowest price at 
which land adapted for farming can be expected from private companies-or 
individuals. 




76 


Canada. 


to that of the East Indies. Our garden-fruits, from plums down¬ 
wards, grow wild and ore prized, especially by the Indians, for 
the conserves they supply. 

A region so much covered os Canada with lakes and rivers, 
besides those so prominent as to be mentioned in this brief article, 
might bo expected to shine in its fisheries. Though, instead of 
being carefully tended, they have suffered most crue linjuiy', the 
yearly value, not including that of the take in non-Canadian 
vessels, amounts, to 942,628 dols. (say 188,605i. 12s.), of which 
360,000 dols. (say 7G,000f.) is the share of Upper Canada. The 
Province has recently, however, token the matter up. A Superin¬ 
tendent of Fisheries* has been appointed. He not only preserves 
what there are, especially from the reckless spears of the Indian, 
but breeds salmon artificially with great zeal. The fisheries 
of the Gulf-coast, of the great river, of its numerous tributaries, 
and of inland lakes are now oflered to private purchase or lease, 
while stringent protective regulations t are in force, infraction of 
which is punished by fine or imprisonment. We should add that 
the cod abounds in the St. Lawrence, the mackerel in its lower 
part, the herring in the broad Gulf, while whalers go out from 
Gaspd, the eastern extremity of the Province.^ 

The game, too, are now protected by Government, their re¬ 
spective seasons fixed, and snaring forbidden. Deer must be 
sought in the unsettled parts, as well as hears and wolves. The 
moose and the enrriboo, however, may be found near Quebec. 
Wild fowl need not be sought far. 

We have devoted a comparatively large space to a sketch of 
the gi'eat waters of Canada, but one by no means larger than 
their comparative importance. Canada,' as a homo for man, 
civilized man especially, has been os much made by its inland 
waters, particularly its St. Lawrence, as Egypt, in the words of 
its ancient people, was “ the gift of its riverJ|^ 

Those great arteries that we have sketchll^nd the countless 
other lakes and streams that Keith Johnston’s excellent map 
shows strewn broadcast over this vast region, while they have 
tempered the cold of the climate to a state suitable for agriculture 
and for the human epnstitution, have been the means of intro¬ 
ducing the most energetic of the human stocks to the cultivation 


* This office, of which Mr. Nettle is the first tenant, was created in conse¬ 
quence of his iuviug, in a well-written little book, appealed to Government on 
the subject. 

f The Fishery Ilegulations, a list of those of the seventy salmou-rivers now 
offered, and a clear map, are given in the ** Canadian Settler's Guide," at the 
did of which are the advertisements. 

I The average value of the oil of one season is 37,000 dols. (say 6,400f.). 




Canada. 


77 


of tho country, nnd the use of the manifold industrial and econo¬ 
mical resources wliich thoir abundant water-power* places in the 
hands of an intellectual population. Indeed the enterprise and 
skill of the European immigrants have even improved the unri¬ 
valled means of communication that these waters have placed at 
their command. Art has completed the work of Nature. The 
obstructions loft by the latter have been vanquished by the 
former. A series of canals has carried ships from the Atlantic 
into the very lieart of North America, while the same process is 
being worked out in the great river that supplies the raw material 
of those vessels. What may he termed tho liaurentian canal- 
system lias been clFected at a cost of about 10,000,000 dols. (say 
3,200,000Z.), of which sum about 1,000,000 dols. (say 200,OOOZ.), 
have been expended by tho Americans in tlie recent construction 
of tho link that obviates the rapids between Lakes Huron and 
Superior. The Americans set tlio examiilc, ns might be c'xpected, 
opening in 1821 the Erie Canal, constructed by the State of New 
York, and connecting that city with Lake Erie. It was followed 
by the construction, on a small scale, of a canal between that 
lake and I.ake Ontario on the Canadian side of the isthmus, by 
the Eideaii Canal connecting the Ottawa with Lake Ontario—a 
military work of the British Government,—and the La Cliine 
Canal, surmounting that rapid of the St. Lawrence. In 1841 
the British Government guaranteed a loan of l,00O,O00Z. for tho 
enlargement of the Ontario and Erie Canal, and for canals to 
obviate the rapids between Montreal nnd the fonner lake. 
Thus in IHIfi Canada possessed a system of canals that took 
vessels of 800 tons from the Atlantic to the head of Lake Ontario, 
1016 miles from Anticosti Island, and those of 400 into the 
Upper Lakes ; while the American Huron-Superior Canal, opened 
in 185.5, extends ship-navigation to the head of Lake Superior, 
more than 2000 ^iles inland. Dredging has deepened the 
shallow expanse fflat occurs between Quebec nnd Montreal, so 
that i8i feet, instead of 11^, is the draught of water it allows 
vessels even in summer. Government lias also built lighthouses 
in the St. Lawrence, improved the pilotage, and provided tug¬ 
boats. A 

However, ns in England railways super^ded in a great mea¬ 
sure the much-belauded canals, so was ii^lear that even Canadian 
water-communication must bow to the railways of the Northern 
States, and the latter divert to themselves much of its traffic. 
Hence, in 1840, the Province guaranteed 6 per cent, on half the 

* We may instance the aaw-mills, already mentioned, on the Ottawa. There 
is said to be a great amount of water-power in the undeveloped region of the 
Eastern Townships. 



78 


Canada, 


cost of any railway 75 miles long, and with this encouragement, 
three railways were commenced : the Great Western, across the 
lake-girt peninsula; the Northern, to connect Lake Ontario 
with Lake Simcoo and the Georgian Bay ; and the St. Lawrence 
and Atlantic,,whose name explains itself. In 1852, however, 
the guarantee was confined to one main line, that was to pass 
through the whole length of the Province, and in the same 
vear— 

“The Grand Trunk Line, from Montreal to Toronto, and from 
Quebec to Bividre«du-Loup, was incorporated as part of the Main 
Trunk Line, with a stipulated advance, by way of loan, of 3000Z. per 
mile; the line from .Quebec to Bichmond having already been com¬ 
ment^ as part of the Main Trunk Line, under the original Act. In 
1853, Acts were passed providing for the amalgamation of all the 
companies forming the Main Trunk Line, with powers to construct 
the Victoria Bridge, connecting the lines west of Montreal with those 
leading to Quebec and Portland, and also authorizing the lease in per- 
potuity of the American line connecting the Canadian railway^system 
with the ocean at Portland, TJ.S., which, from its admirable harbour, 
and from being the nearest port to the St. Lawrence, was selected as 
the point through which the winter trade of Canada could be most 
advantageously carried on. This city is therefore now the Atlantic 
terminus of the Canadian railway^system in winter, and has been 
adopted as the port to which the Canadian line of steam-ships ply 
while the navigation of the St. Lawrence is interrupted. Efforts have 
been repeatedly made, as well by Canada as by Now Brunswick and 
Nova ^otia, to induce the Imperial Government to promote the 
extension of the Grand Trunk Bailway to some winter port, but with¬ 
out success; and it is as yet wholly beyond the power of the provinces, 
unaided, to construct a line which is more valuable on national than on 
commercial grouuds. 

“ The resmt of the legislation to which allusion has been made, has 
been the formation of the Grand Trunk Bailway Company, whose 
gigantic works are at length on the point of coi|||pletion; and of this 
Company it Aay be truly said, that, comprising 1112 miles of rail, 
of tvhich no less'Hihan 1092 miles are strictly a trunk line, constructed 
in the most pennanent manner, and connecting the American railway- 
system west of the great lakes with the ocean at Portland in wint^, 
and at Montreal, Qi4^, and Bivi^rc-du-Loup in summer, it presents 
probably the most ci^plete and comprehensive railway-system in the 
world; and taken into c^nexion with the unequalled inland-naviga¬ 
tion of the St. Lawrence, it cannot fail to attract a large share of 
the vast and increasing traffic* of the West, while it affords to the 
whole province of Canada the greatest posuble facilities for inter¬ 
communication. 

** The difficulties attendant on the prosecution of this immense enter¬ 
prise, arising from the Bussian war, and consequent rise in the value 
of money, induced the Le^lature, to prevent the stoppage of works 
so essential to the prosperity of the Province, to come to the relief of 



Canada. 


79 


the company, and in 1856 and 1857 Acts were passed givin<^ the 
private capitd of the company priority over the provincial first lien of 
3,111,600^. 

“ By this measure the company were enabled to raise additional 
funds, and the wisdom of the step is now seen in the full completion 
of the undertaking.” 

This is the account of the Grand Trunk Kailway, given by 
the Hon. A. T. Galt, Finance Minister of Canada, who has 
recently proposed to the holders of the Canadian 6 per cent. 
Government Securities, the conversion of them into others nt 5 
per cent,, a proposal based of course on the increasing wealth 
of Canada. That country has indeed been benefited by the 
Grand Trunk, which has given it by far the largest portion of a 
railway-system that is, in cor^parison with its population, unri¬ 
valled. But—to say nothing of the water communication side by 
side with it—on account of, firstly, the vast population and ship¬ 
ping of Now York proving a most powerful source of attraction 
to the trade of the interior of North America; secondly, the fact 
that railways connect her with the great Canadian cities as well 
as those of the Western States; thirdly, the fact that Baltimore is 
an Atlantic port about half the distance that Portland is from 
(fincinnati, while New York and Boston are about one-third the 
distance from Detroit—^the Grand Trunk can scarcely be expected 
to he very remunerative, if it even pay the expenses of its lengthy 
course. The shareholders maintain that the Province is respon¬ 
sible fur the prospectus, which stated that the average traffic 
might be expected to be at least 25Z. per mile per week, whereas 
the opening of the Victoria Bridge (19th Dec., 1859), raised it 
only to 121. 10s.; an average that has happily of late increased 
to lOl. lOs.; and, it is said, would have reached 201., had there 
but been adequate rolling stock. The shareholders say that, in 
their memorial of March, 1856, they told the Canadian Govern¬ 
ment that 

** It should he clearly and distinctly understood that the Province 
of Canada—not merely through its Legislature, but by the direct 
intervention of its superior executive officers,—assumed a very large 
share of responsibility towards the individuals^ who embarked their 
private means in the Grand Trunk Kail way.” 

They add, that in the second memoUfil, of April, 1867, they 
further observed that, firstly, the CV>mpany had been required by 
the Province to spend nearly 2,000,0001. in lines indefensible on 
commercial grounds; while, secondly, the Grand Trunk has 
already enormously increased the value of land, and immensely 
benefited Canada and Canadians.'^ 


* See the Economiit of Oct. 6 and 13, and of Dec. 1, 1860. 



80 


Canada, 


On the other hand,* it is contended that the Imperial Govern¬ 
ment is in fault, on the ground that Lord John RusscH’s Cabinet 
pledged itself to recommend Parliament to guarantee a minimum 
rate of interest, or to advance money on condition of Canada 
taking on herself some of the military expenses of the country, 
and carrying a railway from Quebec through Montreal to the 
foot of Lake Huron. But, we would reply, Lord John Russell's 
Cabinet could not promise for its successors, and the refusal 
of that of Lord Derby, owing to the quarrel between Mr. 
Hinckes and Sir John Pakington, cannot aifect their prede- 
cessoi's, • 

. We do certainly consider that the original plan of placing the 
Atlantic terminus at Halifax—the plan recommended by Lord 
Durham—was a most wise one, a^d should have been unfalter¬ 
ingly carried out by the co-operation of the British and the Pro¬ 
vincial Governments. That the British people should he mulcted 
with a disproportionate sliaro of the expense is rather too much 
to expect of even much-enduring and heavily-taxed John Bull. 
But Halifax is the natural landing-stage for Europeans in Auie- 
rica, being the nearest port on the mainland—400 miles nearer 
than Portland, 600 nearer than New York or any other port of 
the States, and the finest harbour in the New World. 

Mr. Cauchon,t now a member of the Legislative Assembly of 
Canada, and in 1857 a member of the Ministry as Commissioner 
of Crown Lands, denies that the Province was implicated in 
the encouragement held out by tho prospectus of 1850, which 
was, he contends, the composition of English contractors, who 
desired to get up a great railway-company, formed exagge¬ 
rated expectations of the traffic to follow, and imparted them to 
Canadian officials and leading London capitalists, while the Acts 
of tho Provincial Parliament simply promise the aid of 3,111,500/., 
and have supplied it. 

We believe that, though tho Canadians, to raise the interest on 
those debentures; have to increase the taxation on their imports 
to from 10 to 15 per cent., the Grand Trunk is too much bound 
up with the prosperity of the Province to be allowed to cease 
running even one week. 

Young Canada has her clothes made too large for her, to allow 
of her growing. No wAder then that they cost more than they 
would do, if made for present requirements. Mr. Galt, her 

* “The Present Position and Future Prospects of the Grand Trunk Railway 
Company of Canada.” London: Abbot, Barton, & Co., 35, Welliugton-street, 
Strand. 1S60. 

t In a letter to the Jonrnal de Qitebeet copied in the London JHme$ of 
Nov. 19,18C0. 



Canada, 


81 


Finance Minister, lias the following brief statement of her youth¬ 
ful embarrassments in consequence (seo his Pamphlet, p. 3&):— 

“ The direct debt of Canada, including advances to railways, is 
9,677,672^, and,’after’deducting the sinking fund for the redemption of 
the Imperial guaranteed loan, amounts to 8,884,672/.; and the pay¬ 
ments on account of the public works of the Province, without reckon¬ 
ing interest, have been as follows:— 

Canals, lighthouses, and other works connected with the 
development of the navigation of the St. Lawrence, 

represent ..£ 3.902,900 

Railway advances ....... 4,101,150 

lioads and bridges and improvement of rivers . . 738,350 

8,802,400” 


But lier public works arc not the only causes of the ‘indebted¬ 
ness' of the Province, Not only has she hud to go through, in 
her infancy, the calamitous American war of 1812, and the revolt 
caused by her exclusives in 1837, but the great commercial ‘crisis' 
of 1857, and the badhaiwests of 1857 and 1858. In consequence 
of these recent troubles, the Province has been obliged to make 
largo advances to enable the municipalities to pay the interest of 
their bonds, and, in lieu of this plan. Government now redeems 
the debentures aud holds them against the municipalities. Its 
advance in interest on the municipaldcbt costs it 100,000/. a-ycar, 
and the interest on rtiilway-advances 200,000/. 

Mr. Galt, on coming into office in August, 1858, found, more¬ 
over, a deficiency of 500,000/. in the revenue. He has met this 
grave conjuncture by increase of the duties on imports, and defends 
his policy in the pamphlet already cited. He says that it would 
be vain to attempt direct taxation in Canada, and he points to the 
customs-duties and the'excise of the United Kingdom. 

On the other side of the balance we must place the growing 
wealth and stamina of the country, her not having, as we have, a 
Civil List, aud her being garrisoned at the expense of the popula¬ 
tion of the British Isles. 

Things ore certainly not so bad as they were in the latter days 
of French dominion, whom M. Bigot^the intendant-generd, 
peculated to the amount of 400,000/.—most of it lavished on a 
mistress, and his bills and orders on the French treasury, to the 
amount of between 3,000,000/. and 4,000,000/., were protested.* 

Let us rather, however, fix our attention on the bright part of 

* M. Neckar’s first step to wealth was the purchase of some of these bills 
&c., which were afterwmras paid by the French Government. 

[Vol. LXXV. No. CXLVII.]—Nb#Sbeim, Yol. XIX. No. L G 



82 


Canada, 


the picture—the completion in little more than six years a 
magnificent railway, 1112 miles in length, and comprising the 
Victoria Bridge, the greatest engineering work ever achieved. The 
history of this bridge, which may be considered the keystone of 
an undertaking that has cost 13,077,0001., is narrated ably, 
cleaijy, and entertainingly by its constructor himseli^—another 
Xenophon or Caesai’, in a magnificent volume, got up, at a cost 
of about <1000/., in seven weeks, and itself a miracle of art. 
What with its gorgeous binding (decorated with the Maple-leaf of 
Canada, entwined with the Rose of England, the Thistle of Scot¬ 
land, and the Shamrock of Ireland), its gilt edges, hot-pressed 
paper, gold border, and wide margin, togetherwithits chromo-litho¬ 
graphs and other plates, it is indeed a volume worthy of presen- 
totion to the heir-apparent of the British Empire. 

At the end of the book arc copies of the inscriptions which 
have been placed at the entrance of the bridge. They are as 
follows:— 

[On the outer lintel.] 
ehected A.n. m.dccc.hx. 

ROBERT STEPHENSON, ALEX. M. ROSS, 

EKCUITEEES. 

[On the interior lintel.] 

BUILT 

BY 

JAMES HODGES, 

FOR 

SIR S. MORTON PETO, BART., THOMAS BRASSEY, 

AND 

EDWARD LADD BETTS, 

COBTRACTOBB. 

In 18-46, the Hon. J. Young of Montreal broached the idea 
of carrying a bridge across the St. Lawrence, and obtained the 
opinions of several engineers. In 1852, the contractors went to 
Canada, at the request of the Provincial Government, to aid, by 
their examination of the country, in the construction of a rail¬ 
way-system. Mr. Ross, C.E., who went with them, took back to 
England the reports Mr. Young had procured, and, with these 
and his own observations} proceeded to design the structure, and 
laid his designs before Mr. Robert Stephenson, who approved of 
them, became associated with Mr. Ross as engineer, visited Canada 
in 1853, and planned the work, as it stands. The bridge is 
abont one mile above the west end of the harbour of Montreal. 
The St. Lawrence is here 8,660 feet wide; its depth is from 5 to 
15 feet at summer level, and 22 when greatest; its bed is of lime¬ 
stone, steewn with huge boulders; while the average rate of its 



Canada, 


83 


current is 7 miles an hour. As the piers were to be so made 
as to break the enormous mass of packed ice that * shoves’ down 
at this point, the character of the stone was an important con¬ 
sideration. Happily, a suitable kind was found only 1C miles 
from ^Montreal, and brought to the spot in barges and steam- 
tugs. 

In the first winter, that of 1853, coffer-dams were made, wliich 
were to be sunk in the river during the working season, and then 
pumped out, and taken to a place of safety. The description of 
these ingenious machines should really be set by University 
Hxamiuers for translation into Horodotean Urcck, a la the account 
that the I’athcr of History gives of the Persian despot’s devices 
for his bridge over the Hellespont, and into Latin in the style of 
the lioman who has left us n chronicle of his military experi¬ 
ences.” We 7’efor for the details to the book before us, or rather 
to the excellent illustrations. 

Segnius irritant animos demissa per anres, 

Quam qua: sunt oculis subjccta tidclibus. 

The work began with many disheartening circumstances. In 
winter, the men suffered from frost-bite, and even snow-blindness; 
in summer, from sun-stroke and cholera; while even men brought 
from England at the cost of 3000Z. ‘ struck' at the end of a 
fortniglit. On the other hand, in the second winter, Mr. Chaffey, 
a sub-contractor, from a sketch and description brought out by 
Mr. Hodges, constructed a machitie tliat supplied the place of a 
costly but useless * steam traveller,’ sent out from England. 
Mr. Ohaffey’s was, it seems, like the horse of a farmer of our 
acquaintance—“ a rough un to look at, but a good un to go.” 

One pier was erected, when, on the 4th of January, 1855— 

** The whole of the river and La Prairie Basin were one mass ol 
packed ice, which, being held up by the jamb below, had been accumu¬ 
lating and rising for four days. At last some slight symptoms of 
motion were visible. The universal stillness which prevailed was inter¬ 
rupted by an occasional creaking, and every one breathlessly awaited 
the result, straining every nerve to ascertain if the movement was 
general. The uncertainty lasted but a short period; for, in a few 
minutes, the uproar arising from the rushing waters, the cracking, 
grinding, and shoving of the fields of ico, hurst on our ears. The 
sight of twenty square miles (over 124,000,000 tons) of packed ice 
(which but a few minutes before seemed as a lake of solid rock) all in 
motion, presented a scone grand beyond description.” 

No wonder that Mr. Hodges, who witnessed and has graphi¬ 
cally ' dashed off ’ the scene, “ felt relieved,” when he found pier 
No. 1 still standing. On one occasion a dam was pushed down 
some distance by a raft that bore down on it, but it was brought 
up by anchors and tugged back by three steamers. ^ Some of the 

o 2 



84 


Canada, 


dams were made of ‘ cribs,' wliioU were torn, when tugged up 
against the current, and had instead to be conveyed above, and 
floated down the rapids. Again, a boulder weighing more than 
20 tons was not I'omoved in less than six days from a ‘ puddlo 
chamber.’ 

In 1857, the continuation of the work was almost despaired of, 
firom want of funds. There was the delay too caused by the huge 
boulder. At one time a spring of black water spouted up at a 
blow of the pick, and the men “ had to run for their lives." 
How'cver, in that year the placing of the tube begun, and, in the 
repiccing, it was found that not u single mistake, even in punch¬ 
ing, had been made at the Canada works, liirkcnhead, to the great 
credit of the manager and those under him. 

In 1859 the work went on rapidly, with no serious reverse. On 
the 10th of March, indeed, a storm destroyed much of the scaf¬ 
folding, and, on the 2Gth, when the sustaining wedges wore re¬ 
moved, the screw-jacks employed to lesson the strain gave way, 
and the tube was I'oiind deflected to an extent of nine inches. On 
the 17th of December, the first train passed over. “About an 
hour before this was timed to pass, a fearful crash was heard,” and 
they “fouudlho staging driftingdown the river with the ice,leaving 
the bridge perfectly clear of all its temporary works.” We hope there 
were not on the river below a Canadian 'J'om and ATaggie. If 
so, however, what a Dcxis ex machlnd occurrence for a Canadian 
George Eliot! Eefore leaving, the workmen raised a granite 
boulder, weighing some 30 tons, on a pedestal six feet high, ahov(s 
the ‘ plague-pit,’ in which lay huddled fiOOO poor emigrants, who 
had died bore of ship-fever in 1846 and 1847. Wo may as well 
add the chief dates. 'The first part of the cofler-dam was 
towed into place 24th May, 1854. Tlic first stone of the 
bridge was laid 20th July, same year. The first train passed, 
over 17th December, 1859, and trains began to run on the 19th ; 
while the bridge was formally inaugurated by the Prince of Wales 
on the 25th August, 1860. In conclusion, the work was per¬ 
formed by 3040 men, 144 horses, and 4 ‘ locomotives.* 

In other than a financial point of view, the state of Canada 
leaves little to be desiderated. All political grievances have been 
done away with. The most important was that of *1110 Clergy 
Resenres in Upper Canada, the main cause of the rebellion of 
1837. The Imperial Legislature had reserved one-seventh of the 
land of Upper Canada for the maintenance of a Protestant clergy, 
and the Church of England claimed and held these reserves, but 
.the other religious bodies demanded to share in them, and the 
existence of an established church was assailed. After much 
agitation and iuefiectual endeavoui-s to compromise the question, 
the Church of England being asked to admit that of Scotland te 



Canada* 


85 


e slmrc, the Provincial Legislature, authorized hy the Imperial, 
annulled all connexion between Church and State, and divided 
the hone of contention among the municipalities, in proportion to 
population, after fully compensating the then incumbents, and 
providing for widows and orphans of clergy. “ The Family Com¬ 
pact” was the other cry of tliosc who, in 1887, sought a remedy 
in the severance of lUitish sovereignty. They pointed to tlie 
monopoly of public oflices in the hands of some Tory families, 
witom ‘ one could count on one’s liugers,’ and who had so intcr- 
iriari’icd as to ho virtually one family. This cry, and that of tho 
Clergy llcserves, we.re not hushed till the settlement of the latter 
in IS51.* It is by Acts of that year, too, and of 1850, that tho 
Seiguorial 'I'enuro in ] iower Canada lias been completely abolished, 
by payment of a ceHain sum by each tenant, and of about 
050,OOO^. from tho Province. It had enervated tho character of 
the Tiower (huiadiaus, and been an incubus on their industry and 
natural resources. 

By nil Act of tho Imperial Parliament in 1771, eleven 
years after tho Treaty of V^crsailles, and fifteen after Wolfe's 
decisive victory, a Legislative Council was appointed to assist 
the Governor of the “Province of Quebec,” as Canada was 
then designated. By that of 1791, two Legislative chambers 
were constituted. Even by the constitution of 1889, though 
tho members of the Legislative Assembly were elected by the 
people, those of the Council wore named by tlio Crown. The 


* Sir R. Bonnycastle, a strong Tory, wrote thus in 1840:— 

“ The ‘ Family Compact * is still tiic war-cry of a parly in Upper Canada, 
and one person of respectability has published a letter to Sir Allan Macnab, in 
which he states that, so long as the Chief Justice and the Bishop of Toronto 
continue to force Episcopalianism dowu the throats of the people, so loug will 
Canada be in danger. This gentleman, an inituential Scotch merchant of 
Toronto, in bis letter, dated Hamilton, G. West, ISth November, ISliG, says, 
that the Family Compact, or Church of England Tory faction, whose usurpa¬ 
tions were the cause of the last rebellion, will be the cause of a future aud 
more successful one, * if they arc not checkedaud while he fears rebellion, 
he dreads that, in case of a war, his countrymen, * the Scotch, could not, on 
their principles, defend the British Government, which suffered their degr^a- 
tion in the colony.*. 

“ It is obvious to common sense that any attempt on the part of the clergy or 
the laity of Upper Canada to crush the free exercise of religious belief, would 
be met not only with difficulties absolutely insurmountable, but by the with¬ 
drawal of all support from the home Government; for, as the Queen of Eng¬ 
land is alike Queen of the presbyterian aud of the churchman, and is forbidden 
by the constitution to exercise power over the consciences of her subjects 
throughout her vast dominions; so it would be absurd to suppose for a 
moment that the limited influence in a small portion of Canada of a chief jus¬ 
tice or a bishop, even supposing them mad or foolish enough to urge it, could 
plunge their country into a war for the piuposes of rendering one creed 
. domuant.**—(Canada and the Canadians in 1846, vol. ii. p. 36.) 




86 Canada. 

4 

franchise accompanies a house-rent of 62. in the towns, and 
4i. in the rural districts. The members of the Upper House, 
too, are now elected, one member being returned by each^of the 
forty-eight divisions of the Province marked out for that purpose. 
A fourth of their number is elected every two years, and these 
twelve go out of office at the close of eight years. This House is 
not like the Lower House, dissolved at the will of the Governor- 
General, nor does it, like that, die a natural death at the end of 
four years. The Province has enjoyed complete self-government 
since 1849, and, in that year, municipalities, possessing the same 
power, were constituted in Upper Canada, while in 1850 a similar 
measure was enacted for Lower. Every subdivision,—-county, 
city, town, or township—manages its own internal afi'airs, 
as much as the whole Province itself. 

Education is zealously attended to by all these corpora¬ 
tions, including the Province, and is supported by rates, as 
well as a Provincial grant of 90,000Z. Local trustees aro 
elected, .and there is an able Superintendent, assisted by a 
Council of Instruction, comprising every form of religious or 
political sentiment, while excellent school-materials (books, 
&o., &c.), are dispensed from head-quarters. There are also 
normal schools for male and female teachers. Upper Canada 
possesses at Toronto, its chief city, a Provincial University, 
non-sectarian, and in a high state of efficiency, with a very 
able president and staff,* and wo believe about 200 students, 
probably more. Its charter, obtained from Lord Bathurst in 
1827, by Bishop Strachan, established it as an institution, of 
which that prelate was visitor, and the Archdeacon was president, 
while every member of the council, of whom seven were to become 
professors, was to subscribe to the 39 Articles. When, in 1849, 
the University was taken out of the special control of the Bishop, 
he established one of his own, chiefly by aid of the Home 
Church. This institution has not thriven as well as it might, 
if it possessed even the confidence of the religious society that 
it would he, of course, supposed to represent comprehensively, 
instead of being merely the seminary and nursery of the High- 
Church section. This is the more to be wondered at when one 
considers that the Church of England in Canada, or rather its 
Canadian affiliation, is a body depending on the support of its 
own members there, and its co-religionists in the mother-country, 

• We may mention, as men of litenuy note in this oonntir, the Rev. Dr. 
John McCam (editor of Horace, &c.), who is the President, ana Dr. D. Wilson 
(author of " The Prehistoric Annals of Scotland **) who is j^fessor of History 
and English Literature, and, we may add, editor of the Coauidian Journal^. 
the able monthly publication of the Canadian Institute. 



Canada. 


87 


and, from the composition of the population of the colony, as 
well as its not possessing what Mr. Bright terms “that part of 
the national funds at present in the possession of tho Protestant 
Episcopalian Christians”—far less powerful in Canada than at 
home. The Clmrch of Scotland possesses a University of its own 
in Queen’s College, Kingston. Lower Canada has the University 
of McGill College, non-sectarian, and now in a flourishing state. 
It was established through a goodly bequest, and is aided chiefly 
by private contributions. The Churches of Rome and England 
liave also their respective Universities. 

In law, Canada is even * a-head of' tho mother-country; its 
statutes, which had acquired a surprising multiplicity, having 
been consolidated into three volumes. Its criminal law has been 
revised, its prisons arc keenly inspected, and there is a Provincial 
penitentiary, as well as reformatories for the young. However, 
through a mistaken direction of 'municipal economy, it lacks (or 
did ])ut recently) a sufficient force of civic police, especially for 
the outskirts of its cities, which swarm with thieves and ruffians. 
Nor must we pass over the frequency of fires, destroying some¬ 
times whole rows of houses, and kindled by incendiaries, chiefly, 
it is said, with tho object of thus procuring employment. 

In s(.*icncc, Canada shines brilliantly, what with her geological 
surveys, since 1844, under Sir W. Logan, as well as tho astro¬ 
nomical and highly-importaut meteorological obsen*ations at 
Toronto observatory of Colonel liCfroy, and bis successor. Pro¬ 
fessor Kingston. 

Finally—To what is Canada tending, in a political point of 
view ? 

She has an area nearly three times as large as Great Britain 
and Ireland. Of this region by far the larger part belongs to 
the eastern section, which, from its greater proximity to Europe, 
got the start in civilization, but lost it through tho depressing 
effect of the feudalism introduced by her first European occu¬ 
pants. This drag on her progress is now, happily, removed, and 
she may be expected to make up for lost time with rapid strides. 
Canada is proverbial for her forests, and has an abundance of ex¬ 
cellent soil for the production of vegetable and animal food, as 
well as waters that may now be expected to yield an amount of 
fish corresponding with their vast extent, while they offer to 
enterprise and industry unrivalled economic power. The majority 
of her population is derived from the most energetic of the 
European nations, while the remainder is composed of most valu¬ 
able elements, the French, the German, and the Norse, which re¬ 
spectively contribute hardheadedness, es/prit, and wiriness. This 
population, consisting of about 8,000,000, is rapidly increasing, 
and but 40,000 are settled, out of her 350,000 square miles. It 



88 


Canada. 


4 


is calculated that, ten years hence, she 'will have settled as large 
a tract as Great Britain. She contains an abundance of mineral 
resources, while she has coal in the conterminous region of New 
Brunswick, on the very margin of her own waters, destined to 
waft it through her every vein. 

Such is the raw material before us. Its debt is but one- 
eightieth of that of the British Isles. Its defences, naval and 
military, are provided at the expense of those isles. It has no 
fund to raise for the support of a civil list. 

Politically, the colony is as self-governing as she can be. 
British dominion is a mere sham ; she herself makes her postal 
arrangements with other countries. Her locally independent 
subdivisions—^her townships especially—^remind one of the con¬ 
stitution of oiu: Anglo-Saxon forefathers, of which indeed they 
are a reproduction, save that the regal power is but nominal. 
In the patli of internal freedom, she is actually a-head of tho 
mother-country. “ The greater,” says her Pinance Minister, 
the measure of reform granted in England, tho greater identity 
will be produced with the state of things in Canada, where the 
Government of the country necessarily rests almost wholly upon 
the popular element.” The Governor-General sent out to her by 
the mother-country can no more act in opposition to the will of 
the Canadian people, than can the reigning Sovereign of the 
British Isles to that of the British people. Her Upper House no 
longer consists of nominees of the Viceroy, but is elected by the 
people. She has, practically, household-suffrage. 

Politically, then, whither is this young and highly thriving 
society tending ? 

Is it to remain attached by some bond, however slight, to the 
mother-country ? Or is it destined to become annexed to the 
United States—forming part of a vast Northern Confederacy 
guarded from the tainting contact of slavery by the “ secession ” 
of the South ? For ourselves, we see no reason why Canada should 
not, as regards the United States, preserve her independence. The 
enormeus regions, consisting of British Provinces, which extend 
from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans, will ere long teem with 
populations destined lo become a mighty nation or cluster of 
nations of themselves. The prospective hegemony of these 
rapidly growing peoples is likely, as it seems to us, to be for 
more attractive to Canadian statesmen than the idea of merging 
their country in the United States. So great is the freedom and 
independence of Canada in her present relation to Great Britain, 
that she has now nothing to gain, but possibly much to lose, by 
severing herself completely ^m the mother-country. But the 
senseof her growing importance and dignity may easily overpower 
sll considerations of material interests, when the question of 



BihU Infallibility: **Evangelical" Defenders of the Faitlu 89 

declaring her independence is agitated, and, unless England 
prepares herself so to remould her constitution as to enable her 
to assemble representatives from her numerous colonies, who may 
in some sort constitute a Parliament of tho British Empire, in 
which all subjects of Imperial interest may be discussed and 
determined on, she must look forward to tho time, possibly not 
far distant, when her vast American colonies, ns well as others 
of her possessions, will transform themselves into sovereign states. 

w e tter 

Art. IV.—Bible Infallibility—“Evangelical” 

Defenders of the Faith. 

1. An Inirodiiction to the Criticism of the Old Testament and 

to Biblical Interjjretation; vnth an Analysis of the Books 
of the Old Testament and Apocrypha. Originally writ¬ 
ten by the Hkv. Thomas Hautwkll Houne, B.B., now 
revised and edited by the Kev. John Ayre, M.A. 8vo., 
London, 1800. 

2. Fads, Btatemenis, and Explanations, connected with the 

publication of the second volume of the tenth edition of 
Hornes Introduction to the Study of the Holy Scriptures, 
etc., etc. By Samuel Davidson, D.I). 8vo. 1857. 

3. Dr. Davidsons Removal from the Professorship of Biblical 

Literature in the Lancashire Independent College, Man¬ 
chester, on «ccou7it of alleged error in doctrine; a state- 
vient of facts, with documents ; together with remarks and 
criticisms. By Rev. Thomas Nicholas, Professor of 
Biblical Literature, and Mental and Moral Science, in tho 
Presbyterian College, Carmarthen. 8vo. 1860. 

A bout four years ago, a new edition of Home’s Introduction 
to the Critical Study of the Scriptures was published, the 
second volume of which was the work of the Rev. Professor 
Davidson, purporting to be, not a revised edition of the old, but 
altogether a new treatise on the text of the Old Testament and 
Biblical interpretation. This volume, owing to the breadth of 
its criticism and candour of its deductions, almost immediately 
on its appearance, roused a storm of indignation and alarm in 
that section of Church and Dissenters appropriating to itself the 
epithet ‘Evangelical.’ The religious newspapers, so called, 
lucm a non lucendo, with their usual unpriueipled ferocity and 
popish assumption, branded the author as heterodox, not only on 
the question of inspiration, but on the doctrines of the Trinity 
and justification by faith also; and at once consigned the book to 



90 


Bible Infallibility: 

their index ex'purgatorius. The heavenly Cerberi who keep 
watcli at the temple of orthodoxy harked furiously, and hounded 
off the Professor and his learning as Germanistic and dangerous; 
and to tho disgrace of a denomination which has stood high in 
history for intelligence, learning, and freedom fi*om intoleriiuco, a 
party actuated by personal animosity and jealousy of feeling, 
rather than by tho love of truth, ejected him from his professor¬ 
ship. A demand was made for another edition, not to supplant 
the offensive and outlawed work, but to please the taste oi tho 
Low Church or evangelical party, with which the publisher lias 
thought it politic to comply ; and tho result is the appearance ol 
the book above named, under the editorsliip of tho liev, John 
Ayre. 

This volume then appears as the declaration of the Lviiiigclicul 
school upon the important subjects of Biblical inquiry: it has 
been compiled at tlieir request, and to meet their views. T’ho 
circumstance will at once stamp it in the opinion of many as 
inferior to the work it is intended to rival. If the aim of a book 
is avowedly—not tnith pure and simple—but truth according to 
preconceived and adopted theories, it can never become a trust¬ 
worthy guide for the student. The editor’s task in this ctise has 
been to re-arrange and condense an old work, making additions 
of his own, and maintaining a iixed key in the tone of his 
criticism—a pre-established theory to which that criticism must 
submit, and with which it must bo squared. This is a very 
difficult part for an honest man and a scholar to fuHil. Tho¬ 
roughly to acquaint himself with the arguments and conclusions 
of the most advanced and most competent critics; to give duo 
weight to the astounding facts of modem discovery in the 
departments of geology, philology, and chronology; candidly 
to face the discrepancies and contradictions which a more minuto 
and closer study of tho Scriptures, and a higher scholarsliip, have 
elicited; and withal to arrive at the same conclusions and adopt 
tho same views which Avero held previously to these accessions to 
our knowledge, the result of premises now found to be narrow 
and erroneous—this truly is a herculean labour. 

The great George Stephenson used to say, that he had acquired 
the faculty of stripping the word impossible of its first syllable; 
but it needs a cleverer engineer, a more skilful ‘ naAOgator * in the 
department of criticism than even Stephenson was in his, to level 
hills of difficulties, to pierce through stubborn rocks of fact, to 
harmonize modem discoveries with ancient forms of speech, and 
to carry the self-satisfied Evangelicals in easy and somnolent 
security across the mountainous country of Biblical criticism. 
The book before us witnesses the difficulty of the task. The 
editor continuallyfi^ds himself going too far, allowing too much; 



“ Evangelical ” Deferulers of the Faith. 


91 


and he retracts or makes some excusing or palliating remark, 
inteijectiijg u few commonplaces of orthodox phraseology as a 
makeweight. Difficulties loom in the distance, and leave on the 
mind an impression of uneasiness and dissatisfaction, though they 
are immediately clouded over by vague misty words of Evangelical 
sentiment. Arguments arc given and considerations stated 
which are allowed to bo of very great weight, and which are not 
answered; yet tho editor avows his belief in the conclusion 
opposite to what to which they lead. To such an extent is this 
observable, that in rending it, tho comparison occurred to us again 
and again, of liis book to the dish called Irish stew, which con¬ 
sists of fragments of meat hidden in a largo quantity of potato. 
In Mr. Horne's mutter, wliicli constitutes the bulk of tho hook, 
we have tho plain food, not very nourishing though not unwhole¬ 
some ; and in tho extracts given by the editor from modem and 
enlightened critics, we have the strong meat, in small proportion 
it is true, and fragmentary, carefully maiked oft' in brackets, yet 
loo strong for orthodox stomachs to digest, and therefore, to 
make it palatable, well seasoned with the known phraseology of 
the school for whom the dish is intended. 

Mr. Ayre deserves credit for liaving made himself acquainted 
with tlie literature of tho subject in Germany *is well as England, 
and for giving in good faith, for the most part, tho arguments ol 
those to whom he is opposed. But he has not been able to 
conceal tho fact that his increased knowledge has altered in some 
raensure his previous opinions, which yet ho has not tho courage 
to surrendoj’. His book therefore is veiy inconsistent, part 
with part, and not unlrequcntly it is sclf-contradictory. The 
force of truth lias been too much for his pre-adopted theory, 
and he seems to bo in an uncomfortable transition state of 
judgment. 

lie evidently wishes to identify liimself with the Low Church 
parly, a large class of whom, on account of their newspaper, so noto¬ 
rious for its rancour and invective, has been designated “i2e- 
cordite” a name not to he understood as meaning anything ap¬ 
proaching recondite. It may be said, by tho way, that instead of the 
old and well-known appellations, High, Broad, and Low Church, 
the epithets Attitudinarian, Latitudinarian and Platitudinarian, 
would perhaps he more expressive to designate tho religious 
parties of our day. With the last of these wo have now to do. 
The Becordites or Platitudinarians, take for the corner-stone of 
their creed Bible infallibility; maintaining it on the ground that 
if we introduce the slightest uncertainty into Scripture we ore 
left without any guide; and contenting themselves with the 
repetition of “orthodox" commonplaces and bitter anathemas 
against the “ unsound.” Mr. Ayre evident desires to make his 



92 


Bible Infallibility: 


conclusions square with the tenets of his party; bat his increased 
knowledge and his facts are continually in his way. The con¬ 
sequence is a strange inconsistency and self-contradiction in his 
book, which the following passages are an example of:— 

Mr, Ayrc Eocordite:— Mr. Ayre enlightened— 


“ Our Lord was constantly cor¬ 
recting their [tile apostles*] erro¬ 
neous views of his kingdom : it is 
reasonable then to suppose that if 
their belief in Biblical infalUbility 
were * superstitious,* our Lord 
would have corrected that too. 
If the disciples held this belie!*, it 
need not surprise us to find that 
it prevailed generally among those 
who succeeded them. Dr. Lee 
calls attention to the singular 
uniformity which has prevailed 
upon the question of inspiration 
in every age.** 

“It is readily admitted that 
real contradictions are a just and 
sufficient proof that a book is not 
divinely inspired, whatever pre¬ 
tences it may make to such in¬ 
spiration.** 

“ For my own part, let me say 
that, after long and carefully 
weighing the arguments of those 
who think differently, after anxi¬ 
ously comparing scripture with 
scripture, and using the helps 
avaUable to me for understanding 
it, my deliberate conviction is that 
the sacred writers were preserved 
from inaccuracy even in the lower 
domain of history, science, &c .; 
since most of the apparent objec¬ 
tions are capable of a reasonable 
solution; and it would be rash 
positively to declare that the rest 
are inexplicable.*’ (p. 306.) 


“ It is true that Christ’s mission 
was not to set limits to critical 
investigation; and some modes of 
speaking we might fairly suppose 
him to leave as he found them, 
dt becomes us also to use the 
greatest reverence in asserting 
what Christ would or would not 
do: his ways arc higlier than our 
ways, his thoughts than our 
thoughts; so that we must not 
presume to measure the doings of 
the Holy One by our fallible judg¬ 
ment.” (p. 547.) 

“It is indisputable that the 
Bible, as we have ii, is not wholly 
free from error. We have it only 
in imperfect translations, or if we 
take the originals, in an uncertain 
text. No one now questions the 
fact that transcribers have erred, 
that interpreters have made mis¬ 
takes. Unless there were a per¬ 
petual miracle, affecting eveiy 
copyist, and every printer, and 
every translator, we must acknow¬ 
ledge that we have not the book 
exactly as it proceeded from the 
authors; if altogether perfect then, 
it has come down to us somewhat 
tarnished with the rust of ages, 
soiled by the human hands which, 
hare carried it along.** 

“The fear then of impairing 
the certainty of faith by aUowing 
that inspiration does not neces¬ 
sarily suppose infallibility may be 
carried too far.” (p, 800.) 

“The morality as well as the 
spiritual teaching of revelation 
its graduid development.’* 
(p. 427.) 



Evangelical ” Defenders of the Faith, 


93 


Notwillistanding these contradictory statements, instances of 
■which mififht be multiplied, it is evident that Mr. Ayre adopts the 
dynamical theory of inspiration, of which Dr. TjCC is the ablest 
exponent. This theoiy insists upon that distinction between 
Bevelatiou and Inspiration, which applies the one name to direct 
communications of God to man, as contained in the scriptures; 
and the other to that actuating energy of the Holy Spirit, under 
which all parts of the lliblc have been committed to writing, 
whether they contain an account of ordinary historical facts, 6r 
the narrative of supernatural revelations. Dr. Lee justly 
remarks:— 

“ It should never ho forgotten that the i*eal question with which our 
inquiry is concerned, is the result of the Divine influence, as presented to 
us in the Holy Scriptures, not the manner according to which it has 
pleased Uod that this result should be attained.” 

And lie goes on to say, as the verdict of the school ho 
reijrosents:— 

“ Moses unquestionably received more abundant tokens of the 
divine favour tliaii Kzra, or Nehemiah, or the author of the books of 
Chronicles; but this docs not render that element of the Bible, in 
composing which Moses was the s^ent, one whit more true or more 
accurate in its details, than the writings of the others.” (Lcct. 

1. p. 28). 

Here, then, is the doctrine of the infallibility of the Bible, a 
doctrine which, according to Mr. Ayre and his school, tlie apo¬ 
stles held and Chiist sanctioned; which from the earliest times 
the Church has adopted, and which the plenary as well as the 
verbal inspirationists still maintain. Our object now shall be to 
prove tiie utter untenablouess of this theory, from facts deducible 
from the volume before us. 

The question of Bible infallibility is one of fact, not of theory, 
to be answered by cjireful induction from the records themselves, 
not by a priori reasonings. \Vc are not called on to theorize as 
to what ought to be or might be expected to bo, but as to what 
actually is—a fallible or an infallible record. Yet at the outset 
we are met by presuppositions and opinions. “ When we hear in 
mind,” argues Leo, 

That so many astonishing miracles have been performed to convey 
this revelation to man, and to bring to pass the system of things 
which it announces, we feel instinctively inclined to presuppose that 
God cannot have withheld the far less striking miracle providing 
against error in the documents which preserve it. If we had never 
heard of the difficulties which have b^n urged against Inspiration 
—if we had never opened the scriptures themsel^s—could the suspicion 



94 


Bible In/aUibility: 


4 


have ever occurred to any fair mind, that God may thus have left to 
all the chances of human folUbilitiy the history of that revelation which 
he has given to his creatures 

Such arguments as these are altogether beside the mark; for 
tlie question is not as to what God might or ought to do, but 
what he has done. Moreover, there is great impropriety involved 
in those presumptions, as has frequently enough been shown; and 
it is maiTellous that men who know and venerate Bishop Butlers 
works, should indulge in reasonings which he so continually for¬ 
bids. Much has been said and written of the Baconian method 
and its influence in regenerating philosophical inquiry. Men were 
the slaves of a debasing intellectual superstition, until this great 
reformer dethroned the idols which occupied and defiled the sanc¬ 
tuary of reason. The inductive method revived and regenerated 
the sciences; but it has not been adopted us it should in the 
ranges of theology. In this department wo still find men as 
Bacon described them, 

“ Pushing forward theories and systems, but despising particulars, 
and employing examples only as lictors or officers to keep ofl* the crowd iii 
order to open up a way for their own views.” 

The idola tribua, idola speciiis, idola fori, idols imposed upon 
the understanding by the tendencies of human nature, by indivi¬ 
dual bent and training, and by “ the deceptions and incantations 
of words,” are still the objects of worship, and the tyrannizers of 
reason. How appropriate still is the example given in the "Do 
Augmentis ” of the idola tribus :— 

** The nature of the human mind is more wrought upon by affirm¬ 
ative than negative instances, though justly and fairly it ought to show 
itself impartial to both. This is the root of all superstition and silly 
credulity. He therefore wisely replied, who, on being pointed out in a 
temple a painting of those who had discharged their vows, for having 
escaped the dangers of shipwreck, and was pressed with the question u 
he did not recognize Neptune’s divine power, retorted by asking, But 
where is the painting of those who perished after making their vows i*” 

Bacon's illustration is still applicable to tbo departments of 
theological inquiry; and we need incur day the lumen siccum** 
of Heraclitus, the dry clear light of intellect purified from the 
moisture and mists of passion and prejudice; and that ''judicii 
BUipensio ” which will enable* ns to examine all things and hold 
fast that which is good. 

• Adopting, then, the inductive method, let us treat the subject 
os one of fact, not of theory. Have we an infallible or only a 
fallible Bible ? Measured by the facts which are recognised in, 
or evident from the book before us—^wbieh itself by no means goes 



“ Evangelical *' Defenders of the Faith. 


95 


the full lentil of fair criticism of the IMblical text—;iuclgod h'y 
the facts whicli the plenary inspirationists themselves allow, will 
the theory of scripture infallibility stand ? 

It is a fact that there is not extant a single original of any of 
the Old or New Testament writings: the individual avroypa^a of 
the inspired writers are utterly perished and lost out of the world. 
AVo possess copies only, made by men who had no claims to 
infallibility, copies not agreeing together, but in several places at 
variance; so that it is now impossible to pronounce with certainty 
what is the original and correct text of any book. An editor by 
ciitical comparison of extant manuscripts, may present to ns 
what approaches in his judgment nearest to the writer's words, he 
may punctuate the manuscript thus revised, insert accents, paren¬ 
theses, notes of interrogation, all wliich much alfect the sense; but 
when this has been done, who will venture to pronounce that 
AVO liavc a correct work, a text precisely in harmony with the 
author’s Avriting, much less infallible ? 

It may he objected that this fact is of Avcight only against tho 
mechanical or Avrhal inspiration theory. Bui it is plain that if the 
Divine Spirit prevented tho autliors of our Scriptures from falling 
into any error, Avhilo using their own words in their own style, 
those Avords of theirs must be miraculously preserved to us that 
Ave may possess the ideas and truths they embody free from error. 
The folIoAving is the testimony of Uio volume before us as to the 
actual state of the Old Testament record :— 

“ A^'lrious readings have arisen both from negligence and from de¬ 
sign—not always in the latter case with an intention of depraving the 
text, hnt much more frequently with tho well-meaning purpose of 
improving it. Mistakes have sometimes been caused, when the copyist 
has had the MS. before him, by visual imperfection. Many of the Hebrew 
letters nearly resemble each other, and hence they have been inter¬ 
changed. Similar changes are found in Greek MSS. When the 
MS. was dictated to a copyist mistakes might arise from imperfect 
hearing. If the copyist did not carefully keep his eye upon his exem¬ 
plar, mistakes might occur through defect of memory; and thus words 
or clauses might be transposed or omitted, or synonymes might ho 
substituted; or the expressions of parallel passages he introduced.** 
(p. 99.) 

It is well known with what obstinacy tho great Puritan divine. 
Dr, Owen, maintained the antiquity and inspiration of the 
Hebrew punotuation. He accumulated testimonies of Hebrew 
scholars to the effect that without the points no certain truth 
could be learned from the Hebrew Scriptures: that he Avho 
reads scripture Avithout points is like a man that rides a horse 
a^dAivoc, without a bridle; he may be carried he knows not 
whither." 



96 


Bihle Infallibility: 

4 

“ I cannot but tremble to think,” says Owen, “ what ^would be 
the issue of this supposition, that the points or vowels, and accents, are 
no better guides unto us than may bo expected from those who are pre¬ 
tended to he their authors. The Lord, I hope, will safe guard his own 
from tlie poison of such attempts. To suppose that the true and exact 
pronunciation of every tittle, letter, and syllable, was preserved alive 
by oral tradition, not written anywhere, not commonly spoken by 
any, is to build towns and castles of imaginations, which may as easily 
be cast down as they are erected. Yet unless this is supposed, it must 
be granted that the great rule of all present translations that have been 
made in the Church of God for some hundreds of years, is the arbi¬ 
trary invention of some few Jews living in an obscure comer of the 
world, under the curse of God, in their unbelief and blindness I” 

What Owen thus indignantly denies as a fatal theory, is now 
a universally acknowledged fact ?— 

“ When the Hebrew ceased to be a living language,” says Ayre, 
** it was of course most difllcult to retain the pronunciation without 
expressed vowels. We shall not greatly err if we suppose that the 
system of vowel signs was developed between the sixth and tenth 
centuries.” 

What would Owen say to a statement like this from an advo¬ 
cate of an infallible Bible ? He was wrong as to the fact, but he 
■was right in the argument; if the points be not inspired, infallibility 
of the inspired text must be surrendered. 

The second fact which opposes itself to the infallibility 
theory, is that the majority of quotations in the New Testament 
vary from the Old Testament text. The advocates of plenary 
inspiration attach great importance to the manner in which 
these quotations are made; the phrases it 

might be fulfilled,” KaOtbq ytyparTratj “as it is written,” 0foc 
cTttjv, or u ypatjty, “ God said,” or “ the Scripture saith,” 
as indicating their veneration for the Old Testament text, and the 
importance they attached to it as the word of God. 

But when we compare the passages quoted, with the Hebrew 
text, the original as it has come down to us, we find that tho 
majority of them disagree with it in words, and several in tho 
sense also. About one-third of those citations arc made not from 
the Hebrew, but from the Septuagint translation, adhering to it 
■when it varies in sense from the Hebrew ; the writer in the case 
of the Epistle to the Hebrews, grounding his argument or placing 
his reason for citing, on the words and expressions of the LXX, 
even where no corresponding terms are found in the Hebrew 
text. 

The question therefore arises, are we . to take the original 
Hebrew, or the Septuagint version as the infallible text ? 



“ Evangelical " Defenders of the Faith. 


97 


The inspired writer of the Old Testament text could not have 
been the author of both. If the Septuagint translation be the 
correct version of his ideas, then our Hebrew text in the cases in 
question is erroneous; if our received text be genuine, then the 
Septuagint is faulty; though withal it be adopted by the New 
Testament writer. The argument based upon introductory 
phrases “ it is written," &c., proves too much; if we may never 
say the New Testament writers quote from rnemoiy or accommo¬ 
date Scripture, tlien it must follow cither that we have not a cor¬ 
rect Hebrew text, or that the Septuagint translators were inspired, 
Tiike, for instance, the quotation in Hebrews x. 5—7, where the 
author quoting Psalm xl. 7—9, adheres to the LXX, “a body 
hast thou prepared me,'* and not to the Hebrew, “ mine ears hast 
thou opened." The attempted explanation that the LXX is an 
appropriate paraphrase of the Hebrew is untenable; and even 
Doan Alford leaves the difficulty an unsolved one, not being satis¬ 
fied with the supposition of a misreading in the LXX version, 
and having no other view to propound. But this quotation, in 
common with the rest, is introduced in the words Sto Xf-yte, and 
if the argument of the plenary inspirationists holds good, it 
obliges them to recognise the divine authority of the LXX. Yet 
Dr. Leo describes it “ a translation which, although of great 
value, is not inspiredand the author of Cautions for the Times 
holds up tlie Tractarians to ridicule, because “they speak of the 
LXX as inspired, and suggest that those who made it were super- 
naturally directed in some eases to give wrong translations of the 
Hebrew, so that even in those places where their versions swerved 
from the Hebrew verity there was a special providential design in 
such variation.” The opinion here referred to, the naming of 
which was supposed enough to secure its rejection, is, notwith¬ 
standing, the only legitimate one for those who hold the doctrine 
of plenary inspiration. 

But a yet more important fact in relation to these quotations 
is, that some of them vary both from the Hebrew and tha 
LXX. 

“ The authors,’* says Hr. Ayre, “ never intend to bind themselves 
to a verbal transcribing of the passages they cite. Sometimes th^ 
introduce into one quotation woxds taken from another part of 
Scripture, occasionally combining several passages into one para¬ 
graph. Again, they abridge, they add, they transpose wor<& or 
phrases, making a variety of changes according both to the character 
of the persons addressed, and to the different objects which they them¬ 
selves had in view.” 

This language implies what indeed is the fact, that the sense 
of the original is occasionally altered. St. Paul, in £ph. iv. 8, 

[Vol. LXXV. No. CXLVn.]—Naw Ssrim, Vol. XIX. No. I. H 



98 


Bihh InfaUibility: 

4 

citing Psalm Ixviii. 19, makes a "remarkable alteration** in 
the last clause. Ho clmnges the Hebrew and LXX, " received 
gifts for men," into gave gifts unto men;" and the cardinal 
word is obviously the one which ho alters. " Unto every one 
of us the grace which lie has is bestowed according to tbe measure 
of the gift of Clirisl." These gifts are conferred by Clirist, and 
he pauses to add the weighty confirmation of Scripture—" When 
he ascended up on high, ho led captivity captive, and gave gifts 
unto men." 

“The difference," observes Ellioott, “in St. Paul’s citation 
is palpable ; and, we are bound in candour to say, docs not appear 
diminished by any of the proposed reconciliations." 

But there is yet a third fact in connexion with this branch 
of the subject, w(tch must at least be named: there are no 
fewer than four citations from tiie Old Testaincut in tin; New, 
of passages which nowhere occur in the Hebrew or 1 iXX, and 
which are withal introduced with the solemn formulas, “ 'That 
it might be fulfilled," “It is written," “The Holy Ghost 
saith." Space will only allow the mention of these, Matthew 
ii. 23, Acts vii. 10, Eph. v. 14, and James iv. b. In the list 
of quotations revised by Mr. Ayre, these passages have no parallel 
given to them in the Hebrew or Greek, but only a number of 
references to places which may have been in the oiler’s mind at 
the time. But if the Holy Spirit’s influence was such as to 
guard the Apostles from any, the least mistake or error, if it 
cannot therefore be allowed that they quoted from memory or 
accommodated Scripture, how are these cases to be explained ? 

“Though tbo words ‘Ac shall he called a Nazarene* says Ayre, 
are not to be found in the writings of the Prophets, yet as the thing 
intended by them is of frequent occurrence, the application is made 
with sufficient propriety.** 

And he argues that as Nazareth was a despised town, and 
Isaiah prophesies that the Messiah should be despised, “ he has 
in reality predicted that he should be called a Niizaronc." It 
requires but a little thought and candour to seethe fallacy of this. 
The Evangelist does not intend to indicate the fulfilment of the 
prophecies that the Messiah should be despised; but the fulfilment 
of that spokeu by the prophets, “ he shall he called a Nazarene 
in the coming and dwelling of the Holy Eamily at Nazareth." 
“He came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be 
fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, he shall be called a 
Nazarene.’’ We have here, then, and in the other places, as 
might severally he shown, passages purporting to be quotations 
'from Scripture, yet nowhere to be found in the Old Testament. 
^Tlle dilwma is obvious—either the New Testament writers were 



** EvangelieaV^ Defenders of the Faith. 


99 


mistaken in their citationy, or wo possess an imperfect Hebrew 
Bible—on either supposition the theory of infallibility must be 
suiTenclered. The induction from all these particular of scriptural 
quotation is very strong. The evidence is cumulative, tmd carries 
all the more weight with it on account of the stress laid upon the 
iormulffi wliich the New Testament writers use. Dr. Lee there¬ 
fore grants that it is an experlmcntum criicis of every theory of 
inspiration ; and allirms the doctrine that the Apostles in their 
ipiotations from the IjXX missed the sense of the original, if 
capable of proof, obviously fatal to the view of inspiration, which 
lie eiideavours to maintain; according to which “ each and every 
portion of the Bible is perfect and divine,” Tlie table of quota¬ 
tions in tbc volume before us proves this doctrine to be fact. 

I’be third fact to which w'e shall refer a# militating against 
Bible infallibility is, that thirro arc in the record many discrepan¬ 
cies and contradictions in accounts of various transactions, in 
historical details, in names, in genealogies, in numbers, in science. 
OvA'. has only carefully to read through tlie cimpter in the volume 
before us upon the alleged contradictions in the Old Testament, 
solely Air. Ayre^s contribution, rending the several passages refer¬ 
red to side by side, to he convinced of the inadequacy, and oven 
meanness, of the subterfuges and conjectures resorted to. Better 
lav, he will say, leave the Bible as it is, an honest record with all 
its discrepancies ; lot contradictions stand, and he not ashamed of 
tliom ; they arc the mistakes of fullihle men, not God’s : bettor far 
do this than have recoiu*sc to such wretched casuistry and subti- 
lizing sophistry and flimsy farfetched conjectures, for the sake of 
patching and propping up a theory. 

“When (xod says by my name Jehovah was I not known to them, 
ho did not mean that they were ignorant of the appellation Jehovah! 

‘ The word all in the verse refeircd to is used in a popular way here 
a round number is used: there is most probably an error in Kings, 
the number should be as in Chronicles. More stress has been laid on 
the variation than was just; the discrepancies arc sufficiently puzzling, 
but they are only in the detailed numbers. In all histories persons 
are said to do what they do through the instrumentality of others; 
the evangelists are not to be taken as always relating occurrences 
according to their precise chronological sequence; it may be that vv. 
9 —20, arc not from from the pen of the Evangelist: his credit 
therefore is not involved in the statement: differences in numbers we 
have sufficiently seen are not uncommon, and it is often difficult to re¬ 
concile them. But because we have not now the requisite knowledge 
we may not conclude that they are irreconcilable.” 

It is thus that Mr. Ayre limps on &om one difficulty to an¬ 
other; now catching at this straw, now at that subtlety; now 

H 2 



100 Bible Infallihility: 

I 

granting an error in number, and again a mistake in transcription; 
sometimes altering one place to suit another, which is a conces¬ 
sion of error and an assumption of infallible knowledge to pro¬ 
nounce cither light; and sometimes plaintively appealing to the 
practices of historians generally, and the allowances made for 
them: forgetting that the assumption to be proved is what is not 
claimed for other historians—infallibility. Grant that the books 
of Kings, Chronicles, &c., are but as other histories of honest, 
trustworthy, yet fallible men, and mistakes affect them not; but 
assume that they were so inspired of the Holy Ghost as to guard 
them from all mistake and error, and to establish your assump¬ 
tion you must prove that there is not a single error or mistake in 
their writings. After a miserably lame attempt to harmonize the 
differences betwee# St John and the other Evangelists about the 
feast of the passover at our Lord’s crucifixion, Mr. Ayrc (piotes 
Dr. Chalmers as an apology for his conjectures. “ A mere con¬ 
jecture may be of no tbree in the upholding of any position, and 
yet be all-pow’ei*ful in neutralizing the objection to it of adver¬ 
saries.” Yes, we reply, when you have established your position, 
conjectures suffice to neutralize after objections. Lut your work 
now is not to defend a doctrine already established, but to prove 
a gratuitous assumption; and Dr. Chalmers’ statement is your 
condemnation, not your sanction. “ Conjectures aro of no force 
in upholding any position; when their object is demonstrative, 
they are idle speculations." The same illogical blunder is fallen 
into by Dr. Lee;* the fallacy of attributing objections to the 
proofs which do in reality lie against the thing to be proved. 
The onus prohandi rests with tho assorter of infallibility; he is 
called upon to demonstrate that every discrepancy is apparent 
only, not real: that there are no actual contradictions’ This he 
cannot do : the attempts made prove the futility of the effort, and 

Dean Alford says—“ Christianity never w'as, and never can be, 
the gainer by any concealment, warping, or avoidance of plain 
truth wherever it is to be found.” 

The following is the manly confession of Dr. Kalisch, upon a 
discrepancy which the editor of Home professes to dispose of in 
half a dozen lines. He can quote this learned critic when it suits 
his purpose; but he seems sadly ignorant of his views. On 
Genesis vii. 1—10, Dr. Kalisch says— 

“ The text not only repeats in the first ten verses several of the state¬ 
ments already distinctly made, but what is more important, it is in ono 
point irreconcilable with the preceding narrative. All attempts at 
arguing away this discrepancy have been utterly unsuccessful. Who 
can declare these two conflicting statements to lie identical ? or regard 


* Lect. viii. p. d8i. 



Evangelical ” Defenders of the Faith, 


lOl 


tlic one [as Mr, Ayre, liecordite, docs] simply as a detailed explana¬ 
tion of the other ? or consider a reconciliation possible? We appeal 
to every unbiassed understanding. The Bible cannot be abused to defy 
common sense, to foster sophistry and perverse reasoning, to cloud the 
intellect, or to poison tlio heart with the rank weeds of insincerity; 
nothing but the despair of perplexity could lead men to declare, with 
an affected humility, that the exposition of the books written for man 
is beyond the rcacli of the human intellect. Wc do not hesitate to 
acknowledge here the manifest contradiction, as we have avowed it in 
the history of tlie creation. And we explain it hero on the same un¬ 
objectionable principle which wc have found cfTicient in the former 
instance. The author of the Pentateuch, or the Jehovist, used, among 
other materials, especially an old and venerable document, or that 
of the Elohist, and he based his immortal work #pon it; hut he en- 
largetl it, wherever he believed that the context required an amplifica¬ 
tion, and he inserted facts and reliections derived from his own expe¬ 
rience and wisdom,^*— (Kalisch on Genesis^ p. 183.) 

Tt would be impossible now to enter into the examination of 
the discrepancies and (jontradictions in tho Old and New Testa¬ 
ments—their name is legion ; in the Pentateuch, Joshua, Judges, 
Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles; in the Gospels, the book of the 
Acts, and the Epistles; as to the creation, the flood, the tower 
of Babel; the lives and genealogies of Abraham, and Jacob, and 
Moses; the journeys of the Israelites, their wars, their judges, 
their kings; the genealogies of Matthew and Imko; Peters 
denial; tiie miracle of tho blind men at Jericho; the hour of the 
crucifixion, and tho appearances after the resurrection. These 
difficulties are by tho ablest critics pronounced, for tlie most part, 
insolvable, Taking, tlieii, the standard of Dr, Lee himself—If 
wo fully and entirely believe in the divine origin of Holy Scrip¬ 
ture, to assert that its statements do not hannonizo is a contra¬ 
diction in terms." It is fact that the statements of Scripture do 
not harmonize ; to believe, then, fully and entirely in the divine 
origin of Holy Scripture, is a contradiction in terms. 

The fact of the utter irreconcileableness of Scripture with 
science is also conclusive against the Biblical infallibility. 

Were it not for the serious harm done to religion by fostering 
a spirit of mockery and scorn, we might well be amused at the 
marvellous prescience of modem discoveries and inventions attri¬ 
buted by the platitudinarians to the Old Testament authors. 
When the prophet spoke of “ swift beasts," he meant steam- 
engines, and of bulrushes” he was thinking of steam-ships, 
it is only what might be expected when we find the editor of 
Horne in like manner giving Moses, Joshua, and Job credit for a 
strange insight into tho then unknown secrets of Nature. “The 
sttirs," ho says, “ are described as innumerable in Genesis xv. 6 ; 
and yet the early catalogues of astronomers reckon few more than 



102 Bible Infallibility: 

a thousand ; nor were men able, till the invention of the telescope, 
to fonn any idea of the countless multitudes of the starry hosts.” 
Has “ the present writer/* as he designates himself ever read 
Homer, or does he not remember the beautiful line— 

’Ef Se ra relpea irayro, ra r* ovpavog lerre^aytitTat. 

II. IT. 485. 

Or does ho fancy that men in the time of Moses had no eyes ? 
We don't need the telescope to tell us of countless stars. 
" Again," he proceeds, "we find the eaith poised in space (Job 
xxvi. 7), a truth hardly within ancient knowledge.” But accord¬ 
ing to another Scripture statement it rests on foundations or 
pillars, so that it iwver moves; and in the same book of Job we 
have its "foundations” and " its comer stone” spoken of. Moreover, 
two heathen poets, Ovid* and Lucretius (ii. G02), have a like 
insight to that of Job. But our expositor proceeds:—"The 
address of Joshua to the sun and moon is remarkable. The 
moon’s light was not needed if the sun was to continue above the 
horizon, and w'e can hardly suppose it generally known in that 
age, that when the suns apparent motion ceased, the moon also 
could not quit her place," But from another part of the volume 
we find Mr. Ayre aware of the fact that this address of Joshua to 
the sun and moon is a poetical quotation from the book of Jashcr, 
to which work, therefore, the credit of this extraordinary prescience 
belongs. We may add, by the way, what no doubt will shock his 
Mends, that Mr. Ayre admits there is weight in the arguments 
urged against the miracle of Joshua stopping the sun, and he will 
not charge the advocates of such views with sceptical tendencies. 
Take care, Mr. Ayre, you are going too far, even though you have 
the orthodox Keil on your side; your views are “ dangerous.” 
Would it not be wiser to hold with the Babbi, who on being 
tested as to his orthodoxy on this matter, i-eplied, “Joshua stopped 
the sun ; and it has stood still ever since.” 

But Mr, Ayre had not yet departed from the Becordite key 
when he wrote that if the two records, the Mosaic and Geological, 
were really in contradiction, the defender of plenary inspiration 
would doubtless be in serious difficulty; when we examine the 
early chapters of Genesis, we cannot hnd that there is any such 
contradiction! Now we should like to ask this gentleman whether 
he had carefully read Kalisch’s work, which is without doubt the 
ablest, as it is the most recent, upon the book of Genesis. He 
quotes it more than once, but always as his supporter, even when 
he is endeavouring to reconcile chapters i. and ii. in Genesis, and 
is arguing against the Elohist and Jehovish theory. Any one 


♦ Tasti vi 271--6. 




103 


** Evangelical" Defenders of the Faith. 

» 

■who did not know Kalisch's sentiments •would infer that he was 
opposed to this theory, and belonged to the school of Mr. Ayre. 
But it is not so. Kalisch differs from him in toto, and does not 
hesitate to castigate in the strongest terms such modes of argu¬ 
ment us his. What, let us ask, is the verdict of this critic, quoted 
and esteemed even by Mr. Ayre, upon the questions of reconcilia¬ 
tion between geology and (Jenesis, and of the use of written 
documents by the author of Genesis V After an elaborate resume 
of the well attested discoveries of astronomy and of geology, as 
well us of the various attempts and plans of harmonizing the 
Mosaic narrative Avith those discoveries, Kalisch says :— 

“ AVe believe we have indisputably demonstrated, both by positive 
and negative proofs, that, with regard to astronomy and geology, the 
Biblical records arc, in many essential points, utterly and irroconcileably 
at variance with the established results of modem researches. AVe 
must acquiesce in the conviction that at the time of the composition 
of the Pentateuch, the natural sciences were still in their infancy, and 
that the Hebrews were in those branches not materially in advance 
of the other ancient nations.”—p. 52. 

This language is decisive, and it is the result and conclusion of 
a fair and able criticism. IIoav the present Avriter " in Home 
ignored it Ave cannot explain. It appears, too, that upon the 
discrepancies between Genesis i. and ii. Kalisch is equally plain. 
“ Another cosmogony is introduced, which, to complete the per¬ 
plexity, is, in many important features, in direct contradiction 
with the firstand lio explains the matter by telling us that 
** the author of the Pentateuch added to an ancient document on 
the creation the history of man^s disobedience and its conse¬ 
quences." Once more, upon the difficulty of a universal deluge, 
he thus sums up the argument:— 

“ Geology teaches the impossibility of a universal deluge since the 
last 6000 years, but does not exclude a partial destruction of the earth*s 
surface within that period. The Biblical text, on the other hand, de¬ 
mands the supposition of a universal deluge, and absolutely excludes a 
partial flood. How is this difficulty to be reconciled P The only so¬ 
lution possible is by consistently carrying out the principle of Biblical 
interpretation Avhich has hitherio guided us.The Old Testa¬ 

ment docs not show the ancient Hebrews as superior to their contem¬ 
poraries in secular knowledge.The Biblical narrative is bf^ed 

upon a historical fact; hut this fact was, in the coarse of time, ampli¬ 
fied and adorned, till it was, in the peri<^ of the author of the Penta¬ 
teuch, generally augmented into a Ainiversal flood.” 

Generally sownd in tlie Eecordite sense as Mr. Ayre is in 
this volume, and especially on the matter of scientific disco¬ 
very in its relation to Scripture, he makes some strange admis-' 





104 


4 


Bible In 

sions wbioh \7o must not pass by. If, for instance, any portion of 
the Old Testament can lay claim to verbal and plenary inspiration, 
and therefore to infallibility, it is the Decalogue written by the 
finger of God on the two tables of stone. But the Fourth Com¬ 
mandment, as recorded in Exodus, differs senously from the 
version of it in Deuteronomy. Which of the two is the inspired 
text ? According to Mr. Ayre the latter piu*t of the Fourth 
Commandment is only the enforcement of the precept, added 
by Moses, who in one place urges the observance of the Sabbath 
by a motive taken from the Creation; in the latter, by another 
derived from the deliverance from bondage in Egypt! 

Another commonplace experiinentum crucis of orthodoxy, is 
the story of Balaam and his ass. What anxious solicitude and 
righteous indignation must it not excite among the “ Plati¬ 
tudinarians” to hear from their champion the wicked confession. 

It is not so clear whether the speaking of the ass was a literal 
fact or whether it occurred in vision. The testimony of St. Peter 
would appear decisive; but then there are grave doubts whether 
the second epistle ascribed to St. Peter be genuine.” Stay your 
invectives, Chiistian censors; do not at once excommunicate the 
offender. True, he gives the arguments which support the 
heresy, and does not attempt to answer them; hut he immediately 
reclaims his character for “ soundness” by the declaration;— 
** the present writer believes that the supernatural event literally 
occurred.” 

Another criterion of evangelicalism is the spiritual meaning 
of Solomon s Song. Yet Mr. Ayre allows it to be a matter of 
question whether it be a pious allegory or a literal love song. He 
gives tbo arguments against the spiritual interpretation, admits 
fiiat there is great weight in them, and that “ if it bo considered 
proved that three principal persons are indicated, and that Solo¬ 
mon's love is rejected, the spiritual interpretation can hardly he 
maintained.” But let us not suppose that Mr. Ayre adopts the 
contraband conclusion, though ho disproves not the premisses. 
To do so, would be to grant that they who formed the canon, 
believed the allegory contrary to the purpose of the writer; and 
this would he to throw grave doubts on the authority of the 
canon. “ Books were not received therein by any fancy of the 
men that collected them; hut because they were inspired by God, 
because they had always been so acknowledged, and because the 
Church is * a witness and keeper of holy writ,' Qot to decide of 
herself, hut to express her acknowledgment of what God has 
decided. It is not likely that the purport of a book could have 
been mistaken.” A parenthesis soon after informs us, conse¬ 
quently, that the reasons for an allegorical interpretation appear 

to the present writer” the more weighty. 



“ Evangelical ” Def^j^ra of the Faith. 105 

To mention but one instance more. It has been the received 
opinion that “ the desire of all nations'* (Haggai ii. 7) means the 
Messiah. Even Dean Trench adopted the phrase ns the title of 
his Hulsean Lectures in 1840. But Mr. Ayro sanctions an in¬ 
terpretation of the passage which has hitherto been branded by 
his party ns ‘'heterodox.” "It is more than doubtful,” ho tell 
us, " whether the phrase was intended to refer to Christ. Tho 
Vulgate translates desideraim ennetU gentibus; and hence the 
idea has become current. But the original will hardly bear it.” 
He further paraphrases the text thus: " All shall be shaken or 
fear; but the choicest, tho best, shall come to give honour to 
God.” 

Our last argument against the theory of Biblical infallibility 
famished by the volume before us, is the fact of tho doubtful 
authorsliip of the Old Testament books. Tho late Sir W. Hamil¬ 
ton, in his discussion with Archdeacon Hare on tho subject of 
Luther’s Biblical views, proposes the following inquiry:—"Is 
the opinion of Biblical books being a compilation by unknown 
collectors, and in part from unknown and uninspired authorities, 
an orthodox opinion ; an opinion consistent with any admissiblo 
doctrine of revelation ?” They who maintain plenary inspiration 
will at once reply in the negative. But what are we to say if that 
which Hamilton states as an opinion be fact ? If tho mountain 
cannot be brought to Mohammed, Mohammed must go to the 
mountain. If the Bible cannot be squared and harmonized with 
our theory, and its books proved to bo not compilations, but the • 
writings of known authors, our theories must be brought down to 
meet these stubborn facts. 

The following is the verdict of the volume before us as to the 
authorship and compilation of the Old Testament books. For 
fairness' sake it is necessary to give its counter statements as to 
the Pkntateuch side by side. 

Mr. Ayre, Eecordite:— 

" Suppose it true that the Jews popularly attributed to Moses that 
which never flowed from Moses* pen, if others can believe that our 
Lord would have left them in such an error, nay, that he should have 
used language himself conflrxnatoij of it, the present writer never can.*' 
—p. 647. 

Mr. Ayre, enlightened:— 

" It is very possible that a student, after diligent research, may be 
persuaded that he sees traces of more than one hand in the Pentateuch. 
The question is confessedly intricate. And if the varied use of the 
divine name, and any perceptible difference of diction incline the mind 
to the conclusion that the most reasonable mode of accounting for the 
phenomena is to believe that previous documents were worked up into 



106 


4 



the composition as we have it, the present writer is far from censuring 
such a conclusion.”—p. 687. 

Joshua.—“S ome of the reasons, however, above produced, negative 
the belief that the book, in its present condition, was of that early date, 
or could have been altogether composed by Joshua himself. .... We 
must at least believe that this book was written not later than the 
earlier years of David. And in that case the expressions which seem 
to proceed from an eye-witness formed part of some original document, 
inserted with little or no alteration by tbe subsequent compiler.”— 
p. 612. 

Judges,—“I f, as seems to be the case, the appendix proceeds from 
a different iiand than the former chapters, there is yet another ques¬ 
tion—did the appendix-writer edit the whole work, collecting the 
earlier portion? from contemporaneous documents ? The reply must 
he in the negative. Both authors may have used written documents, 
hut there is no ground for supposing that the latter moulded his own 
and other materials into a whole.”—p. 625. 

Ruth.—“ Of the authorship of this book nothing satisfactory can 
be said.”—p. 629. 

1st akd 2kd Samuel.—“ It is not easy to arrive at any certainty 

with respect to the age and authorship of these hooks.” 

p. 632. “ That some use wa3''made of previously existing documents, 
none perhaps will deny.”—p. 635. » 

1st a»d 22iD Kings.—“ The books of Kings evince a sufficent 
unity to show that they were composed by one and the same author. 
They are compiled from particular annals, but they are no mere com¬ 
pilation.”—p. G41. “ The sources from which the author mainly drew 
• his materials are indicated by himself. At the close of Solomon’s his¬ 
tory he refers for fuller particulai*s to the Booh of the Acts of Solo~ 
mon; for every King of Judah, to the Booh 'of the Glvronicles of the 
Kings of Judah ; and for every Kin g of Israel, to the Booh of the 

Chronicles of the Kings of Israel .Besides the sources named, 

the writer had possibly some others for the histories of Elijah and 
Elisha.”—^pp. 643, 4. 

1st and 2nd CunoNiCLES.—“The sources to which the Chronicle 
writer refers are”—[A list of ten books referred to follows.] “ It has 
been questioned whether the Chronicle writer had the canonical hooks 
of Kings befOTc him. He can hardly be supposed ignorant of theso 
books, though he appears to have worked out his narrative from his 
sources after bis own method, and not as merely adding a supplement 
to the preceding writer.”~p. 649. 

Ezra. —“ The probability seems to be that chaps, i—-vi. were not 
£rom Ezra’s pen; and there is an equal probability that tbe remainder, 
chaps, vii—x. was written by him. If, however (and the matter is 
a balance of probabilities), a different view is taken, it must be sup¬ 
posed that some tinal editor incorporated Ezra’s own narrative, yii. 27 
—ix, 16, with other documents, connecting them into a continuous 
history.”—p. 657. 

Nehemiah.—“ The probability is, that this section [Neh. i. 1— 
vii. 6], though not written by Nehemiah, was yet the work of a con- 








Evangelical ” Dej^^eh of the Faith 


107 


temporary, and formed part of the materials from which the whole 
book was afterwards compiled.**—p. 660. 

Estheb.— “ That the book was composed by a resident in Persia 
may indeed be freely acknowledged, from the acquaintance evinced with 
Persian customs.**—p. CG3. 

Job.— “ To one who devoutly believes that the book of Job was 
written by divine inspiration, it is but a subordinate question whether 
the history be the record of facts, or whether the form of parable or fic- 
titous narrati ;e have been chosen as the vehicle of momentous instruc¬ 
tion.*’—p. 666. “ We may consider the book of Job as a complete 

production flowing from a single pen; and then it is a point of difti- 
culty to determine in what age it was composed, and who was the 
author. That there can be little cei*taintv here is evident from the 

V 

guesses which range over almost the whole period embraced by the 
Bible histoiy.*’—p. 678. 

PiiovERBS.—“ It is admitted that Solomon himself did not collect 
the book into its present form. It was probably formed by degrees; 
we should hardly else have found the proverbs which Hezekiah’s men, 
copied out, xxv. 1, &c., placed as an appendix. This seems to presup¬ 
pose that there was a former compilation; which must have been made 
between the time of Solomon and that of Hezekiah, a period of some¬ 
what more than 250 yc:u*s.’*-—p. 733. 

Eoot.esiastes. —“ It is not easy to decide upon the authorship; dif¬ 
ferent minds will arrive at dilforent conclusions. The reasons which 
have been given make Hengstenberg and Kcil, as well as other ciitics, 
believe that the book is not from Solomon. If this be conceded, the 
same proof will show that the date of its composition must be placed not 
earlier than the exile.*’—p. 741. 

SoEOMos’s Song.— “ It is readily admitted that, if the subject be 
proved to be the rejection of Solomon’s love, ho is not likely to have 
himself written the book. On this point, also, good and wise men will 
differ.”—p. 759. 

The Prophets.— “ It is not ceHain that the prophets always col¬ 
lected theii* own productions. This was, however, doubtless done under 
divine guidance.”—p. 774. 


We hail these admissions as tokens of the enlightenment of a 
party that hitherto has obstinately shut its eyes against know¬ 
ledge and criticism, and persevered in repeating its shibboleths 
of an infallible Bible, and its anathemas against those who re¬ 
fuse to think with them. Truth never con be benefited by the 
props of ignorance or credulity. It challenges investigation^ 
and scorns the mock fortifications which its timid defenders 
raise. Facts are stubborn things, and they force us to con¬ 
clude that the Bible is the fallible record of what is received as a 
Divine Bevelation. It is fact that we have not an infallible 
text, but many manuscripts and versions with various readings, 
and needing man's fallible judgment to decide, or rather to guess 
the most probably correct. It is fact that the formal phrase 




“ it is written/’ “ thus soith the Holy Ghost,” are used of quota¬ 
tions occasionally not to bo found in the Old Testament, or 
■varying in word and meaning from it, or Agreeing only with a 
translation confessedly uninspired. It is fact that some of the 
records are compilations only fjom previously existing anony¬ 
mous documents, for the inspiration of which thei'o is not an 
iota of evidence or claim. It is fact that we are in total igno¬ 
rance of the authors of several of the Old Testament books, of 
Joshua, and Judges, and Kuth, and 1st and 2nd Samuel, and 
1st and 2nd Kings, and 1st and 2nd Chronicles, and Esther, and 
Job, and Proverbs, and probably Ecclesiastes, and Holomons 
Song. With these facts staring them in the face, how, in the 
name of truth and honesty, can it still he said we possess a book 
divinely inspired in every part, and wholly free from error—an in¬ 
fallible Bible ? In the name of honesty, truth, and righteousness 
we say,—^let us hear no more of hook infallibility. To overturn 
such a dogma is an act of justice and religion; for it is blas¬ 
phemy to ascribe imperfection to God. Keeping up a false¬ 
hood like this degrades a man, lowers the standard of his intelli¬ 
gence, and warps his moral nature; it fosters insincerity; it 
tends to a cowardly habit of concealing and glossing over difficul¬ 
ties, a habit of pious fraud, of using words without meaning, or 
in a hypocritical way,—of lying for the glory of God. Crushing 
inquiry and doubt in their own minds, preachers of the low 
church party, both within and without the establishment, talk 
smoothly and with complaisance from the pulpit, the platform, 
or the magazine, fancying that their hearers are taking all as 
gospel; while the fact is the laity are weary of their platitudes, 
see through their insincerity, and entertain serious questionings 
and doubts as to Bible infallibility themselves. We knew the 
case of a clergyman of this school, being suddenly taken aback 
one day by one of his parishioners, a plain man, asking him how 
ho reconciled the genealogies of Matthew and Luke ? He had 
been quenching inquiry in his own mind, and carefully concealing 
his misgivings, and qualms of conscience in his instructions, 
under the delusion that his flock were in blissful ignorance and 
belief, and that it would be foolish to unsettle their minds. And 
so wo believe it is with many. They are better than their pro¬ 
fessions ; though they fear to throw off the mask and honestly 
avow their doubts. We allow there is excuse for this timidity. 
An organized system of persecution is at work; a kind of self- 
constituted Papacy watches with basilisk eye every movement 
indicating freedom of thought, and springs mercilessly upon the 
unfortunate victim, whoever he may be, that refuses to submit to 
its sway.. No rest is given to him ; his name is cast out as evil; 
his livelihood is stolen from him, he is henceforth a marked man; 



“ Evangelical*' Defenders of the Faith, 109 

and the section which appropriaWs to itself that strange oxymo- 
roily —“the religious world," offers him its curses and its prayers. 
There is reason to believe, however, that this party is diminishing 
in numbers and influence, and that if men be courageous enough 
to despise its throats, and boldly to avow the principles which lie 
smothered in their heart of hearts, they will not want sympathy 
and friends among the masses of the people. 

In the treatment Tvofessor Davidson and his work received at 
the hands of the votaries of Dible infallibility and so-called 
“ defenders of the faith," we have a melancholy instance of the 
wretched fallacies, the gross invective, the falsifying vituperation 
resorted to by the llecordite party to prop an untenable dogma. 
When such subterfuges are adopted, there is geiierjilly reason to sus¬ 
pect falsehood or hollowness; of which the circumstances nar¬ 
rated in the pamphlets before us afford a striking illustration. No 
sooner had l)r. Davidson’s volume appeared, a work which an emi¬ 
nent German professor, Koediger of Halle, describes as present¬ 
ing “ a conservative and only too moderate a freedom of inquiry," 
than the attack was commenced hv no other tlian his fellow- 
labourer in revising Horne's introdnetion, Dr. Tregelles. A 
letter from him appeared in various newspapers, in the Record 
among others, reiterating “the received doctrine of the plenary 
authority of Scripture as inspired by the Holy Ghost," and pro¬ 
testing against the book and its author for “ avowing and bringing 
into notice sentiments/’ the adoption of whicli was “ wholly 
unknown" to himself and Mr. Home. The incorrectness of 
this statement has been shown by tlie fact that all the sheets of 
the entire work had been forwarded, from the beginning to the 
end, to the co-editors, so that they knew, or had the opportunity of 
knowing, the contents of the book before its publication. The leader 
of this crusade thus began with the three-edged sword of a plati¬ 
tude, an untruth, and a protest. The “religious” newspapers fol¬ 
lowed in his train, adopting the same weapon, but wielding it with a 
rougher and more unscrupulous hand. The Record, well known 
for the judgment it pronounced on the death-bed of Arnold 
and Itobertson, and for the recklessness of its statements con¬ 
cerning the character of other writers of their school, gave vent to 
the feelings of its supporters in misstatements and invectives 
almost unparalleled even in that quarter in modem times. Hr. 
Davidson was at once denounced as “ an intrusivo editor, a Ger¬ 
man Kationalist." “ He has spoiled and turned into waste paper 
a large edition of one of the most valuable theological works of 
modern times." “ Sound doctrine is to him distasteful, but all 
shades of heresy And favour in his eyes." “The volume is 
nothing more than a German Neologian or Bationalistio perver¬ 
sion of the Old Testament Scriptures in an English garb." “ It 



110 


Bible Infallibility: 

i 

■was not then imagined that Tn. Davidson was likely to charge 
error on any portion of tlie Word of God, or that he would have 
tried to disparage the commissioned writers of that Word/’ “ A 
man like him had only to study at Halle, and having acquired 
the German language, return to Manchester with a trunk-load of 
Neologian nonsense.” Such was the style of wholesale slander 
and vituperation indulged in by the Eecord ; and other news¬ 
papers and magazines reviewed the book with similar unfairness ; 
adopting, if not the falsification, tho platitude and the pi’otest 
loud and long in defence of the received dogma of infallibility. 
Many good people who probably would never have looked into 
the book but for the cry raised agaiust it, were startled as they 
read it, by facts of Dible criticism now to them; and reckoned 
among the errors of the “ Neologian^ Professor, statements which 
they might have found made by Home himself in former editions 
of the Introduction. The Boaj'd of the Dissenting Academy 
at Manchester, where Dr. Davidson lield his professorship, 
took the alarm. They appointed five of their number "to 
examine his book, and to asceitai^ the truth respecting the alle¬ 
gation of “unsoundness.” As the result of this investiga¬ 
tion, they passed a resolution expressing “ continued confi¬ 
dence in tho general soundness of Dr. Davidson’s theological 
views,” and “appreciation of the value of his services to the 
collegerequesting him at the same time to give explanations 
of certain doubtful parts of his recent work. Tlie matter, how¬ 
ever, was not to end here. One of the gentlemen, who after¬ 
wards stepped forward ns the leader of the hostile party, was ill 
at ease; and though he seconded the vote of confidence, a few 
weeks afterwards proposed a resolution of leant of confidence. At 
n subsequent meeting we are informed this resolution “ was put, 
and carried by a majority of two f The chairman who had 
never been known to vote since the Academy was opened, not 
only voted, but reserved his casting vote for the same purpose. 
The other vote which gained the majority of two against the 
l*rofessor,wa8 that of liis coliengue in office, the Theological tutor! 
—ex ofiieio a member of Committee.” (See Pamphlet by Mr. 
Nicholas, p. 21.) Two characteristic circumstances in connexion 
with this transaction are worthy of mention. The decision of 
the Board was, it appears, totally unsupported by the schedule of 
doctrine attached to the Academy Trust Deed itselfj so that it 
was deemed politic to obtain counael'e opinion as to the power of 
the Board to depose the Professor notwithstanding the schedule; 
and an affirmative answer was received. Wo learn also from the 
pamphlets before us, that the resolution of wont of confidence 
contained no specific charges, but was couched in vague terms of 



“ EvanrjelicaV* Defenders of the Faith, 111 

indefinite import: and the demand of the Professor for tlic preoiso 
grounds on whicJi its clauses were based was refused. This 
significant fact stiikingly illustrates the weakness, nioauness, and 
injustioe of such selt-styled “ defenders of the faith.” They have 
no real arguments; facts are against them; their position is 
logically untenable ; and they have recourse to the afi'ectation of 
super-eminent piety, to orthodox rant, to groundless surmi sings, 
and arbitrary ostracism. Tn justice, however, to the Indepen- 
dentSy it is fair to add that in the persecution of their Professor, 
only a section of malcontents sympathized. TIiu resolution was 
carried, as wo Lave seen already, by a majority of two only ; the 
five gentlemen deputed to examine the obnoxious volume, de- 
clino(l to a man to vote against Dr. Davidson; the students 
tendered him a letter of sympathy; his ministerial friends who 
liad been his former pupils rallied round him, and in presenting 
to him a tribute of their esteem, expressed their conviction of the 
good tendency of his teaching, and their regret at tfie unchari¬ 
table treatment lie had received; and a still more substantial 
testimonial Avas given to him by the merchiints and other gentle¬ 
men of Manchester and its neighbourhood, accompanied by an 
outspoken resolution, declaring ‘'their decided dissent from the 
decision of the Committee, and their emphatic sympathy with 
Dr. Davidson, as to the painful misrcpresentiitions, and the per¬ 
verse and calumnious charges—many of them utterly groundless 
and liilse—from which lie has snlfercd at the hands of persons 
belonging to a certain portion of the press." 

It is gratifying thus to find a large proportion of the Indepen¬ 
dents repudiating the creed and conduct of the persecutors of 
their professor, and evincing the honesty and liberality which are 
the distinguishing marks of a truth-loving spirit. It is another 
token of the appropriateness of the threefold division of religious 
opinion (elaborated by the lamented Couybcarc for the Established 
Church) to all sections of English Protestants. Wherever we 
look we may discover the High, the Low, and the Broad Church 
party. Dissenters have their Atiitudinarians, who imitate in dress 
the well known M.B. waistcoat and clerical mien, who approve 
of forms, adopt ecclesiastical architecture, and make free use of 
the Book of Common Prayer. They have their more liberal, 
broad, and latitudinarian party, comprehending the modicum of 
learning and research found among them; who admire such men 
as Arnold, Hare, Maurice, and who are the authors of their un- 
sectarian and more intelligent literature. And they have their 
Low Church party, very low indeed; their Platitudinarians, dis¬ 
tinguished for their sanctimonious slang and violent rhodomon^ 
tade, their ignorance and bluster, in the pulpit or the magazine. 



112 


Bible Infallibility: 

4 

in tho newspaper or in Exeter Hall. They make up the defici¬ 
ency of their learning by the force of diatribe, and the hopeless¬ 
ness of their position by the violence of abuse. 

If we seek after the origin of the dogma combated in this paper, 
we shall probably find it in that lon^ug after infallibility inherent 
in the thoughtless and illiterate mind, by whicli it may be saved 
the trouble of inquiry and the uneasiness of doubt. It was through 
the power of this feeling that the doctrine of Church infallibility 
gained, and sustained so long, a footing in the world. Luther 
nobly threw ofi' that bondage, and asserted the right of private 
judgment; and in that assertion lay the germ of tho variety and 
extremes of creed and no creed through Protestant Europe. But 
the craving for an infallible authority was as strong as ever; and 
no sooner was one infallibility destroyed than another began to 
be set up, until now it has assumed the form of idolatry of an 
infallible book. 

The good old word revelation began to be supplanted by 
another, inspiration, and instead of tho truth of God revealed in 
the Scriptures— a revelation conveyed through a fallible though 
trustworthy record—^we now heat only of the record itself as 
divinely inspired in every part The old dogma “ tho Church is 
infallible,” is supplanted by another equally untenable, “ we have 
an infallible book.” The words of the great Dr. Arnold regarding 
Coleridge's “ Confessions of an Inquiring Spirit," indicated a far- 
seeing mind, and have been strangely fulfilled—“ They are well 
fitted,” he wrote, “ to break ground in the approaches to that 
momentous question, which involves in it so great a shock to 
existing notions, the greatest probably th^t has ever been given 
since the discovery of the falsehood of the doctrine of the Pope's 
infallibility.” As, when that dogma was cast away, the cry was 
raised—Whither will this tend ? to what lengths may not private 
jn''’gment go ? where will you stop ? so exactly is it now, when 
book infallibility is called in question. To allow that the Bible 
is fallible, in the least jot or tittle of it, is dangerous ; for whore 
will you draw the line between fallible and infallible ? One man 
will object to this section, another to that—each will pick and 
choose what parts he will receive, and will reject what parts he 
dislikes: what barrier have you then against liie inroads of the 
most hideous rationalism and barefaced scepticism ? To all this 
the old answer must be given;—^private jugment is not only a 
tight but a necessity. Before a man can submit his judgment 
to any book, he must first judge what version of that book, what 
mwoscript, what text is the genuine one; he must, secondly, judge 
that there is sufficient evidence to prove that the writer of that 
text was under the guidance of the Spirit of God, so as to preserve 



**Evangelical ’* Defenders of the Faith, 


113 


him from error or mistake of every kind; and he must, thirdly, 
judge what is the right meaning and interpretation of the text thus 
-divinely inspired. It is evident, therefore, that an infallible book 
is of no avail to cheek rationalism, unless you have also an infal¬ 
lible interpreter. Men holding the most opposite doctrines would 
ho found appealing to the same infallible authority, and even to 
the same texts, for the support of them. Private judgment 
becomes the last resource even in judging the reality and the 
meaning of a Divine revelation. And from this truth arises the 
serious responsibility resting on each individual man, to keep a 
clear conscience, a rightly balanced intellect, and a pure heart; 
and to seek for inspiration from the Father of lights, in the pur¬ 
suit of truth. If it be asked, then, what is our safeguard in the 
midst of fallible interpreters and with a fallible book ? we reply, 
TRTJTH, wherever God has lodged it, whether in the soul of man, 
in nature, or in the llible; truth is our rock, indestructible and 
eternal. And the truths of Christianity arc its facts : whether 
spoken or written, in this volume or in that; the facts of Chris¬ 
tianity, wc repeat it, are its foundation. You may reject the hook, 
hut you cannot deny the facts, or destroy a jot of the truth. 
‘‘ The truth as it is in Jesus” is not dependent upon any manu¬ 
script or collection of manuscripts ; upon any one treatise in the 
111140 nor upon all together. It was in the world before the New 
Testament; and inexpressibly valuable as the New Testament is, 
as the record of its facts and early history, if all manuscripts and 
versions and Piblcs and Testaments were by some strange cata¬ 
strophe to be at once annihilated, the religion of Christ would sur¬ 
vive the loss. 

Astronomy may describe for ns the size and distances and 
wondrous motions of our globe with its moon, and the planets 
with their satellites, extending thirteen millions of miles from the 
sun ; it may fill us with awo by its revelation that our solar system 
in its vast dimensions is a mere point in the infinitude of space, 
and that the twinkling stars are the centres of systems like ours. 
Geology may read for us the autobiogi’aphy of the earth, and 
take us back, in its tertiary strata only, a period of 100,000 years, 
and tell us of myriads of ages before that date, when animals 
and plants lived and grow upon our world. Ethnography and 
.philology may compute for us the probable age of the human 
race thousands of years before the Adam of Genesis. We receive 
these stupendous facts and bid God speed to the labourers who work 
them out; we acknowledge without fear the erroi's of the [Mosaic 
cosmogony and the narrow fancies and beliefs of the holy men 
who wrote the books of Scripture, and of the times in which they 
.lived. We allow the mistakes they made in chronology and in 

£Vol. LXXV. No. CXLVn.]— New Seeies, Vol. XIX. No. I. I 



114 The Neapolitan and Roman Questions. 

liistorical details; but at the same time vre maintain that in their 
fallible writings God has treasured up for us infallible truth, the 
food of our souls imd the glory of our being—truth lasting as the 
Tocks and eternal as the heavens. 


Art. V.—The Neapolitan and Roman Questions. 

JjVniU Nationale de lltalie. Par Emaxuele Marliani. 

Torino: Sebastiano Franco, I860. 

T he great Italian movement which set in with the year 1869, 
bids fair to provide posterity with matter for contemplation, 
ns wonderful, as fanciful, as riveting as anything that can be 
found in the annals of mankind. Unless the end wofully belies 
the beginning, our grandchildren when told the stories of our 
times, are likely with the flushed yearning of youthful wonder to 
exclaim, “ Would that we had lived in the glorious days of our 
forefathers !” Indeed, in sober truth, our times are so passing 
strange that reality seems to have made it a business to mock 
fancy. Two short years have passed, and deeds are fulfilled the 
possibility of which even the boldest ventured seriously to contem¬ 
plate only in connexion with an indefinite term of time. Efforts 
which the most far-sighted and high-hearted put forth, with the sole 
hope of making good a step towards a far off-object, have, to 
their amazement, rebounded with an irresistible shock into its 
all but complete consummation. We no longer see our cotem¬ 
poraries engaged in cautiously meditating how to achieve an ad¬ 
vance towards making an Italy. Italy has fulfilled the term of 
gestation, and is in the act of stepping forth in the fulness of 
her natural proportions. In spite of all persistent predictions to 
the contrary, bit by bit, and piece by piece, province after province, 
and state after state, has deliberately hastened to bring its dis¬ 
tinctive privileges as an offering to a common realm. Already 
has Sicily, with her supposed inveterate susceptibilities, spon¬ 
taneously exchanged her historical title-deeds for the common 
charter; already has Naples, with a court-fed society and inor¬ 
ganic population, hailed a political condition that must strip 
the kingdom of all particnlar position and immediate pomp. And 
now the Pope—that standing bugbear of all speculators on Italian 
freedom—at the contemplation of whose abnormal conformation 
■even the wisest would sometimes turn away their faces with a 
despondent sensation—the Pope himself is now fairly undergoing- 



The Neapolitan and Roman Questions. ] 15 

on operation wliich there is good reason to hope will happily reduce 
him to that condition which will constrain liim to coalesce with the 
otlier fusing elements of the Peninsula. Venice alone is wanting to 
the absolute completion of Italian unity; but although its material 
conquest be still in the future, its moral one is already fully 
achieved. Truly the review of all this success is so dazzling, 
that its contemplation might inspire a superstitious dread lest 
this be a mocking gift, which a mischievous and capricious fate 
intends dashing to pieces just as the hand grasps finally to close 
upon it. 

Like all great dramas, the action of this Italian one falls 
naturally into a series of divisions, indicated by moments when 
of themselves its action stopped short, to sound the pass they 
had arrived at, and gather breatli for the next step. Such a 
moment was produced by the peace of Villafranca; another, 
occurred tlio day when the annexation of Central Italy became a 
fact, by the admission of its representatives within the Parliament 
asscmhlod at Turin; and a third bus come about at present when 
Italy, short of pining Venice, congregated under Victor J'lmmanuel, 
finds herself brought face to face with the Pope, shrunk witldn 
his Vatican and his City—with a few miles of waste hmd for all 
possessions. This is the situation of the hour ; out of this point 
of suspense the next phase must proceed, whiitcver that may be. 
How has this com’e about, and what will be the end ? 

There is a school of politicians, especially numerously repre¬ 
sented by foreign diplomatists and statesmen, which has a very 
explicit answer ready to these questions. The world and its 
government being in their theory a matter of mere machinery, 
without any impulse of its own, and depending for its action 
solely upon the more or less skill, or the more or less arbitrary 
force, with which it can he wound up at pleasure, these persons 
consider all that is happening in Italy as due to the cunning and 
wilful influence of one man. Formerly, tliis respectable set of 
dowager worthies used to clench their demonstrations of what 
constituted sound and conscientious winding-up, by impressively 
pointing to the one shuddering exception in civilized countries, 
presented in the conduct of an English statesman. But that was 
when the Evil one lay as yet in the primitive state of a monad. 
Conviction can no longer remain blind to the melancholy fact that 
he has now attained a very positive stage of duality. Lord Pal¬ 
merston no longer enjoys in his person the monopoly of making 
up in his office insidious little doses of wickedness, whose poi¬ 
sonous matter he craftily disseminates through the peaceful glades 
of a quiet and well-principled world. The parent-stock of mischief 
has put forth a second head of yet more voracious and inordinate 
propensities in Count Gavour. He it is who has brought about 

I % 



116 The Neapolitan and Roman Questiom. 

all the misfortunes in Italy. To his grasping, ambitious, and 
tinscrupulous rapacity are alone due the revolutions that have 
overthrown the governments in the Peninsula. A wholesale sys¬ 
tem of instigation, treason, and bribery, according to the report 
of these observers, are the instruments to which this politician ha¬ 
bitually has had recourse, and to which are solely due the events 
that have occurred. Of this radically malignant disposition of 
Count Cavour’s nature, the indubitable confirmation lies, accord¬ 
ing to them, in his action towards tho King of the Two Sicilies 
and the Pope. For what he did in the matter of Tuscany, the 
Duchies, and Romagna, they are sometimes disposed to affect an 
excuse, glad of on opportunity covertly to level a blow against 
the big offender on the French throne, who initiated the Italian 
war. But of the events which have deprived the King of tho Two 
Sicilies of a throne, they declare Count Cavour to have been the 
deliberate instigator, bringing them about from afar by the under¬ 
hand machinations of a conspirator and the low devices of a 
hypocritical plotter. Wo all appreciate fully the exact amount 
of truth in the elaborate revelations of Lord Palmerston’s indefa¬ 
tigable enormities, consigned, for the instruction of posterity, in 
the pages of such painstaking publications as Le Palmerston 
DdvoiUy due to the pen of high-placed functionaries. The hearty 
laugh we get out of the fund of invention exhibited in the hoax 
fully compensates us for the half-crown il may have cost—without 
taking into account tho use we certainly find for it in lighting tho 
fire. Whether the diplomatic reports of current events which 
reach foreign Ministers of State affect them with the like reflec¬ 
tion, we have not the means of knowing; but we strongly suspect 
that, on the score of imaginative fancy, they often are amply cal¬ 
culated to contribute to hilarity. It is pre-eminently due to 
Count Cavour's sagacity and immense self-possession that we may 
hope to see goodly fruit gathered from what might easily have 
degenerated into desultory and barren revolts. He had the pre¬ 
sence of mind to lay hold of and direct to a purpose opportunities 
which otherwise must have rolled straight into the hands of mis¬ 
chief. For this he deserves general gratitude, as thereby he saved 
the young creation of an Italian State probably from destruction, 
certainly from much disturbance. But to represent him as having 
of his own choice sought this encounter, and deliberately fired 
the train in Sicily, at a moment when he was already distracted 
with duties and calls, shows a thorough misapprehension of the 
true state of the cose. These statements, for truth, are on a level 
with the dogmatism of such orthodox astronomical catechisms as, 
in spite of Galileo, would affirm, in deference to a principle of 
authority, that the sun must move round the earth; or the in- 
.struotion of the Legitimist preceptor, who doggedly taught his 



117 


The Neapolitan and Roman Questions. 

pupil b>oncli history, Tvith the suppression of Monsieur Bonaparte’s 
trifling deeds. The truth is, that a few moments’ calm survey of 
circumstances which are on the surface must suffice to prove that 
the Sicilian outbreak overtook Count Cavour, and at the time 
added considerably to the difficulties of his anxious position. It 
is his merit to have proved equal to this sudden emergency. 

The Sicilian rising occurred in the beginning of April, coin¬ 
ciding with the opening, at Turin, of the first Parliament of the 
new kingdom. The weighty subjects for consideration necessarily 
incumbent on so grave a moment in the history of a state, 
happened to bo enhanced by an unpleasant combination of 
irritating complications in both foreign and domestic relations. 
Of the former, the sole cause was centred in the treaty for the 
cession of Savoy and Nice. The publication t)f that treaty 
revived with aggravated intensity all the public considerations 
whicli bad so grievously indisposed the cabinets of Europe 
against that of Turin at the beginning of hostilities, and just as 
a hotter understanding seemed to ho ensuing, isolated afresh 
the latter for a while even more completely than had yet been 
the caH(‘. With the assent even of those who had hitherto 
countenanced his policy. Count Cavour became proscribed as 
an outlaw to good faith, and the relations of Piedmont towards 
foreign countries grew for the time thoroughly dai'k and uncer¬ 
tain. On news of the treaty, the growing sympathies of England 
for the young Italian State declined sensibly, while national sus¬ 
ceptibilities impelled public opinion in Germany to gravitate 
towards Austria at the alarming sight of Eranco overstep¬ 
ping her treaty boundaries. With Prance the relations, in spite of 
apparent alliance, were also extremely equivocal. Tlio cession of 
Savoy and Nice had not been compensated for by any recognition, 
much less guarantee, on the part of his inscrutable neighbour to 
the king of Piedmont, of that extension of territory which had been 
made the official pretext for the extortion of these two provinces. 
At any moment the raw levies of the Italian army might be 
exposed to fight single-handed the veteran armaments of Austria, 
that menacingly bristled in heavy masses upon the Venetian 
ironticr. Nowhere did the young Italian kingdom possess a 
friend upon whose, at least, full moral support it might trust in 
the event of being attacked by Austria. The anxiety of this 
painfully ambiguous position was enhanced to Count Cavour by 
the appearance of symptoms which, unless carefully attended to, 
might easily result in a dangerous agitation at home. With his 
office. Count Cavour had also inherited the consequences of 
Battazzi s administration; and amongst the legacies thus be¬ 
queathed to him, was the strong dissatisfaotiou engendered in 
Lombardy at the unwise regulations arbitrarily decreed for it, by 



1J 8 The Neapolitan and Roman Questions* 

this red-tape and dogmatical functionary. It is unnecessary to 
dwell on the details of this subject, which has been explained in 
the last number of this Review. Suffice it to say, that the 
Lombards came to Parliament in a state of great irritation at the 
grievances to which they were subjected. Now, although annoy¬ 
ing, yet, in its strictly local aspect, this discontent would have 
Lad nothing formidable in it. Its direct remedy was an easy 
matter. But the Lombards are in many respects a touchy, 
intractable, and somewhat pretentious race; and their passions 
on this occasion were being worked upon by artful and specious 
demagogues. Those last were nothing more than revived Maz- 
zinians, who now styled themselves monarchical democrats, 
whatever that may be. These politicians are distinguished by an 
impatient and excessive Italianising with perpetual denunciations 
of the acts of Government, inspired according to them by a 
narrow and exclusive Piedmontese feeling. Nothing could 
satisfy them except the immediate expulsion of the Austrians, 
and the immediate emancipation of Rome from the Pope. Tho 
dissatisfaction entertained by the susceptible Lombards at the 
bureaucratic injunctions of the minister Eattazzi was being 
zealously fomented by these intriguers with the proposition of a 
popular clause against the selfish policy of Piedmont, actuated 
solely by an instinct of acquisition, and neglecting from cold 
self-interest to take the least thought of tho poor enchained 
provinces of Italy, left to pine in captivity. With tho strong and 
pronounced sentiment for unity in Italy, appeals of this kind 
would always have something attractive to a popular audience. 
But the danger likely to arise from ■ them was powerfully 
heightened by the profound pain caused throughout Italy at the 
cession of Nice. There, said these intemperate demagogues, there 
stands the Piedmontese minister in the conviction of his selfish* 
ness; on the one side he dismembers Italy of its ancient province 
as the price of an accession of territory; on tho other, he 
looks with cold unconcern upon the woes of our brethren! This 
infiammatory language fiuled of general effect. The elections in 
Central Italy were overwhelming in a ministerial majority; not 
because there was indifference as to tKe liberation of Italy, but 
because there was, on the contrary, confidence that the states¬ 
man who had achieved so much, would be prepared at the 
proper moment to consummate his work. And this really was 
intention of Cavour. But to fulfil this purpose he was not 
3^eady to imperil the existence of what had been won by prenia- 
tnr© eneoonter with an unknown force. There ought to be no 
illusion as to the condition of the Italian armaments. All that 
fermed the oM Piedmontese army was in perfect condition. Bat 
^ zest, however excellent might be its material, was thoroughly 



The Neapolitan and Roman Questiona. ] 19 

raw and unformed. Nor could this be othonvise. There never had 
been an army in Tuscany or the Duchies fit for service. Their 
sovereigns, for all purposes except of parade, had systematically 
relied upon Austrian gan*isous. It is the work of time to form 
recruits and soldiers ; and it took Della Marmora years to train 
the soldiers of Novara into a perfect army. Enthusiasm and 
public spirit were plentiful, but even any amount of these qualities 
cannot dispense with a lengthened degree of training to ensure 
victory over disciplined and fully equipped armies. The contest 
in prospect, if Piedmont were to commit an aggression, was one 
the proportions of which could not well be predicted, for the 
Neapolitan army was then intact, the Papal forces were being 
actively recruited ; while on the one hand Austria showed decided 
dispositions not to brook lamely further encroachment on the 
part of her deadly foe; and on the other, France held out no 
assurance of giving active support. Hence, Count Cavours policy 
was directed to promote by every possible exertion, the rapid 
organization of the State in a military and administrative respect^ 
and to exert the influence ho had justly acquired to induce the 
subjects of the Pope and King of Naples to endure yet for a 
term their subjection. Whoever is really conversant with Italian 
politics will bear us out in the statement, that all the counsels 
which incessantly proceeded from the cabinet of Turin at the time, 
strove most earnestly to impress the necessity of not compro¬ 
mising the certainty of future results by premature insurrections, 
which it would be impossible to support. It is highly to the 
credit of the practical sense of tho Italian people, how fully these 
procrastinating counsels were appreciated, in spite of eager lan¬ 
guage ; and how steadily Count Cavour was supported by all the 
leading politicians in the country. The chorus of all the men 
who approached and acted in connexion with the supreme 
direction at Turin—and they are the men who have home the 
foremost part in bringing the country to its present pitch—con¬ 
curred in one recommendation of self-denying patience and • 
unflinching exertion for organization. So general a concur¬ 
rence in moderation—not from listlessness, but from deliberate 
and stem resolution, thereby to husband strength for crushing 
action—is an unparalleled act of wisdom on tho part of a popu¬ 
lation. 

But the support they extended to Count Cavour was one not 
to be trifled with. It rested on conditions the execution of which 
would be jealously exacted, for public feeling bled at the loss of 
Nice. The irritarion at its surrender was profound throughout 
the country. Beflection was able to persuade of the necessity to 
acquiesce, but it could not get the better of the painful dist^ss 
with which this was accepted, and the condi^ons of which 



120 The Neapolitan and Boman Questions. 

overcame even Count Cavour’s iron resolution as bo made bis 
statement to the Chambers. Everybody was conscious of a sacrifice 
being made under compulsion from a dagger held to the throat. 
It was one of those critical moments when popular feeling floats 
in a state which it recjuires but a stray gust to foment into tre¬ 
mendous agitation. The many mischievous politicians on the 
watch to wound the minister rushed to turn to account the 
favourable opportunity. The profound grief of the popular 
hero, Garibaldi, at'seeing his native district separated from Italy, 
was eagerly sought to be converted into a clap-trap instrument of 
excitement, wbile within and Avithout the Uliambei*s Ouerazzi 
and his colleagues discharged floods of incendiary rlietorio 
against the national treason perpetrated, and of mad appeals to 
frantic wholesale Avar. '1110 situation Avas one Avhich required the 
indefatigable efforts of the honest men Avlm had obtained a lead¬ 
ing influence in the various provinces of Italy to prevent the 
people from giving ear to these dangerous insinuations. And at 
the moment when Count Cavour was straining every nerve to 
calm agitation—^Avhen he staked all his credit and authority in 
daily entreaties not to risk foolhardy attempts, certain people 
want us to believe tliat he studiedly instigated in Sicily—of 
all places the one Avhere he could least give covert assistance—an 
outbreak so hazardous and so ill-combined as to offer the slen¬ 
derest prospect of success against the overpowering forces of 
the Goveniment. The original revolt did, in fact, fail; and the 
success of the revolution is duo to the arrival of Garibaldi and 
his folloAvcrs. When on Easttir Sunday the first reliable tidings 
reached Turin of a rising at Palermo, and of the sanguinary 
contest at the monastery of La Garcia, the impression Avas in¬ 
tense. Everybody felt that an event had happened which was 
probably pregnant with great consequences. The leading repre¬ 
sentatives of the South Italian emigration were for the most part 
profoundly impressed with the likelihood of the movement ending 
in defeat. The Neapolitan exiles, indeed, distinctly pronounced it 
utterly premature; and that in the continental provinces the 
elements for an efficient insurrection were not as yet forth¬ 
coming. The Sicilians had good reason to reckon confidently on 
the active sympathies of the island population, but entertained 
anxious misgivings that their countrymen must be destitute of 
the means to cope Avitli the ample royal armies. To the mass of 
Italian politicians perplexing considerations presented themselves 
in every aspect of the case. If the insurgents were worsted, how 
would it be possible, in their present state of agitation, to restrain 
the Italian population from flocking to the assistance of their 
brethren ? How could the Piedmontese Government then avoid 
following in their wake without a total loss of influence and 



The Neapolitan and Boviari Questions, 121 

consideration—and yet at the risk of plunging into a war where 
it might find nn'ayed against itself, Naples, the Pope, Austria, 
and oven France? If, on the other hand, tho insurrection waste 
triumph over tho llourbons, tljcn there rose immediately to view 
a scries of emharrassing visions as to the future constitution of 
these fegions, and which from that distance presented tho most 
alarming eventualities, comprising the claims of a foreign pre¬ 
tender, and tho immediate prospect of luvving to deal Avith the 
Pope. For Italian statesmuii dreaded tho inorganic condition of 
the Neapolitan population as likely to produce a crop of difficul¬ 
ties inferior only to those wliicli attendeil tho quostiou how to 
dispose of the Pope’s person. The Sicilian outbreak gratified 
therefore, indeed, the passions of some demagogues, hut the ma¬ 
jority of thinking lueu regarded it with the anxious suspense 
with whitOi the issue of Avhat is considered an untoward event 
becomes w'atched by persons whom its result must affect seri¬ 
ously. It was in this deprecatory mood of authoritative circles 
that Garibaldi’s expedition Avas uiidortakeii, not Avith the con¬ 
currence—much less at tiie instigation—of the minister, but 
under the protection of a rising agitation in the country Avhioh 
compelled him, in self-defence against greater danger, to connive 
at an enterprise AvJmsc hazardous audacity he .inAvardly deplored 
as a misfortune. For the presence of Garibaldi and his forlorn 
hope gave to the Sicilian struggle a character in the popular mind 
the importance of Avhicli could not be disregarded with impu¬ 
nity. Tlie defeat of the purely Sicilian insurgents might possibly 
have been borne with by tho kindred populations—but the de¬ 
struction of the people’s hero and his band of patriotic followers, 
would liavo been the signal for a tumultuous cry throughout the 
Peninsula to which the Turin Cabinet could never have been 
deaf. That destruction seemed a matter of inevitable certainty to 
men the most qualified to form a judgment. Heldom has there 
been such a concurrence in prognostication as on this occasion 
characterized the opinions of judicious persons with regard to the 
issue awaiting the most daring of expeditious. Nor let us be 
misled by the brilliancy of posterior events to condemn unduly 
tho justness of these opinions. With all allowance for 
Garibaldi’s military genius, and all respect for his followers' 
courage, there can be yet no question but that his success, in its 
first and really decisive stage, was the triumph of fortunate 
recklessness and unparalleled luck rather than of skill and 
strategy. To conquer an island held by an overwhelming and 
perfectly appointed army, supported by a fleet in command of the 
sea. Garibaldi disposed of about fifteen hundred imperfectly 
armed lAen, Avith two^ little mountain guns for all artillery, and 
embarked in a couple of trading steamers unfit to resist a shot. 



1‘22 The Neapolitan and Roman Questions. 

4 

For so rash an enterprise to succeed, it required the intervention 
of accidents altogether beyond calculation, which in the first 
place preserved the invaders, no one can explain how, from cer¬ 
tain and easy demolition in the harbour of Marsala by the guns 
of the Neapolitan cruisers, and thus brought them in collision 
with commanders whose imbecility taxes credulity. Even after 
the capture of Palermo, the providential perfection of Francis IT.’s 
miraculous idiocy alone enabled Garibaldi to become the Dictator 
of Naples. To infer therefore from bis ultimate success that the 
decided misgivings ent(irtaincd by Count Cavour and other com¬ 
petent men sprang ftom narrow prejudice, would be like arguing 
that a gamester has disproved the ruinous hazards of roulette by 
having accidentally flung his first stake upon the number that 
really turned up. The circumstances that led to the success of Gari¬ 
baldi’s magnanimous, but thoroughly rash expedition, wore alto¬ 
gether beyond the range of foresight, and such as it would he 
criminal for a statesmau—especially with Count Cavour s grave 
responsibility—to base bis speculations upon. 

The remarkable collapse which hefel the king’s authority in 
the Neapolitan States, is the natural consequence of the peculiar 
pn)cess of demoralization and oxhaustion wliich had been adopted 
as a system of government. This system is the heirloom of 
Spanish traditions. It consists in converting Government into a 
crusinng roller, which with irresistible weight presses out the last 
drop of spirit, of impulse, and of vigour—reducing a whole popu¬ 
lation into an undistinguishahlc company of mutes. Such a 
system offers supremely tempting advaiitageto a jealous and sus¬ 
picious Government, which finds in it a safeguard against the 
dreaded danger of effective insurrection. But the systematic 
pressure that has thus ground down all independent spirit into 
equal meekness, likewise deprives the Government of all resources 
within the country capable of defying serious aggression. For 
the population successfully subjected to a course of this com¬ 
pression, has acquired in every layer of society a like taint of 
languor and faint-heartedness, which, however admirably adapted 
tor tame obedience, utteiiy fail in furnishing at a pinch the stuff 
for steady sacrifice and exertion. The unmitigated pressure of 
the iron heel of Spanish despotism has weighed so fully upon the 
Neapolitan people, that its masses have been practically reduced 
into as feeble and abject and disjointed a condition as if they had 
been broken upon the wheel. As long, therefore, as this Govern¬ 
ment had merely to deal with the shadows of haznon life which it 
had created for itself at home, it was irresistibly strong in the 
fancied weight of its crushing executive force. But the day a 
really live assailant invaded its precincts, its forces at once vanished 
in his presence; not from positive attraction towards him» hut 



The Nea-polittu} and Roman Questions. 123 

simply from total inability to confront strength and vigour of any 
kind. Still it is not to these elements of weakness at home that 
the fall of the King of Naples must be solely ascribed. Indeed, 
they ought to have been a timely assistance to him, as diminish¬ 
ing proportionately the amount of concessions whicli would have 
enabled him in duo season to conjure the rising danger by a 
satisfactory semblance of national action. The peculiar down¬ 
fall which has overtaken the Bourbon dynasty required for its 
event the especially stolid ]>orsistence of Francis II. in conspiring 
against bis own inhjrests. 

It will be liard to find in the plentiful annals of benighted 
sovereigns an example parallel to that of this young king of 
Naples. He seems to epitomize in bis person an unprecedented 
assemblage of qualities calculated to render a monarch at once 
contemptible ns well as obnoxious. Many princes have fallen 
through tl)eir wilfulness, yet most have possessed sparks of some 
virtue or otlicr. Charles 1. Jjiid about his manners much of the 
high-bred gentleman ; dames TI. showed in his foolhardy bigotry 
traces of the soldierlike courage he luid exliibited in battle ; Louis 
XVI. undoubtedly possessed a good deal of domestic kindliness; 
hut this youthful scion of the Bourbon appears to have an organ¬ 
ization incapable of hearing the slightest infusion of any noble 
quality proper to the human constitution. His intellect, which 
evidently can command merely the simplest eflbrts of porcepti(»n, 
lias been rendered hopelessly malignant by systematic subjection 
from infancy to pciwerse influences, while his nerve and vigour 
are those of some wretched abortion, affording daily spectacles of 
the most abjecst cravenheavtedness and inconceivable prostration. 
The father was a ruthless monster, but he had the courage and 
the talents for his disposition—while the son enjoys nothing but 
the worthless dregs of cowardly malignanc}’. To make up for 
tliese inborn defects, Fortune seemed to have made it her especial 
care to throw upon this young sovereign at his accession a pro¬ 
fusion of favourable constellations. Never was there a prince for 
whom people were more disposed to make allowances, and whom 
they were more willing to applaud. But every opportunity was 
steadily rejected by an incurable hardness of sense, until at 
last this obstinate dulness worked its own destruction. It 
will be recollected that the first indications of the slightest 
disposition on the part of the king of Naples to modify 
his system and his policy were only consequent upon the 
capture of Palermo. That disaster produced in the royal councils 
most unambiguous consternation, but without an equally vivid 
impression of what was rendered imperative by such an event. 
The royal circles were convulsed with poi'oxysms of terror; the 
palace rang with the shrill clamour of iiantic recriminations hurled 



1^4 The Neajpolltan and Boman Questions. 

at each other hy the different members of the royal family, in 
their despair at a misfortune which threatened each with loss of 
fortune, and tlic shipwreck of some private plot for his own especial 
advantage; while the sovereign's anguish vented itself literally in 
a whimpering exhibition of cries and contortions befitting only a 
little boy when foi* the first time thrust into a black-hole. In his 
extremity, therefore, he tumed for help to a man whom on his 
deathbed his father had advised him to consult in the hour of need. 
This person was M. de Martino, at that moment in charge of the 
Neapolitan mission in Rome. Justly the public opinion of tho 
Neapolitan service is so bad, that iha prinui facie appreciation of 
this statesman's character has been injuriously affected by this 
impression. It was hard to fancy it possible for a man to have 
retained his post during many years under King berdinaiid with¬ 
out having rendered himself a party to unworthy proceedings. 
It w'as not unnatural for those not possessed of closer knowledge, 
to contemplate him with suspicion in the character of u constitu¬ 
tional politician. These very intelligible misgivings were, how¬ 
ever, tiioroughly unfounded. M. de Martino’s conduct during 
his many years of service under Ferdinand II. was marked by the 
most honourable and outspoken uprightness, and he certainly 
never purcliasod his post by accommodating language. Rccause 
he would not become a party to proceedings which he repro¬ 
bated, he steadily rejected the most flattering offers of high oflice 
at home. His diplomatic reports were so little framed with a view 
to humour his sovereign’s political bias as to have exposed him 
at one time to serious disgrace. Ferdinand IT., however, was a 
man who could decipher character. He was convinced that 
Martino’s high honour would never let him dabble in conspiracy 
against the dynasty from whom he accepted salary, and so willingly 
employed his great talent in foreign service, making his own 
comments upon the ample information supplied by his indefati¬ 
gable activity. Hence, when on his deathbed he uneasily con¬ 
templated the lowering future, Ferdinand had especially advised 
his inexperienced successor, in tlm event of pressing difficulties, 
to seek counsel from M. do Martino, as a man who, though 
unfortunately infected with liberal doctrines, would yet not betray 
his confidence. Francis II., upon his accession, immediately 
sent for him and applied for his advice. But M. de Martino’s 
counsels were far too large for the young king's cramped intellect. 
They involved a complete rupture with the past, and co-operation 
with Piedmont in a national policy. 

Such language was heresy beyond comprehension in the royal 
palace at Naples; and M. de Martino probably owed quiet return 
to his old post in Rome as much to a prudent inclination to post¬ 
pone decisive acts till after the termination of the then pending 



The N'eapolitan and Moman Questions. 125 

Italian campaign, as to the yet ringing recommendation of tlio 
dying monarch. There, confining himself within the legitimate 
sphere of his duties, M. de Martino exerted himself with faith¬ 
ful but despondent zeal in circumstantial reports to awaken his 
sovereign to a sense of danger, and to counteract the baneful 
influence of the Vatican, when the appeal of the king in his dis¬ 
tress suddenly summoned him to Naples. TJie scene which he 
met in that capital was one of unlimited bewilderment in official 
regions. M. de Martino was stormed with a clamour for help, of 
which it seemed superstitiously believed that his capacity con¬ 
tained an inexhaustible fund at will. He was beset with a gaping 
jncndicanc}', like that with which a credulous mob besets a quack 
believed to be in possession of a wonder-working specific. But 
when with prompt distinctness M. de Martino began to unfold tho 
absolute conditions on which alone, in his opinion, depended a 
chance of savfng tho dynasty, he discovered that even the present 
intouso fit of conslcmation had not been strong enough to eradi¬ 
cate the obstinate elements of hereditary prejudice. (Constitution 
was still a sin in the king'^i eyes which he would not face; an 
alliance with Piedmont was to him still a wickedness, at tho 
thought of which he crossed himself with a holy shudder. The 
idea had not yet penetrated the royal intellect, that its effective 
power had entered upon a process of dissolution incapable of 
riding out the vigour of the rising storm. Above nil, there was 
an unaccountable notion that the Jloyal House of Naples would 
not he abandoned by the family of Kurcipean sovereigns, who 
would defend it against any such disaster as had overtaken tho 
unfortunate Dukes of Central Italy. Jt was in consequence of 
this ungrounded belief that M. do Martino, actuated by a sincere 
desire to get the Constitution introduced before it was too late to 
save the dynasty, hastened to Paris with a mission which naturally 
suggested wrong interpretations. Tt is a misfortune unavoidable 
in a politician having to work with unwilling materials, that ho 
is at times obliged to accept positions which expose him to stand 
in an injurious light. It was not therefore wonderful that a public 
duly mistrustful of Neapolitan sincerity for genuine reform, should 
draw suspicious inferences from the fact that the leading states¬ 
man of the hour inaugurated his action by flying—^not to Turin, 
the centfe of national movement—but to a foreign court, which 
could exercise active influence only through an net of interven¬ 
tion. The motive, however, which really impelled M. de Martino 
to proceed in hot haste to Paris, was, once for all, to settle the 
certainty of no foreign assistance coming from abroad, in a man¬ 
ner that might destroy the illusions of the royal family, and, as 
he hoped, render it obligatory upon the king to adopt a constitu¬ 
tional and national policy without reserve. The result responded 



126 


The Nea])olltan and Itonian Questions. 

I 

to Bis expectations only to a certain extent. AVhcn the commu¬ 
nications brought back from Vans destroyed every possible shred 
of flattering delusion, that from some quarter or other foreign 
assistance might yet be extended, the despair and anguish 
which overcame the king’s superstitious conscience on finding 
himself brought face to face with the dreaded monster. Constitu¬ 
tion, resulted in spectacles so painfully contemptible as to tax 
credulity. 

But there was no help. The bitter misfortune had to bo em¬ 
braced, and the only alleviation left for Francis II. was to pros¬ 
trate himself in humble supplication before Pius IX. for dispen¬ 
sation to perpetrate the impiety of temporary apostacy, until 
better times might allow him with impunity to recur to the holy 
principles of traditional misgovernment. The concessions thus 
extorted from the king’s drivelling helplessness were ample in 
principle. That they should become so also in practice was tho 
resolution that sincerely actuated M. de Martino and his col¬ 
leagues in the Nero cabinet. It would be tho height of injustice 
to suspect M. de Maitino to have been guilty of diplomatiu wiles 
in the largo reforms he proclaimed, and tho national principles ho 
avowed. Not a speck of suspicion can rest on the perfect good 
faith and genuine Italian feeling of this statesman and tho mem¬ 
bers of his Oovemment. But he was strongly of opinion that the 
interests of the common country, as well as the particular con¬ 
ditions of the Neapolitan populations, required at all events the 
present conservation of autonomy in Southern Italy. In this 
opinion M. de Martino was not singular, as is sufficiently proved 
by the number of distinguished patriots—men that had sulicrud 
for their cause—who came forward zealously to co-operate with 
him in the effort to establish constitutional freedom under the 
reigning dynasty. All men of sense wei*o impressed with the 
absence of pervading public spirit—especially in the provinces— 
and of any pronounced political opinion in the masses calculated 
to impose conditions. It was fully felt that the population liad 
become reduced to a so thoroughly inorganic condition as to be 
incapable of independent and initiatory action. Under these cir¬ 
cumstances, it was generally held by thinking men, that a con- 
, etitution of any kind should not be rejected, but rather treasured 
as a means of gradually elevating the character of the masses. 
Even that batch of Neapolitan exiles who had identified them¬ 
selves with the principle of Italian unity in its extremest expres¬ 
sion, virtually admitted the soundness of these considerations. 
Poerio and his political confederates very rightly abstained from 
taking advantage of the amnesty, because M'ter their distinct de¬ 
clarations in favour of one Italy under Victor Emmanuel, their 
presence in Naples could serve only as^ the symbol of agitation 



127 


The Neapolitan and Roman Qnestions. 

to tbo crabarrassmcnt of tbe Government. Individually, they de¬ 
clined to acknowledge any other sovereign than tbe one of their 
choice; hut admitting freely the difficulties in at once amalga¬ 
mating as they would like the Neapolitan States with the rest 
of Italy, they resolved not spontaneously to offer obstacles in the 
way of a consolidation of constitutional Government under the 
reigning dynasty. Indeed, so lively a sense was entertained at 
Turin of the peculiar character of the Neapolitan population, 
that oven (iftt*r Garibaldi’s success in Sicily, and when already ho 
vfos entering upon his triumphant career on the mainland. Count 
Oavour was still affected with anxious doubts as to the advisa¬ 
bility of pushing the movement to annexation. Jlut these consi- 
dernblo chances in favour of the reigning king were counter¬ 
balanced by an iiTesistible combination of circumstances. In the 
first place, the royal family was torn by dissensions arising from 
a tissue of cross-plots. Foremost was the king*8 step-mother, a 
woman of masculine audacity and intrigue, who had not been 
restraiiied by profuse devoutness from deliberately plotting by 
her dying husbaiurs bedside to substitute her own son in the 
room of the legitimate heir, and now again was sanctimoniously 
conspiring how to make her helpless stepchild’s distress conduce 
to the accomplisliment of this cherished object. This indefati- 
gahh* lady held to the mcau-spirited Francis II. the terrible position 
which in nurseries attaches to the oJ<l dame who carries about her 
person the birchen rod. Thus Al. de Martino found it absolutely 
nooessnry to make it a capital condition, that tbe queen mother 
should take her departure. Unfortunately this inveterate adept 
in intrigue, under the pretence of mendy waiting for a daily ex¬ 
pected ship, contrived not to withdraw further than Gaeta, 
from winch point she maintained an unceasing course of plottings. 
At the same time the king s uncles, the Counts of Aquila and 
Syracuse, were each engaged in pursuing private interests. The 
former, who had been the affectionate supporior of his late brother 
during all his worst proceedings, now suddenly expressed the 
bitterest censure of the old system, and showed himself especially 
assiduous in paying attention to France. The honourable motive 
for this patriotic activity on the part of the prince was the deedre 
to get Francis II. declared incojnpetent to administer the State, 
and himself proclaimed lieutenant-general of the realm. The 
Count of Syracuse’s dictates were at least more modest, if not 
more elevated! This prince is a voluptuary and a libertine of 
tbe stamp of Philippe Egalit6, who above everything wants on 
easy life and a pleasant life. His royal appanage was the object 
of his chief solicitude. He thought ho could not better secure 
it from the danger of confiscation in tlie wake of possible revolu¬ 
tions, than by betaking himself at once with bag and baggage into 



128 The Neapolitan and Roman Qtiestions. 

4 

the enemy’s camp. Naples accordingly contemplated the edify¬ 
ing spectacle of a debauched Bourbon, tottering beneath repeated 
strokes of palsy, who spontaneously commenced agitation against 
his kin, and ostentatiously paraded uncalled-for declarations in 
favour of Victor Pimmanucl. Finally, there was the evil disposi¬ 
tion of the wretclied sovereign, whose confirmed habits of bigoted 
prejudice not only made it necessary for the ministers to extort 
from him whatever they might want by the extreme threat of re¬ 
signation, but actually induced his benighted intellect secretly to 
confide in his worst enemies, the queen mother and her agents, 
the Camarilla. The difficulties which M. de Martino had to 
encounter from tho king's infatuated dulness and underhand deal¬ 
ings with reactionary officers cannot be imagined. It may well 
be wondered why he did not throw up tho task of saving a master 
who requited his efforts by such ingratitude and hopelessly com¬ 
promised his position in the countiy. Tlie neglect to do so ha.s 
certainly acted injuriously on tho minister’s personal interests. 

But what must he pronounced a political error proceeded from 
a highly honourable feeling. M. de Martino became early awaro 
that he was sacrificing himself by remaining in his position; but 
feeling that at the moment lio alone stood between the king and 
a sanguinary reaction, of however short duration, which would 
proceed from the soldiery, already difficult to restrain, he consi¬ 
dered it his duty to remain in office as long as he could preserve 
innocent lives from this otherwise inevitable slaughter. Such 
conduct deser\’C3 acknowledgment. But over and above these 
already formidable obstacles to contend against, there came in 
addition the insuperable element of Craribaldi’s solid success in 
Hicily and resolute intention to advance. This fact precisely fur¬ 
nished in abundance the one thing which would not have been 
tbrthcoming from within the country. It at once transferred to 
revolution, in the fullest Italian sense, that superstitious attri¬ 
bute of force which had been the spoil whereby Government had 
held populations in such mute subjection. The immediate con¬ 
sequence was an irresistible attraction, such as always impels tho 
weak to creep under the wing of the strong, and the timid to put 
their confidence in the uppermost. It was a national process of 
solution against which, iu the void it had created, the Government 
found itself unable to provide any counteracting spirit; for al¬ 
though political opinion was in a low condition of positive develop¬ 
ment, yet one feeling of intense distrust in Bourbon faithfulness 
pervaded all classes of the Neapolitan dominions. The only ele¬ 
ment which therefore might perhaps have served to support tho 
sixiking cause of the dynasty was the army. But then it would 
have been necessary for the king to face the enemy, and it was 
not until inexorable necessity drove him, os a helpless fugitive. 



The Neapolitan and Roman Questions. 120 

withia tbe lines of Capua, that this pitiful monarch could be got 
near troops off parade. The force that thus irresistibly swept 
away the Neapolitan throne was a force which, by the fact of its 
successes, necessarily also coerced Count Cavour. The tiny germ 
that had stolen out of Genoa had sprung into the proportions of 
a power extorting a prominent place in the contemplation of 
Europe, and to be disowned by the Government of Victor Em¬ 
manuel, only at the price of complete moral suicide at home. 
Hence the self-evident impossibility for the Piedmontese Minister 
to respond to the proposal of an unlimited alliance with tlie Go¬ 
vernment of Francis II. Such an alliance had been an object of 
Count Cavour’s most earnest wishes for a long period. The lead¬ 
ing Neapolitan patriots, nt the time when the Italian campaign 
began, had made an offer to King Ferdinand to waive the question 
of a constitution, if he would enter into active alliance with Pied¬ 
mont. On the accession of his son, the Piedmontese cabinet 
had strained every nerve to induce him to enter into such a treaty, 
ns the only means to obviate convulsions. These advances had 
encountered a steadily stolid repulse. When in the depths of his 
distress the Neapolitan sovereign turned, wth accents of despair, 
to court the baud he had formerly rejected with such confirmed 
obstinacy, that hand was no longer in a condition to extend the 
assistance it once had been both able and willing to afford. The 
Neapolitan envoys despatched to Turin to negotiate a close union 
were there cordially received. The Government of Victor Em¬ 
manuel was thorougldy ready to live on terms of good fellowship 
with that of Francis II., and to abstain from aggravating its em¬ 
barrassments. It was sincerely prepared to abide in the neigh¬ 
bourly relations of an ally. But for Count Cavour to have 
concluded, in the presence of what was occurring in Sicily, a 
treaty which,must have implied a new recognition of, and fresh 
guarantees for, the autonomy of the Neapolitan dominions, would 
have been to convert Victor Emmanuel from the foremost cham¬ 
pion of Italy into the foremost and recreant defender of its civil 
disunion. For any offensive and defensive treaty concluded at 
that momont with Francis II. would have disrinctly invested 
Victor Emmanuel with the character of his declared protector— 
imposing upon that monarch the condition to stand between the 
former aud the rising ffood of revolution; to confront, and if 
necessary to repel with imperturbable determination the advances 
of those who hod been devoted associates in his own great labour, 
and were merely trying to carry out in Southern It^y -the* same 
work to which, in other quarters, he had called them in stirring 
appeals. It is very natural tliat the King of Naples, in his pro¬ 
found distress, should have ardently desired to obtain tbe assisb- 
anco of this powerful intervention. It is very certain that the 
[Vol. LXXV. No. CXIiVn.]— New Semes, Vol. XIX. No. L K 



130 The Neapolitan and Boman Questions. 

Keapolitan ministers who advanced the proposal are men wliose 
integrity and patriotism offer every guarantee for the good faith 
with which it was their intention to turn to account the advan¬ 
tages they thereby would have obtained. Eut it is also clear to 
every impartial observer how utterly foolish it would have been 
in Count Cavour to allow Victor Emmanuel to ruin his popular 
position—imperilling at the some time the whole future of Italy— 
merely to serve tho dynastic interests of a sovereign who, as long 
as he had any power, steadily withheld it from him with malignant 
obstinacy. The Piedmontese Government did as much as ought 
ever to have been expected &om it, when it expressed its readiness 
to accept the new professions of Francis II., and not to initiate 
movements of subversion in his dominions, hut even to exert its 
moral influence with the view of indncing Garibaldi not to pursue 
his course of aggression. The Piedmontese Government acted 
fairly up to the point of these intentions. Tho contrary assertion 
proceeds from a total misapprehension, first, of Count Cavour’s 
great difiidence for a long while as to tho policy, in the abstract, 
of aiming at annexation with a population of so peculiar a condi¬ 
tion os that of the Neapolitan States; and, secondly, of his de¬ 
cided objection to see it consummated by tho violent means of 
conquest. 

There can be but one opinion as to the pure and highminded 
character of Garibaldi. It has been well said of him, that he has 
been cast in, the genuine mould of Plutarch’s men. His is a 
nature of magnanimous- devotion, and singleminded abnegation, 
without a speck of calculation or guile. But natures of so 
pure a block are little adapted to deal adequately with the com¬ 
posite occurrences of practical life. Their views are so entirely 
of a transcendent aspiration, as to render them unwilling to con¬ 
template—unable to appreciate—the vulgar necessities of expe¬ 
diency.- Such is the case with Garibaldi. Fully has he established 
claims to the title of hero; hut we fancy that hardly the most 
fanatic admirer of his virtues is still prepared to be enthusiastic 
about the Liberator’s political capacities. It was inevitable that a 
mind so ingenuous and simply straightforward should often have 
a sovereign contempt for considerations which weighed with a pro¬ 
found and responsible politician, like Count Cavour: unmitigated 
fearlessness is not the exact element for duties that have essen¬ 
tially to repose on matrure and subtle calculations. Also the grief 
which overcame Garibaldi on seeing bis native province tom 
from Italy, rendered him incapable of understanding any ex- 
plonationB, and inspired him with indignation against the minister 
-to the account of whose pusillanimity he laid tbe perpetration of 
this aci For to the man with a natural temper of foriom hopes, it 
was nnistdligible how even all the armies of France and Austria 



Tlie Neapolitan and Roman Questions. 131 

together coiild have an appalling aspect. When therefore Garibaldi 
entered upon the expedition to Sicily, he was in a humour of deep 
resentment at Count Cavour, which became aggravated by the 
obstacles he found thrown in bis way. The class of men to whom 
hetlius was driven to find associate in so desperate an enterprise 
were daring adventurers, whoso turn of mind naturally inclined 
them to extreme political doctrines. These doctrines in their 
distinct formula of republicanism. Garibaldi had long forsworn 
with the full singlemindcdncss of his strong convictions, and his 
generally true sense for properly appreciating the nature of things 
when once brought sufficiently close to him. In the personal 
qualities of Victor Emmanuel, he had recognised the unreal nature 
of Mazzinian abstractions. But while Garibaldi s straightforward 
fervour was then wholly won to the cause of monarchy, he yet allied 
himself with republicans, because the unsuspicious ingenuousness 
of his patriotism was easily caught by their specious arguments, 
to act fearlessly and rapidly toward the complete consummation 
of an united Italy, without regard for dictates of so called poli¬ 
tical expediency, or possible obstacles from without—Trance, 
Austria and the Pope, three quantities of grave power to states¬ 
men, but which to the men of this school were mere chimeras ex¬ 
isting in the brain of official prejudice. Suggestions of this kind 
unavoidably grew in attraction with the sense of growing force 
for their execution. Master of Palermo, sovereign of Sicily, 
after a course of most marvellous and instantaneous success 
under npparcntly impossible circumstances, it could not he 
otherwise hut that Garibaldi, with his dauntless heart, should 
have acquired an unfaltering conviction in the invincibility of 
valour and reckless daring. What had been performed was to him 
merely an earnest of the absolute facility with which might he 
done what still remained to he achieved for the completion of his 
cherished hopes. 

Consequently, at Palermo, Garibaldi was precisely in the mood 
the least ht to resist the congenial instigations of the movement 
party—the least calculated to lend a favourable ear to suggestions 
of temporizing policy, especially when coming from on obnoxious 
quarter. The moment was certainly not auspicious for Count 
Cavour to try and exercise influence over the decisions of the ex¬ 
asperated Dictator. It is more than doubtful whether any repre¬ 
sentations would have been able to mako Garibaldi desist frpm 
pursuing his advantages on the mainland. It does, however, seem 
to us, that the measures adopted by Count Cavour with the view 
of restraining the Dictator's action were not skilfully devised. 
The mission to Sicily of M. La Farina was an unhappy choice. 
That politician, a Sicilian, and a highly honourable man, who 
laboured long and steadily for the patriotic cause, had, however. 



] 32 The NeapoliUm and Itoman Questions, 

mode himself too direct and uncompromising a partisan of the 
minister not to excite by his presence very irritating recollections. 
In M. La Farina GaribaJdi perceived the virulent emissary of a 
powerful opponent bent upon vehemently thwarting him ; while 
those about him freely concurred in denouncing a politician with 
whom many had come into bitter conflict in the course of party 
contest. The consequence was the summary expulsion and de¬ 
portation from Palermo of M. La Farina, and several political 
associates ; an act which necessarily caused much painful scandal. 
After such incidents, the Dictator gave himself up to decided 
resolutions which were already far too much advanced towards 
realization to admit of his being any longer influenced by the 
counsels of moderation conveyed to him in a letter from Victor 
Emmanuel. Those counsels were not feigned, because granted 
even that Count Cavour was anxious for the subversion of the 
Bourbon dynasty, he yet deprecated the method in which Gari¬ 
baldi proposed to bring it about. For it was plainly foreseen 
how his success at Naples would be attended by all the dangers 
that have really arisen in the wake of the intemperate men who 
became promoted to a highly critical authority. On the other 
hand, a conviction was entertained, that, with Sicily torn from 
the Bourbons aud annexed to the territories of Victor Emmanuel, 
the Italian feeling would steadily develope itself in the Neapolitan 
provinces, to an extent which must, in the end, convert the Par¬ 
liament into the constitutional and irresistible organ of its expres¬ 
sion. 

Such a revolution, it was justly held, would be far preferable to 
an armed conquest, even though considerably delayed ; for it 
must tend to justify Victor Emmanuel’s title abroad, and facilitate 
his Government within. Count Cavour wished to leave to the 
undefined, but unerring and conclusive process of time, an 
operation wliich the impatience of Garibaldi and his followers 
fretted at seeing delayed for a day. In support of this policy, the 
Piedmontese minister stretched, to the verge of unpopularity, his 
influence with a view to arrest what he considered a precipitate 
event. Instead of abetting underhand opposition, the Pied¬ 
montese Cabinet was led by motives of policy, anxiously to ex¬ 
tend to tho constitutional efforts of the Neapolitan ministry, as 
much countenance as it possibly could, without irremediably 
compromising itself in Italy. Some persons may be disposed to 
blame these views as timid. That is a matter of legitimate con¬ 
troversy with which we have not to deal here. The point we 
dwell upon is the historical fact, that so far from being directed 
to undermine and subvert the throne of Francis 11., the Pied¬ 
montese agents at his Court were strictly instructed to abstain 
from all nets calculated to accelerate what, in Count Cavour’s 



The Neapolitan and Roman Qucs/tous. 133 

opinion, was a premature catastrophe. Also the attitude pre¬ 
served by Count Villamarina proved rigidly in accordance with 
these directions, and it is out of the question to ascribe to 
emissaries from his Goveniinent the events which ultimately 
ensued in the continental provinces. They are solely and en¬ 
tirely due to the irrepressible ardour of Garibaldi, who gave full 
vent to his contempt for diplomatic considerations, and considers 
the Piedmontese ministers to have acted tovards him in a spirit 
of malicious hostility. Thus with no otli®resources tlian were 
supplied by his own energy and skill. Garibaldi matured the 
invasion, and executed tho conquest of Naples. 

It is unnecessary to dilate upon the details attending Garibaldi’s 
tenure of sovereign authority in Naples. For the compreheusiou 
of Count Cavour’s subsequent policy, it sulRces to bear distinctly 
in mind how the event at once invested Garibaldi with an immense 
accession of power, and proportionately extended the sphere within 
the immediate range of liis action. For although the defence 
which, with nn army of fifty-live thousand men, Francis TI. has 
made good against raw levies from behind elaborate fortifications 
ought to offer nothing unexpected, yet the incredulous astonish¬ 
ment wi)ich tlie announcement of his intended resistance univer¬ 
sally encountered, is conclusive evidence tliat not even his mends 
contemplated tho probability of such fortitude. When tho king s 
departure put Garibaldi in peaceful possession of the capital, the 
prevailing conviction was that tho Royalist columns near Capua and 
Gacta were already vicing with each other in a process of dissolu¬ 
tion, and that virtually no material obstacle any longer interposed 
itself between the conquering Liberator and the outposts of tho 
French garrison of Rome. To march upon that city, by force of 
Italian arms to wrest it from the intrusive protection of foreign 
guardians, and at one vehement blow to avenge the disasters of 
1849, and demolish the hated temporality of the Rope, has been 
the acknowledged dream of GariboJdi’s life. When last year be 
commanded the levies of Central Italy, during a highly critical stage 
of the negotiations in reference to the then pending annexation, 
it had required Victor Emmanuel’s personal appeal to induce the 
General to abstain from grievously compromising a hopeful situa¬ 
tion by the rash invasion of the Pope’s States. That voice, how¬ 
ever, had lost much of its effect, since it was looked upon as an 
instrument under the direction of a recreant politician, the paltri¬ 
ness of whose views were now assumed to be demonstrated in the 
light of irrefragable success. Besidqs, the set of men who had 
succeeded in surrounding Garibaldi made it an especial duty to 
foment his instinctive bent towards a descent upon Rome. For 
the most part they were reckless levellers of a dogmatic school, 
who breathed uncompromising hatred to priests and all institu* 



134 The Neapolitan and Homan Questions, 

tions connected with them. Eegardless of possible consequences, 
they longed to make the same short work with the Pope and car¬ 
dinals which they were delighted at the opportunity of making 
with some refractory Neapolitan bishops. Undoubtedly there 
was extreme danger to be apprehended irom these rough heads 
being admitted to deal with the most delicate of political pro¬ 
blems. We are now in a perfect condition to appreciate the admi¬ 
nistrative capacities ^ these individuals by their operations in 
Naples. The crisis ffing now well over, there can be no reason 
not to denounce distinctly the mischief they were so near bringing 
on. Bertani, Orispi, and associates, by their persistently unto¬ 
ward administration, achieved the incredible. Their offensive 
measures rendered Garibaldi*s Government so obnoxious to all 
classes, except the mob of the capital, as actually to call into 
existence a party which, but for the timely intervention of the 
Piedmontese, would probably have brought back the fugitive 
king, from sheer despair at a prospect of indefinite and niinous 
•confusion. The enthusiasm showered down on Victor Emmanuel 
was accompanied by so strong and outspoken a feeling of reaction 
against the Dictator as was tnily painful to every one animated 
with a proper regard for the single-minded honesty of the high- 
soulcd patriot. 

We do not know where to find a parallel caso to the responsi¬ 
bility which Count Gavour had the moral boldness to assume 
under these circumstances, with the conviction of obviating still 
greater perils. Probably the nearest case in point is the resolu¬ 
tion Mr. Canning dared to take for the attack on Copenhagen, 
upon the strength of information which, however credible, it 
was yet quite out of his power satisfactorily to verify. But the 
stake involved by him was far below what Count Cavour might 
have risked. Labouring yet under the stigma of bad faith, so 
freely heaped upon him for the transactions about Savoy and 
Nice, Count Cavour found himself impelled to have immediate 
recourse to a flagrant violation of the law of nations, without an 
adequate pledge for the result. Altliough financial and other 
reasons ought long ago to have set the thoughts of the Austrian 
Government in other directions, it nevertheless appears beyond 
doubt, that at that period the Emperor was bo bent upon a 
renewal of war in Italy as to have become dissuaded only in con¬ 
sequence of the utter failure his advances encountered at Warsaw. 
The most reliable information confirmed Austrian armaments, 
which could be meant only with a view to war. The Pope’s 
ministers reokoued confidently upon its occurrence, and the 
Piedmontese Government became anxiously imjn^ssed with its 
imminent probability. It is indeed gener^y assumed, that at 
Ghambery the French Empe»» promt^ to connive at the pro- 



13D 


The Neapolitan and llojnan Questions, 

posed aggression of the Piedmontese. We have no grounds to 
doubt the correctness of this prevalent assertion, but we Lave 
never heard of any engagement actively to assist Piedmont in 
consummating her particular operations in the Homan and Nea¬ 
politan States. All that is suggested to have ever occurred, is an 
intimation to Austria from France, that she could not be allowed 
to undo quietly in Lombardy the work which had cost such an 
amount of French life. Against an attempt to make the province 
again Austrian, a prospect of renewed miliftry alliance was held 
out to Piedmont: but not, wo believe, with any engagement pre¬ 
cluding possible claims for compensation. The alternative 
Count Cavour had therefore to deal with was full of serious 
perplexity. If he let things go of themselves, Garibaldi and his 
intemperate followers would invade the Papal States, and rush into 
collision with the i’rench forces, wliich, wliether resulting in 
victory or defeat, must be alike pregnant with untoward conse¬ 
quences. on the other band, he himself took the initiative 
in solving tlie vexatious problem of the Jr'ope’s anomalous estab¬ 
lishment, he had to run the risk of opposition of undefined 
extent, his only possible ally being a power whose assistance he 
might have to remunerate by some fresh and painful concession, 
to the renewed irritation of ail Europe. In aniving at the 
deliberate decision which he came to under the circumstance of 
such highly critical contingencies, Count Cavour has, in our 
opinion, vindicated his genuine claims to be a great statesman, more 
than by any previous act. The degree in which justice has been 
instinctively rendered to his bold deed is very striking. In the 
general concuiTence of the best and most inlluential portions of 
European society to abstain from resenting—even from seriously 
discountenancing—proceedings which so clearly violated the 
usually sacred provisions of common right, it has been Count 
Cavour’s fortune to obtain a truly unparalleled tribute to the 
moral justification of his acts. It is the final evidence of how 
profoundly distasteful the Pope's temporal sovereignty has be¬ 
come to the public feeling and the public conscience of the 
m^ority in Europe. At the same time this affords a lively ex¬ 
pression of the conviction entertained as to the dangers that must 
have attended every other possible mode of procedure. It was 
beyond the power of man to prevqpt the States of the Church 
from being subjected to aggression from Garibaldi in possession 
of the contiguous kingdom. If success should attend the single- 
handed efforts of the reckless partisan, then that directiout 
which in the hands of Victor ‘Emmanuel might be to Europe a 
pledge for sound mid equitable adjustment, would for a. period irre¬ 
vocably lapse ta a hot-tempered party of reckless subversiouists. 
But success was out of the question. The contest Garibaldi had 



J'96 The Neapolitan and Homan Questions. 

I 

resolyed uron engaging in would have imposed upon the Emperor, 
if merely ior the honour of his arms, the necessity of conipletely 
defeating him. Thus the only result of his advance could have 
been to embroil the already critical condition of the Peninsula 
by irretrievable confusion, and to ruin his military prospects by 
a fool-hardy diversion, that must have ended in the destruction 
of gallant bodies, and have deprived Italy of possible assistance 
from her only active, ally, and inevitably have brought down 
nt once the AustrianTEjnperor, eager for war, upon the inadeejunte 
North-Italian army.'Jt is from this imminent danger of confusion, 
anarchy, and destruction of the means by which independence 
and strength alone can be ultimately consummated, that Count 
Cavour has saved his country, through boldly taking in hand tlie 
work which Garibaldi bad resolved to fuiiil in his own unsophis¬ 
ticated way. And in acting thus it may fearlessly be pronounced 
that he has rendered a general service to Europe. With what 
vigour the resolution arrived at was carried out by the officers 
entrusted with its execution, requires no comment. The events 
nt Castel Fidardo and Ancona are perfectly known and appre¬ 
ciated. Then and there the military establishment and tempoi’al 
sovereignty of Pius IX., (except as Lord of Rome itself,) were 
for all practical purposes demolished and buried. All that can 
interest us is the consideration what action it may be the Pope’s 
intention to pursue in his present shrunk condition. Is it liis 
resolution to scout sun'endcr ? Or can he be brought to termS ? 
Above all, what are the means of which he con still dispose '* 
And what kind of position may their judicious employment still 
suffice to secure, not merely for Pius IX., hut for the institution 
of the Papacy ? 

If the ordinary rules for calculating the resources of govern¬ 
ments were adequate for the estimate of Papal conditions, their 
exact valuation would lie within a nutshell. Reduced to the 
possession of his capital and an unproductive strip of land, and 
cut off from all territorial revenue, the Pope would bo thus on the- 
precise footing of the Xing of Naples in Gaeta; with the solo 
difference that exists between a blockade and a siege. Roth pro¬ 
cesses, under consistent execution, must ultimately result with 
mathematical infallibility in starvation and surrender. But tho 
altogether unique pretensions and principles that constitute the 
institution of the Papacy, likewise render altogether exceptional 
the quality of the resources of which it may be supposed to 
dispose. For those peculiar resdurces would be drawn from the 
regions of inward convictions and feelings not amenable to that 
mathematical analysis which can attain to irrefutable demonstra* 
tion of material elements. In considering, therefore, the. con¬ 
dition of Papal force, we continually have'to deal with esti- 



The NeapoUtar^ and Roman Questions. 1S7 

mates that cannot bo brought to the test of conclusive pro¬ 
cesses, and can rely only, oh our own vigilance not to be 
misled into exaggerated appreciations. A point upon whicli 
there can however be no doubt, is. the decided disposition of the 
Court of Borne not to waive its peculiar pretensions, and con¬ 
sequently to call into play all the particular resources in question, 
whatever these may practically amount to. For naturally the 
Court of Rome is infected with the same revival of uncompromis¬ 
ing earnestness, which has been so prominent a feature in the 
general aspect of Catholic society of the present century in contrast 
to that of the last. The Vatican has become imbued with a very 
different temper from that unconscious contagion of Encyclopedic 
want of faith in his own infallibility, which induced Clement XIV. 
to lend himself as a voluntary instrument for the suppression of 
tho body-guard of Pontifical sovereignty, the Jesuits, and 
from that pervading self-abandonment which caused a Peace of 
Tolentino to be tamely acquiesced in without scruples of con¬ 
science. To these deluded dispositions, there has succeeded a 
spasmodic grimness, very possibly the fatal symptom of disease 
at heart, attended with perfectly convulsive efforts at a return to full 
assertions of traditional pretensions. A pronounced tendency in 
this direction on the part of the Court of Rome, must unavoid¬ 
ably result in an inveterate conflict with the spirit of the age, 
and in the immediate question of Italian settlement with the 
strong sense of the people. But ns by its constitution, or rather 
usurpations, that Court linshecome the most absolute in Europe, 
its action may be considered essentially liable to personal 
influences. The policy of the Vatican, therefore, if it can be at 
all foregathered, is to be learnt only in the character of the owner 
for the time being. This possession is at present divided amongst 
Pius IX., Cardinal Antonelli, and Monsignor Merode. Let the ex¬ 
treme resolutions of headstrong opposition prevail with these men, 
and they may be expected to the end of their lives to command 
all tho forces at the disposal of Rome, Let them, on the other 
hand, he disposed to fair compromise, and there can be no question 
of their becoming hampered by any unruly fanaticism from the 
weak spirit of discipline proper to the classes constituting the 
conscientiously Catholic world. 

Weak and vacillating as Pius JX. is by nature, the range of his 
oscillations is yet always strictly confined within the limits of 
priestly feeling. Such was also the character o( that liberalism 
which once endowed him with singular sympathies. It was vague 
and tlieocratio impulse towards benevqlence on the part of an 
intellect blandly ignorant of all knowledge as to practical govern¬ 
ment, or the temper of the times. In the Pius IX. of 1848, we 
were supplied with the exact measure of what Guelpbism con pos- 



138 The Neapolitan ami Roman Questions, 

i 

sibly arrive at, as his natural age and distress have only tended to 
confirm and develops the elements of sacerdotal disposition which 
constitute the framework of the Pope’s nature. Pius IX., in cast 
of mind, views of duty and appreciation of atfairs, is the type of 
a monk raised to the chair of St. Peter. The world and its per¬ 
plexing complications of State—Christianity and its grave interest 
of conscience, the Pope approaches, considers, and treats with 
the simple order of ideas which enable an humble friar to deal 
with the little incidents of his cloister life. The inevitable coii'- 
sequence of such circumscribed powers of vision being transferred 
into high and responsible position, has-been to convert duty into 
a haunting hobgoblin for the mystically reverent Pius IX. Hence 
the pertinacity with which he has started back from the bare 
idea of a cession of temporal possessions. Ambitious lust 
of authority, there is none in his mild nature. Equally devoid 
is be of all kindred passions—avarice or covetousness or a 
sense for worldly comforts. One feeling alone can inspire his 
feeble mind with the strength of passionate resolution—his devo¬ 
tion to whatever reason or current prejudico may represent os 
portion of a Pontiffs duties. To this idea, therefore, Pius IX. is 
wedded, while the growing infiuence of mysticism over him 
has tended to confuse the conception of duty, and to render the 
Pope more and more prone to become the slave of prejudices. 
The force of these have hurried him into assuming an attitude in 
reference to liis territorial possessions, wliich is not in accordance 
with the true spirit of the Church. Under the influence of ex¬ 
aggerated suggestions, Pius IX. has been guilty of tiie indiscre¬ 
tion of identifying himself in his capacity of spiritual Pontifl' with 
his pretensions of temporal sovereign, and of linking the two autho¬ 
rities together. It is probable that the possible consequences of 
such an error were originally not comprehended. It is therefore 
a point of grave interest whether the persons of influence at the 
Vatican are prepared to abide by them, or are likely to induce the 
Sovereign Pontiff to modify in the eleventh hour his dispositions. 
Undoubtedly Cardinal Antonelli is the exact antitype to Pius IX. 
in all that concerns devotional and mystic convictions. His very 
positive and very sober astuteness is as indifferent to highflown 
aspirations, as bis tenacious and grasping nature is destitute of 
sacrifice aud abnegation. The service of the Vatican*has been 
to Cardinal Antonelli the trade of his election. That service re¬ 
quires euolesiasUcal profession, therefore Cardinal Antonelli pro¬ 
fessed. The calling thus adopted from calculation has been pur¬ 
sed with admirable assiduity, and the paramount influence made 
good over the pureminded disposition of the pious Po^e has been 
acquired at a fabulous expense of unrelaxing and undeviating craft. 
Pius IX. is resolved to be ever the servant of every f&ncied gust 



The Neaj>olitan and Roman Questions, 139 

of duty. Cardinal Antonelli is as steadily resolved that no pres¬ 
sure and no vexation shall ever induce liim to slip his moorings 
from a berth of interest and emolument. The circumstances of the 
moment which drifted Antonelli into office, tended towards 
overwhelming and apparently final reaction. It is not wonderfiil 
that a man gifted merely with the natural sharpness of a shrewd 
adventurer, and destitute of all comprehensive instruction, should 
have been misled into an exaggerated confidence in the perpetuity 
of conditions so favourable to irresponsible authority. The 
virtues of armies and treasures inspired overweening confidence 
in a mind whose natural want of faith was unable to grasp the 
force of principle and convictions. In the system of his adminis¬ 
tration the Cardinal accordingly proceeded upon the assumption 
that authority, poAver and protection could not fail, and that the 
passing away of possessions was out of the possible order of things, 
at least in his day. With views of so confined a range, there could 
be no obstacle founded on principle to prevent the Cardinal from 
propitiating every whim of his sovereign. This lie completely 
knew how to accomplish. When, therefore, the gi*ave complica* 
tions of 18r>9 began to break over Italy, the same policy cordially 
united the Poutilf and his minister—althongh they embraced it 
from (iilfcrcut feelings. The former was imbued with an exalted 
trust in the invincible triumph of Apostolical glory, while the 
latter merely had a profound contempt for speculations based on 
the chance of successfully breaking the bristling force of estab¬ 
lished prerogative. Antonelli therefore steadily discountenanced 
all notions of concessions to growing menace, because he recol¬ 
lected how in 1848 he had witnessed the overthrow of triumphant 
revolution ; because he could not wean himself from an ignorant 
reliance in the invincibility of the victors of that day, and because 
he was utterly without the capacity to estimate the worth of altered 
circumstances, and the force of new powers which now came upon 
the scene. When, however, the progress of events began 
sensibly to impair the established order of things, and painfully 
to afiect the conditions of the Holy See, the difference in dis¬ 
position between the servant and the master revealed itself in the 
difierence of their impulses. With his shrewd disinclination for 
hazardous risks, Antoneyi would have been perfectly content to 
roll himself up in an attitude of impassive obstruction, meeting 
the rough force of superior infractions with no other resistance 
than of imperturbable protest. His positive turn of mind enter¬ 
tained a thorough disl^e for the shadowy resources of purely 
Oatholie elements, while a sober sense for ways and means ren¬ 
dered him extremely averse to exciting suggestions for raising 
efficient armies and enlisting distinguished captains. The Pope, 
on the contrary—mild, benign, and ^able as he is by nature— was 



140 The Neapolitan and Homan Questions. 

i 

quite disposed to such views, under the influence of that supersti¬ 
tious sense of duty we have alluded to. The contest engaged took 
for him the shape of a contest for holy principle, in behalf of which 
it was sternly incumbent upon him to consider the horrors of war 
as a minor evil. Such views naturally responded to the inward 
impulses of Catholics imbued with mystic fanaticism. It is this 
party that has found a devoted organ in the energetic person of 
Monsignor Merode, who transfers to the duties of ecclesiastical 
life the vehement impetuosity, not amiss in his former military 
profession. Thanks to the advantages offered for intimate inter¬ 
course by a householc^ appointment, this prelate has gradually 
succeeded in a.sserting an influence over Pius IX., which at present 
actually has supplanted that of the great minister. Monsignor 
Merode is the man who has been the soul of all tbe Pope’s mili¬ 
tary doings. He brought General liamoriciere into Italy, and 
with fanatical zeal seconded liis efforts for the creation of an 
army. It is known that these measures were supremely dis¬ 
pleasing to Cardinal Antonelli. His resolution not to break with 
the sovereign, made him however quietly acquiesce in what ho 
saw the latter had set his mind upon. This condescension has 
maintained him in rank; but has not preserved him from most 
painful encroachments upon his influence. Of Into Cardinal 
Antonelli holds the seals of office, merely because the Pope has 
as yet been unable to summon sufficient courage to go through 
the act of dismissing the man whose spell he has so lung under¬ 
gone, and whom he still quails at. Favour and influence have en¬ 
tirely fallen to thosharc ofMonsignor Merode, while,exceptingtitlc, 
little is likely to remain in tlie possessioji of the imperturbable Car¬ 
dinal, whose practical philosophy appears proof to all offence. The 
policy advocated by the ruling favourite comprises everything 
which is extreme. Monsignor Merode is pushing armaments, and 
enlistments, that must he meant in contemplation of a desperate 
renewal of active warfare; while he is also strongly of opinion 
that the Pope should betake himself into foreign parts, and thence 
wage, with full spiritual weapons, the contest against sacrilege amd 
wickedness. There is no doubt ns to the ascendancy at the 
present moment of the influence at the Vatican. The only ques¬ 
tion is, whether it can maintain itself, and whether it be in com¬ 
mand of means adequate to its intentions. 

The first inquiry that naturally suggests itself in connexion 
with such a policy, must be tbe condition of the Pontifleal finances. 
Without money the Pope may still continue an immovable martyr; 
but must perforce become an impotent political agent. Now the 
available fuuds irom public sources are easily calculated. The 
Pontifical exchequer can only be in receipt of so much of the 
usual revenue as had been collected before the Piedmontese inva- 
\ sion: and must therefore be minus one quarter of the year’s 



The Neapolitan and Roman Questions. 141 

income. On the other hand, it has at its disposal the proceeds 
of the Inst loan, which was paid up to the amouut of upwards of 
50,000,000 of francs (5,000,000 of which arc kept back by the 
bnukers to guarantee the payment of the interest), and the 
Peter’s pcuce," which amount to near 10,000,000 of the 
same money. Against this treasure are to be put the ex¬ 
penses which have been seriously increased by charges for 
the army, and salaries of the ofticials expelled from the re¬ 
volted provimes. The balance would leave in hand a sum 
of perhaps :20,ono,000 francs ns tlie wliole fortune of the Papacy 
at the end of 1800, There are, however,^reasons for supposing 
the Pope to be in command of other suras. It is impossible to 
ac(iuirc absolute certainty upon this point. Persons, however, 
who are the best able to watch tlie movements of the Roman 
Treasury, concur in the belief that the Pope has been put in 
possession of very considerable sums. This seems strongly coito- 
boratod by the absence of those symptoms of monetary difficulties 
whicli arc inevitable on the approach of a stoppage of casli pay¬ 
ment. Still these funds must be limited, it is impossible that 
they can flow on indefinitely, whatever may be-their hidden source. 
Also the confidential advocates of the Pontifical Government do 
not presume to affirm its solvency to be insured longer 
than next spring. It is therefore very remarkable to find the 
Papal (Toverumont in the face of such prospects spontaneously 
launching into wilful expenditure. I’he Minister of War has 
quite recently given an order for thirty rifled cannon, and tlie most 
active exertions are being made at an immense expense to raise 
again a foreign force of several thousand men. Not even in the 
wildest transports of sublime conviction, is it possible for ifon- 
signor Mcrode to be actuated with the notion that if abandoned 
by allies the Pope might successfully maintain liimself in his 
capital with aid of such a force. Resides, there is not the least 
indication that the French garrison has any intention to deprive 
him of its guard. One is consequently driven to the conclusion 
that the ground for Monsignor Merode’s measures must be looked 
for'in a different direction. Wo are deeply convinced that they 
have been inspired by an infatuated conviction in an Austrian inva¬ 
sion, combined with a more or less general coalition against 
France. It is only with a view to such expectation that the self- 
confidence hitherto prevalent in the Vatican can become intelli¬ 
gible. The correspondence brought to light by the capture of 
Lamoricidres papers has fully revealed the complete military 
coalition which existed between the Vatican and Vienna. It is 
now also a matter put beyond doubt that the Emperor of 
Austria was at one moment firmly bent upon renewing hostilities. 
It is therefore very natural that the Pope's ministers should have 
taken measures in accordance with his probably very distinct 



142 The Neapolitan and Roman Queetiom, 

« 

assurancos. Up to the present moment we should certainly say 
that the Vatican has not yet abandoned the belief that a general 
war will break out against France. Whether Cardinal Antonelli 
himself be still sanguine of such an event, we do not ven¬ 
ture an opinion. But we strongly suspect that the fanatical 
party—now in the ascendant—still reckon upon a general war 
for the coming spring, which is to end in as general a tide of re¬ 
action for their own especial benefit. If correct in their prognos¬ 
tics, they are infallibly right in their conclusions. But if spring 
should not inaugurate an overwhelming coalition for the re-esta¬ 
blishment of overthrow Italian thrones, what will be the posi¬ 
tion with which the advisers of the Court of Home will then find 
themselves obliged to deal ? 

As long as the French garrison continues, the Court of Eome 
will be able to reckon upon immunity from all danger of personal 
violence. There is not the slightest indication of any intention 
to deprive the Pope of a protection, whoso withdrawal must in¬ 
stantaneously expose him to infallible coercion or expulsion. But 
there is likewise no reason to suppose that the military occupation 
of the French troops will bo extended beyond its present limits. 
These embrace districts that virtually can contribute nothing to 
the Papal exchequer, being for the most part waste lands. The 
territory where the Pope’s authority has of late been either re¬ 
established or confirmed by the presence of French troops can 
offer him absolutely no resources of any available kind. Their 
possession is the must barren of endowments. For the Pope, 
therefore, to derive benefit from his sovereignty, it is indispensable 
that he should be put in possession of additional territory. It 
requires no romantic conception of the French Emperor’s views to 
come to the conclusion that such an act cannot enter into his 
designs. We have expressed, and still entertain, a profound con¬ 
viction that the unity of Italy did not form port of his original 
scheme for its emancipation frpm Austrian supremacy. But now 
tliat—for the moment at least—the Unitarian movement has irre¬ 
sistibly gained the upper hand, the clearest dictates of policy 
must impel the Emperor not to break for ever with Italy, his only 
possible active ally, in face of no countervailing advantage. For no 
arbitrary intervention for the mere purpose of preventing unions 
will- suffice to obliterate the recollection of the past and enable the 
Emperor to regain the lost confidence of continental Courts; 
while the English alliance would be irremediably dashed to pieces 
by a proceeding of this nature* Sloreover, whatever misgivings 
we may justly be disposed to entertain as to the Emperors sin¬ 
cere adhesion to the doctrine of Italian union, his acts afford irre¬ 
futable proof of his decided disinclination to operate against it 
in the unpopular character of a champion of Pontifical restoration. 



The Neapolitan and Eoman Questions. 143 

For had he been so disposed, recent circumstances certainly 
offered the most plausible pretexts and the most advantageous 
opportunities that can ever be expected. It depended merely on a 
significantly forbidding attitude being assumed by France, to 
make it impossible for Count Cavour to push the Piedmontese 
forces into the Homan States in the presence of an inevitable 
Austrian invasion of overwhelming force. At the same time this 
desertion of Piedmont would have furnished the French Emperor 
with an admirable and most specious occasion for satisfactorily 
breaking up the young strength of Italy in tho collision he would 
have encountered as guardian of tho Pop^s person with the im¬ 
petuous Garibaldi. Ho deliberately abstained, however, from this 
easy lino of action. Moreover, when we como to look at matters 
closely, wo discover that the recent extension of French occupa¬ 
tion in the States of the Church, has been productive of benefit 
to tho national movement. Undoubtedly this act has inspired 
profound local resentment in tho populations directly affected by 
it, many of whom bad already revolted in confident reliance upon 
distinctly implied assurances. But we cannot help coming to the 
conclusion, that the measure was supremely conducive to public 
good, when we find it to have mainly influenced the Pope not to 
leave Rome at a moment when his departure would have griev¬ 
ously aggravated the embarrassments of Count Cavour, who had 
to deal with the heavy task of Neapolitan confusion, and pre¬ 
cisely at this conjuncture was for some days under the fear of 
hourly invasion from Austria. It is impossible to suppose that 
so crafty a politician as tho French Emperor should have been 
blind to tho practical consequences of his moves. It is also un¬ 
deniable that if at present Victor Emmanuel’s Government finds 
itself in a position to devote its undivided energy at home to 
the organization of Southern Italy, this is entirely due to the 
lucky postponement by the Pope of his moment for departure ; a 
resolution which at the time was certainly assisted by the osten¬ 
tatious arrival of large French reinforcements, that since have 
done nothing to restore the Pope to any virtual and effective 
authority. Hence wo feel perfectly confident that at nil events 
an intervention in behalf of the overthrown temporal powers of 
the Holy See does not form part of whatever secret designs the 
French Emperor may yet entertain with regard to the future of 
Italy. He is prepared indefinitely to extend to the Holy Father 
the same amount of protection as at present. This is, however, 
quite insufficient for providing him with the necessary revenue 
for his expenditure. The kernel of the problem as to the Pope’s 
continued independence in its present sense must consequently lie 
within the compass of a sim^e calculation. Hardly the most 
sanguine adherent can venture to trust that the Pope will ^be en.- 



144 TJie Neapolitan and Raman Questions. 

abled to defray permanently, through private contributions from 
the faithful, the expenditure that he still takes upon himself out 
of principle by no act to recognise a new government in the I'e- 
volted provinces. The annual interest upon his debt alone 
amounts now to upwards of a million sterling. The evil day of 
insolvency is therefore inevitable, when it must come to an issue 
whether the Pope, repudiating obligations, will be in a position yet 
to continue the struggle from his old residence in unimpaired 
defiance, or whether he will wage it from some other point, or 
whether, finally, he will come to terms with his aggressors. In 
passing, let us only observe, that persons disposed to think it 
possible to avoid such extreme issues between the Papacy and the 
Italian people, are under a very mistaken apprehension of the 
latter's present temper. The issue can only be avoided in the 
event of some disastrous and unforeseen interference forcibly 
crushing the whole national movement; short of such an occur¬ 
rence, nothing can get the better of the feeling which will strive 
to make of Home the capital of the Italian State. 

That the Pope should demean himself into clinging to his 
residence in Home under the protection of French bayonets, after 
he has seen himself obliged to repudiate obligations, and has 
sunk publicly into the condition of a helpless and bankrupt 
shadow, we certainly think impossible. Also we find it very diffi¬ 
cult to believe that with his particular pretensions and unambi¬ 
guous declarations, the Pope should yet he brought to accept 
terms which to persons not imbued with the spirit of canonical 
prejudice might seem ample and advantageous. The Pope is 
willing to depend upon the private offerings of the faithful, hut he 
has publicly declared on repeated occasions, with great solemnity, 
his irrevocable resolution never to become the stipendiary of 
governments. This determination must not be ascribed to mere 
personal passion. The individuality of Pius IX. has nothing 
more to do with it than that it happens to be the organ of the day 
for the inevitable expression of a logical and irresistible conclu¬ 
sion proceeding naturally from premises with which the Papacy 
has chosemto grow identified ns with the spirit of its essence. 
For the Papacy the doctrine not to bow in homage to a State—^not 
to concede dependence in any manner to a corporate body—is 
even a more inveterate sentiment than the idea of Divine right in 
royalty ever was for the most thoroughbred legitimist Sovereign 
in the purest days of unimpeachable monarchy. We should de 
cidedly be of opinion that before the Holy See can be induced to 
depart so far from its traditional prejudices as to consent to 
accept State endowments, it will have to be put yet to a length 
ened course of trials. It seems Iq us impossible to expect that 
the proverbially tenacious nature of the Court of Eome can be 



The Neapolitan and Roman Questions, 145 

induced to acquiesce in the signal infraction of its most cherished 
and distinctive principles, except after a series of events exhaust- 
ing every contrivance for resistance, and precluding the shadow 
of hope for recovering the condition of former days. If we are 
oorrect in our appreciation of the temper of the Court of Rome, it 
then must follow that the Pope ought to be driven to take his de¬ 
parture the day he hnds himself at the end of his means to defray 
any longer, in the manner he considers proper, the establishment 
of a Pontifi'. That day is inevitable, as it is also inevitable that 
whenever that day occurs some resolution must be come to in the 
Vatican infallibly fraught with immense consequences tothePapacy 
and to Italy. The voice of human policy would on that occasion 
counsel the Pope to throw open the jealous gates of the Vatican 
stronghold, to meet in fair paidey the adversaries of his former 
pretensions, and to abdicate his anomalous temporal sovereignty 
on conditions that might enable him in peace, dignity, and 
pomp to pursue the avocation of a Spiritual Pontiff. On the 
other hand, mysticism, hallucination, prejudice rendered vene¬ 
rable hy the rust of tradition and pSrsonal passion, are likely to 
combine in impelling Pius IX. to take the opposite course. It hi 
impossible to fix exactly the moment when the Pope will find him¬ 
self in the predicament to have to come to a decision. It is only 
-certain that there is no immediate want of money. He will 
undoubtedly bo able to fulfil all his engagements for several 
months to come ; some sanguine people say for an indefinite 
period. He is also firmly resolved to remain in Rome until the 
last extremities—as firmly as is possible with a man essentially 
feeble and vacillating. On tins point be is, however, steadied by 
the same sentiment of duty, which, in certain events, would actu¬ 
ate him to do the contrary. We may therefore confidently reckon 
upon Pius IX. staying in Romo until the great coming crisis. 
'I'he moment the Pope retires under such circumstances from Rome, 
this step will engulf him in that field of speculative resources to 
which wo have alluded as not admitting of any mathematical test 
for accuracy of estimates. The intention involved in its adoption 
is, however, unmistakcably clear. In committing such an act tho 
Pope would Ring himself upon an appeal to the Roman Catholicism 
of the universe. Tho father of so many hundred millions of be¬ 
lievers would wander forth in the conviction that the faithful will 
rise with devotional fervour to carry him back to the Pontifical resi¬ 
dence he has seen himself expelled from by impious sacrilege. It 
will be a distinct and unequivocal appeal without circumlocution 
to the religious feelings of Catholic Christendom against the 
national movement of Italy, in behalf of the territorial interests of 
the Court of Rome. It lies beyond our scope to consider the many 
—hardly calculable—consequences with which such ,a step 
tVol, LXXV. No. CXLVII.]— Nbw Sbeies, Vol. XIX. No. I. L 



146 The Nea'politan and Roman Questions. 

tlireatcns to prove pref^naut, for tho serious modification of the 
simply religious authority of future popes. Let us only glanco 
for an instant at its almost certain effects upon the immediate 
question: the recovery of temporal sovereignty for the papacy. 
Li tho first place, we are convinced that the notion of great 
Catholic reaction proceeding from fervent affection for tho tem¬ 
poralities of the Holy Sec, and resulting in a victorious emsade 
against Victor Emmanuel or his successor, is an utterly visionary 
hallucination, only to he found in the brains of insane fanatics. 
We have pretty well the measure of what Catiiolic piety is up to, 
in ''Peter's pence ” and Lamoriciere's discomfited army. Secondly, 
there are unmistokeablo symptoms of a profound indisposition on 
tlie part of tlie bulk of the Italian clergy to allow itself to bo 
dragged indefinitely into a vexatious contest with tho ruling 
powers for tho sake of interests that really do not affect it. For 
the Catholic priest out of Italy, the temporal estal)lishmcnt of the 
Pope is a conception that fits into his order of ideas, and prac¬ 
tically touches him exactly of a piece with purgatory or any 
other received dogma. Nft; so with the priest in Italy, who 
is daily brought in contact with personal inconveniences, solely 
resulting from this obnoxious institution. Therefore, tho bulk 
of the Italian clergy is well disposed to consider the matter of 
the Pope*s temporalities as an affair that merely regards the Court 
of Rome. This feeling is participated in by the most conscien¬ 
tious divines, who have strongly blamed the bull of excommuni¬ 
cation, by which the Pope identified himself in his spiritual 
capacity with his condition of sovereign, as an act outstepping 
the provisions of canon law. Moreover, it will rapidly spread, 
the day the vital interests of religion and the Church begin to 
suffer in Italy by the Pope’s obstinately refusing, out of regard 
merely for his temporalities, to sanction nominations to vacant 
bishoprics in the territories now ruled by Victor Emmanuel. 
There are here very serious elements of schism fermenting which 
have extorted attention even from the Vatican. It is acknow¬ 
ledged that the inferior clergy is desisting from agitation against 
Victor Emmanuel. At the same time apprehension is becoming 
prevalent amongst religious corporations for their properties, 
menaced with imminent danger by a continuation of the present 
policy of the Holy See. For by far the greater portion of papal 
stock is iu the hands of pious foundations that depend upon its 
proceeds for support. The growing anxiety thus produced amongst 
the best, the devoutest, and the widest sections of the Italian clergy, 
offers a chance for bringing about an accommodation between the 
Court of Rome and the adversaries of its sovereign existence. 
Should a vacancy occur in the Holy Ssb before the inevitable 
day of ^nancial crisis, we are inclined to think that the conclave 



The Neai)olitan and Roman Questions. 1-17 

might be disposed to acknowledge the force of circumstances, und 
vii’tually sacrifice the J*ope’s temporalities out of regard for Iho* 
dangers menacing the Church, iiutwith Pius IX, we apprehend 
it to bo hopeless to expect that such calm considerations will be 
able to gain the upper-hand over the exaggerated views and i)er- 
sonal passions bo appears to have so largmy contracted, lie has 
compromised himself to such a degree as probably to become 
helplessly bound to that false point of Ijonoiir wliicli is so omni¬ 
potent with weak natures. Such, as iar as wo can contrive to 
decipher tliom, seems h) be the prospects of the papal future, and 
such the circumstances (yount (hwour has put himself in the 
condition ])robably to deal witli. Tlio position wlikjh he has 
assumed in the States of the Ohurcli promises the reduction of 
the Pope hy blockade, a process quite as effectual and far more 
conclusive than the expeditious, hut objectionably rough treat¬ 
ment to which Garibaldi would have subjected him. 

This great work of Italian regeneration and constitution so 
steadily and skilfully conducted hy Count Cavouv, and in the main, 
it seems to us, decidedly favoured with encouraging auspices, is 
still hy no means free from djingerous elements. These reside 
in the serious possibility of paramount disturbing causes, inter¬ 
vening forcibly to prevent the Italian Government from devoting 
its w'liolo energies to the necessary work of organization and 
prematurely to precipitate it into attempts above its power. The 
dominions of tiie King of tlic Two Sicilies have been conquered 
hy Victor Emmanuel; they have now to bo made his own in the 
true sense of the word. That luonarclis tenure over their popu¬ 
lations, at least in the Neapolitan provinces, is for the moment at 
bottom little more than the tenure hy which they were kept in 
quiet subjection by fonner masters. It is the tenure of success 
—of the superstitious awe that has no comprehension how not to 
bend humbly before the symbol of force. An accession of some 
millions of subjects of such temper cau swell the muster-roll of a 
realm, but cannot add to its material strength. That will only 
be brought about when the dead and ignorant masses have been 
quickened into a new spirit capable of appreciating the boon of a 
revolution that has really been imposed upon them by the impetuo-^ 
fiity of a patriotic partisan, and the efforts of a select circle of in¬ 
telligent individuals. Until this great work of organization and 
development has made progress, there ought to be no delusion as 
to the fact, that his properly Neapolitan populations will be for 
Victor Emmanuel but a fair-weather possession, not to be relied 
on for any valuable contribution to the defence of the country, 
or for any capacity of resistance. Moreover, there exist in these 
Neapolitan territories widespread reactionary elements which, 
although they failed to make good a head in open struggle for 

L 2 



148 The Neapolitan and Roman Qaeations. 

the Bourbon dynasty, are very capable of proving vexatiously 
obstructive to the new Government. These are to be found 
amongst an ancient aristocracy of large territorial possessions— 
of Spanish, if not feudal, traditions—and especially averse to see 
Naples stripped of autonomy. They may easily combine with a 
seditious priesthood to instigate the passions of wild populations 
into a course of outlawry and rapine, a political guerilla warfare, 
which, under the shape of brigandage, may for years harass the 
march of improving government. This is merely what one must 
be prepared to encounter from a people in a thoroughly inorganic 
condition, and therefore necessarily liable to be swayed in little 
knots, hither and thither, at the mercy of chance influences, into 
desultory outbreaks. It requires but a certain amount of time, 
together with sound administration, to get the better of such 
defects. If Count Cavour be only allowed the former, his work 
in regard to administration will be rendered easy. The profound 
neglect in which motives of suspicion made it a State maxim for 
the Bourbons to leave their provinces, must afford any new 
Government an excellent means of propitiating the gratitude of 
its subjects. The Neapolitan provinces, with the exception of 
the immediate neighbourhood of the copital, constitute so many 
isolated districts of local and specifle barbarousness. For the 
inmates of Calabria, Apulia conveys the idea of a country as 
remote and strange as America; and the inhabitant of the Abruzzi 
never has had any intercourse with his countryman in Magna 
Grecia. The inevitable consequence of this truly Spanish system 
of stifling free movement and intercourse has been to repress the 
development of the material resources of a country abounding 
in untold wealth. The kingdom of Naples is a virgin country, 
teeming with unexplored capacity for agricultural and commercial 
prosperity. The minister, therefore, who will open roads through 
these often directly inaccessible districts, who will stimulate the 
turning to account of their resources, and who will thus make the 
inhabitants acquainted with higher social conditions, will confer 
boons that cannot fail to be repaid with hundredfold interest, in 
a general elevation, not merely of tlie wealth, but also the spirit 
of the country. In this way a new temper will be evoked in the 
provinces, endowed with a strength more than ample to counter* 
balance any dissatisfaction that may arise id the capital at the 
loss of a Court. Besides, it must be borne in mind that the same 
system of inorganic isolation which has passed over the provinces 
in regard to each other, has likewise broken any intimate con¬ 
nexion between them and the capital. For the townsman of 
Brindisi, Manfredoni^ or Tarentum, it makes no difference 
whether the king resides at Naples or Timrin, for all that he ever 
had directly to do with the presence of roy^ty. Therefore the 



149 


The Neapolitan and Roman Questions. 

especial appeal of the Neapolitan lazzaronc, or court-fed noble, 
on the score of the absence of a royal establishment, will not bo 
calculated to move the heart of the country at large. These on 
tho whole, therefore, not inauspicious conditions are to be found 
in a yet higher degree in iSiuily. Here there can bo no longing 
reminiscences of a departed Court, while a pronounced and per¬ 
vading national feeling unites the population in spontaneous 
allegiance to the new Government, under the impulse of aversion 
to Neapolitan domination. 'J’he same Spanish neglect of attend¬ 
ing to the comforts of tho people aflbrds also in this island- 
even more so than on the continent—an easy method of acquiring 
popularity. There are some politicians who persist in considering 
tho recent manifestations ip Sicily in behalf of Victor Kmmanuel 
to bo factitious. They would maintain that tho mass, both of tho 
people and the intelligent classes, cherish the thought of a 
separate State. We believe this opinion to proceed from an 
entire misapprehension of the present temper of the Sicilians. 
This long and persistent aspiration for a Sicilian kingdom, was 
but the expression of their intense desire to get rid of Naples at 
a period when the idea of one Italian State suggested itself to no 
one as practically possible. The proof that such a separatist 
party does not exist, at least to any extent, is afforded hy the 
participation in the act of annexation of the leading men of 
Sicily, in birth, station, and intelligence. It is true that Gari¬ 
baldi, by his timely arrival, accomplished the essential part of 
the military revolution, hut the moral and political one is in 
Sicily a thoroughly natioual and popular deed, and not, as in the 
Neapolitan provinces, the work, at best, of select intelligence. 
Were a system of stringent centralization to be introduced, this 
would undoubtedly give rise to dissatisfaction which must become 
dangerous. There is, however, no notion of doing so; and the 
same plan which has been successfully adopted in Tuscany will 
be pursued in Sicily and Naples, and give general contentment. 
Therefore time—and merely time, if properly applied—seems to 
us all that is wanted to ensure the work of consolidation in 
Southern Italy. But will that requisite time for the develop¬ 
ment of the strength of Italy be granted to Count Cavour? 
Can the passions of populations in the flush of unparalleled 
success be restrained from becoming hurried into a rash and pre¬ 
mature aggression of Yenetia? This looming conflict is the 
cardinal danger of Italy. By the side of it all others dwindle 
into nothing. Deeply is it to be deplored that at this most 
critical hour of his country's fate, the virtuous Garibaldi should 
have been hurried into fending the authoritative accents of his 
voice to the instigation of these dangerous passions. It is certain 
that if the already liberated portions of Italy contrive to grow 



150 The Neapolitan and Roman Questions, 

firmly together, Venctia must eventually be drawn to the sister 
realm, ilut it is also hardly conceivable that the Italian levies 
should, w'itliin the period of a few months, prove already in a 
condition by themselves to achieve what all military men hold to 
bo about the hardest possible conquest It is to bo hoped that 
the experience of fortifications won at Capua may yet have the 
effect of moderating the impetuous disposition of Garibaldi, and 
especially of his followers: for they are more difficult to deal 
with than the straightforward, simple-minded General, *No 
person can he more profoundly convinced than Count Cavour of 
the impolicy of beginning an attack on Venotin, which in the first 
place would justly expose Italy to general animadversion for 
plunging Europe anew into the dark^vortex of war ; and in tho 
second place, as he well knows, must constrain Italy again to pur¬ 
chase the assistance of the Emperor Napoleon, probably oblige 
it to follow in his wake, and undergo the hazardous conse¬ 
quences of ulterior designs which cannot fail to call uj) the Ibr- 
midable enmity of combined Europe. Certainly this slirewd 
politician is firmly bent by every effort within his power upon striv¬ 
ing not to imperil the unseasoned timbers of his State by rashly 
striking them against this menacing shoal. It is a lucky circum¬ 
stance that the firm establishment of regular authority in the 
districts contiguous to Venetia will facilitate the jirevention of 
untoward collision with Austrian forces on the 2 )art of intemperate 
volunteer bands. The danger of a premature outbreak is con¬ 
siderably diminished by the difficulties thus interposed in the way 
of organizing auxiliary expeditions. Still our main hope for 
seeing the Italians maintain on this occasion the same wise 
instinct os hitherto, must repose upon tho admirable confidence 
they have so steadily accorded to sound counsel, and which there 
is no symptom as yet of their withdrawing. The ephemeral pos¬ 
session of political authority by Bertani, Crispi, and their com¬ 
rades, has in one sense been a happy event. The extraordinary 
application of power by these gentlemen has proved tho most 
seasonable corrective to a growing disposition in favour of ex¬ 
treme men and extreme measures. This temporary elevation 
seems to have proved to the re-emerging Bepublicans the some 
destructive blow as that which in former days of Mazzinian conspi¬ 
racies had been suffered by them from their criming attempt to seize 
the forts of Genoa. Public opinion has been strongly impressed 
by the contrast offered between the party rancour, confusion, and 
senseless provisions which have marked the action of the revolu¬ 
tionary Government in Naples, and the concord, order, and 
admirable arrangement that have accompanied change in the 
rest of Italy under the auspices of the very men whom the authors 
of Neapolitan failures kept denouncing with the shrillness of 



The Nca'politan and Roman Questions. 151 

frantic virulence. ;Ma;^zini, under the cover of dummies, lias 
again, at a critical hour, and under most advantageous circum¬ 
stances, attempted to get a hold on Italy, and the break-down 
has been most complete. A little temper in dealing with suscepti¬ 
bilities seems to us all that is requisite to ensure to Count 
Cavour and Ids iriends the maintenance of that influence they 
have hitherto enjoyed. Nor is that period of peaceful develop¬ 
ment so much to bo desired for Italy calculated to put off into 
indeiinite time the accomplishment of what is still indispensable 
for tlio constitution of the country. lt,is indeed impossible to 
prognosticate the march of events in regard to Venctia, as pro¬ 
ceeding from causes within the Austrian Empire. But as con¬ 
cerns iiomc, it is indisputable that the conversiou of the territories ^ 
now lield hy Victor Emmanuel from the condition of a proble¬ 
matical inti) those of a consolidated power must forthwith 
introduce an element calculated to (.‘xork a telling inilucuce upon 
the evacuation of Home by the J^Vcncli. Even in the days when 
it was admitted that their presence alone could oftcr any guarantee 
against anarchy in Romo, this occupation was such an eyesore to 
Europe, that public opinion and diplomacy together lost no 
opportunity in protesting against its coutinunuce, and extorting 
a promise for its earliest possible cessation, it is pltiin that as 
soon as the Italians have established their claim to a national 
force, all Europe, in behalf of its own interests, will combine 
to urge the transfer to it from French hands of the important 
possession of Rome. The position of the French in that capital 
must thus, in a short time, become perfectly untenable in 
presence of a compact Italian power, unless they be prepared to 
defy all Europe, and venture to act as unmitigated aggressors. 

After duly weighing all the contingencies that seem to us loom¬ 
ing in the future, wo are decidedly inclined to think that we may pre¬ 
sume to entertain hopes for the successful consummation of that 
groat work of regeneration which has been hitherto favoured with 
such a marvellous constellation of lucky chances. It is now 
happily put beyond doubt, that the final fate of Italy has become 
lodged in the hands of her children. Upon thoir prudence, their 
temper, and their sound patriotism will have to depend the 
perfection and conservation of what as yet is merely a tender 
creation in the brittleness of infancy. The priceless gem of 
independence, for which generations have sighed, is now virtually 
in the possession of the Italian people. Let them then prove a 
genuine appreciation of the matchless treasure now within their 
permanent grasp, hy nursing its germ with that jealous husbandry 
which only fools can shrink from, and which must prove the infal¬ 
lible means of bringing to perfection the as yet incomplete virtues 
of its lustre. For this end demands will have to be imposed upon 



] 52 American Slavery: the Impending Crisis. 

the Italian people, of longer duration—and therefore probably 
more fretting—but certainly not so extreme, as those to which 
they have already so often responded with admirable spontaneity- 
A little perseverance, therefore—a little fortitude on the part of 
the longing Venetians—a little curb upon the impulses of impe¬ 
tuous aflection on the part of their Italian brethren—and we may 
reckon upon seeing, within a few years, an united Italy, strong 
in its loyalty to the dynasty of Victor Emmanuel, with Rome for 
a capital—the Alps, Adriatic, and Mediterranean for its frontiers 
—the cherished home wf a happy people, and a pledge to the 
liberty and progress of Europe. 



Abt. VI _ American Slavery : the Impending Crisis. 

1. The Impending Cmsisof the Sonih: hmv to meet it. By 

Hinton Rowan Helper, of North Carolina. New York, 
1860. 

2. A Journey in the Back Country. By Erederick Law 

Olmsted. London. 1860. 

T he founders of the American Republic looked upon slaveiy 
os an anomaly in their land, and condemned the institution 
in the most unequivocal terms. In the. flush resulting from 
successful revolution, the selfishness of slaveholders was dormant, 
and the idea of perpetuating the national sin was never broached. 
The Declaration of Independence asserted the personal liberty of 
every human inhabitant of the Colonies. But when the great 
struggle had ceased, and the leading minds of the country sat in 
council to frame a constitution the pro-slavery feeling revived, and 
though seven of the States declared for freedom, six of them stood 
by slavery, and the blemish was permitted to remain. Self- 
interest was too powerful for Washington and his co-patriots; 
but though the system was tolerated, it was not sanctioned, and 
nowhere in the ‘ Constitution' can the word slave or any of its 
derivatives be found. The thing was abhorred, and was evi¬ 
dently looked upon as the plague-spot of the land, the eradication 
of which was only a matter of time; for it was thought by many 
that the institution would gradually die out after the extinction 
of the external trade in 1808 Q>rovided for at the convention of 
1787), which may account for the apparent lukewarmness of the 
fnends of flreedom at the moment when the death-blow to slavery 



American Slavery: the Impending Crisis, 155 

might liavo been given. The fallacy of this supposition was 
discovered too late, and the evil, instead of abating, has rapidly 
gained ground. 

The cause of the continued ascendancy of slavedom has been 
the timid conduct of the representatives of the free States, who 
though they have occasionally made a groat show of resistance, 
have always succumbed when the hard lighting has commenced. 
The history of the struggle demonstrates, that notwithstanding 
the Northern States havo been nominally on the side of freedom, 
yet the multiplicity and discordancy of tlieir political parties, and 
the generally feeble and time-serving nature of their policy, havo 
enabled the united and better organized forces of the South, not 
only to secure the preservation, hut the indefinite extension of 
their favourite institution. A great awakening, however, seems 
now to be taking place in the American mind, and henceforward 
the enemies of freedom, instead of waging war with a disunited 
and factious foe, will linvo to combat the combined forces of a 
comparatively new antagonist, in the shape of the recently 
formed organization, known as the Jiepuhlican party—a party 
■which though only of a few years' growth, is daily adding to its 
numbers and increasing its power. 'J’his section of American 
politicians is made up of the most intelligent and energetic 
members of the legion of factions which have hitherto obtained 
in the Union, and who havo begun to see that unless a stop he put 
to tlie progress of slavei*y, and the intolerent bearing of the slave¬ 
holders, the free institutions of tlie North will soon bo swamped by 
the cursed system of Southern bondage. 

Not the least significant ‘ sign of the times* is the fact that 
Mr. Helper’s “Impending Crisis of the South” has reached a 
circulation of one hundred and forty-five thousand copies! The 
estimate in which the work is held by the Southern Oligarchy 
was made known at the commencement of the lost Congress by 
the repeated defeat of Mr. Sherman, the Republican candidate 
for the speakership of the House of Representatives, and the 
necessity that gentleman’s friends were under of withdrawing his 
name a^r a furious contest of over two months' duration : Mr. 
Sherman, prior to his nomination, having somewhere passed a 
high eulogiam upon Mr. Helper's work, recommending at the 
same time that it be circulated broadcast through the length 
and breadth of the Union. 

The book is written by a native of North Carolina, and is dedi¬ 
cated to the ‘ non-slaveholding whites of the South and the object 
of the author is to demonstrate the superiority of free over slave 
institutions in their influence upon the moral, political, commer¬ 
cial, and agricultural process of the country, and to propound 
what he considers to be most feasible plan for securing the 



15 i American Slavery: the Impending Grim. 

« 

emancipation of the black population of tho South. The stylo 
of the production is peculiarly American. Its language and 
ideas alike oi'c often extravagant, aud its allusions sometimes 
very personal. The statistics and other facts are well arranged 
and fully authenticated ; but the conclusions of the author are 
not always correct, and occasionally exhibit a want of .practical 
political knowledge. 

The case is different with tho second work placed at the head 
of this article. Mr. Olmsted’s arguments are based upon facts 
derived from the same sources ns those of Mr. Helper, but his 
conclusions are more logical, and his opinions less extreme. He 
views slavery and its effects with the eye of a practical agricul¬ 
turist, and though he arrives at the same conclusions as .Mr. 
Helper with respect to the unprofitableness of the institution, he 
is more moderate in his language, conciliatory towards the South, 
and more practical in his remedial suggestions. In point of 
literai 7 merit, “A Journey in the Back Country” is incomparably 
superior to “The Impending (Jrisis of the South.” 

So far as nature is concerned, the capabilities of the pre¬ 
sent Slave States ai*e much superior to those of tho Free States; 
but in every respect the progress of the lattej' has far outstripped 
that of the former. The marked contrast exhibited between tho 
condition of the Northeni and Southern States has not failed to 
force itself upon the attention of all European visitors to the 
great liepublic, and there seems to be no doubt that slavery is 
the cause, directly or indirectly, of the backward state of things in 
the Southern portion of the Union. 

The population of tho original thhteen States in 1790 was 
3,6d9,000, of which 1,^52,500 Avere inhabitants of the South, and 
1,780,499 inhabitants of the North, showing a difference in favour 
of the Slave States of 60,007 persons. Tho geographical extent 
of the Free States Avas 124,380 square miles, and of the Slave 
States 212,685 square miles, exhibiting a balance in favour of the 
latter of 88,305 square miles. During the subsequent sixty 
years, whilst the population of tho seven Northern States 
has added 5,943,063 persons to its numbers, or 332 per cent., 
the six Southern ones have added only 2,687,462 persons, 
or 145 per cent.; the total loss to the South being 8,265,611 
persons! 

Since the date of the “ Constitution** eighteen new States have 
been admitted into the Union, of which nine have allied them¬ 
selves to the Free States, and nine to the Slave States; but, 
though the number of States have been equally diArided, slavedom 
has succeeded in securing the largest extent of territory; the 
gain to the North being only 488,217 square miles, against a 
Southern gain of 638,763 square miles. But in popidation, the 



155 


American Slavery: the Impending Crisis, 

North, much to the annoyance of the slavoliolders, has gained 
persons: tlio number of inhabitants in 1H50 being 
13,134,922 in the Free States, but only 9,612,070 in the Slaves 
States ; for the former 21*91 to the square mile, but for the latter 
only 11*20. 

Freedom abhors slavery, and henee it is that whilst the native 
population of the North has not perliaps increased in a greater 
ratio than that of the South, the former has had the entire benefit, 
or nearly so, of the immense and continuous Kuropoan immigra¬ 
tion. The natural tendency of immigration is to spread itself 
over the country ; but the tide is as effectually turned back from 
the South, us if the margin of the Free States was on tho Gulf 
of Mexico. Not only is tho South suffering because of this 
negative effect of Jicr evil ways, but her labour supply is thinned 
by tlie positive emigration of her own people. 

According to the last census there were 609,223 natives of tho 
Slave Stales residing in the North; whilst there were only 
205,924 natives of tho Free States residing in the South; giving 
a hidance against the Slave States of 403,299 persons ! Dr. 
]-)uffnoi*, of Virginia, drew tho attention of his countrymen to this 
state of tilings some ten or twelve years ago, remarking that the 
multitudes wlio shunned the regions of slavery and settled in tho 
free countries of the West, were generally tho most industrious 
and enterprising of their white citizens. Professor B. S. Hedrick, 
of North Carolina, who was recently deprived of his post in the 
university, and expelled his native State, because of las anti- 
slavery notions, lias testified that more than one half of his friends 
and neighbours have left the State during the period of bis re¬ 
collection, knowing as they did tliat free and slave labour could 
not both exist and prosper in tlie same community.'' 

Tins state of tilings will continue so long as tlio idea of labour 
is so degraded as it is by being associated with slavery. When 
any species of labour is once performed by slaves, it is entirely 
deprived of that dignity and honour which of right belongs to it; 
and so we find that in the Southern Sttitcs of America the white 
man “ disdains to work like a nigger;” “ no kind of labour is free 
or respectable,*’ but is “ low and unfit for freedomand no 
matter how moral, or intelligent, or well-to-do in the world a 
man may be, he is " accounted as nobody,” in either social or 
political circles, unless he is the owner of a few negroes. 

A man's standing, influence, or respectability is conventionally 
estimated by the number of pounds sterling be can command in 
England or dollars in North America; but by the number of 
slaves be holds in the Southern States. The most insignificant 
white man will live in the most penurious style in order to save 
money for investment in the favourite “ propertyfor such a 



166 American Slavery: the Impending Crisis. 

movement raises him from the condition of “ white trash*' to the 
status and society of Southern gentlemen. 

Governor Hammond, of South Carolina, has declared, that out 
of the 800,000 whites of his native State, there arc not more than 
60,000 whose industry is adequate to procure for them honestly 
such support as every white person feels himself entitled to. 
Similar testimony is borne by Wm. Gregg, who states that 
slavery monopolizes the whole of the capital, enterprise, and 
intelligence of the State, and that a large portion of the wliite 
population ‘'are wholly neglected, and suffered to while away an 
existence in a state but one step in advance of the Indian of the 
forest;*’ and the Hon. J. H. Immpkin speaks of the poor whites 
of Georgia as “ degraded, half-fed, lialf-clothed, and ignorant 
uneducated and minus any just appreciation of character. 

But we are told that the climate of the Southern States is un¬ 
congenial to the European races, and that it is especially adapted 
to the constitution of the negro. This notion is almost as current 
in England as it is in America, but no statement is more untrue, 
for the testimony of travellers and the facts obtained by the 
census prove the contrary. On the average of years the propor¬ 
tion of deaths to the number of persons living is positively more 
in the Northern than in the Southern States. Eor instance, the 
mortality in 1850 in the seven original Free States was 1 in 
68*78 persons living, but in the six old Slave States only 1 in 
78*C;i ! The highest average in the Free States being 1 in 81'08 
in Pennsylvania, and the highest in the Slave States I in 91*93 
in Virginia! Taking the whole of the present States, inclusive 
of Vermont and Wisconsin, where the average mortality was 1 in 
100*13 and 1 in 100*82 respectively, the figures are 72*91 North 
and 71*82 South. Dr. Nott, of Charleston, ascertained, from 
personal observations and inquiries, that for six years the average 
mortality in that city, for all ages, was 1 in 51; and that whilst 
the deaths amongst the whites averaged only 1 in 68, those 
amongst the blacks reached 1 in 44.! We often hetir it said that 
the white man cannot labour at any out-door employment in the 
Slave States owing to the excessive heat and unhealthiness of the 
climate; but we find that in 1860, out of a white population of 
6,184,477 persons of all ages, there were 1,019,020, males over 15 
years of age engaged in out^door labour, of which 803,062 were 
employed in agricultural pursuits. Some of the best qualities of 
the great staple cotton are produced upon plantations worked 
by German settlers in Texas—the most southern of the Slave 
States. Mr. Olmsted repudiates the 

** Common and popular opinion that the necessaiy labour of cotton 
tillage is too severe for white men in the cotton-growing climate. As 
1 have said before, 1 do not find the sUghtest weight of fact to sustain 



American Slavery : the Impending Crisis. 157 

this opinion. The necessary labour and causes of fatigue and vital ex¬ 
haustion attending any part or all of the processes of cotton culture 
does not compare with that of our July harvesting; it is not greater 
than attends the cultivation of Indian com in the usual New England 
method.” 

Throughout the South tho heavy work connected with the con¬ 
struction of railways, street paving, building, &c., is performed by 
white people. One third of tho total slave population is employed 
in the cultivation of cotton, and there arc but few planters who 
maintain that the occupation would be too fatiguing for tho white 
man. The only articles about which there is any doubt arc sugar 
and rice; but the production of both these growths has greatly 
fallen off of late, and it would be no very serious loss to the Union 
if their cultivation was abandoned. The value of the rice exported 
in ]8£)4 was 2,684,127 dols., but in 1868 only 1,870,578 dels.; 
of sugar, 090,744 dols. in 1854, but only 575,786 dols. in 1858; 
and of molasses, 130,920 dols. in the former year, and 106,893 
dols. in the latter. We conclude, therefore, that the slaveholders 
must find some other reason than that of climate for the back¬ 
ward state of their land, and the degraded condition of tlicir free 
population. 

Despotism and knowledge are antagonistic. Slavedom conse¬ 
quently takes care that its white citizens do not become too 
intelligent. The number of actual slaveholders according to tho 
last census was only 347,526, and of these more than one half 
held under Jive slaves each. It seems strange, therefore, that the 
six and a half millions of free wliites should he so completely 
under the control of so small a clique, 'fhe great secret is tho 
power which the slaveocracy has in interdicting all knowledge 
and in keeping the poor whites in a state of ignorance of the poll- • 
tical movements going on. All the information the white popu¬ 
lation receives comes either in tlie shape of harangues from the 
slaveholders themselves, or through the tainted medium of 
Southern newspapers; for Northern political publications unless 
of the riglit odour are prohibited from entering the Slave States, 
and the seizure of newspapers, and sometimes letters, from the 
Pree States, by the post-office authorities, is a thing of weekly 
occurrence. 

To speak of a free press in the South is a misnomer, for " free** 
opinions of any shade are not tolerated. A considerable portion 
of Mr. Helper’s book was written in Baltimore, but a legal pro¬ 
vision against the “ making, printing, &c.,” of any paper, “ having 
a tendency to excite discontent or stir tip insurrection amongst 
the people of colour of this State, &c.," rendered it impossible for 
the author to publish in Maryland. The effect of this system of 
tyranny is seen in the census tables relating to literature and 



168 American Slavery: the Impending Crisis, 

education. The number of newspapers and periodicals in The 
Free States is 1700, and their annual circulation 034,140,281 
copies ; whilst in the Slave States there are only 704 publications, 
with a circulation of only 81,038,003 copies. If we leave out the 
slaves, we find that the above figures give nearly 25 newspapers, 
&c., to each inhabitant of the North, but only about 12i to each 
inhabitant of the South ! Again, the number of public libraries 
in the Tree States is 14,911; in the Slave States, 095! the 
number of volumes in the former, 3,888,234, and in the latter, 
649,577 I Once more, the number of schools in the North in 
1850 was 62,433, or one for every 215 persons, but in the Soutli 
only 18,507, or one for every 346 persons, exclusive of 3,200,000 
slaves; the number of teachers, 72,621 in the North, against 
19,307 in the South; the number of pupils in the former, 
2,769,901, but only 581,801 in the latter! No wonder, there¬ 
fore, that 8*37 per cent, of the free population of the South over 
20 years of age arc incapable of reading or writing aguiust only 
2*40 per cent, in the North! In New York State the percentage 
is 1*87, but in proud Virginia 19'90 ! 

Any attempt to improve the -condition and prospects of the 
poor white is met with either covert or open opposition from the 
predominant power. Many of the more liberal minded of tho 
Southemers have advocated the encouragement of native manu¬ 
factures in tho Slave States, for the double i)urposo of giving 
employment to the white population, and rendering tlio people at 
large less dependent upon the dear produce of the North. The 
great aim of slavodom is to prevent the concentration of the 
white inhabitants. Tho oligarchy dreads the effect which would 
be produced by the existence of large communities of intelligent 
£:eemen such as exist in the North, and therefore southern 
manufactures are discouraged. 

“ There is in some quarters a natural jealousy of the slightest inno¬ 
vation upon established habits; and because an effort has been made 
to collect the poor and unemployed population into our new factories, 
fears have arisen that some evil would grow out of the introduction of 
such establishments amongst us. Tho poor man has a vote as well as 
tho rich man, and in our State the number of the former will largely 
over-balance the latter. So long as these poor but industrious people 
can SCO no mode of living except by a degrading operation of work with 
the negro upon tbe plantation, they will bo content to endure life in 
its most discouraging forms, satisfied that they are above the slave, 
though faring often worse than ho.”* 

'"In 1850, the number of persons engaged in manufacturing 
pursuits in tlie Soutli was only 161,733, and tbe capital invested 


* ** Manufactures in South Carolina,” by J. H. Taylor. 



Ajnerican Slavery: the Impending Crisis, 159 

about 19,800,000Z.; whilst in the North tlicre were 780,576 
persons, aud 89,000,OOOZ. so employed. Hence, as Mr. Helper 
remarks in his characteristic style:— 

“ It is a fact well known to every intelligent Southcnier that wo are 
coinj>clled to go to the North for almost every article of utility and 
adornment; that almost everything produced at the North meets with 
ready sale, while at the same time tlicre is no demand, even amongst 
our own citizens, for the produce of Southern industry.** “ The North 
is the Mecca of our merchant, and to it they must and do make two 
pilgrimages per annum—one in the spring, and one in the fall. Wo 
want Bibles, brooms, buckets, and boots, and we go to the North; we 
want pens, ink, jiapcr, wafers, and envelopes, and wo go to the North; 
we want shoes, hats, handkerchiefs, umbrellas, and pocket-knives, and 
wo go to the North; wc want toys, jmmers, schoolbooks, fashionable 
apparel, machinery, medicines, tombstones, and a tliousand other 
things, and we go to the North for them all.** “In infancy we are 
swaddled in Northern muslin; in childhood we are humoured with 
Northern gewg.aws; in youth wo are instructed in Northern books; at 
the ago of maturity wc sow our ‘ wild oats* on Northern soil; in middle 
life we exhaust our wealth, energies, and tcalonts in the dishonourable 
vocation of entailing our dependence upon our children and our chil¬ 
dren’s ohildren, and, to the neglect of our own interest and the interest 
of those around us, in giving aid and succour to every department of 
Northern power; in tlie decline of life we remedy our eyesight with 
Northern spectacles, and support our inrirmitics with Northern canes; 
in old age we are drugged with Norfclicrn physic; and finally, when 
wo die, our inanimate bodies, shrouded in Northern cambric, aro 
stretched upon the bier, borne to the grave in a Northern carriage, 
entombed with a Northern spade, aud memorized with a Northern 
slab!” 

As it is with manufactures so it is with public works. Hallways, 
canals, aud river navigation are necessary agents in the proper 
development of tho natural resources of any country, and in 
giving a healthy impetus to manufactures and commerce; besides 
which, their construction and maintenance gives permanent 
employment to a large number of officials and labourers. The 
!Free States appreciate tho utility of these agencies, and accord¬ 
ingly we find that in 1854 they bad 3682 miles of canals, and 
in 1857, 17,855 miles of railways; whilst the Slave States 
possessed only 1110 miles of canals, and 6859 miles of railways 
in the same years! AVith these facts before us, we are not 
astonished'to find that whilst the receipts at the Post Offices of 
the Free States exceeded the disbursements by 2,062,480 dols., 
the receipts in the Slave States fell short of the cost of tho 
mail service to the extent of 832,755 dols. I 

“But we are not a manufacturing community," says the 
Southerner, “our forte is agriculture. In this respect, at all evente^ 



160 American Slavery: the Impending Crisis* 

I * 

the North is far behind us. Cotton is king!*' In 1858, just 
after the great panic of 1857 had blown over, Governor Ham¬ 
mond, of South Carolina, delivered an oration on the benefit which 
the South had conferred upon the world in general, but Great 
Britain and Yankeedom in particular. The stoppage of cotton 
planting for three successive years could be borne, he said, with¬ 
out any very great inconvenience by the South; but such a 
movement would be the ruin of Old England and the whole 
civilized world! The panic of 1857*was a terrible catastrophe, 
but would have been much worse in its effects had not the 
planters sold their cotton crop for 35,000,000 dols. less than it was 
worth! And so forth. But figures refuse to support this bom¬ 
bast, and so far from cotton being “ king,” one article alone of 
Northern produce exceeds in value that of the six principal 
growths of the South, cotton included. Hay is king! Hero arc 
the facts;— 

Ilay Crop in the Free StaieSy 1850. 

12,690,982 tons, at $11 20 c. per ton.$142,138,998 

Sundry Product of the Slave States, ^ 850. 

Cotton . 2,445,779 bales, at $32 00 c. $78,264,928 

Tobacco . 185,023,906 lb. „ 0 10 18,502,390 

Ilice(rough) 215,313,497 „ „ 0 04 8,612,539 

Hay . . 1,137,784 tons „ 11 20 12,743,180 

Hemp . . 34,673 „ „ 112 00 3,883,376 

Cane Sugar 237,233,000 lb. „ 0 07 16,590,310 

-138,605,723 

Balance in favour of the Free States (731,099Z.) . . $3,533,275 
If we take the total animal and agricultural products, tlje result 
is 103,981,742 dols., or 21,062,863Z. against the Slave States. 

These figures disprove the idea, which is very prevalent at the 
South, that the soil of the North is sterile and unproductive, and 
that the Free States are mainly dependent upon slave produce for 
their breadstuffs and other provisions. The fact is, that Northern 
agricultural produce maybe seen exposed for sale in almost every 
town and village of the South. 

If from the deficit of 2i,662,8G3Z. on the part of the South, we 
deduct the produce of the extra 2,755,160 acres under cultivation 
in the Free States—viz., 5,635,2992., we have a nett balance against 
the South of 16,029,6542.: the average value per acre of produce 
being 0'80 dols. in the North, but only 8'40 dols. intHe South. 

Of the whole territory comprised in the Southern States, only 
10 per cent, is improved, against nearly 15 per cent, in the Northern 
States; and whilst the land thus occupied is worth only, on 
the average, 6 dols. per acre in the Slave States, it is worth 19 dols. 
per acre in the Free States! The average size of the farms in 




American Slavery: the Impending Crisis, J 61 

the South is much larger than the average extent of Northern 
farms; hut the value of the implements and machinery upon 
each farm averages only 80 cents in the former, against 77 cents 
in tlic latter I This fact is a most important phase of the subject. 
It is notorious that slavery and the laws which prohibit the 
mental culture of the Negro have so degraded his nature as to 
render the introduction of improved agricultural practice and 
machinery impossible. The tendency of the slave system is to 
render the labourer indolent, and wasteful of both time and 
materials. The negro is perfectly mindless, and altogether in¬ 
capable of receiving instruction in the higher branches of scientific 
farming. It was so in the West Indies prior to emancipation, 
and it is so in the Southern States of America now, and hence 
we do not wonder at the facts exhibited in the following table 
compiled by Mr. Helper from the Census returns. 

Actual Crops per Acre, on the average. 

Free States. Slave States. 

Wheat . , bushels per acre ... 12 ... 9 

Oats . . ditto ... 27 ... 17 

llye . . ditto ... 18 ... 11 

Indian corn ditto ... 31 ... 20 

Irish potatoes ditto . . . 125 . . 113 

Were it not for the constant calling in of new territory, the 
Soutli would cut a still poorer figure than the above statement 
represents, for though the average product of wheat in the whole 
of the Slave States is 9 busliels per acre, that in Virginia, 
Georgia, and North and South Caroliua, reaches only 7 bushels! 
Tt is from this cause tliat the old Slave States find it more 
profitable to breed negroes for the New States farther South 
and West, than employing them in the cultivation of their own 
soil, and also accounts for the strenuous eflbrts of the slave¬ 
holders to increase the extent of their dominions. Tor it is only 
hy the transfer of their slaves from the impoverished soils of the 
North and East, to the virgin lands of the South and West, that 
the Southerners are at all enabled to approach the North, and 
even then the latter is far ahead. The following table furnishes 
particulars of the produce of the two principal growths of the 
twenty-seven States which existed in 18-40, compared with the 
produce of the same States in 1850:— 

Wheat. 

1840. Per cent. 1880. Per cent. 

' Bushels. of whole. Bushels. of whole. 

Free States . 54,413,502 . . 65 66,358,811 . . 70 

Slave States. 80,042,549 . . 35 27,861,050 . . 30 


Total . , . 84,456,051 100 94,219,861 . . 100 

[Vol. LXXV. No. CXLVn.]— New Seribs, Yol. XIX. No. I. M 






16^ American Slavery: the Impending Crisie, 


Indiait Coek. 

1840. Per cent. 

1850. 

Per cent. 

Bushels. 

of whole. 

Bushels. 

of whole. 

Free States . 123,342,958 

. . 33 

233,036,102 

340,966,597 

. . 41 

Slave States . 251,504,843 

, . 67 

. . 59 

Total , . . 374,847,301 

. .100 

674,002,699 

. . 100 


Here it will be perceived that the Slave States in 1840 produced 
3i> per cent, of the total yield of wheat, but only 30 per cent, in 
1850 ; and that during the ten years, whilst the crops of the 
Free States exhibit an increase of about 22 per cent., those of the 
Slave States show a decrease of 7 per cent.! In 1840, the latter 
produced 67 per cent, of the total crop of Indian corn, but only 
50 per cent, in 1860 : the increase in the North being about 88 
per cent., but in the South only about 35 per cent. What becomes 
then of the boasting of Southern agriculturists? The only growth 
about which they have any room for exulttxtion is cotton, but it 
is clear that if that fibre could bo grown in the North, the result 
would speedily render the cultivation of the plant in the South, 
or at all events in the older States, unprofitable. 

So, then, we find that in whatever respect we compare the con¬ 
dition and progress of the two great sections of the American 
Union, the superiority of freedom is made clear and unmistakeablc. 
Statistics prove slavery to be synonymous with idhfness and 
waste; the fosterer of poverty, and ignorance, and crime; the 
enemy of social and religious progress, and the retarder of politi¬ 
cal advancement. Northern population increases over 3 per 
cent, per annum faster than Southern, and its present density 
is 100 per cent, greater. The Free States have 50 per cent, moro 
of improved lands, and though their soil is less fertile than tliat 
of the Slave States, the yield per acre of product common to both 
is 50 to 75 percent, greater; and the total agricultural and 
manufactured products of the North are 60 per cent, above the 
value of those of the South. 

So apparent and startling have these truths become, that they 
have already begun to occupy the attention of the moro intelli¬ 
gent slaveholders and non-slaveholders of the South, and at 
the present time there is far from being that unity of Southern 
politicians which has hitherto been the great characteristic of 
slavcdora. The discordant elements of opposition brought 
to bear against the Bepublican candidate for the Presidency 
at the late election were evidence of Democratic or pro¬ 
slavery disunion. Southern agriculturists are becoming better 
- acquainted with the superior fanning of the North, and have 
traced that superiorityto the independence and mental oultivation 
of the labourers, whose freedom carries with it social and other 
responsibilities unknown to the slave, and far more stimulating 



American Slavery : the Impending Crieis, 163 

than the lash. They also perceive that whilst the slave cares 
little for either the quantity or the quality of the work which he 
performs, the self-interest of the freeman prompts him to accom¬ 
plish the greatest results in the least possible time and the best 
possible manner. From this cause there arc many Southerners 
who are heartily tired of their position, and who would willingly 
give their support to any measures calculated to relievo them. 

There are great obstacles, however, in tlie path of reform, and 
tlio magnitude of the difficulties to be encountered, has and does 
prevent many citizens of the South from speaking their minds on 
the subject. “ Something must be done," has become a stereo- 
typed phrase, and “ what is to bo done ?" a hackneyed query. 
All sorts of theories, practical and impractical, have been sug¬ 
gested. Amongst the latter is Mr. Helper’s “ How to meet it." 
When he advocates thorough organizatiou on the part of South¬ 
ern noil-slaveholders; the discontinuance of the practice 
adopted by many of them of hiring slave instead of free labour; 
and advises the greatest possible encouragement to free white 
labour, he is wise and reasonable. But when he recommends the 
advocates of liberty to have no social or religious fellowship with 
slaveholders ; no patronage of them as merchants, or lawyera, or 
pliysicians; and no recognition of them “except as ruffians, 
outlaws, and criminals," he is intolerant as well as irrational, and 
lowers himself in the estimation of all soberminded men. His 
suggestion that the slaveowners should be compelled to liberate 
their slaves, not only without compensation, but forced to pay 
for “ their transportation to laberia, or their colonization in 
Central or South America, or their comfortable settlement within 
the boundaries of the United States," forms the foundation of tho 
most utopian theory of enfranchisement we have met with, and 
we cannot feel surprised that the promulgation of such a scheme 
has called forth the indignation which it has in the South, for it 
requires no great depth of knowledge or political sagacity to 
demonstrate its utter absurdity and entire impracticability. 

Mr. Olmsted’s views on this question are moderate and constitu¬ 
tional. He abhors slavery, proves it to bo a great drawback to 
Southern progress, but at the same time points out the almost 
insuperable difficulties which stand in tho fl*y of emancipation. 
Still he is not without hope as to the future. 

“It seems to me,” he says, “to be possible that a method of finally 
emancipating the slaves and of immediately remedying many of the evils 
of slavery, without an annihilation of that which the State has made 
property, or conceded to be held as property, may be eventually based 
on these accepted facts: That a negro’s capacities, like a horse’s or a 
dog’s, or a white man’s, for all industrial purposes, including cotton- 
growing and cotton-picking, must be enlarg^ by a voluntary, self- 

• M 



164 American Slavery: the Impending Crieis. 

4 

restrained, self-urged, and self-directed exercise of those capacities. That 
a safely-conducted cultivation and education of the capacities of the 
slaves will, of necessity, increase the value of the slaves, and that the 
slaves may thus be made to pay, year by year, for their own gradual 
emancipation.’* 

No scheme of emancipation can or will be entertained by even 
the least conservative of the Slave States which does not in some 
way provide for the compensation of the masters. The negro is 
the principal species of ‘ property’ of the Southerners. The 
census of 1850 placed the average value per head of the slave 
population at 500 dols., or about 1042.; since then the ' article’ has 
been considerably enhanced in price owing to the growing scarcity 
of labour in the Cotton States, and 750 duls. or about 1652. is now 
considered to be a fair average. At this rate, and estimating the 
numbers of slaves at 4,165,000, their money value is 647,000,0002.! 
Total and immediate emancipation without compensation, there¬ 
fore, is impossible. 

But, independently of the monetary crisis which would be the 
result of the adoption of such a measure, there would be the 
further difficulty of dealing with a mass of beings in a state of 
comparative barbarism—the negroes,/row no fault of their own, 
but owing to the prohibitory laws and pernicious influence of 
slavery—^being wholly uneducated, and altogether without any 
notion of responsibility. The slaves must be educated, civilized, 
and Christianized, before they are sent into the world to seek 
their own livelihood; otherwise, freedom would be the ruin of the 
fiouth, and a curse to the slaves themselves. 

** The field-hand negro is, on an average, a very poor and very bad 
creature, much worse than I had supposed before I had seen him and 
grown familiar with his stupidity, indolence, duplicity, and sensuality. 
He scorns to be but an imperfect man, incapable of taking care of him¬ 
self in a civilized manner, and his presence in large numbers must be 
considered a dangerous circumstance to a civilized people. A civilized 
people, within which a large number of such creatures has been placed 
by any means not Within its own control, haS claims upon the charity, 
the aid, if necessary, of all other civilized peoples in its endeavours to 
relievo itself from the danger which must be apprehended from their 
brutal propensities, %om the incompleteness of their human sympathies 
—their inhumanity, from their natural love of ease, and the barbaric 
want of forethought and providence which would often induce despe¬ 
rate want among them. Evidently the people thus burtbened would 
have need to provide systematically for the physical wants of theso 
poor creatures, else the latter would be liable to prey with great waste 
upon their substance.**— Ohnsted, 

A wholesale e.Kpatriation, which is the suggested remedy of 
some writers, would be impossible, and if possible would be im- 



American Slavery: the Impending Crisis, 165 

politic. The negroes are there, and there they will have to 
remain for two very potent reasons; first, that the majority 
would object to removal, and secondly, that their labour is 
required for the cultivation of the land. With gradual emanci¬ 
pation, the prejudices of caste would be overcome by degrees— 
the lowest types of the African would die out, and the remainder, 
through the mulatto population which is now numbered by 
hundreds of tliousands, would in time disappear by admixture 
with the white races. 

Again, neither would any plan of manumission be successful 
wliich did not provide for the prospective liberation of the present 
generation of slaves. The Northern States mostly procured the 
freedom of their negroes by declaring all born after a specified 
date to be free, but the carrying out of the same idea in the present 
Slave States would be impracticable. When the Free States 
introduced their emancipatory measures, the amount of their slave 
population was a mere fraction compared with that of the South 
at the pr(!sent time. The total number of slaves in the North 
in 17U0 (lid not reach 60,000, and they were spread over 
a large extent of territory; but the Southerner has to deal with 
4,106,000, so concentrated us to outnumber the white popula¬ 
tion in some districts. It is clear, then, that abolitiouists 
to be su(;cessful must provide not only for the freedom of the 
future progeny of the slaves, but must likewise make provision 
for the liberation of the negroes now in bondage. It is evident 
from the frequent occurrence of insun*ectious in all parts of the 
South, that the Goveniment experiences considerable difficulty in 
its endeavours to preserve the peace. The slaves, there can be no 
doubt, are hoping and waiting for a favourable opportunity to 
shake off their chains, and spend the remainder of their days as 
free men. To tell them, therefore, that they must ho content to 
remain in bondage all their lives, but that their children shall be 
free, would only tend to exasperate the character of their position, 
and render them more miserable than ever. They would not be 
slow in perceiving that they .were held as slaves, not by right, but 
by might. Hitherto supported by hope, they have borne tlioir 
bonds with wonderful patience, but now deserted by that ^ anchor 
, of the soul, ’ they would be driven to distraction, and, by their 
unrestrained feelings, forced into a terrible rebellion: a rebellion 
of such a magnitude and determined a character, as could only 
be carried on by men having everything to gain and nothing to 
lose. 

We believe that slavery is bad; a sin against the laws of 
God and the dictates of nature,’* but still a sin for which the 
present generation of slaveholders cannot be held entirely respon¬ 
sible. It should not be forgotten that the institution is an en- 



16G American Slavery: the Impending C'lisia. 

tailed one; that many of the present inheritors of property in 
negroes would rather have had their money invested in some 
other and more safe security ; that though some “ sell out," all 
cannot do so. It should also bo remembered .that it is a pre¬ 
vailing opinion, and even religious belief, that slavery is a divine 
institution; ministers of the Gospel preach this doctrine, and 
ethnologist are found who declare it to be in accordance 
with the laws of nature, and though many professing Christians 
denounce the buying and selling of negroes, they do not consider 
the holding of slaves to be *uiy infringement of the spirit of 
Christianity. Even in the Free State of New York, at a lato 
ministerial convention, a motion declaring the holding of negroes 
to be equally ns criminal as the traffic in slaves, was rejected on 
the grounds that the passing of such a resolution might give 
offence to the Southern brethren ! 

That the negro has no right to he held even in bondage, we 
believe to be a cardinal truth; but still, in the present condition 
of things, the attempt to enforce that truth by means of extreme 
abolition measures would be futile; the whole South, slave-holding 
and non-slaveholding, would oppose the movement. In factl-he 
attempt never will be made by the Slave States themselves, and 
never can be made by either the Federal Government or any 
other external agency; for each State is supreme in the manage¬ 
ment of its own internal affairs, and any infringement of the 
“States’ rights” principle, no matter for how laudable an object, 
would be indignantly resented. 

The accomplishment of emancipation, it will be seen then, is no 
easy matter. But still the object can-be attained if the proper 
means be adopted. We have no exclusively infallible panacea to 
offer to our American friends, but there are a few points which 
are worthy of consideration, and which, if properly attended to, 
would have no small influence in bringing about the “ consum¬ 
mation devoutly to be wished.” 

To a considerable extent the South will have to work out its 
own redemption, hut still the assistance of the North and the 
Federal Government will be indispensable. Though the National 
Congress cannot interfere with slavery as it is, it can preyent 
any further spread of the evil by securing freedom to the various 
texritories of the Union, and by refusing to admit any future 
State into the Confederation, with other than free institutions. 
Slavery, limited, would be more easily dealt with than slavery 
unlimited. Had, the politicians of the North done their duty 
in times past, the “ institution” would now have been confined 
to the old States; it is the diffusion of the system which has made 
it BO formidable. 

The restriction of the territory of “ niggerdom” would- be a fatal 



American Slavery: the Impending Crisis. 1C7 

blow to the internal slave-trade, and an important step towai'ds 
its entire abolition. It is this domestic commerce which is the 
life of slavery. The old States are the producers; the new States 
the consumers of negroes. Without the traffic, slave labour would 
be unremuncrative in both sections of the South. The breeding- 
pens of Virginia, North Carolina, &c., would be closed for ever, 
and slavery, already unprofitable for agricultural purposes, would 
speedily die out. 

In the Cotton States the advance in the price of labour has 
been so rapid of late os to havo made considerable encroachments 
upon the profits of the planters ; and were it not for the great 
fertility of the soil, and the recent high price of the staple, the 
production ,of the fibre would have been much curtailed. 

The closing of the Northern negro marts would deprive the 
Cotton States of a labour supply equal to 30,000 slaves annually! 
The effect may be easily imagined. The slaveholders would begin 
to see the hopelessness of their position, and in the majority of 
cases would no longer oppose emancipation as an idea, but be 
willing to assist in the introduction of ameliorative measures. 

•The path of reform would now be clear, and if difficult, would 
have the advantage of being straiglit. The first step towards the 
removal of tho evil should be the total prohibition of slave- 
dealing in any and all of its phases. No slave should be sold 
except with the consent of the negro interested, who, there is no 
doubt, might turn a transfer of his person considerably to his own 
advantage, either by agreeing with his now master for a limited 
instt'ad of u life-period of servitude, or by receiving a money 
bounty to be invested towards purchasing his entire emancipa¬ 
tion. 

The erroneous and odious principle which treats the negro as 
property*’ must bo eradicated. No man has a right to hold 
“ property” in the person of his fellow man. The negro is a man, 
not a thing. His labour may be tlie subject of barter—not 
himself. ** He is not a product of industry, but himself a producer.” 
Henceforward the use of the term “ slave" should he discontinued, 
and tho negro denominated, in the phraseology of the “ Constitu¬ 
tion," as a “ person held to hire,” " held to labour,” &c.; having 
their conduct ruled by the same laws which touch the condition 
of apprentices. This would raise the status of the black, and be 
the means of rendering labour in general more honourable in tho 
estimation of the white population. 

The obligations between masters and servants should be no 
longer one-sided and arbitrary, but mutual; the negro rendering 
service to the farmer or planter in return for protection, comfort¬ 
able board and lodging, and education, religious and secular. 
Instead of the present forcing system, a scale of piece-work should 



168 American Slavery: the Impending Crisis, 

be adopted ; the servant to be paid for any extra exertion, the 
money to be appropriated by himself towards the purchase of his 
liberty. By the introduction of some such a plan ns this, the 
most intelligent of the slaves would become free in a very short 
space of time; whilst the least intelligent and most indolent 
would probably continue in a state of apprenticeship throughout 
their lives ; and the difficulty of dealing with a multitude of half- 
civilized Africans, which would arise if they were liberated en 
Tnasse, would be obviated. 

Under the code suggested, both the contracting parties should 
be amenable to the SUte authorities. The law should be ordered 
so as to secure the muster his full due, but at the same time to 
see that the rights of the negro be respected. Anything in the 
shape of cruelty to the servant should be severely punished,—in 
ektremo or oft-repeated cases, by the emancipation of the victim. 
The domestic relations amongst the negroes must be respected, 
and any offence in this direction be met by the same penalties 
provided for the protection of the white man. 

In the meantime, the North must lay aside its prejudice, give 
up its extreme abolition opinions, and be more temperate and less 
personal when speaking of the slaveholders. To prove their 
sympathy witli Southern reform, the Free States must see that 
their own coloured people are more respected than they are or 
have been. All political, civil, and social disabilities must be re¬ 
moved. The prejudice against the African is much stronger in 
the North than in the South. Everything is done tlint can he 
done to keep the negro in ignorance and subjection. He is shut 
out from every employment except the most menial. His children 
must not associate with the children of white men. He is re¬ 
fused admittance to “ white” churches. He is excluded from the 
theatre, and other places of amusement attended by white people. 
Every indignity is offered to him. In fact, to such an extent is 
this intolerant bearing of the white man carried, that there are 
instances on record of negroes going South and choosing slavery 
as the happier mode of existence. So long as the disabilities of 
the negro in the Free States are so many and so great, the abo¬ 
lition preaching of the North will be looked upon as so much 
solemn irony. But let the position of the coloured man be re¬ 
spected ; let him be treated as a man and a brother, and the 
South would have some grounds for believing the North to be 
sincere in its denunciations of slavery^ Such an union of the 
States would then take place as has never yet been experienced, 
apd the efforts of the South to relieve itself of its doxnestio troubles 
would be ably and successfully assisted by the Federal Govern¬ 
ment. 



Avurican Slavery : the Impending Crisis, 169 

Since the above •was written, Abraham Lincoln, the Republican 
candidate, has been elected President of the United States. The 
result, thou^li long anticipated on both sides of the Atlantic, has 
caused unprecedented excitement throughout the American confe¬ 
deracy, especially in the Slave States: the avowed anti-slavery 
platform of the Republican party having created considerable 
distrust in the South. During the Presidential canvass, the slave¬ 
holders endeavoured to terrify the North into submission by the 
threat of disunion. The cry was nn old one, and had formerly 
been most successful; but this time it fell dead upon the ears of 
the Free States: right has triumphed, and freedom has proved 
victorious. Rut the Democracy abhors defeat, and is now moie 
unmanageable than ever. Led by a band of fanatical dema¬ 
gogues smarting under the pain caused by the deprivation of 
political prestige and patronage, a few, and only a few, of the 
Soulhcm States continue to exhibit demonstrations of treason to 
the Union. South Carolina, long discontented, lias commenced 
the preliminaries of dissolution. The Federal banner has been 
degraded, and the Palmetto flag now flaunts in its stead. The 
nucleus of a revolutionary army has been formed; and the State 
Government has announced its intention of withdrawing from the 
Union. Other States have been sounded as to their willingness 
to join the insurgent community: and it has not been difficult to 
find a few of their leading politicians ready to associate them¬ 
selves with the rival confederacy Rut, alas for Democracy ! the 
South is no more united now tlian it was before the election of 
Lincoln. The same elements of discord winch broke up the 
Charleston and R*xltimore conventions, and brought forth three 
candidates to oppose the Republican nominee, still exist; and 
though there may be some approach to uuauimity in South Caro¬ 
lina, the case is far otherwise in the majority of the Slave States. 
While out of the total electoral voto^of 183, the North gave Lin- 
coin 1(>9, and only 7 each to Bell and Douglas, the South divided 
its 119 votes in the proportion of 33 to Bell and the Union, and 
87 to Breckinridge and ultra-pro-slavery; and besides this large 
element of dissent from extreme democracy, there is a consider¬ 
able undercurrent of moderation existing even in those States 
which have declared for Breckinridge. The general opinion seems 
to be, that the storm will blow over in a month or two; and, were 
it not for the prejudicial effect which the excitement has had upon 
monetary and commercial affairs for the time being, the matter 
would not be thought much of. Nothing, so far, has occurred 
which calls for the action of the Washington executive; and the 
Government will not interfere bo long as the malcontents keep 
from appropriating the Federal revenue; but any attempt to col¬ 
lect the national duties for the purpose of applying the proceeds to 



170 American Slavery: the Impending Crisis, 

4 

State purposes, would demaud the immediate attention of the 
President, and, if necessary, the whole army and navy of the 
United States could be brought to bear upon the revolting State. 
But let us hope that circumstances will no^ arrive at such a 
juncture. 

When the news of Lincoln’s election first reached Washington, 
the efiect was electric on the host of oflBce-holders resident in the 
city. They became most infuriated, and declared for secession 
forthwith, some of them going so far as to affirm their readiness 
to resist by force the inauguration of the successful candidate. 
But on the following day there was a complete calm, if not re¬ 
action ; and we hear that numbers of the Government officials at 
Washington and elsewhere liave already petitioned Lincoln for 
places under bis administration! The correspondent of the New 
York Herald (n Democratic organ), writing on the 8th Novem¬ 
ber, remarks:— 

“In the really influential political circles of Washington all is calm¬ 
ness and composure. The election of Liucoln has been regarded as 
certain for some time past. The excitement is confined to the political 
clubs and committees, and to hotels, and has scarcely penetrated the 
inner circle of good society at the West Bnd. Two or three ardent 
young fellows, connected with some of the departments, appeared in the 
neighbourhood of the General Post Office with disunion cockades in 
their hats, but wero laughed at for their pains, and quickly dis¬ 
appeared.*’ 

The same writer also corroborates the prevailing opinion that 
at heart the disunited States, whatever they may say, or however 
they may bluster, do not mean to secede. The strong common 
sense of the people will not allow things to come to a crisis; 
and the excesses of the “ fierce Democracy*' will ultimately dis¬ 
gust the influential portion of Southern society. “ The love of 
the Union is still proved to he a deep-seated and irradicahle sen¬ 
timent in the hearts of the people, even of the seceding States. 
Letters from every one of them attest this fact. Disunion is 
looked on with abhorrence, apart from all considerations of its 
absolute impracticability.” The mercantile and moneyed inte¬ 
rests throughout the South are adverse to disunion; even in 
Charleston, says the Herald's correspondent on the 16th Novem¬ 
ber, “ The business men,'and artisans, and mechanics, and all the 
professional classes, are decidedly opposed to secession." Presi¬ 
dent Buchanan, it is said, is determined to maintain the Union, if 
necessary, by force; and he is supported by the majority of his 
* cabinet, who are of the opinion that secession would be unconstitu¬ 
tional, whilst at the same time it would rather lessen than add to 
the stability of the “ peculiar institution.” Southern conserva¬ 
tives ore Qi^ng upon South Carolina to stay her proceedings, and 



A)iuTican Slavery: tlie Im'pending Crisis. 171 

wait the result of Lincoln’s inauguration. It will bo time 
enough, they say, to move when the rights of the slaveholders 
are positively infringed upon; and such a thing is not likely to 
be done by the new Government, 

It has been suggested by some that a full declaration of his 
principles by the President-elect would restore confidence. But 
his views arc already before the world, though it is possible and 
highly probable that they have been exaggerated by secessionist 
oratoi*s of the South. Mr. Lincoln’s opinions are essentially 
moderate. 'J’ho great principle of the llepublican party with 
regard to slavery as it at present exists, is non-intervention— 
slave restriction, not prohibition. The new administration will 
not, because it cannot, interfere with the' institution as established 
in the various Slave States. What it intends to do is to prevent 
the admission of any further Slave Stiites, and vigorously to put 
down the external traffic which has been simply winked at by 
the present Government, The tendency of such a policy will 
certainly be gradually to eradicate the evil; but the ettect will be 
eminently beneficial to the Slave States and the general welfare 
of the Union. 

But supposing all obstacles to be removed, would the South 
gain by secession? The new nation would require funds to start 
on its own account, but the South has not got the needful. She 
will borrow. Good ; but from whom? What security could be 
given by a community one half of whose money is invested in 
human chattels, who compose nearly two-fiflhs of its population, 
and who are waiting for a favourable opportunity to walk off? 
The revolution of the white population would he the signal for 
insurrection amongst the negroes. Would the former of them¬ 
selves be able to keep down the latter ? Again, if the slaves fled 
to the Nortlj, could the South obtain their recovery? In the 
event of war between the rival confederacies, which would be 
victorious? It is not difficult to answer these questions, for it is 
easy to perceive that slavedom would be vanquished. In men, 
money, and the sinews of war generally, the North could bring 
two to one into the field against the South, as well as having the 
good wishes of the civilized world. With internal mutiny and 
external war, the case of the slaveholders would be utterly hope¬ 
less. But let the South remain true to the Union, and it will 
have the assistance and sympathy of the Free States in the ma¬ 
nagement of its servile population; let the reverse be the case, 
and the sympathy and assistance would be given to the negro. 
Uxdon, therefore^ ia strength and prosperity to the South—dtt- 
union, weakness and adversity. 


For Postscript to this ixtide, see page S33, 



172 


Art. VIL—Cavour and GARiSALDi, 

1. Annuaires cles Deux Mondes, 1850—1859. Paris. 

J4. Cronaca degli Avvenimenti d'ltalia nel 1859. Flo¬ 

rence. 1859. 

3, Correnpondcnce on Affairs of Italyt presented to Parliament. 

1859—1860, 

4. The Times. 1860, 

T HOROUGHIjY subordinated to the national as all the poli¬ 
tical and social questions of the Italian revolution have been, it 
■would be a mistake to deny their existence; or to overlook in 
the spectacle of union two distinct parties with different aims, 
methods, and ideas. In reality the movement has been social no 
less than national. Political problems have been solved as much 
as international questions. More than once a crisis has occurred 
which has called out from the depths of society all those powers 
which rest upon opposite political, social, and religious theories : 
and we have seen, face to face, those parties which have existed 
since society and politics began. Impersonated under the great 
names and the marked charactcra of Cavour and Garibaldi, there 
stand confronted the two principles of policy, the aristocratic and 
the popular, the legal and the revolutionary; and the two great 
parties of order and of movement. Just as the French revolution 
was, though principally social, yet in a great degree national; so 
indeed the Italian, though originally national, is in no small 
degree social. Tlie former commenced in the effort to substitute 
one form of society for another, but it ended in a struggle for 
existence with its neighbours. The latter commenced a struggle 
for national existence, which it cannot carry to its issde without 
calling into action many of those elements out of which states are 
compacted, and facing at least some of the difficulties which 
disturb the union and harmony of orders, classes, and institutions. 

On the one side we have seen the action of the Government, or 
rather of one pre-eminent statesman, moulding the material and 
political stren^h of a small state into one compact power, and di¬ 
vergent parties and purposes welded into a definite national 
polioy. Next, the action of an established and strong system has 
been extended to foreign powers, and the whole machinery of 
international statecraft has been moved and guided by one strong 
and practised hand. At last, by a consummate stroke of daring 
and ingenuity, an auxiliary of overwhelming strength has been 
invoked to be used, watched, and eventually resisted. Beside 



Cavour and Garibaldi, 


173 


which, a variety of local revolutions needed to ho tempered and 
guided under legal forms and in the presence of retrograde parties; 
and a work of internecine struggle carried out under the jealous 
eyes of European governments. The power which could do this 
must above all things liave possessed patience, tenacity, self- 
command, experience, and practical sagacity, and no small share 
of those solid qualities out of which grow the orderly consolida¬ 
tions of states. Such nn element existed in the rich and educated 
classes of Upper Italy amongst the nobility, the landowners, the 
professions, and the trades of tiio towns ; men who, sometimes 
pedantic and often overcautious, in the main retained the respect 
and confidence of the people, and to a man were ennobled by the 
national sentiment and zeal for order and rational government. 
Such men, whose services are too much depreciated because far 
from brilliant, formed in reality the strong ‘conservative element 
by which alojio the hot passions of the time have been mastered 
and guided; and they found in Cavour an exponent and chief 
who ns far surpassed thorn all in his instinct towards systematic 
and orderly organization, as in his power of grasping and con¬ 
trolling the more vigorous forces of the revolutionary element. 

On the other side we have seen the conception of national 
existence matured and upheld through dreary years of suffering 
by a few brilliant intellects, gradually growing up as the religion 
of tlio finer minds, until it at last spread to bo the passion of all 
that is generous in the national character. With them it became 
ft principle too sacrod to bo tampered "with, too vital to suffer 
excuse or delay, which demanded every sacrifice and was capable 
of every achievement. These ardent spirits addressed and found 
response in the hearts of the people; they repudiated the course 
of diplomatic intrigue us much as that of cautious legality. Be¬ 
lieving more in enthusiasm than in organization, and in self- 
devotion than in ability, they are impatient of the delays and 
scruples of the party of order. JJovoted to their principle of national 
regeneration,they contemn those social influences which unless in 
moments of extraordinary excitement virtually dominate and re¬ 
present every society. They thus quite misconceive and under¬ 
value the weight bearing upon the future of their country from the 
will or policy of foreign states, ns well as that of the rich, edu¬ 
cated, or powerful individuals at home. With feelings which in 
every great crisis do indeed make the life of national movements, 
they had neither the patience nor the judgment necessary for sus¬ 
tained preparation, or for handling complicated situations and rival 
parties. Besides which, they have so little sympathy for those 
sentiments, interests, or habits, upon which the order and obe¬ 
dience of masses of men repose, that they force their own enthusi¬ 
astic ideas upon populations quite incapable of adopting them^ 



J74 


Cavour and Garibaldi. 


and govern alternately with untimely violence and fatal negligence. 
In n vFord they possess, though in a modified degree, all those 
good and bad qualities ■wliich mark nil strictly revolutionary 
bodies; which make them, it is true, essential in moments of 
national* effort, but render them incapable of permanent organi¬ 
zation. The “party of action,” monarchists, republicans, or 
federalists have the real characteristics of the party which produced 
and carried out the English and the French Revolutions; they 
possess indeed their genius, their sincerity, and their enthusiasm ; 
but they have some share at least of their fanaticism, want of 
sense, and self-command; and have all their unfitness for consoli¬ 
dating their own work, and the same antagonism to the bulk of 
toeir own people. At the same time, though unable to consolidate, 
they have the creative capacity; and however powerless to govern, 
it must never be forgotten that they arc essential to inspire a 
national revolution. 

Such are the elements which have been at work during the 
whole of this recent Italian movement, occasionally acting har¬ 
moniously as one, then separately but in common, at times in 
open hostility; but both indispensable and botli inevitable. 
Cavour and Garibaldi, the loaders of these two parties, are not, 
however, their simple representatives. To all the habitual self- 
restraint, the knowledge and patient training of the Conservative 
classes, Cavour adds the full power of conceiving and using the 
enthusiasm of popular feeling. But with all his superiority to 
his own order and party, he does not and cannot inspire in others 
that passionate love of national existence, that moral elevation of 
character, that unfaltering self-devotion and perfect simplicity, 
which seem to beam from the countenance of the great popular 
hero. With his admirable versatility, sagacity, and knowledge 
of mankind, the great minister has been able to conduct with 
consummate skill an undertaking as great and difficult us ever 
fell to the lot of a statesman. But the very ability of his com¬ 
binations and devices, the very brilliancy of his achievements, has 
proved in no small degree fatal to the moral strength of his posi¬ 
tion. He has mixed himself up in compromises and intrigues, 
and in deceptions which, however excusable in a politician, ore 
fatal to the honour of a great national regenerator. 

The services of Cavour to his country have been indeed indis¬ 
pensable ; without him neither the first possibility of life, nor the 
actual maintenance of existence, would have been practicable; but 
he is not all, and he needed a very different colleague. All that 
is wanting in Cavour is supplied in Garibaldi. Utterly incapable 
of civil ^ministration as the noble soldier has proved, he has 
inspired in the heart of every Italian emotions which no Govern¬ 
ment orator or diplomatistjoonid awaken. When a ministry bad 



Cavoiir and Garibaldi. 


175 


completed a bargain which nothing but necessity (yet unproved) 
could excuse, the voice of the bravest of the brave was heard in 
the council of the nation choked with shame and indignation* 
That broken protest sank deep into the hearts of the people ; it 
taught them to rely on their own sense of dignity, and not on 
tlie hired favours of strangers. Again, when the enthusiasm of 
the nation was sinking under the chilling process of consolidation 
and diplomatic manoeuvring, the same voice aroused them to 
a sense of tho task still before them, and awoke the stifled cry of 
national reunion. By him the sense of public houour and pride, 
wounded to the quick by a humiliating sacrifice, was agiun called 
into a<'tivity. By him also the desire of national existence has 
boon raised from a line of policy into a sacred duty, and patriotism 
has been elevated into a religion by which interest, habit, and 
personal ambition are to be transformed and disappear. Lastly, 
it was the Bictalor alone who could give to the regeneration of 
Italy that character of brotherly reunion, of moral purification, 
of popular simplicity aud intensity, which were little dreamt of in 
the Cabinet, the Court, or the Parliament. 

Tlieir country needed both. Each had his own groat part to 
bear in the contest. It has not fallen to the lot of Italy to unite 
in one party, as in our own Revolution, the most fiery enthusiasm 
with the sternest discipline, or to create a leader who, like Crom¬ 
well, could he at once the devotee of a sacred cause and the con¬ 
summate politician. With them, principle and policy have had a 
separate representative, and tho claims of neither one nor the 
other should he exaggerated or undervalued. The passion of tho 
soldier has been curbed by the providence of tho statesman, whilst 
tho skill of the minister has been ennobled by the energy of 
a hero. Without Garibaldi, the intensity no less than the cha¬ 
racter of the popular feeling was in danger of being lost; had he 
been master, it would have been ruined in futile enterprises. As 
in every regular act, heart and mind must concur, the one to sug¬ 
gest, the other to control; so it has been the duty of the hero to 
inspire, of the statesman to guide the popular eftbrt. That which 
the one felt, tho other thought; the instinct of one has been 
matured by the experience of the other. The one has mode his 
country respected, the other has made it honoured; the one has 
increased its power, the other has elevated its character. Arm 
and head, heart and brain, feeling and intelligence, may be con¬ 
trasted, but cannot be separated without danger. It may not 
be possible, or even desirable, exactly to decide the share which 
each may have had in a common work ; but it would be a pro¬ 
found mistake to exalt one service at the expense of the other, 
when both are indispensable. 

In estimating the qualities of Count Cavour, we are chiefly 



176 


Cavour and Garibaldi, 


4 


impressed- by tknt in which he surpasses all modem statesmen— 
the faculty of provision. In this, pre-eminently the firet duty of 
a politician, the present century has shown no example at all com¬ 
parable. In him alone shall we find anything like a systematic 
and patient elaboration of a great national object. There, at least, 
we have an instance of a -Government far ahead of its people, 
creating and directing an active public opinion towards ono ob¬ 
ject, and subjecting tlie whole of its action to the slow work of 
preparing for a distant and gigantic enteiprise. For ten years 
now the w’hole public action of Piedmont—material, political, and 
moral, in foreign as well as domestic policy; in Parliament as in 
Cabinet, from one end to the other of the public service—has been 
centred in the effort to prepare for that part which she has lately 
been called on to perform. It was from the joint action of all 
these means—by diplomacy, by public opinion, by material orga¬ 
nization, by attention to the finances, the army, the railways, the 
schools, the ecclesiastical bodies, and the civil service of the na¬ 
tion, that Count Cavour has looked for the success of his under¬ 
taking. Indeed, the history of his administration affords a com¬ 
plete instance of a statesman who works out a .profound policy 
with unfailing sagacity and determination. The details of ma¬ 
nagement have been no less admirable than the scheme itself. 
The perfect publicity and distinctness of the object sought, and 
the harmony with which all developments of national activity fell 
into the grand purpose, is tlm best proof of the soundness and 
vitality of the policy. No other could atibrd any basis for sus¬ 
tained and combined action. Such a type of Government belongs, 
indeed, more to the past times in which States have been created, 
than to these latter days, in which they arc feebly or carelessly 
governed. It contains nothing of that irregular and ineolierent 
movement which, since the French Revolution, has marked more 
or less the European ministries. To carry a few popular measures, 
to provide for the wants or dangers of the present, undertake 
or surrender a course of action under the sway of public opinion, 
to assume in Europe that position which for the moment seemed 
most conducive to the national prestige, has been the crown of 
the aims of any modern ministry. The work accomplished by 
Count Cavour belongs rather to that order of statesmanship which 
Las created nations, changed the future history of Europe, and 
consolidated new eras of social and political life. Fur the true 
parallels or rivals to him, we must look, not amongst the Palmer- 
stons or 'J'alleyrands, or even the Peels or Guizots of our day, 
but amongst the company of William of Orange, of Frederick 11., 
and George Washington. Not that he in any great degree re¬ 
sembles any of these great men ; he may not equal some of them 
in moral elevation of character, though undoubtedly his mental 



CavouT and Garibaldi. 


177 


capacities are not wholly unequal to theirs. But it is to the class of 
great creative statesmen, and not to that of able administrators or 
consummate diplomatists, that he belongs. It is not from such men 
that we can look for the organization of all the conflicting prin¬ 
ciples and forces in a highly cultivated nation, and the formation 
of a great living whole out of the scattered fragments of an op¬ 
pressed race.^ It is a peculiar genius for government which can 
grasp as a central idea that one principle of action, which can 
alone give cohesion and vitality to disorganized communities, can 
make it practical enough for the most unenlightened, and broad 
enough for the most aspiring; and at the same time dovclope it in 
action under all the restraints imposed by prescription and the 
sluggishness which timidity and selfishness impose on large classes 
of mankind. Tlie conception of national unity is indeed primarily 
due to tliose impassioned thinkers of all schools who upheld the 
snered tradition of the Italian race, and in perhaps the highest 
degree to that unhappy genius who was himself the least capable 

creating it. To Mazzini, it is true, as thinker, poet, preacher, 
or agitator—as indeed anything short of politician—is due in this 
generation the strength of that principle which is the very life of 
Italy at this day. But however we admit his claims as a teacher, 
which as a conspirator he has done so much to nullify, it is clear 
that had not Cavour found means to make that notion of Italian 
nationality patent to the mind of all Europe, and made it a prac¬ 
tical and intelligible creed to all classes of Italians, forcing the 
principle forward under a constant shield of order and right, the 
very idea itself would long have remained in the breasts of the 
small circle of noble and intelligent spirits. It is not by eloquent 
appeals or by desperate self-sacrifice that the mass of the public 
cun be penetrated. It has been the task of Count Cavour, by a 
long series of public acts, all within the sphere of sound and legal 
administration, to awaken in the minds of the great body of his 
countrymen a sense of national right, duty, and dignity, and to 
conciliate the spirit of freedom with that of subordination to one 
powerful will. 

The difficulties which met Cavour on his first accession to power, 
were such as even now it is difficult thoroughly to estimate. The 
defeat of Novara hod left the Piedmontese kingdom humiliated and 
weakened, and yet fatally implicated in the insurrectionary 
movement which each succeeding event in Europe contributed to 
discredit. There the Church, and a semi-feudal landed aristocracy 
possessed a strong traditional power. The whole of the adminis¬ 
tration of the little State was singularly backward and imperfect. 
Its legal and its commercial system, its municipal institutions, 
the organization of its army, of education, of the public service, 
and of religious bodies, its tariff, its roads, and system of com- 

[Vol. LXXV. No. CXIiYn.)-NEW Sbwbs, Yol. XIX. No. L N 



178 


Cavour and Garibaldi, 


munication, and lastly, its own national unity, were below those 
of nearly every other State in the Peninsula, except the Homan 
itself. In the other provinces of Italy, monarchical sentiments had 
not begun to exist, and national greatness was known only in the 
language of insurrectionary appeals. All the sad honours of the 
late campaign had been won by the old municipal spirit, and 
Manin and Garibaldi had upheld the glory of hist^c republics. 
The strength with which upon the shattered efforts of the national 
uprising the old empire of the foreigner had been established, 
hM crushed out all but the hope of feeble palliatives and 
evasions in the minds of the more cautious, and desperate con¬ 
spiracies in those of the bolder. Parties were swaying between 
hopeless submission and hopeless rebellion, amidst a state of 
things in Europe which seemed at each step to be extinguishing 
the last embers of revolution. By degrees two distinct courses 
of action became visible, and two rival parties made their exis¬ 
tence felt. 

The constitutional or moderate party adopted one; the party of 
action or the national party the other. It has been the work of 
Gavour to vivify and fuse the two. On the one hand, the party 
which comprised the rich and noble classes, the more timid natures, 
and the bulk of the commercial public, bowed down by the great 
calamity of the Inst effort, pi'eached against any new risk or 
immediate action, looked only for the future to the action of time 
and increased intelligence in the people, and hoped by patient 
conduct and ingenious management to alleviate rather than 
extinguish the national degradation whenever tho circumstances 
of the day or the public opinion of Europe offered an opportunity. 
Violently denouncing all extreme measures, and resolute to 
expose themselves to no ^esh disaster, they hoped to ameliorate 
the position of their country by legal resistemce, and by the 
means of those liberal institutions which survived the wreck, by 
appealing to the public opinion and Governments of Europe, and 
in particular by the introduction of a parliamentary system. 
Opposed to this was the policy of the revolutionary party, who, 
having their head-quarters at Milan, possessed no insignificant 
strength both at Genoa and Turin. Under this head'belong oil 
those parties, whether rej^blican or monarchist, who looked 
forward to insurrection as the means , of restitution, and lahpured 
by CQDspiraoies, associations, and propagandism towards the 
freedom of tho Italian race by a general explosion of revolu^ 
tionary energy. 

This party indeed was animated by a far deeper devotion to 
the common cause, and felt more deeply the .miseries of the 
present, than the supporters of the more patient and cooler policy. 
They felt indeed the immense zkecessitj for action, and uuhesi' 



Cavour arid Garibaldi, 


179 


tating confidence in the capacity of their race. They saw, more¬ 
over, the^and truth that all the patience and prudence of their 
rivals never would result in creating that deep national enthusiasm 
which alone could produce a restored nation; and that the future 
of their country could no longer be left to ministerial ingenuity, 
but must be ^lade the first and last of public duties. 

Standing as we do upon the pedestal of post events, we can 
now discern that neither one policy nor the other had a chance of 
success. With all their efforts towards material and domestic ad¬ 
vancement, with their old ideas of regular and peaceful efforts, 
the moderates could never have awakened the sentiment of na¬ 
tional reunion, or forced upon Piedmont the danger and the glory 
of the national chieftainship. They possessed no means and 
little taste for reaching the popular sympathies, and were devoid 
of all conception of a social regeneration as hound up in the na¬ 
tional revival. Nor could their doctrines attract the nobler 
spirits or the finer intellects, whilst they compromised with the 
great end of all political life. Under their system Piedmont 
might have gone on for years increasing in ignoble prosperity, 
distinguished from Belgium or Holland by a finer army or a 
nobler soil. Nor did the bare programme of the revolutionists 
offer a more fortunate career. The long series of disastrous in¬ 
surrections into which the unhappy illusions of Mazzini led his 
generous hut credulous followers, seems to prove beyond all 
doubt the impossibility of foally organizing a national insurrec¬ 
tion in a country so thoroughly shackled and occupied with the 
sanction of every Government in Europe. Their appeal to the 
spirit of their countrymen, whilst it doea honour to the sincerity 
of their own devotion, shows but too sadly how much they had 
mistaken the vis inertiaJ pf the hulk of the people. And if to he 
always fancying a passion for national independence in masses of 
the country population to whom the very name of Italy was a 
word without meaning or sense were not enough to condemn 
them as politicians, it was a fatal delusion to bo preaching in¬ 
surrection to a people amongst whom the rich and the noble held 
the paramount social and political influence, classes who by the 
very conditions of their existence must resent with indignation 
any suggestion or attempt towards revolutionary or social con¬ 
vulsion. Had such a party succeeded in establishing their 
supremacy, the future of the Italian race would have sunk more 
hopelessly at each successive disaster which they bad provoked. 
Outcasts at once from all the conservative elements of their 
nation, and hunted down by its oppressors, they would have 
served only to renew continual prote^ ever to he extinguished 
in blood. Discarding, it seems despising, that materi^d strengfJi 
and organization which they did pot, knd could not possess, and 

N 



180 


Cavour and Garibaldi, 


4 


attributing to the moral strength^ which they had an extent which 
was wholly delusive, they could do little but keep alive .a sacred 
principle which they were incapable of making triumphant 
!Each insurrection would have ended in &esh physical suffering 
and deeper moral prostration. Had Italy possessed no sous but 
them, they might have been now wandering over Europe like the 
Poles, and showing us that Italian nationality existed only in the 
minds of the thoughtful and the ardent os a tradition or an aspi¬ 
ration. 

Tt has been the task of Count Cavour to bring about the fusion 
of these two parties, each of which maintained an idea which 
was indispensable to real success. The party of order saw the 
necessity for regular and patient development of the national re¬ 
sources ; the party of action the duty of rousing the popular 
energy. From the one he took their notion of the end, from- the 
other their view of the method of national policy. With' the 
one he adopted as his watchword the unity and independence of 
Italy, with the other be proclaimed as his policy the regular and 
public reorganization of the State. With the one he saw that 
no genuine progress was possible, unless by accepting the condi¬ 
tions of the political and social system existing; with the other 
be insisted that all political and material development must he 
animated by a leading principle, and subordinated to one para¬ 
mount duty. 

Seen from a distance, his Govemmint presents itself to us as 
one series of sagacious yet aspiring enterprises. With every 
fresh success he has risen in audacity and vigour, until we have 
seen at last the revolutionary energy of the outlaw matched by 
that of the responsible minister. He has shown, indeed, that a 
great revolution can be carried out without a reckless use of 
convulsive measures, but not without rising to a true conception 
of all the forces in society which underlie its external forms and 
laws. He has cairied out the work of Italian nationality by re¬ 
pudiating, on the one hand, the desperate aid of mere insurrec¬ 
tion, but on the other not without boldly advancing on the path 
of organic revolution. 

The career of Count Cavour exhibits the somewhat unusual 
case of a politician who grows less and not more conservative by 
experience. His progress has been one from unobtrusive admi¬ 
nistrative and economic studies to the conduct of astounding re¬ 
volutionary movements. First he is the industrious writer on 
financial operations, then the minister of material and political 
reforms, lastly the leader of a nation in a struggle for existence. 
There was little in bis early life to foreshadow the .formidable 
character in which he now appears. 

Almost the first act which it fell to bis dnty to carry out, the 



Cavour and Garibaldi, 


181 


commercial treaty with France, was an enablem of his whole sub 
sequent system. By that treaty, indeed, Piedmont surrendered 
far more advantages than she obtained ; but she obtained from it 
the priceless gain of the foundation of a French alliance. In the 
words in which the minister defended his policy in Parliament we 
have indeed the key of his whole career, a reorganization of the 
whole strength of the country to be combined with foreign alli¬ 
ances as the basis of a national war. ** To this treaty,*’ said he, 
“ we are moved by considerations superior to any economical or 
administrative interest. A crisis may yet, and probably will soon 
arise in which Sardinia might need, if not the material, at least 
the moral support of France. This treaty may not give us nil the 
financial advantages which viQ liave a right to expect, but it will 
strengthen that precious union which ought to exist between the 
free people of the west of Europe.’* It was the same idea to 
which belong all those commercial treaties Avliich marked the year 
1851, with Belgium, England, Switzerland, Greece, the Zoliverein, 
and Holland. By them, together with the second convention 
with France, an entire revolution was introduced in the fiscal 
system of the kingdom, and Piedmont took her place as a Free 
Trade State in a manner to which no other continental power 
could pretend. The sagacity of these measures has indeed been 
amply proved by an increased and increasing revenue; by the 
stimulus given to production, and the development of material 
prosperity. 

But it is to take a very narrow view of his policy to sup¬ 
pose that it was as a free-trader, or economist, that Count 
Cavour carried out these measures. They are political no less 
than commercial measures. Their prime object was to intro¬ 
duce Sardinia as the equal of the enlightened and progressive 
States of Europe, to insure the moral support, if not the actual 
alliance, of France and England, to raise the country up out of 
the catalogue of obscure or satellite kingdoms, and invest her in 
the eyes of her citizens and of all Italians with a European 
dignity and importance. 

Nor was this idea less conspicuous in any of those adminis¬ 
trative reforms under which the whole organization of the country 
has 80 marvellously expanded. That system of railways which 
is now the completest which any Continental State can show, if 
not quite so thickly set ns the Belgian or the English, possesses 
a symmetry and a common design which show the work of a 
dominant purpose directing their whole extent. There is some¬ 
thing quite strategic in their plan, and we see them laid out as 
in the array of an army with a first and second line of defence; 
a double communication between the strong stations, and a 
general concentration of the whole. And the providence and 



182 


Cavour and Garibaldis 


4 


value of this work was abundantly manifested in the recent cam¬ 
paign, where we saw Turin saved from invasion, and gigantic 
manoeuvres executed by the sole agency of this new engine of war. 
It is again to the same general policy that so many of the other 
labours of that ministry belong: the postal conventions with the 
other States of Italy, by means of which Piedmontese journals 
and information penetrated the Peninsula; the reconstruction and 
reorganixation of the mercantile and naval ports, the reform of 
the finances, of the banks, the reassessment of the land-tax. 
Finally came that by which the ministerial policy was to End its 
weapon—the entii*e reorganization of the army, and the syste¬ 
matic armament of the fortresses which formed the key of the 
internal defence. It was by this series of administrative reforms, 
and the energy and sagacity displayed in such repeated instances 
of sound practical statesmanship, that the great bulk of the nation 
gradually came to place its conEdcnce in a minister who hud so 
strikingly increased the prosperity and activity of the country. 
But -.if the policy of Count Cavour liad rested there, he might 
have been the organ of the Conservative classes, without ever 
becoming the chief of the active energy of the progressive. It 
was necessary to assume an attitude wliich could arrest the imagi¬ 
nation and appeal to the heart of the bulk of the nation, Italian 
as well as Piedmontese. He must proclaim a principle which 
could really enlist that smouldering but irresistible force of resis¬ 
tance, and unite in one battle-cry tlie unguided will of thousands 
of ardent spirits. To satisfy and to restrain the passionate hopes 
of men to whom fear and despair were unknown, and soothe the 
heaving agitation of over-goaded populations, needed some more 
power^l engine than Enancial arrangements or amended toriEs. 

To exist, Piedmont must head the revolution. It was this 
which none of the leading men of the country seemed adequately 
to conceive. It was this which has been the basis of Cavour’s 
policy. Slowly ho began to announce a more energetic system. 

The diplom^ic struggle with Austria in defence of the Lombard 
exiles whoso property had been sequestered, first exhibited him 
in the arena of European politics, and gave its true stamp to his 
policy. Then Italians for the first time saw the audacity and 
skill with which the minister could meet the high-handed vio¬ 
lence of the great Empire. When after the failure (at least out¬ 
wardly) of the most powerful appeals and protests to Austria, the 
Sardinian envoy was withdrawn fix>m Vienna, the full Eugnificance 
of the struggle became manifest. It was a great step thus to have 
xaet the common enemy with a defiance, and to have pronounced 
before the public opinion of Europe a crashing indictment, and 
carried off the approval of the Govemm'ents of England and France. 

But there was an enemy at home yet nearer Bian the Austrian. 



Cavour and Garibaldi, 


183 


whom it was necessary to humble and defy. Whilst the Papal 
Church retained its prestige and organization, tho union and in¬ 
dependence of Italy were alike impossible. 

Borne yet possessed the strength to impede every step towards 
national greatness, and the strength of Homo lay in the monastic 
orders. It is a singular fact that during the provisional regime 
in Tuscany and the Duchies of Central Italy, tho feelings of the 
clergy, and witli them of the rural populations, were seen to vary 
exactly in proportion to the numbers aftd power of the monastic 
bodies. To strike down and shatter this priestly army was the 
object achieved witli entire success by the conventual legislation 
by which all orders not engaged in preacliing, teaching, or healing 
were auppnissed. By this measure the Papacy was humiliated 
and its strength crippled. The rapidity, firmness, and modera¬ 
tion with which this great social change was effected (unattended 
by any of those evils which have too often followed upon such an 
act), showed the minister superintending without a single fai^re 
a real revolution in society, and conciliating the strict clninS of 
law, property, and order with a scheme involving a most organic 
change and kindling opposite passions. 

Neither the fury of the Catholic party nor the excitement of 
thoir extreme opponents could shake tlie Government from its 
policy of long-matured advance. The part which this measure 
alone baa played in the recent agitation towards annexation to 
Sardinia is very remarkable. Both sides feel its significance, and 
the resolution and boldness displayed in it by the ministry as 
much added to their strength os the senile anathemas of the 
Vatican exposed and degraded the Catholic party. 

The material strength of the country having been thus raised 
to the highest efficiency, and the domestic enemies efiectually sub¬ 
dued, Count Cavour was prepared to enter upon that branch of his 
policy which involved the active co-operation of the European 
powers. The war ag^nst Russia offered the means, and even made 
necessary immediate action. The opportunity was given of at 
once entering into the circle of the Europetin States, whilst the 
late outbreak at Milan, and the evident excitement of the re¬ 
publican party, proved the danger of a policy of inaction. Count 
Cavour accordingly offered to the allies the vigorous oo-operation 
of the Sardinian State, and dispatched a force which nearly equalled 
and at one time exceeded that of the British army. By this 
enterprise the ambition and self-reliance of the army were 
awakened, great impulse was given to its orguiization and 
strength, the disaster of Novara was blotted out, and the credit of 
Piedmont again placed beyond a rival in Italy. But it 
was by'its indirect rather than by its direct consequences that 
this measure must be judged. The dliance with England and 



181 


Cavmr and Garibaldi. 


4 


France, by which the Sardinian territories were actually gua¬ 
ranteed during the war, and which i)romised for many years the 
closest relations, at once raised the little kingdom into a European 
Power. The moral effect of the protest, uttered at the Congress 
of Paris, formed a real step in the history of Italy ; nor was the 
language of the minister in the Parliament other than was justi¬ 
fied by facts: ** From henceforth the Italian question has en¬ 
tered on the order of European questions. The cause of Italy 
has been maintained, nA by demagogues and revolutionaries, 
but by the plenipotentiaries of France and England. From tlie 
Congress it has passed to the tribunal of public opinion. The 
struggle will. be long, and need prudence and calmness; but our 
cause will triumph." 

Indeed the state papers which that occasion drew forth before 
the public attentiou of Europe, were such as possessed no ordinary 
significance. That presented to the allied powers in April, 18r)(). 
by ^e vigour of its attack by its unanswerable logic, and still more 
by^e perfect moderation of its tone, could not fail to place the 
Italian question in a new light, and force upon the most conscr- 
VAtive minds in Europe the necessity for acquiescing in important 
change. The conflict waged in the field as well as that in the 
council sank deeply into the minds of the whole Italian race, the 
former chiefly into that of thepcople, the latter into the convictions 
of thinking men. And if in the recent elevation of Sardinia to 
the chieftainship of the nation, we see the influence of the glon' 
of the Crimean campaign, we see in it no less the impression 
caused on the more vigorous of the older parties by the atti¬ 
tude which the kingdom had assumed in the councils of Europe. 


This it was that gave the minister the support of the republican 
ajid purely revolutionary chiefs. Now they saw opening to them 
a real prospect of achieving by some not distant effort the entire 
emancipation of the country with the sanction and even the co¬ 
operation of some of the European powers. .Then they began to 
see the real drift of a policy which looked forward to national 


independence, not by setting up Piedmont as a fortunate model 
for imitation or an example of prudent resignation, but by train¬ 
ing her whole energies for the liour of national struggle, and 
preparing the way for success by a hearty co-operation of parties 
ami long-sighted combination of European policy. 

With regard to this participation of Piedmont in the Crimean 
war very opposite judgments have been formed. It may be said 
with much force that to declare war with a friendly power which 
menaced no possible right or interest of the State, to burden the 
stmggling resources of the country with a new and indefinite 
weight, to have rushed unprovoked into the midst of a gig.nDtic 
sti'uggle; in a word, to have undertaken a distant war for the 



Cavour and OaribaldL 


185 


sole purpose of deriving therefrom glory and alliances, was an 
act of very doubtful prudence, and of hardly doubtful morality. 

Right or wrong, the war resulted almost ns a necessity from 
the part which Sardinia had undertaken. To maintain her very 
existence and tranquillity she was forced to show herself prepared 
for a speedy struggle with the Austrian—to enter upon that 
struggle with a chance of success she needed at least the moral 
support of the Western Powers—and that support she could not 
hope to obtain unless by boldly id^j^fying herself with their 
foreign European policy. The LomblRl campaign was only pos¬ 
sible after the Congress of Paris, and admission to the Congress 
would have been impossible had it not been for the victory on the 
TcbemHia. It may be that the task of national regeneration is 
one which after all the sword is not competent to effect; but 
so fnr as force or policy could effect it, the work has been most 
thoroughly successful, and if the Crimean expedition was one 
which by itself has no adequate justification of right, it has been 
at least gilded over by amazing results, and received a Atain 
consecration from tte cause which it has so incalculably se^d. 

But the work hitherto had been one only of preparation for 
the struggle. The time was come for the actual effort. The aid 
of Prance was sought, and obtained. Nothing could be a greater 
mistake than to regard the interference of Prance as the result of 
an individual impulse of the Emperor, or any special manoeuvre 
of the minister. It is bound up with the whole system of Count 
Cavour’s policy, of which it forms the crown. By it that policy 
must stand or fall. With reference to that his public acts must 
be explained and judged. Imminent as that Prench intervention 
was in 1848, with the whole course of events leading up to it 
over a period of ten years, popular as the object of the war was 
in France, it must bo looked on even more as the issue of the 
situation of affairs in Europe than of any individual will, how¬ 
ever powerful and apparently capricious, and as having justified 
the sagacity of Lord Palmerston, who wrote in November, 1848, 
“ The glory of delivering Italy to the Alps from the Austrian 
yoke will compensate, in the eyes of the Prench people, many 
sacrifices and great efforts. The opportunity for invoking French 
intervention in Italy will not long be wanting. The Lombards 
would he ready to furnish it directly they knew that the Govern¬ 
ment and people of France were disposed to answer the call. 
It is hardly possible to imagine that an Austrian army could re¬ 
sist a numerous and powerful French army, seconded and sup- 
potted by a general rising of the Italians." In any cose, such an 
dliance was the consummation of the policy of Count Cavour. 
Under his hands Piedmont had undertaken to solve the national 
difficulty. - She was, indeed, impelled to it by a fatal necessity 



186 


Cavour and Garibaldi, 


4 


to preserve at once her independence, her tranquillity, and her 
throne. Had not, indeed, the upper classes under their noble 
chief placed themselves at the head of the national movement, 
their power would in a few years have been wrenched from them 
by the party of the revolution to renew the policy and disaster of 
Novara. What, then, were the means by which the end was to 
be obtained ? 

Tile last campaign has proved how utterly powerless would 
have been the most (lespedjte efforts of Sardinia alone against the 
entire force of Austria, mr were wo to add to these efforts, as 
the revolutionary party insist, the insurrection tiirougliout Italy; 
it is not easy to assert that it would have improved tho chances 
of national success. This could not escape the eye of the man 
who had evoked and weighed the resources of his country, whilst 
ho repudiates, and perhaps undervalues, the power of insurrec¬ 
tion. He was forced then to look for some external assistance; 
nor is it conceivable that he could have persisted in a long course 
of ^fcocation and defiance of the common enemy with the ulU- 
matWntention of commencing war with no forces but tho com¬ 
pact army of tho king, and the desultory fury of unarmed popula¬ 
tions. Such on idea is as much contradicted by the character of 
the man, as by the whole history of his acts. Some external md 
was indispensable. It presented itself only in two forms. Ho 
might meet Austria either with the assistance of one or more of 
the Western Powers, or might wait until she was herself a prey 
to the mortal throes of revolution within. Even now, as wo 
witness the slow dissolution of that tenacious power struggling so 
long after a death-wound, we cannot foil* to see that to Imve 
waited for that crisis might have been to wait until safety, honour, 
and self-respect had been lost at home. Each fresh act of provo¬ 
cation thrust Sardinia nearer to the inevitable conflict, and neces¬ 
sitated a still bolder act to confirm and extend the prestige of the 
last Sardinia was forced by an irresistible power to advance 
incessantly upon a path where success was only possible at the 
price of invoking the assistance of the foreigner. To have relied, 
as the revolutionary party insist, upon the unaided strength of 
Italy, means simply to have submitted to an internal revolution 
as a preparation, and to have established a democratic republic 
upon the ruins of all those conservative elements of the country, 
and of the consolidation of the social system, out of which alone, 
as we conceive, permanent success was possible. ItaUa ford da 
u was the watchword of Mazzini at the opening of the war. But 
the very weapon with which, as he conceives, she ought to fight 
—4he insurrection after the model of the year *93—involves the 
previous suppression of the whole force of the upper classes, to 
whmn such a weapon is abhorrent and self-destmotive. 



Cavour and Garibaldi, 


187 


’Vo the Western Powers, then, or more distinctly to France, 
Count Cavour directed his hopes. Hazardous as tho cast was, it 
cannot bo proved to have been desperate. All those advantages 
whicli it seemed to ofler have been obtained from it; and very 
few of the evils which were foretold have come to pass. He can¬ 
not be said Ui have conjured a spirit wliich he was unable to con¬ 
trol or to resist: nor can any reasonable mind assert that the loss 
of Nice counterbalances the creation of Italy. It may be that 
the recent wat has not adequately so^d the difficulty. The 
assistance of France may have proouced a moral injury to 
tho future of Italy. ]3ut all such evils were involved in any 
possible (jourse of active effort. No conceivable policy, in such 
a case, could have been without its own inherent defect. It may 
be that the Europoun statesman, or even the Italian patriot, 
might deplore the intervention of France; but it would be pre- 
posU*rous to condemn a great ])rjicti(;al politician from seizing the 
only available engine of acting on the immediate destinies of his 
country. ^ 

The assistance of the foreigner having been decided upon*ie 
task before Count Cavour was to direct the Italian revolution 
by means of conservative authorities, and with the least possible 
risk of political or social convulsion, and at the same time to coll 
o!it the whole warlike energy of the nation. It must be admitted 
that he succeeded far better in the former than in tho latter 
portiop of his duty- The liberated populations exhibited indeed 
far more sagacity than energy, and finally achieved their freedom 
by a fortunate deficiency of vehemence and excitement. It cannot 
be dou])ted that an almost suspicious reliance was placed upon 
order and diplomacy. The fact is that the whole conduct of the 
movement had been placed in the hands of the recognised heads 
of the social system, and was left to tho upper classes to direct 
by skill without any admixture of revolutionary convulsion. 
This was especially obvious in Tuscany (which was hut a type 
of the other provisional Governments), where tho entire guid¬ 
ance was placed in the hands of a real aristocracy of birth and 
wealth, of men possessing the leading territorial and social in- 
fiucnce in the country, full of the conservative instincts of an 
educated and historic order, and united by long study, and an 
almost pedantic trust in the machinery of orderly and systematic 
government. Such as the Tuscan rulers were, such were the Par¬ 
mesan, the Modenese, and the Bolognese, in a greater or less 
degree; and the whole of these governments were created under 
the influence, and in most cases by the direct ant, of Count Cavour, 
and were even after his fall inspired mainly by bis counsels, and held 
together by the National Society which was the organ and promoter 
of his peculiar views and policy. The exigencies of the situation 



188 


Cavour and Garibaldi, 


4 


had all been foreseen and provided for by the minister, and he relied 
for the success of the revolution to be accomplished under the 
'ahield of France exclusively to the strength, authority, and 
ability of the conservative and wealthy classes, assisted by all 
the educated intelligence which they could command. It is true 
that but for a bolder and less far'sighted effort, the population of 
Central Italy might have sunk from want of military energy and 
enthusiasm; but it is not the less true that the whole attitude, 
sobriety, nnd pertinacity ^ the resistance they made to the Peace 
of Villafranca, was direeny due to the sagacity of the statesman 
who had placed the direction of a revolution in the hands of men 
who belonged to the party of order by instinct, position, and 
education. 

More recent events have shown Count Cavour assuminsr a 
bolder attitude, and earning almost the name of a’ revolutionary 
leader. The connivance in the attempt of Garibaldi, and the 
invasion and annexation of the Papal and Neapolitan territories, 
bel^ig wholly to the policy of a man who had risen to a full sense 
of a critical situation. The manner in which ho has used, aided, 
and then controlled Garibaldi; the skill with which the republican 
energy has been let loose, to he at the very moment of destruction 
reined in and pacified; the audacity with which a startling on- 
alanght was made upon the Head of the National Church, and a 
fnendly monarch attacked and besieged, without on the one hand 
calling forth revolutionary passions, or on the other the hostility 
of jealous foreign powers, is undoubtedly a proof of political 
aptitude, such as makes the turning-point in the destinies of a 
nation. In these later enterprises the true force of the states¬ 
man's capacity is seen, for they exhibit him as the chief of a 
revolution of which he has hitherto appeared mainly as the con¬ 
troller. Schemes such as these belong to those exceptional 
crises in which a statesman must rise above the rules of prudence, 
legality, and moderation, or be irretrievably lost, and act, if he acts 
at all, in a full consciousness that the safety of the people is 
above all law. It is by such acts throughout history that the 
existence of nations has been preserved by men who have 
broken through at once all the habits, traditions, and laws of 
society, under the overwhelming duty of the salvation of the 
nation. Men will always he found to object to Cromwell 
violations of the constitution; to Danton suppression of law; to 
William the silent duplicity and intrigue : but politicians must 
be judged by their power of commanding the crisis in which they 
are placed, and the average of their good and evil must he 
struck by the practical necessities of their task. On any poli¬ 
tician who dares to violate constitutions^ laws, or treaties, the 
heaviest responsibility must weigh, to bo removed alone by the 



Gavour and Garihaldu 189 

verdict of history and the conscientious sanction of public 
opinion. 

Beneath the faultless logic of pedants and fanatics, the public 
instinct feels that the law of nations in no true sense could apply 
between the provincial States of Italy, or govern relations which 
rest on a condition of virtual revolution and war. When the 
Sardinian armies invaded the Marches and Umbria they invaded 
the States of a power with whom they had long been waging a 
deadly but informal war. When they hunted the Neapolitan 
pretender to his last retreat, they were only crushing an outcast 
tyrant and driving forth an incendiary partisan. Legal pedantry 
and hvpocritical formalism apart, it is true that Count Cavour 
has the riglit to say We are ItiUy ! wc act in her name.” The 
judgment of free nations has welcomed that which does indeed 
bear the outward form of the tiiuniph of might over right, and 
the hopes of order and national independence have been raised 
high by these acts of violent invasion. Yet not the less must we 
feel admiration for the sagacity and courage of a policy which so 
far transcends the regions inwhicli ordinary statesmen dwell, and 
belongs to the extraordinary ellbrts of decisive emergencies. 

(Jount Cavour is a politician of that high order tliat unites the 
most opposite qualities, and resumes in himself the various forces 
of an era. He embodies the cause of monarchy, order, and con¬ 
stitution. whilst working out a revolution and founding a new 
nation. At once the sagacious economist, the consummate mi¬ 
nister, and the dictator of a crisis, ho is by turns laborious and 
energetic, subtle and impetuous, ingenious and audacious, prac¬ 
tical and profound. Now it is his task to calm the agitation of a 
nation, then to call it to a struggle for life; now he imposes on it 
his own strong will, then addresses and instructs its judgment; 
sometimes convincing in the Parliament, sometimes stirring the 
public heart, sometimes guiding unseen the machinery of diplo¬ 
macy and parties. In a word, he has the tPUe vein of a states- 
Xatin. His whole action is practical, relative, and instinctive. 
His policy rests upon principle ; yet he is never the slave of his 
theories. He can rise to the grandeur of ideas, yet is never car¬ 
ried away by illusions. An inflexible purpose may bow before 
necessity and storms; and out of every emergency still grasp the 
true duo upwards. No modern politician insists so flrmly upon 
theory; none so consistently developes it into action; and none 
is so little cramped by it in practice. His love of order never 
stiffens into oppression; legality with him stops short of for¬ 
malism ; his mastery of logic is forgotten when logic has ceased 
to be of use. With a turn for diplomacy worthy of Talleyrand, 
his art is restrained to its due place and function. A master of 
party politics, he is never greater than when he has ceased to be a 



190 Cavour and Garibaldi, 

parliamentary leader. Conservative by nature, he knows the 
value of institutions; in the hour of crisis ho sees in them no¬ 
thing but forms. He has gauged popular emotion; he neither 
mistakes its strength nor forgets its fickleness. With an appetite 
for power like Richelieu, he loves to rest upon public opinion; 
and being a real dictator, he acts in the spirit of a responsible 
minister. With a native insight into character, there are no men 
and no parties whom he hesitates to use ; fanaticism or industry, 
authority or enthusiasm, craft or heroism, are instruments which 
he employs and controls. He can lay deep plans without being 
tortuous; be politic without falsehood; and strike an unexpected 
blow without treachery. In the State he grasps a concentration 
of power, which he wields without selfishness, and wliich is 
yielded without jealousy. In Parliament he can solicit the sup¬ 
port of a majority without stooping to party triumphs. lu the 
tribune he seeks to convince, not to confute; to win confidence, 
not votes. He never perorates, hut argues; generally careless 
in language, always keen in logic, sometimes rising into moving 
eloquence, sometimes overcoming by inherent energy. 

In the Cabinet he is master of diplomatic fence, yet his logic is 
ever drawn from public riglit and plain principle. The exquisite 
skill with which he crushes his opponent’s case is only equalled 
by the substantial justice of his own cause. His State-papers 
would bo models of art if they were not standards of historic 
fact. With all his instinctive love of order and law, he sees that 
these are not cuds but means. In a crisis he can rise superior to 
any notion but that of public safety and duty. To habitual industry 
in preparation he unites an impetuous rapidity of execution ; and 
however careful in husbanding his resources, ho is prodigal of 
them in action. His most daring schemes arc all witbin the 
limits of reasonable safety ; if be oversteps legality, he remains 
true to right. In a word, ho is in our day the single example of 
a ruler who goveifs by native superiority and that willing 
homage which ennobles the giver and the receiver. Ho shows 
us how power can be gathered into one hand, yet be but the ex¬ 
pression of national will. Nor less is he an instance of a poli*- 
tician who conserves whilst he changes; who conciliates order 
and movement, tradition and expansion, the past and tho pre¬ 
sent ; who innovates without convulsion, and modifies without 
destruction. Thus he is to us the type of the real popular dic¬ 
tator, and the statesman of true conservative progress. 

Such are the characteristics of Count Oavour, and they 
are those essentially of tho statesman. But they represent hut 
one element of tho Italian movement alone. The sagacity, self- 
restraint, and persevorance which have marked it are amply ex¬ 
hibit^ in him, but for all that has given it life, poetry, and moral 



Cavour and Garibaldi, 


J91 


grandeur, we must find a very different representative. The 
virtues, aspirations, and powers which wc attribute to G-aribaldi 
belong not either to the minister himself, or to the classes of 
whom ho is the chief. There exists beneath the surface an in¬ 
tensely popular element in this Italian revolution, showing in 
reality nearly all the features which have distinguished the effer¬ 
vescence of new ideas in the mind of the whole people, and re¬ 
calling in the strength of its enthusiasm, in the electric contagion 
of its ideas, and in its influence on the moral sentiments, the 
spirit w’hich can be seen to move through nations in great crises 
of their history. Unlike in all external marks as this recent 
movement is to that of the great French Revolution, to enter into 
the hilness of its character we must bear in mind the peculiar 
features which belong to the early days of that, and without drawing 
a comparison between two periods so inherently different, we can 
sec (certain leading ideas which belong to both. With the history 
of the first period of the new ora in France before our eyes, we 
shall better conceive the religions quality of that patriotism 
which has sustained the exile for thirty years, and carried the 
army of Garibaldi through incredible sufferings and dangers. 
AVc can thus best understand the heaving and agitation of the 
mass of the people, a new idea sweeping over them like au epi¬ 
demic, kindling in the hearts of man and woman a fanatical en¬ 
thusiasm, moving man to man and class to class, elevating de¬ 
based populations into momentary impulses of dignity, and 
virtue, and inspiring the finer tempers with unwonted fires of 
self-sacrifice and daring. T'hus it was that in silent cities the 
people has sprung forth ns under some sudden frenzy, that armies 
have laid down their arms at the magical influence of a name or 
a voice, that men of wealth, position, and reflnement have 
hastened to stand shoulder to shoulder with the peasant on 
bloody battle-fields or more deadly camps, and have given up 
every earthly interest, and even the convictions of their whole 
lives, in defence of a sacred cause. We arc far too apt in pre¬ 
sence of the discipline which has been submitted to, and of the 
manifest inferiority of the Soiithem population, to underrate the 
extent as well as the intensity of the enthusiasm of the people of 
the North. The immense depopulation of Venetia, the 100,000 
men who since the beginning of the war have volunteered into 
the different armies, the sacrifices home, and the heroism shown 
by whole classes of men, and the resolution .and patriotism of the 
bulk of the people of the North, cannot be effaced by any tales 
of failure and indifference in detail, or the worthlessness of the 
demoralized cities or barbarous peasantry of the South. 

It is the army of Garibaldi, and their leader himself, who most 
worthily represents alf this element of the movement. WiUi all 



192 Cavott/r and Qaribaldi, 

their dexterity and experieff^ the supporters of the statesman do 
not adequately embody the vitality and elevation of the popular 
instinct. The heroic soldier and his men belong not to the men 
who can guide and administer a State, but they are of those who 
fought with Manin the desperate defence of Venice, and main¬ 
tained the honour of their capital against the treacherous in¬ 
solence of France,—of men who, like the Bundiora, Bassi, or 
Giceroaechio, have been murdered in cold blood, who have spent 
their lives in prison and exile, and lived a long martyrdom for 
their cause. Without the spirit which sustained these men in tlie 
dungeon or on the scaffold, it would have been impossible that 
the sacred tradition could have kept its purity and strength' These 
are the men, and the party to which they belonged, who have 
taught the youth of Italy to feel the holiness of their cause, who 
have clothed it with an irradiating splendour, and required from 
its supporters a devotion and a moral elevation unsurpassed. To 
them it is due that the expulsion of the stranger means a real 
national regeneration, and that the future of Italy is made to 
rest upon the individual worth of the citizens. They are the men 
who first saw and preached the duty of absolute unity, of the con¬ 
solidation of States, and the fraternity of classes and orders, and 
who upheld the singleness and directness of purpose to the one 
great end. To them is due chiefly that which gives moral dignity 
to the Italian people, and but for them the sagacity or energy of 
the statesmen would have dealt only with untutored masses and 
a lifeless, passionless multitude. 

It is quite consistent with this view to disbelieve most strongly 
in the capacity of such men for government or direction. With 
the most emphatic conviction of the utter hopelessness of any 
revolution attempted under the control of such men, it is impos¬ 
sible to lefuse to the revolutionary parties, whether under the 
name of Kepublican or National, Mozzinist or Garibaldian, the 
credit of having sot in^motion an action of which others were the 
more fortunate directors. Mozzini, Garibaldi, Guerrazzi, or Bertani 
have abundantly mimifeated, on one occasion after another, their 
incapacity for civil organization and rule, and the public instinct 
is quite justified in looking upon their ascendancy with uncon¬ 
querable aversion. But as agitators their influence has been indis¬ 
pensable. It is true that in '48 they led the national cause to ruin, 
but it is equally clear that their principles prepared it for triumph 
in '60. More and more we are forced to see how powerfully the 
abortive struggle of ’48 acted upon the national mind, and led 
.up to the success we have lately witnessed. The Lombard and 
Venetian insurrections, the popular votes of annexation in the 
Duchies, the heroism of the defence of Rome, had educated the 
masses with a sense of their duty and an instinct towards union* 



193 


Cavoiir and G^j^aklL 

The effort of '48 was cruslieil by force, but not the less was it a 
moral triumph. It awakened the national couscience, and pene¬ 
trated the depressed multitude. It planted the standard of the 
nation, and taught the creed of unity and the religion of patriotism. 
The task of the statesmen of Piedmont was but to moderate, guide, 
and organize the irrepressible spirit of freedom, which was the out¬ 
growth of the rising of '48. More find more do we seo in GO, under 
happier and wiser guidance, the noble entlmsiasm and aspirations 
of '48. Put that ofi'ort was made notoriously uuder the auspices 
and direction of the Republicans. If we measure out to them our 
condemnation of the unwisdom which brought thorn to ruin, we 
should no less give them credit for the spirit which at least they 
succeeded in inspiring. With no stain upon its honour, with no 
])()ssil)lo charge against it but that of misfortune and misconcep¬ 
tion, the effort of '48 cannot be stigmatized as the work of incen¬ 
diaries or demagogues. The great agitator to whom that move* 
mont owes at once its energy and its unsuccess, may iudecd have 
becii the victim of desperate illusions, but wilful ignorance only 
can charge him with baseness, or downright malice only represent 
him as a sanguinary fanatic. Whatever faults may have been 
committed by the Republican Governments in Italy during *48, 
no single charge of violence or selfishness lias ever been osta 
blishod ttgiunst them. And those who have really had any know¬ 
ledge iff those leaders know them to possess a singleness of pur¬ 
pose, a strength of principle, and a touching love of their country 
and their countrymen, which surpasses in depth and purity auy* 
thing that their rivals or their maligners can show. 

15ut whatever may be the judgment passed upon this imrty 
and the true character of its members, certain it is that Garibaldi 
himself is its truest and fullest representative. It is mere solf-do* 
ception to deny tliat he really belongs to that body with whom his 
whole life has been passed, and all his ideas derived. It is much 
the fashion to revile all the revolutionary leaders amongst men, 
who forget that they thereby are discrediting the whole previous 
history of their favourite hero, and must wilfully distort the 
plainest evidence of Ills acts. Eu spite of the most convincing 
proofs that he looks on Mazzini still with friendship and trust, 
that all his friends belong to the old Republican parties, and 
all his acts are dictated by the old doctrines of insurrection, 
the mere fact of his allegiance to the king is supposed to place 
him in the constitutional party. The fact is, that he belongs to 
the revolutionary classes, by his whole nature, habits, history, and 
situation. He shares with them his greatness of heait, and draws 
from them the false theories of his political creed. He amplifies 
and exalts their virtues, but he is not the less involved in their 
illusions and defects. The highest political virtues are not 

[VoL LXXV. No. CXLVIL]-N<w Siairs, VoL XIX. No. I. O 



*104 ' Cavouj^nd Garihaldu 

incompatible witb f^reat political incompetence, and the noblest 
elevation of character cannot exclude fatal intellectual errors. 
It is by bis character nnd not by his intellect that Garibaldi 
Jiolds his sway. It is not by what he directly does that he acts, 
Jbut by the mysterious influence of his spirit and life, in his story, 
the humblest and most ignorant con feel instinctively the worth of 
a life unstained by one selfish act or w^orldly motive ; the simple 
majesty of a man to whoso eyo his fellow-men are seen as man to 
man, stripped of every circumstance of accident or rank, and in 
whoso soul hums nothing hut the fire which makes martyrs and 
heroes. It is this power whicli gives him a moral influence, 
which neither king or minister can approach. Not merely 
through his own country does tliis influence extend. It spreads 
■strangely through the extent of civilized Europe. Wo ourselves 
witness that his name inspires a something more than passing 
•sympathy, and is mixed with convictions of unusual tenacity. 
Strange stories are told of artisans in Berlin, worshipping in tlie 
fitrccts at a shrine of St. Garibaldi, and how his name stirred 
the blood of the Faubourg St. Antoine iu Paris. To the workmen 
of Glasgow or Lyons, as much as of Naples or Milan, he repre¬ 
sents the claims of their own order, and from J*oIancl to Sjaiin, 
and from Hcotliiiid to Sicily, his course has kindled the interest 
of the democracy of Europe, lie has, indeed, in ever)' fibre, the 
nature of the people and embodies their craving for a nobler future 
to bo won by their innate energy. He has their strength and 
their weakness; their generous instincts and their incoherent doc¬ 
trines i and lus career, in which both have been signally exhibited, 
has aw’akeued a motion of that spirit which runs through eath State 
in Europe when revolution begins in one. He feels himself to be¬ 
long not only to Italy, but to the cause of liberty through Europe. 
When he fought in the Ilepublics of America, when he promises 
his sword to Hungary, or expresses his sympathy with the people 
in England or France, it is because he feels instinctively the 
brotherhood of people with people, and the bonds which unite 
their future destinies in one. Nor does he ever fail to show that 
he belongs little to the actual political systems, but to a new and 
possible order of things. To him, the forms, constitutions, and 
ceremonials of the day are vanity and expedients. He feels 
intensely with the heart of the nation, and believes it will rise 
into a higher life. His perfect simplicity of existence, his con¬ 
tempt for dignities, wealth or power, his gentleness and guileloss- 
jaess of heart belong indeed to a period when public life shall 
ihave risen to a purer atmosphere. That he does not understand 
it as it is, that he is ignorant of its tortuous mechanism, is more 
io bis honour than to his discredit. Hq has left the task for 
which he has neither ability nor heart, to others. He has gone 



CavouT and Qaribaldl. 105 

l)ack to his own simple world. He has left behind him the 
memory of an unsullied character, a sense of duty, and a 
love of trutli, of which his age can sec but half the worth and 
beauty. 

Pint whilst Garibaldi retains the idea and habits of those with 


whom lie has acted through life, his fine character enables him t() 
see and avoid the ciTors whicli are peculiar to them. It is this 
instiuct wliicli has gathered up all his fnculties with native sin¬ 
cerity round the standard of Savoy, and lias made as the centre 
of his crijpd loyalty to King Victor Kmmnnuel. But this ad- 
Iicn ncc to the king is very far from being with him a political 
dogma. It is nothing but an instinctive conception of the neces¬ 
sity of the ease and the practical sense of a man of action. His 
whole mind, however, is essentially repuhliciiu, and there is some¬ 
thing prcpostiTous in supposing that such a man can have any 
leaning towards monarchy as a system. But he loves and honours 
the solilicr king in his heart, and he has idealized in him the 


national life. To this beautiful lictioii in the mind of (iaribaldi 


is perhaps due more than to any other single cause the Avoleoine 
which the stuuuchost republicans have given to the once hated 
House of Savoy. He, the man to whom peasant or prince appear 
each in their native wortii as men, to whom all the trappings of 
social life arc eoiiteinptiblo, and the whole political system of 
which lljo monarchy is but the head is alien, to whom laws, tra¬ 
dition, or custom, weigJi nothing in the lialance against the 
safety of the people and the honour of the nation, gives hearty 
allegiance to the king, in whom he sees personified the destinies 
of liis country, and wlio is pointed out by fate as its natural dic¬ 
tator and chief. Under such an influence ouly could a nation in 
■whom the bare notion of monarchy has never been fairly implanted, 
and in whom in this age no dogmas of a coiistitutionnl aristocracy 
are ever likely to implant it, receive with enthusiastic submission 
the monarch who was indispensable as a centre of union and 
of action. It was through this personal trust of Garibaldi that, 
in moments of great danger, fatal mistakes were avoided, when 
after the armistice ofVillafranca, on the several proposed invasions 
of the Papal territories or the liberation of Sicily and Naples, it 
required the whole force of an influence like his to restrain the 


fiercest tempers and most earnest republicans collected round his 
standard from raising a separate standard, and at once commencing 
a career of-insurrection. 


It is this idea which forms the principal link between two very 
opposite parties—^in a word, between the two distinct schools of 
policy of Italy—the constitutional and revolutionary. Nothing 
but a practical compromise in the person of a beloved leader could 
reconcile two parties who so thoroughly misunderstand and dislike 

• 0 H 



196 


Cavour and Garibaldi, 

% 

1 

eacli other. More than anything else, tlie example of Giuihaldi 
has contributed to this end. At his word the most inveterate 
Eepublicans have cousfiited to foi-cgo their principles, and the 
high sense td' (favour lias not feared to use their indispensahic 
ser\'iccs. It was the name of Garibaldi >vhich finally decided the 
adhesion of the old party throughout Italy in '59, and has retained 
them true to their allegiance under the most tiding circumstances. 
But it is no loss clear that he is heart and soul with them. The 
revolutionary engine—the levf'e en masse —war carried on by 
insurrection—ti'ust alone in native valour without discipline, or¬ 
ganization, or ceremony, is the only weapon -which he knows. 
Diplomatic measures, foreign assistance, unless simply of volun- 
teei’s, material cituipmcnt, and even military science are to him 
as irksome and worthless as golden trappings or braided uniforms. 
He appeals to the heart of the pe«)ple alone, and trusts in tlieir 
innate honour, energy, and heroism. It is this which makes at 
ouce his strength and his w'cakness. Do typifies and he evokes 
the life which alone can make a nation free or strong, hut ho dis^ 
cards at once all the institutions by whicli its strength is disci¬ 
plined and directed. Himself and his followers feci in them no 
small measure of that untpirnchuLle fire wliich in 'Oy preserved 
and created h'nuicc; they w'ill not see how far the condition of 
tlieir country and theii* countrymen is removed from that era of 
convulsive excitement. Yet no little of the religious zeal of those 
Drench Eepublicans may bo seen in his army and in him. To him 
the cause and its defenders are alike sacred and dear. He can 
liurdly understand that one wlio has laboured and suffered for 
Italy is unworthy of responsibility and confidence, in bis eyes, 
one who has bled on the field or pined iii a dungeon is a martyr 
to whom honour, iufliience, and trust arc due without stint or 
hesitation. lie who has endured the longest exile or the heaviest 
irons, or he who is most hateful to the common enemy, must of 
all men be most capable and worthy to seiwe the common country. 
Ho who has shown most his love for her must be best fitted to 
protect her. Ho who in the darkest hour uttered the most in- 
Bpiring protest is the truest guide in the hour of relief. Devotion 
must imply capacity, and unhoimded faith is the best proof of a 
patriotic heart. 

Such is the spirit in which the simple-hearted soldier clings to 
his old friends and their views, upholds Mazzini, Crispi, Mordini, 
Mario, and Cattnneo, and thrusts, as rulers, upon the bewildered 
Neapolitans and Sicilians men who have learnt their creed of 
politics and system of action in conspiracies, in exile, and in dun¬ 
geons. \Yith him they hold such n place as the " people of God" 
held in the heart of Gromwell. Those who have given all for 
the cause are sanctified in his eves. He feels for them as members 



Cavoxvr and GarihdUlu 


107 


of a soi-t of religious brotherhood, of whose rectitude and zeal no 
doubt can be permitted. These arc the spirits, ns he believes, the 
country needs. It wants nothing hut sincerity and vigour. They 
who love it most serve it best. The intrigues and artifices of 
professinnal politicians discredit and pervert the national honour. 
Coinproniiscs, arrangements, jiiid prevarications belong to their 
trade. 'I'ho moral sense is lowered hy their s])Ccious precautions, 
and the keenness of self-reliance is blunted by their diplomacy. 
Tnnal^c energy and daring are nobler and surer weapons; the 
generous beans of the people will do the rest. Th’otherly atfoc- 
tiou ami frank forbearance must soothe the antipatliies of party. 
Unity of purpose and genuine zeal will preserve the public secu¬ 
rity and order, (iencrosity will supply tlie necessaries of life. 
jVlutnal trust must stand for disciplim^; the service of the 
coiinti'y is above any earthly reward; its true leaders need no 
formal eojnmissious or solomu oloetion. Heroic valour supplies 
the place of armies, and simple manhood and its own great heart 
will create a nation wojlhy of freedom. 

Hut whilst bi.'licving this in all sincerity and fervour, lie is a 
slave to no system, and is not deluded by any narrow dogma. The 
sanii) love for his country which ho perceives in Mazzini, he re¬ 
cognises in Victor I'humanuel. He, too, and his soldiers and 
generals, have fought and laboured for tlie cause; and the very 
ministers and politicians and olfioial servants of the State have, 
as he sees, after their fashion, a genuine sense of the common 
duty. Hence, throwing aside all logic, his fine instinct unites 
both parties in one. Tull of loyalty to the king, lie yet holds by 
all llio Iricnds of liis ohl days; devoted to the principles of Maz¬ 
zini, lie submits to the will of the king and his ministers. Thus 
are two rival and hostile parties reunited and reconciled, 'fho 
Garibaklians dare not repudiate a king whom their beloved cliief 
delights to honour nud obey. Tho monarchists arc forced to be 
forbearing with a party to whoso head they owe an incomparable 
service. The one have come to feel that from the ranks of the 
revolution has come forth the noblest son of Italy; the others, 
with their leader, can say, “ We are Republicans still, but our 
republic is Victor Emmanuel.’' 

This sense of duty to the king, in whom he sees personified 
the union and the honour of the country, at last, after many 
struggles, induced him to surrender the dictatorship of the South, 
in spite of his deepest convictions and un intense repugnance to 
the ministry of Cavour. Full of tho purest ideas of the insurrec¬ 
tionary party, still smarting under the shameful sacrifice of Nice, 
and cherishing an inextinguishable hatred of Napoleon, Garibaldi 
was bent on retaining the power in South Italy, and rushing with 
blind heroism to tho rescue of Venice and Rome. It needed the 



19ft 


Cavour and Garibaldi, 


■whole strength of his unalloyed trust iu the king to restrain hiih 
from this fatal delirium. With many struggles he recovered his 
reason ; his instinctive good sense I’etumed. Almost heart-broken 
by the sacrifice, he gavt5 up, in the presence of an overpowering 
sense of dutv, all that he holds most dear and most true. He 
consented to look on upon the prolonged slavery of his brethnm; 
to yield to the will of a degrading oppressor; to sacrifice his oldest 
fi-ieuds and most trusted followers. And last trial of all, he con¬ 
sented to place the work of his own hands and the people he had 
fouglit for into the keeping of men to whom he bears the keenest 
antipathy, to whoso policy his whole life is a protest, and who 
have l)ut recently degraded tlic nation and bartered its very prin¬ 
ciple of life. Such was the temper in which the Dictator, much 
loth, accepted the aiine.xatiou and its consequences. 

It needed some overpowering sense of duty to counterhalance 
his ingrained convictions. Had he not acted so, it is plain that 
he wtis going on the road to ruin. Not only must his attack 
have been infallibly crushed in the field (eveu it would seem hy 
the arras of Sardinin herself), but the internal state of the 
country would have sliorfly resulted in irredeemable chaos. It 
may indeed now he assumed that the Garihaldian regime 
would have ended in Naples in the most complete dissolution 
and anarchy, and almost the rupture of society itself. It needs 
little argument in the face of incontestable facts. Not indeed tliat 
the nilcvs appointed were in thcuisclvcs incompetent or iinfrust- 
worthy, but hecausu they were wholly incompalihlc with the 
people whom they hud to govern. Dull of the notions of insurrec¬ 
tion and revolution, they were applying their own extreme and inco¬ 
herent system in a society quite unprepared- for it, and to circum¬ 
stances in which it was an anachronism. In a half-barbarous and 
debased population it w’us necessary not to inflame, but to calm; 
not to impel, but to I’cstrniu. They needed the strong hand of a 
regular and orderly Government, not the exciting stimulus of 
insurrectionary committees, and the whole apparatus of revolu¬ 
tionary action. Such a population could be controlled only by 
the accustomed weight of recognised Government The Dictator 
was full of trust that they could he aroused to the due point of in¬ 
surgent energy. But a blunder so fatal as this does not con¬ 
clusively prove his ■ incapacity for civil government under more 
favourable circumstances. It only shows that he had thoroughly 
mistaken the situation and the real necessities of the case, and 
was only able to shake himself free from the notions and habits 
of his whole previous life by an effort of the most splendid ab¬ 
negation, and by withdrawing altogether and abruptly from a 
post the duties of which he profoundly misconceived. 

The sacrifice of principle once made, the retirement to Caprera 



Cavour and GarihaldL 


199 


was a necessary and subordinate incident, ilucli 1ms been said 
of this act by men who little understand his character. Jt was 
neither the result of mortification, or impulse, or vanity, much 
less of a morose or factious temper. With him to retire to his 
position us a simple vcoman was a natural consequence of no 
public task iiecdiufjf him. 'J’lio sclf-sacrifice is seen in the sur¬ 
render of his principles and fricuds, not in liis love of the happi- 
ncHs of private life. Oarihaldi, if nut the loader of a rov<dulion, 
is nothin". 'J'o liead an urmY of heroes, to awaken tlie entliu- 
siasm of a population, to init iate a new order of ideas and acts, 
is his only duty. To or^mnize, to govern, and to compromise, to 
prepare by patient forothouglit, or devise l>y dexterous manage¬ 
ment, is above or below his power, lie camnot make the labo¬ 
rious olficial, or the sagacious minister, or the rigid disciplinarian. 
His clunuetor is too lolly for the petty uccossitics of th<ise duties, 
lie belongs wholly to a purer atmosphere. When uo unusual 
ellbrt is required, there is little in whiidi he <;an servo his country, 
lie i’i!lires in the calmer moments of ordiimry life to the simpli¬ 
city of the life of the humblest eiti/.en. Yet natural and voluntary 
as his roUrement has been, it is not the less melancholy. Tor a 
cliuraeter of siu:h strength tlie suvrondor of such liopes and pur¬ 
poses gives u profound sliock. Though feeding the Jiecessity of 
the ease, la? could scarcely comprehend all the reasons which 
made his mere presence a danger. Yet his retirement to his 
island is, perhaps, the most instructive, ns it is certainly the most 
honourable act of liis life. By it his party have learnt to yield, 
however reluetantlv, to the true interests of their country ; and 
the name of an Italian has been placed before the eyes of J‘Uirope 
as the symbol of the purest self-devotion, and a religions sense 
of puhlie duty. 

(iarihahli thus gives to the national movement a eharaotcr 
whi(di was essential, aud could come from no other. I’ho creation 
of a nation needs more than victories, treaties, institutions, or 
administration. Success in the field or the eouneil may furnish it 
with opportunities. True national life needs real public regenera¬ 
tion. ft is right, then, that Garibaldi should bo fell to be the 
popular hero. In a prolonged struggle, requinng so much from 
skill, circumstances, and foreign aid, it needed the contact of 
one great heart to keep alive the sense of dignity and honour. 
Whilst ministers were engaged in diplomacy, intrigue, or compro¬ 
mise (essential* as they too were), it was well that a hero should be 
• found to speak of nothing but truth and duty. Italian nation¬ 
ality means more than independence and freedom, or it means 
little. To show its true destiny, it needed one splendid example 
of public duty without blemish or alloy. Henceforth for all 
Italians the memory of freedom is for ever bound up with the 



5iOO 


Cavour and Garibaldi, 


ideal of perfect socinl virtue. In years to come, in the strife ()f 
public life they may learn from him higher aims and nobler acts. 
Nor was it less essential that in a deadly struggle with a foreigner 
they should be headed by one wlio knows the true brotherhood 
of nations: and that a war of hatred should bo tempered by 
one who has a woman’s gentleness and mercy. Tims the Italian 
has fought without the brutalizing liato of race ; and no single 
instance of ferocity has stained his chivalry: for their chief loves 
all brave men, and can pity even the oppressor. Nor has this 
ro-oonsecration of war brought hack its barbarous traditions, or 
its retrograde instincts. He, who for the last time has made war 
noble in Europe, has cried aloud to it with almost fanatic 
aspiration for universal peace. The noblest soldier of our day 
tramples on the pomp and pride of war with native loathing and 
contempt. So too, it was right that the popular heroism which 
lay burning beneath the action of state policy should have its duo 
place and task. If all the power in this national struggle has 
gone to the great and noble, it was well that the true halo should 
rest round ono who is of and with the people. In the midst iif 
convulsion and strife, there rises up an image of mildness, sim¬ 
plicity, and tenderness, a gentle spirit calming passions, 
jealousies, and hatreds, disarming treachery, and putting selfish¬ 
ness to shame. Men have seen in his look the traditional imago 
of goodness, and have not scrupled to call him the Apostle and 
Messiah of their race, as at once the deliverer from oppression 
and the teacher of a moral regeneration. 

Of all the comparisons which have been made for him tliere aro 
none which are not very wide of the reality. He has, indeed, 
none of the qualities of statesman, dictator, or commander. 
That which belongs to him exclusively is a species of p >pular 
inspiration and influence os by electric contagion of emotions. 
More than to warriors or politicians he belongs to the order of 
religious enthusiasts. It is a character infusing itself through a 
nation. One story there is in history which in some moments 
rccals the features of his. Ono character there has been with 
whom his has some traits of likeness. Utterly unlike, as in 
many respects it is (and without instituting a purely fanciful 
comparison), there is something in the great Liberator of the 
spirit of the Maid of Orleans. Sprung like her from the depths 
of the people with whom he is identified in every fibre of his 
heart, he, too, in the extreme need of hia country, has upraised it 
by an almost miraculous career. As in hers, the destinies of his ’ 
country are bound up in his mind with the will of Providence, 
froiii whom deliverance is looked for by a faith truly religious. 
She, the simplest and purest of spirits, went forth from her pea¬ 
sant home rapt almost in a trance through her deep pity for the 



201 


Dante and his English Translators, 

realm of France,” and intense belief in the gi'eatness of lier 
people, and carrying daring and devotion to the verge of fana¬ 
ticism, awoke in the very depths of society the hoHi*t of the 
nation out of the midst of despair, until by the sheer strength of 
native worth, the overwrought people had vindicated for them¬ 
selves their honour and salvation, in spite of every human ob¬ 
stacle, and in defiance of every recognised meiins or aid. A 
spirit not absolutely of another kind burns also in him. Jlo, 
goaded almost to madness at the sight of bis country’s degrada¬ 
tion, and called forth by the consciousness of a ii(»l)lcr destiny, 
has given up his every thought, act, and wish as to a sacred 
cause; and touchiiig the inmost heart of his brothers, nml calling 
them round a king in wliom the nation itself is idealized before 
hisoych, has led them on to iucredihlo success, and ins])ired them 
with unconquerable hiith. She wlio hreatlicd life into Franco, her 
work once done, was a peasant girl again. So, too, tlie rock of 
(’aprera lives in the hearts of millions of Italians as the emhluin 
of perfect worth, of moral dignity, and of faith unwavering. 



Art. VIII. —Dante and iiis English Translators. 

1. The Divine Comedy Uamlaied into English verse. By Rev. 

H. Botd, A.M. London. 1802, 

2. The Co'tnedy of Dante AlighieH, Inferno^ Cantos 1—10. 

Translated by Odoardo Volpl Dublin. 1836. 

3. Plain and direct Translation of the Inferno of Dante, 

Cantos 1—4. By C. Hindley, London. 1842. 

4. The Inferno of Dante, tra'tislaied in the terza rlma of tlt^e 

origi'fuil. By John Dayman, A.M. London. 1843. 

5. Translatimi of Canio 5 of ike Inferno, and the Narrative of 

Hugolino. By H. C. Jennings. 

6. Ten Cantos of the Inferno of Dante, newly translated 

in English verse. By T. W. Parsons. Boston, U.S. 1843. 

7. Da/nte translated. By J. C. Wright, M.A London. 1845, 

8 Daniels Inferno, Literal Prose translation. By John A 
Carlyle, M.D. London. 1849. 

9. The Vision of Dante Alighuri. Translated by Rev. H. 
F. Cary, M.A. London, 1847, 



202 Dante and his English Translators. 

10. The Cormdy of Dante, transkited. By Patrick Banner- 
man. Edinburgh. 1850. 

11. Translaf Um of ihcDivlna Gomtmdia. By Bev. E. O’Don¬ 
nell. London, 1852. 

12. The Divine Comedy of Dante Aliyhiei'i, rendered into 
English. By F. Pollock, London. 1854. 

12. Dantds Divine Comedy. Translated into the metre of iho 
original. By Thomas Brooksbank, M.A. London. 1854. 

14. The Trilogy, or Daniels Three Vmons. Translated by Bev, 
J. W. Thomas. London. 1859. 

15. Dantds Divine Certnedy. Translated in the original 
ternary rhyme. By C. B. Cayley. London. 1854. 

16. A Free Translation in verse of the Infetmo of Dante. By 
Bruce Whyte. Loudon. J859. 

1 '^HEBE are several points in which it has been usual to con- 
_ tra.st classical and luediaival poetry. They are often said 
to have adopted a different standai’d of excolienco, and, neces¬ 
sarily, to have aimed at attaining it by very different methods. 
We are apt to tliink of classical vei'se as furnishing models, 
indeed, in which the most exquisite taste can find nothing to 
offend—as the perfection of refined and faultless beauty; but 
inferior to mcdiseval poetry in spirit and vigour, as much as it 
stands superior to it in finished elegance. Wo think, in a word, 
that tlie perfect type of the former would be rightly conceived 
as tho calmness of Divine repose, the perfect type of the latter as 
the creative energy of Divine life. 

We shall see, however, if wo examine with care the best 
writers of each period, that this view is imperfect at least, though 
not wholly incorrect. There is no such marked distinction as it 
implies between ancient and modem literature. We may find, 
in each of them, writers of. elegance with little vigour, and of 
vigour with little elegance. Petrarch must be conceded as a type 
of the former class; and Lucretius, with c(}ual justice, of the latter. 
The notion has obtained credit, in great measure, from the readi¬ 
ness with which a few of the best known Augustan writers are 
admitted as complete specimens of the literature before the 
Christian era ; while the literature of the Middle Ages is even 
less generally known, and the early English, songs and ballads, 
and the Latin hymns of the monks, are accepted as indicating, 
with sufficient accuracy, the nature and limits of the perfection 
which it attained and desired. The boldness,, too, with which tho 



203 


Dante and his English Translators. 

technicalities of ancient art have been disregarded by modem 
poets has given some countenance to a theory which seemed to 
indicate, with such nicety, the distinction between those who never 
erred, and those to whose genius many errors could be forgiven. 
But to whatever extent the received opinion must be rejected or 
modified, it im])lies at least this amount of truth—that the excel¬ 
lences which it assigns to difiereut periods are, in some degree, 
opposed to one anothcT, and are rarely found combined in the 
same individual. Virgil and Horace, and, iu later times, Petrarch 
and Sannai.aro, have loft us little to desire that classical 
elegance can supply. The writers of our own miracle-plays 
and early ballads have furnished us with sufficiently remarkable 
products of the. vigour of an uncultivated genius; and it would 
be no very difficult task to place in the one or in the other list 
the greater number of ancient and of modern poets. But there 
have been few indeed, either in ancient or modern times, who 
have united in thomselve.s tlie perfection of these opposite charac¬ 
teristics. Those only have done so, or rather some only of those, 
who stand among the very first of the world’s poets; and first 
among these, by the testimony of his own and of every other 
land, iiiusl be ranked the name of Dante. 

The *'Divina Commedia/’ like all poetry of the highest order, 
if it is to be properly appreciated at all, must bo read iu the 
language in wliich it was first written. Tlie number of its 
translators, however, many of them good and careful scholars, is 
such as to allow the reader considerable latituile of choice, and 
to enable him to form a notion of the poem more complete and 
accurate than would be possible from any single version : and 
the more so, since they have written, as their introductions tell 
us, from a great variety of aims and motives, which wc ought to 
bear in mind in endeavouring to estimate their success. The 
most legitimate of any, as w'ell as the most attainable, appears to 
be the wish to supply a tolerable version for those only who aro 
unable to read the original. There arc very few translators of a 
foreign poet who can venture to express their intention of aiming 
at any higher standard. Such rare masterpieces as we find in some 
of ‘ Chaucer’s Tales,' or in * Frere’s Arititophancs,* may, indeed, 
be read with pleasure by Greek or Italian scholars, but it does 
not often happen that a translation is worth reading by those to 
■whom the original is accessible; so that the office of the trans¬ 
lator is in general a humble one, and he is obliged, by the nature 
of his work, to be contented with a very partial success, and to 
provoke a comparison in which he can show to no advantage. 
Surely, with greater justice than even lexicographers, may such 
men be termed “ the pioneers or slaves of literature,” condemned 
as they are to a drudgery in which few have ever succeeded at 



204 Dante and Jus English Translators, 

all, and which has for its object, if success be indeed attained, 
the spread of another's fame rather than of their own. Good 
poets are indeed rare enough, and arc proverbially liable to pass 
unhonoured during their lifetime j but still more rare, and more 
liable to neglect, are even pretty good translators. It is no 
wonder, that of the few men in each age who are really qualified 
to write in verse at all, it should seldom happen that any is 
willing to devote himself, on such hard terms, to a labour so 
unprofitable, and that the task of translating should in conse¬ 
quence be handed over mainly to those who are preparocl to set 
about it mechanically, by a diligent use of their dictionaries to 
teach them what they ought to say, and of their fingers to assure 
them that they have expressed it in the correct number of syl¬ 
lables. Such a standard may appear low, and unworthy of a 
6ol-dhani poet, but there are few whose verses, thus doubly 
fettered, can bear to be judged by a reference to any higher. 
We must take things therefore for what they are, and admire 
them as we can; it is of no use to complain that crows are not 
eagles, and that geese are not swans. 

Mr. Cary's translation has been too long before the public, 
and is too well known, to reqmre the length of notice it would 
otherwise deserve. It is written with scrupulous exactness, and 
reproduces the matter of the original better than any other Ave 
have seen. The metre chosen, the ordinary ten-syllable blank 
verse, is certainly inadequate to render, the force and expressioa 
of Dante’s own versification, but on the other hand it makes 
fewer demands than any other upon the author's ingenuity, and 
allows him to translate literally without compelling him so often 
to twist his sentences into an unnatural, form, and to amplify 
and alter the text so as to meet the trinoda necesaUas of rhyme. 
The general effect of Mr. Cary’s version is different, it is true, 
from that which Dante himself produces; there is too sustained 
a gravity of manner, even in the lighter passages, while many of 
the sublimer parts of the poem are so rendered as to pass almost 
unnoticed in the translation; there are many evidences too of 
imperfect Italian scholarship. These are faults, however, Avhich 
those only who are acquainted with the original are in any posi¬ 
tion to detect, and it is hardly fair to rely exclusively upon their 
judgment in testing the merit of a translation. Those who can 
read Dante in no other form will always read Mr. Cary's poem 
with intense pleasure, and will derive from his learned and 
valuable notes an amount of information which will amply furnish 
all that they can require in the way of comment or illustration, 

Mr. Carlyle’s translation of the “ Inferno” is a work too of ver^ 
rare merit, though we are inclined to acquiesce in Mr. Cayley s 
estimate of it, as reminding the reader, in its manner of expres- 



Dante and kis English Translators. 205 

sion, less of Dante than of the author’s celebrated brother. 
The introductory preface, in particular, is open to this criticism, 
and conveys, so far, an erroneous imprassion about tlio nature and 
object of the poem. The scholarship is first-rate throughout, 
and the translation (a prose one,) so scrupulously literal, that 
tliose who have only the very slightest knowledge of Italian may 
enjoy by its assistance the treat of reading the original. The 
text, we may add, is printed page for page with the English 
version, so that tlie volume furnishes the student with very 
ample moans of commencing an acquaintance with Dante. 

Sir. Cayley has endeavoured in his version to produce a more 
exact imitation of Dante by adopting the terzd rtvia of the 
original. He has fairly carried through what must have been a 
task of considerable labour, but his poem, though sometimes 
very good, and always readable, is wiittcn in too familiar a style. 
Ho complains with justice that Mr. Cary is too grave, but he 
goes himself a little too far in the opposite direction, and olfends 
the reader’s taste by the introduction of absolute slang. We 
regret the defect the more as his translation has few other posi¬ 
tive faults, and is evidently the work of a thorough Italian scholar. 

Mr. Wright has substituted, for Dante’s regularly recurring 
rhymes, a kind of fancy system of his own, but not, we think, 
very happily. The fault, of course, runs through the entire 
work, and damages as far as it can an otherwise excellent 
version. He has subjoined to the text some very sensible 
criticisms on the original, and some notes, which, although short, 
are clear and reatlable. He speaks very justly in his preface of 
the extent to which we may regard Dante as a reformer. If Mr. 
Thomas is ever fortunate enough to read it, it will probably 
induce him either to alter or to burn his own. 

Mr. Dayman, in his translation of the “Inferno,” has followed 
Dante’s system of verse, and has produced a work, not very 
literal, but very easy and natural in manner, and, on the whole, 
decidedly good. He fails, however, very often in detail, and 
misses both the sense and spirit of the Italian. 

The best verse translation which we have seen is that of the 
first ten Cantos of the “Inferno’^ by Signor Odoardo Volpi. It is 
certainly a work of first-class merit, and reproduces, better than 
any other, both the form and spirit of Dante. His preface con¬ 
tains, along with a good deal of commonplace matter, some 
valuable critical remarks; but he is far too severe and too flippant 
in )iis strictures on Mr. Cary. The entire poem, we are given to 
undei-stand, exists in manuscript; we are surprised and sorry to 
find that the ten specimen Cantos have not been received with 
sufficient favour to justify the publication of the others. 

Mr. Brooksbank has produced a very fair translation of the 



206 Dante and his English Translators, 

“Inferno/* into the original terza rirrm. It improves as it goes on, 
and the concluding Cantos form decidedly the best part of it. 
The requirements of the metre which he has chosen, have com¬ 
pelled him, however, to bolster up a great many of his linos in 
an artificial manner which can scarcely fail to give offence to those 
who are acquainted with the Italian. 

Mr. Parsons* translation of the first ten Cantos is another of 
which we are unwilling to speak strongly in terms of either praise 
or blame. The metre he has adopted divides the poem, which 
should be continuous, into quasi stanzas, of four lines each, with 
alternate rhymes ; and we must add to this fault, an occasional 
absence both of force and simplicity. He has appended some 
very sensible observations on Dante in a short essay, entitled, ‘‘A 
Word more with the Header.** Ke wouhl have done well, how¬ 
ever, to have omitted, at the commencement, a somewhat spas¬ 
modic ode intended to be in Dante’s praise. 

Mr. Pollock’s work, in blank verso, presents, in spite of occa¬ 
sional giave inaccuracies, a pretty literal version of Dante. He has 
preserved the matter, however, at the expense of a total loss of 
the form of the original. Th(i illustrations, as far as they relate 
to the spiritual world, are mere blots upon the page, and had far 
better be omitted. 

Mr. Bruce Whyte’s “free translation” is readable in some parts, 
though perhaps scarcely worthy of being read. He has added 
and loft out and spoiled a great portion of the original, so that 
the work is in pretty strict accordance with the title he has 
selected. He should scarcely have ventured, we think, to use such 
strong language in his preface in condemning those who have 
held that Dante intended under the name of Beatrice to personify 
Divine wisdom. The notion, he tells us, is absurd, and destroys 
the interest of the chturacter; but it is certainly warranted by 
Dante himself, as he might have learned by reading the “Convito.” 

Mr, Thomas’s translation, though by no means meritorious, is 
certainly better than either his notes or preface. He tells us 
that his aim has been “to give the sense correctly, and, by uniting 
the form, beauty, and spirit of tho original, to do justice to Dante.” 
This would be an arrogant assumption in the mouth of the most 
successful translator, and we think Mr. Thomas would have done 
well if he had asked some candid friend whether he was at all 
justihed in making use of it. His comments, which he says 
represent the labour of a life, consist chiefly of imperfect and mis* 
placed classical and biblical knowledge, the former part of which 
might have been, and probably was, derived from Lempriere’s 
Dfictionair. He is very zealous, moreover, for the Lord and 
corrects Dante's errors of doctrine, in his valuable notes, with 
kind but imapariDg orthodoxy. He is very learned too, himself. 



Dante and his English Translators, 207 

on the future state of the wicked, and tells us, gravely, apropos 
of the scenes in the Malebolge, that there is uo reason to appre¬ 
hend that the Devil and his angels will be permitted to amuse 
themselves with tormenting us, should we be unfortunate enough 
to descend into their company. We shall not escape, it is true, 
but the devils will suffer with us, and the holy angels will bo our 
appointed executioners. Mr. Thomas’s readers must be strangely 
constituted if they are to derive comfort from this intelligence. 

There is a ^^tory told of an old grammarian, at Alexandria, who 
inserted a pentameter between every two lines of the Iliad. The 
result was of course valueless, except so far as it gave proof of a 
certain mean kind of ingenuity which might have been much 
better employed. There are a good many verse translations of 
Dante, which it is scarcely possible to open without being re¬ 
minded of the labours of the old grammarian. We a.sk naturally 
what is gained by the metro: why such platitudes of language 
shoulii have l>oen distorted from their native prose. Ts Dantt^’s 
genius so usual a gift that every versifier can soar with safety 
whore Dante has boon before him ? Are great poems so common 
that it is a small offence to disgust men with the very greatest ? 
or so rare that it is necessary to select the “Divina Commedia” for 
the travesty of incompetent translation ? There is really loss of 
excuse than of condemnation in the plea tliat they know not 
what they do; the traces of blundering unconscious ignorance 
raise less of pity than of disgust. 

Of the few versions which remain to ho considered, wo scarcely 
know to which wc ought to assign the bad pre-eminence of being 
the very worst of any. Mr. Bannerman, if, as we presume, ho is 
a Caledonian, has of course the same prescriptive right to be dull 
that a crow has to bo black, or an adder deaf; but his nationality 
is no excuse at all for tho presumption of undertaking to trans¬ 
late from a language of which he can really know nothing. HLs 
work, both as a translator and a poet, is as nearly worthless as any¬ 
thing we have seen. 

Of Mr. Jennings* competence to translate Dante, we may judge 
in some measure from the remarks which he has prefixed to his 
little volume. He tells us that Dante’s poem is “ equal to any¬ 
thing that could reasonably be expected from so grating a subject,” 
and goes on to say, what is more strictly true of the translation, 
that “ it is a painful task to read it regularly throujgh.” He in¬ 
forms too, that it was totally indifferent to him in what metre 
he wrote, this being literally his first attempt at any poetry what¬ 
ever. It is almost needless after this to add that the version is 
execrably bad throughout. 

Mr. Boyd's labours have been those of a paraphiast rather 
than a translator. His. work has no other claim to be called 



20S 


Dante and his EnglUh Tranelators, 

poetry than such as may result from the free use of what Words¬ 
worth has happily characterized as 'poetic diction, and from the 
constant introduction of adjectives, met'i'i causa, which add no¬ 
thing to his force or meaning, and which would never have been 
employed in prose. 

With Mr. Hindley’s and Mr. O’Donneirs prose versions we 
may complete the list of those “ ove non h che luca.” They dis¬ 
play so few evidences of either spirit or accuracy, that we 
will not rashly undertake to decide between their respective 
merits. We have certainly detected the graver errors and inac¬ 
curacies in Mr. O’DonneHs ; but his trandation extends over the 
whole poem, and has thus afforded him more opportunity of 
distinguishing himself; whereas Mr. Bindley has more prudently 
confined himself to the rendering of four Cantos. 

But it is no easy task that a translator sets himself, who ven¬ 
tures, whether in prose or verse, ,on rendering any of Dante’s 
poem. We must be contented, in such a case, to judge by a very 
humble standard, and most gladly welcome mediocrity, where 
mediocrity alone is possible. 

Dante was indeed a poet in whose verse we find, combined, 
qualities the most varied and opposite. He is best known, per¬ 
haps, for the force and terseness of his language, for his power 
of short and exact description, and for the wonderful aptness and 
copiousness of his numerous similes. But it is more especially 
in the awful calmness of his most sublime passages that he stands 
without a rival, and far beyond all limits of praise. He had seen, 
as it were in a vision, the truth and reality of all that he relates ; 
the torments and miseries of the abode of lost spirits; the 
lesser or rather the less enduring pains, which were to purge and 
purify, and not only to punish; and, last of all, the blessed 
inhabitants of the heavenly city, the saints, and angels, and 
martyrs, who, each in their own station, and order of felicity, stood 
under or surrounded the throne of the Eternal King. And all 
this he has described with no effort after originality, or labour of 
ingenious invention; he has told us only, with quiet confidence, 
the things which he had himself witnessed; but he had had more 
revealed to him than has been revealed to any other before or 
after; and yet he stands alone and above the rest not more for 
the things which he saw, than for the tones of the language in 
which he uttered them. And with all this is combined and 
blended the most exquisite, beauty of thought and tenderness of 
passion. He could feel hate—^few perhaps more strongly; but 
the depths of his nature are most tnuy revealed in his powers of 
sympathy and love. 

It is not easy, in criticising a long poem, to illustrate our re- 



209 


Dante and his Enr/Ush Translators. 

marks by referring to detached passages. If the poem is a good 
one, the parts of it must derive much of their beauty from the 
relation in which they stand to the whole and to one another; 
and, the better the work, the more certainly will this rule apply. 
In the “ Divina Commedia,” or (as Mr. Cary prefers to call it) 
^‘The Vision,” so entirely does it Itold true, that it is not possible 
to appieciate fully any one division of it apart from the two 
others ; mucli less can a judgment of each sepai*ate passage be 
formed without a sense of its connexion with all tliat goes before 
and follows it It may be worth while, however, oven at the risk 
of partial failure, to select some passages which would appear to 
sutler least by standing apart from the rest of the poem ; and in 
this way to illustrate, at least better than by any merely general 
remarks, the force and variety of the poet's genius. 

It has been observed by Mr. Gladstone, in his work on 
“Homer and the Homeric Age,” that Homer, Shakespeare, and 
Dante have succeeded, as none otliers have done, in expressing 
fully, by the flow and rhythm of their verse, the nature of the 
thoughts they intended to convey, and this without any straining 
after effect, or unnatural distortion of language, indeed without 
leaving a trace to show that tlie effect produced has been in any 
way the result of care and labour. No reader, ungifted with the 
ears of King Midas, can take up the “Divina Commedia’’ without 
perceiving how amply, as far as it relates to our present subject, 
the remark in (luestiou is borne out. We shall find, in the en¬ 
deavour to illustrate it, that we arc introduced to other beauties 
besides tlic one of which we are in search. A translation would 
here be of no service; the nature of the case compels us to quote 
from tiie original. 

At the end of Piccarda’s speech, in the third canto of the 
“Paradiso,” there is a very perfect instance of this adaptation of 
sound to sense. 

Cosi parlommi; o poi coraincio Ave 
Maria cantando ; e cantando vanio, 

Come per acqua ciipa cosa grave. 

“ Thus spake she to mo : and then began singing Ave Maria, 
and while singing vanished, as a heavy body vanishes in deep 
water.” It is to the second of these verses that we desire the 
reader’s careful attention. He should observe how exactly and 
beautifully the flow of the line accords with and bears out the 
meaning. The verse and Piccarda seem, os it were, to vanish 
together—the one to withdraw from the ear, just as we are to 
conceive the other wthdrawing from the sight. This effect, if 
we analyse it, is produced by the weak sound of the open “ i ” ia 

[Vol. LXXV. No. CXLVn.]— New Series, Vol. XIX. No. I, P 



210 


Dante and his English Translators, 

wwi«o, and the pause on the first cantamlo, standing in imihe- 
diate contrast with the absence of any pause on the second. 

Again, in the seventh canto, the following lines describe the 
departure of Justinian and the accompanying spirits. 

£d essa, c V altre mossero a sua danza, 

E quasi velocissimc favillc 
Mi si velar di subita distanza. 

“And it and the others commenced their dance, and, like 
sparks of swiftest light, hid themselves from me by the distance 
which they immediately reached.” The swiftness of the motion 
is well expressed by the rhythm of the last two verses; the want 
of any pause in the first part of the second verse compels us to 
read it rapidly; the marked caesura after the pause on the second 
tillable of velar forces upon our minds the width of the distance 
which the spirits had reached so suddenly. Again in the twenty- 
third canto, the song of the Angel Gabriel while he is crowning 
the Blessed Virgin is introduced by these exquisite lines :— 

Qualunquc melodia piu dolco suona 
Quaggiu, od a sc piu I’anizna tira, 

Parrebbu uube, cbe squarciata tuona, 

Comparata al sonar di quella lira, 

Onde s’ incoronava il bel zaffiro 
Del qualo il ciel piii cliiaro s’ inzafiira. 

“ Whatever melody sounds most sweetly here below, and most 
draws the soul to it, would appear like a cloud which is rent and 
thunders, if it be compared with the tones of that harp with 
which the fair sapphire was crowned, whose presence sheds in 
heaven a greater brightness of sapphire light.” We may here 
observe the sudden roughness of the third line, and the precise 
manner in which the sound of its last two words expresses the cloud 
rent asunder and the succeeding thunder-clap, and this none the 
less truly because the theory which it implies happens to be 
totally incorrect Then follow the three lines, in all their sweet¬ 
ness and melody, in which Dante passes on to describe the music 
no longer of earth but of angels. 

It would not be difficult to multiply instances to the same 
effect They lie on almost every page, and peculiarly charac- 
'terize the finer passages throughout the poem. We will add 
only one more before quitting tms branch of our subject. In the 
twenty-seventh canto of the “ Purgatorio ” when Dante's guide, 
Wir^, has used the name of Beatrice to induce him to enter the 
gulT df fire which was to purify him from the stains of earthly 
love, and fit him for his lady's presence, its effect upon him, when 



Dante and his English Translators. Ull 

almost lifeless -with the terror of this new torment, is described as 
that of Tliisbe's name upon the dying Pyramus;— 

Come al nomc di Tisbo aperse il ciglio 
Piramo in su la mortc c riguardolla,— 

Cosi, & c . 

‘•'As at the name of Thisbe P 3 rramus unclosed his eye just before 
he died, and gazed upon her, so, iSbe.” In tliese vei-ses the soft¬ 
ness of the vowel sounds, the substitution of the trochee for the 
iambus, and the consequent absence of the regular marked 
pauses, followed by the pause upon the long full -word at the end, 
express with wonderful delicacy the faint swoon in which Pyra¬ 
mus was lying, and the earnestness of his gazi3 when he opened 
his dying eyes and fixed them on Thisbe. It would not be easy 
to find a piissage anywhere more exquisitely melodious, or one in 
which a succession and complex beauty of thoughts was rendered 
so accurately to tlio ear by language. 

It is common to regard Dante as one of the sternest of poets. 
Ho could be very stern; he often was; but these extracts may 
show that he could also be very tender. If further proof were 
needed, we might find it in the story of Francesca di Rimini 
in the account of Beatrice's first appeai*ance in the terrestrial 
paradise ;t or in the simile by which ho describes her waiting 
and watching for the glory of Christ’s triumph.^ Wo may see, 
too, in these cantos, with what a simple, manly force lie could 
describe intense passion; not over-mastered, and carried away, as 
it were, with what he relates, but standing above it all, not un¬ 
moved, but most strictly undisturbed. For vigour of poetic nar¬ 
rative we know nothing that surpasses the lines in which 
Justinian speaks of the conquests of the Roman eagle :§ for gran¬ 
deur and sublimity nothing like the coming of the mighty 
angel, the touch of whose wand threw open the gates of the 
infernal city.|| We may feel, as wo read the passage, how im¬ 
mense a loss we have sustain^ by the shipwreck of the sketches 
which Michael Angelo drew to illustrate the “Divina Commedia." 

It is a matter of curious inquiry how far Dante has been in¬ 
debted, in the construction of his poem, to the labours of any of his 
predecessors. He himself professes the most unbounded obliga¬ 
tions to Virgil, and states^ expressly that Virgil was his master 
in poetry, and that from him his style had been imitated. These 
obligations " (Mr. Hallam observes) “ few of his readers will be 


* Inferno, v. 73 to the end. + Purg. xxx. 28-48, 

i Par. xxiii. 1-11. §_Par. vi. 37-81, 

i| Inf. is. 64-105. f Inf. i. 85-87. 

p2 


212 Dante and ku Englleh Translators. 

■willing to allow.” We find here and there a thought, or phrase, 
or simile which is derived without doubt from some passage in 
the jEneid, but so altered and amplified that it can scarcely be 
said with any truth to have been copied. In Virgirs own style 
there is a graveness and often a sustained majesty which must 
have suited well with Dante’s sober habits of thought and lan¬ 
guage ; the verses of both are exquisitely musical, but Dante's is 
the music of an instrument of wider range, and of greater and 
more varied powers of expression. We feel, with Mi’. Hallam, 
how impossible it is to allow that Virgil was in any real sense 
Dante's master. The leading idea of the poem, the journey 
through the world of spirits, was no doubt derived in part from 
the descent of .^neas in search of his father, in part from the 
ecstatic vision of St Paul ;* but Ave shall adduce some reasons 
presently which may serve to show that when Dante addresses 
Virgil as the poet from Avhom his style is imitated, he is alluding 
not so much to the “ Divina Commedia,” as to some of his earlier, 
and, particularly, bis Latin, poems. It is obvious, too, to remark 
that, at the time when the words in question were used, the 
“ Divina Commedia” had not yet been written—the vision which 
was the subject of it had not yet been witnessed. 

An attempt has frequently been made to trace a rcsomblanco 
between parts of the “Divina Commedia” and fnigments, many of 
which are still extant, of monkish legends on the same subject. 
The visionf of the monk Albcrico has been selected as the one to 
which it is most probable that Dante was indebted. Albcrico 
was bom at the beginning of the twelfth century. When ho was 
nine years old, he was attacked by an apparently mortal illness, 
and lay, as it were, in a trance, without motion or sense, for nine 
whole days. But it was during these days that he saw a vision 
that was to influence his whole future life. It seemed to him 
that a dove bore him up, and that the Apostle Peter and 
two angels, became his guides, and conducted him through, 
the three abodes of the departed. When the vision left him, 
and his spirit returned to his body, he was for some time so 
bewildered that he could not (to use his very words; recog¬ 
nise his own mother. Shortly after his recovery he entered 
the monastery of Monte Casino, and led thenceforth a life of 
holiness and self-denial, such as (in his chronicler's words) would 
have proved, even had his tongue been silent, the reality of the 
things he had witnessed. The fame of this vision was soon 


* That Dante had both these in his mind is clear from Inf. ii. 13-33. 
f This vuiou is given at length in the 5th vol. of Lombardi’s edition, 
together with some interesting correspondence upon the question stated 
slmvc. 



Dante and Ids English Translators. 213 

spread about, and various accounts given of it, more or less false 
and incorrect. At length the abbot of the monastery desired 
Alborico himself to write down in full his own story. This was 
doue, and it is a (Question in dispute whether or not the manu¬ 
script was seen and copied by Dante. The resemblance which 
several passages in the “Divina Commedia’ bear to it are too close 
and too numerous to have been the result of mere accident. If 
Dante copied nothing from Alberico's vision, we can explain 
them only by supposing tnat both he and Alborico were alike 
indebted to tbe revelations of some earlier Avritcr on the same 
subject. 

1 he number of these had, beyond all doubt, boon considerable. 
The vision of Alborico is a specimen of one only among many 
similar stories. There can be no question that the subject of the 
“ Divina Commedia” had been frequently liandled before Dante’s 
time, and a great variety of legends written about it. It was a 
subject, too, which painters and sculptors had often chosen to 
illustrate, and which, in the representations of miracle plays, 
must often have been brought before the spectators. Nothing 
indeed could have been better suited to the purpose of the 
ecclesiastics ; nothing could have given a more truthful and vivid 
sense of the reality of the spiritujil world :— 

Segnius irritant animum demissa per aures, 

Quam quaj sunt oculis suhjccta fidelibus. 

Tlie accounts therefore brought back to earth by those who 
professed to have soon it, whether expressed in verse or legend, 
or sculpture or painting, would have been wisely encouraged, as 
likely to impress the people for their good, and give them a just 
sense of the importance of living for the life to como. And in 
this way there must have arisen, and in fact did arise, a vast mass 
of traditions, which no subsequent writer could altogether neglect; 
to which indeed, if he did not wish to outrage his readers, he 
must in great measure have conformed. Some, however, of 
Dante’s commentators have resented, as an attack upon the poet’s 
originality, what is in fact an account of tlie natural and neces¬ 
sary course he found himself compelled to follow. If Dryden 
had carried out his intention of writing the story of King Arthur 
and the Knights of the Round Table, he must have proceeded in 
the same way, and have met with the same, not necessarily ad¬ 
verse, criticism. The “Mort d’Arthur” and the “Idylls of the Kin g” 
are not less truly Tennyson’s own, because their main plot, and 
many of their points of detail and incident, have been arrowed 
&om previous sources. Originality is scarcely more shown in 
inventmg, than in adapting the thoughts of others. VDien every 
allowance has been made that the most exacting critic could 



214 Dante and Jiis Enfflish Translators, 

demand, when every boiTowed thought or expression has been 
restored to its first owner, nothing will have been done to detract 
^rom Dante^s praise as the most original of poets. 

It is probable that Dante was much indebted, though in a dif¬ 
ferent way, to Erunetto Latini and Guido Guinizello. These 
writers were living at the same time with himself, his contempo¬ 
raries, but considerably his elders. His debt to them would have 
been mther tliat they supplied examples and models of versifica¬ 
tion than actual matter or incident. Of Guido, in particular, 
he speaks in terms of the strongest affection and respect; he calls* 
him his fatlicr, and the father of others, too, better than he was, 
who wrote the sweet verses of love. It was Guido, too, -who 
introduced the custom of writing in verse, and in the modem 
dialect, upon subjects of philosophy and metaphysics. From his 
example, this manner of writing became fashionable, and he was 
imitated in it by Guido Cavalcanti among others, and by Dante 
himself. The reader of the “Paradiso|*' will wish heartily that the 
obligation had never been incurred ; but we ought to remember 
how inevitable it was that the greatest men of those times sliould 
indulge in such speculations. The questions started had, to 
them, a real meaning, and an interest beyond all others. They 
conceived that in tlic endeavour to answer them, they had found 
the highest and most worthy employment of the human facul¬ 
ties. Theology and metaphysics combined to prove what is and 
what is not the cause of the dark spots on the moon s surface; 
reasons of a similar kind to show how it happens that a good 
father can beget a vicious son ;—reasons why the Jews deserved 
punishment for putting Christ to death, since Christ's death was, 
owing to man’s wickedness, in a certain manner just;—how it is 
that the divine nature can be immutable, and yet the origin ot 
creation and change—when these and other questions of the sort 
are asked, and the subjects treated gravely, and with a length and 
fulness of detail which leaves no side of the difficulty unanswered, 
we feel an impatience and weariness which no reverence for Dante's 
name can quite overcome. These passages, however, which we 
read, only because to omit them would be to lose an essential 
feature of their age, were probably considered, at the time when 
they were written, as the most valuable of the whole poem. We 
oi^ht not now to complain of their presence. If the habits ot 
thought which product them, absurd as they are, had not once 
existed, the rest of the “Divina Commedia" could never have been 

wrtten.t' 


* Par. xxvi. 97*99. 

t Thbrc'is an obserration of M. Comte’s, partly on this subject, which seems 
here to require.notice. “The characteristics of the age/* he.says, ** appear in 


215 


Dante and his En<jllsh Translators. 

A great deal lias been said about the meaning of the name 
“ Coinmedia/’ wliich is of Dante’s own bestowing.* Wc find 
among his Opere Minori” a letter, dedicating the Paradiso to his 
patron and friend S. Can Grande della ScaJa, which, whether 
genuine or not, appears to contain the true explanation. A corn- 
media is there stated to be a poem with a happy ending, just as 
the name tragedy was used for any stoiy which commenced hap¬ 
pily, and ended in misery and ruin. The dramatic form was 
equally unnecessary for either. The manner and language, too, 
suitabltj to a comedy, are there opposed to the loftiness of 
tragic diction; and whatever we may think of the grandeur of 
Dante’s language, it is certain that he considered Italian, questa 
moderna favolla,”t a.s he contemptuously calls it, as far inferior to 
Latin. Virgil’s iEneid is called a tragedy Virgil’s verses are 
“ryZi (lUi versi § hut Daute was compelled by custom to write 
in rliyine, and to use the lower language of his own age 
and country.il We may assume therefore, as we said above, that 
in spite ot* all that may bo said tridy of Ids intense reverence 
for Virgil, he could not in such a poem regard him as his guide 
and master. Tiic style of it was not imitated from Virgil, but 
stands in inai’kod opposition to Virgil’s style, however contrary 

Duule’s j>ocni, espceijilly iu the critical tendency, guided by inclapliysics liigliiy 
ludavourable to the Catholic spirit. Itisiiot only tliat the work contains severe 
attacks upon the poj)cs and tlie clergy; its whole conception is in a manner 
sacrilegious, usurping, us it does, Ihc jjower of apotheosis and damuutiou iu a 
way wlilcli would have? been out of the (picstion dui'iug the full itsccudaucy of 
Catholicism two centuries earlier.” Now Alberico’s vision, written just two 
centuries curlier, ;md others earlier still, appesu* to difler from Dante’s iu this 
point ill degree rather tli?in in kind. Albeiico professes to have received Just 
;is precise information about the spiritual w'orld, and the nature and extent of 
its rewards and punishniciits. He indicates a knowledge, too, about the dw- 
trnics of individuals, although he is not permitted to reveal them. Again, 
luctaphysica may be said with truth to be unfavourable to the Catholic spirit, 
and their existence may iudlcatc a leudeiicy which subsecjucnily developed into 
opposition to it; ljut it must surely be allowed that in Dante himself they were 
strictly subordinate to Catholicism. Ilicy arc employed to establish and de¬ 
fend the Church’s dogina.s, not to oppose them; though of course, iu them* 
selves, equally available for cither side of that or of any other question. 

* Inf. xvi. 1:^8. + Par. xvi. 33. 

:|; luf. XX. 113. § luf. xxvi. 82, so, too, Par. xv. 20. 

II The following incident will illustrate the feeling wliich induced Daute to 
wish to write in Latin, the necessity under wliich he found himself of writing 
in Italian, and the advantages of adopting a style which made the moderns his 
rivals, and not the ancients. Ariosto had applied to Cardinal Ikmbo for 
Section (or the Cardinal had offered it unasked) about the metre iu which his 
poem was to be written. “ * Put your romance/ was the Cardinal’s grave 
advice, ‘ into good Latin hexameters, and you wiU immortalize your name.* 

‘ I have no wish,’ was Ariosto’s reply, * to be a second-rate writer in Latin, 
while I may be one of the first in Italian.* ”—Stebbing’s Lives of the Italian 
Poets.” 



216 Danic and hh Ewflish Translators. 

this may have been to its author’s own wishes. For we may 
remember that Dante liad intended at first to write his vision in 
Latin ; but he was compelled, by the decreasing knowledge of 
that language among the people, aiul even among the educated, 
to abandon his original purpose, and condescend to use the ver¬ 
nacular. A few lines have been preserved of the commencement 
of the original poem:— 

Ultima regna caiiain fluido conterinina mundo, 

Spiritibus qua) lata patent, ct prccinia solvunt 

Pro mentis cujuscpie suis data lege Tonantis. 

Wc will leave it to the reader to determine how far the posses¬ 
sion of a Tragedy such as this would have been an equivalent 
to the Avorld for the loss of the “ Divina Commedia.” 

The age of Dante and the other irecoLiisfi has been celebrated 
by later writers as il srrolo d oro —tlie golden age of tin* Italian 
language. It was not (says Salvini) .so much for the merit of the 
authors who then live<l, that this name was given it, as for the 
language itself in which men talked and wrote. The cu.stom, 
however, as we have seen, of writing in J talian had only recently 
been adopted; it hail long lieen a spoken language, but authors 
had not discontinued the customary use of Latin. The Sicilian 
poets appear have been the first to use the popular dialect, 
and after them the Tuscans, and the greater number of the rest 
who were Dante^s predecessors and contemporaries. The only 
praise which the Sicilians receive is for their boldness in liaving 
originated the new custom ; what they wrote appears to have 
been of very little value; but of the writers on the mainland of 
Italy, and particularly of the Tuscan writers, we have received a 
considerable list of illustrious names, who had already formed a 
school of poetry before Dante’s time. 

But whatever later critics may think of the language of the 
fourteenth century, it is certain that no high opinion of it was 
entertained by those who used it. It was esteemed quite un¬ 
worthy to be employed in the treatment of noble subjects, and 
wa.s used only in condescension to the people’s ignorance- 
There had been in fact a separation for a very long time past 
between the written and spoken language of Italy. The former, 
which was employed by men of learning, was, or at least aimed 
at beinL^ pure classical Latin ; the latter, the people's language,- 
the volffare linguaggioj was at first a corrupt idiom, whose 
peculiarities were developed as men dropped gradually the 
mfiected forms of the Latin nouns, and altered those of the 
verbs, introducing, too, new uses of the auxiliary verbs; as they 
changed the terminations of words, and in many instances the 
letters in the middle; and as they followed the manner of speech 



217 


Bantc and his English Translators, 

introduced from time to time by the successive races who had 
invaded^ and hud ruled in Italy. While this change was in 
progress the separation between the written and spoken language 
became of coui’se continually wider, until the latter at length 
took place of the former altogether, and the language of Italy 
was recognised as la linffna Tosatnat —Italian and not Latin. 
But the old feeling was at work, then as now, which makes men 
think the present inferior to the past. The Irccenfisd spoke 
and wrote in Italian, but all their reverence was for Latin. Wo 
have seen above what l)ante felt about this; and what he felt 
was pretty elo.s(ily repeated by othei's, at least down to the time 
of Petrareli and Boccacio, both of whom follow, but not without 
a cortiiiii tone of apology, the example their predecessors had 
set them. 

It may ho a question of some difficulty to determine whether 
or not the ** l)iviua Commedia should be called an epic j)ooin. 
The name “ epic ” is applied so loosely, and with so groat a variety 
of iiK.aniiigs, that it appears impossible absolutely to exclude it 
Inne ; but an epic, in its most ordinary sense, Dantc^s poem cer¬ 
tainly is not Viewed as such, it would seem destitute of all 
unity of action ; its persons appear and disappearj and change in 
every canto ; there is no continuity in the story, and, except the 
author himself, no hero. Wo ought to regard it rather as what 
Dante tells us it was—as the story of the course of meditationf 
which his thoughts followed in the search after repose and peace, 
and as the message which he belicvedj; himself charged to deliver- 
against the wickedness of the men and cities around him. lie 
is guided in it first by human and then by Divine wisdom : first 
by Virgil and then by Beatrice. Per aver pace is the professed 
object of the journey which he supposes himself to undertake, 
aufl he finds peace at last, when his wanderings arc concluded, 
ami he is admitted to the Court of Heaven, and to the sight of 
the beatific Vision. It appears beyond doubt that the poem had 
been commenced before Dante's banishment from Florence, 
although much, even of the earliest parts, must have been added 
afterwards. 


♦ A very curious instance of the formation of a new language has occurred 
in the present century. ‘While the allied troops were in Paris, a dialect came 
into use, formed out of the various words and phrases which the solders of 
different nations used in their intercourse with one another. It perished, 
of course, when the occasion for its use came to an end; but if the occupation 
had been permanent, the dialect might have become so too. Wc find another 
instance of a similar kind iu what is known as Canton Enalith. 
t Purg. V. Gl-63. See too, Inf. i. particularly the end of the canto, 
i Par. xvii. 12H35. 



218 Dante and hia English J'ranslators^ 

** Looking down,” says Jioccacio, “from his high place as ru^er 
of his city, and seeing the nature of man’s life, the blind wanderings 
of the multitude, and tlie suddCn and unforeseen accidents to which it 
is exposed, there came tims into his mind the conception of the ‘ Divina 
Conunedia.’ ” 

And from this point of view wo may regard the poem as 
intended to present us with the truth of things instead of their 
appearances, stripping from them thoir false show, and the 
glitter of their fairy tinsel, and holding up to it, as it were, a 
mirror, which will rellect no disguises, and will display liuman 
life and actions, not as men see them, but os God and the holy 
angels. 

“ There is no shuffling; there the action lies 
III his true nature; and \vc ourselves compelled, 

Even to the teeth jujd forehead of our faults, 

To give in evidence.” 

And thus it is not only the world beyond the grave which is 
disclosed to us ; we look too with additional knowledge upon the 
world around us, and see, in the liglit of tlio infinite future, the 
reality of tilings present. 

Tho spirit of the work throughout is strictly Catholic; the 
world, with Dante, had existed only that the Church of God 
might be founded, and that its centre miglit be in tho Eternal 
City, and that its saints might pass from it to the glories of the 
Church triumphant. For this the creation of the universe had 
been accomplished, to this tended tho entire course of the past, 
it was this alone which gave any meaning or reality to the 
shifting scenes of history. 

** Ecco le schioro 
=*Dcl trionfo di Cristo, o tutto il frutto 
lUcolto del girar di queste s])ere,” 

is the cry of the enraptured Beatrice. The heavens and earth 
exist, and- the stars roll on their courses, only that Christ may 
triumph. 

But Dante could <Ustinguisli the Papacy from the Pope, 
the divine Church from her corrupt human governors. How 
great soever his reverence for the former, the latter he never 
spares, but regards their vices and weaknesses as magnified many 
times by the grandeur of the seat which they occupied thus 

unworthily.t 

“Dante,” says Mr. Hallam, “is among the very few who have 
created the national poetry of thoir country. Of all wrft«rs he is 
the most unquestionably original.” 


* Par. xxiii. 19-21. 

f lufemo passim, but particularly Canto xiz. 




T>(niie (Did /*/« English Transhdors, 219 

Wo have seen above with what limitation both these remarks 
must be received. He then continues, in one of those pas¬ 
sages of wonderful oloquenco which lie here and there upon his 
pages:— 

“His appearance maile an epoch in the intellectual history of 
niocleni nations, and banished the disc.onraging suspicion, which long 
ages of lethargy tendeil to oxcilo, that nature had exhausted her 
fertility in the great poets of Grevee and Romo. It was as if, at 
some of the anci<‘ut games, a stranger Inid a[)peared upon the plain, 
and had tlirov'ii his ijuoit among tlni marks of former oasts which 
tradition liad ascriljed to the demigods,” 

It may fairly excite our wonder that so much excellence 
sliould Iiavc been so suddenly attained, and that the ])rogrcss of 
Italian jjoetiy should not have been, as most pi’ogress is, slow 
and gva<lua]. Tf wo look however at the circumstances of his 
own age, and of ihat which preceded him, we may derive some 
considerations which will tend in some degree to lessen our 
surprise. 

We jnust remember, in the tirst place, that Dante was not 
the earliest writer to whom wc arc indebted for the revival of 
literature in Europe. There Lad been, as we have seen, many 
among his own countrymen whose name.s arc still honoured, but 
the lead had hitherto been taken bv Franco and tho French. 
])oets. Tho fame of their suecc'ss stimulated otJicrs beyond the 
limits within which the French tongue was spok(5n, and that 
Dante was among those wliom they iniliieiicod is corUiin, both 
from the terms in which lie speaks of Arnaldo or Arnault, and 
from his own declaration that he desired to prove by his sonnets 
that the Italian was not inferior to the Proveiic;al dialect. It 
was a circumstance in some respects very favourable to the 
growth of Italian art, that the chief examples it had before it 
were written in a kindred, but still a foreign, language. French 
and Latin authors could furnish models for 1 taliaiis to imitate, 
but could never be their true rivals, for they could never furnish 
the Italian people with a native literature. The held was thus 
clear for all, and their paths, however closely parallel, need 
never lap over or intersect. In this matter a man's foes are 
those of his own household, a man’s rivals are those who have 
written in the same language as himself. 

Wo ought not, therefore, to consider that Dante was entirely 
at a disadvantage by living at so early a period. An early poet 
will receive' always a better encouragement than his successors, 

* Parg. xxvi. Strictly, it is QainiccUi who is here speaking, but the senti* 
ment, put into his mouth, is evidently Daute's own. 

f Couvito. 




220 Dante and his English Translators. 

The field of labour is large enough indeed for all ; those .who 
complain that there is no subject left for poetry, prove only, what 
they wish to excuse, their own want of inventive power. But 
when much good poetry exists already, the avenues to public 
favour are, in a way, closed up; the taste of men is satisfied with 
what they possess. The aspirant for fame will meet therefore 
with very scant encouragement, and will win his laurels, if at 
all, against a host of competitors, wlio have won theirs when 
there >vere fewer rivals to be dreaded, and when even a moderate 
degree of merit could ensure favour and success. The existence 
of a large body of good literature, however favourable it may bo 
to the formation of correct taste, is an immense discouragement 
to every modern author. His power of writing well may be 
somowbat increased by it, but it diminishes very sensibly the 
stimulus be has to write at all. Clearly as he will perceive his 
own faults and shortcomings, he will find that others are stiU 
more aware of them than himself, and he will thus be likely to 
leave a task unattemptod in whicli his first endeavours will so 
probably disappoint his hopes. His attention will thus be 
turned aside to another subject before his powers have had time 
and opportunity to develope, and he will produce nothing great, 
because at tlie time when he was incapable of great things he met 
with no encouragement 

it is a point too of no little consequence that the words which 
the early poet finds in use, have not yet lost the freshness of 
their first meaning; the images which express the sensations 
from which they are derived, have not been dulled by long use, 
and diverted gradually from their original force and import. 
Poetry, as far as it is concerned with description, deals with the 
outside of things, with the appearance which they present to us, 
not with their truth and reality. And he is likely to succeed 
best in copying their appearances in words, who finds his tools, 
as it were, made ready to his hand ; and a vocabulary and habits 
of thought and expression, derived from the senses, existing 
already to supply the sensuous necessities of art. The forms of 
the world around us are best painted in phrases drawn directly 
from the observation of the things themselves, and unchanged by 
elaborate reasoning upon their nature and the laws of their 
action. The impressions of which the mind is sensible are 
described better by the poet who has only felt them, than by 
the analytical psychologist who can ticket them with names and 
reduce them under the fewest headings. And there is thus in 
poetry, no less than in painting, a kind of perspective to be 
observed, the laws of which depend upon very similar conditions. 
A flat coloured surface is all that the eye can perceive in vision, 
the rest is the product of touch, and reason, and experience. 



Dante and his English Translators, 2^1 

The first conditions tiicrefore of the painter's success in colouring 
must be that he shall practically divest himself of the i-esults of 
this experience, that he shall ignore the rules by which he has 
learned, as other men have, the real size and shape of bodies, 
and sliall regard only the nature of the impression they make, 
not upon the mind, but upon the retina. Very similar to this is 
the perspective with which poetry is concerned. It describes 
very much by colour, for it is upon distinctions of colour that all 
knowledge cf form is grounded; and so, passing through the 
whole range of the senses and feelings, it will employ those terms 
of description which shall most realize the thing described, and 
remind the reader of the obji'Ct by repeating to liis mind the 
ver^^ process by which the object itself is known to him. The 
concrete, not the abstract, is that which potitry ever loves, and 
the concrete itself it loves best in its simplest and most original 
form. In the earlier ages, when men’s thoughts r^out science 
were those of children, their language would retain mucli whicli 
it has now lost of the power of its original significancy, and these 
conditions, the most adverse to the philo.sophcr, would be, above 
.all others, the most favourable to the poet. 

Thus, when Dante says that at sunrise “ the fear was a little 
calmed which he bad felt all night in the lake of his heart,”* he 
is employing a literal metaphor (if wo may be excused the 
apparent contradiction,) to express the exact feeling which lie 
had oxperienc(^d. The words aio poetry hecaust? they accurately 
reproduce the sensation, and describe the very thing which 
Dante felt; they do not reason about it, or investigate its formal 
cause. 

Again, wlien be wishes to tell us Iiow the bright image of his 
ancestor, Cacciaguida, glided down in form of a star to the foot 
of the cross in which he was stationed with countless other glori¬ 
fied spirits, he says that it was— 

(^uale per li seven tranquilli e puri 
Discorre ad ora ad or subito fuoco, 

Movendo gli ocehi che stavaii sicuri, 

D pare stclla cbe tramuti loco, 

Se non chc dalla parte, oude s’aceendc, 

Nulla sen perde cd esso dura poco.f 

oft along the still and pure serene, 

At nightfall, glides a sudden trail of fire, 

Attracting with involuntary heed 
The eye to follow it, crewhile at rest; 

And seems some star that shifted place in heaven, 

Only that, whence it kindles, none is lost, 

And it is soon extinct.”| 


* Inf. i. 19-21, t 13-18. J Mr. Cary’s Translation., 



2J22 iJantc and Ids Enrflhh Tvansliitoys. 

I 

Now it is just tliis kind of \vritmg in which, as all experience 
shows us, an early poet is the most likely to succeed. There is 
an easy truthfulness about it which seldom characterizes a later 
and more thoughtful age. The image is represented to the 
mind just as it would reajly occur to the senses, and the impres¬ 
sions of the whole scene are reproduced with a power, which yet 
evinces no trace of effort, no wish to do more than barely to 
record with accuracy. It is to descriptive art just what a story 
in Herodotus is to narrative. Each might appear to have really 
nothing in it, and yet we feel that there is everything in that 
very nothingness. Each speaks to us of common things in the 
language of common life, but it liinds the attention with a spell 
more potent than tliat of reason or analysis. 

Again, when Dante had tom a twig off from a tree in the 
grove of the suicides, and the branch from which it was torn 
bled, and sent forth a voice through its bleeding wound, he says 
that the sdbnd of it was as when one end of a green bough is 
burned, and, from the other end, vrind comes hissing out through 
the dropping moisture.Here we feel at once how exact a 
simile is presented to us, how well it assists the imagination to 
picture to itself the very thing which it is intended to illustrate. 
It enables us to realize the appearance of what Dante saw, 
and the very sound which he must have hoard. It goes no 
further than this, if it did it would pass out of the domain of 
poetry. 

These are some of the many instances of word-painting with 
which Dante’s verses abound ; they are reproductions of the 
precise manner in which a sensation had been felt, or a sight 
witnessed, and they derive their beauty and precision from laying 
hold, as they do, of the very points by which the mind or the 
senses received their impressions. They imply no subsequently 
acquired knowledge, but enable the re^er, and indeed compel 
him, to place himself as nearly as possible in the position in which 
Dante was at the moment of which he speaks. The effect of 
such passages as these may be fairly said to resemble that of 
perspective in the delineation of form and colour. In each of 
them we find a successful endeavour to re-^eaenij and the means 
employed in each are as nearly the same as the different method 
of the two arts will permit. 

We will add one more instance, somewhat different from our 
former ones, but nearly to the same effect. When writers of the 
present age speak of the spirit of man, as something dwelling in 
the body, and capable of Wng separated from it and existing 
alone, they believe, no doubt, that what they say is true, but 


• Inf. siiL 4043. 



DanU and his English Translators. 

they are very far from distinctly realising its truth. The influ¬ 
ence of custom and speculation has engendered among us a more 
or less conscious materialism. We.may use the words “soul/’ 
or “ spirit/* but we think of them only as functions of the living 
body; when we attempt to speak of them as au 3 ^hing else we 
are employing phrases at variance with our real habits of thought, 
and the manner of our language will continually reveal its insin¬ 
cerity. It was not so in Dante’s age; men’s earliest and most 
obvious notions were then accepted as unquestioned truth. We 
will not argue from the entire plan of his poem, which presup¬ 
poses a Avorld of spirits, distinct from the world of niatter. We 
will examine rather a few incidental, and, so to speak, un¬ 
guarded expressions, in which his real conceptions will be sure to 
betray themselves. When Buonconte is describing the manner 
of his own death, he ends witli “ Gaddi e riraase la mia came 
sola.”^'- t fell, and there remained my flesh alone; or, as Mr. 
Cary translates it, “ tenantless my flesh remained." Very similar 
to tliis is the language which Cacciaguida uses. He says that he 
was, by the hands of the infidels “ Disvillupato dal mondo 
fallace,'”-f* tliscntangied from the treaclierous world. So too Dante 
himself prays of Beatrice tliat his spirit may find favour with 
her when “ dal corpo si disnodi /’J literally, when it unknots or 
disentangles itself fx’om the body. But perhaps the most re¬ 
markable passage of any is that in which he says, speaking of 
the general resurrection,— 

“ Quale i bcati al novissimo bando 
Surgcraii presti, ognun di sua cuverna, 

La rivestita came allcviaudo.*’§ 

“ At the last audit, so 

The blest shall rise, from forth his cavern each, 

Uplifting lightly liis new-vested flesh.”|| 

Or, more literally, the flesh with which he; is re-clothed. Tlie 
body is as it were nothing: it is the soul within it which is the 
real person, the source of life and motion. And there is nothing 
figurative in this, no lurking suspicion in Dante’s mind that 
the language he is using differs in any way from his real 
thought and meaning. But would it be possible to find, in 
modem literature, a parallel to its startling earnestness ? 

There Is much, very much, in Dante’s manner of thought and 
expression, which may remind us of the miracle-plays of our 
own country. We find in each the same vivid conception of 
the spiritual world, side by side with, yet distinct from, the 

♦ Purg.-v. 102. t XT. 146. J,Par. xxxi. 90. 

§Purg. XIX. 13-15. II Mr. Cary’s Translation. 



224 


Dante and his English Translators, 

world of matter; the same strange union of Scripture ‘with 
Pagan and legendary stories, and of the names of real men and 
women with the fanciful titles and personages of the angelic 
hierarchy of the upper and lower world. Dante does not indeed 
confuse history and geography with the unconscious recklessness 
of those with whom we are now comparing him ; hut wo find in 
both alike tljat the imagination is strong at the expense of the 
intellect, and that their respective provinces are still unsettled ; 
in other words, that the distinction between fact and fiction is 
really almost unknown,. Our early miracle-plays have not as yet 
received the study and attention they deserve. They are well 
worth reading for their own sake, but still more for the light 
which they may be made to throw on Dante. Inferior as they 
are to him in everything except the power of Troiijme, of making 
something out of nothing, of distinctly realizing the creations of 
their own fancy, or of the fancy of others, and describing them 
with a marvellous air of truth and reality, they yet possess, in 
that one quality, Dante*s own most peculiar characteristic. That 
the loss of this power has been more than made up to us by the 
possession of the scientific truths which liave robbed us of it, it 
would be absurd to attempt to deny; but it is surely worth while 
to pay some attention to the operation of a faculty which the 
world no longer now possesses. 

Tliat Dante was deficient in a sense of liumour implies a 
charge which may be laid to so many great and honoured names, 
that we may well doubt whether it amounts to a charge at all; 
nay, we may even suspect that a strong sense of the humourous 
is scarcely compatible with the very highest moral qualities. 
How great a difference of thought and character its presence 
would have implied, we may best see by the contrast presented 
to us in Shakspeare’s life and writings; we may compare instruc¬ 
tively the evident sympathy which Shakspeare could feel, at 
least with one side of his nature, with the lovers of “ cakes and 
ale,” and of merriment quite beyond the bounds of reason, 
with Dante’s unbending sternness in the presence of vice and 
folly. 

We can all of us remember the way in which Shakspeare deals 
with Falstaff, He shows him to us with all his faults, an utterly 
debauched old fellow, boastful, lying, dishonest, sensual, and with 
all this he has clearly no little affection for him. He*can throw 
himself fully into the character, and trace, with an evident satis¬ 
faction, the course of his villany when it succeeds, and the 
cleverness with which he out-lies or out-blusters what would be 
to {my other man the most entire failure. We learn to laugh at 
Sir John, but the laugh is more often with him; his vices amuse 



Dante and kis English Translators, 225 

but never disgust us; and his very repentance, in all but one 
scene, is ridiculous. 

Now with all this Dante could have had no sympathy what¬ 
ever ; he would have met itw ith the precise feelings of the most 
rigid Puritan. His stern moral judgment would only have con¬ 
demned, not only Falstaffs vices, but oven the very bufiboneries 
which Shakspearc seems to plead in mitigation of them. There 
had lived a citizen of Florence, in some points very like Falstaff, 
but (as far es we know) without any of Falstaff s grosser vices. 
Dante tells us only that he was a glutton; we learn* the same 
from others, with the addition that he was a man of great 
eloquence and refinement of manner, very funny, and gifted with 
most charming powers of conversation. Here was just the man 
in whom Shakspeare would especially have delighted, but let us 
see wliat treatment ho receives from Dante. Wc find him in 
the third circle of Hell, lying for ever under a ceaseless storm of 
rain and snow, howling like a dog, flayed and torn continually by 
the teeth of the demon Cerberus. It will be worth our while to 
turn to the account which Dante gives of him and his fellow- 
sinners and fellow-sufferers. 

They iill along the earth extended lay, 

Save one, iliat sudden raised himself to sit, 

Soon as that way he saw us pas.*?. * O thou! * 

He cried, ‘who through the inlcnial shades art led, 

Own if again thou know’st me. Thou wiist framed 
Or ore my frame was broken.* I replied, 

‘The anguish thou endurest perchance so takes 
Thy form from my remembnince that it seems 
As if 1 saw thee never. But inform 
Me who thou art, that in a place so sad 
Art set, and in such torment, that although 
Other be greater, none disgusteth more.* 

He thus in answer to my words rejoin’d. 

‘Thy city, heaped with envy to the brim, 

Aye, that the measure overflows its bounds. 

Held me, in brighter days. Ye citizens 
Were wont to name me Ciacco. For the sin 
or gluttony, damned vice, beneath this rain, 

E’en as thou seest, I with fatigue am worn : 

Npr I sole spirit in this woe: all these 

Have by like crime incurr’d like punishment.’ ”t 

Some questions are then asked and answered about the 


* Boccacio, Dec. ix. 8. Landino. f Cary’s Dante, Canto vi. 36. 
[Yoh LXXV. No. eXLYU.]—N ew Sbbies, YoL XIX. No. I. Q 



226 Dante and his English Translators. 

future fate of Florence, and the condition of some of Dante’s 
friends. 

This said, liis fixed eyes he turned askance, 

A little eyed me, then bent down his ]ie«'id, 

And ^midst his blind companions with it fell. 

When thus my guide; ‘No more his bed he leaves 
Ere the last angel-trumpet blow. The Power, 

Adverse to these, shall then in glory come; 

Each one forthwith to his sad tomb repair, 

Eesume his fleshly vesture and his form, 

And hear the eternal doom re-echoing rend 
The vault.’ ” 

Here is startling change enough from Shakspeare’s easy tole¬ 
rance. We may judge in some degree to what lower depth of 
hell Falstaff would have been consigned, from the measure of 
punishment which Dante deals out to Ciacco. 

It would be difficult to find two very great men who should 
differ more entirely than Dante and Sh^speare differed in their 
lives, and characters, and writings. There was the grave Floren¬ 
tine, once the first citizen of a free republic, and then an exile ; 
hating dependence, and yet compelled to eat another’s bread, 
however bitter,—to climb another’s stairs, however wearisome tho 
road. His enemies were triumphant, his country would not 
receive liim, and his lady had long been dead. To read, and 
think, and write, are poor consolations, when they are all a man 
has to console him; when he is shut out from all associations 
that are dear to him, when lie has nothing left to hope for, aud 
no object on earth to love. And this was Dante’s portion; aud 
he has left the “Divina Commedia”as'the record of his sorrows, 
and of their cure,—of all that he had lost, and all he had to suffer, 
and of the strong undying faith that bore him through all, and 
above all, and gave him rest and peace in his solitude, and made 
him, in liLs exile, a citizen of the city of God. 

Wc find in Shakspeare’s writings the impress of a different, 
and, we must add, a lower character. His powers of sympathy 
had indeed a wider range than Dante's, but chiefly because he 
could sympathize with much which Dante would have con¬ 
demned and scorned. Instead of Dante’s calm self-respect we 
find in Shakspeare an almost feminine easiness of temper, which 
shrank alike from asserting its own claims and from c<yidemning 
others; instead of Dante’s sternness of self-control, we find the 
passionate struggles of a weak erring spirit, and the vain utter¬ 
ances of a repentance, deep indeed, but consciously irresolute. 
It might seem, in truth, as if the wider range of ^mpathy, the 


* Par. xriL 58-60. 




227 


Dante and his Kiujllsh Translators. 

creativo power of mind that can hlentify itself with all it sees, 
and think the true thoughts, and speak the language of others, 
could hardly co-exist with the grand repose of self-contained and 
self reliant courage. It is essential for success in dratnatic writ¬ 
ing that the author’s own personality shall never bo intruded, 
that he shall forgot himself and live only in his characters. 
Right and wrong, just and unjust, are no concern of his; he 
reflects, but ho does not tlLscriminate ; he relates and describes, 
but he passes no sentence. 

Very difteront from this was Dante’s manner of portraying 
the men around him: ho has stamped his own judgment on all 
ho has told us. His relation of another world is, in fact, his 
sentence upon the present. A Catholic of the Catliolics, ho has 
never allowed his own sympathies to interfere with the (Church’s 
teaching. He has disregarded alike tlie tendernes.s of private 
friendslnp, and the love he boro to the grand old heathen world 
that Inul never known Christ. Ho could feel the deepest pity 
for inan}’^ wlmm ho saw condemned. He could feel tliat there 
was much in them that was worthy of love and honour. But 
the unhaptized, and the unrepentant, he saw only in the Inferno; 
he <larod not assign the blessedness of Heaven to those to whom 
Uj( 3 Church told him it was denied. 

Tlie w«)ii<l on which Shakspearo looked was chequered, as 
Dante’s wjus, with men’s vices and errors. He has soun all, ho 
has tlescrihed all, but he has condemned nothing. AVc may 
discover indeed in his historical plays a genuipo warmth of 
patriotism ; but from his other dramas we learn nothing of him¬ 
self, heyomi what his very omissions teach us. The persons he 
brings before us arc real human beings, human alike in their 
faults and excellences. We do not look on them, we rather live 
'In tliorn, as far as we understand his dramas, [t is not so much 
tliat we see the working of thoir minds laid bare, the inner 
meclianism revealed and plain before us, as that we are compelled 
for tlio time to live their life, to think €as they would have 
thought, to speak as they would have spoken. If we cannot feel 
tliis, Shakspeare is a closed book to us; and as far as wo can¬ 
not feel it, we may bo sure that we have never really understood 
him. But when Dante describes, we stand by and look on ; we 
are spectators, but no longer actors. Scene after scene, and person 
after person, rise up and live before ua, men's thoughts are dis¬ 
closed to us, their words are repeated, their actions and motives 
are interpreted. But we never forget ourselves in reading the 
“ Divina Commedia,” as Dante never forgot himself in writing iU 
In a word, we should say, if we might venture the comparison, 
that Shalupeare’s mind is like the God of the Pantheists, the 
soul of the universe, living in and animating alike all forms of 

Q 2 



228 Dante and his English IVanslators. 

A 

being. But if this be !3o, then Dante’s is like the God of the 
Christian, creator of the world, and yet distinct from it; with 
whom nothing unjust or unholy can find any favour, who is of 
purer eyes than to behold iniquity. 

That Dante has exercised but little influence in England, that 
few writers have been affected by him, and that comparatively 
few readers have cared to study him, is a fact for which several 
causes may be assigned, in partial excuse of a neglect so little 
creditable to our taste or judgnent. It would be most erroneous 
to suppose that we have always neglected or undervalued Italian 
poetry ; but it is certainly true that, during the period when it 
was most popular with us, Dante was not our favourite Italian 
poet. Little cared for at the time in his own coiiutry, he was 
not likely to be selected for especial attention by foreigners who 
were seeking instructioq and guidance from Italy. So that the 
blame of our neglect falls with most justice on Dante’s owm 
countrymen; it would be hard to insist tliat our unguided in¬ 
stincts should have chosen correctly in tlio face of others’ judg¬ 
ment; or that Petrarch and Tasso, who were read by Italians, and 
whose beauties wo could perceive and enjoy, should have been 
laid aside for one for whom Italians cared nothing; and whose 
writings, however well they may repay study, certainly require it. 
For there is in truth much in the very nature of Dante's poem 
which would seem likely enough to prevent it from becoming 
popular anywhere. Among his own countrymen he has formed 
no school, and found no imitators. Many have looked on and 
wondered, but none have been daring enough to attempt to fol¬ 
low in his steps. This circumstance by itself, though it justly 
adds to his reputation, would be likely in a very considerable 
degree to lessen his popularity. Wc ought to remember again, 
that the “ Divina Commedia" is a long coherent poem, which has 
a unity of its own, as truly as a living individual body, and can as 
little bear to be dismembered. To read it in parts is, therefore, 
not to read it at all; it is to lose, in fact, its whole meaning and 
spirit; while to read and study it as a whole, is a work of no small 
time and labour. Very few readers are likely to take up as a 
serious occupation the study of a poem which demands littlo less 
than the love and labour of a life. Petrarch and Ariosto may be 
read in detail, and the parts read will lose little b^ being sepa¬ 
rated from what surrounds them ; and the same is true, though 
in a less degree, of Tasso. But with Dante we must read the 
whole, or the parts will be of little value. There have been and 
doubtless will be some who are willing to undergo the toil of such 
a study, and who axe competent to enjoy the reward it offers them; 
but their veneration and love are not what is ordinarily meant 
by popularity* 



Dante and his English Translators, 229 

We must remember, too, that the Catholic spirit in which 
Dante wrote forms a stumbling-block to Englishmen, which it is 
not easy for them to surmount. Even where this may have given 
them 110 actual offence, it has certainly been a reason why they 
have failed to appreciate and enjoy his meaning. A nation, whose 
brightest history has been hitherto the record of the struggle 
against Rome and her adherents; which has acted in her foreign 
relations with something of a moral purpose just as far as she has 
sought to free herself and otliers from that intolerable bondage, 
may be excused if she is unable to comprehend the former beauty 
of that to which she now excusably stands opposed; or if she is 
unwilling to surrender her fancy to an impossible dream of a 
Church perfect in the future, which has written its character in 
letters of fire on her own past history : to a dream from which 
the noblest thought of Europe has long ago awoke. 

It is possible, of course, to live in the present and for the future, 
anil yet to do full justice to the lifeless notion.s of the past; but it 
is hardly possiblo for very sincere Protestants. Those who be¬ 
lieve in individual development and in the right of private judg¬ 
ment are scarcely iikcly to appreciate, as it deserves, the magnifi¬ 
cence of a system Avhich rejected both alike when set in the scales 
against its own growth and infiueuco. It is hardly possible that 
those can ever bo in a position to enjoy Dante, who blaspheme 
not only against the forms but against the ideas which it was his 
nature to set up for worship. 

It is true, that of late years there has been a change in many 
degrees for the better. Whether our religious zeal has somewhat 
abated, or our taste improved, it may not be very easy to deter¬ 
mine ; but Dante is certainly more studied now than he has been 
for very long. Translations, particularly#of the “ Inferno,” as we 
have seen, are numerous and widely circulated ; criticisms, some 
of them of a very high onler, have occasionally appeared ; and 
allusions to his writings may be detected not nnfrequently in por¬ 
tions of our floating literature. But the change, whatever its 
cause may be, has been quite recent; it would hardly be untrue 
to say, that there is more of Dante’s influence traceable in 
Chaucer’s poems—more genuine evidence th.at Dante had been 
read and loved—than in the whole body of Engli.sh literature 
(Milton's writings alone oxcepted) from Chaucer's time to our own. 

If the hatred of Catholicism has been a cause, (and we feel sure 
it has been a principal cause,) why Dante has been so little read in 
England, we must allow that Mr. Thomas is doing good service 
by a bold endeavour to divert its virulence. Finding that English¬ 
men will not read Dante because ho is so strictly and entirely a 
Catholic, he offers the suggestion that the notion has all along 
been erroneous, and that Dante, though bom too soon in time, 



200 


Dante and his English Translators. 

was really a Protestant, just as the old Patriarchs are said to hayo 
been really Christians. It is difficult to characterize severely 
enough the amount of mi.sapprehension which this view exhibits. 
Enough has perhaps been said already about the extent and 
nature of Dante s religious faith, about his veneration, local and 
traditional, for Rome, about his essential notion of the Church 
both militant and triumphant as one and indivisible, and about bis 
strict and stern regard for the most external ordinances of Christ¬ 
ianity, to prove that a writer who calls him even by anticipation 
a Protestant has failed totally to penetrate his meaning and spirit. 
The eye, proverbially, can seldom see more than it brings with it 
the wish of seeing. The warmth of Mr. Thomas’ charity and the 
soundness of his own Protestant orthodoxy have forced him to 
ascribe new motives and views to Dante, which Dante himself 
would have been the very first to repudiate. It would be im¬ 
possible, we believe, to exaggerate what would have been his 
hatred of the essentials of Protestantism, and of the peculiar 
characteristics of its author. Mahomet, as a schismatic, was 
seen in the “Inferno” split down tlio middle from the head to the 
groin, with his wounds, as they closed up, continually renewed : 
Farinata, as a believer in false doctrine, was laid for ever in a 
tomb of lire. Vauui Fucci of Pistoia, for blaspheming God, 
was plagued by serpents and hunted by the Centaur Cacus : 
Brutus and Cassius, as disturbers of the course of Rome's supre¬ 
macy, were tom and flayed in the very mouths of Lucifer. We 
must leave it to the reader to imagine what combination and in¬ 
crease of these torments would have been devised as sufficient 
for Martin Luther. 

A subjective poet (we use with some reluctance a w^ord which 
has done such good service in metaphysics) is usually understood 
to mean one who displays in his poems his own character and 
his own belief and sentiments. The objective poet, on the con¬ 
trary, tells us only of the world without him, while of the writer 
himself we learn nothing. If this division is adopted Dante must 
be placed in the former class ; a class generally assumed inferior 
to the latter, particularly in breadth of thought and universality 
of vision. We are by no means inclined to acquiesce in so sweep¬ 
ing a judgment; of course if a poet’s own nature is worthless, and 
his views of no value either moral or scientific, the less we see of 
either of tliem the better. Tho modern spasmodic writers, for 
example, who tell us chiefly that they know of no laws to which 
they are or wish to be subject, and that they are unable to control 
their passions, would do well to find some more valuable topics 
before they think it worth while to communicate their senti¬ 
ments in verso. Impatient ignorance, and folly self-deified, are 
not attributes which we either respect or need ever wish to con- 



Dante and his English Translators. 231 

template. But wlien a man is wholly given up to the veneration 
of something beyond himself; when ho is subdued into obedi¬ 
ence to a system or institution wliich has power to guide and regu¬ 
late his intellect, and can command his entire love and reverence, 
all that he writes, as well as all that he thinks or does, must 
necessarily bear tlxe mark of its influence. • His whole powers 
will lend thwnselves only to its expression; and he will represent 
the world around him as he sees it, not through the changeful 
and fantastic medium of Lis own wilful fancy, but as he has been 
taught to ’’cgard it by a force greater than himself, by an object 
of worship to which he has surrendered his whole faculties. And 
such an object Dante found in the Church Catholic; an object 
in which men s faith and love through centuries of European 
history had found a resting-place ; which had solved for them the 
hard questions of life to which they knew no other key ; and had 
loft for tliem no void unfilled, no conscious want unsatisfied. The 
system and its followers have indeed no abiding-place among our¬ 
selves ; we have a right now to treat it as a creation of tlic past, 
which has vanished, as other creeds have, with the occasions and 
circumstances that gave it birth, except indeed as far as it still 
exerts an influence which has become confessedly provisional; we 
have other wants, which it cannot satisfy, other difficulties, to 
which it can furnish no solution. But we do wrong if wo judge in 
any way of its past might from the spectacle of its present weak¬ 
ness. It was once a necessity that the greatest men’s highest 
thoughts and aims, should receive their direction only by sub¬ 
mitting to its guidance. Dante, therefore, was a subjective poet; 
not, as men arc now, by the tyranny of an undisciplined will, but 
by an absolute submission to that which he recognised as greater 
than himself, and by the perfect liberty^, obedience and love. 



232 


POSTSCRIPT TO ART. YI. 

President Buchanan in his Message, delivered on the 4th 
December, while ddblaring secession to be unconstitutional, some¬ 
what paradoxically states that Congress has no power to put 
down such revolutions; yet he remarks, that should the South 
Carolinians attempt to take possession of the forts, magazines, 
arsenals, and other property of the Union, the Federal officers 
have received orders to act on the defensive. Even on de¬ 
fensive grounds, in the event of secession being determined 
upon, it is clear that the national army would soon be brought 
into direct conflict with the insurgents. In such a case would 
the forces of the United States be unequal to the army of a 
single one ? During the strife, would the slaves, who compose 
57 per cent, of the whole population, be simple lookers on? 
The Palmetto State had better halt in its headlong career. 

Mr. Buchanan dilates upon the insecurity which at present 
surrounds the family altar of the slaveholders, and tlic horrors 
which would be the result of a servile war, but the advice he 
offers, if followed, will rather tend to hasten than prevent the 
evil. 

The remedy, says the President, lies witli Congress, which 
has the power to amend the “ Constitutionand he suggests 
the following “explanatory amendments of the constitution on 
the subject of slavery:— 

1. An express recognition of the right of property in slaves, in the 
States where it now exista^or may hereafter exist. 

2. The duty of protect^^ this right in all the common territories 
throughout their territorial existence, and until they shall he admitted 
as States into the Union, with or without slavery, as their constitutions 
may prescribe. 

3. A like recognition of the right of the master to have his slave, 
who has escaped from one State to another, restored and “ delivered 
up” to him, and of the validity of the Fugitive Slave Law enacted for 
this purpose, together with a declaration that all State laws impairing 
or defeating this right are violations of the constitution, and are con¬ 
sequently null and void. 

These concessions the North will not submit to. The Repub¬ 
lican party would prefer to let South Carolina go peacefully out 
of the Umon. The question is a grave one, and great uncertainty 
still surrounds its solution. 



238 


Contemporary Literature. 


TilKOLOGY AND PHILOSOPHY. 

D r. TISCilF^NDOIlP has acted considerately towards the literary 
world, in puhlishiiig a list of tlic manuscript treasures brought 
home by him from the peninsula of Sinai; and especially in giving a fore¬ 
taste of what wc arc to expect from the Codex Sinaiticus,^ which contains 
the greater part of the Old 'rostument (in Greek) and the whole of the 
New. This MS. appears to belong to the middle of the fourth century, 
and may be the oldest transcript of the Scriptures which wc possess. 
It is designed to publish an edition of 800 copies of it in facsimile type, 
at the cost of the hlmperor Alcxamler, which copies will bo muni¬ 
ficently presented to the jirincipal European libraries. This work it 
is designed to accomplish in the yeiu* 1802. At the same time will 
be given to the general public, and at a very moderate price, an edition 
of tlie New Testament, in ordinary type, representing the Codex, to be 
published by Jirockhaus at Lcipsig, and which will be followed by the 
Old Testament in like manner. The Codex, which Tischendorf in¬ 
tends to designate by the note it need not he said is uncial, and 
without accents, notes or divisions of words. It has a general resern- 
hlance to that which is familiar to ourselves as the Alexandrian M»S. 
of the Ih’itish Museum; it contains on each page four columns, of 
forty-eight lines each, three words on an avcvj^c in a lino : 11)9 pages 
of the MS. belong to the Old Testament and Apocrypha; the earlier 
books of the former up to Chroii. 1. ai*c howler wanting, as is part of 
Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and three of the minor prophets. The order and 
contents of the New Testament arc, four Gospels as usual, Rom: 
Cor: (2), Gal: Eph: Phil: Col: Thess: (2), Hcb: Tim: (2), Tit: 
Philem : Acts, James, Pet: (2), John (3), Jude, llev: to which are 
added the epistle of Bamahas and the Shepherd. The occurrence of 
these two la.st in the Codex is the more observable as tending to fix 
its ago to a period not later than the middle of the fourth century, 
since in the Canon of the Council of Laodicea those books were not 
included. Wc can only notice with respect to the readings of the MS., 
that they are in unison generally with those admitted or conjectured 
hitherto by the best critics. The text, 1 John v. 7, is of course absent, 
and those familiar with the evidence will he prepared in 1 Tim. iii. 16, 

^ ''Notitia editionis Codicis Bibliorum Sinaitici auspioiis Imperatoris Alexandri 
II. susceptfe. Accedit Catalogos Codicum DUper ex Orienta Petropolin perla- 
torum. Item Origenls Scholia in Proverbia Salomons partim nunc primum partim 
sccandum atque emendatius edita.” Edidit Aeuoth. Const. Tischendorf, Th. 
et Ph. Doc., fto., &o. London: ^^Uliams and Noigate, 1860. 



284 


Contemporary LitcraUire, 

for og tipavepwdrf \ John viii. 1, &c. is absent, as is the concluding 
passage in Mark xvi. verses 8—20, in accordance with the Vatican MS. 
The absence of these verses from the earliest MSS. is the more inte¬ 
resting, because we are thus enabled to peel off two superstitious 
accretions upon primitive Christianity; first, there disa})pears all 
authority for anathematizing unbelievers, as rested upon the sup[) 0 si- 
tion that Jesus himself ever used such words as, “he that believeth 
not shall be damned j” secondly, there disappears likewise the promise 
of continual miraculous power to believers, which some Churches have 
deceptively claimed, wiale others, aware that they did not possess it, 
liave lamented its loss, and have thereupon fancied themselves defec¬ 
tive. We may add perhaps that if vor. 19 ceases to belong to the 
Gospel, the record of the corporeal ascension is confined to the ])as- 
sages Luke xxiv. 51, Acts, i. 2, 9, and the Scriptural authority for an 
expression in Art. IV. of the Church of England, of “ sitting at the 
right hand,” &c. is brought to nothing. 

As a supplemental volume to his life of Ulrich von Hutten,^ Pr. 
Strauss issues a translation from tlie Latin of some of that Eeformor’s 
Dialogues. They remind us of the Colloquies of Erasmus, but with 
less of elegance, and they are directed generally to the same end—the ex¬ 
posure of monkery : in zeal and indignation Iluttcii reminds us of Luther 
himself, yet coming short of the leader of the lloformatiou in pcruonal 
character and in the strength which belongs to personal worth. 
Hutten must have seriously damaged his own cause and that of his 
brother Ileformers by an immoral life. The chief interest, however, of the 
present volume consists in the Preface, in which Strauss takes up a chal¬ 
lenge which has often of late yeai’s been thrown down to him. It has 
been repeated contemptuously by the orthodox, that Strauss is obsolete, 
and that theological discussion has left far beliiiul the “Leben-Jesu.” 
If this be true, it is not so in the sense in which the opponents of 
Strauss would liave it understood. He reminds them that his work 
was founded upon a criticism of the three Synoptics, and that the 
genuineness and authenUcity of the fourth Gospel were left entirely 
untouched by him. He did not even invoke in support of his own 
conclusions the evident discrepancy in theological stand-point, in style 
and tone, and in the material of the narratives, between the three first 
Gospels and the fourth. If discussion has since been raised on these 
particulars, it cannot be said to have been closed by establishing that 
the fourth Gospel is St. John’s, or even the production of an eye¬ 
witness, or that its composition approaches so nearly in date the events 
which it narrates as do the other Gospels. Hence, as the insuflicicney 
of the external evidence to the genuineness and authenticity of the 
Gospel histories became more apparent, it was seen to afiect with its 
own uncertainty all the inferences which can be drawn from them. And 
such a person as Schleiermacher—while in his pulpit discourses he dwelt 
on the spiritual and moral effects of the New Testament, drawing from 
its didactic portions freely and without misgiving, as from a fountain 


• “Geaprache vou Ulrich von Hutten, Ubersetzt und erlautert von David 
Friedrich Strauss.** Williams and Norgi^e, London ; Edinbur^i, ld60. 



Theology and Flidosoyhy, ^35 

undefiled—would rather allegorise the miraculous narratives, and de¬ 
picted the portrait of the Founder of Christianity with a tremulous 
hand. 

Moreover, since the appearance of the ** Lebeu-Jesu,” the progress of 
scientific investigation has rendered daily more and more obvious that 
the “ Itationalistic” solution of the Gosi>el miracles is untenable ; those 
portions of the work, therefore, wliieh were specially addressed to that 
argument have become in a certain sense obsolete, because now super- 
iliious to a largely increased number of educated pei*sons. Hei*ein is no 
source of triumph to the orthodox party; nor has Strauss any reason 
to be dismayed at the success wdiicli has attended such mediating 
attempts as those of Kwald. Ewald is seldom thorough. He will 
commence a critical examination of a supernatural naiTative, and 
having carried it lialf way to a destructive conclusion will pass off to 
some moral application or sonic figurative meaning—for which there 
may he room in its proper place, only it should not he proposed as a 
solution. Strauss ha.s not been damaged by such attempts as those. 
It would be desirable for the greater part of this Preface to bo trans¬ 
lated and published as a separate tract, in English. 

Strauss, moreover, thinks the circumstances of the present time— 
which lias witnessed an Austrian Concordat, and tlic resuscitation of a 
ramjiaiitUltramontanism in France—render appropriate the reproducing 
the pungent Collotjuies of Hutten, which wore levelled at corruptions 
in the Papal Churches, only surpassing those of this day in a certain 
superficial grossness. 

The free-thinkers of the last century did only part of a work, and 
that frequently in exceptionable taste. In directing the shafts of his 
irresistible ridicule against the superstitions with which he was sur¬ 
rounded, it must be allowed, even by his greatest admirers in the 
present day, that Voltaire very frequently wounded real religion and 
morals. Consequently, the superstitions have recovered their life, 
because the religion and morality could not bo slain. Truly it may be 
necessary, with respect to a large portion of ancient beliefs, to abide 
permanent!}' in a negative result, in which case the necessity for 
caution and delicacy of handling is the greater; but wherever it may 
bo i)ossible, it is demanded both in the interests of truth and of 
philanthropy, to point out what is unquestioned, or what may be 
substituted for that which is taken away—to give coiifideuce to 
the less bold that they are not to be left without all spiritual sus¬ 
taining—that the essentials of religion and morality will be undis¬ 
turbed. This is the more requisite because the appeal in such discus¬ 
sions must now be made not merely to a few esprits forts^ or intelli¬ 
gences d'eHtCy but to the generality of men. Formerly, theological 
con diets wore carried on s<dely by the learned, in a dead language, or 
at least in ponderous tomes which effectually concealed the issues 
from the less learned; the common soldiers had little to do with 
the real battle: the populations in spirituals as in temporals, followed 
the fortunes of their lexers. The populations will now have to give 
their verdict on religiou.s questions, as well as their votes on political 
constitutions. It is essential for those who have the interest of the 



236 


Ooniemjporary Literature, 

citizens at heart in these matters, to place before them, in forms intel¬ 
ligible to tl\e understanding of average men, the questions at issue, 
and the criticisms and arguments which bear upon them. This is 
what M. Patiice Larroque has efficiently done in his “ Critical Exami¬ 
nation of Christianity® and his “ Renovation of Religion.” ^ 

No one can deny that Larroque is competent to be a leader of 
the people in these matters, as far as the qualification of learning goes ; 
and in the critical part of his work, that at least which concerns the 
interpretation of Scripture, however much opposed to current repre¬ 
sentations, no one can say that he is not a sufficient authority, or 
reasonably repudiate the conclusions to which he comes. He vindi¬ 
cates at tlie onset the sufficiency of reason as tlie instrument of inquiry 
into theological doctrines ; for it would be absurd that God should 
give man reason, and then bid him to disregard its verdict; nor can 
the Christian doctrines be withdrawn from the province of reason, be¬ 
cause of their being assumed to be mysteries. For there is a confusion 
in tlie controversial use of the word mystery; sometimes it sigjii- 
fies “that which is concealed,” and wo may believe that something is 
concealed, though we cannot believe uohat, until it be revealed : but in 
another sense, “mystery” is employed by Christian dogmatists to 
signify that which is contradictory in its terms, and we cannot 
believe that which cannot be presented to the understanding. M. Lar- 
roquo truly observes that the dogmatical part of Christianity, as 
ecclesiastically delivered, reposes on the supposition of original sin ; 
althougli he attributes too much of this doctrine to Gen. iii., where 
nothing is to be found even of Satan, much less of utter corruption, or 
of eternal punishment. These are subsequent developments. From 
the doctrine of original sin, M. Larroque passes on to those of the 
Trinity, Incarnation, and Atonement, bringing tbe dogmas at one 
time to the intellectual test—as of the inconceivableness of one Will in 
the three personalities of the Trinity, or of two Wills, tbe divine and 
human, united in the one personality of Jesus—at another, to the 
test of the moral sense, as in the case of the doctrines of vicarious 
satisfaction, imputation of merits and eternal punishment. Other doc¬ 
trines which ho examines are peculiar to the Roman church. In a 
second part, he subjects to a searching criticism the Scriptures them¬ 
selves, on which these dogmatisms are founded, and shows that they 
cannot be considered infalliblo or consistent, cither as historical docu¬ 
ments, or as spiritual authorities. Having done this, M. Larroque 
thinks that he has demolished Christianity—in which respect we must 
express an opinion that he shows, to speak of nothing else, a deficiency 
in philosophic language, as will be understood by those who have 
read the first-rate Essay of M. E. Renan, in tho.“R6vue dcs deux 
Mondes” (Oct. 1860), on “ TAvenir Religieux des Sooidt6s modernes,” 


* ** Examen Critique des Doctrines de la Beligion Chrdtionne,” par Patrice Lar- 
roqne, ancien Bccteur de fAcaddmie de Lyon. 2i^nie dditiun. 2 tomes. London: 
D. .Nutt, 1860. 

* “ Rdnovatlon Keligietute” par Patrice Larroque, ancien Beoteur de rAcaddmlo 
de Lyon. 2i^nie ddition. London: D. Nutt, 1860. 



237 


Theology and Philosophy, 

Having swept away the whole of the Bible, not only as authority, 
but even as history and record, M. Larroque proceeds in the third 
volume to construct a religion of pure Theism, the creed of which ho 
resumes; as a belief in God as Author and Governor of the universe by 
general laws, in the free-will of man as a moral agent, in the immor¬ 
tality of the soul, and a progressive future life. 

Hr. flossej has produced a scries of Hampton Lectures,^ not so pre¬ 
tentious in their subject or their treatment as tliosoof some of his pre¬ 
decessors, hut ci\aracterizcd with great moderation as well as furnished 
with sufticient learning. He is very successful in the theoretical part 
of his undertaking. He puts aside, as in fact destitute of jwiy satis¬ 
factory proof, on the one side, the Sabbatarian hypothesis, according to 
which tile Christian Sunday would rest, with a change of the day, upon 
a Mosaic or sujiposed primeval institution ; on the otlier side, an extreme 
Dominical hypothesis, which would represent it as deriving its sanction 
from an exjiress and supernatural appointment by the Lord himself, or 
his Apostles. The abrogation of tlic Jewish Sabbath is distinctly hiul 
down in the New Testament; nor is the religious observance of the 
first day of the week more than indicated, although it may be indicated. 
And Dr. Hcsscy adopts the vu‘w of its btiing of ecclesiaJtfical origin; but 
ecclesiastical even in the Church of the Apostles; and though Apo¬ 
stolical in one sense, not Apostolical in the way of an ap])ointment 
supernaturally dictated. The observance of the day arose sjjoiita- 
neously from the very first, from the wants and aspirations of the Chris¬ 
tian society; naturally^ but not on that account the less divinely. 
And when the Spirit of Christ working in the congregation thrmv Ibrth 
freely this ordinance of a Lord’s Day, it had respect, doubtless, by 
analogy, to the Sabbath of the Mosaic Law ; but not in servile imita¬ 
tion, nor as copying from it the mode in which it should serve to holi¬ 
ness, nor resting upon it for authority. We should be very glad to 
sec a like hypotliesis employed, and with equal temper, to account for 
the institution and the early forms of the Christian Ministry. It 
would, we think, within a considerable range conciliate a variety of 
opinions now hostile or hoixilessl}’’ divergent. Dr. Ilcssey’s views are 
also distinguished by great practical good sense, when he comes to 
speak of the limits within which the action of the State is permissible 
relative to the Sunday in the present circumstances of our own 
country. 

Whether a Bishop of the English Church goes out of his way to 
fulminate safely in a Charge against opinions which for a time may be 
unpopular or ill-understood, or whether ho is stung into the much 
greater rashness of publishing a controversial pamphlet, he demon¬ 
strates to the extreme satisfaction of that portion of the general public 
which takes any note of such matters tho very safe limits within which 


* ** Sunday. Its Origin, History and Present Oblation, considered in Eight 
Lectures, Preached h^ore ^e University of Oxford in the Year 1860, on the 
Foundation of the late Bev. John Hampton, M.A., Canon of Salisbury." By 
James Augustus Sessey, B.O.L., Head Master of Merchant Taylors’ School; 
Preacher to the Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn, &c. Iiondon : Murray^ 
1860, 


238 Contemporary Literature, 

episcopal authority is in this country confined. A Bishop speaks, tut 
all things continue as they were, except that the prestige of the Epis¬ 
copal name is, to some extent, damaged. Those who are ever ready to 
call upon bishops to drive away heresy, should remember this before 
they stir up their ecclesiastical superiors to commit themselves. Tho 
Bishop of St. David’s must feel little thankful to the “more than 
seventy bcneficed clergymen” of his diocese, who brought before 
his notice the sup^wsed heresies of Dr. Howland Williams,® and so en¬ 
tangled blip ultimately in a controversy with a person at least his equal 
in learning, and, if not much better tempered than himself, evidently 
surpassing him in quickness of wit. At the same time, justice roqiiiros 
us to say in reviewing the steps of this controversy, that Dr.Williams 
expected originally too much of the Bishop. We put out of sight ail 
private correspondence, which ought never to have been publicly re¬ 
ferred to on either aide; but tho Charge of 1857 of which Dr. Williams 
complains, was really as favourable to him as he could have reasonably 
expected from any Episcopal nature. If it did not vindicate his views, 
it was not in parts without showing some sympathy with them, and 
gave no triumph, morally or materially, to his accuscjrs. It was no 
small thing to stand his ground legally against tho seventy moun¬ 
taineers ; and his ultimate justification towards the College of St. 
David’s was to be seen in the continuance of its prosperity under his 
tuition. It would he impossible to follow these two learned divines in 
the citations and other hard sayings which they hurl at each other’s 
heads. Only wo may consider some such I'esult us this to have been 
gained from the collision between two persons who still have so much 
in common; that views like those of Dr. Williams on Inspiration, on 
Prophecy, on Miracles, arc not only tenable by Ministers of the English 
Church, hut, in princtple at least, may be supported by authorities to 
which the most orthodox defer; and that there is room, even under 
the existing formularies, for eliciting on those subjects many important 
conclusions consistent with a right reading of the Biblical records, and 
with right reason. 

We have before expressed an opinion, that the theoic^y of that most 
excellent and deservedly respected person, the Rev. F. D. Maurice, 
would prove extremely disappointing. We referred then to the obscu¬ 
rity which his metaphysics have imported into it. We have also had 
to notice a reactionary tendency occiisioned, apparently, or shaped by 
tho position taken by him in a recent controversy. But more dis¬ 
heartening to the friends of free thought than anything which has 


“An Karoestly Bespeotful Letter to the Lord Bishop of St. David's, on tho 
Diffiralty of bringing Theological Questions to an Issue; with Spedal Befereoco 
to his Lordship's Charge of 1857, and bis Forthcoming Chaige of 1860.” By 
Howland Williams, D.D., Vioe-Principal and Professor of Hebrew in St. David’s 
College, Lampeter. Cambridge : Deighton. London : Bell and Daldy, 1860. 

** A Letter to the Bev. Bowland Williams, D.D., Vice-Priiidpal of St. David's 
College, Lampeter, in Answer to his * EameeUy Bespectihl LettM*/ &c.; with an 
Appendix, containing an Extract from the BiBhop*e Chaige of 1867.” By Coonop 
Ihinwall, D.D., Bishop of St. David’s. London: BlvingtoxHtflSdO. - -.j 

'*A Critical Appendix npon the Lord Bishop of ^ &vid’t Beply.” By the 
author of ** An Earnestly Bespectful Letter to his Lor^hip.” 


239 


Theohgrj and Philosophy, 

proceeded from his pen, is his publication on the subject of the Liturgy 
and Thirty-nine Articles.? Ho Imd, of course, to make the usual sub¬ 
scriptions and dechinitions of asssent on entering upon his benefice. 
It was an occasion on which he might have done something to forward 
the cause, if not of revision, of relaxation. Instead of a fulsome lauda¬ 
tion of the Formularies, ho might have said, that bo made these sub¬ 
scriptions and declarations as the legal condition amicxed to the pos¬ 
session of his prefennent; hut that he held, like Archdeacon Paley, ho 
was not bound thereby to an approval of every rubric in the Prayer 
Book, or to every one of the six hundred propositions contained in the 
Articles. It is the more unfortunate that a person of Mr. Maurice’s 
influence should affect to hug his cliains, at a time when some witliin 
the (’linrch are struggling to bi'eak them, and Nonconibrmists, many 
of them the spiritual descendants of the 2(X)U Church of England 
clorgyinen, who ‘‘ went out” on the passing of the Act of Uniformity 
iu 1(»U2, are eun'ously watching the result. It must he very startling 
to J^onconforniist ministers, it must have been very startling to many 
of IMr. Maurice’s own Church of England congregation, to hear I do 
not believe that we should dare to tell you that you have all a Heavenly 
Father, that you may verily and indeed call yourselves God’s children, 
if we had not the Prayer-Book to direct us.” (p. 10.) Moreover, there 
is a continual slurring over and keepingoutof sight the real difliculties 
belonging to certain of the Anglican statements. Tlius we arc told 
(p. 10) that if wc Jiccept the teaching of the Baptismal Service, and of 
the Catecln.srn, wc must attribute to tlie Spirit of God “ all the good 
thouglits of the child,” “ all its perceptions of an unrealised world,” “ its 
intuitions of a spiritual world,” ‘‘its capacity of understanding and 
making itsiOf umlerstood,” “the awakening of conscience iu the boy,” 
and the fitting of the youth “ for the work of manlnxjd.” If wc go to 
those formularies, wo may certainly infer somctliing like this concerning 
the baptized; hut what of the unhaplized? Whence, according to the 
Cliurch of England, come to the unbaptized theirperceptions,” “in¬ 
tuitions,” “ capacities,” and powers ? Will Mr. Maurice, or any other 
clergyman, maintain that ho can distinguish iu infant, child, youth, or 
grown person, a difference in the “perceptions,” the “intuitions,” the 
“capacities,” the “conscience,” the mor^ powers, of the baptized and 
unba})tized ? But that is what he should be able to do before he exalts 
the formularies of liis Chm*cli, as if there were any really substantial 
ground for the views they give on these subjects. To read this vindi¬ 
cation of subscription by Mr. Maurice, one would not suppose there 
was such an expression in the Catechism as “ a child of wrath,” or that 
the word “ regenerate” occurred in the Baptismal and Confirmation 
Services. 

Ill like manner with the Articles. On the first, he may well approve 
the foundation statement that God is “ without body, parts, or pas- 


7 ** xhe Faith of the Liturgy and the Doctrine of the Thirty-Nine Articles. 
Two Sermons, thef^batance of which was preached at St. Peter's, Vere Street, 
on Sunday, ^pteffier 9th, I860.*' By the Ber. P. D. Maurice, M.A Cam¬ 
bridge and London: Macmillan A Co., I860. 



240 Contemporary Literature, 

sionsj” but it is meagre if not miserable, and equally so to flic Trinita¬ 
rian and Trinitarian, to shut uj> what follows in such a way as this:— 
“ The Article goes on to speak of that name into which we are bap¬ 
tized ; the name which compasses every child; the JVfwwe which the 
Magdahn hnoxes tchen she confesses her sins; the name which expresses 
perlcct Goodness, Wisdom, and Power; the name which is the ground 
for all dejiendence and trust.’* (p. 30.) There arc many Mngdaleus, 
we apprehend, and who will be in no wise east out,” wlio yet know 
nothing of “three Persons in one Godhead.” The learned incumbent 
might even have explained to the ignorant of his congregation tho 
word “Godheadand to the instructed it might not have been amiss 
to have said something about tho word “ Persons.’* The controversies 
supposed to be closed up in this Article, inasmuch as he says nothing 
of them, Mr. Maurice may consider to have been founded on logical 
subtleties, or on an exploded mctaphysic, or on a narrow interpretation 
of Scriptural texts; but they are not without occasioning difficulties 
to some minds even yet; and it might have consoled some and guided 
others if Mr. Maurice had told us the root of his thought about them 
—if he had thought it now high time, that the words Trinitarian and 
Unitarian should cease to furnish sectarian distinctions, it would have 
been a deep comfort to many, had he said so. So, on the s<’Cond 
Article, Mr. Maurice dilates upon what is a difficulty, a.s we believe, to 
no one in England but himself—namely, how the Father can be said 
to be “reconciled” to u.s; for if God is, by a metaphor, said to ho 
“angry,” we can see no incoherence in his being said, by a like meta¬ 
phor, to he “ reconciledhe dilates upon this matter, but upon tlio 
mighty and mysterious doctrines of tho eternal generation of the Son, 
of the Incarnation, of. the union of the two natures, not a hint. To 
take one more instance: the fourth Article is thus dismissed—“ It is 
moat needful that there should be a distinct and din^ct announcement 
of Christ’s actual and bodily resurrection oyt of the grave, and of his 
ascent to his Father’s right hand. This was tlic great subject of the 
apostolical preaching; this was the witness that our nature is really 
justified and glorified in its Head. This is the pledge that He will be 
revealed to judge the world, and to set all things right.” (p. 33.) Mr. 
Maurice knows enough of the theological discussions of recent years 
to be aware that this Article presents to many minds a jumble of con¬ 
tradictions, and that-the impossibility of finding a satisfactory solution 
of the questions which it raises, has been the turning point with some, 
whether or not they must renounce the Church which makes it part of 
lier creed, or even the Christian name. How could Mr. Maurice,with 
any complacency, utter such puerilities as we havo quoted, when people 
were listening to him, following him Prayer-book in band, from Article 
to Article, iu whose minds he roust have known would arise such ques¬ 
tions as these, “How can a body sit at the right hand of a spirit ?” or 
if the “right hand” be a figure of speech, is not the sitting? and if 
the sitting, is not the body ? Or may not the returning to judgment, 
and the &t day, be metephorical likewise? And A the Ascension, 
after all, is a metaphorical one, one “ of heart and muR,” may not the 
Besurrection be so too ? We should hare liked to hear him say that it 



241 


Theology and Philosophy• 

would be better if the Article were expunged, or if not that, maintain 
that its declarations i\iaj be taken figpirativelj throughout. Wo could 
make like observations on what Mr. Maurice has said on many other 
topics—on the three Creeds, where he takes no exception to the Athana- 
sian, or even to its damnatory clauses, on Original Sin, on Justification, 
on tlio Sacraments. And wliile glorifying the Church, whenever she 
has laid a bondage upon her members, he is entirely silent as to any 
praise where she has really left them free ; it might have been alluded 
to, that she lias not laid dowti any dogmatic statement concerning the 
Inspiration of Scripture, or concerning Prophecy, or concerningMiracles, 
If ]\lr. Muur’cc liad contented himself with going through the formal 
acts rotpiirod at his institution and induction, as most clerg^micn do, 
the same indulgence would have been extended to him as is conceded 
to them, out of the acquiescence in whatever is ordained by law, and 
out of the disposition to respect any right of property, which are 
so natural to Knglishincn. The incumbent of St. Peter’s would never 
have becMi twitted with his bondage, if he had not drawn attention 
himself to the mark of the collar upon his neck. 

Certainly one of the ablest pamphlets we recollect of late years is 
that of the Kev. Isaac Taylor on the “liiturgy and the Dissenters.”® 
The end lie proposes to attain is clearly defined, the facts on which ho 
relies are comprehended within a reasonable period and are well mar¬ 
shalled, his inferences are driven homo with a force from which there 
is no escaping. He succeeds in showing to any but the wilfully blind, 
that the effect of all Revisions of the Formularies of the National 
Church since the Reformation has been to narrow more and more its 
boundaries—that especially was this tbo case at the time of the last 
Revision and of the i)assing of tho Act of Uniforraity, 13 and 14 Car. 
II. c. 4. ilis position is unassailable that an Established Church is a 
national institution, and as such, ‘‘ Every citizen of the State has a 
beneficial interest in her endowments, and a persoiuil concern in the 
teaching of her formularies.” (p. 10.) Tho historical evidence is 
complete of the successive alienations of large bodies of the population 
from the communion of the English Church. In addition to grievances 
of conscience, it is evident that a material wrong is inflicted on all who- 
are unnecessarily driven out of the national communion, whether they 
be ministers or laymen. And it is evident, likewise, in what this pro¬ 
cess must end. Putting it, therefore, on the lowc|t ground, it is re¬ 
quired for the preservation of the Church as an institution, and as an 
act of simple justice to large bodies of the citizens now unnecessarily 
excluded, that tho narrowing process' should be at length reversed. 
This can only be effectuallv accomplished by a total repeal or very 
substantial modification of the Carolmo Act of Uniformity. 

We cannot afford space to say much on matters which may be 
considered ecclesiastical^—such as controversies concerning forms of 
Church government, differences between the Established Church and 


9 ** The Liturgy and the Dissenters.*' By the Bev. Isaac Taylor, M. A. of Trinity 
CoU^^, Cambridge ^Curate of Trottersclme. Third Edition. London: Hat- 
chard & Co., 1860. 

[Voi. LXXY. No. CXLVII.]—Nbw Sseus, Vol. XDC. No I. K 




242 Contemporary Literature. 

the unestablished communions, as such; questions concerning^ the 
lawfulness of State endowment, and the like; Nevertheless, in some 
of their phases, questions of this kind may be linked on to more specu¬ 
lative inquiries; and the practical solution of them, if that were pos¬ 
sible, might have an important bearing on the cause of truth, or, at 
least, of charity. Some movements will undoubtedly be made in the 
ensuing session of Parliament towards a revision of the formulancs of 
the Established Church, or, if not that, towards a relaxation of their 
stringent obligation in their present form. Such movements will in¬ 
terest various parties within and without the Church. Indeed, it is 
evident that unless some proceedings be taken, conciliatory to the 
Protestant and liberal feeling of the country, the days of the Esta¬ 
blished Church are numbered. Churchmen of various shades of opi¬ 
nion are beginning to be aware of this, and to perceive that, notwith¬ 
standing a Church-rate Abolition Bill may be defeated for a session or 
two, the Nonconformists are masters of the situation. From a bare 
and niggardly toleration, they have risen to an equality with Church¬ 
men in all civil and political rights; they hold their property securely 
tmder their trust-deeds, protected by the general law of the land, with¬ 
out incurring any servile obligations to the State; their leading 
ministers in towns enjoy incomes considerably above those of Clmrch- 
of-England clergymen, except a few of the highest dignitaries; their 
influence with the middle classes, which are the governing chases, is 
much greater. If the country ministers who serve the rural eliajjcls arc 
not equal in education to the ministers in towns, they ai’e adequately 
educated, and adequately earnest in their work for the tasks which they 
undertake; and they are not liable, if deticient in manners and learn¬ 
ing, to be lifted by some caprice of patronage into situations where 
they will bring discredit on their office.® 

The chief defects in the Nonconformist clergy at present are seen 
in a certain narrowness which they contract in ministerial seminaries; in 
some want of polish and taste in their literary productions, and in the 
limited portion of the intellectual held which they usually cultivate. 
They are however much better acquainted with the points really at 
issue in their controversy with Churchmen than these latter arc. 
This last fact cannot be more strikingly exemplifled than in Mr. 
Binnoy’s^® book on Church life in Australia with its Appendix. Br. 
Augustus Short, pishop of Adelaide, is an amiable pei'son of evangelical 
sentiments. Mr. Binney has no prejudices against Episcopacy in the 
abstract, or against liturgical forms; the Bishop and Mr. Binney 
met, co-operated on some occasions and entertained for each other a 
mutual respect; if ever there was an opportunity for a friendly 


A smart broehare ba« just come to oar hand, entitled ** Examination for 
JBiAoprics and other Dignities in the Church of En^nd.** London; George 
Manwaiing, 1860. To we teste there soggested to be applied to Episcopal 
cudidates, mi^ht very well be added a little sixth-forin boy examination in the ru* 
•dihie&te of Latin and m the construing of the Greek Testament. 

le Li^te and Shadows of Church Life in Australia: inclu^g Thoughts on some 
Things at Home.** By T. Binn^. To whidi is adde^ **xwo Hundred Years 
Ago: !nien and Now/* Second Edition. London: Jackson and Walford. 1860. 



243 


Theology and Philosophy. 

approximation it was offered underthesc circumstances. We cannot go 
tlirougK tho correspondence which ensued, but in the end the Bishop 
felt himself obliged by the law of his Church to withhold the 
concessions which personally he had been prepared to make. And the 
result is this, that the Church of England in her present condition 
can talk of unity and' comprehension, as the Church of Borne does, 
but all the reciprocity she offers is one-sided, the unity and compre¬ 
hension must be brought about by an unconditional surrender on the 
part of the Nonconformist to her order and government. The strin¬ 
gency of the present Episcopacy and of tho present Uniformity of 
the Church, date, it must be observed, from the Act of 1602; before 
that time we think it likely Mr. Binney would liavc been a Church¬ 
man ; on the passing of that Act, he would have boon one of the 2000 
ministei's who withdrew. The only hope for tho Ohurcli as to 
any healing of ecclesiastical woimds, and ultimately as to lier own 
preservation iia a national institution, is to procui’o a repeal, 
in its main provisions at least, of that unhappy Act; and 
inasmuch as sho could not flatter herseli* that non-conforming 
ministers and congregations would return to her communion by thou¬ 
sands, hundreds, or even tens, she must meanwhile recognise these 
non-conibrming congregations as churches, and allow of some inter¬ 
change of Christian offices, corporately between herself and them, indi¬ 
vidually between her ministers and theirs. 

Tt is evident that some change must shortly take place in the 
methods by which Christia}i Missionaries approach those whom they 
would convert, especially our fellow subjects in India. Denunciations 
of Bagsmism as a work of Satan are not likely to conciliate much 
attention from Pagans, and will not much longer bo the best platform 
commonplaces fur obtaining guineas. The fact is beginning to dawn 
upon the Missionary Societies that some among the heathen have a 
great deal more to say for their systems than they have had credit for 
in Christendom, and arc not deficient in the wit which enables them 
to say it with point. Dr. Ballantyne has occupied positions which 
enable him to speak on these subjects with authority and effect. He 
is thoroughly acquainted with the philosophical systems of the Hindus, 
and has bad ample opportunities of witnessing tho failures of unlearned 
and incompetent missionaries. The introduction to his “ Bible for the 
pandits*’ abounds with information respecting tlie entanglements with 
which an incautious Evangelical** is likely to he involved in discussion 
with tho learned men of India; and ho h^ made it exceedingly lively 
to read by the pungent remarks which are interspersed on the polemi¬ 
cal theology of such periodicals as the “Record.” In tho specimen 
which Dr. Ballantyne has given of his proposed treatment of the 
Biblical monuments themselves, we must confess that he has fallen 


**The Bible for the Pandits.** [Spedmen Pasoicnlus.] The first three 
chapters of Genesis difibsely and unreseryeoly commented in Sdenakrit and 
by James B. BaUantyne, Professor of Moral Philosophy, and Principal of 

the Gk)7emment College^ Bamres. Iiondon; James Madden. Benares: Ly 
aaruB and Co., 1860. 


244 Contemporary Literature. 

far short of tho freedom which we had hoped. He may have relieved 
his A'ersioii of some blots which disfi^re that of the Baptist Mission* 
aries, but when he resorts to the Vision hypothesis for a solution of 
the astronomical and geological difficulties of Gen. i., finds the source 
of the river of Paradise parted into four heads—of which one is 
pJirntes —in the melting snows of tho Himalaya, accepts literally the 
formation of Bve out of the rib of Adam, and likewise literally tlio 
allegory of the serpent, which nevertheless is Satan himself j we do 
not think he will recommend his Biblical theology to any Hindu who 
may be acute enough to abandon the superstitions in which ho has 
been brought up. 

In a very interesting work of an entirely different description, 
Joguth Chunder Gangooly,^®^ high caste native, describes tho religion 
of the Hindoos as it really is in its everyday practices and social 
effects. He represents to us the Hindoo society split into a multipli¬ 
city of castes, or sub-divisions of castes, paralysed, in consequence, for 
any great co-operative w’ork, deprived of half its power by the degra¬ 
dation of an utterly uneducated female sex, and overburdened in tho 
whole of its daily life by superstitious ceremonials. In the neighbour¬ 
hood of Calcutta, Mr. Gangooly was brought into immediate contact 
with English religion and civilization. The result was that lie imbibed 
a rational Christianity, as it were immediately from the words of Jesus 
himself—not coming to the Gospel through the law, and therefore not 
receiving it with Mosaic or Alexandrine additions. His piety was too 
warm to he satisfied with the negations of the Calcutta Deists, but too 
rational to accept the dogmas of original sin, eternal damnation, vicarious 
atonement, and the like. He afterwards went to America to qualify 
himself under tho auspices of the Unitarian Association, and ho ex¬ 
presses a confident opinion that if Unitarians would send out missionaries 
they would meet with less difficulty in Christianizing the natives than 
the other Christian bodies. But it is necessary that Christianity 
should be true to its own principles, if it would regenerate Hindoo 
society, and it must strike at the institution of caste and demand the 
elevation of the female. 

It may well be doubted whether the phenomena of dreams, appari¬ 
tions, animal magnetism and of Spiritualism,*’ are really capable of 
being reduced into any scientific order, or of furnishing ground as 
yet for any scientific or practical inferences. We cannot generalize 
from facts which rest on evidence of every variety of degree. A 
phenomenon attested insufficiently for belief, may yet be attested 
sufficiently to suggest experiment and verification, but until experi¬ 
ment and verification report that we are in presence of a uniform law, 
we must suspend our judgment as to the meaning of the separate 
facts; and if we arrange related facts empirically in groups by reason 
of some outward resemblances, we must beware of assuming prema¬ 
turely that we have ascertmned real relations. For these reasons we 


** Life and Ileligion of the Hindoos; with a Sketch of my Life and Experi¬ 
ence.** Joguth CUuiider Gangooly (baptiud Philip). London: E. T. Whitfield^ 
I 860 . 


246 


Theology and Philosophy. 

do not think that any results, scientifically speaking, liave been 
arrived at by a collection of such stories, interesting and engaging as 
they are, which we meet with in the “ Footfalls on the Boundary of 
another World.”^^ We must also bear in mind how prone men are to 
draw inferences on such subjects in accordance with preconceived 
theological doctrines, and the stories in this volume have many of 
them an obvious connexion with the doctrine of a SSclicol, Jladea^ or 
intermediate state—some of them aro even rendered suspicious by the 
intervention of a Komish priest. The book itself docs not require any 
recommendation to promote its popularity, and if it leads to sober 
investigation, on the principles indicated in the preface, the cause of 
truth will ultimately bo the gainer. 

'*Pui forth as miracles, ultra-mundauo phenomena arc justly rejected as 
incredible; os inconsistent with the progress of our present knowledge, and at 
variance with the teachings of modern science. But when presented as 
classes of natural occurrences, unexplained indeed, governed by laws yet 
unknown or obscurely discerned, but as surely embraced in the ordered 
economy of the world as the storm or the sunshine, the aspect of the (picstion 
changes. The inquiry is no longer whether God, to meet a special emergency, 
suspends, from time to time, one or other of ills laws, but only whether wc 
have hitherto overlooked a portion of these laws; that poriion which serves to 
connect the next phase of our existence with the present.” p. xii. 

The author of “ Christ the Spirit,**^^ hopes to win back those who are 
alienated from the religion of the Bible, by distinguishing between its 
kernel and its shell, between the Truth and its Vehicle, Ixjtwecn the 
Svmbol and the Idea. 

“With regard to the Scriptures”he says, “the most simple see the truth in 
the literal sense; another class see nothing but absurdities and nonsense, mere 
rubbish, in the literal meaning, and so, perhaps, proudly reject the whole; while 
another class, more sober and grave, perhaps older and more cxjjericnccd, arc 
disposed to suspend their opinions for a time, until they can look round and 
see wlietherthe mc<aning is so visibly on the surface us ilie first supposes, and 
may not lie even deeper than the second imagines.”->p. viii. 

No mere writing, he says, can be divine, except in a qualified sense 
—but in such a sense there is no difficulty in acknowledging that the 
Biblical authors, notwithstanding many errors, spoke as moved by 
a Holy Spirit of Truth ; and the suggestions in this volume may be 
considered as specially addressed to those who do not know how to 
deal with the miraculous portions of the Scriptures; for it is true that 
they are so imbedded in the rest of the history, that it is not possible 
to withdraw them without doing violence to the unity of the whole. 
Briefly, the author considers all such portions as symbolical. And not 


^ Footfalls on the Boundary of another World. With Narrative Illustra¬ 
tions.” By Robert Bale Owen, formerly Member of Congress, and American 
Minister to Naples. From the Tenth American Edition; with emendations and 
additions by the author. Ijondon : TrUbner & Co., 1860. 

** Christ the Spirit: being an Attempt to state the Primitive View of Chris* 
tianity.” Bytheauthenr of “Remarks on Alchemy and the Alchemists;” and 
Swedenborg a Hermetic Philosopher.” Second Edition. Enlarged. New 
York: Francis Co., I860. 




246 OonUftvporary lAteraiure, 

only that, hut he treats as symbolical the entire Gospel history. * He 
draws out with great force the eTidence, negative and positive, against 
the historical character of the life of Jesus; but feels at the same 
time the moral impossibility of attributing the composition of the 
Gospel to any base or untruthful design. All interpreters apply the key 
of Symbolism to some portions of the Jewish and Christian Scriptures, 
although they diilcr ^ to the extent of its legitimate use. *We must 
not interpret symbolically that which is capable of a symbolical inter¬ 
pretation, unless there is reason to suppose that it was intended 
symbolically; that is, both to conceal from some and to reveal to others 
the truth which it involves. We may apply indeed, as for a hortative 
purpose, and to a moral use, such stories as those of feeding with bread 
in the wilderness, or of walking on the waves of the sea, without deter¬ 
mining anything as to the historic character of the narrative. But 
as interpreters we must make up our minds whether they are to be 
taken according to the letter or not. Now it is not a simple alterna¬ 
tive between the objective truth of the supernatural particulars in the 
Gospels as we have them, and the designed symbolical construction of 
them ; and our author scorns to have left out of his examination a 
possible hypothesis, that they may be a spontaneous legendary jiroduct, 
subjectively true, yet not without an ideal element. He considers the 
Gospels to be, in fact, the secret writings of the Essenes, a society 
having resemblance to a Masonic brotherhood, even if it were not 
one, and the object of their authors to have been, at once to veil the 
truth from the uninitiate and to reveal it to initiates. “ hVom the 
point of view taken in this volume, the differences above recited 
[between the several Evangelists] can give no uneasiness whatever. 
In point of fact they strengthen tho view of the author, for they 
seem to show that while the Gospel-writers wrote independently, in 
a great degree, of each other, and independently of outward history, 
they were all bound together by a common doctrine, the doctrine of 
the Spirit,—the secret doctrine of tho Essene Society.” p. 465. 

Dr. Beard’s Reasons why I am an TJnitarian,”^^ gives fair statements 
as far as they go, but by no means covers the field of controversy 
which the title suggests. For instance, the state of the aigumenfc 
from Scripture on both aides is by no means gone into. The discus¬ 
sion is too much confined to what has been called the arithmetical 
question, and does not touch, or scarcely, on other really more im¬ 
portant questions at issue between the Unitarians and the orthodox, 
such as those connected with the dogmas of original sin, satisfaction, 
justification by faith. Dr. Beard seems to desire to perpetuate 
the name of Unitarian as a denominational distinction; whereas, the 
better prospect of Unitarianism is to inoculate with itself the orthodox 
churches, so that if it could be brought about that the Athanasian 
statements should be dropped, Unitarianism, as a form of Protestantism, 
would disappear, for no Protestantism can live, when its antagonist is 
dead. __ 

“ “ Reasons why I am an Unitarian, in a Series of Letters to a Friend.’* By 
JohnR. Beard, D.D. Second Edition, revised. London: ^mpkin, Marshall & 
Co., 1800. 


247 


Theology and Philosophy, 

The leading idea in Mr. Campbell’s “New Religious Thoughts”^® is 
that all phenomena, as well of the moral and spiritual as of the material 
world, are evolved from a divine law and order. The book is broken into 
short chapters or sections, which gives the work some appearance of inco¬ 
herence. But there is a unity of design whereby at one time the 
order of the universe is illustrated frequently with great beauty, and 
at another, the disagreement with it of a preternatural revelation as 
usually understood, is drawn forth. From time to time, the inconsis¬ 
tency of various parts of the Biblical writings with any elevated con¬ 
ception of the Divine Being and His operations is pointed out, and 
even the most eminent of the Biblical persons arc subjected to a 
sharp dissection of character. We think that some of these portions of 
the wo] k may fairly give offence. And the author’s tone, we apprehend, 
would sometimes have been less acrimonious, if he had remembered that 
upon liis own theory, the greatest prophets are themselves, with all their 
excellences and with all their defects likewise, products of the growth 
of humanity which has preceded them. Nor could any Messiah or 
AjiOinUe found a religion to become an historical power, unless the laws 
of Iminan nature enabled it to exercise such an influence. And if the 
defects of Paul’s character, for instance, arc such as could not belong 
to him, if he were a miraculously commissioned Apostle, which is itseS* 
subject to dispute, then he falls into the same category with other 
men, and is entitled to the same charitable judgment. The same 
ol>jc(;tiou may be made to the manner in which the author applies the 
usual eritioism to the moral and other inconsistencies of the Scriptures. 
In controversy with those who hold a supernatural dictation of all 
parts of'the Bible, the}" arc to be critically pointed out as fatal to that 
view; hut on tlic reasonable view of the Scriptures as an historical 
]>ro(hict, these very inequalities are only manifestations of a natural 
order. 

]Miss Heuncll’s^7 fast work is entirely free from any confusion of 
is.sue, and from any uncharitable judgment on the first preachers of 
the Gos})cl. We think, this is, perhaps, the happiest of her works. 
The problem suggested for solution is definitely stated; the argu¬ 
ment is clearly and closely drawn out, and the whole discussion com¬ 
prehended within a moderate grasp. Whether the words attributed to 
♦Jesus by the three first Evangelists were really uttered by him or 
not, must remain incapable of proof; but it is sufficiently evident that 
the expectation of an early second coming of Jesus was a funda¬ 
mental part of the Apostles’ preaching. Amd the sum of the whole 
inquiry may be given in the words of the authoress:— 

“Tdcnon-fulfdmcnt of tbc prophecy which history shows to have formed 
the basis of tlic apostolic preaching of Christianity, is a sufficient proof against 

16 **i^ew Eeligious Thoughts.** By Douglas CampboU. London: Goorge 
Maowaring, 1860. 

** The Early Christian Anticipation of an approaching End of tho World, and 
its bearing u^n the Character of Christianity as a Divine Revelation. Including 
an Investigation into the Primitive Meaning of the Anti-Christ and tiie Man m 
Sin ; and an Examination of the Axgmnent of the Fifteenth Chapter of Oibbon.” 
By Sara S. Hennell. London: Ceo. Manwaring, 1860. 




248 Contemporary Literatwre. 

tKe idea of Christianity as a divine revelation in the ordinary sense of the t^nn. 
But, inasmuch as, iirstly, Die utterance of the propliecy was the consequence 
of a fanatical delusion, and not of a wilful imposture; as, secondly, the fana¬ 
tical delusion was the consequence of a national sentiment, and in that respect 
was mingled with elements of a noble kind; as, thirdly, the existence of this 
nobleness entitles us to regard itself as the real cause of the success of Christi¬ 
anity in the highest degree, while the less worthy impulses, althuugli requiring 
to be recognised as also in action, were only subordinate; and as, fourthly, 
the course of the history of Christianity has shown us that the noble clemeut 
has constantly tended to become more and more predominant, while Die lower 
ones have continually subsided : ou all these accounts, we are authorized to 
see in Christianity an eminent instance of a kind of revelation which lias lost 
all the characteristics that marked it with a national peculiarity, and has 
become adapted to the need of manldud in general/*—p. ili. 

We mention Dr. Scott’s “Sermons”^® by reason of the author’s posi¬ 
tion as the head of tho College which is at present the most distin¬ 
guished in the University of Oxford. These discourses do not profess 
to be learned or profound but rather practical. They are thoi’oughly 
orthodox. 

There is a great deal of good sense in Mr. Alison’s “ Philosophy' of 
Civilization,”^® although the book, it must be confessed, reads somewhat 
incoherently. The author sees plainly, the utter dislocation of all 
hitherto received systems of “ doctrine,” and the necessity of a new 
Reformation of the National Creed, founded upon this test of truth, 
namely, on the convictions of the intellect as distinguished from the 
dictates of the feelings. 

In tho primitive period, it is well known, how the Fathers of the 
Church were fond of exemplifying the similarity between tl)e teaching 
of Plato and of Jesus Christ. The Christians of those times were 
eclectics, and glad to recommend the Gospel by the authority of tho 
greatest of Greek philosophers. It was not till the rise of Augustin- 
ianism that tho heathen world was included, in one general sentence of 
damnation. Cei’tainly the resemblance between many things in Plato 
and many in the New Testament is very striking, and it is not always 
easy to distinguish between that which Western Christianity owes to 
Heathenism, and that which it owes to Judaism. So that it is only 
in appearance, that Dr. Ackerman’s^ volume lies somewhat outside the 
boundary of works strictly belonging to the illustration of Christian 
theology. It is exceedingly instructive, not the less so, because the 
author does not dilate upon the inferences to be drawn from the occur¬ 
rence of so many anticipations, to say the least, both of Christian 
theology and Christian morals in the Attic philosopher. From tho 


^ ^'Sermons preached before the Univeraity of Oxford.’* By Robert Scott, D.D., 
Master of Balliol College, and Prebradary of Fxeter. 

^ **The Philosophy and History of Civilization.** By Alexander Alison, Esq. 
London: Chapman & Hall, 1860. 

*> *• The Christian Element in Plato rad the Platonic Pbilosophy.” Unfolded 
and sot forth by Dr. C. Ackerman, Archdeacon at Jena. Translated from the 
Cermra by Samuel Ralph Asbury, B,A. With an introductory note by William 
O. T. Shrad, D.D., Brown ProfMSOt in Andover Theological Seminaiy. Edin- 
buigh: T. & T. Clark, 1861. 


249 


Theology and Phdosophy. 

point of view which the editor of Messrs. Clark’s series consistently 
takes, it has been fair enough to observe in an introductory note, 
that there is one important defect in the Platonic theology—it recog¬ 
nises salvation and redemption, but not vicarious satisfaction or 
atonement. The sense of sin as an offence against the Divine justice 
requiring compensation by some other than the offender himself was 
not present to the Greek philosopher. This doctrine is evidently the 
product of Jewish ideas. Whether the absence of it from Plato be 
really a defect or not is another question. The treatise altogether is 
an exceedingly interesting and important one. 

We have no time to remark upon the “ Life of Auguste Corate, 
which has only just been received. 


POLITICS, SOCIOLOGY, AND TRAVELS. 


M r. SCKATCHLEY, who may be looked upon as a standard author 
on such subjects, has collected into two volumes his variou.s 
works on the investments of the poorer classes and, by doing so, has 
brought together an amount of doctrine and information that can 
luirdly bo with safety neglected by the directors or memhers of those 
important and beneficial enterprises. A ten years’ study of the sub¬ 
ject, and an extended correspondence with every country in which these 
institutions have taken any root, has put him in a position to speak 
with authority on all points connected with them. His first volume 
is exclusively devoted to the suljcct of Savings Banks, and contains a 
most full review of their history, of the errors which in past times 
have infected their constitution, of the sad frauds which have so greatly 
interfered with their popularity and usefulness, as well as a full system 
of rules by which their recurrence may be avoided. The minute de¬ 
tail into which he pursues his subject leaves little to desire. His rare 
industry and laborious application alone could have brought together 
so exhaustive a collection of every fact worthy of being known on these 
important subjects. 

The various projects of government supervision and guarantee 
which have been suggested to obviate such lamentable frauds as those 
w’hich gave au evil fame to the Cuffe-street and Rochdale Savings 
Banks are discussed with groat discrimination. In most cases, the ex¬ 
pense, oil the one hand, and the consequent relaxation of local interest, 


** Notice 8ur I’CEuvre et sur laVie d’Auguste Comte,** par le Dooteur Robinet, 
son mddecii^ et Tun de sea treiza Ex^cuteura teatamentairea. London : George 
Manwariog, 1860. 

^ ** A Practical Treatise on Savings Banks.** By Arthur Scratchl6;r» M.D. Lon¬ 
don ; Longmans A Co. 1860.—** Indoatzial Investment and Emigration: aTreatisa 
on Benefit Building Societies and Koutioe.’* Published at the Friendly Societies’ In¬ 
stitute. ThirdEdition.—“ A I>eatUe on Friendly Societies, withBules and Tables.” 
London: Shaw and Sons. 1859. Tenth Edition. By the same Author. 




360 Contemporary Literature. 

on the other, would prove fatal obstacles j the Government have already 
pledged themselves too deeply in the interest of Savings Banks, and 
occupy a position of almost necessary loss in respect to them. No in¬ 
terference can compensate for the absence of local interest and su|)cr- 
intendence; and every attempt in that direction is said to have the 
evil effect of weakening one or both. It is remarkable, that in every 
case of defalcation, a good system of book-keeping and the commonest 
supervision would have prevented the lamentable result. There is a 
singular poverty of device in all the frauds on banks, whether it be by 
some i)oor Savingfs Bank official, or by a Pullinger, who appropriates 
a quarter of a million ; in every case, a simple comparison of two books 
by any one but the man who had falsified one of them, would have at 
once exploded the system by which they were rendered possible. On 
this simple remedy Mr. Scratchley very sensibly falls back, and points 
out to rotating managers that, if they will systematically compare the 
depositors’ book with the ledger, they may nvakc tolerably sure of 
escaping the only loss to which the depositors arc absolutely exposed. 
It is greatly to be hoped that the reviving confidence of the working 
classes in these institutions may not again meet with such severe 
checks. Few things, we are sure, will tend more unequivocally to this 
result than a general acquaintance with the warning, contained in this 
valuable treatise. 

The same breadth of information and minute acquaintance with tlie 
subject characterizes Mr. Scratchley’s “ Essay on Building Societies,” 
while many of the modes of extending their usefulness which he brings 
forward strike us as original and worthy of a more extended criticism 
than we can here give them. The defects and chimerical projects of 
some of the temporary societies, are very well pointed out; the 
manner in which the utmost mathematical profit is promised, as 
though no hindrance were to be expected in carrying out their plans, is 
well exposed. Many have promised results, as rational as the culeuhi- 
tlons of a physical philosopher, who should leave unnoticed the effect of 
friction. Most of these objections, however, have no application to those 
societies which are form^ on the permanent system, and which are 
constantly recruited by new members. Still, however, nothing hut 
the greatest care will ensure the unquestionable advantages which m^ 
be derived from these societies. The absolute requisites—an uprigft 
lawyer, an intelligent engineer, a capable manager, and intelligent 
trustees, though forming a constellation fitted for the heavens, are not 
^0 inaccessible here below as to operate as an absolute bar to the suc¬ 
cessful working of a society dependent on their co-existence, however 
it may call for watchfulness on the part of the investors. These vo¬ 
lumes abound in valuable statistical and working tables, which of them¬ 
selves would entitle them to a place on the committ^table of every 
Benefit Society and Savings Bank. « 

Mr. Bigg’s edition of the Statutes of the year 1869 is charaoterized by 
that laborious industry which has resulted m the very general laudation 
of his previous volumes.^ Into liis controversy with the Government 


* The Statute Book for England. ** Edited by James Bieg. Xiondon: Simpkin 

and Manhalt 1859. 


251 


Politics, Sociology, and Travels, 

on his proposal to edit all the Statutes which have been passed since 
the Union, expurgating the lapsed and repealed acts, on condition of his 
Book being made producible as evidence, we do not feel inclined to 
enter ; indeed, we think that the question has been disposed of by Mr, 
McCulloch, to whom it was refeiTcd: nothing can well bo added to the 
following remarks by him,— 

“ It is Ihc duty of Government to publish complete editions of all the Acts 
of the Lcgiskilurc, and to sell them, when published, ou the cheapest terms 
possible; but further than this 1 do uot tliiuk that Goverunient is entitled to go, 
or C(tii go with advantjigc. It supplies correct luid cheap copies of the Statutes 
to all who require tlieiii; but clussification, coudcnsalion, and abridgment of 
Ibeso Statute's sliould be left to individuals; and 1 conless that it appears to 
mo that few things could bo more uuwise than for Govcnimcut to give auy 
sort of sanction, direct or indirect, to tlic aceursicy, or utility, or anything else 
of any compilation whether of one set of acts or another. It is to be borne in. 
mind that were such sauciion to be given to one publication it could not, with 
any show of justice, be denied to others; and, my Jjords, were they to autheu- 
tieaLe or promote in auy yay Mr. Bigg’s publicaiiou, would very speedily have 
to do the same tiling for other parties. The project is uot one in fact with 
whieli the Government should in auy way mix itself up. If it be deserving 
of support it will siiceocd williout the help of the Treasury, ainl if not the 
sooner it .sinks into oblivion the better. If a book be really useful, and be 
carefully comjiiled, it w’ill have a good sale, and will indcraiiify its author: but 
when Government interferes, as Mr. Bigg projioses, to authenticate books, 
they, as it were, supersede their aulliors. They encourage them to be lazy, 
and condone or rather ratify their errors. If let alone its success will, as it 
ought, be dctcriniiicd by its merits and by them only,” 

These observations are perfectly sound, and few, we think, are better 
able to rely on the elements of success pointed out in them than. Mr. 
Bigg; that ho continues his laborious book is, perhaps, the best proof 
that his laboui*s arc sufficiently apjircciated. His undeniable qualifi¬ 
cations for the task do not entitle him or anyone else possessing them 
to ask for the monopoly of their exercise. 

At his departure from the scene of his great and successful labours, 
the Bean of Chichester presented fifby pounds to the Leeds Mechanics’ 
Institute, ten pounds of which were to be devoted as a prize for the best 
essay on some subject connected with the social advancement of tho 
working classes.^ The successful competitor for this distinction, for 
reward in his case it can hardly be called, was Mr. Hole, the Honorary 
Secretary of the Yorkshire Union of Mechanics* Institutes. 

The subject of bis Essay, which he heads with Goetho’s well-worn 
dying exclamation, is the present condition of the working classes in 
Leeds, in all that concerns education. 

Conclusions on such a subject are worth nothing unless founded on 
a very close study of the statistics of the subject in all its relations, 
and even then arc apt to be very delusive, when local returns are alone 
resorted to, unless they are guided by a very competent knowledge of 


* ** Light, more Light. On the Present State of Edacation amongst the Working 
Glasses of Leeds, and how it can best be Improved.” By James Hole, Hon. Seo. 
of the Yorkshire Cnion of Mechanics' Institutes. .London: Longman and Co. 
1860. 




262 Contemporary Literature. 

the place itself. These considerations, which generally detract so 
greatly from works of this description, only serve to set in a fuller light 
the great merit of Mr. Hole’s little book. With him it is manifestly 
a labour of love; the subject is pursued with a full knowledge of the 
minutest practical detail that gives great value to his Essay. Another 
good feature, too often absent in works on education, is the complete 
freedom from sectarian prejudice which shines through every state¬ 
ment. The matter in hand is all that Mr. Hole attends to; ho seems 
to have quite forgotten all controversy about the manner in which his 
aim is to be reached; passing by all extraneous illustrations, he makes 
his book more interesting by clear earnestness in the cause than if it 
were crammed with anecdotes of grotesque ignorance or equally gro¬ 
tesque conflicts with it. With the gradually increasing tendency to 
democratic institutions which is a constantly pressing sign of tho 
times, Mr. Hole is fully justified in saying that the social problem 
before us is the alternative between education and anarchy. To such 
labourers as Mr. Hole the progress of education is greatly indebted, 
and this his last service in bringing the state of the question into 
so clear and compendious a form to the door of all who have any 
desire for investigating it is far from being the least of them. We know 
of no hook on its subject so useful and accessible, or for its size so 
full of information and so suggestive of the progress still to be made. 

There are few things which set in a stronger light the abso¬ 
lute disorganization of public opinion on questions of international 
right than the extreme variety of judgments pronounced on the China 
War, and the small legal points on which events of such miignitudo 
are made to turn, points, too, the legality of which appeals alone to 
Western conceptions, and from the very tribunal to which they appeal 
appear to betray a consciousness of their inadequacy in tho minds of 
those who bring tliem forward. 

Every justification of our proceedings in China ultimately runs off 
into a denial of those national rights wc ourselves most highly prize 
whenever they are appealed to by our adversaries. It is quite evident 
that in politics, the law contended for by Mr. Darwin in the conflicts 
of less rational creatures than those who pretend to acknowledge any 
such science, the simple rule ultimately prevails of the weakest going 
to tho wall; and those arc not wanting who accept the view, and 
declare that morality is out of place in international affairs; and it 
cannot be denied that hitherto it has had little influence on any 
national difference. Modern wars, in the interest of civilization, 
promise to be as bloody and exterminating as any ancient ones in the 
interest of religion, which are now looked hack upon by us with 
such horror, when they were waged by Spaniard or Portuguese. Our 
faith in our mission to teach the nations how to live, is hardly less 
fanatical, is quite ^ earnest, and quite as basely alloyed by collateral 
considerations of immediate gain as that of any religious entbi^iast of 
the 15th century. 

. It is dangerous when the weaker nature comes in conflict with a 
“lighty opposite; how can this might, when it is a nation’s, he moderated 
inio humanity, when even within its own limits so many uuquestion- 



253 


FoUticSt Sociology, and Ti'aveh. 

able individual rights arc made to give way to popular conceptions 
of what is most desirable by those who have the power to enforce a 
deference to their own opinions ? A philosophical explanation of the 
attitude in which western civilization now stands face to face with 
oriental culture maj' be easily given: it may ratibnally be contended 
that, as from the nature of the case, the hostility now showing 
itself ill so many different parts of the E.-ist is inevitable—that com¬ 
promise is no longer practicable, that wc can no longer hold our own 
without trespassing on the lights of others—that wc must be predomi¬ 
nant or persL-juted. In sjnte, however, of our profound conviction 
that ivc are the light of the world, wo cannot help shrinking from 
making it shine before men by the instrumentality of Armstrong 
guns and bhitield rifles—we hunt frantically about for some rag of 
moral jirctcncc wherewith to cover ourselves, and make a very strange 
appearance after all our efforts. Morality consists in the recognition 
of the riglits of others, and even among oui*selvcs somewhat changes 
its tone and colour, avS the case to be decided touches on the claims 
of our su])eriors, cijuald, or inferiors. How, then, can John Chinaman, 
the lying, pusillanimous Oriental, expect anything but coercion ? His 
weakness makes him a liar, and his falseness makes it impossible to 
live long with him without exhibiting the rod. Can any one have 
rights whose vices are so different from our own ? This, as might he 
expected, is the naval officer’s view. Hear Captain Sherard Osboim, 
C.H.* 

“ ri'rliaps if may be said wc cnrdkiUy assent to the desirability of 0 })cuing 
np China to western civilization; hut \vc Indicve tlic civilian is better adapted 
to accomplish that end than the sailor or soldier. To tliis assertion I reply, 
that cxpcnieiice h.'is shown the fallacy of such a theory, and that the BritisJi 
man-of-war has heoii the ])ioiieer of progress in China. For two limulrcd years 
we trad(3d at Canton, and we knew as much about China in 1830 as we did in 
1030; indeed, our ntercliauts were worse treated at the expiration of that time 
Hum at the coimucuccnicnt. It was not until England ajmeared as a bellige¬ 
rent that European civilization progressed in the face of Cliiiicse exclusiveness. 
It was to the stixuig ana of the executive that western nations were indebted 
for their extension of trade to the five ports, and for our increased knowledge 
of that empire; it was to the strong arm of the executive, not. to the diplo¬ 
matist, aiul not to the iicrsuasions and enterprise of merchants or missionaries 
then resident in Canton, that Great Britain is indebted for her present revenue 
derivable from China.” 

This is very plain and unequivocal—if the advantages wc derive and 
hope to derive from China are not to be had without repeated thrash¬ 
ings, repeated thrashings mjist be administered, and we have only to 
regret that we have to deal with so stubborn and obstinate a subject. 
How much simpler it would bo if we could with effect stigmatize them 
as unbelieving dogs, instead of the comparatively poor resource of 
calling them lying hounds! We ought not, however, to leave Captain 
Osborn without bearing testimony to the excellence of his little book 

* "The Past and Future of British Kelations in China.” By Captain Sheruxl 
Osborn, C.B., Boyal Navy, liondon and Edinburgh: Blackwood and Soot. 
1660. 




2fi4 Contemporary Literature. 

in a professional point of view: his strategical remarks are very judicious, 
as many features of this last campaign have shown; the care with 
which he has noted everything likely to be of service to those who 
should follow him in the navigation of the comparatively unknown 
seas of Northern China, gives a high idea of the clliciency and intelli¬ 
gence of our naval service. The map and charts which accompany the 
volume arc most useful, and give a clearness and fulness to all his re¬ 
ferences that would be unattainable without them. The ov(‘rlaiid 
mail has, we are sure, taken out to his brother officers no more welcome 
presents than copies of this account of the ground they were passing 
over. 

Very different from this practical and business-like book is the 
Marquis de Moges’® account of Baron Gros’s embassy to China and 
Japan. Without the slightest vestige of special information, the 
Marquis gives a lively and superficial account of what passed before 
his eyes as attache to the embassy. Ho treats us to all the details of 
his passage out, and gives a Frenchman’s ])athetic account of a gale of 
wind; days so spent, he says, cannot be said to belong to one’s exis¬ 
tence ; under such circumstances, a man does not live, he vegetates. 
Every detail of ambassadorial etiquette receives full justice at his hands, 
and every case of cordial intercourse between the two embassies is as 
politely chronicled; neither he nor the Captain entertain a moment’s 
doubt of the absolute wisdom of the proceedings on the pai’t of their 
respective nations. The national ilag and the point of honour ore the 
ultima Thule of their considerations ; wbeu the point of honour is ap¬ 
pealed to by men or nations, it is a pretty sure sign that principle will 
not support the course about to be adopted: honour may proverbially 
keep bad company, and the appeal to it is too often identical with that 
to our lowest passions. It is very questionable whether that increased 
intercourse which Captain Osborn attributes to the effect of our war¬ 
like demonstrations would not of itself have resulted from the natural 
growth of trade and confidence between the nations without them, 
it is very certain that there is no country which is so little known 
and so weU misunderstood as China. The Europeans who are most com¬ 
petently acquainted with Cliinese language and literature, do not perhaps 
exceed a score, and the opinions which are entertained by these only 
adequate judges go for absolutely nothing in the popular estimate of 
tlie race and country. Opinions hastily formed by preoccupied and 
otiose Europeans who care for little else but suddenly acquired wealth, 
and who have no more adequate basis for a proper judgment than the 
refuse of nations which swarm round the trading outposts of the 
country, have been adopted without criticism by the great majority of 
their fellow-countrymen. The oldest and most elaborate civilization in 
the world is despised because unknown, the cheap resource of contempt 
taking the place of laborious inquiry. The very hostility to foreigners 
which causes so much disgust to Europeans is mainly traceable to their 


** BecoUectioiu of Baron Groa’a embaasy to China and Japan, in 1857*8.'’ By 
the Marquis do Moges, attaobd to the mlssioD. Audioii^ tranalation, with 
coloured illustrationa. London and Glaagow: ^ Griffin and Co. 1860. 



Folitics, Sociology^ and Travels, 

own conduct, and certainly has not decreased as they have made 
themselves better known and feared; it did not characterize the first 
intercourse of the Chinese with other nations, and does not do so at 
present in the interior, where experience has not justified it. 

The late and present condition of the Lebanon has induced Mr. 
Urquhart to publish a diary kept by him during a journey through 
the country in 1849 and 1850, prefaced by a history of the Lebanon, 
which he compiled from native authorities on the spot thus com¬ 
posed, it was the author's intention to have expanded his sketch by 
the introduction of critical matter, which would have greatly enhanced 
its value ; but, yielding to the call of “ passing circumstances,” he has 
entrusted it to the printer without revisal, and, indeed, he says, without 
previous perusal. As might have been expected, the history sufiers 
greatly from this course; though learned anil graphic in a high degree 
it is too allusional, and pre-supposes too much acquaintance with the 
subject in the reader to whom it is now addressed; much that no 
doubt suggested volumes to the author, now produces no effect upon 
his reader, for want of that development which lie had intended to liave 
given it. His curious, original, and very rational speculations on the 
original inhabitants of Oehel Souria, as he is fond of callmg it, are of 
the highest interest; we cannot within the limits at our disposal offer 
even the slightest epitome of his views. 

T'ho curious arrangement by which the inhabitants of the mountain 
kept themselves free from religious wars for 800 years, proved for all 
that time as effectual as strange; they elected a Mussulman chief, and 
made the government hereditary in his family, but dependant on his 
remaining of a faith that would make him alike impartial to Lruzo or 
Maronitc. The intrigues of Mehomet Ali, and the conversion of the 
reigning chief, Emir Beshir, to Christianity, opened the doors to those 
religious wai*s and hates which have resulted in the presence of a 
Ereiicli army, soon to be called, like that at Home, an army of occu¬ 
pation. The recent Ottoman Loan negotiated at Paias, and the kind 
of security given by the Porte for its repayment, point but too clearly 
to this result. This event of yesterday should, in some degree, mode¬ 
rate the readiness of his critics to treat Mr. Urquhart as a mad Cas¬ 
sandra ; it is true that, like her, ho prophesies in season and out of 
season; but, though Cassandra was an affliction to her friends, a curse to 
lier enemies, and the scorn of both, Troy not the less fell as she pre¬ 
dicted. The man of one idea has a penetrating glance for every shape 
in which it can present itself, and is as formidable an adversary as the 
man of one book, unless assailed by the unseemly, because inappro¬ 
priate, weapons of ridicule. If the History loses from being published 
as it was left by the author in 1850, the Hiary gains in freshness and 
vividness for the same reason. Hardly anywhere can a book be found 
with such an Eastern physiognomy and expression ; oriental manners 
and ways of life are brought before us with a vividness that nothing 


^ “The Lebanon (Mount Souria): a History and a Diary.” By David Urquhaii^ 
Author of “ The Spirit of the East," &o. Londou : X. C. Kewby. 1^0. 



260 Contemporary Literature, 

but the author's admiration for the one and love for tft other couid 
produce. His verbal pictures are exquisite. 

There is one defect of these volumes, or rather an omission tliat 
amounts to a defect—they have neither pictures, which are greatly re¬ 
quired by the strangeness of the scenery described, nor maps, which 
are absolutely necessary for a book treating of a district which, though 
in tlie heart of the Holy Land, is almost unknown to Europeans. 
With the strange persistency of all oriental nations, the inhabitants of 
the Lebanon retain in their daily habits and liousehold routine many 
peculiarities which may be described in the language of the Hebrew 
prophets with as much propriety now as when the books were first 
made use of; an interesting illustration of this continuity of character 
never escapes Mr. Urquhart. 

That in taste, politics, and political economy, the author is far 
from orthodox, is sufficiently well known, but his heterodoxies arc 
the consistent opinions of a passionate lover of the patriarchal form 
of society, and it is well that that form should have so able a panegyrist 
before it passes away to be no more seen. That it must pass away 
is inevitable, and our author is not to be too severely blamed if he too 
exclusively deplores the confused noise and garments rolled in blood, 
without which no state of society ever gives place to tliat which is 
to succeed and improve upon it. 

A very different hook of eastern Israel, is Mr. Walter Thoriibury's 
account of Constantinople,^ about one half of which has already appeared 
in Chambers’s Journal, and Dickens’s All the Year Round; Miissrs. 
Smith, Elder, & Co. have clothed in a handsome binding, and illustrated 
with some very characteristic cuts from photographs taken in the coun¬ 
try, an amount of cockney chatter about the east that will scarcely 
be anywhere equalled. 

The author arrived in Constantinople on the day of the discovery 
of the late conspiracy agaiust tlie Sultan, and secUis to have come to 
a very clo;ur idea of the discomfort of dining in a town in which a 
massacre of all resident Christians may possibly materially interfere 
with his supper. During his stay ' the Circassian emigrants wore 
passing through Constantinople on their way to the settlement in 
Anatolia, oilbrod them by the Sultan. .The author makes himself 
acquainted with the whole subject by a conversation with a fine 
looking exile, his contribution to which consisted of the comprehensive 
observations, “ Sebamyl, good—Ru8sky,bad.* From the man’s bearing 
at these cabalistic words, when his first al^m at the Circassian’s gesticu¬ 
lations had subsided, ho construes a whole picture of the war, out of the 
depths of his own consciousnesss, entirely to bis owu satisfaction, but 
very little to the edification of any possible reader. His lofty anger 
at the non-intervention of his country in Circassian afiEairs, and his 
profound contempt for her rulers, is veiy amusing and characteristic. 
He is far from professing ai^ knowledge of the country he visits, but 


r ^Xorkish Life and Cbaracter.” By Walter Tbombtury, Author of ‘‘Life in 
Spain.” London: Smith, Elder, and do. 1860. 



257 


PoliticSj Sociology, and Travels. 

lie does not on that account shrink from the most dogmatic judg¬ 
ments. His business ivas to write lively articles about cverytliing 
he could see while in Constantinople, and his notion of liveliness con¬ 
sists in patronisingly patting every Turk upon the back, while ho 
pokes his readers in the ribs to make them see the fun. A full 
notion of the book may be got by supposing the late Albert Smith’s 
entertainment to be extended into two mortal volumes ; the lively 
flippancy which amused for an hour, wlion set off by the personal 
cleveniess of the showman, becomes beyond measure tedious, when 
continued over nearly sixdmndred pages without any such relief. 

Mr. Thornbury’s hook is about as amusing as an Kgyptian Hall Ascent 
of Mont Hlanc without Albert Smith. The intense self-satisfaction with 
which he “chaffs** the whole system of Eastern life, and the slang with 
which helightenshis pages isin the worst possible taste. The whole method 
of (juasi humorous and minute descriptions of the mere external features 
of life and manners has been utterly used up by its master and inventor. 
When the hutnour is not deep and genuine, and the features described 
not truly characteristic, this mode of treating any subject is more barren 
of good result than any other that can ho adopted. The weary reader 
longs for some repose, like the unfortunate guests round a table presided 
over by a professed punster ; the most old fa.shioncd and commonplace 
book of travels is a positive ixdief after an hour’s reading of such 
modern smartness. A pleasing contrast to this book will be found 
in a little volume by one wlio does not find “ fairy land in Elect-street 
and paradise in Piccadilly,” we moan in the Karl of Carnarvoirs visit 
to the Lebanon the noble author’s notion of a gentleman looks beyond 
the tailor and recognises in the Druse chieftains those qualities which 
favourably distinguish all aristocracies. While he makes no ]>retensions 
to erudition, he has yet fully studied most of the interesting tjucstions 
which group themselves round the singular people he was visiting. 
His book is more accessible, and will pj’obably he more popular 
than that of Mr. Urquhart who writes almost as a Syrian would do; 
while Lord Carnarvon never forgets that he is an Englishman, and is 
writing for an English public. This difference is very well shown in 
the manner in which he notices the many vague accusations of im¬ 
moral rites connected with the Druse religion which have long been 
prevalent in Europe, although ibis'fully evident he thinks them, if 
not altogether unfounded, at least greatly exaggerated. When Mr. 
Urquhart, on the other hand, treats of the subject lie cntircl}' overlooks 
such accusations, evidently from sepra of them, and as little thinks of 
defending the Druses as he wolild the early Christians from the impu¬ 
tation of eating children at their Sacramental feasts. 

The derivation of the Druse religion from the peculiar geographical 
and political position of the race who adopted it is much more philoso¬ 
phical than the historical method by which Lord Carnarvon traces it 
up to Hakem Bemrillah and his minister Darzai, from whom be sup-' 


^ ^'Beeollections of the Druses of the Lebanon, and Notes on their Bdigion'.” 
By the Earl of Carnarvon. L<>°don: Murray. 1^0. 

[Vol. LXXV. No. CXLVII.]—Naw Sjeeibs, VoI, XIX. No. I. S 



Contemporary Literature, 

poses them to have taken their name; in this respectMr. U^(uhart*s vi 9 W, 
derivirt^ it from the Arabic word Din’s, instructed, initiated, is probably 
better founded. Many who would turn from the bulk, or, perhaps, be 
estranged by the tone of mueh in Mr. Urquhart’s volumes, will hnd in 
this record of a winter tour all tiiat it is absolutely requisite to know of 
the scat of the War in the East, if war it is still to be called, and will 
at the same time enjoy the society of a cultivated and intelligent man, 
wltose education has lifted him sheer out of the absurdity of finding 
things unusual necessarily ndiculous, and who has taken the trouble, 
at least, to iicquaint himself with his subject before offering himself to 
the public in the character of an instructor. 

Mr. Gouger*s account of his imprisonment in Burmah, is a most 
genuine and interesting book.^ The author was the first Englishman 
to visit Ava for the purpose of commerce, and was interrupted in his 
prospect of rapidly amassing a large fortune by the outbreak of the first 
Burmese war, the immediate cfi'ect of which v/as his arrest as a spy. 
His acquaintance with the language and country has enabled him to 
fill up a very complete picture of the manners and customs of his 
cuptoi*s. His adventures, which he recounts with a simplicity that 
makes his story more graphic than the highest art, are aa interesting 
as any novel, llis sulferiugs while in the condemned prison at Amera- 
poorah were frightful in the extreme; that any one should have sur¬ 
vived them, with the additional daily dread of immediate death, is 
wonderful. Though frequently ordered for execution, ho escapes by 
the strangest accidents, and is ultimately delivered to Sir Alexander 
Campbell as one of the prelimmai*ies of the peace ultimately signed 
between this country and Burmah. 

The book abounds in amusing anecdotes and carries with it in every 
line un impress of literal truth, which adds greatly to its attractiveness. 
In spite of Major Yates' account of the mission of 1857, this book is a 
most welcome addition to our knowledge of the strange semi-barbarous 
|KK>ple it describes, and cannot, w’e think, ftiil to meet with a (popularity 
it undoubtedly deserves. 

The disturbed condition of the Southern districts of Bengal, caused by 
the disputes between the indigo planters and ryots, has given occasion to 
a great deal of heated discussion on a subject which is so mixed up 
with Indian tenures and local practices, hitherto but little attended to 
m England, that much confusion of opinion prevails, and is too often 
purposely encouraged.^^ In the southern provinces, it is the custom 
for the planters to grant advances to the ryots, taking a pledge from 
them that they will in return cultivate for them a certain quantity of 
indigo. This bargain, perhaps, very often partakes of the character 
which all bargains assume which are enter^ on by persons in such 
different positions as those filled by the contracting parties. Cases 
of high-handed assertion of their right to the fulfilment of these contracts 


* **A Persooal Narrative ofTwo Years* Imprisonment in Burmah, 1824—1826.*' 
^ Henry Qonger. London: J. Murray. 1860. 

4 !• <« fividence. of the Hon. Ashley Eden, taken before the In^go Commisnoner 
Biifiog in Calcutta.” C. H. Manu^ Calcutta. 1860. 



PolitiJCSf Sociology, and Travels. 250 

arc not wanB^g, and of late have been diligently looked up, and the 
whole system of advances has been pronounced against with consider¬ 
able vehemence. The hardship does not seem to us to reside in the 
advances, but in other features of the contract. In lower Bengal, the 
custom is, that when the advances are made and the crop reiiped, the 
j)roduce is sold to the planter at a certain rate per bundle. Constant 
difleronces carise, as might be expected, both na to the size and con- 
ditiou of these, and often owing.to lowness of contracted price, or 
badness of season, the wUoh.* crop is insurticient to repay the advance 
which the ryot hns received. The balancg thus owed by him is used 
as a fresh .idvance, and as the ground of a legal claim for an enforced 
contract to grow again. The natural con.sequenee is, tliat the ryot 
bus a constant tcndenc^’^ to sink into the condition of a rack-rented 
cottier. It is, however, evident that it is not the advance, I)ut the 
conditions of its liquidation, that contain all the hardships of the case, 
for by those the ryot tak(?s the risks of the crop, while the planter has 
relieved himself of that important clement in his speculation. 

The relations between the ryots and planters in other parts of India, 
are suilicient to sot this in the clearest light. In Tirhoot, now one of 
the most important indigo districts, the contract between planter and 
ryot has never borne those fruits of di.st\irhiinco and commotion. The 
native cultivator contracts to grow a certain quantity of indigo, at so 
many rujices per Begali or acre, and if his crop fails totally, from 
inundation or any other providential cause, he has his full wages, and 
the I 0 S.S falls on the phiiiter ; if the crop only fails in patches, the patches 
so failing are declared empty for the purposes of indigo, sufKeiently 
early in the season to allow of the ryots sowing them with grain or 
Indian corn for his own account, and in this case ho is allowed one 
half of the price for what he engaged to grow tho indigo. The 
planter, too, finds the seed, and cattle and carts to bring the crop home 
to the I'actory. It will be at once seen that this system has much in 
common with the metayer holdings in tho South of Kurope, and that 
it presents none of the peculiar and accumulating evils of that adopted 
in Lower Bengal; although, in common with that system, it reposes 
on advances; which are made to the ryot as follows:—two rupees per 
Bcgah at the time of the contract, one rupee at the time of sowing, 
and one-half rupee at weeding; the balance at the time of getting 
in the crop. From this statement it will be at once seen, that on 
failure of the crop the ryot cannot claim the advance for weeding, but 
the previous three rupees already received by him, instead of forming 
an item as an accumulating debi, are accepted as a loss by the 
planter. 

The consequence of this more equitable system is, that no disturb¬ 
ances are known in this district, and wo cannot help being surprised to 
find so general an outcry against one feature of the contracts on which 
this cultivation is based, and without which it could not be carried on, 
while so little is comparatively said upon the subsidiary conditions 
under which the ryot has groaned, until his violent recla^tioos have 
resulted in present inquiry at Calcutta, where the planters, in 
spite of an investigation carried on in a ikr from friendly spirit, have 

s 2 



260 


Contemporary Literature. 

yet been able to parry an attack which has been too eager to seek ^ul 
the antagonist’s weak point. 

The “ Jsle of 8aints”^^ is the title given to a very clever jonrnal of a 
tour in Ireland, by Julius Kodcuberg, a rising literateur of Berlin. It 
is jiot tlie fij-st tour on liritish ground which he has made; a previous 
one through Wales apjKiared some time since, aud was translated by 
Capt. Lascelles WraxaJl, who is about to perform the same good office 
to tlie present volumes. The author has great powei*s of description, 
and a very ready and ilowing style too apt to run into inflated senti¬ 
mentality, which constantly hovers on the verge of bad taste and 
pruriency; without, however, absolutely passing it, be carries in his 
veins that witches* di’ink which made Faust sec Helen's beauty in every 
face he met. • The first pretty Irish girl ho encountered would have 
been fatal to him had she ]iot been so soon succeeded by another The 
Bcmi-crotie relations which he immediately endeavours to establish 
with his female fellow'-travellers might easily have led to misconcep¬ 
tions, had it not been for the cheerful insouciance of the Irish. It is 
greatly to be hoped that a certain family piirty who picked him up 
during his rambles have at least the protection of a jjseudonvm, for he 
certainly gives them no other; he makes at the same time love to the 
two daughters and a butt of their father, which, if tolerable in itself, is 
far from being .so in a printed account. If there be such a })crsoii as 
Mr. Macric, he will be very careful liow lie accepts as a travelling 
companion any chance tourist he may meet with on the next occasion 
he makes an antiquarian ramble. Herr liodenberg has a sharp eye for 
picturesque legends, and a very pretty talent in recounting them; 
many contained in tlicse two volumes seem new to us, and reflect much 
credit on tlieir diligent collector. The translations from Moore arc 
rcmarkaldy well done; indeed, wc understand that the author lias 
finished, and will shortly publish a translation of the whole of the 
Irish Melodies. He is about, too, to enter on the enterprise, novel in a 
German capital, of publishing a periodical «vfter the manner of tho 
Comhill MayasinCf and is, we understand, in communication with 
some of the chief celebrities of modem German literature. It is very 
questionable whether the small reading public of a tow'ii like Berlin 
can supiiort a light literary periodical; previous ctlbrts in this directiou 
have met with but little encouragement. Even the Horen, thougli 
upheld by Goethe and Schiller, had but a short and struggling existence; 
in this case, however, the lofty pedagogistu of these poetical gianta 
was a very heavy load for so light a vessel. Ilorr Rodenberg is not 
likely to founder from this cause, and wc hope, for the sake of his 
genial goodnature, that he may escape any such result from whatever 
cause. 

A very interesting collection of essays has been published under the 
title of ‘‘ Democratische Studien,”^- by some of those Gorman liberals 
who were scattered over Europe by the failure of the Pauls Kirche- 

n InaeldcrHeiligen,'* von Julius Rodenberg. Berlin: OttorJanke. 1860. 

(‘Democratische2Studien,”berau8gegebeDvonL-Widesrode. Hamburg: OU» 
eissser. 1860. 



201 


Politics^ Sociology, a)xd Travels. 

Parliament at Frankfort; the contributors belong to what arc called 
in Germany the J^luc Democrats, to distinguish them from the Socialist 
or Ked Party. Many of their names, as L. Bamberger, Carl Vogt, L. 
Simon of Treves, Moritz Hartmann, Michelet of Berlin, Adolf Stahr, 
and Karl Griin, are already well known. A very striking paper by F. 
Lasalle brings forward, and presses on his compatriots rather than 
criticises, many most penetrating opinions found in the last popular 
lectures delivered by Ficlitc, in Berlin, in the spring of 1813, the year 
before his death. As these lectures exist only in a fragmentary form 
among his literary remains, they Imve not met with that attention they 
deserved; and llorr Lasalle has done good service to his cause by call¬ 
ing public attention to political speculations, which the lapse of time 
has in so many points justitied. 

Herr Friedrich Kapp gives an account of the execution of John 
Brown, at Charlestown, for his attem])t at Harper’s Ferry, mainly that 
he may show, in the history of this first capital punishment for a 
political oifence committed in the United StaU«, the inevitable neces¬ 
sity fur all absolute power, whether of a single tyrant or of an alarmed 
mob, to have recourse to terrorism and physical repression. 

Some of the anecdotes he gives of the ruthless violence by which the 
spread of anti-slavery opinions in the South is endeavoured to be re¬ 
pressed, almost exceed l>elief; violent expulsions from their territories, 
extreme personal violence where the provocation has been at all open 
and decided, arc features of Southern society to which we Imvc been 
long accustomed; but one instance given by Herr Kapp exceeds any¬ 
thing we have met witli. A gentleman travelling by the North 
Carolina llailway, was observed to be reading an abolitionist paper; 
without u word, the train still going at full speed, be was tlirown out 
of window by his fellow-travellers, and liis neck broken ! The exagge¬ 
rated alarm caused by Brown’s ill-planned attempt, has shown the 
whole Union that the South must live in a constant state of readiness 
for war; and that the great question of slavery or freedom miist be 
definitively settled, or Brown’s will soon cease to be tlic first political 
execution in the United States. 

Karl Griin, the historian of the Socialist movement in France, has 
contributed a very spirited review of recent philosophical speculations; 
and Adolf Stahr, a somewhat exaggerated protest against Schiller’s 
patent of nobility, denouncing very superfluously the prefix Von, which 
is scarce ever heard, however it may appear in the title of his works. 
That either he or Goethe put any value on the distinction it is absurd 
to suppose; if they may themselves be believed, they did not. It was 
conferred on them by Karl August, to make them Hoflahig, and 
they wore it as they did their dress-coats and swords, on occasions 
when it was equally indispensable. The controversy is hardly worth 
the paper it takes to state the point in dispute. 

A paper, evidently by a very well-informed writer, on Electoral 
Hesse under the father, son, and grandson, is full of iiiformation on a 
subject that may soon occupy more of the public attention; its motto 
irom Luther well describes its contents 

“ I have read,” says he, ** of a poor widow who stood praying in the most 



263 Contem'porary Literature. 

earuesi manner for her tynint, that bis life might be long spared biiH. 

The tyrant overheard, mid wondered, lor he well knew tlial he had done her 
much evil, and so thought her prayer a very strange one; for tlie usual prayer 
for tyrants is of a fpiitc different sort. He asked her, therefore, why she so 
prayed; she answered, I had ten cows when your grandfather was alive, and 
he took two away from me; so I prayed that lie might die and your father be¬ 
come lord. This came to pass, and your father took three cows; again I 
prayed that you might becoinc lord, and he died. Now yon have taken four 
cows, therefore now 1 pray for you, for 1 am afraid that he that will come 
after you will take the last cow, os well as everything else that 1 possess.” 

It would hardly be thought that a book of so miscellaneous a cha¬ 
racter OB these Essays could become the subject of a violent contro¬ 
versy, it has not however escaped this fate. In the Stimnen der 
Zeit, a moiitlily paper, devoted to politics, the writers are each 
and all accused of vanity and venality, and much good jiersonal abuse 
is devoted to them, especially to such among the party as have suc- 
ceijded in attaining any fixed position by commerce or trade. The 
attack, however, of M. Kolatschok is too often, and too mani¬ 
festly provoked by |)errional animosities to carry any'^ injurious weight 
with it. 

A little book by Professor Deroyer, of llasselt, may be strongly 
recommended as a very clear statement of the general doctrines of 
political economy; without a.«8uming to add an^hiug to the science 
of wdtich he treats, the author, by a very clear and lively style ami by 
a certain neatness of illustration, has produced an interesting and 
entertmning volume on a subject that is usually considered neither the 
one nor the other. It is usual to define the conditions of production 
as labour and the material products of the earth, and veiy frequently 
the notion of labour is insutliciontly analysed. The following remarks 
of’ M. Deroyer appear particulai’ly just:— 

“ From whatever branch of trade a product may arise, it is obtaiiuible only 
by three very distinct operations—the labour of tne mjm of science, the appli¬ 
cation of that science by the manufacturer, and manual labour of tlie operative. 

“The man of science discovers by cx})crimcnt and analysis I he laws which 
govern the materials and forces conccrucd in the production. In tliis sense he 
who discovered the power of steam, as well as he who discovered those che¬ 
mical properties of things which ht thetn to he used as dyes, were men of 
science. 

“The manufacturer, appropriating the ideas of the man of science, makes 
such use of them that they smdl tcud to supply some moral or physLcd want. 
Tins, for example, is what was done by those wlio applied the power of steam 
to cuttou-spiuuing, to grinding com, or to locomotion. 

“The operative is he who carries out the applications of science projected 
•by the manufacturer. It is by no means necessary that these three operations 
Should fall into the hands of three different persona. It may even occur that 
the same individual is at once man of science, maimiacturer, operative.” 

It is not that tlm intellectual element in production is usually 
ignored, but it acquires a juster force by iiicluBion in the terms of il» 


** ^'Eoonomie a VUsage de tout b Monde.” Par. P. J. Deroyer, Preffesseur 
h TAihcn^ Royale de Hasselt. Brussella: Van Meenen and Co. 1860. 




Science. 


fl03 

detinition. This little volumo is excellently adapted to the end it aims 
at, viz,, that of popularizing the results of economical science. Wo 
cannot readily call to niind an equally excellent Knglish compendium, 
and cannot but think that it would meet w'lth a deserved success in 
this country, if well and carefully translated. 

Tlicrc are too certain nnnut»i <littiTenecs in the way of conceiving 
and stating cooiKimic probloins Unit often cause a foreign book to give 
unexpected facilities in seizing their cardinal points which the well- 
known homo tenns sometimes fail to do from their very familiarity. 


SCIENCK. 

ERY one wlio is intcreslod (and wlio should not he V) in the 
.J qiiestioni of the nature of the Sun’s ])hysical constitution,' the 
sources of its j)creniiial liberation of liglit and heat, the meaning 
of llu* appearances presc!iti*d during eclipses, and of the spots or¬ 
dinarily to ]>o seen uj>ou its surface, the cyclical inercjuse and tU’crease 
of these, the onlinary ihllucnce »*xerte<l by the sun upon tbo <*arth’s 
magnetism, and the pai*ti(Mdar variations in this which seem connected 
with the disturhauces indicated by the spots in the solar })hotosphcre, 
will find an exci.‘l)('nt and reliahle summary of the facts tlmt are known 
upon these sulijeets, with the principal liypothescs that have been pro¬ 
posed to account for them, in the Icidurc delivered by Mr. Walker, at 
the late meeting oi' the Ihatisli Association at Oxford, which has been 
since published with the addition of fresh information uhiained on oc¬ 
casion of the recent ecllpsij. 

Mr. CliH’s ‘M'lssay on the Thermo-Dynamics of Klastic Dluids,”-^ 
is obviously the production of a thoughtful rniinl familial* with the 
practical nOatioiis of liuat and motor power, and seeking to bring 
these to a more perfect realizaticni of the equivalent values furnislied 
by scieiitilie investigation. He suggests 7j/oisl air as likely to udbrd 
a more advantageous medium for tlic conversion of heat into motor 
power, than either steam on the one hand or dry air on the other. 

A new edition has recently apjjoarcd of the late Dr. Golding Rird’s 
admirable manual of “ Natural Philosophy,*'’’ the large sale of which 
attests the general acceptance with which it has met. Its preparation 
has been undertaken by Mr. C. Brooke, than whom no more compe¬ 
tent or more judicious editor could have been selected; and we need 
say nothing further than that the work has been thoroughly brought 


^ ** The Physical Constitution of the Sun. A Discourse delivered in the Shel- 
donian Theatre at Oxford, before iho British Association, June 29th, 1800. With 
an|Appendix on the Phenomena observed in Spain duringthe Eclipse of July 18th.*' 
By Itev. lloberfc Walker, M.A. F.R.S., ICeader in experimental Philosophy. 
8to. London, 1860. 

* An Essay on the Thermo-Dynamics of Elastic Fluids." By Joseph Gill. 8vo. 
London, 1860. 

8 ** The Elements of Natural Philosophy ; or an Introduction to the Study of tlie 
Physical Sciences." By Golding Bird, M.A., M.D., F.R.k, F.L.S., and Charles 
Brooke, M.A., M.B., F.B.S. Fifth E^tion, revised and enlarged, with 607 wood 
engravings. Fcap. 8vo. London, 1860. 


264 Contemporary Literature, 

up to the advanced position now held by the sciences of which it treai^s. 

From a retired Indian medical officer we have a very interesting 
treatise^ on a curious set of phenomena, the study of which is obviously 
calculated to throw great light upon some of the most important ques¬ 
tions of meteorology. Columns of dust, a few feet in diameter, rising 
cylindrically until their summits are lost in the distance, are often seen 
travelling over the plains; and observation seems to show that their 
component particles ascend, not in a single spiral (such as is to be 
noticed in our common dust-eddies), but in a double spiral, one sur¬ 
rounding the other. Moreover, the column is surrounded by 
currents of air, the direction of which is tangential to it. Mr. liad- 
deley has obtained indications (thoiigli not very distinct ones) of elec¬ 
tric^ disturbance in the interior of these columns; and tliinks it pro¬ 
bable that they originate in streams of electric force descending from 
the higher regions of the atmosphere, and that the disturbance in the 
surrounding air is not their cause but their effect. Manifestations of 
electric disturbance arc much more distinct in the dust-storms wliicli 
occasionally sweep over arcus of considerable breadth ; for Leyden-jars 
have boon chargwl, magnets made, and chemical flocompositions effected 
by their passage. These storms Mr. Iladdcley supposes to be the re¬ 
sult of the aggrogutiou of a number of the small whirlwinds. What¬ 
ever may be thought of his hypothesis, his facts are well worthy 
of study, os having been observed with care and intelligence, and as 
fnndsbmg a valuable series of independent data to be taken into ac¬ 
count in framing any general “ Law of Storms.” Of liis useful hints 
in regard to tlio sanitary care of our European army in India we have 
elsewhere spoken, (p. 54.) 

“ The Physical Geography of tlie Sca”^ is a department of science 
which has advanced with almost unprecedented rapidity, from a condi¬ 
tion of prolonged and almost unprogressivc childhood to one of 
vigorous and fast-growing youth. And this advance is mainly owing to 
the activity and intelligence of a single individual, who first conceived 
the idea of collecting into one focus the vast aggregate of information 
dispersed through the records of the voyages that are made over every 
navigable portion of the globe by the ships of the several maritime 
nations; and who so far realized tliat idea by his unaided exertions, as 
to evolve results which at once demonstrated its importance and laid 
the foundation for more extended and systematic operations in the 
same direction. The primary object of Captiun Maury's laboui*s was 
to embody, in “ Wind and Current Charts,” the collective experience 

* ** Whirlwinds and Dust-Storms of India. An Investigation into the Law of 
Wind and Devolving Storms at Sea. With an Addendum, containing Practical 
Hints on Sanitary Measures required for tiie European Soldier in India. Illus¬ 
trated by numerous Diagrams and Sketches fit>m Nature^ and a Wind Card for the 
TJse of Sailors." By P. F. F. Baddeley, Surgeon, Bengal Army (retired list). 8vo. 
With an Atlas of Plates. London and Cologne, 1860. 

9 <(Xhe Physical Gcognqihy of the Sea, and its Meteorology. Being a Becon- 
struotion and Knlaigement of the Kigbth Edition of 'The Physical Geography of 
(he Sea.’" ByM. F. Maury, LL.D., U.S.K., Superiotendent to the National 
Obsepato^, Washington, illustrated with numerous Chwts and Diagrams. 
Lonaon, 1^0. 8to, pp. 485. 



Science. 


265 


of navigators as to the winds and currents met with along the prin¬ 
cipal ocean-tracks at different times and during all seasons; so metho¬ 
dized that an inexperienced mariner setting out on his first voyage to 
a given jjort should be able to feel as much confidence in his know¬ 
ledge as to the winds and currents he might expect to encounter, as 
though he himself had already been that way a thousand times before. 
Such charts could not fail to commend themselves to intelligent shij)- 
masters; they took them to sea, and found tliat the promised advan¬ 
tages were so full}’ realized, as to bring the remote corners of the earth 
practically ner.icr to one another by several weeks* sail. Thus the 
average passage from New York to California Inis betm reduced from 
1 S3 days to 135 days, a saving of 48 days ; and that between England 
and Australia has Ik^cii reduced from 1*24 days to i)7 days, tl»c liome- 
ward passage having been made in 03 days under canvas alone, lie- 
suits like these liaviug been brought before the pviblie, naturally 
attracted great attention on the )iart of the quick, i)ractieal minds of 
enterprising sliipmastors; and they have readily lent their co-opera¬ 
tion towards extending and pcrfectionizing the course of inquiry thus 
auspiciously commenced. Their attention was called it) the blank 
spaces in the chart, and to the imjiovtance of move and better o!)ser- 
vations than were generally contained in tlie old sea-logs; .and tliey 
iverc told tli.at if each one would agree to co-oj)crate in a general plan 
of observations at sea, and would send regularly, at the end of every 
cruise, an abstract log of his voyage to the National Observatory at 
AVjiJsliington, ho should'for so doing be furnished, free of cost, with a 
copy of the charts and sailing directions that might be founded on 
these observations. 

In a little time there were more than a thousand observers thus 
engaged, by day and by night, and over all parts of the ocean, in making 
and recording observations according to a uniform jdau; and the 
scientiHc value as well as the ])ractical importance of tliis systemati¬ 
zation became sudicicutly apparent, to induce the Government of the 
United States to bring the subject under the attention of all the mari¬ 
time States of Christendom. A conference, consisting of representa¬ 
tives from all the most important of these was held at Hrussels, in 
August, 1853; and a plan of observations was agreed upon, which 
should be ibllowed by the vessels of all friendly nations, alike in peace 
and in war, the record of them being to be held sacred even in the 
eveiit of the capture of any of the vessels on board which they may bo 
conducted. The instruments required for these observations are no 
others than are already in use on board every well-conditioned ship; 
and provision has been made for the supply to all shipmasters who 
may co-operate in the plan, of instruments which have been adequately 
tested by comparison with standards that arc common to all. Thus, 
as Captain Maury well remarks, “ the sea has been brought regularly 
within the domains of philosophical research, and crowded with ob¬ 
servers. Every ship which navigates the high seas with these charts 
and blank abstract log# on board may henceforth be regarded as a 
floating observatory, a temple of science.*’ The moral benefit of this 
co-operation is scarcely, perhaps not at all, inferior to its direct mate- 



t66 Contemporary Literature. 

rial advantage. Fur everything which unites nations together‘in 
nommon bonds for mutual benctit tends to soften national antipathies 
and to promote peace and goodwill; and a stimulus is being given to 
tho mental elevation of our seamen, whicli, in the opinion of many 
competent judges, will ultimately do more for the improvement of 
commerce and navigation than the increased knowledge of winds and 
currents has already effected. 

Besides tliose classes of observations, however, which can he made 
in tluj ordinary course of commercial navigation, there is another which 
is attended with ))ecuUur difficulties that can only bo overcome by 
aiTangcments devised for the express purjjose, but of which tho im¬ 
portance, alike in a scientific and a practical point of view, is every year 
Dccoming more apparent. Wo refer to those deep-sea soundUuj^^ by 
which alone an acquaintance can be gained with the character of the 
bed of the ocean—its mountains and valleys, its plains and table-lands, 
its ravines and precipices—as well as with tho natui'O of the <leposits 
which arc being continually spread over it, either by the wearing away 
of the land, or by the successional deveIoi)ineiit and death of those 
inarino plants and animals which have the power of solidifying in their 
casings the lime or tho silex diliusetl through tho water they inhabit. 
Such knowledge is essential to every extension of submarine telegraphy; 
it is no less essential to that scicMitific interpretation of the phenomena 
preaeuted by ocean-currents, of which, without it, only an empincal 
summary can be presented. The British Government has not ])een 
slow to take up this subject; and many most valuable series of deep- 
sea soundings have already l>cen made by expeditions sent out for the 
j)ur])ose, the most recent of which is that just made by Captain 
M‘Cliutock, in ILM.S. Bulhloyy and by Captain A. Young, in tho 
JEk)x, with a view to the laying down a new lino of telegraph to North 
America by way of Greenland. One of the most curious of the re¬ 
sults obtained in this expedition, was the bringing up a living star-fish 
from a depth of 1200 fathoms, or more than it mile and a half; a ilepth 
at which it has been generally believed that no organized being could 
maintain life. 

Tho scientific co-ordination of all the knowledge acquired by these 
various means of research, has occupied Oapt. Maury no less than the 
development of the practicalapplications of that knowledge; and we have 
the most recent results of his labours in the treatise before us, of which the 
first edition appeared only si.x years ago, and which, as be informs us, 
lias been subsequently almost entirely rewritten three times, in order 
tliat it may be kept au cotirant with the growth of the science it is 
intended to embody. The present edition is not only considerably 
enlarged, but is also greatly improved in regard alike to the variety, 
the extent, and the value of the information it contains, so that it 
may be almost considered as a new work; its scope, also, having been 
widened, so as to render it as complete a treatise as possible, not only 
on tho Physical Geography, but also on the Meteorology of tho Sea. 
Like every real pliilosopher, Capt. Maury looib only to trutli as his 
object; and cares not whether the new information continually 
llowing-»in confirms or invalidates Lis previous opinions, provided that 



Science, 


207 


it helps him to make his structure more firm and complete. “ As 
loiiff, he says, “as we im* makiiij^ progivss in any iield of physical 
research, so long must tlic results continue to increase in value; and 
just so long must what at first wjvs conjecture grow aud gaiu as truth, 
or fade and fall as error.’* Our readers will he able to form a truer 
estimate of the value of this treatise from what we have told them of 
the history und scope of tlio ijHiuiries on which it is based, than they 
could do from a more formal account of its contents. Of tho vast 
amount of labour that has been bestowed upon its preparation, they 
rnay form some idea IVoni the fact stated by t-apt. Maury that iii his 
first plate alone are embodied tho results of ],i59,!153 separate ob¬ 
servations Oil the force and direction of the wind, and upwards of 
100,000 observations on the height of the barometer at sea, a largo 
proportion of tho latter being not single observations but tho mean of 
several. Had these data been collect<‘d by a force specially employed 
for tho purpose, tlie collection would have demanded constant occupa¬ 
tion fi’om a lleet of ten sail for more than one hundrcjl ycar.s. As it 
Ls, the co-ordination of them has been a work t)f immense lal)ouv, rc- 
(piiviug the uiuiivid(Ml attention of numerous able workers in th<i 
Observatory at Washington for several years. I’lic Ooveniment of 
tho Uiuted States deserves tlie cordial thanks of every maritime nation 
for the noble work it has undertaken uml far accomplished; aud 
Captain Maury, with whom the idea originated, and umler whose guid¬ 
ance it luis Ik'cu carried out, may congratulate Idmself upon tlie title 
ho has gained to be accounted one of the woi'ld’s greatest henefaetors. 

After a long delay, chielly occasioned by the illness of Mr. llall’s, 
we have at last before us the umcli-desired rej)rodaction of Mr. A, 
Pritchard’s “ llistoiy of Infusoria,’'^' in aform so greatly improved that 
few or no traces remain of the very imperfect original. The appearance 
of the first edition of this work jiroceded that of the “ J nfusionsthierchcu” 
of Ehrenberg; but the stieond and third were avowedly remodelled 
upon tho basis which it afforded, and tlio greater number of their illus¬ 
trations were simply reduced copies of his plates. The advance which 
has been made, during the last ten or t vvelve years, in the knowicilgo of 
all tho forms of minute life, both animal aud vegetable, has necessitated 
a fresh recasting of the materials of the work; and it now comes 
before us with such an air of freshness aud novelty, that, if it were not 
for the well-remcmborcd aspect of a portion of the plates, wo might 
have taken it for an entirely new book. We couhl wish, indeed, that 
Mr. Pritchard had emancipated himself more thoroughly from the 
trammels imposed by his former title, and given to his present work a 
designation more in harmony with its contents. Por to includo 
Desmids and Diatoms, with other undoubtedly vegetable forms, and 
the Bliizopods and Butifers of the animal kingdom, under the term 

^ “A History of Infusoria, including the Pesmidiacete and Diatomaceae, British 
and Foreign.” ;By AndrcWjPritchard,M.B.X. Author of the ** Microscopic Cabi¬ 
net,” &c. Fourth Edition. Enlarg^ and revised by J. T. Arlidge, M.n., B.A., 
London; W. Archer; J. Kalfa, M.K.C.S.L.; W. C. Williamson, F.R.S. and 
the Author. Illustrated by Forty Plates. 8to. London, 1861. 



208 


Contcwxtorary Literature, 

Infueoriay winch is now limited by common consent to a group of 
Animalcules having tolerably definite boundaries, cannot but tend to 
perpetuate that cliaotic confusion which has been gradually giving 
place to order and system. Moreover, if it be intended tliat the wt>rk 
should embrace a general survey of microscopic life, on what principle 
are the Polycystina of Ehrenberg, and the Acanthometras of MiUler, 
both of which are at least as close^ allied to the Rhixopods as arc 
the (ircgarinida and Psorosperraia, altogether omitted ?—When we 
pass, however, from the title-page and table of contents to the body of 
the work, we find everything to commend in the mode in which each 
division of the subject has been separately worked out by the con¬ 
tributor who has specially charged himself with it. Nearly half the 
volume is occupied with the general history of the several groups, viz.: 
Dcfimidiew^ Diatomaceoi^ Fhytozoa, Protozoa^ (including Jthizopoda and 
Ciliata), Rotatoria^ and Tardigrada; this, which is the work of Mr. 
Ariidge, is u very able summary of the* important contributions re¬ 
cently made by numerous British and Continental observers to our 
knowledge of their life-history, which will be of the highest value to 
that large proportion of microscopists who have not time and o])por- 
tunity to consult the original records of their labours. The second and 
larger half of the volume is occupied with the systematic arrangement 
of tlie several groups just enumerated. That of the Diatomaccxe, the 
group which has been more studied in this country of late years than 
any other, is the work of Mr. Ralfs, than whom no one could bo more 
competent, from his intimate knowledge of it and his llioroughne.ss in 
the execution of everything he undertakes. The revision of the Dcs- 
midie® has been carried out by Mr. William Archer, chiefly on tin? 
basis of Mr. Rolfs* classification, with the introduction of original 
views of his own, and of descriptions of newly discovered foreign 
species furnished by M. do Brebisson. For the systematic arrange¬ 
ment of the Phytozoa, Protozoa, and Rotifera, the systematic arrange¬ 
ment of Ehrenberg has been retained, the genera and species of other 
naturalists being collated and engrafted upon it; and in the present 
transitional state of our knowledge of these groups and of the r^l 
relations of their principal sub-divisions, this is probably the best plan 
that could have been followed. The greater part of this portion of the 
work seems to have been accomplished by 5lr. Pritchard ; but Prof. 
W. 0. Williamson has revised the descriptions of the Rotatoria. Of 
the total number of ibrty plates, twenty-one are entirely new, six of 
these having been drawn and engraved by Mr. Tuffen West, vrhose 
delineations of Diatoms are unrivalled for their beauty and iidelity. 
The work os it now stands is one which docs the highest credit to ^1 
who have been concerned in its production; and we heartily congra¬ 
tulate Mr. Pritchard upon the successful completion of the task with 
which ho has been so long occupied. The volume is one which no 
votary of the microscope can afford to be without. 

Although many of Dr. Bennett’s “ Gatherings” have already been 
presented to the public through various channels, yet we heartily wel¬ 
come their appearance in a collective form, with the additional materials 
which he has now for the first time brought forth from his budget of 



Science, 


2C9 


"Australasian Zoology ami Botany,”' altogether constituting a hand¬ 
some and beautifully illustrated voluinc. To Dr. Bennett we are in¬ 
debted for our first knowledge of the animal of the Pearly Nautilus, 
the type of those eliiiinhered Cephalopods that liave ratiged through 
nearly the whole series of geological periods; and it is somcwliat 
aggravating now to learn that living Nautili are so plentiful at the 
Pidji Islands, that they are caught for food in wicker ti*aps baited 
like lobster-pots, and are eaten currial by the natives. Dr. Bennett 
was also the discoverer of the new and reinarkahlo species of Cassowary 
found only in New Britain, and known by its native name of Mooruk; 
and to him aUo we ai*o indebted for most of our knowledge ot the 
physiology and habits of the anomalou.^ Ornithovhynchus, as ot its con¬ 
gener the Echidna, and also of the remarkable Jabiru or Oigaiitic 
Crane. Our Zoological Gardens have largely ])rofitcd by the zeal with 
which he has purveyed for them among the curiosities supplied by liis 
ado])ted country; and he has also done much to direct attention to 
the praetieiil value of many forms of its vegetation, which might other¬ 
wise have been disregarded. Wo trust that on his return thither he 
will long continue to render those valuable services to science, for 
whi(;h bis aiitipfodean residence lias allbrdcd the opportunity, but which 
liave mainly sprung from an earnestness which would make an oppor¬ 
tunity for itself in any locality however fixmiliar. 

It was scarcely to he cxpccUHl that the author of tins ** Vestiges* ® 
should keo]) quiet, now that public attention has been again turned by 
the speculations of Mr. Darwin to the inquiry into the origin and 
succession of organic life upon the globe, 11c has limited himself, 
howt'ver, to a reissue of Ins last or illustrated edition in a moie com¬ 
pendious form, with a note referring to Mr, Darwin’s views. Tlie 
continued sale of thi.s work shows tliat, with all its faults, it lias 
taken a strong liold of the public mind; and we believe that it has 
done good service in loosening the hohl which antiquated prejudices 
have so long maintained over the, IVeodoiu ol thought, and in [)ropariiig 
for a more candid discussion ol the problems which are now before 
the attention of the scientific world. 

Having heard it rumoured that a reply to Mr. Darwin was forth¬ 
coming iVom no less able a pen than that ol Protessor Pliillips, wc 
awaited its appearance with much interest; hut we lind nothing more 
in the little work before us® than au expression of its author k con¬ 
viction, that the knowledge of the succession of lil’e on the earth 
which geological research has yielded to us, up to the pre.scnt time, is 


^ ‘ ‘ Gathering of a Naturalist in Australasua; being Observations principally on 
the Animal and VegeUble Productions of New South New 

some of the Austral Islands.” By George Bennett, M.D., F.L.S.,F.JK.a. With o 
coloured lithographs, and 26 wood engravings. 8vo. London : I860. 

* "Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation. Post 8vo. Eleventh edition. 
Illustrated by numerous wood engravings. London: 1860. 

• "Life on tbo Earth; its Origin and Succession. By John Phuhps, M.A., 
LL.P., F.R.S., late President of the Geological Society of London, Professor of 
Geolo{^ in the University of Oxford. Fcap 8vo. London : I860. 



m 


Contemporary Literature. 

80 far to be accepted as final, that no very important modification of it 
is to be looked for from further inquiry. We must confess our sur¬ 
prise that a man so In^hly informed not only as to the existing state, 
but also as to the history, of Geology, should speak with so much 
confidence of the ratio between what we do know and what we do 
not knotv of .the past life upon our earth; and we cannot but suspect 
that the murky atmosphere of Oxford has somewhat obscured the 
ordinary clearness of Professor Phillips’s scientific vision. Kven whilst 
he was preparing his lledc lecture, there came to us from America the 
remarkable intelligence that in a single fossil stump of a tree in the 
celebrated section of carboniferous strata at ‘‘the Joggins” in Nova 
Scotia, there had l>eou found by T)r. Dawson the remains of five rep¬ 
tiles, throe of them being new 6j>ecies, together with a millipede and 
land-snail. Yet it is not long since it was the received doctrine that 
reptiles had no existence on this earth before the commencement of 
the secondary period. Moreover, Professor PliilHps himself allows that 
the recently acquired evidence on the antiquity of man is suflBcicnt to 
justify the notion that he may have been contemporaneous with the 
extinct Hipi)opotamu8,—a notion which a few ycai’s jigo would liavc 
been scouted as one not to bo entertained for a moment. Taken for 
what it is worth, as a summary of our present knowledge, the Iledo 
lecture of Professor Phillips is an admirable digest, which may be read 
with profit alike by the tyro and by the advancwl student of geology. 

Mr. Marshall having been commissioned by the Science and Art 
Department at Kensington to jireparc a set of large diagrams for the 
purpose of popular instruction in physiology,—a task which he exe¬ 
cuted with great success,—further, undertook to furnish a descriptive 
account of the objects represented; and this description, forming a 
quarto volume of 200 closely printed pages, with an atlas of plates 
consisting of reduced copies of the larger diagrams, now lies before 
us.’^ Notwithstanding the great care which has obviously been bestowed 
upon this iTcrforniance, we cannot but regard the result ns unsatislac- 
tory. For the hook is much too full of elaborate detail for the wants 
of the school teacher; wb.ilst, on the other hand, the purpose for 
which it was to he adapted forbade the introduction of many topics that 
were essential to its scientific completeness. A concise treatise on 
physiology, conveying as much as every one ought to know of the 
structure and actions of his body, and of the uieans of keeping it in 
health, in simple and |>crspk:uous language, and attractive in its style, 
has yet to be wiittcn. Fur such a treatise Mr. Marshall’s admirable 
scries of diagrams would furnish a suitable basis; and we hope that 
the want may not remain long unsupplied. 

Prbfessor Day, who has betbre laboured usefully as the translator of 


10 *<xhe Human Body; its Structure and FunctionB.” Illustrated by 9 phy¬ 
siological ditframs, containing 19$ coloured figures; designed for the use of 
feoehers in whools, and young men destined for the medical profesoon, and for 
popular instruction generally. By John Marshall, F.B.S., F.B.C.6., Surgeon 
to Hniver^ty Coll^^ Hospital, London, and Lecturer on Anatomy in the 
Science and Art Department^ Hrasington. 4to. With an atlas of plated Lon¬ 
don : 1860. 



Science. 


571 


Simon's and of Lehmann's larger works on physiological chemistry,^ ^ 
has now produced a compendious treatise of liis own on the same sub¬ 
ject, which will prove extremely useful alike to the scientific physiolo¬ 
gist and to iiie medical practitioner. Whilst basing it chiefly on the 
smaller “Handbueh” of Lehmann, Dr. Day has brought together a 
large amount of additional matter from various recent sources; and 
has aimed to pivsent to those who have not time for more extended 
rosoiwch a rwwwiS of the most trustwortliy information on the chemistry 
of the animal body in health and disease. The general plan of the 
treatise is excellent, and its exeeution is for the most part equally good. 
What we chiefly miss, is the guidance to be afforded by a sound prac¬ 
tical chemist as to the relative values of statements which arc discrepant 
or even contradictory'. 

The cellular pathology of Professor Virchow,^- which may be 
described as a return to the system of soliiUsnx^ based on the recent 
dcveloj)ment of histological science, in antagonism to the modified 
himouraVtsm which has of late become fasluouable, has excited great 
atti*ntioii and not a little controversy in the land of its birth; and 
wliatever may be the ultimate judgment of those most competent to 
decide upon its merits as a system, there cannot be a doubt of the 
value of the results of those profound investigations into the 
structure and development of healthy and morbid tissues on wliich it 
id based. Wo are glad, therefore, that his treatise has ht*cn placed 
before the Knglish reader, in a form whicli will bring it mueli 
more readily within his grasp, than it was whilst it remained in its 
original language. The translation is so well executed, that although 
there is plenty of CJermauism in the ideas, wo seldom trace it in the 
language; and it has liad tlio advantage of Professor Virchow's latest 
emendations. The work is one with which every student of physiology, 
as well as of pathology, ought to make himself acquainted. 

Mr. Forster is quitejustiiicd in saying that a treatise on those special 
diseases of children whicli require surgical interference, is a ilesideratum 
in our literature and having enjoyed extensive opportunities of treat¬ 
ing these both at Guy’s Hospital," and at the Royal Infirmary for 
Children, bo has done an acceptable service by making known the 
results of his experience. His work is purely professional in its cha¬ 
racter, being obviously not written, as too many such special treatises 


“ '‘Chemistry in its Relations to Physiology and Medicine.” By George E. 
Bay, M.A., Cant., M.B., F.R.S. Professor of Modiciuo in the University 
of St. Andrews. 8vo, With 6 Plates, containing numerous illustrations. Lon¬ 
don : 18C0. 

** “ Cellular Pathology, as based upon Phywdogioal and Pathological Histology. 
Twenty Lectures doliver^ in the Pathological Inatitute of Berlin.” By Rudolf 
Virchow, Professor of Pathological Anatomy, General Pathology, and Therapeutics 
in the University of Berlin. Translated from the second edition of the original, 
by Frank Chanoe, BJk., M.B., CanUb. With notes and numeroua emendations, 
principally from MS, notes of the Author. 8vo« Illustrated by 144 wdWengravu^fs. 

London : 1860. « 

“ “TheSurgicalBiaeasesof Children.* By J. Cooper Forster, M.B.,F.R.C.S., 
A— SttcgemitoGa/s Hospital, Sofgeon to tlw tfoyal Infirmaryfor Children, 
^vo. With coloured lithographs and wom engravings. London : I860. 


27a Contem'pora^ Literature, 

are, 'with a direct view to attract patients from the general public; 
and we have pleasure in recommending it as one in wlucb the sur¬ 
gical practitioner will iind valuable aid and guidance. 

Cofeature in our former Indian Administration has been more 
thoroughly disgraceful tt> the Government which permitted it, than 
the state of the jails, in which are confined on tho average, no fewer 
than forty thousand prisoners, chiefly natiyes. The rate of mortality 
in these haabeen so fearful, that if it were, charged against .the Govern¬ 
ment that it wished to get rid of the mauvais sujets of tho country, by 
making use pf fatal disease iu place of the gibbet or the axe, it might 
be somewhat difficult to repel the accusation. For ihe rulers of India 
cannot be said to have sinned in ignorance; over and over again have 
the medical officers attached to these pcsthouses lifted up their voices 
to proclaim the fearful truths of wliicU the cognizance was forced upon 
them; but their remonstrances havd produced little or no effect, 
except to cause a mark to he placed upon themselves as troublesome 
agitators whose promotion should be retarded. lopg ago as 1835, 
Dr. James Hdtehinson published a work du Indian jails, in which he 
drewattention to the enormous amountof disease ai)d mortality generally 
prevalent among them ; and pointed to ovet-ctowdiug as the cause 
from which this fatality seemed in great pjart tb originate. In a 
second edition of his work,, published ten years later, he confirmed his 
previous statements by the result^of farther investigations. We have 
before us a pamphlet rpublishcd by Dr. Mackinnon, surgeon and 
medical storekeeper at Oa%vnpore iu 1848, in \Vhich it is stated that 
the average of deatl)^ iu all the jails of the upper provinces for 1845, 
was veiy nearly 100 in every tliousand; whilst nt Delhi, the mortality 
reached tbe frightful proportion of 261 in the thousaiid~?/M>r^ than one 
fouHh of the whole number of prisoners' perishing within the year. 
Dr. Mackinnon not only drew attention to the fact, but also pointed 
out what was obviously one principal cause of it, viz., the extremely 
limited air-space afforded to the prisoners, .not above 300 cubic feet 
being provided for each individual in any jail (BOO.cu'bic feet being the 
minimum in this country, and 1000 cubic feet being frequently pro¬ 
vided), and 70 cubic feet being in some instances the miserable average. 
He also showed that the dietary generally insufficient, ai^d that 
the arrangements for cleanliness were so defective that the air must 
be constantly contaminated by the accumulation of excreta. Yet so little 
has been done* from tJiat time to this, that the fuller exposition of the 
present state of the jails in India, lately published by Dr. Ewart^^ 
shows that tho evils so explicitly pointed out by Drs. Hutchinson and 
Mackinnon have been hitherto but little, if at ameliorated. 

From the table given by Dr. Ewart, it is obvious that Jhere is no 
necessity for the prevalence of a higher rate of mortality among 
prisoners confined in the India jails, than exists among the corres¬ 
ponding clw of the native population; for the general averages of 72‘5 
per 1000 imBengal, 61*6 in l^mbay, and 61*3 uiiMadras, are made 


, ** The Switarv Condition and Disolpline of Indian Jiils.** Sy Joseph Ewart, 
M.D., Bengal Hedicai Service. 8vo« ^ndon: 1860. 


Siience. 


273 


ap of extremely diverse quantities, an anuaal rate as low* as ten deatlte 
per 1000 being exhibited in some instances, whilst in others it mounts 
up to a proportion of Uco, three, or four hundred, and in one case 
(that of the jail at Akyab in 1858), of seven hundred and eighty four 
deaths out of 1000. The mortality among prisoners in this country for 
the year 1850 was under 12 per thousand; being absolutely less than 
that of the general male population of ages corresponding to those of 
prisonci‘8, which is about IG per 1000. Xo absolutely reliaQe data have 
yet been obtained (owing to the want of any system of registration of 
births and deaths) as to the ordinary rate of mortality among the 
native population of India; but there is no reason to suppose it to be 
much, if at all, higher than that of the population of England ; and 
as experience hasi shown that there is nothing in confinement per se to 
increase the rate (Uio regularity and discipline, the gocnl food, good 
ftir, and good sewerage, of our best class of prisons being decidedly 
more favourable to health, than the conditions to which their inmat^ 
would be subjeoted if at large), we must look for the* explanation of 
the fearhil mortality of certain Indian jails in the faults of their con¬ 
struction, or of their administration. 

There is no difficulty in determining what these faults are ; the most 
pernicious is Uiiquisstionably owreroxoding: instead of 800 cubic feet 
of air-space, which is considered by the best Indian medical authorities 
to be the minimum that should be alibwed for each individual, wo 
find that the jails in the Madras Presidency, with one exception, 
provide only from 164 to 669 ; while Dr. Mouat, Inspector of Prisons 
for Tiower Bengal, emphatically says that additional accommodation is 
iieedeil in Lower .Bengal for at least 5000 criminals ; and that “ until 
the present pressure is relieved, all other hygienic measures will bo 
inoperative in eftecting any great diminution of the sickness and 
mortality.”—But that overcrowding is not the sole cause, appears from 
another set of facts, which show most conclusively that an insufficient 
dietary has in several instances been the occasion of a large increase 
in the ratio of sickness and death. Thus at the House of Correction 
in the island of Bombay, the constructive arrangements of wliich had 
been found unexceptionable by a committee of medical officers ap- 
jwinted to inspect it, an average mtM^ity of 64^ per 1000 had pre¬ 
vailed for nine years; but the diet scale having been improved at their 
recommendation, the amount of sickness was diminished one half whilst 
the mortality was reduced to d little above 11 per* 1000, or scarcely 
more than one sixth of the previous rate. On the othcr^hand, in the jaU 
at AUpore, a reduction in the diet scale was followed by an increase 
in the average death rate from 42 per 1000 to 117J- per 1000. 
Dr. Ewart shows that, notwithstanding the experience afforded by 
these and similar facts, the diet scales of the Indian jails arc still by 
no' means what they should be, regard being had to the necessity for 
a due proportion of* nitrogenous constituents, and to tfte principle 
(now founded on aVide basis of experience) that a better diet » ne^ed 
to preserve the healtl^ of prisoners under confinement than that which, 
suffices for the labourer when at liberty, and that the dietary must 
improve with the length of imprisonment. 

ITol. LXXV. No. C)LLVI1.>-Naw Szwm, Vol. XIX. No. I. T 



274 Contemporary Literature. 

We Bhall not follow Dr. Dwart through the remainder of his treatise, 
which is devoted to the subjects of water-supply, arrangements for 
purification, labour, the abolition of the use of tobacco and opium, 
clothing, and discipline; but we commend it to the attention of all 
who arc interested -eithcT in sanitary reform or in prison discipline, as 
containing a large amount of valuable in formation drawn from a new 
field of inquiry, and a scheme of discipline '‘based upon a combination 
of humane, natural, and philosophical principle.s.’* In his urgent 
lecommendation that the sanitary powers of the medical oilicers in 
charge of every jail ought to be augmented “ iu .such a manner as to 
make him as supreme in all matters connected with preventive as ho 
now is with respect to curative medicine,” we most heartily concur. 
The evil of the present system, which confei*s only a recommendatory 
power upon the medical ofiicor, hut vests the real executive Qr 
directorial action in the civil superintendent, has now become so 
glaring that some change seems imperatively called for. We believe 
that the medical service would cheerfidly undertake the responsibility 
of keeping down the ratio of sickness and death to the lair moderate 
average afforded by the better class of jails, if only it bad the power of 
carrying its preventive system into action. Hitherto red-tapeism has 
been iu the ascendant; and the result has been a sacrifice of human 
life which is too shocking to think of. 

[We hoped to direct our readers* attention to several other scien¬ 
tific works which have recently appeai'ed, but want of space compels 
us to reserve the notices of them, already prepared, until the publica¬ 
tion of our next number.] 


HISTORY AND BIOGRAPHY. 

A n intelligible English translation of the uncouth Latin and Anglo- 
Norman original of the “ Liber Albus/* published early in 1859, is 
now presented to the world by the previous editor, Mr. If. T. Riley, 
who appears to have brought to the execution of his task, knowledge, 
industry, and judgment. The “ Liber Albus**^ is one of a series of works 
whose publication, authorized by the L6rds Commissioners of Her 
Majesty’s Treasury, is directed by the Master of the Rolls, to whose op¬ 
portune suggestion wo owe the exhumation much valuable historical 
material. “The White Book,” to give it its English name, derives 
its title from the fair parchment that once formed its striking visual 
distinction. Assiduously consulted by the civic authorities, its bril¬ 
liant illuminations became tarnished, and its achromatic characteristic 
disap^ared. Accordingly, a writer, probably of the sixteenth century, 
lldaptmg a well known verse in Ovid’s “ Metamorphoses’* wrote:— 

I **lJber AlbuB: The IVhite Book of the City of London, oompiled a.d. 1419. 
^d^ohn Carpenter, Common CMc; Richard X^ittington, J^yor.'* Tranelated 
tfink the oxi^al Lafin and Anglo-Norman. By Homy Thomas Riley, M.A., Ac.,. 
Barristerat-Law. London: Richard Griffin Co. 1860. 



History and Biography. 275 

“ Qui ‘Liber Alhus’ crat, nnnc cst confrarias albo. 

I'aclus ct cst unctis pollicibusquc iiigcr,” &c. 

vc^ry wisely rccotnmoniling, in the sequel, that a transcript should he 
made of llie hook that “ had become the converse of white.** Accord¬ 
ingly a duplicate copy of the work was made under the supervision of 
lloherfc Smith, Comptndler of the C'hamber, a.d. 1582. To this 
transcript the name of liibcr AIhus,” or White Book, was transferred 
from the old volume; and to this day, adds the translator in his intro¬ 
duction, the •* Libor Alhus’* of John Carpenter is distinguished by the 
officials at (inildlmll, from its inert* motlcrn and loss sullied antitype, 
as the “ Libor Niger,” or Black Book. 

Jolm Carpenter, Town Clerk of the City of London, under whoso 
auspices the “ Liber Albus*’was compiled, is supposed to have been 
born abo\;t the close of the reign of Kdward lU. His integrity and 
abilit}" were so conspicut)ns and so highly appreciated, that he was 
nominated ‘‘ one of the four executors of the will of llichard Whitting¬ 
ton, the well-known hero of popular but faliulous narrative,*’ 

In 148(», Carpenter was elected one of tlu* rej)resentatives of the 
City of liondon in Pailiainent. In 1111 he directed by his testament 
that his body should be buried in the church of St. J*eter, CornhiU; 
and on the Inisis of a devise which ho made in liis will, “ at the distance 
of nearly four centuries from Ids death was founded that now ttourish- 
ing and meritorious institution, tin* City of London School.** 

The “ Liber Albus,** compiled by this worthy, was found in a collec¬ 
tion of archives preserved in the Record Room at Guildhall, where, 
says Mr. Riley, “ for nearly six centuries, in the sequence of letter- 
books, journals, and repertories, its olUcial.s have kej)t an unbroken 
record of all transactions and events, soeijd, political, ecclesiastical, legal, 
military, naval, local and municipal, in wliicb, closely or remotely, tho 
city iu its corporate character 1ms been interested.** From these 
archives, as they existed a.d. 1419, conihincd ])erhaps with other 
sources of information now lost or unknown, the “ Liber Albus’* was 
compile<l, by John Carpenter, Common Clerk, in the last Mayoralty of 
Richard Whittington, for the instruction of those who under cntical 
circumstances might be prematurely intrusted with the management 
of its affairs and interests. 

From this valuable record much may be learned of tho social condi¬ 
tion, usages, and manners of the people of Fiigland during the troubled 
times of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. A picture of London 
may be composed with tolerable completeness, we should surmisp, from 
the passages which note the sanitary, architectural, trading, and taxing 
regulations of the community in this singular volume. Monopoly 
was the rule in the days of the Plantagenets j but then it was in accor¬ 
dance with the habits, tastes, and desires of the citizens. A moral 
police was instituted by the city. Gay ladies, and gallant priests and 
laymen were imprisoned in the “Tun** (in Cornhill), to remain there 
at the discretion of the mayor and aldermen, after having their heads 
shaved, and being led through “ Cheap,” with minstrelsy. Among 
the curious enactments, interesting facts, and peculiar regulations con¬ 
tained in this volume, wc read of the lease of the Gate of Aldgate to 



^76 Contemporary Literature, 

Geoffrey Chaucer; of a female incendiary burned to death, apparently 
on the homoeopathic principle of punishment; of the penalties at¬ 
tached to lying, and those inflicted on common scolds; of the limita¬ 
tion of wages; of the prohibition to take part in tilt or tourney, 
or go in quest of adventures without the king's leave; of female 
brewers, regratrcsscs of bread; of the trade guilds and mysteries; of 
wager of law; wager of battle, &c. 

A comprehensive table of contents accompanies each book or part 
of a book, the second excepted (for the work is divided into Ixioks.) 
The tenth and last book, which differs from all the otliers, is only a 
kind of abstract of various documents, as the “Liber Horn," com¬ 
piled about A.D. 1311—1314, “Liber Custuraarum" compiled about 
A. 1 ). 1320, Ac. Of these four books— 

*‘It may suffice to say, that commencing with the usages of the city in its 
corporate capacity so early as the time of the Norman Conquest, tlicy treat of 
the formalities that during the succeeding three centuries and more had been 
employed in electing the mayor, aldermen, sheriffs, and other civic dignitaries; 
the rights and duties of the city in reference to the king’s iusticiars when sit¬ 
ting in ICyrc at the Tower; the various charters granted to the citizens from the 
time of the Conqueror to llie reim of Henry V. ; the due enrolment of deeds 
and recognizances; the Court of Hastings and the Sheriff's Court, and their 
respective duties and jurisdictions; the modes of acquiring the freedom, aud 
numerous other matters more or less connected with the legal requirements and 
enactments of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.” 

The notes which Mr. Biley has occasionally placed at the foot of 
the pages are frequent enough for the elucidation of the text, and 
brief enough to excite the admiring gratitude of the reader. The 
index appears to be both copious and accurate. 

Some two centuries after the date of the compilation of the “ Liber 
Albus," wc come to the closing years of the reign of the first English 
Stuart. Leopold Kanke,^ whose flrst volume of the history of our coun¬ 
try, chiefly during the 16th and 17th centuries, >vas notie^ in this 2ie» 
vieto for Januaiy 1860, commences his fifth book and second volume with 
a survey of the parliamentary dissensions which marked the later years 
of James I. and the earlier years of bis ill-fated son. The fifth book 
itself contains nine chapters, in which are discussed or illustrated the 
relation in which James stood to the home government; the com¬ 
plication of the Palatinate ; the parliaments of 1621 and 1624 ; the 
projected marriage of the prince of Wales with the Spanish Infanta; 
tho alliance with France; the ^accession of Charles I.; the critical 
points in forei^ politics; the Petition of Right; the murder of the 
Duke of Buckingham; and the proceedings of the early parliaments 
of Charles to the session of 1620. The unparliamentary' government 
in England and the troubles in Scotland are the two principal topics 
dfthe sixth book, in which tho author treats of the peace with 
Prance and Spain ; England’s participation in the events of the foreign 


* ^^EngUsche GescHchte vomebmUch im sechasehuten uud siebzehnten Jahr 
fiundeii.” Von Leopold Ranke. Zweiter Band. London and Edinburgh: Wil¬ 
iams and Norgate. 1860* 


277 


History and Biography, 

war of 1630—3G ; the antiigonisms of the time and those of Britain 
in particular; the origin of the ecclesiastical commotions in Scotland; 
the covenant; the attempts at conciliation; and discusses tlie mon¬ 
archical tendencies of the government under various aspects. The 
seventh hook de.scribes the combined movement in which the Scottish 
and Bnglish distractions terminated, and portrays in six chapters ihe 
campaign against Scotland, the relations of the courts of Kngland 
and France, thotc of the Weimar Army and Spanish Fleet under 
Oquendo, the renewal of the Scotch dissensions, the arrival of the Scots 
in Bnglanrl, and the characteristics and objects of Lord Stratford and 
the Short Parliament. The eighth book, which has for its loading 
topic the Long Parliament and the king, to the hreak-out of the civil 
war, describes in nine chapters the various parliamentary proceedings, 
points out the aggressive tendencies which disclos(*d themselves in 
the Lower House, notices the debates on Kpiscopacy, relates the 
trial and execution of Stratlbrd, the rebellion in Ireland, and the dis¬ 
turbances ill London, gives .some coccoiint of the concessions accorded 
and the ikjw demands advanced, reviews the days of the Great Ilemon- 
slrance, and concludes with thu definitive explosion between the King 
ami the Parliament. 

The volume of English History now before us is in every way 
worthy of its predcce.ssor. It has a thouglitful and judicial character 
about it, which will make it valuable as a study even after all that has 
been written on this revolutionary period of our annals. A philoso¬ 
phical treatise rather thaii a historical narrative, it investigates causes, 
exhibits sequences, and explains political or social phenomena. If 
reduction to system jeopardizes the truth of history, yet without some 
attempt to interpret the collective life of a period, some exhibition of 
the principles at work or the motives which prompted action, history 
degenerates into a dry record of unrelated facts, or is at best only a 
brilliant pictorial exhibition. We are far, however, from regarding 
Kaiike us a useless system-monger. Some of his generalizations will 
perhaps be accepted as sound and enlightening. He gives us a clear 
and probably impartial view of the actors in his historical drama. 
The intended policy of the Stuarts, in Banke’s opinion, was to eflcct a 
union of the three kingdoms in such a way as to constitute a British 
monarchy, in which the Boyal prerogative and the Episcopal author!^ 
should be the basis of public power. This project, commenced by 
James I., was carried still further by his son. To dispense with pa]> 
liamentary government was not so much the object of Strafford as to 
make the King independent of parliament. Union with Borne was 
not part of the Stuart scheme; but the development of a severe and 
unrelenting Anglicanism loas. Strafford would have been con¬ 
tented that parliament should exist, provided that the kingly power 
and the government, in questions of war and peace, and Sbreign affairs^ 
should he quite exempt from parliamentary restrictions. Hence the 
determination to support the decision of the jud|^ in the famous ship- 
money case. The splendid abilities of this despotic statesman, especially 
his amninistrative talents, as shown during ms rule in Ireland, seem to 
be tborougbly appreciated by our historian. Charles I. he pronounces a 



278 


Contemporary Literature, 

man of a juridical sacerdotal nature, firmly convinced tliat the doctrines 
which he advocated were true and acceptable to God; with little con¬ 
ception of the rij,d»ts, and but a poor opinion of the mights of others. 
Charles, he Ihinks, wjus quite unable to understand, though quite pre¬ 
pared to despise and <i}jpose, the tendencies of the age. Action and 
i*eaction, tlio consequence of the existing political ant;igonism, occa¬ 
sioned tiic most extraordinary violation of that very public order which 
he was so anxious to maintain. Wlicrc the king saw^divine necessity, 
where he discerned the salvation and future greatness of Britain, tlio 
majority of his subjects beheld only tyranny at home, weakness abroad, 
and a hankijring after a system which they had rejected, and which 
menaced tlic world itself witli oppression. Such is briefly llerr Kanke’s 
view of the origin of the great hand-to-hand light of king and i)eoxdo 
in the seventeenth century. To those who feel desirous of making a 
closer acquaintance with his philosophical exj>osition we recommend this 
elaborate and thoughtful history. 

From a period long anterior to that of the first Stuart England had 
commercial and social relations with the great Italian Ivcjiublic; with 
that Venice, whose emancipation has yet to he achieved, belbiv the unity 
and independence of Italy, of which she forms an integral part, can be 
said to be completed. A history of Venice, at the present juncture, 
which should give a full and comprehensive narrative of her rise and 
progress, must lie welcome to many English, readers. Such a history 
has been recently published by Mr, W. Carew irazlitt,** a work of un¬ 
doubted merit, thougli not tlie production of a philosophical or poetic 
mind. Mr. Hazlitt wants s^^mpathy and imaginative power ; lus lan¬ 
guage is, we believe, rarely incorrect, but it is heavy and occasionally 
objectionable. Such an expression, for instance, as the eilluxion of 
time” strikes us as more ridiculous than suhlime. But, with all its 
defects of stylo and presentment, lus liistorical narrative is a welcome 
and valuable one. The four volumes of which it coiisist-s evince patioiit 
industry mid ample research. Some transactions which it reports ore 
probably related more accurately than they have hitherto been; wliile 
the strange misconceptions that have so long prevailed respecting the 
Vcnctimi Inquisitors of State, the Statutes published by M. Daru as 
authentic, hut proved by the anachronisms which they contain to be a 
disgraceful forgery, the Pionihij wliicli were not used prior to 1591, are 
confronted with the facts which have been displaced by French fiction ; 
and which not only Mr. Ilazlitt hut Botta, Tiepolo, Giovini, and 
Komanin, all alike mountain to be fiction. 

The first and second volumes of the present publication arc a recast 
of those issued by Mr. Ilazlitt more than two years ago, under the 
title of “ The History of the Origin and Rise of the Republic of 
Yeuice.V No labour, says the author, has been spared to render these 
Venetian annals as complete as possible; and that earlier portion 
which has been re-written is, he tells us, to be regarded rather as a 

^ ** History of the Venetian Republic: her Rise, her Greatness, and her CivUisa- 
tion.** la 4 vole. By W. Carew Hazlitt, of the Inner Temple. liOndon ; Smith, 
Rider, and Co. 1860. 



279 


Iliatorjj and Biography, 

31CW work than as a new edition. Tho sources from wiiich he has 
derived his information aro principally the archives of Venice, Milan, 
London, and other contemporary records: for the general history of 
Italy he has consulted Muratori^a Annali d"Italia; a variety of cri¬ 
tical and hiogi'apliical works, unknown or inaccessible to that writer ; 
the Nozzo publications; and the writings of numerous Venetian his¬ 
toriographers. Mr. Hazlitt also acknowledges his obligations to tho 
doeumenti\ry history of Jtomanin (still in progress) ; especially in¬ 
stancing his version of tho story of th(‘ Two Foseari, based, however, 
ill part, on a pamphlet by K, llerlan, as well iw on tbo luminous work 
just niontioned. 

Mr. Hazlitt’s history, as wo have already indicated, is deficient in 
vivacity. Quick picturesque narration is not his forte. It has been 
his aim, too, “rather to illustrate Venetian civilization in it.? rise and 
progn'ss than to expatiate on sieges and battles, or to enter into di¬ 
plomatic detail.” Commencing v^dth the story of the few hundred 
fugitives who in tho fifth century sought a ])rocarious sholti;r in the 
Lagoon from tho fury of the Huns, IMi*. Hazlitt traces the fortunes of 
lh(? island-republic from the period of its consiilar-triumviral govern¬ 
ment to that of annual tribunes, with its universal suffrage assem¬ 
blies, called Arrengi, \.i). 457, and thence after forty-six years of 
cliaos to a kind of monarchic constitution, supplanted in 574 by a tri- 
bunitial magistracy, till the grand revolution at the close of the 
seventh century, when the twelve tribunes in power were compelled 
to abdicate in favour of a duke or doge, whose office was to be for 
lif{% and iu whom were centred the civil, military, and ecclesiastical 
functions of the llepuhlie. In th(5 first volume, which contains eight 
chapters, we have a narrative of Veuetiau history down to the year 
1201 : comprising all thi^ characteristic incidents and vicissitudes in 
whieli tho Ke])ublie was intorcstiid from her co-opci*ation with the 
Greeks in tho siege of Commachio, her refusid to assist Charlemagne, 
and her iirst embassy to Constantinople, to the war between Veuico 
and the Emperor Comnenus, the defeat of the Pisans, and the part 
taken by tho Venetians in the fifth crusade. The defeat of the Huns 
at Albiola j the acquisition of Croatia and Dalmatia; tho architectural 
improvement of the city; and her growing commerce with the Eaat 
anti West, are among the more important topics handled in this first 
volume. In the second volume, which contains seven chapter?, we 
find Venice increasing iu glory, renown, population, and territory, for 
“ the fall of Constantinople planted the standard of St. Mark on almost 
every maritime city and sea-port town from Lido to Durazzo, and from 
Dorazzo to the Golden Horn; it yielded scope to her commerce, and 
expanded her feudal dominion.” 

After the conclusion of the Truce with Genoa (in 1270), Venice 
declared herself sovereign of the Adriatic; in 1285, she formed an 
alliance with the Holy See and Charles of Anjou; in 1298, came 
that terrible reverse which gave victory to the Genoese, lm>ught 
almost entire destruction on tho Venetian fleet, and impelled Andrea 
Dandolo to suicide. The second volume closes with an account of the 
various changes now introduced into the constitution; of the siege of 



280 


Contemporary Literature, 


Ferrara by the Venetians, and of the organization of a conspiracy 
affainst theOovemment. The third volume describes, in six chapters, 
the frustration of the scheme of the insurgents; the new war with 
Genoa; the commercial relations of Venice with England; the national 
improvements of the Republic; the victories, treason, and execution of 
the Doge IVlarino Faliero; the cession of Dalmatia; the surrender of 
Ohioggia; the rally of the liepublic; the defeat of the Hungarians; 
and the new acquisitions of Venice (1400>12). In the fourth 
volume, which contains five chapters, wo have a sketch of the 
pacific policy of Venice, and of that continued military success by 
which Friuli, Istria, Dalmatia, part of Albania, and Corinth were 
annexed to tlie Republic; now also possessed of Padua, Verona, Vi¬ 
cenza, and its adjuncts. In this volume, too, we have an account of the 
virtual extinction of the Popular Assembly, and other constitutional 
changes; of the career of Francesco di Carmagnola; of the successes 
of Francesco Sforza, as captain-general of the Venetian forces; of the 
treaty with Mahommed II.; and the deposition and death of the 
Doge Francesbo Foseari (1457). The concluding chapters contain 
much interesting matter relating to the comiuercc, the inanufiictures, 
the social and religious life, the language, agriculture, penal law, 
character, and literature of tlie Venetians. The most important 
period of Venetian history, extending from a.d. 1300 to A,!). 1457,. 
falls within the scope of the last two volumes of Mr. Hazlitt’s work. 
Their distinctive value lies in their novelty and superior accuracy of 
statement; for, as far as the English reader is concerned, many trans* 
actions in which the Republic was involved arc now ibr the fi^t time 


presented in their true light. Such at least is the claim which Mr. 
Hazlitt prefers; and, so far as wo know, is fully justified in preferring. 
Among the transactions to which we allude may be specified the Qui- 
rini-Tiepolo conspiracy ; the tragedy of Marino Faliero ; the episode of 
the Two Foseari; the relations of Petrarch with Venice ; the thirty 
years*' war against the Duke of Milan; and the origin of the Council 
of Ten, and its real connexion with the State-Inquisition. Tho Council, 
of Ten, primarily instituted to devise measures for the safety of the 
State alter the Tiepolo conspiracy, by a gradual extension of its 
official life succeeded in attaining an unconstitutional longevity. 
Refusing to lay down its trust, it proclaimed itself a permanent 
assembly, displaced the great Council which had previously usuri>ed 
prero^tives that once belonged to the people, and ultimately con- - 
tracted into a centralizing and despotic oligarchy. Soon alter its 
appointment, this extrao^inary tribunal nominated occasional and 
provisional delegates, who where designated Inquisitors of the Ten, and. 
were the precursors of the famous Inquisitors of State. According to. 
Mr. Hazlitt, however, this latter tribunal had no existence at Venice 
prior to 1596, nor was it even then invested with the revolting attri¬ 
butes ascribed Ito it by malignancy or ignorance. We are glad to 
find this great Republic relievra of the odium of an infamous libel. It 
is probable that our historian is pretty much in the right, when he says,. 
that'the Decemviral constitution was adapted to the spirit of the age,, 
as well as to the wants of Venice. Wc must not forget, however, ihai 



281 


History and Biography. 

for the iutcmal tranquillity that Venice enjoyed she paid a heavy 
price—the loss of political, and the abridgment of pereonal, libei’ty. 

We give a cordial and admiring welcome to an eminent American 
author, the successful historian of the Kise of the Dutch Kcpublic, 
whoso work on the United Netherlands, of which two volumes are 
now issued, is destined, we thinli, to acquire a perennial reputation.^ 
The subject of J^r. Motley’s new publication is tho deep-laid couspi- 
racy of Spain and Rome agSinst human rights, and its frustration by 
the united resistance of tho Kingdom of England and tho Republic of 
Holland, whose history and fortunes, by tho intimate connexion formed 
between Uiose two commonwealths, immediately after tho death of 
William the Silent, became for a season almost identical. The period 
comprised in the present instalment of this historical epic extends over 
less than six years, beginning with the middle of 1584, and ending 
with the commencement of 1500. Two additional volumes, carrying 
the history of tho Republic down to the Synod of Dort, will hereafter 
complete Dr. Motley’s projected work. 

Tlio subject which our author has selected for his new history is ono 
of deep and, we may say, world-wide interest. Tho Papal supremacy 
had become “ an antiquated delusion” in tho judgment of a considerable 
part of Europe. Freedom of conscience, iustcatl of ecclesijistical dic¬ 
tation, was ere long to be tho jirc.siding priuciide in the moral and in¬ 
tellectual world of emancipated Europe. Each j)rinciple, with its 
practical consequences, had its champions and its antagonists. On tho 
one baud were Rome and Spain; on the otlier, England and Holland. 
“ Philip,” in Dr. Motley’s forcible summaiy, “ stood enfeofted, by divine 
decree, of all America, the East Indies, the whole Spanish Peninsula, 
the better portion of Italy, the seventeen Netherlands, and many other 
]>ossessioiis, far and near; and ho contemplated annexing to this exten¬ 
sive property the kingdoms of France, of England, and Ireland. Tho 
Holy League, maintained by the sword of Guise, the Pope’s ban, Spanish 
ducats, Italian condotticri, and German mercenaries, was to extermi¬ 
nate heresy, and establish the Spanish dominion in France. The same 
machinery, aided by the pistol or poniard of the assassin, was to sub¬ 
stitute for English Protestantism and England’s queen tho Roman Ca¬ 
tholic religion and a foreign sovereign.” To oppose this formidable 
array against the liberties of Europe, says Dr. Motley, in another 
part of his first volume, stood Elizabeth Tudor and the Dutch Re¬ 
public. This impending contest is rightly described by our author aa 
a death-grapple; the belligerents did show and could show no quarter. 
The first part of this great epic b^ns with the murder of the Princo 
of Orange, and ends with the siege of Antwerp, one of the most bril¬ 
liant military operations of the age, and one of tho most memorable in 
its results.” 

In tho five chapters which relate the events falling within this 
period, Dr. Motley sketches the position and attitude of tho combatant 

* " History of the United Netheriands, from the Death of William the Silent to 
the Synod of Dort,” &c. By John Lot^p Motley, D.C.L., &c. Vols. I., 11. 
London: John Murray. I860. 



282 Coniemi)orary Literature, 

Powers and their principal representatives with a masterly hand. He 
describes the colossal sovereignty of Spain; the religious origin of the 
revolt of the Nutliorlunds; the relations of the Republic to Prance, 
and of France to Kiiglaiid; the apathy of Protestant Germany; the 
court and character of Henry HI.; the affection of Holland for Eng¬ 
land ; Unglaiid’s policy, and Klizabeth’s treatment of both Catholics 
and Calvinists; the diplomatic negotiations; the projects of the 
Jicngnc; and, finally, the stirring tnun£ctions of that memorablo 
siege. 

VVoviiii into the tissue of this spirited and luminous narrative are 
glowing delineations of the personal and moral characteristics of the 
proininent actors in these events. 'I'licso historical portraits arc ex¬ 
ecuted with consummate art, and with a Rubens-likc splendour of 
colour and presentment, that make the figures take shape, and breathe 
and move before us. Among them are Henry Ill., attired like a wo¬ 
man and a harlot with silken flounces, jewelled stomacher, and painted 
face, with pearls of great price adoriiiiig his bared neck and breast, and 
satin-sbppercd feet, darting viperous epigrams at court-ladies whom 
he was only capable of dishonouring by calumnyHenry with the 
Sear, l)uko of Guise, tall and stately, with dark martial face and dan¬ 
gerous eyes, and cheek damaged with the arquebuss shot at Chateau- 
Thierry, defender of the good old religion under which Paris had thriven, 
the idol of gi’occrs and god of Ksli-womeii; Henry of Navarro, the 
chieftain of the Gascon chivalry, the king-errant, the hope and ilarling 
of oppressed Protestants, “a ligure that leaps forth from the mist of 
three centuries, instinct with ruddy, vigorous life,” with brown face, 
commanding blue eyes, and hawk’s nose, with mien of frank authority 
and magnitioent goo\^ humour, setting all hearts around him on tire 
when the trumpet sounds to battle ; Philip do Marnix, lord of Sainto 
Aldegonde, with crisp, curly hair surmounting a tall, expansive fore¬ 
head ; broad, brown, melancholy eyes, overtigwing with tenderness; a 
scholar, theologian, diplomatist, swordsman, poet, pamphleteer; the 
bosom friend of William the Silent; an illustrious rebel for twenty 
yeai-s, and then, whether from treachery or political mistake, the sudden 
negotiator of an unpatriotic capitulation. 

Tlic second division of Dr. Motley’s history, not as laid down by 
him, but us conceived by us, includes the direct action of England on 
the common enemy, the triumphal entrance of Leicester into the Ne¬ 
therlands, and his administmtion and its results. In the twelve 
chapters of wliich it is made up lure comprised many passages of pecu¬ 
liar interest. We have among them contemporary notices of the 
English people; a sketch of London ; portraits of EUzabeth, Burleigh, 
Leicester, Sir Philip Sidney, admirably done. Parma, Bameveld, Wal- 
singham, Davison, young Prince Maurice, Martin Schenk, Hohenlo, all 
in greater or less degree take part in the splendid procession which 
moves across the historical canvass. Lame diplomacy, fruitless nego¬ 
tiation, alternate with heroic action and glorious dwng. There are 
battles, sieges, victoi^ies, aud deteats; there are intrigues, quaiTcls, 
squalid wretchedness, aud glittering prodigality, all paralleled or con¬ 
trasted in Dr. Motley’s pictorial yet rctlective pages. 



283 


JltHlon/ and Biography, 

In estimating the policy of Kngland towards Holland, our lustoriiui 
describes it as from the first hesitating, but not dislo^'al. Elizabeth 
was ill favour of combined action by tlic Jfrench ami English govern¬ 
ments,—a joint yrovUioual protectorate of the Netherlands. Holland 
had rebelled, and there was no liclp for her but to tight luir way out 
of her rebellion into success, or rctimi to slavery. But England, then 
perhaps but a third-rate power, might well jiause before she plunged 
into the peril and expense ot a war with tlie strongest power in tho 
world.” Elizabeth, too, had her own reasons for hesitation. She 
was loth to eic’ciirage tlic spirit of insurrection against kings: she 
was vulnerable in Scotland, vuhier.ablc in Ireliuid; and a war with 
Spain would give oppoHuuities to rebellion and conspiracy. Hence 
tho seeiningly eotjueitish policy of the impcrioim diul parsimonious 
queen. Holland was willing to becoine a subject jirovincc of Eng¬ 
land ; but Elizabeth waiiiod money, not sovereignty : and some time 
elapsed liefore she luid the courage to crnaucipate herself from the de¬ 
lusions of ru[)lomaey and the seductions of thrift. The (iucen, how¬ 
ever, “(‘inhodioil inncli of tho nobler clomcuts of the exjianding Eng¬ 
lish <‘haraotcr,” and while rcfuidng the sovereignty, promised tlie 
•States to protect, and never to forsake tiiem. The expedition under 
Leicester; his administration; Elizabeth's explosions of anger conse¬ 
quent on his acceptance of the (jovernor-deiioral.ship of the States,— 
in fact, the characteristic incidents the period during wliieli tho 
Netherlands “ iiccpiired consistency and iicrrniinent form,” are i*oviewed 
and illustrated in tlic twelve cha])tevs which wc have specified. Wo 
must refer to Dr. Alotlev’s own eloquent pago.s for his characteriza¬ 
tion of the brave and magnilicont grandee, and, on the wliolo, true¬ 
hearted but capricious Queen. We cannot lbrbouivlu>w<‘ver, to invite 
attention to the portrait which Dr. Motley fetches of Robert 
Dudley, undoubtedly the best abused inau of Ids day in England—our 
author says in Europe. I u addition to coiupassiug the death of Amy 
Ivobsart (one of those picturesque lies that wont die), he is said to 
have poisoned Alice Drayton, Latly Lennox, Lord Sus.sex, Sir Nicholas 
Throgmorton, Lord ShclHeld, Lord Essex, and to have aehievod or 
contrived numerous other murders; many of which, however, were 
proved to be false. A word, too, wo may say here of our historian’s 
portrait of Elizabeth Tudor. Dr. IMotley may not draw a flatter¬ 
ing likeness, but he makes on tlic whole, wo think, a sure one of that 
great and victorious sovereign, with her despotic appetencies, and her 
genuine greut-heartednesa and national sympathies. We are bound to 
say, how'ever, that wo are by no means convinced of Elizabeth’s 
“ hypocrisy,” or her suggestions of assassination in the sad tragedy of 
the ill-starred Mary Stuart; nor are we at all sure that the long im¬ 
prisonment in England of that ‘daughter of debate” was such a 
violation of justice and humanity as Dr. Motley believes it to have 
been. 

In the winter of 1587—8 Leicester terminated his career in the 
Netlierlands, after a second attempt at administration, by his abrupt 
departure for England. Lord Willoughby, a soldierly, conscientious 
man, succeeded to the chief command of the English forces, a quick- 



SS-i Contem-povary Literature. 

"witted and even brilliant-minded man, but who, valuing highly his 
knightly word, was quite incompetent “to deal with the thronging 
Spanish deceits sent northward by the great father of lies who sat in 
the Kseorial.“ iOlizabeth, acting in defiance of grave counsel and earnest 
remonstrance, now sent her peace commissioners to the Duke of Parma. 
Tho story of the secret negotiations which followed is told with, per¬ 
haps, unnecessary detail by Dr. Motley in what we regard as the 
third development of the great epical transaction which he celebrates. 
We cannot follow him here, nor show how the kingdom of England 
was brought to the verge of ruin in this unequal-matched diplomatic 
contest, when the Queen meant to keep her promise and to be true to 
her woi*d, and the Spanish monarch deliberately put his name to a 
lie, and chuckled in secret over the credulity of his English sister. At 
last, the protracted diplomacy at Ostend terminated. Quill-driving 
and speech-making were replaced by “the defiance of England to 
foreign insolence with Elizabeth Tudor to give effect to the chal¬ 
lenge. Dr. Motley in his great prose war-song now describes the 
gathering of the ships of the Invincible Armada, the preparation of 
the Spanish-Eoman machinery “ for dethroning Elizabeth and esta¬ 
blishing the Inquisition in England.*’ The pomp and cii*cum8tance of 
this arrogant invasion, the fiery impatience of the Spaniards, the 
steady enthusiasm of the Englisli, the engagement, the chas6, and final 
catastrophe, are delineated with a firm hand and in glowing colours in 
our historian’s picture. But wc must leave him to tell how “ tho 
little nation of four millions, tho meny England of the sixteenth cen- 
tuiy,went forward to the death-grapple with its gigantic antagonist as 
cheerfully as to a long expected holiday.” We lay down the first two 
volumes of this noble work with a liigh appreciation of Dr. Motley’s 
great and varied abilities. For diligence in research, for sound and 
extensive knowledge, for vigorous language, hut rarely disfigured by 
vulgarism or grandiloquence, and for living dramatic representation, 
he is entitled to hold a foremost place among the first historians of our 
age. Wc trust that he will enjoy the physical health and intellectual 
energy requisite to the completion not only of the present work, hut 
of that apparently more comprehensive literary enterprise which he 
intimates a desire to accomplish—-a history of the terrific struggle 
which broke out in Germany after the period marked by the synod of 
Dort, including “the civil and military events in Holland, down to the 
epoch when the Thirty Years’ War and the eight years’ war of the Ne¬ 
therlands were both brought to a close by tho Peace of Westphalia.” 

Descending to our own days, wc find in Herr Riistow’s “ History 
of the Hungarian War of Insurrection in 1848 and 1849,”® an inform¬ 
ing account of the events of that critical period. In an introductory 
notice, the author indicates the general pou^ of the Austrian Govern¬ 
ment, and the general positions and characteristics of her subject 
States. The imperial poficy may be briefly described as a centralizing 


**Ge8chichte des Unganechen Insurrectionakrieges in den Jahren, 1848 und 
1849, mit Kartenund FJ^en.” Von W. Kilstow. Erster Band. liondon and 
Edinborgh: Williams and Korgate. I860* 


285 


History and Biography, 

and Germanizing policy, favoured, in some degree, by the heterogeneous 
nature and opposing views of the dependent provinces, thus promoting 
that partial decentralization, which on the divide et impera principle 
seemed likely to conduce to the realization of a system which aimed, 
above all, to establish at Vienna an absolute control over the financial 
and military departments. In the general conflict of interests which 
marked this movement, Italy, Hungary, the Czechs, tho Croats, 
Serves, and Wallachians, all having their own separate views, the Hun¬ 
garian war broke out. Of this war Herr Riistow constitutes himself the 
historian. The first part only of his work, which is designed to consist 
of four parts, in two volumes, is before us. It contains an introduc¬ 
tion, which gives an analytical description of the provinces and peoples 
forming the Austrian empire at the beginning of 1818, of the con¬ 
stituent parts of Hungary, before and at the same period, of its 
political position and constitution, and of the military resources of the 
belligerent powers. After the introduction comes the first section of 
the work, with all the details relating to the period which elapsed 
between the convention of tho Presburg Diet and the explosion of tho 
Servian revolt. Then we have, in a second section, an accoui\t of the 
advance of the Austrian army, under Windischgratz, and of Jellachich’s 
irruption into Hungary; while tho third and concluding section, 
treats of the progress of events from tlie commencement of hostilities 
by the Austrian general to the evacuation of Pcsth by the Hungarians, 
iu January, 1849. Among the various notabilities, Kossuth, of course, 
is included, whom our author, notwithstanding the datni^ing state¬ 
ments of Gdrgey, appears (with some reservations) to consider a man 
of extraordinary abilities, possessing not only great political and finan¬ 
cial talents, but a military genius, never obscured, save in that one 
season of despair, and superior to that of tho greatest ilungariau 
generals. 

Over a more eventful insurrection than that of Hungary prcsiLled for 
a time the brilliant, mocking, witty, and humane Yoltau'c. The volume 
edited by MM. K. Bavoux and A. F.® contains more than three hundred 
letters never before published. These letters are distributable into 
three divisions—the Fernoy letters, the Saxe-Gotha letters, and miscel¬ 
laneous letters. Some critical remarks, by Voltaire, on French history, 
follow this “ epistolary mosaic.’* In the first series of letters wo And 
Voltaire at Ferncy, cultivating the land, building houses for the 
labourers, and a church for God. This church stood by tho chateau of 
Voltaire. Voltaire himself says of it, L'^glise que j'ai fait bdtir 
est la seule de Vunivers en Vkonneur de Viea, L'Angleterre a dee 
eglises Idties d Saint Bauly la France d Sainte QenevUoe, main pae 
U7ied IHeu.” “ (Test pour celaf adds the editor, *^que sur le frontier 
pice il Jit graber en lettres d*or cette inscription fameuse et si discut^e, 
Dr.o EEBXiT VoLTAiEB, MDCOLXi,” In the second division of these 
letters, addressed to the Duchess of Saxe Gotha, between 1752 and 


* " Volture k Femey; sa Correspondaoce avec la Duchesne de Saxe*^tha,'* etc. 
Par MM. Evariste Bavoux et A. Paris: Dldier et C'** 18S0. Londoi^ t 
I>. Xutt. 





Sd6 


Contemporary Literature. 


1767, wc find notices of j^ossing events, and perhaps wearisome,' but 
not servile, because lialf-poetic, adulation of the court where goodness, 
justice, and generosity were enthroned. In one of these letters, 
Voltaire, laughing at the optimists, writes— 

‘*Iic tovi ed hied rccevrait uu terrible soulfiel si Ics noiivellcs qui sc 
d4bitent toiinhant une cour dc votre voisinage avaient la moindre vraiscniblancc. 
.... Si la Tbiiringe a cu sa petite part dc la sccousse dc la lerre, ce n’est 
q*uD Icgcr niouvcincnt, unc faible eclaboussure am cst venu d*Afriquc dans 
Ics lituts dc Votre Altesse Serenissime. Tout Ic mal vient de messieurs dc 
la Barbaric : e’est a Tetuan, a Mcquinez quo les grand coups ont etc porics. 
Lcs Maliomdtans ont plus nialtraitcsquc les Ciiretieus/* 

These recently edited letters of the philoso])her of Fcmey will not, 
we think, bo found to contain anything of primai’y importance, but 
they are not destitute of interesting notices on Rousseau, Tronfchin, the 
King of Prussia, and others ; and they sparkle occasionally with those 
scintillations of wit which this inimitable pyrotechnist of persiflage 
threw out almost at will. The “ Remarks,” by Voltaire, on le Pere 
BaniePs anonymous strictures on M^zerai, consist of short annotations, 
in which the critic is freely criticised. Mezerai, we may add, uas the 
popular historian of Prance, whom the Jesuit annalist undertook to 
bring into discredit. According to Voltaire’s note, Daniel’s principal 
aim in composing his own history was to persuade the reading public 
that many of the kings of Prance were illegitimate and even adulterine 
children. His motive for this historical defamation of French Royalty 
was, continued the same authority, to gratify J^ouis XIV., who wished 
to place his own bastard progeny on the throne of France. 

Prince Charles de Ligne,^ a contemporary of Voltaire’s, seems to 
have had something of the refined, mocking spirit of that distinguished 
Frenchman. Ho was bom of an ancient and perhaps even imperial 
line, about the year 1740, wc presume at Brussels. His mother died 
soon after his birth. His father, renowned for his bravery, held the 
high military rank of marsh:d at the siege of that city in 1740. The 
son, adopting the same career, acquired a far higher celebrity. Enter¬ 
ing the army in or about the time of Joseph II., of Austria, he rose 
to be the principal officer in charge of the troops in the Low Countries 
previously to the year 1790; twice he was nominated to the command 
of the army of Italy when Kapoleon was first consul. He had a pas¬ 
sion for war but no genius for politics. Charles XII* and Condo, he 
says, prevented hU sleeping. His military writings have been, and 
still are, held in reputation. He was universally kno^vn, and seems to 
have known everyone. His memoirs abouud in sketches of, or com¬ 
ments on, noteworthy personages—Napoleon I., Marie Antoinette, 
the Emperor Joseph, Maurepas, Du Barry, Cagliostro, and others. 
The fragmentary autobiography now published under the name of 
** M^moires du l^nce de Ligne,” is sanctioned by his grandson and 
representative, the president of the senate of Belgium* In a second 


^ du Prince de Lime, suivis de Pensdes et prdedddes d'nne Intro* 

duotion.” Par Albert Lacroix, raria : A. Bphnd. Bruxelles: F. Van Meenen et 
O*. London: B. Nutt. 



287 


History a}id Biography, 

division of the work arc contained various reflections or notices which 
serve to illustrate the Memoirs.’* An introduction by M. Lacroix, 
serves to characterize the hero of the autobiography. The work is 
lively, amusing, and the style unaffected. 

M. de Schubert’s “ Life of the Ducho.ss of Orleans”® will necessarily 
have a sort of factitious importance. The Duchess was a devout, brave- 
hearted woman, whose sorrows and whose courage have awakened an 
interest in her, which the present volume will momentarily revive. 
Schubei't, a German professor of some eminence, was appointed pre¬ 
ceptor to the children of the Grand Duke of Mecklenbourg Schwerin 
in ISIO. rhe Princess Helen, who was then only about three years 
of age, conin^enced a correspoudoneo \7ith the professor, after lie had 
quitted Ludwigslust for the university of Erlangen, in 1823. The 
tone of the memoir may be conjectured from the fj\ct that Schubert 
was, according to the French translator, a mystic, “ in whose eyes human 
life was literally only a dream w’hoso reality is elsewhere.” The book is 
divided into chapters, one of which is entitled La Ficun songe; another 
is headed f^nigme de la vie presenie. Otliers again are more matter of 
fact, and show us Louis Plulippe in the bosom of his family, or describe 
the dome.stie prosperity and happiness of the Duchess of Orleans. Bom 
2-4th January, 181.4, the Princess Helen of Mecklenbourg Schwerin 
was raarned 30th May, 1837, to the eldest son of the Citizen King. 
Hi.s death, occasioned by an accident, left her a widow 13th July, 1842. 
In 1848, the Revolution of February drove the Royal Family of France 
into exile. The maternal lieroism of the Duchess of Orleans, who, 
holding her sou in her hand, entered the Chamber of Deputies, and 
stood unquailing amidst the uproar and meiiauce which she had to 
encounter, has been often and deservedly admired. Her death took 
place 18th May, 1858. A few days after she was buried in a little 
chapel at Weybridge, which Irish sympathy placed at the disposal of 
the banished family, and which already enclosed the remains of Louis 
Philippe and the Duchess of Nemours. M. dc Schubert’s biographical 
record seems correctly described by his translator as having a triple 
source of interest. It contains a detailed account of the education of 
the young princess to the period of her marriage, and four-and-twenty 
letters, or fn^ments of letters, addressed to the professor himself, to her 
mother, and to . a friend of her youth.' While, as the third source of 
interest, the author’s treatment of the subject is exclusively religious, 
and is in perfect harmony with the convictions of the Duchess of Orleans 
herself. Jt is unnecessary to enlarge on the merits or demerits of a 
book which has already attained a third edition. 

We suppose M. de ^hubert is scarcely a more mystical pietist than 
George Fox, the founder of the Quakers.^ His life has recently been 
rewritten by the Rev. J. S. Watson, who professes to relate it fully and 


^ ^‘Xiettree Originales de Madame la Doobesse d’Orltos, Helbne de Meoklen- 
boarg Schwerin, et souvenirs biographiques. Hecueillis par G. H. de Schubert'! 
TVoisibme Tirage. Geobve: Henri (^rg. Paris: Magnin. London: B. Nutt. 
1860. 

> '‘The Life of George Fox, Founder of the Qaakers,” &c. By the Rev: 
John Selby Watson, M.A., M.R.S.L. London: Saunders, Otley, and Co. 1860. 




5288 ConUm'poTary Literature, 

impartially: the sources from which his narrative is derived being 
Pox’s own journal and letters, and the histories of Croese, Sewel, and 
Gough. Mr. Watson seems to us to be fairly entitled to the character 
which he claims for himself of an impartial narrator. Ho has told the 
story of George Fox’s life in a plain matter of fact, colloquial style. 
His recital shows, wo think, as it was intended to show, “ how much 
may be effected by the resolute perseverance of one man, notwith¬ 
standing opposition, danger, insult, ridicule, and vexation of every kind.” 
The birth and parentage of the hero; his innocent and upright youth; 
his religious sorrows and his aspirations after a nobler life; liis long frus¬ 
trated endeavours after internal peace; his vain applications for cleri¬ 
cal instruction; his travels and wanderings; his leather suit of clothes; 
his revelations, imprisonments, ill-trcatmcnt; his interviews with 
Cromwell; his voyage to Barbadoes, Jamaica, and America, and his 
visit to Holland, in company with Penu and Barclay, all receive some 
notice from the new biographer of Fox. There is little or nothing to 
object to in Mr. Watson’s historical presentment. It may be doubted, 
however, whether his want of sympathy with the truth that lies iu 
Quakerism docs not unfit him for an adeejuate discharge of the task 
which he has undertaken. TJio shortcomings, extravagances, and 
delirations of Fox arc evident to all; hut the significance of the doc¬ 
trine of the indwelling of the Divine light in the soul of every man; 
of the protest against forms, hat-worship, kc .; of the complaint that 
“the faith of the sects stands on a man who died at Jerusalem sixteen, 
hundred years agoand of the demand “ for a deliverer for that year, 
for that hour, a light for every moment,” is not brought out in Mr. 
Watson’s useful and interesting little volume. He has given us the 
materials, however, for making a living picture of his hero. And we 
may, if wo have the skill, embody iu mental portraiture the daunt¬ 
less, true-hearted, gentle-naturod founder of the Friends; the sad, 
lonely, intelligent, yet wrong-headed reader of the sacred writings ‘‘ in 
hollow trees and desolate places the eloquent persuasive preacher who 
shook “the earthly and airy spirit” of religious professors, so that it 
was a dreadful thing unto them when it was told them the man m 
leather hreeehee U come. In speaking of the tenets of the Quakers, 
Mr. Watson states that they do not receive the doctrine of the Trinity. 
Is this the case ? We have not present access to the writings of Fox, 
Penn, and Barclay, but the sole secondhand authority which we are 
able to consult describes their faith as Trinitoriao, and Mr. 
Watson’s averment is quite now to us. 

The next portrait in our biographical gallery is that of Dr. Carlyle, 
a man who appears to have had ks little of the mystic in his composi¬ 
tion as any of us. Jupiter Carlyle, as he was called “ from having sat. 
Sir Walter Scott says, more than once for the king of gods and men,” 
is ver^* fairly describe by the great novelist as “ a shrewd, clever old 
carlo-" The son of the minister of the parish of Frestonpans, Alexan- 


** Aotobiogniphy of the liev. Dr. Alexender Carlyle, Minister of Inveresk ; 
contsining^Meinoriaia of the Men and the Events of his Hme.” Edinburgh nod 
lion^n; William Blackwood and Sons. 1860. 



289 


Tlistorif a7id Biography. 

clcr Cnrlylc, cmbi’acing his father’s profession, settled at Invercsk 1748, 
being then about t\vent 3 ’^-six years of age. Dr. Carlyle attained an 
influential personal position, in theKirk, successfully recommending can¬ 
didates—sometimes from mixed motives—for ecclesiastical promotion. 
Conservative in his predilections, and jealous of innovation, he was 
tolerant, moderate in his theological opinions, and opposed to religious 
fanaticism. His social habits and literary accomplishments procured 
him many friends, both in the world of rank and that of intellect. Born 
2Cth tianuarv, 1722, and dying 25th August, 1805, ho had rich and 
various experiences of men, manners and events. Some of these ex- 
perieiKx's arc recorded in his “Autobiography” a work unfortunately 
not cornmonced till tho author had entered on the seventy-ninth year of 
his age, and abruptly terminated by death before the completion of his 
eighty-fifth year. The period which these memorials serve to illustrate 
begins A.n. 1722, and ends A.n. 1770, when the minister of Invcresk 
had attained his forty-eighth year. To us this volume has many 
recommendations. It is not the work of a literary artist, but of an 
educated gentleman, who tells a plain talc in plain words. It reads 
like a trustwoid/hy report of what ho saw and heard, embodied in a 
somewhat dry form, but not without an occasional graphic power. Tho 
anecdotes related of tho many remarkable persons whom Dr. A. Carlyle 
nuuibeml among his friends or acquaintances, are not mere witticisms, 
but cxeinpUncations of life, manners, and character. The autobiogra- 
phtT cariies us back to a period when the Border Country had not “ re¬ 
covered from the ellects of that century of wretched government which 
preceded the Hevolution, and commenced at the accession of James.” 
In those days lived a certain Lady Bridekirk,who could drink a Scots 
])int of brandy with case. It was the age of the religions and licentious 
Lord Grange, who in violation of all law, imprisoned his wife for many 
years, lirst in the island of Hesker, then of St. Kilda, and lastly of 
Harris. It was the age of the famous Colonel Gardiner, whose .super¬ 
natural conversion, as told by the pious Dr. Doddridge, with the tlieatri- 
cal accessories of a visible representation surrounded with a glory and 
an unusual blaze of light, will, we may hope, henceforth take its place 
among the legends or myths of religious revivalism. According to 
Alexander Carlyle, not only was there no meteor, but the first serious 
impression produced on Gardiner’s mind by the reading of a good book, 
OurnaWs Christian Armour, was not even a nocturnal phenomenon. 
The conversion occurred, not at midnight, but at mid-day. 

In 1736, Carlyle, then a student at Edinburgh, witnessed the escape 
of Robertson from the Tolbooth Church, was present at tho execution 
of Wilson, and beheld Porteous, “ inflamed with wine and jealousy,” 
Are on the i>eoplc. In 1745, he saw war come into his father’s parish 
of Prestonpans, and the battle fought in which Colonel Gardiner fell. 
He saw, too, Prince Charles Edward, a good-looking man of about five 
feet ten inches, with dark red hair, black eyes, r^ular features, long 
visage, much sun-bumt and freckled, and his countenance thoughtful 
and melancholy. “ The victory at Preston put an end to his authority. 
He had not a mind fit for command at any time, lar less to rule the 
Highland chiefs in prosperity.” 

Among the literary notabilities whom he knew was the amiable, 
[Vol. LXXV. No. CXLm>-NBw VoL XIX. No. I. U 



290 Contemporary Literature. 

supper-giviug, pleasant-talking David Hume, going about without hflofs 
or horns, the frieiul of the young clergy, a really “ innocent good soul,” 
weeping ov('r his mother’s death, or pulling a large key from his pocket, 
given him l)y his maid Peggy that she might not sit up for him! Adam 
Smith, SmolJi^t, Home, Ilobertson, Franklin, Ferguson, Blair, were 
also among Carl 3 ’le’s acquaintances. Once lie rode with Mr. Shenstono 
of the Lciisowos, “a lai'gc, heavy, fat man, dressed in white clothes and 
silver lace, with his grey hairs tied behind and much powdered.” Later 
he heard Or. Dodd, “a man afterwards too well known,” preaching tq 
the Magdalena, and liked neither text, preacher, nor sermon. {Sketches 
of social life and manners abound in these memorials. We may learn 
from them what Harrogate was in ITOli; or what were the hospitalities 
of the Duke of Argylo at Invorary, or of Chaidos Townshend, who mar¬ 
ried'the duke’s niece, at a tavern in hklinburgh. Notices, too, there are 
of Chatham, Bute, OssianMaepherson, “Tumiatcriality” Baxter; Johu 
Wilkes, “ whose ugly countenance was very striking,” but who, even at 
eighteen, was a spritcly entertaining fellow of Garrick, of the young 
Duke and Duchess of Bucclcuch, of Lord Elcho, and Sir James 
Dalr 3 "mplo, who though refuseil the j)resentation of Inveri’sk, wel¬ 
comed the new minister to his parisli, and became his firm friend—a 
liberal-minded Christian surely, for he maintained that Collins, the 
Deist, not only “practised every Christian virtue without believing in 
the Gospel,” but that he was certainly in heaven, having “swam ashore 
on a plank.” Wo have now said enough to characterize the man and 
the book which ho has left us, as his sole litcraiy bequest of any worth; 
for Dr. Alexander Carlyle was not ambitious of distinction in the 
world of letters. His ambition, as his editor observes, was to dignify 
his calling by “making for it a place along with rank and wealth and 
distinction of every kind. This object he carried through with a high 
hand, and scarcely a primate of the proud Church of Fiiglaud could 
overtop iu social position and influence the Presbyterian minister of 
Inveresk.” 


BELLES LETTRES. 

F ew novels, recently announced, have been looked for with so 
eager an expectation as that which promised a full explanation of 
why Paul Ferroll killed his wifethe remarkable power of the story 
which it was to throw light upon insured an eager attention to any¬ 
thing coming from the same hand. The firm grasp of its subject and 
the profound psycholo^cal analysis evinced in Paul Ferroll at once 
placed it in the very highest ranks of modem Action. The effects of 
his crime on the stem and resolute man, who resolved to wield the 
sword of justice in a case not amenable to the laws of society, the ab- 


l Paul Ferroll killed his Wife.” By the Author of ^'Paul Ferroll* 

liondon: Monden^ end Co. 



Belles Lettres. 


201 


solute isolation, and the desti’uction of every affection, but that one for 
the gratilication of which he committed it, arc develoiK'vl with a power 
that hiis iiowlioi’c been equalled. What cun be more profoundly true 
than the sellish desire to gain at least the full advantage of his crime, 
which makes Paul Ferroll engross, with an almost tyrannous exclu* 
siveness, tlic whole attention and love of the wife he hail &o dearly pur¬ 
chased, unless it be the artiliciiil coldness which he cultivates towards 
his lovtdy daughter, conscious as he is that to allow his affections to 
expand on any human thing must only end some day, in adding to the 
bitterness of that rctributit)n which he was far too clear sighted not to 
know might possibly overtake him. 

Hut all the power displayed in “ Paul Fcnoll’* was inadequate to 
compensate for the painful basis on which the story reposes, and for tlio 
same cause it met with a similaj* fate to the “Cenci” of Shelley. Al- 
thougli kept in the backgi'ound with consummate skill, the fact of the 
murder, of necessity, throw a lurid light over the whole ])rogrcss of a 
most dramatic tale. If the first story suffered so much from the im¬ 
possibility of reconciling us to a murder already accomplished, how shall 
the secoml and present one lay before us ground which can in any way 
appear adequate to support the burden of a premeditated assassina¬ 
tion ? “ Why Paul Ferroll Killed his Wife ” is a remarkable failure; it 
adds nothing but details to the hints contained in the former part of 
his history, and details that must weaken, because they ])articularize, 
tho weight of provocation given him by his first wife. We knew be¬ 
fore that ho was the victim of a perfidious and inhuman stratagem; wo 
now only know that lies and forgery entered into its details, but we are 
also forced to sec what amount of deception wa.s sullicient to blind him 
to the truth, and we can no longer escape giving him a full share of 
that blame he so heavily visited on tlie head of his deceiver. 

As a prelude to “ Paul Ferroll we look upon this novel as a mistake; 
indeed we consider that any prelude must have failed; the author, too, 
in the concluding paragraph of her book almost confesses that she an- 
ticijiates such a judgment. “ From the premises laid before him, the 
reader need not, indeed, have concluded that even that man would do 
that deed I but since it was told in 1855 that the husband killed the 
wife, so now, in 18G0, it is explained why he killed her.” 

This is indeed true; the reader would be far from concluding that he 
would kill his wife did not the title of tho book proclaim that it con* 
tained hia reasons for doing so. If Paul Ferroll could be forgotten, a 
different conclusion might be given to the second novel, which would 
greatly improve it; for it is altogether inadequate to support the end 
to which it leads. With a strange caprice the name of tho hero is 
changed, and the Paul Ferroll of the first becomes the Mr. Leslie of the 
second novel, and more is changed than bis name. Everything aboult 
Paul Ferroll indicates a man of mature age, his personal influonco in 
his neighbourhood, his established literary reputation, the very finn* 
ness and completeness of character which enabled him to carry out his 
guilty resolves, and which gave peculiar poignancy to the offence which 
tempted to it, are all incompatihie with the age at which Mr. Leslie is 
represented to have married Miss Chanson. At three-and-twentyPaul 



292 


Contemporary Literature. 

Fcrroll would have been a monster, and by these latest revelations he 
could have been no more. From the previous history no one would 
assume him to be less than thirty dive; his passions are too virile and 
his judgment too mature for the somewhat precocious adolescent he 
appears in this history of his dire provocation ; and one year could not 
transmute the Mr. Leslie of this novel into the Paul Ferroll we knew 
of old, even thougli that year made him a murderer. Doubtless the 
fact, that from that time forth every man’s hand was against him, 
would exercise a profound inlluence on the character of one who was 
conscious of it; but even this will not bridge over the chasm between 
the two men even in the psychological point of view alone, while it 
leaves other and more external dittbrences untouched. 

Though wo consider this novel in all points inferior to its predeces¬ 
sor, it is far above the ordinary routine; the characters are, as might ho 
expected, w’ell and clearly drawn, and the portrait of Flinor, Paul’s 
second wife, as an innocent young girl, with all the accomplishments 
that could be given by a conventual education, and with perhaps some¬ 
thing more than all the ignorance of the world implied by it is in the 
highest degree charming, and makes us hope that we shall not have 
again to wait so long an interval as live years before we are gratified by 
another tale from one of the most original novelists of the day. 

An Irish novel from an Irish point of view is hard)}*' likely to be 
thoroughly popular on this side St. George’s Channel.- The national 
fashion of looking at all things through a seirtimental haze, however 
amiable and attractive, is in so many ]>articulars repugnant to the 
practical sense of the Anglo-Saxon, that however we may be charmed 
by its good feeling and poetry, wc cannot give ourselves up to the im¬ 
pressions produced by such a book as Mr. Tierney’s without being dis¬ 
turbed by questionings which destroy the effect it would otherwise 
produce. The boy there is a boy only in the sense in which the word 
is used in the sister isle, which does not prevent his standing over six 
feet in his stockings; and his battles with oppressive landlords, avari¬ 
cious middle-men and other stock Irish tyrants are attended by an 
uniform and constant success, which stands in very remarkable contrast 
with the powers displayed in the contest. In fact, this novel would 
be a very pleasing one if it could be read, as it has been written, without 
thinking and without criticism; but the groat questions which group 
themselves round the controversy on Irish land are not to be 
answered by summary rcffections which triumphantly exclaim that 
after all men are of more value than many sheep.” 

Mr. Tierney interests us much more in the fortunes than in the pro¬ 
ceedings of his hero and heroine; we admire their benevolent open 
hands and spirit of ready help during that dreadful famine year, but 
we cannot help wondering that resources represented to be so limited 
were made adequate to the call upon them. It is greatly to be regret¬ 
ted that so violent an attack should be made on the administrative 


** The Straggles of DickMassey, or ibeBatUesof aBov.’' Bv Reginald Tierney. 
Dublin: J. Du^. 1860. 




Belles Lettres. 


293 


details of that relief to Ireland which surely was without precedent in 
the liistory of affiliated nations. It is pcculiaily unplcasiint to find the 
fact of England’s exertions coldly alluded to only tliat a warm diatribe 
might be indulged in against the instruments which were necessarily 
employed. The picture of Government engineers enjoying themselves 
over champagne and every delicacy with starving crowds around their 
doors, diveiting to their own luxurious enjoyment the funds which 
should liave been devoted to the famishing peasantry they were sent 
to succour, is manifestly exaggerated, if not untrue, and tlie tone in 
whicli it is told is sadly discouraging. 

If educated men like our author allow themselves to ho so carried 
away by their prejudices, what can bo expected from their ignorant 
inferiors ? England has a right to cxjjeet at the hand of every culti¬ 
vated Irishman such acknowledgment us will allay the animosities of 
his uneducate<l compatriots; which, where just, are founded on religious 
and j)ulitical wrongs, and not on the evil points of social arrangements 
native and peculiar to their own soil. 

The boy’s battles are with weak foes, and each antagonist is intro¬ 
duced only that the victory over him may give a new lustre to the 
model Irishmiui; that his antagonists themselves are tpiito as charac¬ 
teristic of Ireland is conveniently forgotten or carefully kept out of 
sight. It is perhaps too much to expect a dispassionate view of Irish 
society at the hands of an Irish man, and it is certainly a gain to find 
one like Mr. Tierney, who is not rancorous; but the general moderation 
and amiable tone of his book make it the more necessary to protest 
against views which are popular only in proportion to the ignorance of 
those economical laws which are the last and slowest growth of a 
national intolligcnce. 

‘‘OverthoClifis” is a novel of the old sort; it makes no pretensions to 
deep psychological analysis; it preaches no peculiar gospel of its own, 
but aims only at the simple end of amusing its readers,'* and if variety 
and a crowded canvass will do it, the author ought to be successful. 
If the interest in pirates, snmgglers, wreckers, contrabandists, and 
successful villainy ultimately exposed, still survives; if the sufferings 
of delicate women thrown among harsh and dissolute men can give 
interest to a novel, “Over the Cliffs ” would be found very interesting 
indeed. The story, however, is too diffuse, too man}'^ tlircads are 
taken up, which though they arc brought into some sort of external con* 
nexioii with one another, do not make the firm web of a well-wrought 
plot. Tim descriptions of sca-side scenery on our southern coast are 
very well done, and mai^y a charming picture of valleys opening to the 
sea will delight its readers; but, “ Over the cliffs,” once read, will hardly 
tempt to a second perusal, and perhaps the author did not expect that 
it should. A novel of incident alone must be of the highest ability 
to maintain more than a passing moment of existence. 

9 "Over the Cliffs.” By Charlotte Chanter. Author of “Ferny Combs.*’ 
London: Smith, Elder, and Co. 1660. 



204 Contemporary Literature. 


‘‘Wearing the Willow** is a considerable improvement on “ The Nut- 
Brown Maids,*’ but labours under the same defects.** The period and 
society in which each of these talcs is laid, has been studied by the 
author with groat care, but he has a difficulty in properly mastering 
the materials he has accumulated. The stories labour under a weight 
of illustrative matter. In this ease the Irish capital and the rural 
districts of Scotland sixty years ago are very well painted ; indeed, the 
elaborate care bestowed upon the description of the society in which 
they arc placed dwarfs the hero and heroine, and constantly wearies 
tlio rca<lcr who pursues their fortunes. Bride Fielding, the daughter 
of an Irish eouneiilor, is made love to in a most Irish fashion, by 
Frank Boyle, who, concerned as second in a duel which turns out a 
murder, is obliged to lly his country. Bride’s friends all die, and she 
goes to live with some Scotch relations, among whom her old lover 
shortly arrives as a French })risoncr on parole; after u long and painful 
game at cross purposes, they marry, and arc happy; but the reader is 
greatly at a loss why so natural a conclusion was not more speedily 
arrived at. 

“ The Wortlehank Diary” is a number of talcs contributed by the 
author of “ Kalliie Braude ” to Household Words and other periodi¬ 
cals.^ They are set in a framework of domestic incident in her 
family, which adds but little to their interest. ’J'his device invented 
by Wilkie Collins in “After Dark” is a convenient method of increasing 
the bulk of a collection, and if not managed with great skill, amounts 
only to the introduction of another tale told in detachments. These 
stories are very inferior to th(5 author’s lotjgcr works, and seldom have 
anytiung of the interest which attached us to “Against Wind and 
Tide.” They are for the jnost part cliaracterized by an aft'ectionatc 
sentimentality, or by a melo-dramatic plot, od'ermg the homage of an 
ineffectual imitation to the weakest points in the works of the editor of 
the paper in which they for the most partiirst appeared. Many of the 
stories turn on murder, and in all of them the criminal is pursued by a 


remorse which seizes him the moment after its commission. The author 
seems to think that the dead body of a murderer’s victim exercises a 
kind of supernatural moral effect on the conscience. In most of these 
tales, the motives which prompt the crime committed, have jis little 
foundation in the character of the criminal, in so far as we are made 
acquainted with it, as the consequences themselves. The guilty appre- 
bonsions and spectral delusions which wait upon these murderers, are 
all founded on a sort of popular superstition and horror of murder, 
which tinds vent in the saying that “ murder will out.” The most 
hardened are represented as struck with terror at the sight of results 
they had meditated on for years. This seems to us a fundamentally 
wrong conception ol' crime, a long-premeditated murder brings with it 


* ** Wearing tho Willow, or Bride Fielding; a Tale of Ireland and of Scotland 
Sixty Years Ago.'* By the Author of Nut Brown MmUb,” London ; Barker 
and Son. lS6u. 

The Wortlehank Diary, and some Old Stories from Kathie Brando’s Port- 
foUo." By Holmo Leo. London; Smith, Elder, and Co. 1860. 



Belles Lettres. 


205 


no such revulsion of feeling. A haunting sense of insecurity may be 
the constant attendant of one wlio has slain his fellow; but the moral 
awakening of a bitter remorse is very far fi*om being the rase, as a 
more complete psychology, if not a fuller acquaintance witli criminal 
records might have shown the author. There is an amiahle tone 
about the general rciicclions in these tales which is jdcasing, hut their 
false views of life and impractical sentiment will hardly, we tlujik, give 
them a greatly increased circle of readers, now that they are ollcred to 
the public in these new three volumes. 

“Artist and Oaftsman,” a very good, but also a very ambitious novel, 
concerns itself not only with the antithesis of its title, hut also with 
those between gentleman and artixan, art and morals, ainl in our opinion 
resolves none of them with the riM|uisite completeness/' It is a mis¬ 
take to set up an opposition between art and morals—art is neither 
moral nor immoral, and cannot be called the latter in any but that 
privative sense in which it would he also true to call science so. The 
cileet of the engrossing ])ursuit and love of art upon tlie jiersonal cha- 
vricler of its votaries is a subject tliat might be made tlm basis of a 
jirst-rato romance; but this is not the coui*se pursued by the author 


of “Artist and Craftsman.” The beauty, value and importance which 
art gives to the passing moment, and the inability of an)" art whatever 
to do more thai» seize it .a.s it passes, and for a time to bid it stay 
because it is so fair, is its essential characteristic, and is sofar liostileto 


the moral idea whicli suhordiiiatcs the fairest moments of our lives to its 


general rules, and claims absolute authority over everything that has 
any tendency to disturb or exercise a disproportionate influence over 
that uniform cbaractcr it clainis t<i impress upon our lives. Art and 
morals arc not opposed to one another in this novel in tliiar essential 
eharacteis, but art is sacrificed in the person of the heroine to certain 
ucculcntal and cxUnaial prejudieos whieh have connected themselves, 
and not without good grounds, with the persons of artists. The 
heroine resigns a career of assured success because ba Traviata and the 
ballet are given on the boards she would have to tread. If such mere 
temporai’y arguments as these may be made use of, the irreproachable 
lilc of Jenny Lind and othci*s is a sufKclent answer. The same fault 
is to bo found with the solutioji of the other problems in this novel, 
'L'hc characteristic features of gentleman and ai‘tizau cannot be ade¬ 


quately represented by such unprejudiced gentlemen and such an ex¬ 
ceptional arti/an as the author introduces to us in his tale. Learning 
without arrogant self-esteem, and labour without class prejudices, are 
pleasant and agreeable tilings, but are very rarely found under the con¬ 
ditions ill which the author of “Artist and Craftsman” bring them before 


us. The antithesis in this point too is evaded by the gradual advance¬ 
ment of the artizan to the headshii) of a great engineering firm, where 
everything of the artizan falls away from him, except his origin, which 
betrays itself only in vague manliness and moral sentiment. Jt is the 
defect of most novels which concern themselves with the dignity of 
labour that the favourite supporter of this lofty character is always 


“Artist and Craftsman.’* Cambridge: Macmillan. 1860. 



/296 Contemporaiy Literature, 

elevated in the long run above the necessity of depending on it.' Suc¬ 
cess in life so surely follows the laborious commencement, that we 
cannot avoid the impression of hollowness in all the fine things that have 
been said on conscientious toil. 

This practice is about as effective as the educational one which 
finishes each lesson with, “There’s a cake for being good.” Cannot any 
one give us a rwdly manly and contented artizan who bravely tights his 
light witliout these exceptional rewards ? It cannot be for want of 
prototypes that wo have no such cbai’acter in fiction, but from the fact 
very manifest in the present novel that the authors of such tales arc 
very ignorant of the class they pretend to paint. The great things 
of life are seen in this novel through a haze of university training, and 
arc painted with a certain hectic beauty which is far from healthy, this 
defect reaches even to its style which is often forced and unnatural. A 
little more simplicity both of conccjition and treatment, would have 
rendered this a far better book. The author takes his reader wlierever 
he has been himself, and even introduces an Arabic conversation that we 
may conclude he has seen the pyramids. lie displays all liis accom¬ 
plishments and talks his finest. We do not mean to say that his 
accomplishments arc not genuine, and his talk not good, but both are 
forced too forward—we long for moral and intellectual repos(\ The 
incongruities of the lieroand heroine’s social ])osition are not dwarfed 
and absorbed by any high moral pnneiph} that shall reveal their intrin¬ 
sic littleness, but ai-e evaded as mentioned above by the liero’vS advance¬ 
ment in life. The artist docs not marry the craftsman, but only one 
who has once been such. 

Into the details of the plot we do not intend to go, it is sufficient to 
say that it is interesting and will reward the reader’s curiosity. Many 
of the subordinate characters are very well conceived—the athletic 
graduate Digby, the Maestro and the Italian Pia, are, in our opinion, 
more successful than tho cliief character.s of tlie talc. The Vuntini 
family arc too a very pleasing picture. There is little doubt but that the 
author will write again, and better; for alter all, our objections resolve 
themselves chiefly into this, that all things in the tale arc illuminated, 
not by the clear light of day, but by the reflected and disturbing lights 
of a painted collegiate window. A more direct experience of life will 
bring with it a more sober style, both of thought and experience, and one 
day we shall have a simpler and more weighty, but less pi*etcntious book 
than “Artist and Craftsman.” 

“ The Skeleton in the Cupboard” is a taking, but somewhat vulgar 
title, and the tale itself is like unto it.^ Euphemia Plackstone, the 
young and beautiful daughter of a city mercliant, marries, as his third 
wife, Sir Felix Bohun; without affection for him she is tempted too 
strongly by the title and settlements. Before leaving her home she 
engages as confidential maid one Mrs. Ponsford, in spite of certain 
rumours against her character, and suspicious circumstances under 
which she has left former aristocratic situations, but which she is yet 

^ Skeleton in the Cupboard.*' By Lady Scott, Authoress of the “Hen¬ 
pecked Husband,** &c. London: Saunders and Otley. 1860. 



Belles Lettres. 


297 


able to explain in an apparently satisfactory manner. After a pro¬ 
longed stay in Paris, Sir Felix brings his somewhat reluctant young 
wife home to the ancient seat of his family and to his brother Guy, 
who lias dwelt there, looking after the estate, during his v(*ry frequent 
absences. This brother is Lady Bohun’s Hrst skeleton, and she resolves 
to drive liiin from the house at whatever cost to his or liis brother’s 
feelings. The most complete deference will not disarm her, and linding 
her success not so immediate as she exjiected, she carries lier husband, 
in failing health, up to town. The ingenuity of her methods of tor¬ 
menting h(»r husband and brother-in-law, supply tho best scejies in the 
hook; but there is a certain coarseness of mind betrayed by the heroine 
that at lii*st surprises us, as wo wore not led to exj>eet it from the 
manner in which she is represented to have been brought up. The 
requisite conlidant of her purposes she finds in her maid, Poiisford, 
who soon acquires a complete ascendancy over her mind, ami during 
their stay in London tempts her still further to e.xert her authority^ 
over licr husband, whose health breaks down under the constant sur¬ 
veillance to which he is subjected. Jn this half iirostrate state he is 
brouglit, by the intimidations of his wife and Ponsford, to make a fresh 
will, disinheriting his brother, and leaving his whole pi’ojierty to his 
wife, with a heavy legacy to her attendant, llis brother, hearing of 
his Aiding health, at last follows him to town, but is constantly pre¬ 
vented, by the ingenuity of Ponsford and Lad}'^ Jiolmn, iroiri ever 
coming to an understanding with him, though his dying brother 
acknowledges he has something on liis mind of great importance to 
them both. When all other means arc about to fail, and Sir Felix 
lias demanded a private interview with his brotlier. Lady Bohuii 
resolves to return at a moment’s notice to Ifohun Court, slie having 
ascertained that Sir Guy had at last taken a London residence, finding 
his treatment at home too intolci ablo; but his brotluir’s critical condi¬ 
tion will not admit of the separation he had thought best for both of 
them : he follows Sir Felix to Bohuii Court, and there, after many 
interrupted efforts, his brother tells him of the will he has made, of 
the sorrow ho ever since endured, of a codicil he lias since executed, 
and which he carries about with him in tlio lining of his dressing coat, 
by which all things arc restored to their ancient footing, lie has no 
sooner finished his confessions, than the brothers are interrupted by 
Ponsford, who has by this time acquired the greatest ascendancy over 
Sir Felix also, and has become his chief nurse. For days she never 
leaves his side ; ho is manifestly dying, and in the act of death calls 
on his brother to search, for he has been deprived of the codicil, 
and dies with the despairing thought that he has disinherited his 
brother. 

After his death the codicil cannot be found, and in spite of the 
protests of her honourable father, and the murmurs of tlio whole 
neighbourhood, Lady Bohun enters on the property, her enjoyment of 
which is soon disturbed by mysterious hints on the part of Ponsford, 
and by overbearing conduct which she is forced to submit to, by ver^ 
unequivocal insinuations that the missing document might be found if 
pi^operly sought for. This submission puts her fully iu her servant’s 



29S Contemporary TAterature, 

power, who exercises it to draw constantly increasing surns of money 
from her reluctant mistress. 

As soon «s deeeiicv will permit, the widowed lady marries her 
cousin, a worthless roue, to whom she liad been attached in old days, 
before slio left her lather’s house. Her conduct to her Ihiit husband 
is now fully avenged on her by her second, who squanders her property, 
outrages her tastes, and neglects her pei*sou. 

Wliilo undergoing this trial she has to face the increasing insolence 
of J’onsford, wiio at last tleinands an annuity, and resigns lior situa¬ 
tion. She is I'orced to do this by some inquiries which have been 
I’cnewed respecting her conduct in a former one; she liuds that sho 
must again face the accusation of having held her former mistress’s 
Inuid while she signed away from her family the greater part of her 
property'. She has barely escaped, having forced Lady Lolmii to 
accept her terms, when the olUeers of justice arrive at liohun Coui*t, 
but directed by lu*r mistress they apprehend her on her arrival in 
London, having forwarded the necessary instructions by the electric 
telegraph. 

In revenge for this betrayal, Ponsford exposes her mistress’s compli¬ 
city in the concealment of the codicil to lier father, who, almost broken¬ 
hearted, forces her, though dying fi*om the elfects of remorse and 
shame, in the first })aroxysm of which she hud burst u blood-vessel, to 
resign the missing jniper to the hands of Sir Guy, who arrives in time 
to take it, and to accord his forgiveness for all past enmities. 

Ponsford, the vampire, as she is called, is transported for tlie forgery, 
but escapes any retribution for the ruin slie has brought upon her last 
mistress. The special skeleton this novel is directed against is tlie 
inliuenco of a wily dependant, W'eakly allowed to grow until it changes 
its character into overbearing insolence. TIic incidents, it will be 
seen from the above sketch, are out of all proportion to the conclusion, 
and not only so, but all probability is outraged for the dramatic pur- 
jjoses of the J<bioucmeni, It is a great ovei’sight of the author’s that 
we are not made acquainted with the means by which so closely 
watched an invalid as Sir Felix yet managed to execute and have 
witnessed the codicil to his will, on which the plot turns. Too closely 
watched to be able oven to give it to las brother, the reader is left in 
ignornnoe and wonder as to how ho could possibly have possessed him¬ 
self of it. 

Although there is a great deal that is forced and impossible in the 
course of events, the separate scenes are drawn with very considerable 
power, the characters are well worked out, and act consistently 
throughout; they interest a not too critical reader, which after all is 
one ol the chief merits to which a novelist should aspire, 

A very fresh and original collection of Scotch stories, by Mr. Alex¬ 
ander Leighton, has reached a second edition, and well deserves the 
success which is implied by doing so,® Many of them turn upon 


^ ^ Curious Storied Traditions of Scottish Life.* By Alexander Leighton, IBditor, 
and one of the authors of ^'Border Tales.” Second Edition. Edinburgh: 
W. P. Eimmo, 1800. 




Belles Lettres. 


299 


the supernatural, and often end at last in a humorous denouements 
33otli superstition and humour have a very national character, and a 
certain dry metaphysical discussion of the supposed problems involved 
ill the various narratives, has the effect of a sly and solemn fun, which 
is very aumsini^, in spite of a certain pedantry which plays somewhat 
too long on the terms of Scotch demonology. The stories are told 
with great dramatic skill, the solution of the mystery, when it is afforded 
at all, being ])rotracted with mucli ingeuuity. 

Many of tbcm illustrate the administration of justice in Scotland, 
and some of them point to defects in its system which seem insepar¬ 
able Iroin the office of public prosecutor. It is sometimes said to be a 
defect of our system that we have no such officer; but these tales, 
as well as the constant evidence of the Kreneli courts of law, show that 
evils may How from the excited amour propre of sucli an oHicial, 
almost, if not quite, as great as any of those wliicli arc often jjointed to 
as the natimil coiisequeiico of our dispensing with that means of bringing 
criminals to justice. 

As a companion volume to Mr, llobertDemaus’ Introduction to the 
History of English Literature,® Messrs, lllaek have published a similar 
volume, by M. (lustave Masson, as.sistant at Harrow, on the History 
of French Literature. Wo have already spoken favourably of Mr, 
Hcinaus’ book, and can do so of its companion in still higher terms. 
It is excellently adapted for its purpose, as a hand-book for the upper 
classes of schools, in which something more than the mere grammar of 
the langusige is attempted to be taught. As he closes each period of his 
review, M. Masson gives a very useful table of authors to be consulted by 
those who wish to study the subject which his limits do no more tlian 
allow him to introduce to his readers. The extensive study roquisito 
for the production of a small volume like the present, has but little 
0 }>portuuity of displaying itself otherwise than in the judicious remarks 
and general mastery of his subject which M. Mas.sou everywliere dis¬ 
plays, The book is remarkably well iitted for the purpose it has in 
view, and will, we should think, meet with the welcome it deseiwes at 
the hands of those engaged in education. 

Mr. Nutt has published a very well executed hand-book of (lorman 
poetry for tlie use of schools.^® The collection is made by Jierr Graeser, 
of the Marieuwerdcr Gymnasium, and extends from the commencement 
of the classical period up to the present day : it is preceded by a review 
of the history of German poetry, necessarily very succinct but judi¬ 
cious, and, as far as its confined limits would allow satisfactory. Speci¬ 
mens of more than one hundred poets arc given, and for the most part 
acknowledged master-pieces selectc^d, while great care has been taken to 
fit the moral tone of the book to that audience to which it aspires. A 
kind of lexicon of linguistic difficulties is given at the end. Some of 
the explanations, however, seem to us to be rather trivial, and to pre- 


^ “Introduction to the History of French Literature.” By Guatave Masson, 
B.A, &C. Ediubuigh: A. and C. Black. I860. 

^ Thesaurus of German Poetry.” By 0. Graeser, Master of ffie Boyal 
Prussian Gymnasium, Marienwerder. London: D. Nutt., 1860. 




300 


Contemporary Literature. 


suppose difficulties that a very elementary knowledge of the language 
would be sufficient to obviate. So much care has evidently been 
bestowed upon the preparation of this volume, that >vo are surprised to 
find that hVeiligrath’s ti’aiislation from Reboul, the baker poet of 
Nismes, “the Angel and the Child*’ is given as an original poem. 
The volume can be cordially recommended to all schools and colleges. 

In his justly celebrated copyright collection of current English lite¬ 
rature, Mr. 13. Tauchiiitz is about to add a series of tlie standard 
English poets, the volumes of which will appear with greater fre<piency 
and regularity than heretofore, when his press has waited the day’s 
popularity to set it in movement.^' 

The collection of Coleridge’s Poems which has just appeared is 
edited by jKjrhaps the most competent person into whose hands it could 
possibly have been put. The poet Ereiligrath, apart from his more 
personal retiown, is well known as one of the nmst accomplished 
translators of his time. His intimate acquaiutiiucc with our poetical 
literature renders him peculiarly fitted for the task he luvs, we under- 
stanid, assumed of furnisliing the publisher with introductory notices 
to the forthcoming volumes. 

The critical biography of the poet which he has supplied to the 
present volume shows an acquaintance with the literature of the sui)jeet 
that leaves nothing to be desired, and coiitains some remarks on the 
origin of Coleridge’s princiidcs of versitieation that would well repay 
a further research iu the direction indicated. His intellectual obliga¬ 
tions to German literature are here very properly alluded to, but by 
no means in that s})irit of national exaggeration which would most 
probably have been the case with a less intelligent and well‘informed 
editor. 

E, Hoefor, a collaboratcur with Ilacklaiider, in the Ilans Bliittcr, a 
Stuttgart paper, after the manner of the Household Words, is one of 
the most popular of inodern German story tellers.^- His popularity' is 
well deserved by the care with which his talcs arc invested with a local 
colour, and the air of literal truth ho manages to throw over them. 
The artifices by which this result is arrived at are, since their exempli¬ 
fication, by their greatest master Defoe, familiar to everyone; but fami¬ 
liarity with the means and the power of producing the cfiect are very 
different things. A volume of tales just published by Hoefer gives a 
very good idea of his manner : the subjects of the eight stories it con¬ 
tains are chiefly illustrations of popuhu* superstitions or scenes from 
military life. These garrison anecdotes are veiy characteristic, and 
German beyond description. The rigid discipline, rough manners, 
coai'se practical jokings, and nenve witticisms, make up a picture that 
carries with it the stamp of reality. Some scenes from the wars of the 
first French Empire are painted with a minuteness of detail that 
renders them wonderfully life-like. 


Tauebnitz ^^CoUoction of British Authors,’* VoL 512: **The Poems of 
S. T, Coleridge.” Leipzig. 1860. 

^'^Deateche Herzen, Skizzen, Studien und Geschichten.” Von Edmund 
Hoefer. Prag: Kober and Markgral Loudon: Williams and Horgate. 1860. 




Belles Lettres. 


301 


The best of these, in our opinion, is the talc called Extracts from 
m}' Euther’s Diary, in which the hopes and fears of a small community, 
tlireatcncd by the ap]»roaoh of a division of the French army, are 
described with uncommon skill. Equally skilful, but not so satisfac¬ 
tory, is the last tale, called the Story of a Lookiiig-^lass, in which the 
jjflass itself, or rather the fragments of it, is made to tell the tulo of 
events which have been rellected on its surlace. There is something 
forced in tlie sympathy of this piece of furniture with the fate of its 
lovely mistr(;ss, who falls a victim to the intrigues of a princely family, 
but tlie author’s fondness for telling his story out of the mouth of an 
eye-witness forces him here to find eyes lor events that couhl mit have 
had witnesses with eyes of their own. 

The moral tone of these tales is quite irreproachable, and we think 
they are <i:deulated to gain for IbnT Hoefer in England a ))o[mlarity 
which will in some degree approach that he enjoys in his native 
country. 

Tin* new collection of tales and fancies, by Andersen,^® have all the 
somewhat he1])less graces of his4»arlior books, but witli increasing years 
be becomes dilluse and prosy: the old t^indeney to edifying moi’als has 
(juite overgrown the occasional pure worship of beauty to be found in 
bis earlier sketches. Tlieso nurs<‘ry tales for grown people pall u[)on 
the taste, and the more so with the increasing disproportion between 
the moral and its vehicle. The virtuo.s of humilit^q jiaticnce, and 
resignation, acquire in his hands a eliildlike aspect, and lose all pre¬ 
tence* to virility, while the images and stories which are the vehicles for 
recommending tliem are too often out of tlio sphere of children’s con¬ 
ceptions, and of late always too long-drawn lor children’s patience. 
Aiulercsn writc.s like a child, often with childlike grace and cleverness; 
but few ])eo])le can support for ever the prattle of the most intelligent 
boy, even if ho be at the same time one of the most amiable. Sympa¬ 
thy with the more manly virtues of his race, but rarely shows itself in 
Andersen : he constantly shrinks from rough handling, and is prepared 
to ai)ologize even for his existence. In this volume he gives an account 
of a visit paid to C. Dicken.« in 1857, which has all the characteri.stics of 
a boy’s account of his holiday treat—everything charms liim, and he is 
constantly ready with sentimental tears of joy; the smallest and the 
most inconsiderable events of the day arc elaborately recounted with 
an amount of superfluous feeling that becomes wearisome. When he 
describes a game of cricket, he does so in a fashion that makes us long 
to sec him stand up to some quick round bowler—it would be a spec¬ 
tacle for gods and men; we suppose, however, he sat upon a hill with 
the ladies. 

In this last series his simplicity is often elaborate, and we very 
rarely meet with anything that approaches the natural spontaneity of 
that old favourite, “ The Ugly Duckling.’* In his story from the Land 
Hills of Jutland, there are, however, two little fables in his best manner, 
one of the “ Eel Mother,*’ and another of the Burial of a Merman 


» Aus Hers und Weli.” Yos H. C. Andersen. T. Wledemaim, Letpsig. 
London; Williams and Norgate. 



802 Contemporary lAteratnre, 

and its Consequencesthese, if we had space at our command, we would 
extract, but must content ourselves with indicating where they are to 
be found. 

The ancient songs of the IGth and 17th centuries collected by HofF- 
mann von Fallerslcben, is a much less attractive collection than tho 
“Wunderhorti” of Von Armin and Brentano, and no doubt owes its ex¬ 
istence to the popularity of that charming collection of national songs 
and ballads.^'* It was not to bo expected that the songs of the moro 
cultivated and easy classes of society should possess tho characteristic 
peculiarities which give vitality to songs that dwell on the lips of the 
people. Love, liunting, and drinking, when celebrated in songs to be 
sung in a society making any pretence to cultivation, are apt to clothe 
themselves in commonplaces and conventional expressions that vary 
but little from age to age. This collection, too, suffers from being by 
no means the first gleaning of a field which has been long since reaped 
of its finest crop. Whether it be most characteristic of the gleaner or 
the field, we cimnot say; but the best and by far the most numerous of 
the songs here collected, sing the praises of uino or beer, and some of 
them with an amusing mxture of sincere admiration aud solemn 
pedantry which is very natural and characteristic. The volume is very 
well edited, and the special learning of tho author most full and 
satisfactory 

Let no one bo deluded by the promise of tho title-page of tho 
“Last of the Dynasty of Bameses,** that it contains an account of tho 
manners and history of the Egyptians three thousand years ago.^^ 
Good wine needs no hush, and a good romance seldom lays claim to so 
grand an epithet as eulturhisforisch. The lovers in this tale are an 
aristocratic warrior and a Jewess, who has been captive in the gold 
quarries of Upper Egypt since her fourth year, and who expounds to 
the benighted worshipper of Osiris, the latest views of German savants 
on the influence of Egyptian modes of thoughf; on the Mosaic theology 
%vith such effect, that he immediately forswears his ancestral faith, and 
prepares to forsake his name and country, that as a Hebrew proselyte 
lie may obtain her hand. 

In their endeavour to escape from Egypt, they fall into the midst of 
the revolution which destroys the last King Rameses; parted for a 
moment, she falls into the hands of servants of the king, who carry 
her away to his harem, and he into the presence of a meeting of free^ 
masons^ who arc organising tho revolt which is to break out the 
next day. In the conflict which ensues the lovers meet again, and suc¬ 
ceed in escaping from the country. The author then favours us with a 
philological argument to show that their descendants, after some cen¬ 
turies, returned and ruled over the land they had thus forsaken. 

Tho descriptions of ancient Thebes are elaborate, but confused; to 


14 *<pie deutochen GesellschaftaHeder, des 16 und 17 JahrhuBderts.’* Voa Fid- 
lenleben. Leipzig: Engelniaim. London : Williams and Noi^te. 1860. 

Letzte der Rameasidsn oder vor drei Jahrtsasenden, ein Culturbis- 
torischerRoman.** VonMuUhlemaim. Leipzig: O.Wisraad. liondon: Williams 
and Norgate. 1860. 



Belles Lettres. 


303 


call again to life the race which constructed and lived among tlic tem¬ 
ples of Pliiloe and the pyramids, and which left the world as mysterious 
at its own Sphynx, is beyond the powers of Hen* ITlilomaim. Tlie 
unusual sceiicjy by which he has hoped to give a value to a romance 
having none of its own, has proved only an additional burden to him, 
the umvality and historic;U Msity of his views of Egyptian society, 
particularly of those connoeb.'d with the mutual relations of tlie sexes, 
arc nob redeemed by any vivid portraiture of even the ruins of the times 
he lias endeavoured to rosu.ieitate. 

Tliepublicption of the “ Dresden Gallery in I’hotographs, taken from 
the jiictures themstdvos,’* ha? now reached its eighth number.^*' Among 
these sheets will bo found some of the choicest ))liotogra})hs extant, 
and a very cursory review of them throws the fullest liglit on tho 
probable effiu’t they will exert on the art of engraving. It is immedi¬ 
ately evident that no engraver can apjwoach the heunty of a good 
photograph, where the chief merits of tlie original consist in groujiing 
and chiaroscuro; hut then, on the other hand, wlune the artist's 
charm resides in colour, the photograjih absolutely misrepresents the 
original, from the chemical ellbet of certain colours on the sensitive 
surface of the negative. A very complete prod tif this is to be found 
in tlie tliird part of this publication. 

Tlie St. Sebastian of Corregio is one of the most charming repro¬ 
ductions of a picture anywhere to he met with ; no engraver could 
aj>proach the beauty with wliich tile childlike contoui*s of the master 
are fixed upon the paper. The glowing illumination of each Hgure, by 
the glory which surrounds the Virgin, would be unapproachable by 
any but the most skilful master of mezzotint, while the pi‘culiar in¬ 
dividuality of Corregio’s drawing could not fail to lose some of its 
character under the most skilful liand. While this photograph leaves 
so little to be desired, that any engraver must throw down Ids burin 
in desi>air at tlie sight of it, we have only to turn to another in tho 
same number to see the limits of tho new process, iind to liml that 
there ar(5 some things as yet uiiapproacliable by it. A Hunting Party, 
by Wouvermann, shows tins in the most striking manner. The delicate 
and lovely hackgroumls and distant views of this painter have such 
a general blue tone, that they become utterly inefifcctive from the fact 
of blue objects producing the effect of white ones on the sensitive sur¬ 
face of the plate. Tho photograph thus gives tho appearance of a 
completely worn-out coppor-plate, from which ovciy delicate nuance 
has been erased by frequent printing. 

When complete, this work will form a splendid volume, and if, in 
some respects, inferior to engravings, the pliotographs have merits of 
their own which are unapproachable, and in manipulation these are 
equal to any we have seen. If allowance must be made for a photo¬ 
graph from a coloured surface, it is quite otherwise in the case of an 
etching or simple drawing. There are few puqjoses to which photo- 


< * Bie voriizglichsten Gemaldo der KdnigUeben Gallerie in Dresden in photo- 
graphischen Abbildungen nacb den originalen herausgegeben.*' Yon Franz 
Hufsttogl 1S59. liondon : WiUiaiqs and Korgate. 




501 


Contemporary Literature, 


gmpliy can l»c applied with such unequivocally favourable results as in 
tlie reproduction of drawings by celebrated artists. 

The skotclies of a great painter are often found to give more of his 
charucteristic features than even his complete works: they reveal his 
method of procedure, and often give interesting insight into conflicts 
passing through his mind during the very process of production. 
Hitherto tins source of study has been inaccessible to the general 
public, from the impossibility of reproducing the material for it by 
engraving. Au engraver at the best can but give his own conception 
of the work ho copies, and tl)e result is that we are always forced to 
see the original through a more or less distorted medium. This may 
in rare instances be to the advantsige of the painter, as Schiavonotti’s 
engravings after Blake’s designs are sufficient to show; hut most 
frequently the fugitive graces of the artist’s handling arc lost in the 
])rogi’ess without any such compensation as Blake enjoyed. The 
Widow of Alfred Ucthcl, the composer of that remaikable Dance of 
Death which has so wide a reputation, is now publishing at Dresden, 
photogi’aphs of her husband’s drawings, which fully corroborate the 
remarks we have just inatle.^^ llethel’s great originality both of con¬ 
ception and execution may be studied in these sheets in the fullest 
manner. The subjects of the i)rojeeted scries are chiell}’ selected from 
German history, aud have a must national physiognomy. For power, 
vigor, and effect, there are few niotjcrn artists who surpass the com¬ 
poser of the Todtentanz and Der Tod als Freund, and these sheets 
for a few shillings put it in the power of any one fully to acquaint 
themselves with one of the most chai'actcristic of modem German 
artists. 


Alfred Ilethers Hisiorische Compositionen in pbotographiacben Nacbbih 
dungen. Dresden : Frau Marie ItetbeL London: Williams and Norgate. 




THE 


WESTMINSTEE 

AKD 

FOREIGN QUARTERLY 

REVIEW. 

APEIL 1, 1801. 


Atit. T, —Mr. Kingsley on the Study of History, 

The Limlta of Exact Science as apjilied to History, An Inau¬ 
gural Lecture delivered before the University of Cambridge, 
by the llev. Charles Kingsley, M.AProfessor of Modem 
History in the University of Cambridge, Cliaplain in Ordi¬ 
nary to tlie Queen, and Uector of Eversley. Cambridge and 
London : Macmillan and Co. 1800. 

B oth at Oxford and Cambridge the teaching of ^nodern his¬ 
tory has lately fallen into new hands. Neither of tho now 
Professors has lost any time in announcing the rank ho means to 
claim for his subject. Of arrogance, at all events, these gentle¬ 
men cannot bo accused. The most irascible of M. Jourdain*s 
masters would have been disarmed by their humility. Tho ex¬ 
aggerated pretensions put forward by some ill-advised enthusiasts 
shall receive no countenance from them. Treat liistory as a 
science, indeed 1 In their lecture-rooms, if nowhere else, she 
shall be made to know her place. 

That Oxford and Cambridge should be the last of the great 
centres of thought in Europe to recognise any fresh step in 
human knowledge, is no more than might have been expected. 
Modem history they ignored altogether as long as they could with 
decency do so; and now that they are obliged to pay some at¬ 
tention to it, they endeavour, so far as they are represented by 
their Professors, to degrade the study and to divert it from its 
special and appropriate application. It is not too much to say 
that a Professor is supported at each University for tho purpose of 
decrying the science ho professes, of demonstrating its useless- 
CVol. LXXV. No. CXLVIII.]—Nsw Semes, Yol. XIX. No. H. X 



306 


Mr. Kingsley on the Study of History. 

ness, and, as far as lies in him, deterring sensible men from 
■wasting their time and attention upon it. 

Those who have learned to look to the study of history as the 
most important means for the elaboration of social science, will 
not fail to derive encouragement from this curious, and perhaps 
unexampled spectacle. Scientific ideas have asserted their 
supremacy over one branch of human knowledge after another; 
in no case without a severe struggle. They are extending them¬ 
selves now to the phenomena of society, and the champions of 
the old systems are overywdiere standing on the defensive. It is 
a significant fact, and one that points unmistakeably to the ten¬ 
dency of modem thought even in England, that the alarm should 
have been raised almost simultaneously in both Universities. In 
Oxford, at feast, there is no fear that the (juestion thus raised 
will be allowed to drop. Bigoted and intolerant as the preva¬ 
lent tone of feeling has always been, there has never been want¬ 
ing an able and vigorous minority thoroughly emancipated, and 
known to be so, from every prejudice ■which could check free 
speculation, welcoming intellectual progress from whatever 
quarter it may conic, and zealous in propagating its ideas, what¬ 
ever dogmas or beliefs they may threaten. The superiority of 
Oxford to Cambridge in this respect is incontestable, and the 
cause of it is to be found in the distinctive studies of the place. 
Thought can never become hopelessly stagnant where Aristotle is 
a text-book, and w*hero a thorough acquaintance with sucli 
writers as Mill and Grote is indispensable. 'J’hus, even llio 
Tractarian movement was a protest against the narrow Protes¬ 
tant view of history, and its blind contempt for everything before 
Luther. With many serious defects, the classical system of 
education has the merit of having kept alive the study of ancient 
history at Oxford. Modern history, though in a mutilated 
shape, is at length making good its footing; and as the essential 
unity of the subject becomes recognised, neither the sneers of 
shallow wits, nor the protests of alarmed orthodoxy, nor the 
cunningest fence of sophists, will stifle the tendency to treat it 
scientifically. 

The Oxford Professor took an early opportunity of denouncing 
this tendency in a lecture which he has since published. He did 
not, however, on that occasion discuss the question at length, and 
another lecture, devoted expressly to its consideration, though 
printed, has not been published. We are sorry for it. In dis¬ 
cussion, it is always satisfactory to see your opponent’s case put 
as clearly and forcibly as it will admit of; and it would have 
been not only more agreeable, hut more profitable, to have dealt 
with the reasoning of Mr. Goldwin Smith, always clever and 
intelligible, and often eloquent, than with the feeble, confused. 



Mr. KingsJrt/ on the Study of History, 807 

and pretentious performance Avhich stands at tlic head of the 
present article. 

Mr. Kingsley is not so coy as his Oxford brother. Known 
already as the autlior of no less than seventeen works in theology 
and fiction, wliich have reached, in the aggregate, forty-eight 
editions, ho sends his hist triilo to Ins publisher, as a matter of 
course ; and it makes its appearance without delay in a shapo 
wliich shows tliat it is intended to take a pcriuanent place in the 
literature of the country. Wo expected its publication witli not 
a little interest. {Some of the previous seventeen were, we 
chficrlully admit, of very high nu*rit of a certain kind. The 
prjrvcrsities of thought and opinion, though numerous, wore 
practicailly innocuous; and the crroi’s in taste, though glaring, 
were such as miglit lairly bo expected to wear off alter another 
(lo/on volumes or so. There was, indeed, no reason to supiioso 
that jMr. Kingsley had any special ([ualificatious for his new 
post, unless it wore tlic possession of the scenery, dresses, and 
olher ]iroperties hclonging to an Alexandrian and an KJizabethan 
drama wliicli he had once put upon the stage in very creditable 
stylo ; but then, for anytliing wc knew, this might ho a real point 
of superiority at Caiuhridgc. We learn from the present lecture 
that Salvian and the llollaudists arc also included in his reper¬ 
toire ; and, though he docs not say so, wo gather that lliey are in 
rcheuj'sal, and will be produced at an early day ; tlie latter he has 
even “ thumbed over”—^irctty well for forty-seven volumi^s folio. 
We wonder wlietlier Cardinal Wiseman can say as much. Wo 
dare say lliat, like ourselves, ho would ratlior have the cream of 
th('m in thr(‘(3 volumes of moderate size fiom Mr. Kingsley. 

The C-ambridge undergraduates must not measure their Pro¬ 
fessor by his inaugural lecture. When ho has done philoso- 
pliizing, and rev('rtcd to story-telling, they will probably listen to 
]uauy a brilliant and interesting sketch of men, manners, and 
events which they could never have extracted for themselves from 
Salvian or the Acta Sanctorum. The ijowcr of vividly picturing 
the features of a bygone age, tliough not the higliest (piality of 
an historian, is indeed a rare and admirable gilt. The men who 
have ruled, and struggled, and suffered in tlie past, wc want to 
see them as tiicy were in the flesh—a mere inventory of their 
qualities, were it never so accurate, will not satisfy us. It is tho 
priot alone who can seize on an anecdote, on a saying, on a trait, 
on a feature, and conceive tho whole character in its fulness, and 
place it before our eyes, perhaps in a sentence, or even in an 
epithet. So far, therefore, from undervaluing this side of tho 
liistoric art, wc do not Iiesitato to say that even though the por¬ 
trait be an exaggeration, or a misconception, as, if Mr. Kingsley 
is the artist is not unlikely to be the case, it is infinitely prefer- 

X 



808 


Mr. Kingsley on the Study of History, 

able to the pale lifeless bundle of abstract qualities which is' all 
that many an erudite and conscientious compiler has to offer us. 
Its very defects will be instructive; imd the general interest it 
awakens in the subject may compensate for an unfair measure of 
praise or blame awarded to individuals. Dr. Arnold’s lofty con¬ 
ception of Hannibal as the enthusiastic and devoted patriot, is, 
we take it, radically untrue; but we would not wish one line of 
tlmt glowing portraiture untraced. Every student whose interest 
is kindled ns ho contemplates it, will undoubtedly reap many of 
the advantages enumerated by Mr. Kingsley;— 

In proportion as you underetand the man, and only so, will you 
begin to understand the elements in which he worked. And not only 
to understand, but to remember. Names, dates, genealogies, geogra¬ 
phical details, costumes, fashions, manners, crabbed scraps of old law, 
which you used perhaps to read up and forget again, because they wero 
not rooted but stuck into your brain, as pins are into a pincushion, to 
fall out at the tiret shake—all these you will remember, because they 
will arrange and organize themselves round the central human figure ; 
just as if you have studied a portrait hy sonic great artist, you caunot 
think of the face in it without recollecting also the light mid shadow, 
the tone of colouring, the dress, and all the accessories which the 
painter’s art has groujied around ; each with a purpose, and therefore 
each fixing itself duly in your mind. Who for instance has not found 
that he can learn more I’rench history from French memoirs than 
even from all the truly learned and admirable histories of France 
which have been written of late years ? I am free to confess that I 
have learnt what little 1 know of the Middle Ages, what they were like, 
how they came to be what they were, and how they issued in the 
Reformation, not so much from the study of the books about them 
(many and wise though they are) as from the thumbing over ioi* 
years the semi-mythic^ saints* lives of burius and the BoUandists.” 

There is much truth, no doubt, in these remarks. We must 
observe, however, that by the time a man had read over—even 
without “ thumbing”—the forty-seven volumes of the Bollandists, 
or the hundred and sixty of French memoirs, it would be strange 
indeed if be had not a more familiar acquaintance with his dates 
and facts than he would have obtained from a perusal of Michelet 
or Martin. The result, too, will bo much the same whether the 
portrait is faithful or the reverse. All that is needed is that it 
shall be the work o^ some gi’eat artist.” A portrait of Mary 
Stuart by Mr. Kingsley would probably be less untruthful than 
one by Sir Walter Scott. Yet the “Abbot” and the “Monastery” 
may be of higher value, even from the historical point of view, 
than “ Westward Ho!” 

We have no wish, however, to disparage Mr. Kingsley's capa¬ 
city for work of this kind; and if, feeling himself incompetent 
to meddle with the philosophy of histoi^, he had contented him- 



Mr. Kingsley on the Study of History. 


;i09 


self with aiinouncinjj liis intention of labouring in a useful though 
humbler sphere, we should not have thought it neeessary to 
notice his lectiu*c, liowovor lamcutablo might have been the deli- 
cieiicies it indicated in his conception of liis duties as a professor. 
But as ho appears to think that the riglit man is for once in the 
right place, and that his mission is to put down historical science, 
if not science in general, the position he liolds necessitates a criti¬ 
cism on his views, whicl:, so bur as their intrinsic value is con¬ 
cerned, might have been spared. 

Wu should think that to most people the distinction between 
history and biography is very clear. Biography relates to indi¬ 
viduals; history to societies. Mr. Kingsley, however, is of 
another opinion. “ I entreat gentlemen who may hereafter attend 
my lectures to hctir in mind this last saying (flomo sum: humani 
nihil a mo alienum puto). Jf they wish lo uud(;rstand history 
they must first try to uudorstand men and women. Fur liistory is 
the liistory of in(;n and women, and of nothing else.” 

'I'ho ])upils thus addressed might very liiirly call upon Mr. 
Kingsley to show cause hi Ibnine why history should be studied 
at all. It is a vast hidd of intjuiry—practically boundless. Those 
wlio refuse to treat it scieutihcally will not, of coarse, profess to 
impart sikjIi a general and popular view of its cuscinble as suffices 
ill the case of cbeiijistry and ])bysiology for the purposes of an 
unprofessional education. If it is nothing but a string of hio- 
gruphics, it is supcrlluous to talk of a metliod. As a collection of 
moral lessons it may have its use; and so have iEsop’s fables, 
with tlie advantage of being more pointed and more directly 
suggestive of the moral. “ You must understand men,*' says Mr. 
Kingsley, “ if you wish to uudorstand history but wo have 
searched his lecture in vain for any reason why Ave should wish 
to understand history. 

Tliis is a (juGstion to Avliich an answer must he found. It is 
neither candid nor prudent to ignore it in the hope that it will 
not he directly raised. Men are every day becoming less inclined 
to waste tlieir time on studies of which the utility is not proved. 
Knowledge is not useful merely because it is knowledge. Let us 
have some reason why we should feel n warmer interest in the 
Ciesars than in the winners of the Derby. “ llomo sum,” t&c., 
was the excuse of Chremes for meddling in a matter which did 
not concern lum. Is that the best reason Mr. Kingsley has 
to give for troubling himself and others with the events of the 
past ? 

If wo assume that tho course of civilization has hitherto fol¬ 
lowed, and will continue to follow, certain laws, the utility of 
historical study becomes at once apparent. Man's highest interests 
must be concerned in a knowledge of those laws—a knowledge 



310 Mr. Kingsley on the Study of Hisioi'y, 

t 

which the unaided ohsorvation of an individual or a generation 
could never arrive at. In the ease of society, as of the individual, 
tho exact relation of each link in the chain of life cannut be 
determined even for the past, much loss for the future. "We can 
no more demonstrate why Clivistianity was recognised hy law 
exactly three hundred and thirteen years after tho hirtli of its 
foundei* than our doctor can tell us why the first sprinkling of 
grey ajjpeared in our hair last year rather than this. Wo do not 
pretend to fix tho date of the downfall of the Ottoman empires or of 
the death of the present Sultan ; but that limits might he assigned 
beyond which neither event could be deferred wc have no doubt. 
It is evident that a knowledge of the general laws which are tending 
to produce each result would make it possible to hasten or retard 
tho catastrophe. Tho acquirement and continual extension of 
such knowledge is the aim of the political philosopher in one case 
and of the physiologist in tho other. 

To the politician, ns to tho driver of a locomotive, it is before 
all tilings necessary that he should know where ho is going. 'Plic 
course is marked out for both. It has been determined by large 
general considerations which are capable of being uTulerstood and 
reasoned from with an exactness proportioned io their simplicity 
and generality. 'J’he rate of progression and tho degree of free¬ 
dom from violent and disagreeable perturbations will depend a 
good deal upon the skill that presides over details. Thus the 
most important laws that govern human progress are few, simple, 
and beyond our interference. The heat of a southern summer, 
the cold of a northern winter, arc influences which wc cannot alter. 
Englishmen mvst consume more nutritious food than Neapolitans, 
they must be better housed and clothed, they must use moro fuel. 
The labour necessary for procuring all these comforts must liave 
a certain effect upon their character. Again, such statical laws 
as the preponderance of the affective faculties in tho individual 
over the intellectual, of the personal instincts over the social, are 
facts in our nature which we must accept. Comte's great dyna¬ 
mical law of tho three stages through which the various branches 
of human knowledge have passed is, in our opinion, no less uni¬ 
versally true. An acquaintance with these and such like general 
uniformities in the course of nature is the first requisite for useful 
Bpeoulntion on social questions. Taken hy themselves, indeed, 
they would bo but poor guides of action. We could not construct 
from them a complete deductive science of society, as geometry is, 
based upon a few axioms and postulates. But when we compare 
them with the observed facts of history, we can distinguish, with 
more or less exactness, certain derivative laws, and these again, 
by the aid of such specific observation as the nature of tho case 
may admit, will give us rules for action in the present and 



311 


Mr. Kingsley on the Study of History. 

expectation as to the future; not, indeed, exact rules, but such as 
we can have no hesitation in accepting as the only rational basis 
of all efforts for the amelioration of our condition. 

It appeal's, therefore, that ns we pass from the special to the 
general wc lose in power of influencing events, but gain in the 
exactness of our knowledge and prevision. Whenever we are 
obliged to admit our iinpoteuco to alter a fact or a tendency, it is 
always because we have attained the more desirable power of pre¬ 
dicting with exactness what before had appeared capricious and 
unaccountable. 

Among the minor and proximate causes which increase or di¬ 
minish the intensity of social forces, the most obvious is the 
deliberate political action of rulers or other influential individuals. 
Being the most obvious, its power lias naturally been overrated 
to an extravagant degree. What its real importance is we shall 
consider more at length presently. 

To speak of history as a science is an inaccuracy of language 
which, ou every ground, it would be better to avoid. If any 
writers of the scicntilic school have, for the sake of brevity, made 
use of such an expression, we arc sure they would at once admit 
the looseness of their language. We will endeavour to explain 
succinctly the position which history occupies in their system. 

Tho direct means of investigation whicli sociology possesses 
are throe—observation, experiment, and comparison. The last 
of these, comparison, is tho great resource of tho organic sciences, 
to which it is peculiar. As applied to sociology it is available in 
three ways. We may compare human society with that of some 
of tho inferior animals, or we may compare together different 
coexisting stages of it, or, finally, wo may compare successive 
stages of it with one another. This last method, the great re¬ 
source of sociology, is based entirely upon history. Each science, 
while more complex than those that precede it in the scale, and 
less amenable to tho methods they employ, offers in compensation 
some fresh device of its own. Now this comparison of consecu¬ 
tive states is the device that sociology offers. In none of the 
simpler sciences — mathematics, astronomy, physics, chemistry, 
biology—have wo the advantage of such a method of inquiry, 
except so far as the successive stages of life in the same indivi¬ 
dual afford scope for it in the last-named science ; for compara¬ 
tive anatomy is a comparison of coexistent organisms. If sooiology 
is tho last bom of the sciences, it is because its creation was im¬ 
possible until this method was recognised and employed; and 
the very idea of a continuous and unlimited progress of humanity 
is essentially modem. Now it is clear that nothing less than a 
complete survey of the past will enable us to pronounce upon 
tho tendency of this social movement, or, in other words, to dis- 



312 


Mr. Kingsley on the Study of History, 

4 

cover its laws. A partial survey must lead to more or less in¬ 
accuracy ; just as it would be unsafe to assume the direction of a 
river after an examination of a few furlongs of its course. Our 
laws will not be trustworthy for the future unless they account 
for every successive stage of the past. 

When, therefore, we demand that history shall bo cultivated 
scientificallyy we mean that it should be cultivated with a view to 
the discovery and verification of sociologic laws. Not only the 
mctliod of comparison, hut those of observation and experiment, 
suppose the existence of liistory, and would cease to bo available 
without it. In fact, in so far as sociology contemplates tlie 2 )ro- 
gress of society, as distinguished from its ordeVy it is identical 
with the comparison of consecutive stages, and is what is com¬ 
monly called the philosophy of history, or abstract history. 
Concrete history is a grand collection of phenomena for science 
to investigate. It is well or ill written according as the facts are 
W'ell or ill selected. 

We have thought it necessary, before proceeding to notice the 
remarks of Mr. Kingsley, to state in general terms what the 
scientific theory of history really is, because, whether from sheer 
ignorance or from a desire to discredit what he dislikes, he 
throughout attributes to scientific tliinkcrs opinions which neither 
they nor, as far as we know, any one else, ever held. The fact is, 
that not one person in a hundred who talks of positive philosophy 
has any but the vaguest notion of its import. !Mr. Kingsley is 
not the only writer we could mention whose acquaintance with 
this philosophy, glibly as he criticises it, is evidently not greater 
than might have been gained, at second hand, from some shallow 
and unscrupulous review article. We are persuaded that many 
of our readers who have been shocked or tickled by Mr. Kingsley’s 
disclosures will be astonished to find that the much-abused doc¬ 
trine is, when fairly stated, so sober and so agreeable to common 
sense. To go no further than the title of his lecture—was there 
ever such a mare’s nest ? There are but two sciences really exact 
—^mathematics and astronomy. Who is it that wants to apply 
mathematics or astronomy to history ? The phrase is absolutely 
without meaning. You might as well talk of the limits of plastic 
art as applied to music. If Mr. Kingsley means that history will 
never ho raised into an exact science, we perfectly agree with 
him, and only wonder why ho should think it necessary to dis¬ 
prove so elaborately what no one, either wise or foolish, has ever 
been known to assert. But it is pretty clear that ho means to 
deny the possibility of treating history scientifically at all. He 
considers that its course has been determined by the unaccount¬ 
able appearance, from time to time, of great men. He believes 
that the human will is actuated, not by the inducements operating 



Mr* Kingsley on the Stvdy of History, i)13 

upon it and. the character previously formed, but by itself; and 
that therefore human actions, whether on a small or a (ijrcat 
scale, defy calculation, lu short, ho denies the reality of that 
orilerly co-c.\isteuco and setiueuce of phenomena which wo call 
law. 

It is, we arc awiire, no easy matter to bring Mr. Kingsley to 
book. So ample in some places are his acknowledgments of tho 
order and uniformity visible in all phenomena, physical and 
moral, that after a hasty glance at his lecture you might even go 
away with tho impression that its author was a disciple of Mr. 
Buckle. It costs him nothing to employ the language and 
phrases of his opponents. Jlo pledges himself to opinions in 
one sentence which ho repudiates with horror in tho next, and 
exliibits an ingenuity iu luirraoniziug contrndicjtioiis worthy of 
tile framers of tho Thirty-nino Articles. Deny the oxistouce of 
invariable laws ? He would be the last man to do it. All he 
asserts is, that they do not result in any inevitable scciueneo. 
Order in history? lie recognises it from the bottom of his 
heart, and linds it to he “ crooked, wayward, rajstcrious, and in¬ 
calculable.” There is in human nature “ a demoniac clement defy- 
iug all law and all inductionHeaven forbid, then, that he 
should discourage tho apjdicaiioii of inductive science to so 
hopeful u domain. Wo arc reminded of Touchstone’s opinion on 
ii shepherd's life ; “ T'ruly, in respect of itself, it is a good life; 
but ill respect that ii is a sliephcrd’s life, it is naught. In respect 
that it is solitary, I like it very well; but in respe(5t that it is 
private, it is a very vile life. Now, iu respect it is in the fields, 
it ploaseth me well; but in respect it is not iu the court, it is 
tedious. As it is a spare life, look you, it lUs my humour well; 
but as there is no more plenty in it, it goes mucli against my 
stinnach.*’ 

Mr. Kingsley is a groat admirer of the Socratio method. It 
is a pity that ho has not so far followed it as to give us a defini¬ 
tion of a term which ho employs throughout his lecture. AVhat 
does he mean by *Haw” ? It is difficult to believe that he has 
lived to become a Professor without being aware that a word 
which originally meant the obligation of duty, is by scientific 
men used to denote a uniformity observed in the course of nature. 
The notion of a duty imposed by some external power has no 
longer any place in it. It is, perhaps, a misfortune that science 
should have adopted a word already in common and established 
use, and with a well-defined meaning, which, with reference to a 
certain class of conceptions, it will always maintain. The double 
signification will ever remain a monument of the metaphysical 
stage from which science emerged. The inconvenience has been 
felt by some writers, and attempts have been made to substitute 



814 Mr. Kingsley on the Study of History. 

a less ambiguous term. To us, we must confess, it seemed a 
very needless prudery to make any alteration. Until we read 
Mr. Kingsley’s lecture, wc did not suppose it possible tlmt the 
double signilicntion would bo a stumbling-block to any man of 
common education. Tho danger, however, was more real than 
we imagined. Some idea of tho confusion under which IVIr. 
Kingsley is labouring may be gathered from a comparison of a 
few passages culled from his lecture. Will any one, for instance, 
explain this:— 

‘‘Without doubt history obeys, and always bas obeyed, in the long 
run, certain laws. But those laws assert themselves and are to be dis¬ 
covered not in things but in persons; in the actions of human beings ; 
and just in proportion as we understand human beings shall we under¬ 
stand the laws which they have obt^yed or which have avenged them¬ 
selves on their disobedience. This may seem a truism; if it be such, 
it is one which we cannot too often repeat to ourselves just now, when 
tho rapid progress of science is tempting us to look at liuman beings 
rather as things than as persons, and at abstractions—under the name 
of laws—rather as persons than as things.” (p. 8.) 

When the wicked one hungered for the soul of a mediaeval 
saint, the holy man, if wo may believe the Eollandists, was often 
tempted to imagine forms of sin as grotesque as they were heinous. 
Mr. Kingsley, it seems, is wrestling witii similar horrors. The 
fiend is tempting him to look at human beings as things, at ab¬ 
stractions under tho name of Jaws as persons. What a hideous 
nightmare! A man aflSicted with so temblo a visitation is quite 
right not to despise a truism. It must ho a most valuable spe¬ 
cific for his disease. No diluted truth, no speculative subtlety, 
would meet his case. Naviget Anticyram. 

“ The only philosophical method of looking at the strangest of phe¬ 
nomena is to believe that it is the result of law, perhaps a healthy re¬ 
sult ; that it is not to he condemned as a product of disease before it is 
proven to he such; and that if it he a product of disease, disease has 
its laws as much as health; and is a subject not for cursing hut for 
induction,” (p. 11.) 

. If it were not too evident that Mr. Kingsley’s ideas come tum¬ 
bling after one another upon his paper, each trying to explain or 
correct its predecessor, one might have asked what a healthy 
result of law is, and whether it is the same as the result of a law 
of health ? or how disease can have its laws if “ product of dis¬ 
ease” is contrasted with “ result of law,” that is, if disease is con¬ 
trasted with law ? However, there is an evident intention to use 
the word “law" in its scientific sense, though the strange ideas 
mixed up with it augur hut ill for a scientifio treatment of the 
subject. 



515 


Mr, Kingsley on the Study of History. 

In page 17 lie complains that— 

“Young sciences, like young men, have their time of wonder, 
hope, imagination, and of* passion, too, and haste, and bigotry. Daz¬ 
zled, and that pardonably, by the beauty of the few laws they 
may have discovered, they are too apt to erect them into gods, and 
to explain by them uU matters in heaven and earth; and apt, too, I 
think, as tliis author does, to patch them where they arc weakest by 
that most dangerous succedaneum of vague and grand epithets which 
very often contain each of them an assumption far more important 
than the law to which they arc tacked.” 

This is prosopopoeia with a vengeance. Science is dazzled, 
and laws are erected into gods; a god, according to Mr. Kingsley, 
being something by which you explain phenomena. As for tho 
autlK>r whom he has boon quoting, altlioiigh it is not very clear 
whether he is some particular science or science in general, ho 
must at all events consider hiinstdf liighly complimented. 

In page 19, we discover that by laws Mr. Kingsley means “llio 
laws of right and wrong, tho everlasting judgments of fiod, to 
whicli a confused and hard-worked man was to look; and take 
comfort, for all would be well at last.” The man in question 
must be Mr. Kingsley, who docs not seo that the law of gravita¬ 
tion and the law of tho Jlecaloguo are ideas wliich havo little 
more in common than tho sound of an orgiui and the sound of a 
codfish. 

In tho next page (20) ho rutnms to lus metaphysical miscon¬ 
ception of tho laws of nature, lie cannot agree with those who 
represent “ invuriahlo and immutable laws ns resulting in any in¬ 
evitable sequence or irresistible growth. Wo shall not deny a 
sequence—Keasou forbids tliat; or, again, a growth—l^lxperieace 
forbids that: but we shall be puzzled to see 'why a law, because 
it is immutable itself, should produce inevitable results.” 

Puzzled indeed I The definition of law in its scientific sense 
is, as we have said before, a uniformity observed in tho course of 
nature. The sequence does not result from the law any more 
than the three concords result from tho Kton grammar. The 
proposition of Newton docs not stand in the same relation to the 
falling apple as the Now Testament does to a Christian, or the 
Statutes at Large to a British subject. So, at least, we have been 
accustomed to think; but Mr. IGngsloy has his own opinion 
about that celebrated apple;— 

“ If they quote the facts of material nature against us, we shall be 
ready to meet them on that very ground and ask:—-You say that as 
tho laws of matter are inevitable, so, probably, are the laws of human 
life ? Be it so: but in what sense are the laws of matter inevitable ? 
Potentially or actually ? Even in the seemingly most uniform and 
universal law where do we find the inevitable or the irresistible ? Is 



316 Mr. Ktngsley on the Study of Iliston/. 

there not in nature a perpetual competition of law against law, force 
agiunst force, producing the most endless and unexpected variety of 
results ? Cannot such Taw be interfered with at any moment by some 
other law, so that the first law, though it may struggle for the mastery, 
shall be for an indefinite time utterly defeated ? The law of gravity 
is immutable enough; but do all stones inevitably fall to the ground? 
Certainly not, if 1 choose to catch one and keei> it in my hand. It 
remains tliero by laws ; and the law of gravity is there too, making it 
feel heavy in my hand; but it has not fallen to the ground and will not 
till I let it. So much foi* the inevitable action of the laws of gravity 
as of others. Potentially it is immutable ; but actually it can be con¬ 
quered by other laws. I really beg your pardon for occupying you 
here with such truisms, but I must put the students of this university 
in mind of them as long as too many modern thinkers shall choose to 
ignore them.’* (p. 20.) 

Mr. Kingsley need not heg our pardon for occupying us with 
truisms. Ho takes too modest a view of his scientific position. 
We believe that he is on the eve of making an important disco¬ 
very, if he has not already made it. A new law is not to be thus 
lightly spoken of. lint will ho formulate it ? At present, it is 
in rather an undeveloped shape. To call it tlic law of some 
one’s hand being in the way,” is concrete, not to say awkward. 
We do not venture to anticipate the shape which this brilliant 
conception will take in the hands of the discoverer; but if we 
might venture to suggest a name for it, it would be “the Law ol 
Potential Immutabilityand, prone as sav(t7is are to steal each 
other’s laurels, wo think that the prioiity of discovery will, in this 
case, not bo disputed. 

But seriously, does Mr. Kingsley believe- that tho law of gra¬ 
vity is interfered with if the stone does not fall to the ground ? 
If anything would make Sir Isaac Newton turn in his grave, 
surely it would be to Lear a llegius Professor of his own Univer¬ 
sity informing an academic audience that tho great law upon 
which his fame rests is but ** seemingly uniform and universal.” 
What must have been the feelings of the learned mathematicians 
for whom that univereity is still celebrated, when they hoard 
their now luminary triumphing thus over the law of gravitation ? 
Mr, Kingsley, however, admits all we contend for. “It remains 
there by laws.” Of course it docs. It remains there inevitaljly* 
No phenomenon, even the most simple, is the pure result of one 
law, or, indeed, if we would avoid loose language, of law at all. Law 
is not synonymous with cause. It is merely the expression of 
the relation between antecedent and consequent. Each pheno¬ 
menon is tho consequent of several antecedents or causes. Given, 
the same antecedents, the consequent is invariable, and there¬ 
fore the relation between them, call it law or sequence, is inva¬ 
riable alsa 



Mr, Kingsley on the Study of History, 317 

We could be well content to leave the argument here, 
thoroughly accepting the analogy pointed out by Kingsley. 
It matters little what epithets are applied to the law ol' gravita* 
tiou cither by him or us. Ill very one understands in whnt sense 
certainty and iiivariableness are predicated of that law, and of 
others in the physical world. It is precisely that kind of cer¬ 
tainty and invariablcness that we claim for the relation of ante¬ 
cedent and consequent in the moral world. Whether we can 
discover mcrai laws with the same accuracy as physical is an¬ 
other question. All wo say is, tliat they exist, and that therefore 
known, unknown, or partially known, they are a proper objeut of 
science. 

A little further on (p. 22), ilr. Kingsley descends from the 
region of science, and again speaks of law as if it was an Act of 
Parliament. Such, at least, we suppose to be his meaning wlieu 
he informs ns that man has what he may well (jail the “ myste- 
ritms” power of “breaking the laws of his own being.” lie 
does not condoscond to give us an illustration of his meaning, or 
to specify what those laws arc towards which man stands in such 
an indopeudont position. Tjiko the anonymous law that suspends 
gravitation, they are treated in an allusive stylo that is rather 
tantalizing to the inquirer. 

At this point an imaginary objector is introduced, who gets 
his scalp talvon miserably. 

“ The usual rejoinder to this argument is to full back upon man’s 
v/eakness and ignorance and to take refuge in the infinite unknown, 
^lan, it is said, may of course interfere a little with some of the less 
important laws of his hoing; but who is he to grapple with the more 
vast and remote ones ? Because he can prevent a pebble from falling, is 
he to suppose that lie can alter the destiny of nations, and grapple, for¬ 
sooth, with ‘ the eternities, and the immensities,* and so forth ? The 
argument is very powerful; but addrovst rather to the imagination tlian 
the reason. It is after all another form of the old omne ignottim pro 
magniftco, and we may answer, 1 think fairly,—About the eternities 
and immensities we know nothing, not having been there as yet j but 
it is a mere assumption to suppose without proof that the more remote 
and impalpable laws are more vast, in the sense of being more powerful 
(the only sense wliich really bears upon the argument), than the laws 
which are palpably at work around us all day long.” (p. 25.) 

We do not know in what quarter Mr. Kingsley has met with 
this rejoinder. Certainly not from the scientific school; and if 
he means to insinuate as much, tho audacity of the imputation is 
only equalled by the gross ignorance it betrays of the leading 
cbarncteristies of the philosophy he is assailing. AVe do, indeed, 
remember an eloquent passage about “ the eternities and reali¬ 
ties,” and so forth; but it occurs in of one Mr, Kingsley's own 



318 Mr. Kingsley on the Study of History. 

A 

works,* belonging to that period of liis life wlien ho coxdd write, 
when he had not ventured ultra crepidani; in other words, when 
his works Averc addrest rather to tho imagination than the 
reason.” We read it—when younger—with considerable enthu¬ 
siasm ; and, even now, it is not without a certain revulsion of 
feeling that we loam from his own admission, that he has “not 
been there as yet." 

“ There may bo laws of folly, as there are laws of disease; and whe¬ 
ther there are or not, we may learn much wisdom from folly; wo may 
see what the true laws of humanity are by seeing tho penalties which 
come from breaking them.** (p. 20.) 

J.aw, then, is something which may be broken, and to Avhich a 
penalty is affixed. Will Mr. Kingsley tell us how Ave can break 
tho laws of folly, and give us a practical illustratioji ? Or how 
Avc can break those of disease, and Avhat penalty wo shall incur if 
we do? But though wo may have laws of folly, wo must not, it 
seems, hope for laws of population, 

“ How, again, are wc to arrive at any exact laws of the increase of 
population in a race which has had from the beginning the abnormal 
and truly monstrous habit of slaughtering each other, not for food— 
for in a race of normal cannibals the ratio of increase or decrease might 
easily be calculated—but uselessly, from rage, hate, fanaticism, or even 
mere W'antonness-** (p. 80.) 

If by laws of the iucrense of population Mr. Kingsley ruenns 
laws of the operation of the reproductive power, irrespective of 
all external accelerating or retarding influences, we can only ex¬ 
press our belief that such a grotesque idea never entered into any 
onc*s head hut his own. He desiderates, it would scorn, a law by 
tho aid of which he should ho ahlo to ascertain the population of 
the earth, or any portion of it, at any given period. Certainly 
no statistician of our acquaintance will attempt to satisfy him, 
not even Avere he furnished with the datum of cannibalism which, 
in Mr. Kingsley s opinion, would so simplify the question. It 
happens that, although a scientific study of the laws of population 
is of comparatively recent dato,Ave Inive already attained to a very 
high degree of accuracy in calculation and prediction. Tho re¬ 
mark about the slaughter of war ns a disturbing cause is 
thoroughly childish, and is one among many incidental proofs 
afforded by this lecture, that its author is considering these ques¬ 
tions for the first time. Theories of population are, no doubt, 
complicated by many disturbing causes ; but, among these, tho 
slaughter of Avar is hardly worth considering. War acts upon tho 
population far more by the increased taxation it necessitates, in 


♦ ** Alton Locke, ii; 184.** 




019 


Mr. Kingsley on the Study of History, 

other words, hy diminishing the number of births, than by its 
direct sacrifice of human life. “Bah! ce n’est qu’une nuit do 
Paris !*’ may have been a cynical comment on the horrors of a 
battle-field. But Cond6 was not wrong in his estimate of the 
result to population. 

Averages Rfr. Kingsley will not hear of, for the extraordinary 
reason that what is true of the average is not true of every indi¬ 
vidual unit of the sum from which the average is struck. 

“ How, I ask, are wc to make calculations about such a species as 
man ? Many modern men of science wish to draw the normal laws of 
human life from the average of humanity; I question whether they 
can do so ; because I do not believe the average man to be the norm^ 
man, exhibiting the normal laws, but a very abnormal man, diseased 
and crippled; but even if their method were correct, it could work 
in practice only if tlic destinies of men were always decided by majo¬ 
rities : and granting that the majority of men have common sense, 
are the minority of fools to count Ibr nothing ? Are they powerless ? 
Have they liad no infiuenco on history s'” 

It might have occurred to any one else, that tho very idea of 
an average implies such inequalities and irregularities. To what 
purpose would he apply that useful method of calculation ? Sir 
lliulibras 

“ by geometric scale, 

Could take the size of pots of ale, 

Besolvo by sines and tangents straight 
If bread and butter wanted weight. 

And wisely tell what hour of the day 
The clock did strike by algebra.** 

Mr. Kingsley, wo presume, would have recourse to au average 
to discover how many minutes and seconds there are in tho 
“ normal” hour. To an actuary lie would say, “ How, I ask, aro 
wo to make calculations about such a thing as tho duration of 

human life? Mauv modern statisticians wish to draw tho laws 

«• 

of it from tlie average of humanity. But granting that the majo¬ 
rity of men have good eoustitutions, are the minority of valetudi¬ 
narians to count for nothing? Are they powerless ? Have they 
no inllucnce on tho rate of mortality ?" To tlio novelist and 
professor of biography generalizations founded on averages will, 
of course, be of little use, just as they will not fix the duration 
of this or that man s life. But tho Iiistorian, who has to deal, 
not with units but with masses, wants no surer basis for his 
inferences. 

A little further on we have another onslaught on the law of 
gravitation. 

“ Man, all day long, has a free choice between even physical laws 
which mere things have not, and which make [sic) the laws of mere 



320 Mr. Kingsley on the Study of History. 

things inapplicable to him. Take the simplest case. If he falls into 
the water, he has his choice whether ho will obey the laws of gravity 
and sink, or by other laws perform the (to him) cartificial process of 
swimming, and get ashore. True, both would happen by law; but ho 
has his choice which law shall conquer, sink or swim. We have yet to 
learn why whole nations, why all mankind, may not use tho same 
prudential power as to which law they shall obey,** (p. 35.) 

Once more, we say, does Mr. Kingsley seriously mean to assert 
that a swimmer is disobeying the laws of gravity? Our readers 
will pardon us for using such unmeaning language. It is not 
ours, but Mr. Kingsley s. Here, again, we have tho adumbration 
of a new law, which it is to bo hoped tho scientific world will ap¬ 
preciate, It is—wo use the terse and idiomatic diction of its 
discoverer—the law of swim. It seems to have a not distant 
affinity to the partially developed theory respecting tho stono 
which we have already adverted to. Wo wait impatiently for u 
colligation and a formula. 

After all, why should we argue the metaphysical question w'ith 
Mr. Kingsley ? Prevision is the test of sciouce. If a man falls 
into the water, are we, or are we not, safe in predicting that he 
will try to get to shore ? At all ovonts, however perverse an in¬ 
dividual might be, it is absolutely certain what a ship's crew 
would do. When we have so high a degree of certainty, there is 
surely tho possibility of a science. Mr. Kingsley would admit 
that it is highly improbable that any life insurance society will 
ever be ruined by all its members cutting their throats. But liis 
metaphysics will not allow him to affirm that it is impossible. 

Any individual man," he would say, “ can cut his throat; and 
I have yet to learn why whole insurance societies, whole nations, 
why all mankind may not use the same prudential power.” That 
is the amount of uncertainty which, in his eyes, makes a science 
of human nature impossible! 

Puffed up, we fear, by his last triumph over the law of gravita¬ 
tion, the Professor waxes defiant, and challenges Nature to come 
on 

“Nature is strong, but I am stronger. I know her worth, but I 
know my own. I trust her and her laws, but my trusty servant she 
shall bo and not my tyrant; and if she interfere with my ideal, even 
with my personal comfort, then nature and I will fight it out to the 
last gasp, and Heaven defend the right !*' (p. 37.) 

Certainly “ as prave 'ords as you shall see in a summers day.” 
We know what it is that goeih before destruction, or we should 
he amazed that, not content with uttering this stuff before a select 
audience, Mr. Kingsley should have surrendered it irrevocably to 
the handsome type and substantial binding of Messrs. Macmillan. 



321 


Mr. Kingsley on the Study of History. 

It is not, however, our object now to criticise the stylo of this 
performance. Tlio slipshod, nngrammalical sentences, the man¬ 
nerisms and the egotism wliich peep out in every page, generally 
in the shape of some affected parenthesis—all this may safely he 
left to the spontaneous judgment of all readers of any taste. Wc 
are, indeed, almost ashamed to have addressed ourselves to the 
task of exposing the feeble and transparent sophistry which Mr. 
Tvingsley seems to have thought would find equal favour with 
higidy educated men and with the public at large. Ilowcjver, a 
name goes a long way; and a popular writer, with a vulgar cry, 
may do more mischief than au abler man. 

When a lengthy argumeut is based on so rotten a foundation 
as the confusion of two perfectly distinct ideas under one word, 
a critic is dispensed from doing more than pointing out the 
(piihhle. Mr. Kingsley, or any one else, is of course at lil>crty to 
coin a now word, or use an old one, in whatever sense ho pleases, 
provided he gives due notice of the meaning he attaches to it. 
The licence he assumes may be very ineonvcaiieut and very ridi¬ 
culous, but no one can then accuse him of equivocation and un¬ 
fairness. What be is not at liberty to do is to ignore (juietly 
a common and established use of a word, or to employ it in one 
sense when it is ccidain to be understood in another. If a man 
insists on culling a triangle a square, he must do as he likes; but 
then lie must not go on to reason about it as if it had four sides. 
Xow the word law is, as we have said, used by the scientific world 
to denote a uniformity observed in tlie course of nature. That in 
its original application it had direct reference to the will of a 
Creator, has nothing to do with the question. It has long been 
employed without any such reference. There arc probably few 
astronomers who doubt that the planets were set iu motion by an 
Almighty will. But such a supposition is not taken into account 
iu astronomical calculations. Can Mr. Kingsley be ignorant that 
the particular school he is attacking has most carefully eliminated 
the idea even of a metaphysical entity which might seem to he in¬ 
volved in the tenn law. Some believe that law exists ovk di/tu Ocov, 
some do not; but all choose, for scientific purposes, to divest 
it of that association. They do not mean that tlic relations of 
succession or co-exiatence to which they apply this terra arc im¬ 
posed as an obligation on phenomena, but simply that given cer¬ 
tain causes, a certain result will follow. What have duty, disobe¬ 
dience, penalty, right and wrong, to do with such au idea as this ? 

But this is not the only inaccuracy in Mr. Kingsley's concep¬ 
tion of law. Even when he has put aside, as he does from time 
to time, whnt wo may call its forensic sense, and is employing it 
to denote the relations of phenomena, he treats it as a mysterious 
ontitv compelling matter into certain paths, struggling for the 

[Vol. LXXV. No. CXLVm.]— NeV Sekies, Vol. XIX. No. II. Y 



S22 


Mr. Kingsley on the Study of History. 

mastery, sometimes triumphant, sometimes utterly defeated. He 
is puzzled to see why a law, because it is immutable itself^ 
should produce inevitable results.” How shall we make him un¬ 
derstand tiiat law is not cause; that it is merely uniformity ob¬ 
served amid widely varying phenomena ? The phenomenon is said 
to result inevitably from its antecedents. The absence of any 
counteracting ciiuso is implied as a condition. “ We may define," 
says Mr. Mill, “the cause of a phenomenon to be the antecedent, 
or the concurrence of antecedents, on which it is invariably and 
unconditionally consequent Or if we adopt the convenient mo¬ 
dification of the meaning of the word cause, which confines it to 
the assemblage of positive conditions without the negative, then, 
instead of * unconditionally,’ we must say, subject to no other 
than negative conditions."* 

A falling stone is caught and retained in the hand. Its posi¬ 
tion there is the inevitable result of certain antecedents, one of 
which was the motive tliut induced the holder to catch it; another, 
his ability to do so; and a third, the mechanical force which 
caused it to approach his hand. It does not follow, however, be¬ 
cause it was inevitable, that thei’efore it could have been predicted. 
The possibility of predicting it depends on the degree of acquaint¬ 
ance a bystander might have with the antecedents. Hut how does 
that impeach the inevitable character of tho sequence itself? In 
proportion ns antecedents are numerous and their relations com¬ 
plicated, the consequents are dilficult to predict The difficulty 
is one of calculation. In proportion as the former are unknown, 
the latter are uncertain. Hut uncertain in what sense ? They 
are no less inevitable than those, the laws and antecedents of 
which are most thoroughly understood. It is we who are uncer¬ 
tain about them, and it is tlie object of all scientific inquiry to 
diminish such uncertainty. 

Now, in what respect is this theory of causation inapplicable 
to the moral world ? No one professes to predict with absolute 
certainty how an individual will act on any given occasion. Why? 
Because a complete knowledge of the antecedents, including not 
only the circumstances more immediately relating to the act, but 
those which have gone to form tho character of the individual, 
cannot be obtained. The act is nevertheless the inevitable result 
• of those antecedents. You are blinking the world-old argument 
between necessity and free-will, 'says the objector; what if the 
individual choose to act in opposition to all the motives that 
would natiirally influence him, just to show that his will is free ? 
The simple answer is, that the satisfaction arising from the grati¬ 
fication of such a desire is the antecedent which results inevitably 


* " System of Logic,” i. 353. 



328 


Mr. Kingsley on the Study of History. 

in the course adopted; an antecedent, by the way, wnich one ac¬ 
quainted with his character might not improbably know and count 
upon. 

The only objection that Mr. Kingsley, or any one else, can 
make to this argument is, that it is inconsistent with the dignity 
of man. But surely, then, the objectors hud better reconsider 
their theory as to the true dignity of man. Liberty has a pleasing 
sound —ovvoua iravruiv icuXXnrrov —but it is a misuse of the 
term to apply it to the operations of the human will. Why not 
go further, and apply it to the intellect ? Yet who feels his dig¬ 
nity humiliated because he is unable to choose whether he will 
believe that two and two make four ? To speak of the determi¬ 
nation of the will by motives as degrading to our dignity has 
always appeared to us as unmeaning and self-contradictory as it 
would be to complain of the subjection of mau to his will. As 
fur as words go, liberty seems as much outraged in one case 
as the other. Man's true dignity consists in endeavouring to 
check his selfish instincts, not in the assertion of an impossible 
liberty. 

The possibility of a science of society of course depends on the 
possibility of a science of individual mau. Unless the acts of 
each individual arc the necessary results of certain causes, the 
phenomena of society, which is made up of many individuals, 
must be radically incapable of scientific cxplnuatiou. It does 
not, however, follow that because we cannot lay down rules of 
any particular nature for predicting the conduct of individuals, 
therefore the data to which sociologic laws oi’c to he applied arc 
equally inaccessible to us. On the contrary, much of the uncer¬ 
tainty attendant on speculations respecting the individual, vanishes 
Avhen we come to consider lai’go masses of mankind; the actions 
of the individual being, perhaps, determined mainly by peculiarities 
in his constitution or circumstances, while the phenomena of 
society result from such influences as are most general and uni¬ 
versal, and, therefore, most capable of being investigated. “ Tho 
statesman can get on well enough with approximate generaliza¬ 
tions on human nature, since what is true approximately of all 
individuals is true absolutely of all masses.”* The inherent capa¬ 
city for scientific treatment is not, however, greater in one class of 
facts than in the other. The invariable and inevitable character 
of the sequence is not affected by our knowledge or ignorance. 

Does then the scientific theory of human society deny the 
possibility of a modification of a coarse of events by tho deliberato 
intervention of man himself? By no means. It has been espe¬ 
cially insisted on by Comte (and the knowledge of tliis would have 


Y 2 


* Mill’s “ System.of Lo^c,” il 131. 


324 Mr, Kingsley on the Study of History. 

saved Mr. Itingsley, and others whom we could mention, much 
unnecessary declamation), that the power of modification varies as 
the complexity of the phenomena. In a simple science like 
astronomy interference is out of the question. In biology, so 
much more complex, considerable modification is possible, though 
the exact limits of it are not defined. In the phenomena of 
society, where the complexity is greatest, the power of modi¬ 
fication is also greatest, and least capable of being defined. It is 
certain that the general tendency of the social evolution cannot 
be reversed or altered. But its intensity may be modified—its 
rate may bo expedited or retarded, by legislation or other forms 
of intervention, just as medical skill may, within limits certain in 
themselves but to our apprehension indefinite, strengthen a weak 
constitution or prolong a precarious life, but is utterly incapable 
of reversing the progi*ess from youth to old ago or of producing 
immortality. 

But, says Mr. Kingsley, such interference as this is sufiicient 
alone to make social science impossible. “ I am not sure but 
that the one fact that genius is occasionally present in the world 
is not enough to prevent our ever discovering any regular sequence 
in human progress, past or future.” (p. 42.) 

It has, indeed, been too common to write history as if its course 
had depended on the will of men of genius. Before a philosophy 
of history was dreamt of, this was but natural; and since a more 
rational method has been possible, writers intellectually unfit for 
speculation, or to whom the labour of it has been distasteful, have 
continued to pour forth floods of narrative on the old principle. 
England has been and is far behind the Continent in this respect, 
and therefore we cannot but regret that our two greatest living 
historians, Mr. Grote and Dean Milman, have not more formally 
enunciated and forced upon their renders' attention the philosophic 
method they so admirably apply. Their works have, of course, gained 
from an artistic point of view by keeping the scaffolding and 
machinery out of sight; but at present and for some time to 
come, scientific considerations ought to preponderate over es¬ 
thetic. 

Men of genius, whether speculative or active, influence their 
age precisely in proportion as they comprehend and identify 
themselves with its spirit. Anywhere out of England this would 
bo considered a truth hardly worth insisting on. Nowhere but in 
England—^we might perhaps say but in an English university— 
would Mr, Kingsley find listeners when he asserts that Luther 
caused the Reformation. Does he mean to say that if Luther had 
stood in Wickliffe’s place, Protestantism would have been bom a 
century earlier, or that if he had been struck dead by the light¬ 
ning flash at Erfurt its birth would have been prevented or even 



325 


Mr, Kingsley on the Study of Jlistory. 

materially delayed ? If Lc does, we think we may leave liiiii to 
the common sense of any one moderately acquainted with the 
history of the times. If he does not, what is the meaning of the 
flourisii about “ one Jmther changing the thouglits and habits of 
millions” ? Wliy on earth should it be the business of a true 
philosophy of history to show “ why the average of Augustine 
monks, the avei’age of German men, did not, by being exposed to 
the same average circumstances as laither, become what Luther 
was ?” That question, were it capable of solution, might bo of 
some interest to the psychologist. The biographer of .1 aithcr will 
naturally have some theory on the subject. J)ut the historian 
who should discuss it would proclaim his untitucss for the task 
lie had undertaken. Wo are perfectly ready to admit tliat Luther s 
genius and character may have to some unknown extent reacted 
upon and coloured the reformation in Gennany, and that if any 
other man had headed the movement the dates might have stood 
somewhat dillerently in our chronological tables. We do vot think 
that in any case they would Jiavo belonged to the seventeenth 
century, or that the scene would have lain in Paris or Pome. 

Mohammed, liacon, and Napoleon are instanced by Mr. Kings¬ 
ley as men who, like Taither, have “changed the thoughts and 
habits of millions.” Wc would njfcr him to the masterly pages 
of Dr. Milman if he wishes to know how iuevitahlo was the 
aiipcaranee and success of Islaraism in all its luain characteristics; 
where, again, wc shall not be concerned to dispute the personal 
colouring given to that religion by its foiimlor. Even that wo 
shall deny to the Jlaconiau philosophy, which like all other purely 
speculative systems iiiHueuccd the world precisely in proportion to 
its truth. The genius of Bacon is no more ini])rinted on the 
inductive philosophy than that of Watt is on the steam engine. 
In speculativo systems or mechanical inventions, whatever rests 
on no better reason than the authoritv ot* an individual, must he 
cither superfluous or defective, and in either case will certainly 
he soon superseded. Both alike are called into existence by the 
corresponding state of progress whether intellectual or material. 
If Bacon had lived a century earlier or later, the inductive philo¬ 
sophy would have been the glory of another name. When Mr. 
Kingsley has considered the matter a little more attentively, ho 
will, perhaps, see reason to believe that the mechanical skill of 
modern times is caused by the ever-increasing necessity for 
economizing human labour, and he will then cease to lift up his 
hands in helpless wonder at “ the unexpected, complex, subtle, 
nil but miraculous spiritual results of printing and the spinning- 
jenny.” So simple an invention as printing was certain to como 
into use as soon as the demand for books became greater than 
the copyists could supply. If Mr. Kingsley can do nothing 



4 


32G Mr. Kingsley on the Study of History, 

better than wonder, and has no more satisfactory explanation of 
the phenomena of history than that they are unexpected and 
miraculous, we would suggest to him that he can do little for his 
pupils which they could not do equally well for themselves. 

Napoleon was one of the few men of genius who have tried to 
reverse the laws of progress. Every one knows whether he suc¬ 
ceeded. If a proof was wanted that his power, wdiile it did last, 
was based not on his genius but on the fact that he at first un¬ 
derstood and represented a strong and rational popular sentiment, 
it would be found in the final victory of that sentiment under 
the auspices of a man of far inferior genius, in spite of the temporary 
check consequent upon the violent intervention of the allied 
sovereigns. Waterloo is reckoned among the decisive battles of 
the world. We would call the attention of Mr. Kingsley and Sir 
E. Creasy to the fact, that it caused a parenthesis in French and 
European history which lasted exactly thirty-six years. 

None of Mr. Kingsley’s examples, unless it be the last, can bo 
called crucial. They arc compatible with his theory or ours. A 
great man was the organ of his contemporaries. He embodied 
their thought. The movement he initiated was crowned with 
success. He left on it the impress of his name, and it may be of 
his character, and superficial observers cannot be expected to 
distinguish accurately between the secondary influences that 
modified the phenomenon and the deep-seated forces which deter¬ 
mined its essential characteristics; especially when the former 
are connected with the most prominent and picturesque features 
of history, while the latter are, from their very nature, abstract 
and difficult of detection. In history as in political economy, 
there is often, as M. Bastiat says, a vast difference between ce 
quon voit and ce qu*on ne voit pas. 

We propose to follow Mr. Kingsley’s example, and illustrate 
our theory by applying it to facts. Our object is not so much 
to verify a law as to exliibit its meaning in a concrete shape, 
since minds unfamiliar with the scientific treatment of human 
phenomena are apt to take fright at the necessarily sweeping and 
rigid terms of an abstract generalization. 

The almost unanimous verdict of ancient and modem times 
has declared that Julius Ceesar was what Shakspeare calls him— 
**the foremost man of all this world,” Never before or since has 
human being exhibited in so high a degree all the qualities, 
noble as well as useful, of a bom ruler of men. Never had a 
great man a grander role to play. To preside over the most 
important crisis in the history of the most important branch of 
the human race—this was a task which could not but fall to a 
great man. It fell to the greatest. Here then, if anywhere, we 
^all see destiny shaped and bent by human genius. For once 



827 


Mr, Kingsley on the Stiuly of History. 

the future of a nation, or rather of tho world, is hound up in the 
life of an individual. Ho sees liis way, this liei’o, and always has 
seen it. From parly manhood, nay, ahnost from boyhood, has 
tlie great plan been maturing in the splendid calm of tliat self- 
contained, self-counselling mind. For nearly half a century he 
has marked the signs of the political horizon. No word has he 
breathed of his inner purpose. To the Jh)m 2 )OYS, and Catos, and 
Ciceros he lias been but a party-chief like tliemselves, dealing 
with events as they turned up. Pharsalia, Thapsus, Munda, liave 
not opened the eyes of the aristocracy. They see his ambition, 
they feel his strcngtli, they fear or affect to fear that ho aims at 
royalty; but tlio Empire—the combination of the dictatorial and 
tribunitian powers, to be wielded in tlie interest, not of Home 
nor of Italy, but of the world—that is an idea which one brain 
alone has grasped. One obstacle after another lias been swept 
out of the great statesman’s path. Ho stands, at length, where 
he always meant to stand. ITis true work lies before liim, abso¬ 
lutely untouched, when a detestable conspiracy cuts him off, and 
the Empire, so far as it depends on tlje genius of Cuesar, is an 
air-built castle. What follows ? The old situation is reproduced 
with really curious accuracy. The chances of the aristocracy 
may be estimated at about the same value. They have lost pres¬ 
tige, but they have gained experience; and there is no such foe 
to front them us Caesar. The game is played over again, with 
hardly a variation in the moves ; and at Fhilippi the reactionists 
are at length made to comprehend that they are beaten. How 
far was the history of Rome altered by the murder of Julius? 
His idea is rcjiroduced and realized by a man every way his infe¬ 
rior. That it lost in nobleness and worth by tlie circumstances 
of its second birth, and the jiersonal character of Augustus, no 
one will deny. But in the ordinary course of nature, Julius 
would probably have been dead by about 30 B.c. ; so that, 
curiously enough, even the date of the accession of Augustus to 
the undivided rule of the Roman world would have stood as it 
does at present 

Our next instance shall be one that teaches the same reason, 
though in a different way. If we except Julius Caesar, no great 
man has had such a magnificent field for the exercise of political 
ability as Charlemagne. With military and administrative ta¬ 
lents of the highest order, be ruled Central Europe for forty-six 
years. Never was society in a more impressible and plastic 
state. The displacements consequent on tho barbarian migra¬ 
tions had hardly ceased. Various races, forms of government 
and society, laws, customs, languages, religions, were in collision, 
not marshdled in opposite camps, but mingled in one weltering 
mass of discord and confusion. The Imperial organization was a 



4 


OSS Mr. Kingsley on the Study of History. 

Avreck, tho feudal undeveloped. The traditions and institutions 
of the past, whether Homan or Teutonic, were alike incompatible 
■with tlio new situntioii. 3‘juropo mij^ht seem to bo a tabula rasa 
for a political genius of the first order. If tho business of Ciosar 
had been to adapt existing constitutional forms to new cxigoiicios, 
with tho smallest possible amount of change while radically 
altering the spirit of tho system, on Charleraagno seemed to be 
imposed tho necessity of at once creating the whole nauchinery of 
government, and supplying the force which should set it in 
motion; and this, wliile a large proportion of his subjects w'oro 
utterly averse to his rule in any shape Avhatovcr, Gj’eat as tho 
difficulties were which sucli an undertaking presented, there was 
at least room for originality of design; and since it Jell to a man 
of such extraordinary capacity, it would be natural (on Mr. 
Kingsley’s theory) to expect that the civilization then inaugu¬ 
rated should have reflected unmistakeably his mind and character, 
and have borne the incffacoablo impress of the aspirations that 
dictated his policy. Yet so far is this from being tho case, that 
although Charlemagne gave Ins name to his dynasty and his 
epoch, although it is undeniable that his reign was tho starting- 
point of modern civilization, it is a common remark that he left 
no trace of himself in liistoiy. If by tliis is meant that liis 
actual work was inclTectual, and produced no change in tlie con¬ 
dition of Kurope, no statement could he more eiToneons. Jiut if 
it asserts that his most cherished ideas did not fructify, gave 
little or no colour to political progress, perished, in short, Avith 
himself, then it is strictly and literally true. The real work of 
Charlomagiie was done in those fifty-three campaigns which gave 
to Christendom that degree of security and order without which 
any progress was impossible. The results were negative rather 
than positive, and they are in consequence more easily over¬ 
looked. Central Europe avus not again shaken by Teutonic or 
Saracenic invasions; for ihc predatory excursions from Scandi¬ 
navia are not to he classed Avith the earlier migrations. That 
was the contribution furnished by Charlemagne to modem civi¬ 
lization. Any able ruler would have pursued the same policy at 
that epoch, according to the measure of his ability. When the 
Roman Emporoi-s abandoned the traditions of the Republic, 
and relinquished the hope of extending the limits of the Em¬ 
pire, tho offensive or conquering stage of war was for ever at an 
end. 

Charlemagne spent his life in securing civilization against 
barbarism. Aurelian, Theodosius, Stilicho, Aetius did the same 
before him, and Alfred, Henry the Eowler, and Godfrey of Bouil¬ 
lon after him. Is it to be supposed that the necessity for such 
action was not seen by hundreds and thousands of their contem- 



329 


Mr. Kingsley on the Study of History. 

poraries; by the legionaries wlio raised one able general after 
another to the post of danger and responsibility; by the seven. 
Saxon kings who consolidated tbo English monarchy; by the 
Aviso rulers wlio, for nearly two centuries, poured the chivalry of 
Europe on the centre of the ^fohaminedan power ? They were tbo 
organs, more or less cfUcient, by which the tendencies of their 
times were expressed. The success of their respective efforts was 
no doubt determined, in a secondary degree, by the personal cha¬ 
racter and genius of the men, I’hey moved on a track marked 
out for them; but the vigour and steadiness of their action de¬ 
pended upon tliemselvcs; in other words, on causes which baffle 
our investigation. A greater man than Charlemagne might have 
annexed Denmark; a smaller might have stopped short at the 
Woser. In cither case the general laws Avhich determined their 
conduct would have heen tlic same, and equally accessible to our 
investigation. Or, again, if no great genius of the first order had 
arisen to preside over the crisis, it is impossible to doubt that the 
same work would have been accomplished by the combined or 
successive exertions of several leading men gifted with the ordi¬ 
nary good sense and energy which such a position implies, espe¬ 
cially in stirring times. 

But it will he said, was not the vast administrative system 
organized by Charlemagne all his own ? Could an inferior mind 
have conceived and carried out the bold idea of reconstructing the 
empire of the ‘Western Oaisars ? Was this, too, but an expression 
of the tendencies of the age ho lived in ? Certainly not: the best 
proof of which is, that tlio raagniliceut edifice crumbled to pieces 
soon after the death of its founder. It was thoroughly personal 
in its origin and aim. It was eminently unsuitable to the needs 
of the age, and out of bamony with its tendencies. We do not 
care to insist here on the want of originality in the conception. 
We will not press our own opinion that its realization even for a 
time Avas only rendered possible by the warm co-operation of so 
impersonal an agency ns the Church; a co-operation which was 
Avithdrawn when the special ends for Avhich it had been given had 
been attained. It is enough to know that it failed, and failed 
precisely because it represented not the general reason of the 
many, but the genius of an individual. Nor was tliis failure par¬ 
tial—a mere distortion of the projector’s purpose, producing a 
result, although unforeseen, yet still striking and permanent. No 
trace remained of the Imperial organization but the empty title 
of the German Ceesars. Everything fell back into the old ruts. 
The feudal system asserted its inevitable claim to preside over the 
European evolution, and he would be a bold man who should 
venture to specify one feature of French government or society 
under the early Capetians which would not have existed in much 




330 


4 


Mr, Kingdey on the Study of History, 

the same state lind Charlemagne been a simple mayor of the 
palace, like his grandfather. 

We have} examined tlie history of two great epochs. We have 
seen that the spontaneous evolution of society pursues its course 
uninfluenced cither hy the failure or the success of the man of 
genius. 'J’he guide who knows the rood is snatched away at the 
critical moment; the guide who has mistaken it remains and does 
his office with unparalleled authority. But Nature is independent 
of both. She dispenses with the one, she counteracts the other; 
l»er majestic uniformity pervades and reigns over all. 

Let us take a third instance, presenting conditions of yet an¬ 
other kind. No historical speculations are more attractive than 
those which have for their object to determine the results which 
would have followed from the non-existeuce or modification of 
some given antecedent. Every one remembers the brilliant re¬ 
marks of Gibbon on the battle of Tours, and those of Arnold on 
Zama, and the catastrophe of Quintilius Varus. In such specu¬ 
lations the imagination will always he tempted to paint the most 
startling contrasts, and to take full advantage of the licence 
allowed by the hypothesis. Even Mr. Mill has expressed the 
opinion (surely a hasty one) that the battle of Marathon, even as 
an event in English history, is more impoitant than the battle of 
Hastings, and that if the issue of that day had been difibreut, the 
Britons and Saxons might still have been wandering in the 
woods.* When we couple this opinion with the deliberate judg¬ 
ment of Mr. Grote, that ordinary spirit and conduct must have 
crowned the Persian arms with success ten years later, it is per¬ 
haps worth while to inquire whether the personal character of 
Xerxes was really such an important element among the forces 
that have determined hnman progress. 

Mr. Grote’s conclusion is based on solid grounds, and docs not 
admit of dispute. The question then is, how far would the Greek 
mind and character have been modified by an Oriental conquest ? 
Now it is, we think, pretty clear that the occupation would not 
have lasted many years. Spite of appearances, the decadence of 
the Persian power was even then commencing. The most remote 
satrapies were naturally the first to fall ofi', and when Alexander 
landed in Asia the empire was already moribund. Nor was it 
only the virtual independence or open rebellion of ambitious 
satraps that boded the approach of dissolution. Egypt revolted 
as early as b.c. 486. Another revolt occurred in B.c. 460. Half 
a century later she achieved complete independence, and three 
.more native dynasties were added to the long list of Pharaohs. 
What Egypt accomplished in B.C. 414 would not Greece have 


* “PissertatioBs and DiscaaBioxu,** ii 233. 




331 


Mr, Kingsley on the Study of History. 

readied half a ccnluvy sooner ? It is impossible to doubt that 
she would have sliakcu off the Persian yoke in b.c. -100-100, at 
the latest, when the whole power of the great king could hardly 
reduce the revolted Egyptians. Unquestionably Greece would 
have sufierod from her subjugation. We cuiiuot tell what modi- 
ii cations of her political and intellectual career would have been 
the result. Tlio former, indeed, is of very little consequence, 
except so far us it influenced the latter; and it must he borne in 
mind that the paltry nature of political questions in Greek States 
was the main reason why the more eminent minds turned to spe¬ 
culation. But though the corresponding stjvt(^ of society must 
react powerfully on the intellectual movement, we are not sure 
that the evils of a Persian occupation, transient as it would have 
been, would have materially lessened the value of those treasures 
of thought that Greece has bequeathed tons. A war of libera¬ 
tion would have generated an exalted spirit of patriotism and self- 
sacrifice that must have gone far to purify the national eharactor 
from all ttiint of slavery. Wo see in Italy, to-day, the moral 
effects of such a crisis. 

Tlic succession of the intellectual phase of polytheism to the 
theocratic was a necessary step in the human evolution. It was 
a step that could ueiilier be omitted nor repeated. So much a 
comprehensive survey of the past permits us to establish. But 
the degree of development which the intellectual movement was 
to realize, the point to which it was to be emancipated from 
tlieocratic repression on the one hand and from military prepon¬ 
derance on the other—tluit would depend on the material condi¬ 
tions under which it took place, such as soil, climate, conformation 
of territory, and, in a less degree, race. It would naturally arise 
where these conditions were most favourable. No one will deny 
that Greece possessed them in greater perfection than any other 
country in Europe. If they had been more perfect, which we can 
without difficulty conceive, the intellectual movement would have 
gained, perhaps in rapidity, perhaps in diffusion, perhaps in 
intensity. If they had been less perfect it would have suffered 
proportionately. We think that even with the drawback of a 
Persian conquest the natural advantages of Greece would still 
have made her the seat of intellectual polytheism rather than 
Sicily or Italy. She did in fact undergo a revolution not very 
favourable to her appropriate work. What may not the world 
have lost by the Dorian conquest of Peloponnesus ? In any case 
we cannot admit that a different issue at Marathon would have 
affected the Britons and Saxons any more (to quote Sydney Smith) 
than a grain of calomel put into the Bhone at one end of the Lake 
of Geneva would physic all the Calvinists at the other. 

The natural tendency of the human mind to hero-worship is a 



4 


3^32 Mr. Kivgslcy on the Study of History. 

healthy one, nor is it in any way checked or discourogctl by such 
a theory of history ns we inivo laid down. It has been asked how 
we can feel love or gratitude towards the human organ of a ncceS' 
sary prr»gress ? Wo are not curious about metaphysical dilemmas. 
It would be enough to answer that the recognition of necessity 
does not as a niattca* of fact exclude those feelings. liut why 
should it exclude them ? Parents are a neccssarv condition of our 

w 

existence. If the injunction to honour our father and mother is 
one tliat commends itself alike to our sohor reason and our instinc¬ 
tive sentiment, why should our gratitude to a (laesar or au AllVcd 
be chilled by the rcllectiou that they played as necessary a part 
in the history oJ' luunnnity as any given generation of our pro¬ 
genitors who continued their species on the cartli ? If \vo had 
reason to suppose tliat tliose great men had beriotlted mankind 
against their own will, that the grand results which followed their 
lives had formed no pai*t of their motives of action, that self¬ 
gratification had been their guiding principle, then, indeed, wo 
miglit feel even less love and gratitude towards them than towards 
a happy geological fornuitiou or a fertilizing river. But those 
who loved humanity with so thoughtful and deep passion, shall 
we not love them ? What more irresistible ^iXrfiov than the 
feeling that wo are loved ? iJoes the son value his mother s 
affection the loss because he knows that she could not withliold it 
even if she wished ? It is the most sophistical of the tragedians 
who makes his liero disclaim all obligations to the woman who 
had saved his life witli tlie base retort— 

*Epwc f)yayKa9£ 

To^otc dfJ>vKTOic TOvfiQv iKffCioai 

If consequences arc a test of tmth it is w^orth remembering that 
the philosopher wdio created the scientific theory of history, and 
who realized to himself all the ideas it involves with a distinctness 
and conviction of which, perhaps, no other mind is at present 
capable, was also so deeply penetrated with love and gratitude to 
the great ones of the past tliat hero-worship became with him 
not a vague sentiment but a living faith, not a speculative tenet 
but a daily practice. We are not of those who believe that such 
a cMlte is destined to supersede the reverence of man for God. 
But it may be taken as an evidence of the sentiment which the 
scientific conception of history is calculated to evoke. 

Wo are sorry to say that no passages in Mr. Kingsley's lectu