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" Confide to God that thou hast from Him ; oh thou soul weary of 
wandering ! Confide to the Truth, that which is from the Truth within 

thee, and thou shalt lose nothing." 

























VOL. II. b 
















































GOLDEN WEDDING - . . . . . . .183 





















HOF . . . . . . . .217 


























PORTRAIT OF MART HOWITT (from a photograph) . frontispiece. 


THE ELMS, CLAPTON. . . . . . . . . 27 

BELSIZE LANE . ....... 56 




WEST HILL LODGE . : . . . .. . . .120 

PEN-Y-BRYN . . . . .-.-... . . 150 

THE ORCHARD . . , . . . . . .161 

MAYR-AM-HOF -. . . . .218 


THE FRESCO . . . . . . . . . .220 





A PEEP INTO THE SALOON . . . . . . .27^5 


MARIENRUHE ... ...... 309 






CRUCIFIX ON THE COMMON . . . . . . -334 





ON our return to England in April 1843 I was full of 
energy and hope. Glowing with aspiration, and in the 
enjoyment of great domestic happiness, I was antici- 
pating a busy, perhaps overburdened, but neverthless 
congenial life. It was, however, to be one of darkness, 
perplexity, and discouragement. 

Just before our departure from Heidelberg we made 
a pedestrian excursion into the remnants of the ancient 
Hardt Forest. There, seated at the foot of a mighty pine- 
tree, Frau von Schoultz, the niece of the Royal Academi- 
cian, Thomas Phillips, sang so splendidly, in Swedish, 
Tegner's " Old Gothic Lion," an heroic national air 
greatly beloved in Sweden, that some peasant-girls cut- 
ting an early growth in the glades of the wood came 
forth, and with brandished sickles kept time to the 

It was a lovely day and a beautiful scene, yet marked 
by an unspeakable sadness, which was afterwards to dim 
the brightness of our lives. Our handsome, nimble little 
Claude, then in his tenth year, and called by his pre- 



ceptors, for the sweetness of his disposition and his 
brilliant attainments, der goldene Junge, was perceived 
to be lame. He said, " It was nothing." But when we 
insisted on an explanation, he confessed to his right 
knee being tired. " It hurt him just a little ; nothing to 
speak of." 

He continued to limp, and we, naturally troubled, to 
ask, " What did it mean ? " " He fancied it was sprained. 

He had felt it ever since (mentioning an English 

youth), following him up the staircase, had, for a joke, 
lifted him up by the collar over the balustrade, which was 
not much more than a yard above the pavement. Some- 
how he had slipped out of his hands and dropped, but he 
had lighted on his feet. He had not been hurt. He only 
felt his knee when he was tired." 

Poor Claude ! He seemed so bright and cheerful, that, 
by some strange chance, although shocked by the dis- 
closure, we accepted his explanation. The entire party 
returned home weary ; and he seeming not more so than 
the rest, we forgot, in the stir and occupation of leaving 
Heidelberg, our momentary anxiety. 

But after my husband and I, with the younger children, 
had arrived in England, and we were busy settling in a 
house we had taken at Upper Clapton, we received a 
letter from our daughter, Anna Mary, that filled us with 
dismay and anguish. Claude's knee had developed the 
most alarming features of disease. The English physician 
at Mannheim, who had seen him, desired that his parents 
might be immediately apprised, and he taken home. With 
scarcely the delay of an hour, therefore, William set off 
to Heidelberg, and brought back the dear child from the 
first-rate private school where we had left him with his 
eldest brother. 

1843-48.] AT CLAPTON. 3 


" TJie Grange, Upper Clapton, July 23, 1843. My 
week consists generally of seven working days, or, speak- 
ing more correctly, perhaps, because my employment is 
very much to my mind, my week is made up of seven 
active Sabbaths. The first day, however, is distinguished 
from the other six as the day when I mostly write to 
those I love best. 

" I do not know whether dear mother has told thee of 
poor Claude's sad accident, and of his being now at 
home perfectly lame. Oh ! it has been the saddest trial 
we ever had in our lives ! Never was my heart so wrung ; 
never did I shed such bitter tears as I have done over 
this poor child ! William fetched Claude from Germany. 
He then took him to Mr. Liston, one of the most emi- 
nent physicians in London. He could counsel nothing 
but amputation. We could only consent to this as the 
very last means. William thought then of taking 
him to Sir Benjamin Brodie ; but that kind, excellent 
man, Joseph Pease, of Darlington, a very particular 
friend of William's, begged him first to ask the advice 
of Dr. Bevan, a Friend, a very clever and conscientious 
man, whom, supposing Claude were his child, he should 

" Dr. Bevan recommended Mr. Aston Key, and under 
his care, accordingly, Claude was put. He, like Liston, 
thought the case was most serious. He would not give 
us hope, but said there was a chance of his regaining the 
use of the limb. He advised bandaging, and accordingly 
that has been done. Thou canst believe, dear sister, 
what an awful trial this is. You have had experience of 
a similar affliction, and can sympathise with us. Alas ! 
I was proud of Claude, who, I fancied, would make a 


figure in life. I am humbled now. I throw all on the 
mercy of God, and hope and trust that He may bless the 
means which we make use of to restore him. 

" Poor Claude has a nice little invalid - carriage, 
with an inclining seat, so that he lies in it, and in it 
he passes nearly the entire day. Charlton, who is as 
sturdy as a little pony, draws him about the garden, and 
one of the servants when we go out all of us together. 
I am impatient to get the other two dear children home, 
for, till they are with us, I do not feel sure but that some 
other trouble may be impending over us. Among the 
many blessings that I have, I must not forget dear 
William. He has the heart of an affectionate woman, 
with all the solidity of judgment and the firmness of 
the most masculine mind. Night and day is he always 
ready to help, to comfort, to suggest, and, what is more 
than all, to do. He carries Claude in his arms up and 
down stairs. He thinks nothing a trouble ; he is never 
out of temper. I grumble, despond, and am petulant ; 
he is none of these. 

"And now, what do I mean to do with regard to 'the 
Society ' ? Nothing, dear Anna. If they will let me 
alone, I shall let them alone. We shall occasionally go 
to meeting, but shall endeavour to find some place of 
worship near us, which may suit us better than Friends' 
Meeting. Our children would derive no benefit from 
going there, and for their sakes we must find some place 
of worship where we may take them regularly. I fancy 
in religious opinion I differ from thee, because mere 
creeds matter nothing to me. I could go one Sunday to~ 
the Church of England, another to a Catholic chapel, 
a third to a Unitarian, and so on ; and in each of them 
find my heart warmed with Christian love to my fellow- 

1843-48.] AT CLAPTON. 5 

creatures and lifted up with gratitude and praise to God. 
But indeed each day, each passing hour almost, preaches 
some sermon to me ; and if I never entered an acknow- 
ledged place of worship, I should believe that, in my 
way, my worship would not be unacceptable to Heaven. 
Nevertheless, we feel it right that the children should 
be brought up with some little religious discipline as to 
mere outward form ; and, please Heaven, we will endea- 
vour, in the home-life, to instil into their souls the spirit 
of Christian love." 

"Sunday, Oct. 8, 1843. With the exception of 
Claude, we are all quite well. Little Meggie is now in 
the room with me. She is a regular girl, a tidy little 
body, who never is so happy as when she is doing some 
kind of woman's work. Her great delight is to arrange 
my things. She is as still as a mouse, and turns out my 
drawers and boxes and lays everything in again in the 
neatest way ; and I never know where to find what I 
want. But it amuses her and gratifies her love of 

" We have just now a great cause of annoyance, and 
which will be a cause of loss to us. A publisher in 
London, a low fellow, has brought out the remainder 
of Mdlle. Bremer's works for one-and-sixpence each, the 
very books we are now translating. It is very mortifying, 
because no one knew of these Swedish novels till we 
introduced them. It obliges us to hurry in all that we 
do, and we must write almost night and day to get 
ours out, that we may have some little chance. Though 
many persons will no doubt buy this cheap edition, we 
still hope that the circulating libraries will take ours. It 
made me quite poorly last week." 


''Sunday, Oct. 15. How art thou, beloved sister, 
this fine, fresh autumn morning? Oh, how lovely every- 
thing looks ! It has been a stormy week, rain, mist, 
and wind ; but all now is calm, bright, and fresh. It 
does one good, for it reminds one of such periods in 
one's own experience. This morning, as I went into 
the garden, there was a sound of church bells, a mur- 
muring as if the very air was full of them. Now 
and then there dropped noiselessly a dead leaf from 
the trees above. There is nothing much to tell in all 
this, but it impressed my heart with a feeling of love 
and assurance that made me happy. I loved every 
one connected with me, and my heart sprang towards 

" We have apprehended for some time that the system 
of bandaging was not applicable to Claude's case. A 
friend of ours, whose son suffered from a similar accident, 
confirmed our opinion, and we have now put Claude 
under the great homoeopathic practitioner, Dr. Epps. I 
hope thou art not one of those who look on homoeopathy 
as quackery." 


" Upper Clapton, Oct. 19, 1843. Many thanks for 
your kind letter. We have indeed been most intensely 
anxious, and have had cause for deep sorrow in the case 
of our poor dear Claude. 

" How truly did we sympathise with you in your be- 
reavement you will believe, and had I known where 
to address you, should certainly have expressed it. Let 
me assure you how great the pleasure would be, if 
it suited your convenience, to call upon us and renew 
the personal acquaintance which began so agreeably in 

1843-48-] AT CLAPTON. 7 

summer weather, and, as it were, among the flowers in 

"I take great interest in your children, and shall 
always be glad to observe how your system of educa- 
tion, which appeared to us so excellent and wise, answers 
its end in developing their characters and minds. We, 
who cannot *devote so much time to ours as you can, 
have an excellent and learned young German as tutor. 
We hope, with the blessing of Heaven, that it may 
answer, and that we may in the end make them wise, 
good, and happy." 


" Sunday, Oct. 22. Thy last interested me deeply, and 
awakened in all our hearts the deepest sympathy. We are 
quite sure that nothing but the most sincere conviction 
would have induced thee to take so decided a step as join- 
ing the Church of England. We all think that thou hast 
done quite right ; and we admire and love Daniel for his 
kindness and co-operation in it. I shall not, of course, 
write anything to our mother about thy change of opinion ; 
but when she comes to us, as I believe she will shortly, 
I shall then have a talk with her, and can no doubt 
make her quite satisfied with it. I am sure that she 
will be reconciled, and most likely think, as I do, that 
sincere conviction is of far greater worth than an 
educational belief. May God give thee peace, as I do 
sincerely believe He will, in this step which thou hast 

"I am a little uneasy how we are to manage when 
dear mother comes, for it is our bounden duty to make 
her visit as pleasant as we can ; and I am afraid that 
she will see much of which she will be inclined to dis- 


approve ; yet I hope, in the spirit of love and good sense, 
she will bear with us. 

" We have Eliza back, and to-day dear little Meggie 
has been with her to meeting, and for the first time. 
Charlton and Alfred go to church with Herr Mliller. 
Charlton went to meeting one Sunday. When he came 
back he said, ' I shall always go to that meeting, I 
like it so much ! ' ' And why, Charlton ? ' we asked. 
' Oh ! because there is a dog-kennel there.' Poor fellow ! 
what a reason for going to meeting ! Meggie would say 
she liked to go because all the people were so good to 
her, and smiled at her so kindly ! " 

" Oct. 29. Our dearest mother seems troubled rather 
by our making use of homoeopathy for Claude. She has 
an idea, I fancy, that it is in some way connected with 
the spread of the Catholic religion. It is true that it 
was introduced by a German, and he might be a Catholic, 
but it is not peculiar to that body of people. Dr. Epps 
is almost a Friend in many of his opinions. He is a 
most remarkably kind person, and has something almost 
apostolic in his manners. We knew him first in Not- 
tingham, after William had published his ' History of 
Priestcraft.' " 

" Sunday morning. : Dearest sister, send me, as thou 
sayest, a chronicle of thy home. Tell me what thy 
children say and do, that I may have some knowledge 
of them. For myself, do not I always write the most 
egotistical letters in the world ? Thou must know my 
children well ; and I seem always to extol them, just as 
if they were the most perfect creatures in the world ; 
whereas they are not so. Anna Mary, however, is good 
beyond words. 

1843-48.] AT CLAPTON. 9 

"We are now more than ordinarily busy. We have 
embarked a great deal of money in our publication of 
the Swedish novels, and the interference of the upstart 
London publisher, of which I have told you, is still most 
annoying. Mdlle. Bremer, however, has written a new 
novel, and sends it to us before publication. We began 
its translation this week, and hope, by beginning to print 
immediately, to be able to publish it at the New Year ; 
about the time it will appear in Sweden and Germany. 
Thus we shall have a great advantage with a fair field to 
ourselves. We are writing as fast as possible, and with 
such an invalid as Claude in the house, every moment is 
taken up. 

" I shall be able to send thy children a book at Christ- 
mas which they will like, I hope. It is 'The Child's 
Picture and Verse Book,' which I have translated from 
the German work commonly called ' Otto Speckter's 
Fable-Book.' William will send them ' The Marvellous 
History of Jack of the Mill,' a story told to our chil- 
dren three winters ago by their papa literally told 
night after night, like an Arabian tale, and afterwards 
written down for them. It was a present to them last 
Christmas in manuscript, and whatsoever profit it pro- 
duces will be their own property. 

" How true is what thou sayest of the Church prayers ! 
I always feel it so ; and because the Church service is 
so good, so beautiful, and so applicable to all hearts and 
all states, the sermon itself is of less consequence. 

" I think this letter of Emma's will please and interest 
you all. It is a delight to see how entirely they seem to 
be in their right place in America ; nor could I, even for 
the selfish pleasure of near intercourse, wish them back. 
When I write to Emma I shall speak of the change in 

io MARY HO WITT. [CH. i. 

thee, in the manner in which we think it ought to be 
regarded. I have never written of it to our mother, but 
I have spoken to her of my own views very freely, and I 
fancy that she takes it all now much more easily. I 
have told her not to trouble herself about the commo- 
tions in the Church of England, &c., &c. ; and she has 
written more cheerfully on that subject. I imagine, 
nevertheless, dearly beloved sister, that thou and we 
should differ, not quarrel remember, about some points. 
Thou would find us desperate Radicals, Corn-Law 
League, universal- suffrage people. But what would that 
matter ? We could agree heartily to differ." 

" Sunday afternoon. Poor dear Claude ! It is one of 
his bad days. His leg is painful to him, and keeps him 
sadly fretful and uneasy. He has shed many tears, and 
that is by no means usual with him. We have, how- 
ever, an invitation out for to-morrow evening, where 
we can take him ; and, poor child ! it is such a pleasure 
to him to go out now and then to see fresh people, and 
lie on a fresh sofa ; thus I feel quite obliged to any one 
who will let us take him with us. This will do him 
good, will make him to-morrow forget his pain. He 
has a great quantity of books in his little carriage, and 
we have a boy to attend upon him, who draws him about 
all day long. Were he not my child, how interested 
should I be in the pale, sweet-countenanced boy who is 
always reading, let one meet him in his carriage when 
one may ! Mr. Tegg, the publisher, has been most kind 
in sending him books several pounds' worth. Oh, how 
grateful to Mr. Tegg I am ! 

"The book by William of which thou speakest is, 
I suppose, 'Peter Schlemihl,' by Chamisso, which he 

1843-48.] AT CLAPTON. n 

translated for a publisher at Nuremberg. We will send 
you a copy with the other books. The story is clever in 
its earlier part, but will not, I fancy, greatly please thee 
as a whole. It is very popular in Germany, Claude is 
now in bed. The rest of the family are going to tea. 
Later we shall have a little music, and the Lord's Prayer 
chanted in German ; a piece of music which contains the 
whole soul of devotion, and which makes a part of our 
Sunday evening pleasure. Then the day will be done, 
and to-morrow comes thy letter." 

"Sunday afternoon, Feb. 25, 1844. I have very little 
news of any kind to send thee, for I have hardly been 
out of Claude's room the whole of this week. I will, 
however, tell thee an anecdote of Charlton which pleased 
me. He had practised very nicely on the piano, and 
kind Herr Miiller said he would play him something 
pretty as a reward. It was a little song about summer, 
which he had set to music. 

" Charlton listened evidently in a dream. * What are 
you thinking of, Charlton ? ' asked his tutor. ' I was 
thinking,' he replied, * how I once was so happy. I 
should like to live that day over again. I was by myself 
in the field ; all was so still ; the sun was shining, the 
grasshoppers were jumping in the grass, and I was so 
happy. I should like to live that day over again ! ' 
' You shall live again many hundreds of such days/ said 
good young Herr Miiller. I was pleased, dear Anna, for 
it was a glimpse into the mind and experience of a child, 
and I saw how happy his life may be. Many and many 
a time has he gone wandering by himself about the 
field, when I never thought how full of gladness it was 
to him, but have said, perhaps, 'Look at that poor 

12 MARY HOWITT. [CH. i. 

little solitary thing wandering by himself; do somebody 
go to him.' 

"What thou sayest about Friends tying themselves 
so much down to drab I understand perfectly. I, how- 
ever, have long ceased to do that. I have a perfect plea- 
sure in colour, and indulge myself in it. For instance, 
what dost thou say to the two little children having scarlet 
coats trimmed with fur ! Eliza takes Meggie regularly 
to meeting in hers. She goes to call on Friends dressed 
in it. I was greatly amused at one visit she made. 
There was a grave old woman-Friend in the house. 
She seemed charmed with Meggie, who, in her black 
velvet bonnet and scarlet cloak, looked, I suppose, some- 
what regal. She admired and talked to her, and said 
to Eliza and the Friend of the house, 'I should 
fancy the little Princess-Royal such a child as this.' 
Presently it came out that she was William Howitt's 
child the child of a Friend ! The old lady, on hearing 
this, put her away from her, and said, ' How thou art 
dressed ! See, thou hast frightened the dog out of the 
room ! ' * Art thou a Friend, too ? ' she said to Eliza, 
and on hearing that she was, she turned herself round 
and said not another word to her. But, after all, Friends 
are becoming more liberal in regard to colours ; for 
instance, many plain Friends have crimson curtains to 
their dining-rooms, and very handsome carpets, chosen 
with good taste." 

" March 3, 1844. Anna Mary, Alfred, and I have been 
this morning to the Unitarian chapel, and have heard 
a sermon, which pleased us greatly, on religion being 
a thing of every-day use and application. Dear William's 
prepossessions are all very strongly in favour of Friends, 

1843-48.] AT CLAPTON. 13 

and he would like each of us to attend meeting ; but 
then he is obliged to confess how very little instructive 
or beneficial it is. He goes himself now and then, 
and would go oftener, could he leave Claude ; and for 
him, who can, as Friends say, ' centre his mind down,' 
it may be right, but for me it very rarely is so. A 
Friends' Meeting is only good for me when I am tired, 
mind and body, and want perfect quietness. 

"Do not be shocked, dear sister, at our attending a 
Unitarian chapel ; for they are the people, after all, 
with whom we seem to have most unity of feeling and 
opinion. If, however, we lived in a village where there 
was a good clergyman, I should go to church. But 
here, where all are Puseyites and a proud congregation, 
sitting in luxuriously cushioned pews, I should hardly 
like, nor could I in conscience join them. I do not, 
by any means, call myself a religious woman in the 
common sense of the word. Love and Faith make 
up the perfect Christian. Love I have, but, alas ! I 
want faith. When I think of William's mother, with 
her deep religious feeling, her faith, which was strong 
enough to remove mountains, how short do I see 
myself! I sometimes could almost wish that I were 
a good Catholic ; for they, of all people, have faith ; 
and it is faith that gives to the soul its strength and 

"March 10, 1844. A week of great anxiety and 
painful watching almost by night and day has brought 
us round to Sunday again. Poor Claude has had a bad 
week. Oh Anna ! if he recovers, I shall believe that 
the Almighty has spared him for some great and good 
work. I used to wish that Claude, with his keen, clear 

i 4 MARY HO WITT. [CH. i. 

intellect, should be a lawyer. I now would wish for him 
to be a preacher of the Gospel, to show forth to all how 
good and powerful and rich in love God is. But the 
Lord's will be done, and so that His will be accom- 
plished in and for Claude it will be right, and far better 
than we, with all our love for him, could bring about." 


"March 12, 1844. Mary's letters, I know, have made 
you aware by what a frail thread our dear Claude held 
possession of life. That slight filament gave way this 
morning. At twenty-five minutes past eleven o'clock 
he breathed his last most easily and peacefully. I 
think you never knew the dear lad, with his extra- 
ordinary powers, great wit and humour, and of a loving 
disposition. He has been taken from us exactly on the 
day twelve months on which the youth who occasioned 
his injury came to Heidelberg." 

Here may be added, that once, when his father, in great 
distress of mind, suddenly exclaimed to him, "I wish 
the lad who dropped you had to undergo all this, dear 
Claude," raising his eyes with an expression of sorrow 
and surprise, he replied, " Oh papa ! don't say that ; I 
cannot bear the thought of it. Please let my love be 
given to him, for I remember him with nothing but kind- 
ness." And the message was sent. 

"March 19, 1844. My dearest sister, we are to myself 
a sort of riddle. We all feared and dreaded that the 
poor dear child never could be restored to us, yet we 
hoped and deceived ourselves to the last. I did not 
realise that he was actually going till within a few 

1843-48.] AT CLAPTON. 15 

hours of his death. Yet he had, I now can plainly see, 
been stricken by the hand of Death for several days. 
He has been like an angel, whom we entertained un- 
awares. I hope and trust the blessing of his presence 
will not soon depart from us. It seems to me that he 
has fulfilled his mission, which was to draw our hearts 
upward to God. 

" For him, dear child, I can have no fears. There was 
nothing but love in his soul. No rancour, no bitterness. 
Oh, what a consolation it is to us now to remember this ! 
He opened his heart two or three times to us, and how 
beautiful and consolatory a view it gave us ! He con- 
fessed the little sins that lay heavy on his conscience, 
and seemed comforted when we could assure him that 
the Almighty would forgive them and much more. 

" But still, dearest Anna, could I but have realised to 
myself the near approach of his end, I would have had 
more conversations with him on such subjects, and I 
earnestly hope and trust that the sin of omission may not 
be attributed to me. He was ten and a half, yet his 
mind seemed matured in these twelve months of sick- 
ness. We shall not remember him as the child, but as 
the friend, the beloved companion of so many sorrowful 
months. May it only please the Almighty that we may 
be worthy to meet with him, where there is no more 
sorrow, no more suffering, and no more parting ! 

" He was buried yesterday afternoon in the Friends' 
burial-ground at Stoke-Newington. Many Friends met 
us at the grave, and three ministers spoke. It has knit 
my heart to Friends, for I believe they all sympathised 
with us." 

"April 2, 1844. Thy letter, my dearest sister, was 

1 6 MARY HO WITT. [CH. i. 

indeed like the voice of the truest and sweetest affection. 
I have turned to it again and again, and I feel that, 
among the many blessings which I enjoy and I enjoy a 
great many is that of having a sister like thee. I have 
received several letters on this sorrowful occasion, w 7 hich 
are precious to me, and which I shall keep among my 
valued things. 

" Yes, dearest Anna, I will believe that whom ' the 
Lord chasteneth He loveth.' I am sure that there is 
much good in affliction, and my present, most earnest 
prayer is, that the good which we all feel in this sorrow 
may not soon pass away. I dare not make covenants, 
lest I should break them, else I would covenant with 
God and with myself to make this great grief useful to 
myself and to others. How can we indeed be teachers 
of others in any way, more especially in the best of all 
ways that of guiding them heavenwards unless we 
have been baptized in sorrow ? We cannot see the 
beloved of our souls taken from us without longing to 
follow after. We are linked, as it were, to heaven, and 
minds of a high and pure character are permitted also to 
have glimpses into heaven, where they are ; and thus 
what we have known and felt we can speak of. 

" Do not suppose, however, dearest sister, that I am one 
of the favoured who are permitted to have the heavenly 
visions. I am like the women sitting by the sepulchre, 
who love much and sit in their sorrow, for they know 
not yet that their Lord is risen. I cannot tell thee how 
I long, however, to comfort mourners like myself. Oh, 
how I love them ! How I long to sympathise with them ! 
And I have, in my weakness, besought of the Almighty 
that the good results of this affliction may be in me the 
power to soothe and to strengthen such as mourn. 

1843-48.] AT CLAPTON. I? 

" I see how beautiful is resignation, but this can only 
be perfected by faith. May God, in His mercy, give it to 
me. ' Lord, I believe ; help Thou my unbelief ! ' Such 
is the cry of my heart, and happy beyond all worldly 
possessions is it to dwell in the light of faith undoubt- 
ingly, unquestioningly. 

" How true it is that in the midst of life we are in 
death ! To us it seems as if our dearest Claude was 
the only one who had died, as if death had only visited 
our house. But if we walk out, or go to a place of 
worship, or where many persons are assembled, we see 
almost every third person in mourning like ourselves. 
I cannot tell thee how my heart warms to such. Their 
hearts have been wrung like ours. Their eyes have 
wept bitter tears. I long to sit down with them and 
talk to them of their dead. It is so pleasant to me 
to talk of Claude that I fancy they would like it too. 
I could listen for hours to mothers or loving sisters 
who would tell me of beloved and long-waited-upon 
invalids. And oh ! dearest sister, I think if there 
be one blessing greater than another, it must be the 
recovery of such an invalid, the watching the beloved 
one gaining strength, advancing from one stage to 
another towards health. How little do people think of 
these things ! and yet they are among the best blessings 
of life. 

"To-morrow I intend again to commence my regular 
avocations. Poor dear Claude ! at this very moment I 
see the unfinished translation lying before me, which 
was broken off by his death. Alas ! I could have shed 
burning tears over this. How often did he beg and 
pray of me to put aside my translation just for that 

one day, that I might sit by him and talk or read to him ! 
VOL. n. B 

i8 MARY HO WITT. [CH. i. 

I, never thinking how near his end was, said, ' Oh no, 
I must go on yet a page or two.' How little did I 
think that in a short time I should have leisure enough 
and to spare ! Oh Anna ! of all the agonising feelings 
which I know, none is so bitter as that longing for 
the dead. Just one day, one hour of their life, that 
one might pour out the whole soul of one's inextinguish- 
able love before them, and let them feel how dear, in- 
expressibly dear, they are. My very heart at times dies 
within me from this deep and agonising longing. But, 
dearest, when we have angels in heaven, does not death 
seem robbed of its terrors ? 

" I wonder how it is with families in heaven, for there 
must be different degrees of worthiness in the different 
members. Some must have lower places than others. 
I would be content to sit on the lowest footstool might 
I only be permitted to behold the glory and the bliss of 
my beloved ones, and to make compensation to them in 
some way for my shortcomings on earth." 

"April 17, 1844. The Friends have been most kind 
to us. They permitted us to choose the spot where 
dear Claude should lie. They did not even wish him 
to be buried among the children, and they will allow 
us to plant shrubs and flowers on his grave. He lies 
near Charles Lloyd, the poet, on whose grave some 
friend has planted a cypress. It is no use telling one 
that the resting-place matters nothing to the dead. 
That is true, but it does matter to the living. Jesus 
wept at the grave of Lazarus. The women wept at 
the tomb of Jesus, and hearts that love truly and sorrow 
deeply want the same indulgence. I am sure that it 
is pleasing to God that they should have it. I do not 

1843-48.] AT CLAPTON. 19 

see exactly how Friends' minds can be operated upon, 
but I am sure that if this question could be fully dis- 
cussed, very many among them would feel the same." 

" June 1 6, 1844. Only a very few words to-day, my 
dearest sister, and all because I am working hard to be 
at liberty to make my long-talked-of journey. I set 
myself last week to finish my story, and by great industry 
I am happy to say I did, having been three weeks over 
it. I have laid the scene of it at Uttoxeter, so if it is 
read there, the little town will wonder at my impudence" 

The story to which I thus refer was called " The Two 
Apprentices," and belonged to a series of tales which 
I had been writing, at various intervals, for several years. 
A simple, somewhat affecting little story, called "A 
Night-Scene in a Poor Man's House," having appeared 
in my friend Mrs. Alaric Watts's "Juvenile Souvenir" 
at Christmas 1838, it was read by the publisher, Mr. 
Tegg, of Cheapside. He immediately wrote and pro- 
posed that I should furnish him with a series of books 
to illustrate household virtues. He wished the number to 
be thirteen a baker's dozen, as he said. My husband, 
the best literary friend and critic that I ever had, induced 
me to agree ; and Mr. Tegg, a very peculiar man, who, 
from arriving in London a poor Scotch lad with a few 
halfpence in his pocket, had now, by his quick wit and 
industry, amassed a fortune, behaved through the whole 
transaction in the most straightforward, satisfactory 
manner. He punctually paid for each MS. as he 
received it, never advertised the works, and yet one 
edition succeeded the other ; this large, silent sale being 
perhaps accounted for by his extensive connection with 

20 MARY HO WITT. [OH. i. 

the Colonies. The first of this series, which appeared 
under the general title of " Tales for the People and their 
Children," was called " Strive and Thrive," and was 
followed by " Hope On, Hope Ever." From my earliest 
childhood I possessed a most keen sympathy, together 
with a deep interest, in lives and experiences different 
from my own, and which often caused my parents to 
censure my inquisitiveness. Yet this did not check the 
promptings of my heart, and my retentive memory thus 
acquired a store of incidents chiefly connected with poor 
people, their small joys and great sufferings. 

In my married life at Nottingham, Alice Cheetham, a 
monthly nurse, had become, by her goodness and general 
efficiency, an established friend of the family. She was 
always a pleasant figure in the house, wearing nice, old- 
fashioned dresses, and possessing the tidiest, daintiest 
ways. On one occasion she stayed with me at Uttox- 
eter. It was no case of serious illness, and these few 
weeks in the real country were a delight to her. I had 
much earlier learnt her life's history, and sympathised 
with her. I knew the fates of her various children, and 
especially her sorrow about her wild son, Samuel, who 
had almost broken his mother's heart many years before 
by enlisting as a soldier. Where he was she knew not ; 
he had been in India, he might now be dead. It was a 
terrible grief, of which she seldom spoke. 

However, here she was now, very happy for the time 
being, in the remote country town of Uttoxeter, which 
had been exempted by the Duke of Cumberland, when 
on his way to Culloden, from ever henceforth having 
soldiers quartered in it. One night they might remain, 
but no longer. Therefore, Uttoxeter would be every 
now and then put into a state of excitement by the 

1843-48.] AT CLAPTON. 21 

marching in of one or two regiments, with their heavy 
waggons piled up with baggage, soldiers' wives and 
children. The men were billeted for the night at the 
various public-houses. The baggage-waggons remained 
in the market-place. Should it, however, be a market- 
day, they were brought into our street, which, opposite 
to our house, was the widest in the town. Thus all 
the stir, bustle, and interest of that strange family life 
of common soldiery would be in part revealed to us 
children. I watched each detail with intense interest, 
and had no unfrequent opportunity of doing so, during 
the terrible years of the Napoleonic war. 

An incident of this kind, with the events that might 
easily accrue, is introduced in my little story of ''The 
Two Apprentices." Now, however, it is simply what 
befell my poor friend, Nurse Cheetham, that I wish 
to narrate. The weather was fine, and as I did not 
require her attendance, I desired her to take a walk. 
In so doing she met the soldiers of a regiment from 
Ireland, who were dispersing to their night-quarters; 
and amongst them, came upon her own son, the long- 
lost, long-lamented Samuel. Although he had been 
absent for years, mother and son both recognised each 
other in the street. Her intense joy may be imagined. 
For the moment every desire of her heart was satisfied. 
He was a fine-looking fellow, in good health, who, lazy 
or thoughtless, had let the years roll on without writing. 
Of course, she was up at four the next morning, once 
more to see her boy, to give him a parting kiss and 
blessing, and, doubtless, all the money she had. It 
was one little ray of light and love, which made that 
poor faithful mother so unspeakably happy. I had 
my pleasure in it also. She never heard from him, 

22 MARY HO WITT. [CH. i. 

much less saw him again, at least not while we were 
at Nottingham. 

Here I may mention, in connection with literary 
engagements, that I edited, in 1839 and the two follow- 
ing years, " The Drawing-Room Scrap-Book," published 
annually by the Messrs. Fisher. I was not proud of the 
work. It had been carried on for some years by L. E. L., 
until her marriage with Mr. Maclean in 1838, and I 
was her successor. The agreement was personally to 
furnish poems to the engravings chosen by the publishers. 
The payment was ^100 per annum, and in that period 
of mental activity I could often write a poem in a 
day. Some of my pieces were English renderings of 
German poetry by Freiligrath and Clemens Brentano. 
Heine's exquisite lines on a mother taking her sick son 
to be cured by the Virgin Mary at the holy shrine of 
Kevlaar I translated in 1841. My successor was Miss 
Sarah Stickney, originally a Friend, who especially devoted 
her pen to the enunciation of moral truths, addressed 
principally to her own sex. She married the Rev. 
William Ellis, also an author, who had been a Non- 
conformist missionary to the Sandwich and South Sea 
Islands. They carried on a successful girls' school at 
Hoddesdon, in which they sought to combine scholastic 
and domestic teaching, the boarders taking it in turn 
to assist in cooking, &c. 

We had not long been at Heidelberg, when a new 
realm of mental wealth unexpectedly opened to my 
husband and me. Our excellent and highly-accom- 
plished friend, Madame von Schoultz, had derived much 
alleviation from the study of Scandinavian authors in 
a time of terrible suspense, caused by the mysterious 
disappearance of her Swedish husband, who, it was 

1843-48-] AT CLAPTON. 23 

subsequently discovered, lost his life 'in the Papineau 
rebellion in Canada. With her we commenced Swedish, 
a delightful employment, which might be called a relaxa- 
tion rather than a labour, for here were no puzzling 
terminations as in German, but a similarity of con- 
struction with the English, which made it and its 
cognate Danish of comparatively easy acquisition. 

Fredrika Bremer's novels of Swedish family life de- 
lighted us by their originality, freshness, and delicate 
humour, and we determined to introduce them to the 
English reading public. My husband and I translated 
" The Neighbours " and " The Home " from the German 
versions, but in the new editions which speedily followed 
we compared and revised them with the Swedish. In 
England and America they immediately met with wide 
recognition, although, when we first translated "The 
Neighbours," there was not a house in London that 
would undertake its publication. We printed and pub- 
lished it and others of the Bremer novels at our own 
risk, when such became the rage for them, that our 
translations were seized by a publisher, altered, and 
reissued as new ones. The men in our printer's office 
were bribed from America, and in one instance the 
pirated sheets appeared before those we ourselves sent 
over. Cheap editions ran like wildfire through the 
United States, and the boys who hawked them in the 
streets might be seen deep in "The Neighbours," "The 
Home," and " The H- - Family." 

The first of very many letters which I received from 
Fredrika Bremer expresses her pleasure at the English 
publication of "The Neighbours," and is dated Stock- 
holm, February 21, 1843. She speaks modestly in it 
of her productions, and is surprised that her common- 

24 MARY HO WITT. [CH. i. 

place delineations of every-day life should suit the fas- 
tidious taste of England. Nevertheless, she hopes still 
to write more worthily of the life in her native land, 
saying in conclusion, " Sweden is a poor but noble 
country, England is a rich and glorious one ; in spirit 
they are sisters, and should know each other as such. 
Let us, dear Mrs. Howitt, contribute to that end." 

To the best of my ability I united with her in so 

The far-famed ciiion-souffte of the estimable Louise 
in Mdlle. Bremer's novel, " The Home," also procured 
for me a most agreeable and lasting friendship with an 
estimable gentlewoman, Miss Eliza Acton. In perusing 
" The Home," the souffle had not escaped her observa- 
tion, and she was anxious to obtain the exact receipt 
from Mdlle. Bremer for the second edition of " Modern 
Cookery." She was also desirous of information about 
" sweet-groats " and other preparations of grain men- 
tioned in "The Neighbours" as forming part of the 
national food of Sweden ; for she was much troubled by 
the culinary inaptitude of the English people. She had 
found that amongst the lower classes not one in ten 
could even make a loaf or boil a potato as it should be. 

In the summer of 1844 I had the delight of visiting 
my beloved sister, Anna Harrison, and her family. At 
the end of July I was taken a charming little trip of 
five days from Liverpool to Llanberis and back by my 
brother-in-law, Daniel, in the company of Anna, their 
eldest son, Charles, their uncle, Richard Thompson, who 
was a most delightful old Methodist, and Mary Harris, 
an agreeable young woman-Friend of independent means. 
We had a rough but amusing voyage to the Menai 
Bridge, where there was an excellent inn. Telford's 

1843-48.] AT CLAPTON. 25 

marvellous erection did not then pair with the Britannia 
tubular bridge, but uniquely spanned the strait in airy 
sublimity. We walked to it, viewed it on all sides, 
and knew not how sufficiently to admire. We ascended 
a hill to obtain a peep at the mountains, and how 
lovely they looked, lying calmly and magnificently in 
the repose of the late evening, with Snowdon in their 
midst ! Enraptured by the view, and the thought that 
I was actually in the land which had been the object 
of my childish desires and fancies, I kept silently repeat- 
ing what my parents had often said when I was young : 
"We really will, some time or other, take a cottage in 
Wales, and spend a few summer months there." 

On leaving my kind relatives at Liverpool, I went, 
accompanied by my dear niece, Margaret Ann Harrison, 
to see my mother at Uttoxeter; and both accepting an 
invitation to Clapton, journeyed with me to London. 

On September 8, 1844, I Sa 7 writing to my sister 
Anna : 

" I am sure thou wilt be glad to know that at length 
the troublesome duty of house-hunting is over. We have 
taken a house a short distance from the one where we 
now live. It is almost strange that, after seeking all 
round London, we come back at last to our own neigh- 

" I shall be very sorry to leave The Grange, notwith- 
standing its disadvantages ; for it is endeared to me from 
many causes. Poor Claude liked it so much. It was his 
only home in England after our return ; and the whole 
house and garden are full of memories and traces of him. 
The tracks of his carriage-wheels are still on the garden- 
walks. There is L, shady path, which he called, 'The 
Vault,' where he liked to be drawn in the heat, and an 

26 MARY HOWITT. [CH. i. 

apple-tree that seemed especially his own. It is foolish, 
but I feel as if he would still think of us as living here. 
I am glad that we do not leave the neighbourhood, for 
my heart is drawn towards the spot where he lies. His 
memory is one of the sacred and precious things, over 
which is a halo of love. Thank God for a hope of re- 
union with the dead." 

The house which we had taken was one of a couple 
of well-built, substantially finished residences of the last 
century, situated in Lower Clapton, and called " The 
Elms," from the row of noble old elm-trees in their front. 
It contained ample wainscoted chambers and a broad stair- 
case of polished oak, leading to spacious reception-rooms. 
The windows at the back looked into the pleasant garden, 
with its creeper-festooned walls, long lawn, and flowering 
shrubs ; and beyond to quiet meadows, through which 
flowed the river Lea, to vast marshes and the woodland 
line of Epping Forest. 

We had for our next-door neighbours, and thence for 
life-long friends, Mr. Henry Bateman and his family. He 
was the brother-in-law of the Rev. Thomas Binney ; on 
the Committee of the Religious Tract Society, and de- 
servedly esteemed in Nonconformist circles for his active 
benevolence, promotion of religious freedom, calm, out- 
spoken denunciation of evil, unflinching adherence to 
duty, and faithful trust in God under all circumstances. 

The earlier portion of our residence at The Elms was 
very pleasant. I recall it with a tender regret as worthy 
and befitting in every way. The house was commodious, 
the children well cared for and happy. Their chief dnd 
favourite companions were Arthur Bateman, the children 
of my beloved widowed friend, Mrs. Todhunter, and 




the five little granddaughters of Dr. Southwood Smith. 
Octavia Hill, the third of these sisters, often stayed with 
Charlton and Meggie. She was their chosen playmate 
and counsellor, and devised, even in their games, schemes 
for improving and brightening the lot of the poor and 
the oppressed. 

The retiring and meditative young poet, Alfred / 


Tennyson, visited us, and charmed our seclusion by the l 
recitation of his exquisite poetry. He spent a Sunday 
night at our house, when we sat talking together until 
three in the morning. All the next day he remained 
with us in constant converse. We seemed to have 
known him for years. So, in fact, we had, for his poetry 
was himself. He hailed all attempts at heralding a 
grand, more liberal state of public opinion, and con- 

2 8 MARY HOWITT. [CH. i. 

sequently sweeter, .more noble modes of living. He 
wished that we Englanders could dress up our affections 
in a little more poetical costume ; real warmth of heart 
would lose nothing, rather gain by it ; as it was, our 
manners were as cold as the walls of our churches. 

Pastor Carlson, the agreeable and intelligent minister 
of the Swedish church, frequently came to us. On a 
delightful summer afternoon, he brought with him Fahl- 
crantz, Professor of Theology at Upsala, the Sydney 
Smith of Sweden. He possessed a marvellous play on 
words, which is more difficult in Swedish than in fuller, 
richer languages. We sat on the lawn in the most 
cheerful good-fellowship. 

Here too the Catholic priest, Dr. Willson, whom 
my husband had learnt deservedly to respect in Not- 
tingham, came to see us. He had just been made first 
Catholic Bishop of Tasmania, and was on his way to the 
colony, where he so greatly ameliorated the condition of 

My husband, on the announcement of his intended 
" Visits to Remarkable Places," received, in 1838, a letter 
from Manchester, signed E. C. Gaskell, drawing his 
attention to a fine old seat, Clopton Hall, near Stratford- 
on-Avon. It described in so powerful and graphic a 
manner the writer's visit as a schoolgirl to the mansion 
and its inmates, that, in replying, he urged his correspon- 
dent to use her pen for the public benefit. This led to 
the production of the beautiful story of " Mary Barton," 
the first volume of which was sent in MS. to my hus- 
band, stating this to be the result of his advice. We 
were both delighted with it, and . a few months later 
Mrs. Gaskell came up to London, and to our house, with 
the work completed. Everybody knows how rapturously 

1843-48.] AT CLAPTON. 29 

it was received ; and from that time she became one of 
the favourite writers of fiction. 

My husband had translated a curious little book from 
the third German edition, the real " Wanderings of a 
Journeyman Tailor;" P. D. Holthaus, who had trudged 
through Europe and a part of Asia Minor, supporting 
himself by his needle in Constantinople, Eome, and 
elsewhere. It appeared in 1844. In 1845 he was busily 
engaged on his " Homes and Haunts of the Poets." I 
wrote "The Author's Daughter" for "The Edinburgh 
Tales," and in 1846 collected my ballads, chiefly written 
some ten or fifteen years earlier, my miscellaneous poems, 
and four poetical translations. These were published in 
one volume in 1847. 

I had also turned my attention to Danish literature, 
which my knowledge of the Swedish and German lan- 
guages made me easily understand. H. C. Andersen's 
" Improvisatore " I first translated from the German 
version, but after mastering Danish I made my work, 
as far as possible, identical with the original. It appeared 
at the beginning of 1845, and gave great pleasure and 
satisfaction to the author, who felt himself gracefully 
and faithfully reproduced in English. He begged me 
to continue translating his works ; he longed to be known 
and to be loved in England, as he was on the Continent, 
where, from the prince to the peasant, all were so good 
to him ; appreciation, fame, joy, followed his footsteps. 
His whole life was, in consequence, a beautiful fairy-tale, 
full of sunshine. It was in this strain that he wrote to 
me from Denmark and Germany. I translated his " Only 
a Fiddler," " O. T., or Life in Denmark," "The Constant 
Tin Soldier," and other of his " Wonderful Stories," his 
" Picture-book without Pictures " and " A True Story of 

3 o MARY HOWITT. [CH. i. 

my Life." The " Improvisatore " was the only one that 
went into a second edition ; the other books did not pay 
the cost of printing. Nevertheless, Andersen, having been 
assured in Germany and Denmark that my husband and 
I had made a fortune out of his translations, came him- 
self to London in the summer of 1847, to make an ad- 
vantageous monetary arrangement with us. He felt, he 
wrote me, that I had always acted as a sister to him, and 
was deeply grateful to me ; and as he could not bear 
the thought of our discussing money together, Herr 
Hambro, his banker and countryman, would do so in his 
stead. My husband saw Herr Hambro several times on 
the subject, and from him heard of the exaggerated 
ideas that Andersen had of our gains. The worthy 
banker undeceived his friend, and although disappointed 
of his hope, Andersen wrote to me on August 28, 1847, 
the day before he left England, begging me to translate 
the whole of his fairy-tales. His Leipzig bookseller had 
brought out a German edition, beautifully illustrated, 
and the woodcuts could be procured for a small ac- 
knowledgment. I was then deeply engrossed in other 
literary work, and foolishly, it now seems to me, let 
the proposal drop. Unfortunately, the over-sensitive and 
egotistical nature of this great Danish author much 
marred our intercourse. 

I may give, as an example, an incident that occurred 
on July 31, 1847. We had taken him, as a pleasant 
rural experience, to the annual hay-making at Hillside, 
Highgate, thus introducing him to an English home, 
full of poetry and art, of sincerity and affection. The 
ladies of Hillside, the Misses Mary and Margaret Gillies 
the one an embodiment of peace and an admirable 
writer, but whose talent, like the violet, kept in the 

1843-48.] AT CLAPTON. 3 z 

shade ; the other, the warm-hearted painter made him 
cordially welcome. So, too, our kind and benevolent 
host, Dr. Southwood Smith, who was surrounded at this 
merry-making by his grandchildren, Gertrude Hill and 
her sisters. The guests likewise were equally anxious 
to do honour to Andersen. 

Immediately after our arrival, the assembled chil- 
dren, loving his delightful fairy-tales, clustered round 
him in the hay-field, watched him make them a pretty 
device of flowers ; then feeling somehow that the stiff 
and silent foreigner was not kindred to themselves, 
stole off to an American, Henry Clarke Wright, whose 
admirable little book, "A Kiss for a Blow," some of 
them knew. He, without any suggestion of conde- 
scension or of difference of age, entered heart and soul 
into their glee, laughed, shouted, and played with them, 
thus unconsciously evincing the gift which had made 
him earlier the exclusive pastor of six hundred children 
in Boston. 

Soon poor Andersen, perceiving himself forsaken, 
complained of headache, and insisted on going indoors, 
where Miss Mary Gillies and I, both most anxious to 
efface any disagreeable impression, accompanied him ; 
but he remained irritable and out of sorts. 

Some passages in my letters may now deserve atten- 
tion. To my sister I write in December 1 844 : 

" Yesterday Richard Howitt was here. There is 
something so quiet, patient, and melancholy about him, 
as quite touched my heart. Anna Mary's affection for 
him is perfect devotion ; as a little child she loved him, 
and he is happy in her love." 

In July of 1845 I tell my sister : 

32 MARY HO WITT. [CH. i. 

" William has now been from home a week. We 
are too busy to miss him much ; and his pleasant letters 
are a most agreeable diversion to our solitude. His 
last have been from Sheffield. He has been with 
James Montgomery and Ebenezer Elliott, and has ob- 
tained from them information which will make his 
' Homes and Haunts of the Poets ' extremely interest- 
ing. He is to-day at Newcastle-on-Tyne ; from there 
he goes into Cumberland, and will visit Wordsworth." 


" All the time William was in the neighbourhood of 
Bydal it poured with rain. He was one whole day 
a prisoner with the Wordsworths ; but the day was 
pleasant indoors. 

" He says both Mr. and Mrs. Wordsworth are toler- 
ably well ; and dear Mrs. Wordsworth sat mending 
her shoe, while the room was full of strangers, who 
had called to honour the poet. There was, among others, 
an American general there, an advocate of slavery, 
with whom William and Mr. Wordsworth had a great 
argument. All the day afterwards Wordsworth kept 
rejoicing that they had defeated the general. 'To think 
of the man,' said he, ' coming, of all things, to this house 
with a defence of slavery ! But he got nothing by it. 
Mr. Howitt and I gave it to him pretty well.' The 
Latrobes, I think from Africa, were there to dinner. 
In the evening the Bishop of Salisbury was expected, 
but he did not come. Some Friends came, 'however, 
and it seems to have been a right pleasant time. 

" Poor Dora had gone to Portugal. She was in a very 
sad state of health. Her husband's brother was there ; 
and they thought that a voyage out and a stay of some 

1843-48.] AT CLAPTON. 


time might be of essential benefit to her. On the con- 
trary, she had been taken with a very serious illness, 
and they had been much alarmed. This is very melan- 
choly. They talked in the very kindest manner of Miss 
Gillies. This last bit is what I wanted most to com- 
municate to you. They who love us truly will not lightly 

Letter to my sister, written in 1845, but without a 
date : 

" I seem to have done very little this year. I have 
translated nothing, written nothing of any length, yet I 
never in my life felt so completely occupied. Sometimes, 
indeed, I have been so sick of writing and of the sight of 
papers and books that I have had quite a loathing to 
them. But these are unhappy times always to me, and 
only arise from over-weariness ; my delight is working. 
I thank a good Providence, Who has enabled me to do a 
little, I hope, towards diffusing sentiments of love and 

" I am just now deeply interested in the Anti-Slavery 
question, the real, thorough Abolitionist view, which 
would cut up this crying sin root and branch, and 
spare none of its participators. Our friend, William 
Lloyd Garrison, is now in London, with one of the most 
interesting men I ever saw, a runaway slave, Frederick 
Douglass. The narrative of his life, written by himself, 
is most beautiful and affecting. William met with him 
first in Dublin, and now that he is in London, we have 
seen a good deal of him. I wish I could lend you some 
of the very interesting and heart-rending Anti-Slavery 
books that have been siven to us, and which have so 

O ' 

wholly absorbed my thoughts, that now, like many a 
VOL. ii. c 

34 MARY HO WITT. [CH. i. 

good old Friend, I can talk of nothing but ' the dear 

" Ferdinand Freiligrath, the German poet and our dear 
friend, has been now for some time an exile from his 
country, on account of what we English should call very 
innocent writings, but what the Germans term seditious. 
He is a fine poet and a noble, good man. We have 
induced him to come to England and try his fortunes 
here in this land of commerce. He was brought up a 
merchant, understands many foreign languages, and is 
thus a most desirable person in a counting-house. He 
came here rather more than a fortnight ago, and was with 
us two weeks. On Saturday he went to Rotterdam to 
meet his wife and child. Now I am expecting them to 
arrive any moment. We shall thus have for the present 
our house very full. We wish extremely for him to 
settle in London, because we like him and his wife so 
much, that it is a pleasure to have some of their society. 
If London fails us, we must try elsewhere." 

" Nov. 1845 (after a visit to the seaside], Thou 
inquires, dear sister, who our friends the Smiths are, 
who contributed so much to make our Hastings sojourn 
agreeable. The father is the Member for Norwich, a 
good Radical and partisan of Free Trade and the aboli- 
tion of the Corn-Laws. Objecting to schools, he keeps 
his children at home, and their knowledge is gained 
by reading. They have masters, it is true, but then 
the young people are left very much to pursue their 
own course of study. The result is good ; and as to 
affection and amiability, I never saw more beautiful evi- 
dences of it. There are five children, the eldest about 
twenty-two, the youngest eleven. They have carriages 

1843-48-] AT CLAPTON. 35 

and horses at their command ; and their buoyant frames 
and bright, clear complexions show how sound is their 

" Every year their father takes them out a journey. 
He has had a large carriage built like an omnibus, in 
which they and their servants can travel, and in it, with 
four horses, they make long journeys. This year they 
were in Ireland, and next year I expect they will go 
into Italy. Their father dotes on them. They take 
with them books and sketching materials ; and they 
have every advantage which can be obtained for them, 
whether at home or abroad. Such were, and are, our 
friends the Leigh Smiths, and thou canst imagine how 
much pleasure we were likely to derive from such a 

"Nov. 30, 1845. The Freiligraths have been living 
in lodgings near us, and found it very expensive ; and 
as he is now in the office of Messrs. Huth, German mer- 
chants, we advised them to take a house and furnish it. 
They did so, going by our recommendation to the cabinet- 
maker and upholsterer of whom we bought our furniture, 
and they were to have from him six months' credit. 
I went with them on Saturday, and we chose their fur- 
niture, and it quite delighted me to see what pleasure 
they felt in having a house of their own. Later on the 
same day, when Freiligrath returned to the office, one of 
his employers asked him what he had done, how much 
he had bought, &c. 'Well,' said good Herr Huth, 'I 
shall now pay for this furniture, and I sincerely wish 
you well in your new home.' 

"Poor Freiligrath was greatly overcome, and I can 
assure you that we were all quite affected when we heard 


of it. It has made our friends so happy. He says he 
shall serve the merchants now with heart-service. What 
a glorious world this would be if every one did all the 
kindness that was in his power ! " 

"Dec. 13, 1845. Dear mother is now an accepted 
member of this meeting. Two of the most respectable 
Friends, in a worldly point of view, called on her this 
week to announce to her the fact. She was much 
pleased by it. The one thing that is wanted to complete 
her full comfort is more free intercourse with Friends, 
who are afraid of us. The story of ' Johnny Darbyshire, 
a Country Quaker,' which was published lately in 
the ' Edinburgh Tales,' has scandalised them greatly. 
William has been written to about it, and as they fancy 
we are sarcastic and inclined to ridicule the Society 
generally, they avoid us. 

" I cannot tell thee how much interest we all feel in 
the certainty of the repeal of the Corn-Laws. We have 
tickets promised for the monster meeting at Covent 
Garden Theatre on Wednesday, when all the great 
heroes of the League will meet. It is a noble battle 
that they have fought. And now, thank Heaven ! they 
are just on the eve of their great, glorious, and bloodless 

My mother was at this period residing with us, and 
I am struck with affectionate admiration at the remem- 
brance of her great tact and forbearance under circum- 
stances not readily assimilating with her convictions, and 
of her keen observation and good sense, which would 
have preserved us from sundry pitfalls, had we been 
willing to profit by them. She chiefly employed herself 

1843-48.] AT CLAPTON. 37 

reading or knitting in her own room, and merely saw 
our intimate friends, who were very favourably impressed 
by her peaceful exterior and unsectarian utterances. But 
whilst she highly approved of our literary productions 
and general sentiments, she took exception to our ad- 
vocacy of the stage, from the persuasion that virtuous 
persons, assuming fictitious characters, became ultimately 
what they simulated. She consequently eschewed some 
exemplary actresses our familiar associates terming 
them " stage-girls, whom she pitied, but whose accom- 
plishments she abhorred." 

All Friends, however, were not so severe as my ex- 
cellent mother in their condemnation of actresses, for 
Charlotte Cushman met with just appreciation from the 
son of the plain ministering-Friend, William Forster, 
of Tottenham. This was the celebrated William Edward 
Forster, who had not yet been disowned for marrying 
out of the Society, or taken any prominent part in the 
government of his country, being chiefly known as a 
staunch Liberal and joint-proprietor with Mr. Fison in 
the Greenholme worsted-mills, near Burley, in Wharfe- 
dale. On one occasion, when Charlotte Cushman, with 
her intimate friend, Eliza Cook, was staying at Mr. 
Forster's Yorkshire residence, she received from him 
an entire piece of alpaca of his manufacture, and of a 
new dark colour called steel-blue. It was worn by both 
ladies with no little pride. Miss Cook, who dressed in 
a very masculine style, which was considered strange at 
that time, with short hair parted on one side, and a 
tight-fitting, lapelled bodice, showing a shirt-front and 
ruffle, looked well in her dark, steel-blue alpaca; and 
Miss Cushman, who possessed a strongly-built, heroic 
figure, not the less so. 

3 8 MARY HOWITT. [CH i. 

Many enlightened Friends saw nothing to take offence 
at in " Johnny Darbyshire." Samuel Gurney's daughter, 
Chenda Barclay, made inquiries, thirty years later, how 
she could once more procure " the delightful story," 
saying, " when she was a child, she used to make all the 
Quaker worthies roar with laughing by reading it to 
them." Her friend, Mrs. Alfred Tylor, who, as a girl 
at Stoke-Newington, felt for us deeply in the loss of 
Claude, long remembered the calls she made on us with 
her excellent father, Edward Harris, as well as, in happier 
days, their spending an evening with us. A French lady 
was present, who sang comic songs, which some of the 
Friends thought rather too gay for their principles, but 
which charmed and delighted her less Quakerish heart. 

We had at that time become constant attenders at 
the Unitarian chapel in Hackney, the minister being the 
much-beloved Dr. Sadler, who later edited the Life of 
Crabb Robinson. There was also a Unitarian chapel at 
Stoke-Newington, where formerly the husband of Mrs. 
Barbauld had preached. My husband and I went on 
one occasion to this chapel to hear a remarkable man, 
Joseph Barker. He came from Yorkshire, and preached 
powerfully in racy dialect. So great was his reputation, 
that all the Unitarian ministers of London and the neigh- 
bourhood were assembled to hear him. His sermon 
depicted the Saviour, not as the mighty, omnipresent Son 
of God, but the Son of Man, the friend and fellow- 
sufferer of the human race, the great Teacher, the lover 
of each individual man, woman, and child, and Who was, 
as he expressed it, "a loomp o' luv." Barker, who 
had been a Methodist, never remained steadfast in his 
opinions. He next wandered on from a humanitarian 
belief into infidelity. 

1843-48.] AT CLAPTON. 39 

In 1846 my husband, at first merely a contributor, 
became one of the editors and part-proprietor of a 
new cheap weekly periodical, The People's Journal, 
which we hoped to make a good work, that would help 
to better the moral and intellectual condition of the 
working-classes. In the course of the year I write to my 
sister : 

4 'What canst thou mean by thinking that The People's 
Journal is not Christian in spirit ? Of all things has it 
been our aim from the first, and will be to the end, 
to make it the organ of the truest Christianity. The 
bearing of all its contents is love to God and man. 
There is no attempt to set the poor against the rich, 
but, on the contrary, to induce them to be prudent, 
sober, careful, and independent ; above all, to be 
satisfied to be workers, to regard labour as a privilege 
rather than a penalty, which is quite our view of the 

" It does not, to be sure, cry up Church and State. It 
does not say that the present social institutions are per- 
fect. But it endeavours to have all reforms made in the 
spirit of Christianity and for the purposes of Christianity. 
No living beings, dearest sister, can estimate Divine 
Revelation higher than we do. It is the greatest boon 
to man under all circumstances, be his station in life what 
it may. Nevertheless, it is in the spirit of Christianity to 
raise man in the scale of being, to enlighten and enlarge 
his understanding, to ennoble and purify his heart. It is 
his greatest ornament in prosperity, his best consolation 
in adversity. It is the poor man's safeguard and friend. 
No one, however poor in this world's goods, can be 
abject who has the light and comfort of the Gospel 
within his soul. This, dearest sister, if it be sound 

40 MARY HOWITT. [CH. i. 

and true, is the foundation on which this little journal 
is built ; and please God, with His benediction, it 
shall be made an instrument of good and of blessing 
in a thousand ways." 

" Oct. 12, 1846. We are more than ordinarily occu- 
pied with many things, among others the Journal, in 
which we are striving to make some very important 
changes, but which require an amount of labour and 
painstaking for which I was quite unprepared. How- 
ever, we hope that we shall be well repaid for all our 
endeavours, and then we shall never begrudge them, or 
remember them other than with satisfaction. I trust you 
have all liked my memoir of that good man Garrison. I 
did not say all I felt, because I feared many readers would 
think me extravagant. To my mind there is no impro- 
priety in comparing to Christ men who have striven to 
follow His example. All do not see it so, and as we 
write for the many, I have been contented to mention 
facts and leave them to speak for themselves. Did thy 
dear children attend any of the meetings of the New 
Anti- Slavery League, which have been held latterly in 
Liverpool, in which Garrison, H. C. Wright, and Frederick 
Douglass have taken part ? I hope they have, and that 
their hearts are concerned in the cause. I have admired 
dearest mother's zeal in this great question of humanity. 
She has seen and talked with these good men here ; and 
she has knit such a quantity of nice things for the Anti- 
Slavery Bazaar in Boston as is really quite amazing in 
one at her time of life." 

"Dec. 1 8, 1846. This comes to tell you that William 
will sleep at your house on the night of January 5. 

1843-48.] AT CLAPTON. 41 

He is to attend a soiree of the Mechanics' Institute 
on the 6th, and from there goes to Leeds, where he 
takes the chair at a soiree of the Co-operative League, 
of which he is a sort of father. We are very, very 
busy, as on the first of January comes out our own 
Hewitt's Journal. We have discovered that the manager 
of the People's Journal has kept no books, and has 
mismanaged the whole thing dreadfully. I hope we 
shall get out of the business free of loss. William has 
attended many public meetings in London latterly, and 
speaks splendidly. It is the very time for us to estab- 
lish our paper. Do not be anxious about us ; we are 
all in high spirits ; and it is perfectly cheering to 
see how warm and enthusiastic people are about our 

" We have had Tennyson with us a good deal lately. 
We quite love him." 

My husband, considering the remedy for the wrongs 
of labour to be the adoption of the co-operative principle 
or the combination of work, skill, and capital by the 
operatives themselves, had written "Letters on Labour," 
which led to the foundation of the Co-operative League. 
Its object was to supply the industrious classes, both 
male and female, with gratuitous information on the 
great social questions of the day, unfettered by sectarian 
theology or party politics, with the motto, "Benefit to 
all, and injury to none." He was asked to preside 
at co-operative meetings, and to lecture on the subject 
in different towns of the kingdom. In complying, a 
series of disappointments, however, soon proved to him 
that it would require years of active, steady effort before 
any practical success could be attained ; the millions being 

42 MARY HO WITT. [CH. i. 

quite unprepared calmly and wisely to consider great 

The Leeds Co-operative League, called also "The 
Redemption Society," and which was exceptionally pros- 
perous, held its first anniversay in January 1847. It 
was during William's absence to preside at this meet- 
ing in Leeds, where the interest displayed in co-opera- 
tion by the entire population formed a cheering contrast 
to the general apathy, that I was subjected to a peculiar 
experience, whose awful reality has never passed aw r ay 
from my mind. I had retired to rest in good health 
and spirits, when suddenly a strange, alarming sense 
of perplexity, of impending, all-embracing darkness and 
evil, overwhelmed me. My terror made the heavy four- 
post bedstead shake under me. I was not ill or faint, 
nor did I think it requisite to call assistance. I knew 
the power which controlled me was either mental or 
spiritual. Surely I must have cried to God for help, 
as slowly the horror of great darkness passed away, and 
all was tranquil within me. It was, I am willing to 
believe, a token permitted by Divine love and wisdom 
to warn and prepare me for the discipline required to 
loosen my trust in the creature, and to place it wholly 
in the Creator. It preceded a time of calamity. We 
had speedily severe monetary losses and mortifica- 
tions, and gained new and sad revelations of human 

Assisted by Samuel Smiles, a most able defender of 
the rights of industry and the benefits of self-culture, 
and other gifted and popular writers, we sought in the 
pages of Howitt's Journal, in an attractive form, to 
urge the labouring classes, by means of temperance, 
self-education, and moral conduct, to be their own bene- 

1843-48.] AT CLAPTON. 43 

factors. Unfortunately for ourselves, the magazine proved, 
like its predecessor, a pecuniary failure ; and Ebenezer 
Elliott remarked to us in a shrewd, pithy letter : " Men 
engaged in a death-struggle for bread will pay for amuse- 
ment when they will not for instruction. They woo 
laughter to unscare them, that they may forget their 
perils, their wrongs, and their oppressors, and play at 
undespair. If you were able and willing to fill the 
iournal with fun, it would pay." 

In August 1847, i n a letter to my sister, I re- 
mark : 

" Thou wilt be glad to hear that we have drawn up 
our resignation of membership, signed it, and when thou 
readest this, it will be noised abroad that we are no 
longer Friends. Strange as it may seem to thee, I have 
an old love of the Society. I know that the majority 
of Friends are narrow-minded, living as much in the 
crippling spirit of sectarianism as any denomination 
whatever; and I know that they and I never could 
assimilate ; yet I do love them all, with an ingrained 
sentiment, which makes me feel as if somehow they 
were kindred to me. It is strange, perhaps, but there 
is not one so-called religious body that I could conscien- 
tiously connect myself with. There is, to my feelings, 
a want of real spirituality, a want of a real, child-like, 
loving trust in them all. I am not quite sure whether 
I should not find in the writings of Swedenborg what 
best accorded with my views and feelings. Anna Mary 
has been reading a good deal on these subjects lately, 
and from what she and others tell me, there is more 
truth in Swedenborgianism than one commonly finds out 
of the New Testament." 

44 MARY HOWITT. [CH. i. 

In the first days of January 1848 I communicate to 
Anna the sorrowful intelligence of the death of our 
beloved sister in America ; and in the following May, 
that our dear mother had peacefully breathed her last. 
She was interred in the Friends' burial-ground, Stoke- 
Newington, at the side of Claude. 



AT Michaelmas 1848 we left Lower Clapton and settled 
near Regent's Park. To this removal allusion is made in 
the following letters : 


" The last note in the old home I write to you. I 
am just on the point of leaving it, but I do so without 
regret. I expect A. M. has written to you about the new 
home, where she now is. In a note she wrote yester- 
day she says the house improves on acquaintance. It is 
28 Upper Avenue Road ; quiet and pretty, we think, and 
with a garden. I am frightened at the expense of this 
moving. It lengthens itself out, as the Germans say ; 
and I can see no end to it. However, I was told last 
night by Mr. Henry Bateman, that I was likely to be 
employed to write by the Tract Society, which pays well ; 
that has pleased me, although how I am to be orthodox 
enough I cannot tell. I am to send in a sample. Can 
you help me to a good idea \ I must be a little religious, 
and I mean to have a death in it ; as the readers of 
tracts, I have been told, always ask for ' a pretty tract 
with a death-bed in it.' 

" Do you know a very delightful American book, called 
' A New Home ; or, Who will Follow ? ' The lady who 

4 6 MARY HOWITT. [CH. n. 

wrote it, Mrs. Kirkland, is in London. She called on us 
yesterday, and is a bright, clever, kind-looking woman, 
who has greatly taken my fancy. She will come to us at 
the new home on Sunday next. Can you drop in to tea ? 
Do, dear creature, and as many of you as can." 

" Upper Avenue Road. My dearest sister, I have 
been very busy. Besides that, I am so deadened and 
stupefied often, that I can hardly rouse myself to get 
out of the regular jog-trot routine of the day. I sit 
down after breakfast and work, work, work ; then when 
the usual stint is done, I only want to be quiet and sleep. 
Tell me about your new house, and let me know how you 
arrange your furniture, for I have a sort of upholsterer's 
genius in me, and I take great interest in furnishing. 
We like our new house very much, though we find it is 
much colder than the old one. It is much slighter built, 
and what is called a single house, so that the rooms 
have many outer walls, which makes a great differ- 
ence. The greatest want to me is the not having a 
little working-room to myself. I am obliged to do my 
writing in the dining-room, and thus I am exposed to 
constant interruption. But even this has its bright 
side, because I can bear interruptions better than either 
William or Anna Mary. It would drive them mad ; the 
poor mother of a family learns to be patient ; that is 
one comfort. 

" Times are so bad that publishers will not speculate 
on books ; and when I have finished the work I am now 
engaged on, I have nothing else certain to go on with. 
Heaven help us all ! Yet what is our case to that of 
thousands besides ? I dislike going outside the door, 
because I am met by such pale, appealing countenances of 

1848-52.] IN ST. JOHN'S WOOD. 47 

begging women and children ; whether it is that I look 
kind and sympathetic, or that the poor feel an affinity to 
the poor, I know not, but they follow me as I go along 
like dogs, and I cannot get rid of them. I see other 
people pass them by, and they take no notice ; but they 
fairly fasten on me like leeches. What is to be the end 
of all this poverty and distress God only knows ! " 

"Jan. i, 1849. Accept, my dearest sister, my best 
and kindest wishes for your happiness through the 
coming year. May God abundantly bless you, and may 
it please His infinite mercy to spare you suffering and 

" I should like my dear niece, Mary, to be here when 
the hawthorns are in bloom in Regent's Park, because 
they are so inconceivably beautiful. She could, even 
at the worst, walk every day into the park, sit on the 
benches under these trees ; then walk on to the Botanic 
Gardens or the Zoological Gardens, and really enjoy 

"We have just become acquainted with a most in- 
teresting young man, Edward La Trobe Bateman. He 
is a decorative designer and illuminator. He brings 
us the most exquisite things to see ; work out of 
missals, and out of fine old illuminated books in the 
British Museum and in grand old libraries. He has 
taken a house not far from us. He and a friend of his, 
a young man of similar tastes, are going to fit it up 
with furniture of their own designing and making. 
They have loads of old china, the most gorgeous thou 
canst imagine. We are to be consulted about the 
fitting-up of this place ; and we promise ourselves, in 
a small way, a great deal of pleasure. 

4 g MARY HOWITT. [CH. n. 

" I want to send you, as soon as I get a copy, ' Our 
Cousins in Ohio,' which will interest you, because it 
describes dearest Emma and her children; and is, I 
think, such a beautiful picture of her in the midst of 
her home." 

I had in 1846 completed a little book, "The Chil- 
dren's Year ; " being the true history of my two younger 
children for the space of twelve months. It was very 
simple and true to Nature; and I wished all children 
to read it, except those described therein, as I con- 
sidered it would give them a notion that all they did 
or said was of importance. My sister Emma was so 
pleased with the idea, that she sent me a similar journal, 
a faithful narrative of her children's life for a year. At 
her request all the names of people and places were 
changed in " Our Cousins in Ohio." 

" Midsummer, 1849. I have had my pen in my hand 
many times, thinking, ' Now I will write to dear Anna,' 
but something or other has always prevented me. I 
have been busy in various ways ; for thou must bear in 
mind that now I have not only to do what I can, but 
that I must also sew for the family. 

" I have just finished a story, in one volume, for the 
opening novel of what I suppose is to be called, ' Brad- 
shaw's Eailway Library ' a set of shilling books, to 
be sold at all the railway stations in the kingdom, for 
railway travellers. The publishers did me the compli- 
ment to ask me to write the opening volume. I have 
chosen the title, 'Mr. Elworthy and his Heirs,'* and 

* This same tale, called " The Heir of Wast Wayland," was brought out by 
Messrs. Simms & M'liityre, 1851. ' 

1848-52.] IN ST. JOHN'S WOOD. 49 

used the incident of that young woman of Uttoxeter 
I forget her name who married John Fox, many years 
her senior ; and then, after his speedily occurring death, 
all his relations and the heirs-at-law trying to get the 
property from her and her unborn child. Of course, 
I have laid it in another scene, and altered the char- 
acters ; but the main facts are the same. I have taken 
as the locality one of those lovely Yorkshire dales, of 
which I retain so pleasant a memory. After my story 
was constructed, I spoke with Birket Foster's father 
and his aunt Sarah about the Yorkshire scenery, and 
they told me I was not far wrong. 

"Now I am going to see if I can write some tracts, 
but I do not think I shall succeed ; still, as a kind friend 
will introduce them to the Tract Society, it is worth 
while to see what I can do. 

" We were yesterday at a very pleasant soiree ; an 
entertainment given to all the men, women, and boys 
in the employ of John Cassell, the proprietor of the 
Standard of Freedom newspaper, to which William 
contributes. It was the anniversary of the establishment 
of the paper ; and this day, therefore, was celebrated 
by a great temperance entertainment in his vast ware- 
rooms in Fenchurch Street, for John Cassell is likewise 
a dealer in coffee and tea ; and all the people thus 
employed were there also. 

" There are about fifty boys in the coffee business and 
the newspaper and printing office. I had the agreeable 
task of making tea for these little fellows. All were 
dressed so neatly, their faces were so clean, and they 
looked so happy, it was perfectly delightful. After tea 
a very nice band of musicians played, and all who liked 
danced in one of the great warerooms. Then . came 



a course of interesting chemical experiments, ending 
with the administering of laughing-gas to several of the 
young men and boys, which occasioned a great deal 
of merriment. I observed that its effects were very 
similar to a short mesmeric trance; in many cases the 
subjects being affected by music in the same beautiful 


" There was then a short lecture on Scottish song, in 
which several lovely pieces were sung. Next came a 
series of beautiful dissolving views, with which every- 
body was delighted. The shouts of the young people 
were charming. While this was going on in a great 
room, decorated with green branches of oak, birch, laurel, 
and such-like, and with flowers, an abundant supper 
was preparing in another : such piled-up dishes of sand- 
wiches and of cake ; such heaped-up dishes of splendid 
strawberries, and jugs of excellent milk, with fruits and 
lemonade. The people ate, drank, talked, and laughed, 
and were as well-behaved as the politest party in 

"A gentleman sang the well-known song, 'We'll 
speak of man as we find him ; ' after which William 
proposed the health of Mr. Cassell. He spoke about 
the beauty and excellence of such entertainments as the 
present ; in which all were happy, all were improved, all 
were refreshed in body and mind, yet not one drop of 
intoxicating liquor had been drunk. He then spoke of 
the wonderful merchants and tradesmen of London, who 
had begun life poorer than the men who surrounded 
him, and had, v as in the case of Mr. Cassell himself, 
risen by their own industry to be as rich and powerful 
as princes ; not forgetting, however, that the true use of 
money was the diffusion of happiness and the means of 

1848-52.] IN ST. JOHN'S WOOD. 5I 

moral improvement in those around us such was the 
use made of it by our entertainer. 

"It was then midnight, and so ended the pleasant 
festival. I hope this time next year we may all meet 
there again ; for we too, like the poor people, are ser- 
vants, in the best sense of the word, to John Cassell. 
Long life and prosperity to him, says my heart in deep 

With regard to the attempt at tract-writing, the sample 
sent, and entitled "Woodnook Wells," was returned by 
Mr. Henry Bateman as quite ineligible. It was then 
submitted to John Cassell, who, greatly admiring it, 
had it immediately appear in the pages of his peri- 
odical, The Working-Men's Friend. 

In the July of 1849 we went with our children for 
some weeks into the Peak of Derbyshire, among the 
scenes which my husband and I had visited together after 
our marriage, twenty-eight years earlier. We all spent 
a real holiday amongst the grey hills and green valleys. 
It remains in the memory as a season of bright sunshine, 
soon followed by a heavy, passing cloud. 

On Friday, November 9, I was surprised by receiving a 
call from a respectable woman, who, introducing herself as 
Mrs. Copeland, of 1 1 Upper Stamford Street, Blackfriars, 
demanded the rent due to her from September. How still 
greater my consternation when she, with equal amazement 
at my ignorance, exclaimed, " A gentleman named Youl 
had taken the rooms for poor Mrs. Howitt, who was in 
such destitution that she was compelled to make private 
application for relief to the nobility ; " adding, " I was 
very sorry for you, ma'am, I am sure, but when letters 
evidently containing money, and sealed with coronets, 

52 MARY HOWITT. [CH. n. 

kept coming, and I never got my rent, I made so bold 
as to learn your address at the British Museum, and was 
surprised to find you living in so good a house." 

A Mr. Edward Youl we certainly well knew, through 
his becoming a very clever contributor to Hoivitt's 
Journal in the spring of 1847. He was then about 
thirty, with abundant black hair, and being, he said, 
very short-sighted, wore spectacles. He mentioned that 
he was a Cambridge graduate and a classical tutor, but 
having just finished the education of his late pupil, he 
resolved to seek no other engagement, but devote him- 
self to literature. Later, he told us in confidence that 
he was struggling with poverty for conscience' sake. He 
was the only child of a pawnbroker, who had amassed a 
large fortune, and died intestate ; but he was determined 
to die of starvation rather than claim such ill-gotten 
wealth ; and had married a lady in straitened circum- 
stances connected with the Society of Friends. We be- 
lieved the romantic story, which was in keeping with the 
spirit of his high-toned writings. We permitted him to 
come to our house, introduced him to several of our 
friends, and procured him, amongst other literary em- 
ployment, a permanent engagement with John Cassell, 
who gave him a salary of ^200 per annum for what 
amounted to about three days' work a week on the 
Standard of Freedom. In this situation he displayed 
remarkable efficiency; but when he had been about a 
year with Mr. Cassell, he became very lazy, and conse- 
quently, after repeated warnings, was discharged in the 
summer of 1849. 

We did not wish to abandon Mr. Youl, and as his wife 
(who had never attracted us) manifested an insatiable 
desire to go on the stage, our friend, Charles Kean, very 

1848-52.] IN ST. JOHN'S WOOD. 53 

obligingly obtained her an engagement with a manager 
at Hull ; and Mr. Linwood, a Unitarian minister, who 
had become a Congregationalist, and the purchaser of 
the Eclectic Revieiu, consented to meet Youl at our 
house on Sunday, November 1 1 , to secure him as a 
regular contributor. 

On the previous Friday, however, Mrs. Copeland 
made me the above-mentioned extraordinary disclosure, 
and on the next day my husband, after obtaining a 
warrant for Youl's apprehension, and a detective to put 
on his track, proceeding along Stamford Street, re- 
cognised him approaching at a great distance. Youl, 
although without spectacles, suddenly dived down a 
by-lane and entirely disappeared. He must instantly 
have gone to Hull, as his wife wrote to me on the 
morrow, Sunday : " My husband will make every ex- 
planation if you will forgive him. Dear Mrs. Howitt, 
pray think of our prospects ; mine will be sacrificed with 
his, and they are just opening so bright." 

The ensuing day Youl, from York, wrote a begging- 
letter in my name to Macaulay, and received 10 by 
return of post. The detective traced him to Leeds, 
where he seemed to sink into the ground ; for, impatient 
of the stigma lying upon me in many unknown quarters, 
I insisted, in spite of the entreaties of our legal adviser, 
on sending a statement of the fraud to the daily papers. 
We had immediately instituted an extensive inquiry, 
and found that, amongst other persons of rank and in- 
fluence, he had forged my name to Lords John Russell, 
Lansdowne, Denman, Mahon, and Brougham. The 
latter, writing in explanation from Cannes, stated that 
on receiving an application from me speaking of great 
pecuniary difficulties, and requiring immediate assist- 

54 MARY HO WITT. [en. n. 

ance, he had instantly sent it to Lord John Russell, with 
a strong recommendation to settle a pension on me, 
applied on my behalf to Miss Burdett - Coutts, and 
himself forwarded 20. He would, if needful, return 
from Cannes to give evidence. Sir Robert Peel had 
generously remitted 50. The forged letters returned 
to me were written in a crawling, exaggerated strain. 
In acknowledging a donation from the Bishop of Oxford 
(Wilberforce), I was made to say: "I went down on my 
knees and thanked God, Who had moved his lordship's 
heart to such noble kindness to me." 

In December, Mr. Justice Talfourd sent us word that 
an individual who had in the previous summer extracted 
20 from him under the assumed name of Thomas 
Cooper, author of "The Purgatory of Suicides," had 
written to him from Liverpool, and was certainly our 
man. The same evening our eldest son and the 
detective went to Liverpool, put themselves into com- 
munication with the police, the post-office, and the 
owners of the American packets ; but Youl eluded their 

In the following April 1850 Mrs. Youl called, in 
Liverpool, on the wife of the celebrated manufacturing 
chemist, Dr. Muspratt, and sister to Charlotte Cushman, 
saying, "her husband was the person who had made 
use of my name to obtain money. It was only lately 
she had learnt what he had done." " I never saw a 
poor creature in such affliction," wrote Mrs. Muspratt ; 
" she has pawned everything, even her wedding-ring. 
I gave her the money to go to London, where she hoped 
she might find some assistance." 

Some years afterwards John Cassell encountered Youl 
sitting opposite him in a New York eating-house. 

1848-52.] IN ST. JOHN'S WOOD. 55 

Although differently disguised, he recognised the voice 
and features, and accosted him by name. Youl, how- 
ever, most coolly denied ever having been in England. 
In March 1870 one Robert Spring, alias Sprague, alias 
Redfern Hawley, and a host of other aliases, was tried 
and convicted in the Court of Quarter-Sessions in 
Philadelphia for false pretences. Experts believed this 
man and Youl to be identical. He had been, in America, 
"The distracted father of a large family;" "A poor 
widow with a few autographs of the distinguished dead ; " 
" The orphan daughter of Stonewall Jackson ; " " Maggie 
Ramsay under religious convictions ; " " The kind Dr. 
Hawley," &c. We were assured by a gentleman in the 
Department of the Interior, that "the various dodges 
he was discovered to have originated and successfully 
played ; the versatility of character he had assumed ; the 
systematic mode of keeping his accounts (for his ledger 
had been captured) ; the very extraordinary manner in 
which he had shaped his frauds to avoid the penalties of 
the law if caught ; and the success with which he had for 
years foiled all efforts to trace him out, would, if given in 
a narrative form to the public, present them with the 
picture of the ' Prince of Swindlers.' ' 

I had earlier often said, arid honestly thought, that it 
was a fine thing to combat with one's self and stand 
victor ; and when residing in St. John's Wood, rising 
above many anxieties and disappointments, I determined 
to be strong and joyful. Life, under the most adverse 
circumstances, was full of riches, which I would neither 
disregard nor squander. Thus treasuring up all the 
simple elements of beauty around me, I still remember 
the charm of a suburban spring morning. Up and down 
the Avenue Road the lilacs and tacamahacs were coming 


[en. n. 

into leaf, the almond-trees were full of blossom, and the 
sun shone amid masses of soft silvery cloud. Then, 
again, there was rural Belsize Lane, delightful at all 
seasons, with its lofty elms and luxuriant hedgerows of 


rose-bushes, elders, and hawthorn. How green, too, 
were the sloping fields leading from the St. John's Wood 
end of Belsize Lane to Hampstead ! 

My eldest daughter, who desired to devote herself to 
art, had never forgotten the profit and delight which she 
had derived from our visits to the German capitals and 

1848-52.] IN ST. JOHN'S WOOD. 57 

their works of art. Our visit to Munich and the studio 
of Kaulbach had especially impressed her mind and 
imagination. We had, after passing through the field 
of long waving grass, by which flowed the rapid Isar, 
entered the large, half-neglected-looking building used 
by the great artist as his atelier. There we had seen not 
only the cartoon of his famous "Destruction of Jeru- 
salem," but the inimitable illustrations to " Reineke 
Fuchs." On an inner door were painted a boy and girl, 
as if done in the very exuberance of fancy, and of such 
loveliness, that they would enrich the walls of any house 
whatever. Kaulbach, then scarcely middle-aged, had 
received us with great courtesy in the midst of his work. 
When we asked him if he conversed in English, he 
replied, " I speak no language but German, and that," 
pointing to his painting ! Indeed, what more eloquent 
and universal tongue need be spoken ? 

Anna Mary felt that Munich and Kaulbach would 
afford her the most consonant instruction, and in May 
1850 went thither, accompanied by a fellow-votary, Miss 
Jane Benham. They were most generously received as 
pupils by the famous painter, who assigned to their 
use one of the rooms in his picturesque studio by the 

A few days after their departure for Munich, Henry 
Chorley then leading a somewhat luxurious, literary, 
bachelor life at the West End came to tell me he had 
accepted from Messrs. Bradbury & Evans the editor- 
ship of The Ladies' Companion ; and he wanted Annie, 
as we all now called my daughter, to go. to a great 
miracle-play of the Passion, performed that year by the 
devout peasants of Ober-Ammergau, and who would, 
at its termination, thank God on their knees that He 

5 8 MARY HOWITT. [CH. n. 

had once more permitted them to perform the sacred 
drama in His honour. There would be Stellwagen to 
the place from Munich; and he begged her to write 
for him a description of the whole thing, from the 
setting-out in the morning to the end of the play. She 
willingly complied, and thus first made known this 
remarkably striking, pathetic, but now trite subject to 
the English public. Other descriptive letters from her 
pen appeared in Household Words and the Athenaeum. 
They were much admired, and Henry Chorley encouraged 
her to collect and publish these scattered " bits," which, 
under the title of "An Art Student in Munich," formed 
a fresh and charming book, because so genuine. 

On February 20, 1850, I received the following 
from Charles Dickens, written from Devonshire Ter- 
race : 

" I address this note to Mr. Howitt no less than to 
you. You will easily divine its purpose, I dare say ; or 
at all events you would, if you knew what companions 
of mine you have ever been. 

" You may have seen the first dim announcements of 
the new cheap, literary weekly journal I am about to 
start. Frankly, I want to say to you, that if you would 
ever write for it, you would delight me, and I should 
consider myself very fortunate indeed in enlisting your 

"I propose to print no names of contributors, either 
in your own case or any other, and to give established 
writers the power of reclaiming their papers after a 
certain time. I hope any connection with the enterprise 
would be satisfactory and agreeable to you in all respects, 
as I should most earnestly endeavour to make it. If I 
wrote a book, I could say no more than I mean to suggest 

1848-52.] IN ST. JOHN'S WOOD. 59 

to you in these few lines. All that I leave unsaid, I 
leave to your generous understanding." 

Thus, from the commencement of the Household 
Words, we became, most willingly, contributors to its 


"June i, 1850. I have sent off my first little note 
to you hardly four hours since, and now I begin to 
write again. Charlton has asked me what day in the 
week I like best, and I tell him, henceforth the day on 
which I receive a letter from you. I must not omit 
to mention that one of Charlton's hens has laid an 
egg. You can imagine his felicity. He has cackled 
more than ten hens, and could not tranquillise himself 
until the egg had been boiled for his father. The other 
event of the morning is, that Alfred has been told that 
'The Miner's Daughter' in Household Words was 
either by Currer Bell or Mrs. Gaskell. He was much 
amused, knowing it to be his father's. 

" Walter Cooper and Gerald Massey, the two leading 
co-operative tailors, come here on Sunday, and go a 
stroll on Hampstead Heath with your father. Gerald 
Massey is a young poet, a really eloquent writer, very 
good-looking, and, I hear, quite a gentleman." 


" Sunday, Aug. 18, 1850. Do you remember that long 
lovely field by the side of Caen Wood, which is reached 
from the Lower Heath at Hampstead and through a 
brickfield ? I have an uncommon affection for it. There 
is a mound in it like an ancient barrow, and on which 
grows a group of picturesque old fir-trees. The view 



thence is most lovely. On the left lie the wooded 
heights of Hampstead, with an opening to the distant 
heath, over which the sun sets splendidly. In front is 
all the mass of wood of Lord Mansfield's park, and on 
the right the village of Highgate, with its church on the 
hill, its scattered woods and villas ; and between us 
and them the green slope of the field and the reservoirs 
below. Yet, to show you how ridiculously things fall out 
in this world, Miss Meteyard and your father went with 
me last evening to my favourite mound. There, hanging 
from one of the old branches of a scathed fir-tree, was a 
man's shirt. Some beggar must have stripped himself of 
his under-garment, and, with a sense of the horrible and 
comic combined, suspended it by the neck. It looked, 
at a distance, like some shocking suicide. We sat down 
on the mound, your father and Miss Meteyard very 
wittily parodying Shakespeare and Hood's ' Song of the 
Shirt.' A lady and gentleman with a blue-coat boy 
came up. We agreed to listen to what they said. The 
shirt aloft waved its ragged arms, it shook its ragged 
tail at them. They neither said a word nor made a sign. 
Was the shirt a mere spectral imagination of ours I No, 
there it surely was. Yet they would not or could not 
see it. We left them seated on the hill, with the old 
shirt aloft seeming to make fun of them. 

" Your father has entirely finished his ' Madam 
Dorrington of the Dene.' ' 

" Filey, Yorkshire, Sept. 2, 1850. Here we are," I 
write to my sister, ''at a small fishing-village, which is 
attempting to convert itself into a bathing-place. The 
coast is beautiful ; very wild by places ; and the sands 
to a great extent as smooth as a marble floor. It is a 

1848-52.] IN ST. JOHN'S WOOD. 61 

favourite resort of people who prefer quietness and seclu- 
sion. Strange to say, we prefer Scarborough, and are 
going to remove there in two or three days. 

"When first we came the weather was stormy. The 
wind was high, and the surging, roaring sea gave a 
character almost of savageness to the coast scenery. This 
we greatly enjoyed. Now the weather is bright and 
genial as midsummer, and the sea as calm and smooth 
as a mirror. We bathe and ramble about the shore, and 
lie with our books on the tops of the breezy headlands, 
looking out over miles and miles of sea ; with the gulls 
and sea-birds wheeling and screaming about us ; listen- 
ing to the never-ceasing murmur of those restless waters, 
from whose depths seem at all times to come forth such 
wonderful and mysterious voices. I can listen to them 
for hours. 

"We have Charlton and Meggie with us. His holi- 
days at the London University School fall at this time. 
Miss Eliza Meteyard (' Silverpen '), too, is with us. She 
is now a sufficiently old friend of ours for us all to feel 
perfectly at ease one with another. She has her work as 
well as we. Poor dear soul ! she is sitting by me at this 
moment with her lips compressed, a look of abstraction 
in her clever but singular face, and her hair pushed back 
from her forehead, while she is busy over a story about a 
Bronze Inkstand, which she hopes to make a very fine 
one. A good creature is she ! She has just published 
a most interesting juvenile book, called ' The Doctor's 
Little Daughter.' It is her own early life. Out of the 
money thus obtained, she has provided for and sent out 
a young brother to Australia ; while for another she is 
striving in another way. Indeed, she is both father and 
mother to her family ; yet she is only seven-and-twenty, 



and a fragile and delicate woman, who in ordinary circum- 
stances would require brothers and friends to help her. 
How many instances one sees almost daily of the mar- 
vellous energy and high principle and self-sacrifice of 
woman ! I am always thankful to see it, for it is in 
this way that women will emancipate themselves." 


"Scarborough, Sept. 17, 1850. We have now Mrs. 
Smiles and Miss Wilkinson with us. You may remem- 
ber, my dear Annie, your father speaking of the latter, 
when he came from Leeds. She is very bright, agree- 
able, full of spirit. The children perfectly adore her. 
Friday. The Smileses have gone. Dr. Smiles came on 
Wednesday. We have greatly enjoyed their visit. He, 
full of mirth and playfulness, walked about with the 
children, helped them to make mounds and canals in 
the sands, and found as much fun as they did in watch- 
ing the sea come up, assault these constructions, and 
lay them waste. He would ask little boys and girls, 
much to their astonishment, whether they were married ; 
to the amusement of Charlton and Meggie, who enjoyed 
the blank looks, especially of one little fellow of about ten, 
who said simply, ' No, he was not married, but his father 
and mother were.' He also greatly diverted our children 
by answering a group of juveniles, who asked him what 
o'clock it was, that ' he did not carry a clock about with 
him. He could only tell them what o'watch it was, 
which would perhaps do till they got home.' 

" We are reading a wonderful book, 'Alton Locke, Poet 
and Tailor : an Autobiography ' an extraordinary pro- 
duction, very, very fair, and exceedingly clever. It will 
make a great stir. It is written by Mr. Kingsley, a 

1848-52.] IN ST. JOHN'S WOOD. 63 

clergyman of the Church of England, brother-in-law to 
Mr. Froude." 

"Nov. 1850. We have been very busy this week in 
getting ready articles for Christmas. Your father is 
writing a beautiful story for the Christmas number of 
Household Words. I am also writing a fresh ballad for 
the same journal. It is a sort of fellow to 'Richard 
Burnell,' which earlier appeared. I have got desperately 
absorbed in it. It is curious to me to see how very 
much these ballads are a reflection of my own being 
and my especial interests. The great ballad-writing time 
with me was when you were a girl, and those earlier 
productions are very much about children, and beautiful 
spiritual-minded young maidens. Then for many years 
I wrote no ballads at all. I fancied that I never should 
write any more. But a new inspiration has come over 
me. The joys and sorrows of one poor friend have found 
utterance in my ' Richard Burnell,' and those of another 
will come forth in my dear ' Thomas Harlowe.' I am 
also asked to write a ballad for the Christmas number of 
the Illustrated News, and to give Henry Chorley one 
for The Ladies' Companion. 

" I work always in your painting-room, in which I 
have made no alterations. I venerate the old things and 
the old memories. But I am getting over my intense 
longing for you. I can take up beautiful thoughts of 
you and lay them down again at will, and not be ridden, 
as it were, by them, driven by them, haunted by them till 
they become like a nightmare. Oh ! that was dreadful. 
If I were a painter, I should paint a Ceres mourning for 
the lost Proserpine. I understand that mother's heart so 
well, that I should not fail in making a countenance 

6 4 MARY HOWITT. [CH. n. 

befitting. I can see the wonderful head of the maternal 
Ceres, with her heart, not her eyes, full of tears, revealing 
inexpressible love, and yet desolation. Don't imagine 
that I am such an one now. I am very happy ; nor would 
I wish my Proserpine to be here." 

"Nov. 30, 1850. I shall copy your account of the 
consecration of the Basilica for the Athenmtm, but I am 
afraid it is too gloriously papistical for the present time 
in England. You can have no idea what a tide of popu- 
lar feeling has set in against everything Catholic. ' No 
Popery ' is written over all the walls of London. Public 
meetings are held everywhere, and petitions and protests 
are got up by all parties against Papacy. There never 
was so anti-Catholic a nation as this. However, your 
account is very beautiful and picturesque, and they may 
give it as news, though your father thinks they will pro- 
bably remove some of its glory." 

"Dec. 9, 1850. I asked your father what there was 
to tell you. He said, ' Tell her that the King of Prussia 
has ordered Freiligrath out of his dominions ; that the 
Catholics at Hampstead have put up within these few 
weeks a grand, new, and rather beautiful Madonna and 
Child, as large as life, over their chapel-door ; and that 
the people have pelted it with mud and stones ; and that 
the other day, when he passed, two men stood and cen- 
sured the image, saying, ' it was idolatry in a plain 
form,' whereupon your father thought that he had 
seen idolatry in a much plainer form. Tell her that 
there is so little news, that the Times has nothing 
to write about but Papal Aggression ; but that, spite 
of the Times and all the saints, Cardinal Wiseman 

1848-52.] IN ST. JOHN'S WOOD. 65 

has been installed, and that we have now an English 
Cardinal in London.' ' 

"Dec. 19, 1850. You ask what people think about 
the state of French politics ; they are amazed, confounded, 
indignant. The Times writes gloriously about it, and 
for that reason is not permitted to enter France. I 
expect Napoleon will be elected to-morrow, and that 
despotism will raise its head and lord it over the nations 
for a time. But the day of reckoning, when it does 
come, will only be all the more terrible. The end of the 
tragedy is not yet ; we are only in the first act. 

" Poor dear Miss Meteyard is in some trouble just 
now because people are beginning to discover popery 
in her little book. Some influential person warned her 
publishers, Hall & Virtue, against her as a Jesuit in 
disguise ; and she so rationalistic ! Her publishers are 
therefore hanging back about accepting her collected 
tales, and they had been so earnest about them just 

" Christmas Day, 1850. Last night Eliza Fox wrote 
proposing for them and Mrs. Gaskell to come to us this 
evening. Meggie suggests that we should not be grand 
and intellectual but ghost-stories and capital tales 
should be told, and that we should even play at blind- 
man's buff. We may be merry and tell tales, but I 
doubt the playing at blindman's buff." 

" Thursday. -The first thing I do this morning is to 
tell you that last evening went off very well. We had 
only the Foxes, Mrs. Gaskell, the Garth Wilkinsons, 
Mr. Doherty, Miss Meteyard, and Mr. La Trobe Bateman. 

" On Christmas Eve, Miss Meteyard, having written to 




Messrs. Hall & Virtue to know the name of ' the influen- 
tial person' who had charged her so falsely, received 
from them, in reply, one from her saintly enemy. It was 
a most pious letter from the Honourable Mr. Finch, 
brother to the Earl of Aylesford. He expressed satis- 
faction in her assurance that she was no Catholic, but he 
still maintained the dangerous character of ' The Doctor's 
Little Daughter.' He had taken it, with the offensive 
passages marked, to a noted Church of England publishing 
firm. After this letter Messrs. Hall & Virtue said they 
must decline her tales. It is the loss of ^"250 to poor 
Miss Meteyard, while I suppose that Mr. Finch, sur- 
rounded by creature comforts, would go to rest on 
Christmas Eve feeling that he had done God service. 

"Mrs. Gaskell is much pleased with your writings. 
She says you do not make the reader see the things with 
your eyes, but you present the scene itself to him. She 
hopes, on your return, you will collect and publish your 
letters in a volume a sort of 'Art Life in Munich.' Her 
praise was quite gratuitous. She is going to remain in 
London and in Essex till February, the air of Manchester 
not agreeing with her. 

"I must now tell you Mr. Doherty's ghost-story, if 
so it may be called. He was a very intimate friend 
of the late Lord Wallscourt, an excellent and en- 
lightened nobleman, who had large estates in Ireland, 
and wished above all else to promote the best interests of 
his Irish dependents. Part of the year he lived in that 
country, devoting himself to his people ; the rest of his 
time he spent with Mr. Doherty and other social re- 
formers in Paris. He took it into his head that if Mr. 
Doherty would go and live on his Irish estates, he could 
bring about the most wonderful reformation amongst the 

1848-52.] IN ST. JOHN'S WOOD. 67 

population. He urged his going very much, offered him 
every inducement, entreated him by his grand philan- 
thropic nature, by his friendship to himself. In vain. 
Mr. Doherty said, in short, that he was so importunate as 
to become to him a bore ; that Lord Wallscourt teased 
him, just as a wife often teases her husband, by her well- 
meant zeal, till he will not, perhaps, do that which it 
would be well for him to do. On May 28, 1849, Lord 
Wallscourt died suddenly of cholera in Paris. Then a 
deep remorse and self-reproach fell upon Mr. Doherty's 
mind. For aught he knew to the contrary, his friend 
had died feeling anger towards him, feeling wounded, 
disappointed. One day, as he sat full of bitterness 
against himself, he saw, in broad daylight, Lord Walls- 
court walking with two gentlemen. They seemed to be 
in deep discourse, when he appeared suddenly to say, 
' There is my dear good friend Doherty. I must tell 
him how much I love him.' He gave him a look of 
the tenderest, most joyful affection, and was gone. The 
nobleman had appeared as if attired in full Court suit ; 
and had he come in the flesh, he could not have restored 
more peace and assurance to Mr. Doherty's mind than 
was given by that ideal look." 

"Feb. 10, 1851. The catkins are out on the hazels, 
little buds are forming on the hawthorn-hedges, and 
the gorse is in blossom. We, Miss Meteyard and the 
children, have been a most beautiful walk to Hampstead 
Heath. While your father and Miss Meteyard talked 
politics and abused Harriet Martineau for her new 
infidel book, 'Human Nature,' or some such title, by 
herself and Mr. Atkinson, the children and I strolled 
on together and talked of the good and happy time, 

68 MARY HOWITT. [CH. n. 

when you would be at home again. We agree that you 
will not be back till the end of May." 

"Feb. 24, 1851. Ah! yes, my own beloved, all you 
say of the chapel-going is true enough. But somehow 
I felt as if this non-observance was becoming perfect 
neglect; for the want of form as naturally degenerates 
into neglect, as observance can into mere form. We 
say, 'We will walk out with the children into God's 
Temple and worship there ; and in the evening we will 
read a beautiful chapter in the Gospels, or some other 
noble, glorious book. Thus we will make the Sunday 
holy and attractive.' But it is not so. Six times at 
least out of ten some cause or other makes the walk 
commonplace and secular. When we come back, either 
somebody drops in, or else ' Pendennis ' or * David Copper- 
field ' or some other attractive book is read ; Charlton 
falls asleep, and so the day is done. Then, the influence 
one's outward example has on the servants. To them 
it appears as if worship so-called, which perhaps in 
them is sincere, has no value with us. In this way our 
good works that is to say, the true worship within us 
is not seen of them, and so they cannot in us glorify our 
Father who is in heaven. Again, I sometimes think 
there are things which are approved of God, and which 
bring His blessing, though we may be apt to undervalue 
them. Of this kind, I am half-inclined to consider these 
regular religious observances. They have their subtle 
influences. They are among God's commands to us ; 
and although we do not altogether see the reasonable- 
ness of them, we should try to reach the blessing through 
obedience. It is in this spirit that I have taken these 
sittings in Dr. Sadler's chapel at Hampstead. 

1848-52.] IN ST. JOHN'S WOOD. 69 

"You can have no idea what an excitement Harriet 
Martineau's book is making. It is always out when we 
send to the London Library for it. I want to see it, for 
I cannot help fancying it less terrible than people affirm. 
Dr. Carpenter says that ' she does not declare that there 
is no God, but she does not believe there is one. If 
there is one, however, then she does not believe Him to 
be any mechanical genius, that He has nothing to do 
with the making of the world, and that she feels so very 
happy to be independent, and to have nobody to domineer 
over her ! ' Douglas Jerrold's last is on this subject ; he 
says, 'There is no God, and Harriet Martineau is his 

"Feb. 28, 1851. Before I begin my day's work, I 
must, as usual, have a little bit of talk with you. Oh, 
what a lovely morning this is ! I walked round the 
garden before breakfast with Charlton, and went with 
him into his poultry-yard. While we were there an 
egg was laid ; then Charlton put it into another nest, 
to show me what one of the hens would do. She 
walked in, tucked the egg under her chin, carried it 
out a little way, set it down, and looked at it. Charlton 
says they carry them out in this manner sometimes into 
the middle of the yard. I wonder what queer thoughts 
are in their brains when they do so." 

"Friday. We have read Miss Martineau's book. It 
is, to my mind, the most awful book that was ever 
written by a woman. She and this wise Mr. Atkinson 
dethrone God, abuse Christ, and prefer Mahometanism 
to Christianity. It made me sick and ill to hear them 
talk of Jesus as a mere clever mesmerist. To me it is 
blasphemy. To show you how evil the book is, I must 

70 MARY HOWITT. [CH. n. 

tell you that Alfred wanted the Inquisition for its authors, 
and I sympathised with him. It will make good people 
devilish in their indignation and anger, and it will set 
all the poor infidels crowing like cocks on a dunghill. 
And only think, in their large appendix, in which they 
support themselves by such authorities as Hobbes, Lord 
Bacon, Sir James Mackintosh, &c., I should see a long 
article with the innocent name of Mary Howitt to it! 
It is the account of the Preaching Epidemic in Sweden. 
Curious as it is, it proves nothing, and seems merely 
introduced to make me out an infidel. I think this has 
provoked your father more than anything else. 

"Yes, dearest, Joanna Baillie is dead. I am glad 
you had that kiss from her, for she was a good 

Throughout the year 1851 my husband and I were 
working together at a history of Scandinavian literature. 
It was a perfect delight to me to translate old Norse 
ballads. They were to me most fascinating, rude and 
bloody as many of them are, and possessing a forcible 
simplicity such as we had earlier met with in the German 
ballads of Uhland. The Danish literature we found 
richer than the Swedish, both in quantity and variety. 
The pristine lore of Iceland and Norway was especially 
collected and translated into Danish. We were en- 
chanted with the fable or saga literature, and found 
again almost all our ancient nursery tales : the little 
old woman whose petticoats were cut shorter, "Jack 
the Giant Killer," the pig that would not go over the 
brig, and the rest. We thus gained quite a respect for 
those familiar tales, which the wild, stout old Danes 
brought to Britain from the far North. Then the grand, 

1848-52.] IN ST. JOHN'S WOOD. 71 

quaint wisdom of the JSddas, reminding us of Ecclesi- 
astes, such as the sayings " It is hard leaning against 
another man's doorpost;" "I clothed the wooden figures 
in my garments, and they looked like heroes ; whilst I, 
the unclothed hero, was of no account ; " or, " Go often 
to the house of thy friend, for weeds soon choke up 
the unused path." Finally, how worthy of perusal the 
modern dramatic masterpieces of Oehlenschlager, and 
the charming historical novels of Ingemann, the Sir 
Walter Scott of Denmark ! But while we found the 
Danish richer in graceful, poetic, original productions, 
the Swedish bore off the palm in history, epic poetry, 
and modern fiction. What, indeed, can be grander than 
Tegner's "Frithiof's Saga" or Euneberg's " Hanna," and 
his other pathetic poems of austere Finland, and its brave 
and patient children ? 

In our domestic circle we were greatly interested in 
the new development of the English fine arts. The 
taste of the age, into the fourth decade of this century, 
had been for what appealed as pure, noble, and har- 
monious to the mind rather than to the eye or ear. 
The general public was wholly uneducated in art. By 
1849, however, the improvement due to the exertions 
of the Prince Consort, the Society of Arts, and other 
powers began to be felt ; a wonderful impulse to human 
ingenuity and taste being given in the preparation of 
exhibits for the World's Fair, to be held in London in 
1851. In this important aesthetic movement Mr. Owen 
Jones was a prominent teacher. He was most ably 
seconded by his assistant, Edward La Trobe Bateman, 
our young friend, who was endowed with an exquisite 
feeling and skill in decorative art, extremely rare at that 
time. He maintained there was no excuse for ugliness, 

?2 MARY HO WITT. [CH. n. 

as beauty properly understood was cheap. He was 
an intimate associate of the P.R.B.'s, for so the pre- 
Raphaelite brothers termed themselves. 

This famous band of art-innovators had now arisen, 
and were startling the world by the novelty and oddity 
of their composition and colouring, combined with a mar- 
vellous fidelity in detail. Connoisseurs shook their heads, 
and refused to believe they had power or originality, 
and that they would, in the end, come out all right; 
declaring if they had real genius they would walk in 
the steps of their great contemporaries, not in those of 
painters belonging to an early ignorant age. Besides, 
if their avowed principle was correct, then authors 
should write in the language of Chaucer. 

When Millais, in 1851, exhibited at the Royal Aca- 
demy his "Mariana in the Moated Grange," "The Dove 
returned to the Ark," and a quaint picture of two 
children from a poem by Coventry Patmore ; and Hoi- 
man Hunt some works equally strange and naive in 
treatment, the then recently-appointed President of the 
Royal Academy, Sir Charles Eastlake, privately said it 
was the last year he and the Hanging Committee would 
admit this outrageous new school of painting to their 

It was the day of small things to those now world- 
famed, highly-appreciated artists, and I remember one 
of the most distinguished asking us, as he had no 
banker, to cash a cheque of ,14, given him by a Man- 
chester gentleman for a small oil-painting. 

Earnest and severe in their principles of art, the 
young reformers indulged in much jocundity when the 
day's work was done. They were wont to meet at ten, cut 
jokes, talk slang, smoke, read poetry, and discuss art till 

1848-52.] IN ST. JOHN'S WOOD. - 73 

three A.M. They spoke of The Germ, their magazine, 
which unfortunately met with a speedy end, as if pro- 
nounced with a " g" hard, making it sound like the " g" 
in girl, and found endless amusement from outsiders 
saying to them, "Why do you call germ thus? But 
of course you are right," and then adopting the wrong 

In July 1850 an American poet and painter, named 
Buchanan Eead, then on his way to study art at Diissel- 
dorf, Munich, and Florence, spent an evening at our house 
in the company of some of our friends. He had earlier 
sent us his first volume of poems by the American 
publisher, Mr. Fields, and now brought us the second. 
But in spite of this kind attention, he seemed such a 
timid nonentity that I had continually to jog my memory 
to prevent his suffering from neglect. A few days later 
the very clever and intelligent young Irish poet, William 
Allingham, who had been present, told Holman Hunt 
and Dante Kossetti he had recently met a number of 
Americans at our house. Upon this Rossetti replied, 
"By the bye, some of those Americans write glorious 
things. I have come across some lyrics in the Phila- 
delphia Courier, signed 'A Miner,' and written from 
Hazeldell, on the Schuylkill, as fine as any I know. I 
first met with one specimen, and was so delighted with it 
that I sent to Philadelphia for all the papers containing 
the poems from Hazeldell, cut them out and pasted them 
in a book with other gems of poetry." 

Rossetti forthwith produced a big book of poetry, and 
began reading some of the lyrics, and as he expressed 
the deepest obligations to the unknown writer, Ailing- 
ham volunteered to call on a little American, who had 
asked him to do so, and try to learn from him who 

74 MARY HOWITT. [on. 11. 

was the splendid poet of Hazeldell. Accordingly, Mr. 
Allingham went to Mr. Buchanan Read, and told him 
what had passed. As he proceeded, the stranger's face 
became crimson and his entire frame agitated. " I am 
the writer of these poems," he replied, with tears in his 


There was, of course, nothing to be done, after this 
marvellous discovery, but instantly to carry off the prize 
to Kossetti: They found him in his studio, quite ab- 
sorbed, working from a model. He just looked up as 
they entered, gave a sharp little nod, and went on 
painting. Allingham, however, walked up to him and 
said, " I have brought you the poet of Hazeldell bodily." 
Rossetti dropped his brush, and with a face glowing 
with excitement, cried, " You don't say so ! " He quite 
overwhelmed the bashful stranger with his joyous ac- 
clamations, adding, "How delighted Woolner will be, 
for he prizes your poems as I do ! " 

In the midst of the jubilation Holman Hunt entered. 
Now, Read had a most intense desire to see Leigh Hunt, 
and this being divulged to the two pre-Raphaelites, who 
were busy, they deputed Allingham to carry their visitor 
to Leigh Hunt, and see that he was treated with due 
honour. Leigh Hunt, however, was out ; so they re- 
turned to Rossetti and Holman Hunt, and spent a grand 
evening together. 

The next time Buchanan Read came to us, we had 
perused his fresh, invigorating poems, and were de- 
lighted to see him again. And now the ice being 
broken, we found him to be a very generous, grateful 
young man, possessing much original power and fine 
discrimination of art. He had been painting in Ros- 
setti's studio, and in constant intercourse with his host, 

1848-52.] IN ST. JOHN'S WOOD. 75 

William Rossetti, Holman Hunt, and Woolner. As the 
day for his departure to Dtisseldorf approached, a great 
gathering of all the P.E.B.'s took place, to commemorate 
his last evening in their midst. They read aloud his 
poetry, made much of him, and told such capital stories, 
that some of them rolled on the floor with laughter. 
But although they remained together until four or five 
in the morning, they could not part with him. He 
prolonged his stay, and as he absented himself in their 
company from his lodgings at Mr. Chapman's, in the 
Strand, it was reported that the pre-Raphaelites had 
carried off Read in a chariot of fire. 

At the close of 1870 we met him once more in Rome, 
where he was then residing with his gentle and wealthy 
wife, and dispensing hospitality with a most lavish 
hand. We were present at a grand entertainment 
which he gave in honour of General Sheridan, whose 
bard he might justly be called, from his very spirited 
and popular lay, " Sheridan's Ride," having heightened 
the hero's fame in America. The task upon his vital 
powers in his character of poet, painter, and most 
sociable host led to the constant use of strong stimu- 
lants, which ruined his health. It caused him, in 1872, 
to quit Rome for his native land, where he breathed his 
last the day after stepping ashore. 

One brilliant Sunday morning, in the spring of 1851, 
my husband and I, walking down the fields from Hamp- 
stead, with all London lying before us, suddenly saw a 
wonderful something shining out in the distance like 
a huge diamond, the true "mountain of light." It 
marked the first Great Exhibition in Hyde Park, a 
new feature, not only in the fine view, but in the 
history of the world. We met a humble Londoner 

7 6 MARY HOWITT. [CH. n. 

evidently on his way to Hampstead Heath. William 
said to him, "Turn round and look at the Crystal 
Palace shining out in the distance." He did so, and 
exclaiming, "Oh! thank you, sir; how wonderful!" 
stood gazing as long as we could see him. 

Some reader has, without doubt, still fresh in his 
recollection the gay, animated appearance of London 
in this spring of 1851. The evidence of the approach- 
ing Exhibition was apparent on every side : houses and 
shops cleaned and repainted, hotels for " All Nations " 
and coffee-houses of the " Great Exhibition " opened 
right and left ; huge waggons, piled with bales, slowly 
moving along to Hyde Park ; and, standing in bewilder- 
ment at the corners of streets and by omnibuses, were 
foreigners, with big beards and moustachios, in queer 
felt-hats and braided coats ; whilst elegant French- 
women, in long cloth cloaks with picturesque hoods, 
and plain drab bonnets with rich interior trimmings (a 
new style of dress, beautiful from its severity), might be 
seen in Kegent Street and Piccadilly, acting as a foil 
to Oriental magnates in gold embroidery, flowing silk, 
and gorgeous cashmere. 

How crowded, that spring, was the private view of the 
Portland Gallery by lords, ladies, artists, priests, and 
distinguished foreigners ! J. E. Herbert, R.A., grave and 
thin of countenance and spare of form, walked bareheaded 
at the side of the portly, benign Cardinal Wiseman, 
and with reverence pointed out various pictures to him. 
Then came a low buzz and movement of excitement in 
the throng, which contained the Archbishop of York 
and the Bishop of London, when Cardinal Wiseman, 
Dr. Doyle, Roman Catholic Bishop of Carlow, Father 
Gavazzi, and Mazzini were seen grouped together 

1848-52.] IN ST. JOHN'S WOOD. 77 

examining the same painting. "How very odd!" was 
the general remark ; and my husband added, " The fine 
arts may truly be said to form neutral ground ! " 

" April 3, 1851. I should like you, my dear Annie, to 
bring such things as you particularly covet to have, with 
you from Munich ; of course, a statuette of Kaulbach and 
a crucifix. Talking of a crucifix reminds me of what 
that young Catholic lady, Miss McCarthy, a niece of 
Cardinal Wiseman's, told Miss Meteyard. Herbert, the 
painter, who also lives in Church Row, Hampstead, has 
taken a large room in Hampstead for some great fresco- 
paintings he is about. He requested Miss McCarthy to 
pray to the Virgin and to some good saints for his 
success. There is a beautiful religious spirit in this 
that I like. While writing this last sentence the dear 
little blind canary, which has not sung a note for 
ten days, has suddenly burst out singing like a small 
Jenny Lind. How delighted I am ! and so will the 
children be." 

" May 15, 1851. We are very glad," I write to my 
sister, "to hear of the various visits in prospect. The 
Crystal Palace is a wonderful sight. There is more 
poetry in and about it than the human heart can con- 
ceive. We were there all yesterday. If I denied my- 
self other pleasures, I could not deny myself this. I 
mean to go once a week at least, while we are in 
London. I can understand how you, away from the 
scene, should not perhaps feel the enthusiasm and ex- 
citement of it. But remember that such a meeting of 
the ends of the earth has never before occurred. 

" I expect Anna Mary the first week in June. William 

?8 MARY HO WITT. [CH. n. 

goes as far as Heidelberg to meet her. When she arrives 
I shall be almost out of my senses with joy." 


" May 27, 1851. Our Cambridge day was wonderful. 
At half-past six in the morning I was at the Leigh Smiths'. 
The Pulskys, Professor Kinkel, and a good number of 
Hungarians with various outlandish names were at break- 
fast. I had already taken mine. At seven we set out in 
the open carriage and omnibus, full inside and out, to the 
Shoreditch station. There we met the remainder of our 
party, excepting Freiligrath, whom I had been expected 
to bring, and did not know it ; Lord Dudley Stuart, who 
is ill, and Monckton Milnes, who is either just married 
or going to be, I don't know which. We were a party of 
twenty-one. What introduction there was of one bearded 
and moustachioed man to another, and of these to the 
ladies ! What a jabber of French, German, Hungarian, 
and English ! At length Mr. Smith, who seemed as 
happy as a boy, and Willie Smith had paid the fare of the 
whole party ; the tickets were handed to every one, and I 
was asked to make all the foreigners about me under- 
stand that these tickets were to be kept, as they were 
our credentials for a free return. We took our seats in 
carriages especially appropriated to our party. In mine 
were the Pulskys, husband and wife ; Professor Kinkel ; 
a Herr KrofF from Prague, who has lived sixteen years 
in London, a nice old fellow, to whom I took a great 
fancy ; Mrs. Parkes, and myself. We were as merry as 
so many larks. We flew past the stations, and only 
stopped for about three minutes at Bishop's Stortford. 
Before ten we were at Cambridge, and there were met by 
a Trinity College omnibus and carriages, sent, as we were 

1848-52.] IN ST. JOHN'S WOOD. 79 

informed, by 'Mr. Smith, of Jesus, to take us to the 
" Bull." ' At the ' Bull ' we found Ben, who in the first 
place, led us through some of the College courts, and gave 
us a hasty glimpse of beautiful mediaeval buildings, lovely 
avenues of limes, picturesque cloisters, gateways, halls, 
and chapels, with smooth lawns, fountains, glimpses of 
meadows golden with buttercups, and lines of drooping 
leafy trees, till we were all wild with admiration and 
delight. All I wanted was you and Annie ! Well, 
having had these glimpses of Cambridge, part of us went 
to Ben's rooms in Jesus College, and the remainder to 
the ' Bull ' to have breakfast. What a breakfast we had ! 
Ben's friends were still all at church ; but presently, just 
at the right moment, when he was gone to look after the 
folks at the ' Bull,' and when we had drained his big 
coffee-pot and wanted more, in came three young fellows 
in caps and gowns, Chinnery of Keys (Cains), Mullins 
of John's, and Cowan of Trinity. Then there was an 
increase of life and activity. ' Oh ! you want coffee, 
do you ? ' and away flew Mullins, and brought down 
somebody else's big coffee-pot. Then in rushed a 
new undergraduate with his coffee-pot, and there was 
plenty. Next water was wanted ; Herr Kroff must 
have a glass of water. Water was not to be had, but 
Barbara knew where her brother's soda-water was. So 
down she delved into a cupboard, and up came bottle 
after bottle ; some was soda-water, some was ginger- 
beer. The gentlemen drank both out of a huge silver 
tankard with a glass bottom. Oh ! if you could have 
seen the fun, freedom, and jollity of those bearded, 
moustachioed men, who had been students up and down 
in Germany, it would have delighted you. Pulsky put 
on Ben's gown and cap, and enacted a respectable 



English student, ' Smith, of Jesus.' Every one was full 
of fun, and what roars of laughter there were ! When 
full justice had been done to the pickled salmon, ducks, 
fowls, tongue, and pigeon-pie, we joined the rest of the 
party in the court of 'King's,' and went the round of 
every college ; each being alike, yet different ; all beauti- 
ful, all rich ; a union of architectural grandeur and 
picturesque effect with the verdure of lawns, meadows, 
and lovely trees. At half-past three we went to after- 
noon-service in King's, the finest chapel in Cambridge. 
I cannot tell you how exquisite it is. Then all as- 
sembled at the 'Bull,' and our one-and- twenty, with 
six handsome young undergraduates added, sat down to 
a table covered with excellent and delicious dishes. You 
can imagine the talking, laughter, and wit. After this 
came a little speech from ' Uncle Adams,' who, in the 
absence of Mr. Smith and Ben, returned thanks to the 
German and Hungarian ladies and gentlemen who had 
honoured his brother and nephew with their company 
that day, making an allusion to the struggle for liberty, 
which, though defeated, was not lost, and so on. Pulsky 
acknowledged the compliment in a little speech, in 
which he entangled himself, and was ^helped out by 
his wife. She laughed very merrily, and with tears in 
her eyes, for he was speaking of poor Kossuth. As 
she had laughed at her husband's break-down, she must, 
as punishment, make a speech. Therefore the 'Ladies 
of Hungary' was proposed. A crimson flush came over 
her face. She took her glass in her hand, and in a very 
few words expressed her thanks, and called upon the 
ladies of England to demand the liberation of Kossuth. 
Very soon the carnages were announced. So, with many 
most cordial farewells to the group of friendly under- 

1848-52.] IN ST. JOHN'S WOOD. 81 

graduates, we took our seats again in the vehicles a 
little varying the arrangement of people, of course. 
We reached London a quarter before eight. Again 
the Smiths' omnibus and carriage, and as many cabs 
as were needful, were in waiting ; and all who did not 
incline to go to supper in Blandford Square were sent 
home to their own doors. 

" Barbara came yesterday to know how I felt after 
' all the fatigue.' She says it seems to have put new 
life into her father. What a fine thing it is to be able 
to give pleasure on a magnificent scale ! 

" Kinkel could not imagine much hard study in rooms 
' so comfortable ' as we saw at Cambridge. No doubt 
he contrasted them in his mind with the bare floor, 
wooden chairs, the high-standing wooden desk, and 
the bed in the same room of the foreign university 

I had soon the bliss of having my art-student home 
from Munich. With her we doubly enjoyed the sight 
of the productions, wealth, workmanship, and of people 
of all regions of the world assembled in the Crystal 
Palace. It was to us the veritable " House of Fame " 
foreseen by Chaucer four hundred and seventy years 

On the last day of September I returned home, in 
advance of my family, from Southend, where we had been 
spending our autumn holiday. On Monday morning, 
October 2, 1851, I write to "My beloved ones all! 

''What a getting on board we had ! The boat tossed and 
heaved ; everybody was sick ; it poured with rain ; it blew ; 
there was such a crowd of people. Yet I enjoyed it all. 


82 MARY HOWITT. [CH. n. 

" When we came to Greenwich an old grandmother and 
a little lad, who had been seated next me, left the boat. 
' Why don't you go too ? ' I asked a little girl in a blue 
veil, with a red bundle, who had seemed to belong to 
them, and yet remained. ' I belong to nobody here,' she 
said. ' I am going to London.'' Where do you come 

f rom ? ' ' From Sheerness ; but 1 came from Portsmouth 

last week. I have come to be with some relations at 
Sheerness for twelve months.' 'And so now you are 
going to London ? ' ' Yes ; to stay at my uncle's till 
Monday.' ' Where does he live?' 'I don't know.'- 
'How, then, will you find him?' 'He will meet me.' 
' Where are you to get out ? ' ' At London.' ' But 
it must be some particular place ; is it Blackwall ? ' ' I 
don't know.' ' Is it Hungerford ? ' ' I don't know ; it is 
London ! Are you going to London ? ' 

" I cannot tell you how my heart pitied this little forlorn 
creature. 'Yes, I am going to London,' said I. 'But 
now tell me about your uncle. What is he, and what is 
his name ? ' ' He is a painter, and his name is Bustle. 
I know he will meet me. He made an appointment.' 
' Well,' said I, ' we'll see. You shall stay near me, and 
I will inquire at the different places as we stop if Mr. 
Bustle is waiting. So you come from Portsmouth. Do 
your parents live there ? ' (I was so afraid of this ques- 
tion lest they should be dead, but she was not in mourn- 
ing.) 'Yes, they live there. My father is a dentist, and 
my name is Ellen Tarrett.' ' And is your uncle a kind, 
good man ? And are you sure he will meet you ? ' 
' Quite sure ; he came down to Sheerness and made an 

" Poor, small, trusting child ! It seemed frightful to 
me that she should thus be turned adrift amongst 

1848-52.] IN ST. JOHN'S WOOD. 83 

strangers. She was so pale, thin, and meek-looking, I 
was full of anxiety for her. Still, she seemed to have 
faith in Mr. Bustle, though she did not know where he 
lived. I thought it was no use distressing her with my 
fears, for if by the- end of the journey she was never met, 
I should take her home with me. It was now quite 
dark ; we were entering London ; it poured with rain. 
The whole fore-deck was crowded with hop-pickers, 
many of them Irish ; such a dismal, squalid, wet crew. 
I thought, if this poor child fell into their hands they 
might steal her bundle and murder her. I went and 
found a good fellow belonging to the boat, told him 
about the little girl, and begged him at every place 
where the boat stopped to shout out an inquiry for Mr. 
Bustle. Poor little Ellen and I stood together under 
my umbrella looking out. Presently we came to London 
Bridge. Down went the steam-chimney. ' Oh ! ' she ex- 
claimed, ' this is London. My aunt said I should see the 
chimney go down.' I wish I could give you an idea of 
the miserable hop-pickers that were now thronging out 
of the boat the smell of wet rags, the squalling 
children on the women's backs, the shouts, the swear- 
ing, the jabbering in Irish, the calls for ' Mrs. Baker,' 
for 'Betsy,' and for 'Jim.' Little Ellen and I were 
driven on by this crowd. ' Is Mr. Bustle there ? ' shouted 
the trustworthy sailor. No reply. The throng of Irish 
was getting thinner. I was growing quite desperate. 
' Is Mr. Bustle there ? ' again shouted he, and a voice 
from under an umbrella replied, ' Is Miss Tarrett there ? ' 
I felt such a thrill of joy. ' Yes, she is,' I said. 'Now, 
go, little dear ; I am so glad ! ' The good sailor led her 
along the plank, and I saw her carried off, red bundle 
and all, under a big umbrella." 

8 4 



"Nov. i, 1851. I meant to have sent an epistle of 
family greeting to meet you at your new home on October 
10 ; but, unfortunately, a whole crowd of visitors rela- 
tives and foreigners among whom is Miss Bremer, kept 
me so wholly occupied the earlier part of the month, 
that I neglected everything, excepting the immediate duty 
of the hour and the day. Then, when the crowd had a 
little dispersed, I was obliged to turn all my thoughts 
and give up all. my time to prepare what was needful 
for my daughter's return to Munich. She is now gone. 
Everybody, I believe, is gone with the exception of Miss 
Bremer ; and I begin to atone, if possible, for all my 
apparent neglect and actual shortcomings. It was, my 
dear Mrs. Gaunt, only apparent neglect, for indeed we 
all thought and spoke of you, and wished you as much 
happiness as we felt you merited ; that is a large share, 
we assure you. 

"Accept our best wishes, therefore, and let me con- 
gratulate Mr. Gaunt on having, according to my ideas, 
taken into his house a spirit as bright and as cordial as 
daylight itself. May you long live together, and be able, 
with every passing year, to say that your lives have been 
made still better and happier through each other. Our 
most kind remembrance to Dr. and Mrs. Smiles, when 
you see them." 

In September 1849 Fredrika Bremer first stayed with 
us, on her way to the United States and Cuba, whither, 
seized by the spirit of an old Viking, she was journeying 
at the age of forty-seven. She was short and plump 
in figure, and simple in her attire, which was made 
picturesque by a cap of a conventual shape, trimmed 

1 848-52.] IN ST. JOHN'S WOOD. 85 

with deep lace ; and she won our affection by her warm- 
heartedness and freedom from ostentation. 

From America she wrote to me that the " sun of the 
Western world had developed in her many germs, that 
had been lying snow-covered for dozens of years, but 
which, under its influence, began to grow and expand, 
making her feel that her remaining span of life would 
barely suffice for the ripening of what then filled her 

' In the autumn of 1851 she again passed through 
England. Her religious and social views had, in America, 
been materially influenced. An intense desire animated 
her to aid in the liberation of every oppressed soul ; 
above all, to rescue her country-women from the dark 
and narrow sphere alloted them ; and Sweden listened to 
her pleadings for woman. 


"Nov. 1851. It is quite true that Miss Bremer's 
beloved sister Agatha is dead. It was yesterday in the 
Swedish papers. She does not yet know it. We were 
at her evening party last evening, and the Swedes present 
were speaking about it amongst themselves.- Some of 
them wanted me to give her an intimation of it before 
she leaves for Sweden ; but I cannot. I do not wish to 
be in any way a bird of ill omen to her. But how sad 
it is ! Jenny Lind's secretary, a very upright young 
Swede, travels with her ; and the thought of the sorrow 
awaiting her makes him quite miserable." 

In the self- same year of the Great Exhibition in Hyde 
Park, gold was found in Australia. The marvellous 
gold-romance of California had now begun in our own 



colonies. It seemed, in a period of over-population 
and misery in Europe, that gold, the great lure of the 
human heart, had been revealed in vast continents to 
call out people thither with a voice against which there 
was no appeal. Nothing was talked of but Australia, 
and the wonderful inducements offered to emigration. 

My husband, who was a good sailor, and needed a 
real change from his hard brain-work, suddenly resolved 
on a trip to the new El Dorado, where he should once 
more see his brother, Dr. Godfrey Howitt, who was 
successfully established with his family in Melbourne. 
He should also learn what opening there might be on 
the Australian continent for our two sons, who were to 
accompany him. Anna Mary permanently returned from 
Munich to see our beloved ones off. They left us in 
June 1852, R. H. Home, the author of "Orion," sailing 
with them in the Kent. We should have felt the separa- 
tion appalling but for the wholesome panacea of work. 



OUR, first occupation after the departure of my husband 
and sons for Victoria was moving from the Avenue Road 
to Highgate. I had once hoped that Andrew Marvell's 
half-timbered, very picturesque cottage there might have 
been our home. It proved, however, at the time to be 
too dilapidated to be rented with economy or prudence. 

In the meanwhile Edward Bateman had taken, on lease, 
The Hermitage, situated at Highgate, on the West Hill, 
a little above Millfield Lane. The premises consisted of 
a small three-storeyed house and a lesser tenement, The 
Hermitage proper, containing a room on the ground-floor, 
and an upper chamber reached by an outside rustic stair- 
case and gallery ; the whole covered with a thick roof of 
thatch, and buried in an exuberant growth of ancient ivy. 
It and the dwelling-house stood in the midst of a long 
sloping garden, and were hidden from the road by palings, 
fine umbrageous elms, and a lofty ash which retained the 
name of " Nelson's Tree," from the famous admiral hav- 
ing climbed it as a boy. When to let, the landlord, in 
order to beautify the place, had painted the interior wood- 
work of the house dark green, and introduced bad stained- 
glass and grotto-work into the cottage. Notwithstanding 
these gimcrack attempts at rusticity, Mr. Bateman, per- 
ceiving the capabilities, had immediately secured it, and 

88 MARY HOWITT. [en. in. 

then, under his skilful hand and eye, transformed it 
into a most unique, quaint and pleasant abode, the fit 
home for a painter. He had temporarily located Dante 
Gabriel llossetti in The Hermitage, when, determining to 
go to Victoria, where his cousin, Mr. La Trobe, was Gover- 
nor, he transferred the lease to us. Woolner and Bernhard 
Smith were his fellow-travellers, and it was agreed that on 


the following i2th of April the P.R.B.'s in England were 
to meet together to make sketches and write poems for 
the P.RB.'s in Australia, who were simultaneously to 
meet and forward a Mercury of their proceedings home. 

Whilst The Hermitage was being transformed, and the 
voyage of the pre-Raphaelites still in embryo, I remember 
walking one March evening, at six o'clock, with Woolner 
along Millfield Lane. After we passed the house once occu- 



pied by Charles Mathews, the comedian, but later much 
enlarged, we witnessed a splendid sunset effect. The 
western sky was filled with a pale, golden light, fading into 
violet, then blue, and just in the violet hung a thin cres- 
cent moon, with one large star above her. Woolner could 
not sufficiently admire this exquisite poem of Nature, and 
I perceived that he was not only a sculptor, but a poet. 


For upwards of two years my daughters and I dwelt 
alone at The Hermitage, busily occupied in writing, paint- 
ing, and studying ; our anxious hearts filled with the 
deepest solicitude for our dear absent ones, who were 
bravely encountering deprivation and toil. We could 
only remember that God was with them as much in the 
Bush as in a civilised land. It is not hard work, but the 
gnawing pain of the mind that kills ; and the memory of 


those days of suspense, aggravated by the very defective 
postal communication with Australia, brings with it a 
most grateful sense of the extreme kindness and delicate 
consideration of our opposite neighbour, the Baroness, 
then Miss Burdett-Coutts. She constantly invited us to 
Holly Lodge, and thus afforded us change of thought and 
relaxation in her highly cultivated circle. 

Some of the chief incidents of this period are given in 
the subjoined extracts from letters. 


"Sept. 3, 1852. I drive on with my work like some 
thing blind and deaf; listening, and seeing nothing but 
the one object, work. Sometimes Annie and I sit to- 
gether in the same room, each at our table, for an hour 
or two, never speaking. Then we say, ' How quiet and 
pleasant it is, and what a holy and soothing influence 
there is in this blessed work ! ' I have not yet finished 
the first volume of Miss Bremer's travels in America. 

"We have had quite an incursion of people here of 
late, and a whole American family are coming to drink 
tea with us to-morrow. We were just going to bed one 
night at our usual hour of ten, when a ring came at the 
gate. The dogs barked ferociously, and behold ! it was 
William Allingham. He had heard we were ill from the 
Brownings, and so was come to inquire after us. We 
sat talking with him till half-past twelve. We enjoyed it 
very much, and asked him to come to us the next day. 
So he came. It was just in the midst of the terrible 
thunder and lightning that we have had here of late, 
and this led him to tell us what was just then deeply 
interesting a number of people in London ; the Brown- 
ings among the rest. 

1852-57-] THE HERMITAGE. 91 

" There is in Holborn a respectable tradesman, who is a 
firm believer in spiritual influences, in astrology, mesmer- 
ism, &c. This man has known for long that the house 
in which he lives is haunted by evil spirits and doomed 
to an ill end. He discovered that, many years ago, a 
murder had been committed in it. He consulted clair- 
voyants about it, and all foresaw that a fearful explosion 
would take place. He had six or seven letters from clair- 
voyants in different parts of the country, warning him of 
the impending danger, that the house would fall and 
burst the gas-pipes, the gas would explode, and terrible 
loss of life ensue. The man, who is apparently most 
sensible and intelligent, is personally known to Eobert 
Browning, but his name is not to be revealed, because it 
would injure him in his business. During one of the 
last storms, this tradesman and a friend of his saw from 
a distance the lightning apparently concentrate itself 
over the house, and a red tongue as of fire rise up from 
the roof. They believed it must be burning. However, no 
harm was done. William Allinsrham asked me to note 


down that it was generally foreseen that the explosion 
was to occur between midnight and four o'clock the 
following Sunday morning. That was a fortnight ago 
to-day, and nothing has occurred. It was, however, a 
curious circumstance, which, when told us, interested us 

"Dec. 3, 1852. The Queen has read 'Uncle Tom's 
Cabin,' as well as all her subjects ; ehe and the Duchess 
of Sutherland, and others of the good and great about 
the Palace, have determined to make a demonstration in 
favour of the slave. Her Majesty in her own person can 
do nothing ; therefore this movement comes from the 

9 2 


Duchess of Sutherland. From her I received an invita- 
tion to meet a number of distinguished women at Stafford 
House, to take into consideration an address from the 
women of England to the women in America on the 
subject of slavery. I was quite appalled, and felt I had 
not a bonnet fit to go in ; however, I got a new bonnet, 
and went. 

" People were all most kind and polite. Lady Shaftes- 
bury told me that her children had my juvenile books ; 
and the Duchess of Sutherland and her daughter, the 
Duchess of Argyll, were particularly friendly. To my 
surprise, I found my name put down on a committee of 
women, which consists of Lady Shaftesbury, the Hon. 
Mrs. Kinnaird, myself (I give the names as they stand), 
Mrs. Sutherland, and Mrs. Grainger. 

" The Duchess read a very interesting letter from Mrs. 
Stowe to the Earl of Carlisle. She seems delighted at 
this movement in favour of the slave ; and certainly it is 
very fine, originating with our Queen, as it does, no doubt. 

"Speaking of 'Uncle Tom's Cabin/ I must not forget 
to tell you that the sheets of this work, I believe before 
its publication in America, were offered for ^5 to Charles 
Gilpin. He would not buy them. Then they were 
offered to Mr. Bogue, then to Mr. Bohn, and rejected by 
both. They were bought in the end by Routledge. Now 
there are at least twenty different publishers' editions, 
Bohn's and Bogue's among the rest ; and it is supposed 
that upwards of one million copies have been sold in 
England alone." 

"Dec. 8, 1852. Charles Gilpin and George Alexander 
have come over to me in solemn deputation from the 
Anti-Slavery Society to remonstrate against the Duchess 

1852-57-] THE HERMITAGE. 93 

of Sutherland's Address to the American Women. But 
though I regret one or two expressions in the Stafford 
House Address, I yet adhere to it and its party." 

" Feb. 22, 1853. I was yesterday at our Committee for 
the Ladies' Address to their American Sisters on Slavery. 
There will be 400,000 signatures, it is expected.* I had 
a good deal of talk with Lord Shaftesbuiy. He is one of 
the kindest, strongest, most agreeable of men. ' Uncle 
Tom ' is being translated into Russian by order of the 
Czar ; it is said preparatory to an abolition of serfdom. 
I went to the Committee with this news, but all thought 
it too good to be true. Then came Lord Shaftesbury and 
confirmed it. Miss Bremer writes beautifully on slavery. 
She seems to think that a spirit of emancipation is grow- 
ing up in the South itself. This seems proved by three 
large slaveholders having it is said in consequence of 
' Uncle Tom ' emancipated all their slaves. 

" How wonderful is the effect of that book ! Lord 
Shaftesbuiy, who is just returned from France and Italy, 
said that ' in Italy it is devoured ; but that the Jesuits, 
to make it suit their purpose, have introduced the 
Church instead of Christ. Thus poor Uncle Tom, the 
best Christian almost that ever lived, is made to preach 
for the Jesuits ! ' He also mentioned that the great prize 
ox in Paris this Christmas was called 'Uncle Tom.' 
What people will do with Mrs. Stowe, when she comes 
in May, I cannot tell. I expect she will be welcomed as 
no crowned head ever was." 

"March i, 1853. The P.R.B.'s are most anxious for 
news of their Australian travellers. Rossetti was up here 
on Sunday, and very desirous to learn whether we had 

* They amounted to 576,000. 


received tidings, as neither the friends of Woolner nor of 
Bernhard Smith have received any. You may imagine 
with what eagerness after Australian news and news of 
vessels the Times is consulted each evening. 

"We are now busily correcting the proofs of Enne- 
moser's ' History of Magic.' What industrious people you 
and Alfred were to translate all that mass of MS. on your 
voyage. What a curious work it is! M. Reclus, a 
French acquaintance of Miss Acton's, was here the other 
evening. He knows much about magic and occult things, 
and is acquainted with many French and German books 
on the subject. Is it not singular the widespread belief 
in such agencies? Rossetti told us the other evening 
some most remarkable ghost-stories." 

"March 14, 1853. I had a dream three nights ago, 
which has made me very unhappy ; and yet, in a manner, 
I can account for it. I was thinking on Friday night of 
dear Claude's death the next day being my birthday, 
and his into the better life. In the night, then, I dreamed 
that a letter came from Alfred. It seemed to contain 
three bills of credit, but the only words I saw in the letter 
were, ' My father is very ill' I woke in an agony of 
heart such as no words can describe. The misery of the 
dream has not ceased yet. I do all I can to reason with 
myself, to say that it was caused by my thinking of poor 
Claude's last hours. And I hope it was. God help us 
and preserve us to each other ! I know that you all are 
exposed to hardships and dangers of many kinds. They 
rise up before my imagination and make me very un- 
happy. I can do no more than keep a prayer in my 
heart, which is uttered many, many times a day : ' Oh 
God ! protect my beloved ones." 

1852-57-] THE HERMITAGE. 95 

"March 20. What a dreadful time we have had! 
Yesterday was the last grand meeting at Stafford House. 
On arriving I had only spoken to the Duchess of Suther- 
land and Lord Shaftesbury, when Mrs. Carpenter came up 
to me and asked, ' What is this about Mr. Howitt in the 
Times ? ' All the strength went out of me. I said, ' I do 
not know ; what is it?' She then told me Dr. Carpen- 
ter had read something about an accident to your cart. I 
sat and listened to the proceedings of the meeting, hardly 
hearing a word. The Duchess talked to me most kindly, 
singling me out, as it were. I had no pleasure even in 
such kindness. The people were allowed to see the 
rooms after the meeting ; but I did not care for it, and 
sat down in a window, amid all the grandeur, sick with 

"Annie was as much alarmed as I was when I came 
home and told her. Long and dreadful were the couple 
of hours that went on till the paper came. We read 
then the letter from an Australian correspondent. He 
says that your cart broke down on the way to the Ovens, 
and that he fears you are suffering from the climate. 
Somehow that letter took the sting out of our wounds. 
We had not, however, seen Willie Howitt, who came up 
to-day with his Australian home-news. Now we know 
that you are ill. Willie, however, assures us that all who 
go to Australia suffer at first from the climate." 

" March 29. No letters from you yet ! We have re- 
gained a little composure after the terrible blow. Never 
in the whole of my life, with all our anxieties, have I 
passed such a time of suspense as this has been since 
that awful night of my dream. Oh ! may it please our 
Heavenly Father to protect and restore you to us. I 

96 MARY HOWITT. [en. HL 

should really go out' to you, were it not for Annie 
and Meggie. These partings are awful things. Think, 
only your last letter to us was written in October, and 
Alfred's on November 7. God help us ! But I will 
hope and trust, as I have hitherto done. Yet I some- 
what dread the Great Britain coming in. She is 
expected every hour. 

"Mr. Green, the blind gentleman who lived nearly 
opposite to us in Avenue Road, has made a most kind 
arrangement for us. He will send our letters once a 
fortnight free of charge by his line of vessels ; thus we 
need no longer trust to the mails. Yet it is sad to think 
that you will not receive this till the beginning of July." 


"April 5, 1853. You and dear Mrs. Watts will be 
pleased to know that we have had very long and interesting 
letters from William. They came by the Great Britain, 
and are dated December 23, when they were all three 
hundred miles up the country. They had encountered 
many adventures by the way, and all had been ill, 
William seriously so. Their illness was caused by camp- 
ing in a swampy situation, at a time when, their cart 
having broken down, they were detained by its being 

" God, however, always sends His Angel in some form 
in one's sorest affliction. So it was now. They found, 
when poor dear William was at his worst, that at seven 
miles' distance there was a large sheep-station. There 
they sent to ask for something they needed, and when 
Mr. and Mrs. Forlonge, the owners of the station, heard 
that it was William who lay sick, they sent down every- 
thing in their power for his comfort ; then, when he was 

1852-57.] THE HERMITAGE. 97 

able to be removed, had him conveyed to their house in 
a spring-cart, took the entire party and all their belong- 
ings under their roof ; and though utter strangers, treated 
them with brotherly kindness. They proved to be not 
only true Samaritans, but intellectual, highly cultivated 
Scotch people. 

"This illness is an affecting passage to us in the narra- 
tive of their two months' journey; still, it is cheering to 
know that even in the wilderness kind hearts are to be 
met with. For the rest, nothing can be more Robinson- 
Crusoe-like than the whole expedition. They seem to 
enjoy it. It is impossible for William to speak too highly 
of Alfred, who has not only resources for all difficulties 
and a brave spirit, which nothing can subdue, but so much 
tenderness, sympathy, and devoted affection in sorrow. 

" Chaiiton is in his element among birds and duck-billed 
platypuses, flying squirrels and opossums. Edward Bate- 
man is with them, and was one of the best nurses to 
dearest William in his illness. 

" A great load is lifted off our hearts ; and more than 
ever now we feel that we must and may confide them 
to God." 


"April 10, 1853. It nas been most pleasant to meet 
the Boothbys again before their departure for Australia. 
You will have learned already that Mr. Boothby is going 
out to Adelaide as second Supreme Judge. All his sons 
are eager about Australia. Who would have imagined 
that, when he and you, years ago, were members of the 
Nottingham Town Council, you would meet once more in 
the Antipodes ? 

"While writing, Dr. Sutherland has called. He is 


9 8 MARY HOWITT. [CH. in. 

delighted with your letter in the Times. Just as he was 
leaving, who should come in but Dr. Smiles. He intends 
now to settle in London. He too was full of your letter, 
the first description that had ever made him see Australian 
scenery. After he was gone, Meggie and I set out for our 
walk, and soon we met Barbara's father, who stopped the 
carriage to speak to us. He is very anxious that the 
dredging-machines in use on the Thames should be intro- 
duced in Australia, to scoop up the gold in the creeks. 

" Now I must try to think over what news there is. The 
great topics seem to be : In the political world, the pro- 
posed new scheme of Property and Income Tax, which 
would make everybody pay something ; the proposal of 
paying off a portion of the National Debt with Australian 
gold. In the literary world, the International Copyright, 
which some expect will be in force within three months. 
In society in general, the strange circumstantial rumour 
of the Queen's death, which, being set afloat on Easter 
Monday, when no business was doing, was not the off- 
spring of the money-market. Mr. and Mrs. Charles Kean, 
who were here the other day, spoke of it, saying truly 
that for the moment it seemed to paralyse the very heart 
of England. The Keans, by the bye, send the very kindest 
messages to you. 

" I forget whether I told you of the invitation to Stafford 
House of not only our Ladies' Committee, but of the 
Committee of the old Anti-Slavery party. The latter 
were invited to see the result of the labours of the noble 
duchesses, ladies, and all the rest of us, in twenty-six 
large volumes. The Committee of the Anti-Slavery party 
consisted of twelve Quaker ladies. When they received 
their invitation to Stafford House, they wrote back to ask 
if they might each be allowed to bring a sister or a friend. 

1852-57-] THE HERMITAGE. 99 

The Duchess very graciously consented, and their num- 
ber grew to four-and-thirty. There they were when we 
entered ; all sorts of Friends, plain and smart, old and 
young, grave and gay, sitting as if in meeting, round the 
room. We were invited to meet Mrs. Stowe at Stafford 
House, but whether all the thirty-four or only the ori- 
ginal twelve Quakeresses will go I know not. She has 
arrived at Liverpool, and her ovation has begun." 

" May 4, 1853. The great talk now is Mrs. Stowe and 
spirit-rapping, both of which have arrived in England. 
The universality of the phenomena renders it a curious 
study. A feeling seems pervading all classes, all sects, 
that the world stands upon the eve of some great spiritual 
revelation. It meets one in books, in newspapers, on the 
lips of members of the Church of England, Unitarians, 
even Freethinkers. 

" Poor old Robert Owen, the philanthropist, has been 
converted, and made a confession of faith in the public 
papers. One cannot but respect a man who, in his old 
age, has the boldness to declare himself as having been 
blinded and mistaken through life ; and who, upon the 
verge of human life, sends forth the concealed yearning of 
his soul after a spiritual world and an immortality. Yes, 
indeed, is not the greatest proof, after all, of an immor- 
tality the innate longing after it, and the belief in it exist- 
ing within each human being, whether encased in external 
intellectual pride, worldly joy, or hardness of heart, and 
that too throughout all ages and shining forth from all 
mythologies ? 

" Especially are the aristocracy interested in these rap- 
pings, which become contagious; a medium of spiritual com- 
munication may in some cases be developed by the laying 



on of hands. There is a singular resemblance between it 
and mesmeric power. The old hobgoblins and brownies 
seem to be let loose again, for all the spirits appear to be of 
a singularly low order, frequently lying. Mr. Beecher, the 
brother of Mrs. Stowe, has delivered in America a series 
of lectures to a vast assembly, demonstrating that these 
phenomena are the work of the devil. Well, perhaps, 
they may be. 

" Barbara, who is now investigating these strange 
glimpses into an occult power of nature, told us last 
night a singular circumstance connected with Lady 
Byron's mother. Lady Milbanke had discovered, as a 
young woman in Switzerland, that she was endowed, like 
many of the natives, with the power of discovering water 
by means of the divining-rod. When Dr. Wollaston had 
written a most learned treatise upon the superstition of 
the divining-rod, he was surprised to receive a letter 
desiring an interview with him on Wimbledon Common 
by the writer, who possessed the power he so severely 
denounced. Dr. Wollaston went to Wimbledon, and 
great was his surprise to perceive a carriage approach 
the spot of appointment. An elegant lady, accompanied 
by some equally fashionable friends, alighted, and declared 
herself the writer of the letter, and ready to test her power ; 
and she still more astonished Dr. Wollaston when, taking 
a hazel-rod, she pointed out again and again concealed 
springs of water. This anecdote of Lady Milbanke had 
been told Barbara, I believe, by Lady Byron." 

"May 8, 1853. Mrs. Stowe has arrived in London. 
She is come with husband, brothers, sister-in-law, and 
nephew. She is a simple, kindly creature, with a face 
which becomes beautiful from expression. We spent an 

1852-57-] THE HERMITAGE. 101 

evening with her at the Binneys' on Friday. It was a 
sort of open house, hundreds of people coming and going. 
When we reached the front-door we were struck by the 
crowds which had gathered round it ; we heard some 
one say he had come to get a peep of ' the composer of 
" Uncle Tom's Cabin." Wherever she goes, and it is 
known that she is there, a crowd gathers. It is some- 
thing like the enthusiasm in America for Jenny Lind. 

" I was yesterday at Stafford House, with some hundreds 
besides, composed of the aristocracy and many distin- 
guished people. Mrs. Stowe and her relatives had taken 
luncheon with the Duke and Duchess of Sutherland, and 
the dukes, duchesses, lords and ladies of their family. In 
the grand gallery the reception took place, the Duchess 
of Sutherland and Lord Shaftesbury introducing interest- 
ing personages to Mrs. Stowe. Then the principal persons 
took seats in the middle of the room, and the company 
stood round. Lord Shaftesbury read a very nice address 
of welcome to Mrs. Stowe, which was handed her ; and 
her brother made a tedious speech, and read a rather 
stupid letter from an American who had emancipated his 
slaves. This was the first part of the day's proceedings. 
People walked about and conversed together, and were 
introduced to Mrs. Stowe, if they had patience to wait for 
an opportunity. Tea and coffee were handed round by 
footmen in drab and scarlet or in Highland costume. 
Then the Duchess and Mrs. Stowe retired to a smaller 
apartment, where the ladies were invited to follow. 
Here, after a good deal of amusement in separating the 
ladies from the gentlemen, Mrs. Stowe made a capital 
little speech, or rather talked to us in a very simple 
manner ; her countenance beaming, and a merry smile 
at times playing over it, till she looked to my eyes as 



beautiful as the splendid and gracious lady, the friend 
of Queen Victoria, seated beside her." 

"June 29, 1853. Dined the other day with Sir David 
Brewster at Lord Shaftesbury's. Later in the evening a 
servant being ordered to bring a hat from the hall, it was 
made to spin round by some of the family and guests 
assembled in the drawing-room. It was very odd. Dr. 
Braid of Manchester says the phenomenon is produced by 
the power of mind over matter ; and that if the mind is 
fixed on matter long enough, and with sufficient intensity, 
it will inevitably operate upon it. The effect which all 
this table-turning, hat-moving, and spiritual intercourse 
is producing on all kinds of people is marvellous. Kobert 
Chambers, the Alaric Wattses, the T. K. Herveys, are all 
believers and operators." 

"Aug. 20, 1853. Only think, last Saturday we actu- 
ally went to the Camp at Chobham ; and that through the 
politeness of the S. C. Halls. We found Mr. Fairholt at 
the station, and travelled together. Mr. and Mrs. Samuel 
Lover, Mr. Ansdell, and some other guests of the Halls' 
were also in the same train. At Addlestone station was 
Mr. Hall, who conveyed the party to Firfield, that won- 
derful abode, which so confounded good Dr. Forster by 
its magnificence ; its urns, vases, busts, pictures, its 
Sevres, Dresden, and Wedgwood, and so forth. After 
partaking of an elegant breakfast, all the party entered 
carriages and rolled away to the Camp. 

"It was quite exciting, when we came out on the 
main road, to see all the vehicles hastening on towards 
the Camp, mail-coaches, omnibuses, cabs, and carriages 
crowded with people; the footpaths also crowded with 

1852-57-] THE HERMITAGE. 103 

pedestrians. Vehicles, people, horses, trees, hedges, and 
grass were all powdered with thick dust for the four long 
miles to Chobham. The very spiders who have built their 
webs in the hedges must wonder whatever has befallen the 
summer, for they are choked up with thick dust, in spite 
of all the rain there has been. Those dusty gossamers 
parch my throat with thirst only in recollection. 

" We came out upon a desolate moorland tract, where 
before us gleamed forth white in the sunlight the distant 
lines of tents, with a strange poetical beauty suggestive of 
the tents of the Israelites. Tent-life, especially for your 
dear sakes, being very interesting to Annie and me, we 
looked into many of these tents, wondering whether your 
abode presented at all a similar picture. Before one 
officer's tent was planted a little garden, and at the door 
was placed a rustic seat, which, from its enormous height, 
made us think its possessor must be one of the Ama- 
lekites. The booths of the sutlers, built of straw, and 
the straw-and-heather-constructed sentry-boxes were most 
picturesque. Mr. and Mrs. M'lon, Mr. Fairholt, Mr. 
Ansdell, Annie, and I were the most adventurous of the 
party ; for, leaving the carriages and Mrs. Hall, the Lady 
Mayoress, and the Lovers posted upon a heathery mound, 
crowded with other carriages and spectators, watching the 
distant evolutions of the soldiers whose firing resounded 
mournfully across the heath, and the white volume of 
whose smoke floated softly over the dark hills we has- 
tened into the very thick of the battle. 

" Here, from a much better mount of observation, we 
saw the columns of the infantry swiftly descending the 
slopes before us, and advancing in dense bright-coloured 
masses towards the imaginary enemy. The Highland 
regiments especially added to the picturesqueness of the 

I04 MARY HOWITT. [CH. in. 

spectacle. After due heroism shown by us at the can- 
non's mouth, we retreated to our carriages, not, however, 
before Annie and Mr. Fairholt had noted every artistic 
effect; for, unlike many modern artists, he is sensible 
and unaffected enough to be enthusiastic, and not too 
gentlemanly to enjoy the beauty and pleasantness about 
him. Then, all the party covered with dust, our very eyes 
dust-bins, we returned to enjoy the munificent cold colla- 
tion at Firfield." 

" Aug. 23. Last Sunday we had another holiday. We 
were driven by Joseph Todhunter in the tax-cart to see 
their new house at Willesden. We felt vastly like some 
respectable butcher's or baker's family ; and we only hope 
these respectable individuals feel ordinarily as happy as 
we did, rattling along through the pleasant lanes, with 
the wind rushing through the trees overhead, and poor 
little old Brach rushing along after us, like a big heap of 
dust. We sat upon the sunny lawn in Mrs. Todhunter's 
garden, with the distant church-bells ringing pleasantly ; 
and Annie sketched the quaint old summer-house, with 
a tangle of hops and roses at one side of it. It was a 
delightful day indeed. At dusk away we rattled again 
a la butcher and baker, or rather a la greengrocer, for 
this time we were laden with vegetables." 

"March 2, 1854. You will see that war is now really 
beginning in earnest with Russia. Nothing is talked of 
here but war. One fleet is gone to the Black Sea, and 
another is going to the Baltic. Troops are being em- 
barked even in the screw-steamers intended for Australia. 
Men-of-war, it is said, are to be sent to guard the 
Australian coast, as Russian privateers are abroad, and it 

l8 5 2 -57-] THE HEKMITAGE. 105 

is expected that our rich Australian vessels will be seized. 
It is said, also, that the overland route will no longer be 
safe; so that, if this be true, it will put an end to your 
overland return, for which I am sorry. The whole of this 
excitement and preparation for war has made me very 
sad. Greatly have we admired and accompanied in spirit 
Joseph Sturge and two other Friends who have gone to 
St. Petersburg to endeavour to persuade the Czar to 
peace. It was really a very fine thing, and quite worthy 
of George Fox. If you see the Times, you will read an 
account of this interview, and their address to Nicholas, 
and his reply. Long live such true men of peace ! and 
I wish all the world thought with them. The prices of 
everything have become twice what they were when you 
left England. 

" The ' rapping spirits ' go on rapping, and people listen 
to them. I myself think it delusion ; but really we hear 
extraordinary things, and we see sensible people believing 
so gravely, and in many cases it has produced such beauti- 
ful and sincere religious faith and trust, that we do not 
know what to say. Bulwer is most eager on the subject. 
Decanters rise up from his table without hands, solid 
substances suspend themselves in the air." 

On May 15, 1854, I went to stay with Mr. Bladon at 
Uttoxeter, and was joined the next day by my daughter 
Annie. The little town looked to me but slightly 
altered, yet somehow old and shabby; the country plea- 
sant, especially the hilly crofts. The vegetation, however, 
neither so fine nor so early as I had expected. 


" Uttoxeter, May 21, 1854. Lots of folk have called on 

I0 6 MARY HOWITT. [CH. in. 

us, and we might go out every day to dinner and evening 
parties, but we have set our faces against it; and Mr. 
Bladon is very good, and lets us do as we like. We will, 
however, be civil, and even grateful. Last evening a rich 
silk manufacturer of Macclesfield called, with his wife, on 
us. He has settled in the neighbourhood; is a fat, jolly 
Conservative, whose work-people are emphatically hands, 
and who thinks ' Maiy Barton ' a dangerous, bad book. 
He had been to the Royal Academy. He said he could 
not, for the soul of him, tell what to make of Holman 
Hunt's ' Light of the World ; ' whether it was good or 
bad he did not know. He looked at it for half an hour, 
and was never so puzzled by any picture before. 

"We were at Mrs. White's of Barrow Hill the other 
morning. She has a celebrated collection of old pictures, 
which Mrs. Jameson, amongst other connoisseurs, has been 
to see. Some of them are really good, others indifferent. 
Mrs. White was in the grounds when we arrived, and 
came to us in an old, old bonnet, a coarse old woollen 
shawl, and a gown worth about ten shillings when new. 
She is not only very rich, but highly intellectual ; and 
were she not so great a lady, would be regarded here as a 
heretic, for she is a Unitarian. 

" Your aunt Anna comes to-morrow, and she will 
enjoy the oddities as much as I do. It often bores poor 
Annie, and no wonder. We went out to tea, for instance, 
and she was shown, for her amusement, a set of small 
copperplates worth sixpence, a French plum-box, a paper 
hand-screen, and 'Leighton on the Epistles of St. 
Peter.' " 

" June 2, 1854. I wish you had been with us on Wed- 
nesday, when we went to call on the new Vicar and his 

1852-57-] THE HERMITAGE. 107 

sister. They have just got into the nice old Vicarage ; 
and he has bought up all the old carved oak chairs and 
tables and a sideboard out of the houses of the country- 


" The Hermitage, June 18, 1854. We have been for 
the last several weeks at Uttoxeter. You may believe 
it was very pleasant to be there and revisit the old 
scenes. Especially was it pleasant for my mother meet- 
ing my aunt Anna there, and for them to wander 
through their old haunts and talk over old memories. 

" A poetical little incident also occurred. When we 
had been in Uttoxeter a few days, my mother suddenly 
remembered that she had not heard the chimes play as 
usual since she had arrived ; those sweet melodious 
chimes, which had so delighted her and my aunt when 
they were children. What had become of them ? 

" Every one then began also to ask what had be- 
come of the chimes. People remembered then that for 
years they had been silent silent ever since the church 
had been repaired many years back. Mr. Joseph Bladon, 
at whose house we were staying, and who is about the 
most influential man now in the little town, together 
with the Vicar who also had never heard the chimes, 
being come to the place only within a short time soon 
had inquiries made. Then the first Sunday morning after 
our arrival, in honour of my mother's visit to her old 
home, the chimes recommenced their sweet music. They 
had quite passed out of people's memories, but were still 
in perfect order, only requiring a new rope. 

" We shall send you in a day or two a copy of ' The 
Artist's Diisseldorf Album,' in which you will find a poem 



of yours printed. My mother was asked to translate the 
German poems, and also to procure a few original Eng- 
lish poems ; and as the time was very short, we sent one 
of yours which we had, and greatly liked. Please read 
in the Album a poem called ' Sister Helen.' It is by 
Gabriel Rossetti, an artist friend of ours." 


" Oct. 22, 1854. I send you the delightful information 
that my father and dear old Charlton are on their home- 
ward voyage. They were to start on August ist. My 
father has been in Sydney and Van Diemen's Land, and 
was very well when he wrote." 


"Nov. 1 6, 1854. Our beloved voyagers are not yet 
returned, though we have been listening for their ring at 
the gate almost for several weeks. But our impatience 
outran possibility, as they will not, in all probability, be 
here before the end of next week. This we know from a 
letter which we received on Monday from William, written 
from Rio Janeiro, where they had put in for water, vege- 
tables, and supplies. I am glad that they touched at 
Rio, as they have thus a little peep of South America, and 
according to his letter, they are extremely delighted with 
the natural features of that fine country. 

; 'We now never are both from home, for we cannot 
bear the possibility of their arriving and finding us not 
here to welcome them. It is strange that, while I long 
so earnestly for William's return, I yet dread it. I fear 
seeing in his beloved face traces of anxiety, of hardship 
and time. I fear, too, lest he should see them in mine, 
as assuredly he will ; only I think our joy will hide our 


1852-57]. THE HERMITAGE. in 

wrinkles. Life is such a sad history that one's very hap- 
piness is mingled with pain and fear. 

" Anna, my beloved, is it possible that you may come 
to the neighbourhood of London ? I hope it may be so. 
Would it not be beautiful if the evening of our lives were 
spent in near and dear intercourse, as was our youth? 
I do not know anything which would give me greater 

On Thursday, December 7, 1854, at about two o'clock, 
my dear husband and son arrived at The Hermitage safe 
and sound, looking so well that it was a great joy to us. 
At the same period my brother-in-law, Daniel Harrison, 
settled with his family in the neighbourhood of London ; 
making me thus enjoy a full measure of domestic happi- 


" The Hermitage, Aug. 9, 1855. Annie went with 
Barbara to Glottenham, and had just begun to feel better, 
when, lo ! it was discovered that a poor woman was ill of 
a fever in a neighbouring cottage, and at five minutes' 
warning off they set to Hastings, and are now located at 
Clive Vale Farm, near Fairlight ; the same farm where 
Holman Hunt painted his sheep." 


" Clive Vale Farm, Aug. 10, 1855. We have just had 
breakfast. Our little parlour-window is wide open, with 
the sunshine streaming in, and the vast expanse of distant 
sea and undulating green hills coming close up to the 
strip of cottage garden. We were very much amused by 
finding the traces of Holman Hunt's painting in great 

II2 MARY HOWITT. . [CH. in. 

spots of green, blue, and red, and traces of oil and tur- 
pentine upon a picturesque, little, stout oak table, which 
we had chosen also for our work ; and thus quite uninten- 
tionally we have trodden in his steps." 


" The Hermitage, Aug. 21, 1855. We had a very 
pleasant evening at Miss Coutts's. She and Mrs. Brown 
set off to-morrow, and will not return before the end of 
October. She has had a great annoyance about the 
extension of Highgate Cemetery. A few years ago, she 
told me, she offered to buy this very land now purchased 
by the cemetery company, and reaching down to Swain's 
Lane ; she was intending to make it beautiful gardens, to 
be secured to the public for ever. At that time the pro- 
prietor refused to sell ; and she naturally feels ill-used 
not to have had the first offer, when he was inclined to 
do so, and before the cemetery company was allowed to 
purchase it, for a purpose injurious to the health of the 
increasing population. 

" Of course, I said, as I felt, that hers had been a noble 
and excellent idea, and asked her if I might 'speak of it. 
She replied, ' Certainly.' I then added, ' But do not give 
up the idea. It is by such beneficial acts that your name 
will be preserved to the nation. Let me beg of you to 
purchase Parliament Hill and convert that into a public 
park.' She answered, ' That is Lord Mansfield's property. 
However, I shall think of it.' My heart blessed her for 
those words, but I merely said, ' Yes, dear Miss Coutts, 
do, for such an idea is worthy of you/ I told her, too, 
how beautiful that hill would be with a grand white 
marble statue standing upon it, with the background of 
blue sky. ' Very beautiful,' she said, in her quiet way." 

1852-57-] THE HERMITAGE. 113 


"Aug. 22, 1855. The purchaser of this property 
intends to pull down all the cottages below us and build 
a row of villas in their stead. If, however, he leaves this 
house standing, he may as well retain us as tenants as 
take new ones. It would be a real grief to me to leave 
the neighbourhood of Miss A. B. C., for she is a noble 

" Brockham Lodge, Aug. 26, 1855. Here we are, my 
dearest Annie, with our kind friends, William and Eliza- 
beth Bennett. Every object within-doors, every lovely 
plant without, stand just where they did two years ago. 
A new fern-house, it is true, is erected, and a chaotic 
wilderness is being formed, and an exquisite new clematis 
covers a portion of the greenhouse. But these are only 
perceived at a second glance. 

" It being First-day, the family is gone to meeting, 
your father with them. It is the midst of corn-harvest ; 
the fields being either clear of corn or filled with shocks 
ready for carrying. How exquisite was your account of 
the harvest-field after the storm, and the resemblance 
which it bore to the bowed and afflicted nation ! It was 
to me a grand poem." 

" The Hermitage, Sept. 4, 1855. When we walk in 
our favourite Highgate fields towards Hampstead we often 
see Mr. Tom Seddon and his pretty little wife. We did 
so yesterday, and walked together. He wants to finish 
his Eastern sketches, and asked us where he could find 
rocks and old thorn-trees, which he might use for bits of 
his olive-trees ; and where he could find a level burnt-up 

country for a Syrian desert. We advised him to go to 
VOL. n. H 

1I4 MARY HOWITT. [en. m. 

the little inn at Rowsley for the old rocks about Haddon 
Hall and Stanton. He said that ' Lear had advised the 
same.' I suggested he could find strange, weird old 
trees about Hurstmonceaux. He replied, ' So, too, had 
Lear told him,' and that Lear was painting down there 
this very summer. He cannot turn his thoughts at present 
to other subjects than the East." 

"Dec. 4, 1855. Of course, your father and I entirely 
approve of Barbara's scheme for petitioning Parliament 
for an alteration in the law as regards the property of 
married women ; and we are glad that she is getting her 
grand scheme into form." 

" Jan. 8, 1856. Yesterday I went to Stratton Street. 
Miss Coutts was at home, and most kindly received me. 
We sat and talked over Mr. Brown's death, and Mrs. 
Brown's grief and beautiful resignation ; and then she 
came in. I am always affected, somehow, by the sight of 
a widow's cap ; and to see that bright face so sad, and 
surrounded by the plain, white, folded muslin, quite 
touched me. We talked about death and eternity. Both 
believe in the immediate life after death, and that the 
spirit of a departed beloved one may be ever present, 
though unseen, unfelt ; only they do not believe in the 
influence of the spirit through dreams or material mani- 
festations. It was, some way, very sweet, and I had great 
peace in this part of my visit. Miss Coutts showed me 
a miniature which Sir William Ross has done of Mr. 
Brown since death from the bust and his remembrance of 
the face ; but it is not quite right. 

" We then talked of this proposed movement to secure 
to married women their own property and earnings. 

1852-57-] THE HERMITAGE. 115 

They both agree that it is quite right. Miss Coutts, who 
understands the subject thoroughly, said that she believed 
some changes would be made in the laws regarding 
women and the management of their property ; but as to 
supporting the petition, she must fully consider it, and 
can say nothing just at present. 

" I mentioned that Mrs. M. and Mrs. N. stood at the 
head of its supporters. She replied, that ' if it were so 
the cause would be greatly damaged.' I was extremely 
astonished. ' These ladies,' she continued, ' hold such 
free opinions with regard to marriage that people would 
naturally be suspicious of the intentions of the whole 
thing.' I answered that ' I was quite unaware of their 
entertaining such opinions, that Mrs. M. had had the 
sorrow of a very bad husband, and therefore she might 
have a right to speak.' ' Yes,' said Miss Coutts, ' I know 
it. I am acquainted with Mrs. M.'s books, and think 
highly of them ; just lately, when a subscription was 
raised for her, I had a pleasure in giving something 
towards it. But you must excuse me saying it, your 
name ought never to be joined with those of Mrs. M. 
and Mrs. N.' I again looked astonished, and wondered 
to myself what these ladies would say if they heard this. 
Mrs. Brown asked what Mrs. N. it was? 'The mother 
of that wild, mad young Lady - ,' was the reply. 

"Now, amazed as I am to find myself set up above 
Mrs. M. and Mrs. N., I do think it most needful to 
have an eye to the moral status of the persons supporting 
this movement ; and that in the fields of science and 
literature signatures such as those of Mrs. Somerville and 
Mrs. Gaskell should be obtained." 

" Jan. 9, 1856. We went last evening to the Seddons'. 



Mr. Tom Seddon is in very good heart. He has sold 
one of his pictures to Lord Grosvenor. He showed me 
a sketch for another of his commissions. It is a sort 
of halt in the desert at the hour of prayer. He is going 
again to the East to paint a picture at Damascus. His 
brother, the architect, has received a commission to 
restore Llandaff Cathedral, so he is in Wales. They 
all seem very happy, and send lots of kind messages 
to you." 


"March 13, 1856. The petition about married 
women's property has already been announced in Parlia- 
ment. It is spoken of as the petition of Elizabeth Bar- 
rett Browning, Anna Jameson, Mary Howitt, Mrs. Gas- 
kell, &c. The London signatures are within a small 
number of three thousand. Westminster are two thou- 
sand. Various little incidents of interest have occurred, 
such as a very old lady on her death-bed, who asked to be 
allowed to put her name to the petition, and thus wrote 
her signature for the last time. Yesterday evening, as it 
was growing dusk, Octavia made her appearance, looking 
so bright and happy. She had been taking her Eagged 
School children a walk in the Highgate fields ; and dis- 
missing them, came here. She helped mother to paste 
the signature sheets, which have all been sent in 


" March 17,1 856. Sir Erskine Perry says that, contrary 
to his expectation, the petition was received very respect- 
fully in the House of Commons, without a sneer or a 
smile. Lord Brougham made a capital little speech in 

1852-57-] THE HERMITAGE. 117 

the Lords on presenting the petition, paying Mrs. Jame- 
son and our mother each a very nice compliment, to 
which there was a 'Hear, hear.' He especially called 
Lord Lyndhurst's attention to the importance of the 
question. It will be capital if, through this women's 
petition, the law gets amended." * 

On December 19, 1856, we learnt with regret the 
death, at Cairo, of the gifted young artist, Thomas Sed- 
don ; and on the Christmas Day, Holman Hunt called to 
consult with Anna Mary about her little memoir of his 
deceased friend. 

Our daughter had, both by her pen and pencil, taken 
her place amongst the successful artists and writers of 
the day, when, in the spring of 1856, a severe private 
censure of one of her oil-paintings by a king among 
critics so crushed her sensitive nature as to make her yield 
to her bias for the supernatural, and withdraw from the 
ordinary arena of the fine arts. After her marriage in 
1859 to her contemporary and friend from childhood, 
Alaric Alfred, the only son of our valued associates, Mr. 
and Mrs. Watts, they both jointly pursued psychological 

In the spring of 1856 we had become acquainted 
with several most ardent and honest spirit-mediums. It 
seemed right to my husband and myself, under the cir- 
cumstances, to see and try to understand the true nature 
of those phenomena in which our new acquaintance so 
firmly believed. In the month of April I was therefore 
invited to a seance at Professor De Morgan's, and was much 
astonished and affected by communications purporting to 

* The only change brought about by the petition was in the law of 
marriage and divorce. 

n8 MARY HO WITT. [CH. m. 

come to me from my dear son Claude. With constant 
prayer for enlightenment and guidance, we experimented 
at home. The teachings that seemed given to us from 
the spirit-world were often akin to those of the Gospel ; 
at other times were more obviously emanations of evil. 
The system was clearly open to much abuse. I felt 
thankful for the assurance thus gained of an invisible 
world, but resolved to neglect none of my common duties 
for spiritualism. 

The Hermitage being doomed to destruction, we quitted 
it in 1857 for another house at Highgate, pleasantly 
situated higher up on the same ascent, and called West 
Hill Lodge. 



OUR, new home at Highgate stood back, facing its old- 
fashioned sloping garden, which was hidden from the 
high-road by a thick screen of clipped lime-trees ; and 
it possessed from the flat accessible roof a magnificent 
survey of London and its environs. It was to us a 
pleasant and attractive abode, yet we willingly vacated 
it for months at a time. My husband's life of free, 
pleasant, healthy adventure in Australia had stimulated 
his innate love of Nature ; and, although a sexagenarian, 
made him henceforth always ready to start off to the 
mountains, the seaside, or the Continent, fulfilling, wher- 
ever it might be, his literary occupations in the quiet 
and refreshment of fine scenery. It appears to me a 
delightful, most privileged existence that we were thus 
perpetually permitted to enjoy God's glorious works on 
earth, as a foretaste, I humbly trust, of still more sublime 
ones in heaven. 

From 1858 a series of sojourns in Carnarvonshire 
began, which, interluded by visits to various parts of Eng- 
land, France, Switzerland, and Germany, remained, until 
we reached Italy and Tyrol, our chief source of rural 
profit and delight. The Chester and Carnarvon Railway 
had already brought along the sea-coast of North Wales 
an influx of tourists and wealthy settlers, demanding and 



[CH. IV. 

introducing the necessities of advanced civilisation. This 
tended to develop the resources of the beautiful land, 
whose valleys and mountain-sides are inhabited by an 
isolated people, proud of their traditions, history, literature, 
and language, and jealously guarding themselves as much 
as possible from the introduction of new customs. 


We sympathised with our " Saxon " friends and ac- 
quaintances in their desire practically to ameliorate the 
condition and remove the prejudices of their Cambrian 
neighbours ; with the latter, in their passionate love of 
their old language the last remnant left them of their 
cherished nationality and in their strong religious aspi- 
rations. We familiarised ourselves with their distinct 

1857-66.] WEST HILL LODGE. 121 

habits and customs, and their belief in second -sight, 
good and bad omens, presentiments and apparitions. 

We find a mention of our first stay in North Wales in 
the following letter from Anna Mary Howitt to her uncle 
Richard, dated "The Mill Cottage, Aber, near Bangor:" 

"Aug. 28, 1858. Although we are not amongst the 
grandest Welsh scenery, we have mountains and a won- 
derfully beautiful valley, traversed by the rocky bed of a 
torrent, a regular chaos of huge stones. We have the 
sea near, and heather and exquisite flowers starring the 
pasture-fields, hill-sides, and glens ; and we have gurgling 
brooks, and many an old remain of the Past Druidical, 
Roman, and Mediaeval so that there is a great variety 
to be enjoyed. 

" We are located in a regularly romantic cottage, close 
to the mill of this little village of Aber. It belongs 
to Mr. and Mrs. Birley ; and she says that my aunt, 
Elizabeth Howitt of Farnsfield, has been here. Is it not 
curious how people are linked in acquaintance all over 
this world ! 

"We are much struck by a certain resemblance to 
Germany in the look of the villages, and even of the 
people. We only wish that some great Welsh writer 
would arise, and do for beautiful Wales what Scott has 
done for his native land, or even what Auerbach has 
for German peasant life in his ' Tales of the Black 
Forest.' Alas ! this difficult Welsh language is a terrible 
bar to any English visitor conversing with the country- 
people ; and unless a person can talk with them, there 
is no writing well about them. It is a Welsh man or 
woman born and bred who should be the chronicler of 
the strange, wild, simple and affecting stories to be met 

I22 MARY HO WITT. [en. iv. 

with in the cottages and farm-houses of these solitary 
valleys and hill-sides. 

"It is curious how very little English is generally 
spoken amongst the common people, and this very fact 
has preserved much that is peculiar and primitive in 
the race. It is difficult, too, unfortunately, to find, so far, 
at least, as our experience has gone, people of the middle 
class who are interested about the peculiarities and 
language of their country. You have to hunt after the 
bits of picturesqueness, for very few of the educated care 
for them, regarding them as vulgar. We are intending 
to make the acquaintance of the Methodist preacher, who 
lives at the neighbouring Methodist village of Bethesda. 
He speaks English, which not all Methodist preachers 
here do. As he is one of the people, and goes amongst 
them, we hope from him to hear something quaint and 
interesting. Mr. Williams, the clergyman here, a Welsh- 
man born and bred, takes some interest, for a wonder, 
in the old legends and superstitions of the race. From 
him we have heard a few particulars, which only make 
us long for more. He, however, only tells us about the 
poor church-goers, and that is quite the minority here. 

" You will be glad to learn that my father has begun 
writing a book he has long talked of, ' The Man of the 
People.' He has read us the chapters already written, 
and we are deeply interested in it. Mdlle. Bremer is also 
sending my mother the sheets of a new tale, ' Father and 
Daughter.' So that you see both play and work go on 
here ; the one giving relish to the other." 

Eichard Howitt was at this time living in the deepest 
seclusion on his little farm at Edingley ; yet, as the most 
inspiriting thoughts came to him in isolation, he seldom 

1 8s 7-66.] WEST HILL LODGE. 123 

felt solitary. The young clodhoppers helping him at 
his work thought him a strange man ; and one of them 
observed to the housekeeper, " He fancied Mester com- 
pletely lost, for when plucking the orchard fruit he 
would give no reply, and often pause as if going 

If silent and meditative, he was active and eloquent 
in the service of the care-worn and oppressed. When 
elected guardian of the poor by a large majority, blue 
and white flags fluttered gaily from the cottage windows, 
and for more than an hour the church bells of his village 
were merrily rung. An immense reader in a wide range 
of literature, he would start off, after the perusal of any 
poetry or prose that was brilliant, earnest, deep, sincere, 
or admirable, to impart the rich treat to his sister-in-law, 
Elizabeth, the widow of his elder brother, Emanuel. She 
dwelt in the adjacent village of Farnsfield, where was 
also the home of her stepson, Leaver Howitt, and his 
numerous family. 

Anna Mary Howitt again writes to her uncle Richard, 
this time from " Thorpe, near Ashboume, Derbyshire : " 

" May 13, 1859. You will be surprised to see the above 
address. We are located for some weeks in a roomy, com- 
fortable cottage, in this quiet, old-world, well-to-do village 
of Thorpe, close to lovely Dovedale, in which we live 
nearly the whole day long. We came away very suddenly 
from home, as Florence Nightingale, who, I regret to say, 
is very much of an invalid, wished my parents to let her 
our house, for she wanted a quiet healthy place near 
town. We came away at almost a day's notice, bringing 
our work with us, and settling down in these cosy but 
primitive quarters. 

! 24 MARY HOWITT. [CH. iv. 

"We have been both to Ham and Tissington, and 
about a good deal, for Mr. Watts-Russell and Sir William 
and Lady Fitz-Herbert are most kind and attentive to 
my parents. You would write a ballad about the old 
baronial hall of Tissington, and the holy well-dressing 
in the village on Ascension Day ; and Ham is equally 
poetical and charming." 


"May 1 6, '59 The Dale is much finer than I re- 
membered it, and stands well the comparison with other 
scenery that we have visited. Trains bring lots of people 
to Ashbourne ; and the Dale is crowded on Sundays and 
holidays, otherwise quiet enough. If all the Waltonians 
that haunt the Dove, however, caught fish, there could 
not be much left. Yet I see some fine ones flounce up 
occasionally, but I let them alone, having ' other fish to 
fry.' It is wonderful how much the country has become 
cultivated since I saw it before. All the corn-fields are 
now on the top of the highest hills, where there only was 
heather, and where the people thought oats would scarcely 
ripen. Now it is nearly all wheat ; and oat-cakes are 
almost exploded. We sometimes get some baked as a 

Later on, the writer proposed that his brother should 
pay us a visit at Thorpe. It was a cross-country journey, 
that could be made partly by train and partly on foot. 
He himself would walk twelve miles to meet him at 
Pentrich. This village was associated in our minds with 
an incident that had occurred to a friend of ours a few 
years previously. He had heard one night, when passing 
a cottage in a row, the drone of a ranter's prayer inside, 

1857-66.] WEST HILL LODGE. 125 

the words of which became a proverb in an artistic 
circle : " Lord ! Thou knowest I am a poor lad from 
Swanwick ; Thou knowest I can't read ; but blessed be 
Thy name, I can see the pictures." 

Eichard Howitt gladly accepted the invitation. He 
wrote to his brother : 

"May 27, 1859. There is a church at Pentrich, for, if 
you remember, it was for it that John Lister proposed to 
have a Parson and Pulpit cast at the Butterley Iron- 
works.* That will be the most certain place to meet at, 
for what or how many public-houses there may be I 
don't know. If you leave Thorpe by eight o'clock, I 
shall be at the churchyard by the time you get there. 
I say at, for in is, in these enclosing days, a question 
to be asked. Ours here is locked up, Heanor is, and 
Pentrich may be." 

After this much-anticipated meeting had been suc- 
cessfully accomplished, and a delightful visit paid us 
by Richard Howitt, my daughter Margaret and I 
made a charming excursion into North Staffordshire. 
We started on June 9, going by train from Ash- 
bourne, reached at noon Alton Towers, and were soon 
walking in the sixty acres of gardens as if in fairyland ; 
everywhere beautified by brilliant and delicately hued 
flowering rhododendrons. Now it is a Dutch garden, 
very trim and formal, with its orangeries, fountains, and 
patterned borders in the midst of fine gravel. Now it 
is a French garden in the style of Louis Quatorze, 

* This " cast-iron parson " had been mentioned by William Howitt some 
fifteen years earlier to Thomas Carlyle, who, much tickled by the idea, soon 
sued it in print. 

I2 6 MARY HO WITT. [ CH - 1V - 

with temples, statues of nymphs and satyrs, and long 
alleys bordered with flowers. Now a Swiss wilderness, 
where in the old times, our guide tells us, "women 
worked in the Swiss costume. My lady had two suits 
from Switzerland eveiy year for each woman. They did 
not wear them out of the gardens, because the lads 
would hoot them. This did once happen to a venturous 
sardeneress. After that the dress was alone assumed 


within the park palings." Here again, though the 
women in Swiss attire are absent, the rhododendrons 
blaze forth in close communion with masses of golden 
broom and gorse. Now we are in a Chinese garden, 
with its artificial sheet of water, bell-hung fountain, and 
pagoda, its carved bridges, its quaint groups of tall 
cypresses or yews cut into queer bell-shaped forms crown- 
ing circular terraces, and which, when kept in perfect 
order, was a living picture of garden life in the Celestial 

Most grand palaces and ancestral homes have an old 
time belonging to their history ; but the fair demesne of 
Alton Towers, dating back but half a century, had risen 
up in my childhood with surpassing magnificence. Hun- 
dreds and thousands of pounds had been lavished upon 
it. Silver and gold and precious stones, the most elabo- 
rately perfected works of man embellished it. The castle 
and grounds formed a miracle of art and beauty, destined, 
it seemed, to last until time should be no more. The 
great Catholic family to whom it belonged seemed to 
promise equal durability. Strange vicissitudes had, how- 
ever, occurred. Fierce winds of adversity had shaken 
to its foundations the ancient house of Shrewsbury ; all 
its honours were stripped and scattered abroad. The 
seventeenth Earl had died unmarried, on August 10, 

1857-66.] WEST HILL LODGE. 127 

1856. The direct line had thus become extinct. The 
lawyers, like eagles, had gathered round the spoil, and 
great had been the contest, involving not only titles and 
lands, but religion. On June i, 1858, the claim of the 
Protestant Earl Talbot of Ingestre to the Earldom of 
Shrewsbury had been allowed. On June 8, 1859, the 
day previous to our visit to Alton, his right to the 
Shrewsbury estates versus Hope Scott and other Catholics 
had been decided in London. The verdict had not, how- 
ever, reached either the village or castle ; and we found 
doubt, anxiety, and general fear prevailing. 

Passing into a vast court, we noticed on a lofty 
tower the tattered hatchment flapping in the wind. 
We entered, through an arched doorway, the gorgeous 
Catholic chapel, and were led onward by a pale-faced 
young man, with an anxious, depressed countenance, and 
who could not speak without sighs. To him each orna- 
ment of the sacred chapel was, as it were, a bit of his 
own soul. He pointed out the grand pictures, the 
jewelled crucifix, the holy emblazonment of the altar, 
the purport of each gorgeous painted window. Next 
he drew our attention from the rows of kneeling angels, 
from the saints and the Blessed Sacrament enshrined in 
the fair and costly altar, to the grand organ in an 
opposite upper gallery. "To think," said he, "that it 
has been silent all these years." "You love music 
then ? " we answered. " Better than anything else in this 
world," was his reply. 

" But Mass is celebrated here," I remarked, " though 
there is no family." " Only Low Mass," he said, with a 
mournful cadence, "and therefore no music." "Do not 
you yourself play the organ?" we asked. "Yes, when 
I have any one to blow for me. There is a servant who 


MARY HOWITT. [en. iv. 

does so when he can be spared, and a man in the village 
who can come sometimes in an evening. It is a splendid 
organ, with three sets of keys." "Will you not play for 
us?" we asked. He looked at us with his melancholy 
eyes, as if measuring our worthiness; then answered, 
" Yes, I will." 

We left the chapel and ascended two flights of stairs. 
The first landed us on a level with the gilded gallery, in 
which the pious family and their friends of old had 
prayed before their Saviour; the next brought us face 
to face, as it were, with the mighty slumbering soul of 
music, which that sad young man was about to awaken. 
Of course, if he played to us, we must blow, and mount- 
ing upon a low step, first one and then the other worked 
the heavy iron handle which gave breath to the leviathan. 
The next moment after commencing, the lofty chapel, 
from the highest centre of its roof to the lowest level of 
its floor, seemed throbbing and heaving with tempestuous 
swell of the most wonderful melody. Hard work it was 
to blow, yet light indeed for such repayment. Not more 
astonishing than the pulsing, surging torrent of harmony 
which pealed forth into the silence was the total change 
in the young man's being. 

No longer dim-eyed, dreaming, and melancholy, he 
sat there an inspired musician, with flushed and up- 
turned eye. So might a brother of St. Cecilia have 
appeared. First he poured forth a low, mournful sym- 
phony, as if all the surrounding images of angels were 
lamenting the sorrows and humiliation of the Church. 
Anything sadder, grander, more heart-rending, could not 
be conceived. It was as if expression were here given 
to the immense woe which made our Lord weep over 
Jerusalem, and as if the young man felt the long silence 

1857-66.] WEST HILL LODGE. 129 

of the organ, the decadence of the old Catholic line, the 
threatened spoliation of the chapel, and all the uncer- 
tainty of the future were bound up with the sorrow of 
the Divine Master. Then followed another strain ; above 
the lamenting voices of angels was heard the triumph 
of the Eternal Church, which no time, no change could 
overturn ; the jubilant utterance of thousands, and 
tens of thousands, whose garments were washed white 
in the blood of the Lamb, and who came forth from 
great tribulation and suffering, from poverty and con- 
tempt, to be crowned kings, rejoicing for ever and for 

It was a wonderful inspiration. Pearly drops stood 
on the musician's brow. His eyes were uplifted as if he 
gazed into the celestial regions of which he prophesied, 
and a smile of indescribable beauty played round his 
parted lips. Thanks seemed poor payment for this sur- 
passing entertainment. He did not appear to expect 
them. Hastily wiping the keys and closing the organ, 
he walked before us downstairs without a word. I 
wished from my heart that the Catholic heirs might 
come into possession, the old faith and worship be main- 
tained, and he be chosen organist. 

We took the train to Froghall, walked to the rude 
moorland village of Ipstones, and there slept. The 
next morning we proceeded on our way to Apsford, the 
home of my paternal ancestors, and of which we had 
deeds dating back to the time of the third Richard. In 
fact, to visit it was the chief object of this little ex- 
cursion. On we went, through a district which was 
unquestionably moorland half a century earlier; large 
desolate fields enclosed with stone walls, poor land 
covered with marsh ranunculus and cotton-rush. Here 


I30 MARY HO WITT. [CH. iv. 

and there the surface was broken up into high ridges, 
around and upon which were massed, in fantastic con- 
fusion, piles of grey rocks. The sky was grey, and 
melancholy brooded over all, like the spirit of an old 
northern ballad. 

At length we found ourselves at the edge of a deep, 
wide valley, broken up into little round hills, splintered 
with crags and shaggy with brambles, bilberries, and 
birch-trees. A shallow stream slowly tracked its way 
along the bottom of the chaotic valley. Ascending the 
other and much smoother side, we found ourselves in 
the fertile pasture-fields of an old stone-built farmhouse, 
standing, with its out-buildings and barns, among aged 
elm and ash trees. This was Apsford. The farmer's 
wife, in a clean cap with bows of white satin ribbon, 
opened the door, and cheerfully invited us in. It was 
a large room into which we entered, with a bare brick 
floor, yet comfortable and characteristic, with its hand- 
some clock, large cupboard, and broad benches in the 
wide chimney. In the window stood a splendid arum 
in flower, and two or three very fine calceolarias. Of our 
ancestors we could learn nothing. The present farmer 
had bought the place twenty years previously from 
"Mester Cotterill, who bought it from the Squire, and 
beyond this none of their writings went." 

After leaving Apsford we walked many miles along 
the limestone high-road, which, looking backward, we 
could trace like a loosely waving white ribbon bleaching 
in the hot afternoon sunshine ; then wandering into a 
more secluded and verdant district, we reached the slum- 
berous village of Caldon, lying under Caldon Low, the 
highest point of the round, green hills. We were bound 
to a neat grey stone house, the home of George Wollis- 

1857-66.] WEST HILL LODGE. 13 1 

croft, who had been for many years a trusted, confiden- 
tial clerk of my father's. 

In an upstairs sitting-room an old man reposed in an 
arm-chair near the window, which was gay with scarlet 
cactus and white geraniums. He was attired in a large, 
long coat and picturesque wideawake. Invalid habits had 
accustomed him to his hat until it had become a portion 
of himself. The broad brim cast a soft shadow upon 
his handsome countenance and well-chiselled features. 
We had never been in that house before, yet a strange 
feeling came over my mind, as if some time or other, 
in or out of the body, I had been there ; had gone 
up the flight of steps into the small, pleasant parlour ; 
had seen the old patriarch in his tall-backed chair, with 
his little table and big Bible before him. How was it ? 
Whence come these glimpses as of a past experience in 
that which is but now occurring? Whence do they 
come, and what do they indicate ? 

A whole generation had passed since George Wollis- 
croft and I last met. We looked, as it were, over the 
ocean of Time. We talked of many voyagers some 
gone into port successfully, others yet far out at sea, 
driven by storms, and of others who had suffered total 
shipwreck. The sun of peace shone calmly on the old 
pilgrim, the billows broke softly at his feet, his soul 
was surely anchored on the Rock, Christ, and he calmly 
awaited his call to Eternal Rest. 

The shades of night were just beginning to fall as we 
reached the beautiful, prosperous village of Ellastone, 
where we intended to sleep. Here all seemed festive. 
The villagers were standing at the doors of the rose- 
embowered cottages. The church bells were ringing, 
till the very air seemed full of melody and rejoicing. 

I32 MARY HOWITT. [CH. iv. 

"And why are they ringing?" we ask. "The news has 
come from London city that the Earl of Shrewsbury has 

won ! " 

This was not the little Viscount Ingestre of my 
childhood, but his next brother, for he had died 
quite young. 

In October 1859 Anna Mary became the wife of Alaric 
Alfred Watts. By this marriage we gained a most excel- 
lent son ; the ties of intimacy with our old friends, his 
parents, were drawn closer; and we continued to enjoy 
constant personal intercourse with our daughter, for her 
husband settled near us. 

In the spring of 1860 my husband, Margaret, Sister 
Elizabeth for the faithful caretaker of my children had 
become a member of an Anglican sisterhood and I 
stayed at Well House, Niton, just within the fringe of 
beauty and picturesqueness which borders the south-east 
side of the Isle of Wight. 

In our rambles under the clematis-festooned cliff, on 
the rocky, broken meadow-ground, and by the sea-driven 
woods, we were occasionally accompanied by Sydney 
Dobell, who, suffering from rheumatism of the heart, 
had passed the winter in the island. He idolised Nature 
after a microscopic fashion ; hunted amid a million 
primroses for one flower that combined in the hue and 
shape of petals and stem the perfection of seven; rap- 
turously studied the tints of the sparrows' backs, assur- 
ing us no two sparrows were alike ; and descanted on 
the varied shades of grey in the stone walls. Yet even 
this fatiguing minuteness of observation trained the eye 
to perceive the marvellous perfection, beauty, grace, and 
diversity of colour and form in the tiny handiworks of 
the Almighty Creator. 

1857-66.] WEST HILL LODGE. 133 

On Saturday, April 21, having heard from Charlton 
that he was coming down that day to speak with us on 
business, and should walk from Cowes, we met him three 
miles from Niton, on the Newport road. The same 
evening, when going with him to Black Gang, and 
returning by the shore, we were much affected by learn- 
ing his desire shortly to emigrate to New Zealand, as an 
opening had just occurred for his settling with some be- 
loved and highly valued friends of ours in the province of 
Canterbury. The quiet content and delight with which 
his mind rested on the plan showed it to be the occupa- 
tion he yearned after. We had prayerfully to weigh the 
proposal over and over again through the long hours of 
the night before we could accept the idea. By the 
morning his father and I both felt it to be right, and 
that it would be blessed. 

Charlton, we resolved in our minds, was a born natu- 
ralist, and possessed every taste and quality needful for 
a settler in the wilds. As a quaint child, he had made 
the most extraordinary disclosures about his pet bees, 
guinea-pigs, and bantams. At fourteen he had espe- 
cially enjoyed the voyage to Australia, for the sake of 
the whales, the mollemoke he caught, and the little 
fly-catcher, which out at sea had spent one day on 

Notwithstanding his deep human affections, he was 
never alarmed by the solitude of the Bush. He was 
never fatigued, never discouraged the harder the life 
the better. On his return from Australia, with his cus- 
tomary industrious, uncomplaining spirit, he had made 
himself useful, for upwards of five years, in London 
commerce. But indefatigable in his exertions, he was 
silently nourishing the hope of eventually emigrating, 



and had kept himself in training. Besides daily thread- 
ing the grimy, thronged streets on business, he walked 
to and from the City, laboured in the early morning or 
evening hours of summer in his large kitchen-garden ; 
in winter chopped wood, learnt to make his own clothes, 
and never, if he could avoid it, slept in a bed, but on the 
floor, rolled in a blanket or his opossum rug. Yet there 
was no exclusive regard to his own advantage : he offered 
his hard-earned savings to a suddenly embarrassed friend, 
took his fresh vegetables to the old women in the alms- 
houses, restored a poor stray dog daubed scarlet by house- 
painters to its natural colour and self-respect. In short, 
was always helping, in a practical way, his fellow-creatures. 
Thus, as we reviewed his natural, wholesome tastes, his in- 
dustry, self-denial, and steadfastness of purpose, we were 
forced, albeit with a pang, to share his conviction, that it 
was right for him to go. 

In the summer he studied farming in Lincolnshire 
with some kind relatives, who reported him " a desperate 
worker, up at five to milk, never a moment idle, and talk- 
ing to the children in such an amusing manner, that they 
hung about him like burrs." 

He sailed in November 1860, and after arriving at 
Christchurch, encountered equally with our friends un- 
expected difficulties and disappointments. Still affecting 
all primitive modes, and wishful to redeem a neglected 
property in a bay near Lyttelton, he dwelt for some time 
in a slab-hut on the slope of a clearing by a mountain 
torrent; surrounded by a happy family of cats, dogs, 
and bipeds, for he had acquired the Maori faculty of 
calling about him the native birds. He wrote to me 
in December 1861, that, "though he did not express 
much, he thought constantly of us, and liked to imagine 

1857-66.] WEST HILL LODGE. 135 

what we each were about, as he cleared the bush-land, 
set potatoes, and made butter. Altogether it was very 

He was, in fact, enchanted with the sublime mountain 
and forest scenery, and the different varieties of animal 
and vegetable life in New Zealand, the Switzerland of 
the Pacific. It so happened that the solid, hard-working 
qualities he displayed, and his freedom from all colonial 
vices, had been observed by members of the Provincial 
Government, and in August 1862 he received, to his 
surprise, a summons to Government House on important 
business. It was to engage him to command an expe- 
dition to examine the rivers Hurunui and Taramakau, 
in the northern part of the Canterbury province, for the 
purpose of ascertaining whether they contained gold. 
He hesitated to accept the congenial offer, for "what if 
he made a mess of it ? " until urged to do so by clear- 
sighted friends. 

In September he began following up the Hurunui, 
one of the innumerable rivers flowing directly east or 
west from the lofty central chain of Alps which traverses 
the Middle Island from north to south. These streams, 
owing to the great fall into the sea, have a most rapid 
current, which will often sweep away a man, where the 
water is not more than two feet deep. Charlton, there- 
fore, to assist wayfarers, erected flags as signals at all 
passable fords, and huts for shelter along the horse-track, 
which he cut from the head of the river through the 
hitherto undisturbed Bush over a saddle of the central 

He next pursued the Taramakau through dense forest 
to the western beach ; coming upon intimations of gold 
just at the expiration of the three months allotted to the 

I3 6 MARY HO WITT. [CH. iv. 

expedition. With the exception of a fortnight, rain or 
snow had fallen daily, making camping out veiy cold, 
and the men, less inured than their leader to exposure 
and drudgery, refused to exceed the term. The explora- 
tion had, however, been conducted with so much energy 
and perseverance under great difficulties, that on his 
return to Christchurch he was selected as the most fitting 
person to take charge of an expedition to open up 
communication between the Canterbury plains and the 
newly discovered gold and coal district on the west 
coast; especially as the road which he had made led 
more than half-way thither. 

This duty was faithfully performed under constant 
hardships and discouragements. But a few miles re- 
mained to be cut, when, at the end of June 1863, after 
personally rescuing other pioneers and wanderers from 
drowning and starvation in that watery, inhospitable 
forest region, Charlton, with two of his men, went down 
in the deep waters of solitary Lake Brunner; a fatal 
accident which deprived the Government of a valued 
servant, and saddened the hearts of all who knew him. 


" West Hill Lodge, Nov. 16, 1863. It is with a very 
sad heart that I write to you at this time. Dear Mdlle. 
Bremer will have prepared you for the sorrowful news, 
which seems incomprehensible ; and to our grief for his 
loss is added our anxiety for you. But the great Com- 
forter is with you as with us ; and for how very much 
we have to be thankful! Few bereaved families have 
more. Charlton had been instrumental in saving several 
lives, and if there was no human aid near to save him 

1857-66.] WEST HILL LODGE. 137 

when in peril, there were angels' hands to lead him up to 
a higher, safer existence. Thank God that he has been 
given us to love and rejoice in ; that he has done good 
work ; that he has saved life, not taken it ; that he has 
been a pioneer through trackless wastes, opening paths 
for civilisation and peaceful human existence ! There 
is not a spot or stain upon his memory. Publicly and 
privately he has been a true, noble Christian. And is 
it not sweet and lovely to know that his home letters 
were found in his swag on the lake shore. It shows 
how he treasured them ; and then comes the satisfaction 
that we were permitted never to fail him in letters. 

"Your poor father is very much cut up, and looks very 
sad ; yet he feels all these sources of consolation, and 
thanks God for them. In some small degree I was pre- 
pared for the terrible news. Last Saturday the saddest 
sense of bereavement possessed my soul. I was per- 
suaded that we should have news of dearest Charlton's 
departure. I was so distressed that I almost felt unable 
to do my work. But I forcibly put the feeling aside 
as fancy. I could not do it wholly. In the evening, 
looking at the photographs of you, my four dear children, 
my depression increased. I thought how good Charlton 
had always been, and I could not remember one instance 
through his whole life in which he had caused me 
sorrow. This comforted me, and was doubtless given 
to me for consolation. On Monday morning dearest 
Annie came with a letter from your cousin, Edward 
Howitt, bringing the terrible news. In the afternoon 
dear Mrs. Todhunter arrived with all the official papers, 
and a letter from one of the town authorities of Christ- 
church, saying that all would be done to show honour 
to his memory." 

138 MAEY HO WITT. [CH. iv. 

What a mingled skein of sorrow and joy is human 
life ! A month after the crushing intelligence of 
Charlton's sudden removal, at the age of twenty-five, 
reached us from New Zealand, we were cheered by the 
news of our son Alfred's happy prospects in Australia. 
For years we had followed his movements with the 
deepest anxiety; in 1859, as he successfully executed 
an arduous journey to the district of Lake Torrens, 
where, in an arid region of parched deserts, bare, broken, 
flat-topped hills, dry watercourses, and soda-springs, 
whose waters effervesced tartaric acid, he, his men, and 
horses were consumed with thirst ; in 1 860, as he opened 
up for the Victorian Government the fine mountainous 
district of Gippsland, which included the profitable gold- 
field of the Crooked River; and in 1861, when head- 
ing the Government relief party intended to render 
assistance to the missing discoverer, Robert O'Hara 

Here I must pause to remind the reader that Mr. 
Burke, an Irish gentleman, furnished with the best-sup- 
plied exploring expedition which ever issued from a 
colonial capital, had been appointed by Victoria to accom- 
plish the great task of traversing the entire Australian 
continent from south to north. After long suspense, 
news had reached the Victorian Government that, im- 
peded by the very ample outfit and by the dissensions 
and disobedience of his officers and men, Burke had 
from stage to stage dropped behind him, by frag- 
ments, detachments of his men, camels, horses, and sup- 
plies ; and from Cooper's Creek, taking with him an 
under-officer, Wills, and two men, Gray and King, had 
pushed on for the Gulf of Carpentaria, and had not since 
been heard of. 

1857-66.] WEST HILL LODGE. 139 

On September 13, 1861, Alfred and his large party 
came to Burke's depot at Cooper's Creek, and found 
papers buried in the cache, informing them that Burke 
and Wills, after reaching the Gulf of Carpentaria on 
February n, returned on April 22, and were terribly 
disappointed to find themselves (although after date) 
abandoned by those whom they had left in charge of 
the depot. A search, which was immediately com- 
menced for the missing explorers, ended in the dis- 
covery of the sole survivor, King a melancholy object, 
wasted to a shadow, who had been living for upwards 
of two months with a friendly tribe of aborigines. Weak- 
ness, or overjoy at his rescue, made conversation with 
him difficult, but he was at length able to explain the 
course of events. 

Gray, who had been accused of shamming illness by 
his companions, had died of exhaustion on the return 
journey. The impetuous Burke, after reaching Cooper's 
Creek, and when, being without provisions, their strength 
gave way, taking the narrator with him, had made a 
desperate attempt to push on for aid to the cattle -station 
at Mount Hopeless. He left the gentle, submissive 
Wills behind, with a supply of nardoo-seed, which, 
pounded into flour and cooked as porridge, afforded a 
slight nourishment. Burke, succumbing in the effort, 
told King when he was dying to put his pistol in his 
right hand, and leave him unburied as he lay. After 
obeying the injunction, the survivor returned to Wills, 
whom he found a corpse, with the wooden bowl near 
him in which he had prepared his last meal of nardoo ; 
and of which, poor fellow! he had written it was not 
" unpleasant starvation." 



Wills breathed his last in a native hut, erected on a 
sand-bank, and King had carefully covered the remains 
with sand ; but as Alfred discovered that they had been 
disturbed, probably by dogs, he carefully reinterred all 
the bones that could be found, read i Corinthians xv. 
over them, and cut an inscription on an adjacent gum- 
tree. He found Burke' s skeleton in a little hollow, lying 
face upwards in a bed of tall, dead marsh-mallows, and 
shaded by a clump of box-trees ; under it a spoon, and at 
its side the loaded and capped revolver. He consigned 
it to the earth wrapped in the British flag, and cut an 
inscription on a box-tree to indicate the spot. 

We next heard of our son being employed in 1862, by 
command of the Victorian Government, to bring the bones 
of the two ill-fated explorers to Melbourne for public 
interment. He returned with his sacred charge through 
South Australia, and although impeded for many weeks 
by rain and floods, in the summer month of December 
safely reached Adelaide. There he received an enthusi- 
astic welcome from the citizens, and enjoyed the hospi- 
tality of Judge Boothby, the fast friend and political 
ally of my husband, dating from the Nottingham days. 
Under his roof "Howitt the Explorer" felt singularly at 
home ; and learnt to appreciate, during a fortnight of 
public demonstrations, whirl, and excitement, the grace 
and domestic virtues of his future wife. Ministers of 
state and crowding thousands attended the remains of 
Burke and Wills to the strains of the Dead March in 
" Saul," first to the barracks, where they were tempo- 
rarily deposited ; thence to the steamer Havillah, which 
conveyed them to Melbourne. In that city they 
were buried with pomp and solemnity, on January 21, 

1857-66.] WEST HILL LODGE. 141 

It was the joyful intelligence of Alfred's approaching 
union with Maria Boothby, and his settled post under 
Government in his favourite district, Gippsland, which 
had, the following December, so much soothed us in our 
bereavement. A happy and most useful future seemed 
in store for him ; and this promise, under a merciful 
Providence, has hitherto been fulfilled.* 1 

A few passages taken from the voluminous family corre- 
spondence will now sufficiently indicate the manner of 
life led at West Hill Lodge. 


" May 23, 1 86 1. On Sunday your father and I went to 
the Batemans', of Clapton, as a farewell visit to them at 
The Elms. Then, when they were gone to chapel, we went 
to the Freiligraths', and had a very nice call. I am quite 
charmed with Katchen, now in her sixteenth year, a 
sweet, artless, lively young creature, a blending of the 
girl and the woman. I want to make her acquainted 
with your cousins ; they would be delighted to know 

" On Monday your father, Annie, Alfred, and I went 
to a very grand evening ' At Home ' at Mrs. Milner 
Gibson's. Such a crush, such a jam of carriages in 
the street, such a crowd on the pavement to see the 
arrivals ! Everybody, almost, was there. Gentlemen in 
ribbons and stars ; ladies blazing in diamonds, in silks 
that would stand on end, and gossamer dresses like 

* " Le jeune Howitt, I'heureux explorateur" as the Count de Beauvoir calls 
him in his work on Australia, has since that period been successfully employed 
in other public undertakings. He has, in connection with his duties as Gold 
Warden in Gippsland, devoted much attention to geology. He has likewise 
published with a friend, the Rev. Lorimer Fison, a learned work on some of 
the Australian aborigines, entitled " Kamilaroi and Kurnai." 



spider-webs ; ambassadors white and black. Yes, black ; 
for he of Hayti was there. We saw actually almost 
everybody we knew the Dickenses, Thackeray, literary 
people without end, and lots of Members of Parliament. 

The M s were there ; and when I saw Emily, with the 

same face that I had known so well of old, I felt, not- 
withstanding her estrangement from us, a great kindness 
spring up in my heart towards her. I went to her and 
offered her my hand ; but with concentrated scorn and 
contempt she turned away, saying, 'No, she would not 
shake hands with me.' I have sometimes thought, when 
praying ' Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those 
who trespass against us,' that I never had such to forgive, 
for all are kind and good to me. I walked quietly away, 
and thought that here at least was one to be forgiven.* 
In writing don't speak of this, because it would be very 
painful to your father to know what had occurred." 


"June 10, 1 86 1. Yesterday Adelaide Procter was with 
us for the afternoon and evening the second time that she 
has been to see us lately. I like her as much as I like her 

poetry. I mean to bring her and Julia L acquainted, 

for they are quite sisters. Miss Procter believes all that 
is most holy and wonderful in spiritualism, for all fervent 
Catholics more or less experience the same. This has 
brought us very near in the spirit. Many of the most won- 
derful teachings which I have received spiritually, I find, 
are received by the most introverted Catholics. Is it not 
interesting ? She and Julia are made to know each other." 

* The lady, who was then labouring under a misapprehension, later evinced 
a spirit of conciliation. 

1857-66.] WEST HILL LODGE. 143 


"June 20, 1 86 1. We went to a great pre-Raphaelite 
crush on Friday evening. Their pictures covered the 
walls, and their sketch-books the tables. The uncrino- 
lined women, with their wild hair, which was very beau- 
tiful, their picturesque dresses and rich colouring, looked 
like figures out of the pre-Raphaelite pictures. It was 
very curious. I think of it now like some hot, struggling 
dream, in which the gorgeous and fantastic forms moved 
slowly about. They seemed all so young and kindred to 
each other, that I felt as if I were out of my place, though 
I admired them all, and really enjoyed looking over Dante 
Rossetti's huge sketch-book. 

" On Saturday afternoon the Hon. Mrs. C came to 

inquire of me about spiritualism as we understand it, 
because from the religious point of view she can alone 
accept it. She stayed about three hours. She is seek- 
ing for an inner life, for a closer communion with the 
Saviour, than she finds in the outward forms of the 
Church of England. She begged that the Marchioness 
of Londonderry might come also, and hear what we had 
to say on the same important subject. It was arranged, 
therefore, that she was to come on Tuesday, I thinking 
that if it was our dear Lord's will that these great ladies 
came to such a poor little fountain as myself, He would 
supply the water, and therefore I left all in His hands. 

" On Tuesday I was so tired that I could do nothing 
but read Mdlle. Bremer's work preparatory to translation. 
In the afternoon Lady Londonderry came. I had to tell 
her of our higher experiences and teachings, all of which 
seemed to interest her. Her eyes filled with tears as 
she looked at Annie's drawings. She knew her 'Art 
Student,' and was evidently a lover of art. She stayed 



about two hours. She was leaving for the Continent 
the next day, but asked to be allowed, on her return, 
to come again, and also that a friend of hers, a priest, 
might come and have some talk with us." 

"July 10, 1 86 1. Annie and Adelaide Procter had a 
very pleasant and most interesting visit, the day before 
yesterday, to Julia at Hampton Court. Julia was ill, 
and suffering, but she and Adelaide made in the spirit 
a wonderful compact of love and unity. I fancy great 
good will grow out of this visit. 

"Adelaide Procter gave Annie many beautiful and touch- 
ing particulars of Mrs. Browning's death. She did not 
appear to suffer much, and became quite conscious before 
her departure. She spoke to her husband very calmly 
of the beautiful land to which she was going, and which 
she already saw. Everybody is especially sorry for her 
little boy, who has never been away from his mother's 
side. I cannot myself doubt but that her loving spirit 
will be permitted to watch over him, now with even 
greater yearning and affection than before." 


" Penmaenmawr, Oct. 6, 1861. Yesterday was a busy 
day to me, in this way. I had been very anxious to write 
the poem I had promised Adelaide Procter for the ' Vic- 
toria Eegia.' I was afraid I could not manage it. How- 
ever, in the night my mind was filled with a subject 
which came veiy clearly, and yesterday I wrote it. I 
hope it is good, for I have a great desire to stand well 
amongst the women." 

" Oct. 13, 1 86 1. We have had a wild, bright autumnal 

1857-66.] WEST HILL LODGE. 145 

day, clouds scudding over the mountains, the tide very 
high, the sea the colour of bottle-glass, ruffled and 
crested over with spray. I have such pleasure in watch- 
ing the features of the sea. Your father is reading at this 
moment ' The Co-operator,' a year's volume of the paper 
published by the co-operative people in Manchester, who 
seem to be doing wonders. They have now a capital of 
two millions, a cotton-factory, shops, and mills, and are 
really making great headway. It is a fine movement, 
and he is, of course, extremely interested in it, because 
he was one of the earliest advocates of co-operation. 
He now seems to see a remedy for a great many evils 
under which the age and the race are growing. It 
is a wonderful step forward in the right direction. I 
expect, now that the ' History of England ' is just com- 
pleting,''" and your father more at leisure, that he will 
work for it. I so thoroughly believe that the smallest 
events are ordered by a Higher Power, if we will only 
let It be our guide, that I open my mind to the idea." 

" Farnsfield, Nov. 23, 1861. My dearest daughters, 
we are, you see, at your aunt Elizabeth's, where we 
have had a most kind reception. It was regular winter 
at Heanor; from the windows a wide white landscape 
and the bright sun shining golden on the tops of the 
bare and the half-leafless trees. Your uncle Francis and 

* William Howitt had been engaged for several years by John Cassell on a 
" History of England." Lord Brougham, at the opening of the Social Science 
Congress at Glasgow, and in reference to the paper-duty, said, "John Cassell's 
'History of England,' in penny numbers, circulates 100,000 weekly." He 
also characterised it as a history " in which the soundest principles are laid 
down in almost every instance. The interests of virtue, of liberty, and of 
peace, the best interests of mankind, are faithfully and ably maintained 

VOL. II. K. 

I4 6 MARY HO WITT. [en. iv. 

aunt Maria gave us a most cordial welcome ; and we 
went to meeting with the dear people." 


"Feb. 19, 1862. Tell us everything about yourself. 
You do not, or you would not have left us to hear of 
your heroic conduct at the Kays' in the fire, when you 
rushed in, with a wet blanket over your head, and saved 
all that was saved. Mr. Joseph Kay told us of it at 
Miss Coutts's the other evening. And Sir James Kay 
Shuttleworth was so full of you and your noble con- 
duct, and steady, hard-working, trustworthy character, 
that he wished it were possible for you to join his 

"For ourselves, dear Charlton, we are a solitary old 
couple just now. Meggie is at Penmaenmawr, and is 
gathering together the material for a three-volume story 
which I have engaged to write for Mr. Blackett. Your 
father is still busy on his ' Lex Magna ' or the ' Great 
Law' of the supernatural which pervades the universe. 
The subject becomes to him more and more interesting 
the further he advances. I am just now commencing 
the translation of another work of Mdlle. Bremer's, 
Greece and its islands. Last year I translated her 
' Holy Land.' " 


"March 12, 1862. We spent recently a very pleasant 
evening at Dr. Blatherwick's, with our neighbours, Lord 
and Lady DufFerin. You know who they are. He is 
one of the Queen's equerries, and a great favourite at 
Court ; and she his mother is the sister of the Hon. 
Mrs. Norton and the Duchess of Somerset, who was the 

1857-66.] WEST HILL LODGE. 147 

Queen of Love and Beauty at the Eglinton tournament. 
They are most agreeable, with all that charming ease 
and grace of manner which belongs to their class. She 
was very merry about their gipsying frolic on Bookham 
Common, when they encountered your father, and got 
put into a book. She says that Lord DufTerin, who was 
then about eleven, was dressed up as a little gipsy girl ; 
but your father did not see him. She persists that he 
gave them eighteenpence. He says ' no ; ' but she says 
'yes.' So how it was I cannot tell. Lord Dufferin 
interested us very much by telling us about his travels 
in Nubia and amongst the Druses. Still more so about 
the discoveries of his friend Cyril Graham, who has come 
upon the most wonderful cities in some remote deserts 
on this side the Euphrates. They are so immensely old 
that nothing is known of them, and they are shunned 
by the Arabs as haunted. Some Arabs told him about 
a vast city called ' The White City,' built by the 
daughter of the King of the Panthers. After much 
persuasion he induced some Arabs to accompany him 
to the place. Far, far away, many days' journey in the 
desert, they came upon what, in the distance, looked like 
a low range of white hills. It was the walls of 'The 
White City.' All was apparently in perfect preservation. 
The gates in the walls stood half-open huge white stone 
gates on their ponderous stone hinges, as if the inhabitants 
had only just passed out of them. It was the same with 
the substantial white stone houses. But there have been 
no dwellers there for thousands of years. 

" One of the most beautiful features in Lord Dufferin's 
character is his attachment to his mother. He has un- 
bounded admiration for her, and she, a lovely, most gifted 
woman, has the same for him. He told us that when he 

, 4 8 MARY HOWITT. [en. iv. 

came of age his mother wrote him some very beautiful 
lines ; and as he wished to show his love and respect for 
her, and in order to do honour to these verses, he deter- 
mined to build a tower on his Irish estate to contain 
them. Accordingly he built at Clandeboye what he calls 
'Helen's Tower.' To make it still more worthy, he 
asked Tennyson to give him an inscription for it. Tenny- 
son did so by return of post. He repeated these lines to 
us. I am sorry I can remember but four of them, which, 
if not literally these, are very like them : 

' Helen's Tower, here I stand, 
Dominant over sea and land. 
Son's love built me, and I hold 
Mother's love engraved in gold.' 

" Then it goes on to say that the Tower, being only 
' stone and lime,' would perish by the hand of Time, but 
mother's love was immortal. 

" Lady Dufferin and Lady Jane Hay were here the 
other afternoon. After their call, your father met them 
again in Millfield Lane, where some rude lads had been 
throwing stones, not only at each other, but at them. 
He could not leave them unprotected amongst the young 
savages, and at their request escorted them home." 


" Pen-y-Bryn, Aber, May 20, 1862. Please let our 
maids fetch my Bible from my seat in the Congregational 
Chapel it is an old one that I greatly value ; and 
remember me very kindly to them, and say I hope they 
go regularly to chapel. 

" I shall think of you most lovingly to-morrow, when 
you have your visitor. It will be made agreeable to you, 
I believe, and all the sting and bitterness be removed. 

1857-66.] WEST HILL LODGE. 149 

Be very quiet ; let your guest talk, resting with a prayer 
in your soul for God's holy peace. We are reading of an 
evening a very excellent essay on the ' Miracles of Ecclesi- 
astical History of the Early Ages,' by John Henry Newman. 
I am sure these Roman Catholics are very near the truth. 
Ask Adelaide Procter if she knows it, and do give my 
love to her." 


" Pen-y-Bryn, May 23, 1862. Here we are again in 
Wales ; and I shall get Annie, who is coming to us, to 
make a sketch of this nice old place for you. 

"I am glad to tell you that Miss Meteyard, who always 
behaves so nobly to her relatives, is getting on in the 
world. It is really most pleasant to think of her enjoy- 
ing a little sunshine after all the shadows which she 
has had in her life. We have been instrumental in her 
obtaining ^1000 for her biography of Wedgwood. The 
MSS. from which she is writing it have been lent her 
by a gentleman of Liverpool, who met with them in a 
very curious way. They had been sold as refuse-paper 
to a marine store-dealer, who had an attic full of them. 
He could do nothing with a great portion of them, as 
they were not suited to sell to butter-and-cheese-men. 
They proved to be the private papers, ledgers, and 
journals of Wedgwood, the great genius of the Stafford- 
shire Potteries. They were invaluable, yet to the marine 
store-dealer they were rubbish, and he was glad to part 
with them for a small sum." 

Pen-y-Bryn, which we were occupying during the early 
summer of 1862, was a very old, dilapidated, but pictur- 
esque, ivy-covered farm-house, standing on a pleasant knoll, 


[CH. IV. 

facing the Menai Straits and Anglesey, with wooded 
mountains at the back. 

Our landlord, Mr. Jones, was a tenant farmer, and a 
widower with a grown-up son. Winifred, their middle- 
aged cook and housekeeper, was good-tempered, loqua- 
cious, Welsh to the backbone, with bright, brown eyes, 
a keen intellect, and very communicative. Until Mrs. 


Jones's death, she told us, she had been housekeeper at 
the Castle Hotel, Conway, where she left two hundred 
tongues in pickle. By the bye, it was a mistake to call 
Pen-y-Bryn the identical palace of the princes of North 
Wales, that had stood on the round green mound by the 
village ; or to say that from the topmost window, now 
partially closed, in the old tower, Llewellyn had shown 
his faithless wife the body of her Black William hanging 

1857-66.] WEST HILL LODGE. 151 

on a tree in the garden. No ; the present house was 
built in the French style by one of King Henry VIII. 's 
agents, who had dealings with France. 

Winifred was an industrious reader of her weekly 
Welsh paper, and a long way ahead of us in politics. 
The revised code of education had just come into opera- 
tion, and she feared its effect on the Welsh schools. " In 
a debate in Parliament," she remarked, " the member for 
Bangor, shame on him ! had set light by the Welsh 
tongue, but her paper had given him an excellent dress- 
ing. Then there was ' Essays and Reviews,' one of the 
seven writers being the Rev. Dr. Rowland. Williams, a 
Welshman. She wondered would he be suspended. She 
too found the Bible admitted of great differences of in- 
terpretation ; she nevertheless stuck by the miracles, but 
did not push the supernatural so far as to believe in 
apparitions. King David had settled the point when he 
said he should go to his dead child, but it would not 
return to him. Still less did she pin her faith on the 
knockers who were said to be heard in these parts wher- 
ever treasure was hidden. She was, however, no sceptic, 
as every Welsh reader might see in her printed essay on 
' Time, the Creature of God.' " 

Returning on this occasion to Aber, after an absence 
of four years, we perceived that if the Welsh are capable 
of long resentment, they are equally so of long gratitude. 
As we were desirous of hiring a horse, two young men 
named Roberts begged us " to accept the use of their 
pony for some days, out of respect." Asking an explana- 
tion, the brothers said, " They would take no money for 
several excursions, because we had earlier shown sympathy 
when their cow died, and had been in the habit of talk- 
ing to their old mother." I could cite other instances 


corroborating an assertion made to us by Dr. Norton, 
an experienced English physician settled in Wales, that 
" the Welsh are the most grateful people he ever knew." 

An Englishman of high position, who did much to 
promote the progress of agriculture on his Welsh estates, 
and to infuse into the kindly but lymphatic race a spirit 
of improvement, good management, and general alertness, 
had lately bought considerable property at Aber, includ- 
ing Pen-y-Bryn. He was not aware so his new tenantry 
believed of the head gamekeeper encouraging an enor- 
mous increase of rabbits, which ate up the pasturage, 
until the cattle had to be driven from field to field in 
search of grazing ground. The rabbits were the keeper's 
perquisite, and he meant to kill them off for market 
before his master came for pheasant-shooting in autumn. 
From the end of June the cruel system began of catching 
the rabbits in toothed traps, which, after being set, were 
never visited under twenty-four hours. 

Mr. Jones and his son, as tenants, were afraid to meddle 
with the proceedings of the keepers, although the latter 
set five traps, to the great danger of the shepherd-dogs 
and lambs in the paddock behind Pen-y-Bryn, where not 
a rabbit-hole was found. Nor was it long before we were 
suddenly awakened one midnight by the terrible howls of 
a dog, evidently caught in one of these traps. It proving 
impossible to rouse the Joneses, William threw on part 
of his dress, ran up the field, and released the victim, 
a handsome shepherd-dog and general favourite, which, 
though recognising its deliverer, snapped in its agony 
and bit his arm. 

This misadventure brought matters to a climax so far 
as our stay at Aber was concerned, more especially as 
two of the under-keepers called on my husband to desire 

1857-66.] WEST HILL LODGE. 153 

him to keep up his own little dog Prin, a creature 
ignorant of game. He could not stand this injustice, 
so we quitted picturesque Pen-y-Bryn, which, if the truth 
must be told, was much infested with rats, and when 
shut up at night, considerably musty, fusty, and dry- 

We went back, therefore, to another favourite haunt, 
Penmaenmawr, and took up our quarters in Plas Isa, a 
new house, loftily situated, where we had the unmarried 
sister of Charles Darwin for fellow-lodger, and where we 
enjoyed a glorious view of open sea, the fine promontory 
of the Great Orme's Head, rocky Puffin Island, and the 
flat, wooded shore of Anglesey. 

Our stay at Pen-y-Bryn arid the incident with the trap 
had the beneficial result of drawing public attention to 
the cruel system of trapping carried on in game-preserves. 
My husband, who had its abolition much at heart, wrote 
eloquent letters on the subject in the Morning Star, 
which was the principal cause, as stated by the Secretary, 
that the Committee of the Royal Society for the Preven- 
tion of Cruelty to Animals, offered a reward of ^50 for 
an improved vermin-trap to supersede the cruel ones 
generally used. One hundred models were sent in, and 
the Committee invited him to give them, with other 
competent judges, the advantage of his experience in the 
examination of these traps. 

In this inspection, on May 24, 1864, he saw a great 
number of admirable inventions, but none likely to super- 
sede the old rat-trap in use by millions all over Great 
Britain and Wales. Most of the inventions, such as the 
coffer-trap, the pit-fall, and weight-fall, had been in exist- 
ence in some form for centuries, but none could compete 
in cheapness, lightness, and efficacy with the old rat-trap, 



which, easily set, fixed its steel fangs in the leg of any 
vermin, from a fox to a mouse, and though causing excru- 
ciating agony, preserved it alive. The publicity given by 
my husband's knowledge of the rabbit cruelties occasioned 
many humane and influential individuals, amongst them 
notably Charles Darwin and his wife, to work vigorously 
for the abolition of the system of torture, and on various 
estates it was promptly prohibited. 

A glance at some of the correspondence of this period 
must bring this long chapter to a close. 


" West Hill Lodge, Oct. 29, 1863. Thank you for 
your last kind note, with its news about yourselves 
and dear old Penmaenmawr, of which I am so fond. 
Once more I have begun my work " (the novel laid in the 
neighbourhood of Penmaenmawr, and called " The Cost 
of Caergwyn "), " and I hope now, with God's blessing, to 
bring it to a speedy conclusion. But I still want your 
help, and am more obliged to you than I can tell for the 
aid you have given. I wrote to Mr. Newman Hall, when 
he was at Llandudno, to ask Mr. Parry some questions 
for me, as I think he told you ; and, after all, it seems I 
was indebted to you for some of the answers. Please tell 
me how the announcements of preachers at the chapels 
are headed. I need this in Welsh in the true form. I 
have seen such placards, which seem to me to begin, ' Y 
Parch Silas Richards,' and so on. 

"The regular autumn storms appear to be commencing 
with us. We have had for the last two days a wild west 
wind, which has howled and raved round the house and 
down the chimneys like a regular fury. How grand it 
must be with you ! I have been living in your country, 

1 85 7-66. J WEST HILL LODGE. 155 

however, all this summer ; I have had all seasons in it ; 
and very pleasant it has been to me." 


" Scalands-Gate, April 9, 1864. On Tuesday it was 
bitterly cold, with sleet, but I had written to Mrs. Burgess, 
the wife of the gamekeeper in Barbara's house, to say we 
were coming ; and so come I did with Sarah. She was 
very melancholy, never having been above four miles away 
from home in her life. However, she got here safely, and 
wrote word to Cook that the country is a garden of prim- 

" On the platform I met dear Bessie Parkes. She was 
going to be at 'Brownes.' She was accompanied by the 
good old nurse who had attended her night and day 
through her illness. This illness was caused by her sorrow 
at Adelaide Procter's death. All that she had done for 
months was with reference to this beloved friend. She 
went here and there to gather up information to impart 
to Adelaide, whose great solace in her long illness was 
being talked to. She could listen for hours, and in this 
manner forget her pain. She did not entirely keep her 
bed until a day or two before her departure. She sat 
up, wearing a pale blue jacket, with her hair beautifully 
arranged under a little cap. She looked scarcely changed 
by her sufferings ; and a very short time before her 
decease she received from the biographer of the Cure 
d'Ars a little souvenir of the holy priest, with which she 
was enchanted. 

" When we reached Robertsbridge station Bessie ex- 
claimed, ' How do you do, Burgess, and how are your wife 
and the babies ? ' giving the gamekeeper her hand. Then 
she turned and greeted a smiling little old man with 

156 MARY HO WITT. [CH. iv. 

white hair. He was her attendant from Brownes, whilst 
Burgess had come for me. Yesterday I again met Burgess 
and a man wheeling a barrow-load of heath. I joined 
him, and walked back with him through the plantations. 
' I have been to fetch the heath Madame wished for,' he 
said. I asked how far they had been. ' Half a mile farther 
than you met us. I could have got it much nearer, but 
Madame had some liking for that place ; and I am always 
glad to please her in everything.' So Burgess and I 
walked through the woods, and talked about trapping 
rabbits and ' varmint.' I am glad to say he generally 
takes rabbits by the snare ' which catches them round 
the neck, you see.' 

" Barbara has built her cottage upon the plan of the old 
Sussex houses, in a style which must have prevailed at 
the time of the Conquest. It is very quaint,- and very 
comfortable at the same time." 


" Scalands-Gate, April 19, 1864. I have joined Mary 
amongst the South Saxons awhile, to smell the primroses 
on the banks and in the woods. We are occupying for 
a few weeks the cottage of Madame Bodichon Barbara 
Leigh Smith that was. She and her husband spend the 
winters in Algiers, and do not return till towards the end 
of May. The country is a hop-growing one, and is 
pleasantly diversified with hill, dale, and woods, which are 
now chiefly kept for growing hop-poles, and many of them 
have very little timber in them, but the walks through them 
are most pleasant. This house stands on a hill in the 
midst of one of these woods. In the openings are various 
kennels of pointers, retrievers, and beagles, which are used 
in the shooting season by Madame Bodichon's brothers 

1857-66. J WEST HILL LODGE. 157 

and brother-in-law, General Ludlow. They give us plenty 
of dog-music. 

" The district is a thoroughly farming one, and has a 
queer sort of dialect. The peasants call daffodils Lent- 
lilies, and wood-anemones snowdrops. Wood-peckers 
they call Gellie-birds, and the blind-worm the deaf-adder. 
This property is three miles long, so we can range about 
without fear of trespass. We have had the pleasure of 
Annie's company last week. She knows the neighbour- 
hood, having been here once or twice before with Barbara 
in their maiden days. Bessie Parkes, too, is making a 
little sojourn at a house belonging to Ben Smith, just a 
nice walk from us over the fields." 


" Scalands-Gate, May 8, 1864. Mrs. Todhunter has 
been with us, and I hoped she enjoyed the little visit as 
much as we did her society. The whole landscape is now 
diversified with all that sweet variety of vernal greens, 
which to my taste is more beautiful than the richer 
tints of autumn. Then the wonderful beauty of the earth 
covered with blue-bells, the budding woods, and above 
them the blue sky ; only the earth is bluer than sky. How 
lovely the woods are ! always reminding me of Dante Ros- 
setti's colouring. The nightingales, blackbirds, thrushes, 
the shouting cuckoos, and little mole-crickets keep up an 
everlasting singing and chorusing in the air. I hear at this 
moment a loud-throated nightingale warbling forth from an 
amber-tinted oak-tree that rises from a sea of young birches, 
chestnuts, and horn-beams. Oh ! it is delicious." 


"May 12, 1864. I have been to-day to hunt out the 

i 5 8 MARY HOWITT. [en. iv. 

ruins of Robertsbridge Abbey, and am quite pleased with 
what I have seen. There are some fine remains built 
into a farm-house. The grand old crypt of the Abbey is 
the dairy and larder, now filled with a wonderful display 
of the good things of this earth. The garden was full of 
flowers, with rockeries made of old carved capitals, corbels, 
and saints' heads. A deaf and dumb gardener was mow- 
ing the grass with a machine. I thought of you on my 
walk, and wished you had been with me, for you would 
have enjoyed it, as I did. We shall be positively here till 
the 1 8th." 

Aldborough, especially interesting as the home of the 
poet Crabbe, was visited in the autumn of the same year. 
Pitchcombe, in Gloucestershire, as well as France, Switzer- 
land, and Heidelberg, were resorted to in 1865. In the 
following year, after staying at Penmaenmawr, we removed 
from West Hill Lodge, intending to settle once more in 
our favourite old neighbourhood of Esher, for we were still 
enamoured of its commons and fir woods. 

Until our new home could be ready for us, we took 
a furnished house in the row of villas built on the site 
of our former picturesque residence, The Hermitage. 
Here we remained from November 1866 to the spring 
of 1867. At this time my husband was engaged on his 
topographical work, " The Northern Heights of London," 
descriptive of Hampstead, Highgate, and Islington. 



WE rented in the autumn of 1866 the cottage of our 
friend Sister Elizabeth, in the parish of Claygate, near 
Esher. We altered and somewhat enlarged it, laid out 
an extensive flower and fruit garden, called our new 
home The Orchard, and imagined we should never rove 

Fleeming Jenkin, the late lamented electrician, and 
his wife, two remarkably bright, clever young people, 
were amongst our fellow-parishioners ; and universal re- 
grets were mingled with warm congratulations when his 
acceptance of a professorship at Edinburgh deprived the 
neighbourhood of their society. 

At first my husband and I luxuriated in our large 
garden. We trained our plants with the greatest love, 
and under the healthy influence of mother-earth had 
neither of us felt better for years. Seeker, the gardener, 
though a crotchety old man, was an admirable coadjutor, 
mowing and sweeping the smooth lawn with untiring 
diligence. He implied great satisfaction at all the young 
birds being spared in the nests ; and mentioned how, 
when one of his hens deserted some ducks' eggs, he 
hatched them himself in his bosom. Lord Bacon says : 
" God Almighty first planted a garden, and indeed it is 
the purest of human pleasures ; " and we believed him. 

160 MARY HOWITT. [CH. v. 

But weeks and months passed on, and we grew less satis- 
fied. Perhaps after all it was a mistake to treat tenderly 
all those birds who swarmed in the big chestnut-tree by 
our chamber window, chattered from daybreak, demolished 
the peas wholesale, and grew so audaciously familiar that, 
to quote Seeker, "he saw two wrens brow-beating the 
kitten." Perhaps the manual labour, the burden of the 
garden, and other petty vexations troubled us because 
we were growing old. 

The manner in which our life in The Orchard passed 
is indicated in the following passages from letters : 

j j 4 . . .' ' t ! 


"Feb. 21, 1867. Alas! now, for me, I suppose that 
at the end of next week my dear people will have 
migrated to Esher. Glad shall I be for them, but most 
sorry for ourselves, as the gap they leave behind them 
will be dreadful. It is pleasant, however, to think of 
them watching the opening of spring in their lovely 
neighbourhood, and of all the walks they will have 
through the old scenes. I do not like the situation as 
well as West End Cottage, which is on the other side 
of Esher ; but their home will be very picturesque and 
elegant. It is within a short walk of the gates of 
Claremont Park." 


" The Orchard, Aug. 25, 1867. We are curious to 
know how you passed your first Sunday in Scotland. 
Sabbaths I should rather dread there, for my own part. 
Yesterday Sunday was a beautiful sunny morning. 
The dear Pater went to the station to meet Prince George 
of Solms, who duly made his appearance by the 9.30 




train. Mother and I, as we sat in her room, saw them 
walking across the green. We all of us walked about the 
garden and talked. Then we sat in the drawing-room 
and talked. After four o'clock we went to Claremont, 
which Prince George was especially anxious to see, that 
he might describe it minutely to his Queen, who dreads 
the thought of residing at Claremont, from the belief 
that she should die there. We walked all through those 


lovely poetical grounds, sat on the mound beneath the 
observatory, and by the lake-side. All looked most beauti- 
ful far more so than Prince George expected. Yet he 
felt a great melancholy about the place. It had to him 
a funereal character. Certainly it was full of a solemn 
poetry something very peculiar, especially about what I 
call the ' Enchanted Island.' 




"On Saturday a very interesting Swedish gentleman 
was here. His uncle was chamberlain to the King of 
Sweden. He had himself, being very pious, joined the 
Ldsdre sect, and found many worldly disadvantages accrue 
therefrom. He had therefore gone to the United States, 
entered the army, and fought on the Northern side in the 
civil war ; serving for six months in the same division as 
the Orleans princes. They were very friendly with him, 
and invited him to visit them at Claremont. He was in 
ten battles, and was severely wounded in the leg, which 
gives him a slight halt. He became acquainted with 
members of the Society of Friends in America, and after 
the war, had become so thoroughly convinced of their 
principles, that now nothing would induce him to raise 
his hand against any man, not even to save his life. 
He has come to England to settle among Friends. He 
journeyed down to Esher to call on the French princes, 
but found, to his surprise, that they had quitted Clare- 
mont. Then he came on to us." 


"Sept. 2, 1867. We find little Eaphael Weldon one 
of the best of children. Seeker is mowing the grass at 
this moment, and he, harnessed like a pony, is drawing 
the machine. The Pater calls him ' Young Meritorious,' 
and he is quite pleased with his name." 

" Sept. 3. Yesterday afternoon we took Kaphael 
with us to call on the Hertslets ; and in coming back 
along the lane we met two gentlemen, one of whom 
claimed us as an acquaintance. It was no other than 
Josiah Gilbert, the son of one of the authoresses of 
' Original Poems,' &c., and nephew of Isaac Taylor. He 

1866-70.] THE ORCHARD. 163 

belonged to our Nottingham days. He is, you may 
remember, an artist. He is a very superior man, is a 
member of the Alpine Club, and has, in conjunction with 
his friend, G. C. Churchill, explored a new and most 
interesting mountain district called the Dolomite Country, 
and which now, through their graphic descriptions, will 
doubtless speedily become the haunt of other English- 
men. He and his companion, Mr. Bevan, came back 
with us to tea." 

"Sept. 5. My dear niece Mary and my great-niece 
little Agnes are now with us. The latter and Raphael 
are the best of friends, and their ringing laughter comes 
to us in the garden, through the open window, as they 
sit in the dining-room painting the Stars and Stripes and 
the Union Jack for each other's amusement. 

" Agnes is a little free-spoken American, full of fun and 
dash. Raphael is more silent and contemplative. They 
sit painting pictures together for hours at a time. I feel 
quite proud of them both." 

" Sept. 9. I am going to take the children this 
afternoon to Claremont. I shall sit and read Good 
Words while they play about. 

" Evening. We have been to Claremont, and were 
caught in down-pouring rain. It began to rain coming 
back just as we were passing the house. We hastened 
to the lodge, where the gatekeeper lent us his umbrella. 
Great fun it was to the children. They laughed all the 
way home, and seem none the worse for the wetting." 

"Sept. 21. I had, on Saturday a letter from the 
Secretary of the Religious Tract Society, enclosing a 
tract entitled 'A Sermon on the Welsh Hills.' It was 



the sermon I made Christmas Evans preach in the ' Cost 
of Caergwyn.' It had been submitted in manuscript to 
the Committee, much liked by them, and ordered to be 
printed. The author being written to, it came out that it 
was taken from a novel of mine ; and a copy of the book 
being obtained, was found there almost verbatim. An 
aged friend of the Secretary, who had heard Christmas 
Evans preach forty years ago, was able to vouch for the 
genuineness of the sermon, but instead of his rewriting 
it from memory, the Society preferred printing, with per- 
mission, my version. 

"Of course, I have given permission for them to use the 
sermon, which they say will evidence the Saviour's love 
to thousands whom my book will never reach. I suppose 
the aged friend believes he actually heard this sermon of 
my invention preached by Christmas Evans. It is odd 
if I should unwittingly have imagined circumstances that 
actually occurred more than half a century ago." 


" Oct. 15, 1867. It is several months now since we 
heard that you were ill. It made us very sad, for we 
had always connected the idea of perfect health and 
power with you, so that we could not reconcile ourselves 
to the thought of your being an invalid. We were all 
in the confusion of our removal into the country, with 
workmen in almost every room, the whole garden to 
make, and everything to do, so that I had hardly a 
minute to spare for anything but the demand of the 
moment ; therefore I did not write to express the sorrow 
and anxiety which we felt. Then we heard you were 
better, and we supposed quite well and returned to Algeria. 
Now, on the contrary, we find you are still delicate and 

1866-70.] THE ORCHARD. 165 

in England ; therefore I at once send you this to express 
our sincere sympathy, and beg of you to take such care 
and to use such means as are necessary to restore you to 

"Again, I say, it makes me very sad, for it is another 
instance in which the noble-minded, energetic woman 
yields under the force of that mental and physical exertion 
which her better and larger knowledge and awakened 
activity have made, as it were, a necessity of her being. 
That my dear Annie broke down under the strain upon 
her naturally delicate frame did not seem to me extra- 
ordinary ; but that you, dear Barbara, should now be 
ordered into a state of rest does seem very sorrowful ; and 
my best and most affectionate desire is, that you will be 
wise and rest, and thus regain your blessed health, and 
with it all your glorious natural powers and full ability 
again to work. 

"You can imagine how surprised we were to hear of 
dear Bessie Parkes's marriage with M. Belloc. None 
wish her happiness more sincerely than I do, for she is a 
fine creature, and deserves it as much as any." 


" Oct. 29, 1867. The leaves are falling, the flowers 
fading, and every now and then such lovely days occur- 
ring that really it is quite heavenly. Margaret and I are 
busy converting all the old apparel we can lay our hands 
on into little frocks and petticoats, and all sorts of small 
garments for the poor in the neighbourhood of the docks. 
Young Mr. Grimm, at Claremont, who seems most bene- 
volent, has begged one of the women-Friends here to 
collect all the relief of this kind that lies in her power 
for these poor half-starved, half-naked people. So we 

1 66 MARY HOWITT. [CH. v. 

are doing our small endeavours, and have as much 
pleasure in our little hoard as if it were something very 


"March 7, 1868. Our Dorcas Meeting here went off 
very well. There were about a dozen ladies, and a good 
deal of work was done. It is the Dissenter class which 
composes this benevolent society ; and the Mothers' 
Meeting held every Monday at the Friends' Meeting-house 
seems quite a success. It is astonishing, however, what 
little poverty there is in the neighbourhood. If the 
husbands were sober all would be well-to-do. It is the 
same at Hersham, which forms one parish with Walton. 
The poor there have many bequests, ' The Beggar's 
Gift ' being a most curious one. It seems that some two 
hundred years ago a beggar came down in these parts 
begging. He was flogged in the parishes of Wandsworth 
and Kingston. In that of Walton he was well treated. 
Shortly afterwards he died, leaving a will, by which he 
bequeathed a whip to the two parishes which made him 
feel it, and to Walton all his wealth. This now brings in 
for the poor of Walton and Hersham ^"200 a year, being 
house property somewhere in London. 

" Your father was troubled that people did not say all 
that might be said for Epping Forest being kept open. 
Fifteen or sixteen years ago the Chief Commissioner of 
Woods and Forests announced in Parliament his intention 
to bring in a Bill that session for the enclosure of Epping 
and Hainault Forests. Dickens and he were appalled at 
the news, regarding such a destruction as an irreparable 
injury to London; and consequently your father vigorously 
pleaded for the preservation of Epping Forest in the 

i866-7o.] THE ORCHARD. 167 

pages of Household Words. He therefore again, like 
a brave soldier of the right, wrote a letter for the Daily 
Neivs, which I confidently hope did good to the cause/' 

" March 1 2, 1868. I give myself the birthday pleasure 
of writing to thank dearest Alfred and you for your most 
acceptable and beautiful remembrance of this day. Oh ! 
how I wish I might be re-born ; might advance into 
a higher, better state ! One seems so much to stop in 
the same state. But then one does not see the growth 
of the tree or the flower, only from period to period that 
it has developed. So I suppose it is with the soul ; it 
progresses towards the light with imperceptible advance. 
I hope it is so. 

" I am, alas ! again very dead as regards my ballad- 
writing. I suppose it is, in the order of things, a time 
of rest after labour. I feel as if the fountain were dried 
up, just as I did before. Mr. Clarke has omitted one 
month of the series in his Christian World Magazine, 
so that he does not want another before June. This 
made me feel no necessity to write, and then the spirit 
died out of me. I shall wake up again before long. In 
the meantime this fine weather has set me gardening, 
and greatly have I enjoyed it." 

"Sept. 19, 1868. All our guests are now departed. 
Your aunt Anna's visit was delightful. I think we 
employed the time well. I read over to her the chronicle 
of our ancestors and of our early life, and had notes 
and suggestions from her for future guidance ; so now it 
waits my leisure to put its multitudinous contents into 
some degree of order, which I hope to do in the winter. 
The house seems very dull without your two cousins, 

1 68 MARY HO WITT. [en. v. 

Agnes Harrison and Agnes Alderson. Sweeter girls 
never were." 


" The Orchard, Nov. 6, 1868. Here it has been 
most exquisitely beautiful this autumnal weather, the 
trees looking truly as though they had been cut out of 
gold and coral. We have taken some lovely walks, and 
often wished you could have been with us. Last Monday 
afternoon my mother and I went to West End Cottage, 
now The Cedars. We seemed to be walking in a magni- 
ficient gallery of pictures, for at every turn there was 
some exquisite combination of colour and form. All was 
bathed in a translucent sunset light as we returned, and 
the trees looked inky black against a greeny-blue sky, 
flecked rose-colour ; or they were magically crimson and 
golden, whilst the fields were emerald. A halo of glory 
seemed flung around everything, it flamed upon the dis- 
tant casements of cottages, and turned even the pigs 
crunching acorns beneath the oaks into poetical swine. 
It was as if we had stepped into a Paradise, and saw all 
things transfigured. 

" I had never been over the old Esher home since we 
left it, though I had seen its outside several times. It 
was curious to go through the rooms, full of past memo- 
ries, and to find them smaller than in recollection, whilst 
the trees and shrubs outside had grown much taller 
and bigger. 

"We are reading aloud in the evenings Maria Webb's 
'Penns and the Penningtons.' My parents will send 
it you, should you not have read it, for it is well worth 

" Our good friends, Mr, and Mrs. Oldham she Eliza 

i866-7o.] THE ORCHARD. 169 

Sutton of the early Nottingham days have left their 
pleasant home in Gloucestershire and come to reside 
near my parents. They occupy a cottage with a garden 
standing upon a hill, about three miles from The Orchard. 
The whole walk thither is charming, through bowery 



" Feb. i, 1869. Tell dear uncle I never enjoy any- 
thing that I do not wish he could enjoy it with me; 
and many letters are written to him in my heart which 
never reach him. The snowdrops he sent me through 
you are still fresh, and make me think of so many sweet 
vernal things. I went on Saturday to Julia, who is suffer- 
ing much pain, and spoke to her of our dear Poet-Uncle ; 
and Julia, to my surprise, knew him. She had seen him 
at our house on his way to join you in France. She has 
often recalled him since ; for he had repeated verses so 
sweetly from Jean Ingelow and Burns. I had quite for- 
gotten that she called that afternoon. How one rejoices 
when one's friends know and like each other ! " 

On February 5, 1869, Richard Howitt breathed his last. 
His tenants and his poor neighbours, according to country 
custom, one by one visited their old friend and champion, 
as he lay robed for the tomb ; and as they stood beside 
the coffin, each one laid his or her hand in blessing upon 
the cold brow, in the belief that this " laying on of 
hands " gives rest to the dead. His relatives accompanied 
his revered remains, in a mist of soft rain, across the 
district of old Sherwood Forest to his grave in the burial- 
ground of the Society of Friends at Mansfield. 

T7 o MAKY HO WITT. [CH. v. 


"Feb. 12, 1869. lam thinking of one and all of you 
at the funeral. With us it pours with rain ; but be the 
weather ever so dismal, I hope, as indeed I am sure they 
will, that both Annie and Meggie will attend their uncle's 
remains to Mansfield. I remember so many little traits of 
his character, which touch me deeply ; and in no way, as 
far as I am concerned, shall his memory fail of respect." 


"March 17, 1869. I have vastly enjoyed Mr. Morris's 
poems ; and thus it is a pleasure to me to think of him 
in his blue blouse and with his earnest face at ' The Firm,' 
and to feel that he is a great poet. I am glad that we 
had the fairy-tale tiles for the fireplaces from Morris & 
Co. ; their connection with this modern Chaucer gives 
them a new value and interest. Morris is not before 
Tennyson, but he stands very near him in the living 
reality of his old-world pictures, and in his exquisite 
painting of scenery ; the flowers, the grasses, the ' brown 
birds,' every individual object and feature in Nature is 
so lovingly and so faithfully portrayed. Tennyson's 
poetry is the perfection of art and truth in art. Morris's 
is Nature itself, rough at times, but quaint, fresh, and 
dewy beyond anything I ever saw or felt in language. I 
i shall try to tell Mr. Morris what a joy and refreshment it 
(has been to me. 

" If nice mild weather comes to bless us, I shall walk 
over to the Oldhams' before long, and take them 'The 
Earthly Paradise.' Perhaps I may go on Sunday and 
dine with them ; I enjoy their simple farinaceous diet so 
much, and I think they are really pleased when those who 
appreciate it partake with them." 

j866-7o.] THE ORCHARD. 171 

"May 31, 1869. I do not think such miserable May 
weather was ever known ; so intensely cold that one is 
obliged to wear winter clothing and have fires in every 
room. On Saturday there was such a bitter frost that 
scarlet-runners and tender summer growths are nipped, 
and everybody mourning over their gardens. The last 
tolerable day here was Wednesday, the Derby day, when 
we arranged to go over to the Oldhams' for an early tea, and 
then walk to the Epsom road and see the folks returning. 

"We did so; and very much amused we were. We 
took our seats on a bench by the roadside. There are 
several in that locality, probably put down for this pur- 
pose. We had the bench to ourselves, with the exception 
of one man, so nothing could be more comfortable. The 
whole road was crowded with people, like ourselves, come 
to be amused ; mostly on foot, sitting and walking about, 
and some in carriages drawn up at the roadside. At 
about half-past five the people began to return, in every 
possible description of vehicle, from the grandest four-in- 
hand to the costermonger's cart ; nearly all half-drunk, 
merry and wild as could be, many in green veils and 
blue veils, with wooden dolls stuck all round their hats, 
and with dressed mechanical dolls in their hands, which 
sneezed and laughed and made all sorts of noises ; or 
with pea-shooters, through which they shot peas at the 
people as they passed. Those shot at the Pater he 
collected, brought home with him, and has planted, to 
see what his winnings at the Derby turn out. Some had 
on false noses, others women's hats ; the women wearing 
the men's. One man in a carriage wore a woman's night- 
dress and a mob-cap, as ridiculous as possible ; some 
were biting big loaves of bread ; others had bladders in 
their hands. All were laughing and shouting. The man 

1 72 MARY HOWITT. [CH. v. 

who sat on the bench by us said, ' They have no wice 
in them, only fun.' Your father and Mr. Oldham, two 
old men with white beards, seated side by side, were an 
everlasting source of amusement. Sometimes they were 
lovingly saluted as 'Father' or 'Grandfather;' some- 
times they were pitied ' Poor souls ! because they had 
no father ! ' There were hundreds of sporting, betting 
men in white hats with or without veils ; hard, worldly, 
cold, business faces of the most repulsive character. One 
set of these men sitting in the body of a drag were play- 
ing at cards. It was altogether a strange revelation of 
a life with which one thanks God one has nothing to 
do ; and one wonders what will become of these souls in 
the other world. What a revolting hell it must be to which 
they naturally gravitate ! Nevertheless we vastly amused 
ourselves. We counted upwards of five hundred carriages 
in about two hours. And the women in them ! Eight out 
of ten were fat, jolly women, used to jovial living. Many 
of them we imagined to be butchers' wives and landladies. 
It was very diverting, but having once seen it, we shall 
never care to go again. " 


" Beckenham, Sunday afternoon, July 4, 1869. Louie 
and I went this morning to a very pleasant church at 
Shortlands, a new locality sprung up in a lovely wood- 
land district about two or three miles off, really delight- 
ful, and where Mrs. Craik has built her beautiful new 
house. I extremely enjoyed both the drive and the service 
in the little church. 

"Last evening I was greatly interested by a call on 
our relatives from young Mr. James Macdonell. He 
wonderfully attracted me, because he is up in every 

1866-70.] THE ORCHARD. 173 

question of the day, and gave me a most hopeful idea of 
the better class of young men in this younger generation. 
Every reform that you, dear William, ever desired or 
worked for seems to be the object for which they are 
striving. He told me of the marvellous spirit of reform 
in every shape to which many of the Oxford undergra- 
duates are devoting themselves : the abolition of primo- 
geniture, and the separation of Church and State, among 
the rest. He said that the influence of Friends' doctrines 
and opinions was at this time very great ; that it was 
operating amongst these Oxford men. He seemed to 
know a great deal about Friends' books, and of them as 
an ancient people. We live in our quiet corner, and 
know nothing of what is going on in the world." 


" Beckenham, July 9, 1869. Your aunt Anna and I 
had a very nice call on Mrs. Craik in her new house. It 
was her first open afternoon, and there were, of course, 
a good number of people there. The house, which is, I 
suppose, of the time of Henry VII., is perfect within and 
without. You can see that to the architect, who is a 
young man, it has been a perfect work of love. He has 
followed one uniform plan, and therefore everything is 
consistent, down to the rather thick dull glass in the 
windows, which Mrs. Craik likes because there is no 
glare of light. These windows are very large, but are 
without Venetian blinds, the sun being kept out when 
needful by Holland blinds, which draw on a wire with 
rings ; they are most old-fashioned. The scarlet serge 
curtains also draw over the windows in the same way. 
There are window-seats cushioned with scarlet in every 
window. The fireplaces and all the little nooks and 

i 74 MAEY HO WITT. [CH. v. 

quaint devices are lovely, and would enchant Edward 
Bateman. The whole house is carpeted with grey felt, 
on which bright rugs and bits of colour produce beautiful 
effects. The colours of the paint are most quaint and 
original ; in the entrance-hall blue-grey, with dull red 
walls. I can imagine nothing pleasanter than building 
such a house and furnishing it. 

" Little Dorothy is the embodiment of health and in- 
fantine beauty, fair and rosy, with beautifully moulded 
limbs, long fingers, and golden-tinged hair. She can just 
run alone, has the most winning ways, and if she had 
determined to show herself off to advantage, could not 
have been more fascinating than she was. I do not 
wonder at the Craiks' love for their little darling." 


" Mayfield, near Ashbourne, Aug. 25, 1869. All is 
bright and peaceful here, and I wish you could now have 
joined Margaret and me instead of later in Wales, and 
thus have seen how truly Christian a life our dear young 
relatives are leading, heard all their views, and all their 
experience in co-operation, of which they are warm sup- 
porters, and discussed with them social and political 
questions, in which you and they think alike. 

: 'The other evening the Rev. Alfred Ainger, the 
Eeader of the Temple, was here ; well versed in all the 
literature and topics of the day, most courteous and 
pleasant ; and just off to Heidelberg, to which place he 
said your writings first introduced him. 

' Yesterday evening we were at ' Swinscoe wakes ; ' 
that is to say, at an entertainment of tea, a penny-reading, 
and music given on occasion of the wakes in that primi- 
tive, high-lying Staffordshire village, which, after a long 

1866-70.] THE ORCHARD. 175 

ascent from this Idyllic spot, lies in quite another climate 
and region with stone walls and bare hill-tops. 

" Mr. Okeover, he being the landowner of the district, 
was present with his wife, her sister and brother, Lord 
Waterpark, three of their little daughters, and the French 
governess ; a most interesting and excellent set of people. 
Of course, Mr. and Mrs. George Mackarness from Ham 
were also there, for we were invited by them. I always 
feel a great charm in this clerical-county life : the pious 
and refined dwellers of the Parsonage and the Hall trying 
to benefit in all ways their people, and to elevate them by 
cheerful means. Hence this entertainment was made as 
pleasant as it could be ; the rich mingling with the poor, 
simple folks in the most beautiful manner. 

" Truly there is to me something most fascinating in 
the lives and homes of some of these clergy. You know 
what Ham is, with its surrounding hills, woods, model 
village, its peaceful church and affluent Hall and Vicarage. 
Equally beautiful and perfect is the clerical home, school, 
and church of Denstone. On one hand stands the church, 
always open, in the midst of a lawn-like graveyard planted 
with evergreens, and kept shorn with the mowing- 
machine ; and on the other the Parsonage and its garden, 
a true paradise, and all around the most peaceful, pastoral 
Dove scenery. I never felt such a sense of divine calm 
as I did at Denstone, since those Sundays when we were 
at Thorpe, and we went over to service at Ham. I do, of 
a truth, believe that in . such places we are granted a 
perception of Heaven." 


" Penmaenmawr, Oct. i, 1869. I write at the Pater's 
dictation the following : ' There has been a great ex- 

I7 6 MARY HO WITT. [CH. v. 

citement amongst us to-day. This morning Mr. George 
Mackarness went with his brother, the vicar of Honiton, 
to bathe. On their way they called for their letters ; and 
the vicar of Honiton, opening his in the bathing-machine, 
found one was from Gladstone wishing to make him 
Bishop of Oxford. After breakfast the brothers John 
and George Mackarness started off to discuss the proposal 
on a walk round the Great Orme's Head. Mrs. George 
Mackarness came to us, and we celebrated her brother- 
in-law's promotion by an afternoon's excursion together 
to Aber. 

" ' On the Penmaenmawr platform, as we were just 
getting into the train, all in the midst of a crowd of 
tourists, going and coming, an elderly clergyman burst 
out of a carriage, followed by two stylish young ladies. 
Mrs. Mackarness caught sight of him, and there was a 
cordial greeting. He was on his way to Ty-Mawr to call 
on the two vicars of Honiton and Ham. There was 
hardly time for explanation, as our train went off with us, 
leaving him in a state of bewildered consternation. 

" ' We found it to be the horse-fair at Aber, which you 
may remember. The approach to the village was crowded 
with stalls and all kinds of stall trumpery. In the midst 
of a lot of Taffies and toffies the smiling visage of Mrs. 
Birley was visible. She was accompanied by little Fanny 
and the two South American children. She gave us an 
enthusiastic reception, conducting us to the Mill Cottage, 
which looked really lovely, with roses and creepers right 
up to the eaves. 

"' On our return, at the Aber station there happened 
to be two little black ponies, which had been sold at 
the fair, and were going over to Ireland. They had had 
nothing to eat and nothing to drink. Mrs. Mackarness 

1 866-70.] THE ORCHARD. 177 

and your mother insisted, therefore, upon their having both 
water and hay, for which they paid a shilling. The poor 
little things were so frightened that they would neither 
eat nor drink. The hay, however, was put into the truck 
with the ponies by a gentleman ; and the purchasers 
hoped that they would consume it between Aber and 
Holyhead. At Penmaenmawr there was the same clergy- 
man and the two pretty young ladies, who, after a boot- 
less errand, were now in a great hurry, of course, to 
find seats in the train. The guard whistled impatiently, 
but for all that the clergyman rushed forward to shake 
hands with " Mistress Mary Howitt," exclaiming, " I too 
am of Ukseter ! " Again the whistle, and we fearing 
he would lose his train, he was hurried into the nearest 
carriage, and whirled away, a mass of wonderment, 
friendship, and cordiality.' ' 

Penmaenmawr, where we have stayed until the hills 
were sublimely white, had never lost its stimulating effect 
on me. How I loved the rugged sea- washed mountain 
the natural beacon and name-giver of the district which, 
overshadowing the long, stony village, is being blasted, 
undermined, and hewn into blocks, to be shot down long 
tramways to the jetty, and then borne slowly through the 
water in little vessels to England ! How I respected the 
grave, earnest quarrymen, clad in buff moleskin waist- 
coats and trousers, similar in colour to the outer coating 
of the rock, and in blue and white striped shirts of the 
same tone as its freshly-hewn inside ; often with splendid 
faces of the rough, stony kind, and hair and beards like 
rock-growths of the gold-brown hue of late autumn ferns 
and heather ! Men of fortitude and piety these miners, 

who to the utmost of their ability support the temperance 
VOL. ii. M 

I? 8 MAEY HO WITT. [CH. v. 

movement, their schools, chapels, and ministers ; the latter 
belonging to their own class, and often dating their 
spiritual vocation from early work-days in the quarries ! 
How deeply, too, was I thrilled and affected by the grand, 
inspirational sound and the rhythmical cadence in the 
minor-key of the Welsh praying and preaching in the 
chapels ! 

Very gratifying were the courteous attentions of 
English and native residents, the occupants of pleasant 
villas and cottages studded over a fertile region in the lap 
of the hills. Very enlivening, also, did we find the inter- 
course with the little community of visitors, which often 
numbered bishops, deans, and their families, and who, 
brought together in rambles and picnics by the ready 
offices of bright, energetic Miss Lloyd Jones, parted after 
a few weeks' acquaintance with mutual good wishes. 

I cannot make this slight survey of our Welsh experi- 
ences without calling to mind the beautiful home of an 
interesting and amiable family. Mr. Sandbach, of Liver- 
pool, whose second wife is a Welsh lady, after purchasing 
Hafodunos, an extensive, high-lying estate in Denbigh- 
shire, finding the tenants half-starved owing to their 
rude, inefficient agriculture, speedily bettered their circum- 
stances by employing the men in draining, road-making, 
enclosing, planting, and building. He himself heartily 
enjoyed the superintendence of his many improvements, 
which included the erection of a beautiful church, excellent 
farm-houses and cottages, and his own mansion, con- 
structed with plenty of gables and a lofty tower by Gilbert 
Scott. The hall stands on a terrace overlooking a most 
charming glen, where tulip-trees, great magnolias, hem- 
locks, and other pines from America mix with native oaks 
and beeches ; where ferns from all parts of Great Britain, 

1866-70.] THE ORCHARD. 179 

Ireland, Switzerland, and New Zealand grow with curious 
hardy plants from the Continent, and a winding walk 
leads to the old kitchen-gardens, with their clipped yew- 
hedges. The interior of the house is in exquisite taste ; 
no paint is allowed, the woodwork and the furniture being 
of pitch-pine, red cedar, or dark bullace from Demerara, 
whilst the capitals of the columns leading to and on the 
grand staircase are deftly carved with roses, lilies, snow- 
drops, and other British flowers. 

The first Mrs. Sandbach was a poetess, and by birth a 
Miss Roscoe of Liverpool. Her portrait, finely and classi- 
cally chiselled full-length in bas-relief by Gibson, adorns 
the vestibule to the room of statuary. This is specially 
devoted to the works of the same great sculptor and 
Royal Academician, and contains the fine group of " The 
Hunter and his Dog," the " Aurora," together with the 
busts and medallions of the Sandbach family. Gibson, 
the son of a landscape-gardener at Conway, had been be- 
friended and directed in his art-studies by Mr. Roscoe, 
the author of "Leo the Tenth," who frequently invited 
him to Allerton Hall, and placed its literary and artistic 
treasures at his service ; and when the poor student had 
become eminent in Rome, the connection was still main- 
tained by the relatives of the early patron. 

I feel myself once more with the kind owners of 
Hafodunos in the autumn of 1866. Agreeable county 
neighbours drive over for afternoon tea ; and in the draw- 
ing-room, opening on to the terrace, gay with masses 
of sweet-scented flowers, a noted Welsh painter, quiet, 
elderly Penry Williams, very modestly exhibits his port- 
folio of charming Italian landscapes and figures. He 
speaks of getting back to Rome before the winter comes 
on, for he expects the Italians will soon be down on the 

,8o MARY HOWITT. [en. v. 

Eternal City, and destroy the antique and picturesque to 
make way for modern railway stations and Government 

We visited Hafodunos, and indeed North Wales, for 
the last time in the autumn of 1869. 


" The Orchard, Jan. 14, 1870. Many, many happy 
returns of the day to-morrow ! You have had a 
good many now, and have given us many happy hours. 
Many changes have occurred since the days when I carried 
you, a little creature, on my back over the fields from Not- 
tingham to Heanor, and many of our contemporaries have 
gone out of the world, so that it seems a part of a former 
life ; but pleasant to remember, for one line of affection 
has run unbroken through the whole. I trust we may 
for years continue to love each other in this world, and 
then continue to look back on the happy past from a more 
happy present. It has been a great boon of our lives 
that we have had so grand a reassurance of all the old 
promises of the world to come ; the world of reunions 
and rediscoveries of those who seemed lost ; a world of 
realities and realisations, of reovertakings and rejoicings! 
What a Friends' Meeting ! not in silence, but amid the 
welcomes of all our beloved, and the sublimest sense of 
that Eternity achieved, which on earth had been a poetic 
dream, a mystic speculation, a mingled vision of clouds 
and glories and darkness. 

''With all the queernesses of spiritualism and spiri- 
tualists, this dispensation has been to us the fact of our 
earth-pilgrimage. Where our forefathers have sailed 
through fogs and tempests after the lost Atlantis, we 
have reached land ; solid ground, with the great highway 

1866-70.] THE ORCHARD. 181 

visible before us, with the pinnacles of the Heavenly 
Jerusalem glittering on the Mountains of Life." 


" The Orchard, the eve of my St. Anna's Day. You 
must have a few loving words from me on the auspicious 
day of your birth. That is a formal expression, but as it 
means especially happy, it is right, for it was a fortunate 
and a happy day which gave you to me as my dear 
daughter and friend. What an age it seems since you 
were a little child, and used to sit with me in the Not- 
tingham drawing-room, and we read the Gospels together, 
and I used to read you my poems, often written from 
thoughts suggested by you ! Some of those Sunday 
evening readings remain most livingly in my mind as 
little bits of Heaven, when illumination seemed almost to 
come down from above to us. I remember how ' Thomas 
of Torres,' in 'The Seven Temptations,' was the fruit of 
our reading together the parable of the man who built 
the barns and laid up the treasure, and then his soul was 
called away. I wonder whether you remember those 
times, and how you illustrated ' The Seven Temptations,' 
with heads of all the characters ? Many other heads you 
designed, amongst them a Judas, which I thought mar- 
vellous. How distant, yet how beautiful, tender, and 
peculiar are the memories of those times ! May God, in 
His mercy, sanctify the present and all future time on 
earth to us by gentle, loving deeds, and by our ever 
coming nearer and nearer to Him ! " 

My husband and I wanted to see Italy before we died, 
so we let The Orchard for twelve months to some desirable 
tenants from Lady Day 1 870. With a prayer in our hearts 
that the Divine Spirit might accompany us, we quitted 

iS 2 MARY HO WITT. [CH. v. 

our home in the evening of March 24, and proceeded 
to London to pay farewell visits preparatory to our 


"April 3, 1870. I hope, whenever you can, you will 
come and see our dear relatives. It will be a joy to them 
and a refreshment to you. There is a holy spirit of 
domestic affection in the house ; all are so good and 
kind. Your aunt seems feeble, but looks better in the face. 
Mr. James Macdonell and his sister arrived by the same 
train as we did. The evening was very pleasant, and 
your father was interested in Mr. Macdonell as a fitting 
representative of the new age. Dora Greenwell sent me 
by him her volume of poems and the most affectionate 
message, ' wishing to see me above all women in England.' 
I am some way sorry she should feel thus, especially as 
she lunches here next Tuesday. You will understand 
my shrinking sense of gratitude. It is always affecting 
to me to see how much love one gets. Oh ! if one did 
but deserve it more." 

"Tuesday, April 5, 1870. Miss Dora Greenwell and 
Mr. Macdonell came to lunch. We found her very agree- 
able. Later in the afternoon she went up to town with 
William and mjself. I was very sorry to part with my 
beloved ones at Beckenham. May the merciful Lord 
preserve them ! " 

We started on April 13 for Switzerland and Italy; 
anticipating with the rapid flight of time soon to find 
ourselves back in old, much beloved England, and in 
the society of our cherished relatives and friends. But 
this was not to be. 



ACCOMPANIED by the eldest daughter .of our friend, Mr. 
William Bodkin of Highgate, and by Emily Burtt, a 
great-niece of my husband's, he, Margaret, and I crossed 
from England to Belgium. There we :visited the green, 
quiet field of Waterloo, and were joined in gay, flourish- 
ing Brussels by our warm-hearted friends, Walter Wei- 
don, F.R.S., the indefatigable projector of most valuable 
chemical discoveries, his wife and their gifted little 
son Raphael. They purposely paid a flying visit to the 
Belgian capital once more to see us. 


" Gersau, Switzerland, April 23, 18.70. We have 
been either posting along, or when stopping in towns 
constantly tramping about, so that there has been no 
chance of much writing. Here we have been climbing 
hills and steaming up the Lake of the Four Cantons, 
so that my feet are very much delighted at my hands 
doing the work for a few hours. 

"I have no doubt your mother has told you of the 
Todhunters' arrival. We went with them the day before 
yesterday to Brunnen, the next village on the lake, 
where we have found a very nice pension, to which we 
remove next Wednesday. It is a little way out of 

i8 4 MARY HOWITT. [CH. vi. 

Brunnen. The garden goes down to the lake. Opposite 
rises Seelisberg, with its little chapel . and big pension, 
so warmly recommended to us by Mr. Boyle of Kidder- 
minster. We, however, prefer a less-frequented resort. 
Behind is the Axenberg, on which is perched a large 
new hotel. The house is small, but with every modern 
convenience. It was only opened last year. It belongs 
to and is kept by Fraulein Agathe Aufdermauer ; in plain 
English, Miss Upon-the-Wall. She is a short, stout 
lady of about fifty, clever, well educated, speaks, I am 
sorry to say, English, and has, in her brother's house 
in the village, entertained Fredrika Bremer, Hans 
Christian Andersen, Bulwer, &c. I think we shall 
get on with her ; and we shall have a great St. Gothard 
dog to take care of us. 

" Our young companions are very good, bright, and 
pleasant, fond of flowers, and delighted to be in the 
country. You would hear, of course, of the enjoyable 
time we had in Brussels with the Weldons, who we 
expect would visit you last Sunday. With them we 
went to the Wiertz Gallery. On our first entrance I was 
quite startled, and did not think I should at all like the 
paintings, they appeared so huge, so wild, and so fan- 
tastic. But by degrees I began to see a great mind and 
purpose in them. ' Napoleon in Hell ' is a grand lesson, 
and well conceived. You have not said a word too much 
of Wiertz. Little Raphael came and took my hand as 
we left the gallery, and said, * Mr. Howitt, I think 
Wiertz could not be a good man ! ' I asked him why. 
He answered, 'I think he could not be a good man, 
or he would not have painted some things there.' I 
told him he might naturally think so, but that a vast deal 
was to be allowed for his education. No doubt Wiertz 


thought all was right, and that many of his pictures con- 
tained great and useful lessons. His father came up and 
added, that when Raphael was older he would see those 
lessons more clearly than he could do now. 

" It seems amazing to hear of your dull, hazy weather. 
From the moment that we set foot on the Continent we 
have had nothing but clear skies, and this week very 
warm days. With all our great struggles and vaunted 
triumphs of reform in our British Parliament, the con- 
dition of the people at large is deplorable, and not to be 
named with that of the Swiss peasantry. It is horrible 
to remember Seven Dials, Bethnal Green, and all the 
scores of square miles of such places in London and 
other overcrowded centres, whilst we see these poor 
in their cottages amid their fields and gardens, and the 
children playing amongst green grass, pleasant trees, and 
flowers. Here and in most parts of the Continent, if the 
lower orders are poor, their poverty is ameliorated by the 
enjoyment of fresh air, the comely face of Nature, and 
the absence of those violent contrasts of splendour and 
squalor, of superabundance and destitution, that meet 
us on all hands in England. Our country is, in fact, the 
Sisyphus of the nations, always straining itself to roll away 
the crushing rock of debt, and never succeeding ; always 
on the verge of reform and relief, and never accomplish- 
ing it. Like its climate, its political and social condition 
is most frequently gloomy, hazy, and discouraging." 


"Pension Agathe Aufdermauer, April 29, 1870. On 
Tuesday, whilst Emily and Nelly went to Lucerne on 
some little errands, we three ascended on foot the Rigi- 
Scheideck from Gersau. It took us six hours, going 

,86 MARY HO WITT. [CH. vi. 

very leisurely, and making many and long rests ; for it 
is steep all the way. We had a splendid view from the 
summit of the whole amphitheatre of the Bernese Alps ; 
and descended in three hours by a different path. Our 
way up and down was amongst green slopes, scattered 
over with chalets, where the owners were cultivating 
their patches of potato-ground or watching their cattle. 
Here and there were pine-woods, deep clefts and preci- 
pices, and the beds of streams strewn with huge rocks of 
pudding and other stones. Some of the slopes were as 
white with small white crocuses as any fields in England 
with daisies ; others were yellow with king-cups ; and 
there were millions of oxlips, but paler and more slender 
than ours. The little gentianella was abundant, and 
frequently in brilliant masses. The Trollius Europseus 
was all over other meadow slopes, but only in bud. We 
found patches of pink primulas and auriculas. Near the 
summit grew large and splendid bunches of the yellow 
auricula. The blue and red hepaticas were not quite 
over ; and the cherry-trees, which grow all the way up, 
were on the lower slopes in blossom. 

"The hotel porters were carrying up on their backs 
each a hundredweight of provisions, sugar-loaves, pota- 
toes, &c. We asked if they were not tired. They said, 
' No ; they could carry up twice as much at a time ; ' 
and we were told below that this was true, but that they 
ruin their constitutions by such attempts. However, these 
men, whom we met three-parts of the way up, passed us 
before we were down, jodelling and very jolly. Some of 
them had been up twice that day. So much for habit. 

" We are here situated exactly at the turn of the 
lake into the Uri-See. Opposite to this branch is the 
Mythenstein, with the inscription to Schiller upon it. 


We have a number of copies of his * Wilhelm Tell ' in 
the house, and shall be able to study the play amid its 

" On Sunday we witnessed an election for the canton 
of Schwyz. It was in the open air, before the Rathhaus. 
There was no drunkenness, no rioting, no bribery, and 
no long speeches ! It was the very model of an election. 
The Amtmann, the Landamman, and the Rathsschreiber 
stood at a table, and the Amtmann read out the names 
of candidates. They and their friends made a few re- 
marks each, all to the point ; any one who chose could 
make an objection. Then the choice was decided by a 
show of hands. It was all over in about half-an-hour. 
Herr Miiller of the Gersau Hotel was re-elected as one 
member, which he has been for years. 

" We became quite familiar with the village children 
of Gersau. They ran up to us, with the right hand put 
out, not crumpled up to beg ; and were always merry 
when they saw us again. One day an angry woman 
kept scolding a little boy of two years of age and twitch- 
ing him along after her. Your mother, as she always 
does, began noticing the little fellow, saying to the 
woman what a nice boy he was. The effect, as usual, 
was instantaneous. The mother caught up the child, 
kissed it, wiped away its tears, and seemed delighted. 
The little fellow looked at us with large dark eyes. We 
patted his cheek and kissed him, at which he set up a 
great crowing of delight, which lasted as long as we 
were in sight. 

" All the children are educated, both boys and girls 
from six to twelve ; and then go two years longer to the 
Sunday-schools. This is the reason that they are so 
nicely-behaved. Now mind, this part of the country 

i88 MARY HOWITT. [CH. vi. 

is wholly Catholic, yet the education of the people is 
universal. Any parents neglecting to send their chil- 
dren to school are severely punished. Observe also that 
the country is well cultivated, and the trade and manu- 
factures are flourishing. None of the charges of bad 
cultivation, of want of manufacturing zeal, and prohibi- 
tion of education apply to Switzerland. Of course, there 
is no religious difficulty in this canton, as all are Catho- 
lics; but where all are educated, the people must be 
enlightened beyond any great slavery of priestcraft." 


"Pension Agathe Aufdermauer, May n, 1870. Yes- 
terday we had an invasion of fresh inmates, but only for 
one night. It was Richard Wagner, the great composer, 
with a handsome young lady, legally or by courtesy his 
wife. She is Liszt's daughter, and was married to the 
brilliant pianist and composer, von Billow, who is the 
best interpreter of his father-in-law's music, and that of 
the man who has wronged him. The young King of 
Bavaria being obliged to send Wagner from Bavaria, as 
he attended more to music than his regal duties, the 
musician settled at Lucerne. The King, however, made 
a visit to Switzerland to see his favourite, and privately 
took up his quarters at Brunnen. In this way, and be- 
cause Fraulein Aufdermauer is very musical, she became 
acquainted with Wagner, who now brought his belong- 
ings for a birthday celebration to her house. There 
were four little von Billows or Wagners, who with their 
parents kept the house alive, seeing that one and all 
were very merry and musical. To-day they are gone 
back to their villa at Lucerne. 

" On Sunday there was quite a display in Brunnen. 


It was a procession of the Working-men's Unions of 
Lucerne and all the places on the lake to Griitli and Tell's 
Chapel. They came up with the steamer, which had at 
its prow a blue-and-white flag, at its stern the great red 
banner, with the white cross in the centre, of Switzer- 
land. They brought with them an excellent band of 
music, and took in here the Brunnen, Stein, and Schwyz 
Unions, with another band ; then went on to the Griitli 
meadow and Tell's Chapel. They landed here on their 
return, and after dispersing for some refreshment, formed 
in procession to march to Schwyz, where they were to 
dine. There were about three hundred of them, with 
their banners, scarlet and gold for the most part, belong- 
ing to the different Working-men's Unions of the four 
cantons. There was one of a ' People's Improvement 
Society.' They marched off to Schwyz with music and 
flying banners. Each man had a sprig of some green 
tree or bush in his hat. In front marched about half-a- 
dozen boys, dressed in the ancient Swiss costume and 
carrying the ' Wappen,' armorial shields of the four 
cantons, bright with red and blue and yellow. One lad 
represented William Tell, with his cross-bow and the 
apple in his hand. You may suppose the stir in Brunnen. 
On their return in the evening the steamer was waiting 
for them. They were sufficiently jolly with beer and suffi- 
ciently dusty. This compact of working-men all over the 
Continent is a sign of the coming time, and is already 
larger than the cloud seen from Carmel by Elijah. 

" The most lovely scenery here, to my mind, is the great 
broad valley of meadows and orchards extending from 
Brunnen to Schwyz. Not far from Brunnen runs down 
from the Frohnalp a green promontory into the centre 
of the valley. On it stands boldly up, and visible from 

1 90 MARY HOWITT. [CH. vi. 

far down the lake, the Convent of Ingenbohl, where, 
as you have told us, the Shelleys once fixed themselves. 
What was then a ruinous chateau is now an immense 
mass of buildings. From the hill on which this convent 
stands you command the whole view of the elysian valley. 
On one side shines out the lake, with the white houses 
of Brunnen ; on the other, Schwyz, with its monastery, 
great church, Raihhaus, and a whole region of scattered 
houses amid the blossoming trees on the great green 
slopes at the foot of those wonderful and stupendous 
bare rocks, the Mythen. Up they stand, gigantic twin- 
pyramids, soaring into the clear air nearly six thousand 
feet. Round the valley rise the green hills, orchard-like, 
with their little chalets. Higher rise the steep slopes 
covered with the now light, green foliage of the beech- 
woods ; higher still, the dark pine-forest ; higher still, 
the eternal mountains. The bottom of the valley is one 
great green meadow, luxuriant with grass and flowers. 
All round you bloom the purple orchis, the blue forget- 
me-not, the golden trollius, and here and there the tall 
white narcissus. When I look over this wondrous scene, 
through which run the Muotta and the Schleywasser, 
clear as the air itself, I am vividly reminded of the 
description of the Promised Land given by Moses in the 
eleventh chapter of Deuteronomy. 

" On Sunday morning your mother and I walked up 
to the convent hill, and sat down above it, having this 
magnificent scene lying wide before us. The air was 
full of the harmony of the bells of the convent, of the 
parish church just below, and of churches on the hills ; 
as they ceased, the lighter, lower chime of the cow-bells 
came up from the meadows. It was like a bright dream 
of Heaven, of beauty, and of peace. 


"As we passed the convent in going up, the nuns were 
sitting in their ample garden on the upper side of the 
edifice, in groups under shady trees ; and some of them, 
who were only divided from us by a thin acacia-hedge, 
rose and bowed to us very courteously. At noon we 
saw a great procession of them advancing from the 
convent garden up the Kreuzweg, or Way of the Cross, 
to the Chapel of Calvary on the hill above. Along this 
steep path at regular intervals are erected fourteen 
shrines, having each a good painting illustrating the 
various stages of Christ's passion and crucifixion. At 
each of these the procession stopped and repeated the 
customary prayers. It consisted of seventy nuns in all, 
in their black habits, the white edges of their caps shining 
under their black veils. As they advanced to each shrine 
one nun read out a prayer, and all responded with a 
murmur of'voices that came up pleasingly to us. We 
had taken the opportunity to look into the little Calvary 
Chapel at the top of the ascent, under the edge of the 
pleasant beech-wood. It was neat and plain, with two 
rows of deal forms, just as in a Friends' Meeting-house. 
The almost only striking object was a large and good 
picture of the Mater Dolorosa, in a scarlet bodice and 
dark flowing skirts. She held in her right hand one 
of the nails from the cross, and by her sat an angel 
with the crown of thorns on his knee, which she was 
stretching forth her left hand to take up. Besides this, 
a plain altar, some framed prayers, and a wreath or two 
of immortelles constituted the ornaments of the chapel. 
Such was our Sunday morning excursion." 


''Pension Aufdermauer, May 18, 1870. This Agathe 

i 9 2 MARY HO WITT. [CH. vi. 

Aufdermauer is a very extraordinary woman. She has a 
large head, and an amazing deal in it. She is well read 
in German literature, and is astonished to find English 
people who know so much about it as we do. She and 
I get on amazingly on spiritual subjects, for she is de- 
lighted to find that we believe so much that the Catholics 


do. I tell her I am a Catholic in all the ancient doctrines 
of the Church, but am not papistical. In all the affairs 
of life she is clear-headed, able, and active. She bought 
the ground and built this house, surmounting innumerable 
difficulties. Everybody knows her for miles round, and 
everybody speaks in the highest terms of her." 

" May 19. My ideal of an Alpine spot is Btirglen, the 
birthplace of Tell ! Surrounded by the mighty Alps : 
meadows that are masses of the richest floral colouring : 
people in happy groups sitting amid the luxuriant grass 
under spreading pear and walnut trees : rushing, hurrying 
streams of foaming glacial water, turning saw-mills, and 
forges : chalets amid their meads or perched on every airy 
height up to the very top of the pine-clad hills : all the 
little steep, stony lanes crowded with piles of huge pine- 
trees, Avhich have been sent down the galloping, rioting 
pale river, or down timber-slides, waiting to be split up 
by the ever busy, hungry saws that are driven by the 
irresistible mountain stream. Here and there the little 
wayside tawdry shrine, with its daubs of paintings and 
puppet-show Madonna and Child, with their tinsel crowns 
and country-booth paraphernalia; yet precious to the 
poor, tender, care-worn souls, especially women, with 
huge loads on their backs, and often still heavier on 
their hearts : yes, in most abominable taste, but most 
gracious to the tired, life-weary creatures that kneel 


there and cross themselves, already too cruelly crossed 
by the world. How the slender, red spire of the church 
on the hill, close to the chapel, built on the identical 
spot of Tell's house, beckons you on, with a silent but 
eloquent voice, saying as plainly as possible, ' Come up ! 
come up ! and see the eternal mountains, the sublime 
pinnacles, the dreaming snows, and pale glaciers. See 
all these soaring, climbing forests of pine, and the torrent 
dashing in mad transport down the rocky ravine.' 

"When you speak of all these sights and sounds of 
life and beauty to the inhabitants, they shake their 
heads and say, ' It is not a glorious land. You should 
see it in winter, so fierce and stormy, so cruelly stern, so 
buried in snows, so short in its daylight, so long in its 
darkness. And even now, how much more beautiful 
would plains be than these steep fields and towering 
rocks ! ' Where is the Lost Paradise of earth ? " 


"May 20. We went yesterday by invitation to the 
Convent of Ingenbohl. Mother Maria Theresia Scherer, 
who has been the Mother-General of the Sisters of Mercy 
of the Holy Cross since 1850, received and conducted us 
over the establishment. The Sisterhood, which has now 
extended from Switzerland into neighbouring lands, was 
founded by Father Theodosius Florentini, a Capuchin 
monk, priest, and professor of theology. He was so 
deeply grieved by the rampant materialism of the age, 
that he conceived the idea of raising up a band of noble- 
hearted religious women to contend against it, in the care- 
ful education and employment of children, in supporting 
the helpless poor, and ministering to the sick. He went 
to Rome, and obtaining the Pope's sanction, his order 




rapidly grew, women joining it from all parts of Switzer- 
land, from Wurtemberg and Bavaria. Possessing immense 
faith and indomitable perseverance, he went about, himself 
often penniless, and bought castle after castle, estate after 
estate, saying that ' God had commanded us to love and 
serve Him with all our hearts and souls, and our neigh- 
bours as ourselves, and he was sure He would not desert 
the great work.' An enormous machinery of practical 
benevolence Father Theodosius had brought into operation 
in the course of twenty years; when he died, in 1865, at 
the age of fifty-seven. 

"Mother Maria Theresia Scherer is the fourth woman 
who entered this now numerous order, which contains 
members of all classes of society. To those who have 
been peasants, working in the gardens or fields is no hard- 
ship. We saw a healthy-looking nun digging the ground 
to set beans. She talked to us pleasantly, without an idea 
that her occupation was in any way derogatory to her 
profession. We were shown in the house a good library 
of religious works, and the little wooden cross with gilt 
ornaments presented by the Queen of Prussia ; for the 
Sisters in the late war nursed in the armies of both Prussia 
and Austria. I need not say what enchanting views pre- 
sent themselves from every room. The Mother-General 
walked with us in the garden, which was pleasant, but 
with the neglect of the grass so common to German ones. 
It having a fine crop of dandelions gone to seed, I plucked 
one to amuse several young girls, scholars, who had been 
allowed to join us, saying, ' Let us see what o'clock it 
is.' I knew, having looked at my watch just before, that 
it was exactly ten minutes past ten ; and blowing it, the 
time tallied. The Mother-General, with the care of a 
hundred and sixty institutions on her shoulders, took my 


joke in the most cordial way, and was quite merry over 
some more of my nonsense. 

" On our return we visited the Orphanage, which is 
nearer the village. We found the boys and girls at 
dinner. They seemed to have an abundance of very nice 
food, and their healthy and happy looks spoke enjoyment 
of life. The elder girls were going in the afternoon with 
their new mothers, the nuns, on a ramble through the 
woods up to Axenstein, and the little ones were to be 
taken to the convent, where the Mother- General was 
going to amuse them. 

"I am now reading the history of all the places of 
pilgrimage in Switzerland. What an extraordinary thing 
is Roman Catholicism ! The system is one of the sub- 
limest schemes of priestcraft and spiritual domination 
that was ever conceived. At the top all is rotten, but at 
the bottom God, who overrules all things, has caused it 
to strike its roots into the soil of the common humanity, 
and send up shoots and crops of an active, a holy, and an 
indefatigable beneficence such as present Protestantism 
knows nothing of. Everywhere Catholic women are in- 
structing, collecting orphans from the streets and abodes 
of death, working for and employing the poor, tending the 
sick and the contagiously diseased in the palace or the 
poorest hut, and going about with the simple air and the 
friendly smile, as if they were only doing the most ordi- 
nary work, and felt themselves but unprofitable servants. 

" When Florence Nightingale went forth to nurse the 
wounded soldiers in the Crimea, she did only a most 
commonplace deed, for the Catholic women of all ranks 
had been doing it everywhere for ages. That was not 
the merit of the thing. The greatness and vital merit of 
it was, that she introduced the good Samaritan of Catho- 

196 MARY HO WITT. [CH. vi. 

licism to the proud Levite of Protestantism, and induced 
him to ' go and do likewise.' It was as splendid a triumph 
over prejudice and pharisaic ignorance as ever was won 
by man or woman, and has not yet borne all its destined 


" Brunnen, Sunday morning. We went last evening, 
after tea, into a remote valley with the great mountains 
round it, through the most exquisite pasture-fields and 
under blossoming fruit-trees, on and on into an ever 
deeper, stiller, lovelier region, till at length we came to 
one of the solitary chapels which are so common here. 
Oh ! how lovely they are ! the truest poems. The chapel 
walls were white as snow, with a dark red, picturesque 
little spire, and on the front a fresco picture of St. Xavier 
healing the sick. A young peasant-girl had just gone in 
to trim the lamp before the altar, and now stood in the 
dim twilight of the church, with a sort of silent reverence, 
as we entered. The interior walls were hung round with 
pictures and tablets, testimonies of Divine help ; many 
of the incidents being represented by rude oil paintings, 
under which is the little narrative of help or cure. An 
old-fashioned man in a blue coat sits at a table, cramped 
in all his limbs by rheumatism, and suddenly the chamber 
is filled with light. St. Xavier appears with the cross in 
his hand, in answer to the long-uttered, faithful prayer of 
the afflicted, and at once the fettered limbs are released ; 
and the man, lifting up his arms, and stretching forth all 
his fingers, cries aloud a wonder-stricken thanksgiving to 
the saint. Again, a solitary traveller in Italy is attacked 
from behind by a robber twice as big as himself. He 
cries to the saint, who at once opens Heaven and appears 


in such terrible majesty that the terrified robber drops his 
weapon and takes to flight. All this sounds absurd, but 
to my mind the faith is not absurd. 

" This little chapel, the scene in which it stood, the soft 
twilight which filled it, the young peasant-girl, who in 
leaving the chapel pointed out to us the holy water, 
affected me very deeply. I did not let anybody see me, 
but coming out of the chapel, I dipped my finger into the 
holy water and crossed myself ; praying that God would 
give me the right faith a faith as sincere as governed 
the poor peasant hearts that have recorded His mercies 
to them." 


" Pension Felsberg, Lucerne, July "4, 1870. Our leaving 
Brunnen was quite a sad affair. Poor Fraulein Aufder- 
mauer cried for days before we left ; and all the people in 
the pension went down with us to the boat to see us off. 
We had no end of bouquets and a delicious cake to take 
with us ; and some of the people had tears in their eyes 
as they bade us good-bye. Here, at this new pension in 
Lucerne, the guests are much stiffer, and it does not seem 
likely to me that we shall ever get on the same terms 
with them. We were like one large affectionate family 
at Brunnen. Here we know very few. We have our 
rooms in an elegant Swiss chalet, standing apart from the 
larger house, with the most glorious view imaginable over 
the lake, with mountains stretching out before us like 
the grandest picture. We shall remain here about a 
fortnight, and then move off to Zurich, which, though not 
by any means in as fine scenery, yet is an interesting 
old town, where we think it would be well to remain 
perhaps for another fortnight." 



At the beginning of July the Swiss felt no further 
anxiety than that rain should come to feed the corn and 
perfect the wonderful promise of the vintage. Then dis- 
quieting rumours arose that the candidature favoured by 
Prussia of Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern to the Spanish 
throne would cause a rupture between France and Germany. 
My husband, who believed his English papers, cherished 
the hope that peace would be maintained. We proceeded 
on July 1 6, in very sultry weather, to Zurich, and deplored 
in its vicinity the increasingly parched aspect of the soil 
and the shrivelled crops, but still dreaded no sudden social 
blight from war. We took up our quarters in an old- 
fashioned pension in the suburb of Fluntern, above Zurich. 
At midnight came the much-desired rain, pelting down 
amid vivid lightning, with but little thunder, yet attended 
by a tramping of feet and a curious movement in the 
country-road outside. Then followed a loud knocking 
at the street-door. It proved truly a rude awakening to 
us, for now we learnt that war was actually proclaimed 
by France to Prussia, and that the Swiss Confederation 
having ordered the active force of the militia to the 
frontier, our landlord, with other householders, was re- 
quired to lodge for the night soldiers arrived from a 

The next day, a Sunday, we saw on the Zurich drill- 
ground the preparations for departure. A private distri- 
buted wallets to a line of his comrades. Young sunburnt 
peasants in regimentals sat resting on their knapsacks, or 
strapped the Swiss arms the silver cross on the red 
field to each other's coat-sleeves in a brotherly, helpful 
way, which would have extended from Prussia to France, 
and from France to Spain, if Europe were truly Christen- 
dom. In the evening the perpetual rub-a-dub-dub of 


drums and the shrill sound of fifes ascended from the 
gas-lit city to us on the heights of Fluntern. 

At this crisis we naturally pondered what we should do. 
We had no desire to retrace our steps to England. This 
proved fortunate, as there speedily arrived English and 
American tourists, madly fleeing, with or without their 
luggage, from the Rhinelands. We could not move on to 
Italy, which was itself preparing to rise. We determined, 
therefore, to await the issue in Switzerland ; and present- 
ing some letters of introduction to Zurich inhabitants, 
gained thereby a valued friend in Madame Daeniker. 

With all our new acquaintance the war was, of course, 
the one absorbing topic. A nameless apprehension 
seemed to have settled on men's minds in Zurich ; and 
one locksmith, we heard, worked night and day, making 
iron coffers to contain the money and valuables his 
customers wished to bury. My husband remarked to an 
artisan, who was seated under a tree, gazing down on 
the populous city and the lake, with its fringe of pros- 
perous villages, " What a noble landscape ! and how 
well, after the rain, the vines, corn, and potatoes look ! " 

" Yes," replied the man gloomily ; " only there's war ! " 

We visited the museum of the Antiquarian Society, 
containing remarkable lacustrine remains, collected by 
Dr. Keller, chiefly at Meilen, on the Lake of Zurich. 
The custodian, a little dried-up old woman, seemed 
herself lacustrine, such knowledge had she of the pre- 
historic lake-inhabitants, and of each shrivelled, cindery 
apple, grain of wheat, scrap of fishing-net, or spear-head. 
Whilst we carefully inspected the model of a pile-dwel- 
ling, military music sounded without, and the street 
became suddenly alive with blue coats and bayonets. 
Tears filled the eyes of the aged woman as she watched 


MARY HOWITT. [en. vi. 

this fresh battalion tramp by and cross the bridge, on 
its way to the frontier. "Better no war! Better no 
soldiers ! " she cried, shaking her head. " Yet it's the 
same old story from the beginning. When Cain was 
wroth, he rose up and slew his brother Abel. The 
Lacustrines lived on piles in the lake to be safe from 
their enemies ; and in my time I have seen the French 
once in Switzerland, twice in Germany, and then driven 
back to Paris." 

The Protestant population of Zurich deplored the war ; 
but being persuaded that the Prussian rule was wise and 
good, conducive to morality, general education, and human 
advance, warmly espoused its cause. In fact, we found 
political refugees, such as Professors Kinkel and Behn 
Eschenburg, who had earlier been imprisoned by Prussia, 
now offering her their most loyal support. A tall, slim, 
elderly Dane, who was sanguine enough to anticipate 
that the outcome of the present campaign would be the 
avenging of his native land by Napoleon, was amongst 
the few individuals who remembered Prussia's former 
aggrandisement, and imputed the war to Bismarck. My 
husband and I first met him and his compact little wife 
in a wood. They were walking to and fro intently con- 
versing in Danish ; but whenever they crossed our path 
they made us low bows, which seemed very polite. We 
learnt later that they were vainly seeking for the wife's 
shawl, which had slipped off his arm. 

The next Sunday they and we had simultaneously fled 
to the many vine-clad arbours of the pension-garden from 
the noise of dancing and singing in the salle-d-manger. 
They explained to us, in the course of conversation, that 
they were our fellow-boarders, but lived alone, as the 
husband, who was an author named Miiller not a clergy- 


man, as we had supposed from his black suit and white 
necktie needed quiet for his literary labours. Telling 
them our name as an interchange of civility, they asked 
inquiringly, "What, William and Mary?" On the mor- 
row we visited them in their cool little parlour to facili- 
tate, if possible, their homeward movements. The war 
frustrated their plan of revisiting Italy, where they had 
been on their wedding-tour thirty years earlier ; and only 
anxious safely to reach Denmark, they proposed journey- 
ing through France to England, and crossing from Hull 
to Copenhagen. This led to the production of a great 
parchment, signed and sealed by Christian IX., King of 
Denmark, King of the Goths and Vandals, in which His 
Majesty claimed free passage for " Frederik Paludan 
Miiller, Danish author, Knight of the Danebrog," &c. 

We mentioned to our neighbours at the supper-table 
what a distinguished man lived below. 

"What! the old Professor ? the old Theolog?" ex- 
claimed a weakly-chested Prussian medical student, who, 
unable to fight for his country, aided her cause by super- 
intending the occupation of lint and bandage-making, 
daily carried on by the lady-boarders. 

" What ! Paludan Miiller, who wrote the beautiful 
poem, ' At Vcere,' in which a child, puzzled with the 
strange mystery of existence, asks his mother what it is 
To Be ? " demanded a fair-haired Norwegian, studying at 
the University. 

"No other," we replied; and the next morning the 
courtly, gentle poet received a perfect ovation. 

Frau Henriette Heine, the widow of Heinrich Heine's 
first cousin and fellow-student, was staying at the pension, 
and sympathised with France. Two middle-aged Jews 
and their wives, respectively from Carlsruhe and Baden- 

2 o2 MARY HOWITT. [CH. vi. 

Baden, professing no sentiments of patrie or Vaterland, 
smiled and were quiescent about the war, which was 
driving most of the guests at table frantic. The majority 
consisted of other Jews and refugees, presided over by 
a tall, stout, dark man in grey, also belonging to "the 
nation." He spoke most modern languages, had been 
much in England, had great concerns in Spain, impor- 
tant transactions in Germany, and twenty-three relatives 
in the Prussian army. Day and night he thought, spoke, 
and dreamt of the war; and, flaming with indignation, 
eloquently denounced Napoleon as the arch-troubler of 
the world. 

In the general European excitement false rumours, of 
course, abounded. Thus, on Sunday morning, August 7, 
we were mysteriously followed out of doors by the Knecht. 
He was a big red-faced fellow, with curly hair, who 
went about with the sleeves of his pink shirt rolled 
up, revealing a pair of hairy arms like those of Esau. 
Putting his finger to his nose, he dismally whispered, 
" Awful news ! The French have massacred twenty thou- 
sand Germans, the Crown Prince among them ! " Awful, 
indeed, if true. But at the table d'hdte, in the midst of 
a joyous hubbub, we were jubilantly greeted by the man 
in grey with " Glorious victory ! Great defeat of the 
French ! The Crown Prince has led his troops with 
flying colours ! Hurrah ! " 

The words " Prussians ! Worth ! Victory ! Wounded 
French ! Fallen French ! " echoed through the house 
while daylight lasted. When the church-clocks of 
Zurich had long struck ten, and the pension had retired 
for the night, a lamp in the garden shed its light on 
the ruddy locks of the Knecht, who, now happily well- 
informed, see-sawing his sinewy arms up and down, held 


forth to a party of Zurich tradesmen, still lingering over 
their beer ; and the everlasting chorus, in a high-pitched 
key, " Prussians ! Worth ! Victory ! Wounded French ! 
Fallen French ! " entered the room through the closed 
Venetian shutters. 

On the morrow the rattle of vocal artillery, the rolling 
echo of cachinnation and of fun at the expense of France 
never ceased. We could picture the same simultaneous 
exultation in every hotel, inn, and coffee-house in Ger- 
many and the Protestant parts of Switzerland. We could 
still more vividly picture all the beautiful country from 
Saverne to Strasburg and Basel, which we had seen in 
April, peaceful, smiling, rich in growing crops and fruit- 
blossoms, backed by blue romantic-looking mountains, 
and full of happy, busy people, now devastated by fight- 
ing armies, and strewn with the bodies of the wounded 
and the dead. 

When all was fair and affluent in Nature around us, 
the purple grapes ripening and the golden grain garnered, 
came the news of the German victories at Metz. It was 
the sudden collapse of the great French campaign ; just 
as the army of Xerxes had melted away like mist before 
that of Greece, or Sennacherib's disappeared before the 
avenging hosts of Israel. 

There was now no longer any fear for Switzerland ; 
and on August 22, the eve of our departure for Ragatz, we 
saw three soldiers, who had returned from the watch on the 
frontier and were billeted for the night on our landlord, 
smoking their pipes in peace and contentment. The vague 
possibility of Napoleon the Third avenging the wrongs 
of Denmark passed from the minds of the Paludan 
Miillers, when they and we learned at Ragatz on Satur- 
day, September 3, the astounding intelligence that the 

204 MARY HOWITT. [CH. vi. 

Emperor had given himself up to King Wilhelm, and 
MacMahon surrendered with his entire army. On Sep- 
tember 20, Napoleon's earlier advice to Cavour, " Frap- 
pez vite et frappez fort" was fully acted upon. Victor 
Emmanuel's troops entered Rome, and at the same time 
the astute abettor, disappointed in all his hopes, went 
into exile. The vicissitudes of war now opened to the 
Paludan Miillers a safe passage home through Germany, 
and to us every facility for reaching Rome. 

The public mind was still in a most feverish state of 
sensational curiosity ; we therefore felt it quite a relief, 
before leaving Ragatz, to speak with an old herdsman 
on a mountain-top, where, in rain and sunshine, he had 
spent the summer alone, fattening oxen for the butcher, 
and conning his Catholic Prayer-book. " He did not 
occupy himself," he said, " with kings, emperors, and 
their battles. The world's tumults were not his concern. 
He had to do his duty by the beeves, and fit his soul 
for a better world ! " We admired the lean old rustic, 
who, guided by a high aim, evidently gleaned real satis- 
faction in his monotonous, abject existence. 

The following is part of a letter written by William 
Howitt to his elder daughter from Zurich : 

"August 3, 1870. I must tell you about your mother's 
and my visit to the institution for healing by prayer 
founded by Dorothea Trudel at Miinnedorf, on the Lake 
of Zurich. The establishment consists of four houses, 
situated in a lane. As we approached we saw people, 
who were evidently patients, sitting about on benches, 
and were told at the principal house that Herr Zeller, 
the present proprietor, was engaged till two o'clock. We 
could, if we liked, wait for him. 


"We preferred to walk up the village to the church 
standing on the hill above us. The road led us between 
vineyards, past the nice white Parsonage, its garden a 
blaze of balsams. From the churchyard we had a splen- 
did view of the hilly slopes above, the scattered white 
houses of Mannedorf and those of Wadenswyl on the 
opposite shore ; and the fine alps of St. Gall, Glarus, and 
Schwyz to the east. Nothing could be more delightful, 
nothing could give a more vivid idea of the pleasant 
places which God has created on this earth. 

" Going round the handsome, well-kept church in 
search of shade, we found seats, and one of them already 
occupied by several young women in black dresses and 
white caps. We asked what was their service, and learnt 
they were Deaconesses, and had the charge of an infant- 
school to enable the mothers to go out to work in the 
fields, or better, to employ themselves at home. 

" A little beyond was the cemetery, much resembling a 
Catholic one, only without holy-water stoups and cruci- 
fixes, but having little black crosses at the head of each 
grave. The gates were locked, as were the doors of the 
church. How odd is this characteristic of Protestantism ! 
Not in England only, but in the very countries and towns 
on the Continent, where the inhabitants are of both 
faiths, the Catholic churches and cemeteries stand open 
and the Protestant ones are closed. The Catholics trust 
the public, but the Protestants cannot, so far as their 
churches and cemeteries are concerned ; although walks 
and gardens are recommended by printed notices to the 
care of the public, and grapes, apples, and other tempting 
fruit hang close to your hand by the highways, and no 
man touches them. There must have been something 
hard and exclusive in the original leaven of Protestantism. 

2 o6 MARY HO WITT. [CH. vi. 

I have noticed that the Fathers of the Reformation, 
Bullinger, Calvin, Zwingli, &c., as painted by their con- 
temporaries, have faces keen as the east wind, hard as the 
rock, and most uninviting. This sour severity they sent 
to Scotland by Knox, and transmitted it to the iron- 
souled Covenanters. That was a departure from Rome, 
but by no means a returning to the spirit of the Prince 
of Peace and Love, to the warm and liberal south of 
Heaven and of the soul. This is a curious fact. 

" We managed to get the keys of the cemetery from 
a boy gathering the pastor's pears, and he showed us 
the grave of Dorothea Trudel. It was in the row of 
others, and in no way distinguished from the rest. It 
had its little black wooden cross, and this inscription 
in German: 'No. 41. Dorothea Trudel, born October 
27, 1813, died September 6, 1862.' Some ivy was 
wreathed round the cross, and the small periwinkle 
bordered the grave. Your mother plucked a few leaves 
for you. 

"We returned punctually to Herr Zeller's at two 
o'clock. All the doors stood open. Nobody seemed 
about. Your mother went, therefore, on a tour of ex- 
ploration, and learnt that Herr Zeller was still engaged 
with a patient. We were shown into a small square 
room, very simply furnished, containing a harmonium, 
an open desk, a Bible, and several pious books, a white 
porcelain stove, and upon it a plaster group of a guardian 
angel and a child. 

" At three o'clock Herr Zeller entered the room, a rather 
short, youngish man, in a grey coat, having no look of a 
clergyman, which, however, he is, for he preaches, and 
sometimes in St. Anna's Church in Zurich. He told us 
that he himself had come there as a patient to Dorothea 


Trudel for a complaint in the head, which had been pro- 
nounced incurable, and which sometimes amounted almost 
to insanity. He was thoroughly cured, and remained 
and devoted himself to the work. He is obliged to have 
several helpers, men and women ; and most of the latter 
had first been patients. He has about thirty cases of 
bodily disease, and the same number of mental ; the 
charges being five francs each for the poor and ten francs 
for the wealthier patients weekly. ' This did not by 
any means cover the expenses, but the Lord sent money 
liberally.' He had also opened an establishment for 
children across the lake at Wadenswyl. The method 
pursued in both institutions was prudent sanitary pre- 
cautions and dependence on the apostolic means of 
anointing with oil and prayer and laying on of hands. 
Sometimes he said the cures were instantaneous, some- 
times slow, sometimes not at all. He appears a very 
candid, straight-forward man. He has other patients, 
who board in the village. Amongst these is an English 
lady who is suffering from melancholy." 


" Bellagio, Oct. 6, 1870. Beauty is the law of Nature 
in this Italian country and clime. The one drawback 
is the shut-up-ness everywhere. There are no fields, 
merely vineyards or the beautiful grounds of villas, one 
and all enclosed by high white walls. It is true that 
beauty is visible above these walls : wild tangles of 
vegetation among the olives and fig-trees of the vine- 
yards : roses and creepers, now gloriously scarlet and 
golden, falling over the walls of palace gardens, cypresses 
towering aloft like spires, tall magnolias, oleanders, and 
myrtles very forests of them. Of these you get glimpses, 

208 MARY HOWITT. [CH. vi. 

but nothing more, from the dusty high road or the 
hot, paved paths. Nevertheless all is to me a series 
of glorious pictures, suggestive of Turner, of Leslie, of 
Leighton. Most lovely it is, but most tantalising ; after 
the freedom of Switzerland, a great change most depress- 
ing to your father. He maintains that Italy is essentially 
the land of the painter, not of the poet, who, bird-like, 
requires the freedom of the fields and woods. There is 
truth in this. Across the lake, at the exquisite Villa 
Carlotta, I felt in a manner I had never done before 
the perfection of Art founded upon and aided by the 
beautiful in Nature Nature, which makes the very 
pellitory on the white wall a drapery of beauty, which 
turns every mildew and damp stain into delicate colour- 
ing, and lends a nameless, indescribable poetry to the 
very decay and neglect which meet you everywhere." 


"Nov. 5, 1870. We have been three days in 
Venice. It is far finer, far more astounding, far more 
pictorial and romantic, than I had ever imagined. The 
weather is glorious, the sky deep blue, and the sunshine 
quite hot. As all Venice is built to keep off the heat, 
the narrow, narrow streets are cold and dusky, but the 
sunshine lies broad and bright on the Grand Canal, on 
the piazza of St. Mark's, and all the open spaces. Every 
five minutes, almost, we are thinking of you and dear 
Alfred. Italy is, of all countries, that which he would 
love most. Since we have been here we have done 
nothing but shopping, with the exception of the dear old 
father, who strolls about, admiring and wondering at 
the strange old grandeur round him ; turning into St. 
Mark's, when he is tired, to rest there ; coming out again 


to see the pigeons fed, and buying a little loaf or Indian- 
corn and feeding them himself." 

November 22 found us in Rome, and speedily estab- 
lished in our "own hired house," as St. Paul, great Teacher 
of the Gentiles, had been eighteen centuries earlier. 
We were located on the summit of one of the seven 
hills, at a corner of four converging streets, each visibly 
terminated by an historic monument : to the north by the 
Egyptian obelisk and piazza of Trinita de' Monte ; to the 
south by the lofty campanile and basilica of St. Maria 
Maggiore, stretching across its ample and elevated piazza, 
marked by another noble obelisk. To the east we had 
the Porta Pia, and the still open breach through which 
the Italian troops, two months earlier, had entered Rome. 
They had, by this deed, broken down the lofty garden- 
wall of the Bonaparte villa, trampled over and damaged 
the beautiful grounds, which we found gardeners putting 
in order. To the west, but a few paces from our door, 
extended the long side facade of the Quirinal palace, 
abutting on Monte Cavallo, with its Egyptian obelisk 
and famous group of Castor and Pollux reining their 

The keys of the Quirinal were still at the Vatican ; 
the doors had, however, been opened by a picklock, and 
troops of workmen were busy inside pulling down and 
building up ; whilst under the colonnade of the inner 
court were temporary heaps of old timber and wains- 

The preparations were made in the hope of the speedy 
advent of a reluctant and perplexed King, doomed to 
share with his vis-a-vis at the Vatican a capital that 
recalled merely papal or republican memories. The 


2io MARY HO WITT. [en. vi. 

Emperor Constantine, on becoming Christian, had found 
it advisable to remove the seat of government to Con- 
stantinople ; and through the long succeeding centuries, 
Rienzi, the French, and " Young Italy " had each pro- 
claimed the patrimony of the Popes a republic, not a 
monarchy. The thought oppressed Victor Emmanuel ; 
he dreaded to sleep in the violated home of a deprived 
Pontiff, who was still charming the faithful by the meek- 
ness and patience with which he bore his sorrows. 

On December 22 Rome was officially declared the 
capital of Italy. Yet the arrival of the King was con- 
stantly postponed. Many of our acquaintance said, in- 
deed, that he never would come. Silence and gloom 
prevailed. There were no great Church functions, few 
strangers, and much discontent in the minds of hotel 
and lodging-house keepers. On Sunday, Christmas Day, 
it rained piteously ; on Monday with increasing violence. 
On Wednesday the Tiber, having risen to a terrific 
height, most destructively inundated the lower parts 
of the city. On Friday tfre muddy, yellow waters had 
sufficiently subsided for people to be released from 
their terrible captivity ; but wherever the flood had 
been, cellars and lower storeys were submerged. In 
the middle of the streets mud lay ankle-deep thick, 
slimy mud, that adhered like ointment to everything it 
touched, and left a yellow stain behind. The scene of 
ruin was indescribable. In the Corso, grand plate-glass 
windows were obscured with mud, and panels of finely 
painted doors bulged with water. Anxious-looking 
shopkeepers and weary servants were splashed with the 
mud they were sweeping from within-doors on to the 
pavement. On Saturday, at four o'clock in the morning, 
we heard, as we lay in bed, a distant shout and a roar 


as of driving carriages. Up we jumped, and looking 
from our windows, saw, in a sudden illumination of 
Bengal light, the long-expected King, amid shouts of 
" Evviva il Re ! " flash past in a state equipage, followed 
by other carriages and torches. It was the disaster of 
the flood that had brought him so suddenly ; but after 
visiting the distressed portions of the city and leaving 
money for the sufferers, he departed the same night, 
New Year's Eve. 

In February occurred the maddest Carnival that had 
been seen in Rome since 1848. Our niece and our 
young friend, after enjoying it amazingly, left the last day 
but one of the Carnival, under suitable escort, for Eng- 
land ; and the evening before their departure, went with 
Margaret and some of our acquaintance to drink at the 
Fountain of Trevi, that they might come back to Rome. 
In their absence we sent down our old woman-servant, 
Rosa, a peasant from Rimini, to the landlord, who 
dwelt below, with the request that the street-door might 
be left ajar and the oil-lamp on the stairs not extin- 
guished until the signorine returned. 

What, then, was our surprise and horror, when Rosa 
rushed into the drawing-room, shrieking that " the bir- 
bone (rascal) of a landlord had bastinaded her ; " there- 
with pointing to the marks of a cane across her face. 
She was pursued by the perpetrator, a man of a melan- 
choly countenance and black hair and eyes. He, livid 
with rage, was followed by his handsome young wife in a 
great flutter. Our servant denounced them for claiming 
our charcoal ashes for their bucato the buck or lye for 
their clothes to soak in ; they, her, for shutting a door in 
their son's face. This in their eyes was a tremendous 
offence ; nevertheless we managed politely to get the 



couple back to their own premises. Rosa was beyond us. 
Screaming and weeping, she threw open a window, and 
shrieked her wrongs into the street. This led to the 
speedy arrival of two policemen, one of whom remained 
pacing up and down before the house, much to the 
surprise of the party returning from the Fountain of 

We were not wholly unprepared for this outburst of 
hot Italian temper on the part of our padrone. He had 
more than once, without the least provocation, suddenly 
appeared on the verge of a towering rage ; then, conquer- 
ing his passion, would send up flowers or newspapers, as 
if to remove any disagreeable impression. The morning 
after the assault he wrote a letter to my husband, " ask- 
ing pardon for the scandal, but requiring us to dismiss 
our wicked servant, who was an offence to his excellent 
consort." As Rosa, notwithstanding her curious habit ol 
drinking our lamp-oil like water, suited us admirably, 
and as inquiries in the neighbourhood confirmed our 
suspicions of our landlord's excitability, William appealed 
to the British Consul. 

Mr. Severn, the artist, the devoted friend and nurse of 
Keats, held this post ; and my husband, calling at the 
Consulate, found him occupied at his easel, in a studio 
approached through a suite of lofty rooms hung with 
paintings, and in person reminding him of Coleridge in 
the decline of life : the somewhat corpulent tendency, 
the black velvet waistcoat, a certain similarity of features, 
and the head slightly thrown back in talking. On 
hearing of the fray he said 

" I've known Italians die in these furies, in what 
they call a Rabbiatura. It is best to cow such people, 
who are generally poltroons. Fifty years ago the 


Roman eating-houses were much worse than now. 
Dear Keats and I had such wretched dinners sent in, 
that he told me one morning ' he had hit on a plan 
for us to be better served.' I wondered what he meant 
to do, for I knew no Italian in those days, and Keats, 
though quick at learning, not enough to discuss the 
merits of a dinner. The trattore brought the food, as 
usual, in a basket. Keats lifted the lid, and perceiving 
at a glance the quality of the fare, without a word 
took each dish to the window and emptied it into the 
street. The cook never charged us for the dinner, and 
gave us a good one ever after. 

" I did not forget that lesson. After poor, gentle, 
vivacious Keats was dead of his consumption, our 
padrone, fearing infection, burnt the furniture, for 
which he sent me in a tremendous bill. After it had 
been discharged, he summoned me a month later to 
pay for the broken crockery. On going to the house 
where we had dwelt, at the right-hand corner of the 
Spanish steps ascending to the Trinita^ de' Monte, he 
showed me on a table a pile of broken plates, cups, 
and saucers, which he must have ransacked the neigh- 
bourhood to collect. Feigning a great rage, with one 
fell swoop I dashed all the bits to the floor, and the 
affair was settled." 

Mr. Severn effectually silenced our padrone, not- 
withstanding the ominous postscript to his final bill : 
" He meant to be legally indemnified for all the damage 
we had done chi rompe paga." This sentence, pla- 
carded at the time about Rome in pink, blue, and 
yellow, had greatly puzzled us. One reading of it was, 
whichever, King or Pope, broke the peace would have 
to pay. It might have some such covert meaning, just 

2i 4 MARY HOWITT. [CH. vi. 

as, in 1873, the words in large letters, " Abbasso Verdi," 
were no opprobrious term for the composer of II Tro- 
vatore and other popular modern operas, but signified 
" Down with Vittorio Emanuele, Re d' Italia ; " the 
word Verdi being employed for an acrostic. 

The conduct of our later landlords seemed swayed 
by combined feelings of liking for their tenants and 
self-interest. We never again met with such an instance 
of unbridled, fierce, and turbulent irascibility. But then 
this padrone, who has since been elevated to the rank 
of a cavaliere by the Italian Government, was notorious 
for his violence. When we were located in charming 
new quarters, the rector of a college, now a bishop in 
America, was charged with a message to us from an 
Italian priest, to the effect that, having dwelt above us, 
he should have personally expressed at the time his 
sympathy in our annoyance, but for the molestation it 
might have entailed on his landlord's family, who were 
the second-floor tenants of our padrone. My husband 
next read in his Koman newspaper that the female 
servant of the same padrone, having on one holiday 
exceeded her leave of absence, was accompanied back 
by a policeman, who threatened to punish her master 
if he attempted to maltreat her. 

The good offices of Margaret Foley, the gifted, gene- 
rous-hearted New England sculptress, and her tender- 
spirited young friend, Lizzy H , had procured us a 

much better home than we had earlier enjoyed. It was 
with these and some other valued friends that William 
and I celebrated our golden wedding, on April 16, 1871, 
by a memorable excursion to Castel Fusano. 

Starting from our dwelling in the Via di Porta Pin- 
ciana so called from the closed gate where the blind 


Belisarius is said to have sat and begged and passing 
through the Porta di San Paolo, which he rebuilt, we 
drove over the solitary Campagna, green with spring 
grass and leaves, for fifteen miles. Then, leaving, to 
our right, the ancient walls and castle of Ostia a place 
so endeared to many devout souls from its pathetic as- 
sociation with St. Augustine and his dying mother 

/ O 

we proceeded a couple of miles to Prince Chigi's park, 
Castel Fusano. There, in one of the avenues of huge 
stone-pines, we deposited our wraps and provisions, and 
greeted by a nightingale and gathering masses of fra- 
grant flowers, we wandered on for another mile to the 

No words can describe the beauty of the scene. A 
causeway paved with blocks of lava led from the back of 
the ancient castellated mansion, on its lawny meadows, 
between woods of arbutus, phillyrea, of flowering daphne, 
cistus, myrtle, and heath twenty feet high, carpeted with 
crimson cyclamens and overshadowed by the solemn ilex, 
cork, and pine, to a somewhat desolate teach of shifting 
sands, held together by tufts of sea-wheat and the eringo, 
with its blue-green, thistle-like foliage. It was wonderful 
to be where in all probability the Christian philosopher, 
Minucius Felix, and his friend Octavius walked from " that 
very pleasant city, Ostia, . . . tracking the coast of the 
gently bending shore ; " and although, after a lapse of six- 
teen centuries, all now was solitary and deserted, yet, just 
as then, " the sea, always restless, even when the winds 
are lulled, came up on the shore with waves crisp and 

We had a merry collation in an avenue of stone-pines 
near Prince Chigi's fine old casino ; then, after wading 
to our waists through a sea of flowering asphodels to gain 

2 i6 MARY HO WITT. [CH. vi. 

a clear view of the Pontine Marshes, drove back in a 
summer-like evening to Rome. 

It had been a fine April morning fifty years earlier 
when William and I, with our nearest relatives, walked 
to Meeting, all the little town of Uttoxeter looking 
on. I wonder I did not feel very nervous. We had 
some of the Friends to dinner a better one than usual ; 
if I remember rightly, a cook was engaged for the occa- 
sion from the White Hart. Then William and I and all 
the young people strolled in the garden and up to the 
Bank Closes, a nice little home walk. After our return 
rain fell. We had more Friends to tea ; all those who 
had not been invited to dinner. Afterwards the sun came 
out, and we left in quite a splendid sunset. I remember 
so well how bright the evening was after the rain, and 
have often thought it was like our life marked by April 
showers, with a lovely calm sunset. From the period of 
our arrival in Rome, I may truly say that the promise in 
Scripture, "At evening time it shall be light," was in our 
case fulfilled. 



OUR tenants in England were desirous of continuing 
their lease of The Orchard, and we to stay on in Italy, 
where the climate had something so soothing, so exactly 
fitting to old age. I prized in Rome the kind, sympa- 
thetic friends given to us, the ease of social existence, 
the poetry, classic grace, the peculiar and deep pathos 
diffused around ; above all, the stirring and affecting 
historic memories ; for every stone and monument spoke 
of famous classic or Christian deeds, of the blood of 
martyrs and the virtues of saints. It was a locality which 
led me to perceive how, in a manner, each person makes 
his own heaven or hell. To some of our intimate friends 
Rome was truly, in the words of Dante 

" The holy place wherein 
Sits the successor of the greatest Peter ; " 

the centre of triumphant Christianity, sacred as Jeru- 
salem until the Crucifixion. To others it held the posi- 
tion of pagan Rome to the early Christians a centre 
of cruelty, abomination, and duplicity, its sanitary short- 
comings being a type of its social condition. To me it 
was a city of habitation after long wanderings in the 
wilderness ; to my husband who did not unreservedly 




share my enthusiasm it became, as well as to myself, 
the finishing-school of our earthly life. 

In the June of 1871, accompanied by Miss Foley, 
we went for the summer to Tyrol, where we were quite 
providentially led, in the neighbourhood of Bruneck, 
to an old mansion called Mayr-am-Hof, which, though 


evidencing a slow decline, stood up massive and grand 
at the farther end of the gradually ascending village 
of Dietenheim. It was a long building, with lofty roof 
and dormer-windows, plastered and painted after the 
Palladian style in effective designs to represent Grecian 
pilasters, circles, and other ornamentations, and pro- 
tected by much fine ironwork that grated the windows 




or swelled out in jutting balconies. It had a back- 
yard and farm-buildings of no mean order, seen through 
a stately but somewhat ruinous entrance, conspicuously 
surmounted by a fresco painted dull red and white, 
like the rest of the building. The subject, in harmony 


with the religious faith in Tyrol, represented the Virgin 
and Child attended by St. Joseph ; a guardian angel and 
its human charge ; St. John Nepomucen, protector against 
floods ; and St. Florian, against fire. 

We learnt from a tall young peasant, with a refined 


[CH. VII. 

countenance and the most self-possessed manners, that 
the place belonged to his father. The family merely 
occupied a portion, and the rest was empty. We ex- 
pressed a desire to inspect the interior, and were courte- 
ously conducted upstairs through a great stone hall into 
a saloon of vast dimensions, with a fine embossed ceiling 
of stucco, and lighted by eight windows. We were 
shown an adjoining room wainscoted, having the char- 


acter of an oratory ; and recrossing the hall, a spacious 
chamber, possessing a long interior latticed casement, 
screened by an old-fashioned chintz curtain with a kneel- 
ing bench under it, and opening like a squire's pew into 
the old chapel. We were taken, on the second floor, into 
three vacant rooms occupying the broad southern gable- 
front, the centre one having a balcony which commanded 
a splendid view up and down the Pusterthal. 

i87i-79-J HOME AND TYROL. 221 

Although the rooms were almost bare, they were 
furnished with beautiful views, had noble proportions 
and well-scrubbed floors ; and the whole place, from 
its uniqueness, space, and dignified decay, so appealed 
to our taste that we esteemed ourselves fortunate to be 
accepted as tenants. Our landlord, who had never let 
rooms before, was Anton Mutschlechner, best known 
as the " Hof-bcvuer," a spare man in a brown home- 
spun jacket faced with green, unless it were some great 
Church festival, when he donned the long Noah's Ark 
coat in which he was married a quarter of a century 
before. He was a quiet disciplinarian, given to hard 
toil and pious meditation. In 1809 he had been a 
funny little Tyroler boy, whom the French officers then 
quartered in Mayr-am-Hof petted and caressed. They 
were otherwise terrible and alarming lodgers, who burnt 
cartloads of wood in the great stoves, damaging, crack- 
ing, and ever after rendering unserviceable the elaborate 
pile of white faience in the saloon. 

We vastly enjoyed our Robinson Crusoe life at Mayr- 
am-Hof, where a godly routine of prayer and labour 
hallowed the entire household. Margaret Foley, a born 
carpenter and practical inventor, set to work, and so did 
my husband, and made us all sorts of capital contriv- 
ances. Thus, with fine weather out-of-doors and a roof 
over our heads, we lacked nothing. Behind the house 
a common gently sloped upwards, surmounted by an 
old crucifix and two lime-trees. There we sat evening 
after evening to watch the wonderful sunset after-glow 
on a group of strange, rugged dolomite mountains. 
They filled up the eastern end of the valley, and be- 
came indescribably beautiful and strangely spiritual as 
they flushed crimson, melted into deep violet, faded a 



[CH. VII. 

ghastly grey, then were shrouded from view by the pall 
of night. 

Substantial Mayr-am-Hof, so attractive to us in its 
venerable decay, grew from a retreat for a few weeks 
into our permanent summer home. Leaving hot weather 


and ripe cherries in Home, we have hastened thither at 
the beginning of May to find the sparkling snow lying 
thick and low on the mountains ; the trees leafless, but a 
green flush on the giant poplar, and the cherry-blossoms 
ready to burst forth. The fleeting hours, however, soon 

1871-79-] ROME AND TYROL. 223 

brought us sultry summer heat, interspersed with heavy 
thunderstorms. Then came calm, cloudless autumn days, 
when the fir-trees stood out black against the intense 
blue, fathomless sky, with here and there a mountain 
ash or a wild-cherry dyed gold or crimson ; but all other 
foliage suggestive of July. Next came November, with 
gloomy heavens, withered scattered leaves, wild winds 
and rattling casements, making us thankful to cross the 
bare, brown plain to the railway station, en route for 
benign and radiant Italy. 

Eesuming now the chronological thread from April 
1871, the following passages from letters tell the story 
sufficiently. : 


" Casa Qverbeck, Rocca di Papa, May 30, 1871. 
Here we are very comfortable and well, the father 
cheerful as the day is long; but it is decided that we 
act on the original plan, and go on in a fortnight to 
Tyrol. Mr. Carl Hoffmann is a good young fellow, and 
has done all he could to make us comfortable. He 
apologised once for seeming to make so free with us, 
but said he felt at home with us from the first moment ; 
there was something about us that reminded him of his 
grandfather Overbeck, whose memory he greatly reveres. 
He arranged everything for us to go to the flower-fes- 
tival at Genzano the day before yesterday. We had five 
donkeys, and nothing could have been pleasanter. 

" On Friday the 26th we walked to Hannibal's Camp, 
which is a meadow platform of great extent above the 
volcanic heights of Rocca di Papa. There we were met 
by a little troop of lads, all rags and tatters, with bare, 

224 MARY HO WITT. [CH. vir. 

dirty feet, and either bare-headed or with old round- 
crowned hats, which tumbled almost over their noses. 
On they came in single file along the narrow channel 
of the rock-road, shouldering stout sticks for guns, and 
under the command of a little active urchin with white 
paper bands on his arm and the air of a general. We 
had to step aside to make way for them, when at once 
a halt was called. The juvenile troop was marshalled 
on a broad shelf of rock, and quick as lightning went 
through their evolutions. They shouldered, grounded 
their arms, fired, charged, fired again, and twice, at 
the command of their officer, fell flat to the ground, 
and so fired, taking aim at the village of Marino, lying 
far below, four miles off, on the edge of the Latin 

"The eldest of this little company was eleven, the 
youngest probably seven, yet all had the most perfect self- 
composure and every movement was agile and graceful. 
But this was no other than a tiny Papalini troop, true 
to the Holy Father, and ready, as they thought, to fight 
for him. The worst of this Italian peasantry is, that 
all are beggars. The Roman Church has so long taught 
that alms-giving is a cardinal virtue that it has converted 
the people into suppliants for charity ; so now our brave 
little Papalini troop had no sooner gone through their 
manoeuvres than their leader stepped forward, and 
stretching out his small dirty hand said with an air of 
coaxing beggary, ' Dated qualche cosa.' But we never 
give to the beggars, so we parted somewhat disgusted 
with each other. 

"When, however, we were advancing up the steep 
Rocca di Papa street with our train of donkeys, on 
Sunday, we soon found ourselves attacked by the 

1871-79-] ROME AND TYROL. 225 

dated qualche cosa tribe ; and amongst them the small 
officer of the former evening, with his stout stick 
which had served then for a gun still in his hand. He 
was there, all smiles and courtesy ; and with something 
of the old martial character, declared himself now to 
be our defender. Turning to Carl Hoffmann, he said, 
* I knew these creatures would tease you with their 
begging ; so I have come to attend you to Genzano, 
Signor Carlo.' ' What a clever little lad that is ! ' we 
remarked. ' He is an old acquaintance of mine,' replied 
Herr Hoffmann ; ' he is Ernesto, the Maestro di Casa, as 
you will find before long.' 

" We went to Genzano through the great chestnut 
woods which clothe these hillsides. Above us, and now 
left behind, was the white convent of the Passionists 
on the lofty Monte Cavo, where until the time of 
Cardinal York were the ruins of the great temple of 
Jupiter. Here and there through openings in the woods 
we saw below us the far- spreading Campagna ; beyond, 
the green wooded heights of Albano and Castel Gan- 
dolfo ; and beyond, all the silver belt of the sea. The 
path was so narrow through the woods that we advanced 
in single file, with bushes of golden broom bending 
beneath their weight of flowers, and with such a mass 
of blossoming plants below, bordering the way-side, as 
could only be equalled in an English flower-garden : 
balsam-like archangels, vetches of the loveliest and most 
varied growths, laburnums, sweet mignonette, roses, 
white masses of arenaria, rockets, asphodels, now just 
over, wild sweet peas, columbines, cytisus. We thought 
the flowers beautiful in Switzerland ; they are still more 
so in this finer climate. 

" On we went for four or five pleasant miles and 
VOL. ii. r 



village, Rocca di Papa, is the funniest place you can 
conceive. It is built up the face of a great rock, house 
above house, looking from below a dense mass of build- 
ings. The streets are too steep for carriages, and in many 
places a succession of steps. It is the filthiest village 
imaginable; and the population, about three thousand 
persons, are as thick on the ground as rabbits in a warren. 
In an evening they are all out in the streets, so that you 
have a full view of them. They are a most Irish-looking 
population. The men dress exactly like Irish, in rough, 
coarse bluish coats, breeches, and old sunburnt hats, with 
tapering crowns and slouching brims. The women, how- 
ever, are very different, dressing in bright colours, red, 
lilac, and yellow, with a square piece of white linen on 
their heads, or else a coloured kerchief." 


" Dietenheim, Tyrol, Aug. 6, 1871. We had a great 
desire to go up to the Aim or Alp, that we might be able 
to understand the life of these simple people thoroughly. 
The Hof-bauer begged that we would do so, and make 
ourselves quite at home with the best they could offer us. 
We accordingly invited Maria, the daughter, to accompany 
us. She is a tall, buxom young woman of about four- 
and-twenty, full of good-humour, and was highly delighted 
with the invitation. 

"We went in the Stellwagen to the village of Taufers ; 
and engaging a man at the inn to carry up our personal 
belongings and our ample provisions, we set off on foot 
up a magnificent valley, ever ascending through ancient 
woods of larch and spruce, and by the side of a tumultuous 
river which comes down from mountains ten to eleven 
thousand feet high. This steep road, which no carriage 

1871-79-] ROME AND TYROL. 229 

can ascend, is traversed by the herds of cattle, that come 
here in the early summer and return in the autumn, their 
hoofs being able to find foothold on the rock ; and it 
is curious that, so delighted are the cattle to go thither 
for the summer after the winter's confinement in the 
stall, that they make the journey with a kind of joyful 
impatience, going on still more eagerly as they approach 
the end ; and when they have reached the accustomed 
alp, rushing to the higher summit as if they could not 
sufficiently enjoy the luxury of the change. These are 
the cattle which have already been on the alp, the new- 
comers are often at first timid, and have to learn how to 
walk upon and climb amongst the rocks. When, however, 
the summer is nearing to its close, they seem to long for 
their warm stalls, because the nights and mornings are 
bitterly cold and early frosts nip the grass ; so they 
appear delighted to return, and rush on with the same 
eagerness the nearer they approach the old home, each 
one turning with joyful haste into its own accustomed 
stall, which they never mistake. 

"When we had walked about five hours, and were 
getting very weary, we reached the village of Rein or St. 
Wolfgang, standing on the edge of a very watery little 
plain or central valley, into which many streams flow. 
Here we turned into a lesser valley, the Bachenthal, a 
perfect paradise of an Alpine valley. Just then it began 
to rain, and we had to walk along narrow paths, through 
mowing grass full of flowers, on and on till, when it was 
quite dusk, we came to a chalet where the Hof-bauer's 
pachter, a tenant farmer, lives. The pachter, with his men, 
was at supper when we arrived ; the wife was busy in 
the little kitchen baking cakes to be eaten hot with their 
milk. If we had been comets of the sky we could not 

228 MARY HOWITT. [en. vn. 

village, Eocca di Papa, is the funniest place you can 
conceive. It is built up the face of a great rock, house 
above house, looking from below a dense mass of build- 
ings. The streets are too steep for carriages, and in many 
places a succession of steps. It is the filthiest village 
imaginable; and the population, about three thousand 
persons, are as thick on the ground as rabbits in a warren. 
In an evening they are all out in the streets, so that you 
have a full view of them. They are a most Irish-looking 
population. The men dress exactly like Irish, in rough, 
coarse bluish coats, breeches, and old sunburnt hats, with 
tapering crowns and slouching brims. The women, how- 
ever, are very different, dressing in bright colours, red, 
lilac, and yellow, with a square piece of white linen on 
their heads, or else a coloured kerchief." 


" Dietenheim, Tyrol, Aug. 6, 1871. We had a great 
desire to go up to the Aim or Alp, that we might be able 
to understand the life of these simple people thoroughly. 
The Hof-bauer begged that we would do so, and make 
ourselves quite at home with the best they could offer us. 
We accordingly invited Maria, the daughter, to accompany 
us. She is a tall, buxom young woman of about four- 
and-twenty, full of good-humour, and was highly delighted 
with the invitation. 

"We went in the Stellwagen to the village of Taufers ; 
and engaging a man at the inn to carry up our personal 
belongings and our ample provisions, we set off on foot 
up a magnificent valley, ever ascending through ancient 
woods of larch and spruce, and by the side of a tumultuous 
river which comes down from mountains ten to eleven 
thousand feet high. This steep road, which no carriage 

1871-79-] ROME AND TYROL. 229 

can ascend, is traversed by the herds of cattle, that come 
here in the early summer and return in the autumn, their 
hoofs being able to find foothold on the rock ; and it 
is curious that, so delighted are the cattle to go thither 
for the summer after the winter's confinement in the 
stall, that they make the journey with a kind of joyful 
impatience, going on still more eagerly as they approach 
the end ; and when they have reached the accustomed 
alp, rushing to the higher summit as if they could not 
sufficiently enjoy the luxury of the change. These are 
the cattle which have already been on the alp, the new- 
comers are often at first timid, and have to learn how to 
walk upon and climb amongst the rocks. When, however, 
the summer is nearing to its close, they seem to long for 
their warm stalls, because the nights and mornings are 
bitterly cold and early frosts nip the grass ; so they 
appear delighted to return, and rush on with the same 
eagerness the nearer they approach the old home, each 
one turning with joyful haste into its own accustomed 
stall, which they never mistake. 

" When we had walked about five hours, and were 
getting very weary, we reached the village of Rein or St. 
Wolfgang, standing on the edge of a very watery little 
plain or central valley, into which many streams flow. 
Here we turned into a lesser valley, the Bachenthal, a 
perfect paradise of an Alpine valley. Just then it began 
to rain, and we had to walk along narrow paths, through 
mowing grass full of flowers, on and on till, when it was 
quite dusk, we came to a chalet where the Hof-bauer's 
pachter, a tenant farmer, lives. The pachter, with his men, 
was at supper when we arrived ; the wife was busy in 
the little kitchen baking cakes to be eaten hot with their 
milk. If we had been comets of the sky we could not 

230 MARY HOWITT. [CH. vn. 

have made much more excitement among them. What 
was to be done with these new-comers, these outlandish 
people \ But Maria set all right. In the room where the 
men were at supper we had, later, our evening meal, one 
of these men meantime hastening off for Jakob Mutsch- 
lechner, Maria's youngest brother, who was higher up the 
mountain, at the senner huts. The farmer's two children 
lads of about eight and ten crept to the top of the big 
stove and looked on with wonder as we ate our supper. 
When it was about half over, Jakob, in his shirt-sleeves 
and his jacket loosely thrown over his shoulder, made his 
appearance. He is a perfect gentleman in manners, and 
made us right welcome. 

" We slept in the barn, which was half-full of new hay, 
sweet and clean ; and were speedily wakened by a storm 
of thunder and lightning, deluging rain, and a wild wind 
that seemed as if it would tear off the very roof. Here was a 
prospect for us ! The thunder and lightning passed over, 
but the rain continued. No matter, we would lie in the 
hay till it was fine. In the morning Maria brought us 
coffee in a brown earthenware pot, and hot milk in a brown, 
broad, open dish, from the house through the rain. We 
sat in the hay, and made a capital and very merry breakfast. 
By eleven, the rain having ceased, we set off for the senner 
huts. Again it was ever ascending, as if into the very 
bosom of the great snow-covered mountains, through a 
region of rocks and woods, with intervals of the greenest, 
finest pasture. Presently the woods opened, and standing 
upon a wild, stony hillside, the magnificent mountains 
shutting it in on all hands, we came upon a group of senner 
huts, which delighted your father, as they bore a striking 
resemblance to a rich Australian station. There were, I 
think, fourteen separate buildings, all of wood, in the 

1871-79-] ROME AND TYROL. 231 

picturesque Tyrolean style ; five were dwellings, and the 
rest cattle-sheds and barns. Our people's huts were the 
highest of all, and we had a long climb over rocks before 
we reached them, Jakob coming down to meet and bid us 
welcome. He and good old Franz, the senner, occupied 
one hut, half of which was the dairy, where stood pans of 
rich milk and cream. Jakob is the herdsman ; he has to 
count up the cattle daily and bring them in ; the oxen, 
however, of which there are seven yoke, lie out all the 
night. Franz is dairyman. 

" No sooner had we arrived than the latter appeared with 
a frying-pan, and having taken the thick cream from five 
pans of milk, proceeded to make cream-pancakes, which 
proved to be a most dainty dish, although made over a 
fire of logs in the kitchen, where there was no chimney, 
the smoke issuing through long slits in the wall. Your 
father and I sat on wooden stools and watched the cooking 
process, he interesting the old senner and Jakob by stories 
of Australian life and travel, which the present scenes 
brought back livingly and pleasantly to his mind. In the 
meantime the two Margarets had set to work at a cold 
collation in the dairy. But I assure you the cream-pan- 
cakes were better than anything we had taken with us. 
Besides, it was the right dish to eat in a senner hut ; and 
in return we gave these mountaineers of our ham and cold 
fowl and almond-cake, which were as great luxuries to 

" After our dinner Jakob went to attend to his herds- 
man's duties. Franz, a right good old Tyroler, who has 
been many years in the service of this family, and who, 
in his old leathern breeches and bare knees, his Tyrolese 
hat, green waistcoat, and broad leathern belt, is a right 
pleasant sight to see, had no sooner cleaned and washed 

23 2 MAKY HO WITT. [CH. vn. 

his frying-pan at the long trough made of a hollowed tree- 
trunk, which holds a supply of the finest running water, 
than he was at our service. We wanted to go up to the 
glacier, which we imagined (as it looked now so near to 
us, lying in the bosom of the great Hochgall, ten thou- 
sand feet high) to be within a walk ; but it proved to be 
at some hours' distance, and thus unattainable. However, 
Franz took us to the wild waterfall formed by the torrent 
which comes down from the glacier ; and never in my life 
do I expect again to have a walk through such scenery, so 
wild and chaotic ; through such old, old woods where the 
giant trees stand up, scathed and bleached by lightning 
and storm, like towers, or lie tumbled in the wildest, 
dreariest confusion, amongst giant rocks, like the remains 
of some old world. I thought what English word expressed 
the character of this scenery. I could only think of chaotic 
desolation : the German word schauderhaft gives some 
idea of it. Through such scenery we went till we reached 
the wild, foaming water which came down from the glacier, 
and crossing this by an Alpine bridge, we found ourselves 
in a lovely green pasture, scattered over with rocks, run- 
ning into lofty mounds and sinking into fairy-like glens, 
out of which rose lofty fir-trees of the finest growth; 
and all round rose up the craggy mountains, and high 
above the cold, icy glacier. 

"We reached the senner hut about five o'clock, had 
a right pleasant tea, and so back to our hay-barn. It 
was a calm, still night, and in the early dawn we heard 
the pdchter ' denzelling ' his scythe that is, beating 
the edge fine on a little iron anvil, a work which the 
mower does each morning preparatory to his day's work. 
By this it was evident that the morning was fine ; and 
by six o'clock the sun shone through the chinks in the 

1871-79-] ROME AND TYROL. 233 

wooden walls, and looking through the door, I saw the 
little goat-herd and the goats ascending the craggy rocks 
which directly faced the barn. Your father had been 
out for a walk, and came in to breakfast with flowers 
stuck in his hat Tyrolean fashion. He had been out 
gathering them and reading his Eoman newspaper, which 
comes to him every day. Again we visited the senner 
huts ; and the following morning set off on our home- 
ward way. The descent seemed to us quite as fatigu- 
ing as the climb, perhaps even more so, because, the 
road being flagged with rude stones, we came down by 
irregular steps." 

" Via Sistina, Rome, Nov. 3, 1871. October in Tyrol 
was a season of pastoral festivity, when the cattle re- 
turned from their various alps or summer pastures, with 
their barbaric crowns, embroidered neck-belts, bells, and 
garlands the roads being filled with these sleek, well- 
fed herds, with the lesser flocks of goats and sheep, like 
the migrating wealth of the ancient patriarchs. On 
they came proudly, the very cattle conscious of their 
own dignity and worth, attended by the no less con- 
scious senner and his subordinates, all in their Sunday 
best, and hats decorated with mountain flowers. A truly 
Idyllic show of cattle slowly passing through villages 
to their home-pastures. 

" ' A Roma ! ' It was very pleasant to make this reply 
to the hurrying porter, who, snatching up an armful of 
our numerous smaller impedimenta at the crowded railway 
station of Florence, demanded whither we were bound. 
It was fourteen days since we left the happy Tyrol. 
We had travelled leisurely, visiting Padua and Bologna ; 
and had lastly lingered for eight days among the art 



treasures and the kindly people of Florence. 'If you 
are for Home, make haste and secure your places ! ' 
said a friendly voice, 'for the crowd which is going 
is immense.' 

" So it was. A detachment of the thirty thousand 
Government officials, high and low, and their families, 
whose exodus from Florence to Rome has left so many 
houses vacant in the one city, and elated the hearts 
and whetted the cupidity of landlords in the other, was 
unquestionably on the move this morning. Thus two 
unusually crowded trains arrived at Rome from Florence 
at the same moment, we of the express, and the ordi- 
nary train, which had preceded us from Florence by two 
or three hours, and both bringing in such crowds of 
people, with interminable piles of luggage, that it was 
nearly an hour before we could receive our own and 

" Rome is indeed becoming a busy and a populous 
city ; and our friends, as we proceeded homeward, gave 
us to understand the almost impossibility which it had 
appeared a week ago that quarters could be found for 
us. New streets were being laid out, and new houses 
had been built ; but who that knew their date would 
venture into them this first season? Margaret Foley 
had, however, found a cosy little home for us in the 
Via Sistina." 


"Nov. 5, 1871. Oh! if only Alfred and you were 
here I should be ready to say, 'Let Henry Chorley's 
words about us be true. Let us all live out our lives in 
this kindly and beautiful Italy, to which surely God has 
given all the charms of the earth.' As it is, however, 

1871-79-] ROME AND TYROL. 235 

I feel at times as if even gloomy England, with its drab 
atmosphere, would be pleasanter if one could only sit 
down by the fireside with you. But we will leave all 
to God, for He will do that which is best for each of 
us ; and we do not know, any one of us, what He designs 
by us or what He has in store for us. Please give my 
affectionate regards to Henry Chorley when you see him 
next ; and you can tell him, if you like, that though I 
hold much of the old Catholic faith, and though I am 
convinced that within the walls of many convents many 
souls live in close communion with God, yet no one 
believes more firmly than I do in the anti-Christianity of 
the Papacy, and that we are watching with the intensest 
interest the progress of events, which will, we trust, bring 
about its downfall. 

" I must now give you an idea, if I can, of our locality. 
Looking up the street, the piazza of the Trinit^ de' Monte 
immediately opens out before us, with the distant heights 
of Monte Mario, where the sun now sets, and the evening 
skies are beautiful. Just opposite to us is the old palace 
of some Queen of Poland, a rather dingy-looking place, 
with traces of grandeur about it. It forms the division 
between the Via Sistina and the Via Gregoriana, which 
unite in the piazza. Grand old painters have lived about 
here Poussin, Claude Lorraine, Salvator Eosa. The old 
house of the Queen of Poland was built by the artists 
Taddeo and Federigo Zuccaro ; and when Bartholdy, 
the Prussian Consul, lived in it, he employed Overbeck, 
Schadow, Veit, and Cornelius to cover the walls of an 
upper chamber with frescoes from the life of Joseph. 
These art-brethren of St. Luke also dwelt at one time 
near here, at the top of the Via St. Isidore, in the monas- 
tery of that name. It is an Irish Franciscan institution, 

23 6 MARY HOWITT. [CH. vn. 

and its church is dedicated both to St. Patrick and St. 
Isidore. Opposite to the monastery of St. Isidore is the 
little church of Maria Riparatrice, where candles are 
ever burning, and at all hours a nun kneels before the 
altar, her sky-blue and white robes flowing around her ; 
an immovable figure, in uninterrupted prayer or adora- 
tion. It is a wonderful sight. Of course, there must be 
a relay of nuns for this severe service, but apparently 
it is ever the same the same blue and white flowing 
garments, the same attitude." 

"Jan. 25, 1872. We have been to the Hotel 
d'Angleterre, to meet, at the invitation of Mr. and Mrs. 
Betts, Dr. Manning and Dr. Davis of the Religious 
Tract Society. They received us most kindly, Dr. 
Manning explaining that his mother was, in the very 
ancient Uttoxeter days, a schoolfellow of mine, Mary 
Bakewell, and that she often spoke of me as 'little 
Mary Botham, who used to sit upon a box and tell 
stories ; in fact, romances without end.' Of this romanc- 
ing I know nothing ; though, from our dear father being 
anxious that we should have 'a guarded education,' 
Anna and I did sit on a big box near Mrs. Parker, and 
the other children generally on seats in the room. Of 
course, I remember Mary Bakewell ; she was a big girl 
and very nice, one whom I admired, and of whom I 
retain a most distinct and pleasant remembrance. These 
two gentlemen next proceeded to business, requesting 
me from Dr. Macaulay to furnish a series of papers on 
Italy to the Leisure Hour. 

" Yesterday afternoon Meggie and I drank coffee with 
Frau Hoffmann such excellent coffee, that we smelt 
it before we reached the door ; such delicious little cakes 

1871-79-] ROME AND TYROL. 237 

and bread, cold water, and fine linen. What a treat 
we had afterwards in looking over some of the multi- 
tudinous sketches and studies of Overbeck ! Such ex- 
quisite bits of drapery, flowers, and foliage, drawn in 
pencil, just like yours, with such conscientious care and 
love hundreds of them. It was a real feast of delight, 
and she so old-fashioned, living only in the memory of 
that ' lieber Vater* and wishing that Carluccio (her 
son Carl) would but work as hard as his grandfather. 
It poured with rain, but we sat with the window open, 
looking into the grand old Barberini gardens, with a 
great plaster-group of the Saviour blessing St. John, 
almost filling up the room behind us ; and after the 
coffee-tray was removed, the table was covered with 
these studies and sketches of the blessed Overbeck." 

"Jan. 29. Mr. and Mrs, Edward Flower, of Strat- 
ford-on-Avon, are now in Rome. He is a grand old 
man, with the head of a Jupiter, very philanthropic, and 
most humane to horses, being the most determined foe 
of the bearing-rein. With his cheerful wife I have 
been drawn into a pleasant bond of fellowship from her 
connection with the Society of Friends. 

" Yesterday Mr. Flower invited Meggie and me to drive 
with him and his niece to vespers at St. Peter's. It 
was a long time since we had been there, and we enjoyed 
it greatly. We sat in the choir chapel and heard the 
beautiful music. Then we drove, like any other worldly 
people, to the Pincio, following the King's carriage ; and 
Mr. Flower, who evidently enjoys these things, had quite 
a child's pleasure in seeing the King, ugly man though, 
he be, and taking off his hat to him ; then, later on, 
meeting Prince Humbert, who at the first glance of 

2 3 8 


Mr. Flower took off his hat to him, and again a second 
time. At first Mr. Flower could not understand these 
salutations. Then he suddenly remembered that the 
gentleman driving with the Prince was his Master of 
the Horse, to whom, five years ago, when Mr. Flower 
was last in Italy, he sold a splendid horse for two hun- 
dred guineas. Some time afterwards, in Florence, he met 
again this official, who told him how delighted the Prince 
was with the horse, and that His Koyal Highness had 
given it the name of Flower. I was foolish enough to 
enjoy driving round and round the Pincio, as the rest 
of the world did, till the sun had sunk behind St. Peter's, 
and warned the invalid Mr. Flower that it was time to 
return. We met the dear old father entering the Pincio 
gardens, but, bless his heart ! he never once looked at 
the gay throng, and all our joint efforts to win a sign 
of recognition from him were in vain." 

"Feb. 6, 1872. Yesterday Mr. Flower was here, and 
began talking about Joel Churchill, whose adventures 
with the bear, you may remember, was one of your father's 
standard stories to you when you were children. Joel 
Churchill was one of the settlers in America with Morris 
Birkbeck and Benjamin Flower, the father of our friend, 
who himself ran wild in the woods till he was nine- 
teen, full of health and strength and all kinds of prac- 
tical knowledge. By his own wish he, at that age, 
returned to England, for he remembered a little girl, 
with whom he had played when a child, and as he 
grew to man's estate he knew that he loved her. I 
never heard a more beautiful story than Mr. Flower's. 
He married the little girl he loved, and became a 
very prosperous and wealthy man. Two-and-twenty 

1871-79-] ROME AND TYROL. 239 

years later he paid a visit to the old backwoods' settle- 
ment, which then had grown into vast prosperity ; and 
there still was Joel Churchill, living on the outskirts 
of civilisation, in his bed, shaking with an ague fit, and 
his door guarded by a bear, which he had taken young 
and trained as his watch-dog. Mr. Flower says that 
Thackeray used to come to him often for these old 
stories. They both belonged to the Reform Club, and 
if Thackeray could get him into a corner, he would 
beg him to relate something about that wild fresh life 
of the Far West. After his return from America as a 
youth, he was much with his cousins, Sarah Flower and 
her sister, and fully appreciates their memory." 

" March 3, 1872. One of the most interesting features 
here, to our mind, is the Scandinavian Society, compris- 
ing Swedes, Danes, Norwegians, and Finns. None of 
them are rich, the sculptor Jerichau and his noted wife, 
the painter, being the most so ; the whole style of these 
foreigners is the purest simplicity combined with cul- 
ture and hospitality. Their love of the sunny South 
is, as you know, intense. They are devoted to art in 
its three branches, music, painting, and sculpture. They 
associate amongst themselves, and Fredrika Bremer's 
cousin, Mdlle. Aline Bremer, from Finland, is a sort 
of aunt to many of them. Young Tegne'r, the grandson 
of the great poet, and called Esaias after him, belongs 
to this little community this winter." 


" Casa Hoffmann- Overbeck, Rocca di Papa, May 26, 
1872. We are most comfortable here could not be 
more so. All is so still ; were it not that the great 



Gothic-shaped clock in our sitting-room has been set 
going. It reminds me of some very self-sufficient 
country-woman come on a visit to you. She makes 
a bustle with every movement, she smacks her lips as 
she eats, she sups her soup with a noise, she breathes 
loud, and has a way of sighing to herself great big 
sighs that startle you with the idea that something is 
wrong; and when she has the least trifle to say she 
mouths and makes a great fuss. That is the way 
with this clock. I can never cease hearing the tick- 
tacking; every now and then the inside jerks and 
rumbles. But the beginning to strike is a thing never 
to be forgotten. Notice is given ten minutes before 
that it is about to begin, and then it purrs and buzzes, 
and at last blurts out the hour in a way to frighten 
you. It needs winding up twice in the twenty-four 
hours, and with this attention, and if you can put up 
with its oddities, it is not a bad clock." 

"May 29, 1872. It is deliciously pleasant. As I 
lift my eyes I have the most magnificent view before 
me, Rome lying clear, as if mapped out in light. It 
is exquisite. The nightingales never cease singing or 
the cuckoo shouting. Below, on the slopes of the hill, 
where the young chestnuts are shooting up thick and 
green after last year's charcoal-burning, a long line of 
men and boys are hoeing their potatoes and singing 
their melancholy songs in chorus. I love to hear it. 
I fancy that singing must come down from the time 
of the old Sabines. It is wonderfully wailing and 

" Frau Hoffmann went to Rome on Saturday ; and on 
Sunday, Herr Knudsen, the Dane, the Jerichau girls, and 

1871-79-] ROME AND TYROL. 241 

their governess set off through the woods to Albano, 
where Alberto Paulsen, the grandson of Thorwaldsen, 
was to meet them from Porto d'Anzio, where he had 
been quail-shooting. The Rocca di Papa party faith- 
fully promised Mademoiselle Gotschalk, Knudsen's aunt, 
to be back by eight o'clock, by which time in these 
southern latitudes it is quite dark. Most especially 
did she lay this injunction on them, as Carl Hoffmann, 
when he was here the other day, told her it was better 
not to be out late at night or unprotected in the lonely 
woods. A nice dainty supper was cooked for them 
by ' Mamsell,' Mademoiselle Gotschalk's companion, but 
they never came. Hour after hour passed. There was 
nothing for it but for everybody to go to bed. The 
next morning, soon after our breakfast, we heard such 
a tramping upstairs and such a talking. Soon after 
Mademoiselle Gotschalk came into our room to relate 
the yesterday's adventures. Young Paulsen had driven 
from Porto d'Anzio, accompanied by a gendarme who 
had been ill of fever and recently bled. In the midst 
of the woods they had been attacked by brigands, who 
took from Paulsen two hundred and fifty lire and his 
gun. There was no use making any resistance, because 
the gendarme was frightened out of his wits and as 
white as a ghost. On reaching Albano, Paulsen was 
met by the Jerichau girls and young Knudsen ; and was 
there not an excitement ! They went to the police- 
station, and attended by five carbineers they all set 
off along the road to Porto d'Anzio to call at every 
wayside osteria and give notice, so that, if possible, 
the culprits might be detected. They returned to 
Albano late at night. The gentlemen went off to 

Eome early the next morning, and the girls brought 
VOL. n. Q 



here the strange news. Later we saw Sophie, the 
youngest of the Jerichaus, who is about eleven, swing- 
ing ; and she shouted to us, 'May I come in and 
tell you about the robbers ? ' She is a charming girl, 
full of health, strength, and character ; fresh, bright, and 
genuine. She is just such a child as George MacDonald 
would delight in describing. She was, you may believe, 
in a great state of excitement about these bandits. It 
was such an adventure to her." 


"55 Via Sistina, Rome, New Year's Day, 1873 
We have celebrated the day by driving to the Ponte 
Nomentana, and there leaving the carriage, strolled on 
the Campagna and gathered flowers large staring 
daisies and a bright little purple geranium. Your 
father gladdened his eyes with the flocks of larks that 
kept rising before us merrily twittering, but not yet sing- 
ing, and with the flocks of sheep which grazed here 
and there, watched by the shepherds and their dogs." 

"Jan. 22, 1873. We are so interested in ' Ginx's 
Baby.' How clever it is ! What a satire it is on the 
religion, legislation, and philanthropy of the age ! God 
help us all, and send us a revelation of the true light ! 
Something stronger than the Gospels and the Gospel- 
promises, and more tangible. I thought at one time 
that spiritualism was going to give us this ; but it has 
so much shoddy and humbug about it, that even such 
as we, who believe in it, reject its outer seeming. Yet 
perhaps its very ugliness and seeming untruths are but, 
as it were, the manger-birth of the Saviour, a stumbling- 
block and an offence. You see, ' Ginx's Baby ' has 

1871-79-] ROME AND TYROL. 243 

set me thinking. I look all round, and I perceive that 
everything is wrong, all out of joint, with an attempt, 
or it may be a pretence, to get right, and no good comes 
of it ? The evil is so mighty, who is able to stand in 
the combat against it. The ghost of our Journal is 
called up before me. We got wrong ; I see that as 
plainly as possible ; but then there are so many things 
that make the best-intentioned get wrong, and that 
nothing sooner than a great success. God help the 
world ! It is made up of poor creatures. Even the 
rich and powerful cannot stand firm against the temp- 
tations of riches and power." 

"March 3, 1873. There are so many sides to Truth, 
if people would only look at them. I am reading the 
'Life of Pere Besson,' that good, pure-lived Dominican 
artist. What a beautiful revelation it is of the higher 
class of the Catholic priesthood ! No George Fox or 
John Wesley, no George Herbert or Jeremy Taylor, no 
Bunyan or Baxter, were any of them purer, truer, or more 
faithful followers of Christ. There are thousands of 
noble Christian Catholics. If it were not so, the Roman 
Catholic faith could not have survived to this day. If 
the Protestantism which is now being introduced into 
Rome by the sects were mild, tender, and loving as the 
Spirit of Christ, it might worthily replace the evil it 
seeks to uproot ; but the spirit of these little conventicles 
is, in my humble opinion, not what God will give the 
success of reformation and regeneration to. In the Pro- 
testant Episcopalian churches here, there is so evident 
an imitation of the outward ceremony of the Church of 
Rome, the officiating ministers calling themselves priests, 
that it seems to me offensive. I suppose the educational 



bias is strong in me; and though I love whatever is 
beautiful, and am sure that the beautiful belongs to 
Heaven, yet the more devotional part of my being is 
called forth by a simpler style of worship. Yesterday, 
however, I went to the English Chapel to hear the 
Archbishop of Dublin (Trench) preach, and saw Emerson 
there. He has been, with his daughter, .up the Nile. 
This evening we are to meet them at Miss Clarke's. 

" Did I tell you that Sir William Fitz-Herbert and his 
daughter are here ? She is no longer the child, but the 
young woman. It reminds us of the flight of time, and 
how many of the kind and intelligent hearts that wel- 
comed us at Tissington have ceased to beat. It casts 
a sad charm around that stately and retired home." 

" Rocca di Papa, May 20, 1873. Dear old father 
has sent you a half-comic but very hideous picture of 
this mountain town, which is baptized in Papacy, and 
has been for many hundreds of years. We must, how- 
ever, have patience w r ith these poor, dirty beggars ; the 
Catholics believe they open a door for us to Heaven 
by giving us an opportunity of relieving them. Rocca 
di Papa is nevertheless a most enjoyable place, and in 
the Overbeck house we have spacious rooms, and plenty 
of them, good air, and glorious views. Jonas Lie, the 
Norwegian author, and his family arrive to-day. They 
are to have the storey below us, as they had last year." 

"May 24, 1873. I must tell you about Ernesto, the 
'Maestro di casa,' as Carl Hoffmann called him the 
first year we were here. He is our little running foot- 
man, coming daily to clean the boots and do odd jobs, 
and is as sharp as a needle with two points. He is work- 

1871-79-] ROME AND TYROL. 245 

ing out four lire which will be paid to-morrow for a pair 
of boots for him. He wears an old brown felt hat, 
which is so big that it is either over his nose or at the 
back of his head, so that his shoulders may hold it on. 
Last year Margaret and I determined he should go to 
school. But nothing would persuade him to attend the 
new municipal school, established by Government. He 
would not go even to please us, saying, 'Nothing that 
was good was taught, but a great deal that was wicked. 
However, he could learn to read,' he added, ' for a soldo 
(halfpenny) a week ; and a big lad, a friend of his, would 
teach him to write. The man who would teach him 
lived almost at the topmost house in the village.' 

"Thither, escorted by Ernesto, we went, up and up 
the black rock-stairs of the village, over the very house- 
roofs and chimneys, as it were such a climb ! to a sort 
of rock-terrace, where a man of about forty was making 
wooden hay-forks. He was the good friend who would 
teach him to read. The wife brought us out chairs, and 
we sat down. The man was quite willing to undertake 
the task of instruction. He reprobated strongly the 
municipal school, which ' had no better way of teaching 
a child his letters than by having them painted on a wall 
and pointing them out with a stick. He knew better, 
and should teach Ernesto from the book/ We asked 
him, would he be kind enough to read us something 
from his book. * Certainly,' he said, and went into the 
house and brought out a big old Dictionary. ' Had he 
no reading-book?' we asked. 'Certainly.' Then he 
brought out a book of devotion, and calling Ernesto to 
him, desired him to spell the first word a long word, of 
which the lad knew hardly half the letters. So we saw 
what Ernesto could do, or rather could not do. Then 

246 MARY HOWITT. [CH. vn. 

the man himself read a few lines. There was no doubt 
but that he could read. As to his teaching, or rather 
Ernesto learning, that remains doubtful. However, the 
lad protests that he goes up every evening and has a 

"June 22. Yesterday morning I took my camp-stool 
into the little wood to finish a shirt for Ernesto. Pre- 
sently the church-bells sounded the 'Angelus,' and I 
thought of all our mercies with a grateful heart, and 
longed to become very dutiful to our Father in Heaven. 
Then I heard good Madame Borch, the Norwegian, with 
her sweet musical voice, give a peculiar call through 
her window down to the studio below, where her 
husband, the sculptor, was at work, to intimate to him 
that dinner was ready. I stitched away at my poor 
Ernesto's shirt, and towards one o'clock I knew that the 
Borchs had finished their dinner, for I heard the lovely 
voice of the wife singing in their small kitchen, which 
adjoins their one room, as she washed up the dishes and 
put the things by. This is nothing to tell, but to me it 
was a pleasant little idyll. Then your father strolled 
down with his white umbrella, sat down on the flowery 
grass, and talked pleasantly. Before long we saw Meg's 
figure on the balcony looking through Mr. Carl's tele- 
scope, which he has fixed for our use. Next we heard 
her give a signal for us. Our dinner was now ready. 
I had just about finished the shirt. Such a nice little 
shirt, with plaits laid down the front like a gentle- 
man's. In the evening the ecstatic Ernesto received 
it, and never, surely, did you see such a face of joy. 
He is now learning English, so he said very properly, 
' Thank you, ma'am ; ' and to-day he does not wear his 

1871-79-] ROME AND TYROL. 247 

waistcoat, that all the world of Rocca may see his 
splendid new shirt." 

"55 Via Sistina, Jan. 4, 1874. This is the first 
time that I have written '74, for though I sent you a 
scrap on New Year's Day, I did not date it ; and since 
then I have written no letters, though I have several yet 
on my conscience, and also on my heart ; as I have been 
trying these last two days to put dear, good Mrs. Gould's 
annual report of her schools for poor Italian children 
into a nice form, to wind up with a graceful 'begging 
clause,' which I find very hard work, and got so dis- 
gusted with it yesterday afternoon, that I laid it aside 
till to-morrow, when it must be done." 

"Jan. 6. There is to be an entertainment at the 
Marionette Theatre for the benefit of the Creche. The 
dear old father takes a great interest in this proposed 
diversion, and has bestowed tickets on several individuals, 
to whom the attention has been a real kindness, as it 
has brought a ray of gladness into their poor solitary 
lives. Our own treat will be to take with us the dear, 
bright, simple-hearted children of the novelist, Jonas Lie, 
and his sweet little wife Thomasine. 

" Yesterday afternoon, when I had finished, to my no 
small relief, the report of her school for Mrs. Gould, I 
put on my best bonnet and best gloves, and set off in 
the first instance to call on those two excellent and 
agreeable women, Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell and her sister. 
From them I went to Miss Brewster's afternoon recep- 
tion ; went in at the lower door of the Palazzo Albani, past 
the old fountain with the Gorgon's head grinning above 
it, up a winding staircase till I came to a door, out of 

248 MAKY HOWITT. [CH. vn. 

which velvet-clad, perfumed ladies were coming ; and so 
in through a couple of nicely furnished ante-rooms to the 
larger apartment, where she sat, in black velvet and an 
Indian scarf over her shoulders, receiving her visitors. I 
soon saw a nice white-headed gentleman of my acquaint- 
ance, attached to the American Embassy, though himself 
an Italian. So we began to talk he to tell me of the 
Roman college for ladies, which will be inaugurated to- 
day, with an Italian poetess, a very remarkable woman, 
Signora Fua Fusinato, at its head; exactly similar in 
character and advantages to the female colleges in England. 
It interested me greatly, yet not so much as to prevent 
my seeing what went on around. 

" I observed a gentleman seated before a pretty, black 
Japanese screen near the fire. I was wondering who in 
the world he could be ; for his face, scored with lines and 
markings, had a great play of expression, and he exhibited 
a considerable expansion of white shirt-front, a crimson 
silk kerchief tied round his neck, and the glitter of a 
heavy gold chain and of jewellery, when unexpectedly 
he was introduced to me as ' Mr. Miller.' 

" ' Joaquin Miller,' I instantly replied, understanding at 
once the character of the man. Although I had risen to 
leave, we sat down together. He said, ' The first people 
I wanted to see in Rome were Howitts ; yes, I wanted to 
see them. I was taken, when in London, to look at the 
house they had once inhabited at Highgate a pleasant 
house standing apart from the road.' Then he went on 
to tell me of a solitary American lady, married to a 
Frenchman in Rome, who had begged him to make her 
acquainted with ' Howitts.' He had her address folded 
up in his little purse, and seemed very anxious to do 
her this service. We spoke of his dear friends, the 

1871-79-] HOME AND TYROL. 249 

Rossettis. ' Dante/ he remarked, ' was a fine fellow a 
true Saxon.' He was much interested by Home, although 
he confessed ignorance of its history. The snowy Apen- 
nines, as he saw them from various points, charmed him 
beyond everything else. 

" I asked where he was located. ' He had gone first 
to an hotel/ he replied ; ' but it was so dear that he, a 
poor man, could not stand it, and he moved off.' He 
would not reveal his whereabouts, affirming he told no 
one. ' He lived among the plebeians, had a room with 
a brick floor, and a brazier to warm him. He cared 
nothing for fine furniture, but he loved the people.' 
' The Italians/ I rejoined,' were a good, kind-hearted race.' 
He expressed pleasure in hearing me say so, as some of 
his friends prophesied he would be stabbed and robbed 
of his rings and gold chains. I suggested it might be 
hardly wise to exhibit such tempting objects to the very 
poor. To this he replied, ' He had lived amongst the 
poor and the so-called wicked without ever being robbed 
of a cent ; the only den of thieves he knew was hotels. 
He had never locked or bolted a door in self-defence, and 
should not do it in Rome.' Then he expatiated on his 
life as a boy, his sorrows and wild adventures ' Poor 
father, who was so unfortunate, and mother, who was so 
good ' his being stolen by the Indians, but never being 
a chief amongst them, as commonly reported ; his journeys 
in Nebraska and down the Wabash, with much more, 
giving me glimpses of a romantic existence, in keeping 
with his queer flexible countenance and crimson necker- 
chief. His first name is really Cincinnatus, not Joaquin." 

"Jan. 23. We have Mr. George Mackarness, the 
newly-chosen Bishop of Argyll and the Isles, and our 

2 5 o MARY HOWITT. [CH. VTI - 

little friend Evelyn, now shot up into a young man, 
here in Home. As the Bishop possesses quite a rever- 
ential love for the old painter Overbeck, we have arranged 
that he goes over the Monastery of St. Isidore, where 
Overbeck and his art-brethren led such poetical, devoted, 
half-monkish lives. Fra Ippolito, a lay-brother, and 
himself a humble artist, equally reveres the hallowed 
memory of Overbeck. He will welcome our friend and 
take him to the Superior. Meggie and I saw last 
summer, before leaving Rome, as much of the monastery 
as women are permitted to see. The Bishop will now 
describe to us the cells once occupied by the band of 
artists, and the rest of the sacred interior." 

Sunday morning. I have been to the English Chapel 
to hear the new Bishop preach. He took as his text, 
' Now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to 
face.' The sermon transported me to Ham, its exquisite 
church and its village congregation." 

" Jan. 31, 1874. The excursion planned for the Bishop 
of Argyll and Evelyn to Rocca di Papa turned out quite 
a success. The sun shone, the glorious landscape dis- 
played all its manifold charms. Everybody was in good 
spirits. First came the walk up Monte Cavo, and the 
cordial reception given Carl Hoffmann and his male com- 
panions by the friendly Passionist monks. Then down 
through the woods to the chapel of the Madonna della 
Tufa, where the hermit was so long saying prayers for 
all the party, that they thought they must leave him to 
finish by himself. So down through the quaint, queer 
volcanic village to Casa Overbeck, in sight of the most 
glorious sunset. Next the brilliant after-glow, gorgeous 
over the Mediterranean ; and so across the Campagna in 

1871-79-] ROME AND TYROL. 251 

the clearest, brightest moonlight ; and back in Rome by 
seven o'clock. It was a perfect day : they all say so." 

" Meran, Tyrol, May 25, 1874. I wish you could 
have a peep of us in this beautiful place and in our most 
comfortable quarters. I am quite amazed, and I hope 
thankful to the dear Providence, which seems so con- 
stantly our guide ; for if we had imagined an ideal place, 
we could not have found one more completely to our 
taste than this. Here is the most glorious Tyrolean 
scenery : lofty mountains with their snowy heads, and 
lower green mountains, with vineyards clothing them to 
their knees ; in the rich valley the famous little town 
of Meran, formerly the capital of Tyrol, and near to 
which lies the most ancient Schloss Tirol, that gives 
the name to the whole land, and is considered almost as 
its palladium. Picturesque the old town is as heart can 
desire, with a splendid costume yet worn by the men : 
green waistcoat, jacket faced with scarlet lapels, black 
breeches, and white stockings, with a somewhat broad- 
brimmed hat, with either scarlet or green cords wound 
round its somewhat high and peaked crown. Amongst 
the women there is much less costume. 

" Meran is one of the most frequented spots in the Tyrol 
as a winter residence for invalids ; also for its grape-cure 
in the autumn, the whole district being one great vine- 
yard, and the grapes of the finest quality for eating. The 
suburb of Obermais is full of the most elegant villas, 
built in the loveliest style, standing in the midst of gar- 
dens full of roses and such roses ! with creepers of the 
rarest and most beautiful kinds wreathing the balconies 
and verandahs ; hotels and pensions all of the same 
character. It is a perfect fairy-land." 

252 MARY HO WITT. [CH. vn. 


" Mayr-am-Hof, Oct. 3, 1874. If a sadness and deso- 
lation falls upon the womenkind of this house when we 
are gone, so it was but a Nemesis by anticipation that 
we all have been in a melancholy condition from the 
very time you left us. Everything assumed a garb of 
sorrow and depression ; the supper that evening was like 
a funeral feast, and old Moro groaned under the table. 
Rain came down from the sky, and has continued almost 
ever since ; the first little gleam of sunshine being this 
morning, when my husband and Annie, his faithful 
attendant, have gone out. But again all looks grey. You 
evidently took the sunshine with you ; and I hope it has 
remained with you, and that you have been able to 
accomplish your visit to that pleasant Meran, which I 
can never think of but as bathed in golden sunshine. 

"We accompained you in thought on your journey, 
fearing, however, that the cloud which has settled down 
outwardly and inwardly on Dietenheim might, seeing that 
the moon changed yesterday, extend even as far as Bozen. 
We will hope not, and that the sunshine you carry with 
you, whilst it forms an actual sphere of life and light 
around you, may have power even to influence the 
weather ; and that, gloomy as the weather is here just now, 
it is but typical of our state of mind, which, however, is 
beginning to mend. For instance, dear Peggy last night 
sat down to carve her Madonna, after half-an-hour's work 
on her wooden image of Moro, and covered the table 
with heaps of chips and shavings, whilst Lizzy put a 
little life into us by singing some of her old songs ; so I 
think we are sliding back into the comfortable groove of 
our daily life ; remembering you and dear Isabella as the 
patriarchal families would remember the visits of angels, 

1871-79-] ROME AND TYROL. 253 

something to rejoice over in the past, and to look for- 
ward to with joy and hope in the future." 


"55 Via Sistina, Dec. 18, 1874. Your father has been 
out again and again with the Pattons. What child-like, 
sweet people they are ! she just the same as the Abby 
Hutchinson of thirty years ago. We have had a talk 
with them about the negroes. They say, what I feared 
must be the case, that freedom will alter greatly the 
character of the negroes. They will now endeavour to 
become like the whites, and to forget what they were in 
bondage. Even of their songs they are beginning to be 
ashamed ; yet some of these I think most lovely. There is 
one especially of which the Marchesa di Torre-Arsa spoke 
to me last night with perfect delight, and she knows 
what good music is. I will try to get the exact words, 
but the burden of it is, * We have not long to stay here ; 
steal away to Jesus ! ' You shall have the words, and 
must imagine the sweet, plaintive, yearning melody. 

" Will Garibaldi come to Rome? Strange indeed will 
it be if the old walls contain at the same time the Pope, 
the King, and the former Dictator." 

"Dec. 30, 1874. Last evening we had the Pattons, 
and in the middle of the evening our fat Louisa, opening 
wide the drawing-room door, ushered in a young man in 
a long cloak and a black fur cap. He gave your father 
a letter. It was from Daniel Ricketson, of New Bedford, 
introducing his son Walton. This was he, and we made 
him heartily welcome. There is something amazingly 
fresh and attractive about him. He had arrived that 
morning. It was wet, but no matter. Off he set to see 

254 MARY HO WITT. [CH. vn. 

the wonders of old Rome ; went to the Forum, which can 
only be entered on certain days. The custodian stopped 
him in his descent. The man having a book in his hand, 
young Ricketson inquired what he was reading. ' Oh ! 
he was studying English.' ' Good,' said the American. 
' Come, let us sit down, and I will give you a lesson.' He 
taught him for half-an-hour. After that they were capital 
friends, and he saw all there was to be seen. 

" I wish you could have beheld his astonishment when 
the Pattons stood up side by side to sing, before leaving, 
some of their sweet Jubilee hymns, and his delight to find 
that she was no other than Abby Hutchinson. Right glad 
was he to meet her and her husband old abolitionists, like 
his father, who had kept open the underground railway. 


"Jan. 25, 1875. Mrs. Gould is going to bring out 
a book written by different people, to be printed at 
her new school-press. Adolphus Trollope and his wife, 
and Mr. Marsh, the American Minister to the Quirinal, 
have all promised contributions. Mrs. Marsh hopes to 
get something from Gladstone ; and I dare say there will 
be a good many things from American authors. Your 
mother is going to write an introduction narrating Mrs. 
Gould's efforts in Rome to educate the children of the 
poor. I have written my contribution, called 'Pro- 
gressive Steps of Popular Education, and a Pioneer 
Working-School,' which is that of Captain Brenton, the 
martyr of the juvenile outcasts of London. 

" Garibaldi arrived in Rome yesterday afternoon. He 
was drawn by the people in triumph to his lodgings. 
They were wild to have a speech from him, and clamoured 
with their ten thousand voices. He came on the balcony 

1871-79-] ROME AND TYROL. 255 

and simply said, ' Giovanotti ! Buona notte ! ' and so 


" Mayr-am-Hof, Sept. 15, 1875. We had a delightful 
excursion to Taufers with Josiah Gilbert, his sister, and 
Mrs. Angus. Everything was looking its best. Mr. Gil- 
bert knows all the country, and had been there before, 
but he wanted his companions to see the old castle, stand- 
ing up grandly with its background of glacial mountains. 
At the castle, however, we found every door locked. The 
people were all out at work in the fields ; so we prowled 
about, and finding one wainscoted room open, with its 
old benches round the walls, there sat and ' had high 
discourse/ as Mr. Gilbert said ; we talked a good deal 
of nonsense, your father being as merry as the rest. 
We then slowly walked back again to the inn, where our 
dinner had been ordered. In going up to the castle Mr. 
Gilbert and I had conversed together ; and my heart not 
only sympathised, but had been filled with joyful thanks- 
giving that sorrow such as he had experienced could so 
beautify and elevate a life. 

" It was altogether a season of friendly intercourse ; 
and we arranged in driving back how we were to wind 
up with a right pleasant evening. He was to get his 
sketch of Mayr-am-Hof made before tea. Then at seven 
the zither-player was to come and play and give Mrs. 
Angus a lesson. They were to see the handsome cow-bells 
and crown ; and go back to Bruneck, no matter how late, 
by full moon. So we had arranged ; but hardly had we 
reached home, when, behold ! a carriage stopped at the 
gate, and out stepped a grey-bearded man, with a most 
sad countenance. It was no other than poor, broken- 

1 5 1 MART HOW J1TL [at m. 

hearted Dr. Gould, come hither from Perugia to find 
comfort from us if he could; his wife dead only 
ten days, and he Drought down to the brink of the 
as it were. Here he was, and whoa he was not 
and when the mood of the whole house was rejoicing! 
However, there was nothing for it but to receive him 
kindly. TTii J<l i aamlii i m If u ailj. Mail In 
IIIK i of it. His nerres are unstrung ; he can 
nothing hat his wife, whom he loved tenderly and 
most proud o and by whose sick-bed he has 
nigjit and day formany months, through one of the 
awfully agonising maladies that I ever heard of" 

" S?yt 22. Oar poor guest ! How sad it is to 
aa idol of any living thing which death may remove 
Yet I have such compassion for him. I walk oat 
with him, and let him talk as much as he will about hoc. 
He is now sitting on the aam. at the upper end of the 
room, reading a handful of letters. He often reads 
me these condolences; many of them beautiful ler 
extremely well written, fit to print : and I wonder at 
the number of well-educated people there are who have 
the gift of expressing themselves eloquently, gracefully, 
and with so much deep feeling. I don't wonder at the 
man weeping over them. They would half-biwik 
my heart, I verily believe, if mine were the sorrow 
and mv friends wrote thus to me."" 

-55 Fwi SmmvJbaL 12, 1876. What the fete of 
Mrs, Gould's school wiH be in the end seems now 
CWCKMS maesfcMBL I think vour father has told von 
the kJbtd theft and dishonesty of some of the 
left in charge of her school bv Mrs, Gould ; 

1871-79-] ROME AOT TYROL. J57 

particularly of a young woman whom she had educated 
to have care of the Kindergarten, and in whom she 
and her husband had great confidence. This teacher 
has most basely repaid their faith and trust. She is 
now gone off, and the school and the Home, greatly 
diminished, are in the hands of a Waldensian minister 
and his wife. They have taken charge of the work for 
a month ; but a serious difficulty has occurred. One 
child, a boy of about fourteen, refused to go to the 
Waldensian church, and left the Home. This made a 
commotion. He was a favourite pupil of poor Mrs. 
Gould's, and her husband took up the matter warmly. 
A public meeting had been appointed and invitations 
sent out to everybody interested in the subject, to 
consider the propriety of the Home and school being 
placed in the hands of the Waldenses. Then occurred 
the bother of the papal boy taking himself off, and 
a very strong party in consequence showed themselves 
in opposition to the Waldenses. This was the Maz- 
zinian party. Madame Mario and an Englishman, a 
wealthy Jew named Nathan, declared themselves ready 
to rescue these poor children from the persecuting 
hands of the narrow sectarian Waldenses and make 
this a great Mazzini school and printing-press. Mr. 
Trollope appeared at the meeting as their advocate. 

" Poor Dr. Gould urged us to attend the meeting, 
but I never intended to go ; and when your father 
heard, the day before the meeting, of this proposition, 
he thought it was much the best that he stayed away. 
Mrs. Gould was eminently religious ; faith and love to 
the Saviour and loyalty to King Victor Emmanuel 
were the most prominent principles inculcated. She 
herself was a member of the Waldensian Church. 


258 MARY HOWITT. [en. vn. 

They are the only body likely to carry on the institu- 
tion in the spirit of its foundress. This one obstinate 
boy had better be removed and restored to his father 
and the priests, rather than the whole work should 
be broken up on his account. That is my present 

" Albano, March 4, 1 876. We yesterday had a charm- 
ing little outing with Mr. Young of Kelly. We drove 
to Rocca di Papa, and went up to the old Overbeck villa, 
where we knew that Carl Hoffmann was not, but that 
his queer woman-servant, Marianna, who has the learned 
pig, was there ; and very welcome she made us ; brought 
us apples and walnuts, old grapes dried almost to raisins ; 
and received in return five lire from Mr. Young, and all 
the remains of the lunch a regular dinner. I was so 
glad to have another peep at the pleasant place, and 
to see again my favourite picture by Overbeck, of him- 
self, his wife, and little Alphonse; the portrait, too, of 
Pforr, his dear art-brother, in a sort of Raphaelesque 
dress, and a cat rubbing against his elbow ; also the 
little old painting of ' Shulamite and Mary.' I looked 
at these three small pictures all of which belong to 
such a lovely part of Overbeck' s life, and which are so 
intimately connected with the time when Meggie and 
I were there alone and the hallowed past came back 
again. I wonder, when we are in the other life, whether 
bits of our earthly experience will come back to us with 
the same sweet, tender reality and interest. 

" Everybody hopes that Mrs. Gould's school is now 
definitely taken by the Waldenses ; though there is no 
doubt that they are rather narrow in their religious creed 
and life." 

1871-79-] ROME AND TYROL. 259 

"March 8, 1876. I must tell you that Mr. Young 
has pleased Peggy and me very much, by giving, with- 
out a word from us, fifty lire for a poor, bedridden old 
woman, whose two daughters needlewomen not so 
long since were burnt to death by the upsetting of a 
paraffine-lamp. It is a very sad case, which Peggy has 
taken up; the poor mother, who is left, being totally 
penniless and helpless. She is ill, and probably may not 
last long. So now, as Peggy and I were driving with 
Mr. Young and his eldest daughter to Castel Gandolfo, 
he out with his big pocket-book, and gave Peggy this 
fifty lire, telling her, if the poor woman outlived that 
money, to apply to him." 

"55 Via Sistina, March 27, 1876. Last evening we 
spent with the Youngs at Peggy's. Mr. Young then 
told your father that it was a cause of concern to him 
that Garibaldi's two little girls, about nine and ten, 
were being brought up in a very rude and careless way ; 
and that, as he knew those in Scotland who would gladly 
find the money for them to be carefully educated, if 
their father would only consent to the plan, he wished 
the proposal could be made to Garibaldi in some way 
which would ensure his acceptance of it. Mr. Young 
also wished your father to go with him to the General, 
and with this good object in view, he felt he could not 
refuse. The first thing this morning, therefore, he went 
to call on a friend of Garibaldi's, to ask how and when 
it would be possible to see him, and whether there was 
a likelihood of his accepting the offer. But the indi- 
vidual was in bed ; so your father left a note, and I hope 
we shall have an answer before long. 

" It seems that it is Mr. Young himself who wishes 

2 6o MARY HOWITT. [CH. vii. 

to provide for these children, and has arranged with a 
Scotch lady to undertake the management of them." 

" March 29, 1876. Garibaldi's friend said that Mr. 
Young had made a magnificent offer, but that, in fact, 
only one was Garibaldi's child, and the other was the 
child of the mother before Garibaldi took her. This 
threw a new light on the matter. Then came the great 
religious difficulty. It was not to be expected that Gari- 
baldi, who hates priests of all sorts, and who does not 
believe in Christianity, I fancy, would be willing that 
his child should be brought up in the Scotch or any 
other Church ; and, of course, Mr. Young could not en- 
gage to bring her up without any religion. The friend 
was very anxious that no cold water should be thrown 
on the scheme, wishing Garibaldi to have the offer. 
More revelations of the domestic relations were, how- 
ever, made ; and Mr. Young considered it quite neces- 
sary to let the scheme lie over for reflection, saying 
that he must write to the Scotch lady and acquaint 
her with the facts. I should think the proposition 
will evaporate." 


"55 Vi a Sistina, Rome, Dec. 20, 1876. On Monday 
William entered his eighty-fifth year, and it was altogether 
a most pleasant day to us all. The weather, however, 
was not very fine ; therefore we did not make the little 
excursion which was intended to the Tre Fontane, the 
convent erected on the spot on which it is believed that 
St. Paul suffered martyrdom. But it was not in honour 
of St. Paul that we purposed to go there on the i8th, 
but to see the good Trappist Brothers, some of whom 

1871-79-] ROME AND TYROL. 261 

are rather friendly acquaintances of my husband's, and 
always make him and those who accompany him heartily 
welcome. They are great growers of the Eucalypti of 
all kinds, and he has furnished them with a good deal 
of seed, which our Alfred has collected for him in his 
mountain district and elsewhere in Australia. Every 
now and then, therefore, when we want a pleasant little 
holiday, we drive over to the Tre Fontane, see the plan- 
tations of Eucalyptus-trees, have a talk with the friendly 
Trappists W 7 ho are allowed to talk, certainly, when 
strangers visit them, however silent they may be at 
other times and receive from them at parting a small 
draught of their Eucalyptus liqueur. On Monday, how- 
ever, we could not go, but instead spent part of the day 
very pleasantly with Margaret Foley, who is now our 
next floor inmate, having removed into the apartment 
below ours ; so that we are all under the same roof, and 
go backwards and forwards at pleasure. Our evenings 
we spend mostly together. We have thus, in company, 
just finished ' Macaulay's Life and Letters.' What a fine 
character he was as a man : full of the rarest intellect, 
with the most affectionate heart ! I do not know any 
biography which has delighted us more." 


" Palm Sunday, March 25, 1877. This is a Sunday 
which I remember so well in your Munich life, when 
you took a long country ramble ; the scenery you de- 
scribed always comes back to me on Palm Sunday. 
With Palm Sunday, too, you commence your narrative 
of the great Christian tragedy of Ammergau ; all of 
which is sweetly engraven on my memory. In Rome 
it is a great day at St. Peter's, even in these times of 

262 MARY HO WITT. [CH. vn. 

non-celebration ; and if all things were consonant there- 
with I should have gone to that basilica to-day and seen 
the commemoration of the Lord's entry into Jerusalem. 
It is to some but a formal affair ; to me it is a vener- 
able relic, and I like those things : the procession of the 
priests outside the closed church-door; then the sub-deacon 
knocking at the door with the staff of the cross ; its being 
opened, and the procession entering singing, ' Ingrediente 
Domino in sanctam civitatem.' It pleases my imagina- 
tion at all events. And the blessing of the palms ; and 
their distribution, the big ones to the officiating clergy 
and other dignitaries, and lastly the little ones and 
the broken branches of olive given to the people. The 
whole is a memory of old, reverent things. It is typical 
of a higher, grander ceremonial, which is, I dare say, 
taking place spiritually all round us ; and not in Rome 
alone, but throughout the world : Christ's spirit poured 
out and His gifts distributed to hundreds of thousands, 
though none may know of it but themselves and the 
Divine Donor. 

" Yesterday, in the afternoon, I went out to try to find 
people who would take tickets for Madame Ristori's 
reading on Tuesday evening for the benefit of the ' Gould 
Memorial School.' I had not at all a successful cru- 
sade. None were inclined to put their hands in their 
pockets, excepting dear Margaret Gillies, on whom 
I called ; and after that went no farther. She was just 
finishing her picture, and was worried at the last, and 
wanted to go to good Mr. Glennie to borrow a sketch 
of distant scenery in the neighbourhood of Rome ; the 
bad weather not permitting her to go out sketching for 
herself. When her things were all put aside and left 
for their Sunday rest, we took a little carriage and 

1871-79-] ROME AND TYROL. 263 

drove to the Glennies', down into the very centre of 
Rome ; and had such a cordial reception, such a nice 
call : tea made for us, and dear Margaret given the pick 
of his rich portfolios for a bit of Latin or Volscian moun- 
tain, blue and dreamy in its sunny distance. Then, en- 
riched with two most serviceable sketches, and charmed 
with their genuine kindness, we went down their many 
stairs, to find there had been a deluge of rain ; and I 
bethought myself anxiously of the father and Meggie, 
gone to gather flowers in the beautiful Borghese. 

" Here I found them, very cheerful, but somewhat 
wet. This, however, was speedily rectified, and we sat 
down to enjoy your welcome letter. We all wish you 
a most pleasant and happy time with the Cowper- 
Temples at Broadlands. I hope you will remain with 
them and Sister Elizabeth over Easter Day. There are 
so many sacred, sorrowful anniversaries before that day 
comes. What a right thing it is to keep them with 
befitting reverence ! I wish we had been brought up 
in a faith that had these holy observances. What a 
mistake Friends made in regarding nothing but First- 
Day, and that in such a dead manner ! I am too old 
now to begin ; yet I do seem to feel a very great want 
of higher religious life in myself. I would, it seems 
to me, give anything for a sense of the Divine life 
within me. I hope, therefore, amongst the good people 
of Broadlands, that you and dear Alfred will know a 
strong influx of Love and Wisdom. 

" Remember me most kindly to the Cowper-Temples, 
for whom I have a great love and regard. They are 
amongst the angels of God now on earth, who celebrate 
the second coming of their Lord. Oh that we might 
all be of that glorious band ! How I long to feel 

264 MARY HOWITT. [CH. vn. 

myself recognised by Him ! I do not as yet. But I love 
all His children, wherever I recognise them ; and the 
Cowper-Temples are of the number. Our love to dear 
Eliza. She is one of the Lord's servants and dear 


" Dietenheim, Oct. 26, 1877. We have lately had a 
very sad and anxious time, and have so still. Our poor 
Peggy returned from Innicheii in the same ailing con- 
dition. She was better one day, and severely suffering 
the next ; until this day fortnight, when she was taken 
with congestion of the brain ; in fact, a stroke of paralysis. 
The Bruneck physician regarded her condition as very 
serious, and ordered us to write to any near friends or 
relatives she might have, and that, if she had outward 
affairs to settle, it might be done. But dear Peggy had 
made her will, and we were amongst her nearest friends. 
Happily the most sad effects of the attack abated in a 
few days. Her sufferings, however, from the root of the 
malady being an affection of the spinal cord, are incon- 
ceivable ; and she has a pain in the head, making her, 
at its worst, wish for death rather than life. Indeed, 
her constant prayer to be taken, if consistent with 
God's will, wrings our hearts. Truly her patience and 
endurance of this awful agony are wonderful and most 
touching. In this condition she cannot be removed 
to Rome. We have therefore decided to go from here 
to Meran for the winter. That good Dr. von Messing, 
whom we mentioned to you when here, and whose 
wife you saw, will be there to receive her professionally. 
We have been fortunate to get some very comfortable 
rooms where William, Meggie, and I were three years 

1871-79-] ROME AND TYROL. 265 

ago, when we went to Meran for a short time. One 
of the great comforts to us in this season of sorrow and 
anxiety has been the kindness of the Sisters of Chanty 
here, who have, one of them, come each alternate night 
to sit up with our poor patient ; Meggie and I, between 
us, taking the other." 


"Meran, Nov. 16, 1877. Our dear sufferer has many 
alternations of better and worse. She begins to look 
very like that touching sketch of Keats in his last illness, 
which you know so well; the face thin and the eyes 
large, but with such a meek, patient, pathetic expres- 
sion ; and she is so gentle and affectionate, so like an 
obedient, loving child. The final parting with her will 
be a sad, sad sorrow. 

"It is a most beautiful morning,, the mountain- 
summits shining out like alabaster, and lower down in 
this ever-varied valley the autumnal colouring of the 
trees yet remains. It is most exquisitely beautiful. I 
wonder whether Alfred and you will ever visit Meran. 
I hope you may. If this is to be Peggy's last resting- 
place, it will ever be sacred to us ; so I think in some 
future time you w r ill be here. The peculiar landscape 
is much more striking and beautiful at this season than 
in spring, when all is green. 

" You will be glad to know that our little apartment 
in Rome, which I feared might be despised, and so hang 
on our hands, is now let. Bishop Tozer and his sister 
have taken it, and entered upon it yesterday. It is very 
pleasant to us to know that such extremely good people 
are occupying the place, which, humble as it is, has been 
our happy Roman home for five winters. Is not the 

266 MARY HOWITT. [cir. vn. 

dear Heavenly Father good to us ? I hardly knew how 
sufficiently to give thanks yesterday, when the news 

"Friday, Dec. 7, 1877. All is over. Very peaceful. 
But we are very sad." 

"Dec. 12, 1877. For the first time since dear Peggy's 
departure do I to-day feel a little consoled. It is a most 
beautiful morning, and we are presently intending to 
visit the grave. I wish you could go with us. Then 
you would see in how lovely a spot our poor sufferer 
lies. We are now beginning to receive acknowledg- 

O O o 

ments of the announcements sent out. I will give you 
a few words from the letter of an Episcopalian clergy- 
man received this morning : ' Impelled by I know not 
what motive, I had closed the Sunday service this after- 
noon with the prayer from the Burial Office : " Almighty 
God, with whom do live the Spirits, &c.," and coming 
straight from the church, received your letter a few 
minutes after I reached my room, so that it seemed as 
if unconsciously I had offered it for her who now rests 
from her labours.' 

"Is not this consolatory? And it is in keeping with 
the whole history of Peggy's last illness : the coming of 
Dr. von Messing to Dietenheim, the physician that she 
wished to consult ; the nursing order of Sisters of the Cross 
from Ingenbohl established in Meran ; the affectionate 
attendance of her faithful Francesca, and of good Frau 
Walter ; the coming here of the English chaplain, just 
a week before his services were needed everybody and 
everything as if appointed by angels. The lovely day 
of the funeral ; the kindness of strangers in following the 

1871-79-] ROME AND TYROL. 267 

remains to the grave ; the unknown eleventh wreath laid 
there, as if by an angel all these may be accidental 
circumstances, yet I am sure you will understand how 
doubly sweet and welcome they are, if accepted as 
evidences of Divine approval and co-operation." 

"Jan. 4, 1878. Your father and I have just come 
back from a very pleasant walk right into the country ; 
amongst picturesque houses and such ancient orchards 
and park-like fields scattered over with grand old Spanish 
chestnuts. You might fancy it England in the reign 
of one of the Edwards or Henries. I feel it the time 
and character of that little story I wrote years ago for 
Messrs. Chambers, ' Steadfast Gabriel ; ' whilst the old 
castle of Rubein is just as it would have been in the 
days of 'Jack of the Mill.' Outside this castle which 
is one of many stands a venerable Spanish chestnut, on 
the ancient bole of which is placed a little shrine of the 
Virgin ; and in front of the tree, on a sort of mound, are 
benches and a table for the convenience of wayfarers or 
simple worshippers. There is a wonderful repose in the 
character of the country ; no hurry, driving, or bustling 
along. All seems so peaceful and still in the quiet old 
lanes, with their low stone fences, up which ivy grows, 
the whole dating from centuries and centuries ago." 


" Meran, Jan. 20, 1878. I am deputed to write to 
you whilst the other two are gone to church. I suppose 
you have in England been deluged with accounts of 
Victor Emmanuel ? It is curious to me to remember 
the number of times that I have seen him driving on 
the Pincio, when scarcely a man would lift his hat to 

268 MARY HOWITT. [CH. vn. 

him ; and the number of times I have heard Italians 
say as Prince Humbert drove past, ' He will never come 
to the throne ! ' Miss Clarke writes to us that one 
day 78,000 people came into Rome by rail, and the next 
70,000 for the lying in state. The editor of the Popolo 
Romano has not been able sufficiently to express his 
admiration of Victor Emmanuel. He says no such 
death has occurred since those of Titus and Marcus 
Aurelius. He sets him on a par with Scipio, Fabius, 
Maximus, &c. They cannot well go further unless they 
put on the front of the Pantheon, ' Divo Victorio 
Emanueli.' ' 


"Feb. 23, 1878. Day after day races on, and no 
sooner has a week begun than it is ended. Yet how 
full of events is the time ! Just looking at ourselves, 
month by month ever since we came here some occur- 

interest to the highest degree. On December 7 Peggy 
died ; on January 9 Victor Emmanuel died ; on Feb- 
ruary 7 the Pope died : and through it all lay the terror 
of war ; the uncertainty what the nations would do. Of 
course, with us it is a mingling of important world 
interests and our individual petty concerns ; yet all is 
interwoven into our daily lives, forming a strange, start- 
ling, momentous epoch. The European agitation seems 
now terminating very peacefully ; God over all, and 
bringing mankind, I trust, into the harmony of peace 
and good-will. We have taken a deep interest in the 
election of a new Pope ; knowing, too, how curiously 
and uncomfortably the Cardinals have been immured in 
the cells temporarily contrived for the purpose in the 

1 87 1-79- J ROME AND TYROL. 269 

Vatican. On Thursday afternoon, as your Father and 
Meggie were taking their walk, he, I believe, was 
wondering how the Cardinals were getting on, and 
whether they had nearly brought their work to a con- 
clusion ; when Meggie, lifting up her eyes to the lofty 
church-tower just then come into sight, exclaimed, 
' The Pope is elected ! See there the white and yellow 
flag with the cross-keys and the papal mitre ! ' So it 
was ; where the black mourning flag for Pius the Ninth 
had hung, now was reared aloft the flag of rejoicing 
proclaiming the fact. Your father was almost as excited 
as Meggie. Away they went to the Post, to hear who was 
elected; but before they reached it they saw a placard 
at the street-corner announcing that Cardinal Pecci was 
the new Pope was Leo XIII. Now, you must know 
that Pecci was the very prelate whom your father would 
have chosen ; a right good man, whose life you will be 
sure to have read before this. Home they came full of 
the good news ; and Meggie, bidding me put a shawl 
over my shoulders, hurried me off into a verandah at the 
back of the house in sight of the church-tower, and 
bade me look up and see. There it was, the white 
and yellow flag ; and best of all, Cardinal Pecci elected 
Pope ! " 


" Rome, April 28, 1878. The weather here is quite 
summer. This morning, as I was on the Pincio, the 
gardeners and custodians saluted me very smilingly : 
' Fa caldo, signore. Pare comincio del' estate.' This 
greeting was the result of my telling them the other day 
that the female swan, which had begun laying, and had 
but a scrap of a nest on the ground, near the hut by the 

270 MARY HOWITT. [CH. vn. 

little lake, wanted more straw ; that swans made huge 
nests, and unless she had more straw the eggs might 
spoil, which would be a pity. The next time I went, 
I saw she had got and appropriated her straw. They all 
know me well by sight, but now they think that I am 
a cute old fellow, who takes an interest in their affairs, 
and are amazingly civil." 

My husband, with his unworldly nature, led the same 
unsophisticated life in Rome as in the quiet surround- 
ings of Dietenheim. In the mornings, when children of 
all nationalities, under the surveillance of attendants, 
played in the broad sunlit paths of the Pincian hill ; and 
in the afternoons, when a gay, fashionable throng drove, 
strolled, and listened by hundreds to the music, he 
walked alone, unless joined by some sociable acquaint- 
ance. He admired the fan-palms standing out clear in 
the sunshine, whilst snow was still visible on the Alban 
and Sabine ranges ; noted the beds of roses, bay, and 
laurustinus, full of life and vigour ; listened to the plea- 
sant, familiar warbling of the little tit-mice ; observed 
the arrival of the chiff-chaff a month earlier than in 
England. He spied out in the thick bushy boughs of 
the pines, cedars, and evergreens many goldfinches, 
some warblers, and a grand old blackbird that sang 
in good English ; and canaries, some intensely yellow, 
others of a greenish hue, from mixing, he supposed, with 
linnets. To its death he was familiar with the stealthy 
Pincian cat. 

At Mayr-am-Hof one of the main attractions to my 
husband was his gardening. He carried it on in a field 
allotment, and in the former baronial kitchen-garden, 
which, neglected for half-a-century, was divided from 



the mansion and farm-buildings by the road and a rude 
old wall surmounted by a fence, long unrepaired. It was 
a strip of terrace-garden, containing a primitive shed 
for bees and some unpruned fruit-trees with straggling 
naked branches. In the sloping orchard below better 
specimens, however, lingered on, and tradition dis- 


tinguished one apple-tree as having, by its fine growth 
and prolificness, called forth the admiration of the 
Empress Maria Theresa. 

William indefatigably dug with his English spade 
a unique and expensive tool in Tyrol, which is the land 
of clumsy husbandry planted, tied up, watered, and cut 
off dead boughs or leaves. I enjoyed sitting near him, 
reading, knitting, and in the summer of 1876 working 



[CH. VII. 

at a huge cabbage-net intended as a protection against 
the legions of butterflies. 

A little tawny owl sojourned for a series of summers 
in a cavity of the venerable poplar, now defaced by 
decay, which raises its massive trunk outside the closed 
entrance-gate. It slept by day, but became briskly 


sociable on the approach of night. It would then dili- 
gently converse with my husband in the gloaming, per- 
sistently answering his hoot with a monotonous cry, 
that had an alert gravity about it bordering on the 

When, notwithstanding annoying incursions of the 
burrowing mole-cricket, the practised old gardener stood 
still in perfect amazement at the growth of his redun- 

1871-79-] ROME AND TYROL. 273 

dant New Zealand spinach, his wide-spreading " Royal 
Albert" rhubarb, his exuberant tomatoes and towering 
spikes of Indian-corn, there came the hoopoe ; in ruddy 
buff, black, and grey attire, with " crested plume, long 
beak, and sharpened as a spear," as if out of Ovid's 
"Metamorphoses," and uttering its hollow "hoop-hoop," 
sought its insect food in the rotten wood of the old 
trees or the spongy soil of the orchard. 

A host of confiding swallows inhabited the eaves of 
the house, warbling in the early morning on the iron- 
work of the balconies, skimming in and out of the 
open windows, and, as the season advanced, bringing 
their young into the upper corridor, to essay from the 
top of the old cartoons of sacred subjects, or from the 
cornice, and pediments, the art of flying. 

This upper hall assumed by degrees the character of 
a plainly furnished ante-room, where we could dine, or 
the servants sit at their needlework. Indeed, that por- 
tion of the house which we rented had gained gradually 
a more clothed appearance, from our bringing inexpen- 
sive carpets and draperies from Rome, or buying them 
in Tyrol ; and engaging a carpenter to make chairs, 
tables, and cupboards after our design ; our landlord, the 
Hofbauer, giving the wood. When curtains excluded 
the glare of the sun from the three-windowed recess in 
the saloon, I beguiled many hours there, in the attempt 
faithfully to reproduce with my needle on crash the 
apple-blossom of the orchard, the crocus of the meadow, 
the crimson carnation almost the national emblem in 
Tyrol and other flowers of the locality. 

The Hofbauer, perceiving our love of the old place, 
and being desirous to show his regard and retain us as 
his tenants, acted contrary to his firmly-rooted antipathy 

VOL. n. s 



[CH. VII. 

to innovations and needless expenditure, and began sig- 
nalising our arrival by a series of surprises, that on more 
than one occasion filled us with blank dismay. He 
replaced old hexagonal panes by modern square ones, 
stencilled the walls of the saloon to imitate a first-class 


waiting-room in a Tyrolese railway station, and had the 
dull green panels and gold mouldings of the doors 
coarsely painted over to represent satin-wood and ma- 
hogany, and the finely-wrought ironwork of the locks 
obliterated. It was a real injury something that grated 




on one's nerves and set one's teeth on edge. It was all 
the more painful from being a worse than useless effort 
on his part to please. 

Fortunately, a few old doors in a side-corridor, with 
classic subjects painted in distemper on the panels, 


and arabesques on the frames, much faded by time, 
but having a stamp of ancient grandeur that suited 
the physiognomy of the house, had been overlooked. 
We pleaded their merits, and they remained. Thus 
has experience taught us never to desire signs of 



[CH. VII. 

care and improvement about the weather-stained old 

Our quiet industry at Dietenheim was at times most 
agreeably diversified by the visits of valued friends. 
Hither, amongst others, came on a second visit, in the 


summer of 1878, Miss Freeman Clarke, bringing with 
her the result of much patient wanderings about Italy 
and even Tyrol, in her collection of exquisite pen-and-ink 
drawings of the various scenes of Dante's exile. She 
had long been' a resident in Rome, and closely associated 

1871-79-] ROME AND TYROL. 277 

with our life there, but was then bound for a new home 
in Georgia. We wished her God- speed with sorrowful 
hearts, for we knew, in all probability, we should not 
meet on earth again. It never entered our minds that 
such would be the case with another welcome guest who 
left us at the same time. This was the large-hearted, 
nobly-endowed young writer, James Macdonell, a son- 
in-law of my beloved sister Anna. His lucid, rapid 
thoughts, expressed in easy, polished language, had 
charmed and enlivened our little domestic circle. 



DURING the last seven years of my husband's life we 
occupied small but pleasant quarters in the Via Sistina, 
close to his favourite Pincio. The back windows looked 
across a little garden of luxuriant Southern vegetation, 
filled with scattered fragments of old Roman friezes and 
statues, to the frescoed walls of the house in the Via 
Gregoriana, which had been occupied for many years 
by our old friend, the American actress, Miss Charlotte 
Cushman. Above its quaint tiled roof and picturesque 
loggia, we surveyed the slopes of the Janiculum and 
rejoiced in those brilliant sunsets which Claude Lorraine 
had loved to paint from his near-lying studio windows ; 
until, alas ! Miss Cushman having long since returned 
to America, and her Roman dwelling passing into other 
hands, it was transmogrified by the addition of two 
storeys and a flat roof, which blocked out our long 
stretch of the Janiculum ridge, dotted with stone-pines, 
and prominently terminated to the right by the mighty 
dome of St. Peter's. 

I have always desired to retain each precious thread 
of friendship, never letting it wholly slip through my 
fingers, although it may be years since I held it first. 
This made me most highly estimate our residing in 
Rome, whither all roads seemed truly to tend, bringing 

1879-82.] THE HOME IN MERAN. 279 

us in contact with an infinite variety of old friends and 
acquaintances. Each season we felt more at home in 
the great centre of learning, art, and religion, notwith- 
standing the ruthless spoliation carried on under the 
guise of needful advance ; and in the annually changing 
society of winter visitors we always found ourselves 
meeting earlier associates. 

After the temporal downfall of the Pope, or of " Mastai- 
Ferretti," as a plain man-Friend of our acquaintance 
deemed it right to call him, the Evangelical bodies were 
eager to show their sympathy and interest with Rome, 
from the belief that her political situation must impel 
her to seek the alliance and support of Protestants ; 
and it was to me like a strange resuscitation to behold 
intelligent, highly-cultivated Quakers, whose forefathers 
were connected with my earliest recollections and family 
traditions, walking amid the original scenes of those 
engravings by Piranesi, which had so deeply stirred my 
youthful imagination. 

There were other Evangelical Christians, more or 
less in unity with Friends, who included a visit to Pius 
the Ninth in their Roman sojourn, and even went up 
the Scala Santa on their knees. There were others 
who, for conscience' sake, went even farther. We had 
a very pleasant call in the spring of 1876 from the 
widow of John Bright' s youngest brother, Samuel, ac- 
companied by Thomas Richardson of Jarrow, author of 
" The Future of the Society of Friends," and Edward 
Robson of Sunderland ; and she told us that, of the four 
Quaker brothers, the Lucases, three had gone over to 
Popeiy ; that some of their sons were now priests ; and 
that Samuel Lucas, editor of the Morning Star, was the 
only one who remained a Protestant. 

28o MARY HO WITT. [CH. vm. 

My husband's life-long advocacy of peace principles 
brought us in contact, in November 1873, with Mr. 
Dudley Field, Mr. Richard, M.P. for Merthyr Tydvil, 
and other gentlemen selected to promote international 
arbitration instead of war. Mr. Richard had, I believe, 
earlier carried the resolution in Parliament by an 
accident ; for had there been an ordinary house, it 
would have been negatived by a large majority. His 
having so done, however, and thereupon receiving an 
address in support of his views signed by a million work- 
ing-men in Great Britain, made a profound impression 
on the Continent. In Rome, Mancini, Professor of 
International Law, carried the motion unanimously in 
the Chamber of Deputies. Mr. Richard and his col- 
leagues were cordially welcomed by the citizens ; and 
an enterprising milliner, turning the sentiment of the 
moment to the advantage of her trade, introduced the 
Chapeau Richard, or Arbitration Bonnet. It was of 
soft grey silk, fastened on one side by a dove of oxidised 
silver, with an olive-branch in its beak. 

Although William and I never cared for dinners or 
late evening parties, and avoided so-called " society," 
with its petty jealousies and struggles for precedence, 
we thoroughly appreciated that agreeable interchange 
of heart and mind with friends and neighbours which 
yields present delight and fills the memory with en- 
during satisfaction. Possessing no predilection for the 
Church of England, we yet highly esteemed many of its 
ministers, and were on excellent terms with the clergy 
in charge of the English Chapel in Rome. Thus, on 
our first arrival we had agreeable intercourse with the 
then chaplain, Mr. Shadwell, and his family. I next 
remember Mr. Grant holding the same post. He was 

1879-82.] THE HOME IN MERAN. 281 

from Yorkshire, and full of good-heartedness and true 
human sympathies. There were, besides, two younger 
clergymen one a desperate Radical, who took to my 
husband as holding the same views ; the other a smooth- 
faced Ritualist, full of self-control and devotion, who 
remains in my mind as a young evangelist. From my 
heart can never be effaced the impression made by the 
Christ-like minister of the Gospel, the Rev. Somerset 
Burtchaell, who, more than missionary to the Jews 
in the Ghetto, was a universal peace-maker. We 
mourned much his premature death, which occurred 
in Jerusalem. The Rev. Henry Wasse, the present 
chaplain, came from solitary, remote Axe Edge, in Derby- 
shire. He was as a boy fond of William's " Rural Life 
of England," and quoted with true relish and perfect 
pronunciation the anecdote given of the farmer who 
said to his guest at table, " Ite, mon, ite ! " Guest: 
" Au have iten, mon. Au've iten till au'm weelly 
brussen." Farmer: "Then ite, and brust thee out, 
mon : au wooden we hadden to brussen thee wee ! " 
He knew the Mackarnesses and other friends of ours. 

Here I would record that the concourse of English 
visitors to Rome brought, in the Easter of 1871, the 
incumbent of the village church which I had attended 
when we dwelt at The Orchard ; a guileless character, 
whose one thought was how faithfully to do his duty 
both to God and man. It was quite a joy to us that 
he came. The next spring we met again, at first 
accidentally on the Spanish steps, the Unitarian minister, 
Dr. Sadler, and his wife ; he whose thoughtful, poetic 
sermons had soothed and stirred my % mind when we 
dwelt at Clapton and St. John's Wood. Later on came 
the Rev. Thomas Stooks, a good friend of ours, and who 

282 MARY HO WITT. [CH. vm. 

had been the incumbent of St. Anne's, Highgate Else, 
when we dwelt in that locality. How pleased were 
we to see once more, and that in Rome, our old 
acquaintance of Nottingham, Philip Bailey, the author 
of " Festus," who had come with his wife from their 
island home in Guernsey for a six weeks' tour in Italy. 
In March 1873 the gentle and refined Mr. Edward 
Clifford and his sister were in the Eternal City. They 
sang together beautiful hymns and spoke much with 
us of Broadlands and Sister Elizabeth.* In 1876, at the 
Christmas season, Professor Boyd Dawkins quite capti- 
vated us by lively descriptions of his exploits in old 
bone-caves. In the spring of 1879 came our literary 
co-worker and much-esteemed friend, the deservedly 
popular author, Dr. Samuel Smiles, and his wife, ever 
his true helpmate. We also found among the established 
residents the Countess Gigliucci, with whom, when Clara 
Novello, some reader may remember we had enjoyed 
travelling many years earlier. 

Among the very numerous Americans whom we had 
the pleasure of meeting were, in the season 1870-71, 
the two clever daughters of the philosopher, Amos 
Bronson Alcott. The one, Louisa, who already had 
attained celebrity by her " Old-fashioned Girl " and 
"Little Women," found time, amid much sight-seeing 
and company, to write in Rome her " Little Men ; " the 
other, May, meanwhile devoting herself to landscape- 
painting. Moncure Conway, when preparing his lectures 
on the " Natural History of the Devil " for delivery at the 
Royal Institution, paid a flying visit to Rome in the 

* Mr. Clifford has since personally rendered signal service to the late Father 
Damien, apostle of the lepers, in Molokai. 

1879-82.] THE HOME IN MERAN. 283 

spring of 1872. He supposed that Rome must offer 
him rich contributions for his demonology, but, if I 
remember rightly, in this he was disappointed. 1873 
brought the Bayard Taylors. He was changed since 
last we met from a handsome young bachelor of slender 
person and equally slender means into a powerfully built, 
middle-aged man, evidently enjoying the good things 
of this life, and that best earthly reward, a sensible, 
agreeable wife ; she was of German origin. In February 
1874, Mrs. Adeline D. Whitney stayed, with her husband 
and daughter, at the Hotel de la Paix. She was in 
person, manner, and conversation just what the author 
of "The Gayworthys" and other good, womanly books 
ought to be. And although we have never been granted 
the privilege of seeing face to face the home-abiding 
poet Whittier, the bond of sympathy and mutual regard 
was drawn closer in Rome by kindly messengers bringing 
us his verbal and written greetings. 

I have already referred to the very interesting Scan- 
dinavian society in Rome. Finns, Swedes, Norwegians, 
and Danes economised together, and each spoke at their 
common club-room in his or her native tongue. They 
were rapturous over Italy, and reluctant to leave, and 
at the same time they yearned for their Northern moors, 
their beech and pine-woods, their mountains and fjords. 
Once at home the majority grew restless to return, and 
an old Northern poet, dying in Rome in the winter of 
1871-72, rejoiced that he drew his last breath in so 
heavenly a clime. At the same time young Runeberg, 
the chief sculptor of Finland and the son of her greatest 
poet, was mourning with his wife the loss of their two 
young children, who now lie buried under a cypress-tree 
in the Protestant cemetery. The last of these little ones 

284 MARY HOWITT. [CH. vm. 

was laid in the earth on the fourth anniversary of the 
Runebergs' life in Rome. Altogether, it was a most sad 
story, and to see the heart-broken young couple wander- 
ing forth in their desolation through crowded streets and 
ancient ruins made my heart ache. 

In our valued friend, the mother of Mr. Osborne 
Morgan, we had an agreeable link with Scandinavia and 
North Wales, as she had spent many years of her youth 
in Sweden, and took a keen interest in all pertaining 
thereto. On one occasion, when she was calling on me, 
charming Anna Hjerta now Madame Retzius, of Stock- 
holm a beautiful specimen of a Swedish woman, entered. 
It proved, in conversation, that her mother and Mrs. 
Morgan had been friends in their youth. This further 
led to Anna's mentioning that her mother was closely 
related to the unfortunate Karl Wilhelm Jerusalem, 
whose suicide was the cause of Goethe publishing his 
romance, " The Sorrows of Young Werther ; " an act 
which had caused the Jerusalems much just indignation. 

Madame Jerichau, the clever painter of portraits and 
genre, who was likewise present, remarked, turning 
to Mademoiselle Hjerta, " It is curious. You are a 
direct link with Werther, and I am an indirect link with 
the heroine, Lotte ; for when I was first in Rome, in 
my young days, Kestner, the then charge d'affaires for 
Hanover, and who was her son, wanted to marry me." 

It is not much to relate, yet the coincidence carried 
me instantly back to the far-off days of my childhood, 
when the universal astonishment and admiration caused 
by the passionate, sentimental romance reached even to 
quiet Uttoxeter, shattering the domestic happiness of 
Humphrey Pipe. 

Mrs. Morgan and her two daughters constantly 

1879-82.] THE HOME IN MERAK 285 

wintered in Rome; and the Sandbaches came one season. 
Mr. Penry Williams, whose fifty years of residence in 
Rome was festively celebrated, much to the hero's sur- 
prise, by some appreciative friends in December 1876, 
dwelt at 42 Piazza Mignanelli, surrounded by his ad- 
mirable sketches and glowing oil-paintings of Italy and 
her Contadini, which he showed in his accustomed quiet, 
unobtrusive way. Miss Rhoda Broughton may also be 
classed in the Welsh list, from her residence in the 
Principality with her married sister, who accompanied 
her to Rome in the early part of 1874. 

In Rome our connection with the Antipodes was 
brought prominently before us. Not only Mr. G. W. 
Rusden, of Melbourne, but other Australians just arrived 
from Naples or Brindisi on their way to England, dropped 
in to see us. An accidental visit, moreover, to the studio 
of a sculptor named Summers made us acquainted with 
the artist of the monument erected by the Victorian 
Government to Burke and Wills, and which commemo- 
rates in statuary the offices performed by our son. 

In the spring of 1877 we had the joy of welcoming 
our faithful friend, Miss Margaret Gillies, whose affec- 
tionate and enthusiastic nature luxuriated in a sojourn 
at Rome. It was a time of exquisite happiness mingled 
with pain, for our beloved and gifted friend, Margaret 
Foley, was then already treading the Valley of the 
Shadow of Death in sickness, weariness, and agony, 
which were to end, the following December, in death. 

The friendship of Baron and Baroness von Hoffmann 
was a great blessing to this poor sufferer and ourselves, 
and cast a golden effulgence over my husband's closing 
hours. He delighted to wander with them in familiar 
converse about the extensive grounds of their beautiful 

286 MARY HOWITT. [CH. vin. 

home, which possesses the grandest view of Rome that 
I can recall. It embraces much of the imperial city, 
the cupola of St. Peter's, the vast Campagna, with its 
engirdling mountains ; a landscape scattered over far 
and wide with ancient aqueducts, dull red and ivied 
walls, ruins, temples, churches, monasteries, presenting 
an epitome, as it were, of classic and Christian Rome. 
Old box-hedges, or rather walls, neatly clipped, bound 
the gardens, alleys, and approaches to the mansion, and 
send forth in the sun their peculiar odour. Ancient 
statues of old Romans, broken friezes, torsos, and sarco- 
phagi, all genuinely pagan and characteristic spoils of 
the soil, flank the sunny terraces and the dark avenue 
of wide-spreading ilexes ; whilst an old stone seat, em- 
bowered in luxuriant foliage, and facing Monte Cavo, 
marks the spot where, according to the inscription, the 
Apostle of Rome, kind St. Philip Neri, " conversed with 
his disciples on the things of God." 

Scenes are these of beauty and plenty ; nay more, of 
awe-inspiring devotion. On this self-same Ccelian Hill, 
the very pearl of Rome to English Christians, St. Gregory, 
from his home and monastery, sent to our heathen fore- 
fathers, through his most willing missionaries, headed 
by St. Augustine, faith, baptism, and Holy Writ. Here, 
in other hallowed precincts, hearts have bled and 
prayed, and hands have worked for Britain. It is a 
locality once possessing the house of the Christian lady, 
Cyriaca, in whose portico the deacon Laurence distri- 
buted alms ; and still possessing the rude retreat of 
the great abolitionist of slavery, St. John de Matha, 
a locality, in fact, where, from the time the sacred grove 
of the Camense skirted the hill, saints have left their 
impress. As I think of this my soul echoes the melo- 

1879-82.] THE HOME IN MERAN 287 

dious verses of my friend, Madame Belloc, commemo- 
rative of the Ccelian Hill. 

The last visit my husband ever paid was to his 
favourite associates on this Ccelian Hill in January 1879. 
He appeared quite well up to the middle of the month, 
when he caught a cold that brought on bronchitis. He 
had, however, unconsciously to himself and others, been 
suffering for some months from a valvular disease of 
the heart, which the bronchial attack revealed. On 
Monday afternoon, March 3, 1879, he expired. 


"55 Via Sistina, Jan. 27, 1879. Your father had 
been slightly indisposed on Wednesday, but he took 
his little walk on the Pincio as usual. On Thursday, 
however, he felt so far from well that I proposed to ask 
Mr. and Mrs. Purdie and Miss Trelawny and her brother 
to defer their visit to us ; but he would not consent to 
that. They came, and he was so lively and seemed so 
much to enjoy himself, that we thought all was right. 
In the night, however, he was taken with extreme 
difficulty of breathing and inability to lie down. As 
soon as possible a physician was sent for. Under his 
good care he has most satisfactorily progressed, and now 
looks quite like himself again. 

" People are very kind in sending or coming to 
inquire after the dear father's state. This morning we 

have had a long call from the Kev. Mr. , who has 

been interesting us very much by giving us an account 
of a visit he paid to the King and Queen the other day, 
when he took them the letter recently published by the 
dignitaries of the Church of England. They had a long 
conversation on the present state of the Catholic Church 

288 MARY HO WITT. [CH. vni. 

in Italy, and on the public religious feeling in general. 
Queen Margaret is a strong Catholic. King Humbert 
is a Catholic, but takes, as he himself says, ' his religion 
mildly.' " 


"55 Via Sistina, Rome, March 9, 1879. I am deeply 
grateful to our Heavenly Father for the marvellous 
manner in which He has comforted and sustained our 
darling mother through these long weeks of greatest 
anxiety ; and now, in the first sharp surprise of her 
bereavement, her peace of mind, her joy in the belief 
in my father's peace and joy, are marvellous to behold. 
Indeed, we all feel a strength, nay, even, strange as it 
may sound, an inward joy, which is not of this earth. 

" My father bade us in departing to rejoice with him, 
not to mourn, and we seem to lie in the reflex of his 
bright hope. He met the approach of Death with the 
same brave heart that he had ever shown throughout 
his career. His intellect was bright to the very end, 
and his whole spirit merged into intense love love 
to God, love to man, love to all created things. The 
innermost tenderness of a most tender heart bloomed 
forth and exhaled itself in a perfume as of Heaven 

" He sent his love and his blessing to all his friends ; 
so I give you your share. We all felt very much indeed 
your writing that kind letter yourself. God bless you, 
dear Barbara, and make all lovely days of old be trans- 
figured again into yet better days. God's hand is for 
ever outstretched, and there is no end to His bountiful 
gifts and heavenly outpourings to all the creatures who 
love Him. He may transform us, but the transforma- 

1879-82.] THE HOME IN MERAK 289 

tions are only into lovelier, more subtle and exquisite 
forms. And our days end not here." 


"Rome, March 10, 1879. When Mr. Duncan was 
here, my beloved father was sick unto death ; but we 
knew that you would so take it to heart, that we dared 
not then let you know. Dear Octavia, too, came ; and 
how sweet and noble-hearted she is! She knew, and 
said she would break the news to y6u. We are aware 
what a severing of an old, old friendship this must 
seem to you. Yet it is but a seeming ! Love is 
an immortal creature, Time and Death render her 
stronger and grander ; and only when we enter behind 
the veil may we see how glorious she has become 
through trial and pain. 

"When dear Alfred and I arrived here three weeks 
ago yesterday, we found our beloved father looking 
but little changed in his countenance ; only a shade 
thinner and paler in the face. But so ethereal-looking ! 
He was very quiet. He was not permitted by the doctor 
to speak much. He was sitting in the dining-room, in 
his easy-chair, propped up with pillows. He wore his 
crimson-lined, dark-blue dressing-gown and a little black 
silk cap. 

"A fearful hemorrhage had come on when the 
bronchial symptoms had lessened, and it was the fact 
of this hemorrhage, and the news sent us by Meggie 
of the heart being affected, that made Alfred and me 
set off at an hour's notice. What a journey we had ! 
And how all seemed a terrible yet beautiful dream as 
we rushed across France and Italy! Italy always has, 
some way, been to me the ideality of grief; and she put 

VOL. n. T 

2 9 o MAEY HOWITT. [en. vm. 

on her mingled robe of terrible beauty to greet us on 
that journey. I scarcely expected to see my father 
alive. But how much consolation, how much store of 
golden memories, were to be given us during the fort- 
night that we were all blended into one heart and soul, 
as it were, in this crucible of suffering Love ! 

" I found my beloved mother wonderfully calm and 
sustained, and my dear father love, meekness, and 
patience ; the servants, good, fat Louisa, and that 
faithful Gaetano you know them most devoted. 
Father inspired the strongest esteem in a wide circle 
of friends. All sought to minister to him and my 
mother. Indeed, during this time we all feel that 
ours has been a very banquet of love. Prayers went 
up daily both here, in Tyrol, and in England; most 
tender, fervent prayers for him. I believe that very 
many Catholics prayed for him, and even had Masses 
said for him in some of the churches here. A very 
cloud of prayer, like incense, was always ascending ; 
and the prayers had their fulfilment, in the tenderest 
state of mind, in his gradually relaxing hold upon 
this outer sphere, in his yearning for the higher life, 
in a perfectly internal state of peace, and in the gentle 
termination of a sickness which might have been ter- 
rible both from length and intensity. 

" This day week Monday, March 3 at half-past 
three o'clock in the afternoon we all round him, good 
Dr. Nevin having been to see him, and having read 
with deep feeling the ' Prayers for the Sick ' the end 
came ! It came fully expected by us all, longed for 
by him. He must in some mysterious manner have 
had an intimation of the very hour of his departure, 
because, asking some one to tell him the hour, and 

1879-82.] THE HOME IN MERAN. 291 

learning that it was one o'clock ' Only one ! ' he 
exclaimed in a tone as if greatly disappointed. 'Then 
I have yet some hours to struggle ! ' His breathing 
was much oppressed ; and after blessing us all ' all 
his friends, and all the world ! ' and bidding Dr. Nevin 
good-bye, he did not speak again, except to say rapidly 
and with a joyful sort of impatience, 'Lift up my 
hands ! Lift up my hands.' This my mother and I 
did, standing, as we were, one on each side of his bed. 
His hands were heavy and cold like marble. His eyes 
were closed. Death had set his seal upon the beloved 
white face. 

" Two days after this, with every honour that his 
friends in Rome could show to his mortal remains, he 
was laid in one of the sunniest of spots in that most 
beautiful of all burial-places, the Protestant cemetery 
here ' That place,' as Shelley said, ' to make one in 
love with death.' His dear chrysalis reposes, beneath 
heaped-up garlands, near to the grave of Gibson. 
You know the spot, and can picture it all. There 
was a beautiful service, arranged by kind Dr. Nevin 
for the occasion ; and the choir from the American 
Church was present, singing lovely hymns in the 
Mortuary Chapel, and then over the grave. Every one 
sought to do his memory honour. Again, I say, we 
can only bless and praise God ; praise in the beginning 
and praise in the ending. 

" Is it not singular that precisely at the same hour 
and upon the self-same day, at the old home of his 
childhood in England, my father's younger and last- 
surviving brother, Francis, long an invalid, passed 
away? They have become, so to speak, twins in the 
new birth. " 

292 MARY HOW1TT. [CH. vm. 

My beloved husband was wont to say, " There was 
no cause to lament such exits. The ripe fruit must 
drop, and now and then a night's frost severs the young 
fruit too from the tree." Most true ! for on March 2, 
consequently the preceding day, our much-prized young 
kinsman, James Macdonell, was snatched away by 
death, at the commencement of a most promising literary 

Mr. Augustus Hare, now so indelibly associated in 
literature with Rome, attended, with other sympathisers, 
my husband's mortal remains to their last resting-place 
in the cypress-shaded Campo Santo, the strangers' burial- 
ground, which, just within the circle of mighty Rome, 
is guarded by the ancient tower-crested walls of Aure- 
lian and the blackened white marble pyramid of Caius 

The old Romans, amidst the funeral games of gladi- 
ators, solemnly bore, with inverted torches, the ashes 
of their beloved to sepulture on the Appian Way. It 
seems to me I have in these pages led the reader 
stage by stage to the tombs of my departed. It must 
be so in the reminiscences of a very old woman, who 
has survived the majority of her kindred and contem- 
poraries. Yet is not the life of each one of us a Via 
Appia from the cradle to the grave ? Well for us when 
we have not to ask, as Peter had of Him he met on that 
sacred way, " Domine quo vadis?" 


"Rome, March 25, 1879. Hardly had Meggie gone 
with you to the railway station than the postman 
brought the important document announcing to me 
the grant of a pension. I was so overjoyed and 

1879-82.] THE HOME IN MERAN. 293 

astonished that I knew not what to do. My first 
thought was to get a little carriage and drive to the 
station, and gaining admittance to you, convey the 
blessed intelligence before you started. But the fear 
that after all I might be too late calmed me down ; 
and giving thanks with all my heart, I waited as 
patiently as I could till Meggie returned, when we set 
off to the telegraph-office and despatched our telegram 
to you at Turin ; which was a comfortable outlet to 
our excitement. And, dears, does not this grant seem 
most wonderful, quite like God's own blessed work ? 
It is so readily given, so kindly, so graciously, for my 
literary merits, by Lord Beaconsfield, without the solici- 
tation or interference of any friend or well-wisher. I 
do not know how sufficiently to give thanks." 


"April 3, 1879. Did I tell you that Octavia Hill 
and her friend, Miss Yorke, are again in Rome ? They 
move from their hotel to an apartment in this street 
this afternoon, and in about a week or ten days Miranda 
comes. They took us yesterday to the Villa Livia. It 
lies seven miles from Rome, on the old Via Flaminia, 
where you and I drove one afternoon past Poussin's 
rocks and Domenica's tomb, and past the meadow of 
white narcissus. The villa was excavated about sixteen 
years ago, and has some very remarkable and beautiful 
frescoes on the walls of one of the rooms ; something 
in the style of your Morris's paper, all a thick wood of 
branches and leaves, through which you see birds and 
butterflies and tall flowers rising from the ground. I 
thought I should never tire of looking into the sylvan, 
flowery scene. We had a most pleasant excursion. 

294 MARY HOWITT. [CH. vin. 

They returned to dine with us, Miss Yorke and Meggie 
bringing with them quantities of flowers. The Judas- 
tree is now in bloom, one mass of crimson pea-like 
blossom covering the boughs before the leaves are out, 
excepting just leaf-buds at the top of the branches. It 
is a splendid tree, but not common as yet in England." 


"April 13, 1879. Dear Octavia and Miss Yorke 
are very comfortably settled near us, and yesterday 
Miranda arrived ; therefore Meggie and I went over in 
the evening to welcome her. They all seemed so happy 
and bright, that we were drawn into their cheerful spirit, 
and told our bits of experience of Roman life ; and 
everything seemed to take a comic turn. But oh ! when 
we got out of the house into the street, coming home, 
we felt as if we must cry, not laugh ; and so I have felt 
all day. I cannot bear having people here, we so sadly 
miss dear William, and all his pleasant, interesting stories, 
and the sympathy he had in everything that went on 
round us. You do not know, and yet I am sure you 
do, how deeply I feel my loss. But I will try not to 
dwell upon it. 

" We had a letter from Mr. Duncan the other day, which 
made us unhappy by his saying that you were not well. 
Every way and on all sides we hear of nothing but death 
and suffering. It is a strangely solemn time. You know, 
I suppose, that dearest William's death was accompanied, 
so to say, by that of his sole surviving brother, two years 
younger than himself, who died at the same time, to the 
minute : and of our dear nephew by marriage, James 
Macdonell, who died suddenly the day before. Three 
deaths of our nearest and dearest male relatives in two 

1879-82.] THE HOME IN MEEAK 295 

days ! Now, in one week we have lost three dear and 
faithful old friends : one of them beloved as a sister by 
Alfred and Annie ; one, Mr. William Oldham, two years 
my husband's senior, wonderfully hale, and with all 
his mental faculties clear, but who never got over the 
shock of William's death, and thus soon followed him. 
The third was Miss Meteyard, poor old ' Silverpen,' our 
faithful friend for thirty-five years ; one who had sym- 
pathised with us so tenderly and lovingly in our great 

"Now, please, dear Margaret, take care of yourself, 
and do not work too hard. Mr. Duncan says he is pro- 
bably coming again to Rome. I hope he may bring us 
a better account. He has such a true interest in you, 
and is so kindly sympathetic, that, as you know, we like 
him much ; and so did dearest William. 

" You have thought very often and very affectionately 
of us and our return to England. I shall never now, so 
far as I can see, desire to return there as a home ; for 
since William's mortal remains are laid in the beautiful 
cemetery here, there is a space reserved for me by his side, 
and I wish to die in Rome. We are leaving this little 
apartment, and our furniture will be stored in the pre- 
mises of a good friend till our return from Tyrol. We 
go back there a most sorrowful going back ! for the 
summer ; so that it will be November before we are 
once more in Rome. We shall then hire on lease some 
suitable dwelling." 


"86 Via Sistina, May 12, 1879. I think we shall 
be very comfortable in these spacious lodgings for the 
remaining fortnight of our stay. This house, you know, 

296 MARY HOW1TT. [CH. vnr. 

is exactly opposite our old home, and we have flitted 
across the street to-day. There are great goings on at 
the Vatican in the creation of the new Cardinals. It 
makes quite an excitement in the clerical world. We 
only get very passing glimpses of the important proceed- 
ings. For instance, about two hours ago, after leaving 
No. 55 for the last time, just as we stepped out of the 
street-door we had the edification of seeing a very sombre- 
looking carriage-and-pair drive up. It brought back Dr. 
Newman from the Vatican. That most interesting old 
man, on alighting, tenderly embraced another son of St. 
Philip, one of his attendants from England, and who, in 
the Oratorian black cassock and white collar, had been 
standing for some time on the pavement, evidently await- 
ing his return. Then they passed lovingly together under 
the large arched entrance just below No. 55 ; for Newman 
is located in our close neighbourhood, in the house where 
Signor Vertunni, the landscape-painter, lives. I have a 
great desire to hear him ; only he will not preach any- 
where ; at least, so it is said. 

"Now I shall leave my writing and take the pamphlet 
on ' Buddhism in China,' and read by the fire, for it is so 
cold, with the rain falling, falling, and our little apartment 
opposite standing quite dismantled." 


"Rome, May 21, 1879. I have lent Mrs. Terry the 
Buddhist pamphlet. She too takes an interest in the 
subject, as her son, Marion Crawford, a young fellow 
brought up at Oxford, has somewhat suddenly turned his 
attention to Sanscrit, for which he found in himself a 
great capacity. He has now gone to Bombay, and he 
writes to his mother about the wonderful wisdom and 

1879-82.] THE HOME IN MERAK 297 

the pure morality of the Zend-Avesta ; and how, when 
people understand what the teaching of that theology is, 
boys and young men will not be corrupted by the im- 
morality of classical learning and literature, to which so 
many years are devoted. Now, when Mrs. Terry brings 
it back, I shall have the extract from your letter for her. 
But, dear Annie, I want to ask whether you think the 
children of Israel being carried into captivity to Baby- 
lon upwards of five hundred years before the Christian 
era might not indoctrinate those Eastern sages with the 
wisdom which God gave through the Israelitish prophets, 
taking with them the grand prophecies of Christ, the 
Son of a Virgin, the Prince of Peace, &c. The re- 
cluses and hermits of the Buddhist faith are but an 
earlier version of the hermits of the Thebaid. I sup- 
pose all this has been worked out and made clear by 
some of the many minds which are now turned to these 


" Meran, June 12, 1879. I thank you very much for 
the touching little intimations of the spirit-world which 
you sent me. I wonder very much whether good Catholics 

would accept anything of the kind. Would Father , 

for instance, sanction dear Julia having tokens of love 
and recognition from her spirit-mother ? We know they 
recognise such tokens when they come to their saints ; 
yet they regard them as snares of the Evil One when 
they come to those outside the pale of their Church. 
We are just now reading Cardinal Newman's ' Callista,' 
a lovely, pure, and noble story of the early Christian 

" To-morrow afternoon there is going to be another 

298 MARY HOWITT. [CH. vni. 

little excursion. The Woodward Scotts and their dear 
children, Mary and John von Messing, Meggie and 
myself are going to drink coffee at the rural inn belong- 
ing to the Cistercian monks. It is a romantic spot, 
well known to your dearest father. The house stands 
on a slope by a fine spreading Spanish chestnut-tree ; 
below stretch well-kept meadows and gardens, filling 
the breadth of a narrow valley planted with fruit-trees. 
A straight path from the Cistercian farm-house and inn 
leads to a beautiful and venerable little church, as old 
almost as the hills, and dedicated to St. Valentine, the 
first apostle of Christianity in this region, and who 
dwelt here. A few years ago it was restored in the 
Munich style ; and a large fresco over the chancel repre- 
sents the Saint preaching to the half-savage inhabitants 
of this neighbourhood." 


"Dietenheim, July 15, 1879. Now let me thank you 
for your kind appreciation of ' The Seven Temptations.' 
I am so glad that in re-perusing it you found it good. 
The publication of that book was such a painful blow to 
me, or rather to my authorly pride and conceit, that 
I never really got over it. Nobody, reader or critic, 
seemed at the time to think anything of it, excepting 
Mr. W. J. Fox, who gave a most kind review of it in 
the Monthly Repository. It was called in the Literary 
Gazette 'blasphemous,' and everywhere, as I remember, 
rather scoffed at. I have never had the heart to read 
the book since. If it be a good book, then I am 
thankful, for it will be recognised in Heaven ; and the 
writing of it was a delightful enthusiasm of poetic 
fervour and of hope. But, dearest, it has all been 

1879-82.] THE HOME TN MERAK 299 

discipline. I do not complain ; it has been good for 
me. I was very ambitious in those days ; and I am 
glad to think that I had my disappointments and my 

" Dietenheim, July 20, 1879. And so poor William 

M is gone ! The other world will soon leave us 

with very few old friends in this. I had always a 
peculiar, tender regard for him ; and the friendship that 
was broken in this world of blunders and mistakes will 
be, I believe, renewed and perfected in that next wise 
and loving world. Then I hope I may take his sister to 
my heart, and that she may return the love I so freely 
give her." 


" Dietenheim, Sept. 2, 1879. You, dear Barbara, belong 
to those peculiar old times which live in my memory 
and my heart like the sweet poetry of life, which one 
must not expect to continue on to old age. But how 
bright and lovely it is in memory ! And the sorrows and 
disappointments of later life never dim it. 

" We are come, you see, to our old summer home, 
where eight summers in dear William's companionship 
had been so happily spent. Some of our friends wondered 
at it ; but there was no home to us like this, where he 
had been so happy, and where remained only tender 
and lovely memories of him. 

" We stayed, by the way, at Meran, where there is an 
excellent physician. As I was out of health, we thought it 
best to see him first ; and we have decided now to spend the 
coming winter there, instead of returning to Rome ; thus, 
if I am spared, avoiding the long journeys to and fro." 

3 oo MARY HOWITT. [en. vm. 


" Dietenheim, Sept. 26, 1879. No heavenly intima- 
tions come to me as yet ; and I feel so painfully 
that I am unworthy. I formerly shut my heart against 
spiritualism. I even said to your dear father, ' Don't 
come to me after death, for I should disbelieve you. 
I should remember the false, deceiving spirits that 
have come, and reject even you as false.' How bitterly 
I repent it now ! I have asked in prayer that my 
sins might go beforehand to judgment ; and I think 
all have been brought to my remembrance, from the 
very days of my childhood ; and I seek for repent- 
ance, and pray for a sign of acceptance. If I were 
a Catholic I should ask counsel from my confessor. 
But God, if He would condescend so far, could do 
more for me than man. I will not trouble you with 
these things. Only, the remembrance of the past, 
and of my own perverseness and my own short- 
comings, presses heavily upon me at times. If one 
could only live up to one's mercies. Day by day see 
how unspeakably great they are ; such a gracious 
supply for all our wants ; such a surrounding us 
with good people ; such a making of our daily path 
not only easy,- but pleasant. Surely, surely all this 
can be nothing else but an evidence of the Love of 
God ! Yes, it is so, I know. But then I want 
something more. I want the knowledge in myself 
that I am accepted. I longed for this in the early 
days of spiritualism. I heard of the new life that 

had come tq Mrs. C , and almost envied her the 

blessing. I wish, now, that we had gone on accepting 
what came, without criticising and carping. Then 
perhaps a fuller measure had been given to me at 

1879-82.] THE HOME IN MERAN. 301 

last. Your father, though he rejected much, yet held 
fast by that which was the mainstay and foundation 
of all true faith confidence in Christ Jesus and the 
nearness of the spiritual world. What a blessing it was ! 
I seem to be complaining. In truth, I am not. I am 
only telling you how I am seeking, as it were, to re- 
cover lost ground, and praying in my poor, feeble way 
for a sign of acceptance." 

" Meran, Nov. 29, 1879. To-day dear Julia's pre- 
sent, the ' Life of Ozanam,' has come. I have been 
reading it this afternoon. It is quite a comfort to 
me to find him a Catholic. Faber has spoiled me for 
any religious reading of the Protestant type, however 
good it may be. Two such works have recently been 
sent me. I have read them conscientiously ; but they 
do not seem to me to have the true urvction of spiritual 
life in them. In this we shall find it. 

" If you should happen to see Christina Rossetti, 
please to give my kind regards to her. I saw a little 
poem of hers, some two or three years ago, which 
uttered, as it were, a cry out of my own heart to be 
delivered from Self. It was the whole cry of an 
earnest soul embodied in a few words ; a wonderful 
little outburst of prayer. I think it was in an American 
magazine, or perhaps Good Words; I was so sorry I 
did not copy it." 


"Meran, April 8, 1880. I wonder whether Annie 
has told you about a project, which seems to have 
grown up in a wonderful way of itself, or as if 
invisible hands had been arranging it ; that we 

302 MARY HOWITT. [CH. vm. 

should have a little home of our own ' im heiligen 
Land Tirol.' This really is a very great mercy, seeing 
that Tyrol is so beautiful, the air so pure and fresh, 
the climate so beneficial to health, and the people, 
taken as a whole, very honest and devout. Our 
little nest of love, which we shall call ' Marienruhe,' 
will be perched on a hill with beautiful views, sur- 
rounded by a small garden." 


" Meran, June 6, 1880. You know that Zillah and 
Miss Gurney are here ; and a very great pleasure it is 
to us to have them so near us, for we can see their 
windows from ours, and, if they walk in the hotel 
garden, can talk together. Dear Zillah will tell you 
about our bit of land, and about our building that is 
struggling forward. I say struggling, because of the 
immense blocks of rock that the work-people come 
upon in clearing away the soil for the foundations. 
Yesterday we were present at some of the blasting. 
It is literally erecting a house on a rock." 


" Schloss Pallaus, Brixen, June 13, 1880. What a 
great pleasure we had in your letter and its interest- 
ing details ! For my part, I am fully persuaded that 
not the smallest work of love shall fail, in God's time, 
of its accomplishment ; and that, whilst we are mere 
bunglers in this school of life, our training here, with 
the Divine blessing, will fit us to produce, in that 
great hereafter, marvels of beauty to the glory of God. 

"You are right in supposing that we are spending 
a delightful time with Baron and Baroness Ernst von 

1879-82.] THE HOME IN MERAK 303 

Schonberg. They and Meggie have now gone a walk ; 
and I am resting in the blue sitting-room, which adjoins 
my bedroom. If I step out on the balcony, I see the 
fresco on the wall above, depicted in a bold style in 
red. It runs along the upper portion of the western 
front. The subject is a tournament, the figures a 
great deal larger than life, very bold and grand. The 
castle, which is under the protection of the Archangel 
Michael, was built in 1492 ; so it is old, but has no 
ghosts. At the present time the large blue iris, with 
its broad blue-green leaves, which is planted on every 
space of the indented parapets, is now in full bloom, 
making the battlements a garland of natural beauty, 
encircling the old stronghold. I never saw anything 
like it before ; and you would admire it as much as 
I do." 

" Dietenheim, Aug. 20, 1880. To-day is a very 
great day in Bruneck, for the new Prince-Bishop of 
Brixen comes on his first visitation, and our little town 
is decorated and prepared to do all a good child can 
to welcome and honour its spiritual father. At three 
o'clock Anton drives us to Bruneck. We are to 
drink coffee with the Baroness Marie vou Sternbach, 
and then go to the hospital, from one of the windows 
of which we are to see all the town authorities, in 
their civic grandeur, whatever that may be, bring the 
Prince-Bishop into the town. There is an open space 
before the Capuchin Convent, where I do not know 
what is not going to be done ; only this I know, that 
little Bertha von Vintler, attired in white muslin, 
with a lovely bouquet in her hand, is to address him 
in a poetical speech, which she has been learning 

304 MARY HOWITT. [CH. vm. 

for the occasion, and is frightened out of her small 

wits. She is, however, sure to do it very prettily, 

and her parents will be proud of her to the end of 
their days." 

"Aug. 29, 1880. The Prince-Bishop's visitation was 
a great success. The Sisters of Charity were most 
anxious about his going to the hospital. He himself 
they did not mind, but his chaplain, secretary, and 
other clergy who might attend him, and who would 
stand round in silence, listening to all that was said. 
He arrived at the hospital in pouring rain, and, to the 
infinite relief of the Sisters, quite alone. He visited 
each room and patient, and was pleased and satisfied 
with all he saw. As he was about to leave, he said 
to the Sister Superior, ' I feel as if I knew you, as 
if we had been acquainted in earlier days.' Then 
she joyfully replied, 'True enough; we lived for six 
months at the same priest's house. You were his 
young assistant, and I was learning cooking in the 

" I am very glad that Calmet's ' Dictionary of the Bible ' 
is under your care. I was seized the other day by a sort 
of old love and longing for Calmet, remembering the 
time when your dear father bought it, and how we used 
to sit at Nottingham, you a little child with us, and turn 
over those illustrations of Ashtaroth and Dagon, the old 
fish, and the goddess Diana of the Ephesians." 

" Dietenheim, Sept. 30, 1880. Mr. Woodall, who has 
been to see us on his way to Athens, made himself very 
agreeable, as was to be expected, and we took the oppor- 
tunity of gaining much political information from him on 

1879-82.] THE HOME IN MERAK 305 

many points ; the working of the Burials Bill amongst 
other things. He could also tell us about poor old 
'Silverpen,' who, we knew, had the highest opinion of 
him ; and how her literary affairs have been left." 

" Meran, Dec. 9, 1880. I turn to the topics of your 
letter. You mention Herr Herder. He is getting 
gradually better. Everybody marvels at it. But prayers 
were put up for him in many parts of Germany. I 
never, till I knew as much of Catholics and their life of 
faith and prayer as I now do, could have believed the 
same amount of child-like trust existing in the hearts 
and souls of grave, earnest men and women as I now see 
is the case. Another instance of cure by prayer, that of 

the Baroness von S , is known to us. The visit which 

your father and I paid to Dorothea Trudel's institution 
for healing by prayer did not satisfy us. Now I see that 
amongst Catholics the age of miracles is not past. I 
look on, wonder, and give thanks ; and I wish many of 
those dear, excellent people whom we know and love 
could have their minds disabused of their prejudice 
against the Catholic faith, which is really the old 
Apostolic faith. Now, don't think I am ' going over.' 
There is no fear of that. But I cannot help seeing and 
feeling that the interior life of the Catholics we know, is 
very near to my ideal of a pure, simple Christiaji prac- 
tice ; intellectual, loving art, loving Nature, but living, 
loving, and enjoying all things in God. This is a long 
screed, all grown out of Herr Herder, his illness, and his 
present betterment." 

" Meran, Dec. 27, 1880. Your letters of the 23rd and 
the 24th came together this morning, both of them 


306 MARY HOWITT. [CH. vm. 

bringing news of deaths very different from each other, yet 
each affecting us deeply. Dearest Julia ! what can we 
say of her removal that you have not already said? It 
is a glorious change for her. We cannot imagine one 
greater from that long, weary bed of suffering, that long, 
living crucifixion, to the glory, the peace, the fulness of 
existence into which she has entered, and that not as a 
temporary thing, not as a simple variety and relaxation, but 
as a perfect state for ever and ever. No more suffering, 
no more grief, no more change, unless it be into a higher 
state of blessedness. Happy Julia ! We must rejoice 
for her ; and though she is removed from her dear 
earthly friends, yet many among them feel that she does 
not lie under the green sod, but is of a truth in the blue 
heavens of God's life and love, and sooner or later will 
be amongst the St. Philips and the St. Cecilias, with 
whom she was so kindred on earth. What a blessed 
faith is that of the good, sincere Catholic, to whom the 
glorious other world is only next door ! 

" We have felt an astonishment, a sort of awe almost, 
in hearing of the death of George Eliot. What a 
wonderful change, too, for her ! What can the discovery 
of yet continued life be to those who had not believed 
in it ? Oh how strange it is ! " 

" Meran, March 23, 1881. Our guests, Anton and 
Jakob Mutschlechner, are gone. I think they had a 
nice time. But I fancy their pilgrimage to the home of 
Andreas Hofer was a disappointment, as I believe it is to 
all. They seemed so tired when they came back last 
night, and had seen so little. It is a very uninteresting 
walk of four hours from Meran to Sand ; a most fatiguing 
one too ; and no fine scenery by the way, nor when you 

1879-82.] THE HOME IN MERAN. 307 

get there. The house of Hofer, the Sand-Wirth, is in 
itself uninteresting, and the room which is shown as his 
has nothing at all remarkable about it. There is only 
the chapel just by, where Hofer went daily to Mass, and 
the place where he knelt is shown. Anton and Jakob 
were, of course, pleased to have seen it. There is a 
strong movement now among some gentlemen, headed 
by our revered friend, Count Fries, to erect a beautiful 
chapel at Sand in commemoration of the brave patriot. 
This will be attractive, and repay the labour of going 

" Schloss Pallaus, July 5, 1881. Here are we, so far 
on our way to Dietenheim, lodged like two princesses, 
and in the midst of kindness. Besides ourselves are two 
lady-visitors. One is French, the other an American, 
- whom we and your dear father knew in Rome. She is a 
pervert, with whom he had what seemed to me at the 
time a hot controversy on the Catholic faith and people 
turning to it, and which, I had feared, must have 
offended her. She says, ' No, not at all ! ' and that she 
respected his fervour. She says, moreover, that it was 
my translation of Herder's holy legend 

' Among green, pleasant meadows, 

All in a grove so wild, 
Was set a marble image 

Of the Virgin and the Child,' 

in my ' Seven Temptations,' which first, when she was 
quite young, inclined her heart to the Catholic faith ; 
and that in this way I may be considered the cause of her 
perversion. After we leave comes, this week, Lady 
Herbert. Our dear friends, Count and Countess Hom- 
pesch, are spending the summer, with their two little 


boys, Pius and Paul, at an adjacent villa in this hamlet 
of Sarns." 


" Dietenheim, Sept. 13, 1881. Mr. Weldon joins us, 
and seems very happy to be with us, just as we are to 
have him." 

"Sept. 15. Mr. Weldon, Annie, Meggie, and I left 
Mayr-am-hof, and were given more flowers than we knew 
what to do with. Dined at Bozen. Drove to Meran, 
having, as we approached, a nice view of our completed 
Marienruhe. Slept at the Post." 

"Sept. 1 6. After breakfast, attended by Mr. Weldon 
and my two daughters, entered Marienruhe, and we were 
all much pleased with the rooms and the views." 

" Sept. 29, Michaelmas Day. We sleep for the first 
time in the new home." 

"Sept. 30. I write my first letter from Marienruhe to 
my beloved sister Anna." 

On May 26, 1880, I had laid the first stone of the house 
represented in the woodcut. It commands on its four 
sides rich and varied landscapes. It faces the south, and 
there stretches out below it the broad valley of the Etsch 
or Adige, bordered by lofty wooded mountains, having 
old castles and little churches crowning verdant crags 
and summits, and terminating in the bold precipitous 
profile of the Mendola, a mountain that marks the 
division of German and Italian speaking Tyrol. 

To the north runs the valley of the Passer river, 




containing the birthplace of Andreas Hofer. It too is 
edged by mountains. It has a broken, picturesque fore- 
ground of vineyards and grassy slopes, shaded by luxu- 
riant Spanish chestnuts, medieval castles, and capacious 
chalets; and a background of the Jaufen range, the 
Mons Jovis of the Romans. 


To the east the view is more limited. It is bounded 
at a distance of two or three miles by the high porphyry 
walls that hem in the Naifthal, a wooded gorge domi- 
nated by the granite crest of the Ifinger, and characterised 
by its hermitage and chapel, and the savage nature of 
its treacherous mountain torrent. 

To the west we look into the Vinschgauerthal, the 
upper Venosta Valley of the Romans. On its northern 

3 io MARY HOWITT. [CH. vni. 

side a range of stupendous mountains lift their jagged 
peaks into the intense blue sky. The Muthspitze, the 
nearest of this giant band, has an elongated spur called 
the Kiichelberg, whereon nestles the village of Tirol ; 
and on the nearest and lowest slopes stands a solitary 
square tower with battlements. It is called the Pulver 
Thurm, and rising up amongst vineyards above Meran, 
immediately catches the eye. 


" Marienruhe, Jan. 9, 1882. It was so very kind 
of your' aunt Julia to write, and to give us such full 
details of Scalands, which is associated in my mind, and in 
my heart also, with you, in those old, never-to-be-forgotten 
days, when you so kindly lent it to my beloved husband 
and myself. I never saw spring come out so beautifully, 
I think, as in your woods, those young plantations in 
which that quaint, picturesque house is embosomed. I 
should hardly know it now, I suppose, judging from 
what dear ' aunt Julia ' says ; you must have added so 
greatly to it. Never shall I forget my delight in the 
beauty of those clustered pale yellow Banksia roses 
which grew on one wall, and now, I dare say, cover the 
entire side of the house. Little did I then imagine that 
in my old age I should live in a house where, this very 
spring, they will be planted with other roses to climb up 
a balcony, and probably in time reach the very roof; for 
so do the roses and many other creepers in this beauti- 
ful climate of Meran. In a few weeks, dearest Barbara, 
when we receive our small belongings from Rome, we 
shall place upon the wall of our pretty drawing-room one 
of your beautiful landscapes. It is Festiniog, with grey 
rain-clouds sweeping over the mountains. How I wish 



you could see it, could come and sit down with us and 
admire the glorious views which we have on every side ! " 


" Marienruhe, Meran, Feb. i, 1882. A letter from 
Gertrude, the other day, gave us the happy intelligence 


of your being so much better, for which we are very 
thankful. You are so tenderly connected with old, old 
times that seem to belong to another life, that I have 
for you a peculiar affection. What a pleasant experi- 
ence my dear husband had of his first acquaintance 
with you in London, when the Misses Flower were 
living, and Mr. Fox was in the bloom of his early fame ! 

3 i2 MARY HOWITT. [CH. vm. 

How beautiful it all was ! Not, perhaps, what we should 
in after-years have felt in the same way. But there 
was a poetry, a grace, a beauty, and a life about it, that 
remained its own to the last. Then came the time 
when I first knew you and dear Mary, with her gentle 
ways how sweet she was ! and all that life at Hillside, 
and the wild, single daffodils in the field opposite, all 
of your planting. They did not get double and spoil 
themselves, like other daffodils. I do not think that a 
single feature of that time has faded out of my mind. 
Good Dr. Southwood Smith and all his clever grand- 
daughters, Gertrude's pony, Snowball ; even Collins the 
gardener has his place in the group that gave life to that 
picture of an ideal home. 

" All this, dear Margaret, makes a beautiful portion 
of the past, which dwells vividly in my memory, in spite 
of sorrows, disappointments, and crosses, which came 
like heavy clouds, necessary discipline, and the conse- 
quences of one's own mistakes or self-deception ; but 
which have been permitted to pass like clouds, leaving 
behind precious recollections. Every now and then, too, 
in later years, you remain like a ray of light in our 
memory. For instance, those few weeks in Rome, and 
the pleasant time together at Albano, when you were 
so contented with everything in that ill-furnished but 
pleasant house ! How much we enjoyed it I cannot tell 
you. The pictures you painted in Rome and at Albano 
I love to remember ; our fat Louisa looking, with other 
women, out from a window and drawing up a letter in a 
basket ! and the pretty sketch you gave our dear Peggy 
Foley. I hope I shall not have wearied you with my 
review of old times ; but as they make up a part of my 
affection for you, I must be excused for dwelling on them." 


1879-82.] THE HOME IN MERAK 315 


" Marienruhe, March 16, 1882. It is perfect summer 
weather, without a cloud from week's end to week's 
end. All you say about my low-fits is true ; and if it 
were not that I am so afraid of laying the flattering 
unction to my soul, as if the Heavenly Father might 
be satisfied with me because I do my best, I really could 
have great peace of mind, and even joy, in the sense of 
the continued Divine goodness ; only I know that God's 
sun shines on the unjust as well as the just. Then I 
know of a certainty that I have not deserved the bless- 
ings with which every passing day is stored, and that, 
like Dives, I may be receiving my good things in this 
life. I often try to comfort myself with these lines of 
Cowper's : 

' Sometimes a light surprises 

The Christian while he sings ; 
It is the Lord, who rises 
With healing in His wings.' 

" Now, if I really were not afraid of the unsurpassed 
peace and happiness of my outward life, I might bask, as 
it were, in continued sunshine, rejoicing ever. But then 
I know myself; I know the awful shortcomings, the 
actual sin of my long life ; and so I get very sad, wanting 
an assurance of salvation, of forgiveness." 

"Marienruhe, April 14, 1882. You will have had 
my letter by this time showing you that the sad news of 
your dearest aunt's great illness had reached us. We 
must now look for the end. Oh ! it is very sorrowful. 
Yet how beautiful, how full of love and good works her 
dear life has been ! One's heart naturally clings so to 
beloved relatives on earth, who have been ever ready to 

316 MARY HO WITT. [CH. vm. 

speak words of love and tenderness. My dear, dear 
sister and true friend, may it only please our Lord to 
make me as fully prepared for the great future when 
my hour comes ! Your dearest aunt found a place of 
rest for her soul, an anchor for her faith, in the Church 
of England, which was all-sufficient for her. This seems 
to me a great privilege, even though that which satisfied 
her never could satisfy me. I am so thankful for her." 

"April 15, 1882. The sad tidings has reached us. 
I cannot as yet realise that your dear aunt Anna has 
gone. Then I have such an entire confidence in her 
happiness, in her well-being, that I cannot feel heart- 
broken. But for the dear ones left behind, what an 
immense sorrow must be theirs ! she that was so lately 
with them, so cheerful, taking such a tender interest in 
that which interested others, watching with such keen 
delight the coming out of spring buds and blossoms. 
She enjoyed reading modern books of a sweet religious 
tendency, not overflowing with the teaching of creeds. 
Thus, one of her last letters was so full of that charming 
book, ' Journals and Letters of Caroline Fox,' also of 
' John Inglesant.' Her mind had not become old, her 
heart had never become chilled. I know that my life is 
poorer now that she is gone ; but I will not murmur. 
I will do my endeavour to follow in her track ; to take 
hold, as it were, of the Saviour's hand then I shall 
be safe." 




" Of outward pleasure, wealth or ease, dear Lord, 

I do not ask increase, 
I only ask, with Thee a sweet accord, 
And that the end be Peate." 

"May 6, 1882. The last medallions and pictures 
were hung in the various rooms and on the staircase. 
All is extremely nice ; too elegant and perfect for one 
like me. Oh ! my dear Lord, fit me for the reception of 
Thy increasing mercies." 

"May 12. Received a note from the Countess 
Hompesch that her cousin, Father Ceslas de Robiano, 
would come with them to afternoon tea. He is a 
Dominican, who, by order of his superiors, remains on 
in Berlin, where their monastery has been suppressed. 
He has suffered no little in the Culturkampf. The 
Hompesches and Father de Robiano duly came. I was 
deeply impressed by him. I spoke of my great desire 
for baptism. I hope I did not say too much." 

"May 14, Sunday. Father Ceslas called in the even- 
ing. I again spoke with him of baptism ; wishing I 

318 MARY HO WITT. [CH. ix. 

could have a direct message from God, that an angel 
could come and tell me what He would have me 
to do. 

"To this the Dominican replied, ' God speaks by His 
messengers, saying, " He that heareth you, heareth Me. 
He that despises you, despises Me." But you would 
be right in demanding from a stranger his credentials. 
Mine are the Cross of Christ on my forehead, and the 
words He uttered to me at my ordination, " As the 
Father hath sent Me, I also send you." I come from 
God, and with all the weight and authority of the 
Catholic Church.' 

" I spoke of the great difficulty I had concerning the 
honour paid to the Virgin Mary, though I should like 
to love her ; and he answered, ' The hatred of the Blessed 
Virgin in the world is the fulfilment of the Divine 
Word : "I will put enmities between thee and the 
woman, and thy seed and her seed : she shall crush thy 
head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel." Why, 
in Berlin, where I am known, the street-boys, poor little 
fellows ! run after me, crying out to annoy me, " Hail 

" He took out his breviary, opened it, and asked, 
' May I read you a little prayer which a dear friend of 
mine, Pere Besson, gave me at a very critical moment of 
my life ? ' 

" I expressed pleasure and surprise that he should have 
known Pere Besson. 

" ' Ah ! ' he replied, with emotion, ' he was my dear 
friend my brother. He was with me when I took the 

"The prayer of the Dominican artist was written in 
French, Father de Robiano's native tongue, for he is a 

1882-88.] IN THE ETERNAL CITY. 319 

Belgian. He read it very slowly, translating it into 
English : ' O Jesus, my Saviour, the only physician 
of my soul, I fling myself with all my weakness and 
misery into Thy ever-open arms. Humiliated as I am 
by the sight of myself, I know perfectly well that I am 
both ignorant and much mistaken about myself. Thou, 
Who seest in very truth, look mercifully on me. Lay 
Thy healing hand on my wounds. Pour the salutary 
life-giving balm of Thy love into my heart. Do for me 
what I have not the courage to do for myself. Save me 
in spite of myself. May I be Thine ; wholly Thine, and 
at all cost Thine. In humiliation, in poverty, in suf- 
fering, in self-abnegation Thine. Thine in the way Thou 
knowest to be most fitting, in order that thereby Thou 
mightest be now and ever mine. Thou art my Master, 
my Lord, my Saviour, my God. I am Thy poor little 
creature, dependent alone on Thy merciful charity, O 
Jesus, my only Hope.' 

" After this the question of baptism was decided, and 
even the day fixed May 26." 

"May 15. Very pleasant letter from Australia. All 
are well ; and my dear eldest grandchild, Charlton, was 
to sail on May 4 for Europe." 

" May 19. Father Ceslas came this morning. I ques- 
tion if I learned much, but the conversation was inte- 
resting. I told him I should never know what to say in 
my self-defence when a Catholic. He advised me ' to 
leave it to God. He always did so, especially before 
magistrates ; and in Prussia he had been taken up five 
times.' In my case it will never be so bad. No one will 
take me before magistrates." 

320 MARY HOWITT. [CH. ix. 

22. We talked together on Everlasting Pun- 
ishment. I said it was dreadful to imagine millions of 
souls burning in torments for ever. Then Father Ceslas 
exclaimed, ' Who said there were millions of souls "? 
Who knows how many souls wilfully reject God at the 
last \ I remember, when my brother and I were study- 
ing law, a dear friend of ours studied with us. He 
had an intense perception of the holiness of God. He 
was ever thinking that if God was so pure, so just, He 
could never pass over the least sin. He kept pondering 
and pondering whether there were many or few saved ; 
with his estimation of the Divine Holiness he kept re- 
ducing and reducing the number, so that they grew 
fewer and fewer each time we met. At length my 
brother, who was a generous soul, could bear this re- 
striction of God's mercy no longer. Up he rose in 
righteous indignation, crying, "I tell you, Heaven is full 
of scoundrels, murderers, fools, and blasphemers ! " 

" I yield to the doctrine of Everlasting Punishment ; 
trusting all to the wisdom of God, which is far beyond 
my poor comprehension. I know He is merciful, and that 
all He does is right." 

" May 25. The permission arrives from Trent for 
my baptism in the private chapel, arranged for the con- 
venience of Father de Robiano's brother-in-law and sister, 
Count arid Countess Franz Stolberg-Wernigerode, in 
Schloss Rametz, where they are staying. I shall have 
to read the profession of faith in the Tridentine form, 
commonly called the Creed of Pope Pius IV. It is all 
right, though it seemed to me a little sweeping." 

"May 26, 1882. A very important day to me. I 

1882-88.] IN THE ETERNAL CITY. 321 

became a member of the Church of Rome : I hope ajid 
trust directly of Christ. It was all very beautiful. Ernst 
von Schonberg was with me ; and the act was per- 
formed in the midst of a heavenly human family. Went 
later with Ernst and returned thanks in the little church 
of St. Valentine." 


"Marienruhe, June 16, 1882. Dear Charlton is here. 
He is a quiet, well-bred, self-possessed youth ; a water- 
drinker, and never smokes. He is all we can desire. 
This must satisfy you for to-day." 


11 Marienruhe, Oct. 6, 1882. We thank you for so 
kindly sending us The Graphic, and afterwards The 
Illustrated News. We are interested in every incident 
of your brother Ben's voyage to Franz Josef Land, the 
loss of his ship, and the return of the explorer and his 
crew from Nova Zembla. We were glad to have a peep 
of them in their hut on Cape Flora. But above all were 
we thankful to see that the brave man himself was so 
little changed ; that, notwithstanding the sufferings and 
hardships, it was just the same calm, thoughtful face 
that I remember thirty or more years ago. I am afraid 
that, with such an amount of health, strength, and un- 
abated vitality, he will be setting out again to the Arctic 
regions. I hope and trust not, but I am afraid he may. 
I have always felt toward Barbara, Ben, and you as to 
none other of our friends, as if in some mysterious way 
you were kindred to us. 

" Of course, dear Nannie, you have heard of the 
awful visitation of water which has come down upon 


322 MARY HOWITT. [en. ix. 

poor old Tyrol and the north of Italy. The misery, 
ruin, destruction, and general devastation of hundreds 
of districts up in the mountains is what nobody can 
conceive but those who have been shut up there and 
cannot get away. Then think of all those towns, 
Verona, Trent, Bozen, Brixen, and poor old Bruneck, 
which has, perhaps, lost more houses than any other 


" Oct. 13, 1882. How kind you have been in feeling 
anxiety about us here at Meran ! But it has been 
mercifully spared ; for, excepting the breaking up of 
the railway and overflowing of the river in the broad 
valley which extends on to Bozen, destroying vineyards 
and orchards, the town itself, and all its surrounding 
hills, with their numerous villages, have been quite 
uninjured. Beyond this broad valley, which no doubt 
in primeval times was a lake, all is ruin, desolation, 
loss, and misery inconceivable. Our poor Pusterthal, so 
peaceful and flourishing, like the once-beautiful region 
surrounding Trent and Verona, is now a scene of 

" The whole year has been abnormal in some respects ; 
so much wet, and so unusually cold ; at least, it was so 
in Pusterthal. There was snow on the mountains even 
in July, fresh fallen, so cold was the -weather, with 
rain in the lower country. The summer harvests were 
got in with difficulty ; the later crops must be all lost. 
The destruction of bridges, mills, dwellings, almost 
entire villages, is so appalling and heart-rending that 
one knows not how relief is to come, nor even hope ; 
because rain still continues ; for, though it may clear 

1882-88.] IN THE ETERNAL CITY. 323 

up and there be two fine days, electric clouds gather 
and two days of rain certainly follow. 

" This terrible visitation has been foreseen by the 
really wise for half a century, in consequence of the 
wholesale destruction of the forests on the mountains. 
Timber being greatly in demand, Government enforced 
fines for the total felling of mountain-woods ; but the 
purchasers of timber coming from a distance have paid 
the penalty, and the peasant-proprietors have sold their 
wood. The roots of growing woods or forests bound 
the earth together, the very moss spreading under the 
living trees and nourished by them, acted as a sponge, 
and drank up the water of rain and snow ; so that all 
was kept in equipoise. The excess of water now on 
the mountains has loosened also the old moraines, 
which had lain there for untold ages, till they had 
become, as it were, portions of the mountains. These 
have now slid down, and adding weight and force to 
the swollen streams, have brought frightful destruction 
with them. I do not think that any newspaper state- 
ments have been exaggerated, although they may have 
been written in that sensational style which always 
offends one's good taste, and often makes one disbelieve 
the narration." 


"Nov. 8, 1882. We are very thankful just now for 
dry weather, as we have had about ten days without 
rain ; and some of them very brilliant, belonging to 
the true character of Meran. The end of October was 
awful ; three days and nights of incessant rain, which 
again produced floods, and every provisional means to 
amend the former devastation was again destroyed, 

3 2 4 MARY HO WITT. 

carried away before the raging waters, and much more 
ruin and damage produced than earlier. People in 
some places were in despair. The military, who had 
in the first instance been so helpful, had been with- 
drawn from most of these quarters, and so the popula- 
tion, doing what they could single-handed, left the rest 
to chance. 

" In Bruneck, the cemetery was overflowed and the 
dead carried out of their graves ; the burial-vaults of 
families, which had been built as if to last for centuries, 
were washed away, almost like houses of cards. Some 
families, at the first alarm of danger, removed their 
dead. It has been truly an awful time. Dr. James 
Young of Kelly, the discoverer of paraffine, has sent 
me ,100 for the relief of the inundated. May our 
dear Lord bless him for it ! The Austrian Government, 
which is not rich, has sent large relief. But this second 
flood has destroyed the work which the Government 
grant enabled the various local authorities to effect." 


"Dec. 4, 1882. Thank you for your kind cheque 
for poor Welsberg, the condition of which has become 
much sadder since the letter I wrote you. I should 
like to send you an account which appeared in the 
Kolnische Zeitung, by the Baroness Alexandra von 
Schleinitz, a wonderfully gifted young woman, who, 
with her mother and sister, were at Bruneck at the 
beginning of these sorrows ; and speaks now of the 
misery and desolation there, and above all at poor 
Welsberg. She is a calm, intellectual woman, yet she 
says that really nothing seems to remain to the home- 
less, desolate people but to become insane ! " 





" Schloss Pallaus, Brixen, Feb. 13, 1883. We have 
arrived here quite safely after a most prosperous journey ; 
looking, however, with extreme and sorrowful interest 
at the dreadful havoc caused by the inundations, which 
has transformed the once-smiling, although grand valley 
of the Eisack into a gloomy, desolate defile. Baron 
Schonberg was waiting for his guests at the Brixen 
railway station, with various conveyances, and we drove 
by quite a new route to Pallaus ; the bridge over the 
Eisack having been swept away. We came here into 
Alpine scenery, for within the last few days snow has 
fallen here abundantly ; yet, the wind being in the 
south, the air is quite mild." 


"Pallaus, Feb. 15, 1883. We went yesterday on our 
Confirmation errand to the Prince-Bishop of Brixen. It 
was all veiy beautiful and solemn, but not at all sad. 

I, the old, old woman, Mrs. W , and Alice three 

generations, as it were received the rite. The ceremony 
was in the private chapel of the palace, and when it was 
over the Bishop received us all in one of his grand 
yet simply-furnished old rooms. The party consisted of 

Ernst and Bessie von Schonberg, Mr. and Mrs. W , 

Alice, Meggie, and myself, Dr. Mitterrutzner, Director 
of the Brixen Gymnasium, Father Paul, and Mr. Basil 
Wilberforce. It is a pleasure to us that Alfred saw 
Mr. Wilberforce, whom we consider one of our especial 
friends. Although the weather had been for several 
days misty and cloudy, the sun was by this time shining. 
As I was driving with Bessie out of the court of the 
Bishop's palace, the letter-bag was put into the carriage, 

326 MARY HO WITT. [CH. ix. 

and a most kind, affectionate letter from my dear 
Australian children was handed me. It seemed to 
come like a recognition of approval and satisfaction 
from a Power higher than merely earthly contrivance. 
What a warm, loving reply I shall send by the next 
mail ! " 


" Marienruhe, Feb. 24, 1883. Here we are at home 
again. The goodness, care, and loving providence of 
our blessed Lord is something untold and unimaginable. 
We did so wish you could, at the time, have known with 
what cheerful, thankful hearts we all went through those 
muddy, flood-destroyed roads at Brixen. It was really a 
journey of pleasure ; and those dear young von Schon- 
bergs rejoicing over it, and giving thanks, as all the rest 
did. Another thing I must mention is the great kind- 
ness of everybody at Meran. Our dear neighbours, the 
Miss Pembertons, and good Mr. Marke especially wel- 
come us back most cordially. So, too, our other neigh- 
bours. I feel very grateful to one and all." 


"Feb. 25, 1883. The whole of the little journey, with 
its varied details, was so completely one beautiful succes- 
sion of harmonious links of love, that nothing could have 
been more perfect. Nothing, too, that I ever experienced 
or hoped for is so sweet, tender, and real as what I now 
feel in my soul. Give thanks for me that there are 
times, but only now and then, just now and then, when 
I feel the reality of the spiritual life, and even its near- 
ness, with such intense love and gratitude to the Lord 
that I could almost weep for joy." 

1882-88.] IN THE ETERNAL CITY. 327 


"Easter-Sunday, March 25, 1883. A Happy Alleluia 
to you ! This is the paschal greeting which friend gives 
friend here in Catholic Tyrol. Father Paul and dear, 
kind Caroline Schmid came on Easter-eve to wish us it. 

" I have been with Meggie and Alice to the parish 
church this morning, to High Mass. It was very beauti- 
ful and stately. The church, which is said to hold four 
thousand, was quite full, even the aisles, with praying men, 
women, and children those dear little observant children, 
some not above five years old, all attention, and kneeling 
with small clasped hands. Then the rapt silence and 
devotion of such an assembly. At the more solemn por- 
tions of the service, when all regard the Lord as present, 
and every man, woman, and child is kneeling, there 
is not a sound, not a head turned as with curiosity to 
look about. It was this morning as silent as if nobody 
was there. This, I think, is the most wonderful feature 
of Catholic devotion. I, who am so sensitive to outward 
influences, find this mute attention of all around me most 
comfortable. Well, having said this much, and again 
offered dear Alfred and you my salutation of a Happy 
Alleluia, I will proceed to the next joyful subject, to 
Kaphael Weldon's wedding, which was in the best style 
of taste ; and both bride and bridegroom very remarkable 
young people. She, with her Girton honours, has a rank 
in intellectual culture equal to one-half, at least, of the 
men who leave our universities." 


"April 6, 1883. Let me go back to the day before 
yesterday, when we had our London guests. Mr. 
Woodall remained at home with me, answering all my 

328 MAKY HO WITT. [CH. ix. 

questions about everything in the political and public 
world that we are interested in. Of course, he answered 
and explained all from his point of view, looking at 
everything with much more favourable inferences and 
opinions than we probably should. He does not fear 
Fenian malice and revenge. It is only an epidemic in 
Ireland, he thinks, such as occurs again and again, and 
then passes away. He likewise thinks well of the Salva- 
tion Army. The results of its labours in the Potteries 
seem wonderful. He has presided at its meetings, and 
upholds it warmly. 

" Well, all the time Mr. Woodall was indoctrinating my 
mind on these subjects, Meggie and Alice were in the town 
with genial Mr. Harry Furniss, who was photographing ; 
not * versing or prosing it,' but ' picturesquing it every- 
where.' They showed him the old Burg, the town-house 
of Margaret Maultasch, with all its quaint old furniture, 
with which he was delighted. They stopped old men, 
old women, children, everything that was effective, posed 
them, got up groups instanter ; all were photographed, 
and people were delighted. It was the merriest, most 
amusing morning. Mr. Furniss lives at the bottom of 
the Avenue Road, in a house that was not built, I think, 
in our time. He has joined this Royal Commission of 
Inquiry into Technical Education, not at their expense, 
but his own, and gives a most amusing account of the 
very hard work it has been to him. They posted on, and 
he wanted to stay ; and they said, ' Now look, Furniss, 
here is a magnificent scene for you. Take it all into 
your mind, make notes of it, and you'll have a splendid 
picture ! ' But that is not what he wants, but rather 
what he has been doing in Meran this morning : getting 
true little bits of picturesqueness that abound here, and 

1882-88.] IN THE ETERNAL CITY. 329 

which could never be imagined. We wanted him to 
stay a day or two with us, as he found Meran such a 
peculiarly pictorial place, and then catch up his com- 
panions farther on the tour ; but he thought it wisest 
not to part from them. 

"The secretary of the Commission is Mr. Gilbert Eed- 
grave, whose father I had the pleasure of meeting at 
Liverpool many years ago. He has kindly sent me word 
through Mr. Woodall that my ' Steadfast Gabriel ' in- 
fluenced his early career. 

" Yesterday came one of the most beautiful and affect- 
ing letters I ever read. It was a farewell from the 
Bishop of Argyll, now lying hopelessly ill at Brighton. 
Reflecting on the very pleasant, friendly intercourse 
which subsisted for so many years, we feel this grief 
still more acutely. I am sorry to conclude with so sad 
a topic." 


"Meran, May 6, 1883. We have been to our little 
church of St. George ; and then we went, with hundreds 
of other people, to see a very great procession of the 
' Schiitsen-Verein,' a word which sounds much better than 
when translated into English 'Sharp-shooters' Brigade.' 
The Tyrolers, like the Swiss, pride themselves on their 
skill in shooting, as you know. This was a large 
general meeting of all classes, and was made an exact 
reproduction of the peasantry, who at the beginning of 
this century kept watch and ward, and fought under 
Hofer in defence of Tyrol and the Emperor. There were 
several hundred volunteers in various national costumes 
which were the same with shades of difference and in 
many cases very old, dating from the commencement of 

330 MARY HOWITT. [ CH . ix. 

the century ; such old breeches, coats, and hats as Mayr- 
am-Hof can turn out; and such old weapons, rude, 
savage battleaxes, pikes, spears, and halberds ; and queer 
grotesque weapons like short scythes on the top of poles. 
As to guns, they were wonderful. Each district sent its 
troop, with their banners, some very old, tattered, and 
torn ; others beautiful, with their rich old faded colours. 
It was quite touching ; and every now and then one saw 
a something which stirred the poetry within one and 
sent a choking feeling into one's throat, so that one could 
not say anything for fear of crying. I remember when 
many things touched me in this way ; but thought I 
was now quite too old to feel in this emotional manner. 
It was like the old war-horse being excited by the sound 
of the trumpet ; or rather our poor pony Peggy, at 
Esher, going off at a canter when the fox-hunters came 
by on Bookham Common. I smile at myself as I write 
this, to think of me and my old emotion." 

To MRS. W . 

" Dietenheim, July 4, 1883. Your letter has awoke 
the deepest sympathy in our hearts. What can we say 

to you as regards Miss 's resolute rejection of a 

faithful old friend ? I can really say nothing, excepting 
that assuredly she never needed more the earnest prayers 
of her rejected friend. We grieve for you, but it is 

Miss , poor dear lady ! who needs our pity. You 

can do nothing but accept the silence she has enjoined 
and imposed upon you ; and you and your good Catholic 
friends must pray for her enlightenment. In this spirit 
you will feel no bitterness against her. Indeed, the 
only real injury that her rejection of your friendship 
could do you would be the awakening of bitterness 

i88 2 -88.] IN THE ETERNAL CITY. 33I 

and anger in your heart. That you will never feel ; 
but, instead, a tender, earnest yearning for her en- 
lightenment, which, in the Divine Mercy, may have 
influence upon her, and in any case will bring you 
nearer to the Spirit of the Lord. You, in this respect, 
are nearer to the experience of the true disciple than 
I am. You are called upon to make a sacrifice for the 
Blessed Lord and His Truth ; that is what He antici- 
pates for His faithful followers. Therefore, dear friend, 
buckle on your armour, as it were, and stand truly 
prepared for what comes. Be ready for the combat. 
Give all up to God, and leave the end to Him ! We 
pray that strength may be granted you for all trials, 
and that the peace of God may abide with you. The 
Great Helper is on your side. Fear not. Do boldly 
that which has to be done." 


" Dietenheim, July 22, 1883. We have been to 
church at the Ursulines' ; Anton driving us, as he 
always does on Sunday mornings. While we are at 
Mass he fetches our letters, which we then have the 
pleasure of reading. In yours of to-day you speak of 
the death of our Hofbauers brother. Your prayer for 
the dear old soul is quite Catholic ; the usual words 
being, 'Eternal rest give to him, O Lord. Let per- 
petual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace ! ' 
This, I truly believe, will be Onkel Johann's state. 
How your father and we all respected him ! He was 
seventy-nine years of age, yet his eyes to the last were 
those of a young man. I never saw such an old face. 
He had been no reader; he worked with his hands, 
and knew many prayers by heart. He would hold 

332 MARY HOWITT. [en. ix. 

his rosary in his hard, withered old hands, and live 
over with the Blessed Virgin the entire life of Her 
Son, as he watched the cows in the fields, and seemed 
to be standing in vacant idleness there. Many peasants, 
especially women and children, have wonderfully pre- 
cious times in the solitary pastures, when tending their 
cows and sheep. Very much teaching can be acquired 
out of the rosary. This reminds me of your charm- 
ingly-painted and beautiful picture which we have of 
the old Munich woman in church telling her beads. 
It is one of the most tender and lovely old Catholic 
faces that I ever saw. I never knew how true it 
was to life, and what a depth of religious experience it 
expressed, till I knew what the rosary is to the simple, 
pious Catholic. I never shall forget the countenance 
of a youth of perhaps eighteen who knelt by me one 
Sunday in the Ursuline church last summer. He was 
an Italian, a navvy, or something of that kind, sun- 
burnt, and with coarse and hard young hands. The 
rosary was round them, and the beads passed slowly 
through the clasped fingers. He never saw me ; he 
never stirred. His countenance was beautiful ; his soul 
was with Mary and her Divine Son, God Himself. 
You can understand how I could not help praying 
that his prayers might be heard and his soul's devotion 
be accepted. Your old woman could be the grand- 
mother of that youth." 

In the summer of 1884 my beloved daughter Annie, 
unknowing it, came to Dietenheim to die. With no 
revelation of the approaching parting, she and I were 
wont to sit, at her favourite hour of sunset, on the 
upper balcony of Mayr-arn- Hof, where she read to 




me " The Idylls of the King," or " The Holy Grail " 
and " The Passing of Arthur," and finished her water- 
colour sketch of the quiet village street. It was a 
fair and familiar scene, through which, a few evenings 
later, the mourning inhabitants carried her to her final 
resting-place in God's Acre. They bore her under the 
quaint old archway of the village church to her grave 


next to that of poor Onkel Johann, when, in the 
hush of Nature, the evening glow illumined the moun- 
tain-tops and twilight spread over the valley and lower 

On the common above both the churchyard and 
Mayr-am-IIof, near the old crucifix, where we have all 
so often sat to enjoy the sunset, a granite seat for way- 
farers had been erected. It was often visited by her in 



[CH. IX. 

the beautiful closing hours of her pure and devoted 
life. It was a memento to her beloved father from 
our generous friend, Walter Weldon, who has also gone 
to his rest and his reward. 



" Meran, Dec. 22, 1884. Now that the shortest day 
has passed, I hope the lengthening days may bring your 
dear sufferer amending health and joy to you all. 

" I will not write to you to-day on black-edged paper, 

i83 2 -88.] IN THE ETERNAL CITY. 335 

because I should like, if God so willed it, to come to you 
as a harbinger of peace and joy. 

" We have had Mass in our little Marienruhe chapel. 
Meggie and I have taken together Holy Communion. 
So it has been a good day to us, and the first thing I 
do, breakfast being over, is to write to you." 


" Meran, May 27, 1885. We have had an unusually 
cold and broken sort of winter and spring here. Just 
now, within the last week, the first settled and true Meran 
weather has set in. Nevertheless endless grandees and 
royalties have been here ; and notably the Duke Charles 
Theodore of Bavaria, brother of the Empress of Austria, 
and his lovely young Duchess, an Infanta of Portugal. 
That which makes them especially admirable and estim- 
able is, that he, having naturally a talent for surgery and 
an intense interest in diseases of the eyes, has devoted 
his life for some years to the cure of the blind, princi- 
pally of cataract. He has a hospital for the purpose 
situated near his palace at Tegernsee. Being himself 
out of health, he came for change of air to Meran ; but 
the fame of his healing-power having preceded him, 
the blind soon presented themselves ; and he, unable to 
resist their appeal, saw them and began to operate on 
them. Others came, and still more and more, from all 
parts of Tyrol, old and young, mothers with their chil- 
dren, tens, twenties, till at last two thousand in all have 
come to him. On two hundred he has operated, and 
nearly always successfully. Even old men w r ho have 
been blind for ten and fifteen years have . left the Meran 
hospital seeing ; two wards there having been set aside 
for his use. 

336 MARY HO WITT. [CH. ix. 

" His assistant surgeon, and even the gracious young 
Duchess herself, worked with him ; she often holding the 
hands of the poor patients, speaking words of kind en- 
couragement to them, and giving the instruments to her 
husband as he needed them. Anything more angelic or 
Christ-like than this cannot be imagined. Our Alice, 
who has been in the habit of giving her services in the 
Meran hospital, has been the eye-witness of these pro- 
ceedings ; and every evening we have had the privilege 
of assisting her to prepare the bandages for the next 
day's use. This and other circumstances which are not 
worth mentioning have made us all personally acquainted 
with these excellent people ; so that the sweet young 
Duchess, her three little daughters, and her lady-in-wait- 
ing have all become our friends, and given quite a grace 
and beauty to Marienruhe. Such an instance of pure 
Christian love as that exercised by this royal couple has 
never before been known in Meran. Yesterday they left, 
with the blessings of all following them. 

" Yesterday, also, we parted with some dear Australian 
relatives, whom till the week before we had never seen, 
and whom charmed us by their intelligence, freshness of 
spirit, and simplicity of taste and manner of life." 

To MRS. W . 

"Meran, Dec. 6, 1885. We have recently had some 
most welcome visitors, who came for a week to Meran 
Octavia Hill's sister, Gertrude, and her husband, Charles 
Lewes, the son of the well-known writer and the bio- 
grapher of Goethe. You would have greatly enjoyed, 
as we did, Mr. and Mrs. Lewes's society. They are very 
bright, taking an active part in all good and useful 
efforts for human improvement and well-being. They 

1882-88.] IN THE ETERNAL CITY. 337 

and her sister Octavia have been working very hard this 
last summer to obtain for the northern side of London 
that fine addition to Hampstead Heath, Parliament Hill, 
with its adjoining land. This was a scheme which we 
also, when living at Highgate, coveted for the public, 
and for which my dear husband laboured, but feared it 
would never be obtained. Now, however, through unre- 
mitting efforts and unlooked-for help, it seems likely 
to be accomplished. All this good news our friends 
brought us, which caused us, as you will understand, a 
great rejoicing." 


" March 10, 1886. We have now some excellent friends 
visiting Meran, Mr. Alphonso Clifford and his sister, 
Miss Constantia. They are most earnest Catholics by 
birth and conviction, and connected in various ways 
with my dear old county of Stafford. They often come 
to afternoon tea. Last Friday they were here, and, to 
our pleasant surprise, Mr. Wilberforce walked in ; just 
the person we were all wishing for. 

"Alice goes on as usual. She is now working away 
for the strange, solitary, out -of -the -world mountain 
village of Karthaus. As I understand the situation, 
it occupies a lofty platform of rock in that remote 
valley, the Schnalserthal. It w r as, as its name implies, 
a Carthusian monastery or Charterhouse, until Joseph 
II. dissolved it, dispersed the good Brothers, despoiled 
the rich church and library, and gave up the place 
to ruin. Now the monastery has become a village, 
and the dwellings of the Carthusian cenobites those 
of peasants. The number of inhabitants is between 
one and two hundred ; but there are a few scattered 

VOL. n. Y 

338 MAEY HO WITT. [CH. ix. 

farms on the outskirts and in the bordering glens, 
which also belong to the parish of Karthaus. The 
priest is an enlightened man, but the people themselves 
seem to belong to three or four centuries ago. I 
never heard, even in other secluded parts of Tyrol, 
of any as simple and primitive as these. 

"Alice first heard of the place from the Sister 
Superior in the Meran hospital, and learnt that two 
Sisters of Charity had gone thither, at the desire of 
the parish-priest, to nurse and tend the sick and poor, 
and that they, the Sisters, had nothing at all to begin 
with. Alice went up, in consequence, to lofty Karthaus 
to visit them, and the result has been, that a six- 
roomed house there has been purchased for them. 
It is being fitted up as a hospital, and will, when it 
is finished and furnished, be a very nice little institu- 
tion. The Countess Hompesch and other charitable 
well-wishers have sent up supplies. Frau Perwanger, 
the bonnet-maker, has been most active and energetic 
in the good work. She has interested her customers 
and friends ; and this has caused beds and bedding, 
pots and pans, being sent here, till our ironing-room 
downstairs resembled a furniture warehouse. 

" Everything has now been carried off and up to Kar- 
thaus, where Alice has gone, and will return on Friday ; 
leaving all, I expect, in a comfortable state of progress." 


" Dietenheim, Aug. n, 1886. We owe you such 
warm thanks for the books. Alfred is delighted with 
the ' Vulture Maiden ' (which describes the life and 
people adjacent to Karthaus). He thinks it splendid. 
I am more deeply interested than I can tell you in 




'All Sorts and Conditions of Men.' It is the first 
by Besant that I have read. It affects me like the 
perfected fruit of some glorious tree which my dear 
husband and I had a dim dream of planting more 
than thirty years ago, and which we did, in our 
ignorance and incapacity, attempt to plant in soil not 
properly prepared, and far too early in the season. 
I cannot tell you, dear Nannie, how it has recalled 
the hopes and dreams of a time which, by the over- 
ruling providence of- God, was so disastrous to us. It 
is a beautiful essay on the dignity of labour." 


" Dietenheim, Aug. 27, 1886. Few letters could 
touch my heart or be as kindred to my spirit as the 
one you kindly sent me a month ago. Alfred Watts 
was with us when it came ; and he was as glad as we 
were to have news of you. 

" Sept. 4. I left the above unfinished, and have 
since then written no letter, having taken a severe 

" It is quite a comfort to me to know that you are 
still at Kingston. Though I have never been to your 
house there, our beloved Annie had. But do not 
imagine, dear friend, that I cannot understand what 
it is you miss, even with the river, the old palace 
and the stately gardens of Hampton Court at hand. 
You miss exactly that which gave the living charm 
and interest to all that surrounds you. I understand 
it perfectly. 

"We are having here a very fine summer. The 
harvest seems to be well got in, and the peasant- 

340 MARY HOWITT. [CH. ix. 

people are all advancing into a state of great ex- 
pectation and excitement in prospect of five days of 
magnificent military manoeuvres which take place here 
in the middle of this month in the presence of the 
Emperor of Austria and his entire staff. He has 
never been to Bruneck for forty-two years, and then 
only for one night, on a journey he was making, as 
a boy, with his two little brothers, Carl Ludwig and 
Maximilian, under the charge of their tutor, and when 
there seemed no chance of his ever being Emperor. 
Military manoeuvres of one kind or another take place 
here every autumn ; but those this year will surpass 
in importance all preceding ones. Twice this old 
Mayr-am-Hof, which is a conspicuous object on this 
side the valley, has been made the special point of 
attack by one party, and consequently of defence by 
the other; so if now, in this Imperial inspection of 
the troops, it is used for the same purpose, it will give 
us an especial interest in at least one day's work. 

" We have been reading with enjoyment Mr. Froude's 
' Oceana.' We much approve of his very strong desire 
that our colonies should, like good, faithful, well-trained 
children, be staunch in love and service to old Mother 
England. How deeply we feel on this subject I cannot 
tell you ; and I hope and trust that you join strongly in 
this truly English sentiment. 

" I am quite a fixture to the house, as I cannot walk 
any distance. Still, before I had this bad cold I spent a 
portion of each day out of doors, sitting under the wide- 
spreading trees by the old closed gateway, which you 
will find in this September number of Good Words 
as drawn by dear Annie in the last chapter of the ' Re- 

i88 2 -88.] IN THE ETERNAL CITY. 34I 


1 Sept. 6. My cold makes me a complete captive to 
my room." 

"Sept. 8. As I am worse, Dr. Erlacher is sent for, 
who thinks seriously of my case." 

"Sept. ii. Still worse. The doctor comes twice; 
and Father Flavian said Mass for me in the chapel." 

"Sept. 1 6. I am better. This day the Emperor ar- 
rived in Bruneck." 


" Dietenheim, Sept. 24, 1886. I cannot let another 
day pass without telling you how much better my 
mother is. The doctor now speaks quite hopefully ; 
and although, in her present weak condition, there 
seems little likelihood of an immediate return to Meran, 
we can now dare to hope that we may take her back 
before the cold weather sets in. 

" We have had the Emperor Franz Josef and four 
Archdukes in Bruneck from last Thursday night until 
Tuesday afternoon. On Tuesday morning, he, his rela- 
tives, and the military suite watched the sham-fighting 
for two hours from the fields belonging to Mayr-am-Hof 
and from the crucifix just above on the common. He 
allowed the villagers to stand with him to see the 
manoeuvres, and our cook and housemaid being of the 
company, returned indoors quite enchanted ; Josefa pro- 
nouncing it 'the treat of a lifetime.' They and Anton, 
moreover, had the gratification of hearing the Emperor 

342 MAKY HOWITT. [CH. ix. 

admire the outside of Mayr-am-Hof, which was made 
festive with flags of the Austrian and Tyrolean colours. 
He spoke of the house to an aide-de-camp as ' grossartig' 
The Pusterthalers are doubly loyal, from the sympathy 
and the substantial aid given them by their sovereign at 
the time of the floods. Knowing, therefore, his liking 
for costume, they put on wonderful old attire belonging 
to their forefathers to appear before him last Sunday on 
the shooting-ground. We can see the spot, with its belt of 
fir-trees, across the meadows ; and the weather being as 
brilliant as the uniforms and the peasant-costumes, the 
glimpses gained at the distance resembled some won- 
derful ballet. Had my mother only been well, it would 
have been a charming episode. She will, however, enjoy 
hearing of it when she is better." 


" Marienruhe, Oct. 23, 1886. Restored to health by 
the loving mercy of God, I wish gratefully and affection- 
ately to acknowledge your many kind letters of inquiry 
and sympathy throughout my late illness. I had no pain, 
and I have heard that old people often pass away without 
any suffering. However, I know well that I was very ill ; 
that a medical man came regularly to see me ; that a dear, 
kind Sister of Charity attended me in the night, allowing 
Margaret or Alice to rest. But oh ! how can I tell you 
the sweet calm all this time? for I felt assured that I 
was about to pass away into the other life, which seemed 
to me perfectly natural. 

" I wonder, dear Nannie, whether you and Isabella 
are acquainted with that little work of Cardinal New- 
man's, ' The Dream of Gerontius.' It is a great favourite 
of mine, and I know all its incidents perfectly. If you 

1882-88.] IN THE ETERNAL CITY. 343 

know it you will remember where the dying man 

' I fain would sleep ; 

The pain has wearied me. . . . Into Thy hands, 
Lord, into Thy hands.' . . . 

At that passage one understands that the soul leaves 
the body. I felt that I was at that stage after I had 
received what is called 'Extreme Unction,' a solemn 
but beautiful occasion. It seemed to me only please 
to remember that I am not sure whether I was in the 
full possession of my mind, for it is all to me like a 
wonderful, sweet dream that I closed my eyes after it 
to sleep, but not, as Gerontius, to wake in the other life, 
but rather gradually by soft degrees to full conscious- 
ness and returning health and an abiding peace of mind. 
I was there old Mary Howitt again just myself. If 
that short illness had not reduced me almost to skin and 
bone, with scarcely ability to turn myself in bed, I should 
have thought it a dream or some sort of strange delusion. 
I am thankful to know it was real. I assuredly believe 
that the wonderful power of Catholic prayer, not for my 
life, but for the fulfilment of God's will, whether I were 
to live or die, prevailed, and that for some purpose or 
other I was raised up again. This seems arrogant, does 
it not ? I feel it so ; and yet it is to me so wonderful. 
And I like you to know how marvellously the dear 
Lord has dealt with me ; and what an angel, what 
a true Sister of Mercy, night and day, was Alice by 
my bed. 

" We are not at all surprised by what you tell us of the 
changes in Home. How detestable they are ! I fancy 
the end is not yet come. I suppose the intention is to 
destroy everything venerable and sacred. We are very 

344 MAKY HO WITT. [OH. ix. 

thankful that Caroline Higgins, dear industrious soul ! 
is prospering. Give our love to her, please, and tell her 
that she has a very affectionate place in our memories." 


" Marienruhe, Jan. 8, 1887. Your letter, wIiTch arrived 
duly on New Year's Day, gave us great pleasure and 
interested us much. There was sorrow and anxiety in 
it, as it spoke of the events of the closing year ; but 
all was made bright and beautiful by the love and 
fatherly care of the dear Lord. The greatest sorrow of 
all, the death of the precious little nephew, was changed 
into a sweet memory by the beautiful spirit of the de- 

" You mention that Mrs. Goode has sent me a parcel 
by post. Can this be two Birthday-books which reached 
me ten days before Christmas new books, intended as 
presents from a mother to her children ? One was 
inscribed ' Leslie Pepys ; ' the other, ' Guy Leslie Pepys.' 
The paper of the parcel was torn ; the postmark was 
indistinct. There was no letter or card with them, nor 
have I received any. We, of course, supposed that it was 
wished that I should write my name and date of my 
birth in them, which I would gladly do; but where to 
return them we have not the least idea. If you can 
help us in this difficulty we shall be much obliged." 


"March 21, 1887. It was just like you not to forget 
my birthday ; and I think that altogether it was one of 
the pleasantest possible for an old woman. It seemed 
as if nobody forgot me, either near or remote ; and with 
quantities of flowers and plants, which will continue 




ornaments to our rooms and lovely memorials quite into 
summer or later. Your dear, sweet violets from my 
husband's grave will be amongst the fragrant realities 
for years to come ; longer, no doubt, than I shall remain 
to treasure them. 

" It was so pleasant to hear of your doings in Rome 
and its neighbourhood, going down to Porto d'Anzio 
and paying a visit to the Villa Livia ; two places which 
we remember well, and which have each their little 
events belonging to them in our experience. We have 
an immense love of Rome, which will remain with us as 
long as we live. In fact, it is very seriously in our mind 
to spend the coming late autumn and winter in Home, 
to go off to the old city, whether for life or death, and 
where, dear friend, I have a home." 


" Marienruhe, June 21, 1887. Another day is over 
now ; that the longest, and our Queen's Jubilee. I wonder 
how they have gone on in London and all over England. 
Our Union Jack is up, and makes a great show. I rose 
in good time and went to Mass in the parish-church. 
On my way back, when passing over the Roman bridge, 
there was Father Paul coming up the opposite path 
under the trees, looking pale and suffering. He has 
been ill and confined to his bed, but being able to say 
Mass this morning, he, a Tyroler Benedictine, remem- 
bered our Queen's Jubilee, and made it his intention. 
He was now walking up to Marienruhe. I could tell 
him somewhat of the great doings in London ; the 
Queen intending to go through it all like a Queen. 

" Count and Countess Hompesch and our other 
friends and neighbours are most kind in looking in 

346 MARY HO WITT. [CH. ix. 

upon me. Dear Ernst, too, has been over. He spent part 
of Friday with me, and we had a charming time together. 

" This morning I have received a deeply interesting 
letter from the Countess Clam-Martinic, giving touching 
details of the death of her husband in Prague. It 
was unexpected, and thus she was at church when he 
passed away. He kissed his crucifix, spoke the name 
of Jesus, then her name ; and all was over, without 
agony or suffering of any kind. I am treasuring up 
for your return two splendid passages from the Count's 
will, which were printed in ' Das Vaterland.' I think 
them the most beautiful evidence of a noble Christian 
that I ever read. What a privilege it is to have 
known such a statesman ! 

" Ernst and I both hope that you and Alice have 
been able to see Father Douglas. May the blessed 
Angels be with you ! Have no anxiety about me ; only 
give thanks for the old mother and grandmother." 


" Marienruhe, July 15, 1887. Yes, dear friend, what 
a pity it is that you are not going this year to Rome, 
instead of last ; at least for us ! It will be, as you 
may naturally suppose, a very interesting winter to be 
there, and many of our friends will be there also, 
which will be particularly agreeable. Margaret and 
Alice seem to me to have managed their business very 
speedily and satisfactorily, for we shall again be in the 
old familiar and beloved neighbourhood, just by the 
Pincio. Fortunately, too, the spirit of new Rome has 
not penetrated into that neighbourhood as ruthlessly 
as elsewhere, so that in one way it is almost like going 
home again. 

1882-88.] IN THE ETERNAL CITY. 347 

"I am, as I think you are aware, very fond of York- 
shire, and have a particular regard and love for all 
the Yorkshire people I have known and proudly call 
my friends. Therefore it has been a real pleasure to 
us to become acquainted with Mr. John Ltipton and 
his family from Leeds. The publication of my 'Remi- 
niscences ' in Good Words, and Miss Linskill's contri- 
butions to the same periodical, had led to her and 
my corresponding, and our becoming much interested 
in each other. She was travelling on the Continent 
with her friends the Luptons ; and as they came to 
Meran, we of course saw them while here. We were 
delighted to have them ; and what a great deal of talk 
we had ! How nobly Christian, original, pure, manly 
and good were all his views of life ! You will know 
of them, if you do not know them personally. So 
much for one of the visits we have had this summer 
in our little Marienruhe." 


"Meran, Aug. 26, 1887. We now can count only 
a few weeks longer at Marienruhe. However, we shall 
be, with the Divine blessing, at Rome, and that will be 
all right. But I confess that to me, old as I am, and 
now so little accustomed to taking any journeys, it 
seems rather like a great undertaking. Father Paul, 
who was allowed to see your very pleasant letter, is 
now again at Meran, and will take back with him this 
evening The Tablet; and I must tell you the great 
pleasure we have had in reading the conversation given 
in it by a correspondent which the writer had with 
your excellent brother, Sir Charles Clifford, with regard 
to the taking possession of New Zealand, and the 

348 MAEY HOWITT. [en. ix. 

glorious manner in which the latter opened the path 
there for the Catholic faith." 


"38 Via Gregoriana, Oct. 9, 1887. I send you a 
few lines to prove to you how kindly your prayers, 
and those of others, have been answered for us, in the 
fullest sense. The journey was good throughout. Our 
apartment is most comfortable. 

"If you could only be spirited here this moment, and 
sit with me, the sun shining in deliciously, and on the 
opposite side of the old Via Gregoriana no new building, 
but a bit of an old garden, with lemon-trees appearing 
over the wall and blue sky above, you would not think it 
unpleasant. Thus we feel we have much to be thankful 
for. I as yet have not been to Mass, but it is a comfort 
to me in the early morning to hear the bell of St. Andrea 
delle Fratte signalising the action of the sacred office, so 
that I can spiritually be present." 


"Rome, Oct. 10, 1887. We are in what was Miss 
Charlotte Cushman's Eoman home, and our dear friends, 
Nannie Leigh Smith and Isabella Blythe, are coming at 
the beginning of next month to be inmates of the same 
old house. 

" Now let me thank you with my whole heart for so 
kindly sending us this very interesting life of Eossetti, 
of whom we saw a good deal when we lived at the quaint 
and picturesque little Hermitage. We also saw a good 
deal of Miss Siddall. She was very delicate, and had 
certainly a marvellous influence on Eossetti ; though I 
never could believe she possessed the artistic genius 




which he ascribed to her, for what she produced had no 
originality in it. Still, she was, in her way, an interesting 
woman, and his love for her like a passionate romantic 
Italian story. But it is altogether a strange, melancholy 
history. Of his later pictures I know nothing. The 
last of his which I saw was a short time before we left 
England, at his house in Chelsea, where I went with my 


eldest daughter to call on him. He was painting beauti- 
ful women, it seemed to me, and nothing else, in gardens 
of roses. His rooms were piled up with heaps of blue 
and white china, heaps and heaps of it on the tables, and 
even on the floor." 


"Nov. 14, 1887. It does me good to hear that 

350 MAEY HO WITT. [CH. ix. 

genial-hearted man, Dr. Vardon, speak of you. This 
kind physician, his wife, and little children occupy, as 
you know, the highest apartment in this house ; and 
below the Vardons come Miss Leigh Smith and Miss 
Blythe, now our dear house-mates. 

"What a most sad case is this of the poor Crown 
Prince of Germany ! Anything more sorrowful I cannot 
conceive. At the same time, I cannot help feeling that 
a blessing will come out of it. So solemn a warning 
must have its purpose. I am sure the entire Catholic 
world prays for him, and that God's Will may be 
done by this affliction and in all ways. This seems 
a very grave ending to my letter, but Margaret has 
just read me the last report of the case ; and I write 
what I have felt upon it, and you probably have felt the 


""Rome, Dec. 9, 1887. More rain has fallen for these 
last few weeks than Romans are accustomed to, and as 
St. Bibiana, the rain-bringer, now just passed, has come 
with it very much in her train, they say it will last for 
more than a month to come. This we are sorry for, as 
we are now beginning to think about the great English 
pilgrimage which is to arrive in the first week of the new 
year, and which even I, the old woman, desire to join, 
though probably I may not do so. But we none of us as 
yet have paid our respects to the Holy Father. You will 
wonder at this, probably. I almost wonder at it myself. 
But so much is going forward, and those very friends of 
ours whose advice and co-operation we desire the von 
Schonbergs and Cliffords are not yet here. So we wait 
till they come." 

1882-88.] IN THE ETERNAL CITY. 35l 


"Dec. 21, 1887. I find that our English letters must 
all be posted to-day, if they are to be in England before 
Christmas Day. Unfortunately, I have been either over- 
taken by time (which does pass unusually fast, I have 
noticed of late) or else have been very lazy, for now at 
the last moment various letters, which I had intended to 
make particularly interesting by mention of the wonderful 
events now daily taking place in Kome, must be cut 
short, and I content myself with ordinary Christmas and 
New Year's good wishes. 

" However, I will do my best, simply being content if 
my poor hurried lines only convey love enough to those 
who, like yourself, dear kind friend, deserve the best I 
can do in any way. 

" I can but wish you were here ; for, though you are not 
a Catholic, you have a large heart and a poetical mind, 
and can feel the wonderful period this is for the thou- 
sands who are of this great Church. The national 
pilgrimages taking place and continuing in the New Year 
are each very interesting to us, but more especially 
those announced from England, Scotland, and Ireland. 
We have just had eighteen hundred pilgrims from 
France, rich and poor, men and women, chiefly of the 
artisan and peasant class, attended by priests, and all 
impelled by an earnest Catholic spirit. Then again 
another eight hundred, I believe from Hungary, also 
principally poor people, men and women in the national 
costumes, with grave, earnest, rather sad countenances, 
likewise attended by priests, and headed by a few of 
their nobility. It was really most affecting to see them ; 
and so will it be as other races from all parts of Europe 
come, speaking their here unspoken languages, wearing 

352 MARY HO WITT. [en. ix 

their costumes, should such remain in their lands ; yet 
all holding the same faith with the same living tenacity, 
and all looking up to St. Peter's, as the Jews in olden 
time to their Temple in Jerusalem. 

" It is wonderful, dear friend, to think of this, and 
a great privilege to be here, and to witness something 
of it. I, at my age, can do no more, but I am thankful 
even for that. All this is page after page in the great 
history of the present day. Not less interesting and 
valuable to us is the fact that it brings us into personal 
intercourse with really great and good men whom other- 
wise we should have no chance of knowing. Then, too, 
we see the commencement of events and the first pro- 
gress of great purposes which may before long develop 
into enduring blessings to the whole human race. It is, 
therefore, very interesting to be here now, when so much 
is going forward. You may say, ' But that is only in 
Catholic circles.' Very true ; but these circles embrace 
the whole world. 

" Eome has always been to us a sorrowful as well as 
the dearest place of residence we ever had. Here it was 
that our dear Peggy became one in our family ; and here, 
day by day, we watched the progress of her fatal malady. 
My dear husband, who loved Home, and felt it to be 
a happy home, here, like a tree losing its leaves in 
autumn, prepared calmly, if almost unconsciously, for 
the end. Here lie calmly his remains, awaiting, if 
God so will, for mine to be laid beside them. You, 
therefore, can understand why we do not have merry 
gatherings in Rome, only the visits of a few choice 

1 882-88. J IN THE ETERNAL CITY. 353 



" Jan. i, 1888. 

Grant me, dear Lord, for my life's term, I pray, 
A threefold grace to sanctify each day. 

Grace so to guide and to control my tongue, 
That none by it may be misled or stung ; 
Grace to detach my mind from worldly snares, 
From trivial talk, or worrying Martha-cares ; 
Grace in adoring love to take my seat 
Like Mary, meek and silent at Thy feet. 

The above is my daily prayer for this year, as for 
the last. May the dear Lord be pleased to hear it, and 
mercifully grant it. Amen. This has been, in every 
sense of the word, a glorious and a blessed day. After 
the wet, dull weather we have been suffering from, the sun 
shone brilliantly. Margaret went, with Isabella, Dr. and 
Mrs. Vardon, and Janet, to the Holy Father's Jubilee 
Mass in St. Peter's. The ceremony was magnificent, 
harmonious, with the blessing of the Lord over all. Alice 
also had a beautiful time at the Papal Mass." 

" Jan. i. A change in the weather ; therefore a double 
mercy that it was fine yesterday." 

" Jan. 7. A dull day ; rain and dirty roads ; very dis- 
agreeable. Bessie von Schonberg comes, and afterwards 
Ernst. It is very pleasant to see them." 

" Jan. 9. A beautiful day. I am most anxious about 
myself for to-morrow. May the Blessed Virgin Mary 
pray for me ! We receive our English deputation tickets. 
Mr. Clifford has most kindly arranged everything for us." 


"Rome, Jan. n, 1888. I cannot allow myself to 
VOL. ii. z 

354 MARY HOWITT. [en. ix. 

have all the blessings and enjoyment which yesterday 
afforded me without endeavouring to make you, at least 
in part, a sharer. For no one, I believe, would bear 
me more sympathetically in mind during that eventful 
morning than yourself. 

"It was a brilliant day, after wretchedly wet and 
dreary weather, just as if Heaven were in perfect har- 
mony with the desires of the English pilgrims, to the 
number of about five hundred. 

" Our friends, Mr. Alphonso and Miss Constantia 
Clifford, are here, you know, and this English deputa- 
tion was under the conduct of their cousin, the Bishop 
of Clifton. Yesterday, Mr. Clifford, as a private chamber- 
lain, was in attendance on the Pope, it being considered 
in order that he, an Englishman, should be so on the 
occasion of the English deputation, at the head of which 
was, of course, the good Duke of Norfolk. 

"But though on duty and very much occupied, he 
made time to receive us at the private entrance, where we 
could immediately ascend by a lift, without any fatigue, 
into a warm, comfortable ante-room. Here we could 
rest till the time came for the interview. Various dis- 
tinguished personages, whose names, high in the Church, 
were familiar to us, were moving about ; and every now 
and then Mr. Clifford introduced us to them. In a while 
we were moved on, advancing perhaps through five or 
six rooms, all of which interested me greatly, nothing 
striking me more than the wonderful simplicity of the 
apartments ; all similar and wholly without ornament 
or costly show. At length we were in the room imme- 
diately adjoining and opening into the Throne-room, 
where, it now being ten o'clock, the Holy Father had 
received the Bishops of the deputation. Here we heard 

i882-88.] IN THE ETEENAL CITY. 35S 

the low, calm voice of the Holy Father addressing the 
various delegates, who one after the other knelt before 
him. We were about fifty ladies and a few gentlemen, 
just the first detachment which had been admitted, as 
it would have been impossible to receive the full number 
at once ; and we were so favoured as to be in this first 
detachment. I now discovered, with a little nervous 
trepidation, that /, your poor old penitent, was to be 
honoured by first receiving the blessing after the dele- 
gates. But, to my infinite surprise and thankfulness, 
though I did feel a little bit startled with a deep sense 
of my own unworthiness, I felt at the same time very calm 
and grateful, trusting that our dear Lord would indeed 
be with me. At length the moment came. My friend, 
Mr. Clifford, was there, and I was within the doorway. 

" I saw the Holy Father seated, not on a throne, but 
on a chair, a little raised above the level of the floor; 
and the English Bishops, in their violet silk cloaks, 
seated in two rows on either side of him. The gracious, 
most courteous Duke of Norfolk came forward and ac- 
knowledged us. This might last, perhaps, two minutes. 
Then Mr. Clifford led me forward to the Holy Father ; 
Margaret, as my daughter, following with Miss Clifford. 
I never thought of myself. I was unconscious of every- 
thing. A serene happiness, almost joy, filled my whole 
being as I at once found myself on my knees before the 
Vicar of Christ. My wish was to kiss his foot, but it 
was withdrawn and his hand given me. You may think 
with what fervour I kissed the ring. In the meantime 
he had been told my age and my late conversion. His 
hands were laid on my shoulders, and again and again 
his right hand in blessing on my head, whilst he spoke 
to me of Paradise. 

356 MARY HO WITT. [CH. ix. 

" All this time I did not know whether I was in the 
body or not. I knew afterwards that I felt unspeakably 
happy, and with a sense of unwillingness to leave. How 
long it lasted perhaps a minute or so I know not; 
but I certainly was lifted into a high spiritual state of 
bliss, such as I never had experience of before, and 
which now fills me with astonishment and deep thank- 
fulness to recall. I woke in the stillness of last night 
with the sense of it upon me. It is wonderful. I hope 
I may never lose it. 

" On leaving the room I received from a monsignore 
in attendance, with the words that the Holy Father 
gave it me, a silver medal of himself in a small 
red case ; a present which was made to others of the 

" The Duke of Norfolk, after this, very kindly led me 
out by another way of exit ; and thus we could return 
home immediately, descending in the lift by which we 
had ascended. 

" Now, dear father, you have a long letter. But to 
you and to dear Father Ceslas I feel that I owe a debt 
which I can only repay by little offerings such as this. 
And it is not often that I have a chance of such a 
glorious, divine opportunity of thanksgiving." 


"Jan. 13. A very fine day. The Cliffords drove 
with us to the Villa Celimontana, to call on the Arch- 
bishop of Prague, a most noble-looking man, extremely 
friendly and agreeable. Then we visited dear Lily; 
and all was charming. On our return, the Princess 
Lowenstein, her sister, the Countess Fiinfkirchen, three 

1882-88.] IN THE ETERNAL CITY. 357 

of her daughters, and their cousin, a young Princess 
Liechtenstein, came. While they were with us Mr. Cox 
of The Tablet called." 

"Jan. 14. Have had my confession and a pleasant 
visit from Father Carey. Lord Selborne and Lady 
Sophia Palmer call ; afterwards Lady Eyre and a friend 
of hers ; and later Mr. Wedgwood." 

"Jan. 15. A fine day, but so cold I could not go to 
Holy Communion." 

"Jan. 23. Father Carey will administer Holy Com- 
munion to me in my room to-morrow morning. I 
hope and pray that it may be blessed to me, and that 
I may be made worthy to receive it. Baron Hoffmann 

My mother was at this time suffering from an attack 
of bronchitis, which at first confined her to the house ; 
then, as she grew weaker, to her room ; and finally to 
her bed. It seemed likely that the desire of her heart, 
to attend the Papal Jubilee and then to pass away in 
Rome, would be granted. 

In a note written to an intimate friend from Marienruhe 
we find her saying : 

"Sept. 14, 1887. We had Mass yesterday morning, 
and shall again have it next Tuesday, which will be 
our last. Rather sad it seems to me. Perhaps 
altogether my last here, for though I am as well as 
usual, and in some respects perhaps better, yet every- 
thing, as far as I am concerned, is done with that feeling. 
Though I seem to write rather dismally, we are all in 
good heart." 

358 MAKY HOWITT. [CH. ix. 

The last tie with this earth was snapped when the 
Holy Father spoke to her of a near approach to Para- 
dise. She longed to go, and yet was sorry to leave 
us. From that time her soul remained in a continuous 
state of prayer and thanksgiving; her heart and mind 
overflowing, as usual, with love and interest for all her 
surroundings. On Saturday night, January 28, she 
spoke of the total eclipse of the moon, commending 
the energy of an elderly lady of her acquaintance who 
had gone in the dark on the Pincio, if possible, to 
observe it. On the afternoon of the next day she 
received the Last Sacraments from the parish-priest 
of St. Andrea delle Fratte, with the assistance of Father 
Carey; and in so joyful and intelligent a manner as 
to astonish the lively young Italian server. He re- 
marked to the parish-priest he could perceive no signs 
of approaching dissolution in the " Signora," and re- 
ceived for reply, " It was on account of her great age 
and by the advice of the physician." 

Later the same evening Father Lockhart, a dear 
and intimate friend, came to see her. She spoke with 
him in rapture of the blessings she had received a few 
hours earlier. That night she conversed much with her 
beloved Isabella Blythe, thanked Dr. Vardon and her 
devoted nurse for their faithful, unflagging attentions, 
and repeated the customary evening prayers with her 
daughter. Then she composed herself to rest, and 
gently passed away in her sleep at ten minutes past 
three on Monday morning, January 30. She had nearly 
completed the eighty-ninth year of her age. 

It happened, by a kind providence, that Father Luke 
Carey, who had spiritually aided and strengthened her 
since her arrival in Home, was the Superior of St. 

i88 2 -88.] IN THE ETERNAL CITY. 


Isidore, a monastery to which, for various reasons, she 
was greatly attached ; and that the Sons of St. Francis, 
rich in piety and innocence, and loving poverty for God's 
sake, could perform for her the last rites within its walls. 

On the day of her death various of her friends 
visited her chamber and prayed by her mortal remains ; 
and thither came, in the afternoon, Father Carey, with 
one of his Franciscan Brothers, to say their office. 
In this pious act they were joined by the Rev. Kenelm 
Vaughan, in whose " Work of Expiation " the deceased 
was deeply interested. 

In the early morning of Tuesday, January 31, she was 
laid in her coffin. Serenely happy and youthful she then 
looked ; her hands were crossed on her breast, and she 
reposed amongst flowers. Attended by the parochial 
clergy, Dr. Vardon, Mr. Marke, and a young Benedic- 
tine, she was borne from the Via Gregoriana past the 
convent of the Reparatrici nuns, where she had been 
wont to receive Holy Communion, to the collegiate 
church of St. Isidore, and consigned to the care of the 
Franciscans. Numerous Catholic and Protestant friends 
and acquaintance were assembled for the Requiem Mass, 
at which Father Carey was the celebrant. 

The morning was wet ; but in the afternoon, when 
the mourners returned to complete the burial, they found 
the church-doors wide open, and the sun streaming in 
upon the coffin and its wreaths of flowers; whilst some 
of the neighbouring poor, chiefly children, had turned 
into the church, and were kneeling on the pavement 
in prayer near the bier. The young Seminarists of 
St. Isidore, Irish, German, and Spanish, in their brown 
gowns and sandalled feet, each holding a tall lighted 
taper, filed in long procession from the sacristy, and 

360 MAEY HOWITT. [en. ix. 

standing round the bier, headed by their Superior, 
chanted in a most heart-touching manner, first the Libera 
me Domine, and then also in Latin, " May the Angels 
conduct thee into Paradise ; at thy coming may the 
Martyrs receive thee and lead thee to Jerusalem, the 
holy city. May the Angelic Choir receive thee, and with 
Lazarus, once a beggar, mayest thou have eternal rest." 
At the end of the office, with their lights burning, they 
attended the coffin to the hearse waiting to convey it to 
the cemetery of Monte Testaccio. There, by permission 
of the Cardinal- Vicar of Rome, the mortal remains of 
Mary Howitt were reverently interred by those of her 


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Home, Richard Hengist, ii. 86. 
Howard, Luke, i. 233. 
Honghton, Richard Monckton Milnes, 

Lord, ii. 78. 

Hudson, Joseph, i. 132-134. 
Humbert, King of Italy, ii. 226, 227, 

237, 238, 268, 287. 
Hume, Joseph, i. 248, 258, 264, 265. 
Hunt, Leigh, i. 186-187, 199; ii. 74. 
Hunt, Holman, ii. 72, 73, 74, 75, 106, 

in, 117. 

Hunter, Hugh, i. 238. 
Huth, Messrs., ii. 35. 

INGELOW, JEAX, ii. 169. 

Ingemann, Bernhard Severin, ii. 71. 
Ingestre, Viscount, i. 67 ; ii. 132. 
Irving, Washington (" Geoffrey Cray- 
on"), i. 148, 214. 

JAMES, G. P. R., i. 297. 

Jameson, Anna, Mrs., i. 294 ; ii. 106, 

116, 117. 

Jenkin, Fleeming, ii. 159. 
Jerdan, William, i. 187. 
Jerichau, Jens, ii. 239. 
Jerichau, Elisabeth, Madame, ne'e 

Baumann, ii. 239, 284. 
Jerichau, Sophie, ii. 242. 
Jerrold, Douglas, ii. 69. 
Jerusalem, K. W., ii. 284. 
Johnson, Samuel, Dr., i. 24, 104, 173, 


Johnstone, Mrs., i. 255. 
Jones-Lloyd, Miss, ii. 154, 178, 344. 
Jones, Owen, ii. 71. 


" 57, 77- 

Kay, Joseph, ii. 146. 
Kean, Charles, ii. 52, 98. 
Kean, Charles, Mrs., nee Tree, ii. 98. 
Keats, John, i. 154, 267, 276-277 ; ii. 

212-213, 265- 
Keller, Dr., ii. 199. 
Kendal, Duchess of, i. 13. 
Kennedy, William, i. 218. 
Kestner, August, ii. 284. 
Key, Aston, ii. 3. 
Kilham, Hannah, Mrs., i. 85, 87, 



King, Hon. Misses, i. 283. 
King, John, ii. 138-140. 
Kingsley, Charles, Rev., ii. 62. 
Kinkel, Johann Gottfried, ii. 78, 81, 


Kinnaird, Arthur, Hon. Mrs., ii. 92. 
Kirkland, Caroline M., Mrs., ii. 46. 
Knott, Thomas, i. 109, 185. 
Knudsen, Herr, ii. 240, 241. 
Kossuth, Louis, ii. 80. 
Kroeker, Kate, Madame, nee Freili- 

grath, ii. 141. 
Kroff, Herr, ii. 78, 79. 

3 66 



L.," Mrs. Maclean), i. 187, 213, 214, 

215, 219, 280 ; ii. 22. 
Lansdowne, Marquis of, ii. 53. 
La Trobe, Joseph, ii. 88. 
Lear, Edward, ii. 114. 
Leo XIII., Pope, ii. 268, 269, 350, 

353, 354, 355, 356, 35 8 - 
Leiss, von, Mgr., Prince-Bishop of 

Brixen, ii. 303, 304, 325. 
Lewes, Charles, ii. 336. 
Lewes, Charles, Mrs., ne'e Hill, ii. 31, 

313, 3i4 33 6 - 
Lie, Jonas, ii. 244, 247. 
Liechtenstein, Frangoise, Princess, ii. 


Lind, Jenny, ii. 77, 85, 101. 
Linskill, Mary, ii. 347. 
Linwood, Mr., ii. 53. 
Liszt, Franz, Abbe, ii. 188. 
Listen, Kobert, ii. 3. 
Lloyd, Charles, ii. 18. 
Lockhart, William, Very Rev., O.C., 

ii. 358. 

London, Bishop of (Blomfield), ii. 76. 
Londonderry, Marchioness of, ii. 143- 

Loutherbourg, de, Philip James, i. 


Lovelace, Earl and Countess of, i. 


Lover, Samuel, ii. 102, 103. 
Lowenstein, Princes?, ne Princess 

Liechtenstein, ii. 356. 
Lucas, Samuel, ii. 279. 
Ludlow, General, ii. 157. 
Lumley, Sarah, i. 35. 
Lupton, John, ii. 347. 
Lury, Ann, i. 82, 83. 
Lyndhurst, Lord, i. 293 ; ii. 117. 
Lytton, Lord, ii. 105, 184. 

MACAULAY, JAMES, Dr., ii. 236. 
Macaulay, Lord, ii. 53, 261. 
M'Carthy, Miss, ii. 77. 
MacDonald, George, ii. 242. 
Macdonell, James, ii. 172-173, 182, 

277, 292, 294. 
MacFarlane, Mrs., i. 165, 166. 

Maclon, Mr. and Mrs., ii. 103. 
Mackarness, George, Mrs., ii. 175, 176, 


Mackintosh, James, Sir, ii. 70. 
Maclehose, Mrs. (Burns's Clarinda), 

i. 255. 

Mahon, Lord, ii. 53. 
Mancini, Pasquale, ii. 280. 
Manning, Dr., ii. 236. 
Mansfield, Earl of, ii. 60, r 12. 
Margaret, Queen of Italy, ii. 226, 227, 

Maria Feodorowna, Empress of Russia, 

i. 307. 
Mario, Jessie, Madame, ntfe White, ii. 


Marke, Arthur, ii. 326, 359. 
Marsh, George Perkins, Hon., ii. 254. 
Marsh, G. P., Mrs., ii. 254. 
Martin, John, i. 213. 
Martineau, Harriet, ii. 67, 69, 70. 
Massey, Gerald, ii. 59. 
Masters, William, i. 100. 
Mathews, Charles, ii. 89. 
Maximilian, Emperor of Mexico, ii. 


Mayoress, Lady (Mrs. Challis), ii. 103. 
Mazzini, Giuseppe, ii. 76, 257. 
Medwin, Thomas, i. 186, 297. 
Messing, von, Dr., ii. 264, 266. 
Meteyard, Eliza ("Silverpen"), ii. 60, 

61, 65, 66, 67, 77, 149, 295, 305. 
Meyerbeer, Giacomo, i. 319. 
Milbanke, Lady, ii. 100. 
Millais, John Everett, Sir, ii. 72. 
Miller, Joaquin, ii. 248-249. 
Miller, William, i. 256. 
Mitterrutzner, Dr., Very Rev., ii. 325. 
Moir, David Macbeth ("Delta"), i. 

198, 221. 

Moore, Thomas, i. 144, 152, 221, 255. 
Montgomery, James, i. 87 ; ii. 32. 
Morgan, Osborne, ii. 284. 
Morgan, Mrs., ii. 284. 
Morris, William, ii. 170, 293. 
Mott, Lucretia, Mrs., i. 292. 
Mount-Temple, Lord and Lady (Right 

Hon. William and Mrs. Cowper- 

Temple), ii. 263-264. 



Miiller, F. Paludan, ii. 200, 201, 203, 


Mulock, Thomas, i. 152, 153. 
Mundy, Edward Miller, i. 115, 116. 
Mundy, Francis Noel, i. 38. 
Murray, Lindley, i. 128. 
Mushet, David, i. 36. 
Muspratt, Dr., ii. 54. 

NAPOLEON BUONAPARTE, i. 97 ; ii. 184. 
Napoleon III., ii. 65, 200, 202, 203, 


Need, Colonel, i. 145. 
Nelson, Lord, ii. 87. 
Neville, Mrs., i. 276. 
Nevin, Rev. Dr., ii. 290, 291. 
Newcastle, Duke of, i. 226. 
Newman, Cardinal, ii. 149, 296, 297, 


Newton, Isaac, Sir, i. 14. 
Nicholas I., Czar, ii. 93, 105. 
Nicoll, Robert, i. 256. 
Nightingale, Florence, ii. 123, 195. 
Norfolk, Duke of, ii. 354, 355, 356. 
Norton, Hon. Mrs., nee Sheridan, ii. 

Norton, Dr., ii. 152. 

O'CoNNELL, DANIEL, i. 248, 251, 252, 


Oehlenschlager, Adam Gottlob, ii. 71. 
Okeover, H. C. and Hon. Mrs., of Oke- 

over, ii. 175. 
Oldham, William, ii. 168, 169, 170, 

171, 172, 227, 295. 
Oldham, Mrs., ne'e Sutton, ii. 168, 169, 

170, 171, 172, 339. 
Opie, John, i. 21. 
Overbeck, J. Friedrich, ii. 223, 235, 

237, 250, 258. 

Owen, Robert, i. 170-171 ; ii. 99. 
Owen, J., Rev., i. 100. 
Oxford, Bishop of (Mackarness), ii. 

Oxford, Bishop of (Wilberforce), ii. 54. 

PALMER, SOPHIA, Lady, ii. 357. 
Parker, Mrs., i. 72, 73, 74, 75, 98, 100 ; 
ii. 236. 

Parkes, Joseph, Mrs., ii. 78. 

Patmore, Coventry, ii. 72. 

Patton, Mr. and Mrs., ne'e Hutchinson, 

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Paulsen, Alberto, ii. 241. 
Pease, Joseph, ii. 3. 
Peel, Robert, Sir, i. 323 ; ii. 54. 
Pemberton, Charles, i. 208-210, 268. 
Pemberton, Misses, ii. 326. 
Perkmann, Paul, Rev., O.S.B., ii. 325, 

327, 345, 348, 350, 353- 

Perry, Erskine, Sir, ii. 116. 

Pepys, Leslie, ii. 344. 

Phillips, Richard, Sir, i. 209. 

Phillips, Thomas, i. 144 ; ii. i. 

Pipe, Humphrey, i. 63, 107 ; ii. 284. 

Piranesi, G. B., i. 106 ; ii. 279. 

Price, Anna, i. 28, 32, 90. 

Price, Christiana, i. 90, 261, 262. 

Price, Edwin, i. 91. 

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Price, Peter, i. 28. 

Pringle, Thomas, i. 213, 214, 215. 

Procter, Bryau "Waller (Barry Corn- 
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Procter, Adelaide Anne, ii. 142, 144, 

149, 155- 
Prussia, of, Friedrich Wilhelm IV., 

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Pulsky, Francis A. and Madame, ii. 

Purdie, Thomas, Mr. and Mrs., ii. 


QUILLINAN, DORA, Mrs., ne'e Words- 
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Read, Buchanan, ii. 73-75. 

Reclus, Monsieur, ii. 94. 

Redgrave, Gilbert, ii. 329. 

Rees, Elizabeth, i. 1 1, 28. 

Rees, Evan, i. 1 1, 28, 89. 

Retzius, Anna, Madame, ne'e Hjerta, 

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Retzsch, Moritz, i. 315-318. 
Richard, Henry, ii. 280. 
Richardson, Thomas, ii. 279. 
Richter, Jean Paul, i. 293. 

3 68 


Ricketson, Daniel, ii. 253. 

Ricketson, Walton, ii. 253, 254. 

Rickman, Rachel, i. 83. 

Rickrnan, Thomas, i. 83. 

Ristori, Adelaide, Marchesa del Grille, 

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Robiano (de, Alfred, Count), Father 

Ceslas Maria, O.P., ii. 317, 318, 

319, 320, 356. 

Robinson, Crabb, Henry, ii. 38. 
Robinson, Thomas and Sarah, i. 89. 
Robson, Edward, ii. 279. 
Rogers, Samuel, i. 197. 
Rolleston, Miss, i. 107. 
Roscoe, Thomas, i. 213. 
Roscoe, William, ii. 179. 
Roscow, Roland, i. 189, 190. 
Ross, William, Sir, ii. 114. 
Rossetti, Christina G., ii. 301. 
Rossetti, Dante Gabriel, ii. 73-75, 88, 

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Rossetti, William, ii. 75, 249. 
Rousseau, Jean Jacques, i. 137, 138, 


Routledge, Messrs., ii. 92. 
Runeberg, Johan Ludvig, ii. 71. 
Runeberg, Walter, ii. 283. 
Rusden, G. W., ii. 285. 
Russell, Earl, ii. 53, 54. 
Russell, Joseph, i. 35. 
Russell- Watts, Jesse, ii. 124. 

SADLER, THOMAS, D.D., ii. 38, 68, 


Sadler, Michael Thomas, i. 101. 
Salisbury, Bishop of, ii. 32. 
Sandbach, Henry R., Mr. and Mrs. 

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Sands, David, i. 40. 
Scherer, Maria Theresia, Rev. Mother, 

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Schleinitz, von, Alexandra, Baroness, 
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Schlosser, Rath and Rathin, i. 294. 

Schmid, von, Schmidsfelden, Caro- 
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Schonberg - Roth - Schonberg, von 

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326, 346, 350, 353. 

Schonberg - Roth - Schonberg, von, 
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Schwab, Gustav, i. 307. 
Scott of Amwell, i. 222. 
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Scott, Woodward, Misses, ii. 298. 
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Shad well, Arthur T. W., Rev., ii. 280. 
Shaftesbury, Seventh Earl of, ii. 93 

95, 101, 102. 

Shaftesbury, Countess of, ii. 92. 
Shaw, Joshua, Rev., i. 147. 
Shelley, Percy Bysshe, i. m, 267 

297 ; ii. 190, 291. 
Sheridan, General, ii. 75. 
Shipley, Morris and Ann, i. 3-4. 
Shrewsbury, Sixteenth Earl, i. in ; 
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Siddall, Elizabeth, ii. 349. 
Smiles, Samuel, Dr., ii. 42, 62, 84, 

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Smith, Frederick, i. 78. 
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Smith, Shakespeare, William, i. 278. 



Smith, Southwood,Dr.,i. 319 ; ii. 27, 


Smith, Sydney, ii. 28. 
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Somerville, Mary, Mrs., ii. 115. 
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Southey, Caroline, Mrs., nee Bowles, 

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Steinkopif, C. F. A., Kev., i. 100. 
Sternbacb, von, Marie, Baroness, ii. 


Stolberg-Wernigerode, von, Franz, 

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Stowe, Harriet, Mrs., ne'e Beecher, ii. 

9 2 > 93, 99, 100-101. 
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Sturge, Joseph, ii. 105. 
Summers, Mr., ii. 285. 
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Sutherland, Dr., ii. 97. 
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95, 99, 101, 102. 
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Talbot of Ingestre, Second Earl, i. 

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Talfourd, Thomas Noon, Sir, ii. 54. 
Talleyrand, de, Prince, i, 257. 
Tamworth, Viscount, i. 56. 
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Thiers, Louis Adolphe, i. 313. 

Thompson, John, i. 88. 

Thorwaldsen, Bertel, ii. 241. 

Tieck, Ludwig, i. 305, 319. 

Todhunter, Joseph, ii. 104. 

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Torre-Arsa, di, Marchesa, Duchessa 
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Tozer, Right Rev. Bishop, ii. 265. 

Tregelles, Katharine, i. 28. 

Trelawny, Edward, i. 186. 

Trelawny, Letitia, Miss, ii. 287. 

Trench, Richard Chenevix, Arch- 
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Trimmer, Mrs., i. 76. 

Trollope, T. Adolphus, ii. 254, 257. 

Trudel, Dorothea, ii. 204, 305. 

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Tuckfield, Hippersley, Mrs., i. 283. 

Turpin, Dick, i. 23. 

Tylor, Alfred, Mrs., ii. 38. 

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358, 359- 

Vaughan, Kenelm, Rev., ii. 359. 
Verdi, Giuseppe, ii. 214. 
Vernon, Lord, i. 41, 98. 
Vertunni, Cavaliere, ii. 296. 
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Victoria, Queen, i. 298 ; ii. 91, 98, 

102, 345. 

WAGNER, RICHARD, ii. 188. 
Wallscourt, Lord, ii. 66-67. 
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Waring, Elijah, i. 91. 
Warner, William, i. 7, 8. 
Washington, George, i. 19, 62. 
2 A 



Wasse, H. W., Rev., ii. 281. 
Waterpark, Lady, i. 64. 
Waterpark, Lords, i. 100; ii. 175. 
Watson, William, i. 16. 
Watts, Alaric, i. 213, 214, 215, 221, 

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Webb, Mrs, ii. 168. 
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Wedgwood, Eowland H., ii. 357. 
Weldon, Raphael, ii. 162, 163, 183, 

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Weldon, Walter, ii. 183, 184, 308,334. 
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Wiffen, Benjamin, i. 215. 
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Wilberforce, William Basil, ii. 325, 


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Wilkinson, Thomas, i. 222. 
William IV., King, i. 225. 
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Williams, Rowland, D.D., ii. 151. 

Williams, Thomas V., Rev., ii. 122. 
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Willson, Right Rev. Dr. Robert, 

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Wyatt, Mr., i. 38, 39. 


Yorke, Miss, ii. 293, 294. 

Young, James, of Kelly, ii. 258, 259, 

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Youl, Edward, ii. 51-55. 

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