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Gentleman  s  Magazine 

Volume  CCLXXXV. 
JULY  TO   DECEMBER    1898 


Ediud  ty  SYLVANUS  URBAN,  Gmtttufm 





•  • 

•  •  • 

»   ■>  ♦ 



'  AdamBede,'  Notes  from  the  Country  oC    By  John  Hyde 
After  Com  Harvest    By  Alfred  Wellbslby  Rbbs 
Ancestors,  Lord  Macaulay's.    By  W.  C.  Mackenzie 
Angels, 'The,  of  the  Divine  Comedy.    By  C.  T. 
Afgonautic  Expedition,  The.    By  Rev.  Gborgb  St.  Clair 
Anstrians,  Bosnia  under  the.    By  W.  Miller,  M.A 
Basketftd,  A,  of  Dropped  H's.    By  K.  A  A.  Biggs 
Berkeley,  George.    By  W.  B.  Wallace,  B.A. 

Beside  the  Dove.    By  John  Hyde 

Beyle,  Henri.    By  C.  E.  Mbetkerke      .... 
Birthplace,  The,  of  Buddhism.    By  Kathleen  Blechynden 
Blind,  The,  and  Paris.    By  £.  C.  Price  .... 
<<  Bohemia  .  .  .  near  the  Sea."    By  Dora  Cave 
Bosnia  under  the  Austrians.    By  W.  Miller,  M.A. 
Brain-Power,  Th&  of  Plants.    By  Arthur  Smith  . 
Bulawayo,  The,  of  To-day.    By  A  Resident  . 

By  the  River.    By  F.  B.  Doyeton 

Central  and  Southern  Utah.    By  P.  Beresford  Eagle 

Chamfort    By  Henry  Attwell 

Charles  Reade  and  His  Books :  A  Retrospect    By  W.  J.  Johnston 

China,  the  Way  it  is  Governed.    By  E.  H.  Parker 

Crime,  Criminals,  and  Prisons.    By  G.  Rayleigh  Vicars 

Croker,  John  Wilson.    By  P.  A  Sillard 

Cyrano  de  Bergerac.    By  H.  Schutz  Wilson 

Deer  Forest,  Winter  in  a.    By  Hector  Fraser 

Divine  Comedy,  The  Angels  of  the.    By  C.  T. 

Down  Zabuloe  Way.    By  W.  F.  Alexander  . 

Drift,  The,  of  the  Ocean.    By  G.  W.  Bxtlman,  M.A 

Faust  Legend,  The,  and  Shakespeare.     By  Prof.  Redford 

French,  The,  and  Sierra  Leone.    By  F.  A  Edwards,  F.R.G 

French,  The,  on  the  Niger.    By  F.  A  Edwards,  F.R.G.S. 

Garden,  The  Tudor.    By  F.  G.  Walters 

George  Berkeley.    By  W.  B.  Wallace,  B.A. 

Great  White  Horse,  The,  of  Yorkshire.    By  Harwood  Brierley 

H's,  a  Basketful  of  Dropped.    By  K.  A.  A  Biggs  , 

Henri  Beyle.    By  C.  E.  Mbetkerke     . 

Heraldic  Aspect,  The,  of  Scott*s  Poetical  Works.    By  J.  Gale 


Her  Answer.    By  E.  Gibson 

Involuntary  Murderer,  An.    By  Vladimir  Korolenko 
Irish  Industries,  Some,  Past  and  Present    By  Geraldine  Leslie 
John  Wilson  Croker.    By  P.  A  Sillard        .... 
"Justice  of  Peace,  The,  his  Companion."    By  Rev.  W.  J.  Ferrar 
^  Life,  A,  that  for  Thee  was  Resigned"    By  Norman  Stuart 

Look,  A,  Backwards.     By  Philip  Kent 

Lord.Macaulay's  Ancestors.    By  Wiluam  C.  Mackenzie    • 

Low  Peak,  The.    By  John  Hyde 

Mabel's  Lover 

Man  and  his  Walking-stick.    By  F.  G.  Walters  . 
Master,  A,  of  Trinity.    By  Rev.  Edward  Peacock,  M. A 
*'  Monica's,"  -The,.Chief  Engineer.    By  Harold  Bindloss 
Mothers  in  Shakespeare.    By  Mary  Bradford-Whiting 
Mr.  Skipper's  Lodgers.    By  J.  £.  Cussans 
Muidener,  An  Involuntary.    By  Vladimir  Korolenko 
Niger,  The  French  on  the.    By  F.  A.  Edwards,  F.R.G. S. 






























8  The  Gentleman's  Magazine. 

masterpiece,  I  can  tell  yer.  She  is  worth  a  seeing  of.  Moind ! 
Come  and  see  her/' 

Even  so,  before  the  fat  woman  arrived  did  the  taproom  of  the 
"  Three  Fishes  "  begin  to  fill.  And  now,  seldom  did  weary  Kitty  sit 
down.  "  YouVe  a  looking  poorly.  Missus,"  said  her  customers,  as 
they  blew  the  foam  from  her  pint  pots. 

George  Birch  had  arranged  with  Mrs.  Birst,  that  though  the  latter 
should  commence  to  serve  in  the  taproom  of  the  ''  Three  Fishes  " 
upon  a  Tuesday,  she  should  arrive  during  the  previous  night.  It 
was  an  arrangement  that  (George  kept  strictly  secret  And  for  a  very 
good  reason.  If  people  had  known  of  the  hour  of  Mrs.  Birst's 
arrival,  or  even  if  she  had  been  driven  into  Milverton  by  daylight,  a 
crowd  would  have  been  sure  to  gather.  That  would  have  tended  to 
spoil  subsequent  business  at  the  "  Three  Fishes."  Besides,  as  Mrs. 
Birst,  who  had  her  feelings,  had  been  careful  to  point  out  to  George» 
she  always  travelled  by  night  because  she  "  'ated  to  'ave  a  crowd 
trapsing  after  her."  Their  "  hammer-jawing  "  and  their  "  staring  like 
stuck  pigs,"  annoyed  her.  It  was  different  when  she  was  "  on  show"  ; 
she  was/aiV/  for  it  then. 

Poor  Kitty  !  She  grew  very  nervous  as  the  hour  for  Mrs.  Birst's 
arrival  drew  near.  Though  the  room  destined  for  the  stout  lady  was 
cosily  ready  for  her  reception,  though  Kitty  had  cooked,  and  washed, 
and  sewn,  and  served  customers — yet  still  there  was  work  waiting 
for  her  thin  hands.  And  Kitty  felt,  though  she  had  been  working 
hard,  as  if  she  had  done  nothing  at  all.  It  was  a  miserable 
sensation,  bom  of  a  multiplicity  of  "  jobs."  Her  good  temper  wore 

At  length  closing  hour  came.  The  *'  Three  Fishes"  grew  silent  but 
for  George's  restless  pacing  to  and  fro.  Suddenly  there  was  a  shout 
from  the  green.  Kitty  started,  George  ran  to  the  door  of  the  inn 
and  gazed  into  the  black  profundity  of  the  night.  No  one  came ;  it 
was  not  Mrs.  Birst 

Later,  a  sound  of  wheels  upon  the  high  roid  !  '*  'Ere  she  is," 
exclaimed  George.  Kitty  heaved  a  sigh  of  relief;  the  waiting  had 
been  painful.  But  the  wheels  did  not  stop,  their  roll  passed  away 
into  the  distance.  Then  Kitty  commenced  to  fear  that  an  accident 
had  happened  to  Mrs.  Birst  And  what  would  they  do  ?  George 
swore.  He  was  anxious,  very  anxious.  Suddenly  he  seized  a  lantern, 
and  ran  to  the  back  door  of  the  inn,  followed  by  Kitty.  A  trampling 
of  horses,  together  with  crunching  wheels,  was  heavily  entering  the 
inn  yard. 

George  Birch  held  the  lantern  high  above  his  head.    His  gaze 

A  Strength  that  Failed.  9 

went  intently  forth  with  its  rays.  Presently  he  saw  all :  the  great 
covered  waggon,  the  pair  of  broad-backed  horses,  the  driver  above. 
"  'Old  'ard  ! "  he  said  to  the  latter,  "  where  is  Missus  Biret  ?  " 

"Here  I  am,"  answered  a  woolly  voice  cheerfully.  And  the 
flaps  of  tarpaulin  behind  the  waggoner  were  abruptly  parted.  An 
enormous  face  peered  forth  with  eyes  which  blinked  to  the  light. 

George  experienced  a  rush  of  excitement.  The  lantern  swayed  in 
his  grasp,  his  head  pecked  upon  his  neck.  "YouVe  welcome, 
Missus,"  he  shouted.  "*Ere  Kitty,"  he  said  turning  to  his  wife, 
"  lay  'old  o'  the  lantern." 

"  111  fetch  a  chair.  Missus,"  he  shouted,  again  addressing  Mrs. 
BirsL  "'Arf  a  minute,  and  you  shall  step  down  easy.  Kitty  'ere 
shall  take  yer  to  your  supper." 

George  ran  back  into  the  inn.  Kitty  stepped  close  to  the 
waggon.  The  enormous  face  above  fascinated  her  into  silence. 
She  almost  feared  to  see  the  great  body  that  would  follow. 

The  flaps  of  tarpaulin  fell  together  again.  The  waggoner  de- 
scended and  went  to  his  horses'  heads.  For  a  second  or  so  the 
waggon  shook  ponderously  upon  its  springs,  then  a  small  foot  peeped 
daintily  from  the  tarpaulin,  and  lowering  itself  with  the  folds  of  a 
white  flannel  petticoat,  sought  foothold  upon  the  waggon  board.  It 
found  support  and  rested  upon  tip-toe.  A  second  foot  came  more 
cautiously  forth  from  the  tarpaulin.  It  left  the  white  petticoat 
behind,  and  was  followed  by  a  hugely  wrinkled  ankle,  by  a  gigantic 
calf.  Kitty  drew  a  long  breath,  the  lantern  trembled  in  her  hand, 
for  the  tarpaulin  was  bursting,  was  yielding  to  the  outward  pressure 
of  an  enormous  bulk. 

How  she  managed  it  Kitty  did  not  know.  But  Mrs.  Birst 
lowered  from  the  waggon  to  the  wooden  chair  which  George  brought, 
and  thence  with  a  balloon-like  descent  to  the  ground. 

Mrs.  Birst  stood  panting.  Then  she  stretched  a  great  arm  forth 
from  a  bulbous  shoulder,  and  gave  a  tiny  hand  into  the  welcoming 
grasp  of  Mrs.  Birch.  And  she  admitted  that  she  was  hungry,  that 
she  would  be  glad  to  have  her  supper.  George  turned  towards  the 
back  door  of  the  inn.  "Come  along  o'  me.  Missus,"  he  said 

Mrs.  Birst  was  very  good-tempered.  She  tried  force,  it  was 
useless.  She  tried  cunning,  and  took  off  her  jacket  and  a  skirt.  It 
was  of  no  avail.  "  Shove  at  me,  and  I'll  'oiler  when  yer  'urt,"  she 
said.    It  did  not  answer. 

Kitty  could  have  sobbed.  But  George  was  clever.  "  Let  us  try 
the  front  door,"  he  said,  "it  'ull  be  bigger  than  this."    And  it 

lo  The  Gentleman's  Magazine. 

was.  But  the  passage  beyond  !  Mrs.  Birst  had  to  traverse  it 

After  a  difficult  entry,  Mrs.  Birst  had  her  supper  in  the  little 
parlour.  Her  appetite  was  hearty,  and  she  enjoyed  the  victuals  as 
she  sat  upon  the  breadth  of  two  chairs  which  George  had  thought- 
fully  drawn  forward  for  her  accommodation.  "  Now  what  'uU  yer  take 
to  drink,  Missus  Birst  ?  "  asked  George  encouragingly. 

"  A  two  o'  gin,  cold,"  answered  the  stout  lady.  "  For  I  never 
drinks  beer,  it  lies  pecooler  'eavy  on  my  stomach." 

Kitty  left  the  room  to  fetch  the  liquor  from  the  taproom.  As 
she  passed  George,  she  nudged  him  with  her  elbow.  He  understood, 
he  followed  her.  "  What  d'yer  want  ?  **  he  said  in  a  whisper,  outside 
the  parlour  door. 

Kitty  nodded  her  head  in  the  direction  of  the  taproom.  George 
followed  her  there.  Kitty  was  very  tired,  and  spoke  shortly,  "Where 
is  she  going  to  sleep  ?  " 

"  She  won't  be  able  to  get  up  the  stairs  ? "  said  George  inter- 

"  Yer  might  ha'  known  it,  and  saved  me  the  trouble  of  getting 
ready  the  room  above,"  answered  Kitty  irritably. 

George  scratched  his  head  in  perplexity.  "  'Streuth  ! '  he 
exclaimed,  "  I  did  not  reckon  she  wor  so  fat."  Suddenly  he  slapped 
his  thigh.  "  I  ha'  it !  I  ha'  it  I "  he  exclaimed  with  relief.  «  Take 
t'owd  table  out  of  the  parlour,  and  make  her  up  a  bed  there." 

Kitty  frowned  but  there  was  nothing  else  to  be  done. 

It  was  very  late  before  Kitty  went  to  bed  that  night  And 
many  times  she  had  run  up  and  down  the  stairs  of  the  "Three 
Fishes,"  ere  she  had  moved  the  bedding  for  the  stout  lady  into  the 

The  next  morning  Kitty  woke  at  sunrise.  Her  head  ached,  she 
felt  unrefreshed.  But  time  was  precious,  customers  would  be 
coming  early  to  the  "Three  Fishes";  and  after  rousing  George,  she 
commenced  to  dress  herself  feverishly.  Kitty's  mind  was  very  full. 
There  was  the  baby  to  be  dressed,  there  was  breakfast  to  be  got 
ready,  there  was  Mrs.  Birst's  bedding  to  be  carried  upstairs.  And 
Mrs.  Birst  would  have  to  be  shown  where  the  liquors  were  kept. 
And  the  little  parlour  would  have  to  be  tidied.  "  Ah  !  "  exclaimed 
Kitty,  sharply  and  angrily,  for  her  dress  had  rent  as  she  struggled 
hastily  into  it.  George  looked  up  from  the  tying  of  his  bootlace. 
A  something  pitiful  in  the  worn  delicacy  of  his  wife's  face  struck 
his  rough  perception.  He  guessed  what  had  been  passing  through 
^'^r  mind.  "  Never  moind,  my  gal,"  he  said  kindly,  "  a  week  is 
'  passed,  t'ain't  a  loife-time." 

A  Strength  that  Failed.  ii 

Kitty  flushed,  she  could  have  sobbed,  but  she  smiled  for  George's 

The  first  one  who  arrived  to  see  the  "  draw  "  was  old  Peter  Pirr. 
He  came  very  slowly  along  the  broad  path  which  led  to  the  inn,  his 
feet  dragged,  and  he  hawked  and  he  spit  Kitty  saw  him  from  the 
bow  window  of  the  little  parlour.  She  was  surprised.  For  the  old 
man  scarcely  ever  left  his  cottage,  where  he  lived  "  independent." 
Yet  here  he  was,  the  first  customer  for  the  draw.  "  Why,  Peter !  ** 
she  exclaimed,  as  she  ran  to  meet  him  upon  the  red  tiles  of  the 
passage,  "  you  are  early." 

The  old  man  was  very  deaf,  and  a  little  blind.  He  raised  a 
thin  and  wrinkled  face  to  Kitty.  "Wot  sye"  (What  say)?  he 

"  I  say  you're  wonerful  early,  Peter,"  answered  Kitty,  raising  her 

The  old  man  chuckled  rustily.  He  gave  a  cunning  leer.  "  'Oi  Ve 
come  to  see  'er,"  he  said.    "  Where  be  she  ?  " 

•*  You'll  find  her  in  the  taproom,  Peter,"  answered  Kitty,  making 
way  pleasantly. 

The  old  man  dropped  his  head  and  shuffled  on.  As  he  entered 
the  taproom  his  blear  eyes  took  life.  "  Good-momm^  Missus,"  he 
greeted  Mrs.  Birst. 

Mrs.  Birst  wore  a  beautiful  blue  dress.  The  masses  of  her  white 
arms  were  bare  to  the  shoulder.  "  Momin',  Master,"  she  croaked, 
with  a  general  quiver  of  bulk. 

The  little  old  man  shuffled  very  close  to  her.  He  wished  to 
see  plainly.  Mrs.  Birst  was  not  shy;  the  light  of  her  eyes  played 
bolcfly  forth.  The  pupils  of  the  old  man  sparked  to  the  en- 
counter. "  Lor* ! "  he  said  with  a  lifted  voice,  "  but  you  air  a  fine 

Mrs.  Birst  bridled.  She  folded  an  arm,  there  was  a  dimple  at 
the  elbow. 

The  old  man  gazed  up  and  adown,  and  broadly  across.  "  See* 
in*  is  believin',"  he  said  sententiously.  "  And  what  might  you  weigh, 

"Thirty  stone,  four  pounds,"  answered  Mrs.  Birst  with  dull 

"  Won — er — ful,"  said  the  old  man,  raising  his  red-rimmed  eyes 
towards  the  ceiling. 

"You're  right^^  said  Mrs.  Birst,  with  professional  pride.  "It  is 
wonerfiil.  And  see  'ere,"  she  added  with  vivacity ;  "  look  at  the  skin 
of  my  arms  !    It  is  white,  soft,  beautiful." 

12  The  Gentleman's  Magazine. 

"  Aye  !  and  'ealthy,"  said  the  old  man. 
"  And  'ealthy,"  repeated  Mrs.  Birst  solemnly. 
Peter  Pirr  was  very  pleased.    "  I'll  take  a  pint  o'  four  ale,  Marm, 
i/  yer  please,"  he  said. 

That  was  how  the  draw  began — ^with  old  Peter  Pirr. 

Part  II. 

"  One  :  ^  the  clock  of  Milverton  Grange  was  commencing  to  strike. 
The  metallic  stroke  beat  thinly  through  the  dense  darkness  which 

lay  over  Milverton  Green.    "  Two,  three,  four "  struck  the  clock; 

and  a  sudden  light  opened  yellowly  into  the  darkness,  a  great  shout 
whelmed.  Twas  closing  hour,  and  a  Monday  night.  The  ^'  Three 
Fishes  "  was  emptying,  the  "  draw  "  was  over. 

There  was  a  very  brief  silence.  The  clock  struck  **  ten,"  and  was 
dumb.  A  rugged  laughter  arose  and  fell,  feet  trampled.  Presently 
there  was  a  confusion  of  voices  that  clustered.  Then  came  shrill 
whistles  that  pierced  and  echoed  widely.  And  the  door  of  the  '*  Three 
Fishes  "  was  closed  with  a  thud  upon  its  hot  glare. 

"  Fm  glad  it  is  all  over,"  said  Kitty  dully,  as  she  sat  herself  upon 
a  bench  in  the  taproom. 

Mrs.  Birst  panted ;  there  was  much  tobacco-smoke  in  the  room. 
She  looked  at  the  tables  upon  which  beer  stood  in  little  pools  and 
rings  amongst  tumblers,  pewters,  mugs.  "  It  'as  been  a  fair  treat," 
she  answered.    "  Oi  n^ver  did  work  'arder  in  my  loife." 

There  was  a  silence.  Kitty  dragged  herself  heavily  along  the 
bench  towards  the  angular  support  of  a  comer.  Mrs.  Birst  mopped 
her  forehead  with  a  handkerchief.  "  Where  is  Birch  ?  "  she  exclaimed 

"  A  gettin'  the  cart  and  'orse  ready." 

"  It  is  time  I  was  a-moving,  then,  if  I  am  to  get  to  Datchforth 
to-night,"  stated  Mrs.  Birst,  rising  with  a  heave. 

"  Youll  take  summat  afore  yer  start,"  said  Kitty,  forcing  herself 
to  her  feet. 

Mrs.  Birst  dressed  and  took  her  victuals  with  her  bonnet  on. 
Then  George  entered  from  the  yard.  "I  am  ready.  Missus,"  he 

Mrs.  Birst  made  haste  to  finish  her  gin  and  water. 

Geoige  turned  to  his  wife.  His  eyes  sparkled.  "  I  'ave  put  the 
cash  into  the  black  box  behind  the  bar.  Ill  reckon  it  up  when  I 
return  from  Datchforth." 

A  Strength  that  Failed.  13 

"  I  am  thinking  it  'ull  be  a  goodish  bit,"  said  Kitty  with  a  flash  of 

"Ah!"  exclaimed  George.  It  was  an  expressive  "Ah!"  long 
drawn,  and  very  pleasant  to  Kitty's  ears. 

Kitty  stood,  and  saw  them  get  into  the  cart.  Her  knees 
trembled  with  fatigue.  She  said  "Good-bye"  to  Mrs.  Birst.  "I 
shall  be  back  in  a  couple  o'  hours,"  said  Geoige.  Then  the  cart 
drove  away. 

Kitty  returned  to  the  taproom.  She  took  a  cloth,  and  com- 
menced to  swab  the  tables.  Suddenly  the  full  light  about  her 
flared  and  widened,  then  turned  dark,  dark.  Kitty  leant  forward 
upon  the  table,  and  stared  fearfully  before  her.  Presently  she 
staggered  backwards  upon  a  bench.  "  I'll  leave  'em  till  to-morrow," 
she  muttered  thickly  to  herself;  "  I  wor  near  a  faintin'." 

Her  head  dropped,  her  hands  fell  limply  by  her  sides.  There 
was  a  wail  upstairs,  the  baby  had  wakened.  At  the  sound  Kitty  rose 
to  her  feet,  and  swayed.  Life  seemed  to  be  leaving  her.  She 
staggered  to  a  cupboard  and,  feeling  blindly  for  a  brandy  bottle, 
raised  it  to  her  lips. 

There  was  a  jarring  of  the  bottle  against  the  edge  of  the  cup- 
board shelf.  It  crashed  to  the  groimd.  The  splintering  shock  left 
Kitty's  face  rigid.  She  made  a  little  movement  with  her  hands,  and 
groping  across  the  taproom,  stumbled  into  the  passage  which  led  to 
the  stairs. 

She  staggered  onwards.  The  walls  of  the  passage  beat  her  to 
this  side,  to  that  side.  She  climbed  with  hauling  hands  the 
narrow  wooden  staircase.  She  fell  forward,  adown  of  the  little 
step  which  led  into  her  room.  And  with  a  choking  groan,  a  last 
endeavour,  cast  herself  upon  the  bed  by  the  side  of  the  wailing 

Two  hours  later  George  Birch  entered  the  "  Three  Fishes  "  with  a 
clatter  of  hobnailed  boots.  He  looked  into  the  taproom,  a  lamp 
was  flaring  there,  he  turned  it  down  with  a  steady  hand.  Then  he 
went  to  the  little  parlour ;  it  was  bright  with  light  but  empty.  "  She 
'ull  be  abed,"  he  whispered  to  himself. 

George  Birch  took  ofl*  his  cap,  and  waved  it  over  his  head.  His 
eyes  shone,  his  lips  smiled  joyfully.  He  had  determined  to  himself 
that  when  he  had  counted  the  "takings"  he  would  carry  them 
upstairs  to  sleeping  Kitty,  and  that  then  he  would  proudly  awake 
her  to  joy. 

14  The  GetUUmaiis  Magazine. 

He  grasped  the  black  tin  box,  and  placed  it  upon  a  table  in  the 
taproom.    It  was  heavy,  he  pleasured  in  its  weight. 

He  drew  a  chair  forward  to  the  table.  Its  legs  ground  harshly, 
very  harshly  over  the  floor.  He  looked  downwards.  A  broken 
bottle  !  and  brandy.  He  smelt  it.  Dang  !  it  was  a  trifle.  There 
was  the  black  box  shining  before  him. 

He  tapped  his  waistcoat  pocket.  The  key  of  the  black  box 
was  there.    His  fingers  tasted  its  stifihess  through  the  cloth. 

George  Birch  nodded  his  head  at  the  black  box.  He  smiled 
cunningly.  He  shook  the  key  at  it  George  Birch  felt  like  a  child 
that  saves  its  pleasure. 

He  put  the  key  slyly  into  its  hole.  He  turned  it  smartly,  a 
quick  rattle  broke  the  silence  of  the  inn.  Immediately  afterwards 
he  threw  back  the  lid  of  the  box  upon  the  table. 

The  silver  and  copper  coins,  he  separated  them  into  little  piles 
of  pence,  threepenny  bits,  sixpences,  shillings.  Then  he  gazed, 
the  veins  of  his  temples  filled  very  roundly,  his  breast  heaved. 

He  drew  a  long  breath,  and  took  one  of  the  piles  of  silver  into 
his  hand.  It  lay  heavily,  it  gleamed  along  the  length  of  his  rough 
palm.  Then  he  told  it  forth  upon  the  table.  "  Chink,  chink  " — 
his  ears  joyed  undisturbed,  for  nought  else  broke  the  silence  of  the 

He  took  another  pile,  and  told  it  forth.  And  another  and 
another.  The  sum  was  growing  great,  it  would  save  him  and  the 

He  dashed  the  last  coin  upon  the  table.  He  stared  wildly  about 
him.     "  'Ooray  ! "  he  shouted,  "  'ooray  I »' 

The  cheer  burst  through  the  inn.  There  was  a  stir  in  Kitty's 
room  above.  Then  George  Birch  sprang  to  his  feet.  And  crashing 
the  money  by  handfiils  into  the  box  he  ran  with  it  from  the  tap- 
room into  the  passage,  and  towards  the  wooden  stairs. 

George  Birch  was  maddened  with  the  excitement  of  his  salvation. 
The  door  of  Kitty's  room  was  open  before  him  as  he  trampled 
upwards.     '*  Kitty  1 "  he  shouted. 

A  dreadful  scream  answered  him,  and  rang  into  the  very  vitals  of 
the  night 

«•  My  Gawd ! "  exclaimed  George  Birch,  as  he  entered  her  room 
with  the  black  box  rattling  in  his  hand. 

Twas  dead.    She  had  overlain  their  babe. 



"ADAM    BEDE," 

*^  T  T  had  always  been  a  vague  dream  of  mine  that  some  time  or 
X  other  I  might  write  a  novel.  But  I  never  went  further  towards 
the  actual  writing  of  the  novel  than  an  introductory  chapter  describ- 
ing a  Staffordshire  village  and  the  life  of  the  neighbouring  farm- 
houses. .  .  .  My  'introductory  chapter'  was  pure  description." 
Such  is  the  substance  of  Mary  Aim  Evans's  modest  apology  for  relin- 
quishing journalism  in  her  own  name  in  favour  of  fiction-writing 
under  a  masculine  cognomen.  The  "introductory  chapter," 
written  probably  in  the  earliest  infancy  of  her  literary  career,  does 
not,  like  the  initial  prose  efforts  of  Sir  Walter  Scott,  appear  to  have 
been  preserved ;  rather,  we  should  say,  it  has  not  been  given  to  the 
world  in  its  original  shape.  The  unfinished  manuscript  was  pigeon- 
holed, and  the  "  Scenes  from  Clerical  Life  "  were  the  tardy  first-fruits 
of  George  Eliot's  patiently-nursed  aspiration.  But  the  "  Scenes," 
like  the  "  Sketches "  of  Charles  Dickens,  were  only  an  earnest  of 
more  excellent  and  enduring  work.  The  "  Staffordshire  village  and 
neighbouring  fiurmhouses  "  of  the  crude  manuscript  were  destined  to 
fill  a  foremost  place  in  the  first  and  most  famous  novel  of  George 
Eliot,  "AdamBede." 

In  the  conception  of  the  work  which  was  to  follow  the  "  Scenes  " 
the  author  forcibly  appreciated  the  distinction  between  a  short  story 
and  a  novel;  the  essential  importance  in  the  latter  case  of  a  clear 
perception  at  the  outset  of  the  scope  of  the  work  and  a  consistent 
adherence  throughout  to  the  individuality  of  character  and  environ- 
ment Hence  her  anxiety  to  utilise  material  with  which  she  was 
thoroughly  familiar. 

Somebody  has  said  that  the  most  commonplace  individual  pos- 
sesses sufficient  store  of  romance  and  incident  in  his  life  history  to 
make  a  great  novel.  Some  have  all  the  romance  and  incident 
crowded  into  one  epoch;  others  have  the  constituent  elements — 
fortune  and  misfortune — ^pretty  evenly  distributed  along  the  course. 

1 6  The  Gentleman's  Magazine. 

It  has  always  seemed  to  us  a  pathetic  circumstance  that  Mary  Ann 
Evans,  as  a  girl  of  twenty-five,  should  say  that  "  One  has  to  spend  so 
many  years  in  learning  how  to  be  happy  .  . .  that  we  are  happier  than 
we  were  when  seven  years  old,  and  that  we  shall  be  happier  when  we 
are  forty  than  we  are  now."  Whether  or  not  she  found  this  to  be 
her  own  experience  can  hardly  be  said ;  but,  be  this  as  it  may,  the 
George  Eliot  of  forty  selects  from  the  store  of  her  experience  no 
present  memory  for  the  subject  of  her  first  great  novel.  The  kernel 
of  her  story  lies  twenty  years  back  in  the  prosaic  home  life  of  the 
Evans  family,  and  she  gives  its  welUwom,  conventional  incidents  a 
setting  amid  the  familiar  surroundings  of  which  she  had  treated  in 
the  unpublished  effort  of  her  juvenile  days. 

It  seems  a  pity,  speaking  from  the  standpoint  of  to-day,  that  the 
author  of ''  Adam  Bede  "  should  have  resorted  to  the  trivialities  of 
half-disguised  place  names.  If  such  a  course  were  necessary,  ''Stony- 
shire,"  "  Loamshire,"  "  Oakbum,"  «  Norbume,"  •«  Eagledale," 
"  Rossiter,"  are  absurdly  poor  disguises  for  Derbyshire  and  Stafford- 
shire, Ashbourne  and  Norbury,  Dovedale  and  Rocester,  especially  as 
characters  and  places  have  become,  locally  at  least,  so  absolutely 
identified.  The  folk  names  and  the  place  names  of  the  novel  have 
grown  into  interchangeable  terms  as  regards  the  real  personages  and 
places.  The  most  unlettered  inhabitant  of  Wirksworth  or  Ellastone 
is  aufait  with  the  various  characters  of  the  book,  and  they  can  be 
heard  unconsciously  talking  about  Mr.  This  as  "Adam  Bede's 
cousin,"  or  of  Mr.  That  as  being  "a  relative  of  Dinah  Morris." 

George  Eliot  has  told  us  that ''  there  is  not  a  single  portrait  in 
'Adam  Bede';  only  the  suggestions  of  experience  wrought  up  into 
new  combinations."  This  is  true:  and  yet  resemblances  are  not 
destroyed — which  makes  it  only  half  true.  There  is  a  fine  perception 
of  main  characteristics  and  subtle  differences  which  lifts,  for  instance, 
the  scene-painting  portions  of  the  book  above  the  plane  of  the  mere 
copyist.  The  "pure  description"  has  been  idealised  as  well  as  the 
character  models ;  landscapes,  like  persons,  have  been  rearranged  and 
rechristened.  But  they  have  not  been  mutilated,  and  the  familiar 
eye  can  still  see  in  them  most  of  the  familiar  features.  We  will  try 
to  explain  what  we  mean.  The  difference  in  point  of  fertility 
between  "Stonyshire"  and  "Loamshire"  is  weighted  throughout 
by  the  author  with  an  emphasis  which  cannot  fail  to  bear  strongly 
upon  the  reader.  He  is  convinced  that  "Stonyshire"  is  barren,  and 
that  "Loamshire"  is  not  barren.  What  is  really  the  case  is  that 
Derbyshire,  or,  at  any  rate,  that  portion  of  it  which  comes  into 
"  Adam  Bede,"  is  not  barren ;  and  Staffordshire — the  Staffordshire 

Notes  front  the  Country  of  ''Adam  Bede''    17 

of  the  novel — is  veiy  fertile.    The  pitch  is  thus  somewhat  sliifted, 
but  the  comparative  qualities  are  preserved. 

South-west  Derbyshire  is  by  no  means  a  stem  rock-bound 
territory  like  the  more  northern  Peakland.  Wirksworth  (or  "  Snow- 
field  ")  lies  in  a  verdant  basin.  Ashbourne  ("  Oakbum '')  rises  amid 
a  paradise  of  rolling  woodland,  possessing  beauty  enough  to  foster 
and  stimulate  the  imagination  of  Tom  Moore,  who  made  the  place 
his  home  while  he  wrote  "Lalla  Rookh."  "Stonyshire"  is  un- 
doubtedly very  fine,  but  just  across  the  Dove,  that  "princess  of 
rivers,"  is  Staffordshire,  a  name  suggestive  of  Potteries  and  Black 
Countries,  cinder  roads  and  blasted  herbage.  But  never  could 
prejudice  be  more  agreeably  overmastered.  For  we  are  in  a  veritable 
land  of  Goshen.  "  Loamshire  "  would  be  a  fitly  appropriate  name  for 
East  Stafford  if  it  ever  contrives  to  free  itself  from  the  name  and 
r^utation  of  its  sordid  hinterland.  Patches  of  woodland  abound ; 
the  hills  lie  out  on  a  far  distant  horizon,  not  bleak,  blue,  and  misty, 
but  verdure-clad  to  their  sxunmits,  and  the  ample  foreground  spreads 
away,  thickly  dotted  with  wide-branching  trees  and  lined  with  deep 
leafy  hedgerows.  It  is  this  delicious  domain  which  nurses ''  Hayslope  " 
and  "Norbume^and  '^Donnithome  Chase";  places  suggestive  of 
the  fulness  and  joy  of  harvest — ^and  sadly  reminiscent,  too,  of  the 
erring  love  of  Arthur  Donnithome  and  poor  Hetty. 

Such  is  the  landscape  to^Iay ;  and  it  has  changed  but  little  since 
the  horseman  (why  does  George  Eliot  emulate  G.  P.  R.  James  in  the- 
employment  of  "a  horseman"?)  noted  its  features  in  the  seconds, 
chapter.    The  landlord  of  the  '*  Donnithome  Arms  "  has  changed,  for 
in  these  latter  days  mine  host  of  the  Bromley  Arms  is,  for  the  better  - 
preservation  of  the  unities,  related  to  Adam  Bede. 

There  is  no  doubt  that  the  topographical  licence  in  which  George*^ 
Eliot  indulged  could  only  have  been  exercised  by  a  writer  thoroughly 
familiar  with  the  ground.  Her  geography  is  an  amalgam,  or  rather, 
as  we  said  before,  a  rearrangement  The  places,  like  the  names,  are 
fictitious,  in  that  they  combine  the  characteristics  of  a  whole  neigh- 
bourhood rather  than  the  peculiarities  of  a  single  town  or  village. 
Take,  for  example,  Adam's  joumey  from  Hayslope  to  Snowfield  in 
search  of  Hetty.  The  distance  of  the  former  place  from  Oakbum  is 
given  as  ten  miles;  whereas  Ellastone  is  only  five  miles  from  Ashbourne. 
After  Oakbum  the  country  is  described  as  growing  barer  and  barer^ 
"grey  stone  walls  intersecting  the  meagre  pastures  and  dismal  wide- 
scattered  grey  stone  houses  on  broken  lands,  where  mines  had  been 
and  were  no  longer."  Snowfield  itself  is  described  as  "  fellow  to  the 
country.    The  town  lay  grim,  stony,  and  unsheltered  up  the  side  of 

VOI«   CCLXXXV.     NO.  201 1.  C 

1 8  The  Gentiemans  Magazine. 

a  steep  hill.''  This,  as  we  have  before  remarked,  is  not  an  accurate 
description  of  Wirksworth,  but  it  nevertheless  faithfully  portrays  a 
village  which  lies  not  very  far  from  Wirksworth,  and  which  is  in  several 
ways  associated  with  early  Methodism.  Au  contraire^  the  account  of 
Dinah's  lodgings  in  Snowfield  brings  us  back  to  Wirksworth.  The 
"  cottage  outside  the  town  a  little  way  from  the  mill— an  old  cottage 
standing  sideways  to  the  road,  with  a  little  bit  of  potato-ground 
before  it " — is  literally  the  house  where  Mrs.  Samuel  Evans,  the  aunt 
of  the  novelist,  lived  and  died. 

Wirksworth  itself  is  a  quiet,  sleepy  country  town,  renowned 
from  the  days  of  the  Emperor  Adrian,  down  to  the  early  part  of  the 
present  century,  as  the  centre  of  a  considerable  lead  mining  industry. 
The  lead  mining  has  now,  owing  to  foreign  competition,  fallen  into 
decay.  Dinah  Morris  is  described  in  the  novel  as  earning  her  living 
in  the  Snowfield  mills :  another  anachronism,  inasmuch  as  there  are 
no  mills  at  Wirksworth,  yet  true  in  point  of  fact,  because  Dinah  at 
one  time  did  work  in  the  Nottingham  lace  mills.  The  earlier  portion 
of  her  life  is  not  connected  with  Wirksworth.  Elizabeth  Tomlinson 
(her  real  name)  was  bom  at  Newbold,  near  Ashby-de-la-Zouch,  in 
1775,  <^d  ^^^^'  living  at  Derby  in  domestic  service,  she  removed  to 
Nottingham,  being  then  twenty-one  years  of  age.  At  Nottingham 
she  joined  the  Methodists.  Six  years  after  this  the  notable  event 
which  subsequently  became  known  in  George  Eliot's  circle  as  *'  My 
Aunt's  Story  "  occurred.  A  girl  named  Mary  Boce  was  convicted  of 
child  murder  at  Nottingham  Assizes.  Miss  Tomlinson  and  a  Miss 
Richards  made  it  their  pious  duty  to  attend  to  the  spiritual  needs  of 
the  culprit,  and  the  poof  creature,  after  a  prolonged  and  sullen 
reticence,  broke  down  in  the  presence  of  their  disinterested  attentions, 
and,  like  Hetty  Sorrel,  confessed  her  crime.  Unlike  Hetty,  however, 
she  did  not  obtain  a  reprieve,  and  on  the  day  of  execution  she  was 
drawn  to  the  gallows  in  a  cart  with  a  rope  round  her  neck,  her  two 
devoted  girl  friends  accompanying  her. 

Down  to  this  period,  and  for  some  years  afterwards,  Elizabeth 
Tomlinson  had  not  commenced  public  preaching;  she  long  and 
anxiously  debated  the  "to  be,  or  not  to  be,"  with  her  own  conscience, 
before  finally  deciding  that  her  mission  lay  in  that  direction.  When 
at  last  she  did  begin  the  work  she  quitted  Nottingham  and  returned 
to  Derby,  drawing  large  crowds  wherever  she  preached.  Afterwards 
she  moved  to  Ashbourne,  and  there  it  was  that  Samuel  Evans 
("  Seth  Bede  ")  first  saw  his  future  wife.  It  was  then  and  afterwards, 
firom  time  to  time,  that  the  **  Hay  slope"  preachings  were  held,  and 
here  the  details  of  the  novel  coincide  generally  with  the  actual  facts. 

Notes  fr^n  the  Country  of  ^^ Adam  Bede''     19 

There  is  no  suggestion  in  the  book  that  "  Seth  Bede"  owed  his 
conversion  to  Dinah ;  his  admiration  for  her  is  quite  independent  of 
his  religious  fervour.  His  prototype,  in  the  same  way,  was  already 
a  Methodist  from  conviction  when  Miss  Tomlinson  first  came  to 
Ashbourne.  Long  before  this  time  Samuel  Evans  had  been  in- 
fluenced by  the  sermons  of  a  Mr.  Hicks,  a  ''  round  preacher  ^  or 
circuit  minister,  who  came  to  do  duty  in  the  neighbourhood,  and  as 
a  result  he  joined  the  class  of  Mr.  Beresford,  a  farmer  of  Snelston. 
This  Mr.  Beresford  on  his  death-bed  nominated  Samuel  to  be  his 
successor  as  class-leader. 

Fifteen  years  after  their  marriage,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Evans  came 
to  live  at  Wirksworth,  the  intervening  period  having  been  spent 
at  Derby  and  elsewhere.  The  reiterated  assurances  of  ''Seth  Bede" 
that  marriage  should  not  interfere  with  Dinah's  spiritual  occu- 
pations were  fully  redeemed  by  Samuel,  for  at  Derby  the  public 
labours  of  Mrs.  Evans  were  so  prominent  as  to  attract  the  attention 
and  elicit  the  encouragement  of  Elizabeth  Fry,  and  later  on,  when 
her  home  was  at  Wirksworth,  the  wide  country-side  was  her 
parish,  and  on  Sundays  she  would  range  from  village  to  village, 
preaching  in  the  open  air  or  in  the  chapel,  according  to  circum- 

As  to  personal  characteristics,  the  author  of  ''Adam  Bede"  her- 
self admits  that  she  has  diverged  from  the  original.  The  tall, 
quiescent,  Methodist  Madonna  is  a  striking  creation  of  the  novelist. 
Mrs.  Evans  herself  was  short,  and  her  manner  rather  partook 
of  the  stringtndo  €  fortissimo  vehemence  of  Mrs.  Poyser.  Her 
portrait,  which  lies  before  us  as  we  write,  is  that  of  a  keen-eyed,  lively- 
tempered  little  woman  of  sixty,  wearing  a  Quakerish  poke-bonnet 
and  white  shoulder  wrap.  She  had  given  up  preaching  when  George 
Eliot  knew  her,  but  there  are  persons  yet  living  who,  along  with 
"  Chad's  Bess  '*  and  "  Timothy's  Bess,"  listened  to  her  exhortations 
at  Hayslope.  Their  impressions  of  the  "woman  preacher"  are 
distinct,  the  reason  for  this  probably  being  because  she  was  a  woman 
preacher.  The  present  little  Wesleyan  chapel  at  Ellastone  is  one 
of  the  practical  results  of  her  efforts.  Her  religious  endeavours  at 
Wirksworth  are  perpetuated  in  the  Beeley  Croft  Chapel  by  a 
monument  inscribed  "To  the  memory  of  Elizabeth  Evans,  known  to 
the  world  as  '  Dinah  Bede,'  who  during  many  years  proclaimed  alike 
in  the  open  air,  the  sanctuary,  and  from  house  to  house  the  love  of 
Christ  She  died  in  the  Lord  November  9,  1849,  aged  74  years." 
It  was  thus  nearly  ten  years  after  Mrs.  Evans  was  laid  by  that  her 
gifted  niece  immortalised  her  personality,  in  a  romance  which  is 


20  The  Gentlematis  Magazine. 

more  likely  to  perpetuate  the  memories  of  early  Methodism  than 
any  other  book  which  has  ever  been  written. 

It  was  the  lament  of  George  Eliot  that  the  "afterglow"  had 
faded  and  that  "  the  picture  we  are  apt  to  make  of  Methodism  in. 
our  imagination  is  not  an  amphitheatre  of  green  hills,  or  the  deep 
shade  of  broad-leaved  sycamores."  She  (fortunately  or  unfortunately) 
had  passed  through  a  period  of  spiritual  doubts  and  conflicts ;  since 
her  early  life  in  the  Midlands  she  had  gone  through  the  complicated 
existence  inseparable  from  her  position.  But  at  Hayslope  and  in 
the  inaccessible  hamlets  of  Stonyshire  simple  Methodism  of  the 
Dinah  Morris  type  was  still  fresh  and  unperverted  while  she  was 
despondently  penning  her  doubts.  Even  now,  after  the  lapse  of 
another  half  century,  Adam  Bede's  country  remains  practically  the 
same  primitive  locality  it  was  in  pre-railway  days.  A  pedestrian  may 
start  from  Snowfield  and  walk  all  day  without  crossing  the  track  of 
the  locomotive,  and  (if  it  happens  to  be  Sunday)  he  will  also  have 
frequent  opportunity  of  hearing — ^if  not  a  Dinah  Morris~at  least 
some  Seth  Bede,  making  the  hamlet  ring  with  his  lusty  tones.  And^ 
just  as  Mr.  Rann  and  the  other  notabilities  of  Hayslope  refrained 
from  pressing  to  the  front  while  Dinah  was  speaking,  these  modem 
villagers  exhibit  the  same  peculiarity.  They  listen  from  afar.  The 
preacher  stands  solitary  and  delivers  his  message  like  the  town  crier  ; 
the  folks  lounge  in  their  doorways  and  gardens  to  listen.  In  summer 
time  they  have  their  camp  meetings  and  love  feasts,  red  letter  days 
of  public  worship  under  the  blue  sky,  akin  in  spirit  to  those  meetings 
of  the  Cameronian  hill-folk  so  well  described  by  Crockett. 

The  fragmentary  treatment  of  Seth  is  a  circumstance  much  to  be 
regretted.  On  the  other  hand,  had  the  author  carried  out  her  original 
intention  of  adhering  to  the  true  facts  and  married  Dinah  to  Seth, 
we  should  have  missed  those  pretty  touches  of  feminine  weakness 
which  make  the  reality  of  Dinah  so  convincing.  It  seemed  easy 
enough  for  her  to  pay  severe  attention  to  the  dictates  of  the  inward 
monitor  while  poor  Seth  pleaded  his  suit.  But  the  task  of  objecting 
to  the  appeal  of  practical,  church-going  Adam  was  uphill  work — no 
doubt  just  because  he  wasn't  a  Methodist  and  because  he  was,  in  his 
clumsy  way,  so  masterful. 

The  real  Dinah  did,  of  course,  marry  Seth,  and  the  real  Setb 
possessed  most  of  the  characteristics  of  his  fictitious  counterpart. 
He  was  a  kind-hearted,  unsophisticated  soul,  easily  "  taken  in  "  by 
the  hypocritical  appeals  of  the  unprincipled,  and  with  an  absent- 
minded  tendency,  figuratively  speaking,  to  make  doors  without 
anels.    One  pious  witticism  of  bis  is  especially  remembered  at 

Notes  from  the  Country  of  ^^  Adam  Bede^    21 

Wirksworth.  We  give  it  in  borrowed  words.  Arguing  with  a 
Calvinist  upon  the  doctrine  of  ''election,"  he  cross-examined  his 
adversary  as  follows  :  "  My  friend,  I  presume  you  would  like  to  be 
saved  yourself?"  "Yes."  "And  you  would  like  your  father  and 
mother  and  brothers  and  sisters  to  enter  the  Kingdom  of  Heaven 
with  you  ?  "  "  Certainly."  "  Would  you  not  like  all  your  townsmen 
to  be  saved  also  ?  "  "  Yes."  "  Now,  I  would  ask  you  further :  if  it 
were  in  your  power  would  you  not  save  the  whole  world?"  "Of 
course  I  would,"  replied  the  other.  "  Then,"  rejoined  Seth, 
"according  to  your  own  showing  you  have  more  mercy  than  Christ 
Jesus  had  Himself,  and  ought  to  have  been  the  Redeemer  of  the 
world."    The  story  is  characteristic. 

Samuel  Evans  survived  his  wife  seven  years.  Just  before  his  death 
he  is  said  to  have  sent  for  a  joiner  and  handed  him  written  measure- 
ments for  his  coffin,  together  with  directions  as  to  the  best  way  of 
moving  it  about  in  his  strait  little  cottage  on  the  day  of  the  funeral. 
He  rests  with  his  wife  at  Wirksworth,  and  an  inscription,  under  that 
of  Dinah,  in  the  Beeley  Croft  Chapel,  describes  him  as  a  "  faithful 
local  preacher  and  class-leader  in  the  Methodist  Society." 

In  her  journal  George  Eliot  explains  that  "the  character  of 
Adam  and  one  or  two  incidents  connected  with  him  were  suggested 
by  my  father's  early  life."  Much  may  be  gathered  from  her  early 
journals  and  correspondence  as  to  the  character  of  Robert  Evans, 
the  much  occupied,  self-made  man  of  business,  who  was  constantly 
driving  up  and  down  the  Midland  counties  and  taking  his  daughter 
with  him.  To  his  reminiscences  of  bygone  days  that  daughter  was 
mainly  indebted  for  her  incidents  and  local  colour.  How  much  or 
how  little  of  family  gossip  "  Adam  Bede  "  contains  no  outsider  can 
tell,  but  the  assertion  of  Mr.  Isaac  Evans  that  "  there  are  things  in 
it  about  my  father  "  is  an  expression  which  is  significant 

Robert  Evans  was  bom  in  1773  at  Roston,  a  hamlet  lying  close 
to  Ellastone.  He  was  thus  two  years  older  than  his  brother  Samuel, 
a  detail  worth  noting,  inasmuch  as  Adam  was  two  years  older  than 
Seth.  In  1796,  Robert  being  twenty-three  years  of  age,  a  gentle- 
man named  Mr.  Francis  Newdigate  came  to  reside  temporarily  at 
Wootton  Hall,  near  Ellastone,  pending  settlement  upon  a  prospec- 
tive inheritance  at  Kirk  Hallam  in  Derbyshire.  About  this  time 
Robert  moved  from  Roston  to  Ellastone,-  and  there  opened  a 
carpenter's  shop  on  his  own  account  His  industry  and  sound 
common  sense  attracted  the  attention  of  Mr.  Newdigate,  and  when 
the  latter  went  to  Kirk  Hallam  in  1799  he  appointed  Robert  his 
agent    In  "  George  Eliot's  Life  "  this  three  years'  acquaintanceship 

22  The  Gentleman's  Magazitte. 

of  Mr.  Newdigate  and  Robert  is  not  even  mentioned,  yet  it  is  a 
most  important  period,  and  one  which  must  have  been  particularly 
prominent  in  the  mind  of  the  author  when  dealing  with  the 
incidents  connected  with  Adam  and  young  Donnithome.  "  If  ever 
I  live  to  be  a  large-acred  man,"  said  Arthur,  *'  111  have  Adam  for 
my  right  hand.  He  shall  manage  my  woods  for  me.''  The  simi- 
larity as  to  age  is  even  studiously  maintained,  for  both  the  real  and 
the  fictitious  Robert  were  alike  six-and-twenty  when  the  important 
appointment  was  gained.  The  fact  that  Mr.  Francis  Newdigate 
really  resided  at  Hayslope  does  not  of  course  identify  him  with  the 
unhappy  story  of  Hetty.  She  was  wholly  unconnected  with  Hay- 
slope,  and  her  misfortunes,  moreover,  arose  long  after  Mr.  Newdigate 
had  quitted  Wootton  Hall. 

As  Robert  Evans  ceased  to  be  a  Hayslope  villager  early  in  life 
local  recollection  respecting  him  is  long  since  dead,  but  the  tenor  of 
"Adam  Bede"  proves  that  he  had  a  fond  remembrance,  and  like- 
wise taught  his  children  to  cherish  the  memories  of  the  humble 
cottage  home  at  Ellastone.  The  Evans  children  would  doubtless 
hear  their  father  lapse,  upon  informal  occasions,  into  the  homely 
vemaailar  of  Stonyshire,  which  Mary  Ann  afterwards  put  so  effec- 
tively into  the  mouths  of  Adam  and  Mr.  Poyser.  And  "  Griff," 
her  Warwickshire  home,  which  she  calls  "the  warm  little  nest" 
where  her  "affections  were  fledged,"  would  be  to  all  the  family  a 
name  reminiscent  of  Griff  Grange,  near  Wirksworth,  in  Stonyshire. 

Another  circumstance  which  illustrates  the  inclination  of  the 
author  towards  family  history  is  the  almost  superfluous  reference  to 
the  elder  Bede.  The  story  of  his  death  at  the  beginning  of  the 
book  is  a  circumstance  apart  from  the  plot,  and  might  have  been 
left  out  without  interfering  with  the  context  Robert  Evans's  father 
did  not  die  in  the  river  as  narrated ;  but  the  husband  of  one  of 
Robert's  sisters  did.  A  tombstone  in  Norbury  Churchyard  records 
the  death  of  this  man,  whose  name  was  George  Green.  He  was 
returning  home  one  night  the  worse  for  drink  when  his  horse  threw 
him,  and  in  his  helpless  state  he  was  drowned  in  a  few  inches  of 
water.  This  fact  would  be  in  the  mmd  of  George  Eliot,  and  in  her 
anxiety  to  make  good  every  part  of  the  tale  she  engrafted  upon  it 
what  is  really  an  excrescence. 

The  scope  of  these  notes  prevents  much  digression  into  matters 
of  pure  topography,  otherwise  the  mention  of  Eagledale  might 
involve  us  in  pages  of  letterpress.  "  Have  you  ever  been  in  Eagle- 
dale?"  inquired  Hetty.     Adam's  answer  is  true  to  the  reality: 

Notes  from  the  Country  of  '^  Adam  Bede''     23 

"  Rocks  and  caves,  such  as  you  never  saw  in  your  life.  I  never 
had  a  right  notion  o'  rocks  till  I  went  there."  Izaak  Walton  and 
the  poet  angler,  Charles  Cotton,  had  loitered  beside  that  "beloved 
nymph,  sweet  Dove,"  years  before  Arthur  Donnithome.  But — 
"c'est  assez,  en  voili  assez  !  " 


24  The  Gentkmatis  Magazine. 


MANY  times  of  late  we  have  seen  it  printed  of  the  late  Sir  Isaac 
Pitman  that  he  invented  shorthand  in  1837.  We  have  our 
reasons  for  doubting  the  allegation ;  and,  with  the  reader's  goodwill, 
we  will  hint  at  a  few  of  them.  Charles  Dickens — ^whose  own  experi- 
-ences  as  a  shorthand  writer  are  like  to  live  for  a  fair  ''for  ever"  in 
the  pages  of  "  David  Copperfield  " — ceased  to  wield  the  shorthand 
writer's  pencil,  and  penned  the  "  Pickwick  Papers,"  some  years  before 
Pitman's  alleged  invention.  But  that's  nothing.  Gibbon,  present  at 
the  opening  of  Warren  Hastings's  impeachment,  in  1788,  tells  us  in 
his  autobiography  that  he  then  asked  Mr.  Gumey,  shorthand  writer 
to  the  House  of  Commons,  how  many  words  a  rapid  speaker  would 
utter  in  a  minute ;  and  was  answered — but  the  number  matters 
naught.  Earlier  still — to  wit,  in  1773 — a  person  was  mentioned  in 
Dr.  Johnson's  hearing,  said  to  be  able  to  take  down  with  faultless 
exactitude  the  speeches  in  Parliament ;  whereupon,  quoth  the  Doctor, 
"  Sir,  'tis  impossible.  I  remember  one,  Angel,  who  came  to  me  to 
write  a  preface,  or  a  dedication,  to  a  work  on  shorthand ;  and  he 
professed  to  write  as  fast  as  a  man  can  speak.  To  try  him,  I  took 
down  a  book,  and  read  more  deliberately  than  usual.  He  soon 
begged  me  to  desist,  for  he  could  not  follow  me."  (See  Boswell's 
"  Life  of  Johnson,"  chapter  xx.)  Earlier  still,  Dr.  Byrom,  the  staunch 
Jacobite,  author  of  the  famous  quatrain — 

God  bless  the  King,  of  Church  and  State  Defender, 
God  bless— no  harm  in  blessing — the  Pretender ; 
But  which  Pretender  is,  and  which  is  King, 
God  bless  my  soul  I    That's  quite  another  thing — 

this  worthy — like  Boswell  for  that  matter — had  his  own  system  of 
shorthand.  Then  there  was  Taylor's,  and  Mason's,  and  a  dozen 
more,  all  mentioned  in  Mr.  Thompson  Cooper's  '^  Parliamentary 
Shorthand."  But  further,  our  old  friend  Pepys — ^whose  name,  as 
pronounced  by  the  family,  "  Peeps,"  smacks  strong  of  peeps  behind 
the  scenes— penned  his  deathless  '* Diary"  in  shorthand    But — to 

A  Look  Backwards.  25 

cat  a  long  tale  short — the  great  Roman  epigrammatist,  Martial,  was 
very  guilty  of  this  distich : — 

Carrant  verba  licet,  manus  est  velodor  illis ; 
Nondum  lingixa  suuxn,  dextra  peregit  opus. 

which  may  be  Englished  almost  word  for  word  :— 

Thoagh  the  words  nm,  the  hand  runs  swifter  still ; 
Before  the  hand,  the  tongue  has  done  its  task. 

A  gross  exaggeration,  doubtless,  at  which  Dr.  Johnson  must  have 
shaken  his  head ;  but  it  proves  the  existence  of  shorthand  in  the 
first  century  after  the  birth  of  Christ,  some  1,700  years  before 
Pitman  is  said  to  have  invented  it 

But  it  may  be  pleaded  he  invented  phonetic  shorthand.  Hardly 
so,  since  most  of  the  systems  in  vogue  before  his  were  more  or  less 
phonetic  None  of  them,  for  example,  spelt  that  adjective  with  a 
"  ph."  But  we  stoutly  maintain  that  the  Emperor  Augustus  should 
rather  be  deemed  the  inventor  of  phonetics,  since  he  held,  as 
Suetonius  tells  us,  that  all  words  should  be  spelt  as  spoken.  What, 
then,  did  Pitman  invent?  Nothing  that  we  know  of;  though  it  may 
perhaps  be  truly  said  of  him  that  he  did  something  towards  perfecting 
phonetic  shorthand. 

At  the  risk  of  being  counted  pedantic,  we  add  that  Cicero's 
sometime  pupil-slave,  and  afterwards  freedman.  Tiro,  would  seem  to 
have  made  shorthand  notelets  of  his  illustrious  patron's  speeches. 
Hence  one  of  the  most  interesting — though  surely  none  of  the 
shortest — ^names  for  shorthand  with  the  French,  *'des  notes  tiro- 
niennes,"  where  '^  he  may  read  that  runs  "  the  name  of  this  ingenious 
wight  who  forestalled  Pitman  by  some  2,000  years. 

The  reader  must  look  to  our  betters  for  anything  in  the  shape  of 
a  full  history  of  shorthand — ^which,  by  the  way,  would  fill  a  stout 
volume,  and  might  be  made  extremely  entertaining.      From  this 
perilously  rapid  sketch  of  that  history  we  pass  by  a  natural  transition 
to  the  reporters'  gallery  of  the  House  of  Commons,  as  it  existed  some 
forty  years  ago.    It  is  an  open  secret  that  in  those  days  it  was  filled 
by  a  more  learned  race  of  reporters  than  the  worthy  gentlemen  who 
fill  it  now.    And  reason  good.     In  those  days  honourable  members 
habitually  pelted  one  another  with  scraps  of  Horace  and  Virgil ;  and 
the  readers  of  the  T^mes  would  have  been  shocked  to  see  their  old 
favourites — or  plagues — ^lying  mangled  on  the  break&st  table  next 
morning.    Nay,  but  now  and  again  a  speaker  would  go  fiuther  afield 
than  Horace  or  Virgil  for  a  quotation.    In  Mr.  Disraeli's  somewhat 
too  fiunous  fiineral  oration  on  the  Iron  Duke  he  travelled  as  far  as 

26  The  GentUmatis  Magazine. 

Claudian,  and  fitted  the  helmet  and  hoary  hair  of  that  poet's  herOi 
Stilicho,  to  the  head  of  him  whom  Charlotte  Bronte  styled  '^the 
grand  old  man  " ;  and  the  reporters  had  to  follow  the  right  honour- 
able orator's  flight  as  best  they  could  For  aught  we  know  they 
caught  his  winged  words ;  and  we  must  blame  him,  not  them,  for  the 
blunder  therein  pointed  out  by  that  ruthless  scholar,  the  late  Dr. 
J.  W.  Donaldson,  who  remarlis  in  his  work  on  Latin  prose  composi- 
tion that  the  orator  would  seem  to  have  dropped  the  leading  word 
of  Claudian's  line,  emicuit^  besides  misinterpreting  its  substantive 
aptx.    For,  argues  the  learned  doctor,  the  line  in  its  integrity  runs — 

Emicuit  Stilichonis  apex,  et  cognita  fulsit 
Canities ; 

but,  as  reported,  lacks  the  verb  emicuit^  while  apex  can  here  mean 
naught  but  helmet,  a  weapon  worn,  indeed,  by  the  defender  of 
sinking  Rome,  but  not  by  the  grand  upholder  of  England's  greatness. 
It  is  somewhat  late  in  the  day  to  seek  to  decide  whether  the  weighty 
verb  was  lost  on  the  floor  of  the  House  or  in  its  upper  regions,  but 
the  Doctor  evidently  strongly  suspects  that  the  fault  lay  with  the 
speaker.  For  the  rest,  none  can  question  the  Doctor's  decree  that 
apex  here  means  helmet :  ''Glittei^d  the  helm  of  Stilicho,  and  shone 
his  well-known  hair,  snow-white." 

The  story  is  stale  enough,  therefore  in  all  likelihood  fresh  as  a 
daisy  to  the  rising  generation,  how  some  fiend  in  human  form  forth- 
with discovered  that  Mr.  Disraeli  had  deigned  to  borrow  the  bulk  of 
this  oration  from  M.  Thiers's  tribute  to  the  memory  of  Marshal 
Bugeaud — **  le  petit  pire  Bugeaud  "  of  Algierian  renown.  Worse 
still,  but  quite  naturally,  the  fiend  blabbed  his  discovery.  A  man 
must  be  an  angel  in  human  form—no  fiend—to  keep  such  grand 
discoveries  to  himself.  This  fiend  not  only  voiced  his  "  find,"  but 
straightway  ''prented  it"  And  when  poor  Mrs.  Disraeli  guilelessly 
told  another  fiend  that  she  had  left  her  husband  reading  the  evening 
papers,  fiend  number  two  acidly  remarked,  '*I  hope  he'll  enjoy 

Truth  to  tell,  we  doubt  whether  the  exposure  of  his  plagiarism 
pained  him  much.  Nay,  we  think  it  quite  likely  that  he  may  have 
chuckled  over  it  to  himself.  For  he  can  hardly  have  hoped  Uiat  so 
barefaced  a  borrowing  could  long  escape  detection,  and  may  well 
have  been  nothing  loth  that  the  world  should  know  he  deemed  a 
second-hand  panegyric  quite  good  enough  for  so  second-rate  an 
intellect  as  he  judg^  the  Duke  of  Wellington!s. 

In  xS5S»  nearly  three  years  after  the  delivery  of  that  memorable 
speech,  chance  made  us  acquainted  with  one  who  helped  to  report  it 

A  Look  Backwards.  27 

A  sound  classical  scholar,  he  used  to  *'come  o'  nights"  during  the 
Parliamentaiy  recess  to  coach  and  control  the  boarders  of  the  late 
Rev.  J.  R.  Major  at  his  house  in  Guilford  Street,  facing  the  flank 
of  the  big  square  mansion  in  Queen  Square  then  tenanted  by  Chief 
Baron  Pollock  and  his  many  children,  or,  at  least,  a  large  squad  of 
them.  Whether  the  squad  included  the  Mr.  Justice  Pollock  who 
''joined  the  majority"  last  year,  we  know  not  He  may  by  then 
have  been  housed  in  the  Temple  or  its  purlieus.  But  the  Queen 
Square  mansion — now  a  hotel— was  roomy  enough  to  hold  the  whole 
family,  even  assuming  the  truth  of  the  rumour  that  it  numbered 
twenty-two.  Chief  Baron  Pollock  was,  we  believe,  the  last  of  Her 
Majesty's  Judges — except  Mr.  Justice  Traddles — ^that  dwelt  in  the 
neighbourhood  of  Russell  Square,  the  headquarters  of  the  lawyers  a 
hundred  years  ago.  Then  began  a  general  movement  of  the  gentle- 
men of  the  long-robe  westward.  Lord  Chief  Justice  EUenborough — 
commonly  called  Ned  Pepper — was  the  first  to  flit  And  Lord 
Chief  Justice  Campbell,  in  his  '*  Lives  of  the  Chief  Justices,"  tells  us 
how  "Ned  Pepper"  rejoiced  in  the  spacious  rooms  of  his  new  home 
in  St  James's  Square,  and  boasted  to  his  admiring  or  envying  friends 
that  he  could  fire  a  pistol  in  the  dining-room  without  the  noise 
reaching  the  drawing-room. 

Instead  of  following  the  movement,  we  must  back  to  Guilford 
Street,  heartened  by  the  reflection  that  at  least  one  eminent  lawyer, 
Sir  Edward  Clarke,  still  chooses  to  dwell  mid  the  old  haunts  of  the 
Romillys  and  the  Mansfields.  He  has  a  house  in  Russell  Square. 
By  which  token,  our  Mr.  Major's  father,  the  then  headmaster  of 
King's  Collie  School,  tenanted  the  very  house  in  Bloomsbury 
Square  that  stood  on  the  site  of  that  whence  the  Lord  George 
Gordon  rioters  of  1780  drove  Lord  Chief  Justice  Mansfield,  then 
sacked  and  burned  it,  all  but  the  bare  walls.  So  that,  speaking  soon 
afterwards  in  the  House  of  Lords  on  a  question  of  law,  he  could  say 
in  sober  truth,  '*  I  have  not  consulted  my  books ;  indeed,  books  I 
have  none  to  consult" 

Our  Mr.  Major's  assistant  had  a  shorthand  of  his  own  invention, 
alike  cursive  and  phonetic.  Then  he  omitted  all  words  that  the 
sense  must  needs  suggest,  and  by  these  means  he  contrived  to  keep 
pace  with  us  as  fast  as  we  could  comfortably  read  aloud  to  him — 
which  we  often  did  o'  nights  after  the  other  boys  had  gone  to  roost, 
that  he  might  get  his  hand  in  preparatory  to  the  coming  session. 

Long  years  afterwards  we  met  him  again,  not  at  Tennyson's 
"  Cock,"  with  its  plump  head-waiter,  but  at  a  tavern  of  the  same 
type,  hight  the  "Cheshire  Cheese,"  which  enjoys  the  inestimable 

28  The  Gentleman's  Magazine. 

advantage  of  having  outlived  its  old  rival,  though  we  fear  it  has  not 
yet  found  a  vates  sacer  equal  to  Tennyson  to  hymn  its  praise.  Our 
old  tutor  still  reeked  of  Latin,  and  still  wielded  the  reporter's  pencil 
in  the  gallery,  where  he  helped  the  younger  generation  of  Latinless 
reporters  at  a  pinch,  such  as  Lord  Beaconsfield's  Naoiget  Anticyram. 
But  such  pinches  were  already  growing  few  and  far  between,  and 
perhaps  'twas  high  time  they  should  cease  when  an  Etonian  and 
Oxonian  like  Lord  Randolph  Churchill  could  coolly  murder  Horace 
and  Latin  at  one  fell  blow  with  his  coram  publico.  Ere  that  befell, 
our  sometime  teacher  had  retired  from  the  gallery  to  his  paternal 
fields  in  Ireland.  But  we  feel  sure  that  there  the  titled  Oxonian's 
atrocious  barbarism  must  have  wrung  from  his  classic  lips  the 
indignant  correction,  ''  Nee  pueros  coram  populo  Medea  truddet." 
(Nor  let  Medea  slay  her  boys  before  the  people's  eyes.) 

With  all  due  respect  for  science,  we  view  with  fear  and  dismay 
the  threatened  banishment  of  classic  lore  and  tradition  from  our 
Senate,  our  Law  Courts,  and  our  literature.  One  result  of  it  is  that 
the  brisk  stripling  of  to-day,  who  spends  well  nigh  all  his  spare  time 
in  developing  his  muscles,  can't  half  understand  the  books  or  speeches 
of  a  generation  ago.  Take  the  peroration  of  Lord  John  Russell's 
plea  for  more  voters  in  1859 :  ''  I  loved  the  cause  of  Reform  when 
I  was  young,  and  I  will  not  forsake  it  now  that  I  am  old."  How 
many  of  the  gilded  youth  of  this  year  of  grace  would  here  catch  the 
echo  of  Cicero's  grand  utterance  towards  the  end  of  the  second 
Philippic,  "  Amavi  rempublicam  adolescens,  non  deseram  scnex "  ? 
Yet  the  echo  rings  clear  as  the  sound  of  a  silver  trump  to  him  that 
hath  ears  to  hear.  Or  take  the  peroration  of  "  Bob  Lowe's  "  speech 
against  the  degradation  of  the  franchise,  in  1866  :  ''  Night  and  day 
the  gate  stands  open  which  leads  to  that  bare  and  level  plain  where 
every  molehill  is  a  mountain  and  every  thistle  a  forest  tree."  ^Vhat 
is  "  Night  and  day  the  gate  stands  open  "  but  a  word  for  word 
Englishing  of  Virgil's  "Noctes  atque  dies  patet  [atri]  janua  [Ditis]  "  ? 
To  miss  these  echoes  is  to  lose  half  the  pleasure  that  passages  of  this 
lofty  type  are  capable  of  yielding  to  a  cultivated  mind.  But  the 
modem  thirst  for  such  science  as  may  be  gleaned  from  the  news- 
papers and  the  newest  novel,  in  such  intervals  of  brain-work  as  golf 
and  lawn-tennis,  balls,  plays,  dinners,  the  bicycle,  and  football 
permit,  deafens  almost  all  ears  to  these  echoes,  and  has  now  reached 
so  high  a  pitch  that  even  Shakespeare  is  shelved  as  a  musty  old 
classic,  and  the  modem  representative  of  Fielding's  Ensign  North- 
erton  yawns  in  your  face  if  you  fondly  try  to  show  him  that  the  very 
last  words  of  the  forementioned  peroration,  "To-morrow  I    Oh, 

A  Look  Backwards.  29 

that's  sudden  !  Spare  it,  spare  it !  It  ought  not  so  to  die,"  are  but 
a  neat  adaptation  of  Isabel's  plea  to  Angelo  for  her  brother's  life ; 
**  To-morrow  !  Oh,  that's  sudden  !  Spare  him,  spare  him  !  He's 
not  prepar'd  for  death."  One  might  as  well  keep  one's  breath  to 
cool  one's  porridge  as  tender  these  parallels  to  a  mere  athletic 

To  feel  all  the  fun  of  Lord  Beaconsfield's  description  of  Mr. 
Gladstone  as  a  man  without  a  single  redeeming  vice,  one  needs  a 
knowledge  of  Mr.  Gladstone's  personal  appearance  and  mode  of  life 
and  speech,  which  always  savoured  somewhat  of  the  highly  respect- 
able clergyman.  But,  quite  apart  from  this  needful  whet  to  the  full 
relish  of  the  Disraelian  "dig,"  the  force  of  it  is  enhanced  if  we 
happen  to  recall  the  hackneyed  line,  "  Some  faultless  monster  which 
the  world  ne'er  saw" — the  brain  child  of  that  Sheffield  Duke  of 
Buckingham  who  built  or  beautified  that  Buckingham  House  which 
gave  its  name  to  Buckingham  Palace.  But  we  must  seek  the  source 
of  Buckingham's  thought  in  Juvenal's  Crispinus,  a  "  Monstrum  nulla 
virtute  redemptum  a  vitiis."  For  from  this  faultfiil  monster— one 
lump  of  vice — most  surely  sprang  both  the  faultl&ss  monster  of 
Buckingham  and  of  Benjamin  Disraeli.  Let  Mr.  Gladstone,  then, 
henceforth  be  remembered  as  that  "faultless  monster"  which  the 
world  has  seen.  We  cannot  quarrel  with  the  man  who  may  in  this 
sense  be  called  "the  last  of  the  Romans" — ^that  he  was  the  last  of 
the  old  school  of  debaters  who  freely  quoted  the  Roman  classics. 
Mr.  Bright  quoted  Milton  and  the  Bible ;  some  few  old  fogeys 
still  bear  in  mind  his  Cave  of  Adullam.  Mr.  Chamberlain  draws 
his  allusions  and  illustrations  from  Dickens;  and  we  should  feel 
thankful  "  in  these  costermonger  times  "  to  any  one  who  draws 
allusions  or  illustrations  from  any  literary  source  whatever. 

Our  passing  mention  of  the  Gordon  riots  reminds  us  of  how  the 
great  buffoon  of  that  age  saved  his  house  from  the  fate  of  Lord 
Mansfield's.  For  some  reason,  good  or  bad,  the  mob  took  it  into  its 
multitudinous  noddle  that  the  house  was  a  nest  of  papists.  They 
had  perhaps  heard  tell  of  Cardinal  Grimaldl  Anyhow  they  threatened 
to  pull  the  house  down,  and  were  all  agog  to  execute  their  threat 
when  the  Cardinal's  namesake  showed  himself  at  an  open  window, 
and  thus  addressed  the  rabble :  "  Gendemen,  I  beg  leaf  to  assure 
you  dat  in  dees  house  dere  be  no  religion  whatever."  The  mob 
cheered  its  loudest  with  its  ten  thousand  throats,  and  marched  away 
to  wreck  some  more  religious  building.  If  we  follow  'em  we  shaU 
miss  our  point,  which  is  simply  that  in  the  present  House  of 
Commons  any  member  might  honestly  appease  a  wrathful  rabble  of 

30  The  Gentlentatis  Magazine. 

Jack  Cades  with  a  kindred  utterance :  *'  Gentlemen,  I  assure  you 
that  in  this  house  there's  not  a  shred  of  Latin,  and  hardly  any 

But  who  killed  the  Latin  ?  A  question  to  be  asked  I  Not  the 
reporters.  In  case  of  need  a  batch  could  have  been  whipped  up  with 
enough  Latin  at  their  fingers'  ends  to  record  all  the  Latin  likely  to 
find  vent  even  in  those  high  and  palmy  days  which  preceded  the 
great  Reform  Bill  of  1832.  Who  then  was  the  murderer?  Not 
Cobbet,  "  raised  to  Senates  from  the  plough ;  of  rodcs^  the  terror 
once,  of  pensions  now."  No ;  spite  of  his  humble  Jurth,  he  took 
most  kindly  to  Latin,  and  even  to  French,  whereof  he  wrote  a 
grammar,  and  characteristically  declared  it  the  best  of  all  French 
grammars,  past,  present,  and  to  come.  We  would  wager  a  trifle  that 
he  penned  a  Latin  grammar  too,  and  puffed  it  as  unblushingly. 
Anyhow,  we're  "sartin  sure  " — as  they  say  in  the  shires — ^that  Cobbet 
neither  knocked  nor  tried  to  knock  House  of  Commons  Latin  on 
the  head.  Who,  then,  can  have  dealt  the  deadly  blow?  Cobden, 
"  the  inspired  bagman  "  ?  When  we  remember  how  scornfully  he 
spoke  of  Thucydides— as  good,  or  as  bad,  as  any  Latin  author  you 
please  to  name— he  seems  no  unlikely  man  to  have  cracked  its 
crown  ;  surely,  far  likelier  than  the  Duke  of  Wellington.  And  yet 
many  a  man  has  been  hung  on  far  slenderer  evidence  than  can  be 
brought  to  prove  his  Grace  the  Latin  murderer.  Not  that  we  would 
charge  him— the  old  Etonian — ^with  venting  bad  Latin.  But  it 
stands  recorded  against  him  that  to  a  young  peer  who  sought  his 
advice  how  to  harangue  the  House  of  Lords,  he  said  with  his 
habitual  word-thrift,  *'  Don't  quote  Latin,  but  say  your  say,  and  sit 
down."  Now  this  utterance  of  the  great  Duke  might  easily  reach 
the  Lower  House,  and  there  work  with  deadly  effect  on  the  love  for 
Latin  quotation. 

What  if  another  Tory — though  of  a  widely  different  stamp,  and, 
as  has  been  said,  no  great  admirer  of  the  Duke — indirectly  helped  him 
in  the  murder  !  We  mean — ^whom  should  we  mean — but  Benjamin 
Disraeli  ?  In  one  of  those  fierce  invectives  against  Sir  Robert  Fed 
wherewith  he  enlivened  the  house  at  intervals  between  1842  and 
1847 — ^the  Puliacs  we  might  call  them — ^he  taunted  the  Premier  with 
the  triteness  of  his  Latin  quotations ;  with  never  daring  one  that  had 
not  ofl  been  greeted  with  applause  within  those  walls.  Oh  !  he  said 
much  more  unpleasing  things  than  that :  be  said  that  Peel  loved  to 
trace  the  steam-engine  back  to  the  tea-ketde ;  that  all  his  precedents 
were  tea-kettle  precedents,  and  that  all  his  speeches  reported  in 
Hansard  were  so  many  "  dreary  pages  of  interminable  talk,  without  a 

A  Look  Backwards.  31 

single  original  thought  or  a  single  happy  expression."  Yes ;  and  the 
best  of  it  was  that  the  judicious  few  knew  these  charges  to  be  just, 
while  the  ruck  of  Dizzy's  protectionist  backers,  wrathful  at  Peel's 
ratting,  cared  not  a  rush  whether  he  struck  ''  the  traitor  "  fairly  so 
l<Higas  he  struck  him  hard.  This,  however,  is  beside  our  point — the 
trite  quotation  charge.  It  placed  Peel  and  all  would-be  Latin 
quoters  in  this  fix — either  to  stick  to  the  threadbare  favourites 
warranted  to  go,  or  trot  out  untried  nags  from  Claudian's  or  some 
still  less  fiuniliar  stable.  But  here  Padlock  Mungo's  question,  ^  What 
agniiy  me  hear  if  me  no  understand  ?  "  might  come  in ;  while  ihen^ 
after  the  Disraelian  comments,  the  wonted  cheer  might  easily  give 
place  to  a  scornful  laugh.  For  instance,  one  would  now  hardly 
dare  to  say — ^what  is  nevertheless  perfectly  true — ^that  'tis  nice  steer- 
ing between  the  Charybdis  of  the  trite  and  the  Scylla  of  the  far- 

If  we  turn  from  St.  Stephen's  to  the  Law  Courts,  we  find  a  like 
change  in  the  style  of  speaking.  Can  it  be  that  these  business-like 
talkers  are  the  legitimate  descendants  of  Cockbum,  Bethel!,  and 
Cairns,  who,  as  Solicitor-General,  quoted  Dryden  in  the  Commons 
against  little  Lord  John,  and  Virgil  in  the  great  Windham  lunacy 
case  ?  And  how  felicitous  the  quotation  in  itself,  and  how  felicitously 
worked  into  the  thread  of  his  speech  !  The  great  advocate's  aim 
was  to  save  the  reckless  heir  of  Felbrigg  from  a  mad-house ;  and  as 
he  neared  the  end  of  his  harangue  he  said,  as  if  the  thought  had  but 
that  moment  crossed  his  brain :  ^*  Among  the  books  which  my 
client  studied  at  Eton  is  one  fisimiliar  to  most  of  us,  that  tells  of  a 
cruel  tyrant  who  tortured  his  hapless  victims  by  chaining  them  to  the 
putrefying  bodies  of  the  dead : — 

Mortua  quia  etiam  jungebat  corpora  vivis, 
Componens  manibusque  manus  atque  oribus  ora  ; 
Tormenti  genus  :  et  sanie  taboque  fluentes 
Complexu  in  misero  longa  sic  morte  necabat. 

Such,  gentlemen  of  the  jury,  is  the  plight  to  which  my  client's  kins- 
folk would  condemn  him.  They  would  seclude  him,  young  and  full 
of  life,  from  the  society  of  his  fellow  men,  and  doom  him  to  a  living 
death  among  the  intellectually  dead.  I  entreat  you  by  your  verdict 
to  save  him  from  that  worse  than  Mezentian  torture."  Writing  nearly 
forty  years  after  reading  the  speech — and  that  but  once— we  cannot 
vouch  for  the  verbal  fidelity  of  aught  but  the  quotation.  But  we 
have  given  the  pith  of  the  rest,  and  the  quotation  is  our  game.  Can 
any  of  our  readers  imagine  any  barrister  in  this  unliterary  age 

32  The  GentUmatis  Magazine. 

indulging  in  so  high  a  flight,  and  that  successfully?  For,  thanks 
to  the  eloquence  of  his  advocate,  the  jury  left  the  young  nuuicap 
spendthrift  heir  of  broad  acres  and  a  shining  name,  bird-free  to 
finish  the  untoward  career  that  so  soon  ended  in  an  untimely  grave, 
and  added  yet  another  mournful  illustration  of  the  truth  of  Juvenal's 
words,  ''Evertere  domos  totas,  optantibus  ipsis,  Dt  faciles/'  Of 
eloquence  destructive  to  its  owner,  the  great  satirist  gives  us  two 
striking  examples — Demosthenes  and  Cicero — ^in  words  that  glow 
with  more  than  Demosthenic  fire.  Of  a  man  destroyed  by  the 
triumphant  eloquence  of  his  own  advocate  we  find  no  record  in 

But  we  foi;get  our  part.  Tis  not  our  cue  to  moralise,  but  rather 
to  meander,  at  the  sweet  will  of  a  somewhat  skittish  memory, 
through  the  sere  woods  of  the  past  But  what  matter,  so  long  as  the 
reader  does  not  kick  ?  Every  wight  chooses  his  own  path  and  jogs 
along  at  his  own  pace,  and  no  reasonable  wight  will  expect  him  to 
go  faster  or  more  featly  than  he  can.  That  phrase  suggests  a  some- 
what incongruous  marriage  of  ideas.  We  have  all  heard  of  the 
''  law's  delay,"  and  most  of  us  have  felt  it.  But  who  ever  heard 
talk  of  the  law's  speed  ?  We  naturally  except  such  cases  as  those 
of  a  poor  devil  doomed  to  the  gallows,  or  to  pay  a  debt  by  a 
certain  day.  But  apart  from  these  exceptions,  when  Time  and  Law 
seem  winged,  the  Law,  considered  as  endowed  with  a  local  habita* 
tion,  has  displayed  a  wonderful  agility  for  so  venerable  a  dame  in 
her  old  age.  After  contentedly  holding  her  headquarters  in  West- 
minster Hall  from  the  time  of  Magna  Charta  till  1829,  she  then 
suddenly  kicked  up  her  heek  and  lodged  herself,  cheek  by  jowl 
with  her  younger  sister  Equity,  in  what  we  now  call  the  Old  Law 
Courts,  though  in  fact  they  were  brand-new  in  1829.  There  dwelt 
Dame  Law  for  little  over  fifty  years,  then  flitted  to  the  spot  where 
she  now  reigns  hard  by  the  site  of  Temple  Bar,  and  Isaak  Walton's 
house  and  shop,  and  of  the  old  Cock  Tavern,  where  a  big  bank  now 
stands,  and  seems  to  say  to  all  who  pass,  "  If  you  set  foot  within 
my  bulky  neighbour,  you'll  need  my  aid,  I  tell  you." 




SHAKESPEARE  is  said  to  have  entered  into  all  phases  of 
human  experience,  and  to  have  depicted  all  shades  of  human 
character,  but  from  his  gallery  of  portraits  he  has  omitted  one  figure, 
the  absence  of  which  does  not  seem  to  have  been  generally  noticed 
by  his  critics  :  the  ideal  mother,  tender,  constant,  and  true,  sympa- 
thetic alike  in  the  prosperity  and  adversity  of  her  children. 

The  "fathers"  of  Shakespeare  are  a  well-known  and  touching 
group,  exhibiting  towards  their  children  a  tenderness  and  a  display 
of  affection  such  as  we  are  usually  wont  to  connect  with  the  maternal 
relationship.  Prospero  regards  the  crying  infant  who  impedes  his 
flight  not  as  a  burden,  but  as  his  best  blessing  : — 

A  chenibin 
Thou  wast  that  did  preserve  me.    Thou  didst  smile 
Infused  with  a  fortitude  from  heaven. 
When  I  have  deck*d  the  sea  with  drops  full  salt — Tempest  i,  2, 154. 

And  while  upon  the  island  he  finds  her  the  consolation  and  the 
joy  of  his  existence^  as  he  tells  the  Prince  of  Naples  :— 

I  have  given  you  here  a  thrid  of  mine  own  life. 
Or  that  for  which  I  live. — O,  Ferdinand, 
Do  not  smile  at  me  that  I  boast  her  off,    * 
For  thou  shalt  find  she  will  outstrip  all  praise 
And  make  it  halt  behind  her. — Tempfsi  iv.  i,  3. 

Lear  is  mistaken  and  ill-advised  in  his  affection,  and  yet  it  is  a 
warm  and  tender  heart  which  he  pours  out  upon  his  daughters.  He 
craves  their  love  with  an  ardent  longing,  and  feels  that  all  his  earthly 
possessions  are  too  little  with  which  to  reward  it ;  while,  on  the  other 
hand,  when  he  has  discovered  the  depth  of  Cordelia's  devotion,  he 
feels  that  it  outweighs  all  the  world  : — 

G»me,  let's  avray  to  prison : 

We  two  alone  will  sing  like  birds  i*  the  cage — 

Upon  such  sacrifices,  my  Cordelia, 

The  gods  themselves  throw  incense.     Have  I  caught  thee  ? 

He  that  parts  us  shall  bring  a  brand  from  heaven 

And  fire  ns  hence  like  foxes.— Z^or  ▼.  3,  8. 

vol.  CCLXXXV.     NO.  201 1.  O 

34  The  Gentleman's  Magazine. 

Brabantio's  heart  is  bound  up  in  his  "maid,"  so  "tender,  £aur, 
and  happy,"  so  that  her  loss  to  him 

Is  of  so  floodgate  and  o'erbearing  nature 
That  it  engluts  and  swallows  other  sorrows. 
And  it  is  still  iXstM^Otkello  i.  3,  56. 

But  the  "  mothers  "  of  Shakespeare  are  singularly  few  in  number. 
Miranda  is  motherless,  and  so  are  not  only  Desdemona  and  Cordelia, 
but  Rosalind,  Celia,  Silvia,  Hero,  Jessica,  Imogen,  and  Helena  f 
Perdita  has  a  mother,  it  is  true ;  but  it  is  in  her  relations  as  a  wife, 
rather  than  as  a  mother,  that  Hermione  is  represented.  The 
Countess  of  Rousillon  has  a  son,  but  it  is  as  Helena's  friend,  and 
not  as  Bertram's  mother,  that  she  rouses  our  interest  Juliet  has 
a  mother,  to  whose  heart  of  stone  she  appeals  in  vain  : — 

Is  there  no  pity  sitting  in  the  clouds, 
That  sees  into  the  bottom  of  my  grief? 
O,  sweet  my  mother,  cast  me  not  away  !^ 

Romeo  andJulUt  liL  5,  198L 

Hamlet  has  a  mother,  each  remembrance*of  whom  is  a  pang  to 
his  distressed  mind,  and  of  whose  conduct  he  can  only  say : — 

Let  me  not  think  on*t.     Frailty,  thy  name  is  woman ! — Hamlet  L  3,  146. 

Nor  in  those  mothers  who  possess  more  commendable  qualities 
is  there  that  "  sweet,  attractive  kind  of  grace,"  and  that  "  continual 
comfort,"  which  we  might  naturally  expect  to  find. 

Volumnia  is  a  noble  woman  ;  but  it  is  her  strength  and  force  of 
character,  and  not  her  tenderness,  which  are  brought  before  us.  She 
loves  Coriolanus,  but  she  loves  his  honour  more  : — 

When  yet  he  was  but  tender  bodied  and  the  only  son  of  my  womb,  when 
youth  with  comeliness  plucked  all  gaze  his  way,  when  for  a  day  of  King's 
entreaties  a  mother  should  not  sell  him  an  hour  from  her  beholding,  I,  consider- 
ing how  honour  would  become  such  a  person,  that  it  was  no  better  than  picture- 
like to  hang  by  the  wall,  if  renown  made  it  not  stir,  was  pleased  to  let  him  seek 
danger  where  he  was  like  to  find  fame.  To  a  cruel  war  I  sent  him,  from  whence 
he  returned,  his  brows  bound  with  oak. 

ViRGlLiA.  But  had  he  died  in  the  business,  madam,  how  then  ? 

Vol.  Then  his  good  report  should  have  been  my  son ;  I  therein  should  hare 
found  issue.  Hear  me  profess  sincerely  :  had  I  a  dozen  sons,  each  in  my  love 
alike,  and  none  less  dear  than  thine  and  my  good  Mardus,  I  had  rather  had 
eleven  die  nobly  for  their  country  than  one  voluptuously  surfeit  out  of  action ! — 

Coriolanus  L  3,  6. 

Queen  Margaret,  widow  of  Henry  VI.,  weeps  bitterly  over  the 
dead  body  of  her  "  Sweet  Ned  " ;  but  both  she  and  Queen  Elizabeth 
of  York  seem  to  bewail  the  sad  fates  of  their  respective  children, 
rather  that  they  may  fling  taunts  in  each  other's  faces  than  that 
they  may  relieve  their  own  burdened  hearts.    The  Duchess  of  York, 

Mothers  in  Shakespeare.  35 

mother  of  Richard  III.,  is  of  a  somewhat  softer  nature,  yet  even  she 
has  no  conception  of  the  power  of  love.  Instead  of  striving  to 
influence  her  erring  son,  she  smothers  him  with  "the  breath  of 
bitter  words."  She  promises  him  to  be  ''mild  and  gentle"  in  her 
speech  if  he  will  grant  her  a  hearing,  and,  having  obtained  it,  she  at 
once  proceeds  to  pour  out  a  flood  of  invective  : — 

Thou  cam'st  on  earth  to  make  the  earth  my  hell. 

A  grievous  burden  was  thy  birth  to  me  ; 

Tetchy  and  wayward  was  thy  infancy; 

Thy  schooldays  frightful,  desperate,  wild  and  furious ; 

Thy  prime  of  manhood  daring,  bold,  and  venturous ; 

Thy  age  confirm'd,  proud,  subtle,  bloody,  treacherous. 

More  mild,  but  yet  more  harmful ;  kind  in  hatred  : 

What  comfortable  hour  canst  thou  name. 

That  ever  graced  me  in  thy  company  ?—A*iVAar)f ///.  iv.  4,  166. 

There  is  doubtless  a  strong  aflection  between  King  John  and  his 
mother  Elinor,  but  it  is  an  aflection  that  few  mothers  would  care  to- 
own  as  the  tie  that  bound  them  to  their  sons.  She  is  clear-sighted 
and  keen-witted,  and  in  dealing  with  John's  aflairs  she  raises  no 
flimsy  screen  of  pretence  between  herself  and  her  conscience.  She 
knows  that  he  has  usurped  the  crown,  which  should  of  right  belong 
to  the  son  of  his  deceased  elder  brother,  and  she  does  not  delude 
herself  with  any  fancied  right  or  justice  in  support  of  his  claim. 

Our  strong  possession  and  our  right  for  us  1 

exclaims  John  with  a  poor  attempt  at  majestic  dignity,  but  Elinor 
answers  shrewdly : — 

Your  strong  possession  much  more  than  your  right. 
Or  else  it  must  go  wrong  with  you  and  me  : 
So  much  my  conscience  whispers  in  your  ear, 
Which  none  but  heaven  and  you  and  I  shall  hear. — 

King  John  L  i,  39. 

This  is  not  an  ardent-natured  woman  led  astray  by  her  love  for 
her  son,  but  an  ambitious  schemer,  who,  like  Lady  Macbeth,  urges 
and  stimulates  her  companion  to  his  crime.  No  feminine  softness 
induces  her  to  hold  him  back  from  an  unjust  war,  she  is  herself  in 
the  forefipont  of  the  operations. 

An  At^  stirring  him  to  blood  and  strife. — ii.  r,  63. 

John's  dependence  upon  her  is  shown  in  the  exclamation  with 
which  he  receives  the  news  of  the  French  invasion  : — 

Where  is  my  mother's  care, 
That  such  an  army  should  be  drawn  in  France 
And  she  not  hear  of  it  ?— iv.  2,  x  17. 


36  Tlu  Gentleman  s  Magazine. 

Yel,  at  the  news  of  her  death,  no  tears  of  affection  fall  from  her 
son's  eye  ;  it  is  not  his  mother  that  he  mourns,  but  his  fellow  soldier 
and  con^irator : — 

What,  aoiher  dead? 
How  wildly  then  walks  mj  estate  in  Fiance ! 

But  to  speak  of  Elinor  reminds  us  that  the  play  of  "  King  John  " 
contains  a  chaiartrr  which  has  been  regarded  by  many  critics  as  the 
perfect  type  of  maternal  affection.  It  is  solely  and  entirely  as  a 
mother  tluit  Constance  is  represented,  and  as  such  she  has  won  a 
vide^vead  admiration. 

But,  to  the  candid  reader,  it  is  amply  manifest  that  the  passionate 
grief  of  Constance  b  doe  rather  to  indignation  for  her  supplanted 
prince  than  to  lore  for  her  **  pretty  Arthur."  She  is  a  very  woman 
in  her  want  of  sdfcoctr jI  ;  as  violent  as  Elinor,  but  altogether  lack- 
ii(  in  the  coU  calculation  that  makes  the  mother-queen  so  distaste- 
CdL  Yet,  in  spite  of  the  fervour  of  her  feelings,  there  is  an  under- 
current of  ambition  running  through  them  all,  and  Elinor's  taunt  is 
not  iU-foonded  when  she  declares  that  Constance 

Would  Dot  cease 
Tin  die  had  kindled  Fianoe  and  all  the  world 
Upoo  the  right  and  party  of  her  son. — i.  i,  32. 

That  Constance  has  been  ill-treated  there  is  not  a  shadow  of  doubt, 
but  like  most  women  with  a  grievance  she  never  fiuls  to  make  the 
most  of  it. 

Oh !  take  his  nothcr^s  thanks,  a  widow's  thanks ! 

she  cries  in  answer  to  the  promises  of  Arthtn's  friends,  taking  care 
to  pot  forward  the  two  strong  points  of  her  position.  As  a  matter  of 
EKt,  Constance  was  not  a  widow  at  this  time,  being  married  to  a  third 
h^f^'^ — Gay  de  Thooais ;  hot  in  conadering  her  as  one  of 
Shakc^ieaie's  heroines  we  have  nothing  to  do  with  her  historically, 
and  Shakespeare  has  seen  fit  to  present  her  to  us  in  the  light  most 
f^trwfatrfirf  to  engage  oar  sympathies :  a  widow,  friendless,  helfdess, 
and  defenceless,  the  modier  of  a  discrowned  king.  This  is  the 
Coostanoe  of  the  play,  and  she  describes  her  situation  in  moving 

OppRSB^d  with  wioogi  and  thereface  loll  of  fear^ 

A  fridov,  hnsfaandless,  snbiccl  to  feais, 

A  nioin,  nataially  horn  to  fcais. — liL  I,  is. 

Bat  this  description,  toodiing  as  it  is,  is  some^ 
*fnMfi»«  with  which  she  answeis  Elinor : — 

Vnw  is  it  thon  dost  €all  nsorper.  Fiance? 

Mothers  in  Shakespeare.  37 

cries  the  queen-mother,  and  Constance  is  ready  with  the  daring 

Let  me  make  answer,  thy  uimrpiog  son ! 

Nor  is  boldness  unsupported  by  violence ;  with  vehement  tongue 
and  bitter  speech  she  heaps  reproaches  upon  her  mother-in-law,  until 
we  feel  that  the  King  of  France  was  right  in  his  rebuke  \*-^ 

Peace,  lady,  pause,  or  be  more  temperate  ; 
It  ill  beseems  this  presence  to  cry  aim 
To  these  ill-timed  repetitions. — iL  i,  196. 

and  that  Elinor  had  a  good  deal  of  justification  for  her  denunciation 
of  Constance  as  .         j  .  1  j      1  j 

An  unadvised  scold . 

This  violence  has  been  excused  on  the  plea  that  it  is  only  produced 
by  her  depth  of  mother  love  \  but  can  this  theory  be  proved  from 
the  play  ?  Is  it  not  rather  true  that  there  is  a  strain  of  unreality 
about  her  affection  for  Arthur,  finely  though  she  expresses  it  ?  A 
true  mother  loves  best  the  weakling  of  her  flock,  and  lavishes  most 
affection  on  that  one  which  stands  most  in  need  of  it ;  but  Constance 
frankly  confesses  that  if  her  boy  had  been  ugly  or  deformed  she 
would  have  experienced  very  different  feelings  towards  him.  She 
loves  him  and  regrets  his  misfortunes,  it  is  true,  but  she  tells  him  that 

Full  of  unpleasing  blots  and  &*ghtless  stains, 

Lame,  foolish,  crooked,  swart,  prodigious, 

Patch'd  with  foul  moles  and  eye-offending  marks, 

I  would  not  care,  I  then  would  be  content ; 

For  then  I  should  not  love  thee ;  no,  nor  thou 

Become  thy  great  birth,  nor  deserve  a  crown.  -  iii.  i,  45. 

This  is  not  true  mother  love. 

The  vein  of  unreality  of  which  we  have  spoken  runs  not  only^ 
through  her  affection,  but  through  her  griefl  Constance  has,  in  fact, 
a  good  deal  of  the  poet  in  her,  and  she  enjoys  her  sensations  because 
they  give  her  occasions  for  eloquent  outpourings.  Like  Hamlet 
and  like  Richard  II.  she  indulges  in  bursts  of  rhetoric  in  the  most 
critical  and  distressing  moments  of  her  life ;  she  trades  as  it  were  on 
her  sorrow,  and  gains  an  added  importance  from  her  grief.  She  will 
not  obey  the  summons  of  the  kings,  they  must  rather  obey  the 
summons  of  her  woe : — 

I  will  instruct  my  sorrows  to  be  proud. 

For  grief  is  proud  and  makes  his  owner  stoop. 

To  me  and  to  the  state  of  my  great  grief 

Let  kings  assemble ;  for  my  griePs  so  great 

That  no  nippoiter  but  the  huge  firm  earth 

Can  hdd  it  up ;  here  I  and  sorrows  sit ; 

Here  is  ny  throne,  bid  longs  cone  bow  to  it,— iii.  i,  68, 

38  The  Gentlentans  Magazine. 

This  is  fine  imagery  couched  in  magnificent  language,  but  the 
greater  the  grief  the  simpler  is  the  form  in  which  it  finds  expression  ; 
there  has  probably  never  been  any  utterance  which  so  completely 
conveys  the  idea  of  grief,  as  the  few  and  simple  words  of  David's 
lament:  ''O  my  son  Absalom,  my  son,  my  son  Absalom! 
Would  God  I  had  died  for  thee,  O  Absalom,  my  son,  my  son ! " 
The  deepest  sorrow  can  never  be  uttered  in  any  human  words  : — 

My  lighter  moods  are  like  to  these 
That  out  of  words  a  comfort  win ; 
But  there  are  other  grie&  within, 
And  tears  that  at  their  fountain  freece. 

But  Constance  loves  her  grief,  dallies  with  it,  fondles  it  and 
encourages  it.  Before  Arthur  is  taken  from  her,  it  is  ambition  as 
much  as  sorrow  which  inspires  her  utterances  ;  if  she  cannot  compel 
the  world  to  listen  to  her  as  a  sovereign,  she  will  at  least  compel  it 
to  listen  to  her  as  an  insurgent ! 

Arm,  arm,  yon  heavens,  against  these  perjured  kings, 
A  widow  cries ;  be  husband  to  me,  heavens  1 
Let  not  the  hours  of  this  ungodly  day 
Wear  out  the  day  in  peace  ;  but,  ere  sunset, 
Set  armed  discord  twixt  these  perjured  kings  I 
Hear  me,  O  hear  me  ! 

Austria.  Lady  Constance,  peace  ! 

Cons.  War !  war  I    No  peace  !    Peace  is  to  me  a  war.— iii.  i,  io8. 

In  vain  the  unfortunate  Arthur  implores  her  to  cease  from 
advocating  his  claims  and  to  allow  him  to  remain  in  safe  obscurity: — 

Good,  my  mother,  peace  I 
I  would  that  I  were  low  laid  in  my  grave  : 
I  am  not  worth  this  coil  that's  made  for  me. 

Arthur's  happiness,  his  peace,  his  safety  even,  weigh  as  nothing 
with  her  in  comparison  with  his  crown,  and  she  continues  her 
turbulent  course  until  the  natural  result  is  accomplished,  and  her 
«on  is  torn  from  her  arms. 

Then,  indeed,  her  grief  breaks  forth  in  a  burst  of  passion  beyond 
all  bounds  of  reason  : — 

I  defy  all  counsel,  all  redress. 
But  that  which  ends  aU  counsel,  true  redress, 
Death,  Death ;  O,  amiable,  lovely  Death  I 
Arise  forth  from  the  couch  of  lasting  night 
Thou  hate  and  terror  to  prosperity. 
And  I  will  kiss  thy  detestable  bones. 
And  put  my  eyeballs  in  thy  vanity  brows. 
And  ring  these  fingers  with  thy  household  worms, 
And  stop  this  gap  of  breath  with  lulsome  dust. 

Mothers  in  Shakespeare.  39 

And  be  a  carrion  monster  like  thyself. 

Come,  grin  on  me  and  I  will  think  thou  smilest« 

And  kiss  thee  as  thy  wife.     Misery's  love, 

0  come  to  me  ! 

Pandulph  may  well  say  in  answer  to  tbis  wild  invocation  : — 

Lady,  you  utter  madness,  and  not  sorrow. — ^iii.  4,  24. 

Even  in  this  moment  of  agony  there  is  a  false  ring  in  the  note  of 
her  love.  Her  pride  in  Arthm^s  personal  beauty  is  still  strong  within 
her ;  she  does  not  mourn  for  the  sufferings  that  he  may  have  to 
undeigo  in  his  imprisonment,  but  for  the  harm  that  those  sufferings 
may  work  upon  his  outward  form. 

Since  the  birth  of  Cain,  the  first  male  child, 
To  him  that  did  but  yesterday  suspire, 
There  was  not  such  a  gracious  creature  bom. 
But  now  will  cauker  sorrow  eat  my  bud 
And  chase  the  native  beauty  from  his  cheek, 
And  he  will  look  as  hollow  as  a  ghost. 
As  dim  and  meagre  as  an  ague's  fir. 
And  so  he'U  die;  and,  rising  so  again, 
When  I  shall  meet  him  in  the  court  of  heaven 

1  shaU  not  know  him :  therefore  never,  never 
Must  I  behold  my  pretty  Arthur  more. 

There  is  certainly  ample  justification  for  King  Philip's  remark  :— 

Vou  are  as  fond  of  grief  as  of  your  child  ; 

but  Constance,  with  her  ready  wit  and  nimble  fancy,  turns  his  satire 
aside  and  starts  upon  a  new  train  of  thought : — 

Grief  fills  the  room  up  of  my  absent  child. 

Lies  in  his  bed,  walks  up  and  down  with  me. 

Puts  on  his  pretty  looks,  repeats  his  words. 

Remembers  me  of  all  his  gracious  parts, 

Stufis  out  his  vacant  garments  with  his  form ; 

Then,  have  I  reason  to  be  fond  of  grief? 

Oh,  Lord  !  my  boy,  my  Arthur,  my  fair  son  ! 

My  life,  my  joy,  my  food,  my  all  the  world  ! 

My  widow-comfort  and  my  sorrow's  cure  !~iii.  4,  93. 

With  these  words  she  goes  off  the  stage  and  we  see  her  no  more, 
and  aU  that  we  hear  of  her  afterwards  is  the  rumour  of  her  death. 
She  has  loved  with  frenzy,  hated,  chided,  and  lamented  with  frenzy, 
and  therefore  we  feel  that  we  can  give  every  credence  to  the 
messenger's  tale : — 

The  lady  Constance  in  a  frenzy  died. 

Such  is  Constance  as  depicted  by  Shakespeare,  the  only  mother  of 
whom  he  has  given  a  detailed  portrait ;  but  after  studying  her  character. 

40  The  Gtnlleman's  Mofftzine. 

can  we  ny  that  be  has  here  portiayed  the  perfectkm  <tf  mother- 
hood ?  Every  other  {diase  of  woman'i  life  he  has  entered  into  with 
the  mairdloiu  ■ynpathy  of  genius  :  Cordelia  is  an  ideal  daughter, 
Imogen  and  Detdemona  are  ideal  wives,  Juliet  and  Miranda  are 
perfect  types  of  "  maiden  loven,"  Isabdla  is  an  ideal  sister,  Celia  and 
Rotalind  ^e  the  lie  to  the  weO-wom  sneer  at  wranen's  friendship ; 
Paulina  is  a  type  of  the  faithful  attendant  who  puMS  her  life  in 
devotion  to  her  mistress,  Lychorida  of  the  kmng  norse  who  Gils  a 
mother's  vacant  place,  and  irtiose  grave  is  covered  with  Sowen  and 
watered  with  tears  by  the  child  whom  she  has  dierished. 
But  where  is  the  ideal  mother  ? 

The  tendered  expression  of  maternal  feeling  that  we  meet  with 
in  the  plays  is  to  be  found  in  Hermione's  greeting  to  her  restored 
PerdiU  :— 

Voo  godi,  look  down. 

And  from  four  nocd  vitb  poor  your  gruei 

Upon  mjr  daoEhtei**  head.    Tell  nw,  nune  own, 

Wbcte  hut  ihoo  been  pte«enr<d  ? — where  lired  ? — how  found 

Th;  Other'*  couil  ?  for  thou  dult  beu  thM  I, 

Knowing  by  Pnnlina  tfau  the  Onele 

GkTe  hope  thoa  vut  in  being,  h«*e  pceMrred 

Myself  to  lee  the  iune.—T'ik  Wtnttt't  TaJt  t.  3,  lai. 

But  Hermione  as  a  mother  is  merely  a  sketch  and  not  a  com- 
pleted picture,  while  Thasia  is  touched  in  with  even  fainter  strokes. 

Mf  heart 
Leapt  to  be  gone  uto  my  mothei*t  bawn, 

cries  Marina,  and  Thasia  replies  : — 

BImI,  and  mine  own  I 

Pericles,  in  the  moment  of  reunion,  greets  his  daughter  with 
ly  of  rapture  : — 

O,  Hcticannt,  ttrike  me,  honoured  dr. 

(Mtc  me  a  gaih,  put  me  to  pieaent  pain, 

Lett  thit  great  lea  of  jofi  ruihing  upon  me 

O'erbear  the  ihorei  of  my  mortality 

And  drown  me  with  Iheii  iweetneaa. — O,  Helictnnt, 

Down  on  thy  kneet,  thank  the  holy  godi  m  load 

At  thunder  threaten*  ut,  thit  U  Marina  I — 

Give  me  my  robei,  I  am  wild  in  my  bdiolding, 

0,  beaTen*,  bleti  my  giil  I — IkricUi  t,  i,  193. 

ihet  the  circumstances  of  Shakespeare's  own  life  account  in 
for  bis  unusual  treatment  of  the  maternal  character  can  be 
■  matter  of  conjecture    Of  Mary  Arden  we  know  too  little 

Mothers  in  Shakespeare.  41 

to  determine  what  she  was  in  herself,  or  what  effect  she  produced 
upon  her  poet  son ;  while,  though  it  is  clcai*  that  there  was  a  close 
tie  of  love  between  Shakespeare  and  his  daughters,  there  is  nothing 
to  show  what  terms  existed  between  them  and  their  mother.  Anne 
Hathaway  will  always  remain  one  of  the  problem  characters  of 
history,  and  the  ''second  best  bed"  will  continue  to  be  hurled  as  a 
crushing  argument  by  her  detractors  and  her  defenders  alike.  The 
dust  of  Shakespeare's  life  lies  undisturbed,  as  well  as  the  dust  of  his 
mortal  body;  we  may  seek  to  reconstruct  it,  but  we  can  only  re- 
construct it  according  to  our  own  fancy. 

This  only  we  know  of  certain  knowledge,  that  although  Shakes- 
peare has  sounded  with  the  plummet  of  his  genius  all  the  depths  of 
woman's  love  as  wife,  daughter,  sister,  servant,  and  friend,  he  has 
left  unexplored  that  mighty  power  of  motherhood  which  is  one  of 
the  great  elemental  forces  of  the  world,  and  of  which,  when  found  in 
its  perfection,  it  may  be  truly  said  that  it  *'  beareth  all  things,  believeth 
all  things,  hopeth  all  things,  endureth  all  things.'' 


42  The  Gentlemans  Magazine. 


Thou  who  wouldst  see  where  dawned  the  light  at  last 

North-westwards  from  the  "Thousand  Gardens,'*  go 

By  Gunga's  valley  till  thy  steps  be  set 

On  the  green  hills  where  those  twin  streamlets  spring, 

Nilaj&n  and  Moh&na  ;  follow  them 

Winding  beneath  broad-leaved  mah&a  trees. 

Mid  thickets  of  the  sansir  and  the  bir, 

Till  on  the  plain  the  shining  sisters  meet 

In  Phalgu*s  bed,  flowing  by  rocky  banks 

To  Gdya  and  the  red  Barrabar  hills. — Lighi  of  Asia, 

THE  old  route  to  Bodh  Gya,  the  birthplace  of  Buddhism,  by  the 
Grand  Trunk  Road  through  Hazaribagh,  the  country  of  the 
**  Thousand  Gardens,"  is  no  longer  the  road  to  be  followed,  except 
by  such  pilgrims  as  come  to  Gya  from  the  immediate  south.  The 
East  India  railway  line  is  now  the  great  trunk  line  of  communi- 
cation between  Bengal  and  Behar  and  the  rest  of  India,  and  he 
who  would  visit  Gya,  **  where  dawned  the  light  at  last,"  travels  by 
railway  to  the  station  of  Bankipore,  the  official  headquarters  of  the 
great  Mahomedan  city  of  Patna.  From  Bankipore  a  branch  line  of 
railway  runs  fifty-seven  miles  direct  south  to  Gya,  and  from  Gya  to 
Bodh  Gaya,  which  lies  seven  miles  beyond,  the  traveller  must 
proceed  by  road. 

A  happy  fortune  leading  us  to  Behar,  we  decided  to  seize  the 
chance  offered  and  to  visit  Gya.  Leaving  Bankipore  in  the  early 
morning  of  a  bright  day  in  October,  the  train  steamed  southward 
through  a  smiling  landscape  along  a  raised  embankment,  which  for 
several  miles  is  bordered  on  either  side  by  .pipal  trees,  ficus  religiosa^ 
the  sacred  fig  tree.  On  cither  hand  wide-stretching  rice-fields  glowed 
a  sheet  of  golden  green  in  the  morning  sunlight,  broken  here  and 
there  by  glimpses  of  clear  pools  of  water,  shining  like  mirrors  set  in 
frames  of  green  plush,  or  widening  into  small  lakes,  whose  surface 
was  broken  by  tiny  wavelets  rippling  in  the  fresh  morning  breeze. 
Groups  and  lines  of  tall  palms  broke  the  level  expanse,  or  clustered 
round  red-tiled  village  roofs,  while  every  now  and  again  dark  groves 

Tlie  Birthplace  of  Buddhism.  43 

of  heavy  old  mango  trees  relieved  the  stretch  of  vivid  green,  which 
was  bounded  in  the  far  distance  by  dark  lines  of  trees,  tall  palms, 
*'  like  arrows  shot  from  heaven,"  showing  clear  against  the  pale  blue 
of  the  sky-line. 

Nor  was  life  wanting  to  complete  the  picture ;  here  and  there  on 
a  stretch  of  higher  ground  white  oxen  drew  the  light  wooden  ploughs, 
driven  by  sturdy  brown-skinned  cultivators,  their  shoulders  and 
limbs  bare,  but  with  heavy  turbans  of  folded  cloth  about  their  heads. 
Bufialoes  laved  their  shining  dark  sides  in  the  water,  or  grazed  on 
the  raised  borders  of  the  fields ;  a  herd  of  sheep  would  be  at  rest  on 
the  wayside,  or  a  drove  of  lean  long-legged  pigs,  black  and  bristly, 
would  scuny  away,  frightened  by  the  rush  of  the  train  and  heedless 
of  the  shrill  cries  of  the  little  girl  who  drove  them,  and  who  looked 
as  wild  and  unkempt  as  her  charges.  Grey  and  white  egrets  stood 
motionless  at  the  water's  edge,  doves,  blue  jays,  and  slender  black 
kingcrows  with  long  forked  tails,  perched  on  the  telegraph  wires ; 
bright  green  fly-catchers,  with  bronzed  wings  and  long  tail  feathers, 
darted  after  their  prey ;  while  brilliant  blue  kingfishers  watched  the 
pools  from  overhanging  branches,  or  plunged  with  a  heavy  splash  to 
seize  some  tiny  fish.  At  the  wayside  stations,  when  the  train  stopped, 
the  silence  of  the  countryside  was  almost  startling,  and  was  rendered 
more  intense,  rather  than  broken,  by  the  murmur  of  voices  on  the 
platform  and  the  continuous  chatter  of  the  brown  minas  in  the 
station  trees. 

Travellers  passed  along  the  road,  which  in  many  places  runs 
beside  the  railway  embankment:  the  bent  form  of  age  and  the 
springy  step  of  youth ;  women  dressed  in  their  graceful  clinging 
sarus,  bearing  their  babes  lightly  on  hip;  a  Hindu  lady  in  her 
closely  curtained  crimson  litter;  and  the  dead,  shrouded  in  white 
and  laid  on  a  stretcher,  borne  head  foremost  on  four  men's  shoulders, 
taking  their  last  journey  to  the  banks  of  the  sacred  Ganges,  there  to 
be  laid  on  the  funeral  pyre. 

As  we  advanced  on  our  journey  the  country  began  to  change, 
growing  undulating,  with  here  and  there  a  small  hill.  Soon  the  hills 
among  which  the  town  of  Gya  is  set  came  into  sight,  and  three  hours 
after  leaving  Bankipore  the  train  steamed  into  the  bare  little  station 
at  Gya.  Greeted  on  the  platform  with  hospitable  welcome,  we  were 
soon  driving  along  in  a  high  dogcart,  through  a  bit  of  picturesque 
bazaar,  under  the  welcome  shade  of  an  avenue  of  fine  trees,  through 
whose  branches  the  midday  sun  fell  in  bright  patches,  past  a  small 
maidan^  or  common,  at  one  end  of  which  the  little  station  church 
stands  in  the  open,  like  a  toy  church  of  some  child  giant,  and  so  on 

44  The  GtfUleniafis  Magazine. 

to  the  European  quarter  of  the  station.  Here  the  comfortable 
bungalows  stand  in  their  wide  grounds,  separated  each  from  its  neigh- 
bour by  hedges  of  aloes  or  a  line  of  trees ;  and  forming  a  dark  back- 
ground to  all  rise  the  ranges  of  low  rocky  hills,  within  whose 
sheltering  circle  lies  the  sacred  city. 

The  welcome  bath  and  breakfast  over,  a  quiet  rest,  an  hour  of 
pleasant  chat  at  the  station  club^  watching  tennis  played  in 
the  golden  light  of  a  clear  sunset,  and  then  in  the  cool  evening,  with 
the  rosy  after-glow  flushing  in  the  western  sky,  and  Jupiter  rising 
gloriously  in  the  east,  we  drove  by  darkening  roads  to  where  the  Gya 
cow  keeps  lonely  watch  on  a  far  hill-side.  The  Gya  cow  and  calf  are 
roughly  hewn  out  of  grey  stone ;  the  story  goes  that  they  were  placed 
in  their  present  position  by  supernatural  agency  on  a  dark  night 
long  years  ago.  Generations  of  worshippers  have  worn  the  stone 
with  their  hands  placed  in  prayer  on  the  beast's  forehead,  wind  and 
rain  sweeping  over  the  bare  rocks  have  work^:d  their  will  on  the  graven 
image,  the  horns  have  long  broken  away,  and  it  is  only  to  the  eye 
of  faith  that  the  rough  figure  bears  any  resemblance  to  the  sacred  cow. 
The  image  is  placed  on  a  small  platform  of  brickwork,  and  altogether 
stands  about  four  feet  high ;  its  grey  outlines  were  indistinguishable  in 
the  gathering  dusk  against  the  rising  ground  until  we  stood  beside  it. 
There  is  no  protecting  wall  round  the  cow,  no  priest  in  charge;  no 
sign  of  human  life  was  near  as  we  stood  beside  it  in  the  clear  star- 
light, the  silence  of  the  darkening  air  broken  only  by  the  measured 
hoot  of  an  owl  on  the  hill  beyond ;  the  raised  white  road  on  which 
our  waiting  pony  trap  showed  a  dark  group  winding  on  towards  the 
pass  in  the  distance. 

The  stone  cow,  the  Gye,  is  said  to  give  its  name  to  Gya,  but 
there  is  more  than  one  l^end  regarding  the  name  of  the  city.  Sir 
W.  W.  Hunter,  in  the  *'  Imperial  Gazetteer  "  of  India,  quotes  one 
which  says  that  the  name  is  derived  from  that  of  a  Pagan  monster, 
whose  fate  is  recorded  in  the  Vaya  Purana.  His  only  *'  crime  "  was 
his  desire  to  save  sinners  from  perdition ;  accordingly,  Brahma  him- 
self undertook  the  task  of  putting  a  stop  to  his  career.  This  he 
effected  by  treacherously  persuading  Gya  to  lie  down,  that  a  feast 
might  be  held  upon  his  body,  and  then  placing  a  heavy  stone  upon 
him.  When  the  monster  struggled  to  get  free  the  gods  prevailed 
upon  him  to  keep  quiet  by  the  promise  that  they  would  come  and 
tsJce  up  their  abode  on  the  spot,  and  that  all  pilgrims  who  worshipped 
there  should  be  delivered  from  the  pains  of  helL  To  assist  him  in 
subduing  Gya,  Brahma  created  fourteen  Brahmans,  and  the 
^'Gyawals"  of  the  present  day  claim  to  be  their  descendants.    The 

The  Birthplace  of  Buddhism.  45 

Gyawals  are  not  recognised  by  trae  Biahmans,  but  they  are  held  in 
great  veneration  by  the  pilgrims,  whose  fees  go  to  them,  and  all  the 
sacred  sites  are  in  their  possession  and  charge. 

We  were  up  betimes  next  morning,  for  it  was  the  day  when  we  were 
really  to  reach  the  desired  goal  of  our  journey,  and  hastily  despatch- 
ing an  early  breakfast,  we  were  soon  started  on  the  road  to  Bodh  Gya. 
The  day  previous  to  our  arrival  there  had  been  very  heavy  rain,  which 
had  washed  the  trees,  cleared  the  air,  and  filled  the  river  to  its  brim  ; 
and  the  freshness  of  the  air,  bearing  as  it  did  the  first  £ednt  touch  of 
the  approaching  cold  season,  the  warmth  of  the  sun,  and  the  buoyancy 
of  the  atmosphere,  raised  our  spirits  with  a  joyous  sense  of  exhilara- 
tion, as  we  drove  through  as  lovely  scenery  as  the  eye  of  man  may 
desire  to  rest  upon.  Leaving  the  city,  our  road  lay  direct  south ;  to 
our  right  stretdied  luxuriant  rice-fields,  with  here  and  there  a  village, 
now  a  wayside  shrine,  and  now  a  small  white  temple,  whose  arched 
entrance  showed  within  a  grim  and  hideous  idol  painted  a  flaming 
scarlet  Trees  bordered  the  roadside  or  massed  themselves  in  heavy 
groves,  populous  with  birds,  while  many  a  fine  pipal  tree  bore  on  its 
massive  trunk  the  sacred  vermilion  marks  which  showed  it  to  be  an 
object  of  worship,  to  which  the  garlands  of  flowers  which  lay  fading 
in  the  sun  had  been  freshly  offered  that  morning. 

To  our  left  ran  the  stream  of  the  sacred  Fulgo,  or  Phalgd  river, 
which  is  formed  by  the  jimction  of  two  hill  streams,  the  LiUjan  and 
the  Mohina,  which  unite  near  Bodh  Gya.  The  Hindus  consider 
the  river  especially  sacred  for  the  half-mile  or  so  of  its  length  which 
passes  their  holy  city  of  Gya,  and  many  offerings  are  made  by  the 
devout  in  that  portion  of  its  sandy  bed.  The  road  to  Bodh  Gya 
follows  the  course  of  the  river  for  almost  the  whole  of  the  seven 
miles,  at  times  quite  on  the  bank  of  the  stream,  again  a  little  further 
back,  allowing  room  for  a  strip  of  grass  land,  on  which  date  palms 
grow  in  gracefiil  luxuriance,  or  heavy  foliaged  trees  give  the  wayfarer 
grateful  shade.  The  river  was  in  flood  when  we  saw  it,  and  spread 
firom  shore  to  shore,  a  width  of  over  a  quarter  of  a  mile;  but  at  other 
times  it  shrinks  in  its  sandy  bed,  and  in  the  dry  season  is  altogether 
lost — a  river  of  sand.  On  the  farther  bank,  some  two  miles  away, 
runs  a  range  of  hills  covered  with  low  scrub,  and  on  the  level  plain 
between  them  and  the  river  lies  cultivated  land,  interspersed  with 
trees  and  tall  palms,  forming  a  lovely  background  to  the  bright 
sparkling  river  which  runs  in  swift  current  from  south  to  north.  In 
spite  of  its  width  the  Fulgo  is  fordable  in  almost  every  part,  and 
numbers  of  villagers  were  crossing  as  we  passed,  bearing  their  loads 
on  their  heads  and  wading  little  more  than  knee-deep  in  the  flood. 

46  The  Gentlematis  Magazine. 

When  about  a  quarter  of  a  mile  from  Bodh  Gya  wc  came  in  sight 
of  the  great  temple  showing  through  the  trees.  Then,  driving  past 
a  massive  wall  which  surrounds  the  Hindu  monastery  to  which  the 
whole  of  Bodh  Gya  belongs,  and  which  is  under  the  rule  of  an  abbot, 
the  Mahunt^  we  passed  without  entering  its  heavy  gateway  and  pulled 
up  at  the  foot  of  sharply  rising  ground,  up  which  we  walked.  And 
there  before  us,  its  massive  proportions  rising  from  a  square  sunken 
hollow,  on  whose  brow  we  stood,  was  the  great  temple,  the  sacred 
shrine  which  we  had  journeyed  so  far  to  see.  The  great  Buddhist 
temple  marks  the  spot  where  Prince  Sakya  Sinha,  the  founder  of  the 
Buddhist  religion  nearly  600  years  before  Christ,  attained  Nirvana^ 
after  five  years  of  contemplation  seated  under  the  sacred  pipal,  or  fig 

The  temple  as  it  now  stands  was  restored  in  1880-84  by  the 
British  Government.  Before  that  period  the  whole  was  a  ruined 
mass,  from  which  arose  a  slender  quadrangular  pyramid  of  great 
height,  the  lower  portion  of  which  ^ns  covered  up  and  hidden  among 
the  dibris.  As  now  restored  it  is  a  pyramidal  pile  of  masonry,  rising 
to  a  height  of  160  feet.  At  each  of  the  four  corners  rises  a  smaller 
reproduction  of  the  main  spire,  and  the  whole  building  is  covered 
with  architectural  ornamentation  of  the  symbolical  lotus  flower,  and 
with  niches  containing  stone  figures.  Looking  up  at  the  great  mass 
the  eye  is  wearied  by  the  endless  repetition  of  ornament ;  higher  and 
ever  higher  the  niches,  most  of  them  enshrining  stone  figures  of 
Buddha,  headless,  perhaps,  or  armless,  scarred  or  mutilated,  but 
always  unmistakably  the  Buddha,  while  the  central  ornament  on  each 
face  of  the  pyramid,  rising  in  diminishing  size  to  the  pinnacle,  is  the 
sacred  lotus  blossom.  Numberless  doves  and  green  parrots  flutter 
round  and  perch  on  this  majestic  temple  of  the  great  Protector  of 
Life,  and  their  tender  moans  and  shrill  cries  falling  softly  through 
the  still  air  that  bright  morning  on  which  we  stood  looking  up  at 
the  great  shrine,  formed  fit  accompaniment  to  our  reverent  thoughts 
of  Him  who  "  would  not  let  one  cry  whom  He  could  save." 

Having  been  dug  out  of  its  ruins,  the  temple  now  stands  in  a  sunken 
square,  to  which  the  descent  is  made  by  stone  steps.  The  main 
entrance  is  from  the  northern  side,  where  the  ground,  which  rises  in 
a  steep  incline  from  the  road,  is  much  higher  than  on  the  other 
sides.  Descending  the  steps,  we  walked  along  a  narrow  gravelled 
road  and  reached  the  temple  entrance,  which  faces  east.  Placed 
beside  this  entrance  are  two  tall  poles,  adorned  respectively  with  a 
gilt  cock  and  a  gilded  umbrella,  votive  offering  of  wealthy  Buddhists, 
Over  the  actual  entrance  to  the  sacred  shrine  itself,  the  ancient 

The  Birthplace  of  Buddhism.  47 

temple  of  thousands  of  years,  is,  oh !  practical  Indian  Public  Works 
Department  of  the  nineteenth  century,  an  arch  of  iron  rods  support- 
ing a  tin  street  lantern  which  holds  a  kerosine  oil  burner. 

The  whole  immense  structure  is  built  over  three  vaulted  chambers 
one  above  the  other,  which  pierce  inwards  in  tunnel  fashion  to  about 
the  centre  of  the  pile.  Each  chamber  is  entered  by  a  single  doorway 
with  heavy  stone  lintels  and  stone  sockets,  and  grooves  for  the 
doors  which  are  no  longer  there.  Daylight  finds  admittance  through 
this  entrance  alone,  and  it  shows  at  the  far  end  of  the  lowest 
chamber  a  raised  stone  platform,  on  which  is  seated  a  large  gilded 
stone  figure  of  Buddha,  with  calm  features  and  downcast  eyes,  in 
the  usual  attitude  of  meditation,  the  1^  crossed,  the  right  foot  with 
upturned  sole  resting  within  the  left  knee.  This  is  the  principal 
shrine  in  the  temple,  the  holy  of  holies,  and  the  great  golden  figure 
is  surrounded  and  adorned  by  the  offerings  of  devout  pilgrims. 
When  we  saw  it  the  figure  was  veiled  with  a  silk  scarf  of  gold  and 
crimson,  which  was  removed  by  a  Brahman  boy,  who  came  forward 
to  act  as  our  guide.  Above  the  statue  was  a  square  canopy  of 
white  muslin,  which  hung  in  a  deep  plain  border,  depending  from 
which  were  small  globes  of  coloured  glass,  the  whole  the  offering 
of  a  worshipper.  On  the  platform,  flanking  the  central  figure,  were 
two  groups  of  small  alabaster  statuettes  of  Buddha,  with  painted 
hair  and  lips,  to  the  number  of  fifteen.  They  ranged  from  a  few 
inches  to  a  foot  and  a  half  in  height,  and  were  all  the  offerings  of 
Burmese  pilgrims,  who  visit  Bodh  Gya  in  large  numbers.  Hanging 
firom  the  vaulted  roof  and  the  walls  were  long  silk  and  paper  rolls, 
looking  like  immensely  elongated  Chinese  lanterns  which  had 
become  attenuated  in  the  process  of  lengthening ;  these  were  also 
offerings  of  pilgrims,  and  so  were  a  heap  of  coloured  silks  thrown 
loosely  in  one  comer,  with  tiny  oil  lamps,  small  votive  tapers,  and 
other  decorative  paraphernalia. 

On  the  platform  before  the  figure  there  were  several  stone  cups 
and  a  brass  bell  with  figured  handle,  which  the  boy  priest  told  us 
were  used  by  the  Hindu  Mahunt  who  does  daily  Pujah  at  the 
shrine.  It  seems  incongruous  that  a  Hindu  priest  should  conduct 
the  worship  at  a  Buddhist  altar,  but  the  temple  and  the  land  on 
which  it  stands  is  the  property  of  the  Brahmans,  and  they  have  long 
held  the  right  of  conducting  worship  in  the  shrine.  A  claim  was 
recently  made  on  behalf  of  the  Buddhist  worshippers  for  the  custody 
of  the  temple,  and  the  whole  question  was  argued  at  length  before 
the  local  law  courts,  with  the  result  that  the  Brahman  Mahunt  was 
confirmed  in  the  position  and  privileges  which  had  been  exercised 

48  The  GentUmatis  Magazine. 

by  his  predecessors  for  more  than  a  century,  and  which  have  never 
interfered  with  the  rights  of  Buddhists  to  worship  in  the  temple. 

Before  the  work  of  restoration,  this  lower  and  chief  portion  of 
the  temple  was  inaccessible,  as  it  was  buried  in  the  fallen  masonry 
and  the  accumulated  dust  of  centuries,  which  rose  as  high  as  the 
second  storey,  so  that  the  upper  chamber  was  entered  direct  The 
upper  chamber  is  now  reached  by  two  steep  flights  of  stone  steps, 
one  within  each  of  the  comer  turrets  in  front  of  the  temple.  These 
steps,  as  well  as  the  thresholds  and  every  little  niche  and  comer, 
were  covered  with  oil  and  grease  from  the  numerous  little  oil  lamps 
and  candles  burnt  by  worshippers,  and  the  narrow  worn  steps  of 
grey  stone  were  rendered  doubly  slippery  and  difficult  by  the  grease. 

Emerging  from  the  stairway,  we  found  ourselves  on  a  narrow 

terrace,  which  mns  round  the  temple  at  a  height  of  about  twenty-five 

feet.     The  parapet  of  this  terrace  is  adorned  by  stone  balusters 

of  varying  size,  each  beautifully  carved  in  relief.    Some  of  the  small 

figures  of  Buddha  are  exquisitely  perfect,  but  the  greater  portion  are 

sadly  mutilated.    The  upper  chamber  of  the  temple  opens  on  to 

this  terrace ;  it  is  of  the  same  proportions  as  the  lower  chamber,  and 

« a  figure  of  Buddha  of  the  same  size  as  the  chief  figure  is  also  placed 

on  a  platform  at  the  end  of  the  chamber.    This  image,  however,  is 

not  gilt,  like  the  other,  the  gilding  of  which  has  been  carried  out 

bit  by  bit  by  the  pious  labours  of  pilgrims,  who  bring  gold  leaf  as 

their  offering  to  the  temple,  and  lay  it  on  the  image  piece  by  piece, 

in  larger  or  smaller  quantities,  each  according  to  his  means,  till  in 

the  course  of  years  almost  the  whole  of  the  huge  idol  has  been 

covered.    When  the  chief  figure  is  quite  completed  the  one  in  th^ 

upper  chamber  will  receive  its  share.   ,The  third  chamber  is  situated 

above  the  second ;  it  is  now  closed.   The  entrance  was  built  up  during 

the  work  of  restoration,  as  it  was  thought  that  an  influx  of  pilgrims 

at  any  time  might  possibly  threaten  the  safety  of  the  whole  structure, 

should  there  be  any  undetected  flaw  or  failure  in  the  ancient  edifice. 

On  the  western  side  of  the  temple,  its  branches  resting  against 

the  building,  is  the  *'  Bodhi  Dmm,"  tlie  sacred  pipal  tree.    It  is  not 

claimed  that  this  tree  is  the  original  one  under  whose  shade  Buddha 

sat  in  meditation  for  five  long  years  ere  he  attained  NirvanOy  but  it 

is  said  to  grow  on  the  identical  spot,  and  to  be  a  scion  of  the  old 

tree  which  fell  to  pieces  from  age.    It  is  quite  small,  not  more  than 

twenty  feet  high,  and  grows  on  a  raised  square  platform  of  earth 

filled  into  a  surrounding  wall  of  masonry  which  projects  from  the 

temple.    The  branches  were  covered  with  bunches  of  straw  placed 

at  intervals,  which  we  found  were  tied  round  iayers^  which  are 

The  Birthplace  of  Buddhism.  49 

prepared  by  the  Brahmans  for  sale  to  the  devout  at  exorbitant 
prices,  to  be  carried  away  and  reverentiy  planted  in  their  homes  in 
distant  lands.  Built  against  the  temple,  under  the  branches  of  the 
tree,  is  another  platform,  the  top  formed  of  a  thick  slab  of  stone, 
which  is  cut  in  an  open  pattern  of  tracery,  and  is  said  to  be  the 
identical  stone  on  which  Buddha  sat  in  contemplation. 

Surrounding  the  temple  there  was  originally  a  railing  of  solid 
stone,  built  by  the  great  Buddhist  King  Asoka,  of  which  only  a 
fragment  now  remains  in  preservation  to  show  what  a  fine  work  it 
was.  Other  broken  portions  of  the  railing  are  placed  in  position 
round  the  base  of  the  temple ;  there  is  also  a  restored  stone  gateway, 
near  it  a  stupa  beautifully  carved  and  in  good  preservation,  at  its 
base  a  kneeling  figure.  Indeed,  the  whole  square  of  the  temple  is 
crowded  with  restored  buildings  and  remains,  which  it  would  be 
wearisome  to  attempt  to  describe  in  detail,  but  all  showing  how 
magnificent  the  original  temple  must  have  been,  and  bearing 
testimony  to  the  treasure  and  labour  that  were  lavished  on  it  during 
successive  ages. 

A  range  of  modern  buildings  just  by  the  temple  entrance  con- 
tains various  Hindu  shrines ;  in  one  is  a  circular  stone  slab  about 
two  feet  in  diameter,  on  which  are  the  imprints  of  two  feet  side  by 
side,  each  some  twelve  inches  in  length.  The  Hindu  pilgrims  who 
lay  their  offerings  at  these  shrines  have  to  pay  a  few  copper  coins  at 
each  to  the  Brahman  in  chai^ge.  We  heard  a  Brahman,  who  was 
persuading  two  pilgrims  to  pay  their  devotions  to  the  footprints, 
employ  a  mixture  of  bullying  and  cajolery  quite  in  the  style  of  an 
auctioneer.  "  What ! "  he  cried,  "  go  away  without  touching  the 
footprints  hiPermasur^  (the  Almighty),  "just  to  save  two/iVjp!  Shame 
on  you  !  Shame  !  Well,  give  on^  pice^  then,  only  one //?<?,  one  pice 
between  the  two  of  you,  there  now !  Come  away,  come  ! "  And 
the  two  frugal  ones  shamefacedly  drew  near,  and  putting  down  the 
/wf,  touched  the  stone  with  bowed  heads  and  hurried  away. 

The  Brahman  priests  at  all  these  sacred  places  are  great  extor- 
tioners, and  live  an  idle,  useless  life  of  self*indulgence.  Even  the 
wandering  mendicants,  the  /ogis,  for  all  their  matted  hair  and  bare 
ash-smeared  bodies,  are,  many  of  them,  sturdy,  well-fed  rogues ;  they 
are  repulsive  creatures  to  behold.  While  we  looked  down  from  the 
terrace  of  the  temple  three  of  these  ys?^  came  below  to  worship  at 
the  Hindu  shrines.  One  who  particularly  attracted  our  notice  was 
young  and  strongly  built,  his  copper-coloured  skin  shining  through 
the  grey  wood  ashes  with  which  his  face  and  whole  body  were 
smeared.    His  heavy  long  hair  had  been  plaited  in  numerous  thin 

VOU  CCLXXXV.      NO.  2011.  E 

50  The  GentUfnan's  Magazine. 

tight  plaits,  never  to  be  undone  or  dressed,  each  fastened  off  with  a 
strip  of  cloth  plaited  in  with  the  hair,  which  from  dirt  and  exposure 
to  sun  and  rain  was  bleached  to  a  dull  tan  colour.  The  dirtiest  and 
smallest  possible  cotton  loin  cloth,  a  necklace  of  heavy  wooden 
beads,  a  formidable  bamboo  staff,  and  a  beggar's  gourd,  the  Kar- 
mande/f  completed  tlds  Jbp^s  costume,  which  was  the  same  as  that  of 
every  member  of  his  fraternity.  To  prepare  for  his  devotions  this 
ydgij  laying  down  his  staff  and  gourd,  shook  down  the  mass  of  plaits 
on  his  head,  stooping  so  that  they  should  hang  forward  over  his  face; 
he  then  divided  them,  and  throwing  half  sideways  and  backwards, 
did  the  same  to  the  other  half,  so  that  they  crossed  above  his  brow 
in  the  form  of  a  high  coronet ;  the  ends  he  deftly  folded  away  under 
the  sides,  and  thus  crowned  with  the  snakelike  coils,  he  entered  the 
lower  temple  and  passed  from  our  sight. 

Western  civilisation  has  laid  its  resistless  hand  even  on  these 
loathsome  survivals  of  the  dark  ages  of  the  East  An  especially 
hideous  y^^'  not  only  submitted  to  be  photographed  by  an  European 
traveller,  but  asked  that  a  copy  of  his  portrait,  cabinet  size,  should  be 
forwarded  to  him  by  post,  and  gave  his  name  and  an  address,  to 
which  it  was  accordingly  sent.  Another  /cgt\  aged  and  emaciated, 
painted,  ash-smeared,  almost  naked,  poring  over  a  time-worn  manu- 
script in  a  wayside  shrine,  looked  up  to  see  us  pass  from  over  a  pair 
of  modern  nickel-framed  spectacles  straddling  on  his  nose.  While 
yet  another  passed  from  house  to  house  receiving  alms  in  a  gourd, 
painted  scarlet,  with  enamel  paint 

To  return  to  the  Bodh  Gya  temple :  on  the  rising  ground  to  the 
east  is  a  miserable  hut,  in  whose  unplastered  walls  of  clay  and  broken 
bricks  there  are  embedded  here  and  there  fragments  of  sculpture 
from  the  old  remains.  There  is  one  low  door  to  this  hut,  and  in  the 
centre  of  the  floor  is  a  rough  circular  slab  of  stone  about  three  feet 
in  diameter.  The  stone  is  cracked  across,  and  the  legend  attaching 
to  it  says  that  it  cannot  be  moved  from  its  present  position  by  human 
agency.  Should  any  effort  to  dislodge  it  succeed,  an  immense  snake 
will  be  released,  and  the  world  will  be  destroyed.  The  crack  is  said 
to  have  been  caused  by  an  attempt  to  move  the  slab  by  means  of 
five  elephants  harnessed  to  it,  whose  united  efforts  only  succeeded  in 
cracking  the  stone  without  disturbing  its  position.  The  hut  which 
hqis  been  built  over  the  stone  is  not  an  inviting  spot,  and,  seeing  the 
shed  skins  of  snakes  glistening  white  in  the  crevices  of  the  walls,  we 
were  glad  to  leave  it  hurriedly. 

The  purely  Hindu  temples  of  Gya,  though  they  can  lay  no  claim 
to  antiquity  when  compared  to  the  great  Buddhist  pile  at  Bodh  Gya, 

The  Birthplace  of  Buddhism.  51 

are  of  much  interest,  and  some  of  them  of  great  beauty,  and  amply 
repay  a  visit  The  position  of  Gya  as  a  sacred  city  of  the  Hindus  is 
of  comparatively  modem  growth,  dating  from  some  five  centuries 
aga  It  is,  however,  a  popular  place  of  pilgrimage,  and  the  number 
of  pilgrims  who  visit  the  city  is  estimated  at  zoo,ooo  yearly.  There 
are  no  less  than  forty-five  sacred  spots  in  and  about  Gya  at  which 
pilgrims  worship  and  make  their  offerings,  and  as  the  places  must  be 
visited  in  their  r^ular  order  and  on  stated  days  of  the  pilgrims'  stay, 
to  accomplish  the  full  round  occupies  thirteen  days.  All  worshippers, 
however,  do  not  go  through  the  whole  number ;  some  visit  only  one 
spot,  others  two  or  more,  while  others  again  visit  the  full  number  of 
forty-five  shrines.  The  object  of  a  pilgrimage  to  Gya  is  to  free  the 
pilgrim's  deceased  relatives  from  purgatory,  and  he,  therefore,  before 
starting  walks  fss^  times  round  his  native  village  calling  upon  the 
souls  of  his  relations  to  accompany  him  to  Gya.  Arrived  there,  the 
pilgrim  makes  offering  at  each  shrine  where  he  worships  of  small 
balls  of  rice,  one  for  each  of  the  departed  souls,  while  the  Brahman 
who  accompanies  him  on  his  round  as  his  spiritual  guide  chants  a 
short  prayer. 

The  principal  temple  in  Gya  is  built  over  the  impress  of  a  huge 
foot  on  the  solid  rock ;  it  is  dedicated  to  the  Hindu  god  Vishnu  and 
is  known  as  Vishnupad^  or  the  temple  of  Vishnu's  foot.  The 
Vishnupad  temple  is  situated  in  the  heart  of  the  old  city  and  is 
approached  through  narrow  streets  paved  with  stone,  where  no 
vehicles  can  pass.  On  the  occasion  of  our  visit  we  left  our  carriage 
where  the  wide  street  ends,  and  passed  on  foot  through  the  close 
passages.  The  houses  are  all  strongly  built  of  brick  and  stone,  three 
and  four  storeys  high.  Most  have  overhanging  wooden  balconies, 
many  of  them  quaintly  carved  and  worn  and  black  with  age,  as  are 
the  heavy  low  carved  doors  and  the  wooden  pillars  which  support  the 
verandahs  where  the  shopmen  display  their  wares.  In  the  lawless 
old  days  before  the  British  rule  was  established  the  wild  Mahratta 
horsemen  often  attacked  Gya,  in  spite  of  the  sanctity  of  the  town, 
but  were  invariably  repulsed  by  the  priests,  fourteen  companies  of 
whom  defended  the  gates,  supported  by  the  landowners  and  men 
of  wealth  who  took  refuge  within  the  walls.  The  thick  walls,  small 
bailed  windows,  and  narrow  tortuous  ways  (ell  of  the  old  times  when 
might  was  right 

The  old  city  is  built  on  rising  ground,  and  the  Vishnupad  temple 
is  on  the  summit  of  a  low  hill  overhanging  the  river  Fulgo. 
The  temple  is  an  octagonal  building,  rising  in  a  spire  about  100  feet 
high,  topped  with  a  pinnacle  of  burnished  brass.     It  is  built  entirely 

E  2 

52  The  GentlewatC s  Magazine. 

of  grey  stone,  without  any  mortar  or  cement ;  the  great  blocks  have 
been  cut  and  polished  to  fit  each  other,  and  are  dovetailed  together 
with  the  most  perfect  exactness.  Attached  to  the  temple  is  a  large 
square  porch,  round  which  runs  a  gallery ;  the  pillars  are  all  of  solid 
stone,  and  the  roof  crowned  with  a  rounded  dome.  The  porch,  like 
the  temple,  is  of  grey  stone,  and  together  they  form  a  building  of 
great  interest  and  beauty.  Unfortunately,  it  is  so  hemmed  in  by 
the  surrounding  houses  that  it  is  impossible  to  get  a  good  view  of  the 
whole.  The  spire  of  the  temple  is  adorned,  as  in  all  Hindu  temples, 
with  small  red  and  white  streamers  floating  from  long  bamboo  poles. 
To  arrange  and  change  these  flags  men  climb  the  building,  and,  to 
assist  them,  three  or  four  iron  chains  hang  from  the  topmost  pinnacle. 
Large  round  links  are  placed  at  intervals  along  the  chains,  and  the 
men  climb  by  these  to  the  very  summit ;  a  task  requiring  no  small 
degree  of  both  strength  and  nerve. 

The  Vishnupad  shrine  is  a  small  octagonal  chamber,  the  low 
wooden  door  of  which  is  covered  with  plates  of  silver.  Within  is 
a  shallow  octagonal  basin  with  a  raised  border  of  silver,  and  in  its 
centre  is  the  footprint  of  Vishnu  imprinted  on  the  rock,  and  said  to 
be  sixteen  inches  long.  No  European,  nor  any  of  alien  faith,  are 
admitted  even  within  the  porch ;  but  standing  outside  we  could  look 
into  the  interior,  and  saw  the  basin  surrounded  by  a  close  circle  of 
worshippers,  both  men  and  women,  crouching  round  it  and  throw- 
ing in  their  offerings  of  rice  and  flowers.  A  Brahman  moving 
round  the  circle  poured  water  brought  from  the  sacred  stream  of 
the  Ganges,  from  the  tiny  spout  of  a  small  brass  vesslel,  on  to  the 
ofTerings  as  they  fell,  while  another  priest  sat  on  the  ground  among 
the  worshippers  and  chanted  prayers  in  a  high  monotone. 

Outside,  just  beyond  the  temple  porch,  a  stone  colonnade  leads 
by  worn  and  difficult  steps  down  a  steep,  rocky  bank  to  the  river,  in 
which  numbers  of  men  and  women  were  bathing  preparatory  to 
worshipping  in  the  temple.  Numerous  pilgrims  passed  to  and  fro, 
and  each,  as  they  left  the  temple,  their  devotions  completed,  struck 
a  resounding  stroke  on  one  of  the  many  great  brass  bells  which  hung 
in  the  porch  to  call  the  attention  of  the  gods  to  their  petitions.  In 
a  comer  under  the  porch  an  old  Brahman  sat  cross-lagged  on  a  mat, 
reading  from  a  yellow  manuscript,  while  a  boy  fanned  him  with  a 
large  palm-leaf  fan.  Near  by  a  young  black  Brahmin  bull,  a  wreath 
of  crimson  and  white  balsam  flowers  resting  on  his  forehead  round 
his  horns,  surveyed  the  scene  w^ith  calm  eyes,  indifferent  to  the  in- 
cessant clang  of  the  bells  and  to  the  passing  crowd. 

Leaving  the  temple   we  passed  a  group  of  mourning  women 

The  Birthplace  of  Buddhisfn.  53 

going  to  worship,  probably  for  the  first  time  after  the  loss  of  some 
beloved  one.  Walking  with  quick,  steady  steps  three  moved  in 
advance,  the  chief  mourner  in  the  centre ;  her  face  was  shrouded  in 
her  robe  and  with  either  hand  she  clasped  her  companions  close, 
their  other  hands  meeting  behind  her  back ;  the  voices  of  all  three 
mingled  in  mournful  lamentation  wild  and  high,  echoed  by  two 
other  women  who  followed  them  closely,  also  clinging  together  with 
clasped  hands.  Numbers  of  b^jgars  thronged  the  roadways  and  sat 
in  pitiful  rows  against  each  sunny  wall,  lepers  and  cripples,  the  lame, 
the  halt,  and  the  blind,  a  ghastly  display  of  the  grievous  afflictions 
from  which  poor  humanity  sufiers ;  and  the  crowds  in  the  streets 
thickening  as  the  day  advanced,  we  were  glad  to  leave  the  close  heat 
of  the  narrow  streets  and  breathe  the  fresh  air  of  the  open  country 

Our  last  trip  at  Gya  was  to  visit  a  temple  on  the  summit  of  a  hill 
called  RamsiJa.  Just  at  the  rise  of  the  hill,  on  the  eastern  side,  is  a 
temple  of  brick  and  stone,  and  then  b^ns  a  climb  of  336  masonry 
steps,  and  a  most  toilsome  ascent  it  proved.  The  steps  have  been 
built  by  the  piety  of  a  local  landowner ;  they  are  of  varying  depth 
and  length,  adapted  to  the  natural  rise  of  the  ground  and  the  shape 
of  the  rocks,  the  tops  of  which  crop  through  here  and  there.  Half- 
way up  there  is  a  rest  house,  and  on  the  top  of  a  hill  is  a  raised  plat- 
form, built  up  of  the  great  rocks  that  form  the  summit,  and  of 
masonry,  on  which  stands  the  temple,  which  contains  images  of 
Mahadeo  and  Paroaii^  and  is  shadowed  by  a  grand  old  pipal  tree. 
From  the  hill-top  the  temple  looks  down  on  the  one  hand  on  the 
Fulgo^  flowing  under  a  light  iron  bridge  and  round  a  small,  thickly- 
wooded  island,  and  on  the  other  side  on  to  the  railway  station. 
Before  it  spreads  the  city,  a  fair  picture  of  green  gardens,  with  white 
houses  among  the  trees,  the  glint  of  water  here  and  there,  and,  in 
the  distance^  the  higher  mass  of  ^the  close-set  houses  of  the  old  city, 
while  through  all  temple  after  temple  flashes  back  the  sun  from 
gilded  pinnacle,  or  flutters  with  the  bright  gleam  of  gay  coloured 
streamers.  Encircling  all  the  south  and  stretching  away  to  the  north- 
east run  the  ranges  of  hills,  and  to  the  north,  as  far  as  the  eye  can 
reach,  extends  the  fertile  plain,  golden  green  with  the  waving  rice, 
through  which  runs  a  straight  black  line,  the  iron  road  of  the  railway. 

The  sun  was  sinking  low  as  we  came  down  from  the  height,  and 
as  we  drove  away  in  the  cool,  sweet  evening  hoiu-,  we  bade  fare- 
well to  the  sacred  city,  our  visit  to  which  will  long  linger  in  our 
minds,  a  light  for  Memory  to  turn  to  when  she  wishes  a  gleam  upon 
her  face. 


54  The  GeutfetHan's  Magatine. 



IT  is  somewhat  less  than  a  score  of  years  since  the  present  writer, 
sojourning  for  a  brief  while  in  that  austere  fastness  of  Pro- 
testantism and  Orange  stronghold,  ''  black  Belfast,"  found  himself 
welcomed,  with  the  marvellously  kindly,  gracious  hospitality  which 
seems  the  first  instinct  of  every  Irish  home,  into  a  family  circle  now 
long  since  dissolved,  or  rather  reunited  to  the  beloved  of  an  earlier 
day,  of  which  they,  then,  were  sole  survivors. 

They  were  two  old  maiden  sisters.  Frail,  wrinkled,  bending 
under  the  infirmities  of  age  with  a  delicate  gracefulness  bom  of  high 
breeding,  they  seemed  like  stranded  sea-shells  or  relics  of  some 
earlier  day,  when  women  were  shielded  from  the  rougher,  coarser 
winds  of  everyday  life. 

Like  stranded  sea-shells  too,  which,  held  to  living  ears,  murmur 
ever  of  the  great  sea  whence  they  came,  they  murmured  ever  to 
those  who  listened  of  tempests  long  past  and  of  those  troublous 
times  of  war  and  revolution  when  houses  were  sacked,  properties 
devastated,  every  male  thing  in  the  family  *'  out,"  in  prison  or  hiding, 
or  living  on  sufferance  or  suspicion,  while  it  fell  to  the  lot  of  their 
women  to  hold  the  family  treasures. 

Family  silver,  precious  relics,  portrait  or  miniature  bearing  their 
sacred  story,  all  were  guarded  by  loving  wife  or  loyal  sister  or 
devoted  daughter  while  home  and  home  circle  were  not ;  and  these 
two  old  ladies,  with  their  gentle  yet  eager  faces,  their  thin,  trembling, 
wrinkled  hands,  and  bent  and  wasted  forms,  were  the  holders  of 
a  traditional  treasure,  the  proud  and  reverent  custodians  of  relics 
which  meant  more  to  them  and  theirs  than  many  a  riviere  of 
diamonds  or  collet  of  pearls. 

From  a  younger  cousin,  a  bright-eyed  Irishman,  whose  speaking 
face  glowed  with  almost  reverent  pride  as   he  spoke  of  them,  I 

med  that  the  pair  were  maiden  daughters  of  one  who  had  borne 
dear  title  of  sister  to  **  a  martyr  of  '98  " — to  one  who  had  died 

'*A  Life  that  for  Thee  was  Resigned''        55 

upon  the  scafibldi  she  gathering  and  holding  "for  the  family ''all 
those  touching  little  mementoes  which  sorrowing  love  will  ever,  in 
aU  ages,  hold  dear. 

We  all  know  how  Ireland  has  been  served  by  those  who,  once 
aliens  and  for  the  most  part  of  Norman  blood,  like  the  family  of  that 
popular  hero,  Lord  Edward  Fitzgerald,  or  the  man  who,  ''without 
one  drop  of  Irish  blood  in  him,"  has  held  Ireland  in  the  hollow  of 
his  hand  for  years,  became  Hibemis  ipsis  Hibemiores — more  Irish 
than  the  Irish  themselves ;  and  it  was  so  also  with  this  family,  the 
Teelings  of  Ulster.  Almost  the  only  Catholic  family  of  distinction 
in  the  ''  black  North,"  and  allied  from  time  to  time  with  some  of 
its  noblest  names,  Luke  Teeling,  their  representative  in  'the  dark 
days  preceding  "  '98,"  was  a  man  of  singularly  upright  and  unbend- 
ing disposition.  A  "righteous  man,"  so  strict  in  his  integrity  that 
not  only  did  his  own  county,  Antrim,  select  him  as  its  delegate  to 
the  National  Convention  in  1782,  but  Protestant  Belfast  passed  a 
vote  of  confidence  in  him  as  their  representative  also ;  yet,  though 
devoted  son  to  his  unhappy  and  persecuted  country,  he  had  no 
wish  to  enter  the  lists  in  strife,  and  would  fain  have  compassed  by 
constitutional  means  the  reform  which  his  younger  countrymen  were 
planning  in  the  ranks  of  the  "United  Irishmen."  And  among  these  his 
two  young  sons,  Bartholomew  and  Charles,  who,  with  the  daring  of 
their  years  and  the  courage  of  their  race,  were  foremost  at  meetings 
and  drills,  escaping  from  the  paternal  mansion  by  rope-ladders  from 
the  windows  at  night,  plotting  with  kindred  souls  for  the  uprising 
which  was  to  free  their  land  from  England's  misrule — ^from  the 
pitch-cap  and  the  gibbet,  the  inhuman  tortures  of  "Sandys  Provost 
and  Beresford's  riding  school,"  and  other  horrors,  and  rejecting 
proffers  of  fame  and  advancement  in  the  world  with  the  reckless 
generosity  of  youth — for  Ireland's  sake. 

Bartholomew,  the  eldest,  is  described  as  a  tall,  graceful,  melan- 
choly youth,  a  lover  of  books,  and  thoughtful  for  his  years; 
penetrated,  even  more  deeply  than  those  about  him,  with  the  bitter 
sense  of  wrong  and  suffering  and  injustice  in  all  the  length  and 
breadth  of  his  unhappy  country.  Like  most  of  the  young  "United 
Irishmen,"  he  had  long  ago  felt  that  England  would  never  volun- 
tarily give  justice  or  peace  to  her  conquered  hereditary  foe,  and 
that  the  only  hope  of  an  oppressed  and  downtrodden  people  lay 
in  help  from  without 

Surely  none  could  blame  them  who  knew^as  English  readers 
seldom  do  know — the  state  of  persecution,  the  penal  laws,  the 
reign  of  terror  of  a  lawless  soldiery,  which   goaded  them  to  that 

56  The  GentU^ans  Magazine. 

thought — that  France,  just  springing  to  a  seeming  new  life  of  liberty, 
might  come  to  the  help  of  them  and  theirs.  Whether  actuated  by 
this  idea,  or  despairing  of  success  by  other  means,  we  do  not  learn 
very  clearly,  but  certain  it  is  that,  after  making  a  comprehensive 
survey  of  the  entire  coast,  defences,  and  distinctive  features  of  his 
native  country,  which  examination  he  accomplished  alone  and  on 
foot  for  the  most  part,  young  Teeling  crossed  over  to  France  and 
became  a  voluntary  exile,  entering  the  French  army  and  serving  a 
campaign  under  General  Hoche. 

When  the  idea  of  an  invasion  of  England  by  Napoleon,  con- 
templated at  one  time,  was  abandoned,  and  he  turned  his  ambitious 
thoughts  elsewhere,  a  smaller  expeditionary  force,  under  General 
Humbert,  was  fitted  out  and  despatched  from  La  Rochelle,  rather 
to  content  the  importunities  of  the  "  United  Irishmen  "  who  clamoured 
for  assistance,  one  would  almost  suppose,  than  as  a  serious  under- 
taking; and  with  this  all  too  slender  army  served,  and  landed  in 
their  native  country,  two  or  three  young  Irishmen,  who  had  up  to 
thb  time  been  serving  in  the   Vendean  campaign  under  Hoche. 
They  were  Matthew  Tone,  a  certain  O'SuUivan,  and  Bartholomew 
Teeling.    The  latter,  who  was  only  twenty-four  years  of  age,  had, 
by  his  winning  manners  and  aristocratic   bearing,  attracted  the 
special  attention  of  the  somewhat  blunt  and  undignified  republican 
generaV  who  named  him  his  aide-de-camp  at  starting,  and  seems 
to  have  brought  him  constantly  forward,  so  that  young  Teeling's 
position,  both  as  aide  to  the  French  general  and  interpreter  between 
him  and  the  inhabitants  when  they  required  information,  brought 
him  into  special  prominence.    He  was  thus  enabled  to  use  his  in- 
fluence on  behalf  of  the  defenceless  populations  of  the  various  towns 
and  villages  through  which  the  invading  armies  passed  on  their  way 
from  Killala,  where  they  landed,  to  Castlebar,  where  their  most 
important  engagement  took  place ;  and  it  was  remarked  and  testified 
to  afterwards  by  one  of  the  witnesses  called  at  the  trials,  that  while 
the  "rebels"  had  indulged  in  certain  excesses  which  they  endeavoured 
to  justify  or  excuse  by  pleading  that  "they  only  injured  Protestants," 
young  Teeling  had  warmly  exclaimed  that  he  "knew  no  difference 
between  a  Protestant  and  a  Catholic,  nor  should  any  be  allowed,  and 
that  as  far  as  he  could  he  would  not  suffer  persons  of  any  sect  to  be 
injured."     In  the  letter  addressed  by  Humbert  himself,  after  his 
defeat,  to  the  president  of  the  court-martial,  he  recalls  the  same 
fact,  stating  that  "  Teeling,  by  his  bravery  and  generous  conduct, 
has  prevented,  in  all  the  towns  through  which  we  have  passed,  the 
insuigents  from  proceedmg  to  the  most  criminal  excesses.    Write  to 

"A  Life  that  for  Thee  was  Resigned.''        57 

KiUala,  to  Ballina,  to  Castlebar,  there  does  not  live  an  inhabitant 
who  will  not  render  him  the  greatest  justice." 

It  seems  almost  incredible  to  us  now  that  the  French  authorities 
should  have  permitted  so  small  a  body  of  men  as  composed  Humbert's 
''army"  to  land  unsupported  in  a  hostile  country.  We  can  only 
suppose  either  that  they  believed  the  Irish  people  to  be  stronger, 
more  united,  and  better  prepared  for  action  than  they  really  were,  or, 
as  a  recent  writer  suggests,  that  the  real  object  of  the  invasion  was 
merdy  to  annoy  England  and  to  force  a  peace.  In  effect,  however, 
Humbert,  with  his  700  men,  was  able  not  only  to  marshal  and  organise 
to  a  certain  extent  the  vast  but  utterly  undisciplined  hordes  which 
flocked  to  his  standard  as  he  passed  along,  but  even  to  hold  KiUala, 
leave  a  small  garrison  there,  and  march  on  to  attack  Castlebar,  with 
its  garrison  of  6,000  men,  eighteen  cannons,  and  an  experienced 

At  the  commencement  of  the  campaign,  Humbert  had  issued  a 
proclamation  which  in  all  probability  was  translated  or  even  com- 
posed by  his  young  Irish  interpreter  and  aide-de-camp,  and  ran  as 
follows : — 

Irishmen  !  Yott  have  not  foigot  Bantry  Bay ;  you  know  what  eflTorts  France 
has  made  to  assist  you.  Her  affection  for  you,  her  desire  to  avenge  your  wrongs 
and  ensure  your  independence  can  never  be  impaired.  After  several  unsuccessful 
attempts,  behold  Frenchmen  arrived  amongst  you.  They  come  to  support  your 
ooorage,  to  share  your  dangers,  to  join  their  arms  and  to  mix  their  blood  with 
yours  in  the  sacred  cause  of  liberty.  .  .  .  We  swear  the  most  inviolable  respect 
for  your  properties,  your  laws,  and  all  your  religious  opinions.  Be  free ;  be 
masters  in  your  own  country  I  We  look  for  no  other  conquest  than  that  of  your 
liberty,  no  other  success  than  yours.  .  .  .  Recollect  America,  free  from  the 
moment  she  wished  to  be  so.  The  contest  between  you  and  your  oppressors 
cannot  be  long.  Union !  Liberty !  The  Irish  Republic !  Such  is  our  cry.  Let 
OS  march  I  .  .  ." 

Spurred  by  these  words,  and  by  the  consciousness  that  they  were 
fighting  in  a  sacred  cause,  not  only  that  of  political  liberty,  but,  as 
they  believed,  in  that  of  religious  freedom,  the  raw  Irish  recruits 
seconded  their  more  experienced  allies  so  ably  that,  after  a  desperate 
struggle,  victory  remained  with  their  arms,  and  the  English  retired  in 
confosion.  After  entering  and  taking  possession  of  the  town  of 
Castlebar,  Humbert  despatched  his  aide-de-camp,  Teeling,  with  a 
flag  of  truce  after  the  flying  enemy  to  treat  with  them  and  offer 
honoumble  terms  of  capitulation.  By  some  unaccountable  blunder — 
for  other  than  blunder  it  can  surely  not  have  been — the  young  envoy 
was  seizied  and  made  prisoner  by  the  exasperated  English,  his  escort 
shot,  and  his  flag  taken  from  him.  After  being  dragged  as  a  prisoner 
for  several  miles  with  the  retreating  army  and  subjected  to  threats 

58  The  Gentleman's  Magazine. 

and  insults,  he  was  at  length  brought  before  the  general  in  command 
and  allowed  to  present  the  message  which  should  have  been 
delivered  with  all  ceremony  and  honour.  Both  appear  to  have 
been  in  a  violent  state  of  indignation ;  Teeling  at  the  unheard-of 
reception  he  had  been  subjected  to,  and  Lake  at  the  fact  of  an 
Irishman  being  the  one  appointed  to  bring  messages  of  truce.  "  You 
are  an  Irishman  and  a  rebel,  sir,"  he  exploded.  ''  VVhy  have^'^ti  been 
selected  by  General  Humbert  on  this  occasion  ?  "  "  To  convey  to 
you,  sir,  his  proposal  in  a  language  which  he  presumes  that  you 
understand,"  retorted  the  young  officer  contemptuously ;  and  one  can 
picture  them  as  they  stood,  the  Englishman  grey-haired  and  angry, 
the  French-Irishman  cool  and  disdainful,  but  none  the  less  haughtily 
resentful  of  his  treatment  "  And  as  to  your  menace,"  he  went  on, 
**  you  cannot  be  ignorant  that  you  have  left  with  us  many  Britbh 
officers,  prisoners  at  Castlebar."  The  situation  was  strained,  and 
needed  a  peacemaker ;  so  presently  Lake  retired,  and  was  succeeded 
by  General  Hutchinson,  a  quiet,  gentlemanly  man,  whose  tact 
smoothed  over  the  awkwardness  of  the  moment,  apologising 
courteously  for  the  lamentable  mistake  which  had  occurred,  and 
trusting  that  it  might  not  be  unfavourably  represented  to  the  French 
General.  Young  Teeling  was  not  to  be  outdone  in  politeness,  and, 
after  insisting  on  the  return  of  his  flag  of  truce  (which  is  said  to  have 
been  one  he  had  himself  captured  that  morning),  he  took  his  leave, 
refusing  a  proffered  escort  with  the  words,  "  General  Hutchinson's 
honour  is  my  protection";  to  which  that  gentleman  responded, 
"  Then  General  Hutchinson  shall  be  your  escort,"  as  he  insisted  on 
accompanying  him  beyond  the  English  lines. 

After  this  came  an  engagement  and  another  success  for  the 
Franco-Irish  arms  at  Collooney,  where  a  somewhat  picturesque 
incident  brings  young  Teeling  again  prominently  forward.  As  a 
recent  historian  tells  us : — 

While  all  acquitted  themselves  creditably  in  this  engagement  it  is  admitted  that 
Colonel  Vereker  on  the  one  side,  and  Bartholomew  Teeling  on  the  other,  carried 
off  the  chief  honours  of  the  day.  ...  On  the  other  side  Baitholomew  Teeling 
bore  off  the  palm  from  all,  both  French  and  Irish.  He  was  a  young  man  of  rare 
endowments,  both  of  mind  and  body  ;  and,  betaking  himself  to  France  when  the 
expedition  for  Ireland  was  organising,  he  offered  his  valuable  services  to  Humbert, 
and  cast  in  his  lot  nith  men  whom  he  believed  to  be  engaged  in  an  effort  to 
benefit  his  country.  The  French  gave  him  aU  their  confidence,  which  he  justified 
by  serving  as  interpreter  and  negotiator,  by  managing  the  Irish,  over  whom  he 
acquired  unbounded  influence,  and  by  being  always  foremost  to  encounter  every 
danger  which  presented  itself,  as  at  Castlebar,  where  he  greatly  distinguished 

From  the  beginning  of  the  conflict  at  Carricknagat  he  was  the  soul  of  the 

"-#4  Life  that  for  Thee  was  designed."       59 

morement,  and  edipsed  all  hi$  comiades ;  bat  towards  the  dose  he  edipsed  even 
himself  by  a  feat  wbidi  might  appear  incredible  if  the  evidence  of  its  performance 
was  not  overwhelming.  Finding  the  French  advance  arrested  by  a  cannon  which 
was  placed  on  Park's  Hill,  under  an  able  gunner  named  Whitters,  and  which  had 
already  struck  down  several  men  in  the  front  of  the  column,  he  called  again  and 
again  on  those  about  him  to  advance ;  but  meeting  no  response  he  set  spurs  to  a 
noble  grey  charger  on  which  he  rode,  galloped  down  a  long  stretch  of  level  grass 
land,  which  still  separated  the  contending  forces,  and,  pulling  up  at  Park's  Hill, 
and  drawing  coolly  a  pistol  from  its  holster,  shot  dead  the  formidable  Whitters 
bdiind  his  cannon,  moving  back  next  moment,  amid  a  shower  of  bullets,  as 
unconcerned  and  as  safe  as  one  of  Homer's  heroes  in  the  hands  of  a  tutelary 
goddess.  This  episode  dedded  the  battle,  for  when  Teeling  now  called  on  the 
men  in  the  column  to  follow  him,  they  sprang  forward  to  a  man  and  swept  every- 
thing before  them.  Teelii^'s  disposal  of  Whitters  is  almost  the  only  inddent  of 
the  engagement  now  remembered  in  the  neighbourhood.  Even  the  names  of 
Vereker  and  Humbert  have  slipped  from  the  people's  memories,  but  Teeling  and 
his  fiunous  grey  are  still  as  vivid  in  the  traditions  of  the  Ox  mountains  as  they 
were  on  the  morrow  of  Carricknagat. 

But  the  brief  success  of  the  Franco-Irish  campaign  was  drawing 
to  a  close.  England  at  last  buckled  to  in  earnest,  and  sent  forth  a 
goodly  army  to  disperse  the  rebels.  An  engagement  ensued  at 
Ballinamuck,  of  which  the  issue  could  not  be  uncertain.  Humbert, 
with  his  handful  of  men  and  his  two  or  three  Irish  officers,  were 
taken  prisoners;  the  unhappy  Irish  insurgents  were  slaughtered 
without  mercy,  no  quarter  given,  and  their  French  allies,  after  being 
detained  for  a  few  days  in  custody,  were  ignominiously  put  on  board 
ship  and  conveyed  back  to  their  native  shores. 

When  the  French  general  saw  that  all  was  lost  on  the  bloody 
field  of  Ballinamuck,  he  turned  to  his  young  Irish  aide^le-camp 
with  the  words,  ''Allons,  mon  brave  camarade,  nous  mourons 
ensemble  ! "  and  no  better  fate  would  he  who  was  thus  addressed 
have  asked  for,  than  thus  to  die  on  the  field  of  battle  for  Ireland. 
Unhappily  it  was  not  to  be  so.  The  little  group  of  men  who  stood 
ready  to  fight  to  the  death  were  surrounded,  overwhelmed,  and 
taken  prisoners ;  and  although,  as  a  family  tradition  records  it,  the 
English  officers  who  had  sat  at  his  father's  table  and  held  the  hand 
of  friendship  with  him  and  his,  most  chivalrously  refused  to  recognise 
the  young  rebel  taken  in  arms,  Bartholomew  Teeling  was  too  well- 
known  a  figure  to  pass  unquestioned.  He  was  conveyed  to  Dublin, 
and  a  court-martial  convened  there,  to  try  him  on  a  charge  of  high 

It  was  noted  at  the  time,  and  has  remained  a  question  of  doubt- 
ful legality,  whether,  the  civil  tribunals  being  open  as  usual,  young 
Teeling  should  have  been  arraigned  before  a  military  one.  He  was 
not  a  British  officer,  but  a  civilian  in  French  uniform,  and  should 

6o  The  GentUfnatis  Magazine. 

thus  have  been  tried,  either  as  a  rebel  citizen,  or,  if  the  allied 
naturalisation  as  a  French  subject  suggested  in  his  own  speech  were 
accepted,  then  as  a  prisoner  of  war ;  but  the  minds  of  men  were  too 
inflamed,  the  exasperation  of  the  English  public  too  extreme,  to 
leave  room  for  a  calm  and  judicial  mode  of  procedure.  His  own 
commanding  officer,  General  Humbert,  finding  him  excluded  from 
their  general  release  and  exportation,  protested  vehemently  against 
this  action  on  the  part  of  the  British  Government,  and  sent  a  formal 
demand,  in  the  name  of  his  own  Government,  for  the  person  of  his 
aide-de-camp,  exclaiming  passionately  to  those  about  him,  "  I  will 
not  part  with  him  !  An  hour  ago,  and  ere  this  had  occurred  he 
should  have  perished  in  the  midst  of  us,  with  a  rampart  of  French 
bayonets  around  him  !  I  will  accompany  him  to  prison  or  to 
death  !  "  And,  when  he  learned  that  Teeling  was  actually  about  to 
appear  before  a  court-martial,  he  sent  a  second  and  still  more 
vigorous  appeal  to  its  members,  repeating  that,  ''  I  flatter  myself  that 
the  proceedings  in  your  court  will  be  favourable  to  him,  and  that 
you  will  treat  him  with  the  greatest  indulgence." 

It  seems  evident  that  young  Teeling  himself,  as  well  as  his  chief, 
had  surrendered  with  the  expectation  of  being  treated  as  a  prisoner 
of  war ;  and  painful  must  have  been  his  surprise  when  he  found  him- 
self  arraigned,  not  as  a  French  officer,  but  as  a  rebel  and  traitorous 
English  subject.  He  did  not  attempt  to  deny  either  his  identity  or 
his  presence  among  the  invaders  of  Ireland,  but  took  his  stand,  in 
the  long  and  well-chosen  speech  in  which  he  conducted  his  own 
defence,  on  the  fact  that,  being  an  officer  in  the  French  army,  he  was 
bound  to  obey  the  orders  of  his  superiors,  and  to  accompany  his 
regiment  wherever  it  was  sent.  The  regimental  orders  which  he 
had  received  were  laid  before  the  court  in  support  of  his  argument, 
and  a  further  appeal  made  to  the  clemency  of  his  judges  by  bringing 
forward  various  witnesses  in  proof  of  his  humane  exertions  on  behalf 
of  the  vanquished  and  the  defenceless.  All  was  unsuccessful ;  the 
court  pronounced  sentence  of  death,  and  although  some  even  of  the 
firmest  supporters  of  the  Government  declared  that  its  execution  would 
be  '*  an  eternal  blot  on  the  administration,"  a  petition  for  twenty-four 
hours'  respite  in  order  to  consult  certain  legal  authorities,  or  adopt 
other  means  of  defence,  was  rejected 

It  is  related  in  the  family  memoirs  that  this  petition,  drawn  up 

and  presented  by  the  prisoner's  third  brother,  George,  a  youth  of 

some  seventeen  years  (their  father  being  at  this  time  in  prison,  and 

the  second  brother,  Charles,  a  fugitive  wanderer  among  his  native 

*Us),  was  sent,  through  the  medium  of  one  of  the  highest  officials 

**A  Life  that  for  Thee  was  Resigned.''       6i 

at  the  Castle,  to  the  then  Lord-Lieutenant,  Lord  Comwallis ;  and 
that  this  gentleman,  "a  man  of  humanity,"  as  the  somewhat  quaint 
diction  has  it,  remarked  as  he  retired  to  present  the  memorial: 
**  Your  friend  ought  to  be  saved."  Presently  he  returned,  and  "after 
expressing  in  general  terms  his  feelings  of  sympathy  and  disappoint- 
ment, concluded  with  this  mysterioiis  observation :  '  Mr.  Teeling  is 
a  man  of  high  and  romantic  honour  ? '  '  Unquestionably,'  was  the 
reply.  *Then  I  deplore  to  tell  you  that  his  fate  is  inevitable — his 
execution  is  decided  on.'  " 

One  of  the  periodicals  of  the  day,  Wdlkef^s  Hibernian  Magazine^ 
thus  recorded  the  closing  scene  in  "a  life  that  for  thee  was 
resigned" : — 

On  the  24th  inst.  (September  1798)  at  two  o'clock,  this  unfortunate  and  in- 
teresting young  man  suffered  death  at  Arbour  Hill,  and  conducted  himself  on  the 
awfol  occasion  with  a  fortitude  impossible  to  be  surpassed  and  scarcely  to  be 
equaUed.  Neither  the  intimation  of  his  &te  nor  the  near  approach  of  it  produced 
on  him  any  diminution  of  courage.  With  firm  step  and  unchanged  countenance 
he  walked  from  the  Prevot  to  the  place  of  execution,  and  conversed  with  an  un- 
affected ease  while  the  dreadful  apparatus  was  preparing.  With  the  same  strength 
of  mind  and  body  he  ascended  the  eminence.  He  then  requested  permission  to 
read  a  paper  which  he  held  in  his  hand.  He  was  asked  by  the  officer  whose 
immediate  duty  it  was  whether  it  contained  anything  of  a  strong  nature.  He 
replied  that  it  did  ;  on  which  permission  to  read  it  was  refused,  and  Mr.  Teeling 
silently  acquiesced  in  the  restraint  put  on  his  last  moments.  .  .  .  This  melan- 
choly consequence  from  the  trial  of  the  unfortunate  Teeling  was  not  expected  by 
the  public,  .  .  .  but  we  wiU  suppose  that  the  severity  of  his  fate  was  rendered 
necessary  by  the  peculiar  state  of  the  times.  Humanity  will  drop  a  tear  for  the 
unibrtunate  fitte  of  a  man  endowed  with  such  manly  qudities  and  virtues. 

And,  as  a  connection  of  his  family  wrote,  some  fifty  years  later : — 

If  death  should  come,  that  martyrdom 
Were  sweet  endured  for  you, 

Dear  Land ! 
Were  sweet,  endured  for  you ! 


62  The  Gentl^^Han's  Magaei\ 



MEDMOND  ROSTAND  calls  his  latest  drama  a  "  com^die 
•  hdroi'que/'  and  he  is  warranted  in  so  designating  it,  though, 
in  so  far  as  the  sufferings  of  a  beautiful  soul  are  concerned,  the  play 
is  a  tragedy.  **  Vanity  Fair"  is  a  novel  without  a  hero ;  but  this  play 
has  a  true  hero,  though  one  who  is  ugly  and  grotesque.  The  scene 
opens  in  1640,  when  Charles  I.  was  on  the  throne  of  England,  when 
I/>uis  XIII.  reigned  and  Richelieu  ruled  in  France.  M.  Rostand 
gives  us  the  body,  form,  and  pressure  of  the  time ;  and  we  are  trans- 
ported into  the  days  of  the  great  Cardinal.  The  hero  is  surrounded 
by  many  figures  typical  of  the  time,  and  we  live  in  the  period  of  the 
ancien  rtgime.  We  meet  ?rith  the  young  gallants,  especially  Rostand's 
darling,  gay  Gascons,  who  are  so  handsome,  so  feather-headed,  so 
dashing,  and  so  brave ;  and  we  also  get  a  glimpse  of  the  starving 
poor  poets  who  are  eager  to  find  bread  and  patrons.  The  nobles 
are  protected  by  Court  and  Cardinal  favour,  and  we  fed  around  us 
the  characteristics  of  the  life  of  1640  in  Paris.  M.  Rostand  can 
paint  manners.  There  is  a  colour  of  resemblance  between  M. 
Rostand  and  Alexandre  the  Great.  Both  writers  feel  deeply  the 
sentiment  oi  Tarme  blanche^  and  delight  in  duellists  de  pnnUire  force. 

In  Cyrano  we  find  a  strain  of  D'Artagnan  and  of  Bussy 
d'Amboise,  though  they,  who  are  also  magnificent  swordsmen,  are 
graceful,  handsome,  and  well  favoured,  while  poor  Cyrano  is  morbidly 
conscious  of  his  terrible  personal  defects.  Dumas'  splendid  fencers 
resemble  Cyrano  as  bretteurs^  but  as  that  only,  since  they  are  by  no 
means  so  great  of  soul  and  heart  as  is  Cyrano.  They  are  glorious, 
but  Cyrano  is  a  glory.  M.  Rostand's  comedy  is,  in  the  highest  sense, 
French,  as  regards  style,  but  it  is  not  very  French  in  essence.  It  is 
not  based  upon  adultery  (Madame  Ragueneau  does  not  count) ;  it 
does  not  treat  of  unsavoury  depravity ;  it  does  not  deal  with  those 
sexual  "  problems,"  so  called,  subjects  which  mosdy  lead  to  lewdness 
and  point  to  pruriency.  It  is  a  pure  and  manly  play,  and  can  be 
read  or  seen  with  delight  as  great  as  admiration. 

The  heroine  is  wholly  womanly,  and  entirely  chaste.    The  love 

Cyrano  de  Bergerac.  63 

is  the  honourable  love  of  lady  and  of  cavalier ;  and  there  is,  behind 
the  love  that  thinks  only  of  marriage,  the  noble,  the  sublime  self- 
sacrifice  of  a  man  who  is  a  glorious  example  of  high  thoughts  seated 
in  a  heart  of  honour,  and  who  is  (despite  his  nose)  an  ideal  hero  of 
romance,  and  even  of  something  higher  than  romance.  Cyrano 
forgoes  his  own  chance  of  happiness,  and  serves  his  neighbour  to 
his  own  infinite  detriment  and  deepest  sorrow.  He  is  lacking  in 
fiusal  beauty,  but  is  not  wanting  in  the  highest  beauty  and  majesty 
of  the  souL  In  the  whole  play  is  nothing  foul,  nauseous,  or  base. 
The  tone  of  the  '*  heroic  comedy  "  always  maintains  itself  at  a  lofty 
level,  and  we,  the  seeing  auditors  or  readers,  are  uplifted  to  a  healthy 
and  virile  frame  of  mind.  There  is  nothing  in  the  work  that  can 
cause  disgust,  and  there  is  nothing  that  needs  pitying  excuse. 

The  drama  opens  in  the  Hotel  de  Bourgogne  on  a  day  on  which 
"  La  Clorise,"  a  play  by  Baro,  is  to  be  represented.  The  hall  is 
filled  with  cavaliers,  bmtrgeois^  lacqueys,  pages,  pickpockets,  attend- 
ants, fine  ladies — buvcurs^  bretteurs^  jaueurs.  The  scene  is  busy 
and  is  full ;  and  all  these  types  of  the  time  act  and  speak  charac- 
teristically. Among  the  spectators  we  meet  some — ^viz.  Ligniere, 
Christian  de  Neuvillette,  Le  Bret,  Ragueneau — that  we  shall 
learn  to  know  better.  The  crowd  is  generally  aristocratic,  dis- 
tinguished, though  a  little  mixed  with  the  bourgeoisie,  Ligniire  is  a 
poet,  and  a  buveur.  Ragueneau  is  le  pdHssier  des  comkdiens  et  des 
poites^  and  himself  writes  bad  verses.  While  waiting  for  the  per- 
formance to  begin  some  of  the  young  gallants  fence  or  play  at 
cards.  The  actor  who  is  to  play  the  part  of  Ph^don,  in  Baro's 
piece,  is  one  Montfleury,  who  has  been  forbidden  by  Cyrano  de 
Bergerac  to  act  for  a  month.  We  hear  about  Cyrano,  c€uiet  aux 
gardes ;  of  his  terrible  swordsmanship,  of  his  Gascon  audacity,  and 
of  his  enormous  nose — ef  pourfend  quiconque  le  remarque.  Enter 
into  her  box  Magdeleine  Robin,  dite  Roxane^  fine  prhdeuse^  and  a 
murmur  of  admiration  is  heard  in  the  salon  as  the  beauty  takes  her 
place  \  while  one  marquis  exclaims,  ''  Epouvantablement  ravissante ! " 
She  is  the  cousin  of  Cyrano,  is  the  object  of  his  secret  worship,  and 
is  the  timidly  beloved  of  Christian.  She  is  also  honoured  by  the 
admiration  of  the  libertine  Comte  de  Guiche,  who  is  married  to  the 
niece  of  Richelieu,  but  designs  to  mate  Roxane  with  a  complaisant 
husband,  who  shall  admit  the  Comte  to  be  her  lover. 
Christian  feek,  with  regard  to  Roxane — 

Je  n'ose  lui  parler,  car  je  n'ai  pas  d'espiit, 
Je  ne  suis  qu'un  bon  soldat  timide, 

and  finds,  he  says,  a  difficulty  in  either  speaking  or  writing  h  langage. 

64  The  Geit*^^nmn's  Magazine. 

The  Comte  desires  to  be  revenged  upon  poor  Ligniire,  who  has 
satirised  the  noble  in  a  song.  De  Guiche  descends  from  the  box  of 
Roxane,  and,  passing  along  the  parterre,  is  surrounded  by  a  crowd 
of  obsequious  courtiers,  one  of  whom  is  Valvert,  the  proposed  com- 
plaisant husband  of  the  fair  Roxane.  One  marquis  goes  into 
ecstasies  over  the  ribands  worn  by  sumptuous  De  Guiche,  and  asks 
if  the  colour  be  baise-fnoi-fna-mignonne  or  ventre  de  biche  f  The 
Count  explains  that  the  colour  really  is  Espagnole  trnzlade.  Christian 
finds  the  hand  of  a  pickpocket  in  his  pocket,  and  the  thief,  to  buy 
his  escape,  warns  the  cadet  that  a  song  by  his  friend  Ligniire  has  so 
incensed  a  great  noble  that  a  hundred  bravos  are  posted  at  the 
Porte  de  Nesle  to  assassinate  the  poet  on  his  way  home.  Christian 
quits  even  Roxane  in  order  to  warn  Ligni^re  ;  and  then  there  falls 
a  sudden  silence  on  the  salle^  announcing  the  entry  of  the  terrible 
Cardinal  into  a  box  concealed  by  a  gratiAg.  Montfleury  commences 
the  play,  when  a  voice  cries — 

Coquin,  ne  t*ai-jc  pas  interdit  pour  un  mois  ? 

and  this  line  is  the  first  one  spoken  by  Cyrano  de  Bergerac.    Of 

course  a  tumult  arises  among  the  audience ;  and  there  is  excitement, 

opposition,  noise,  and  clamour.     Cyrano  exclaims  to  those  near 

him — 

Je  Tous  en  pri^,  ayet  piti^  de  mon  fourreau  ;  *•! 

Si  vous  continues  il  va  rendre  la  lame  I 
He  adds,  directly  afterwards — 

Et  j'adresse  un  d^  collectif  au  parterre  I 
J'inscris  les  noms  !   Approcbez-vous,  jeunes  Mrot  1 
Chacun  son  tour  I    Je  vais  donner  des  num^ros  I 
Que  tous  ceux  qui  Teulent  mourir  Uvent  le  doigt. 

The  answer  to  this  appeal  is  silence;  and  the  brilliant 
spadassin  carries  his  point.  Montfleury  is  driven  from  the  stage, 
and  Baro's  piece  is  not  played.  Cyrano  explains  that  Montfleury  is 
an  adeur  diplorable^  and  fUrther  that  "  les  vers  du  vieux  Baro  valent 
moins  que  zdra"  The  ladies  are  for  Baro,  but  the  poet  swordsman 
cries  to  them— 

Inspires- nous  des  vers,  mais  ne  les  jugez  pas  ! 

Cyrano  flings  disdainfully  a  sack  of  money  on  to  the  stage.  This 
sack  contains  his  pension  paternelle^  and  leaves  the  scornful  poet 
without  money.  The  splendid  giver  cannot  even  pay  for  a  dinner. 
He  is  asked  if  he  have  9,  proUcieur^  and  replies  proudly — 

Non,  pas  de  protecteur  \la  main  h  son  ipie\  mais  une  protectrice  ! 

Cyrano  de  Bergerac.  65 

He  admits  to  2kf&cheux — 

Enonne,  mon  nez ! 
explaining  that  a  large  nose  is  an  indication 

D'un  homme  afiable,  bon,  coortois,  spirituely 
Liberal,  coungeux,  tel  que  je  sols ; 

and  he  adds  to  this  explanation  a  hearty  cuff. 

At  p.  42  occurs  the  first  of  those   long  speeches  which  the 
eloquence  of  Cyrano  pours  forth.    These  grand  speeches  are  alwkys 
flexible,  nervous,  musical ;  are  full  of  point  and  meaning ;  and  are 
highly  dramatic  as  proceeding  from  the  brilliant  De  Bergerac.    The 
poet  Rostand  enables  the  poet  Cyrano  to  speak  up  to  the  height  of 
his  many-sided  gifts.    These  outpourings  are  full  of  fancy,  force,  and 
wit    About  to  fight  with  the  Vicomte  de  Valvert,  De  Bergerac  offers, 
while  fighting,  to  improvise  a  ballad  of  three  couplets  of  eight  yerses 
each.    Amid  the  excited  attention  of  the  whole  audience  Cyrano 
performs  his  feat  quite  admirably;  and,  at  the  conclusion, "  le  vicomte 
chancelle ;  Cryano  salue,"  as  he  declaims,  while  hitting  his  opponent, 
"  A  la  fin  de  Tenvoi  je  touche."    The  applause  is  frantic.     Flowers 
and  dainty  handkerchiefs  are  showered  upon  the  splendid  fighting 
poet,  while  the  friends  of  the  wounded  and  discomfited  Vicomte 
support  and  lead  him  away.    A  "  voix  de  femme  "  cries,  "  C'est  un 
h^ros  ! "      His  true  friend,  Le  Bret,  the  Horatio  to  the  Hamlet, 
complains  to  Cyrano — 

Tu  te  mets  sor  le  bras,  vraiment,  trop  d'ennemis, 

and  the  haughty  Gascon  is  ravished  to  hear  it.    He  confesses  to  Le 
Bret  his  love  for  Roxane  in  the  exquisite  lines  beginning — 

Un  danger 
Mortel  sans  le  vouloir,  exquis  sans  y  songer. 

Roxane,  toute  bl^me,  has  watched  her  cousin's  duel  and  triumph, 
and  she  sends  her  duenna  to  Cyrano  to  arrange  an  interview,  which 
he  appoints  **  chez  Ragueneau,  le  pitissier.  Moi !  D'elle — un  rendez- 
vous ! "  Enraptured,  and  with  a  mighty  swell  of  soul,  Cyrano  demands 
an  entire  army  to  fight  with.     '*  II  me  faut  des  grants  ! " 

At  this  moment  of  exaltation  the  unfortunate  Ligniere  enters, 
and  informs  Cyrano — 

Ce  billet  m*avertit— cent  hommes  contre  moi — 
A  cause  de  chanson  grand  danger  me  menace. 

His  reliance  upon  Cjrrano  was  like  that  of  Oliver  Proudfute  upon 
Henry  Smith,  and  was  as  well  bestowed.  De  Bergerac,  delighted  at 
the  opportunity,  undertakes  the  protection  of  Ligniire  against  the 
hundred  bravos  of  De  Guiche ;  and  a  procession  is  formed,  consist- 

VOU   CCLXXXV.      NO.   20II.  F 

66  The  Gel^^^ef^^^s  Magazine. 

ing  of  nobles,  officers,  actresses,  to  accompany  our  Gascon  to  the 
Porte  de  Nesle,  and  to  see  the  unequal  but  glorious  fight  Cyrano 
makes  the  condition : — 

£t  vous,  messieurs,  en  me  roymnt  charger, 
Ne  me  secondes  pas,  quel  que  soit  le  danger  I 

C'est  compris  ?    D^fendu  de  me  pr6ter  main  forte  ! 

He  explains  to  an  actress  who  expressed  wonder  at  a  hundred 
men  being  hired  to  assassinate  one  poor  poet — 

Ne  demandiez-votts  pas  pourquoi,  mademoiselle, 
Contre  ce  seul  rimeur  cent  hommes  furent  mis  ? 

(tV  tire  tiphy  et  tranquillement) 
C*est  parce  qu*on  savait  qu*il  est  de  mes  amis  t 

His  reasoning  only  half  convinces  us.  We  can  scarcely  refrain  from 
asking  whether  Dumas  would  have  appointed  so  many  as  a  hundred 
men  to  murder  a  satirist  or  to  fight  a  hero.  He  might,  we  fancy, 
have  contented  himself  with  twenty  opponents.  Meanwhile,  with 
music  sounding,  with  torches  gleaming,  the  officers  and  actresses 
flirting,  the  gay  procession  marches  on  to  the  ambuscade  placed  and 
waiting  at  the  Porte  de  Nesle. 

Act  ii.  opens  in  Ragueneau's  "  Rdtisserie  dcs  Pontes,"  in  which 
**  Phoebus  Rdtisseur"  dispenses  food,  in  exchange  for  flattery,  to  starving 
poets.  Cyrano  has  a  rendet-vous  with  Roxane  at  this  boutique^  and, 
while  awaiting  her  coming,  he  writes  to  her  a  letter  of  adoration. 
The  fame  of  his  great  feat  of  arms  is  widely  spread,  and  extorts 
admiration  from  all;  but  he  has  been  slightly  wounded  in  the  terrible 
encounter,  of  which  he  does  not  boast  and  will  scarcely  tolerate 
mention.  He  hears  that  eight  of  his  opponents  *'  sanglants  illustraient 
les  pav^s,"  the  others  having  fled.  Enter  Roxane,  with  her  duenna, 
and  there  is  a  fine  scene  between  the  lady  and  Cyrano.  M. 
Rostand's  characters  are,  as  Goethe  says,  like  crystal  clocks,  of  which 
you  see  not  only  the  faces  but  the  works  inside.  Roxane  confesses 
to  Cyrano  her  love  for  Christian,  and  declares — 

II  a  sur  son  front  de  Tesprit,  du  g6nie  ; 
II  est  fier,  noble,  jeune,  intr^pide,  beau. 
Cyrako  (se  Utant,  toutpAU)  Beau  I 

Roxane  has  her  choice  between  the  two  lovers,  and  of  course 

chooses  wrongly,  as  Scott's  Menie  Gray  did  when  she  preferred  the 

scoundrel  Middlemas  to  the  loyal  Hartley.    Women  are  not  oAen 

good  judges  of  men,  and  are  especially  unable  to  detect  nobleness  or 

Christian  has  become  a  cadet  in  the  company  of  Cyrano,  and 

Cyrano  de  Bergerac.  67 

she  pleads  with  the  great  swordsman  to  protect  her  darling  from 
danger  and  duels. 

Cest  bien,  je  d^fendrai  votre  petit  baroft, 

says  the  generous  Cyrano,  who  had  hoped  to  win  Roxane  for  himself. 
In  all  her  talk  wiUi  Cyrano  the  thoughts  of  the  lady  are  wholly 
occupied  by  her  care  for  Christian.    Roxane  says — 

Qu'il  m'^crive  !    [She  means  Christian.] 

Cent  hommes ! 
Vous  me  direz  plus  tard.     Maintenant  je  ne  pius — 
Cent  hommes  !    Quel  courage  ! 

And  having  got  all  she  wants  from  the  man  so  terrible  to  men,  but 
so  gentle  to  woman,  she  leaves  him  very  abruptly,  and  never  suspects 
his  love  or  feels  for  his  sorrow.  Carbon  de  Castel-Jaloux,  their 
captain,  and  the  cadets  enter,  all  of  them  in  raptures  with  the 
splendid  fight  of  the  hero,  who  seems  so  indifferent  to  his  glory  and 
is  so  heart-broken  by  the  defection  of  Roxane.  De  Guiche  brings 
his  homage ;  and  Cyrano  sings  his  Gascon  song,  with  its  splendid 
swing  and  lilt,  when  introducing  the  cadets  to  De  Guiche. 

Ce  sont  les  cadets  de  Gascogne 
De  Carbon  de  Castel-Jaloux  ; 
Bretteurs  et  menteurs  sans  vergogne» 
Ce  sont  les  cadets  de  Gascogne  1 

De  Guiche  offers  him  the  patronage  of  Richelieu,  but  the  proud 
Gascon  rejects  the  offer.  A  cadet  enters  with  the  head-gear,  hacked 
and  torn,  oi^^fuyards^  broached  upon  his  sword;  and  De  Guiche 
admits  that  he  had  posted  the  bravos  who  were  engaged  to  chastise 
Lignifcre.  Cyrano  lets  the  bonnets  glide  off  the  blade  to  the  feet  of 
De  Guiche — 

Monsieur,  si  vous  voulez  les  rendre  \i  vos  amis  ? 

At  p.  92  Cyrano  speaks  another  of  his  long,  but  never  too 
long  and  always  powerful  speeches,  on  the  theme  oi  prendre  un 
patron^  non^  mercil  and,  in  noble  lines,  declares  his  preference 

Ne  pas  monter  bien  haut,  peut-^tre,  mais  tout  teul ! 

The  haughty  cavalier  rather  likes  making  enemies — of  courtiers, 
cowards,  and  scoundrels. 

La  haine  est  un  carcan,  mais  c'est  une  aurtole  ! 
And  yet  Cyrano  is  a  true  friend   to  men,  like  Le  Bret,   that  he 


68  The  Gentl^^Han's  Magazine. 

respects  and  likes.  One  cadet  explains  Cyrano's  touchiness  about 
any  allusion  to  his  fatal  nose — 

On  ne  peut  faire,  sans  d^functer  aiunt  T^ge, 
La  moindre  allusion  au  fatal  cartilage  ! 

but  the  handsome  dolt  De  Neuvillette,  ignorant  of  the  interview  with 
Roxane,  dares  to  insult  the  hero  on  this  tender  point.  Cyrano 
masters  himself,  and  does  not  resent  an  insult  from  the  man  that 
Roxane  loves.  In  his  generosity,  in  his  lofty  chivalry  towards  a 
woman  he  soothes  and  advises  the  vaguely  jealous  cadet,  who  soon 
withdraws  all  his  insults.  He  feels,  however,  that  he  has  not  the  gift 
of  talking  love;  and  Christian's  feelings  wrench  from  Cyrano  the 
admission  that,  if  he  were  handsomer, 

J'aurab  ^t^  de  ceux  qui  savent  en  parler ; 

and  he  proposes  that  they  shall 

CoUaborer  un  pea  tes  l^vres  et  mes  phrases. 

Je  serai  ton  es]>rit,  tu  seras  ma  beautc, 

and  Cyrano  gives  to  Christian  the  letter  which  he  had  written  to 
declare  his  love  to  Roxane.  The  anxious  cadets  return,  and  find 
Cyrano  and  Christian  embracing  each  other.  They  had  expected  to 
find  the  rash  insulter  slain  by  the  terrible  blade  of  the  great  tireur. 

Christian  is  to  be  helped  to  make  love,  but  no  one  thinks  of  the 
sad  warfare  going  on  in  the  great  heart  of  the  unspeakably  noble 
Cyrano.  We  learn  to  know  him  better  than  Roxane  did,  and,  as  we 
feel  with  his  feelings,  and  watch  his  actions,  we  realise  that  we  are 
studying  a  character  that  may  be  reverenced  as  sublime.  Roxane 
liked  him  well  enough  to  use  him  for  herself  and  for  her  lover ;  but 
she  had  not  insight  enough  to  comprehend  the  magnanimous  soul 
or  the  poetical  intellect  of  the  great,  brave  man  whose  services  she 
commanded,  while  she  wholly  failed  to  estimate  him  aright  or  to 
reward  him  at  all.  He  won  but  feeble  gratitude  from  the  woman 
for  whose  sake  he  sacrificed  his  happiness  and  hopes. 

Act  iii.  is  picturesquely  entitled  '*  Le  Baiser  de  Roxane."  It  is  certain 
that  Christian  could  never,  left  to  himself,  obtain  such  a  favour  fi-om 
the  fairest  fair;  but  it  may  be  that  the  eloquent  Cyrano  could 
obtain  it  for  him.  Oh,  the  pathos  of  the  many  pangs  and  tortures 
which  the  blind  lady  can  inflict  upon  the  sensitive  heart  and  lofty 
nature  of  her  noblest  adorer  !  Her  way  of  talking  about  and  praising 
the  bite  Christian  must  have  been  an  agony  to  the  devoted  friend 
and  cousin  who— but  for  his  nose — could  so  well  have  wooed  and 

Cyrano  de  Bergerac.  69 

won  her  for  his  worthy  and  lofty  self.  The  scene  of  this  act  is  a  petite 
place  before  the  house  of  Roxane,  and  the  time  is  night  Oh,  what 
a  peerless  and  loyal  gentleman  is  our  dear  Cyrano !  We  should  pity 
him  more  if  he  were  not  so  strong,  so  noble,  and  so  true.  His  towering 
virtues  rob  him  in  part  of  our  sympathy. 
They  speak  thus  of  Christian : — 

ROXANB.  Ah  !  qu'il  est  beau,  qa*il  a  d'esprit,  et  que  je  Taime  1 
Cyrano  (souriani).  Christian  a  tant  d'esprit  ? 
RoXANB.  Mon  cher,  plus  que  vous-m^me  I 
CvRANa  J'yconsens. 

Ah,  that  *' consent"  must  have  cost  an  effort  even  to  the  faithful, 
ideal  hero  of  highest  romance  !  Knowing  what  he  knows,  doing  what 
he  is  doing,  it  must  have  been  bitter  to  him  to  hear  such  misjudg- 
ment  from  his  idol ;  an  idol  served  with  such  annihilation  of  self. 
How  could  she  misunderstand  so  cruelly  ? 

Cyrano.  Il^rit? 

RoxANB.  Mieux  encore.     Ecoutez  done  un  peu, 

and  she  reads  to  Cyrano  his  own  letter. 

RoxANB.  Cest  on  maftre  ! 
Cyrano  (modesU).  Oh?  un  matue. 
RoxANB.  Soit !  un  maltie.  ^ 

De  Gttiche  comes  to  take  leave.  The  French  are  undertaking  the 
si^e  of  Arras,  and  the  Count — diprotige  of  Richelieu — ^goes  to  the 
war  as  mestre  de  camp.    He  says  — 

Je  saurai  me  venger  de  lui,*  li-bas. 

De  Guiche's  revenge  consists  in  placing  the  Gascons  as  a  forlorn 
hope  in  an  untenable  position. 

De  Guiche  observes  of  Christian,  that  he  is  beau^  mats  bite.  The 
troops  should  depart  at  once,  but  the  amorous  and  influential  Count 
proposes  to  delay  his  departure  for  a  day  in  order  to  see  Roxane 
again  that  night. 

Infiituated  Christian  becomes  tired  of  being  assisted  by  the 
cultured,  clever  Cyrano  to  letters  and  to  conversation,  and 
determines  to  speak  for  himself.  Cyrano  regrets,  well  knowing  what 
the  result  will  be ;  and  he  judges  rightly.  Christian's  own  talk  to 
Roxane  is  so  bald  and  dreary  that  he  disgusts  his  brilliant  mistress, 
who  rigorously  demands  esprit  from  her  lover ;  and  the  dullard,  in 
despair,  cries  to  Cyrano,  ''Au  secours  !"  With  marvellous  self-restraint 
the  high-hearted  rival  proposes  to  whisper  to  Christian  what  he 

>  Cyrano. 

70  The  Geni^^fffans  Magazine. 

should  say  to  Roxane,  who  believes  that  she  is  listening  to  the  man 
she  loves.  So  successful  is  Cyrano  that  he  soon  wins  back  her 
favour  for  the  fortunate  young  dolt  who  is  so  bite.  Once,  carried 
away  by  excitement,  Cyrano  feels  "j'ose  £tre  enfin  moi-m^me,  et 

j'ose " ;  but  his  noble  nature  does  not  dare  to  imperil  the  cause 

of  the  man  she  loves  so  well,  if  so  mistakenly.  His  words  excite 
such  admiration — for  Christian — that  Roxane  exclaims — 

Oui,  je  tremble,  et  je  pleure,  et  je  t*aime,  et  suis  tienne  ! 
Et  tu  m'as  enivr^  ! 

Enraptured  Christian  whispers  to  C>Tano  to  ask  her  for  a  kiss  for 
him;  and  the  almost  superhumanly  unselfish  hero  does  ask  and 
does  obtain  this  favour  for  the  dull-witted,  handsome  young  baron. 

There  must  have  been  a  fierce  struggle  in  that  great  heart  before 
Cyrano  could  obtain  that  kiss  for  Christian ;  but  he  does  even  more, 
and  brings  about  the  marriage  of  Christian  and  Roxane.  He  actually 
does  even  this,  and  finally  gives  away  to  another  the  woman  that  he 
loves — as  he  could  love — while  knowing  that  the  only  merit  of 
Christian  is  that  she  loves  him.  Left  to  his  own  resources  the  young 
baron  could  never  have  wooed  or  won  Roxane.  The  qualities  that 
she  loves  in  Christian  are  those  which  really  belong  to  the  ugly, 
gifted  poet  cavalier. 

De  Guiche  comes  to  visit  the  lady  who  is  even  then  marrying  the 
cadet.  Cyrano  manages  to  detain  the  Count  for  a  quarter  of  an 
hour  while  the  hasty  marriage  is  being  celebrated.  He  does  this  by 
an  entrancing  narrative  written  with,  perhaps,  almost  the  most 
fantastic  wit  exhibited  in  recent  comedy.  Even  the  detained 
De  Guiche  is  interested  and  delighted;  but  Cyrano's  sauffrances 
muettes  must  have  been  terrible  during  his  wild  mock  narrative  of  a 
descent  from  the  moon.  Roxane  cleverly  deceives  the  stupid  capucin 
into  marrying  her  to  Christian.  De  Guiche  is  stupefied,  but  leaves 
at  once  to  join  his  regiment,  then  starting  for  the  war,  and  compels 
the  unfortunate  bridegroom  to  accompany  him.  Roxane  implores 
Cyrano  to  watch  over  and  guard  her  husband,  who  is,  of  course,  to 
be  kept  from  cold,  and  kept  faithful,  and  is  to  write  often  taher. 

Cyrano  (iarritant).  (^—yt  vous  le  promeU  I 

In  Act  iv.  we  find  ourselves  in  the  camp  with  the  company 
of  Carbon  de  Castel-Jaloux  at  the  siege  of  Arras.  His  Most 
Christian  Majesty  of  France  has  neglected  to  supply  his  troops — or 
at  least  the  gay  Gascons— with  provender,  and  our  cadets  are  faint  and 
sick  with  hunger.  Roxane  wished  to  hear  often  from  Christian,  and 
Cyrano  writes  to  her  twice  a  day  in  the  name  of  the  ignorant 

Cyrano  de  Bergerac.  71 

Christian ;  and  daily  risks  his  life  in  conveying  his  letters  to  her 
through  the  Spanish  lines  to  the  post  But  a  gloiy  comes  to  the 
famishing  camp ;  a  sentinel  announces  the  anival  of  a  carriage — 
''  Service  du  Roi ! " — and  out  of  this  muddy,  dusty  equipage  descends 
the  radiant  Roxane ! 

Db  GuiCHB.  Senice  da  RoL     Vous? 
ROXANB.  Mais  da  stol  roi,  ramoor ! 

and  the  dainty  lady  brings  with  her  all  good  things — except  the 
duenna.  How  did  the  intrepid  pridcuse  get  through  the  Spanish 
lines  ?    She  was  often  stopped. 

Alors  je  r6pondais,  "  Je  vais  voir  mem  amant" 

J'ai  dit :  mon  amant,  oui — pardonne  ! 

Tu  comprends,  si  javais  dit :  mon  man,  persoime 

Ne  m*eat  laiss^  passer  ! 

Roxane  gives  to  the  company  her  handkerchief  as  a  drapeau^  and 
bids  her  intendant,  Ragueneau,  produce  her  stores.  Out  of  the 
carriage  appear  galantine,  ortolans,  a  peacock  truffi^  red  and  white 
wine,  and  even  champagne ;  and  the  joyous  Gascons  have  a  magni- 
ficent and  necessary  picnic,  while  the  forlorn  post  of  danger 
becomes  filled  with  a  charming  party,  gay,  cheerful,  ddighted. 

In  order  that  he  may  not  appear  ignorant  when  questioned  by 
Roxane,  Cyrano  tells  Christian  how  often  he  had  written  to  Roxane 
letters  purporting  to  come  from  her  husband.  "  You  have  written  to 
her  much  oftener  than  you  thought  you  had,"  explains  Cyrano,  who 
makes  light  of  having  daily  risked  his  life.  ^Vhen  asked  why  she 
came  Roxane  says — 

Cest  \  caas«  des  leitrcs  ! 

Ce  soQt  vos  lettres,  qoi  m'oot  gris^e ! 
■        ...••• 

Jc  lisais,  je  relisais,  je  d^faiUais, 
J'dtais  \  fcoL 

£t  ce  n'est  plus  qae  pour  ton  ftme  que  je  t*alme ! 

Je  t'aimerais  encore 
Si  toote  ta  beaut^  d'un  coup  s'envolait 
Chxistian.  Quoi?    Laid? 
RoXANB.  Laid!    Jelejure! 

and  the  late-enlightened  husband  says  to  Cyrano — 

Cest  toi  qu'elle  aime  ! 

72  The  Gentleman's  Magazine. 

Cyrano  admits  that  he  loves  her,  but  refuses  to  tell  her  of  his 

He  urges — 

Regarde  mon  visage ! 

and  Christian  replies — 

EUe  in*aimenut  laid  1 
Cyrano.  Ah  !  je  suis  bien  content  qu'elle  t'ait  dit  cela  ! 

Christian  proposes  that  Cyrano  shall  declare  his  love,  avow  his 
letters,  and  let  Roxane  decide  between  her  lovers. 

It  might  well  have  been  that,  under  such  strong  temptation, 
Cyrano  would  then  have  told  all  to  Roxane ;  but  I^  Bret  whispers 
in  his  ear  the  news  that  the  handsome  Christian's  first  fight  had  been 
his  last. 

Cyrano.  Cost  6ni,  jamais  plus  je  ne  pourrai  1e  dire  1 

All  the  time  the  sound  of  heavy  firing  has  been  going  on,  and  the 
dying  Christian,  wrapped  in  a  cloak,  is  borne  in  and  laid  upon  the 
ground.  With  a  divine  untruth  and  a  sublime  act  of  deception 
Cyrano  whispers  into  the  dying  ear  of  his  rival — 

J'ai  tout  dit.    C^cst  toi  qa*elle  aime  encor  ! 

And  at  these  words  the  eyes  of  the  young  baron  close  for  ever.  He 
had  been  the  unfortunate  victim  of  "le  premier  coup  de  feu  de 
Tennemi.''  The  heavy  current  of  a  fierce  fight  is  now  raging  round 
them,  but  Roxane  detains  Cyrano  to  speak  her  praises  of  the 
dead — 

Une  &me  magnifiqae  et  charmante — 

while  the  hero  feels  that,  without  knowing  it, 

Elle  me  pleure  en  lui  I 

On  the  body  of  Christian  Roxane  finds,  stained  with  his  blood, 
the  last  letter  that  Cyrano  had  written  to  her.  She  faints,  and 
Cyrano,  in  the  red  rage  of  fight,  seizes  the  lance  to  which  is  attached 
the  mauchoir  of  Roxane,  and,  with  cries  of  "Poumb^  dessus  1  Escrasas 
tous  ! "  he  directs  a  terrible  volley,  and  inspires  his  Gascons  to  fight 

Un  officier  espagnol,  se  d^couvrant, 

**  Quels  sont  ces  gens  qui  se  font  tous  tuer  ?  " 

and  Cyrano,  amid  a  rain  of  bullets,  chants — 

Ce  sont  les  cadets  de  Gascogne 
De  Carbon  de  Castel-Jaloux  ; 
Bretteurs  et  menteurs  sans  vergogne, 
Ce  sont  les  cadets, 

Cyrano  de  Bergerac.  73 

dU  his  thunder  voice  is  drowned  in  the  shock  and  roar  of  ferocious 

battle — ^and  on    dead  Christian,  on  fainting  Roxane,  on  fiercely 

fighting  Cyrano  the  curtain  falls. 

The  whole  play  is  full  of  action,  but  the  last  act  is  the  quietest 

and  the  saddest  of  all.    It  plays  in  1655.    The  widowed  Baroness 

de  Neuvillette  is  residing  in  the  Convent  of  the  Dames  de  la  Croix 

in  Paris ;  she  is  dressed  always  in  mourning,  and  wears  a  coiffe  des 

veuves.     She  is  sometimes  visited  by  De  Quiche,  who  has  become 

the  Duc-Mar&:hal  de  Grammont  and  has  greatly  aged ;  but  she 

receives  the  constant  visits  of  the  unwaveringly  faithful  Cyrano. 

Roxane  wears  upon  her  heart  the  last  letter  which  Cyrano  had 

written  to  her  in  the  name  of  Christian ;  and  she  is  faithful  to  the 

memory  of  the  dead.    Cyrano  has  fallen  into  poverty  and  misery. 

Ses  ^pttres  lui  font  des  ennemis  nouveaux  I 
II  attaque  les  &ux  nobles,  les  faux  divots, 
Les  &UX  braves,  les  plagiaires. 

Says  Roxane — 

Mais  son  ^p^  inspire  une  terreur  profonde  : 
On  ne  viendra  jamais  k  bout  de  lui. 

The  true  old  friend  Le  Bret  speaks  of  Cyrano  being  subject  to 
actual  famine,  and  states  that  he  has  only  one  *'  petit  habit  de  serge 
noire."  In  spite  of  valour,  wit,  learning,  genius,  a  man  who  would 
not  be  a  courtier,  and  who  in  1640  disdained  the  patronage  of 
Richelieu,  could  not  expect,  as  he  did  not  obtain,  worldly  success  in 
the  Paris  of  his  day ;  and  his  indignation  against  all  baseness  and 
all  wrong  had  made  for  Cyrano  many  and  powerful  enemies  who 
would  not  hesitate  at  assassination.  De  Guiche  mentions  to  Roxane 

Quelqu'un  me  disait  hier,  au  jeu,  chez  la  Reine  : 
Ce  Cyrano  pourrait  mourir  d'un  accident. 

Qu*il  sorte  pcu.     Qu'il  soit  prudent. 

But  prudence  was  not  one  of  the  virtues  of  the  fiery  Gascon. 

Enter  Ragueneau  in  violent  excitement    He  had  just  seen 
Cyrano  issue  from  his  house,  and,  at  the  comer  of  the  street, 

D'une  fcnetre 
Sous  laquellc  il  passait,  est-ce  un  hasard  ?  peut-^trc — 
Un  laquau  laisse  choir  une  pi^ce  de  bois. 

Notre  ami,  monsieur,  notre  po^te, 

Je  le  vois,  14,  par  terre,  un  grand  troa  dans  la  t^te  ! 

Courons  vite  I    II  n'y  a  personne  k  son  dievet ! 
C'est  quMl  pourrait  mourir,  monsieur,  s'il  se  Icrait  I 

74  ^^^  Gentleman's  Magazine. 

Roxane  had  not  heard  this  afflicting  news,  and  as  the  hour  strikes 
at  which  her  friend  should  appear  she  wonders  that  he  is,  for  the 
first  time,  unpunctual.  At  that  moment ''  une  sceur,  paraissant  sur  le 
perron,"  announces  "  Monsieur  de  Bergerac." 

He  is  very  pale,  and  walks  slowly  and  unsteadily,  leaning  on  his 
cane.  His  hat  is  pressed  down  over  his  eyes.  By  a  terrible  effort 
he  jests  with  Roxane  and  with  Soeur  Marthe.  In  spite  of  the  sorrow 
at  his  patient  heart  he  always  comes  to  the  convent  to  be  even  comic, 
and  to  bring  with  him  kindly  mirth.  Of  his  undying  love  for 
Roxane — never  a  word.  He  tells  her  all  the  news  floating  in  Paris. 
She  calls  him  her  "gazette,"  and,  with  a  supreme  effort  to  hide  his 
sufferings,  he  finishes  his  budget,  and  then  his  eyes  close,  his  head 
sinks,  and  there  is  silence.  He  asks  Roxane  to  let  him  read  that 
last  letter — of  Christian — and  she  gives  it  to  him.  With  the  heroic 
pathos  of  a  last  farewell  he  reads  his  own  letter  aloud. 

ROXANB.  Comme  votti  lisec 
Sa  lettre ! 

Comme  vous  U  Uses,  cette  lettfe  I 

While  he  reads  the  light  thickens  and  the  night  falls. 

RoxANB.  Comment  pouvez-Tous  lire  2i  present  ?    II  fait  nuit. 

He,  of  course,  knows  his  own  letter  by  heart,  and  the  darkness 
or  the  light  are  one  to  him.    She  exclaims — 

Et  pendant  quatorze  ans  il  a  joa6  ce  r6Ie 
D*6tre  le  vieil  ami  qui  vient  pour  €tre  dr61e  I 

Suddenly,  in  a  flash,  the  truth  becomes  clear  to  her,  and  she  cries — 

C'^tait  vous  .... 
J*aper9ois  toute  la  g^n^reuss  imposture : 

Les  lettres,  c'^tait  vous 

CvRANa  Non. 

RoxANB.  La  voix  dans  la  nuit,  c*etait  vous  f 

Alors,  pourquoi  laisser  ce  sublime  silence 
Se  briser  aujourd*hui  ? 

Lb  Bret  and  Ragubnbau  enter,  running, 
Cyrano.  Monsieur  de  Bergerac  est  mort  assassin^. 

Par  derri^re,  par  un  laquais,  d'un  coup  de  bOiche ! 

Ragneneau,  ne  pleure  pas  si  fort ! 

The  txrp&tissier  has  become  candle-snuffer  to  Moli^re,  but  is 
Mgning  indignantly,  because,  in  **  Scapin,"  Moliire  has  taken  a  scene 

Cyrano  de  Bergerac.  75 

from  Beigerac.  This  flattering  news  may  be  even  pleasant  to  the 
generous  dying  poet,  who  admits  that 

Moli^re  a  da  g^nie,  et  Christian  6tait  beau  I 

Then  at  last,  too  late^  Roxane  cries — 
Je  Toos  aime ;  vivez  ! 

Cyrano  has  uncovered,  and  the  still  noble  head  is  seen  wrapped 
in  bandages.  He  begs  Roxane,  when  mourning  for  Christian,  to 
mourn  a  little  for  him ;  and  his  love  replies — 

Je  vous  jure  ! 

as  well  she  may.  He  will  not  die  sitting,  and  struggling  to  his  feef| 
and  resting  his  back  against  a  tree,  cries — 

Ne  me  soutenez  pas  !    Personne !    Rien  que  1  'arbre. 
Je  I'attendrai  debout  {11  tire  Viph)^ 

and  the  great  swordsman  will  die  sword  in  hand.  He  tries  to  impress 
the  air  with  his  keen  blade  as  he  strikes  at  his  old  enemies,  h 
Mensangt^  Us  Compromise  Us  Prtju^s^  Its  L&chetes^  la  Soitise.  He 
makes  a  terrible  mouUnet  with  his  sword,  and  cries,  with  dying  voice — 

II  y  a,  malgr^  vous,  quelque  chose 
Que  j'emporte,  et  ce  soir,  quand  j*entrerai  ches  Dieu, 
Men  salut  balaiera  laigemeut  le  seuil  bleu, 

Quelque  chose  que  sans  un  pli,  sans  une  tache— et  c*est 

{V^pU  ^ichappi  d€  its  mains;  il  cAance/le,  tombc  dans  les  bras  de 

Li  Bret  et  Ragueneau.) 
ROXANB  (leaning  over  him  and  kissing  His  forehead),  C*est  ? 
Cyeano  (oMvre  lesyeuXy  la  reconnatt  et  dit  en  souriant)  Mon  panache. 

And,  indeed,  his  plume,  or  crest,  had  never  been  lowered,  and  his 
honour  had  never  been  stained.  Cyrano  was  a  kind  of  chivalrous 
saint,  of  clearest  honour,  and  a  most  terrible  and  gallant  swordsman. 
He  was  also  poet,  genftlAomme^  and  an  incomparable  lover. 

M.  Rostand  could  not,  of  course,  let  his  matchless  swordsman 
perish  by  the  sword,  but  yet  we  feel,  with  a  kind  of  tender  resentment, 
that  dicaupdeMche  is  an  undignified  method  of  assassination  for  such 
a  cavalier.  The  object  clearly  was  to  kill  Cyrano  by  a  means  which, 
though  certainly  fatal  in  the  end,  would  yet  work  so  slowly  that  it 
would  give  him  time  for  a  last  scene ;  and  this  end  could,  perhaps, 
have  been  better  attained  by  a  gunshot  wound. 

We  feel  sometimes  that  the  long,  persistent  blindness  of  poor 
Roxane  is  scarcely  credible.  A  woman — and  such  a  woman — must 
have  discerned  the  passion  in   Cyrano's   lofty  heart;   must  have 

76  The  Gentlematis  Magazine. 

detected  the  invaluable  help  rendered  to  Christian.  It  is  true  that 
M.  Rostand  has  ingeniously  hidden,  so  far  as  possible,  the  assistance 
rendered  by  Cyrano ;  but  a  woman's  fine  intuition  is  not  so  easily 
deceived,  and  we  must  doubt  whether  his  duplicity  would  be  more 
effective  than  her  insight. 

The  ideal  Cyrano  worships  only  his  one  goddess;  never  descends 
to  baser  or  stoops  to  lighter  loves.  He  is  capable  of  perfect  and 
self-denying  reverence  for  woman  ;  and,  as  is  the  case  only  with  rare 
spirits,  love  with  Cyrano  has  so  smitten  the  chord  of  self  that  it  has 
passed  in  music  out  of  sight.  He  has  overcome  self— a  conquest  how 
hard  and  how  glorious  ! — but  he  is  so  much  the  victim  of  his  exalted 
altruism  that  we  are  at  times  led  to  fancy  that,  despite  Rostand's  art, 
such  self-sacrifice,  even  from  such  a  royal  gentleman,  is  almost 
exaggeration,  is  all  but  incredible. 

If  only  Roxane  could  have  read  his  heart  she  would  surely, 
especially  after  her  widowhood,  not  have  refused  him  his  well-earned 
and  nobly  merited  reward ;  and  this  even  in  spite  of  his  nose.  By 
the  way,  Cyrano's  eyes  must  have  been  wonderful.  They  were  grey, 
I  think,  and  full  of  expression :  melting  in  love,  or  kindling  in  war ; 
expressing  courage,  purity,  tenderness,  or  sacred  rage.  She  must 
have  rightly  estimated  Christian  if  Cyrano  had  not  helped  the  Baron; 
and  she  could  not  understand  De  Bergerac  mainly  because  she  was 
so  absorbed  in  fondness  for  his  inferior  rival.  But  if  she  had  in  time 
recognised  the  royal  nature  of  Cyrano,  and  had  rewarded  him  with 
the  love  for  which  he  yearned  so  wildly,  if  she  had  done  that,  we 
should  never  have  had  the  tragedy  of  the  hidden  passion  which  was 
detected  so  late—so  sadly  too  late.  Oh,  the  pity  of  it,  lago  !  One  of 
the  most  subtle,  touching,  novel  ideas  in  the  play  is  that  Roxane, 
who  consciously  loves  Christian,  is,  in  so  doing,  ignorantly  loving  her 
greater  lover  Cyrano.  She  really  loved  the  fine  qualities — the 
courage,  wit,  genius,  magnanimity — of  that  most  generous  rival  in 
all  romance,  Cyrano ;  but  he,  in  devoted  unselfishness,  lent  his  high 
qualities  to  the  man  who  was,  in  consequence,  to  succeed  in  winning 
that  love  of  Roxane  which  Cyrano  so  desired  and  deserved.  She 
really  loved  the  beauty  of  Christian  and  the  soul  of  De  Bergerac.  In 
loving  Christian  she  was,  in  fact,  though  she  knew  it  not,  loving 
Cyrano — a  rare  and  new  imbroglio  in  a  love  romance. 

Roxane  loved  an  ideal  of  manhood,  but,  unfortunately,  she 
attributed  the  possession  of  her  ideal  qualities  to  the  wrong  man ; 
she  rejected,  in  piteous  error,  the  grotesque  hero  whom  she  really 
loved,  and  bestowed  her  affections  on  the  ignobler  competitor. 
It   will,  perforce,   sometimes   seem  to  us  that,  during  Roxane*8 

Cyrano  de  Bergerac.  77 

widowhood,  some  occasion  must  have  arisen  on  which  the  flood  of 
genuine  passion  would  have  swept  away  the  barriers  of  artificial 
restraint ;  and  then  there  would  have  been  declaration,  explanation, 
and  a  victory  for  Cyrano ;  but  M.  Rostand  has  not  willed  it  so.  Our 
dramatist  has  a  fine  dramatic  and  poetical  imagination ;  but  he  is 
brilliant  and  witty  rather  than  humorous.  His  verse  is  wholly 
splendid,  and  his  dialogue  is  mostly  exquisite.  You  see  the  thoughts 
and  feelings  working  in  the  minds  of  those  who  express  them  in 
such  bright  and  subde  words.  He  has  power,  passion,  and  pathos, 
and  a  singular  felicity  of  construction ;  and  how  he  can  indicate  sup- 
pressed emotion  !  His  letters  to  Roxane  are  beautiful  and  brilliant, 
and  are  full  of  tender  romance.  His  instructions  to  the  stage 
manager  are  as  minute  and  pregnant  as  those  of  Sudermann  himself. 
He  has  the  instinct,  craft,  and  cunning  of  the  bom  dramatist  of 
genius ;  and  his  comedy  is  always  delicate  and  delightful. 

Cyrano  does  not  die  in  fight,  or  alone ;  but  passes'away,  murdered, 
in  the  presence  of  his  lady  and  his  sword.  They  occupy  fitly  his  last 
brave  thoughts.  To  dying  Bayard  the  hilt  of  his  sword  served  as  a 
crucifix;  but  the  cup-hilted  rapier  of  Cyrano  had  more  ornament 
than  a  plain  cross  bar.  The  story  of  the  play  is  admirable ;  and  it 
is  too  great  to  need  plot. 

We  have  now  followed  very  briefly  the  main  threads  of  this  noble 
and  moving  play.  It  were  idle  to  spend  time  in  searching  for 
the  Saxo  Grammaticus,  the  Holinshed,  the  Giraldi  Cinthio,  the 
story,  annal,  poem,  which  may  have  afibrded  suggestion  to  our 
masterly  dramatist  It  is  enough  for  us  that  theVork  is  a  creation, 
a  charm,  a  masterpiece ;  that  it  is  a  splendid  addition  to  dramatic 
literature,  and  that  the  stage  is  enriched  by  M.  Rostand's  *'  Cyrano 
de  Bergerac" 


78  The  Gentlematis  Magazine. 


A  STRONG  wind  from  the  south-east;  long  clouds,  between 
whose  light  fringes  the  sun  peeps  from  a  firmament  of  clear 
cobalt  to  blaze  upon  the  southern  horizon  a  bar  of  gold ;  a  thick 
mist  in  the  west,  out  of  which  the  rooks  come  to  their  field  labours 
as  from  behind  a  grey  veil — these  are  the  signs  of  the  early  mornings 
given  in  promise  of  a  fine  day.  Towards  noon  the  mist  rolls 
away.  The  breeze  follows  the  mist  A  silence  comes  over  the 
woodlands — that  grief-stricken  silence  which  broods  upon  the  dying 
year,  and  which,  from  the  sounds  that  at  intervals  break  in  upon 
the  still  hours,  b  rendered  more  profound.  Russet  and  yellow 
leaves  strew  the  fields  and  lie  in  heaps  along  the  hedgerows.  Still 
they  fall,  with  a  gentle  but  crisp  touch,  brushing  the  undergrowth  in 
their  spinning,  downward  flight 

Hushed  are  the  thousand  songs  of  summer.  Hushed  b  the  hum 
of  insect  life  that  filled  the  long  days.  Only  the  robin  is  now  heard 
in  the  wood  clearing,  and  what  he  trills  is  often  interrupted,  as  if  in 
the  remembrance  of  his  loneliness  he  suddenly  forgot  the  music  of  his 
requiem.  Only  the  last  feeble  bee  drones  aimlessly  past  The 
grasshopper  that  unexpectedly  chirrups  in  the  sunlight  is  the  ancient 
one  of  his  family.  The  frail  ephemeral  fluttering  up  from  the 
grass-top  is  a  lonely  loiterer  loath  to  bid  good-bye  to  the  once  radiant 

There  are  wonderful  tints  in  the  woods — aureolin  and  crimson 
upon  the  bracken,  golden  and  blood-red  upon  the  brambles.  The 
heart-shaped  leaves  of  the  withering  bindweed — trails^of  orange  and 
lemon  yellow — hang  over  the  hawthorns.  Bare  and  white  are  the 
bines  of  the  pink  convolvulus. 

But  all  the  flowers  have  not  yet  faded.  In  the  meadows  the  last 
blooms  of  the  hawkbit,  ragweed,  yarrow,  scabious,  valerian  and  knap- 
weed may  still  be  seen  among  clusters  of  cup-shaped  capsules  and 
downy  seed-heads.  In  the  hedges  the  red  berries  still  cling  to  tlie 
mountain  ash  and  hawthorn  and  wild  rose,  to  offer  foodjor  the  silent 
birds  when  winter  shall  be  clothed  in  white. 

After  Com  Harvest  79 

The  salmon  are  now  in  the  njqper  reaches  of  the  river,  for  it  is 
the  spawning  season,  and  every  gravelly  shallow  is  tenanted  by  a 
busy  pair.  The  trout  have  left  Uie  rippling  streams — ^where  flies, 
hatched  out  in  the  whirlpools  and  drowned  in  the  rapids,  were  for- 
merly an  abundant  repast — and  are  now  in  the  deep  pools  where  the 
water  is  quiet  and  the  temperature  more  equable.  At  this  season 
birds  forsake  the  hedgerows  for  the  open  stubbles  and  turnip  fields, 
there  to  glean  scattered  grains  or  pick  up  pupae  hidden  near  the 
grass-roots.  Family  cares  foigotten,  the  hare  wanders  further  afield 
than  when  the  com  was  standing.  But  she  returns  to  her  "  form  " 
in  the  early  morning,  and  lies  on  the  top  of  the  sunny  bank  through- 
out  the  day,  her  scut  towards  the  wind  and  her  ears  turned  back  to 
catch  the  slightest  alarm.  The  poacher  soon  grows  acquainted  with 
her  regular  habits,  and  learns  her  ''run  "  from  her  footprints  in  the 
soft  mud  by  the  ditch  or  firom  a  bit  of  fiir  in  the  gap.  A  day  with 
the  beagles,  too,  is  a  source  of  income  for  him.  Then  he  carefully 
marks  the  hare's  course,  making  a  note  of  the  gaps  through  which 
the  hunted  creature  passes,  and  of  the  direction  of  the  wind.  If  the 
hounds  £adl  in  their  quest  he  secretly  rejoices  in  her  almost  certain 
capture  at  his  hands  a  few  nights  hence. 

One  of  the  best  fnends  I  ever  possessed  was  well  versed  in  the 
poacher's  craft.  In  his  early  life  he  had  subsisted  on  the  spoils 
of  the  field ;  more  recently,  however,  he  had  settled  down  into 
r^ular  employment  and  chapel-going  respectability.  But  a  strange, 
uncontrollable  longing  would  ever  and  anon  come  to  him.  Then, 
a  prey  to  that  indefinable  feeling  of  vagabondage  which  clings  to  the 
particular  side  of  nature  which  the  poacher  looks  upon,  but  never- 
thdess  anxious  to  avoid  a  breach  of  the  law,  he  would  come  to 
my  study,  and  over  a  jug  of  ale  discuss  plans  for  a  lesson  in  the  ways 
of  night  and  night-prowlers.  So  the  following  afternoon  saw  us  in 
the  heart  of  the  country,  prepared  to  practise,  up  to  a  certain  point, 
the  poacher's  wiles  on  those  lands  over  which  I  myself,  or  a  friend  in 
the  secret,  held  the  sporting  rights.  Soon  I  became  conversant  with 
the  paths  usually  trodden  by  unprincipled  thieves,  and  from  what  I  saw 
I  gathered  quite  enough  to  convince  me  that  the  poacher  has  never 
yet  revealed  his  ways  to  a  book-reading  public.  Fortunate,  indeed, 
for  the  average  sportsman  is  his  silence ! 

Old  Evan's  friendship  for  me  dates  back  to  such  a  day  with  the 
beagles  as  I  have  already  mentioned.  Immediately  the  fussy  little 
hounds  had  ''  found  "  among  the  ferns  at  the  top  of  Corrwg  woods, 
and  just  as  I  was  buttoning  my  coat  for  the  long  run  I  had  promised 
myself  as  a  welcome  exercise,  I  felt  a  hand  on  my  shoulders  and. 

8o  The  Gentlematis  Magazine. 

turning,  saw  the  famous  poacher  retreating  towards  the  copse,  and 
beckoning  me  to  follow. 

"  Come  with  me,  sir.  Well  see  the  hare  a  precious  deal  more 
than  them  as  goes  after  her.  What's  to  be  gained  in  watchin'  her 
runnin'  at  such  a  bat  as  them  ther*  little  beagles  will  never  catch  her 
in  ?  I  owes  a  grudge  to  that  huntsman,  too,  and  with  all  his  toot- 
tootin'  1*11  bet  he  won't  get  that  ther*  hare  to-day,  unless  p'raps  my 
reck'nin's  out.  No !  No  law-breakin',  sir;  I'm  too  old  for  larks  now. 
But  we'll  see  some  fun,  and  help  the  poor  hare.  The  odds  is  fairer 
now,  twenty  to  three,  not  twenty  to  one  timid  thing." 

Wondering  at  what  he  might  mean,  I  followed  my  guide  about 
half  a  mile  at  right  angles  to  the  direction  taken  by  the  hunt,  over 
turnips  and  a  wheat  stubble  to  the  entrance  of  a  narrow  grass-grown 
lane,  where  only  the  ruts  made  by  the  wheels  of  great  hay-waggons 
showed  a  sign  of  traffic.  Walking  quickly  along  the  hedgerow  Evan 
stopped  at  one  gap  after  another,  examining  the  briars  and  soft  spots 
in  the  bank.  Apparently  satisfied,  just  as  we  reached  the  end  he 
whispered  that  we  would  retrace  our  steps.  Upon  coming  to  where 
we  had  entered  the  lane,  he  again  closely  watched  for  a  sign,  at  the 
same  time  muttering :  "  Yes,  jus*  so ;  I  think  we're  about  right ;  from 
the  direction  of  the  hounds  it  must  be  the  same  one  as  has  this  run." 
Then,  after  listening  to  the  far-away  music  to  our  left,  he  motioned 
me  to  crouch  in  the  bracken  which  grew  along  the  ditch. 

"Now,  whatever  I  do,  mind  follow  me,  sir."  Five  minutes 
passed.  "Here  she  comes.  Keep  lowl"  With  a  shambling, 
leisurely  stride,  down  the  lane  came  the  hunted  animal,  straight 
towards  us,  betraying  no  anxiety  but  for  those  she  knew  were  on  her 
track,  her  ears  turned  to  catch  the  distant  babble.  Just  as  she 
passed  our  hiding-place  out  shot  old  Evan's  arm  to  clutch  her  hind 
leg  in  a  firm  grasp.  As  quick  as  thought  the  other  hand  was  placed 
over  her  mouth  to  stop  her  cries.  Then  up  we  jumped,  and  off  we 
started  along  the  fence  towards  the  crest  of  the  neighbouring  bank« 
where  last  we  had  heard  the  beagles*  music. 

As  we  came  in  sight  of  the  furze-covered  hill,  the  last  of  the 
hounds  could  be  seen  leaving  the  tangle  in  the  opposite  direction. 
Down  we  rushed  along  another  hedgerow  to  the  bottom  of  the 
dingle.  There  the  hare  was  carefully  dipped  in  the  clear,  cold  stream 
that  overflowed  a  cattle-trough,  and  afterwards  released  among  the 
thickest  of  the  brakes. 

"  Aye,  it  seems  to  me  they'll  come  to  a  check  up  yonder.  And 
if  they  hunts  this  scrub  again  I  misdoubt  me  if  they*ll  wind  her  well 
after  that  cold  bath  she  took."    We  wandered  back  in  time  to  see 

After  Com  Harvest.  8i 

the  beagles  completely  puzzled,  and  to  hear  the  members  of  the 
hunt  make  sage  remarks  anent  "  riding  over  the  hounds "  and  "  a 
wretched  hunting  day,  sir ;  scent  lies  bad  ! "  Presently  the  puppies, 
intent  upon  some  sort  of  sport,  spread  out  in  a  long  line,  with 
whimpering  tongues,  in  pursuit  of  the  farmer's  sheep-dog,  which  they 
chased  for  over  a  mile  towards  the  farmyard. 

Many  an  October  night  have  I  watched  the  silent  lurcher  at 
work,  beating  the  &llow  as  systematically  as  any  setter,  till  presently 
the  net  flew  out  and  the  screaming  hare  fell  entangled  in  its  folds, 
oftener  than  not  to  be  released  for  another  chance  of  life  when  the 
old  pointer  should  stand  over  her  in  the  furrow.  Or  in  the  evening, 
completely  hidden  among  the  strewn  leaves  of  late  autumn,  and 
enveloped  in  thick  coats  and  mackintoshes,  old  Evan  and  I  have 
crouched  together  watching  the  movements  of  a  covey  whicf^  enticed 
by  the  "  tse-wheet !  tse-wheet  1 "  of  the  charmer,  had  come  over  the 
hedge  to  within  a  few  yards  of  where  we  lay.  The  use  of  a  binocular 
would  frequently  enable  us  to  see  what  they  were  feeding  upon. 

The  cry  of  the  trapped  leveret — a    high-pitched,    long-drawn 
'^aht  I  aht !"  mimicked  perfectly,  would— sometimes  long   before 
we  knew  it— bring  the  anxious  mother  from  the  summer  com  to- 
where  we  lay  in  the  clover. 

Speaking  generally,  it  is  well  to  keep  away  from  hedgerows 
when  luring  creatures  by  mimicking  their  cries,  for  blackbirds  all 
through  the  year  frequent  the  thickets  which  divide  the  fields,  and  of 
all  notes  of  alarm  theirs  are  most  observed  by  fur  and  feather. 
Many  a  carefully  laid  plan  have  I  known  spoilt  by  a  blackbird's 
rattling  warning.  A  furze  clump  in  the  middle  of  the  field  is  a  capital' 
spot  for  observation.  Waterproofs  and  dry  leaves  screened  us  almost 
invariably,  and,  in  certain  places  used  frequently,  heaps  of  these, 
withered  leaves  were  collected  beforehand.  Consequently,  no  sus- 
picion was  entertained  by  the  field  and  woodland  dwellers,  for  we 
were  clothed  in  the  garment  worn  by  the  woods  themselves. 

One  night,  after  a  varied  entertainment  had  been  afforded  us  by 
creatures  that  prowled  around  for  food,  a  vixen  stole  into  the  moon- 
light of  the  wood-clearing,  and  took  up  her  post  beside  a  warren. 
Presently  we  heard  the  "yap  !  yap  !  "  of  the  fox  in  the  neighbouring 
stubble,  and  shortly  afterwards  saw  a  rabbit  come  quietly  down  the 
glade,  till,  when  almost  touching  its  crouching  enemy,  it  was  seized 
and  killed.  The  vixen,  taking  her  prey  in  her  mouth,  then  went  to 
meet  her  lord.  At  the  end  of  the  glade  he  appeared  in  view,  his 
eyes  glittering  like  live  coals.  Together  they  proceeded,  quite 
amicably,  to  feed  upon  the  rabbit  which,  apparently,  the  fox  had 

VOL.  CCLXXXV.      KO.  20II.  Q 

82  The  Gentleman's  Magazine. 


driven  in  from  the  stubble  to  the  burrow  where  his  mate  was  waiting. 
Just  as  they  were  finishing  their  meal,  old  Evan,  mimicking  the  call 
of  the  vixen,  uttered  a  wild  ^  yah ! "  The  effect  was  instantaneous.  At 
once  the  jealous  creature,  with  her  fur  standing  rufiled  up  around 
her  neck  and  along  her  spine,  came  with  crouching  stealth  towards 
the  brambles  among  which  we  lay  concealed,  and  actually  sniffed  at 
the  twigs  which  hid  my  companion's  face.  Something — ^unknown  to 
us,  as  we  dared  not  move  our  heads — must  have  now  occurred,  for, 
after  listening  intently  for  a  moment,  she  passed  behind  and  dis- 
appeared with  the  fox  into  the  wood. 

The  utmost  discretion  and  preparation  are  needed  for  the 
successful  study  of  wild  creatures  in  their  haunts.  And  it  is  quite 
an  error  to  suppose  that  everything  concerning  the  wonderful 
intelligence  displayed  by  our  field  and  woodland  dwellers  has 
appeared  in  print.  Even  the  earthworm,  the  commonest  of 
creatures,  irrigating  our  gardens  and  ventilating  the  roots  of  our 
flowers,  was  never  understood  till  Darwin  wrote  the  story  of  its  life. 
Sportsmen  are  more  or  less  degenerating  into  mere  riding  or  shoot- 
ing machines,  and  as  a  rule  know  little  of  the  habits  of  tlie 
•creatures  they  pursue.  How  few  there  are  who  possess,  in  even  a 
trifling  degree,  that  insight  and  patience  displayed  in  the  writings 
•of  White  of  Selbome,  Richard  Jefferies,  and  ''The  Son  of  the 
Marshes  "  1 

The  rooks  have  left  their  summer  haunts  on  the  hillside  for  the 
•great  trees  which  stand  in  the  valley,  whither,  in  dense  array,  they 
fly  at  approach  of  night.  The  squirrel,  now  that  the  nuts  and 
acorns  have  fallen  from  the  hazeb  and  oaks,  is  frequently  seen  about 
the  fields  near  the  woods,  searching  for  winter  stores. 

At  the  &11  of  the  year,  birds  and  beasts,  with  the  exception 
of  those  which  are  gregarious,  forcibly  drive  their  young  from  their 
homes.  In  some  cases  of  speedy  maturity  the  notice  to  quit  is  given 
earlier  still ;  in  others  only  when  food  in  the  immediate  neighbour- 
hood becomes  too  scarce  to  supply  sufficient  for  more  than  individual 

Before  the  end  of  October — the  time  of  the  first  frosts — ^nearly  all 
our  feathered  visitors  have  forsi^en  our  shores.  Frosts  kill  the 
insect  life  of  the  year.  Our  emigrants— warblers,  swallows,  wood* 
peckers,  nightjars,  cuckoos,  and  certain  other  insectivorous  birds — 
when  unable  to  procure  their  food,  leave  us  for  the  south,  where  flies 
and  grubs  are  always  abundant  provender.  Grain  and  berry  feeders, 
birds  of  prey,  and  those  which  subsist  on  almost  anything  and  to  whom 
a  change  of  diet  is  welcome,  as  a  rule  remain  in  Britain,  for  winter 

After  Com  Harvest.  83 

with  us  IS  rarely  severe,  and  they  are  alwa3rs  able  to  procure  sufficient 
food  when  scattered  over  a  suitable  district.  Then,  too,  the  holly  and 
larch  and  fiirze  are  snug  shelter. 

Our  immigrants  arrive  about  the  time  that  northern  regions  are 
frost-bound.  They  are  either  marsh  or  coast  birds,  or  grain  feeders, 
and  come  hither  only  when  their  former  haunts  have  become  frozen, 
and  aquatic  life  and  grain  and  fruit  too  safely  protected  by  the  grim 
frost-guardian.  This  is  part  of  nature's  great  scheme :  the  northern 
dwellers  fly  towards  more  open  and  hospitable  shores,  away 
from  the  direction  of  the  biting  blast.  Our  summer  songsters,  to 
whose  light  pinions  a  hundred  miles  are  but  a  trifling  distance,  when 
they  flit  away  in  tlieir  turn  towards  more  genial  climes  are  probably 
guided  to  a  great  extent  by  the  same  desire  to  leave  behind  them  th^ 
cold  winds. 

Intelligent  caution  is  displayed  in  the  direction  of  their  flight, 
and,  I  believe,  in  certain  deliberations  which  seem  to  precede  their 
departure,  for  they  choose  the  shortest  sea-passages,  and  often  pause 
to  recuperate  in  Devonshire  or  Cornwall  after  crossing  St.  George's 
Channel  on  their  way  from  Wales  to  the  Continent  Hunger  and, 
more  especially,  thirst  are  their  greatest  enemies  in  migration. 

"  Drip !  drip  !"  the  few  green  boughs  shake  off  the  cold  sweat  of 
approaching  death.  Tread  softly  over  the  strewn  graves  of  summer. 
Harvest  is  past  Life  is  falling  to  sleep.  The  sun  goes  early  to  the 
west,  decked  in  red  and  purple  splendour.  At  night,  when  the  moon 
lies  in  the  arms  of  a  grey  cloud,  a  chill  mist  hangs  upon  th^ 
shivering  earth,  veiling  the  trees  and  meadows  in  dim  obscurity. 


C  2 

84  The  Gentlemafts  Magazine. 




"T3AH  !  who  could  rest  with  that  abominable  din  going  on?'^ 
1        said  Vincent  Gordon,  second  engineer  of  the  ss.  Monica^  then 
rolling  along  parallel  to  the  thundering  beaches  of  Liberia,  homeward 
bound  coastwise  from  the  Congo,  as  he  turned  restlessly  to  and  fro  in 
his  narrow  bunk.  Presently,  touching  a  button,  the  glow  of  an  electric 
light  shone  forth,  and  the  engineer  sprang  out  of  his  berth,  shaking 
down  a  procession  of  cockroaches  from  the  breast  of  his  thin  pyjamas. 
"  More  of  the  beastly  things,"  he  grumbled ;  "  it's  a  wonder  they 
don*t  eat  us  alive."    Next  he  carefully  drew  on  a  pair  of  slippers,  for 
fear  of  the  foot- boring  jigger  insect  which  the  negro  passengers  bring 
on  board — a  precaution  it  is  always  well  to  take  on  an  African  steamer* 
Slamming  the  door  behind  him  Gordon  went  out  on  deck,  and 
stood  for  a  few  moments  blinking  in  the  darkness.    A  faint  trail  of 
luminous  vapour  swept  to  and  fro  overhead  as  the  tall  funnel  rolled 
in  a  wide  arc  across  the  twinkling  stars,  and  a  circle  of  ruddy  light 
shone  through  the  curtained  port  of  the  mate's  quarters  upon  the 
bridge- deck.      Below  all  was  veiled  in  pitchy   darkness,  through 
which  he  could  faintly  make  out  a  number  of  shadowy  figures 
dancing  in  rings  and  flinging  their  arms  about  in  time  to  the  mono- 
tonous tapping  of  native  drums  and  a  wailing  chant  of  the  Kroo 
nation.     From  somewhere  forward  came  the  wheezy  tones  of  an 
harmonium  grinding  out  a  psalm  tune,  and  Gordon  smiled  as  he 
listened.    He  knew  the  Monkeys  chief  engineer,  old  Mack  of  the  iron 
hand  and  caustic  tongue,  was  forgetting  the  waste  of  good  coal  and  the 
laziness  of  his  greasers,  which  things  usually  troubled  him  much,  in 
music.    Also,  he  knew  that  beneath  his  superior's  somewhat  ostenta- 
tious piety  there  lay  a  fiery  temper,  as  well  as  a  kindly  heart ;  and  it 
seemed  probable  tliat  if  the  negro  passengers  kept  up  that  kind  of 
thing  much  longer  there  would  be  trouble  on  foot    As  he  moved 
forward,  picking  his  way  through  the  groups  of  Krooboy  labourers 

The  '^Monicas''  Chief  Engineer.  85 

returning  home  from  the  sweltering  factories  of  the  Oil  Rivers  or 
smoking  Gold  Coast  beaches,  all  wildly  excited  at  the  prospect  of 
seeing  their  beloved  *'  we  country  "  again,  something  happened.  The 
sharp  cling-dang  of  a  pump  rose  up  through  the  engine-room  gratings, 
and  the  door  of  his  chief's  quarters  banged  violently  to.  Then  a 
strident  voice  cried,  ''  Tak'  that,  ye  misguided  heathen,  for  creating  a 
shamefu'  din  upon  the  Sabbath  nicht,"  and  a  solid  three-inch  jet  of 
water  swept  the  deck  fore  and  aft 

The  weird  music  ceased  suddenly.  A  howl  of  rage  and  indigna- 
tion rose  from  the  swarming  negroes,  and  again  the  door  of  the 
engineer's  room  banged  viciously.  When  Gordon  ascended  the 
bridge-deck  ladder,  the  captain  leaned  over  the  rails  and  harangued 
the  crowd  in  the  quaint  *' coast  palaver.'' 

*' Confound  Mack,"  he  presently  observed  to  his  mate,  "why 
must  the  bad-tempered  old  bear  stir  them  up  just  now  ?  We've  had 
trouble  enough  coming  down,  and  I'd  never  have  ventured  so  near 
this  reef-sprinkled  coast  but  for  the  satisfaction  of  seeing  the  last  of 
them  to-morrow."  Then  the  speaker  raised  his  voice  :  "  Keep  a 
good  look-out,  Mr.  Mayne,  and  hold  her  a  point  or  two  southerly  if 
you  see  the  loom  of  land  ; "  and  a  voice  answered,  "  Very  good,  sir," 
from  the  height  of  the  reeling  bridge. 

*'I  suppose  that  pandemonium  kept  you  awake,  too,"  said 
Gordon,  as  the  mate  strolled  by,  his  duck  jacket  thrown  open  for 
the  sake  of  coolness ;  and  the  officer  answered,  "  Between  cock- 
roaches, and  rats,  and  Krooboys,  it's  pretty  hard  to  close  one's  eyes. 
Besides,  I'm  not  fond  of  these  waters ;  they  find  out  the  reefs  by 
losing  steamers  on  them,  which  is  accurate  but  expensive.  There 
have  been  too  many  boats  lost  hereabouts  on  uncharted  rocks.  The 
young  fourth  mate  up  yonder  has  been  working  all  day  in  the  stifling 
hold,  trimming  raw  rubber,  and  the  smell  of  that  is  enough  to  make 
one  stupid  for  a  week.    Thought  I'd  look  round  myself  awhile." 

"  Why  don't  you  head  her  out,  then  ? "  asked  Gordon,  and  the 
mate  replied,  '*  Well,  you  know  it's  usual  to  land  Krooboys  at  dawn 
and  steam  out,  in  case  a  Liberian  gunboat  turns  up  and  wants  two 
and  a  half  dollars  a  head — more  than  any  nigger's  worth— and  we 
should  be  well  clear  of  the  coast." 

Then  the  sound  of  a  piano  rose  up  through  the  saloon  skylights^ 
followed  by  the  words  of  a  hymn,  and  died  away  in  the  darkness 
over  the  churning  wake. 

*'  The  south-coast  missionaries,"  said  the  mate,  glancing  duwn 
through  the  opened  slides.  ''  It's  wonderful  what  example  will  do. 
There's  the  Uttle  gin-trader  looking  on  the  same  book  with  the 

S6  The  Gentleman  s  Magazine. 

missionary  lady,  and  singing  like  an  angeL  What  would  she 
think  if  she  knew  how  many  native  wives  he  left  behind  in  the 

Gordon  laughed  soMy  as  he  turned  away.  Though  this  was 
the  first  attempt  of  the  Monicc^s  owners  to  compete  with  the  mail- 
boats,  he  had  heard  that  such  vagaries  were  everyday  occurrences 
upon  the  coast,  and  when  he  stood  above  the  "fiddly-gratings'' 
the  close  of  the  hymn  died  away,  and  was  lost  in  the  throb  of 
the  engines.  For  a  time  he  waited,  listening  to  the  gurgle  of 
water  along  the  bends,  and  the  sleepy  roar  beneath  the  bows 
each  time  the  vessel  dipped  her  nose  into  a  brimming  swell. 
But  for  this  the  whole  ship  seemed  strangely  silent,  and  through  the 
stillness  the  footsteps  of  the  look-out  pacing  to  and  fro  on  the  fore- 
castle-head came  sharply  to  his  ears.  Then  the  mellow  tones  of  a 
bell  rose  out  of  the  blackness,  followed  by  a  sing-song  cry,  "  All's 
well.  Lights  burning  brightly,  sir."  "All  right,"  answered  an 
invisible  person  from  the  bridge  overhead,  and  the  2,000-ton  steamer 
with  her  freight  of  African  produce  and  precious  lives  swept  on 
through  the  night,  phosphorescent  foam  breaking  apart  beneath  her 
bows,  to  reunite  in  a  seething  mas3  of  green  and  gold  sea-fire  in  the 
screw-tossed  wake  astern. 

Gordon  still  lingered.  His  watch  was  not  due  yet,  and  there  was 
a  welcome  coolness  on  deck.  Then  he  suddenly  stiffened  into 
breathless  attention,  for  a  harsh  cry  rose  from  the  lofty  forecastle, 
"  Breaking  surf  ahead,  sir,  under  the  starboard  bow  it  is."  The 
wheel-chains  rattled  as  the  helm  was  jammed  over,  and  a  few 
moments  later,  when  the  captain  leapt  up  the  bridge-ladder  clad 
in  pyjamas,  the  dull  boom  of  a  spouting  reef  came  out  of  the 
blackness  around.  The  telegraph  clanged  out  "  half-speed  " ;  then, 
as  the  song  of  the  breakers  grew  nearer  and  louder,  the  wheel-chains 
clattered  again,  and  the  panting  of  the  engines  ceased.  Next  instant 
a  ghostly  mass  of  white  flung  itself  high  into  the  air  close  ahead,  and 
a  startled  cry  rang  out,  "  Hard  astern,  sir,  hard  astern  I  My  God, 
we're  on  the  reef ! " 

The  grind  of  the  propeller  recommenced,  and  the  Monicds  bows 
swang  aloft  on  a  long-backed  swell ;  but  her  engines  might  not  check 
her  way  in  time,  and,  as  her  head  came  down,  there  was  a  dull 
crunch,  followed  by  a  sickening  rending  of  iron  on  stone,  and  a  cloud 
of  spray  burst  across  her.  A  long  ridge  of  water  rolled  in,  lifted  the 
steamer  up,  and  flung  her  forward  upon  the  submerged  reef,  spouting 
in  sheets  of  white  the  whole  length  of  her  black  wall-side.  Gordon 
held  his  breath  as  the  smashing  and  rending  of  iron  recommenced^ 

The  •'  Monica's  "  Chief  Engineer.  87 

and  then,  as  the  next  sea  hove  the  vessel  aloft,  she  drove  right  over 
the  rock  and  slid  off  into  deeper  water. 

He  lingered  no  more.  Whatever  might  happen  on  deck  his  place 
was  in  the  engine-room  below,  and  when  he  dropped  upon  the  greasy 
top  platform  the  gaunt  figure  of  old  Mack  leapt  past  him,  and  sprang 
out  upon  the  stokehold  ladder. 

*'  Haud  them  down — back  there,  or  Til  split  your  skull,"  shouted 
the  chief,  and,  holding  on  with  one  hand  to  the  slippery  iron,  he 
lifted  a  keen-edged  shovel.  Down  in  the  sweltering  depths  below, 
with  the  red  glow  of  the  twinkling  furnaces  shining  upon  their  sable, 
oily  skins,  the  Fanti  firemen  surged  about  the  foot  of  the  ladder. 
With  yells  and  cries  they  fought  for  a  place,  or  clinging  to  the  greasy 
nings  both  front  and  back  mounted  in  desperate  haste,  a  few  white 
stokers  vainly  trying  to  drive  them  back. 

**Doon  with  ye,"  roared  Mack,  and  the  blue  steel  whistled 
threateningly  past  the  head  of  the  foremost  climber.  The  panic- 
stricken  n^oes  hesitated,  undecided  whether  to  risk  the  probability^ 
of  a  scalding  death  below,  or  face  the  certain  danger  above.  Then 
tlie  foremost  stretched  out  a  sinewy  black  arm,  and  with  rage  and. 
terror  stamped  upon  his  twitching  face,  seized  the  engineer's  foot. 
and  strove  to  shake  him  from  the  ladder.  Down  came  the  shovel, 
and  the  worn  edge  hit  deep  into  the  grimy  arm.  With  a  scream 
of  pain  the  negto  loosed  his  hold  and  fell  backwards,  dragging  the 
men  beneath  with  him  in  his  fall.  In  an  instant  the  gaunt  engineer 
followed  them,  striking  left  and  right  with  the  flat  of  his  shovel  as 
he  drove  the  frightened  men  back  to  their  posts. 

''  111  get  ye  oot,  when  the  time  comes ;  but  the  first  who  leaves 
without  an  order  tastes  this.  Noo  ye  understand,"  he  said,  swinging 
the  weapon ;  and,  shaking  off  the  first  wild  access  of  fear,  the  men 
settled  down  to  work,  reassured  by  the  confidence  of  their  chief. 
When  Gordon  reached  the  engine-room  he  found  a  fountain  of  rust- 
stained  water  bubbling  up  out  of  the  crank-pits  and  swirling  about 
the  chequered  floor-plates  at  every  roll.  Mack,  wearing  an  expression 
of  deadly  earnestness  upon  his  rugged  face,  stood  quietly  with  his 
hand  upon  the  link-engine  and  his  eyes  turned  towards  the  dial  of 
the  telegraph,  waiting  instructions  from  above.  Three  vibrating 
notes  rang  out  above  the  clatter  of  the  engines,  the  signal  for  "  full 
speed  ahead,"  followed  by  a  fourth  to  show  the  case  was  tu-gent. 

'*  Noo  we'll  see  what  iron  and  skill  can  do,"  he  said  grimly,  as  the 
link  slid  over  and  the  throttle  was  opened  wide ;  ''anither  twenty 
pound  o'  steam,  Mr.  Brown." 

Then  the  mate  came  down,  and  hb  lips  were  dry  as  he  said, 

88  The  Gentleman  s  Magazine. 

''  For  Heaven's  sake,  drive  her  all  you  can*  She's  going  down  under 
us,  but  the  beach  can't  be  far." 

Mack  leaned  over  the  crankpit  rails  and  pointed  significantly  to 
the  greasy  shower  which  whirled  up  and  fell  hissing  upon  the  gleaming 
cylinder  foot  at  every  revolution.  "The  firesll  no  bum  an  hour.  Tell 
the  skipper  we'll  do  our  best,"  he  said,  and  splashed  away  to  the  swelter- 
ing stokehold.  There  the  firemen,  both  black  and  white,  stripped  to 
the  waist,  worked  with  desperate  eneigy  in  the  glow  of  the  fires,  for 
they  now  realised  that  the  safety  of  ship  and  crew  lay  in  their  grimy 
hands.  So,  with  much  labour  of  rabble  and  pricker,  they  stirred  up 
the  mass  of  crackling  coal  until  the  gorged  furnaces  shone  fiery-red, 
while  the  iron  barrows  of  the  trimmers  clanged  across  the  heaving 
plates,  and  the  water  crept  steadily  higher  above  their  ankles.  The 
baffle-plates  were  blue-hot,  the  fingers  of  the  gauges  leapt  up 
beyond  the  safety  limit,  and  the  whole  place  trembled  and 
vibrated  with  an  over-pressure  of  steam. 

"  Keep  it  up,  ye're  doin'  fine,"  was  all  their  chief  said,  but  his 
•quiet  words  acted  like  a  tonic  on  the  men,  who  but  a  little  while  ago 
^^ere  half  mad  with  childish  fear. 

When  he  regained  the  engine-room  the  water  was  swirling  deep 

across  the  plates ;  the  rapid,  strident  clang  of  a  gorged  pump, 

struggling  vainly  with  the  rising  fluid,  contrasted  sharply  with  the 

grinding  throb  of  the  over-driven  engines ;    and  the  young  third 

.  engineer  came  up. 

''There's  something  wrong  with  the  pump  rocking  lever;  bolt  com- 
ing out,  I  think.    We'll  have  to  stop  her,"  he  said,  in  a  shaking  voice. 

''  We  stop  for  nothing,"  was  the  sharp  answer ;  "  let  me  see  the 

With  the  flickering  light  of  flat  oil  lamps  shining  upon  their 
perspiring  faces,  and  blue  wreaths  of  the  evil-smelling  smoke  of 
burning  tallow  drifting  about  them,  three  men  stood  beside  a  maze 
of  shining  levers,  which  opened  and  shut  as  they  crossed  each  other 
like  a  giant  pair  of  shears. 

''  Give  me  the  spanner,  take  ye  the  hammer,  Carson,"  said  the 
chief;  and  as  a  greaser  lifted  the  tool  .Gordon  dashed  the  sweat  from 
his  brow  with  a  grimy  hand,  and  interposed  : 

"  Let  me  try,  it's  my  work,"  he  broke  in  ;  but  his  chief  answered 
gravely,  '*  Circumstances  alter  cases.    Hold  against  me,  Carson." 

The  levers  swang  apart,  and  into  the  gap  which  opened  up  the 
two  men  thrust  their  arms,  while  the  watchers  held  their  breath. 
The  spanner  slipped  over  the  head  of  the  bolt,  the  hammer  clinked, 
then,  just  before  the  steel  edges  clashed  past  each  other  again. 

The  ^^ Monicas''  Chief  Engineer.  89 

engineer  and  greaser  snatched  out  their  hands,  and  stood  panting  to 
see  how  much  they  had  accomplished. 

"^Anither  turn,"  said  Mack,  and  again  the  risk  was  faced. 
Spanner  and  hammer  clinked,  and  Gordon,  with  his  eyes  riveted  on 
the  levers,  waited  until  the  upward  stroke  was  finished ;  then  with  a 
cry  thrust  his  chief  violently  backwards.  The  spanner  snapped  off 
like  a  pipe  stem  as  it  passed  the  point  of  intersection,  and  the  greaser 
also  flung  back  his  hand — too  late.  Although  further  away  from  the 
deadly  centre,  the  bar  gripped  his  forearm,  and,  as  it  bit  deep  into 
the  soft  flesh,  the  man  uttered  a  short,  gasping  cry.  When  the  levers 
opened  again  there  was  blood  upon  their  gleaming  sur&ce,  and  a 
limp  heap  lay  moaning  in  the  water  below. 

'*  Cany  him  to  the  platform,"  said  Gordon  hoarsely,  and  the  chief 
leaned  against  a  column  shivering  slightly  and  glancing  at  the  clean 
cut  end  of  the  tool  in  his  fingers. 

''Fainted  dead  ofl*,"  said  the  greaser's  comrades,  as  they  returned 
and  went  silently  back  to  their  posts,  for  no  man  could  be  spared  in 
that  fierce  race  for  life.  The  buzzing  of  the  cranks  grew  faster  and 
faster,  and  Gordon  knew  that  the  tip  of  the  propeller  was  rising  as 
the  vessel  sank  by  the  head.  Still  the  grim  old  chief  stood  beside 
the  throttle-wheel,  his  keen  eyes  fixed  on  the  madly  racing  machinery, 
until  what  each  man  had  foreseen  came  about 

Suddenly,  the  whole  place  rattled  and  shook  as  the  engines 
flashed  and  danced  at  double  their  previous  speed ;  and  a  cry  rose 
up  above  the  clanging  tumult,  "The  propeller's  clear;  she's  going 
under,  bows  first" 

As  if  in  irony,  the  tel^;raph  rang  out,  "  Done  with  engines,"  and 
when  the  chief  coolly  turned  Uie  throttle-wheel,  the  buzzing  roar  died 
away,  and  there  was  a  wonderful  silence.  Then  from  the  deck  over* 
head  came  the  trampling  of  many  feet  followed  by  the  clatter  of  davit 
falls ;  and  the  chief  said,  "  Open  all  the  valves.  Up  every  man  o' 
ye  for  his  life,  the  waterll  be  on  the  fires."  Neither  fireman  nor 
engineer  needed  a  second  telling,  and  when  they  had  seen  the  last  of 
their  subordinates  safely  beyond  the  platforms,  so  they  thought, 
Gordon  and  Mack  climbed  up  on  deck. 

As  they  stood  beneath  the  fluttering  awnings  a  vast  column  of 
vapour  roared  aloft  firom  the  summit  of  the  funnel  Cinders  and 
ashes  rattled  upon  the  canvas  overhead,  and  blinding  clouds  of 
steam  rolled  across  the  deck  from  the  stokehold  gratings. 

''  Just  in  time,"  said  Gordon  gratefully,  <'  the  fires  are  drowned  at 
last    The  dynamo  may  run  a  little,  and  then  it  will  be  dark." 

Blocks  rattled  and  davit-falls  ran  whistling  out  as  two  big  surf- 
boats  sank  down  on  either  side  of  the  bridge-deck.  A  few  passengera 

90  The  Gentleman's  Magazine. 

stood  huddled  together  against  the  companion,  and  the  mate  was 
singing  out  hoarse  orders  to  the  men  who  lowered  the  boats.  From 
the  lighted  saloon  beneath  rose  wild  howls  and  the  crash  of  rending 
wood  and  breaking  glass,  and  the  anxious  Usteners  knew  that  the 
black  deck-passengers  were  smashing  locker  and  store-room  door  in 
search  of  plunder.  The  after  well  swarmed  with  shadowy  figures, 
shouting  and  apparently  fighting  savagely  among  themselves  for 
whatever  portable  article  they  could  lay  their  hands  upon.  More 
than  one  white  man  recalled,  as  he  listened,  what  happened  at  the 
sinking  of  another  ship  in  those  waters,  when  crew  and  passengers 
had  hard  work  to  escape  alive  from  the  maddened  Krooboys. 

Presently  the  voice  of  a  quartermaster  rose  out  of  the  darkness 
below,  "  All  ready  now,  sir ;  send  down  the  lady  and  the  sick,"  and 
one  by  one  the  seamen  lowered  the  few  European  passengers  into 
the  boats.  As  they  did  so  the  saloon  companion  echoed  with  the 
rush  of  many  feet,  and  the  captain  shouted  hoarsely,  ''Jam  the 
doors  to,  before  they  get  on  deck."  Four  seamen  swang  back  the 
double  doors,  and  when  the  bolt  shot  home  the  stout  teakwood 
trembled  before  a  blow  like  that  of  a  battering-ram,  as  the  negroes 
fiung  themselves  upon  it 

*'  There's  no  telling  what  they  might  have  done.  Cast  down  the 
two  well-ladders,"  said  the  skipper,  smiling  grimly;  and  a  fresh 
pandemonium  broke  out  on  the  after-deck  as  the  plunderers  came 
out  of  the  alleyways,  dragging  their  booty  with  them. 

''Surely  you'll  not  leave  them  to  drown?"  asked  a  missionary, 
and  the  breathless  mate  answered  shortly,  "You  can't  drown  a 
Krooboy,  and  there's  surf-boats  and  patent  rafts  aft,  Down  the 
ladder  with  you." 

Then  a  splash  of  oars  told  that  two  boats  had  got  safely  away, 
and  there  was  a  confused  shouting  from  the  high  poop  aft  as  the 
Krooboys  swung  the  surf  boats  out,  while  others,  with  bundles  of 
miscellaneous  odds  and  ends  in  their  hands,  leapt  boldly  into  the 
sea.  At  length  Gordon  found  himself  in  the  stem  of  No.  3  fire- 
men's boat,  and  when  his  grimy  crew  thrust  her  clear,  the  steamer 
lifted  a  streaming  wall-side  high  into  the  air,  and  the  angle  of  the 
funnel  grew  sharp  as  she  rolled  wildly  down  upon  the  opposite 

"  Pull  for  your  lives ;  she's  going,"  he  said,  and  the  water  boiled 
about  the  bows  as  the  men  bent  over  the  oars.  Then  a  cry  came 
out  of  the  blackness,  "Have  you  Greaser  Carson  in  your  boat?" 
and,  remembering  he  had  seen  nothing  of  the  wounded  man,  Gordon 
felt  his  brow  grow  hot  when  he  answered  "  No ! " 

The  '^Monica's''  Chief  Engineer.  91 

A  long  white  gig  flashed  past,  and  the  swell  about  his  boat  seethed 
beneath  the  oars,  for  waiting  for  no  orders  the  men  slewed  her 
round.  A  few  moments  later  her  nose  drove  the  gig  with  a  crash 
against  the  steamer's  side,  and  the  two  light  craft  swang  wildly  up 
and  down,  grinding  against  the  rusty  plates  which  rose  foot  by'foot 
out  of  the  water  as  the  Monica  listed  more  sharply  over  at  every  roll. 
Gordon  recognised  the  gaunt  figure  of  the  chief  engineer  clinging 
like  a  cat  to  the  rungs  of  the  swinging  ladder  high  above  his  head ; 
and  grasping  the  wet  hemp  when  the  steamer  rolled  towards  them, 
lifted  himself  out  of  the  boat.  His  feet  splashed  into  the  sea, 
and  next  moment  he  was  hove  aloft  and  pounded  against  the 
barnacle-crusted  plates,  with  the  backwash  roaring  below. 

When  he  reached  the  deck  at  last,  followed  by  half  his  men,  a 
warning  cry  came  from  the  face  of  the  waters :  '*  Back  there,  for 
your  lives— she's  going  down."  A  heavy  lurch  flung  Gordon  against 
the  rails,  and  while  the  vessel  sluggishly  recovered  herself.  Mack 
said  calmly,  "There's  naetime  to  lose;  down  through  the  alleyway." 

In  a  few  seconds  more  they  stood  before  the  engine-room  casings, 
but  the  iron  door  was  jammed  fast  in  its  frame  by  the  list  and  the 
bending  of  the  angles. 

''Bring  the  hand-pump  brake,  for  Heaven's  sake  be  quick!" 
shouted  Gordon,  and  a  faint  cry  came  out  through  an  open  port,  and 
was  drowned  in  the  gurgle  of  water.  A  broad-shouldered  fireman 
swang  the  heavy  bar  aloft,  and  bright  sparks  flew  when  iron  clashed 
against  iron ;  but  there  was  no  sign  of  any  yielding  of  the  door, 
and  the  slope  of  the  deck  grew  steeper  yet  Then  a  greaser  hurried 
towards  them,  carrying  a  heavy  casting  from  winch  or  crane,  and 
Mack  wrenched  it  from  his  hands. 

"  Stan'  clear,"  he  roared,  heaving  the  weight  up  to  the  full  sweep 
of  his  powerful  arms.  There  was  a  sharp  crash,  the  door  flew 
suddenly  back,  and  as  the  engineer  plunged  down  on  hands  and 
knees  across  the  threshold  the  mass  of  iron  fell  with  a  splash  into 
the  water  beneath.  Two  men  followed  their  chief  into  the  dark  pit, 
and  when  they  came  forth,  dragging  a  helpless,  dripping  object  with 
them,  the  grim  old  engineer  dashed  the  sweat  from  his  forehead  and 
said,  "  At  last — the  Lord  be  thankit ! "  How  they  got  the  wounded 
greaser  safely  into  the  boat  no  one  could  quite  remember,  but  when 
they  rowed  away  from  the  wallowing  vessel  a  great  shout  went  up 
from  the  surrounding  boats,  "  Bravo,  well  done  1" 

Then  Gordon  heard  the  skipper's  voice  crying,  "  She's  driving  in 
with  the  run  of  the  sea ;  pull  clear  before  you're  smashed  in  the  surf, 
and  wait  for  dawn." 

92  The  Gcntie man's  Magazine. 

So  the  oars  bent  and  creaked,  and  while  the  boats  drew  out 
beyond  the  reach  of  the  first  and  smoothest  of  the  paralldi  mile-long 
ridgesy  which  ceaselessly  hurl  themselves  upon  the  thundering 
beaches  of  Liberia,  the  Monica  disappeared  into  the  darkness  astern. 
When  burning  day  leapt  suddenly  from  the  sea-rim,  as  it  does  in  the 
tropics,  they  managed  to  land  behind  a  reef,  and  found  that  the 
steamer,  although  her  holds  were  full  to  the  vanishing  point,  had 
kept  afloat,  driving  as  by  a  miracle  past  outlying  rocks,  until  the 
surge  had  cast  her  ashore. 

''  A  ghastly  business,"  said  the  captain,  standing  soaked  in  sea- 
water,  with  the  early  sunrays  beating  down  upon  him;  "must  have 
been  that  confounded  current  setting  more  north  than  usual.  It  will 
cost  all  she's  worth  to  get  her  off,  and  how  I'm  to  explain  matters  to 
the  Board  of  Trade  I  don't  quite  know.  The  only  redeeming  feature 
in  the  whole  affair  was  the  way  you  and  your  men  brought  off  that 

"  Things  micht  be  waur — an'  the  ither  business  was  all  in  the 
day's  work,"  was  the  quiet  answer,  and  the  Monica^s  chief  engineer 
moved  slowly  away,  a  grimy  mixture  of  soot  and  brine  trickling  down 
his  rugged  face. 




'*  Un  homme  it  part— ^tiange  et  singulier.'* 

HENRI  BEYLE— Stendhal  Beyle— so  styled  by  the  "Master," 
was  treated  with  the  same  veiled  antagonism  by  several  of 
his  contemporaries;  and  Victor  Hugo,  who  counted  a  pseudonym  as 
an  affectation,  was  not  alone  in  resenting  the  air  of  distant  superiority 
assumed  by  one  who  should  of  right  belonged  to  the  brotherhood — 
whose  age,  associations,  and  freedom  from  antiquated  conventionality 
marked  him  out  for  a  colleague,  but  who  displayed  a  philosophical 
disdain  of  romanticism :  on  his  part  he  had  no  desire  to  be  classed 
among  the  Ceunous  writers  of  his  generation,  and  would  have  none  of 
what  he  called  the  brevet  de  ressemblance. 

His  ambition  was  to  stand  alone — ^to  be  different,  to  be  original, 
even  to  be  misunderstood  and  under-valued;  and  could  he  have  fore- 
seen that  the  history  of  the  nineteenth  century  might  very  well  be 
written  without  the  mention  of  his  name,  it  is  probable  the  omission 
would  have  caused  him  very  little  dissatisfaction.  But  he  was  by  no 
means  devoid  of  vanity,  and  was  even  heard  to  fix  the  date  when  he 
should  have  attained  a  just  appreciation ;  this  would,  he  imagined, 
have  come  to  pass  in  the  year  i860  or  possibly  a  decade  later.  Time 
has,  however,  proved  the  fallacy  of  this  expectation,  for  the  assent 
which  his  colossal  presence  imposed  upon  those  who  saw  him  and 
on  a  few  of  his  intimates  ceased  to  be  accorded  when  his  living 
influence  was  no  more. 

His  appearance  was  decidedly  impressive;  of  middle  height, 
broad  shouldered,  robust  and  muscular  as  the  Famese  Hercules,  his 
fine  forehead,  brilliant  eye,  well-formed  but  sardonic  mouth,  gave 
assurance  of  unusual  strength  and  power ;  but  he  inclined  to  an 
tmbonpoint^  which  greatly  increased  with  age,  and  deprived  him  of 
the  majestic  bearing  to  which  he  might  have  otherwise  laid  claim. 
His  hand  was  beautiful,  and  was  copied  by  a  Roman  artist  for  a 
statue  of  Mirabeau,  which  found  a  place  in  the  Louvre.  Stendhal 
was  notably  proud  of  this  fact,  ignoring  the  remark  of  some  satirist 
that  the  sculptor  in  copying  the  hand  had  adopted  some  other  salient 

94  "^he  Gentleman* s  Magazine. 

lines  of  his  well-developed  model.  Unattractive  and  even  repellent 
in  manner,  he  was  set  down  as  vain  and  overbearing ;  but  this  was  a 
surface  estimate,  for,  strange  as  it  may  seem,  one  of  the  dominant 
traits  of  his  character,  concealed  with  all  the  strength  he  possessed, 
was  an  extreme,  almost  morbid,  sensibility,  curbed  and  counteracted 
early  in  life,  and  restrained  in  after  years  by  an  overpowering  fear  of 
ridicule.  It  was  only  in  a  few  of  his  letters,  where  he  did  not  take 
the  trouble  to  disguise  or  falsify  himself,  that  his  true  nature,  not 
without  affection  and  sympathy,  is  to  be  found. 

This  master  key  to  his  character  applied  to  his  work  will  explain  its 
frequent  abruptness  and  apparent  want  of  finish;  he  was  afraid  of  spon- 
taneity, afraid  of  the  betrayal  of  feeling ;  but  the  task  of  the  present- 
day  criticism  is  far  more  simple  than  it  used  to  be,  and  no  longer 
insists  on  explaining  a  man.  It  is  not  now  considered  essential  to 
discover  the  springs  of  thought  underlying  the  part  which  every  one 
has  to  play  during  his  lifetime,  or  carefully  to  take  into  account  the 
minor  influences  which  go  so  far  to  make  the  cynic  or  the  optimist. 
Something  of  this  preliminary  information  is  imperative  before  a  just 
estimate  can  be  formed  of  the  character  and  writings  of  Henri  Beyle. 
He  was  bom  at  Grenoble  in  1783,  of  a  respectable  bourgeois  family, 
rejoicing  in  all  the  prejudices  and  pretensions  of  a  little  provincial 
town,  where,  however,  they  were  considered  aristocrats.  His  grand- 
father was  a  learned  and  literary  man  and  a  distinguished  phy- 
sician, and  his  mother,  who  came  of  a  good  Milanese  Oeunily,  had 
many  friends  among  the  old  noblesse ;  her  death  when  he  was  only 
seven  years  old  was  an  irreparable  loss ;  it  begun  the  isolation  which 
lasted  to  the  end  of  his  days.  It  was  from  her  that  he  derived  his 
sensibility  and  his  artistic  tastes,  and  it  was  upon  her  country  that  he 
lavished  all  the  affection  he  persistently  refused  to  his  own,  "  the 
country,**  as  he  said,  "  of  independence,  nobility  of  soul,  and  pas- 
sionate sentiments."  The  boy  was  given  up  to  a  treatment  composed 
of  neglect  and  tyranny ;  unloved,  but  ruled  with  arbitrary  strictness, 
his  early  recollections  were  full  of  bitterness,  and,  in  after  years,  he 
declared  that  all  that  reminded  him  of  Grenoble  was  like  a  horrible 
nightmare.  His  literary  tastes,  which  at  ten  years  old  were  already 
quite  decided,  met  with  continual  opposition ;  he  was  obliged  to 
practise  a  good  deal  of  deceit  in  order  to  indulge  his  most  reasonable 
wishes,  and  thereby  were  fostered  a  reserve  and  disingenuousness 
which  was  only  i»tural,  but  doubtless  did  not  endear  him  to  his 
relations.  "  Our  parents  and  our  masters,"  he  would  often  remark, 
^*  are  our  natural  enemies." 

Under  such  management  he  never  knew  the  pleasures  of  happy 

Henri  Beyle.  95 

children,  and  when  such  things  were  spoken  of  before  him,  he 
would  turn  away,  saying,  *' Je  n'ai  rien  connu  de  tout  cela." 

Neither  was  he  any  better  off  when  he  was  sent  to  school :  his 
playmates  could  not  understand  him,  and,  not  taking  much  trouble 
about  the  matter,  set  him  down  as  cold-blooded  and  selfish — he  was 
not  exactly  unsociable,  but  he  had  what  Henry  James  describes  as  a 
fine  conception  of  being  let  alone. 

Under  such  prolonged  and  unfavourable  conditions  his  shyness 
and  habitual  fear  and  distrust  of  all  those  with  whom  he  came 
in  contact  became  intensified,  some  of  his  worst  instincts  were 
devel<^)ed,  and  when  the  time  arrived  when  he  was  thought 
sufficiently  educated  to  take  a  place  in  a  Government  office,  and 
he  found  himself  not  much  more  his  own  master,  and  even  more 
solitary  and  uncared  for  than  ever,  his  melancholy  increased  in  so 
great  a  degree,  and  his  want  of  interest  in  every  thing  he  under- 
took was  so  apparent,  that  all  employment  had  to  be  given  up. 

There  was  no  saying  to  what  state  of  morbid  misery  he  might 
have  been  reduced,  when  by  a  stroke  of  great  good  fortune  the  one 
dream  of  his  unhappy  boyhood  came  near  to  realisation  through  the 
interest  of  Pierre  Daru,  Minister  of  War,  whose  family  was  con- 
nected with  his  own :  he  was  given  a  post  in  the  Commissariat,  and 
in  1800  went  to  join  the  Army  of  Reserve  in  Italy,  in  such  a  delirium 
of  joy  that  he  was  never  able  to  recall  any  incident  of  his  journey, 
his  first  sight  of  Napoleon,  or  his  first  battle.  Regarding  the  latter 
there  sometimes  came  across  him  a  dim  recollection  of  having 
thought  as  he  came  away  fix>m  the  field,  ''  And  was  it  nothing  more 

Promoted  to  the  6th  Dragoons,  he  was  soon  distinguished  for 
courage  and  coolness;  he  had  a  downright  love  of  danger,  and 
during  all  the  horrors  of  the  disastrous  retreat  from  Moscow,  there 
was  no  one  who  showed  a  greater  disr^ard  of  suffering.  It  was 
remarked  that  during  the  worst  days  of  that  terrible  experience  his 
dress  vras  never  n^lected ;  patient  and  self-reliant,  the  demoralisa- 
tion of  his  associates  astounded  him ;  his  own  sang-froid  enabled  him 
to  endure  every  hardship  without  complaint,  and  he  was  acknow- 
ledged to  be  one  of  the  few  who  remained  at  his  post  with  unabated 
zeal;  a  marvel  of  natural  courage,  instinctive  eneigy,  and  an  inr 
faerent  liking  for  strife  and  contention. 

But  when  the  war  was  at  an  end  the  effects  of  fatigue  and  priva* 
don  became  visible,  and  with  broken  health  and  feelings  of  bitter 
disappointment,  the  Emperor's  fall  left  him  without  a  career.  The 
death  of  his  fiither  in  1820,  which  certainly  did  not  otherwise  afflict 

96  The  Gentiematis  Magazine. 

him,  left  him  without  a  penny;  but  he  never  allowed  financial 
troubles  to  disturb  what  he  was  pleased  to  call  his  "splendid  equili- 
brium ** ;  he  found  it  quite  easy  to  live  on  music  and  painting,  to  the 
accompaniment  of  an  innumerable  succession  of  love  affairs. 

Settling  down  at  Milan,  for  some  time  he  led  the  life  which 
entirely  suited  him ;  but  becoming  an  object  of  suspicion  to  the 
Austrian  Government,  through  his  intimacy  with  some  Italian 
patriots,  he  was  obliged  to  return  to  Paris,  where  it  was  not  so  easy 
to  obtain  a  livelihood,  and  where  goddesses  were  not  so  plenty  or  so 
fair,  and  not  nearly  so  romantic ;  he  made  no  scruple  of  confessing 
that  there  was  nothing  to  which  he  found  himself  so  completely 
indifferent  as  "  a  pretty  little  Frenchwoman." 

Full  of  regrets  for  his  mornings  amongst  the  studios,  and  his 
evenings  at  the  opera,  and  having,  as  he  said,  nothing  better  to  do^ 
he  took  to  literature. 

Anti-national  prejudices  were  very  strong  with  Henri  Beyle,  and 
he  made  himself  extremely  unpopular  by  openly  expressing  the 
opinion  that  France  possessed  no  men  of  genius  to  compare  with 
the  poets  and  painters  of  Italy ;  and  this,  it  may  be  remembered, 
was  in  the  early  days  of  romanticism,  of  Chateaubriand,  Hugo, 
De  Vigny,  Ingres,  and  Delacroix.  It  was  with  such  unfavourable 
protests  that  his  real  self  b^;an  to  be  made  manifest,  and  its  effect 
was  soon  seen  in  a  sort  of  ostracism.  His  writings  could  only  con- 
firm the  unfavourable  impression.  It  was  his  boast  to  be  in  no 
d^ree  professional — bound  by  no  rules — belonging  to  no  party, 
depending  solely  on  the  humour  of  the  hour. 

Amateur  and  dilettante,  he  was  incapable  of  serious  and  patient 
composition,  asking  of  literature  just  what  he  asked  of  everything 
else — that  it  should  give  him  pleasure;  his  work  bore  the  impress  of 
carelessness — he  felt  the  seduction  of  authorship,  but  could  not 
bring  himself  to  the  labour  necessary  to  the  perfection  of  works  of 
value ;  neither  did  he  possess  the  critical  gift  which  enables  a  writer 
to  govern  his  creative  faculty  and  economise  his  genius.  It  followed 
that  he  was  only  read  by  a  few  learned  men  who  were  struck  with 
his  bold  and  original  thoughts ;  he  was  sometimes  as  much  over- 
praised as  he  was,  at  others,  unreasonably  disparaged,  and  although 
discussed,  assailed,  and  defended,  his  books  did  not  sell. 

The  Globey  more  favourable  to  him  than  most  journals,  reviewed 
every  book  as  it  came  out,  and,  paying  some  tribute  to  his  candour, 
remarked  that  one  peculiarity  of  his  work  was  that  it  always  appeared 
out  of  date :  that  when  all  the  world  believed  in  classic  tragedy  and 
••'^tcd  Shakespeare  a  barbarian,  he  pointed  out  in  his  "  History  df 

Henri  Beyle.  97 

Painting  '^  that  the  beautiful  was  in  its  essence  infinite  and  various 
in  form ;  whilst  ten  years  after,  when  such  belief  had  been  recog- 
nised and  overpassed,  he  remained  in  the  same  position,  and  was  as 
much  behindhand  in  his  views  as  he  had  formerly  been  in  advance. 

At  heart  somewhat  of  a  classic,  he  broke  a  lance  in  favour  of 
romanticism,  by  defining  it  as  the  art  of  presenting  people  the  literary 
work  which  should  give  them  the  most  pleasure ;  whilst  classicism  was 
that  which  gave  the  most  pleasure  to  their  grandfathers. 

His  first  novel,  "  Quelques  Seines  d'un  Salon  de  Paris  en  1827," 
appeared  in  that  year,  but  if  one  expected  from  the  title-page  to  find 
some  record  of  the  characters  and  manners  of  the  time  there  must 
have  been  considerable  disappointment.  It  is  chiefly  the  story  of 
two  mysterious,  ultra  romantic  beings  who  sacrifice  their  mutual 
affection  to  a  host  of  imaginary  obstacles,  and  although  the  conflict 
of  feeling  and  reason  is  detailed  at  great  length  with  much  pathos 
and  delicacy,  it  has  about  as  much  meaning  as  "  Rouge  et  Noir  "  and 
the  "  Chartreuse  de  Parme,''  but  is  their  superior  in  a  sort  of  juvenile 
freshness.  He  consoled  himself  for  the  flatness  with  which  his  three 
works  of  fiction  were  received  by  the  persuasion  that  he  stood  on 
a  platform  apart  from  his  fellows ;  that  he  alone,  in  a  world  remark- 
able for  a  growing  spirit  of  egoism,  commercial  drudgery,  and  pre- 
occupation, was  susceptible  of  sentiment — that  he  alone  understood 
how  to  appreciate,  and,  above  all,  haw  to  lave. 

As  a  writer  of  history  his  want  of  painstaking  is  very  conspicuous : 
a  great  interest  in  the  Middle  Ages  led  him  to  rest  content,  as  soon 
as  he  had  been  bitten  by  a  subject,  with  whatever  records  he  had 
happened  to  find.  Charmed  with  a  romance,  he  would  not  be  much 
concerned  with  historical  facts,  assuming  that  what  was  known  ta 
himself  must  be  known  to  everybody  else. 

The  condition  of  morals  during  the  Renaissance  offered  him  the 
reflections  in  which  he  delighted,  and  out  of  ihtfaits  divers  collected 
here  and  there  for  his  amusement,  he  made  of  history  just  what 
Emerson  says  it  always  should  be — *'a  cheerful  apologue  or 

But  when  he  condescends  to  real  life — ^to  the  life  of  Napoleon — 
he  throws  an  admirable  light  on  the  days  when  Paris,  escaping  from 
the  Direcioire^  became  essentially  patriotic ;  when  the  only  cry  was 
utilitl  h  la  fatrie^  when  the  Emperor  was  regarded  primarily  as  ^ 
use — ^the  greatest  captain  the  world  had  ever  seen :  indeed,  he  himself 
at  that  time  followed  the  universal  tone  of  enthusiasm,  and  thought 
less  of  his  own  aggrandisement  than  of  the  glory  of  France. 

"  I  had  hoped,"  writes  Beyle,  "  that  some  of  those  who  has 

VOL.   CCLXXXV.      NO.  201 1.  H 

98  The  Gentlemafis  Magazine. 

known  Napoleon  would  have  been  charged  to  relate  the  story  of  his 
life.  I  had  waited  twenty  years,  and  seeing  that  this  great  man 
remains  more  and  more  uncomprehended,  I  would  not  die  without 
stating  the  opinion  of  those  who  knew  him  best^-of  his  companions 
in  arms — for  in  the  midst  of  all  the  platitudes  one  hears,  there  were 
also  men  whose  thoughts  were  free  even  in  the  Palace  of  the 
Tuileries,  then  the  centre  of  the  world." 

This  was  what  Beyle's  writings  did  not  always  possess — the  true 
ring — ^for  Napoleon  was  the  idol  of  the  army,  and  no  ties  are  more 
powerful  than  those  which  bind  the  soldier  to  his  chief. 

There  is  also  some  historic  value,  it  must  be  fairly  admitted,  in 
the  "  Chartreuse  de  Parme,"  where  he  wrote  of  incidents  which  really 
took  place — of  characters  who  had  lived— of  scenes  with  which  he 
was  familiar.  He  describes  the  political  intrigues  of  petty  princes, 
ambitious  churchmen,  conspirators,  carbonari,  all  imbued  with  the 
violent  passions  of  the  time,  its  fiiry,  its  heroism,  its  utter  want  of 
probity  and  mercy.  The  novel  was  reviewed  by  Balzac  in  the 
"  Revue  Parisienne  "  with  a  perfect  storm  of  eulog)',  surprising  no 
one  more  than  the  author  himself,  who  is  said  to  have  burst  out 
laughing  when  he  read  it.  The  enthusiastic  critic  relates  at  length 
the  chief  incidents  of  the  story,  interrupting  himself  with  notes  of 
admiration  at  the  felicity  of  every  new  development  or  any  passing 
reflection  which  seems  to  him  too  true  and  deep  to  be  overlooked. 
Balzac  divides  the  literature  of  the  day  into  two  schools — the  school 
of  "  pictorial  images  "  and  the  school  of  "  ideas."  Of  this  last  he 
proclaims  Stendhal  the  most  distinguished  master,  the  only  obstacle 
to  his  supremacy  being  the  want  of  readers  sufficiently  cultivated  to 
appreciate  it,  these  being  only  to  be  found  amongst  diplomatists, 
politicians,  observers,  eminent  men  of  the  world,  and  distinguished 
artists.  Such  being  the  case,  if  Balzac  is  to  be  credited,  it  is  quite 
conceivable  that  few  journalists  took  time  either  to  study  or  to  com- 
prehend so  great  a  work.  And  the  truth  is  that  the  papers  took  but 
little  notice  of  it.  But  the  author  of  the  "  Com^die  Humaine"  was 
right  in  asserting  that  literary  men  would  better  understand  the 
merits  of  the  "  Chartreuse  de  Parme  " ;  Sainte-Beuve's  award  is  almost 
as  flattering  as  his  own.  He  speaks  of  the  author's  notable  originality, 
and  ranks  him  amongst  the  independent  spirits,  bold  and  strong,  of 
a  much  earlier  age — a  less  conventional  day.  Alfred  de  Vigny 
describes  the  "  Chartreuse  de  Parme  "  as  a  work  full  of  just  observa- 
tions on  the  diplomatic  world,  but  adds  that  it  was  a  low  and  hateful 
world,  and  that  the  portraits  were  so  vivid  and  so  little  disguised  that 
everybody  must  recognise  them* 

Henri  Beyle.  99 

Taine  giyes  Stendhal  the  credit  of  being  a  grand  romancier^  and 
still  greater  psychologist,  but  there  were  others  who  frankly  acknow- 
ledged astonishment  at  so  much  eulogy.  With  Victor  Hugo  a 
profound  antipathy  to  the  man  was  added  to  contempt  of  his  work, 
and  Zola  calb  his  personages  mere  machines,  and  himself  only  a 

Beyle's  philosophy,  which  in  his  own  estimation  comes  next  in 
force  and  clearsightedness  to  his  study  of  love,  was  hardly  so  pene- 
trating as  he  supposed;  he  had  imbued  himself  with  the  spirit  of  old- 
time  thinkers,  whose  tenets  he  copied  with  the  utmost  fidelity, 
setting  aside  modem  investigations  and  conclusions  as  simply 
emphatic  and  declamatory.  Helvetius  had  already  laid  it  down 
that  men  were  not  naturally  wicked,  but  irresistibly  governed  by 
their  interests ;  other  writers  had  stated  that  the  actions  of  a  human 
being  resulted  commonly  from  what  the  laws  have  put  into  his  head 
and  the  climate  into  his  heart,  and  that  if  men  were  duly  enlightened 
as  to  their  true  interests,  they  would  seek  their  own  good  by  being 
useful,  or,  at  all  events,  not  hurtful  to  others.  In  accentuating  these 
certainly  not  very  novel  views,  Stendhal  assured  himself  of  his 
reasonableness,  and  failed  to  remark  that  he  rendered  his  more 
original  convictions  practically  harmless,  merely  narrowing  and 
debasing  his  models,  when  he  asserts  that  happiness  is  the  true  end 
and  aim  of  existence,  that  every  exertion,  every  gift,  should  be 
employed  for  this  all-absorbing  purpose,  and  that  it  is  the  first  duty 
of  genius  itself  to  discover  the  supreme  art  of  being  happy.  It  did 
not  apparently  occur  to  him  that  genius  has  not  hitherto  directed  its 
search  for  this  summum  bonum  with  any  very  great  success.  Both 
theoretically  and  practically  he  indulged  in  a  frank  unmitigated 
egoism,  was  always  prosecuting  his  search,  always  inquiring  of  his 
own  mind  as  to  whether  he  had  attained  to  the  felicity  which  the 
more  he  pursued  became,  as  he  was  obliged  to  admit,  the  more 
illusive.  His  intelligence  forced  him  to  perceive  that  the  struggle 
was  vain,  and  that  every  man  who  thinks  must  be  a  sad  man.  The 
pure  selfishness,  which  hardly  stands  in  need  of  much  cultivation, 
he  extols  as  a  step  in  advance,  and  writes  with  some  self-complacency 
to  one  of  his  friends :  "  I  am  not  one  of  those  philosophers  who  can 
regret  the  rain  when  it  foils  in  June  because  it  may  injure  the  hay- 
harvest  or  the  blossoms  of  the  vine.  The  rain  seems  to  me  delightful 
because  it  soothes  the  nerves,  refreshes  the  air,  and  gives  me  pleasure, 
I  reflect  that  I  may  quit  the  world  to-morrow,  and  may  not  live 
to  taste  the  wine  whose  inflorescence  embalms  the  hills  of  the 
Mont  d'Or." 

loo  The  Gentleman's  Magazine. 

In  another  place  he  boasts  that  he  deplores  the  Revolution,  not 
for  its  tragedy,  but  because  it  deprives  him  of  the  presence  of  the  gay 
and  charming  people  who  never  took  anything  sadly  or  seriously. 

His  essay  on  Love,  which  he  considered  the  most  important  of 
his  writings,  is  no  doubt  a  remarkably  subtle  analysis  of  character 
and  temperament,  but  it  is  full  of  illusions — mistakes— absurdities-^ 
paradox.  His  rules  and  regulations  cannot  be  made  to  fit  so  wide 
and  so  intangible  a  subject  It  was  well  said  that  those  who  know 
most  about  love  seldom  talk  about  it,  and  the  remark  of  Edmond  de 
Goncourt,  that  love  is  the  poetry  of  the  man  who  does  not  write 
verses,  comes  nearer  to  truth  than  many  of  Stendhal's  elaborate 

One  may  gather  that  his  own  experiences  in  what  he  calls  the 
controlling  spring  of  all  the  affairs  of  life  were  curiously  disappoint- 
ing. "  What  is  wanting  in  the  woman  one  loves,"  he  writes,  "  is  the 
habit  of  a  little  attention^  and  the  necessary  logic  to  comprehend  ! " 
And  '*  where,"  he  continues,  "  shall  we  find  the  man  who,  either  in 
love  or  marriage,  experiences  the  happiness  of  communicating  his 
thoughts  as  they  present  themselves  to  his  mind  to  the  woman  with 
whom  he  passes  his  life  ?  He  may  find  a  good  heart  which  partici- 
pates in  his  troubles,  but  he  is  always  obliged  to  change  his  ideas 
into  very  small  money,  if  he  would  be  understood,  and  it  would  be 
absurd  to  expect  counsel  from  an  intellect  which  needs  such  a  rigime 
before  it  can  seize  the  object  submitted  to  it.  The  most  perfect  of 
women,  according  to  the  rules  of  actual  education,  leaves  her  partner 
isolated  in  the  dangers  of  life,  and  very  often  runs  the  risk  of  boring 

The  Revolution  of  1830  and  the  accession  of  Louis  Philippe 
disturbed  Stendhal  in  the  midst  of  his  literary  work ;  he  found  the 
Government  in  accord  with  his  own  political  views,  and  was  appointed 
to  the  Consulship  of  Trieste,  where  he  spent  a  year  lamenting  over 
his  banishment  to  a  dull  place  with  uncongenial  surroundings.  He 
was  transferred  to  Civita  Vecchia,  which  was  hardly  more  enlivening, 
but  from  whence  he  permitted  himself  frequent  absences  without 
much  regard  to  official  requirements ;  delightful  excursions  far  and 
near  renewed  the  spirit  of  the  tourist  that  was  within  him,  and  the 
want  of  steady  work  which  made  his  more  pretentious  writings  so 
unsatisfactory — his  hatred  of  trammels  and  his  strong  objection  to 
give  himself  any  trouble — seemed  to  belong  of  right  to  the  wanderer, 
who  from  day  to  day  and  hour  to  hour  received  new  facts  and  new 
impressions.  The  want  of  accuracy  in  his  historic  work,  the  irregu- 
larity and  sketchiness  of  his  novels  and  essays,  his  general  want  of 

Henri  Beyle.  loi 

order  and  sequence,  were  not  out  of  rule  in  the  records  of  the  sight- 
seer. His  "  Promenades  dans  Rome,"  where  he  had  studied  every 
edifice — ^was  at  home  in  every  ruin,  and  observant  of  every  relic — is  a 
delightful  guide-book,  and  whenever  he  met  with  congenial  travellers 
be  made  himself  an  invaluable  cicerone,  contriving  even  to  evade  the 
ennui  which  was  the  bugbear  of  his  own  existence. 

Considering  himself  at  liberty  to  indulge  in  his  favourite  habit  of 
mystification,  he  enjoyed  the  pleasure  of  misleading  his  friends  by 
dating  his  letters  from  every  imaginable  abode,  signing  himself  by 
various  grotesque  pseudonyms,  whilst  under  such  innocent  diversions 
he  felt  as  if  renewing  his  past  Bohemian  light-heartedness ;  but  one 
day,  seated  on  the  steps  of  an  old  church,  there  came  upon  him  the 
moment,  so  pathetically  described  by  Victor  Hugo,  when  "  the  weight 
of  years  fell  suddenly ''  upon  him ;  he  realised  that  he  was  more  than 
half  a  century  old,  and  felt  affected  as  if  by  an  imexpected  misfortune. 
It  came  into  his  mind  to  write  the  story  of  his  life,  but  it  was  already 
too  late.  He  had  only  time  to  correct  some  old  manuscripts,  when 
he  was  forbidden  to  employ  his  already  over-taxed  brain  with  any 
sort  of  literary  work.  The  neglect  of  this  advice  brought  on  an 
attack  from  which  he  never  recovered. 

He  had  composed  his  own  epitaph  in  the  language  of  the 
country  he  always  spoke  of  as  his  own,  and  it  was  engraved  with 
the  date  of  his  birth  and  death  in  the  cemetery  of  Montmartre : — 

Arrigo  Beyle, 





1 02  The  GetUlemaiis  Magazine. 


Shakespeare's  Earl  of  Pembroke. 

INTEREST  is  unending  in  the  relations  between  Shakespeare  and 
his  two  noble  friends,  the  Earls  of  Southampton  and  Pembroke, 
and  the  question  which,  if  either  of  these,  was  the  Mr.  W.  H.  to 
whom,  as  their"  onlie  begetter,"  the  publisher  dedicated  Shakespeare's 
sonnets  is  constantly  debated.  The  balance  of  opinion  between  the 
two  is  pretty  evenly  held,  though  Mr.  Sidney  Lee,  the  latest  and  in 
some  respects  the  best  equipped  of  the  disputants,  leans  strongly  to 
the  side  of  Southampton.  I  had  the  privil^e  the  other  day,  in 
common  with  some  other  Shakespearean  students,  of  inspecting  a 
portrait  of  William  Herbert,  third  Earl  of  Pembroke,  which  seemed 
likely  to  throw  some  light  upon  the  subject.  The  portrait  in  question 
is  in  the  possession  of  the  present  Earl  of  Pembroke,  is  dated  1630, 
the  year  of  death,  and  is,  according  to  the  opinion  of  experts,  un- 
mistakably genuine.  Some  portions  have  probably  been  retouched, 
but  the  portrait  is  accepted  as  that  of  Shakespeare's  Earl.  At  the 
back  is  a  vellum  script  in  black  letter,  consisting  of  extracts  from  the 
eighty-first  sonnet.  If  this  writing  were  genuine  the  question  as  to 
who  was  the  "  begetter  "  of  Shakespeare's  sonnets  would  be  definitely 
settled.  The  man  to  whom  Shakespeare  wrote  lines  such  as  the 
following  is  undisputably  the  subject  of  the  dedication  : — 

Your  name  from  hence  immortal  life  shall  have, 

Though  I,  once  gone,  to  all  the  world  must  die  I 

The  earth  can  yield  me  but  a  common  grave, 

When  you  entombM  in  men's  eyes  shall  lie. 

Your  monument  shall  be  my  gentle  verse, 

Which  eyes  not  yet  created  shall  o'er-read, 

And  tongues  to  be  your  being  shall  rehearse 

When  all  the  breathers  of  this  world  are  dead ; 

You  still  shall  live — such  virtue  hath  my  pen — 

Where  breath  most  breathes,  even  in  the  mouths  of  men. 

Unfortunately  the  script  in  question  is  not  later  than  the  close  of  the 
last  century,  and  so  the  entire  processes  of  debate  and  conjecture  have 
to  be  resumed. 

TaJ>le  Talk.  103 

Mystery  Concerning  Mr.  W.  H. 

ONE  thing,  however,  the  verses  on  the  picture  do  for  us.    They 
carry  back  the  first  ascription  to  the  Earl  of  Pembroke  of 
the  dedication  of  Shakespeare's  sonnets  into  the  last  century  instead 
of  leaving  it  to  the  present    This  amounts  to  little,  but  so  far  as 
it  goes  it  is  interesting.    It  is  a  strange  portion  of  the  mystery  that 
surrounds  the  life  of  Shakespeare  that  we  are  practically  in  the  dark 
as  to  who  was  Mr.  W.  H.  to  whom  Shakespeare  could  address  lines 
so  admiring  and  affectionate.    Among  Shakespeare's  friends  there 
must  have  been  many  who  knew  all  about  him.    Had  Ben  Jonson 
but  happened,  during  his  visit  to  Drummond  of  Hawthomden,  to 
have  mentioned  the  matter,  we  should  have  learnt  all  that  is  to  be 
known.    Drayton,  again,  was  most  probably  in  possession  of  the 
truth,  as  were,  it  may  reasonably  be  supposed,  very  many  more.     No 
one,  however,  seems  to  have  thought  the  facts  worthy  of  record, 
possibly  because  they  were  so  familiar.       Thomas  Thorpe,  the 
publisher,  had  probably  no  idea  of  concealment  in  using  initials, 
though  that  cannot  be  positively  affirmed.     At  any  rate,  the  point 
remains  open,  and  is  likely  so  to  remain  in  spite  of  the  reams  of 
paper  that  have  been  covered  concerning  it.     Men  of  authority  have 
changed  their  opinions  within  the  last  few  years,  and  it  is  all  but 
certain  that  a  century  hence  the  world  will  be  debating  as  eagerly 
and  as  fruitlessly  as  now  it  debates. 

Mr.  Wyndham's  Edition  of  Shakespeare's  Poems. 

IT  is  only  in  late  years  that  the  same  scrutiny  which  has  long  been 
customary  in  the  case  of  the  plays  of  Shakespeare  has  been 
applied  to  the  poems.  Now  even  the  sonnets  are  more  frequently 
analysed  with  a  view  to  arriving  at  the  heart  of  the  mystery  they 
contain  than  for  the  purpose  of  bringing  to  general  recognition  their 
poetical  beauties.  Mr.  George  Wyndham,  whose  new  edition  of  the 
"  Poems  of  Shakespeare "  *  is  the  best  yet  given  to  the  world, 
b  practically  the  first  to  draw  attention  to  their  lyrical  perfection 
instead  of  trying  to  make  them  fit  into  some  preconceived  view. 
The  narrative  poems  have  for  centuries  been  slighted,  while  around 
the  sonnets  has  accumulated  a  "portentous  mass  of  theory  and 
inference."  To  use  Mr.  Wyndham's  pleasing  illustration :  "  The 
probing  in  the  sonnets  after  their  author's  story  is  so  deeply  perplexed 
an  enterprise  as  to  engross  the  whole  energy  of  them  that  essay  it, 
so  that  none  bent  on  digging  up  the  soil  in  which  they  grew  has  had 
time  to  count  the  blossoms  they  put  forth."  Hazlitt,  one  of  the 
soundest  of  critics,  has,  as  Mr.  Wyndham  tells  us,  denounced  the 

I  Methuen&Co. 

I04  The  Gentleman's  Magazine. 

narrative  poems  as  "  ice-houses  " ;  and,  more  remarkable  still,  Cole- 
ridge has  found  that  they  stand  in  need  of  defence.  Mr.  Wyndham,  on 
the  other  hand,  maintains  that  the  "Venus,"  the  "Lucrece,''  and  the 
sonnets  are  primarily  lyrical  and  elegiacal.  *'  They  are  concerned 
chiefly  with  the  delight  and  the  pathos  of  Beauty,  and  they  reflect 
this  inspiration  in  their  form ;  all  else  in  them,  whether  of  personal 
experience  or  contemporary  art,  being  mere  raw  material  and  con- 
ventional trick,  exactly  as  important  to  these  works  of  Shakespeare 
as  the  existence  of  quarries  at  Carrara  and  the  inspiration  from 
antique  marble  newly  discovered  were  to  the  works  of  Michel- 
angelo." . 

The  Place  in  Literature  of  the  Poems. 

WE  have  hoped  for  an  edition  of  the  poems  such  as  Mr. 
Wyndham  supplies,  and  have  had  long  to  wait.  Now  that 
it  has  arrived  we  commend  it  heartily  to  those  of  our  readers  whom 
the  subject  interests,  classing  the  book  with  the  ''  Diary  of  Master 
William  Silence  "  of  Judge  Madden,  and  Mr.  Lee's  "  Life  of  Shake- 
speare" in  the  "Dictionary  of  National  Biography,"  to  both  of  which 
we  have  previously  drawn  attention  as  the  most  important  contribu. 
tions  to  our  knowledge  of  the  greatest  of  Englishmen  that  modem 
days  have  seen;  far  more  important  than  the  huge  epitome  of 
conjecture  and  analysis  of  Dr.  Brandes,  which  Mr.  Archer  has 
recently  translated  for  our  benefit.  I  have  not  space  to  deal 
adequately  with  the  distinguishing  features  of  this  latest  and  best 
edition.  I  can  only  commend  to  my  readers  the  careful  study  of  a 
book  in  which  the  full  significance  and  value  in  literature  of 
Shakespeare's  poems  are  for  the  first  time  shown.  Sonnet  Sequences, 
as  every  student  of  literature  knows,  were  among  the  commonest 
features  of  Elizabethan  literature.  Among  these  Shakespeare's 
sonnets  stand  first.  It  is  otherwise  with  the  narrative  poems.  The 
"  Rape  of  Lucrece  "  in  especial  stands  alone  in  Elizabethan  poetry, 
and  has  few  fellows  in  English  literature.  Leaving  out  of  the 
question  ballads,  the  romantic  stories  in  English  verse  that  even  by 
courtesy  can  be  called  good  may  be  counted  on  the  fingers  of  one 
hand.  "  There  are,"  says  Mr.  Wyndham,  "  but  two  arches  in  the 
bridge  by  which  Keats  and  Chaucer  communicate  across  the 
centuries,  and  Shakespeare's  *  Lucrece '  stands  for  the  solitary  pier." 
The  "Venus and  Adonis,"  the  "Lucrece"  and  the  sonnets,  meantime 
are  "closely  united  in  form  by  a  degree  of  lyrical  excellence  in  their 

magery  and  rhythm  which  severs  them  from  kindred  competitors," 
and  "are  the  first  examples  of  the  highest  qualities  in  Elizabethan 
lyrical  verse."    So  well  is  this  said  that  we  m\\  not  even  trouble 

*  ask  concerning  Marlowe.  svlvanus  urban. 



August  1898. 


By  W.  F.  Alexander. 

A  MAN  and  woman 'sat  together  at  the  top  of  a  big  clifif,  mostly 
grass  grown,  but  corniced  with  ragged,  preciD^pus  edges  that 
fell  dizzily  down  to  the  slow  swirl  of  the  waves  beneam  ^  They  were 
plain  folks,  these  two,  and  the  autumn  afternoon  was  fresh  and 
genial;  yet  their  attitude  was  not  ostentatiously  suggestive  of ''  some- 
thing between  them."  It  is  true  that  the  woman's  eyes  dwelt  a  good 
deal  on  the  brown,  keen  face  of  the  young  fisherman,  as  he  seemed 
to  be ;  but  he,  for  some  reason  of  his  own,  preferred  to  gaze  with  a 
ferocious  obstinacy  at  the  patch  of  sea  lying  just  under  the  brown 
beak  of  the  next  headland  southward.  It  was  from  the  south  that 
the  wind  was  coming,  when  it  came  at  all. 

Below  them  on  the  other  side,  in  one  of  those  sheer,  well-like 
coves  that  are  only  found  on  the  coast  of  North  Cornwall,  a  little 
vessel,  a  ketch  of  some  forty  tons  burden,  pulled  lazily  at  her  anchor. 
The  tourist  of  the  present  day  would  have  considered  her  an  inter- 
esting addition  to  the  scenery ;  but  at  that  period,  namely,  in  the  first 
decade  of  this  century,  such  whimsies  were  unheard  of,  and  to  the 
plain  mind  her  presence  there — ^in  a  harbour  without  a  master  and 
quite  unrecognised  by  the  Trinity  House — had  a  distinct  suggestive- 
ness.  You  had  to  consider,  of  course,  the  nature  of  the  country 
inland,  the  bleak,  rugged  moor,  fantastically  sown  with  mining 
chimneys  and  seared  with  quarries,  a  slatey,  thirsty  country,  where 

VOL.   CCLXXXV.      NO.    2012.  I 

io6  The  Gentlemafis  Magazine. 

miners  had  plenty  of  money  in  their  pockets  on  a  market  night  in 
Redruth.  Noting  that,  you  saw  that  the  place  was  admirably  adapted 
for  the  good  old  trade  of  outwitting  King  George's  excisemen. 
Hence  the  preoccupation  of  the  look-out  man,  which  left  him  no 
eyes  to  spare  for  the  sprightly  brown  head  all  but  leaning  on  his 
shoulder— who  could  say  but  the  King's  cutter  might  slip  into  view 
round  Trevose  at  any  moment  ?  However,  the  crew  of  the  Francis 
Beddoe  had  been  there  before,  and  their  business  had  seldom  been 
seriously  interrupted. 

The  woman  felt  that  opportunities  were  being  wasted.  She 
began  to  talk — in  that  soft  Celtic  voice  which  belongs  to  the  Cornish 
sea-board,  and  which,  rather  languorous  and  droning  as  it  always  is, 
seemed  in  her  case  to  betray  a  perhaps  unfortified  confidence  in  the 
man  beside  her. 

"  Do  ye  stop  in  tha  cove  over  'morrow,  Ralph  ?  "  she  asked,  with 
a  sanguine  intonation. 

The  man  glanced  round.    "  D'ye  see  what  wind  it  is  ?    Youll 
be  telling  me,  belike,  if  that  'uU  hold  to-morrow  ?  "  he  ejaculated,  with 
masculine  scomfulness.    The  woman's  eye  roved  in  search  of  that 
invisible  enemy  to  her  peace,  the  south  wind. 
/   "  You'll  be  running  up  Channel  again  ?  "  she  inquired  acutely. 

"  Ay,  there's  barrels  o'  the  stuff  for  oop  Bideford  way — 'twouldn't 
be  Christian  like  not  to  beach  them  in  a  wind  like  thiccy,"  Ralph 
said,  with  a  curious  blink  of  the  eyes.  "  Now  ye  know  what  I  know, 
Milly  Pethick,"  he  said  humorously,  a  little  as  though  speaking  to  a 

Milly  felt  the  superiority  he  implied,  and  relapsed  into  silence. 
But  she  was  of  too  communicative  a  nature  to  waste  many  of  those 
long  minutes  on  that  lonely  cliff— so  seldom  that  they  were  together, 
too— in  mere  gazing  for  a  revenue  cutter,  which  plainly  was  not 
there.  And  there  were  things  she  knew  more  of  than  Ralph 

"  I  was  at  the  preaching  t'other  day,  up  to  Scorrier,  since  ye  was 
away.  Amazin'  doings — amazin',"  she  began,  finding  her  fresh 

The  young  smuggler  beside  her  merely  grunted,  but  her  tongue 
ran  on  undiscouraged.  "  'Twere  amazin'  beautiftil  langwidge,  I  tell 
ye,  Ralph,  and  a  grand  sight  of  people  there.  Twas  the  Methodies, 
they  called  'em,  and  'twas  in  the  old  quarry  pit,  that's  grassed  over 
now,  an'  the  big  sides  of  it  were  fair  black  with  the  people,  an'  most 
of  'em  groanin'  and  sobbin'  to  hear  the  words — it  made  me  feel  as 
twere  summat  like  the  Last  Judgment,  by  a  manner  of  speaking  ! " 

Dawn  Zdbuioe  Way.  jpyt 

She  pliGsed,  with  a  visible  hesitation.  "Then  they  up  and  sung, 
and  there  was  I  crying  that  lamentable ! "  she  went  on,  taking 
courage,  "an'  when  I  comes  away  I  says  to  myself — '  It's  well  for  ye, 
Milly  Pethick,'  I  says, '  that  Ralph  isn't  to  home,  or  what  would  he  be 
making  of  them  red  eyes  you  got?' "  she  ended,  with  a  curious, 
half-childlike  laugh. 

The  man's  bearing  indicated  that  he  was  vaguely  impressed,  also 
that  he  was  labouring  not  to  appear  so.  He  picked  a  handful  of 
grass,  bit  at  the  blades,  then  whistled. 

"  You'll  be  gettin'  notions  into  your  head,  going  along  with  they 
Methodies!"  he  said  presently,  with  an  indefinite  alarm.  His 
uneasiness  was,  perhaps,  not  without  ground,  for  the  girl's  demeanour 
was  mysteriously  changed;  she  glanced  at  him  now  with  a  quick 
scrutiny  and  a  certain  shame. 

*'  Ralphie,  dear,"  she  said,  with  eyes  cast  down  along  the  rank, 
sharp  grasses,  "  there's  a  heavy  thing  on  my  mind  ! " 

"What  'ull  that  be,  MOly?"  he  asked  resignedly,  with  no  sur- 

"  I  be  wondering,  Ralph  Hocken,  when  would  ye  be  after  marry- 
ing me — honest  like  ?  "  she  said  brokenly. 

"I'll  be  honest  enough  for  a'  that — ^time  coming — ^trust  me  for 
it,"  he  said  grufiiy,  not  unkindly. 

"  Ay,  but,  Ralph  darlin',  ye  know  there's  times  and  times,"  she 
went  on,  leaning  closer  to  him.  "A  man's  time  is  his  own  fancy, 
like^  but  it's  awful  different  with  a  woman — it's  her  need." 

The  man  gazed  at  her  with  open-mouthed  dismay.  "  I  wasn't 
thinking  it  stood  so  with  ye,  Milly,"  he  said  penitently,  though 
feeling  himself  hardly  used.    "  By  God,  what's  thiccy  1 " 

"  Thiccy  "  was  the  revenue  cutter,  gliding  along  like  a  pyramid 
of  white  canvas,  with  all  sail  set^  well  past  the  point.  She  had 
slipped  round  it  like  a  ghost  while  that  too  engrossing  conversation 
had  been  going  on ;  she  was  coming  on  with  a  jaunty  feather  of 
spiay  at  her  bow ;  in  a  quarter  of  an  hour,  at  most,  the  business  of 
the  Jrands  Beddoe^  except  in  the  very  doubtful  event  of  her  getting 
out  clear,  would  be  wound  up  with  dire  results.  Hocken  raised  both 
hands  to  his  mouth,  trumpet-fashion,  and  shouted  fiercely  down  to  the 
cove  below.  It  was  a  weird,  inarticulate,  half-human  shout,  but  it 
told  its  tale  successfully.  Half  a  dozen  men,  who  had  been  lounging 
over  the  ketch's  deck  a  moment  before,  sprang  to  the  capstan  like 
cats  and  whirled  the  bars  round,  sending  up  a  sharp  clank  of  metal 
to  the  quiet  cliffs ;  the  anchor  came  up  dripping,  the  jib  fluttered 
out    Ralph  Hocken,  who  had  kept  a  panther-like  eye  on  the  cutter's 

X  2 

loS  TAe  Gentlemaiis  Magazine. 

progress  while  this  went  on,  now  determined  on  joining  his  ship— at 
a  crisis,  certainly,  when  one  of  the  baser  sort  would  have  preferred 
the  chance  of  watching  events  from  the  shore.  "  We'm  be  meeting 
another  day,  belike,  Milly,**  he  shouted  to  the  girl  over  his  shoulder; 
before  she  could  find  a  word  he  was  crashing  down  the  breakneck 
path  to  the  cove,  stumbling  and  sliding  with  an  avalanche  of  loose 
stones  under  his  feet  The  ketch's  dingey  had  been  left  for  him  on 
the  beach  below;  in  a  few  seconds,  as  it  seemed,  he  was  shoving  her 
off,  then  hb  sculls  were  making  big  white  eddies  on  the  oily  surface 
of  the  cove,  as  he  rowed  furiously  after  the  vessel  now  clearing  the 
entrance.  It  had  all  seemed  to  happen  like  a  flash,  like  the  darting 
swoop  of  a  seagull ;  just  that  time,  it  seemed  to  Milly  Pethick,  it  had 
taken  to  turn  her  narrow  world  upside  down. 

But  she  was  not  thinking  of  any  remoter  issues,  as  she  stood 
there  on  the  cliff-top  to  watch  that  momentous  chase.  She  saw  the 
ketch  creep  into  the  open,  and  into  view  of  the  revenue  vessel  as 
well ;  she  could  hear  the  creak  of  the  pulley  as  the  smuggler's  main- 
sail went  up;  but  the  pursuer,  with  all  her  way  on  already,  seemed  to 
be  rushing  up  hand  over  hand,  and  the  woman  above  cried  out  aloud 
against  the  unfairness  of  it.  But  a  moment  after,  the  brown  sails  of 
the  ketch  bellied  out  with  the  fresh  wind  that  the  cutter  was  bring- 
ing along  with  her.  The  smuggler  was  scudding  sturdily,  making  a 
good  race  for  her  life ;  the  shimmering  gap  of  water  between  them 
seemed  to  remain  the  same,  or  almost  so.  To  Milly's  eye  they 
seemed  to  crawl.  From  her  height  it  looked  a  procession  of  toy 
boats,  for  all  the  grim  meaning  it  had,  and  then — was  the  gap  between 
the  white  sail  and  the  brown  really  lessening?  The  girl  vaguely 
wondered  if  it  was  wrong  to  pray  about  a  thing  like  that  Surely 
not,  she  reasoned  to  herself — Heaven  could  never  be  quite  unre- 
servedly on  the  side  of  the  excisemen.  But  now  she  was  wholly 
absorbed  in  the  act  of  watching,  with  face  harder  set,  and  lips  quiver- 
ing ;  the  gap  was  slowly  closing,  beyond  a  doubt  Suddenly  there 
came  a  flash  from  the  cutter's  bow,  a  sparkling  column  of  water  leaped 
up  right  under  the  smuggler's  quarter,  it  seemed,  and  before  the  dull 
echo  came  up,  half  spent  by  the  distance,  Milly  knew  their  shot  had 
missed.  Minutes  passed  while  she  waited  the  next  with  straining 
eyes ;  it  came,  and  the  water  spurted  again  where  the  shot  feU ;  then 
another  report  answered  it,  not  from  the  cutter  this  time—an  uncer- 
tain, feeble  explosion,  that  hardly  stirred  the  echoes  of  the  cliffs;  yet, 
when  she  could  bear  to  look  again,  the  topmast  of  the  King's  cutter 
was  down,  cut  in  two  by  that  impertinent  bullet,  and  the  white  top- 
sail lay  trailing  in  the  water  alongside.    *'  He  done  it,  my  Ralphie 

Dawn  Zabuloe  Way.  109 

done  it»"  the  woman  screamed,  with  wild  exultation,  clapping  both 
hands  to  the  empty  air.  "  Yell  go  home  proud  to  Plymouth  noo," 
she  added,  addressing  the  cutter,  which  was  already  tacking  round, 
with  all  hands  engagol  in  clearing  the  wreckage  from  her  bows. 

The  smuggler's  sail  had  become  a  brown  fleck  on  the  northward 
horizon  before  Milly  picked  up  the  basket  in  which  she  had  brought 
provisions  for  the  solace  of  the  contraband  traders,  and  began  to 
make  her  way  homewards.  It  was  a  barely  visible  footpath  she 
followed  across  what  seemed  an  interminably  empty  moor,  with 
many  stone  dykes  to  be  climbed,  till  she  reached  a  cart-track ;  then, 
at  a  certain  landmark,  which  looked  like  a  grim,  pretematurally  tall 
gravestone,  and  was  really  a  ruinous  Cornish  cross,  she  turned  a 
sharp  comer  of  the  hill,  and  the  village  of  2^buloe  lay  beneath  her 
The  route  she  had  come  by  was  known  to  few  of  the  inhabitants ; 
but  the  news  was  there  before  her,  for  the  other  end  of  Zabuloe 
straggled  down  to  an  inlet  of  the  sea,  and  its  people  mostly  lived,  in 
the  bodily  sense,  on  fish,  and  mentally  on  tales  of  smuggling.  All 
down  the  street  of  rickety,  white-gabled  cottages  they  were  discussing 
it,  each  doorstep  telling  its  neighbour  how  "  the  English  ran  right 
oop  on  they,  and  the/m  asleep,"  and  how  ''  the  boys  shot  the  King's 
mast  right  under,  tha'  did,"  a  feat  over  which  local  feeling  allowed 
itself  a  generous  gufiaw.  The  speech  of  those  parts  still  recognised 
a  rigid  distinction  between  English  and  Cornish,  and  smugglers  were 
not  called  smugglers  at  Zabuloe ;  they  were  spoken  of  delicately  as 
''  them  that  comes  up  along  whiles,"  or  simply  as  *'  the  boys." 

Milly  found  her  return  home  a  little  damping  after  her  hour  of 
keen  sensation.  The  cottage  kitchen,  with  its  moist  stone  floor  and 
low  black  rafters,  seemed  unusually  stifling;  what  was  worse  was  that 
the  present  Mrs.  Pethick,  her  stepmother,  was  engaged  in  curing  a 
haddock,  an  all-engrossing  act  to  her,  and  she  barely  lifted  her  face 
fix>m  the  salting-tub  when  the  girl  blurted  out  her  news.  <'  Ay,  I 
do  hear  there's  furious  doings,  fighting  and  such  like,"  she  said 
resignedly.  "Your  father"  (die  a  was  pronounced  so  as  closely  to 
resemble  the  sound  of  baa)  *'  he's  oot  after  tha  pigs,"  she  added,  as 
though  the  two  events  were  very  much  of  equal  importance.  There 
was  a  silence ;  then  certain  squealings  and  scurryings  were  audible 
outside,  and  Pethick  himself  came  in,  a  loose-limbed,  slow  man, 
near  the  fifties,  with  an  oracular  manner  of  speech. 

*'  Proud  doings,  I  calls  'em,  proud  doings,"  he  said  ominously ; 
"  'tis  terrible  likely  there'll  be  a  coming  down  for  some  of  'em.'' 
Pethick  had  been  "  brought  in  by  the  Methodies  "  earlier  in  life,  and 
remembered  the  great  change  he  had  undergone,  at  least  when  events 

no  The  Gentletnatis  Magazine. 

sapplied  an  opportunity  for  prophetic  gloom.  And  Milly,  subduing 
herself  in  a  comer  of  the  settle,  felt  that  her  father's  pessimism  was 
somehow  dreadfully  contagious. 

"  I  say  as  Zabuloe's  lookin'  up  wonderful — 'tis  flat  rebellion,  they 
calls  it,"  a  more  cheerful  voice  piped  over  the  wicket,  and  Mrs.  Sam 
Moyse's  ruddy,  weather-beaten  face  beamed  in  on  the  assembly. 
**  Tis  flat  rebellion,"  she  repeated,  as  though  the  phrase  struck  her 
as  exquisitely  humorous ;  for,  though  a  rough  old  soul,  Mrs.  Moyse 
was  essentially  light-hearted,  and  the  Crack  of  Doom  itself  would 
not  improbably  have  left  her  chuckling  at  the  confusion  it  caused 
among  her  neighbours.  '*  Twere  a  wonderful  standing  up  again  the 
powers  that  be— a  mighty  high-spirited  deed,  I  calls  it,"  she  added,  in 
evident  gratitude  for  the  sensation. 

"  Twere  Ralph  Hocken  done  it,  I  most  believe — a*  told  me  a' 
would  do  it  when  they'm  coming  too  close  ! "  Milly  struck  in,  too 
glad  of  suppK)rt  to  remember  the  claims  of  discretion. 

'*  Lord,  and  to  hear  ye  speaking  up  so  smart  for  'im,"  was  the 
instant  reply,  accompanied  by  a  curious  chuckle.  "It's  well  if 
Ralphie  Hocken  done  no  worse  than  that,"  Mrs.  Moyse  added 
meaningly,  but  still  with  unfailing  cheerfulness. 

Milly's  face  burned  red,  and  the  visitor  departed  in  the  midst 
of  a  discomfited  silence.  The  elder  Pethicks  exchanged  glances. 
**  Twill  be  long  enough  ere  ye  see  Ralph  Hocken  scaramouching  on 
these  coasts  again,"  the  father  said,  in  a  tone  of  dismal  conviction. 

Slow  moving  time  confirmed  that  forecast  too  well.  The  last 
autumn  sunlight  flickered  out,  and  winter  came  in  with  sea  fog  and 
dark  weather,  and  for  one  long  month,  then  for  another,  nothing 
was  heard  of  the  Francis  Beddoe  anywhere  that  side  of  the  county. 
Yet  the  wind  blew  from  all  quarters  during  that  time,  and  from  the 
south  pretty  often,  so  that  the  run  from  the  French  coast  would  have 
been  easy  enough  if  they  had  a  mind  for  it.  Writing  was  not  an 
accomplishment  much  cultivated  on  board  of  the  smuggler — in  old 
days  the  first  thing  Milly  knew  of  Ralph  Hocken's  return  used  to  be 
a  pebble  lightly  tossed  against  her  window  at  dead  of  night,  then 
a  low-pitched  voice  that  went  through  her  "  fluttery-like,"  as  she 
expressed  it  at  rare  moments  of  confidence.  Though  Zabuloe  bom, 
Hocken  had  his  reasons  for  avoiding  the  place  by  daylight ;  so  that 
they  used  to  meet  again  only  when  Milly  went  over  to  the  cove 
carrying  provisions— a  service  which  was  the  price  she  paid  for  the 
secret  of  its  exact  whereabouts,  and  paid  heavily  too  with  the  ache 
of  her  arms,  for  the  distance  was  about  four  miles.  But  it  was  the 
tap  of  the  pebble  she  thought  about,  listened  for  now,  often  lying 


Down  Zabuloe  Way.  \\\ 

sleepless  in  her  bed,  with  her  troubles  keeping  grisly  watch  besidq 
her ;  and  often  she  heard  it  in  her  dreams,  and  jumping  up  to  open 
the  low  window,  found  the  street  empty  and  the  great  silence  of  the 
night  above.  That  silence  seemed  to  her  more  awful,  more  ill* 
boding  to  her  as  the  months  stole  on. 

"  He  might  have  come  back  just  once,"  Milly  thought  repeatedly* 
as  she  went  about  her  business,  helping  in  the  house,  minding  the 
pigs  out  of  doors,  and  so  forth.  All  down  the  long,  winding  street  of 
Zabuloe  she  was  conscious  that  people  looked  at  her  queerly,  with 
a  certain  satirical  complacency ;  that  some  old  acquaintances  threw 
into  their  "  Well,  Milly,  and  how's  all  prosperin*  wi'  you  ? "  a  kind 
of  roguish  intention  that  sometimes  made  her  wince  and  hurry  on, 
leaving  a  half-stifled  titter  behind  her.  It  was  not  tliat  Zabuloe 
people  were  censorious,  she  knew  that  well  enough ;  all  that  they 
intended  generally  was  an  amicable  recognition  of  the  fact  that 
they  Pethicks  were  no  better  than  other  folk,  after  all." 

He  might  'a  come  just  the  once,"  the  girl  thought  after  every 
humiliation  of  that  sort ;  he  might  have  come  on  foot  across  the 
county — ^for  the  one  night — that  would  have  been  safe  enough, 
surely,  in  a  country  where  the  arm  of  the  law  was  still  so  wonderfully 
slow  and  uncertain.  The  idea  of  Hocken  getting  someone  to  write 
a  letter  for  him  never  crossed  her  mind — nor  his,  probably  ;  it  was 
highly  doubtful  if  the  talent  of  any  of  his  mates  rose  higher  than 
certain  weird  hieroglyphics,  denoting  barrels  and  hogsheads,  with 
straight  dashes  in  front  for  the  number.  Nor  was  it  very  clear  to 
Alilly  what  could  have  happened  if  Ralph  had  come.  She  dreamed 
vaguely  of  a  secret  nocturnal  marriage  that  would  set  her  right 
with  the  world — dreamed,  too,  of  his  taking  her  away  to  some 
unimaginable  place  down  south,  where  there  would  be  no  more 
tribulation — she  was  ready  to  follow  him  even  to  that  outlandish 
Fiance,  perilous,  blood-stained  country  as  it  was,  if  he  chose  that 
For  there  was  a  vein  of  romance  strangely  mixed  with  a  vein  of 
seriousness  in  her,  that  made  her,  as  Zabuloe  said,  "  sort  o'  way  out 
beyond  other  folk." 

But  Hocken  never  came,  and  mid-winter  was  here  already. 
Even  at  Zabuloe  the  afiair  of  the  Francis  BedJoe  had  ceased  to 
occupy  the  public  mind  ;  the  story  had  been  told  and  retold,  and  it 
was  very  generally  forgotten  that  its  denouement  was  still  to  seek. 
Its  interest  had  paled,  oddly  enough,  before  one  of  those  strange 
ferments  of  religious  excitement  that  sweep  now  and  then  with  a 
mysterious  spontaneity  and  a  seemingly  irresistible  force  over  the 
mining  districts  of  Cornwall — in  short,  a  Methodist  revival.    And 

113  The  GentUman's  Magasine. 

Milly  Pethick  herself^  in  her  then  dejected  and  forlorn  condition, 

was  precisely  one  of  those  who  felt  themselves  in  that  strange 

awakening  to  be  sheaves  ready  for  the  sickle,  or  brands  for  the 

burning,  as  the  inscrutable,  long-forgotten  Will  might  have  decided. 

On  one  Sabbath  night  far  in  the  winter,  she  found  herself  in  the 

new  chapel  at  the  mining  village  of  Scorrier.    T<^ether  with  old 

Pethick  and  three  others  of  the  &mily,  she  had  tramped  some  four 

or  five  miles  of  the  tremendous  ascent  up  the  moors  to  be  at  the 

preaching,  for  Scorrier  was  a  peculiarly  zeidous  centre  of  the  revival, 

and  the  number  "  brought  in  "  there  was  spoken  of  throughout  the 

district  with  the  excited  awe  that  floats  around  a  miracle.     The 

chapel  presented  four  gaunt  whitewashed  walls,  lighted  within  by 

train-oil  lamps,  with  rigid,  blindless  windows,  through  which  the  night 

outside  looked  pretematurally  black ;  but  all  that  was  forgotten  in 

the  wonder  of  the  dense  crowd  that  thronged  the  really  narrow  space. 

It  was  one  mass  of  faces,  all  common,  hard-lined,  labouring  faceff, 

turned  to  the  preacher  with  one  single  expression,  as  it  seemed,  of 

rapt  and  bewildered  and  terrified  attention,  yet  so  uniform  and 

unchanging  that  the  crowd  seemed  to  have  become  one  creature, 

with  their  individual  existences  lost  in  a  common  emotion,  and  their 

gaze  resembled  the  gaze  of  the  mesmerised.     But  it  was  the  wave  of 

eound  now  and  again  sweeping  through  them  that  told  most — the 

long  gasp  that  went  round  the  meeting  at  some  fiercer  denunciation 

of  doom ;  then  a  wild,  hysterical  outcry  would  struggle  up  from  the 

thick  of  the  crowd  i  "  We'm  all  sinners ;  we'm  bound  for  tha  pit, 

surely  I "  which  swelled  into  a  strange,  hoarse  volume  of  sound, 

lasting  till  it  gathered  up  the  voices  of  all.     "  Lord  a'  mercy  on  w^ 

a'  mercy  on  we,"  a  long  groan  mingled  with  a  volley  of  ejaculations, 

"  Tis  the  sure  word,"  or  "  Praised  be  His  Name,"  strangely  enough, 

among  the  commonest ;  and  then  the  overwrought  tension  would 

subside  for  a  moment,  till  the  urgent  clamouring  voice  of  the  man 

preaching  drew  towards  another  climax.    And  very  often  a  man  or 

woman  would  rise,  with  a  face  quite  altered  by  a  strange,  half-frenzied 

nng,  "  I've  hold  on  'im,  I've  got  'im  fast,  surely,"  then  staler 

to  the  bench  for  the  converted;  and  so  tense  was  the  moral 

:re,  that  the  people  who  were  groaning  an  instant  before  would 

t  into  a  chorus  of  thanksgiving,  as  though  wholly  forgetting 

es  in  the  magnetic  influence  thaf  swept  through  the  crowd. 

3f  the  first  to  be  carried  away  by  that  mysterious  influence 

y  Pethick.     It  mattered  little  that  the  hubbub  made  it 

le  to  follow  at  all  closely  the  sermon  which  stined  it  up — a 

no  doubt  incoherent  enough  itself,  built  up  of  little  but 

'    Dtnvn  Zabuloi  Way.  113 

ligODised  warnings,  repeated  till  the  man's  voice  cracked  and  shrieked, 
of  the  hereafter  awaiting  his  hearers.  But,  as  often  happens,  as 
must  have  happened  to  many  different  people  on  that  night,  it 
seemed  to  Milly  Pethick  that  the  preaching  bore  directly,  with  a 
miraculous  appropriateness,  on  her  own  case.  She  heard  that  all 
present  were  in  a  state  of  deadly  sin,  and  shuddered  with  a  personal 
conviction  of  the  truth.  There  was  no  better  or  worse  among  them, 
no  human  virtue  that  would  not  shrink  likea  rag  in  the  great  burning ; 
she  believed  it — and  in  a  way  that  strong  condemnation  was  almost 
a  relief.  With  panting  breath,  she  took  heart  a  litde ;  she  hoped 
that  she  was  accepting  the  testimony. 

Suddenly  the  words  "unequally  yoked  with  unbelievers"  struck 
her  cold  again — she  could  have  sworn  the  preacher's  eye  singled  her 
out;  she  could  have  hated  him.  The  terrible,  exalted  voice  went  on 
and  on ;  she  heard  him  repeating  the  text,  "  He  that  loves  father  or 
mother  more  than  Me  " — "  ay,  or  sweetheart  either,"  he  interpolated, 
with  a  swift,  bitter  emphasis,  for  he  was  a  young  man,  hot  with  his 
message — and  she  shook  from  head  to  foot,  leaning  on  the  back  of 
the  nearest  bench  to  support  herself.  A  moment  before  she  had 
seemed  to  herself  lost  in  the  crowd,  so  obscure  that  heaven  might 
somehow  pass  over  her ;  now  she  knew  her  case  was  judged  before- 
hand ;  there  she  stood  straight  in  the  path  of  that  flaming  damnation. 
There  came  a  tumult  of  sound,  and  the  preaching  man's  voice 
stopped,  exhausted,  no  doubt ;  then  suddenly  a  wailing  hymn  rose, 
spontaneously  it  seemed,  from  many  voices : — 

Walking  on  the  brink  of  sin, 
Topbet  gaped  to  take  us  in, 

it  began.  Milly  felt  herself  floating  on  the  volume  of  sound  as  on 
water,  the  dense  lines  of  faces  swirled  hither  and  thither ;  to  her 
conliised  apprehension  the  white  walls  of  the  chapel  were  glowing 
with  light,  the  blank  windows  seemed  to  open  straight  on  the  outer 
darkness  of  the  eternal  night — like  colossal  portals,  looming  to  receive 
the  lost  Then  everything  swam  hazily  through  her  tears;  an 
abyssmal  sense  of  helplessness  took  hold  of  her.  Presently  through 
the  dark  there  emeiged  a  pin-point  of  light,  a  childlike  confidence 
that  she,  Milly  Pethick,  could  not  be  intended  to  bum  for  ever.  She 
went  on  listening  to  "  the  words  "  with  a  rapt  fascination.  Suddenly 
a  hand  seemed  to  push  her  forward  without  any  will  of  her  own ;  she 
staggered  through  the  crowd,  held  up  by  an  actual  hand  here  and 
there ;  her  own  voice  was  shrieking  something  aloud,  and  she  had 
no  idea  what  she  intended  to  say.  Then  utter  blankness  sank  on 
her,  and  she  £ednted  away.    When  she  recovered  herself,  she  was 

ti4  The  Gentlemafis  Magazine. 

propped  up  on  a  comer  of  the  penitents'  bench ;  she  knew  she  had 
made  her  profession,  and  marvelled  at  the  power  beyond  herself  that 
had  brought  her  there.  The  former  Milly  had  been  left  behind  on 
that  other  bench ;  a  new  and  sinless  creature  sat  here,  she  believed 
— it  had  been  given  her  to  believe  it. 

Milly's  conversion  was  received  by  2^buloe  with  a  fairly  equal 
mbcture  of  edification  and  scoffing.  It  is  true  that  she  went  about 
during  the  next  month  with  an  exaggerated  modesty  of  gait,  and  eyes 
abstracted  from  earth  to  a  degree  that  was  likely  in  the  circumstances 
to  exasperate  the  children  of  this  world.  It  exasperated  the  Church 
of  England  parson,  among  others,  till  the  reverend  gentleman,  honest 
sportsman  as  he  was,  grew  a  shade  more  scarlet  in  the  face  as  he 
cited  "that  Pethick  trollop"  for  an  example  of  the  fact  that  de- 
bauchery led  straight  to  Methodism.  It  was  a  natural  transition  to 
argue  that  Methodism  must  lead  to  debauchery.  But  other  obstinate 
worldlings,  preferring  racy  anecdotes  to  doctrine,  were  content  to 
chuckle  openly  at  the  prospect  of  an  approaching  scandal  among  the 
saints.  All  surmised  that  Milly  lived  in  expectation  of  the  return  of 
the  Francis  Bcddoe,  They  were  right  up  to  a  point,  as  the  world 
always  is ;  but  they  failed,  in  spite  of  satiric  observation  of  turned-up 
eyes,  to  realise  the  full  difference  between  the  old  Milly  and  the  new. 
The  former  Milly  had  been  the  creature  of  hope  and  bitterness  in 
wild  alternation ;  she  had  longed  for  a  glimpse  of  that  dirty  brown 
canvas  gliding  under  Zabuloe  cliffs  again,  had  felt  something  like 
hatred  against  the  man  for  whose  sake  she  was  a  castaway.  And 
now  the  new  creature  strove  to  put  aside  hope  and  bitterness  alike, 
and  persevered  in  thinking  of  his  return  as  a  temptation  the  more. 
She  saw,  or  strove  to  see,  the  text  "  Be  not  yoked  with  unbelievers  ** 
written  in  letters  of  flame  across  her  dark  horizon.  Unknowingly  she 
stood  at  the  collision-point  of  the  two  wild  forces  that  stirred  in  the 
Cornwall  of  her  day — ^the  defiance  of  the  law  and  the  fanaticism  of 
**  the  Gospel." 

No  supporter  of  Church  and  State  in  the  whole  district  could  be 
more  sardonic  over  the  revival  than  Jim  Sanders,  the  chief  excise- 
man, a  bull-necked,  stumpy  fellow,  with  a  cunning  eye,  which  oddly 
belied  his,  no  doubt,  acquired  bluffness  of  demeanour.  He  went 
about  his  district  knowing  himself  hated  through  the  length  and 
breadth  thereof,  with  a  joke  on  his  lip  for  every  man  or  woman  on 
his  rounds — baiting  his  hook,  he  called  it— and  he  dearly  enjoyed 
roasting  a  Methody ;  but  behind  that  seeming  mirth  one  fixed  idea  was 
ever  lying  in  ambush.  That  was,  of  course,  his  passion  for  the  dis- 
covery of  clandestine  hogsheads,  and,  no  doubt,  it  was  merely 

Dawn  Zabuloe  Way.  115 

donnant  when,  on  one  heavy  winter  afternoon,  he  came  down  the 
steep  hill  leading  into  Zabuloe  from  Port  Isaac,  whistling  a  tune  sofdy 
to  himself,  and  caught  up  Milly  Pethick,  who  was  driving  the  family's 
one  cow  home  from  pasture.  Having  a  good  sea-eye,  he  had  marked 
her  through  the  mist  that  clung  between  the  dripping  hedges,  while 
she,  glancing  back,  had  descried  only  a  squat  figure  plodding  behind 
her — not  Ralph,  she  knew  at  once — and  had  gone  dreaming  on,  with 
half  an  eye  to  the  slow-jogging  flanks  of  the  animal  before  her. 
Consequendy,  when  he  came  beside  her,  with  a  '*  Well,  Milly,  that's 
a  lonesome  job  for  a  fine  maid  like  yourself ! "  she  visibly  started,  and 
was  at  a  loss  for  an  answer  to  civilly  repulse  the  implied  offer  of  his 
company.  But  exciseman  Sanders  took  that  very  easily;  he  pro- 
ceeded to  walk  beside  her,  and  inquired  with  uncommon  gentleness 
concerning  the  health  of  the  Pethick  family,  and  further  about  the 
health  of  the  cow.  He  recommended  a  new  species  of  oil-cake  for 
the  beast,  which,  like  the  rest  of  creation,  was  "  not  as  grand  as  it 
might  be,"  and  Milly  became  interested  in  spite  of  herself.  Their 
talk  glided  into  familiarity. 

"They  do  say  ye  were  brought  in  by  the  Methodies  up  to  Scor- 
rier?"  the  exciseman  inquired,  with  no  more  than  the  bluntness 
common  to  unlettered  folk.  Milly,  indeed,  was  used,  almost 
hardened,  to  the  question. 

"Yes,  Mr.  Sanders,  I  have  experienced  the  great  change,"  said 
she,  in  her  new  manner,  with  a  pious  pursing  of  the  lips. 

"Well,  well,  there  may  be  some  as  is  suited  that  way  ! "  Sanders 
murmured,  with  unlooked-for  tolerance.  "  There's  honest  folk  every- 
where, IVe  heard  tell." 

"  Tain't  for  some,  'tis  for  all ;  'tis  all  have  sinned,  Mr.  Sanders," 
Milly  said,  with  a  tremulous  unctuousness. 

"  Tis  folks'  feelings  boils  up  yeastly-like  in  'em,  an'  then  they 
sets  themselves  up  for  Apostles,  free  as  you  please,"  the  other  retorted 
dogmatically.  "And  them  running  proud  athwart  o'  the  law,  too— 
there's  some  o'  them  powerful  pious  folk  as  is  over  deep  in  defraud^ 
ing  the  revenue,  I  know,"  he  added  sorrowfully,  but  with  a  gleam  of 
stratagem  in  his  eye. 

"  That  was  afore  I  experienced  the  blessed  change,  Mr.  Sanders,  if 
ye're  meaning  me,"  Milly  said,  scorning  evasion,  "and  a  proud,  sad 
sinner  I  was  in  they  days,  surely.  I  saw  ye  onst,  Mr.  Sanders,  and 
crep'  along  t'other  side  of  the  wall,"  she  ran  on,  not  without  a  twinkle 
of  quite  human  feeling. 

"  Ay,  ye  would  be  going  over  the  brow  towards  Barras  Head> 
likely? "'— the  exciseman's  accent  was  one  of  pure  gossip  as  he  pot 

xi6  Th$  GentUman's  Magazine. 

out  this  tentative  feeler.  But  MiUy  became  suddenly  silent,  the 
secrets  of  the  guilty  past  were  secrets  still.  The  enemy  tried  another 

'*  Tis  a  proud  thing  for  a  maid  like  yourself  to  ha'  been  mixed  wi^ 
such  lawless  doings,''  he  began,  '*  flying  in  the  very  face  of  King 
George" — the  exciseman  solemnly  lifted  his  cap.  "Twould  be  heavy 
on  your  conscience  now  all's  changed  wi'  'ee,  I'm  thinking." 

''Tis  true  I  don't  care  to  be  remembered  o'  it  now,  surely/' 
Milly  answered,  with  tact. 

''Ay,  but  when  we  done  wrong  we  must  remember,  lassie,  an' 
make  amends  when  'tis  possible,"  the  other  said,  almost  paternally. 
He  paused,  watching  her  with  a  shrewd  eye.  "It  'ud  be  some 
amends,"  he  went  on,  "nothing  to  speak  of,  belike,  but  it's  for  King 
George — bless  him — if  ye  would  just  gi'e  me  an  indication  where- 
abouts it  was  they  landlouping  fellows  brought  their  stuff  ashore. 
Twould  be  handy  knowing  it  when  some  other  gang  comes  along," 
he  added  soothingly,  seeing  the  old  Eve  in  her  on  the  point  of 
flashing  out. 

"  Ye  think  they  be  never  coming  back  ? "  Milly  asked  blankly, 
thinking  only  of  the  gang  she  knew. 

"  Not  they;  they'm  over  knowing  for  that,  I'll  go  bail,"  the  excise- 
man asserted  roundly  and  scornfully. 

"Then  why  should  ye  be  arstin'  such  things  of  me,  Mr.  Sanders?" 
MiUy  inquired  pointedly. 

"Just  because  'tis  my  business  to  ask  them  questions,"  he  said, 
with  a  long-suffiering  air,  "me  being  in  the  King's  service  and  a  right- 
dealing  man,  though  no  Methody.  Likewise  'tis  your  sacred  dooty 
to  answer,  lassie — in  the  King's  name,  mark  ye  that ! " 

Milly  stood  still  in  the  road,  half  facing  him,  clearly  perplexed ; 
and  for  a  moment  the  exciseman's  highly-trained  face  was  guilty  of 
extreme  astonishment  He  had  all  the  cunning  that  a  monomania 
can  inspire — his  pursuit  of  contraband  cargoes  was  no  less  a  passion 
with  him  than  that ;  but  here  was  an  instance  where  his  cunning  had 
merely  stumbled  by  chance  on  a  golden  opportunity.  He  was  far 
from  reading  what  passed  in  Milly's  soul — she  herself  only  read  it  in 
fragments — it  was  confused  enough  with  the  old,  sad  echo  of  "  he  will 
never  come,"  clashing  with,  "  he  will  come  too  late,"  and  the  opiate 
sense  of  her  own  new-found  righteousness  smothering  it  all.  And 
she  was  no  traitor  "for  sure,"  but  there  was  the  restful  thought  of 
ofiiering  up  her  old  life  as  a  sacrifice,  to  be  blessedly  free  of  it  that 
way ;  and  certainly  there  was  no  craving  for  vengeance  in  her,  her 
mind  was  too  full  of  the  thought  of  salvation  for  that    To  please 

Dotvn  Zabuloe  Way.  117 

the  Power  above  with  that  sacrifice  and  to  have  no  ill  come  of  it— « 
sorely  none  could  come — ^that  would  be  laying  hold  of  the  blessing 
indeed.  *'  Folk  that  were  saved  should  speak  truth,"  she  repeated 
to  herself,  eyeing  the  curled  sprays  of  ivy  on  the  stones  by  the  lane 
ade,  then  glancing  up  and  down,  wondering  why  no  one  came 
along.  They  were  quite  alone ;  the  only  sound  audible  was  the  cow 
cropping  the  wayside  grass,  making  the  most  of  unlooked-for  oppor* 
tunities ;  and  Sanders  showed  no  inclination  to  move,  for,  as  it  hap* 
pened,  they  had  halted  at  a  convenient  spot,  with  the  first  houses  of 
Zabuloe  just  out  of  sight  at  the  next  turning. 

«Was  it  in  Blackapit  they  come  ashore?"  he  suggested  presently, 
with  a  coaxing  voice. 

*•  Don't  you  think  they'll  never  come  back,  Mr.  Sanders,  sir  ?  ** 
Milly  questioned  back  desperately. 

"  Who's  they?"  the  excise  man  exclaimed,  with  an  air  of  immense 
peiplexity.  "D'ye  mean  the  old  gang?  Lord  love  ye,  he  won't 
oome  back  no  more." 

"  I  trust  the  Lord  do  love  me,  Mr.  Sanders." 

"No  doubt  He  do.    And  would  it  be  Blackapit? " 

"  No,  it  were  not,"  Milly  cried,  triumphant  at  having  that  much 
to  deny. 

"Well,  it  were  somewheres  else,  then,"  Sanders  said  patiently. 
"  Would  it  be  Ruthen  Cove  ?  " 

Milly  heaved  a  great  sigh.    "Yes,  it  were,"  she  answered. 

"  Will  ye  swear  to  it,  Milly  Pethick  ?  "  he  asked  fiercely,  catching 
at  her  arm. 

"  Yes,  I  swear  it,  sure  enough,"  she  said,  with  a  dejection  that 
warranted  her  truthfulness.  "  Ye've  promised  no  harm  shall  come 
to  *un,  haven't  ye  ?  " 

It  was  the  merest  figment  of  her  brain,  but  the  exciseman  pru- 
dently left  her  in  possession  of  it 

Milly  said  not  a  word  on  the  subject  of  her  singular  conversation 
with  Sanders,  and  the  next  day  that  personage  himself  had  vanished 
from  Zabuloe.  He  was  missing  throughout  the  next  fortnight,  for  a 
good  reason,  seemingly,  as  heavy  gales  blew  from  the  nor'-west  all 
that  time,  and  "white  water"  swept  every  cranny  of  the  rock-bound 
shore,  so  that  no  vessel  could  stand  in  within  bare  sight  of  the  coast 
The  gale  dropped  at  last,  but  a  sullen  wind  and  heavy  swell  came 
after  it,  still  running  from  the  northward.  And  then  word  went 
round  that  the  Francis  Beddoe  had  been  sighted  at  last,  tacking  up 
against  wind  some  twenty  miles  away.  "  Twere  a  wonder  they  lived 
through  the  gale,"  all  Zabuloe  said ;  "  but  there,  'twas  only  peacefid 

ii8  The  Gentlemafis  Magazine. 

folk  the  drowning  was  for.''    Milly  prayed  that  the  wind  might  hold,  * 
might  drive  the  Francis  Btddoe  into  some  port  to  the  southward,  and 
so  *Mead  those  unhappy  men  out  of  temptation,"  as  she  phrased  it 
to  herself. 

Towards  sundown  on  the  second  day  wind  and  swell  subsided 
together.  Milly  stood  to  watch  on  the  low  point  outside  Zabuloe 
Harbour,  and  at  once  knew  the  meaning  of  that  steely  blue  in  the 
winter  sky,  stretching  cold  and  still  over  quiet  waters  far  to  the  west- 
ward. She  gazed  at  it  with  quivering  eyes,  seeing  in  it  a  pitiless 
reality  beyond  the  reach  of  her  hopes  or  her  prayers.  Dimly,  but 
surely,  a  great  upheaval  was  traversing  her  whole  being ;  it  was  as 
though  that  calm,  firm-lined  horizon  and  its  wintry  light  showed  her 
the  truth  at  last ;  her  self-righteousness  seemed  to  dissolve  away  like 
a  mist  before  it ;  she  was  waking  from  a  dream. 

Now  she  knew  herself  to  be  in  grievous  straits,  through  her  own 
act,  though  surely  in  a  state  of  grace ;  she  ransacked  her  memory  for 
texts  suitable  to  the  occasion,  and  none  would  come.  The  fatal 
trend  of  circumstances  bewildered  her ;  she  gave  up  thinking,  and 
threw  herself  on  her  impulse. 

There  were  a  few  figmres  moving  about  among  the  craft  beached 
behind  the  breakwater.  Milly  paused  till  the  last  of  these  had 
retreated  towards  the  village,  then  followed  slowly  as  far  as  the  fore- 
shore inside  the  harbour.  She  stood  there  till  the  boats  and  nets 
about  her  became  an  indistinguishable  blur  in  the  fast  falling  twilight 
Then,  scarcely  giving  a  look  for  possible  watchers,  she  stole  to  one  of 
the  smaller  skiffs  lying  on  the  sand,  it  being  now  low  water,  and  felt 
its  weight  by  laying  one  hand  on  the  gunwale  aiid  swaying  it  a  little 
from  one  side  to  another.  She  passed  on  to  another,  then  to  a  third, 
and  the  repeated  experiment  ended  in  her  muttering  a  word  that 
sounded  unregenerate,  for  these  craft  were  all  too  heavy  by  far  for  her 
strength.  At  last  she  found  one  that  might  have  been  built  for  her — 
the  lightest  there,  and  with  a  remarkably  low  freeboard,  to  boot — 
then  some  quick-breathing  moments  fumbling  at  the  knots  of  its 
painter  in  the  dark,  and  there  she  was  afloat  in  it  With  some  not 
highly  skilful  strokes,  she  paddled  it  clear  of  the  breakwater,  and  so 
into  the  open  sea,  bound  on  a  lawless  errand  in  a  craft  she  had 
pirated.    It  was  an  unholy  sequel,  indeed,  to  her  conversion. 

Fortunately  she  never  gave  a  thought  to  such  subtleties,  but 
pulled  steadily  at  the  oars,  hoping  to  reach  the  mouth  of  Ruthen 
Cove  before  the  night  grew  entirely  dark,  and  then  lie  off  at  a  safe 
distance  till  the  Francis  Beddoe  stood  in,  which  would  not  happen, 
she  knew,  while  twilight  made  it  possible  for  the  vessel  to  be  sighted 

DtnvH  Zabuioe  Way.  119 

from  the  coast  So  she  toiled  on,  stroke  after  stroke,  over  the  dun*' 
coloured  water,  soon  gaining  a  considerable  distance  from  the  landi 
and  the  ni^t  came  down  thick  about  her.  Still  she  rowed  on, 
hardly  daring  to  cease  for  fear  lest  the  thought  of  the  work  yet  to 
be  done  should  daunt  her.  The  oars  seemed  to  bum  her  hands, 
and  her  arms  drooped  with  a  hardly  bearable  weakness.  But  she, 
fortunately,  came  of  a  common  labouring  stock,  well  used  to  aching 
muscles  for  many  generations ;  she  was  desperately  in  earnest  about 
her  errand,  too,  in  her  blind,  impulsive  way — indeed,  without  both 
these  conditions  she  could  never  have  ventured  on  it,  seeing  the 
state  of  health  she  was  in  at  the  time.  As  it  was,  she  was  soon 
forced  to  ''  easy  "  sadly  often,  in  spite  of  the  tide  helping  her  along. 

There  was  nothing  but  the  dark  grey  water  in  sight  now,  with 
the  moonless  night  lying  heavy  on  it;  no  movement  but  that  of 
a  slow,  invisible  swell  that  heaved  the  boat  up  under  her  and  slid 
away  into  the  darkness.  The  silence  was  like  some  evil  presence 
near  her;   she  grew  frightened  at  the  panting  of  her  own  breath. 

Then  she  fancied  herself  too  far  out  from  shore,  and  giving  the 
boat's  head  a  turn,  rowed  desperately  on  till  the  dull  thud  of  a 
wave  in  some  undercut  hollow  of  the  cliff  came  to  her  ear  like  a 
voice  of  doom,  and  the  swishing  of  the  surf  seemed  to  fill  the 
night  with  sound.  Turning  her  head,  she  saw  it  gleam  strangely 
white  through  the  darkness,  and  there  above  were  looming  outlines 
of  the  cliffs,  vague  and  appalling  in  their  shadow,  towering  to  a 
height  she  had  formed  no  notion  of  before.  They  seemed  wholly 
strange  to  her,  like  the  rocks  of  some  weird,  uninhabited  shore. 
On  and  on  the  boat  drifted,  carried  largely  by  the  tide,  sometimes 
into  the  open  water  of  some  bay,  often  perilously  near  the  rocks, 
when  the  sough  of  a  wave  and  a  glint  of  spray  would  suddenly 
break  the  dead  quiet,  and  brave  straining  at  the  oars  was  needed 
to  get  clear.  Then,  standing  out,  she  would  lose  sight  of  land  again, 
till  the  nameless  horror  of  the  sea  drove  her  back.  The  gigantic 
slopes  of  the  headlands  were  unrecognised  and  dreamlike  to  her 
eyes ;  she  had  long  lost  all  notion  of  place  or  time.  Vaguely  and 
despondently  she  hoped  to  drift  somehow  into  the  course  of  the 
Francis  Beddoe.    She  had  no  thought  of  going  back. 

What  were  those  cliffs,  she  wondered,  asking  herself  if  possibly 
they  were  that  strange  southern  coast  that  she  had  her  alluring 
fancies  about  in  other  days,  but  never  fancied  sinister  and  terrible 
like  this.  In  among  them  was  a  dark  hollow,  a  pit  of  shadow, 
that  kept  her  gazing ;  the  strange  look  of  it  made  her  heart  stand 
still,  though  all  but  too  weary  to  realise  her  fear.      In  another 

120  The  Gentlematis  Magazine. 

moment  she  could  have  laughed  outright,  the  place  was  Ruthen 
Cove  itself;  she  knew  it  by  the  rock  shaped  like  a  seal's  head 
standing  out  clear  enough  against  the  sky-line.  The  sudden  rally 
of  her  vigour  allowed  her  to  recognise  that  the  smugglers'  ketch 
could  not  possibly  have  arrived  yet ;  there  was  nothing  left  for  her 
but  to  wait,  resting  on  her  oars  mainly,  letting  the  tide  carry  her 
down,  till  the  seal's  profile  lost  its  shape,  then  the  few  strokes  back 
till  it  grew  clear  again. 

That  interminable  up  and  down  movement  seemed  to  have  lasted 
for  many  hours.  The  sea  and  the  night  had  almost  lost  their  terror 
for  her  now,  but  the  very  cessation  of  fear  could  only  open  another 
door  to  weariness.  The  boat  rocked  very  gently,  for  the  swell  was 
gradually  subsiding ;  the  chafing  noise  of  the  foam  seemed  slowly  to 
invade  her  brain,  drowning  her  wilL  By  slow  degrees  she  was 
sinking  far  down  into  a  depth  where  darkness  and  watery  sound  made 
one  element— the  oars  had  slipped  from  her  hold ;  she  grasped  them 
again  and  pulled  a  few  strokes  languidly.  Then  utter  darkness 
closed  round  her. 

Suddenly  she  woke,  dazed  and  listening.  There  were  lights  in 
the  cove,  flickering  along  the  rocky  walls,  a  confused  noise,  shapes 
moving,  a  shouted  word  of  command  that  dominated  the  hissing  of 
the  surf.  In  her  ears  there  was  the  echo  of  another,  more  ominous 
sound  that  had  woke  her ;  she  rowed  in  without  venturing  to  think, 
and  scrambled  over  the  boulders,  to  stand  dumfounded  at  the  crowd 
of  men  who  surged  and  swayed  in  the  glare  of  the  torches.  The 
first  she  clearly  saw  was  exciseman  Sanders,  a  drawn  cutlass  in  his 
hand,  and  a  devilish  glee,  it  seemed  to  her,  on  his  face ;  and  then  her 
eye  went  straight  to  Ralph  Hocken.  He  stood  among  a  group  of 
some  four  or  five,  manacled  and  crowded  together  within  a  ring  of 
armed  men,  and  his  face  looked  deathlier  than  the  others,  though  all 
bore  signs  of  heat  and  bitter  excitement  More  than  one  poor 
fellow  lay  on  the  shingle,  gashed  with  the  stroke  of  a  cutlass — one, 
seemingly  of  the  exciseman's  party,  lay  prone  on  his  face  with  a 
dreadful  stillness.  The  fight— such  a  fight  as  half  a  dozen  could 
make  against  twenty,  was  just  over — it  was  the  noise  of  firearms  that 
had  wakened  her. 

They  were  lighting  more  torches  now,  and  by  the  light  that 
blazed  all  through  the  narrow  cove  Milly  could  see  the  Francis 
Beddoe  lying  there  a  short  stone's  throw  from  the  shore,  and  under- 
stood at  last  what  had  happened.  They  must  have  passed  close  to 
her  while  she  was  asleep,  had  anchored  without  suspicion,  then, 
coming  ashore,  had  walked  straight  into  the  ambush  laid  for  them* 

Down  Zabuloe  Way.  lii 

'  All  that  passed  through  her  mind  in  a  single  Hash  \  she  noted,  too, 
that  none  of  those  men  seemed  to  be  aware  of  her  presence.  She 
was  standing  as  yet  outside  the  circle  of  the  torchlight,  and  instinct- 
ively she  shrank  £strther  back  among  the  sliadows  of  the  rocks. 
^Vhat  should  they  care  for  her  ?  she  asked  herself  bitterly.  Her 
opportunity  was  gone. 

A  movement  was  taking  place  among  the  excisemen  guarding 
the  prisoners.  Milly  watched  it,  and  saw  that  the  escort  was  prepar* 
ing  to  take  them  up  the  cliff  pathway  to  some  unknown  destination 
inland.  Then  a  wild  desire  for  speech  came  over  her ;  she  sprang 
forward,  brushing  past  two  of  the  guards  with  their  naked  cutlasses, 
ran  blindly  against  a  torch-bearer  with  an  impetus  that  sent  a  shower 
of  sparks  whirling  round  them,  and  before  the  excisemen  rg^vered 
from  their  surprise,  had  grasped  Ralph  Hocken's  hands  in  her  own. 
He  stared  at  her  amazedly ;  while  one  or  two  among  the  representa- 
tives of  the  law  laughed  gruffly  at  this  feminine  invasion ;  but  Milly 
was  beyond  regarding  it. 

"  I  tried  to  keep  awake  for  'ee,  Ralphie,"  she  panted.  "  I  was 
cot  yonder  in-a  boat — somebody  or  other's  'twas — to  warn  ye  ;  but  ye 
were  over  long  coming." 

"  Tis  main  curious  to  see  'ee  along  o'  these,"  Ralph  said,  looking 
from  her  to  the  excisemen,  who  stood  round  in  a  circle,  seemingly 
unwilling  to  interfere  before  it  was  absolutely  necessary.  "  Gi'e  us  a 
kiss,  Milly,  lass,"  he  went  on  half-dreamily,  ''  'tis  kind  of  public,  I 
know,  but  'tis  the  last  ye'll  see  of  me,  I'm  thinking." 

The  girl  shrank  back.  "  Ye  don't  know  who  ye're  asking,  Ralph," 
she  cried.  "Ye  don't  know  I  told  on  ye,  as  how  ye  come  ashore  in 
this  woeful  place,  an'  that's  why  I  pulled  the  boat  down  to  warn  ye. 
'Twere  all  along  o'  the  religion,  and  ye  not  coming  back  an'  all — 
'tis  a  queer  maze  now,"  she  said,  pressing  her  hands  upon  her 
forehead.     "  Will  ye  not  say  ye  forgive  me  ?  " 

"  I  don't  rightly  understand  what  ye're  saying,  Milly,"  he 
answered,  as  though  rebuffed.  The  look  of  a  wild  animal  at  bay 
came  over  his  face  again  as  he  glared  round  him,  seeming  to  realise 
his  terrible  situation  afresh.  "  I  reckon  I  be  as  dead  as  he  is,"  he 
said  to  her  in  a  hoarse  whisper.  "  I  done  that  to  'un,"  nodding  to 
the  prostrate  shape  of  the  exciseman  lying  face  forward  on  the  stones, 
as  still  as  they. 

''  Ralphie,  'twere  my  doin',"  the  girl  screamed  wildly,  and  dung 

to  him  and  kissed  him.    It  was  as  though  that  kiss  served  for  a 

signal ;   they  were  instantly  pulled  apart,  for  the  excisemen  had 

''  waited  long  enough,  and  Milly  was  pushed  back  wrestling  frenziedly 

VOL.  CCLXXXV.      NO.   2013.  K 

122  The  Gentleman* s  Magazine. 

against  two  brawny  pairs  of  arms.  <<Tis  enough  flirtations  for 
to-night,"  a  hideously  jovial  voice  said  to  her.  She  saw  the  column  of 
men  filing  up  the  steep  pathway  in  the  torchlight,  and  struggled  after 
them.  She  fell  against  a  boulder.  Somebody  helped  her  to  rise.  The 
torches  were  receding  farther  and  farther  up  among  the  rocks,  and 
all  the  light  of  her  dark  world  seemed  vanishing  with  them.  <*  Us 
ull  have  to  carry  the  poor  thing  oop,"  said  the  jovial  voice  again, 
close  to  her  ear,  and  then  she  was  grasped  and  lifted  by  strong  men, 
staggering  slowly  over  the  rough  ground,  and  she  knew  no  more. 

Milly's  recollections  were  sorely  confused  when  she  woke  at  her 
home  in  Zabuloe,  but  one  sensation  remained  very  vivid  in  her  mind. 
It  was  the  touch  of  the  thing  that  bound  Ralph  Hocken's  hands 
together,  a  simple  rope,  not  an  iron  chain,  as  she  had  fancied,  seeing 
it  from  a  distance.  There  was  one  idea  that  possessed  her,  and 
kept  her  intently  plotting  while  she  lay  in  bed  there  in  the  low-ceiled 
room,  looking  quite  white  and  spectral,  no  doubt,  to  the  people  who 
came  and  hovered  about  her,  muttering  inarticulate  sounds  of 
dismay,  and  who,  indeed,  resolved  themselves  mainly,  when  she  came 
to  think  of  it,  into  the  single  form  of  Mrs.  Pethick,  There  were 
voices,  too,  talking  on  incessantly  downstairs,  and  she  struggled  to 
hear  what  they  were  saying — in  vain,  for  a  long  time;  till  at  last  she 
made  out  the  two  words  that  kept  recurring  like  a  croaking  chorus, 
and  they  were  "  fencibles  "  and  '*  Bodmin."  "  There's  some  says  it 
'ull  be  to-morrow,"  came  a  voice  shriller  than  the  others,  presumably 
that  of  Mrs.  Moyse,  and  the  words  aroused  the  girl  upstairs  like  the 
shock  of  an  electric  coiL  Suddenly,  without  feeling  the  effort,  she 
was  on  her  feet. 

Throwing  an  old  dress  loosely  round  her,  she  crept  softly  down* 
stairs  and  into  the  back  kitchen,  the  family  parliament  being 
assembled  in  the  front,  and  too  absorbed  in  its  debate  to  hear  hen 
Once  there,  she  possessed  herself  of  the  strongest  knife  she  could 
discover,  and  sharpened  it  carefully  on  the  grindstone ;  then,  having 
concealed  it  among  the  ivy  at  the  back  of  the  cottage,  she  opened 
the  door  of  the  front  room  and  walked  in.  There  was  no  need  for 
her  to  assume  the  air  of  an  invalid ;  they  propped  her  into  an  arm- 
chair by  the  fire,  and  the  momentous  talk,  the  very  thing  she  had 
come  to  hear,  suddenly  lapsed  <'  Poor  thing,  she  do  look  like  a 
ghostie  1 "  Mrs.  Moyse  and  two  other  female  visitors  kept  spas* 
modically  remarking  to  each  other,  much  as  though  she  was  not 
present  Her  escapade  of  last  night  seemed  to  be  altogether 

But  it  was  not  in  the  Cornish  nature  to  refrain  very  long  from  so 

Down  Zabuloe  Way.  123 

thrilling  a  topic  as  the  capture  of  the  smugglers,  and  their  ultimate 
fate.  Milly  soon  gathered  the  crucial  facts — that  the  prisoners  were 
now  in  the  cellar  beneath  the  market  house,  which  served  as  a 
lock>up;  that  a  party  of  militia,  otherwise  called  fencibles,  were 
coming  to  escort  them  to  Bodmin,  where  they  would  be  tried  ;  and 
also  that  they  would  not  be  moved  from  Zabuloe  till  the  soldiers 
arrived.  Milly  aifected  a  great  deal  of  languor,  to  induce  the  others 
to  talk  as  they  would  if  she  were  absent,  but  nothing  was  said  as  to 
the  punishment  they  would  receive — ^unless  it  was  expressed  by  the 
sinister  gloom  of  Pethick's  headshaking ;  and  once,  when  the  subject 
was  touched  on,  Mrs.  Pethick  mournfully  fetched  the  large  brown 
Bible  and  placed  it  near  her.  Still  it  appeared  that  the  wounded 
exciseman  was  not  actually  dead — but  rumour  had  given  him  up ; 
and  "  some  do  say  it's  treason,"  was  whispered  about  the  circle.  The 
girl  could  easily  detect  the  general  feeling  that  the  end  was  too 
dreadful  a  thing  to  be  spoken  of  before  her,  as  yet 

News  failed,  and  the  party  broke  up,  and  Milly  sat  there  gazing  into 
the  fire,  plotting  and  plotting  again,  though  she  pretended  to  sleep, 
and  left  the  brown  Bible  untouched  beside  her  elbow.  During  the 
afternoon  she  suddenly  felt  better,  and  stepped  across  the  street  to  a 
shop  kept  by  one  of  the  leading  Methodists  of  Zabuloe,  whom  she 
asked  for  a  bundle  of  tracts.  He  readily  complied,  oblivious  of  the 
&ct  that  Milly  could  not  read,  and  handed  the  tracts  over,  austerely 
hoping  that  they  might  bring  a  blessing.  The  girl  opened  out  the 
leaves,  and  spread  them  on  the  counter;  somewhat  to  the  trades- 
man's astonishment,  she  requested  more.  "  They'm  all  good  words," 
he  said  piously,  and  produced  another  batch ;  and  Milly  gathered 
them  all  together  with  evident  satisfaction.  ''Had  the  fencibles 
come  yet?"  she  asked  him  abruptly.  "No,"  he  said,  "'twas  thought 
they  would  come  to-morrow."  He  was  clearly  under  the  impression 
that  her  mind  was  wandering. 

On  the  next  day  the  fencibles  did  actually  arrive,  and  their  red 
uniforms  were  much  in  evidence  up  and  down  the  whitewashed 
street  of  Zabuloe,  just  before  twilight  Everybody  in  the  place  knew 
that  the  fatal  march  to  Bodmin  would  take  place  on  the  day  follow- 
ing. The  road  they  would  take  was,  of  course,  equally  a  matter  of 
general  knowledge. 

Far  up  on  the  moors,  as  you  go  from  Zabuloe  to  Bodmin,  is  a 
lonely  public-house,  called  the  "Green  Stag,"  the  first  house  of 
entertainment,  or,  indeed,  of  any  kind,  that  you  meet  with  on  the 
tableland,  after  the  stiff  pull  of  some  five  miles  pretty- continuously 
uphill.    On  the  day  in  question  the  landlord  of  the  "  Green  Stag  " 

K  2 

124  The  Gentleman's  Magazine. 

was  jubUant,  since  he  was  perfectly  aware  that  the  fencibles  would 
arrive  at  his  door  in  a  gloriously  thirsty  condition.  '<  Twas  an  ill 
wind  that  blew  nobody  good,"  he  was  heard  remarking  with  much 
contentment.  Several  times  in  the  course  of  the  forenoon  he  went 
out  to  watch  for  them,  and  each  time  saw  a  thing  that  puzzled  him. 
This  was  the  figure  of  a  young  woman  loitering  in  the  road  near  his 
door,  with  a  bundle  of  papers  in  her  hand.  He  looked  all  roimd, 
and  saw  everything  in  its  familiar  state  of  desolation— the  road, 
stretching  thread-like  across  the  moorland,  the  rough  pastures,  the 
deep  hollow  away  to  the  left,  where  the  trees  and  brushwood  were, 
but  not  a  soul  stirring  except  a  distant  ploughman.  Nothing  any- 
where to  account  for  this  unusual  presence.  He  looked  again. 
"  Tcha,  shouldn't  be  on  tha  road,  an'  she  so  far  on,"  he  muttered  to 
himself.  He  saw,  however,  that  she  was  respectably  dressed,  and 
turned  indoors  again. 

He  consulted  "tha  wife"  about  her  at  length,  and  at  his  next  sortie, 
some  half-hour  later,  he  approached  her  in  an  embarrassed  manner, 
with  a  view  to  offering  her  refreshment.  But  glancing  over  his 
shoulder  as  he  did  so,  he  caught  sight  of  the  fencibles  approaching, 
a  little  black  column  of  men  just  outlined  on  the  distant  brow 
of  the  hill,  and  in  his  excitement  forgot  the  strange  woman  alto- 

On  came  the  fencibles,  very  slowly,  it  seemed,  till  at  last  the  red 
uniforms  stood  out  round  the  few  black  figures  in  the  centre,  who, 
of  course,  would  be  the  prisoners— poor  devils  ! — but  the  landlord 
could  not  but  chuckle,  for  everything  was  going  just  as  he  reckoned. 
The  whole  squad  halted  in  front  of  the  "  Green  Stag  " ;  the  sergeant 
in  command  energetically  bawled  for  pots  of  ale,  and  buried  his  own 
nose  in  the  froth  of  the  first  one  provided.  After  a  minute  of  furious 
alfrdrawing,  charity  induced  the  landlord  to  demand  if  nobody  was 
going  to  treat  "  they  poor  fellows,"  meaning  the  prisoners. 

The  sergeant,  to  whom  the  question  was  more  particularly 
addressed,  glanced  up,  opened  a  much  befrothed  mouth  to  cry  out, 
*'  The  man  don't  want  none  of  your  God  Almighty  rubbish  I "  and 
naturally  the  landlord  stared  round,  following  his  eye.  It  was  not  a 
comment  on  his  liquor,  it  was  the  strange  young  woman,  offering 
tracts  to  one  of  the  prisoners. 

When  the  fencibles  broke  their  ranks,  Milly  had  gone  straight  up 
to  Ralph  Hocken,  holding  her  tracts  spread  broadwise  so  as  to  cover 
her  hands  completely.  His  hands  were  bound  together  in  front  of 
him ;  she  thrust  the  bundle  of  papers^over  them.  '<  Quick,  Ralphie, 
pretend  yeVe  taking  them,"  she  whispered.    He,  on  his  part,  met  her 

Down  Zabuloe  Way.  125 

eyes  angrily,  of  course  understanding  nothing  of  her  purpose. 
**  Ye  have  given  my  life  away,  an'  what  d'ye  want  now  ? "  he  said 
hoarsely,  and  she  was  staggered  for  an  instant,  for  she  had  forgotten 
how  his  thoughts  must  have  been  running  during  those  days  and 
nights  in  the  Zabuloe  lock>up.  Then  came  the  sergeant's  shout, 
further  demoralising  her.  But  a  moment  later  the  sergeant  turned 
round  to  the  innkeeper  with,  "  I'm  not  the  man  to  refuse  'em  a  pot ; 
'tis  their  last,  belike,"  and  for  that  moment  Milly  was  unwatched. 

"  Quick,  there's  a  knife  in  under,"  she  whispered  to  Hocken,  and 
he  still  not  understanding,  she  grasped  the  knife  in  one  hand,  still 
under  cover  of  the  tracts,  and  with  a  desperate  effort  of  her  wrist 
cut  the  ropes  clean  through.  *'  Run,  Ralphie ! "  she  shrieked  aloud, 
and  in  another  moment,  before  a  man  of  the  fencibles  could  grasp 
the  situation,  he  had  clambered  over  the  stone  dyke  beside  the  road, 
and  was  flying  across  the  pasture  towards  the  hollow  and  its  shelter- 
ing underwood. 

Of  course  there  was  pursuit,  but  for  the  moment  it  was  not 
understood  who  was  to  stand  by  the  remaining  prisoners,  and  who 
to  follow  the  fugitive.  Indeed,  the  fencibles  showed  no  vast 
alacrity  in  either  proceeding.  "Lay  hold  o'  tliat  woman,"  the 
sergeant  shouted,  as  in  duty  bound,  but  in  the  prevailing  confusion 
no  one  heeded  the  order.  The  foremost  fencibles  were  still  a  good 
twenty  yards  behind  Hocken,  and  encumbered  as  they  were  with 
their  firearms — though  no  one  thought  of  firing — they  had  little 
chance  of  coming  up  with  him,  even  if  their  tight-fitting  uniforms, 
with  the  rigid  cross-bands  of  the  tunic,  had  not  been  the  worst 
possible  costume  for  running  in  that  the  wit  of  man  could  devise, 
Down  he  fled,  scrambling  over  dyke  after  dyke,  towards  the  hollow ; 
till,  seeing  how  matters  were  going,  the  sergeant  himself  joined  in  the 
pursuit  At  this  juncture  Milly  seized  the  chance  of  stealing  away, 
and  followed  in  the  wake  of  the  chase,  none  of  the  remaining  soldiers 
attempting  to  arrest  her. 

She  reached  the  sharp  descent  overhanging  the  valley,  and  watched 
the  red-coats  slowly  struggling  through  the  dusky  undergrowth,  beating 
it  apparently  in  every  direction  in  their  search  for  the^  fugitive. 
That  patch  of  woodland  seemed  such  a  little  thing  from  up  here, 
that  her  heart  stood  still,  expecting  every  moment  to  hear  a  whoop  of 
triumph  when  they  laid  hands  on  him.  But  still  there  was  no  sound 
but  the  faint  crashing  of  branches,  and  now  the  scarlet  figures  were 
becoming  lost  to  sight,  blurred  among  thicker  recesses  of  the  naked 
branches.  An  intense  desire  to  know  dragged  her  on  ;  she  scrambled 
down  the  slope,  forced  her  way  through  a  hedge,  and  forded  a  stream, 

126  The  Gentleman's  Magazine. 

ankle-deep,  till  at  last  she  found  herself  standing  in  the  coppice. 
She  then  saw  that,  looking  from  the  height  above,  she  had  wholly 
misjudged  its  extent ;  it  was  a  spacious  valley  bottom,  with  broad 
sheets  of  vivid  green  moss  between  its  thickets,  and,  better  still, 
whole  seas  of  dead,  rusty  bracken  still  standing  high  enough  for  a 
man  to  lie  hidden  in,  unless  you  trod  on  him,  and  dense  clusters  of 
hazels  and  oaks,  in  their  winter  nakedness  now,  but  wonderfully 
thick-set,  and  with  plentiful  hollies  in  among  them,  making  the 
woodland  denser.  Milly  wandered  on  through  this  wilderness,  ex- 
pecting she  hardly  knew  what,  and  the  sound  of  the  fencibles 
searching  the  coppices  grew  continually  fainter.  It  ceased  at  last, 
and  she  was  aware  of  a  great  silence  in  the  valley.  And  suddenly  a 
deathly  weakness  came  over  her,  and  a  strange  terror  followed  it. 

She  hoped,  and  indeed  believed,  that  Ralph  Hocken  was  fiar  away 
by  now,  but  a  mysterious  instinct  prompted  her  to  call  to  him  aloud 
by  his  name.  Her  own  voice  sounded  unnaturally  thin  and  shrill  to 
her,  as  she  repeated  the  call  from  time  to  time,  dragging  herself 
meanwhile  along  a  half-beaten  pathway  among  the  bushes,  till,  seeing 
a  green  bed  of  moss,  the  temptation  to  rest  grew  overpowering,  and 
she  sank  down  upon  it,  half  swooning.  The  woodland  swam  before 
her  eyes  with  a  dream-like  vagueness ;  it  seemed  to  her  part  of  the 
general  unreality  of  things  when  Ralph  Hocken  stepped  out  of  the 
brushwood,  and  advanced  towards  her. 

'^Be  they  fencibles  gone  away  ?"  he  asked,  glancing  warily  round 

"  Sure  I  hope  they  be,''  she  said,  looking  up  at  him  with  a  white 
face,  "  for  I  wanted  to  say  good-bye  to  *ee." 

*'  What  be  talking  about  noo  ? "  he  answered,  like  a  man  with 
business  on  his  mind.  '*  I  heard  'ee  callin\  Surely  ye  do  go  beyond 
me  altogether  these  days." 

She  stretched  out  a  hand  to  cling  to  him.  **  I  be  about  to  die, 
Ralphie,"  she  said  faintly,  and  her  young  lips  were  bitterly  set,  so 
that  her  voice  was  only  a  whisper.  "Ye  see,  I've  been  out  an'  about 
overmuch  lately  for  one  in  my  condition,  and  now  I  knows  it 
in  myself." 

Something  in  her  voice  drove  conviction  into  him. 

"  Come,  we'll  set  that  a'  straight  again,"  he  said,  with  an  affected 
calm,  as  he  helped  her  to  rise ;  but  his  face  was  very  grave,  and  he 
seemed  wholly  to  have  forgotten  his  pursuers.  He  half  carried  her 
to  a  little  farmhouse  standing  beside  the  lane  that  led  down  the 

Arrived  there,  the  farm  people,  recognising  the  necessity  of  the 

DoTim  Zabuloe  Way.  12  J 

case,  at  once  put  Milly  to  bed,  and  though  no  wedding  ring  was 
visible  on  her  hand,  they,  being  simple,  perhaps  half  barbarous, 
people,  made  no  scruple  about  Hocken  remaining  with  her.  She 
turned  to  him,  very  drawn  and  wan.  "Ye'd  best  be  going  off,  Ralph," 
she  said,  with  the  hard  recognition  of  facts  that  belongs  to  the  poor. 
"  Twould  be  simple  like  for  me  to  die  and  the  fencibles  catch  ye  too. 
There'd  be  nothing  left  o'  either  of  us  then,  I'm  thinking." 

"  Ye  bean't  going  to  die,  Milly,"  he  said,  with  exaggerated  scorn  ; 
but  she  only  nodded  her  head  slowly  and  faintly. 

"  111  stay  with  'ee,  then,  s'elp  me  I  will ! "  he  cried  out,  with  big 
tears  streaming  down  his  face.  "I'll  stay  with  'ee,  and  I'll  break 
their  heads  like  rotted  apples  if  they  come  nigh,  so  I  will." 

"  Don't  'ee,  now,  Ralph,"  she  said,  absorbed  in  her  one  thought 
of  getting  him  out  of  danger.  "  Maybe  I'm  not  so  bad  as  I'm 
fancying  ;  but  I  couldn't  bear  no  noise  now,  Ralphie." 

He  remained,  however,  till  the  farmer's  wife  opened  the  door, 
and  looked  at  them  queerly. 

"  I  don't  know  who  ye  be,  measter,"  she  said  to  Ralph,  with  a 
curious  aloofness  in  her  voice ;  "  but  here's  fencibles  coming  oop 
the  road  again." 

"  Do  'ee  go,"  Milly's  voice,  or  the  ghost  of  it,  pleaded.  "  D'ye  see, 
if  I'm  to  die,  'tis  no  harm  if  thee  art  away  from  Zabuloe  altogether. 
An'if  I  be  to  keep  in  life,"  she  added,  struggling  with  the  words, 
"an'  they  took  and  hanged  'ee,  what  be  I  to  do  then  ? " 

He  remained  bending  over  her,  till  there  came  a  thunderous 
knock  at  the  farmhouse  door.  The  farmer's  wife  ran  in  with 
unconcealed  emotion. 

"  Out  at  the  back  door  wi'  'ee,  and  get  oot  along  by  the  hen- 
house," she  cried  in  an  agitated  whisper.  "  Drat  the  man,  can't  ye 
see  'twould  kill  the  poor  lassie  to  have  ye  took  I" 

She  pushed  him  forcibly  outside.  Either  yielding  to  her  sense 
of  the  situation,  or  else  from  the  simple  instinct  of  self-preservation, 
he  took  the  back  way  from  the  farm,  and  reaching  the  moors  again, 
effected  his  escape. 

It  was  by  another  road  that  Milly  herself  escaped  from  the  toils 
about  her,  for  she  and  her  child  lay  together,  white  and  still,  before 
morning.  Four  days  later  they  were  buried  in  Zabuloe  churchyard, 
in  the  presence  of  a  great  concourse  of  people,  attracted  thither  by 
the  strange  story  which  had  got  abroad  concerning  her.  They  are 
emotional  folks  in  those  parts,  no  doubt ;  but  when  they  told  how 
at  one  moment  even  the  Rector's  voice  quavered  and  broke  down, 
it  is  quite  possible  they  affirmed  no  more  than  the  truth. 

1^8  The  Gentlemaiis  Magazine. 


"  T7  VERY  schoolboy  "  knows  that  Lord  Macaulay  was  the  eldest 
fj  son  of  Zachary  Macaulay,  who  identified  himself  with  the 
anti-slavery  movement  in  England  early  in  the  present  century. 
But  even  Macaulay's  famous  schoolboy  might  have  difficulty  in 
tracing  his  patron's  genealogy  back  to  the  sixteenth  century ;  and 
still  greater  difficulty,  perhaps,  in  describing  off-hand  any  notable 
deeds  performed  by  the  historian's  forbears.  To  the  student  of 
heredity,  as  well  as  the  student  of  Macaulay,  it  may  be  of  interest 
to  learn  that  he  came  of  a  fighting,  a  writing,  a  preaching,  and  a 
political  stock;  a  combination  which  culminated  in  the  person  of 
one,  the  pugnacity  of  whose  political  temperament  was  only  equalled 
by  the  brilliancy  and  the  versatility  of  his  literary  genius. 

The  origin  of  a  large  proportion  of  the  Highland  clans  is  a  matter 
of  conjecture.  Historians  diflfer  in  ascribing  to  them,  respectively, 
native  and  foreign  beginnings.  The  origin  of  the  Clan  Macaulay  ad- 
mits of  no  doubt :  it  is  pure  Norse.  Macaulay's  forbears  hailed  from 
Lewis,  the  largest,  that  is,  Lewis  with  Harris,  of  the  Western  Isles  of 
Scotland,  which  for  centuries  lay  under  the  dominion  of  the  Norse 
marauders.  The  supposed  progenitor  of  the  Macaulays  is  Olaus 
Magnus  of  Norway,  who  is  the  hero  of  an  ode,  entitled  "  Olaus  the 
Great,  or  the  Conquest  of  Mona,"  written  by  Lord  Macaulay  at  the 
tender  age  of  eight.  The  name  Olaus  has  been  variously  rendered 
as  Olaf  and  Olave,  and  in  an  ancient  manuscript  it  appears  as  Olay, 
Macaulay  is  the  Gaelicised  form  of  Olafs  son,  and  is  synonymous 
with  the  modern  Scandinavian  name  of  Olafsson.  Traces  of  the 
Norse  occupation  of  Lewis  are  evident  in  numerous  place-names,  as 
well  as  in  certain  customs  and  in  the  folklore  of  the  inhabitants  of 
that  island.  Indeed,  there  are  Lewis  Macaulays  to-day,  whose 
Scandinavian  appearance  is  alone  sufficient  to  attest  their  origin. 
Some  of  them  claim  relationship,  necessarily  distant,  with  the  great 
Lord  Macaulay,  and  are  quite  prepared  to  assert  that  his  genius  was 
the  concentrated  result  of  the  use  by  his  ancestors  for  centuries  of  a 
diet  of  fish  and  oatmeal !    In  this  view  they  are  supported  by  no 

Lord  Macaulays  Ancestors.  129: 

less  ^  authority  than  Carlyle,  who,  on  one  occasion,  upon  seeing 
Macaula/s  face  in  unwonted  repose,  remarked,  '*I  noticed  the 
homely  Norse  features  that  you  find  everywhere  in  the  Western 
Isles,  and  I  thought  to  myself, '  Well,  anyone  can  see  that  you  are 
an  honest,  good  sort  of  fellow  made  out  of  oatmeal.' "  The  writer 
recoUects  one  of  the  Lewis  Macaulays,  now  dead,  who  was  par- 
ticularly proud  of  his  illustrious  connection.  Although  his  know- 
ledge of  general  literature  was,  to  say  the  least,  limited,  he  could 
recite  the  "Lays"  by  heart,  and  quotations  from  the  "Essays" 
interlarded  his  everyday  conversation.  This  was  a  tribute  from  a 
humble  clansman  which  would  probably  have  gratified  the  kindly 
heart  of  Macaulay.  Hero-worship  among  Highlanders  is  by  no 
means  an  uncommon  sentiment,  and  the  great  figure  of  Macaulay 
was  well  calculated  to  inspire  the  breasts  of  his  Hebridean  name- 
sakes with  that  feeling. 

The  first  of  his  ancestors  of  whom  there  is  any  authentic  record 
was  Donald  Macaulay,  who  lived  in  the  reign  of  King  James  VL  It 
was  a  common  practice  in  the  Highlands  in  those  days — a  practice 
which  is  still  largely  followed — to  distinguish  the  possessors  of 
marked  physical  peculiarities  by  nicknames  having  reference  to  their 
infirmities.  Donald  Macaulay  was  blind  of  one  eye,  and  for  that 
reason  was  known  by  his  fellow-Lewismen  as  Donald  Cam.  The 
one-eyed  progenitor  of  Lord  Macaulay  was  a  man  of  great  physical 
strength,  which  in  those  troublous  times  he  had  many  opportunities 
of  turning  to  good — or  bad — ^account. 

In  a  book  entitled  "The  Highlands  of  Scotland  in  1750,"  recently 
edited  by  Mr.  Andrew  Lang,  the  statement  appears  that  "The 
common  inhabitants  of  Lewis  are  Morisons,  McAulays,  and 
McKivers  "  (Macivers) ;  as  a  matter  of  fact  they  are  to  this  day,  with 
the  Macleods,  the  representative  Lewis  families.  The  Macaulays 
were  at  constant  feud  ¥rith  the  Morisons,  or  Clan  Gilliemhuire,  who 
were  located  at  Ness,  on  the  north  side  of  the  island,  and  of  whom 
were  the  breves,  or  hereditary  Celtic  judges,  of  Lewis.  It  is  more 
than  probable  that  the  Morisons  knew  Donald  Cam  only  too  well 
for  their  peace  of  mind.  But  events  occurred  during  his  lifetime 
which  united  the  Lewis  clans  in  face  of  a  common  danger ;  and 
Donald  Macaulay's  prowess  was  directed  into  a  more  patriotic 
channel  than  had  hitherto  been  the  case.  The  Macleods— another 
dan  of  Norse  origin — who,  in  Donald  Cam's  time,  were  the  lords  of 
Lewis — were  quarrelling  among  themselves,  and  with  the  Mackenzies, 
of  Kintail,  in  Ross-shire.  The  latter  were  scheming  to  obtain  pos- 
session of  the  island.    Taking  advantage  of  the  disturbed  condition. 

130  The  Gentleman  s  Magazine. 

of  Lewis,  a  party  of  Fife  adventurers  applied  for,  and  obtained  from 
the  King,  a  gift  of  the  island.  Their  professed  object  was  to  civilise 
the  islanders ;  their  real  intention  was  to  supplant  the  inhabitants  by 
a  settlement  of  Lowlanders.  They  built  houses  and  ''  skonses " 
about  Stomoway,  the  capital  of  Lewis,  and  made  what  a  certain 
chronicler  terms  '*  a  bonny  village  of  it"  But  this  settlement  was 
of  short  duration,  for  the  colony  was  constantly  harassed  by  the 
islanders,  who  forgot  their  feuds  in  their  common  determination  to 
drive  the  hated  Sassenachs  into  the  sea.  The  adventurers  had  a 
disastrous  time  of  it,  and  were  finally  forced  to  relinquish  their  pos- 
sessions, the  right  to  which  they  sold  to  Lord  Kintail,  chief  of  the 

Donald  Cam  took  a  prominent  part  in  driving  the  Fife  colonists 
from  Lewis,  and  subsequently  sided  with  the  Macleods  in  their  fruit- 
less attempts  to  repel  the  Mackenzies  when  they  ultimately  took 
possession  of  the  island.  His  patriotic  spirit  rebelled  equally  against 
the  invasion  of  his  beloved  island  by  Sassenach  or  Celt,  and  his 
courageous  and  obstinate  resistance  to  the  encroachments  of  the 
Mackenzies  has  been  immortalised  in  a  Gaelic  proverb,  "  Cha  robh 
CaMy  fMch  robh  crosd^^^  meaning,  ''Whoever  is  blind  of  an  eye  is 
pugnacious,"  the  true  significance  of  which  is  that  it  is  difficult  to 
overcome  a  one-eyed  person.  A  careful  student  can  readily  see  in 
Lord  Macaulay's  character  more  than  mere  traces  of  Donald  Cam's 

Donald  Cam  Macaulay  had  a  son  who  was  known  as  Fear 
BkreiniSy  literally  the  man  ''or  tacksman"  of  Brenish.  The  tacksmen 
of  those  days  were  the  representatives  of  the  duinewassels  of  former 
years,  who  formed  the  gentry  of  a  clan,  holding  land  direct  from  the 
chief  in  consideration  of  military  services.  This  Macaulay  was 
therefore  a  man  of  importance  in  Lewis,  and  being,  like  his  father, 
a  man  of  great  bodily  strength,  he  acquired  a  reputation  for  personal 
prowess,  which  has  been  commemorated  in  Lewis  song  and  story. 

The  son  of  the  Brenish  tacksman  was  named  Aulay  Macaulay, 
who,  forsaking  the  warlike  traditions  of  his  ancestors,  entered  the 
Church,  and  after  some  disagreeable  experiences  in  his  earlier  minis- 
terial life,  settled  down  in  Harris,  adjoining  Lewis,  where  for  nearly 
half  a  century,  until  his  death  in  1758,  he  discharged  the  duties  of 
the  manse.  Of  his  six  sons,  no  less  than  five  were  educated  for  the 
Church,  the  sixth,  named  Zachary,  being  bred  for  the  bar. 

Aulay's  third  son  Kenneth,  nicknamed  Kenneth  Drover,  trans- 
mitted to  Lord  Macaulay  the  gifts  of  the  historian.  True  it  is  that 
the  "  History  of  England  "  has  a  world-wide  reputation,  while  the 

Lifrd  Macaulays  Ancestors.  131 

*'  History  of  St  Kilda,''  written  by  the  Rev.  Kenneth,  is  now  barely 
known  even  to  local  antiquaries.  In  its  day,  however,  the  book  had 
a  certain  vogue.  Dr.  Johnson  described  it  as  "  a  well-written  work» 
except  some  foppery  about  liberty  and  slavery."  The  "  foppery,"  it 
may  be  noticed,  subsequently  fructified  in  the  life-work  of  the  author's 
nephew,  Zachary  Macaulay.  There  is  reason  to  believe  that 
Johnson's  liking  for  the  book  was  really  due  to  a  statement  which  it 
contained,  to  the  effect  that  a  curious  epidemic  of  what  would  now 
be  called  influenza  spread  over  St  Kilda  whenever  the  factor  paid 
his  periodical  visits  for  the  purpose  of  collecting  the  rents.  The 
probabilities  are  that  the  islanders  had  just  as  great  an  aversion  to 
the  payment  of  rent  as  crofters  in  modem  times  have  shown,  and 
may  possibly  have  shammed  illness  in  order  to  move  the  factor's 
bowels  of  compassion.  That  the  coincidence  of  the  factor's  presence 
and  the  influenza  were,  in  the  author's  mind,  not  attributable  to 
supernatural  causes,  is  pretty  clear  from  the  fact  that  in  another  part 
of  the  book  there  are  slighting  references  to  some  of  the  superstitions 
of  the  islanders.  Johnson's  mind,  however,  imbued  as  it  was  with 
superstitious  ideas,  failed  to  grasp  the  humour  of  the  thing,  and  so 
we  find  him  gravely  praising  the  author  for  his  ''  magnanimity  in 
venturing  to  chronicle  so  questionable  a  phenomenon,  the  more  so," 
he  added,  "because  Macaulay  set  out  with  a  prejudice  against 
prejudice,  and  wanted  to  be  a  smart  modem  thinker."  Subse- 
quently, Johnson  and  Boswell  visited  Macaulay  at  his  manse  at 
Calder,  or  Cawdor,  and  while  staying  there,  according  to  the 
"  Journey  to  the  Westem  Islands,"  they  visited  Cawdor  Castle, 
'^firom  which  Macbeth  drew  his  second  title."  Johnson  thanked 
Macaulay  for  his  book,  and  said  it  was  "a  very  pretty  piece  of 
topography,"  a  compliment  which  the  author  apparently  did  not 
relish.  Boswell  tells  us  that  Johnson  afterwards  remarked  to  him 
that,  judging  by  Macaulay's  conversation,  he  was  persuaded  that  he 
was  not  the  author  of  "  St  Kilda."  ''  There  is  a  combination  in  it," 
he  added,  "of  which  Macaulay  is  not  capable."  Needless  to  say, 
Johnson's  dictum  was  sufficient  for  Boswell,  who  states  that  he  was 
afterwards  told  that  the  book  was  written  by  Dr.  John  Macpherson, 
of  "  Sky,"  from  materials  collected  by  Macaulay.  Johnson's  opinion^ 
however,  was  probably  biassed  by  a  dispute  which  he  had  with  his 
host,  to  whom  he  was  simply  mde.  Macaulay  appears  to  have 
spoken  somewhat  slightingly  of  the  lower  ranks  of  the  English  clergy. 
Johnson  turned  on  him  with  a  vehement  rejoinder :  "  This,"  he  said^ 
"  is  a  day  of  novelties.  I  have  seen  old  trees  in  Scotland,  and  I 
have  heard  the  English  clergy  treated  with  disrespect    Sir,  you  are 

132  The  Gentlemafts  Magazine. 

a  bigot  almost  to  laxness."  That  the  great  castigator  afterwards 
regretted  his  rudeness  is  evident  from  the  &ct  that  he  presented  his 
host's  son,  "  a  smart  young  lad  about  eleven  years  old/'  with  a  pocket 
Sallust  and  obtained  for  him  a  servitorship  at  Oxford,  of  which,  how- 
ever, young  Macaulay  did  not  avail  himself,  as  he  appears  to  have 
gone  abroad. 

Curiously  enough,  Johnson,  a  little  later,  had  a  passage-at-arms 
with  the  brother  of  the  minister  of  Cawdor,  the  Rev.  John 
Macaulay,  eldest  son  of  the  Rev.  Aulay,  and  grandfather  of  Lord 
Macaulay.  While  passing  through  Arg}'llshire,  Johnson  and  Boswell 
paid  their  respects  to  the  Duke  of  Argyll  at  Inverary  Castle,  whence 
they  returned  to  the  inn  at  Inverary  where  they  were  to  pass  the 
night.  John  Macaulay  was  at  that  time  the  minister  of  Inverary, 
and,  as  a  matter  of  courtesy,  paid  a  visit  to  the  distinguished 
travellers,  and  passed  the  evening  with  them.  In  the  course  of  con- 
versation on  the  subject  of  profession  and  practice,  Macaulay  made 
the  pertinent  remark  that  he  had  no  ^'  notion  of  people  being  in 
earnest  in  their  good  professions  where  practice  was  not  suitable  to 
them."  Johnson  flared  up  at  this  harmless  expression  of  opinion, 
and  thundered,  '*  Sir,  are  you  so  grossly  ignorant  of  human  nature  as 
not  to  know  that  a  man  may  be  very  sincere  in  good  principles  with- 
out having  good  practice  ? "  Macaulay  appears  to  have  taken  the 
rebuff  in  good  part,  for  the  faithful  Bozzy  chronicles  that  "  being  a 
man  of  good  sense  he  had  a  just  admiration  of  Dr.  Johnson,"  and  was 
next  morning  "nothing  hurt  or  dismayed  by  his  last  night's  correc- 
tion." Both  Kenneth  and  John  Macaulay  appear  to  have  been  good 
talkers,  but  were,  of  course,  no  match  for  Johnson.  But  one  can 
imagine  what  a  battle  of  Titans  would  have  been  fought  had  Johnson 
met  the  grandson  instead  of  the  grandfather  1 

It  is  possible  that  Johnson's  trouncing  of  the  brothers  Macaulay 
was  in  a  measure  instigated  by  their  political  views,  with  which  he 
was  no  doubt  acquainted.  They  were  apparently  devoted  to  the 
Whig  cause,  and  it  is  clear  that  the  interest  which  the  Argyll  family 
exerted  on  their  behalf  was  not  unconnected  with  their  politics.  In 
1 76 1  Kenneth  procured  the  parish  of  Ardnamurchan  through  the 
patronage  of  the  Duke  of  Argyll,  whence  he  removed  to  Calder,  where, 
as  we  have  seen,  he  met  Johnson.  AVe  have  also  seen  that  his 
brother  John  was  minister  of  Inverary  in  the  Duke's  own  parish. 
Previous  to  this,  he  had  been  minister  successively  of  Barra  and 
South  Uist  in  the  Outer  Hebrides,  and  the  island  of  Lismore  near 
Mull.  While  minister  of  South  Uist,  he  signalised  his  devotion  to 
the  Hanoverian  cause  by  an  act  which,  if  successful,  would  have. 

Lord  Macaulay's  Ancestors.  133 

shed  lustre  on  his  name,  or  clothed  it  with  infamy,  according  to  the 
point  of  view. 

A  fugitive  after  the  crowning  disaster  of  Culloden,  Prince  Charles 
Edward  Stuart  was  skulking  in  the  Hebrides,  and  had  arranged  to 
proceed  in  disguise  to  Stomoway,  where  he  intended  to  hire  a  vessel 
which  would  carry  him  to  France.  By  giving  out  that  he  and  his 
party  were  the  crew  of  a  vessel  belonging  to  the  Orkneys,  which  had 
been  wrecked  on  the  coast  of  Tiree,  he  hoped  to  avoid  suspicion 
and  achieve  his  object.  This  plan  was  suggested  by  Macdonald  of 
Boisdale  in  South  Uist,  where  the  Prince  had  landed,  and  it  appears 
to  have  come  to  Macaulay's  knowledge.  There  is  good  reason  to 
believe  that  he  at  once  placed  himself  in  communication  with  the 
Government  through  his  father,  the  minister  of  Harris.  Word  was 
sent  through  his  agency  to  the  Stornoway  people  that  the  Prince  had 
landed  in  Lewis  with  500  men,  and  was  marching  on  the  town  with 
the  intention  of  burning  it,  carrying  off  their  cattle,  and  seizing  a 
vessel  to  convey  him  to  France.  On  receipt  of  this  information,  the 
Stomoway  men  naturally  rose  in  arms  and  prepared  for  a  determined 
resistance.  Luckily  for  the  Prince  he  never  entered  the  town.  The 
guide  lost  his  way  on  the  moor,  the  result  being  that  the  party  spent 
the  night  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Stornoway,  on  the  opposite  side 
of  the  bay.  This  circumstance  afforded  time  for  explanations,  which 
were  given  by  Donald  Macleod,  who  accompanied  Charles  Edward. 
No  attempt  therefore  was  made  to  capture  the  royal  fugitive,  the  sole 
condition  imposed  by  the  Stomoway  people  being  that  he  should  at 
once  depart  from  their  coasts — a  request  which  was  speedily  com- 
plied with.  Thus  did  Stomoway,  in  common  with  the  rest  of  the 
Highlands,  refuse  to  accept  the  blood-money  of  ;^3o,ooo  which  was 
offered  by  the  Government  for  the  capture  of  bonnie  Prince  Charlie, 
and  thus  was  the  great  name  of  Lord  Macaulay  saved  from  the 
stigma  which  would  have  attached  to  it  had  his  grandfather's  plan 

As  South  Uist  nearly  led  to  the  undoing  of  the  Prince,  so  did  it 
ultimately  prove  his  salvation,  for  it  was  there  that  he  met  the  heroic 
Flora  Macdonald,  who,  by  her  woman's  wit  and  daring,  saved  him 
from  the  clutches  of  his  enemies. 

The  Rev.  John  Macaulay,  A.M.  (he  had  gnuluated  at  Aberdeen), 
ended  his  days  as  minister  of  Cardross,  in  Dimibartonshire.  By  his 
marriage  witli  the  daughter  of  Colin  Campbell,  of  Inveresragan, 
Ardchattan,  he  had  twelve  children.  It  is  worthy  of  note  that  the 
early  sorrows  of  Aulay,  his  father,  to  which  allusion  has  been  made, 
were  caused  chiefly  by  the  action  of  the  Laird  of  Ardchattan,  at 

134  '^^  Gentlemafis  Magazine. 

whose  instance  the  young  minister  was  deprived  of  his  stipend.  It 
was  while  on  a  visit  to  the  manse  at  Cardross,  with  Aulay,  John's 
son,  that  the  patron  of  the  former,  Thomas  Babington,  M.P.,  met 
and  fell  in  love  with  Jean  Macaulay,  Aulay's  sister,  whom  he 
subsequently  married. 

Another  Rev.  John  Macaulay  is  mentioned  in  Hew  Scott's 
''  Fasti ''  as  having  been  minister  successively  of  Barra,  and  in  177 1 
of  South  Uist;  and  in  the  *'  Dictionary  of  National  Biography  "  it  is 
assumed  that  it  was  he,  and  not  Lord  Macaula/s  grandfather,  who 
gave  the  information  which  nearly  led  to  the  capture  of  Prince 
Charles  Edward  Stuart.  This  assumption,  however,  appears  to  be 
baseless.  The  John  Macaulay  here  referred  to  emigrated  to 
America,  where  he  died  in  1776.  The  minister  of  Cardross  was 
succeeded  in  that  parish  by  his  son  Alexander,  of  whom  there 
appears  to  be  no  further  record  extant 

Another  son,  Colin,  entered  the  Indian  Army,  in  which  he  had  a 
distinguished  career,  ultimately  attaining  the  rank  of  General  He 
was  present  at  Seringapatam,  and  was,  with  Sir  David  Baird,  im- 
prisoned by  Hyder  AH.  He  afterwards  entered  the  Civil  Service, 
and  was  for  a  time  Resident  at  the  native  State  of  Travancore,  On 
his  return  to  England,  he  sought  and  obtained  Parliamentary 
honours,  as  M.P.  for  Saltash.  Wellington  appears  to  have  held  him 
in  high  esteem,  and  maintained  a  friendly  correspondence  with  him. 
He  died  at  Clifton  in  1836. 

Macaulay's  youthful  fancy  was  fired  by  the  exploits  of  his  uncle, 
the  General,  and  his  admiration — as  was  usual  in  his  callow  days — 
was  expressed  in  poetic  form.  There  is  no  room,  however,  for  the 
suggestion  that  the  gratitude  of  the  General  had  any  connection  with 
the  substantial  legacy  which  he  left  his  precocious  nephew  I 

Aulay,  Colin's  brother,  to  whom  a  passing  reference  has  been 
made,  possessed  literary  abilities  of  no  mean  order.  He  graduated 
at  Glasgow  University,  and  while  there  was  a  frequent  contributor  to 
RiUtdimarCs  Weekly  Magazine^  under  the  pen-name  of  '^  Academicus." 
After  leaving  college  he  crossed  the  Border  to  push  his  fortunes.  He 
became  a  tutor  at  Bedford,  and  subsequently  entered  Holy  Orders, 
being  the  first  of  his  family  to  forsake  the  manse  for  the  vicarage. 
Commencing  with  the  curacy  of  Claybrook  in  Leicestershire,  he 
obtained  in  1789  the  living  of  Frolesworth,  and  in  1796  was 
presented  by  his  brother-in-law,  Mr.  Babington,  with  the  living  of 
Rothley.  During  the  six  years  which  elapsed  between  his  resigna- 
tion of  Frolesworth  and  his  acceptance  of  Rothley,  he  travelled  on 
the  Continent,  chiefly  in  Holland  and  the  Netherlands;  he  con- 

Lord  Macaulay^s  Ancestors.  135 

tribttted  an  interesting  account  of  those  countries  to  the  GenikmatCs 
Magazine,  In  1794  he  was  travelling  in  Brunswick  in  the  capacity 
of  tutor  to  a  son  of  Sir  Walter  Farquhar.  While  there  he  gave 
lessons  in  English  to  the  young  daughter  of  the  Duke  of  Brunswick, 
afterwards  Queen  Caroline,  and  he  appears  to  have  gained  the  sincere 
r^ard  of  her  mother. 

His  literary  efforts  embraced  "Essays  on  various  subjects  of 
Taste  and  Criticism  " ;  "  History  and  Antiquities  of  Claybrook ; " 
"  Two  Discourses  on  Sovereign  Power  and  Liberty  of  Conscience  " 
(translated  from  the  Latin  of  Professor  Noodt  of  Leyden),  as  well 
as  various  detached  sermons.  He  married  a  daughter  of  Mr.  John 
Heyrick,  town  clerk  of  Leicester,  who  survived  him.  He  left  a 
£Eimily  of  eight  sons. 

The  third  and  most    famous    of  John  Macaula/s  sons  was 
Zachary,  the  father  of  Lord  Macaulay.    Zachary  Macaulay  was  a 
man  of  remarkable  force  of  character  and  strength  of  conviction. 
Possessed  of  high  ideals  and  scrupulously  conscientious  in  the  dis< 
charge  of  what  he  conceived  to  be  his  duty,  he  never  wavered  in  his 
adherence  to  principle.     His  life  is  a  record  of  unshaken  fidelity  to 
the  sacred  cause  of  liberty,  and  his  work  lives  after  him.     He 
commenced  life  as  a  clerk  in  a  London  office,  and  at  an  early  age 
Tvas  appointed  book-keeper,  and  subsequently  manager,  of  an  estate 
in  Jamaica,  where  he  had  his  first  experiences  of  the  evils  of  the  slave 
trade.     When  the  Siena  Leone  Company  founded  a  colony  for 
liberated  slaves  on  that  island,  Macaulay  was  appointed  second 
member  of  the  Sierra  Leone  Council,  afterwards  becoming  Governor. 
With  only  one  colleague  to  assist  him  in  the  discharge  of  his  duties, 
his  labours  were  almost  Herculean.     He  was  Governor,  judge,  pay- 
master, and  parson  all  rolled  into  one. 

His  health  at  length  broke  down  under  the  strain  and  he  returned 
to  England.  During  his  visit  to  the  old  country,  he  met  and  became 
engaged  to  Miss  Mills,  the  daughter  of  a  Bristol  bookseller,  and  a 
former  pupil  of  Hannah  More.  He  was  soon,  however,  back  at  his 
duties  in  Sierra  Leone,  where  he  had  varied  exciting  experiences. 

finally  leaving  the  island  which  he  had  governed  so  wisely,  he 
reached  England  in  1799,  married,  and  was  appointed  Secretary  to 
the  Sierra  Leone  Company.  He  subsequently  started  business  as  an 
African  merchant,  in  partnership  with  his  nephew,  young  Babington, 
and  for  a  time  the  firm  prospered.  Zachary  Macaulajr's  heart 
however  lay  elsewhere  than  in  his  business;  his  energies  being 
devoted  to  the  suppression  of  the  slave  trade.  He  became  editor 
of  the  Chrisiian  Obserocr^  the  organ  of  the  so-called  Clapham  sect. 

1^6  The  Gentlenuifis  Magazine. 

and  was  the  man  who,  while  shunning  publicity,  pulled  the  strings 
of  the  anti-slavery  movement.  His  nephew  proved  an  incompetent 
business  man,  and  the  firm  ultimately  ceased  to  exist,  Macaulay  losing 
a  fortune  of  ^100,000  thereby.  For  the  rest  of  his  life  he  was  largely 
dependent  on  his  sons,  Thomas  Babington  and  Henry,  the  latter  of 
whom  had  succeeded  him  at  Sierra  Leone.  He  died  in  1838.  A 
fitting  memorial  to  the  great  Abolitionist  was  placed  in  Westminster 
Abbey  soon  after  his  death.  To  his  influence  was  directly  attribut- 
able all  that  was  best  and  noblest  in  the  life  and  character  of  his 
eldest  son,  Thomas  Babington,  Lord  Macaulay. 




THIS  is  not  a  history  of  any  one  institution,  but  a  slight  and 
imperfect  sketch  of  what  Paris  has  done  for  the  blind  in 
the  last  600  or  700  years,  from  Saint  Louis  to  Valentin  HaUy  and 
M.  Maurice  de  la  Sizeranne. 

Though  with  the  nineteenth  century  the  subject  gains  greatly  in 
variety  and  changes  entirely  in  character,  modem  philanthropy  of  a 
manly  kind  taking  the  place  of  mediaeval  charity  and  religious 
privilege,  there  is  one  old  hospital  whose  story,  with  many  romantic 
vicissitudes,  covers  the  whole  of  the  long  period  mentioned,  and  will 
probably  outlive  this  generation  and  many  more.  The  300  blind 
people  and  their  successors  for  whom,  under  circumstances  not  well 
known.  Saint  Louis  founded  the  hospital  that  still  bears  the  old  name 
of  Les  Quinze-  VingtSy  were  by  no  means  the  least  important  among 
the  inhabitants  of  Paris,  quite  down  to  the  Revolution.  Their 
buildings  were  something  like  a  biguinage^  streets  of  houses,  church, 
school,  infiimary,  mills,  and  shops,  all  walled  round  and  making  a 
litde  city  within  the  city;  occupying,  too,  the  best  situation  in 
Paris,  part  of  the  Rue  St  Honor^  and  the  present  Rue  de  Rivoli, 
near  the  Palais  Royal  and  the  Louvre.  The  blind  community, 
enriched  by  gifts,  endowments,  and  privileges,  possessing  farms,  and 
managing  its  own  affairs  under  the  easy  rule  of  a  Royal  Almoner, 
was  also  a  community  of  the  sturdiest  beggars  ever  known.  The 
noise  they  made  crying  in  the  streets,  "  Aux  Quinze-Vingts,  pain 
Dieu ! ''  was  extremely  annoying  to  studious  persons.  They  also 
clanked  their  bowls  and  prayed  and  begged  aloud  in  the  churches, 
disturbing  the  pious.  At  one  time  their  own  church  was  the  most 
fashionable  in  Paris ;  this  was  in  the  time  of  the  Regency,  when 
the  Duchess  of  Orleans  and  all  the  Court  crowded  there.  But  the 
golden  days  of  the  Quinze-Vingts  were  drawing  near  their  end.  Not 
long  before  the  Revolution,  the  Cardinal  de  Rohan  attempted  as 
Almoner  to  reform  them,  and  succeeded  in  ruining  them.  Their 
valuable  property  was  sold  at  a  loss,  and  the  community,  dismal  and 
shrunken,  retired  to  the  buildings  they  now  inhabit  in  the  Rue  de 

VOL.  CCLXXXV.      NO.  20I2.  L 

138  The  Gentleman's  Magazine, 

Charenton.  There  is  much  real  degradation  and  sadness  mixed  with 
the  history  of  these  poor  uneducated  people,  whose  faculties  no  one 
had  ever  dreamed  of  training,  and  whose  talents,  if  they  had  any,  led 
them  naturally,  in  the  eighteenth  century,  into  such  trades  as  that 
of  a  mountebank.  No  more  privileges  for  them  now,  no  more 
religious  importance  as  les  pauvrts  de  Dieu.  The  first  great  modem 
benefactor  of  the  blind,  Valentin  Hatty,  was  moved  to  begin  his 
life's  work  by  seeing  ten  Quinze-Vingts  performing  in  a  burlesque 
concert  at  the  fair  of  Saint  Ovide,  in  1771,  dressed  absurdly  with 
asses'  ears  and  singing  low  songs  to  the  lowest  of  audiences.  A 
caricature  representing  this  scene  is  preserved  at  the  Mus6e 

The  endowments  of  the  old  Quinze-Vingts  vanished  away  either 
in  the  hands  of  Cardinal  de  Rohan,  financially  quite  an  untrustworthy 
person,  or  of  the  Revolution,  which  devoured  all.  The  hospital,  as 
it  now  exists,  has  an  allowance  from  the  State,  and  is  counted 
among  the  national  itablissetmnts  de  bUnfcusance.  It  is  no  longer 
managed  by  its  own  chapter,  but  by  Government  officials,  and  is  an 
almshouse  for  300  people,  poor,  respectable,  and  hopelessly  blind. 
With  flowers,  birds,  and  any  little  occupations  of  which  they  are 
capable,  their  life  has  all  the  cheerful  content  which  seems  to  be  the 
mysterious  compensation  and  privilege  of  blindness.  They  have  a 
reading-room,  a  billiard-room,  a  bowling-green,  a  choral  society  of 
their  own,  lectures,  concerts,  a  band  that  plays  in  the  courtyard. 
M.  P^phau,  the  excellent  director,  not  contented  with  making  his  300 
happy  and  comfortable,  undertook  some  years  ago  to  extend  the 
work  of  the  Quinze-Vingts  beyond  its  own  walls  and  numbers.  He 
was  the  means  of  establishing  there  a  consulting  hospital  for  the 
blind,  and  at  the  same  time  he  founded  a  National  Society  to  help 
blind  workers,  and  in  connection  with  it  the  Ecole  Braille,  which 
gives  a  good  primary  education  and  teaches  blind  boys  and  girls  to 
earn  their  living  by  chair,  brush,  and  basket-making,  needlework, 
printing,  book-binding,  &c.  This  is  what  the  blind  want,  and  what 
their  best  friends  want  for  them — instruction  to  enable  them  to  earn 
their  own  living  independently. 

All  modem  philanthropy  in  France,  as  concerned  especially  with 
the  blind,  must  be  traced  back  to  Valentin  Haiiy,  whose  name 
ought  to  be,  but  is  not,  well  known  in  England.  He  was  bom  in 
1745,  the  son  of  a  poor  weaver  in  Picardy.  His  own  intelligence 
and  the  devotion  of  his  parents  helped  him  on  from  school  to  college, 
and  while  still  quite  young  he  was  earning  his  living  in  Paris  by 
teaching  and  translating.    The  philanthropic  spirit  of  the  time  seized 

Paris  and  the  Blind.  139 

upon  him;  he  grew  up  in  a  world  passionate  for  doing  good,  either 
in  theory  or  practice.  Diderot  had  written  his  Letter  on  the  Blind ; 
the  AbM  de  r£pde  had  founded  his  school  for  the  deaf  and  dumb ; 
and  Valentin  HaUy,  at  twenty-five,  only  wanted  an  opportunity  to 
throw  himself  into  some  work  of  the  sort.  His  choice  was  made  for 
him  by  the  spectacle  we  have  already  mentioned,  of  the  blind  men 
performing  at  the  fair  of  St  Ovide.  From  that  time  he  set  himself 
to  study  the  blind,  to  find  out  what  they  were  really  capable  of  in 
the  way  of  instruction.  It  was  a  difficult  subject,  for  there  was  little 
or  no  existing  experience  to  help  him.  At  last,  having  satisfied  his 
mind  that  something  at  least  was  possible,  he  set  to  work  to  teach  a 
blind  boy  who  sat  begging  at  the  door  of  Saint-Germain  des  Prds. 
In  the  course  of  instructing  this  boy,  Francois  Lesueur  by  name,  he 
half  accidentally  discovered,  by  means  of  some  letters  printed  in 
relief  on  a  card  of  invitation,  that  his  pupil  could  feel  the  shape  of 
these  letters  with  his  finger-ends,  and  so  describe  them.  This  was 
the  beginning,  the  origin  of  the  Braille  system,  the  root  idea  of  all 
that  has  been  done  in  educating  the  blind.  After  this,  Haii/s  one 
wish  was  to  increase  his  number  of  pupils ;  he  succeeded  partly  by 
the  help  of  his  elder  brother,  also  a  remarkable  man,  the  Abb^  Ren£ 
Haiiy,  who  discovered  the  science  of  crystallography.  At  this  time 
he  had  just  been  admitted  to  the  Academy,  and  among  his  scientific 
friends  he  was  able  to  find  those  who  could  help  Valentin ;  for  a 
blind  school  could  not  be  carried  on  without  funds,  the  pupils  being 
generally  incapable  of  paying.  It  just  suited  the  ideas  of  the  time, 
however;  charitable  people  of  all  ranks  were  delighted;  Valentin's 
writings  were  read  and  praised  at  the  Academic  des  Sciences  in  1785, 
and  the  following  Christmas  saw  him  and  his  pupils  invited  to 
Versailles,  complimented  by  the  King,  petted  by  the  Court.  After 
this  the  work  advanced  with  great  strides :  Valentin  HaUy's  orchestra 
of  blind  boys  and  girls — for  music,  then  as  now,  was  the  study  that 
pleased  them  best — was  to  be  heard,  by  the  Archbishop's  permission, 
in  Saint-Eustache  and  Saint-Roch.  When  Louis  XVI.  was  hurried 
to  Paris  in  1789,  leaving  his  musicians  in  ordinary  behind  him, 
Valentin  Haiiy  presented  his  blind  choir  to  sing  in  the  chapel  of  the 

One  must  judge  a  man  according  to  his  time,  and  perhaps  it  is 
not  &ir  to  think  less  of  Haiiy  because  of  his  proceedings  during  the 
Revolution.  One  should  not,  perhaps,  confidently  expect  a  hero  of 
philanthropy  to  be  a  reasonable  man.  He  was  an  enthusiast,  a 
person  of  one  idea,  like  most  founders  and  inventors.  The  world 
might  crumble  around  him,  kings  and  institutions  might  perish, 

z.  a 

140  Th$  Gentleman's  Magazine. 

Christianity  might  go  the  way  of  the  rest,  so  that  nothing  came  in 
the  way  of  the  education  of  the  blind.  A  French  Vicar  of  Bray,  all 
governments  were  alike  to  him.  But  it  is  a  little  sad,  even  sickening, 
to  read  of  the  poor  (tveugles  nis  conveyed  in  their  own  triumphal  car 
at  the  public  ceremonies  of  the  Revolution,  and  to  imagine  them  in 
the  train  of  Robespierre  at  the  F£te  of  the  Supreme  Being.  It  is 
also  sad  to  read  of  Valentin  Hatly  and  his  pupils  as  followers  of 
La  Reveillire-L^>eaux  and  his  mock  religion,  which  called  itself 
thiophilanthropie^  and  to  think  that  Valentin  officiated  at  the  cere- 
monies of  this  religion  in  Saint-Sulpice,  dressed  in  a  sky-blue  tunic 
and  pink  sash,  with  a  white  robe  open  in  front.  The  absurdities  of 
the  Revolution  were  quite  as  startling  as  its  horrors,  and  needed 
almost  as  much  the  stem  repression  of  Napoleon.  Valentin  Haiiy 
and  his  fellow-comedians  fled  before  that  great  restorer  of  reason  and 
decency.  His  pupils  found  a  temporary  refuge  with  the  Quinze- 
Vingts,  and  after  a  few  years  of  struggle  and  disappointment,  he  was 
summoned  to  Russia  by  Alexander  I.  to  found  a  blind  school  at 
St  Petersburg.  On  this  journey  he  visited  Louis  XVIII.  at  Mittau, 
and  was  kindly  received.  Louis  promised  that  he  would  not  forget 
his  work  in  the  future,  and  kept  his  word  effectually.  One  of  the  first 
events  of  the  Restoration  was  the  establishment  on  a  secure  basis  of 
P Institution  Roy  ale  {now  JVationa/e)  its  Jeunts  Aveugies^  on  Valentin 
Haiiy 's  lines.  Before  his  death  in  1822,  he  had  the  happiness  of 
seeing  this  great  school,  really  grown  from  his  own  foundation,  in  full 
working  order.  Russia  had  been  more  than  disappointing ;  but  a 
new  Paris  was  found  at  last  ready  to  forget  the  old  hero's  aberrations 
and  to  honour  his  unselfish  genius.  There  he  died  a  Christian, 
modestly  saying,  when  his  life's  work  was  praised,  **  I  am  only  an 
inventor  of  spectacles." 

Valentin  Haii/s  statue,  with  Francois  Lesueur  at  his  feet,  stands 
in  the  courtyard  of  the  Institution  des  Jeunes  Aveugles,  in  the 
Boulevard  des  Invalides.  The  school  moved  into  these  fine 
buildings  in  1843,  having  had  till  then  a  rather  chequered  career. 
But  its  earlier  days  were  distinguished  by  at  least  one  famous  pupil 
— Louis  Braille — certainly,  by  the  invention  of  his  type  for  the  blind, 
in  the  first  rank  of  their  benefactors.  The  Jeunes  Aveugles  is  one  of 
the  best,  if  not  the  very  best,  among  schools  for  the  blind.  It  admits 
about  one  hundred  and  sixty  boys  and  eighty  girls,  above  ten  and 
under  fourteen,  many  of  whom  remain  till  twenty-one.  As  to 
ordinary  education,  it  teaches  reading  and  writing  on  the  Braille 
system,  the  French  language  and  literature,  history,  geography, 
arithmetic,  mathematics,  and  natural  science ;  aiming  first  of  all  at 

Paris  and  the  Blind,  141 

the  mental  and  intellectual  training  of  the  pupils.  Music  is  really 
the  chief  subject,  the  favourite  occupation.  Many  of  the  pupils 
have  distinguished  themselves  as  musicians,  especially  as  organists ; 
they  have  excellent  appointments  all  over  France.  Others  are 
successfully  trained  as  makers  and  tuners  of  instruments.  There  is 
^lendid  technical  teaching  for  all  those  who  are  not  fit  for  higher 
pursuits — turning,  netting,  chair-making,  basket-making.  And  when 
their  school  days  are  over,  the  blind  lads  and  girls  are  not  thrown  on 
to  the  world  to  look  after  themselves,  but  are  taken  in  hand  and 
helped  by  the  Soci^t^  de  Placement  et  de  Secours,  connected  vdth  the 
institution  and  partly  supported  by  subscriptions  from  its  old  pupils, 
who  are  various  in  position  and  in  fortune.  They  do  their  philan- 
thropic work  very  thoroughly  in  France. 

A  visit  to  the  Jeunes  Aveugles  is  even  more  interesting  than 
painfiiL  When  you  meet  its  inhabitants  in  the  corridors  and  on  the 
wide  staircases,  it  is  you,  not  they,  who  are  confused  and  not  quite 
happy.  Now  and  then  there  is  a  meeting  to  be  remembered,  as 
with  the  slim  figure  and  pathetic  face,  bordered  with  lank  fair  hair, 
of  a  little  English  girl.  Her  parents  lived  in  the  north  of  France, 
and  Paris  was  thus  more  convenient  than  London  for  her  education. 
An  English  voice  and  touch  filled  the  sad  face  with  delight,  for  the 
child's  heart  was  English,  though  she  had  never  seen  her  country. 

We  mentioned  just  now  the  name  of  M.  Maurice  de  la  Sizeranne, 
well  known  in  modem  Paris  among  benefactors  of  the  blind. 
Himself  blind  from  childhood,  he  has  consecrated  his  life  and  means 
to  the  service  of  his  fellow-sufferers.  And  this  in  no  sentimental 
fistshion.  The  most  active  and  unselfish  of  workers,  fiill  of  spirit  and 
cheerful  courage,  his  one  idea  of  helping  the  blind  is  to  teach  them 
to  help  themselves.  Nothing  more  penetrating  and  more  sym- 
pathetic has  been  written  on  the  subject  than  his  book, "  Les  Aveugles, 
par  un  Aveugle,"  from  which  many  of  the  notes  here  used  are  taken. 
The  blind  have  never  had  a  better  or  more  brilliant  advocate,  who 
dwells  far  more  on  compensations  than  on  privations,  and  preaches 
courage  and  energy  in  every  line.  The  Comte  d'Haussonville,  in 
his  charming  preface  to  this  book,  in  which  he  playfully  accuses 
M.  de  la  Sizeranne  of  trying  to  persuade  us  that  happiness  lies  in 
being  blind  and  contented,  tells  a  pretty  little  story  of  his.  own : 
that  a  blind  man  was  sitting  one  evening  in  a  dark  room,  when 
some  one  came  in  and  cried  thoughtlessly,  "  Why,  you  are  in  the 
dark ! "  "  Oh,"  the  blind  man  answered,  "  You  know  it  is  always 
light  for  me." 

Perhaps  such  minds  are  not  very  common,  either  among  the 

142  The  Gentleman's  Magazine. 

blind  or  the  seeing ;  but  in  any  case,  it  is  not  pity  but  intelligent 
help  that  M.  de  la  Sizeranne  wants  for  the  blind  With  thb  view, 
while  still  quite  a  young  man,  he  founded  the  Association  Valentin 
Hatty,  now  so  well  known  among  Parisian  works  of  charity. 
There  are  more  than  40,000  blind  in  France,  and  about  10,000,  we 
believe,  in  Paris  alone.  Institutions  like  the  Quinze-Vingts,  the 
Jeunes  Aveugles,  and  others  yet  to  be  mentioned,  can  only  help  a 
very  small  proportion.  The  Association  Valentin  Hatty  is  a  general 
bureau  of  assistance  for  the  blind  of  every  age  and  condition. 
M.  Francois  Coppfe  is  its  President,  and  it  counts  among 
its  active  helpers  many  people  distinguished  in  the  literary  world, 
as  well  as  in  the  world  of  French  society.  It  has  spread  and 
developed  laigely  since  its  foundation  in  1883,  and  was  recognised 
by  the  Government  as  of  "public  utility"  in  1891.  No  limit  of 
religion  or  of  nationality  bounds  its  efforts  in  any  direction ;  and  few 
societies  of  such  modest  and  quiet  exterior,  with  such  an  absence  of 
noise  and  fuss  in  working,  are  doing  such  real  and  splendid  work. 

The  house  in  the  Avenue  de  Breteuil  (No.  31)  does  not  advertise 
itself  to  the  public  in  any  way.  It  has  no  smart  upholstery,  no  paid 
clerks  and  secretaries.  But  here  are  carried  on,  by  true  lovers  and 
helpers  of  the  blind,  a  whole  list  of  useful  works  that  we  can  only 
touch  upon.  To  begin  with,  information  is  to  be  found  here  on 
every  subject  connected  with  blindness,  its  causes,  its  cure,  and 
excellent  advice  is  published  in  the  Association's  pamphlets,  which 
are  many.  Here  three  periodicals  are  edited  and  published  :  Le 
Louis  Brailky  a  monthly  magazine  printed  in  Braille  type  for 
educated  blind  persons,  and  dealing  with  special  subjects  connected 
with  the  blind ;  JLa  Revue  Braille^  a  weekly  paper,  also  printed  in 
relief,  and  containing  public  news,  and  articles  on  literature,  science, 
music,  and  politics ;  Le  Valentin  Hauy^  a  monthly  paper  in  ordinary 
type,  for  those  who  interest  themselves  in  the  blind.  In  the  upper 
rooms  of  the  house  is  a  large  library  in  Braille,  and  a  library  of  books 
translated  from  all  languages,  also  a  museum  of  things  made  by  the 
blind,  and — more  practically  valued  by  many  of  the  poor  people 
themselves — a  dep6t  of  old  clothes,  a  savings'  bank,  a  recreation 
room.  Here  they  can  have  gratuitous  advice  on  law  and  medicine, 
given  by  two  members  of  the  Association.  But  its  work  for  the 
blind  goes  far  beyond  its  own  premises.  It  searches  out  the  objects 
of  its  interest,  looks  after  the  education  of  children,  provides  for  their 
learning  a  trade,  helps  those  who  are  already  established,  follows  them 
by  correspondence  wherever  they  may  go,  supports,  as  far  as  possible, 
he  old  and  sick.    In  Paris  it  has  its  own  workshops,  where  the  blind 

Paris  and  the  BlincL  143 

are  taaght  such  trades  as  making  brushes  and  paper-bags.  This  last 
is  a  new  and  rising  industry,  started  by  the  Association  in  the  last 
two  or  three  years.  It  has  the  great  advantage  of  being  easily  learnt 
by  those  who  are  too  old,  too  stiff-jointed  and  comparatively  helpless 
lor  any  handiwork  that  requires  ingenuity.  M.  de  la  Sizeranne  thinks 
that  no  blind  man  or  woman  need  beg  for  their  living,  when  they 
can  earn  2  f.  50  c.  a  day  by  paper>bag  making.  Quantities  of  waste 
paper,  sent  from  all  parts  of  Paris  and  the  provinces,  provide  the 
material  for  the  work  carried  on  at  two  ateliers^  one  at  headquarters 
in  the  Avenue  de  Breteuil,  the  other  at  62  Rue  Saint-Sauveur.  M* 
Fran9ois  Copp^e,  in  his  last  year's  address,  remarked  that  if  M.  de  la 
Sizeranne  happened  to  meet  Belisarius  holding  out  his  helmet  for  sous 
on  the  Pont  des  Arts  he  would  certainly  carry  him  off  to  the  Avenue 
de  Breteuil  and  teach  him  to  use  his  sword  in  cutting  up  old  papers. 
As  for  Homer,  in  like  circumstances,  he  must  learn  to  tune  lyres — 
for  blindness  and  beggary  must  never  again  be  mentioned  in  the 
same  breath. 

Another  society,  the  objects  of  which  are  to  a  certain  extent  the 
same  as  those  of  the  Association  Valentin  HaUy,  is  the  Soci6t6  des 
Ateliers  d'Aveugles,  which  has  its  headquarters  in  the  Rue  de  Jacquier, 
and  a  depdt  for  its  manufactures  in  the  Rue  de  r£chelle.  It  was 
founded  in  188 1  by  a  committee,  of  whom  M.  Krantz,  the  senator, 
was  at  the  head,  and  Sir  Richard  Wallace  one  of  the  members.  Its 
chief  work  is  the  carrying  on  of  a  technical  day-school  in  the  Rue  de 
Jacquier,  where  the  usual  trades-— chair,  brush,  and  basket-making — 
are  taught  to  thirty  blind  men  between  the  ages  of  eighteen  and 

Besides  these  different  schools  and  societies,  whose  leading  idea 
is  to  make  the  blind  independent  by  teaching  them  to  earn  their 
own  living,  there  are  two   communities  in  Paris  which,  like  the 
Quinze-Vingts,  but  on  more  distinctly  religious  lines,  offer  a  home  to 
the  helpless  and  incurable  among  them.    These  are  the  Fr^res  de 
Saint-Jean  de  Dieu  and  the  Soeurs  Aveugles  de  Saint-Paul.     An 
interesting  account  of  each  of  these  great  charities  may  be  read  in. 
M.  Maxime  du  Camp's  book,  "  La  Charit^  priv^e  k  Paris."    As  far- 
as  we  know,  they  are  not  recognised  by  the  French  Government  as 
of  "public  utility,"  but  the  hearts  of  most  French  people  go  out  to 
them,  and  they  are  rich  in  friends  if  not  in  worldly  goods.    The 
Brothers  of  Saint-Jean,  an  old  order  with  a  romantic  history,  have  a 
ho^ise  in  the  Rue  Lecourbe,  founded  by  M.  Augustin  Cochin,  one 
of  the  best  Frenchmen  who  ever  lived.    There  they  devote  them-. 
selves  to  the  nursing  and  teaching  of  more   than   300  diseased 

144  ^^  Gentleman  s  Magazine. 

children,  about  forty-five  of  whom  are  hopelessly  blind  and  too 
miserable,  too  ill  and  helpless,  for  admission  into  the  great  school 
of  the  Jeunes  Aveugles.  But  their  education  is  not  neglected. 
Hardly  any  of  them  prove  incapable  of  learning  music,  which  is 
taught  here  with  wonderful  success ;  and  a  few  have  left  the  asik  to 
earn  their  own  living  as  organists  and  teachers. 

Many  people  in  England,  no  doubt,  heard  of  the  Sceurs  Aveugles 
de  Saint-Paul  for  the  first  time  when  they  read  of  the  fire  at  the 
Bazar  de  la  Charity,  where  two  of  the  Sisters,  Soeur  Marie-Madeleine 
and  Soeur  Sainte-Claire,  lost  their  lives  so  tragically.  These  were 
among  the  seeing  Sisters  who  form  two-thirds  of  the  little  com- 
munity, and  Soeur  Marie-Madeleine  was  the  dearly-loved  and  patient 
teacher  of  many  helpless  blind  girls,  whom  she  had  trained  from  the 
vague  and  ignorant  misery  of  their  lives  into  intelligent  activity. 
The  community  was  founded  in  1852  by  Anne  Beigunion,  the  first 
Superior,  who  had  bq;un  her  work  in  1849  by  taking  in  and  teaching 
a  few  young  girls  incurably  blind,  who  had  till  then  no  home  but  the 
streets.  With  the  help  of  the  excellent  Abb^  Juge  this  good  work 
grew  and  prospered.  Now,  after  many  ups  and  downs,  it  is  esta* 
blished  at  No.  88  Rue  Denfert-Rochereau,  in  a  house  that  once 
belonged  to  Chateaubriand,  which,  with  all  its  bareness  and  poverty, 
has  a  certain  quaint  picturesqueness.  About  twenty  of  the  Sisters 
are  blind ;  but  they  take  a  full  share  in  the  works  of  the  community, 
and  manage  the  printing  press,  which,  besides  other  varied  work, 
prints  the  periodicals  published  by  the  Association  Valentin  HaUy. 
This  society  is  also  connected  with  the  Soeurs  de  Saint-Paul  by  the 
brush-making  industry  for  girls  which  it  has  established  in  their 
house.  From  eighty  to  a  hundred  blind  women  and  children  find  a 
home  here.  The  old  are  nursed  and  cared  for,  the  young  and 
middle^ed  are  usefully  and  happily  employed  in  housework,  needle- 
work, knitting,  &c. ;  the  children  are  educated,  here  again  music 
being  a  favourite  study.  Boys  and  girls  alike,  the  Sisters  of  Saint- 
Paul  receive  them  gladly  and  cry  out  for  more,  especially  under  six 
years  old ;  for  a  blind  child's  training  and  teaching  cannot  b^[in  too 

It  is  difficult  to  realise  how  much  thought  and  intelligence, 
activity  and  self-denial,  are  represented  by  the  different  works,  with 
one  object,  sketched  so  roughly  here.  One  and  all,  and  one 
hardly  more  than  another,  they  seem  to  echo  and  to  prove  the  Vicomte 
de  Broc's  fine  words  in  the  Report  he  drew  up  last  year  for  the 
Association  Valentin  HaOy,  and  read  at  their  general  meeting: 
"  Donner  de  Targent,  c'est  beaucoup ;  mais  rien  ne  vaut  le  don  de 

utme.''  s.  c  PRicB. 



ACCORDING  to  the  biographer  of  Lord  Macaulay,  a  person 
need  possess  but  a  very  moderate  reputation,  and  have  played 
no  exertional  part,  in  order  to  have  his  memoirs  written.  How 
comes  it,  then,  it  may  be  asked,  that  so  considerable  a  personage  as 
Croker  was  has  not  had  what  Carlyle  styles  "  posthumous  retribu- 
tion "  paid  to  him  ?  It  is  true  that  a  mass  of  his  correspondence  has 
been  collected  and  published  under  the  editorship  of  his  friend  the 
late  Mr.  Louis  J.  Jennings;  but  the  biographical  thread  which 
connects  the  letters  in  those  volumes  is  of  the  slenderest  description, 
and  although  ''  the  true  life  of  a  man  is  in  his  letters,"  we  would 
£sun  have  a  complete  biography  of  the  great  reviewer,  a  biography 
which  would  for  ever  dispel  the  calumnies  that  grew  around  his  name, 
and  made  it  in  some  men's  mouths  a  synonym  for  all  that  was  base 
and  contemptible.  Whether  for  good  or  ill,  Croker  early  in  life  made  it 
a  rule  never  to  reply  to  any  attack  that  was  made  upon  him,  no  matter 
how  vile  or  slanderous  it  might  be,  but  to  live  it  down ;  and  from  this 
rule  he  never,  with  one  notable  exception,  deviated.  From  one  point 
of  view  this  had  for  him  an  advantage,  for  so  numerous  were  the 
attacks  made  upon  him  and  the  slanders  hurled  at  him,  that  were  he 
to  have  replied  to  them,  he  would  have  had  his  hands  so  full  that  he 
would  have  found  but  Htde  time  for  literature  and  politics,  to  both  of 
which  his  life  was  devoted.  The  disadvantage  at  which  his  self- 
imposed  rule  placed  him  was  the  sufficiently  obvious  one  that  the 
slanderer  mistook  the  silent  contempt  with  which  he  was  treated,  and 
was  reinforced  by  various  smaller  fry,  who  repeated  and  spread  what 
they  either  knew  to  be  false  or  did  not  trouble  to  investigate.  Thus 
we  find  him  variously  described  as  "  one  of  the  most  murderous 
critics  that  ever  lived — a  veritable  assassin,  who  used  pen  instead  of 
dagger."  "  The  man  who  killed  Keats  by  his  violent  attack  on  him 
in  the  Quarterly  Review^  "  The  wickedest  of  reviewers."  "  A  man 
of  low  birth  and  no  principles."  "  A  defamer  whose  path  was  paved 
with  dead  men's  bones."  "A  bad,  a  very  bad  man,"  wrote  hi& 
enemy  Macaulay  in  his  diary,  "  a  scandal  to  politics  and  to  letters." 

146  TIu  Gentleman's  Magazine. 

That  all  these  statements  were  at  variance  with  the  truth  a  fe^ 
facts  will  go  to  show.  His  father,  John  Croker,  was  descended  from 
an  old  Devonshire  stock,  and  held  the  position  of  Surveyor-General 
of  the  Excise  and  Customs  in  Ireland.  Edmund  Burke  described 
him  as  "  a  man  of  great  abilities  and  most  amiable  manners,  an  able 
and  upright  public  steward,  and  universally  respected  and  beloved  in 
private  life."  His  mother  was  the  daughter  of  the  Rev.  Robert 
Rathbone,  of  Galway,  and  was  a  lady  of  culture  and  refinement  It 
was  in  the  town  of  Galway  that  their  son,  John  Wilson  Croker,  was 
bom  on  December  20,  1780.  Having  a  slight  stutter,  he  was  early 
sent  to  the  school  of  the  great  elocutionist  James  Knowles  (father  of 
Sheridan  Knowles),  in  Cork ;  but  although  an  improvement  was 
effected,  he  never  altogether  conquered  the  impediment.  From  here 
he  was  sent  to  another  school  in  the  same  city,  kept  by  a  French 
fiunily,  with  whose  language  he  acquired  a  great  facility.  He  then 
was  sent  to  Mr.  Willis's  school  in  Portarlington,  whereat  twelve  years 
of  age  he  was  "  head  of  the  school,  faciU  princeps  in  every  branch, 
and  the  pride  of  the  masters."  So  great  and  retentive  was  his 
memory  that  he  had  Pope's  "Homer"  by  heart.  From  Mr. 
Willis's  he  went  to  the  more  advanced  school  in  the  same  town 
presided  over  by  the  Rev.  Richmond  Hood  (who  in  later  years 
became  the  second  Sir  Robert  Peel's  classical  tutor),  and  he  then 
passed  to  Trinity  College,  Dublin,  where  he  was  entered  in 
November  1796.  During  his  four  years'  residence  there  he  won  a 
distinguished  place  among  brilliant  contemporaries,  was  conspicuous 
as  a  speaker  in  the  Historical  Society,  and  gained  several  gold  medals 
for  essays.  He  left  Trinity  (which  he  later  had  the  honour  of  repre« 
senting  in  Parliament)  with  a  B.A.  degree,  obtaining  that  of  LL.D. 
in  1809. 

Being  destined  for  the  law,  he  entered  himself  at  Lincoln's  Inn  in 
1800,  and  for  the  two  following  years  devoted  himself  to  legal  studies. 
He  varied  these  labours  by  contributing  to  periodicals  of  the  day, 
and  collecting  a  vast  mass  of  literature  bearing  on  the  French 
Revolution,  a  subject  which  deeply  interested  him,  and  to  the  study 
of  which  in  all  its  aspects  he  gave  so  much  attention  that  he  came  to 
be  considered  about  the  best-informed  man  in  all  England  regard* 
ing  it. 

He  returned  to  Dublin  in  1802,  and  two  years  later  created  a 
sensation  by  publishing  (anonymously)  a  sort  of  imitation  of  the 
"  Rosciad,"  entitled  "  Familiar  Epistles  to  Frederick  E.  Jones,  Esq., 
on  the  Present  State  of  the  Irish  Stage."  It  was  in  octosyllabic  verse, 
and  although  having  both  point  and  sparkle,  was  vastly  inferior  to. 

John  Wilson  Croker.  147^ 

ChuithiU's  masterpiece.  Jones  was,  it  may  be  mentioned,  lessee  of 
the  Crow  Street  Theatre,  and  Dublin  society  raved  about  the  book. 
One  journal  said  the  author  was  an  "infamous  scribbler/'  while 
another  declared  it  was  evident  that  he  was  ''a  well<educated 
gentleman."  With  characteristic  coolness,  Croker  published  in  the 
successive  editions  (it  went  through  five  in  a  year)  an  abstract  of  the 
conflicting  praise  and  abuse  lavished  upon  his  book.  A  few  extracts 
will  serve  to  show  the  nature  of  the  satire : — 

Next  Williams  comes — the  rude  and  rongh, 

With  fiice  most  whimsically  gruff. 

Aping  the  careless  sons  of  ocean, 

He  scorns  each  fine  and  easy  motion ; 

Tight  to  his  sides  his  elbows  pins, 

And  dabbles  with  his  hands  like  fins ; 

Would  he  display  the  greatest  woe. 

He  slaps  his  breast  and  points  his  toe ; 

Is  merriment  to  be  expressed. 

He  points  his  toe  and  slaps  his  breast ; 

His  turns  are  swings — his  step  a  jump— 

His  feeling  fits — ^his  touch  a  thump ; 

And  violent  in  all  his  parts. 

He  speaks  by  gusts  and  moves  by  starts. 

The  acting-manager,  Fullam,  was  thus  dealt  with : — 

Come,  then  I  lead  on  the  rear  guard,  Fullam, 

Who  with  deputed  truncheon  rule  'em  ; 

And  tho'  the  buffo  of  the  band, 

Tower  the  second  in  command 

(Thus,  as  old  comedies  record, 

Christopher  Sly  became  a  Lord). 

Cheer  up  I  nor  look  so  plaguy  sour — 

I  own  your  merit,  feel  your  power ; 

And  from  my  prudent  lips  shall  flow 

Words  as  light  as  flakes  of  snow. 

For  should  I  vex  you,  well  you  might 

Repay't  by  playing  every  night. 

And — furnished  with  most  potent  engines, 

GitbHm  or  Scrub — take  ample  vengeance. 

But  truce  to  gil»ng,  let's  be  fidr— 

Fullam*s  a  very  pleasant  player ; 

In  knavish  craft  and  testy  age. 

Sly  mirth  and  impotence  of  rage, 

He's  still,  though  often  harsh  and  mean. 

The  evenest  actor  of  our  scene. 

Montague  Talbot,  famous  inlight  comedy  parts,  was  highlypraised : — . 

He  reigns  o'er  comedy  supreme—* 
By  art  and  nature  chastely  fit 
To  play  the  gentleman  or  wit : 

148  The  Gentletnan^s  Magazine. 

Not  Hairit's  or  Colman's  boards. 
Nor  all  that  Dniry  Lane  affords, 
Can  paint  the  rakish  CkarUs  so  well. 
Or  give  such  life  to  Mirabel^ 
Or  show  for  light  and  airy  sport 
So  exquisite  a  Dorieourt* 

The  phenomenal  success  of  this  book  induced  him  to  publish 

another,  and  in  1805  appeared  "An  Intercepted  Letter  from  J 

T ,  Esq.,  written  at  Canton,  to  his  friend  in  Dublin."     This  was 

a  vigorous  satire  on  Dublin  city,  and  recalls  to  mind  Goldsmith's 
"  Citizen  of  the  World,"  which,  however,  lives,  while  Croker's  work, 
having  run  through  seven  editions  in  twelve  months,  is  utterly 

These,  however,  were  but  the  recreations  of  a  busy  man,  for, 
having  been  called  to  the  Irish  Bar  in  1802,  he  joined  the  Munster 
circuit,  and  soon  enjoyed  a  considerable  practice,  which  was  in  a 
measure  due  to  the  important  position  held  by  his  father.  This 
brought  him  into  contact  with  O'Connell,  with  whom  he  had,  as  he 
told  his  friend  Charles  Phillips,^  a  "  sharp  encounter  of  wits  "  at  their 
very  first  meeting ;  but  no  ill-will  followed,  and  when  they  met  some 
years  afterwards  in  London  they  greeted  each  other  cordially. 

In  1806  he  married  Miss  Rosamond  Pennell,  daughter  of  William 

Pennell,  afterwards  for  many  years  British  Consul  at  the  Brazils. 

This  marriage  was  the  happiest  event  in  his  life,  and  they  lived  to 

celebrate  their  golden  wedding  just  a  year  before  he  died.     In  a 

letter  to  a  friend,  written  shortly  after  his  marriage,  he  thus  describes 

his  wife,  who  was  his  junior  by  nine  years : — 

Don't  indulge  yourself  in  fancying  my  dear  wife  to  be  one  of  those  fine  and 
feathered  ladies  who  have  a  little  learning,  a  little  language,  a  little  talent,  and 
a  great  deal  of  self-opinion.  She  is  nothing  like  this.  She  has  none  of  what  Sir 
Hugh  Evans  calls  <*  affectations,  fribbles  and  frabbles."  She  is  a  kind,  even* 
tempered,  well-judging  girl,  who  can  admire  beauty  and  value  talent  without 
pretending  to  either,  and  whose  object  is  rather  to  make  home  happy  than 
splendid,  and  her  husband  contented  than  vain.  In  truth,  she  is  all  g  odness, 
but  for  literary  tastes  she  has,  as  yet,  none,  and  her  indifference  on  thb  point 
becomes  her  so  well  that  I  can  hardly  wish  for  a  change. 

He  now  turned  his  attention  to  active  politics,  and  on  the  collapse 
of  the  "  Ministry  of  all  the  Talents  "  he  stood  for  Downpatrick,  and 
was  elected.     Thus  early  he  advocated  the  Catholic  claims  for 

*  Author  of  RccoUectiom  of  Curran,  When  Phillips  was  writing  this  book  he 
wrote  to  Croker  for  reminiscences  of  the  great  Irish  orator  and  advocate.  Croker 
replied  :  **  I  have  never,  even  in  my  youth,  been  able  to  sit  dcwn  to  remember. 
Conversation  breaks  through  the  sur&ce  that  time  spreads  over  events,  and  turns 
Up  anecdotes,  as  the  plough  sometimes  does  old  coins." 

John  Wilson  Croker.  149 

Eoaancipadon,  which  at  the  general  election  in  1810  cost  him  his 
seat  for  Downpatrick ;  but  he  was  returned  for  Athlone.  He  advo- 
cated similar  views  in  his  "  Sketch  of  Ireland  Fast  and  Present," 
published  in  1807.  This  was  a  brilliant  success,  speedily  going 
through  twenty  editions,  and,  remarkable  to  relate,  seventy-seven 
years  afterwards  (i>.  in  1884)  its  lustre  was  found  sufficiently 
undimmed  to  justify  its  republication. 

This  sketch  contains  a  fine  passage  on  the  character  of  Swift, 
which  Sir  Walter  Scott  copied  when  he  came  to  write  his  memoir  of 
the  immortal  dean.     It  is  worth  while  quoting  it : — 

On  this  gloom  one  luminary  rose,  and  Ireland  wonhipped  it  with  Persian 
idolatry,  her  true  patriot — her  first — ^almost  her  last.  Sagadous  and  intre- 
pid,  he  saw— he  dared ;  above  suspicion,  he  was  trusted ;  above  envy,  he 
was  beloved;  above  rivalry,  he  was  obeyed.  His  wisdom  was  practical  and 
prophetic— remedial  for  the  present,  warning  for  the  future.  He  first  taught 
Ireland  that  she  might  become  a  nation,  and  England  that  she  must  cease  to  be 
a  despot  But  he  was  a  Churchman ;  his  gown  entangled  his  course  and  impeded 
his  e£R>rts.  Guiding  a  senate,  or  heading  an  army,  he  had  been  more  than 
Cromwell,  and  Ireland  not  less  than  England.  As  it  was,  he  saved  her  by  his 
courage,  improved  her  by  his  authority,  adorned  her  by  his  talents,  and  exalted 
her  by  his  fame.  His  mission  was  but  of  ten  years,  and  for  ten  years  only  did  his 
personal  power  mitigate  the  Government ;  but  though  no  longer  feared  by  the 
great,  he  was  not  forgotten  by  the  wise ;  his  influence,  like  his  writings,  has  sur- 
vived a  century;  and  the  foundations  of  whatever  prosperity  we  have  since 
erected  are  laid  in  the  disinterested  and  magnanimous  patriotism  of  Swift. 

On  the  night  that  he  first  took  his  seat  in  the  House  of  Commons 
he  made  his  maiden  speech.  Something  which  had  fallen  from  the 
lips  of  no  less  a  person  than  Grattan  on  the  state  of  Ireland  stimu- 
lated him  into  replying,  and  notwithstanding  that  he  spoke  after  so 
illustrious  an  orator,  his  speech  elicited  warm  commendation,  and 
was  the  means  of  his  becoming  acquainted  with  Canning,  who  asked 
to  be  introduced  to  him,  and  together  they  walked  home  to  his 
lodgings.  This  acquaintance  ripened  into  friendship,  which  ended 
only  with  Canning's  death.  It  may  not  be  out  of  place  here  to 
mention  that  amongst  several  poems  which  Croker  published,  and 
which  are  not  devoid  of  merit,  his  lines  on  the  death  of  Canning  are 
considered  very  fine. 

Among  the  many  able  speeches  which  the  famous  Duke  of  York 
case  called  forth,  none  were  better  or  more  effective  than  Croker's, 
who  had  in  a  short  time  made  quite  a  name  for  himself  in  parlia- 
mentary debate,  and  was  a  formidable  opponent,  as  Macaulay  after* 
wards  found  out,  and  grew  to  hate  him  for  it. 

With  the  outbreak  of  the  Peninsular  War  came  the  necessity  for 
Sir  Arthur  Wellesley  (afterwards  Duke  of  Wellington)  to  take  up  the 

150  ^^  Gentleman's  Magazine. 

command,  and  as  he  was  at  the  time  Secretary  of  State  for  Ireland^ 
Croker  was  recommended  to  him  by  Perceval  as  the  most  competent 
man  to  look  after  the  duties  of  the  office.  So  well  did  he  discharge 
the  duties  imposed  upon  him  that  when,  in  1809,  on  the  recon- 
struction of  the  Cabinet  consequent  upon  the  duel  between  Canning 
and  Castlereagh,  Perceval  became  Premier,  he  appointed  Croker 
Secretary  to  the  Admiralty.  At  first  Croker  hesitated  about  abandon- 
ing his  profession,  which  was  now  yielding  him  a  fair  income,  but  as 
he  was  pressed  to  accept  the  position  (to  which  was  attached  a  salary 
<>f  £iiS^^  A  yc^)  ^^  consented,  and  held  the  secretaryship  for 
twenty-one  years,  retiring  in  1830  with  a  pension  of  jQhSoo  a  year, 
having  in  the  meantime  been  made  a  Privy  Councillor.  His  tenure 
of  office  at  the  Admiralty  was  memorable  in  the  history  of  that 
department  Gifted  with  a  quick  eye,  marvellous  powers  of  mastering 
details,  and  untiring  industry  (he  used  to  be  at  his  desk  at  nine  in 
the  morning,  often  working  until  four  or  five  in  the  evening),  he  kept 
affairs  in  a  state  of  efficiency  not  common  in  those  days.  Within  a 
month  from  his  accepting  the  office  he  felt  constrained  to  resign, 
being  unable  to  gloss  over  a  series  of  defalcations  discovered  in  his 
department  in  the  accounts  of  one  of  the  King's  personal  friends. 
His  resignation  was  not  accepted,  and  his  reasons  for  tendering  it 
being  inquired  into,  none  more  highly  appreciated  his  zeal  and 
rectitude  in  the  public  service  than  Geoige  III.  himself. 

These  twenty-one  years  during  which  he  was  at  the  Admiralty 
were  also  the  busiest  in  his  literary  life.  He  had  shared  the  councils 
of  Sir  Walter  Scott,  Canning,  and  George  Ellis  in  arranging  for  the 
establishment  of  the  Quarterly  Review  in  February  1809.  His  first 
article  was  a  review  of  Miss  Edgeworth's  "  Tales  of  Fashionable  Life,'' 
and  it  appeared  in  the  third  number.  He  did  not  contribute  to  it 
again  until  the  tenth  number,  in  181 1,  but  from  that  until  1854, 
except  for  an  interval  in  1826  and  183 1,  scarcely  a  number  appeared 
without  one  or  more  papers  from  his  pen.  In  all  he  wrote  for  it 
upwards  of  two  hundred  and  sixty  articles. 

During  those  forty-three  years  innumerable  books  came  before 
him  for  review,  and  very  many  he  most  undoubtedly  severely  handled ; 
but  in  no  instance  did  he  adversely  criticise  any  work  that  on  its 
merits  (or  demerits,  rather)  did  not  deserve  it.  The  reviews  of  the 
Quarterly  were  so  severe,  and  so  numerous  were  Croker's  contribu- 
tions to  it,  that  it  is  not  to  be  wondered  that  he  sometimes  incurred 
odium  for  scathing  articles  that  were  not  from  his  pen.  For  instance, 
GifTord,  its  editor,  hated  Leigh  Hunt,  and  he  abused  Keats  because 
he  was  his  fiiend,  and  Croker  had  this  article  ascribed  to  him. 

John  Wilson  Croker.  151 

When  occasion  or  friendship  called  for  it  Croker  could  be  silent 

Thus,  when  Alison  brought  out  his  "  History  of  Europe,"  which,  as 

everybody  knows,  is  not  remarkable  for  its  unvarying  accuracy  or 

breadth  of  view,  Lockhart  (who  had  succeeded  to  the  editorship  on 

the  death  of  Gifford,  in  1826)  asked  Croker  to  deal  mercifully  with  it, 

as  its  author  was  a  near  neighbour  and  friend  of  his.    Croker,  finding 

that  he  could  not  conscientiously  praise  it,  abstained  altogether  from 

reviewing  it     In  the  light  of  this  fru:t,  it  is  rather  amusing  to  find 

Alison  (in  a  letter  to  a  fiiend)  complaining  of  '*  the  want  of  kindness 

on  the  part  of  the  editor  of  the  Quarterly  in  neglecting  his  work." 

Like  W.  S.  Gilbert's  "King  Gama,"  Croker  "could  tell  a  woman's 

age  in  half  a  minute — and  he  did,"  and  by  the  term   "  female 

Methusaleh "  so  enraged  Lady  Morgan  that  she  vowed  she  would 

put  him  in  her  next  book,  which  she  did  as  "  Crawley  "  in  "  Florence 

MacCarthy."    Apropos  of  this,  Peel,  who  was  then  in  Dublin,  wrote 

to  Croker:— 

Lady  Morgan  vows  vengeance  against  you  as  the  supposed  author  of  the  article 
in  the  Quarterly, '  You  are  to  be  the  hero  of  some  novel  of  which  she  b  about 
to  be  delivered.  One  of  her  warm  friends  has  been  trying  to  extract /rvisr/  me 
whether  you  are  the  author  of  this  obnoxious  article  or  not ;  but  I  disclaimed  all 
knowledge,  and  only  did  not  deny  that  it  was  to  be  attributed  to  you  because 
I  thought  you  would  be  indifferent  to  Lady  Morgan's  hostility. 

The  shaft,  as  far  as  Croker  was  concerned,  missed  its  mark,  for 
he  never  read  any  of  her  novels,  though  it  is  not  true  that  he  ever 
boasted  that  he  never  read  a  novel  in  his  life ;  for  he  told  Charles 
Phillips  that  he  had  Scott's  novels  almost  by  heart,  and  that  he  dated 
his  distaste  for  novel  reading  to  Theodore  Hook's  "  Gilbert  Gurney," 
which,  from  knowing  its  author,  he  tried  to  read,  but  gave  up  the 
attempt  after  two  or  three  efforts.  In  this  way  he  missed  Disraeli's 
"  Coningsby,"  in  which,  under  the  transparent  fiction  of  "  Rigby," 
Croker  is  caricatured  with  Disraelian  mercilessness. 

Sir  Robert  Peel,  whose  letter  has  just  been  quoted,  was,  from 
181 2,  when  he  became  Irish  Secretary,  down  to  the  period  of  his  Com 
Law  measures,  Croker's  intimate  friend,  and  was  godfather  to  his 
only  child,  a  son  bom  January  31,  181 7.  This  child,  christened 
Spencer  Perceval,  was  the  joy  and  the  hope  of  his  parents  during 
his  short  life :  he  only  lived  three  years,  dying  May  15,  1820.  The 
blow  was  a  severe  one  to  Croker,  and  the  grief  to  which  he  at  first 
gave  way  unnerved  him,  and  gave  a  colour  to  his  whole  later  life.  It 
was  only  the  fear  of  mischief  to  health  of  mind  and  body  that  kept 
him  from  resigning  his  office,  for  he  feared  to  be  idle  and  unem- 
ployed ;  and  although  he  continued  to  prosecute  his  literary  labours, 

'  A  review  of  her  France, 

152  The  Gentletnan's  Magazine. 

the  chief  incentive  to  exertion  was  gone — all  his  hopes  were  buried 
with  his  son.  While  his  grief  was  still  fresh  upon  him  he  wrote  the 
following  lines  to  be  inscribed  upon  the  tombstone  when  he  himself 
and  his  wife '  should  be  laid  to  rest : — 

Oh,  pity  us,  who  lost,  when  Spencer  died, 
Our  child,  our  hope,  our  pleasure,  and  our  pride. 
In  whom  we  saw,  or  fancied,  all  such  youth 
Could  show  of  talents,  tenderness,  and  truth, 
And  hoped  to  other  eyes  his  ripened  powers 
Would  keep  the  promise  they  had  made  to  ours. 
But  God  a  different,  better  growth  has  given — 
^e  seed  we  planted  here  now  blooms  in  Heaven. 

A  poignant  sorrow,  when  it  does  not  chasten,  often  embitters,  and 
the  death  of  his  son  did  nothing  to  diminish  the  acid  which  not  in- 
frequently ran  through  his  vrritings. 

It  was  about  this  time  that  the  Earl  of  Yarmouth,  afterwards  the 
third  Marquis  of  Hertford,  became  intimate  with  Croker,  and  formed 
so  high  an  opinion  of  his  abilities,  shrewdness,  and  sound  common 
sense,  that  f^om  seeking  his  advice  and  assistance  on  matters  of 
business,  he  eventually  entrusted  to  him  the  entire  management  of 
his  estates  and  business  affairs  generally,  his  almost  constant  residence 
abroad  rendering  this  peculiarly  convenient  to  him.  For  this  Croker 
accepted  no  salary  or  remuneration  of  any  kind ;  but  in  his  will  the 
marquis  bequeathed  him  his  cellar  of  wine  and  ;;^2 1,000.  His 
position  in  the  house  of  this  nobleman  laid  him  open  to  some  im- 
putations, the  truth  or  falsehood  of  which  a  complete  biography  can 
alone  clear  up.  It  did  not  affect  his  social  position  in  the  slightest 
degree,  although  it  afforded  Disraeli  the  opportunity  for  the  carica- 
ture already  mentioned,  and  furnished  Thackeray  with  material  for  a 
more  delicately  drawn  but  equally  Untrue  portrait. 

Croker's  position  in  the  world  of  letters  was  now  a  most  important 
one.  His  long  connection  with  the  Quarterly  Review  had  brought 
him  into  relation  with  the  literary  lights  of  the  day,  who  numbered 
him  amongst  their  friends.  "  He  was,"  says  Sir  Theodore  Martin, 
"  the  friend  and  confidant  of  many  of  the  best  and  ablest  men  of  his 
time ;  a  pattern  of  sincerity,  consistency,  devoted  loyalty,  and  un- 
selfishness." Sir  Walter  Scott,  who  was  associated  with  him  on  the 
Review^  gave  him  most  cordial  assistance  with  his  "Boswell's 
Johnson  "  (of  which  more  anon),  and  owed  the  idea  of  his  "  Tales 
of  a  Grandfather "  to  the  "  Stories  from  the  History  of  England," 
which  Croker  wrote  for  an  adopted  daughter. 

'  She  survived  him  three  years,  and  died  November  7,  i86a 

John  Wilson  Croker.  153 

When  Southey  brought  out  his  immortal ''  Life  of  Nelson,"  he 
took  occasion  to  dedicate  it  to  Croker,  "  who,"  he  wrote,  "  by  Ae 
official  situation  which  he  so  ably  fills,  is  qualified  to  appreciate  its 
historical  accuracy,  and  who,  as  a  member  of  the  Republic  of  Letters 
is  equally  qualified  to  decide  upon  its  literary  merits." 

And  Mr.  John  Murray  did  not  hesitate  to  offer  him  2,500  guineas 
for  a  "  History  of  the  French  Revolution,"  a  work  which  Croker  had 
often  meditated,  but  never  found  leisure  to  finish.  However,  his 
numerous  scattered  essays  on  the  subject,  which,  as  has  been 
mentioned,  was  a  special  one  with  him,  were  collected  and  published. 
There  is  no  need  to  enumerate  the  many  works  which  he  wrote  and 
edited,  most  of  which  are  of  great  historical  value,  or  to  more  than 
refer  to  several  translations  of  important  works  by  foreign  authors, 
but  his  great  work — ^the  one  on  which  his  chief  claim  to  literary 
recollection  rests — ^is  his  edition  of  "  Boswell's  Johnson,"  which  he 
brought  out  in  1831. 

The  idea  of  this  book  had  for  a  long  time  occupied  his  mind, 
and  he  first  proposed  it  to  Mr.  Murray  in  a  conversation  he  had  with 
him  on  January  8,  1829,  and  then  more  fully  explained  in  a  letter 
written  to  him  the  next  day : — 

As  Dr.  Johnson  himself  said  of  the  Spectator^  a  thousand  things  which  every- 
body knew  at  the  time  have,  in  the  lapse  of  years,  becoire  so  obscure  as  to  require 
annotation.  It  is  a  pity  that  Malone  did  not  apply  himself  to  this  line  of  explana- 
tion—^ could  have  done  with  little  trouble  what  will  cost  a  great  deal  to  any 
man  now  living.  I  know  not  whether  there  is  any  man  who  could  now  hope  to 
do  it  well ;  but  I  am  also  satisfied  that  I  should,  at  this  day^  do  it  better  than  any 
man,  however  clever  or  well-informed,  will  be  aUe  to  do  it  twenty  years 
hence.  .  .  . 

If,  however,  there  be  any  of  your  literary  friends  whose  greater  leisure  or 
better  information  would  enable  him  to  do  the  work  earlier  or  more  satisfactorily, 
you  are  quite  at  liberty  to  make  use  of  my  hints  and  employ  him  to  carry  them 
into  effect  I  shall  be  glad  to  see  the  thing  done,  but  I  have  no  great  desire  to 
be  the  doer*    So  you  are  quite  at  liberty  on  that  point. 

Murray  at  once  replied,  offering  him  1,000  guineas  for  the  work. 

There  is  no  doubt  that  he  was  probably  the  only  man  then  living 

who  was  capable  of  doing  it,  for  his  knowledge  of  the  political  and 

social  history  of  Johnson's  time  was  perhaps  second  to  none,  and> 

besides,  he  knew  the  most  celebrated  survivors  of  the  generation 

which  could  remember  Johnson  and  Boswell;  and  his  social  position 

enabled  him  to  prosecute  his  researches  in  every  direction.    The 

work  cost  him  two  years  of  laborious  and  painstaking  research,  and 

that,  undeniable  faults  apart,  he  did  it  well  is  attested  by  the  &ct 

that  his  successors  have  been  able  to  add  but  little  to  what  he  has 


VOL.  CCLZXXV.     RO.  2013.  U 

154  ^^  Gentleman's  Mc^Mine. 

That  he  was  engaged  on  it  was  of  course  well  known  in  the 
literary  world,  and  so  bitter  was  the  feeling  of  Macaulay  towards  hinii 
that  he  expressed  his  determination  to  destroy  it  if  he  could.  In  the 
House  of  Commons  passages  of  arms  between  the  two  were  frequent 
and  fierce,  and  not  always  was  the  victory  with  Macaulay.  Impartial 
critics  declare  that  Croker  was  often  more  than  a  match  for  his 
opponent,  as  he  certainly  was  on  the  occasion  of  the  Reform  Bill 
debate,  when,  in  an  elaborately  prepared  speech,  Macaulay  attacked 
the  House  of  Lords,  pointing  to  the  downfall  of  the  French  nobility 
as  a  warning  of  what  might  result  from  a  want  of  sympathy  with  the 
people.  Croker  in  reply  pointed  out  the  baselessness  of  the  analogy 
(the  passage  is  really  eloquent,  but  too  long  to  quote),  and  con* 
temptuously  referred  to  "vague  generalities,  handled  with  that  brilliant 
imagination  which  tickles  the  ear  and  amuses  the  fancy  without 
satisfying  the  reason." 

It  is  quite  clear  from  Macaulay's  own  letters  that,  from  being 
irritated  with  Croker,  he  grew  to  hate  him.  "See  whether  I  do 
not  dust  that  varlet's  jacket  for  him  in  the  next  number  of  the  'Blue 
and  Yellow.'  I  detest  him,''  he  wrote  in  July  1831 ;  and  again  he 
wrote  to  Macvey  Napier,*  "I  will  certainly  review  Croker's  *  Boswell' 
when  it  comes  out."  In  September  the  "review"  appeared,  and 
opened  with  several  pages  of  abuse  of  Croker  "  which "  said  the 
AtheniBumoi  May  17,  1856,  "  reads  in  our  calmer  days  so  much  bad 
taste  and  bad  feeling."  Macaulay,  however,  gloried  in  his  achieve- 
ment, and  went  about  declaring  that  he  had  "  smashed  the  book." 
This  was  hardly  true,  however,  as  upwards  of  60,000  copies  were 

Croker  would  not  condescend  to  reply  to  his  assailant,  or  to 
refute  his  charges  of  inaccuracy,  but  his  friend  John  Gibson  Lockhart 
did  it  for  him  in  one  of  the  "Noctes  Ambrosianse";  and  his  detailed 
answers  to  Macaulay's  charges  were  so  conclusive  that  they  were 
subsequently  reprinted  along  with  the  charges  in  the  later  editions  of 
the  work.  This  refutation  further  angered  Macaulay,  who  had  culti- 
vated his  animosity  until  it  became  a  morbid  passion.  He  again 
attacked  Croker  for  "  literary  incapacity,"  inaccurate  writing,"  *  and 

>  Then  editor  of  the  Edinburgh  Review. 

*  In  this  connection  it  should  be  noted  that  when  Macaulay's  Essay  on 
Warren  Hastings  first  appeared  in  the  Sdinburgk  Reviiw  it  contamed  the  start- 
ling statement  that  **  it  would  be  unfair  to  estimate  Goldsmith's  true  powers  by 
such  a  pot-boiling  piece  of  drudgery  as  the  Vicar  of  fVaie/ieUL"  His  attention 
having  been  drawn  to  the  singular  ineptness  of  this  criticism,  he  changed  it  In  the 
ooUected  edition  of  his  Essays  to  the  very  different  opinion  that  '*  it  would  be 
unjust  to  estimate  Goldsmith  by  the  History  of  Gruee^** 

John  Wilson  Croker.  155 

«  slttider  Ceunilties."  It  is  little  to  the  point  in  Macaulay's  defence 
that  he  was,  as  he  himself  admitted,  ''  addicted  to  saying  a  thousand 
wild  and  inaccurate  things,  and  employing  exaggerated  expressions 
about  persons  and  events."  This  does  not  excuse  or  cover  entries 
made  in  a  diary.  The  truth  is,  he  was  himself  a  living  illustration  of 
his  o?m  saying,  "  How  extravagantly  unjust  party  spirit  makes  men  I  ^ 
How  paltry  was  the  spirit  which  actuated  him  may  be  seen  from  his 
describing  as  a  "  new  cant  word  "  the  term  "  Conservative,"  which,  in 
an  article  in  the  Quarterly  in  January  1830,  Croker  had  used  for  the 
first  time  towards  the  Tory  party. 

It  is  refreshing  to  turn  from  this  acrimony  to  pleasanter  episodes 
in  Croker's  life.  When  Crofton  Croker  (of  "  Fairy  L^ends  "  &me) 
migrated  from  the  Irish  Athens  to  the  modern  Babylon,  the  Secretary 
to  the  Admiralty,  to  whom  he  bore  a  letter  of  introduction  from  Tom 
Moore^  appointed  him  to  a  clerkship  in  his  department,  which  he 
held  for  nearly  thirty  years,  retiring  in  1850  with  a  pension.  It  was 
at  his  instance  that  his  friend  Peel  came  to  Maginn's  assistance  when 
misfortunes  had  encompassed  that  reckless  genius.  And  Thackeray, 
always  a  child-lover,  was  quite  touched  on  one  occasion  when  he 
learned  how  Croker  had  had  the  school-children  in  his  neighbour- 
hood over  to  his  house  for  a  Saturday  to  Monday  holiday.  "  They'll 
destroy  your  flower-beds  and  upset  my  inkstands,"  said  Croker  to  his 
wife ;  "but  we  can  help  them  more  than  they  can  hurt  us." 

literary  men  will  not  think  unkindly  of  him  for  having  founded 
the  Athenaeum  Club ;  and  the  acquisition  of  the  Elgin  marbles  for 
the  British  Museum  must  always  redound  to  his  credit 

Having,  after  twenty-one  years  at  the  Admiralty,  retired  from  the 
secretaryship,  he  likewise  retired  from  Parliament  on  the  passing,  in 
1832,  of  the  Reform  Bill,  which  he  had  strenuously  and  consistently 
opposed,  finding  himself,  as  he  said,  "  unable  spontaneously  to  take 
an  active  share  in  a  system  which  must  subvert  the  Church,  the 
peerage,  and  the  throne — ^in  one  word,  the  Constitution  of  England." 

Although  pressed  by  Peel  to  re-enter  Parliament  and  take  office 
under  him  when  he  came  into  power  in  1834,  he  adhered  to  his 
determination,  but  gave  him  his  full  and  cordial  support  in  the  pages 
of  the  Quarterly  Review.  It  was  under  Peel's  direct  inspiration  that 
he  wrote  the  long  series  of  Protection  articles  in  that  review  during 
the  Com  Law  agitation,  and  when,  from  having  placed  himself  in  a 
&lse  position,  the  Minister  found  that  he  had  to  destroy  the  system 
which  he  had  been  returned  to  power  to  preserve,  Croker  was 
perfectly  consistent  in  maintaining  his  own  position,  and  for  this  he 
has  been  charged  with  "  leaving  the  munificent  hospitality  of  Drayton 

Iff  a 

156  The  Gentleman  s  Magazine. 

Manor,  only  to  cut  up  his  host  in  a  political  article."  "  Calumniate 
boldly,"  it  has  been  said,  "  for  some  of  it  will  stick,"  and  truly  Croker 
had  more  than  his  share  of  misrepresentation.  Peel  was  merely  the 
victim  of  circumstances  which  he  had  to  a  great  extent  created  for 
himself,  and  Croker's  high  sense  of  duty  would  not  permit  him  to 
abandon  principles  which  he  had  thus  far  vigorously  and  consistently 
upheld.  The  friendship  which  had  existed  between  these  two  men 
for  upwards  of  thirty  years  was  now  broken,  and  its  severance  caused 
considerable  pain  to  Croker,  who  wrote  to  Peel  a  letter  which  can 
only  be  described  as  affectionate ;  but  Peel  was  bitter,  and  replied 
coldly.    They  never  met  again. 

Another  and  still  more  painful  episode  in  Croker's  life  had  yet  to 
come.  His  friend  Moore,  whose  acquaintance  he  first  made  when, 
as  a  boy  of  sixteen,  he  went  to  Trinity  College,  died  in  the  spring  of 
2852.  To  Lord  John  Russell,  whose  friendship  Moore  had  enjoyed 
almost  from  the  time  he  went  to  London,  he  bequeathed  the  task 
of  editing  his  "Memoirs,  Journals,  and  Correspondence."  Now^ 
Maginn  in  his  portrait  of  Russell  in  Frasef^s  Magazine  accurately 
described  him  as  a  compound  of  "pride,  pertinacity,  and  frigidity^ 
with  a  taste  for  attempting  departments  of  literature  foreign  to  his 
nature."  \Vhen  we  add  that  he  was  strangely  oblivious  of  the  truth  of 
Pascal's  saying  that  "if  everybody  knew  what  one  says  of  the  other, 
there  would  not  be  four  friends  left  in  the  world,"  it  is  not  surprising 
that  his  performance  displayed  evidences  of  defective  judgment,  not 
to  say  bad  taste. 

\Vhen  the  book  appeared  Croker  learned  for  the  first  time  that 
his  friend,  "  the  poet  of  all  circles  and  the  idol  of  his  own,"  had  been 
slandering  him  in  his  letters  and  in  his  diary,  the  while  he  had  been 
asking  and  receiving  favours  at  his  hands.  This  was  too  much  for 
Croker,  who  had  disdainfully  borne  the  attacks  and  the  calumnies  of  his 
enemies,  but  could  not  silently  suffer  this  stab  in  the  back.  He 
indignantly  repelled  the  charges  brought  against  him,  not  so  much 
for  what  had  been  published,  but  that  Lord  John  Russell  had  made 
the  suggestio  falsi  that  there  was  more  behind,  but  so  damaging  that 
he  dare  not  publish  it.  Croker  deliberately  challenged  him  to  publish 
anything  more,  stating  his  firm  disbelief  that  there  was  anything 
reserved  half  so  vile  as  had  been  given  to  the  world  The  con- 
troversy which  ensued  was  exceedingly  bitter,  and  resulted  in  the 
complete  triumph  and  vindication  of  Croker,  who  was  deeply  grieved 
at  the  pain  which,  through  the  mala  fides  of  the  biographer,  had  been 
inflicted  on  the  poet's  widow. 

"  By  his  warmth  of  declamation,"  said  Lord  John  Russell,  "  and 

John  Wilson  Croker.  157 

by  his  elaborate  working  out  of  details,  he  was  a  formidable 

The  life  of  a  writer  has  been  said  to  be  a  warfare  upon  earth,  and 
Croker's  experience  was  largely  in  support  of  the  proposition.  From 
his  first  appearance  in  literature  to  his  last  he  was  the  object  of 
unjust  and  unsparing  attack.  Political  differences  largely  accounted 
for  this,  as  did  also  the  fact  that  he  was  frequently  on  the  winning 
side.  "His  sarcastic  sallies,"  said  the  Quarterly  Review^  writing 
of  him  some  years  after  his  death,  "and  pungent  wit  made  him 
many  enemies  .  .  .  but  it  is  not  to  be  endured  that  the  authority  of 
Macaulay  should  be  evoked  in  order  to  support  false  and  railing 
accusations  against  the  private  life  of  a  writer  who  for  fifty  years 
rendered  important  services  to  letters  and  to  literary  men." 

His  alleged  sins  of  criticism  in  the  Quarterly  yftxQ  not  more  grievous 
than  those  of  the  "  Blue  and  Yellow,"  ^  many  of  the  criticisms  in 
which  have  been  food  for  the  mirth  of  a  later  generation.  As  a  critic, 
Croker  was  perhaps  somewhat  ^arne^  but  as  an  active  political  life 
hardly  conduces  to  the  soundest  judgment  on  literary  subjects,  this 
would  be  his  misfortune,  and  not  his  fault.  He  reviewed  "  Waverley  " 
in  the  Quarterly  for  July  18 14,  and  "Guy  Mannering"  the  fol- 
lowing January,  and  also  "  The  Antiquary  "  when  it  appeared  a  year 
later;  and  each  of  these  reviews  was  full  of  warm  yet  judicious 
praise.  This  may  seem  little  at  this  late  day,  but  it  must  be  borne 
in  mind  that  these  immortal  works  appeared  anonymously,  and  had 
to  be  judged  solely  on  their  merits,  to  which  not  all  critics  were 
equally  alive.  "  \Vhen  the  reputation  of  authors  is  made,"  says 
Sainte-Beuve,  "  it  is  easy  to  speak  of  them  conoenablement  \  we  have 
only  to  guide  ourselves  by  the  common  opinion.  But  at  the  start, 
at  the  moment  when  they  are  trying  their  first  flight,  and  are  in  part 
ignorant  of  themselves,  then  to  judge  them  with  tact,  with  precision, 
not  to  exaggerate  their  scope,  to  predict  their  flight,  or  divine  their 
limits,  to  put  the  reasonable  objections  in  the  midst  of  all  due 
respect — this  is  the  quality  of  a  critic  who  is  bom  to  be  a  critic." 

In  criticising  a  poet  he  would 

Insist  on  knowing  what  he  means— a  hard 
And  hapless  situation  for  a  bard ; 

and  although,  as  has  been  shown,  he  was  not  the  writer  of  the  article 
on  Keats,  the  poetry  of  the  school  to  which  Keats  belonged  was 
especially  distasteful  to  him.  The  fondness  which  he  had  shown 
when  a  boy  for  the  poetry  of  Pope  grew  into  admiration  as  his 

*  i.c.  The  Edinburgh  Review, 

158  The  Gentleman* s  Magazine. 

judgment  ripened,  and  the  task  which  he  set  himself  in  his  old  age 
was  a  coUected  edition  of  this  poet's  works,  the  notes  for  which  he 
was  engaged  upon  up  to  the  day  of  his  death. 

His  judgments  on  literary  and  political  matters,  even  after  his 
retirement  from  parliament  and  public  life,  had  great  influence.  As 
a  politician  he  was  always  at  least  consistent,  and  Irishmen  especially 
should  remember  that  he  advocated  the  Catholic  claims  nearly  a 
quarter  of  a  century  before  the  passing  of  the  Emancipation  Act  by 
a  Government  of  which  he  was  a  member.  He  sometimes  held 
extreme  views,  and  supported  them  with  vigour,  and  occasionally  with 
bitterness.  Had  he  imparted  less  of  a  certain  arrogance  of  tone  into 
his  speeches,  he  might  have  made  fewer  enemies ;  and  his  manner 
towards  strangers  or  those  who  did  not  know  him  certainly  savoured 
of  harshness ;  but,  as  was  said  of  Dr.  Johnson,  there  was  "  nothing 
of  the  bear  about  him  except  the  skin." 

As  depicted  by  Maclise  in  Fraser^s  Magazine^  he  is  shown  to 
have  had  a  fine,  intellectual  head  of  the  type  of  Canning,  with  a 
kindly  and  slightly  melancholy  expression  of  face.  The  same  im- 
pression is  conveyed  by  the  fine  portrait  of  him  painted  by  Sir 
Thomas  I^wrence,  and  when  we  add  that  he  was  slightly  under  the 
middle  height,  slender,  and  well  knit,  the  reader  has  a  faithful 
presentation  of  the  outward  appearance  of  this  most  remarkable  and 
much  maligned  man.  Forty  years  have  passed  away  since  he  died, 
on  August  10,  1857.  Let  us  hope  that  we  may  not  have  to  wait 
many  more  years  for  that  complete  biography  which  all  who  love 
justice  will  be  glad  to  see ;  for  calumny  need  only  fear  the  truth.  Let 
us  also  hope  that  his  biographer,  whoever  he  may  be,  will  approach 
his  subject  in  the  right  spirit,  and  will  "  nothing  extenuate,  nor  set 
down  aught  in  malice." 

p.   A.   SILLARD. 



PASSING  in  review  the  annals  of  Oxford  during  the  many 
centuries  in  which  that  town  has  played  an  important  part  in 
the  affiurs  of  the  nation,  the  point  most  conspicuously  seen  will  be 
that  the  chronicle  contains  not  one  narrative,  but  two — the  story  of  a 
City  and  the  story  of  a  University.  The  early  days  of  Oxford  as  a 
City  are  lost  in  the  obscurity  of  the  past  In  the  eleventh  century, 
however,  the  town  had  acquired  no  slight  prominence,  as  is  shown 
by  the  fact  that  the  Danes  thought  it  worth  their  while  to  journey 
from  London  to  attack  it  In  the  "  Domesday  Survey "  we  find 
recorded  the  existence  of  243  houses  paying  "geld,"  besides  478 
houses  paying  no  "geld."  By  the  time  of  the  Conquest,  therefore, 
the  City  of  Oxford  may  fairly  be  said  to  have  outgrown  the  throes  of 
its  infancy,  and  to  have  become  a  definite  centre  of  human  activity. 

It  is  at  this  period  that  we  first  encounter  the  name  of  Robert 
d'Oilgi.  Settling  in  Oxford,  he  erected  the  Castle,  and  thus  intro- 
duced into  the  life  of  the  neighbourhood  a  strong  military  element. 
He  seems  to  have  been  of  a  very  acquisitive  disposition,  and  on  one 
occasion  he  seized  a  field  belonging  to  a  monastery,  but  this  augmen- 
tation of  his  property  being  followed  by  a  particularly  unpleasant 
dream,  he  decided  that  a  change  in  his  course  of  action  would  be 
advisable.  Accordingly,  he  restored  the  field  to  the  monastery,  and 
set  to  work  to  gain  the  goodwill  of  the  Church.  Among  other  note- 
worthy works,  he  built  (or,  according  to  some  authorities,  merely 
restored)  the  tower  of  St  Michael's  Church.  This  tower  is  still 
standing,  and  is  now  one  of  the  oldest  buildings  in  Oxford :  it  was 
certainly  built  before  the  beginning  of  the  twelfth  century.  Although 
attached  to  a  church,  its  purpose  was  military  rather  than  religious, 
and  the  arrows  shot  from  its  windows  must  have  been  an  excellent 
protection  to  the  great  North  Gate  of  the  city. 

The  good  work  initiated  by  Robert  d'Oilgi  was  carried  on  after 
his  death  by  his  nephew  and  namesake.  It  was  this  second  Robert 
d'Oilgi  who  built  the  Priory  of  Osney,  famed  throughout  the  whole 
of  monastic  Europe  for  its  luxury  and  its  magnificence.    The  story 

i6o  The  Gentlemafis  Magazine. 

of  the  foundation  of  Osney  furnishes  a  quaint  illustration  of  human 
nature.  Robert's  wife,  Edith,  was  walking  one  day  by  the  river  with 
her  confessor,  Ralph,  when  she  heard  some  magpies  chattering  on 
a  tree.  She  asked  Ralph,  who  was  supposed  to  understand  the 
language  of  birds,  what  the  magpies  were  talking  about.  He  told 
her  that  they  were  souls  in  purgatory,  and  with  wily  arguments 
suggested  that  she  should  found  a  monastery  where  intercession 
might  be  made  for  them.  Edith  thereupon  persuaded  her  husband 
to  build  Osney  Priory.  One  feels  no  surprise  at  learning  that  Ralph 
was  appointed  Prior.  Under  Henry  VIII.  the  Priory  became  for  a 
time  the  Cathedral  of  a  new  diocese  formed  by  a  division  of  the  See 
of  Lincoln ;  but  it  did  not  long  enjoy  this  distinction,  which  was 
speedily  transferred  to  the  present  Cathedral.  Alas,  that  of  all  the 
glories  of  Osney  nothing  now  remains  save  a  few  yards  of  ruined 
wall,  and  the  Christ  Church  bells  !  Great  Tom  once  sounded  from 
the  Western  Tower  of  Osney ;  but  Tom  was  "  renatus,"  as  his  own 
inscription  informs  us,  in  1680. 

Oxford  has  ever  been  a  home  favoured  of  the  Goddess  of 
Romance,  and  in  1141  we  find  an  Empress  playing  a  part  in  the 
drama — a  drama  that  was  almost  a  tragedy.  King  Stephen  was  then 
at  war  with  his  cousin,  the  Empress  Maud,  and,  liaving  driven  her 
from  London,  he  besieged  her  in  Oxford  Castle.  Stephen  himself 
occupied  Beaumont  Palace,  built  by  Henry  II.,  just  outside  the 
north  wall  of  the  city,  and  from  there  he  kept  close  watch  on  the 
Castle  for  ten  weeks  in  the  depth  of  winter.  The  food  in  the  Castle 
failed,  and  the  Empress  and  her  garrison  were  reduced  to  a  state 
bordering  on  starvation.  The  cold  was  intense,  the  river  frozen,  and 
the  country  covered  with  snow.  Surrender  at  last  seemed  inevitable. 
But  the  frost  which  had  borne  so  hardly  on  the  beleaguered 
warriors  stood  the  Empress  in  good  stead.  One  night,  clad  in 
white  that  she  might  attract  no  notice  against  the  snow,  she  was 
lowered  stealthily  from  the  Castle  walls,  and,  accompanied  by  only 
three  trusty  cavaliers,  she  crossed  the  frozen  river.  How  easily 
imagination  sees  that  midnight  flight  from  Oxford — the  four  figures 
creeping,  gliding,  hurrying  across  the  snowy  fields,  clinging  closely  to 
the  shadow  of  the  hedges,  startled  by  each  trivial  noise,  and  with 
ears  astrain  to  catch  the  first  whisper  of  pursuit  But  Oxford  slept 
on,  unconscious  of  the  night's  adventure,  and  when,  next  day,  the 
Castle  surrendered  to  Stephen,  the  Empress  had  reached  the  com- 
parative safety  of  Wallingford.  Such  are  a  few  of  the  incidents  in 
the  city's  early  history. 

Concerning  the  origin  of  the  University  numerous  conjectures 

rr  Oxford.  i6i 

have  been  rife.  A  well-known  legend  is  that  which  attributes  its  birth 
to  the  foundation  of  University  College  by  King  Alfred  in  the  year 
873.  This  theory  has  been  proved  to  be  absolutely  fictitious,  despite 
the  fact  that  University  College  celebrated  its  "millenary"  in  1872  ! 
The  two  earliest  references  to  the  Alfred  myth  are  to  be  found  in 
the  "  Proloconycon,"  written  by  Ralph,  a  monk  of  Chester,  in  1357, 
and  in  a  petition  presented  by  the  College  to  King  Richard  II.  As  a 
matter  of  fact.  University  College  cannot  claim  for  itself  any  cor- 
porate existence  prior  to  the  thirteenth  century. 

One  of  the  eariiest  known  facts  connected  with  academic  Oxford 
dates  from  the  year  11 29,  when  Theobald  of  Etampes  resided  there, 
and  exercised  control  over  sixty  or  more  students.  It  was  still  early  in 
the  twelfth  century  when  Robert  Pullein  came  to  Oxford  to  lecture 
on  theology ;  and  a  few  years  later  he  was  followed  by  Vacarius,  who 
took  as  his  subject  Roman  law.  The  student  population  steadily 
increased  until  the  beginning  of  the  thirteenth  century,  when,  accord- 
ng  to  Matthew  Paris,  there  were  3,000  scholars  in  Oxford. 

In  the  middle  of  the  thirteenth  century  we  see  traces  of  an 
attempt  at  systematic  arrangement  in  the  scholastic  life  of  Oxford. 
In  School  Street  there  were  more  than  thirty  lecture-rooms,  devoted 
to  astronomy,  theology,  law,  and  other  studies.  The  students  lived 
for  the  most  part  in  private  lodgings,  known  as  *' hostels"  or 
**entries.*'  Sometimes  a  number  of  students  would  club  together  to 
rent  a  whole  house,  and  would  live  in  common,  appointing  the 
senior  student  as  responsible  head  of  the  establishment.  In  the 
course  of  time  these  houses  of  students  developed  into  licensed 
•'halls,"  and  the  senior  student  assumed  the  title  of  "principal." 
There  was  no  examination  for  admission  to  the  schools,  the  matri- 
culation ceremony  being  merely  an  oath  to  keep  the  peace.  The 
acquisition  of  learning  was  no  easy  matter.  Books  existed  only  in 
the  form  of  costly  manuscripts,  and  even  these  were  few  and  difficult 
of  access.  Lectures  afforded  almost  the  sole  means  of  instruction. 
Most  of  the  students  were  poor,  and  some  even  had  to  beg  each 
mile  of  their  road  to  Oxford. 

The  most  important  event  of  this  epoch  was  undoubtedly  the 
rise  of  the  College  system.  In  1249  William  of  Durham  bequeathed 
a  sum  of  310  marks  "  to  the  University  of  Oxford,"  for  the  support 
of  ten  Masters  of  Arts,  who  were  to  be  natives  of  Durham.  It  was 
not,  however,  until  1292  that  the  work  sustained  by  this  fund  was 
consolidated  into  "the  Great  Hall  of  the  University,"  afterwards 
known  as  University  College.  The  present  buildings  of  the  college 
date  only  from  the  seventeenth  century. 

1 62  The  GentUmaitis  Magazine. 

Balliol  College  owes  its  creation  to  a  very  different  cause.  It 
seems  that  in  1260  John  de  Balliol  committed  some  outrage  against 
the  churches  at  Tynemouth  and  Durham.  As  part  of  the  penalty 
of  bis  wrong-doing  he  was  condemned  to  a  public  scourging.  To 
escape  this  disgrace  he  founded  Balliol  College,  the  work  being 
carried  on  after  his  death  by  his  widow,  Devorguilla,  whose  share  in 
the  task  is  commemorated  by  the  linked  shields  still  borne  by  the 
college  as  Arms. 

But,  important  as  were  the  endowment  of  University  College  and 
the  establishment  of  Balliol,  a  far  more  noteworthy  achievement  was 
inaugurated  in  1264,  for  in  that  year  was  issued  the  celebrated 
Foundation  Charter  of  Merton.  This  charter  incorporated  the 
scholars  maintained  by  Walter  de  Merton,  at  Maiden  in  Surrey,  into 
a  distinct  and  organised  institution,  which  was  placed  under  the  care 
of  a  Warden,  estates  being  assigned  to  it  to  provide  for  twenty 
students  at  Oxford.  Ten  years  later  Walter  de  Merton  removed  the 
entire  settlement  from  Maiden  to  Oxford,  where  he  founded  Merton 
Collie  on  its  present  site,  utilising  the  parish  church  of  St  John  as 
a  college  chapel.  The  founder's  primary  object  appears  to  have 
been  to  promote  a  system  of  education  which  should  be  entirely  free 
from  monastic  interference.  No  monk  or  friar  was  to  be  allowed  a 
place  on  the  foundation,  and  the  taking  of  vows  was  prohibited. 
Each  student  was  to  be  apportioned  a  shilling  a  week  for  his  board, 
and  was  to  wear  a  special  kind  of  uniform.  In  study,  philosophy 
was  to  take  precedence  of  theology.  The  original  chapel  of  the 
collie  remains  to  this  day,  the  choir  being  a  fine  example  of 
thirteenth  century  architecture. 

Whilst  University,  Balliol,  and  Merton  Colleges  were  in  process 
of  formation,  the  builders  were  not  idle  in  other  directions.  Chief 
among  the  work  they  had  in  hand  was  the  erection  of  the  church  of 
St  Mary-the-Vii^n,  the  University  Church  of  Oxford.  This  church 
was  for  a  long  time  the  only  building  available  for  the  transaction  of 
University  business.  Here  meetings  were  held,  degrees  conferred, 
and  statutes  promulgated.  Here,  too,  were  kept,  until  the  fifteenth 
century,  the  very  few  books  that  constituted  the  University's  apology 
for  a  library. 

The  fourteenth  century  was  a  period  of  even  greater  activity  than 
its  predecessor.  It  was  during  the  first  half  of  this  century  that  the 
colleges  of  Exeter,  Oriel,  and  Queen's  were  founded.  Although  the 
aggregation  of  students  into  colleges  rendered  it  more  easy  for  the 
authorities  to  enforce  discipline  and  order,  yet  we  still  find  a  spirit  of 
lawlessness  pervading  the  daily  life  of  the  scholars.    Riots  were  of 

Oxford.  1 63 

frequent  occurrence,  but  the  greatest  and  most  memorable  of  these 
?ras  that  of  St  Scholastica's  Day  (February  10),  1354.  On  that 
day  Walter  de  Springheuse,  rector  of  Hamedon,  together  with  some 
of  his  friends,  visited  the  Swyndlestock  Inn  at  Carfax,  in  the  centre 
of  the  city.  They  found  fault  with  the  wine,  and  threw  the  tankard 
at  the  landlord's  head  Blows  were  exchanged,  and  a  few  minutes 
later  the  bell  of  St.  Martin's  Church  summoned  the  townsmen  to 
battle  against  the  University.  The  members  of  the  University  were 
then  collected  in  the  usual  manner,  by  ringing  the  bell  of  St.  Mary's 
Church.  A  serious  conflict  ensued,  the  weapons  being  bows  and 
arrows,  sticks,  clubs,  and  stones.  The  fight  continued  until  night- 
fall, without  any  marked  advantage  being  gained  by  either  side. 
Next  morning  hostilities  were  recommenced  by  the  Town.  The 
University  held  its  own  during  the  day,  but  in  the  evening  the 
students  were  defeated  and  forced  to  retire,  about  forty  of  their 
number  being  killed.  Of  the  latter  many  were  scalped  by  the 
Town,  which,  in  the  hour  of  its  victory,  resorted  to  barbarities  almost 
incredible.  But  retribution  was  swift  and  sure.  The  Sheriff  was 
removed  from  office,  while  the  Mayor  and  the  Bailiffs  were  sent  to 
the  Tower  of  London.  The  University  was  given  enlarged  authority 
over  the  city,  and  its  privileges  expanded  to  such  an  extent  that  a 
hundred  years  later  the  city  was  absolutely  under  its  control. 

The  years  that  followed  the  outbreak  on  St.  Scholastica's  Day 
were  a  time  of  exceptional  success  for  the  University.  The  most 
lasting  monument  of  this  period  is,  without  question,  the  foundation 
of  New  College  by  William  of  Wykeham.  Provision  was  made  for 
seventy  scholars,  all  of  whom  were  to  have  been  educated  previously 
at  the  College  at  Winchester.  These  scholars  were,  moreover,  to  be 
poor,  and  under  twenty  years  of  age.  They  were  to  study  civil  law, 
canon  law,  theology,  philosophy,  astrcnomy,  or  medicine.  The 
rules  of  the  college  were  very  strict  in  their  prohibition  of  games  and 
sports,  the  injunction  extending  to  the  use  of  bows  and  arrows, 
stones,  or  other  weapons,  to  gambling,  and  to  "  dancing,  wrestling, 
or  other  incautious  or  inordinate  games  in  chapel ! " 

Of  the  first  seven  Oxford  colleges  none  was  in  any  sense  of  the 
term  a  monastic  institution,  a  fact  not  without  significance  when  one 
considers  the  circumstances  of  the  age.  Another  point  to  be  noticed 
about  these  colleges  is  that  their  members  were  exclusively  of  the 
classes  technically  known  as  **  scholars  "  and  "  fellows."  The 
admission  of  ''commoners" — the  technical  name  for  undergraduates 
not  assisted  by  the  college  funds— was  a  much  later  innovation. 
Although  the  students  were  now  more  comfortably  housed,  the 

1 64  The  Gentleman's  Magazine. 

conditions  of  daily  life  were  still  unsophisticated.  Men  rose  at  five 
o'clock  in  the  morning,  dined  at  eleven,  and  supped  at  five  o'clock 
in  the  afternoon,  while  at  eight  o'clock  in  the  evening  the  college 
gates  were  locked  for  the  night  Lectures  commenced  at  nine 
o'clock  in  the  morning,  the  lecturer  wearing  a  black  gown  with  a 
hood,  and  the  students  standing  during  the  discourse.  The  adminis- 
tration of  discipline  was  vested  entirely  in  the  hands  of  the  Chancellor 
of  the  University,  who  could  excommunicate,  banish  from  Oxford, 
fine,  or  imprison,  any  offender.  The  Chancellor's  Court  was  held 
either  at  his  own  house  or  in  St.  Mary's  Church.  Jurisdiction  over 
the  Town  was  shared  between  the  Chancellor  and  the  Mayor. 

The  vigour  of  the  fourteenth  century  was  succeeded,  in  the 
fifteenth  century,  by  a  period  of  decided  retrogression.  The  resident 
members  of  the  University  decreased  in  number  to  less  than  a 
thousand.  These  were  for  the  most  part  drawn  from  the  very 
poorest  classes,  and  begging  became  such  a  nuisance  that  Parliament 
passed  a  statute  restraining  students  from  soliciting  alms  on  the 
highways  without  a  special  licence  from  the  Chancellor.  The  fore- 
most studies  were  logic,  rhetoric,  philosophy,  theologyi  and  law.  An 
eloquent  testimony  to  the  unsettled  state  of  the  University  is  to  be 
found  in  the  fact  that  three  fellows  of  Oriel  were  complained  of  for 
parading  the  streets  at  night,  robbing,  wounding,  and  even  murdering 
those  whom  they  encountered. 

But  the  stagnation  and  corruption  were  not  so  supreme  as  some 
writers  would  have  us  believe  ;  for  it  is  to  the  fifteenth  century  that 
we  owe  the  inception  of  those  two  great  efforts,  the  Divinity  School 
and  the  University  Library.  The  Divinity  School  is  still  standing, 
and,  despite  the  diversity  of  scenes  which  it  has  witnessed,  very  little 
alteration  has  been  made  in  it  since  it  was  opened  in  1480.  It  is 
certainly  one  of  the  most  beautiful  rooms  in  England.  The  stone 
roof  is  a  wonderful  example  of  groining,  and  the  heraldic  bosses 
adorning  it  are  exceptionally  interesting.  The  windows  were  at  one 
time  filled  with  stained  glass,  but  this  was  destroyed  by  the  Puritans 
under  Edward  VL,  the  entrance  to  the  building  being  then  used  as 
a  pig-market.  Late  in  the  seventeenth  century  the  Divinity  School 
was  restored  by  Sir  Christopher  Wren. 

During  the  building  of  the  Divinity  School,  Duke  Humphry  of 
Gloucester  presented  his  collection  of  six  hundred  manuscripts  to  the 
University,  the  books  being  housed  in  a  room  specially  built  for 
them  over  the  Divinity  School.  Among  the  manuscripts  were 
copies  of  Livy,  Seneca,  Apuleius,  Petrarch,  Dante,  Boccaccio,  and  a 
translation  of  Aristotle. 

OxforcL  165 

^Vhile  one  set  of  masons  was  busy  upon  the  Divinity  School, 
another  set,  not  200  yards  distant,  was  engaged  in  rebuilding  the 
Church  of  St  Mary-the-Virgin.  This  church  was  still  the  scene  of 
a  very  large  number  of  academic  functions  :  in  fact,  it  was  used  far 
more  frequently  for  secular  than  for  religious  purposes.  Thus,  to 
the  sound  of  hammer  and  chisel,  passed  the  closing  years  of  the 
fifteenth  century. 

Early  in  the  sixteenth  century  a  change  took  place  in  the  nature 
of  the  studies  pursued  at  Oxford.  The  initiative  was  due  to  Richard 
Fox,  Bishop  of  Winchester,  who  founded  Corpus  Christi  College, 
and  endowed  readerships  in  Latin  and  Greek  for  the  benefit  of  the 
whole  University.  Until  this  time  classical  learning  had  been 
almost  unrecognised  at  Oxford.  Latin  was,  of  course,  in  use 
colloquially  for  certain  scholastic  purposes ;  but  it  does  not  appear 
to  have  been  studied  with  any  special  regard  to  its  literature.  Greek 
had  hitherto  been  practically  an  unknown  tongue. 

Two  years  after  the  foimdation  of  Corpus,  Oxford  received  a 
visit  from  Cardinal  Wolsey  and  Catharine  of  Aragon.  The  Uni- 
versity, with  much  foresight  and  diplomacy,  surrendered  its  charters 
to  Wolsey,  who  persuaded  the  King  to  grant  fresh  charters  embody- 
ing yet  more  extensive  powers.  One  of  the  new  clauses  provided 
that  there  should  be  no  appeal  from  any  judgment  passed  by  the 
Chancellor  of  the  University,  "  whether  it  be  just  or  unjust." 

Wolsey  was  in  all  things  a  man  of  boundless  energy  and 
gorgeous  ideas.  His  plans  for  Cardinal  College,  to  be  founded  by 
himself,  were  magnificent;  but  his  sudden  downfall  brought  the  work 
to  a  standstill  Some  years  later  the  CoUege  was  definitely  established 
by  Henry  VIIL,  and  then  received  the  name  of  Christ  Church. 

After  the  death  of  Henry  VIII.  there  ensued  an  era  of  dark- 
ness and  devastation.  The  Royal  Commission,  or  "Visitors,"  of 
Edward  VI.  arrived  in  Oxford,  armed  with  an  authority  which  was 
virtually  without  limitation.  Altars^  images,  statues,  and  organs 
were  demolished  with  ruthless  hands.  Works  of  art  which  had 
occupied  years  of  genius  and  of  labour  in  the  making  were  anni- 
hilated in  an  hour.  Libraries  were  pillaged,  and  nearly  every  book 
containing  geometrical  figures,  rubricated  letters,  or  illuminated  tide- 
pages,  was  burnt  as  popish  or  impious.  Duke  Humphry's  library 
was  scattered  or  extirpated  so  completely  that  only  two  of  the 
manuscripts  are  known  with  certainty  to  have  found  their  way  back 
to  the  present  library.  The  climax  of  the  Visitation,  the  effort 
which,  above  all  others,  it  is  perhaps  most  difficult  to  forgive,  was 
the  destruction  of  the  splendid  reredos  in  the  Chapel  of  All  Souls 

i66  The  Gentleman's  Magazine. 

College.  So  disheartened  were  the  "college  authorities  that  the 
structure  remained  in  its  wrecked  condition  for  more  than  a  century. 
Under  Charles  II.  the  whole  was  covered  with  plaster,  on  which  was 
afterwards  painted  a  fifth-rate  fresco.  With  the  lapse  of  a  few 
generations  the  very  existence  of  the  reredos  passed  from  men's 
memories.  In  1870  some  workmen  happened  to  knock  a  hole  in 
the  plaster,  and  found  behind  it  the  ruins  of  the  old  carved  stone- 
work. The  plaster  was  then  entirely  removed,  and  the  present 
reredos  constructed  on  the  model  of  the  original.  The  reconstruc- 
tion was  carried  out  under  the  direction  of  Sir  Gilbert  Scott  As  it 
now  stands  it  is  said  by  many  critics  to  be  the  finest  example  of  its 
kind  in  England. 

In  1554  Oxford  was  called  upon  to  witness  the  martyrdom  of 
Ridley  and  Latimer.  The  place  of  execution  was  just  in  front  of 
Balliol  College,  and  the  sermon  at  the  stake  was  preached  by  Dr. 
Richard  Smith,  on  the  text :  "  Though  I  give  my  body  to  be  burned 
and  have  not  charity,  it  profiteth  me  nothing." 

On  the  same  spot,  a  few  months  later,  followed  the  martyrdom 
of  Archbishop  Cranmer.  Immediately  before  his  execution  he  was 
brought  to  the  nave  of  St.  Mary's  Church,  and  here  he  made  his 
unexpected  and  famous  withdrawal  of  his  previous  recantation.  He 
was  then  hurried  away  to  the  stake.  The  iron  girdle  placed  around 
his  waist,  together  with  a  part  of  the  actual  stake,  is  still  to  be  seen 
in  the  University  Museum.  The  exact  site  of  the  martyrdom  is  now 
indicated  by  a  small  stone  cross  inlaid  in  the  pavement  in  Broad 
Street.  The  event  is  further  commemorated  by  the  Martyrs' 
Memorial — ^a  beautiful  monument,  designed  by  Sir  Gilbert  Scott  on 
the  model  of  the  Eleanor  crosses.  The  memorial  was  erected,  amid 
considerable  opposition,  in  1841.  The  bill  for  the  burning  of 
Cranmer  was  still  unpaid  in  the  reign  of  Elizabeth.  The  document 
runs  as  follows  : — 

Chardges  layd  out  and  paide  for  the  buminge  of  Cranmer  as  followethe  :^ 

First  for  a  c.  of  wood  fagots  vir. 
Halfe  a  hundrethe  of  furze  fagots 
For  the  cariage  of  them  viiir/. 
Paide  to  it.  labourers  xvi^. 

iiu.  mui,        I        

>    XIX.  luur. 

Bearing  in  mind  the  conditions  of  the  period,  it  is  not  astonishing 
to  read  that,  under  Queen  Mary,  learning  steadily  declined  at  Oxford. 
Nevertheless,  two  new  colleges,  Trinity  and  St  John's,  were  founded 
in  this  reign,  the  founders  in  each  case  being  Catholics. 

In  X560  there  died  at  Cumnor,  four  miles  from  Oxford,  Amj 

Oxford.  167 

Robsart,  wife  of  Robert  Dudley,  Earl  of  Leicester.  Her  funeral  at 
St  Mary's  Church,  in  the  choir  of  which  she  was  buried,  was  one  of 
the  most  imposing  ever  celebrated  in  Oxford.  Canon  Jackson  has 
brought  together  a  mass  of  evidence  to  refute  the  story  of  Amy 
Robsart's  murder,  as  told  by  Sir  Walter  Scott  in  "  Kenilworth  " ;  but 
the  Reverend  Canon's  effort  is  a  lamentable  example  of  iconoclasm* 
The  l^end  was  picturesque,  and  surely,  therefore,  it  might  have  been 
allowed  to  rest  undisturbed. 

Under  Elizabeth  a  fairly  successful  attempt  was  made  to  revive 
the  prosperity  of  the  University — ^a  task  in  which  the  Queen  herself 
took  a  warm  interest  She  specially  asked  that  "eminent  and  hope- 
ful students "  should  be  recommended  to  her  for  important  posts 
under  the  State.  The  various  schools,  which,  under  Edward  VI., 
had  been  used  as  markets  and  for  drying  clothes,  had  by  this  time 
been  restored  to  their  proper  uses.  The  students  were  now  drawn 
from  a  better  social  class.  But,  although  luxury  was  more  prevalent, 
the  sanitary  condition  of  the  city  was  very  unsatisfactory,  and  Oxford 
not  infrequently  suffered  from  that  terrible  scourge,  the  plague. 

The  University  has,  in  the  course  of  its  history,  accepted  gifts 
from  a  very  large  number  of  benefactors,  but  probably  there  are  few 
who  will  be  remembered  longer  than  Sir  Thomas  Bodley.  After 
serving  his  country  faithfully  for  many  years,  Bodley  resigned  his 
State  appointments  and  came  to  live  in  Oxford.  He  still  possessed 
energy  and  enthusiasm,  and  these  valuable  characteristics  he  directed 
towards  reconstructing  the  University  Library,  so  wantonly  laid 
waste  by  the  Visitors  of  Edward  VI.  At  the  beginning  of  the  seven* 
teenth  century  the  ''Bodleian"  was  formally  opened,  and  thus 
originated  one  of  the  most  famous  libraries  in  the  world.  From  that 
time  until  the  present  day  it  has  steadily  increased  the  number  of  its 
literary  treasures — ^and  the  amount  of  its  illiterate  trash.  It  now 
contains  upwards  of  half  a  million  bound  volumes,  as  well  as  thirty 
thousand  manuscripts. 

It  was  at  the  commencement  of  the  seventeenth  century  that 
there  arose  one  of  the  architectural  curiosities  of  Oxford — the  Tower 
of  the  Five  Orders — in  the  Old  Schools  Quadrangle.  This  tower 
takes  its  name  from  the  fact  that  it  is  ornamented  with  columns 
exemplifying  the  five  orders  of  architecture :  Tuscan,  Doric,  Ionic, 
Corinthian,  and  Composite.  The  architect,  Thomas  Holt,  took  late 
Gothic  as  the  basic  principle  of  his  design.  The  carved  figures  are 
intended  to  portray  Peace,  Plenty,  Justice,  Fame,  and  King  James  I. 
These  figures  were  originally  gilt,  but  when  King  James  visited 
Oxford  they  so  dazzled  his  eyes  that  he  ordered  them  ''to  be  whitened 

1 68  The  Gentleman! s  Magazine. 

The  inhabitants  of  Oxford  appear  to  have  been  thirsty  souls  in 
the  time  of  James  I.,  for  we  read  that  three  hundred  ale-houses  then 
existed  in  the  city.  It  was  in  these  days  immediately  preceding  the 
Civil  War  that  Oxford  attained  the  summit  of  its  prosperity.  Accord- 
ing to  Antony  Wood,  the  University  then  included  on  its  lists  four 
thousand  resident  students. 

But  this  spell  of  calm  and  well-being  ushered  in  a  period  of  tumult, 
of  struggle,  and  of  difficulty.  For  the  next  few  years  Oxford  becomes 
practically  the  centre  round  which  revolves  the  history  of  England. 
The  storm  was  heralded  by  the  charge  preferred  against  Archbishop 
Laud,  one  of  the  principal  clauses  being  that  Laud  had  set  up  over 
the  door  of  St.  Mary's  Church  a  "  very  scandalous  image  "  of  the 
Virgin,  crowned,  and  holding  the  Child  and  a  crucifix.  Alderman 
Nixon,  a  grocer  and  rabid  Puritan,  swore  that  he  had  seen  people 
bowing  to  the  image.  It  was  thereupon  mutilated  by  the  Puritans. 
The  porch,  a  singularly  beautiful  piece  of  architecture,  has,  together 
with  the  offending  statue,  been  restored  in  the  present  century  by 
Sir  Gilbert  Scott.  Over  the  gate  of  All  Souls  was  a  carving  depict- 
ing souls  in  Purgatory,  and  this  also  would  have  been  defaced  by 
the  Puritans,  had  it  not  been  for  the  special  intervention  of  Alderman 
Nixon.  It  is  delightful  to  learn  that  All  Souls  was  in  the  habit  of 
buying  its  groceries  at  Alderman  Nixon's  shop. 

A  month  later,  on  October  29,  1641,  Charles  I.  entered  the  city 
and  made  it  his  head-quarters.  All  available  hands  were  set  to  work 
to  construct  fortifications,  every  member  of  the  University  being 
called  upon  to  assist  personally  in  the  labour.  Gunpowder  and  arms 
were  stored  in  New  College  and  the  Divinity  School;  food  and 
clothing,  in  the  other  schools  and  in  the  Guildhall.  College  plate  to 
the  weight  of  1,500  lbs.  was  handed  over  to  the  King  and  converted 
into  money  at  a  mint  specially  set  up  for  the  purpose  in  New  Inn 
Hall.  Such  part  of  the  Parliament  as  remained  loyal  accompanied 
King  Charles  to  Oxford.  In  July,  1643,  Queen  Henrietta  Maria 
arrived  in  the  city,  and  from  that  moment  the  demoralisation  of 
study  was  complete.  Charles,  together  with  the  more  important 
members  of  his  staff,  occupied  Christ  Church :  the  Queen  and  her 
Court  took  possession  of  Merton  College.  Most  of  the  student^ 
were  turned  out  of  the  colleges  to  make  room  for  the  followers  of 
the  King ;  such  as  remained  cast  aside  all  thought  of  learning,  and 
swaggered  about  the  city  with  the  mincing  graces  of  Cavaliers.  M.  A. 
degrees  were  showered  wholesale  upon  the  prominent  members  of 
the  King's  suite ;  but  of  B.A.  degrees  earned  by  students  not  fifty 
were  conferred  in  a  year.    Every  quadrangle  and  every  alley  was 

Oxford.  169 

•gay  with  the  Royalists.  Ladies  thronged  the  cloisters  and  the  gar- 
densy  and  Aubrey  teUs  us  that  they  came  to  the  chapels  "half 
dressed  like  angels."  But,  as  the  months  passed  onward,  a  note  of 
-care  was  heard  half  whispered  in  college  groves.  At  last  it  became 
dear  that  the  Royalist  cause  was  doomed.  In  April,  1646,  the 
King  fled  in  disguise  from  Oxford,  and  two  months  later  tfie  city 
siinendered  at  his  command.  Fair&x,  the  leader  of  the  Parliament 
taiy  forces,  was  himself  a  lover  of  books,  and  he  carefully  guarded 
the  Bodleian  library  from  injury. 

The  capitulation  left  Oxford  in  a  state  truly  deplorable.    The 

number  of  students  had  again  decreased  to  less  than  a  thousand, 

and  the  majority  of  these  were  idle  and  dissolute.    The  condition 

of  the  city  was  even  more  pitiable  than  that  of  the  University. 

Whole   families  were    penniless    and  starving.     All  Souls,   with 

boundless  generosity,  passed  a  resolution  that  only  one  meal  a 

day  should  be  served  in  the  College,  in  order  that  the  money 

thus  economised  might  be  devoted  to  the  relief  of  the  poor.    The 

consummation  of  desolation  was  reached  when  Parliament  sent 

Presbyterian  Visitors,  who  put  to  each  member  of  the  University 

the  question :  '*  Do  you  submit  to  the  authority  of  Parliament  in 

this  present  Visitation?"    About  400  refused  to  submit,  and  were 

expelled.    But,  although  the  University  was  shorn  of  its  independence 

and  glory,  the  spark  of  life  still  flickered  fitfully  through  the  gloom, 

and  the  Protector  himself  endeavoured  to  fan  the  flame.    Thus,  we 

find  that,  when  the  reduction  of  the  University  funds  was  proposed 

by  the  Barebones  Parliament  and  supported  by  Milton,  it  was 

Cromwell  himself  who  oflered  opposition. 

The  Restomtion  saw  a  marked  revival  in  academic  eneigy.  It  is 
troe  that  the  Bodleian  Library  was  virtually  deserted,  and  that,  for 
nearly  a  century,  the  annual  number  of  matriculations  was  less  than 
a  hundred ;  but  against  this  must  be  set  many  evidences  of  progress. 
Benefiictors  gave  money,  old  buildings  were  restored,  and  new 
buildings  were  erected.  It  was  towards  the  close  of  the  seventeenth 
century  that  Gilbert  Sheldon,  Archbishop  of  Canterbury,  built  the 
Shddonian  Theatre  to  a  design  by  Wren,  and  presented  it  to  the 
University  for  the  performance  of  the  "Act**  or  "Commemoration," 
and  for  other  secular  functions  that  had  previously  taken  place  at 
St  Mar/s  Church.  It  is  now  one  of  the  most  important  buildings 
in  Oxford.  For  discomfort  in  seating  accommodation  it  is  probably 
unequalled  by  any  building  in  Europe. 

In  the  latter  part  of  the  seventeenth  century  the  coach  service 
between  London  and  Oxford  was  so  far  improved  that  passengers 

VOL.   CCLXXXV.      MO.   2012.  N 

170  The  GentUmatis  Magazine. 

were  carried  the  whole  distance  in  one  day,  the  &re  being  xoc 
for  the  journey.  Coffee-houses^  too,  were  opened  in  Oxford,  and  in 
1677  Antony  Wood  asks:  ''Why  doth  solid  and  serious  learning 
decline,  and  few  or  none  follow  it  now  in  the  University  ?  Answer  : 
Because  of  the  coffee-houses,  where  they  spend  all  their  time." 

In  the  early  days  of  the  eighteenth  century  Oxford  was  a  strong- 
hold of  Jacobitism.  Under  Geoige  I.  this  party  was  so  indiscreet 
that  the  King  sent  a  body  of  dragoons  to  Oxford,  at  the  same  time 
giving  a  present  of  books  to  the  University  of  Cambridge.  This 
provoked  Dr.  Trapp,  Professor  of  Poetry,  to  write  the  following 

witty  lines : — 

Oor  royal  master  law  with  heedful  eyes 

The  wants  of  his  two  Universities : 

Troops  he  to  Oxford  sent,  as  knowing  why 

That  learned  body  wanted  loyalty : 

But  books  to  Cambridge  gave,  as  well  discerning 

How  that  right  loyal  body  wanted  learning. 

In  the  eighteenth  century  a  very  large  number  of  books  was 
printed  at  the  University  Press,  and  many  new  lectureships  were 
founded.  The  University  received  also  some  exceedingly  generous 
gifts  at  the  hands  of  various  benefactors.  Chief  amongst  these 
acquisitions  was  the  bequest  of  Dr.  Radcliffe,  who  left  money  for  the 
foundation  of  an  infirmary,  an  observatory,  and  a  medical  library. 
The  latter — now  known  as  the  Radcliffe  Camera — ^was  designed  by 
Gibbs,  and  was  opened  with  much  ceremony  in  1749.  Its  imposing 
dome  is  a  landmark  for  miles  around.  Another  noteworthy  bequest 
was  that  of  Sir  Robert  Taylor,  the  result  being  the  present  Taylor 

From  a  scholastic  point  of  view,  matters  were  not  so  satisfactory 
as  they  ought  to  have  been.  About  the  year  1770  John  Scott-^ 
afterwards  Lord  Eldon— then  an  undergraduate  of  University 
College,  was  examined  in  Hebrew  and  history  for  his  degree.  Only 
two  questions  were  asked  him.  The  first  was:  *'What  is  the 
Hebrew  for  a  skull  ?  ^  and  to  this  Scott  answered  "  Golgotha."  The 
second  question  was :  ''  Who  founded  University  Collie  ?  "  and  he 
repUed  "  King  Alfi-ed.''    He  passed. 

With  the  nineteenth  century  the  University  entered  upon  a  new 
era  of  expansion.  The  story  of  this  epoch  is  too  well  known  to  need 
description  here.  The  revision  of  the  Examination  Statutes,  the  rise 
of  theological  training  schools,  the  "  Oxford  Movement,"  the  Uni- 
versity Extension  agitation,  each  has  left  its  mark,  for  good  or  for 
evil,  upon  University  education.  With  the  future  this  article  is  not 
concerned ;  but  the  writer  may  perhaps  be  permitted  to  suggest  that 

Oxford.  1711 

the  Extension  movement  and  the  Local  Examination  system,  together 
with  other  similar  attempts  to  reduce  Oxford  to  the  level  of  a 
superior  Board  School,  cannot  fail  to  exert  an  influence  prejudicial 
to  the  prestige  of  the  University— a  prestige  that  ought  to  be  cherished 
by  all  who  love  to  look  back  on  the  glorious  days  they  spent  in  that 
City  of  Dreams. 



ty^  TAe  GeiUlemam's  Magazine. 


(B7  the  heroine  of  Browmng'i  poem,  <<  The  Worst  of  It") 

WHAT,  is  he  buzzing  about  it  still, 
The  poor  slight  man  I  have  left  behind, 
The  hollow  of  purpose,  infirm  of  will  7 

Does  he  bear  me  a  grudge,  does  he  dare  to  judge 
Me — ^me  in  tus  purblind  limited  mind. 
And  prate  to  me  of  his  good  and  ill  ? 

Hold  hard,  sir !    Grant  me  a  moment's  grace. 

I  tell  you,  you  are  alone  to  blame. 
You  and  your  theories.    Oh,  your  &oe, 

Bloodless  and  cold,  your  arm's  loose  fold, 
They  were  ice  to  my  spirit  of  fire  and  flame, 

But  I  bore  them  bravely,  a  long  year's  space. 

Yes,  a  whole  long  year  you  maundered  and  moped, 
Loved  me  and  doved  me,  billed  me  and  cooed, 

And  of  nothing  better  I  dreamed  or  hoped. 
Till  a  bolt  firom  the  blue  flamed  forth,  crashed  through, 

And  the  earth  breathed  hard,  with  its  landmarks  strew^ 
And  broadly  a  door  of  deliverance  oped. 

You  prepared  me  yourself.    For,  remember,  you  said. 
Not  once,  nor  twice,  but  a  score  times  o'er, 

That  life  without  love  was  a  thing  thrice  dead. 
Would  a  man  be  true — ^and  a  woman  too— 

To  their  being's  purpose,  the  Kohinoor 
Must  be  sought,  you  taught,  in  the  heart,  not  head. 

And  our  seventy  years  are  given  for  this. 

To  prove,  by  living,  our  spirit's  might 
To  grasp,  at  the  critical  instant,  bliss 

Shall  make  us  or  mar,  test  the  thing  we  are 
By  the  best  we  would  be — ^who,  finding  light. 

Would  once  the  darkness  he  soars  fix>m,  miss  ? 

Victory.  173 

Tis  the  moment's  choice  that  must  rain  or  save. 

Great  issues,  strong  for  eternity,  join 
In  the  deed  that  sums  us  coward  or  brave. 

Whoso,  fearing  a  crime,  abstained  in  time, 
Why, ''  the  unlit  lamp  and  the  ungirt  loin  " 

Were  the  tokens  at  once  to  adjudge  him  knave. 

Well,  the  moment  came,  when  the  man  for  me 

Knelt  at  my  feet  and  besought  my  love. 
In  a  flash  I  knew  him — 'twas  he  !  'twas  he  ! 

If  coldly  in  pride  I  had  turned  aside, 
How,  how  should  I  answer  to  Heaven  above, 

Being  false  to  your  sage  philosophy  ? 

One  look  !  and  the  mortal  screen  gave  way, 

Broke  down  between  us ;  our  spirits  mixed. 
Yea,  time  and  space  broke  wide  that  day. 

And  let  us  through  to  eternity,  new 
And  startling.    Promptly  my  &te  was  fixed. 

My  affinity  called,  and  I  might  not  stay. 

He  bore  me  off,  like  a  masterful  thief. 
To  a  rock  for  us  two — ^was  not  that  the  phrase  ? 

In.a  moment's  horror,  bright,  bloody  and  brief. 
Not  yours  was  the  blood,  be  it  understood ; 

Oh,  we  left  you  unharmed,  in  the  glorious  blaze 
Of  our  triumph,  its  blessedest  best  relief. 

Yet  you  dare  to  compassionate  me,  who  have  found. 

As  you  preached  yourself^  life's  best  reward, 
Was  trae  to  myself,  despised  the  sound 

Of  the  world's  coarse  sneers,  as  it  cavils  and  jeers ; 
Brate  world,  that  nothing  or  rare  or  hard 

Cm  tempt  from  its  swine-trough,  flat  on  the  ground. 

"  I  am  named  and  known  by  that  moment's  feat : " 

You,  doubting,  desponding,  are  lost,  I  fear. 
You  will  shuffle  along,  with  your  gouty  feet. 

Life's  broad  highway,  till  your  dying  day ; 
No  ecstatic  minute  to  crown  you  complete^ 

No  deed  that  shall  bring  you  Eternity  near. 

You  will  live  out  your  life,  dull,  cold,  correct. 

I  shall  starve,  laugh  loudly,  feast,  agonise, 
Be  happy.    You  said  this  was  best,  recollect. 

I  have  gained  and  attained,  and  remained  unstained  ; 

So,  should  we  encounter  in  Paradise, 

It  is  /must  give jw,  sir,  the  cut  direct ' 

T.  s.  o. 

174  Tf^  GeniUmatis  Magazine. 


ALTHOUGH  when  the  French  Fensie  writers  are  enumerated 
the  name  of  Chamfort  is  rarely  mentioned,  the  fiict  that,  while 
the  dramatic  and  critical  works  that  won  him  a  seat  in  the  Academy 
are  well-nigh  forgotten,  many  of  his  epigrammatic  notes  on  men  and 
manners  have  become  household  words,  gives  him  a  claim  to  a  place 
among  La  Rochefoucauld,  Pascal,  Nicole,  Vauvenarguesand  Joubert, — 
no  one  of  whom  excelled  him  in  that  conciseness,  point,  and  finish 
which  tell  as  much  in  the  making  of  a  Pens^e  as  does  the  ion  in  the 
proverbial  making  of  a  chanson.  It  was  of  Chamfort  and  Rivarol 
that  Balzac  said :  "  These  men  were  wont  to  put  the  substance  of  a 
good  book  into  a  witticism ;  but  nowadays  you  will  hardly  find  a 
scrap  of  genuine  wit  in  a  whole  volume."  And  M.  Sainte-Beuve, 
while  he  criticises  severely  Chamfort's  character,  writes :  "  His  name 
will  always  be  attached  to  a  number  of  concise,  pointed,  stirring  and 
picturesque  sayings  which  fix  themselves  in  your  memory  whether 
you  will  or  not." 

The  aim  of  these  pages  is  to  present  to  the  reader  a  sample  of 
those  maxims  and  anecdotes  which — ^though  none  of  them  were 
printed  in  his  lifetime — were  so  widely  circulated  among  Chamfort's 
many  friends  and  admirers.  As  was  the  case  with  the  Pens^  of 
Joubert,  they  were  found  written  on  small  pieces  of  paper, — but  care- 
fully, as  if  with  a  view  to  publication.  Much  that  Chamfort  wrote  in 
this  way  b  lost ;  but  his  latest  editor,  M.  Stahl,  tells  us  there  is  reason 
to  believe  that  there  are  manuscripts  of  Chamfort  which  are  withheld 
by  those  into  whose  hands  they  have  chanced  to  fall.  If  this  is  so, 
and  if  the  secreted  remains  consist  chiefly  of  anecdotes  and 
"  characters  "  of  the  same  stamp  as  most  of  those  which  form  so 
large  a  part  of  M.  Stahl's  volume,  their  loss  is  hardly  to  be  regretted, 
for  their  publication  would  but  ftunish  superfluous  proof  of  the  dis- 
solute state  of  the  society  in  the  midst  of  which  Chamfort's  lot 
placed  him,  and  of  the  unflinching  freedom  with  which  he  delighted 
to  expose  its  diseased  condition.  Among  these  the  most  characteristic 
-^uch  as  relate  to  the  sociiti  des  grands  of  the  period  immediately 
iding  the  Revolution.    Into  the  midst  of  this  society  Chamfort 

Cham/art.  175 

was  plunged,  and,  as  it  were,  compelled  to  be  its  satirist    A  singularly 
handsome  person,  a  most  fascinating  manner,  and  brilliant  conversa* 
tional  powers,  conspired  to  open  the  doors  of  the  ^te  of  Paris  to  the 
young  man  whose  birth  was  not  only  obscure  but  clouded  by  a 
mother's  misfortune.    To  that  mother  the  more  than  fatherless  youth 
was  a  most  devoted  son.    The  young  Nicolas  (for  he  did  not  assume 
the  name  of  Chamfort  until  he  reached  man's  estate)  had  shown  an 
early  taste  for  letters.    His  success  at  the  college  of  which  he  was  a 
bursar  was  such  that  its  principal,  wishing  to  secure  to  the  Church 
so   hopeful  a  pupil,  promised  him  promotion   if  he   would  take 
orders.     He  declined  the   proposal,  the  priestly  office  having  no 
attractions  for  him ;  but  his  straitened  circumstances  rendered  him 
not  unwilling  to  aid  a  quondam  schoolfellow  by  supplying  him,  in 
consideration  of  a   small  honorarium,   with  manuscript  sermons. 
This  lasted  for  about  a  year;  after  which  he  spent  a  wearisome 
time  as  secretary  and  travelling  companion  to  a  wealthy  Belgian. 
He  now  turned  with  ardour  to  literature,  and,  after  two  years* 
varied   work,  he  competed — ^as  was  then  the  wont  of  literary  as- 
pirants— for  the  Academy  prizes.      Chamfort  won  the  prize   for 
poetry,  which,  with  the  successful  production  of  two  dramatic  com- 
positions, sufficed  to  procure  him  admission  to  the  republic  of  letters. 
But  Fashion  so  far  robbed  Literature  of  the  amiable  young  poet 
whose  d^but  was  found  worthy  of  the  comments  of  Voltaire,  Diderot 
and  Grimm,  that  he  produced  no  works  of  importance,  if  we  except 
his  Eloge  of  Moliire  and  his  Eloge  of  La  Fontaine, — the  latter  gaining 
for  him  a  prize  which  had  been  regarded  as  secured  in  advance  by 
La  Harpe,  by  whom  he  had  been  worsted  in  an  earlier  competition. 
A  tragedy — tragedy-writing  was  so  much  in  vogue  that  it   could 
hardly  be  shirked  by  a  fashionable  poet — played  at  Fontainebleau 
won  for  its  author  the  compliments  of  Marie  Antoinette,  a  pension 
from  the  king,  and  a  Secretaryship  to  the  prince  de  Cond6,  from 
which   he  contrived  to  retire  without  giving  oflfence.      In   1781 
Chamfort  became  a  member  of  the  Academy. 

His  letters  fumish  sad  but  interesting  illustrations  of  a  slavery 
from  which  habit  made  it  impossible  for  him  to  break  away.  He 
writes  :  "  My  life  is  a  tissue  which  contrasts  strangely  with  my  prin- 
ciples. I  have  no  liking  for  princes, — and  I  am  a  prince's  attach^; 
my  republican  maxims  are  well  known, — ^and  I  live  among  courtiers ; 
I  love  poverty, — ^and  riches  are  my  only  friends;  I  flee  honours, —and 
honours  have  been  showered  upon  me;  I  wished  to  become  a 
member  of  the  Academy, — and  I  never  go  near  it ;  I  regard  illusions 
as  a  luxury  essential  to  life, — and  I  live  without  an  illusion ;  I  hold 

vy6  The  Gentleman's  Magazine. 

that  the  passions  are  more  useful  to  man  than  his  reason,— and  I  have- 
destroyed  my  passions.".  .  .  ^  That  I  have  loved  glory,  I  confess ; 
but  it  was  at  a  time  when  experience  had  not  taught  me  to  value 
things  at  their  true  worth, — when  glory  presented  itself  to  my 
imagination  as  a  pure  passion,  not  incompatible  with  some  degree  of 
repose, — a  source  of  heartfelt  joy,  and  not  an  endless  suiging  of 
vanity.  But  time  and  experience  have  enlightened  me.  I  am  not 
one  of  those  who  can  look  to  dust  and  noise  as  the  aim  and  fruit  of 
their  efforts." 

He  withdrew  to  the  quiet  of  Auteuil,  where  he  spent  two  happy 
years  in  the  society  of  a  lady  whose  age  and  culture  made  her  a 
fitting  companion'  for  a  man  who  was  so  sick  of  the  frivolous  life  of 
Paris.  Her  sudden  death  was  a  blow  that  well-nigh  crushed  him  ; 
and  when  he  was  able  in  his  letters  to  revert  to  his  calamity,  his  out- 
bursts of  grief  were  marked  by  none  of  that  bitterness  with  which  he 
was  usually  too  ready  to  bewail  the  ills  (whether  his  own  or  others') 
that  flesh  is  heir  to.  Another  heavy  sorrow  was  the  loss  of  his 
mother.  The  letter  in  which  Chamfort  tells  a  friend  of  this  bereave- 
ment, which  must  long  have  been  expected,  would  alone  justify  his 
biographer's  strictures  upon  the  criticisms  of  M.  Sainte-Beuve,  who 
concludes  that  the  heart  of  the  satirist  of  the  vices  of  society  was 
utterly  devoid  of  feeling.  '*  You  must  surely  think,"  Chamfort  writes 
to  his  friend,  *'  that  every  evil  has  fallen  upon  my  head.  Alas  I  you 
would  be  far  from  the  truth.  A  little  more  than  two  months  ago 
I  had  the  misfortune  to  lose  my  mother.  You  are  not  among  those 
who  will  tell  me  that  her  four  score  and  five  years  must  have  prepared 
me  for  this  loss." 

"  To  Liberty,  the  ideal  mistress  of  our  youth,"  Chamfort  was  to 
devote  every  remaining  energy.  The  bursting  of  the  storm  of  the 
Revolution  had  been  foreseen  by  him.  He  writes  to  a  lady :  ''  You 
seem  very  sorry  for  the  decease  of  our  friend  the  late  Despotism  ; 
but  you  do  not  know  that  this  death  has  surprised  me  but  little.  I 
have  received  with  pleasure  my  prophet's  brevet  from  your  hand. 
The  too  great  suddenness  of  the  collapse  will  be  embarrassing  for  a 
time ;  but  we  shall  pull  through  ! " 

Henceforward  the  man  of  the  world  was  merged  in  the  patriot 
citizen.  Roederer,  one  of  his  biographers,  writes :  '*  Chamfort  has 
been  reproached  for  the  ingratitude  he  showed  towards  the  friends 
whose  generosity  he  had  enjoyed  in  their  palmy  days  by  Uie  ardour 
with  which  he  assailed  the  abuses  upon  which  they  had  lived.  A 
reasonable  charge,  this !      That  Chamfort  was  not  ungrateful  is. 

*  That  this  union  was  sanctioned  by  marriage  there  is  little  reason  to  doubt 

Cham/art.  177 

proved  by  his  adherence  to  his  despoiled  friends."  He  goes  on  to^ 
$ay  :  **  If  Chamfort  gave  nothing  to  others,  he  gave  nothing  to  him- 
$el£  He  inveighed  against  pensions  until  his  own  was  taken  from, 
him.  .  •  •.  In  the  course  he  followed,  not  only  was  he  unbiassed  by 
self-interest,  but  he  always  stood  in  his  own  way."  From  the  same 
writer  we  learn  that  the  day  after  the  pensions  were  suppressed,  he, 
went  with  Chamfort  to  visit  Marmontel  at  his  country  place.  They 
found  him  and  his  wife  bewailing  the  ruin  the  decree  had  brought 
upon  their  children.  Chamfort  took  one  of  them  on  his  knee  and. 
said:  ''Come,  my  little  man,  you  will  be  worth  m(^e  than  we;  some, 
day  it  will  be  for  you  to  weep  that  the  tears  your  frither  has  had  the. 
weakness  to  shed  over  you  were  wrung  from  him  by  the  prospect  of 
your  being  less  rich  than  he."  When  asked  what  Chamfort  had 
done  for  the  Republic,  Roederer  replied:  "Chamfort  was  incessantly 
printing,  but  the  pages  were  the  minds  of  his  friends.  He  has  left, 
behind  him  no  political  writings ;  but  he  has  said  nothing  that  will, 
not  eventually  be  committed  to  writing.  He  wiU  long  be  quoted.. 
In  more  than  one  book  words  of  his  will  be  repeated  that  are 
themselves  the  germs  of  good  books.  .  .  .  We  may  safely  say  that; 
the  service  an  eneigetic  phrase  may  render  to  the  most  important; 
interests  is  not  generally  esteemed  at  its  true  value.  There  are  im- 
portant truths  that  avail  nothing  because  they  are  swamped  in 
voluminous  writings.  They  are  like  a  precious  metal  in  solution  ^ 
in  that  condition  it  is  useless,  and  its  value  cannot  be  tested :  to 
raider  it  serviceable,  the  craftsman  must  convert  it  into  bars,  refine 
it,  test  it,  and  put  upon  it  a  stamp  that  will  be  recognised  by  every 
one  who  sees  it.  In  like  manner,  a  thought,  before  it  can  become, 
current  coin,  must  be  weighed  and  tested  by  the  eloquent  manr 
whose  impress  will  strike  every  eye  and  be  the  warrant  of  its  sterling 
worth.  Chamfort  has  been  a  diligent  coiner  of  money  of  this  sort 
He  did  not  distribute  it  himself  among  the  public, — ^this  was  a  change 
which  his  friends  voluntarily  undertook ;  and  certain  it  is  that  more 
things  have  survived  of  him  who  wrote  nothing  than  of  many  whose 
utterances  have,  during  the  last  few  years,  been  so  laden  with 

Chamfort  had  been  one  of  the  first  to  enter  the  Bastille,  where  he 
spent  a  month  which  he  always  looked  back  upon  with  horror. 
"Imprisonment,"  he  would  say,  ''is  neither  life  nor  death.  Such  a 
middle  state  is  unbearable.  I  must  either  open  my  eyes  upon  the 
sky  or  close  them  in  a  tomb."  He  swore  he  never  again  would  be 
taken  alive. 

He  was  at  the  Bibliothique  Nationale,  of  which  he  had  been- 

17S  TAe  Genilemafis  Magazine. 

appointed  librarian  by  Roland,  Minister  of  the  Interior,  when  a 
second  attempt  was  made  to  arrest  him.  He  made  no  effort  to 
escape.  Closing  the  door  of  his  room,  he  loaded  a  pistol  and  dis- 
charged it  against  his  forehead.  The  wound  was  not  mortal ;  and, 
surprised  to  find  that  death  did  not  ensue,  he  endeavoured  to  effect 
his  purpose  by  opening  his  veins  with  a  razor.  At  this  moment  the 
door  was  forced,  and  while  surgical  aid  was  being  afforded  him 
he  dictated  the  following  declaration.  *'  I,  Sebastien-Roch-Nicolas 
Chamfort,  declare  that  I  have  sought  to  die  as  a  free  man  rather  than 
be  led  to  prison  as  a  slave.  I  further  declare  that  if  any  attempt  is 
made  to  drag  me  to  prison,  I  have  strength  enough  left  to  finish 
what  I  have  b^;im.  No  man  shall  ever  again  imprison  me  alive." 
In  describing  to  a  fiiend  what  he  had  done,  he  said :  "  I  remem- 
bered Seneca,  and  would  fain  have  opened  my  veins  in  his  honour; 
but  he  was  a  rich  man,  and  had  a  warm  bath  and  everything 
he  wanted.  I  am  a  poor  fellow  with  nothing  of  the  kind  at  my 

He  survived  his  terrible  injuries  for  some  weeks.  He  was  not 
imprisoned,  but  was  kept  under  the  surveillance  of  a  gendarme  in 
his  own  pay.  He  died,  aged  fifty-five  years,  on  the  thirteenth  of 
April,  1794. 

Before  presenting  to  the  reader  our  gleanings  from  Chamfort's 
Pens^es  and  Anecdotes,  we  cannot  do  better  than  append  to  this 
diort  sketch  a  few  passages  translated  from  M.  Stahl's  introductory 

"  In  Chamfort  there  are  two  men.  Of  these  the  literary  man  can 
hardly  be  said  to  exist  for  us.  His  comedies,  his  tragedies,  his 
verses,  his  pictures  of  the  Revolution,  his  academic  studies,  hardly 
deserve  to  survive  the  circumstances  that  produced  them.  They 
were  the  work  of  a  superior  intellect,  a  lover  of  literature,  who 
sought  and  found  success  by  following  the'  beaten  track,  but  who,  in 
his  endeavour  to  keep  within  conventional  lines,  does  not  so  much 
as  allow  himself  to  suspect  that  there  is  in  him  any  true  originality. 
But  the  other  man,  the  moralist,  the  satirist,  the  philosopher,  the 
politician — our  author  of  maxims,  portraits,  characters  and  anec- 
dotes— has  a  fair  claim  to  live.  His  personality  is  so  lively  that  it 
detaches  itself  by  vigorous  sallies  in  the  midst  of  the  most  brilliant 
personages  of  the  day,  and,  waiving  aside  all  opposition,  takes  its 
place  in  the  foremost  ranks  of  our  literature. 

"  Strangely  enough,  the  true  Chamfort,  the  Chamfort  who  was 
destined  to  live,  was  only  known  to  his  contemporaries  by  his  spoken 

Chamfort.  1 79 

'*  It  is  the  drift  and  scope  of  his  work,  which  was  in  his  lifetime 
bat  a  spoken  work,  that  constitute  his  true  title  to  the  regard  of 
posterity.  As  soon  as  it  was  printed,  it  threw  into  oblivion  his 

"Chamfort  had  a  presentiment  that  this  would  be  so.  He  took 
small  account  of  his  academic  lumber,  and  at  last  was  annoyed  when 
it  was  belauded  in  his  presence. 

"...  What  is  left  of  Chamfort  suffices  for  his  renown.  His 
place  in  our  literature  comes  immediately  after  the  seventeenth  cen- 
tury moralists.  As  a  writer,  he  is  almost  always  their  equal.  He 
speaks  the  charming  language  of  La  Bruyfere;  he  has  the  keen  eye  of 
La  Rochefoucauld :  but  he  is  even  more  concise  than  they.  He  pos- 
sesses in  the  highest  degree,  and  this  quite  naturally,  what  the  former 
never  sought,  and  what  the  latter  was  ever  aiming  at, — dash.  He 
was  a  master  of  the  art  of  saying  much  in  a  few  words ;  but  he  was 
always  lucid.  If  he  has  less  of  that  fulness  of  phmse  and  calmness 
of  thought  which  characterise  the  prose- writers  of  the  golden  age, 
and  which  can  be  obtained  only  by  a  mind  at  rest— a  rest  which  was 
impossible  in  the  epoch  at  which  Chamfort  lived — he  has  in  its 
stead  the  determined  and  vigorous  emphasis  of  his  time. 

"  If  common  consent  has  not  awarded  to  him  his  proper  position, 
it  is  because  justice  has  not  yet  been  done  by  our  own  age  to  the 
era  which  Chamfort  represents.  But,  come  what  may,  a  place  will 
be  assigned  him  in  that  glorious  phalanx  of  representative  intellects 
to  which  Rabelais,  Montaigne  and  Voltaire  belong,  and  the  roll  of 
which  wiU  go  down  to  posterity." 

Calumny  is  like  a  wasp  against  whose  buzzings  it  is  best  to  take 
no  action  unless  you  can  be  sure  of  killing  it ;  if  you  come  short  of 
that,  it  is  certain  to  return  to  the  charge  more  spiteful  than  ever. 

If  you  would  avoid  being  a  charlatan,  eschew  platform  oratory. 
When  once  on  a  platform  you  must  either  play  a  part  or  be  pelted. 

Conviction  is  the  conscience  of  the  intellect 

Nature  has  willed  that  wise  men  as  well  as  fools  should  have  their 
illusions,  in  order  that  they  should  not  be  made  too  unhappy  by  their 

There  are  well  dressed  follies  just  as  there  are  well  dressed  fools. 

We  give  our  friends  the  full-fece  view  of  truth :  we  allow  our 
masters  a  glance  at  its  profile. 

i8o  The  GentUmatis  Magazine. 

What  avails  it  for  a  man  to  make  believe  that  he  has  fewer  weak 
points  than  other  people?  Let  him  have  but  one,  and  let  that  one 
be  known,  and  it  will  be  ample  for  the  world's  purpose.  To  escape, 
be  had  need  be  a  heelUss  Achilles. 

Conversation  is  like  a  sea  voyage.  You  lose  the  land  im 

There  are  certain  men  whose  virtues  shine  to  better  advantage  in 
private  life  than  in  a  public  capacity.  A  rich  setting  would  spoil 
their  lustre. 

One  reason  why  the  proceedings  of  corporations  and  assemblies 
otn  hardly  be  other  than  stupid,  is  to  be  found  in  the  fact  that  in  a 
public  deliberation  the  best  things  that  can  be  said  for  or  against  the 
matter  or  person  in  question  can  seldom  be  uttered  aloud  without 
great  danger  or  extreme  inconvenience. 

Naturalists  tell  us  that  with  all  species  of  animals  degeneration 
begins  with  the  females.  Philosophers,  in  their  study  of  civilised 
society,  may  apply  this  observation  to  morals. 

In  handling  great  matters,  men  show  themselves  in  the  light  they 
deem  fitting ;  in  dealing  with  small  concerns  they  show  themselves 
as  they  are. 

It  must  be  admitted  that  it  is  impossible  to  live  in  the  world 
without  sometimes  playing  a  part.  But  while  an  honest  man  only 
does  this  perforce  and  in  self-defence,  the  false  man  is  on  the  look, 
out  for  his  opportunity. 

Importance  without  merit  obtains  respect  without  esteem. 

A  man  who  is  at  once  wise  and  honest  should,  in  duty  to  himself, 
join  to  the  purity  which  satisfies  his  conscience  the  prudence  which, 
forewarns  and  forearms  him  against  calumny. 

A  man  of  very  superior  qualities  is  often  thereby  unfitted  for 
society.  Ingots  of  gold  are  not  things  to  take  to  market,  but  shillings 
and  pence. 

Three  powers  govern  men ;  the  sword,  gold,  and  public  opinion. 
When  despotism  has  destroyed  the  last,  it  is  not  long  before  it  loses 
the  other  two. 

The  history  of  free  peoples  is  alone  worthy  of  attention.  The 
history  of  peoples  under  the  sway  of  despotism  is  but  a  collection  of 

If  you  wish  to  please  in  the  world  you  must  be  content  to  allows 

Ckamfart.  181 

yourself  to  be  taught  many  things  you  know  perfectly  well  by  people 
who  know  nothing  about  tiiem. 

Many  a  man  about  court  is  hated  for  the  sheer  pleasure  of  hating. 
They  are  lizards  that  have  achieved  nothing  by  climbing  but  the  loss 
of  their  tails. 

Sp6ron-Sp^ni  shows  very  well  how  an  author's  expressions  may 
be  quite  clear  to  himself  while  they  are  obscure  to  his  reader.  "  It 
iS}"  he  says,  '*  because  the  author  goes  from  the  thought  to  the 
eqiression,  while  the  reader  goes  from  the  e]q)ression  to  the 

Philosophy,  like  medicine,  has  many  drugs,  few  good  remedies, 
and  scarcely  any  specifics. 

Most  editors  of  selections  of  poems  or  witticisms  resemble  those 
who  when  eating  cherries  b^in  by  picking  out  the  choicest,  and  end 
by  clearing  the  dish. 

The  reason  why  so  many  books  succeed  lies  in  the  correspondence 
between  the  mediocrity  of  the  ideas  of  their  authors  and  those  of  the 
general  public 

Most  of  those  benefactors  who  affect  to  conceal  themselves  after 
doing  a  good  deed  flee  after  the  manner  of  the  Galatea  of  Virgil : 
Ei  se  cufit  ante  videri, 

M.  T  .  .  .  one  day  said  to  me  that,  generally  speaking,  when  a 
man  has  done  some  good  and  courageous  act  from  a  really  worthy 
and  noble  motive,  it  is  quite  necessary,  if  he  would  pacify  the 
envious,  to  affect  some  motive  that  is  less  creditable  and  more 

There  is  a  pride  in  which  are  comprised  all  the  commandments 
of  God,  and  there  is  a  vanity  which  embraces  all  the  seven  deadly 

It  is  often  vanity  ^t  urges  a  man  to  display  the  whole  eneigy  of 
his  nature.  Join  to  a  piece  of  pointed  steel  a  slip  of  wood,  and  it 
becomes  a  dart  Wing  this  with  a  couple  of  feathers,  and  you  have 
an  axTow.  .  . 

If  Diogenes  lived  in  our  days  he  would  have  to  cany  a  dark 

Those  who  try  to  harmonise  whatever  they  do  with  public 
opinion  are  like  players  who,  when  public  taste  is  bad,  play  badly 
to  gain  applause.     Some  among  them  would  succeed  in  playing 

1 82  The  GetUleman's  Magazine. 

well  if  public  taste  were  good. — ^An  honest  man  plays  his  part  as  well 
as  he  can,  without  r^ard  to  the  groundlings. 

The  friends  we  make  after  a  certain  time  of  life,  and  by  whom 
we  try  to  replace  those  we  have  lost,  are,  in  comparison  with  our  old 
friends,  what  glass  eyes,  artificial  teeth,  and  wooden  legs  are  to  real 
eyes,  natural  teeth  and  legs  of  flesh  and  bone. 

I  retain  for  M.  de  la  B  . . .  the  feeling  a  worthy  man  experiences 
when  he  passes  the  tomb  of  a  friend. 

On  the  stage  action  is  everything,  and  the  finest  speeches  would 
be  insupportable  if  they  were  nothing  but  speeches. 

One  of  the  great  secrets  of  the  dramatic  art  is  to  keep  up  the 
contrast  between  the  player  and  his  positions. 

Great  crimes  should  never  be  committed  on  the  stage  unless 
strong  passions  diminish  their  atrocity. 

Our  self  love  makes  us  feel  pleasure  in  seeing  on  the  stage  our 
&ults  allied  to  noble  qualities. 

Rbugious  Dogmas. 

I  once  heard  a  pious  man  who  was  condemning  people  who 
discuss  their  creed  say  very  naively:  '<A  true  Christian  does  not 
examine  what  he  is  told  to  believe.  If  when  you  have  to  take  a 
bitter  pill,  you  chew  it  first,  you  will  never  be  able  to  get  it  down." 

A  Piw. 

A  theatrical  agent,  in  urging  M.  de  Villars  to  exclude  pages 
from  the  firee  list,  remarked :  ''  Many  pages,  my  Lord,  make  up  a 

A  Perch. 

Madamede  .  .  .  used  to  say  of  M.  B  .  .  .  :  "  He  is  respectable, 
but  commonplace  and  crotchety.  He  reminds  one  of  the  perch, 
which  is  clean  and  wholesome,  but  insipid  and  full  of  bones." 

Reading  Large  Print. 

M. .  •  .  said  of  a  young  fellow|who  did  not  see  that  a  lady  was 
in  love  with  him:  "You  are  very  young:  you  can  only  read  large 


A  preacher  said  :  "  When  pfere  Bourdaloue  preached  at  Rouen 
he  caused  a  great  deal  of  disorder.    The  workmen  left  their  shops, 

Ckam/ari.  1 83 

the  doctors  their  patients,  &c.    /preached  there  the  following  year, 
and  set  everything  right" 


A  collection  was  made  at  the  Academy,  and  there  was  a  louis-d'or 
short  A  member  whose  avarice  was  well  known  was  suspected  of 
having  withheld  his  contribution.  The  collector  said :  "  I  did  not 
see  the  gentleman  put  in,  but  I  believe  he  did."  Fontenelle  settled 
the  question  by  remarking :  "  I  saw^  but  I  don't  beUeve!* 

Fontenelle  and  Death. 

A  lady  of  ninety  years  of  age  said  to  M.  de  Fontenelle,  who  was 
ninety-five :  "  Death  has  forgotten  us."  ''  Hush  ! "  replied  Fonte- 
nelle, putting  his  finger  on  his  lips. 

An  Idea. 

A  conceited  dolt  interrupted  a  conversation  by:  "I  have  an 
idea  ! "    A  wit  remarked :  "  Astonishing  ! " 

The  Abb£  Maury's  Candidature. 

The  Abb<  Maury  was  trying  to  get  the  Abb6  de  Beaumont,  who 
was  old  and  paralysed,  to  tell  him  about  his  early  life.  "  Ah  !  my 
friend,"  said  the  old  man,  "  you  are  taking  my  measure ! "  By 
which  he  meant  that  Maury  was  looking  up  matter  for  the  eulogium 
before  the  Academy. 

The  Death  of  the  Grand  Monarque. 

A  courtier  said :  "  After  the  death  of  his  Majesty,  there's  nothing 
one  can't  believe." 

Fontenelle's  Gallantry. 

M.  de  Fontenelle,  then  in  his  ninety-seventh  year,  having  just 
paid  Madame  Helv^tius  a  thousand  pretty  compliments,  passed  her, 
on  his  way  to  the  table,  without  seeming  to  notice  her.  ''  See,"  said 
Madame  Helv^tius,  "  what  account  I  should  take  of  your  gallantry  ! 
You  went  by  without  looking  at  me."  "  Madame,"  said  the  old 
gentleman,  "  if  I  had  looked  at  you,  I  should  not  have  passed  by 

Portrait  of  Madame  de  Nemours. 

M.  de  Vendome  remarked  of  Madame  de  Nemours,  who  had  a 
long  hooked  nose  and  red  lips:  "She  is  like  a  parrot  eating  a 

184  The  Gentleman's  Magazine. 

Portrait  of  M,  d'Epikay. 

Diderot  was  asked  his  opinion  of  M.  d'Epinay :  ''  He  is  a  man,^ 
he  replied,  *'  who  has  eaten  two  millions  without  saying  a  good  word 
or  doing  a  good  deed" 


In  a  dispute  that  the  representatives  of  Geneva  had  with  the 
chevalier  de  Bouteville,  in  which  one  of  the  representatives  spoke 
rather  warmly,  the  chevalier  said :  ''  Do  you  know  that  I  represent 
the  king,  my  master  7  *' — "  And  do  you  know,"  retorted  the  Genevan, 
''  that  I  represent  my  Equals  ?  " 




EVERY  biologist  feels  the  difficulty  which  confronts  him  in 
attempting  to  draw  a  line  of  demarcation  between  the  animal 
and  vegetable  kingdoms.  This  difficulty  is  clearly  shown  by  the  fact 
that  there  are  certain  organisms  that  are  claimed  by  both  zoologists 
and  botanists  as  belonging  to  their  respective  departments  of  natural 
science.  Yet  at  first  sight  nothing  would  seem  to  be  more  widely 
different  from  each  other  than  an  animal  and  a  plant  But  if  we 
consider  more  attentively  the  vital  phenomena  manifested  by  plants 
and  animals  we  shall  very  soon  see  that  there  is  abundant  reason  for 
believing  that  the  differences  between  these  organic  productions  are 
not  after  all  so  very  great. 

Every  living  body,  both  plant  and  animal,  consists  in  its  embry- 
onic form  of  a  single  cell,  and  not  only  this  but  the  lowest  plants  and 
the  lowest  animals  are  in  their  full-grown  mature  state  merely  minute 
single  cells.  From  this  comparatively  neutral  starting-point,  in  the 
sense  of  presenting  the  minimum  known  amount  of  differentiation, 
the  most  important  feature  generally  stated  to  be  evolved  only  by 
the  members  of  the  animal  kingdom,  is  the  specialisation  of  structure 
that  enables  them  to  feed  on  organic  matter  taken  into  the  body  in 
a  solid  form.  But  this,  as  I  shall  show,  is  not  confined  to  animals 

A  second  supposed  mark  of  distinction  is  the  possession  of  a 
nervous  system  which  has  culminated  in  the  higher  groups  of  animals 
in  the  development  not  only  of  special  senses  but  of  sense  organs. 
But  the  possession  of  a  nervous  system,  sensibility,  and  even  brain- 
power is  also  to  be  found  in  the  vegetable  kingdom.  It  must  also 
not  be  forgotten  that  many  of  the  lower  groups  of  organisms  univei^ 
sally  classed  as  animals  are  entirely  destitute  of  every  structural  trace 
of  a  nervous  system. 

Although  no  trace  of  nerve  tissue  is  present  in  any  member  of 
the  v^etable  kingdom,  yet  many  plants  manifest  distinct  movements 
which  are  responsive  to  external  agencies ;  these  movements  agree  in 
important  and  essential  points  with  similar  movements  shown  under 

VOL.  CCLXXXV.     NO.  2,012.  O 

1 86  The  Gentlemafis  Magazine. 

similar  circumstances  in  connection  with  animals  and  which  in  the 
latter  are  the  outcome  of  nervous  excitement  or  brain-power.  Some 
will  naturally  exclaim,  "  How  can  plants  be  possessed  of  brain-power 
if  they  have  neither  brains  nor  nerve  tissue  ?  "  In  that  case  I  would 
reply  that  certainly  no  one  has  yet  discovered  the  brain  of  a  plant, 
yet  at  the  same  time  many  of  their  movements  and  much  of  their  life 
history  point  to  the  Deurt  that  they  are  possessed  of  a  power  much 
higher  than  instinct,  and  which  seems  very  close  to  that  feculty 
of  reasoning  which  no  one  disputes  is  fotmd  among  at  least  the 
higher  groups  of  animals. 

Including  the  genus  homo,  each  individual  of  the  higher  genera 
is,  in  a  greater  or  less  degree,  the  owner  of  a  mass  of  nervous  matter 
generally  contained  in  the  head,  known  as  the  brain.  This  brain  is 
the  seat  of  all  its  nervous  energy,  movement,  and  sensibility.  It  is 
divided  into  centres,  each  of  which  is  an  area  for  the  conscious  per- 
ception of  the  different  forms  of  sensory  impressions,  and  also  for  the 
transmission  of  energy  to  the  different  muscles.  Ferrier,  Horsley, 
and  others  have  mapped  out  the  brain  into  motor  areas  and  centres. 

The  term  "centre"  involves  the  following  mechanism:  A 
sensitive  surface ;  a  nerve  going  to  a  nerve-cell  or  group  of  nerve- 
cells  from  which  passes  a  nerve-fibre  to  a  muscle.  Every  portion  of 
the  brain  has  been  proved  by  experiment  to  have  certain  exclusive 
functions.  So  the  brain  may  be  looked  upon  as  a  motor  which 
keeps  the  wonderful  machinery  going  that  produces  all  the  various 
movements  of  the  animal  frame.  But  all  motors  must,  in  the  first 
instance,  be  under  the  control  of  some  power.  What  then  is  this 
power,  and  where  is  it  situated  ? 

The  animal  brain  is  composed  of  grey  and  white  matter ;  the 
former  consisting  of  nerve-cells  communicating  by  numerous  fine 
processes  with  the  latter  or  nerve-fibres.  These  cells  discharge 
impulses  to,  and  receive  impressions  from,  the  nerve-fibres.  But  we 
have  just  seen  that  the  brain  is  divided  into  various  collections  of 
these  nerve-cells  called  centres,  each  centre  having  nothing  to  do 
with  transmitting  impulses  to,  or  receiving  impressions  from,  any 
other  part  of  the  body  than  that  to  which  it  is  connected.  Where, 
^  we  ask,  is  this  power,  which  gives  these  cells  the  faculty  of  discharg- 
ing impulses?  Science  is  silent.  AVhat  it  is,  is  comparatively  a 
question  more  easily  answered.  It  may  be  a  kind  of  protoplasm  or 
it  may  not.  Its  existence  and  its  effects  cannot  be  doubted;  it 
permeates  not  only  the  animal  but  also  the  v^etable  kingdom.  We 
may  describe  it  in  a  word  as  brain-power. 

The  modem  student  of  plant-life  no  longer  regards  the  objects  of 

The  Brain- Power  of  Plants.  1 87 

his  stady  as  so  many  things  that  merely  demand  arrangement  and 
classification,  and  whose  history  is  exhausted  when  a  couple  of  Latin 
or  Greek  names  have  been  appended  to  each  specimen.  On  the 
contrary,  the  botanist  of  to-day  goes  beneath  the  epidermis  and  seeks 
to  unravel  the  mysteries  of  plant-existence.  To  him  a  plant  is  no 
longer  an  inanimate  being,  but  stands  revealed  as  an  organism 
exhibiting  animal  functions,  such  as  breathing,  irritability,  circulation 
of  sap  or  blood,  sleeping,  and  other  various  complex  movements, 
which  are  certainly  equally  as  well  defined  as  are  the  analogous  traits 
in  the  existence  of  the  animal. 

We  have  seen  that  these  functions  in  the  higher  animals  are 
performed  by  the  agency  of  various  nerves,  &c.,  and  that  there  must 
be  a  power  behind  the  different  nerve-cells  of  which  the  brain  is 
composed.  The  brain  itself  cannot  be  looked  upon  as  the  source  of 
all  nerve-power,  but  merely,  I  repeat,  as  an  intermediate  motor  which 
only  serves  for  the  more  perfect  transmission  of  energy.  This  motor 
is  absent  in  plants,  but  does  it  follow  that  the  power  or  force  is  itself 
non-existent?  Some  say  this  power  even  in  the  higher  animals,  and 
still  more  so  in  the  vegetable  kingdom,  is  merely  instinct.  Instinct, 
a  great  authority  tells  us,  is  only  "blind  habit  or  automatically 
carried  out  action."  This  being  so,  then  instinctive  actions  only 
move  in  one  direction,  and  cannot  adapt  themselves  to  circum- 

It  is  perhaps  sometimes  difficult  to  actually  define  whether  a  given 
action  is  instinctive  or  intelligent  Another  writer  defines  instinct  as 
"reflex  action  into  which  there  is  imported  an  element  of  conscious- 
ness." This  element  of  consciousness  is,  in  instinctive  action,  very 
small  or  practically  non-existent.  As  for  example  the  Lemmings,  in 
their  instinct  for  going  right  ahead,  will  drown  themselves  in  the  sea. 
On  the  other  hand,  it  is  not  instinct  but  intelligence  which  prompts  a 
spider  to  first  cut  off  the  wings  and  then  the  legs  of  a  fly  it  has  caught 
before  attempting  to  carry  it  away.  Nor  is  it  instinct  when  the  sphex 
wasps  provide  fresh  meat  for  their  future  larvae  by  storing  insects, 
caterpillars,  &c.,  which  they  have  first  stung  in  their  chief  nerve 
centre,  with  the  result  that  the  victims  are  not  killed  outright,  but 
only  paralysed.  These  instances  give  some  idea  of  the  diflerence 
between  instinct  and  reason. 

Those  acquainted  with  the  habits  of  plants  know  full  well  that 
they,  too,  have  the  power  of  adapting  themselves  to  circumstances, 
and  have  many  movements  and  traits  that  are  the  very  reverse  of 
automatic  and  instinctive.  Numerous  instances  could  be  given  in 
which  not  only  are  the  signs  of  sensibility  as  fully  developed  in  the 


1 88  The  Gentlemafis  Magazine. 

plant  as  in  the  animal,  but  many  phases  of  animal  life  are  exactly 

As  an  example  of  extreme  sensibility,  take  that  wonderful  plant 
the  Mimosa,  sensitive  not  only  of  the  most  delicate  touch,  but,  like 
several  other  genera,  of  the  approach  of  darkness  or  of  even  a  shadow 
thrown  upon  it,  of  which  the  poet  speaks : — 

Weak  with  nice  sense,  the  chaste  Mimosa  stands, 
Ttcm,  each  rude  toncfa  withdraws  her  timid  hands ; 
Oft  as  light  clouds  o'eipass  the  summer  glade, 
Alarmed  she  trembles  at  the  moving  shade. 
And  feels  alive  through  all  her  tender  form. 
The  whispered  murmurs  of  the  gathering  storm ; 
Shuts  her  sweet  eyelids  to  the  approaching  night, 
And  hails  with  freshened  charms  the  rising  light. 

Numerous  species  of  Mimosa  possess  this  property,  and  indeed 
most  of  the  genera  in  a  greater  or  less  degree.  They  have  leaves 
beautifully  divided,  again  and  again  pinnate,  with  a  great  number  of 
small  leaflets,  of  which  the  pairs  close  upwards  when  touched.  On 
repeated  or  rougher  touching  the  leaflets  of  the  neighbouring  pinnae 
also  close  together,  and  all  the  pinnae  sink  down,  and  at  last  the  leaf 
stalk  itself  sinks  down  and  the  whole  leaf  hangs  as  if  withered.  After 
a  short  time  the  leaf-stalk  rises  and  the  leaves  expand  again.  This 
trait  of  the  leaves  assuming  a  withered  appearance  is  very  analogous 
to  that  which  is  found  in  many  insects,  and  in  fact  all  parts  of  the 
animal  kingdom,  of  feigning  death  at  anyone's  approach  or  when 
slightly  touched. 

The  Mimosa,  too,  goes  to  sleep  when  night  comes  on,  or  even  a 
dark  cloud  passing  over  the  sun  will  cause  its  leaves  to  fold  up  and 
the  stalk  to  sink  down,  and  in  fact  the  whole  plant  goes  to  sleep.  In 
going  to  sleep  the  Mimosa  is  not,  however,  at  all  singular,  many 
species  of  plants  closing  their  leaves  and  flowers  at  night.  On  the 
other  hand  there  are  some  which,  like  the  beasts  of  the  forest,  hail 
the  setting  sun  as  a  signal  for  activity.  This  sleep  of  plants,  which 
is  the  same  physiologically  as  animal  sleep,  does  not  exist  without 
reason.  The  art  of  sleeping  is,  in  the  higher  animals,  symptomatic 
of  repose  in  the  brain  and  nervous  system,  and  the  fact  of  plants 
sleeping  is  one  proof  of  the  existence  of  a  nervous  system  in  the 
members  of  the  vegetable  kingdom. 

Plants  sleep  at  various  hours  and  not  always  at  night.  The 
duration  of  plant  sleep  varies  from  ten  to  eighteen  hours.  Light 
and  heat  have  little  to  do  with  plants  sleeping,  as  diflerent  species  go 
to  sleep  at  different  hours  of  the  day.    Thus  the  common  Mominf^ 

The  Brain-Power  of  Plants.  1 89 

GI017  {Convohmlus purpureus)  opens  at  dawn,  the  Star  of  Bethlehem 
about  ten  o'clock,  the  Ice  Plant  at  noon.  The  Goat's-beard,  which 
opens  at  sunrise,  closes  at  mid-day,  and  for  this  reason  is  called 
^  Go-to-bed-at-noon."  The  flowers  of  the  Evening  Primrose  and  of 
the  Thorn  Apple  open  at  sunset ;  and  those  of  the  night  flowering 
Cereus  when  it  is  dark. 

Aquatic  flowers  open  and  close  with  the  greatest  regularity.  The 
white  Water  Lily  closes  its  flowers  at  sunset  and  sinks  below  the 
water  for  the  night;  in  the  morning  the  petals  again  expand  and  float 
on  the  surface.  The  Victoria  Regia  expands  for  the  first  time  about 
six  o'clock  in  the  evening,  and  closes  in  a  few  hours ;  it  o|iens  again 
at  six  the  next  morning,  and  remains  so  till  the  afternoon,  when  it 
closes  and  sinks  below  the  water. 

For  upwards  of  2,000  years  continuous  attempts  have  been  made 
to  elucidate  the  phenomena  of  sleep  without  success ;  many  theories 
have  been  promulgated,  but  they  have  fallen  short  of  explaining  it. 
We  know  that  sleep  rests  the  mind  more  than  the  body,  or,  to  put  it 
in  another  way,  the  mere  physical,  as  apart  from  the  nervous  portion 
of  the  organism,  can  be  rested  without  sleep.  Negatively  the  eflect 
of  sleeplessness  proves  the  value  and  necessity  of  sleep.  And  this  is 
seen  in  a  marked  manner  in  the  case  of  plants. 

Electric  light  has  been  used  to  stimulate  the  growth  of  plants, 
and,  coupled  with  other  means  of  forcing,  a  continual  period  of 
growth  secured,  thereby  obtaining  earlier  maturity  than  would  have 
been  the  case  under  ordinary  circumstances.  In  most  cases  plants 
treated  in  this  way  were  prevented  from  sleeping,  the  result  in  the 
case  of  perennials  being  to  greatly  weaken  their  constitution,  the 
following  year's  growth  being  poor  and  scanty,  and  in  some  cases 
they  were  scarcely  alive. 

The  carnivorous  plants  afford  further  evidence  of  the  existence 
of  nervous  energy  or  brain-power  in  plants,  among  which  the  Venus's 
Fly-trap,  Dionaa  muscipula^  which  Linnaeus  called  '*  the  miracle  of 
nature,"  is  the  most  elaborate,  and  is  the  climax  of  the  order 
Droseracea.  Th^  leaves,  about  four  inches  long,  consist  of  a  spatu- 
late  stalk,  which  is  constricted  to  the  mid-rib  at  its  junction  with  the 
broad  blade.  The  halves  of  the  blade  are  movable  on  one  another 
along  the  mid-rib.  Round  each  margin  are  twenty  to  thirty  long 
teeth  which  interlock  in  rat-trap  fashion  with  those  of  the  opposite 
side.  The  centre  of  the  leaf  bears  numerous  rose^oloured  digestive 
glands,  and  there  are  on  each  half  of  the  blade  three  sensitive  hairp. 
The  blades  shut  up  in  from  eight  to  ten  seconds  when  one  of  the 
sensitive  hairs  is  touched. 

I90  The  GmtUmaiis  Magazine. 

When  an  insect  is  caught  or  a  piece  of  raw  meat  is  placed  on  the- 
leaf,  the  blades  dose  up  and  the  glands  immediately  pour  out  a  fluid 
which  is  practically  similar  to  the  gastric  juice  of  the  animal  stomach 
in  its  digestive  properties.  The  matter  of  the  insect  body  or  of  the 
meat  is  thus  absorbed  into  the  substance  and  tissues  of  the  plant 
just  as  the  food  eaten  by  an  animal  is  digested  and  goes  to  build  up 
its  fabric  or  repair  waste. 

The  animal  digestion  can  only  be  carried  on  by  the  bndn-force 
acting  by  means  of  a  nerve  upon  the  gastric  glands.  We  may  there- 
fore concede  that  it  is  the  action  of  the  same  power  in  the  plant  that 
produces  the  same  effect  The  motor  is  absent  but  the  motion  is 
there.  This  movement  in  plants  when  irritated  and  the  act  of 
digestion  is  seen  also  in  the  Sundew,  and  there  are  many  species 
in  whose  flowers  and  leaves  muscular  movement  is  seen  when 

The  Hedysarum  of  Bengal  is  an  example  of  movement  without 
external  cause.  This  plant  gyrates  the  central  leaflet  of  its  pinnule. 
The  properties  of  its  lateral  leaflets  are,  however,  the  most  remark- 
able, for  they  have  a  strange  power  of  jerking  up  and  down.  This 
motion  will  sometimes  stop  of  its  own  accord,  and  then  suddenly, 
without  any  apparent  cause,  commence  afresh.  The  leaves  cannot 
be  set  in  action  by  a  touch,  though  exposure  to  cold  will  stop  the 
motion.  What  is  more  amazing  in  the  movements  of  these  leaflets 
is,  that  if  they  be  temporarily  stopped  by  being  held,  they  will  imme- 
diately resume  action  after  the  restraint  is  removed,  and,  as  if  to  make 
up  for  lost  time,  will  jerk  up  and  down  with  increased  rapidity. 

The  power  of  spontaneous  movement  is  also  seen  in  the  seed 
spores  of  certain  seaweeds  and  other  lowly  plants.  These  spores 
move  about  in  water  with  freedom,  and  the  filaments  of  many  of  the 
liverworts  exhibit  a  capacity  for  extraordinary  motion.  In  the  spores 
of  the  potato  fungus  {Pythaptora  infestans)  we  have  another  well- 
marked  instance  of  the  power  of  movement  according  to 
circumstances.  When  the  spore-cases  burst,  a  multitude  of  little 
bodies  escape  and  if  these  gain  access  to  water—a  drop  of  dew  on 
the  potato  leaf  for  instance — they  develop  a  couple  of  curious  little 
tails,  by  means  of  which  they  swim  about  after  the  manner  of 

Then  there  are  the  unicellular  plants,  the  desmids  and  diatoms, 
which  dart  about  hither  and  thither  in  the  water.  It  is  noteworthy 
that  all  these  movements  can  be  arrested  by  the  application  of 
chloroform  or  a  weak  solution  of  opium  or  other  soporific. 

^^  is  not  in  the  fully  developed  vegetable  organism  alone  that  we 

The  Brdtn-Power  of  Plants  r.9 1 

find  evidence  of  the  existence  of  brain-power,  but  this  power  begins* 
to  display  itself  with  the  sprouting  of  the  seed.  In  the  commence- 
ment of  plant  life  we  find,  as  in  the  case  of  the  pea  (to  give  an  easily 
tested  escample)  that  the  root  emerges  at  one  end  of  the  seed  and  the. 
Aoot  at  the  other.  What  causes  the  former  to  descend  and  the 
latter  to  ascend?  If  the  seed  is  so  placed  that  the  root  comes  out 
at  the  top,  the  result  is  the  same,  for  the  root  immediately  turns 
xoimd  and  grows  downward  and  the  shoot  vice  versA,  This  cannot 
be  caused  by  gravitadon,  although  Darwin  once  thought  so,  as  the 
force  of  gravity  would  have  the  same  effect  on  the  shoot  as  on  the 
root.  There  can  only  be  one  reason,  and  that  is  the  existence  of  a 
directing  force  or  brain-power. 

There  is  no  structure  in  plants  more  wonderful  than  the  tip  of 
the  root  The  course  pursued  by  the  root  in  penetrating  the 
ground  is  determined  by  the  tip.  Darwin  wrote  :  "  It  is  hardly  an 
exaggeration  to  say  that  the  tip  of  the  radicle,  endowed  as  it  is  with 
such  diverse  kinds  of  sensitiveness,  acts  like  the  brain  of  animals/' 

It  is  unnecessary  to  adduce  further  illustrations  in  proof  of  the 

fact  that  brain-power  can,  and  does,  exist  apart  from  a  visible  brain. 

When  we  see  the  irritability  of  the  sensitive  plant,  transmitted  from 

one  part  to  another,  exhausted  by  repeated  artificial  excitant,  and 

renewed  after  a  period  of  repose,  it  is  difficult  to  dissociate  it  from 

anixnality.    Still  less  can  we  witness  certain  organs  taking  determinate 

positions  and  directions,  surmounting  intervening  obstacles,  moving 

spontaneously,  or  study  the  manner  in  which  they  are  affected  by 

stimulants,  narcotics,  and  poisons,  and  yet  declare  these  phenomena 

to  be  caused  by  a  different  power  which  produces  similar  actions  and 

effects  in  animals.     Vital  activity  is  the  rule  and  inertness  the 

exception  in  plant  life ;  and  this  fact  seems  to  impress  upon  us  the 

error  of  that  form  of  argument  which  would  assume  the  non-existence 

of  the  higher  traits  of  life  in  plants  merely  because  the  machinery  is 


It  has  already  been  mentioned  that  the  lowest  forms  of  both 
animals  and  plants  are  individuals  whose  bodies  are  merely  single 
cells.  It  is  worthy  of  note  too  that  the  earliest  embryonic  state  of 
all  the  higher  animals  is  merely  that  of  a  single  minute  cell.  It  is  a 
wonderful  fact  that  the  embryonic  forms  of  plants  and  animals,  birds 
and  beasts,  fish  and  fowl,  the  Mimosa  and  man  are  so  exacdy 
similar  that  the  highest  powers  of  the  microscope  are  unable  to  trace 
any  distinction  between  them.  From  an  evolutionary  point  of  view 
there  is  nothing  after  all  so  very  wonderful  in  this.  If  there  were  no 
signs  of  intelligence  in  the  vegetable  kingdom  the  cause  for  wonder 

192  The  GeniUmafis  Magazine. 

would  be  greater.  If  thought  is  the  product  of  evolution^  it  must 
have  had  its  beginnings.  The  reason  why  the  intelligence  of  all 
living  organisms  has  not  reached  to  the  same  stage  as  that  of  the 
genus  homo,  is  merely  because  in  them  the  evolutionary  process 
appears  to  have  stopped.  For  anything  we  know  it  may  have  taken 
as  many  thousand  years  to  evolve  the  intelligence  of  the  Mimosa  as 
it  has  that  of  man,  although  of  course  the  latter  is  an  incalculably 
greater  distance  ahead.  As  Professor  Drummond  says :  ^  Mimosa 
can  be  defined  in  terms  of  man,  but  man  cannot  be  defined  in  terms 
of  Mimosa."  This  problem  of  the  evolution  of  intelligence  is  one  to 
which  we  are  naturally  led  when  considering  the  intellectual  traits  of 
lower  organisms,  but  to  consider  it  even  in  a  superficial  manner 
would  be  beyond  the  scope  of  this  paper. 





THE  Londoner  is  easily  diverted,  and  one  of  his  chief  sources  of 
amusement  some  years  ago  was  the  erratic  route  of  the 
Underground  Railway.  John  Leech,  it  may  be  remembered,  gave 
an  entertaining  sketch  in  Punch  indicating  the  siirprise  of  the 
domestics  in  a  town  house  at  the  sudden  appearance  of  a  stoker's 
head  through  the  kitchen  floor,  with  the  polite  remark :  '*  Excuse 
me,  marm ;  but  can  you  *blige  me  with  a  scuttle  o'  coals,  as  the 
water  in  the  hengine  'as  gone  horff  the  bUe  ?  "  Since  the  appearance 
of  this  skit  the  railway  traveller  to  and  from  and  round  about  the 
dty  has  endured  much  on  the  subterranean  line.  A  special  provi* 
dence  seems  to  have  safeguarded  him  from  asphyxia ;  still  he  is  prone 
to  gasp  and  curse  as  he  inhales  the  remarkable  atmospheric  compound 
that  broods  over  the  steel  track  of  the  Metropolitan.  With  the  object 
of  making  his  journey  more  pleasant,  a  special  committee  sat  last 
year  to  consider  the  best  methods  of  tunnel  ventilation ;  and  it 
is  possible  that  with  the  help  of  science,  assisted  by  the  purse  of 
Fortuna,  the  underground  way  will  yet  be  fit  to  live  in. 

Tunnels  have  since  the  inception  of  the  railway  system  been  a 
source  of  perplexity  to  engineers,  and  of  fear  and  annoyance  to  pas- 
sengers.  Half  a  century  back  the  tunnel  was  a  gruesome  burrow, 
arousing  so  much  consternation  and  dread  that  it  threatened  for  a 
time  to  kill  railway  enterprise.  It  was  gravely  asserted  that  if  the 
passenger  got  through  it  alive,  the  chill  or  the  noxious  air  would 
give  him  a  shock  severe  enough  to  undermine  the  strongest  constitu* 
tion.  So  objectionable  did  the  thought  of  tunnel-travel  become  that 
a  party  of  experts  was  organised  to  go  through  the  tunnel  beneath 
Primrose  Hill,  in  order  to  reassure  the  railway  traveller  that  there 
was  no  danger  either  to  physique  or  lungs.  These  experts  reported— -- 
they  were  sanguine  men — that  they  found  the  tunnel  dry,  of  an 
agreeable  temperature,  and  free  from  smell.    They  did  not  notice 

194  ^^  GentUmatis  Magazine. 

effluvia  of  any  kind.  The  lamps  in  the  carriage  were  lighted,  and 
in  their  transit  the  sensation  experienced  was  precisely  that  of  travel- 
ling in  a  coach  by  night  between  the  walls  of  a  narrow  street.  In 
fact,  they  were  rather  delighted  than  otherwise  with  their  exploit, 
and  expressed  the  opinion  that  tunnel-travelling  was  by  no  means 
detrimental  to  health. 

Lieut  Le  Count,  an  authority  on  early  railway  construction,  did 
all  he  could  to  strengthen  the  faith  of  the  passenger  in  this  matter, 
writing:  '*So  much  has  been  said  about  the  inconvenience  and 
danger  of  tunnels  that  it  is  necessary,  where  there  are  yet  so  many 
railways  to  be  called  into  existence,  to  state  that  there  is  positively 
no  inconvenience  in  them,  except  the  change  from  daylight  to  lamp- 
light" All  men  are  not  philosophers,  however,  and  one  passenger 
took  a  more  serious  view  of  the  vicissitudes  of  underground  travel. 
This  gentleman,  in  the  days  when  it  was  customary  to  hoist  private 
equipages  on  low  trucks  attached  to  the  train,  resolved  to  journey  to 
Brighton  in  his  own  carriage.  "  In  Balcombe  Tunnel  the  truck  con- 
veying his  carriage  became  disengaged  from  the  train.  The  unfor- 
tunate occupant,  perceiving  the  train  leaving  him,  called  after  it,  but 
in  vain ;  and  finding  it  proceeded  on  its  journey  he  became  dread- 
fully alarmed,  being  afraid  to  alight,  and  not  knowing  whether  in  a 
few  minutes  he  might  not  be  dashed  to  pieces  by  the  next  train. 
He  had  not  been  long  in  this  suspense  when  an  engine  entered  the 
tunnel,  puffing  away  and  the  whistle  screaming.  He  now  considered 
his  doom  sealed,  but  the  engine  proved  to  be  a  pilot  one  sent  to 
look  after  him,  the  truck  and  carriage  having  fortunately  been  missed 
on  the  train  arriving  at  the  next  station." 

Some  passengers  were  fearful  lest  they  should  be  drowned  by 
sudden  inrush  of  water  from  hill  streams ;  others  were  apprehensive 
jthat  the  sudden  concussion  of  air  caused  by  the  passage  of  the 
locomotive  would  so  violently  shake  the  brick  fabric  of 
the  tunnel  that  the  arch  would  collapse,  and  they  would  be 
crushed  to  death.  The  latter  disquietude  particularly  related  to  Box 
Tunnel,  and  it  was  not  allayed  till  General  Pasley,  under  instructions 
from  the  Board  of  Trade,  thoroughly  inspected  the  tunnel  and 
reported  that  it  was  perfectly  sound.  By-and-by  the  confidence  of 
Ibe  passenger  in  the  security  of  underground  travel  became  greater, 
and  he  confined  his  criticism  rather  to  the  repellent  condition  of  the 
atmosphere  than  to  the  probability  of  tunnel  fall.  He  read,  it  is  true, 
with  a  certain  amount  of  unrest,  of  the  perils  of  tunnel-making*- how 
va  some  instances  the  water  broke  tlirough  the  quicksand  or  gravel, 
and  the  men  had  to  be  rescued  on  rafts ;  but  he  hoped  for  the  bes^ 

Railway  Passengers  and  Tunnels.  195 

and  in  1845  did  not  refuse  the  invitation  to  enter  the  train  that  made 
the  experimental  run  through  Woodhead  Tunnel,  on  the  Manchester, 
Sheffidd  and  Lincolnshire  Railway,  lately  christened  ''The  Great 
Central."  In  a  rare  pamphlet  on  "  Manchester  Railways  "  the 
following  entertaining  account  is  given  of  the  journey:  "A  train  of 
about  twenty  carriages  left  the  Sheffield  station  at  ten  o'clock  this 
morning,  drawn  by  two  new  engines,  accompanied  by  the  chairman, 
the  directors  and  their  friends.  Precisely  at  five  minutes  past  ten 
the  train  was  put  in  motion,  and  got  under  rapid  way.  The  weather 
was  extremely  unpropitious,  owing  to  a  tremendous  fall  of  snow. 
The  train  reached  Dunford  Bridge  in  three-quarters  of  an  hour, 
where  it  remained  twenty  minutes  for  water.  It  then  proceeded 
through  the  tunnel  at  a  steady  pace.  It  was  io|  minutes  passing 
through  this  great  subterranean  bore,  and  on  emerging  into 
the  '  regions  of  light '  at  Woodhead  the  passengers  gave  three  hearty 
cheers,  making  the  mountains  ring.  It  speedily  passed  over  the 
wonderful  viaduct  at  Dinting,  and  arrived  at  Manchester  at  a  quarter- 
past  twelve  o'clock,  the  band  playing  'See  the  Conquering  Hero 
Comes ! '  " 

There  are  no  fewer  than  thirty-five  tunnels  over  1,000  yards  in 
length  on  English  lines,  and  those  of  notable  extent  are  the  Severn 
Tunnel  on  the  Great  Western  7,664,  the  Totley  Tunnel  on  the 
Midland  6,226,  the  Stanedge  on  the  North-Western  5,342,  Woodhead 
on  the  Great  Central  5,297,  and  Bramhope  on  the  North-Eastem 
3,745  yards  long.  The  difficulties  encountered  in  the  making  of 
these  tunnels  were  enormous ;  but  they  were  overcome,  though  the 
men  in  some  instances  were  often  in  peril  through  subterranean 
flood,  and  were  obliged  to  work  in  waterproof  garb  like  divers  at 
the  bottom  of  the  sea.  But  it  is  singular  that  after  spending  wealth 
far  greater  than  that  of  any  American  millionaire  on  the  construction 
of  necessary  underground  ways,  the  railway  companies  should  be, 
apparently,  so  indifferent  to  their  adequate  ventilation.  Possibly 
they  have  endeavoured  to  encourage  inventive  genius  to  discover 
means  of  driving  the  vitiated  air  out  of  the  longest  bores;  but 
judging  from  the  present  stuffy  condition  of  nearly  eveiy  tunnel,  one 
must  come  to  the  conclusion  that  either  the  inventive  faculty  is 
decadent,  or  the  cost  of  purification  too  great  Vast  improvement 
has  been  made  in  rail  track,  speed  of  travel,  and  train  equipment ; 
but  the  tunnel  itself,  though  better  drained,  walled,  and  arched  than 
of  yore,  still  clings  to  its  vile  odour  and  stifling  mbery.  It  is  possible 
to  send  pure  currents  of  air  through  the  deepest  roads  and  into  the 
farthest  headings  of  the  coal-mine ;  but  it  seems  to  be  "  beyond  the 

196  The  Gentieman's  Magazine. 

wit  of  man ''  to  ventilate  a  long  tunnel.  Woodhead  Tunnel,  through 
which  the  shareholders  travelled  nearly  fifty  years  ago  with  buoyant 
hopes  and  ringing  cheers,  is  such  an  evil-smelling  place  that  even 
Lord  WharnclifTe,  the  chairman  of  the  company,  puts  his  handker- 
chief to  his  nose  in  disgust  when  he  goes  through  it 

The  old  fear  of  tunnel-riding  is  dead,  but  there  is  scarcely  a 
subterranean  track  in  England  that  is  not  ill-ventilated,  even  if 
ventilated  at  all.  One  of  the  most  grotesque  phases  of  our  civilisa- 
tion is  the  conduct  of  the  passengers  in  any  compartment  as  the 
engine  gives  its  piercing  warning  whistle,  and  the  train  plunges  into 
the  tunnel.  The  sliding  windows  are  pulled  upward  out  of  the  door 
slots  with  a  bang.  The  ventilation  slits  near  the  carriage  roof  are 
quickly  closed.  Everybody's  lips  are  shut  tightly  too ;  or  if  indis- 
creetly opened  there  is  a  cough,  or  gasp,  or  anathema  against  the 
company.  The  politest  man  is  impelled  to  be  fierce  in  a  tunnel, 
and  if  the  absent-minded  passenger  by  the  door  forgets  his  duty, 
yells  :  ''  For  heaven's  sake,  shove  the  window  up.  Do  you  want  us 
to  be  poisoned  ? "  The  infant  mind,  busy  with  strange  unfolding 
thought,  fancies  that  the  tunnel  is  a  necessity  to  the  locomotive's 
comfort— a  place  specially  designed  to  enable  the  engine  '^  to  close 
its  peepies."  Impatient  lovers,  and  couples  on  their  honeymoon, 
occasionally  etherealise  the  tunnel  into  the  haunt  of  Anteros,  the 
god  of  mutual  love ;  but  level-headed  folk  who  have  settled  down  to 
the  unpoetic  realities  of  life  do  not  hesitate  to  speak  of  the  under- 
ground way,  whether  beneath  hill,  river  or  city,  as  an  unmitigated 

In  various  parts  of  the  country  attempts  have  been  made  to 
clear  the  fetid  tunnel  atmosphere  by  means  of  air-shaft,  Guibal  fan, 
and  other  apparatus,  but  the  results  are  far  firom  gratifying.  They 
may  satisfy  the  directors,  but  the  passengers,  like  ''  King  Gama  "  in 
the  comic  opera,  have  still  something  to  grumble  at.  Chemical 
agency  as  well  as  mechanical  appliance  will  probably  be  required  to 
purify  the  unwholesome  air  that  makes  a  long  tunnel  nauseous  and 
stifling.  The  committee's  panacea  for  the  purification  of  ^'The 
Underground  "  is  the  adoption  of  electric  traction.  Meantime  they 
might  suggest  that  the  locomotives  at  present  in  use  should  consume 
their  own  smoke,  and  that  the  busiest  tunnels,  wherever  they  pene* 
trate,  should  be  illumined  by  electric  light. 




IT  was  not  until  the  days  of  "  the  high  and  magnificent  princes '' 
of  the  Tudor  line  that  gardens  in  our  sense  of  the  word  were 
general  throughout  the  realm.  When  in  perfection  they  were  equally 
stately  and  beautiful,  and,  in  their  natural  variety,  far  superior  to  the 
commonplace  blazes  of  colour  in  geometrical  shapes  which  make 
up  the  modem  garden,  wherein  all  individuality  seems  sacrificed  to 

The  Tudor  garden  at  its  best — as  it  served  for  the  retiring  place 
of  the  learned  and  accomplished  men  who  marked  the  era — is 
described  in  the  noble  essay  of  Bacon  which  is  an  English  classic 
In  an  age  when  fin  de  sikie  self-conceit  and  shallowness  finds  all 
literature  not  "  up  to  date  ^  obsolete,  and  asserts  that  Scott,  Dickens, 
and  Thackeray  (not  to  mention  many  another  name)  are  "  too  long- 
winded,"  it  may  not  be  needless  to  quote  some  of  those  immortal 

"God  Almighty^  says  the  statesman,  lawyer,  philosopher,  and 
wit — ^whose  intellect  in  its  many-sidedness  still  stands  unrivalled  in 
the  glory-roU  of  Britain — "  first  planted  a  garden  \  and  indeed  it  is 
the  purest  of  humane  pleasures.  It  is  the  greatest  refreshment  to 
the  spirits  of  man.  ...  I  doe  hold  it,  that  in  the  royall  ordering 
of  gardens^  there  ought  to  be  gardens^  for  all  the  moneths  in  the 
yeare ;  in  which  severally  things  of  beautie  may  be  then  in  season." 

This  is  a  progressive  idea  to  which  all  our  modem  fashionable 
ones,  as  enunciated  by  head  gardeners,  are  opposed.  A  great  blaze 
of  colour  for  a  limited  period  is  tJuir  idea.  But  this  is  outside  my 
theme.  Perhaps  the  nearest  approach  on  a  miniature  scale  to  the 
Tudor  garden  is  to  be  found  in  the  delightful  old-world  cottage  one 
in  such  of  the  counties  as  lie  "  far  from  the  madding  crowd,"  in 
remote  counties  where  the  wheels  of  life  move  slowly,  where  the 
sight  and  smell  are  gratified  as  the  wayfater  leans  over  the  wicket 
which  opens  between  the  thick  edges  of  whitethorn,  and  which  is 
odorous  on  either  side  from  the  ample  bush  of  sweetbriar  always 
prominent  in  such  gardens. 

200  The  Gentleman's  Magazine. 

loaded  the  air  with  fragxance  from  the  borders  were  ample  varieties 
of  those  which  courted  the  higher  airs  300  years  aga  First  let  us. 
however,  recur  to  the  periwinkle,  alwa^rs  conspicuous  in  border  and 
by  shrubbery.  It  was  sung  as  **pervinckle  "  by  Chaucer  500  years 
ago.  It  had  in  France  and  thence  in  England  occult  associations,  and 
was  supposed  to  be  medicinal  for  various  things — cramp  especially. 
Sut  particularly  was  the  periwinkle,  as  the  English  rendering  of  the 
original  name  has  it,  popular  from  its  long  duration  of  blossom, 
and  the  trailing  beauty  of  its  foliage  in  contrast  with  the  blossoms. 
So  it  is  now  with  all  who  love  the  old  ways  in  gardening  and  abhor 
the  mere  "  bedding  out ''  of  a  blaze  of  colour  for  a  brief  period  of  the 
year.  To  such  as  desire  a  feast  for  the  eye  most  dear  is  the  place 
where  the 

periwinkle's  bloom 
Like  carpet  of  Damascus  loom, 
Pranks  i^-ith  bright  blue  the  tissue  wove 
Of  verdant  foliage. 

The  deep  green  of  the  leaves  is  one  of  the  most  refreshing  sights 
to  the  eye  in  contrast  with  the  deep  blue  of  the  blossoms — this 
being  now  the  commonest  variety,  though  as  already  mentioned  show- 
ing popularity  in  the  Tudor  day  with  the  white  and  lighter  blue. 
Perhaps  this  flower,  so  neglected  by  the  mere  imitative  fashionable 
gardener  to-day,  is  so  valued  by  those  who  can  appreciate  it  from  the 
fact  of  its  being  among  the  few  blossoms  which,  in  the  days  we 
describe  as  in  the  present  ones,  cheer  the  bleak  aspect  of  the  garden 
in  November. 

Of  the  flowering  of  trees  our  Tudor  predecessors  had  a  warm 
appreciation,  and  reckoned  such  blossoms  as  among  the  indispensable 
adjuncts  of  a  garden.  Nor  were  they  wrong.  In  one  of  his  letters 
to  a  correspondent  Lord  Beaconsfield  remarked  that  woodland 
scenery  was  that  which  unlike  mountains  and  lakes  never  tiied  the 
observer.  So  of  trees.  No  one  who  has  any  tincture  of  imagination 
in  him  can  ever  grow  weary  of  watching  the  continual  deUghts  of  a 
tree,  even  a  solitary  one  in  a  London  back  garden.  Some  of  course 
there  are  who,  like  the  Lord  Carnarvon  of  Pepys's  time,  think  that 
trees  "are  only  excrescences  of  Nature  provided  for  the  purpose  of 
paying  debts."    But  such  are  in  the  minority. 

The  favourite  trees  which  added  to  die  delights  of  a  Tudor 
garden  were  varied.  The  pear  trees  in  blossom  were  chief  among 
them.  And  what  lovelier  sight  does  spring  ofier  than  apple^  pear» 
and  plum  trees  in  bloom?    The  two  former  present  to  the  eye 

One  boundlett  blush,  one  white-empurpled  shower 
Of  mingled  blotioms. 

The  Ttulor  Garden.  ioi 

As  for  the  plum,  its  snow-white  bloom  stands  alone.  But  for  this 
tint  and  amplest  luxuriance  the  flowers  which  robe 

Of  virgin  whiteness,  like  the  sncw, 
The  clustered  cherry, 

are  most  opulent,  because  the  cherry  is  so  laden  in  every  branch 
with  its  white  blossom  that  not  a  leaf  or  stem  is  visible  except  where 
three  or  four  leaves  appear  at  the  extremity  of  each  branch.  Well, 
then,  instead  of  r^arding  the  blossoms  of  these  trees  as  mere  pre- 
liminaries to  fruit,  as  do  our  modems,  the  Tudor  garden  lovers 
believed  in  those  things  of  beauty,  and  ranked  them  among  the  most 
prized  spring  blossoms. 

By  the  way,  it  would  seem  that  the  cheny-tree,  though  intro- 
duced into  England  in  the  Roman  days,  was  first  in  fashion  and 
excellence  in  Henry  VIIL's  time.  His  fruiterer,  Richard  Haines, 
who  seems  to  have  been  one  of  the  fortunate  members  of  his  humbler 
entourage  who  preserved  his  favour — the  loftier  ones  mostly  found 
their  way  ultimately  to  Tower  Hill — ^introduced  new  sorts  from 
Flanders,  and  these  were  planted  in  Kent,  whence  grew  the  fame  of 
Kentish  cherries  still  flourishing.  There  is  an  account  of  a  cherry- 
orchard  in  Kent  in  1540  of  thirty-two  acres  which  produced  fruit  that 
sold  in  those  early  days  for  ;^i,ooo,  an  enormous  sum,  as  land  at 
that  time  let  at  a  shilling  per  acre. 

The  blossoms  of  the  mezereon  with  glossy  green  leaves  and  red 
but  deadly  berries,  of  the  almond  tree  in  crowded  pinkness,  of  the 
"cornelian,"  of  the  hawthorn,  the  mayblossom  always  prized — 
though  with  that  quaint  country  superstition  (defied  by  London 
excursionists  in  the  spring  who  load  themselves  with  boughs)  that 
*'  bringing  it  into  house  means  death  " — ^were  also  ornaments  of 
the  garden.  There  were  other  indispensable  adjuncts — the  rosemary 
and  the  lavender  bushes,  rivals  in  popular  afiection  with  the 

As  for  the  evergreens,  a  glance  at  Bacon's  essay  shows  us  how  our 
ancestors  loved  the  winter  beauties  of  the  garden.  ''  Such  things," 
says  he,  *'  as  are  greene  all  winter  "  (speaking  of  November,  December, 
and  January),  *' holly,  ivy,  bayes,  juniper,  cipresse-trees,  eugh,  pine- 
apple-trees, firre-trees."  The  mournful  associations  of  modem  life 
with  yew  and  cypress  seem  unknown  to  the  healthier  mind  of  an 
era  when  there  were  no  nerve  "  problems  "  or  introspective  novels. 

Glass  made  a  leading  feature.  Ample  areas  of  well-mowed  ever- 
green grass  which  should  delight  the  eye.  Not  the  scrimpy  "  lawn/* 
with  its  limited  space  cut  up  into  octagonal  and  other  beds  of 

VOL.  CCLXXXV.  Nd  '3,012.  P 

loa  Tk€  GtHtUmatis  Magazine. 

verbenas  and  calceolarias.  Bat  space  and  veige  enough  to  feast  die 
eye  and  afford  room  for  a  bowling-green.  The  game  was  as  popular 
then  as  golf  is  now.  Wbetherthesplendidimpertmbability  of  Drake 
in  finishing  his  game  when  the  Spanish  Armada  was  in  sight  woold 
find  its  parallel  now  in  any  modem  general  or  admind  playing  golf 
when  the  enemy's  battleships'  smdce  was  dear  on  the  horizon  we  will 
not  say. 

Of  all  the  Tudor  gardens  the  most  thorough  perhaps,   and 
probably  not  nearly  so  delightful  to  its  occupants  as  many  humbler 
ones,  were  those  of  Kenilworth.    The  magnificent  fiivourite  whose 
memory  is  darkened  with  the  mysterious  and  tragic  story  of  poor  Amy 
Robsart  was  successful  in  making  his  garden  as  himself— conspicuous 
among  his  contemporaries.    Laneham  has  left  a  full  description, 
albeit  he  seems,  like  a  modem  reporter,  to  have  been  obliged  to 
observe  it  surreptitiously.     To  the  north  of  the  castle  it  lay  a 
terrace  ten  feet  high  and  twelve  feet  in  breadth,  even  under  foot,  and 
fresh  with  evenly-mown  greenest  grass  running  parallel  with  the 
castle  wall ;  obelisks  and  spheres  were  its  ornaments,  interspersed 
with  stone  effigies  of  the  heraldic  cognisance   of   Leicester,  the 
white  bear  "on  goodly  bases."    At  each  end  stood  a  fine  arbour 
redolent  with  trees,  sweet  of  blossom,  and  various  flowers.    "  Fair 
alleys  of  turf"  marked  the  paths;  others  were  paved  in  contrast 
with  smoothest  sea  sand.    The  garden  itself  was  divided  into  four 
even  quarters.    In  the  middle  of  each  stood  on  a  base  two  feet 
square  a  porphyry  square  pilaster  with  a  pyramidical  pinnacle  fifteen 
feet  high,  pierced  and  hollowed  and  surmounted  by  an  orb.    All 
around  these  were  the  most  fragrant  flowers  and  herbs—showing  the 
combination   of  the   utile  and   duke   peculiar  to  the  age— and 
mingled  with  these  were  fruit  trees  of  all  kinds.    In  the  midst  of 
the  garden— an  assimilation  to  more  modem  tastes — ^there  was  erected 
a  square  aviary  twenty  feet  high,  thirteen  long,  and  fourteen  broad, 
with  large  windows — two  being  in  front,  two  at  either  end,  and  each 
five  feet  wide.    These  windows  were  arched  and  separated  by  flat 
pilasters,  which  supported  a  cornice.    The  roof  of  this  aviary  was 
made  of  wire-net,  the  meshes  an  inch  wide.    The  cornice  was  gilded 
and  painted  in  imitation  of  precious  stones.    With  due  attention  to 
the  habits  of  birds,  eaves  in  the  wall  were  added  to  the  aviary,  for 
shelter  from  sun  and  wind  and  for  building.    At  either  end  stood 
"fair  holly  trees"  for  the  birds  to  perch  in.     These  comprised 
^-nglish,  French,  and  Spanish  ones,  and  probably  here  were  some  of 

earliest  canaries — ^literally  from  the  Canary  Islands. 

n  the  middle  of  the  garden  was  a  fountain  with  an  octagonal 

The  Tudor  Garden.  203 

basin  rising  four  feet  high,  two  figures  of  athletes  in  the  midst,  stand- 
ix^  back  to  back,  and  in  their  hands  upholding  "a  &ir  marble  bowl," 
60m  whence  various  pipes  distilled  continual  streams  of  water  into 
the  reservoir.  This  latter  contained  carp,  tench,  perch,  bream,  and 
eels.  On  the  top  of  all  the  ragged  staff,  the  cognisance  of  the  house, 
was  displayed,  while,  with  the  usual  taste  for  classic  all^ory  which 
then  prevailed,  on  one  side  Neptune  drove  his  sea-horses  with  his 
trident,  on  the  other  stood  Thetis  with  her  dolphins. 

Triton,  Proteus,  the  Nereids,  were  "engraven  with  exquisite 
device  and  skill,"  surrounded  by  whales,  sturgeons,  tunnies,  and 
conch  shells.  And  characteristic  of  that  love  of  practical  joking 
which  could  and  did  exist  simultaneously  with  wide  and  extensive 
classic  learning  and  love  of  euphuism,  and  which  some  of  the  highest 
pers<Miages  occasionally  indulged  in,  there  was  a  tap,  by  the  turning 
of  which  any  unwary  spectator  could  be  drenched  at  the  pleasure  of 
anyone  knowing  its  effect,  and  who  admired  that  sort  of  humorous 

Glancing  at  the  humbler  contents — the  vegetables — of  the  Tudor 
garden,  we  do  not  find  at  the  earlier  part  of  the  era  such  variety  as 
in  flowers.  Indeed,  according  to  Hume,  there  were  not  till  the  ter- 
mination of  Henry  VIIL's  reign  either  salads,  carrots,  turnips,  or 
other  edible  roots  produced  in  England.  He  adds  that  such  of  these 
vegetables — a  small  proportion  and  only  by  the  wealthy— as  were 
used  were  imported  from  Holland  and  Flanders,  and  that  Queen 
Catherine,  when  she  wanted  a  salad  could  only  get  one  by  despatching 
a  messenger  thither  on  purpose.  Hops  were  first  introduced  from 
Flanders  in  this  reign  and  also  artichokes.  Apples  and  pears,  how,- 
ever,  though  indifferent  in  quality  up  to  this  era,  had  for  centuries  been 
acclimatised,  and  strawberries  and  gooseberries  plentiful  As  to  salads, 
however,  Hume's  remark  must  be  construed  with  some  modification, 
for  in  a  homely  sense  salads  had  always  been  procurable  in  England. 
Winter  and  watercresses  abounded;  the  people  had  also  "common 
alexanders  "  eaten  as  celery  is ;  rampion,  rocket,  borage,  and  goose-foot, 
or  "Good  Henry,"  are  mentioned  among  herbs,  while  sprout  kales 
served  for  greens,  which,  indeed,  must  have  been  much  in  request, 
seeing  the  quantity  of  salt  meat  eaten  perennially.  On  the  whole, 
however,  until  in  Henry  VIII.'s  reign  the  Flanders  gardeners  exported 
their  vegetables,  the  kitchen  garden  in  England — save  in  the  case  of 
the  monasteries — was  very  limited.  The  reign  of  the  second  Tudor 
saw  many  novelties,  and  so  the  art  of  gardening  and  variety  of 
flowers  and  vegetables  improved  and  increased,  till  culminating  in  the 
long  reign  of  Elizabeth.    Pippins  seem  to  have  been  introduced  in 


204  ^"^^  GentUtnatis  Magazine. 

1525,  and  the  damask  rose  in  1522  had  been  brought  to  England  by 
Linacre,  the  King's  physician.  Currants  were  brought  from  Zante 
and  planted  in  England  in  15339  and  in  the  same  year  Cromwell^ 
Earl  of  Essex,  introduced  the  musk  rose  and  several  sorts  of  plums 
from  Italy,  while  apricots  are  contemporaneous  with  cherries  in  1540. 
So  that  by  the  time  Bacon  wrote  his  &mous  essay,  both  the  Tudor 
flower  and  kitchen  garden  were  well  stocked  with  beauties  and 
dainties.  Undoubtedly  the  first  general  improvement  in  gardening 
is  due  to  Holland  about  1509,  and  the  Dutch  experts  found  apt 
pupils  enough  in  garden-loving  Englishmen  of  various  ranks. 

The  nuiin  characteristic  of  the  elaborated  Tudor  garden  would 
seem  to  be  its  stately,  simple^  and  ample  scope  and  verge,  within 
which  it  was  the  aim  of  the  owner  to  cherish  a  succession  of  tzees 
and  flowers,  so  that  from  the  beginning  to  the  end  of  the  year  there 
might  be  always  something  to  delight  the  eye.  This  might  give  a 
hint  to  some  very  ambitious  modem  gardens,  which  for  a  longer  or 
shorter  period  look  desolate  indeed  after  having  for  a  space  blazied 
out  into  a  brilliant  array  of  colours.  Some  of  the  trees  and  flowers 
of  the  ancient  days  are  neglected  now  by  modem  taste^  but  to  the 
mind  which  can  appreciate  the  full  beauty  of  the  idea  there  is  a 
perennial  charm  in  such  a  garden  as  Bacon  sketches,  which  in  vary- 
ing degree  and  aspect  was  and  would  be  now  from  January  to 
December  "a  thing  of  beauty  "  and  a  "joy  for  ever." 




T  F  you  had  come 

*■     Ten  years  ago, 

And  your  mute  lips  the  love  had  spoken 
Your  eyes  betrayed,  ah !  then  unbroken 
Had  been  the  bowl  at  love's  dear  fount, 
And  you  had  drawn  and  drunk ;  but  lo  ! 
Your  lips  were  dumb 
Ten  years  ago ! 


2o6  The  Gentleman's  Magazine. 


Famine  in  India. 

FAMINE  in  India  is  to  the  knowledge  of  many  of  us  ever  near 
at  hand|  and  is,  I  am  afraid,  likely  so  to  remain.  With  the 
causes  of  this  "  effisct  defective,"  to  use  the  words  of  Polonius,  I 
may  not  deal  any  more  than  I  may  with  the  remedies  to  be  applied, 
which  are  unfortunately  outside  my  ken.  I  have,  however,  been 
reading  with  painful  interest  a  book  by  Mr.  F.  S.  H.  Merewether, 
a  special  famine  correspondent  of  Reuter,  entitled,  ''A  Tour 
through  the  Famine  Districts  of  India."  ^  A  book  sadder  in  perusal 
than  this,  or  giving  a  more  vivid  picture  of  the  suffering,  chronic  in 
certain  districts  of  India,  is  not  to  be  found.  I  have  no  wish  to 
harrow  the  feelings  of  my  readers  or  to  draw  from  Mr.  Merewether's 
work  any  political  lesson  that  can  serve  a  party  purpose.  I  am 
saying  nothii^  more  than  all  will  concede  in  asserting  that  a 
tendency  and  desire  exist  to  minimise  the  importance  of  facts  that 
may  tell  against  those  in  office.  When,  accordingly,  last  year  news 
of  famine  reached  us  from  the  North- Western  Provinces  of  India 
and  from  other  districts,  the  order  went  forth  from  certain  quarters 
that  there  was  to  be  no  famine.  I  have  myself  heard  from  Anglo- 
Indian  lips  that  the  so-called  famine  was  a  figment  of  the  imagina- 
tion, and  that  discontented  observers  went  out  determined  to  find 
what,  in  fact,  had  no  existence. 

What  is  Starvation? 

AGAINST  these  assurances  that  all  was  well  one  could  always 
pit  the  existence  of  relief  works,  and  the  fact  that  in  compara- 
tively prosperous  districts  every  tenth  soul  of  the  entire  population 
was  in  receipt  of  some  form  or  other  of  Government  relief.  In  the 
January  of  last  year  Mr.  Merewether  undertook,  on  behalf  of  Reuter's 
Agency,  a  tour  of  the  famine  districts,  which  was  ultimately  extended 
over  between  four  and  five  thousand  miles.    Every  form  of  hospitality 

>  A  D.  Innes  &  Ccb 

Table  Talk^  207 

was  afforded  him  by  those  in  authority,  and  every  opportunity  oC 
obtaining  exact  information.  He  travelled  with  a  Kodak,  and  took 
in  his  progress  pictures  of  the  worst  cases  that  came  under  his 
observation.  Now  that  the  result  of  these  is  given  in  a  book,  the 
aathority  of  which  none  will  dream  of  disputing,  the  nature  and 
aAent  of  the  suffering  of  famine-stricken  races  of  India  become 
apparent,  and  we  can  no  longer  hug  ourselves,  after  our  wont,  in 
comfortable  delusion.  I  have,  of  course,  no  power  to  reproduce  the 
pictures  which  constitute  the  most  terrible  portion  of  Mr.  Mere- 
wether's  appeal,  if  such  it  may  be  considered.  He  shows  us,  how- 
ever, in  pictures  the  fidelity  of  which  is  no  more  to  be  disputed  than 
the  sadness,  a  number  of  natives  of  Central  and  North-Westem 
India  who  are,  one  may  say  literally,  skeletons  covered  with  skin, 
with  limbs  in  which  the  bones  are  as  easily  traceable  as  if  they  were 
uncovered.  I  must  be  pardoned,  in  the  absence  of  ocular  demon- 
stration, for  giving  in  an  abridged  form  one  or  two  of  Mr.  Mere- 
wether's  assertions  :— 

Stanratioa  kiUs  Indians  veiy  slowly ;  the  present  famine  had  been  preceded 
by  yean  of  .  .  •  what  would  be  stanration  in  white  men's  countries  ;  •  •  .  the 
bodies  of  the  victims  had  been  reduced  gradually,  but  still  life  lingered,  if  that 
can  be  called  life  which  enabled  them  to  draw  breath  and  move  feebly  the  bones 
tfiat  were  their  legs  and  arms.  The  fiit  of  their  bodies  had  first  been  consumed, 
leaving  only  gristle  and  stnew.  Finally  (what  I  shoold  not  have  sapposed  pos* 
sible)  these  also  were  attacked ;  there  are  left  the  shrunken  veins,  the  nerves, 
which  now  but  imperfectly  transmit  the  impulse  from  the  brain,  which  is  itself 
anaemic  and  scarcely  human ;  the  wasted  internal  organs,  and  the  skin,  which  is 
shrivelled,  cold,  and  dry  to  the  tooch.  ...  As  for  the  faces  of  the  children  .  .  . 
the  dark  skin  is  stretched  on  a  fleshless  skull,  the  lips  are  mere  skin  and  shrank 
back  from  the  teeth ;  the  eyes  glimmer  dimly  in  hollow  sockets,  unless,  as  is 
often  the  case,  they  have  been  eaten  away  by  the  ophthalmia  which  is  among  the 
consequences  of  starvation.  The  neck  is  hardly  larger  than  the  spinal  column 
and  insecurely  supports  the  skulL  The  scalp  is  frequently  attacked  by  a  disease 
which  completely  covers  it  with  a  kind  of  thidc,  hard,  whitish  scab — a  skull-cap  of 
death.  The  inside  of  the  mouth  b  subject  to  ulcerous  swellings,  hard  and  painful, 
which  force  it  open,  prevent  the  swallowing  of  food,  and  discharge  a  viscid  matter. 
Hie  bones  of  the  l^s  are  often  raw  with  ulcers,  on  which  swarms  of  flies  settle 
and  feed.  Well  (says  Mr.  Merewether,  the  worst  of  whose  description  I  have 
omitted  out  of  r^ard  to  my  readers),  this  is  starvation. 

English  Dealing  with  India. 

THE  foregoing  picture,  taken  at  Mirgang,  I  will  supplement  with 
a  record  at  Bilaspur,  my  excuse  being  that  this  is  taken  from 
what  is  a  supposedly  charitable  institution  in  which  relief  was  being 
doled  out,  over  600  wretches  being  crowded  into  a  space  sufficient 

«  * 

2o8  The  Gentleman^ s  Magazine. 

perhaps  for  a  fourth  of  the  number.  The  filth  and  stench  were 
i^palling : — 

Outside  the  pale  I  found  a  man  dying  of  dysentery  absolutely  nncared  for.  A 
couple  of  yards  away  lay  the  still  warm  corpse  of  a  man  from  which  the  flies  arose 
in  myriads  as  I  approadied  to  examine  him.  A  group  of  poor  skeletons,  scarcely 
human  beings,  were  squatting  close  by  worn  down  by  suffering  and  disease  to  the 
last  stage  of  callousness  and  apathy.  I  questioned  them  about  this  man,  and  they 
replied,  **  Yes,  sahib,  he  b  dead.  He  crawled  here  this  morning,  but  was  too 
late  for  the  morning  meal,  and  he  has  died.  He  told  me  he  had  had  no  food  for 
four  days."  Here  was  a  man  who  died  of  starvation  under  the  Tcry  eyes  of  the 
authorities,  and  within  hand-grasp  of  the  food  which  might  possibly  have  saved 
his  life.  .  .  .  Inside  the  walls,  if  one  can  call  the  thorn  fence  sudi,  the  sights 
were  of  the  most  horrible  and  pitiable  description,  and  I  say  advisedly  and  with 
due  reason,  from  personal  observation,  that  the  inmates  of  this  supposedly  charit- 
able institution  were  being  condemned  to  a  horrible  and  lingering  death. 

Here  I  pause,  not  because  the  subject  is  exhausted.  I  could  fill 
pages  with  similar  matter.  Why  have  I  brought  these  terrible  sights 
before  my  readers  ?  Because  the  truth  in  these  and  other  things  rarely 
reaches  a  feeling,  disinterested,  charitable,  and  responsible  world. 
The  same  pen  that  supplies  the  passages  I  have  quoted  writes  that 
the  officials  had  not  sufficiently  grasped  the  real  importance  of  the 
situation.  .  He  adds :  "  From  high  quarters  the  hookum  [order]  had 
gone  forth,  there  was  to  be  no  fiunine  in  Central  India,  and  the 
subordinates  of  Government  were  trying  to  carry  out  the  order."  It 
is  not  of  Cuba  I  am  speakmg,  nor  of  Spanish  dominion.  It  is  of 
English  rule  and  Engbmd's  India. 




September  1898. 


By  Emily  Constance  Cook. 

Yet  ah,  thai  Spring  should  yanish  wit&  the  rose  ! 
That  youth's  sweet-scented  manuscript  should  close ! 
— The  nightingale  that  in  the  branches  sang, 
Ah,  whence,  and  whither  flown  again,  who  knows  ? 

MAMIE  was  dying. 
In  the  pretty,  peaceful  room  opening  on  to  the  garden, 
amidst  all  the  delightful  sights  and  sounds  of  summer,  Mamie  had 
to  die. 

Only  seventeen  years  old,  poor  Mamie !  with  all  her  pleasures 
and  joys  and  hopes,  like  the  Fata  Morgana,  a  delusive  dream,  never 
to  be  realised,  missing — 

Honour,  labour,  rest. 
And  the  warmth  of  a  babe's  mouth 
At  the  blossom  of  her  breast 

At  the  foot  of  Mamie's  little  bed  her  mother  sat,  with  bowed  head; 
beside  her  was  a  grey-robed  Sister  from  the  nursing  home;  hardly  a 
sound  broke  the  June  stillness. 

Mamie  did  not  want  to  die ;  she  wanted  very,  very  much  to  live. 
She  enjoyed  life ;  she  liked  going  out  to  dances  and  parties;  she  liked 
being  admired ;  she  liked  being  thought  clever ;  she  wanted  to  grow 
up  to  be  a  great  genius — but,  above  all,  she  wanted  to  win  the  prize  in 
her  examination.  She  had  worked  so  hard  for  it,  and  had  thought  of 
nothing  else  for  so  long ;  it  did  seem  hard  that  she  should  die  before 
she  could  get  it 

The  tassel  of  the  window  blind,  waving  gently  to  and  fro,  made 
VOL.  ccLxxxv.    Na  2013.  Q 

2IO  The  Gentiefnan's  Magazine. 

a  pattern  of  light  and  shade  on  Mamie's  bed ;  her  fingers  played 
restlessly  with  the  sheet.  Oh !  how  tired  she  was  of  that  particular 
pattern  !  How  long,  how  long  it  seemed  that  she  had  been  in  bed  ! 
Many,  many  days — first  days  of  pain,  fever,  and  tossing  to  and  fro, 
days  when  she  knew  she  had  been  cross  and  fretful  to  everybody— 
and  now  only  weakness  and  feeling,  oh !  so  tired. 

The  light  firom  the  garden  flickers  and  fades ;  Mamie  opens  her 
eyes  again ;  a  grey-headed  doctor  is  standing  by  her  bed ;  he  looks 
grave ;  he  seems  to  be  talking  to  somebody. 

''  Has  the  class-list  come  out  yet  ?  "  asks  Mamie,  rousing  herself. 
She  asks  this  question  regularly  every  day.  **  No  ?  Then  perhaps 
you  can  tell  me — ^tell  me  the  principal  exports  of  Bombay  ?  And  I 
can't,  no,  I  never  can  remember  the  name  of  the  capital  of  the  Isle 
of  Wight." 

Mamie  relapses  into  a  doze.  "Over-pressure,"  mutters  the 
doctor,  holding  her  thin  little  wrist  Somebody  in  the  room  seems 
to  sob. 

Now  it  is  darkness  again.  Mamie  docs  not  know  how  long  she 
has  been  asleep.  Some  one — the  Sister — is  giving  her  a  drink. 
Mamie  does  not  want  anything ;  she  only  wishes  they  would  leave 
her  alone. 

Why  are  the  birds  awake  so  early?  Ah,  it  is  morning  again. 
Mamie  is  always  glad  when  it  is  light  enough  to  count  the  row  of 
bottles  on  the  shelf— anytliing  but  that  tiresome  pattern  of  the  blind 
on  the  bed.  Oh,  that  ugly  blind !  But  some  one  draws  it  up,  and 
'*  visions  of  the  world  appear  "  from  outside ;  the  delicious  scents  of 
June  float  in  through  the  French  windows  from  the  lawn  there.  A 
little  sparrow  hops  in,  impertinently  chirping.  Mamie  turns  her 
head  to  watch  him.    Happy  little  sparrow !  he  has  not  got  to  die  yet. 

<*  Shall  I  read  a  Psalm  ? "  says  a  soft  voice.  It  is  the  Sister. 
Mamie  does  not  answer.  She  is  so  tired,  tired ;  and  it  makes  her 
head  ache  to  think.    She  listens  mechanically :— * 

"  T?une  eyes  shall  see  the  King  in  his  beauty;  they  shall  behold 
the  land  that  is  very  far  off^ 

Can  that  be  the  nurse  reading?  and  how  far  distant  her  voice 
sounds  !  Mamie  raises  her  eyes  and  sees — not  the  far  away  country, 
but  the  sweet  mystic  eyes  of  the  Child  in  the  arms  of  the  Sistine 
Madonna,  watching  her  from  across  the  room.  "  Poor  Mamie,"  the 
Child  seems  to  say — ^so  wistful  are  His  eyes,  so  divine  His  pity. 

Mamie  looks  at  the  Child,  and  she  feels  that  it  will  understand 
her.  Has  she  worked  so  hard,  all  these  years,  for  nothing  ?  Is  she 
to  lose  the  prize  just  as  it  is  within  her  grasp  ?    What,  then,  was  the 

Shadows.  211 

use — what  was  the  use  of  it  all  ?  Mamie  had  made  such  plans  for 
the  future,  she  was  to  be  beautiful,  clever,  a  genius — ^yes,  the  greatest 
genius  the  world  had  ever  seen.  Everyone  would  be  proud  of  her, 
everyone  would  love  her — ah  I  how  charming  and  how  great  she 
would  be :  and  now  this  was  the  end  of  it  all  ?  What  was  the  use, 

Mamie  tosses  restlessly  to  and  fro ;  her  spirit  "flutters  and  fumes 
for  breath";  her  poor  little  white  soul  cries  out  against  extinction. 
Is  that  the  doctor  again  ?  Who  said  "  no  hope  "  ?  Yes,  yes,  there 
shall  be  hope.    Mamie  will  live. 

"  l^hen  thou  goest  through  the  darkness  I  will  be  with  thee.^ 
Ah  yes,  Mamie  wants  some  one  with  her  in  the  dark.  She  has 
always  been  afraid  of  the  dark— Who  was  that  sobbing?  Mamie 
tries  to  ask,  but  she  cannot  speak ;  with  all  her  strength  she  cries  in 
her  heart  for  life.  And  the  Divine  Child  in  the  picture  seems  to 
bend  forward  and  say,  "  Poor  Mamie,  you  shall  live.  You  shall  see 
that  life  itself  is  only  sorrow.    Go  to  sleep  and  dream." 

And  Mamie  falls  asleep,  and  dreams. 

It  seems  to  her  that  she  is  well  and  strong  again.  Her  cheeks 
are  rosy ;  there  is  light  in  her  eyes  and  lips.  She  will  not  trouble  about 
learning  or  examinations  any  more.  They  are  empty,  after  all.  That 
was  not  what  life  was  given  for.  No,  she  will  live,  and  love.  Since 
she  must  marry  somebody,  she  will  marry  Tom — it  is  easy  to  choose, 
since  so  many  boys  have  said  they  liked  her.  They  walk  about 
the  meadows  hand-in-hand  and  are  happy.  Then  they  are  married, 
and  the  organ  is  played  in  church,  and  Mamie  has  pretty  frocks,  and 
everyone  kisses  her.  The  frocks  are  really  nicer  than  Tom  is.  Tom 
does  not  seem  always  so  nice  after  they  are  married  as  he  was  before. 
Sometimes  they  quarrel,  sometimes  Mamie  cries,  and  her  pretty 
eyes  are  red.  And  a  faint  shadow  gathers  at  the  end  of  the  room, 
and  rolls  slowly  towards  Mamie.  And  Mamie  knows  it  is  the 
Shadow  of  Disappointment  And  the  Shadow  passes,  but  it  leaves 
two  little  wrinkles  on  Mamie's  pure  white  brow. 

^^  Vanity  of  vanities^  sctith  the  preacher  ;  all  is  vanity/* 

Whose  was  that  voice  in  serious  monotone  ?  Is  it  the  nurse  ? 
No,  Mamie  has  no  nurse.  .  .  .  She  is  well  and  strong.  •  .  •  But 
time  goes  on,  and  now  Mamie  has  a  baby.  A  little,  dear,  soft  baby 
who  cuddles  up  to  her  and  croons,  with  blue  eyes  and  flufify,  golden 
hair  like  the  angels.  Oh !  how  Mamie  loves  the  baby !  She  clutches 
it  tightly,  she  holds  it  to  her  breast,  she  opens  her  little  frilled  night- 
gown—ah !  poor  little  breast,  so  ¥Wisted  and  thin  !    The  baby  cries ; 


212  The  Gentknuuis  Magazine. 

,  it  is  .hungry.    Ah,  take  it  away,  it  is  heavy  I    Mamie  feels  too  weak 
to  bear  it 

Some  one  moves  forward  and  gently  lifts  a  pillow  which  was 
weighing  on  Mamie's  arm.  •  .  .  Mamie  breathes  more  easily.  And 
looking  into  the  dim  distance,  she  sees  another  shadow  roll  slowly  up 
towards  her.  And  Mamie  knows  it  is  the  Shadow  of  Suffering.  And 
it  leaves  two  more  wrinkles  on  Mamie's  brow. 

But  again  the  time  goes  by,  and  now  Mamie  has  grown  sedate 
and  serious.  She  no  longer  runs  and  skips  and  laughs,  but  she  sits 
all  day  and  knits  in  a  big  garden  chair,  and  the  cat  sits  at  her  feet 
Her  hair  has  grown  grey,  and  the  pretty  wavy  curls  have  vanished 
from  her  head  .  .  .  Now  Mamie  b^^s  to  feel  old  and  tired — oh, 
so  very,  very  tired — almost  so  tired  that  she  does  not  want  to  live 
any  longer.  And  Mamie  sees  a  third  shadow  draw  slowly  up  out  of 
the  void  and  roll  towards  her.  And  the  shadow  leaves  many  wrinkles 
on  Mamie's  brow,  and  crow's  feet  round  her  eyes.  And  Mamie 
knows  that  it  is  the  Shadow  of  Old  Age. 

'*A/y  dixys  are  like  a  shadow  that  deciineth;  and  lam  withered 
iihe  grass" 

Still  the  same  insistent  voice  I  Mamie  opens  her  eyes,  and  sees 
the  grey-robed  Sister  by  her  bedside.  Ah  !  she  has  been  dreaming. 
It  was  the  Child  in  the  picture  that  made  her  dream  .  .  .  she 
remembers  it  now.  .  .  .  How  much  better  she  feels !  She  will  get 
up.  How  pleased  the  doctor  will  be  when  he  comes  this  evening. 
Oh,  yes,  and  the  examination  !  Surely  the  post  will  bring  news 
to-night    "  Mother,  has  the  letter  come  yet  ?  " 

But  Mamie  does  not  see  how  a  deeper  shadow  than  any  creeps 
up  silently  out  of  the  gloom.    And  the  Sister  reads  on : — 

"And  dehoU  a  throne  was  set  ,  .  .  and  One  sat  on  the  throne." 

Mamie  sees  a  great  white  throne,  and  herself  sitting  on  it 
She  seems  to  be  without  her  body,  and  yet  of  it;  she  feels 
suddenly  strong  and  well.  A  sea  of  faces  surges  beneath  her ;  a  roar 
of  voices  ascends  to  her :  "  Mamie's  first !  Mamie's  first  I "  they 
all  cry. 

"  Oh,  mother,  mother,"  she  cries,  with  a  great,  glad  shout :  "  I'm 
first  in  the  examination  !    I'm  first ! " 

But  the  shadow  comes  up  silently,  surely,  and  blots  out  for  ever 
the  gay,  kind  world.  Mamie's  head  falls  back ;  the  little  rippling, 
fiur  curls  on  her  temples  grow  damp ;  her  little  hands  clutch  at  the 
quilt  .  .  • 

"  I^n  shall  the  dust  return  to  the  earth  as  it  was;  and  the  spirit 
shall  return  unto  God  who  gave  it" 

Shadows^  213 

The  noise  reads.     But  Mamie  does  not  hear.    The  fourth 
shadow,  the  Shadow  of  Death,  hangs  over  her. 
She's  going,"  the  nurse  says  quietly. 

Mamie,  Mamie,"  cries  the  poor  mother,  ''speak  to  me. 
Listen,  listen  "  (with  a  sob),  "  the  letter  has  just  come,  and^^^t^  have 
got  the  prize  ! " 

But  Mamie  has  passed  away  from  the  World  of  Shadows  to  the 
Land  that  is  very  far  off. 


314  Th*  GentUmatis  Magazine. 


IN  the  early  years  of  the  sixteenth  century,  when  the  Papal  Court 
was  filled  with  alarm,  and  the  heart  of  Europe  stirred  to  its 
depths  by  the  defiant  preaching  of  the  homely  monk  of  Thuringia, 
who  was  destined  to  lift  from  the  necks  of  millions  the  galling  yoke 
of  the  Roman  priesthood,  a  man  rose  up  in  the  Punjab  to  proclaim 
a  similar  reformation,  to  inveigh  against  the  false  doctrines  taught  in 
the  name  of  Hinduism,  and  to  denounce  idolatry  and  the  ignoble 
superstitions  with  which  that  religion  had  become  impregnated. 

This  Guru,  or  teacher,  Nanuk,  was  bom  at  Talvandi,  near 
Lahore,  in  the  year  1469,  before  the  arrival  in  the  land  either  of 
Moghuls  or  Portuguese.  Devoting  himself  at  an  early  age  to  a 
religious  life,  he  wandered  from  shrine  to  shrine  seeking  inspiration. 
His  sanctity  of  character  brought  him  the  usual  flock  of  disciples 
anxious  to  serve  so  holy  a  Guru,  and  to  these  he  expounded  the 
principles  of  what  he  conceived  to  be  the  true  faith.  Henceforward 
his  followers  were  to  be  known  as  Sikhs,  or  disciples,  from  the 
Sanskrit  Sishyay  and  their  master  was  to  be  the  Guru. 

Nanuk's  doctrines  were  largely  founded  on  the  teaching  of  his 
predecessor,  the  reformer  Kabir,  who,  though  bom  a  Mahomedan, 
had  been  converted  to  Vaishnavism.  But  setting  his  face  against 
popular  superstitions,  he  held  that  the  worship  of  Vishnu  should  be 
pure  monotheism,  and  therefore  attempted  to  join  hands  with  the 
Mahomedans,  whom  he  regarded  as  serving  the  same  Supreme 
Being  under  another  name.  Nanuk  had  similar  aspirations;  re- 
cognising an  element  of  tmth  in  each  system,  he  endeavoured  to 
collect  material  for  a  purer  faith  out  of  both,  and,  without  rejecting 
Hindu  sacred  poetry  and  mythological  fiction,  he  preached  the  unity 
of  the  Godhead,  universal  toleration  and  benevolence,  and  strict 
morality.  In  short,  he  substituted  good  works  for  empty  professions 
of  faith.  He  swept  away  the  incubus  of  caste,  and  opposed  the 
Brahmans  by  teaching  that  neither  birth  nor  race  need  disqualify, 
that  persons  of  high  and  of  low  degree  are  equal  before  God. 

Nanuk's  creed  has,  however,  been  correctly  termed  pantheistic 

.  The  Record  of  the  Sikhs.  215 

rather  than  monotheistic,  for  it  inclined  towards  pure  Brahmanism-— 
as  we  may  call  that  phase  of  religion  which  followed  both  the  Nature- 
worship  of  the  Rig'  Veda  and  the  adoration  of  single  gods  of  varying 
precedence  (or  henotheism,  to  use  Professor  Max  Midler's  term)  of 
the  later  Vedas,  and  which  was  distinguished  by  worship  of  the 
eternal,  impersonal  spirit,  Brahma — a  creed  soon  to  degenerate  into 
the  all-embracing  system  of  polytheism,  now  known  under  the 
unsatisfactory  term  Hinduism. 

The  first  Guru  was  a  man  of  such  purity,  humility,  and  charm  of 
character  that  Mahomedans  willingly  acknowledged  him  a  prophet 
of  God,  and,  at  his  death,  a  dispute  arose  as  to  whether  his  body 
shotild  be  burned  as  a  Hindu  or  buried  as  a  Mussulman. 

There  is  something  ironical  in  the  reflection  that,  in  spite  of  the 
mutual  belief  in  one  God  and  a  mutual  antagonism  to  idolatry, 
this  attempt  to  unite  Hindus  and  Mahomedans  only  resulted  in  the 
deadliest  hatred  between  the  two  sects — a  hatred  which  has  in  no 
wise  abated. 

The  first  Moghul  emperor,  Baber,  had  too  much  on  his  hands 
to  pay  close  attention  to  the  insignificant  new  sect,  and  during  the 
glorious  reign  of  Akbar  the  tolerant,  and  also  under  Jehangir  and 
Shah  Jehan,  the  Sikhs  were  free  from  persecution.  It  was  not  until 
a  much  later  date  that  the  brotherhood  was  destined  to  develop 
military  tendencies  of  such  a  nature  as  to  cause  alarm  to  the  Moghul 
rulers.  But  towards  the  close  of  the  seventeenth  century,  when 
the  fanatical  zeal  of  Aurungzebe  had  developed  into  a  mania,  the 
attempts  of  that  monarch  to  suppress  the  Sikhs  resulted  in  a 
corresponding  enthusiasm  on  their  part,  and  th^y  clung  to  their 
faith  more  tenaciously  than  ever. 

That  the  obstinate  sect  might  be  finally  disposed  of,  the  Emperor 
caused  T^h  Bahadur,  the  ninth  Guru,  to  be  tortured  and  executed. 
From  that  moment  the  Sikh  religion  became  militant 

The  new  Guru,  Govind  Singh,  son  of  Tegh  Bahadur,  impelled  by 
revenge,  devoted  bis  followers  to  worship  of  the  sword.  He  pro- 
claimed liberty,  equality,  and  fraternity;  he  commanded  them  to 
add  the  name  Sngh  (lion)  to  their  other  names,  to  keep  their  heads 
and  beards  unshorn,  to  wear  blue  garments,  to  avoid  tobacco  in 
every  form  (though  the  use  of  bhang  and  opium  was  not  forbidden), 
and  always  to  carry  a  sword.  He  allowed  them  to  eat  any  flesh  save 
that  of  the  cow,  and  also  abolished  caste,  foreseeing  the  strength 
that  this  would  give  his  forces  by  establishing  unity  of  dim.  The 
very  distinctive  community  thus  created  he  named  the  Khaha  (the 
liberated).    Members  were  admitted  by  a  kind  of  baptismal  rite, 

3i6  TAs  Gentleman* s  Magazine. 

when  an  oath  was  taken  not  to  worship  images,  never  to  do 
obeisance  to  any  other  than  a  Gum,  and  never  to  turn  the  back  on 
a  foe. 

Govind  Singh  refused  to  appoint  a  successor,  but  gave  instruc- 
tions that  after  his  death  the  Sacred  Book — ^the  Granth — should  for 
all  time  be  considered  their  Guru. 

By  this  time  their  creed  was  less  simple  and  austere  than  as 
taught  by  Nanuk.  The  Sikhs  were  no  longer  the  eclectic  sect  which 
their  founder  had  intended,  but  had  resumed  many  of  the  ignoble 
practices  of  the  body  from  which  they  had  broken.  In  many 
respects,  however,  no  change  had  occurred.  They  still  r^arded  graven 
images  with  scorn  and  rendered  the  same  complete  submission  to 
their  Gurus.  Over  and  over  again  it  is  impressed  in  the  Granth 
that  **The  Guru  is  guide;  the  word  of  the  Guru  is  law."  The 
reverence  in  which  this  Sikh  Bible  is  held  b  thus  described  by  Sir 
Monier  Williams^ : — ''Brahmans  maintain  that  God  may  infuse  his 
essence  into  images,  but  they  never  make  an  idol  of  the  written  Veda. 
The  Sikhs,  on  the  contrary,  deny  that  God  associates  himself  with 
images,  but  believe  that  he  is  manifested  in  a  written  book  (the 
Granth).  This  is  treated  as  if  it  had  a  veritable  personal 
existence.  Every  morning  it  is  dressed  out  in  costly  brocade  and 
reverently  placed  on  a  low  throne  under  a  jewelled  canopy.  In  the 
evening  it  is  taken  to  the  second  temple,  where  it  is  made  to  repose 
for  the  night  in  a  golden  bed.''  This  temple,  of  which  the  Granth 
is  the  divinity,  is  the  exquisite  Golden  Temple  of  Amritsar,  built  by 
Ram-das,  and  considered  second  only  to  the  Taj  Mahal  for  beauty. 

The  Hindu  doctrine  of  Metempsychosis,  with  its  eight  million 
forms  through  which  the  soul  must  pass,  also  commends  itself  to  the 
d^enerate  (in  a  religious  sense)  descendants  of  Nanuk's  disciples. 

In  the  present  day  there  is  an  undoubted  tendency  on  the  part  of 
the  Sikhs  to  revert  to  Vaishnavism.  An  ever-increasing  number  now 
observe  Hindu  ceremonies  and  festivals,  and  even  consider  it  worth 
while  to  conciliate  the  Hindu  deities ;  whilst  the  exclusiveness  of  caste 
is  no  longer  unknown  to  them.  A  very  long  time  must  elapse,  how- 
ever, before  complete  absorption  takes  place. 

The  vast  majority  of  converts  to  the  Khalsa  were  of  the  Jat  race, 
a  fair  number  of  Khatris  or  Northern  Rajputs  being  attracted,  but 
few  Mahomedans  or  pure  Rajputs.  The  Jats,  who  form  almost  half 
the  population  of  the  Punjab  and  of  the  Rajput  States,  are  sturdy 
husbandmen  and  yeomen,  and  are  believed  by  some  authorities, 
including  Tod,  to  be  descended  from  the  Gttae  of  the  Greeks,  a 
Scythian  tribe  which  helped  to  overthrow  the  Graeco-Bactrian  power, 

*  M$li^wus  Thwgkt  and  Lifi  in  India. 

The  Record  of  the  Sikhs.  217 

and  who,  it  is  supposed,  settled  in  Northern  Hindustan  after  the 
Indo-Scythian  or  Turanian  invasion,  about  100  b.c.  Our  informa- 
tion regaiding  this  race  under  the  name  of  the  Yuehrchi  is  chiefly 
drawn  from  Chinese  sources. 

The  relationship  of  the  Yuehrchi  to  other  races  has  been  much 
discussed ;  by  some  they  have  even  been  identified  with  the  Goths. 
Professor  Max  MttUer,  however,  considers  this  derivation  of  the  Jats 
not  proven,"  and  Dr.  Trumpp  regards  them  as  descendants  of  the 
first  Aryan  settlers  in  the  Indus  valley.  Their  language — a  pure 
Sanskrit  tongue — certainly  favours  his  view. 

No  sooner  had  Govind  Singh  created  the  Khalsa  than  a 
sanguinary  struggle  against  the  paramount  power  ensued.  Aurung- 
zebe,  however,  was  too  strong  a  man,  and  though  the  Sikhs  were  knit 
closer  together  and  their  military  capabilities  brought  out,  they 
seemed  to  make  but  little  impression  on  the  Moghul  power.  Aurung- 
zebe  died  in  the  year  1707,  whereupon  the  Hindu  leaders  in  all 
quarters  of  the  Empire,  foreseeing  the  decline  of  the  Moghul  rule, 
waxed  aggressive.  Bahadur  Shah,  the  new  Emperor,  was  soon 
weighed  in  the  balance  against  his  predecessor,  and  found  wanting. 

Within  twelve  months  of  the  death  of  Aurungzebe,  Govind  Singh, 
the  tenth  and  last  of  the  Chief  Gurus,  met  his  fate  at  the  hands  of 
two  Pathan  brothers,  in  settlement  of  a  blood  feud.  This  did  not 
tend  to  lessen  the  religious  animosity,  and  the  struggle  for  inde- 
pendence waxed  fiercer  and  fiercer.  The  quondam  religious  brother- 
hood, after  defeating  one  of  the  Governors  of  the  Empire,  sacked 
the  town  of  Sirhind  with  atrocious  accompaniment 

This  success  augmented  the  Sikh  ranks  considerably,  all  the 
outcasts  of  the  Punjab,  as  well  as  numbers  of  low-caste  Hindus, 
finding  it  profitable  to  become  converted.  That  he  might  have  a 
firee  hand  in  dealing  with  this  new  element,  Bahadur  Shah  hastened 
to  conciliate  the  Rajput  princes  by  concessions  calculated  to  make 
his  bigoted  predecessor  turn  in  his  grave.  This  accomplished, 
the  Sikhs  were  for  a  time  kept  under,  and  for  a  lengthy  period  they 
suffered  persecution  with  great  firmness — thousands  being  executed 
with  torture  rather  than  forsake  their  creed. 

During  the  second  half  of  the  last  century  the  Sikh  organisation 
improved  in  a  wonderful  manner.  The  various  districts  gathered 
themselves  into  confederacies  known  as  misls^  under  capable  leaders, 
and  successfully  resisted  both  Moghuls  and  Afghan  invaders. 

In  the  year  1764  the  Moghuls  had  to  call  in  Mahratta  mercenaries 
to  defend  the  Empire,  and,  in  response  to  the  call,  Sindhiaand 
Holkar — ever  ready  to  subordinate  religious  prejudice  to  pecuniary 

2i8  The  GentUmaris  Magazine. 

gain,  or  to  fight  side  by  side  against  either  oo-religlonist  or  kindred 
race,  but  equally  prompt  to  stand  aloof  or  even  turn  traitor,  were 
the  other  pillar  of  the  Mahratta  Empire  hard  pressed — used  their 
influence  to  drive  the  Jats  and  Sikhs  from  the  Delhi  Province.  In 
spite  of  these  combinations  the  dominion  of  the  Khalsa  was  para- 
mount in  the  Punjab  by  the  year  1780 — Pathan  attacks  were  less 
frequent  and  less  dangerous,  whilst  the  Moghul  Empire  was  but  a 
shadow  of  its  former  might.  The  brotherhood  had  formally  assumed 
the  character  of  a  nation,  and  had  issued  coinage  from  which  the 
name  of  the  Moghul  ruler  was  absent. 

But  now  a  power,  mightier  by  far  than  the  Sikhs,  was  advancing, 
inexorable  as  fate,  its  boundaries  spreading  more  rapidly  than  theirs 
in  all  directions.  Inevitable  it  seemed  that  a  terrible  shock  must 
result  at  some  not  distant  date,  but  through  the  wisdom  of  Ranjit 
Singh  the  blow  did  not  fall  until  the  middle  of  the  next  century. 

This  future  Maharaja  was  the  son  of  a  Sirdar  of  one  of  the  misls. 
He  was  bom  in  1780,  and  in  his  twentieth  year  was  already  regarded 
as  one  of  the  foremost  chieftains.  In  his  early  days  he  was  probably 
greatly  influenced  by  the  careers  of  his  father's  contemporaries, 
Madhaji  Sindhia  and  Mulhar  Rao  Holkar,  who  had  risen  to 
sovereignty  from  a  position  similar  to  his;  the  former,  indeed, 
having  just  failed  to  snatch  the  dominion  of  Hindustan,  a  fidlure 
largely  due  to  the  jealousy  of  the  rival  house  of  Holkar.  These 
great  Mahratta  houses  have  ever  kept  up  the  family  traditions  of 
jealousy  and  distrust.  So  late  as  the  year  1858,  Sindhia,  as  the 
good  boy,  was  rightly  petted  and  made  much  of,  and  in  addition  to 
his  K.C.S.I.  was  given  an  increase  of  territory ;  whereas  Holkar  was 
put  in  the  comer  for  a  time,  and  when  found  not  guilty  and  brought 
out,  though  decorated  with  the  Star  of  India,  he  received  no  grant 
of  land. 

Ranjit  Singh  proved  more  sagacious,  if  perhaps  less  brilliant,  than 
the  Mahratta  princes ;  and  about  the  year  18  r  3  he  had  by  force, 
cunning,  or  persuasion  brought  most  of  the  Sirdars  under  his  sway. 
Possessing  all  the  qualities  of  a  leader  himself,  he  saw  that  his 
material  was  the  finest  in  Hindustan,  and  to  disarm  jealousy  he  took 
good  care  to  proclaim  that  he  acted  always  as  the  servant  of  Govind 
and  of  the  Khalsa.  The  popularity  which  this  brought  him  amongst 
the  soldiers  did  not  turn  his  head,  for,  unlike  most  Eastem  con- 
querors, he  was  never  deceived  as  to  his  own  limitations.  Fond  of 
power  as  he  was,  his  sagacity  never  misled  him  as  to  the  futility  of 
any  attempt  to  measure  himself  against  the  British,  with  whom  he 
remained  in  friendship  until  his  death  in  1839. 

The  Record  of  the  Sikhs.  219 

Having  repeatedly  defeated  the  Afghans,  he  turned  his  attention 
to  the  Rajas  of  the  petty  hill  states,  then  in  1818  he  captured  Multan. 
The  next  year  he  eiqpelled  the  Afghans  from  Kashmir  and  annexed 
that  kingdom,  and  a  little  later  again  defeated  them  and  took 
Peshawur.  This  aroused  the  Pathan  tribes  to  intense  fury.  Jehads 
or  religious  wars  were  preached  by  the  mullahs,  and  for  many  years 
the  Khalsa  warriors  were  hotly  engaged,  rarely  without  complete 
success.  In  1838,  however.  Dost  Mahomed,  the  new  Ameer,  swiftly 
gathered  together  a  large  army,  and  defeated  the  Sikhs  before 
Peshawur;  but  the  Barukzai  chief  had  to  withdraw  without  taking  the 

The  "  Lion  of  the  Punjab'' — one  of  the  most  remarkable  figures 
of  the  East — died  the  following  year.  Neither  commerce,  industry, 
nor  art  had  been  encouraged  by  his  rule.  His  whole  attention  had 
been  given  to  creating  a  solid  State  out  of  the  loosely  organised 
misls^  and  the  fighting  machine  thus  produced  is  without  a  rival  in 
Indian  history. 

His  co-religionists  numbered  well  under  2,000,000,  yet  he  had 
brought  under  their  sway  over  20,000,000  people. 

Following  upon  his  death  came  the  first  Afghan  war,  and  the 
mismanagement  and  consequent  disasters  aroused  in  the  Sikh  mind 
the  idea  that  their  late  ruler  had  been  mistaken  about  the  invincibility 
(^  the  Britbh.  The  traditions  of  Ranjit  Singh  luckily  remained 
fresh,  and  the  new  Government  stood  loyal  and  even  allowed  the 
passage  of  reinforcements  through  their  country.  But,  later,  the 
usual  disputes  and  intrigues  arose  as  to  the  Succession,  and  a  state 
of  anarchy  followed  the  assassination  of  several  of  the  claimants. 
The  nation  becoming  restive,  the  influence  of  the  militant  anti- 
British  party  increased,  and  troops  were  moved  towards  the  frontier. 
The  British,  anxious  to  avoid  collision,  viewed  these  movements  with 
apprehension,  and  strengthened  their  forces.  Exaggerated  accounts 
of  these  preparations  filled  the  Sikhs  with  alarm,  and  further  anarchy 
prevailing,  the  Sikh  army  became  insubordinate  and  shortly  took  the 
real  power  of  the  State  into  its  own  hands.  In  December  1845  the 
warlike  party  could  no  longer  be  restrained ;  the  Sikhs  crossed  the 
Sutlej,  and  war  was  declared.  At  once  the  insubordination  ceased ; 
at  once  the  army  of  the  Khalsa  returned  to  its  old  discipline  and 

Our  men,  under  Sir  Henry  Hardinge,  the  Governor-General,  and 
Sir  Hugh  Gough,  the  Commander-in-Chiefi  first  encountered  the 
stubborn  and  well-disciplined  enemy  at  Moodkee,  and  there 
inflicted  a  severe  defeat 

d30  Th$  Gentlentan's  Magazine. 

The  next  encounter  was  at  Firozshah,  where  the  Sikhs  fought 
with  such  courage  and  determination,  that  when  night  intervened 
they  had  more  than  held  their  own  and  the  odds  seemed  in  their 
favour ;  but  with  the  return  of  daylight  the  wearied  Britbh  seemed  to 
acquire  a  new  lease  of  vigour,  and  victory  at  length  crowned  their 
arms.  Our  loss  here  in  killed  and  wounded  numbered  about  3»5oot 
many  of  whom  were  treated  with  shocking  barbarity.  So  treacherous 
and  fanatical  were  the  enemy  that  many  of  them  fired  on  British 
officers  who  had  spared  their  lives.  On  the  other  hand,  occasional 
gleams  of  chivalry  and  magnanimity  on  their  part  were  observed 
during  the  war. 

The  battle  of  Aliwal  was  on  a  smaUer  but  more  brilliant  scale, 
and  resulted  in  a  complete  rout  of  the  brotherhood.  Still  the  stout 
Sikhs  were  undaunted ;  they  again  faced  the  alien,  until  the  awful 
loss  sustained  at  Sobraon  quenched  their  ardour  for  a  time.  The 
Nasiri  and  Sirmur  battalions  of  Gurkhas  (soon  to  fight  side  by  side 
with  these  same  Sikhs  in  defence  of  the  British  Raj)  had  taken  part 
in  the  last  two  battles  with  cohspicuous  success. 

The  democratic  army  of  the  Khalsa,  filled  with  religious  zeal,  has 
been  aptly  compared  to  Cromwell's  Ironsides,  and  the  greatness  of  our 
loss  speaks  volumes  for  the  material  against  which  our  men  had  to 
contend.  No  less  does  the  fact  that  in  face  of  such  determined  and 
trained  opposition  the  British  army  was,  within  two  months  of  the 
outbreak  of  war,  able  to  enter  Lahore,  speak  for  the  sturdiness  of  the 
Europeans  and  of  the  Poorbeah*  sepoys,  and  for  the  ability  of  their 
leaders.  But  the  butcher's  bill  was  terribly  heavy ;  in  these  four 
engagements  the  British  loss  amounted  to  1,500  killed  and  5,000 

The  Government  being  unwilling  to  experiment  with  the  obvious 
dangers  and  difficulties  attendant  on  annexation,  an  attempt  was 
made  to  establish  a  strong  and  friendly  native  rule.  Dhulip  Singh, 
reputed  to  be  the  infant  son  of  Ranjit  Singh,  was  recognised  as 
Maharaja;  Major  Henry  Lawrence,  of  the  Bengal  Artillery,  was 
appointed  Resident  at  Lahore,  where  a  British  garrison  was  to  remain 
for  some  years,  and  the  Sikh  army  was  reduced.  The  Jalandar  Doab 
«— the  country  between  the  rivers  Beas  and  Sutlej — being  more  easy 
lo  control  and  administer,  passed  over  to  the  company,  and  as  a 
further  punishment  a  large  war  indemnity  was  asked.    Poverty  being 

'  This  term,  meaning  <'  the  man  from  the  East,"  was  first  applied  to  the 
Ottdh  sepoys  enlisting  in  the  Bombay  army ;  bat  it  was  afterwards  used  indis- 
criminately for  all  mutinous  sepoys,  Oudh  being  the  recruiting  ground  for  the 
0)mpany's  Bengal  army. 

The  Record  of  the  Sikhs.  22 1 

pleaded,  the  State  of  Kashmir  was  accepted  in  lieu  thereof.  This 
kingdom  was  then  sold  to  Golab  Singh,  Raja  of  Jammu — a  Dogra 
Rajput — as  a  reward  for  remaining  friendly  and  loyal — to  his  own 

Henry  Lawrence  was  now  master  in  the  Punjab,  and  in  the  ranks 
of  his  lieutenants  figured  his  brothers  John  and  George,  Herbert 
Edwardes,  Abbott,  Nicholson,  and  others ;  men  thoroughly  in  sym- 
pathy with  their  chief,  and  who  were  later  to  illumine  so  brilliantly 
the  pages  of  Indian  history.  But  though  the  Sikh  soldiery  sullenly 
acquiesced  in  the  decision  of  their  Durbar  to  accept  a  British  Pro- 
tectorate during  Dhulip  Singh's  minority,  they  were  still  not  satisfied 
as  to  the  futility  of  resistance,  and  were  before  long  ready  to  again 
try  conclusions. 

The  treachery  of  Mulraj,  Governor  of  Multan,  resulting  in  the 
murder  of  two  British  officers,  was  the  spark  that  kindled  the  second 
Sikh  War. 

The  combustible  material  burst  into  flame :  the  army  gladly 
endorsed  the  act  of  treachery,  and  on  all  sides  rose  up  religious 
leaders  to  pour  oil  on  the  fire  by  summoning  their  followers  to 
'*  strike  for  God  and  the  Guru."  The  military  instincts  of  the  hardy 
peasantry  were  aroused ;  they  remembered  their  former  prowess  and 
the  days  of  Ranjit  Singh ;  they  beat  their  ploughshares  into  swords, 
left  their  fields  to  the  women,  and  hurried  to  the  fray. 

In  their  scattered  districts,  alone  among  an  alien  race,  Henry 
Lawrence's  band  of  workers  strove  desperately  to  keep  their  men  in 
hand,  but  the  pressure  was  in  most  cases  too  great  Their  beloved 
chief  was  on  leave  in  England,  and  the  absence  of  his  influence  was 
sorely  felt  Lieutenant  Edwardes,  however,  held  his  little  force  loyal, 
and  for  some  time  preserved  peace  on  the  border,  and  ''  Jan  Larens" 
kept  the  Jalandar  Doab  quiet  in  spite  of  the  uproar  around. 

It  was  not  considered  advisable  to  move  troops  against 
Multan  until  the  end  of  the  hot  season,  so  the  city  was  not  retaken 
until  the  following  January.  In  the  meanwhile  Lord  Dalhousie,  the 
new  Governor-General,  gave  utterance  to  the  memorable  words, 
"  Unwarned  by  precedent,  uninfluenced  by  example,  the  Sikh  nation 
have  called  for  war,  and,  on  my  word,  sirs,  they  shall  have  it  vrith  a 

The  first  two  actions  at  Ramnuggur  and  Sadulpur  were,  to  put 
the  best  face  on  it,  unsatisfactory,  whilst  the  first  big  engagement, 
Chilianwala,  was  even  worse.  At  this  place  the  Sikhs  had  shown 
their  usual  skill  in  the  choice  of  position  and  disposal  of  forces 
to  make  the  most  thereof,  and  their  advantage  was  increased  by 

222  The  Gentlematis  Magazine. 

mistakes  on  the  part  of  some  of  the  British  leaders.  Altogether,  it  is 
not  surprising  that  when  the  Sikhs  finally  fell  back  unconquered,  our 
loss  was  over  2,300  killed  and  wounded,  three  regiments  had  lost 
their  colours  and  four  guns  had  fallen  into  the  hands  of  the  enemy. 
More  grievous  than  all  these,  British  cavalry  had  given  the  reins  to 
blind  terror,  and,  on  hearing  or  imagining  the  order  '*  Threes  about," 
had  turned  and  fled  in  amongst  their  guns  followed  by  the  jeering 
Sikh  horse. 

But  it  was  no  doubtful  issue  at  Gujerat.  For  the  first  time 
Cough's  guns  outnumbered  those  of  the  enemy,  and  by  the  masterly 
handling  of  these  the  brave  army  of  the  Khalsa  was  crushed  for 
ever.  The  Sikhs  showed  a  bold  front  until  the  last,  but  they  "had  it 
with  a  vengeance,"  and  told  one  another  that  *'Ranjit  Singh  is 
indeed  dead.'' 

It  was  now  evident  that  there  was  no  alternative,  so  the  Govern - 
I  ment  reluctantly  resolved  on  annexation.    To  render  a  rising  more 

difficult  in  the  future,  the  whole  population  was  disarmed.  The  dis- 
arming of  a  people,  among  whom  the  canying  of  weapons  was 
universal  and  really  necessary  owing  to  the  prevailing  brigandage, 
was  a  delicate  and  humiliating  matter,  and  it  was  carried  out  in  a 
conciliatory  though  firm  spirit. 

Sir  Henry  then  proceeded  to  put  down  dacoity  and  thuggee,  and 
even  reclaimed  many  of  the  low-caste  class  given  over  to  this  latter 
abomination  with  such  success  that  they  did  useful  work  before 
Delhi  as  sappers  and  miners.  The  administration  was  carried  on  by 
a  Board,  of  which  Sir  Henry  ¥ras  President  and  Mr.  Mansel  and 
John  Lawrence  the  other  members.  Though  each  of  the  brothers 
loved  and  admired  the  other  above  all  men,  it  is  well  known  that 
they  differed  widely  in  their  views,  and  Mr.  Mansel  was  set  the  unen- 
viable task  of  reconciliation.  But  this  short-lived  Board  did  its  work 
well.  Infanticide  and  other  horrible  cruelties  formerly  practised 
became  things  of  the  past;  the  resources  of  the  country  were 
developed  as  they  had  never  been  before ;  a  network  of  roads  and 
canals  was  spread  over  the  land;  irrigation  and  sanitation — pre- 
viously almost  unknown — ^were  brought  to  a  high  state  of  perfection. 
In  spite  of  the  expense  of  these  public  works — ^and  when  we  con- 
sider one  of  them,  the  Grand  Trunk  Road,  we  can  form  some  idea 
of  their  magnitude — the  Punjab  was  able  to  meet  it;  and,  though 
the  duties  were  abolished  on  more  than  half  the  articles  formerly 
taxed,  the  revenue  rose  in  eight  years  from  134  lacs  to  205.  The 
Board  was  backed  up  in  a  wonderful  manner  by  the  personal  in- 
fluence of  that  brilliant  band  who  made  themselves  beloved  and 

The  Record  of  the  Sikhs.  223 

trusted  by  the  natives.  Prominent  amongst  those  whose  work  was 
to  bear  good  fruit  were  such  soldiers  as  Edwardes,  Nicholson, 
Abbott,  Becher,  Lake,  Taylor,  James,  Cotton,  and  Henry  Lawrence 
himself:  whilst  Robert  Montgomery,  Madeod,  Thornton,  Barnes, 
Ricketts,  and  others  upheld  the  prestige  of  the  civilians.  Everyone 
knows  how  Nicholson  was  worshipped  as  a  god  by  the  wild  Bannuchis, 
and  that  the  more  he  tried  to  thrash  this  religion  out  of  them,  the 
more  divine  he  became.  That  Colonel  Abbott  was  almost  as  great 
an  object  of  adoration  to  the  sterner  men  of  the  north  is  less  well 
known.  And  it  must  be  remembered  that  the  aim  of  the  President's 
life  had  been  to  render  unnecessary  the  policy  for  which  he  was  now 
working,  for  his  ideal  had  been  to  establish  a  strong  and  independent 
bulwark  between  British  territory  and  Pathan  marauders.  But  the 
wars  and  consequent  annexation  had  been  forced  upon  us,  and  none 
knew  better  than  he  that  there  would  have  been  no  peace  for  India 
had  the  Khalsa  been  left  uncontrolled. 

At  the  close  of  1852  the  views  of  the  two  brothers  had  diverged 
so  widely  that  both  felt  bound  to  resign.  Sir  Henry's  resignation 
was  accepted,  and  he  was  transferred  to  the  residency  of  Rajputana; 
the  Board  collapsed,  and  the  younger  brother  was  appointed  Chief 
Commissioner.  Sikh  soldiers  from  the  districts  which  had  not 
risen  in  1849  ^^^  encouraged  to  enlist,  and  the  famous  corps  of 
Guides  increased.  This  corps  was  raised  in  1846,  from  the  wildest 
and  toughest  spirits  of  the  border  side.  Men  of  all  races  and  creeds; 
men  of  no  race  or  creed ;  big,  truculent  Afridis,  and  jovial,  little 
Gurkhas ;  brigand  chiefs  and  leaders  of  dacoits,  were  all  allowed  to 
enlist,  if  only  they  were  known  to  be  strong  and  daring  and  skilful 
enough,  and  in  this  way  an  outlet  for  some  of  the  most  turbulent 
spirits  was  provided.  As  an  instance,  a  daring  robber-chieftain, 
Futteh  Khan,  whom  none  could  capture  or  subdue,  was  offered  the 
position  of  officer  of  the  Guides,  and  he  and  all  his  men  were 
enrolled,  and  proved  most  useful  and  faithful. 

Last  night  ye  had  struck  at  a  border  thief, 
To-night  'tis  a  man  of  the  Guides. 

In  1852  occurred  the  first  frontier  war  since  Peshawur  had  come 
under  British  rule.  The  war  was  forced  upon  us  by  the  seemingly 
ineradicable  £edseness  of  the  Afridis.  The  tribesmen  had  sold  to  Sir 
John  Lawrence  the  right  to  make  a  road  through  their  country,  but 
no  sooner  was  the  price  paid  than  they  treacherously  attacked  the 
men  engaged  in  construction  and  murdered  them  alL  The  trouble 
was  soon  settled,  and  the  tribesmen  were  taught  a  lesson  which  was 
before  long  forgotten. 

224  ^^  Gentlemafis  Magazine. 

The  Sikhs,  both  foot  and  horse,  rendered  a  good  account  of 
themselves  on  this  occasion,  and,  later,  on  the  Momund  and  Yusufzai 
borders.  An  easier  task  was  set  these  soldiers  of  the  Khalsa  at  Pegu 
in  the  Burmese  war  of  1853.  There  the  fourth  Sikh  Infiuitry  won 
its  first  laurels,  and  the  fierce,  bearded  men  created  a  sensation 
and  aroused  much  curiosity  amongst  officers  and  sepoys  of  the 
Madras  r^ments. 

Four  years  later  the  great  wave  of  the  Mutiny  passed  over  the 
Northern  lands,  to  shatter  itself  against  the  Punjab,  and  the 
administration  of  that  province  was  no  longer  an  experiment 

Well  was  it  for  us  in  that  hour  that  the  two  brothers  and  their 
disciples  had  governed  the  land  with  no  other  thought  than  the  doing 
of  their  duty  to  the  glory  of  God,  to  the  honour  of  their  native  land, 
and  to  the  interests  of  their  subjects.  But  let  us  not  attempt  to  con- 
ceal the  fact  that  it  was  also  well  for  us  that  the  Sikh  hatred  of  the 
Mussulman  still  prevailed,  and  that  the  prospect  of  sacking  the 
Moghul  capital  fascinated  his  imagination  by  offering  to  gratify  his 
revenge  and  his  greed  at  the  same  time.  Ancient  prophecies,  fore- 
telling that  some  day  the  Sikhs  should  pour  down  to  the  sack  of 
Delhi  were  called  to  mind,  and  passed  from  mouth  to  mouth. 

No  sooner  did  the  news  reach  John  Lawrence  that  the  rebel 
regiments  from  Meerut  had  entered  Delhi  and  that  the  last  of  the 
Moghuls  was  proclaimed,  than  he  offered  to  raise  corps  of  irregulars, 
and,  at  the  same  time,  advised  Lord  Canning  to  trust  the  Sikh 
Rajas  of  Patiala  and  Jhind,  as  well  as  the  Gurkhas.  He  decided 
that  the  Guides,  the  4th  Sikhs  and  the  ist  and  4th  Punjab  Native 
Infantry  could  be  spared,  and,  in  due  course,  sent  them  to  Delhi. 
The  great  Cis-Sutlej  chieftains,  who  had  been  saved  fi-om  the 
clutches  of  Ranjit  Singh,  soon  gave  proof  that  confidence  was  not 
misplaced.  The  Maharaja  of  Patiala  occupied  Thaneysur,  Kumaul, 
and  Umballa,  and  thus  kept  open  our  communications  along  the 
Grand  Trunk  Road,  besides  lending  5,000  men.  The  Raja  of  Jhind 
also  helped  to  guard  the  highway,  and  went  with  a  contingent  to 
Delhi,  and  troops  were  placed  at  the  disposal  of  the  Government  by 
the  Sikh  rulers  of  Kapurthala  and  Nabha.  Numerous  Sikh  recruits 
offered  their  services,  keen  to  show  the  Poorbeahs  how  helpless  they 
would  be  without  their  British  leaders  against  the  stem  warriors  of 
the  Khalsa ;  keen  also  to  loot  and  pillage  and  plunder. 

Away  from  the  Punjab  the  attitude  of  the  Sikhs  varied  consider- 
ably. Since  the  annexation  many  had  been  drafted  into  Hindustani 
regiments,  where  the  Punjabi  was  often  looked  down  upon  and 
taunted  by  the  Hindu,  as  a  member  of  a  conquered  race  and  a  man 

The  Record  of  the  Sikhs.  225 

of  low  caste.  No  wonder  that,  assured  of  his  own  fighting  superioxity, 
he  haikd  the  opportunity  of  revenging  this  insolence.  On  the  other 
handy  in  the  r^ments  where  the  Sikhs  had  been  treated  considerately, 
or  where — ^the  mutiny  having  been  planned  with  deliberation — they 
had  been  flattered  or  bribed,  they  elected  in  many  cases  to  cast  in 
their  lot  with  the  rebels. 

At  Benares,  the  Ludhiana  regiment  of  Sikhs,  after  a  few  moments' 
hesitation,  joined  the  mutineers,  and,  firing  at  its  officers,  was  cut 
into  lanes  by  Olphert's  artillery.  It  then  fled  with  the  Mahomedan 
and  Hindu  corps,  a  disgraced  regiment,  though  not  wholly  through 
fault  of  its  own.  When  the  doubtful  regiments  were  paraded  for 
disarming,  the  Ludhiana  Sikhs  had  not  been  warned  of  the  intention 
to  exempt  them ;  so,  seeing  the  loaded  muskets  of  the  whites  and 
the  lighted  port-fires  of  the  artillery,  they  were  seized  by  panic  and 
acted  with  the  others. 

At  Allahabad  was  posted  a  wing  of  the  Firozpur  regiment  of 
Sikhs  (Brasyer's  Sikhs,  now  the  14th  B.N.I.).  These  sullenly  assisted 
at  the  disarming  of  the  other  native  regiments ;  uncertain  how  to  act 
but  overawed  by  the  cool  courage  of  Lieut.  Brasyer.  As  will  be 
seen,  this  regiment  rendered  loyal  service.  Three  htmdred  of  them 
inarched — alas!  too  late — ^with  Renaud's  small  force  to  relieve 
Cawnpore;  and  a  still  larger  number  entered  Lucknow  with 
Havelock.  Under  him  they  helped  to  win  the  battle  of  Fathpur, 
and  led  by  Brasyer  and  the  late  Havelock-Allan  they  stormed  the 
Imambara  and  the  Kaisar  Bagh  in  magnificent  fashion,  and  with  the 
78th  Highlanders,  fought  their  way  through  the  streets  of  Lucknow. 
l*he  opportune  arrival  of  Havelock's  army  added  this  regiment  to 
the  LudLnow  garrison.  The  corps  proved  an  acquisition,  for  not 
only  was  its  loyalty  never  in  doubt,  but  it  developed  an  unexpected 
aptitude  for  counter-mining  operations  and  frequently  foiled  the 
enem/s  designs. 

At  Shahjehanpur  the  28th  N.I.  mutinied  whilst  the  English 
residents  were  at  church,  and  would  have  murdered  them  all  had 
not  the  Sikhs  of  the  regiment  proved  &ithful.  Though  less  than 
one  hundred  in  number,  these  overawed  the  rebels  and  rescued  the 

Rattray's  Sikhs  (originally  Bengal  police,  but  now  the  45th 
B.N.I.,  distinguished  by  the  metal  quoit  worn  on  the  turban)  behaved 
grandly  at  Patna,  the  head-quarters  of  the  Wahabis,  the  most 
extreme  Mahomedan  sect.  Feeling  sure  that  a  jehad  was  being 
preached  in  secret,  the  Commissioner,  Mr.  Taylor  (that  strong  man 
who  was  so  badly  treated  by  Government  for  saving  his  district  in  a 

VOL.  CCLXXXV.     KO.  201 3.  R 

226  The  Gentleman's  Magazine. 

more  effective  but  different  way  from  that  thought  proper  by  his 
superiors  in  Calcutta)  sent  for  Rattray's  men,  who  were  forty  miles 
away.  As  they  marched  in  they  were  subjected  to  threats,  taunts, 
and  abuse  from  Hindus  and  Mahomedans  alike,  and  the  priests  of 
the  Sikh  Temple  went  so  far  as  to  refuse  them  admission,  unless  they 
would  promise  not  to  fight  on  the  side  of  the  infidel.  Hardly  had 
they  arrived  before  the  green  flag  was  unfurled.  Thousands  of 
fanatics  made  for  the  houses  of  the  whites,  intent  on  murder;  only 
to  be  confronted  by  Rattray  and  the  bayonets  of  one  hundred  and 
fifty  of  his  men.  Sikhs  and  Wahabis,  the  two  sects  whose  doctrines 
bind  them  to  live  by  the  sword,  stood  face  to  face ;  the  opportunity 
to  avenge  the  insults  was  taken,  and  within  a  few  moments  the 
Wahabis  were  in  full  retreat,  leaving  numerous  dead. 

Subsequently  the  inconsistent  sepoys  of  the  7th,  8th  and  40th 
Native  Infantry,  stationed  at  Dinapur,  the  military  station  of  Patna, 
after,  in  characteristic  fashion,  fluctuating  between  loyalty  and 
disloyalty,  finally  revolted,  and — there  being  no  Mr.  Taylor  nor 
Brigadier  Cotton  at  Dinapur — they  were  allowed  to  break  loose  with 
their  arms.  The  pandies  made  for  Arrah  and  would  have  slain 
every  European  had  not  Mr.  Taylor  prompdy  despatched  fifty  of  the 
Sikhs  to  the  magistrate  of  that  town,  Mr.  Herwald  Wake.  This 
gallant  civilian  had  asked  for  help,  but  begged  that  the  Sikhs  might 
not  be  sent  as  he  distrusted  them,  and  now  they  were  to  take  a 
glorious  revenge.  The  fifteen  Europeans  with  the  fifty  of  Rattray's 
fortified  two  houses,  and  these  they  held  for  a  week  against  6,000 
trained  sepoys,  some  of  whom  were  also  Sikhs.  These  latter 
appealed  to  the  religious  prejudices  of  their  countrymen,  besides 
offering  shares  of  the  treasury  plunder,  but  Rattray's  Sikhs  stood  the 
test  and  answered  with  bullet  and  bayonet  until  the  arrival  of 
Vincent  Eyre's  relief  force.  Still  another  detachment  of  this  corps, 
with  two  companies  of  H.M.  23rd,  defeated  over  3,000  rebels  at 
Chattra,  and  recovered  great  stores  of  ammunition,  numerous 
guns,  bullocks  and  elephants,  as  well  as  stolen  treasure.  The 
gallant  45th  have  reason  to  be  proud  of  their  record  during  the 

But,  whilst  massacre  was  following  massacre  throughout  Bengal, 
John  Lawrence  and  his  lieutenants  were  riding  out  the  storm  in  the 
Punjab,  though  Hindu  and  Mahomedan  regiments  were  all  dis- 
affected and  many  were  marching  down  to  Delhi.  Lahore,  Govind- 
gur,  Amritsar,  Firozpur,  and  the  important  arsenal  of  Philour  were  in 
turn  secured  against  the  rebels.  At  Ludhiana  a  few  companies  of  the 
4th  Sikhs  held  in  check  three  rebel  infantry  regiments  and  one  of 

The  Record  of  the  Sikhs.  227 

cav-alry  for  a  time,  but,  lacking  support,  had  to  allow  the  pandies  to 


The  loyalty  of  the  Protected  Sikh  States  never  wavered  through^ 
out  the  anxious  time  during  which  the  Sikh  population  of  the 
Punjab  elderly  awaited  news  from  Delhi.  Would  the  insignificant 
British  force  there  more  than  hold  its  own,  or  would  it  do  less  than 
that  ?  Until  reinforcements  and  siege  guns  arrived  "  they  couldn't 
do  more  and  they  wouldn't  do  less." 

And  with  still  greater  anxiety  the  Chief  Commissioner  awaited 
the  Delhi  news.  He  perhaps  above  all  men  appreciated  the  diffi- 
culties and  dangers  there.  Had  the  little  army  taken  a  backward 
step,  the  vaunted  British  supremacy  would  have  been  a  thing  of  the 
past  as  £»"  as  the  Punjab  was  concerned.  No  more  would  the  wild 
men  under  his  charge  have  been  impressed  and  awed  by  the  cool^ 
easy  manner  in  which  hb  assistants  discharged  their  duties  in  the  face 
of  thousands  of  mutinous  sepoys,  whom  they  bearded  as  though 
backed  by  an  English  Army  corps. 

Equally  important  was  the  query,  "  What  news  from  Peshawur  ?  " 
^Vhat  might  not  have  happened  had  Dost  Mohammed's  hatred  of 
the  English  prevailed  over  his  love  of  gold,  or  liad  he  thought  it 
policy  to  call  the  tribesmen  to  arms  to  win  back  beloved  Peshawur, 
taken  from  them  by  Ranjit  Singh  ?  But  Edwardes  and  Nicholson 
were  there,  and  all  was  well.  The  Punjab  movable  column  was 
formed  to  patrol  the  country,  and  all  Sikhs  were  taken  out  of  the 
Hindustani  regiments,  away  from  contamination,  and  formed  into 
separate  corps.  The  Brigadier  in  command  at  Peshawur  conceived 
the  daring  project  of  disarming  the  four  native  corps,  in  spite  ctf 
indignant  remonstrance  from  the  British  officers  who,  believing  their 
men  fedthful,  almost  refused  to  obey.  But  Cotton  knew  his  dutj 
and  the  disarming  was  carried  out,  with  Sikhs  and  wild  frontiersmen 
looking  on  in  bewilderment,  wondering  at  the  power  which  enabled 
these  few  Englishmen,  standing  alone  in  a  hostile  country,  to  act  as 
though  they  held  their  foes  in  the  hollow  of  their  hand,  and 
inferring  that  the  British  must  possess  resources  of  which  they 
knew  nothing.  The  bewildered  sepoys  obeyed  mechanically.  The 
tribesmen  and  the  Sikhs,  watching  the  turn  of  events,  doubted  no 
longer  that  the  dominant  race  had  some  unknown,  invisible  strength 
which  they  could  not  comprehend,  and,  inspired  by  belief  in  our 
power,  they  hesitated  no  longer.  Recruits  swarmed  in,  bringing 
their  own  horses,  matchlocks,  and  swords.  The  "  Indian  Cossacks/' 
of  Hodson's  Horse  and  other  cavahy  regiments  were  thus  formed, 
and  the   8th,  9th,   14th,   i6th,   i8th,  and   19th  Punjab  Infantry 


228  The  GentUmafis  Magazine. 

recruited  at  Peshawur  itself,  and  officered  by  Englishmen  whose  own 
regiments  had  mutinied.  Then  the  Punjab  leaders  began  to  see 
that  they  were  not  only  to  save  the  province,  but  the  empire. 

To  follow  the  Guides,  Lawrence  despatched  the  ist  P.N.I.  (Coke'is 
Rifles)  the  2nd  P.N.I,  and  the  4th  Sikhs  to  Delhi,  and  recruited 
numbers  of  Sikh  gunners— old  artillery  men  who  had  learned  their 
trade  under  Ranjit  Singh's  French  instructors — who  had  fought 
against  us,  but  were  now  to  toil  staunchly  for  us  in  the  trenches 
before  Delhi. 

On  September  20,  1857,  the  capital  of  the  Moghulsfell  before  the 
onslaught,  and  the  Sikhs  fulfilled  the  prophecy  by  sacking  the  town. 
By  this  time  the  members  of  the  Khalsa  formed  a  considerable  pro- 
portion of  the  attacking  force,  and  were  distributed  amongst  the 
following  corps  : — Hodson*s  Horse  and  the  ist,  4th,  and  sth  Punjab 
Cavalry;  the  zst,  2nd,  and  4th  Punjab  Native  Infantry,  the  4th 
Sikhs,  the  Raja  of  Jhind's  contingent  and  a  number  of  gunners  and 
sappers.  Most  of  the  above,  notably  Hodson's  Horse,  the  xst 
Punjab  Cavalry,  and  the  4th  Punjab  Infantry,  did  gallant  service  at 
Lucknow  and  elsewhere  before  the  close  of  the  war.  The  first- 
named  (now  the  9th  and  loth  Bengal  Lancers)  was  a  large  corps  of 
irregulars  formed  by  Hodson  soon  after  the  outbreak.  It  included 
within  its  ranks  many  of  the  horsemen  who  had  rendered  rather  too 
good  an  account  of  themselves  (from  our  point  of  view)  in  the  Sikh 
wars,  and  who  had  driven  our  dragoons  before  them  at  Chilianwala. 
The  "flamingoes,"  as  they  were  nicknamed,  proved  invaluable. 

The  troops  engaged  in  the  first  defence  of  Lucknow  numbered 
only  927  Europeans  and  765  Sepoys,  mostly  men  of  the  13th,  48th, 
and  7 xst  Bengal  Native  Infantry,  who  had  remained  faithful  when 
their  comrades  deserted.  Sir  Henry  had  taken  the  precaution  to 
segregate  the  Sikhs  of  the  various  regiments  and  form  them  into  a 
separate  corps,  which  resisted  all  attempts  to  sap  its  fidelity.  Indeed, 
the  gallantry  of  the  faithful  Sikh  and  Poorbeah  Infantry  at  Lucknow 
is  too  well  known  to  need  more  than  a  passing  tribute. 

In  the  numerous  encounters  in  which  Sir  Colin's  army  was 
engaged,  thousands  of  wild  Sikh  horse  and  steady  Sikh  infantry  bore 
a  distinguished  part. 

Noteworthy  amidst  all  these  was  the  rush  of  the  93rd  Highlanders 
and  the  4th  Punjabis,  when  the  Sikanderbagh  was  carried  by  assault. 
Foremost  through  the  breach  sprang  a  Sikh  native  officer,  eager  for 
glory,  only  to  meet  his  death  at  the  hands  of  his  countrymen  of  the 
revolted  Ludhiana  Regiment.  Amidst  fierce  yells  oijai  Khalsa  jee^ 

\  "Vhtory  to  the  Khalsa. '» 

The  Record  of  the  Sikhs.  229 

the  same  r^;iments  together  stormed  the  Begam  Kothi,  one  of  the 
finest  achievements  of  the  war,  and  the  Sikhs  of  this  corps  again 
attracted  notice  at  the  battle  of  Cawnpore^  when  Sir  Colin  Campbell 
was  forced  to  fall  back  on  that  town. 

Returning  to  the  Punjab  we  learn  that,  in  the  meanwhile^  the  Sikh 
sepoys  at  Multan  had  helped  to  suppress  the  revolt  of  the  62nd  and 
69th  Native  Infantry,  and  the  murder  of  a  few  of  their  brethren  by 
these  Mahomedans  reviving  the  hereditary  religious  animosity,  the 
Sikhs  had  taken  a  terrible  revenge  and  nearly  destroyed  the  two 
regiments.  But,  on  the  other  hand,  in  July  1858,  when  the  British 
cause  was  secured,  a  large  number  of  Sikhs  of  the  i8th  Native 
InfiEuitry  mutinied,  and  would  have  murdered  their  officers  had  not 
the  scheme  been  nipped  in  the  bud  by  the  arrest  of  the  ringleaders. 

Whilst  war  was  raging  in  all  its  fury  around  Delhi  and  Lucknow, 
the  troops  of  many  of  the  native  states  revolted,  and  in  these  troops 
were  numerous  Sikhs.  Sindhia  for  a  time  seemed  to  hold  the  fate  of 
India  in  his  hands.  For  whilst  Delhi  and  Lucknow  were  held  by 
the  rebels,  the  position  of  Gwalior  was  so  central  with  these  two 
cities  as  its  wings,  and  the  name  and  prestige  of  Sindhia  so  powerful 
among  the  Mahrattas,  that  one  whisper  of  encouragement  from  him 
would  have  inflamed  all  Central  India.  But  by  bribes  and  threats, 
by  cajolery  and  advice,  at  the  risk  of  his  throne  and  of  his  life,  he 
kept  his  mutinous  army  in  hand  until  the  British  power  was  again 
established  and  the  mischief  it  could  do  comparatively  small.  At 
Indore  Holkar's  troops  rose  ag^unst  their  Prince,  and,  though  a  few 
Sikh  Sowars  of  the  Bhopal  contingent  charged  with  Colonel  Travers 
through  the  mutinous  ranks,  the  remaining  Sikhs  imitated  the  little 
Bhils  in  refusing  either  to  fight  under  or  to  turn  their  arms  against 
their  officers.  At  the  time  of  the  terrible  massacre  at  Jhansi  the 
1 2th  Native  Infantry  were  stationed  within  that  state,  and  of  this 
r^;iment  some  Sikhs  were  the  first  to  mutiny  and  to  fire  at  their 

A  number  of  Sikhs  served  in  the  Central  India  Field  Force  and 
acted  well,  not  only  throughout  the  arduous  campaign  in  which  Sir 
Henry  Rose  chased  Tantia  Topi  from  one  Mahratta  or  Rajput  state 
to  another,  but  until  the  mutiny  was  finally  stamped  out,  and  the 
reign  of  the  Kumpani  Bahadur  at  an  end. 

Before  passing  on  to  the  next  campaign  it  may  be  pointed  out 
that,  owing  to  the  tendency  of  several  writers  to  class  nearly  all 
Punjabi  soldiers  as  Sikhs,  the  latter  have  received  rather  more  than 
their  share  of  the  credit  due  to  those  sepoys  who  fought  on  our  side 
during  the  years  1857  and  1858.    Presumably  because  the  Sikhs  had 

230  The  Gentleman's  Magazine. 

been  the  ruling  race  in  the  Punjab,  and  formed  the  backbone  of  the 
80,000  troops  which  that  province  supplied  against  the  rebels. 
General  Sir  James  Hope  Grant,  in  "  Incidents  of  the  Sepoy  War,** 
speaks  of  the  march  of  "  The  Sikh  Guides  "  and  of  Coke's  Rifles  and 
other  Punjab  Infantry  as  though  Pathans,  Hill  Rajputs,  and  Punjabi 
Mussulmans  were  not  represented  therein.  Before  writing  down  all 
these  Punjabi  sepoys  as  Sikhs  we  must  remember  that  the  adherents 
of  that  sect  never  formed  more  than  ten  per  cent,  of  the  population, 
and  that  even  the  battalions  designated  "Sikh"  as  distinct  from 
"  Punjab  *'  infantry  have  not  been  composed  entirely  of  Sikhs. 

Analysing  for  example  the  4th  Sikhs  during  the  Burmese  war 
of  1852,  we  find  the  regiment  composed  as  follows: — Sikhs  500, 
Pathans  150,  Punjabi  Mahomedans  100,  Gurkhas  and  Hindustanis 
150.  The  Gurkha  regiments  alone  have  had  the  distinction  of  con- 
taining but  one  class  of  men  in  their  ranks.  Neither  must  we  delude 
ourselves  with  the  idea  that  the  majority  of  Sikhs  remained  loyal 
from  love  of  the  English.  That  they  and  all  Punjabis  had  acquired 
a  profound  respect  for  British  courage  and  justice  cannot  be  doubted, 
but  in  spite  of  the  admiration  accorded  to  the  Lawrences  and  other 
administrators — amounting  in  the  Bannu  and  Hazara  countries  to 
positive  adoration  of  Nicholson  and  Abbott — many  other  considera- 
tions entered  into  their  calculation.  Amongst  these  were  the  Sikh 
hatred  of  the  Mahomedan  and  contempt  of  the  Hindu,  Mussulman 
and  Hindu  antagonism,  and  the  love  of  fighting  and  of  looting  which 
is  inherent  in  both  Sikhs  and  Pathans. 

Mr.  G.  O.  Trevelyan,  in  "  Cawnpore,"  holds  with  considerable 
truth  that  *'  we  are  regarded  by  the  natives  of  Hindustan  as  a  species 
of  quaint  and  somewhat  objectionable  demons,  with  a  rare  aptitude 
for  fighting  and  administration.  Foul  and  degraded  in  our  habits 
.  .  .  not  altogether  malevolent,  but  entirely  wayward;  a  race 
of  demi-devils — not  wholly  bad,  yet  far  from  perfectly  good,  who 
have  been  settled  down  in  the  country  by  the  will  of  fate." 

Two  years  after  the  conclusion  of  the  great  mutiny  (which  Sir 
Lepel  Griffin  describes  as  "  perhaps  the  most  fortunate  occurrence 
that  ever  took  place  in  India "),  a  French  and  English  expedition 
was  sent  to  the  North  of  China,  and  although  the  calibre  of  the 
enemy  was  not  equal  to  that  of  their  hereditary  foes,  the  Sikhs  of 
the  force  had  occasional  chances  of  proving  their  value.  The 
Ludhiana  Sikh  regiment  (saved  from  extinction  by  the  faithful  few  and 
now  entitled  the  15th  Bengal  Native  Infantry)  and  the  Sikhs  of  the 
Punjab  Infantry  fought  for  the  first  and  last  time  by  the  side  of  con- 
tinental troops,  and  together  repelled  the  attacks  which  the  Tartars 

The  Record  of  the  Sikhs.  231 

now  and  again  made  with  great  courage.  This  courage  was  by  no 
means  consistent,  for  on  one  occasion  a  sowar  of  Probyn's  Sikhs  was 
heard  to  compare  the  Chinese  to  wild  fowl,  "  very  difficult  to  over- 
take and  harmless  when  caught." 

The  year  1864  was  marked  by  the  outbreak  of  a  religious  war, 
on  a  fairly  large  scale,  on  the  Swat  Frontier.  This  was  to  some 
extent  a  sequel  to  the  Sepoy  Revolt,  and  is  known  as  the  Umbeyla 
Campaign.  The  Firozpur  Sikhs  (the  14th),  the  renowned  23rd 
Pioneers,  the  nth  Bengal  Lancers,  and  many  Sikhs  of  the  Punjab 
Native  Infantry  regiments  and  of  the  Guides  again  proved  what  a  valu- 
able acqubition  to  the  fighting  strength  of  the  Indian  Army  our  late 
enemies  had  become.  The  campaign  proved  a  much  more  arduous 
undertaking  than  the  Government  had  expected,  the  enemy  defending 
their  villages  and  attacking  the  invaders  with  great  daring  and  skill. 
The  Sikhs  soon  found  that  the  tribesmen  were  much  more  formidable 
antagonists  on  their  native  hill-sides  than  on  the  plains ;  and  the 
hillmen  on  their  part,  when  fleeing  from  a  successfiil  counterstalk 
by  Gurkha  or  Pathan  sepoys,  would  jokingly  shout  to  these  to  go 
back  and  send  out  the  Sikhs  and  the  Europeans,  as  they  made  better 

When  war  broke  out  in  1867  with  Abyssinia,  Punjabi 
Infantry  and  Cavalry  were  sent  with  the  Bombay  regiments  to  the 
land  of  Prester  John.  The  loth  Bengal  Lancers  (the  Duke  of 
Cambridge's  own)  added  to  the  reputation  for  dash  which  they  had 
acquired  as  Hodson's  Horse,  and  the  12th  Bengal  Cavalry  (formerly 
2nd  Sikhs)  gained  laurels  for  the  first  time.  That  splendid  and  well- 
known  regiment,  the  23rd  Pimjab  Pioneers,  was  particularly  in 
evidence,  and  the  men  of  this  corps  were  selected  as  chums  by  the 
naval  brigade,  and,  though  unable  to  speak  one  to  another,  the 
friendship  and  camaraderie  between  the  blue-jackets  and  the  Muzbi 
Sikhs'  was  most  marked. 

Right  thankfiil  were  our  Sikh  regiments  for  the  chance  offered  by 
the  Afghan  Wars  of  1878-80,  of  paying  back  old  scores.  A  very 
large  niunber  of  Sikhs,  in  many  Pimjab  regiments,  went  forth  to  war, 
and  of  these  perhaps  the  3rd  Sikhs  and  the  23rd  Pioneers  returned 
with  the  most  glorious  records. 

When  the  Kuram  Field  Force  won  the  first  brilliant  success  of 
the  war,  the  2nd  and  sth  Punjab  Native  Infantry  helped  to  capture 
the  Spingawi  and  Peiwar  Kotals.'    The  Sikh  companies  of  the  29th 

'  Forty-one  Years  in  India, 

*  The  Muzbislare  drawn  from  a  lower  class  and  caste. 

'  Xotal— the  principal  hill  conunanding  a  pass. 

232  Th$  Gentleman's  Magazine. 

immediately  closed  up  on  the  firing  of  the  treacherous  shots  from  the 
Pathan  companies,  and  afterwards  did  all  they  could  to  wipe  out  the 
stain.  The  3rd  Sikhs  under  Colonel  Money  and  the  21st  Punjabis 
gallantly  stormed  the  Shutargardan ;  and,  left  behind  to  hold  the 
crest,  met  attacks  by  Ghilzais  many  thousands  strong,  until  the  time 
came  to  take  the  offensive ;  then  they  scattered  their  assailants  to 
the  winds. 

In  the  desperate  fighting  at  Charasia  the  23rd  Pioneers  and  the 
5th  Punjabis  supported  the  5th  Gurkhas  and  72nd  Highlanders  when 
storming  the  heights,  and  when  Roberts's  victorious  army  entered 
Kabul  the  Sikhs  had  the  satisfaction  of  patrolling  the  capital  of  their 
hereditary  foes.  The  2nd  Punjab  Cavalry,  the  2nd  Sikhs,  and  the 
Bengal  Native  Infantry  had  their  fill  of  fighting  with  Sir  Donald 
Stewart's  division,  especially  at  Ahmed  Khel,  where  the  19th  Bengal 
Lancers  were  thrown  into  confusion  by  the  charge  of  between  three 
and  four  thousand  Ghazis.  The  madmen  penetrated  to  within  a  few 
yards  of  the  staff,  there  to  be  arrested  by  the  3rd  Gurkhas,  who, 
forming  rallying  squares,  mowed  the  Ghazis  down.  The  Sikh  Horse 
arriving  on  the  scene,  repeatedly  charged  the  fanatics  and  finally 
crushed  them,  but  not  until  they  had  lost  over  2,000  men.  To  the 
steadiness  of  the  2nd  Sikhs  in  this  engagement  the  completeness  of 
the  victory  was  also  largely  due.  The  3rd  Cavalry,  the  2nd,  3rd, 
and  15th  Sikh  Infantry,  the  23rd  Pioneers,  with  other  Punjabi  regi- 
ments, as  well  as  Sikh  gunners  of  the  mountain  batteries  took  part  in 
the  great  march,  and  at  its  close  the  2nd  and  3rd  Sikhs  again  came 
to  the  front  at  the  battle  of  Kandahar. 

The  13th  Bengal  Lancers  (4th  Sikh  Cavalry)  helped  to  gain  the 
victories  of  Kassassin  and  Tel-el-Kebir  in  September  1882.  In 
March  1885  ^^  '5^^  Sikhs  and  9th  Lancers  (Hodson's  Horse) 
landed  at  Suakim,  and  a  few  days  later  successfully  encountered 
Fuzzy  at  Hasheen. 

When  shortly  afterwards  the  Arabs,  profiting  by  the  British 
disregard  of  all  principles  of  warfare,  surprised  McNeill's  unprepared 
zerebas,  the  Ludhianas  fought  as  staunchly  as  their  British  comrades 
in  that  grand  defence.  Mr.  James  Grant,  in  his  history  of  the  Soudan 
campaign,  evidently  considers  that  the  reputation  of  the  Berkshire? 
and  of  the  two  companies  of  marines  can  be  enhanced  by  disparage- 
ment of  the  steadiness  of  the  isth.  He  is  in  error;  their  courage 
was  already  beyond  all  praise ;  why  not  '*  let  the  dark  face  have  hi; 
due"?  Although  the  Sikhs  were  at  a  disadvantage,  for  the  lines  of 
fencing  of  the  Indian  zereba  were  unfinished  and  the  baggage  animals 
stampeded  upon  them,  they  stood  their  ground  nobly  and  even 

The  Record  of  the  Sikhs.  233, 

charged  the  myriad  enemy  with  the  bayonet  The  17th  Bengal 
Native  Infantry  (the  loyal  Poorbeahs)  got  a  little  out  of  hand  and 
commenced  firing  wildly,  but  this  in  no  way  disturbed  the  equanimity 
of  the  Ludhianas. 

In  the  difficult  guerilla  warfare  which  followed  the  deposition  of 
King  Theebaw,  many  Sikhs  took  a  hand,  and  have,  up  to  the  present 
day,  filled  the  position  of  military  police  in  Burma  with  remarkable 
success,  lliis  duty  they  have  also  performed  in  various  possessions 
from  Hong  Kong  to  Central  Africa,  where  Sir  H.  H.  Johnstone 
speaks  in  terms  of  the  highest  praise  of  the  men  of  the  23rd  and 
32nd  Pioneers.  Sikhs  have  also  fought — invariably  with  credit-^ 
in  the  numerous  frontier  wars  of  recent  years.  Four  of  these  expedi* 
tions  to  punish  and  prevent  raiding  may  be  mentioned  as  occurring 
in  the  year  1891.  These  were  the  Zhob  expedition,  under  Sir 
George  White,  in  the  direction  of  the  Kandahar  province;  the 
campaign  under  Sir  William  Lockhart  to  the  Miranzai  valley,  south- 
west of  Peshawur ;  the  second  Black  Mountain  expedition,  to  the 
north-east  of  Peshawur;  and  the  important  campaign  against  the 
Hunzas  in  the  north  of  Kashmir.  This  last  was  pre-eminently  a 
Gurkha  triumph,  but  the  few  Sikh  gunners  did  their  share.  No 
exploits  of  unusual  brilliancy  are  recorded  during  the  Waziristan 
campaign,  but  the  story  of  the  defence  and  relief  of  Chitral  Fort 
abounds  with  them.  The  14th  Sikhs  and  the  32nd  Pioneers  shared 
in  the  honours  of  the  fine  march  of  Colonel  Kelly's  column.  With 
the  main  body  were  the  4th  and  15th  Sikhs.  At  Malakand  the  two 
Foments  and  the  Guides  carried  exceptionally  strong  positions  in  the 
most  spirited  manner,  and  the  Swatis  being  unused  to  cavalry,  the 
nth  Sikh  Lancers  instilled  into  their  minds  a  wholesome  respect  for 
that  arm.  The  incident  which  appeals  most  to  us,  however,  is  the 
heroic  sortie  of  Lieutenant  Harley  and  his  forty  Sikhs.  The  troops 
defending  the  fort  consisted  of  one  hundred  of  the  14th  Sikhs  and 
three  hundred  Kashmir  Infantry.  The  native  officer  of  the  Sikhs, 
by  the  way,  had  taken  part  in  the  defence  of  McNeill's  zereba.  On 
April  16  it  was  found  that  a  mine  had  been  successfully  brought  to 
within  a  few  yards  of  the  fort. 

Coimtermining  being  impossible,  Harley  made  a  sortie  with  his 
handful  of  men,  cleared  the  enemy  from  the  summer-house,  whence 
the  operations  had  been  directed,  and  in  the  face  of  the  Chitrali  and 
Pathan  army,  destroyed  the  mine  and  returned  to  the  fort,  though 
not  without  suffering  very  heavy  loss. 

The  details  of  the  campaign  of  1897  will  be  fresh  in  the  minds  of 
most  readers,  and  more  interest  has  been  taken  in,  and  greater  tribute 

334  ^^  Gentleman  s  Magazine. 

paid  to  the  native  soldiers  than  on  any  previous  occasion.  Though 
not  expected  to  prove  quite  so  useful  as  the  GuiUias  on  the  hill- 
sides, there  has  been  no  room  for  doubt  with  r^ard  to  their 

From  the  first  shot  fired  at  Maizar,  where  two  companies  of  the 
I  St  Sikhs  covered  nine  miles  in  ninety  minutes  in  order  to  rescue 
Colonel  Bunny's  handful  from  the  treachery  of  the  Tochi  tribesmen 
—and  where,  even  at  this  early  stage,  many  sepoys  of  the  xst  Sikhs  and 
xst  Punjab  Native  Infantry  were  mentioned  in  the  despatches  for 
conspicuous  gallantry — down  to  the  latest  operations  of  Sir  William 
Lockhart  in  the  Tirah  country,  the  record  is  consistent  We  read  of 
such  old  friends  as  the  45th  Sikhs,  led  by  another  Lieutenant  Rattray 
at  Chakdara,  or  of  less-known  regiments,  such  as  the  35th  and  36th 
Sikhs,  behaving  at  Fort  Cavagnari  and  elsewhere  as  sturdily  as  any 
of  the  regiments  of  the  mutiny. 

Sir  Lepel  Griffin  has  placed  on  record  his  conviction  that  the  Sikhs 
form  the  backbone  of  the  Indian  army,  for  the  following  reasons. 
Gurkhas,  though  at  least  equally  valuable  as  infantry,  are  by  no 
means  so  plentiful,  and  are  an  independent  race.  Pathans  are  apt  to 
become  homesick,  and  dislike  to  be  stationed  at  any  great  distance 
from  their  native  land.  Difficulty  is  experienced  in  enlisting  pure 
Rajputs  in  any  number.  But  the  Sikh  is  always  ready  to  enlist  and 
to  undertake  duty  across  the  "  Black  Water,"  even  should  that  duty 
be  to  fight  an  epidemic  in  Hong  Kong,  or  to  chase  Arab  slave  dealers 
in  Central  Africa,  if  only  he  be  well  paid  (for  the  Sikh  has  several 
Scottish  qualities).  He  is  equally  good  as  horse  or  foot,  at  defence 
or  in  attack ;  he  appreciates  the  value  of  discipline  and  is  devoted  to 
his  duty. 



''the  justice   of  peace  his 


THE  above  is  the  quaint  title  of  a  little  volume  bound  in  very 
well-worn  calf,  which  I  happened  to  light  upon  the  other  day, 
and  found  so  full  of  interest  that  it  seems  selfish  not  to  introduce  it 
to  others.  It  was  printed  in  the  Savoy  in  the  year  1723,  and  must 
then  have  been  quite  up-to-date.  Its  sub-title  is  "  A  summary  of 
all  the  Acts  of  Parliament,  whereby  one,  two  or  more  Justices  of  the 
Peace,  are  authorized  to  act,  not  only  in  but  out  of  the  sessions  of 
Peace."  It  was  begun  by  one  "Samuel  Blackerby,  late  of  Gray's  Inn, 
Esq.,"  and  finished  by  Nathaniel  Blackerby. 

It  has  all  the  appearance  of  being  intended  to  slip  naturally  into 
the  Justice  of  the  Peace's  pocket,  and  its  alphabetical  arrangement 
must  have  been  very  handy  for  the  magistrate's  clerk  in  nice 
dilemmas.  The  little  book,  so  harmless  in  appearance,  may  well 
have  been  the  arbiter  of  many  destinies,  and  the  rigid  judge  of  many 
a  first  offence,  orchard  robbing,  poaching,  and  such-like ;  and  the 
limits  of  its  power  were  perhaps  familiar  enough  a  hundred  years  ago 
to  the  hardened  offender. 

Let  us  turn  over  some  of  its  pages.  Some  of  the  provisions  we 
find  in  them  are  sufficiently  surprising,  even  if  they  were  never 
enforced,  and  sometimes  we  rub  our  eyes  at  the  intolerance,  pig- 
headedness,  and  actual  cruelty  which  defaced  them,  and  perhaps 
defaces  still,  our  Statute  Book ;  but  here  and  there  we  find  material 
for  a  smile,  or  even  a  laugh,  hidden  away  among  Offences  and 

It  is  well  in  these  days  of  scouring  the  country  upon  the  wheel  to 
be  acquainted  with  the  legal  definition  of  *'  rogue,"  and  to  be  advised 
at  what  point  roguery  becomes  "  incorrigible  " ;  for  mere  "  rogues  " 
are  in  danger  of  being  apprehended  by  the  "  Constable,  or  other 
Officer,  Inhabitant  or  any  other  there  being,"  and  having  been  con- 
veyed first  to  the  presence  of  a  magistrate,  "  may  be  punished  b^ 
h^g  whifd  till  bloody^  &*Ci  ut  infra!*    "  Incorrigibleness  "  in  tt 

236  The  Gentlemafis  Magazine. 

eyes  of  the  all-powerful  Justice  requires  the  rogue  to  be  committed  to 
the  house  of  correction,  or  county  gaol,  to  hard  labour  till  the  quarter 
sessions.  ''And  Rogues,  &c.,  refusing  to  be  examined,  or  on 
Examination  giving  a  false  Account  of  themselves,  their  Birth,  last 
Settlement,  &c.,  are  to  be  deemed  incorrigible  Rogues^  of  which  the 
Justice  is  to  inform  them,  during  Examination."  Let  us,  however,  be 
quite  sure  of  the  definition  of  a  rogue,  lest  even  to-day  we  fall  un- 
awares into  the  tender  mercies  of  Dogberry  and  Verges.  They  are 
catalogued  as  follows  : — "Patent-Gatherers,  or  Collectors  for  Prisons 
or  Gaols,  wandring  for  that  purpose ;  Fencers,  Bearwards,  Common 
Players  of  Interludes,  Minstrels,  Jugglers,  though  not  wandring  \ 
Gypsies  or  Egyptians,  or  wandring  in  their  Habit  or  Form;  Pretenders 
to  Physiognomy,  or  Palmistry,  or  like  crafty  Science,  or  Fortune- 
telling,  or  like  phantastical  Imaginations ;  Users  of  any  subtile  craft, 
or  unlawful  Games  or  Plays  .  .  ."  [Stat  12  Anne,  sess.  2,  c.  23, 
sect.  I.]  The  bicycle  and  camera  we  observe  with  gratitude  are  not 
actually  mentioned,  but  it  is  surely  open  to  question  whether  they 
would  not  be  naturally  included,  if  not  under  the  "  crafty  science," 
yet  in  the  roll  of  "subtile  crafts  or  unlawful  Games  or  Plays  "  for  be 
it  noted  under  "Games  not  lawful,"  that  "Dice,  Tables,  Cards, 
Bowls,  Coits,  Gates,  Logats,  Shove-groat,  Tennis,  Casting  the  Stone, 
and  Football,"  are  all  included  under  one  common  ban,  and  all  liable 
to  the  penalty  of  "Six  shillings  and  eight  Pence  a  time"  [Stat 
33  Hen.  VIII.  c  2,  sect  12],  a  sum  that  is  increased  to  twenty 
shillings  if  you  are  an  artificer  or  an  apprentice  (except  at  Christmas 
time,  when  the  rigour  of  the  law  was  slackened),  and  reaches  the  sum 
of  forty  shillings  if  you  yourself  "  Keep  a  House  of  Unlawful  Games.** 
But  alas  for  Hamlet,  and  the  emblems  of  poor  mortality  in  the  grave- 
yard— "to  play  at  logats"  with  anything  was  ill^al  in  England,  if  not 
in  Denmark ;  and  alas  for  our  hostesses  at  garden-parties  (forty  shillings 
a  time),  and  alas  for  the  cult  of  football,  or  indeed  any  game  with  a 
ball  in  it,  and  alas  for  the  homely  rubber,  and  for  votaries  of  Shove- 
groat  and  Gates,  if  they  have  any  modem  descendants.  All  these 
and  the  whole  athletic  system  are  built  like  a  giddy  tower  upon 
shifting  ground — for  they  all  fall  under  Stat  33  Hen.  VIII.  c  2, 
sect  12. 

"  Reading  the  Riot  Act"  is  a  familiar  phrase,  but  it  was  not  the 
Act  itself  that  justices  were  required  to  read  to  riotous  and  tumultuous 
assemblies  within  their  jurisdiction,  but  a  proclamation  directing  their 
attention  to  it  Twelve  persons  it  seems  may  be  considered  under 
such  circumstances  enough  to  constitute  a  riotous  assembly,  "and  if 
'^ey  continue  together  an  hour  after,  'tis  Felony  without  Cleigy." 

"  The  Justice  of  Peace  his  Companion''      237 

(Stat  I  Geo.  I  c  5,  sect  i.)    The  form  of  the  proclamation  is  as 
follows : — 

"  Our  Sovereign  Lord  the  King  chargeth  and  commandeth  all 
persons,  being  assembled,  immediately  to  disperse  themselves,  and 
peaceably  to  depart  to  their  Habitations,  or  to  their  lawful  business, 
upon  the  Pains  contained  in  the  Act  made  in  the  First  Year  of  King 
George  for  preventing  Tumults  and  Riotous  Assemblies. 

"  God  save  the  King." 

The  attempts  of  Elizabethan  legislation  to  fix  wages  by 
statute  and  to  secure  greater  fixity  of  labour  are  well  known, 
but  perhaps  few  of  us  realise  their  extreme  rigour.  A  servant 
refiising  to  work  for  statute  wages,  or  leaving  his  work  without  giving 
a  quarter's  warning,  is  naturally  open  to  be  brought  before  a 
magistrate,  and  "  bound  over  to  the  Sessions."  And  a  master  putting 
away  his  servant  without  a  quarter's  warning  may  forfeit  forty 
shillings.  The  list  of  trades  to  which  these  regulations  are  applicable 
is  interesting.  They  are  the  following : — "Clothiers,  woUen-weavers, 
tuckers,  fiillers,  clothworkers,  sheermen,  dyers,  hosiers,  taylors,  shoe- 
makers, tanners,  pewterers,  bakers,  brewers,  glovers,  cutlers,  smiths, 
farriers,  curriers,  sadlers,  spurriers,  turners,  cappers,  hat  or  felt  makers, 
fletchers,  arrowhead  makers,  butchers,  cooks,  and  millers."  I  suppose 
a  list  like  this,  drawn  up  for  legal  use,  fairly  well  covers  the 
commercial  middle  class  life  of  the  days  of  Elizabeth. 

A  labourer  wishing  to  obtain  work  away  from  home  had  to  carry 
withhima  testimonial  signed  bya  Justice  of  the  Peace,  stating  that  there 
was  not  sufiSdent  work  in  the  place  where  he  dwelt,  "that  he  might  get 
work  in  other  Shires  in  the  Time  of  Harvest,"  and  the  Justice  is 
entitled  to  a  honorarium  of  one  penny  for  his  signature  (stat  5  Eliz. 
c  4,  sect  33).  A  servant  who  obtains  a  second  situation  without 
previously  securing  such  a  testimonial  is  "  to  be  imprisoned  till  he 
procure  one :  if  he  procure  one  not  in  twenty  days,  to  be  whip'd  as 
a  vagabond"  (/.^.  it  may  be  supposed  as  above  "until  bloody  "),  and 
a  master  engaging  such  a  servant  should  forfeit  five  pounds. 

L^;islation  of  the  same  date,  "the  spacious  days  of  great  Eliza- 
beth," on  the  provision  of  dwellings  for  the  poor  theoretically  and 
upon  paper  reaches  a  very  high  level.  Statute  31  makes  it  an 
offence  to  erect  a  cottage  without  four  acres  of  freehold  that  is  liable 
to  a  penalty  of  "ten  pounds  to  the  Queen,"  and  in  default  of 
remedjring  it  a  further  penalty  of  forty  shillings  a  month  is  to  be 
imposed.  A  visionary  "three  acres  and  a  cow"  positively  pales 
before  this  actual  enactment  Further,  the  owner  or  occupier  of  a 
cottage,  suffering  any  more  families  than  one  to  dwell  there,  forfeits 

238  The  Gentlemafis  Magazine. 

ten  shillings  a  month  to  the  Lord  of  the  Leet.  But  alas  !  in  a  note 
our  companion  practically,  and  with  a  certain  undercurrent  of 
unconscious  humour,  fines  down  the  two  generous  ideals  of  those 
*'  spacious ''  days ;  his  gloss  reminds  the  budding  J.P.,  who  might 
think  that  he  was  called  to  administer  justice  in  Utopia  itself  that 
"31  Eliz.  c.  7  extends  not  to  cottages  in  cities,  boroughs,  or  market- 
towns  {sic)  or  provided  for  labourers  in  mines  or  quarries,  within  one 
mile  of  them ;  or  for  seafaring  men  in  a  mile  of  the  sea,  or  a 
navigable  river ;  or  for  keeper,  warrener,  shepherd,  or  herdsman ;  or 
an  impotent  person ;  or  to  cottages  which  by  order  of  Justices  of 
Assize,  or  Justices  of  Peace  in  Sessions,  shall  be  decreed  to  continue 
for  habitation."  When  those  various  categories  are  dissevered  from 
the  mass  of  cottage-dwellers  it  will  be  seen  that  very  few  remain  (to 
say  nothing  of  the  "  cottages  in  cities,  boroughs,  or  market  towns  ") 
to  claim  the  luxury  of  "  four  acres  of  freehold "  as  granted  in  the 
sixteenth  century. 

How  did  our  forefathers  legislate  with  regard  to  the  observance 
of  Sunday  ?  "  i  Car.  I."  can  scarcely  be  considered  a  Puritan 
enactment,  and  it  provides  "a  penalty  of  three  shillings  and  four 
pence  for  the  poor,  or  in  default  to  sit  in  the  stocks  three  hours  "  for 
all  persons  '*  being  present  at  bear-baitings,  bull-baitings,  interludes, 
common  plays,  and  any  other  unlawful  pastimes  on  the  Lord's  Day." 
A  statute  two  years  later  fixes  twenty  shillings  as  the  penalty  for 
"  carriers,  waggoners,  carmen,  or  wainmen  travelling  on  the  Lord's 
Day  about  their  respective  business."  The  lawyers  of  the  Restoration 
again  in  the  twenty-ninth  year  of  Charles  IL  made  it  penal  for 
persons  over  fourteen  years  of  age  to  do  ''any  worldly  labour  or 
business  on  the  Lord's  Day, works  of  charity  and  necessity  excepted"; 
and  persons  "  publicly  crying  or  exposing  to  sale  any  wares,  except 
milk,"  were  liable  to  have  their  goods  seized  and  sold  for  the  benefit 
of  the  poor.  The  same  statute  also  forbade  the  use  of  a  boat  or 
wherry  on  the  Lord's  Day, "  except  allowed  by  a  Justice." 

The  interesting  statutes  about  "  Burying  in  WoUen "  (woollen) 
belong  to  the  next  year  (30  Car.  IL).  It  was  required  that  an 
affidavit  should  be  presented  within  eight  days  of  the  funeral  to  a 
Justice  of  the  Peace,  or  failing  that  to  the  minister,  "that  the  person 
was  buried  in  woUen."  The  penalty  is  rather  enigmatically  stated— 
"  Five  pounds  to  be  levied  by  Distress,  and  sale  of  the  Party's  goods ; 
if  he  has  none,  of  the  Person  where  the  Party  died,  or  of  any  other  who 
put  the  Party  into  the  Coffin  " — but  none  the  less  it  was  a  reality. 

Let  us  note  one  or  two  points  which  bear  on  the  everyday  life  of 
the  people.    First,  the  lighting  of  the  streets.     This  was  in  great 

*•  The  Justice  of  Peace  his  Companion.''      239 

measure  dependent  on  those  whose  houses  abutted  upon  the  street 
itself,  who  were  required  by  an  enactment  of  the  second  year  of 
William  and  Mary  "  to  hang  out  lights  every  night  from  the  time  it 
is  dark,  till  12  at  night,  from  Michaelmas  to  Lady-Day,  or  to  pay  to 
the  Lamps  " ;  the  penalty  for  not  so  doing  was  two  shillings  for  each 

Again,  there  were  such  things  as  parochial  libraries  in  the  reign 
of  Queen  Anne,  and  then,  as  now,  borrowers  of  books  had  a 
professional  standard  only  of  honesty  (books  were  more  valuable 
then),  and  it  was  possible  for  the  curators  of  such  institutions  to  obtain 
a  special  search-warrant  from  a  justice  for  use  in  such  cases. 

The  highwayman,  of  course,  in  grim  reality  and  without  the 
aureole  of  romance.  Black  Bess  and  all,  was  a  "  common  object  of 
the  country"  150  years  ago,  and  it  was  the  duty  of  all  good  subjects 
to  try  to  cope  with  him.  If  you  attempted  to  apprehend  such  a 
desperado  and  were  killed  in  the  attempt,  your  executors  could  claim 
£40  from  the  sheriff.  This  indemnity  was  scarcely  enough  to 
kindle  a  burning  passion  in  the  English  mind  for  the  extinction  of 
the  pest. 

From  the  Restoration  onwards  the  provision  of  "  carriages  for 
the  King  for  ready  money  tendered  "  has  been  enacted  more  than 
once.  It  is  the  duty  of  the  magistrate,  upon  notice  by  warrant  from 
the  Lord  High  Admiral  or  some  of  his  subordinates,  to  issue 
warrants  to  places  "  not  twelve  miles  distant  from  the  place  of  land- 
ing, to  send  sufficient  carriages  at  is,  a  mile  for  every  Tun  of  Timber, 
and  8^.  a  mile  for  all  other  Provisions." 

King  George  I.  should  be  received  into  the  Pantheon  of  Smokers 
(where  Sir  Walter  Raleigh,  Kingsley,  and  Tennyson  are  enshrined), 
for  the  legislation  of  his  reign  protects  the  purity  of  tobacco  most 
stringently.  The  Justice  is  directed  to  grant  special  warranty  ''  to 
search  for  and  seize  Walnut-tree  leaves.  Hop-leaves,  &c.,  cut,  mixed, 
or  manufactured  to  resemUe  Tobacco,  and  the  Engines,  &c.,"  and  to 
secure  such  dangerous  rubbish  at  the  King's  cost  till  quarter  sessions, 
when  it  is  to  be  "openly  burnt  or  destroyed  at  the  King's  charge." 
The  servants  and  labourers  employed  in  the  nefarious  business  are  to 
be  committed  to  the  common  gaol  with  hard  labour  for  a  period  not 
exceeding  six  months. 

Several  pages  of  our  little  volume  are  devoted  to  statutes  con- 
nected with  the  tanning  industry.  It  would  be  manifestly 
presumptuous  for  mere  laymen  to  attempt  to  penetrate  into  the 
sacred  secrets  of  the  craft  to  which  we  owe  our  shoe  leather,  for  it 
is  deservedly  called  "the  Mystery  of  a  Tanner  "  in  a  way  significant 

240  The  Gentlemafis  Magazine. 

enough  to  banish  the  profane.  But  yet  I  commend  to  your  sympathy 
the  tanner  condemned  to  stand  upon  the  pillory  three  days  in  the 
next  market  for  "  hastening  the  Tanning  of  his  Leather  by  giving  it 
unkind  Heats  by  hot  Wooze  (whatever  that  may  be)  or  otherwise." 
(i  Jac  I.  c.  22,  sect.  17.) 

Those  who  know  the  by-ways  of  the  City  of  London  will  be 
interested  to  see  a  list  of  the  remains  of  the  ancient  "  Liberties," 
where  for  a  very  long  time  the  law  had  scarcely  any  footing  at  all. 
Anyone  opposing  the  execution  of  a  process  in  those  nests  of  infamy 
were  to  be  committed  to  gaol,  "  without  Bail  or  Mainprize."  The 
places  catalogued  were  these: — "White-Fryers,  Savoy,  Salisbury 
Court,  Ram  Alley,  Mitre  Court,  Fuller's  Rents,  Baldwyn's  Gardens, 
Mountague  Close,  the  Minories,  Mint,  Chink,  or  Deadman's  Place." 
Some  of  these  parts  have  still  an  ugly  sound,  but  for  the  most  part 
little  "resistance  to  process"  is  expected  from  their  inhabitants. 

Below  ^^ Process^*  my  eye  catches  ^^ Prophecies^  and  I  read  that 
"  the  publisher  or  setter  forth  of  any  fantastical  or  false  Prophecy, 
with  an  attempt  to  raise  sedition,"  was,  under  Elizabeth,  to  be  sub- 
jected to  a  penalty  of  ^10  and  one  year's  imprisonment,  and  for  a 
second  offence  to  forfeit  all  his  goods  and  to  be  imprisoned  for  life. 
The  prosecution  was  to  be  within  six  months.  This  seems  to  provide 
but  scant  time  to  prove  whether  the  fantastical  prophecy  be  true  or 
false  after  all. 

The  well-known  laws  as  to  attendance  at  church,  dating  from  the 
reign  of  Queen  Elizabeth,  are  of  course  most  searching  and  stringent, 
but  they  are  all,  we  remember,  robbed  of  their  sting  by  the  legislation 
of  I  William  and  Mary,  by  which  Protestant  Dissenters  were  declared 
to  be  exempted  from  their  penalties.  Previously,  persons  not  re- 
pairing to  church  forfeited  twelve  pence  for  the  poor,  and  by  an 
earlier  statute  "  persons  above  sixteen,  absenting  from  Church  above 
one  Month,  impugning  the  Queen's  authority  in  causes  Ecclesiastical, 
frequenting  conventicles,  or  persuading  others  so  to  do,  under  Pretence 
of  Exercise  of  Religion,"  were  required  to  conform  at  once,  or  abjure 
the  realm,  having  previously  undergone  imprisonment. 

It  is  instructive  to  notice  that  a  statute  of  Charles  11.  was  in  force 
by  which  incumbents  "  not  reading  Divine  Service  once  a  Month  " 
were  liable  to  forfeit  five  pounds  for  every  offence.  There  seems  to 
be  a  subtle  connection  between  this  and  the  above. 

The  many  pages  of  the  Companion  that  are  occupied  with 
"Papists  and  Popish  Superstitions,"  with  their  vexatious  and 
humiliating  restrictions  on  personal  liberty,  disclose  the  tremendous 

"  The  Justice  of  Peace  his  Companion''      241'' 

power  wielded  in  matters  of  the  conscience  by  magistrates  often 
opinionated  and  prejudiced.  The  greatest  enemy  of  the  Pope  now* 
adays  would  shrink  from  forbidding  his  followers  the  exercise  of  the 
worship  they  understand,  and  would  surely  deprecate  the  breaking-up 
of  crucifixes  in  open  court,  the  searching  of  Roman  Catholic  houses 
for  books  and  relics,  and  a  year's  imprisonment  for  being  present  at 

Stat  5  Elizabeth  again  bears  heavily  on  believers  in  the  traditional 
mode  of  &sting,  but  is  delightfully  quaint  in  its  wording.  "  Persons 
preaching  or  otherwise  avouching,  or  notifying,  That  any  eating  of 
Flesh,  or  forbearing  of  Flesh,  is  necessary  for  the  Service  of  God, 
otherwise  than  as  other  political  laws  allow,"  are  to  be  punished  "^ix 
spreaders  of  false  News,** 

Such  is  some  of  the  light  of  reality  which  an  old  calf-bound  book 
can  cast  on  the  lives  of  Englishmen  150,  200, 300  years  ago.  Coming 
from  the  practical  wear  and  tear  of  everyday,  with  no  halo  of  romance 
around  it,  it  seems  to  bid  us  to  be  grateful  for  the  tolerance,  the 
comfort,  and  the  progress  of  our  own  time,  and  to  boast  with 

4/if(C  rot  Ttarip^y  fiiy*  a/iccVoKCC  iv\n^i&  cTrac. 

W.  J.  FERRAR, 

VOL.   CCLXXXV.      NO.  201 3. 

242  TAe  Gentleman's  Magazine, 



WHILE  the  angels  of  Milton  have  been  likened  to  the  glorious 
athletes  of  the  Sistine  Chapel,  beautiful  but  altogether 
human,  Dante's  angels  are  reflected  more  truly  in  the  tender,  spiritual 
and  yet  strong  and  triumphant  creations  of  Fra  Angelico.  No  earthly 
models  sat  for  the  angels  of  the  angelic  brother.  He  had  so  often 
seen  a  vision  of  angels  that  he  needed  no  earthly  models  any  more. 
He  had  "  seen  their  white  robes,  whiter  than  the  dawn,  at  his  bedside 
as  he  awoke  in  early  summer.  They  had  sung  with  him,  one  on 
each  side,  when  his  voice  failed  for  joy,  at  sweet  vesper  and  matin 
time ;  his  eyes  were  blinded  by  their  wings  in  sunset  when  it  sank 
behind  the  hills  of  Luinl"  And  nothing  earthly  enters  into  Dante's 
conceptions  of  the  angels  which  he  describes  with  such  pathetic 
longing  to  again  behold  them.  He,  too,  has  seen  his  vision.  Through 
his  pages  runs  this  procession  of  glorious  beings  such  as  only  he  can 
sing,  such  as  only  Fra  Angelico  can  paint  The  breath  of  heaven  is 
around  them,  the  light  of  heaven  is  in  their  faces,  they  follow  each 
other  like  the  figures  in  some  mystic  dance ;  there  is  strength,  grace, 
vitality  in  each,  but  above  all  there  is  a  wonderful  individuality,  dis- 
tinctiveness, which  eludes  analysis.  A  line,  a  touch,  a  something 
which  we  know  not  how  to  grasp,  and  the  picture  is  there  complete, 
perfected,  drawn  for  all  time,  engraved  for  ever  on  the  heart  of 

The  first  of  this  "  family  of  heaven  "  is  found  in  the  ninth  canto 
of  the  "  Inferno."  Dante  and  Vergil  have  come  to  the  sable  lagoon, 
wrapt  in  morass  fog  through  which  the  red-hot  mosques  of  the  sad 
city  of  Dis  are  dimly  seen;  "red  pinnacle,  red-hot  cone  of  iron 
glowing  through  the  dim  inunensity  of  gloom ;  so  vivid,  so  distinct, 
visible  at  once  and  for  ever."  A  little  boat  takes  the  travellers  through 
the  stagnant  canal,  and  we  remember 

Visendus  Ater  flumine  Unguido 
Cocytos  errans. 

The  Angels  of  the  Divine  Comedy.  243 

as  well  as  the  tristique  pahis  inamabiHs  unda  of  Vergil.    While 

making  their  way  towards  the  city,  the  pathetic  incident  of  the 

meeting   with   Philippo    Aigenti    occurs ;    the    exasperate   spirit 

Florentine,  "forgotten  by  history  and  immortalised  in  song."  "Thou 

seest  I  am  one  who  weeps,"  he  says,  raising  his  squalid  form  from 

the  black  mire;  but  for  him  the  other  Florentine  has  no  pity.    "With 

weeping  and  with  wailing,  maledict  spirit,  do  thou  remain,"  is  Dante's 

reply  as  he  recognises  him  of  whom  the  gentle  Vergil  has  nothing  but 

evil  to  recount : — 

This  was  an  arrogant  person  in  the  world : 
Goodness  is  none  that  decks  his  memory; 
So  likewise  here  his  shade  is  furious. 

And  they  turn  away :  "  quivi  1  lasciammo ;  che  piii  non  ne  narro : " 
"  there  we  left  him ;  more  of  him  I  write  not !  " 

Anived  at  the  gates  of  the  city  of  Dis  more  than  a  thousand 
sad  spirits  endeavour  to  bar  their  entrance,  and  even  Vergil  quails 
when  he  finds  the  doors  are  shut  against  him.  The  difficulties  of 
the  way  are  further  increased  by  the  appearance  on  the  "  high  tower 
with  red  flaming  sunmiit "  of  the  three  Furies,  wreathed  with  green 
snakes  and  their  temples  crowned  with  little  serpents,  threatening 
the  intruders  with  the  sight  of  the  Medusa,  placed  here,  perhaps, 
because  the  only  one  of  the  Gorgones  who  was  mortal.  But 
help  is  at  hand ;  and  that  help  is  brought  by  the  first  angel  of  the 

Comrnedia.    For, 

Now  there  came  across  the  turbid  waves 

The  clangour  of  a  sound  with  terror  firaught. 
Not  otherwise  it  was  than  of  a  wind 

Impetuous  on  account  of  adverse  heats, 

That  smites  the  forest,  and  without  restraint 
The  blanches  rends,  beats  down,  and  bears  away ; 

Right  onward,  laden  with  dust,  it  goes  superb. 

Superb,  too,  is  the  angel  who  comes  in  this  whirlwind,  but  there 
is  no  description  of  the  glories  of  his  face  or  of  his  robes.  They  are 
hinted  at,  not  expressed ;  and  the  picture  is  perhaps  more  exquisite 
for  the  lines  left  out  "  Ah !  how  he  appeared  to  me  full  of  dis- 
dain," exclaims  the  susceptible  poet  who  is  for  ever  studying  the  feces 
of  those  he  meets.  "  More  than  a  thousand  ruined  souls"  flee  before 
the  angel  who  passes  over  the  river  marsh  with  soles  unwet,  fanning 
with  his  left  hand  the  unctuous  air  from  his  face,  "  and  only  with  that 
anguish  seemed  he  weary."  He  opens  the  door,  for  to  him  there  is 
no  resistance,  and  then  returns  along  the  black  fen, 

And  spake  no  word  to  us,  but  had  the  look 
Of  one  whom  other  care  constrains  and  goads 
Than  that  of  him  who  in  his  presence  is. 


244  ^^  Gentlemafis  Magazine. 

This  disdainful  angel  had  come  to  a  world  to  which  all  good  was 
foreign,  the  ver7  territory  of  evil.  And  yet  even  here,  in  their  own 
land  in  their  own'high  places,  the  principalities  and  powers  of  dark- 
ness can  but  fly  before  the  strength  that  is  in  this  one  celestial 
visitor,  collapsing  at  the  first  on-coming  ray  of  his  brightness. 

The  angels  of  the  ''  Purgatorio  "  are  altogether  of  another  type 
to  this,  the  sole  angel  of  the  "  Inferno."  The  first  occurs  in  th6 
second  canto,  and  fitly  to  understand  its  beauties  we  must  again 
consider  the  settings  the  world  in  which  it  is  placed. 

A  great  writer  has  said,  wrongly  as  I  venture  to  think,  that  the 
forms  of  the  external  world,  by  which  I  suppose  he  means  what  we 
call  nature,  have  made  but  little  impression  on  Dante.  ''  He  leaves 
to  others  the  earth,  the  ocean,  and  the  sky.  His  business  is  with 
man."  And  Dante's  business  is  indeed  with  the  spirit  world  of  man, 
that  is  the  subject  of  his  picture.  But  yet  his  whole  work  is 
gemmed  with  recollections  of  the  sweet  Latin  land  which  he  has  left 
for  a  time.  No  other  writer,  not  even  Shakespeare,  b  so  absolutely 
permeated  with  remembrances  of  nature ;  amid  the  glories  of  heaven, 
his  thoughts  go  back  perpetually  to  the  glories  of  earth ;  amid  the 
stifling  airs  of  the  "  Inferno "  they  are  ever  with  him  too.  His 
scene  is  laid  in  other  realms  than  those  of  nature  as  we  know  it,  but 
at  the  least  hint  he  turns  aside  to  the  old  fiimiliar  things.  Eyes 
smarting  with  hell  smoke  look  beyond  and  see  flowers  uplifting  their 
heads  in  the  morning  sun ;  starlings  in  their  winter  flocks ;  turtle 
doves  flying  home  to  their  sweet  nest ;  the  falcon  alighting  far  from  his 
master,  "  sullen  and  disdainful ; "  the  hoar-frost  copying  on  the  ground 
the  outer  semblance  of  her  sister  white ;  the  fire-flies  in  the  valley — 
eyes  and  ears  are  full  of  such  things  as  these  when  the  man  is 
surrounded  by  darkness  and  shrill  cries.  Nature  is  not  his  theme 
indeed  as  it  is  Wordsworth's ;  but  it  is  constantly  in  his  thoughts. 
Not  as  if  in  parentheses  do  these  images  recur  to  him,  but  as  if  they 
were  always  close  to  him  in  his  sad  journey.  And  when  he  leaves 
the  hopeless  world,  it  is  with  a  sigh  of  relief  to  find  that  he  can 

Again  behold  the  stars. 

And  in  the  first  canto  of  the  "  Purgatorio,"  how  the  whole  man 
rejoices  in  the  beauty  and  light  which  he  once  more  sees  around  him 
in  the  mystic  world  into  which  he  is  entering.  For  it  is  indeed  in 
some  respects  a  world  like  our  own  :  there  is  the  sea,  there  are  the 
stars,  the  valley  with  its  radiant  flowers,  the  forest,  sun-rise,  sun-set.  But 
there  are,  too,  the  seven  terraces  or  circles  in  which  the  seven  mortal 
ns  are  expiated,  reached  by  narrow  staircases,  each  with  its  porter 

Thfi  Angels  of  the  Divine  Comedy.         245 

angel.  These  angels  are  the  poet's  rendering  of  the  text  "  Gaudium 
erit  coram  angelis  Dei  super  uno  peccatorepoenitentiam  agente,"  and 
as  each  circle  and  the  sin  which  it  represents  is  left  behind,  there  is 
an  angel  ready  with  words  of  rejoicing  and  benediction  to  guide  the 
souls  to  the  next  height. 

The  whole  first  canto  is  fuU  of  little  touches,  drawn  altogether 
from  nature,  which  impress  the  feeling  of  hope,  of  restoration,  on  the 
mind.  First  we  read  of  the  sky,  ''the  sweet  colour  of  oriental 
sapphire,"  awakening  new  delight  in  the  heart  of  him  who  has  come 
from  the  dead  air  of  the  Inferno,  from  its  blackness,  its  darkness,  its 
smoke.  The  eastern  hemisphere  was  smiling  in  the  rays  of  the  fair 
planet  Venus ;  and  in  the  south  are  the  stars  of  the  Southern  Cross, 
**  rejoicing  in  their  flamelets  seemed  the  heaven."  Dante  is  gazing  at 
these  beautiful  things  when  he  sees  "  a  solitary  old  man,"  Cato,  the 
guardian  of  this  portion  of  the  Purgatorio,  who  bids  Vergil  gird  Dante 
with  a  smooth  rush — "  this  little  isle — yonder  where  the  water  beats 
upon  it — bears  rushes  above  the  soft  mud : "  and  because  it  would 
not  be  meet  to  go  before  the  angel  "  with  eyes  possessed  by  any 
cloud,"  to  wash  his  face,  blackened  still  with  the  smoke  of  the  Inferno 
which  he  has  left.  Then  as  they  go  on  their  way,  the  dawn,  the 
dawn  of  Easter  sunrise,  "  vanquishes  the  matin  hour,"  and 

SI  che  di  lontano 
Conobbi  il  tremolar  della  marina. 

This  sunrise  at  the  commencement  of  the  journey  through  the 
realms  of  hope  produces  the  same  brightening  mental  effect  as  does 
the  daybreak  at  the  opening  of  the  "  Electra "  of  Sophocles ;  and 
while  poets  in  all  ages  have  loved  Arv/iaruF  nriiptOftov  yiXatr^ta^  with 
Dante  the  thing  becomes  something  more  than  a  glimpse  of  merely 
material  beauty.  It  is  a  parable.  We  are  in  the  world  of  life,  of 
movement  now ;  the  dead  marsh  of  inaction  which  was  never  lit  by 
sunshine  is  left  behind.    The  sun  is  arising,  the  tide  is  flowing. 

And  over  the  whole  of  the  first  canto  is  spread 

The  silence  and  the  calm 
Of  mute,  insensate  things. 

He  who  has  so  long  walked  through  gloom  and  darkness,  amid 
horrid  shapes  and  shrill  cries,  cannot  linger  long  enough  over, 
cannot  turn  eyes  or  thoughts  away  from,  the  stillness  and  beauty  of 
this  district  which  is  the  prelude  to  the  seven  mystic  circles  of 
cleansing.  And  I  suppose  no  lover  of  Dante  ever  sees  the  rushes 
by  some  little  bitter  pool  without  recollecting  the  humble  plant, 

246  The  Gentlematis  Magazine^ 

type  of  Divine  Grace,  which,  as  Vergil  plucks  it,  springs  up  again 
unwasted;  or  looks  upon  a  dewy  field  at  morning  time  without 
remembering  the  exquisite  picture  of  Vergil  spreading  his  shadowy 
hands  on  the  wet  grass,  and  with  its  moisture  removing  the  stains  of 
smoke  from  Dante's  tearful  cheeks. 

All  these  and  other  beauties  prepare  for  the  coming  of  the  first 
angel  of  the  world  of  hope.  The  poets  are  stiU  lingering  on  the 
borders  of  the  sea  like  those — 

Who  go  in  heut  and  with  the  body  stay, 

and  in  this  very  indecision,  this  absence  of  haste  or  fear,  the  peacefiil 
impression  of  the  first  canto  is  carried  on  into  the  second.  Thus 
lingering,  a  light  appears  to  them — such  a  light  as  that  of  the  red 
planet  Mars  when  he  glows  through  thick  vapours  in  the  low  west 
above  the  ocean  floor.  A  light — ''  May  I  again  behold  it  I ''  says 
Dante,  wistfully  recollecting  what  was  more  glorious  than  the  sunrise. 
And  as  it  comes  nearer  and  more  near  he  discerns  the  angel's 
wings,  those  celestial  pinions  which  are  both  oar  and  sail  to  the  boat 
wherein  he  comes — 

Make  haste,  make  haste,  to  bow  the  knee  1 
Behold  the  angel  of  God  !    Fold  thou  thy  hands  1 
Henceforward  shalt  thou  see  such  officers ! 

says  Vergil ;  and  in  the  original  there  is  a  hurry,  an  excitement,  an 
eagerness  to  prepare  his  companion  for  a  sight  so  different  to  that  of 
the  demons  and  hopeless  spirits  in  the  other  world. 

Then  as  still  nearer  and  more  near  he  came 
The  bird  Divine,  more  radiant  he  appeared 
So  that  near  by  the  eye  could  not  endure  him. 

Beatitude  is  written  on  his  face;  and  with  him  he  brings  more 
than  a  hundred  "  fortunate  spirits,"  who  sing  In  exitu  Israel^  the 
Easter  psalm,  as  they  come.  The  angel  makes  the  sign  of  the  cross 
over  these  souls,  and  when  they  have  landed  on  the  shore  he  departs, 
leaving  them  gazing  around  at  the  imfamiliar  and  yet  infinitely 
peaceful  world  in  which  they  find  themselves.  We  cannot  help 
noticing  again  the  contrast  between  this  celestial  pilot,  his  face  like 
a  benediction,  this  bird  of  God,  and  that  other  pilot,  the  ferryman  of 
the  livid  fen  in  the  "  Inferno  " — 

Who  round  about  his  eyes  bad  wheels  of  flame, 
Charon  the  demon,  with  the  eyes  of  hawk. 

How  different,  too,  are  the  souls  "  who  as  dead  leaves  flutter  from 
a  bough,''  <*as  futile,  as  despairing,"  land  from  Charon's  boat,  to  this 

The  Angels  of  the  Divine  Comedy.         247 

troop  of  happy  spirits,  setting  forth,  somewhat  leisurely  indeed,  for 
that  mountain  where  they 

Strip  off  the  slough 
That  lets  not  God  be  manifest  to  them, 

and  who  have  even  time  to  listen  to  Casella's  song,  quiet  and 

contented,  like  doves  feeding  at  peace  in  the  green  meadows,  as  if 

they  almost  "forgat  the  cleansing  that  would  make  them  fair,"  and 

for  which  they  have  come  to  this  hopeful  world. 

Turning  to  the  eighth  canto  of  the  "  Purgatorio,"  we  come  to  our 

third  angel. 

*Twas  now  the  hour  that  tumeth  back  desire 

In  those  who  sail  the  sea,  and  melts  the  heart, 

The  day  they've  said  to  their  sweet  friends  fi&rewell. 
And  the  new  pilgrim  penetrates  with  love. 

If  he  doth  hear  from  far  away  a  bell 

That  seemeth  to  deplore  the  dying  day. 

The  two  poets  are  waiting  for  morning  in  a  spot  described  in  the 
seventh  canto^  where  amid  the  green  grass  and  glowing  flowers,  amid 
the  sweetness  of  a  thousand  odours,  placid  spirits  sit  to  sing  their 
Compline  Office.  The  description  of  the  exceeding  brilliancy  of  the 
hues  of  the  flowers,  of  the  emerald  of  the  grass  (fresh  emerald  such 
as  that  just  opened  by  the  illuminator,  says  Mr.  Ruskin  on  this 
passage),  of  the  thousand  fragrant  odours,  is  one  of  Dante's  great 
achievements.  In  this  valley  are  gathered  kings  and  princes,  among 
them  the  ''king  of  the  simple  life,"  our  own  Henry  III.  Compline 
goes  tranquilly  on,  and  the  army  of  the  gentle  bom,  pale  and  humble, 
join  in  Te  ante  ludSy  the  office  hymn.  Then  come  those  words, 
variously  interpreted,  which  usher  in  the  next  two  angels : — 

Reader,  fix  well  thine  eyes  upon  the  truth. 
For  now  indeed  so  subtile  is  the  veil, 
Surely  to  penetrate  within  b  easy. 

"Perhaps,"  says  A.  J.  Butler,  "the  key  is  to  be  found  in  the  fact 

that  the  angels  are  clad  in  green.   In  the  parallel  passage,  '  Inferno '  ix. 

37-63,  it  may  be  observed  that  the  .Furies,  by  a  kind  of  infernal 

parody,  are  'girt  with  greenest  snakes.'    As  they  summon  Medusa 

or  Despair  to  turn  the  gazer  into  stone,  so  here  we  have  our  attention 

called  to  Hope,  which  animates  the  souls  of  the  righteous."    The 

waiting  souls  gaze  upward,  and  Dante  sees  coming  from  on  high  two 

angels  with  flaming  swords,  but  the  swords  are  deprived  of  their 


Green  as  the  little  leaflets  just  new  bom 
Their  garments  were,  which  by  their  verdant  pinions, 
Beaten  and  blown  abroad,  they  trailed  behind. 

248  The  Gentleman's  Magazine^ 

What  life  and  motion  there  is  in  this  ''  beaten  and  blown  abroad," 
what  delicacy  of  description  in  the  little  green  leaflets  "  just  new 
bom" !  Dante  can  look  upon  the  "  blond  heads  "  of  these  celestial 
birds,  but  not  upon  their  faces.  As  with  all  his  angels,  these  are 
hidden  in  the  radiance  of  their  own  brilliance:  they  zx,t  flaming 
bright  as  fire. 

The  two  take  their  stand  on  each  side  of  the  crowd  of  souls.  For 
the  serpent  is  even  here  among  the  grass  and  flowers — ''  perchance 
the  same  which  gave  to  Eve  the  bitter  food" — and  the  celestial 
falcons  have  come  to  drive  it  away.  Hearing  their  green  wing$ 
cleave  the  air,  "the  evil  streak"  disappears,  and  the  angels  wheel 
upward  to  their  posts  on  high,  "  flying  back  abreast,"  for  order  is 
heaven's  first  law. 

Leaving  this  portion  of  the  *'  Purgatorio,"  the  prelude  to  the  seven 
terraces,  we  come  to  the  fifth  angel  of  the  Comedy,  and  one  which 
strikes  the  keynote  of  the ''  Puigatorio."  For  there,  as  Carlyle  has  told 
us,  the  doctrine  of  repentance  is  asserted  in  a  manner  more  moral 
than  anywhere  else.  "  Men  have,  of  course,"  he  says,  "  ceased  to 
believe  in  these  things«-that  mountain  rising  up  out  of  the  ocean,  or 
that  malebolge  with  its  black  gulf.  But  still,  men  of  any  knowledge 
at  all  must  believe  that  .  .  .  penitence  is  the  great  thing  here  for 
man.  For  life  is  but  a  series  of  errors,  made  good  again  by  repent- 
ance, and  the  sacredness  of  that  doctrine  is  asserted  by  Dante  in  a 
manner  more  moral  than  anywhere  else." 

If  this  be  so,  then  that  angel  of  penance,  that  courteous  porter 
who  sits  at  the  gate  of  the  first  circle  of  the  ''  Purgatorio,"  may  well 
be  looked  upon  as  its  central  figure.  The  whole  of  the  ninth  canto  in 
which  he  appears  is  full  of  beautiful  things,  and  among  the  most 
beautiful  are  the  first  twenty  lines,  which  Cary  has  translated  with 
much  felicity : — 

la  that  honr 
When  near  the  dawn,  the  swallow  her  sad  lay, 
Remembering  haply  ancient  grief,  renews, 
And  when  our  minds,  more  wand'rers  from  the  flesh 
And  less  by  thought  restrained,  are,  as't  were,  full 
Of  holy  divination  in  their 

words  which,  in  their  mixture  of  the  freshness  of  morning  with  some- 
thing too  of  sadness,  are  a  fitting  introduction  to  the  vision  of  thatangel, 
which  is  perhaps  the  most  tenderly  beautiful  of  all  Dante's  dreams. 
He  sits  at  the  door  of  the  first  circle,  which  is  entered  by  a  strait 
and  narrow  way.  Three  steps,  diverse  in  colour,  led  up  to  the  door. 
The  first  step  is  of  white  marble,  so  polished  and  so  smooth  that 

Th^  Angels  of  the  Divine  Comedy.         249 

Dante  ^ees  himself  reflected  in  it,  and  here  is  mystically  set  forth 
that  imtroversion,  that  response  to  the  Divine  yvSS*.  fftavrov,  which  is 
the  beginning  of  the  soul's  true  penance.  The  second  step  is  tinct 
of  deeper  hue  than  perse,  the  dark  black  purple  so  dear  to  Dante's 
sad  soul,  and  is  of  burnt,  uneven  stone,  cracked  all  asunder  and 
across.  This  is  the  broken  and  contrite  heart,  the  contrition  without 
which  the  angel  raises  the  keys  in  vain ;  but  it  was  left,  I  believe,  to 
Miss  Rossetti  to  discover  the  cross  in  the  cracks,  lengthways  and 
across.  The  third  step  of  porphyry,  red  as  blood,  and  which  rests 
massively  above  the  others,  is  Divine  Love.  And  the  last  step  of 
all,  confession,  which  is  the  threshold  of  the  door,  seemed  as  stone 
of  diamond  for  brightness ;  and  it  is  a  coincidence  at  least  that  one 
of  our  own  poets  has  the  same  image— 

For  since  confession  pardon  wins, 

I  challenge  here  the  brightest  day. 
The  clearest  diamond ;  let  them  do  their  best, 
They  shall  be  thick  and  cloudy  to  my  breast. 

But  the  angel  himself !  Such  was  his  face  that  Dante  cannot 
look  on  the  glories  of  it,  and  in  his  hand  he  held  a  naked  sword 
which  so  reflected  back  the  sunlight  that  "  oft  in  vain  I  lifted  up 
mine  eyes."  In  strange  contrast  to  this  dazzling  brilliance  is  the  hue 
of  his  robes.  Most  of  the  angels  of  the  Divine  Comedy  are  clad  in 
the  colours  of  green  leaves  of  spring  or  the  pink  ot  sunset  clouds. 
But  this  one 

Ashes,  or  earth  that  dry  is  excavated. 
Of  the  same  colour  were  with  his  attire. 

From  beneath  these  penitential  vestments  he  draws  fc^th  two 
keys,  one  of  gold,  one  of  silver ;  the  golden  key  signifying  the 
authority  of  the  confessor,  the  silver  the  necessary  science  and  dis- 
cretion which  enable  him  to  use  the  first  aright  But  "  Wherever 
faileth  either  of  these  keys — 

So  that  they  turn  not  rightly  in  the  lock, 
.  •  this  entrance  doth  not  open, 
More  precious  one  is,  but  the  other  needs 
More  art  and  intellect  ere  it  unlock.*' 

And  then  what  beautiftil  pitifulness,  tenderness,  there  are  in  the 
other  words  of  this  compassionate  angel,  the  very  colour  of  whose 
robes  is  a  reminder  that  man,  whose  sin  he  judges,  is  but  earth :  a 
remembrance  that  he  is  but  dust. 

From  Peter  I  have  them;  and  he  bade  me  err 
Rather  in  opening  than  in  keeping  shut 
If  people  but  £U1  down  before  my  feet. 

250  The  Gentleman* s  Magazine^ 

A  whole  world  of  divine  wistfiilness  is  summed  up  in  these  three 
lines*  They  are  full  to  overflowing  of  the  hopefulness  which 
characterises  this  portion  of  the  Comedy,  and  recall  the  spirit  of 
that  other  beautiful  description  in  the  fifth  canto  of  him  who 
by  "one  poor  little  tear"  gained  an  entrance  into  the  abodes  of 

The  angel  of  penance  has  impressed  the  marks  of  the  seven 
mortal  sins  on  Dante's  forehead,  the  outward  and  visible  sign  of 
those  soul-stains  which  must  be  cleansed  away  in  the  journey  which 
lies  before  him.  And  then  the  massive  door  swings  open,  and  as  they 
enter  he  hears  the  Te  Deum  sung  with  sweet  melody — 

Ch'  or  d,  or  no  t'  intendon  le  parole. 

We  now  come  to  the  angels  of  the  seven  circles,  which  must  be 
noticed  with  less  detail  than  the  preceding  ones. 

The  first  circle  is  that  in  which  the  sin  of  pride  is  punished,  and 
into  it  the  poets  are  ushered  by  the  angel  of  penance,  as  we  have 
already  seen.  Cantos  9  to  12  are  descriptive  of  this  terrace ; 
and  in  the  twelfth  canto  we  are  introduced  to  that  angel  who  points 
out  the  ascent  to  the  second  circle,  that  of  the  envious  souls. 
Dante  is  in  one  of  his  day-dreams,  his  mind  full  of  those  who  have 
sinned  through  pride,  and  whom  he  meets  in  the  first  circle — shades 
who  go 

Beneath  a  weight. 
Like  unto  that  of  which  we  sometimei  dream, 
UnequaUy  in  anguish  round  and  round 
And  weary  all,  upon  that  foremost  cornice, 
Purging  away  the  smoke  stains  of  this  world. 

But  VeigU  rouses  him : 

Lift  up  thy  head 
Tis  no  more  time  to  go  thus  meditating, 

Lo,  there  an  angel  who  is  making  haste 
To  come  towards  us  .  .  • 

With  reverence  thine  acts  and  looks  adorn 
So  that  he  may  delight  to  speed  us  upward. 
Think  that  this  day  will  never  dawn  again. 

Then  the  "  fair  creature  ^  is  seen  coming  towards  them,  clad  in 
white,  and  his  face  like  the  quivering  star  of  the  morning.  By  a 
stroke  of  his  wings  he  obliterates  the  mark  of  pride  from  Dante's 
forehead  and  shows  them  the  stairs  to  the  next  circle.  And  as  they 
turn  towards  it,  they  hear  Beatt  pauperes  spiritu  sung  '*  in  such  wise 
that  speech  could  tell  it  not,''  the  blessing  on  those  who  have  made 
this  first  step  in  the  purification  of  their  souls,  and  have  become 
poor  in  spirit 

The  Angels  of  the  Divine  Comedy*,         251 

Cantos  13  and  14  are  devoted  to  the  second  cirde^  that  of 
the  envious ;  and  here  mysterious  spirits,  unseen  to  Dante's  mortal 
eyeSy  float  past  them  uttering  their  witness  for  kindness  and  charity. 
In  the  fifteenth  canto  comes  the  angel  who  shows  the  poets  the 
staircase  to  the  third  circle.  It  is  three  hours  past  noon,  and  the 
Sim  is  shining  in  their  faces  as  they  journey  towards  the  west ;  but  a 
splendour  greater  than  that  of  the  sun  causes  Dante  to  shade  his 
eyes  with  his  hands,  and  he  finds  that  this  brilliancy  is  the  reflection 
of  a  still  more  brilliant  light  which  is  coming  towards  them.  To 
Dante's  questioning,  Vezgil  replies : — 

Marvel  thou  not  if  dazzle  thee  as  yet 
The  fiunily  of  heaven  .  .  . 
An  angel  'tis,  who  comes  to  invite  us  upward. 

With  joyfiil  voice  this  angel  points  them  onward,  and  as  they  go 
they  heaxBeati  misericordes  sung  by  those  who  are  left  in  the  circle  of 
envy,  of  mercilessness. 

Cantos  16  and  17  are  those  of  the  third  circle,  which  is  enveloped 
in  thick  smoke  as,  we  remember,  is  that  circle  in  the  "  Inferno  "  where 
the  like  sin,  anger,  is  punished.  Dante  goes  through  its  dun  air 
seeing  nothing,  but  hearing  voices — prayers  of  those  souls  who  on 
earth  were  violent  and  fierce,  and  who  now  cast  themselves  on  the 
meekness  and  gentleness  of  the  Agnus  Dei : — 

Everyone  appeared 
To  supplicate  for  peace  and  misericord 
The  Lamb  of  God  who  takes  away  our  sins. 

Out  of  this  "foul  and  bitter  air"  he  comes  at  sunset  He 
is  again  in  a  trance  of  thought;  but  as  sleep  is  broken  by  a 
sudden  light,  so  his  day  dream,  ''this  imagining  of  mine,"  is 
broken  in  upon  by  rays  of  brightness.  It  is  the  angel  who  leads 
the  poets  to  the  fourth  circle,  and  he  too  is  dark  with  excessive 
bright :  "  in  his  own  light  he  himself  concealed."  As  the  first  step  of 
the  stairs  is  reached,  Dante  feels  a  movement  as  of  wings  which  (an 
him  in  the  face ;  and  he  hears  the  angel  pronounce  those  blessed 
who  are  cleansed  from  ill  anger :  Beatip<uifici. 

The  fomth  circle  is  a  sort  of  landmark  in  the  upward  journey. 
The  sins  punished  in  the  former  circles  are  those  of  want  of  love : 
pride,  envy,  anger.  The  sins  punished  in  the  three  last  circles  are 
those  of  misplaced  love  :  avarice,  gluttony,  luxury.  But  this  middle 
circle  is  that  of  the  lukewarm,  the  slothful  souls,  souls  neither  hot 
nor  cold :  guilty  of  accidia^  a  word  which  has  somehow  crept  into  our 
theological  language,  and  which  we  use  a  little  regretfully,  although 

252  The  Gentleman's  Magazine. 

Chaucer  has  used  it,  because  we  have  no  English  word  which 
will  quite  express  its  full  meaning.  In  this  circle  all  is  tumultuous 
haste,  the  haste  as  of  the  whirlwind ;  and  yet  the  pale  ghost  of  the 
abbot  of  San  Zeno,  to  whom  Vergil  addresses  himself,  is  courteous 
even  in  his  haste.  He  shows  them  the  way  to  the  fifth  circle ;  and 
in  the  nineteenth  canto  comes  the  angel  who  ushers  them  into  it, 
and  who  speaks  to  them  in  a  manner  *'  gentle  and  benign  such  as 
we  hear  not  in  this  mortal  region.*'  With  his  swan-like  wings  he 
obliterates  the  mark  of  sloth  from  off  Dante's  forehead,  "affirming 
those  Qui  lugent  to  be  blessed,  for  they  shall  have  their  souls  with 
comfort  filled." 

The  connection  between  this  blessing  and  the  contrary  virtue  to 
the  sin  of  Sloth  is  not  as  plain  as  that  between  the  other  beatitudes 
and  the  vanquished  sins,  the  acquired  virtues,  to  which  they  are 
appropriated  by  Dante.  But  we  must  not,  perhaps,  expect  to  find  a 
fitness,  which  Dante  was  not  carefiil  that  we  should  always  find. 
The  penitents  in  this  middle  circle  have  at  least  wept  their  sin ;  are 
diligent  in  that  portion  of  their  penance ;  the  blessing  is  indeed  fit, 
if  it  has  not  the  more  palpable  fitness,  at  first  sight,  of  the  other 
blessings.  And  taking  this  fourth  circle  as  a  midway  station  between 
the  first  three  and  the  last  three  circles,  we  may  feel  that  the  benedic- 
tion applies  in  some  degree  to  all,  and  radiates  the  brightness  of 
penitence,  its  solemn  joy,  on  all  the  circles  alike. 

The  fifth  circle,  that  of  the  avaricious  souls  (cantos  20  and  21), 
is  next  traversed,  and  in  it  Dante  and  Vergil  are  joined  by  Statius, 
whose  term  of  sojourn  in  the  mild  shades  of  Purgatory  is  completed, 
and  who  accompanies  the  other  two  poets  in  their  journey  upward. 
Here  the  angel  who  ushers  them  into  the  sixth  circle  is  sketched  in 
the  merest  outline,  but  he  erases  another  sin  from  Dante's  forehead, 
and  commences  the  benediction — "  Blessed  are  they  who  thirst "  for 
righteousness  instead  of  for  this  world's  treasure. 

The  sixth  circle  is  that  of  the  "  starving  gluttons,"  who  stand 

around  beautifiil  trees  laden  with  fruit,  which  hangs  ever  out  of 

reach.    '*  A  simple  vice  simply  punished,  the  reader  will  feel,"  says 

Mrs.  Oliphant,  *' though  it  is  evident  that  it  bulked  more  largely  in 

Dante's  eyes."    The  angel  who  leads  them  into  the  seventh  circle  is 

described  at  more  length  than  the  preceding  ones,  and  there  are 

here  two  other  angels  also,  of  whom  we  must  say  a  word.    But  first, 

as  Dante,  Vergil,  and  Statius  are  journeying  along  the  lonely  road, 

they  hear  a  voice : — 

Why  go  ye  thinking  thus  alone  ye  three  ? 
Said  suddenly  a  voice,  whereat  I  started 
As  terrified  and  timid  beasts  are  wont. 

The  Angels  of  the  Divine  Comedy.         253 

The  angel  who  speaks  is  all  shining  red  as  molten  metals  or  glass, 
and  the  air  around  him  is  full  of  fragrance  as  of  spring  herbage  and 
flowers,  while  the  movement  of  the  angelic  plumes  as  they  brush 
away  another  stain  from  Dante's  forehead  diffuses  an  odour  of 
ambrosia.  But  he  has  all  the  winning  courtesy  of  the  rest  of  these 
majestical  creatures  as  Dante  saw  them :  "  If  it  may  please  you  to 
mount  aloft,  there  it  behoves  you  turn ;  this  way  he  goes  who  goeth 
after  peace,"  he  says  as  he  shows  them  to  the  last  circle. 

The  glad  angel  who  ushers  the  poets  to  the  summit  of  the 
mount  of  purification  appears  just  as  the  day  is  departing,  standing 
outside  the  purifying  flame  and  singing  in  ''a  voice  by  far  more 
living  than  our  own."  He  tells  them  that  they  must  pass  through 
the  fire  before  they  can  reach  the  height ;  and  when  Dante  makes 
the  final  plunge  into  sufiering  and  emerges  on  the  other  side,  the 
second  angel  of  this  circle  is  heard  singing  in  the  fading  daylight : 
Venite  henedicti  Patris  met. 

When  morning  dawns  they  reach  the  terrestrial  Paradise,  the 
almost  heavenly  forest.  The  birds  are  singing  among  the  branches 
of  its  trees,  the  breeze  rustles  through  the  leaves,  a  little  rivulet 
runs  down  the  midst  of  it.  How  different  is  all  this  to  that  other 
forest,  "  savage,  rough,  and  stem  " : 

Which  in  the  very  thought  renews  the  fear, 
So  bitter  was  it,  death  is  little  more. 

Of  this  description  Ruskin  says  :  "The  tender  lines  which  tell  of 
the  voices  of  the  birds  mingling  with  the  wind,  and  of  the  leaves  all 
turning  one  way  before  it  have  been  more  or  less  copied  by  every 
poet  since  Dante's  time.  They  are,  so  far  as  I  know,  the  sweetest 
passage  of  wood  description  which  exists  in  literature."  And  yet  they 
are  compressed  into  a  few  lines. 

But  the  last  angels  of  the  "  Purgatorio,"  not  one  but  many,  what 
can  I  say  of  them  ? — "  Soldiery  of  the  celestial  kingdom,"  "Ministers 
and  messengers  of  life  eternal." 

Ye  keep  your  watch  in  the  eternal  day, 
So  that  nor  nig^t  nor  sleep  can  steal  from  you 
One  step  the  ages  make  upon  your  path. 

In  the  last  cantos  we  find  no  isolated  angelic  figures,  but  an 
exceeding  great  army  of  angels,  a  glorious  host,  the  sevenfold  flames 
upon  their  faces.  The  steps  of  the  poet  keep  time  to  their  music  ; 
the  melody  of  their  songs  runs  through  all  the  last  pages  of  the  book ; 
they  are  interwoven  into  its  very  texture.    When  Beatrice's  severe 

254  ^^  GentUmaiis  Magazine. 

compassion  is  bitter  to  him,  they  stay  from  strewing  the  celestial 

flowers  to  comfort  him  with  In  te^  Domine^  speram;  as  he  comes 

through  the  waters  of  Lethe,  in  which  the  last  hold  of  sin  upon  the 

soul,  the  remembrance  of  it,  is  taken  away,  they  encourage  him  with 

another  psalm ;  and  amid  their  celestial  saraband  they  pray  Beatrice 

to  turn  her  holy  eyes  on  him  who  to  see  her  ''has  ta'en  so  many  steps." 

And  when,  in  the  "  Paradiso,"  he  comes  forth  into  a  land  o(  yet 

greater  glory, 

The  song  of  those  who  sing  for  ever 
Alter  the  made  of  the  eternal  spheres, 

is  still  enfolding  him.  But  here,  it  seems  to  us,  Dante's  human 
words  fail  and  famt  In  the  21st  canto  of  the  "  Paradiso,"  where  the 
angelic  host  is  seen  in  its  undimmed  splendour,  he  who  has  soared 
so  high,  at  last  suffers  the  limitations  of  his  humanity.  He  comes  of 
a  race  which  has  no  celestial  language :  he  has  seen  his  vision  but 
his  words  are  not  adequate  to  express  that  vision.  He  has  reached 
the  highest — and  "  the  highest  is  not  capable  of  being  spoken 
outwards  at  all."  To  his  mind  the  gathering  together  of  those  washed 
and  made  white,  the  great  multitude  which  no  man  can  number, 
takes  the  likeness  of  a  snow-white  rose — 

The  Rose  Eternal 
That  spreads  and  multiplies  and  breathes  an  odour 
Of  praise  unto  the  ever  vernal  sun. 

"Behold,"  says  Beatrice  to  the  wondering  poet,  ''of  the  white 
stoles  how  vast  the  convent  is !  Behold  how  vast  the  circle  of  our 
city ! "  And  here,  dad  in  the  livery  of  heaven,  white  robes  and  wings 
of  gold,  their  faces  as  the  living  flame,  the  angels  are  at  home. 

In  fiuhion  then  as  of  a  snow-white  rose 

Displayed  itself  to  me  the  saintly  host, 

Whom  Christ  in  His  own  Uood  had  made  His  bride. 
But  the  other  host,  that  flying  sees  and  sings 

The  glory  of  Him  who  doth  enamour  it, 

And  the  goodness  that  created  it  so  noble, 
Even  as  a  swarm  of  bees,  that  sinks  in  flowers 

One  moment,  and  the  next  returns  again 

To  where  its  labour  b  to  sweetness  turned, 
Sank  into  the  great  flower,  that  is  adorned 

With  leaves  so  many,  and  thence  reascended 

To  where  its  love  abideth  evermore 
Their  hcts  had  they  all  of  living  flame, 

And  wings  of  gold,  and  all  the  rest  so  white 

No  snow  unto  that  limit  doth  attain. 

The  Angels  of  the  Divine  Comedy.         255 

And  herci  and  here  only,  we  feel  that  Milton  has  done  better 
because  he  has  attempted  less. 

That  undisturbed  song  of  pure  concent 
Aye  sung  before  the  sapphire  coloured  throne 
To  Him  that  sits  thereon 
With  saintly  shout  and  solemn  jubilee, 
Where  the  bright  seraphim  in  burning  row 
Tlietr  loud  uplifted  angel  trumpets  blow. 
And  the  cherubic  host  in  thousand  quires 
Touch  their  immortal  harps  of  golden  wires. 
With  those  just  spirits  that  wear  victorious  pahns^ 
Hymns  devout  and  holy  psalms 
Singing  everlastingly. 

In  these  lines  Milton  has  if  possible  surpassed  him  who  stands 
all  bat  first  among  the  first. 

C.  T. 

256  The  GentUmatCs  Magazine. 


WTHIN  the  last  ten  years  a  change  has  been  made  on  the 
North  Sea  which  is  without  parallel  in  the  history  of  fishing. 
Steam  b  altogether  pushing  out  sails,  and  so  rapidly  are  screw  vessels 
growing  in  number  that  before  long  the  picturesque  smack  is  sure  to 
be  a  relic  of  the  past 

While  at  work  upon  this  paper  I  had  a  simple  illustration  of  the 
great  revolution  which  is  taking  place  upon  the  North  Sea.  I  saw 
an  ordinary  steam  trawler  which  in  five  weeks  had  earned  £l^o  for 
her  owners.  She  was  then  in  harbour,  and  her  crew,  sharers  of  her 
great  good  fortune,  were  reeling  about  in  various  stages  of  intoxica- 
tioiL  They  had  been  celebrating  the  event  for  a  week.  Side  by 
side  with  her  were  a  number  of  sailing  vessels  which  for  several 
weeks,  on  account  of  continued  bad  weather  and  calms,  had  not 
earned  enough  to  pay  for  their  bait.  In  some  cases  the  bait — boxes 
of  herring — ^had  been  returned  to  shore,  probably  to  be  disposed  of 
to  the  unwary  as  early  kippers.  No  greater  contrast  could  have 
been  aiTorded  than  that  of  the  prosperous — and  drunk — members  of 
the  steamer,  and  the  quiet,  hopeless-looking  men  on  the  smacks  who 
for  so  long  a  period  had  not  been  earning  even  bread. 

By  way  of  showing  how  things  have  developed,  a  few  simple 
figures  may  be  given  relating  to  the  chief  British  fishing  ports. 
Hull  recently  owned  169  smacks,  against  458  ten  years  ago; 
Grimsby  had  402  smacks,  compared  with  804  at  that  time.  Of 
steam  trawlers  Hull  had  241,  with  a  tonnage  of  i4»455;  while 
Grimsby  had  232,  of  13,008  tons.  In  sail  and  steam  fishing  craft 
Grimsby  possessed  632  vessels,  of  41,259  tons ;  while  Hull  had  408, 
of  27,450  tons.  Yarmouth  and  Lowestoft  also  lead  Hull  in  the 
aggregate  number  of  fishbg  vessels  owned,  but  these  are  mostly 

In  every  respect  fishing  appliances  are  being  brought  up  to  date. 
This  points  to  increased  profits  for  owners  and  employed;  un- 
doubtedly it  means  more  safety  and  a  better  mode  of  life  for  that 
army  of  20,000  men  and  boys  whose  lives  are  practically  spent  on 

A  North  Sea  Revolution.  257 

the  wild  waters  of  the  North  Sea,  and  who  pursue  their  calling  in 
such  dangerous  and  uncomfortable  circumstances. 

Mr.  C.  H.  Wilson,  M.P.,  who  is  chairman  of  one  of  the  largest 
companies  engaged  in  the  North  Sea  industry,  their  fleet  being 
established  about  six  years  ago,  recently  in  public  very  ably  summed 
up  the  present  position  of  North  Sea  fishing.  I  cannot  do  better 
than  quote  from  his  words.  **  Of  late  years,"  he  said,  "  there  has 
been  a  very  great  alteration  in  its  conduct  Steamers  are  rapidly 
superseding  the  old  sailing  smacks  with  which  the  trade  was  formerly 
carried  on.  The  increase  is  something  marvellous,  and  the  number 
of  steam  trawlers  now  approaches  a  very  large  figure  indeed.  I 
should  think  that  in  Hull  and  Grimsby,  upon  which  we  pride  our- 
selves as  being  the  chief  ports  connected  with  the  North  Sea  fishing 
trade,  there  cannot  at  the  present  time  be  fewer  than  500  steamers 
connected  with  the  trade.  It  is  extending  all  round  the  coast  The 
sailing  smacks,  as  a  rule,  go  out  into  the  North  Sea  for  a  considerable 
time,  and  remain  there ;  but  the  business  is  conducted  in  two  ways. 
One  system  is  called  '  single  boating ' — that  is,  a  sailing  smack  or  a 
steamer  goes  out  on  its  own  account,  and  is  away  a  few  days,  and  if 
it  is  successful,  brings  its  cargo  of  fish  into  port.  The  company 
with  which  I  am  connected,  which  is  called  the  Red  Cross  Company, 
has  a  fleet,  including  those  building,  of  nearly  100  vessels.  They 
go  out  into  the  North  Sea ;  the  sailing  vessels  remain  there  perhaps 
ten  weeks,  and  the  steamers  in  connection  with  the  fleet,  which  are 
calling  every  day,  remain  perhaps  five  or  six  weeks.  Then  there  are 
steam  carriers  employed,  which  almost  day  by  day  collect  the  fish 
and  bring  it  to  Billingsgate ;  and  here  in  London,  to  a  very  great 
extent,  all  those  who  are  consumers  of  fish  are  dependent  upon  the 
fleets  connected  with  Hull,  Grimsby,  and  Yarmouth.  The  business 
{s  carried  on  day  by  day,  winter  and  summer,  and  it  is  one  of  hard- 
ship and  great  danger.  Every  now  and  again  terrible  storms  occur 
in  the  North  Sea,  and  frightful  loss  of  life  and  property  is  occasioned. 
I  hope  that  the  changing  from  sailing  smacks  to  steamers  wiU  in 
future  reduce  to  a  very  great  extent  this  loss  of  life." 

No  one  who  knows  from  experience  what  the  North  Sea  is  to 
smacksmen  can  fail  to  agree  with  Mr.  Wilson,  or  hesitate  to  hope 
that  the  revolution  which  is  now  in  progress  will  soon  have  reached 
its  ultimate  development.  Only  by  steamers  can  the  best  work  be 
done  on  the  fishing  grounds,  and  only  on  board  of  these  craft  can 
the  fisherinen  enjoy  any  real  comfort  when  at  sea.  The  smacks  are 
picturesque  and  cheap,  but  they  are  in  these  days  both  helpless  and 
improfitable,  and  their  impotence  in  bad  weather  means  a  heavy 

vol.  ccLxxxv.    NO.  2013.  T 

258  The  GentUmatis  Magazine. 

annual  death-roll.  It  is  the  exception  for  steamers  to  suffer  in  a  gale^ 
but  no  storm  sweeps  over  the  fishing  grounds  without  bringing  death 
and  devastation  to  the  crews  of  sailers.  Sometimes,  but  rarely,  a 
steam  trawler  will  founder— two  fine  Hull  boats  went  down  in  a 
recent  gale— but  as  mere  life-preserving  structures  they  are  as  much 
superior  to  the  smack  as  a  mail  boat  is  to  a  wind-jammer. 

As  to  the  loss  of  life  amongst  smacksmen  caused  by  a  North  Sea 
gale,  there  are  some  memorable  instances  on  record.  There  must 
be  many  who  vividly  remember  what  is  known  as  the  "  great  March 
gale  "  of  1883.  That  season  was  marked  by  a  fearful  storm  in  which 
more  than  360  smacksmen  and  boys  were  lost,  and  enormous  damage 
was  done  to  the  fishing  vessels,  a  large  number  of  which  sank  bodily 
with  their  crews.  With  regard  to  mere  damage,  every  gale  causes 
much  of  it.  In  one  storm  not  long  ago  a  large  number  of  smacks 
were  nearly  wrecked,  and  about  100  from  Lowestoft  alone  lost  their 
gear.  It  is  calculated  that  the  damage  done  to  smacks  during  that 
gale  was;£'i2,ooo. 

Such  a  revolution  as  that  of  which  I  write  inevitably  leads  to 
keener  competition.  One  recent  instance  will  show  that  the  struggle 
for  business  on  the  North  Sea  is  in  every  way  as  sharp  as  business 
fights  ashore.  One  night  a  skipper  off  the  Horn  Reef  had  a  haul  of 
fish  on  which  he  reckoned  that  he  would  clear  a  profit  of  ;f  50.  He 
had  to  go  thirty  miles  from  the  reef  to  the  fleet  with  which  he  was 
fishing,  so  that  he  might  deliver  his  catch  to  the  carrier  for  convey- 
ance to  market  He  hurried  back  to  the  reef  with  all  speed,  and 
found  that  there  were  already  five  trawlers  scooping  up  the  fish. 
Next  day  there  were  twenty-five,  for  good  and  ill  news  spreads  as  fast 
on  the  North  Sea  as  anywhere  else,  and  if  the  fish  had  held,  there 
would  have  been  125.  Wherever  the  fish  goes,  there  goes  the  fisher- 
man also,  the  hunt  being  kept  up  in  the  most  persistent  and 
remorseless  fashion.  No  wonder,  in  view  of  this  state  of  affairs,  that 
a  well-known  authority  has  declared  feelingly  that  he  would  not  be  a 
haddock  for  anything,  because  there  is  no  chance  whatever  nowadays 
of  escaping  the  trawlers'  nets. 

The  revolution  also  means  that  as  the  fishermen  grow  more  eager 
to  gather  the  harvest  of  the  sea,  the  harvest  is  in  peril  of  becoming 
smaller.  There  has  long  been  an  outcry  against  the  way  in  which 
some  smacksmen  deal  with  immature  and  spawning  fish,  and  much 
injury  has  been  done  to  the  supply  through  the  thoughtlessness  and 
carelessness  of  the  catchers.  But  on  the  North  Sea  the  scientist  is 
stepping  in,  and  measures  are  being  taken  for  the  preservation  of  the 
fish  supply  which  were  undreamed  of  even  two  or  three  years  ago. 

A  North  Sea  Revolution.  259 

Growing  attention  is  being  given  to  the  question  of  fish  culture  at 
sea,  and  artificial  hatching  is  being  employed  with  so  much  success 
that  young  fish  are  now  caught  in  large  quantities  where  they  have 
not  been  seen  before  this  method  of  replenishing  the  grounds  was 
tried.  So  amazing  is  the  fertility  of  fish  that  in  a  few  minutes,  by 
taking  proper  measures,  one  may  pour  into  the  sea  eggs  enough  to 
produce,  when  incubated,  more  fish  in  number  than  the  whole  con- 
tained in  the  100,000  tons  that  now  pass  yearly  through  Grimsby 
Market,  which  is  by  far  the  leading  fish  centre  in  the  United 

If  this  plan  is  intelligently  and  extensively  adopted,  there  will  be 
even  a  more  wonderfiil  development  in  the  means  of  catching  the 
fish  than  there  has  been  of  late,  great  as  it  is.  A  generation  ago 
sailing  smacks  exclusively  were  engaged  in  trawling  over  the  North 
Sea  grounds ;  now  sails  cannot  possibly  hold  their  own  with  steam, 
and  at  every  fishing  port  are  to  be  seen  dandies,  cutters,  yawls, 
luggers,  and  mules  which  are  for  sale,  and  obtainable  almost  at  the 
price  of  firewood.  There  is  at  Yarmouth  alone  a  depressing  proces- 
sion of  such  craft 

It  is  inevitable  that  with  the  increase  in  the  number  of  steam 
fishing  vessels  there  should  be  a  diminution  in  the  number  of  sailers. 
Few  sailers  are  now  launched,  but,  on  the  other  hand,  steam  trawlers 
are  being  built  with  astonishing  rapidity.  It  is  only  fourteen  years 
since  steam  power  for  fishing  purposes  came  into  operation  at  Grimsby, 
but  so  enormous  has  been  the  development  of  steam  trawling  that 
there  are  now  at  that  place  more  than  a  dozen  public  companies, 
some  of  which  pay  extremely  large  dividends.  At  the  time  of 
writing,  regardless  of  the  statements  made  concerning  the  hardships 
under  which  the  trawling  interest  suffers.  Councillor  Richard 
Simpson,  of  Hull,  known  as  the  "Steam  Trawler  King,"  has  no 
fewer  than  forty-six  steam  trawlers  and  carriers  being  built.  Probably 
by  the  time  this  paper  is  published  they  will  be  engaged  in  fishing. 
Recently  also  other  owners,  principally  limited  companies,  have 
ordered  large  numbers  of  these  handy  little  craft,  and  soon  the  North 
Sea  will  be  even  more  alive  with  them  than  is  the  case  at  present. 

Side  by  side  with  the  North  Sea  revolution  has  been  the  growth 
of  the  fishing  industry.  This  is  best  shown  by  the  Board  of  Trade 
Returns.  According  to  these  statistics  for  1896  the  value  of  the  fish 
landed  at  English  and  Welsh  ports  during  the  three  preceding 
years  was  ^S>29ii476,  ;^S»437i9i7i  and  ;^S.Sio»42i  respectively. 
Most  of  the  fish  was  caught  in  the  North  Sea,  the  value  of  that  landed 
at  Grimsby  alone  being  ;^i,34o,52 1  in  i894>  ;£^MiS|89S  in  1895,  and 

T  2 

26o  The  Gentletnatis  Magazine. 

£hA^ZiZ9i  in  1896.  In  tons  only  there  were  landed  at  Grimsby  iiy 
1894, 88,448;  in  1895,  92,462 ;  and  in  1896, 100,726.  The  returns  for 
1897  showed  that  the  quantity  of  fish  landed  at  English  and  Welsh 
ports — 7,946,108  cwt.  (excluding  shell  fish) — was  larger  than  in  any 
one  of  the  eight  successive  previous  years  which  were  reviewed,  and 
that  its  value,  ;f  5,568,978,  was  very  much  larger. 

It  would  be  difficult  indeed  to  estimate,  even  approximately,  the 
value  of  the  steam  and  sailing  vessels  which  are  at  this  moment 
fishing  in  the  North  Sea,  but  the  total  sum  is  necessarily  a  very  large 
one.  The  number  of  first-class  fishing  steamers,  smacks,  and  boats 
of  fifteen  tons  and  upwards  registered  at  English  ports  at  the  begin- 
ning of  this  year  was  between  3,500  and  3,600,  and  by  far  the 
greater  number  of  these  are  employed  in  the  North  Sea  fisheries. 
The  number  of  craft  of  the  same  description  registered  at  Scottish 
ports  was  just  over  3,400,  and  these  are  employed  almost  exclusively 
on  the  North  Sea  grounds.  It  would  be  scarcely  possible  to  strike 
an  average  value  for  a  sailing  vessel  or  for  a  steam  fishing  craft,  and 
thus  work  out  approximately  the  total  worth  of  the  North  Sea 
vessels.  A  really  first-class  up-to^late  screw  trawler,  fitted  with  all 
modem  appliances,  is  not  to  be  had  for  less  than  ;£ 5,000,  and  this 
sum  is  being  regularly  paid  at  present  by  owners  for  such  a  steamer. 
As  a  rule,  however,  the  value  of  the  steam  screw  trawler  is  not  equal 
to  this ;  but  it  must  be  remembered  that  these  craft  have  been  built 
specially  for  the  trade  within  recent  years,  and  are  for  the  most  part 
kept  in  a  state  of  excellent  repair,  so  that  their  depreciation  has  not 
been  as  great  as  might  have  been  supposed.  Some  of  the  smacks 
are  worth  not  far  short  of  ;f  1,000 ;  the  value  of  many  is  about 
;^5oo,  but  there  are  many  owners  who  would  be  glad  to  realise  some 
of  the  sailers  for  a  less  sum  than  this. 

It  is  strange  that  inland  so  little  should  be  known  not  only  of  this 
revolution,  but  also  of  the  fishermen  themselves  and  their  appli- 
ances and  work.  The  crudest  ideas  still  exist  as  to  the  sort  of  craft 
with  which  North  Sea  fishing  is  done,  and  these  ideas  prevail  laigely 
because  there  are  so  few  means  of  showing  people  what  class  of 
vessel  is  actually  employed.  Comparatively  few  visitors  to  seaside 
resorts  which  are  also  fishing  ports  ever  trouble  to  learn  which  are 
fishing  vessels  and  which  are  not,  and  are  quite  unable  to  distinguish 
a  smack  or  steam  trawler  from  a  trading  sailer  or  steamship.  Not 
many  days  ago  I  heard  a  professional  man  inform  another — a  lawyer 
— that  a  smack  which  was  warping  out  of  harbour,  on  the  Yorkshire 
coast,  for  the  fishing  grounds  was  a  ship  which  was  going  to  New- 

^  for  coal.    Not  long  before  this,  at  the  same  port,  a  young  lady 

A  North  Sea  Revolution.  261 

asked,  pointing  to  a  steam  paddle  trawler,  if,  when  at  sea,  the  vessel 
lan  on  the  ground  on  her  wheek  !  So  fondly  is  the  belief  cherished 
that  fishing  is  done  from  very  tiny  craft  which  are  absent  from  port  a 
night  or  a  day,  that  it  is  most  difficult  to  prove  to  many  people  that 
vessels  of  considerable  dimensions  are  employed  in  the  industry,  and 
that  numerous  North  Sea  smacks  are  not  much  short  of  100  tons 
burden,  while  some  of  the  steamers  are  of  nearly  150  tons  net 
These,  however,  while  partially  engaged  in  trawling,  and  fully 
equipped  for  the  purpose,  are  engaged  chiefly  as  carriers  between  the 
fishing  fleets  and  the  London,  Grimsby,  Hull,  or  other  markets  where 
the  catches  offish  are  sold.  No  wonder  that  when  such  ignorance  as  I 
have  mentioned  exists,  there  should  be  those  who  urge  that  it  is  the 
duty  of  county  councillors  and  educational  bodies  to  arrange  for 
lectures  on  such  subjects  as  "Our  Fisheries,"  "Fish  Culture,"  and 
*'  Fish  Catching." 

Smacks  and  "liners  "  are  fast  disappearing  from  the  North  Sea. 
The  "  liner  "  leaves  port  for  a  week  or  so  at  a  time,  her  successive 
catches  being  preserved  in  ice  until  she  has  enough  fish  on  board  for 
market,  when  she  runs  home  to  dispose  of  it  Having  got  a  fresh 
supply  of  ice  on  board,  she  leaves  port  again. 

A  North  Sea  smack  is,  as  a  rule,  built  on  beautiful  lines.  There 
is  plenty  of  width  and  strength  about  her  bows,  but  there  is  need  of 
both  in  order  to  withstand  the  savage  battering  of  North  Sea  waves 
when  they  are  in  evil  mood — and  that  is  pretty  often.  There  is 
more  deck  room  on  a  "  liner  "  than  is  to  be  enjoyed  on  board  a  trawl 
smack,  where  the  trawl  beam  and  the  great  net  occupy  a  good  deal 
of  room. 

On  the  whole,  line  fishing  does  not  mean  an  easier  life  for  the 
smacksman  than  trawling.  His  lines  have  to  be  baited,  and  as  they 
have  a  total  length  of  ten  miles,  this  is  a  long  and  laborious  task.  In 
getting  in  the  lines  extensive  use  has  to  be  made  of  the  boat  which 
is  carried  on  the  deck.  The  revolution  means,  for  one  thing,  the 
gradual  abolition  of  the  "liner"  and  the  many  dangers  which 
surround  her  and  her  crew.  Much  of  the  work  which  falls  to  them 
has  not  to  be  undertaken  by  the  crews  of  the  steamers.  Especially 
noticeable  in  the  latter  case  is  the  absence  of  the  heavy  boat 

With  the  liner  the  old-fashioned  trawl  is  departing.  This  consists 
of  a  stout  beam  with  an  iron  "  head  "  at  each  end. "  When  the  beam 
is  dropped  into  the  sea  it  sinks  to  the  ground,  and  the  f'  headA " 
keep  the  mouth  of  the  net  distended.  The  net  is  towed  over  the 
ground,  and  gets  gradually  more  or  less  filled  with  fish  of  all  sorts. 

262  The  Gentleman's  Magazine. 

Sometimes  the  catch  is  very  plentiful,  often  it  is  only  moderately 
good,  and  frequently  it  is  very  poor.  When  the  time  for  hauling 
comes,  the  beam  is  raised  by  steam  power  to  the  level  of  the  deck, 
the  ''cod-end  "  of  the  net  is  turned  in  over  the  deck,  and  the  fish 
are  tumbled  in  a  struggling  heap  on  board. 

Although  the  beam  trawl  is  still  very  extensively  used  by  both 
sailing  and  steam  vessels,  it  is  rapidly  being  superseded  by  the  beam- 
less  trawls.  These  have  a  greater  spread  of  net,  and  therefore  an 
increased  catching  capacity ;  and  as  the  latest  form  has  two  separate 
bodies  in  the  net,  one  may  still  be  fishing  when  the  other  has  been 
torn  away  by  sunken  wreckage  or  rough  ground.  The  successor  to  the 
trawl  beam  is  a  ''  shutter,"  as  it  is  technically  termed.  Four  shutters 
are  carried  by  a  screw  trawler,  two  on  the  port,  and  two  on  the 
starboard  side.  Over  the  pulley  on  the  block  suspended  from  the 
centre  of  the  "  shutter  "  runs  a  warp,  or  stout  rope,  fastened  to  one 
end  of  the  mouth  of  the  net ;  and  another  warp  runs  from  a  similar 
"  shutter  "  forward.  So  with  the  other  side  of  the  vessel.  With  this, 
as  with  the  beam  trawl,  the  gear  on  only  one  side  of  the  vessel  at  a 
time  is  employed,  that  on  the  other  being  a  reserve. 

By  means  of  a  small  vertical  boiler  the  heavy  work  of  getting  up 
the  trawl  on  board  sailing  smacks  is  now  done — a  great  advance 
on  the  old  days  when  this  laborious  work  was  done  by  hand. 
Smacksmen  are  not  specially  clever  engineers,  and  sometimes  when 
the  boiler  and  engine  go  wrong  they  do  not  know  quite  what  to  do. 
Then  their  native  resource  asserts  itself,  and  they  make  ready  to 
grapple  with  the  enemy.  If  a  boiler  is  obstructed,  they  aigue,  the 
thing  to  be  done  is  to  remove  the  obstruction.  Cases  have  been 
known  in  which  this  has  been  accomplished  by  firing  up  for  every 
ounce  of  steam  the  boiler  is  worth,  then  retiring  to  the  most  remote 
part  of  the  bows  until  the  pressure  has  done  its  work.  As  a  rule  this 
rough  but  dangerous  method  is  successful,  but  sometimes  there  are 
nasty  accidents  on  board  the  smacks  through  explosions. 

A  large  number  of  old  fishing  vessels  are  now  employed  as 
traders,  and  of  late  not  a  few  have  been  sold  to  foreigners  for  this 
purpose.  They  are  handy,  and  the  working  expenses  are  small.  As 
a  rule,  the  crew  consists  of  two  men  and  a  boy. 

Notable  amongst  North  Sea  fishing  craft  are  the  "  Scotchmen  " 
which  are  so  much  in  evidence  during  the  herring  season.  These 
vessels  leave  the  Scotch  ports  on  the  East  Coast  in  very  large 
numbers,  and  are  familiar  objects  to  the  seaside  visitor  to  that  part 
of  Great  Britain.  They  are  very  similar  to  the  Cornish  herring  boats, 
but  have  a  much  greater  spread  of  canvas.    They  are  broad  of  beam 

A  North  Sea  Revoluiwn.  263^ 

and  have  very  little  freeboard ;  indeed  so  low  in  the  water  are  they 
that  the  prudent  Scot  will  fly  into  a  place  of  refuge  when  anything 
like  a  strong  breeze  springs  up.  A  peculiarity  of  many 'of  these 
boats  is  that  the  wheel  is  placed  horizontally  instead  of  vertically. 
Perhaps  the  Scotchmen  are  the  least  affected  of  all  North  Sea  fisher- 
men by  the  revolution ;  but  steam  is  creeping  in  even  amongst  them, 
and  as  to  its  power,  they  have  proof  enough  in  any  spell  of  calm 
weather.  While  they  are  idle  and  helpless  the  dirty  little  steam 
herring  boat  is  gathering  the  harvest  of  the  sea  in  the  most  handsome 

Unfortunately  many  sailing  vessels  are  lost  every  year  on  the 
North  Sea  through  collision,  and  there  is  no  doubt  that  a  host  of 
fine  smacks  have  been  sent  to  the  bottom  by  some  badly  managed 
big  ship.  It  is  a  case  of  crash  !  and  to  the  bed  of  the  sea,  as 
a  rule,  if  the  weather  is  thick;  for  stout  as  a  smack  is,  she  can  be 
smashed  up  in  the  twinkling  of  an  eye  by  an  over-sea  boat 
meeting  her  bows  on.  Not  long  ago,  in  a  fog,  the  Furst  Bismarck^ 
one  of  the  finest  Adantic  steamers  afloat,  cut  down  a  Yarmouth 
smack,  causing  the  loss  of  several  lives ;  while  shortly  afterwards,  in 
another  fog,  three  smacks  were  run  down,  carrying  many  fishermen 
with  them. 

North  Sea  smacks,  like  all  old  institutions,  have  their  romances. 
Some  years  ago  a  Grimsby  firm  built  a  smack  and  christened  her 
Dr.  Lees^  out  of  compliment  to  that  veteran  of  the  temperance 
cause.  The  vessel  continued  in  active  service  until  the  day  of 
the  doctor's  funeral.  At  about  the  same  hour  as  that  in  which  the 
funeral  was  taking  place  the  smack  ran  ashore  off  Ymuiden,  Holland, 
and  became  a  total  wreck. 

With  few  exceptions  the  steamers  fishing  in  the  North  Sea  are 
built  of  iron,  a  few  being  of  wood,  and  a  larger  number  of  steel.  Of 
all  the  registered  steamers  only  about  thirty  are  paddle,  the  rest 
being  screw  vessels.  The  paddle  boats,  for  the  most  part  old  tugs, 
run  largely  out  of  ports  between  the  Humber  and  the  Tyne,  and 
work  principaUy  alone,  being  absent  for  a  day  or  two  at  a  time. 
They  are  capable  of  working  on  rougher  ground  than  the  screw 

There  are  about  140  foreign  steamers,  all  screw,  fishing  in  the 
North  Sea.  With  few  exceptions  these  also  are  of  iron  and  steel. 
Many  are  English-built    Some  of  the  latest  smacks  also  are  of  iron. 

The  victory  is  to  the  strong,  and  on  the  North  Sea  the  powerful 
modem  screw  trawler  has  matters  pretty  much  her  own  way.  If 
there  is  any  fish  about  she  will  get  it,  and  run  to  port  with  it. 

264  The  Gentiematts  Magazuie. 

There  is  not  much  of  the  romance  of  the  sea  about  her;  she  is 
simply  and  solely  a  money-making  invention,  and  battles  with  wind 
and  weather  as  part  of  her  daily  trade.  What  are  her  expenses,  and 
what  are  her  net  earnings?  These  are  the  questions  which  are 
always  present  in  the  skipper's  mind.  The  company  for  which  he 
works — most  of  the  steamers  are  owned  by  companies — put  at  his 
disposal  a  well-nigh  perfect  machine,  and  expect  him  to  get  the  best 
results.  That  he  spares  no  labour  to  attain  this  end,  and  that  he  is 
pretty  successful,  are  shown  by  the  fact  that  in  a  year  a  first-rate 
steamer  can  make  net  earnings  of  from  ^^1,100  to  ^f  1,600 ;  in 
other  words,  she  will  provide  a  return  of  from  xo  to  40  per  cent,  on 
the  capital  invested. 

The  total  cost  of  running  a  high-class  steam  trawler  for  a  year  is 
heavy — ^nets,  warps,  coal,  crew's  wages,  insurances,  &c.,  making  a 
considerable  inroad  on  available  funds.  The  gross  earnings  of  one 
first-rate  steamer  in  a  twelvemonth  were  ;f  4,000,  her  gross  expenses 
being  ;^2,86o,  leaving  the  net  earnings  ^1,140.  Another  vessel 
had  ^1,598  net  earnings  on  ;f  2,580  gross  expenses,  so  that  the 
cost  of  running  her  was  about  ^£50  weekly.  Her  total  earnings, 
^^4,178,  were  at  the  rate,  in  round  figures,  of  ;^8o  a  week. 

Of  course,  it  must  not  be  assumed  that  all  fishing  in  the  North 
Sea  is  as  profitable  as  this.  Just  as  some  ocean  steamship  shares 
are  first-class  money-making  concerns,  so  are  some  of  the  North  Sea 
fishing  companies  ;  but  it  is  equally  true  that  while  there  are  many 
shipping  combinations  which  are  very  poor  investments,  there  are 
shareholders  who  wish  they  had  found  other  means  of  making  profit 
than  are  afforded  by  the  North  Sea  fishing-grounds. 



•  t 


"  T^HE  worth  of  a  biography  depends  upon  whether  it  is  done  b  , 
X  one  who  wholly  loves  the  man  whose  life  he  writes,  yet  loves 
him  with  a  discriminating  love.  Few  of  these  gossiping  biographies 
are  the  man,  more  often  the  writer."  Such  were  the  remarks  made 
by  the  poet  to  his  son  in  1874  on  the  *' compliments  and  curiosity  of 
undisceming  critics."  Of  the  whole-hearted  love  displayed  by  the 
son  in  the  recently  published  Memoirs  of  his  father  there  cannot  be 
a  doubt ;  and  if  the  keeping  oneself  in  the  background,  and  allowing 
the  subject  of  the  biography  to  reveal  himself  to  us  by  the  record  of 
his  everyday  life — ^his  conversations  with  his  friends,  his  interchange 
of  letters  with  all  ranks  in  society,  from  the  Queen  herself  down  to 
the  Lincolnshire  labourer  who  wrote  to  him  from  the  United  States 
about  the  old  Somersby  days,  his  hopes  and  fears  for  his  work,  his 
general  outlook  on  men  and  affairs,  and  his  unfailing  sympathy  with 
the  joys  and  sorrows  of  humanity — are  not  evidences  of  the  power 
of  discrimination  on  the  part  of  the  writer  and  compiler  of  these 
volumes,  additional  emphasis,  at  least,  is  given  to  the  truth  of  the 
poet's  own  words : — 

For  whatsoever  knows  us  truly,  knows 

That  none  can  truly  write  his  single  day. 

And  none  can  truly  write  it  for  him  upon  earth. 

The  lives  of  men  of  genius  are  not  always  pleasant  reading :  there  is 
often  a  want  of  harmony  between  the  inner  and  the  outward  man; 
they  have  not  learnt  how  to  accommodate  the  outward  life  to  the 
interior  vision.  But  no  such  misgivings  assail  us  as  we  turn  the 
pages  of  these  volumes.  The  life  of  Tennyson,  like  the  life  of  his 
great  predecessor  Wordsworth,  adds  one  more  striking  testimony  to 
the  truth  of  Milton's  noble  words : — "  He  who  would  not  be  frustrate 
of  his  hope  to  write  well  hereafter  in  laudable  things  ought  himself  to 
be  a  true  poem ;  not  presuming  to  sing  praises  of  heroic  men  or 
fomous  cities  unless  he  have  in  himself  the  experience  and  practice 
of  all  that  which  is  praiseworthy."  From  the  reminiscences  contained 
in  these  Memoirs  of  the  poet's  early  life  in  his  father's  rectory,  down ' 

266  The  Gentlemans  Magazine. 

to  the  latest  recorded  conversations  between  himself  and  his  son  in 
the  summer  of  1892 — ^the  year  of  his  death — ^there  is  the  gradual 
unfolding  of  a  life  rich  in  promise,  attaining  its  meridian  splendour 
in  the  strength  of  a  magnificent  manhood,  and  continuing  unabated 
its  creative  energy  beyond  the  allotted  span  of  human  existence. 

Since  Wordsworth  gave  currency  to  the  saying  "The  child  is 
father  to  the.  man,"  a  more  peculiar  interest  than  ever  has  attached 
itself  to  the  early  years  of  those  distinguished  by  supreme  gifts  of 
heart  and  mind.  We  like  to  observe  and  welcome  the  premonitions 
of  coming  greatness.  In  the  case  of  Tennyson  these  indications 
were  plainly  marked.  He  probably  had  written,  and  in  great 
measure  destroyed,  before  he  attained  the  age  of  fourteen,  more 
verses  than  any  other  great  English  poet  of  whose  early  productions 
we  have  any  record  at  all.  His  grandfather  seems  to  have  indulged 
in  the  first  prophetic  anticipations,  saying  of  his  grandson,  then  aged 
fourteen :  "  If  Alfred  die,  one  of  our  greatest  poets  will  have  gone." 
Happily  for  the  world,  the  boy  did  not  die ;  but  after  a  short  spell  of 
education  at  the  Louth  Grammar  School — a  miserable  period  of  his 
life,  so  these  Memoirs  tell  us — he  passed  under  the  able  supervision 
of  his  father,  an  excellent  scholar,  and  in  due  course  of  time  followed 
his  elder  brothers  to  Trinity  College,  Cambridge.  His  fame  had 
preceded  him  there,  and  he  at  once  found  himself  the  centre  of  as 
remarkable  a  set  of  young  men  as  either  of  our  great  Universities 
has  ever  seen.  The  names  of  this  group  have  been  so  long  dis- 
tinguished in  the  literary  and  political  history  of  the  age  that  it  is 
needless  to  allude  to  them  here.  Suffice  it  to  say  that  the  great 
reputation  of  Arthur  Henry  Hallam,  which  "  In  Memoriam  "  did  so 
much  to  foster,  is  seen  to  be  fully  deserved,  and  his  letters  to  the  poet 
evince  a  rare  subtlety  of  intellect,  combined  with  the  tenderest  and 
most  loving  human  affections.  He  was  always  the  constant  and 
discriminating  champion  of  his  friend's  early  poetry,  his  generous 
and  sympathetic  consoler  under  the  stress  of  ignorant  and  spiteful 
criticism,  and  a  firm  and  confident  believer  in  his  greatness  and 
ultimate  triumph.  Of  Tennyson  during  these  early  Cambridge  days 
the  following  descriptions  are  interesting,  as  showing  how  the  personal 
appearance  of  the  poet  at  this  time  struck  his  contemporaries.  A 
friend  describes  him  as  "  Six  feet  high,  broad-chested,  strong-limbed, 
his  face  Shakespearean,  with  deep  eyelids,  his  forehead  ample, 
crowned  with  dark  wavy  hair,  his  head  finely  poised,  his  hand  the 
admiration  of  sculptors,  long  fingers  with  square  tips,  soft  as  a  child's, 
but  of  great  size  and  strength.  What  struck  one  most  about  him 
was  the  union  of  strength  with  refinement"    On  seeing  him  first 

Te7m)*saft,  the  Man.  267 

come  into  the  hall  at  Trinity,  Thompson  said  at  once,  "That  man 
must  be  a  poet"  Arthur  Hallam  "looked  up  to  him  as  to  a  great 
poet  and  an  elder  brother." 

It  was  during  his  residence  at  Cambridge  that  several  poems 
which  the  present  Lord  Tennyson  has  printed  for  the  first  time  in 
these  Memoirs  were  written,  one  of  which — the  "  Hesperides  " — the 
poet  regretted  he  had  not  inserted  amongst  his  published  "Juvenilia" 
in  the  completed  works.  In  1831  Tennyson  left  Cambridge  and 
returned  to  Somersby  to  help  his  mother,  as  his  father  was  ailing, 
and  his  two  elder  brothers  had  left  home.  Within  a  month  his 
father  had  died,  and  upon  him  devolved  the  duty  of  looking  after 
the  affairs  of  the  afflicted  household.  The  friends  of  this  period 
have  spoken  of  "  the  exceeding  consideration  and  love  which  the 
poet  showed  his  mother,  and  how  much  they  were  struck  by  the 
young  man's  tender  and  deferential  manner  towards  her."  All  this 
time  he  was  busily  engaged  in  study  and  meditation,  striving  to 
perfect  himself  in  the  art  which  he  felt  was  to  be  his  life  work, 
and  in  the  letters  to  his  friends,  his  hopes  and  fears  on  this  score 
are  freely  expressed.  Two  years  later,  in  1833,  came  the  great 
sorrow  of  his  life,  destined  to  prove  the  most  momentous  crisis  in 
the  history  of  a  great  soul — the  death  of  A.  H.  Hallam. 

As  in  the  lives  of  everyone,  even  the  least  distinguished  amongst 
us,  there  are  spots  of  time  that  stand  out  with  a  certain  pre-eminence, 
and  either  form  fresh  starting-points  for  further  progress  in  spiritual 
growth,  or  else  serve  as  melancholy  beacon  lights,  apprising  us  of 
the  heights  from  which  we  have  fallen,  so  it  is  made  perfectly  clear 
in  these  Memoirs  that  in  the  period  of  doubt  and  despondency  which 
followed  the  death  of  his  friend,  when  the  foundations  of  the  world 
seemed  out  of  course  and  the  solid  earth  melting  under  his  feet, 
until  he  was  left  face  to  face  with  those  two  awful  realities — God  and 
his  own  soul — the  baptism  of  fire  did  its  appointed  work,  and  a 
finer  temper  was  imparted  to  his  spirit,  which  at  length  emerged  into 
the  calm  atmosphere  of  a  purer  and  clearer  faith.  To  the  poet 
meditating  on  the  grave  issues  of  life  and  death  during  the  seventeen 
years  which  followed  his  great  loss,  "the  workings  of  many  hearts  were 
revealed,"and  what  he  learnt  in  suffering  he  afterwards  taught  us  in  song. 

In  the  same  year,  and  in  the  same  month,  which  saw  the  publica- 
tion of  "In  Memoriam,"  Tennyson's  long-deferred  marriage  took 
place.  How  great  a  blessing  this  union  proved,  the  poet's  own 
allusions  to  his  wife,  and  the  son's  account  of  his  mother  in  the 
chapter  to  which  the  motto  "  Like  noble  music  unto  noble  words  " 
is  prefixed,  form  a  beautiful  testimony.    From  this  chapter  the 

268  The  GentUfnatis  Magazine. 

following  tribute  paid  by  the  son  to  his  mother — ^veiled  as  it  is  in  the 
modest  reticence  that  knows  there  is  a  joy  of  the  heart  as  well  as  a 
sorrow  with  which  no  stranger  should  intermeddle — may  be  quoted : — 

It  was  the  who  became  my  father's  adviser  in  literary  matters.  "  I  am  proud 
of  her  intellect,"  he  wrote.  With  her  he  always  discussed  what  he  was  working 
at ;  she  transcribed  his  poems ;  to  her,  and  to  no  one  else,  he  referred  for  a  final 
criticism  before  publishing.  She,  with  **  her  tender  spiritual  nature  "  andinstinc 
tive  nobility  of  thought,  was  always  by  hb  side,  a  ready,  cheerful,  courageous, 
wise,  and  sympathetic  counsellor.  It  was  she  who  shielded  his  sensitive  spirit 
from  the  annoyances  and  trials  of  life,  answering  (for  example)  the  innumerable 
letters  addressed  to  him  from  all  parts  of  the  world.  By  her  quiet  sense  of 
humour,  by  her  selfleu  devotion,  by  **  her  iaith  as  clear  as  the  heights  of  the 
June-blue  heaven,"  she  helped  him  also  to  the  utmost  in  the  hours  of  his  depres- 
sion  and  of  his  sorrow ;  and  to  her  he  wrote  two  of  the  most  beautiful  of  his 
shorter  lyrics,  "  Dear,  near,  and  true,"  and  the  dedicatory  lines  which  prefaced 
his  last  volume,  *^  The  Death  of  iEnone." 

To  make  the  picture  complete  of  the  woman  who  was  so  much 
in  every  way  to  the  poet,  the  testimony  of  one  who  was  not  a 
stranger,  but  an  honoured  friend  of  the  family,  and  a  frequent 
visitor  at  both  Farringford  and  Aldworth — may  be  added.  The  late 
Master  of  Balliol  concludes  his  "  Recollections  of  Tennyson,"  which 
find  a  place  at  the  end  of  Vol.  II.,  with  an  affecting  tribute  to  Lady 
Tennyson,  written  only  a  few  days  before  his  death : — 

I  can  only  speak  of  her  as  one  of  the  most  beautiful,  the  purest,  the  most 
innocent,  the  most  disinterested  persons  whom  I  have  ever  known.  ...  It  is  no 
wonder  that  people  speak  of  her  with  bated  breath  as  a  person  whom  no  one 
would  ever  think  of  critidsittg,  whom  everyone  would  recognise,  in  goodness  and 
mintlinest,  as  the  most  unlike  anyone  whom  they  have  ever  met.  Though  not 
claiming  to  possess  intellectual  powers,  which  she  assuredly  has,  she  was  probably 
her  husband's  best  critic,  and  certainly  the  one  whose  authority  he  would  most 
willingly  have  recognised.  Yet  with  aU  her  saintliness  she  is  not  at  aU  puritanical 
in  her  views,  either  in  regard  to  him  or  to  anyone  else.  She  has  considerable 
tense  of  humour,  and  is  remarkably  considerate  about  her  guests.  The  greatest 
influence  of  his  life  would  have  to  be  passed  over  in  silence  if  I  were  to  omit  her 

After  the  marriage,  Twickenham  was  the  first  home,  but  finding 
the  Thames  Valley  unhealthy,  the  Tennysons  moved  to  Farringford, 
in  the  Isle  of  Wight,  which  was  a  home  to  them  for  more  than  forty 
years.  Here  the  poet  and  his  wife  "settled  to  a  country  life  at 
once,  looking  after  their  little  farm,  and  tending  the  poor  and  sick  of 
the  village."  His  object  in  thus  cutting  himself  off  from  society, 
and  only  seeing  his  many  friends  from  time  to  time — and  never  was 
man  more  greatly  loved  and  honoured — was  to  avoid  distracting 
influences  and  "  live  a  country  life  of  earnest  work." 

Of  the  fruits  of  that  retirement  from  the  world  his  poetic  life 

Tennyson^  the  Man.  269 

during  the  next  forty  years  is  at  once  an  eloquent  witness,  and  a 
convincing  illustration  of  the  truth  of  that  great  saying  of  old, 
*'  Wisdom  is  justified  of  her  children." 

The  Memoirs  from  this  point  fall  into  a  sort  of  natural  division 
of  chapters  arranged  according  to  the  titles  of  the  various  volumes 
of  poems  in  the  order  in  which  they  first  appeared,  a  considerable 
space  being  devoted  to  questions  relating  to  "  Maud "  and  "  The 
Idylls  of  the  King."  All  this  is  in  accordance  with  Tennyson  s 
view,  that  his  true  life  was  to  be  sought  for  in  his  works ;  and,  of 
course,  the  elucidation  of  various  passages  in  some  of  the  greater 
poems,  either  from  notes  contributed  by  the  poet's  most  intimate 
friends,  or,  as  is  more  frequently  the  case,  from  Tennyson's  own 
explanations  of  his  meaning,  taken  down  by  his  son,  add  considerably 
to  the  autobiographical  hints  which  reading  between  the  lines  of  the 
poet's  works  supplies.  Tennyson,  like  Wordsworth  before  him,  took 
himself  and  his  art  seriously,  and  not  the  least  interesting  parts  of 
these  volumes  are  those  dealing  with  the  poet  as  his  own  critic. 

Though  in  his  early  life  he  was  a  poor  man,  he  was  never  in  too 
great  a  hurry  to  publish,  keeping  his  poems  by  him,  and  striving  to 
bring  them  as  near  perfection  as  was  possible. 

The  following  extract  firom  a  letter  written  to  James  Spedding  about 
1835  is  a  good  illustration  of  the  painstaking  and  laborious  artist: — 

I  do  not  wish  to  he  dragged  forward  again  in  any  shape  before  the  readit^ 
public  atpresenii  particularly  on  the  score  of  my  old  poems,  most  of  which  I  have 
so  corrected  (particularly  ''iEnone*')  as  to  make  them  much  less  imperfect, 
which  yon,  who  are  a  wise  man,  would  own  if  you  had  the  corrections.  I 
may  very  possibly  send  you  these  some  time. 

And  this  devotion  to  his  art  cost  him  no  small  amoimt  of  self- 
sacrifice  ;  it  caused  his  engagement  to  the  woman  he  loved  to  be 
broken  off,  and  it  was  not  until  ten  years  afterwards  that,  having 
caught  the  ear  of  the  public  with  "  In  Memoriam,"  he  renewed  the 
engagement,  because  he  felt  himself  in  a  pecuniary  position  to  marry ; 
though  he  might  have  made  money  long  before  by  writing  popular 
short  poems  for  the  magazines,  as  some  of  his  friends  tried  to 
persuade  him  to  do. 

In  composing  his  poems  he  kept  constantly  in  view  a  favourite 
art  maxim  of  his,  "  The  artist  is  known  by  his  self  limitations." 
Numerous  examples  of  his  practice  in  this  respect  are  referred  to. 
We  learn,  for  instance,  that  several  stanzas  were  omitted  from  the 
"Palace  of  Art"  because  the  poet  thought  the  poem  was  too  full. 
In  the  "  Dream  of  Fair  Women,"  also,  the  four  opening  stanzas  of 
the  poem  as  it  appeared  in  the  edition  of  1832  were  cut  out, 

270  The  Gentleman's  Magaziju. 

perhaps  because,  as  Edward  Fitzgerald  said  to  him,  "They  make  a 
perfect  poem  by  themselves  without  affecting  the  dream."  "The 
Gardener's  Daughter"  is  another  piece  which  has  undergone  this 
rigid  pruning.  Some  forty  odd  lines  called  the  "Ante-Chamber," 
originally  intended  as  a  prologue  to  the  whole  poem,  never  left  the 
manuscript  form.  Taken  by  itself,  the  "Ante-Chamber"  is  quite  on 
a  level  with  the  rest  of  the  idyll,  and  the  portrait  in  the  first  fifteen 
lines  appeared  to  some  of  his  friends  to  be  an  adequate  representa- 
tion of  the  poet  himself: — 

That  is  his  portrait  painted  by  himself. 
Look  on  those  manly  curls  so  glossy  dark, 
Those  thoughtful  furrows  in  the  swarthy  cheek  ; 
Admire  that  stalwart  shape,  those  ample  brows, 
And  that  large  table  of  the  breast  dispread, 
Between  low  shoulders ;  how  demure  a  smile, 
How  full  of  wisest  humour  and  of  love, 
With  some  half-consdousness  of  inward  power, 
Sleeps  round  those  quiet  lips ;  not  quite  a  smile  ; 
And  look  you  what  an  arch  the  brain  has  built 
Above  the  ear  !  and  what  a  settled  mind, 
Mature,  harbour'd  from  change,  contemplative, 
Tempers  the  peaceful  light  of  hazel  eyes, 
Observing  all  things. 

The  best  instance,  hovrever,  of  this  sacrifice  at  any  cost  to  secure 
totality  of  effect  in  a  poem  is  given  us  in  Aubrey  de  Vere's  account 
of  the  "  Reception  of  Tennyson's  Early  Poems  "  (1832-45) : — 

One  night,  after  he  had  been  reading  aloud  several  of  his  poems,  all  of  them 
short,  he  passed  one  of  them  to  me,  and  said,  *<  What  is  the  matter  with  that 
poem  ?  "  I  read  it,  and  answered,  <*I  see  nothing  to  complain  of."  He  laid  his 
finger  on  two  stanzas  of  it,  the  third  and  fifth,  and  said,  '*  Read  it  again."  After 
doing  so,  I  said,  <'  It  has  now  more  completeness  and  totality  about  it ;  but  the 
two  stanzas  you  cover  are  among  its  best."  "  No  matter,"  he  rejoined,  "they 
make  the  poem  too  longbacked ;  and  they  must  go  at  any  sacrifice."  «  Every 
short  poem,"  he  remarked,  "  should  have  a  definite  shape,  like  the  curve,  some- 
times a  single,  sometimes  a  double  one,  assumed  by  a  severed  tress  or  the  rind  of 
an  apple  when  fiung  on  the  floor." 

To  Tennyson  as  a  friend  it  is  impossible  to  give  too  high  praise« 
Never  was  man  more  beloved,  and  the  affection  he  received  was 
returned  in  as  large  measure.  "  Loveableness,"  says  one  who  knew 
him  well,  and  was  his  friend  for  more  than  forty  years,  ''  was  the 
dominant  note  of  his  character."  "In  Friendship  Noble  and 
Sincere  "  is  Browning's  tribute  in  the  dedication  to  him  of  a  volume 
of  selections  from  his  own  poems.  Allusions  to  the  impressions 
made  upon  them  by  the  poet's  personality  and  character  are  frequent 
in  the  letters  of  those  friends  who  have  contributed  reminiscences 

Tennyson,  the  Man.  271 

and  biographical  matter  to  these  Memoirs.    Thus,  e^.  the  late  Lord 
Selbome  writes  of  him: — 

He  was  noble,  simple,  manly,  reverent  as  well  as  strong,  with  a  frankness 
which  might  at  times  seem  rough,  but  which  was  never  inconsistent  with  the 
finest  courtesy  and  the  gentlest  heart.  I  do  not  think  I  could  better  describe  the 
impression  which  he  made  upon  me  by  any  multiplication  of  words.  He  was 
great  in  himself  as  well  as  in  his  work  ;  the  foremost  man,  in  my  eyes,  of  all  his 
generation,  and  entitled  to  be  ranked  with  the  greatest  of  the  generations  before 

Oliver  Wendell  Holmes,  visiting  the  old  poet  in  the  summer  of 
1886,  a  few  months  after  the  death  of  Lionel  Tennyson,  is  struck  by  > 
"  his  patience  under  his  sorrow,  and  his  unselfish  thoughtfulness  for 
others."  A  union  of  gentleness  with  strength  seems  to  have  been 
the  prevailing  impression  made  by  the  poet  upon  all  those  who  had 
been  fortunate  enough  to  enjoy  some  degree  of  intimacy  with  him. 

As  might  have  been  expected  from  one  who,  at  the  conclusion  of 
the  Holy  Grail,  has  taught  us  how  marvellously  the  spiritual  world 
interpenetrates  and  illumines  the  natural  in  the  vision  which  comes  to 
King  Arthur,  busied  in  the  practical  work  of  establishing  law  and 
order  in  his  realm,  no  less  than  from  the  well-known  passages  in  "  In 
Memoriam  "  which  embody  the  most  profound  religious  convictions 
of  the  soul,  a  reverent  Belief  was  habitual  with  the  poet.  He  was 
fond  of  discussing  with  some  few  of  his  most  intimate  friends  the 
great  problems  of  the  Immortality  of  the  Soul,  the  Future  Life,  and 
the  Personality  of  God,  but  would  tolerate  no  irreverent  handling  of 
those  Divine  Mysteries.  It  is  significant  of  his  wide  sympathies  that 
some  of  his  dearest  friends,  as  Aubrey  de  Vere,  W.  G.  Ward,  and 
Sir  John  Simeon,  were  staunch  adherents  of  the  Roman  Catholic 

Tennyson's  attitude  of  mind  on  these  subjects  is  best  expressed 
in  some  conversations  with  his  son  recorded  in  Vol.  I.  They 
occupy  several  pages,  and  quotation  from  them  in  the  shape  of 
extracts,  by  omitting,  perhaps,  some  other  aspects  of  truth  to  which 
equal  importance  is  attached,  might  convey  a  wrong  impression  of 
the  poet's  true  feelings.  Two  brief  sentences,  however,  may  be 
quoted  as  expressive  of  the  summit  of  his  own  earnest  spiritual 
endeavour.  "  My  most  passionate  desire  is  to  have  a  clearer  and 
fuller  vision  of  God.  The  soul  seems  to  me  to  be  one  with  God ; 
how  I  cannot  tell." 

It  is  impossible  in  writing  of  these  Memoirs  to  make  no  mention 
of  the  letters  which  passed  between  Tennyson  and  the  Queen,  a 
number  of  which  are,  by  Her  Majesty's  permission,  inserted  at  the 
end  of  Vol.  II.,  and  date  from  1873  to  1892.    Those  written  by 

272  The  GetUletnan's  Magazine. 

the  Queen  are  in  the  first  person,  and  evince  the  deep  interest 
displayed  by  Her  Majesty  in  her  Laureate  and  his  family.  Now  it  b 
a  message  of  thanks  with  appreciative  comments  on  a  volume  of 
poems  received  from  the  poet ;  now  it  is  the  Queen  who  sends  the 
poet  a  book  of  her  own ;  more  frequently  it  is  a  message  of  human 
sympathy  on  both  sides  when  sorrow  and  bereavement  have  made 
inroads  upon  the  homes  of  monarch  and  poet.  On  Tennyson's  side 
the  correspondence  throughout  shows  him  as  manly,  loyal,  and 
sincere ;  the  words  are  the  words  of  one  who  was  fitted  to  stand 
before  princes,  and  was  content  that  the  grounds  for  such  pre- 
eminence should  be  based  on  manhood's  simple  worth. 

The  following  paragraph  from  the  letter  written  by  Tennyson  in 
reply  to  the  message  of  thanks  from  the  Queen  for  the  epilogue  to  the 
''  Idylls  of  the  King,"  inscribed  to  Her  Majesty,  gives  us  a  pleasing 
picture  of  the  cordial  relations  which  must  have  existed  between 
Sovereign  and  poet : — 

Your  Majesty's  letter  made  me  glad  that  even  in  so  small  a  matter  I  may  have 
been  of  some  service  to  you.  I  will  not  say  that  '*  I  am  loyal,"  or  that  <'  Your 
Majesty  is  gracious,"  for  these  are  old  hackneyed  terms  used  or  abused  by  every 
courtier,  but  I  will  say  that  during  our  conversation  I  felt  the  touch  of  that  true 
friendship  which  binds  human  beings  together,  whether  they  be  kings  or  cobblers. 

For  the  rest,  it  is  a  notable  company  of  men  and  women  through 
which  the  grand  figure  of  the  poet  passes  in  these  volumes.  States- 
men, soldiers,  ecclesiastics,  men  of  science,  men  of  letters,  artists, 
philosophers,  scholars,  all  testify  to  the  wide  range  of  his  sympathies, 
and  the  fascination  of  his  noble  personality  which  compelled  their 
grateful  homage. 

Nor  are  humbler  admirers  wanting,  some  of  whose  letters  to  him 
were  cherished  possessions  with  the  poet  The  Yorkshire  artisan 
who  wrote  him  a  letter  of  congratulation  on  his  eightieth  birthday, 
the  message  firom  the  old  Somersby  labourer  across  the  Atlantic,  the 
Lancashire  weaver  who  wrote  the  fine  letter  of  thanks  for  the  auto- 
graph presentation  copy  of  his  works  which  the  poet  sent  him  on 
being  informed  by  John  Forster,  through  Mrs.  Gaskell,what  a 
priceless  source  of  consolation  and  delight  his  poetry  had  been  to 
the  aged  worker  in  battling  with  the  sorrows  and  hardships  of  life — 
are  instances  of  an  appreciation  which  the  poet  deeply  felt.  It  is 
clear  that  Tennyson's  unfailing  gift  of  humour  was  one  of  the  main 
sources  of  the  sympathy  which  bound  him  to  these  men  in  humble 
life ;  but,  behind  it  all  there  was  that  reverence  for  man  as  man,  that 
large  charity  and  sense  of  human  kinship  which  prompted  him  to 
place  as  an  inscription  on  the  tomb  of  his  old  Farringford  shepherd 

Tennyson,  the  Man.  273 

the  very  words  in  which  forty  years  before  he  had  described  the 
death  of  Arthur  Hallam,  "  God's  finger  touched  him,  and  he  slept." 
In  the  *'  Unpublished  Sonnet "  at  the  beginning  of  the  preface  to 
these  Memoirs  occur  the  lines — 

History  is  half-dream — ay,  even 
The  man's  life  in  the  letters  of  the  man. 

And  yet,  though  we  have  been  told  that  we  must  look  for  "  the 
innermost  sanctuary  "  of  the  poet's  being  in  his  works,  a  picture  of 
the  real  man  must  have  outlined  itself  in  the  minds  of  any  careful 
reader  of  these  volumes.  It  is  not  every  great  man  of  genius  who 
has  enriched  our  national  literature  with  priceless  works  who  could 
so  well  stand  a  scrutiny  of  his  daily  life  and  habits.  Through  the 
delicate  reticence  observed  by  the  present  Lord  Tennyson  in 
obedience  to  his  father's  express  command,  we  see  the  Man  as  he 
moved  in  all  the  manifold  relations  of  human  life — as  a  son,  the 
pride  and  support  of  his  widowed  mother — as  a  husband,  such  that 
one  of  his  oldest  friends  used  to  speak  of  "  the  chivalrous  tone  of 
that  school  for  husbands "  which  pervaded  the  atmosphere  of  the 
family  life  at  Aldworth  and  Farringford — as  a  father,  delighting  in 
the  companionship  of  his  sons,  from  their  earliest  childhood  when  he 
devised  and  shared  in  all  their  amusements,  later  on  when  he 
bestowed  much  earnest  thought  and  anxiety  on  their  education,  and 
afterwards,  when  they  grew  to  manhood,  making  them,  the  elder 
especially,  the  repository  of  some  of  his  deepest  thoughts  and  feelings 
— as  a  citizen,  loving  his  country  with  as  strong  a  fire  of  patriotic 
ardour  as  did  any  of  her  famous  naval  and  military  heroes  who  fought 
and  bled  to  make  England  great  and  free — and,  finally,  as  a  man, 
combining  in  himself  the  "  susceptibility  of  a  woman  or  a  child  with 
the  strength  of  a  giant  or  even  of  a  God." 

Thus  we  get  the  impression  that,  great  as  were  his  works,  the  Man 
was  greater  still,  with  a  greatness  which  was  "  from  first  youth  tested 
up  to  extreme  old  age  " — from  the  days  of  his  golden  youth,  when  he 
was  regarded  as  their  greatest  by  the  men,  then  and  afterwards 
illustrious,  who  formed  the  Society  of  The  Apostles  at  Cambridge, 
down  to  the  latest  years  of  his  life,  when  the  whole  English-speaking 
world  hailed  him  as  their  undisputed  Master  of  Song — the  poet  who 
had  achieved  the  rare  distinction  of  completely  satisfying  as  well 
the  ordinary  reader  as  the  person  of  cultivated  and  fastidious  taste. 

...  he  sung,  and  the  sweet  sound  rang 
Through  palace  and  cottage  door. 
For  he  touched  on  the  whole  sad  planet  of  man. 
The  kings,  and  the  rich,  and  the  poor. 

VOL.   CCLXXXV.      NO.    201 3.  U 

274  ^^  GentUmatis  Magazine. 

Of  such  a  man  and  such  a  poet,  a  poem  like  his  own  *<  Ode  on  the 
Death  of  the  Duke  of  Wellington  "  should  form  the  requiem ;  but 
doubtless  he  himself  would  have  prefened  the  simple,  heartfelt 
words  of  the  old  clergyman  who  came  and  gazed  upon  the  poet  as  he 
lay  dead,  saying,  with  uplifted  hands,  "Lord  Tennyson,  God  has 
taken  you  who  made  you  a  prince  of  men !   Farewell." 




MUNGO  PARK,  when  after  a  laborious  journey  he  first  set  eyes 
on  the  river  Niger  at  Sego  on  June  21,  1796,  could  not 
have  dreamed  that  a  full  hundred  years  would  elapse  before  that 
majestic  river  had  been  navigated  down  to  its  mouth.  Yet  so  it  has 
been,  and  the  achievement  in  attempting  which  Park  sacrificed  his 
life  has  been  the  work,  not  of  a  countryman  of  his,  but  of  a  French- 
man. When  the  young  Scotch  surgeon  set  out  on  his  voyage  of 
discovery  the  course  of  the  Niger  was  one  of  those  mysteries  of 
which  the  Afirican  continent  has  possessed  so  many  to  lure  on  the 
geographical  explorer.  Ever  foiled  by  the  low-lying  miasmatic  belt 
of  the  coast  regions,  travellers  had  been  unable  to  reach  far  into  the 
interior,  which  had  long  remained  a  great  blank  on  the  maps,  or  had 
been  filled  with  speculative  and  extraordinary  series  of  rivers  and 
lakes,  which,  however,  recent  discoveries  have  shown  to  have  been 
in  some  degree  based  on  positive  information,  though  information 
of  a  long  distant  past 

The  actual  discovery  of  the  Niger  must  be  dated  back  to  the 
time  of  Herodotus,  some  twenty-three  centuries  ago,  when  certain 
Nasamonians,  whose  names  have  not  been  preserved,  made  a 
remarkable  journey  across  the  deserts  of  North  Africa  and  reached 
its  waters.  These  Nasamonians  dwelt  on  the  shores  of  the  Greater 
Syrtis — a  deep  gulf  of  the  Mediterranean  between  Carthage  and 
Cyrene— and  five  young  men  of  the  tribe  resolved  to  explore  the 
unknown  deserts  to  the  south  of  Libya  and  learn  what  was  beyond 
them.  Alter  many  days'  travelling  they  came  to  an  oasis,  where 
they  were  captured  by  a  number  of  black  men  of  small  stature,  by 
whom  they  were  taken  through  extensive  marshes  to  a  laige  river 
inhabited  by  crocodiles,  and  on  the  banks  of  which  was  a  city 
inhabited  by  negroes.  The  young  Nasamonians  succeeded  in 
returning  to  their  own  country,  the  antetypes  of  a  long  series  of 
explorers,  and  the  information  brought  back  by  them  has  been 
perpetuated  by  Herodotus.    Herodotus  seems  to  have  come  to  the 


276  The  Gentleman's  Magazine. 

conclusion  that  the  Niger  ^  was  a  tributary  of  the  Nile.  After  the 
time  of  Ptolemy,  when  geographical  research  was  taken  up  by  the 
Arabs,  the  Niger  was  made  on  the  maps  to  flow  into  the  Atlantic ; 
and  so  it  was  shown  on  them  until  the  radical  French  geographer 
D'Anville  a  century  or  more  ago  struck  out  of  the  maps  those 
features  which  did  not  appear  well  authenticated  A  note  to  the 
** Annual  Register *'  of  1758  (quoted  in  Lucas's  "Historical 
Geography  of  the  British  Colonies,**  iii.  11  a)  runs  as  follows: — 
"The  river  Senega,  or  Senegal,  is  one  of  those  channels  of  the 
river  Niger  by  which  it  is  supposed  to  discharge  its  waters  into  the 
Atlantic  Ocean.  The  river  Niger,  according  to  the  best  maps, 
rises  in  the  east  of  Africa,  and  after  a  course  of  300  miles  nearly  due 
west  divides  into  three  branches :  the  most  noteworthy  is  the  Senegal, 
as  above ;  the  middle  is  the  Gambia,  or  Gambra ;  and  the  most 
southern,  Rio  Grande.*'  This  view  that  the  Niger  flowed  westward 
into  the  Atlantic  Ocean  by  way  of  the  Senegal  was  held  by  the 
celebrated  naturalist  Adanson,  who  visited  the  Senegal  in  1749-50. 

The  African  Association  in  1790  sent  out  Major  Houghton  to 
reach  the  Niger  by  way  of  the  Gambia,  but  he  perished  on  the  road 
to  the  mysterious  city  of  Timbuktu,  a  great  commercial  centre  of 
the  Sahara  when  Ibn  Batuta  visited  it  about  the  middle  of  the 
fourteenth  century.  It  was  to  follow  up  the  unfinished  work  of 
Houghton  that  Mungo  Park  offered  his  services  to  the  African 
Association.  On  this  his  first  expedition  he  settled  the  eastward 
flow  of  the  Niger  and  descended  its  northern  bank  for  some  seventy 
miles  below  Sego.  His  second  expedition,  in  1805,  was  undertaken 
with  the  object  of  descending  the  river  in  boats,  and  so  ascertaining 
its  outlet;  but  it  came  to  a  tragic  end  in  the  rapids  in  the  neighbour- 
hood of  Yauri,  above  Bussa. 

Park  died  in  the  belief  that  the  Niger  found  its  way  to  the 
Atlantic  through  the  Kongo,  which  alone  at  its  mouth  seemed  to 
possess  an  adequate  body  of  water  for  so  long  a  river ;  and,  whilst 
Major  Peddie  in  vain  attempted  to  follow  Park's  route  from  the 
Gambia,  Lieutenant  Tuckey  was,  in  consonance  with  his  theory, 
despatched  by  the  British  Government  in  1816  to  follow  up  the 
Kongo  from  its  mouth.  But  both  expeditions  proved  equally 
disastrous.  Eight  years  later  Lieutenant  Clapperton,  on  his  first 
expedition  from  the  Barbary  Coast,  learnt  at  Sackatoo  (or  Sokoto) 
that  the  Niger  flowed  southward  to  the  sea.  With  a  view  to  deter- 
mine this  he  was  sent  out  again  in  1825,  and  this  time  landed  at 

*  So  called  from  the  blacks  living  on  its  banks.     The  word  should  be  pro- 
nounced with  the  g  hard,  as  in  tiger. 

The  French  an  the  Niger.  277 

Badagry,  near  Lagos,  in  the  Bight  of  Benin,  not  a  yery  great  distance, 
as  it  afterwards  turned  out,  from  the  long-sought  mouth  of  the  river. 
From  here  he  and  his  companions  travelled  overland,  reaching  the 
Niger  at  Bussa,  just  below  where  Mungo  Park  had  met  with  his 
death.  Then,  instead  of  following  his  instructions  and  descending 
the  river  to  its  outlet,  he  started  off  on  an  ambitious  design  to  cross 
the  continent  to  Abyssinia,  and  died  at  Sokoto  in  April  1827. 

It  was  Clapperton's  servant,  Richard  Lander,  who,  with  his 
brother  John,  in  1830  settled  the  question  of  the  outlet  of  the  Niger 
by  descending  it  in  canoes  from  Bussa,  or  rather  from  Yauri,  where 
they  had  first  gone  to  try  to  recover  Park's  papers.  The  mystery 
was  solved,  and  the  river  was  found  to  enter  the  sea  by  a  number  of 
mouths,  which  for  hundreds  of  years  had  been  known  to  our  mer- 
chants as  the  Oil  Rivers,  and  which,  being  individually  smaller  than 
the  united  stream,  had  given  no  suspicion  of  their  being  the  outlets 
of  a  great  river.  The  Landers  seem  to  have  met  with  less  obstacles 
from  the  rapids,  which  had  proved  so  fatal  to  Park,  than  from  the 
unfriendliness  of  the  natives. 

After  this  important  discovery  several  expeditions  were  promoted 
by  the  Liverpool  merchants  under  the  leadership  of  Macgregor, 
Laird  and  others  to  open  up  this  waterway  to  the  interior ;  but  the 
unhealthiness  of  the  country  and  the  hostility  of  the  inhabitants  for 
many  years  retarded  the  successful  extension  of  settled  trade. 
Farther  to  the  west  interesting,  though  less  important,  exploratory 
work  was  being  done  on  the  upper  waters  of  the  river.  Major  Gor- 
don Laing,  who  in  1822  nearly  reached  its  sources  at  the  back  of 
Sierra  Leone,  four  years  later  made  his  way  from  Tripoli  to  Timbuktu, 
but  was  murdered  there;  and  in  1827  the  Frenchman  Ren^  Cailli^ 
also  visited  Timbuktu  after  reaching  the  Niger  from  the  Rio  Nunez. 
Valuable  additions  to  our  knowledge  were  also  made  by  the  cele- 
brated German  traveller  Dr.  Henry  Barth,  who  at  the  head  of  an 
English  expedition  reached  the  Niger  opposite  Say  from  Sokoto  in 
June  1853.  Crossing  the  river  in  canoes  he  travelled  overland  to 
Timbuktu,  and  from  there  followed  the  banks  of  the  river  back  to 

But  with  all  these  and  other  expeditions  no  determined  effort 
after  Park's  ill-fated  attempt  was  made  to  navigate  the  river  through- 
out, and  until  recently  a  portion  of  the  river  below  Say  has  been 
shown  on  our  maps  by  a  dotted  line  only,  having  been  surveyed  by 
no  traveller  since  Mungo  Park,  and  his  papers  having  been  lost 
Although,  as  the  above  summary  will  show,  the  exploration  of  the 
Niger  had  been  almost  entirely  the  work  of  Englishmen,  and  our 

278  The  Gentlematis  Magazine. 

possessions  at  the  mouth  of  the  river — especially  since  the  fonnation 
of  the  Royal  Niger  Company — formed  the  natural  base  from  which 
to  navigate  this  great  river,  we  have  abandoned  to  the  French  not 
only  its  further  exploration,  but  also  its  territorial  possession.  The 
French,  on  the  other  hand,  have  in  recent  years  shown  a  feverish 
activity  in  covering  an  enormous  part  of  Africa  with  the  French  flag, 
and  in  so  doing  have  taken  up  and  carried  on  the  work  of  explora- 
tion dropped  in  this  r^on  by  our  own  countrymen. 

They  first  obtained  access  to  the  upper  Niger  at  Bammako  from 
their  colony  of  Sen^al  in  188 1  by  an  agreement  with  the  Sultan  of 
Sego ;  and  at  Bammako,  three  years  later,  a  French  gunboat  was 
launched  on  the  river — an  earnest  of  the  policy  soon  manifested  of 
territorial  extension.  In  1887  Lieutenant  Caron  explored  the  river 
down  to  the  neighbourhood  of  Timbuktu,  or  Tombuktu,  as  the 
French  say  the  name  ought  rather  to  be  pronounced.  Timbuktu 
is  not  situated  on  the  banks  of  the  river,  which  in  the  rainy 
season,  like  the  Nile,  overflows  the  surrounding  country ;  and  the 
trading  city  of  the  Arabs  has  therefore  to  be  approached  overland 
from  the  port  of  Kabara,  on  the  edge  of  the  river.  Lieutenant 
Caron  was  not  able  to  enter  the  mysterious  city,  but  his  surveys 
proved  very  useful  to  his  successor.  Lieutenant  Jaime,  when  he 
descended  the  river  to  the  same  point  two  years  later.  As  was  to  be 
expected,  French  influence  was  rapidly  extended  in  this  direction. 
First  Sego  was  captured  from  the  Sultan  Ahmadu  (1890);  three 
years  later,  when  the  war  with  Samory  allowed  breathing  time, 
Ahmadu  was  further  driven  from  Djennd,  where  he  had  taken  refuge ; 
and  early  in  1894  Timbuktu  was  seized,  though  Colonel  Bonnier 
sacrificed  his  life  for  his  precipitancy. 

Not  only  from  the  west  coast,  but  from  the  south  was  French 
activity  manifested.  War  was  declared  against  Behanzin,  King  of 
Dahomey;  and  that  tyrant  having  been  overthrown,  his  kingdom 
was  declared  a  French  protectorate,  and  made  the  base  from  which 
numerous  expeditions  were  despatched  into  the  back  countries  of 
the  Gold  Coast  and  Lagos.  In  1894  Commandant  Decceur  was 
despatched  at  the  head  of  an  expedition  into  Borgu,  where,  however, 
he  was  forestalled  by  Captain  Lugard,  on  behalf  of  the  Royal  Niger 
Company ;  and  following  that  he  started  again  for  Say,  on  the  Niger, 
which  our  Government  had  agreed  to  recognise  as  the  limit  of  the 
French  "sphere"  on  the  north  of  the  Royal  Niger  Company's 
territory.  Finding  that  a  German  expedition  was  making  for  the 
same  point,  Decoeur  hurried  on  Lieutenant  Baud  to  sign  a  treaty 
with  the  chief  at  Say,  and  meeting  him,  the  combined  expedition 

The  French  on  the  Niger.  279 

descended  the  river,  mapping  the  banks  of  the  portion  between  Say 
and  Gomba  which  had  so  long  remained  a  dotted  line  on  the  maps« 
This  was  in  February  1895 ;  and  a  few  days  after  the  German 
expedition  of  Dr.  Griiner  and  Lieutenant  von  Camap  followed  over 
the  same  course,  partly  in  boats  and  partly  by  land.  And  only  a  few 
weeks  more  were  to  elapse  before  another  Frenchman,  Commandant 
Tout^e,  was  to  navigate  the  same  part  of  the  river. 

Starting  from  Porto  Novo,  in  the  French  protectorate,  Tout^e 
reached  the  Niger  opposite  Bajibo  on  February  13,  1895.  Here  he 
built  a  fort,  from  which,  however,  being  in  the  undoubted  territory 
of  the  Royal  Niger  Company,  the  French  garrison  had  afterwards  to 
withdraw.  Then  he  obtained  boats  from  the  King  of  Bussa  (who 
was  also  in  treaty  relations  with  the  Niger  Company)  and  ascended 
the  river  to  Farka,  above  Zinder,  having  some  fights  with  the  people 
on  the  banks  on  the  way.  From  there  he  successfully  descended 
the  river  to  the  mouth,  accomplishing  the  descent  in  two  months,  of 
which  twenty-seven  days  only  represented  the  time  of  navigation. 

These  expeditions  prepared  the  way  for  the  '' hydrographic 
mission  "  of  Lieutenant  Hourst,  who  has  achieved  the  distinction  of 
being  the  first  to  navigate  the  river  throughout  almost  its  entire 
navigable  course,  and  has  recently  published  an  account  of  his 
expedition  in  an  interesting  and  profusely  illustrated  volume  ("  La 
Mission  Hourst"  Paris  :  Librairie  Plon,  1898).  Originally  com- 
missioned in  October  1893  by  the  French  Under-Secretary  for  the 
Colonies,  M.  Delcassd,  to  descend^the  Niger,  the  scheme  was  for  a 
time  put  a  stop  to  by  the  disaster  to  Colonel  Bonnier's  column  at 
Timbuktu,  and  Hourst  was  ordered  to  return  to  France.  He  had 
started  on  hb  return,  when,  moderate  counseb  giving  way  again  to  a 
more  active  policy,  permission  was  given  him  to  proceed.  He  had 
originally  brought  out  with  him  from  France  a  boat  made,  for  light- 
ness, of  aluminium,  and  constructed  in  sections  for  convenience  of 
carriage  overland  from  the  Senegal  to  the  Niger.  This  was  now 
put  together  and  launched  at  Kulikoro.  A  cross  between  z,  sabot 
and  a  soap-box,  as  he  describes  it,  the  Damust  was  about  thirty  yards 
long  by  three  broad,  and  only  drew  some  16  or  17  inches  of  water. 
In  addition  he  had  two  other  boats — the  Enseigne  Aube  and  Le 
jDanUc-^and  his  party  consisted  of  Lieutenants  Baudry  and  Bluzet 
and  Dr.  Taburet  and  twenty  laptots  and  servants. 

Lieutenant  Hourst*s  descent  of  the  Niger  cannot  of  course  rival 
in  interest  and  in  the  varied  dangers  Mr.  H.  M.  Stanle/s  famous 
descent  of  the  Kongo.  AVhilst  the  latter  made  his  way  down  an 
absolutely  unknown  river,  assailed  by  hostile  cannibal  and  savage 

28o  The.  GentUmafis  Magazine. 

tribes,  the  Frenchman's  difficulties,  on  the  other  hand,  were  more  con- 
fined to  the  physical  difficulties  of  impeded  navigation.  Both  rivers 
have  their  courses  much  broken  by  rapids,  though  the  Niger  has 
none  of  those  falls  which,  in  the  case  of  the  Kongo,  form  an  absolute 
barrier  to  any  navigation.  Its  course  was  now  practically  known 
throughout,  and  at  different  periods  had  been  ascended  and  de- 
scended by  boats.  Still  the  voyage  involved  many  dangers.  The 
reception  to  be  met  with  from  the  tribes  inhabiting  its  shores  was 
an  unknown  element,  and  any  opposition  on  their  part  would  inevi- 
tably increase  the  risks  from  the  natural  obstacles. 

The  first  part  of  the  voyage — as  far  as  Timbuktu — was  in  French 
territory,  and  therefore  now  free  from  danger  in  this  respect. 
Leaving  Kulikoro  on  December  la,  1895,  the  three  boats  reached 
Kabara,  the  port  of  Timbuktu,  on  the  nth  of  the  following  month. 
Here  Hourst  was  enabled  to  complete  his  arrangements  for  the  more 
serious  part  of  the  voyage,  engaging  an  Arab  interpreter  and  adding 
to  his  party  the  Rev.  Pere  Hacquart,  Superior  of  the  Mission  of  the 
White  Fathers,  to  whose  services  as  a  peacemaker  he  afterwards  pays 
testimony.  Here,  where  Dr.  Barth  had  resided  for  a  considerable 
time,  he  learned  of  the  good  reputation  which  had  been  established 
by  that  traveller,  and  was  advised  to  give  himself  out  as  the  son  or 
nephew  of  Abdul  Kerim  (by  which  name  Dr.  Barth  was  known),  by 
which  he  would  ensure  a  more  favourable  reception.  This  sugges- 
tion he  adopted  with  most  satisfactory  results.  A  little  beyond 
Kabara,  which  was  left  on  January  22,  the  announcement  of  his  rela- 
tionship to  Barth-Abdul  Kerim  immediately  secured  the  friendship 
of  the  Kuntas,  who  became  the  best  of  friends,  and  the  chief  agreed 
to  act  as  an  intermediary  with  the  Awelliminden,  a  powerful  Tuareg 
tribe  farther  down  the  river.  These  Awelliminden  were  in  the  habit 
of  raiding  their  neighbours,  the  Iguadaren,  who  were  already  in  treaty 
relations  with  Timbuktu,  and  it  was  deemed  of  great  importance  to 
conciliate  them.  Without  the  goodwill  of  their  chief,  Madidu,  the 
expedition  could  hardly  hope  to  reach  its  destination  in  safety. 

In  this  first  part  of  the  course  it  was  all  plain  sailing  so  £Bir  as 
obstacles  to  navigation  were  concerned.  The  river  was  wide,  and 
the  voyagers  could  disregard  the  threatening  aspect  of  the  natives  on 
the  south  side  of  the  river,  who  followed  the  boats  along  the  banks, 
crying  out  and  brandishing  their  spears.  It  was  only  where  the  river 
was  narrowed  by  rocky  impediments  that  there  was  anything  to  fear. 
At  Tosaye,  where,  as  indicated  by  Barth,  the  river  is  narrowed  by 
two  great  rocky  masses,  the  Tademeket  horsemen  sent  Hourst  a 
formal  declaration  of  war.    But  the  latter  acted  on  the  principle  thai 

,The  French  on  the  Niger.  281 

it  takes  two  to  make  a  quarrel,  and  a  stretch  of  river  was  soon  put 
between  him  and  the  Tuaregs. 

At  Go,  or  Go-Go,  the  ancient  capital  of  the  great  Songhay  Empire 
of  the  western  Sudan,  the  travellers  were  at  first  received  with 
suspicion.  The  Awelliminden  were  assembled  armed  for  a  raid  on 
a  neighbouring  tribe,  but  a  diplomatic  present  sent  to  the  Amenokal 
Madidu  and  the  announcement  that  the  nephew  of  Abdul  Kerim  had 
come  to  visit  the  country  secured  the  goodwill  of  that  potentate. 
Throughout  the  northern  portion  of  its  great  bend,  where  it  traverses 
a  portion  of  the  Sahara  desert,  the  banks  of  the  Niger  are  inhabited 
by  Tuaregs,  an  Arabic  race  divided  into  a  number  of  more  or  less 
independent  tribes.  They  are  of  a  nomadic  character,  coming  down 
to  the  banks  of  the  river  during  the  dry  season,  and  retreating  from  it 
when  the  heavy  rains  cause  the  river  to  overflow  its  banks.  They  are 
Mussulmans,  and  wear  the  long  flowing  garments  so  characteristic  of 
the  Arabs  of  north  Africa.  They  have  in  the  past  had  a  bad  repu- 
tation with  travellers ;  but  M.  Hourst  found  them  to  have  many  good 
qualities.  Though  notorious  robbers,  they  made  no  attempt  to  steal 
his  goods,  their  code  of  ethics  apparently  making  retail  thievery  a 
crime,  and  quite  another  thing  from  wholesale  robbery.  Nor  are  they 
so  cruel  as  generally  supposed :  they  do  not  kill  their  prisoners  taken 
in  combat;  and  they  are  less  fanatical  than  other  Arab  tribes.  They 
possess  camels  and  horses,  and  live  in  tents  made  of  skins.  Hourst 
has  much  to  tell  of  their  home  life  and  of  their  women,  who  are 
more  remarkable  for  their  size  and  weight  than  their  beauty,  this 
being  their  great  recommendation  to  their  spouses.  Hourst  gives 
some  amusing  instances  of  this,  and  has  a  smile  at  a  black  daughter 
of  Eve,  who  seems  to  have  captivated  his  predecessor  Barth. 

Hourst  made  several  attempts  to  come  in  contact  with  Madidu, 
but  the  latter,  though  facilitating  his  descent  of  the  river,  doubtless 
thought  it  best  to  keep  the  Frenchman  at  arm's  length.  He  is 
evidently  a  very  interesting  character,  this  Amenokal  of  the  great 
Awelliminden  Confederation,  and  Hourst  places  great  value  on  his 
goodwill.  With  him  and  his  Awelliminden,  he  writes  gaily,  *^we 
shall  conquer  the  Sahara."  As  a  foretaste  of  French  co-operation, 
he  sent  the  chief  a  present  of  twenty  guns. 

Besides  the  Tuaregs,  this  region  is  peopled  by  the  Songhay 
n^roes,  who  once  had  a  great  empire  here,  but  they  are  now  more 
or  less  subject  to  the  Tuar^s.  Fulahs  also  were  met  with  at  Fafa 
(just  north  of  15°)  and  to  the  southwards. 

It  was  not  until  he  reached  the  neighbourhood  of  Say  (April  5) 
that  Hourst  met  with  any  considerable  opposition  or  hostility.   Here 

282  The  Gentleman  s  Magazine. 

he  found  installed  Ahmadu,  who,  driven  successively  from  Segu,  from 
Nioro,  and  from  Massina,  had  retreated  from  his  enemies  to  the  far 
interior  of  the  continent,  and  founded  a  new  empire  in  the  neighbour- 
hood of  Say,  allying  himself  with  another  raiding  chief,  Ali  Bouri,  who 
had  also  been  chased  by  the  French  from  the  western  Sudan.  He  has 
obtained  the  support  of  the  chief  of  Say  and  of  some  neighbouring 
Fulah  tribes,  and  now  rules  the  country  from  Zinder  to  Kirotashi. 
Commandant  Tout^e  has  told  us  how  these  chiefs  have  depopulated 
the  surrounding  villages  in  their  slave-hunting  expeditions,  and  M. 
Hourst  bears  equal  testimony  to  the  ill  deeds  of  the  Futankes,  as 
they  and  their  followers  are  called. 

It  was  not  to  be  [expected  that  Ahmadu  would  welcome  the 
arrival  of  any  representative  of  his  dreaded  French  enemies,  and 
Hourst  was  quickly  given  to  understand  that  a  lengthened  stay  there 
was  not  desirable.  Yet  his  instructions  were  that  he  was  to  await  at 
Say  supplementary  instructions  which  would  be  sent  him  there, 
doubtless  in  anticipation  of  the  French  advance  through  Mossi  and 
the  countries  between  Segu  and  Say,  in  the  great  bend  of  the  Niger. 
He  had,  too,  other  reasons  for  a  stay  here.  It  was  now  April,  in  the 
dry  season,  and  the  water  had  fallen  so  low  that  the  river  was  half 
dry.  The  boats,  too,  had  been  seriously  knocked  about  in  the  rapids 
at  Ansongo  and  Labezenga,  and  repairs  were  urgently  necessary. 
So,  with  or  without  Ahmadu^s  leave,  Hourst  determined  to  stay.  To 
provide  against  any  active  opposition  his  little  party  took  up  a 
position  on  an  island  a  little  below  the  town  and  here  constructed  a 
fort,  named  Fort  Archinard,  which  could  be  easily  defended  against 
a  strong  attacking  force.  A  hostile  disposition  on  the  part  of  the 
Futankes  was  once  or  twice  manifested,  but  eventually  came  to 
nothing,  and  instead  the  natives  were  glad  to  enter  into  peaceful 
trading  relations  for  the  cloth  and  other  goods  brought  by  the 
French,  and  in  return  to  provide  the  latter  with  food,  &c. 

Here  some  five  months  were  spent,  but  no  communication  was 
received  from  home.  As  a  matter  of  fact  it  was  not  until  May  of 
the  following  year  (1897)  that  operations  were  pushed  to  Say  from 
Mossi,  the  place  being  then  definitely  occupied  by  the  French.  But 
Hourst's  boats  were  repaired,  and  the  river  had  again  risen,  and 
accordingly,  on  September  15,  the  little  flotilla  once  more  started  on 
its  descent  of  the  stream,  the  fort  having  been  first  burned,  so  that  it 
should  be  of  no  profit  to  the  natives.  The  country  below  Say,  on  the  east 
bank  of  the  river,  had  been  definitely  recognised  by  France  as  within 
the  British  sphere  of  influence  by  the  Convention  of  1890,  but  this 
did  not  prevent  Hourst  from  giving  the  chief  of  Tenda  a  present  of 

The  French  on  the  Niger.  283 

twenty  guns  and  six  pistols  to  protect  himself  against  the  ravages  of 
Ahmadu;  and- he  sent  presents  also  to  the  chief  of  Argungu.  In 
fact  he  not  only  inveighs  at  the  Convention  of  1890  and  the  gluttony 
of  ''la  perfide  Albion,"  but  shows  throughout  an  animus  against 
England  which,  but  that  it  is  manifested  by  so  many  of  the  French, 
would  appear  truly  ridiculous.  At  Bussa  he  was  unable  to  obtain 
guides  from  the  chief,  which  he  at  once  attributed  to  English 
machinations,  just  as  he  had  unhesitatingly  put  down  the  bad  faith 
of  the  chief  of  Ilo  farther  up  the  river  to  the  same  cause.  And  the 
subsequent  denials  of  the  officials  of  the  Royal  Niger  Company  would 
hardly  convince  him  to  the  contrary. 

When  Hourst  foimd  that  he  could  get  no  help  at  Bussa  he  con- 
templated bombarding  the  place,  but  fortunately  his  better  sense 
prevailed.  The  next  two  days  proved  a  very  anxious  time  in  the 
effort  to  negotiate  the  rapids  without  a  pilot  M.  Hourst  sent  on 
in  advance  to  reconnoitre,  and  they  marched  along  the  banks  on  foot. 
The  Niger  is  broken  up  into  branches  by  the  rocks,  between  which 
the  water  rushes  at  a  fearful  pace,  and  being  suddenly  compressed 
into  a  narrow  pass  the  water  is  forced  up  at  the  sides  some  three 
feet  higher  than  in  the  centre,  so  that  the  boats  rush  down  a  sort  of 
trough,  with  the  water  threatening  to  engulf  them  on  each  side. 
Happily  there  was  abundance  of  water  to  cover  the  rocks,  or  the 
consequences  of  striking  on  them  would  have  proved  very  serious 
if  not  fatal.  The  small  native  boats  are  enabled  to  avoid  these 
dangerous  places,  following  the  narrower  passages  amongst  the 
islands,  where  the  rush  of  water  is  less  great.  At  these  rapids  Hourst 
found  the  previous  maps  inexact;  however,  he  does  not  feel  dis- 
posed to  give  the  English  the  benefit  of  his  experience,  so  his  own 
published  map  goes  no  farther  south  than  Bussa. 

The  rush  of  water  thundering  through  those  rocky  defiles  is 
tremendous,  and  it  is  not  to  be  wondered  at  that  the  natives  associate 
it  with  demons  whose  voices  they  hear  during  the  night  These 
spirits,  it  is  said,  are  particularly  fond  of  anything  red,  so  that  voyagers 
should  carefully  hide  everything  they  have  of  that  colour,  or  the 
demons  will  swallow  them  up  to  get  possession  of  it  The  Landers, 
who  descended  these  rapids  some  sixty-six  years  before,  tell  us  of  a 
genius  of  the  water — a  benevolent  genius — who  at  Mount  Kesa  or 
Jebba,  below  the  rapids,  provides  the  weary  traveller  a  rest  after  the 
storm ;  and  the  same  travellers  narrate  how  the  King  of  Bussa  had 
previously  gone  down  to  ask  the  becken  ronah  (dark  or  black  water) 
whether  it  would  be  prudent  and  safe  for  the  white  men  to  embark 
on  it  or  not. 

284  The  Genthmafis  Magazine. 

At  last  the  struggle  with  the  rapids  was  successfully  completed, 
and  the  return  to  civilisation  was  heralded  at  Leaba  by  the  flag  of 
the  Royal  Niger  Company,  with  its  legend  ''  Pax,  Jus,  Ars."  M. 
Hourst  pays  testimony  to  the  cordial  way  in  which  he  was  received 
and  offered  assistance  by  the  officials  of  the  company,  who  one  and 
all,  as  might  have  been  expected,  denied  having  had  anjrthing  to  do 
with  the  refusal  of  help  by  the  King  of  Bussa.  It  should  not  be 
forgotten  that  this  potentate  served  Captain  Lugard  in  a  simibr  way 
in  1894,  when  he  wanted  guides  and  a  letter  for  the  King  of  Nikki. 
But  the  Frenchman  unfortunately  cannot  get  it  out  of  his  head  that 
any  malevolent  action  must  be  due  to  the  perfidious  English ;  and 
although  he  was  so  well  treated  on  the  lower  river  there  is  an  under- 
current of  grievance,  even,  for  instance,  making  it  a  complaint  that 
he  had  to  pay  for  his  boats  being  towed  down  to  the  mouth  of  the 

Hourst's  voyage  proves  that  the  Niger  can  be  navigated  through- 
out from  above  Sego  down  to  its  mouth ;  but  there  are  so  many 
obstacles  from  the  numerous  rapids  that  the  value  of  the  waterway 
from  a  commercial  point  of  view  must  be  very  problematical.  The 
impediments  to  navigation  occur  in  two  principal  sections,  one 
extending  for  some  distance  above  Say,  the  other  occupied  by  the 
Bussa  Rapids.  Like  other  tropical  rivers,  the  Niger  is  subject  to  a 
great  rise  and  fall  in  its  waters  during  the  different  seasons  of  the 
year.  Like  the  Nile  it  flows  for  a  considerable  part  of  its  course 
through  a  sandy  desert,  inhabited  by  wandering  Arabs,  whilst  in  its 
upper  course  and  again  in  its  lower  it  flows  through  a  fruitful  and 
thickly  populated  region — the  most  populous  region  of  Africa.  M. 
Hourst  is  of  opinion  that  the  western  Sudan,  which  has  been 
annexed  by  France,  will  prove  even  richer  than  the  region  which  is 
in  the  hands  of  the  Royal  Niger  Company.  It  is  a  magnificent 
river,  this  Niger,  and  one  that  in  the  long  run  must  play  an  important 
part  in  the  development  of  western  Africa,  especially  when  engineer- 
ing skill  has  been  brought  to  bear  in  overcoming  the  natural 
obstacles.  The  French  are  a  very  enterprising  race,  and  in  this 
respect  we  shall  doubtless  see  them  do  something  to  open  up  this 
great  African  empire. 




WHEN  a  man  has  travelled  many  miles  through  an  unpopulous 
country,  not  in  the  comfort  of  a  railway  carriage,  but  by 
some  more  independent  method  of  progress  (it  may  be  on  foot  or 
on  cycle),  a  time  comes  when  he  begins  to  long  for  some  temporary 
shelter  where  he  may  take  a  brief  rest  and  satisfy  his  thirst  and 
hunger.  He  who  is  of  a  stoical  and  valorous  spirit  will  sometimes 
postpone  the  alleviation  of  his  physical  wants  merely  through  a 
desire  to  experience  the  extreme  of  exhaustion ;  but  even  he  will 
in  time  yield  to  the  crying-out  of  the  flesh,  if  he  have  any  regard 
for  the  continuance  of  his  days.  But  the  means  are  not  always 
ready  to  hand,  and  he  will  sometimes  strive  for  miles  with  his  fatigue 
ere  he  reach  the  desire  of  his  heart  Meanwhile,  his  senses  have 
become  dulled ;  he  has  ceased  to  observe  the  delightsome  aspects  of 
the  way,  the  sunlight  sifting  through  the  green  trees,  the  blue  sky 
shimmering  above,  the  pleasant  fields,  the  distant  hills,  all  that  had 
made  for  his  enjoyment  when  he  started  in  the  fresh,  early  morning ; 
and  he  struggles  on  in  a  listless  stupor  that  is  good  for  neither  body 
nor  mind 

When  he  has  arrived  at  some  cottage  by  the  wayside  where  he 
beholds  in  the  window  a  ticket  announcing  "  Lemonade,"  a  grateful 
satisfaction  wells  up  in  his  heart ;  he  drops  from  his  bicycle  with 
tremulous  limbs,  leans  it  against  the  fence  that  encloses  a  plot  of 
flowers,  and  knocks  at  the  door  for  admission.  It  is  probably 
opened  by  a  motherly  dame  who  subjects  him  to  a  brief  scrutiny 
while  he  states  his  wants.  If  he  be  not  a  churlish  fellow,  he  will 
not  resent  this,  for  those  who  dwell  in  out-of-the-way  places  must 
look  well  to  whom  they  admit  within  their  doors.  And,  indeed,  he 
is  in  no  mood  to  be  over-particular  about  the  manner  of  his  recep- 
tion so  long  as  he  finds  himself  on  the  way  to  food  and  drink. 

The  cottage  consists  of  a  room  on  either  side  of  the  door,  that 
on  the  right  being  the  owner's  dwelling-room.  The  wayfarer  is  led 
into  the  room  on  the  left,  which  bears  some  resemblance  to  a  shop, 
inasmuch  as  it  contains  a  short  counter  upon  which  stand  a  pair  of 

286  The  Gentlematis  Magazine. 

scales  and  some  boxes  of  chocolate.  Cases  of  aerated  waters,  dear 
to  the  traveller's  heart,  are  piled  in  the  corner  against  the  wall ;  the 
shelves  which  run  a  few  inches  below  the  ceiling  are  loaded  with 
anything  from  square  biscuit-boxes  to  packets  of  black-lead ;  the 
meagre  window-ledge  is  occupied  by  collections  of  highly-coloured, 
indigestible  sweetmeats,  rolls  of  thick  black  tobacco,  some  day 
pipes,  and  a  few  penny  whistles.  The  atmosphere  of  the  place  is 
rendered  somewhat  stuffy  by  the  presence  of  certain  oils  and  bacon, 
but  the  traveller  finds  his  appetite  in  no  wise  abated  on  that  account. 
While  the  woman  produces  some  rolls  from  a  low  case  of  drawers, 
he  seats  himself  unceremoniously  upon  the  counter  and  dangles  his 
limbs  in  an  ecstasy  of  ease  ;  for  to  gain  a  sitting  posture  after  hours 
of  muscular  tension  is  as  refreshing  as  cold  water  to  a  parched 
tongue.  When  the  wayfarer's  strength  is  exhausted,  his  brain 
becomes  dull,  so  that  it  is  but  with  a  halting  tongue  that  he  responds 
to  the  remarks  of  his  interlocutor.  But  in  another  minute  he  has 
become  the  possessor  of  a  glass  of  lemonade  and  some  diminutive 
loaves  left,  perhaps,  two  days  before  by  the  baker's  van  from  the 
distant  county  town,  and,  though  he  be  the  least  greedy  of  mortals, 
he  will  cause  the  honest  woman  to  open  her  eyes  with  wonder  at  his 
repeated  demands,  continuing  until  her  slender  stock  of  rolls  is 
esdiausted  and  biscuits  are  the  next  resort.  To  such  a  pass  can  the 
primitive  requirements  of  his  nature  reduce  a  man. 

Sometimes  the  student  of  manners  may  have  profitable  converse 
over  such  a  wayside  counter  if  he  continue  to  rest  a  few  moments 
after  he  has  stayed  his  hunger ;  but  in  the  greater  number  of  cases 
he  finds  a  stolid,  irresponsive  demeanour  or  else  a  chatterer  con- 
cerned solely  with  amiable  trifles.  If  this  be  his  fate,  he  will  hurry 
hence  when  he  has  paid  his  reckoning.  Not  till  then,  indeed,  does 
he  take  note  of  the  surroundings  of  his  brief  resting-place,  for  on  his 
arrival  his  senses  were  too  jaded  to  care  for  such  circumstances.  The 
vendor  of  the  means  of  life  to  wayfaring  mortals  does  not  select  his 
place  of  trade  with  a  view  to  their  convenience.  In  fact,  this  occu- 
pation is  usually  a  subsidiary  means  of  support,  attended  to  by  his 
wife  while  he  is  engaged  upon  out-of-doors  labour.  Seldom  does  his 
cottage  stand  where  four  ways  meet.  More  frequently  is  it  to  be 
found  in  a  shadowed  nook  somewhat  withdrawn  from  the  road,  where 
the  low  whitewashed  wall  gains  distinction  from  the  sombre  colour 
of  the  thatched  roof  and  the  green  overhanging  trees,  amid  which  the 
blue  smoke  flies  upwards  to  the  open  air.  Close  to  the  wall  is 
an  array  of  blue  cornflowers,  rich-hued  fox-gloves,  sweet  William,  and 
Echelon'  buttons,  while  in  the  plot  between  the  cottage  and  Ihe 

Wayside  Traffickers.  287 

fence  is  a  fine  profusion  of  marigolds,  sweet  peas,  blush-roses,  and  all 
the  homely  old-fashioned  flowers  of  the  cottar's  garden. 

The  sentimentalist  who  travels  by  such  pleasant  places  is  some- 
times put  to  a  sore  temptation  to  forswear  the  artificiality  of  town 
life  and  the  affectations  of  the  schools,  and  to  betake  himself  to  some 
such  quiet  abode  where  he  might  live  with  love  and  spend  his  days 
in  composure  and  a  sweet  content,  studying  the  neighbouring 
landscape  in  all.  its  minuteness  and  viewing  the  pageant  of  the  year 
in  one  place.  For  to  one  who  is  constant  to  a  single  patch  of 
country  for  his  pleasure  there  is  given  a  fuller,  finer  perception  of  the 
changes  it  suffers,  not  only  its  obvious  renascence  and  decay,  but 
likewise  those  elusive  anticipations  and  after-suggestions  which  are 
not  revealed  to  the  casual  passer-by.  But  the  world  is  so  much  with 
us  that  back  we  go  in  spite  of  it  all,  closing  our  ears  to  Pan's  pipings, 
and  engaging  once  more  in  the  dust  and  hurry  of  Babylon.  Hence 
it  comes  that  the  wayside  cottage  is  no  more  than  the  occasion  for  a 
pleasing  fancy  as  we  hasten  towards  our  goal. 

All  morning  I  had  been  wayfaring  over  moors  with  never  a 
dwelling  in  sight.  From  an  open  sky  the  sun  shone  upon  the 
brown  bent  and  the  budding  heather,  and  the  loudest  sound  was  the 
grasshopper's  whirr  in  the  grass  at  the  roadside.  Hot  air  hovered 
over  the  moor,  the  light  was  dazzling,  and  there  was  nothing  to  meet 
the  eye  on  this  side  of  the  blue  hills.  To  travel  long  under  such 
conditions  is  less  than  pleasurable,  and  I  had  begun  to  hope 
earnestly  for  some  means  of  slaking  my  thirst  when,  rising  with  a 
slight  undulation  in  the  road,  I  perceived  afar  off  a  low  slated  roof 
seeming  to  lie  upon  the  moor  itself,  and,  as  the  road  sloped  upwards 
and  downwards  by  little  stages,  the  slates,  shining  in  the  sun,  rose 
and  fell  from  view.  Presently,  as  I  came  nearer,  I  beheld  a  lonely 
cottage  sunk  in  a  hollow,  whither  one  could  descend  from  the  road 
by  steps.  A  sparkling  army  of  bottles  arranged  on  the  window-sash 
caught  my  notice,  and  in  another  minute  I  was  knocking  at  the  door. 
It  was  such  a  place  as  Mr.  Hardy  might  tell  weird  tales  of;  and, 
indeed,  there  is  something  strange  about  a  human  habitation  placed 
amid  such  desolate  surroundings.  Should  mortals  be  found  there, 
one  naturally  expects  that  their  destiny  and  relations  will  be  corre- 
spondingly strange ;  and  so  there  is  a  field  for  romance  ready  to 
hand.  Nay,  more,  the  everyday  elements  of  life  are  unexpected, 
and  the  commonplace  is  likely  to  seem  incongruous. 

Here  I  was  too  far  from  highways  to  expect  any  semblance  of  a 
shop  such  as  townsmen  use.  A  young  woman  ushered  me  into  the 
^*  Uvingroom  "  of  the  place,  which  was  really  a  kitchen  with  a  bed  in 

288  The  Gentletnatis  Magazine. 

the  wall  By  the  fireside  sat  an  aged  woman,  the  grandmother,  I 
supposed,  of  the  child  she  held  on  her  knee.  Moorland  womenfolk 
are  the  most  suspicious  beings  of  my  experience,  and  I  fdt  during 
the  three  or  four  succeeding  minutes  that  I  was  there  only  on 
sufferance.  The  grandam,  from  whom  one  might  have  expected 
more  humanity,  sat  with  never  a  word  on  her  tongue,  while  the 
younger  woman  moved  about  with,  I  thought,  something  of  defiance 
in  her  air.  And  I  am  sorry  to  say  that  I  had  given  them  some  slight 
ground  for  suspicion  before  I  was  quit  of  them,  departing  fi:om  the 
door  without  paying  the  twopence  due.  The  younger  woman, 
coming  forth  in  pursuit,  found  me  calmly  employed  in  making  a 
new  disposition  of  my  luggage.  Her  manner  was  distinctly  aggressive 
as  she  informed  me  of  my  unintentional  offence,  and  it  was  in  silence 
that  she  received  the  coins  and  the  apology.  Yet  it  remained  true 
that  I  had  not  hurried  hot-foot  from  the  neighbourhood,  so  that, 
perhaps,  I  was  not  so  badly  thought  of. 

When  I  had  completed  the  arrangement  of  my  luggage,  I  hastened 
to  be  clear  of  so  churlish  surroundings.  The  folk  were  not,  indeed, 
inharmonious  with  their  neighbourhood,  but  I  shall  be  loth  to 
seek  refreshment  in  the  same  quarters  the  next  time  I  pass  that 
way.  Besides,  it  was  the  scene  of  my  slip  from  virtue,  and  a  man  is 
naturally  shy  of  the  localities  of  his  crimes. 

But  it  is  not  always  in  the  last  stages  of  exhaustion  that  one 
alights  at  such  wayside  stopping-places.  They  are  most  pleasantly 
associated  with  halts  cried  on  calm  summer  afternoons,  or  cool 
evenings  when  one  is  engaged  on  whimsical  journeys  to  remote 
valleys,  or,  perhaps,  in  the  still  forenoon  when  one  goes  leisurely, 
yet  hotly,  through  open  country  in  the  heat  of  the  day.  Once  I 
had  kept  company  with  a  fair  stream  for  many  miles.  The  road 
ran  among  trees  at  the  foot  of  steep,  richly-wooded  banks,  and 
overhead  there  had  been  the  clear  sky.  Towards  evening  I  came 
to  a  small  cottage  at  the  end  of  a  bridge.  I  entered,  and  was 
forthwith  engaged  in  talk  with  a  kindly  woman,  who,  as  she  supplied 
my  wants,  exhibited  a  profound  interest  in  the  art  of  cycling.  We 
eventually  drifted  into  more  profitable  conversation,  and  I  obtained 
from  her  a  long  family  history  for  which  I  had  been  seeking  vainly. 
Her  account  of  it  was  not  unmixed  with  shrewd  comments  on 
character.  When  I  took  my  leave,  she  came  to  the  door  to  watch 
my  departure  on  my  bicycle,  as  though  I  were  a  visitant  from 
another  planet  of  whom  it  were  well  to  take  note,  or  some  stranger 
animal  than  that  which  the  Mexicans  thought  they  beheld 
when   Spanish  cavalry  came  upon  their  shores.      Such  humane 

Wayside  Traffickers.  289 

experiences  befell  in  the  days  when  cycling  was  an  art  practised 
by  few. 

One  July  evening,  txayelling  on  the  high  road  between  two  cities, 
I  came  to  a  small  dwelling  on  the  side  of  the  way  that  looked  as 
though  it  had  been  a  toll-house  in  the  days  when  tolls  were  imposed 
upon  the  land.  It  was  whitewashed  and  dirty,  and  a  card  hung 
within  the  small  window  bore  the  customary  advertisement  The 
exterior  was  scarcely  attractive ;  but,  knowing  the  fallible  nature  of 
appearances,  I  resolved  to  venture.  The  door  was  spread  open  by 
one  who  stood  jacketless,  and  on  my  asking  if  I  might  be  permitted 
to  have  lemonade,  he  merely  turned  on  his  heel  and  walked  inwards. 
I  supposed  that  my  request  was  too  contemptible  to  require  a  verbal 
response  from  one  who,  I  fancy,  drank  beer  every  day  of  his  life. 
I  ventured  to  follow  him  into  a  room  where  sat  a  woman  with  two 
dirty  children  sprawling  on  a  threadbare  strip  of  carpet.  But  what 
was  least  agreeable  was  the  heat  of  the  room,  which,  I  suppose,  had 
not  been  aired  for  a  twelvemonth.  The  couple  who  dwelt  here  kept 
their  aerated  goods  on  a  shelf  close  to  the  ceiling,  so  that 
when  I  came  to  drink  my  lemonade  I  was  nearly  sickened  by  the 
warmth  of  it.  To  such  fare  must  the  gentleman  tramp  occa- 
sionally condescend,  though,  indeed,  his  lines  usually  M  in  pleasanter 

Another  wayside  trafficker,  the  strangest  of  all,  rises  in  memory 
This  time  I  was  almost  within  the  shadow  of  a  great  town,  but  my 
throat  was  abready  parched,  and  I  was  disinclined  to  prolong  the 
agony  until  I  should  have  covered  the  few  miles  that  remained  of 
my  journey.  When  I  crossed  the  threshold  I  thought  no  one  was 
present,  but  in  another  moment  I  observed  an  old  man  sitting  in  a 
chair  with  a  pair  of  crutches  leaning  against  it,  and  somewhat 
doubtfully  I  proffered  my  request.  He  directed  me  to  a  certain 
shelf  where  I  might  obtain  what  I  wished,  and  when  I  gave  him  a 
silver  coin  from  which  a  certain  sum  of  change  was  due  to  me,  he 
bade  me  open  the  till  and  extract  the  necessary  amount.  So  for 
the  first  time  in  my  life  I  opened  a  till  to  which  I  had  no  right  The 
old  man  explained  that  when  his  daughter,  who  usually  had  charge 
of  the  shop,  had  to  go  out,  he  was  left  to  take  what  care  of  it  he 
might  He  recited  to  me  the  most  pitiful  story  of  his  own  mis- 
fortunes that  I  have  heard  at  first-hand  from  any  man.  Yet  I  may 
not  set  it  down  here,  save  the  end  of  it,  that  disabled  as  he  was  he 
lacked  the  few  pounds  of  capital  that  would  have  made  him  inde- 
pendent It  was  the  desire  of  his  heart  to  perambulate  the  streets 
in  a  wheeled  chair,  and  play  his  fiddle  for  the  passers  by,  and  by 

VOU  CCLXXXV.     KO.  2OI3.  X 

290  The  Gentleman's  Magazine. 

this  means  he  expected  to  have  been  able  to  make  a  livelihood  for 
himself.  But  the  necessary  vehicle  was  wanting,  and  it  was  beyond 
his  power  to  remedy  the  defect  in  his  fortunes.  So  he  was  obliged 
to  sit  in  idleness,  obedient  to  the  will  of  others.  There  was  some- 
thing affecting  in  the  sight  of  a  man  who  had  been  a  giant  of  strength 
brought  to  such  helplessness  by  the  accident  of  a  moment  He 
seemed  to  me  like  some  broken  gambler  without  a  farthing  to  make 
another  bid  for  fortune. 




Thy  murmurs.  Dove, 
Pleasing  to  lovers,  or  to  men  fidl'n  in  love. 
With  thy  br^ht  beauties  and  thy  fiiir  blue  eyes, 
Wound  like  a  Parthian,  while  the  shooter  flies.-- 

Cotton,  Wonders  of  the  Peak. 

IT  happened  in  the  forenoon  of  a  May-day  that  the  writer  and  a 
friend  (whom  for  purposes  of  identification  we  will  call  the 
Man  from  Town)  chanced  to  be  upon  one  of  the  slopes  of  Axe 
Edge,  in  the  Peak  Country. 

The  sun  was  shining  out  of  an  intensely  blue  sky,  and  the  rarefied 
atmosphere,  stirred  by  the  breeze  which  is  constantly  sweeping  over 
these  ridges,  had  an  efiect  upon  the  jaded  system  of  the  Man  from 
Town  far  more  vivifying  than  the  flagons  of  the  "  Cat  and  Fiddle  " 
or  the  "  Traveller's  Rest,"  both  of  which  hostelries — reputedly  the 
most  elevated  in  England — ^lay  a  few  miles  apart  to  the  right  and 

To  wander  hereabouts  leads  one  to  realise  with  Wordsworth 

that  :— 

Who  comes  not  hither  ne'er  shall  know 
How  beautiful  the  world  below ; 
Nor  can  he  guess  how  lightly  leaps 
The  brook  adown  the  rocky  steeps. 

But  the  bright  greenery  of  the  budding  summer  is  lost  to 
the  wayfarer  upon  these  altitudes.  Only  heather  meets  the  eye,  and 
the  savage  blackness  of  this  product  of  sterility  is  not  yet  relieved 
by  the  mild  colour  of  the  broom  flower.  Indeed,  saving  the  warmth 
of  the  sun,  there  is  nothing  to  remind  one  that  this  is  the  season  of 
roses  and  apple  blossom,  of  luxuriant  gardens,  and  rich,  deep 
meadow  grass. 

There  is  not  one  human  habitation  within  sight.  The  one  token 
of  man's  presence  is  an  old  windlass  and  some  apparatus  which  were 
in  vogue  many  years  ago,  before  railways  drove  the  shaley  basses  of 
Axe  Bridge  out  of  the  North  Derbyshire  coal  market    Far  away  to 


292  The  Gentletnatis  Magazine. 

the  north-west,  on  the  rising  side  of  the  moor,  three  roads  wind  a?ray 
in  sinuous  white  lines ;  in  the  nearer  distance  the  uniform  brown  is 
streaked  with  narrow  tracks  made  by  the  shepherds  and  the  black- 
iaced  sheep.  We  are,  in  fact,  completely  detached  from  the  swarm 
of  our  own  kind,  and  have  strayed  into  a  country  where  the  common 
language  is  the  chatter  of  the  birds.  For  if  this  moorland  is  not 
exactly  a  sanctuary  in  the  sense  that  Mr.  Cornish  and  other  bird- 
lovers  plead  for,  it  possesses  many  of  the  requisite  conditions.  It  is 
in  the  proper  sense  of  the  term  a  forest — a  place  where  the  feathered 
world  may  take  xeiMgt  far-rest. 

This  morning  the  air  seems  to  be  filled  with  the  beating  of 
wings  and  the  varying  cry  of  birds.  The  grouse-cocks,  hidden  in 
the  heather,  are  making  husky  calls  to  the  responsive  croaks  of  their 
mates ;  two  or  three  curlews  are  passing  backwards  and  forwards, 
making  continually  their  noisy  call,  and  a  snipe  is  piping  his  whistle 
from  time  to  time  in  a  boggy  patch  just  in  front  of  us.  llien  there 
is  a  melodious  choir  of  larks  above,  and  on  the  ground  a  host 
of  small  warblers  and  chatterers  hopping  contentedly  hither  and 
thither  in  undisturbed  possession  of  their  many-acred  feeding-ground. 
The  peewits  are  the  only  members  of  the  fraternity  that  betray 
concern  at  our  presence.  These  long-winged  screamers  circle  round 
and  round,  crying  out  in  the  most  aggrieved  tones,  and  viciously 
elevating  their  crests  ;  their  animated  movements  forming  a  striking 
contrast  to  the  silent,  slippery  flight  of  the  cuckoo  which  glides  over 
the  landscape  and  disappears  upon  the  horizon  with  just  three  little 
birds  in  attendance,  or  pursuit. 

The  Man  from  Town,  who  possesses  a  compendious  store  of 
knowledge  of  the  ready-reckoner  kind,  usefully  remembers  that  Axe 
Edge  is  1,751  feet  above  sea-level,  being  one  of  the  largest  bulwarks 
of  the  English  Apennines,  and  also  a  "  Great  Divide  "  separating  the 
eastern  watershed  of  England  from  the  west.  This  is  of  course  a  very 
honourable  raison  d'ttre  for  the  Edge  of  our  old  Axe,  and  we  were 
prompted  to  remark  that  this  noble  eminence  was  the  cradle  of  no 
less  than  four  good-sized  rivers.  "  Two  of  which,"  interposed  the 
Man,  "fall  westwards  into  the  Irish  Channel,  and  the  others — Dove 
and  Manfold — flow  into  the  North  Sea."  Practically,  therefore.  Axe 
Edge  is  what  our  American  cousins  would  call  the  "  hub  "  of  the 
kingdom,  and  after  the  Man's  reference  to  the  eastern  and  western 
seas  we  had  scarcely  the  heart  to  divulge  to  him  that  the  tiny  bum 
which  rose  close  to  where  we  were  sitting,  and  dodged  along  the  line 
of  least  resistance  through  the  stubborn  broom,  was  the  beginning 
he  famous  river  Dove. 

Beside  the  Dove.  293 

The  honour  of  finding  the  source  of  the  Dove  is  accorded  to 
Izaak  Walton.  Unfortunately,  however,  like  some  early  geographers 
of  the  Nile  region,  he  seems  to  have  located  it  in  the  wrong  place. 
Old  Izaak's  source  is  the  other  prong  of  the  fork,  and  rises  about 
half  a  mile  from  here.  The  Man  from  Town  of  course  argues 
strongly  in  favour  of  the  classic  point,  and  we  eventually  arrange 
our  differences  by  striking  down  the  hill  to  Walton's  pool.  There  is 
a  homestead  called  Dove  Head  ;  and  over  the  road  in  the  pasture 
is  a  well,  hardly  wider  or  deeper  than  an  ordinary  milking-pail,  '*  a 
contemptible  pool  which  could  easily  be  covered  by  a  man's  hat," 
as  Walton  terms  it.  But  to  the  brethren  of  the  angle  it  is  a 
shrine,  and  being,  as  it  is,  out  in  the  wilderness,  it  maintains  its 
original  "  contemptibility."  Upon  the  brink  there  is  a  flagstone  on 
which  the  old  lady  from  the  farmhouse  rests  her  bucket  when  she 
comes  to  lade ;  over  it  is  a  lichen-covered  slab  with  the  interwoven 
monogram  of  Izaak  Walton  and  Charles  Cotton,  plaited  like  the 
same  initials  on  Cotton's  fishing-house  at  Hartington.  Close  by  is  a 
wooden  post  that  marks  the  boundary  between  the  counties  of 
Derby  and  Stafibrd,  and  the  little  Dove,  taking  up  the  line  from  this 
landmark,  has  henceforward  for  the  forty-five  miles  of  its  course  to 
separate  the  county  of  rocks  from  the  county  of  rammel  heaps,  the 
Bleak  Country  from  the  Black  Country. 

The  Man  seated  himself  beside  the  pool,  and,  as  he  silently 
proceeded  to  take  a  rubbing  of  the  initials,  we  knew  he  was  mentally 
developing  the  scheme  of  our  fiirther  movements. 

.  •  •  •  a  •  ■ 

To  walk  the  boundary  between  the  coimties  of  Derby  and 
Stafford  is  a  tour  of  delight  if  the  weather  be  fine.  You  are  in  an 
impossible  country,  and  therefore  dispense  with  bicycles  (which,  by- 
the-by,  are  as  tiresome  companions  in  a  hilly  country  as  Mr. 
Pickwick  found  hackney  horses  to  be).  You  are  in  Arcadia,  and, 
dressing  like  the  Arcadians,  you  dispense  with  portmanteaus.  You 
have  no  desire  to  call  into  requisition  even  such  railway  facilities  as 
there  are,  consequently  there  is  no  necessity  to  be  at  a  given  place 
by  a  certain  time.  You  simply  meander  along,  exchanging  your 
small  silver  for  feeds  of  bread  and  cheese  and  sludce-downs  in  village 
inns,  and  you  can  moreover  lengthen  or  shorten  your  pilgrimage  at 

Until  the  commencement  of  the  present  decade  the  upper  reaches 
of  the  Dove  escaped  the  usage  which  befell  the  Wye.  The  Wye 
valley  was  opened  up  by  the  iron  horse  in  the  early  sixties — spoiled, 
as  Ruskin  declared,  "to   enable  a  fool  who  happened  to  be  in 

294  ^^  Gentleman's  Magazine. 

Buxton  to  be  in  Bakewell  twelve  minutes  later."  Some  three  or  four 
years  ago  the  London  and  North-Western  Railway  Company  com- 
pleted the  first  length  of  new  line  which  will  eventually  form  a  trunk 
road,  and  an  alternative  to  the  Rugby  and  London  route.  This  sec- 
tion from  Buxton  to  Parsley  Hay  is  nine  miles  long,  and  a  second 
instalment  from  the  last  named  place  to  Ashbourne  will  probably 
be  in  working  order  by  next  year.  The  new  track  runs  dong  the 
eastern  shoulder  of  the  valley  for  the  whole  twenty  miles,  and  will 
therefore  enable  the  dilettante  lounger  and  paunchy  holiday-maker 
to  exploit  the  beauties  of  the  neighbourhood  with  the  minimum  of 
physical  exertion. 

To  keep  on  foot  is,  however,  the  most  advantageous  course  under 
the  circumstances  ;  for  the  best  bits  of  nature  are  often  to  be  found 
in  the  least  accessible  places.  The  Man  from  Town  gets  into  a  long 
stride  which  rapidly  removes  us  from  the  mountain  heather,  and  we 
come  to  a  region  which  is  neither  valley  nor  plain ;  the  foreground  is 
broken  up  with  immense  hillocks,  reminding  one  of  nothing  so  much 
as  those  old  prints  of  the  Israelitish  camp  in  the  wilderness,  with  the 
tents  drawn  in  bad  perspective.  Some  of  these  elevations  have  been 
christened — there  is  Great  Croome,  Little  Croome,  High  Wheeldon, 
Parker's  Head,  and  so  on  ;  but  some  of  them  pass  without  names, 
and  their  smooth,  treeless  sides  are  given  over  to  sheep,  which  slide 
up  and  down  them  in  search  of  a  living.  Presently  a  tower  peeps  up, 
and  the  Man  breaks  out  with  Viator's  inquiry,  ^'What  have  we  here? 
—a  church  ?  As  Fm  an  honest  man,  a  very  pretty  church  1  Have  you 
churches  in  this  country,  sir  ?  "  It  is  the  church  and  village  of  Earl 
Stemdale.  We  have  been  sighing  for  the  breeze  that  was  lost  when 
we  descended  from  Axe  Edge,  and  the  scorching  heat  which  has  been 
pelting  down  upon  us  for  the  last  two  hours,  while  it  has  moistened 
he  outer  fabric,  has  drained  the  inner  man.  So  we  decide  to  take  a 
siesta  in  Earl  Stemdale. 

There  is  but  one  public-house  in  the  place,  and  the  sign  which 
swings  over  the  door  is,  inexplicably  enough,  the  representation  of  a 
woman  without  a  head,  a  phenomenon  which  the  landlord  accounts 
for  as  follows.  A  former  host  possessed  a  wife  whose  tongue  was  very 
shrill.  One  day  the  husband  had  left  home  to  transact  some  business, 
and  did  not  return  until  very  late.  The  dear  woman,  suspecting  that 
her  man  had  been  in  bad  company,  resorted  to  a  more  than  usual  out- 
rageous use  of  her  unruly  member.  Thus  tormented,  poor  Boniface 
in  desperation  betook  himself  once  more  out  of  doors  and  to  a  painter, 
whom  he  instructed  to  prepare  a  new  sign  for  the  inn — the  present 
one — declaring  that  if  he  couldn't  have  a  quiet  woman  inside  his 

Beside  the  Dove.  295 

premises  he  would  have  one  outside.  Hence  the  ^'  Quiet  Woman." 
The  origin  of  such  a  unique  signboard  has  been  the  subject  of  wide 
controversy,  but  the  forgoing  whimsical  explanation  is  no  doubt  the 
true  one.  Such  a  prank  must  have  been  conceived  in  a  spirit  of 
waggery  similar  to  that  which  induced  a  certain  Derbyshire  man  to 
carve  a  monkey  upon  the  corner-stone  over  a  row  of  houses  which  he 
had  mortgaged — "  a  sweet  little  cherub  that  sits  up  aloft." 

The  Peakland  villagers  are,  taking  them  altogether,  a  shrewdy 
hard-fared  class  with  a  fund  of  dry  humour  such  as  a  stranger  would 
scarcely  give  them  credit  for.  The  Man  from  Town  is  dissipating 
his  energies  by  fidgeting  about  among  the  stragglers  who  happen  to 
drop  in  for  a  drink.  He  carries  a  note-book  into  which  he  dots 
down  his  memorabilia,  but  I  notice  that  he  dips  his  bucket  for  the 
most  part  into  empty  wells.  These  natives  apparently  know  nothing. 
Is  it  reasonable  to  hope  that  they  should,  or  to  expect  that  the 
ordinary  man  of  affairs,  be  he  farmer  or  labourer,  should  be  able  to 
supplement  right  off-hand  the  county  histories  and  the  guide-books  ? 
To  make  the  experience  of  such  folks  useful  one  must  know  them 
intimately,  and  when  they  are  talking  keep  a  sharp  look-out  for 
indirect  information. 

But  to  continue.  The  valley  onwards  from  Earl  Stemdale  grows 
both  in  sweep  and  depth,  and  the  river  attains  a  much  greater 
volume.  The  Man  has  a  note  to  the  effect  that  in  feudal  times  a 
castle  flourished  hereabouts,  but  it  seems  that  no  traces  of  it  now 
remain ;  a  carter  from  the  hamlet  of  Crowdicote  looks  vacant  in  reply 
to  an  interrogatory  upon  the  point,  but  "doesna'  doubt  bu'  that  the 
mit  ha'  bin  one,  for  they  always  seyn  that  Chelmorton  Church  were 
built  out  o'  stone  fra  Crowdicote  Castle."  The  church  he  refers  to — 
which,  by-the-by,  is  reputed  to  be  the  most  elevated  parish  church 
in  England — was  built  in  the  thirteenth  century. 

The  view  of  Pilsbury  Grange,  with  its  thicket  of  bams  and  byres, 
is  full  of  suggestion  to  the  antiquary,  and  so  are  half  a  score  similar 
homesteads  which  comprise  the  great  agricultural  headquarters  of 
this  fertile  valley.  The  farms  have  passed  from  father  to  son  for 
hundreds  of  years,  until  remembrance  of  the  relative  position  of  land- 
lord  and  tenant  has  well-nigh  died  out ;  until,  in  fact,  these  land- 
holders have  come  to  "will"  their  holdings,  and  best  of  all,  the 
landlords — the  Dukes  of  Devonshire  and  others — have  been  wont  to 
respect  and  carry  out  the  terms  of  these  wills.  This  is,  indeed,  a 
satisfactory  fixity  of  tenure;  for  the  landlord  himself  is  merely  a 
suzerain,  inasmuch  as  he  permits  his  acres  to  devolve  upon  the 
tenants,  their  heirs  and  successors,  at  the  pleasure  of  the  latter. 

296  The  GentUmafis  Magazine. 

So  much  for  a  pleasing  phase  of  the  land  question.  At  length 
the  progress  of  our  walk  brings  us  quite  suddenly  into  one  of  those 
little  bits  of  rural  England  which  one  is  prone  to  condemn  as  im- 
possible if  it  is  paraded  upon  a  drop  curtain  or  in  a  pantomime 
scene.  Here  is  a  village  with  green,  pump  in  centre,  and  low- 
roofed  rusticated  houses  upon  the  fringe.  The  church  tower  looms 
up  at  one  comer,  the  public-house  at  another,  and  the  river  forms 
the  third  side  of  the  triangle.  Thb  b  the  ancient  market-town  of 

We  pause  for  a  moment  at  one  comer  of  the  triangle,  and, 
while  the  Man  from  Town  arranges  his  facts,  the  illusion  grows  upon 
us  that  this  amp  ^ml  is,  after  all,  a  something  on  the  other  side  of 
the  footlights.  The  local  company  of  volunteers  is  out  for  evening 
drill — Hartington,  we  may  remark,  is  justly  proud  of  its  volunteers, 
for  it  is  the  tallest  company  in  the  sendee,  every  man  until  recently 
being  six  feet  and  over.  The  red-coats  are  moving  about  the  cir- 
cumscribed area  of  the  open  space,  and  popping  in  and  out  of  the 
''Devonshire  Arms''  from  time  to  time.  Ultimately  they  form  into 
line  and  disappear  round  the  comer,  leaving  behind  them  a  band 
which  strikes  up  for  the  benefit  of  a  little  knot  of  lads  and  lasses. 
Women  and  girls  with  their  top  skirts  tucked  round  their  waists  go 
to  and  fro  between  the  houses  and  the  pump,  and  rough  natives  and 
smart  tourists  pass  and  repass.  It  is  for  all  the  world  like  the  open- 
ing of  a  stage  play,  and  one  instinctively  looks  for  the  entry  of  the 
speaking  characters. 

The  "  town  "  of  Hartington  is  not  large.  It  is  not  many  strides 
from  end  to  end,  and  its  population  is  but  a  few  hundreds.  But  it 
is  veiy  ancient  and  very  respectable.  Its  parochial  area  was,  once 
upon  a  time,  larger  than  some  European  States,  its  ecclesiastical 
head  was  styled  "  Dean,"  and  the  Dukes  of  Devonshire  bear  its  name 
as  a  second  title.  Ttmpara  mutantur  I  When  the  locomotive 
revolutionised  commercial  methods,  the  dairy  factor  and  cattle  dealer 
ceased  their  visits  to  Hartington,  and  Hartington,  in  the  quietude  of 
its  valley,  fell  on  sleep.  A  year  or  two  ago  you  could  traverse  the 
distance  between  London  and  Birmingham  in  less  time  and  at  less 
expense  than  the  road  firom  Hartington  to  the  nearest  railway  station. 
The  London  and  North-Westem  Company's  extension  has,  however, 
produced — ^shall  we  say  a  tremor  ? — among  the  dry  bones,  and  ere 
long  the  dwellers  in  this  beautiful  unspoiled  Arcadia  will  be  deeply 
concerned  in  questions  of  sewers,  gas,  building  plots,  and  such  like 
glosses  of  civilisation. 

The  Man  from  Town  is  charged  with  a  budget  of  information 

Beside  the  Dove.  297' 

concerning  the  history  of  the  church,  much  of  which,  we  suspect, 
has  been  gleaned  from  Dr.  Cox's  "History  of  the  Derbyshire 
Churches."  That  prodigious  champion  John  of  Gaunt  had  a  favourite 
residence  lower  down  the  Dove,  at  his  castle  of  Tutbury,  and,  of 
course,  his  inlBuence  extended  over  (and  far  beyond)  Hartington? 
whose  church  and  glebe  he  gave  to  his  wife,  Blanche  of  Navarre. 
Blanche  belonged  to  the  estimable  class  of  "pious  founders,"  and 
one  of  the  first  sources  of  revenue  with  which  she  endowed  her  new 
establishment  of  the  Minories  on  Tower  Hill  was  the  living  of  Harting- 
ton.  The  &bric  of  the  church,  however,  is  older  than  even  the  far-off 
times  of  the  Lollard  Duke,  and  the  ecclesiologist  may  profitably 
occupy  a  whole  day  in  examining  its  exterior  and  interior.  One 
small  section  of  the  north  wall  possesses  a  peculiar  human  interest — 
the  rectangular  aperture,  now  built  up,  which  the  villagers  call  "  the 
lepers'  window."  The  mind  goes  back  in  contemplation  over  the 
centuries  to  those  dim  (and  dirty)  days  when  lazar  houses  were 
counted  among  the  institutions  of  the  land,  and  it  pictures  the  poor, 
castaway,  leprous  Hartingtonians,  fed  like  dogs  and  housed  like  swine, 
who  were  permitted  to  huddle  round  this  squint  while  Mass  was  said. 

And  they  show  you  another  object,  too,  which  connects  our  day 
with  the  day  before  yesterday.  Our  forefathers  from  the  time  of  the 
Wessex  kings  paid  "  Rome  scot,"  and  from  the  days  of  Ina  to  the 
days  of  Hal  every  man  jack  of  our  householders  was  bound  to  have 
Peter's  penny  ready  when  the  collector  called.  Hartington,  ot 
course,  ceased  to  pay  the  imposition  along  with  the  rest  of  reformed 
England,  but  the  parishioners  have  saved  the  clasped  oaken  box  in 
which  the  money  was  stored,  and,  like  the  lepers'  window,  it  remains 
in  the  church  for  the  token  of  an  extinct  plague.  The  Dean  and  his 
prerogatives  have  gone  as  well,  and  the  seal  of  office,  after  passing 
through  private  collections,  has  recently  found  a  final  resting-place 
in  the  British  Museum. 

We  have  been  comfortably  composing  our  tired  limbs  upon  a 
table  tomb  in  the  graveyard  and  ruminating  upon  the  mutability  of 
things  in  general,  while  the  energetic  Man  has  been  ferreting  over 
the  sacred  edifice  and  sketching  the  corbels  and  gaigoyles  and  what 
not.  The  sun  has  by  this  time  gone  down,  the  band  has  ceased 
playing,  and  before  long  all  Hartington  will  be  in  bed  The  hours 
are  early  here ;  the  public-house,  which  is  such  a  sad  shortener  of 
some  folk's  beauty  sleep,  closes  at  the  ideal  time  of  ten.  As  we 
saunter  over  the  green  towards  the  "  Charles  Cotton  "  we  encounter 
two  or  three  keen  anglers  who  are  making  their  way  in  the  direction  of 
the  meadows  for  a  twilight  tryst  with  the  spotted  beauties  of  the  Dove. 

298  The  Gentleman  s  Magazine. 

'^  Trouts  and  the  Dove  "  might  well  be  adopted  as  the  motto  of 
Hartington,  for  the  name  and  fame  of  Charles  Cotton,  the  some- 
time Squire  of  Beresford,  linked  as  it  is  with  that  of  Walton,  has  shed 
over  the  Dove  the  light  of  a  fine  romantic  association.  If  the  shades 
of  the  departed  can  experience  gratification  when  their  exploits  con- 
tinue to  be  remembered  in  this  mundane  sphere,  then  the  rude, 
bobterous  cavalier,  Charles  Cotton,  ought  to  feel  doubly  delighted 
that  he  behaved  well  towards  the  Dove.  His  highest  ambition  was 
to  be  a  poet,  but  posterity  has  sadly  neglected  what  he  achieved  in  that 
direction,  owing,  no  doubt,  to  the  fact  that  his  style  was  somewhat  pro- 
vincial and  generally  coarse.  Still,  he  was  a  gallant  and  a  courtier,  and 
the  water  which  flowed  past  his  home  happening  to  present  itself  to 
his  fancy  in  the  feminine  form,  he  takes  his  hat  off  to  the  lady  and 
pays  her  some  compliments.  His  pretty  sweethearting  of  this  little 
river  is  the  one  circumstance  about  him  which  is  now  remembered. 
The  lines  beginning : — 

Oh  my  beloved  nymph  !  fair  Dove  ! 

are  as  hackneyed  as  ^'  Afflictions  sore  long  time  she  bore.'' 
Then  again: — 

My  River  still  through  the  same  channel  glides, 
Clear  from  the  tumult,  salt,  and  dirt  of  tides, 
And  my  poor  Fishing- House,  my  Seat*s  best  grace, 
Stands  Hrm  and  faithful  in  the  self-same  place. 

And  again,  the  lines  beginning  : — 

Go  thy  vray,  little  Dove. 
How  very  sweet  and  caressing  they  are,  like  the  tender  words  of 
a  great  brave  lover  to  his  ladye ;  and  in  what  contrast  to  the  captious 
realism  of  a  modem  angler  who  recently  took  advantage  of  a  rainstorm 
on  the  moors  to  point  out  that  she  was  but  a  "  soiled  Dove  "  after  all ! 
Still,  if  the  Squire  of  Beresford  lias  nothing  but  smiles  for  his  be- 
loved nymph,  he  has  z,  per  contra  account  of  hard  sayings  respecting 
his  neighbours  in  the  flesh.  Occasional  excursions  to  the  Metropolis 
and  elsewhere  led  him  to  contrast  life  in  Peakland  with  the  gaiety  of 
King  Charles's  court  and  the  brilliant  opportunities  of  some  of  his 
acquaintances.  After  such  outings  he  generally  wrote  some  appro- 
priate poetry. 

And  now  I*m  here  set  down  again  to  peace 

After  my  troubles,  business,  voyages. 

The  same  dull  northern  clod  I  was  before ; 

Gravely  inquiring  how  lives  are  a  score, 

How  the  hay-harvest  and  the  com  was  got, 

And  if  or  no  there's  like  to  be  a  rot ; 

Just  the  same  sot  I  was  ere  I  remov'd, 

Nor  by  my  travel  nor  the  court  improved. 

Beside  the  Dove.  299 

With  no  company — 

But  such,  as  I  still  pray,  I  may  not  see. 
Such  craggy,  rough-hewn  rogues,  as  do  not  fit. 
Sharpen  and  set,  but  blunt  the  edge  of  wit ; 
Any  of  which  (and  fear  has  a  quick  eye). 
If  through  a  perspective  I  chance  to  spy. 
Though  a  mile  off  I  take  the  alarm  and  tun 
As  if  I  saw  the  devil  or  a  dun. 

Generally  these  morose  fits  wore  off  as  rapidly  as  they  came  on, 
for  Cotton  had  a  wonderful  store  of  energy.  He  could  sit  down 
among  his  papers  and  peg  away  at  his  Travesty  of  Virgil,  or  at  his 
translations,  or  at  some  of  that  poetry  which  he  good-humouredly 
admits  is  so  poor  that  "  a  dog  would  tire  at  it."  Besides,  there  was 
always  the  fishing  to  fall  back  upon,  and  old  philosopher  Hobbes  at 
Chatsworth  to  look  up,  and  the  "  De  Mirabilibus  Pecci "  to  render  into 
English,  and  Father  Walton's  recurring  visits  to  look  forward  to,  and 
the  scheme  of  tree  planting  to  be  carried  into  effect ;  all  of  which 
filled  up  the  long  days  of  country  retirement.  And  when  the  con- 
ventionality of  it  all  became  too  unendurable  it  could  be  variegated 
in  another  way.    He  could  turn  beresark,  and 

Bub  old  ale  which  nonsense  does  create, 
Write  lewd  epistles  and    .     .     . 
Old  tales  of  tubs. 

Which  last-named  "borsts"  unfortunately  entailed  anxiety  to  the 
watchful  goodwife  at  home.  For  at  such  times,  we  are  told,  Mistress 
Cotton  was  accustomed  to  keep  vigil  and  to  kindle  a  beacon  upon 
Prospect  Tower,  to  shine  over  the  silver  streak  of  Dove  and  guide 
the  unsteady  footsteps  of  her  erratic  lord  to  the  family  nest.  But  if 
"heaviness  endureth  for  a  night,"  there  is  the  promise  that  "joy 
cometh  in  the  morning" — the  swollen  head  assuages,  and  there 
follows  a  mental  serenity  which  mirrors  itself  in  reflections  upon 
the  lot  of  one         ,^^^  ^^^  ^^  ^^  ^^^1  ^  ^^^^^^^ 

To  be  more  useful  to  it  stiU  ; 

And  to  no  greater  good  aspires. 

But  only  the  eschewing  ill. 

\Vho,  with  his  angle  and  his  books, 

Can  think  the  longest  day  well  spent, 

And  praises  God  when  back  he  looks, 

And  finds  that  all  was  innocent. 

It  b  no  diflScult  matter  to  measure  the  trend  of  this  simple  poet's 
thoughts  and  aspirations ;  it  is  as  easy  to  do  so  as  it  is  to  outline  a 
polygon  when  the  angles  are  indicated.  Lely  painted  his  portrait, 
and  upon  the  canvas  we  have  the  same  easy-going,  straightforward, 

3O0  The  Gentleman's  Magazine. 

careless  gentleman,  only  he  is  staring  at  us  from  underneath  a  full- 
bottomed  wig,  instead  of  from  the  pages  of  a  book.  The  end  of 
such  a  man  is  inevitable.    Sir  John  Hawkins  records  that — 

A  luittinl  excavation  in  the  rocky  hill  on  which  Beresford  Hall  stands  is 
shown  as  Mr.  Cotton's  occasional  refuge  from  the  pursuit  of  his  creditors ;  and 
bat  a  few  years  since  the  granddaughter  of  the  ftdthful  woman  who  carried  him 
food  while  in  that  humiliating  retreat  was  living. 

And  he  adds  that  during  Cotton's  confinement  on  one  occasion  in  a 
prison  in  the  city  he  wrote  as  follows  upon  the  wall : — 

A  prison  is  a  place  of  cure 
Wherein  no  one  can  thrive ; 
A  touchstone  sure  to  try  a  friend, 
A  grave  for  men  alive. 

His  thriftless  progress  led  from  bad  to  worse,  until  finally  the 
heavily  mortgaged  lands  passed  away  from  him  altogether.  A  ruined 
and  discarded  man,  he  hid  himself  in  the  Metropolis,  where  he  soon 
died.  There  is  no  record  of  his  last  days.  He  had  always  sighed  for 
emancipation  from  his  rustic  surroundings,  and  when,  alas !  the  con- 
trariety of  his  fate  did  allow  him  to  emerge  fi-om  the  obscurity  of 
Hartington  he  immediately  passed  into  oblivion  in  London.  No 
memorial  marks  his  burying-place,  and  only  a  formal  entry  in  the 
register  of  deaths  for  the  parish  of  St.  James,  Piccadilly,  indicates 
approximately  where  he  passed  away  from  this  troublesome  world. 




NEAR  the  Black  Mountains,  swathed  in  bracken,  bom 
Where  trickling  currents  shun  the  light  of  day, 
Down  the  small  vale  thy  infant  strength  has  worn, 
Flow,  dimpled  Monnow,  on  thy  shining  way ; 
Unwilling  e'en  in  holly's  glooms  to  stay ; 
But  where  rude  cots  and  man's  near  neighbourhood 
Thy  presence  seek,  effusive  thou  wouldst  stray 
No  longer,  stealing  on  in  sober  mood, 
A  broader,  ampler  stream,  from  leafy  solitude. 

Mid  human  industries  thou'dst  softly  flow ; 

With  kindly  greeting  lappest  thou  the  rim 
Of  cottage-gardens,  and  where  mill  wheels  throw 

Pearl-showers  among  their  ferns,  and  swallows  skim, 

Wouldst  loiter,  joyous  by  some  beach  to  swim 
Where  children  in  thy  streamlets  pebbles  cast, 

Or  float  down  leaflets,  chuckling  at  each  whim ; 
And  then  through  white-faced  oxen  thou  hast  passed 
Singing  that  low  sweet  song  which  never  proves  thy  last. 

All  rivers  have  their  characters,  and  thou 

With  Keltic  boldness  dashest  here  and  there, 

Skirted  by  alders ;  first  some  submerged  bough 
Rocking,  then  issuing  forth  and  proud  to  wear 
Garlands  of  crimson  berries ;  fain  thou'dst  share 

With  earth  the  nodding  flowers  beside  thy  lip. 

Spangles  which  nymphs  weave  in  their  golden  hair ; 

Thus  dancing  hoyden-like  where  rabbits  trip. 

The  honeysuckles  swing  and  in  thy  currents  dip. 

302  The  Gentlemafis  Magazine, 

Time  was  when  by  thy  maige  half-naked  bands 
Of  savage  warriors,  bearing  arms  of  stone, 

Chipped  flints,  and  roving  into  brighter  lands 
Returned  with  cattle  to  their  mountains  lone, 
What  time  the  moon  reigned  glorious  on  her  throne ; 

Or,  ages  after,  active  Welchmen  rode 

With  Saxon  plunder,  farms  and  mills  undone ; 

And  horses  neighed  and  ravished  oxen  lowed. 

As  day  broke  and  the  merry  grouse-cock  near  them  crowed 

How  changed  the  scene  !     No  bloodshed,  nay,  no  fear 
Strangles  thy  murmur ;  lambs  skip  side  by  side^ 

And  kneenleep  cattle  dream.    The  lark — dost  hear 
High  in  the  plighted  clouds  ?    The  cuckoo  tried 
Just  now  to  scold.    Peace  reigns  here  far  and  wide ; 

The  labourer  wipes  his  brow  and  thinks  of  home ; 
Beyond  the  hill  the  children's  glee  has  died, 

The  silent  mountains  rear  their  cloudy  dome, 

And  tender  shadows  down  their  shoulders  creeping  come. 

Yes,  Monnow,  thou  art  beautiful ;  thy  stream, 

Half  hid  in  darkling  trees  and  woodland  flow'rs, 
Slides  neath  the  fox-gloves,  and  around  thee  gleam 

Scarlet  and  blue  mosaics  for  thy  bowers ; 

Each  month  its  wealth  of  splendour  round  thee  showers. 
Do  we  lament,  alas  I  too  transient  May? 

June  all  our  hedgerows  with  frail  rose-buds  dowers  ; 
If  August  vainly  begs  her  nurselings  stay, 
November  wraps  the  rifled  woods  in  pall  of  grey. 

At  Alterynnys  with  a  sudden  turn 

Thou  fleetest  to  Kentchurch,  once  Glendower's  hold ; 

And,  hearing  Grosmont's  bells,  through  lengths  of  fern 
To  Sken&ith  rollest    When  the  flying  gold 
Chokes  Autumn's  eddies,  often  have  I  strolled 

Beside  thee.    Mem'ry  now  those  days  recalls 
And  fain  would  gather  them  in  worthier  fold, 
With  sylvan  blooms  of  sweetest  breath,  and  falls 

Of  melody  might  soothe  the  Naiads'  crystal  halls. 

The  Riv€r  Mannaw.  303 

The  kindly  angler  notes,  with  thoughtful  eyes 
And  heart  intent  on  beauty,  fish,  fioVr,  bird ; 

Now  mindful  to  his  proper  task  he  hies ; 

Who  save  an  angler  could  that  rise  have  heard 
Above  the  sedge,  itself  but  lightly  stirred  ? 

And  so  he  pushes  onwards  through  the  screen 
Of  boughs,  and  pities  all  the  maddened  herd 
In  terror  scatt'ring,  as  when  heaVn's  dread  Queen 

Th'  Inachian  damsel  drove  from  mead  to  covert's  green. 

With  broader  stream  thou  roU'st  thy  shining  way 
To  right  or  left,  whence  startled  wild-ducks  fly 

And  moor-hens  croak ;  while  nodding  ouzels  stray 
From  their  loved  stones,  thou  passest  softly  by 
Twixt  copse  and  meadow  with  contented  sigh. 

Anon  thou  hurriest  on  past  dam  and  mill 
To  fall,  thy  journey  ended,  into  Wye ; 

So  smiles  a  good  soul  in  death's  ocean  still. 

May  largest  peace  all  its  vague  longings  fill ! 

Thou  teachest  us  our  life-work  with  our  might 

To  finish,  loitering  not,  nor  yet  in  haste. 
'Gainst  rugged  opposition  we  too  fight ; 

Our  energies  oft  seem  to  run  to  waste. 

Before  by  constancy  we  victory  taste. 
Flow  on,  fair  Monnow,  'neath  the  glittering  stars, 

Flow  on  next  hills,  farms,  hamlets  by  thee  graced, 
Babble  by  fairy  gulfs  and  gravel  bars 
Where  Nature's  harmony  no  jarring  discord  mars. 

M.  G.  WATKUfS. 

304  The  Gentlematis  Magazine. 



YORKSHIRE  has  its  Great  White  Horse,  as  Berkshire  has ;  and 
in  the  neighbourhood  of  the  former  is  the  famous  old  training- 
ground  on  the  Hambleton  Downs,  which  consist  of  an  elevated 
plateau  crossed  by  the  Thirsk  and  Helmsley  turnpike- road.  Hamble- 
ton Hotel,  half-way  between  those  two  towns,  is  992  feet  above  sea- 
level,  or  805  feet  lower  than  the  highest  licensed  house  in  England, 
at  Tan  Hill,  on  the  wild  Arkengarthdale  Moors,  Yorkshire.  For  all 
that,  it  stands  high  enough  to  be  exposed  to  the  devices  of  a 
severely  cruel  winter,  which  attacks  chimney-pots  and  windows,  and 
drives  men  home  to  their  hearths  perishing.  On  the  west  side  of 
the  house  is  a  beautiful  villa-like  shooting-lodge ;  on  the  east  side  a 
multitude  of  commodious  stables,  where  are  housed  the  animals 
sent  from  all  parts  to  the  care  of  the  training-master  of  the  Downs. 
Seen  from  lower  lands  the  block  of  buildings  rather  reminds  one  of 
an  Alpine  monastery,  or  hospice,  shielded  by  judiciously  designed 
plantations  of  solemn  deep-toned  firs,  which  creep  up  to  its  very 
doors  on  the  north  and  west  sides.  To  the  south  is  the  dairy  field, 
to  the  east  ling-grown  wastes^whole  forests  of  ling  and  heather, 
purple-brown  in  summer,  and  glowing  with  spots  of  green,  where 
luxuriate  the  numerous  varieties  of  sphagnums,  chadonias,  and 
dicranums.  The  view  over  in  the  Helmsley,  Rievaubc  Abbey, 
and  Hawnby  direction  is  fine.  Hills  upon  hills  arise,  and  towards 
sunset-time  they  shine  in  blue,  purple,  green,  and  brown  colours, 
resolving  towards  night  into  neutral  and  leaden  tints.  On  fine 
afternoons,  when  across  the  sky  sail  great  masses  of  cumulus 
cloud,  the  scene  is  very  effective,  and  the  multifarious  objects  assume 
a  startling  distinctness  in  the  perescope.  Yonder,  clumps  of  firs 
scowl  in  the  shadow ;  yonder,  the  yellow  and  emerald  fields  glare  in 
the  distant  hollows.  Patches  of  amber  and  brown  appear ;  rising 
higher  above  them  are  moors,  which  will  soon  assume  their  brown- 
purple  shades,  and  these*are  backed  by  a  horizonal,  horizontal  line  of 
plateau-topped  hills,  which  are  more  like  uprising  clouds  than  any- 
thing else.    The  insulated  mass  of  Easterside,  five  miles  to  the  north 

The  Great  White  Horse  of  Yorkshire.      305 

west,  rises  like  an  island  out  of  the  sea,  and  often  its  bright  hues 
make  the  table-land  background  into  a  mere  phantasmal  shadow  by 

For  how  long  the  Hambleton  Downs  have  been  used  as  a  training- 
ground  it  would  be  hazardous  to  conjecture.  Annual  races  were 
held  herefrom  1715  to  1770,  and  then  discontinued  for  some  reason 
that  I  have  not  heard,  although  in  1855  they  were  re-established  at 
Thirsk— certainly  more  desirable  as  a  centre.  The  Downs  make  an 
admirable  training-ground.  There  is  ample  surface,  broad,  level, 
dry,  and  covered  with  short  but  tough  grass  {/uncus  squarrosus), 

Mr.  Thomas  S.  Green,  the  registered  landlord  of  the  Hambleton 
Hotel,  is  known— at  any  rate  among  the  horsey  fraternity  of  York— as 
a  shrewd,  practical,  clever  man ;  say,  as  another  William  Greyson  of 
the  Riddleton  training-ground,  but  without  Will's  somewhat  shady 
reputation.  [The  comparison  comes  from  Hawley  Smart's  York 
novel,  "From  Post  to  Finish."]  I  have  heard  it  said  that  Mr. 
Green's  tips  are  invaluable,  and  that  if  from  his  lips  you  hear  a  horse 
is  going  to  win,  it  always  does  win.  If  there  were  more  men  of 
Mr.  Green's  stamp,  the  integrity  of  the  turf  would  stand  a  better 
chance  of  maintenance.  He  has  inherited  a  natural  love  for  a  bit 
of  good  horse-flesh,  and  a  natural  contempt  for  the  fools  who  are  led 
astray  by  the  tricks  of  turfites.  He  loves  mettle  in  horses  and 
honour  in  men. 

I  am  dealing  with  a  very  horsey  country  in  this  article,  and 
storiettes  might  be  given  of  many  of  Yorkshire's  most  remarkable 
sons  who  have  in  one  way  or  another  been  connected  with  the 
Hambleton  training-ground.  There  was,  for  instance,  one  Tom 
Ward,  whose  father  was  a  "man  about  stable."  Tom  became  a 
jockey  in  the  employ  of  the  training-master  of  Hambleton,  and 
attracted  considerable  attention  here  by  his  tact  and  superior  gentle- 
manly manners.  Before  very  long  he  left  Hambleton  in  the  train 
of  Prince  Lichtenstein  of  Hungary.  The  Duke  of  Lucca  eventually 
made  him  a  Minister  of  Finance  and  created  him  a  Baron  of  the 
Dudiy  of  Lucca.  During  the  reign  of  Charles  IH.,  Ward  remained 
his  Prime  Minister  and  resided  principally  at  the  Court  of  Vienna, 
where  he  died  October  12,  1858. 

It  is  a  twenty  minutes  walk  along  the  moorland  road  from  the 
Hambleton  Hotel  to  the  ever  famous  "White  Horse  of  Kilbum," 
its  exact  location  being  the  flank  of  a  hill  which  terminates  in 
Roulston  Scar,  or  Knowlson's  Drop.  The  first  time  I  took  much 
notice  of  this  horse  was  on  the  morning  of  September  16,  1890,  upon 
approaching  Husthwaite  from  Harrogate  and  Helperby  on  a  walking- 

VOL.  CCLXXXV.      NO.  2OI3.  Y 

3o6  The  Gentlemafis  Magazine. 

tour  to  Whitby.  My  companion,  a  small  boy  of  the  name  of  Robert, 
was  the  first  to  espy  the  animal,  and  he  drew  my  attention  thereto 
by  suddenly  crying  out  in  a  state  of  considerable  consternation, 
'*  Oh,  see  !  there's  a  big  white  horse  running  away  on  that  hillside  ! 
Oh  !  he's  going  to  be  over  that  great  high  cliff !"  But  the  equine 
monster  has  not  stepped  for  forty  years ;  he  is  stationary  for  ever, 
and  considered  a  sort  of  wonder,  but  no  prodigy. 

Berkshire,  of  course,  has  its  White  Horse,  but  this  is  the  only 
landmark  of  its  kind  in  the  North  of  England.  Our  own  good 
animal  is  an  object  ^miliar  to  all  travellers  on  the  North-Eastem 
Railway  between  York  and  Thirsk,  or  between  Pilmoor  Junction  and 
Malton  or  Pickering.  Indeed,  all  the  Plain  of  York  looks  upon  it 
as  the  leading  land-mark,  and  Harrogate  visitors  have  often  the 
benefit  of  it,  while  from  the  central  tower  of  York  Minster  it  seems 
quite  near.  To  the  poet  this  colossal  equine  figure  may  be  sugges- 
tive of  some  fabled  monster  guarding  the  rocky  fastnesses  of  the 
Hambleton  Hills,  and  on  a  fine  moonlight  night  he  may  even 
discover  something  a  little  eerie  about  it  Quite  so ;  for  what  does 
it  but  really  serve  to  perpetuate  the  legend  of  the  rampant  steed  and 
rider  who  were  precipitated  down  Whitestone  Cliff  in  the  vicinity, 
and  who  mysteriously  disappeared  in  Gormire  Tarn  never  to  rise 
again?  Some  time  hence  the  real  origin  of  the  White  Horse  of 
Kilburn  may  be  forgotten,  as  in  the  case  of  the  much  more  ancient 
Berkshire  Horse,  and  it  may  be  left  to  gather  around  it  a  dense 
atmosphere  of  legendary  lore  yet  to  be  invented  all  for  the  sake  of 
the  country-folk,  with  whom  thrilling  stories  of  the  kind  are  never 
out  of  fashion.  So  that  it  may  be  a  pity  to  dispel,  by  anticipation, 
the  charms  that  imagination  is  not  unready  even  now  to  weave 
around  this  wonderful  thing.  Yet,  let  its  plain  matter-of-&ct  history 
be  told  for  the  benefit  of  those  at  home  and  others  afar  ofi".  Let 
the  guide-books  take  the  matter  up,  so  that  no  sojourner  in  the 
picturesque  Vale  of  Mowbray  shall  have  excuse  for  regarding  our 
equine  friend  as  a  mystery. 

In  the  early  part  of  this  eventful  century  one  Tom  Taylor  was  a 
schoolboy  at  Kilburn,  which  rests  in  the  valley  below,  under  the 
southern  shade  of  the  Hambleton  Hills.  In  the  course  of  time  this 
Tom  Taylor  grew  up,  and,  becoming  dissatisfied  with  the  narrowness 
of  his  sphere,  imitated  Dick  Whittington  by  setting  off  to  the  modem 
Babylon,  where  he  was  so  fortunate  as  to  amass  a  fortune.  In  his 
wanderings  he  saw  the  "White  Horse  of  Berkshire,"  and  then  it 
occurred  to  him  that  he  might  do  worse  than  take  a  copy  of  it,  and 
so  provide  a  permanent  memento  of  his  connection  with  Kilburn  in 

The  Great  White  Horse  of  Yorkshire.      307 

Yorkshire.  Accordingly,  as  the  story  runs,  he  got  John  Hodgson, 
then  schoolmaster  at  Kilbum,  to  act  as  architect  The  preliminaries 
all  arranged,  he  engaged  thirty-two  of  his  old  schoolmates  to  carry 
out  the  design,  and  with  such  zest  did  they  fall  to  that  in  a  day  and 
a  half  the  turf  had  been  removed,  and  the  great  horse  outlined  on 
the  cliff's  face.  Six  tons  of  lime  were  employed  in  the  original 
coating  process.  The  successful  completion  of  the  task  was  cele- 
brated by  a  memorable  supper  on  the  night  of  November  4,  1857. 

The  road  from  the  Hambleton  Hotel  zigzags  down  the  hill  past 
the  shoeless  feet  of  this  imatomizable  horse.  Having  crossed  a 
waste  field,  which  was  largely  overstrewn  with  lime  washed  off  the 
animal's  limbs  by  winter's  rains,  I  began  to  scale  his  nerveless  flank, 
sometimes  on  all-fours.  I  at  last  reached  his  one  cyclopean  green 
eye,  in  which  I  could  see  nothing  of  a  pupil,  iris,  or  crystalline  lens, 
neither  was  there  in  the  centre  a  cup  filled  with  aqueous  or  vitreous 
humour.  This  eye  is  simply  formed  by  a  circular  plot  of  ground 
large  enough  to  accommodate  the  unlucky  number  of  thirteen  men 
quite  comfortably,  for  it  is  little  less  than  thirty-two  feet  in  circum- 
ference. I  sat  down  thereon,  and  meditated  the  rich  and  diversified 
prospect  before  me.  It  was  really  too  widespread  to  comprehend, 
and  the  objects  too  multifarious  to  describe.  Away  to  the  left  was 
Ryedale,  with  its  remains  of  the  sequestered  Abbey  of  Rievaulx, 
overlooked  by  the  Ionian  temple  and  the  beautiful  green  terrace; 
also  the  princely  demesne  of  Duncombe  Park,  with  Helmsley's  grey 
castle.  Embosomed  in  the  landscape  were  the  massive  Edwardian 
keep  of  Gilling  Castle,  once  the  home  of  the  Fairfaxes,  the  Benedic. 
tine  Collie  at  Ampleforth,  the  ivy-clad  ruin  of  Byland  Abbey,  the 
sweet,  classic  village  of  Coxwold,  and  Newburgh  Priory,  with  its 
grassy  glades  and  clustering  groves,  beloved  now  by  princes  as  it  was 
formerly  by  monks.  Overlooking  the  Forest  of  Galtres  and  the 
Plain  of  York  was  Crayke  Castle  on  its  conical  hill ;  and  beneath 
the  distant  Howardian  Hills,  which  rise  up  firom  the  York  plain,  lay 
the  skeleton  of  the  old  feudal  castle  at  Sheriff  Hutton,  while  on  their 
summit  stood  the  palatial  pile  of  Castle  Howard. 

Viewed  from  a  distance,  the  horse  suggests  magnitude,  though 
few  beholders  would  be  able  to  approximate  his  dimensions.  When 
one  sits  or  stands  on  him,  no  shape  whatever  can  be  detected  in  his 
whity-yellow  figure.  In  rainy  weather  the  colour  is  almost  brown, 
and  any  stranger  seeing  him  at  such  a  time  might  be  inclined  to  ask 
why  he  was  not  called  the  Bay  Horse.  A  peculiarity  of  the  object, 
as  seen  from  a  distance  in  dry  weather,  is  its  apparent  whiteness, 
when,  as  geologists  know,  the  soil  of  these  hills  is  dark  red.    Ncare 

3o8  The  Gentlematis  Magazine. 

at  handi  the  horse  is  at  ordinary  times  of  a  faint  yellow,  the  colour 
being  in  the  lime,  some  six  tons  of  which  were  employed  in  the 
original  dressing.  The  measurement  of  the  one  green  eye  I  have 
already  given,  and  stated  that  thirteen  men  might  comfortably  sit  on 
it  From  the  ears  to  the  root  of  the  bushy  tail  this  animal  is  said  to 
measure  io8  feet,  while  the  height  from  feet  to  shoulders  is  given  as 
80  feet ;  but  others  who  are  supposed  to  have  taken  measurements 
say  the  first  one  should  be  108  yards,  and  the  latter  86  yards,  and 
the  width  of  the  forelegs  below  each  knee  8  feet.  The  ears,  which 
are  banked  up  some  3  feet  behind,  measure  about  xo  feet  from  root 
to  tip.  The  whole  profile  of  the  white  horse  covers  three  roods  of 
ground ;  to  fence  him  round  would  enclose  two  acres. 

Seen  from  Kilbum  below  the  fis2[ure  does  credit  to  its  designer ; 
although  there  is  a  sense  of  proportion  rather  than  symmetry  about 
it.  It  does  not  quite  come  up  to  a  Landseer.  The  neck  and  back 
arc  "  scraggy,"  the  chest  is  **  bulgy,"  the  forefeet  are  thrust  far  back- 
ward, the  head  is  "  wooden "  and  tapir-like.  But  the  head  is  by 
everybody  acknowledged  to  be  the  weak  spot.  It  is  not  so  clearly 
visible  as  the  other  parts  of  the  animal,  owing  to  the  fact  that  the 
upper  part  of  the  ground  at  that  point  falls  back,  though  some  years 
ago  the  defect  was  partially  remedied  by  raising  the  ground  artifici- 
ally. The  tail  and  hinder  legs  are,'  perhaps,  the  best  part  of  this 
animal's  physical  frame,  and  these  are  really  excellent. 

It  has  been  said  that  Mr.  Thomas  Taylor,  the  originator,  left  the 
interest  of  ;^ioo  to  keep  this  colossal  equine  figure  well-defined. 
Since  his  death  in  Australia  seven-and-twenty  years  ago,  the  white 
horse  has  been  maintained  by  local  farmers  and  a  few  subscriptions. 
Sir  George  O.  Wombwell,  of  Newburgh  Priory,  being  a  large  land- 
owner in  this  district,  has  naturally  been  interested  in  the  matter ; 
and—I  smile  as  I  say  it — the  Ecclesiastical  Commissioners,  as  lords 
of  Kilburn,  have  allowed  ^i  annually.  The  animal  has  been 
groomed  annually,  and  received  a  fresh  jacket  of  lime  triennially. 
But  on  July  26,  1895,  ^^^  Hambleton  Plain  was  visited  by  probably 
the  severest  hailstorm  on  record.  Hailstones,  declared  to  be  as  big 
as  cannon-balls,  came  down  with  pitiless  persistency,  making  terrible 
havoc  among  the  growing  crops.  How  was  it  possible  for  the  white 
horse  to  escape,  without  a  stable  anywhere  at  hand  for  him?  Whole 
tons  of  stones  and  soil  were  washed  out  of  his  breast  and  one  or 
two  of  his  legs,  leaving  furrows  several  feet  deep.  From  Kilbum  he 
soon  appeared  to  be  set  on  mere  skeleton  or  spindle  shanks,  and  an 
outcry  was  raised  that  he  stood  in  danger  of  total  obliteration.  But  the 
Hambleton  Hill  folk  think  a  good  deal  of  their  Bucephalus — a  joint- 

The  Great  White  Horse  of  Yorkshire.      309 

stock  possession^and  soon  had  him  restored  to  a  normal  condition, 
worthy  of  his  reputation,  and  as  proud  as  ever  in  his  new  coat  of 
lime.  This  work  was  carried  out  in  the  July  of  1896,  as  the  result 
of  a  special  appeal  by  the  late  Jonah  Bolton,  then  proprietor  of  the 
Foresters'  Arms  at  Low  Kilbum,  who  was  the  local  steward  for  the 
Ecclesiastical  Commissioners,  assisted  by  Mr.  Robert  Long,  of  the 
Three  Tuns  Hotel  at  Thirsk,  and  Press  friends  from  Thirsk. 

The  laigest  Diamond  Jubilee  bonfire  in  the  Thirsk  district  was 
the  beacon  provided  by  Mr.  J.  Vasey,  of  Low  Moor  House,  Hamble- 
ton,  and  erected  on  the  top  of  Roulston  Scar.  The  pile  reached  a 
height  of  over  40  ft.,  in  its  centre  being  an  entire  larch  tree  32  ft. 
high,  and  rooted  to  a  depth  of  a  ft.  It  did  not  bum  freely  until 
eleven  o'clock,  by  which  time  it  was  visible  to  the  south  at  Byland 
Abbey,  Newbuigh  Priory,  Coxwold,  and  as  far  as  York.  As  on  the 
night  of  the  1887  Jubilee,  there  was  a  beacon  lighted  also  on  the 
brow  opposite  the  White  Mare's  Crag,  about  a  mile  to  the  north  of 
the  Roubton  Scar  beacon.  For  the  first  half-hour  it  burned  bril- 
liantly, and,  along  with  its  neighbour,  was  more  or  less  visible 
throughout  the  Vale  of  Mowbray,  Ryedale,  from  the  sea-coast  in  the 
vicinity  of  Whitby,  and  as  far  as  Craven,  Whemside,  and  the  whole 
of  the  western  Yorkshire  hills. 

The  White  Horse  of  Berkshire  appears  to  be  even  more  colossal 
than  this  of  Yorkshire.  He  is  said  to  be  170  yards  long,  the  ear 
15  yards  long,  the  eye  4  feet  across.  He  may  be  seen  sixteen  miles 
off.  The  outlines  of  the  figure  are  really  deep  ditches  in  the  soil, 
kept  clean  and  free  from  grass  by  the  countryfolk,  who  take  great 
pride  in  their  animal.  When  the  time  comes  round  to  clean  out  the 
ditcher  picnics  are  made  to  the  spot,  and  the  children  revel  in  their 
rustic  games  around  the  noble  pet  Who  originated  him  is  probably 
no  longer  known.    He  is  very  old  now. 


310  The  Gentleman's  Magazine. 



First  Performance  or  a  Play  of  Elizabethan  Times. 

T  is  a  curious  experience  for  a  modem  public  to  witness  the  first 
performance  of  a  dramatic  masterpiece  of  Tudor  or  Stuart 
times.    Such  has,  however,  been  afforded  a  select  company  which,  at 
the  invitation  of  the  Bishop  of  London  and  MrsXreighton,  assembled 
on  a  summer  afternoon  at  Fulham  Palace  to  witness  an  outdoor  pre- 
sentation of  Ben  Jonson's  '*  Sad  Shepherd."     This  was  given  by 
the  Elizabethan  Stage  Society,  a  body  which,  under  distinguished 
patronage  and  competent  direction,  has  set  itself  the  task  of  reviving 
upon  the  stage  the  masterpieces  of  the  Elizabethan  drama.     More 
than  one  successful  venture  in  this  direction  has  been  made  without 
inducing  me  to  draw  specially  my  readers'  attention  to  the  proceed* 
ings  of  what  is  only  to  a  certain  extent  a  public  institution.     The 
present  occasion  is,  in  its  way,  unique,  and  is  likely,  it  may  be  supposedj 
to  remain  so.  It  seems  accordingly  to  call  for  some  kind  of  comment 
Pastoral  plays  have  been  before  now  revived  and  presented  under 
sufficiently  charming  conditions.    I  have  personally  witnessed  repre- 
sentations of  "As  You  Like  It,"  "  The  Faithful  Shepherdess,"  and 
other  pieces  of  the  class,  amidst  the  most  divinely  rural  scenery  in 
England.    The  Elizabethan  Stage  Society  meanwhile  has  chosen  for 
its  venture  rather  indoor  spots,  but  such  as,  like  the  halls  of  the  Inns 
of  Court,  the  Mansion  House,  the  hall  of  the  Goldsmiths'  Company, 
&c.,  have  been  more  or  less  closely  associated  in  Shakespearean  times 
with  the  presentation  of  masque  and  Court  revel. 

The  Elizabethan  Stage  Society. 

AMONG  the  many  pieces  given  by  the  Elizabethan  Stage  Society 
during  its  progress  and  development  are  unfamiliar  plays  by 
Shakespeare,  including  even  the  first  quarto  of  "  Hamlet"  and  other 
works  that  could  never  have  been  put  before  the  modem  public 
except  by  the  action  of  a  society  of  the  class.  At  the  St.  George's 
Hall  have  been  presented  "The  Broken  Heart"  of  Ford  and 
"  The  Spanish  Gipsy  "  of  Middleton  and  Rowley,  neither  of  them 
having  been  previously  witnessed  since  the  resumption  of  stage  plays 
after  the  Stuart  Restoration.  To  the  former  of  these  revivals  Mr. 
Swinburne  contributed  a  prologue,  as  he  did  for  a  previous  per- 
formance of  Marlowe's  "  Faustus."  "  Measure  for  Measure^"  "The  Two 

Table  Talk.  311 

Gendemen  of  Verona,"  "  Love's  Labour  Lost,"  "  Twelfth  Night," 
the  ''  Comedy  of  Errors^"  and  the  "  Duchess  of  Malfi  "  have  been 
acted  or  read.  Yet  one  more  experiment  of  interest  comes  to  us  in 
the  performance  of  a  portion  of  the  grimly  realistic  play  of  "  Arden 
of  Fevershamy"  in  which  Shakespeare  is  held  by  some  to  have  had  a 
band;  and  an  episode  from  Edward  IIL,  in  which  his  hand  can  be 
infallibly  traced.  These  works  were  for  the  most  part  prepared 
under  happy  if  not  ideal  conditions,  with  a  company  which,  if  not 
highly  trained,  was  at  least  respectable.  Costumes,  it  is  boasted, 
have  been  minutely  accurate,  and  no  pains  have  been  spared  in  the 
attempt  to  secure  a  good  mist-en'Sctne.  Tudor  music  bas  been  given 
on  the  instruments  of  the  epoch,  and  dancing  and  sword  play  have 
been  arranged  by  the  recognised  authorities. 

Jonson's  "Sad  Shepherd." 

IN  declaring  the  performance  of  the  " Sad  Shepherd "  to  be  the 
most  interesting  yet  attempted,  I  was  partly  animated,  as  one  is 
apt  to  be,  by  the  enjoyment  I  personally  derived  from  the  occasion. 
I  was  un£uniliar  with  Fulham  Palace,  in  the  quadrangle  of  which 
edifice  the  representation  took  place.    I  contemplated  for  the  first 
time  its  interesting,  if  not  particularly  noble,  architecture  and  its  superb 
surroundings.    The  experience  was  agreeable,  and  to  see  the  Tudor 
life  and  the  mediaeval  representations  of  England  produced  under 
the  shadows  and,  to  some  extent,  among  the  glades  of  the  picturesque 
spot  was  an  experience  as  pleasant  as  it  was  novel.    If  these  reasons 
fail  to  impress,  I  have  at  least  the  right  to  fall  back  upon  the  fact  that 
the  presentation  was,  as  I  have  said,  the  first  that  has  ever  been  given. 
Jonson's  "  Sad  Shepherd  "  is  but  a  considerable  fragment — three  acts 
out  of  five  of  a  play — and  was  never  finished  by  the  author,  though  in 
the  following  century  Waldron,  an  editor,  like  myself,  of  the  "Rosdus 
Anglicanus,"  completed  the  story  in  what  I  am  told  is  very  creditable 
fashion.    I  myself  have  not  seen  Waldron's  version,  which,  however, 
has  met  with  the  praise  of  Professor  Dowden  and  other  authorities. 
That  the  piece  has  not  previously  been  seen  on  the  stage  is  indu- 
bitable, and  the  date  of  its  composition  remains  still  in  doubt.    In 
spite  of  the  beauty  of  lyrics  such  as  ''  Drink  to  me  only  "  and  "  See 
the  chariot  at   hand,"  which  are  included  in  almost  all  English 
anthologies,  and  the  exquisite  grace  of  one  or  two  of  his  epitaphs, 
Jonson's  reputation  as  a  lyrical  poet  is  overshadowed  by  that  as  a 
dramatist    He  possesses  a  rugged  rigour  of  versification  unparalleled 
even  in  Marston  and  Chapman.     It  is  as  a  satirist,  a  painter  of 
character,  and  a  depicter  of  "humours  "  that  he  is  chiefly  remembered. 
Incomplete  as  it  is,  the  "  Sad  Shepherd  "  establishes  the  fact  that  he 

312  The  Gentleman's  Magazine. 

might  easily  have  approached  Fletcher  in  grace  of  pastoral  versifica- 
tion. Founded  to  some  extent  on  the  writings  of  Maiino  and  Tasso, 
the  ''Sad  Shepherd **  is  not  free  from  the  kind  of  preciosity  and 
tendency  to  conceits  known  in  various  countries  after  the  names  of 
its  chief  professors  as  Gongorism,  Marinism,  Euphuism,  and  the  like. 
These  irdSuences  were,  however,  overcome  by,  or  animated  by,  a 
strain  of  genuine  poetry.  It  would  be  impertment  to  deal  at  any 
length  with  an  acknowledged  masterpiece  such  as  every  Englishman  is 
supposed  to  have  read.  I  may,  however,  on  the  occasion  of  its  first 
production,  be  permitted  to  say  a  few  words  concerning  a  piece  which, 
among  its  other  claims  on  attention,  may  be  credited  with  having 
inspired  situations,  scenes,  and  passages  in  '<  Comus.'' 

Story  of  "The  Sad  Shbphbrd." 

"  The  Sad  Shepherd ;  or,  a  Tale  of  Robin  Hood  "  is  the  full  title 
of  the  work  which  introduces  upon  the  stage  Robin  Hood,  Maid 
Marian,  Friar  Tuck,  Will  Scarlet,  Little  John,  Much  the  Mill^s  Son, 
George  a  Green,  and  other  famous  personages  of  the  popular  legend. 
The  courtship  of  Robin  and  Marian  is  disturbed  by  the  machinations 
of  Maudlin,  Uie  Witch  of  Papplewick,  who,  thanks  to  the  possession 
of  a  magic  girdle,  can  personate  what  character  soever  she  pleases. 
It  suits  her  to  put  on  the  semblance  of  Maid  Marian,  and  thus  dis- 
guised to  chide  and  snarl  at  the  bold  freebooter  in  a  way  that  induces 
him  to  hesitate  before  forming  a  closer  connection  with  such  a  terma- 
gant. With  a  view  to  promoting  the  interests  of  her  lubberly  son, 
Lorell;  she  seizes  upon  Earine,  a  shepherdess,  rich  and  well-favoured, 
locks  her  up  in  the  trunk  of  a  tree,  and  refuses  to  set  her  free 
except  on  the  condition  that  she  espouses  the  oaf.  She  gives  out 
meanwhile  that  the  maiden  is  dead,  drowned  in  the  Trent,  and  so 
gives  rise  to  the  lamentation  of  iEglamour  the  Sad  Shepherd,  who 
bestows  his  name  upon  the  piece.  For  awhile,  thanks  to  her  alliance 
with  Puck- Harry,  otherwise  Robin  Goodfellow,  her  schemes  succeed. 
Robin  Hood  snatches  from  her  at  length  her  magic  girdle,  and 
deprives  her  of  her  power  for  mischief.  The  dogs  and  shq>herds 
then  perceive  her  true  character,  chase  her,  and  run  her  to  earth, 
despatching  her  ultimately  in  the  shape  of  a  hare — a  customary  double 
of  a  witch.  How  much  of  English  folk-lore  is  developed  in  this  story 
will  at  once  be  obvious ;  how  much  beauty  and  poetry  are  enshrined 
in  the  dialogue  I  ain  tempted  to  show.  I  must,  however,  content 
myself  with  referring  my  readers  to  the  play  as  it  appears  in  the 
admirable  and  trustworthy  edition  of  Colonel  Cunningham.^ 


>  London :  Chatto  &  Windus. 



October  1898. 

A    PAPER    WAR. 

By  Charles  K.  Moore. 

THE  length  and  breadth  of  the  land  might  be  searched  in  vain 
for  a  Potts  of  the  Etanswill  Gazette  or  a  Slurk  of  the  Etanswill 
Independent^  and  equally  fruitless  would  be  the  quest  for  penmen  like 
Captain  Shandon  of  the  Dawn  or  Dr.  Boyne  of  the  Day^  who  "were 
the  best  friends  in  the  world  in  spite  of  their  newspaper  controversies," 
but  who  revelled  in  the  concoction  of  smashing  articles  about  each 
other — "  it  was  such  easy  writing  and  required  no  reading  up  of  a 
subject"  Indeed,  it  is  to  be  feared  that  "  the  taste  for  eloquence  is 
going  out,"  as  Morgan  remarked  to  Mick  Doolan  in  the  "Back 
Kitchen,"  where  the  two  honest  fellows  were  consuming  their  kidneys 
and  stout  at  the  same  table  with  Pendennis  and  Warrington.  Even 
in  the  Sister  Island,  where  leaders  are  still  built  in  the  flamboyant 
style,  and  where  the  comparative  mood  is  unknown  and  everything  is 
written  in  the  superlative,  the  most  impassioned  editorial  is  a  mild 
and  harmless  production  compared  with  the  fierce  bludgeon  work  of 
the  old  days.  Potts  and  Slurk,  Shandon  and  Boyne,  and  all  their 
mfHing  race  are  dead — ^peace  be  to  their  ashes — their  controversies 
are  forgotten,  the  broadsheets  in  which  they  wrote  are  yellow  with 
age,  and  fortunate  is  their  lot  if  some  of  them  have  escaped  the 
butterman  and  the  trunkmaker  to  find  a  dusty  and  undisturbed 
repose  in  the  cellar  of  some  great  library. 

But  the  successors  of  these  men  live  and  inherit  the  traditions  of 
the  craft,  and  now  and  again,  spite  of  softer  manners  and  the  con- 
ventions of  modem  life,  the  old  spirit  breaks  out. 

VOL.  CCLXXXV.     KG.  2OI4.  2 

314  "^^  Gentlematis  Magazine. 

The  bitterest  newspaper  war  of  recent  times  occurred  b  Ports 
buxgh  between  the  Morning  Courier  and  the  Advertiser^  and  its 
stirring  incidents  are  still  recalled  in  the  wigwam  of  the  Barbarian 
Club.  Its  true  history,  however,  has  not  yet  been  written.  It  was 
peculiar,  in  that  it  was  confined  to  one  department — ^the  reportoriaL 
The  Courier  and  Advertiser  represented  different  shades  of  politics, 
but  in  the  leading  columns  the  editors,  and  then  only  when  it 
was  absolutely  necessary,  always  referred  to  each  other  in  studiously 
courteous  terms  ;  each  paper  had  pretty  much  the  same  tele- 
graphic service  and  correspondents,  so  that  the  sub-editors  had  but 
the  normal  amount  of  worry  over  ''misses  " ;  and  it  was,  as  I  have 
said,  between  the  two  reporting  staffs  that  the  strife  raged. 

As  r^ards  the  number  and  quality  of  the  men,  the  Courier  and 
the  Advertiser  were  equally  matched.  Only  in  one  matter  were  the 
Advertiser  men  our  superiors,  and  that  was  in  the  paltry  detail  of 
dress.  They  affected  tall  hats,  frock  coats,  and  cigars,  while  our 
staff  went  about  in  lounge  jackets  and  bowlers,  and  smoked  pipes. 

The  trouble  came  about  in  this  way.  The  Advertiser  was  not 
only  always  abreast  of  us  in  local  news,  but  sometimes  beat  us. 
Never  by  any  chance  did  we  get  ahead  of  them.  Now  this  was  not 
natural.  When  there  are  t^vo  newspapers  in  the  same  town,  it  stands 
to  reason  that  to-day  one  of  them  will  get  exclusive  news,  and  that 
to-morrow  the  other  will  be  to  the  front  with  a  fresh  item.  But  that 
was  just  what  did  not  happen  at  Portsburgh.  The  Advertiser  never 
mbsed  anything. 

Our  fellows  were  put  upon  their  mettle  and  worked  early  and  late. 
We  haunted  the  police  office  and  the  police  courts,  the  infirmary  and 
the  docks,  the  fire  station  and  the  municipal  chambers.  We  stood 
sentry  at  the  door  of  private  meetings — municipal,  political,  and 
social^and  buttonholed  the  people  as  they  came  out  We  put  in 
many  a  weary  hour  tramping  the  streets,  making  inquiries,  and  wait- 
ing about  in  likely  places.  A  number  of  officials  of  all  kinds  had  been 
in  our  pay  and  we  added  to  their  number.  But  all  to  no  avail.  Our 
rivals  took  life  easily,  and  still  they  never  missed  anything. 

One  night,  or  rather  morning,  for  it  was  long  past  midnight,  Tom 
Powrie  and  I  sat  smoking  in  the  reporters'  room.  I  ought  to  have 
been  in  bed,  for  it  was  Tom's  turn  of  late  duty,  but  we  had  been 
talking  about  the  way  in  which  the  Advertiser  was  hustling  us  in 
the  matter  of  local  news  and,  all  unnoticed,  the  time  slipped  past 

"  It's  a  weary  world,"  said  Powrie  disconsolately.    "  Who  would 

be  a  chronicler  of  small  beer,  a  wretched  newsmonger  ?    What  a  fool 

1  become  a  reporter  in  the  hope  that  it  would  be  an  introduc- 

A  Paper  War.  315 

don  to  a  Utexary  life.  What's  shorthand  but  mechanical  drudgery, 
and  our  best  work  but  verbal  bricklaying  ?  I'm  a  mechanic,  my  boy ; 
that's  what  I  am,  and  don't  you  forget  it.  And  to  be  beaten  in  this 
sort  of  work  by  the  poor  creatures  down  at  the  ^Tiser.  I  could  weep, 
only  cursing  is  more  in  my  line.  And  there's  the  chief  fretting  him- 
self into  his  grave.  I  wish  we  were  in  New  York,  where  the  fellows 
are  allowed  to  invent  news.  I  could  beat  the  ^Tiser  fellows  at  that 
Suppose  we  try  it    Hey  ?  " 

"  Nonsense,  you  would  only  get  yourself  into  a  row ;  the  chief 
wouldn't  see  the  joke." 

"  'Spose  not,"  he  said  reluctantly,  as  if  the  idea  had  pleased  him. 

"  But  it's  scarcely  fair  of  the  chief  whenever  anything  goes  wrong 
with  the  locals  to  blame  either  you  or  me.  What  about  the  other 
boys  ?    What  about  himself  ?  " 

"  We  must  take  it  as  a  compliment,  and  say  that  it  is  because 
we  are  the  responsible  men  on  the  staff.  But  it's  hard  to  see  it  that 

There  was  a  gentle  tap  at  the  door,  and  Powrie  shouted,  "  Conxe 
in  ! "  As  there  was  no  response  we  both  turned  in  our  chairs,  and  a 
familiar  sight  met  our  eyes.  A  stiff  hat  with  a  glazed  top^the 
policemen  wore  chimney-pots  in  those  days — appeared  round  the 
edge  of  the  door. 

"  Come  in,  man ;  come  in.    All's  serene." 

A  45  slowly  and  cautiously  followed  his  hat  into  the  room, 
bringing  with  him  a  strong  smell  of  oil  and  hot  tin  from  his  bull's- 
eye.  With  an  air  of  secrecy,  he  whispered  in  a  voice  hoarse  with 
the  night  air — 

"  There's  been  a  big  accident  "—every  accident  or  fire  was  a  big 
one  with  A  45 — "  and  I  can  give  you  all  the  particulars." 

It  turned  out  to  be  a  paltry  affair.  A  drunken  cabman  had 
fallen  off  his  box  and  broken  his  leg— only  a  six-line  par.  A  45 
pocketed  the  half-crown  which  Powrie  proffered,  and  disappeared 
with  the  same  affectation  of  mystery. 

"  Useful  man,  that,"  I  remarked. 

"  Ay,"  he  replied,  and  puffed  away  at  his  pipe  for  some  minutes. 
"  Tell  you  what,  Kerr ;  the  way  in  which  our  news  gets  into  the 
^Tlser  smacks  of  theft    It's  a  police  business." 

"Why,"  I  cried  with  amazement,  "has  A  45  put  that  into  your 
head?  That  man  has  got  no  more  brains  than  a  hen,  and  is  fitted 
for  nothing  better  than  tramping  about  the  streets  at  night  trying 
doors  and  windows." 

Things  went  on  much  as  usual  for  some  days,  and  then  the 


3i6  The  GentUmafis  Magazine. 

Advertiser  published  some  news  about  our  own  political  party  which 
had  been  communicated  to  us  officially  and,  as  we  were  certain, 
exclusively.    The  chief  was  very  angry. 

*^  Depend  upon  it,"  he  said,  "there's  some  leakage  here,  and  m 
find  it  out** 

An  the  reporters  indignantly  denied  that  the  fault  lay  with  our 

^^Ht  find  it  out,"  muttered  Tom  Powrie;  "he  doesn't  know 
enough  to  get  out  of  the  rain." 

At  this  moment  the  editor  walked  in,  and  the  chief  repeated  to 
him  what  he  had  said  about  the  leakage. 

"  I  am  perfectly  sure,"  said  the  editor,  "  that  no  gentleman  here 
would  do  such  a  dishonourable,  I  will  not  say  so  dishonest,  an  act 
as  to  communicate  our  exclusive  news  to  the  Advertiser^ 

Tom  Powrie,  acting  as  our  spokesman,  said,  "  Thank  you,  sir  ; 
you  may  rely  upon  our  loyalty."  We  all  murmured  assent,  and  he 
continued,  "Will  you  kindly  give  Mr.  Kerr  and  myself  power  to 
investigate  this  matter  ?  " 

"  Certainly,"  replied  the  editor.     "  You  may  use  your  discretion." 

When  we  were  alone  I  attacked  Tom  Powrie. 

"  What  did  you  mean  by  associating  my  name  with  yours  in  this 
detective  work  ?  " 

"  Now,  don't  agitate  yourself,  old  man.  It  sends  the  blood  to 
your  brain  in  too  large  quantities,  and  you  may  hurt  yourself.  I 
knew  that  neither  the  editor  nor  the  chief  would  give  me  power  to 
make  inquiries.  They  look  upon  me  as  a  harum  scarum  individual, 
so  I  wanted  the  name  of  a  highly  respectable  member  of  society  like 
yourself  to  back  my  bill.  See  ?  I'll  do  all  the  work  and  you'll  get 
half  the  glory  if  I  succeed,  so  don't  worrit  yourself  into  a  fever." 

"  What  are  you  going  to  do  ?  " 

"  Don't  know.     Mouch  around  a  bit.    That's  my  lay." 

For  some  days  Powrie  was  up  early  and  late,  and  took  every  one's 
"  victim  turn  " — the  reporters  had  to  wait  in  rotation  until  two  o'clock 
in  the  morning  in  case  there  should  be  a  murder,  fire,  or  accident  to 
chronicle.  Powrie's  colleagues  could,  not  understand  this  unusual 
generosity,  and  he  obtained  some  temporary  popularity.  Now  and 
then  he  gave  me  hints  as  to  what  he  was  doing.  He  had  first  taken 
Mr.  Boa,  our  foreman  printer,  into  his  confidence,  but  very  soon  it 
was  made  plain  that  the  news  did  not  creep  out  through  the  com- 
posing-room. Powrie  was  somewhat  disappointed,  for  news  has 
fi«!quendy  been  stolen  fit>m  printing-offices.  He  admitted  to  me 
that  he  was  at  a  standstill,  and  confessed  that  he  was  thoroughly 
sorry  he  had  promised  to  unravel  the  mystery. 

A  Paper  War.  317 

"Won't  the  chief  chuckle  over  my  failure?"  he  said,  with  a 
rueful  face. 

"Yes;  and  at  mine,  too,"  I  replied,  "for  didn't  you  back  your 
bill  with  my  name,  and  now  it  will  be  dishonoured,  '  No  effects ' 
scrawled  across  it  ?  " 

"Awfully  sorry,  old  chap.  Didn't  think  of  that  IVe  no 
character  to  lose,  but  you  have." 

"Cheer  up,  Powrie ;  you're  going  into  the  country  for  a  nice  trip 
to-morrow " — it  was  a  new  circular  tour  which  the  East  and  West 
Junction  Railway  Company  wished  to  have  noticed  in  the  Courier — 
"and  when  you  come  back  you  will  be  as  full  of  enthusiasm  as 

My  prophecy  came  true.  Next  night  Powrie  took  me  into  a 
comer,  and,  after  making  sure  that  no  one  was  within  hearing,  drew 
two  copies  of  the  Advertiser  out  of  his  pocket.  Shaking  them  in  my 
face  he  said  in  tragic  tones,  ludicrously  out  of  keeping  with  his 
beaming  face : 

"  I've  got  it" 

"  Evidently,  and  got  it  bad." 

"  Hush,  let  us  dissemble  our  joy,"  and  he  dissembled  by  dancing 
the  opening  steps  of  the  sailor's  hornpipe. 

"  Look  here,"  I  said,  taking  him  by  the  coat,  "  what  is  it  ?  " 

"  Counsellor  of  my  youth,  friend  of  my  manhood,  your  character 
is  saved.  And  my  character — well,  it  stands  where  it  did,  below 

"  Stop  it,  Powrie ;  and  speak  level." 

"  Stand  and  deliver  is  it !  Well,  stand  and  deliver  it  is.  Listen — ^no 
m(»e  shall  the  ^Tiser  batten  on  the  exclusive  news  of  the  Courier  J* 

"  Fact  ?  " 

"  Fact.    But  hush.    Do  you  want  to  get  home  to-night?" 

"  Yes ;  naturally." 

"  Tush.  Will  ye  not  keep  a  vigil  with  me  ?  Not  for  one  night, 
till  mom  with  rosy  fingers  tips  the  dawn  ?  "  Then  dropping  the 
melodramatic  mood,  he  laid  his  head  to  one  side  reflectively,  and 
said,  "  Do  you  know,  Kerr,  although  I  have  tipped  all  sorts  and 
conditions  of  people  I  have  never  tipped  the  dawn.  But  I  will  say 
this  for  her,  she  has  often  blushed  for  me." 

"  What  on  earth  has  come  over  you  ?    Come  off  your  high  stilts." 

"  Well,  look  here,  I  have  looked  at  the  engagement  diary  and  you 
are  not  initialled  for  any  early  meeting  to-morrow.  So  watch  with 
me  to-night,  sweet  chuck ;  watch  with  me  to-night" 

Nothing  further  was  to  be  got  out  of  Powrie,  so  I  promised  to 
wait  with  him  and  "  see  the  paper  to  bed." 

3i8  The  GentUmatis  Magazine. 

Later  on  I  caught  him  talking  earnestly  with  Mr.  Boa  on  the 
stairs,  the  subject  being  a  ''  proof  which  Mr.  Boa  held  in  his  hand ; 
iMit,  as  Powrie  would  have  put  it,  they  dispersed  on  my  approach. 

It  was  a  long  wait  for  me  that  night,  and  as  Powrie  kept  out  of 
the  way  I  spent  most  of  the  time  in  the  sub-editors'  room,  helping 
them  with  the  late  telegrams,  and  when  everything  had  been  sent  up 
to  the  printers  we  discussed  the  afiairs  of  the  universe,  ''slipped  from 
politics  to  puns,  and  passed  from  Mahomet  to  Moses,"  as  is  the 
custom  of  newspaper  men  all  the  world  over  at  the  hour  of  slack 
water.  At  last  down  the  speaking  tube  from  the  composing-room 
there  came  the  cry,  *'  Last  page  making  up  ! "  which  was  answered 
with,  "  No  more  copy  I "  The  day's  work  was  done,  and  with  the 
exception  of  the  man  told  off  for  the  ''city  edition,"  the  subs  prepared 
to  go  home. 

Tom  Powrie  now  appeared.  Hb  manner  was  quieter  and  his 
lace  was  pale,  but  his  mouth  was  still  full  of  high-falutin'  nonsense. 

"'The  great,  the  eventful  hour  has  come,  big  with  the  fate  of 
Cato  '—and  of  the  'Tiser.    Come  1 " 

We  went  down  the  back  stairs  and  stepped  into  a  store-room. 

"Get  on,"  I  said,  "  this  place  stinks  of  oily  waste,  and  gas,  and 
printer's  ink." 

"  No,  no,  this  is  the  place." 

Originally  the  Courier  office  had  been  a  tenement  of  residential 
flats,  and  it  had  been  cut  and  carved  to  suit  the  requirements  of  a 
newspaper  till  it  was  a  wonder  the  walls  held  together.  Fortu- 
nately it  was  an  old  house,  and  had  been  erected  at  a  time  when 
masons  were  masons  and  not  bricklayers,  and  built  for  eternity  and 
not  for  time.  The  store-room  in  which  we  stood  was  a  curious  place. 
It  looked  as  if  it  had  been  knocked  together  out  of  odd  joists  and 
planks  eked  out  with  barrel  staves.  It  lay  between  two  flats,  half  in 
the  publishing  office  and  half  in  the  machine-room,  and  we  could 
command  a  view  of  each  through  the  holes  in  the  roughly  nailed- 
together  walls. 

I  first  took  a  look  at  the  despatch-room.  A  number  of  men  and 
boys  were  chatting  in  groups,  and  several  long  tables  were  neatly  laid 
out  with  addressed  wrappers.  I  knew  that  in  a  few  minutes  the 
appearance  of  the  place  would  be  changed.  When  the  Couriers 
came  up  the  lift  damp  from  the  press  all  would  be  hurry  and  bustle, 
and  to  the  uninstructed  onlooker  there  would  be  a  disorderly  mob 
folding  papers,  carrying  parcels,  and  shouting  instructions.  But  in 
reality  there  would  be  no  confusion,  rather  the  extreme  of  order, 
everyone  doing  his  own  share  in  a  carefully  mapped-out  scheme  and 

A  Paper  War.  319 

working  against  time.  As  yet,  however,  all  was  quiet,  and  I  could 
hear  the  rattle  of  harness  in  the  street  outside,  where  light  carts  were 
waiting  to  dash  off  with  the  newly>printed  papers  to  catch  the  first 
post  and  the  first  train. 

A  couple  of  policemen  were  hanging  about,  but  there  was  nothing 
unusual  in  that.  They  are  privileged  persons,  and  in  the  early  hours 
of  the  morning  may  be  seen  in  every  newspaper  office  in  the  kingdom. 
There  they  can  always  get  their  flask  of  tea  or  coffee  warmed  and  eat 
their  supper  in  warmth  and  comfort — and  small  blame  to  them. 
A  45  was  present,  of  course,  for  the  Courier  was  on  his  beat. 

"  There  he  is,"  said  Powrie,  and  I  was  astonished  to  find  that  my 
reckless  comrade  was  trembling.  '^  But  look  at  the  machine-room  ; 
the  last  forme  is  coming." 

A  rattle  in  the  lift,  and  the  great  page  came  down  from  the  com- 
posing-room with  a  bang.  The  men  were  ready,  and  it  was  slipped 
on  to  the  machine.  This  was  in  the  old  days,  be  it  remembered, 
when  cylinders  and  stereotyping  were  unknown,  and  all  printing  was 
done  off  the  flat. 

"  All  ready?"  cried  the  foreman  with  his  hand  on  the  lever. 

"Ay,  ay,"  came  from  the  boys  who  fed  the  paper,  and  the 
machine  started. 

Then  my  eye  was  caught  by  the  figure  of  Mr.  Boa,  who  was 
standing  on  the  stairs  with  a  galley  of  type  on  his  arm.  Perhaps  a 
dozen  papers  had  been  printed  when  he  suddenly  dashed  down  the 
steps  and  cried  "  Stop ! ''  I  knew  what  it  meant.  Mr.  Boa  had 
*'  stop  press  news" — ^news  which  had  come  in  late  but  which  had  to 
be  inserted.  But  why  should  he  have  waited  on  the  stairs  until  the 
machine  started  when  he  knew  that  every  moment  was  precious? 
We  might  lose  the  post — ^the  greatest  misfortune  that  can  happen  to 
a  newspaper.  I  could  not  understand  it,  and  turned  to  Powrie,  but 
he  laid  a  restraining  hand  on  my  arm. 

Following  his  eyes,  I  looked  into  the  despatch-room.  The  dozen 
papers  that  had  been  thrown  off  were  there,  but  the  manager  of  that 
dqxutment  said,  "There's  no  use  sending  these  away,"  and  care* 
leasly  threw  them  on  to  a  side  counter. 

A  45  turned,  and,  as  no  doubt  he  had  done  any  morning  these 
years  past,  lilted  one  of  them  up.  He  had  barely  looked  at  it,  how- 
ever, when,  cocking  his  head  to  one  side,  he  said,  "That'll  be  the 
sergeant's  whistle,"  and  walked  out  of  the  door. 

Tom  Powrie  gave  a  sigh  of  relief,  and  whispered,  "  Come  away  !  ^ 
The  machine  had  again  started,  and  I  suggested  that  as  we  had 
waited  so  long  we  might  get  a  paper  before  we  went  heme,  but  ^ 

320  The  GentUfnans  Magazine. 

would  not  hear  of  it  So,  buttoning  our  top-coats  we  walked  off  by 
the  back  stair.    On  the  way  we  met  Mr.  Boa. 

"OK?"  inquired  Mr.  Powrie. 

"  Right  you  are,"  returned  Mr.  Boa  with  a  smile. 

I  was  burning  with  curiosity  to  know  what  this  all  meant,  but 
Powrie  talked  of  everything  but  what  must  have  been  uppermost  in 
his  mind  as  well  as  in  my  own. 

"  Out  with  it,  Tom,"  I  cried  at  last. 

"  I  won't.  If  Tm  wrong,  you  know  nothing ;  but  if  I  am  rights 
and  I  am  pretty  sure  that  I  am  right,  you  are  to  look  pretematurally 
knowing  to-morrow." 

That  was  all  I  could  get  out  of  Powrie,  but  when  we  shook  hands 
he  said  he  would  look  me  up  in  the  forenoon  and  we  would  walk  to 
the  office  together.  He  called  for  me,  as  he  had  promised,  and  as  we 
were  quietly  strolling  along  I  stopped  in  horror  in  front  of  a  news 
agent's  shop.  An  Advertiser  bill  of  contents  was  prominently  dii^ 
played  bearing  in  large  type — 




"  Look  at  that,  Tom ;  weVe  done  again  ! " 

"  Ay,"  he  returned  quietly.     "  Tve  seen  the  bill  before." 

"  When  ?  " 

"  At  six  o'clock  this  morning.     I  sat  up  to  see  it." 

I  looked  at  the  bill  and  then  at  Tom.  I  felt  as  if  my  bones  were 
water  and  my  head  was  wool. 

"Come  away,  old  man,"  he  cried  with  a  shout  of  laughter. 
"  Comfort  ye,  comfort  ye.  No  ;  not  a  word,  for  we  are  close  to  the 
office  and  I'll  have  to  tell  the  story  there.  Only,  remember  what  I 
told  you.  Everything  has  gone  right,  so  your  cue  is  to  seem  to 
know  everything  and  to  look  pretematurally  wise.  They  will  never 
believe  me,  I  know,  they  think  me  too  flighty ;  so  you  must  give  me 
the  loan  of  your  name  and  your  reputation  for  a  little  longer." 

The  editor  and  the  chief  were  in  earnest  consultation  when  we 
entered  the  reporters'  room.    The  editor  at  once  broke  out — 

"  Glad  you've  come  so  early.  Just  sent  messengers  for  you.  Off 
you  go  to  Meggatcairn.  There's  been  a  big  colliery  explosion. 
We're  a  day  behind  the  fair,  for  the  Advertiser  has  got  it  already ; 
but,  thank  goodness,  it's  only  a  short  account." 

"  No  occasion  whatever  to  go  to  Meggatcairn,"  said  Tom,  coolly 
hanging  up  his  hat. 

A  Paper  War.  321 

"  But,  but — "  cried  the  editor,  turning  fiercely  upon  him. 

"  There  has  been  no  explosion." 

"  How  do  you  know  that  ?  " 

''  Because  I  wrote  the  account  for  the  Advertiser  myself." 

The  editor  was  speechless  with  astonishment.  As  for  the  chiefs 
he  dropped  into  the  nearest  chair  a  poor  flabby  piece  of  humanity. 

"No  occasion  to  be  alarmed,"  said  Powrie,  with  quiet  confidence. 
*'  Mr.  Kerr  and  myself  have  been  up  all  night  making  arrangements 
for  that  explosion.  The  Advertiser  is  selling  by  thousands — tens  of 
thousands — machine  been  going  all  the  morning.  But  the  more 
papers  they  sell  the  better.  The  Courier  will  have  a  larger  sale 

"  Do  you  mean  to  say  that  there  has  been  no  explosion  ?  " 

'*  There  has  been  no  explosion  at  Meggatcairn ;  but  therell  be  a 
big  explosion  at  the  Advertiser  to-night." 

"  Come  into  my  room  and  let  us  hear  all  about  it,"  said  the 
editor,  and  when  we  had  entered  his  sanctum  he  turned  to  Tom  and 
said,  "Well?"  Nothing  loth,  Tom  at  once  began  his  story,  but,  as 
he  was  in  the  presence  of  his  superiors,  his  language  was  less  racy 
than  usual. 

"  You  will  remember,  sir,  that  you  gave  Mr.  Kerr  and  myself 
power  to  investigate  this  matter  " — Tom  directed  a  warning  glance  at 
me  when  he  mentioned  my  name — "  and  I  may  say  that  we  proceeded 
by  a  process  of  exhaustion.  We  did  not  believe  that  the  fault  lay 
with  the  reporters — although  some  people  seemed  to  think  so — but 
we  thought  it  right  to  submit  both  the  sub^itors  and  reporters  to 
some  tests,  with  the  result  that  we  felt  certain  that  the  leakage  did 
not  occur  in  these  two  rooms.  Proceeding  still  by  the  process  of 
exhaustion  " — at  the  repetition  of  this  phrase,  of  which  Tom  seemed 
particularly  proud,  the  editor  grimly  smiled — "we  attacked  the  print- 
ing  office ;  but  as  we  could  not  very  well  appear  there,  we  approached 
Mr.  Boa  and  he  assisted  us  in  every  possible  way.  After  a  fort- 
night's careful  watching,  however,  it  was  evident  that  the  thief  was 
not  to  be  found  in  that  department.  Well,  we  were  at  our  wits'  end. 
Yesterday,  however,  I  was  told  off  to  do  the  new  circular  tour,  and 
when  I  started  early  in  the  morning  I  bought  both  the  Courier  and 
the  Advertiser  to  read  in  the  train.  I  was  glad  to  see  that  our  par 
about  the  starting  of  a  new  branch  of  the  Sweet  William  League  was 
not  in  the  Advertiser.  Last,  night,  however,  I  had  occasion  to  con* 
suit  the  office  file  copy  of  the  Advertiser^  and  to  my  surprise  I  saw 
there  a  paragraph  about  the  Sweet  William  League,  a  paragraph 
which  had  certainly  not  been  in  the  Advertiser  I  bought  at  the  station* 

322  The  GentUmatis  Magazine. 

NoW|  do  you  see,"  cried  Tonii  in  his  excitement  foigetting  that  he 
was  speaking  to  the  stem  and  all-poweiful  head  of  the  staff,  "  it  was 
a  thousand  gu&eas  to  a  hayseed  that  the  theft  had  taken  place  between 
the  country  and  town  editions.  The  par  wasn't  in  the  country  edition 
of  the  '7&«r,  but  it  was  in  its  town  edition.*' 

The  editor  and  the  chief  were  all  attention,  and  I  bq;an  to  see 
daylight  It  may  be  explained  that  about  three  o'clock  in  the  morn- 
ing (the  hour  is  different  in  various  newspapers,  owing  to  local 
circumstances)  a  first  edition  is  printed  to  catch  the  early  trains  and 
posts  to  remote  districts;  and  that  about  six  o'clock  a  second  edition, 
containing  later  telegrams  and  extracts  from  the  London  newspapers, 
is  printed  for  the  immediate  vicinity.  This  is  called  the  second  or 
town  edition.  The  theft,  therefore,  as  Powrie  said,  had  taken  place 
between  the  two  editions.  Greatly  pleased  at  the  interest  which  his 
story  excited,  Powrie  continued : — 

*'  I  had  previously  spoken  to  the  managers  of  the  machine-room 
and  the  despatch-room,  but  they  declared  that  no  papers  went 
amissing.  The  papers  were  all  counted,  and  there  were  no  strangers 
present  at  that  hour  of  the  morning.  But  I  had  seen  the  policeman 
about  the  place,  and  although  A  45  was  in  our  pay  I  have  always 
disliked  the  man.  So  I  laid  a  litde  trap.  Last  night  I  wrote  out 
the  account  of  that  pit  disaster  at  Mqsgatcaim,  and  Mr.  Boa  set  it 
up  himself  and  saw  it  imposed  in  the  forme.  Only  twelve  copies  of 
the  Courier  containing  the  bogus  news  were  struck  off,  eleven  of 
them  are  in  our  possession,  and  Mr.  Kerr  and  I  saw  A  45  pocket  the 
twelfth.  That's  how  the  Advertiser  got  the  account  of  the  pit 
disaster — ay,  and  how  they  have  got  much  of  our  special  news  in 
the  past" 

Powrie  tried,  and  ignominiously  failed,  to  look  like  a  modest 

*'  Splendid,"  cried  the  editor ;  **  I  congratulate  you,  Mr.  Powrie." 

"But  why  M^^tcaim?"  asked  the  puzzled  chief.  '*Now 
I  come  to  think  of  it,  there  isn't  a  pit  within  miles  of  the  place." 

*<  Just  to  make  them  look  more  foolish  when  the  truth  comes 
out  I  went  to  the  Advertiser  early  this  morning— or  rather  I  went 
to  the  neighbourhood  of  the  office — and  took  my  landlady's  son  with 
me  to  make  inquiries.  It  seems  that  between  four  and  five  o'clock 
messengers  were  sent  round  the  staff  of  the  Advertiser^  and  they  all 
went  off  in  two-horse  cabs  to  Meggatcaim.  When  they  find  that  there  is 
no  accident  there,  I  suppose  they  will  explore  the  neighbourhood  and 
tel^raph  in  all  directions.  Shouldn't  wonder  if  they  are  still 
scouring  the  country.    Oh,  Meggatcaim  is  a  capital  place.    Although 

A  Paper  War.  323 

it  b  only  a  short  distance  from  town  there  are  three  wretched  railway 
junctions  before  you  reach  it." 

The  editor  lay  back  in  his  chair  and  laughed  heartily. 

"Then,  you  know,  all  the  evening  papers  will  copy  the  Advertiser 
account,  and  papers  all  over  the  country  will  be  sending  men  to 
Meggatcaim  to  do  special  descriptions  of  the  disaster.  When  they 
discover  how  they  have  been  sold  won't  they  turn  and  rend  that 
wretched  rag  of  an  Advertiser.  For  you'll  expose  them,  won't  you, 

After  a  hearty  burst  of  meiriment  the  editor  said — 

"  Yes,  Mr.  Powrie,  we  will  expose  them.  I  think  you  had  better 
go  home  and  get  a  good  sleep.  And  then  in  the  evening  you  will 
write  an  account  of  the  affair  for  to-morrow's  Courier,  On  second 
thoughts  I  think  I  will  do  the  punishing  myself." 

When  we  left  the  room  Tom  whispered,  "  Won't  the  old  man  lay 
it  on  ?  The  strokes  of  his  whip  are  so  nice  and  clean,  and  he  can 
bring  the  blood  every  time." 

For  some  weeks  the  Advertiseryns  the  best  laughed-at  newspaper 
in  the  country.  When,  after  the  lapse  of  time,  its  men  tried  to  put 
on  their  old  air  of  high-sniffishness,  Tom  would  call  out  to  me — 

"  What  was  the  number  of  your  last  page  ?  " 

And  I  would  reply — 

"A  45" 

Then  there  would  be  silence. 

The  GtHtkman's  Magazine. 


AT  the  present  lime  there  are  few  of  the  new  towns  of  the  world 
more  widely  talked  of  and  perhaps  few  that  are  really  less 
known  than  Bulawayo. 

Everyone  has  heard  of  it,  and  many  have  friends  or  relations 
who  know  it ;  but  it  is  difficult  for  people  living  in  England,  and  at 
least  equally  difficult  for  those  who  may  have  lived  for  years  in  India 
and  the  East,  to  form  any  real  idea  of  the  place  and  of  the  life. 

It  is  a  place  that  must  be  seen  to  be  realised,  cerbdnly  not  on 
account  of  its  surpassing  beauty— indeed,  one  might  almost  say  by 
reason  of  its  surpassing  ugliness— but  really  perhaps  on  account  of 
the  peculiarities  of  its  colouring  and  construction,  its  habits  and  its 
people,  shared,  and  that  only  to  a  small  extent,  by  other  African  towns. 
One  might  now  almost  speak  of  the  town  in  the  past  tense  rather 
than  in  the  present,  as,  with  the  advent  of  the  railway,  the  actually 
existing  town  will  very  soon  become  a  thing  of  the  past ;  but  it  is  the 
Bulawayo  of  to-day  that  has  made  itself  famous — it  is  still  the  actual 
town  that  held  its  own  through  pestilence  and  war ;  and  even  the 
cemetery,  overflowing  as  it  is  with  young  men's  graves,  gives  but  a 
scanty  idea  of  the  price  it  paid  for  its  existence  \  and  though  the 
Bulawayo  of  to-morrow  will  no  doubt  be  larger,  cleaner,  and  more 
comfortable,  it  will  still  have  its  own  history  to  make. 

The  first  thing  that  struck  the  would-be  traveller  to  Bulawayo 
e  primitive  means  of  getting  there,  though  the  length  of  his 
f  depended  upon  what  stage  the  evolution  from  ox-waggon  to 
carriage  had  attained  at  the  time  he  happened  to  select, 
doubt  the  waggon  was  the  more  picturesque,  and  to  those 
id  not  mind  the  minor  discomforts  of  life,  such  as  a  very 
inal  wash,  rather  a  scanty  menu,  and  primitive  manners  and 
s  in  general,  frequently  including  sleeping  on  the  ground 
the  wag^n  with  a  pair  of  boots  or  a  saddle  for  a  pUlow,  it 
leasant  and  often  fascinating  sort  of  life, 
ryone  must  be  more  or  less  familiar  with  the  appearance 
ires  at  all  events,  of  the  South  African  waggon,  the  long 

The  Bulawayo  of  To-day.  325 

heavy  cart  mounted  on  four  high  wheels,  as  a  rule  with  a  sort  of 
canvas  tent  over  the  back  half,  leaving  the  front  clear  to  carry  the 
miscellaneous  furniture  of  its  owner,  drawn  by  sixteen,  eighteen,  or 
twenty  oxen,  curiously  fierce-looking  with  their  immense  spread  of 
horn,  sometimes  as  much  as  eight  feet  from  tip  to  tip  and  rarely  less 
than  six,  but  in  reality  as  patient  and  hard-working  beasts  as  one 
could  wish  to  find.  Their  mode  of  progression  is  certainly  slow,  but 
there  is  a  strangeness  and  a  fascination  about  it  which  may  draw 
men  to  it  almost  as  the  Alps  draw  their  devotees.  In  front  there 
marches  the  ^'  voor-looper,"  generally  a  small  boy,  leading  the  two 
foremost  oxen  by  a  rein  or  rope  passed  through  their  nostrils.  The 
driver  walks  alongside  with  the  long  and  terrible  whip  he  uses  so 
unsparingly,  or  else  sits  on  the  front  of  the  waggon  and  gets  off 
occasionally  to  lash  up  the  whole  team  with  unfaiUng  impartiality. 
The  travelling  is  all  done  at  night,  starting  a  little  before  sunset  and 
marching  till  perhaps  eleven  or  twelve  o'clock ;  then  there  is  a  halt 
till  a  little  before  the  first  signs  of  dawn,  when  they  go  on  again  till 
the  sun  begins  to  get  hot  overhead,  and  then  they  lie  by  for  the  day. 

Of  course  it  is  a  rough  and  hardish  sort  of  life,  unless  one  is 
travelling  purely  for  pleasure  and  with  specially  fitted  waggons,  when 
it  may  be  pretty  well  as  luxurious  as  one  chooses  to  make  it ;  but 
probably  it  will  still  be  the  usual  way  of  making  a  journey  of  any 
length  for  many  years  yet,  except  just  on  the  beaten  track.  Still, 
regarded  purely  as  a  means  of  getting  from  one  place  to  another 
with  a  minimum  of  time  and  trouble,  it  could  scarcely  be  re- 

Then  came  the  coach  stage  of  the  evolution,  and  this  was 
certainly  an  improvement  as  regards  time,  but  it  condensed  the 
discomforts  of  the  waggon  journey  and  crammed  them  all  into  the 
shorter  time,  and  even  added  a  few  specially  its  own.  The  coaches 
themselves  were  huge  lumbering  structures  with  immense  high 
wheels,  much  like  the  Deadwood  Coach  once  exhibited  at  EarFs 
Court  They  were  built  to  carry  fourteen  inside,  and  as  many 
outside  passengers  as  could  manage  to  hold  on,  and  were  pulled  by 
rdays  of  mules,  eight  to  a  team,  as  it  took  two  men  to  manage  them, 
one  who  held  the  reins,  and  one,  who  is  called  the  driver,  who 
worked  the  whips.  There  are  two  whips,  one  with  a  stock  about 
12  feet  long  and  a  lash  varying  from  25  to  30  feet,  according  to  the 
taste  and  skill  of  the  individual  driver,  and  the  other  with  quite  a 
short  stock  and  a  thick  heavy  lash  only  6  or  8  feet  long,  which  was 
meant  more  especially  for  the  benefit  of  the  wheelers.  It  may 
be  readily  imagined  that  driving  so  clumsy  a  turn-out  over  the 

326  The  Gentleman's  Magazine. 

roughest  of  possible  roads  on  a  pitch-dark  night  required  conside^ 
able  skill,  and  indeed  in  many  places  the  driver  might  fiurly  be 
considered  to  hold  the  lives  of  his  passengers  in  his  hands. 

The  pace  was  not  wonderful,  as  it  rarely  if  ever  exceeded  six  or 
seven  miles  an  hour  even  for  a  short  distance ;  but  in  spite  of  that, 
and  in  spite  of  the  really  wonderful  skill  of  the  driversi  accidents 
were  almost  every-day  occurrences,  especially  in  the  wet  season, 
though  it  seldom  happened  that  anyone  was  really  injured. 

The  roads  are  in  reality  mere  tracks  running  as  straight  as  they 
conveniently  can  across  the  veldt  The  soil  being  light  and  sandy, 
these  tracks  soon  get  worn  into  frightful  ruts  and  holes.  They  still 
have  the  tree  stumps  sticking  through  them,  and  are  plentifully 
sprinkled  with  big  boulders,  aJniost  any  one  of  which  would  upset 
the  coach  if  it  happened  to  catch  it  at  a  slant,  and  which  make 
it  jump  and  jar  till  the  unliappy  passengers  are  inclined  to  wonder  if 
they  would  have  any  whole  bones  left  when  they  arrive.  As  for  the 
outside  passengers,  it  was  all  they  could  do  to  hold  on,  besides 
which  they  had  the  additional  discomfort  of  frequently  being  driven 
through  the  lower  bmnches  of  the  trees,  to  the  great  detriment  of 
their  clothes,  and  usually  of  their  skins  as  well.  When  any  particular 
bit  of  road  got  absolutely  too  bad  to  go  over  any  more,  (me  of  the 
drivers  would  start  a  new  piece,  that  is,  he  would  simply  strike  off  the 
road  and  go  across  country,  straight  through  bushes  and  scrub  and 
everything  else,  and  strike  the  road  again  half  a  mile  or  so  further 
on.  The  succeeding  dijvers  would  follow  in  his  track,  and  very  soon 
the  new  line  would  be  worn  comparatively  clear,  and  would  become 
the  recognised  road.  In  some  places  one  could  see  quite  clearly 
where  there  had  been  as  many  as  five  or  six  separate  diversions 

Another  serious  difficulty  was  the  crossing  of  the  rivers.  It  is  a 
distinguishing  feature  of  most  African  rivers  that  they  contain  no 
water  for  at  least  eight  months  of  the  year.  It  is  true  that  water  can 
almost  always  be  found  in  a  river  bed  by  digging  for  it ;  but  in  out- 
ward appearance  a  river  is  usually  a  broad  belt  of  sand  lying  between 
high  and  precipitous  banks.  Many  and  many  a  coach  has  been 
upset  in  one  of  these  drifts,  as  they  are  called.  The  descent  is 
always  steep,  frequently  so  steep  that  the  brakes  cannot  hold  the 
coaches.  They  start  going  down  at  a  crawl,  and  then  the  coach 
gathers  way  and  goes  on  with  a  rush,  the  mules  are  driven  into  a 
heap  anyhow,  and  one  wonders  that  they  do  not  get  their  legs  broken ; 
but  they  usually  land  all  right,  while  the  coach,  practically  unmanage- 
able, goes  down  like  a  sort  of  toboggan,  jumping  from  stone  to  stone 

The  Bulawayo  of  To-day.  327 

and  swaying  like  a  ship  in  a  sudden  squall,  and  may  or  may  not  arrive 
right  side  uppennost  at  the  bottom.  In  fact,  the  passenger  who  has 
gathered  his  ideas  of  coaching  from  a  trip  to  Brighton  or  a  drive  to 
Viiginia  Water,  finds  that  he  has  a  lot  to  learn  about  the  subject 
when  he  gets  to  South  Africa.  Still,  on  the  whole,  it  was  wonderful 
how  few  accidents  did  occur,  and  if  one  considers  that  the  coaches 
ran  night  and  day,  and  that  when  there  was  no  moon  it  would  some- 
times be  too  dark  to  see  the  mules  from  off  the  coach,  it  reflects 
great  credit  on  the  drivers. 

Now,  however,  all  that  is  over,  and  the  intending  passenger  will 
merely  have  to  take  his  ticket  at  Cape  Town,  and  after  a  dreary  and 
dirty  journey  of  about  four  days,  he  will  get  here  much  as  he  might 
get  from  London  to  Edinburgh.  In  £u:t,  the  latter  journey  would 
certainly  have  the  advantage,  as  far  as  romance  was  concerned,  as  the 
countiy  is  incomparably  more  beautiful,  and  the  speed  of  the  train 
more  inclined  at  least  to  make  one  think  it  dangerous. 

It  has  been  said  that,  once  you  have  lost  sight  of  the  really  grand 
and  beautiful  Table  Mountain,  you  have  nothing  more  to  see  until 
yoo  reach  the  Victoria  Falls,  and  certainly,  as  far  as  the  railway  route 
is  concerned,  no  one  would  attempt  to  dispute  it 

Passing  through  the  interminable  "  Karroo,"  one  is  inclined  to 
cheer  oneself  with  the  thought  that  Matabeleland  will  be  better  in 
point  of  scenery ;  and  perhaps  it  is  slightly,  but  its  most  infatuated 
advocate  could  not  call  it  a  beautiful  country,  nor  even  a  reasonably 
pretty  one,  except  just  after  the  rains,  when  it  is  still  fresh  and  clean- 
looking,  and  is  covered  with  the  wonderful  wealth  of  vegetation  that 
only  a  tropical  sun  and  a  sufficiency  of  water  can  produce.  It  is 
never,  however,  really  tropical  in  effect,  as,  though  the  v^etation  is 
plentiful  just  at  that  time  of  the  year,  the  trees  are  comparatively  few 
and  far  between  in  most  places,  and  are  small  and  stunted  in  appear- 
ance, the  country  being  mostly  covered  with  thorn  scrub  or  long 
rank  grass,  which  is  sometimes  so  long  that  it  will  completely  hide  a 
man  on  horseback.  The  thorn  is  principally  of  two  varieties  :  one  a 
thick  bush  usually  from  four  to  six  feet  lugh  and  covered  with  white 
thorns  from  one  to  two  inches  long;  the  other  a  smaller  plant 
with  harmless-looking  green  leaves,  which  is  really  the  famous 
*'  waachte-eene-beche,"  having  a  small  curved  thorn  from  which  there 
is  no  escape  but  in  a  careful  retreat.  There  are  even  stories  of  men 
who,  having  been  thrown  from  their  horses  into  such  bushes,  were 
absolutely  unable  to  get  themselves  out  again,  securely  imprisoned 
by  each  fresh  struggle,  as  their  remains,  only  found  weeks  afterwards, 
have  testified.    Even  granting  that  the  neighbourhood  of  Bulawayo 

328  The  Gentlemans  Magazine. 

is  almost  pretty  in  the  spring,  /^.  about  January  to  May,  no  man 
can  say  that  it  is  other  than  dreary  during  the  rest  of  the  year. 
Everything  is  burnt  up,  the  long  grass  is  shrivelled  up  into  a  coarse 
yellow  matting,  and  the  whole  country  becomes  a  dusty,  dirty  brown, 
which  tires  the  eyes  till  one  longs  for  just  a  little  patch  of  green  to 
refresh  them.  The  rivers  become  the  sand  beds  before  mentioned, 
and  the  streams  become  mere  cracks  in  the  parched  earth. 

The  soil  of  Rhodesia  is  said  to  be  capable  of  growing  absolutely 
anything  if  only  it  had  the  necessary  water,  and  now  there  are  many 
schemes  on  foot  for  irrigation  that  may  yet  turn  the  country,  some 
day  in  the  dim  future,  into  the  farmer's  paradise  that  it  has  been 

The  town  itself  is  like  its  surroundings,  ugly  and  dreary  to  look 
at,  but  with  more  in  it  than  meets  the  eye  at  first  sight  At  present 
it  gives  one  rather  the  idea  of  a  fair  with  the  decorations  left  out. 
It  was  designed  on  rather  a  large  scale,  all  the  streets  being  parallel, 
running  nearly  north  and  south,  and  cut  at  right  angles  by  avenues,  the 
former  being  90  feet  from  kerb  to  kerb,  and  the  latter  120  feet  One 
says  from  kerb  to  kerb,  but  as  a  matter  of  fact  there  is  no  such  thing 
as  a  pavement,  or,  indeed,  a  made  street  of  any  kind  in  Bulawayo. 
The  division  between  the  street  and  the  pavement  is  made  by  a 
deep  trench  about  a  foot  and  a  half  wide,  and  this  division  is 
religiously  carried  on  right  across  all  the  intersections.  Naturally 
its  sides  get  worn  down  where  there  is  much  traffic,  but  it  still  makes 
a  formidable  trap  for  the  unwary  at  night,  as  up  to  the  present  there 
is  no  attempt  at  street  lighting  of  any  kind ;  and  even  by  day  these 
trenches  are  a  most  unmitigated  nuisance  for  the  cyclists,  who  swarm 
here  as  everywhere  else,  and  for  the  drivers  and  occupiers  of  all  sorts 
of  vehicles. 

The  stands  or  building  plots  were  laid  out  in  the  same  lavish 
way  as  the  streets,  so  that  the  fortunate  owner  of  a  stand  could,  if  he 
so  chose,  build  himself  a  shop  or  house  big  enough  to  hold  its  own 
in  Regent  Street  Unfortunately  the  owners  of  stands  had  neither 
the  materials  nor  the  very  large  capital  that  would  have  been 
required  to  get  the  materials  wherewith  to  build  even  ordinary 
houses,  so  they  erected  little  tin  and  mud  structures  which  occupied 
a  small  fraction  of  the  stand,  and  the  rest  became  a  happy  hunting- 
ground  for  old  meat-tins,  broken  bottles,  immense  quantities  dl  bits 
of  paper,  and  all  the  untidy  and  unsightly  rubbish  that  accumulates 
so  fast  in  a  place  of  this  sort.  In  course  of  time  many  of  these  huts 
— they  were  nothing  more — ^have  been  pulled  down  and  replaced  by 
rather  better  buildings,  though  still  largely  composed  of  sun-dried 

The  Bulawayo  of  To-day.  329 

bricks,  with  tin  roofs.  Till  a  few  months  ago  all  the  houses  in 
Bulawayo  were  one-storied,  vdth  the  exception  of  the  Market  Hall, 
which  was  two-storied,  and  which  formed  the  centre  round  which 
the  great  laager  was  built  during  the  rebellion,  and  was  used  as  a 
shelter  for  the  women  and  as  a  look-out  station.  Now,  however, 
two-storied  buildings  are  springing  up  on  all  sides,  and  will  no  doubt 
soon  be  the  rule  and  not  the  exception. 

Up  to  this,  however,  the  buildings  are  still  far  too  small  to  fill 
more  than  a  small  portion  of  the  stands,  and  in  practically  no  part  of 
the  town  can  one  see  such  a  thing  as  two  consecutive  buildings 
without  an  intervening  space  given  over  to  ddbris  and  loose  paper. 
So  far  the  idea  has  always  been  to  build  as  cheaply  as  possible,  and 
let  all  other  considerations  stand  by  and  wait  till  the  railway  should 
have  arrived.  The  result  is  a  series  of  dingy,  squalid,  one-storied 
buildings  of  the  roughest  and  simplest  kind,  put  up  any  way  and 
every  way.  Most  of  the  offices  have  wooden  floors  and  wooden 
ceilings,  but  the  majority  of  the  living-rooms,  such  as  are  rented  by 
young  men  of  small  means,  have  either  the  bare  earth  floors  or  else 
rough  sun-dried  bricks. 

Hotel  accommodation  is  still  of  the  most  primitive  order ;  in  fact, 
the  hotels  are  far  worse  than  one  would  expect  from  the  rest  of  the 
town.    The  reason  of  it  is,  probably,  that  one  hotel  bought  up  all 
the  dangerous  opposition  and  has  a  practical  monopoly.      There 
are  other  hotels,  but  practically  there  is  only  one  the  ordinary  new- 
comer can  stay  at      In  appearance  it  is  much  like  the  other 
buildings  in  Bulawayo,  only  of  course  rather  larger  than  the  majority. 
It  is  a  bare,  bam-like  looking  structure,  built  in  two  blocks,  one 
containing  the  dining-room,  smoking-room,  as  it  is  called,  kitcheiv 
and  bar,  and  the  other  with  two  rows  of  bed-rooms,  back  to  back, 
one  row  opening  on  to  a  yard,  across  which  are  the  bath-rooms,  and 
the  other  row  opening  directly  on  to  Main  Street. 

It  sounds  quite  civilised  to  talk  of  bed-rooms  and  bath-rooms^ 
but  it  is  not  well  to  expect  too  much.  The  bed-rooms  are  small  rooms 
about  12  feet  by  10  feet  by  9  feet,  with  brick  floors,  whitewashed 
walls,  and  canvas  ceilings,  with  absolutely  no  furniture  but  a  small 
washstand,  a  table,  one  chair,  and  two  beds.  Sleeping  alone  is  a 
luxury  that  must  not  be  encouraged,  and  if  you  want  luxuries  you 
must  pay  for  them.  One  unhappy  lady,  whose  curiosity  had  tempted 
her  to  visit  the  town,  and  who  had  foolishly  made  arrangements  to 
stay  at  an  hotel  for  some  little  time,  found  this  out  to  her  cost.  She 
was  informed  that,  as  she  required  room  for  two,  she  must  not  only  pay 
twice  for  lodging,  which  was  perhaps  reasonable,  but  that  she  must 

VOU  CCLXXXV.     NO.  2OI4.  A  A 

330  Th€  Gentleman's  Maganne. 

also  pay  doable  for  boaid.  Of  ooune  it  was  mere  robbery,  as  die 
vast  majozitjr  of  the  people  who  boarded  at  the  hotd  did  not  sleep 
there;  bat  tfie  manager  saw  that  she  was  helpless  and  could  pay, and 
to  do  a  little  highway  robbeiy  without  risk  b  the  great  joy  of  one 
class  of  Bulawayo  hotel  or  store  keepers  who  take  a  keener  pleasure 
in  a  firer  got  in  this  sort  of  way  than  in  double  the  amount  obtained 
by  lq;itimate  means.  Had  she  been  a  man,  who  knew  the  {dace  and 
would  notsubmit  to  robbeiy,  she  would  probably  have  been  chaiged 
the  usual  rates,  and  no  more.  It  is  not  a  cheerful  experience  for 
anyone  to  have  to  share  his  bed-room  with  whoever  chances  to  come 
along^  be  he  drunken  prospector  or  be  he  a  Dutchman  with  die 
usual  filthy  habits  of  the  lower-class  Dutch,  of  spitting  all  over  the 
floor  and  rarely  troubling  to  wash  except  on  high  holidays  and  feast 
days.  Still,  it  is  one  Qi  the  things  one  has  to  put  up  with.  If  one 
can  complain  of  the  bed-rooms,  what  is  to  be  said  of  the  bath-rooms, 
of  which  there  are  two? 

Absolute  filth  and  neglect  can  scarcely  describe  them,  but  one 
must  in  fiumess  add  that  the  state  of  the  bath-rooms  is  a  less  im* 
portant  matter  to  many  of  the  customers  than  one  would  suppose. 

Without  in  any  way  wishing  to  disparage  the  good  qualities  of  the 
Colonial,  i^.  man  bom  in  the  Colony,  or  Cape  Dutchman,  one  must 
«ay  that  their  ideas  of  cleanliness  are  not  exaggerated. 

Of  course  the  better-class  Colonial  is  much  like  anybody  else^ 
but  the  low-class  Colonial  has  quite  lost  the  English  ideas  of  washing 
and  personal  care,  and  is  in  fact  perhaps  as  dirty  and  slovenly  a  type 
as  any  among  what  one  calls  civilised  races,  and  would  be  put  to 
shan^eby  an  ordinary  Zulu,  who  will  at  any  rate  wash  once  a  day  if 
he  can;    However,  that  b  really  no  excuse  for  the  hotels  not  pro- 
viding accommodation  for  those  who  still  have  prejudices  in  favour 
of  cleanliness.    The  board  is  really  better  than  the  lodging,  when 
once  you  have  got  used  to  such  triiles  as  seeing  the  waiters  pulling 
clean  (I)  knives  and  forks  out  of  their  inside  pockets  to  hand  you  at 
table,  or  wiping  out  a  glass  with  a  dirty  rag  and  giving  it  you  back. 
Neither  are  the  charges   really  exorbitant  considering  llie  place^ 
though  the  newcomer  is  inclined  to  think  he  is  being  abominably 
robbed  when  he  thinks  of  the  accommodation  he  is  getting  for  his 
money.    They  charge  £^\Z.  xoj.  a  month  for  board  and  lodging,  or 
^i5.for  board  alone.    It  is  to  be  hoped  that  a  little  healthy  rivalry 
may  make  a  difference,  and  that  will  probably  come  with  the 

The  teal  centre  of  the  town  is  in  Main  Street,  and  even  that  has 
atilLa  very  patchy  appearance,  some  stands  being  iairly  well  filled  in 

The  BtUawayo  of  To-day.  331 

with  the  usual  lather  dreaiy-lookiiig  buildings,  and  others  still  having 
the  most  primitive  little  tin  shanties  devoted  to  the  sale  of  rubbish  to 
the  natives  at  about  three  times  cost  price. 

A  common  type  of  building  is  the  set  of  room's  let  out  singly  for 
bachelors'  quarters,  in  which  most  men  live.  They  are  generally 
in  blocks  of  six  to  eight,  but  sometimes  there  are  ten  or  twelve 
rooms  in  a  row.  A  fair  average  size  would  be  10  feet  by  12  feet  by 
8  feet;  rough  brick  floor,  one  small  window,  canvas  ceiling;  the 
walls  built  of  brick  and  the  roof  of  galvanised  iron,  all  of  the  roughest 
and  cheapest  Such  a  room  will  let  readily  at  from  ^^3.  loj.  to  ^^5 
a  month,  according  to  the  situation,  without  a  stitch  of  furniture  of 
any  kind,  and  often  as  much  as  half  a  mile  from  the  nearest  well 
from  which  your  servant  can  get  water.  As  for  house  rent,  a  three- 
roomed  house  in  the  residential  part  of  the  town  will  easily  fetch  as 
much  as  ^25  a  month,  and  larger  houses  will  fetch  proportionate 
rents.  When  one  speaks  of  the  residential  part  of  the  town  one 
refers  to  what  are  known  as  the  suburban  stands.  The  town  itself 
lies  on  a  genUe  slope,  and  in  the  valley  is  the  park,  still  in  course  of 
formation,  and  across  this  again  the  ground  has  been  laid  out  in 
large  stands  for  houses  with  gardens.  It  is  only  the  wealthier 
members  of  the  population  who  can  live  there  at  present.  All 
round  the  town  the  land  has  been  reserved  for  a  distance  of  three 
miles  to  allow  of  expansion,  and  on  this  space,  known  as  the  Com- 
monage, there  are  already  several  lots  laid  out  for  building  purposes ; 
and  no  doubt,  in  course  of  time,  there  will  be  quite  a  large  suburban 
population  living  out  of  town  principally  to  escape  the  dust.  The 
dust  in  Bulawayo  is  quite  unique,  and  even  worse  than  that  at 
Johannesburg,  hitherto  supposed  to  hold  the  world's  record  One 
can  easily  imagine  in  a  town  scattered  over  a  considerable  space, 
with  very  broad  and  unpaved  streets,  and  where  no  rain  falls  prac- 
tically for  about  eight  months  in  the  year,  that'  the  dust  would  be 
bad ;  but  it  is  only  when  one  is  nearly  smothered  in  it  that  one  realises 
what  dust  can  be.  It  comes  whirling  down  the  streets  in  clouds  so 
thick  that  it  is  impossible  to  see  across  the  road,  and  so  fine  and 
blinding  that  there  is  nothing  for  it  but  to  put  a  handkerchief  over 
one's  fiu:e  and  make  for  the  nearest  shelter.  All  through  the  end 
of  the  dry  season  there  are  dust  storms  almost  every  morning,  dying 
down  toward  sunset,  and  they  are  quite  the  worst  feature  of 
Bulawayo.  One  might  get  used  to  the  want  of  water,  the  roughness 
of  things  in  general,  and  the  lack  of  almost  elementary  comforts  of 
dvilisation,  but  the  dust  is  an  unfailing  grievance. 

About  a  mile  and  a  half  to  the  north  of  the  town  lies  the  cemetery, 

A  A2 

332  The  Gentleman's  Magazine. 

a  striking  comment  on  what  the  last  few  years  have  been  up  here. 
It  is  a  fairly  large  cemetery  and  is  already  nearly  full,  though  the  town 
is  only  four  years  old  and  there  is  scarcely  a  man  buried  in  it  over 
thirty  years  old.  Passing  between  the  graves  one  is  struck  with  the 
painful  monotony  of  the  inscriptions,  almost  all  reading  either 

"  Sacred  to  the  memory  of ^  died  of  fever  in  Bulawayo  Hospital,'* 

or  else  "  who  was  murdered  by  the  natives  on  or  about  March  25, 
1896,"  or  else  again  "who  was  killed  in  the  fight  at .^ 

Beyond  that  again  is  Government  House,  a  large  and  rather 
quaint-looking  building  in  the  old  Dutch  farm-house  style,  at  present 
occupied  by  the  Deputy  Administrator,  Captain  the  Hon.  A.  Lawley, 
and  Mrs.  Lawley.  It  also  has  its  history,  being  built  on  the  site  of 
Lobengula's  kraal,  and  having  standing  in  the  grounds  the  very  tree 
under  which  he  used  to  sit  when  holding  his  "indaba,"  or  councils. 
It  was  occupied  by  the  natives  during  the  rebellion,  and  though  sacked 
was  not  injured,  as  they  reserved  it  for  the  future  residence  of  Loben- 
gula,  who  was  supposed  to  have  come  to  life  again.  Mr.  Rhodes  him- 
self slept  in  it  when  he  came  down  to  Bulawayo  during  the  rebellion, 
to  the  great  anxiety  of  those  who  were  responsible  for  his  safety, 
as,  though  the  natives  were  then  driven  back  a  little,  they  might 
easily  have  swooped  down  on  a  lonely  building  three  miles  from  the 
nearest  help. 

Now  a  large  portion  of  the  ground  between  it  and  the  town  has 
been  laid  out  in  building  plots  shortly  to  be  sold,  and  very  soon  the 
whole  face  of  the  country  will  have  altered  beyond  recognition. 

Whether  the  gold  pays  or  does  not  pay,  Bulawayo  is  bound  to 
grow  immensely  during  the  next  few  years;  after  that,  if  there 
really  should  be  no  payable  gold  in  sufficient  quantities,  there 
will  be  a  crash  which  will  almost  rival  the  crash  of  the  South  Sea 


In  spite  of  all  the  adverse  prophets  on  the  one  side  and  the 
foolishly  sanguine  people  on  the  other,  it  is  still  too  soon  to  say 
whether  the  country  is  a  success  or  not. 

There  is  not  a  reasonable  shadow  of  doubt  that  there  is  gold,  and 
gold  in  large  quantities,  scattered  over  the  whole  country.  The  real 
question  is  whether  this  gold  is  sufficiently  concentrated  in  a 
sufficient  number  of  places  to  support  a  large  mining  industry,  and 
so  justify  the  existence  of  a  laige  town.  Gold  is  a  marketable 
commodity,  like  potatoes  or  com,  and  it  costs  so  much  an  ounce  to 
produce  in  any  given  place.  Though  there  is  gold  here  it  may  well 
be  that  it  will  cost  more  to  work  it  than  the  price  it  will  fetch  in  the 
market,  and  in  that  case  Rhodesia  is  a  failure,  as  without  a  present 

The  Bulawayo  of  To-day .  333 

gold  industry  it  would  be  absurd  to  talk  of  farming  or  any  sub- 
sidiary industry,  though,  if  the  gold  kept  the  country  going  for  a 
sufficient  length  of  time  for  permanent  settlements  to  form,  then  the 
subsidiary  industry  might  have  sufficient  strength  to  support  the 
country  after  the  gold  was  worked  out.  There  is  no  doubt  that  in 
some  reefs  the  gold  will  be  amply  payable;  it  is  also  more  than 
probable  than  in  a  number  of  others  it  will  not  be  so.  It  is  a 
question  that  time  alone  can  settle,  and  it  is  one  that  few  people  on 
the  spot  can  look  at  with  disinterested  eyes.  It  is  often  said,  as 
an  argument  in  favour  of  the  Rhodesian  Gold  Fields,  that  the  people 
on  the  spot  have  sunk  their  money  in  them  and  believe  in  them. 
That  is  true ;  but  it  is  not  a  convincing  argument  even  of  the  bona  fides 
of  the  residents,  though,  without  a  shadow  of  doubt,  most  of  them  do 
believe  in  the  gold.  A  gold  mine  may  pay  two  sets  of  people :  it  may 
be  a  success  and  pay  all  concerned,  or  it  may  be  a  hopeless  failure 
but  still  pay  the  officials  very  handsomely.  If  a  man  is  drawing 
^1,500  a  year  as  manager  of  a  mine  it  pays  him  well,  though  there 
may  not  be  an  ounce  of  gold  in  it,  and  it  is  natural  that  he  should 
keep  it  going  as  long  as  he  can.  Many  of  the  people  here  would  be 
absolutely  ruined  if  the  gold  were  really  proved  to  be  unpayable ;  so 
naturally  store-keepers,  mining  experts,  Government  officials,  and 
everybody  else  are  almost  bound  to  express  belief  in  the  future  of 
the  reefs ;  but  as  a  matter  of  fact  there  is  no  real  doubt  on  the 
spot  that  a  sufficient  number  of  reefs  will  pay  to  support  the 

Should  this  not  prove  to  be  the  case,  then  one  of  the  boldest 
ventures  of  the  world's  history,  and  the  lifelong  efforts  of  a  man  who 
is  undoubtedly,  whatever  opinion  may  be  held  of  him  personally, 
one  of  the  greatest  statesmen  the  world  has  ever  produced,  will  be  as 
hopelessly  wasted  as  the  huge  sums  of  money  that  have  been 
lavished  already  over  the  baby  State  to  bring  it  to  maturity. 


334  ^^^  Gentletiian's  Alagazine. 


WITH  the  possible  exception  of  that  ''  thinking  gentleman " 
William  Molyneux— who»  however,  it  is  to  be  feared,  shines 
with  a  lustre  reflected  rather  than  his  own — ^the  friend  and  corTe- 
spondent  of  the  illustrious  John  Locke,  but  chiefly  known  to  us  as 
the  author  of  an  interesting  and  original  problem  connected  with  the 
theory  of  vision,  which,  together  with  its  solution,  he  submitted  to  that 
philosopher,  George  Berkeley  would  seem  to  be  the  only  Irishman 
who  can  be  seriously  r^;arded  as  having  a  valid  claim  to  rank  as  a 
link  in  that  *Ef>/iaicii  Zeipd  (Hermetic  Chain)  of  metaphysicians  which 
extends  from  Thales  down  to  these  modem  days.  It  is  unfortunately 
true  that  the  "  perfervid  "  nature  of  the  Irish  Celt,  brilliant  as  it  is  in 
other  fields  of  intellectual  activity,  incapacitates  him  for  the  success* 
ful  study  of  the  "  Science  of  sciences,"  which  so  imperatively  needs 
a  spirit  of  serene  and  impartial  calm  \  and  it  may  be  questioned 
whether  Berkeley,  and,  magna  inttrvallo^  Molyneux  would  ever 
have  attained  distinction  as  philosophers  had  it  not  been  for  the 
sober  English  blood  which  ran  in  their  veins  and  toned  down  the 
effervescent  qualities  of  the  more  fiery  Celtic  ichor. 

George  Berkeley,  whose  family  antecedents,  like  those  of  so  many 
other  great  men,  are  shrouded  in  considerable  mystery,  was  bom  in 
the  year  1685,  a  few  weeks  after  the  accession  of  James  IL  to  the 
throne  of  England,  near  Kilkenny,  in  the  midst  of  a  peaceful  and 
beautiful  district,  a  veritable  Irish  Arcadia,  watered  by  the  romantic 
Nore.  The  fair  surroundings  of  his  childhood  no  doubt  fostered 
within  him  that  sympathetic  love  of  the  sublime  and  beautiful  in 
Nature  which  formed  such  a  conspicuous  trait  in  his  character,  and 
which  was  all  the  more  remarkable  in  the  midst  of  an  age  of  finick- 
ing courtiers,  ''  minute  philosophers,"  and  artificial  wits,  who  woukl 
have  "  vowed  and  protested,"  if  appealed  to  on  a  point  of  aesthetics, 
that  the  atmosphere  of  a  powder-closet  was  to  be  preferred  to  all  the 
boisterous  breezes  of  the  barbaric  Alps  and  Apennines,  and  a  carnival 
or  masquerade  i  la  mode  to  all  the  dreary  lakes  and  mountains  of 
Helvetia.      For  it  must  be    remembered  that  in  Berkeley's  time 

George  Berkeley.  335 

Nature  was  still  awaiting  a  vindicator  of  her  sprtkt  injuria  formm 
— a  vindicator  who  at  last  appeared  in  the  person  of  Jean  Jacques 
Rousseau,  the  first  great  modem  apostle  of  the  aesthetics  of  scenery. 

At  fifteen  Berkeley  matriculated  at  Trinity  CoU^e,  Dublin,  where 
he  remained  for  thirteen  years.  He  was  naturally  strongly  influenced 
by  the  empiricism  of  Locke ;  for  the  famous  "  Essay  on  Human 
Understandmg,"  although  it  had  not  been  long  published,  was  then, 
as  it  has  been  ever  since,  a  text-book  in  the  Irish  University.  Of  his 
college  life,  and  the  growth  of  the  spirit  of  philosophy  withLi  him,  we 
obtain  curious  glimpses  in  his  *' Commonplace  Book."  Perhaps  the 
most  interesting  memento  which  his  alma  mater  now  possesses  of  her 
distinguished  alumnus  is  a  fine  life-sized  picture  in  the  Examination 
Hall,  representing  Berkeley  in  his  episcopal  robes,  and,  therefore^ 
painted  at  aperiod  when  he  must  have  been  at  least  fifty  years  of  age. 
The  face  and  figure,  however,  are  singularly  youthful.  Swarthy  as 
Spinoza,  he  must,  unless  the  artist  egregiously  flatters  him,  have  beeii 
a  handsome  man,  of  a  dark,  intellectual,  Italian  type  of  masculine 
beauty.  But  there  is  something  more  and  better  than  mere  physical 
comeliness  which  gives  that  countenance  its  indescribable  charm,  its 
haunting  attraction ;  there  is  the  Promethean  fire  of  genius  in  the 
large  ardent  eyes,  and  the  whole  expression  is  eloquent  of  lofty 
musings  on  the  infinite — the  Qtuplix  of  an  eager,  unsullied,  and 
noble  soul — musings  which  never  for  an  instant  banished  a  tender 
love,  an  almost  womanly  solicitude  for  sufiering  and  benighted 
humanity.  When  the  westering  sun  streams  m  at  the  great  windows 
and  pours  the  mellow  glory  of  its  apotheosizing  radiance  upon  the 
painting  of  the  illustrious  metaphysician  and  philanthropist,  you  are 
irresistibly  reminded  of  Luke's  description  of  Stephen  as  he  stood 
before  the  Jewish  Sanhedrin :  "  And  all  that  sat  in  the  Council, 
looking  steadfieisdy  on  him,  saw  his  face  as  it  had  been  the  face  of  an 

In  1713  Berkeley,  who  had  already  made  his  mark  as  an  acute 
thinker  by  the  publication  of  his  "  Essay  on  Vision,''  the  ''  Treatise 
on  Human  Knowledge,"  and  the  ''  Three  Dialogues,"  wisely  left  the 
petty  provincial  atmosphere  of  Irish  life  and  society  for  that  largior 
ir/ifer  of  London,  to  which  then,  as  now,  intellect,  home-bred  and 
foreign,  inevitably  gravitated  Here  he  mixed  freely  with  such  men  as 
Swift,  Steele,  Pope,  Addison,  Clarke,  and  Atterbury. 

From  1716  till  1720  he  sojourned  in  Italy — ^to  which  country  he 
had  previously  paid  a  short  visit — ^acting  the  while  as  travelling  tuto^ 
to  the  son  of  the  Irish  Bishop  Ashe.  His  *^  Italian  Journal "  proves 
how  keenly  and  discriminatively  he  appreciated  the  immortal  trea^ 

336  The  Gentleman  s  Magazine. 

sures  of  ancieat  art  as  well  as  the  natural  and  perennial  charm  of 
that  Safumid  teJlus  which  has  always  exercised  such  a  magic  sway 
over  poetical  and  receptive  minds.  The  lovely  island  of  Ischia,  in 
the  Bay  of  Naples,  seems  to  have  had  a  special  attraction  for  him, 
and  he  spent  the  autumn  of  17 17  amidst  its  enchanting  scenery* 
Later  on  we  find  him  roaming  on  foot  through  the  historic  fields  of 
Calabria  and  Sicily.  His  enthusiastic  admiration  of  the  fiur  land  of 
Italy  brings  to  our  minds  the  Kantian  dictum,  that  it  is  only  the 
beautiful  soul  {die  schone  Seek)  that  takes  an  habitual  and  immediate 
interest  in  the  beautifiil  forms  of  Nature. 

On  his  return  to  England  in  1720  disgust  with  the  deep  social 
and  political  corruption  of  the  age  awoke  within  the  pure,  generous, 
but  scarcely  practical  mind  of  Berkeley  those  dreams  of  an  impossible 
Utopia  which,  at  all  events  since  Plato's  time,  have  ever  been  the 
last,  and  perhaps  the  noblest,  infirmity  of  philosophic  spirits.  We 
almost  seem  to  hear  him  exclaiming  in  the  words  of  Horace — 

arvA,  beaU 
Petamus  arva,  divites  ct  insuUts. 

He  longed  for  some  new  Atlantis,  undisturbed  by  the  explosion 
of  the  South  Sea  Bubble,  and  indifferent  alike  to  Jacobites  and  Hano- 
verians; it  was  his  amicable  ambition  to  be  the  founder  of  a 
Christian  Platonopolis ;  and  he  turned  his  eyes^as  dreamers, 
explorers,  adventurers,  and  seekers  after  Eldorado  and  the  Fountain 
of  Life  and  Youth  have  so  often  done — from  Herakles  down  to  the 
buccaneers  of  the  Spanish  Main — to  the  virgin  soil  of  the  golden 
West--to  '*  the  remote  Bermudas,"  of  evil  repute  indeed  in  Shake- 
speare's time,  but  more  recently  celebrated  by  Andrew  Marvell  in 
verses  of  incomparable  beauty.  ''Not  disobedient  unto  the 
heavenly  vbion,"  Berkeley  duly  embarked  for  America  in  a  "  hired 
ship  of  350  tons,"  and  landed  at  Rhode  Island  in  1729.  Alas  !  the 
colony  in  the  Summer  Islands  was  all  too  soon  relegated  to  the 
misty  regions  of  the  might-have-been ;  the  visionary  met  with  no 
more  support  from  Sir  Robert  Walpole  and  the  British  Government 
than  had  been  accorded  fifteen  hundred  years  before  to  the  philo- 
sopher Plotinus  by  the  worthless  and  fiiithless  Gallienus ;  and,  with 
his  (amily,  the  disappointed  founder  left  the  American  shores  for 
ever  in  the  autumn  of  173 1.  His  leisure,  however,  in  Rhode  Island, 
had  borne  fruit  in  the  shape  of  ''  Alciphron,  or  the  Minute  Philoso- 
pher." Although  the  golden  apple  of  his  Hesperides  had  turned  to 
dust  and  ashes  in  his  grasp,  neither  Fate  nor  Fortune,  nor  cold,  cal* 
culating,  selfish  hearts  could  rob  him  of  the  divine  treasure  of  philo- 
sophy which  he  bore  within  him. 

George  Berkeley.  337 

In  i734>  in  tardy  recognition  of  his  transcendent  merit,  and 
perhaps  in  atonement  for  the  shameful  n^lect  which  had  made  his 
American  scheme  a  &ilure,  Berkeley  was  appointed  Bishop  of  Cloyne. 
His  diocese  formed  a  portion  of  the  Irish  county  of  Cork,  and  was 
an  ideal  retirement  for  the  gentle  dreamer.  Here  indeed  he  could  and 
did  devote  his  life  to  that  6c«pia  which  is,  according  to  Aristotle,  at 
once  the  heaven  of  the  Supreme  and  the  true  Philosopher's  Rest. 
Here,  more  fittingly  than  Gil  Bias,  he  might  have  inscribed  above 
his  portal — 

Inveoi  portum ;  Spes  et  Fortuna  valete. 
Sat  me  lusistis ;  ludite  nunc  alios. 

Nearly  twenty  years  were  spent  by  Berkeley  in  this  Irish  Valley 
of  Ameles,  years  devoted  to  that  profound  and  sympathetic  study  of 
Greek  philosophy  whose  outcome  was  his  last  and  greatest  work : 
*'Siris  :  a  Chain  of  Philosophical  Reflexions." 

It  was  surely  in  accordance  with  the  fitness  of  things  that  Oxford, 
around  whose  venerable  spires  and  towers  float  so  many  hallowed 
traditions,  Oxford,  which  he  had  always  loved,  should  receive  the 
latest  sigh  of  this  elect  spirit,  '*  felix  opportunitate  mortis,"  and  that, 
after  his  many  wanderings,  a  peaceful  and  painless  euthanasia,  passing 
upon  him  while  he  was  sitting  in  company  with  his  loved  ones, 
should  crown  the  life's  work  of  the  spotless  and  unworldly  George 
Berkeley.  Nor  was  it  less  fitting,  although  kvl^iav  circ^avwv  icaao. 
y9  rd^C}  that  the  ashes  of  one  who  was  in  all  else,  save  the  mere 
accident  of  birth,  an  Englishman  should  rest,  not  in  obscure  Cloyne, 
but  in  the  Oxford  Cathedral  of  Christ  Church. 

Th'  illustrious  dead  no  narrow  graves  confine ; 
Their  fame  immortal,  earth  itself  their  shrine. 

With  the  exception,  perhaps,  of  Locke  and  Hume,  no  English 
philosopher  has  been  more  closely  studied,  more  frequently  quoted, 
whether  for  praise  or  censure,  by  German  metaphysicians,  from  Kant 
to  Hartmann,  than  Berkeley;  and  it  is  in  itself  no  slight  tribute  to  the 
value  and  originality  of  the  speculations  of  the  great  idealist  that  he 
should  thus  have  succeeded  in  arresting  the  attention  and  eliciting 
the  criticisms,  fiivourable  or  adverse,  of  the  foremost  thinkers  of  the 
world.  Much  as  they  may  dissent  from  many  of  his  conclusions, 
they  nevertheless  respect  the  philosophic  seeker  after  truth,  and 
admire  his  candid,  ingenuous,  and  right  royal  spirit. 

What  we  specially  notice  in  tracing  the  metaphysical  career  of 
Berkeley  b  the  fact  that  he  succeeded  at  the  last  in  doing  what  Kant 
failed  to  do :  in  the  aftermath  of  his  philosophy  he  rose  to  ''higher 

33S  The  GentUma$is  Magazine. 

categories."  Fresh  from  the  study  of  Locke,  the  great  teacher  of 
empiricism,  whose  uncomprominng  motto  is  "Nihil  est  in  intdlectu, 
quod  non  fuerit  in  sensu,"  and  who,  in  dixect  contradiction  to 
Leibnitz, rq;ards  the  mind  asamere  tabula  rasa^  the  passive  recipient 
of  the  impression  of  sense,  it  is  not  matter  of  wonder  that  he  should 
have  lingered  at  first  in  the  fields  of  sense  and  adopted  a  mental 
attitude  which,  with  certain  reservations,  savours  strongly  of  die 
M^wot  fiirpoy  AirarrwF  (man  is  the  measure  o(  all  things)  of  ttie 
sophist  Protagoras  of  Abdeia.  But  the  young  student  was  of  a  mould 
vastly  different  from  that  of  the  atheistical  scoffer  who  was  banished 
even  from  free  and  liberal  Athens.  His  pious  and  orthodox  spirit 
was  moved  within  him  when  he  looked  around  and  saw  the  **  minute 
philosophers,"  the  disciples  of  Hobbes  and  Gassendi,  the  precursora 
of  Hdvetius  and  La  Mettrie,  masters  of  the  situation.  His  hervMC 
and  somewhat  Hibernian  remedy  for  scepticism  and  atheism  was  to 
lop  off  bodily  and  without  more  ado  one  of  the  stems  of  the  bifur- 
cating Cartesian  tree ;  and  matter  was  condemned  and  had  to  go. 
Spirit  reigns,  he  says  in  effect,  and  reigns  alone  in  the  universe. 
The  external  world  is  simply  a  show  of  phenomena,  dene^  because 
dsvinifus,  ordinata ;  the  fiur  face  of  nature  is  simply  a  book  of  vision, 
a  scroll  of  vbual  language  which  contains  the  communications  of  the 
Supreme  to  the  lower,  but  still  free^  spirits  who  are  his  subjects;  and 
the  esse  (or  so-called  existence)  of  these  phenomena  is  ihi&xpem/i 
(b  dependent  upon  a  percipient  mind).  Matter,  or  vXif,  being 
thus  conveniently  got  rid  of,  God,  who  becomes  in  Berkeley's  hands 
something  remarkably  like  a  deus  ex  nuuhina^  must  be  regarded  as 
the  transcendent  cause  of  sensation,  and  the  result  is,  as  Hartmann 
says,  ^'an  occasionalism  between  severed  consciences,  or  thought 
spheres,  which  is  no  better  than  the  occasionalism  between  mind  and 
matter  taught  by  Geulinx  and  Malebranche."  This  then  is  the  first 
phase  of  the  Berkeleyan  philosophy — ^his  *'  short  and  easy  method" 
with  materialism.  Unfortunately  Hume  showed  that  Berkeley's 
arguments  agiunst  the  independent  existence  of  matter,  when  pushed 
to  their  Ipgical  conclusion,  became  weapons  to  pierce  the  breast  of 
their  inventor,  and  could  be  used  with  equal  cogency  to  prove  (cf. 
Hartmann's  ''Dbg  an  sich")  that  mind,  or  self,  was  equally 

In  the  second  phase  of  his  philosophy  Berkeley  ascends  by  the 
path  of  dialectic  from  the  sensible  to  the  supersensible  world. 
Beneath  the  myrtles  of  Cloyne  the  contemplative  spirit  of  the 
metaphysical  biidiop  had  communed  with  the  shades  of  Flato  and 
Plotinus,  and  had  learned  from  them  that  the  existence  of  things  is 

George  Berkeley.  339 

not  ibeapercipi^  but  their  intelligi\  that  unveiled  truth  is  not  to  be 
sought  in  the  sensible}  but  in  the  intelligible  world ;  that  the  former 
sphere  is  an  emanation  from  the  latter ;  that  such  reality  as  the  things 
of  sense  possess  is  derived  from  the  eternal  ideas  of  reason,  of  which 
they  are  feeble  ectypes ;  that  the  secular  antithesis  between  the  self 
and  external  phenomena  is  reconciled  and  transcended  when  the 
latter  are  regarded  as  the  offspring  of  the  ideas,  and  therefore — 
although  occupying  a  lower  platform  in  the  scale  of  reality — ^akin  to 
the  soul,  which  shares  with  these  ideas  the  citizenship  of  the 
intelligible  world.  The  germ  of  thought  lies  at  the  heart  of  nature, 
and  explains  and  justifies  its  existence. 

So  far  Berkeley  follows  Plato  and  the  Neoplatonists ;  as  a 
Christian  and  a  Bishop  he  can  go  no  farther.  The  vov%  of 
Anaxagoras  and  the  to  kyuBov  of  Plato  may,  by  the  exercise  of 
considerable  ingenuity,  be  made  to  fit  in,  at  least  partially,  with 
Christian  dogma ;  but  the  One,  the  Absolute  of  the  Neoplatonists, 
transcending  mind  as  it  does,  like  the  Spinozistic  substance,  gives 
him  pause.  God  is  with  him,  to  use  Leibnitzian  phrase,  the  *'  highest 
monad,"  as  it  were,  of  the  intelligible  world  !  the  ^  Mind  that 
governs  and  actuates  this  mundane  system  "  (mens  agitans  moUm). 

It  is  singular  enough,  not  to  say  grotesque,  that  the  world  should 
owe  the  existence  of  the  most  striking  and  suggestive  metaphysical 
work  which  the  eighteenth  century  produced  to  the  good  Bishop's 
firm  belief  that  in  tar-water  he  had  discovered  an  infallible  cure  for 
*^  all  the  ills  that  flesh  is  heir  to,"  and  the  series  of  meditations  which 
this  gave  rise  to  in  the  mind  of  a  man  who,  in  addition  to  his  own 
transcendent  philosophical  endowments,  was  a  diligent  student  of 
Plato  and  the  Neoplatonists.  The  ''  Siris  "  is  truly  a  chain  stretching 
finom  humble  tar— which  Berkeley  supposes  to  be  surcharged  with 
vital  fire,  the  anima  mundi^^to  the  golden  throne  of  God  Himself. 

W.   B.  WALLACE. 

340  The  Genthmaiis  Magazine. 


TWENTY  years  have  elapsed  this  summer  since  the  signature  of 
the  Berlin  Treaty  regulated  the  political  conditions  of  South- 
Eastern  Europe.  Of  the  various  aitangements  then  made  the  most 
remarkable  and,  as  subsequent  events  have  shown,  the  most  success- 
ful was  the  occupation  of  Bosnia  and  the  Hercegovina  by  Austria- 
Hungary.  The  experiment,  for  such  it  was,  is  valuable  not  only  for 
its  own  sake,  but  also  because  it  is  calculated  to  serve  as  a  model  for 
the  future  guidance  of  statesmen  in  dealing  with  the  Eastern  question. 
It  may,  therefore,  be  of  interest  at  the  present  moment  to  describe, 
as  the  result  of  two  separate  visits  to  the  occupied  territory,  what  has 
been  accomplished  under  the  auspices  of  Austria-Hungary  in  so 
comparatively  short  a  space  of  time.  But,  before  doing  so,  it  is  well 
to  remind  the  Western  reader  of  the  initial  difficulties  which  the 
government  of  Bosnia  and  the  Hercegovina  presented  in  1878. 

Of  all  the  Balkan  lands  that  passed  beneath  the  sway  of  the 
Turk,  Bosnia  and  the  Hercegovina  were  the  last  to  be  conquered 
and  the  least  amenable  to  the  administration  of  the  Ottoman 
authorities  at  Constantinople.  The  social  condition  of  the  country 
had  been  one  of  feudalism  under  the  old  Bosnian  kingship,  whose 
last  representative  now  lies,  a  grim  skeleton,  in  the  Franciscan 
church  at  Jajce ;  and  it  remained  under  the  Turks  what  it  had  been 
in  the  days  of  Tvrtko  and  his  successors,  with  this  exception,  that  the 
Bosnian  landowners  embraced,  as  a  rule,  the  creed  of  the  conquerors, 
while  their  serfs  continued  constant  to  the  Christian  &ith.  Called 
even  to  the  present  day  in  popular  parlance  die  Turken^  the