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Full text of "The Cornhill magazine"

THE 



COKNHILL 



MAGAZINE. 



VOL. XLII. 



LONDON: 
SMITH, ELDER & CO., 15 WATERLOO PLACE. 

1880. 




ftp 



[7'Ae r/jr/^i o/ Publishing Translations of Articles in this Sfagazine is reserved.] 



CONTENTS OF VOLUME XLII. 



WHITE WINGS : A YACHTING KOMANCE. 

PAGE 

Chapter XXXVIII. A Parable 1 

XXXIX. AEelease 7 

XL. " While the Ripples fold upon Sands of Gold" 12 

XLI. Backward Thoughts 241 

XLII. A Toast 246 

XLIII. Expectations 252 

XLIV. " Ye are welcome, Glenogie !" 257 

XLV. The Equinoctials at Last 265 

XLVI. "Flieh! Auf! Hinaus!" 269 

XLVII. After the Gale 498 

XLVIII. "A Good One for the Last" 505 

XLIX. Adieu! 510 

WASHINGTON SQUARE. By Henry James, Jr. 

Chapters VII. XII 107 

XIII. XVIII - 129 

XIX. XXIV 364 

XXV. XXIX 385 

XXX. XXXV 616 

THE PAVILION ON THE LINKS. (In Two Parts ) 

Part I. 

Chapter I. Tells how I camped in Graden Sea-Wood, and beheld a Light 

in the Pavilion 307 

II. Tells of the Nocturnal Landing from the Yacht 312 

,, III. Tells how I became acquainted with my Wife 316 

,, IV. Tells in what a startling manner I learned I was not alone 

in Graden Sea- Wood 322 

Part II. 

V. Tells of an Interview between Northmour, your Mother, and 

Myself 430 

VI. Tells of my Introduction to the Tall Man 433 

,, VII. Tells how a Word was cried through the Pavilion Window 438 

VIII. Tells the Last of the Tall Man 443 

IX. Tells how Northmour carried out his Threat 447 



vi CONTENTS. 

MY FAITHFUL JOHNNY. 

PAGE 

Chapters I. IV 513 

V. VIII 732 

FINA'S AUNT. SOME PASSAGES FROM Miss WILLIAMSON'S DIARY. 

Chapters L VII 641 



Art, Notes on the Supernatural in. Faustus and Helena. By Vernon Lee 212 

Art, Water-colour, Notes on. By Harry Quilter. I. The Early Masters 404 

Belzoni, Giovanni Battista. By Kichard F. Burton 36 

Books, Rambles among. No. I. Country Books 662 

Buddhists and Buddhism in Burma. By Shway Yoe 721 

Burmese, The. By Shway Yoe 582 

Carver, The, and the Caliph. By Austin Dobson 239 

Cimabue and Coal-scuttles 61 

Corporations, Unreformed 77 

Country Parsons 415 

Decorative Decorations 590 

Dress, The Natural History of 560 

English Sculpture in 1880 173 

Falling in Love 471 

Faustus and Helena. Notes on the Supernatural in Art. By Vernon Lee 212 

Folk-Songs, Venetian 485 

"Fools, The Ship of" 229 

Foreign Orders 464 

Foreign Titles 202 

Game 294 

Greeks, Ancient, Social Life amongst the 601 

Growth of Sculpture. By Grant Allen 273 

Homes, The, of Town Poor. By the Eev. Harry Jones 452 

Hours in a Library. No. XXII. Sterne 86 

Kentish Chalk, Studies in 51 

Letters, The Seamy Side of 348 

Lyme Kegis ; a Splinter of Petrified History 709 

Macaulay, Lord, and Dr. Johnson's Wife 573 

Madeira, A Gossip about : The Desertas and Teneriffe 328 



CONTENTS. vii 

PA(JB 

Minuets , 187 

Mrs. Van Steen 680 

Orders, Foreign 464 

Parsons, Country 415 

Quevedo 586 

Eambles among Books. No. I. Country Books 662 

Sculpture, English, in 1880 173 

Sculpture, The Growth of. By Grant Allen.... 273 

Shakspeare, why did he write Tragedies ? 153 

" Ship of Fools, The " 229 

Social Life amongst the Ancient Greeks 601 

Steen, Mrs. Van 680 

Sterne. Hours in a Library. No. XXII 86 

Studies in Kentish Chalk 51 

Supernatural in Art, Notes on the. Faustus and Helena. By Vernon Lee 212 

Sweating Sickness, The. By Alex. Charles Ewald 196 

Tennyson, A New Study of. Part II 17 

Titles, Foreign 202 

To a Friend recently Lost. By George Meredith 497 

Town Poor, The Homes of. By the Kev. Harry Jones 452 

Two Beggars. (A Sketch from Life.) By John Dangerfield 342 

Unreformed Corporations 77 

Venetian Folk-Songs 485 

Wator-colour Art, Notes on. By Harry Quilter. I. The Early Masters 404 

Why did Shakspeare write Tragedies ? 153 



LIST OF ILLUSTEATIONS. 



"Mr FATHER!" 

MORRIS HAD A SWEET, LIGHT TENOR VOICE 107 

"DON'T LET HER MARRY HIM!" '. 129 

THANK YOU VERY MUCH. I HAVE ENJOYED THE WHOLE THING TREMENDOUSLY" 241 

BLESS ME!" CRIED THE LAIRD 257 

" MY DEAR GOOD GIRL ! " HE EXCLAIMED, AND THEN LOOKED UP RATHER VAGUELY 364 
"I SHALL REGARD IT ONLY AS A LOAN," SHE SAID 385 

t 

WE ALL GO OUT TO THE HEADLAND AND WAVE OUR HANDKERCHIEFS 498 

> 

FOR THE FIRST TIME THEY "WERE ARM-IN-ARM 513 

IT WAS VERY DIFFERENT FROM HIS OLD FROM HIS YOUNG FACE 6 1 G 

HE LOOKED ROUND QUIETLY, WITH HIS BRIGHT, SHAGGY EYKS G4 1 

SHE FELL DOWN AT MY FEET IN A PASSION OF SOBS AKD TEARS 732 



THE 



COENHILL MAGAZINE. 



JULY, 1880. 



Wllntt Wings ; , gating 



CHAPTER XXXVIII. 
A PARABLE. 

DW we had not been five 
minutes within the walla 
of Castle Osprey when 
great shouts of laughter 
were heard in the direc- 
tion of the library ; and 
presently the Laird came 
quickly into the room 
where the two women 
were standing at the open 
window. He was flou- 
rishing a newspaper in 
his hand ; delight, sar- 
casm, and desperate 
humour shone in his face. 
He would not notice that 
Queen Titania looked 
very much inclined to 
cry, as she gazed out on 
the forlorn remains of 

what had once been a rose-garden ; he would pay no heed to Mary Avon's 

wan cheek and pensive eyes. 

"Just listen to this, ma'am, just listen to this," he called out briskly; 

VOL. XLII. NO. 247. 1. 




2 WHITE WINGS : A YACHTING EOMANCE. 

and all the atmosphere of the room seemed to wake up into cheerfulness 
and life. " Have I not told ye often about that extraordinary body, 
Johnnie Guthrie ? Now just listen ! " 

It appeared that the Laird, without even bestowing a glance on the 
pile of letters lying waiting for him, had at once dived into the mass of 
newspapers, and had succeeded in fishing out the report of the last meet- 
ing of the Strathgovan Police Commissioners. With a solemnity that 
scarcely veiled his suppressed mirth, he said 

" Just listen, ma'am : ' The fortnightly meeting of the Strathgovan 
Police Commissioners was held on Monday, Provost McKendrick in 
the chair. Mr. Robert Johnstone said he had much pleasure in con- 
gratulating the chairman and the other gentlemen assembled on the 
signal and able manner in which the fire brigade had done their duty on 
the previous Saturday at the great conflagration in Coulter-side buildings ; 
and he referred especially to the immense assistance given by the new 
fire-engine recently purchased by the Commissioners. (Hear ! hear !) 
He could assure the meeting that but for the zealous and patriotic ardour 
of the brigade aided, no doubt, by the efficient working of the steam 
engine a most valuable property would have been devoted holus-bolus 
to the flames.' " 

The Laird frowned at this phrase. 

" Does the crayture think he is talking Latin ? " he asked, apparently 
of himself. 

However, he continued his reading of the report 

" ' Provost McKendrick, replying to these observations, observed 
that it was certainly a matter for congratulation that the fire brigade 
should have proved their efficiency in so distinct a manner, considerino 1 
the outlay that had been incurred ; and that now the inhabitants of the 
Burgh would perceive the necessity of having more plugs. So far all the 
money had been well spent. Mr. J. Guthrie'" but here the Laird 
could not contain his laughter any longer. 

" That's Johnnie, ma'am," he cried, in explanation, " that's the 
Johnnie Guthrie I was telling ye about the poor, yaumering, pernickity, 
querulous crayture ! ' Mr. J. Guthrie begged to say he could not 
join in these general felicitations. They were making a great deal of 
noise about nothing. The fire was no fire at all ; a servant-girl could 
have put it out with a pail. He had come from Glasgow by the eleven- 
o'clock 'bus, and there was then not a trace of a fire to be seen. The 
real damage done to the property was not done by the fire, but by the 
dirty water drawn by the fire brigade from the Coulter burn, which dirty 
water had entirely destroyed Mrs. Maclnnes' best bedroom furniture.' " 

The Laird flourished the newspaper, and laughed aloud in his joy ; 
the mere reading of the extract had so thoroughly discomfited his 
enemy. 

" Did ye ever hear the like o' that body ? " he cried. " A snarlin' 
quarlin', gruntin', growlin', fashious crayture ! He thinks there could 



WHITE WINGS: A YACHTING- EOMANCE. 3 

hot be any fire, just because lie was not in time to see it. Oh, Johnnie, 
Johnnie, Johnnie, I'm just fair ashamed o'ye." 

But at this point the Laird seemed to become aware that he had 
given way too much to his love of pure and pithy English. He imme- 
diately said, in a more formal manner 

" I am glad to perceive, ma'am, that the meeting paid no heed to 
these strictures, but went on to consider whether the insurance com- 
panies should not share the expense of maintaining the fire brigade. 
That was most proper most judeecious. I'm thinking that after dinner 
I could not do better than express my views upon that subject, in a 
letter addressed to the Provost. It would be in time to be read at the 
monthly sederunt 

"Come along, then, Mary, and let .us get through our letters," said 
his hostess, turning away with a sigh from the dilapidated rose-garden. 

As she passed the piano, she opened it. 

" How strange it will sound ! " she said. 

She played a few bars of Mary Avon's favourite song ; somehow the 
chords seemed singularly rich and full and beautiful after our long listen- 
ing to the monotonous rush of the sea. Then she put her hand within 
the girl's arm and gently led her away, and said to her as they passed 
through the hall 

" ' Oh, little did my mitlier think 
When first she cradled me' 

that ever I should have come back to such a picture of desolation. 
But we must put a brave face on it. If the autumn kills the garden, it 
glorifies the hills. You will want all your colour-tubes when we show 
you Loch Hourn." 

" That was the place the Doctor was anxious to veesit," said the 
Laird, who was immediately behind them. " Ay. Oh, yes, we will 
show Miss Mary Loch Hourn ; she will get some material for sketches 
there, depend on't. Just the finest loch in the whole of the Highlands. 
When I can get Tom Galbraith first of all persuaded to see Bunessan " 

But we heard no more about Tom Galbraith. Queen Titania had 
uttered a slight exclamation as she glanced over the addresses of the 
letters directed to her. 

" From Angus ! " she said, as she hurriedly opened one of the 
envelopes, and ran her eye over the contents. 

Then her face grew grave, and inadvertently she turned to the Laird. 

" In three days," she said, " he was to start for Italy." 

She looked at the date. 

" He must have left London already ! " said she, and then she 
examined the letter further. " And he does not say where he is going." 

The Laird looked grave too for a second. But he was an excellent 
actor. He began whistling the air that his hostess had been playing. 
He turned over his letters and papers carelessly. At length, he said, 
with an air of fine indifference 

12 



4 WHITE WINGS : A YACHTING ROMANCE. 

" The grand thing of being away at sea is to teach ye the compara- 
teevely trifling importance of anything that can happen on land." 

He tossed the unopened letters about, only regarding the addresses. 

" What care I what the people may have been saying about me in 
my absence 1 the real thing is that we got food to eat and were not swept 
into Corrievreckan. Come, Miss Mary, I will just ask ye to go for a 
stroll through the garden wi' me, until dinner-time ; our good friends will 
not ask us to dress on an evening like this, just before we have got every- 
thing on shore. Twenty-five meenutes, ma'am? Very well. If any- 
body has been abusing me in my absence, we'll listen to the poor fellow 
after dinner, when we can get the laugh made general, and so make 
some good out of him; but just now we'll have the quiet of the sunset 
to ourselves. Dear, dear me ! we used to have the sunset after dinner 
when we were away up about Canna and Uist." 

Mary Avon seemed to hesitate. 

" What ! not a single letter for ye ? That shows very bad taste on 
the pairt of the young men about England. But I never thought much o' 
them. From what I hear, they are mostly given over to riding horses, 
and shooting pheasants, and what not. But never mind. I want ye to 
come out for a stroll wi' me, my lass : ye'll see some fine colour about 
the Morven hills presently, or I'm mistaken." 

" Very well, sir," said she, obediently ; and together they went out 
into the garden. 

Now it was not until some minutes after the dinner-gong had sounded 
that we again saw these two, and then there was nothing in the manner 
of either of them to suggest to any one that any thing had happened. It 
was not until many days afterwards that we obtained, bit by bit, an 
account of what had occurred, and even then it was but a stammering, 
and disjointed, and shy account. However, such as it was, it had better 
appear here, if only to keep the narrative straight. 

The Laird, walking up and down the gravel path with his com- 
panion, said that he did not so much regret the disappearance of the 
roses, for there were plenty of other flowers to take their place. Then 
he thought he and she might go and sit on a seat which was placed 
under a drooping ash in the centre of the lawn, for from this point they 
commanded a fine view of the western seas and hills. They had just 
sat down there when he said 

" My girl, I am going to take the privilege of an old man, and speak 
frankly to ye. I have been watching ye, as it were and your mind is 
not at ease." 

Miss Avon hastily assured him that it was quite, and begged to draw 
his attention to the yacht in the bay, where the men were just lowering 
the ensign, at sunset. 

The Laird returned to the subject ; entreated her not to take it ill 
that he should interfere ; and then reminded her of a certain night on 
Loch Leven, and of a promise he had then made her. Would he be ful- 



WHITE WINGS : A YACHTING EOMANCE. 5 

filling that solemn undertaking if he did not, at some risk of vexing her, 
and of being considered a prying, foolish person, endeavour to help her if 
she was in trouble ? 

Miss Avon said how grateful she was to him for all his kindness to 
her ; and how his promise had already been amply fulfilled. She was 
not in trouble. She hoped no one thought that. Everything that had 
happened was for the best. And here as was afterwards admitted 
she burst into a fit of crying, and was very much mortified, and ashamed 
of herself. 

But at this point the Laird would appear to have taken matters into 
his own hand. First of all he began to speak of his nephew of his bright 
good nature, and so forth of his professed esteem for her of certain possi- 
bilities that he, the Laird, had been dreaming about with the fond fancy 
of an old man. And rather timidly he asked her if it were true that 
she thought everything had happened for the best whether, after all, 
his nephew Howard might not speak to her 1 It had been the dream of 
his old age to see these two together at Denny-mains, or on board that 
steam yacht he would buy for them on the Clyde. Was that not 
possible 1 

Here, at least, the girl was honest and earnest enough even 
anxiously earnest. She assured him that that was quite impossible. It 
was hopeless. The Laird remained silent for some minutes, holding her 
hand. 

" Then," said he, rather sadly, but with an affectation of grave 
humour, " I am going to tell you a story. It is about a young lass, who 
was very proud, and who kept her thoughts very much to herself, and 
would not give her friends a chance of helping her. And she was very 
fond of a a young Prince we will call him who wanted to go away to 
the wars, and make a great name for himself. No one was prouder of 
the Prince than the girl, mind ye, and she encouraged him in everything, 
and they were great friends, and she was to give him all her diamonds, 
and pearls, and necklaces she would throw them into his treasury, like 
a Roman matron -just that he might go away and conquer, and come 
back and marry her. But lo, and behold ! one night all her jewels and 
bracelets were stolen ! Then what does she do? "Would ye believe it? 
She goes and quarrels with that young Prince, and tells him to go away 
and fight his battles for himself, and never to come back and see her any 
more just as if any one could fight a battle wi' a sore heart. Oh, she was 
a wicked, wicked lass, to be so proud as that, when she had many friends 
that would willingly have helped her. . . . Sit down, my girl, sit clown, 
my girl, never mind the dinner ; they can wait for us. ... Well, ye 
see, the story goes on that there was an old man a foolish old man 
they used to laugh at him, because of his fine fishing tackle, and the very 
few fish he caught wi' the tackle and this doited old body was 
always intermeddling in other people's business. And what do you 
think he does but go and say to the young lass : ' Ha, have I found ye 



6 t WHITE WINGS: A YACHTING EOMANCE. 

out ? Is it left for an old man like me and me a bachelor, too, who 
should know but little of the quips and cranks of a young lass's ways is 
it left for an old man like me to find out that fine secret o' yours 1 ' She 
could not say a word. She was dumfounded. She had not the face to 
deny it : he had found out what that wicked girl, with all her pride, and 
her martyrdom, and her sprained ankles, had been about. And what do 
you think he did then 1 Why, as sure as sure can be, he had got all the 
young lass's property in his pocket; and before she cculd say Jack 
Robinson, he tells her that he is going to send straight off for the Prince 

this very night a telegram to London " 

The girl had been trembling, and struggling with the hand that held 
hers. At last she sprang to her feet, with a cry of entreaty. 

" Oh, no, no, no, sir ! You will not do that ! You will not degrade 
me!" 

And then this is her own account, mind the Laird rose too, and 
still held her by the hand, and spoke sternly to her. 

" Degrade you 1 " said he. " Foolish lass ! Come in to your dinner." 
When these two did come in to dinner nearly a quarter of an hour 
late their hostess looked anxiously from one to the other. But what 
could she perceive 1 Mary Avon was somewhat pale, and she was silent : 
but that had been her way of late. As for the Laird, he came in 
whistling the tune of the Queen's Maries, which was a strange grace 
before meat, and he looked airily around him at the walls. 

"I would just like to know," said he lightly, "whether there is a 
single house in all Scotland where ye will not find an engraving of one or 
other of Mr. Thomas Faed's pictures in some one of the rooms 1 " 

And he preserved this careless and indifferent demeanour during 
dinner. After dinner he strolled into the library. He would venture 
upon a small cigar. His sole companion was the person whose humble 
duty in this household is to look after financial matters, so that other 
folks may enjoy themselves in idleness. 

The Laird lay back in an easy-chair, stretched out his legs, lit his 
cigar, and held it at arms' length, as if it were something that ought to 
be looked at at a distance. 

" You had something to do with the purchase of Miss Mary's Ameri- 
can stock, eh ? " said he, pretending to be concerned about the end of the 
cigar. 

"Yes." 

"What was it ?" 
" Funded Five per Cent." 
" What would be about the value of it now ? " 
" Just now 1 Oh, perhaps 106, or 107." 

" No, no, no. I mean, if the bonds that that ill-faured scoondrel 
carried away with him were to be sold the now, what money, what Eng- 
lish money, would they fetch 1 " 

But this required some calculation, 



WHITE WINGS : A YACHTING EOMANCE. 7 

" Probably about 7,300Z." 

" I was asking," said the Laird, " because I was wondering whether 
there was any chance of tracing them." 

" Not the least. They are like bank-notes more useful indeed, to a 
swindler than even bank-notes." 

" Ay, is that so," said the Laird; and he seemed to be so charmed with 
his whistling of the air of the Queen's Maries that he returned to that 
performance. Oddly enough, however, he never ventured beyond the 
first line : perhaps he was afraid of missing the tune. 

" Seven thousand three hundred," said he, meditatively. " Man, 
that's a strong cigar little, and black, and strong. Seven thousand 
three hundred. Girls are strange craytures. I remember what that 
young doctor was saying once about weemen being better able to bear 
pain than men, and not so much afraid of it either " 

And here the Queen's Maries came in again. 

" It would be a strange thing," said the Laird, with a sort of rueful 
laugh, " if I were to have a steam-yacht all to myself, and cruise about 
in search of company, eh 1 No, no ; that will not do. My neighbours 
in Strathgovan will never say that I deserted them, just when great im- 
provements and serious work have to be looked forward to. I will not 
have it said that I ran away, just to pleasure myself. Howard, my lad, 
I doubt but ye'll have to whistle for that steam-yacht." 

The Laird rose. 

" I think I will smoke in the garden now : it is a fine evening." 

He turned at the door, and seemed suddenly to perceive a pair of 
stag's horns over the chimney-piece. 

" That's a grand set o' horns," said he ; and then he added carelessly, 
" What bank did ye say they American bonds were in 1 " 

" The London and Westminster." 

" They're just a noble pair o' horns," said he emphatically. " I won- 
der ye do not take them with ye to London." And then he left. 



CHAPTER XXXIX. 
A EELEASE. 

WE had a long spell ashore at this time, for we were meditating a 
protracted voyage, and everything had to be left ship-shape behind us. 
The Laird was busy from morning till night ; but it would appear that 
all his attention was not wholly given to the affairs of Strathgovan. 
Occasionally he surprised his hostess by questions which had not the 
least reference to asphalte pavements or gymnasium chains. He kept 
his own counsel, nevertheless. 

By-and-by his mysterious silence so piqued and provoked her that 
she seized a favourable opportunity for asking him, point-blank, whether 



8 WHITE WINGS: A YACHTING ROMANCE. 

he had not spoken to Mary Avon. They were in the garden at the 
time, he seated on an iron seat, with a bundle of papers beside him ; she 
standing on the gravel-path with some freshly-cut flowers in her hand. 
There was a little colour in her face, for she feared that the question 
might be deemed impertinent ; yet, after all, it was no idle curiosity 
that prompted her to ask it. Was she not as much interested in the 
girl's happiness as any one could be 1 

" I have," said he, looking up at her calmly. 

Well, she knew that. Was this all the answer she was to get ? 

" I beg your pardon, ma'am," said he, after a second, " if I seem to 
be making a mystery where there is no mystery. I hate all foolishness 
like that. I do not myself believe there is anything of the kind ; but 
I will just ask ye to wait for a day or two before speaking to the lass 
herself. After that, I will leave it all in your hands. I trust ye will 
consider that I have done my part." 

" Oh, I am sure of that, sir," said she : though how could she be 
sure? 

" There is not much I would not do for that lass," said he, somewhat 
absently. " She has a wonderful way of getting a grip of one's heart, 
as it were. And if I could have wished that things had turned out 
otherwise " 

The Laird did not finish the sentence. He seemed to rouse himself. 

" Toots ! toots ! " said he, frowning. " When we are become men, we 
have to put away childish things. What is the use of crying for the 
moon ? There, ma'am, is something serious and practical to consider 
something better worth considering than childish dreams and fancies." 

And then, with much lucidity and with a most dispassionate parade 
of arguments on both sides, he put before her this knotty question : 
whether it was a fit and proper thing for a body like the Strathgovan 
Commissioners to own public-house property ] That was the general 
question. The immediate question was whether the " William Wallace " 
public-house, situated in the Netherbiggins road, should be re-let or 
summarily closed ? On the one hand it was contended that the closing 
of the " William Wallace " would only produce a greater run on the 
other licensed houses ; on the other hand, it was urged that a body like 
the Commissioners should set an example and refuse to encourage a 
mischievous traffic. Now the Laird's own view of the liquor question 
which he always put forward modestly, as subject to the opinion of 
those who had had a wider legislative and administrative experience 
than himself was, that the total suppression of the liquor traffic was 
a chimera ; and that a practical man should turn to see what could be 
done in the way of stringent police regulations. He was proceeding to 
expound these points when he suddenly caught sight of the Youth, who 
had appeared at the gate, with two long fishing-rods over his shoulder. 
He dropped his voice. 

" That just reminds me, ma'am," said he. " I am greatly obliged to 



WHITE WINGS: A YACHTING ROMANCE. 9 

ye my nephew equally so for your great kindness to him. I think it 
will not be necessary for him to trespass on your forbearance any longer." 

" I don't quite understand you." 

" I think I will let him go back to his own pursuits now," said the 
Laird. 

" Oh, no," she said. " By all means let him come with us to Stor- 
noway. He has been very good in not grumbling over any inconvenience. 
You would not send him away just as we are going to start on our 
longest cruise 1 " 

She could not say anything further at the moment, for the Youth 
came up the gravel-path, and threw the two huge rods on to the 
lawn. 

" Look there, uncle ! " he cried. " I don't care what size of lithe 
you get on the line, I'll bet those rods won't break, any way. Suther- 
land used to be lamenting over the big fish you lost up in the north : 
try them with those things. ! " 

Here their hostess passed on and into the house with her flowers. 
Uncle and nephew were left by themselves. 

" Howard, lad," said the elder of the two men, " bring that chair 
over, and sit opposite me. I do not want my papers to be disturbed. 
There are one or two matters of business I would like to put before ye." 

The Youth did as he was bid. The Laird paused for a second or 
two; then he began 

" When I asked ye to come to the Highlands," said he, slowly, " I 
put an alternative before ye, with certain consequences. There were 
two things, one of which J wanted ye to do. Ye have done neither." 

Howard Smith looked somewhat alarmed : his hostess was not there 
to put a jocular air over that bargain. 

"Well, sir," he stammered, "I I could not do what was impos- 
sible. I I have done my best." 

" Nevertheless," said the Laird, in a matter-of-fact way, " neither 
has been done. I will not say it has been altogether your fault. So far 
as I have seen, ye have been on very good terms with the young leddy ; 
and and yes, paid her what attention was expected of ye ; and " 

" Well, you see, uncle," he interposed, eagerly, " What was the use of 
my proposing to the girl only to be snubbed ? Don't I know she cares 
no more about me than about the man in the moon ? Why, anybody 
could see that. Of course, you know, if you insist on it if you drive 
me to it if you want me to go in and get snubbed I'll do it. I'll 
take my chance. But I don't think it's fair. I mean," he added has- 
tily, " I don't think it is necessary." 

" I do not wish to drive ye to anything," said the Laird on any 
other occasion he might have laughed at the Youth's ingenuousness, but 
now he had serious business on hand. " I am content to take things as 
they are. Neither of the objects I had in view has been accomplished ; 
perhaps both were impossible ; who can tell what lies in store for any 

15 



10 WHITE WINGS: A YACHTING ROMANCE. 

of us, -when we begin to plan and scheme 1 However, I am not disposed 
to regard it as your fault. I Avill impose no fine or punishment, as if 
we were playing at theatre-acting. I have neither kith nor kin of my 
own ; and it is my wish that, at my death, Denny-mains should go to you." 
The Youth's face turned red ; yet he did not know how to express 
his gratitude. It did not quite seem a time for sentiment ; the Laird 
was talking in such a matter-of-fact way. 

" Subject to certain conditions," he continued. " First of all, I spoke 
some time ago of spending a sum of 3,OOOZ. on a steam-yacht. Dismiss 
that from your mind. I cannot afford it ; neither will you be able." 

The young man stared at this. For although he cared very little 
about the steam-yacht having a less liking for the sea than some of 
us he was surprised to hear that a sum like 3,000. was even a matter 
for consideration to a reputedly rich man like his uncle. 

" Oh, certainly, sir," said he. " I don't at all want a steam-yacht." 
" Very well, we will now proceed." 

The Laird took up one of the documents beside him, and began to 
draw certain lines on the back of it. 

" Ye will remember," said he, pointing with his pencil, " that where 
the estate proper of Denny-mains runs out to the Coulter-burn road, 
there is a piece of land belonging to me, on which are two tenements, 
yielding together, I should say, about 300. a year. By-and-by, if a 
road should be cut so across to the Netherbiggins road that land will 
be more valuable ; many a one will be wanting to feu that piece then, 
mark my words. However, let that stand by. In the meantime I 
have occasion for a sum of ten thousand three hundred pounds." 

The Youth looked still more alarmed : had his uncle been speculating 1 
" and I have considered it my duty to . ask you, as the future pro- 
prietor of Denny-mains in all human probability, whether ye would 
rather have these two tenements sold, with as much of the adjoining 
land as would make up that sum, or whether ye would have the sum 
made a charge on the estate generally, and take your chance of that land 
rising in value 1 What say ye 1 " 

The Laird had been prepared for all this ; but the Youth was not, 
He looked rather frightened. 

" I should be sorry to hear, sir," he stammered, " that that you 

were pressed for money " 

" Pressed for money 1 " said the Laird severely ; " I am not pressed 
for money. There is not a square yard of Denny-mains with a farthing 
of mortgage on it. Come, let's hear what ye have to say." 

" Then," said the young man, collecting his wits, " my opinion is, 
that a man should do what he likes with his own." 

" That's well said," returned the Laird, much mollified. " And I'm 
no sure but that if we were to roup* that land, that quarrelsome body 






To roup, to sell by public auction. 



WHITE WINQS: A YACHTING ROMANCE. 11 

Johnny Guthrie might not be trying to buy it ; and I would not have 
him for a neighbour on any consideration. Well, I will write to Todd 
and Buchanan about it at once." 

The Laird rose and began to bundle his papers together. The Youth 
laid hold of the fishing-rods, and was about to carry them off somewhere, 
when he was suddenly called back. 

" Dear me ! " said the Laird, " my memory's going. There was 
another thing I was going to put before ye, lad. Our good friends here 
have been very kind in asking ye to remain so long. I'm thinking ye 
might offer to give up your state-room before they start on this long trip. 
Is there any business or occupation ye would like to be after in the 
south ? " 

The flash of light that leapt to the young man's face ! 

" Why, uncle ! " he exclaimed eagerly, diving his hand into his 
pocket, " I have twice been asked by old Barnes to go to his place 
the best partridge-shooting in Bedfordshire " 

But the Youth recollected himself. 

" I mean," said he seriously, " Barnes, the swell solicitor, don't you 
know? Hughes, Barnes, and Barnes. It would be an uncommonly good 
thing for me to stand well with them. They are just the making of a 
young fellow at the bar when they take him up. Old Barnes's son was 
at Cambridge with me ; but he doesn't do anything an idle fellow 
cares for nothing but shooting and billiards. I really ought to cultivate 
old Barnes." 

The Laird eyed him askance. 

" Off ye go to your pairtridge- shooting, and make no more pre- 
tence," said he ; and then he added, " And look here, my lad, when ye 
leave this house I hope ye will express in a proper form your thanks for 
the kindness ye have received. No, no ; I do not like the way of you 
English in that respect. Ye take no notice of anything. Ye receive a 
man's hospitality for a week, a fortnight, a month ; and then ye shake 
hands with him at the door ; and walk out as if nothing had happened ! 
These may be good manners in England ; they are not here." 

" I can't make a speech, uncle," said the Youth slyly. " They don't 
teach us those things a,t the English public schools." 

" Ye gowk," said the Laird severely, " do you think I want ye to 
make a speech like Norval on the Grampian Hills ? I want yo to express 
in proper language your thankfulness for the attention and kindness 
that have been bestowed on ye. What are ye afraid of? Have ye not 
got a mouth 1 From all that I can hear the English have a wonderful 
fluency of speech, when there is no occasion for it at all : bletherin' 
away like twenty steam-engines, and not a grata of wheat to be found 
when a' the stour is laid." 



12 WHITE WIKGS: A YACHTIJSG- ROMANCE. 

CHAPTER XL. 
" WHILE THE RIPPLES FOLD UPON SANDS OP GOLD." 

THE days passed, and still the Laird professed to be profoundly busy; 
and our departure for the north was further and further postponed. 
The Youth had at first expressed his intention of waiting to see us off; 
which was very kind on his part, considering how anxious he was to 
cultivate the acquaintance of that important solicitor. His patience, 
however, at last gave out ; and he begged to be allowed to start on a 
certain morning. The evening before we walked down to the shore with 
him, and got pulled out to the yacht, and sate on deck, while he went 
below to pack such things as had been left in his state-room. " It will 
be a strange thing," said our gentle Admiral-in-chief, " for us to have a 
cabin empty. That has never happened to us in the Highlands, all the 
time we have been here. It will be a sort of ghost's room ; we shall not 
dare to look into it for fear of seeing something to awaken old memories." 

She put her hand in her pocket, and drew out some small object. 
" Look," said she, quite sentimentally. 

It was only a bit of pencil : if it had been the skull of Socrates she 
could not have regarded it with a greater interest. " It is the pencil 
Angus used to mark our games with. I found it in the saloon the day 

before yesterday " and then she added, almost to herself " I wonder 

where he is now." 

The answer to this question startled us. " In Paris," said the Laird. 

But no sooner had he uttered the words than he seemed somewhat 
embarrassed. " That is, I believe so," he said hastily. " I am not in 
correspondence with him. I do riot know for certain. I have heard 
it has been stated to me that he might perhaps remain until the end of 
this week in Paris before going on to Naples." 

He appeared rather anxious to avoid being further questioned. He 
began to discourse upon certain poems of Burns, whom he had once or 
twice somewhat slightingly treated. He was now bent on making ample 
amends. In especial, he asked whether his "hostess did not remember the 
beautiful verse in " Mary Morison," which describes the lover looking 
on at the dancing of a number of young people, and conscious only that 
his own sweetheart is not there 1 

" Do ye remember it, ma'am 1 " said he ; and he proceeded to repeat 
it for her 

Yestreen, when to the trembling string, 

The dance gaed through the lighted ha', 
To thee my fancy took its wing, 
I sat, but neither heard nor saw. 

Though this was fair, and that was braw, 

And yon the toast of a' the town, 
I sighed and said amang them a', 

" Ye are na Mary Morison." 



WHITE WINGS: A YACHTING ROMANCE. 13 

Beautiful, beautiful, is it not? And that is an extraordinary busi- 
ness and as old as the hills too of one young person waling * out 
another as the object of all the hopes of his or her life ; and nothing will 
do but that one. Ye may show them people who are better to look at, 
richer, cleverer ; ye may reason and argue ; ye may make plans, and 
what not : it is all of no use. And people who have grown up, and 
who forget what they themselves were at twenty or twenty-five, may 
say what they like about the foolishness of a piece of sentiment ; and 
they may prove to the young folks that this madness will not last, and 
that they should marry for more substantial reasons ; but ye are jist 
talking to the wind ! Madness 'or not madness, it is human nature ; and 
ye might jist as well try to fight against the tides. I will say this, too," 
continued the Laird and as he warmed to his subject, he rose, and 
began to pace up and down the deck " if a young man were to come 
and tell me that he was ready to throw up a love-match for the sake of 
prudence and worldly advantage, I would say to him : ' Man, ye are a 
poor crayture. Ye have not got the backbone of a mouse in ye.' I 
have no respect for a young man who has prudence beyond his years ; 
not one bit. If it is human nature for a man at fifty years to laugh at 
sentiment and romance, it is human nature for a man at twenty-five to 
believe in it ; and he who does not believe in it then, I say, is a poor 
crayture. He will never come to anything. He may make money ; 
but he will be a poor stupid ass all his days, just without those expe- 
riences that make life a beautiful thing to look back on." 

He came and sate down by Mary Avon. 

" Perhaps a sad thing, too," said he, as he took her hand in his ; 
" but even that is better than a dull causeway, with an animal trudging 
along and sorely burdened with the world's wealth. And now, my 
lass, have ye got everything tight and trim for the grand voyage 1 " 

" She has been at it again, sir," says his hostess, interposing. " She 
wants to set out for the south to-morrow morning." 

" It would be a convenient chance for me," said the girl simply. 
" Mr. Smith might be good enough to see me as far as Greenock 
though, indeed, I don't at all mind travelling by myself. I must stop 
at Kendal is that where the junction is 1 for I promised the poor 
old woman who died in Edinburgh that I would call and see some 
relations of hers who live near Windermere." 

" They can wait, surely 1 " said the Laird, with frowning eyebrows, 
as if the poor people at Windermere had attempted to do him some 
deadly injury. 

" Oh, there is no hurry for them," said she. " They do not even know 
I am coming. But this chance of Mr. Smith going by the steamer 
to-morrow would ^e convenient." 

" Put that fancy out of your head," said he with decision. " Ye are 

* Waling choosing. 



14 WHITE WINGS: A YACHTING ROMANCE. 

going to no Greenock, and to no Kendal, at the present time. Ye are 
going away with us to the north, to see such things as ye never saw 
before in your life. And if ye are anxious to get on with your work, 
I'll tell ye what I'll do. There's our Provost McKendrick has been 
many a time telling me of the fine salmon-fishing he got at the west side 
of Lewis I think he said at a place called Gometra " 

" Grimersta," is here suggested. 

" The very place. Ye shall paint a picture of Grimersta, my lass, 
on commission for the Provost. I authorise ye : if he will not take it, 
I will take it myself. Never mind what the place is like the Provost 
has no more imagination than a boiled lobster ; but he knows when he 
has good friends, and good fishing, and a good glass of whisky ; and, 
depend on it, he'll be proud to have a picture of the place, on your own 
terms. I tell ye I authorise ye." 

Here the Youth came on deck, saying he was now ready to go ashore. 

" Do you know, sir," said his hostess, rising, " what Mary has been 
trying to get me to believe ? that she is afraid of the equinoctials ! " 

The Laird laughed aloud. 

" That is a good one that is a good one ! " he cried. " I never 
heard a better story about Homesh." 

" I know the gales are very wild here when they begin," said Miss 
Avon, seriously. "Every one says so." 

But the Laird only laughs the more, and is still chuckling to him- 
self as he gets down into the gig : the notion of Mary Avon being afraid 
of anything of fifteen dozen of equinoctial gales, for example was to 
him simply ludicrous. 

But a marked and unusual change came over the Laird's manner 
when we got back to Castle Osprey. During all the time he had been 
with us, although he had had occasionally to administer rebukes, with 
more or less of solemnity, he had never once lost his temper. We should 
have imagined it impossible for anything to have disturbed his serene 
dignity or demeanour. But now when he discovered that there was 
no letter awaiting any one of us his impatience seemed dangerously 
akin to vexation and anger. He would have the servants summoned 
and cross-examined. Then he would not believe them; but must needs 
search the various rooms for himself. The afternoon post had really 
brought nothing but a newspaper addressed to the Laird and that he 
testily threw into the waste-paper basket, without opening it. We had 
never seen him give way like this before. 

At dinner, too, his temper was no better. He began to deride the 
business habits of the English people which was barely civil. He said 
that the English feared the Scotch and the Germans just as the Ameri- 
cans feared the Chinese because the latter were the more indefatigable 
workers. He declared that if the London men had less Amontillado 
sherry and cigarettes in their private office-rooms, their business would 
be conducted with much greater accuracy and despatch. Then another 



WHITE WINGS: A YACHTING KOMANCE. 15 

thought struck him : were the servants prepared to swear that no regis- 
tered letter had been presented in the afternoon, and taken away again 
because there was no one in the house to sign the receipt 1 Inquiry 
being made it was found that no such letter had been presented. But, 
finally, when the turmoil about this wretched thing was at its height, 
the Laird was pressed to say from which part of the country the missive 
was expected. From London, he said. It was then pointed out to him 
that the London letters were usually sent along in the evening sometimes 
as late as eight or nine o'clock. He went on with his dinner, grumbling. 
Sure enough, before he had finished dinner, a footstep was heard on 
the gravel outside. The Laird, without any apology, jumped up and 
went to the window. 

" There's the postman," said he, as he resumed his seat. " Ye might 
give him a shilling, ma'am : it is a long climb up the hill." 

It was the postman, no doubt ; and he had brought a letter, but it 
was not for the Laird. We were all apprehensive of a violent storm 
when the servant passed on and handed this letter to Mary Avon. But 
the Laird said nothing. Miss Avon, like a properly-conducted school- 
girl, put the letter in her pocket. 

There was no storm. On the contrary, the Laird got quite cheerful. 
When his hostess hoped that no serious inconvenience would result 
from the non-arrival of the letter, he said, " Not the least ! " He began 
and told us the story of the old lady who endeavoured to engage the 
practical Homesh while he was collecting tickets in a disquisition on 
the beauties of Highland scenery, and who was abruptly bidden to 
" mind her own pussness ; " we had heard the story not more than 
thirty-eight times, perhaps, from various natives of Scotland. 

But the letter about which the Laird had been anxious had as some 
of us suspected actually arrived, and was then in Mary Avon's pocket. 
After dinner the two women went into the drawing-room. Miss Avon 
sate down to the piano, and began to play, idly enough, the air called 
Heimweh. Of what home was she thinking, then this waif and stray 
umong the winds of the world 1 

Tea was brought in. At last the curiosity of the elder woman could 
no longer be restrained. 

" Mary," said she, " are you not going to read that letter ? " 

" Dear me ! " said the girl, plunging into her pocket. " I had for- 
gotten I had a letter to read." 

She took it out and opened it, and began to read. Her face looked 
puzzled at first, then alarmed. She turned to her friend. 

" What is it 1 What can it mean 1 " she said, in blank dismay ; and 
the trembling fingers handed her the letter. 

Her friend had less difficulty in understanding ; although, to be sure, 
before she had finished this perfectly plain and matter-of-fact communi- 
cation, there were tears in her eyes. It was merely a letter from the 
manager of a bank in London, begging to inform Miss Avon that he 



16 WHITE WINGS: A YACHTING ROMANCE. 

had just received, through Messrs. Todd and Buchanan, of Glasgow, a 
sum of 10,300. to be placed to her credit. He was also desired to say, 
that this sum was entirely at her own free disposal ; but the donor would 
prefer if she had no objection that it should be invested in some home 
security, either in a good mortgage, or in the Metropolitan Board of 
"Works Stock. It was a plain and simple letter. 

" Oh, Mary, don't you understand don't you understand ] " said 
she. " He meant to have given you a steam-yacht, if if you married 
Howard Smith. He has given you all the money you lost ; and the 
steam-yacht, too. And there is not a word of regret about all his plans 
and schemes being destroyed. And this is the man we have all been 
making fun of." 

In her conscious self-abasement she did not perceive how bewildered 
how absolutely frightened this girl was. Mary Avon took back the 
letter mechanically ; she stood silent for a second or two, then she said, 
almost in a whisper 

" Giving me all that money ! Oh, I cannot take it I cannot take 
it ! I should not have stayed here I should not have told him any- 
thing I I wish to go away " 

But the common sense of the elder woman came to her rescue. She 
took the girl's hand firmly, and said 

" You shall not go away. And when it is your good fortune to meet 
with such a friend as that, you shall not wound him and insult him 
by refusing what he has given to you. No ; but you will go at once 
and thank him." 

"I cannot I cannot," she said, with both her hands trembling. 
" What shall I say ? How can I thank him 1 If he were my own 
father or brother, how could I thank him ? " 

Her friend left the room for a second, and' returned. 

" He is in the library alone," said she. " Go to him. And do not 
be so ungrateful as to even speak of refusing." 

The girl had no time to compose any speech. She walked to the 
library door, timidly tapped at it, and entered. The Laird was seated 
in an easy-chair, reading. 

When he saw her come in he had been expecting a servant with 
coffee, probably he instantly put aside his book. 

" Well, Miss Mary ? " said he cheerfully. 

She hesitated. She could not speak ; her throat was choking. And 
then, scarcely knowing what she did, she sank down before him, and 
put her head and her hands on his knees, and burst out crying and 
sobbing. And all that he could hear of any speech-making, or of any 
gratitude, or thanks, was only two words 

" My father!" 

He put his hand gently on the soft black hair. 

" Child," said he, " it is nothing. I have kept my word." 



17 



0f 



PART II. 

And well bis words become him : is he not 
A full-cell'd honeycomb of eloquence 
Stored from all flowers? EDWIN MORRIS. 

IN a former numl>er of this Magazine we drew attention to certain pecu- 
liarities in the work of the Laureate which had not, in our opinion, been 
sufficiently appreciated by his many critics. We ventured to point out 
that he belongs to a class of poets whose work has a twofold value, a 
value, that is to say, dependent on its obvious, simple, and intrinsic 
beauties, which is its exoteric and popular side, and a value dependent 
on niceties of adaptation, allusion, and finish, which is its esoteric and 
critical side; that he is to a certain point only the poet of the people, 
that he is pre-eminently the poet of the cultured, that his services to 
art will never be properly understood till his writings come to be studied 
in detail, till they are, as those of his masters have been, submitted to 
the ordeal of the minutest critical investigation ; till the delicate mecha- 
nism of his diction shall be analysed as scholars analyse the kindred 
subtleties of Sophocles and Virgil, till the sources of his plots have been 
laid bare, and the original and the copy placed side by side ; till we are 
in possession of comparative commentaries on his poems as exhaustive 
as those with which Orelli illustrated Horace, and Matthias, Gray. We 
ventured to suggest that his poems should be studied, not as we study 
those of the fathers of Song, as we study those of Homer, Dante, Chaucer, 
Shakspeare, but as we study those who stand first in the second rank of 
poets ; that in dealing with him we have to deal not with a Homer, but 
with an Apollonius, not with an Alcaeus, but with a Horace ; not so 
much with a poet of original genius, as with a great artist, with one 
whose mastery lies in assimilative skill, whose most successful works are 
not direct studies from simple nature, but studies from nature interpreted 
by art. That he belongs, in a word, to a school which stands in the same 
relation to the literature of England as the Alexandrian poets stood to 
the literature of Greece, and as the Augustan poets stood to the litera- 
ture of Rome. 

We will illustrate our meaning. In the works of the fathers of 
poetry everything is drawn directly from Nature. Their characters are 
the characters of real life. The incidents they describe have their 
counterpart in human experience. When they paint inanimate objects, 
either simply in detail, or comprehensively in group, their pictures are 



18 A NEW STUDY OF TENNYSON. 

transcripts of what they have with their own eyes witnessed. In de- 
scription for the mere sake of description, they never indulge. The phy- 
sical universe is with them merely the stage on which the tragi-comedy 
of life is evolving itself. Their language is, as a rule, plain and simple. 
When they are obscure the obscurity arises not from affectation but from 
necessity. Little solicitous about the niceties of expression, they are 
in no sense of the word stylists, they have no ambitious ornaments, few 
tropes, and nothing of what the Latin critics call the delicice et lenocinia 
verborum. Their object was to describe and interpret, not to refine and 
subtilise. They were great artists, not because they worked on critical 
principles, but because they communed with truth. They were true to 
Art because they were true to Nature. In the school of which we take 
Virgil and the Laureate to be the most conspicuous representatives, a 
school which seldom fails to make its appearance in eveiy literature at 
a certain point of its development, all this is reversed. Their material 
is derived not from the world of Nature, but from the world of Art. 
The hint, the framework, the method of their most characteristic com- 
positions, seldom or never emanate from themselves. Take their dra- 
matis personce. The only powerful portrait in Virgil is a study from 
Euripides and Apollonius, the rest are shadows, mere outlines, suggested 
sometimes by Homer and sometimes by the Greek dramatists. Mr. 
Tennyson's Arthur and Launcelot were the creations of Malory, or 
rather of those poets who supplied Malory with his romance. His 
Ulysses is a study from Dante. His most subtly elaborated character, 
Lucretius, is the result of a minute and sympathetic study of the De 
Rerum Naturd. His minor heroes and heroines, his Eleanores, his 
Madelin.es, his Marianas, are rather embodiments of peculiar moods and 
fancies than human beings. When Virgil sits down to write pastorals, 
he reproduces Theocritus with servile fidelity. When he writes didactic 
poetry he takes Hesiod for his model. When he composes the jE-neid, he 
casts the first part in the mould of the Odyssey, and the second part in the 
mould of the Iliad. He is careful also to introduce no episode for which 
he cannot point to his pattern. So with the Laureate. Mr. Tennyson's 
Idylls are a series of incidents from the Arthurian Romances. His Enid 
is from Lady Charlotte Guest's Mabinoyion. His classical studies 
CEnone, Ulysses, Tithonus, Lucretius, were possibly suggested by the 
author of Laodamia, possibly by the soliloquies in the Greek dramas. 
His English Idylls are obviously modelled on Theocritus and Words- 
worth. In Wordsworth's Michael he found a model for Enoch Arden. 
His In Memoriam was suggested by Petrarch ; his Dream of Fair 
Women by Chaucer ; his Godiva by Moultrie ; the Women's University 
in the Princess by Johnson. His Lotus-Eaters is an interpretative sketch 
from the Odyssey ; his Golden Supper is from Boccaccio ; his Dora is the 
versification of a story by Miss Mitford. When Virgil has a scene to de- 
scribe, or a simile to draw, he betakes him first to his predecessors to 
find a model, and then proceeds to fill in his sketch. With a touch here 



A NEW STUDY OF TENNYSON. 19 

and a touch there, now from memory, now from observation, borrowing 
here an epithet and there a phrase adding, subtracting, heightening, 
modifying, substituting one metaphor for another, developing what is 
latent in suggestive imagery, laying under contribution the vast range of 
Greek and Roman literature, the unwearied artist patiently toils on, 
till his precious mosaic is without a flaw, till every gem in the coronet of 
his genius has received the last polish. It has been the pleasing task of 
a hundred generations of the learned to follow this consummate artist 
step by step to discover his gems in their rough state, and to compare 
them in that state with the state in which they are when they leave 
his finishing hand. Such an investigation is little less than an analysis 
of the principles of good taste, and from such an investigation the 
poet has infinitely more to gain than to lose. It is the object of these 
papers to show that much of Mr. Tennyson's most valuable work is 
of a similar character, that he possesses, like Virgil, some of the finest 
qualities of original genius, but that his style and method are, like 
the style and method of the Roman, essentially artificial and essen- 
tially reflective. With both of them expression is the first consideration. 
If the matter be meagre, the form is always perfect ; if the ideas are 
fine, the clothing is still finer. Their composition resembles the sculpture 
described by Ovid materiem superabat opus the workmanship is more 
precious than the material. One of the most highly finished passages 
Virgil ever produced was the description of a boy whipping his top ; one 
of the finest passages in all Mr. Tennyson's writings is the comparison 
between the heavy fall of a drunken man and the fall of a wave tumbling 
on the shore.* The diction of both is often so subtly elaborated that it 
defies analysis. Dissect, for example, the line " discolor unde auri per 
ramos aura refulsit" and you reduce it to nonsense. Dissect 

There with her milk-white arms and shadowy hair 
She made her face a darkness from the king, 

and it becomes unintelligible. When Virgil wishes to describe a shep- 
herd wondering whether after the lapse of a few years he will see his 
farm again, he writes 

Post aliquot, mea regna videns mirabor aristas ? 

When Mr. Tennyson has occasion to allude to the month of March, he 
speaks of 

The roaring moon 

Of daffodil and crocus. 

Their expressions not unfrequently resemble enigmas. 
A labyrinth becomes in Virgil, 

iter, qua signa sequendi 
Falleret indeprensus et irremeabilis error ; 

* See the lines in The Last Tournament, beginning 

Down from the causeway heavily to the 
Fell, as the crest, &c. 



20 A NEW STUDY OF TENNYSON. 

and the life of Christ becomes, in the Laureate's phraseology 

The sinless years 
That breathed beneath the Syrian blue. 

The works of both poets abound in these ingenious periphrases. No 
two poets have so completely triumphed over what Horace tells us is 
the most difficult of all arts the art of expressing commonplaces with 
originality. Their poems are store-houses of every figure in the vocabu- 
lary of rhetoricians. There is scarcely a page in Virgil which is not 
loaded with Hellenisms and with allusions to the literature of Greece, 
often of such a kind as to make them unintelligible except to those who 
know where to turn for a commentary. Mr. Tennyson's diction teems 
with similar peculiarities. He is not only continually imitating the 
Greek and Roman writers, but he is continually transplanting their 
idioms and their phrases into our tongue. An unlearned reader must 
indeed be often at a loss when confronted with turns like these : " This 
way and that dividing the swift mind ; " " laughed with alien lips ; " 
" finished to the finger nail ; " " sneezed out a full God-bless-you left 
and right ; " " he stood four square ; " " cooked his spleen ; " and the 
like. 

Where Virgil particularly excels is where he is improving in detail 
upon Homer, upon Hesiod, upon Apollonius, or upon Ennius ; in his 
descriptive passages, and pre-eminently in his similes. His master- 
pieces are the fourth and the sixth ^Eneids. In the first he follows the 
third and fourth books of the Argonautica. In the second he is follow- 
ing the eleventh Odyssey. Many of his phrases, his turns, his cadences, 
his epithets the disjecta membra of his diction, are still to be found 
scattered up and down the Greek poets, and the remains of the older 
Roman masters, his obligations to which have been pointed out by more 
than one of his critics. What the literature of the Old World was to the 
greatest artist of antiquity, that is the literature of the Old and New 
World to the greatest artist of our day. A parallel between Virgil and 
Tennyson might, we believe, be drawn closer than any other parallel 
which could be instituted between two poets. Such a parallel is, how- 
ever, no part of our present task. Our object is merely to show that 
Mr. Tennyson, so far as the character of his work is concerned, stands 
in the same relation to the poetry of England as Virgil stood to the 
poetry of Rome ; that they belong to the same school, that to be enjoyed 
thoroughly they must be studied critically, and that to be studied 
critically they imist be studied with a constant eye to their connection 
with their predecessors. We shall therefore make no apology for con- 
tinuing our former paper, and we offer what follows, not as any cata- 
logue of plagiarisms, but simply as material for an illustrative com- 
mentary on the works of the greatest poet of modern times. The 
ancient critics were never weary of illustrating the poems of Virgil by 
elaborate series of parallel passages, and it was by the aid of such com- 



A NEW STUDY OF TENNYSON. 21 

mentaries that his peculiar excellence became properly appreciated. 
There is surely no reason why works which are in point of execution in- 
ferior to none of the masterpieces of antiquity should not be studied with 
similar diligence and on a similar method by ourselves. A few of the 
parallel passages to which we shall direct attention were obviously pro- 
fessed imitations, some of them may have been .unconscious recollections, 
and many of them no doubt are merely casual coincidences. To begin, 
then. 

In the early lyrics the predominant influences are Coleridge and 
Keats, the resemblance lying not so much in particular passages as in 
the essence of the whole 

As having clasped a rose 

Within the palm, the rose being ta'en away, 

The hand retains a little breath of sweet, 

Holding a i'aint perfume of his sweet guest. 

If we examine them more particularly, we shall find that from the 
first have been borrowed rhythm and cadence, from the second are 
derived that languid beauty, that voluptuous purity, that excessive rich- 
ness of expression, and that curious intermixture of archaic phraseology 
with modern sentiment, which are the most striking characteristics of 
these poems. We may notice, also, how carefully the epithets and 
phrases have been culled from various sources. To take a few instances 

from many : 

It will change but it -will not die. Nothing will Die. 

From Shelley's Cloud 

I change but I cannot die. 

The laws of marriage charactered 

Upon the blanched tablecs of her heart. Isabel. 

Compare ^Eschylus, Prometheus, 791 



or more directly Heywood's Woman Killed with Kindness 
Within the red-leaved tablets of her heart. 

So in the Ode to Memory we have " ribbed sand," which occurs in the 
second part of the Ancient Mariner; "wattled folds" from Comus, 
" storied walls " from Milton and Gray. The magnificent epithet 
myriad-minded, which occurs in the same poem, has a curious history. 
It was discovered first by Coleridge, as a phrase /uvptoi'oue in some 
Byzantine critic, and applied by him with happy propriety to Shak- 
speare. So also we have in the Poet the epithet " secretest," from 
Macbeth, " the secretest man of blood " the breathing Spring, from 
Pope's Messiah, " with all the incense of the breathing Spring." So again, 
in Sea Faeries, " the ridged sea," from Lear (act. iv. scene 6), " Horns 
whelk'd and waved like the ridged sea." So also " full-sailed verse " 
in Eleanore recalls Shakspeare's eighty- sixth sonnet, " the full sail of 



22 A NEW STUDY Of TENNYSON. 

his great verse." The beautiful epithet " apple-eketb'd " in the tstet, 
"a bevy of Eroses apjde-cheek'd" is from Theocritus, Idyll, xxv. 1. 

X* a fjLa\OTrdpyos 'Ayava. 
1 feel the tears of blood arise (Oriana), 

recalls Ford's Brother and Sister 

Wash every -word thou utterest 
In tears of blood. 

"We may notice that the first three stanzas of Eleanore bear a curious 
resemblance to a singularly beautiful fragment of Ibycus ; compare the 
spirit and images of Mr. Tennyson's verses with the following lines : 

'Evpva\f, y\avKeci)V Xapircav 6d\os 
Ka\\iKo/j.(tiv /u.f\e8ri[j.a, <re fjLv Kvirpis 
a r' ayavof3\f(j)apos HeiQu fioSeoicriv 

tv &v6ecru> Qpttyav 
fj.vpra re. /cat to. KaL fXl^pvcros 
fj.a\a T leal poSa /col Tfpeiva Sd<pva, 
TU/J.OS &VTCVOS K\vTbs vpQpos (yfiprjffiv drjSoj'as. 

These three poems Adeline, Margaret, and Eleanore should also be 
compared with Wordsworth's Triad, which possibly suggested them. 

Nor in passing should we forget to place side by side with Tenny- 
son's exquisite Mariana the four lovely lines in which Sappho is de- 
scribing some Mariana of antiquity : 

8e'Sv/ce jj.lv a ffeXavva 
Kai riAij'/'aSes, /ue'eratSe 
vvKTfs, irapa 8' ep^er' &pa, 
fyca 8e fj.6va /carevSai. 

In Mariana in the South 

Large Hesper ylitter'd on tier tear, 

reminds us of Keats 

No light 
Could glimmer on their tears. Hyperion, book ii. 

In The Two Voices we may notice two or three parallels. The line 
describing the insensibility of the dead man to the world 

His sons grew up that Lear his name, 
Some grew to honour, some to shame, 
But he is chill to praise or blame, 

recall Job, chapter xiv. : 

His sons come to honour, and he knewcth not ; and they are brought lo\r, but he 
pcrccireth it not. 

The lines 

Moreover something is or seems 
That touches me with mystic gleams 
Like glimpses of forgotten dreams : 
Of something felt, like something here, 
Of something done I know not where, 



A NEW STUDY OF TENNYSON. 23 

find an appropriate commentary in Wordsworth's splendid Ode : 

But there's a tree, of many, one, 

A single field which I have look'd upon ; 
Both of them speak of something that is gone. 

The pansy at my feet 

Doth the same tale repeat, 
"Where is it now, the glory and the dream ? 

It may be fanciful, but we have often thought that, as Mr. Tennyson 
was indebted to Homer for the suggestion of The Lotus-Eaters, so he must 
have been fresh from the study of Bion and Moschus when he sate him- 
self down to the composition of that delicious poem. In two of their 
exquisite fragments are to be found all those qualities which characterize 
Mr. Tennyson's poem its languid and dreamy beauty, its soft and 
luscious verse, its tone, its sentiment. How exactly parallel, for example, 
are the following passages : 

All things hare rest, why should we toil alone ? 

Death is the end of life, ah why 
Should life all labour be ? 

fls it&ffov a. SeiAol Ka/j-dras /c'ejs fpya TtovfvfJ.es ; 
tyvxav 8' &xpi T'IVOS trorl KepSea Kal irorl Tfx vas 
aAAo/xes, 1/j.eipovrfs ael TTO\V ir\r]ovos, u\$<a 
\ado/j.fd' >! dpa Trdvres on Qvarol yfv6fj.fff9a 
X&s Ppaxvv fK Moipas \dxofJ.ff x.P& vov - 

BION, Idyll ir. 

Is there any peace 
In ever climbing up the climbing wave ? 

How sweet it were, hearing the downward stream, 

To watch the emerald-colour'd water falling 

Through many a woven acanthus wreath divine, 

Only to hear were sweet, stretch'd out beneath the pine.- 

Kal irovos 6<7rJ 6d\affffa . . . 

avrdp tfAoi yAvicvt virvos L>7rt> ir\ara.vu> $a.Qv<f>v\X<p ' 

Kal Ttayas <pi\fot[j.i rov tyyvOey $x oif Kouif 

a Tp-rrei tyoQfoicra rbv aypiKOv, ou^i rapdffffet. 

MOSCHUS, Idyll v. 

It may be observed, by the way, that in the Princess the English 
poet has used the same, or nearly the same, epithets for the plane-tree as 
Moschus has done in the passage just quoted, ' the ftdl-leaved platans of 
the vale." With Bion and Moschus we cannot btit think that he must 
have been lingering over Thomson's Castle of Indolence. Compare, for 
example, the two passages which follow with The Lotus-Eaters : 

Was nought around but images of rest, 
Sleep-soothing grovea and quiet lawns between, 



24 A NEW STUDY OF TENNYSON. 

And flowing beds that slumbrous influence kest, 
From poppies breath'd, and beds of pleasant green. 

Meantime unnumbered glittering streamlets play'd, 
And hurled everywhere their waters sheen, 
That as they bicker'd through the sunny glade, 
Though restless still themselves, a lulling murmur made. 

A pleasant land of drowsihed it was, 
Of dreams that wave before the half-shut eye, 
And of gay castles in the clouds that pass, 
For ever flushing round a summer sky, 

In the fine poem of Fatima, the lines : 

Love ! fire ! once lie drew 

With one long kiss my whole soul Ihroitgh 

My lips, 

bear a singularly close resemblance to a passage in Achilles Tatius' 
Cl'dophon and Leudppe (book ii.) : 

?} Se (fyvxty rapaxPeiffa rqi 
ird\\fTa.i. fl 8e JJLTJ TOIS 



The ballad of Oriana was evidently suggested by the old ballad of 
Helen of Kirkconnel, both poems being based on a similar incident, and 
both poems being the passionate soliloquy of the bereaved lover, though 
Mr. Tennyson's treatment of the subject is of course all his own. In the 
Palace of Art we may notice that the phrase " the first of those who 
know," applied to the great philosophers, is translated from Dante, who 
calls Aristotle " II maestro di color che sanno'" In Lady Clara Vere de 
Vere the sentiment " 'Tis only noble to be good," on which the poem is 
such a fine comment, was first preached by Menander : 

6s hv ft yeyovbis y ry <f>vffei irpjs T' ayada, 
K&V A.i6iofys p, fJ.r)rep, (crrtv fvyevrjs. 



And by Dante, Convito : 

E gentilezza dovunque virtute ; 
Ma non virtute ov' ella. 

The conclusion of Audley Court, where the tranquillising effects of 
night are described as gladdening the heart of the spectators, would 
appear to be a reminiscence of the famous moonlight scene in the 
eighteenth Iliad, where 

yey-qBe 5e re (pptva Ttoifji.i\v 

as he feels the influence of the tranquil night. 

The curious expression " baby sleep " in the Gardener's Daughter, 
And in her bosom bore the baby sleep, 



A NEW STUDY OF TENNtfSOK. 25 

is to be found in Shelley's Queen Mob : 

And on her lips 
The baby sleep is pillowed. 

In the Palace of Art the picture of Europa is from Moschus. 
In the Dream of Fair Women the proud boast of Cleopatra, 

I died a Queen. The Roman soldier found 
Me lying dead, my crown about my brows, &c., 

is a splendid transfusion of the last lines in Horace's ode (i. xxxvi.) : 

Invidens 

Privata deduci superbo 
Non humilis mulier triumpho, 

as the dirges of the young Jewish maiden remind us closely of those 
breathed by the young Antigone. Compare with the Laureate's verses 
Antigone, 840-876. Again, the lines : 

With that she tore her role apart, and halj 
The polished argent of her breast to sight 
Laid bare, 

is an almost literal translation from the Hecuba, 556 : 

Xafioiiffa. irfir\ovs e &Kpas f7rcafj.iSos 

epprite. . . . 

fiaffrovs r' Z5fif, ffrepva 0' us ayd\/jLaros 

KaAAioTo. 

The " polished argent " exactly and most happily interpreting the idea 
suggested by the AycfX/zarof. 

In the same poem the bold and graphic phrase, 

Saw God divide the night with flying flame, 

suggests Horace's 

Diespiter 
Igni corusco nubila divide/is. i. xxxiv. 

In the next poem we may notice in passing an odd coincidence. In 
Edwin Morris we find : 

She sent a note, the seal an die vans suit ; 

and in Don Juan, Julia's letter is despatched in an envelope, 
The seal a sunflower elle vous suit partout. 

The whole plot of Dora to the minutest details is taken from a prose 
story of Miss Mitford's (Our Village, 2nd series), the only difference 
being that in the poem Mary Hay becomes Mary Morrison. That this 
circumstance has not been intimated in the poem is due, no doubt, to the 
fact that the Laureate, like Gray, leaves his commentators to trace him 
to his raw material ; though why he should have prefixed a preface to the 
Golden Supper acknowledging his debt to Boccaccio, and should have 
omitted to do so in the case of Dora it is difficult to understand. Miss 
Mitford has certainly more to gain from the honour than the author of 
the Decamerone. 

VOL. XLII. NO. 247. 2. 



26 A NEW STUDY OP TENNYSON. 

The physical effect of joy on the spirits so happily described in The 

Gardener's Daughter 

I rose up 

Full of his bliss and .... 
Felt earth as air beneath me, 

has been noticed by Massinger, City Madam, act iii. scene 3. 

I am sublim'd. Gross earth 
Supports me not, I walk on air. 

We now come to Ulysses. The germ, the spirit, and the sentiment 
of this poem are from the twenty-sixth canto of Dante's Inferno. Mr. 
Tennyson has indeed done little but fill in the sketch of the great 
Florentine. As is usual with him in all cases where he borrows, the 
details and minuter portions of the work are his own ; he has added 
grace, elaboration, and symmetry ; he has called in the assistance of other 
poets. A rough crayon draught has been metamorphosed into a perfect 
picture. As the resemblances lie not so much in expression as in the 
general tone, we will in this case substitute for the original a literal ver- 
sion. Ulysses is speaking : 

Neither fondness for my son, nor reverence for my aged sire, nor the due love 
which ought to have gladdened Penelope, could conquer in me the ardour which I had 
to become experienced in the world, and in human vice and worth. I put out into the 
deep open sea with but one ship, and with that small company which had not deserted 
me. ... I and my companions were old and tardy when we came to that narrow pass 
where Hercules assigned his landmarks. " brothers," I said, " who through a 
hundred thousand dangers have reached the West, deny not to this the brief vigil of 
your senses that remain, experience of the unpeopled world beyond the sun. Consider 
your origin, ye were not formed to live like brutes, but to follow virtue and know- 
ledge." . . . Night already saw the other pole with all its stars, and ours so low that 
it rose not from the ocean floor. 

Now compare the key verses of Mr. Tennyson's poem. Ulysses 
speaks : 

I cannot rest from travel : I will drink 
Life to the lees. All times I have enjoyed ; 
Greatly have suffered greatly both with those 
That lov'd me and alone. . . 

How dull it is to pause, to make an end! 

And vile it were 

For some three suns to store and hoard myself, 
And this grey spirit yearning in desire 
To follow knowledge. 

There lies the port : the vessel puffs her sail. 
There gloom the dark broad seas. My mariners, 
Souls that have toil'd and wrought and thought with me, 
That ever with a frolic welcome took 
The thunder and the sunshine. 

. You and I are old. 

Death closes all; but something, ere the end, 
Some work of noble note may yet be done. 



A NEW STUDY OF TENNYSON. 27 

. Come, my friends, 
'Tis not too late to seek a newer world. 
Push off ! . . for my purpose holds 

To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths 
Of all the western stars, until I die. 

In the other parts of the poem the imitations from Homer and Virgil 
are too obvious to be specified. Passing on to Locksley Hall, it may not 
be uninteresting to add to the parallel passages pointed out in a former 
paper two or three others. 

As the husband is, the wife is, 

recalls Scott's Abbot, chapter ii. : " Know that the rank of the man rates 
that of the wife." The fine line 

Cramming all the blast before it, in its breast a thunderbolt, 
recalls Tasso (Gerusalemme, canto ix.) : 

Nuova nube di polve ecco vicina, 
Che fulgori in grembo tiene. 

The singular image in the couplet 

Love took up the glass of Time, and turned it in his glowing hands ; 
Every moment, lightly shaken, ran itself in golden sands, 

finds a sort of parallel in a pretty verse by that elegant writer of happy 
trifles, W. R. Spencer : 

Thy eye with clear account remarks 

The ebbing of Time's glass, 
When all its sands are diamond sparks 

That dazzle as they pass. 

The magnificent line 

And our spirits rush'd together at the touching of the lips, 
looks like a reminiscence of Guarini's Pastor Fido, act ii. scene 6 : 

Ma i colpi di due labbra innamorate, 
Quando a ferir si va bocca con bocca, 

. . ove 1'un alma e 1'altra 

Corre. 

A sorrow's crown of sorrow is remembering happier things, 

is of course Dante's 

Nessun maggior dolore 
Che ricordarsi del tempo felice 
Nella miseria. 
In (Enone the line 

Mine eyes are full of tears, my heart of love, 

is taken almost without alteration from Part II. of Henry VI., act ii. 
scene 3. 

Mine eyes are full of tears, my heart of grief. 

In another very popular poem of the Laureate's we have a curiously 
interesting illustration of the skill with which he changes into his own 
precious metal the lees refined ore of other poets. It will not be neces- 

22 



28 A NEW STUDY OF TENNYSON. 

sary to quote his lyric, " Home they brought her warrior dead," as it 
will, no doubt, be fresh in the memory of every one who is likely to be 
interested in this paper ; so we proceed at once to the parallels. In 
Scott's Lay of the Last Minstrel (canto i. stanza 9) appear the following 

verses : 

O'er her warrior's bloody bier 
The ladye dropp'd nor flower nor tear, 
Until, amid her sorrowing clan, 
Her son lisp'd from the nurse's knee. 

Then fast the mother's tears did seek 
To dew the infant's kindling cheek. 

Curiously enough, the climax of the piece the sudden and passionate 
resolve on the part of the bereaved parent to live for the child closely 
resembles a passage in Darwin's once celebrated episode of Eliza in the 
Botanic Garden. There the mother has been slain in war, and the 
young husband, distracted with grief, has abandoned himself to despair ; 
but on his two little children being presented to his sight, exclaims, like 
Tennyson's heroine 

These bind to earth for these I pray to live. 

This similarity is, however, more curious than significant. But we 
now come to a series of very interesting parallel passages. In no poem 
of the Laureate's is the workmanship so strikingly superior to the 
material as in The Princess, and in no poem, with the exception perhaps 
of In Memoriam, do we find so many echoes of other singers. The 

lines 

A wind arose and rush'd upon the south, 

And shook the songs, the whispers, and the shrieks 

Of the wild woods together ; and a voice 

Went with it : Follow follow thou shalt win ! 

forcibly remind us of Shelley's 

A wind arose among the pines, and shook 
The clinging music from their boughs, and then 
Low, sweet, faint sounds, like the farewell of ghosts 
Were heard follow, follow me ! 
Again, 

As when a field of corn 
Bows all its ears before the roaring East, 

is, with the substitution of East for West, from Homer (Iliad ii., lines 

147-8) : 



us 5' S 

\df)pos, tiraiytfav, tiri T' Ij/jiffai affraxtitcrtnv. 

The ingenious simile in which the sudden collapse of a speaker is com- 
pared to the sudden collapse of a sail, is apparently borrowed from 

Dante : 

Till as when a boat 
Tacks, and her slacken'd sail flaps, &c. 



A NEW STUDY OF TENNYSON. 29 

Quali dal vento le gonfiate vele 
Caggiono avvolte, poiche 1'alber fiacca. 

Inferno, canto rii. 13-14. 

Our weakness somehow shapes the shadow, Time. 
This expression is from Wordsworth : 

Death, the skeleton, 
And Time, the shadow. Yews. 
The curious expression 

Stared with great eyes and laugh' d with open lips, 
is literally, of course, from the 20th Odyssey : 

ol 5' tfSij yvad/jio'iffi ytXyuv a\\OTpioiffii>. 

So, again, the fine simile in which the unshaken firmness of Ida is com- 
pared to a pine vexed and tried by storm, Avas evidently suggested by 
the magnificent simile in which Virgil compares ^Eneas, under similar 
circumstances, to an oak. To Homer, Mr. Tennyson is indebted for the 

following : 

As one that climbs a peak to gaze 
O'er land and main, and sees a great black cloud 
Drag onward from the deeps, a wall of night 
Blot out the slope of sea from verge to shore, 
And quenching lake by lake, and tarn by tarn, 
Expunge the world. 

Now compare Iliad, iv. 275 : 

ws 8' or airb <r/co7rj7js e?8e vf<f>os alir6\os a.V'hp, 
fpxdfJ-evov KO.TO. ir6i>TOV VTtb Zetyvpoio iwrjs, 
T< Se T' &vev0ev tovn, p.e\d.vTtpov, T/tfre iriffffa, 
<f>aivfT' ibv Kara irovrov, &yei 8e re \ai\aira iroAA^y. 

The beautiful line 

The moan of doves in immemorial elms, 
suggests Virgil's 

Nee gemere aeria cessabit turtur ab utmo. 

Eclogue i. 59. 

It may not be uninteresting to notice also that the summary of the 
Lady Psyche's lecture bears some resemblance to that of the learned lady 
in Prior's Alma. Compare 

This world was once, &c. 

Then the monster, then the man. 

Thereupon she took 

A bird's-eye view of all th' ungracious past : 
Gla'nc'd at the legendary Amazon, 
Appraised the Lycian custom ; 
Ean down the Persian, Grecian, Roman lines 
Of empire. .... 

Till, warming with her theme, 
She fulmin'd out her scorn of Laws Salique 
And little-footed China, touched on Mahomet 
With much contempt, and came to chivalry. 



30 A NEW STUDY OF TENNYSON. 

Now let us listen to Prior's learned dame : 

She kindly talked, at least three hours, 
Of plastic forms and mental powers, 
Described our pre-existing station 
Before this vile terrene creation. 
And lest we should grow weary, madam, 
To cut things short, came down to Adam ; 
From thence, as fast as she was able, 
She drowns the world and builds up Babel ; 
Through Syria, Persia, Greece, she goes, 
And takes the Eomans in the close. 

This is probably only a mere coincidence ; but we venture to think that 
the following singularly happy simile must have been an imitation, more 
or less unconscious, on the part of Mr. Tennyson. 

Bland the smile that, like a wrinkling wind 
On glassy water, drove his cheek in lines. 

Compare these lines from Shelley's Prince Athanase : 

O'er the visage wan 
Of Athanase, a ruffling atmosphere 
Of dark emotion, a swift shadow ran, 
Like wind upon some forest-bosom 'd lake 
Glassy and dark. 

Another felicitous and ingenious simile appears to have been suggested 
by a passage in Wordsworth's Excursion : 

He has a solid base of temperament, 
But as the water-lily starts and slides 
Upon the level in little puffs of wind, 
Though anchor d to the bottom such is he. 

In the fifth book of the Excursion we find . 

A thing 

Subject .... to vital accidents ; 
And, like the water-lily, lives and thrives, 
Whose root is fix 1 d in stable earth, whose head 
Floats on the tossing waves. 

The whole of the passage beginning 

Come down, maid, from yonder mountain height, 
is obviously modelled on Theocritus, Idyll xi. 41 sqq. 
A very graphic expression in The Sleeping Beauty, 

The silk, star-broider'd coverlet, 
Unto her limbs itself doth mould, 

has evidently beenjronsferred from Homer (Iliad, xxiv. 163), where he 
speaks of Priam : 



The couplet in the L'Envoi of the Day Dream 

For we are Ancients of the Earth, 
And in the morning of the times, 



A NEW STUDY OF TENNYSON. 31 

is obviously merely a version of Bacon's famous paradox " Antiquitas 
saeculi, juventus mundi." 

In Edwin Morris the lines : 

Shall not Love to me 
Sneeze out a full God-bless-you, right and left? 

are from Catullus, xlv. 8, 9 

Amor, sinistram ut ante, 
Dextram sternuit approbationem. 

In Sea Dreams the poet has apparently laid the fragments of Pindar 
under contribution : 

My poor venture but a fleet of glass, 
Wreck'd on a reef of visionary gold. 

In the 136th fragment (edit. Schneidewin) we find : 

Tre\dyfi 5" ev iro\vxpvffoio TT\OVTOV 
irdtrts "iffa. veofifv tyfvSfj irpbs aurdv. 

In Saint Simeon Stylites, when the Saint, alluding to his mortal body, 
observes 

This dull chrysalis 
Cracks into shining wings, 

we are reminded of Carew's original but ludicrous couplet : 

The soul .... 
Broke the outward shell of sin, 
And so was hatch'd a cherubin ; ' 

or still more immediately, perhaps, of Rogers' epigram comparing man 
on earth to the inglorious chrysalis, and man after death to the full- 
fledged butterfly. 

We are strongly reminded both of Horace and Virgil in the two 
magnificent stanzas entitled Will. The passage 

For him nor moves the loud world's random mock, 
Nor all Calamity's hugest waves, &c. 

having been evidently suggested by the famous lines which begin the 
third ode of the third book ; and the verses which follow f 

Who seems a promontory of rock 

That, compass'd round with turbulent sound, 

In middle ocean meets the surging shock 

Tempest-buffeted, 

are as obviously borrowed from Virgil (JEneid, x. 693 seg.) : 

Ille velut rupes, vastum quse prodit iu aequor, 
Obvia ventorum furiis, expostaque ponto, 
Vim cunctam atque minas perfert coelique marisque 
Ipsa immota manens. 

Or possibly from the parent simile, Iliad 0., 618 seq. The fine ex- 
pression 

Their surging charges foamed themselves away, 



32 A NEW STUDY OF TENNYSON. 

is, with a change in the application, a reminiscence of ^Eschylus (Aga- 
memnon, 1030) 



We may notice, also, another curiously minute appropriation of an 
expression from JEschylus, in the Morte d' Arthur : 

Looking wistfully .... 
As in a picture. 

The Greek poet (Agamemnon, 230) describing Iphigenia, says 

t;8a/\A' tKaffrov 
air O/U/UOCTOS /Se'Aei (ftiXo'iKTy 
irpfTTOv&a. 6' &s fi> ypa^afi. 

"We do not propose to follow in detail the passages from the Greek 
and Roman poets of which Mr. Tennyson has availed himself in 
Lucretius, but we cannot forbear noticing the felicity with which he 
has, in adopting, interpreted a singular epithet in Horace. The line 
" Voltus nimium lubricus aspici " (Odes, i. xix. 8), has been interpreted 
by many generations of commentators as a face too dangerous to gaze 
upon. Now there is surely no reason why the epithet should not be 
explained as meaning a face voluptuously symmetrical, a face over 
which the eyes slip and wander, as it were, because in its rounded 
smoothness they find no particular feature on which to pause. So, 
reproducing the image and meaning, Mr. Tennyson 

Here an Oread how the sun delights 

To glance and shift about her slippery sides. 

A poet is, after all, the best commentator on a poet. The beautifully 

graphic picture, 

As the dog, 

With inward yelp and restless forefoot, plies 
His function of the woodland, 

is almost literally from Lucretius, iv. 991 : 

Canes in molli ssepe quiete 
Jactant crura tamen subito, vocesque repente 
Mittunt et crebro redducunt naribus auras. 

In dealing with the Idylls of the King, we shall not attempt to 
discuss the question of Mr. Tennyson's obligations to the original 
romances, nor shall we draw any parallels from tbein. Such a task, 
though belonging essentially to our " Study," would demand more space 
than we can at present afford. A few parallel passages, miscellaneously 
selected from various authors, must therefore bring this paper to a con- 
clusion. Several passages have already been printed in a former essay : 
these, of course, are here omitted. 

The fine simile in Gareth and Lynette, where Gareth's adversary is 
compared to a buoy at sea, which dips and springs but never sinks, in 
spite of the winds and waves rolling over it, may possibly have been 
suggested by a simile in Lycophron (Cassandra, Potter's edit. 755, 756), 



A NEW STUDY OF TENNYSON. 33 

where Ulysses is compared to a cork in the sea with the winds and 
waves rolling over it, but not sinking it : 

etrrai, Trap' &\\ov 8' &AAoy, &is irevKTjs K\dSos 
/JwcTTjs <TTpo/8^T(Js <t>t\\bv fvdpiiaffKtav irvocus. 

The following coincidence is probably purely accidental, but there is a line 
in Enid bearing a singular resemblance to another verse in Lycophron : 

A shell 
That keeps the wear and polish of the wave. 

The Greek runs (Cassandra, 790) 



The line- 

She fear'd 
In every wavering brake an ambuscade, 

recalls Juvenal's timid traveller : 

Efc motce ad lunam trepidabis arundinis umbram. Sat. x. 21. 

The simile which follows just afterwards 

Like a shoal 

Of darting fish, that on a summer morn 
Come slipping o'er their shadows on the sand, 
But if a man who stands upon the brink 
But lift a shining hand, 
There is not left the twinkle of a fin 

may be compared with Keats' less finished but equally graphic picture : 

Where swarms of minnows 

Ever nestle 

Their silver bellies on the pebbly sand; 
If you but scantily hold out the hand, 
That very instant net one will remain. 

He dragged his eyebrow lashes down, and made 
A snowy penthouse. 

In this bold and graphic expression the poet is indebted to Homer's 

irav 8e tirtffKwwv ndrw eA/cerai, ufffff KaXvirruv. 

Iliad, xvii. 136. 

The elaborate care with which the concluding paragraphs of Merlin 
and Vivian have been modelled on the verses in Virgil's fourth JEneid ', 
which describe the ruin of Dido, is obvious, though Mr. Tennyson's 
" What should not have been had been," is but a coarse substitute for 
the tact and delicacy of the Roman's 

Fulsere ignes et conscius aether 
Connubiis, summoque ulularunt vertice Nymphse. 

The fine simile in Lancelot and Elaine : 

All together down upon him 
Bore, as a wild wave in the wide North Sea, 



34 A NEW STUDY OF TENNYSON. 

Green glimmering toward the summit, bears, with all 
Its stormy crests that smoke against the skies, 
Down on a bark 

is obviously borrowed from Homer (Iliad, xv. 624) : 

iv 5' eireff' ais ore KV/J.O. Qofj tv vr/t ireffr)ffiv 
\df3pov virb ve<pe<av ave/j.orpe<pes, rj Se re tracra. 



For the " stormy crests " we may compare Iliad, iv. 426. The pictu- 
resque and minutely accurate " green glimmering towards the summit " 
is Mr. Tennyson's own beautiful touch. 
The famous line in the same idyll 

And faith unfaithful kept him falsely true 

reminds us in its striking association of jingle, antithesis, and allitera- 
tion, of a line in Sophocles ((Edipus Rex, 1250) : 

ZvOa .... 
^ avSpbs &i>8pa, Kal reKv' e'/c rtKviav re/cot, 

while the actual antithesis has been anticipated in the Tn'orte aTriororarij 
of Andocides, ix. 32, and the " faithful in thy unfaithfulness " of Chettle. 
One cannot but think that in describing the dead Elaine the poet must 
have remembered Byron's beautiful picture of the dead Medora ; compare 

the lines : 

In her right hand the lily 

All her bright hair streaming down 
.... And she herself in white, 
All but her face, and that clear featur'd face 
Was lovely, for she did not seem as dead, 
But fast asleep, and lay as tho' she smil'd. 

Byron's lines -are : 

In life itself she was so still and fair 
That death with gentler aspect wither'd there. 
And the cold flowers her colder hand contain'd 
In that last grasp as tenderly were strain'd 
As if she scarcely felt, but feign'd, a sleep. 

Her lips .... seem'd as they forbore to smile, 
But the white shroud and each extended tress, 
Long, fair, &c. 

In the same idyll the lines 

A trumpet blew, 

Then waiting at the doors the war-horse neigh'd 
As at a friend's voice 

recall Ovid, Met. iii. 704 : 

Fremit acer equus cum bellicus sere canoro 
Signa dedit tubicen pugnseque assumit amorem. 



A NEW STUDY OF TENNYSON. 35 

So, also, in Enid, the vivid image 

She saw 
Dust and the points of lances bicker in it 

reminds us of the fine passage in the Anabasis of Xenophon, in which 
the approach of an army at a distance is described ^(Anab. i. viii. 8) : 
ifyavt] Kortopros .... rrt^a <$} Kal ^aX^oc rtc tfaTpairre. 

And now we must conclude. Had we thought that there would be 
the smallest chance of this paper or of its predecessor being misunder- 
stood, they would never have seen the light. But we have no such 
fear. The purpose for which they were written has been already ex- 
plained. They are offered as commentaries on works which will take 
their place beside the masterpieces of Greek and Roman genius, and 
which will, like them, be studied with minute and curious diligence by 
successive generations of scholars. A versatility without parallel among 
poets has enabled Mr. Tennyson to appeal to all classes. His poetry is 
the delight of the most fastidious and of the most emotional. He touches 
Burns on one side, and he touches Sophocles on the other. But to the 
scholar, and to the scholar alone, will his most precious and his most 
characteristic works become in their full significance intelligible. By 
him they will be cherished with peculiar fondness. To him they will be 
like the enchanted island in Shakspeare : 

Full of echoes, 
Sounds and sweet airs, that give delight. 

To him it will be a never-ending source of pleasure to study his 
Tennyson as he studies his Virgil, his Dante, and his Milton. 

J. C. C. 



36 



anm 



i. 

BELZONI AT PADUA. 

I HAVE no intention of troubling the reader with a biography of Gio- 
vanni Battista Belzoni. The birth, the short, eventful life of forty-five 
years, and the death of the great Italian explorer, have been written 
and re-written both at home and abroad : his excursions into ancient 
and classical Egypt are as familiar, if not more so, to the Englishman as 
to the Italian. My business is with a few details of his career, and 
especially with his death, concerning which I know more than any man 
now living. Finally, I would suggest certain honours due to his memory 
before it fades, the fate of travellers and explorers amongst their brother 
men, into the mists and glooms of the past. As, however, all are 
not familiar with a career, peculiarly attractive to Englishmen, which 
began in 1815 and which ended in 1823, the following facts, borrowed 
more from living authorities than from books, may not be unwelcome. 

Belzoni's mother-city was Padua. A century after he was born I 
visited what now represents his birthplace, No. 2946 in the Via Paolotti. 
It stands opposite the gloomy old prison of the same name, a kind of 
guardhouse, whose occupation is denoted by the sentries and the wooden 
window-screens. The two-storied, four- windowed tenement, with its 
yellow walls and green shutters jealously barred in the ground-floor, 
bears, under the normal Paduan arcade, a small slab of white marble 
inscribed : 

IN QVESTA CASA 

IL 5 NOV. 1778 NACQVE 

BELZONI. 

The building, however, is modern. In the early quarter of our century, 
the street was a straggle of huts and hovels, and the garden of the present 
house contained more than one. They were " improved off" about 1845, 
on the occasion of his leading home a bride, by the present owner, Sig. 
Squarcina, C.E. 

As the explorer tells us in his well-known Travels* the family was 
originally Roman, with the rights of citizenship, and the name Bolzon, 
or Bolzoni, was softened by him to Belzoni. One of many children, he 

* Narrative of Operations and Recent Discoveries in Egypt and Nubia, etc., fol. and 
atlas. London, Murray, 1820. 



GIOVANNI BATTISTA EELZONI. 37 

inherited a splendid physique from his mother, Teresa, of the well-known 
Orsolato house ; she is described as a woman of masculine strength 
and stature. His father, Jacopo, was a tonsore, in plain English, 
a barber, proud of the old home which he had never seen, and full of 
legends concerning the grandeur of Rome and his ancestry. Let me say, 
sans rancune, that there is an important difference (in kind) between 
a Roman tonsore and a northern " barber." We must not confound old 
and new civilisations. 

The future traveller's first journey was an escapade which is related 
at full length by his biographers.* The father had taken his large and 
lively family for a gita to Monte Ortone, near the famous thermae of 
classical Abano, and the day in the country had been so charming that 
Giambattista persuaded his younger brother Antonio to repeat the trip 
without the formality of asking leave. This led to further wanderings 
to Ferrara, Bologna, and other places in the direction of Rome ; but the 
two runaways, who were penniless, presently lost heart and returned 
home. Hence, possibly, the persistent but mistaken report which makes 
Belzoni's father a cultivatore, or peasant-proprietor, at Abano, and, con- 
sequently, a compatriot of Pietro di Abano, the " Conciliator of Doctors' 
Differences" (A.D. 1250-1316). 

Padua, it must be confessed, has by no means neglected her worthy, 
as is known to every traveller who visits the Palazzo della Ragione. 
This curious pile, which separates the fruit market and the vegetable 
market, with their Dahoman umbrellas, is thoroughly out of place. The 
guide-books tell us that the architectural idea was borrowed from a 
Hindu palace ; I find in it a forecast of the nineteenth century railway 
station. A mighty roof covers the great hall, II Salon di Padua, called 
" of Reason " because courts of law were held here ; both have the merit 
of being as large and as ugly as any in Italy. Inside, over the doorway, 
stands the great medallion in Carrara marble, two metres in circum- 
ference, cut in alto-relievo, at Rome, by Rinaldo Rinaldi of Padua, a 
pupil of Canova. Girt by the serpent of immortality, the head of the 
turbaned and long-bearded explorer looks towards the dexter chief, and 
bears the following simple and incorrect legend : 

I.B.BELZONIVS.VETER.AEGIPTI (sic) MONVMENT.REPERTOR. 

Below stands : 

OBIIT, AET. ANN. XLV IN AFRICA. REGNO 
BENINENSI AN. MDCCCXXIII. 

This medallion was set up after the explorer's death. In 1819, when 
he revisited his native city, and, despite the res angusta, domi, pre- 
sented to her, with the pride of filial piety, two Egyptian statues, his 



* Vol. ii. pp. 11-16, Viaggi in Egitto, by Prof. Abate LodovicoMenin, Milano 1825, 
Menin -was acquainted with Belzoni's mother, and with the whole family, of whom 
only relations on the female side (Orsolato) now remain. 



38 GIOVANNI BATTISTA BELZONI. 

compatriots showed their gratitude by a medal coined in England. It 
bore round the figures : 

OB DONVM PATRIA GRATA 
A.MDCCCXIX. 

On the reverse is : 

10. BAPT. BELZONI 

PATAVINO 

QVI CEPHRENIS PIRAMIDEM 
APIDISQ. SEPVLCRVM 

PRIMVS APERVIT 

ET URBEM BERENICIS 

NVBIAE ET LIBYAE NON 

IMPAVIDE DETEXIT. 

At either side of the entrance which carries the medallion sit the two 
Egyptian statues alluded to. Both represent Pasht, the cat-headed god- 
dess of Bi-Bast, or Bubastis, now Zagazig town. Brugsch Bey makes 
her Isis of the tabby-head, in Arabic Bissat (the cat), Osiris assuming 
the title of Bas or Biss (the tom-cat). The two hold in the left hand the 
mystic Tau ; one has well-marked whiskers a la Re Galantuomo ; conse- 
quently, despite the forms, which are distinctly feminine, it has become, 
in local parlance, the " male mummy." " Pussy," * on the right is in- 
scribed : 

10. BAPT. BELZONI. PAT. 

EX THEBIS AEGYPTIS 

DONVM MISIT 

A.M.DCCCXIX. 

CIVITAS GRATA. 

Further to the left of the entrance stands the plaster statue of Belzoni, 
carrying on its base the artist's name, SANAVIO NATALE. It is of heroic 
size, at least ten feet tall, and habited in a very fancy costume : large 
falling collar, doublet buttoned in front, sash round waist, shorts, long 
stockings, and " pumps " with fancy arabesques : in Rabelaisian phrase, 
" pinked and jagged like lobster wadles." The right hand holds a roll 
of manuscript ; the left controls a cloak, or rather a fringed cloth, a 
curtain, which is, I presume, the picturesque and poetical phase of cloak. 
This work of art has two merits. It shows the explorer's figure exactly 
as it never was, and it succeeds in hiding his face from a near view ; 
the rapt regard is so " excelsior," so heavenwards, that the spectators 
see only a foreshortened nose based upon a tangled bush of beard. The 
inscription also has its value : it is long, while it says little ; it omits one 
of the names ; and, as a record of exploits, it indulges too freely in the 

* In the Gold Mines of Midian I derive this word from "Bissah." The cat is a 
later introduction into Europe, and the very word (Katt, Catus) is probably Semitic. 



GIOVANNI BATTISTA BELZONI. 39 

figure called " hysteron-proteron." I copy it because, being provisional, 
there are hopes of its growing out of childish defects, and the numbers 
in parentheses show what should have been the proper order of the 
lines : * 

GIOVANNI (add BATTISTA) BELZONI 

NATVRALISTA IDRAVLICO ARCHEOLOGO 
(4) IL RECONDITO EGITTO DIVINANDO SVELO 

(3) ERCVLEO INFOCILATO 

(9) ALLE INGORDE SABBIE TOGLIEVA BERENICE 
(8) LA SECONDA PIRAMIDE (e) I SEPOLCRI D'lPSAMBVL 

(?) LA NECROPOLI PSAMETICA (sic) PENETRAVAf 
(5) SMOSSE LA MOLE DE MEMNONE FONDATO IL MVSEO BRITTANICO (sic) 

PARLO FAMA SI GRANDE 

CHE GLI STRANIERI STANCHI D'lNVIDIARE ONORARONO 

A PlV ARDVE IMPRESE SCORREA L' AFRICA 

IL SIRIO ARDORE SPENSE L'AVDACIA 

CREBBE LA GLORIA 

NATO IN PADOVA 1778 MORt A GATO D*AFRICA 1823. 

The first three lines are correct enough, "barring" the mutilated 
name. Belzoni, after preparing to become a monk, studied the elements 
of engineering at Rome, which, on the French occupation (1803), he 
exchanged for London. " Hercules " probably alludes to the fact, for- 
gotten by his countrymen, that he supported himself* by feats of strength 
at various theatres. He was a magnificent specimen of a man, strong 
as a Hercules, handsome as an Apollo; the various portraits taken 
about this time show the fine features which rarely, except in statues, 
distinguish the professional athlete. He had that " divination," that 
archaeological instinct, which nascitur, non fit : we see it now in MM. 
Mariette, Cesnola, and Scbliemann, whose name is Shalomon. 

After marrying, and passing nine years in England, Belzoni with his 
wife drifted to Egypt (June 9, 1815), then happy under the rule of 
Mohammed Ali the Great. He began, as an " independent member," 
with setting up a hydraulic machine at the Shubrah Gardens, carrying 
owls to Athens, coals to Newcastle. He failed, and fell into the ranks. 
Nile-land was then, as now, a field for plunder ; fortunes were made by 
digging, not gold, but antiques ; and the archaeological field became a 
battle-plain for two armies of Dragomans and Fellah-navvies. One was 
headed by the redoubtable Salt ; the other owned the command of Dro- 

* The 1st of January was up the Nile ; the 2nd, entered the Second Pyramid and 
continued till the 3rd up stream ; the 4th was to Berenike on the Eed Sea, and the 
5th to the so-called Oasis of Ammon. 

f This orthography, and even Psamatikhos, is found ; but the M of Psammis, or 
Psammetic, probably bore in this a sign of reduplication (M). 



40 GIOVANNI BATTISTA EELZONI. 

vetti, or Drouetti, the Piedmontese Consul and Collector, whose sharp 
Italian brain had done much to promote the great Pasha's interests. 

Belzoni, without a regular engagement, cast his lot with the English- 
man, and was sent to Thebes. Here he shipped on board a barge 
.and floated down to el-Rashid (Rosetta), the bust of Rameses II., 
miscalled " Young Memnon," (Miamun or Amun-mai). The Colossus 
reached its long home, the large Hall in the British Museum, without 
any of the mishaps which have lately attended a certain " Needle." * 
The explorer then travelled, vid Alexandria, Cairo, and Edfu, to the 
Isles of Elephantine and Philse, both, by-the-by, meaning Elephant 
(Arabic el-Fil), despite "Wilkinson. The enemy attacked him as he was 
removing his obelisk from Philse; it consisted of an "Arab" mob, 
numbering some thirty, under the command of two Italians Lebuco and 
the " renegade Rossignano," with Drouetti in the rear. Belzoni defended 
himself in a characteristic way, by knocking down an assailant, seizing 
his ankles, and using him as a club upon the foemen's heads. This 
novel weapon, in the Samson style, gained a ready victory. He reached 
"Wady Halfah (second Cataract), and cleared the deposits of Typhon 
from the Ramesseiims of Abu-Simbal (Ipsambul). The so-called Crystal 
Palace contains a caricature of these rock-temples ; and country folk 
identify the Colossi with " Gog and Magog." 

In 1817 Belzoni, still under Salt, made his third run up-country, 
and attacked the famous Biban el-Muluk, the " Gates (i.e. tombs) of the 
Kings." The hollow sound of a wall revealed an inner chamber, and 
the sinking of the ground, caused by rain, led to the Sepulchre of 
Sethi I. His description of crawling, snail-like, through the passages is 
admirable. The results of this work best known in England, are the 
Colossal head and arms sent to the British Museum ; and the Sarco- 
phagus, of semi-transparent arragonite, afterwards (1824) sold by Salt to 
Sir John Soane for 2,0001. " Belzoni's Tomb " preserves his name in 
Egypt ; but I have noticed that of late years certain toimst-authors 
have forgotten the duty of rendering honour where honour is due. 

During 1817-1818 Belzoni worked at the Troici lapidis mons, vul- 
garly known as the " Second Pyramid." He had some difficulty in per- 
suading the Bedawin-Fellahs of the west bank to assist him ; but, as 
usual, he ended by succeeding. He cleared the upper of the two open- 
ings, and found that the Arabs had been before him. The inscription 
given by him (p. 273) and copied into every hand-book is, let me say, 
despite of Professor Lee and M. Saldme, in part unintelligible. Per- 
haps Belzoni's occupation is not gone. It appears to many that those 

* In 1822, John Murray, of Albemarle Street, published six "Plates illustrative 
of the Eesearches and Operations of G. Belzoni in Egypt," &c. They are, 1. General 
View of the Site of Thebes. 2. The Mode in -which the Colossal Head of Young 
Memnon was taken from Thebes. 3. India from the Ceiling of the Great Vaulted 
Hall, in the Tomb supposed to be that of Psammis, at Thebes. 4 and 5. Ruins of 
Ombos,;&c. 6. Interior of Temple in theVTsland of Philse. 



GIOVANNI BATTISTA BELZONI. 41 

vast sepulchral mansions must contain many chambers; and I ask 
myself why the pendulum and the new sound-instruments should not 
be scientifically tried. 

In September, 1817, our explorer set out from Esue to visit Berenike 
(Troglodytica). This Port of Ptolemy Lagi was the African terminus 
of the Indian " overland," intended to turn the stormy and dangerous 
Gulf of Suez ; and it held its own till supplanted by Myos Hormos and 
other ports further north. The goods were disembarked, were carried 
by caravans through the Desert of the Thebai's, to Coptos, Kobther, 
Caphtor (?), Kobt, Kaft or Koft on the Nile; and thence were floated 
down to Alexandria. The land journey was estimated at 258 Roman 
miles, and the march of twelve days gave an average of 21 per diem : 
our modern itineraries make the total 271 English statute miles. A 
similar western line was also taken, to escape the even more turbulent 
and perilous Gulf of Akabah ; the road lying from Leuke Kome (el- 
Haura) through the Land of Midian to Rhinocolura (el-Arish), on the 
Mediterranean. 

At Berenike, following M. Caliud, and seeking for sulphur, Belzoni 
discovered a temple of Serapis ; he explored the emerald mines of Jebel 
Zabbarah to the north-west, and the " Emerald Island," or St. John's, 
which the Arabs call Semergeh, or Semergid, from the Greek Smaragdos. 
Berenike has twice been visited by my friend General Purdy (Pasha), in 
1871 and 1873. He found remains of mines about the Jebel el-Zabergah 
(Zumurrud ?) with scorise, handmills, and other appurtenances of the 
craft, all along the road.* Belzoni's last trip (1819) was to Mceris and 
" Elloah " (El-wah) el-Kasr, the smaller oasis, of which he is the dis- 
coverer. He was wrong, however, in identifying it with the " Wady " of 
Jupiter Ammon, which is Siwah. 

After five years of splendid and profitable work in Egypt, Belzoni 
left it for ever (1819). In London he published his book, canvassed his 
friends, and prepared to carry out the dream of his life, a plunge into 
the then unexplored depths of the African continent. And here, leaving 
him for a time, we will return to Padua. Par parenthese, the " Chauvi- 
nismus " concerning stranger jealousy hardly applies to England : she was 
the explorer's second mother ; and his enemies were his own countrymen. 

In 1866, when Padua exchanged the "Eagle with Two Heads dis 
played " for the plain Cross Argent of Savoy, sundry patriotic citizens 
addressed a petition to the municipality, praying that the name of the 
contrada be changed from the ignoble "dei Paolotti" to the noble 
" Belzoni." The request was disregarded, probably for the usual reason ; 
it did not emanate from the fountain of all civic honour the town-hall. 
The experiment is to be tried again, under circumstances which ought to, 
and which I hope will, ensure success. The Riviera (quay) Santa Sofia, 
formerly a fetid canal, one of the many veinlets of the Bacchaglione, has 

* Bull, Egypt. Geoff. Soc., No. 6, Nov. 1879, 



42 GIOVANNI BATTISTA BELZONI. 

just lost name and nature ; the ground, a large oblong, will be planted 
with trees (Eucalyptus?), and it would start well in life under the 
honoured name of PIAZZALE BELZONI. 

The necessary measures are being taken by Giovanni Dr. Tomasoni, 
of TJdine, a man of property, who has travelled round the world. He 
holds, by-the-by, with Mesnier (1874), against Gray (1875), that the 
Bonze in strange costume, short cloak and flat cap, who appears in the 
Buddhist temple of the " Five Hundred Genii " at Canton, is not Shien- 
Tchu, a Hindu saint, but a western man, and consequently Marco Polo.* 

The first step will be to name the Square; the second, to raise a 
Monument. Something provisional might be set up, in the shape of a 
wooden pyramid, till subscriptions justify a formal statue. As this 
charge could not fairly be imposed on the municipality, an appeal should 
be made to public generosity. Padua has now many wealthy sons, and 
we may hope that they will practically disprove the imputation of 
materialismo. Let us also hope that the statue will be realistic; will 
show the explorer in working garb, not habited like a Turk, a courtier, 
or a Hercules. 

n. 
BELZONI IN BENIN. 

Before landing the explorer on the edge of the Dark Continent, it is 
advisable to cast a short glance at Africa, in connection with England, 
during the first quarter of our century. The " African Association," 
which became (1831) the " Royal Geographical Society," was formed in 
June, 1788. It began by sending out Ledyard, one of the Cook's circum- 
navigators, who was killed by fever in " Sennaar," properly Si (water) 
n (of) and Arti (the Island) = Water Island. Followed Lucas ; but this 
well-qualified traveller returned, re infectd, to the north coast. Next 
went the gallant Major Houghton, to be plundered and left to starve 
among the Arabs of Ludamar (Wuld Omar) in the Great Desert (1791). 
Then came upon the stage that famous Mungo Park, whose charming 
volumes, I believe, owe most of their charm to Brian Edwards, of 
Jamaica. The Scotch surgeon's first and ever memorable march was 
made in 1795-97, and the fatal second in 1805. Herr Hornemann, 
of Gottingen, set out from Cairo in 1798 ; became, it is supposed, a 
Marabut or Santon in Kashna ; and disappeared about 1803. Roentgen 
was murdered near Mogador in 1809. Adams, alias Benjamin Rose, 
assured the Association that in 1810 he had visited "Timbuctoo," or, 
properly, Tin-bukhtu, the " Well of Bukhtu." The same place was 
reached, in 1815, by James Riley, supercargo of the American brig 
Commerce, who brought back authentic details concerning the then 

* Lecture of February 20, 1877. Mr. Archdeacon Gray's Walks in the City of 
Canton was printed at Hong Kong. It supports the Hindu claims in pp. 207-8 and 217* 



GIOVANNI BATTISTA BELZONI. 43 

mysterious course of the Niger. Captain Tuckey, R.N., commanding a 
Government expedition, lost himself and most of his companions by 
Congo fever and calomel, in 1816. During the same year, Major Peddie 
died at the beginning of his march on the Bio Nunez ; and Major Camp- 
bell, his second in command, at Kakundy, in the next, June 13, 1817. 
Captain Gray (1818-19) returned safe from a trip to the Upper Gambia. 
Major Laing (1821-22) fixed the sources of the Niger, which he did not 
reach, in N. latitude 9.* He was murdered during a second expedition 
in 1826, and evil reports, probably false, connected his death with the 
French explorer Caillie. The expedition of Ritchie and Lyon ended 
disastrously, by the death of its chiefs, in November, 1819. Lastly, 
Denham and Clapperton began their memorable exploration in 1820, 
and returned in January, 1825. 

During this interval, Belzoni again presented himself before the 
British public. The reports concerning " Timbuctoo " had only whetted 
general curiosity ; and the factitious importance with which the march 
by " long Desert," and the " treachery of the Moors," had invested that 
uninteresting place, lasted till the visit of my late friend Barth in 1853. 
The nineteenth century moves apace. In 1879 the French are proposing 
an impossible railway from Algiers to the ex-capital of Negroland ; 
the chief inducement being, evidently, to cut out ces Anglais. 

The Italian explorer had much in his favour. His gigantic strength 
was unimpaired ; and he had recruited his health by three years of beef- 
steaks and beer. He had acquired the habit of command ; and he was 
well acquainted with colloquial Arabic. His economies and the liberality 
of his friends supplied him with the sinews of travel. The well-known 
Briggs Brothers, of London and Alexandria, lent him 200?. On the 
other hand his forty-five years were against him : Africa, like the per- 
sons alluded to by Byron, ever 

Prefers a spouse whose age is short of thirty. 

Belzoni began by visiting Tangier, where, foiled by the suspicions of 
the Moors and the Jews, he failed to reach Fez. He now changed his 
plans, and very sensibly made his will (May 20, 1823) before entering 
Central Africa, the " grave of Europeans." He divided his property into 
three parts the recipients being his mother, " Teresa Belzoni," or " Bol- 
zoni ; " another Theresa, the daughter of his deceased brother Antonio ; 
and his wife Sarah. This done, he embarked at Mogador, touched at 

* I proposed to explore the sources in 1860-65 ; but the late Dr. Baikie agreed 
with me that le jcu ne valait pas la chandelle. My friend Winwood Reade was not 
successful in 1869. The head of the Joliba (" Great Eiver ") has just been reached 
by MM. Tweifel and Moustier, employes in the house of M. Verminch, of Sierra 
Leone. They ascended the Rokolle, passed the Kong Mountains and Falaba town 
with some difficulty; and, guided by Major Laing's map, found the main source on 
the frontier of Kissi and Koranka, some 200 miles from the " Lion's Range." "What 
was our " Royal Geographical Society" doing ?^ 



44 GIOVANNI BATTISTA BELZONI. 

Cape Coast Castle, and landed in the Bight of Benin. He seems to 
have " divined " the Niger outlet. There were many " theoretical dis- 
coverers," especially my friend the late James M'Queen ; but the ques- 
tion was not practically settled till Richard and John Lander dropped 
down the Nun, or direct stream, to the Atlantic mouth, in 1830. 

" Benin," or " Binnin," by the natives called " Ibini," " Bini," or 
" Ini," held her head high amongst African kingdoms during the 
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In our age the name has fallen 
into disuse, and few know anything beyond the fact that she lies some- 
where in West Africa. According to early explorers, the length (north 
to south) was 80 by 40 leagues of depth. John Barbot * increases these 
figures to 300 by 1 25, and makes the northern limit " Ardra," now Da- 
homan, which he identifies with the classical Aranya mom on the South 
Ethiopic Ocean. 

Benin was discovered by thp Portuguese, of whom old \Villem Bos- 
man politely says, " They served for setting dogs to spring the game 
which was seized by others." The explorer was Joam Afonso de Aveiro,f 
and the date 1485, one year after Diogo Cam had begun that conquest of 
the Congo which has lately been completed by Mr. Henry M. Stanley. 
Men were enthusiasts in those days. Fernan' de Poo (Fernando Po) 
called his trouvaille A Ilka Formosa (Fair Isle) ; and the Benin River 
became Rio Formosa, or Fermoso, an older form, but not Formosa, 
the feminine. In our times the British mariner sings, with variants : 

The Bight of Benin ! the Bight of Benin ! 
One comes out where three goes in. 

The natives know the stream -mouth as Uwo Jco Jakri, or " Outlet of 
Jakri," the latter being African for the European Wari, Owari, Awerri, 
Ouueri, Owhyere, or Ovare, a petty princedom on the southern fork. 
The late Mr. Beecroft, H. M.'s Consul for Fernando Po, proved (1840) 
by a cruise in the Etliiope steamer that this Wari branch leaves the 
Niger a little below Abu or Ibu town. Consequently the Rio Formoso 
is the Western arm. of the Delta, whose hypo then use measures some 
180 miles. 

The "Missioner" soon took Benin in hand. Aveiro brought home 
a "Mouf" (Ambassador) from the King, praying to be supplied with 
reverend men and ghostly meals. The Capuchin, Father Jerom Merolla 
da Sorrento, J tells us a pleasant story how Father Angel o Maria per- 

* This " Agent-General of the Royal African Company" treats especially of Benin 
in book iv. chap. 5, and his brother James continued the work from 1682 to 1699. 

f He was factor of the then Dutch Elmina on the Gold Coast during the terminal 
quarter of the last century. His twenty-first letter treats of the " Kingdom of Benin ; " 
and his valuable work was translated in 1705. 

| He wrote about 1680 his Voyage to Congo and several other Countries, chiefly in 
Southern Africa. His work, which is minute and valuable, was first " made English 
from the Italian " in Churchill's Collection (i. 521). I borrow from Pinkerton (vol. xvi.), 
and hope to republish the book with the good aid of the Hakluyt Society. 



GIOVANNI BATTISTA BtiLZONl. 45 

suaded a " white young lady " of St. Thomas Island to a peculiar act of 
self-devotion. She travelled to Benin, and, " being arrived at the King's 
palace, she was received by that monarch like another Rachel by Jacob, 
Esther by Ahasuerus, or Artemisia by Mausolus, and afterwards married 
by him after the Christian fashion ; thereby giving a good example to his 
subjects, who soon forsook their former licentious principles and submitted 
to be restrained by the rules of the Gospel ; that is, were all married 
according to the rites and ceremonies of the Church." This much-suffering 
young person sacrificed herself to very little purpose. During the seven- 
teenth century Benin, like Congo, was overrun by a little army of 
" Apostolic Missioners ; " who had, however, more care for their fees of 
slaves than for cures of souls : they meddled and they muddled, and they 
conducted themselves generally, to judge by their own accounts, in a 
way which would have secured deportation at the hands of downright 
Mr. John Dunn. 

By slow degrees Christianity withered on its uncongenial soil. The 
Portuguese, who had begun work at Benin under D. Joam II., struck 
work under D. Joam III. During the latter part of the last century 
only a few half-caste traders and slavers from St. Thomas kept up 
churches and lodges at the chief settlements. In 1862 I found a trace 
of the faith in one place only, Wari- or Jakri-town ; a tall cross still bore 
a bronze crown of thorns nailed to the centre, and a rude M(aria ?) of 
the same material was fastened to the lower upright. Singularly strange 
and misplaced was this emblem, rising from a grass thicket surrounded 
by a wall of the densest jungle, with a typical dead tree in front. Native 
huts here and there peeped over the bush ; and hard by stood the usual 
Juju or fetish-house, a dwarf shed of tattered matting garnished with a 
curtain of white calico soiled and rusty. Truly a suggestive type of 
the difficulties with which the Cross had to contend in lands where 
Nature runs riot, and where the mind of man is rank as its surroundings ; 
difficulties against which it has fought a good fight, but hitherto without 
the crown. Hard by the cross was a mound of solid earth, whose tread 
suggested that it was a place of sepulture. Of these reverend men, these 
Nigerian martyrs, it may be truly said, " Time hath corroded their 
epitaphs and buried their very tombstones." Not a sign of burial ap- 
peared save a bit of blanched and weathered skull. Yet they are not to 
be pitied. They laboured through life at a labour of love, expecting the 
pleasing toil to end in eternal repose. And the good which they did 
lives after them ; at Wari I saw none of the abominations of Great 
Benin and Dahome. 

Upon the heels of the " Apostolic Missioner " came the merchant, who 
was mostly a slave-dealer. Now our eye-witnesses and authorities be- 
come Bosnian and Barbot, who give copious accounts of the country and 
country folk. All the principal European nations, Portuguese, Dutch, 
English, and French, at one time had comptoirs ; and all failed in conse- 
quence of the mosquitos, the fever, and the utter rascality, the compli- 



46 GIOVANNI BATTISTA BELZOitt. 

cated dishonesty, of the people, or rather peoples. The celebrated botanist 
(A. M. F. J.), Palisset de Beauvais, here passed upwards of a year (1786) 
in collecting materials for his More d'Oware et de Benin. In 1788 
Capitaine Landolphe founded near the river mouth for the Compagnie 
d'Owhyere a fort and factoiy which he called Borodo ; this establishment 
lasted till 1792, and died of the Great Revolution. In these days a few 
English, houses, Messrs. Horsfall, Harrison, Stewart and Douglas, and 
others, have settlements near the estuary, and take palm-nuts in barter 
for English goods. The export slave trade is totally stopped, to the 
manifest injury of the slave, who was once worth eighty dollars, and 
now hardly as many sixpences. .Nothing, however, would be easier than, 
to run a dozen cargoes of casimir noir out of the Benin river. 

The ethnological peculiarity of Great Benin, as noted by all travellers, 
is the contrast between a comparative civilisation and an abominable 
barbarity. The capital which Bosnian and Barbot call Oedo (Wedo) had 
in 1800 a circumference of six leagues; and of the thirty main streets 
some stretched two miles long and twenty feet wide. All were kept in 
a remarkable state of cleanliness, a virtue little known to Europe in 
those days, because " every woman sweeps her own door." At levees the 
prince sat upon an ivory couch under a silken canopy ; and on his left 
hand, against a fine tapestry, stood " seven white scoured elephant's 
teeth " on pedestals of the same material. The palace also contained 
large stables for horses ; an article of luxury which has almost died out. 
The nobles bore the titles of Homograns (homens grandes) or grandees, 
and below them were the Mercadores and Fiadores (sureties or brokers). 
Yet the city was a Golgotha, an Aceldama, and Barbot exclaims in the 
bitterness of his heart and nose : 

The fiends their sons and daughters they 

Did offer up and slay : 
Yea, with unkindly murthering knife 

The guiltless blood they spilt ; 
Yea, their own sons' and daughters' blood 

Without all cause of guilt. PSALM Iv. 35-38. 

The " grand customs " on the death of a " King " were, and are, essen- 
tially different in detail from those of Dahome. Yet the underlying 
idea is the same. Majesty must not enter Hades, Ghost-home, the 
Shadowy Land, without regal pomp and circumstance. The body is 
lowered into a deep pit ; and the most beloved domestics of both sexes, 
who highly prize the honour, take their places above it. The mouth of 
the hollow is then closed with a large stone, and crowds of mourners sit 
around it night and day. Next morning certain officers, told off for the 
purpose, open the pit and ask the set question, " Have ye found the 
king 1 ?" (i.e. in Deadman's-land). Those alive answer by telling how 
many of their number had perished of hunger and cold. This " strange- 
fantastical ceremony " is sometimes continued for five or six days. When 
at last no sound comes from below, the lieges make a great feast, and 



GIOVANNI BATTlStfA SEliSOtfl. 47 

Spend the night running about the streets, chopping off heads and drag- 
ging off the corpses, which are thrown into the pit before its final closing. 
Bosnian, in the normal chapter on " Manners and Customs," notices the 
" ridiculous religion " and the frequent " apparition of ghosts of deceased 
ancestors," in fact, full-blown Spiritualism. But, like the men of his day, 
he never for a moment suspects that anything lies beneath the surface. 

In May, 1838, Messrs. Moffat and Smith,* surgeons on board a mer- 
chant schooner, went to the city of Great Benin, wishing to open, or 
rather to re-open, trade. The latter, a " very promising young man," 
died of a dysentery caught by being drenched with rain. They were 
horrified to see a trench full of bodies at which the turkey-buzzards were 
tugging, and "two corpses in a sitting position." These victims had 
probably been despatched with a formal message, announcing the arrival 
of strangers to the King's father in Ghost-land. The same unpleasant 
spectacle was offered in August, 1862, when I visited Benin, accompanied 
by Lieutenant Stokes, of H.M.S. Bloodhound, and Dr. Henry. t In 
the tall rank herbage, on the right of the path leading into the city, ap- 
peared the figure of a fine young man bare to the waist, with arms 
extended and wrists fastened to a scaffold framework of peeled wands, 
poles and stakes planted behind him. For a moment we thought that 
the wretch might be alive : a few steps convinced us of our mistake. He 
had been crucified after the African fashion, seated on a rough wooden 
stool, with a white calico cloth veiling the lower limbs. Between the 
ankles stood an uncouth image of yellow clay, concerning which the 
frightened natives who accompanied us would not speak. A rope of 
lliana, in negro-English called a " tie-tie," bound tight round the neck to 
a stake behind, had been the immediate cause of death. The features still 
showed strangulation, and the sacrifice was so fresh that, though the flies 
were there, the turkey-buzzards had not found the eyes. The blackness 
of the skin and the general appearance proved that the sufferer was a 
slave. No emotion whatever, save holding the nose, was shown by the 
crowds of Beninese, men a.nd women, who passed by ; nor was there any 
expression of astonishment when I returned to sketch the victim. 

It is some comfort to think that the murder was committed with as 
much humanity as possible. These messengers to Ghost-land are always 
made to drink off a bottle of rum before the fatal cord is made fast. In 
one point, indeed, I found the Beninese superior to their neighbours. 
Twin births are esteemed good omens, not bestial and unnatural produc- 
tions ; and the mother receives a royal bounty like the happy parents of 
triplets and quartets in England. Beyond this nothing can be said in 
favour of Great Benin. The town has a fume of blood; it literally 
stinks of death. Without any prepossessions for " Humanitarian policy," 
and far from owning that Proselytism has succeeded, or ever will suc- 

* " A Visit to the Capital of Benin in the Delta of the Kwara or Niger," Journal 
of the Royal Geographical Society, 1841, vol. xi. pp. 190-192. 

t "My Wanderings in West Africa," Fraser's Magazine, March, 1863. 



4fc GIOVANNI BATTISTA BELZONI. 

ceed, in this part of Africa, I could not but compare once more the dif- 
ference between Abeokuta, where there are missionary establishments, 
and Benin, which for years has remained a fallow field. In the former, 
human sacrifice still flourishes ; but it is exceptional, it is done sub rosd, 
and it does not shock public decency by exposing the remnants of hu- 
manity. In the latter it is a horror teste " Fraser." 

This unpleasant city was Belzoni's first objective. He had engaged 
a homeward bound sailor, a negroid from Kashna, who had served on 
board H.M.S. Owen Glendower, as his companion to " Timbuctoo," vid 
Haussa. Thus he hoped to open a way through one of the most dan- 
gerous corners of the Dark Continent. A similar attempt was made in 
our day by the unfortunate Jules Gerard, the Chasseur (afterwards Tueur) 
du Lion. Whilst his relations live I hesitate to tell the true tale of his 
death. 

Belzoni was not a general favourite in Egypt. He had placed him- 
self in a false position, and he seemed to suffer under a chronic irritation 
and suspiciousness. He complained of " atrocious persecutions ; " he 
found fortune " barbarous and unkind," and he left Egypt " prema- 
turely," his plans being incomplete. In Africa it was otherwise. The 
skippers, supercargoes, and agents, popularly termed "Palm-oil lambs" 
(of the Nottingham breed), rough-mannered, kindly-hearted men, soon 
learned to love their guest as a friend. "With affectionate adieux he took 
leave of them, was rowed tip stream and landed at Gwato. Bosnian 
calls this village " Agatton;" he tells us that it ranked in importance 
after Boededoe (Obobi),* and Arebo, Arbon, Egro, New-town or Young- 
town. " It was formerly a considerable place, but hath suffered much 
by the wars ; it is situate on a small hill in the river ; and it is a day's 
journey by land to the city of Great Benin." Barbot describes " Gotten " 
as a very large town, much more pleasant' and healthy than its two 
rivals." The country is full of all sorts of fruit trees, and well furnished 
with several little villages, whose inhabitants go thither to the markets, 
which are held at Gotten for five days successively. He places it twelve 
leagues S.S.E. of the capital. Messrs. Moffat and Smith make "Gatto 
or Agatto " twenty miles to the S.W. (read S.S.W.). I have noticed 
" Gwato " at some length, as here Belzoni was fated to find a grave. f 

The explorer was kindly received by Obbd (King) Oddi or Odalla, 
father of Jambra, alias Atolo, whom I visited. In 1862 many of the 
oldsters at Benin remembered the traveller ; and talked admiringly of 
his huge black beard, his gigantic strength, and his mighty stature, six 
feet six. Everything was looking well, when the bad water of the city, 
taken from holes and polluted wells, brought on a dysentery, and the 
explorer was no longer young. In those days African fever was treated 
with the lancet, which still names our leading Medical Journal. Dy- 
sentery had the benefit of calomel, opium, laudanum, and oleum ricini, 

* p. 138, Fraser, February, 1863, and p. 275, March, 1863. 
| p. 277, Fraser, March, 1863. 



GIOVANNI BATTISTA BELZONI. 49 

the latter a poison in those lands. Here let me observe that the anti- 
diarrhoea pill in the Crimean campaign was fully as fatal as the Russian 
bullet. "When Nature is relieving the engorged liver, Art slips in and 
prevents the cure. Instead of meat-broths to support the strength, 
paps and gruels are given to sour the stomach ; in fact the treatment was, 
and generally is, that best calculated to ensure fatal results. 

Belzoni was too ill to take leave of the King, who sent him a kindly 
message. On the morning of November 28 (1823) he told Captain John 
Hodgson, of the brig Providence, who had run up to see him, that the 
hand of death was upon him. On December 2, with his usual good 
sense, he begged to be carried to Gwato and thence to " Bobee " (Obobi), 
hoping much from the sea air. Mr. Hodgson in his ignorance unwil- 
lingly consented, and despatched him in a rough palanquin accompanied 
by Mr. Smith ; he himself intended to rejoin the sufferer at Gwato, 
whence the vehicle was to be sent back. At the end of the march the 
disease seemed to take a favourable turn ; and the explorer was well 
enough to eat some bread and drink a cup of tea. Before leaving Benin 
city he disposed of his belongings. He ordered all the objects worthy of 
a passage to be sent to England by ^he brig Castor of Liverpool. He 
wrote a few lines to Messrs. Briggs ; and, being unable to hold a pen,, 
he sent his ring to his wife, with an expression of lively affection and 
loving memory. 

At 4 A.M. on the next day (December 3), the explorer awoke with 
swimming head, cold extremities, and eyes expressing delirium. He was 
strong enough to swallow a little arrowroot, but not to speak. At 2.45 
P.M. he passed away, apparently without pain. Mr. Hodgson, reaching 
Gwato at 4 P.M., found that the body had been laid out by Mr. Smith. 
He went to the local Caboceer, or Governor, and obtained leave to bury 
his dead " at the foot of a very large tree." Under its broad foliage a 
grave was dug six feet deep, and at 9 P.M. the corpse was buried with all 
the honours. Mr. Hodgson read the funeral service, and his eighteen 
men, headed by himself and Mr. Smith, saluted with three salvos of 
musketry his guest's tomb. Sundry guns were fired by the vessels in 
port, the schooner Providence, the American Curlew, and the Castor. 
Mr. W. Fell, supercargo of the latter, caused his carpenter to prepare a 
tablet with an inscription noting the day of death, and expressing the 
pious hope that all European travellers who may visit the last home of 
the intrepid and enterprising traveller, will be pleased to clear the ground,, 
and to repair the ring fence if necessary. 

Such is the official and received account of the explorer's death- 
Local tradition declares that Belzoni was carried to the house of Ogea, 
Caboceer (Governor) of Gwato. This man, described as a tall negroid of 
yellow complexion and uncanny look, died about 1850. He is said to 
have poisoned the traveller in hopes of plunder ; and what lends colour 
to the charge is that he afterwards tried the same trick upon a European 
trader, and failed. The chief of Gwato, " Kusei," also, by the by, a noted 

VOL. XLII. NO. 247. 3. 



50 GIOVANNI BATTISTA BELZONI. 

poisoner, popularly known as " the Parson " (here an~old title, heredi- 
tary and connected with the local religion), declared to me, among others, 
that many of Belzoni's papers were handed over by Ogea to the royal 
Fiador, or broker, and that since the latter's death they descended to his 
son. Stray leaves have been seen, according to European testimony, in 
the hands of the townspeople, leading to the conclusion that there are 
more behind. Mr. Sharpe, a late agent to Messrs. Horsfall, made a 
liberal bid for these documents ; but without result. I was equally un- 
fortunate, although I offered a bale of cloth =201. 

Belzoni's grave has been allowed, despite the epitaph, to drop out of 
sight. Staff Surgeon W. F. Daniell * described it as an " elevated mound 
of earth overrun with weeds, with the fragments of a decayed wooden 
cross." Messrs. Moffat and Smith found the "grave of the traveller 
BeLzoni marked by a wooden tablet fast going to decay." In 1862, when 
I saw it, the place had become a tabula rasa. 

The site of the sepulchre was pointed out to me near the Governor 
of Gwato's house, to the south-east of the village. " Belzoni's tree " is a 
fine spreading growth, which bears a poison apple, and whose boughs 
droop nearly to the ground. A little plantation of the Koko-yam (Colo- 
casia) clothes the sides of the low mound from which the trunk springs, 
and a few huts and sheds stand between it and " the bush." It is a 
pretty and romantic spot. 

I assembled the village ancients, and made a desultory attempt at 

-digging under their vague and discordant directions. But time was 
short, a fight was brewing, and African growths cover double and treble 
the area of our largest English. I was obliged to content myself with 
sketching Belzoni's tree, with sending home a handful of wild flowers, 
and with expressing a hope that " some European passing by " would be 
more fortunate than myself, f 

In 1865 I left Fernando Po, a locality famed for the rapid consump- 
tion of Europeans generally, and especially of English Consuls. Two of 
my successors have succumbed to the climate ; and now there is a third 

: applicant for the honourable, but ticklish, duty of representing the British 
^Government. I can only hope that Mr. Consul E. H. Hewett will carry 
out a project of mine, foiled by circumstances ; and will recover for the 
good city of Padua, which rejoices in the apocryphal relics of Antenor 
and of Livy, the mortal remains of her right worthy son Giovanni 
Battista Belzoni. 

EICHAED F. BURTON. 

* Sketches of the Nautical Topography (&c.) of (he Gulf of Guinea. 
j- p. 28, Frascr, March, 1863. 



51 



m fUttibjj 



NATUKE lends no countenance to the dictum of Dr. Johnson that one 
green field is like another. Monotonous uniformity is not to be found in 
her least or greatest handiwork. While there are no hard and fast lines 
of demarcation between her geographical divisions, she has set certain 
broad marks of distinction upon their face which a little experience 
enables her students to note and recognise. It would scarcely be too 
much to affirm that the eye of a trained observer, at the first aspect of a 
new tract of country, can pronounce whether the soil be chalk, sand, or 
clay, what are its common native products, and what is the quality of 
the landscape in point of beauty. An expert in English chalk-scenery, 
at all events, may safely rely upon his powers of clairvoyance to dis- 
tinguish its familiar features wherever he travels. There^is no mistaking 
the indicia of that landscape when once thoroughly known. The gradual 
process by which such knowledge is acquired can no more be communi- 
cated than the pleasure which it brings. It is always true of Nature 
that 

You must lore her ere to you 
She will seem worthy of your love. 

All that can be done towards training another's eye is to throw out a 
few hints which may help it to observe for itself. No easier school for a 
novice can be suggested than the Kentish chalk-lands, and the following 
rough notes of their prevailing characteristics may serve, faute de mieux, 
as a skeleton chart for his guidance. The area is a large one, but the 
district more particularly referred to is its most picturesque section, with 
which the writer happens to be best acquainted. 

A condition prevenient for the true enjoyment of a country such as 
this is that one should be an active walker. " The proud ones who in 
their coaches roll along the turnpike-road " can form but the most meagre 
idea of its variety and beauty. Even the horseman will be unable to 
penetrate many a recess specially haunted by its charm. It offers, how- 
ever, no perilous pleasures to the mountaineer. Soundness of wind and 
limb, and a healthy contempt of dust or mud, according to the weather, 
are alone sufficient to qualify you as a walking tourist. At whatever 
season of the year you may take your first view of this landscape, the 
feature which will thrust itself upon your notice before all others is the 
uniform roundness of the outlines. The hills bear upon them the stamp 
of their aqueous origin. Gradually narrowing upwards from the base 
with a gentle acclivity, their slopes and crests are smooth ; the former 
often vertically scored by the flow of water into deep central depressions, 

32 



52 STUDIES IN KENTISH CHALK. 

on either side of which the ground swells softly like the curves of a 
bosom. Where the flow has been horizontal at their base, they are 
generally divided from the valley by a long low ridge, from which the 
downward slope is less regular and more concave than elsewhere. Those 
which still retain their primitive character of down are covered with a 
close crisp turf, fragrant in summer with patches of wild thyme, often 
branded with " fairy-rings," and here and there dotted with low bushes 
of thorn, gorse, or juniper. Some are wooded and others tilled, but in 
all cases they keep their rounded shape unless artificially distorted. 
Mounting the highest point to take a general survey, you will see that 
the hills run in a series of undulating parallel lines from north to south, 
with winding valleys between them. At irregular intervals some of 
these long lines converge and are laterally crossed by shorter ones, which, 
closing up the valleys, mould them into a basin-like shape. Of the 
valleys, the narrower are for the most part intersected by roads fringed 
with trees. The broadest of them all is intersected by a stream which 
has evidently scooped out its channel there, and, as indicated by the 
marshy vegetation for some distance on either side, was formerly much 
wider than now. Looking southward as far as the eye can reach, you 
will see the succession of hill and dale terminate in a long stretch of 
table-land level with the height at which we stand, bounding the chalk 
district in that direction, while eastward it merges into a similar suc- 
cession which extends far beyond the range of sight. 

The nature of the soil discloses itself alike in the crude whiteness of 
the roads and paths, in the crumbling edges which divide the wooded 
crests from the down or tillage of the slopes, in broad patches of pale 
brown wherever the land lies fallow, and in the faintness of tint imparted 
to the green corn where the fields have been newly sown. Most of the 
primitive roads, which obviously owe their origin to common need and 
use, follow, as you will observe, the line of least resistance by conform- 
ing to the structural character of the hills and valleys, either running 
cornice- wise along the one, or winding thread-like through the other. 
The high roads to the great city alone ignore this rule, and cut through 
hill and dale with uniform indifference. The broader of the valley-roads, 
into which the hill-roads eventually run, follows the main course of the 
stream, and has been an immemorial link of communication between the 
villages, which, each with its cluster of tiled or slated dwellings 
grouped round a grey church-tower, here and there associated with the 
ruins of a mediaeval castle, lie scattered at distances of two or three 
miles apart upon either bank. The narrower roads or lanes are, in like 
manner, links of communication between the upland or valley farms. Of 
the footpaths, some are mere extensions of " a sheep-walk up the windy 
wold, or a driftway for cattle." Others, which are the product of special 
needs and occasional use, are cut abruptly across the hill-ridges, and open 
out of the cornice-roads with steep rough banks, diminishing or increasing 
in height as they rise or fall. These furnish an opportunity for observing 



STUDIES IN KENTISH CHALK. 53 

the stratification of the ground, elsewhere usually hidden under its smooth 
turf-covering; their jutting ledges, layer above layer, pointing unmistak- 
ably to a gradual deposition of shelly ooze under the pressure of deep 
water. The rugged flints which crop out between the ledges are the common 
building-stone of the country, the older walls of castle, church, dwelling, 
barn, and oast-house alike being constructed of them. They are full of 
organic remains, especially of the ammonite, echinus, and pecten, the 
former being sometimes of great size. Those occasional gaps in the banks 
are " quarries trenched along the hill," the sites of old chalk-pits, now 
generally superseded by the more convenient railway-cuttings. When 
these have been deserted long enough for a growth of green lichen to 
encrust their broken surfaces; when the hollows are filled up with a 
thicket of elder and bramble, and sprays of ivy and clematis fringe their 
mouths and trail down their sides, few features of the landscape are more 
picturesque. 

Picturesque is the epithet, par excellence, applicable to this landscape 
as a whole. Its graceful and tender beauty wins upon you as well by its 
variety as by its permanence. The aspect is incessantly changing, but 
depends upon no seasonal fluctuation or elemental conjunction for its 
attractiveness. Under the dullest of grey skies and in those mid-winter 
days when nature seems actually dead, the outlines keep their charm. 
Analogous in character to the South Downs of Sussex, though not com- 
parable to them in point of scale, these hills partake of the " sweetness," 
if not of the " majesty," which Gilbert White found in what he naively 
calls that " vast range of mountains." Their broad sweeping curves of 
crest, hollow, and slope, here absolutely smooth, or ridged only in the 
lines which mark where the sheep have browsed, there studded with 
bushes or clothed with trees from the summit downward, so bold and 
spacious in their effects of light and shade, are such as Copley Fielding 
and Hine have best loved to paint. Where two opposite ranges approach 
one another across the valley and enclose the distance within their frame, 
the resemblance is striking to one of Claude's familiar subjects. That 
clump of elms in the middle distance will remind you of his favourite 
tree-grouping, and the tall, slender arches of yonder railway-viaduct 
recall one of the ruined aqueducts which form a common feature in his 
Campagna-pictures. If these uplands are more beautiful at one time 
than another, it is, perhaps, under two different conditions of the atmo- 
sphere. On a summer's afternoon, when a south wind is blowing freshly 
and the sky is full of diffused light and floating masses of cumulus, there 
is no lovelier sight than to watch the cloud-shadows chasing one another 
in endless succession down the slopes, and, caught for a moment in the 
valley, disappearing into space. On a still autumn evening the gradual 
suffusion of the hillsides with a sleepy glamour of mist, and the 
lengthening shadows of the trees slowly stretching eastward before the 
westering sun, compose a picture beyond the reach of art. 

This landscape, again, partakes largely of the quality of restfulness 



54 STUDIES IN KENTISH CHALK. 

which attaches more or less to every succession of hills and valleys ; the 
massive steadfastness of the one and the lowly reliance of the other 
apparently combining to produce that impression upon the mind. It is 
heightened in the present case by the sense of solitude. Thanks to the 
value of the land for corn and fruit culture, and the unwillingness of the 
owners to part with it for building sites, few districts within the same 
distance of the metropolis are so thinly peopled. The wearied Londoner 
who has had the fortune to discover this, will not be ungrateful for the 
boon. Along many a mile of these uplands he will meet with no fellow 
creature other than rabbit, squirrel, or bird, and may find a score of rocks 
wherein to dream away a summer's day with the certainty of being un- 
disturbed. 

"Within living memory this district was wooded to a much greater 
extent than now. Such woodland tracts as remain lie upon the crests 
and in the hollows of the hills, or belt the valley-roads. The character- 
istic trees of the uplands are the beech, thorn, and yew ; of the lowlands 
the elm and the ash; but horse-chestnut, lime, maple, birch, syca- 
more, and rowan grow freely also. In places on the hills where there 
may be a little admixture of soil a raised beach of water- worn stones 
or a strip of peaty heath attesting the presence of gravel or sand 
Scotch firs and other conifers grow ; and even without this aid the larch 
will thrive. The oak and Spanish chestnut take less kindly to the country, 
often indeed attaining a vast girth, but usually being stunted in height. 
The beech is the real monarch of our hillside woods, majestic alike in 
stature and development of trunk and limb. The thorns seldom reach 
to any great size, but often assume with age a fantastic gnarliness that 
reminds one of the olive. The yews, which are found for the most part 
on the ridges above the roads, were planted, as tradition has it, to guide 
mediaeval pilgrims on their way to the shrine of St. Thomas at Canter- 
bury. Several are doubtless coeval with the days of pilgrimage, and 
some of the finest specimens crown the steep highway between Otford 
and Wrotham, which goes by the special name of " the Pilgrim's road." 
The yew's common habit of throwing its strength into the top, leaving 
the trunk bare, sometimes produces an umbrella-like shape that, en- 
couraged by art, makes it a prominent landmark. The elm is fore- 
most among the lowland trees, and reaches its full height. Some of the 
valley-roads are lined with it on either side, and the arching boughs 
interlace overhead like the groined roof of a cathedral nave. The lime 
is less lofty, though of ample girth, but is apt to develop an unhealthy 
fibrous growth midway round its trunk, disfiguring its symmetry. The 
ash and willow which, with the alder, fringe the river-banks, are seldom 
left to grow naturally, but pollarded periodically for the sake of their 
branches. 

More characteristic of the chalk-land than its trees are its hedge- 
row shrubs and underwood. In striking contrast with the sombre, 
unvarying foliage of the yews upon the hill-crests are their ordinary 



STUDIES IN KENTISH CHALK. 55 

companions, the wayfaring and service trees, whose leaves change from a 
spring vesture of grey-green, with white under-sides laid bare by every 
breeze, to an autumn robing of russet ; and whose clusters of milky 
bloom give place either to glossy berries that pass from pale-green to 
pink, onwards to crimson, and thence to black, or to bunches of mealy 
fruit that ripen from green to red and brown. Scarcely less abundant 
are the dog-wood, with its ruddy stems, pointed leaves that change from 
green through purple to crimson, and dense black berries ; and the 
spindle-tree, whose small leaves and whitish-green blossoms may escape 
attention in summer, but which "in our winter woodland looks a 
flower," with its waxen, three-sided, and rose-coloured seed-vessels. 
Mingled with them in ample variety are holly, privet, hawthorn, maple,^ 
willow, hornbeam, hazel, elder, eglantine, woodbine, blackthorn, brambisv. 
and all the commoner native shrubs, each beautiful in its own phsees-. 
of growth if allowed to mature. This freedom is too seldom enjoyed,, 
owing to the immoderate, zeal with which our Kentish farmers carry 
out their praiseworthy aim of securing as much light and air as possible- 
for their crops. The ruthless forays which they periodically make upon 
the hedgerows to denude them of all but the barest screen of foliage, 
have the doubly disastrous effect of depriving a soil already too dry of 
its natural reservoir of moisture, and the landscape of a special grace. 
When one of these hedgerows has the good fortune to remain untouched 
all the year through, it offers an inexhaustible study of form and colour. 
From earliest spring its green, yellow, and crimson leaf-buds are eloquent 
in promise, and the coldest March does not pass without an earnest of 
fulfilment in the white blossoms put forth by the blackthorn's leafless 
stems, or the golden pollen shed from the sallow-palm. With April and 
May come the bevy of white-flowering shrubs, hawthorn, Guelder, way- 
faring tree, service, and dogwood, preceded and followed by leaves which*'. 
traverse the scale of green through its numberless shades, save those- 
which, like the maple's, are scarlet-tipped, or, like the sapling oak's, are- 
stained throughout with crimson. Summer perfects the development 
of the leaves and deepens their tints ; gives free scope to the hop, 
bryony, bindweed, and other climbing plants which riot in a profuse 
tangle of tendrils ; and withers the flowers of spring only to replace them 
by its own, shell-pink or pearl-white chalices of eglantine, creamy 
yellow whorls of woodbine, masses of milky privet, starry clusters of 
clematis, and trumpet-mouths of convolvulus. As the season draws to a 
close, the hedgerow's " young wood," the product of the last three months, 
puts forth its foliage, whose fresher green recalls the memory of its 
vernal prime, yet with a foretaste of autumn in the sombre shading. 
The maple's outermost leaves are now half or wholly crimsoned instead 
of scarlet-tipped, and the ruddy purple tinge assumed by the sapling oak 
is shared in varying measure by the latest shoots of ash and hazel. 
Autumn fulfils and multiplies the pageant of colour ; stimulating the 
woodbine and at times the eglantine to a second bloom ; graduating the 



56 STUDIES IN KENTISH CHALK. 

passage of the green leaf to its death by every possible change of 
yellow, brown, and gold until it reaches the tint for which our old 
writers could find no apter epithet than philomot (feuttle morte) ; and 
lingering out the metamorphosis of the berry from orange to scarlet or 
crimson, and from indigo to black. Winter, which annuls so much 
that is pleasant to the eye, does not wholly deprive us of these glories, 
often prolonging to the last the deep russet of the beech and oak, bringing 
out into fuller relief the glossy purple of the bare birch stems, and sparing 
many a bramble-spray splashed with blood-red streaks, a holly-bush 
unstripped of its coral beads, or hoary filament of the clematis with its 
pathetic resemblance to the symbol of human decay. Thus no seasonal 
lapse passes over the hedgerow without bringing to those who care to seek 
for it some fresh picture of exquisite detail in broad or minute contrasts. 
The bank which the hedge surmounts, though still more dependent 
for its beauty upon 

The daughters of the year, 
Each garlanded with her peculiar flower, 

is happily less liable to ravage. If comparatively few plants and flowers 
are exclusively found upon the chalk, the abundant variety of its pro- 
ducts, and the quick succession of their blossoms and tints, together 
with the absence of some and the rarity of other species which are com- 
mon elsewhere, constitute sufficiently distinctive characteristics. Only 
one other soil in any part of England known to the present writer 
the sandstone rock of Waterdown Forest in Sussex is more variously 
and richly flowerful. As early as February, if the season be ordinarily 
mild, primroses and violets push their leaves and buds through the sere 
grass, the arum (or wake-robin) begins to lift its scroll, and the cleaver 
its whorl. From March to May the floral succession is swiftest. Violets 
white, lavender, and purple, scented and scentless are the first- 
comers ; primroses follow closely, and in greater abundance. True to 
her virginal character, the Spring clothes herself above every other 
season with pale or delicate-tinted flowers, and foremost of these are 
anemones white and pink, the stichwort, and the strawberry. Still later 
come the speedwell with its " darling blue," the celandine, buttercup, 
dandelion, and avens, all yellow, the latter (which, on account of its 
virtue as a simple, our forefathers called the herb Bennet) having a 
crimson eye ; then the hyacinth, dark and light blue, and the skull-cap 
in endless varieties of tint from palest pink to deepest purple. Between 
June and August these give place to the yellow-green mignonette, scarlet 
and crimson poppies, white, bladder, and rose campions, the lesser stich- 
wort, the crane's-bill, herb Robert, or wild geranium, with rose-pink 
blossoms and lace-like leaves, white marguerite daises, lilac, purple, 
occasionally white scabious, the sky-blue cornflower, yellow and white 
toad-flax, with its tongue of bright orange, white cow-parsley and hem- 
lock, crimson and purple thistles, frail blue harebells, golden St. John's 
wort and sun-daisies, the scarlet pimpernel, or shepherd's weather-glass, 



STUDIES IN KENTISH CHALK. 57 

and the mallow, for whose peculiar blending of red and blue no name 
has been found but its own. With the advent of autumn this succession 
begins to fail, but the night -shade, teazle, and several varieties of the mint 
tribe maintain the prevalence of purple which characterises the season, 
and many of the summer flowers linger until the setting in of winter. 
Even then the despised nettle, with its graceful umbels of white or yellow 
blossoms, is often hardy enough to defy the frost. When the bank is 
deserted by every flower, it keeps one last attraction in its covering of 
ground-ivy, each of whose symmetrical sprays, with its dark-veined 
leaves, is a masterpiece of chiaroscuro. 

Many of these flowers thrive still better under the shelter of the 
woods. During April and May the copses, especially those that have 
been cut a year or two previous, are literally carpeted with primroses, 
violets, anemones, and hyacinths. The strictly woodland flowers abound 
also : the wood-sorrel, with its perfect bright-green trefoils and daintily 
pencilled white blossoms; the woodruff, with its delicate whorls and 
small " enamelled " flowers, prized more in death than in life for their 
scent of new-mown hay ; the lily of the valley ; the wood-spurge, with its 
" cup of three," yellow-green in spring, bronze-red in autumn ; Solo- 
mon's seals ; the tall spikes of the viper's bugloss, the positive contrast 
of whose blue corolla and red stamens makes it strikingly attractive ; 
several varieties of orchis, of which the purple and crimson are the most 
common, the " green-man," fly, and bee being comparatively rare ; and 
the creeping jenny, which lights up the paths on summer evenings with 
its golden sconces set in an emerald framework. Other flowers are pecu- 
liar to the meadows, notably the lilac cuckoo-flower or lady's-smock, 
always to be] found first, as Mr. Tennyson, most faithful of poetic 
naturalists, has not failed to observe, in " the meadow-trenches ; " white, 
sweet-scented saxifrage, ragged robin, and the splendid marsh marigolds, 
Shakspeare's marybuds, which cover the lowlands beside the river 
with a cloth of gold. In the same situation grow the rose-tinted drop- 
wort with its white cross-shaped pistil, creamy meadow-sweet, and blue 
forget-me-not. Still closer to the verge of the stream rises the yellow iris, 
and upon its face float the white water-strawberry and golden water-lily.* 

* How these names, as one enumerates them, confute the notion which, though 
high living authority has been cited for it, we cannot hesitate to call ignorant, that tha 
loving study of natural beauty is a growth of modern time ! If the gold of poetry be 
ever embedded in the ore of language, the tender grace and truthful observation of 
our forefathers have surely been preserved for us in such names as speed-well, loose- 
strife, cuckoo-flower, wake-robin, forget-me-not, poor man's or traveller's joy, daisy 
(day's eye), shepherd's weather-glass, &c., &c. Many of the quaint resemblances 
which their eyes were quick to discover in these objects of their affection have lost 
their significance for ours. Dandelion (dents de lion) and foxglove (folk's or fairy's 
glove) convey no meaning to those who do not consider their etymology ; and wa 
doubt if the likeness of the columbine's inverted blossom to a nest of doves (coluTnba) 
has struck one modern observer out of a hundred. Miss Ingelow, so far as we re- 
member, is the only English poet who has referred to it. 



58 STUDIES IN KENTISH CHALK. 

In their choice of habitat, as every naturalist knows, flowers are as 
capricious as the sex of which they are the accepted symbols ; and many 
not above enumerated are to be found in particular localities and nowhere 
else. The cowslip, plentiful enough on the downs of Sussex and the Isle of 
Wight, is somewhat rare here, except on the banks of the " Pilgrim's 
Road," where it grows abundantly. The columbine is to be met with 
only in a few retired woods and hillsides, and there develops its character- 
istic tendency to " sport " in colour and double its blossoms so luxuriantly 
as to deceive experts into taking it for a garden seedling. The foxglove 
confines itself likewise to a few favourite haunts, and the yellow broom 
which has given its name to one of our hills is seldom to be seen else- 
where. The Canterbury bell, so abundant at the edge of the Sussex 
downs, but now and then shows itself under ours. You may search 
high and low in vain for the sweet-briar rose unless you know exactly 
where to look ; and a small white variety of toad-flax is restricted to one 
solitary patch. 

In grasses, ferns, and mosses these chalk-lands are less rich than 
some other soils, but the ordinary kinds flourish freely. The cereals must 
not be overlooked among the first-named, since in an agricultural district 
man's work has to be taken into account as modifying the conditions of 
natural beauty. The quality of the soil in the first place, and tradition 
in the second, have apparently dictated that white wheat should be more 
extensively grown here than any other variety of the grain. However 
splendid may be the harvest, it lacks the glowing lustre which flames 
from the sheaves of the red wheat on the clays and sands of Surrey and 
Sussex ; and the artist will more highly esteem it in an earlier stage, 
when its " thousand waves . . . ripple " over the broad uplands with an 
ineffable grace of curve. Looking on these fields when freshly ploughed, 
you would be apt to think there was no room for a blade to spring, so 
thickly are they strewn with flints, but visit them a few months later 
and you will see every interstice filled up and the surface mantling with 
green. The abundance of silex in the soil, so essential to the healthy growth 
of straw, renders ours of excellent substance. If the fields of barley and 
oats partake of the same coldness as the wheat, and the silver of the one 
be less sheeny, the gold of the other less mellow than elsewhere, the 
deficiency of colour is made up to us by the successional variety of other 
crops ; in spring by breadths of crimson trifolium and rose-pink sainfoin ; 
in summer by the pied-bean and white pea blossoms, the clear yellow of 
mustard and luzern, and the deep green, sprinkled with purple, of the tares; 
in autumn by masses of pale-pink clover, potato -fields blossoming ini 
white and purple, the shining leaves and ruddy stalks of the mangold. 
The sheep, for whose behoof most of these crops are grown, attest the 
fatness of the pasture by the quality of their wool, which is highly prized, 
rather than of their mutton, which is inferior to that of the grass-fed 
Southdowns. Though the hop-gardens in some other parts of Kent are 
larger and more fruitful than ours, no situation is better fitted than these 



STUDIES IN KENTISH CHALK. 59 

hill-slopes to array their long avenues of golden-green leaves, hanging 
flower-clusters, and wanton tendrils. Every farmstead boasts its cherry, 
apple, or plum orchard, and the lane which connects it with the high road 
is usually bordered on each side by a row of bullace or damson trees. The 
April landscape offers no fairer picture than their wavy lines of milky 
bloom. Large tracts are devoted to the culture of "ground fruit," 
strawberries, raspberries, currants, and gooseberries, which, with a smaller 
supply of filberts, cobnuts, and walnuts, readily find their way to the 
London markets. 

The soil of our flower-gardens is too rarely unmixed to afford any 
characteristic evidences, unless it be a tendency in the deeper shades of 
colour to become pale with the lapse of time. Even when the chalk 
remains native, however, it repays the labour of a generous and skilful 
hand, and no obstacles present themselves to the cultivation of any hardy 
tree, shrub, or flower that will grow in our latitude. The mean temper- 
ature, allowing for differences in altitude and exposure, is moderate both 
in heat and cold. Snow melts quickly except in sheltered spots on the 
hills. The water is too hard for some tastes, but singularly pure, as the 
analytical reports of the metropolitan water companies invariably attest. 
The air is fine, sweet, and bracing. Though liable, from its neighbour- 
hood to the sea, to an occasional incursion of mist which enters through 
its river outlet, the soil breeds no fogs of its own, and a slight shifting of 
the wind suffices to disperse the invader. Only after long-continued rain 
does the ground become viscid, and is apt to lose its moisture but too 
quickly. 

Passing over its human denizens, whose blood has mingled too long 
with that of other autochthons to retain any distinctive elements, it would 
be unpardonable not to say a word of the chalkland fauna. Like the 
flora, its characteristic consists as much in the rarity or absence of certain 
species commonly found on other soils as in the variety and abundance of 
those which it nurtures. The magpie and the jay, for example, of which 
the woods of Sussex and Surrey have only too many, are seldom seen in 
ours. The great woodpecker sometimes utters its strange laugh, but you 
may long listen in vain for the little woodpecker's " tapping." The red- 
start, another common bird in Surrey and Sussex, never or rarely visits 
us. On the other hand, the yellow-hammer, of which Surrey knows little, 
is our familiar guest. In song-birds, lark, linnet, thrush, blackbird, robin, 
blackcap, wren, and most of the finches, we are abundantly rich. The 
nightingale and cuckoo come early and linger late. Nor are the songless- 
birds less numerous. Any summer's day you may hear the ceaseless 
" wrangling " of the daw, the clamour of the rooks, whose voices are 
only dissonant when single and richly harmonious in concert, the 
cushat's plaint, the ringdove's lullaby, the starling's fine whistle, the 
swallow's thin shriek, the whin-chat's fretful hack, the quaint call-note 
of the wry-neck, or the " human cry " of the plover ; and any evening 
the nightjar's vibrant rattle, or the white owl's stertorous breathing. 



60 STUDIES IN KENTISH CHALK. 

A few rarer birds may now and then be seen by those who know their 
haunts ; the windhover hawk poising ere its swoop, a heron pursuing his 
leisurely flight towards the river, or a curlew sailing up from the marshes. 
A pair of ravens not long since built an annual nest in one of our parks, 
but of late years seem to have forsaken it. The birds and beasts of chase 
and warren find ample cover here, and breed as freely as they are suffered 
to do. Occasionally an otter is to be heard of beside the stream, but is 
ruthlessly pursued to death for the sake of the trout. No excuse but 
ignorance of its habits can be pleaded for the systematic destruction of 
the harmless hedgehog which, though still with us, will soon become as 
extinct as the badger. With true beasts of vermin, save those which 
sportsmen encourage, we are not greatly troubled, and from the pests of 
the reptile and insect worlds we enjoy comparative immunity. The 
adder, the hornet, the stag-beetle, and June bug, which abound on sandy 
soils, are here scarcely to be met with. The hop-gardens are infested 
with many peculiar enemies, but find a staunch defender in the ladybird. 
The worst foes of our flowers and vegetables are the wire- worm and the 
snail. A white variety of the latter attains immense size, and so much 
resembles the kind which the Southern French use for soup as to inspire 
a wish that it were equally edible. Bees thrive admirably on the sain- 
foin, clover, and other upland blossoms, and their honey fetches a high 
price. Thanks to the wide extent of the chalk flora, the collector of 
butterflies and moths finds constant occupation. No trout-stream within 
easy access of the metropolis is more favourably conditioned than that 
which flows through our principal valley, or seems to afford keener satis- 
faction to the angler. The trout-ova are said to be in particular request 
by the leading professor of English pisciculture. To one who, like the 
present writer, is not a sportsman, no other attraction should be needed 
than the stream itself. Now slow and tranquil, now swift and headstrong 
as it draws near to or falls from the weirs which span its channel ; at one 
moment flashing in the sunlight, at the next steeped in shadow ; over- 
hung here by alders and willows, there bordered by watercress, forget- 
me-not, iris, and reed ; haunted by passing visions of kingfisher, moorhen, 
and water-rat, or stately processions of gliding swans, it ripples and 
babbles along its winding course with changeful grace of motion and 
ceaseless murmur of music. 

H. G. H. 



61 



a%l-ztnttk&. 



SOME months since I ventured to lay before the readers of the CORNHILL 
MAGAZINE certain reflections upon the Philosophy of Drawing-rooms, 
wherein I endeavoured, so far as my humble lights permitted me, to 
accommodate the transcendental Platonic archetype of a rational drawing- 
room to the practical necessities of a modern eight-roomed cottage. There- 
upon I was immediately attacked and put to utter rout by a lively writer 
in one of our weekly journals. Into the main facts of our controversy 
(" si rixa et ubi tu pulsas, ego vapulo tantum ") I cannot enter here. 
Doubtless, as in all controversies, there was a great deal to be said on 
both sides. But there was one little side issue which set me thinking 
seriously. My opponent urged, amongst other objections, that a room 
such as that which I described would cost a few thousand pounds to 
furnish and decorate, instead of the modest hundred which had formed 
my original estimate. Now, as it happened that my figures were founded 
on personal experience, I felt naturally anxious to discover the origin of 
this slight difference of opinion between us. It soon appeared that my 
critic's difficulty really consisted in the fact that his r61e was that of an 
artist and collector, while mine was the humbler one of a decorative 
upholsterer. When I spoke of Venetian glass, he did not suppose I could 
mean Dr. Salviati's or the San Murano Company's, but firmly though 
politely took his stand in the Venice of the Doges the only Venice 
whose artistic existence he could bring himself in any way to recognise. 
The pretty hawthorn pattern porcelain he only knew in its priceless old 
Oriental form, and he refused even to acknowledge the solid reality, far 
less the beauty in shape and colour, of the lovely and daintily figured jar 
which now meets my eyes when I raise them from the sheet of foolscap on 
which I am at this moment writing the present paper. Yet I somehow 
cannot shake off my primitive belief that the jar in question actually does- 
exist, and is just as exquisite in form and hue as if it could show a most 
undoubted pedigree from the venerable days of the Ming dynasty itself. 
As to Vallauris vases, those audacious attempts to debase the beautiful 
by offering it to the ignoble vulgar at a moderate charge of one shilling, 
my censor frankly confessed that he knew nothing at all about them. 
^Esthetic pleasure, he remarked quite clearly between his lines (if I read 
him aright), is and ought always to remain the special and peculiar pre- 
rogative of the class which can afford to buy Italian great masters and 
antique bric-a-brac at unreasonable prices. 

I will candidly admit that I am not careful to answer him in this 



62 CIMABUE AND COAL-SCUTTLES. 

matter. It seems to me an obvious truism that the beautiful is equally 
beautiful however much or however little it may cost, and that the lilies 
of the field, though every village child may pluck them, are yet arrayed 
in purer loveliness than King Solomon in all his glory. I was anxious 
to show how people of slender means might make their homes bright and 
pretty at a small expense, not to show how they might pick up old china 
at fabulously cheap prices. But the criticism raised some reflections in 
my mind, chiefly connected with Cimabue and coal-scuttles, which I 
thought might prove not wholly unprofitable to the readers of this maga- 
zine. The scope and the domain of art are at the present moment under- 
going a revolutionary widening under our very eyes, and it is worth 
while to trace the previous history which has made this revolution 
possible or even inevitable. To put it briefly, we live in an age when the 
aesthetic interest is deserting Cimabue and fixing itself upon coal-scuttles. 

Walking down an unlovely English street in a manufacturing town, 
with its crumbling, flat-fronted, dirty brick cottages, its ragged unkempt 
children playing in the dusty, grimy gutter, its slatternly hard-faced 
women, its hulking, ill-clad men, its thick atmosphere of smoke and fog, 
one turns away in spirit to a village of Central African or Malayan savages, 
such as one sees it in the illustrations to Dr. Schweinfurth's or Mr. Wallace's 
books, with its neat, octagonal wattled huts, its large-leaved tropical plants, 
its breadth of air and roominess, its people fantastically decked out with 
bright blossoms, red ochre, quaintly tattooed decorations, and necklets of 
teeth or shells, all of which, however little they may happen to accord 
with our own notions of taste, show at least a decided love of aesthetic orna- 
ment on the part of their creators. When we contrast these two opposite 
poles of human life, we cannot help asking ourselves, Why has the pro- 
gress of our European civilisation, such as it is, killed out in the mass of 
our population that native taste for the beautiful which is so conspicuous 
in the merest savages 1 How is it that in a country which spends hun- 
dreds of thousands upon Fra Angelicos and Botticellis, upon Corots and 
Millets, upon Gainsboroughs and Burne Joneses, upon Assyiian bulls 
and Egyptian Pashts, upon South Kensington Museums and Albert 
Memorial monstrosities, nine-tenths of the people should still live per- 
petually in a state of aesthetic darkness and degradation far below that of 
the lowest existing savages, or even of the wild black-skinned hunters who 
chipped flints and carved mammoth ivory a hundred thousand years ago 
among the pre-glacial forests of the Somme and the Thames ? Is it not 
extraordinary that side by side with our Salons and our Royal Academies, 
our Louvres and our Schools of Design, there should exist a vast squalid 
mass of humanity, leading unlovely lives in the midst of ugly and shape- 
less accessories which would arouse the contempt of a naked ISTaga or 
Bushman, and more careless of cleanliness or personal adornment than 
the fierce-jawed pre-historic savages of the palaeolithic period 1 

I know most readers will imagine at the first blush that I am rhe- 
torically exaggerating the contrast between the aesthetic barbarian and 



CIMABUE AND COAL-SCUTTLES. 63 

our own utilitarian poor. But a little definite comparison will soon show 
that this language, strong as it is, does no more than represent the truth. 
Look, for example, at the most primary element in the love for beauty I 
mean personal adornment. The women and children of the Seven Dials 
have uncombed and tangled hair, twisted perhaps into a rude knot at the 
back of the head with a few rusty hairpins. But the Fijians decorate 
themselves with the most elaborate and careful coiffures, in a variety of 
styles, from the plain but well-combed frizzy poll of the men to the 
infinite tiny plaits and curls of the native belles. About the beauty to 
European eyes of these headdresses we need say nothing. Some will find 
them becoming, while others will merely think them bizarre ; but in any 
case they show at least the pains which the Fijians take to satisfy their 
own standard of fashion and of aesthetic taste. Some of the coiffures 
require several days for their arrangement ; and when they have been 
successfully completed, the proud possassor sleeps with his neck on a sort 
of notched wooden pillow, his head being quite unsupported, so as to 
avoid disarranging the lofty artistic structure. In Tahiti and in the 
Hawaiian Islands, again, flowers in the hair, in wreaths, in garlands to 
hang about the body, and in every other conceivable shape, form the 
common ornament of men, women, and children. Every one who has 
read the delightful accounts of life in the Archipelagos of the Pacific 
given by Miss Bird, Mrs. Brassey, or Lord Pembroke, must have noticed 
the air of refinement and aesthetic culture thrown over the whole atmo- 
sphere of life amongst these half- reclaimed savages by the constant presence 
of crimson hibiscus, and scarlet poinsettia, and purple bougainvillea as 
inseparable adjuncts of even the most prosaic acts. But our own grown- 
up cottagers think an attention to wild flowers worthy only of children. 
Tattooing, once more, is not a practice in complete harmony with our old- 
world notions, and " society " in England was convulsed with a nine days' 
horror when a flying rumour reached it some months since that two 
young royal personages had been decorated with a broad arrow across 
their faces after the primitive fashion of the South Seas ; but very few 
people at home have ever noticed how exquisitely beautiful, when viewed 
by themselves, are most of the curved or symmetrical patterns used by 
the Maories for decorating their cheeks. Mr. Herbert Spencer has shown 
most conclusively that tattooing was originally adopted, not as an orna- 
ment, but as a mutilation or disfigurement, marking subjection to a con- 
quering race ; and the way in which it has been gradually modified, so as 
to become at last purely aesthetic in purpose, is in itself a striking proof 
of high artistic feeling amongst the people who employ it. If we want 
further proof of such artistic feeling we have only to look at the exactly 
similar curves and patterns with which the Maories so exquisitely carve 
their war canoes and their paddles, their cocoa-nut drinking-cups, and 
their graceful clubs or bdtons, the Polynesian counterparts of the Homeric 
sceptres. 

"We might even go a step further back, perhaps, and draw a natural 



64 CIMABUE AND COAL-SCUTTLES. 

inference from the respective personal appearance of the South Sea 
Islanders and the East End Londoners themselves. Mr. Darwin believes 
that the general beauty of the English upper class, and especially of the titled 
aristocracy a beauty which even a hardened Radical like the present writer 
must frankly admit that they possess in an unusual degree is probably 
due to their constant selection of the most beautiful women of all classes 
(peeresses, actresses, or wealthy bourgeoisie) as wives through an immense 
number of generations. The regular features and fine complexions of the 
mothers are naturally handed down by heredity to their descendants. 
Similarly it would seem that we must account for the high average 
of personal beauty amongst the ancient Greeks and the modern Italians 
by the high average of general taste, the strong love for the beautiful, 
diffused amongst all classes in both those races. The prettier women 
and the handsomer men would thus stand a better chance of marrying, 
other things equal, and of handing down their own refined type of face and 
figure to their children. If this be so and evolutionists at least can hardly 
doubt it then we should expect everywhere to find the general level of per- 
sonal beauty highest where there was the widest diffusion of aesthetic taste. 
Now, our own squalid poor are noticeable, as a rule, for their absolute 
and repulsive ugliness, even when compared with those of other European 
countries. " La laideur," says M. Taine with truth, in his Notes sur 
PAngleterre, " est plus laide que chez nous." Gaunt, hard-faced women, 
low-browed, bull-dog-looking men, sickly, shapeless children people the 
back slums of our manufacturing towns. Their painful ugliness cannot 
all be due to their physical circumstances alone ; for the lazzaroni who 
hang about the streets of Naples must lead lives of about equal hardship 
and discomfort ; yet many of them, both men and women, are beautiful 
enough to sit as models for a Lionardo. On the other hand, every 
traveller speaks in high admiration of the beauty and gracefulness dis- 
played by young and old amongst the aesthetic Polynesians ; while in 
many like cases I note that Europeans who have once become accustomed 
to the local type find decidedly pretty faces extremely common in several 
savage races whose primitive works of art show them in other ways to 
possess considerable aesthetic taste. In India, where artistic feeling is 
universal, almost every man or woman is handsome. On the whole, it 
seems to me fairly proved that the average personal beauty everywhere 
roughly corresponds to the average general love for beauty in the abstract. 
Be this as it may, it is at least certain that most (if not all) existing 
or pre-historic savages take and have taken far more pains with their 
personal decoration than the vast mass of our own poor. The people of 
Bethnal Green, of the Black Country, and of the Glasgow or Liverpool 
hovels wear clothes or rags for warmth alone, and apparently without 
any care for their appearance, even on Sundays. But all savages paint 
themselves red with ochre, and blue with indigo or woad ; they tattoo 
themselves with intricate patterns, which it takes days to trace out; they 
cover themselves with flowers and fern leaves ; they gather ostrich plumes 



CIMABUE AND COAL-SCUTTLES. 65 

or other feathers for their head-dresses ; they weave girdles, belts, and 
necklaces of feathers, cowries, wampum, or seeds ; they manufacture cloth 
with bright dyes and pretty patterns ; and they trade with European or 
Arab merchants for Turkey-red cotton, brilliant Venetian beads, and 
scarves or sashes of pure and delicate colours. I have waded through, 
whole reams of literature on this subject, in print or manuscript, and I 
find missionaries and travellers almost universally, from Mr. Gifford 
Palgrave in the Philippine Islands to Mr. Whitmee in Samoa (in oppo- 
sition to the general European idea), speak highly of savage taste in 
matters of dress. And when we go back even to the earliest wild men 
of the Stone Age, we learn from Professor Boyd Dawkins that they painted 
themselves red with oxide of iron, that they made themselves necklets of 
shells, bones, and fossils, and that they stitched together mantles of fur 
or feathers with a rude thread made from the sinews of deer. 

If we compare the savage hut and its contents with the modern 
workman's cottage, the contrast becomes even more striking. Here our 
judgment is not disturbed by those wide fluctuations of fashion which 
make it difficult for us to appreciate the aesthetic intent of a tattooed 
New Zealand nose or a parti-coloured Ojibway forehead. The more a 
man studies savage art, the more is he struck by the almost universal 
good taste which it displays. Every chair, stool, or bench is prettily 
shaped and neatly carved. Every club, paddle, or staff is covered with 
intricate tracery which puts to shame our European handicraft. Every 
calabash or gourd is richly wrought with geometrical patterns or conven- 
tionalised floral and animal designs. The most primitive pottery is 
graceful in form and irreproachable in its simple ornament of string- 
courses or bead-work. Central African bowls and drinking-cups almost 
rival Etruscan or Hellenic shapes. Prehistoric vases from the barrows 
or lake-dwellings are not less lovely than the Trojan or Mycensean 
models which are now teaching our modem potters a long-forgotten secret 
of taste. Even the stone hatchets and arrow-heads of the very earliest 
age show a decided striving after aesthetic effect. And when we remem- 
ber that these exquisite carvings and these polished jade implements 
are produced with miserably inefficient tools and appliances when we 
recollect the instances quoted by Sir John Lubbock where whole years 
are spent in the perfecting of a single art-product, in grinding smooth a 
jasper hatchet or polishing a crystal ear-drop we cannot fail to wonder 
at the aesthetic fervour of these unsophisticated artists. There is posi- 
tively no object, however insignificant, in the ordinary savage hut, on 
which immense pains have not been expended for purely ornamental 
purposes. 

Look, by way of contrast, at our English labourer's cottage. A few 
painted deal chairs, a square white table, an iron bedstead, half a dozen 
plain Delft cups and saucers, a little coarse table linen, and a pile of 
bedclothes these constitute almost the whole furniture of nine out of 
en English households. We must not be led away by thinking of a 

TOL. XLII. NO. 247. 4. 



66 CIMABUE AND COAL-SCUTTLES. 

stray cottage or so in the country, or a few model workmen's houses in 
the outskirts of our towns, where gay flowers and bits of ornamental 
pottery add a touch of grace to the little home. Such homes are really 
quite exceptional, and by far the larger number of our people seem 
wholly destitute of aesthetic surroundings in any shape. "We must never 
forget that the vast majority of Englishmen live and die either in the 
stifling dens of our great towns or in the cheerless little stone-floored 
cottages of our country, whose thatched eaves look so picturesque without 
and whose bare walls chill the eye with their cold reception within. 
Why is it that civilisation has done so little to raise, or rather so much 
to lower, their aesthetic sensibilities ? 

Two reasons must be given in answer to this question. The first and 
most obvious one has doubtless already occurred to every thinking person. 
Civilised life so heightens the struggle for existence that the mass of men 
are compelled ceaselessly to devote their whole labour to the bare task of 
earning their daily bread. In spite of occasional hardship and periodical 
starvation, the savage generally finds his life admit of considerable leisure, 
which he can employ in aesthetic occupations. During the intervals of 
hunting, fishing, nutting, planting maize, and gathering yam or bread- 
fruit, he can find time not only for grinding stone weapons or weaving 
baskets, but also for building artistic head dresses, tattooing his chest and 
arms, drilling shells or fossils to string as wampum, and staining his 
roughly- woven fibres with green, yellow, blue, and scarlet dyes. He can 
lie on his back in the sun to carve his calabash or polish his cocoa-nut 
cup. The modern Eskimos, like the cave-men of the Dordogne, have 
leisure in their snow huts for sketching spirited representations of their 
hunting parties, scratched on the mammoth tusks which they take from 
the frozen carcases embedded in the ice of the glacial period. But our 
English labourers and artisans must toil the live-long day to procure bare 
food and drink, with such minimum of clothing and furniture as the 
habits of the race imperatively demand. What political economy, with 
its customary grim facetiousness, calls the " standard of comfort " among 
our lower classes, does not embrace more than the scantiest necessities of 
warmth and sustenance. It leaves no margin for decoration, either in 
personal dress or household furniture ; far less for distinctive works of 
art such as those which so commonly adorn even the poorest savage huts. 
But the second reason, to which, as it seems to me, sufficient import- 
ance has hardly ever been attributed, is this. The rapid growth of 
civilisation has itself entailed so great an advance in art- workmanship 
that the highest art-products have utterly outgrown the means of all but 
the wealthiest classes : and the lower branches have thus been left to lag 
behind and fall out of the artistic category altogether. We have paid 
so much attention to our Cimabues that we have till quite lately utterly 
neglected our coal-scuttles. It is not so amongst unsophisticated savages. 
With them, whatever is woi-th making is worth making well. Moreover, 
the difference between their highest and their lowest handicraft is so 



CIMABUE AND COAL-SCUTTLES. 67 

slight that almost every article is equally well made. But with us it 
would long have been thought absurd to ask Mr. Millais or Sir Frederick 
Leighton to turn from pourtraying their Jersey Lilies or their Nausicaas 
to design our soup-plates and our Turkey carpets. Painting, sculpture, 
and architecture have thus outrun all our lesser arts, and have finally 
brought about a condition of things in which till yesterday they alone 
were thought worthy the serious attention of artists. 

The growth of this divorce between art and common life is easy 
enough to trace. In all ages, art has specially devoted itself to royalty 
or religion to the political or the ecclesiastical government. Temples 
and palaces are its chief homes. Whether we look at Egypt with its 
endless colonnades of Karnak and its granite images of Memnon and 
Sesostris ; or at Assyria with its winged bulls and its regal bas-reliefs ; 
or at Hellas with its Partheuons and its Theseiums ; or at Rome with its 
Colosseum and its Capitol ; or at modern Europe, with its Louvre and its 
Escurial, its St. Peter's and its Lincoln Minster, its Vatican and its Winter 
Palace, we see everywhere that kings and deities gather round their dwelling- 
places all the grandest works of the highest national art. We may turn 
again to India, and there we find the same tale in the mosques and 
mausoleums of Agra and Delhi, in the exquisite temples of Benares, in 
the rock-hewn caves of Elephanta, in the gorgeous courtyards of modern 
Lucknow. Turn once more to Mexico, to Peru, to China, and the same 
fact everywhere forces itself upon our attention. Amongst ourselves, 
we find painting, sculpture, architecture, the thousand minor arts of 
wood-carving, mosaic, jewellery, intaglio, fresco, ivory-work, metallurgy, 
and upholstery, all pressed into the special service of royalty. Our 
cathedrals give us the same arts in addition to music, glass staining, 
embroidery, and fifty other decorative devices. From east to west, 
from China to Peru, we see every kind of aesthetic handicraft lavished 
with about equal hand upon the country's king and the country's gods. 

Naturally, as the savage chief developed into the barbaric or civilised 
monarch, and as the arts grew up side by side with this slow evolution of 
the governmental agency, the highest artistic products were specially 
prepared for royal use. In the great Oriental despotisms, where hardly 
any ranks existed between the king and the slavish subject, the king 
himself absorbed almost all the spare labour of the community, and the 
gods absorbed the rest. Thus, even in the barbaric stage, the gap between 
the higher art which ministered to the great, and the lower arts which 
ministered to the people, must have been very great. But with the 
rapid advance made in mediaeval and modern times, that gap has become 
immensely widened. All through the Middle Ages, especially in Italy, 
the higher art was developing with extraordinary rapidity. From the 
Renaissance, however, we must date the beginning of the modern and 
complete separation between the two types of art, the industrial and the 
aesthetic. The separation was consummated by the successors of Michel 
Angelo, and it remained unchallenged till a couple of dozen years ago. 

42 



68 CIMABUE AND COAL-SCUTTLES. 

The difference between a Ghirlandajo or a Luca della Robbia, and an 
ordinary Florentine goldsmith, was a mere question of material and 
purpose ; the difference between a Sir Joshua and a contemporary 
London jeweller was total and absolute. In the first case, both were 
artists of slightly varying merits ; in the second case, the one was an 
artist, and the other a respectable tradesman. It is only within the 
last two or three decades that the gulf has once more begun to be bridged 
over in northern Europe. 

Even if other causes had not interfered, the mere spontaneous 
development of the highest art must necessarily have produced some 
such separation. Painting, for example, had become so highly evolved, 
that it required a long special training in drawing and colouring, in 
perspective and chiaroscuro, in anatomy and in a dozen other connected 
sciences. The painter must spend much time beforehand in acquiring 
his art, and he must also spend much time over each particular canvas 
in conception and composition, in copying the features of his models and 
working out the details of his drapery, in rendering a single finger or a 
refractory foot so as to satisfy the highly critical connoisseurs who had 
developed side by side with the developing technique of the artists. The 
special public which can fully appreciate fine paintings is only to be 
found, as a rule, amongst the wealthy classes who can afford to buy them. 
Thus the front rank of art naturally gets far ahead of all the lesser 
ranks, and produces a race of artists whose work is ridiculously advanced 
in comparison with the average appreciation of the masses. 

But this inevitable tendency was much strengthened and accelerated 
at the Renaissance by two special causes. In the first place, the spirit 
of the classical revival (especially in its later days) tended towards the 
unduly exclusive cultivation of the three main visual arts, painting, 
sculpture, and architecture. It tended, also, towards their cultivation 
in a very cold and isolated form. The remains of ancient art which 
have come down to us are mere fragments, and they are fragments 
whose real relation to their surroundings was much misunderstood by 
the Florentine revivalists, and ridiculously caricatured during the 
eighteenth century, when the word " classical " became almost synony- 
mous with cold, colourless, and insipid. The chief relics of Hellenic and 
Roman art are pieces of sculpture. Now Mr. Pater has lately pointed 
out in two of his exquisite and subtly- woven essays that Greek sculpture 
ought never to be divorced from the many-coloured background of minor 
arts which formed its native atmosphere. We should always see in 
fancy the chryselephantine Zeus or the tinted marble Aphrodite projected 
upon a mental field of mosaic, of metal work, of fresco, of stained ivory 
carving, of a thousand butterfly hues which have all disappeared from 
the disenhumed Hellas of our museums. But it was this latter pale and 
faded Hellas alone that the eye of Michel Angelo saw in the freshly 
recovered torsos of the Vatican. The gold and ivory were gone, the 
general background of varied arts had disappeared, the gilding and 



CIMABUE AND COAL-SCUTTLES. 69 

tinting on the marble itself had been worn away by time or exposure, 
and only the cold and weather-stained stone remained as an isolated relic 
of that warm and many-hued Hellenic world, whose picture is preserved 
for us in the minute descriptions of Pausanias. Accordingly, the 
" classical " school of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the false 
heirs of the Renaissance, began to restore the Greek ideal as they found 
it in its few surviving fragments. They had not even the wall paintings 
of Pompeii by which to correct the erroneous conception derived from 
the torsos. Thus they reduced all art in the end to something so chilly 
and lifeless that the world hailed with delight the so-called Gothic 
revival about the middle of the present century, as a grateful restoration 
of warmth and colour to the dry bones of a mummified art. 

The second and still more potent cause for the separation between, 
artistic and industrial work was the rapid growth of the manufacturing 
system in northern Europe. During the Middle Ages, the painter, the 
sculptor, and the wood-carver were all higher handicraftsmen, whose 
handicraft merged insensibly into that of the decorator, the joiner, the 
jeweller, and the potter. These lower trades still gave an opportunity 
for the display of individual taste, of artistic fancy, of that capricious 
quaintness which forms, perhaps, the greatest charm of mediaeval 
workmanship. But with the employment of machinery, the separation 
became broad and pronounced. Steam-woven patterns and calico prints 
have superseded the hand-made embroidery and rich brocades of earlier 
times. Cheap moulded crockery and stamped designs have taken the 
place of jars turned upon the wheel and painted decorations. Wall 
papers hang where tapestry hung before, and chintzes cover the chairs 
that were once covered by delicate needlework. Electro-plate tea-pots, ma- 
chine-made jewellery, and ungainly porcelain vases replace the handicraft 
of humbler Cellinis, unknown Ghibertis, or inglorious Palissys. Under 
the influence of this cause, industrialism became frankly cheap and ugly, 
while sestheticism retreated into the lofty upper region of the three 
recognised fine arts. 

In proportion as the industrial system was more or less developed in 
each European country did the divorce become absolute. In Italy and 
the south, where the manufacturing spirit never gained a firm footing, 
individual workmanship survived and still survives. Florentine mosaics, 
Roman cameos, Genoese filigree work, Venetian glass, are all of them 
relics of the old artistic handicraft which has lived on unmoved among 
the quiet Italian towns. In France, more manufacturing than Italy, but 
less so (at least during the eighteenth century) than England, we find a 
sort of intermediate stage in Sevres porcelain and Gobelins tapestry, ia 
Louis Quinze marquetry and Dieppe ivory- carving. But in England 
the gap was truly a great gulf. Between the Royal Academy and the 
Birmingham or Manchester workshops there was no common term. Most 
of our manufactures were simply and unpretentiously utilitarian. They 
had no affectation of beauty in any way. Whatever art-furniture existed 



70 CIMABUE AND COAL-SCUTTLES. 

in the country mosaic tables or buhl cabinets in a few noble houses 
was brought from those southern lands where industrialism had not yet 
killed out the native art-faculties of the people. A piece or two of 
Chinese porcelain, a stray bit of Indian carving, an Oriental rug, or 
embroidered cushion here and there carried the mind away to Eastern 
countries where steam and factories were yet wholly unknown. But at 
home the stereotyped iiniformity of manufacturing ugliness bore undi- 
vided sway, and if a solitary Wedgwood at rare intervals had originality 
enough to set up some attempt at artistic industrial work, his aspirations 
naturally cast themselves in the prevailing classical mould. 

From these tendencies two evil results inevitably flowed. In the 
first place, art came to be looked upon by the mass, even of the middle 
classes, as something wholly apart from everyday life. The aesthetic 
faculty was a sense to be gratified by an annual visit to the Academy, an 
occasional perambulation of the National Gallery, and perhaps a single 
pilgrimage during a lifetime to Rome and Florence. For the lower 
classes, art ceased to exist at all. Their few sticks of furniture, their 
bits of glass and crockery, were all turned out on the strictly manufac- 
turing pattern, with the least possible expenditure of time and money. 
Only the extreme upper class, the landed aristocracy and very wealthy 
merchants, could afford to live in an atmosphere of pictures and statues, 
of Italian art-furniture and Oriental porcelain. 

The second evil hangs on to the first. As the only beautiful objects 
^wSth which the rich were acquainted (save in the three great arts) were 
-antique or foreign productions, the notion of rarity got inextricably and 
fatally mixed up with that of beauty, or even began to supersede it. 
The age of virtuosi set in. " That is a very pretty plate," you may say 
to a confirmed china maniac, as you look over his collection ; and he will 
answer you unconcernedly, " Ah, yes, it is pretty, to be sure," as if that 
were quite an accidental and secondary consideration about it. He is 
surprised that you should admire the pretty plate, rather than this 
.hideously ugly but very rare pipkin, which is one of the costliest and 
most vulgar specimens of old Worcester now extant. This spirit in a 
less exaggerated form is widely prevalent amongst all connoisseurs and 
collectors. They want a particular "sang de boeuf" or old turquoise 
-blue Chinese vase not merely because it is beautiful, but also because it 
is old and rare. The self-same turquoise blue turned out by a modern 
Tapanese or European workman they will not look at. Hence there has 
arisen, or arose till very lately, a certain profound hopelessness in indus- 
trial Europe a general belief that the age of art-production was past, 
and that we were fatally bound down to make ugly things to all eternity. 
" We can never rival the past " was the unspoken thought of almost 
every Western manufacturer. 

These considerations bring us back at last to Cimabue. I do not wish 
in any way to underrate the importance of the mediaeval great masters ; 
but it does seem to me that under the influence partly of the collecting 



CIMABUE AND COAL-SCUTTLES. 71 

spirit and partly of the aesthetic revival, their real value and interest 
have been overlooked, while false and exaggerated claims have been made 
on their behalf. The true importance of Cimabue, for example, is 
historical and evolutionary, rather than strictly artistic. He, like every 
other early great painter, like the Egyptian, Assyrian, and Etruscan 
sculptors, forms a moment in the development of art. As illustrating 
that moment, as carrying on the unbroken succession between the com- 
parative woodenness of his predecessors and the comparative freedom of 
Giotto, he possesses the deepest interest for the student of artistic evolu- 
tion. He is, in fact, a critical point in the development ; he attracts our 
attention just as the ascidian or the lepidosiren attracts the attention of 
the genealogical biologist. Cimabue painted eyes to look like eyes, while 
his Byzantine masters painted them to look like glass beads ; he created 
stiff human beings in the place of still stiffer model saints ; he made his 
drapery hang something like real clothes instead of hanging like starched 
buckram. Giotto discovered that the sky was blue and not gilded, that 
human limbs were made of flesh and bone, not of wood, and that men. 
and women lived their lives instead of acting perpetual tableaux vivants 
in unnatural attitudes. Masaccio further found out that you could 
move your body freely on its joints, and need not always hold it in the 
most angular of abstract positions. The great Renaissance painters 
finally introduced accurate anatomical knowledge, power of drawing, and 
free individuality of conception and composition. It is interesting to 
follow the development, just as it is interesting to watch Egyptian art 
touching on Assyrian, and Assyrian again merging into Phoenician, 
Syrian, Ionian, and Athenian. We like to obsei've Cimabue as the 
transitional term between Byzantine and early Italian painting, just as 
we like to know what Professor Sayce tells us of the Hittites as the 
missing link between Oriental and Hellenic art. But too many modern 
enthusiasts are accustomed accordingly to speak of mediaeval artists in 
terms which would be extravagant if applied to the most developed 
aesthetic works. They weary us with over-appreciation of Lippi and 
Perugino : they annoy us by dragging doubtful Memmis out of the dark 
recesses of Italian churches, and finding in them a thousand admirable 
qualities which are wholly invisible to the cold and matter-of-fact eye of 
the historical critic. Yet, curiously enough, it is these very people who 
are generally least ready to admit that there can be any merit or interest 
in the still more infantile art of Memphis and Nineveh. Let us praise 
Giotto by all means for his admirable colouring, for his emancipated 
grouping, for his comparatively natural figures ; but do not let us pre- 
tend that all his tints are as fine as Titian's, that all his legs and arms are 
absolutely perfect, or that all his attitudes are really those which human 
beings actually adopt in their every-day existence. 

Now, the general position brought about in England by all these 
combined causes was something like this. The poorer people had no art 
at all. The richer imagined art to be mainly confined to painting, and 



72 CIMABUE AND COAL-SCUTTLES. 

perhaps sculpture : while they confused a love of beauty with a taste for 
making collections. The middle class could not afford the only kind of 
art which it knew, and therefore contented itself with bad imitations in 
the shape of cheap family portraits in oils and similar monstrosities. 
Look into the Balbi palace at Genoa, the big white house nearly opposite 
the Annunziata Church, and you have a good specimen of the Italian style 
fully carried out in all its details. Wide marble staircases lead you into 
the great reception rooms. Vandycks, Guides, and Titians hang upon 
the walls. The ceilings are painted in fresco : the floors inlaid with 
parti-coloured marble. Every table, cabinet, or chimney-piece is a 
triumph of decorative art. This is what the rich man's house can be 
made, after its fashion, and a fine and stately fashion it is. But all these 
things are impossible for the man of moderate means in our industrial 
England ; and having no model of his own on which to adorn his house, 
he takes the most unattainable of all the rich man's luxuries, the great 
painting, as his aim, and gets himself copied in oils, with a heavy gilt 
frame included, for ten guineas. All the rest of his house is on the 
manufacturing pattern. He covers his wall with a tasteless paper, and 
his floor with a tasteless carpet; but he hangs the picture and frame 
over his dining-room side-board, and thinks complacently to himself thalt 
he has performed the whole duty of man as a munificent patron of art. 

For a great many years the British middle classes contentedly 
slumbered on in this Philistine repose. The Exhibition of 1851 suddenly 
woke them up with an unexpected start. They had set on foot that 
Exhibition with a decided idea that they were about to astonish the world 
by displaying their cheap calicos, their excellent steel blades, and their 
patent revolving corkscrews, to the admiration of all outsiders. Well, ia 
these things they undoubtedly and deservedly carried away the palm 
from all competitors, even from their own industrial kinsmen across the 
Atlantic. But when they put their own goods side by side with goods 
from France and Italy, from Bohemia and Spain, from India and Japan, 
it began to strike the Birmingham and Manchester manufacturers that 
their native productions were perhaps just a trifle ugly. Long before, the 
"classical" school had given way to the "Gothic" revival, and the 
minds of the architects and ecclesiastical decorators had been carried back 
(partly through the High Church reaction) to mediaeval models. But the 
Great Exhibition was the first hint received by the mass of our manu- 
facturing classes of their own shortcomings. Everybody knows the 
history of the aesthetic movement which set in from that critical date. 
England recognised its new need. Schools of art and design began to 
inundate London and the provinces. South Kensington Museums, 
needlework exhibitions, artistic potteries, and decorative upholsteries 
sprang up on every side. ^Estheticism became first a fashion, and at last 
almost a craze. In its earlier phases, the new movement affected only 
the upper classes. Art-workmanship was introduced into the luxuries 
of the rich the silver caskets, the ornamental plaques, the carved oaken 



CIMABUE AND COAL-SCUTTLES. 73 

furniture of wealthy halls. But side by side with the practice of the 
great manufacturers went the preaching of men like Mr. Ruskin and 
Mr. Morris. The attention of truly artistic minds was being turned 
aside, in part at least, from Cimabue and Lionardo to coal-scuttles and 
arm-chairs. During the last five years, the movement has spread rapidly 
downwards through society. It has passed beyond the aristocracy and 
the upper middle class, and now it has reached the stratum of the small 
shopkeepers and clerks. In the course of time it may perhaps reach the- 
labouring man, and brighten up his cheerless, unlovely home with a few 
fairer gleams of artistic beauty. Already it has sestheticised our wall- 
papers and our carpets, our vases and our tea-trays, our curtains and our 
chimney-pieces ; perhaps it may before long do something to sestheticise- 
the poor man's chairs and tables, cups and saucers, clothing and sur- 
roundings. Those who have lived in homes, first of the old and then of 
the new type, know with what an unwonted grace their whole life has 
been suddenly invested by a few simple changes in its artistic environment. 
They seem to live and move in a purer atmosphere ; all existence seems 
sweetly set to a higher key. 

Naturally, when first the manufacturing interest awoke to its own 
exceeding ugliness, it began to look about for some model upon which 
it should improve its personal appearance. A great many causes led it 
in the beginning towards medievalism. The close connection between 
the High Church and the Gothic revivals, the strong share borne by 
ecclesiastical art in the new movement, coupled with the complete gap 
in that art between the Reformation and our own time, inevitably 
brought about such a tendency. Already, even in the higher arts, a 
change of taste in the same direction was visible. People had given up 
admiring Guiclo and the Caracci in favour of Francia and Filippino 
Lippi. It was the age of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the church 
restoration mania. Pure medievalism, well or ill understood, was all 
the rage. Metal- work and wood-carving, in what was called Gothic 
styles, inundated our houses. Sir Charles Eastlake became the oracle 
of domestic taste. A tendency to pointed arches, in season and out of 
season, ran through all our struggling decorative art. The cathedrals 
were the great existing monuments of mediaeval workmanship, and, 
owing in part to this fact, the whole mediaeval revival took a certain 
undefined ecclesiastical and architectural turn. The architects and the 
clergy, indeed, had been its prime authors, and they impressed upon it 
too distinctly their own habits of thought. We sat down to dinner on 
a sort of carved- oak bishop's throne, and we hung up our hats on a 
domestic variety of pinnacled sedilia. Even the coal-scuttles assumed 
the air of church furniture. It was a little ridiculous, perhaps, but it 
was a step towards decorative improvement. Like Cimabue himself, it 
formed a passing moment in our aesthetic evolution. The bad in it has 
mostly passed away, but the good has remained and will doubtless 
remain for ever. 



74 CIMABUE AND COAL-SCUTTLES. 

After the mediaeval stage came the Renaissance, which did not 
supersede the other, but, so to speak, was superposed upon it. We 
began to admire Henri Deux ware and to read Mr. Pater's admirable 
essays. Moreover, people felt gradually more or less conscious that the 
mediaeval school had gone a little too far. The knobs on the Gothic 
chairs hurt their backs, and the absurdity of carved wooden arches sup- 
porting nothing hurt their rational sensibilities. So we had next, in 
due historical order, the Queen Anne school, of which the Miss Garrets, 
with their pleasant dogmatic style of " Thou shalt do this," and " Thou 
shalt not buy that," were the chief prophetesses. Chippendale furniture 
replaced the pointed arches of the previous decade. The Queen Anne 
school was a great and solid improvement, and its work will abide among 
us for many a long day. It introduced us to many good things, and 
above all it set to work devising decorations which would accord with 
the ordinary style of brick house common among the well-to-do middle 
classes of England. It gave us pretty wall-papers, designed on good 
decorative principles ; and gentle colours, and nice patterns in chintz or 
tapestry, and sensible chairs, and comfortable fire-places, and cosy sofas. 
Under a thin disguise of archaism, it really recognised the needs of 
modern comfort. Moreover, it penetrated the serried phalanx of British 
Philistinism, and induced it to discover its own hideousness. All this 
is good and commendable. No doubt, like all other schools, the Queen 
Anne school has too much mannerism ; but we shall learn in time to 
reject the mannerism and cleave to the spirit. The new red brick houses 
-are apt to be a little tedious and monotonous in their interior decorations 
when one sees a dozen or so of them at a time ; the hand of the master 
is everywhere too conspicuous ; but after all, how infinitely preferable 
they are to the old-fashioned Philistine houses with no decoration at all ! 

Concurrently with the Queen Anne revival came the Japanese 
invasion. It was natural that when we began to look out for decorative 
art in cheap forms we should turn our eyes to those Oriental countries 
where such art has formed a part of the popular life for all ages. In 
Japan, painting and sculpture never rose high enough to kill off the 
lower arts ; machinery never destroyed the native taste and ingenuity of 
the people. The Japanese products had exquisite colour, curious quaint- 
ness, and a certain national flavour which gave them some ethnographical 
interest. We were glad to welcome their paper fans and umbrellas, 
their lacquered fire-screens, their papier-mache trays, their bamboo 
whatnots, their daintily- coloured porcelain and coarser pottery ware. 
At the same time with Japan we welcomed China and India as well. 
" In Tiberim Syrus defluxit Orontes " the Ganges and the Hoang-Ho 
overflowed the banks of Thames. Benares metal-work and Lucknow 
jars, Indian durries and Chinese bronzes, jostled one another in half the 
windows in Regent Street. Everything Oriental became equally fashion- 
able. Persian tiles, Turkey carpets, and Cashmere rugs found their way 
into every family. Most of these new introductions, again, are also 



CIMABUE AND COAL-SCUTTLES. 75 

good, each after its kind. Above all, they are for the most part cheap 
as well as beautiful, and they enable the comparatively poor to obtain 
really pretty decorations for prices far lower than those of almost any 
similar European manufactures. 

The general conclusion which we may draw from these varying 
freaks of fashion is a comfortable one. The mass of the well-to-do 
classes are in search of an aesthetic style which will suit their purses. 
A little while ago we heard Mr. Poynter asserting that Mr. Ruskin had 
" no feeling for the beautiful in art." That is the sort of language which 
is common amongst the higher art-critics. But those who believe that 
every savage and every child has a feeling for the beautiful in art, do 
not trouble themselves about these high questions. They look for a simpler 
and more comprehensive kind of beauty. We are still groping about, 
but we are on the right path. Cast upon our own resources, we were 
compelled at first to take the best we could get. Now we are striking 
out new lines for ourselves. Day by day the love for beauty in small 
surroundings, for art at home, is spreading downward into successively 
lower strata of our people. What we need is that the feeling for beauty 
as beauty should be encouraged. We must not let ourselves be led away 
by the apostles of higher sestheticism or the mere bric-a-brac collectors. 
A pretty thing is pretty whatever it may cost, and, other things equal, 
is all the better for being cheap. From the old-curiosity-shop point of 
view, a piece of Venetian glass is valuable only because it is old ; from 
the decorative point of view it is valuable because it is beautiful and 
effective, and it will be quite as beautiful and effective if it was made 
yesterday as if it was made for Dandolo himself. Just at present there 
is a good deal of extravagance, a good deal of archaeological puritanism, 
a good deal of dogmatic assertion. But all these are common accom- 
paniments of every revolution. In the end, no doubt, we shall invent 
more original types for ourselves. There will be less of mediaevalism, 
less of Queen Anne, less of the Japanesque, less even of eclecticism, and 
more individuality. Already one can find dozens of homes, even among 
comparative laymen, where the prevailing style is neither Mr. Morris's, 
nor Dr. Dresser's, nor any other authority's, but the owner's own. 
There are thousands of people who feel that they cannot criticise, perhaps 
cannot even appreciate, Corot and Millet with the intense fervour and 
subtle penetration of Mr. Comyns Carr, but who can nevertheless enjoy 
the beauty of a daintily-shaped and delicately-coloured earthenware vase, 
or a simple and decorative textile fabric. They firmly believe in their 
own right to admire Doulton ware, even though they may be profoundly 
ignorant of majolica or Chelsea. It is worth while to aim at supplying 
this large class of people with artistic products which they can under- 
stand, and in the midst of which they can pass their lives. England is 
now essentially a limited democracy, and its art must become more 
democratic every day. Painting and sculpture can minister mainly to 
the few alone ; decorative art must minister to the many. Nor is this 



76 CIMABUE AND COAL-SCUTTLES. 

any degradation to its office, but rather the contrary. " Art," says a 
great critic, " is never more supreme than when it fashions from the 
commonest materials objects of the greatest beauty." 

Professor Huxley once expressed a wish that a race of palaeontologists 
might some day come into existence who knew nothing of geology. So 
one might almost wish that a race of decorative artists might come into 
existence who knew nothing of museums and connoisseurs. They would 
then set to work to invent beautiful and effective decorations on rational 
principles, not according to pre-established models. Those two turquoise- 
blue vases on the mantelpiece are modern Chinese, and no one but a 
collector could tell them from the ancient specimens. They do the work 
they are intended to do, that is to say, they decorate the room. But the 
collector would despise them because they have not got the proper mark. 
That piece of Worcester in the cabinet behind me, on the other hand, is 
genuine and valuable ; but it is so frightfully ugly that it retains its 
place only out of consideration for the feelings of the friend who added 
it to the scratch collection of odds and ends in the little cabinet. A 
museum is one thing, and a dwelling-house another. It has been too 
much the fashion amongst our most artistic classes to confuse the two. 
Let us religiously preserve curiosities by all means, just as we preserve 
Cimabues, or tumuli, or Egyptian mummies ; but don't let us imagine 
that because they are curious or ancient they are necessarily decorative. 
Above all, don't let us assent to the converse proposition, that because 
pretty things are cheap and modern they are necessarily unworthy of 
artistic consideration. G. A. 



77 



(taper aimns. 



A BLUE-BOOK has recently been published under the formal title of " Report 
of the Commissioners appointed to inquire into Municipal Corporations 
not subject to the Municipal Corporations Acts (other than the City 
of London), together with Minutes of Evidence, &c. presented to both 
Houses of Parliament by command of Her Majesty." It discloses a 
state of things a trifle less comic than the unreformed system of borough 
representation, inasmuch as there is no corporation to be found in any 
place which is totally uninhabited. There are non-resident burgesses 
and non-resident chief magistrates ; and the population in proportion to 
the number of municipal officers is sometimes ludicrously small, remind- 
ing us of Macpherson's army in Bon Gualtier, which consisted of five-and- 
twenty men and five-and-thirty pipers. But still there is nothing in the 
system corresponding exactly to old Sarum. The place inhabited by the 
corporation may be only a small village : but there is at all events that. 
We see nothing to prevent aldermen and jurats, and burgesses and 
capital burgesses, from still retaining the small revenues which they draw 
from landed property, and spending them where they pleased, when not 
one stone was left upon another of the original " borough town." Still 
they have not come to that point yet ; governing bodies, ranging from 
twelve to twenty, with half a dozen officers in their employment, have 
never less than from a hundred and fifty to a couple of hundred subjects 
whose affairs one would be inclined to say that they mismanaged, if 
mismanagement on such a Lilliputian scale can be spoken of seriously. 

We suppose that scarcely one reader in a hundred will understand at 
first sight to what the above paragraph refers, or will be prepared to 
hear that, scattered up and down the country, chiefly in the south and 
west, lie from eighty to a hundred municipalities untouched by the Act 
of 1835, though of course they have lost the privileges which they enjoyed 
before the Reform Bill of 1832. They are not all of such diminutive 
proportions as we have above described ; among the eighty -six reported 
on by the Commissioners being eleven Parliamentary boroughs, and 
several other towns of which the population is not under two thousand. 
But the great majority of them are practically mere villages, with their 
mayors or high bailiffs, aldermen, justices, town clerks, mace-bearers, 
port-reeves, criers, ale-tasters, scavengers, carnals, and constables, many 
of these officials having neither any duties to perform nor any salaries 
to receive. Let us open the report at random. We light upon the 
borough of Bovey Tracey in Devonshire. As is frequently the case, the 



78 UNEEFORMED CORPORATIONS. 

borough and the parish are not conterminous, the population of the latter 
being a thousand, while that of the former is two hundred. Of these 
about fifty are freeholders, and entitled to the privileges of the corpora- 
tion. The welfare of this little community is cared for by a bailiff, a 
port-reeve, a crier, an ale-taster, a scavenger, and two constables. Its 
income is \ll. a year, which is spent, we are told, in paying the land tax 
and property tax, in printing circulars, in perambulating the borough 
boundaries, and an annual dinner in the month of May, of which all the 
freeholders partake. The boundary stones of the borough are said to be 
from six hundred to nine hundred years old. The corporation has no 
seal ; but it has some ancient weights and measures which are never used ; 
and tradition preserves the memory of a mace. There are, however, 
better specimens than Bovey Tracey, because here justice is administered, 
and the public-houses are licensed, by the county magistrates. But such 
is far from being the case in some other places, where the corporations 
are more strictly speaking municipal. 

Fordwich is a village in Kent with a population of two hundred and 
seventy. The governing body consists of a mayor and seven " jurats," 
assisted by a town clerk. Anybody can become a freeman by the pay- 
ment of 51. Ws. ; as soon as he is a freeman he can become a jurat ; and 
as soon as he becomes a jurat, he becomes a magistrate. These gentle- 
men try prisoners in the Borough Court, who undergo their sentences in 
Maidstone or Canterbury Gaol. They also license all the public-houses, 
which are four in number ; and the management of charities, to the 
amount of about a hundred pounds a year, is in their hands. The rent 
of a fishery, let to the Stour Fishery Association, which, however, does 
not produce more than about ten shillings each, they divide among 
themselves. Ouenborough, in the same county, has a population of eight 
hundred. It is governed by a mayor, bailiff, and four jurats. It keeps 
a recorder, a treasurer, a town clerk, a constable, and two sergeants-at- 
mace, who receive Ml. a year. Axbridge, in Somersetshire, has a popu- 
lation of nine hundred. The corporation consists of a mayor, recorder, 
alderman, eight capital burgesses, and free burgesses. The mayor, the 
alderman, and the recorder, who never attends, are the magistrates who 
try prisoners and license the public-houses. The present mayor is a 
tanner. The alderman is a watchmaker. There is, of course, a town 
clerk ; and at Axbridge there is an inspector of weights and measures. 
The income of the corporation is about a hundred and twenty pounds a 
year. Camelford, in Cornwall, has a population of one thousand. It has 
a mayor, seven capital burgesses, a recorder, a town clerk, and a sergeant- 
at-mace. The recorder does not act ; the corporation has nothing to do, 
and the duty of the sergeant-at-mace is to wait on the corporation. Dun- 
wich, in Suffolk, has a population of two hundred and thirty. The cor- 
poration Heaven save the mark consists of two bailiffs, fifteen aldermen, 
twelve common councilmen, and twenty-three freemen. The bailiffs, 
recorder, and two assistant justices, who are simply such as have been 



UNEEFOEMED COEPOEATIONS. 79 

bailiffs, are the magistrates. The recorder is not a lawyer, and the other 
magistrates are farmers. St. Clears, in Carmarthenshire, has a population 
of about a thousand. The corporation consists of three port-reeves, & 
recorder, a town clerk, two common attorneys, a crier, and an indefinite 
number of burgesses. The official members of it appear to have nothing 
to do. 

The reader will not be surprised to learn that since 1835 a good many 
of these village municipalities have expired of inanition. Bossiny, an 
old borough town in Tintagel, which may possibly have been a flourish- 
ing community in the days of King Arthur, finally gave up the ghost in 
1871. The last mayor was appointed in 1841, but, like " the last man," 
he was surrounded by skeletons. The burgesses were nearly all dead, 
and no more were appointed. One only is alive at the present moment, 
besides the mayor, Mr. Symons, who has possession of the old regalia in 
the shape of a mace and a cup. He still continued to receive some rents 
till 1849, since which time the property has been occupied by somebody 
who pays nothing at all. The same gentleman had an interest in the 
Town Hall ; and when he was bought out nine years ago by Lord 
Wharncliffe, and the edifice pulled down, the last vestige of this ancient 
corporation disappeared. In 1860 the corporation of Plympton Earle, 
in Devonshire, voted themselves extinct. In 1849 the corporation of 
Tregony, in Cornwall, was found to have literally died out. The cor- 
poration of Castle Rising, which existed in 1835, has simply disappeared. 

The privileges enjoyed by the members of these petty local bodies, 
small as they are, are quite enough to give rise to a plentiful crop of 
social jealousies and heartburnings. There is no want of village Gracchi 
among those who are outside of the " populus ; " and one cannot help 
exclaiming as one reads what admirable materials are here for a novel in 
the hands of George Eliot ! One main source of the dissatisfaction which 
the commissioners encountered, though it was by no means universal, 
was in the quality of the persons who filled the highest offices of State, and 
frequently administered justice. At Axbridge, in Somersetshire, as we 
have seen, the mayor is a tanner, and the alderman a watchmaker, and 
these are the two magistrates for the borough. At "Woodstock they lately 
had an alderman who couldn ot spell his own name or that of the town. 
At Harton, in Devonshire, the port-reeve is a carpenter, and his prede- 
cessor was a shoemaker. At Higham Ferrers, in Northamptonshire, com- 
plaint was made that the aldermen and burgesses were the most ignorant 
and illiterate persons in the town. The largest ratepayer in the parish 
had been proposed as a member of the corporation, but was beaten by a 
blacksmith. At Loughor, in Glamorganshire, the port-reeve who sits as 
a magistrate is sometimes only a journeyman tradesman, a mason per- 
haps, or a plasterer. At Malmesbury, which is a Parliamentary borough 
with a considerable population, complaints on this score were very rife. 
The alderman of Malmesbury sits as a borough magistrate ; and the pre- 
sent alderman is a working tailor. Among the burgesses who have 



80 UNREFORMED CORPORATIONS. 

" passed the chair," we find one described as a yeoman who was recently 
a domestic servant, another a mason, and another a cabinet maker. It 
is true that at the sittings of the court the deputy high steward, who is 
a solicitor, is present, and that he and the town clerk keep the tailor 
pretty straight. Still there is the fact that he sits in the chair, and 
occasionally, after being duly primed, delivers the sentence of the court. 
It is only fair, however, to add in this place the testimony of Mr. Powell, 
who was member for the borough, in favour of the corporation. " I 
should not say," says he, " that the townspeople outside the corporation 
were of a more intelligent character than the corporation themselves. I 
think that they are a thoroughly sound common sense body of men . . . 
a,nd that their decisions would compare favourably with those of any 
bench of magistrates in the country." Mr. Powell believed the movement 
against the corporation to be purely political. " The alderman and cor- 
poration have always supported the Conservative party from time imme- 
morial," and hence these misrepresentations of them. Mr. Tullaway's 
brother Tullaway himself is the tailor who was alleged by a witness 
to be one of the " most besotted men in the place," is an assistant burgess, 
and has been alderman. " I saw him yesterday," said the witness, who is 
a postman, " coming from one of the beerhouses near my stable in com- 
pany with a man who is one of the most besotted men in our town, and 
likewise an assistant burgess and brother to the present alderman. In 
the evening when I was coming round from the post-office to my house, 
this fellow, whose name is Tullaway, and is brother to the alderman, was 
standing near the market cross in a state of intoxication, and he said, 
* Halloo, old fellow, are you going up to London 1 ' I said, ' I am, and 
I hope you will be happy ; ' and he said, ' I hope you will ;' that was last 
evening. I suppose they found out that I was coming up here, and I had 
roused the ire of this immaculate corporation, I expect, a little." 

Does not this little bit bring the whole state of party feeling in the 
good old town vividly before us ? There is the worthy burgess a laudator 
temporis acti, and a scoffer at the new ideas which proscribe cakes and 
ale, thinking little of education, and able perhaps to " buy up many of 
them as has it " sauntering along the streets in company with a mellow 
friend, and conversing very probably on these pestilent disturbers of the 
peace, who were for doing away with all the comfortable old customs and 
venerable institutions of the place out of mere envy, jealousy, and 
naughtiness of heart. On the other hand is the ardent reformer, in the 
pei-son of the local postman, who, although a commoner, never expects 
to be a burgess, that being an honour which he does not covet, perhaps 
because the grapes are sour, determined, however, if he can, to pull down 
the house about the ears of the exclusives, and to exhibit himself before 
3, London audience in the character of a superior person, deeply shocked 
by the misgovernment of his native town, and the gross habits and low 
birth of the official class. It is a beautiful picture. But it requires 
the hand which drew the people of Mil by to do adequate justice to it. 



UNBEFOEMED COKPORATIONS. 81 

The actual advantages of belonging to one of these corporations, or 
being one of its officers, may be easily summed up. They have the 
management of the corporate property, the licensing of public-houses, 
and the privilege of spending certain sums of money on corporation 
dinners, or of dividing it among themselves. Where they exercise magis- 
terial jurisdiction, they may perhaps have the power of screening a 
friend, or paying off a grudge against an enemy, though it is but fair to 
say that few such charges have been brought against them. The 
management of their small properties, as it is on the whole the most 
important, so it seems to be that one of their functions which has given 
rise to the greatest discontent. Their revenues are derived from the 
rents of land and buildings, investments, dues, tolls, and fees on the 
admission of officers and burgesses. And as might have been expected, 
it is a custom in a great many of these boroughs to let the property to 
members of the corporation at an absurdly low rate. Land worth a 
pound an acre will be let to burgesses on leases renewable for ever at five 
or six shillings. At one place, Kidwelly, land worth fifty shillings an 
acre is let in this way at half-a-crown. At St. Clears, which we have 
already mentioned, property worth from two to three hundred pounds a 
year brings in sixty-one. In fact, favouritism and jobbery of every descrip- 
tion appear to be rampant ; and what adds to the discontent of the out- 
side public is that the corporation accounts are not published. They 
may be seen on application, it is true ; but that is not enough. The 
malcontents think that they ought to be furnished with a copy. They 
want to know " what becomes o' the money ? " And they think, not 
unnaturally, that the town might derive more benefit than it does from 
what is, after all, public property. Old Mr. Thomas Tonbridge, of New 
Romney, gave evidence to this effect, which is very good reading. " He 
never had no schooling in his young days." He has picked it all up 
since, and something besides, we should infer from the information he 
vouchsafed to the commissioners. They have land let out " among them- 
selves" for 793/. a year, for which he would have given them 1,000. 
a year, and the first year's rent in advance. He was ready to have sat 
down and written the cheque off-hand. Like the northern farmer, he 
has so many acres of the Duke's, and " land of his own besides ; " and 
what is specially to the purpose, "his sheepskins are all at home." 
This communicative old gentleman objects to things being done " secret 
and sly like." He wants to see " everything open and above-board ; " 
for where folks don't understand what is being done they are sure to 
fancy there is something wrong, even though there may be nothing. To 
much the same purpose is the evidence of a leather merchant and a 
currier from the little town of Higham Ferrers. The former gentleman, 
like the Malmesbury postman, had also been defeated by the village 
blacksmith in a struggle for admission to the government, and he was 
proportionably bitter in consequence. .There seems quite a run upon 
blacksmiths in unreformed corporations. The administration of justice 
VOL. XLII. NO. 247. 5. 



82 UNEEFOEMED COEPOEATIONS. 

by the curious class of archons whom this report exhibits to us, does 
not seem, as a rule, to have given rise to much complaint ; and where it 
has done so, the complaint itself has not seldom been as stupid as the 
worst of them. Some amusing cases, however, are furnished by Ford- 
wich, Malmesbury, Seaford, and Higham Ferrers. In Fordwich it 
appears that Colonel Cox, who is said to be " an irritable gentleman," 
locked up another gentleman, with whom he was unfortunate enough 
to quarrel, in the town gaol. " He took him bodily, and locked him up 
for the night." In Malmesbury there was a story which admirably 
illustrates the proneness to suspicion so characteristic of a certain class of 
society. " There was a young man," said one witness, " apprehended 
some time last year, in the month of March, and Mr. Weekes was then 
alderman. The young man was given into custody, I think, by his 
own father, because he had obtained goods under alleged false pretences 
from a jeweller in our town, Mr. Barnard, and Mr. Barnard applied for 
the goods, and his father waxed wrath upon the subject, and sent for a 
policeman and gave his son into custody. He was taken to the station- 
house, and this Mr. Weekes, our late alderman, sent to the station- 
house the next morning, and released the prisoner from the station, 
and this has been the cause of great discontent in our borough. Folks 
talk a good deal about it." It turned out on inquiry that nothing irre- 
gular had been done. But the same witness, when asked by one of the 
commissioners if there was any relationship between the alderman and 
the young man, replied : " He was connected so far, as the alderman and 
father were both members of the same community or chapel. The young 
man was the son of respectable parents, but the lower classes say that 
they do not consider justice was administered impartially, and that if it 
had been one of them they would have been brought before a magis- 
trate and committed for trial." The patriotic postman, for the witness 
was no other than an old acquaintance, had probably never heard of Mr. 
Pell and the late Lord Chancellor, but the lower classes in Malmesbury 
were evidently of the same opinion as the elder Mr. Weller in regard to 
the impunity of aristocratic offenders. " Parliament ought to ha' took it 
up," said that venerable man, when he heard that the Keeper of the 
Royal Conscience had been guilty of profane swearing ; " and if he'd 
been a poor man they'd ha' done it." The alderman of Malmesbury had 
not the same excuse as the noble and learned lord who was so much 
attached to Mr. Pell. But the suspicions of the Commons were totally 
without foundation, as no charge at all was ever brought against the 
young man, who had been locked up when he was drunk for threatening 
his father with violence. No one in the morning appeared to prosecute, 
and the prisoner was necessarily discharged. But the Commons only 
shook their heads, and no doubt continue to believe to this day that the 
liberation of this young man was a gross piece of favouritism, and a 
daring contempt of the law. On this occasion the two offenders were 
Moravians, or " United Brethren," The witness added, for the infor- 



UNEEFOEMED COEPOEATIONS. 83 

mation of the commissioners, that his son Samuel was once " unfor- 
tunately assaulted," and that, owing to the corruption of the bench, the 
offender was most inadequately punished. Moreover, there was great 
disorder in court. When the prosecutor's witness appeared to be sworn, 
he was greeted with loud cries of " Thee must not." And as the prose- 
cutor himself was leaving the court, he was subjected to the indignity of 
having a man's fist thrust in his face. At Seaford the magistrates were 
accused of being drunk upon the bench. And at Higham Ferrers a sad 
failure of justice was narrated by the currier who had been defeated by 
the blacksmith. " A member of the corporation had a rent-audit held at 
his house. There were the late mayor and several other members of the 
corporation at his house until early in the morning. They went into 
the servants' room while the servants were in bed, and ordered them 
to get out of bed and dress themselves. One man insisted upon remain- 
ing in the room while the two female servants were dressing themselves. 
One of the servants left, and a friend of hers went to the deputy- 
recorder and asked for a summons, but he refused to grant one." 

Being asked by Mr. John Karslake what offence was charged, the wit- 
ness said he did not know. But " people thought there ought to be 
something." The complainant " wanted a summons against A. B. for 
staying in the room and refusing to go out while the servant was dress- 
ing." They were told that the magistrates did not know what offence 
had been committed, and that they could not grant a summons. But 
the people " thought they ought to have justice." This modern Appius 
Claudius appears to have got off too easily, but it is difficult to see what 
else the magistrates could have done. The Commissioner, at all events, 
did not think the charge against them proved. 

As might have been anticipated, a good deal of eating and drinking 
figures in the corporation expenses. The entire revenues of Bovey 
Tracey are 171. per annum ; and the expenditure for one year was 
10s. lid. land tax, 3s. 6d. for printing, and 151. 3s. for "dinners, brandy, 
and punch." Some evil-disposed persons have suggested that the money 
might be better laid out in improving the water supply, or in promoting 
the interests of education. A Mr. Mugford, we are told, has been 
" rather noisy " on the subject. But as this gentleman is accustomed to 
bring forward his proposals in a state of intoxication, at which times he 
curses and swears a good deal, and " wants to fight," it is perhaps not 
surprising that his efforts have as yet been unsuccessful. The ex-mayor, 
it is said (Mr. J. Hurrell), has spared neither time nor money in the 
sacred cause of dining. If people want water or learning, he argues, 
let them go the rates, and not rob a poor man of his beer, which was 
granted to him many hundred years ago by the king, God bless him ! 

At Axbridge they only dine occasionally, but the burgesses or free- 
men have a glass of sherry and a slice of seed cake on the election of 
the mayor. It is at Malmesbury, however, that perhaps the funniest 
institution of all is to be found. This is the " seeking feast " or enter- 

62 



84 UNKEFORMED COBPOKATIONS. 

tainment given by the landholder who seeks to be an assistant burgess^ 
or the assistant burgess who desires to be a capital burgess. The ac- 
count of this custom, as given by numerous witnesses, is not very clear 
on some points, for it still leaves us in doubt as to what is the motive 
power by which the feast is set agoing. An aspirant for municipal 
honours must first, we suppose, let it be generally known to the twenty- 
four assistant burgesses that he is anxious to be enrolled among them. 
But the second stage of the transaction is involved in considerable 
obscurity, no one of the witnesses being competent to explain with cer- 
tainty the etiquette which governs it. That the candidate says openly 
to the burgess, " Agree to elect me at the next vacancy, and I will then 
give you a seeking feast," was denied almost with indignation. This 
was far too coarse a way of putting the arrangement. That the bur- 
gesses, on the other hand, say to the candidate that they will have him 
if he gives them this feast is likewise repudiated as an erroneous version 
of the business. We suppose there is a tacit understanding, the opera- 
tion of which none but those born to it can hope to comprehend. It is 
certain that both the seeking feast and the return feast are considered to 
be essential parts of the election ; and that is all which it is necessary to 
know. The seeking-feast appears to be a rough-and-ready business ; the 
seeker and his friends meeting at a public-house in the evening, when 
the entertainment consists of beer, grog, and tobacco, with bread and 
cheese for those who like it. After the election, however, a more sump- 
tuous banquet is provided, in the middle of the day, at a cost of six or 
seven pounds ; a regular dinner, in fact. In simpler times the piece de 
resistance was a ham. With the march of luxury, however, the muni- 
cipal palate has grown daintier, and the seeker who has found is now 
expected to provide a sirloin. There is plenty of drinking on these 
occasions, and formerly a plentiful supply of intoxicated burgesses might 
be seen about the streets in the afternoon. Matters, however, are said 
to have mended a little, and we are now told euphemistically that " they 
have a glass or two of wine," that they " get merry, and like that, but 
nothing but what they know what is going on." The burgesses do not 
now " wallow " about the streets. The idea, however, of giving a seek- 
ing feast with tea, is still regarded with contempt, partly as a disagree- 
able thing in itself, partly as a radical innovation, deserving the scorn of 
all well-regulated minds. A teetotal candidate sent his wife to the 
assistant burgesses to know whether tea could be recognised as a legiti- 
mate beverage. " No," answered these noble-minded men ; " we will not 
alter the old custom." They would stand upon the ancient ways, and if 
they stumbled on them, too, sometimes, it was all in the spirit of reve- 
rence. If, however, the seeker chose to drink tea himself, while the 
others drank better stuff, he was at liberty to do so. The feast given by 
a newly-elected capital burgess to his brother capitals is a still grander 
affair, and costs a pound a head. 

At Woodstock, a witness complained that the only way of getting 
into the corporation was " to go to the public-house every night, and be 



UNKEFOKMED COEPOEATIONS. 85 

jolly, and so on, and do as they do," and that for a person of a different 
character (like the witness), who refrained from all evil company, such 
honour was unattainable. Woodstock, however, is not the only place, 
nor are unreformed corporations the only bodies of men who are guided 
by similar considerations. Sinners will never love saints to the end of 
time ; besides which, an ascetic alderman is a contradiction in terms, an 
unnatural combination of ideas tolerable only to a morbid fancy or a 
dyspeptic constitution. 

Politics, it is needless to say, run high in these little communities ; 
the ins being mostly blue, and the outs principally yellow. These 
divisions are especially noticeable in the little town of Woodstock, from 
the history of which we glean the interesting psychological fact that all 
glove makers are Liberals. Question 10,479 : 

Can you at all account for the glove manufacturers being excluded as a body? 
I think that it is on account of their being all Liberals in politics ; I do not know 
any glove manufacturer but who is Liberal in politics. That is how you account for 
it? I do not know whether that is the reason or not; I only know that they are 
Liberals, and are left out. I know that they are very much annoyed at being left 
out. I have had conversation with all of them. 

It seems, then, that the glove maker is true to his principles, and is 
not to be bribed even by the prospect of promotion, such as, according to 
one witness, " any inhabitant of the place would deem an honour." But 
we still have to inquire what is the necessary connection between glove 
making and Liberalism. As gloves are chiefly worn by the well-to-do 
classes, one would have thought that the trade would be on the side of 
property. The glove, too, has its feudal associations, and the political 
creed of the modern glove maker may possibly be an example of reac- 
tion. Any way, the fact is curious, and deserves the consideration of 
philosophers. 

The whole Report is very interesting, carrying us back, as it does, 
for so many centuries, to the time when these dwindling villages were 
flourishing commercial towns, newly chartered by some Saxon or Norman 
sovereign, and forming the germs from which has sprung the great 
English middle-class. Sometimes, however, great privileges have been 
conferred by the neighbouring Barons, traces of which are still visible 
in surviving manorial rights. In some small towns the mayoralty is 
hereditary in the lord's family. But, interesting as many of these insti- 
tutions may be in the light of relics, they present few other attractions, 
and seem to serve no other useful purpose. Some of them survive in 
towns of some considerable importance, and might with propriety be 
placed under the Municipal Corporation Act. In the case of the 
majority, the funds, we suppose, will some day be vested in the Charity 
Commissioners, or handed over to School Boards for the benefit of the 
whole population ; or should the new municipal government of which 
we hear so much be extended to the counties, it is possible that the 
revenues of Tregony, and Bossiny, and Dunwich might be turned to 
uses more nearly corresponding to their original ones, 



86 



in a: 



No. XXII. STERNE. 

" LOVE me, love my book " is a version of a familiar proverb which 
one might be slow to accept. There are, as one need hardly say, many 
admirable persons for whose sake one would gladly make any sacrifice 
of personal comfort short of that implied in a study of their works. But 
the converse of the statement is more nearly true. I confess that I at 
any rate love a book pretty much in proportion as it makes me love the 
author. I do not of course speak of histories or metaphysical treatises 
which one reads for the sake of the information or of the logical teaching ; 
but of the imaginative books which appeal in the last resort to the sympathy 
between the writer and the reader. It matters not whether you are 
brought into contact with a man by seeing or hearing, by the printed or 
spoken word the ultimate source of pleasure is the personal affinity. To 
read a book in the true sense to read it, that is, not as a critic but 
in the spirit of enjoyment is to lay aside for the moment one's own 
personality, and to become a part of the author. It is to enter the world 
in which he habitually lives for each of us lives in a separate world of 
his own to breathe his air, and therefore to receive pleasure and pain 
according as the atmosphere is or is not congenial. I may by an intel- 
lectual effort perceive the greatness of a writer whose character is essen- 
tially antagonistic to my own ; but I cannot feel it as it must be felt for 
genuine enjoyment. The qualification must, of course, be understood 
that a great book really expresses the most refined essence of the writer's 
character. It gives the author transfigured, and does not represent all 
the stains and distortions which he may have received in his progress 
through the world. In real life we might have been repelled by Milton's 
stern Puritanism, or by some outbreak of rather testy self-assertion. 
In reading Paradise Lost, we feel only the loftiness of character, and 
are raised and inspirited by sentiments, without pausing to consider the 
particular application. 

If this be true in some degree of all imaginative writers, it is espe- 
cially true of humourists. For humour is essentially the expression of a 
personal idiosyncrasy, and a man is a humorist just because the tragic 
and the comic elements of life present themselves to his mind in new 
and unexpected combinations. The objects of other men's reverence 
strike him from the ludicrous point of view, and he sees something attrac- 
tive in the things which they affect to despise. It is his function to strip 
off the commonplaces by which we have tacitly agreed to cover over our 



STERNE. 87 

doubts and misgivings, and to explode empty pretences by the touch of a 
vigorous originality ; and therefore it is that the great mass of mankind 
are apt to look upon humour of the stronger flavour with suspicion. They 
suspect the humorist not without reason of laughing at their beards. 
There is no saying where he may not explode next. They can enjoy 
the mere buffoonery which comes from high spirits combined with thought- 
lessness. And they can fairly appreciate the gentle humour of Addison 
or Goldsmith, or Charles Lamb, where the kindliness of the intention 
is so obvious that the irony is felt to be harmless. It represents only 
the tinge of melancholy which every good man must feel at the sight of 
human folly, and is used rather to light up by its gentle irradiation the 
amiable aspects of weakness than to unmask solemn affectation and suc- 
cessful hypocrisy. As soon as the humourist begins to be more pungent, 
and the laughter to be edged with scorn and indignation, good quiet 
people who do not like to be shocked begin to draw back. They are half 
ashamed when a Cervantes or a Montaigne, a Rabelais or a Swift, takes 
them into his confidence, and proposes in the true humourist's spirit to 
b\it show them the ugly realities of the world or of his own mind. They 
shrink from the exposure which follows of the absurdity of heroes, the 
follies of the wise, the cruelty and injustice of the virtuous. In their 
hearts they take this daring frankness for sheer cynicism, and reject 
his proffered intimacy. They would rather overlook the hollowness 
of established conventions, than have them ruthlessly exposed by the 
sudden audacity of these daring rebels. To the man, on the contrary, 
who is predisposed to sympathy by some affinity of character, the sudden 
flash of genuine feeling is infinitely refreshing. He rejoices to see 
theories confronted with facts, solemn conventions turned inside out, and 
to have the air cleared by a sudden burst of laughter, though it may 
occasionally have something rather savage in it. He welcomes the dis- 
covery that another man has dared to laugh at the idols before which we 
are all supposed to bow in solemn reverence. We love the humour in 
short so far as we shall the character from which it flows. Everybody can 
love the spirit which shows itself in the Essays on Elia but you can 
hardly love the Tale of a Tub or Gulliver unless you have a sympathy 
with the genuine Swift which overpowers your occasional disgust at his 
misanthropy. But to this general rule there is one marked exception in 
our literature. It is impossible for any one with the remotest taste for 
literary excellence to read Tristram Shandy or the /Sentimental Journey 
without a sense of wondering admiration. One can hardly read the 
familiar passages without admitting that Sterne was perhaps the greatest 
artist in the language. No one at least shows more inimitable felicity in 
producing a pungent effect by a few touches of exquisite precision. He 
gives the impression that the thing has been done once for all ; he has hit 
the bull's eye round which inspiring marksmen go on blundering in.U-fi 
nitely without any satisfying success. Two or three of the scenes in which 
Uncle Toby expresses his sentiments are as perfect in their way as the 



88 HOURS IN A LIBRARY. 

half-dozen lines in which Mrs. Quickly describes the end of Falstaff and 
convince us that three strokes from a man of genius may be worth more 
than the life's labour of the cleverest of skilled literary workmen. 
And it may further be said that Uncle Toby, like his kinsmen in the 
world of humour, is an incarnation of most lovable qualities. In going 
over the list, a short list in any case, of the immortal characters in 
fiction, there is hardly any one in our literature who would be entitled to 
take precedence of him. To find a distinctly superior type, we must go 
back to Cervantes, whom Sterne idolised and professed to take for his 
model. But to speak of a character as in some sort comparable to Don 
Quixote, though without any thought of placing him on the same level, 
is to admire that he is a triumph of art. Indeed, if we take the other 
creator of types, of whom it is only permitted to speak with bated breath, 
we must agree that it would be difficult to find a figure even in the 
Shakespearean gallery more admirable in its way. Of course, the creation 
of a Hamlet, an lago, or a Falstaff implies an intellectual intensity and 
reach of imaginative sympathy altogether different from anything which 
his warmest admirers would attribute to Sterne. I only say that there 
is no single character in Shakespeare whom we see more vividly and love 
more heartily than Mr. Shandy's uncle. 

It should follow, according to the doctrine just set forth, that we 
ought to love Uncle Toby's creator. But here I fancy that everybody will 
be sensible of a considerable difficulty. The judgment pronounced upon 
Sterne by Thackeray seems to me to be substantially unimpeachable. 
The more I know of the man, for my part, the less I like him. It 
is impossible to write his biography (from the admiring point of view) 
without making it a continuous apology. His faults may be extenu- 
ated by the customary devices ; but there is. a terrible lack of any posi- 
tive merits to set against them. He seems to have been fond of his 
daughter, and tolerant of his wife. The nearest approach to a good 
action recorded of him is that when they preferred remaining in France 
to following him to England, he took care that they should have the 
income which he had promised. The liberality was nothing very won- 
derful. He knew that his wife was severely economical, as she had 
good reason to be ; inasmuch as his own health was most precarious, 
and he was spending his income with a generous freedom which left her 
in destitution at his death. Still we are glad to give him all credit for 
not being a grudging paymaster. Some better men have been less 
good-natured. The rest of his panegyric consists of excuses for his 
shortcomings. We know the regular formulae. He had bad com- 
panions, it is said, in his youth. Men who show a want of principle in 
later life have a knack of picking up bad companions at their outset. 
We are reminded as usual that the morals of the time were corrupt. 
It is a very difficult question how far this is true. We can only make 
a rough guess as to the morals of our own time ; some people can see 
steady improvement, where others see nothing but signs of growing 



STEENE. 89 

corruption ; but when we come to speak of the morals of an age more or 
less removed, there are so many causes of illusion that our estimates have 
very small title to respect. It is no doubt true that the clergy of the 
Church of England in Sterne's day took a less exalted view than they 
now do of their own position and duties ; that they were frequently 
pluralists and absentees ; that patrons had small sense of responsibility ; 
and that, as a general rule, the spiritual teachers of the country took 
life easily, and left an ample field for the activity of "Wesley and his fol- 
lowers. But, making every allowance for this, it would be grossly unfair 
to deny, what is plainly visible in all the memoirs of the time, that there 
were plenty of honest squires and persons in every part of the country 
leading wholesome domestic lives. 

But, in any case, such apologies rather explain how a man came 
to be bad, than prove that he was not bad. They would show at 
most that we were making an erroneous inference if we inferred bad- 
ness of heart from conduct which was not condemned by the standard 
of his own day. This argument, however, is really inapplicable. 
Sterne's faults were of a kind for which if anything there was less 
excuse then than now. The faults of his best known contemporaries, of 
men like Fielding, Smollett, or Churchill, were the faults of robust tem- 
perament with an excess of animal passions. Their coarseness has left a 
stain upon their pages as it injured their lives. But, however much we 
may lament or condemn, we do not feel that such men were corrupt at 
heart. And that, unfortunately, is just what we are tempted to feel 
about Sterne. When the huge, brawny parson, Churchill, felt his un- 
fitness for clerical life, he pitched his cassock to the dogs and blossomed 
out in purple and gold. He set the respectabilities at defiance, took up 
with Wilkes and the reprobates, and roared out full-mouthed abuse 
against bishops and ministers. He could still be faithful to his friends, 
observe his own code of honour, and do his best to make some atonement 
to the victims of his misconduct. Sterne, one feels, differs from Churchill 
not really as being more virtuous, but in not having the courage to 
be so openly vicious. Unlike Churchill he could be a consummate sneak. 
He was quite as ready to flatter Wilkes or to be on intimate terms with 
atheists and libertines, with Holbach and Crebillon, when his bishop and 
his parishioners could not see him. His most intimate friend from early 
days was John Hall Stevenson the country squire whose pride it was to 
ape in the provinces the orgies of the monks of Medmenham Abbey, and 
once notorious as the author of a grossly indecent book. The dog Latin 
letter in which Sterne informs this chosen companion that he is weary 
of his life, contains other remarks sufficiently significant of the nature of 
their intimacy. The age was not veiy nice ; but it was quite acute 
enough to see the objections to a close alliance between a married eccle- 
siastic of forty-five * and the rustic Don Juan of the district. But his 

* Sterne says in the letter that Hall was over forty; and he was five years older 
than Hall. 

55 



90 HOUES IN A LIBRAKY. 

cynicism becomes doubly disgusting when we remember that Sterne was 
all the time as eager as any patronage hunter to ingratiate himself into 
the good graces of bishops. Churchill, we remember, lampooned War- 
burton with savage ferocity. Sterne tried his best to conciliate the most 
conspicuous prelate of the day. He never put together a more elaborately 
skilful bit of writing than the letter which he wrote to Garrick, with the 
obvious intention that it should be shown to Warburton. He humbly 
says that he has no claim to an introduction, except " what arises from 
the honour and respect which, in the progress of my work, will be 
shown the world I owe so great a man." The statement was probably 
meant to encounter a suspicion which "VVarburton entertained that he 
was to be introduced in a ridiculous character in Tristram Shandy. The 
bishop was sufficiently soothed to administer not only good advice but a 
certain purse of gold, which had an unpleasant resemblance to hush- 
money. It became evident, however, that the author of Tristram 
Shandy was not a possible object of episcopal patronage ; and, indeed, he 
was presently described by the bishop as an "irrevocable scoundrel." 
Sterne's " honour and respect " never found expression in his writings ; 
but he ingeniously managed to couple the Divine Legation the work 
which had justified Warburton's elevation to the bench with the Tale of 
a Tub, the audacious satire upon orthodox opinions, which had been an 
insuperable bar to Swift's preferment. The insinuation had its sting, 
for there were plenty of critics in those days who maintained that War- 
burton's apology was really more damaging to the cause of orthodoxy 
than Swift's burlesque. We cannot resist the conviction that if War- 
burton had been more judicious in his distribution of patronage, he 
would have received a very different notice in return. The blow from 
Churchill's bludgeon was, on any right, given by an open enemy. This 
little stab came from one who had been a servile flatterer. 

No doubt Sterne is to be pitied for his uncongenial position. The 
relations who kindly took him off the hands of his impecunious father 
could provide for him most easily in the Church ; and he is not the only 
man who has been injured by being forced by such considerations into 
a career for which he was unfitted. In the same way we may pity him 
for having become tired of his wife when he seems to have married under 
a generous impulse she was no doubt a very tiresome woman and try to 
forgive him for some of his flirtations. But it is not so easy to forgive the 
spirit in which he conducted them. One story, as related by an admiring 
biographer, will be an amply sufficient specimen. He fell in love with 
a Miss Fourmantelle, who was living at York when he was finishing the 
first volumes of Tristram Shandy at the ripe age of forty-six. He in- 
troduced her into that work as " dear, dear Jenny." He writes to her 
in his usual style of lovemaking. He swears that he loves her "to dis- 
traction," and will love her " to eternity." He declares that there is 
" only one obstacle to their happiness " obviously Mrs. Sterne and 
solemnly prays to God that she may so live and love him as one day to 



STERNE. 91 

share in his great good fortune. Precisely similar aspirations, we note in 
passing, were to be soon afterwards addressed to Mrs. Draper, on the 
hypothesis that two obstacles to their happiness might be removed, 
namely, Mr. Draper and Mrs. Sterne. Few readers are likely to be 
edified by the sacred language used by a clergyman on such an occasion ; 
though biographical zeal has been equal even to this emergency. But 
the sequel to the Fourmantelle story is the really significant part. Mr. 
Sterne goes to London to reap the social fruits of his amazing success 
with Tristram Shandy. The whole London world falls at his feet ; he is 
overwhelmed with invitations, and deafened with flattery ; and poor lite- 
rary drudges like Goldsmith are scandalised by so ovei-powering a 
triumph. Nobody had thought it worth while to make a fuss about the 
author of the Vicar of Wakefield. Sterne writes the accounts of his 
unprecedented, success to Miss Fourmantelle : he snatches moments in 
the midst of his crowded levees to tell her that he is hers for ever and 
ever, that he would " give a guinea for a squeeze of her hand ; " and pro- 
mises to use .his influence in some affair in which she is interested. 
Hereupon Miss Fourmantelle follows him to London. She finds him so 
deeply engaged, that he cannot see her from Sunday till Friday ; though 
he is still good enough to say that he would wish to be with her always, 
were it not for " fate." And, hereupon, Miss Fourmantelle vanishes out 
of history, and Mr. Sterne ceases to trouble his head about her. It 
needs only to be added that this is but one episode in Sterne's career out 
of several of which the records have been accidentally preserved. Mrs. 
Draper seems to have been the most famous case ; but, according to his 
own statement, he had regularly on hand some affair of the sort, and is 
proud of the sensibility which they indicate. 

Upon such an occurrence only one comment is possible from the 
moralist's point of view, namely, that a brother of Miss Fourmantelle, 
had she possessed a brother, would have been justified in administering a 
horsewhipping. I do not, however, wish to preach a sermon upon Sterne's 
iniquities, or to draw any edifying conclusions upon the present occa- 
sion. "We have only to deal with the failings of the man so far as they 
are reflected in the author. Time enables us to abstract and distinguish. 
A man's hateful qualities may not be of the essence of his character, 
or they may be only hateful in certain specific relations which do not 
now affect us. Moreover, there is some kind of immorality spite 
and uncharitableness, for example which is not without its charm. 
Pope was in many ways a far worse man than Sterne ; he was an incom- 
parably more elaborate liar, and the amount of gall with which his 
constitution was saturated would have been enough to furnish a whole 
generation of Sternes. But we can admire the brilliance of Pope's 
epigrams, without bothering ourselves with the reflection that he told a 
whole series of falsehoods as to the date of their composition. We can 
enjoy the pungency of his indignant satire without asking whether it 
was directed against deserving objects. Atticus was perhaps a very 
cruel caricature of Addison ; but the lines upon Atticus remain as an in- 



92 HOUKS IN A LIBRARY. 

comparably keen dissection of a type which need not have been embodied 
in this particular representative. Some people, indeed, may be too 
virtuous or tender-hearted to enjoy any exposure of human weakness. 
I make no pretensions to such amiability, and I can admire the keenness 
of the wasp's sting when it is no longer capable of touching me and my 
friends. Indeed, almost any genuine ebullition of human passion is 
interesting in its way, and it would be pedantic to be scandalised when- 
ever ifc is rather more vehement than a moralist would approve, or 
happens to break out on the wrong occasion. The reader can apply the 
correction for himself ; he can read satire in his moments of virtuous 
indignation, and twist it in his own mind against some of those people 
they are generally to be found who really deserve it. But the case 
is different when the sentiment itself is offensive, and offensive by reason 
of insinceiity. When the very thing by which we are supposed to be 
attracted is the goodness of a man's heart, a suspicion that he was a mere 
Tartuffe cannot enter our minds without injuring our enjoyment. We 
may continue to admire the writer's technical skill, but he cannot fasci- 
nate us unless he persuades us of his sincerity. One might, to take a 
parallel case, admire Reynolds for his skill of hand and fine perception 
of form and colour, if he had used them only to represent objects as re- 
pulsive as the most hideous scenes in Hogarth. One loves him, because 
of the exquisite tenderness of nature implied in the representations of 
infantile beauty. And if it were possible to feel that this tenderness was 
a mere sham, that his woi'k was that of a dexterous artist skilfully 
flattering the fondness of parents, the charm would vanish. The children 
would breathe affectation instead of simplicity, and provoke only a 
sardonic sneer, which is suggested by most of the infantile portraits col- 
lected in modern exhibitions. 

It is with something of this feeling that we read Sterne. Of the 
literary skill there cannot be a moment's question ; but if we for a 
moment yield to the enchantment, we feel ashamed, at the next moment, 
of our weakness. We have been moved on false pretences ; and we seem 
to see the sham Yorick with that unpleasant leer upon his too expressive 
face, chuckling quietly at his successful imposition. It is no wonder if 
many of his readers have revolted, and even been provoked to an exces- 
sive reaction of feeling. The criticism was too obvious to be missed. 
Horace Walpole indulged in a characteristic sneer at the genius who 
neglected a mother and snivelled over a dead donkey. (The neglect of a 
mother, we may note in passing, is certainly not proven.) Walpole 
was too much of a cynic, it may be said, to distinguish between senti- 
mentalism and genuine sentiment, or rather so much of a cynic that one 
is surprised at his not liking the sentimentalism more. But Goldsmith 
at least was a man of real feeling, and as an artist in some respects 
superior even to Sterne. He was moved to his bitterest outburst of 
satire by Tristram Shandy. He despised the charlatan who eked out his 
defects of humour by the paltry mechanica.1 devices of blank pages, disr 



STEENE. 93 

ordered chapters, and a profuse indulgence in dashes. He pointed out 
with undeniable truth the many grievous stains by which Sterne's pages 
are defaced. He spoke with disgust of the ladies who worshipped the 
author of a book which they should have been ashamed to read, and 
found the whole secret of Sterne's success in his pertness and indecency. 
Goldsmith may have been yielding unconsciously to a not unnatural 
jealousy, and his criticism certainly omits to take into account Sterne's 
legitimate claims to admiration. It is happily needless to insist at the 
present day upon the palpable errors by which the delicate and pure-minded 
Goldsmith was offended. It is enough to indulge in a passing word of 
regret that a man of Sterne's genius should have descended so often to 
mere buffoonery or to the most degrading methods of meeting his reader's 
interest. The Sentimental Journey is a book of simply marvellous 
cleverness, to which one can find no nearer parallel than Heine's Reise- 
bilder. But one often closes it with a mixture of disgust and regret. 
The disgust needs no explanation ; the regret is caused by our feeling 
that something has been missed which ought to have been in the writer's 
power. He has so keen an eye for picturesque effects ; he is so sensitive 
to a thousand little incidents which your ordinary traveller passes with 
eyes riveted to his guide-book, or which " Smelfungus " Smollett dis- 
regarded in his surly British pomposity ; he is so quick at appreciating 
some delicate courtesy in humble life or some pathetic touch of common- 
place suffering, that one grows angry when he spoils a graceful scene by 
some prurient double meaning, and wastes whole pages in telling a story 
fit only for John Hall Stevenson. One feels that one has been rambling 
with a discreditable parson, who is so glad to be free from the restraints 
of his parish or of Mrs. Sterne's company, that he is always peeping into 
forbidden corners, and anxious to prove to you that he is as knowing 
in the ways of a wicked world as a raffish undergraduate enjoying a 
stolen visit to London. Goldsmith's idyllic pictures of country life may 
be a little too rose-coloured, but at least they are harmonious. Sterne's 
sudden excursions into the nauseous are like the brutal practical jokes 
of a dirty boy who should put filth into a scent bottle. One feels that if 
he had entered the rustic paradise, of which Dr. and Mrs. Primrose were 
the Adam and Eve, half his sympathies would have been with the wicked 
Squire Thornhill ; he would have been quite as able to suit that gentle- 
man's tastes as to wheedle the excellent Vicar ; and his homage to Miss 
Olivia would have partaken of the nature of an insult. A man of Sterne's 
admirable delicacy of genius, writing always with an eye to the canons of 
taste approved in Crazy Castle, must necessarily produce painful discords, 
and throw away admirable workmanship upon contemptible ribaldry. 
But the very feeling proves that there was really a finer element in him. 
Had he been thoroughly steeped in the noxious element, there would 
have been no discord. We might simply have set him down as a very 
clever reprobate. But, with some exceptions, we can generally recognise 
something so amiable and attractive as to excite our regret for the waste 



94 HOUKS IN A LIBEAKY. 

of genius even in his more questionable passages. Coleridge points out, 
with his usual critical acuteness, that much of Tristram Shandy would 
produce simple disgust were it not for the presence of that wonderful 
group of characters who are antagonistic to the spurious wit based upon 
simple shocks to a sense of decency. That group redeems the book, 
and we may say that it is the book. We must therefore admit that 
the writer of Uncle Toby and his families must not be unreservedly 
condemned. To admit that one thoroughly dislikes Sterne is not 
to assert that he was a thorough hypocrite of the downright Tartuffe 
variety. His good feelings must be something more than a mere 
sham or empty formula : they are not a flimsy veil thrown over 
degrading selfishness or sensuality. When he is attacked upon this 
ground, his apologists may have an easy triumph. The true statement 
is rather that Sterne was a man who understood to perfection the art of 
enjoying his own good feelings as a luxury without humbling himself to 
translate them into practice. This is the definition of sentimentalism 
when the word is used in a bad sense. Many admirable teachers of 
mankind have held the doctrine that all artistic indulgence is universally 
immoral, because it is all more or less obnoxious to this objection. So 
far as a man saves up his good feelings merely to use them as the raw 
material of poems, he is wasting a force which ought to be applied to the 
improvement of the world. What have we to do with singing and 
painting when there are so many of our fellow-creatures whose sufferings 
might be relieved and whose characters might be purified if we turned 
our songs into sermons, and, instead of staining canvas, they tried to 
purify the dwellings of the poor ? There is a good deal to be said for the 
thesis that all fiction is really a kind of lying, and that art in general is 
a luxurious indulgence, to which we have no right whilst crime and 
disease are rampant in the outer world. 

I think, indeed, that I could detect some flaws in the logic by which 
this conclusion is supported, but I confess that it often seems to possess 
a considerable plausibility. The peculiar sentimentalism of which 
Sterne was one of the first mouthpieces, would supply many effective 
illustrations of the argument; for it is a continuous manifestation of 
extraordinary skill in providing " sweet poison for the ages' tooth." He 
was exactly the man for his time, though, indeed, so clever a man would 
probably have been equally able to flatter the prevailing impulse of any 
time in which his lot had been cast. M. Taine has lately described with 
great skill the sort of fashion of philanthropy which became popular 
among the upper classes in France in the pre-revolutionary generation. 
The fine ladies and gentlemen who were so soon to be crushed as tyran- 
nical oppressors of the people, had really a strong impression that bene- 
volence was a branch of social elegance which ought to be assiduously 
cultivated by persons of taste and refinement. A similar tendency, 
though less strongly marked, is observable amongst the corresponding 
class in English society. From causes which may be analysed by his- 



STERNE. 95 

torians, the upper social stratum was becoming penetrated with a vague 
discontent with the existing order and a desire to find new outlets 
for emotional activity. Between the reign of comfortable common 
sense, represented by Pope and his school, and the fierce outbreak of 
passion which accompanied the crash of the revolution, there was an 
interregnum marked by a semi-conscious fore-feeling of some approach- 
ing catastrophe ; a longing for fresh excitement, and tentative excursions 
into various regions of thought, which have since been explored in a more 
systematic fashion. Sentimentalism was the word which represented one 
phase of this inarticulate longing, and which expresses pretty accurately 
the need of having some keen sensations without very well knowing in 
what particular channels they were to be directed. The growth of the 
feminine influence in literature had no doubt some share in this develop- 
ment. Women were no longer content to be simply the pretty fools of the 
Spectator, unworthy to learn the Latin grammar or to be admitted to the 
circle of wits ; though they seldom presumed to be independent authors, 
they were of sufficient importance to have a literature composed for their 
benefit. The Sentimentalism of the worthy Richardson implied a dis- 
covery of one means of turning this tendency to account, and in his little 
circle of feminine adorers we find one of the earliest discussions of the 
word. 

"What," asks Lady Bradshaigh (writing to him about 1749), "is the 
meaning of the word sentimental, so much in vogue amongst the polite, 
both in town and country 1 In letters and common conversations I 
have asked several who made use of it, and have generally received for 
answer, it is it is sentimental. Everything clever and agreeable is com- 
prehended in that word ; but I am convinced a wrong interpretation is 
given, because it is impossible everything clever or agreeable can be so 
common as this word. I am frequently astonished to hear such a one is 
a sentimental man ; we were a sentimental party ; I have been taking a 
sentimental walk." Some time earlier Sterne was writing a love letter 
to his future wife, lamenting his " quiet and sentimental repasts " which 
they had had together, and weeping " like a child " (so he writes) at the 
sight of his single knife and fork and plate. The growth of such phrases 
is often an interesting symptom of new currents of social development. 
Richardson might have replied by pointing to the history of Clarissa, 
which represents a respectable, moral, and domestic Sentimentalism ; and 
Rousseau expressed it a little later in a more dangerous and revolu- 
tionary embodiment. We have known the same spirit in many incarna- 
tions in later days. We have been bored by Wertherism ; by the Byronic 
misanthropy ; by the Weltschmerz of our German cousins ; and by the 
aesthetic raptures or the pessimist lamentations of our modern poets. 
But Sterne, who made the word popular in literature, represents what 
may be considered as Sentimentalism in its purest form ; that which cor- 
responds most closely to its definition as sentiment running to waste ; 
for in Sterne there is no thought of any moral, or political, or philoso- 



96 HOUES IN A LIBKAKY. 

phical application. He is as entirely free as a man can be from any 
suspicion of " purpose." He tells us as frankly as possible that he is simply 
putting on the cap and bells for our amusement. He must weep and laugh 
just as the fancy takes him ; his pen, he declares, is the master of him, 
not he the master of his pen. This, being interpreted, means of course 
something rather different from its obvious sense. Nobody, it is abun- 
dantly clear, could be a more careful and deliberate artist, though he 
aims at giving a whimsical and arbitrary appearance to his most skilfully 
devised eifects. The author Sterne has a thorough command of his pen ; 
he only means that the parson Sterne is not allowed to interfere in the 
management. He has no doctrine which he is in the least ambitious of 
expounding. He does not even wish to tell us, like some of his suc- 
cessors, that the world is out of joint ; that happiness is a delusion, and 
misery the only reality ; nor what often comes to just the same thing, 
is he anxious to be optimistic, and to declare, in the vein of some later 
humorists, that the world should be regarded through a rose-coloured 
mask, and that a little effusion of benevolence will summarily remove 
all its rough places. Undoubtedly it would be easy to argue were it 
worth the trouble that Sterne's peculiarities of temperament would have 
rendered certain political and religious teachings more congenial to him 
than others. But he did not live in stirring times, when every man is 
forced to translate his temperament by a definite creed. He could be as 
thoroughgoing and consistent an Epicurean as he pleased. Nothing matters 
very much (that seems to be his main doctrine), so long as you possess 
a good temper, a soft heart, and have a flirtation or two with pretty 
women. Though both men may be called sentimentalists, Sterne must 
have regarded Rousseau's vehement social enthusiasm as so much insanity. 
The poor man took life in desperate circumstances, and instead of 
keeping his sensibility to warm his own hearth, wanted to set the world 
on fire. When rambling through France, Sterne had an eye for every 
pretty vignette by the roadside, for peasants' dances, for begging monks, 
or smart Parisian grisettes ; he received and repaid the flattery of the 
drawing-rooms, and was, one may suppose, as absolutely indifferent to 
omens of coming difficulties as any of the freethinking or free-living abbes, 
who were his most congenial company. Hoi-ace Walpole was no philo- 
sopher, but he shook his head in amazement over the audacious scepticism 
of French society. Sterne, so far as one can judge from his letters, saw 
and heard nothing in this direction ; and one would as soon expect to 
find a reflection upon such matters in the Sentimental Journey as to come 
upon a serious discussion of theological controversy in Tristram Shandy. 
Now and then some such question just shows itself for an instant in the 
background. A negro wanted him to write against slavery ; and the 
letter came just as Trim was telling a pathetic story to Uncle Toby, and 
suggesting doubtfully that a black might have a soul. " I am not much 
versed, Corporal," quoth my Uncle Toby, " in things of that kind ; but I 
suppose God would not have made him without one any more than thee 



STEENE. 97 

or ine." Sterne was quite ready to aid the cause of emancipation by 
adding as many picturesque touches as he could devise to Uncle Toby or 
sentimentalising over jackdaws and prisoners in the Sentimental Journey ; 
but more direct agitation would have been as little in his line as travelling 
through France in the spirit of Arthur Young to collect statistics about 
rent and wages. Sterne's sermons, to which one might possibly turn with 
a view to discovering some serious opinions, are not without an interest 
of their own. They show touches of the Shandy style and efforts to escape 
from the dead level. But Sterne could not be really at home in the 
pulpit, and all that can be called original is an occasional infusion of a more 
pungent criticism of life into the moral commonplaces of which sermons 
were then chiefly composed. The sermon on Tristram Shandy supplies 
a happy background to Uncle Toby's comments ; but even Sterne could 
not manage to interweave them into the text. 

The very essence of the Shandy character implies this absolute dis- 
engagement from all actual contact with sublunary affairs. Neither 
Fielding nor Goldsmith can be accused of preaching in the objectionable 
sense ; they do not attempt to supply us with pamphlets in the shape of 
novels, but in so far as they draw from real life they inevitably suggest 
some practical conclusions. Reformers, for example, might point to the 
prison experiences of Dr. Primrose or of Captain Booth, as well as to the 
actual facts which they represent ; and Smollett's account of the British 
navy is a more valuable historical document than any quantity of official 
reports. But in Uncle Toby's bowling-green we have fairly shut the 
door upon the real world. "We are in a region as far removed from the 
prosaic fact as in Aladdin's wondrous subterranean garden. We mount 
the magical hobby-horse, and straightway are in an enchanted land, " as 
though of hemlock we had drunk," and if the region is not altogether so 
full of delicious perfume as that haunted by Keats's nightingale, and even 
admits occasional puffs of rather unsavoury odours, it has a singular 
and characteristic influence of its own. Uncle Toby, so far as his intel 
lect is concerned, is a full-grown child; he plays with his toys, and 
rejoices over the manufacture of cannon from a pair of jack boots, pre 
cisely as if he were still in petticoats ; he lives in a continuous daydream 
framed from the materials of adult experience, but as unsubstantial as 
any childish fancies ; and when he speaks of realities it is with the voice 
of one half-awake, and in whose mind the melting vision still blends 
with the tangible realities. Mr. Shandy has a more direct and conscious 
antipathy to reality. The actual world is commonplace; the events 
there have a trick of happening in obedience to the laws of nature ; and 
people not unfrequently feel what one might have expected beforehand 
that they would feel. One can express them in cut and dried formulae. 
Mr. Shandy detests this monotony. He differs from the ordinary pedant 
in so far as he values theories not in proportion to their dusty antiquity, 
but in proportion to their unreality, the pure whimsicality and irration- 
ality of the heads which contained them. He is a sort of inverted 



98 HOUES IN A LIBRARY. 

philosopher, who loves the antithesis of the reasonable as passionately as 
your commonplace philosopher professes to love the reasonable. He is 
ready to welcome a reductio ad absurdum for a demonstration ; yet he 
values the society of men of the ordinary turn of mind precisely 
because his love of oddities makes him relish a contradiction. He is 
enabled to enjoy the full flavour of his preposterous notions by the 
reaction of other men's astonished common sense. The sensation of 
standing upon his head is intensified by the presence of others in the 
normal position. He delights in the society of the pragmatic and con- 
tradictious Dr. Slop, because Slop is like a fish always ready to rise at 
the bait of a palpable paradox, and quite unable to see with the prosaic 
humorist that paradoxes are the salt of philosophy. Poor Mrs. Shandy 
drives him to distraction by the detestable acquiescence with which she 
receives his most extravagant theories, and the consequent impossibility 
of ever (in the vulgar phrase) getting a rise out of her. 

A man would be priggish indeed who could not enjoy this queer 
region where all the sober proprieties of ordinary logic are as much 
inverted as in Alice's Wonderland ; where the only serious occiipation of a 
good man's life is in playing an infantile game ; where the passion of 
love is only introduced as a passing distraction when the hobby-horse 
has accidentally fallen out of gear ; where the death of a son merely 
supplies an affectionate father with a favourable opportunity for airing 
his queer scraps of outworn moralities, and the misnaming of an infant 
casts him into a fit of profound melancholy ; where everything, in short, 
is topsy-turvy, and we are invited to sit down, consuming a perpetual pipe 
in an old-fashioned arbour, dreamily amusing ourselves with the grotesque 
shapes that seem to be projected, in obedience to no perceptible law, xipon 
the shifting wreaths of smoke. It would be as absurd to lecture the 
excellent brothers upon the absurdity of their mode of life as to preach 
morality to the manager of a Punch show, or to demand sentiment in 
the writer of a mathematical treatise. " I believe in my soul," says 
Sterne, rather audaciously, " that the hand of the supreme Maker and 
Designer of all things never made or put a family together, where the 
characters of it were cast and contrasted with so dramatic a felicity as 
ours was, for this end ; or in which the capacities of affording such 
exquisite scenes, and the powers of shifting them perpetually from morn- 
ing to night, were lodged and entrusted with so unlimited a confidence 
as in the Shandy family." The grammar of the sentence is rather 
queer, but we can hardly find fault with the substance. The remark is 
made efc propos of Mr. Shandy's attempt to indoctrinate his brother with 
the true theory of noses, which is prefaced by the profoundly humorous 
sentence which expresses the leading article of Mr. Shandy's creed : 
" Learned men, brother Toby, don't write dialogues upon long noses for 
nothing." And, in fact, one sees how admirably the simplicity of each 
brother plays into the eccentricity of the other. The elder Shandy could 
not have found in the universe a listener more admirably calculated to 



STERNE. 99 

act as whetstone for his strangely-constructed wit, to dissent in pre- 
cisely the right tone, not with a brutal intrusion of common sense, but 
with the gentle horror of innocent astonishment at the paradoxes, mixed 
with veneration for the portentous learning of hia senior. By looking at 
each brother alternately through the eyes of his relative, we are in- 
sensibly infected with the intense relish which each feels for the cognate 
excellence of the other. When the characters are once familiar to us, each 
new episode in the book is a delightful experiment upon the fresh 
contrasts which can be struck out by skilfully shifting their positions 
and exchanging the parts of clown and chief actor. The light is made 
to flash from a new point, as the gem is turned round by skilled hands. 
Sterne's wonderful dexterity appears in the admirable setting which is 
thus obtained for his most telling remarks. Many of the most famous 
sayings, such as Uncle Toby's remark about the fly, or the recording 
angel, are more or less adapted from other authors, but they come out 
so brilliantly that we feel that he has shown a full right to property 
which he can turn to such excellent account. Sayings quite as witty, 
or still wittier, ;may be found elsewhere. Some of Voltaire's incom- 
parable epigrams, for example, are keener than Sterne's, but they owe 
nothing to the Zadig or Candicle who supplies the occasion for the 
remark. They are thrown out in passing, and shine by their intrinsic 
brilliancy. But when Sterne has a telling remark, he carefully prepares 
the dramatic situation in which it will have the whole force due to the 
concentrated effect of all the attendant circumstances. " Our armies 
swore terribly in Flanders," cried my uncle Toby, "but nothing to this." 
Voltaire could not have made a happier hit at the excess of the odium 
theologicum, but the saying comes to us armed with the authority of the 
whole Shandy conclave. We have a vision of the whole party sitting 
round, each charged with his own peculiar humour. There is Mr. 
Shandy, whose fancy has been amazingly tickled by the portentous oath 
of Ernulfus, as regards antiquarian curiosity, and has at once framed a 
quaint theory of the advantages of profane swearing in order to justify 
his delight in the tremendous formula. He regards his last odd dis- 
covery with the satisfaction of a connoisseur : " I defy a man to swear 
out of it ! " It includes all oaths from that of William the Conqueror to 
that of the humblest scavenger, and is a perfect institute of swearing 
collected from all the most learned authorities. And there is the un- 
lucky Dr. Slop, cleverly enticed into the pitfall by Mr. Shandy's simple 
cunning, and induced to exhibit himself as a monster of ecclesiastical 
ferocity by thundering forth the sounding anathema at the ludicrously 
disproportioned case of Obadiah's clumsy knot-tying ; and to bring out 
the full flavour of the grotesque scene, we see it as represented to the 
childlike intelligence of Uncle Toby, taking it all in sublime seriousness, 
whistling lillabullero to soothe his nerves under this amazing perfor- 
mance, in sheer wonder at the sudden revelation of the potentialities of 
human malediction, and compressing his whole character in that admi- 



100 HOUES IN A LIBRAE Y. 

rable cry of wonder, so phrased as to exhibit his innocent conviction 
that the habits of the armies in Flanders supplied a sort of standard by 
which the results of all human experience might be appropriately 
measured, and to even justify it in some degree by the queer felicity of the 
particular application. A formal lecturer upon the evils of intolerance 
might argue in a set of treatises upon the light in which such an employ- 
ment of sacred language would strike the unsophisticated common sense 
of a benevolent mind. The imaginative humourist sets before us a 
delicious picture of two or three concrete human beings, and is then 
able at one stroke to deliver a blow more telling than the keenest flashes 
of the dry light of the logical understanding. The more one looks into 
the scene and tries to analyse the numerous elements of dramatic effect 
to which his total impression is owing, the more one admires the aston- 
ishing skill which has put so much significance into a few simple words. 
The colouring is so brilliant and the touch so firm that one is afraid to 
put any other work beside it. Nobody before or since has had so clear 
an insight -into the meaning which can be got out of a simple scene by 
a judicious selection and skilful arrangement of the appropriate sur- 
roundings. Sterne's comment upon the mode in which Trim dropped 
his hat at the peroration of his speech upon Master Bobby's death, 
affecting even the " fat, foolish scullion," is significant. " Had he flung 
it, or thrown it, or skimmed it, or squirted it, or let it slip or fall in 
any possible direction under Heaven or in the best direction that could 
have been given to it had he dropped it like a goose, like a puppy, like 
an ass, or in doing it, or even after he had done it, had he looked like a 
fool, like a ninny, like a nincompoop, it had failed, and the effect upon 
the heart had been lost." Those who would play upon human passions 
and those who are played upon, or, in Sterne's phrase, those who drive, 
and those who are driven, like turkeys to market, with a stick and a 
red clout, are invited to meditate upon Trim's hat ; and so may all who 
may wish to understand the secret of Sterne's art. 

It is true, unfortunately, that this singular skill the felicity with 
which Trim's cap, or his Montero cap, or Uncle Toby's pipe is made to 
radiate eloquence, sometimes leads to a decided bathos. The climax so 
elaborately prepared too often turns out to be a faded bit of senti- 
mentalism. We rather resent the art which is thrown away to prepare 
us for the assertion that " When a few weeks will rescue misery out of 
her distress, I hate the man who can be a churl of them." So we hate the 
man who can lift his hand upon a woman save in the way of kindness, 
but we do not want a great writer to adorn that unimpeachable senti- 
ment with all the jewels of rhetoric. It is just in these very critical 
passages that Sterne's taste is defective, because his feeling is not sound. 
We are never sure that we can distinguish between the true gems and 
the counterfeit. When the moment comes at which he suddenly drops 
the tear of sensibility, he is almost as likely to provoke sneers as sym- 
pathy. There is, for example, the famous donkey, and it is curious to 



STERNE. 101 

compare the donkey fed with macaroons in the Tristram Shandy with 
the dead donkey of the Sentimental Journey, whose weeping master lays 
a crust of bread on the now vacant bit of his bridle. It is obviously 
the same donkey, and Sterne has reflected that he can squeeze a little 
more pathos out of the animal by actually killing him, and providing 
a sentimental master. It seems to me that, in trying to heighten the 
effect, he has just crossed the dangerous limit which divides sympathetic 
from derisive laughter ; and whereas the macaroon-fed animal is a possible, 
sti'aightforward beast, he becomes (as higher beings have done) a humbug 
in his palpably hypocritical epitaph. Sterne tries his hand in the same 
way at improving Maria, who is certainly an effective embodiment of 
the mad young woman who has tried to move us in many forms since 
the days of Ophelia. In her second appearance, she comes in to utter the 
famous sentiment about the wind and the shorn lamb. It has become 
proverbial, and been even credited in the popular mind with a scrip- 
tural origin ; and considering such a success, one has hardly the right to 
say that it has gathered a certain sort of banality. Yet it is surely on 
the extreme verge at which the pathetic melts into the ludicrous. The 
reflection, however, occurs more irresistibly in regard to that other 
famous passage about the recording angel. Sterne's admirers held it to 
be sublime at the time, and he obviously shai-ed the opinion. And it is 
undeniable that the story of Le Fevre, in which it is the most conspicuous 
gem, is a masterpiece in its way. No one can read it, or better still, 
hear it from the lips of a skilful reader, without admitting the mar- 
vellous felicity with which the whole scene is presented. Uncle Toby's 
oath is a triumph fully worthy of Shakespeare. But the recording angel, 
though he certainly comes in effectively, is a little suspicious to me. It 
would have been a sacrifice to which few writers could have been equal, 
to suppress or soften that brilliant climax ; and yet, if the angel had 
been omitted, the passage would, I fancy, have been really stronger. 
We might have been left to make the implied comment for ourselves. 
For the angel seems to introduce an unpleasant air as of eighteenth 
century politeness; we fancy that he would have welcomed a Lord 
Chesterfield to the celestial mansions with a faultless bow and a dex- 
terous compliment; and somehow he appears, to my imagination at 
least, apparelled in theatrical gauze and spangles rather than in the 
genuine angelic costume. Some change passes over every famous pas- 
sage ; the bloom of its first freshness is rubbed off as it is handed from 
one quoter to another ; but where the sentiment has no false ring at the 
beginning, the colours may grow faint without losing their harmony. 
In this angel, and some other of Sterne's best-known touches, we seem 
to feel that the baser metal is beginning to show itself through the super- 
ficial enamel. 

And this suggests the criticism which must still be made in regard 
even to the admirable Uncle Toby. Sterne has been called the English 
Rabelais, and was apparently more ambitious himself of being considered 



102 HOUES IN A LIBEAEY. 

as an English Cervantes. To a modern English reader he is certainly 
far more amusing than Rabelais, and he can be appreciated with less 
effort than Cervantes. But it is impossible to mention these great names 
without seeing the direction in which Sterne falls short of the highest 
excellence. We know that, on clearing away the vast masses of buf- 
foonery and ribaldry under which Rabelais was forced, or chose, to hide 
himself, we come to the profound thinker and powerful satirist. Sterne 
represents a comparatively shallow vein of thought. He is the mouth- 
piece of a sentiment which had certainly its importance in so far as it 
was significant of a vague discontent with things in general, and a desire 
for more exciting intellectual food. He was so far ready to fool the age 
to the top of its bent ; and in the course of his ramblings he strikes 
some hard blows at various types of hide-bound pedantry. But he is 
too systematic a trifler to be reckoned with any plausibility amongst the 
spiritual leaders of any intellectual movement. In that sense, Tristram 
Shandy is a curious symptom of the existing currents of emotion, but 
cannot, like the Emile or the Nouvelle Heloise, be reckoned as one of the 
efficient causes. This complete and characteristic want of purpose may 
indeed be reckoned as a literary merit, so far as it prevented Tristram 
Shandy from degenerating into a mere tract. But the want of intellectual 
seriousness has another aspect, which comes out when we compare 
Tristram Shandy, for example, with Don Quixote. The resemblance, 
which has been often pointed out (as indeed Sterne is fond of hinting 
at it himself) consists in this, that in both cases we see loveable characters 
through a veil of the ludicrous. As Don Quixote is a true hero, though 
he is under a constant hallucination, so Uncle Toby is full of the milk of 
human kindness, though his simplicity makes him ridiculous to the 
piercing eyes of common sense. In both cases, it is inferred, the 
humorist is discharging his true function of showing the loveable quali- 
ties which may be associated with a ludicrous outside. 

The Don and the Captain both have their hobbies, which they ride 
with equal zeal, and there is a close analogy between them. Uncle 
Toby makes his own apology in the famous oration upon war. " What 
is war," he asks, " but the getting together of quiet and harmless people 
with swords in their hands, to keep the turbulent and ambitious within 
bounds 1 And heaven is my witness, brother Shandy, that the pleasure 
I have taken in these things, and that infinite delight in particular which 
has attended my sieges in the bowling-green has arisen within me, and I 
hope in the Corporal too, from the consciousness that in carrying them 
on we were answering the great ends of our creation." Uncle Toby's 
military ardour undoubtedly makes a most piquant addition to his 
simple-minded benevolence. The fusion of the gentle Christian with 
the chivalrous devotee of honour is perfect ; and the kindliest of human 
beings, who would not hurt a hair of the fly's head, most delicately 
blended with the gallant soldier who, as Trim avers, would march up 
to the mouth of a cannon though he saw the match at the very touch- 



STERNE. 103 

hole. Should any one doubt the merits of the performance, he might 
reassure himself by comparing the scene in which Uncle Toby makes 
the speech, just quoted, with a parallel passage in The Caxtons, and 
realise the difference between extreme imitative dexterity and the point 
of real genius. 

It is only when we compare this exquisite picture with the highest 
art that we are sensible of its comparative deficiency. The imaginative 
force of Cervantes is proved by the fact that Don Quixote and his 
followers have become the accepted symbols of the most profoundly tragic 
element in human life of the contrast between the lofty idealism of the 
mere enthusiast and the sturdy common sense of ordinary human beings 
between the utilitarian and the romantic types of character ; and as 
neither aspect of the truth can be said to be exhaustive, we are rightly 
left with our sympathies equally balanced. The book may be a sad one 
to those who prefer to be blind ; but in proportion as we can appreciate 
a penetrative insight into the genuine facts of life, we are impressed by 
this most powerful presentation of the never-ending problem. It is 
impossible to find in Tristram Shandy any central conception of this 
breadth and depth. If Trim had been as shrewd as Sancho, Uncle Toby 
would appear like a mere simpleton. Like a child, he requires a tho- 
roughly sympathetic audience, who will not bring his playthings to the 
brutal test of actual facts. The high and earnest enthusiasm of the 
Don can stand the contrast of common sense, though at the price of 
passing into insanity. But Trim is forced to be Uncle Toby's accom- 
plice, or his Commander would never be able to play at soldiers. If 
Don Quixote had simply amused himself at a mock tournament, and 
had never been in danger of mistaking a puppet-show for a reality, he 
would certainly have been more credible, but in the same proportion he 
would have been commonplace. The whole tragic element, which makes 
the humour impressive, would have disappeared. Sterne seldom ven- 
tures to the limit of the tragic. The bowling-green of Mr. Shandy's 
parlance is too exclusively a sleepy hollow. The air is never cleared by 
a strain of lofty sentiment. "When Yorick and Eugenius form part of 
the company, we feel that they are rather too much at home with offen- 
sive suggestions. When Uncle Toby's innocence fails to perceive their 
coarse insinuations, we are credited with clearer perception, and expected 
to sympathise with the spurious wit which derives its chief zest from 
the presence of the pure-minded victim. And so Uncle Toby comes to 
represent that stingless virtue, which never gets beyond the ken or 
hurts the feelings of the easy-going epicurean. His perceptions are too 
slow and his temper too mild to resent an indecency as his relative, Colonel 
Newcome, would have done. He would have been too complacent, 
even to the outrageous Costigan. He is admirably kind when a comrade 
falls ill at his door ; but his benevolence can exhale itself sufficiently in 
the intervals of hobby- riding, and his chivalrous temper in fighting over 
old battles with the Corporal. We feel that he must be growing fat; 



104 HOURS IN A LIBRARY. 

that his pulse is flabby and his vegetative functions predominant. When 
he falls in love with the repulsive (for she is repulsive) widow Wadman, 
we pity him as we pity a poor soft zoophyte in the clutches of a rapacious 
crab ; but we have no sense of a wasted life. Even his military ardour 
seems to present itself to our minds as due to the simple affection which 
makes his regiment part of bis family rather than to any capacity for heroic 
sentiment. His brain might turn soft ; it would never spontaneously 
generate the noble madness of a Quixote, though he might have followed 
that hero with a more canine fidelity than Sancho. 

Mr. Matthew Arnold says of Heine, as we all remember, that 

The spirit of the world, 

Beholding the absurdity of men 

Their vanities, their feats let a sardonic smil 

For one short moment -wander o'er his lips 

That smile \vas Heine. 

There is a considerable analogy, as one may note in passing, between 
the two men ; and if Sterne was not a poet, his prose could perhaps be even 
more vivid and picturesque than Heine's. But his humour is generally 
wanting in the quality suggested by Mr. Arnold's phrase. We cannot 
represent it by a sardonic smile, or indeed by any other expression which 
we can very well associate with the world-spirit. The imaginative 
humourist must in all cases be keenly alive to the " absurdity of man ;" he 
must have a sense of the irony of fate, of the strange interlacing of good 
and evil in the world, and of the baser and nobler elements in human 
nature. He will be affected diffei'ently according to his temperament 
and his intellectual grasp. He may be most impressed by the affinity 
between madness and heroism ; by the waste of noble qualities on trifling 
purposes ; and, if he be more amiable, by the goodness which may lurk 
under ugly forms. He may be bitter and melancholy, or simply serious 
in contemplating the fantastic tricks played by mortals before high 
heaven. But, in any case, some real undercurrent of deeper feeling is 
essential to the humourist who impresses us powerfully, and who is equally 
far from mere buffoonery and sentimental foppery. His smile must be 
at least edged with melancholy, and his pathos too deep for mere 
" snivelling." 

Sterne is often close to this loftier region of the humorous ; some- 
times he fairly crosses it; but his step is uncertain as of one not feeling 
at home. The absurdity of man does not make him " sardonic." He 
takes things too easily. He shows us the farce of life, and feels that 
there is a tragical background to it all ; but somehow he is not usually 
much disposed to cry over it, and he is obviously proud of the tears which 
he manages to produce. The thought of human folly and suffering does 
not usually torment and perplex him. The high test humourist should 
be the laughing and weeping philosopher in one ; and in Sterne the 
weeping philosopher is always a bit of a humbug. The pedantry of the 
elder Shandy is a simple whim, not a misguided aspiration ; and Steme 



STERNE. 105 

is so amused with his oddities that he even allows him to be obtrusively 
heartless. Uncle Toby undoubtedly comes much nearer to complete 
success; but he wants just that touch of genuine pathos which he would 
have received from the hands of the present writer. But the performance 
is so admirable in the last passages, where Sterne can drop his buffoonery 
and his indecency, that even a criticism which sets him below the highest 
place seems almost unfair. 

And this may bring us back for a moment to the man himself. 
Sterne avowedly drew his own portrait in Yorick. That clerical jester, he 
says, was a mere child, full of whim and gaiety, but without an ounce of 
ballast. He had no more knowledge of the world at 26 than a " romping, 
unsuspicious girl of 13." His high spirits and frankness were always 
getting him into trouble. When he heard of a spiteful or ungenerous 
action he would blurt out that the man was a dirty fellow. He would 
not stoop to set himself right, but let people think of him what they 
would. Thus his faults were all due to his extreme candour and im- 
pulsiveness. It wants little experience of the world to recognise the 
familiar portrait of an impulsive and generous fellow. It represents 
the judicious device by which a man reconciles himself to some veiy ugly 
actions. It provides by anticipation a complete excuse for thoughtless- 
ness and meanness. If he is accused of being inconstant, he points out the 
extreme goodness of his impulses ; and if the impulses were bad he argues 
that at least they did not last very long. He prides himself on his dis- 
regard to consequences, even when the consequences may be injurious to 
his friends. His feelings are so genuine for the moment that his con- 
science is satisfied without his will translating them into action. He 
is perfect ly candid in expressing the passing phase of sentiment, and 
therefore does not trouble himself to ask whether what is true to-day will 
be true to-morrow. He can call an adversary a dirty fellow, and is very 
proud of his generous indiscretion. But he is also capable of gratifying 
the dirty fellow's vanity by highflown compliments if he happens to be 
in the enthusiastic vein ; and somehow the providence which watches 
over the thoughtless is very apt to make his impulses fall in with the 
dictates of calculated selfishness. He cannot be an accomplished courtier 
because he is apt to be found out ; but he can crawl and creep for the 
nonce with any one. In real life such a man is often as delightful for a 
short time as he becomes contemptible on a longer acquaintance. When 
we think of Sterne as a man, and try to frame a coherent picture of 
his character, we must give a due weight to the baser elements of his 
composition. We cannot forget his shallowness of feeling and the utter 
want of self-respect which prompted him to condescend to be a mere 
mountebank, and to dabble in filth for the amusement of graceless 
patrons. Nor is it really possible entirely to throw aside this judgment 
even in reading his works ; for even after abstracting our attention from 
the rubbish and the indecency, we are haunted in the really admirable 
parts by our misgivings as to their sincerity. But the problem is often 

YOL. XLII. NO, 247. 6. 



106 HOUES IN A LIBRARY. 

one to tax critical acumen. It is one aspect of a difficulty which meets 
us sometimes in real life. Every man flatters himself that he can detect 
the mere hypocrite. We seem to have a sufficient instinct to warn us 
against the downright pitfalls, where an absolute void is covered by an 
artificial stratum of mere verbiage. Perhaps even this is not so easy as 
we sometimes fancy ; but there is a more refined sort of hypocrisy which 
requires keener dissection. How are men to draw the narrow and yet 
all important line which separates not the genuine from the feigned 
emotion but the emotion which is due to some real cause, and that which 
is a cause in itself 1 Some people we know fall in love with a woman, 
and others are really in love with the passion. Grief may be the sign 
of lacerated affection, or it may be a mere luxury indulged in for its 
own sake. The sentimentalism which Sterne represented corresponded 
in the main to this last variety. People had discovered the art of 
extracting direct enjoyment from their own " sensibility," and Sterne 
expressly gives thanks for his own as the great consolation of his life. He 
has the heartiest possible relish for his tears and lamentations, and it is 
precisely his skill in marking this vein of interest which gives him his 
extraordinary popularity. So soon as we discover that a man is enjoying 
his sorrow our sympathy is killed within us, and for that reason Sterne 
is apt to be repulsive to humourists whose sense of the human tragi-comedy 
is deeper than his own. They agree with him that the vanity of human 
dreams may suggest a mingling of tears and laughter ; but they grieve 
because they must, not because they find it a pleasant amusement. Yet 
it is perhaps unwise to poison our pleasure by reflections of this kind. 
They come with critical reflection, and may at least be temporarily sup- 
pressed when we are reading for enjoyment. We need not sin ourselves 
by looking a gift-horse in the mouth. The sentiment is genuine at the 
time. Do not inquire how far it has been deliberately concocted and 
stimulated. The man is not only a wonderful artist, but he is right in 
asserting that his impulses are clear and genuine. Why should not that 
satisfy us 1 Are we to set up for so rigid a nature that we are never to 
consent to sit down with Uncle Toby and take him as he is made ? We 
may wish, if we please, that Sterne had always been in his best, and that 
his tears flowed from a deeper source. But so long as he really speaks from 
his heart and he does so in all the finer parts of the Toby drama why 
should we remember that the heart was rather flighty, and regarded with 
too much conscious complacency by its proprietor ? The Shandyism upon 
which he prided himself was not a very exalted form of mind, nor one 
which offered a very deep or lasting satisfaction. Happily we can dismiss 
an author when we please ; give him a cold shoulder in our more virtuous 
moods, and have a quiet chat with him when we are graciously pleased 
to relax. In those times we may admit Sterne as the best of jesters, 
though it may remain an open question whether the jester is on the whole 
an estimable institution. 



107 



nngian 



VII. 

E was, however, 
by no means so 
much in earnest 
as this might seem 
to indicate ; and, 
indeed, he was 
more than any- 
thing else amused 
with the whole 
situation. He 
was not in the 
least in a state of 
tension or of vigi- 
lance, with re- 
gard to Cathe- 
rine's prospects ; 
he was even on 
his guard against 
the ridicule that 
might attach it- 
self to the spectacle of a house thrown into agitation by its daughter 
and heiress receiving attentions unprecedented in its annals. More 
than this, he went so far as to promise himself some entertainment 
from the little drama if drama it was of which Mrs. Penniman 
desii-ed to represent the ingenious Mr. Townsend as the hero. He had 
no intention, as yet, of regulating the denouement. He was perfectly 
willing, as Elizabeth had suggested, to give the young man the benefit 
of every doubt. There was no great danger in it; for Catherine, 
at the age of twenty-two, was after all a rather mature blossom, such 
as could be plucked from the stem only by a vigorous jerk. The fact 
that Morris Townsend was poor was not of necessity against him ; the 
Doctor had never made up his mind that his daughter should marry 
a rich man. The fortune she would inherit struck him as a very suffi- 
cient provision for two reasonable persons, and if a penniless swain who 
could give a good account of himself should enter the lists, he should be 

* Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1880 by Henry James, Jr. 
in the office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington. 

62 




108 WASHINGTON SQUARE. 

judged quite upon his personal merits. There were other things besides. 
The Doctor thought it very vulgar to be precipitate in accusing people of 
mercenary motives, inasmuch as his door had as yet not been in the least 
besieged by fortune-hunters ; and, lastly, he was very curious to see 
whether Catherine might really be loved for her moral worth. He 
smiled as he reflected that poor Mr. Townsend had been only twice to 
the house, and he said to Mrs. Penniman that the next time he should 
come she must ask him to dinner. 

He came very soon again, and Mrs. Penniman had of course great 
pleasure in executing this mission. Morris Townsend accepted her invi- 
tation with equal good grace, and the dinner took place a few days later. 
The Doctor had said to himself, justly enough, that they must not have 
the young man alone ; this would partake too much of the nature of en- 
couragement. So two or three other persons were invited ; but Morris 
Townsend, though he was by no means the ostensible, was the real, occa- 
sion of the feast. There is every reason to suppose that he desired to 
make a good impression ; and if he fell short of this result, it was not 
for want of a good deal of intelligent effort. The Doctor talked to him 
very little during dinner ; but he observed him attentively, and after the 
ladies had gone out he pushed him the wine and asked him several ques- 
tions. Morris was not a young man who needed to be pressed, and he 
found quite enough encouragement in the superior quality of the claret. 
The Doctor's wine was admirable, and it may be communicated to the 
reader that while be sipped it Morris reflected that a cellar-full of good 
liquor there was evidently a cellar-full here would be a most attrac- 
tive idiosyncrasy in a father-in-law. The Doctor was struck with his 
appreciative guest ; he saw that he was not a commonplace young man. 
" He has ability," said Catherine's father, " decided ability ; he has a very 
good head if he chooses to use it. And he is uncommonly well turned 
out ; quite the sort of figure that pleases the ladies. But I don't think 
I like him." The Doctor, however, kept his reflections to himself, and 
talked to his visitors about foreign lands, concerning which Morris offered 
him more information than he was ready, as he mentally phrased it, to 
swallow. Dr. Sloper had travelled but little, and lie took the liberty of 
not believing everything that his talkative guest narrated. He prided 
himself on being something of a physiognomist, and while the young 
man, chatting with easy assurance, puffed his cigar and filled his glass 
again, the Doctor sat with his eyes quietly fixed on his bright, expressive 
face. " He has the assurance of the devil himself," said Morris's host ; 
" I don't think I ever saw such assurance. And his powers of invention 
are most remarkable. He is very knowing ; they were not so knowing 
as that in my time. And a good head, did I say 1 I should think so 
after a bottle of Madeira, and a bottle and a half of claret ! " 

After dinner Morris Townsend went and stood before Catherine, who 
was standing before the fire in her red satin gown. 

" He doesn't like me he doesn't like me at all ! " said the young man. 



WASHINGTON SQUARE. 109 

" Who doesn't like you ? " asked Catherine. 

" Your father ; extraordinary man ! " 

" I don't see how you know," said Catherine, blushing. 

" I feel ; I am very quick to feel." 

" Perhaps you are mistaken." 

" Ah, well ; you ask him and you will see." 

" I would rather not ask him, if there is any danger of his saying 
what you think." 

Morris looked at her with an air of mock melancholy. 

" It wouldn't give you any pleasure to contradict him 1 ? " 

" I never contradict him," said Catherine. 

" Will you hear me abused without opening your lips in my defence 1 ? " 

" My father won't abuse you. He doesn't know you enough." 

Morris Townsend gave a loud laugh, and Catherine began to blush 
again. 

" I shall never mention you," she said, to take refuge from her con- 
fusion. 

" That is very well ; but it is not quite what I should have liked 
you to say. I should have liked you to say : ' If my father doesn't think 
well of you, what does it matter 1 ' ' 

" Ah, but it would matter ; I couldn't say that ! " the girl exclaimed. 

He looked at her for a moment, smiling a little ; and the Doctor, if 
he had been watching him just then, would have seen a gleam of fine 
impatience in the sociable softness of his eye. But there was no impa- 
tience in his rejoinder none, at least, save what was expressed in a little 
appealing sigh. " Ah, well, then, I must not give up the hope of bring- 
ing him round ! " 

He expressed it more frankly to Mrs. Penniman, later in the evening. 
But before that he sang two or three songs at Catherine's timid request ; 
not that he nattered himself that this would help to bring her father 
round. He had a sweet, light tenor voice, and when he had finished, 
every one made some exclamation every one, that is, save Catherine, 
who remained intensely silent. Mrs. Penniman declared that his 
manner of singing was " most artistic," and Dr. Sloper said it was " very 
taking very taking indeed ; " speaking loudly and distinctly, but with 
a certain dryness. 

" He doesn't like me he doesn't like me at all," said Morris Town- 
send, addressing the aunt in the same manner as he had done the niece. 
" He thinks I am all wrong." 

Unlike her niece, Mrs. Penniman asked for no explanation. She 
only smiled very sweetly, as if she understood everything ; and, unlike 
Catherine too, she made no attempt to contradict him. " Pray, what 
does it matter 1 " she murmured softly. 

" Ah, you say the right thing ! " said Morris, greatly to the gratifi 
cation of Mrs. Penniman, who prided herself on always saying the right 
thing. 



110 WASHINGTON SQUAEE. 

The Doctor, the next time he saw his sister Elizabeth, let her know 
that he had made the acquaintance of Lavinia's protege. 

" Physically," he said, " he's uncommonly well set up. As an anato- 
mist, it is really a pleasure to me to see such a beautiful structure ; 
although, if people were all like him, I suppose there would be very little 
need for doctors." 

" Don't you see anything in people but their bones ? " Mrs. Almond 
rejoined. " What do you think of him as a father ? " 

" As a father ? Thank Heaven I am not his father ! " 

" No ; but you are Catherine's. Lavinia tells me she is in love." 

" She must get over it. He is not a gentleman." 

"Ah, take care ! Remember that he is a branch of the Townsends." 

" He is not what I call a gentleman. He has not the soul of one. 
He is extremely insinuating ; but it's a vulgar nature. I saw through 
it in a minute. He is altogether too familiar I hate familiarity. He 
is a plausible coxcomb." 

" Ah, well," said Mrs. Almond ; " if you make up your mind so 
easily, it's a great advantage." 

" I don't make up my mind easily. What I tell you is the result of 
thirty years of observation ; and in order to be able to form that judg- 
ment in a single evening, I have had to spend a lifetime in study." 

" Very possibly you are right. But the thing is for Catherine to 
see it." 

" I will present her with a pair of spectacles ! " said the Doctor. 

VIII. 

If it were true that she was in love, she 'was certainly very quiet 
about it; but the Doctor was of course prepared to admit that her 
quietness might mean volumes. She had told Morris Townsend that she 
would not mention him to her father, and she saw no reason to retract 
this vow of discretion. It was no more than decently civil, of course, 
that after having dined in Washington Square, Morris should call 
there again : and it was no more than natural that, having been kindly 
received on this occasion, he should continue to present himself. He 
had had plenty of leisure on his hands ; and thirty years ago, in New 
York, a young man of leisure had reason to be thankful for aids to self- 
oblivion. Catherine said nothing to her father about these visits, though 
they had rapidly become the most important, the most absorbing thing 
in her life. The girl was very happy. She knew not as yet what would 
come of it ; but the present had suddenly grown rich and solemn. If 
she had been told she was in love, she would have been a good deal sur- 
prised ; for she had an idea that love was an eager and exacting passion, 
and her own heart was filled in these days with the impulse of self- 
effacement and sacrifice. Whenever Morris Townsend had left the 
house, her imagination projected itself, with all its strength, into the 



WASHINGTON SQUARE. Ill 

idea of his soon coming back ; but if she had been told at such a moment 
that he would not return for a year, or even that he would never return, 
she would not have complained nor rebelled, but would have humbly 
accepted the decree, and sought for consolation in thinking over the 
times she had already seen him, the words he had spoken, the sound of 
his voice, of his tread, the expression of his face. Love demands certain 
things as a right ; but Catherine had no sense of her rights ; she had 
only a consciousness of immense and unexpected favours. Her very 
gratitude for these things had hushed itself; for it seemed to her that 
there would be something of impudence in making a festival of her 
secret. Her father suspected Morris Townsend's visits, and noted her 
reserve. She seemed to beg pardon for it ; she looked at him constantly 
in silence, as if she meant to say that she said nothing because she was 
afraid of irritating him. But the poor girl's dumb eloquence ii'ritatcd 
him more than anything else would have done, and he caught himself 
murmuring more than once that it was a grievous pity his only child 
was a simpleton. His murmurs, however, were inaudible ; and for a 
while he said nothing to any one. He would have liked to know exactly 
how often young Townsend came ; but he had determined to ask no 
questions of the girl herself to say nothing more to her that would 
show that he watched her. The Doctor had a great idea of being 
largely just : he wished to leave his daughter her liberty, and interfere 
only when the danger should be proved. It was not in his manners to 
obtain information by indirect methods, and it never even occurred to 
him to question the servants. As for Lavinia, he hated to talk to her 
about the matter ; she annoyed him with her mock romanticism. But 
he had to come to this. Mrs. Penniman's convictions as regards the 
relations of her niece and the clever young visitor who saved appearances 
by coming ostensibly for both the ladies Mrs. Penniman's convictions 
had passed into a riper and richer phase. There was to be no crudity in 
Mrs. Penniman's treatment of the situation ; she had become as uncom- 
municative as Catherine herself. She was tasting of the sweets of con- 
cealment ; she had taken up the line of mystery. " She would be 
enchanted to be able to prove to herself that she is persecuted," said the 
Doctor ; and when at last he questioned her, he was sure she would 
contrive to extract from his words a pretext for this belief. 

" Be so good as to let me know what is going on in the house," he 
said to her, in a tone which, under the circumstances, he himself deemed 
genial. 

" Going on, Austin 1 " Mrs. Penniman exclaimed. " Why, I am sure 
I don't know ! I believe that last night the old grey cat had kittens ? " 

" At her age 1 " said the Doctor. " The idea is startling almost 
shocking. Be so good as to see that they are all drowned. But what 
else has happened 1 " 

" Ah, the dear little kittens ! " cried Mrs. Penniman. " I wouldn't 
have them drowned for the world ! " 



112 WASHINGTON SQTJAKE. 

Her brother puffed his cigar a few moments in silence. "Your 
sympathy with kittens, Lavinia," he presently resumed, " arises from a 
feline element in your own character." 

" Cats are very graceful, and very clean," said Mrs. Penniman, smiling. 

" And very stealthy. You are the embodiment both of grace and of 
neatness ; but you are wanting in frankness." 

" You certainly are not, dear brother." 

" I don't pretend to be graceful, though I try to be neat. "Why 
haven't you let me know that Mr. Morris Townsend is coming to the 
house four times a week ? " 

Mrs. Penniman lifted her eyebrows. " Four times a week 1 " 

" Three times, then, or five times, if you prefer it. I am away all 
day, and I see nothing. But when such things happen, you should let 
me know." 

Mrs. Penniman, with her eyebrows still raised, reflected intently. 
" Dear Austin," she said at last, " I am incapable of betraying a confi- 
dence. I would rather suffer anything." 

" Never fear ; you shall not suffer. To whose confidence is it you 
allude 1 Has Catherine made you take a vow of eternal secresy ? " 

" By no means. Catherine has not told me as much as she might. 
She has not been very trustful." 

" It is the young man, then, who has made you his confidant ? Allow 
me to say that it is extremely indiscreet of you to form secret alliances 
with young men. You don't know where they may lead you." 

" I don't know what you mean by an alliance," said Mrs. Penniman. 
"I take a great interest in Mr. Townsend; I won't conceal that. But 
that's all." 

" Under the circumstances, that is quite enough. What is the source 
of your interest in Mr. Townsend ? " 

" Why," said Mrs. Penniman, musing, and then breaking into her 
smile, " that he is so interesting ! " 

The Doctor felt that he had need of his patience. " And what makes 
him interesting 1 his good looks 1 " 

" His misfortunes, Austin." 

" Ah, he has had misfortunes ? That, of course, is always interesting. 
Are you at liberty to mention a few of Mr. Townsend's ? " 

"I don't know that he would like it," said Mrs. Penniman. "He 
has told me a great deal about himself he has told me, in fact, his 
whole history. But I don't think I ought to repeat those things. He 
would tell them to you, I am sure, if he thought you would listen to him 
kindly. With kindness you may do anything with him." 

The Doctor gave a laugh. " I shall request him very kindly, then, 
to leave Catherine alone." 

" Ah ! " said Mrs. Penniman, shaking her forefinger at her brother, 
with her little finger turned out, " Catherine has probably said something 
to him kinder than that ! " 



WASHINGTON SQUAEE. 113 

" Said that she loved him ? Do you mean that ? " 

Mrs. Penniman fixed her eyes on the floor. " As I tell you, Austin, 
she doesn't confide in me." 

" You have an opinion, I suppose, all the same. It is that I ask 
you for ; though I don't conceal from you that I shall not regard it as 
conclusive." 

Mrs. Penniman's gaze continued to rest on the carpet ; but at last 
she lifted it, and then her brother thought it very expressive. " I think 
Catherine is very happy ; that is all I can say." 

" Townsend is trying to marry her is that what you mean ? " 

" He is greatly interested in her." 

" He finds her such an attractive girl 1 " 

" Catherine has a lovely nature, Austin," said Mrs. Penniman, " and 
Mr. Townsend has had the intelligence to discover that." 

" With a little help from you, I suppose. My dear Lavinia," cried 
the Doctor, " you are an admirable aunt ! " 

" So Mr. Townsend says," observed Lavinia, smiling. 

" Do you think he is sincere ? " asked her brother. 

" In saying that ? " 

" No ; that's of course. But in his admiration for Catherine 1 " 

" Deeply sincere. He has said to me the most appreciative, the most 
charming things about her. He would say them to you, if he were sure 
you would listen to him gently." 

" I doubt whether I can undertake it. He appears to require a great 
deal of gentleness." 

" He is a sympathetic, sensitive nature," said Mrs. Penniman. 

Her brother puffed his cigar again in silence. " These delicate quali- 
ties have survived his vicissitudes, eh ? All this while you haven't told 
me about his misfortunes." 

" It is a long story," said Mrs. Penniman, " and I regard it as a 
sacred trust. But I suppose there is no objection to my saying that he 
has been wild he frankly confesses that. But he has paid for it." 

" That's what has impoverished him, eh 1, " 

" I don't mean simply in money. He is very much alone in the world." 

" Do you mean that he has behaved so badly that his friends have 
given him up 1 " 

" He has had false friends, who have deceived and betrayed him." 

" He seems to have some good ones too. He has a devoted sister, 
and half a dozen nephews and nieces." 

Mrs. Penniman was silent a minute. " The nephews and nieces are 
children, and the sister is not a very attractive person." 

" I hope he doesn't abuse her to you," said the Doctor ; " for I am 
told he lives upon her." 

" Lives upon her 1 " 

" Lives with her f and dpes nothing for himself; it is about the same 
thing." 

6-A 



114 WASHINGTON SQUARE. 

" He is looking for a position most earnestly," said Mrs. Penniman. 
"He hopes every day to find one." 

" Precisely. He is looking for it here over there in the front 
parlour. The position of husband of a weak-minded woman with a large 
fortune would suit him to perfection ! " 

Mrs. Penniman was truly amiable, but she now gave signs of temper. 
She rose with much animation, and stood for a moment looking at her 
brother. " My dear Austin," she remarked, " if you regard Catherine as 
a weak-minded woman, you are particularly mistaken ! " And with this 
she moved majestically away. 

IX. 

It was a regular custom with the family in Washington Square to go 
and spend Sunday evening at Mrs. Almond's. On the Sunday after the 
conversation I have just narrated, this custom was not intermitted; and 
on this occasion, towards the middle of the evening, Doctor Sloper found 
reason to withdraw to the library, with his brother-in-law, to talk over a 
matter of business. He was absent some twenty minutes, and when he 
came back into the circle, which was enlivened by the presence of several 
friends of the family, he saw that Morris Townsend had come in and had 
lost as little time as possible in seating himself on a small sofa, beside 
Catherine. In the large room, where several different groups had been 
formed, and the hum of voices and of laughter was loud, these two young 
persons might confabulate, as the Doctor phrased it to himself, without 
attracting attention. He saw in a moment, however, that his daughter 
was painfully conscious of his own observation. She sat motionless, with 
her eyes bent down, staring at her open fan, deeply flushed, shrinking 
together as if to minimise the indiscretion of which she confessed herself 
guilty. 

The Doctor almost pitied her. Poor Catherine was not defiant ; she 
had no genius for bravado, and as she felt that her father viewed her com- 
panion's attentions with an unsympathising eye. there was nothing but 
discomfort for her in the accident of seeming to challenge him. The 
Doctor felt, indeed, so sorry for her that he turned away, to spare her the 
sense of being watched ; and he was so intelligent a man that, in his 
thoughts, he rendered a sort of poetic justice to her situation. 

" It must be deucedly pleasant for a plain, inanimate girl like that to have 
a beautiful young fellow come and sit down beside her and whisper to her 
that he is her slave if that is what this one whispers. No wonder she 
likes it, and that she thinks me a cruel tyrant ; which of course she does, 
though she is afraid she hasn't the animation necessary to admit it to 
herself. Poor old Catherine !" mused the Doctor; "I verily believe she is 
capable of defending me when Townsend abuses me ! " 

And the force of this reflection, for the moment, was such in making 
him feel the natural opposition between his point of view and that of an 



WASHINGTON SQUAKE. 115 

infatuated child, that he said to himself that he was perhaps after all 
taking things too hard and crying out before he was hurt. He must not 
condemn Morris Townsend unheard. He had a great aversion to taking 
things too hard ; he thought that half the discomfort and many of the 
disappointments of life come from it ; and for an instant he asked him- 
self whether, possibly, he did not appear ridiculous to this intelligent 
young man, whose private perception of incongruities he suspected of 
being keen. At the end of a quarter of an hour Catherine had got rid 
of him, and Townsend was now standing before the fireplace in conver- 
sation with Mrs. Almond. 

" We will try him again," said the Doctor. And he crossed the 
room and joined his sister and her companion, making her a sign that 
she should leave the young man to him. She presently did so, while 
Morris looked at him, smiling, without a sign of evasiveness in his 
affable eye. 

" He's amazingly conceited ! " thought the Doctor ; and then he said 
aloud : " I am told you are looking out for a position." 

" Oh, a position is more than I should presume to call it," Morris 
Townsend answered. " That sounds so fine. I should like some quiet 
work something to turn an honest penny." 

" What sort of thing should you prefer 1 " 

" Do you mean what am I fit for ? Very little, I am afraid. I have 
nothing but my good right arm, as they say in the melodramas." 

" You are too modest," said the Doctor. " In addition to your good 
right arm, you have your subtle brain. I know nothing of you but 
what I see ; but I see by your physiognomy that you are extremely in- 
telligent." 

" Ah," Townsend murmured, " I don't know what to answer when 
you say that ! You advise me, then, not to despair ? " 

And he looked at his interlocutor as if the question might have a 
double meaning. The Doctor caught the look and weighed it a moment 
before he replied. " I should be very sorry to admit that a robust and 
well-disposed young man need ever despair. If he doesn't succeed in one 
thing, he can try another. Only, I should add, he should choose his 
line with discretion." 

" Ah, yes, with discretion," Morris Townsend repeated, sympathe- 
tically. " Well, I have been indiscreet, formerly ; but I think I have 
got over it. I am very steady now." And he stood a moment, looking 
down at his remarkably neat shoes. Then at last, " Were you kindly 
intending to propose something for my advantage ? " he inquired, looking 
up and smiling. 

" Damn his impudence ! " the Doctor exclaimed, privately. But in a 
moment he reflected that he himself had, after all, touched first upon this 
delicate point, and that his words might have been construed as an offer 
of assistance. " I have no particular proposal to make," lie presently 
said ; " but it occurred to me to let you know that I have you in my mind. 



116 WASHINGTON SQUAKE. 

Sometimes one hears of opportunities. For instance, should you object to 
leaving New York to going to a distance ? " 

" I am afraid I shouldn't be able to manage that. I must seek my 
fortune here or nowhere. You see," added Morris Townsend, " I have 
ties I have responsibilities here. I have a sister, a widow, from whom 
I have been separated for a long time, and to whom I am almost every- 
thing. I shouldn't like to say to her that I must leave her. She rather 
depends upon me, you see." 

"Ah, that's very proper; family feeling is very proper," said Doctor 
Sloper. " I often think there is not enough of it in our city. I think I 
have heard of your sister." 

" It is possible, but I rather doubt it ; she lives so very quietly." 

" As quietly, yon mean," the Doctor went on, with a short laugh, 
" as a lady may do who has several young children." 

" Ah, my little nephews and nieces that's the very point ! I am 
helping to bring them up," said Morris Townsend. " I am a kind of 
amateur tutor; I give them lessons." 

" That's very proper, as I say ; but it is hardly a career." 

" It won't make my fortune ! " the young man confessed. 

"You must not be too much bent on a fortune," said the Doctor. 
" But I assure you I will keep you in mind ; I won't lose sight of you ! w 

" If my situation becomes desperate I shall perhaps take the liberty 
of reminding you ! " Morris rejoined, raising his voice a little, with a 
brighter smile, as his interlocutor turned away. 

Before he left the house the Doctor had a few words with Mrs. Almond. 

" I should like to see his sister," he said. "What do you call her? 
Mrs. Montgomery. I should like to have a little talk with her." 

" I will try and manage it," Mrs. Almond responded. " I will take 
the first opportunity of inviting her, and you shall come and meet her. 
Unless, indeed," Mrs. Almond added, " she first takes it into her head to 
be sick and to send for you." 

" Ah, no, not that ; she must have trouble enough without that. 
But it would have its advantages, for then I should see the children. I 
should like very much to see the children." 

" You are very thorough. Do you want to catechise them about 
their uncle ? " 

" Precisely. Their uncle tells me he has charge of their education, 
that he saves their mother the expense of school-bills. I should like to 
ask them a few questions in the commoner branches." 

"He certainly has not the cut of a schoolmaster !" Mrs. Almond 
said to herself a short time afterwards, as she saw Morris Townsend in a 
corner bending over her niece, who was seated. 

And there was, indeed, nothing in the young man's discourse at this 
moment that savoured of the pedagogue. 

" "Will you meet me somewhere to-morrow or next day ? " he said, in 
a low tone, to Catherine. 



WASHINGTON SQUARE. 117 

" Meet you ? " she asked, lifting her frightened eyes. 

" I have something particular to say to you very particular." 

" Can't you come to the house ? Can't you say it there ? " 

Townsend shook his head gloomily. "I can't enter your doors 
again ! " 

" Oh, Mr. Townsend ! " murmured Catherine. She trembled as she 
wondered what had happened, whether her father had forbidden it. 

" I can't, in self-respect," said the young man. " Your father has 
insulted me." 

" Insulted you ? " 

" He has taunted me with my poverty." 

" Oh, you are mistaken you misunderstood him ! " Catherine spoke 
with energy, getting up from her chair. 

" Perhaps I am too proud too sensitive. But would you have me 
otherwise ? " he asked, tenderly. 

" Where my father is concerned, you must not be sure. He is full of 
goodness," said Catherine. 

" He laughed at me for having no position ! I took it quietly ; but 
only because he belongs to you." 

<: I don't know," said Catherine ; " I don't know what he thinks. I 
am sure he means to be kind. You must not be too proud." 

" I will be proud only of you," Morris answered. " Will you meet 
me in the Square in the afternoon ? " 

A great blush on Catherine's part had been the answer to the declara- 
tion I have just quoted. She turned away, heedless of his question. 

" Will you meet me ? " he repeated. " It is very quiet there ; no one 
need see us towards dusk ? " 

" It is you who are unkind, it is you who laugh, when you say such 
things as that." 

" My dear girl ! " the young man murmured. 

" You know how little there is in me to be proxid of. I am ugly and 
stupid." 

Morris greeted this remai-k with an ardent murmur, in which she 
recognised nothing articulate but an assurance that she was his own 
dearest. 

But she went on. " I am not even I am not even " And she 

paused a moment. 

" You are not what ? " 

' I am not even brave." 

" Ah, then, if you are afraid, what shall we do ? " 

She hesitated awhile ; then at last " You must come to the house," 
she said ; " I am not afraid of that." 

" I would rather it were in the Square," the young man urged. 
" You know how empty it is, often. No one will see us." 

" I don't care who sees us ! But leave me now." 

He left her resignedly ; he had got what he wanted. Fortunately 



118 WASHINGTON SQUAEE. 

he was ignorant that half an hour later, going home with her father and 
feeling him near, the poor girl, in spite of her sudden declaration of 
courage, began to tremble again. Her father said nothing ; but she had 
an idea his eyes were fixed upon her in the darkness. Mrs. Penniman 
also was silent ; Morris Townsend had told her that her niece preferred, 
unromantically, an interview in a chintz-covered parlour to a senti- 
mental tryst beside a fountain sheeted with dead leaves, and she was lost 
in wonderment at the oddity almost the perversity of the choice. 



X. 

Catherine received the young man the next day on the ground she 
had chosen amid the chaste upholstery of a New York drawing-room 
furnished in the fashion of fifty years ago. Morris had swallowed his 
pride and made the effort necessary to cross the threshold of her too 
derisive parent an act of magnanimity which could not fail to render 
him doubly interesting. 

"We must settle something we must take a line," he declared, 
passing his hand through his hair and giving a glance at the long 
narrow mirror which adorned the space between the two windows, and 
which had at its base a little gilded bracket covered by a thin slab of 
white marble, supporting in its turn a backgammon board folded 
together in the shape of two volumes, two shining folios inscribed in 
greenish gilt letters, History of England. If Morris had been pleased to 
describe the master of the house as a heartless scoffer, it is because he 
thought him too much on his guard, and this was the easiest way to 
express his own dissatisfaction a dissatisfaction which he had made a 
point of concealing from the Doctor. It will probably seem to the 
reader, however, that the Doctor's vigilance was by no means excessive 
and that these two young people had an open field. Their intimacy was 
now considerable, and it may appear that for a shrinking and retiring 
person our heroine had been liberal of her favours. The young man, 
within a few days, had made her listen to things for which she had not 
supposed that she was prepared; having a lively foreboding of difii- 
culties, he proceeded to gain as much ground as possible in the present. 
He remembered that fortune favours the brave, and even if he had for- 
gotten it, Mrs. Penniman would have remembered it for him. Mrs. 
Penniman delighted of all things in a drama, and she flattered herself 
that a drama would now be enacted. Combining as she did the zeal of 
the prompter with the impatience of the spectator, she had long since 
done her utmost to pull up the curtain. She, too, expected to figure in 
the performance to be the confidant, the Chorus, to speak the epilogue. 
It may even be said that there were times when she lost sight altogether 
of the modest heroine of the play, in the contemplation of certain great 
scenes which would naturally occur between the hero and herself. 






WASHINGTON SQUAEE. 119 

What Morris had told Catherine at last was simply that he loved 
her, or rather adored her. Virtually, he had made known as much 
already his visits had been a series of eloquent intimations of it. But 
now he had affirmed it in lover's vows, and, as a memorable sign of it, 
he had passed his arm round the girl's waist and taken a kiss. This 
happy certitude had come sooner than Catherine expected, and she 
had regarded it, very naturally, as a priceless treasure. It may even be 
doubted whether she had ever definitely expected to possess it ; she had 
not been waiting for it, and she had never said to herself that at a given 
moment it must come. As I have tried to explain, she was not eager 
and exacting ; she took what was given her from day to day ; and if 
the delightful custom of her lover's visits, which yielded her a happiness 
in which confidence and timidity were strangely blended, had suddenly 
come to an end, she would not only not have spoken of herself as one of 
the forsaken, but she would not have thought of herself as one of the 
disappointed. After Morris had kissed her, the last time he was with 
her, as a ripe assurance of his devotion, she begged him to go away, to 
leave her alone, to let her think. Morris went away, taking another 
kiss first. But Catherine's meditations had lacked a certain coherence. 
She felt his kisses on her lips and on her cheeks for a long time after- 
wards ; the sensation was rather an obstacle than an aid to reflection. 
She would have liked to see her situation all clearly before her, to make 
up her mind what she should do if, as she feared, her father should tell 
her that he disapproved of Morris Townsend. But all that she could 
see with any vividness was that it was terribly strange that any one 
should disapprove of him ; that there must in that case be some mistake, 
some mystery, which in a little while would be set at rest. She put off 
deciding and choosing ; before the vision of a conflict with her father she 
dropped her eyes and sat motionless, holding her breath and waiting. It 
made her heart beat, it was intensely painful. When Morris kissed her 
and said these things that also made her heart beat; but this was 
worse, and it frightened her. Nevertheless, to-day, when the young man 
spoke of settling something, taking a line, she felt that it was the truth, 
and she answered very simply and without hesitating. 

" We must do our duty," she said ; "we must speak to my father. I 
will do it to-night ; you must do it to-morrow." 

" It is very good of you to do it first," Morris answered. " The young 
man the happy lover generally does that. But just as you please ! " 

It pleased Catherine to think that she should be brave for his sake, 
and in her satisfaction she even gave a little smile. " Women have more 
tact," she said ; " they ought to do it first. They are more conciliating ; 
they can persuade better." 

" You will need all your powers of persuasion. But after all," Morris 
added, " you are irresistible." 

" Please don't speak that way and promise me this. To-morrow, 
when you talk with father, you will be very gentle and respectful." 



120 WASHINGTON SQUARE. 

" As much so as possible," Morris promised. " It won't be much 
use, but I shall try. I certainly would rather have you easily than have 
to fight for you " 

" Don't talk about fighting ; we shall not fight." 

" Ah, we must be prepared," Morris rejoined ; " you especially, 
because for you it must come hardest. Do you know the first thing 
your father will say to you ? " 

" No, Morris ; please tell me." 

" He will tell you I am mercenary." 

" Mercenary 1 " 

" It's a big word ; but it means a low thing. It means that I am 
after your money." 

" Oh ! " murmured Catherine, softly. 

The exclamation was so deprecating and touching that Morris 
indulged in another little demonstration of affection. " But he will be 
sure to say it," he added. 

" It will be easy to be prepared for that," Catherine said. " I shall 
simply say that he is mistaken that other men may be that way, but 
that you are not." 

" You must make a great point of that, for it will be his own great 
point." 

Catherine looked at her lover a minute, and then she said, " I shall 
persuade him. But I am glad we shall be rich," she added. 

Morris turned away, looking into the crown of his hat. " No, it's 
a misfortune," he said at last. " It is from that our difficulty will 
come." 

" Well, if it is the worst misfortune, we are not so unhappy. Many 
people would not think it so bad. I will persuade him, and after that 
we shall be very glad we have money." 

Morris Townsend listened to this robust logic in silence. " I will 
leave my defence to you ; it's a charge that a man has to stoop to defend 
himself from." 

Catherine on her side was silent for a while ; she was looking at him 
while he looked, with a good deal of fixedness, out of the window. 
" Morris," she said, abruptly, " are you very sure you love me 1 " 

He turned round, and in a moment he was bending over her. " My 
own dearest, can you doubt it ? " 

" I have only known it five days," she said ; " but now it seems to 
me as if I could never do without it." 

" You will never be called xipon to try ! " And he gave a little 
tender, reassuring laugh. Then, in a moment, he added, " There is some- 
thing you must tell me, too." She had closed her eyes after the last 
words she uttered, and kept them closed ; and at this she nodded her 
head, without opening them. " You must tell me," he went on, " that 
if your father is dead against me, if he absolutely forbids our marriage, 
you will still be faithful." 



WASHINGTON SQUARE. 121 

Catherine opened her eyes, gazing at him, and she could give no 
better promise than what he read there. 

" You will cleave to me 1 " said Morris. " You know you are your 
own mistress you are of age." 

" Ah, Morris ! " she murmured, for all answer. Or rather not for 
all ; for she put her hand into his own. He kept it awhile, and pre- 
sently he kissed her again. This is all that need be recorded of their 
conversation ; but Mrs. Penniman, if she had been present, would pro- 
bably have admitted that it was as well it had not taken place beside 
the fountain in Washington Square. 

XI. 

Catherine listened for her father when he came in that evening, and she 
heard him go to his study. She sat quiet, though her heart was beating 
fast, for nearly half an hour ; then she went and knocked at his door a 
ceremony without which she never crossed the threshold of this apart- 
ment. On entering it now she found him in his chair beside the fire, 
entertaining himself with a cigar and the evening paper. 

" I have something to say to you," she began very gently ; and she 
sat down in the first place that offered. 

" I shall be very happy to hear it, my dear," said her father. He 
waited waited, looking at her, while she stared, in a long silence, at the 
fire. He was curious and impatient, for he was sure she was going to 
speak of Morris Townsend ; but he let her take her own time, for he 
was determined to be veiy mild. 

" I am engaged to be married ! " Catherine announced at last, still 
staring at the fire. 

The Doctor was startled ; the accomplished fact was more than he 
had expected. But he betrayed no surprise. " You do right to tell me," 
he simply said. "And who is the happy mortal whom you have 
honoured with your choice it " 

" Mr. Morris Townsend." And as she pronounced her lover's name, 
Catherine looked at him. What she saw was her father's still grey eye 
and his clear-cut, definite smile. She contemplated these objects for a 
moment, and then she looked back at the fire ; it was much warmer. 

" When was this arrangement made ? " the Doctor asked. 

" This afternoon two hours ago." 

" Was Mr. Townsend here ? " 

" Yes, father ; in the front parlour." She was very glad that she 
was not obliged to tell him that the ceremony of their betrothal had 
taken place out there under the bare alanthus trees. 

"Is it serious ? " said the Doctor. 

" Very serious, father." 

Her father was silent a, moment. " Mr. Townsend ought to have 
told me." 



122 WASHINGTON SQUAKE. 

" He means to tell you to-morrow." 

" After I know all about it from you 1 He ought to have told me 
before. Does he think I didn't care because I left you so much 
liberty?" 

" Oh, no," said Catherine ; " he knew you would care. And we have 
been so much obliged to you for for the liberty." 

The Doctor gave a short laugh. " You might have made a better use 
of it, Catherine." 

" Please don't say that, father," the girl urged, softly, fixing her dull 
and gentle eyes upon him. 

He puffed his cigar awhile, meditatively. "You have gone very 
fast," he said at last. 

" Yes," Catherine answered simply ; " I think we have." 

Her father glanced at her an instant, removing his eyes from the fire. 
" I don't wonder Mr. Townsend likes you. You are so simple and so 
good." 

" I don't know why it is but he does like me. I am sure of that." 

"And are you very fond of Mr. Townsend ? " 

" I like him very much, of course or I shouldn't consent to marry 
him." 

" But you have known him a very short time, my dear." 

" Oh," said Catherine, with some eagerness, " it doesn't take long to 
like a person when once you begin." 

" You must have begun very quickly. Was it the first time you saw 
him that night at your aunt's party ? " 

" I don't know, father," the girl answered. " I can't tell you about 
that." 

" Of course ; that's your own affair. You will have observed that I 
have acted on that principle. I have not interfered, I have left you your 
liberty, I have remembered that you are no longer a little girl that you 
have arrived at years of discretion." 

" I feel very old and very wise," said Catherine, smiling faintly. 

" I am afraid that before long you will feel older and wiser yet. I 
don't like your engagement." 

" Ah ! " Catherine exclaimed, softly, getting up from her chair. 

" No, my dear. I am sorry to give you pain ; but I don't like it. 
You should have consulted me before you settled it. I have been too 
easy with you, and I feel as if you had taken advantage of my indulgence. 
Most decidedly, you should have spoken to me first." 

Catherine hesitated a moment, and then " It was because I was 
afraid you wouldn't like it ! " she confessed. 

" Ah, there it is ! You had a bad conscience." 

" No, I have not a bad conscience, father ! " the girl cried out, with 
considerable energy. " Please don't accuse me of anything so dreadful." 
These words, in fact, represented to her imagination something very 
terrible indeed, something base and cruel, which she associated with 



WASHINGTON SQUAKE. 123 

malefactors and prisoners. " It was because I was afraid afraid " 

she went on. 

" If you were afraid, it was because you had been foolish ! " 

" I was afraid you didn't like Mr. Townsend." 

" You were quite right. I don't like him." 

" Dear father, you don't know him," said Catherine, in a voice so 
timidly argumentative that it might have touched him. 

"Very true; I don't know him intimately. But I know him 
enough. I have my impression of him. You don't know him 
either." 

She stood before the fire, with her hands lightly clasped in front of 
her; and her father, leaning back in his chair and looking up at her, made 
this remark with a placidity that might have been irritating. 

I doubt, however, whether Catherine was irritated, though she broke 
into a vehement protest. " I don't know him ? " she cried. " Why, I 
know him better than I have ever known any one ! " 

" You know a part of him what he has chosen to show you. But 
you don't know the rest." 

" The rest ? What is the rest ? " 

" Whatever it may be. There is sure to be plenty of it." 

" I know what you mean," said Catherine, remembering how Morris 
had forewarned her. "You mean that he is mercenary." 

Her father looked up at. her still, with his cold, quiet, reasonable eye, 
" If I meant it, my dear, I should say it ! But there is an error I wish 
particularly to avoid that of rendering Mr. Townsend more interesting 
to you by saying hard things about him." 

" I won't think them hard, if they are true," said Catherine. 

" If you don't, you will be a remarkably sensible young woman ! " 

" They will be your reasons, at any rate, and you will want me to 
hear your reasons." 

The Doctor smiled a little. " Very true. You have a perfect right 
to ask for them." And he puffed his cigar a few moments. " Very well, 
then, without accusing Mr. Townsend of being in love only with your 
fortune and with the fortune that you justly expect I will say that 
there is every reason to suppose that these good things have entered into 
his calculation more largely than a tender solicitude for your happiness 
strictly requires. There is of course nothing impossible in an intelligent 
young man entertaining a disinterested affection for you. You are an 
honest, amiable girl, and an intelligent young man might easily find it 
out. But the principal thing that we know about this young man who 
is, indeed, very intelligent leads us to suppose that, however much he 
may value your personal merits, he values your money more. The 
principal thing we know about him is that he has led a life of dissipa- 
tion, and has spent a fortune of his own in doing so. That is enough 
for me, my dear. I wish you to marry a young man with other an- 
tecedents a young man who could give positive guarantees. If Morris 



124 WASHINGTON SQUAEE. 

Townsend has spent his own fortune in amusing himself, there is every 
reason to believe that he would spend yours." 

The Doctor delivered himself of these remarks slowly, deliberately, 
with occasional pauses and prolongations of accent, which made no great 
allowance for poor Catherine's suspense as to his conclusion. She sat 
down at last, with her head bent and her eyes still fixed upon him ; and 
strangely enough I hardly know how to tell it even while she felt that 
what he said went so terribly against her, she admired his neatness and 
nobleness of expression. There was something hopeless and oppressive 
in having to argue with her father; but she too, on her side, must try 
to be clear. He was so quiet ; he was not at all angry ; and she, too, 
must be quiet. But her very effort to be quiet made her tremble. 

" That is not the principal thing we know about him," she said ; and 
there was a touch of her tremor in her voice. " There are other things 
many other things. He has very high abilities he wants so much to 
do something. He is kind, and generous, and true," said poor Catherine, 
who had not suspected hitherto the resources of her eloquence. " And 
his fortune his fortune that he spent was very small ! " 

" All the more reason he shouldn't have spent it," cried the Doctor 
getting up with a laugh. Then as Catherine, who had also risen to her 
feet again, stood there in her rather angular earnestness, wishing so much 
and expressing so little, he drew her towards him and kissed her. 
" You won't think me cruel f he said, holding her a moment. 

This question was not reassuring ; it seemed to Catherine, on the 
contrary, to suggest possibilities which made her feel sick. But she 
answered coherently enough " No, dear father ; because if you knew 
how I feel and you must know, you know everything you would be 
so kind, so gentle." 

" Yes, I think I know how you feel," the Doctor said. " I will be 
very kind be sure of that. And I will see Mr. Townsend to-morrow. 
Meanwhile, and for the present, be so good as to mention to no one that 
you are engaged." 

XII. 

On the morrow, in the afternoon, he stayed at home, awaiting Mr. 
Townsend's call a proceeding by which it appeared to him (justly per- 
haps, for he was a very busy man) that he paid Catherine's suitor great 
honour and gave both these young people so much the less to complain 
of. Morris presented himself with a countenance sufficiently serene he 
appeared to have forgotten the "insult" for which he had solicited 
Catherine's sympathy two evenings before, and Dr. Sloper lost no time 
in letting him know that he had been prepared for his visit. 

" Catherine told me yesterday what has been going on between you," 
he said. " You must allow me to say that it would have been becoming 
of you to give me notice of your intentions before they had gone so far." 



WASHINGTON SQUARE. 125 

" I should have done so," Morris answered, " if you had not had so 
much the appearance of leaving your daughter at liberty. She seems to 
me quite her own mistress." 

"Literally, she is. But she has not emancipated herself morally 
quite so far, I trust, as to choose a husband without consulting me. I 
have left her at liberty, but I have not been in the least indifferent. The 
truth is that your little affair has come to a head with a rapidity that 
surprises me. It was only the other day that Catherine made your 
acquaintance." 

"It was not long ago, certainly," said Morris, with great gravity. 
" I admit that we have not been slow to to arrive at an understanding. 
But that was very natural, from the moment we were sure of ourselves 
and of each other. My interest in Miss Sloper began the first time I 
saw her." 

" Did it not by chance precede your first meeting ? " the Doctor asked. 

Morris looked at him an instant. " I certainly had already heard 
that she was a charming girl." 

" A charming girl that's what you think her 1 " 

"Assuredly. Otherwise I should not be sitting here." 

The Doctor meditated a moment. " My dear young man," he said at 
last, " you must be very susceptible. As Catherine's father, I have, I 
trust, a just and tender appreciation of her many good qualities ; but I 
don't mind telling you that I have never thought of her as a charming 
girl and never expected any one else to do so. 

Morris Townsend received this statement with a smile that was not 
wholly devoid of deference. "I don't know what I might think of her 
if I were her father. I can't put myself in that place. I speak from my 
own point of view." 

" You speak very well," said the Doctor ; " but that is not all that is 
necessary. I told Catherine yesterday that I disapproved of her engage- 
ment." 

" She let me know as much, and I was very sorry to hear it. I am 
greatly disappointed." And Moms sat in silence awhile, looking at the 
floor. 

" Did you really expect I would say I was delighted, and throw my 
daughter into your arms 1 " 

"Oh, no; I had an idea you didn't like me." 

" What gave you the idea ? " 

" The fact that I am poor." 

" That has a harsh sound," said the Doctor, " but > it is about the 
truth speaking of you strictly as a son-in-law. Your absence of means, 
of a profession, of visible resources or prospects, places you in a category 
from which it would be imprudent for me to select a husband for my 
daughter, who is a weak young woman with a large fortune. In any 
other capacity I am perfectly prepared to like you. Asa son-in-law, I 
abominate you ! " 



126 WASHINGTON SQUARE. 

Morris Townsend listened respectfully. " I don't think Miss Sloper 
is a weak woman," he presently said. 

" Of course you must defend her it's the least you can do. But I 
have known my child twenty years, and you have known her six weeks. 
Even if she were not weak, however, you would still be a penniless 
man." 

" Ah, yes ; that is my weakness ! And therefore, you mean, I am 
mercenary I only want your daughter's money." 

" I don't say that. I am not obliged to say it ; and to say it, save 
un^r stress of compulsion, would be very bad taste. I say simply that 
you belong to the wrong category." 

" But your daughter doesn't marry a category," Townsend urged, 
with his handsome smile. " She marries an individual an individual 
whom she is so good as to say she loves." 

II An individual who offers so little in return ! " 

" Is it possible to offer more than the most tender affection and a life- 
long devotion 1 " the young man demanded. 

" It depends how we take it. It is possible to offer a few other things 
besides, and not only it is possible, but it is the custom. A life-long 
devotion is measured after the fact ; and meanwhile it is usual in these 
cases to give a few material securities. What are yours? A very hand- 
some face and figure, and a very good manner. They are excellent as 
far as they go, but they don't go far enough." 

" There is one thing'you should add to them," said Morris : " the word 
of a gentleman ! " 

" The word of a gentleman that you will always love Catherine ? 
You must be a very fine gentleman to be sure of that." 

" The word of a gentleman that I am not mercenary ; that my affec- 
tion for Miss Sloper is as pure and disinterested a sentiment as was ever 
lodged in a human breast ! I care no more for her fortune than for the 

D 

ashes in that grate." 

" I take note I take note," said the Doctor. "But, having done 
so, I turn to our category again. Even with that solemn vow on your 
lips, you take your place in it. There is nothing against you but an 
accident, if you will ; but with my thirty years' medical practice, I have 
seen that accidents may have far-reaching consequences." 

Morris smoothed his hat it was already remarkably glossy and 
continued to display a self-control which, as the Doctor was obliged to 
admit, was extremely creditable to him. But his disappointment was 
evidently keen. 

" Is there nothing I can do to make you believe in me ? " 

" If there were, I should be sorry to suggest it, for don't you see ? I 
don't want to believe in you ! " said the Doctor, smiling. 

II 1 would go and dig in the fields." 
" That would be foolish." 

" I will take the first work that offers, to-morrow." 



WASHINGTON SQUAEE. 127 

" Do so by all means but for your own sake, not for mine." 
" I see ; you think I am an idler ! " Morris exclaimed, a little too 
much in the tone of a man who has made a discovery. But he saw his 
error immediately and blushed. 

" It doesn't matter what I think, when once I have told you I don't 
think of you as a son-in-law." 

But Morris persisted. " You think I would squander her money ? " 
The Doctor smiled. " It doesn't matter, as I say j but I plead guilty 
to that." 

" That's because I spent my own, I suppose," said Morris. " I frankly 
confess that. I have been wild. I have been foolish. I will tell you 
every crazy thing I ever did, if you like. There were some great follies 
among the number I have never concealed that. But I have sown my 
wild oats. Isn't there some proverb about a reformed rake 1 I was 
not a rake, but I assure you I have reformed. It is better to have 
amused oneself for a while and have done with it. Your daughter 
would never care for a milksop ; and I will take the liberty of saying 
that you would like one quite as little. Besides, between my money and 
hers there is a great difference. I spent my own ; it was because it was 
my own that I spent it. And I made no debts ; when it was gone I 
stopped. I don't owe a penny in the world." 

" Allow me to inquire what you are living on now though I admit," 
the Doctor added, " that the question, on my part, is inconsistent." 

"I am living on the remnants of my property," said Morris Town- 
send. 

" Thank you ! " the Doctor gravely replied. 

Yes, certainly, Morris's self-control was laudable. " Even admit- 
ting I attach an undue importance to Miss Sloper's fortune," he went on, 
" would not that be in itself an assurance that I would take good care 
of it?" 

" That you should take too much care would be quite as bad as that 
you should take too little. Catherine might suffer as much by your 
economy as by your extravagance." 

" I think you are very unjust ! " The young man made this declara- 
tion decently, civilly, without violence. 

" It is your privilege to think so, and I surrender my reputation to 
you ! I certainly don't natter myself I gratify you." 

" Don't you care a little to gratify your daughter 1 Do you enjoy the 
idea of making her miserable 1 " 

" I am perfectly resigned to her thinking me a tyrant for a twelve- 
month." 

" For a twelvemonth ! " exclaimed Morris, with a laugh. 

" For a lifetime, then ! She may as well be miserable in that way as 
in the other." 

Here at last Morris lost his temper. " Ah, you are not polite, sir ! " 
he cried. 



128 WASHINGTON SQUAEE. 

" You push me to it you argue too much." 
" I have a great deal at stake." 

" Well, whatever it is," said the Doctor, " you have lost it ! " 
" Are you sure of that ? " asked Morris ; " are you sure your daughter 
will give me up ? " 

" I mean, of course, you have lost it as far as I am concerned. As 
for Catherine's giving you up no, I am not sure of it. But as I shall 
strongly recommend it, as I have a great fund of respect and affection in 
my daughter's mind to draw upon, and as she has the sentiment of duty 
developed in a very high degree, I think it extremely possible." 

Morris Townsend began to smooth his hat again. " I, too, have a 
fund of affection to draw upon ! " he observed at last. 

The Doctor at this point showed his own first symptoms of irritation. 
" Do you mean to defy me I " 

" Call it what you please, sir ! I mean not to give your daughter 
up." 

The Doctor shook his head. " I haven't the least fear of your pining 
away your life. You are made to enjoy it." 

Morris gave a laugh. " Your opposition to my marriage is all the 
more cruel, then ! Do you intend to forbid your daughter to see me 
again ? " 

" She is past the age at which people are forbidden, and I am not a 
father in an old-fashioned novel. But I shall strongly urge her to break 
with you." 

" I don't think she will," said Morris Townsend. 

"Perhaps not. But I shall have done what I could." 

" She has gone too far," Morris went on. 

" To retreat? Then let her stop where she is." 

" Too far to stop, I mean." 

The Doctor looked at him a moment ; Morris had his hand on the 
door. " There is a great deal of impertinence in your saying it." 

" I will say no more, sir ! " Morris answered ; and, making his bow, 

he left the room. 

HENEY JAMES, JR. 




DON'T LET HER MARRY HIM ! " 



THE 



CORNHILL MAGAZINE. 



AUGUST, 1880. 



XIII. 

T may be thought the Doc- 
wl tor was too positive, and 
Mrs. Almond intimated as 
much. But as he said, he 
had his impression; it 
seemed to him sufficient, 
and he had no wish to 
modify it. He had passed 
his life in estimating 
people (it was part of the 
medical trade), and in 
nineteen cases out of 
twenty he was right. 

" Perhaps Mr. Towns- 
end is the twentieth case," 
said Mrs. Almond. 

" Perhaps he is, though 
he doesn't look to me at 
all like a twentieth case. 
But I will give him the 

benefit of the doubt, and, to make sure, I will go and talk with Mrs. 

Montgomery. She will almost certainly tell me I. have done right; but 

* Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1880, l>y Henry James, Jr., 
in the office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington. 

VOL. XL! I. NO. 248. 7. 




130 WASHINGTON SQUARE. 

it is just possible that she will prove to me that I have made the greatest 
mistake of my life. If she does, I will beg Mr. Townsend's pardon. 
You needn't invite her to meet me, as you kindly proposed ; I will write 
her a frank letter, telling her how matters stand, and asking leave to 
come and see her." 

" I am afraid the frankness will be chiefly on your side. The poor 
little woman will stand up for her brother, whatever he may be." 

" Whatever he may be ? I doubt that. People are not always so 
fond of their brothers." 

" Ah," said Mrs. Almond, " when it's a question of thirty thousand 
a year coming into a family " 

" If she stands up for him on account of the money, she will be a 
humbug. If she is a humbug I shall see it. If I see it, I won't waste 
time with her." 

" She is not a humbug she is an exemplary woman. She will not 
wish to play her brother a trick simply because he is selfish." 

" If she is worth talking to, she will sooner play him a trick than 
that he should play Catherine one. Has she seen Catherine, by the way 
does she know her 1 " 

11 Not to my knowledge. Mr. Townsend can have had no particular 
interest in bringing them together." 

" If she is an exemplary woman, no. But we shall see to what 
extent she answers your description." 

" I shall be curious to hear her description of you ! " said Mrs. 
Almond, with a laugh. " And, meanwhile, how is Catherine taking it 1 " 

" As she takes everything as a matter of course." 

" Doesn't she make a noise ? Hasn't she made a scene ? " 

" She is not scenic." 

" I thought a love-lorn maiden was always scenic." 

" A ridiculous widow is more so. Lavinia has made me a speech ; 
she thinks me very arbitrary." 

" She has a talent for being in the wrong," said Mrs. Almond. " But 
I am very sorry for Catherine, all the same." 

" So am I. But she will get over it." 

" You believe she will give him up ? " 

" I count upon it. She has such an admiration for her father." 

" Oh, we know all about that ! But it only makes me pity her the 
more. It makes her dilemma the more painful, and the effort of 
choosing between you and her lover almost impossible." 

" If she can't choose, all the better." 

"Yes; but he will stand there entreating her to choose, and Lavinia 
will pull on that side. " 

" I am glad she is not on my side ; she is capable of ruining an 
excellent cause. The day Lavinia gets into your boat it capsizes. But 
she had better be careful," said the Doctor. " I will have no treason in 
my house ! " 



WASHINGTON SQUARE. 131 

" I suspect she will be careful ; for she Is at bottom very much 
afraid of you." 

"They are both afraid of me harmless as I am ! " the Doctor 
answered. " And it is on that that I build on the salutary terror I 
inspire ! " 

XIV. 

He wrote his frank letter to Mrs. Montgomery, who punctually 
answered it, mentioning an hour at which he might present himself in 
the Second Avenue. She lived in a neat little house of red brick, which 
had been freshly painted, with the edges of the bricks very sharply 
marked out in white. It has now disappeared, with its companions, to 
make room for a row of structures more majestic. There were green 
shutters upon the windows, without slats, but pierced with little holes, 
arranged in groups ; and before the house was a diminutive " yard," 
ornamented with a bush of mysterious character, and surrounded by a 
low wooden paling, painted in the same green as the shutters. The 
place looked like a magnified baby-house, and might have been taken 
down from a shelf in a toy-shop. Dr. Sloper, when he went to call, 
said to himself, as he glanced at the objects I have enumerated, that 
Mrs. Montgomery was evidently a thrifty and self-respecting little 
person the modest proportions of her dwelling seemed to indicate that 
she was of small stature who took a virtuous satisfaction in keeping 
herself tidy, and had resolved thaf, since she might not be splendid, she 
would at least be immaculate. She received him in a little parlour, 
which was precisely the parlour he had expected : a small unspeckled 
bower, ornamented with a desultory foliage of tissue-paper, and with 
clusters of glass drops, amid which to carry out the analogy the tem- 
perature of the leafy season was maintained by means of a cast-iron 
stove, emitting a dry, blue flame and smelling strongly of varnish. 
The walls were embellished with engravings swathed in pink gauze, 
and the tables ornamented with volumes of extracts from the poets, 
usually bound in black cloth stamped with florid designs in jaundiced 
gilt. The Doctor had time to take cognisance of these details ; for Mrs. 
Montgomery, whose conduct he pronounced under the circumstances 
inexcusable, kept him waiting some ten minutes before she appeared. 
At last, however, she rustled in, smoothing down a stiff poplin dress, 
with a little frightened flush in a gracefully rounded cheek. 

She was a small, plump, fair woman, with a bright, clear eye, and an 
extraordinary air of neatness and briskness. But these qualities were 
evidently combined with an unaffected humility, and the Doctor gave 
her his esteem as soon as he had looked at her. A brave little person, 
with lively perceptions, and yet a disbelief in her own talent for social, 
as distinguished from practical, affairs this was his rapid mental resume 
of Mrs. Montgomery, who, as he saw, was flattered by what she re- 

72 



132 WASHINGTON SQUAKE, 

garded as the honour of his visit. Mrs. Montgomery, in her little 
red house in the Second Avenue, was a person for whom Dr. Sloper was 
one of the great men, one of the fine gentlemen of New York ; and 
while she fixed her agitated eyes upon him, while she clasped her 
mittened hands together in her glossy poplin lap, she had the appearance 
of saying, to herself that he quite answered her idea of what a distin- 
guished guest would naturally be. She apologised for being late ; but 
he interrupted her. 

" It doesn't matter," he said ; " for while I sat here I had time to 
think over what I wish to say to you, and to make up my mind how to 
begin." 

" Oh, do begin ! " murmured Mrs. Montgomery. 

" It is not so easy," said the Doctor, smiling. " You will have 
gathered from my letter that I wish to ask you a few questions, and you 
may not find it very comfortable to answer them." 

" Yes ; I have thought what I should say. It is not very easy." 

"But you must understand my situation my state of mind. Your 
brother wishes to marry my daughter, and I wish to find out what sort 
of a young man he is. A good way to do so seemed to be to come and 
ask you, which I have proceeded to do. :> 

Mrs. Montgomery evidently took the situation very seriously ; she 
was in a state of extreme moral concentration. She kept her pretty 
eyes, which were illumined by a sort of brilliant modesty, attached to 
his own countenance, and evidently paid the most earnest attention to 
each of his words. Her expression indicated that she thought his idea 
of coming to see her a very superior conception, but that she was really 
afraid to have opinions on strange subjects. 

" I am extremely glad to see you," she said, in a tone which seemed 
to admit, at the same time, that this had nothing to do with the 
question. 

The Doctor took advantage of this admission. " I didn't come to 
see you for your pleasure ; I came to make you say disagreeable things 
and you can't like that. What sort of a gentleman is your brother 1 " 

Mrs. Montgomery's illuminated gaze grew vague, and began to 
wander. She smiled a little, and for some time made no answer, eo 
that the Doctor at last became impatient. And her answer, when it 
came, was not satisfactory. " It is difficult to talk about one's brother." 

" Not when one is fond of him, and when one has plenty of good 
to say." 

" Yes, even then, when a good deal depends on it," said Mrs. 
Montgomery. 

" Nothing depends on it, for you." 

" I mean for for " and she hesitated. 

" For your brother himself. I see ! " 

" I mean for Miss Sloper," said Mrs. Montgomery. 

The Doctor liked this ; it had the accent of sincerity. " Exactly ; 






WASHINGTON SQUARE. 133 

that's the point. If my poor girl should marry your brother, everything 
as regards her happiness would depend on his being a good fellow. 
She is the best creature in the world, and she could never do him a grain 
of injury. He, on the other hand, if he should not be all that we de- 
sire, might make her very miserable. That is why I want you to throw 
some light upon his character, you know. Of course, you are not bound 
to do it. My daughter, whom you have never seen, is nothing to you ; 
and I, possibly, am only an indiscreet and impertinent old man. It is 
perfectly open to you to tell me that my visit is in very bad taste and 
that I had better go about my business. But I don't think you will do 
this ; because I think we shall interest you, my poor girl and I. I am 
sure that if you were to see Catherine, she would interest you very 
much. I don't mean because she is interesting in the usual sense of the 
word, but because you would feel sorry for her. She is so soft, so 
simple-minded, she would be such an easy victim ! A bad husband 
would have remarkable facilities for making her miserable ; for she 
would have neither the intelligence nor the resolution to get the better 
of him, and yet she would have an exaggerated power of suffering. I 
see," added the Doctor, with his most insinuating, his most professional 
laugh, " you are already interested ! " 

" I have been interested from, the moment he told me he was 
engaged," said Mrs. Montgomery. 

" Ah ! he says that he calls it an engagement? " 
" Oh, he has told me you didn't like it." 
" Did he tell you that I don't like him ? " 

" Yes, he told me that too. I said I couldn't help it ! " added Mrs. 
Montgomery. 

" Of course you can't. But what you can do is to tell me I am right 
to give me an attestation, as it were." And the Doctor accompanied 
this remark with another professional smile. 

Mrs. Montgomery, however, smiled not at all ; it was obvious that 
she could not take the humorous view of his appeal. " That is a good 
deal to ask," she said at last. 

" There can be no doubt of that ; and I must, in conscience, remind 
you of the advantages a young man marrying my daughter would enjoy. 
She has an income of ten thousand dollars in her own right, left her by 
her mother ; if she marries a husband I approve, she will come into 
almost twice as much more at my death." 

Mrs. Montgomery listened in great earnestness to this splendid 
financial statement ; she had never heard thousands of dollars so 
familiarly talked about. She flushed a little with excitement. " Your 
daughter will be immensely rich," she said softly. 
" Precisely that's the bother of it." 

" And if Morris should marry her, he he " And she hesitated 

timidly. 

" He would be master of all that money 1 By no means. He would 



134 WASHINGTON SQUARE. 

be master of the ten thousand a year that she has from her mother; but 
I should leave every penny of my own fortune, earned in the laborious 
exercise of my profession, to my nephews and nieces." 

Mrs. Montgomery dropped her eyes at this, and sat for some time 
gazing at the straw matting which covered her floor. 

" I suppose it seems to you," said the Doctor, laughing, " that in so 
doing I should play your brother a very shabby trick." 

" Not at all. That is too much money to get possession of so easily, 
by marrying. I don't think it would be right." 

" It's right to get all one can. But in this case your brother wouldn't 
be able. If Catherine marries without my consent, she doesn't get a 
penny from my own pocket." 

" Is that certain ? " asked Mrs. Montgomery, looking up. 
" As certain as that I sit here ! " 
" Even if she should pine away 1 " 

" Even if she should pine to a shadow, which isn't probable. " 
" Does Morris know this 1 " 

" I shall be most happy to inform him ! " the Doctor exclaimed. 
Mrs. Montgomery resumed her meditations, and her visitor, who was 
prepared to give time to the affair, asked himself whether, in spite of her 
little conscientious air, she was not playing into her brother's hands. At 
the same time he was half ashamed of the ordeal to which he had sub- 
jected her, and was touched by the gentleness with which she bore it. 
" If she were a humbug," he said, " she would get angry ; unless she be 
very deep indeed. It is not probable that she is' as deep as that." 

" What makes you dislike Morris so much 1 " she presently asked, 
emerging from her reflections. 

" I don't dislike him in the least as a friend, as a companion. He 
seems to me a charming fellow, and I should think he would be excellent 
company. I dislike him, exclusively, as a son-in-law. If the only office 
of a son-in-law were to dine at the paternal table, I should set a high 
value upon your brother. He dines capitally. But that is a small part 
of his function, which, in general, is to be a protector and care-taker of 
my child, who is singularly ill-adapted to take care of herself. It is 
there that he doesn't satisfy me. I confess I have nothing but my im- 
pression to go by ; but I am in the habit of trusting my impression. Of 
course you are at liberty to contradict it flat. He strikes me as selfish 
and shallow." 

Mrs. Montgomery's eyes expanded a little, and the Doctor fancied he 
saw the light of admiration in them. " I wonder you have discovered 
he is selfish ! " she exclaimed. 

" Do you think he hides it so well 1 " 

" Very well indeed," said Mrs. Montgomery. " And I think we are 
all rather selfish," she added quickly. 

" I think so too ; but I have seen people hide it better than he. You 
see I am helped by a habit I have of dividing people into classes, into 



WASHINGTON SQUARE. 135 

types. I may easily be mistaken about your brother as an individual, 
but his type is written on his whole person." 

" He is very good-looking," said Mrs. Montgomery. 

The Doctor eyed her a moment. " You women are all the same ! 
But the type to which your brother belongs was made to be the ruin of 
you, and you were made to be its handmaids and victims. The sign 
of the type in question is the determination sometimes terrible in its 
quiet intensity to accept nothing of life but its pleasures, and to secure 
these pleasures chiefly by the aid of your complaisant sex. Young men 
of this class never do anything for themselves that they can get other 
people to do for them, and it is the infatuation, the devotion, the super- 
stition of others, that keeps them going. These others in ninety-nine 
cases out of a hundred are women. What our young friends chiefly in- 
sist upon is that some one else shall suffer for them ; and women do that 
sort of thing, as you must know, wonderfully well." The Doctor 
paused a moment, and then he added abruptly " You have suffered 
immensely for your brother ! " 

This exclamation was abrupt, as I say, but it was also perfectly cal- 
culated. The Doctor had been rather disappointed at not finding his 
compact and comfortable little hostess surrounded in a more visible 
degree by the ravages of Morris Townsend's immorality ; but he had 
said to himself that this was not because the young man had spared her, 
but because she had contrived to plaster up her wounds. They were 
aching there, behind the varnished stove, the festooned engravings, be- 
neath her own neat little poplin bosom ; and if he could only touch the 
tender spot, she would make a movement that would betray her. The 
words I have just quoted were an attempt to put his finger suddenly 
upon the place ; and they had some of the success that he looked for. 
The tears sprang for a moment to Mrs. Montgomery's eyes, and she in- 
dulged in a proud little jerk of the head. 

" I don't know how you have found that out ! " she exclaimed. 

" By a philosophic trick by what they call induction. You know 
you have always your option of contradicting me. But kindly answer 
me a question. Don't you give your brother money ? I think you 
ought to answer that." 

" Yes, I have given him money," said Mrs. Montgomery. 

" And you have not had much to give him 1 " 

She was silent a moment. " If you ask me for a confession of 
poverty, that is easily made. I am very poor." 

" One would never suppose it from your your charming house," said 
the Doctor. " I learned from my sister that your income was moderate 
and your family numerous." 

" I have five children," Mrs. Montgomery observed ; " but I am 
happy to say I can bring them up decently." 

" Of course you can accomplished and devoted as you are ! But 
your brother has counted them over, I suppose 1 " 



136 WASHINGTON SQUAEE. 

" Counted them ovw ? " 

" He knows there are five, I mean. He tells me it is he that brings 
them up." 

Mrs. Montgomery stared a moment, and then quickly " Oh, yes ; he 
teaches them Spanish." 

The Doctor laughed out. " That must take a great deal off your 
hands ! Your brother also knows, of course, that you have very little 
money." 

" I have often told him so ! " Mrs. Montgomery exclaimed, more un- 
reservedly than she had yet spoken. She was apparently taking some 
comfort in the Doctor's clairvoyance. 

" Which means that you have often occasion to, and that he often 
sponges on you. Excuse the crudity of my language ; I simply express 
a fact. I don't ask you how much of your money he has had, it is none 
of my business. I have ascertained what I suspected what I wished." 
And the Doctor got up, gently smoothing his hat. " Your brother lives 
on you," he said as he stood there. 

Mrs. Montgomery quickly rose from her chair, following her visitor's 
movements with a look of fascination. But then, with a certain incon- 
sequence " I have never complained of him !" she said. 

" You needn't protest you have not betrayed him. But I advise 
you not to give him any more money." 

" Don't you see it is in my interest that he should marry a rich per- 
son ? " she asked. " If, as you say, he lives on me, I can only wish to 
get rid of him, and to put obstacles in the way of his marrying is to in- 
crease my own difficulties." 

" I wish very much you would come to me with your difficulties," 
said the Doctor. " Certainly, if I throw him back on your hands, the 
least I can do is to help you to bear the burden. If you will allow me 
to say so, then, I shall take the liberty of placing in your hands, for the 
present, a certain fund for your brother's support." 

Mrs. Montgomery stared; she evidently thought he was jesting; but 
she presently saw that he was not, and the complication of her feelings 
became painful. " It seems to me tnat I ought to be very much offended 
with you," she murmured. 

" Because I have offered you money ? That's a superstition," said 
the Doctor. " You must let me come and see you again, and we will 
talk about these things. I suppose that some of your children are girls." 

" I have two little girls," said Mrs. Montgomery. 

"Well, when they grow up, and begin to think of taking husbands, 
you will see how anxious you will be about the mora 1 character of these 
husbands. Then you will understand this visit of mine ! " 

" Ah, you are not to believe that Morris's moral character is bad ! " 

The Doctor looked at her a little, with folded arms. " There is 
something I should greatly like -as a moral satisfaction. I should like 
to hear you say ' He is abominably selfish ! ' " 



WASHINGTON SQUARE. 137 

The words came out with the grave distinctness of his voice, and they 
seemed for an instant to create, to poor Mrs. Montgomery's troubled 
vision, a material image. She gazed at it an instant, and then she 
turned away. " You distress me, sir ! " she exclaimed. " He is, after 

all, my brother, and his talents, his talents " On these last words 

her voice quavered, and before he knew it she had burst into tears. 

" His talents are first-rate ! " said the Doctor. "We must find the 
proper field for them ! " And he assured her most respectfully of his 
regret at having so greatly discomposed her. " It's all for my poor 
Catherine," he went on. <; You must know her, and you will see." 

Mrs. Montgomery brushed away her tears and blushed at having 
shed them. " I should like to know your daughter," she answered ; and 
then, in an instant " Don't let her marry him ! " 

Dr. Sloper went away with the words gently humming in his ears 
"Don't let her marry him!" They gave him the moral satisfaction 
of which he had just spoken, and their value was the greater that they 
had evidently cost a pang to poor little Mrs. Montgomery's family pride. 



He had been puzzled by the way that Catherine carried herself; her 
attitude at this sentimental crisis seemed to him unnaturally passive. 
She had not spoken to him again after that scene in the library, the day 
before his interview with Morris; and a week had elapsed without 
making any change in her manner. There was nothing in it that ap- 
pealed for pity, and he was even a little disappointed at her not giving 
him an opportunity to make up for his harshness by some manifestation 
of liberality which should operate 'as a compensation. He thought a 
little of offering to take her for a tour in Europe ; but he was deter- 
mined to do this only in case she should seem mutely to reproach him. 
He had an idea that she would display a talent for mute reproaches, and 
he was surprised at not finding himself exposed to these silent batteries, 
She said nothing, either tacitly or explicitly, and as she was never very 
talkative, there was now no especial eloquence in her reserve. And poor 
Catherine was not sulky a style of behaviour for which she had too 
little histrionic talent ; she was simply very patient. Of course she was 
thinking over her situation, and she was apparently doing so in a deli- 
berate and unimpassioned manner, with a view of making the best of it. 

" She will do as I have bidden her," said the Doctor, and he made the 
further reflection that his daughter was not a woman of a great spirit. 

I know not whether he had hoped for a little more resistance for the 
sake of a little more entertainment ; but he said to himself, as he had 
said before, that though it might have its momentary alarms, paternity 
was, after all, not an exciting vocation. 

Catherine meanwhile had made a discovery of a very different sort ; 
it had become vivid to her that there Avas a great excitement in trying to 

7-5 



138 WASHINGTON SQUARE. 

be a good daughter. She had an entirely new feeling, which may be 
described as a state of expectant suspense about her own actions. She 
watched herself as she would have watched another person, and wondered 
what she would do. It was as if this other person, who was both herself 
and not herself, had suddenly sprung into being, inspiring her with a 
natural curiosity as to the performance of untested functions. 

" I am glad I have such a good daughter," said her father, kissing 
her, after the lapse of several days. 

" I am trying to be good," she answered, turning away, with a con- 
science not altogether clear. 

" If there is anything you would like to say to me, you know you 
must not hesitate. You needn't feel obliged to be so quiet. I shouldn't 
care that Mr. Townsend should be a frequent topic of conversation, but 
whenever you have anything particular to say about him I shall be very 
glad to hear it." 

" Thank you," said Catherine ; " I have nothing particular at 
present." 

He never asked her whether she had seen Morris again, because he 
was sure that if this had been the case she would tell him. She had in 
fact not seen him, she had only written him a long letter. The letter 
at least was long for her ; and, it may be added, that it was long for 
Morris ; it consisted of five pages, in a remarkably neat and handsome 
hand. Catherine's handwriting was beautiful, and she was even a little 
proud of it ; she was extremely fond of copying, and possessed volumes 
of extracts which testified to this accomplishment ; volumes which she 
had exhibited one day to her lover, when the bliss of feeling that she 
was important in his eyes was exceptionally keen. She told Morris in 
writing that her father had expressed the .wish that she should not see 
him again, and that she begged he would not come to the house until 
she should have " made up her mind." Morris replied with a passionate 
epistle, in which he asked to what, in Heaven's name, she wished to make 
up her mind. Had not her mind been made up two weeks before, and 
could it be possible that she entertained the idea of throwing him off? Did 
she mean to break down at the very beginning of their ordeal, after all 
the promises of fidelity she had both given and extracted 1 And he gave 
an account of his own interview with her father an account not identical 
at all points with that offered in these pages. " He was terribly violent," 
Morris wrote ; " but you know my self-control. I have need of it all 
when I remember that I have it in my power to break in upon your 
cruel captivity." Catherine sent him in answer to this, a note of three 
lines. " I am in great trouble ; do not doubt of my affection, but let me 
wait a little and think." The idea of a struggle with her father, of 
setting up her will against his own, was heavy on her soul, and it kept 
her quiet, as a great physical weight keeps us motionless. It never 
entered into her mind to throw her lover off; but from the first she 
tried to assure herself that there would be a peaceful way out of their 



WASHINGTON SQUAKE. 139 

difficulty. The assurance was vague, for it contained no element of 
positive conviction that her father would change his mind. She only 
had an idea that if she should be very good, the situation would in some 
mysterious manner improve. To be good, she must be patient, outwardly 
submissive, abstain from judging her father too harshly and from com- 
mitting any act of open defiance. He was perhaps right, after all, to 
think as he did ; by which Catherine meant not in the least that his 
judgment of Morris's motives in seeking to marry her was perhaps a just 
one, but that it was probably natural and proper that conscientious 
parents should be suspicious and even unjust. There were probably 
people in the world as bad as her father supposed Morris to be, and if 
there were the slightest chance of Morris being one of these sinister 
persons, the Doctor was right in taking it into account. Of course he 
could not know what she knew, how the purest love and truth were 
seated in the young man's eyes ; but Heaven, in its time, might appoint 
a way of bringing him to such knowledge. Catherine expected a good 
deal of Heaven, and referred to the skies the initiative, as the French 
say, in dealing with her dilemma. She could not imagine herself impart- 
ing any kind of knowledge to her father, there was something superior 
even in his injustice and absolute in his mistakes. But she could at least 
be good, and if she were only good enough, Heaven would invent some 
way of reconciling all things the dignity of her father's errors and the 
sweetness of her own confidence, the strict performance of her filial 
duties and the enjoyment of Morris Townsend's affection. Poor Catherine 
would have been glad to regard Mrs. Penniman as an illuminating agent, 
a part which this lady herself indeed was but imperfectly prepared to 
play. Mrs. Penniman took too much satisfaction in the sentimental 
shadows of this little drama to have, for the moment, any great interest 
in dissipating them. She wished the plot to thicken, and the advice that 
she gave her niece tended, in her own imagination, to produce this result. 
It was rather incoherent counsel, andfrom one day to another it contradicted 
itself; but it was pervaded by an earnest desire that Catherine should 
do something striking. " You must act, my dear ; in your situation the 
great thing is to act," said Mrs. Penniman, who found her niece alto- 
gether beneath her opportunities. Mrs. Penniman's real hope was that the 
girl would make a secret marriage, at which she should officiate as brides- 
worn an or duenna. She had a vision of this ceremony being performed in 
some subterranean chapel subterranean chapels in New York were not 
frequent, but Mrs. Penniman's imagination was not chilled by trifles and 
of the guilty couple she liked to think of poor Catherine and her suitor 
as the guilty couple being shuffled away in a fast-whirling vehicle to some 
obscure lodging in the suburbs, where she would pay them (in a thick 
veil) clandestine visits, where they would endure a period of romantic 
privation, and where ultimately, after she should have been their earthly 
providence, their intercessor, their advocate, and their medium of com- 
munication with the world, they would be reconciled to her brother in 



140 WASHINGTON SQUAKE. 

an artistic tableau, in which she herself should be somehow the central 
figure. She hesitated as yet to recommend this course to Catherine, but 
she attempted to draw an attractive picture of it to Morris Townsend. 
She was in daily communication with the young man, whom she kept 
informed by letters of the state of affairs in Washington Square. As he 
had been banished, as she said, from the house, she no longer saw him ; 
but she ended by writing to him that she longed for an interview. This 
interview could take place only on neutral ground, and she bethought 
herself greatly before selecting a place of meeting. She had an inclina- 
tion for Greenwood Cemetery, but she gave it up as too distant ; she 
could not absent herself for so long, as she said, without exciting 
suspicion. Then she thought of the Battery, but that was rather cold 
and windy, besides one's being exposed to intrusion from the Irish 
emigrants who at this point alight, with large appetites, in the New 
World; and at last she fixed upon an oyster saloon in the Seventh 
Avenue, kept by a negro an establishment of which she knew nothing 
save that she had noticed it in passing. She made an appointment with 
Morris Townsend to meet him there, and she went to the tryst at dusk, 
enveloped in an impenetrable veil. He kept her waiting for half-an-hour 
he had almost the whole width of the city to traverse but she liked 
to wait, it seemed to intensify the situation. She ordered a cup of tea, 
which proved excessively bad, and this gave her a sense that she was 
suffering in a romantic cause. When Morris at last arrived, they sat 
together for half an hour in the duskiest corner of the back shop ; and it is 
hardly too much to say that this was the happiest half-hour that Mrs. 
Penniman had known for years. The situation was really thrilling, and 
it scarcely seemed to her a false note when her companion asked for an 
oyster-stew, and proceeded to consume it before her eyes. Morris, indeed, 
needed all the satisfaction that stewed oysters could give him, for it may 
be intimated to the reader that he regarded Mrs. Penniman in the light of 
a fifth wheel to his coach. He was in a state of irritation natural to a 
gentleman of fine parts who had been snubbed in a benevolent attempt 
to confer a distinction upon a young woman of inferior characteristics, 
and the insinuating sympathy of this somewhat desiccated matron 
appeared to offer him no practical relief. He thought her a humbug, 
and he judged of humbugs with a good deal of confidence. He had 
listened and made himself agreeable to her at first, in order to get a 
footing in Washington Square ; and at present he needed all his self- 
command to be decently civil. It would have gratified him to tell her 
that she was a fantastic old woman, and that he should like to put her 
into an omnibus and send her home. We know, however, that Morris 
possessed the virtue of self-control, and he had moreover the constant 
habit of seeking to be agreeable ; so that, although Mrs. Penniman's 
demeanour only exasperated his already unquiet nerves, he listened to 
her with a sombre deference in which she found much to admire, 



WASHINGTON SQUAEE. 141 



XVI. 

They had of course immediately spoken of Catherine. " Did she 
send me a message, or or anything ? " Morris asked. He appeared to 
think that she might have sent him a trinket or a lock of her hair. 

Mrs. Penniman was slightly embarrassed, for she had not told her 
niece of her intended expedition. " Not exactly a message," she said ; 
" I didn't ask her for one, because I was afraid to to excite her." 

" I am afraid she is not very excitable ! " And Morris gave a smile 
of some bitterness. 

" She is better than that. She is steadfast she is true ! " 

" Do you think she will hold fast then ? " 

" To the death ! " 

" Oh, I hope it won't, come to that," said Morris. 

" We must be prepared for the worst, and that is what I wish to 
speak to you about " 

" What do you call the worst 1 " 

" Well," said Mrs. Penniman, " my brother's hard, intellectual 
nature." 

" Oh, the devil ! " 

" He is impervious to pity," Mrs. Penniman added, by way of ex- 
planation. 

" Do you mean that he won't come round ? " 

" He will never be vanquished by argument. I have studied him. 
He will be vanquished only by the accomplished fact." 

" The accomplished fact 1 " 

" He will come round afterwards," said Mrs. Penniman, with ex- 
treme significance. " He cares for nothing but facts- he must be met 
by facts ! " 

" Well," rejoined Morris, " it is a fact that I wish to marry his 
daughter. I met him with that the other day, but he was not at all 
vanquished." 

Mrs. Penniman was silent a little, and her smile beneath the shadow 
of her capacious bonnet, on the edge of which her black veil was ar- 
ranged curtainwise, fixed itself upon Morris's face with a still more 
tender brilliancy. " Marry Catherine first and meet him afterwards ! " 
she exclaimed. 

" Do you recommend that ? " asked the young man, frowning heavily. 

She was a little frightened, but she went on with considerable bold- 
ness. " That is the way I see it : a private marriage a private mar- 
riage." She repeated the phrase because she liked it. 

" Do you mean that I should carry Catherine off] What do they 
call it elope with her 1 " 

" It is not a crime when you are driven to it," said Mrs. Penniman. 
" My husband, as I have told you, was a distinguished clergyman one 



142 WASHINGTON SQUAKE. 

of the most eloquent men of his day. He once married a young couple 
that had fled from the house of the young lady's father ; he was so 
interested in their story. He had no hesitation, and everything came 
out beautifully. The father was afterwards reconciled, and thought 
everything of the young man. Mr. Penniman married them in the 
evening, about seven o'clock. The church was so dark, you could 
scarcely see; and Mr. Penniman was intensely agitated he was so 
sympathetic. I don't believe he could have done it again." 

" Unfortunately Catherine and I have not Mr. Penniman to marry 
us," said Mori-is. 

" No, but you have me ! " rejoined Mrs. Penniman, expressively. 
" I can't perform the ceremony, but I can help you ; I can watch ! " 

" The woman's an idiot !." thought Morris ; but he was obliged to say 
something different. It was not, however, materially more civil. " Was 
it in order to tell me this that you requested I would meet you here 1 " 

Mrs. Penniman had been conscious of a certain vagueness in her 
errand, and of not being able to offer him any very tangible reward for 
his long walk. " I thought perhaps you would like to see one who is 
so near to Catherine," she observed, with considerable majesty. " And 
also," she added, " that you would value an opportunity of sending her 
something." 

Morris extended his empty hands with a melancholy smile. " I am 
greatly obliged to you, but I have nothing to send ! " 

" Haven't you a word ? " asked his companion, with her suggestive 
smile coming back. 

Morris frowned again. " Tell her to hold fast," he said, rather curtly. 

" That is a good word a noble word. It will make her happy for 
many days. She is very touching, very brave," Mrs. Penniman went 
on, arranging her mantle and preparing to depart. While she was so 
engaged she had an inspiration ; she found the phrase that she could 
boldly offer as a vindication of the step she had taken. " If you marry 
Catherine at all risks," she said, " you will give my brother a proof of 
your being what he pretends to doubt." 

" What he pretends to doubt ? " 

" Don't you know what that is 1 " Mrs. Penniman asked, almost play- 
fully. 

" It does not concern me to know," said Morris, grandly. 

" Of course it makes yoii angry." 

" I despise it," Morris declared. 

" Ah, you know what it is, then ? " said Mrs. Penniman, shaking 
her fincrer at him. " He pretend* that you like you like the money." 

Morris hesitated a moment ; and then, as if he spoke advisedly, " I 
do like the money ! " 

"Ah, but not but not as he means it. You don't like it more 
than Catherine ] " 

He leaned his elbows on the table and buried his head in his hands. 



WASHINGTON SQUAKE. 143 

i 

" You torture me ! " he murmured. And, indeed, this was almost the 
effect of the poor lady's too importunate interest in his situation. 

But she insisted on making her point. " If you marry her in spite 
of him, he will take for granted that you expect nothing of him, and 
are prepared to do without it. And so he will see that you are disin- 
terested." 

Morris raised his head a little, following this argument. " And what 
shall I gain, by that 1 " 

" Why, that he will see that he has been wrong in thinking that you 
wished to get his money." 

" And seeing that I wish he would go to the deuce with it, he will 
leave it to a hospital. Is that what you mean ? " asked Morris. 

" No, I don't mean that ; though that would be very grand ! " Mrs. 
Penniman quickly added. " I mean that having done you such an injus- 
tice, he will think it his duty, at the end, to make some amends." 

Morris shook his head, though it must be confessed he was a little 
struck with this idea. " Do you think he is so sentimental ? " 

" He is not sentimental," said Mrs. Penniman ; " but, to be perfectly 
fair to him, I think he has, in his own narrow way, a certain sense 
of duty." 

There passed through- Morris Townsend's mind a rapid wonder as to 
what he might, even under a remote contingency, be indebted to from 
the action of this principle in Dr. Sloper's breast, and the inquiry 
exhausted itself in his sense of the ludicrous. " Your brother has no 
duties to me," he said presently, " and I none to him." 

" Ah, but he has duties to Catherine." 

" Yes, but you see that on that principle Catherine has duties to 
him as well." 

Mrs. Penniman got up, with a melancholy sigh, as if she thought 
him very unimaginative. " She has always performed them faithfully ; 
and now do you think she has no duties to you ? " Mrs. Penniman 
always, even in conversation, italicised her personal pronouns. 

" It would sound harsh to say so ! I am so grateful for her love," 
Morris added. 

" I will tell her you said that ! And now, remember that if you 
need me I am there." And Mrs. Penniman, who could think of nothing 
more to say, nodded vaguely in the direction of Washington Square. 

Morris looked some moments at the sanded floor of the shop ; he 
seemed to be disposed to linger a moment. At last, looking up with a 
certain abruptness, " It is your belief that if she marries me he will cut 
her off 1 ? " he asked. 

Mrs. Penniman stared a little, and smiled. "Why; I have ex- 
plained to you what I think would happen that in the end it would be 
the best thing to do." 

" You mean that, whatever she does, in the long run she will get the 
money ? " 



144 WASHINGTON SQUARE. 

" It doesn't depend upon her, but upon yon. Venture to appear as 
disinterested as you are ! " said Mrs. Penniman ingeniously. Morris 
dropped his eyes on the sanded floor again, pondering this; and she 
pursued. " Mr. Penniman and I had nothing, and we were very happy. 
Catherine, moreover, has her mother's fortune, which, at the time my 
sister-in-law married, was considered a very handsome one." 

" Oh, don't speak of that ! " said Morris ; and, indeed, it was quite 
superfluous, for he had contemplated the fact in all its lights. 

" Austin married a wife with money why shouldn't you 1 " 

" Ah ! but your brother was a doctor," Morris objected. 

" Well, all young men can't be doctors ! " 

" I should think it an extremely loathsome profession," said Morris, 
with an air of intellectual independence ; then, in a moment, he went on 
rather inconsequently, " Do you suppose there is a will already made in 
Catherine's favour ? " 

" I suppose so even doctors must die ; and perhaps a little in 
mine," Mrs. Peuniman frankly added. 

" And you believe he would certainly change it as regards Cathe- 
rine?" 

" Yes ; and then change it back again." 

" Ah, but one can't depend on that ! " said Morris. 

" Do you want to depend on it 1 " Mrs. Penniman asked. 

Morris blushed a little. " Well, I am certainly afraid of being the 
cause of an injury to Catherine." 

" Ah ! you must not be afraid. Be afraid of nothing, and everything 
will go well ! " 

And then Mrs. Penniman paid for her cup of tea, and Morris paid 
for his oyster stew, and they went out together into the dimly-lighted 
wilderness of the Seventh Avenue. The dusk had closed in completely, 
and the street lamps were separated by wide intervals of a pavement in 
which cavities and fissures played a disproportionate part. An omnibus, 
emblazoned with strange pictures, went tumbling over the dislocated 
cobble-stones. 

" How will you go home ? " Morris asked, following this vehicle with 
an interested eye. Mrs. Penniman had taken his arm. 

She hesitated a moment. " I think this manner would be pleasant," 
she said ; and she continued to let him feel the value of his support. 

So he walked with her through the devious ways of the west side of 
the town, and through the bustle of gathering nightfall in populous 
streets, to the quiet precinct of Washington Square. They lingered a 
moment at the foot of Dr. Sloper's white marble steps, above which 
a spotless white door, adorned with a glittering silver plate, seemed to 
figure, for Morris, the closed portal of happiness ; and then Mrs. Penni- 
man's companion rested a melancholy eye upon a lighted window in the 
upper part of the house. 

" That is my room my clear little room ! " Mrs. Penniman remarked. 



WASHINGTON SQUARE. 145 

Morris started. " Then I needn't come walking round the square to 
gaze at it." 

" That's as you please. But Catherine's is behind ; two noble 
windows on the second floor. I think you can see them from the other 
street." 

" I don't want to see them, ma'am ! " And Morris turned his back 
to the house. 

" I will tell her you have been here, at any rate," said Mrs. Penni- 
man, pointing to the spot where they stood ; " and I will give her your 
message that she is to hold fast ! " 

" Oh, yes ! of course. You know I write her all that." 

" It seems to say more when it is spoken ! And remember, if you 
need me, that I am there ; " and Mi's. Penniman glanced at the third 
floor. 

On this they separated, and Morris, left to himself, stood looking at 
the house a moment ; after which he turned away, and took a gloomy 
walk round the Square, on the opposite side, close to the wooden fence. 
Then he came back, and paused for a minute in front of Dr. Sloper's 
dwelling. His eyes travelled over it; they even rested on the ruddy 
windows of Mrs. Penniman's apartment. He thought it a devilish com- 
fortable house. 

XVII. 

Mrs. Penniman told Catherine that evening the two ladies were 
sitting in the back parlour that she had had an interview with Morris 
Townsend ; and on receiving this news the girl started with a sense of 
pain. She felt angry for the moment ; it was almost the first time she 
had ever felt angry. It seemed to her that her aunt was meddlesome ; 
and from this came a vague apprehension that she would spoil something. 

" I don't see why you should have seen him. I don't think it was 
right," Catherine said. 

" I was so sorry for him it seemed to me some one ought to see 
him." 

" No one but I," said Catherine, who felt as if she were making the 
most presumptuous speech of her life, and yet at the same time had an 
instinct that she was right in doing so. 

" But you wouldn't, my dear," Aunt Lavinia rejoined ; " and I didn't 
know what might have become of him." 

" I have not seen him because my father has forbidden it," Catherine 
said, very simply. 

There was a simplicity in this, indeed, which fairly vexed Mrs. 
Penniman. "If your father forbade you to go to sleep, I suppose you 
would keep awake ! " she commented. 

Catherine looked at her. " I don't understand you. You seem to 
me very strange." 

" Well, my dear, you will understand me some day ! " And Mrs. 



146 WASHINGTON SQUARE. 

Penniman, who was reading the evening paper, which she perused daily 
from the first line to the last, resumed her occupation. She wrapped 
herself in silence ; she was determined Catherine should ask her for an 
account of her interview with Morris. But Catherine was silent for so 
long, that she almost lost patience ; and she was on the point of remark- 
ing to her that she was very heartless, when the girl at last spoke. 

" What did he say 1 " she asked. 

" He said he is ready to marry you any day, in spite of everything." 

Catherine made no answer to this, and Mrs. Penniman almost lost 
patience again. ; owing to which she at last volunteered the information 
that Morris looked very handsome, but terribly haggard. 

" Did he seem sad 1 " asked her niece. 

" He was dark under the eyes," said Mrs. Penniman. " So different 
from when I first saw him ; though I am not sure that if I had seen 
him in this condition the first time, I should not have been even more 
struck with him. There is something brilliant in his very misery." 

This was, to Catherine's sense, a vivid picture, and though she dis- 
approved, she felt herself gazing at it. " Where did you see him ? " she 
asked presently. 

" In in the Bowery ; at a confectioner's," said Mrs. Penniman, who 
had a general idea that she ought to dissemble a little. 

" Whereabouts is the place? " Catherine inquired, after another pause. 

" Do you wish to go there, my dear 1 " said her aunt. 

" Oh, no ! " And Catherine got up from her seat and went to the 
fire, where she stood looking awhile at the glowing coals. 

" Why are you so dry, Catherine ? " Mrs. Penniman said at last. 

"So dry?" 

" So cold so irresponsive." 

The girl turned, very quickly. " Did he say that ? " 

Mrs. Penniman hesitated a moment. " I will tell you what he said. 
He said he feared only one thing that you would be afraid." 

"Afraid of what?" 

" Afraid of your father." 

Catherine turned back to the fire again, and then, after a pause, she 
said " I am afraid of my father." 

Mrs. Penniman got quickly up from her chair and approached her 
niece. " Do you mean to give him up, then ? " 

Catherine for some time never moved ; she kept her eyes on the 
coals. At last she raised her head and looked at her aunt. " Why do 
you push me so 1 " she asked. 

" I don't push you. When have I spoken to you before ? " 

" It seems to me that you have spoken to me several times." 

" I am afraid it is necessary, then, Catherine," said Mrs. Penniman, 
with a good deal of solemnity. " I am afraid you don't feel the import- 
ance " She paused a little ; Catherine was looking at her. ''The 

importance of not disappointing that gallant young heart ! " And Mrs. 



WASHINGTON SQUAEE. 147 

Penniman went back to her chair, by the lamp, and, with a little jerk, 
picked up the evening paper again. 

Catherine stood there before the fire, with her hands behind her, 
looking at her aunt, to whom it seemed that the girl had never had just 
this dark fixedness in her gaze. "I don't think you understand or 
that you know me," she said. 

" If I don't, it is not wonderful ; you trust me so little." 
Catherine made no attempt to deny this charge, and for some time 
more nothing was said. But Mrs. Penniman's imagination was restless, 
and the evening paper failed on this occasion to enchain it. 

" If you succumb to the dread of your father's wrath," she said, " I 
don't know what will become of us." 

" Did he tell you to say these things to me 1 " 
" He told me to use my influence." 

" You must be mistaken," said Catherine. " He trusts me." 
" I hope he may never repent of it ! " And Mrs. Penniman gave a 
little sharp slap to her newspaper. She knew not what to make of 
her niece, who had suddenly become stern and contradictious. 

This tendency on Catherine's part was presently even more apparent. 
" You had much better not make any more appointments with Mr. 
Townsend," she said. " I don't think it is right." 

Mrs. Penniman rose with considerable majesty. " My poor child, 
are you jealous of me 1 " she inquired. 

" Oh, Aunt Lavinia ! " murmured Catherine, blushing. 
" I don't think it is your place to teach me what is right." 
On this point Catherine made no concession. " It can't be right to 
deceive." 

" I certainly have not deceived you ! " 

" Yes ; but I promised my father ' 

" I have no doubt you promised your father. But I have promised 
him nothing ! " 

Catherine had to admit this, and she did so in silence. " I don't 
believe Mr. Townsend himself likes it," she said at last. 
" Doesn't like meeting me ] " 
" Not in secret." 

" It was not in secret; the place was full of people." 
" But it was a secret place away off in the Bowery." 
Mrs. Penniman flinched a little. " Gentlemen enjoy such things," 
she remarked, presently. " I know what gentlemen like." 
" My father wouldn't like it, if he knew." 

" Pray, do you propose to inform him 1 " Mrs. Penniman inquired. 
" No, Aunt Lavinia. But please don't do it again." 
" If I do it again, you will inform him : is that what you mean 1 I 
do not share your dread of my brother ; I have always known how to 
defend my own position. But I shall certainly never again take any 
step on your behalf; you are much too thankless. I knew you were 



148 WASHINGTON SQUAKE. 

not a spontaneous nature, but I believed you were firm, and I told your 
father that he would find you so. I am disappointed but your father 
will not be ! " And with this, Mrs. Penniman offered her niece a brief 
good-night, and withdrew to her own apartment. 

XVIII. 

Catherine sat alone by the parlour fire sat there for more than an 
hour, lost in her meditations. Her aunt seemed to her aggressive and 
foolish, and to see it so clearly to judge Mrs. Penniman so positively 
made .her feel old and grave. She did not resent the imputation of 
weakness ; it made no impression on her, for she had not the sense of 
weakness, and she was not hurt at not being appreciated. She had an 
immense respect for her father, and she felt that to displease him would 
be a misdemeanour analogous to an act of profanity in a great temple : 
but her purpose had slowly ripened, and she believed that her prayers 
had purified it of its violence. The evening advanced, and the lamp 
burned dim without her noticing it ; her eyes were fixed upon her 
terrible plan. She knew her father was in his study that he had 
been there all the evening ; from time to time she expected to hear him 
move. She thought he would perhaps come, as he sometimes came, into 
the parlour. At last the clock struck eleven, and the house was 
wrapped in silence ; the servants had gone to bed. Catherine got up 
and went slowly to the door of the library, where she waited a moment, 
motionless. Then she knocked, and then she waited again. Her father 
had answered her, but she had not the courage to turn the latch. What 
she had said to her aunt was true enough she was afraid of him ; and 
in saying that she had no sense of weakness she meant that she was not 
afraid of herself. She heard him move within, and he came and opened 
the door for her. 

" What is the matter ? " asked the Doctor. " You are standing there 
like a ghost." 

She went into the room, but it was some time before she contrived 
to say what she had come to say. Her father, who was in his dressing- 
gown and slippers, had been busy at his writing-table, and after looking 
at her for some moments, and waiting for her to speak, he went and 
seated himself at his papers again. His back was turned to her she 
began to hear the scratching of his pen. She remained near the door, 
with her heart thumping beneath her bodice ; and she was very glad that 
his back was turned, for it seemed to her that she could more easily 
address herself to this portion of his person than to his face. At last 
she began, watching it while she spoke. 

" You told me that if I should have anything more to say about Mr. 
Townsend you would be glad to listen to it." 

" Exactly, my dear," said the Doctor, not turning round, but stopping 
his pen. 



WASHINGTON SQUABE. 149 

Catherine wished it would go on, but she herself continued. " I 
thought I would tell you that I have not seen him again, but that I 
should like to do so." 

" To bid him good-bye 1 " asked the Doctor. 
The girl hesitated a moment. " He is not going away." 
The Doctor wheeled slowly round in his chair, with a smile that 
seemed to accuse her of an epigram ; but extremes meet, and Catherine 
had not intended one. " It is not to bid him good-bye, then t " her 
father said. 

" No, father, not that ; at least not for ever. I have not seen him 
again, but I should like to see him," Catherine repeated. 

The Doctor slowly rubbed his under-lip with the feather of his quill. 
" Have you written to him 1 " 
" Yes, four times." 

" You have not dismissed him, then. Once would have done that." 
" No," said Catherine;. "I have asked him asked him to wait." 
Her father sat looking at her, and she was afraid he was going to 
break out into wrath ; his eyes were so fine and cold. 

" You are a dear, faithful child," he said at last. " Come here to 
your father." And he got up, holding out his hands towards her. 

The words were a surprise, and they gave her an exquisite joy. She 
went to him, and he put his arm round her tenderly, soothingly ; and 
then he kissed her. After this he said 
" Do you wish to make me very happy 1 " 

" I should like to but I am afraid I can't," Catherine answered. 
" You can if you will. It all depends on your will." 
" Is it to give him up 1 " said Catherine. 
" Yes, it is to give him up." 

And he held her still, with the same tenderness, looking into her face 
and resting his eyes on her averted eyes. There was a long silence ; she 
wished he would release her. 

" You are happier than I, father," she said, at last. 
" I have no doubt you are unhappy just now. But it is better to be 
unhappy for three months and get over it, than for many years arid never 
get over it." 

"Yes, if that were so," said Catherine. 

" It would be so ; I am sure of that." She answered nothing, and 
he went on : " Have you no faith in my wisdom, in my tenderness, in 
my solicitude for your future 1 " 

" Oh, father ! " murmured the girl. 

" Don't you suppose that I know something of men : their vices, their 
follies, their falsities ? " 

She detached herself, and turned upon him. " He is not vicious he 
is not false ! " 

Her father kept looking at her with his sharp, pure eye. " You make 
nothing of my judgment, then ? " 



150 WASHINGTON SQUARE, 

" I can't believe that ! " 

" I don't ask you to believe it, but to take it on trust." 

Catherine was far from saying to herself that this was an ingenious 
sophism ; but she met the appeal none the less squarely. " What has he 
done what do you know ? " 

" He has never done anything he is a selfish idler." 

" Oh, father, don't abuse him ! " she exclaimed, pleadingly. 

" I don't mean to abuse him ; it would be a great mistake. You 
may do as you choose," he added, turning away. 

" I may see him again 1 " 

<( Just as you choose." 

" Will you forgive me ? " 

" By no means." 

" It will only be for once." 

" I don't know what you mean by once. You must either give him 
up or continue the acquaintance." 

" I wish to explain to tell him to wait." 

" To wait for what ? " 

" Till you know him better till you consent." 

" Don't tell him any such nonsense as that. I know him well enough, 
and I shall never consent." 

" But we can wait a long time," said poor Catherine, in a tone which 
was meant to express the humblest conciliation, but which had upon 
her father's nerves the effect of an iteration not characterised by tact. 

The Doctor answered, however, quietly enough : " Of course you can 
wait till I die, if you like." 

Catherine gave a cry of natural horror. 

" Your engagement will have one delightful effect upon you ; it will 
make you extremely impatient for that event." 

Catherine stood staring, and the Doctor enjoyed the point he had 
made. It came to Catherine with the force or rather with the vague 
impressiveness of a logical axiom which it was not in her province to 
controvert ; and yet, though it was a scientific truth, she felt wholly 
unable to accept it. 

" I would rather not marry, if that were true," she said. 

" Give me a proof of it, then ; for it is beyond a question that by en- 
gaging yourself to Morris Townsend you simply wait for my death." 

She turned away, feeling sick and faint ; and the Doctor went on : 
" And if you wait for it with impatience, judge, if you please, what 
his eagerness will be ! " 

Catherine turned it over her father's words had such an authority 
for her that her very thoughts were capable of obeying him. There was 
a dreadful ugliness in it, which seemed to glare at her through the inter- 
posing medium of her own feebler reason. Suddenly, however, she had 
an inspiration she almost knew it to be an inspiration. 

" If I don't marry before your death, I will not after," she said. 



WASHINGTON SQUARE. 151 

To her father, it must be admitted, this seemed only another epi- 
gram ; and as obstinacy, in unaccomplished minds, does not usually select 
such a mode of expression, he was the more surprised at this wanton play 
of a fixed idea. 

" Do you mean that for an impertinence ? " he inquired ; an inqiiiry 
of which, as he made it, he quite perceived the grossness. 

" An impertinence"? Oh father, what terrible things you say ! " 

" If you don't wait for my death, you might as well marry imme- 
diately ; there is nothing else to wait for." 

For some time Catherine made no answer ; but finally she said 

" I think Morris little by little might persuade you." 

" I shall never let him speak to me again. I dislike him too much." 

Catherine gave a long, low sigh ; she tried to stifle it, for she had 
made up her mind that it was wrong to make a parade of her trouble, 
and to endeavour to act upon her father by the meretricious aid of 
emotion. Indeed, she even thought it wrong in the sense of being in- 
considerate to attempt to act upon his feelings at all ; her part was 
to effect some gentle, gradual change in his intellectual perception of 
poor Morris's character. But the means of effecting such a change were 
at presented shrouded in mysteiy, and she felt miserably helpless and 
hopeless. She had exhausted all arguments, all replies. Her father 
might have pitied her, and in fact he did so ; but he was sure he was 
right. 

" There is one thing you can tell Mr. Townsend, when you see him 
again," he said : " that if you marry without my consent, I don't leave 
you a farthing of money. That will interest him more than anything 
else you can tell him." 

" That would be very right," Catherine answered. " I ought not in 
that case to have a farthing of your money." 

" My dear child," the Doctor observed, laughing, " your simplicity 
is touching. Make that remark, in that tone, and with that expression 
of countenance, to Mr. Townsend and take a note of his answer. It 
won't be polite it will express irritation ; and I shall be glad of that, 
as it will put me in the right ; unless, indeed which is perfectly possible 
you should like him the better for being rude to you." 

" He will never be rude to me," said Catherine, gently. 

" Tell him what I say, all the same." 

She looked at her father, and her quiet eyes filled with tears. 

"I think I will see him, then," she murmured, in her timid voice. 

" Exactly as you choose ! " And he went to the door and opened it 
for her to go out. The movement gave her a terrible sense of his turn- 
ing her off. 

" It will be only once, for the present," she added, lingering a 
moment. 

" Exactly as you choose," he repeated, standing there with his hand 
on the door. " I have told you what I think. If you see him, you will 



152 WASHINGTON SQUARE. 

be an ungrateful, cruel child; you will have given your old father the 
greatest pain of his life." 

This was more than the poor girl could bear ; her tears overflowed, 
and she moved towards her grimly consistent parent with a pitiful cry. 
Her hands were raised in supplication, but he sternly evaded this 
appeal. Instead of letting her sob out her misery on his shoulder, he 
simply took her by the arm and directed her course across the threshold, 
closing the door gently but firmly behind her. After he had done so, he 
remained listening. For a long time there was no sound ; he knew that 
she was standing outside. He was sorry for her, as I have said ; but he 
was so sure he was right. At last he heard her move away, and then her 
footstep creaked faintly upon the stairs. 

The Doctor took several turns round his study, with his hands in his 
pockets, and a thin sparkle, possibly of irritation, but partly also of 
something like humour, in his eye. " By Jove," he said to himself, " I 
believe she will stick I believe she will stick ! " And this idea of 
Catherine " sticking " appeared to have a comical side, and to offer a 
prospect of entertainment. He determined, as he said to himself, to see 
it out. 

HENRY JAMES, JH. 



153 



[Jjjr bib Sjrdtspan font* 



STUDENTS of Shakspeare ought to be very grateful to Mr. Furnivall, 
both for the many scarce books bearing on their subject that have been 
brought within their reach, and for the progress that has been made in 
ascertaining the dates of his several writings ; which are all we can be 
said to know about him all, at least, that makes him memorable. The 
dates are still in many cases doubtful ; but the order of succession, which 
is the most important point, is already determined with tolerable cer- 
tainty, and the problem is, to learn from it the history of his mind. 

Before the New Shakspere Society can deal with that problem in 
its corporate capacity, it has a great deal of preparatory business to get 
through, and a great deal of leisure for consideration. But Mr. Furnivall 
has, in the meantime, explained his personal views about it in his Intro- 
duction to the Leopold Shakspere. To some of these I have, as he is 
aware, a strong objection ; and as his original design in founding the 
New Society was to have every disputable question concerning Shakspeare 
fought out and settled by general agreement before any final resolutions 
were taken, I propose to offer as my contribution to the debate a state- 
ment of the principal points on which, as at present advised, I differ 
with him. 

The following sentences, extracted from his " Introduction," will ex- 
plain what the question is, as I understand it : * 

I believe, nay, assert, that down each side-edge of every one of Shakspere's plays 
are several hooks and eyes of special patterns, which as soon as their play is put in its 
right place will find a set of eyes and hooks of the same pattern in the adioinino-plav 
to fit into .... 

The only exception to the rule is, where an entirely new or different subject . 
is started, after such a succession of comedies as closes Shakspere's Second Period ; 'in 
this case the links, the hooks and eyes, on the left edge of the new play may be want- 
ing. 

Note, too, that as in conjunctions we have both copulative and disjunctive ones, so 
in links we have both bonds of likeness and contrast . . . These 'links .... are 
only what must naturally exist between works written by the same man, nearl'y'at the 
same time of his life, and in the same mood. 

From evidence of like kind, comparing the general tone of the Four Periods of his 
works, I hold that Shakspore's plays, when looked at broadly in their successive 
periods, represent his own prevailing temper of ruind, as man as well as artist, in the 
succeeding stages of his life.f 

There are two or three points upon which Mr. Furnivall tells me that I have 
misunderstood him. His explanations will be founl in the footnotes where they 
occur. 

t Introduction to the Leopold Sltakspere, p. Ciix. 
VOL. XLII. NO. 248. o 



154 WHY DID SHAKSPEARE WRITE TRAGEDIES? 

Now if this means only that Shakspeare preserved his personal iden- 
tity from his birth to his death, that he continued to be the same man, 
with only such changes as accompany growth in a healthy human sub- 
ject, that his successive works are all related to each other, as the suc- 
cessive actions of one man must always be related, through their common 
relation to himself that as what a man does must always correspond with 
what at the time of doing it he is, so whatever he writes must bear some 
mark (if we could but read it) of his condition, mental and bodily, at the 
time of writing and therefore that when all we know of him is what he 
has written, our only chance of finding out what kind of man he was is 
to read what he has written with due consideration of all the circum- 
stances, order of succession being one : if this be all, it seems a harmless 
proposition which nobody can dispute, and for which nobody can be the 
wiser. And when all the conditions here specified are duly taken into 
account and set out in their proper places, it may almost seem that no 
more was meant. For it appears that the hooks are to fit the eyes, only 
in the writings (1) of " the same man " ; (2) " nearly at the same time of 
his life" ; (3) " in the same mood " ; and (4) dealing with the same class 
of " subjects "; for, " when an entirely new or different subject is started," 
we are expressly warned that the rule does not hold ; and as we are not 
in that case to expect that the eyes of the last writing will fit the hooks 
of the last preceding, so if it should happen that another " entirely new 
or diilereiit subject" should be started in the next succeeding, we must 
not expect them to fit with it either. Now that the same man, at the 
same age, dealing with the same kind of subjects in the same mood, will 
probably leave upon them marks of the same hand, is so indisputable 
that it seems superfluous to assert it. And though it is not so certain 
that works composed under these conditions will reflect faithfully either 
" the prevailing temper of his mind " or the actual conditions of his life 
(for in his imaginative mood a man sees himself not as he is, but as he 
would be), yet a judicious reader may collect something from them in 
this way too. But what are we to infer when, we find two plays in which 
the same subjects are not treated in the same way 1 Shall we say that 
they cannot have been written by the same man, nearly at the same time 
of his life, and in the same mood ; because the inevitable " links " are 
wanting 1 ? By no means. " Links," like conjunctions, are of different 
kinds. Our hooks and eyes may be either " copulative or disjunctive" 
either fit or refuse to fit. Now where in two plays the subjects are dif- 
ferent, or being similar are differently treated, if we find no hooks and 
eyes that fit, we can hardly fail to find some that do not fit ; these are 
the " disjunctive links," the " bonds of contrast," which in some mys- 
terious way serve the same purpose as the " bonds of likeness," and help 
to teach us (if we do not know it already) that the successive productions 
of the same man are apt to be like each other in some things and unlike in 
others ; and that both the like and the unlike, being the expression of some- 
thing in himself, will, if rightly understood, tell us something about him. 



WHY DID SHAKSPEAEE WRITE TEAGEDIES ? 155 

More than this we cannot reasonably expect to establish by this kind 
of evidence ; and if more is promised by the propounder, I think it is be- 
cause he assumed two things besides which cannot, however, be so readily 
granted : one, that each of Shakspeare's works was meant to be taken 
as part of a whole ; being connected with those that came before and 
after, not merely as a product of the same mind, but as holding a place 
in a general scheme designed by that mind ; * the other, that each of 
them reflects some personal experience of the writer's own whatever 
passion is in any of them represented with apparent force and truth being 
presumably a passion to which he had been himself subject at or about 
that time. 

With the help of these large and bold, and by me altogether inad- 
missible assumptions, a knowledge of the order in which the several plays 
were composed would no doubt tell us a great deal ; and if the hooks and 
eyes could find it out for us, the inquiry after them could hardly be 
too searching. Even without their help it would tell us something. 
Every man changes more or less with age and experience, and, 
therefore, the true dates of his successive productions will always 
throw some light both upon them and upon him. But though the true 
dates, or at least the true order of succession, may be otherwise found 
within certain limits with a certain degree of probability, I do not see 
how it can be done by the mere discovery of resemblances and contrasts, 
unless it can be shown that the contrast implies some difference due to 
time, and that the resemblance implies some limit to the time which may 
have passed between the one and the other. " Links," in the shape of 
similar situations, characters bearing the same relation to each other, 
similar ideas, images, tricks of expression, and the like will always be 

* ' The groat defect of the English school of Shaksperians is their neglect to 
study Shakspere as a whole. They have too much looked on his works as a con- 
glomerate of isolated plays, -without order or succession .... whereas the first ne- 
cessity is to regard Shakspere as a whole, his works as a living organism, each a 
member of one created unity .... the successive shoots of one great mind which 
can never be seen in its full glory .... unless it be viewed in its oneness,' p. xvii. 
The words, " Each a member of one created unity," I took to mean that each formed 
part of a general scheme designed by the author. In this Mr. Furnivall tells me that 
I was mistaken. His true meaning he explains in the following note. " I look on 
the work of any great artist, Turner, Beethoven, Shakspere, as a whole, a unity, 
created by him, and on each work as a part of that whole or unity. But of course I 
never thought that any artist started with the design of that whole or unity in his 
head, and produced his successive works to fit into his design. His works just came 
out of him as his nature from time to time put them forth, and they formed a whole 
or unity never designed or dreamt of by him at first, though he created it." F. J. F. 
But the question will still be whether he created the unity by chance or by design. 
Though he did not start with any general scheme in his head, he may have meant each 
successive work, as he went on, to be taken in connection with its predecessors, and 
so form a " unity" with them ; or he may have thought nothing about it from first to 
last; but treated each story simply with reference to its capacity for making a good 
play. 

82 



156 WHY DID SHAKSPEARE WRITE TRAGEDIES? 

discoverable in the writings of the same man, in whatever order they are 
taken. How else could we pretend to recognise a man's style in two dif- 
ferent works, or reject portions of any single work as not bearing the 
mark of his hand 1 And if the inquiry were worth the time it would 
cost, I think I could undertake to produce from any two plays in the 
whole Shakspearian theatre points of resemblance as plausible as those 
which Mr. Furnivall produces to prove the contiguity in date of compo- 
sition of any which for other reasons he believes to have been composed 
about the same time. A single example, by way of illustration, may 
perhaps be worth its time and space, because it will relieve us from the 
duty of spending any over the others. 

Passing by the first four plays, in which the common subject of " the 
fickleness of love" (p. xxvii.) supplies (as might have been expected) 
many situations which bear a resemblance to each other; as well as 
Richard II. and Romeo and Juliet, between which Mr. Furnivall men- 
tions only one link, though he says it is a strong one, " in the up-and- 
downness of the character, of Richard II. and Romeo " (p. xxxvii.) 
meaning, I suppose, the variety of fortune, or perhaps the sensibility to 
changes of fortune, in the principal characters let us take King John 
(p. xl.), which is linked on one side to Richard III., on the other to the 
Merchant of Venice. 

The links with Richard III., which is supposed to have come next 
before it, are these. We find in both 

1. A cruel uncle planning the murder of a nephew who stood in his 
way. 

2. A distracted mother. 

3. A prophecy of ruin and a curse on the murderer, denounced and 
fulfilled. 

4. A civil war. 

5. A lesson of warning as to the danger of divisions. 

6. An instrument tempted by subtle suggestions to undertake the 
murder. 

7. A cynical avowal of an immoral purpose by a principal character 
(Faulconbridge in one proclaiming that gain shall be the object of his 
worship ; Richard himself on the other declaring that he is determined 
to prove a villain.) 

The links with the Merchant of Venice, which is supposed to have 
come next after, are these. We find in both 

1. An outbreak of parental passion. (Constance weeping for her 
son's murder in one ; Shylock cursing his daughter for eloping with his 
ducats and jewels in the other.) 

2. A plea for mercy to the helpless. (Prince Arthur in one pleading 
for mercy to himself ; Portia, in the other, for mercy to Antonio.) 

3. Prince Arthur's recollection of the young gentlemen in France 
affecting sadness for the fashion, " echoed " (says Mr. Furnivall) by 
Antonio in the first scene of the Merchant of Venice, and " repeated " in 
Portia and Jessica. 



WHY DID SHAKSPEABE WRITE TRAGEDIES? 157 

4. A young gentleman of high spirits and gay humour. 

5. A struggle between two duties : in the Lady Blanche, between the 
claims of her husband and her uncle, which she shall pray for ; in Portia, 
between pleasure in her husband's company and a sense of what is due 
to his honour ; whether she shall keep him with her for her pleasure or 
let him go to save the life of his benefactor. 

6. Losses by the action of water. King John's forces drowned in the 
Wash of Lincoln ; Antonio's ship wrecked on the Goodwin Sands. 

This seems a long list, and must have been the fruit of much pains in 
the search. But before we accept these " links " as evidence that the 
three plays were composed " nearly at the same time of Shakspeare's life," 
we must consider how many of them would have been sure to be found 
where they are, at whatever time of his life the plays were composed. 
Suppose Shakspeare to have written a play about Richard III. in his 
first period, and a play about King John in his last, other differences 
there would have been, of many kinds and much larger ; but all the 
" links " here enumerated or all but one would have been there just 
the same. The cruel uncle, the murdered nephew, the distracted mother, 
the procurement of the murderer, the civil war, the lesson of warning, 
all these would certainly have been prominent features in both. Nor 
is it at all likely that either of the mothers would have forgotten to 
pray for evil to the murderer of her son, or to predict it. All these, 
therefore, we must set aside. They cannot prove anything as to date, 
because their presence does not depend upon the date. The solitary 
link remaining to be accounted for would be the cynical avowal of an 
immoral purpose by a principal character : which is in fact a " link dis- 
junctive ; " a " bond of contrast ; " for when Richard avows that he is de- 
termined to prove a villain, he means what he says ; when Faulconbridge 
proposes to make gain his object of worship, he means the very reverse. 

The resemblance or contrast between these two passages is all, then, 
that remains to prove, or help to prove, that King John was written 
not long after Richard III. Let us now see what evidence we can 
obtain by the same process, that it was written not long before the Mer- 
chant of Venice : and let us begin, as before, by supposing that it was 
written as long before as possible ; that Shakspeare took the story of 
the reign of King John for the subject of a tragedy in his first period, 
and the story of the pound of flesh, as told by Ser Giovanni, for the 
subject of a comedy in his last ; and see whether any of the " links " 
offer any resistance to such a supposition. 

1. In both we find an outburst of parental passion. Constance dis- 
tracted for the loss of her son, that was murdered, in the first ; Shy lock 
raging at the elopement of his daughter with his ducats and jewels (an 
incident not necessarily suggested by the story) in the last. 

2. In both we find an eloquent pleading for mercy. Prince Arthur, 
in the first, endeavouring to persuade Hubert not to burn out his eyes ; 
Portia, in the last, endeavouring to persuade Shylock not to cut his 



158 WHY DID SHAKSPEARE WRITE TRAGEDIES? 

forfeit out of Antonio. But in this case the coincidence was to be ex- 
pected under any circumstances. In the original story which Shakspeare 
was dramatising, the Lady says to the Jew, " I must have you take the 
100,000 ducats, and release this innocent man, who will always have a 
grateful sense of the favour done to him." 'Shakspeare was as unlikely, 
at any time of his life, to have omitted such an incident, or introduced 
it without some persuasive argument in behalf of mercy, as to have 
allowed Prince Arthur to submit to Hubert's hot irons without an 
attempt to move pity in him. The two plays would therefore have cer- 
tainly had this feature in common, though they had been quite uncon- 
nected with each other ; and this link must be set aside. 

3. In both we find the recognition among human infirmities of a 
peculiar kind of sadness sadness without apparent cause. And though 
I think that the introduction of this feature into the character of Antonio 
was a fact suggested by the behaviour of the Merchant in the original 
story, I cannot say that it was inevitable. But when Mr. Furnivall 
calls it an " echo " of the passage in Prince Arthur's speech to Hubert, 
he surely overlooks a difference so broad as to preclude all suspicion of 
any connection between them. The sadness alluded to in King John was 
not real sadness, but a fashionable affectation : the sadness of Antonio 
was a real depression of spirits, and quite out of fashion among the young 
gentlemen of Venice. And as for the " repetition of the same thought," 

that is, of the 

Young gentlemen that could be sad as night 
Only for wantonness ; 

first in Portia, when her " little body was weary of this great world " for 
a passing moment, and for the very substantial reason that it was placed 
in a very anxious and disagreeable position in. it ; and next in Jessica, 
whose sadness consisted in not being made merry by sweet music if 
there is any connection between these several modes of sadness, what 
two conditions in humanity can be said to be unconnected 1 

4. In both we find a young gentleman of high spirits and gay humour. 
And it is true that there is no such character as Gratiano in the story 
from which the plot was taken. The question, therefore, which we have 
to consider is, whether the relation of Gratiano to Faulconbridge is close 
enough to prove them products of the same period. 

5. In both we find a struggle between two duties. But Portia's 
struggle, such as it was (for it was really a struggle between her own 
pleasure and her husband's duty) was involved in the story. The Lady 
of Belmonte, the moment she heard of the case, desired her newly- 
married husband to set out immediately, and not stop till he arrived 
at Venice. Her dilemma therefore would have been found in the Mer- 
chant of Venice, if Shakspeare had never explained or heard of the 
Lady Blanche's. 

6. In both are found losses by the action of water. But as the ruin 
of the Merchant in the old story is distinctly referred to the loss of ships 



WHY DID SHAKSPEAEE WRITE TRAGEDIES? 159 

at sea, it is not necessary to inquire whether the wreck of one of them 
on the Goodwins is an incident so remarkably like the loss of King 
John's army in the Wash, that we should have been obliged otherwise 
to account for it by supposing that both must have been invented by 
Shakspeare " nearly at the same time of his life, and in the same mood." 
This is all ; and having now examined all the hooks and eyes which 
Mr. Furnivall has collected, let us ask what reason they would supply 
for dating the composition of King John between that of Richard III. 
and the Merchant of Venice, if the succession were otherwise uncertain 1 
The answer must be that King John was probably written soon after 
King Richard III., because in the last Richard says to himself 

And therefore since I cannot prove a lover 
To entertain these fair well-spoken days, 
I am determined to prove a villain, 
And hate the idle pleasures of these days. 

While in the other, Faulconbridge says to himself 

Well, while I am a beggar, I will rail 
And say there is no sin but to be rich. 
And being rich, my virtue then shall be, 
To say there is no vice but beggary. 
Since kings break faith upon commodity, 
Gain, be my lord, for I will worship thee. 

Or (to take Mr. Furnivall's own account of it) because " the Bastard's 
statement of his motives (!) ' Gain, be my lord,' &c., is like that of 
Richard the Third about his villainy." 

On the other side, the Merchant of Venice must have been written 
soon after King John for two reasons. 

1 . Because as Constance in King John mourns for her murdered son, 
and will not be comforted though she should meet him in heaven, if he 
rose without the native beauty on his cheek, so Shylock in the Merchant 
mourns for the loss of the jewels and ducats which his daughter had run 
away with, and will not be comforted unless they are brought back, 
though it be in her coffin. 

2. Because Gratiano, in the Merchant of Venice " may be compared " 
with Faulconbridge in King John ; being both young men of humour 
and animal spirits, though in all other respects as different as two men 
could be. 

Now as there is reason to believe that these three plays were actually 
composed in this order, and within a few years of each other, and such 
link-evidence as can be counted on must therefore certainly be there, 
they ought to show the hook-and-eye test to advantage. But if this is 
a fair sample of the help it would have given had the case been doubtful, 
it is clear that it cannot be trusted for a guide. 

For the order of succession, therefore, we must appeal to more trust- 
worthy tests ; which are not altogether wanting. Having ascertained 
the order, we come upon the question as to the relation of the successive 



160 WHY DID SHAKSPEAEE WRITE TRAGEDIES? 

plays to each other ; were they meant to be regarded as parts of a \vhole, 
" each a member of one created unity " ? A created unity means, I sup- 
pose, a unity resulting from a, conscious design, formed in the beginning 
and carried out consistently to the end ; such a unity in all the parts 
together as we recognise in each part taken separately. But though 
Mr. Furnivall claims for them a unity of this kind, he has not attempted 
to trace it in detail, or to show how the pieces are to be put together ; 
and as I cannot myself invent any hypothesis upon which it can be 
made to seem probable that Shakspeare meant them to combine into a 
complete whole, I must wait till somebody else propounds one. The 
unity which Mr. Furnivall practically recognises in the whole body of 
Shakspeare's works is of a different nature. He thinks that each play, 
poem, song, and sonnet, represents the condition of his own soul when 
he wrote it ; and therefore that the whole series, taken in the right 
order, must contain a true history of the growth and progress of Shak- 
speare's soul ; " his own pervading temper of mind, as man as well as 
artist, in the succeeding stages of his life." * 

Now as there is no doubt that a man's prevailing temper of mind 
varies with his age, cultivation, and knowledge, it is reasonable to sup- 
pose that a corresponding change will be traceable in the works of his 
mind, and that each will throw light upon the other. If, on the one 
hand, we knew what sort of changes Shakspeare's prevailing temper of 
mind went through in the succeeding stages of his life, we could partly 
determine from the prevailing temper of his works to which stage each 
belonged. If, on the other hand, we knew at what stage of his life each 
work was produced, we could partly determine what the prevailing 
temper of his mind was at each stage. The difficulty in Shakspeare's 
case is, that we have so few data for either.. Of the particulars of his 
life in its several stages we know hardly anything. Of the dates at 
which his several plays were composed, and even of the order in which 
they succeeded each other, we know little for certain. The problem, 
therefore, which they present is analogous to that of arranging a bundle 
of letters written by the same hand at different times, of which many 
are undated. And the method of solution is the same. When I have first 
arranged in order those letters which are dated, I probably find a pro- 
gressive change in the character of the handwriting ; and by observing 
the stage in that progressive change to which the handwriting of each 
undated letter appears to correspond, I determine, with more or less 
accuracy and confidence, its place in the series. So with regard to the 
order of Shakspeare's plays. Beginning with those of which we know 
the date upon external evidence, I observe in them a change of style in- 
dicating a catural progress, and I infer the date of the composition of 
those concerning which I have no external evidence from the stage in 
that progress to which the style corresponds. Placing them accordingly, 

* P, ciix. 



WHY DID SHAKSPEAEE WHITE TRAGEDIES? 161 

and going through the series, I find that the changes follow a kind of 
law, corresponding to the changes in a man's tastes, moral and intel- 
lectual, which ordinarily and naturally take place as he grows older ; 
and as the continuous changes in a man's growth are roughly divided 
into certain periods, the continuous succession of his productions may be 
divided into corresponding groups. In early youth the affections are 
commonly divided between farce and deep tragedy. As the mind ex- 
pands and ripens, the broader humours of farce and the simpler horrors 
of tragedy lose their attraction, and give place to the richer, chaster, and 
more delicata humours of high comedy, and the deeper mysteries of 
tragic passion. As advancing years cool the blood, and decreasing 
activity makes the pleasures of a quiet life more attractive than those 
of a stirring one, it is probable that %he taste will incline to the calmer 
and more soothing kind of pathos, in which the feeling is too profound 
and tender for what is called comedy, and yet the final impression is too 
peaceful for what is called tragedy. Tastes so changing would no doubt 
induce changes both in the choice of subjects and the treatment of them ; 
and if we take Shakspeare's plays in the order of their dates, as deter- 
mined upon independent grounds, we shall find that the differences in 
choice and treatment suit very naturally with the natural changes in 
a man's mind as he grows older, and that the whole series divides very 
well into four groups. Between twenty-four and thirty he had a young 
man's tastes, both in the light and the heavy line a taste for merriment, 
and absurdity, and ingenious conceits, and slang and loose jests in the 
light line ; and for love, in the " sighing-like-furnace " and bowl-and- 
dagger stage, in the serious. After thirty he lost his relish for these 
puerilities, aimed at a higher order of wit and humour in comedy, and 
a higher moral standard altogether ; while for the true elements of human 
tragedy he turned to history. Five or six years of such work led him 
upwards into a still higher region. In comedy, though the vein was as 
rich as ever, and as full of enjoyment, yet the pathetic element spring- 
ing from the tender and serious feeling with which he had come to regard 
all human things, became more and more predominant, and so prevailed 
over the other in the general effect, that his later works which end happily 
are hardly to be called comedies. I suppose nobody ever thought of 
Measure for Measure as a comedy, though everybody in it except Lucio 
is happily disposed of, and the effect of his sentence is rather comic than 
otherwise. All's Well is allied to tragedy rather than comedy, by the pity 
and serious interest with which we follow the fortunes of the heroine ; and 
Tioelfth Night, in spite of the number and perfection of the comic scenes, 
and the wonderful liveliness and rapidity and variety of incident and 
action, is nevertheless to me one of the most pathetic plays I know, and 
would draw tears far sooner than Romeo and Juliet. Shakspeare may be 
said, therefore, to have taken leave of comedy proper in the Merry Wives, 
and to have grown out of it before he was forty years old. In the mean- 
time his exercises in tragedy proper had led him into the region of the 

80 



162 WHY DID SHAKSPEARE WRITE TRAGEDIES? 

great passions which, disclose the heights and depths of humanity a 
region which was destined to become and remain his own. These pas- 
sions for the benefit of the theatre, the glory of Burbage, the amuse- 
ment and instruction of the playgoing public, and partly it may be for 
the satisfaction and relief of his own genius he brought (by means of 
such stories as he could find, suitable for showing them in action) upon 
the stage. And to this we owe Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello, Lear, and the 
rest, which occupied what Mr. Furnivall calls " the unhappy Third 
Period." The fourth group follows naturally enough. He was forty- 
four years old ; he had made money enough ; he had retired from 
business; he had passed the period when the mind takes pleasure in 
violent agitations ; and he employed himself upon such subjects as suited 
or treated such subjects as he found so as to make them suit the 
autumnal days ; witness the Winter's Tale and the Tempest. 

Classing his plays according to their general character, I find that 
they fall naturally into these broad divisions, and that they have a kind 
of correspondence with the divisions which are observable in the life of 
man. And if Mr. Furnivall had been content to rest upon this, and apply 
himself to discover the progressive conditions of Shakspeare's mind in 
the manner in which he treated the subjects which he successively took 
in hand, he would have been profitably employed. But when he pro- 
ceeds to separate these broad natural divisions into subordinate groups, 
according to the particular feature which happens to be prominent in 
each play to seek in the temper, tone, character, or subject of each for 
a correspondence with some presumed condition of Shakspeare's mind, 
induced by some personal experience at some particular time he has no 
longer any substantial ground to go upon. The distinguishing feature 
of each would depend upon many things besides the Avriter's state of 
mind. It would depend upon the story which he had to tell ; while the 
choice of the story would depend upon the requirements of the theatre, 
the taste of the public, the popularity of the different actors, the strength 
of the company. A new part might be wanted for Burbage or Kempe. 
The two boys that acted Hermia and Helena the tall and the short one 
or the two men who were so like that they might be mistaken for each 
other, might want new pieces to appear in (which last would be a pro- 
bable and sufficient explanation of the production about the same time 
of two or three plays the humour of which turns upon such mistakes 
Mr. Furnivall's " mistaken-identity group "), and so on. The stories 
would be selected from such as were to be had (and had not been used 
up) to suit the taste of the frequenters of the theatre, and the characters 
and incidents would be according to the stories. 

When Shakspeare created or perfected the part of Petruchio, we 
need not suppose that he was describing the way he would have set about 
the taming of a shrew himself, or that he would have recommended it to 
a friend as the best. But if he had preferred to tame her after the 
fashion of Tennyson's Princess in his Midsummer-Day's tale, he would 



WHY DID SHAKSPEAEE WEITE TRAGEDIES? 163 

have had to tell a different story, much too sentimental for the taste of 
a Bishopsgate audience. The real Petruchio's was one way of doing it, 
and made a livelier entertainment, with a sufficiently good moral from 
which the Katharines at any rate might profit, even if the Petruchios 
received too much encouragement. 

Still less, when he describes the great abnormal conditions of human- 
ity which are the soul of tragedy, the restless and relentless ambition, 
without pity, love, or fear, of Hichard ; the fiendish malignity of lago ; 
the struggle of the better nature and triumph of the worse in Macbeth ; 
the desecration of all the sanctities of humanity in Regan and Groneril ; 
the shameless disloyalty and barbarity of Edmund ; the blind and savage 
jealousy of Othello, Leontes, and Posthumus ; or the conversion in Timon 
of an indiscriminate love of all mankind into as undiscriminating a 
hatred, by the unexpected discovery that some of them could be ungrate- 
ful ; need we suppose that he is describing conditions which he had 
himself experienced in the flesh. Every man who ever read a newspaper 
or a novel must be conscious of some power of imagining a situation, an 
emotion, a condition of hope, fear, or desire, of which he has had no per- 
sonal experience. This power " the shaping spirit of imagination " 
the power of turning to shapes the forms of things unknown, as imagi- 
nation bodies them forth has always been thought to be the special gift of 
poets as distinguished from other men, and of Shakspeare as distin- 
guished from other poets. " His fine sense and knowledge of the soul," 
says Hartley Coleridge, " which his imagination extended to all conceivable 
cases and circumstances, informed him," <kc.* Mr. Furnivall, however, 
not believing in the existence of any such faculty, lays it down as a 
foundation for the study of Shakspeare's life and character that what- 
ever he describes vividly he must be supposed to have experienced per- 
sonally. " As to the question how far we are justified in assuming that 
Shakspere put his own feelings himself into his own plays, some 
men," he says, " scorn the notion ; ask you triumphantly which of his 
characters represent him, assert that he himself is in none of them, but 
sits apart, serene, unruffled, himself by earthly passion, making his 
puppets move. / believe, on the contrary, that all the deepest and greatest 
work of an artist playwright, orator, painter, poet, <fec. is based on 
personal experience, on his own emotions and passions, and not merely 
on his observation of things or feelings outside him, on which his fancy 
and imagination work. ... I find that Milton's Satan has Milton's 
noble nature pervei*ted is no devil, &c. ; but that Dante can paint hell, 
because he has felt it. Shakspere tells me he has felt hell : and in his 
Othello, Macbeth, Lear, Coriolanus, Timon, / see the evidence of his 
having done so .... I see him laying bare his own soul as he strips 
the covering off other men's .... He himself, his own nature and life, 



* Essays, i. 146. 



164 WHY DID SHAKSPEARE WRITE TRAGEDIES? 

are in all his plays, to the man who has eyes, and chooses to look for him 
and them there." * 

Now, if this means no more than that Shakspeare derived his know- 
ledge of what was in man from his knowledge of what was in himself; 
that he knew what another man might, under conceivable conditions, do, 
from consciousness of what he himself, under conceivable conditions, 
might be tempted to do, my only objection to it is that it tells me 
nothing to the purpose. It tells me that his nature was capable of what 
is possible in humanity, whether to do or to refrain from doing, and that 
he knew what it was capable of ; it does not tell me what he did and 
what he refrained from at any particular time ; but only that at the time 
when each play was composed he was in a condition to imagine the pas- 
sions which were represented in it. But when Mr. Furnivall asserts 
that he sees in Othello, Macbeth, Lear, Coriolauus, and Timon, 
evidence that Shakspeare had "felt hell," he must be supposed to 
mean something more than this. He must mean that Shakspeare 
had himself been subject to the passions which are represented there. 
And when he proceeds to assume that this personal experience of hell 
coincided in time with the composition of that group of plays that he had 
passed at that time from " the abounding, the overflowing happy life " of 
the Second Period into " the bitterness, the world-weariness, of this ter- 
rible Third Period." a temper which made him " see God as a blind and 
furious fate, cutting men off in their sins, involving the innocent with 
the guilty " and then demands " whether this change was one of artist 
only or one of man too ; " we must suppose him to mean that this in- 
fernal experience was a condition necessary then and there for the com- 
position of those plays ; for if it had been enough to have once " felt hell," 
there could have been no reason for inferring that he was more in hell be- 
tween forty and forty-five than at any earlier period of his life. It would 
seem, therefore, according to Mr. Furnivall, that wherever we find in any 
of his plays a " deep and great" representation of a bad state of mind, we 
may conclude that he was at that time in that state of mind himself. 
But here I meet a difficulty. As the same must for the same reason be 

* P. cxx. By this passage I understood Mr. Furnivall to mean that Shak- 
speare's imaginative power was limited by his personal experiences. He explains his 
true meaning in the following note : "This is news to me. I was, and am, under 
the impression, 1st, that I believed and believe Shakspere to possess higher imagina- 
tion than any other mind I have ever come across, and that it has stirred and lifted 
me more than anything else in the world ; 2nd, that I bad written of Shakspere's 
raried powers (p. cxv.) as 'the agents of that imagination which made him the greatest 
poet of the world' (p. cxvi.). I intend to keep up these delusions. I still believe that 
the greatest work of every great artist is ' based on ' what he has felt himself. But as 
for saving that this ' based on ' is equivalent to 'limited to,' so that Shakspere could 
produce no 'great and deep' work unless it represented his own experience, I never 
have said it and I never meant to say it." F. J.F. So I should have supposed : 
but if so, where in Othello, Macbeth, Lear, Coriolanus, or Timon, is the evidence that 
he had "felt hell?" 



WHY DID SHAKSPEARE WRITE TRAGEDIES? 165 

true with regard to his " deep and great " representations of other states 
of mind, what are we to do when we find good and bad states of mind 
delineated with equal depth and greatness in the same play 1 How shall 
we escape the conclusion that he was himself at the same time in a good 
state of mind 1 To represent Isabella to the life must have required 
quite as much personal experience as to represent Claudio ; but such ex- 
perience must have been obtained in the other place ; and though it is 
easy to understand how he may have imagined both at the same time, I 
do not see how he can in any other sense have been both. 

In order, therefore, to determine by this method the condition of his 
soul when he was writing Measure for Measure, it is important to 
know which of these two characters is to be taken as that into which he 
was "putting his own feelings himself." But Mr. Furnivall does not 
attempt to explain by what process we are to discover this. I should 
myself have looked for it in the character that he most approved and 
was most in sympathy with, and found it therefore in Isabella. Mr. 
Furnivall finds it in Claudio, whom he promotes (on what ground I 
cannot divine, unless it be that it supplied him with a "link") into the 
hero of the play.* And as there is hardly one of the series without 
half a dozen prominent characters, all like life and unlike each other 
if we may choose which we please for the representative of Shakspeare's 
" prevailing temper of mind," as a man, for the time being, it is plain 
that we may make of him whatever we like. The principal character 
is not necessarily the one with which he is most in sympathy. Horatio 
in Hamlet, Banquo in Macbeth, Cordelia, Kent, and Edgar in Lear, the 
steward in Timon, Menenius in Coriolanus, are the persons who say and 
do what he most approves in each of those plays. And if it be asked 
why he should have chosen for a hero a man whose sayings and doings 
he did not altogether approve, it seems hardly necessary to answer that 
perhaps he wished to show what came of them. 

That we may and do judge which character he is most in sympathy 
with by some other test than a preconceived opinion as to his own, is 
proved by the many cases in which we feel surprised at his apparent in- 
sensibility to faults which we should have thought most likely to offend 
him. But though to a disengaged mind the indications of sympathy 
are mostly clear enough, they may become invisible under the light of a 
strong prepossession : and I suspect that it was not either in the choice 
or in the handling of his dramatic subjects that Mr. Furnivall discovered 
the history of Shakspeare's " nature and life " as a man. He found it 
in them afterwards ; but when he " chose to look for him and them 

* " The centre of Measure for Measure is the scene of Isabella with Claudio in the 
prison, where his unfit, nature fails under the burden of coming death laid upon him " 
(p. Ixxv). "Julius Ccesar, Hamlet, and Measure for Measure are most closely 
allied by the unfitness of Brutus, Hamlet, and Claudio to bear the burden put on 
them" (p. cxx). 



166 WHY DID SHAKSPEARE WEITE TRAGEDIES? 

there" I suspect that he knew quite well what he wanted to find.* His 
account (pp. xl.-lxiii.) of " the abounding, the overflowing happy life " 
of " the delightful Second Period " is separated from " the bitterness, the 
world-weariness of the terrible Third Period " by an account (pp. Ixiv.- 
Ixvii.) of the Sonnets. 

" The great question is," he says, " do Shakspere's Sonnets speak his 
own heart and thoughts or not ? And were it not for the fact that many 
critics really deserving the name of Shakspere students, and not Shak- 
spere fools, have held the Sonnets to be merely dramatic, I could not 
have conceived that poems so intensely and evidently autobiographic and 
self-revealing poems so one with the spirit and inner meaning of Shak- 
spere's growth and life could ever have been conceived to be other than 
what they are, the records of his own loves and fears." 

Assuming that they contain a record of his own story, he finds in 
them these facts which follow : 

1. He was passionately attached to a beautiful youth, whose Christian 
name, Mr. Furnivall says, was " Will " (inferring the fact from what 
seems to me the misinterpretation of a pun, in a sonnet distinguished by 
the absence of every quality characteristic of Shakspeare), and his sur- 
name unknown. 

2. He was anxious that this youth should marry, in order that his 
beauty might not die with him. 

3. Having on some occasion to leave London, he was parted from 
him for a while. 

4. While he was away his friend committed some " sensual fault," 
for which he blamed, but forgave him. 

5. He himself committed a fault, the nature of which does not 
appear, further than that it was one that would " separate " them. 

6. He had a " swarthy mistress," whom his friend " took away " 
from him. 

7. His friend being called away somewhither, they were parted a 
second time ; and he now grew jealous, on account of supposed rivals. 

8. He grew tired of the world, because his friend " had mixed with 
bad company." Yet he excused him. 

9. Finding his most formidable rival to be a poet, he prepared to 
take a final leave of his friend. 

10. He was troubled because his friend became "vicious." 

11. A third period of absence followed, during which they " com- 



* " Indeed, I did not come with any theory to Shakspere. I did look to find 
Shakspere in his works, but had no idea what kind of man I should find there. I 
honestly asked the plays what Shakspere was, and honestly set down their answer as 
I heard it." F. J. F. [I hope I have said nothing which implies any doubt on this 
point. But did Mr. Furnivall ask the question and hear the answer, concerning 
Shakspeare's state of mind during the Third Period (cstat. 40-45), before he read the 
Sonnets ?] 



WHY DID SHAKSPEAEE WHITE TEAGEDIES? 167 

mitted faults on both sides," and separated; but upon the friend's 
motion made it up again. 

12. During the last term of separation, he had been so much 
" shaken" by his friend's " unkindness," that he told him "he had 
passed a hell of time." 

13. This friendship, with these vicissitudes, had now lasted three 
years, and the renewal of love which took place at the beginning of the 
fourth was expected to make it firmer than ever, and is supposed by 
Mr. Furnivall to have held good for a long time his reason being that 
some of the Sonnets are so difficult to construe that they cannot have 
been composed before the Third Period. But all we know about it is 
that the first group concludes, soon after the reconciliation, with Shak- 
speare " excusing himself for giving away his friend's present of some 
tables," " again describing his love for him," and " warning him that he 
too must grow old." * 

This first group, which has a kind of continuity and coherency that 
gives it the appearance of being meant for one poem, closes with the 
126th Sonnet. The remaining twenty-seven have neither coherency nor 
consistency, nor (with two or three exceptions) anything which I should 
take for real passion. For anything I can see, they may be a miscel- 
laneous collection, picked up anywhere, put together anyhow, suggested 
by different occasions, addressed to different persons, the work of diffe- 
rent hands. Mr. Furnivall, however, accepts them as a second group, 
addressed by Shakspeare to his " swarthy mistress," and containing a 
faithful record of his relation to her : a very strange one for any man to 
celebrate in a series of sonnets, whether for his own pleasure or hers, 
even if they were meant to go no further stranger still, if meant for 
posterity; for they merely describe a passion discreditable to both 
parties a passion, felt to be senseless and sinful, for an object known 
and proclaimed to be unworthy a passion which his own Thersites 
would have had great pleasure in describing truly. But one or two of 
them seem to carry an allusion to an incident shadowed forth in the 
first group, that of his friend having been a favoured rival ; and as the 
word " hell " occurs in them more than once, the great biographical fact 
that Shakspeare had " felt hell," and thereby qualified himself to write 
Othello, Macbeth, Lear, Coriolanus, and Timon, is considered to be esta- 
blished. " I always ask," says Mr. Furnivall, " that the sonnets should 
be read between the Second and Third Periods ; for the ' hell of time ' 
of which they speak is the best preparation for the temper of that Third 
Period, and enables us to understand it. The fierce and stern decree of 
that period seems to me to be, ' There shall be vengeance, death, for 
misjudgment, failure in duty, self-indulgence, sin,' and the innocent who 
belong to the guilty shall suffer with them : Portia, Ophelia, Desdemona, 
Cordelia, lie beside Brutus, Hamlet, Othello, Lear." f 

* I quote from Mr. Furnivall's own analysis of the contents of the Sonnets con- 
sidered as records of facts in Shakspeare's personal history. f P. Ixvii. 



168 WHY DID SHAKSPEARE WHITE TRAGEDIES? 

Now if the temper of the Third Period has to be explained by the 
personal experiences spoken of in the Sonnets, we must suppose that it 
depended upon, and therefore could not have existed before, those ex- 
periences ; and, as Mr. Furnivall asks us to read the Sonnets after the 
Second Period, it seems to follow that, according to his view, none of the 
effects which he attributes to that temper should be found in the plays 
which were produced before the Third. How, then, are we to explain 
the temper implied in Romeo and Juliet, in King Richard III., and in 
King John 1 He supposes Romeo and Juliet to have been written be- 
tween 1591 and 1593, Richard III. in 1594, King John in 1595. His 
Third Period begins in 1601. If, then, the experience acquired and the 
temper generated during the period of his friend's " unkindness " (which 
by Mr. Furnivali's reckoning cannot be dated before 1595) the period 
when he " felt hell " was a pre-requisite for the composition of tragedies 
in which vengeance and death, indiscriminately inflicted on the guilty 
and the innocent, was represented as the inevitable consequence of 
human error and crime, Shakspeare "the man" must have had it 
before he wrote those three plays ; for it will not be disputed that 
vengeance and death are inflicted indiscriminately enough in all of 
them ; and yet, if so, it must have been compatible with the happier 
and healthier temper to which we owe the " sunny or sweet-time 
comedies"* of the "delightful Second Period," which, according to 
Mr. Furnivall, came in point of time after. He must, therefore, 
have been capable either of having that temper without having had 
that taste of hell, or of having had that taste without continuing in that 
temper ; and either way we escape the necessity of supposing that the 
great creations of his Third Period were the offspring of a soul degraded 
and demoralised " built in the eclipse, and -rigged with curses dark." 

Nor is there any difficulty in accounting for them otherwise. If Mr. 
Furnivall could have been content with his four groups, answering gene- 
rally to the four natural stages of human life, he would have seen that 
that phase in the progressive work of the imagination came in the 
natural order of things. Those early experiments in the delineation of 
tragic passion had made Shakspeare acquainted with the capabilities of 
that department of his art, and also with its difficulties and defects as 
then practised. He found out how to overcome the difficulties and do 
more justice to the capabilities, and looked about for subjects to try it 
on. Fit subjects for tragedy of course involved errors, failures, crimes, 
sins, vengeance, and death ; for if everything had been sweet, and sunny, 
and delightful, the elements of tragedy would have been wanting. He 
found them both in real history and in poetic tradition, and he treated 
them according to their kind. But Mr. Furnivall is not satisfied with 
so commonplace an account of so simple a matter. He must separate 
these natural divisions into subordinate' groups of two or three, by pick- 

* P. vii. 



WHY DID SHAKSPEAKE WEITE TKAGEBIES? 169 

ing out some common peculiarity and referring it to some corresponding 
peculiarity in Shakspeare's own inward or outward life, which he first 
imagines and then offers in confirmation. He supposes him, for instance, 
to have laboured at one time under a sense of inability to do some duty 
that was laid upon him. The " mood " induced by this experience de- 
termined him to choose for his hero Brutus, upon whom was laid " the 
burden of setting right the time," under which he, being " unfit " to bear 
it together with his wife, who " shared the strain of that burden on 
him " " died, self-slaughtered." * 

The same mood continuing, suggested for his next hero Hamlet, upon 
whom also is laid "the burden of setting right the times out of joint ; " 
who also "knows himself unfit" for it, and who, " in bearing it, brings 
death to himself and the woman who loved him her mind giving way 
under the strain ; " and the way in which he " brought death to him- 
self " points the moral of the lesson. Hearing that he has not half an 
hour to live in the course of nature, he "at last does sweep to his 
revenge, and sends his father's murderer to'hell." This " involved the 
doing of his duty ; under the burden of that his unfit nature sank." f 
It was the moral effort, not the poison on the foil, that killed him. 

Requiring still another instance to satisfy the demands of this mood, 
he chose a more ordinary man overpowered by a more ordinary burden. 
Claudio, in Measure for Measure, is condemned to lose his head. His 
" unfit nature" shrinks from the apprehension of death : he proposes a 
shameful surrender; and though he repents immediately, and declares 
himself " so out of love with life that he will sue to be rid of it ; " and 
shortly after receives the warrant for his death with manly composure 
(Act iv. sc. 2), and escapes the inevitable penalty after all, he stands for 
the third and last representative of this infirmity, and winds up the 
trilogy, which is to be called " The unfit-nature or under-burden-failing 
group " ; J the moral of which appears to be, that the best man should 
not attempt to set the time right, unless he is sure to succeed and not 
perish in the attempt ; that a son should not allow himself to be per- 
suaded by his father's ghost that it is his duty to kill his uncle, unless 
he can trust himself to do it without scruple ; and that an ordinary 
man should not commit a capital offence unless his nature is fit to bear 
the burden of the duty of undergoing capital punishment. 

But the liability of human nature to fail under burdens which it is 
not strong enough to bear was not all that Shakspeare learned in that 
unhappy time. He learned also that it was liable to yield to temptation : 
and to this discovery we owe Othello and Macbeth. Othello suffered 
himself to be tempted by lago to think that it was his duty to kill his 
wife. Macbeth suffered himself to be tempted by the witches to believe 
that he was fated to be king. And the " vengeance of death " falls on 

* P. Ixviii. f 

f P. Ixxxr. 



170 WHY DID SHAKSPEARE WRITE TRAGEDIES? 

both. What particular experience enabled Shakspeare to describe those 
forms of temptation we are not informed, no confession of the kind 
being quoted from the Sonnets. But these two plays are to be called 
" The Tempter-yielding group." 

Another discovery of the same period was the prevalence or the pos- 
sibility of ingratitude in human nature, and the violence of the resent- 
ment it provokes in those who suffer from it. By what personal 
experience Shakspeare qualified himself to exhibit these phenomena, 
we are again left to find out or conjecture for ourselves. The worst 
ingratitude which he complains of in the Sonnets is that of his " swarthy 
mistress," in not being more faithful and loving to one who loves her 
so much in spite of her unworthiness and unatti-activeness ; and the 
strongest expression of resentment is contained in the terms of the com- 
plaint. But by some means or other he was oppressed (it seems) about 
this time with a sense of the wickedness of ingratitude and the mischief 
which it caused ; and this induced the mood which manifested itself in 
the composition of two " Ingratitude and Cursing groups " ; the first 
consisting of the single tragedy of King Lear, the second of Coriolanus 
and Timon of Athens ; these two groups being, however, separated from 
each other by Troilus and Cressida and Antony and Cleopatra the 
" Lust and False-Love group" his qualification for which he owed no 
doubt to the swarthy mistress. 

These complete " the terrible Third Period lesson " that " for mis- 
judgment, unreasoning jealousy, crime, death is the penalty; no time 
for repentance is allowed ; the innocent must suffer with the guilty." 
" Look," says Mr. Furnivall, " at Csesar, Brutus, and the noble Portia, 
dead : Hamlet and Ophelia dead too : likewise Othello, Desdemona, 
and Emilia ; Macbeth and his wife, Banquo, Macduff's wife and her little 
ones, Lear, Cordelia, and eyeless Gloster, beside Regan, Goneril, Cornwall, 
Edmund, Hector's gory corpse, Antony self-slain, Cleopatra too, Corio- 
lanus murdered, Timon miserably dead. Think of the temper in which 
Shakspere held the scourge of the avenger in his hand, in which he 
felt the baseness, calumny, and injustice of the world around him, in which 
he saw as it were the heavens as iron above him, and God as a blind and 
furious fate," * &c. " Compare for a minute your memories," &c. ; " and 
then decide for yourselves whether this change in Shakspere was one 
of artist only, or, as I believe, one of man too : and whether many of the 
Sonnets do not help you to explain it with that ' hell of time ' through 
which their writer past : 

For if you were by my unkindness shaken 

As I by yours, you have passed a hell of time." 

To the obvious question whether Mr. Furnivall ever took the trouble 
to count up the deaths, with the manner of them, in any nine tragedies 
by any writer or writers whatever, to mark the proportions of the in- 

* P. Ixxxvii. 



WHY DID SHAKSPEARE WRITE TRAGEDIES? 171 

nocent and the guilty, and then compare that list with this he pre- 
pares us in a note for what he has to say in reply. " / do not admit as 
a sufficient reason that which, of course rises in one's mind that the 
change from Comedy to Tragedy, and then to Romantic Drama, involved 
this change of tone and temper, independent of the author's own moods. 
/ feel that Shakspere's change of subject in his different periods was 
made because it suited his moods the different ways in which on the 
whole, from Period to Period, he looked on the world." When a 
man feels that a thing is so, without being able to give his neigh- 
bour a reason for thinking that it is so, there is no more to be 
said. But in this case I think he must also feel that, though the 
change may have been really due to a change in Shakspeare's own 
temper, induced by his] own personal experiences, yet without any 
such experiences or any such alteration of temper, the same change 
would certainly have occurred, if for any reason it had suited him 
to write tragedies instead of comedies. The notion that the " mood " of 
that dark period compelled him to choose subjects through which he 
could " wield the scourge of the avenger " is the more remarkable when 
we observe that two of the ten Measure for Measure and Troilus and 
Cressida supply occasions for the use of it both numerous and inviting ; 
and yet it is either not applied or misapplied. In Measure for Measure 
there is plenty of " misjudgment, failure in duty, self-indulgence, sin," yet 
it contributes no instance of" vengeance and death " to swell Mr. Furni- 
vall's list. In Troilus and Cressida the scourge passes by Cressida, 
Pandarus, Diomed, and Troilus, and falls on the man who least deserved 
it. It seems, therefore, that in the very depth of the dark period it 
suited Shakspeare's " mood, and the way in which, on the whole, he 
looked on the world," to choose for his subject, on two several occasions, 
a story that was not to end with the death of the principal characters, 
and in which, therefore, " the terrible Third Period lesson " could not be 
taught. To me, the indulgence shown to the guilty in Measure for 
Measure an indulgence worthy of the Fourth Period, when " the God of 
forgiveness and reconciliation has taken the avenger's place," and seeks 
" repentance, not vengeance " (p.lxxxvii) is sufficiently explained by the 
fact that the story which he was dramatising ends with marriages instead 
of deaths; and the imperfect execution of poetical justice in Troilus 
and Cressida by the fact that he had no authority for killing (during the 
time allotted to the action) any of the company except Hector. 

Whether the circumstances hinted in the Sonnets are to be taken for 
incidents in Shakspeare's own life, is a question interesting as regards 
him, but not as regards the matter under discussion ; for I do not find 
that any of them, or all together, help at all to explain how he came by 
the power, the temper, or the insight which are shown in his productions 
of the Third Period. Assume them to be biographical, and consider how 
much they imply. Suppose it true that, for the space of three years at 
least, he was possessed by a passionate friendship for a beautiful youth ; 



172 WHY' DID SHAKSPEAEE WRITE TRAGEDIES? 

that during those years he suffered the usual penalties of such a passion 
jealousies, misunderstandings, unkindnesses, expostulations, quarrels, 
partings, and reconciliations ; that he was often very unhappy in con- 
sequence ; that he had at the same time fallen into another passion of a 
more earthly kind, an irrepressible affection or appetite for a woman 
whom he felt to be neither beautiful, nor good, nor true, nor attractive, 
yet who had some indescribable power over both himself and his friend, and 
that one of their quarrels was about her ; lastly, that from the world at 
large he had met with disgraces, injuries, and disgusts, and having little 
respect for it, found it often very tiresome. Take all this for prosaic 
fact, judicially established by his own confession, and consider how far 
such experiences as these would go to furnish a man whose imagination 
could not travel beyond the range of his own experience (which being, 
according to Mr. Furnivall, the case of all great artists, we must suppose 
to have been eminently thel case of Shakspeare) with insight into the 
souls of Brutus, Hamlet, Claudio, Othello, Macbeth, Lear and his daugh- 
ters, Mark Antony, Cleopatra, Coriolanus, and Timon. For Angelo, 
Troilus, Cressida, and Mark Antony, they might perhaps (if the author 
of Venus and Adonis and the Rape of Lucrece can be supposed to have 
stood in need of instruction to qualify him for the " False Love or Pas- 
sion group ") have furnished hints : but the mysteries of passion in the 
others lie surely far beyond the sphere not only of any experiences indicated 
in the Sonnets, but of any personal experiences that he can be supposed 
to have had anywhere or at any time. To imagine him exhibiting men 
and women under conditions which he had not proved by trial is, ac- 
cording to Mr. Furnivall, to degrade him into the master of a puppet- 
show.* To me, on the contrary, it seems certain that he could not have 
exhibited those conditions as he has done while he was himself subject 
to them ; and that whatever perturbations his spirit may have gone 
through, it had risen above them before he wrote his great tragedies, 
into 

The brightest heaven of invention, 

from which he could look down with pity upon all the disorders of man- 
kind. J. S. 

* See p. cxx. " Some men .... assert .... that he sits apart, serene, un- 
ruffled himself by earthly passion, making his puppets move." 



173 



Snrlptuxe in 1880, 



IT would seem as though comparatively few people had observed that the 
general revival of the arts amongst us has extended to the domain of 
sculpture. In the face of an annual exhibition, gradually but surely 
increasing in merit year by year, we are constantly confronted by the 
dictum that sculpture is dead in England. It is not a new complaint, 
it marks no studied conviction on the part of the public, it is merely 
one of the time-honoured commonplaces of newspaper criticism. It was 
never expressed more loudly than a hundred years ago, when Bacon and 
Nollekens were founding our national sculpture with their robust and 
original work ; it was sounded a generation later in the ears of Flaxman. 
it greeted Alfred Stevens in his solitude, and Foley in the circle of his 
disciples. Whenever English sculpture has breathed strongly after one 
of its periodical trances, whenever it has stretched a limb or fluttered a 
pulse, criticism has hastened to assure it that it is as dead as a door-nail, 
and should permit itself to be borne decently and swiftly to the tomb. 
Thus encouraged, it is not wonderful that it fails to gain strength, or to 
throw off the sluggishness consistent with so complete a hypochondria. 
Since everyone busily informs him that he is dead, the courteous invalid 
can do no less than close his eyes and compose his limbs, and be as 
comatose as possible. Sculpture is not dead in England, let us distinctly 
say ; but whose is the fault if it appear to be so 1 

The fault would seem to lie with three responsible bodies, .each 
charged with the duty of observing and encouraging contemporary art 
the public, the critics, the Royal Academy. Each of these can hardJy 
be acquitted of a determined neglect of the interests of sculpture, and 
each has had a reflex influence in prejudicing the other two. The body 
of which artists complain the most, and which has, in fact, less fault in 
this particular case than any other, is the Royal Academy. The painters 
do not depend wholly upon the annual show at Burlington House ; it is 
but the largest and most important of a variety of exhibitions at which, 
throughout the year, the public is invited to observe their productions. 
Some of the most celebrated painters of our day have never exhibited at 
the Royal Academy, and have successfully summoned their admirers 
around them at other galleries. But the sculptor has no public audience 
except at Burlington House, and the critic who desires to follow the 
progress of sculpture in England has no means of doing so except by a 
careful study, year after year, of the three rooms devoted to that art at 
the Academy, which becomes, in this way, the sole medium between the 



174 ENGLISH SCULPTURE IN 1880. 

public and the sculptor. With all their faults, it cannot be said that 
the Academicians have ever denied the dignity of this particular art. 
They have given it a measure of encouragement in their schools, they 
have admitted its followers to a fair share of the honours of their foun- 
dation, and, above all, whatever resistance has been made to the endow- 
ment of false and meretricious popular work, has been made by the 
Academy. Where a just complaint may be brought against the Council, 
is in the matter of the space allotted to the works in sculpture year by 
year. When the Academy first arrived in Burlington House, so few 
works in this branch of art were exhibited that the three rooms, or 
rather two rooms and a half, were by no means unduly crowded. At 
present, on the contrary, the crush is very great, and most injurious to 
the effect of each individual statue, which, drawn so close as it is to two 
uncongenial neighbours, is apt to lose much of the harmony of its pro- 
portions. The whole principle upon which works of sculpture are now 
arranged at the Academy is injudicious. The long, flat line of busts 
set dose to one another on a ledge half-way up a blank wall, is one of 
the most uncomely features of the whole exhibition, and the arrange- 
ment by which weary visitors are encouraged to sit and rest with their 
backs to the principal statues in the Central Hall, must surely be the 
grim pleasantry of some elderly painter of past times. A few ottomans 
cosily arranged dos-ct-dos with Sir Frederick Leighton's nymphs, and a 
sofa wheeled up against Mr. Poynter's " ^sculapius," would form the 
best possible comment on the present manner of treating sculpture in 
the Academy. Everyone remarks the ease and comfort with which 
sculpture is seen in the garden of the Salon, and may ask why the 
Royal Academy is unable to contrive something more creditable to its 
fine rooms than the present array of " wall-flowers " in marble. 

But if the Royal Academy has failed to do justice to sculpture, con- 
temporary criticism has been still more neglectful. There are not a few 
writers amongst us at the present time who have given to the history 
and practice of painting that exact and sympathetic study which makes 
a critical survey of an exhibition a fine intellectual exercise. It was 
never so little admissible as it now is to treat a collection of paintings by 
a merely personal and accidental standard, approving of the intention of 
this and the subject of that, and making the individuality of the visitor 
the final canon of taste. We have by no means escaped from criticism 
of this helpless kind, but it is much that we possess several accredited 
critics of painting who set their faces against such a treatment of art, 
and who have introduced with prestige a mode more exact and scientific. 
But none of these writers seem to have been drawn to the study of con- 
temporary sculpture, and we meet, in the best reviews, with a most judi- 
cious survey of the painting of the year side by side with a short para- 
graph on sculpture, composed in the old haphazard fashion of twenty 
years ago. We submit that before the critics condemn with contempt 
the whole production of a country, they should give themselves the 



ENGLISH SCULPTURE IN 1880. 175 

trouble to examine with some little care the works exhibited. The con- 
noisseur who shows in one paragraph that he has not mastered the ele- 
mentary principles of the practice of bas-relief, gives occasion to the 
sculptor to blaspheme when, in the next, he is pleasantly reminded of 
Luca della Robbia by the most slovenly work of the year. Sculpture 
is an art the technical character of which is less easily observed than 
that of painting, and the eye of a critic who has a fine natural taste for 
art may very easily be deceived if he trusts to that alone, without 
any practical study. Without doubt, our accomplished art-critics will 
readily acknowledge this, and consent to give to sculpture that special 
attention which would render their criticism equally beneficial to the 
artist and to the public. At present, it must frankly be said that what 
is written in our newspapers about the art is simply void to the one 
and misleading to the other. 

A more general suffusion of critical knowledge would preserve the 
public also from many errors of judgment and selection. Sculpture 
ought to be the most popular of all the arts. It appeals to the eye of 
the spectator even more directly than architecture itself; it does not 
require to be visited, in a gallery, like painting, but it stands before the 
workman as he goes to his daily labour ; its form approaches nearer to 
reality than a picture does, and it has a meaning from every point of 
view, not from one only. Yet so true is it that we need to be taught to 
see the most obvious features of the world around us, that ninety-nine 
people out of a hundred will pass a statue without observation, when a 
picture, being a work of art which they have been taught to understand, 
will catch their attention at once, notwithstanding its far more artificial 
qualities. The very simplicity and monochromatic character of sculp- 
ture, so far from assisting an untaught eye, seem to confound and per- 
plex it. In France, the only modern country where sculpture can really 
be said to flourish, the public is very likely equally indifferent to the 
niceties of the art, but the misfortunes from which we suffer in England 
are prevented by the copious patronage of the State. Every year the 
French Government gives large commissions to the best sculptors, and 
by this means the art is enabled to exist in prosperity without being at 
the mercy of popular taste. But it is not likely, or perhaps desirable, 
that this system should ever largely prevail in England, although the few 
occasions in which the State has patronised sculpture have been singu- 
larly beneficial to the art. Most of our public groups and figures are due 
to private enterprise in combination, and the particular manner in which 
these commissions are worked, is one of the crying evils of the art- life of 
the day. It is perhaps not undesirable to dwell a little on a point which 
has a very practical importance to our whole group of sculptors. When 
a corporation or a company desires to raise a monument to some public 
man, the system now in vogue requires that it should subscribe a certain 
amount of money, and then advertise for sketches to be sent in by any 
sculptoi's who like to compete. No man, however, whose time has any 



176 ENGLISH SCULPTURE IN 1880. 

value, can be expected to give his work for nothing ; and so, to secure 
good studies, a primary selection is made among the competitors, and a 
fee has to be paid to each of these. By this means a tenth of the 
sum collected is wasted before any decision has been reached. At 
last the selected models are placed before a professional committee, 
usually quite unaccustomed to sit in judgment upon works of art, and 
by this committee the final choice is made. Now, everyone familiar 
with the process of art knows that the sketch of a work by a master is 
precisely what an outsider finds it most difficult to comprehend. The 
smooth and conventional model of a mediocre man looks less surprising 
and more effective to an unpractised eye than the rough sketch of a great 
artist. So the professional committee, truly desiring to do the best thing 
for its clients, and unwilling to trust to the advice of any technical 
authority, falls into the trap that mediocrity lays for it, and selects the 
smooth and feeble de&ign. But this danger, upon which six committees 
out of seven strike, is not the only one involved in the system of com- 
petitions now in fashion. One still more serious to the art of the country 
is the unavoidable jealousy that it engenders among artists, and the iso- 
lation in which it forces sculptors to live. No man is able to frequent 
the studio of his contemporaries when he and they are alike at work for 
a competition. His mind and hand must labour in solitude, he must 
forego all the advantage that accrues from the amiable discussion of 
ways and means. His colleagues, instead of welcoming his skilled criti- 
cism and his fresh practised eye, close their studio doors with suspicion 
to a possible rival. As long as such a system is in vogue among us, 
individuals of genius may rise here and there above the throng of work- 
men, but we shall never enjoy the possession of a national school. This 
will appear more clearly when our age has become history ; but we re- 
quire no distant perspective to show us that, ugly as many, of our public 
statues are, none are so deplorable as those that owe their existence to 
competitions ; even as we write these lines, London is being disgraced by 
a competitive statue of Byron which will be laughed at, as long as it 
exists, from one end of Europe to another. 

A great deal of nonsense is talked about the impossibility of pre- 
serving sculpture out of doors in England. The destructive action of 
the atmosphere has been greatly exaggerated, and in the case of works 
in bronze does not, properly speaking, exist at all. Grinling Gibbons' 
statue of James II., in Whitehall Yard, has borne the disintegrating 
stress of rain and fog for two hundred years, and does not seem any the 
worse for it The surface of bronze is, indeed, almost indestructible. 
The rudest navvy might be set to scrape a statue with a brick-end, and 
he would be found to have done it less harm than the accumulations of 
the dirt of years. It is less a matter of complaint that the English 
climate destroys sculpture than that the English public takes no trouble 
to cleanse it. The only public figure which it seems anybody's business to 
scour and keep decent is Foley's beautiful statue of Sidney Herbert in front 



ENGLISH SCULPTUKE IN 1880. 177 

of the "War Office in Pall Mall, one of the best of our monumental figures, 
indeed, but not the only one that is worthy of a washing.* In 1785, 
Peter Pindar, lashing the unfortunate Sir William Chambers, accused 
him of encouraging the election, as Academicians, of such persons 

As can wash best the larger statues' faces, 
And clean the dirty linen of the Graces, 
Scour best the skins of the young marble brats, 
Trap mice, and clear the Academy from rats. 

What was then suggested in jest might really be now carried out in 
earnest. It would be by no means an unworthy extension of the scope 
of the Academy, if it were empowered by the Office of Works to appoint 
one of its members to superintend the periodical cleansing of all public 
monuments, to the great indulgence of sensitive and aesthetic persons. 
The reliefs at the base of the Nelson column would be the first to respond 
to the invitation to let themselves be seen. 

Not only is it a fallacy to suppose that bronze is destructible in our 
climate, marble itself may, with a very little care, be preserved from 
decay in the open air. Two kinds of marble are used in the art, and 
they are distinguished as Statuary and Sicilian. The former is set apart 
for indoor work only, the latter is almost always of a bluish tint, and 
somewhat uneven in colour and density. It is hard, sometimes intensely 
hard, especially the variety known as campanella, from its bell-like 
resonance. These Sicilian marbles are thoroughly appropriate for out- 
door art, and their uneven colour and the faint veins that run through 
the blocks form no disadvantage to a work of large size. These marbles 
are dense enough to carry out Gautier's charge to the artist 

Que ton re ve flottant 

Se scelle 
Dans le bloc resistant, 

and: yield nothing of their delicacy of surface to the ordinary attacks of 
such a climate as ours. In the centre of the City of London there are 
two alto-relievos, with life-sized figures, which were executed in Sicilian 
marble fifteen years ago, and which have been kept as bright, sharp, and 
interesting as they were the day they were put up, by being played upoa 
every now and then by the hose of a fire-engine. It may be added that 
the same durable and beautiful material was employed in the Albert 
Memorial. 

Another great drawback to the progress of popular taste in sculp- 
ture is the curious prejudice in favour of Italian work which came into 
fashion half a century ago, with the successes of Canova, and which has 
survived the final decadence of the Roman school. We are glad to see 

* This spring a bird has successfully built a nest and reared a brood in the 
draperies of Westmacott's statue of Canning, in New Palace Yard, without tiie 
smallest disturbance from the Office of Works. 

TOL. xui. NO. 248. 9. 



178 ENGLISH SCULPTUKE IN 1880. 

that the Royal Academy discourages more and more the exhibition in 
its rooms of those flimsy and meretricious productions which do so much 
to lead away our weaker brethren. The London exhibitions this year 
do not contain a single work done in Italy or after the Italian manner 
which deserves any serious consideration. Design has totally abandoned 
the Italian sculptors, and they depend for their success on their extra- 
ordinary skill in under-cutting and treating the surfaces of marble on 
the one hand, and their vulgar use of genre on the other. We are stimu- 
lated by no insular or provincial jealousy in begging the Italians to keep 
within the confines of their own country, and to prove it we may say, before 
having mentioned the name of one living native sculptor, that we should 
welcome with open arms the exhibition in London of works by such 
Frenchmen as Dubois, Chapu, or Mercie. The serious and learned work 
of the French might indeed put much of our cold and dry sculpture to 
the blush, but the lesson it would teach would be of inestimable value 
to us. But while we speak of the French school of to-day with a 
becoming modesty, we acknowledge no such supremacy in the Italians. 
They make good workmen, but bad artists ; they know how to wield 
the chisel, but they are powerless with the modelling- tool, and above all 
they seem absolutely incapable, at present, as a nation, of that elevation 
of the spirit and intellectual nobility without which sculpture is like a 
musical instrument in the hands of a man who has no ear. It may 
safely be contended that we have at least half-a-dozen sculptors in 
England who can beat the most accomplished Italian in everything 
except the mere bravura of execution. Subjects which an English, and 
still more a French master, would inspire with dignity and grandeur, 
descend in the hands of an Italian to pettiness and prettiness, and the 
soft, over-chiselled statue, when it is finished, has lost all vestige of style 
or character. Yet the public is constantly seduced by the charming 
brilliance of surface and affected elegance of pose, and the trade in 
Italian statuary is a perpetual danger to the vitality of our native 
sculpture. 

It is doubtless owing to the want of style and true charm in the 
common chamber statuary of the Italians, that sculpture has been so 
little invited to take a share in the recent movement in favour of 
beautifying the dwelling-house. This movement arose in the Gothic 
camp, and its founder expressed himself with terrible vigour against the 
unfortunate art of sculpture. Doubtless he had in his mind some smirk- 
ing nymph or effeminate deity of modern Roman work, and he was 
specifically right, though, as we hold, generically wrong. The desire for 
" art in the house " has widely extended, and has come to outgrow all 
specially Gothic bias ; but the claims of the statue, and still more of the 
statuette, have been too much neglected. Nothing gives more refinement 
and style to a large room, somewhat severely furnished, than a few 
beautiful specimens of sculpture. There is now being exhibited at the 
Grosvenor Gallery the model of a statuette some three feet high, a Naiad 



ENGLISH SCULPTUKE IN 1880. 179 

negligently pouring water from a slender urn, which it is impossible to 
see without wishing that one had the opportunity to invite Mr. MacLean, 
its author, to execute it in marble for the centre of a dwelling-room. In 
corners where there now stands a gorgeous Indian vase or Japanese pot, 
space might be found for figures that would be intellectually more worthy 
of attention, and no less, decorative in character. The conventional 
clock on the mantelpiece of a rich room might very advantageously be 
exchanged for one of those vigorous little figures in bronze for which one 
or two of our younger sculptors show a special aptitude, and indeed the 
deep and picturesque colour of fine bronze makes it perhaps more 
thoroughly in harmony with the tones of a modern artistic house than 
marble, which requires considerable brightness of surrounding, and a 
tone not sinking below grissaille, to escape a certain glaring whiteness. 
But those who deny or disregard the value of fine sculpture in a dwelling- 
house, should inspect the drawing-room at Osborne, where the presence 
of at least a dozen statues, arranged in different parts of the room, gives 
an air of dignity and serenity which is wholly pleasurable. 

It will perhaps be observed that we speak of marble and bronze as if 
no other substances existed which found their place in the art of sculp- 
ture. We are not unconscious of the charm which many find in the naive 
and accentuated character of terra-cotta, a substance that seems to lend 
itself to improvisation in the art. Without sharing this fascination, we 
can admit that terra-cotta may legitimately please those who crave for a 
link between the coloured variety of painting and the monochromatic 
simplicity of sculpture. Yet we regard it as a dangerous licence, tending 
rather to rhetoric than to poetiy, and safely to be admitted only in bas- 
relief, which, as the dramatic side of sculpture, demands a form less 
exact than any other, as we admit prose and a lax system of versification 
into dramatic poetry only. It is well to keep this analogy clearly before 
us. We offer no dishonour to the infinitely versatile and brilliant art of 
painting when we assert that it is the prose of art, and that sculpture is 
the poetry. Painting, like prose, is free to treat any theme in nature, in 
literature, in history. It may revive the glories of the past or sketch 
the humdrum features of to-day ; the world is all before it, where to 
choose ; it may adopt any subject, any style ; nothing is too ambitious, 
nothing too trivial for it to treat ; it is equally well employed upon the fall 
of empires or on the shadows of a morning cloud. Sculpture, on the 
other hand, like poetry, is bound by ancient and immovable laws to 
move within a certain range of exact form. These technical restrictions 
tramel only those who are not born to contend with and to overthrow 
them. To the born artist, to the poet or sculptor, they give an intensity 
of inspiration, a severe beauty of style that lifts his best work at once to 
the level of that of the masters of prose or painting. With fewer means 
he arrives at an end no less brilliant than theirs, and is crowned, if 
crowned at all, with a more delicate wreath by the Muses. This hope 
of supreme attainment supports him in contending against difficulties 

92 



180 ENGLISH SCULPTURE IN 1880. 

and restrictions unknown in the more facile art, and he comforts himself 
that if the painter and the proseman strike nineteen times while he is 
motionless, the twentieth, which is his, will more than reverse their 
position. And as, in the art of poetry, no real master of verse rejects 
the power and prestige with which the traditional limits of his art endow 
him, but leaves to experimentalists and rhapsodists the craving to revo- 
lutionise the form of poetry, so the master of sculpture will mainly leave 
to the novice and the charlatan the more prosaic substances which allow 
themselves to be carved and moulded, fearing even in the use of terra- 
cotta to lose something of the serious and tragic force of sculpture. 
Plaster is permitted as the necessary mould and matrix of the tragic 
idea, not regarded at all as a durable or self-sufficient class in sculp- 
ture, but only as the humble form through which the type must pass 
on its way to immortality in bronze or marble. Many a fine work, 
unhappily, never passes beyond the plaster form, but this is a mere acci- 
dent of unpopularity, the stigma of financial ill-success. No sculptor 
regards his plaster figure as anything but the chrysalis out of which the 
Psyche of his art will evolve, and to the eye of an artist of refined per- 
ceptions something of the same unripeness and insufficiency clings to the 
frailty of terra-cotta. 

We have hitherto confined ourselves to the consideration of those 
general principles of style which act upon the sculptor from without, and 
of the assistance or hindrance that he receives from the public. This has 
been necessary^as a preliminary exercise, although not bearing exclusively 
on the art of the present year or of the present decade. It is time, how- 
ever, to turn from the abstract to the concrete, and to survey the actual 
condition of sculpture among us. Setting aside any estimate founded 
upon mere popular success, we hold the condition of the art in England 
in 1880 to afford material less of performance than of promise, and to 
call for hope rather than for self-congratulation. The influence of the 
Albert Memorial has been at work in generating a bolder and more con- 
fident treatment, a juster sense of design, a franker sentiment in composi- 
tion. We look back to the sculpture of twenty years ago with a sense of 
extreme relief. The deadly smoothness of Chantrey, the awkwardness of 
Behnes, the pedantry of Gibson, the whole evil genius of the dark age 
that succeeded the dawn of Flaxman, all seems to have past away, or to 
be traced only in the work of two or three artists who no longer assert 
an influence over public taste. The errors that led astray alike the most 
opposite talents of the last generation have lost their fascination for 
the new race of sculptors, and the signs of revival are clearly to be ob- 
served by any eyes that are open to perceive them. Still, the old dry 
manner, the cold and pedantic mode of misinterpreting the antique, are 
not lost in a day, when they have ruled a people for a quarter of a century. 
We have dated the revival from the unveiling of the Albert Memorial, 
and we believe that the future historian of the English art of the nine- 
teenth century will find for that event a position much more prominent 



ENGLISH SCULPTURE IN 1880. 181 

than was given to it in the criticism of the hour. It was the first great 
protest against the evil system of competition ; it forced the individual 
artists of an age to combine in a great design, and drew them together 
out of their isolation into something more Like a school than England 
had ever previously seen. The architectural genius that presided at the 
birth of the general design is now pretty widely admitted to have been 
an unlucky one, but it lies outside our province to discuss that question 
here. Enough to say that nothing can be conceived more beneficial for 
plastic art in this country than the scheme which invited eight or ten of 
our best sculptors to unite, without rivalry or fear of criticism, in a great 
imaginative work. The years so spent were even more fertile in their 
effect upon the future of art than in the merit of the groups then 
immediately produced, although the value of some of these is intrinsically 
very high. The relievos of Mr. Armstead, in particular, will continue 
to be admired and studied as long as they remain in existence, and mark, 
historically, the artistic coming-of-age of the most accomplished sculptor 
that we now possess. 

In reviewing the art of the year, it is natural to consider what has 
been achieved or attempted in the domain of the Group. The group is 
in sculpture what the epic poem is in poetry, it is the final ambition and 
supreme exercise of the artist. As the world gets older the power of 
commanding this sustained action of mind and hand seems to grow less 
and less, yet even among the ancients it would seem that the number of 
single figures immensely overbalanced the number of groups. By a 
group we understand a collection of two or more human beings, or 
animals to whom we attribute the importance and individuality of men, 
in distinct relation to each other. The mere introduction of an animal 
into a work of art, such as the horse in an equestrian figure, does not 
render it a group, for it is but an accessory to the man, but if the man 
were represented on the ground, struggling with the horse, or in relation 
to it in any centaur -form, we permit to the work the title of a group. 
So Mr. Brock's " A Moment of Peril," in the Royal Academy, is a group, 
because, although it depicts a Red Indian on horseback repelling the 
advances of a great snake, and contains no other human figure, yet the 
serpent is so important in the composition, so menacing and thrilling in 
its independent attitude, that the eye accedes to it the rank of a human 
figure, and acknowledges that it is of equal value with the figure of the 
Indian. It is about fifty years since Barye introduced to the French 
public, with startling originality, his compositions of animals and men in 
juxtaposition ; in some of his grandest works the human element, though 
not the human interest, was entirely absent, and one vast creature met 
another in mortal shock. A very special talent is needed to carry out so 
rough a design without offending against the canon of beauty, and what 
Barye did supremely well, it cannot be said that all his disciples have 
succeeded in doing. The disciples of Foley, of whom Mr. Brock is one 
of the most distinguished, are wanting neither in spirit nor in ambition. 



182 ENGLISH SCULPTUEE IN 1880. 

They attempt to scale the highest peaks of their art with an audacity that 
they are almost alone in possessing, but the best of them seem lacking in 
poetic invention and originality, while the less gifted ones fall on every 
hand into the sin of plagiarism. It would be easy to point to the pre- 
vious works which rise to the spectator's memory, and remove, one by 
one, the pleasure he would else receive from Mr. Brock's spirited and 
well-executed group. It is difficult to believe in the ultimate success, 
in any very large sense, of an artist so little able to see things from his 
own point of view. Another pupil of Foley, Mr. Birch, may attain to 
higher things, because, although his work is awkward where Mr. Brock's 
is accomplished, he has more invention, and assumes a style of his own. 
He has passed from the ideal work, by which he first became known, to 
the realistic study of military subjects, which he treats too farcically, and 
with too little depth of feeling. His soldiers are apt to look like acrobats 
in uniform, yet the public, which has been attracted to his name this 
spring at an unfortunate moment, will hardly suppose that his unlucky 
group of this year, but rather his previous statues, have gained him the 
distinction of A.R.A. When all is said, it is probably to Mr. Birch 
to whom the State would do best to apply, if some feat of British arms 
had to be commemorated in a becoming monument. He would no doubt 
do better rather than worse on such an occasion than has been done in 
past times by Wyatt and Behnes. What talent our sculptors possess in 
the composition of a group is u hardly indicated by their productions in 
the Academy this year. 

It is " in the round," in solitary figures, that the higher forms of 
sculpture now chiefly subsist. The group is too ambitious for constant 
use ; its nature demands more intellectual tension and a stricter selec- 
tion of theme than is generally convenient to the sculptor, and the con- 
fusion of its lines and broken silhouette against the sky are practical 
difficulties that are apt to intimidate him. Among monumental or 
iconic figures of full size, in modern dress, Mr. Boehm's Lord John 
Russell is the example which we select from the work of the year. This 
statue has been much objected to by some of the reviewers; but, we 
think, with injustice. The statesman was not a person of commanding 
height or exquisite feature, and to have attempted to give these qualities 
to his statue would have been absurd. No doubt Chantrey would have 
lifted the head, and given to the face a flattering sweetness of outline ; 
but even he could not have risked positive height or beauty, and the 
result of such idealism would have been neither true nor charming. Mr. 
Boehm gives us the earnestness of attitude, the fire in the eye ; and, 
although this statue will never be his masterpiece, there is nothing 
weak or tame about it, and it sustains his reputation for modern portrait- 
figures. The Hungarian artist has been settled among us so long that 
we may consider him one of ourselves, and enjoy the credit due to his 
learning, energy, and skill. His portrait statue of Mr. Carlyle, a few 
years ago, was a work such as is seldom produced in England, and which 



ENGLISH SCULPTURE IN 1880. 183 

any modern master might have been proud to sign. But though Mr. 
Boehm's talent is genuine, it is narrow. "We do not remember a single 
instance in which this fecund artist has left the domain of portraiture, 
and we should be sorry to see his interesting, but prosaic manner, too 
closely followed by younger men. Imaginative work must always take 
the first place, and the sculpture of a country would scarcely be worth 
writing about if it dealt with nothing but realistic portraits. 

In " ideal " sculpture as work of the imagination has rather unfor- 
tunately grown to be termed the present year has seen the production 
of a statue so remarkable that it gives a fresh pulse to our hopes for the 
future of the art in England. Mr. Hamo Thornycroft's performances 
during the last four or five years have been spirited enough to draw 
general attention to the young sculptor, but not to prepare us for the 
singular excellence of his " Artemis " this year. H has been noticeable 
from the first for his freshness of manner, and for a certain dignity of 
conception rare among English sculptors. His " Lot's Wife," in 1878, 
was admirably invented and executed ; but his work last year gave us 
reason to fear that his might be one of those ephemeral lyric talents that 
evaporate with the first dew of youth. His " Artemis " has nobly proved 
that we were wrong, and that the fountain of his invention is still unex- 
hausted. But he has more than invention, precious a gift as that is ; he 
has the rarer attribute of style. In saying this we do not mean that he 
has mastered all the mysteries of his art : we find traces in his work of 
youth, of inexperience. He has thrown aside the conventional range of 
draperies, and has found the difficulties of original treatment of folds 
greater than he had anticipated. Fired with a just disdain of prettiness 
and sleekness, he has not given to his goddess the full grace of a supple 
and undulating motion. But it must be a very unsympathetic criticism 
that should blame an artist for such faults as these restrictions of which 
he is probably more sensitively conscious than any of his judges. Mr. 
Thornycroft has produced a figure that lifts him to the front rank of 
contemporary sculptors, a figure full of simplicity and dignity, modern 
in sentiment and antique in form, blending the present and the past by 
sympathy rather than by antiquarian study, and answering to the usual 
mock-antique of sculpture as a poem of Andre Chenier, or Keats, answers 
to an ode of Akenside. Mr. Thornycroft is to be congratulated on his 
high sense of stately and virginal beauty in woman. The " Artemis " 
is the best, but not the first example of his remarkable feeling for female 
beauty a gift that should lead him far, and be popularly welcome, in an 
age when a tendency to prefer oddity or picturesqueness to beauty in 
art threatens to become a snare. We look forward with anxiety to Mr. 
Thornycroft's future, because it has been our misfortune, especially in 
the art of painting, to see not a few young men exhibit extraordinary 
power in some one direction, be overwhelmed with recognition by the 
public, and then subside, in the heyday of youth, into inaction, instead 
of pushing on to fresh triumphs and more durable successes. It would 



384 ENGLISH SCULPTUEE IN 1880. 

be an unfortunate thing if the success of his works this year should in 
any way persuade Mr. Thornycroft to rest on his oars. What he has 
done is more than remarkable; biit we believe he has the ability to do 
far better than this, and to take the lead among English sculptors of 
imagination. Such a reputation, however, is not built in a day. For 
the time being, in Mr. G. A. Lawson, whose male figures, illustrative of 
poetic literature, are delicate without ever being effeminate or fatuous, 
he has a possible rival. 

An annual exhibition is hardly the best place to study bas-relief, that 
charming art which does not properly exist except as the ornament of 
architecture. "We ought to judge an entablature or a frieze when it is 
fixed in its place upon the building, the harmony of which it completes 
and emphasises. But the Royal Academy this year gives the critic an 
unusually favourable opportunity of studying, in extreme contrast, the 
two classes into which work of this kind is naturally divided. Histori- 
cally, the Nineveh friezes and the relievo panels of fifteenth century 
Florentine work supply us with the most familiar instances of these 
opposite styles. In one the object of the artist is decorative, in the other 
pictorial ; in one he produces his effects by broad low planes, securing 
large masses of light and pencilled shadows ; in the other his figures 
start from the background with animation, and he aims at gaining the 
most picturesque effect possible by rounded forms, a rich broken surface, 
and deep chasms of shadow. Between these two extremes the lovely 
dramatic art of bas-relief has always oscillated, the latter class having 
been most in vogue since the Italian Renaissance. In the Academy, as 
we have said, we find this year a fine typical example of each. We are 
far from placing Mr. Tinworth on a level with Mr. Armstead ; but his 
" Going to Calvary " is so spirited that we do the more eminent sculptor 
no injustice in comparing or contrasting it with " The Courage of David." 
Mr. Tin worth's frieze of coarse and animated figures, hurrying the 
Saviour to His execution, is conceived in the full spirit of the school of 
Ghiberti. It teems with life and excitement, and sacrifices almost every 
purely sculpturesque quality to secure picturesqueness. The only way 
in which we can imagine it to attain architectural propriety is by sup- 
posing it to be the centre-piece of an entablature indefinitely continued 
round a building. It is the weakness of this class of work to seem frag- 
mentary, and an anecdote rather than a complete narrative. Mr. 
Armstead's decorative marble, notwithstanding its curious archaic air, is 
more truly an independent work, and much more wisely designed for an 
architectural position. It is a work of singular ingenuity and beauty, 
and exhibits those qualities of style which make Mr. Armstead, from a 
technical point of view, distinctly the best of our living English sculp- 
tors. His modelling has a sharpness and a bright, strong touch, that we 
look for in vain elsewhere, and that have never been much cultivated in 
England. Probably few of the thousands who pass up and down White- 
hall every day have ever stopped to look up at Mr. Armstead's reliefs on 



ENGLISH SCULPTURE IN 1880. 185 

the facade of the Colonial Office, or in doing so have reflected how 
exceedingly rare such beautiful work is, not merely with us, but in any 
modern country of Europe. 

A survey of the busts exhibited this year does not leave upon us the 
impression that we have any striking genius for portraiture amongst us. 
There is one head by Mr. Woolner that is very delicately finished, but 
one swallow does not make a summer. Most of the artists whose names 
we have already mentioned contribute one or more busts in which it is 
easy to discover some merit of vigour or grace. But we confess that we 
think that one of Weekes' good portrait heads would have shone out 
among the work of the present year with distinction, and yet Weekes had 
talent rather than genius. The fact is that English sculpture neglects 
the requirements of portraiture, and is in no other department in so great 
need of revival as in this. "We see little effort made to read the inside as 
well as the outside of a head of intellect. It is the duty of the sculptor 
very often to have to model the portraits of persons devoid of beauty, 
charm, or elevation. It is the most tedious part of his business, and he 
has not the opportunity, which the painter enjoys, of adding picturesque- 
ness to the accessories, or richness to the surrounding colour. A first- 
rate sculptor, however, will succeed in adding points of interest, even to 
a poor head, by some delicacy of treatment or brilliancy of execution. 
Mr. Boehm used to know how to do this, but Mr. Boehm seems to have 
grown languid. Towards heads of this class, however, criticism is lenient, 
for the artist is not responsible for the hopeless mediocrity of his sitter. 
We are not so indulgent when the sculptor has a man of real intellectual 
ability to pourtray. We then expect that he should give us, not merely 
the form of the skull, but the kindling of the features, and project upon 
his marble the glow of the great mind with which he has been in contact 
while the work progressed. But this is just what the portrait sculptors 
of our day do not seem able to do. The Royal Academy this year con- 
tains two marble busts of the President of the Royal Society, each to a 
certain degree like the original, yet each wholly valueless as a record of 
his appearance. We cannot help fancying, from the expression of the 
busts, that one of these gentlemen frightened Mr. Spottiswoode, and that 
the other fatigued him consumedly. Neither can have had any sympathy 
with his mind or curiosity to investigate its working. 

It may be noticed that we have succeeded in bringing these remarks 
to a close without any reference to the antique. In our opinion the 
comparison of modern with ancient work in sculpture, especially a,ny 
one single statue with the bulk of Greek statuary, is exceedingly unfair 
and discouraging to the modern artist. The sculptor himself can hardly 
contemplate too lovingly the relics of antique perfection, so long as he 
withholds himself from imitation and plagiarism, but the critic should 
judge his contemporaries by the gentler standard of modem production, 
and need not deny all merit to a Dubois or a Foley because he is not a 
Pheidias. Artists and connoisseurs have grown modest since Horace 



186 ENGLISH SCULPTUKE IN 1880. 

"VValpole thought it necessary to write on one of the Hon. Mrs. Darner's 

statues : 

Non me Praxiteles fecit, at Anna Darner, 

nor is any good sculptor at the present day likely to underrate the im- 
mense chasm that divides his own work from the magnificence of the 
Olympian Hermes or of the Venus of Milos. He knows that even were 
he to rise for once to the level of the Greeks, and carve a figure as strong 
and beautiful as one of the historical masterpieces, his marble would not 
have the harmony of tone, his idea would not have the freshness, his age 
would not have the enthusiasm that would enable him to compete with 
the ancients in prestige. It is better, in specific criticism, to let the 
Greeks alone, and rather inquire whether English sculptors have got 
further in their art, achieved a truer sense of its aims, arrived at loftier 
and juster forms, than Wilton and Nollekens had a century ago. It 
must, moreover, be recollected that it was not every year, even in Greece, 
that a Venus of Milos was produced, and that it is mere ignorance to 
suppose that all the statues annually executed there enjoyed the same 
exquisite perfection. Meanwhile the sculptors should work hopefully on, 
unflagging in their ambition, constantly occupied with those great and 
simple thoughts upon which the masters of their art have always been 
nourished. Sir Joshua Reynolds exactly defined the attitude which a 
sculptor should preserve towards ancient art, when he passed upon Banks 
the fine eulogy that " his mind was ever dwelling upon subjects worthy 
of an ancient Greek." Modern artists lose not a little by the unfortunate 
indifference they show to literature. To sculptors, above all others, the 
cultivation of an imaginative temperament, and the study of the best 
poetry is essential ; without this they can scarcely fail to yield to trite 
inspirations and to the fatal fascination of genre. 



is; 



limtete* 



FEW persons, perhaps, have ever considered that the minuet, notwith- 
standing its solemn triviality and dignified affectation, was really in its 
essence and origin a reaction of decorum and dignity against the licen- 
tious dances in vogue amidst the highest society during the first half 
of the seventeenth century. It is sufficient to read any French memoirs 
of this period to perceive how scandalous both from the point of view 
of good morals and good taste were the ballets and dances performed 
at the Court of the Tuileries by princes and princesses of the blood, in 
company with hired opera-dancers, male and female. For this species 
of exhibition the minuet was undoubtedly an excellent substitute. And 
although considered simply in itself the minuet, with its elegant atti- 
tudinising and pompous affectation, has a ridiculous side to it, yet we 
must remember that at its beginning it was welcomed as being far 
more modest and decent than the dances then in fashion. The minuet, 
in fact, raised a distinct line of demarcation between stage dancing and 
society dancing ; and this was for many reasons a gain to morality. 

But it was during the eighteenth century that the minuet reached 
the height of its popularity. In France and Italy it became an absolute 
passion ; and many English readers will be surprised to hear of ecclesi- 
astical dignitaries, princes of the Church, dancing minuets in the Eternal 
City ! Yet such was undoubtedly the case. Abbes, who swarmed in 
Rome, and held as it were only a brevet rank in the ecclesiastical army, 
used to dance minuets with the powdered and patched dames of the 
period. Eminent cardinals did not quite go that length, but went 
through the dignified evolutions of the minuet with each other ! There 
exists a very curious production, never printed, although pretty widely 
circulated, of which a MS. copy now lies before me. It is a drama, with 
music and dancing, entitled II Conclave deU 1774; the scene is the 
Vatican Palace; the interlocutors, their eminences the cardinals; and 
the argument, the intrigues and incidents of the conclave which met in 
October 1774 to elect a successor to Pope Clement XIV. ! The drama 
was represented during the carnival of 1775, at a private theatre. That 
such a production should be written and circulated not to say prepared 
is the most curious and striking commentary on the state of feeling as 
to ecclesiastical matters in Rome at that period. When one considers 
what is the orthodox theory of a papal conclave, and what divine influ- 
ences are (officially) supposed to prevail in it, this crudely realistic pic- 
ture is indeed amazing. And not less noteworthy is the progress which 



188 MINUETS. 

has been made during the last century in earnestness about earnest 
things. The most uncompromising enemies of the Church would admit 
that the conclave which elected Pope Leo XIII. was composed of men 
penetrated with the conviction of the grave importance of their task ; 
whilst her most devoted adherents could scarcely pretend so much for 
the conclave which elected Braschi to the chair of St. Peter, under the 
title of Pius VI. 

But to return to our minuets : in the above-mentioned drama 
(Scene v. Act I.) occurs the following dialogue between Cardinals 
D'Elci and Calino : 

Card. D'Elci. dirci che per passar il tedio 

A giuocar ci mettessimo il Tresette.* 
Card. Calino. No ; e meglio che balliamo un minuette. 

Cos! si fa del moto, 

Cosi 1'ipocondria si scaccia. 
Card. D'Elci. Prenee mio, vuoi cosi, cosi si faccia. 

Ecco Corsini ! Egli potra sonando 

Guidare il ballo nostro ; 

II ballo non fe' mai vergogna all' ostro. 

Of which the following is a translation : 

Card. D'Elci. I would suggest we set ourselves to play 

Tresette, as a refuge from ennui. 
Card. Calino. Nay ; it were best to dance a minuet. 

Thus we get exercise, and chase away 

Black hypochondria. 
Card. D'Elci. 'Tis well, my prince ; 

Since thus you wish, so be it ! Lo, Corsini ! 

He will accompany our rhythmic steps 

With music. Never has the dance disgraced 

The purple ! 

In order to realise to our imagination the abyss which separates our 
sentiments and manners on such subjects from the sentiments and man- 
ners of a hundred years ago, let us picture to ourselves an author (and 
that author an abbe !) representing their Eminences Cardinals Manning 
and Hohenlohe going through a figure of the Lancers to the lively 
fiddling of Cardinal Nina ! But, at any rate, the above passage will 
serve to prove the universal passion for the minuet which prevailed 
during the eighteenth century. 

The learned are divided as to the origin of the minuet, and the 
derivation of the word. An Italian writer says that the name assuredly 
came from France, whatever might be the . origin of the dance ; and 
derives it from menu small, minute which epithet was applied to it 
on account of its small neat steps. Sebastian Brossard gives Poitou as 
its native country. Others, again, declare that it was a rustic dance in 
vogue amongst the peasants of Anjou, and from thence introduced at the 

* A game of cards very fashionable at the period. 



MINUETS. 189 

French court by the celebrated musician Lully ; and that Louis XIV. 
became extravagantly fond of it, and brought it into fashion by dancing 
it at Versailles in 1660. But the period of its greatest glory and influ- 
ence Avas, as has been said, the eighteenth century. The names of many 
of its chief professors and performers have been preserved for the grati- 
fication of the curious. In Italy a certain Monsieur Dufort was one of 
the most celebrated teachers of the minuet ; and Monsieur Liepig 
received incredible ovations for his performance of that dance at the 
theatre of San Carlo, in Naples, during the carnival of 1773. Several 
female dancers made large fortunes by the minuet. There was Made- 
moiselle Coupe, with an income of twenty-five thousand francs a year ; 
Mademoiselle Vestris, the most graceful and languishing of all minuet- 
dancers, also very rich ; Mademoiselle Allard, the ruin of many princely 
fortunes; and, finally, Mademoiselle Guimard, celebrated for her 
caprices and her sumptuousness. The name of minuet was applied in 
the eighteenth century to a certain species of air, in three-four time, 
which was sung in the opera ; and still signifies a melody with a special 
rhythm and movement familiar to all musicians. One Gennaro Magri, 
who wrote just about a century ago, styles himself " Maitre de ballet of 
the royal diversions of his Sicilian Majesty, and of the Royal Military 
Academy." And he assures us that of all dances the minuet was the 
most noble, and ought to be learned by all, even by the military (!). 
From Magri's official title of " Dancing Master to the Royal Military 
Academy," it would seem as though his Sicilian Majesty had not 
neglected this part of his army's education. The same writer discourses 
of his art with an amount of fervour and a minute attention to details 
which betray his undoubting belief in its importance. The rules about 
the minuet alone would fill a volume. But we may lay before the 
reader Magri's five indispensable requisites for making a good figure in 
the minuet. These are namely : " A languishing eye, a smiling mouth, 
an imposing carriage, innocent hands, and ambitious feet." 

Towards the middle of the last century, there died in Paris a dancing 
master, named Marcello, who may be called the genius of the minuet. 
His lessons were extremely dear, and eagerly sought after. He treated 
his subject with vast profundity and solemnity, and his pupils with 
autocratic arrogance. There was a whimsical contrast between the 
pompous elegance of his outward bearing and the extremely rough and 
blunt utterances to which he treated his noble scholars. He would 
make a lady a bow, expressive of high-bred courtesy, and call out the 
next moment, " Duchess, you waddle like a goose ! Stand upright, do ! 
You have the air of a servant-maid ! " or, " Prince, what are you about 1 
You look like a street-porter ! " But nobody resented these speeches, 
for Marcello was privileged to say what he chose. In his later years he 
relinquished teaching the minuet, and devoted himself to what he called 
" the most sublime part of his art," namely, la reverence. He taught 
two hundred and thirty-six different species of bow and curtsey for the 



190 MINUETS. 

two sexes, each of which expressed the condition, and frequently the 
mood, of the person who made it. There was the court bow, the city 
bow, the bow of a gentleman to his equal, the minister's bow, the 
curtsey of a young lady in church, on the presentation of her fiancee, 
<kc. Curtseys on presentation at court were taught at twenty-five 
Louis d'ors the course ! During the lesson Marcello represented the 
king, and took care to comport himself with all the overwhelming 
majesty belonging to the part, with a view to strengthen the nerves of 
his pupils for an interview with the Grand Monarque in person. It 
may be safely assumed, however, that magnificent as was Louis XIV., 
he was not so magnificent as Marcello. 

Dufort, in his essay On Noble Dancing (published at Naples 1728), 
consecrates one entire chapter to the minuet ; describing its whole cere 
monial with scientific minuteness. But here is a somewhat less verbose 
description, taken from a work published during the most acute period 
of the passion for this dance : 

" The cavalier takes his lady by the hand, and makes two steps 
forward with her, both keeping on the same line ; after which he causes 
her to describe a circle around him, which brings her back to the same 
spot whence she started. They then cross each other during four or five 
minutes, looking at each other as they pass, and ending with a profound 
genuflexion ; the whole gravely, and without laughing, since the minuet 
in Europe is the most serious diversion known in society." 

The words "in Europe" are rather mysterious, and make one 
wonder what the author conceived about minuets in Asia and Africa. 
As to America, it was quite out of the question as a scene for courtly 
dancing in those days. 

The author of an amusing and erudite monograph on the minuet, 
Count Alessandro Moroni, to whom I am indebted for several of the 
foregoing anecdotes, observes that the music of the minuet obtained its 
best effects from the long-drawn cadences and pauses, which were then a 
great novelty. Formerly the precise contrary had been the case. Not 
only had music been a torrent of notes, but dancing had become a mere 
twinkling of legs ! and the tours deforce of agility in song had introduced 
the same taste into the dance. It was reserved for the phlegmatic minuet to 
put an end to this whirlwind of vocal and terpsichorean difficulties, and 
to restore calm to the legs, and peace to the throats, of the performers. 
Thanks to this new fashion, dancers were dispensed from running after 
the notes, and imitating the trills of the voice with the tips of their toes. 
And thus, too, foreigners were no longer able to declare of the Italians, 
" qu'ils gambaderent comme leur chant" that they capered with their 
legs as with their voice ! This criticism appears in a work called 
Remarques sur la Musique et la Danse, published at Venice in 1773. 

In our own country, however, although the majority of dances were 
brisk and lively as the tunes to which they were performed still attest, 
there existed a precursor of the minuet. In 1581 the dances in vogue 



MINUETS. 191 

were measures, galliards, jigs, brawls, rounds, and hornpipes. " The 
measure," says Mr. Chappell, in his Popular Music of the Olden Time, 
" was a grave and solemn dance, with slow and measured steps like the 
minuet. To tread a measure was the usual term, like to walk a minuet." 
Sir John Davies says 

Yet all the feet whereon these measures go, 
Are only spondees solemn, grave, and slow. 

The melody of the minuet is in three-four time, and consists of two 
members of eight bars each. To give more life and colour to the music 
a second part was added and alternated with the first. This second 
movement bore the name of trio, because it was written for three parts 
(technically voices) only; whilst the principal movement was executed 
by the full orchestra. The conductor was careful above everything to 
emphasize the divisions of the melody into groups of four bars each, and 
to pay careful attention to the pauses which occurred at regular intervals. 
" These pauses," observes the Comte Moroni, " allowed the ear to perceive 
the sonorous wave of the last chords die and fade slowly into air, which 
gave the dance a sort of languor and affected softness, peculiarly 
belonging to the fashion of those times. The pause was the signal for a 
profound reverence on the part of the dancers. When all is said, the 
minuet was a poor and stupid dance, but an important pantomimic 
action." 

A vast number of memoirs are extant which give minute descriptions 
of great balls and celebrated minuets at the French Court during the 
whole of the eighteenth, and even part of the seventeenth century. 
These are for the most part not difficult of access to the readers of 
French literature, and have been copiously cited in many works on the 
social history and manners of those times. But very few persons are 
acquainted with an extremely curious description of a celebrated masked 
ball given in Rome on November 24, 1751, at the Palazzo Farnese. 
The description appeared in a flying sheet (foglio volante) which has 
now become very rare, and bears the following title : 

Descrizione distinta delle feste celebrate in Roma da S. E. il signor 
Duca di Nivernois, ambasciatore di S. M. il Re cristianissimo presso la 
S. di A". S. Papa Benedetto XIV. nelli giorni 22, 23, 24 del mese di 
Novembre 1751 per la nascita del serenissimo Real Duca di Borgogna, 
fedelmente descritta da Giovanni Reffino. Roma 1752, per il Salomoni. 
(A detailed description of the festival celebrated in Rome by his 
Excellency the Lord Duke of Nivernois, Ambassador of his Majesty the 
Most Christian King at the Court of the Holiness of our Lord Pope 
Benedict XIV., the 22, 23, and 24 of the month of November, 1751, for 
the birth of the most serene royal Duke of Burgundy, faithfully described 
(sic) by Giovanni Reffino.) 

This most serene royal Duke of Burgundy was the elder brother of 
Louis XVI., and died in his childhood at little more than nine years old. 
The flying sheet of Reffino is now so extremely rare that Moroni, who 



192 MINUETS. 

quotes it, says it may be considered practically new to the world of 
readers, and adds that he is not acquainted with a single writer who 
names it. 

Reffino's detailed account gives us a vivid idea of the grandiose spec- 
tacle afforded by the stately minuet executed in the splendid saloons of 
the Homan aristocracy. And supremely splendid are the saloons of the 
Palazzo Farnese, now as then the seat of the French Ambassador ; but 
of an ambassador accredited to a monarch undreamt of in the philosophy 
of the eighteenth century namely, to the King of United Italy. Its noble 
apartments are admirable for vastness, proportion, and the masterpieces 
of painting with which they have been adorned by Annibale Carracci, 
Guido, Domenichino, Daniele da Volterra, and others. In this magnifi- 
cent theatre the brilliant figures of the Due de Nivernois' ball must 
have appeared to surprising advantage. The entertainment was remark- 
able from several circumstances. Firstly, from the lavish magnificence of 
the decorations ; secondly, because it was renewed and continued during 
three successive evenings, in order to allow the bourgeoisie, as well as the 
nobles, to enjoy it; and thirdly, because it was honoured by the presence 
of the Pope and his court ! This latter circumstance is probably unique. 
It must not be supposed that Benedict XIV. and his reverend car- 
dinals and monsignori absolutely assisted at the ball ; but so great was 
the fame of its splendours that his Holiness's curiosity was excited, and 
he repaired to Palazzo Farnese on the morning after the last ball, to see 
the decorations, &c. Not long after the last maskers had left the palace 
where they had danced until daylight, the ambassador caused the shutters 
to be reclosed, the lights renewed, the musicians recalled to their posts, 
in honour of the new and unexpected guests. But we will let RefE.no 
speak for himself: 

So magnificent, an entertainment merited the observation even of the Supreme 
Pontiff, and on Thursday, the twenty-fifth day of November, his Holiness deigned to 
go and see it. His Eminence Cardinal Valenti, and the Ambassador in Court dress r 
received his Holiness and attended him to the great saloon, which was illuminated, and 
where there were the musicians ; and to the apartment where there was erected a 
throne for his Blessedness, who repaired thither with all the Camera Segreta (domestic 
prelates, chamberlains, &c.). Sumptuous refreshments were distributed to the noble 
household, and to the military officers, and there were various tobies with collations 
for the lower members of the household, and the Swiss guard and cuirassiers. 

But the best part of the spectacle could not be repeated. The fes- 
tival, with its dancers in gorgeous costumes distributed in five great and 
splendid ball-rooms, was past and gone, and the Roman Pontiff and his court 
could only reconstruct it in imagination. It has, however, been faithfully 
recorded for us by the eye-witness Reffino, whose hyperboles and incorrect 
diction may be easily pardoned, considering that we owe to him a careful 
description of the dresses of the nobler gentlewomen who graced the 
entertainment. "To see those fair dames perform the minuet in all 
their braveiy must have been enough to melt the icy heart of an ancho- 



MINUETS. 193 

i-ite." So at least says Count Alessandro Moroni ! Here is another 
quotation from Reffino : 

In order to receive without disorder the infinite number of maskers who filled 
that vast apartment with its five ball-rooms, the Palazzo Farnese was provided with a 
guard of soldiers. At three o'clock * was opened the great saloon destined for the 
nobility, who appeared in truly superb pomp. The princesses and all the ladies 
were dressed in habits of singular richness adorned with copious jewels, and distin- 
guished by a great variety of masquerade costumes. Foremost for majesty of appear- 
ance was her Excellency the Ambassadress of Venice, in a charming costume after the 
German fashion, and perfectly supporting the graceful character of a Tyrolese 
peasantxwoman. She wore a superb petticoat of white satin, with bouquets of natural 
flowers ; a tighly-fitting bodice, with chemisette and sleeves of the finest muslin dotted 
over with symmetrical groups of embroidered flowers ; on her head a black Tyrolese 
cnp enriched with various and tastefully divided groups of jewels ; to all which pleas- 
ing and rich adornment new charms were added by the deportment of her Excellency, 
who attracted the respectful admiration of all present. Then came the Princess di 
Viano in a most charming dress of rose-colour with festoons of the rarest Flanders lace, 
On the left side of her bosom she had a group of diamonds, emeralds, and rubies in 
an ingenious design, and a large pear-shaped pearl surrounded by smaller ones. Her 
hair was adorned with similar precious stones, which formed a head-dress very suit- 
able to the noble bearing of her Excellency. The Duchess Salviati appeared glittering 
in a rich hussar costume, with a brocade petticoat. The ground of the brocade was of 
purple damask worked with silver branches and flowers in natural colours. She wore 
a hussar jacket hanging loose from one shoulder, of sky-blue velvet, and a hussar cap 
to match, both trimmed with rare furs of Muscovy. She wore a golden-hilted 
sabre, and a diamond sword-knot ; and strings of large pearls round her throat and 
mixed with the tassel of her cap. And the effect of this brilliant costume was 
enhanced by the spirltuel affability of her Excellency. The Marchesa Virginia 
Patrizi was very distinguished in a dragoon costume of jonquil-coloured satin entirely 
trimmed with silver lace ; a baldrick studded with gems across her shoulders, support- 
ing an elegant dagger, and a head-dress similarly adorned. Next appeared the Mar- 
chesa Sacripanti, superbly attired in white and gold brocade with natural-coloured 
flowers ; a bodice of the same, from the back of which fell long folds of crimson 
velvet, with sleeves to match ; and a small black velvet hat adorned with jewels to 
match her necklace. The Marchesa Costaguti was also in white and gold brocade, 
with a Turkish turban of cloth of silver fastened by a half-moon in diamonds, The 
Contessa Carpegua wore a white train with a petticoat delicately painted with various 
rural landscapes, and very fine jewels on her breast and in her hair. The guards on 
duty very properly presented arms on the appearance of the goddess Minerva (!). This 
was the young bride, Marchesa Gaucci, with breastplate and helmet wreathed with 
laurel, and enriched with groups of jewels and rows of pearls. She had her hair 
dressed in short curls like a man's, and wore a baldrick set with superb jewels. Her 
petticoat was white, sprinkled with spots of gold and blue embroidery, and the 
sleeves a la gucrriere, were also blue ; so that (sic) she received well-merited 
applause. Very charming and attractive was the Marchesa Gabrielli in a tight-fitting 
gown of rose-coloured satin, trimmed with Flanders lace and long wreaths of silver 
vine-leaves. On her head she wore a bandeau of brilliants, terminating at the 

* At the date at which Eeffino writes, the hours were universally reckoned in 
Italy from sunset to sunset, which latter was the venti-guattro, or twenty-four 
o'clock. Thus three o'clock in Rome at the end of November would be between seven 
and eight in the evening according to our manner of reckoning, which is now ako 
.generally adopted in Italy. 

VOL. XLII. NO. 248. 10. 



194 MINUETS. 

sides in little rosettes, extremely well suited to the dignified vivacity of this kdy. 
The Marchesa del Bufalo was much admired in a white satin gown with little groups 
of Cupids painted on it, and edged with gold embroidery and flowers painted in 
natural colours. The bodice was of cloth of gold, and she wore a mass of superb 
diamonds on her bosom and in her hair. Then arrived the Princess Ruspoli in a 
majestic costume a V Imperial, consisting of a petticoat and train of rose-coloured 
velvet trimmed with great festoons of the richest gold lace, and a head-dress and neck- 
lace of large pearls, which caused this Princess to be highly admired. General sur- 
prise was caused amongst the noble company by the apparition of the rising sun, 
represented in a lively manner by the Lady Mobilia Falconieri. On the right side of 
her bodice, which was entirely covered with diamonds, appeared a rising sun, whose 
golden rays illuminated the hemisphere which was designed upon the skirt of tl.e 
gown, together with the signs of the zodiac. There was also the moon embroidered 
in silver, to signify that she had paled in the light of the greater luminary, which 
shone upon various terrestrial scenes skilfully painted round the edge of the skirt. 
And to show that the sun left darkness behind him, the night was excellently symbo- 
lised by a hanging drapery of black, studded with silver stars, which fell negligently 
from the shoulder. Golden sun-rays mixed with precious stones formed the head- 
dress, and there were similar ornaments at the throat and breast. But the greatest 
splendour of this rising sun was derived from the majestic bearing of the noble lady 
who wore it. 

It is not necessary to follow the worthy Reffino further into the 
minutiae of this singular entertainment. It is certain that the fame of it 
passed the Alps; and probably, as Count Moroni observes, did not 
wholly fade away as long as one survivor remained of those who had 
witnessed its splendours. 

One very marked peculiarity of Roman society in the eighteenth 
century was the great number of abbes who frequented it. It must not 
be supposed that the majority of these abati and abatini had any real 
ecclesiastical rank or function. The learned Cistercian monks in the 
work entitled Antichita Longobardico-Milanesi, published at Milan in 
1793, deplore the abuse of this title, which, they say, has become a mere 
fashion, imported from France, and unfortunately spread throughout 
Italy. The fact is that as in a military state every man finds it useful 
to don a uniform, so in the states of the church the little silk mantle of 
the abbe was jvistly considered as a desirable badge of some connection, 
however remote, with the great ecclesiastical army. Up to comparatively 
recent times there were to be met with, in old-fashioned Roman houses, 
specimens of the genuine abate ; familiar faces at christenings, weddings, 
birthdays, at other festive occasions ; indispensable purveyors of social 
gossip ; excellent partners at the whist- table ; harmless flatterers ; dis- 
creet confidants ; formidable trenchermen at a feast ; and critics of 
cookery from whose experienced judgment there was no appeal ! Now-a- 
days the race is well-nigh extinct. There are abbes still, but they wear 
their cue with a difference. In the eighteenth century one of the 
clievaux de bataitte of the abbe was the minuet. Strange as it may 
seem to our views, the characteristic silk mantelet of the able fluttered 
through that stately and languishing dance, in the most aristocratic 



MINUETS. 195 

ball-rooms. A ballet-master named Rota, very celebrated in his day, 
composed a ballet of which one of the most effective scenes was a minuet 
danced by Abatini and Contessine gentlemen with the smartest and 
neatest of black silk stockings and buckled shoes, and ladies powdered, 
patched, and hooped in the height of the fashion. 

The great storm of the French Revolution swept away these slight 
creatures with its first breath. An active imagination might picture to 
itself a whole cloud of loupes chignons & la Du Barry, high-heeled shoes, 
pig-tails, and diamond snuff-boxes, fluttering forlornly across Europe like 
leaves before the wind. With these accessories the minuet, too, dis- 
appeared. It belongs to the history of the past. Count Moroni says 
that " the eighteenth century was truly pourtrayed in the minuet, which 
was, so to speak, the expression of that Olympic calm and that universal 
languor which were reflected in everything, even in social pleasures." 

But it must be admitted that the portrait, however true so far as it 
went, was a very partial one; and the frivolous, pompous, graceful 
minuet was no complete epitome of that marvellous century which 
expired amidst the convulsions of the great French Revolution. 



102 



196 




Skluuss. 



TOWARDS the beginning of the sixteenth century a terrible malady made 
its first appearance within our island, causing the greatest danger to life 
wherever its pestilential breath infected the multitude. The origin of 
the evil was supposed to be wrapped in mystery ; the disease was looked 
upon as one of those visitations which have so often been attributed to 
an offended Providence instead of to the true causes of their existence 
the ignorance and negligence of a people as to the first principles of sani- 
tary science. Illumined by the light of modern teaching, we can enter- 
tain but little doubt that the dreaded sweating sickness the Sudor 
Anglicus which created such havoc throughout England in the reigns of 
Henry VIII. and his son, was entirely due to the almost Eastern condi- 
tion of things then apparent in our system of drainage and ventilation. 
The houses, even of the great, harboured filth and dirt which were 
allowed to remain unremoved, and thus to exhale their noxious gases 
in fatal freedom. The narrow streets were the receptacles for all 
garbage, whilst open sewers on either side slowly rolled their contents 
towards a polluted river. Pure water for drinking purposes was scarcely 
to be had ; the brewers monopolised the springs for their trade, whilst 
the conduits, which even a century before the accession of bluff King 
Hal had been insufficient for the wants of the people, now simply 
mocked the requirements of the town. Meat was cheap, and the English 
were notorious for their robust appetites. It is not, therefore, sur- 
prising that men, breathing in their own homes and out of doors a fetid 
atmosphere, with their blood heated by heavy consumptions of animal 
food, should fall easy victims to a pestilence which their own offensive 
habits had helped to engender and encourage. The subject did not 
escape the notice of one of the keenest observers of his day. 

I am frequently astonished and grieved (writes Erasmus to Wolsey's physician) 
to think how it is that England has been now for so many years troubled by a con- 
tinual pestilence, especially by a deadly sweat, which appears in a great measure to bo 
peculiar to your country. I have read how a city was once delivered from a plague 
by a change in the houses, made at the suggestion of a philosopher. I am inclined 
to think that this also must be the deliverance for England. First of all, Englishmen 
sever consider the aspect of their doors or windows ; next, their chambers are built in 
such a way as to admit of no ventilation. Then a great part of the walls of the house 
is occupied with glass casements, which admit light but exclude the air, and yet they 
let in the draught through holes and corners, which is often pestilential and stagnates 
there. The floors are in general laid with white clay, and are covered with rushes, 
occasionally removed, but so imperfectly that the bottom layer is left undisturbed, 
sometimes for twenty years, harbouring expectorations, vomitings, ale-droppings, 



THE SWEATING SICKNESS. 197 

scraps offish, and other abominations not fit to be mentioned. "Whenever the weather 
changes a vapour is exhaled which I consider very detrimental to health. ... I am 
confident the island would be imich more salubrious if the use of rushes were aban- 
doned, and if the rooms were built in such a way as to be exposed to the sky on two 
or three sides, and all the windows so built as to be opened or closed at once, and so 
completely closed as not to admit the foul air through chinks ; for, as it is beneficial 
to health to admit the air, so it is equally beneficial at times to exclude it. The 
common people laugh at you if you complain of a cloudy or foggy day. Thirty years 
ago, if ever I entered a room which had not been occupied for some months, I was 
sure to take a fever. More moderation in diet, and especially in the use of salt meats, 
might be of service ; more particularly were public aediles appointed to see the streets 
cleaned and the suburbs kept in better order. 

The sweating sickness made its first appearance in England a few- 
days before the battle of Bosworth. 

In the year of our Lord 1485 (writes a Dr. Caius, a "Welsh physician, who had 
made the disease his special study), shortly after the seventh day of August, at 
which time King Henry VII. arrived at Milford, in Wales, out of France, and in the 
first year of his reign, there chanced a disease among the people, lasting the rest of 
that month and all September, which for the sudden sharpness and unwont cruelness 
passed the pestilence. For this commonly giveth in four, often seven, sometime 
nine, sometime eleven, and sometime fourteen days, respite to whom it vexetln 
But that immediately killed some in opening their windows, some in playing with 
children in their street doors ; some in one hour, many in two, it destroyed ; and, at 
the lo'ngest, to them that merrily dined it gave a sorrowful supper. As it found 
them, so it took them : some in sleep, some in wake, some in mirth, some in care, 
some fasting and some full, some busy and some idle ; and in one house sometime 
three, sometime five, sometime more, sometime all ; of the which if the half in 
every town escaped, it was thought great favour. This disease, because it most did 
stand in sweating from the beginning until the ending, was called The Sweatuig 
Sickness ; and because it first began in England, it was named in other countries 
" The English Sweat." 

In the summers of 1506, 1517, and 1528 this curious epidemic re- 
appeared, and it again broke out at Shrewsbury, where it raged from. 
April to September, 1551, spreading afterwards throughout the whole 
kingdom. We read that in 1619 great dread of its return prevailed, but 
happily the fears of the country proved groundless. 

One of the strange features of this disease was its partiality for 
Englishmen. Wherever Englishmen congregated, there it attacked 
them, "following them, as the shadow does the body, in all countries, 
albeit not at all times." In Calais, Antwerp, and Brabant it generally 
singled out the English residents and visitors, whilst the native popula- 
tion escaped unaffected. The chief victims were the robust and the 
powerful, whose sound digestions permitted them to indulge in the plea- 
sures of the table ; " thin-dieted " men it rarely attacked. The illness 
began with a fever, followed by severe internal struggles, which caused a, 
profuse perspiration to break out. If the constitution proved strong 
enough to expel the poison, the sufferer escaped. One of the chief 
results of the malady was to cause such an utter prostration of the 
nervous system that the patient often yielded without a struggle ; " seeing 



198 THE SWEATING SICKNESS. 

how it began fearfully to invade them, furiously handle them, speedily 
oppress them, unmercifully choke them, and that in no small numbers ; 
and such persons so notably noble in birth, goodly conditions, grave 
sobriety, singular wisdom, and great learning." The State Papers of the 
reign of Henry "VIII. are full of allusions to the epidemic. When it 
first appeared every precaution was taken to cut off infection. The 
inhabitants of houses in which the disease had broken out were ordered to 
keep within doors, to hang out wisps of straw, and when convalescent to 
carry white rods. The peers and richer gentry put down their establish- 
ments, and hastened, as best they could, to isolate themselves from their 
neighbour. " Tell your master," said "VVolsey to the chaplain of the Earl 
of Shrewsbury, " to get him into clean air, and divide his household in 
sundry places." Fairs were put down ; the country, panic-stricken, was 
indifferent to amusements ; and business was in a great measure at a 
standstill. No one knew whether his own turn might be the next. 
The palace was no more exempt than the cottage. A man was in perfect 
health one moment, the next he felt a little feverish, and in a few hours 
he was dead. An open window, accidental contact in the streets, a 
beggar asking for alms, might disseminate the infection, and a whole 
family be laid low by the terrible visitor. Where the sickness once 
appeared men preferred to take refuge in flight ; and the traveller, as he 
passed through England, often entered a village in which every house 
was deserted. The rapidity with which the hale and hearty were struck 
down added all the more to the reign of terror that then prevailed. 
Ammonius, the Latin secretary, the friend of Erasmus, was dining one 
day with an acquaintance ; they had arranged to meet on the morrow 
and ride to Merton to escape the infection. The next morning, before 
his friend had time to get out of bed and dress himself, a messenger 
arrived to announce the death of Ammonius. He had been carried off 
in eight hours.* 

This sweat (writes Du Bellay, the French Ambassador to Montmorency), which 
has made its appearance within these four days, is a most perilous disease. One 
has a little pain in the head and heart ; suddenly a sweat breaks out, and a doctor 
is useless ; for whether you wrap yourself up much or little, in four hours, and some- 
times in two or three, you are despatched without languishing, as in those troublesome 
fevers. However, only about two thousand have caught it in London. Yesterday we 
saw them as thick as flies rushing from the streets and shops into their houses to 
take the sweat, whenever they felt ill. I found the Ambassador of Milan leaving his 
lodgings in great haste because two or three had been sxiddenly attacked. In London, 
I assure you, the priests have a better time of it than the doctors, except that the 
latter do not help to bury. If the thing goes on corn will soon be cheap. . . . The 
King keeps moving about for fear of the plague. ... Of 40,000 attacked in London, 
only 2,000 are dead, but if a man only put his hand out of bed during twenty-four 
hours it becomes as stiff as a pane of glass. 

Various remedies were employed, and it may amuse modern pharmacy 
to study a few of the prescriptions then made out to check the ravages of 

* State Papers, Henry VIII. Vol. 1515-1518. Preface. Eev. J. S. Brewer. 



THE SWEATING SICKNESS. 199 

the pestilence. " Take endive," says one, " sowthistle, marygold, m'oney, 
and nightshade, three handfuls of all, and seethe them in conduit water 
from a quart to a pint, then strain it in a fair vessel, then delay it with 
a little sugar to put away the tartness, and then drink it when the sweat 
taketh you, and keep you warm ; and by the grace of God ye shall be 
whole." 

My Lord (writes Lady "Whethyll to Lord Darcy), in my best manner I recom- 
mend me unto your Lordship, and very sorry I am of your great heaviness. My 
Lord, the cause of my writing to you at this time is to advertise yoiir Lordship of a 
proved medicine ; that is, to take treacle and vinegar and temper them together, and 
put thereto some running water to allay the vinegar with, and take three or four good 
spoonfuls fasting, you and all yours, four or five mornings, and fast an hour after it ; 
and by the grace of God ye shall find it shall do great good; and then, my good Lord, 
I beseech our Lord to preserve you and all yours, and send you as good health as I 
\roll myself. This medicine have I proved myself. 

Herbs of all kinds rue, wormwood, sage, balm, rosemary, dragons, 
burnet, sorrel, elecampane, pimpernel, &c. enter largely into the pre- 
scriptions; as do crushed eggs, treacle, vinegar, and "unicorns' horn," "if 
it be possible to be gotten." Nor were the prayers of the Church to be 
omitted : 

Another very true medicine is to say every day, at seven parts of your body, 7 
Paternosters and 7 Ave Marias, with 1 Credo at the last. Ye shall begyn at the 
ryght syde, under the ryght ere, saying the Paternoster qui cs in ccelis, sanctificetur 
women tunm, with a cross made there with your thumb, and so say the Paternoster 
full complete, and 1 Ave Maria, and then under the left ear, and then under the left 
armhole, and then under the left thigh-hole, and then the last at the heart, with 1 
Paternoster, Ave Maria, with 1 Credo ; and these thus said daily, with the grace of 
God is there no manner drede hym. 

To avoid falling victims to the sickness all persons were enjoined 
" to keep fro outrage and excess in meat and eke drink, ne use no 
baths, ne sweat not too much, for all these openeth the pores of the 
body and maketh the venemous airs to enter, and destroyeth the lively 
spirit in man and enfeebleth the body." The diet was to be very simple. 
" They should not eat much flesh, but chickens sodden with water, or 
fresh fish roasted to eat with vinegar. Pottage of almonds is good, and 
for drink tysan, or in the heat small ale. If they wish wine, give them 
vinegar and water ; white wine is better than red." * 

When the epidemic was at its height, all remedies and precautions 
seemed useless to arrest its progress. It spread through the little vil- 
lages as well as through the large towns. The noble in his secluded 
mansion was as liable to infection as the most miserable pauper. Ladies 
in waiting and pages of the Household fell victims to the sickness whilst 
in the performance of their duties at the palace. Some of the foreign 
ambassadors, who had attributed the disease entirely to English over- 

* A Book of Receipts, Additional MSS., British Museum, State Papers, Hen. VIII. 
Vol. 1515-1518. 



200 THE SWEATING- SICKNESS. 

feeding and English timidity, were seized with the terrible fever, and on 
partial recovery hastened to quit the infected kingdom. The health of 
Wolsey was permanently undermined from four severe attacks. The 
Duke of Norfolk, the Marquis of Dorset, and young Lord Grey, were 
not permitted to escape the contagion. The king, like many men whose 
courage is undoubted, was terribly concerned about his own health ; he 
would die like the bravest on the field of battle, but to perish ingloriously 
from an infectious illness was an end which made him as fearful as the- 
most craven. He shifted his Court from Richmond to Reading, then 
from Reading to Abingdon, then to Woodstock, or Wallingford, or Farn- 
ham, according as the sickness dogged his steps. The peers and mem- 
bers of Council hastily quitted London and left the State to take care 
of itself. One man, however, remained true to his post. In spite of 
failing health and repeated attacks, Wolsey continued to attend dili- 
gently to his duties as Chief Minister and Lord Chancellor. Henry, 
safe in the seclusion of Woodstock, praised the Cardinal for his wisdom 
and diligence, and vowed that " there was no man living who pondered 
more the surety of the Royal person and the commonwealth of the 
realm," but at the same time he begged him to repair to Woodstock ; " for 
here is clear air," writes the Court physician to His Eminence, " which 
His Grace thinketh you will like very well." 

Myne awne good Cardinall (addresses the King to him in his own hand), I 
recomande me unto yow with all my hart, and thanke yow for the grette payne and 
labour that yow do dayly take in my bysynes and maters, desyryng yow (that wen 
yow have well establysshyd them) to take summe pastyme and comfort, totheintente 
yow may the lenger endure to serve us ; for allways payne can nott be induryd. 
Surly yow have so substancyally orderyd oure matters bothe off thys syde the see 
and byonde, that in myne oppynion lityll or no thyng can be addyd. . . . The Queue 
my wyff hathe desyrd me to make har most harty recommendations to yow, as ta 
hym that she lovethe very well, and bothe she and I wolde knowe fayne when yow 
wyll repayer to us. No more to yow at thys tyme, but that wyth God's helpe I 
trust we shall dysapoynte our enymys off theyre intendyd purpose. Wryttyn with 
the hand off your lovyng Master, HENRY E. 

But there was one who had fallen a victim to the sickness, in whom 
Henry felt a far keener interest. The great beauty of the Court,, 
whose wondrous grey eyes were then playing such havoc in the too 
susceptible heart of the monarch, had been suddenly seized with the 
malady, and was now lying ill of fever. When the news reached 
Woodstock that the incomparable Anne Boleyn had not been spared by 
the epidemic, but was now in a critical condition, the grief of the royal 
lover was intense. Henry could not have been more concerned if he 
himself had been the victim. 

There came to me (he writes to her in one of his love-letters preserved among' 
the State Papers he wrote to her sometimes in French and sometimes in English) 
there came to me in the night the most afflicting news possible. I have to grieve 
for three causes : first, to hear of my mistress' sickness, whose health I desire as my 
own, and would willingly bear the half of yours to cure yon. Secondly, because I 



THE SWEATING SICKNESS. 201 

fear to suffer yet longer that absence which has already caused me so much pain. 
God deliver me from such an importunate rebel ! Thirdly, because the physician I 
trust most is at present absent, when he could do me the greatest pleasure. How- 
ever, in his absence I send you the second : I beseech you to be governed by his 
advice, and then I shall hope soon to see you again. 

A few days later he continues the correspondence : 

My doubts of your health have disturbed and troubled me extremely, and I 
should scarcely have had any quiet had I not received some news of you. But as 
you have felt nothing of it hitherto, I hope you are as well as we are. ... I think 
if you would retire from the Surrey side, as we did, you would escape all danger. 
There is another thing for your comfort, that few or no women have, suffered from it : 
what is more, none of our Court, and few elsewhere, have died of it. [A more un- 
blushing falsehood royal lips never uttered !] Wherefore I beg of you, my entirely 
beloved, to put away fear and not be too uneasy at our absence ; for wherever I am I 
am yours. ... I hope for your speedy return. No more for the present, for lack of 
time, except that I wish you in my arms, to banish your unreasonable thoughts. 

And then he signs himself " MA H. R. AIMABLE." 

Seldom a day was allowed to pass without the fair invalid receiving 

/ IT 

a letter or gift from her " H. R. aimable" " The cause of my writing 
at this time, good sweetheart," he writes to her on one occasion, when 
she was rapidly becoming convalescent, " is only to understand of your 
good health and prosperity. . . . And seeing my darling is absent, I can 
no less do than send her some flesh representing my name, which is 
hart's flesh for Harry, prognosticating that hereafter you must enjoy 
some of mine. . . . No more to you at this time, mine own darling, but 
that awhile I would we were together of an evening." As the cor- 
respondence proceeds, and absence causes the heart to grow the fonder, 
Henry becomes more and more enamoured. From the respectful address 
of " mistress," or " mistress and friend," he deepens into " mine own 
sweetheart," " darling," " mine own darling," and other expressions of 
endearment, somewhat too plain and glowing for these civilised days. 
Would it not have been better for the unhappy woman had she never 
risen from that bed of sickness to share the dazzling glories of a throne 
and to trust to the fickle fondness of her " H. R. aimabl , " 1 

It has been computed that during the five visitations of the Sweating 
Sickness over one hundred thousand persons were enrolled amongst its 
victims. 

ALEX. CHARLES EWALD. 



202 



Cities. 



A GOOD many misconceptions prevail in England on the subject of 
foreign titles : one section of society rating them too highly, another 
unduly depreciating them. Another common mistake is to suppose that 
the grades of nobility abroad are as precisely denned as with us. In 
France there are dukes who rank before princes, and indeed prince is 
often the title of the eldest son of a duke in that country : the Due de 
Broglie's eldest son is styled Prince "Victor de Broglie and his other sons 
are likewise princes, the Duke happening to be a Prince of the Holy Roman 
Empire ; but of that by-and-bye. Sometimes father and son enjoy the 
same title ; the present Due de Gramont was styled Due de Quiche in 
his father's lifetime. He might, had he pleased, have called himself 
Prince de Bidache. As a rule, however, the eldest son of a French duke 
bears the same name as his father, with the title of marquis, e.g. Due 
d'Avaray, Marquis d'Avaray. The next son would be Comte d'Avaray, 
the third Vicomte, and so on. 

The names just cited are among the greatest in France, and entitled 
to all such honour as birth can claim ; but there are aboiit five hundred 
French dukes, and all Englishmen cannot be expected to discern between 
them. The table of precedence assigns no place to foreign noblemen, 
but the rule generally observed in society is this : the head of a foreign 
house of authentic nobility, be he prince, duke, or count, walks out of a 
room after an English duke. The same precedence is accorded to 
" envoys extraordinary " and " ministers plenipotentiary," as distin- 
guished from " ambassadors," who rank immediately after members of 
the Royal Family. Only France, Austria, Prussia, Russia, Italy, and 
Turkey are represented by ambassadors at the Court of St. James's. 

As for the cadets of foreign houses, they are as little thought of as 
they think of themselves. Many drop their titles altogether, contenting 
themselves with the prefix " de " or " von " before their family names, 
just to mark its nobility. And here it may be remarked that English 
gentlemen abroad, especially in Germany, should be careful how they 
answer the question which may any day be put to them, "Are you noble 1 " 
You may be, like most of us, plain Mister, but you should answer 
" Yes " if you are, however remotely, descended from a peer or a baronet 
(contrary to the popular belief, baronets are distinctly "noblemen," 
according to the Institution of James I.), or even if you are merely 
entitled to a coat of arms either by grant to yourself from the Sovereign 
or by inheritance. The matter grows year by year of less importance ; 



FOREIGN TITLES. 203 

but at Berlin and Vienna you may still lose access to some pleasant 
clubs and social gatherings, if not of the privileged caste. And the con- 
ditions of nobility, as recognised on the Continent, are simply those 
stated above. It is ludicrous to recollect that the younger son of an 
English duke replied " No " to the shibboleth question of a small Prussian 
Freiherr, thus losing a great deal of fun during his stay in King 
William's dominions. Lord A's rank, had he known it, was precisely 
the equivalent of that of a German prince's son : English dukes, mar- 
quises, and earls being all (heraldically) " princes." The Duke of 
Norfolk's full style, to take an example, would be " The most high, 
most noble, and most puissant prince, Henry, Duke of Norfolk," &c. 
The fact is, Lord A mistook his legal status of " commoner " for his social 
status of " noble." 

The highest order of foreign nobility is that of the mediatised 
princes of Germany. They represent houses which once exercised 
sovereign power, and are still accorded semi-regal honours. Of these is 
the Prince of Leiningen, Her Majesty's nephew, and a Rear- Admiral in 
the British Navy ; also Count Gleichen (he too is a Rear-Admiral, and 
Governor of Windsor Castle). Prince Victor of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, 
brother of the " reigning " prince, assumed the title of Count Gleichen 
on his marriage with a daughter of the late Admiral Sir George Sey- 
mour, father of the present Marquis of Hertford. Mediatised princes 
are entitled to the style of Serene Highness (Durchlaucht), though there 
appears to be some doubt as to whether all their descendants can claim 
the same style. " Princes " they would seem to be down to any gene- 
ration. On this point, again, Britons caring for these things should 
beware of supposing that every foreign " prince " is a Highness. The 
vast number of them are entitled to no other recognition of their rank 
than " Prince " or " Mon Prince," and this need not be repeated more 
than once in the conversation. One says advisedly the vast number, for 
Russian princes alone can be counted by thousands, not to say tens of 
thousands. There are said to be 600 of the house of Galitzin alone. 

Scarcely inferior in dignity to the mediatised princes are the members 
of those Comital Houses the chiefs of which, by a decision of the 
German Diet of 1829, have right to the title of " Most Illustrious Count " 
(Erlaucht). They are all counts father, son, grandson, great-grandson, 
they and all their male descendants ad infinitum. Of course the descen- 
dants of princes or counts in the female line are not, as such, noble. 
The heraldic canon, that le venire n'anoblit pas, is of almost universal 
acceptation. This is even the case in England, with a few exceptions. 

One of the most famous of the Comital Houses is that of Bentinck, 
which is not without interest for Englishmen. Its head, a few years 
ago, was Colonel Bentinck (of the British Army), who, however, in 1874 
resigned his rights in favour of Mr. William Bentinck, of the Diplo- 
matic Service, who had not, any more than his elder brother, borne any 
title till that time. Count William was a great favourite at Christ 



204 FOREIGN TITLES. 

Church ; and few were aware that the pale, fair-haired, rather shy lad 
belonged to one of the proudest families in Europe. Count Bentinck 
and the present Duke of Portland both descend lineally from the fidus 
Achates of William III. The House has further given England a Prime 
Minister, and India one of her best Governor- Generals. 

The serene and illustrious compose a mighty host occupying 127 
closely printed pages of the Almanach de Gotha. Next to them in uni- 
versally recognised rank are those princes of the Holy Roman Empire 
(all the sovereign and mediatised princes of Germany are princes of the 
empire : the emperors of Germany having been also emperors of the 
Romans) whose titles were honorary from the first. Three English 
peers, the Dukes of Marlborough and Leeds and Earl Cowper, are princes 
of the empire. It may be added that the Earl of Denbigh and Lord 
Arundell of Wardour are counts of the empire. Lord Denbigh claims 
to come of the same stock as the Emperor of Austria ; but the best title 
of his family to fame is that it produced the author of " Tom Jones." 

Lord ArundelPs ancestor got into serious trouble for accepting the 
title of count, conferred on him by the Emperor in grateful recognition of 
services in the war against the Ottomans. On his arrival in England, 
Count Arundell was sent without ceremony to the Tower, and questioned 
before the Star Chamber as to wherefore he had dared to accept a title 
from a foreign prince, to the contempt of the Queen's grace. He pleaded 
that the empire was communis patria, an argument more pleasing to the 
Emperor, whose style was mundi dominus, than to an English sovereign. 
He was released after a time, but made to understand that he could not be 
permitted to assume his title in England. To this day it is necessary to 
obtain the Queen's permission to bear a foreign title ; nor is it ever 
granted without the proviso that no precedence whatsoever shall be 
claimed in respect of it. 

Amongst other British subjects enjoying foreign titles are the Duke 
of Hamilton, who is Duke of Chatelherault in France ; the Duke of 
Wellington, who is Prince of Waterloo in the Netherlands, and Duke of 
Vittoria and Grandee of the first class in Spain ; Earl Nelson, who is 
Duke of Bronte in Italy ; the Earl of Clancarty, Marquis of Hensden in 
the Netherlands ; Sir Nathaniel Rothschild, an Austrian baron ; Mr. 
Albert Grant, an Italian baron ; and Sir Edward Thornton, Count of Cas- 
silhas in Portugal. This last title may be called semi-hereditary, having 
been granted to Sir Edward's father for three lives and no more. Sir 
Edward's is the second life. 

Several French noblemen are also princes of the empire. All the 
lineal descendants (in the male line) of such princes being themselves 
princes, it is not surprising to find that there are nineteen princes of 
the House of Broglie alone, to say nothing of eight princesses. The 
family has given to France thi'ee marshals. It is of Italian origin, the 
name having originally been written Broglio. The pronunciation of the 
modern form is " Broil." 



FOKEIGN TITLES. 205 

Perhaps the greatest name in the roll of the French nobility is that 
of Rohan. A device of this family was " King am not, Prince disdain 
to be, Rohan am." Nevertheless, princes they became without abating 
one jot of their pride. The wife of one of them was asked when she ex- 
pected to lie-in 1 "I hope to have that honour in six weeks," replied the 
lady. The " honour " was to be delivered of a Rohan. In spite of some 
distinguished scions of this house, it is to be feared the two best known to 
history are the Cardinal who did his best to ruin the reputation of Marie- 
Antoinette, and the Marshal Prince of Soubise, so egregiously beaten by 
Frederic at Rosbach. " Ce pauvre Soubise," said Louis XY. when he 
heard the news, " il ne lui manque plus que d'etre content." The prince 
had been unfortunate in his domestic relations. 

The head of the Rohans migrated to Austria at the time of the first 
Revolution, and the elder branch is no longer French. Doubtless there 
were Rohans in the field against their old country at Magenta and Solfe- 
rino. There are at least five in the armies of Francis- Joseph at the present 
day. The Rohan-Chabots, a younger branch, have remained faithful to 
the fatherland. They are all, by right, " cousins of the king " a dignity 
more highly prized than it would be in England, where it is enjoyed by 
every peer down to viscounts inclusive. Should, however, " the king " 
ever return, and the old order of things be re-established, the Duke of 
Uzes would be entitled to take precedence of the whole aristocracy of 
France. An Uzes was already premier duke (after the princes of the 
blood) in the reign of Louis XIV. The late duke died a year or two 
ago, and a little child is now the heir of this splendid title and of 
many hopes. He dwells in the chateau of Uzes, which still stands, and 
which the family have managed to keep. 

Another famous French house is that of the Levis, now represented 
by the Due de Mirepoix, " hereditary marshal of the Faith." Their 
pedigree stretches back to Levi, son of Jacob, and consequently up to 
Adam, whose arms every one has not the right to quarter : purity as 
well as directness of descent having to be proved. Whether the Levis 
have established theirs is another matter. There was once a picture in 
the possession of the family in which a Levis appeared taking off his 
hat to the Blessed Virgin. From her lips issued a scroll with the words, 
11 Cover yourself, my cousin." 

The historic names of Noailles, Richelieu, Rochechouart, La Roche- 
foucauld, Luynes, and many others still figure in the roll of the French 
peerage. The Due de la Rochefoucauld-Bisaccia, be it observed in passing, 
who made himself so conspicuous in the National Assembly as a partisan of 
Henry V., has but a doubtful right to the title he assumes. In France he 
is simply Chevalier de la Rochefoucauld, and Due de Bisaccia in Italy. 

The title of marquis carries more prestige with it nowadays in 
France than that of the duke ; and for this reason. The Empire made no 
marquises, ergo, a marquis (unless the son of an Imperialist duke) must 
derive his title from the old dynasty ; and it is unquestionably more 



206 FOEEIGN TITLES. 

honourable to have been ennobled by the Pompadour than by Napoleon. 
The first emperor created some thirty dukes and princes, all more or 
less men of talent ; but none of their sons or grandsons appear to have 
done anything. Nor is this because they were frowned upon by the 
monarchy. On the contrary, everything was done by the Bourbons to 
conciliate the marshals. Soult was President of the Council to Louis- 
Philippe, and ultimately glorified with the magnificent title of Marshal- 
General of the Armies of France. His son, the Marquis of Dalmatia, 
was named Secretary of Legation at Vienna, whence arose an unforeseen 
difficulty. The Court of Austria objected to receive a man whose title 
was taken from an Austrian province, though the matter was ultimately 
arranged. By the courtesy of nations a sovereign is allowed in one 
instance (and one only) to confer a title taken from a locality in a 
brother sovereign's dominions. A soldier who has won a victory may 
be ennobled by the name of the battle-field. Thus Austria would cheer- 
fully accord their full honours to a Prince of Wagram or a Duke of 
Magenta. The same rule holds good in the case of naval victories. 
Spain would have no right to object to a Viscount Trafalgar, or Holland 
to an Earl of Camperdown. 

A propos of Holland, it is not generally known that the old Earls of 
Holland the English Earls of the house of Rich and the late Lords 
Holland (House of Fox) derived their title from a district of Lincoln- 
shire called Holland. Holland was probably a common name enough at 
one time, signifying Hollow Land, or Valley, though some say it meant 
wooded land. The first English title derived from a place out of 
England was that of Viscount Barfleur, conferred, together with the 
Earldom of Oxford, on Admiral Russell, the victor of La Hogue. It 
was near Cape Barfleur that the battle was won, but the French fleet 
was followed up into the Bay of La Hogue and terribly handled there. 
But there is another Anglo-foreign title which has no such martial origin, 
yet against which no protest was ever raised. 

When William III. raised his favourite Keppel to the peerage, the 
title chosen was Earl of Abbemarle, avowedly from Abbemarle, a town 
in Normandy. The title is still borne by his descendants. It must be 
remembered that the Kings of England were then titular Kings of 
France as well ; nor did the Court of Versailles ever quarrel with them 
for quartering the lilies with the leopards. It was reserved for Napoleon, 
as First Consul, to object to this style of the British Sovereign ; and the 
union with Ireland presented a convenient occasion for dropping it. 

To return for a moment to France. What serious student of history 
but must regret that the present condition of its aristocracy can be best 
described in the mournful motto of the Bruces " Fuimus " 1 Gone for 
ever is the power and the splendour : nothing left but pride. Gallant, of 
course, French gentlemen must always be according to both inflexions of 
the word. But seven thousand of the type of Alcibiades, though they 
had never bowed the knee to the Republic, would hardly restore their 



FOREIGN TITLES. 207 

order to its old place, or greatly benefit France if they did. Yet have 
they a brilliant past to remember. So many of them were paragons of 
wit, of chivalry, of munificence, of loyalty. And with all their faults 
one cannot help thinking that they worshipped the golden calf less than 
any other nobility of whom history makes mention. A youthful Due 
d'Enghien, whom his relatives frequently tipped, laid by his pocket- 
money till he had amassed fifty louis, when he took the purse to his 
father and proudly exhibited its contents, expecting to be praised for his 
economical habits. The Prince of Conde emptied the purse and flung 
the money out of the window. " Let that be a lesson to you, sir," he then 
said, turning to his son, " to think and act more like a gentleman." Too 
many of the peers of England descend from merchants or lawyers to 
make it likely that one of them should ever exhibit such a reckless con- 
tempt for the stamped effigy of the monarch. Still the act of Conde 
must not be too hastily condemned. " This money might have been 
given to the poor 1 " Yes but who once used those words'? And on 
what occasion ? It was when money had been lavishly spent " for an 
idea ! " as the world would say. 

There is a finer story, though, of a Spanish grandee, where the senti- 
ment of noblesse oblige and the highest commercial spirit (in its true 
essence) are happily blended. Somebody forged the Duke of Ossuiia's 
name, appending it to a bill for 10,000 ducats. On the bill being pre- 
sented, the duke saw that the signature was counterfeited, but paid 
the money at once. The name of Ossuna was not to be dishonoured 
by a rascal. It would be uncharitable to ask whether a second forged 
bill of the same amount would have been equally honoured. Non omnia 
possumus. 

Talking of the Spanish aristocracy, it may be observed that the titled 
part of it is by no means so large as is supposed. The heads of noble 
families number about 2,000, and they alone, as a rule, bear titles. 
Even the eldest son of a duke (say of) Alicante would only be called 
Don Juan or Don Alfonso d'Alicante during his father's lifetime. The 
younger sons remain simple Dons the Spanish equivalent of Esquires. 
As to the qualificatives of titles, they are lightly esteemed, inasmuch as 
even a beggar must be addressed as " Your Grace " (Merced). The 
superscription on an envelope addressed to a duke would be, " A 1'eccel- 
lentissimo Seuor Duque de la Torre." So at least the wife of Marshal 
Serrano writes to her lord. 

A Spanish title is an expensive luxury. An ordinary Castilian one 
costs QOQL The dignity of grandee is rated at 1,0001. With us a 
dukedom costs about 1,300^. or 1,4:001. in fees to its recipient, and minor 
titles are rated in proportion : but then it is the first grantee of the 
honour alone who pays. In Spain the fine has to be renewed with each 
succession to the title. Moreover, it has to be paid in full on each 
separate title which a man may bear; e.g. a Duke of Richmond and 
Gordon, had he the blessing to be subject of his Catholic Majesty, would 



208 FOREIGN TITLES. 

have to pay 9,000. into the Treasury on his accession to the family titles, 
which are nine in number. The Dukes of Ossufia and Medina Cceli 
contribute 12,000 or 15,000?. apiece to the necessities of Spain, every 
generation, merely under this particular head of taxation. 

Grandees of Spain of the first class have the privilege of remaining 
covered in the presence of the sovereign, an honour enjoyed in the 
United Kingdom by Lord Kingsdale and Lord Forester. It may not be 
generally known that one great family, that of the Princes of Lara, are 
claimants to the Crown of Spain. They content themselves, however, 
with filing a protest at the accession of each new king or queen : after- 
which record of their wrongs they return to cigarettes and leisure of a 
more or less dignified kind. Possibly, since Byron sang, the name of 
Lara is better known in Britain than Castile. 

Italy has a power of nobles, mostly marquises when they are not 
princes. Some domains, notably that of San Donato (now in the 
market), confer titles. It was from his estate of San Donato that Count 
Anathole Demidoff, who married the Princess Mathilde Bonaparte, 
derived his style of Prince. Similarly the tenure of Arundel Castle 
confers an English earldom, but Parliament has taken very good care 
that it shall never be sold at any rate till the heirs of the old earls are 
extinct, and their name is legion. 

In the north of Italy the younger son of a marquis is generally styled 
simply " cavaliere," e.g. " il Cavaliere Massimo d'Azeglio." In Southern 
Italy, and in the Roman States, he would be accorded the same title as 
his father. A cadet of a princely family frequently contents himself 
with putting on his card his Christian and surname, adding " of the 

Princes of ; " thus," Felice Barberini, de' Principi Barberini," often 

with a little princely coronet surmounting the whole. 

Speaking of Massimo d'Azeglio reminds one of what excellent service 
the Piedmontese nobility have rendered their country. They were never 
wealthy as a class, nor attempted to vie with the aristocracy of France 
in splendour of hospitality ; nor were they renowned for wit, or for ex- 
quisite polish of manner. But if Florence was the Athens, Turin was 
the Sparta, of Italy in the days of old. Piedmontese gentlemen were 
renowned for the hardy virtues, for courage, manliness of life, integrity, 
unswerving loyalty to their sovereign. If any one wishes to realise 
an idea of what the Italian character is at its best, he should read the 
" Life of the Marquis Costa de Beauregard," which has been translated 
into English by Miss Yonge. The Marquis was all that a man can be 
a good son, a trusty friend, a brave soldier, an ardent patriot, a 
humble-minded Christian. Had there been more of his stamp in Tuscany 
and Naples at the commencement of the century, Italy might have 
achieved her independence at the fall of Napoleon. 

It has long been the fashion to sneer at Papal titles, it being com- 
monly supposed that they can be had for the asking, and a lump sum 
down. This is an error, at all events as far as the later practice of the 



FOREIGN TITLES. . 209 

Court of Rome. Titles have to be paid for, as everywhere, but they are 
not granted to any moneyed man who may choose to apply for one. 
Some zeal for the faith, some services rendered to the Church, or to 
humanity, must be proved before a candidate's claim can be admitted. 
Of course a fortune of the first magnitude will virtually command a 
title ; but here, again, the Supreme Pontiffs are not more facile than an 
Emperor of Austria or even a Queen of England. The most famous 
house of banker-nobles in Rome is that of the Dukes and Princes Tor- 
Ionia for there are two lines, the ducal being the elder. The first duke 
was ennobled by Pius VII., who may very well have been under obliga- 
tions to him. Shrewd in finance, he was otherwise dull, and prouder of 
his rank than ambitious to illustrate it by amiability or munificence. 
Still, he could be generous on occasion, and was sensible enough not to 
be ashamed of his humble origin. A young Roman noble was once 
playing for high stakes in his presence. Torlonia waited till he had won 
a considerable sum, then, stepping up to the gamester, and laying a 
hand on his shoulder, said in a fatherly way, " My son, it was not in 
that way that I made a fortune." It is amusing to read in the diary of 
the first Duke of Buckingham and Chandos how Torlonia humbly ten- 
dered his services to His Grace, not venturing to approach so great a 
man as an equal. The English duke received the advances of his Italian 
brother with extreme coldness, and even suspicion. " Evidently Tor- 
lonia wanted his connection." 

The Roman nobility of to-day is smitten with Anglomania. They 
hunt, they dress as much as possible like Englishmen, and they talk 
English even among themselves, often, too, with the purest accent. 
This facility for pronouncing our language correctly is shared with them 
by the Maltese. The nobility of this little island, by the way, has given 
a good deal of trouble to English Governors and Secretaries of State. 
Lord Carnarvon finally accorded them a distinct official status, recog- 
nising the number of noble families as twelve. They take precedence 
among themselves by the dates of their patents, irrespective of titular 
rank a baron of the seventeenth century ranking before a prince of the 
eighteenth. 

All Monacans are noble, this distinction having been conferred on the 
inhabitants of the principality by the Emperor Charles II. The Republic 
of San Mavino claims and exercises the right to confer titles. These are 
to be bought at reasonable prices, and with no troublesome examinations 
into character or antecedents. A year or two ago San Marino created an 
apothecary " Due de Bruc," and named him " Envoy Extraordinary and 
Minister Plenipotentiary " to the French Republic. The Duke gave up 
the medical profession, announcing that he had been summoned to " high 
diplomatic functions," but was not above starting a kind of Universal 
Pill Company, of which His Grace constituted himself chairman. As 
usual, there was no lack of persons willing to take shares in the new 
enterprise. 

VOL. XTJT. NO. 248. 11. 



210 FOKEIGN TITLES. 

A word as to the Belgian nobility. It must be divided into two 
classes : 1. Those who derive their titles from. Emperors or from Kings 
of Spain ; 2. Those ennobled by the King of the Netherlands (between 
1815 and 1830), or by Leopold I. and his son. It is no disparagement 
to the latter to say that they derive their grandeur, like Cromwell, from 
themselves alone. As nobles, they are of no account. But the Duke of 
Orenberg, a mediatised prince of the empire, the Prince de Ligne (who 
is a Knight of the Golden Fleece), the Prince de Caraman-Chimay, and 
others, belong to the first order of European society. In fact their 
country is Europe, and they attach no more importance to the fact of 
their Belgian nationality than a Devonshire man amongst us would to 
the circumstance that he was born in the Queen of the Western counties. 
One D'Orenberg serves in the French army, a De Ligne in the Austrian. 
It is related of the present head of the Lignes (who is President of the 
Belgian Senate) that he once took his hat off (quite for his own con- 
venience) in the presence of a German Grand-Duke. " Cover yourself, 
Prince," affably commanded the Serenity. " Cover myself ! " replied the 
Prince de Ligne. " I shall cover myself when I please." 

Nobility in Belgium, as in Russia, can be conferred for life. Needless 
to say, no true herald could take cognisance of such blazonry. The very 
essence of nobility has always consisted in its hereditary character. Sir 
Bernard Burke discusses the question as to whether the son or daughter 
of a " Lord of Appeal in Ordinary " (who is a baron' for life) can assume 
the style of " Honourable," and inclines to the opinion that they cannot. 
A peer accused of felony must be tried by his peers ; a bishop, though a 
" lord of Parliament, is tried by an ordinary jury as not having the 
privilege of nobility." Why ? Simply because his dignity is not here- 
ditary. 

Russia has 650,000 hereditary nobles, and 380,000 whose nobility 
expires with them. But a noble has few, if any, civil privileges as such. 
He must enter the army or the civil service to obtain precedence in 
society. There are ten grades in the civil service roughly corresponding 
to the ten grades of commissioned ofiicers in the army, and military or 
civil appointments alone confer social standing in Russia. The priest- 
hood is more despised than was the Anglican clergy under the later 
Stuarts. Only the metropolitans, archbishops, and other high dignitaries 
are accorded any sort of honour. 

Most countries constitutionally governed entrust the legislative 
power to an assembly composed of two chambers. In England alone is 
one chamber almost entirely composed of hereditary members. Never- 
theless the hereditary principle is recognised to a limited extent in some 
other countries. The Austrian Upper House is thus made up : Arch- 
dukes who are of age (now thirteen in number), fifty-three hereditary 
nobles, seventeen archbishops and prince-bishops, and 105 life-members. 

The Prussian House of Lords has also a considerable hereditary 
element in it ; so has the Upper Chamber of the Spanish Cortes, of which 



FOREIGN TITLES. 211 

Princes of the Blood and Grandees of the first class are members by 
birth. 

It is worthy of note that the Due de Broglie, who once drew up a 
constitution for France, while dividing the legislature in two, according 
to the approved method, did not venture, even with a restored monarchy 
in view, to introduce an hereditary element into the Upper House. He 
frankly avows, in the preamble to his Project of Law, that such an in- 
stitution as that of hereditary law-makers would be impossible in the 
France of to-day. The Duke's authority on such a point is unimpeach- 
able. And from all one can see, the axiom he lays down will soon be 
true of every country on the continent of Europe. In a word, foreign 
titles are fast becoming purely ornamental appendages to large fortunes, 
and incumbrances on small ones. 






112 



212 



<mtr ' 

v_<*- 
NOTES ON THE SUPERNATURAL IN ART. 



THERE is a story, well known throughout the sixteenth century, which 
tells how Doctor Faustus of Wittenberg, having made over his soul 
to the fiend, employed him to raise the ghost of Helen of Sparta, in 
order that she might become his paramour. The story has no historic 
value, no scientific meaning ; it lacks the hoary dignity of the tales of 
heroes and demigods, wrought, vague and colossal forms, out of cloud and 
sunbeam, of those tales narrated and heard by generations of men deep 
hidden in the stratified ruins of lost civilisations, carried in the migrations 
of races from India to Hellas and to Scandinavia. Compared with them, 
this tale of Faustus and Helena is paltry and brand-new ; it is not a myth, 
nay, scarcely a legend ; it is a mere trifling incident added by humanistic 
pedantry to the ever-changing mediseval story of the man who barters 
his soul for knowledge, the wizard, alchemist, philosopher, printer, 
Albertus, Bacon, or Faustus. It is a part, an unessential, subordinate 
fragment, valued in its day neither more nor less than any other part of 
the history of Doctor Faustus ; narrated cursorily by the biographer of 
the wizard, overlooked by some of the ballad-rhymers, alternately used 
and rejected by the playwrights of puppet-shows ; given by Marlowe 
himself no greater importance than the other marvellous deeds, the 
juggling tricks and magic journeys of his hero. 

But for us the incident of Faustus and Helena has a meaning, a 
fascination wholly different from any other portion of the story : the 
other incidents owe everything to artistic treatment; this one owes 
nothing. The wizard Faustus, awaiting the hour which will give him 
over to Hell, is the creation of Marlowe ; Gretchen is even more completely 
the creation of Goethe ; the fiend of the Englishman is occasionally grand, 
the fiend of the German is throughout masterly ; in all these cases we 
are in the presence of true artistic work, of stuff rendered valuable solely 
by the hand of the artist, of figures well defined and finite, and limited 
also in their power over the imagination. But the group of Faustus and 
Helena is different; it belongs neither to Marlowe nor to Goethe, it 
belongs to the legend. It does not give the complete and limited satis- 
faction of a work of art ; it has the charm of the fantastic and fitful 
shapes formed by the flickering firelight or the wreathing mists ; it haunts 
like some vague strain of music, drowsily heard in half-sleep. It fills 
the fancy, it oscillates and transforms itself; the artist may see it, attempt 






FAUSTUS AND HELENA. 213 

to seize and embody it for evermore in a definite and enduring shape, but 
it vanishes out of his grasp, and the forms which should have inclosed it 
are mere empty sepulchres, haunted and charmed merely by the evoking 
power of our own imagination. If we are fascinated by the Lady 
Helen of Marlowe, walking, like some Florentine goddess, with em- 
broidered kirtle and madonna face, across the study of the old wizard of 
Wittenberg ; if we are pleased by the stately pseudo-antique Helena of 
Goethe, draped in the drapery of Thorwaldsen's statues and speaking the 
language of Goethe's own Iphigenia, as she meets the very modern Faust, 
gracefully masqued in mediaeval costume; if we find in these attempts, 
the one unthinking and imperfect, the other laboured and abortive, some- 
thing which delights our fancy, it is because our thoughts wander off 
from them and evoke a Faustus and Helena of our own, different from 
the creations of Marlowe and of Goethe ; it is because in these definite 
and imperfect artistic forms, there yet remains the suggestion of the 
subject with all its power over the imagination. We forget Marlowe 
and we forget Goethe, to follow up the infinite suggestion of the legend ; 
we cease to see the Elizabethan and the pseudo-antique Helen ; we lift our 
imagination from the book and see the medieval street at Wittenberg, 
the gabled house of Faustus, all sculptured with quaint devices and 
grotesque forms of apes and cherubs and flowers ; we penetrate through 
the low brown rooms, filled with musty books and mysterious ovens and 
retorts, redolent with strange scents of alchemy, to that innermost secret 
chamber, where the old wizard hides, in the depths of his mediaeval 
house, the immortal woman, the god-born, the fatal, the beloved of 
Theseus and Paris and Achilles ; we are blinded by this sunshine of 
antiquity pent up in the oaken-panelled chamber, such as Diirer might 
have etched ; and all around we hear circulating the mysterious rumours 
of the neighbours, of the burghers and students, whispering shyly of 
Dr. Faustus and his strange guest, in the beer cellars and in the cloisters 
of the old university town. And gazing thus into the fantastic intellectual 
mist which has risen up between us and the book we were reading, be it 
Marlowe or Goethe, we cease after a while to see Faustus or Helena, we 
perceive only a chaotic fluctuation of incongruous shapes : scholars in 
furred robes and caps pulled over their ears, burghers' wives with high 
sugar-loaf coif and slashed boddices, with hands demurely folded over their 
prayer-books, and knights in armour and immense plumes, and haggling 
Jews and tonsured monks, descended out of the panels of Wohlgemiith and 
the engravings of Diirer, mingling with, changing into, processions of 
naked athletes on foaming short-maned horses, of draped Athenian 
maidens, carrying baskets and sickles, and priests bearing oil-jars and 
torches, all melting into each other, indistinct, confused like the images 
in a dream ; vague crowds, phantoms following in the wake of the spectre 
woman of antiquity, beautiful, unimpassioned, ever young, luring to Hell 
the wizard of the Middle Ages. 

Why does all this vanish as soon as we once more fix our eyes upon 



214 FAUSTUS AND HELENA. 

the book? Why can our fancy show us more than can the artistic 
genius of Marlowe and of Goethe 1 Why does Marlowe, believing in 
Helen as a satanic reality, and Goethe, striving after her as an artistic 
vision, equally fail to satisfy us 1 The question is intricate : it requires 
a threefold answer, dependent on the fact that this tale of Faxistus and 
Helena is in fact a tale of the supernatural a weird and colossal ghost- 
story in which the actors are the spectre of Antiquity, ever young, beau- 
tiful, radiant, though risen from the putrescence of two thousand years, 
and the Middle Ages, alive, but toothless, palsied, and tottering. Why 
neither Marlowe nor Goethe have succeeded in giving a satisfactory 
artistic shape to this tale is explained by the necessary relations be- 
J tween art and the supernatural, between our creative power and our 
imaginative faculty ; why Marlowe has failed in one manner and 
Goethe in another is explained by the fact that, as we said, for the 
first the tale was a supernatural reality, for the second a supernatural 
fiction. 

What are the relations between art and the supernatural ? At first 
sight the two appear closely allied : like the supernatural, art is born of 
imagination ; the supernatural, like art, conjures up unreal visions. 
The two have been intimately connected during the great ages of the 
supernatural, when instead of existing merely in a few disputed tra- 
ditional dogmas, and in a little discredited traditional folklore, it consti- 
tuted the whole of religion and a great part of philosophy. Gods and 
demons, saints and spectres, have afforded at least one-half of the subjects 
for art. The supernatural, in the shape of religious mythology, had art 
bound in its service in Antiquity and the Middle Ages ; the supernatural, 
in the shape of spectral fancies, regained its dominion over art with the 
advent of romanticism. From the gods of the Iliad down to the Com- 
mander in Don Giovanni, from the sylvan divinities of Praxiteles to the 
fairies of Shakespeare, from the Furies of -^schylus to the Archangels of 
Perugino, the supernatural and the artistic have constantly appeared 
linked together. Yet, in reality, the hostility between the supernatural 
and the artistic is well-nigh as great as the hostility between the super- 
natural and the logical. Critical reason is a solvent, it reduces the 
phantoms of the imagination to their most prosaic elements ; artistic 
power, on the other hand, moulds and solidifies them into distinct and 
palpable forms : the synthetical definiteness of art is as sceptical as the 
analytical definiteness of logic. For the supernatural is necessarily 
essentially vague, and art is necessarily essentially distinct : give shape 
to the vague and it ceases to exist. The task set to the artist by the 
dreamer, the prophet, the priest, the ghost-seer of all times, is as difiicult, 
though in the opposite sense, as that by which the little girl in the Vene- 
tian fairy tale sought to test the omnipotence of the emperor. She asked 
him for a very humble dish, quite simple and not costly a pat of butter 
broiled on a gridiron. The emperor desired his cook to place the butter 
on the gridiron and light the fire ; all was going well, when, behold ! 



FAUSTUS AND HELENA. 215 

the butter began to melt, trickled off, and vanished. The artists were 
asked to paint, or model, or narrate the supernatural ; they set about the 
work in good conscience ; but see, the supernatural became the natural, 
the gods turned into men, the madonnas into mere mothers, the angels 
into armed striplings, the phantoms into mere creatures of flesh and 
blood. 

There are in reality two sorts of supernatural, although only one 
really deserves the name. A great number of beliefs in all mythologies 
are in reality mere scientific errors abortive attempts to explain phe- 
nomena by causes with which they have no connection the imagination 
plays not more part in them than in any other sort of theorising, and the 
notions that unlucky accidents are due to a certain man's glance, that 
certain formula will bring rain or sunshine, that miraculous images will 
dispel pestilence, and kings of England cure epilepsy, must be classed 
under the head of mistaken generalisations, not very different in point 
of fact from exploded scientific theories, such as Descartes' vortices, or 
the innate ideas of scholasticism. That there was a time when animals 
spoke with human voice may seem to us a piece of fairy-lore, but it was 
in its day a scientific hypothesis as brilliant and satisfying as Darwin's 
theory of evolution. We must, therefore, in examining the relations 
between art and the supernatural, eliminate as far as possible this species 
of scientific speculation, and consider only that supernatural which really 
deserves the name, which is beyond and outside the limits of the possible, 
the rational, the explicable that supernatural which is due not to the 
logical faculties, arguing from wrong premisses, but to the imagination 
wrought upon by certain kinds of physical surroundings. The divinity 
of the earlier races is in some measure a mistaken scientific hypothesis of 
the sort we have described, an attempt to explain phenomena otherwise 
inexplicable. But it is much more : it is the effect on the imagination 
of certain external impressions, it is those impressions brought to a focus, 
personified, but personified vaguely, in a fluctuating, ever- changing 
manner ; the personification being continually altered, reinforced, blurred 
out, enlarged, restricted by new series of impressions from without, even 
as the shape which we puzzle out of congregated cloud-masses fluctuates 
with their every movement a shifting vapour now obliterates the form, 
now compresses it into greater distinctness : the wings of the fantastic 
monster seem now flapping leisurely, now extending bristling like a 
griffon's ; at one moment it has a beak and talons, at others a mane 
and hoofs; the breeze, the sunlight, the moonbeam, form, alter, and 
obliterate it. 

Thus is it with the supernatural : the gods, moulded out of cloud 
and sunlight and darkness, are for ever changing, fluctuating between a 
human or animal shape, god or goddess, cow, ape, or horse, and the mere 
natural phenomenon which impresses the fancy. Pan is the weird, 
shaggy, cloven-footed shape which the goatherd or the huntsman has 
seen gliding among the bushes in the grey twilight ; his is the piping 



216 FAUStUS AHD HELENA. 

heard in the tangle of reeds, marsh, lily, and knotted nigh.tsh.ade by the 
river side : but Pan is also the wood, with all its sights and noises, the 
solitude, the gloom, the infinity of rustling leaves, and cracking branches ; 
he is the greenish-yellow light stealing in amid the boughs ; he is the 
breeze in the foliage, the murmur of unseen waters, the mist hanging 
over the damp sward; i he ferns and grasses which entangle the feet, 
the briars which catch in the hair and garments are his grasp ; and the 
wanderer dashes through the thickets with a sickening fear in his heart, 
and sinks down on the outskirts of the forest, gasping, with sweat-clotted 
hah', overcome by this glimpse of the great god. 

In this constant renewal of the impressions on the fancy, in this 
unceasing shaping and reshaping of its creations, consisted the vitality of 
the myths of paganism, from the scorching and pestilence-bearing gods 
of India to the divinities shaped out of tempest and snowdrift of Scandi- 
navia ; they were constantly issuing out of the elements, renewed, 
changed, ever young, under the exorcism not only of the priest and of 
the poet, but of the village boor ; and on this unceasing renovation de- 
pended the sway which they maintained, without ethical importance to 
help them. Scholastic theology, born in an age of speculation and 
eclecticism, removed its mystic figures out of the cosmic surroundings 
of paganism ; it forbade the imagination to touch or alter them, it 
regularised, defined, explained, placed the saints and angels in a 
kind of supersensuous world of logic, logic adapted to Heaven, and 
different therefore from the logic of earth, but logic none the less. 
Thus the genuine supernatural was well-nigh banished, regulated as 
it was by a sort of congress of men of science, who eliminated, to 
the best of their powers, any vagaries of the imagination which might 
show themselves in their mystico-logic system. But the imagination 
did work nevertheless, and the supernatural did reappear. The Heaven 
of theology was too ethical, too logical, too positive, too scientific, in 
accordance with the science of the Middle Ages, for the minds of 
humanity at large ; the scholars and learned clergy might study and 
expound it, but it was insufficient for the ignorant. The imagination 
reappeared once more. To the monk arose, out of the silence and 
gloom of the damp, lichen-grown crypt, out of the foetid emanations of 
the charnel-house, strange forms of horror which lurked in his steps and 
haunted his sleep after fasting and scourging and vigils : devils and 
imps horrible and obscene, which the chisel of the stonecutter vainly 
attempted to reproduce, in their fluctuating abomination, on the capitals 
and gargoyles of cloister and cathedral. To the artisan, the weaver pent 
up in some dark cellar into which the daylight stole grey and faint from 
the narrow strip of blue sky between the overhanging eaves, for him, 
the hungry and toil-worn and weary of soul, there arose out of the hum 
of the street above, out of the half-lit dust, the winter damp and summer 
suffocation of the underground workshop, visions and sounds of sweetness 



FAUSTUS AND HELENA. 217 

and glory, misty clusters of white-robed angels shedding radiance around 
them, swaying in mystic linked dances ; mingling with the sordid noises 
of toil seraphic harmonies, now near, now dying away into distance, 
voices singing of the sunshine and flowers of Paradise. And for others, 
for the lean and tattered peasant, with the dull, apathetic resignation of 
the starved and goaded ox or horse, sleeping on the damp clay of his hut 
and eating strange flourless bread, and stranger carrion flesh, there comes a 
world of the supernatural, different from that of the monk or the artisan, 
at once terrifying and consoling : the divinities cast out by Christianity, 
the divinities for ever newly begotten by nature, but begotten of a nature 
miserably changed, born in exile and obloquy and persecution, fostered by 
the wretched and the brutified ; differing from the gods of antiquity as 
the desolate heath, barren of all save stones and prickly furze and thistle, 
differs from the fertile pasture-land ; as the forests planted over the corn- 
field, whence issue wolves and the Baron's harvest-trampling horses, differ 
from the forests which gave their oaks and pines to Tyrian ships ; 
divinities warped, and crippled, grown hideous and malignant and unhappy 
in the likeness of their miserable votaries. 

This is the real supernatural, born of the imagination and its sur- 
roundings, the vital, the fluctuating, the potent ; and it is this which the 
artist of every age, from Phidias to Giotto, from Giotto to Blake, has 
been called upon to make known to the multitude. And there had been 
artistic work going on unnoticed long before the time of any painter or 
sculptor or poet of whom we have any record ; mankind longed from 
the first to embody, to fix its visions of wonder, it set to work with rough 
unskilful fingers moulding into shape its divinities. Rude work, ugly, 
barbarous : blundering scratchings on walls, kneaded clay vessels, notched 
sticks, nonsense rhymes ; but work nevertheless which already showed 
that art and the supernatural were at variance ; the beaked and clawed 
figures outlined on the wall were compromises between the man and the 
beast, but definite compromises so much and no more of the man, so 
much and no more of the beast ; the goddess on the clay vessels became 
a mere little owl ; the divinities even in- the nonsense verses were pre- 
sented now as very distinct cows, now as very distinct clouds, or very 
distinct men and women ; the vague, fluctuating impressions oscillating 
before the imagination like the colours of a dove's wing or the pattern of 
a shot silk, interwoven, unsteady, never completely united into one, never 
completely separated into several, were rudely seized, disentangled by 
art; part was taken, part thrown aside; what remained was homo- 
geneous, definite, unchanging ; it was what it was, and could never be 
aught else. 

Goethe has remarked, with a subjective simplicity of irreverence 
which is almost comical, that as God created man in his image, it was 
only fair that man, in his turn, should create God in his image. But 
the decay of pagan belief was not, as Hegel imagines, clue to the fact 

115 



218 FATTSTUS AND SELENA. 

that Hellenic art was anthropomoi-phic. The gods ceased to be gods not 
merely because they became too like men, but because they became too 
like anything definite. If the ibis on the amulet, or the owl on the 
terra-cotta, represents a more vital belief in the gods than does the 
Venus of Milo or the Giustiniani Minerva, it is not because the idea of 
divinity is more compatible with an ugly bird than with a beaiitiful 
woman ; but because whereas the beautiful woman, exquisitely wrought 
by a consummate sculptor, occupied the mind of the artist and of the 
beholder with the idea of her beauty, to the exclusion of all else, the 
rudely-engraven ibis, or the badly-modelled owlet, on the other hand, 
served merely as a symbol, as the recaller of an idea ; the mind did not 
pause in contemplation of the bird, but wandered off in search of the 
god : the goggle eyes of the owl and the beak of the ibis were soon for- 
gotten in the contemplation of the vague, ever transmuted visions of phe- 
nomena of sky and light, of semi-human and semi-bestial shapes, of 
confused half-embodied forces ; in short, of the supernatural. But the 
human shape did most mischief to the supernatural merely because the 
human shape was the most absolute, the most distinct of all shapes : a 
god might be symbolised as a beast, but he could only be portrayed as a 
man ; and if the portrait was correct, then the god was a man, and 
nothing more. Even the most fantastic among pagan supernatural 
creatures, those strange monsters who longest kept their original dual 
nature the centaurs, satyrs, and tritons became beneath the chisel of the 
artist mere aberrations from the normal, rare and curious types like cer- 
tain fair-booth phenomena, but perfectly intelligible and rational; the 
very Chimsera, she who was to give her name to every sort of unintelli- 
gible fancy, became, in the bas-reliefs of the .story of Bellerophon a mere 
singular mixture between a lion, a dog, and a bird a cross-breed which 
happens not to be possible, but which an ancient might well have con- 
ceived as adorning some distant zoological collection. How much more 
rationalised were not the divinities in whom only a peculiar shape of the 
eye, a certain structure of the leg, or a definite fashion of wearing the 
hair, remained of their former nature ? Learned men, indeed, tell us that 
we need only glance at Hera to see that she is at bottom a cow ; at 
Apollo, to recognise that he is but a stag in human shape ; or at Zeus, 
to recognise that he is, in point of fact, a lion. Yet it remains tiue that 
we need only walk down the nearest street to meet ten ordinary men 
and women who look more like various animals than do any antique 
divinities, and who can yet never be said to be in reality cows, stags, or 
lions. The same applies to the violent efforts which are constantly 
beino 1 made to show in the Greek and Latin poets a distinct recollection 
of the cosmic nature of the gods, construing the very human movements, 
looks, and dress of divinities into meteorological phenomena, as has been 
done even by Mr. Ruskin, in his Queen of the Air, despite his artist's 
sense, which should have warned him that no artistic figure, like 
Homer's divinities, can possibly be at the same time a woman and a 



FAUSTUS AND HELENA. 219 

whirlwind. The gods did originally partake of the character of cosmic 
phenomena, as they partook of the characters of beasts and birds, and of 
every other species of transformation, such as we may watch in dreams ; 
but as soon as they were artistically embodied this transformation 
ceased, the nature had to be specified in proportion as the form became 
distinct ; and the drapery of Pallas, although it had inherited its purple 
tint from the storm-cloud, was none the less, when it clad the shoulders 
of the goddess, not a storm-cloud, but a piece of purple linen. " What 
do you want of me 1 " asks the artist. " A god," answers the believer. 
" What is your god to be like 1 " asks the artist. " My god is to be a 
very handsome warrior, a serene heaven, which is occasionally overcast 
with clouds, which clouds are sometimes very beneficial, and become 
(and so does the god at those moments) heavy-uddered cows ; at others 
they are dark, and cause annoyance, and then they capture the god, who 
is the light (but he is also the clouds, remember), and lock him up in a 
tower, and then he frees himself, and he is a neighing horse, and he is 
sitting on the prancing horse (which is himself, you know, and is the sky 

too), in the shape of two warriors, and also " " May Cerberus 

devour you ! " cries the artist. " How can I represent all this ] Do 
you want a warrior, or a cow, or the heavens, or a horse ; or do you want 
a warrior with the hoofs of a horse and the horns of a cow 1 Explain, 
for, by Juno, I can give you only one of these at a time." 

Thus, in proportion as the gods were subjected to artistic manipula- 
tion, whether by sculptor or poet, they lost their supernatural powers. 
A period there doubtless was when the gods stood out quite distinct 
from nature, and yet remained connected with it, as the figures of a high 
relief stand out from the background; but gradually they were freed 
from the chaos of impressions which had given them birth, and then, 
little by little, they ceased to be gods ; they were isolated from the world 
of the wonderful, they were respectfully shelved off into the region of 
the ideal, where they were contemplated, admired, discussed, but not 
worshipped, even like their statues by Praxiteles and their pictures by 
Parrhasius. The divinities who continued to be reverenced were the 
rustic divinities and the foreign gods and goddesses ; the divinities 
which had been safe from the artistic desecration of the cities, and the 
divinities which were imported from hieratic, unartistic countries like 
Egypt and Syria ; on the one hand, the gods shaped with the pruning- 
knife out of figwood, and stained with ochre or wine-lees, grotesque 
mannikins, standing like scarecrows, in orchard or corn-field, to which 
the peasants crowded in devout procession, leading their cleanly-dressed 
little ones, and carrying gifts of fruit and milk, while the listless 
Tibullus, fresh from sceptical Rome, looked on from his doorstep, a 
vague, childish veneration stealing over his mind; on the other hand, 
the monstrous goddesses, hundred-breasted or ibis-headed, half hidden in 
the Syrian and Egyptian temples, surrounded by mysterious priests, 
swarthy or effeminate, in mitres and tawny robes, jangling their sistra 



220 FAUSTtfS AND HELENA. 

and clashing tlieir cymbals, moving in mystic or frenzied dances, weird, 
obscene, and unearthly, to the melancholy drone of Phrygian or Egyptian 
music, sending a shudder through the atheist Catullus, and filling his 
mind with ghastly visions of victims of the great goddess, bleeding, 
fainting, lashed on to madness by the wrath of the terrible divinity. 
These were the last survivors of paganism, and to their protection clung 
the old gods of Greece and Rome, reduced to human level by art, 
stripped naked by sculptor and poet, and muffling themselves in the 
homely or barbaric garments of low-born or outlandish usurpers. Art 
had been a worse enemy than scepticism ; Apelles and Scopas had done 
more mischief than Epicurus. 

Christian art was perhaps more reverent in intention, but not less 
desecrating in practice ; even the Giottesques turned Christ, the Virgin, 
and the Saints, into mere Florentine men and women ; even Angelico 
himself, although a saint, was unable to show Paradise except as a 
flowery meadow, under a highly gilded sky, through which moved 
ladies and youths in most artistic but most earthly embroidered gar- 
ments; and Hell except as a very hot place where men and women 
were being boiled and broiled and baked and fried and roasted, by very 
comic little weasel-snouted fiends, which on a carnival car would have 
made Florentines roar with laughter. The real supernatural was in 
the cells of fever-stricken, starved visionaries ; it was in the contagious 
awe of the crowd sinking down at the sight of the stained napkin of 
Bolsena ; in that soiled piece of linen was Christ, and God, and Para- 
dise ; in that, and not in the panels of Angelico and Perugino, or in the 
frescoes of Signorelli and Filippino. 

Why 1 Because the supernatural is nothing but ever-renewed im- 
pressions, ever-shifting fancies; and that art is the definer, the em- 
bodier, the analytic and synthetic force of form. Every artistic embo- 
diment of impressions or fancies implies isolation of those impressions 
or fancies, selection, combination and balancing of them ; that is to 
say, diminution nay, destruction of their inherent power. As, in order 
to be moulded, the clay must be separated from the mound ; as, in 
order to be carved, the wood must be cut off from the tree ; as, in 
order to be reshaped by art, the mass of atoms must be rudely severed ; 
so also the mental elements of art, the mood, the fancy, must be severed 
from the preceding and succeeding moods of fancies ; artistic manipula- 
tion requires that its intellectual, like its tangible materials, cease to be 
vital. But the materials, mental or physical, are not only deprived of 
vitality and power of self-alteration : they are combined in given pro- 
portions, the action of the one on the other destroys in great part the 
special power of each ; art is proportion, and proportion is restriction. 
Last of all, but most important, these isolated, no longer vital materials, 
neutralised by each other, are further reduced to insignificance by be- 
coming parts of a whole conception ; their separate meaning is effaced 
by the general meaning of the work of art ; art bottles lightning to use 



FAUSTUS AND HELENA. 221 

it as white colour, and measures out thunder by the beat of the chapel- 
master's roll of notes. But art does not merely restrict impressions 
and fancies within the limits of form ; in its days of maturity and inde- 
pendence it restricts yet closer within the limits of beauty. Partially 
developed art, still unconscious of its powers and aims, still in childish 
submission to religion, sets to work conscientiously, with no other ob- 
ject than to embody the supernatural ; if the supernatural suffers in the 
act of embodiment, if the fluctuating fancies which are Zeus or Pallas are 
limited and curtailed, rendered logical and prosaic even in the wooden 
prehistoric idol or the roughly kneaded clay owlet, it is by no choice of 
the artist his attempt is abortive, because it is thwarted by the very 
nature of his art. But when art is mature, things are different ; the 
artist, conscious of his powers, instinctively recognising the futility of 
aiming at the embodiment of the supernatural, dragged by an irresistible 
longing to the display of his skill, to the imitation of the existing and 
to the creation of beauty, ceases to strain after the impossible, and refuses 
to attempt anything beyond the possible. The art, which was before a 
mere insufficient means, is now an all-engrossing aim ; unconsciously, 
perhaps, to himself, the artist regards the subject merely as a pretext for 
the treatment ; and where the subject is opposed to such treatment as 
he desires, he sacrifices it. He may be quite as conscientious as his 
earliest predecessor, but his conscience has become an artistic conscience, 
he sees only as much as is within art's limits ; the gods, or the saints, 
which were cloudy and supernatural to the artist of immature art, are 
definite and artistic to the artist of mature art ; he can think, imagine, 
feel only in a given manner ; his religious conceptions have taken the 
shape of his artistic creations ; art has destroyed the supernatural, and 
the artist has swallowed up the believer. The attempts at super- 
natural effects are almost always limited to a sort of symbolical abbre- 
viation, which satisfies the artist and his public respecting the subject 
of the work, and lends it a traditional association with the supernatural ; 
a few spikes round the head of a young man are all that remains 
of the solar nature of Apollo ; the little budding horns and pointed 
ears of the satyr must suffice to recall that he was once a mystic fusion 
of man and beast and forest ; a gilded disc behind the head is all that 
shows that Giotto's figures are immortals in glory; and a pair of wings 
is all that explains that Perugino's St. Michael is not a mere dainty 
mortal warrior ; the highest mysteries of Christianity are despatched 
with a triangle and an open book, to draw which Raphael might employ 
his colour-grinder, while he himself drew the finely-draped baker's 
daxighter from Trastevere. 

If we would bring home to ourselves the action of art on the 
supernatural, we must examine the only species of supernatural which 
still retains vitality, and can still be deprived of it by art. That which 
remains to us of the imaginative workings of the past is traditional 
and well-nigh effete : we have poems and pictures, Vedic hymns, 



222 FAUSTUS AND HELENA. 

and Egyptian symbols; we have folklore and dogma; remnants of 
the supernatural, some labelled in our historic museums, where they 
are scrutinised, catalogue and eye-glass in hand; others dusty on 
altars and in chapels, before which we uncover our heads and cast down 
our eyes; relics of dead and dying faiths, of which some are daily 
being transferred from the church to the museum ; art cannot deprive 
any of these of that imaginative life and power which they have long 
ceased to possess. We have forms of the supernatural in which we 
believe from acquiescence of habit, but they are not vital ; we have a 
form of the supernatural in which, from logic and habit, we disbelieve, 
but which is vital ; and this form of the supernatural is the ghostly. We 
none of us believe in ghosts as logical possibilities, but we most of us 
conceive them as imaginative probabilities ; we can still feel the ghostly, 
and thence it is that a ghost is the only thing which can in any respect 
replace for us the divinities of old, and enable us to understand, if only 
for a minute, the imaginative power which they possessed, and of which 
they were despoiled not only by logic, but by art. By ghost we do not 
mean the vulgar apparition which is seen or heard in told or written 
tales ; we mean the ghost which slowly rises up in our mind ; the 
haunter, not of corridors and staircases, but of our fancies. Just as the 
gods of primitive religions were the undulating bright heat which made 
midday solitary and solemn as midnight ; the warm damp, the sap-riser 
and expander of life ; the sad dying away of the summer, and the leaden, 
suicidal sterility of winter ; so the ghost, their only modern equivalent, 
is the damp, the darkness, the silence, the solitude ; a ghost is the sound 
of our steps through a ruined cloister, where the ivy -berries and convol- 
vulus growing in the fissures sway up and down among the sculptured 
foliage of the windows, it is the scent of mouldering plaster and moulder- 
ing bones from beneath the broken pavement; a ghost is the bright 
moonlight against which the cypresses stand out like black hearse- 
plumes, in which the blasted grey olives and the gnarled fig-trees stretch 
their branches over the broken walls like fantastic, knotted, beckoning 
fingers, and the abandoned villas on the outskirts of Italian towns, with 
the birds flying in and out of the unglazed windows, loom forth white 
and ghastly ; a ghost is the long-closed room of one long dead, the faint 
smell of withered flowers, the rustle of long-unmoved curtains, the yellow 
paper and faded ribbons of long -unread letters . . . each and all of these 
things, and a hundred others besides, according to our nature, is a ghost, 
a vague feeling we can scarcely describe, a something pleasing and 
terrible which invades our whole consciousness, and which, confusedly 
embodied, we half dread to see behind us, we know not in what shape, 
if we look round. 

Call we in our artist, or let us be our own artist ; embody, let us see 
or hear this ghost, let it become visible or audible to others besides our- 
selves ; paint us that vagueness, mould into shape that darkness, modulate 
into chords that silence tell us the character and history of those vague 



FAUSTUS AND HELENA. 223 

beings .... set to work boldly or cunningly. What do we obtain t 
A picture, a piece of music, a story ; but the ghost is gone. In its stead 
we get oftenest the mere image of a human being ; call it a ghost if you 
will, it is none. And the more complete the artistic work, the less 
remains of the ghost. Why do those stories affect us most in which the 
ghost is heard but not seen 1 Why do those places affect us most of which 
we merely vaguely know that they are haunted ? Why most of all those 
which look as if they might be haunted 1 Why, as soon as a figure is 
seen, is the charm half- lost 1 And why, even when there is a figure, is 
it kept so vague and mist-like 1 Would you know Hamlet's father for a 
ghost unless he told you he was one, and can you remember it long 
while he speaks in mortal words ? and what would be Hamlet's father 
without the terrace of Elsinore, the hour, and the moonlight. Do not 
these embodied ghosts owe what little effect they still possess to their 
surroundings, and are not the surroundings the real ghost 1 Throw sun- 
shine on to them, and what remains 1 

Thus we have wandered through the realm of the supernatural in a 
manner neither logical nor business-like, for logic and business-likeness 
are rude qualities, and scare away the ghostly ; very far away do we 
seem to have rambled from Dr. Faustus and Helen of Sparta ; but in 
this labyrinth of the fantastic there are sudden unexpected turns and 
see, one of these has suddenly brought "us back into their presence. 
For we have seen why the supernatural is always injured by artistic 
treatment, why therefore the confused images evoked in our mind by 
the mere threadbare tale of Faustus and Helena are superior in ima- 
ginative power to the picture carefully elaborated and shown us by 
Goethe. We can now understand why under his hand the infinite 
charm of the weird meeting of Antiquity and the Middle Ages has 
evaporated. We can explain why the strange fancy of the classic 
Walpurgis-night, in the second part of Faust, at once stimulates the 
imagination and gives it nothing. If we let our mind dwell on that 
mysterious Pharsalian plain, with its glimmering fires and flamelets alone 
breaking the darkness, where Faust and Mephistopheles wandering about 
meet the spectres of Antiquity, shadowy in the gloom the sphinxes 
crouching, the sirens, the dryads and oreads, the griffons and cranes 
flapping their unseen wings overhead ; where Faust springs on the back 
of Chiron, and as he is borne along sickens for sudden joy when the 
centaur tells him that Helen has been carried on that back, has clasped 
that neck ; when we let our mind work on all this, we are charmed by 
the weird meetings, the mysterious shapes which elbow us ; but let us 
take up the volume and we return to barren prose, without colour or 
perfume. Yet Goethe felt the supernatural as we feel it, as it can be felt 
only in days of disbelief, when, the more logical we become in our ideas, 
the more we view nature as a prosaic machine constructed by no one in 
particular, the more poignantly, on the other hand, do we feel the delight 
of the transient belief in the vague and the impossible ; when, the greater 



224 FAUSTUS AND HELENA. 

the distinctness with which we see and understand all around us, the 
greater the longing for a momentary half-light in which forms may appear 
stranger, grander, vaguer than they are. We moderns seek in the world 
of the supernatural a renewal of the delightful semi-obscurity of vision 
and keenness of fancy of our childhood ; when a glimpse into fairyland 
was still possible, when things appeared in false lights, brighter, more 
important, more magnificent than now. Art indeed can afford us calm 
and clear enjoyment of the beautiful enjoyment serious, self-possessed, 
wideawake, such as befits mature intellects ; but no picture, no symphony, 
no poem, can give us that delight, that delusory, imaginative pleasure 
which we received as children from a tawdry engraving or a hideous 
doll ; for around that doll there was an atmosphere of glory. In certain 
words, in certain sights, in certain snatches of melody, words, sights and 
sounds which we now recognise as trivial, commonplace, and vulgar, there 
was an ineffable meaning; they were spells which opened doors into 
realms of wonder ; they were precious in proportion as they were mis- 
appreciated. We now appreciate and despise : we see, we no longer 
imagine. And it is to replace this uncertainty of vision, this liberty of 
seeing in things much more than there is, which belongs to man and to 
mankind in its childhood, which compensated the Middle Ages for 
starvation and pestilence, and compensates the child for blows and lessons ; 
it is to replace this that we crave after the supernatural, the ghostly 
no longer believed, but still felt. It was from this sickness of the prosaic, 
this turning away from logical certainty, that the men of the end of the 
eighteenth and the beginning of this century, the men who had finally 
destroyed belief in the religious supernatural, who were bringing light 
with new sciences of economy, philology, and history Schiller, Goethe, 
Herder, Coleridge left the lecture-room and the laboratory, and set 
gravely to work on ghostly tales and ballads.' It was from this rebellion 
against the tyranny of the possible that Goethe was charmed with that 
culmination of all impossibilities, that most daring of ghost stories, the 
story of Faustus and Helena. He felt the seduction of the supernatural, 
he tried to embody it and he failed. 

The case was different with Marlowe. The bringing together of 
Faustus and Helena had no special meaning for the man of the sixteenth 
century, too far from antiquity and too near the Middle Ages to pei-ceive 
as we do the strange difference between them ; and the supernatural had 
no fascination in a time when it was all permeating and everywhere 
mixed with prose. The whole play of Dr. Faustus is conceived in a 
thoroughly realistic fashion ; it is tragic, but not ghostly. To Marlowe's 
aiidience, and probably to Marlowe himself, despite his atheistic repu- 
tation, the story of Faustus's wonders and final damnation was quite 
within the realm of the possible ; the intensity of the belief in the tale is 
shown by the total absence of any attempt to give it dignity or weird- 
ness. Faustus evokes Lucifer with a pedantic semi-biblical Latin speech ; 
he goes about playing the most trumpery conjuror's tricks snatching 



FAUSTUS AND HELENA. 225 

with invisible hands the food from people's lips, clapping horns and 
tails on to courtiers for the Emperor's amusement, letting his legs be 
pulled off like boots, selling wisps of straw as horses, doing and saying 
things which could appear tragic and important, nay, even serious, only 
to people who took every second cat for a witch, who burned their neigh- 
bours for vomiting pins, who suspected devils at every turn, as the great 
witch-expert Sprenger shows them in his horribly matter-of-fact manual. 
We moderns, disbelieving in devilries, would require the most elaborately 
romantic and poetic accessories a splendid lurid background, a magni- 
ficent Byronian invocation of the fiend. The Mephistophilis of Marlowe, 
in those days when devils still dwelt in people, required none of Goethe's 
wit or poetiy ; the mere fact of his being a devil, with the very real 
association of flame and brimstone in this world and the next, was suffi- 
cient to inspire interest in him; whereas in 1800, with Voltaire's 
novels and Hume's treatises on the table, a dull devil was no more 
endurable than any other sort of bore. The very superiority of Marlowe 
is due to this absence of weirdness, to this complete realism ; the last 
scene of the English play is infinitely above the end of the second part of 
Faust in tragic grandeur, just because Goethe made abortive attempts 
after a conscious and artificial supernatural, while Marlowe was satisfied 
with perfect reality of situation. The position of Faustus, when the years 
of his pact have expired, and he awaits midnight, which will give him 
over to Lucifer, is as thoroughly natural in the eyes of Marlowe as is in 
the eyes of Shelley the position of Beatrice Cenci awaiting the moment 
of execution. The conversation between Faustus and the scholars, after 
he has made his will, is terribly life-like ; they disbelieve at first, pooh- 
pooh his danger, then, half-convinced, beg that a priest may be fetched ; 
but Faustus cannot deal with priests. He bids them, in agony, go pray 
in the next room. " Ay, pray for me, pray for me, and what noise 
soever you hear, come not unto me, for nothing can save me. . . . 
Gentlemen, farewell ; if I live till morning, I'll visit you ; if not, Faustus 
is gone to hell." Faustus remains alone for the one hour which separates 
him from his doom ; he clutches at the passing time, he cries to the hours 
to stop with no rhetorical figure of speech, but with a terrible reality of 
agony : 

Let this hour be but 
A year, a month, a week, a natural day, 
That Faustus may repent and save his soul. 

Time to repent, time to recoil from the horrible gulf into which he is 
being sucked. He would leap up to heaven and cling fast, but 
Lucifer drags him down. He would seek annihilation in nature, be 
sucked into its senseless, feelingless mass, . . . and meanwhile the time 
is passing, the interval of respite is shrinking and dwindling. Would 
that he were a soulless brute and might perish, or that at least 
eternal hell were finite a thousand, a hundred thousand years let 
him suffer, but not for ever and without end ! Midnight begins strik- 



226 FAUSTUS AND HELENA. 

ing. With convulsive agony he exclaims, as the rain patters against 
the window : 

soul, be changed into small water-drops, 

And fall into the ocean, ne'er be found. 

But the twelfth stroke sounds ; Lucifer and his crew enter ; and when 
next morning the students, frightened by the horrible tempest and ghastly 
noises of the night, enter his study, they find Faustus lying dead, torn 
and mangled by the demon. All this is not supernatural in our sense ; 
such scenes as this were real for Marlowe and his audience. Such cases 
were surely not unfrequent; more than one man certainly watched 
through such a night in hopeless agony, conscious like Faustus of pact 
with the fiend awaiting, with earth and heaven shut and bolted against 
him, eternal hell. 

In this story of Doctor Faustus, which, to Marlowe and his contem- 
poraries, was not a romance but a reality, the episode of the evoking of 
Helen is extremely secondary in interest. To raise a dead woman was 
not more wonderful than to turn wisps of straw into horses, and it was 
perhaps considered the easier of the two miracles ; the sense of the ordi- 
nary ghostly is absent, and the sense that Helen is the ghost of a whole 
long-dead civilisation, that sense which is for us the whole charm of the 
tale, could not exist in the sixteenth century. Goethe's Faust feels for 
Helen as Goethe himself might have felt, as Winckelmann felt for a lost 
antique statue, as Schiller felt for the dead Olympus : a passion intensely 
imaginative and poetic, born of deep appreciation of antiquity, the essen- 
tially modern, passionate, nostalgic craving for the past. In Marlowe's 
play, on the contrary, Faustus and the students evoke Helen from a 
confused pedantic impression that an ancient lady must be as much 
superior to a modern lady as an ancient poem, be it even by Statius or 
Claudian, must be superior to a modern poem it is a humanistic fancy 
of the days of the revival of letters. But, by a strange phenomenon, 
Marlowe, once realising what Helen means, that she is the fairest of 
women, forgets the scholarly interest in her. Faustus, once in presence 
of the wonderful woman, forgets that he had summoned her up to gratify 
his and his friends' pedantry ; he sees her, loves her, and bursts out into 
the splendid tirade full of passionate fancy : 

Was this the face that launched a thousand ships 
And burnt the topless towers of Ilium .' 
Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss ! 
Her lips suck forth my soul ! See where it flies ! 
Come Helen, come give me my soul again. 
Here will I dwell, for Heaven is in these lips, 
And all is dross that is not Helena. 
I will be Paris, and for love of thee, 
Instead of Troy shall Wittenberg be sacked 
And I will combat with weak Menelaus, 
And wear thy colours on my plumed crest 
Yea, I will wound Achilles in the heel, 



FAUSTUS AND HELENA. 227 

And then return to Helen for a kiss. 
Oh ! thou art fairer than the evening air 
Olad in the beauty of a thousand stars ; 
Brighter art thou than flaming Jupiter 
When he appeared to hapless Semele ; 
More lovely than the monarch of the sky 
In -wanton Arethusa's azure arms : 
And none but thou shalt be my paramour. 

This is a real passion for a real woman, a woman very different from the 
splendid semi- vivified statue of Goethe, the Helen with only the cold, 
bloodless, intellectual life which could be infused by enthusiastic studies 
of ancient literature and art, gleaming bright like marble or a spectre. 
This Helena of Marlowe is no antique ; the Elizabethan dramatist, like 
the painters of the fifteenth century, could not conceive the purely antique, 
despite all the translating of ancient writers and all the drawing from 
ancient marbles. One of the prose versions of the story of Faustus con- 
tains a quaint account of Helen, which sheds much light on Marlowe's 
conception : 

This lady appeared before them in a most rich gowne of purple velvet, costly 
imbrodered ; her haire hanged downe loose, as fairo as the beaten gold, and of such 
length that it reached downe to her hammes ; having most amorous cole-black eyes, 
a sweet and pleasant round face, with lips as red as a cherry ; her cheeks of a rose 
colour, her mouth small, her neck white like a swan ; tall and slender of personage ; 
in summe, there was no imperfect place in her ; she looked around about with a 
rolling hawk's eye, a smiling and wanton countenance, which neerehand inflamed the 
hearts of all the students, but that they persuaded themselves she was a spirit, which 
make them lightly passe away such fancies. 

This fair dame in the velvet embroidered gown, with the long, hanging 
hair, this Helen of the original Faustus legend, is antique only in name ; 
she belongs to the race of mediaeval and modern women the Lauras, 
Fiammetfcas, and Simonettas of Petrarch, Boccaccio, and Lorenzo dei 
Medici : she is the sister of that slyly sentimental coquette, the Monna 
Lisa of Leonardo. The strong and simple women of Homer, and even 
of Euripides, majestic and matronly even in shame, would repudiate 
this slender, smiling, ogling beauty; Briseis, though the captive of 
Achilles' spear, would turn with scorn from her. The antique woman 
has a dignity due to her very inferiority and restrictedness of position ; 
she has the simplicity, the completeness, the absence of everything 
suggestive of degradation, like that of some stately animal, pure in its 
animal nature. The modern woman, with more freedom and more 
ideal, rarely approaches to this character; she is too complex to be 
perfect, she is frail because she has an ideal, she is dubious because she 
is free, she may fall because she may rise. Helen deserted Menelaus 
and brought ruin upon Troy, therefore, in the eyes of antiquity, she was 
the -victim of fate, she might be unruffled, spotless, majestic ; but to the 
man of the sixteenth century she was merely frail and false. The rolling 
hawk's eye and the wanton smile of the old legend-monger would have 



228 FAUSTUS AND HELENA. 

perplexed Homer, but they were necessary for Marlowe ; his Helen was 
essentially modern, he had probably no inkling that an antique Helen as 
distinguished from a modern could exist. In the paramour of Faustus 
he saw merely the most beautiful woman, some fair and wanton crea- 
ture, dressed not in chaste and majestic antique drapery, but in fantastic 
garments of lawn, like those of Hero in his own poem : 

The lining purple silk, with gilt stars drawn ; 

Her wide sleeves green, and bordered with a grove 

Where Venus in her naked glory strove 

To please the careless and disdainful eyes 

Of proud Adonis, that before her lies ; 

Her kirtle blue .... 

Upon her head she wore a myrtle wreath 

From whence her veil reached to the ground beneath ; 

Her veil was artificial flowers and leaves 

Whose workmanship both man and beast deceives. 

Some slim and dainty goddess of Botticelli, very mortal withal, long and 
sinuous, tightly clad in brocaded garments and clinging cobweb veils, 
beautiful with the delicate, diaphanous beauty, rather emaciated and 
hectic, of high rank, and the conscious, elaborate fascination of a woman 
of fashion a creature whom, like the Gioconda, Leonardo might have 
spent years in decking and painting, ever changing the ornaments and 
ever altering the portrait ; to whom courtly poets like Bembo and 
Castiglione might have written scores of sonnets and canzoni to her 
hands, her eyes, her hair, her lips a fanciful inventory to which she 
listened languidly under the cypresses of Florentine gardens. Some 
such being, even rarer and more dubious for being an exotic in the 
England of Elizabeth, was Marlowe's Helen ; such, and not a ghostly 
figure, descended from a pedestal, white and marblelike in her unruffled 
drapery, walking with solid step and unswerving, placid glance through 
the study, crammed with books, and vials, and strange instruments, of 
the mediaeval wizard of Wittenberg. Marlowe deluded himself as well 
as Faustus, and palmed off on to him a mere modern lady. To raise a 
real spectre of the antique is a craving of our own century. Goethe 
attempted to do it and failed, for what reasons we have seen, but we all 
of us possess the charm wherewith to evoke for ourselves a real Helena, 
on condition that, unlike Faustus and unlike Goethe, we seek not to 
show her to others, and remain satisfied if the weird and glorious figure 
haunt only our own imagination. 

VERNON LEE. 



229 



of Jf 00k" 



NOTHING perhaps more distinctly marks the gulf between our mode of 
thought and that of our forefathers than the total disappearance of 
allegorical writing from modern literature. Parables or apologues have 
furnished in all nations the primitive exercise of the inventive faculty ; 
and their universal use, whether as a vehicle of instruction or a source 
of entertainment, proves their power of appealing to some common 
instinct of humanity. Bunyan's " Pilgrim's Progress " is the last of this 
class of compositions which has attained to anything like widespread popu- 
larity, but in the preceding centuries all productions addressed to the 
taste of the masses, whether in poetry, art, or drama, took this symbolical 
or representative form. Unadorned human nature was considered too 
mean and common a thing to occupy the attention of author or public ; 
the stage was filled by impersonal abstractions who discoursed in dialogue 
as insipid as it was edifying ; poets personified nature instead of describ- 
ing her ; painters were not satisfied to portray a woman without symbo- 
lising a virtue ; Folly was held up to derision, and Wisdom spoke her 
trite moral, amid the mummeries of carnival masquerade ; and the 
skeleton grinning from the wall reiterated in still more emphatic 
language the preacher's lesson of the vanity and brevity of life. 

But the irrepressible human element thus studiously excluded from 
the higher realms of art was apt to assert itself in the most unforeseen 
directions, and the secondary episodes in which it was admitted, as it 
were on sufferance, developed an astonishing tendency to growth and 
expansion quite out of proportion to the humble place assigned to them. 
Gods and Goddesses, Vices and Virtues, and all the exalted though shadowy 
train of abstractions and personifications found themselves unexpectedly 
eclipsed by some unworthy intruder on their Olympic society ; and the 
occasional touches of broad caricature, or interludes of comic buffoonery, 
introduced by the appearance on the scene of clowns and ostlers, tavern- 
keepers and assassins, proved more interesting to the public than the 
heroic platitudes they interrupted. 

The famous satire of Sebastian Brant no doubt owed its universal and 
unprecedented popularity to the happy inconsistency of its author, who, 
while adopting for it the form of an allegory, out of deference to the 
prevailing fashion of the age, immediately cast aside the restrictions 
imposed by symbolical composition, and set himself in downright earnest 
and straightforward simplicity to stigmatise the vices of his contempo- 
raries. The Ship of Fools appears, indeed, in the frontispiece with 
disordered rigging and motley crew all jabbering and gesticulating, but 



230 "THE SHIP OF FOOLS." 

we do not follow the incidents of her voyage, or learn how those on 
board comported themselves on the high-seas, passing instead to a 
descriptive catalogue of the various classes of men whose departure from, 
the ways of wisdom might entitle them to wear the cap and bells, 
distinctive of her passengers. We may be sure that it is the failings 
prevalent among the poet's fellow-citizens that are here enumerated, and 
that the good burghers of Basle and Strasburg easily recognised the 
errors of their neighbours in pages where they never detected any 
allusion to their own. 

Brant, thus outraging the prescriptions of high art as understood in 
the fifteenth century, wrote a poem which made an epoch in German 
literature, marking the transition from the formal conventionalities of 
mysticism to the free interpretation of homely nature. Its publication 
created an immense sensation not only in Germany, where it ran through 
several editions, but all over Europe. It was translated into Latin, 
French, English, and Dutch, was published in various adaptations and 
followed by innumerable imitations, was used as a text by preachers and 
a theme by moralists, being looked on almost in the light of a new 
religious revelation, and won for its author the enthusiastic admiration of 
Erasmus, whose most famous work, the treatise entitled " The Praise of 
Folly," it is believed to have suggested. 

Sebastian Brant led a prosperous and active life, and made a con- 
spicuous figure of that homely burgher type which comprised all that 
was best in mediaeval Germany. He was born at Strasburg in 1457 (or 
1458), the son of Diebolt Brant, a well-to-do citizen, and went in 1475 to 
study philosophy at the University of Basle, then only fifteen years 
established. Here he was plunged into that atmosphere of theological 
controversy which the famous council had bequeathed as a legacy to the 
scene of its discussions. Party feeling in society still ran high on the 
points debated by the fathers, and the University was divided into two 
sects, the Realists, headed by Johannes a Lapide, and the Nominalists, a 
more advanced school of thinkers, who advocated philosophical progress 
and ecclesiastical reform. Our young student became an ardent dis- 
ciple of the former, or more conservative, party, and was all his life a 
zealous upholder of divinely constituted authority in Church and State. 

Like Dante, his dream of an ideal society was based on the dazzling 
conception of a restored and perfected Roman Empire, and he dedicated 
a number of works both in prose and verse to the service of the hero of 
his Utopia, Maximilian, King of the Romans, under whom he hoped to 
see his scheme for the reunion of Christendom carried into effect. Thus 
imbued with the political passions of his day, he early abandoned the 
abstractions of philosophy for the more practical study of jurisprudence, 
and taking his degree in canon law in 1484, married in the following 
year Elizabeth Burg, and established himself in Basle for the practice of 
his profession. He was an active publicist as well as author, for he 
edited many works of eminent writers on civil and ecclesiastical law, 



"THE SHIP OF FOOI3." 231 

and had a share in preparing the celebrated edition of the Bible, in six 
folios, with the commentary of Nicholas a Lyro. 

His political dreams and aspirations were shattered by the battle of 
Dornach in 1498, when his hero Maximilian was defeated by the Swiss ; 
and as Basle then ceased to form a portion of the empire, he left it in 
disgust, and removed with his family to his native town of Strasburg. 
He soon took a prominent part in its affairs, becoming in 1501 syndic 
and public advocate, and, two years later, Stadtschreiber, or city 
notary. He calls himself by the more dignified title of chancellor, and 
held indeed an office of considerable importance, as he was charged with 
the keeping of the archives, the record, in the shape of protocols, of the 
sittings of the civic council, and the maintenance of its correspondence 
with foreign states. Amid these avocations he found time to compile 
from ancient documents the annals of the town, which were kept in the 
public library, and destroyed, with other valuable records, by the great 
fire produced by the Prussian bombardment in 1870. 

The Emperor Maximilian recognised Brant's services by creating him 
a Councillor of the Empire. Nor was the title a mere illusory one, as he 
was more than once summoned to the imperial camp while the Concordat 
with the Holy See was being negotiated, that he might take part in the 
deliberations on it. Unlike most of the poets of his age, he received a 
larger share of appreciation from his contemporaries than from posterity ; 
and the celebrated Erasmus, among other critics, paid a public tribute 
to his genius when, during his visit to Strasburg in 1514, he repeatedly 
expressed to the assembled citizens his admiration of " the incomparable 
Brant." 

His popularity was probably due in some degree to his personal 
qualities, as the portraits of him prefixed to the various editions of his 
works are not without a certain fascination. We see him there in 
furred cap and civic robes, with a type of face more Italian than German, 
and suggesting aristocratic lineage rather than the respectable third 
estate from which he sprang. The nose is long but delicately cut, and 
on the slight mobile lips hovers an incipient smile, in which a touch of 
sarcastic humour is tempered by sweetness and geniality. 

The " Narrenschiff " was first published in Basle, in 1494, and quickly 
attained a European celebrity. It is divided into 110 chapters, each 
describing a separate type of human folly, and each illustrated by a 
woodcut, of which the poet is supposed to have suggested the design to 
the artist. In the execution of these illustrations critics believe they 
can detect the work of five several hands, representing as many different 
degrees of skill, and some are attributed to Martin Schbn of Colmar. 
They are full of spirit and vigour, and the action in them is conveyed 
with such dramatic efficiency that they have the interest of a series of 
scenes in a comedy of manners. They represent the humorous side of 
the satire much more strongly than does the text ; where the author's 
earnestness in enforcing his moral overpowers the comic view of the 



232 "THE SHIP OF FOOLS." 

subject in his mind, and makes him rather a censor than satirist. The 
composition doubtless owed its popularity as much to its pictorial 
as to its poetical merits, and we may safely presume that the mere 
literary work would long since have passed into oblivion had it been 
separated from its artistic embellishments. In asking the reader then to 
follow us in turning over its pages, we shall direct his attention princi- 
pally to these, as the more entertaining portion of the subject, giving only 
a few short extracts as a sample of the poem. 

The frontispiece represents the " Narrenschiff" as a top-heavy galley, 
with high poop and prow, about to start on her voyage " Ad Narra- 
goniam," as the motto declares, with an obvious pun on Narr, a fool. 
Streamers are fluttering from masts and rigging, and the crew, all wear- 
ing the livery of Folly, the hood with jangling bells and projecting horns 
in the shape of asses' ears, are vociferating " Gaudeamus omnes " with 
exaggerated gestures of hilarity. One standing on the prow beckons, 
meantime, to a smaller boat, whose crew, with outstretched hands, are 
imploring the ship to wait, har noch. Zu schyff, zu schyff, briider ; ess 
gat, ess gat ! (On board, on board, brothers ; it goes, it goes !) are the 
words put into the mouth of the spokesman of the larger vessel, to 
hurry their arrival. In the upper half of the page a cart is seen con- 
veying another company of fools by land to the same destination. In 
the text, sledges and wheeled vehicles are classed with boats and galleys, 
as equally coming under the definition ship. 

This confusion of terms, and other hints in the poem, have given 
German commentators the idea that the Ship of Fools was not alto- 
gether a creation of the author's imagination, but had an actual existence 
as part of the popular shows and mummeries at carnival-tide. They 
trace the institution as far back as the ancient Teutonic worship of Isis 
as the spring goddess, whose car or ship, borne along the rivers or into the 
mountains, was supposed to carry peace and fruitfulness in its train. 
The image of the goddess, those of other divinities, and the priests con- 
secrated to her service, were at first the sole occupants of her mystic car, 
but later it was invaded by the people, and doubtless originated some 
forms of Shrovetide revelry. Somewhat far-fetched, however, seems 
the suggested derivation of carnival from car navale, notwithstanding 
the coincidence that the Greeks and Romans were accustomed to offer 
a ship to Isis on March 5. 

A monkish chronicle records a strange procession as having taken 
place in the year 1133, seemingly showing that the memory of the elder 
worship still lingered in the popular mind through the Middle Ages. 
On the occasion in question, a ship was built in a forest in the district 
of Aix-la-Chapelle, placed on wheels, and drawn through the country 
escorted by singing and dancing crowds of both sexes. At Maastricht 
it was provided with a mast and sail, and so continued its way by 
water, received with acclamation and rejoicing by the inhabitants of 
each town it passed, and by them forwarded the next stage in its pro- 



"THE SHIP OF FOOLS." 233 

gress. The monk who chronicles this singular celebration speaks of 
it in terms of the strongest reprobation as an act of pagan worship, 
while a line in Brant's poem, saying that the " Narrenschiff " was to 
be found in. the neighbourhood of Aix, seems to indicate the survival of 
a similar custom down to his own days, and its embodiment in the 
framework of his allegory. 

The framework only, or rather the introduction, for all nautical 
symbolism is dropped after the first page, and the subsequent illustra- 
tions of the various types of folly are not in any way wrought into 
the original design. The action portrayed in the woodcuts is, on the 
other hand, generally figurative or emblematic in independent fashion, 
so that we follow, in point of fact, a series of pictorial allegories, with 
explanatory texts. Some of these are conceived in a highly poetic and 
imaginative spirit, like that which personifies the presumptuous and 
reckless fool as a man looking idly out of an upper window, while his 
roof is smitten by the thunderbolts of heaven. The way in which the 
calamity shattering his dwelling is made visible, in the shape of a 
hammer wielded by a gigantic hand stretching from the clouds, is not 
without a certain rude force of expression, while its effects are shown in 
the flames bursting from doors and windows on the ground floor. In 
contrast to this type of overweening carelessness we have in the next 
page the picture of the meddlesome and officious fool, who is seen in 
the attitude of Atlas, bowed down by the self-imposed burden of the 
universe, the circle of the sphere resting on his shoulders, framing like 
a vignette a panorama of trees, towns, estuaries, and mountains. 

In the illustration prefixed to the chapter on worldly ambition, 
Fortune's wheel is seen, guided in its revolution by a hand extended 
from the sky, while three asses, decked with Folly's cap and bells, repre- 
sent, in their different positions, the various stages of a human career. 
One is being borne rapidly upwards, the second is triumphantly but 
insecurely perched on the temporary summit, grasping in his forepaws 
the orb of sovereignty, and the third is whirled downwards in precipi- 
tate descent. There is both humour and vigorous design in the variety 
of attitudes and expression assigned to the aspiring quadrupeds, and 
the moral is pointed by a skull and grave-stone in the foreground, 
suggesting the common end of all Fortune's changes. It is worthy of 
remark that this design is almost a facsimile, with the substitution only 
of asses for apes and dogs, of the Wheel of Fortune as represented on 
the old tarots, or emblematical playing cards, although they are not 
supposed to have been much used in Germany. 

The lesson of remaining uninfluenced by empty and foolish talking 
is enforced by a singular image : a bell standing on the ground, mouth 
upwards, has a fox's brush in the place of a clapper, to signify at once 
the impotence and malignity of evil speakers ; while the hopelessness of 
attempting to stop their mouths by kindness is indicated by a man 
taking flour with both hands out of a sack. The figure holding a 
VOL. XLIL NO. 248. 12. 



234 "THE SHIP OF FOOLS." 

balance in his hand, the heavier scale containing a turreted feudal castle, 
the lighter the celestial sphere, emblazoned with sun, moon, and stars, 
is emblematical of the folly which consists in preferring temporal to 
eternal happiness. 

In another woodcut a fool is seen riding on a cray-fish, his hand 
pierced by a reed he has leant on, his mouth gaping for a dove flying 
towards him ready roasted ; and the text explains this allegory as signi- 
fying those who expect rewards they have not earned either in this- 
world or the next. The figure who appears complacently playing the 
bagpipes, while a harp and lute lie neglected at his feet, is, we find, 
intended for those empty-minded prattlers who prefer their own frivo- 
lous babble to anything better or more improving. Samson, shorn by 
Dalilah, is, as we see at a glance, a type of that numerous class who 
cannot keep their own counsels ; while the group round a table with 
cards and dice, the vain fool contemplating himself in a mirror, and the 
officious one who runs to put out the fire in his neighbour's house, 
leaving his own in flames, point equally obvious morals. One of the 
most striking illustrations is that prefixed to the section on those who 
withhold the truth from human respect, and this failing is symbolised 
with considerable dramatic force by a monk in the pulpit who holds his 
finger to his lips with a sanctimonious expression, while some of the 
congregation threaten him with swords and sticks, and others sleep in 
various attitudes on benches, and on the steps of the pulpit. 

The only illustration in which the actual Ship, the titular subject of 
the allegory, reappears, is a sufficiently striking one. In this it is seen 
capsized in a tempestuous sea, with the gigantic figure of Antichrist 
seated on its reversed keel ; he holds a scourge in one hand, a sack of 
gold in the other, and a monstrous flying fiend blows into his ear with 
a bellows. The fools are struggling in the waves, or seeking refuge in 
a crazy boat, while another, freighted with a pious crew in various atti- 
tudes of devotion, and labelled as the bark of Peter, is drawn to the 
shore by the saint himself, his key serving very opportunely as a boat- 
hook. The sea is strewn with books, and the text refers to the abuse 
of the printing-press in spreading heretical doctrines. 

If there were any attempt at logical arrangement in the poem, this 
catastrophe would naturally bring it to a conclusion, instead of oc- 
curring, as it does, at a comparatively early stage. The same absence 
of constructive skill is manifest throughout, and the various vices and 
failings stigmatised by the author are jumbled indiscriminately together, 
without any pretence at classification or general plan, while some of the 
chapters are so nearly repetitions of subjects already dealt with, that 
the same woodcut does duty a second time. This failure in artistic 
symmetry is, however, counterbalanced by lively vigour of language, 
fluent versification, and inexhaustible fertility of imagery and illustration ; 
the moral of each chapter being pointed by a string of instances, biblical, 
classical, and legendary, grouped together with naive unconsciousness of 



"THE SHIP OF FOOLS." 235 

incongruity. The poem, which was written in the Swabian dialect, 
contains, in many parts, antiquated and obsolete turns of speech, but 
the modernised version, published at Berlin in 1872, offers no difficulty 
of language, while it preserves the racy terseness of the original. 

Each chapter begins with a sort of motto in a rhyming triplet, 
generally explanatory of the accompanying woodcut, as, for instance, 
the lines on men who are foolishly suspicious and watchful of their 
wives, which open thus : 

'Twere wiser grasshoppers to count, 

Or pour fresh water in the fount, 

Than over women guard to mount. 

He finds much pain and little pleasure, 

Who keeps his wife like hidden treasure : 

If good, she wants no guide nor pastor 

If bad, will cheat both man and master. 

The illustration represents a man carefully tending a flock of grass- 
hoppers, and another energetically pouring a jug of water down a well ; 
while a woman, looking out of an upper window, watches their futile 
labours, with a slyly sarcastic expression of countenance. 

The prologue describes the work as evoked by the genera insensi- 
bility of the public to other teaching, and after setting forth the author's 
aim to be a reformer of morals, dilates on the universal applicability of 

the satire. 

We well may call it Folly's Mirror, 
Since every fool there sees his error. 
His proper worth would each man know, 
The Glass of Fools the truth will show. 
Who meets his image on the page, 
May learn to deem himself no sage. 
Nor shrink his nothingness to see, 
Since naught that lives from fault is free, 
And who in conscience dare be sworn, 
That cap and bells he ne'er hath worn. 
He who his foolishness descries 
Alone deserves to rank as wise, 
While who doth wisdom's airs rehearse 
May stand godfather to my verso. 

The same facile versification and fluent sententious cadence run 
through page after page, and chapter after chapter, nor does the metre 
ever vary from its pithy brevity. It resembles that of " Hudibras " ; 
but Brant falls far short of the point and polish of language achieved by 
Butler. The following lines, however, taken also from the prologue, have 
something of his ringing cadence : 

For jest and earnest, use and sport, 

Here fools abound of every sort. 

The sage may here find Wisdom's rules, 

And Folly learn the ways of fools, 

Dolts rich and poor my verse doth strike, 

The bad find badness, like finds like. 

122 



236 "THE SHIP OF FOOLS." 

A cap on many a one I fit, 
Who fain to wear it would omit, 
Were I to mention him by name, 
" I know you not," he would exclaim. 

The " Narrenschiff " is full of indications of the manners of the day, 
and the woodcuts are a curious study of its costumes. In one a fashion- 
ably dressed lady is coming out of church, and is met in the courtyard 
by a knight about to enter, his falcon perched on the wrist, his dogs 
yelping and snarling at his heels. Thus attended, the gallant sportsman's 
devotions are likely to be a greater source of distraction to his neigh- 
bours than of profit to himself, and accordingly the text rebukes this dis- 
respectful fashion of assisting at service. The long peaked shoes which 
were the prevailing fashion of the time figure universally in the illus- 
trations, and in the chapter on the desecration of feast days by servile 
labour, having the toes of these " Schnabelschuhe " stuffed with cotton 
so as to make them wearable, is enumerated as one of the unnecessary 
tasks frequently imposed on servants. 

The fifteenth century would seem to have been no whit behindhand 
in the tricks of trade a special section is devoted to their reprobation; 
and false weights, short measure, light money, copper gilt to pass as 
gold, inferior furs dyed in imitation of real, lame horses fitted with 
padded shoes to appear sound, are enumerated among the forms of 
deceit in vogue. Nor is the adulteration of food a modern inven- 
tion, for in the woodcut we have the wine merchant introducing all 
manner of foreign substances, " saltpetre, sulphur, bones, mustard, and 
ashes," into the barrel, while the alchymist, busy with retorts and 
crucibles, is seen carrying on another form of imposture, now happily 
exploded. 

The long chapter which reprehends over-indulgence in the pleasures 
of the table gives a curious view of the social customs of the time, and 
the author's nai've hints on good manners imply a considerable lack of 
them among his contemporaries. Some, he says, are too nice to help 
themselves to salt with their fingers, but he for his part would prefer 
seeing a clean hand thrust into the salt-cellar to a knife, which, for aught 
he knows, may have last been used in skinning a cat. The nice point of 
etiquette thus raised seems to imply that the simple expedient of a 
common salt-spoon had not yet been hit upon, while we also infer from 
the context that each guest brought his own table battery, consisting 
probably of a large clasp knife. The poet ako condemns as a breach of 
politeness the device of blowing into a glass to clear away any particles 
fallen in, as well as the introduction of a knife, or even of a piece of 
bread to remove them, though the latter passed for the more genteel 
solution of the difficulty. Among gentlefolk he evidently thinks the 
correct thing would be to call for a fresh glass, though he considerately 
remarks that from a poor man such a costly piece of refinement would 
be too much to expect, and he would apparently give him a dispensation 



"THE SHIP OF FOOLS." 237 

for some slight deviation from the strict laws of good breeding. The 
carver who in helping his neighbours selects the worse portions for them, 
reserving the better for himself, he who turns the dish round when it 
is set before him in order to take a leisurely survey and choose the most 
inviting morsels, the man who eats too fast, speaks too loud, or mono- 
polises the general conversation, all come in for their share of reprobation ; 
and these trifling instances show how narrowly the satirist scanned 
human nature, and how keenly he ridiculed its smallest failings and 
weaknesses. 

This minuteness of detail characterises the poem throughout, and, 
while it adds to its interest as an antiquarian relic, undoubtedly detracts 
from its literary merit. The sense of proportion seems to have been 
wanting in the author's mind, and he allots no greater space to the 
denunciation of wickedness than to the analysis of mere social selfishness. 
Yet this very condescension to trifles which militated against him as an 
artist, doubtless increased his usefulness as a preacher ; for while actual 
vice is almost impregnable to satire, the enforcement of the minor 
moralities comes fairly within its scope. Thus if Sebastian Brant's sen- 
tentious wisdom helped nothing to the observance of the Decalogue, it 
might at least hinder breaches of the social code ; and if gamesters, cheats, 
and drunkards were impervious to his ridicule, the man who inconveni- 
enced his neighbours at dinner might fear to find its shafts borrowed by 
their tongues, in revenge for his greediness or garrulity. At any rate our 
author did his best to deprive wickedness of its prestige by classing it 
with folly, and so far deserved well of his generation. 

The English version of the " Narrenschiff," published in 1509, 
attained to nearly as great a celebrity as the German text. It is rather 
an adaptation than a translation, and ranks almost as an original poem, 
but its prolixity of style and tedious versification give no idea of the 
pithy terseness which gives point and incisiveness to Brant's satire. Its 
author, Alexander Barclay, was a Dominican monk or Black Friar, 
whose conscience in matters of doctrine was evidently as elastic as that 
of the Vicar of Bray in politics, since he acquiesced calmly in the Refor- 
mation, and received preferment under Edward VI. Having* travelled 
on the continent in his youth, he was familiar with foreign tongues, and 
was a man of considerable attainments. Besides his translation of Brant, 
he is best known as the author of a series of Eclogues, which held a good 
place in the literature of the time. Barclay's " Ship of Fools " is chiefly 
interesting as a study of language, being the only important work in 
English verse produced in the interval between Chaucer and Spenser. 
It is written in strong idiomatic vernacular, and embodies many popular 
proverbial phi-ases still in use, and here found for the first time in litera- 
ture, as the earliest collection of English proverbs that of Hey wood was 
not published till 1546. Thus we read in its pages, " When the stede is 
stolyn to shyt the stable door." " Better is a frend in courte than a peny 
in purse." " A crowe to pull." " Better haue one birde sure within 



238 "THE SHIP OF FOOLS." 

thy wall, or fast in a cage than twenty score without," while the Eclogues 
are still more rich in the homely wit of the popular idiom. 

Barclay's poem furnished Sir Edward Coke's caustic wit with a 
metaphor for a sneer at his great rival. The first edition of the " Novum 
Organttm " had on its title-page a woodcut of a ship passing the Straits 
of Hercules, to signify the new realms about to be explored by philo- 
sophy ; and on the presentation copy given to Coke the following doggrel 
rhyme was inscribed in his handwriting, above the proud device of the 
author : 

It deserveth not to be read in schools, 

But to be freighted in the Ship of Fools. 

In modern English literature the " Ship of Fools " is more rarely 
introduced, and probably the latest allusion to it occurs in a now nearly 
forgotten novel called " Crotchet Castle," by Thomas Love Peacock, a 
writer of the last generation. The principal characters of the work are 
discussing a projected pleasure voyage up the Thames and by the head 
waters of the Severn into the Ellesmere Canal, when Lord Bossnowl, 
the butt of the party, expresses a hope that if he's to be one of the com- 
pany the ship is not to be the ship of fools, thereby, of course, raising a 
universal laugh against himself. 

This imaginary expedition had actually been rnaae by Peacock, who 
here describes it, in company with the poet Shelley, the explorers follow- 
ing the windings of the Thames until, as the former graphically puts it 
in a letter, its entire volume had dwindled to so narrow a thread as to 
be turned aside by a cow lying placidly recumbent across its course. It 
was during this excursion that Shelley visited Lechdale in Gloucester- 
shire, the scene commemorated by the beautiful lines on " A Summer 
Evening Churchyard," beginning 

The wind has swept from the wide atmosphere 
Each vapour that obscured the sunset's ray ; 

And pallid evening twines its beaming hair 

In duskier braids around the languid eyes of day ; 

Silence and twilight, unbeloved of men, 

Creep hand in hand from yon obscurest glen. 

It would seem that an additional wave of Lethe has rolled over the 
work of Brant and Barclay in the generation intervening between 
Shelley's time and our own, for a passing reference like the above would 
scarcely be understood by the novel-reading public of the present day. 
The famous satire is at last forgotten, amid the multitude of ephemeral 
novelties that burden the library shelves, and few care to explore its 
antiquated pages. Yet the picture parables and homely truisms in 
verse with which their author seeks to illustrate and enforce his plain 
old-world morality might be found more entertaining than the stereo- 
typed conventionalities of many a modern volume. 



239 



(WE lay our story in the East. 
Because 'tis Eastern? Not the least. 
We place it there because we fear 
To bring its parable too near, 
And touch with an unguarded hand 
Our dear, confiding native land.) 

A certain Calipb, in the days 
The race affected vagrant ways, 
And prowled at eve for good or bad 
In lanes and alleys of BAGDAD, 
Once found, at edge of the bazaar, 
E'en where the poorest workers are, 
A Carver. 

Fair his work and fine 
With mysteries of inlaced design, 
And shapes of shut significance 
To aught but an anointed glance, 
The dreams and visions that grow plain 
In darkened chambers of the brain. 

But all day busily he wrought 

From dawn to eve, and no one bought; 

Save when some Jew with look askant, 

Or keen-eyed Greek from the Levant, 

Would pause awhile, depreciate, 

Then buy a month's work by the weight, 

Bearing it swiftly over seas 

To garnish rich men's treasuries. 

And now for long none bought at all, 
So lay he sullen in his stall. 
Him thus withdrawn the Caliph found, 
And smote his staff upon the ground 



240 THE CAEVER AND THE CALIPH. 

" Ho, there, within ! Hast wares to sell 1 
Or slumber'st, having dined too well 1 " 
"'Dined,'" quoth the man, with angry eyes, 
" How should I dine when no one huys 1 " 
" Nay," said the other, answering low, 
" Nay, I but jested. Is it so ? 
Take then this coin, but take beside 
A counsel, friend, thou hast not tried. 
This craft of thine, the mart to suit, 
Is too refined, remote, minute; 
These small conceptions can but fail; 
'Twere best to work on larger scale, 
And rather choose such themes as wear 
More of the earth and less of air. 
The fisherman that hauls his net, 
The merchants in the market set, 
The couriers posting in the street, 
The gossips as they pass and greet, 
These things are plain to all men's eyes, 
Therefore with these they sympathise. 
Further (neglect not this advice !) 
Be sure to ask three times the price." 

The Carver sadly shook his head; 
He knew 'twas truth the Caliph said. 
From that day forth his work was planned 
So that the world might understand. 
He carved it deeper, and more plain ; 
He carved it thrice as large again; 
He sold it, too, for thrice the cost; 
Ah, but the Artist that was lost ! 

AUSTIN DOBSOX. 



241 



Ifthtp : % gac|jim0 Romance. 



CHAPTER XLI. 
BACKWARD THOUGHTS. 

HAT was a beautiful 
morning on which we 
got up at 'an unearthly 
hour to see the Youth 
depart all of us, that is 
to say, except Mary 
Avon. And yet she was 
not usually late. The 
Laird could not under- 
stand it. He kept walk- 
ing from one room to an- 
other, or hovering about 
the hall ; and when the 
breakfast gong sounded, 
he refused to come in 
and take his place with- 
out his accustomed com- 
panion. But just at 
this moment whom 
should he behold enter- 
ing by the open door but Mary Avon herself laden with her artistic 
impedimenta. He pounced on her at once, and seized the canvas. 

" Bless me, lassie, what have ye been about ? Have ye done all this 
this morning 1 Ye must have got up in the middle of the night ! " 

It was but a rough sketch, after all or the beginnings of a sketch, 
rather of the wide, beautiful sea and mountain view from the garden 
of Castle Osprey. 

" I thought, sir," said she, in a somewhat hesitating way, " that you 
might perhaps be so kind as to accept from me those sketches I have 
made on board the White Dove and and if they were at Denny-mains, 
I should like to have the series complete and and it would naturally 

begin with a sketch from the garden here " 

He looked at her for a moment, with a grave, perhaps wistful, kind- 
ness in his face. 

" My lass, I would rather have seen you at Denny-mains." 
That was the very last word ho ever uttered concerning the dream 

125 




242 WHITE WINGS: A YACHTING ROMANCE. 

that had just been disturbed. And it was only about this time, I 
thin'k, that we began to recognise the simple, large, noble nature of 
this man. We had been too much inclined to regard the mere husks 
and externals of his character to laugh at his assumption of parochial 
importance, his solemn discussions of the Semple case, his idiotic stories 
about Homesh. And it was not a mere freak of generosity that revealed 
to us something of the finer nature of this old Scotchman. People as 
rich as he have often paid bigger sums than 10,300. for the furtherance 
of a hobby. But it was to put away his hobby it was to destroy for 
ever the " dream of his old age " that he had been thus munificent 
towards this girl. And there was no complaint or regret. He had told 
us it was time for him to put away childish things. And this was the 
last word said "My lass, I would rather have seen you at Denny- 
mains." 

The Laird was exceedingly facetious at this breakfast-party, and his 
nephew had a bad time of it. There were mysterious questions about 
Messrs. Hughes, Barnes, and Barnes ; as to whether consultations were 
best held in stubble or in turnips ; or whether No. 5 shot was the best 
for bringing down briefs ; and so forth. 

" Never mind, uncle," said the Youth good-naturedly. " I will send 
you some partridges for the larder of the yacht." 

" You need not do anything of the kind," said the Laird ; " before 
you are in Bedfordshire the White Dove will be many a mile away from 
the course of luggage steamers." 

" Oh, are you ready to start, then, sir ? " said his hostess. 

" This very meenute, if it pleases you," said he. 

She looked rather alarmed, but said nothing. In the meantime the 
waggonette had come to the door. 

By-and-by there was a small party assembled on the steps to see 
the Youth drive off. And now the time had come for him to make that 
speech of thanks which his tincle had pointed out was distinctly due 
from him. The Laird, indeed, regarded his departure with a critical 
air ; and no doubt waited to see how his nephew would acquit him- 
self. 

Perhaps the Youth had forgotten. At all events, having bidden 
good-bye to the others, he shook hands last of all with his hostess, and 
said lightly 

" Thank you very much. I have enjoyed the whole thing tre- 
mendously." 

Then he jumped into the waggonette, and took off his cap as a parting 
salute ; and away he went. The Laird frowned. When he was a young 
man that was not the way in which hospitality was acknowledged. 

Then Mary Avon turned from regarding the depai-ting waggonette. 

" Are we to get ready to start ? " said she. 

" What do you say, sir V asks the hostess of the Laird. 

" I am at your service," he replies. 



WHITE WINGS: A YACHTING EOMANCE. 243 

And so it appeared to be arranged. But still Queen Titania looked 
irresolute and uneasy. She did not at once set the whole house in an 
uproar ; or send down for the men ; or begin herself to harry the garden. 
She kept loitering about the door ; pretending to look at the signs of 
the weather. At last Mary said 

" Well, in any case, you will be more than an hour in having the 
things carried down ; so I will do a little bit more to that sketch in the 
meantime." 

The moment she was gone, her hostess says in a hurried whisper to 
the Laird 

" Will you come into the Library, sir, for a moment 1 " 

He obediently followed her ; and she shut the door. 

" Are we to start without Angus Sutherland 1 " she asked, without 
cinmmlocution. 

" I beg your pardon, ma'am," said the wily Laird. 

Then she was forced to explain, which she did in a somewhat nervous 
manner. . 

" Mary has told me, sir, of your very, very great generosity to her. 
I hope you will let me thank you, too." 

" There is not another word to be said about it," he said simply. 
" I found a small matter wrong in the world that I thought I could put 
right ; and I did it and now we start fresh and straight again. That 
is all." 

" But about Angus Sutherland," said she still more timidly. " You 
were quite right in your conjectures at least, I imagine so indeed, I 
am sure of it. And now. don't you think we shoiild send for him ? " 

" The other day, ma'am," said he slowly, " I informed ye that when 
I considered my part done I would leave the matter in your hands 
entirely. I had to ask some questions of the lass, no doubt, to make 
sure of my ground ; though I felt it was not a business fit for an old 
bachelor like me to intermeddle wi'. I am now of opinion that it would 
be better, as I say, to leave the matter in your hands entirely." 

The woman looked rather bewildered. 

" But what am I to do? " said she. " Mary will never allow me to 
send for him and I have not his address in any case - " 



Laird took a telegram from his breast-pocket. 

" There it is," said he, " until the end of this week, at all events." 

She looked at it hesitatingly ; it was from the office of the magazine 
that Angus Sutherland edited ; and was in reply to a question of the 
Laird's. Then she lifted her eyes. 

" Do you think I might ask Mary herself 1 ?" 

" That is for a woman to decide," said he ; and again she was thrown 
back on her own resources. 

Well, this midge of a woman has some courage, too. She began to 
reflect on what the Laird had adventured, and done, for the sake of this 
girl ; and was she not prepared to risk something also ? After all, if 



244 WHITE WINGS: A YACHTING EOMANCE. 

these two had been fostering a vain delusion, it would be better to have 
it destroyed at once. 

And so she went out into the garden, where she found Miss Avon 
again seated at her easel. She went gently over to her ; she had the 
telegram in her hand. For a second or two she stood irresolute ; then 
she boldly walked across the lawn, and put her hand on the girl's 
shoulder. With the other hand she held the telegram before Mary 
Avon's eyes. 

" Mary," said she, in a very low and gentle voice. " Will you write 
to him now and ask him to come back ? " 

The girl dropped the brush she had been holding on to the grass, and 
her face got very pale. 

"Oh, how could I do that 1 ?" said she, in an equally low and 
frightened voice. 

" You sent him away." 

There was no answer. The elder woman waited ; she only saw 
that Mary Avon's fingers were working nervously with the edge of the 
palette. 

" Mary," said she at length, " am I right in imagining the cause 
of your sending him away ? May I write and explain, if you will 
not?" 

" Oh, how can you explain 1 " the girl said, almost piteously. " It is 
better as it is. Did you not hear what the kindest friend I ever found 
in the world had to say of me yesterday, about young people who were 
too prudent, and were mercenary ; and how he had no respect for young 
people who thought too much about money " 

" Mary, Mary ! " the other said, " he was not speaking about you. 
You mercenary ! He was speaking about a young man who would 
throw over his sweetheart for the sake of money. You mercenary I 
Well, let me appeal to Angus ! When I explain to him, and ask him 
what he thinks of you, I will abide by his answer." 

" Well, I did not think of myself; it was for his sake I did it," said 
the girl, in a somewhat broken voice ; and tears began to steal down 
her cheeks, and she held her head away. 

" Well, then, I won't bother you a,ny more, Mary," said the other, in 
her kindliest way. " I won't ask you to do anything, except to get 
ready to get down to the yacht." 

" At once?" said the!' girl, instantly getting up, and drying her eyes. 
She seemed greatly relieved by this intimation of an immediate start. 

" As soon as the men have the luggage taken down." 

" Oh, that will be very pleasant," said she, immediately beginning to 
put away her colours. " What a fine breeze ! I am sure I shall be ready 
in fifteen minutes." 

Then the usual bustle began ; messages flying up and down, and the 
gig and dingay racing each other to the shore and back again. By twelve 
o'clock everything had been got on board. Then the White Dove gently 



WHITE WINGS: A YACHTING ROMANCE. 245 

glided away from her moorings ; we had started on our last and longest 
voyage. 

It seemed innumerable ages since we had been in our sea-home. And 
that first glance round the saloon as our absent friend the Doctor had 
remarked called up a multitude of recollections, mostly converging to 
a general sense of snugness, and remoteness, and good fellowship. The 
Laird sank down into a corner of one of the couches, and said 

" Well, I think I could spend the rest of my days in this yacht. It 
seems as if I had lived in it for many, many years." 

But Miss Avon would not let him remain below ; it was a fine 
sailing day ; and very soon we were all on deck. A familiar scene ? this 
expanse of blue sea, curling with white here and there ; with a dark 
blue sky overhead, and all around the grand panorama of mountains in 
their rich September hues 1 The sea is never familiar. In its constant 
and moving change, its secret and slumbering power, its connection with 
the great unknown beyond the visible horizon, you never become familiar 
with the sea. We may recognise the well-known landmarks as we steal 
away to the north the long promontory and white lighthouse of Lis- 
more, the ruins of Duart, the woods of Scallasdale, the glimpse into Loch 
Aline and we may use these things only to calculate our progress ; but 
always around us is the strange life, and motion, and infinitude of the 
sea, which never becomes familiar. 

We had started with a light favourable wind, of the sort that we had 
come to call a Mary- Avon-steering breeze ; but after luncheon this died 
away, and we lay idly for a long time opposite the dark green woods of 
Fuinary. However, there was a wan and spectral look about the sun- 
shine of this afternoon, and there were some long, ragged shreds of cloud 
in the southern heavens just over the huge round shoulders of the Mull 
mountains that told us we were not likely to be harassed by any pro- 
tracted calms. And, in fact, occasional puffs and squalls came over from 
the south which, if they did not send us on much farther, at least kept 
everybody on the alert. 

And at length we got it. The gloom over the mountains had 
deepened, and the streaks of sunlit sky that were visible here and there 
had a curious coppery tinge about them. Then we heard a hissing in 
towards the shore, and the darkening band on the sea spread rapidly out 
to us ; then there was a violent shaking of blocks and spars, and, as the 
White Dove bent to the squall, a most frightful clatter was heard below, 
showing that some careless people had been about. Then away went 
the yacht like an arrow ! We cared little for the gusts of rain that 
came whipping across from time to time. We would not even go down 
to see what damage had been done in the cabins. John of Skye, with 
his savage hatred of the long calms we had endured, refused to lower his 
gaff topsail. At last he was " letting her have it." 

We spun along, with the water hissing away from our wake ; but 
the squall had not had time to raise anything of a sea, so there was but 



246 WHITE WINGS: A YACHTING ROMANCE. 

little need for the women to duck their heads to the spray. Promontory 
after promontory, bay after bay was passed, until far ahead of us, 
through the driving mists of rain, we could make out the white shaft of 
Ru-na-Gaul lighthouse. But here another condition of affairs confronted 
us. When we turned her nose to the south, to beat in to Tobermory 
harbour, the squall was coming tearing out of that cup among the hills 
with an exceeding violence. When the spray sprang high at the bows, 
the flying shreds of it that reached us bore an uncommon resemblance 
to the thong of a whip. The topsail was got down, the mizen taken in, 
and then we proceeded to fight our way into the harbour in a series of 
tacks that seemed to last only a quarter of a second. What with the 
howling of the wind, that blew back his orders in his face ; and what 
with the wet decks, that caused the men to stumble now and again ; and 
what with the number of vessels in the bay, that cut short his tacks at 
every turn, Captain John of Skye had an exciting time of it. But we 
knew him of old. He " put on " an extra tack, when there was no 
need for it, and slipped through between a fishing-smack and a large 
schooner, merely for the sake of " showing off." And then the WJdte 
Dove was allowed to go up to the wind, and slowly slackened her pace, 
and the anchor went out with a roar. We were probably within a yard 
of the precise spot where we had last anchored in the Tobbermorry bay. 

It blew and rained hard all that evening, and we did not even think 
of going on deck after dinner. We were quite content as we were. 
Somehow a new and secret spirit of cheerfulness had got possession of 
certain members of this party, without any ostensible cause. There was 
no longer the depression that had prevailed about West Loch Tarbert. 
When Mary Avon played bezique with the Laird, it was to a scarcely 
audible accompaniment of " The Queen's Maries." 

Nor did the evening pass without an incident worthy of some brief 
mention. There is, in the White Dove, a state-room which really acts as 
a passage, during the day, between the saloon and the forecastle ; and, 
when this state-room is not in use, Master Fred is in the habit of con- 
verting it into a sort of pantry, seeing that it adjoins his galley. Now, 
on this evening, when our shifty Friedrich d'or came in with soda-water 
and such like things, he took occasion to say to the Rear-Admiral of the 
Fleet on board 

" I beg your pardon, mem, but there is no one now in this state-room, 
and will I use it for a pantry 1 " 

" You will do nothing of the kind, Fred," said she quite sharply. 



^ CHAPTER XLII. 

A TOAST. 

" I AM almost afraid of what I have done ; but. it is past recall now : " 
this is the mysterious sentence one hears on climbing up the companion 
next morning. It is Queen Titania and the Laird who are talking ; but 



WHITE WINGS: A YACHTING ROMANCE. 247 

as soon as a third person appears they become consciously and guiltily 
silent. What does it matter 1 ? We have other work on hand than pry- 
ing into twopenny-halfpenny secrets. 

For we have resolved on starting away for the north in spite of this 
fractious weather. A more unpromising-looking morning indeed for setting 
out could not well be imagined windy, and wet, and squally ; the driven 
green sea outside springing white where it meets the line of the coast ; 
Loch Sunart and its mountains hidden away altogether behind the mists 
of rain ; wan flashes of sunlight here and there only serving to show how 
swiftly the clouds are flying. But the White Dove has been drying her 
wings all the summer ; she can afford to face a shower now. And while 
the men are hoisting the sail and getting the anchor hove short, our two 
women-folk array themselves in tightly-shaped ulsters, with hoods drawn 
over their heads ; and the Laird appears in a waterproof reaching to his 
heels ; and even the skylights have their tarpaulins thrown over. Dirty 
weather or no, we mean to start. 

There are two or three yachts in the bay, the last of the summer-fleet 
all hastening away to the south. There is no movement on the decks of 
any one of them. Here and there, however, in sheltered places under 
a bit of awning, or standing by the doors of deck-saloons we can make 
out huddled groups of people, who are regarding, with a pardonable 
curiosity, the operations of John of Skye and his merry men. 

" They take us for maniacs," says Queen Titania from out of her 
hood, " to be setting out for the north in such weather." 

And we were nearly affording those amiable spectators a pretty sight. 
The wind coming in variable gusts, the sails failed to fill at the proper 
moment, and the White Dove drifted right on to the bows of a great 
schooner, whose bowsprit loomed portentous overhead. There was a 
wild stampede for boathooks and oars ; and then with arms, and feet, 
and poles aided by the swarming crew of the schooner : we managed to 
clear her with nothing more serious than an ominous grating along the 
gig. And then the wind catching her, she gradually came under the 
control of Captain John ; and away we went for the north, beating right 
in the teeth of the gusts that came tearing over from the mouth of 
Loch Sunart. 

" It's a bad wind, mem, for getting up to Isle Ornsay," says John of 
Skye to the Admiral. " Ay, and the ^ea pretty coorse, too, when we get 
outside Ardnamurchan." 

" Now, listen to me, John," she says severely, and with an air of 
authority as much authority, that is to say, as can be assumed by a 
midge enclosed in an ulster. " I am not going to have any of that. I 
know you of old. As soon as you get out of Tobermory, you imme- 
diately discover that the wind is against our going north ; and we turn 
round and run away down to lona and the Bull-hole. I will not go to 
the Bull-hole. If I have "to sail this yacht myself, night and day, I will 
go to Isle Ornsay." 



248 WHITE WINGS: A YACHTING EOMANCE. 

" If ye please, mem," says John of Skye, grinning with great delight 
over her facetiousness. " Oh, I will tek the yat to Isle Ornsay very 
well, if the leddies not afraid of a little coorse sea. And you will not 
need to sail the yat at all, mem. But I not afraid to let you sail the 
yat. You will know about the sailing now shist as much as Mr. Suther- 
land." 

At the mention of this name, Queen Titania glanced at Mary Avon, 
perceived she was not listening, and went nearer to John of Skye, and 
said something to him in a lower voice. There was a quick look of sur- 
prise and pleasure on the handsome, brown-bearded face. 

" Oh, I ferry glad of that, mem," said he. 

" Hush, John ! Not a word to anybody," said she. 

By this time we had beat out of the harbour, and were now getting 
longer tacks ; so that, when the sheets were properly coiled, it was pos- 
sible for the Laird and Miss Avon to attempt a series of short prome- 
nades on the wet decks. It was an uncertain and unstable performance, 
to be sure ; for the sea was tumultuous ; but it served. 

" Mutual help that's the thing," said the Laird to his companion, as 
together they staggered along, or stood steady to confront a particularly 
fierce gust of wind. "We are independent of the world this solitary 
vessel out in the waste of waters but we are not independent of each 
other. It just reminds me of the small burghs outside Glasgow ; we 
wish to be independent of the great ceety lying near us ; we prefer to 
have a separate existence ; but we can help each other for all that in a 
most unmistakeable way " 

Here the Laird was interrupted by the calling out of Captain 
John " Ready about ! " and he and his companion had to get out of the 
way of the boom. Then they resumed their promenade, and he his dis- 
course. 

" Do ye think, for example," said this profound philosopher, " that any 
one burgh would have been competent to decide on a large question like 
the clauses of the Police Act that refer to cleansing and lighting 1 " 

" I am not sure," Miss Avon admitted. 

" No, no," said he confidently, " large questions should be considered 
in common council with every opportunity of free discussion. I do 
not much like to speak about local matters, or of my own share in them, 
but I must take credit for this, that it was myself recommended to the 
Commissioners to summon a public meeting. It was so, and the meet- 
ing was quite unanimous. It was Provost McKendrick, ye must under- 
stand, who formally made the proposal that the consideration of those 
clauses should be remitted to the clerks of the various burghs, who 
were to report ; but the suggestion was really mine I make no scruple 
in claiming it. And then, see the result ! When the six clerks were 
agreed, and sent in their report, look at the authority of such a docu- 
ment ! Who but an ass would make freevolous objections ? " 

The Laird laughed aloud. 



WHITE WINGS: A YACHTING ROMANCE. 249 

" It was that crayture, Johnnie Guthrie," said he, "as usual ! I am 
not sure that I have mentioned his name to ye before 1 " 

"Oh, yes, I think so, sir," remarked Miss Avon. 

" It was that crayture, Johnnie Guthrie in the face of the unanimous 
report of the whole six clerks ! Why, what could be more reasonable 
than that the lighting of closes and common stairs should fall on the 
landlords, but with power to recover from the tenants ; while the 
cleansing of back courts being a larger and more general measure 
should be the work of the Commissioners and chargeable in the police 
rates 1 It is a great sanitary work that benefits every one ; why should 
not all have a hand in paying for~it ] " 

Miss Avon was understood to assent; but the fact was that the 
small portion of her face left uncovered by her hood had just then 
received an unexpected bath of salt water ; and she had to halt for a 
moment to get out a handkerchief from some sub-ulsterian recess. 

"Well," continued the Laird, as they resumed their walk, "what does 
this body Guthrie do but rise and propose that the landlords mind ye, 
the landlords alone should be rated for the expense of cleaning the 
back-courts ! I declare there are some folk seem to think that a land- 
lord is made of nothing but money, and that it is everybody's business to 
harry him, and worry him, and screw every farthing out of him. If 
Johnnie Guthrie had half a dozen lands of houses himself, what would 
he say about the back-courts then 1 " 

This triumphant question settled the matter ; and we hailed the 
Laird below for luncheon. Our last glance round showed us the Atlantic 
of a silvery grey, and looking particularly squally; with here and there 
a gleam of pale sunshine falling on the long headland of Ardnamurchan. 

There was evidently some profound secret about. 

" Well, ma'am, and where will we get to the night, do ye think ? ' 
said the Laird, cheerfully, as he proceeded to carve a cold fowl. 

" It is of no consequence," said the other, with equal carelessness. 
" You know we must idle away a few days somewhere." 

Idle away a few days 1 and this White Dove bent on a voyage to 
the far north when the very last of the yachts were fleeing south ? 

" I mean," said she hastily, in order to retrieve her blunder, " that 
Captain John is not likely to go far away from the chance of a harbour 
until he sees whether this is the beginning of the equinoctials or not." 

" The equinoctials ! " said the Laird, anxiously. 

" They sometimes begin as early as this ; but not often. However, 
there will always be some place where we can run in to." 

The equinoctials, indeed ! When we went on deck again we found 
not only that those angry squalls had ceased, but that the wind had 
veered very considerably in our favour, and we were now running and 
plunging past Ardnamurchan Point. The rain had ceased, too; the 
clouds bad gathered themselves up in heavy folds ; and their reflected 
blackness lay over the dark and heaving Atlantic plain. Well was it 



250 WHITE WINGS: A YACHTING ROMANCE. 

for these two "women that luncheon had been taken in time. "What one 
of them had dubbed the Ardnamurchan "Wobble which she declared to 
be as good a name for a waltz as the Liverpool Lurch had begun in 
good earnest ; and the White Dove was dipping, and rolling, and spring- 
ing in the most lively fashion. There was not much chance for the 
Laird and Mary Avon to resume their promenade ; when one of the men 
came aft to relieve John of Skye at the wheel, he had to watch his 
chance, and come clambering along by holding on to the shrouds, the 
rail of the gig, and so forth. But Dr. Sutherland's prescription had its 
effect. Despite the Ardnanmrchan Wobble and all its deeds, there was 
no ghostly and silent disappearance. 

And so we ploughed on our way during the afternoon, the Atlantic 
appearing to grow darker and darker, as the clouds overhead seemed to 
get banked up more thickly. The only cheerful bit of light in this 
gloomy picture was a streak or two of sand at the foot of the sheer and 
rocky cliffs north of Ardnamurchan Light ; and those we were rapidly 
leaving behind as the brisk breeze with a kindness to which we were 
wholly strangers kept steadily creeping round to the south. 

The dark evening wore on, and we were getting well up towards 
Eigg, when a strange thing became visible along the western horizon. 
Eirst the heavy purple clouds showed a tinge of crimson, and then a 
sort of yellow smoke appeared close down at the sea. This golden 
vapour widened, cleared, until there was a broad belt of lemon-coloured 
sky all along the edge of the world ; and in this wonder of shining light 
appeared the island of Hum to all appearance as transparent as a bit 
of the thinnest gelatine, and in colour a light purple rose. It was 
really a most extraordinary sight. The vast bulk of this mountainous 
island, including the sombre giants Haleval and Haskeval, seemed to 
have less than the consistency of a cathedral window ; it resembled 
more a pale, rose-coloured cloud ; and the splendour of it, and the glow 
of the golden sky beyond, were all the more bewildering by reason of the 
gloom of the overhanging clouds that lay across like a black bar. 

" Well ! " said the Laird, and here he paused, for the amazement in 
his face could not at once find fitting words. " That beats a' ! " 

And it was a cheerful and friendly light, too, that now came streaming 
over to us from beyond the horizon-line. It touched the sails and the 
varnished spars with a pleasant colour. It seemed to warm and dry the 
air, and tempted the women to put aside their ulsters. Then began a 
series of wild endeavours to achieve a walk on deck, interrupted every 
second or two by some one or other being thrown against the boom, or 
having to grasp at the shrouds in passing. But it resulted in exercise, 
at all events ; and meanwhile we were still making our way northward, 
with the yellow star of Isle Ornsay lighthouse beginning to be visible in 
the dusk. 

That evening at dinner the secret came out. There cannot be the 
slightest doubt that the disclosure of it had been carefully planned by 



WHITE WINGS : A YACHTING EOMANCE. 251 

these two conspirators ; and that they considered themselves amazingly 
profound in giving to it a careless and improvised air. 

" I never sit down to dinner now, ma'am," observed the Laird, in a 
light and graceful manner, " without a feeling that there is something 
wanting in the saloon. The table is not symmetrical. That should 
occur to Miss Mary's eye at once. One at the head, one my side, two 
yours ; no, that is not as symmetrical as it used to be." 

" Do you think I do not feel that, too 1 " says his hostess. " And 
that is not the only time at which I wish that Angus were back with 
us." 

No one had a word to say for poor Howard Smith, who used to sit 
at the foot of the table, in a meek and helpful capacity. No one thought 
of summoning him back to make the arrangement symmetrical. Per- 
haps he was being consoled by Messrs. Hughes, Barnes, and Barnes. 

" And the longer the nights are growing, I get to miss him more and 
more," she says, with a beautiful pathos in her look. " He was always 
so full of activity and cheerfulness the way he enjoyed life on board 
the yacht was quite infectious, and then his constant plans and sugges- 
tions. And how he looked forward to this long trip ! though, to be 
sure, he struggled hard against the temptation. I know the least thing 
would have turned the scale, Italy or no Italy." 

"Why, ma'am," says the Laird, laughing prodigiously, "I should 
not wonder, if you sent him a message at this minute, to find him coming 
along post-haste and joining us, after all. What is Eetaly 1 I have been 
in Eetaly myself. Ye might live there a hundred years, and never 
see anything so fine in colour as that sunset we saw this very evening. 
And if it is business he is after, bless me ! cannot a young man be a 
young man sometimes, and have the courage to do something impru- 
dent ? Come now, write to him at once ! I will take the responsibility 
myself." 

" To tell you the truth, sir," said the other timidly but she pretends 
she is very anxious about the safety of a certain distant wine-glass " I 
took a sudden notion into my head yesterday morning, and sent him a 
message." 

" Dear me ! " he cries. The hypocrite ! 

And Mary Avon all the while sits mute, dismayed, not daring to 
turn her face to the light. And the small white hand that holds the 
knife : why does it tremble so 1 

" The fact is," says Queen Titania carelessly, just as if she were 
reading a bit out of a newspaper, " I sent him a telegram, to save time. 
And I thought it would be more impressive if I made it a sort of round- 
robin, don't you know as far as that can be done on a square telegraph- 
form and I said that each, and all of us demanded his instant return, 
and that we should wait about Isle Ornsay or Loch Hourn until he 
joined us. So you see, sir, we may have to try your patience for a day 
or two." 



252 "WHITE WINQS: A YACHTING ROMANCE. 

" Ye may try it, but ye will not find it wanting," said the Laird, with 
serious courtesy. " I do not care how long I wait for the young, man, so 
long as I am in such pleasant society. Ye forget, ma'am, what life one 
is obliged to live at Denny-mains, with public affairs worrying one from 
the morning till the night. Patience? I have plenty of patience. But 
all the same I would like to see the young man here. I have a great 
respect for him, though I consider that some of his views may not be 
quite sound that will mend that will mend ; and now, my good 
friends, I will take leave to propose a toast to ye." 

We knew the Laird's old-fashioned ways, and had grown to humour 
them. There was a pretence of solemnly filling glasses. 

" I am going," said the Laird, in a formal manner, " to propose to ye 
the quick and safe return of a friend. May all good fortune attend him 
on his way, and may happiness await him at the end of his journey ! " 

There was no dissentient ; but there was one small white hand some- 
what unsteady, as the girl, abashed and trembling and silent, touched the 
glass with her lips. 



CHAPTER XLIII. 
EXPECTATIONS. 

IT was a fine piece of acting. These two continued to talk about the 
coming of our young Doctor as if it were the most simple and ordinary 
affair possible. All its bearings were discussed openly, to give you to 
understand that Mary Avon had nothing in the world to do with it. 
It was entirely a practical arrangement for -the saving of time. By 
running across to Paris he would jump OA^er the interval between our 
leaving West Loch Turbert and this present setting-out for the north. 
Mary Avon was asked about this point and that point : there was no 
reason why she should not talk about Angus Sutherland just like any 
other. 

And, indeed, there was little call for any pale apprehension on the 
face of the girl, or for any quick look round when a sudden sound was 
heard. It was not possible for Angus to be anywhere in our neigh- 
bourhood as yet. When we went on deck next morning, we found 
that we had been idly drifting about all night, and that we were now 
far away from any land. The morning sun was shining on the dark 
green woods of Armadale, and on the little white sharp point of Isle 
Ornsay lighthouse, and on the vast heather-purpled hills in the north ; 
while over there the mountains above Loch Hourn were steeped in a 
soft mysterious shadow. And then, by-and-by, after breakfast, some 
light puffs of westerly wind began to ruffle the glassy surface of the sea ; 
and the White Dove almost insensibly drew nearer and nearer to the 
entrance of that winding loch that disappeared away within the dusky 



WHITE WINGS: A YACHTING ROMANCE. 253 

shadows of those overhanging hills. Late on as it was in the autumn, 
the sun was hot on the sails and the deck ; and these cool breezes were 
welcome in a double sense. 

We saw nothing of the accustomed gloom of Loch Hourn. The 
sheer sides of the great mountains were mostly in shadow, it is true ; but 
then the ridges and plateaus were burning in the sunlight; and the 
waters of the loch around us were blue, and lapping, and cheerful. We 
knew only that the place was vast, and still, and silent; we could make 
out scarcely any sign of habitation. 

Then, as the White Dove still glided on her way, we opened out a 
little indentation of the land behind an island ; and there, nestled at 
the foot of the hill, we descried a small fishing-village. The cottages, 
the nets drying on the poles, the tiny patches of cultivated ground be- 
hind, all seemed quite toy-like against the giant and overhanging bulk 
of the hills. But again we drew away from Camus Ban that is, the 
White Bay and got further and further into the solitudes of the moun- 
tains, and away from any traces of human life. When about mid-day 
we came to anchor, we found ourselves in a sort of cup within the hills, 
apparently shut off from all the outer world, and in a stillness so intense 
that the distant whistle of a curlew was quite startling. A breath of 
wind that blew over from the shore brought us a scent of honeysuckle. 

At luncheon we found to our amazement that a fifth seat had been 
placed at table, and that plates, glasses, and what not had been laid for 
a guest. A guest in these wilds 1 there was not much chance of such 
a thing, unless the King of the Seals or the Queen of the Mermaids 
were to come on board. 

But when we had taken our seats, and were still regarding the 
vacant chair with some curiosity, the Laird's hostess was pleased to 
explain. She said to him, with a shy smile 

" I have not forgotten what you said ; and I quite agree with you 
that it balances the table better." 

" But not an empty chair," said the Laird severely ; perhaps thinking 
it was an evil omen. 

" You know the German song," said she, " and how the last remaining 
of the comrades filled the glasses with wine, and how the ghosts rattled 
the glasses. Would you kindly fill that glass, sir ? " 

She passed the decanter. 

" I will not, begging your pardon," said the Laird sternly, for he 
did not approve of these superstitions. And forthwith he took the deck- 
chair and doubled it up, and threw it on the couch. " We want the 
young man Sutherland here, and not any ghost. I doubt not but that 
he has reached London by now." 

After that a dead silence. Were there any calculations about time ; 
or were we wondering whether, amid the roar and whirl and moving 

O ' O 

life of the great city, he was thinking of the small floating-home far 
away, amid the solitude of the seas and the hills ? The deck-chair was 



254 WHITE WINGS: A YACHTING KOMANCE. 

put aside, it is true, for the Laird shrank from superstition; but the 
empty glass, and the plates and knives, and so forth, remained and 
they seemed to say that our expected guest was drawing nearer and 
nearer. 

" Well, John," said Queen Titania, getting on deck again, and lookin^ 
round, "I think we have got into Fairyland at last." 

John of Skye did not seem quite to understand, for his answer 
was 

" Oh, yes, mem, it is a fearful place for squahls." 
" For squalls ! " said she. 

No wonder she was surprised. The sea around us was so smooth 
that the only motion visible on it was caused by an exhausted wasp that 
had fallen on the glassy surface and was making a series of small ripples 
in trying to get free again. And then could anything be more soft and 
beautiful than the scene around us the great mountains clad to the 
summit with the light foliage of the birch ; silver water-falls that made 
a vague murmur in the air ; an island right ahead with picturesquely 
wooded rocks ; an absolutely cloudless sky above altogether a wonder 
of sunlight and fair colours 1 Squalls ? The strange thing was, not that 
we had ventured into a region of unruly winds, but that we had got 
enough wind to bring us in at all. There was now not even enough to 
bring us the scent of honeysuckle from the shore. 

In the afternoon we set out on an expedition, nominally after wild- 
duck, but in reality in exploration of the upper reaches of the loch. We 
found a narrow channel between the island and the mainland, and pene- 
trated into the calm and silent waters of Loch Hourn Beg. And still 

less did this offshoot of the larger loch accord with that gloomy name 

the Lake of Hell. Even where the mountains were bare and forbidding 
the warm evening light touched the granite with a soft rose-grey ; and 
reflections of this beautiful colour were here and there visible amid 
the clear blue of the water. We followed the windings of the narrow 
and tortuous loch ; biit found no wild-duck at all. Here and there a 
seal stared at us as we passed. Then we found a crofter's cottage, and 
landed, to the consternation of one or two handsome wild-eyed children. 
A purchase of eggs ensued, after much voluble Gaelic. We returned to 
the yacht. 

That evening, as we sate on deck, watching the first stars beginning 
to tremble in the blue, some one called attention to a singular light that 
was beginning to appear along the summits of the mountains just over 
us a silvery-grey light that showed us the soft foliage of the birches, 
while below the steep slopes grew more sombre as the night fell. And 
then we guessed that the moon was somewhere on the other side of the 
loch, as yet hidden from us by those black crags that pierced into the 
calm blue vault of the sky. This the Lake of Hell, indeed ! By-and- 
by we saw the silver rim appear above the black line of the hills ; and 
a pale glory was presently shining around us, particularly noticeable 



WHITE WINGS : A YACHTING ROMANCE. 255 

along the varnished spars. As the white moon sailed up, this solitary 
cup in the mountains was filled with the clear radiance, and the silence 
seemed to increase. "We could hear more distinctly than ever the various 
waterfalls. The two women were walking up and down the deck ; and 
each time that Mary Avon turned her profile to the light the dark eye- 
brows and dark eyelashes seemed darker than ever against the pale, sen- 
sitive, sweet face. 

But after a while she gently disengaged herself from her friend, and 
came and sate down by the Laird : quite mutely, and waiting for him to 
speak. It is not to be supposed that she had been in any way more demon- 
strative towards him since his great act of kindness ; or that there was any 
need for him to have purchased her affection. That was of older date. 
Perhaps, if the truth were told, she was rather less demonstrative now ; 
for we had all discovered that the Laird had a nervous horror of any- 
thing that seemed to imply a recognition of what he had done. It was 
merely, he had told us, a certain wrong thing he had put right : there 
was no more to be said about it. 

However, her coming and sitting down by him was no unusual cir- 
cumstance ; and she meekly left him his own choice, to speak to her or 
not as he pleased. And he did speak after a time. 

" I was thinking," said he, " what a strange feeling ye get in living on 
board a yacht in these wilds : it is just as if ye were the only craytures 
in the world. Would ye not think, now, that the moon there belonged 
to this circle of hills, and could not be seen by anyone outside it ? It 
looks as if it were coming close to the topmast ; how can ye believe that 
it is shining over Trafalgar Square in London ? " 

" It seems very close to us on so clear a night," says Mary Avon. 

"And in a short time now," continued the Laird, "this little world 
of ours I mean the little company on board the yacht must be dashed 
into fragments, as it were ; and ye will be away in London ; and I will 
be at Denny-mains ; and who knows whether we may ever see each 
other again ? We must not grumble. It is the fate of the best friends. 
But there is one grand consolation think what a consolation it must 
have been to many of the poor people who were driven away from these 
Highlands to Canada, and Australia, and elsewhere that after all the 
partings and sorrows of this world there is the great meeting-place at 
last. I would just ask this favour frae ye, my lass, that when ye go back 
to London, ye would get a book of our old Scotch psalm-tunes, and learn 
the tune that is called Comfort. It begins ' Take comfort, Christians, 
when your friends.' It is a grand tune that : I would like ye to learn 
it." 

" Oh, certainly I will," said the girl. 

" And I have been thinking," continued the Laird, " that I would 
get Tom Galbraith to make ye a bit sketch of Denny-mains, that ye 
might hang up in London, if ye were so minded. It would show ye 
what the place was like ; and after some years ye might begin to believe 



256 WHITE WINGS: A YACHTING EOMANCE. 

that ye really had been there, and that ye were familiar with it, as the 
home of an old friend o' yours." 

" But I hope to see Denny-mains for myself, sir," said she, with some 
surprise. 

A quick, strange look appeared for a moment on the old Laird's face. 
But presently he said 

" No, no, lass, ye will have other interests and other duties. That 
is but proper and natural. How would the world get on at all if we 
were not to be dragged here and there by diverse occupations 1 " 

Then the girl spoke, proudly and bravely 

" And if I have any duties in the word, I think I know to whom I 
owe them. And it is not a duty at all, but a great pleasure ; and you 
promised me, sir, that I was to see Denny-mains ; and I wish to pay 
you a long, long, long visit." 

" A long, long, long visit 1 " said the Laird cheerfully. " No, no, 
lass. I just couldna be bothered with ye. Ye would be in my way. 
What interest could ye take in our parish meetings, and the church 
soirees, and the like? No, no. But if ye like to pay me a short, 
short, short visit at your own convenience at your own convenience, 
mind I will get Tom Galbraith through from Edinburgh, and I will 
get out some of the younger Glasgow men ; and if we do not, you and 
me, show them something in the way of landscape-sketching that will 
just frighten them out of their very wits, why then I will give ye leave 
to say that my name is not Mary Avon." 

He rose then and took her hand, and began to walk with her up 
and down the moonlit deck. We heard something about the Haughs o' 
Cromdale. The Laird was obviously not ill-pleased that she had boldly 
claimed that promised visit to Denny-mains. 



THE 



SEPTEMBEE, 1880. 



Ijjitc 



CHAPTER XLIV. 
" YE ARE WELCOME, GLENOGIE ! " 

HEN, after nearly three 
months of glowing sum- 
mer weather the heavens 
begin to look as if they 
meditated revenge ; 
when, in a dead calm, a 
darkening gloom appears 
behind the further hills, 
and slight puffs of wind 
come down vertically, 
spreading themselves out 
on the glassy water ; 
when the air is sultry, 
and an occasional low 
rumble is heard, and the 
sun looks white ; then 
the reader of these pages 
may thank his stars that 
he is not in Loch Hourn. 
And yet it was not alto- 
gether our fault that we were nearly caught in this dangerous cup among 
the hills. We had lain in these silent and beautiful waters for two or 
three days, partly because of the exceeding loveliness of the place, partly 
VOL. XLII. NO. 249. 13. 




258 WHITE WINGS t A YACHTING KOMANCE. 

because we had to allow Angus time to get up to Isle Ornsay, but chiefly 
because we had not the option of leaving. To get through the 
narrow and shallow channel by which we had entered, we wanted both 
wind and tide in our favour ; and there was scarcely a breath of air 
during the long, peaceful, shining days. At length, when our sovereign 
mistress made sure that the young Doctor must be waiting for us at 
Isle Ornsay, she informed Captain John that he must get us out of this 
place somehow. 

" 'Deed, I not. sorry at all," said John of Skye, who had never ceased 
to represent to us that, in. the event of bad weather coming on, we should 
find ourselves in the lion's jaws. 

"Well, on the afternoon of the third day, it became very obvious that 
something serious was about to happen. Clouds began to bank \\p be- 
hind the mountains that overhung the upper reaches of the loch, and an 
intense purple gloom gradually spread along those sombre hills all the 
more intense that the little island in front of us, crossing the loch, burned 
in the sunlight a vivid strip of green. Then little puffs of wind fell 
here and there on the blue water, and broadened out in a silvery grey. 
We noticed that all the men were on deck. 

As the strange darkness of the loch increased, as these vast moun- 
tains overhanging the inner cup of the loch grew more and more awful 
in the gloom, we began to understand why the Celtic imagination had 
called this place the Lake of Hell. Captain John kept walking up and 
down somewhat anxiously, and occasionally looking at his watch. The 
question was, whether we should get enough wind to take us through the 
narrows before the tide turned. In the meantime mainsail and jib were 
set, and the anchor hove short. 

At last the welcome flapping and creaking and rattling of blocks ! 
What although this brisk breeze came dead in our teeth 1 John of 
Skye, as he called all hands to the windlass, gave us to understand that 
he would rather beat through the neck of a bottle than lie in Loch 
Houm that night. 

And it was an exciting piece of business when we got further down 
the loch, and approached this narrow passage. On the one side sharp 
and sheer rocks, on the other shallow banks that shone through the 
water; behind us the awful gloom of gathering thunder, ahead of us a 
breeze that came tearing down from the hills in the most puzzling and 
varying squalls. With a steady wind it would have been bad enough to 
beat through those narrows ; but this wind kept shifting about anyhow. 
Sharp was the word indeed. It was a question of seconds as we sheered 
away from the rocks on the one side, or from the shoals on the other. 
And then, amidst it all, a sudden cry from the women 

" John, John ! " 

John of Skye knows his business too well to attend to the squealing 
of women. 

" Eeady about ! " he roars ; and all hands are at the sheets, and even 



WHITE WINGS: A YACHTING EOMANCE. 259 

Master Fred is leaning over the bows, to watch the shallowness of the 
water. 

" John, John ! " the women cry. 

" Haul up the main tack, Hector ! Ay, that'll do. Eeady about, boys !" 

But this starboard tack is a little bit longer, and John manages to 
cast an impatient glance behind him. The sailor's eye in an instant 
detects that distant object. What is it 1 Why, surely some one in the 
stern of a rowing-boat, standing up and violently waving a white hand- 
kerchief, and two men pulling like mad creatures. 

" John, John ! Don't you see it is Angus Sutherland 1 " cries the 
elder woman pitifully. 

By this time we are going bang on to a sandbank ; and the men, 
standing by the sheets, are amazed that the skipper does not put his 
helm down. Instead of that and all this happens in an instant he 
eases the helm up, the bows of the yacht fall away from the wind, and 
just clear the bank. Hector of Moidart jumps to the mainsheet and 
slacks it out, and then, behold ! the White Dove is running free, and there 
is a sudden silence on board. 

" Why, he must have come over from the Caledonian Canal ! " says 
Queen Titania, in great excitement. " Oh, how glad I am ! " 

But John of Skye takes advantage of this breathing space to have 
another glance at his watch. 

" We'll maybe beat the tide yet," he says confidently. 

And who is this who comes joyously clambering up, and hauls his 
portmanteau after him, and throws a couple of half-crowns into the 
bottom of the black boat 1 

" Oh, Angus," his hostess cries to him, " you will shake hands with 
us all afterwards. We are in a dreadful strait. Never mind us help 
John if you can." 

Meanwhile Captain John has again put the nose of the White Dove 
at these perilous narrows ; and the young Doctor perhaps glad enough 
to escape embarrassment among all this clamour has thrown his coat 
off to help ; and the men have got plenty of anchor-chain on deck, to 
let go the anchor if necessary ; and then again begins that manoeuvring 
between the shallows and the rocks. What is this new sense of com- 
pleteness of added life* of briskness and gladness 1 Why do the men 
seem more alert ? and why this cheeriness in Captain John's shouted 
commands ? The women are no longer afraid of either banks or shoals ; 
they rather enjoy the danger ; when John seems determined to run the 
yacht through a mass of conglomerate they know that with the precision 
of clock-work she will be off on the other tack ; and they are laughing 
at these narrow escapes. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that 
only one of them laughs. Mary Avon is somewhat silent, and she holds 
her friend's hand tight. 

Tide or no tide, we get through the narrow channel at last ; and 
every one breathes more freely when we are in the open. But we are 

132 



260 WHITE WINGS: A YACHTING EOMANCE. 

still far from being out of Loch Hourn ; and now the mountains in the 
south, too one of them apparently an extinct volcano have grown 
black as thunder ; and the wind that comes down from them in jerks 
and squalls threatens to plunge our bulwarks under water. How the 
White Dove flees away from this gathering gloom ! Once or twice we 
hear behind us a roar, and turning we can see a specially heavy squall 
tearing across the loch ; but here with us the wind continues to keep a 
little more steady, and we go bowling along at a welcome pace. Angus 
Sutherland comes aft, puts on his coat, and makes his formal entry into 
our society. 

" You have just got out in time, "says he, laughing somewhat nervously, 
to his hostess. " There will be a wild night in Loch Hourn to-night." 

" And the beautiful calm we have had in there ! " she says. " We 
were beginning to think that Loch Hourn was Fairyland." 

" Look ! " he said. 

And indeed the spectacle behind us was of a nature to make us 
thankful that we had slipped out of the lion's jaws. The waters of the 
loch were being torn into spindrift by the squalls ; and the black clouds 
overhead were being dragged into shreds as if by invisible hands ; and in 
the hollows below appeared a darkness as if night had come on prema- 
turely. And still the White Dove flew and flew, as if she knew of the 
danger behind her ; and by-and-by we were plunging and racing across 
the Sound of Sleat. We had seen the last of Loch Hourn. 

The clear golden ray of Isle Ornsay lighthouse was shining through 
the dusk as we made in for the sheltered harbour. We had lun the 
dozen miles or so in a little over the hour ; and now dinner-time had 
arrived ; and we were not sorry to be in comparatively smooth water. 
The men were sent ashore with some telegram the sending off of which 
was the main object of our running in here ; and then Master Fred's bell 
summoned us below from the wild and windy night. 

How rich and warm and cheerful was this friendly glow of the 
candles, and how compact the table seemed now, with the vacant space 
filled at last ! And every one appeared to be talking hard, in order to 
show that Angus Sutherland's return was a quite ordinary and familiar 
thing ; and the Laird was making his jokes ; and the young Doctor tell- 
ing his hostess how he had been sending telegrams here and there until 
he had learned of the White Dove having been seen going into Loch 
Hourn. Even Miss Avon, though she said but little, shared in this 
general excitement and pleasure. We could hear her soft laughter from 
time to time. But her eyes were kept away from the corner where 
Angus Sutherland sate. 

" Well, you are lucky people," said he. " If you had missed getting 
out of that hole by half an hour, you might have been shut up in it a 
fortnight. I believe a regular gale from the south has begun." 

" It is you who have brought it then," said his hostess. " You are 
the stormy petrel. And you did your best to make us miss the tide." 



WHITE WINGS: A YACHTING EOMANCE. 261 

" I think we shall have some sailing now," said he, rubbing his hands 
in great delight he pretends to be thinking only of the yacht. " John 
talks of going on to-night, so as to slip through the Kyle Rhea narrows 
with the first of the flood-tide in the morning." 

" Going out to-night ! " she exclaimed. " Is it you who have put 
that madness into his head 1 It must be pitch dark already. And a 
gale blowing ! " 

" Oh, no ! " he said, laughing. " There is not much of a gale. And 
it cannot be very dark with the moon behind the clouds." 

Here a noise above told us the men had come back from the small 
village. They brought a telegram, too; but it was of no consequence. 
Presently in fact, as soon as he decently could Angus left the dinner- 
table, and went on deck. He had scarcely dared to glance at the pale 
sensitive face opposite him. 

By-and-by Queen Titania said, solemnly : 

" Listen ! " 

There was no doubt about it ; the men were weighing anchor. 

" That madman," said she, " has persuaded Captain John to go to sea 
again at this time of night ! " 

" It was Captain John's own wish. He wishes to catch the tide in 
the morning," observed Miss Avon, with her eyes cast down. 

" That's right, my lass," said the Laird. " Speak up for them who 
are absent. But, indeed, I think I will go on deck myself now, to see 
what's going on." 

We all went on deck, and there and then unanimously passed a vote 
of approval on Captain John's proceedings, for the wind had moderated 
very considerably ; and there was a pale suffused light telling of the moon 
being somewhere behind the fleecy clouds in the south-east. With much 
content we perceived that the White Dove was already moving out of the 
dark little harbour. We heard the rush of the sea outside without much 
concern. 

It was a pleasant sailing night after all. When we had stolen by 
the glare of the solitary lighthouse, and got into the open, we found there 
was no very heavy sea running, while there was a steady, serviceable 
breeze from the south. There was moonlight abroad too, though the 
moon was mostly invisible behind the thin drifting clouds. The women, 
wrapped up, sate hand-in-hand, and chatted to each other ; the Doctor was 
at the tiller ; the Laird was taking an occasional turn up and down, some- 
times pausing to challenge general attention by some profound remark. 

And very soon we began to perceive that Angus Sutherland had by 
some inscrutable means got into the Laird's good graces in a most marked 
degree. Denny-mains, on this particular night, as we sailed away north- 
ward, was quite complimentary about the march of modern science, and 
the service done to humanity by scientific men. He had not even an ill 
word for the Vestiges of Creation. He went the length of saying that he 
wag not scholar enough to deny that there might be various ways of 



262 WHITE WINGS: A YACHTING ROMANCE. 

interpreting the terms of the Mosaic chronology ; and expressed a great 
interest in the terribly remote people who must have lived in the lake- 
dwellings. 

" Oh, don't you believe that," said our steersman good-naturedly. 
" The scientifics are only humbugging the public about those lake-dwell- 
ings. They were only the bath-houses and wash-houses of a compara- 
tively modem and civilised race, just as you see them now on the Lake 
of a Thousand Islands, and at the mouths of the Amazon, and even on the 
Rhine. Surely you know the bath-houses built on piles on the Rhine 1 " 

" Dear me ! " said the Laird, " that is extremely interesting. It is a 
novel view a most novel view. But then the remains what of the 
remains 1 The earthen cups and platters : they must have belonged to a 
very preemitive race 1 " 

" Not a bit," said the profound scientific authority, with, a laugh. 
" They were the things the children amused themselves with, when their 
nurses took them down there to be out of the heat and the dust. They 
were a very advanced race indeed. Even the children could make 
earthen cups and saucers, while the children now-a-days can only make 
mud-pies." 

" Don't believe him, sir," their hostess called out, " he is only making 
a fool of us all." 

" Ay, but there's something in it there's something in it," said the 
Laird seriously ; and he took a step or two up and down the deck, in 
deep meditation. " There's something in it. It's plausible. If it is not 
sound, it is an argument. It would be a good stick to break over an 
ignorant man's head." 

Suddenly the Laird began to laugh aloud. 

" Bless me," said he, " if I could only inveigle Johnnie Guthrie into 
an argument about that ! I would give it him ! I would give it him ! " 

This was a shocking revelation. What had come over the Laird's 
conscience that he actually proposed to inveigle a poor man into a 
controversy and then to hit him over the head with a sophistical argu- 
ment 1 We could not have believed it. And here he was laughing and 
chuckling to himself over that shameful scheme. 

Our attention, however, was at this moment suddenly drawn away 
from moral questions. The rapidly-driving clouds just over the wild 
mountains of Loch Hourn parted, and the moon glared out on the 
tumbling waves. But what a curious moon it was ! pale and watery, 
with a white halo around it, and with another faintly-coloured halo out- 
side that again whenever the slight and vapoury clouds crossed. John 
of Skye came aft. 

" I not like the look of that moon," said John of Skye to the Doctor, 
but in an undertone so that the women should not hear. 

" Nor I either," said the other, in an equally low voice. " Do 
you think we are going to have the equinoctials, John 1 " 

" Oh, no, not yet. It not the time for the equinoctials yet." 



WHITE WINGS: A YACHTING ROMANCE. 263 

And as we crept on through the night, now and again, from amid the 
wild and stoi-my clouds above Loch Hourn, the wan moon still shone 
out; and then we saw something of the silent shores we were passing, 
and of the awful mountains overhead, stretching far into the darkness 
of the skies. Then preparations were made for coming to anchor ; and 
by-and-by the White Dove was brought round to the wind. We were in 
a bay if bay it could be called just south of Kyle Rhea narrows. 
There was nothing visible along the pale moonlit shore. 

" This is a very open place to anchor in, John/' our young Doctor 
ventured to remark. 

" But it is a good holding-ground ; and we will be away early in the 
morning whatever." 

And so, when the anchor was swung out, and quiet restored over the 
vessel, we proceeded to get below. There were a great many things to 
be handed down ; and a careful search had to be made that nothing 
was forgotten we did not want to find soaked shawls or books lying on 
the deck in the morning. But at length all this was settled too, and we 
were assembled once more in the saloon. 

We were assembled all but two. 

" Where is Miss Mary 1 " said the Laird cheerfully : he was always 
the first to miss his companion. 

" Perhaps she is in her cabin," said his hostess somewhat nervously. 

" And your young Doctor why does he not come down and have 
his glass of toddy like a man 1 " said the Laird, getting his own tumbler. 
" The young men now-a-days are just as frightened as children. What 
with their chemistry, and their tubes, and their percentages of alcohol : 
there was none of that nonsense when I was a young man. People 
took what they liked, so long as it agreed with them ; and will anybody 
tell me there is any harm in a glass of good Scotch whiskey 1 " 

She does not answer ; she looks somewhat preoccupied and anxious. 

" Ay, ay," continues the Laird, reaching over for the sugar ; " if people 
would only stop there, there is nothing in the world makes such an 
excellent night-cap as a single glass of good Scotch whiskey. Now, 
ma'am, I will just beg you to try half a glass of my brewing." 

She pays no attention to him. For first of all she now hears a light 
step on the companion-way, and then the door of the ladies' cabin is opened, 
and shut again. Then a heavy step on the companion-way, and Dr. 
Sutherland comes into the saloon. There is a strange look on his face 
not of dejection ; but he tries to be very reticent and modest, and is inor- 
dinately eager in handing a knife to the Laird for the cutting of a lemon. 

" Where is Mary, Angus 1 " said his hostess, looking at him. 

" She has gone into your cabin," said he, looking up with a sort of 
wistful appeal in his eyes. As plainly as possible they said, " Won't you 
-go to her ] " 

The unspoken request was instantly answered; she got up and 
quietly left the saloon. 



264 WHITE WINGS : A YACHTING EOMANCE. 

" Come, lad," said the Laird. " Are ye afraid to try a glass of Scotch 
whiskey 1 You chemical men know too much : it is not wholesome ; 
and you a Scotchman, too take a glass, man ! " 

" Twelve, if you like," said the Doctor, laughing ; " but one will do 
for my purpose. I'm going to follow your example, sir ; I am going to 
propose a toast. It is a good old custom." 

This was a proposal after the Laird's own heart. He insisted on the 
women being summoned ; and they came. He took no notice that Mary 
Avon was rose-red, and downcast of face ; and that the elder woman 
held her hand tightly, and had obviously been crying a little bit not 
tears of sorrow. When they were seated, he handed each a glass. Then 
he called for silence, waiting to hear our Doctor make a proper and 
courtly speech about his hostess, or about the White Dove, or John of 
Skye, or anything. 

But what must have been the Laird's surprise when he found that 
it was his own health that was being proposed ! And that not in the 
manner of the formal oratory that the Laird admired, but in a very 
simple and straightforward speech, that had just a touch of personal 
and earnest feeling in it. For the young Doctor spoke of the long 
days and nights we had spent together, far away from human ken ; and 
how intimately associated people became on board ship ; and how 
thoroughly one could learn to know and love a particular character 
through being brought into such close relationship. And he said that 
friendships thus formed in a week or a month might last for a lifetime. 
And he could not say much, before the very face of the Laird, about all 
those qualities which had gained for him something more than our 
esteem qualities especially valuable on board ship good humour, 
patience, courtesy, light-heartedness 

" Bless me ! " cried the Laird, interrupting the speaker in defiance of 
all the laws that govern public oratory, " I maun stop this I maun 
stop this ! Are ye all come together to make fun of me eh ? Have a 
care have a care ! " 

He looked round threateningly ; and his eye lighted with a darker 
warning on Mary Avon. 

" That lass, too," said he ; " and I thought her a friend of mine ; 
and she has come to make a fool of me like the rest ? And so ye want 
to make me the Homesh o' this boat 1 "Well, I may be a foolish old man ; 
but my eyes are open. I know what is going on. Come here, my lass, 
until I tell ye something." 

Mary Avon went and took the seat next him ; and he put his hand 
gently on her shoulder. 

" Young people will have their laugh and their joke," said he. 

" It was no joke at all ! " said she warmly. 

" Whisht, now. I say young people will have their laugh and their 
joke at a foolish old man ; and who is to prevent them 1 Not me. But 
I'll tell ye what : ye may have your sport of me, on one condition." 



WHITE WINGS: A YACHTING- ROMANCE. 265 

He patted her once or twice on the shoulder, just as if she -was a 
child. 

" And the condition is this, my lass that ye have the wedding at 
Denny-mains." 



CHAPTEE XLV. 
THE EQUINOCTIALS AT LAST. 

THERE was no dreaming of weddings at Denny-mains, or elsewhere, for 
some of us that night. It had been blowing pretty hard when we 
turned in ; but towards two or three o'clock the wind increased to half 
a gale, while heavy showers kept rattling along the decks. Then there 
were other sounds. One of the men was heard to clamber up the iron 
ladder of the forecastle; and as soon he had put his head out, his 
contented exclamation was, "Oh, ferry well; go on!" Then he came 
below and roused his companions ; presently there was a loud commotion 
on deck. This was enough for our Doctor. One could hear him rapidly 
dressing in his little state-room then staggering through the saloon, 
for the wind was knocking about the White Dove considerably then 
groping his way up the dark companion. For some time there was a 
fine turmoil going on above. Another anchor was thrown out. The 
gig and dingay were brought in on deck. All the skylights were fastened 
down, and the tarpaulins put over. Then a woman's voice, 

" Angus ! Angus ! " 

The Doctor came tumbling down the companion ; by this time we 
had got a candle lit in the saloon. 

" What is it 1 " was heard from the partly opened door of the ladies' 
cabin. 

" Nothing at all. A bit of a breeze has sprung up." 

" Mary says you must stay below. Never mind what it is. You 
are not to go on deck again." 

" Very well." 

He came, into the saloon all wet and dripping, but exceedingly 
pleased to have been thus thought of and then he said in a tragic 
whisper : 

" We are in for it at last." 

" The equinoctials?" 

Yes." 

So we turned in again, leaving the WJdte Dove to haul and strain at 
her cables all through the night swaying, pitching, groaning, creaking, 
as if she would throw herself free of her anchors altogether, and sweep 
away over to Glenelg. 

Then, in the early morning, the gale had apparently increased. 
While the women-folk remained in their cabin, the others of us ad- 
ventured up the companion-way, and had a look out. It was not a 

135 



266 WHITE WINGS: A YACHTING ROMANCE. 

cheerful sight. All around the green sea was being torn along by the 
heavy wind ; the white crests of the waves being whirled up in smoke ; 
the surge springing high on the rocks over by Glenelg ; the sky almost 
black overhead ; the mountains that ought to have been quite near us 
invisible behind the flying mists of the rain. Then how the wind 
howled ! Ordinarily the sound was a low, moaning bass even lower 
than the sound of the waves ; but then again it would increase and rise 
into a shrill whistle, mostly heard, one would have said, from about the 
standing rigging and the crosstrees. But our observation of these phe- 
nomena was brief, intermittent, and somewhat ignominious. We had to 
huddle in the companion-way like Jacks-in-the-box ; for the incautiously 
protruded head was liable to .be hit by a blast of rain that came along 
like a charge of No. 6 shot. Then we tumbled below for breakfast ; 
and the scared women-folk made their appearance. 

" The equinoctials, Angus 1 " said Queen Titania, with some solem- 
nity of face. 

" Oh, I suppose so," said he cheerfully. 

" Well, I have been through them two or three times before," said 
she, " but never in an exposed place like this." 

" We shall fight through it first-rate," said he and you should have 
seen Mary Avon's eyes ; she was clearly convinced that fifteen equinoc- 
tial gales could not do us the slightest harm so long as this young Doctor 
was on board. " It is a fine stroke of luck that the gale is from the 
south-west. If it had come on from the east we should have been in a 
bad way. As it is, there is not a rock between here and the opposite 
shore at Glenelg. and even if we drag our anchors we shall catch up 
somewkere at the other side." 

" I hope we shall not have to trust to that," says Queen Titania, who 
in her time has seen something of the results of vessels dragging their 
anchors. 

As the day wore on, the fury of the gale still increased : the wind 
moaning and whistling by turns, the yacht straining at her cables, and roll- 
ing and heaving about. Despite the tender entreaties of the women, 
Dr. Angus would go on deck again; for now Captain John had re- 
solved on lowering the topmast, and also on getting the boom and main- 
sail from their crutch down on to the deck. Being above in this weather 
was far from pleasant. The showers occasionally took the form of hail ; 
and so fiercely were the pellets driven by the wind that they stung where 
they hit the face. And the outlook around was dismal enough the 
green sea and its whirling spindrift ; the heavy waves breaking all along 
the Glenelg shores ; the writhing of the gloomy sky. We had a com- 
panion, by the way, in this exposed place a great black schooner that 
heavily rolled and pitched as she strained at her two anchors. The 
skipper of her did not leave her bows for a moment the whole day, 
watching for the first symptom of dragging. 

Then that night. As the darkness came over, the wind increased in 



WHITE WINGS: A YACHTING- ROMANCE. 267 

shrillness until it seemed to tear with a scream through the rigging ; 
and though \ve were fortunately under the lee of the Skye hills, we 
could hear the water smashing on the bows of the yacht. As night fell 
that shrjll whistling and those recurrent shocks grew in violence, until 
we began to wonder how long the cables would hold. 

"And if our anchors give, I wonder where we shall go to," said 
Queen Titania, in rather a low voice. 

" I don't care," said Miss Avon, quite contentedly. 

She was seated at dinner ; and had undertaken to cut up and mix 
some salad that Master Fred had got at Loch Hourn. She seemed 
wholly engrossed in that occupation. She offered some to the Laird, 
very prettily ; and he would have taken it if it had been hemlock. 
But when she said she did not care where the White Dove might drift 
to, we knew very well what she meant. And some of us may have 
thought that a time would perhaps arrive when the young lady would not 
be able to have everything she cared for in the world within the compass 
of the saloon of a yacht. 

Now it is perhaps not quite fair to tell tales out of school ; but still 
the truth is the truth. The two women were on the whole very brave 
throughout this business ; but on that particular night the storm grew 
more and more violent, and it occurred to them that they would escape 
the risk of being rolled out of their berths if they came along into the 
saloon and got some rugs laid on the floor. This they did ; and the 
noise of the wind and the sea was so great that none of the occupants of 
the adjoining state-rooms heard them. But then it appeared that no 
sooner had they lain down on the floor it is unnecessary to say that 
they were dressed and ready for any emergency than they were mightily 
alarmed by the swishing of water below them. 

" Mary ! Mary ! " said the one, " the sea is rushing into the hold." 

The other, knowing less about yachts, said nothing ; but no doubt, 
with the admirable unselfishness of lovers, thought it was not of much 
consequence, since Angus Sutherland and she would be drowned together. 

But what was to be done ? The only way to the forecastle was 
through the Doctor's state-room. There was no help for it ; they first 
knocked at his door, and called to him that the sea was rushing into 
the hold ; and then he bawled into the forecastle until Master Fred, the 
first to awake, made his appearance, rubbing his knuckles into his eyes 
and saying, " Very well, sir ; is it hot water or cold water ye want ?" 
and then there was a general commotion of the men getting on deck to 
try the pumps. And all this brave uproar for nothing. There was 
scarcely a gallon of water in the hold ; but the women, by putting their 
heads close to the floor of the saloon, had imagined that the sea was 
rushing in on them. Such is the story of this night's adventures as it 
was subsequently and with some shamefacedness related to the writer 
of these pages. There are some people who, when they go to sleep, 
sleep, and refuse to pay heed to twopenny-halfpenny tumults. 



268 WHITE WINGS : A YACHTING- KOMANCE. 

Next morning the state of affairs was no better ; but there was this 
point in our favour, that the White Dove, having held on so long, was 
not now likely to drag her anchors and precipitate us on the Glenelg 
shore. Again we bad to pass the day below, with the running accom- 
paniment of pitching and groaning on the part of the boat, and of the 
shrill clamour of the wind, and the rattling of heavy showers. But as 
we sat at luncheon, a strange thing occurred. A burst of sunlight 
suddenly came through the skylight and filled the saloon, moving back- 
wards and forwards on the blue cushions as the yacht swayed, and de- 
lighting everybody with the unexpected glory of colour. You may 
suppose that there was little more thought of luncheon. There was an 
instant stampede for waterproofs and a clambering up the companion- 
way. Did not this brief burst of sunlight portend the passing over of 
the gale I Alas ! alas ! when we got on deck, we found the scene around 
us as wild and stormy as ever, with even a heavier sea now racing up 
the Sound and thundering along Glenelg. Hopelessly we went below 
again. The only cheerful feature of our imprisonment was the obvious 
content of those two young people. They seemed perfectly satisfied 
with being shut up in this saloon ; and were always quite surprised 
when Master Fred's summons interrupted their draughts or bezique. 

On the third day the wind came in intermittent squalls, which was 
something ; and occasionally there was a glorious burst of sunshine that 
went flying across the grey-green driven sea. But for the most part it 
rained heavily ; and the Ferdinand and Miranda business was continued 
with much content. The Laird had lost himself in " Municipal London." 
Our Admiral-in-chief was writing voluminous letters to two youths at 
school in Surrey, which were to be posted if ever we reached land again. 

That night about ten o'clock a cheering incident occurred. We heard 
the booming of a steam-whistle. Getting up on deck, we could make 
out the lights of a steamer creeping along by the Glenelg shore. That 
was the Clydesdale going north. Would she have faced Ardnamurchan 
if the equinoctials had not moderated somewhat 1 These were friendly 
lights. 

Then on the fourth day it became quite certain that the gale was 
moderating. The bursts of sunshine became more frequent ; patches of 
brilliant blue appeared in the sky ; a rainbow from time to time ap- 
peared between us and the black clouds in the east. With what an in- 
toxication of joy we got out at last from our long imprisonment, and 
felt the warm sunlight around us, and watched the men get ready to 
lower the gig so as to establish once more our communications with 
the land. Mary Avon would boldly have adventured into that tum- 
bling and rocking thing she implored to be allowed to go if the Doctor 
were going to pull stroke, why should she not be allowed to steer 1 But 
she was forcibly restrained. Then away went the shapely boat through 
the plunging waters showers of spray sweeping her from stem to 
stern until it disappeared into the little bight of Kyle Rhea. 



WHITE WINGS: A YACHTING KOMANCE. 269 

The news brought back from the shore of the destruction wrought 
by this gale the worst that had visited these coasts for three-and- 
twenty years was terrible enough ; and it was coupled with the most 
earnest warnings that we should not set out. But the sunlight had got 
into the brain of these long imprisoned people, and sent them mad. 
They implored the doubting John of Skye to get ready to start. They 
promised that if only he would run up to Kyle Akin, they would not 
ask him to go further, unless the weather was quite fine. To move to 
move that was their only desire and cry. 

John of Skye shook his head ; but so far humoured them as to weigh 
one of the anchors. By-and-by, too, he had the topmast hoisted again : 
all this looked more promising. Then, as the afternoon came on, and 
the tide would soon be turning, they renewed their entreaties. John, 
still doubting, at length yielded. 

Then the joyful uproar ! All hands were summoned to the hal- 
yards, for the mainsail, soaked through with the rain, was about as stiff 
as a sheet of iron. And the weighing of the second anchor that was a 
cheerful sound indeed. We paid scarcely any heed to this white squall 
that was coming tearing along from the south. It brought both rain and 
sunlight with it ; for a second or two we were enveloped in a sort of 
glorified mist then the next minute we found a rainbow shining be- 
tween us and the black hull of the smack ; presently we were in glow- 
ing sunshine again. And then at last the anchor was got up, and the 
sails filled to the wind, and the main-sheet slackened out. The White 
Dove, released once more, was flying away to the northern seas ! 



CHAPTER XLVI. 
" FLIEH ! AUF.! HINAUS ! " 

THIS splendid sense of life, and motion, and brisk excitement ! We flew 
through the narrows like a bolt from a bow ; we had scarcely time to 
regard the whirling eddies of the current. All hands were on the alert, 
too, for the wind came in gusts from the Skye hills, and this tortuous 
strait is not a pleasant place to be taken unawares in. But the watching 
and work were altogether delightful, after our long imprisonment. Even 
the grave John of Skye was whistling " Fhir a bhata " to himself 
somewhat out of tune. 

The wild and stormy sunset was shining all along the shores of Loch 
Alsh as we got out of the narrows and came in sight of Kyle Akin. 
And here were a number of vessels all storm-stayed, one of them, in the 
distance, with her sail set. We discovered afterwards that this schooner 
had dragged her anchors and run ashore at Balmacara ; she was more 
fortunate than many others that suffered in this memorable gale, and 
was at the moment we passed returning to her former anchorage. 

The sunlight and the delight of moving had certainly got into the 



270 WHITE WINGS: A YACHTING EOMANCE. 

heads of these people. Nothing -would do for them but that John of Skye 
should go on sailing all night. Kyle Akin ? they would not hear of Kyle 
Akin. And it was of no avail that Captain John told them what he had 
heard ashore that the Glencoe had to put back with her bulwarks 
smashed ; that here, there, and everywhere vessels were on the rocks ; 
that Stornoway harbour was full of foreign craft, not one of which would 
put her nose out. They pointed to the sea, and the scene around them. 
It was a lovely sunset. Would not the moon be up by eleven 1 

" Well, mem," said John of Skye, with a humorous smile, " I think 
if we go on the night, there not mich chance of our rinning against 
anything." 

And indeed he was not to be outbraved by a couple of women. 
When we got to Kyle Akin, the dusk beginning to creep over land and 
sea, he showed no signs of running in there for shelter. We pushed 
through the narrow straits, and came in view of the darkening plain of 
the Atlantic, opening away up there to the north, and as far as we could 
see there was not a single vessel but ourselves on all this world of water. 
The gloom deepened; in under the mountains of Skye there was a 
darkness as of midnight. But one could still make out ahead of us the 
line of the Scalpa shore, marked by the white breaking of the waves. 
Even when that grew invisible we had Rona light to steer by. 

The stormy and unsettled look of the sunset had prepared us for 
something of a dirty night, and as we went on both wind and sea 
increased considerably. The south-westerly breeze that had brought us 
so far at a spanking rate began to veer round to the north, and came in 
violent squalls, while the long swell running down between Raasay and 
Scalpa and the mainland caused the White Dove to labour heavily. 
Moreover, the night got as black as pitch, the moon had not arisen, and 
it was lucky, in this laborious beating up against the northerly squalls, 
that we had the distant Rona light by which to judge of our where- 
abouts. 

The two women were huddled together in the companion-way ; it 
was the safest place for them ; we could just make out the two dark 
figures in the ruddy glow coming up from the saloon. 

" Isn't it splendid to be going like this," said Miss Avon, " after lying 
at anchor so long 1 " 

Her friend did not answer. She had been chiefly instrumental in 
persuading Captain John to keep on during the night, and she did not 
quite like the look of things. For one thing, she had perceived that the 
men were all now clad from head to foot in oilskins, though as yet there 
was nothing but spray coming on board. 

Our yoxing Doctor came aft, and tried to get down the companion- 
way without disturbing the two women. 

" I am going below for my waterproof and leggings," said he, with a 
slight laugh. " There will be some fun before this night is over." 

The tone of the girl altered in a moment. 



WHITE WINGS: A YACHTING- ROMANCE. 271 

" Oh, Angus," said she, grasping him by the arm. " Pray don't do 
that ! Leave the men to work the boat. If there is any danger why 
don't they make away for the land somewhere 1 " 

" There is no danger," said he, " but there will be a little water 
by-and-by." 

The volume of the great waves was certainly increasing, and a 
beautiful sight it was to mark the red port-light shining on the rushing 
masses of foam as they swept by the side of the vessel. Our whereabouts 
by this time had become wholly a matter of conjecture with the amateurs, 
for the night was quite black ; however, Rona light still did us good 
service. 

When Angus Sutherland came on deck again, she was on the port 
tack, and the wind had moderated somewhat. But this proved to be a 
lull of evil omen. There was a low roar heard in the distance, and 
almost directly a violent squall from the east struck the yacht, sending 
the boom flying over before the skipper could get hold of the main sheet. 
Away flew the White Dove like an arrow, with the unseen masses of 
water smashing over her bows ! 

" In with the mizen, boys ! " called out John of Skye, and there was 
a hurried clatter and stamping, and flapping of canvas. 

But that was not enough, for this unexpected squall from the east 
showed permanence, and as we were making in for the Sound of Scalpa 
we were now running free before the wind. 

" We'll tek the foresail off her, boys ! " shouted John of Skye again, 
and presently there was another rattle down on the deck. 

Onwards and onwards we flew, in absolute darkness but for that 
red light that made the sea shine like a foaming sea of blood. And the 
pressure of the wind behind increased until it seemed likely to tear the 
canvas off her spars. 

" Down with the jib, then ! " called out John of Skye ; and we heard, 
but could not see, the men at work forward. And still the White Dove 
flew onwards through the night, and the wind howled and whistled 
through the rigging, and the boiling surges of foam swept away from her 
side. There was no more of Rona light to guide us now ; we were 
tearing through the Sound of Scalpa ; and still this hurricane seemed to 
increase in fury. As a last resource, John of Skye had the peak 
lowered. We had now nothing left but a mainsail about the size of a 
pocket-handkerchief. 

As the night wore on, we got into more sheltered waters, being under 
the lee of Scalpa ; and we crept away down between that island and 
Skye, seeking for a safe anchorage. It was a business that needed a 
sharp look-out, for the waters are shallow here, and we discovered one 
or two smacks at anchor, with no lights up. They did not expect any 
vessel to run in from the open on a night like this. 

And at last we chose our place for the night, letting go both 
anchors. Then we went below, into the saloon. 



272 WHITE WINGS : A YACHTING- EOMANCE. 

" And how do you like sailing in the equinoctials, Mary ? " said our 
hostess. 

" I am glad we are all] round this table again, and alive," said the 
girl. 

" I thought you said the other day you did not care whether the 
yacht went down or not ? " 

" Of the two," remarked Miss Avon shyly, " it is perhaps better 
that she should be afloat." 

Angus was passing at the moment. He put his hand lightly on her 
shoulder, and said, in a kind way 

" It is better not to tempt the unknown, Mary. Remember what 
the French proverb says, ' Quand on est mort, c'est pour longtemps.' 
And you know you have not nearly completed that great series of White 
Dove sketches for the smoking-room at Denny-mains." 

" The smoking-room ! " exclaimed the Laird, indignantly. " There 
is not one of her sketches that will not have a place an honoured place 
in my dining-room : depend on that. Ye will see both of ye 
what I will do with them ; and the sooner ye come to see the better." 

"We this evening resolved that if, by favour of the winds and the 
valour of John of Skye, we got up to Portree next day, we should at 
once telegraph to the island of Lewes (where we proposed to cease these 
summer wanderings) to inquire about the safety of certain friends of ours 
whom we meant to visit there, and who are much given to yachting ; 
for the equinoctials must have blown heavily into Loch Roag, and the 
little harbour at Borva is somewhat exposed. However, it was not 
likely that they would allow themselves to be caught. They know 
something about the sea, and about boats, at Borva. 



273 



0f 



ORDINARY conceptions of art are apt to be a good deal warped by the 
prevailing impression among artists and critics that the origin of all 
things is to be sought for in Italy and Hellas, or, at best, in Egypt and 
Assyria. Take up an average History of Sculpture, such as Liibke's, and 
you will find that the author imagines he has brought you face to face 
with the cradle of art when he introduces you to the polished granite 
statues of Thebes, or the lively alabaster bas-reliefs of Kouyunjik. 
From the point of view generally adopted by the aesthetic world, Egypt 
and Assyria are the absolute beginning of every earthly art or science. 
But with the rapid advance of anthropology and of what may be called 
pre-historic archaeology during the last few years, a new school of aesthetics 
has become inevitable a school which should judge of art-products not 
by the transcendental and often dogmatic principles of Lessing or 
Winckelmann, but by the sober light of actual evolution. So to judge, 
we must push back our search far beyond the days of Sennacherib and 
Barneses, to the nameless artists who carved the figures of animals upon 
bits of mammoth-tusks under the shade of pre-glacial caves. We must 
consider the Egyptian and Assyrian sculptures not as rudimentary 
works, but as advanced products of highly developed art. We must 
trace the long course of previous evolution by which the rude figures of 
primaeval men were brought to the comparative technical perfection of 
Memphian or Ninevite monuments ; a perfection which sometimes only 
just falls short of the Hellenic model by its want of the very latest and 
lightest touch artistic grace and freedom. In short, we must allow 
that barbaric art is but a step below the civilised, while it is very many 
steps above the lowest savage. 

In the present paper, however, it is not my intention to do more than 
sketch very briefly, and in a merely prefatory manner, the primitive 
stages of plastic art. I wish, rather, here to point out sundry influences 
which, as it seems to me, have conspired to give their peculiar charac- 
teristics to the very advanced sculpture of Egypt, Assyria, Greece, and 
India. But, as a preliminary to such an exposition, it will be well to 
touch lightly upon sundry prior and necessary stages of early imi- 
tative art. 

When a child begins spontaneously to draw, its first attempt is 
generally a rough representation of the human form. It draws a man, and 
a man in the abstract only. He is " bilaterally symmetrical," as the 
naturalists say ; a full-faced figure, with all the limbs and features 



274 THE GEOWTH OF SCULPTURE. 

displayed entire. He has a round face, two goggle eyes, a nose and 
mouth, a cylindrical body, two arms held out at a more or less acute angle, 
with five fingers on each, and two legs, also divergent, with a pair of 
terminal knobs to represent the feet. This is the very parent of art, a 
symbolical or mathematical man, a rough diagram of humanity, reduced 
to its simplest component elements. It still survives as the sole repre- 
sentation of a man amongst our own street boys and amongst many 
savage races. Moreover, it affords us a good clue to all the faults and 
errors, the partial successes and tentative improvements, of subsequent 
artists. An Egyptian or Assyrian pond always consists of a square 
diagram of some water, surrounded by diagrams of trees, pointing out- 
ward from it in every direction, so that some of them are placed side- 
ways, and some of them upside down. So, too, if you ask any educated 
European who is ignorant of drawing, to sketch you the figure of a chair, 
you will find that he fails just where the street boy fails in representing 
the human face. He is too abstract and mathematical; he lets his 
intellectual appreciation of the chair as possessing four legs and a back 
and a seat, all at right angles and in certain determinate planes, carry 
away his judgment to the detriment of the visual chair, whose angles 
are all irregular, and whose planes interfere with one another in extra- 
ordinary ways. He turns you out a diagram, a section, or an elevation 
of a chair, not a picture in the true sense. That is the stumbling-block 
of all early painters and sculptors, the difficulty which they had slowly 
to overcome before they could arrive at the modern truthfulness of 
delineation. 

In the technical language of painting, such truthfulness of delineation, 
such correct imitation of the visual object in its visible as opposed to its 
geometrical relations, is known as drawing. It includes perspective, 
foreshortening, and all the other devices by which we represent the 
visual field on a flat surface. But the term cannot, of course, be applied 
to sculpture, where something analogous nevertheless exists, especially in 
bas-relief. Accordingly, I propose in the present paper to employ the 
word Imitation in this general sense as including accuracy of representa- 
tion in either art. And such accuracy of imitation we may take as the 
real and objective test of artistic evolution, at least so far as the imitative 
arts are concerned. I shall give examples hereafter which will illustrate 
the difference between the application of this test and of those shadowy 
and artificial standards so generally employed by the transcendental 
school. 

So far as I know, the Polynesians and many other savages have not 
progressed beyond the full-face stage of human portraiture above 
described. Next in rank comes the drawing of a profile, as we find it 
among the Eskimos and the Bushmen. Our own children soon attain 
to this level, which is one degree higher than that of the full face, as it 
implies a special point of view, suppresses half the features, and is not 
diagrammatic or symbolical of all the separate parts. Negroes and 



THE GKOWTH OF SCULPTUEE. 275 

North American Indians cannot understand profile : they ask what has 
become of the other eye. At this second degree may also be placed the 
representation of animals as the Eskimos represent them a single side 
view, with the creature in what may be called an abstract position ; that 
is to say, doing nothing particular. Third in rank we may put the 
rudimentary perspective stage, where limbs are represented in drawing or 
bas-relief as standing one behind another, and where one body or portion 
of a body is permitted to conceal another. Still, the various figures are 
seen all on one plane, and stand side by side, in a sort of processional 
order (like that of the Bayeux tapestry), with little composition and no 
background ; nor have they yet much variety of attitude. Successively 
higher steps show us the figures in different positions, as walking, 
running, sitting, or lying down ; then, again, as performing complicated 
actions ; finally, as showing emotion, expression, and individuality in 
their faces. At the same time the processional order disappears; 
perspective begins to come into use, and the limbs betray some attention 
to rough anatomical proprieties. Thus, by slow degrees, the symbolical 
and mathematical drawing of savages evolves into the imitative painting 
and sculpture of civilised races. 

I wish to catch this evolving and yet undifferentiated art at the point 
where it is still neither painting nor sculpture, and where it has just passed 
the fourth' stage in the course of development here indicated. From this 
point I wish to observe the causes which made it assume its well-known 
national plastic forms in Egypt, Assyria, Hellas, and India respectively. To 
do so, it will be necessary shortly to recapitulate some facts in the history 
of its evolution, familiar to most aesthetic students, but less so, perhaps, 
to the mass of general readers. Painting and sculpture, then, in their 
western shape at least, started from a common origin in such processional 
pictures as those above described pictures of whose primitive peculiari- 
ties the Egyptian wall paintings and Etruscan vases will give us a fair 
idea, though in a more developed form. Setting out from this original 
mode, sculpture first diverged by the addition of incised lines, marking 
the boundaries of the coloured figures standing out flat in very low relief. 
Then the edges being rounded and the details incised as well as painted, 
bas-relief proper comes into existence. Corner figures, like those of the 
Assyrian bulls and gods, give us the earliest hint of the statue. At first 
seated or erect, with arms placed directly down the side to the thighs, 
and legs united together, the primitive statues formed a single piece 
with the block of stone behind them. Becoming gradually higher and 
higher in relief, they atjast stood out as almost separate figures, with a 
column at the back to support their weight. At last they assumed the 
wholly separate position. Side by side with these changes, the arms are 
cut away from the sides, and the legs are opened and placed one before 
the other. Gradually more action is thrown into the limbs, and more 
expression into the features ; till, finally, the cat-faced Egyptian Pasht, with 
her legs firmly set together, and her hands laid flat upon her knees, gives 



276 THE GROWTH OF SCULPTURE. 

place to the free Hellenic Discobolus, with every limb admirably 
moulded into exact imitation of an ideally beautiful human form, in a 
speaking attitude of graceful momentary activity. 

Now if we look for a minute at a few of the criticisms already passed 
by aesthetic authorities upon works of national art, we shall see how far 
they differ from those which must be passed by the application of this 
objective imitative test. There are in the British Museum some Assy- 
rian bas-reliefs from Kouyunjik, of the age of Asshur-bani-pal, or Sar- 
danapalus, concerning which no less a writer than Sir A. H. Layard 
delivers himself after this fashion : " In that which constitutes the 
highest quality of art, in variety of detail and ornament, in attempts at 
composition, in severity of style, and purity of outline, they are inferior 
to the earliest Assyrian monuments with which we are acquainted 
those from the north-west palace at Nimroud. They bear, indeed, the 
same relation to them as the later Egyptian monuments do to the earlier." 
But the fact is that, if we accept imitation as our test, we must rank these 
very bas-reliefs as the highest products of Assyrian art. Any one who 
will look at the original works in the Museum can judge for himself. 
The animals in them are represented in very truthful and unsymmetrical 
attitudes, and often show considerable expression. A wounded lion 
seizing a chariot-wheel has its face and two paws given with a 
fidelity and an attention to perspective truly astonishing. The parts of 
bodies passing in front of one another are managed with high technical 
skill. A lion enclosed in a cage is seen through the bars in an admir- 
able manner. And though conventionalism is allowed to reign for the 
most part in the human figure, especially in the sacred case of the king, 
yet the muscles are brought out with considerable anatomical correct- 
ness, and the inferior personages are often in really decent drawing, 
even when judged as Europeans now judge. All these points betoken 
advance upon the older works. To put it plainly, Sir A. H. Layard 
seems to have set up as a standard certain rather ideal characters of art, 
to have erected the archaic Assyrian type with which he was familiar 
into an absolute model, and then to have found fault with these parti- 
cular bas-reliefs because they were less " severe " and " pure " that is to 
say, more highly evolved than his artificial standard of national excel- 
lence. 

Similarly, I find Herr Liibke placing Indian sculpture far below that 
of Egypt and Assyria. For this singular judgment he gives merely 
fanciful and, as it seems to me, mystical reasons. " It might, indeed, be 
asserted," he says, " that a touch of naive grace marks the best of these 
works, but this grace breathes no animation of mind nor power of 
thought or will ; at the most it may be compared with the loveliness of 
the flowers of the field ; there is nothing in it of moral consciousness." 
I confess I find it hard to discover traces of moral consciousness in the 
Memnon or the winged bulls ; but any child can see that while Egyptian 
statues are stiff, unnatural, symmetrical, and absolutely devoid of anato 



THE GROWTH OF SCULPTURE. 277 

mical detail, many Indian statues are free in position, stand with arms 
and legs in natural and graceful attitudes, show in their faces indivi- 
duality or even expression, and represent the limbs with anatomical 
correctness only idealised into a somewhat voluptuous smoothness and 
rotundity. Here, again, we must suppose that a preconceived transcen- 
dental idea has blinded the critic to obvious excellence of imitation.* 

One word to prevent misapprehension. I do not mean to say that 
such a rough test as that here employed can be used to measure the 
respective value of the highest artistic work. It can merely be employed 
to weigh nation against nation. In our own days, when good imitation 
is almost universal, when drawing, and perspective, and anatomy, are 
taught systematically to all our artists, we necessarily judge of aesthetic 
products by higher and mainly emotional standards. Mr. Frith does not 
differ much from Mr. Burne Jones, or M. Legros, or Sir Frederic 
Leighton in mere technical ability to represent what he sees on a flat 
surface ; but he differs greatly in sentiment and feeling. What we admire 
in one modern work of art, as compared with another, is its colouring, its 
composition, its beauty of thought and expression, its power of stirring 
the higher and finer chords of our emotional nature. What we dislike is 
vulgarity of subject or treatment, crude or discordant colouring, low or 
commonplace emotion, and all the other outward signs of poverty in 
intellectual and emotional endowment. These higher tests can some- 
times be applied even where the technique is far from perfect, as amongst 
many mediaeval Italian painters, whose drawing, especially of animals, 
is often ludicrously incorrect, while they nevertheless display a fine sense 
of colouring, deep feeling, and profound power of expression. But they 
cannot be applied to Egyptian or Assyrian handicraft, which thus falls 
short entirely of the specific fine-art quality as understood by modern 

* In justice to Liibke I should like to add that he differs totally from Sir A. H. 
Layard as to the Kouyunjik sculptures, and agrees, on the whole, with my indepen- 
dently-formed opinion. To show how greatly our doctors disagree on such points, I 
venture to transcribe the whole of his remarks on this subject. "If the works at 
Khorsabad," he says, " mark the transition from the strict old style to one of greater 
freedom, the latter acquires its full sway in the palace of Kujjundschik. It is true 
even here, the extent of subject-matter, the idea and its intellectual importance, 
remain unchanged. The Assyrian artists were compelled to restrict themselves, as 
their forefathers had done for centuries, to the glorification of the life and actions of 
their princes. But, while the ideas wcro limited to the old narrow circle, the obser- 
vation of nature had increased so considerably in acutencss, extent, and delicacy, the 
representations had gained such case, freshness, and variety, and the power of charac- 
terisation had become so enlarged by the study of individual life, that an advance pro- 
claims itself everywhere. At the same time, the art had lost nothing of its earlier 
excellencies, except, perhaps, the powerful gloomy grandeur of the principal figures ; 
this was exchanged for the softer but in nowise feeble grace of a more animated 
style, and for the wealth of an imagination that had thrown aside its fetters in 
various new ideas and pregnant subjects." Here Lubke's own transcendental canons 
do not mislead him, and ho therefore avoids tho fanciful error into which Layard's 
canons have led the great explorer. 



278 THE GEOWTH OF SCULPTUKE. 

aesthetic critics. The total absence of feeling and expression reduces the 
art of Egypt and Assyria to the purely barbaric level. That of Hellas, 
on the contrary, rises to the first rank. The origin of this remarkable 
difference forms the subject of our present inquiry. 

A cheap and easy mode of accounting for such peculiarities, much in 
vogue amongst critics, is to refer them to " the national character ; " 
which is about as explanatory as to say that opium puts one to sleep 
because it possesses a soporific virtue. If we take a single individual, 
the absurdity becomes obvious no one would account for the excellence 
of Shakspeare's plays by saying that he possessed a play- writing charac- 
ter but when we talk of a whole nation, the trick of language imposes 
upon everybody. The real question, however, lurks behind all these 
shallow subterfuges, and it is this : Why is the national character artistic 
or inartistic, free or slavish, individual or conventional, as the case may 
be ? The only possible answer lies in the physical condition arid antece- 
dents of each particular people. To put the concrete instance, Egyptian 
sculpture was what we know it to be, first, because the people were 
Egyptians, that is to say Negroids ; secondly, because they lived in 
Egypt ; and, thirdly, because they had no stone to work in but granite 
or porphyry. Conversely, Hellenic sculpture was what we know it to 
be, first, because the people were Hellenes, that is to say, Aryans ; 
secondly, because they lived in Hellas; and, thirdly, because they 
worked mainly in white and fine-grained Parian marble. 

The first element, that of heredity, was the one which poor dogmatic, 
puzzle-headed Buckle so stoutly refused to take into consideration. But 
it is undoubtedly one of prime importance, though I cannot here find 
room to lay much stress upon it. Of course heredity itself is ultimately 
explicable by the previous physical circumstances of each race ; it means 
the persistent mental twist given to a nation by the long habits of its 
ancestors in their dealings with nature and surrounding peoples, which 
latter factor must in the last resort be accepted as a result of their geo- 
graphical position. This mental twist is physically registered in the 
brain. Now the Negroid race (perhaps because it is cooped up in a 
large and compact continent, Africa, with no intersecting seas and little 
outlet for intercourse with surrounding peoples) has never displayed 
much plasticity of intelligence, and has only produced a civilised nation 
in its extreme north-eastern branch, where it spreads over the rich allu- 
vial valley of the Nile, and borders most closely upon the Semitic and 
Aryan races. Somewhat similar is the position of the great Mongoloid 
family, which has developed a civilisation in China alone, among the fer- 
tile plains of the Hoang-Ho and the Yang-tse-Kiang. Both these races 
seem to represent an early checked development ; their type of social 
organisation remains low and stereotyped (though in different degrees) ; 
their ancestors appear never to have been placed in favourable conditions 
for calling forth the latent adaptability, the susceptibility to culture 
and evolution, of the human species. If we look at China especially, 



THE GROWTH OF SCULPTURE. 279 

we see that its monosyllabic language, its religion of ancestor-worship, its 
ideographic mode of writing, its social system, all belong to an early and 
strangely fossilised type. The Aryans, on the contrary (and we might 
perhaps add, the Semites), have passed ancestrally through some unknown 
circumstances which have rendered them hereditarily the most plastic, 
the most intelligent, the most aesthetic, and probably the most organi- 
cally moral of all human races. Thus, at the point where history first 
discovers them, the great families of men are already unequal in poten- 
tialities and in actual culture. The Aryan starts in the race with five 
ounces more of brain than the negro. The Bushman starts with five 
ounces less. It is by no means a matter of indifference, therefore, to the 
philosophy of history whether Egypt was peopled by Negroids or Aryans, 
whether China was occupied by Turanians or Andamanese, and whether 
the first Hellenic colonists settled down in Central Africa or in the islands 
of the ^Egean. Each race is what it is partly in virtue of the peculiar 
brain and the correlated individuality handed down to it by descent from 
its remotest human ancestors. 

Here the second element, which I must also pass over rapidly, steps 
in to complicate the account. Given a certain relatively homogeneous 
mass of Aryans, Turanians, or Negroids, that mass, as it splits up into 
minor tribes or groups, will again be further differentiated by the special 
physical conditions which surround it in its separate life. While each 
will retain the chief Aryan or Turanian peculiarities, as compared with 
other non- Aryan or non-Turanian tribes, it will acquire certain new 
characteristics of its own in virtue of its new environment. The primitive 
Aryan nucleus, for example, divides into several hordes or colonies, each 
of which goes its own way from the common Central Asian home to find 
itself a new dwelling-place in some unknown land. A part threads its 
way through the passes of the Hindu Kush to the alluvial flats of the 
Indus and the Ganges ; and there, settling down to a purely agricultural 
life, and mixing, in its lower castes at least, with the flat-faced Aborigines, 
produces the modern Indian people from the pure light-brown Aryan 
Brahman, with his intellectual features and profound speculative brain, 
to the degraded, almost non-Aryan, Chumar, with his flat nose, thick 
lips, and dull material mind. Another colony strikes westward, and, 
making its home among the nearest islands and peninsulas of the 
Mediterranean, becomes the great civilised and commercial Helleno- 
Italic race, the true founder of our modern arts, our modern science, and 
our modern philosophy. A third branch lingers longer in the primitive 
home, and then ripens more slowly its intelligence among the forests of 
the Danube and the Rhine, till at length, borrowing a new civilisation 
from its intercourse with falling Rome, ib blossoms finally forth as the 
conquering Teutonic stock, which now divides with the Keltic all the 
culture of Western Europe. To trace in detail for each case the endless 
interaction of land on people, and of people on surrounding tribes, would 
be a task for innumerable volumes and encyclopaedic knowledge ; but 



280 THE GROWTH OF SCULPTURE. 

that to such interactions, however undiscoverable, the whole national 
character is due, no consistent evolutionist can reasonably doubt. While 
we allow that the Aryan blood of the Hellenes had much to do with the 
differences which mark them off from the Negroid Egyptians, must we 
not equally grant that Hellenic civilisation would have been very different 
if the settlers of Attica had happened rather to occupy the valley of the 
Nile ; and that the Egyptians would have become a race of enterprising 
sailors and foreign merchants if they had chosen to make their homes on 
the shores of the Cyclades and the Corinthian Gulf? The factors of the 
problem, though never, perhaps, actually determined, are yet in the 
abstract potentially determinable. 

In every evolution the question of time is all-important, for each 
fresh step depends upon the steps already taken. At the moment when 
our investigation begins, the main centre of civilisation lay around the 
eastern Mediterranean. The other isolated civilisations India, China, 
Mexico, Peru had some of them little, and others no, connection with 
the Egyptian, Assyrian, and Hellenic culture. Navigation needed to be 
nursed first in the ^Egean and then in the wider Mediterranean before it 
could trust itself upon the vast Atlantic, and initiate that momentous 
revolution whereby the civilisation of the world has been transferred 
from the Nile, the Archipelago, and the Tiber to the Seine, the Thames, 
the Rhine, and the Hudson. This important element of time is a factor 
whose value we must never forget in the history of evolution. 

Now, just as the Aryan individuality is antithetical to the Negroid, 
so are the physical circumstances of Hellas antithetical to those of Egypt. 
When an Aryan colony settled among the islands and peninsulas of the 
JEgean, it settled (as it seems to me) in the very place which was, at that 
exact moment of time, best fitted to develop the Aryan type to its highest 
existing potential culture. As granite is to marble, and as the raw negro 
is to the raw Hellene, such, I believe, was Egypt to Hellas. 

The valley of the Nile, a long, narrow alluvial strip, lies between two 
enclosing granite or limestone ranges, which cut it naturally off from all 
surrounding homes of men. On either side stretches the desert. Between 
them runs the great river, whose mud fills the valley and forms the Delta, 
whose water annually inundates and fertilises the fields, and whose influ- 
ence alone causes the difference between the belt of verdure, a few miles 
wide, and the dreary expanse of sand to right and left. This alluvial plain, 
like all other alluvial plains, was naturally predestined by its physical pecu- 
liarities to become the seat of an early agricultural community. As soon 
as evolving man had passed the stage of the mere hunter or shepherd, he 
necessarily made his first essays in tillage on the rich levels watered by 
the Indus, the Ganges, the Euphrates, the Hoang-Ho, and the Nile. As 
navigation must begin on rivers, lakes, and inland seas before it tempts 
the stormy ocean, so agriculture must begin on fertile and naturally 
irrigated lowland plains before it can drive its steam ploughs along the 
bleak hillsides of the Lothians or the rocky slopes of the Alleghanies. 



THE GBOWTH OF SCULPTURE. 281 

Now, Egypt was specially marked out, even among such alluvial plains, 
as the natural seat of a great empire. All alluvial countries lend them- 
selves readily to despotism : it is easy to overrun them, hard to defend 
them, difficult to encourage the natural growth of small nationalities. 
In Egypt the ease of consolidation, the difficulty of separation, reaches a 
maximum. From the Cataracts to the sea the country is naturally (like 
the French Republic) one and indivisible. Hence the distinguishing 
mark of Egypt is that it was a primitive, despotic, homogeneous Negroid 
community, organised on an essentially military type, but comprising a 
mainly agricultural populace. Whatever else than this it has ever been 
has depended upon changes brought about by the time element ; but this 
at bottom it has really always remained. The Egyptian cultivator was 
ever and is now a soulless clod, born to till the soil and pay the taxes. 

Developing freely at first, apart from foreign interference, the Egyp- 
tian community produced its own social system and its own artistic 
school in accordance with its own genius and the genius of the place. 
The richness of the soil permitted the reaping of harvests far greater than 
sufficed for the cultivators' use ; but those harvests, instead of being 
exported (as at later dates) to feed the masses of Rome or England, were 
used to support vast bodies of native workmen. Then, as now, the 
despotic ruler appropriated to his own enjoyment all the surplus wealth 
of the country but while the Khedive employs it in buying English 
yachts and hiring French opera companies, Rameses or Usertesen em- 
ployed it in building splendid tombs, gorgeous palaces, and magnificent 
temples to their deified ancestors by the hands of Egyptian workmen alone. 
Thus Egyptian painting, sculpture, and architecture became wholly sub- 
servient to the royal pleasure, and the two former arts grew up simply 
as accessories to the latter in the decoration of the vast royal buildings. 

I am afraid the reader will have fancied, during this long digression, 
that I have forgotten my promise to discourse concerning the growth of 
sculpture altogether. But I have really been keeping it in view the 
whole time. We now arrive at the third element in the evolution of 
Egyptian plastic art the material with which it had to deal. This, I 
believe, is one of the most important factors in the whole problem, and 
yet it is the one most persistently overlooked. The idealists who write 
so glibly about the national character of Egypt and of Greece forget that 
even an Athenian sculptor could have done little with the hard granite 
masses of Syene, while even Egyptians would in all probability have 
produced far more truthful and natural works if they had always dealt 
with the fine and plastic marble of Paros and Pentelicus. It is not too 
much to say that Egyptian sculpture has been profoundly modified by 
the abundance of granite, Assyrian sculpture by the abundance of 
alabaster, and Hellenic sculpture by the abundance of marble. 

Practically speaking, there are only two plastic materials in Egypt. 
The one is the mud of Nile, from which bricks can bo made ; the other 
is the hard igneous rock granite, syenite, or porphyry of the boundary 

VOL. XLII. NO. 249. 14. 



282 THE GROWTH OF SCULPTURE. 

ranges. The geology of Egypt is as monotonous as its scenery. Marble or 
soft limestone nowhere occurs in any quantity. Granite, therefore, became 
the material from which the sculptured parts of temples, palaces, and tombs 
were constructed (though a soft durable sandstone was also employed for 
the ordinary building) ; and the national art, being all at bottom archi- 
tectural, took its main impress from the artistic capabilities of this 
material. Even in our own times, granite makes an awkward statue ; 
though by dint of long practice upon marble, and still more owing to 
the modern habit of modelling the original in clay, we are now able to 
turn out as good a figure as the rigid nature of the stone allows. But 
the Egyptians, so to speak, founded all their art on granite, and it 
accordingly coloured even their painting, as I hope hereafter to show. 
" A sitting statue," says Sir Gardner Wilkinson, " was represented with 
the hands placed upon the knees, or held across the breast ; and, when 
standing, the arms were placed directly down the sides to the thighs, one 
foot being advanced before the other, as if in the attitude of walking, but 
without any attempt to separate the legs." " The parts between the 
legs," says Dr. Birch, " in statues made of stone are reserved or not cut 
away, said to be owing to the manner of working by stunning out the 
limbs." These peculiarities were almost necessitated by the nature of 
the stone itself, and they are familiar to all of us from the specimens in 
the courts of the Louvre and of the British Museum.* 

I do not for a moment mean to deny that the national character, 
formed by the national circumstances, did much to determine the low 
grade of development in Egyptian plastic art ; but I think it almost 
certain that the nature of the material also reacted upon the national 
character with considerable effect. In the first place, painting itself 
advanced in many ways beyond sculpture, and was probably retarded in 
its development by the fixity of its sister art. For instance, its choice of 
attitude was far more free and unrestricted ; it represented arms and legs 
in positions which would have been impossible for granite statues. In 
the wall-paintings, figures act ; in the sculptures, they passively exist. 
Then, again, as most of the highest architecture had also granite or sand- 
stone for its " physical basis," the whole national art could never attain 
the plasticity of Hellenic genius could never reach the grade of develop- 
ment which was naturally reached in the free and gracious marble 
temples of Ionia or Attica. But, above all, there are signs that Egyptian 
art did not always assume so rigid a form, and that in its earlier days it 
could sometimes attain far greater freedom and individuality, especially 
in connection with more plastic materials. There is a little terra-cotta 
group in the British Museum a man and woman seated attributed to 
the ninth dynasty (a comparatively early period), in which the pose of 

* The Egyptians did very sparingly employ a native coarse black marble ; but no 
quarries of this stone existed at all comparable to the great masses of rosso antico 
porphyry at Syene. 



THE GEOWTH OF SCULPTURE. 283 

the figures is so natural and unrestrained that one feels almost inclined 
at first to doubt their antiquity, and to suspect Hellenic influence. This 
group and a few like it used to puzzle me for many years, until I learned 
from late discoveries that the sculpture of the third and other early 
dynasties was decidedly more individualised and imitative than that of 
the great eighteenth and nineteenth dynasties, under which the ever 
increasing conventionalism of Egyptian art reached its highest develop - 
ment. Besides the reaction of the solid material, which naturally induced 
stiffness of conception, we must attribute this increasing rigidity of 
Egyptian sculpture to its hieratic character. 

In all despotisms a certain sacredness invests the king. In des- 
potisms of the Oriental model, military societies which have crystallised 
at an early stage of development, this sacredness affects everything that 
concerns the king. In Egypt especially the concentration of all the 
energies of the country around the descendant of the sun made the 
sacred character of royal art very apparent. " Rameses conquering a city," 
" Amenoph driving his enemies before him," " Thothmes receiving the tri- 
bute of the Ethiopians " these form the subjects of half the bas-reliefs and 
wall-paintings on tombs or palaces. Art being mostly restricted to the 
adornment of royal buildings, a caste of royal aitlsts grew up, who 
learned from one another the conventional principles of their art. For 
conventionalism means the continuous copying of a primitive and 
inaccurate attempt at imitation of nature. Hence both sculptors and 
painters worked by a hieratic canon, which prescribed the relative pro- 
portions of the body, and from which it would have been sacrilegious to 
diverge. Especially in dealing with the gods and the king, the fixed 
models alone could be permitted, and no variation even in posture or 
feature could be allowed. In mediaeval Europe somewhat the same 
fixity prevailed in the representation of the Madonna and the saints, as 
it still prevails in the wooden pietas and bambinos of Continental 
churches. A like fixity also existed, apparently, in pre-historic Hellas. 
But while in Italy a Cimabue, a Giotto, and a Lionardo could be found 
successively to break through the various conventional ideas of their 
age ; while in Hellas a series of nameless sculptors could discard the 
cow-faced Here and the owl-headed Athene for ideal human figures, 
which grow into individuality under the hands of Dipeenus and Scyllis ; 
in Egypt no single original plastic genius ever ventured to omit the 
panther features of Pasht or the ibis beak of Thoth, to sever the arms 
and legs of a Memnon, or to throw expression into the lifeless eyes of a 
Sesostris. 

How could it be otherwise? Everywhere the total amount of 
originality is small, and the number of innovators is infinitesimal com- 
pared with the number of those who follow " the best models." The 
history of Greek sculpture or Italian painting shows us how each epoch- 
making artist only advanced a trifle upon the work of those who pre- 
ceded him. Yet, to get even such slow improvement, the elements of 

142 



284 THE GROWTH OF SCULPTURE. 

progress must be at -work throughout an entire nation, leavening the 
whole mass. These elements were as wholly wanting in ancient Egypt 
as they are in modern China. The Egyptian peasant or artisan lived in 
a monotonous and narrow plain, studded with little villages, each of 
which, like those of the Gangetic plateau in our own days, contained 
absolutely identical social factors the cultivators, the potters, the 
weavers, the bakers, and the priests. Up and down the river, life was 
exactly the same. There was no intercourse with unlike communities, 
no foreign trade, no exchange with neighbouring villages, nothing to 
arouse thought, individuality, original effort. Each man learnt his 
craft from those who went before, and the sculptor or the painter learnt 
his like the rest. Thus there was no advance, no progress, no alteration 
almost. The whole of life crystallised naturally into a set conventional 
system, controlled from above by the king, in which spontaneous indi- 
viduality would have seemed very like a disease. Yet it is noticeable 
that in art this fixed system, with its regular canons, affected most the 
high personages of the stereotyped governmental and religious hierarchy, 
while it left the lower ranks comparatively free. The stiffest and most 
invariable figures are those of the gods, where innovation is absolutely 
inadmissible. Next comes the sacred form of the king, always repre- 
sented in certain conventional attitudes as performing certain ordinary 
official acts, but still allowing of some variation in detail. The priests 
and high functionaines may be permitted a certain relaxation from the 
absolutely formal attitudes ; and when we reach the bas-reliefs or 
pictures which show us the people engaged in everyday work, we meet 
with comparative freedom of treatment. Lastly, animal shapes, the 
least common of all, and so the least liable to harden down into con- 
ventionality, are often represented with much technical skill, and occa- 
sionally even with something approaching to spirit. 

When we turn to Assyria, we arrive at a sort of intermediate stage 
between Memphis and Athens. Judged by the imitative standard, the 
plastic art of Nineveh is decidedly in advance of that of Egypt. The 
human face and figure are far more naturally treated. A rude perspec- 
tive is suggested, and sometimes realised with considerable skill. The 
muscles are represented with some approach to accuracy. In Egyptian 
art, figures walking always have the soles of both feet planted flat upon 
the ground; in Assyrian bas-reliefs, the toe alone of the hinder or 
retreating foot touches the earth. " Assyrian art," says Lubke justly, 
" is distinguished even in its earliest works from the Egyptian by greater 
power, fulness, and roundness in the reliefs, by a fresher conception of 
nature, and by a more energetic delineation of life ; but it lacks on the 
other hand the more delicate sense of form, and the stricter architectural 
law that marked the other." I think, if we regard the question from 
the evolutionary standpoint, we shall admit that even the last-named 
points are really marks of freedom and progress. " This may be traced," 
continues the historian, with a rare outburst of common sense, " in the 



THE GEOWTH OF SCULPTURE. 285 

first place to a difference of character, of their relations to nature, and of 
their artistic taste ; but it was induced also, undoubtedly, by the slighter 
connection with architecture, and by the more tractable material for 
work afforded by alabaster." There we get the whole solution of the 
problem summed up in a nutshell. 

Moreover, Assyria differs also from Egypt in this, that from the 
earliest monuments at Kalah Sherghat to the latest at Kouyunjik we 
can trace a continuous and constant improvement. The despotism of 
Nineveh never became so conventionalised and crystallised as that of 
Thebes. Egypt was stationary or retrograde ; Assyria was slowly pro- 
gressive. 

The valley of the Tigris, like that of the Nile, naturally gave rise at 
an early period to a great semi-civilised agricultural community. But 
the Assyrians were a Semitic people, and the difference of race counted 
for something in Mesopotamia, even as it has counted for something 
among the monotonous flats of Upper India. In addition to this 
primary differentiating cause, there was a second cause in the physical 
conditions. Assyria is not so wholly isolated as Egypt. Though an 
inland country, it is not utterly cut off by the desert from all mankind, 
and compelled to mature its own self-contained civilisation within its 
own limits like China or Peru. The great river formed a highway for 
communication with the kindred culture of Babylon, while lines of 
commerce connected the Assyrian capital with the Phoenician, Hellenic, 
and Hebrew worlds, as well as with the primitive Persian, Median, and 
Indian empires. Hence, while the type of organisation remains, as in 
Egypt, military and despotic, there is more individual thought and 
action amongst the people. It is true the existing remains of Assyrian 
art refer even more exclusively to the life and deeds of rulers than do 
those of Egypt ; but then they are mere fragments from royal palaces, 
far less numerous and varied than the rich relics of Karnak or Beni- 
Hassan ; and they display far greater originality and individuality on 
the part of the artists than any of the Egyptian remains. 

" Strata of alabaster abound in Assyria." This geological fact gives 
us the one remaining point necessary to the comprehension of Ninevite 
work. Using limestone instead of granite in their purely architectural 
work, the Assyrians used alabaster for their strictly plastic compositions. 
Starting thus from the same primitive basis as the Egyptians the 
incised bas-relief painting it is easy to see how the nature of their 
material, combined with the greater freedom of their intellects, led them 
soon to higher flights. The archaic sculptures at Arban, wrought in a 
coarse limestone, show us the gradual attempt at emancipation on the 
part of the early artists. The features display a Negroid type, which, 
perhaps, points back to Egyptian models,* and the treatment is far more 

* In like manner the earliest Greek sculpture gives Semitic or Assyrian features 
to its figures, 



286 THE GROWTH OF SCULPTURE. 

angular than in later works. One of the lions a corner statue, forming 
part of a slab flanking a doorway has a carious peculiarity which marks 
transition from a still more ancient and conventional style to a compa- 
ratively free and modern treatment. It has five legs. Four of these 
are visible as you view the animal in profile, and they are placed one 
behind the other, as though the creature was advancing ; but two are 
also visible in front, one being the foremost of the previous four, and 
the other an abnormal fifth leg, which gives it the appearance of standing 
still when viewed from this aspect. Evidently the sculptor could not 
reconcile his mind to giving up the proper complement of legs from any 
point of view, and so compromised the matter by running two contra- 
dictory conceptions into one. In the well-known winged bulls, this 
anomaly settles down into a regular conventional practice, owing to 
their architectural position. The sculpture of these colossal figures in 
their best day is, however, far more rounded, and the detail much more 
exquisitely carved, than would be possible in granite figures. But Assy- 
rian statues seldom attain any great importance, because they have 
never wholly emancipated themselves from architectural trammels, and 
it is only in a few isolated figures that we get an idea of what the artists 
might have done. It is in the soft alabaster bas-reliefs, however, that the 
Assyrian genius finds its fuWest development. Their delicacy of carving, 
frequent truth of delineation, and occasional glimpses of spirited treat- 
ment, place them second only to the archaic Greek sculptures. 

Even in alabaster, however, the Assyrian hand was cramped by 
hieratic conventionality. The deities retain their eagle-heads or bulls' 
bodies. The sacred figure of the king and those of the attendant 
eunuchs never lose their primitive stiffness. In the monuments of Sar- 
cfanapakis himself, only the huntsmen and other inferior personages 
show any approach to free treatment. " The human form maintains its 
old typical and conventional constraint, and, with all their genius, the 
artists of this last Assyrian period never succeeded in breaking through 
the ban which frustrated in the East the representation of free thought- 
ful human life. The animals of the late Assyrian art are far superior 
to the men in nobleness of structure, in power and grace of action, and 
even in depth of expression." But it was something if only to have 
attained to the ease and faithfulness of representation which we find in 
the well-known wounded lioness of Kouyunjik. 

On the other hand, if we wish to measure the effect produced by so 
plastic a material as alabaster, we have but to look at the contemporary 
Assyrian " cylinders " in hard stones such as jasper, onyx, and agate. 
These, though cut with immense care, display a primitive and almost 
savage style of art which contrasts ludicrously with the finished sculp- 
ture of the bas-reliefs. 

But no place could better illustrate the importance of material than 
Babylon. More commercial and probably more civilised than Nineveh, 
Babylon stood in the midst of a far wider alluvial plain, where no build- 



THE GEOWTH OF SCULPTUEE. 287 

ing material except brick was procurable. Marble, alabaster, granite 
were all unknown. Building stone, Sir A. H. Layarcl tells us, could 
only be brought from a distance, and it consisted chiefly of black basalt 
from the Kurdish mountains, used for ornamental details alone. The 
city, as a whole, was built of brick and mud. Hence no plastic art ever 
developed in Babylon. Its ruins consist of mere shapeless mounds, en- 
closing coloured enamelled tiles, and other traces of varied {esthetic 
handicraft ; but sculpture utterly failed for want of a " physical basis." 
No doubt pictorial and industrial arts took somewhat diverse develop- 
ments from those which they would have taken had the architectural 
style been more similar to that of the Assyrian capital. Tapestry 
seems to have been to Babylon what sculpture was to Athens and paint- 
ing to Florence. 

Turning at last to Hellas, we have to deal with a very different 
people, a different country, a different material. The Aryan Hellenes 
took with them to their island homes the same primitive intellectual, 
philosophical, and subtle minds which the Brahmans took to India and 
the Kelts to Ireland. All we know of the Aryan race shows us that it 
could nowhere be content with such a purely external life as that of the 
Egyptians and Assyrians. Men of that race must reflect more and feel 
more, and their art must, therefore, mirror more of their internal life. 
But these universal Aryan qualities are not by themselves sufficient to 
account for the specific Hellenic art. We must look for that in the 
physical peculiarities of Hellas itself. 

I say Hellas because I do not mean Greece in its modern geographical 
sense. Dr. Curtius has taught us that the true Hellas of the old 
Hellenes was not the peninsula, but the ^Egean. It included Ephesus, 
Miletus, Mitylene, Rhodes, and the Cyclades : it did not include ^Etolia, 
Acarnania, or the wild Epirote mountains. This true maritime Hellas 
a labyrinth of landlocked bays, narrow straits, long headlands, grouped 
or scattered islets, and peninsular heights was bound together every- 
where by the interlacing sea. Argos, Corinth, Athens, Thebes, the 
Chalcidian and Thracian colonies, Delos, the Sporades, the Ionian bays, 
Crete, and Corcyra formed its natural boundaries. The water did duty 
as its highway, and ships as its beasts of burden. It was the true 
cradle of navigation for Phoenician and Hellene alike. Its outliers 
soon spread, always by sea, to Sicily and Campania, North Africa and 
the Rhone, the Euxine and the Bosphorus. Cyrene, Massalia, Sinope 
formed its advanced outposts. No land was ever better adapted to 
stimulate the intellect and the energies of its people, to foster originality 
and individual effort. Mountain ranges, shutting off each little basin 
from its neighbours, rendered impossible the rise of a great central 
despotism, such as those which spread so easily over the wide Asiatic 
plains. Only when military science had greatly advanced, and roads 
through mountain countries had become practicable, could a Philip 
overrun the free valleys of Attica and Bceotia. Xerxes wasted his 



288 THE GROWTH OF SCULPTURE. 

enormous strength in vain on the narrow guts of the Euripus and the 
miniature passes of Thermopylae. Thus each Hellenic city remained 
always a separate state. On the other hand, the merchants and sailors 
of the Hellenic people early acquired that wealth which makes subjects 
the practical equals of kings, that freedom of mind which comes from 
intercourse with many nations, that knowledge which naturally arose 
from constant commercial relations with the older culture of the Asiatic 
coast and interior. Hence the separate Greek states quickly threw off 
the regal form of government in favour of the oligarchic, and finally of 
the democratic, type. With it they threw off the monarchical organi- 
sation an organisation always limited among the primitive Aryans by 
the council of freemen, but which the example of Persia and India 
shows us to be capable, even amongst Aryan nations, of easily assuming 
the purely despotic form under favourable conditions. Henceforth, 
their progress in all industrial or aesthetic arts was rapid and splendid. 
The Homeric poems show us the primitive Achaeans in a stage of culture 
hardly superior to that of the common Aryan stock : the era of Pericles 
shows us the unexampled development of a wholly new and utterly un- 
rivalled culture, containing elements quite unknown in the older civilisa- 
tions of Egypt and Assyria. 

Such I believe to be the true secret of the magnificent Hellenic 
nationality. It was an Aryan race, starting with all the advantage of 
the noble Aryan endowments ; and it occupied the most favourable situa- 
tion in the world for the development of navigation, commerce, and free 
institutions, at that particular stage of human evolution. At an earlier 
date, navigation would have been impossible : at a later, it must fix its 
centre in Italy (the focal point of the Mediterranean basin), in northern 
Europe (the focal point of the Atlantic basin), and, perhaps, hereafter in 
some unknown region of the Pacific. But just at that moment Hellas 
formed its natural home. It was the great emporium where met the 
tin of Cornwall, the gold of Iberia, the amber of the Baltic, the myrrh 
of Arabia, the silphium of Libya, the glass of Egypt, the pottery of 
Phoenicia, the lapis lazuli of Persia, and the ivory of Ethiopia or the 
East. The free and plastic Hellenic genius was formed by the action of 
a natural commercial focus, a maritime position, and an individual poli- 
tical life upon the free and plastic but less developed old Aryan subjecti- 
vity. 

The material, however, which mainly contributed to the due aesthetic 
development of this free Hellenic genius was undoubtedly marble. Had 
the Greeks, with all their other circumstances left the same, possessed 
no stone to sculpture except the hard porphyry or syenite of Egypt, can 
we for a moment suppose that they could ever have produced the Aphro- 
dite of Melos or the torsos of the Parthenon ? Indeed, what little we 
know of their chryselephantine work leads us to suppose that even in 
this comparatively manageable material their plastic art fell decidedly 
short of their marble figures. But if the Hellenes had been entirely 



THE GROWTH OF SCULPTURE, 289 

deprived of the pure and even-grained stone from which they constructed 
not only their statues but also their great architectural works, can we 
possibly believe that their whole {esthetic development would not have 
been something entirely different from that which we actually know it 
to have been ] Amongst ourselves, the sculptor is a specially trained 
artist, who supplies a purely aesthetic want, felt only by a small fraction 
of our cultivated classes. But in Hellas, where noble marble temples 
continually rose on every side, and where the demand for images of the 
gods was a common demand of ordinary life, every craftsman in wood 
or stone grew naturally into an artist. The material upon which the 
stone-cutter worked gave free play to the native genius of the race. 
Those who seek to explain Athenian art by the Athenian character 
alone, forget to take into account this important physical factor given us 
in the white cliffs of Paros and Pentelicus. 

"Without going too deeply into the vexed question of the exact links 
Phoenician, Hittite, Lydian, and Ionian which are variously supposed 
to connect Oriental with Hellenic sculpture, we may recognise the fact 
that the earliest Greek art started from the same primitive form as the 
Egyptian and Assyrian. The most ancient Greek bas-reliefs, like those 
from the temple of Assos now in the Louvre (for the famous Lion 
Gate at Mycense may possibly be the relic of a still earlier race), are 
thoroughly Assyrian in type, but far inferior in execution and imitative 
skill to the Ninevite works. They show us figures in the same proces- 
sional style, sculptured in coarse limestone, extremely disproportionate 
in size, and grotesquely angular in attitude. But, as the Italians after 
Cimabue altered and vivified the conventional Byzantine models which 
they imitated, eo the Hellenes altered and vivified Assyrian sculpture. 
In the marble monument of Aristion at Athens, a bas-relief of the 
archaic type, we find a distinct advance. Though the hair and beard 
strikingly recall the stiff rows of Assyrian curls, the pose of the arms is 
natural and almost graceful. In the similar monument of Orchomenus, 
probably a trifle later, the limbs and the drapery display marked freedom 
and character, though the face is still, to a great extent, devoid of in' 
dividuality or expression. The exquisite reliefs from Thasos, in the 
Louvre, attributed to the sixth century, finally show us almost perfect 
technical command over the presentation of the human figure a com- 
mand which becomes supreme a hundred years later in the frieze of the 
Parthenon. Such rapid advance bears the impress of the quick Hel- 
lenic originality ; but it also marks the collateral value of so plastic a 
material as marble. 

It was not in bas-relief, however, but in isolated statues, that the 
Hellenic genius and the quarries of Paros were to prove their united 
potentialities. The statue, I believe, has two separate origins. The 
one origin, from the bas-relief through the seated or supported figure, I 
have already traced, and its history is now a commonplace of sesthetic 
chronicles. But the true relations of the second have apparently been 

145 



290 THE GROWTH OF SCULPTURE. 

hitherto little noticed in connection with the first. All nations make 
themselves images of their gods in wood or clay, and where these mate- 
rials are unattainable, in feathers, like the Hawaiians. Now the earliest 
Greek gods were in wood ; and from these doll-like wooden gods, as has 
often been noticed, descended the chryselephantine statues of Phidias, 
overlaid with ivory to form the face and limbs, and with gold to repre- 
sent the drapery. It is quite in accordance with the usual archaism of 
all religious usages that these essentially wooden statues continued to 
the last the representatives of the chief gods in the most important 
temples the protecting Athene of the Parthenon, and the Pan-Hellenic 
Zeus of Olympia. Nor is it a less striking fact that the chryselephantine 
statues seem always to have retained some traces of archaic conven- 
tionalism ; that their drapery hung in folds which concealed the whole 
figure ; and that the Zeus of Olympia himself, the most reverend god of 
universal Hellas, was represented, like most very ancient statues, in a 
sitting attitude. It is the glory of Hellenic sculpture that it ventured 
even in its gods to discard the sacred forms sanctified by antique usage : 
yet even in Hellas itself some traces of the conservatism natural to 
religion must inevitably be expected to exist. 

But the marble statues^ which form, after all, the real symbol of 
Hellas in all our minds are the lineal descendants of the bas-reliefs, and 
so had a purely architectural origin. Whereas, however, in Egypt and 
Assyria the separata stone statue flanking a doorway or gate always 
remained more or less architectural in character and use, and never 
really took the place of the wooden image, in Greece the marble figure 
owing no doubt in part to the plasticity of the material became at 
last wholly individualised, separated itself on a pedestal from the 
architectural background, and practically superseded the wooden or 
chryselephantine figure for all but the most venerable purposes. The 
archaic marble colossi from. Miletus in the British Museum represent 
Hellenic sculpture in an almost Egyptian stage, the stage in which Hellas 
received the rudiments of art from Assyria. The figures are seated in 
the attitude which we all know so well as that of Pasht. " They are 
stiff and motionless, the arms closely attached to the body, and the hands 
placed on the knees ; the physical proportions are heavy and almost 
awkward, the execution is throughout architecturally massive, and the 
organic structure is but slightly indicated. '' The drapery wholly 
conceals the human form. There is not a touch in these ungainly figures 
which at all foreshadows the coming freedom of Greek art. They are 
simply conventional, and nothing more. But the ancient sitting statue 
of Athene preserved in the Acropolis at Athens, though much mutilated, 
shows an immense advance. The attitude is unconventionalised ; the 
foot, instead of being planted flat as in the Miletan colossi, is lightly 
poised upon the toes alone ; the limbs are partially uncovered ; und 
the undulating folds of the drapery are clearly prophetic of the later 
Athenian grace. The nude standing figure known as the Apollo 0f 



THE GEOWTH OF SCULPTURE. 291 

Tenea (in the Glyptothek at Munich) gives us in some respects a still 
further progress. The anatomy is excellent ; and the attitude, though 
stiff, is surprisingly free for an unsupported and isolated figure of so 
early date. The arms still hang by the side; but they hang free in 
marble, instead of being "welded to the body as in porphyry. Both soles 
are firmly planted, but one foot is in advance. Altogether we have here 
a statue caught in the very act of becoming Greek. It is, in fact, an 
accurate but awkward a.nd ungraceful representation of a real man, 
standing in a possible but ugly attitude. Note, too, the important fact 
that this figure is nude. Most of the archaic Greek statues are fully 
draped, and the conventionality of religious art kept many of the greater 
gods draped to the last. The Zeus of Phidias wore vestments of gold, 
and, even in the freest days, no sculptor ever ventured to disrobe the 
wedded majesty of Her6, or the maiden majesty of Pallas. But there 
were two great gods whom even the antique conventionalism represented 
in the nude Apollo, and perhaps Aphrodite ; while, with Hermes and 
Eros, as well as in the lesser figures of Heracles, Theseus, and the heroes 
generally, individual imagination took freer flights. The bronze Apollo 
of Canachus, to judge from preserved copies, though still largely adhering 
to a conventional type, yields evidence of some feeling for beauty of nude 
form. Thenceforward Hellenic sculpture rapidly advanced, especially in 
its nude productions, towards the perfect grace of the Periclean period. 
The isolated nude statue is, in fact, the true ideal of plastic art : it 
represents the beauty of form in its purest organic type. The groups 
from the pediment of the temple at ^Egina are admirable examples of 
the struggle between conventionalism and freedom in the developing 
Hellenic mind. In the very centre stands a fully draped Athene, 
conventional in treatment and awkward in proportions, with a lifeless 
countenance, and graceless figure wholly concealed by the stiff folds of 
the robe. The great goddess still retains her archaic and time-honoured 
type. But at her feet lies a nude warrior of exquisite idealised propor- 
tions, in a natural and graceful posture, and carved with anatomical 
accuracy which would not have disgraced the glorious sculptor of 
the Parthenon himself. To trace the growth of the art from this point 
on to the age of Phidias would involve questions of that higher aesthetic 
criticism which I wish in the present paper to avoid. We have reached 
the point where Hellenic sculpture has attained to perfect imitation of 
the human figure : its further advance is toward the higher excellence of 
ideality, expression, deep feeling, and perfect appreciation for abstract 
beauty of form. 

And now let us look for a moment at the part borne by Greek 
individuality, Greek freedom, and Greek democracy in this aesthetic 
evolution. While in Egypt, as we saw, the regal and hieratic influence 
caused ;_the [primitive free manner to crystallise into a fixed conven- 
tionalism; while in Assyria it checked the progress of art, and restricted 
all advance to a few animal traits ; in Hellas, after the age of J freedom, 



292 THE GROWTH OF SCULPTURE. 

it became powerless before the popular instinct. While Egyptian and 
Assyrian gods always retained their semi-animal features, in Hellas the 
cow-face of Here and the owl-head of Athene fell so utterly into oblivion 
that later Hellenic commentators even misinterpreted the ancient 
descriptive epithets of the Achaean epic into ox-eyed and grey-eyed. 
Only in conservative Sparta did Apollo keep his four arms; only in 
half-barbarian and enslaved Ephesus did Artemis keep her hundred 
breasts. In European and insular Hellas, for the most part, the 
sculptors chose to represent the actual human form, and, in their later 
age, the nude human form by preference over all other shapes. In Egypt 
and Assyria the king in his conventional representation was the central 
figure of every work. But in Hellas, even in the archaic period, we find 
plastic art in the employment of private persons. The monument of , 
Aristion represents a citizen, in the armour of an hoplite, sculptured on 
his own tomb; the Orchomenian monument similarly represents a 
Bo3otian gentleman in civic dress. In the later Athenian period 
portrait busts of distinguished citizens seem to have been usual. But 
it was on the gods, as the common objects of devotion for the whole city, 
that the art of the republican Greek states mainly expended itself. And 
here again we see the value of Hellenic individuality. For while in 
Egypt a Pasht from Thebes was identical with a Pasht from Memphis, 
and while even in Hellas itself Zeus and Athene and the other national 
gods tended to retain conventional types, yet in each city the special 
worship of the local heroes Theseus and Cephisus, and Erechtheus and 
Heracles (rendered possible by the minute subdivisions of Hellenic states) 
permitted the sculptor to individualise and originalise his work. From 
this combination of causes it happens that Greek sculpture is modelled from 
the life. Egyptian artists probably never worked from natural models ; 
they worked apparently from their own imperfect recollections, or eopied 
the imperfect recollections of their predecessors. The Greek sculptor 
worked from the human figure, familiarised to his eye in the contests 
of the palaestra, and we see the result in the frieze and metopes of the 
Parthenon. At length we get sculpture almost wholly divorced from 
religion in the Discobolus and the Narcissus, the Niobe and the Thorn- 
extractor. Hellenic art discovers its full freedom when it shakes off its 
religious trammels, and when its purpose becomes merely aesthetic in the 
service of the wealthy and cultivated Greek gentleman. The older school 
gives us gods and heroes alone ; the later school gives us simply ideal 
figures and genre pieces. As the Renaissance emancipated Italian paint- 
ing from the perpetual circle of Madonnas and St. Sebastians, so the 
Periclean awakening emancipated Athenian sculpture from the surviving 
conventionalism of Heres and Hestias. 

Finally, we must remember that Hellenic art flourished most in the 
great commercial cities. It is not in Dorian Sparta, with its conserva- 
tive, kingly, and military organisation, that we must look for the 
miracles of sculpture, As Thucydides predicted, Sparta has passed 



THE GROWTH OF SCULPTURE. 293 

away and left nothing but the shadow of a great name. It is at Athens, 
Corinth, Rhodes, and the Ionian colonies that plastic art produces its 
masterpieces. And even the most careless thinker can hardly fail to 
remember that it was not in feudal Paris or London, but in the similarly 
mercantile cities of mediaeval Italy and the Low Countries, that modern 
painting went through the chief stages of its early evolution. 

I have thus, I hope, given their full value in each case to the original 
characteristics of race and to the subsequent reactions of the physical 
and social surroundings. But the point which I have especially endea- 
voured to bring out in this paper is the immense concomitant importance 
of a suitable material for the embodiment of the national feeling. Just 
as it seems to me that porcelain clay has coloured all the art-energies of 
China, and feathers all the art-energies of Polynesia, so does it seem to 
me that granite has directed the whole aesthetic handicraft of Egypt, and 
marble the whole aesthetic handicraft of Hellas. My text has been too 
large to expound otherwise than in a rapid sketch; but I trust the 
broad outlines, such as they are, will bear filling in from the memory 
and observation of the reader. 

GRANT ALLEN. 



294 



IT has been easy to foresee for some time past that a change was at hand 
in the system by which game at present is preserved in the United 
Kingdom. The enormous quantity kept up by sportsmen of the new 
school, with its terrible consequences in the shape of frequent and sangui- 
nary collisions* between poachers and gamekeepers, and serious injury 
inflicted on the farmers' crops, has long since brought about conditions 
demanding Parliamentary interference. As is usual, however, in such 
cases, the two extremes of opinion were strong enough for a long while 
to prevent any moderate course from being adopted ; and perhaps, for 
some reasons, the result is not to be regretted, as it has given time for 
the question to run itself clear of numerous misconceptions and imperti- 
nences which had hitherto obscured its true character, and have, indeed, 
been a principal cause of the delay which has occurred in dealing with it. 
We propose, therefore, to offer to our readers on the First of September a 
brief survey of the progress of opinion on the subject since it first began 
to attract public notice, and of the origin of the abuses which have led 
to the demand for change. 

When the game laws first began to excite hostile criticism, the poacher 
rather than the farmer was the object of popular sympathy. Political 
economy was as yet in the background, and the produce of the soil was 
not scanned as jealously as at present. Nor was game preserved to such 
an extent as to be seriously mischievous to the crops, even if it had been. 
Hares were kept principally for hunting, and for that purpose they 
ought not to be too thick upon the ground. The battue was unknown, 
and the pheasant one might almost say was as wild as the woodcock. 
Under these circumstances there was nothing either to injure the farmer 
or to lead to the formation of those regular poaching gangs which a few 
years afterwards became notorious. The consequence was that the poacher 
was regarded in those days much as in higher walks of life a young man 
is regarded who is euphemistically termed " a little wild," or as the 
schoolboy may be who climbs up his neighbour's apple-tree and brings off 
his pockets full of fruit. Disapproval of such courses is not unmingled 
with admiration of the culprit's spirit, and a secret notion that he may 
turn out all the better for it afterwards. Such feelings imply no dis- 
respect for the received moralities, and neither did sympathy with the 
village poacher imply the slightest dissatisfaction with the game laws or 
the preservation of game. Joseph Rushbrook, in Captain Marryat's well- 

* These indeed are nothing new. Vide infra. 



GAME. 295 

known tale, is an'excellent type of the poacher as he was known, generally 
speaking, in those earlier and better days. Kushbrook is a man who lives 
by poaching. He is an honest, respectable, intelligent man, who goes to 
church regularly, and sends his children to school. His cottage on the 
outskirts of the village is a model of neatness and comfort. His wife is 
everything that a village matron ought to be. But he has this one weak- 
ness : every favourable night " in the season of the year " is devoted to 
inroads on the neighbouring covers, where, with the aid of a wonderful 
dog, and an equally wonderful child, he enjoys his sport for many years 
without detection, the game being disposed of to the pedlars, who, with 
the guards of coaches and the drivers of stage-waggons, were the principal 
medium of communication between the poacher and the dealer. Such a 
career was lawless wrong, no doubt still there was something ad- 
venturous and romantic about it, people thought. There was the same 
difference in public estimation between Joseph Rushbrook and the 
unwashed gangs of mechanics who plunder our preserves at present as 
between Claude Duval and Bill Sikes. 

It was during the latter part of the last century that both poaching 
and game preserving seem first to have begun to assume those dimen- 
sions which are familiar to us at the present day. The growth of these 
were coincident with two other social changes in progress at the same 
period, of which no doubt they were to some extent also the consequences : 
we mean the decline in the condition of the peasantry, and the accumu- 
lation of large properties. Towards the end of the American war, owing 
to the rise in prices on the one hand, and the enclosure of commons 
on the other, the labourer's income was diminished while the cost of his 
living was increased ; while, at the same time, partly owing to the pres- 
sure of taxation, and partly to other causes, the early part of the reign 
of George III. witnessed a large reduction in the number of the smaller 
landowners, who were bought out by nabobs, contractors, et hoc genus 
omne the men so abhorred by Cobbett or else by the neighbouring 
nobleman, who would not be outdone by them in the extent of his 
acres. It seems probable that this change may have led to the preser- 
vation of game, and also to the accumulation of it in particular localities, 
on a scale unknown to the smaller squires of an earlier period, when it 
was more evenly distributed over the whole surface of the country. Thus, 
at one and the same time, the pressure of poverty began to act upon the 
rural population, and the system of preserving to hold out increased 
temptation to them. The result was seen in the gradually-increasing 
ferocity and lawlessness of the poaching class, and in the increased 
severity of the laws which were enacted to restrain them. Then came 
in the practice, now almost forgotten, of setting man-traps and spring- 
guns, which were not declared to be illegal till towards the end of the 
reign of George IV., and which contributed largely to swell the outcry 
against the game laws. It was said at the time that they were as inef- 
ficient as inhuman, and that they caught or killed every one except the 



296 GAME. 

poacher. A celebrated hanging judge had a narrow escape on one occa- 
sion, and it may be that this was what led to the prohibition of them. 
Some traps made without teeth were used for the protection of gardens, 
but all alike are things of the past now. Only now and then, inside the 
old moss-grown park palings, one sees some tumbledown sign-post warn- 
ing the public of spring-guns and man- traps to remind us that such things 
were. 

By the time that Crabbe's Tales were published, the gang system was 
in full operation/ and there is plenty of other evidence to show that night- 
poaching was carried on then, just as it has been since, by bodies of armed 
men prepared to resist force by force. Still the old sentimental idea of 
the poacher, fostered partly by individual " survivals," partly by the con- 
dition of the law, and still more by the aggravated distress of the 
peasantry which followed the peace of 1815, was the uppermost one in the 
public mind. Then arose the picture of the starving labourer transported 
or imprisoned with felons for snaring a rabbit to assuage the pangs of 
hunger ; and the feeling thus created not unnaturally survived for a very 
long time the circumstances which had once given colour to it. But public 
sympathy never at any time took the form of a demand for the abolition 
of the game laws. What was asked was such a reform as should diminish 
the temptation to poaching among the rural population. How completely 
the remedy adopted defeated its own purpose, and indeed aggravated the 
very mischief which it was intended to remove, we shall see presently. 
In the meantime, let us remember that down to 1831 the two main 
objects with all game law reformers were, first, the abolition of the quali- 
fication * as an antiquated anomaly ; and, secondly, the extinction of the 
poacher by destroying the market for his produce. The way to curb the 
poacher, said the Edinburgh Review, is to undersell him. And though 
the farmer's grievance was mentioned once or twice in the debates in the 
House of Commons on the subject, it had no hold upon the public mind, 
which was occupied exclusively with the two objects we have mentioned. 

In spite of all that has been said, there can be little doubt that under 
the old system shooting and the preservation of game were in some re- 
spects on a more satisfactory footing than they have been since. Under 
the old regime comparatively few persons took the field, and there was 
game enough for all without the excessive quantity which it is now 
thought necessary to maintain. Preserving, consequently, was not 
carried on upon the same scale, nor was the gamekeeper the ubiquitous, 
and sometimes vexatious, personage which he has since become. On land 
where no keeper ever set his foot, and where almost any qualified person 
might shoot if he chose, it was possible then to have excellent partridge- 

* Before 1831 nobody was allowed to till game who was not possessed of an 
estate in land, freehold, copyhold, or leasehold, the amount varying in each case, or 
who was not the son of an esquire or person of a higher degree. Thus it will be 
seen that the qualification was one derived either from property in land or from, 
birth. It was habitually disregarded, 



GAME. 279 

shooting in September. There were, comparatively speaking, so few 
guns out that the game was never killed down ; and though poaching was 
BO largely carried on that an innkeeper at Manchester is said to have had 
such a quantity of partridges in his possession one first of September 
that he was obliged to throw away 2,000, it does not seem to have been 
so fatal to wild game as the horde of petty gunners created by the Act 
of William IV. So that, what with fewer shooters on the one hand, 
and conditions of agriculture more favourable to partridge-breeding on 
the other, the sport of shooting was to be enjoyed with very little trouble, 
and with few or none of the heartburnings which it occasions now. The 
old-fashioned tenant-farmer of the first quarter of the present century 
never dreamed of shooting. It never occurred to him that it could be 
agreeable to the fitness of things that he should do so ; that the game on 
land should be kept for the owner of the land seemed to him part of the 
order of nature, and, as long as the system of shooting and of preserving 
remained unchanged, he continued in this frame of mind. Nor, indeed, 
is it entirely a thing of the past even now. It lingered for a long time 
after the alteration of the law, and survives still to this extent that the 
tenant-farmer as a rule has no wish whatever to take the shooting from 
his landlord ; but in those halcyon days not a cloud was on the sports- 
man's horizon : not a sulky or an angry look greeted him from morning 
till night. There was always cover enough for birds without the neces- 
sity of going into beans or clover ; and a brace or two which he could 
not buy made the occupier of the land happy, and a staunch preserver for 
the rest of the year. Neither game nor gunner did harm to anything or 
anybody; encroached on no rights either real or fanciful; and the sports- 
man in consequence was welcome wherever he went, and as often as he 
chose to go. 

"In those days and in days much later," says Lord Stanhope, 
" the return of the shooting season was hailed with pleasure, not by the 
landlord only, but by the farmer also. The young squire would cheerily 
step into the homestead for his midday meal ; and sit down with a well- 
earned appetite to a dish of eggs and bacon, with a glass or it might be 
two of the honest homebrewed, instead of the luxurious luncheon bas- 
kets which according to the present fashion would be spread before him. 
He would point with some pride to ' the birds ' which his morning's 
walk had gained him, and descant at some length on the sagacity and 
skill of his dogs ; for at that time before the time of ' driving ' these 
were deemed no small part of the enjoyment of the day. In return he 
would be most warmly greeted and made welcome, undisturbed by any 
little questions which would be reserved for another time as of the 
mouldering floor in the barn, or the leaky roof in the ' beast houses; ' and, 
when he again stepped forth, he would see his tenant at his side taking 
interest in his sport, and eager to point out to him the haunts of the 
nearest coveys. All was cheerfulness and sunshine between the two 
classes when they met not for business alone." And after contrasting 



298 GAME, 

i 

this picture with the modern system, he says : " This was not so in the 
reign of Queen Anne, not even in the reign of George III. ; " nor even 
in the reign of George IV., may be confidently added. What has led 
to the change is the next step in our inquiry 1 

It was generally believed fifty years ago that by throwing open both 
game and the right of killing it to the general public, poaching would be 
seriously discouraged, if not altogether suppressed, while at the same time 
an unpopular privilege belonging to the owners of land would be de- 
stroyed. The first object was to be gained by legalising the sale of game ; 
the second by abolishing the property qualification required of all persons 
who desired to kill or take it. The legal traffic in game would soon swamp 
the illegal, and the abolition of the qualification in favour of a licence giving 
every one the right to shoot who chose to pay five pounds for the luxury 
would do away with all class jealousies. This was the view entertained by 
the most enlightened reformers of the period. But unluckily, like many 
other enlightened reformers, their practical knowledge of the subject 
was not equal to the task they undertook. "We are thinking now rather 
of the Edinburgh Reviewers than of members of the House of Com- 
mons ; yet it certainly is strange that men like Lord Althorp should 
have no misgivings as to the working of the Act which he succeeded in 
carrying through Parliament. Sir Robert Peel, himself an ardent lover 
of the gun, did venture to predict that legalising the sale of game would 
increase and not diminish poaching. But his was almost the only voice 
of any note which gave out the warning sound. Elsewhere the very 
system which is now so loudly condemned by contemporaries was recom- 
mended emphatically as the only one suited to the age, and consistent 
with liberal ideas. There was to be no more privilege ; ^nothing feudal, 
or exclusive, or nonsensical about game and the game laws. They were 
to be placed on the basis of common sense. Let the gentry rear game 
as a business, and supply the market with it just as their tenants sup- 
plied it with mutton. Thus it would be a source of profit as well as of 
pleasure to them ; and when they did not want to shoot it themselves 
they might let the right to some one else, and recoup themselves for the 
expense in that way. By these means it was contemplated that the 
poacher would be driven out of the field, and that the dealer in time would 
no more think of supplying his customers with stolen game than with 
stolen meat, eggs, or poultry. In these speculations we have of course 
the germ of the modern battue, of the cartloads of game packed off to 
the adjoining market town, of the wasted crops, of the " game landlord," 
and the sulky or indignant tenant. Hoc fonte derivata clades. The 
original supposition was not perhaps in the abstract unreasonable, for 
that the breeder and owner of game should be able to supply the public 
was no very extravagant assumption. But the theory overlooked two 
important difficulties, of which one no doubt would have disappeared in 
time, while the other had not yet suggested itself. After the Act of 
1831 became law, a public opinion in conformity with it had still to 



GAME. 299 

be created ; a public opinion which by recognising that hares and 
pheasants, whatever their technical status, were morally and equitably 
property, should make it as disgraceful for the poulterer to deal with the 
poacher as for the butcher to deal with the sheepstealer. This feeling 
was longer in making its appearance than the reformers had expected. 
But it probably would have done so in time, when it was met and turned 
backwards by a counter current of thought to which the men of 1831 were 
strangers. The farmer's grievance stepped upon the scene, and altered the 
whole complexion of affairs. The public were just beginning to recognise 
the absurdity of the protest against gentlemen selling their game, and to 
see that if they were to get game at all this was the most rational mode 
of obtaining it, when the question suddenly became complicated with two 
others: first of all, if gentlemen were to feed game for the public market, 
how did it affect the farmer on whose crops they fed ; and secondly, how, 
if the farmer were satisfied, did it affect the great body of the people 
whose supply of food was thus diminished 1 It was, indeed, suggested by 
the Edinburgh Reviewers that the occupier should be taken into partner- 
ship with the owner in the business of game-breeding, and be permitted 
to shoot as well, on the understanding, of course, that he kept plenty 
for his landlord. But, when this suggestion was made, the experiment of 
abolishing the qualification had not been tried ; nor was it foreseen, per- 
haps, that permission to the farmer to shoot would mean permission to 
him to take out half-a-dozen friends with him. And this, be it remem- 
bered, is the real difficulty at the present day. For farmers and landlords 
to exercise the sporting right concurrently would involve the necessity of 
perpetually giving each other notice of the days on which they wanted 
to shoot. Otherwise, of course, the farmer, on going out with his gun, 
would be always liable to discover that the ground had just been beaten 
by his landlord, and the landlord in turn, on making his way to some 
choice piece of turnips or mangold- wurzel, would be always exposed to 
the annoyance of seeing his tenant in the middle of it. With these two 
questions, the question, that is, of the farmer and of the general public, 
the reformers of fifty years ago had not been confronted ; and, as they im- 
ported new troubles into the game-law question, so also did they tend to 
defeat the remedy for the old ones which was founded on the supposed 
unobjectionable nature of the traffic thus developed. 

So far from being superseded by the legalisation of the sale of game, 
poaching was directly stimulated by it, as Sir Robert Peel had ventured 
to predict. The demand for game was quadrupled. A far larger quan- 
tity was preserved ; and no public opinion, as we have said, had time 
to spring up teaching the honest tradesman to be ashamed of dealing 
with the poacher. It was not all at once either that gentlemen took to 
selling their game. But it soon became apparent that, even without 
reckoning for the poacher or the fishmonger, the vast increase in the 
number of shooters which was brought about by the change in the law 
had made it necessary to preserve more game for legitimate sport alone 



300 GAME. 

than had been necessary before, and also to collect it together more 
generally within limited areas, thus in turn offering increased facilities 
and temptations to the professional depredator. Hence we see the origin 
of two fresh evils the gradual formation of a criminal class living 
entirely by poaching, which was almost unknown to our grandfathers ; 
and also the growth of ill-feeling between country neighbours owing to 
the constant necessity of guarding against the crowd of certificated 
gunners who hover about the outskirts of preserved estates ready to 
pounce upon the first head of game which crosses the boundary. Hence 
all manner of precautions necessarily adopted by gamekeepers, which are 
the source of constant irritation to the smaller owners and occupiers 
in the neighbourhood, and which in many places robs partridge-shooting, 
at all events, of a great deal of its natural charm. One good effect, how- 
ever, has resulted from the development of poaching : it has at last put 
an end to the delusion about the poacher. That interesting character, 
the starved peasant catering for his sick wife, has dropped out of the 
discussion now whenever the game laws are considered. The modern 
gang has extinguished at last all that spurious sympathy with law- 
breakers which both poaching and smuggling under other conditions, not 
unnaturally perhaps, attracted. The question is disentangled from that 
fiction at all events, and that is one reason why some satisfactory settle- 
ment of it should now be comparatively easy. 

Thus we see that the Act of 1831, however well intended, has been 
in practice a decided failure. If it removed one class of grievances, it has 
created another. By legalising the sale of game it has only stimulated 
preservation to such an extent as to be highly detrimental to the farmer 
without at all discouraging the poacher ; and by substituting the license 
for the qualification it has brought into the field a large class of small 
gunners who ought really not to shoot at all, and who get almost all 
their sport by judicious trespassing and prowling. Whether an increase 
in the cost of the certificate might not be a step in the right direction 
may be a matter for subsequent consideration. At the present moment, 
however, public opinion stands steadily at the farmer's grievance ; and, 
having noted the stages by which it has been brought to this point, we 
may next consider the proposals which have been made for allaying it, 
bearing in mind all the time that the importance of game as part of the 
food supply of the country was insisted on if possible .more strongly by 
the reformers of the law in 1831 than it has been even by the defenders 
of the law during the last ten years. 

We may say, then, that the first condition of any such change in the 
law as shall be satisfactory to the nation at large is that it shall not be 
one leading to the extermination of hares and rabbits ; and on this head 
the conflict of opinion as to the probable effect of the Bill * introduced by 

* The main feature of the Bill is to give -what is called "a concurrent inalienable 
right '' to the occupier to kill hares and rabbits together -with the owner, making in- 
valid all agreements by which they are reserved in future. 



GAME. 301 

Government is exceedingly curious. Some say that within five years 
of the passage of such an Act the rabbit would be as scarce as the 
badger ; others say that within the same period both hares and rabbits 
would be multiplied twentyfold. Our own opinion is that the Bill 
would make very little difference. The farmer would look on ground 
game with a more favourable eye when he was able to kill it himself, 
and the landlord with a less favourable eye when his tenant was able to 
kill it. "We say this supposing this concurrent right to be exercised con- 
currently. Where it was not, the game would either be reserved to the 
landlord as it is now and in the case of yearly tenancies the Bill would 
offer no impediment or it would be given up entirely to the tenant. 
What the latter would do in such a case we know well enough from 
what he does now. Whenever the game is wholly at the disposal of the 
occupier, he ei'ther preserves it carefully for himself or he lets it to some- 
body else. He acts towards it, in fact, just exactly as his landlord would. 
The present writer is acquainted with several estates on which the game 
has been given to the tenantry ; and what do these gentlemen do ? De- 
stroy the hares and rabbits ? Not a bit of it. They club together, set 
up a gamekeeper, and have their grand days as if they were so many 
lords. Shooting over one of these farms a few years ago in company 
only with the keeper, I found from fifteen to twenty hares in a single 
piece of turnips not more than five or six acres in extent. Partridges, 
however, were not nearly so plentiful, nor, indeed, were rabbits ; but 
this was only because the tenants had not much wood upon their farms. 
Elsewhere I have seen quantities of rabbits in woods preserved by tenant- 
farmers. They like, however characteristically enough the biggest 
things best. A hare or a pheasant is something worth having, they 
think, and it is these they would preserve most if left entirely to them- 
selves. Without wishing for a moment to disparage the statements 
which have been made in regard to the damage done by game, we can- 
not help believing that it would assume very different proportions if the 
owners of the crops were also the owners of the hares. Men rail at 
dignities, at placemen, at authority : make such men peers, or ministers, 
or magistrates, and they change their tone. The farmer rails at hares 
and rabbits ; but hand them over to himself and see how tenderly he 
would treat them ! We have little fear, therefore, that the farmer would 
extirpate these creatures. There seems, indeed, to be quite as much 
ground for the contrary apprehension that they would preserve them 
too strictly. Farmers, it is said, would grow as fond of sport as their 
landlords, and would no more mind paying a little for it in the shape 
of damaged crops than the landlord minds paying for it in the shape 
of lower rents. We see no improbability in this prediction at all ; and so 
far, to our mind, the measure which has been offered for the reform of 
the game system does fulfil the first condition we have mentioned. We do 
not believe it to be one which will effect the destruction of ground game. 
With such mighty questions as " freedom of contract," and the com- 



302 GAME. 

parative value of game and the corn which they consume, from a public 
point of view, we are relieved from the necessity of dealing. These 
belong to political and economic writers, and form no part of that aspect 
of the subject which we desire to present to our readers. But at this 
season of the year we may appropriately consider the probable effects of 
such a measure on the sport of shooting. In the case of resident pro- 
prietors whose estates are not too large for them to be well known to 
every man upon the ground, and where the farms are held from year to 
year a description which applies to at least one half of England the sport 
of shooting will continue to be after the Bill passes exactly what it was 
before. If the occupier declines to reserve the ground game on reasonable 
terms, the owner will have the same remedy in his hands as he has now. 
On this class of cases, therefore, nothing further need be said. Where 
there are leases, or where the " game landlord " is in question, the matter 
is not quite so simple. The lease, however, only throws the question one 
step further back ; for whether the law is made to apply to existing 
leases or not, they must all expire at last, when the landlord who wishes 
to preserve will naturally resort to the yearly system. The " game land- 
lord " then remains as the sole personage about whose future there need 
be much anxiety ; though in the eyes of many people he deserves neither 
sympathy nor solicitude. This we own we do not see, probably because 
we have been and hope to be again one of that class ourselves. We are 
a most respectable and, in many cases, a most hard-working and meri- 
torious body of men, and we claim the consideration of the public for the 
case we are about to lay before them. We were let in by the Act of 1831, 
and I hope we shall not be cut out by the Act of 1880. But there is 
something to be said on both sides of the question. 

There are game landlords and game landlords. There is the mil- 
lionnaire who rents the abbey or the castle or the hall with the sporting 
right over the estate. He is one kind. And if he lives on the spot, and 
makes himself agreeable to his neighbours, and takes care that his game- 
keepers shall not be greater swells than himself, he may contrive to 
propitiate the farmers, and find that they do him no harm. It is undeni- 
able, however, that their first impulse will be in a contrary direction ; and 
though, of course, the game landlord would have an appeal to the head 
landlord, he would find himself, in the circumstances I am supposing, in 
a very uncomfortable position. The landlord or his agent might, of course, 
say to the farmers that he expected them to treat the occupier of the Hall 
as they would the owner, and that he should consider interference with 
his sport the same thing as interference with his own. But remon- 
strances of this kind, even were they effective, would in many cases be 
found irksome, and the hirer of the shooting would discover, let him do 
what he would, that his ground game disappeared. The result would be a 
sensible diminution in the letting value of country houses, which would 
fall rather hardly on such owners as might wish to live for a time else- 
where without being obliged to sell the inheritance of their fathers. 



GAME. . 303 

This is a hardship, however, for which we fear there is no remedy. It 
is so obviously just and natural that the tenant should have the refusal 
of the shooting when the landlord does not want it, that we fear no other 
consideration can be allowed to interfere. When the farmer, however, 
did not care about the game, and it was let to a third person in conse- 
quence, he would probably not be unreasonable about it. All farmers 
have a very strong dislike to seeing strangers on their land men who 
come out for the shooting season and are absent all the rest of the year ; 
but a game landlord who is an habitual resident for any number of years 
soon comes to take the place of the landlord proper, and to be on similar 
terms with his neighbours. I remember an amusing illustration of the 
former feeling among my own experiences soon after leaving college. I 
used to go home in September, and had some land to shoot over adjoining 
which were several small farmers who hardly knew me by sight, though, 
of course, they knew my name. Almost anybody that chose shot over 
their ground ; but, as it happened, there were not many to come, and I 
used to have it pretty nearly to myself. I remember one day I had got 
some birds into a man's beans ; they were a short, foul crop, where I 
could not do much harm, and in I went without misgiving. I had shot 
four or five times, and was congratulating myself on my good luck, when 
I suddenly became aware of a sturdy-looking man in his shirt-sleeves ad- 
vancing under the hedgeside with a pitchfork in his hand. His face was 
very red, and he was evidently prepared for battle. After a few inquiries, 
more pointed than polite, about my business in his beans, I told him my 
name, which to some extent allayed his wrath ; but still he was far from 
satisfied, and he laid great stress on the fact that I was an habitual ab- 
sentee. " Yer come here," he said, " in September, and think yer may 
do as yer like, and we don't see nothing of yer at no other time." I sub- 
sequently became great friends with this man, who was certainly a rough 
diamond, but good-natured enough at bottom, with no objection to a gen- 
tleman shooting on his land who was willing to be civil and who belonged 
to the neighbourhood; but he did not like you to take French leave. I 
shot here for many years on payment of a hare " at the feast." Now this 
is the same feeling which actuates large farmers as well as small. If they 
" don't see nothing of you at no other time," they do not care to see you 
in September ; and the game landlord who takes a place only for the au- 
tumn, fills his house for a week in September and for another week at 
Christmas, and is seen no more, would probably find the farmers, in their 
own phrase, rather " orkard customers " should this Bill ever become law. 
But there is a humbler kind of game landlord whose interests also 
are at stake, and of him we would fain say something. Let me now 
again put my own case, and speak again in the first person. For many 
years running I used to stay every autumn with a friend in the south 
of England who was the incumbent of a good college living. I had 
his glebe to shoot over, and one farm besides, with some nice bits of 
copsewood scattered about it. On three sides it was bounded by what 



304 GAME. 

the country people Called charity land ; that is, land belonging to some 
almshouses in a distant part of the county, and let in farms of from 
eighty to two hundred acres. Now two of these farms one of about 
ninety acres, the other a hundred and fifty I was able to hire pretty 
cheaply, and this converted my three hundred acres into a really good 
beat, lying within a ring fence. Of course I had no keeper ; for the 
soil was favourable to partridges, and there were always a few hares 
and pheasants, notwithstanding poachers. I used to shoot over it ten 
or a dozen times, perhaps, in September and October, usually getting 
altogether from fifty to sixty brace of birds. I always shot alone, 
and this was quite enough for amusement, and quite enough to neces- 
sitate good hard walking behind a good dog. The power of hiring 
shooting in this manner is one of the greatest possible boons to the hard- 
worked professional man, whether in town or country the doctor, the 
lawyer, the merchant, the journalist, or even, may I say, the parson. It 

is not every one 

Who cares to walk 
With death and mourcing on the silver horns, 

or to spend his holidays at a watering-place. A month's partridge-shoot- 
ing does him twice as much good as either, and why should such recrea- 
tion be made impossible for him ? This is one kind of " game landlord," 
who is perfectly innocent and innocuous, and surely does not deserve the 
hard words that have been said of such persons in general. But how, it 
may be asked, would such arrangements be interfered with by a Bill 
which gave the tenant an inalienable right to kill hares ? It could not 
compel him to do so ; and if he ftnind it more convenient to let his shoot- 
ing than to keep it, he would do nothing to diminish its value. This 
sounds very reasonable ; but what has to be considered is the case of a 
cantankerous lessor who quarrelled with his lessee in the middle of the 
season. It would be very unjust that he should be able to kill down all 
the ground game, and yet recover the rent of the shooting all the same. 
Without saying positively that this would be the effect of such a Bill as the 
one recently introduced, it appears that it might be. For what right would 
the lessee have to withhold the rent, unless part of the consideration was 
that the ground game should be reserved ? yet by the terms of the Bill 
it is made impossible for the occupier to reserve it. Of course where the 
shooting was taken for a term of years the danger would be all the 
greater. One cannot say precisely beforehand what effect such a measure 
might produce upon the class of lettings we have mentioned; but it 
would be a very unfortunate result if it should be to debar professional 
and commercial men, who do not possess land of their own, from a healthy 
and delightful recreation which they are able to enjoy now without 
giving offence to any one. In fact, if this did turn out to be the working 
of such a measure, we should find that with the best intentions Govern- 
ment had actually restored the monopoly abolished in 1831, and again 
confined the right of shooting to a single class in the community. 



GAME. 305 

We have seen the error into which the reformers of 1831 were be- 
trayed in their anxiety to abolish poaching. It is possible that the re- 
formers of to-day may fall into as great a one in their efforts to restrain 
excessive preservation. If the farmers are admitted to a kind of partner- 
ship in the game, they will become partners in the preservation of it ; 
and if the apprehensions of one class of critics are realised, and the agri- 
culturists become sportsmen and game preservers on a large scale, nothing 
will have been done to diminish the frequency of poaching. Then, per- 
haps, will be the time to try once more whether owners and occupiers 
combined cannot drive the poacher out of the field. When the farmer 
ceases to have the smallest sympathy with him, and the farmer's grievance 
no longer makes the public indifferent, we may see, perhaps, the growth 
of that sentiment which was anticipated half a century ago, but which 
was nipped in the bud as we have shown. It was intended of course, by 
the authors of the Act of William IV., that it should be rigorously car- 
ried out, and the law enforced against all poulterers and fishmongers who 
obtained their game in an illegal manner. But it never has been. Like 
the New Poor Law it has remained practically a dead letter. Public 
opinion has not really rebuked the violation of it ; and I remember not 
many years ago that when a fishmonger in a Midland town took one of 
the county members into his back room, and, showing him a large quan- 
tity of pheasants, informed him with a cheerful smile that they all came 
from Hazelby, the member's own place, the laugh was all on the side of 
the fishmonger, who was thought to have displayed considerable native 
humour. While public opinion continues to wink at any offence in this 
manner, just as it does at intoxication, the law can do very little with it. 
But, perhaps, if farmers and landlords alike put their shoulders to the 
wheel, something might be done now to stamp out the poacher as an 
anachronism. To exterminate game in order to prevent poaching would be 
like destroying precious stones in order to prevent stealing. Nobody now, 
however, except a few dyspeptic zealots, goes to this length. For their 
beauty, if for no other reason, we should preserve these members of the 
British fauna ; what they add to the life and interest of rural scenery 
can hardly be exaggerated in the eyes of every true lover of the country. 

On a fine August afternoon, before the wheat is cut, I like to sit on a 
stile among the cornfields and plantations to see the partridge surrounded 
by her brood, and to watch the various furred and feathered creatures 
coming out to feed. The air is so still that you can hear the corn rustle 
as the hare gently steals through it, and the only sound you catch besides 
the voices of birds is the distant rumbling of the waggons where they 
have just begun to carry the oats. After y<pu have sat for a while the 
rabbits begin to emerge again from the opening on your right, and you 
watch them over the hedge nibbling the sweet, dewy grass, and indulg- 
ing in eveiy kind of gambol. Presently, from among the tall stalks of 
wheat upon your left, a hare steals cautiously forth and sits in the middle 
of the foothpath listening and motionless. If, as is very probable, she 

VOL. XLII. NO. 249. 15. 



306 GAME. 

does not see you, she will stay for some minutes within a few yards of 
your feet ; then, suddenly becoming conscious of your proximity, she turns 
and scuttles down the path till, coming to the well-known " sluice," 
she darts into the hedge and disappears. In a few minutes you become 
conscious that you are again not alone. On the ditch bank, some twenty 
yards off, stands a stately cock pheasant, with that peculiar meditative 
air characteristic of the tribe, which seems to mean that he is considering 
which of three courses he had better adopt. If you make the slightest 
noise he will depart as silently as he came. If not, he will probably 
take little notice of you, and will presently step quietly into the wheat 
in quest of his evening meal, or having promised his mate and her young 
ones to meet her there about that time. What a fine fellow he is ; what 
gorgeous colouring ; what gleaming plumage ! well worthy to be worn 
on the helmets of Indian kings, and to match the jewelled war belts. 
Again, you are startled by a commotion just behind you a great 
screaming and whirring and piping and you look round just in time 
to see a covey of small partridge, led by the old hen, fly quickly over 
the hedge to your left, and plump down into the standing corn. They 
have been disturbed by something in an adjoining fie]d, and have taken 
refuge in their native cover. The old bird calls anxiously for a minute 
or two till she finds that all her chicks are safe, and then all is still. 
Then it is to be feared the murderous instinct awakes in you, and you 
exclaim mentally that they will be fine birds in another fortnight. All 
this time the placid August sunshine is mellowing the whole scene; 
a church spire points upwards in the blue distance ; cottage roofs peep 
through the trees below the hill ; and the rooks are circling and cawing 
round the tall elms which conceal the old manorial hall. Amid scenes like 
these you sigh for the old times referred to in the beginning of this article, 
when the pretty and interesting creatures which add so much to the charm 
of rural life were the source of no social bitterness or political contro- 
versies, and you ask yourself for the twentieth time whether nothing can 
be done to do away with or mitigate these, without depriving ourselves 
of the pleasure which we legitimately draw from those. That the matter 
could be arranged without difficulty if considered solely on its merits, and 
apart from the passions and the interests of political parties, we entertain 
no manner of doubt. But whether it ever will be so considered is far from 
being equally certain. We shall not depart by one hair's breadth from the 
limits we have imposed upon ourselves, or we might trace at some length 
the political history of the game question, and show how completely this 
has been allowed to distort its natural features. We are satisfied at present 
with having pointed out, we hope precisely, the origin of the difficulty 
in its modern form, the changes which public opinion has undergone in 
regard to it, and the stages by which legislation has reached the point at 
which it now stands. 

T. E. K. 



307 



|Ja;[nii0n 0it fyt finks. 

(!N Two PARTS.) 

PART I. 

CHAPTEE I. 

TELLS HOW I CAMPED IN GRADEN SEA- WOOD, AND BEHELD A LIGHT 
IN THE PAVILION. 

I BELIEVE it is now more than time, my dear and dutiful children, that 
I was setting my memoires in order before I go hence. For six months 
I have been reminded day by day of human frailty ; I must take the 
hint before it is too late, and leave you the story for which you have so 
often asked. This is a long-kept secret that I have now to disclose ; 
and, to all but our own nearest people, I hope it will remain one for 
ever. It is told to you, my dear children, in confidence ; you will see 
why this is so as you read ; and, as I hope, that is not by many the only 
discovery you will make or lesson you will learn. For it should teach 
in our family a spirit of great charity to the unfortunate and all those 
who are externally dishonoured. For my part, it is with pleasure and 
sorrow that I set myself to tell you how I met the dear angel of my life. 
That will always be a touching event in my eyes ; for if I am anything 
worth, or have been anything of a good father, it is due to the influence 
of your mother and the love and duty that I bore her, which were not 
only delightful to me in themselves, but strengthened and directed my 
conduct in other affairs. Many praise and regret their youth or their 
childhood, and recall the time of their courtship as if it were the beginning 
of the end ; but my case is different, and I neither respected myself nor 
greatly cared for my existence until then. Yet, as you are to hear, this 
certainly was in itself a very stormy period, and your mother and I had 
many pressing and dreadful thoughts. Indeed the circumstances were so 
unusual in character that they have not often been surpassed, or, at least,, 
not often in our age and country ; and we began to love in the midst of 
continual alarms. 

I was a great solitary when I was young. I made it my pride to 
keep aloof and suffice for my own entertainment ; and I may say that I 
had neither friends nor acquaintances until I met that friend who 
became my wife and the mother of my children. With one man only 
was I on private terms ; this was R. Northmour, Esquire, of Graden 
Easter, in Scotland. We had met at college ; and though there was not 
much liking between us, nor even much intimacy, we were so nearly of 

152 



308 THE PAVILION ON THE LINKS. 

a humour that we could associate -with ease to both. Misanthropes, we 
believed ourselves to be ; but I have thought since that we were only 
sulky fellows. It was scarcely a companionship, but a coexistence in 
unsociability. Northmour's exceptional violence of temper made it no 
easy affair for him to keep the peace with any one but me ; and as he 
respected my silent ways, and let me come and go as I pleased, I could 
tolerate his presence without concern. I think we called each other 
friends. 

When Northmour took his degree and I decided to leave the univer- 
sity without one, he invited me on a long visit to Graden Easter ; and it 
was thus that I first became acquainted with the scene of my adventures, 
The mansion-house of Graden stood in a bleak stretch of country some 
three miles from the shore of the German Ocean. It was as large as a 
barrack ; and as it had been built of a soft stone, liable to consume in 
the eager air of the sea-side, it was damp and draughty within and half 
ruinous without. It was impossible for two young men to lodge with 
comfort in such a dwelling. But there stood in the northern court of 
the estate, in a wilderness of links and blowing sand-hills, and between 
a plantation and the sea, a small Pavilion or Belvidera, of modern 
design, which was exactly suited to our wants ; and in this hermitage, 
speaking little, reading much, and rarely associating except at meals, 
Northmour and I spent four tempestuous winter months. I might have 
stayed longer ; but there sprang up a dispute between us, one March night, 
which rendered my departure necessary. Northmour spoke hotly, I 
remember, and I suppose I must have made some tart rejoinder. He 
leaped from his chair and grappled me ; I had to fight, without exaggera- 
tion, for my life; and it was only with a great effort that I mastered 
him, for he was near as strong in body as myself, and seemed filled with 
the devil. The next morning, we met on our usual terms ; but I 
judged it more delicate to withdraw ; nor did he attempt to dissuade me. 

It was nine years before I revisited the neighbourhood. I travelled 
at that time with a tilt cart, a tent, and a cooking-stove, tramping all 
day beside the waggon, and at night, whenever it was possible, gipsying 
in a cove of the hills, or by the side of a wood. I believe I visited in 
this manner most of the wild and desolate regions both in England and 
Scotland ; and, as I had neither friends nor relations, I was troubled with 
no correspondence, and had nothing in the nature of head-quarters, un- 
less it was the office of my solicitors, from whom I dre\v my income twice 
a year. It was a life in which I delighted ; and I fully thought to have 
grown old upon the march, and at last died in a ditch. So I suppose I 
should, if I had not met your mother. 

It was my whole business to find desolate corners, where I could 
camp without the fear of interruption ; and hence, being in another part 
of the same shire, I bethought me suddenly of the Pavilion on the Links. 
No thoroughfare passed within three miles of it. The nearest town, and 
that was but a fisher village, was at a distance of six or seven. For ten 



THE PAVILION ON THE LINKS. 309 

miles of length, and from a depth varying from three miles to half a 
mile, this belt of barren country lay along the sea. The beach, which 
was the natural approach, was full of quicksands. Indeed I may say 
there is hardly a better place of concealment in the United Kingdom. 
I determined to pass a week in the Sea- Wood of Graden Easter, and, 
making a long stage, reached it about sundown, on a wild September day. 

The country, I have said, was mixed sand-hill and links ; links being 
a Scottish name for sand which has ceased drifting and become more or 
less solidly covered with turf. The pavilion stood on an even space ; a 
little behind it, the wood began in a hedge of elders huddled together by 
the wind ; in front, a few tumbled sand-hills stood between it and the 
sea. An outcropping of rock had formed a bastion for the sand, so that 
there was here a promontory in the coast-line between two shallow bays ; 
and just beyond the tides, the rock again cropped out and formed an 
islet of small dimensions but strikingly designed. The quicksands were 
of great extent at low water, and had an infamous reputation in the 
country. Close in shore, between the islet and the promontory, it was 
said they would swallow a man in four minutes and a half ; but there 
may have been little ground for this precision. The district was alive 
with rabbits, and haunted by gulls which made a continual piping about 
the pavilion. On summer days the outlook was bright and even glad- 
some ; but at sundown in September, with a high wind, and a heavy 
surf rolling in close along the links, the place told of nothing but dead 
mariners and sea disaster. A ship beating to windward on the horizon, 
and a huge truncheon of wreck half buried in the sands at my feet, com- 
pleted the innuendo of the scene. 

The pavilion it had been built by the last proprietor, Northmour's 
uncle, a silly and prodigal virtuoso presented little signs of age. It was 
two stories in height, Italian in design, surrounded by a patch of garden 
in which nothing had prospered but a few coarse flowers ; and looked, 
with its shuttered windows, not like a house that had been deserted, but 
like one that had never been tenanted by man. Northmour was plainly 
from home; whether, as usual, sulking in the cabin of his yacht, or in one 
of his fitful and extravagant appearances in the world of society, I had, 
of course, no means of guessing. The place had an air of solitude that 
daunted even a solitary like myself ; the wind cried in the chimneys with 
a strange and wailing note ; and it was with a sense of escape, as if I 
were going indoors, that I turned away and, driving my cart before me, 
entered the skirts of the wood. 

The Sea- Wood of Graden had been planted to shelter the culti- 
vated fields behind, and check the encroachments of the blowing sand. As 
you advanced into it from coastward, elders were succeeded by other hardy 
shrubs ; but the timber was all stunted and bushy ; it led a life of con- 
flict ; the trees were accustomed to swing there all night long in fierce 
winter tempests ; and even in early spring, the leaves were already flying, 
and autumn was beginning, in this exposed plantation. Inland the 



310 THE PAVILION ON THE LINKS. 

ground rose into a little hill, which, along the islet, served as a sailing 
mark for seamen. When the hill was open of the islet to the north, 
vessels must bear well to the eastward to clear Graden Ness and the 
Graden Bullers. In the lower ground, a streamlet ran among the trees, 
and, being dammed with dead leaves and clay of its own carrying, spread 
out every here and there, and lay in stagnant pools. One or two ruined 
cottages were dotted about the wood ; and, according to Northmour, 
these were ecclesiastical foundations, and in their time had sheltered pious 
hermits. 

I found a den, or small hollow, where there was a spring of pure 
water; and then, clearing away the brambles, I pitched the tent, and 
made a fire to cook my supper. My horse I picketed further in the wood 
where there was a patch of sward. The banks of the den not only con- 
cealed the light of my fire, but sheltered me from the wind, which was 
cold as well as high. 

The life I was leading made me both hardy and frugal. I never 
drank but water, and rarely ate anything more costly than oatmeal ; and 
I required so little sleep, that, although I rose with the peep of day, I 
would often lie long awake in the dark or starry watches of the night. 
Thus in Graden Sea- Wood, although I fell thankfully asleep by eight in 
the evening, I was awake again before eleven with a full possession of 
my '_ faculties, and no sense of drowsiness or fatigue. I rose and sat by 
the fire, watching the trees and clouds tumultuously tossing and fleeing 
overhead, and harkening to the wind and the rollers along the shore ; 
till at length, growing weary of inaction, I quitted the den, and strolled 
towards the borders of the wood. A young moon, buried in mist, gave 
a faint illumination to my steps ; and the light grew brighter as I walked 
forth into the links. At the same moment, the wind, smelling salt of 
the open ocean and carrying particles of sand, struck me with its full 
force, so that I had to bow my head. 

When I raised it again to look about me, T was aware of a light in 
the pavilion. It was not stationary ; but passed from one window to 
another, as though some one were reviewing the different apartments 
with a lamp or candle. I watched it for some seconds in great surprise. 
When I had arrived in the afternoon the house had been plainly deserted ; 
now it was as plainly occupied. It was my first idea that a gang of 
thieves might have broken in and be now ransacking Northmour's cup- 
boards, which were many and not ill supplied. But what should bring 
thieves to Graden Easter ? And, again, all the shutters had been thrown 
open, and it would have been more in the character of such gentry to 
close them. I dismissed the notion, and fell back upon another. Korth- 
mour himself must have arrived, and was now airing and inspecting the 
pavilion. 

I have said that there was no real affection between this man and 
me ; but, had I loved him like a brother, I was then so much more in 
love with solitude that I should none the less have shunned his company. 



THE PAVILION ON THE LINKS. 311 

As it was, I turned and ran for it ; and it was with genuine satisfaction 
that I found myself safely back beside the fire. I had escaped an ac- 
quaintance ; I should have one more night in comfort. In the morning, 
I might either slip away before North mour was abroad, or pay him as 
short a visit as I chose. 

But when morning came, I thought the situation so diverting that I 
forgot my shyness. Northmour was at my mercy ; I arranged a good 
practical jest, though I knew well that my neighbour was not the man 
to jest with in security ; and, chuckling beforehand over its success, took 
my place among the elders at the edge of the wood, whence I could com- 
mand the door of the pavilion. The shutters were all once more closed, 
which I remember thinking odd ; and the house, with its white walls 
and green Venetians, looked spruce and habitable in the morning light. 
Hour after hour passed, and still no sign of Northmour. I knew him 
for a sluggard in the morning ; but, as it drew on towards noon, I lost 
my patience. To say truth, I had promised myself to break jny fast in 
the pavilion, and hunger began to prick me sharply. It was a pity to 
let the opportunity go by without some cause for mirth ; bat the grosser 
appetite prevailed, and I relinquished my jest with regret, and sallied 
from the wood. 

The appearance of the house affected me, as I drew near, with dis- 
quietude. It seemed unchanged since last evening ; and I had expected 
it, I scarce knew why, to wear some external signs of habitation. But 
no : the windows were all closely shuttered, the chimneys breathed no 
smoke, and the front door itself was closely padlocked. Northmour, 
therefore, had entered by the back ; this was the natural and, indeed, the 
necessary conclusion; and you may judge of my surprise when, on turn- 
ing the house, I found the back door similarly secured. 

My mind at once reverted to the original theory of thieves ; and I 
blamed myself sharply for my last night's inaction. I examined all the 
windows on the lower story, but none of them had been tampered with ; 
I tried the padlocks, but they were both secure. It thus became a pro- 
blem how the thieves, if thieves they were, had managed to enter the 
house. They must have got, I reasoned, upon the roof of the oxithouse 
where Northmour used to keep his photographic battery; and from 
thence, either by the window of the study or that of my old bedroom, 
completed their burglarious entry. 

I followed what I supposed was their example ; and, getting on the 
roof, tried the shutters of each room. Both were secure ; but I was not 
to be beaten ; and, with a little force, one of them flew open, grazing, as 
it did so, the back of my hand. I remember, I put the wound to my 
mouth, and stood for perhaps half a minute licking it like a dog, and 
mechanically gazing behind me over the waste links and the sea ; and, in 
that space of time, my eye made note of a large schooner yacht some 
miles to the north-east. Then I threw up the window and climbed in. 

I went over the house, and nothing can express my mystification. 



312 THE PAVILION ON THE LINKS. 

There was no sign of disorder, but, on the contrary, the rooms were un- 
usually clean and pleasant. I found fires laid, ready for lighting ; three 
bedrooms prepared with a luxury quite foreign to Northmour's habits, 
and with water in the ewers and the beds turned down ; a table set for 
three in the dining-room ; and an ample supply of cold meats, game, and 
vegetab les on the pantry shelves. There were guests expected, that was 
plain ; but why guests, when Northmour hated society ? And, above all, 
why was the house thus stealthily prepared at dead of night 1 and why 
were the shutters closed and the doors padlocked 1 

I effaced all traces of my visit, and came forth from the window 
feeling sobered and concerned. 

The schooner yacht was still in the same place ; and it flashed for a 
moment through my mind that this might be the Red Earl bringing the 
owner of the pavilion and his guests. But the vessel's head was set the 
other way. 

CHAPTER II. 
TELLS OF THE NOCTURNAL LANDING FROM THE YACHT. 

I RETURNED to the den to cook myself a meal, of which I stood in great 
need, as well as to care for my horse, whom I had somewhat neglected in 
the morning. From time to time, I went down to the edge of the wood ; 
but there was no change in the pavilion, and not a human creature was 
seen all day upon the links. The schooner in the offing was the one 
touch of life within my range of vision. She, apparently with no set 
object, stood off and on or lay to, hour after hour ; but as the evening 
deepened, she drew steadily nearer. I became more convinced that she 
carried Northmour and his friends, and that they would probably come 
ashore after dark ; not only because that was of a piece with the secrecy of 
the preparations, but because the tide would not have flowed sufficiently 
before eleven to cover Graden Floe and the other sea quays that fortified 
the shore against invaders. 

All day the wind had been going down, and the sea along with it; 
but there was a return towards sunset of the heavy weather of the day 
before. The night set in pitch dark. The wind came off the sea in 
squalls, like the firing of a battery of cannon ; now and then, there was 
a flow of rain, and the surf rolled heavier with the rising tide. I was 
down at my observatory among the elders, when a light was run up to 
the masthead of the schooner, and showed she was closer in than when I 
had last seen her by the dying daylight. I concluded that this must be 
a signal to Northmour's associates on shore ; and, stepping forth into the 
links, looked around me for something in response. 

A small footpath ran along the margin of the wood, and formed the 
most direct communication between the pavilion and the mansion-house ; 
and, as I cast my eyes to that side, I saw a spark of light, not a quarter of 
a mile away, and rapidly approaching. From its uneven course it ap- 



THE PAVILION ON THE LINKS. 313 

peared to be the light of a lantern carried by a person who followed the 
windings of the path, and was often staggered and taken aback by the 
more violent squalls. I concealed myself once more among the elders, 
and waited eagerly for the new comer's advance. It proved to be a 
woman ; and, as she passed within half a rod of my auibush, I was able 
to recognise the features. The deaf and silent old dame, who had nursed 
Northmour in his childhood, was his associate in this underhand affair. 

I followed her at a little distance, taking advantage of the innumer- 
able heights and hollows, concealed by the darkness, and favoured not 
only by the nurse's deafness, but by the uproar of the wind and surf. She 
entered the pavilion, and, going at once to the upper story, opened and 
set a light in one of the windows that looked towards the sea. Imme- 
diately afterwards the light at the schooner's masthead was run down and 
extinguished. Its purpose had been attained, and those on board were 
sure that they were expected. The old woman resumed her preparations ; 
although the other shutters remained closed, I could see a glimmer going 
to and fro about the house ; and a gush of sparks from one chimney after 
another soon told me that the fires were being kindled. 

Northmour and his guests, I was now persuaded, would come ashore 
as soon as there was water on the floe. It was a wild night for boat 
service ; and I felt some alarm mingle with my curiosity as I reflected on 
the danger of the landing. My old acquaintance, it was true, was the 
most eccentric of men ; but the present eccentricity was both disquieting 
and lugubrious to consider. A variety of feelings thus led me towards the 
beach, where I lay flat on my face in a hollow within six feet of the track 
that led to the pavilion. Thence, I should have the satisfaction of re- 
cognising the arrivals, and, if they should prove to be acquaintances, 
greeting them as soon as they had landed. 

Some time before eleven, while the tide was still dangerously low, 
a boat's lantern appeared close in shore ; and, my attention being thus 
awakened, I could perceive another still far to seaward, violently tossed, 
and sometimes hidden by the billows. The weather, which was getting 
dirtier as the night went on, and the perilous situation of the yacht upon 
a lee-shore, had probably driven them to attempt a landing at the 
earliest possible moment. 

A little afterwards, four yachtsmen carrying a very heavy chest, and 
guided by a fifth with a lantern, passed close in front of me as I lay, and 
were admitted to the pavilion by the nurse. They returned to the beach, 
and passed me a third time with another chest, larger but apparently 
not so heavy as the first. A third time they made the transit ; and on 
this occasion one of the yachtsmen carried a leather portmanteau, and 
the others a lady's trunk, a reticule, and a pair of bandboxes. My 
curiosity was sharply excited. If a woman were among the guests of 
Northmour, it would show a change in his habits and an apostacy from 
his pet theories of life, well calculated to fill me with surprise. When 
lie and I dwelt there together, the pavilion had been a temple of miso- 



314 THE PAVILION ON THE LINKS. 

gyny. And now, one of the detested sex was to be installed under its 
roof. I remembered one or two particulars, a few notes of daintiness 
and almost of coquetry which had struck me the day before as I sur- 
veyed the preparations in the house ; their purpose was now clear, and 
I thought myself dull not to have perceived it from the first. 

"While I was thus reflecting, a second lantern drew near me from the 
beach. It was carried by a yachtsman whom I had not yet seen, and 
who was conducting two other persons to the pavilion. These two 
persons were unquestionably the guests for whom the house was made 
ready ; and, straining eye and ear, I set myself to watch them as they 
passed. .One was an unusually tall man, in a travelling hat slouched 
over his eyes, and a highland cape closely buttoned and turned up so as 
to conceal his face. You could make out no more of him than that he 
was, as I have said, unusually tall, and walked feebly with a heavy 
stoop. By his side, and either clinging to him or giving him support 
I could not make out which was a young, tall, and slender figure of a 
woman. She was extremely pale ; but in the light of the lantern her face 
was so marred by strong and changing shadows, that she might equally 
well have been as ugly as sin or as beautiful as well, my dear children, 
as I afterwards found her to be. For this, as you will already have 
divined, was no one but your dear mother in person. 

"When they were just abreast of me, the girl made some remark 
which was drowned by the noise of the wind. 

" Hush ! " said her companion ; and there was something in the 
tone with which the word was uttered that thrilled and rather shook 
my spirits. It seemed to breathe from a bosom labouring under the 
deadliest terror ; I have never heard another syllable so expressive ; and 
I still hear it again when I am feverish at night, and my mind runs 
upon old times. The man turned towards the girl as he spoke ; I had a 
glimpse of much red beard and a nose which seemed to have been broken 
in youth ; and his light eyes seemed shining in his face with some strong 
and unpleasant emotion. 

But these two passed on and were admitted in their turn to the 
pavilion. 

One by one, or in groups, the seamen returned to the beach. The 
wind brought me the sound of a rough voice crying, " Shove off ! " 
Then, after a pause, another lantern drew near. It was Northmour 
alone. 

Your mother and I, a man and a woman, have often agreed to 
wonder how a person could be, at the same time, so handsome and so 
repulsive as Northmour. He had the appearance of a finished gentle- 
man ; his face bore every mark of intelligence and courage ; but you 
had only to look at him, even in his most amiable moment, to see that 
he had the temper of a slaver captain. I never knew a character that 
was both explosive and revengeful to the same degree ; he combined the 
vivacity of the south with the sustained and deadly hatreds of the north ; 



THE PAVILION ON THE LINKS. 315 

and both traits were plainly written on his face, which was a sort of 
danger signal. In person, he was tall, strong, and active ; his hair and 
complexion very dark ; his features handsomely designed, but spoiled by 
a menacing expression. 

At that moment he was somewhat paler than by nature ; he wore a 
heavy frown ; and his lips worked, and he looked sharply round him as 
he walked, like a man besieged with apprehensions. And yet I thought 
he had a look of triumph underlying all, as though he had already done 
much, and was near the end of an achievement. 

Partly from a scruple of delicacy which I dare say came too late 
partly from the pleasure of startling an acquaintance, I desired to make 
my presence known to him without delay. 

I got suddenly to my feet, and stepped forward. 

" Northmour ! " said I. 

I have never had so shocking a surprise in all my days. He leaped 
on me without a word ; something shone in his hand ; and he struck 
for my heart with a dagger. At the same moment I knocked him head 
over heels. Whether it was my quickness, or his own uncertainty, I 
know not ; but the blade only grazed my shoulder, while the hilt and 
his fist struck me violently on the mouth. \I lost the eye-tooth on the~~ 
left-hand side ; for the one with which you are accustomed to see me is 
artificial, and was only put there, at your mother's request, after we had 
been man and wife for a few months.^ 

I fled, but not far. I had often and often observed the capabilities 
of the sand-hills for protracted ambush or stealthy advances and 
retreats ; and, not ten yards from the scene of the scuffle, plumped down 
again upon the grass. The lantern had fallen and gone out. But what 
was my astonishment to see Northmour slip at a bound into the pavi- 
lion, and hear him bar the door behind him with a clang of iron ! 

He had not pursued me. He had run away. Northmour, whom I 
knew for the most implacable and daring of men, had run away ! I 
could scarce believe my reason ; and yet in this strange business, where 
all was incredible, there was nothing to make a work about in an incre- 
dibility more or less. For why was the pavilion secretly prepared? 
Why had Northmour landed with his guests at dead of night, in half a 
gale of wind, and with the floe scarce covered 1 Why had he sought to 
kill me 1 Had he not recognised my voice 1 I wondered. And, above 
all, how had he come to have a dagger ready in his hand 1 A dagger, or 
even a sharp knife, seemed out of keeping with the age in which we 
lived ; and a gentleman landing from his yacht on the shore of his own 
estate, even although it was night and with some mysterious circum- 
stances, does not usually, as a matter of fact, walk thus prepared for 
deadly onslaught. The more I reflected, the further I felt at sea. I 
recapitulated the elements of mystery, counting them on my fingers : the 
pavilion secretly prepared for guests ; the guests landed at the risk of 
their lives and to the imminent peril of the yacht ; the guests, or at least 



316 THE PAVILION ON THE LINKS. 

one of them, in undisguised and seemingly causeless terror ; Northmour 
with a naked weapon ; Northmour stabbing his most intimate acquaint- 
ance at a word ; last, and not least strange, Northmour fleeing from the 
man whom he had sought to murder, and barricading himself, like a 
hunted creature, behind the door of the pavilion. Here were at least 
six separate causes for extreme surprise ; each part and parcel with the 
others, and forming all together one consistent story. I felt almost 
ashamed to believe my own senses. 

As I thus stood, transfixed with wonder, I began to grow painfully 
conscious of the injuries I had received in the scuffle ; skulked round 
among the sand-hills, and, by a devious path, regained the shelter of the 
wood. On the way, the old nurse passed again within several yards of 
me, still carrying her lantern, on the return journey to the mansion- 
house of Graden. This made a seventh suspicious feature in the case. 
Northmour and his guests, it appeared, were to cook and do the cleaning 
for themselves, while the old woman continued to inhabit the big empty 
barrack among the policies. There must surely be great cause for 
secrecy, when so many inconveniences were confronted to preserve it. 

So thinking, I made my way to the den. For greater security, I 
trod out the embers of the fire, and lit my lantern to examine the wound 
upon my shoulder. It was a trifling hurt, although it bled somewhat 
freely, and I dressed it as well as I could (for its position made it diffi- 
cult to reach) with some rag and cold water from, the spring. "While I 
was thus busied, I mentally declared war against Northmour and his 
mystery. I am not an angry man by nature, and I believe there was 
more curiosity than resentment in my heart. But war I certainly 
declared ; and, by way of preparation, I got out my revolver, and, having 
drawn the charges, cleaned and reloaded it with scrupulous care. Next 
I became preoccupied about my horse. It might break loose, or fall to 
neighing, and so betray my camp in the Sea-Wood. I determined to 
rid myself of its neighbourhood ; and long before dawn I was leading it 
over the links in the direction of the fisher village. 



CHAPTEE III. 
TELLS HOW I BECAME ACQUAINTED WITH MY WIFE. 

FOR two days I skulked round the pavilion, profiting by the uneven 
surface of the links. I became an adept in the necessary tactics. These 
low hillocks and shallow dells, running one into another, became a kind 
of cloak of darkness for my enthralling, but perhaps dishonourable, pur- 
suit. Yet, in spite of this advantage, I could learn but little of North- 
mour or his guests. 

Fresh provisions were brought under cover of darkness by the old 
woman from the mansion-house. Northmour and the young lady, some- 



THE PAVILION ON THE LINKS. 317 

times together, but more often singly, would walk for an hour or two at 
a time on the beach beside the quicksand. I could not but conclude 
that this promenade was chosen with an eye to secrecy ; for the spot 
was open only to the seaward. But it suited me not less excellently ; 
the highest and most accident ed of the sand-hills immediately adjoined ; 
and from these, lying flat in a hollow, I could overlook Northmour or 
the young lady as they walked. 

The tall man seemed to have disappeared. Not only did he never 
cross the threshold, but he never so much as showed face at a window ; 
or, at least, not so far as I could see ; for I dared not creep forward 
beyond a certain distance in the day, since the upper floor commanded 
the bottoms of the links ; and at night, when I could venture further, 
the lower windows were barricaded as if to stand a siege. Sometimes I 
thought the tall man must be confined to bed, for I remembered the 
feebleness of his gait; and sometimes I thought he must have gone 
clear away, and that Northmour and the young lady remained alone 
together in the pavilion. The idea, even then, displeased me. 

Whether or not this pair were man and wife, I had seen abundant 
reason to doubt the friendliness of their relation. Although I could 
hear nothing of what they said, and rarely so much as glean a decided 
expression on the face of either, there was a distance, almost a stiffness, 
in their bearing which showed them to be either unfamiliar or at 
enmity. The girl walked faster when she was with Northmour than 
when she was alone ; and I conceived that any inclination between a 
man and a woman would rather delay than accelerate the step. More- 
over, she kept a good yard free of him, and trailed her umbrella, as if it 
were a barrier, on the side between them. Northmour kept sidling 
closer; and, as the girl retired from his advance, their course lay at a 
sort of diagonal across the beach, and would have landed them in the 
surf had it been long enough continued. But, when this was imminent, 
the girl would unostentatiously change sides and put. Northmour between 
her and the sea. I watched these manoeuvres, for my part, with high 
enjoyment and approval, and chuckled to myself at every move. 

On the morning of the third day, she walked alone for some time, 
and I perceived, to my great concern, that she was more than once in 
tears. You will see, my dear children, that my heart was already 
interested in that lady. She had a firm yet airy motion of the body, 
and carried her head with unimaginable grace ; every step was a thing 
to look afc, and she seemed in my eyes to breathe sweetness and 
distinction. 

The day was so agreeable, being calm and sunshiny, with a tranquil 
sea, and yet with a healthful piquancy and vigour in the air, that, con- 
trary to custom, she was tempted forth a second time to walk. On this 
occasion she was accompanied by Northmour ; and they had been but a 
short while on the beach, when I saw him take forcible possession of her 
hand. She struggled, and uttered a cry that was almost a scream. I 



318 THE PAVILION ON THE LINKS. 

sprang to my feet, unmindful of my strange position ; but, ere I had 
taken a step, I saw Northmour bare-headed and bowing very low, as if 
to apologise ; and dropped again at once into my ambush. A few words 
were interchanged ; and then, with another bow, he left the beach to 
return to the pavilion. He paused not far from me, and I could see 
him, flushed and lowering, and cutting savagely with his cane among 
the grass. It was not without satisfaction that I recognised my own 
handiwork in a great cut under his right eye, and a considerable dis- 
coloration round the socket. 

For some time your mother remained where he had left her, look- 
ing out past the islet and over the bright sea. Then with a start, as 
one who throws off preoccupation and puts energy again upon its mettle, 
she broke into a rapid and decisive walk. She also was much incensed 
by what had passed. She had forgotten where she was. And I beheld 
her walk straight into the borders of the quicksand where it is most 
abrupt and dangerous. Two or three steps further and her life would 
have have been in serious jeopardy, when I slid down the face of the 
sand-hill, which is there precipitous, and, running half-way forward, called 
to her to stop. 

She did so, and turned round. There was not a tremor of fear in 
her behaviour, and she marched directly up to me like a queen. I was 
barefoot, and clad like a common sailor, save for an Egyptian scarf round 
my waist ; and she probably took me at first for some one from the fisher 
village, straying after bait. As for her, when I thus saw her face to face, 
her eyes set steadily and imperiously upon mine, I was filled with admi- 
ration and astonishment, and thought her even more beautiful than I 
had looked to find her. Nor could I think enough of one who, acting 
with so much boldness, yet preserved a maidenly air that was both quaint 
and engaging ; for your mother kept an old-fashioned precision of manner 
through all her admirable life an excellent thing in woman, since it sets 
another value on her sweet familiarities. Little did I dream, as I stood 
before her on the beach, that this should be the mother of my children. 

" What does this mean 1 " she asked. 

" You were walking," I told her, " directly into Graden Floe." 

" You do not belong to these parts," she said again. " You speak 
like an educated man." 

" I believe I have right to that name," said I, " although in this dis- 
guise." 

But her woman's eye had already detected the sash. 

" Oh !" she said ; " your sash betrays you." 

" You have said the word betray," I resumed. " May I ask you not 
to betray me ? I was obliged to disclose myself in your interest ; but 
if Northmour learned my presence it might be worse than disagreeable 
for me." 

" Do you know," she asked, " to whom you are speaking ? " 

" Not, I trust, to Mr. Northmour's wife ? " was my reply. 



THE PAVILION ON THE LINKS. 319 

She shook her head. All this while she was studying my face with 
an embarrassing intentness. Then she broke out 

" You have an honest face. Be honest like your face, sir, and tell 
me what you want and what you are afraid of. Do you think I could 
hurt you ? I believe you have far more power to injure me ! And yet 
you do not look unkind. What do you mean you, a gentleman by 
skulking like a spy about this desolate place ? Tell me," she said, " who 
is it you hate ? " 

" I hate no one," I answered ; " and I fear no one face to face. My 
name is Cassilis Frank Cassilis. I lead the life of a vagabond for my 
own good pleasure. I am one of Northmour's oldest friends ; and three 
nights ago, when I addressed him on these links, he stabbed me in the 
shoulder with a knife." 

"It was you ! " she said between her teeth. j 

" Why he did so," I continued, disregarding the interruption, " is 
more than I can guess, and more than I care to know. I have not many 
friends, nor am I very susceptible to frier dship ; but no man shall drive 
me from a place by terror. I had camped in Graden Sea- Wood ere he 
came ; I camp in it still. If you think I mean harm to you or yours, 
madam, the remedy is in your hand. Tell him that my camp is in the 
Hemlock Den, and to-night he can stab me in safety while I sleep." 

With this I doffed my cap to her, and scrambled up once more among 
the sand-hills. I do not know why, but I felt a prodigious sense of in- 
justice, and felt like a hero and a martyr ; while, as a matter of fact, I 
had not a word to say in my defence, nor so much as one plausible reason 
to offer for my conduct. I had stayed at Graden out of a curiosity 
natural enough, but undignified ; and though there was another motive 
growing in along with the first, it was not one which I could properly 
have explained, at that period, to the mother of my children. 

Certainly, that night, I thought of no one else ; and, though her whole 
conduct and position seemed suspicious, I could not find it in my heart 
to entertain a doubt of your mother. I could have staked my life that 
she was clear of blame, and, though all was dark at the present, that the 
explanation of the mystery wotild show her part in these events to be 
both right and needful. It was true, let me cudgel my imagination as I 
pleased, that I could invent no theory of her relations to Northmour ; 
but I felt none the less sure of my conclusion because it was founded on 
instinct in place of reason, and, as I may say, went to sleep that night 
with the thought of her under my pillow. 

Next day she came out about the same hour alone, and, as soon as the 
sand-hills concealed her from the pavilion, drew nearer to the edge, and 
called me by name in guarded tones. I was astonished to observe that 
she was deadly pale, and seemingly under the influence of strong emotion. 

" Mr. Cassilis ! " she cried ; " Mr. Cassilis ! " 

I appeared at once, and leaped down upon the beach. A remarkable 
air of relief overspread her countenance as soon as she saw me. 



320 THE PAVILION ON THE LINKS. 

" Oh ! " she cried, with a hoarse sound, like one whose bosom has been 
lightened of a weight. And then, " Thank God you are still safe !" she 
added ; " I knew, if you were, you would be here." (Was not this strange, 
my children 1 So swiftly and wisely does Nature prepare our hearts for 
these great life-long intimacies, that both your mother and I had been 
given a presentiment on this the second day of our acquaintance. I had 
even then hoped that she would seek me ; she had felt sure that she 
would find me.) " Do not," she went on swiftly, " do not stay in this 
place. Promise me that you will sleep no longer in that wood. You do 
not know how I suffer ; all last night I could not sleep for thinking of 
your peril." 

" Peril ?" I repeated. " Peril from whom 1 From Northmour !" 

" Not so," she said. " Did you think I would tell him after what 
you said 1 " 

" Not from Northmour 1" I repeated. " Then how 1 From whom ? 
I see none to be afraid of." 

" You must not ask me," was her reply, " for I am not free to tell 
you. Only believe me, and go hence believe me, and go away quickly, 
quickly, for your life ! " 

An appeal to his alarm is never a good plan to lid oneself of a spirited 
young man. My obstinacy was but increased by what she said, and I 
made it a point of honour to remain. And her solicitude for my safety 
still more confirmed me in the resolve. 

"You must not think me inquisitive, madam," I replied; "but, if 
Graden is so dangerous a place, you yourself perhaps remain here at some 
risk." 

She only looked at me reproachfully. 

"You and your father " I resumed; but she interrupted me 

almost with a gasp. 

" My father ! How do you know that ? " she cried*. 

" I saw you together when you landed," was my answer ; and I do 
not know why, but it seemed satisfactory to both of us, as indeed it was 
the truth. " But," I continued, " you need have no fear from me. I 
see you have some reason to be secret, and, you may believe me, your 
secret is as safe with me as if I were in Graden Floe. I have scarce 
spoken to any one for years ; my horse is my only companion, and even 
he, poor beast, is not beside me. You see, then, you may count on me 
for silence. So tell me the truth, my dear young lady, are yu not in 
danger ? " 

" Mr. Northmour says you are an honourable man," she returned, 
" and I believe it when I see you. I will tell you so much ; you are 
right ; we are in dreadful, dreadful danger, and you share it by remain- 
ing where you are." 

" Ah ! " said I ; " you have heard of me from Northmour ? And he 
gives me a good character 1 

" I asked him about you last night," was her reply. " I pretended," 



THE PAVILION ON THE LINKS. 321 

she hesitated, " I pretended to have met you long ago, and spoken to you 
of him. It was not true ; but I could not help myself without betraying 
you, and you had put me in a difficulty. He praised you highly." 

" And you may permit me one question does this danger come 
from Northmour 1 " I asked. 

" From Mr. Northmour ? " she cried. " Oh, no ; he stays with us to 
share it." 

" While you propose that I should run away 1 " I said. " You do 
not rate me very high." 

" Why should you stay ? " she asked. " You are no friend of ours." 

I know not what came over me, my children, for I had not been 
conscious of a similar weakness since I was a child, but I was so morti- 
fied by this retort that my eyes pricked and filled with tears, as I con- 
tinued to gaze upon your mother. 

" No, no," she said, in a changed voice ; " I did not mean the words 
unkindly." 

" It was I who offended," I said; and I held out my hand with a look 
of appeal that somehow touched her, for she gave me hers at once, and 
even eagerly. I held it for awhile in mine, and gazed into her eyes. It 
was she who first tore her hand away, and, forgetting all about her 
request and the promise she had sought to extort, ran at the top of her 
speed, and without turning, till she was out of sight. Then, O my chil- 
dren, I knew that I loved your mother, and thought in my glad heart 
that she she herself-^^was not indifferent to my suit. Many a time she 
has denied it in after days, but it was with a smiling and not a serious 
denial. For my part, I am sure our hands would not have lain so closely 
in each other if she had not begun to melt to me already. And, when 
all is said, it is no great contention, since, by her own avowal, she began 
to love me on the morrow. 

And yet on the morrow very little took place. She came and called 
me down as on the day before, upbraided me for lingering at Graden, and, 
when she found I was still obdurate, began to ask me more particularly 
as to my arrival. I told her by what series of accidents I had come to 
witness their disembarkation, and how I had determined to remain, 
partly from the interest which had been wakened in me by Northmour's 
guests, and partly because of his own murderous attack. As to the 
former, I fear I was disingenuous, and led her to regard herself as having 
been an attraction to me from the first moment that I saw her on the 
links. It relieves my heart to make this confession even now, when 
your mother is with God, and already knows all things, and the honesty 
of my purpose even in this ; for while she lived, although it often pricked 
my conscience, I had never the hardihood to undeceive her. Even a 
little secret, in such a married life as ours, is like the rose-leaf which 
kept the Princess from her sleep. 

From this the talk branched into other subjects, and I told her much 
about my lonely and wandering existence ; she, for her part, giving ear, 

VOL. XLII. NO. 249. 16. 



322 THE PAVILION ON THE LINKS. 

and saying little. Although, we spoke very naturally, and latterly on 
topics that might seem indifferent, we were both sweetly agitated. Too 
soon it was time for her to go ; and we separated, as if by mutual consent, 
without shaking hands, for both knew that, between us, it was no idle 
ceremony. 

The next, and that was the fourth day of our acquaintance, we met 
in the same spot, but early in the morning, with much familiarity and 
yet much timidity on either side. When she had once more spoken 
about my danger and that, I understood, was her excuse for coming 
I, who had prepared a great deal of talk during the night, began to tell 
her how highly I valued her kind interest, and how no one had ever 
cared to hear about my life, nor had I ever cared to relate it, before 
yesterday. Suddenly she interrupted me, saying with vehemence 

"And yet, if you knew who I was, you would not so much as speak 
tome!" 

I told her such a thought was madness, and, little as we had met, I 
counted her already a dear friend ; but my protestations seemed only to 
make her more desperate. 

" My father is in hiding ! " she cried. 

" My dear," I said, forgetting for the first time to add " young lady," 
" what do I care 1 If he were in hiding twenty times over, would it 
make one thought of change in you ] " 

" Ah, but the cause ! " she cried, " the cause ! It is " she faltered 

for a second " it is disgraceful to us ! " 



CHAPTEE IV. 

TELLS IN WHAT A STARTLING MANNER I LEARNED I WAS NOT ALONE 
IN GRADEN SEA- WOOD. 

THIS, my dear children, was your mother's story, as I drew it from her 
among tears and sobs. Her name was Clara Huddlestone : it sounded 
very beautiful in my ears ; but not so beautiful as that other name of 
Clara Cassilis, which she wore during the longer and, I thank God, the 
happier portion of her life. Her father, Bernard Huddlestone, had been 
a private banker in a very large way of business. Many years before, 
his affairs becoming disordered, he had been led to try dangerous, and at 
last criminal, expedients to retrieve himself from ruin. All was in vain ; 
he became more and more cruelly involved, and found his honour lost at 
the same moment with his fortune. About this period, Northmour had 
been courting your mother with great assiduity, though with small en- 
couragement; and to him, knowing him thus disposed in his favour, 
Bernard Huddlestone turned for help in his extremity. It was not 
merely ruin and dishonour, nor merely a legal condemnation, that the 
unhappy man had brought upon his head. It seems he could have gone 
to prison with a light heart. What he feared, what kept him awake at 



THE PAVILION ON THE LINKS. 323 

night or recalled him from slumber into frenzy, was some secret, sudden, 
and unlawful attempt upon his life. Hence, he desired to bury his 
existence and escape to one of the islands in the South Pacific, and it 
was in Northmour's yacht, the Red Earl, that he designed to go. 
The yacht picked them up clandestinely upon the coast of Wales, and 
had once more deposited them at Graden, till she could be refitted and 
provisioned for the longer voyage. Nor could your mother doubt that 
her hand had been stipulated as the price of passage. For, although 
Northmour was neither unkind nor even discourteous, he had shown 
himself in several instances somewhat overbold in speech and manner. 

I listened, I need not say, with fixed attention, and put many ques- 
tions as to the more mysterious part. It was in vain. Your mother 
had no clear idea of what the blow was, nor of how it was expected to 
fall. Her father's alarm was unfeigned and physically prostrating, and 
he had thought more than once of making an unconditional surrender to 
the police. But the scheme was finally abandoned, for he was convinced 
that not even the strength of our English prisons could shelter him 
from his pursuers. He had had many affairs with Italy, and with 
Italians resident in London, in the later years of his business ; and these 
last, your mother fancied, were somehow connected with the doom that 
threatened him. He had shown great terror at the presence of an 
Italian seaman on board the Red Earl, and had bitterly and repeatedly 
accused Northmour in consequence. The latter had protested that 
Beppo (that was the seaman's name) was a capital fellow, and could be 
trusted to the death ; but Mr. Huddlestone had continued ever since to 
declare that all was lost, that it was only a question of days, and that 
Beppo would be the ruin of him yet. 

I regarded the whole story as the hallucination of a mind shaken by 
calamity. He had suffered heavy loss by his Italian transactions ; and 
hence the sight of an Italian was hateful to him, and the principal part 
in his nightmares would naturally enough be played by one of that 
nation. 

" What your father wants," I said, " is a good doctor and some 
calming medicine." 

" But Mr. Northmour ? " objected your mother. " He is untroubled 
by losses, and yet he shares in this terror." 

I could not help laughing at what I considered her simplicity. 

" My dear," said I, " you have told me yourself what reward he has 
to look for. All is fair in love, you must remember ; and if Northmour 
foments your father's terrors, it is not at all because he is afraid of any 
Italian man, but simply because he is infatuated with a charming 
English woman." 

She reminded me of his attack upon myself on the night of the dis- 
embarkation, and this I was unable to explain. In short, and from 
one thing to another, it was agreed between us, that I should set out at 
once for the fisher village, Graden Wester, as it was called, look up all 

168 



324 THE PAVILION ON THE LINKS. 

the newspapers I could find, and see for myself if there seemed any 
basis of fact for these continued alarms. The next morning, at the same 
hour and place, I was to make my report to your mother. She said no 
more on that occasion about my departure ; nor, indeed, did she make it 
a secret that she clung to the thought of my proximity as something 
helpful and pleasant ; and, for my part, I could not have left her, if she 
had gone upon her knees to ask it. 

I reached Graden Wester before ten in the forenoon ; for in those 
days I was an excellent pedestrian, and the distance, as I think I have 
said, was little over seven miles ; fine walking all the way upon the 
springy turf. The village is one of the bleakest on that coast, which is 
saying much : there is a church in a hollow ; a miserable haven in the 
rocks, where many boats have been lost as they returned from fishing ; 
two or three score of store-houses arranged along the beach and in two 
streets, one leading from the harbour, and another striking out from it 
at right angles ; and, at the corner of these two, a very dark and cheerless 
tavern, by way of principal hotel. 

I had dressed myself somewhat more suitably to my station in life, 
and at once called upon the minister in his little manse beside the 
graveyard. He knew me, although it was more than nine years since 
we had met ; and when I told him that I had been long upon a walking 
tour, and was behind with the news, readily lent me an armful of news- 
papers, dating from a month back to the day before. With these I 
sought the tavern, and, ordering some breakfast, sat down to study the 
" Huddlestone Failure." 

It had been, it appeared, a very flagrant case. Thousands of persons 
were reduced to poverty ; and one in particular had blown out his brains 
as soon as payment was suspended. It was strange to myself that, while 
I read these details, I continued rather to sympathise with Mr. Huddle- 
stone than with his victims ; so complete already was the empire of my 
love for your mother. A price was naturally set upon the banker's 
head ; and, as the case was inexcusable and the public indignation 
thoroughly aroused, the unusual figure of 750. was offered for his cap- 
ture. He was reported to have large sums of money in his possession. 
One day, he had been heard of in Spain ; the next, there was sure intelli- 
gence that he was still lurking between Manchester and Liverpool, or 
along the border of Wales ; and the day after, a telegram would announce 
his arrival in Cuba or Yucatan. But in all this there was no word of 
an Italian, nor any sign of mystery. 

In the very last [paper, however, there was one item not so clear. 
The accountants who were charged to verify the failure had, it seemed, 
come upon the traces of a very large number of thousands, which figured 
for some time in the transactions of the house of Huddlestone ; but which 
came from nowhere, and disappeared in the same mysterious fashion. It 
was only once referred to by name, and then under the initials " X. X.; " 
but it had plainly been floated for the first time into the business at a 



THE PAVILION ON THE LINKS. 325 

period of great depression some six years ago. The name of a distin- 
guished Royal personage had been mentioned by rumour in connection 
with this sum. " The cowardly desperado " such, I remember, was 
the editorial expression was supposed to have escaped with a large 
part of this mysterious fund still in his possession. 

I was still brooding over the fact, and trying to torture it into some 
connection with Mr. Huddlestone's danger, when a man entered the 
tavern and asked for some bread and cheese with a decided foreign accent. 

" Siete Italiano ? " said I. 

" Si, signor" was his reply. 

I said it was unusually far north to find one of his compatriots ; at 
which he shrugged his shoulders, and replied that a man would go any- 
where to find work. What work he could hope to find at Graden 
Wester, I was totally unable to conceive ; and the incident struck so 
unpleasantly upon my mind, that I asked the landlord, while he was 
counting me some change, whether he had ever before seen an Italian 
in the village. He said he had once seen some Norwegians, who had 
been shipwrecked on the other side of Graden Ness and rescued by the 
life-boat from Cauld- haven. 

" No ! " said I ; " but an Italian, like the man who has just had 
bread and cheese." 

" What ? " cried he, " yon black-a- vised fellow wi' the teeth ? Was 
he an I-talian 1 Weel, yon's the first that ever I saw, an' I dare say he's 
like to be the last." 

Even as he was speaking, I raised my eyes, and, casting a glance 
into the street, beheld three men in earnest conversation together, and 
not thirty yards away. One of them was my recent companion in the 
tavern parlour ; the other two, by their handsome, sallow features and 
soft hats, should evidently belong to the same race. A crowd of village 
children stood around them, gesticulating and talking gibberish in imi- 
tation. The two looked singularly foreign to the bleak dirty street in 
which they were standing, and the dark gray heaven that overspread 
them ; and I confess my incredulity received at that moment a shock 
from which it never recovered. I might reason with myself as I 
pleased, but I could not argue down the effect of what I had seen, and I 
began to share in the Italian terror. 

It was already drawing towards the close of the day before I had 
returned the newspapers at the manse, and got well forward on to the 
links on my way home. I shall never forget that walk. It grew very 
cold and boisterous ; the wind sang in the short grass about my feet : 
thin rain showers came running on the gusts ; and an immense mountain 
range of clouds began to arise out of the bosom of the sea. It would be 
hard to imagine a more dismal evening ; and whether it was from these 
external influences, or because my nerves were already affected by what 
I had heard and seen, my thoughts were as gloomy ?.s the weather. 

The upper windows of the pavilion commanded a considerable spread 



326 THE PAVILION ON THE LINKS. 

of links in the direction of Graden Easter. To avoid observation, it 
was necessary to hug the beach until I had gained cover from the higher 
sand-hills on the little headland, when I might strike across, through the 
hollows, from the margin of the wood. The sun was about setting ; the 
tide was low, and all the quicksands uncovered; and I was moving 
along, lost in unpleasant thought, when I was suddenly thunderstruck 
to perceive the prints of human feet. They ran parallel to my own 
course, but low down upon the beach instead of along the border of the 
turf; and, when I examined them, I saw at once, by the size and coarse- 
ness of the impression, that it was a stranger to me and to those in the 
pavilion who had recently passed that way. Not only so ; but from the 
recklessness of the course which he had followed, steering near to the 
most formidable portions of the sand, he was as evidently a stranger to 
the country and to the ill-repute of Graden beach. 

Step by step, I followed the prints ; until, a quarter of a mile further, 
I beheld them die away into the south-eastern boundary cf Graden Floe. 
There, whoever he was, the miserable man had perished. The sun had 
broken through the clouds by a last effort, and coloured the wide level 
of quicksands with a dusky purple ; one or two gulls, who had, perhaps, 
seen him disappear, wheeled over his sepulchre with their usual melan- 
choly piping. I stood for some time gazing at the spot, chilled and dis- 
heartened by my own reflections, and with a strong and commanding 
consciousness of death. I remember wondering how long the tragedy 
had taken, and whether his screams had been audible at the pavilion. 
And then, making a strong resolution, I was about to tear myself away, 
when a gust fiercer than usual fell upon this quarter of the beach, and I 
saw now, whirling high in air, now skimming lightly across the surface 
of the sands, a soft, black, felt hat, somewhat conical in shape, such as I 
had remarked already on the heads of the Italians. 

I believe, but I am not sure, that I uttered a cry. The wind was driv- 
ing the hat shoreward, and I ran round the border of the floe to be ready 
against its arrival. The gust fell, dropping the hat for a while upon the 
quicksand, and then, once more freshening, landed it a few yards from 
where I stood. I took possession with the interest you may imagine. 
It had seen some service ; indeed, it was rustier than either of those I 
had seen that day upon the street. The lining was red, stamped with 
the name of the maker, which I have forgotten, and that of the place of 
manufacture, Venedig. This, my dear children, was the name given by 
the Austrians to the beautiful city of Venice, then, and for long after, a 
part of their dominions. 

The shock was complete. I saw imaginary Italians upon every side ; 
and for the first, and, I may say, for the last time in my experience, be- 
came overpowered by what is called a panic terror. I knew nothing, 
that is, to be afraid of, and yet I admit that I was heartily afraid ; and it 
was with a sensible reluctance that I returned to my exposed and solitary 
camp in the Sea- Wood. 






THE PAVILION ON THE LINKS. 



327 




There I ate some cold porridge which had been left over from the night 
before, for I was disinclined to make a fire ; and, feeling strengthened 
and reassured, dismissed all these fanciful terrors from my mind, and lay 
down to sleep with composure. 

How long I may have slept it is impossible for me to guess ; but I 
was wakened at last by a sudden, blinding flash of light into my face. 
It woke me like a blow. In an instant I was upon my knees. But the 
light had gone as suddenly as it came. The darkness was intense. And, 
as it was blowing great guns from the sea and pouring with rain, the 
noises of the storm effectually concealed all others. 

It was, I dare say, half a minute before I regained my self-possession. 
But for two circumstances, I should have thought I had been awakened 
by some new and vivid form of nightmare. First, the flap of my tent, 
which I had shut carefully when I retired, was now unfastened ; and, 
second, I could still perceive, with a sharpness that excluded any theory 
of hallucination, the smell of hot metal and of burning oil. The conclu- 
sion was obvious. I had been wakened by some one flashing a bull's-eye 
lantern in my face. It had been but a flash, and away. He had seen 
my face, and then gone. I asked myself the object of so strange a pro- 
ceeding, and the answer came pat. The man, whoever he was, had 
thought to recognise me, and he had not. There was yet another ques- 
tion unresolved ; and to this, I may say, I feared to give an answer ; if 
he had recognised me, what would he have done ? 

My fears were immediately diverted from myself, for I saw that I 
had been visited in a mistake ; and I became persuaded that some dread- 
ful danger threatened the pavilion. It required some nerve to issue forth 
into the black and intricate thicket which surrounded and overhung the 
den ; but I groped my way to the links, drenched with rain, beaten upon 
and deafened by the gusts, and fearing at every step to lay my hand 
upon some lurking adversary. The darkness was so complete that I 
might have been surrounded by an army and yet none the wiser, and the 
uproar of the gale so loud that my hearing was as useless as my sight. 

For the rest of that night, which seemed interminably long, I patrolled 
the vicinity of the pavilion, without seeing a living creature or hearing 
any noise but the concert of the wind, the sea, and the rain. A light in 
the upper story filtered through a cranny of the shutter, and kept me 
company till the approach of dawn. 

B. L. S. 



328 



akmi gjttiwra: Cjr* g*s*rte anb Cmmffie. 



IN the month of December 1879 I was told that unless I would consent 
to pass the winter and early spring in a warmer climate than that of 
England I should gradually sink into a state of health threatening serious 
consequences. As I detest going abroad I fought hard against this 
medical advice ; but the first edict was reinforced by other edicts, and I 
found that I was fighting in vain. Biarritz was the place originally 
selected by my doctor, but Biarritz immediately afterwards was recorded 
in the Times newspaper as having been on the preceding day absolutely 
the coldest place in France. " Now," said 1 to my medical friend, "just 
look at that paragraph ; you want me to go into a warm climate ; my 
desire is to stay quietly at home ; but as that cannot be permitted, I will 
at least winter in some spot where warmth is a certainty. I know well 
what the Bise is, and what the Mistral ; I know how cold those half- 
and-half places often are, and how little protection you have against the 
cold whenever it does come ; if I must leave England, I shall leave it for 
Madeira." Accordingly I left Southampton in a dense frost-fog on the 
29th of January, and six days afterwards found myself in a land of 
flowers and sunshine, with an atmosphere like that of a fine English 
June, only that the sun was rather hotter. (I must add that, owing, as 
we were told, to some peculiarity of the present season, though I have 
had nothing to complain of, and only once wished for a fire, neither 
March nor April, nor even the first days of May, quite equalled this 
February weather.) 

The six days at sea, I am bound to confess, were extremely trying ; I 
had fancied myself a better sailor than I am, and, besides this, my berth 
on board the Teuton fitted me as tightly as a coffin ; I could not move 
one half -inch to the right or one half-inch to the left. Neither in 
the boat which took me to TenerifFe, nor in the boat which brought 
me away was I subjected to the same inconvenience ; and I trust 
that the Union Company will not think me impertinent if I venture to 
suggest that though a coffin may be an admirable receptacle for a dead 
body, it is extremely uncomfortable to a living one. However, by trust- 
ing to time and patience I slowly got better, and landed with all my 
powers of enjoyment ready for use. Owing to an inveterate head-wind, 
our passage was a long one ; hence, unfortunately, we ran down the 
north side of Madeira during the night-time, missing thereby all view of 
the highest mountains from the sea. Of these mountains none, it is true, 
much exceed 6,000 feet, but they are wonderfully bold and picturesque in 
form and character, and not to have seen them from the deck of the steamer 



A GOSSIP ABOUT MADEIRA. 329 

was undoubtedly a mischance. These higher eminences are not visible from 
Funchal, though the hills which surround it are supposed to reach 4,000 
feet or thereabouts above the level of the sea. They shelter the town, more- 
over, completely from all northerly winds, so that this side of the island in 
winter and the beginning of spring is supposed to be warmer than the 
other by eight or ten degrees of Fahrenheit on the average. The lowest 
winter temperature ever recorded in Funchal was a fraction above 46 
degrees ; as you mount higher up, the atmosphere becomes more chilly 
as a matter of course, and snow, though it never" lies long, is now and 
then to be seen upon the peaks within sight of the town,* that is to say, 
from 3,000 to 4,000 feet up, according to the calculation of the inhabitants. 
Funchal from the roadstead, or indeed from any other point of vantage, 
is a picturesque assemblage of white houses, interspersed with gardens, 
vineyards, sugar-cane fields, and the like. It covers a wide expanse of 
ground, as the city proper gradually passes into a series of villa residences 
on the mountain slopes, to which the wealthier inhabitants betake them- 
selves in summer. The streets of the town itself are narrow and dirty ; 
they are also difficult to walk upon, owing to the hardness of the slippery 
basaltic pebbles, their only form of pavement ; still, wherever there is a 
garden wall among the houses, you come upon a profusion of lovely 
creepers, particularly great masses of purple Bougainvillea, mixed up with 
double scarlet geraniums. This combination, glowing under the brilliant 
sunshine of Madeira, gave me, who am fond of colour, quite a new sensa- 
tion of pleasure the first time that I saw it. Otherwise, though the upper 
gorges are picturesque, particularly under the play of the morning and 
evening sunlights, the manner in which the ground is cut up into 
terraces for the sake of cultivation, with the total absence of large timber, 
gives this south side of the island a somewhat prim and formal appear- 
ance. There are plenty of palms indeed, and a palm in the open air is a 
novelty to our northern eyes; but when the novelty has worn off, a palm, 
here at least, can hardly be considered a fine tree. The true palm climate, 
we are told, is an annual mean of 77 deg. Fahrenheit or thereabouts. 
This, of course, is much higher than the average temperature of Madeira. 
Whether, therefore, on the banks of the Amazon or elsewhere in the 
tropics magnificent growth and luxuriant foliage raise the kind of tree 
we are speaking of into the first rank, I cannot say ; looking at their 
grain and texture and general style of growth, I still incline to the 
opinion that palms and all such endogens, if compared with the real 
aristocrats of the forest, are but plebeian vegetables after all. 

The native woods from which, as we are told, the name of Madeira was 
originally derived, have been cut down with a ruthless hand, and though 
still to be found in the interior of the island, and on its northern coasts, 
have shrunk into comparatively small dimensions. The indigenous cedar 
with which the cathedral, an otherwise ugly and uninteresting building, 

* On the 3rd of May it was quite visible, and much lower down than usual ; but 
the present May has been exceptionally cool, I believe. 



330 A GOSSIP ABOUT MADEIRA: 

is roofed, has entirely, or all but entirely, disappeared ; and though four 
varieties of laurel (found more abundantly in the Canaries) still survive, 
they are not what they once were, either with regard to the extent of 
ground they cover, or to the dignity of single trees among them. 

One of the principal drawbacks to Madeira is the difficulty of getting 
about ; there are no carriage-roads, and the horse-tracks are steep pitches 
up and down ; they are also, as I have said, almost invariably paved with 
hard pebbles. This renders it impossible to ride anywhere, except at a 
foot's-pace, so that the time consumed in going a few miles is very great, 
and the mode of progression very tiresome ; on the other hand, the island 
ponies, shod in a peculiar manner to encounter the aforesaid roads, are 
usually sure-footed and good walkers, so that within a certain distance 
of Funchal pleasant expeditions are to be made, if you can find the time 
and the strength. Thus the fine mountain scenery of the Grand Corral 
a gloomy gorge into which you look down some 2,000 feet or so from the 
mountains overhanging it the Ribiero Frio, and other landscapes beau- 
tiful of their kind, can on well-chosen days be visited without much, 
difficulty. To get further afield is not so easy; there are but few 
tolerable hotels in the country districts, and you never can be sure that 
you will not find the higher levels wrapped in mist or drenched with 
rain, even whilst fine weather is prevailing below. I am speaking, of 
course, of the winter months ; anybody who happened to pass a summer 
in Madeira could, no doubt, visit all parts of the island readily enough ; 
he might camp out at night, if necessary, and carry his own provisions 
with him from the town. 

Another matter which diminishes the interest of a residence in 
Madeira is the almost total absence of animal life ; one of our party was 
a sportsman, and wandered over various districts with a disconsolate 
rifle and a dejected fowling-piece, finding nothing to kill ; one large 
hawk, indeed, he shot on the wing with a rifle bullet, and this put him 
in better spirits for a day or two, but he did little more. Along the 
coast, in a boat, you may get an occasional shot at a small rock-pigeon, 
very dark in plumage ; but as the cliffs are bold and high, and as these 
doves, in the exercise of a sound discretion, keep close to the top, it is 
difficult to do more than frighten them. One, however, less cautious 
than his brethren, got struck, and fell dead in a cleft of the rock ; our 
youngest boatman undertook to bring him down : he scaled the crag 
with great agility, and got possession of the bird. When, however, he 
turned to come down, I observed that he crossed himself first ; he then 
descended as actively and as resolutely as he had climbed up. There 
was something very touching in this act of instinctive piety, and I could 
only hope that a young English fisherman in a similar position, though 
the manner of his reverence might differ a little, would have committed 
himself to the care of Providence with something of the same reverential 
spirit. With these exceptions, a bird, large or small, is a rarity ; there 
are no rabbits to speak of, no hares, no deer, no squirrels nothing in 



THE DESERTAS AND TENEEIFFE. 331 

any plenty, but lizards, and lizards pall upon you after a time. One of 
us, as I have said, was a sportsman ; I am an amateur entomologist, and 
I -was full of hope that I should find in Madeira, and still more in 
Teneriffe, moths and butterflies, if not of a special, at least of a foreign, 
type. We all of us must remember how much is added to the charm 
of Alpine travelling by the multitude of swallow-tails, fritillaries, 
Apollos, Camberwell beauties, and other brilliant insects we know how 
they float about the mountains, each with its own peculiar grace of 
flight, so as to keep the air alive with the beauty of motion. Here, 
however, in spite of the mass of blossoms, the exuberance of vegetation, 
and the almost constant fine weather, I do not think I have seen twenty 
butterflies in three months, and those which have put in an appearance, 
luckily for themselves were not worth catching. A red admiral or two, 
some gatekeepers, a few painted ladies, a clouded yellow, perhaps, and 
the irrepressible small cabbage, make up all the varieties which have 
presented themselves as yet ; for two semi-tropical islands,"a shabby show 
of Lepidoptera indeed. There was, I admit, one swift and powerful 
dragon-fly darting about now and then ; he was of a deep violet colour, 
and made a splendid appearance on the wing ; he seemed, as far as I 
could judge, nearly as long as our largest English libellula, with a body 
somewhat thicker, but he was not inclined to let me come near enough 
to examine him minutely. There were also rumours of a fine large 
butterfly in Teneriffe called the Emperor of Morocco, golden yellow in 
colour with black spots ; he does not, however, make his appearance 
till late in the summer, so that I had no hope of encountering him ; 
altogether I should suppose that an implacable entomologist who gave 
up a whole year to his pursuit might probably obtain in these islands a 
certain number of insects worth collecting, but that they are too scarce 
to be noticed in passing by a chance amateur like myself. 

This general absence of life gives, as I have said, a certain dulness to 
the landscapes both of Madeira and Tenerifie, and makes one turn for 
compensation to the rich colouring and attractive changes of a sea that 
is seldom exactly in the same mood for two days together. I have said 
that there are few comfortable inns out of Funchal, but this remark does 
not apply to Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz in Madeira, I mean). The hotel 
there belongs to a Senhor Gonzalez, but is mainly upheld by the untiring 
exertions of a worthy woman called Maria. She is a Portuguese by birth, 
but speaks English quite well, knows the requirements of Englishmen, 
and is indefatigable in her efforts to please. This quiet inn is a pleasant 
change from the hot table-d'hotes at Funchal, the village may be perhaps 
somewhat cooler, and is said to possess a lighter and finer air : it is 
also well situated as a place to make excursions from. A mile or two 
beyond it lies the well-known Machico Bay, where, according to tradition, 
Madeira was first landed upon by the Englishman Machin. The story 
is that this Machin, an English esquire, incurred the resentment of a 
powerful family by gaining the affections of the daughter of its chief. 



332 A GOSSIP ABOUT MADEIKA: 

He was thrown into prison, but escaped, and then persuaded the lady 
to elope with him to France. A violent tempest drove their vessel for 
thirteen days in a south-westerly direction, and at last they found them- 
selves in a small brig on the shores of an unknown island. Here they 
landed, but the fatigues of the voyage had exhausted the strength of 
Machin's companion, Anna D'Arfet she died there, and was there 
buried. The fragments of a cross erected over her grave are still shown 
by the Machico villagers. Her lover did not long survive her, and his 
companions, in their attempt to sail away home, fell into the hands of 
the Moors. During their captivity, they spoke of this island to an 
old Portuguese pilot, who, on being ransomed and returning to his own 
country, suggested and accompanied the first expedition to Madeira, 
which thus became a dependency of Portugal. Scepticism of course has 
been at work upon this old national tale, but there seems no reason for 
rejecting the legend, except that it is a legend, and that the fashionable 
wisdom of the hour pronounces, as usual, anything which has long been 
a matter of popular belief to be of necessity incredible ; otherwise the 
narrative hangs perfectly well together in all its parts, and moreover 
furnishes a reason why the Portuguese Government sent out their 
expedition a little later to discover the island so reported to them a 
reason which otherwise would be wanting. Beyond this bay you can 
proceed in a boat, along another range of rugged and lofty cliffs, to the 
supposed fossil-beds at the extremity of the island these fossils are 
apparently concretions of lime, which have put on the appearance of 
branches or roots, as the case may be. An ignorant person would believe 
that they had formed themselves round real pieces of wood, and that 
these have decayed, leaving their form to the encompassing stone ; but 
geologists, I fancy, put this opinion aside and look upon them as being 
what they are, merely in obedience to some caprice of nature ; they are 
not, according to them, fossils at all, but merely a good imitation of 
fossils. Beyond these so-called fossil-beds you find a sandy down, 
covered mostly with short grass. After walking across this down for about 
half a mile you find yourself on the north coast of Madeira. From hence 
the expeditionist, if I may coin such a word for the nonce, looks down 
upon a double sea 

Et in mediis audit duo littora campis. 

This north coast, moreover, is well worth visiting in all its parts, as it is 
even finer and bolder than the one on the Funchal side. The boatmen, 
besides being excellent oars, are very civil obliging fellows ; they carry 
your luncheon-basket, and show you every thing worth looking at wherever 
you land. Madre D'Agua is another spot well worth visiting from 
Santa Cruz. After a long ascent you reach a sort of platform among 
bold rough hills ; from thence you look down and up through gorges, along 
which is conducted in a series of cascades to the deep glen underneath 
you one of those levadas or regulated watercourses upon which the 
fertility of Madeira depends. But perhaps the most beautiful landscape 






THE DESERTAS AND TENERIFFE. 333 

in the island is the prospect from the little village of Laruageres. Yon 
climb the usual hill-track to a place called Antonio di Serra, after which 
you diverge into a path more like an English lane, with trees and flowers 
on each side, than the usual Madeira road. You proceed along this path 
till you come to some hills of moderate height, which are covered with 
natural wood, Spanish chestnuts, varieties of laurels, pines, and other 
trees. The far-spreading purple Atlantic is on your right, whilst 
apparently close at hand, though in reality a long way off, plunges down 
beneath you into the sea the magnificent cliff known as Penna D'Equia, 
or the Eagle's Wing, and on your left in front lies a gorge with hills on 
the other side ; then a second valley intervenes. Beyond this tower rise, 
to close the prospect, all the highest mountains of the island. It is true 
that, as I have said before, none of these mountains much exceed 
6,000 feet by mere measurement, but still their forms are wonderfully 
bold and picturesque ; BO that as we watched the white semi- translucent 
clouds floating from one peak to another, about 1,000 feet below sum- 
mits upon which snow was still glittering against a semi-tropical sun, 
it seemed difficult to imagine anything more beautiful in its own way 
than this combination of sea and light and cloud, with the cliffs, 
mountains, and forests on all sides of us. 

The highest of the above mountains is Pico Ruivo, the red peak. In 
one direction it is sufficiently accessible, and accordingly the ascent was 
made. Leaving Santa Anna, a little hamlet of the north, in the morn- 
ing you pass by a series of climbings, through plantations of the Pinit>s 
maritima. On getting beyond there you pass into the region of the tree 
heather a plant much used in Madeira for firewood. It grows, how- 
ever, much more luxuriantly in Teneriffe, and therefore I shall keep 
what I have to say about it. After labouring up for some time, you 
come to what may be called the false top ; this eminence is scarcely 
lower than the true peak, but it is separated from it by a wide gap, so 
that you have to descend again for nearly an hour, with the same tree 
heather growing round about you, till the bottom of the dip is reached. 
From thence you proceed to master the summit of the hill. The 
walk is steep, with but little vegetation, and ends in a very narrow 
point, which can only be got at by a rough scramble. When there, you 
have a splendid view of the northern sea, with the Penna D'Aquia, of 
which I have already spoken, on your flank, whilst the neighbouring 
heights, particularly the strangely contorted pinnacles of the Canaria 
Peak, lift themselves grandly around. The view on the land side is 
also, I believe, worthy of all admiration, but though the sun was 
intensely hot where we stood, at a certain distance beneath a thick cloud 
interposed itself between us and the lower ground, so that we saw 
nothing. Among the guides there was the suggestion of a rabbit, which 
awakened intense excitement; by us, however, rabbits had been seen 
elsewhere; hence we remained comparatively impassive, and turned 
our thoughts towards luncheon. Here, however, a slight difficulty arose. 



334 A GOSSIP ABOUT MADEIRA: 

The promised fountain did not turn up, and but for the snow still linger- 
ing about the rifts and crevices of the hills we should have had nothing to 
drink but strong Madeira not a very refreshing beverage after a long walk 
under a broiling sun. However, with time and under a warm temperature 
Madeira and snow became Madeira and water, and the difficulty was 
solved. On going down, the sea of mist into which we were about to 
plunge contrasted in a striking manner with the extraordinarily brilliant 
sunshine overhead ; but there was no help for it, in we had to go, and to 
crawl for about half an hour through a gloom impenetrable to the eye 
except for a foot or two in front. Out of this we emerged into a grey sort 
of day, which accompanied us for the remainder of our descent, and the 
party found itself at Santa Anna by seven o'clock, with a good appetite for 
dinner. The dinner itself, however (like the poetry of Kingsley's friend 
which he criticised with his usual impetuosity to the author's face, who 
had rashly submitted it to him in the hopes of a favourable opinion), was 
" not good but bad." 

This is but an imperfect account of a very beautiful island, but it 
was not possible for me, whilst staying there, to explore it more com- 
pletely, so that my descriptions must be taken for what they are worth. 



THE DESERTAS. 

The Desertas are three small islets, about 24 miles from Madeira, 
towards the south-east. They are not entirely unlike Herm, Sark, <fec., in 
the neighbourhood of Guernsey, though somewhat farther off from the 
Lilliputian continent round which they take rank as belongings. They 
wear a purple aspect, as seen from the windows of the Santa Clara 
Hotel, and together with Porto Santo, I suppose, helped to give the 
name of the Purple Islands to the whole Madeira group ; for so, we are 
told, is the group described in a letter from Juba, King of Mauritania, to 
the Emperor Augustus. It is possible, however, that the orchil weed, 
which yields a purple dye of some value, and is still found among these 
rocks (being, in fact, the one thing connecting them with the general life 
and commerce of the world), may have been gathered from Madeira and 
Porto Santo as well, in the days of Augustus, and that their title to be 
called the Purple Islands rested upon that. The most beautiful thing con- 
nected with these craggy islets is the manner in which the February sun, 
after rising behind them, turns the spot of sea between the two larger 
ones into an expanse of liquid gold, reminding us of the heavenly pave- 
ment admired by Mammon so pertinaciously, as Milton tells us, before 
his fall into Hades. Later on in the year, either the rising sun shifts his 
place a little, or else the effect produced itself before I was awake, as in 
March and April I could see nothing of the kind. This is about all that 
Madeira residents in general have to do with the dependencies in question. 
They are seldom visited, being somewhat difficult to land on, and offer- 
ing few temptations to an explorer. However, a statement that they 



THE DESERTAS AND TENERIFFE. 335 

were tenanted by numerous wild goats induced us to go over in a boat. 
We saw no wild goats, but were told on our return that it was useless to 
try for them in that manner ; that, unless certain strategical operations 
are undertaken by a large party, stationing themselves at certain well- 
known points, whilst the rest of the island is hunted over and turned 
upside down by an army of beaters, no goat will ever suffer himself to 
be seen. This certainly was true, as far as we were concerned, though 
we examined with good field-glasses every nook and cranny for several 
hours. We should have been glad, no doubt, to have received this intel- 
ligence before, and not after, an expedition ; still, the larger island is a 
very curious place. We also brought back a number of rabbits differing, 
it was suggested, in some respects from the common type. We were asked 
to save, for a scientific friend, some of the skins under that impression, 
with a hint of Darwin in the distance. The request, however, was made 
too late, all the skins having been unfortunately sold or thrown away by the 
hotel cook. Besides the rabbits, we started, though without securing, a 
guinea-hen, which, if wild, as seemed to be the case, must have drifted 
from the coast of Africa, or perhaps from one of the smaller Canary 
Islands. They used, I believe, a certain number of years ago, to abound in 
Teneriffe and the Grand Canary, though I could hear nothing of them there 
now. On landing, you have to climb up some 800 or 1,000 feet, till you 
reach the top of the cliff, when you find that the rocks suddenly open out, 
forming all down the centre of the island a deep wedge-like valley, the 
sloping sides of which are clothed with rough grass. The theory of the 
neighbouring- fishermen is that this hollow was the mould in which the 
second-sized island, a mere cluster of jagged rocks, was originally formed 
that at some unknown period it was raised from its place by volcanic 
fires underneath and cast upon the neighbouring sea, leaving its original 
birth-home as we now find it. (The great Caldera or Cauldron in 
the island of Palma, a gulf of enormous depth, has the same theory 
applied to it on a larger scale by the Spanish fishermen of the Canaries ; 
no less a potentate than the Peak of Teneriffe having been flung, as 
they tell us, out of that abyss into its present position.) 

Through the middle of this dell a stream runs in the rainy season, 
but at the end of April there were only stones and gravel to mark its 
course. This island contains, in the way of vegetation, a patch or two of 
stunted pines (the Pinus maritima mentioned above), a certain quantity of 
gorse, a good deal of coarse grass, and a few oats. In the way of animal 
life, there are plenty of rabbits differing perhaps, as I have said, in some 
respects from the common English rabbit which are visible, and a pro- 
blematical herd of goats, which are quite invisible to the naked eye, or 
even to the eye reinforced by a telescope. A zealous entomologist, or 
arachnologist, if he prefers that title, may also go over, in the hope of 
encountering a gigantic spider, whose bite is said to be sometimes fatal ; 
indeed, if he be a real enthusiast in his vocation, he is bound to under- 
take the trip, as there is no chance of his getting bitten by the creature 



336 A GOSSIP ABOUT MADEIRA: 

anywhere else. The shepherds or goat-herds or orchil-gatherers who 
establish themselves in this out-of-the-way place from time to time, if they 
wish to communicate quickly with Madeira have no other means of 
doing so than by lighting explanatory fires one, I believe, if they want 
water, two for an illness, three for a death, and so on. I do not know 
that I have anything further to say about the Desertas, except that the 
expedition takes at least the whole of a long day, and that as the sea 
breaks roughly on their outlying points, you are not unlikely to get a 
ducking either when you land or as you depart. 

On April 9 we started at night in a boat called the Coanza for 
Teneriffe. Our starting there was unlucky in two respects. First, we had 
to pass a couple of nights on board. The captain foresaw that he must, 
anyhow, arrive too late in the evening to have his vessel cleared at 
once ; hence he grew economical over his coals, and kept the vessel at 
half- speed ; we were, therefore, thirty-six hours on our passage instead of 
twenty- four. We also missed seeing the Peak of Teneriffe rise gradually 
out of the sea, as it was dark before we got near the island. The 
situation of Santa Cruz, the principal town, is striking, but ugly ; as 
you come into the bay, or roadstead rather, a. long range of hills 
stretches seawards on your right. These hills, which may be from 1,500 
to 1,800 feet in height, are grim volcanic ridges, tortured into all sorts of 
uncomfortable shapes by the subterranean fire which has lifted them 
up. They are, as I have said, thoroughly ugly, barren as death, and 
wearing a malignant scowl, as if they were meditating some mischief 
in secret ; nor, indeed, is this unlikely, as experienced geologists expect 
the next Teneriffe eruption, whenever it happens, to break forth in 
these quarters. On the left the shore is flat, with a range of mountains 
nearly parallel to it, some distance inland. Far away to the east the 
heights of Gran Canaria are occasionally visible, but this depends en- 
tirely on the state of the atmosphere. "We saw them only once (though 
they were then perfectly distinct) during our stay at Santa Cruz. This 
town of Santa Cruz, though less populous, is cleaner and altogether a 
better kind of city than Funchal ; the streets are more level, wider, and 
better paved, so that you can walk about it without being entangled in 
unsavoury lanes, or slipping upon greasy basaltic pebbles. There is also 
an excellent carriage-road, and carriages are easy to hire. Hence you do 
not feel cooped up or cabined in as is the case in Madeira. The country 
round Santa Cruz is arid, with hardly any vegetation. The one thing 
that strikes you at first is the assemblage of cochineal cactuses, all dressed 
in linen greatcoats ; this practice, which gives the plants a most peculiar 
appearance, is resorted to in order to prevent the insects, when they 
reach maturity, from tumbling about and getting lost. Some years ago 
this cochineal trade was a very prosperous one, but of late years so 
many new dyes and chemical processes have been discovered that it has 
experienced a check ; these dyes are much cheaper than the one pro- 
duced from the cactus, and to a great extent have driven it out of the 



THE DESERTAS AND TENERIFFE. 337 

market. The Teneriffe vines have also suffered, like those of Madeira, 
from the onset of the Phylloxera vastatrix, so that there is at present, I 
understand, much distress in the country. The land is cultivated on 
the system of half-profits, the farmer finding the seed, &c., and sharing 
the produce with the owner of the estate. This tenure, I believe, is a 
common one throughout the southern countries of Europe, and answers, 
I dare say, as well as most others. On leaving Santa Cruz, the first 
orthodox expedition is through Laguna, the old capital of Teneriffe, to 
Orotava. Orotava (there are two towns in the district so called, the 
upper town, or vila, and the port) is the most fertile and beautiful part of 
Teneriffe. The vale of Orotava, as they call it though it is rather a 
long slope from the Peak of Teneriffe and its adjoining mountains than 
a real vale is very rich in corn, and abounds in fruit-trees of various 
descriptions, particularly a fine species of plum. But rich and fruitful 
as the valley is, it is hardly equal in beauty to many parts of Madeira, 
so that, more than once, we rather regretted having taken the trouble to 
steam over. The Peak of Teneriffe itself is somewhat disappointing : 
it is not exceptionally lofty, as is Mont Blanc ; it is not sublime like the 
Matterhorn, or beautiful with the beauty of the Jungfrau. At the 
same time it has, I acknowledge, certain merits of its own ; in the first 
place, as you look upwards at it from the coast, it shows for its full 
height, which is not a common merit in high mountains ; secondly, being 
at the time of our visit heavily coated with snow, it contrasted very 
effectively with the long rollers of the Atlantic, glittering in the sun- 
shine as they broke tumultuously along the rough beach of Orotava, 
under the influence of a keen northerly gale ; and, thirdly, though not 
of extraordinary height, absolutely considered, it is still so much higher 
than any of the adjacent ridges that it does assert for itself a kind 
of kingly pre-eminence over the vassal hills that surround it ; they are 
all unquestionably mere feudatories of their legitimate sovereign the 
Peak. Talking of the Atlantic rollers, we observed here a very beau- 
tiful and unusual effect of colour among them ; the wind, as I have 
said, blew strongly on shore, so that the sea kept pouring in huge 
purple masses, to break with great violence upon the Orotava rocks. 
Always, however, as each wave was in the act of turning over, and just 
before it was beaten into foam, the sunlight caught it sideways, and 
changed the lower half from purple into a lovely emerald green. This 
happened over and over again, as a matter of course, and we stood there 
watching the effect with very great delight, till the spray, dashing over 
the pier with the incoming tide, gave us broad hints to be oft'. 

Orotava was, I need hardly say, the place where the famous dragon- 
tree of Teneriffe nourished through so many centuries. Its age has been 
differently estimated by different botanists, but by none, I believe, at 
less than six thousand years. Humboldt, I fancy, when he saw it at 
the beginning of the century, some fifty years before its final destruction, 
assigned to it an existence even longer than that. He considered it, at 

VOL. XLII. xo. 249. 17. 



338 A GOSSIP ABOUT MADEIRA: 

any rate, as probably the oldest tree, the oldest form of organic life, we 
may say, to be found in any part of the globe. It was blown down on 
January 3, 1862, in a tremendous hurricane, which lasted for several 
days, and a mad peasant woman set fire to the trunk after it had been 
prostrated, so that, in Scripture phrase, " the place thereof knoweth it 
no more." As this tree has been imaginatively identified on grounds 
that are really not unplausible with the legend of Hercules of the 
golden apples and of the islands of the blest, it must, on the lowest 
computation, have reache'd a green old age before the son of Alcmena, 
some three thousand years ago, sat down under its hideous branches 
(there are few things more hideous than a dragon-tree) and sucked the 
first oranges recorded in history. All the facts connected with Hercules 
tend to prove that he was of a tough and rugged constitution, which 
was lucky for him ; had he been a thin-skinned hero like the divine 
Achilles, he would certainly, after killing the dragon of Teneriffe, have 
run away from its mosquitoes (for they bite most venomously), in which 
case the Canaries would hardly have taken rank as the islands of the 
blest. One observation of the great German savant strikes me as a 
very funny one. He finds a tree in Teneriffe which, according to him, 
is the oldest tree in the world ; "but," says he, " it is not a native of 
the island ;" and, therefore, in prehistoric times, the Guanches, or original 
inhabitants, must have had some connection with India. It does not, of 
course, follow that the oldest tree was also the first tree in the world ; 
but still, in the absence of an older, one would suppose it to belong to 
the place where it grew, and I must opine that if the man's name had 
been O'Humboldt instead of Humboldt, and he had come from Mayo 
instead of Berlin, his remark would have been treated as a bull. 

Another interesting sight to be seen in Orotava is its famous 
botanical garden. This garden was established in the beginning of the 
century, a few years before Humboldt visited the place ; it was estab- 
lished, in the first instance, with the following object. An ingenious 
native of the island discovered that Teneriffe was so happily situated in 
point of latitude, and so happily endowed in point of climate, that most 
known plants would grow in it somewhere or other. This gentleman, there- 
fore, conceived the idea of making his native country a kind of half-way 
house between the Tropics and Europe ; he sought, accordingly, to collect 
in his gardens the most valuable trees and shrubs from all parts, to 
teach them to bear an increase or diminution of heat, and then to intro- 
duce them northwards or southwards, as the case might be, thus enrich- 
ing the world at large. Nature, however, will not be dictated to ; she 
requires to be coaxed, and the experiment failed. The garden, however, 
remains, and is full of flourishing trees and shrubs from every quarter. 
The sandal-tree, with its fragrant golden blossoms, the Ficus imperialis, 
with its strange fruit growing directly out of the trunk, and fine 
varieties of palm, are among the choicest productions of the domain; 
after all, however, these exotics must yield the post of honour to a 



THE DESEETAS AND TENERIFFE. 339 

native pine, the " Pinus Canariemis" This pine is now, I believe, 
somewhat rare in Teneriffe, but it still grows abundantly on the Palma 
Hills, and also, I am told, on those of the Grand Canary. It is a slow- 
growing tree, I admit, but offers to the planter one of the most valuable 
woods to be found anywhere a wood which I should much like to see 
introduced into some of our colonies. Monsieur Villepred, the intelligent 
and obliging curator of the gardens, spoke of it with the utmost en- 
thusiasm ; and, indeed, in all the old churches and all the old houses 
round about the wood was there to speak for itself. It is of a fine 
texture, deep yellow in colour, very hard and heavy, and, so to speak, 
absolutely indestructible, seeing that it remains as fresh and firm as the 
day it was first laid down in buildings four or five hundred years old, the 
masonry of which had crumbled, or was rapidly crumbling, into ruins. 
It also possesses, according to Monsieur Villepred, the rare faculty of 
growing up anew from the root after having been cut down. This tree 
might, one would think, improve St. Helena, which is on the road between 
Teneriffe and Africa ; and if the replanting of Cyprus (I beg pardon 
for using a word so calculated to excite angry passions) be judged 
desirable, Cyprus is a mountainous country like Teneriffe, Cyprus has 
a hot and dry climate like Teneriffe, and might be more congenial to 
the tree I speak of than the moist and relaxing air of Madeira, which has 
not been supposed to suit it. At any rate, if I were Jungle- vizier, as 
some Oriental once called the First Commissioner of Woods and Forests, 
I would hunt high and low for proper places till I found a home for the 
Pinus Canariensis in our dominions. 

The only other landscape in Teneriffe to which I shall refer is the 
laurel forest of Laguna. These evergreen laurel forests (and they, too, 
as tending to create and sustain permanent springs of water, might be 
made useful in Cyprus or elsewhere) covered at one time much larger 
spaces in Teneriffe and the Canaries than they do now. Still, however, 
they are scarcely to be seen elsewhere, and are beautiful in themselves. 
The hills behind Laguna spread out in a sort of semicircle for several 
miles, rising perhaps 1,500 feet above the level of the town, which is 
itself some 2,000 feet higher than Santa Cruz. This semicircle is entirely 
filled, from, top to bottom, with forest, and the forest is mainly composed 
of laurels. These laurels are of four different kinds, the Laurus Canari- 
ensis, the Laurus Til, the Laurus Indica, and the 'Lrurus Barbusana. 
Naturally they have all something of the same aspect and character still 
there is a sufficient difference in their leaves and manner of growth to 
make a grateful variety ; and if that were not enough, they are intermixed 
with myrtles, and also with an abundant growth of the tree-heather a 
fine shrub about the size of a tall holly. This tree-heather is covered in 
due season with white and purple blossoms, but was naturally bare of 
them in April. The wood is also full of attractive ferns, nor were cine- 
rarias and ranunculuses wanting at our feet to add to the charm of the 
place, so that we spent some pleasant hours there, obtaining at the same 

172 



340 A GOSSIP ABOUT MADEIRA J 

time the finest view of the Peak we had yet seen. To my short-sighted 
eyes (and for certain remote effects, such as those of a starry night, of a 
Gothic interior in the twilight, or of a distant range of mountains, I am 
not sure that short-sight is a disadvantage) the flood of mist encircling 
the lower half of the mountain, fringed as it was with a white edging of 
more definite cloud, looked like a real sea, and the snow-topped conical 
hill above it gave one the idea of a solitary volcano rising sheer out of 
waves which were breaking in foam round its base. After this we saw 
nothing in Teneriffe worth recording, and were glad to return to 
Madeira by the Corisco. Our passage was not a comfortable one ; nor 
was it improved by our having to take in tow a vessel belonging to the 
well-known firm of Lamport and Holt. She had broken her screw, 
and been drifting about for ten days before she fell in with us. It was 
well that she did so, as when we found her she was perfectly helpless. I 
wish I could add that this comparatively harmless accident was the only 
mishap which has taken place of late in those seas, but the loss of the 
American, and the arrival of some of the wrecked passengers in a state 
of temporary destitution, immediately followed our return to Madeira, 
and since then the Senegal, with other passengers from the same ship, 
picked up by her in the open Atlantic, has had to be run ashore at 
Palma, leaving two boats of the American still, as I write, unaccounted 
for. God grant that they may have been fallen in with by some ship 
that has not yet been able to communicate with England. 

I have attached to this paper a list of trees and shrubs belonging to 
Madeira, written out for me by Dr. Grabham. It will, I am sure, interest 
many of your readers. To Dr. Grabham, Mr. Addison, the resident 
chaplain at Madeira, Mr. and Mrs. Dundas, .of Tenerifle, and others who 
welcomed me with the utmost kindness and did their best to make my 
enforced absence from England as agreeable as possible, I can only return 
my warmest thanks. 

THE MORE PROMINENT INDIGENOUS PLANTS OF MADEIRA. 

The Til (Laurus foetens), gigantic tree, black, beautifully grained 
wood ; growing equally well on the mountains and at sea level. 

The Laurel (Laurus Canariensis), found everywhere, filling whole 
valleys, fragrant like L. nobilis, constituting mainly the Madeira forests. 

Earbusana (Laurus Barbusana). Large trees found scattered amongst 
the former. 

Vinhatico (Persea Indica). Magnificent tree with spreading foliage, 
red in autumn ; yields an excellent mahogany, like Honduras m., but 
wavy and close-grained. 

The above are the lauraceous plants ; but amongst them are : 

An Ilex (Ilex Perado), a beautiful holly with grand berries, and a still 
commoner ilex. 

Here and there, chiefly in gardens, the dragon-tree and a beautiful 
juniper, Juniperus oxycedrvx, formerly attaining great size. The last- 



THE DESERTAS AND TENERIFPE. 341 

named and the yew, Taxus baccata, are the only indigenous Conifers. 
Occasionally, in dense forests, the Portugal so-called laurel Cerasus 
Lusitanica, not less in stature than our loftiest English elms, covered in 
June with unspeakable profusion of flowers. 

Also now and then a native Pittosporum, P. coriaceum, with creamy 
white, most fragrant flowers. 

Then whole districts of bilberry, only slightly different from the 
European form. 

Amongst all the foregoing one or two heaths, Erica arborea, especi- 
ally remarkable for the large tree it becomes in damp places. 

One of the loveliest native trees is Clethra arborea, the Portuguese 
Folhado, an ericaceous plant of laurel-like growth ; singularly but 
completely absent from the other Atlantic islands, and peculiar to 
Madeira though sometimes cultivated in England as the lily of the 
valley tree with masses of fragrant blossom. 

Another ericaceous plant, the arbutus of our English gardens, is 
common in. Madeira. 

Also to be mentioned, as found on edges of almost all cliffs, a peculiar 
Madeira stock, a myrtle, a dwarf jasmine, J. odoratissimum, Echium 
fastuosum, with large blue spikes of flowers. 

Persea gratissima is the alligator pear, equally at home with P. 
Indica, and spreading fast. 

Likewise the custard apple, yielding abundant fruit, is becoming ex- 
ceedingly common. 

Coffee grows freely, though much damaged by Lecanium hesperidum. 

Magnolias of gigantic size in almost every garden. 

The magnoliaceous tulip-tree, Liriodaidron tulipifera, a huge tree in 
Dr. Grabham's garden, said to have been planted by Captain Cook. 

Cape silver-tree, Leucodendron, with remarkable foliage, here and 
there in mountain districts. 



342 



(A SKETCH FEOM LIFE.) 



I USED at one time to live in a quiet London street and in a corner house, 
the windows of which exactly faced a tolerably well-frequented crossing. 
It is amusing to look out from a first-floor window and watch a crossing 
and the people who pass over it. There is a good deal of what it is the 
fashion to call human comedy always going forward there, and a man 
may look on quite as safe from observation as if he were a spectator at a 
real play in the stage box of a theatre. The crossers look up the street 
and down for coming carriages, or to the ground to pick their way between 
the two little swept-up walls of mud on each side of them ; or they hurry 
on to pass the sweeper without a tip, while he keeps just in front of them, 
executing a rapid pantomimic re-sweeping of the already well-swept path. 
The sweeper at my crossing is a very good one as sweepers go. He is 
not a fair-weather worker, and sticks to his post even in rain and snow. 
He happens to be an old friend of mine, and was, as I well remember, 
the smartest trooper in my company. Since then, things have altered 
for the worse with both of us. He lost a leg in action, and retired on a 
pension. I retired, too, with both legs, but with gout badly in one of 
them. His face has got terribly weather-beaten, and his hair grey. 
Mine has not yet whitened permanently, but my complexion is warmer 
than it used to be, and my tailor pads my coats and waistcoats without 

any express orders from me. 

I don't like to see an old soldier on the streets and doing what is little 

better than begging his bread touching his hat all the day long to all 

comers, and getting coppers half in charity from morning till night. It 

is derogatory. 

" Phil," I said to him one day, " a soldier who has followed the 

Queen's colours into action might do better than this." 

" Jineral !" he replied, " I like my freedom, and the trade is a good 

trade." 

I could have got him entered in the Corps of Commissionaires, or tried 

for a porter's place for him somewhere, for the man is sober and honest ; 

but he preferred his own work and his own way. 

My outlook upon Phil Kegan's crossing was the occasion of my once 

seeing out a little bit of that same human comedy I was talking about. 

It hardly amounts to a story, but it made me laugh at the time. I have 

never mentioned the thing till this moment. 

When I left my old regiment I left in it a young fellow who had just 



TWO BEGGAKS. 343 

joined, and who had brought good introduetions to me. I did not see 
my way to do more for him than give him plenty of good advice, all of 
which he required, and none of which he profited by. I told him that if 
he kept four hunters on 5002. a year and his pay he must inevitably come 
to grief. That guinea pool with better players than himself, heavy books 
on a dozen sporting events in the twelve months, and some three or four 
other pleasant vices, would help rapidly to the same result. He thanked 
me, went his own way, and very soon came to the grief I had anticipated. 
He was sold up, after a military career of only four or five years. A 
good-humoured fellow, and every one was sorry for him. He had never 
done anything approaching to skady, but met the onslaught of his justly 
exasperated creditors like a man not running under bare poles for 
Boulogne harbour, as so many gentlemen in distress do, but making 
complete shipwreck of his fortunes like an honest man. He never left 
the country at all, but added one more to that legion of extraordinary 
beings who have nothing to do, who pass ten months of the year in 
London, and who live well, dress well, and look happy on absolutely 
nothing at all. He waited for something to turn up, and he waited in 
vain. I don't think there was a prison governorship, or the post of chief 
constable anywhere, or an inspectorship of almost any kind vacant during 
ten years that Frank Boldero did not apply for. He always made good 
running, too, and never, as he used to tell us, lost by more than a neck ; 
but he did lose, and remained a highly ornamental member of the afore- 
said legion of the unemployed and the penniless. 

Boldero and I have always been good friends. I still give him good 
advice ; he still smokes my cigars. He is the only man I know who 
ventures to walk up to a particular drawer, open a particular box, and 
take out a Cabana of a particular brand without leave. There is a placid 
impertinence about the proceeding and about Boldero generally which 
rather takes me, though I am supposed to be rather a short-tempered 
man. 

" Confound your impertinence, sir," I say, when I have watched him 
through this performance. 

Boldero half smokes through his cigar sometimes, before he answers 
me, after a good look at the white ash, and waving the cigar slowly under 
his nose to catch the aroma, " General, don't run out of this brand ; I 
like it." 

One sees at once the sort of man Boldero is a lazy, imperturbable kind 
of fellow, who takes all that comes to him as his right ; never did a day's 
work at anything since he was at school, and lectures every one all round 
on their duties. That is the most trying thing about Boldero. He never 
does a thing himself, and wonders why his neighbours work no harder. 
" Hang the fellow ! "Why doesn't he stick to his work 1 " I have heard 
him say of some barrister or literary man with his hands as full of 
business as they can hold. 

If I did not know Boldero personally, and any one described him to 



344 TWO BEGGAKS. 

me exactly as he is told me what his life had been and how he had 
wasted it ; how he had had good chances and thrown them away ; a fair 
fortune and lost that ; and now how he went on coolly laying down the 
law for other people I should be indignant at the thought that such an 
idle, good-for-nothing impostor should cumber the earth. But the truth 
is, it is rather difficult not to like the man. His manner is on his side ; he 
has a queer way of keeping up a pleasant smile on his face while he talks, 
while he is uttering some signal impertinence probably, and it makes it 
quite impossible to be offended with him, or to take him up as he de- 
serves to be. 

" Why did you retire, General," he said to me one day. " Eh ? " 

" Because I chose," I growl out. 

But Boldero is not to be snubbed. 

" But you had no business to choose. Your duty was to stay. 
Who is to lead us if we have to fight the Russians \ " All this with a 
sweet smile. 

I groan. 

" You should have heard what a lot of us were saying yesterday at 
the Club. All the fellows agreed that you were the right man." 

" Confound them all for a set of asses." 

He shakes his head, and his smile still lingers on his face. Never 
in my life have I come across such a mixture of amiability and im- 
pertinence. 

One rainy day in November, Boldero and I were looking out of the 
window together. He was waiting to keep one of his numerous appoint- 
ments with ministers and other people high in office. There was an 
inspectorship vacant, and he was looking after it. Phil Kegan was 
working double tides that day in the cold sleet and drizzle, running back- 
wards and forwards with every well-dressed foot passenger, touching his 
hat innumerable times, escorting old ladies and children, waving back cabs 
and carriages from his charges sweeping, talking, bowing, all at once. 

" Look at that poor devil," said Boldero, " begging for his bread, 
it's an infernal life, eh ? " 

" It's his own choice after all." 

" Some fellows won't do an honest hard day's work if you pay them 
for it." 

" Hang it all ! The work's hard enough and honest enough." 

" Well, I don't know about hard, but it's begging." 

" I tell you what, Boldero," I say, a little out of patience with him, 
" it may be begging ; but that fellow, Phil, has done more real work in 
the ten minutes we have looked at him than you have since I knew you." 

Boldero smiled and shook his head. He never takes in this sort of 
personal argument ; and presently he borrowed an umbrella and walked 
off to keep his appointment. 

I watched him over the crossing. I saw him stop in the rain (with 
my umbrella over his head) and talk to Phil Kegan as he very often did, 



TWO BEGGAKS. 345 

for the man had been his servant in the regiment ; but he did not, as he 
generally did, tip him. On the contrary, he buttoned up his great coat 
rather ostentatiously, shaking his head the while. I guessed that poor 
Phil was getting a lecture on his duties. 

In about two hours Boldero came back. He had told me he would 
look in to say how he got on. I never saw him so " down " before. He 
slided into an arm-chair in a very limp attitude without a word, and his 
hat slided, too, in a dejected way to the back of his head. 

" Well ? " I asked. 

" Lost by a head again ; and the very place I wanted comfortable, 
fair pay, a house, coals and candles, very little work none to speak of. 
Damn it all ! Isn't it enough to make a man swear ? " 

There was no smiling about Boldero this time. Then he told me how 
it had happened. 

" The old fellow, you know, is sort of uncle by marriage, so I could 
speak pretty freely to him. I told him this made about the fifth in- 
spectorship I had asked him or his predecessor for. ' 'Pon my soul,' I 
said to him, ' it's too bad ;' but he didn't seem to see it. What claims 
had I got, he wanted to know, more than that I was always asking, 
and my friends were always asking for me. ' Well,' I said, ' what more 
do you want ? Doesn't Lord Button ask it as a special favour ? The 
Button influence is good influence, surely ? ' But he talked about my 
being an untried man. I might be fit; I might not be. Then there was 
Chub in the lists among others. Chub had worked all his life in that 
line. How could he refuse Chub ? Chub knew all about the work. 
There was no doubt about Chub's fitness. If he refused Chub there 
would be an outcry." 

" Look here, Frank, old man," I said, interrupting him, " this won't 
do, you know. They don't mean to give you anything. Why should 
they 1 What's the good of talking about the Button influence ? Things 
are not managed that way now. Lord Button doesn't carry half-a-dozen 
boroughs about in his pocket as his grandfather did. I know a bigger 
man than Lord Button, who tried at everything for his favourite nephew, 
a goodish man, too, and had to fall back upon a club secretaryship for 
him at last. If you want to turn an honest penny, Frank, you must 
work for it, and work hard." 

Boldero groaned, and collapsed still further into his chair. " You make 
my blood run cold," he said. 

" It's no good praying and begging for a good place and nothing to do. 
You won't get it, and you'll only feel mean. There's the press on the 
watch, and public opinion. Jobbery and nepotism and all that are gone 
things in these days." 

" You bet they're not ! " said Boldero, rousing up a little. 
" Frank, my boy, there's just one chance for you emigration. Scrape 
together what you have left, go to New Zealand, and join your brother 
there. They tell me he is making his pile." 

175 



346 TWO BEGGAES. 

Boldero only shook his head. I was really sorry for him. He seemed 
so completely knocked over. 

" Got any of those bitters left ? " he asked, when I had finished my 
lecture. " I think I want a pick-up." 

I rang for a glass of sherry bitters. Boldero rose from his chair, and 
sauntered half-mechanically towards the drawer with the box of particular 
Cabanas, took one, lit it, and walked listlessly towards the window. We 
looked out together. The rain had stopped ; the wind had got up. It 
was a cheerless day. Phil Kegan had turned up his collar, and looked 
miserable. Still he worked on with a will. 

" Poor devil !" said Boldero ; " but he doesn't know what it is to have 
nothing to do and nothing to look to. It's a nasty feeling that, General." 

Wayfarers were getting scarcer. We watched an old lady with a 
pug come over the crossing ; a stout old gentleman with a gold-headed 
cane ; a fishmonger's man with a tray of whitings ; a telegraph boy who 
rang at my door. 

My servant presently came in with the bitters and a telegram on a 
tray. The telegram was for Boldero. 

" Boy came on from your club, sir," the man said, as he handed Boldero 
the telegram and wineglass together. 

He took the glass first and drank slowly and critically. 

" What bitters are those, General, eh ? " 

" Chiretta." 

" I thought so. It's the best tonic going. Take a glass three times 
a day before meals. It'll wind you up like a clock. I shall try it myself, 
I think. I am just one peg low." 

" Try quinine," I suggested. 

He put his glass down, and took up the yellow telegram envelope. 

" Some lie from the stables," he said, opening it contemptuously. " If 
it is a good thing, what's the use when a man can't swim to it ? " 

"Halloo ! I say, General, what's this ? ' Chub ' I say, by Jove ! 
Look here, ' Chub has declined. I offer the post to you.' " 

We simply looked at each other and laughed. Why do men always 
laugh in this inane way, I wonder, when they are pleased ? I was un- 
commonly glad, I must say, and Boldero looked happy. It seemed to 
pick him up a good deal more than the bitters. I shook hands with him, 
and hit him on the back as one does on these occasions. He did not say 
much, but I could see that a vision of the good house, the easy work, the 
coal and candles, was passing pleasantly through his mind. 

" It suits me, you know," he said presently, with great seriousness. 
" By Jove, sir, it suits me down to the ground." 

Presently Boldero went off, but he came back before he got to the 
bottom of the stairs. 

" I say, General, will you lend me a sov.?" 

I gave him a sovereign. It made either the twenty-sixth or the 
twenty-seventh. 



TWO BEGGARS. 347 

" I say, you haven't got an old great coat for Phil Kegan, have you ] 
He must be frightfully cold out there, you know." 

" No, I give all my things to my own man." 

" Good-bye, old fellow," and he disappeared. 

I had the curiosity to watch him as he left. I saw him slip my 
sovereign into Phil Regan's hand. I know it was not a shilling, for I 
saw the colour of the gold. 

Certainly there is a rudimentary conscience about Frank Boldero, and 
he is not half a bad fellow at heart. 

JOHN DANGEBFIELD. 



348 



j&esnm Sifte 0f 



To Jerome Cardan, the celebrated physician, mathematician and astrologer, 
posterity is indebted for one remark at least in which he appears to have 
sacrificed a familiar truth to an ambition of epigrammatic exactitude. 
In his Treatise on Wisdom the Milan doctor tells us that the wise 
man is happy, and the happy man wise. Both parts of this apophthegm 
seem equally open to exception. The former indeed is contradicted not 
only by scriptural authority, but by his own example. Solomon, or the 
Alexandrian Jew, or whoever wrote the Book of Ecclesiastes, found 
much wisdom to be much grief, and laid it down as a general proposition 
that he who increases knowledge increases sorrow. The most cursory 
examination of Cardan's biography will show this first of astrologers to 
have been himself the victim, mainly in consequence of his learned 
labour, of slander and conspiracy, of poverty and imprisonment, of insult 
and exile. Surely at last must he have learnt of the familiar demon, by 
whom the enlightened public of his time supposed him ever attended, 
that erudition is a thing not to be desired by him who has it not, while 
be who has it should regard it as a jewel purchased at a great price, and 
only to be preserved with constant care and danger. 

From the time of Homer, if we may believe in his existence, to that 
of Chatterton from the days of the old vagrant, blind, and a beggar, to 
those of the indigent and afflicted poet who poisoned himself before he 
was eighteen with a dose of arsenic, history has never been at a loss 
for examples of the calamities of a learned life. Numerous as the leaves 
iu Vallombrosa's plain are the names of the men who have found much 
study something more than a weariness of the flesh. Are they not 
written in the books of the Chronicles of Valerian and Cornelius Tollius, 
of Gabriel Naude and Isaac Disraeli 1 Ancients and moderns, poets, 
philosophers, orators and historians, over and over again their weep- 
ing ghosts are summoned to warn us of the evils attached to a literary 
life. We learn that Pythagoras was burnt or starved, that Empedocles 
cast himself into ^Etna, or was taken up into heaven like Enoch, or 
translated alive like Elijah without any warning; that Euripides was 
torn to pieces by dogs or women set on him by the envy of his rivals ; 
that Aristotle, il maestro di color che sanno, drowned himself in the Euri- 
pus, owing to his inability to explain the causes of its currents ; that De- 
mosthenes drank poison in order to escape slavery ; that Lucretius was 
maddened by a love potion of Hippomanes administered by a too devoted 
wife ; that Tully had his head cut off; that Seneca and Lucan died from 
excessive self-inflicted phlebotomy, and that Terence when a young man 



THE SEAMY SIDE OF LETTERS. 349 

pined away from grief at a loss by sea of his Translations of Menander. 
Such men as these are the coryphaei of old, the moons of literature ; how 
many of the lesser lights have untimely died, blown out by the rude 
gusts of circumstance 1 What a fry of literary folk has perished by fire 
or famine, poison or the sword, whose meaner names are all 1 too numerous 
to be enrolled in Libitina's records of the famous dead ! Nor are modem 
writers a whit more lucky. The ordeal of flame, the mighty purifier of 
books and men in the middle ages, has burnt more than Savonarola and 
Urban Grandier ; suicide seduced more than Carey and Creech ; madness 
befooled more than Collins and Cowper ; imprisonment fettered more 
than Davenant and De Foe. The innumerous victims of poverty and 
her family in every age among the herd of learned moderns, those who 
have fought with famine and wrestled with disease, and contended with 
insult, show, whatever Dryden may have supposed to the contrary, that 
it has never been enough for any one age to have " neglected its Mr. Cow- 
ley and starved its Mr. Butler." He who runs may read of the leanness 
of Edmund Castell, and of the rats that battened on his Polyglot Bible ; 
of Robert Greene, who was only saved by a chance charity from starva- 
tion in the public street ; of Simon Ockley, dating his letters from Cam- 
bridge Castle, where he was confined for debt ; and of Sale, the well- 
known translator of the Kuran, borrowing alternately a shilling and a 
shirt. Many more than Toland have found philosophy an unprofitable 
study ; many more than Churchyard poetry barren of reward. Toland, 
the English Lope in fertility of production, and a greater than Lope in 
variety of talent, died, we are told, in the utmost distress in a room he 
rented of a poor carpenter at Putney. Tom Churchyard, Spenser's Palse- 
mon, singing until he grew hoarse while alive, made little money by it, 
but when dead pointed an excellent moral in the following ragged rhyme 
which composed his epitaph 

Poverty and poetry his tomb doth enclose ; 
Wherefore, good neighbours, be merry in prose. 

Those afflicted with poverty among the learned are not so scarce that 
Dr. Johnson need have coupled, in his two instances in the Vanity of 
Human Wishes, Lydiat with Galileo. Lydiat was a man so little known 
that the printers seem to have substituted Lydia, and we read in the 
Gentleman's Magazine of a correspondent asking for information about 
Lydia's life. The allusion to this learned scholar was, according to Dis- 
raeli, a matter of mystery to Boswell himself. Poverty is, indeed, so 
common a colour in the patchwork of woes which is often the only coat 
of the wise for themselves not wise, that it may be considered the rule 
rather than the exception of their lives, and has been, therefore, not in- 
congruously called Learning's Sister. 

Besides the greater evils of suicide and exile, poverty and imprison- 
ment, sorrows worthy of the tragic buskin, we read of the exposition of 
authors to the minor miseries of injustice, mockery, and contempt. Their 



350 THE SEAMY SIDE OF LETTEES. 

works are admired, but they themselves are dishonoured. When they ask 
for bread, they are presented after some little indignant delay with a stone. 
Mellow fruits are offered to their manes, but they themselves dine on 
bitter herbs. An ungrateful public, careless as the revellers of ancient 
Egypt, worships the gods, while the gaunt god-makers are spurned from 
their marble thresholds. To these unhappy ones fortune behaves, we are 
told, like a terrible stepmother, and when not engaged in preparing for 
them a potion of lurid aconite, assiduously persecutes them with the 
arrows of calumny and abuse. Such are a few of the misfortunes of the 
learned which books record. But in these things, as in all others, how 
difficult it is to ascertain the truth ! There is disagreement even in 
books. Aristotle, for instance, according to some of these, so far from 
committing suicide in despair of ascertaining the cause of the currents of 
the Euripus, died of a chronic disorder in his stomach ; and our tears are 
scarcely dried from off our faces after reading in one volume how the 
hungry Otway choked himself with the first bite of a penny roll a cir- 
cumstance which, for some reason, as mysterious as his ultimate employ- 
ment of orange peel, Dr. Johnson was unwilling to mention when we 
read in another, on the authority of Dr. Doran, that he was killed by a 
cup of cold water, injudiciously drunk by him when overheated. Pope 
says the poet died of a fever occasioned by his exertions in the pursuit of 
a thief. And yet another version of the story declares, with at least 
equal likelihood of unequal politeness, that Otway was not the pursuer 
but the pursued. 

The deaths of literary men have often met with a poetical treatment, 
in which such discordant accounts are given by various artists as 
remind the perplexed reader of the series of contradictory circum- 
stances represented as attendant upon the funeral of Dryden. To take 
a single instance. French and Italian histories of men of letters owe no 
trifling debt to Goldsmith for some information about authors of their 
respective nations of which they appear to have been grossly igno- 
rant. In his Citizen of the World he informs his readers that Vaugelas 
was surnamed the Owl from his being obliged to keep in all day and 
daring to venture 'out only at night, through fear of his creditors, and 
that he was exceptionally honest enough to order his body to be sold 
for their benefit. He is represented as saying, " If I could not while 
living, at least when dead I may be useful." Not a word of all this 
appears in the best French Biographies. Equally oblivious have Italian 
editors been of Bentivoglio's ultimate mishap. " Bentivoglio, poor Ben- 
tivoglio ! " so mourns the man of whom, says Macaiilay, strict veracity 
was never one of the virtues, chiefly demands our pity. The author 
whose comedies, we'are informed, will last with the Italian language, dis- 
sipated, according to honest Goldsmith, whom Boswell loved to hear talk- 
ing away carelessly, a noble fortune in acts of charity and benevolence ; 
but, falling into misery in his old age, was refused admittance into a hos- 
pital which he himself had erected. 



THE SEAMY SIDE OF LETTEES. 351 

What, however, Goldsmith says concerning the circumstances of the 
death of Frangois Cassandre, the translator of Aristotle's Rhetoric, seems to 
be generally supported. Cassandre was Boileau's Damon, the great author 
who amused for so long both town and country, but at last, tired of losing 
in rhyming both his labour and his means of living, of borrowing every- 
where and earning nought, without clothes, money, or resources, made his 
exit overwhelmed with misery. The deathbed scenes of such men as Vol- 
taire and Payne are not invariably drawn in the same way. The philo- 
sophic version represents them passing quietly in contemplative repose ; in 
the religious tract they utter wild cries for a clergyman, and end their 
infidel existence in raging convulsions of unutterable horror and remorse. 
Many a literary sceptic has been stuck up in the garden of the true be- 
liever as a theological scarecrow or Aunt Sally who died, it may be, with 
more placidity than the most pious and orthodox of Christians. There are 
those who believe that the Earl of Rochester did not use his last breath in 
denouncing Hobbes' philosophy. Even the expiring exclamation of Pitt is 
considered a fable by Macaulay. The affecting " my country ! " is 
relegated by that historian to the region of Grub-street elegies and after- 
dinner speeches, prize declamations arid Academic poems. The li ves no 
less than the deaths of men of letters have been embroidered by the hand 
of the artist. Their fame has brought into bold relief such evils as are 
to no class of men exclusively peculiar. The motes of dust which are 
universal are seen most distinctly in the sunbeam. 

" Toil, envy, want, the patron and the gaol," including the "garret," 
for which the "patron" was substituted by Johnson as a delicate compli- 
ment to Chesterfield, assail other lives than that of the scholar. These 
ills are unhappily not confined to men of letters. They are of the 
thousand shocks to which all human flesh is heir. They are the com- 
mon calamities to which the universal race of man is born. It is not 
the author alone who is subject to defamation. Other labourers than 
those in the field of letters, as worthy or worthier, are defrauded of their 
hire. Disease and despair are the lot of fools as well as of philosophers. 
There is no reason, because a man has written a book, that he should be 
exempt any more than the peer and the peasant, the king and the cob- 
bler, from ache, penury, imprisonment, and other whips and scorns of 
time, or be released