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JULY, 1863 OCTOBER, 1863, 




VOL. cxvm. 





32 SoCT^ GC5 l^/y'-r-^ 

8^J 53 XL f/S^--;. 

CONTENTS OTf No. 241, 

Art. I. — 1. Memorials and Letters illastrative of the Life and 
Times of John Graham^ of Claverhouse, Viscount 
Dundee. By Mark Napier. 3 vols. 8vo. Edin- 
burgh: 1859-62. 

2. The Case for the Crown in re the Wigton Martyrs 
proved to be Myths verstts Wodrow and Lord 
Macaulay, Patrick the Pedler and Principal Tulloch. 
By Mark Napier. Edinburgh: 1863, . . . 1 

II — 1. The Druids Illustrated. By the Rev. John B. 
Pratt^M.A. Edinburgh: 1861. 

2. Brut y Tywysogion, or the Chronicle of the 
Princes. Edited by the Rev. John Williams ab 
Ithel, M.A. Published by tbe authority of the 
Lords Commissioners • of tier Majesty's Treasury 

. under the direction- of ih& Master of the Bolls. 
London: 1860. 

3. The Celtic Druids; or an Attempt to show that 
the Druids were the Priests of Oriental Colonies 
who' emigrated from India, and were the Introducers 
of the First or Cadmeian System of Letters and the 
Builders of Stonehenge, Qamac, and other Cyclopean 
Works in Asia and Europe. By Godfrey Higgins, 
Esq. 4to. London: 1829, 40 

in. — History of .the Modern Styles of Architecture: being 
a Sequel to the Handbook of Architecture. By 
James Fergusson, Fellow of the Royal Institute of 
British Architects. London : 1862, . . , . 71 

ly. — 1. Histoire de la Revolution FranQaise. Par M. Louis 
Blanc 12 vols. Paris : 1847-62. 

2. Histoire de la Terreur, 1792-4, d'apr^s des docu- 
mens authentiques et in^dits. Par M. Mortimer- 
Temauz, 2 vols. Paris: 1862, . . • .101 

Y. — A Dialogue on the Best Form of Government. By 
the Right Honourable Sir Geoige Cornewall Lewis, 
Bart., M.P. London: 1863, . . .138 

VI.-— 1. Les Marines de la France et de TAngletexre. Par 
M. Xavier Raymond. Paris: 1863. 



2. Iron-clad sea-going Shield Ships. A Lecture de- 
livered on the 25th March, 1863, at the Bojal 
United Service Institution, by Captain Cowper 
Phipps Coles, B.N. London, .... 166 

YII. — 1. Memoirs communicated to the Bojal Geographical 
Society, June 22nd, 1863. By Captain Speke. 

2. Anniversary Address, May 25th, 1863. By Sir 
Roderick Impey Murchison, SLC.B., President of 
the Royal Geographical Society. 

3. Papers communicated to the Ethnological Society, 
June 30th, 1863. By Captain Augustus Grant, . 207 

YIII. — 1. Les Ecossais en France, les Fran9ais en £cosse. Par 
Francisque-MicheL 2 vols. 8vo. Londres : 1862* 

2. Papiers d'Etat relatifs h THistoire de TBcosse an 
16"^ Si^de ; tir& des Biblioth^ques et des Archives 
de France, et public pour le Bannatyne Club 
d'Edimbourg. 3 vols. 4to. Paris. 

3. Papers relative to the Royal Guard of Scottish 
Archers in France. (From Original Documents.) 
jMnted at Edinburgh for the MaiUand Club. 1 voL 
4to. 1835, 230 

IX. — 1. The Greological Evidences of the Antiquity of Man, 
with Remarks on Theories of the Origin of Species 
by Variation. By Sir Charles LyeU, F.R.S., &c 
8vo. 1863. 

2. Antiquity Celtiques et Ant^dilnviennes. Par 
M. Boucher de Perthes. 8vo. Paris. YoL 1. 1847. 
VoL IL 1857. 

3. Machoire humaine d6couverte k Abbeville dans 
un terrain non r^mani^ ; Note de M. Boucher de 
Perthes, pr^nt^ par M. de Quatrefages (Comptes 
Rendus de TAcademie des Sciences^ 20 AvrU, 

4. Note 8ur I'authenticit^ de la d^converte d*nne 
machoire humaine et de b&ches de silex dans le 
ternun diluvien de Moulin Quignon. Par M. Milne- 
Edwards (Comptes Rendus, 18 Mai 1863). 

5. On the Occurrence of Flint Implements, asso- 
ciated with the Remains of Animals of Extinct 
Species, &c By Joseph Prestwich, Esq., F.R.S. 
(Philosophical TVansactions, 1860.) 

6. Prehistoric Man, Researches into the Origin of 
Civilization in the Old and New World. By Daniel 
Wilson, LL.D. 8vo. 2 vols. 1862, . . .254 



Abt.L — 1. Queensland— a highly eligible Field for Emigra- 
tion, and the future Cotton-field of Great Britain. 
By John Dunmore Lang, D.D.y Representatiye of 
the Ci^ of Sydney in the Parliament of New South 
Wales. London: 1861. 

2. Fugh's Queensland Almanac, Directory, and Law- 
Calendar for 1863. Brisbane : 1862. 

8. Statistical Begister of Queensland for the years 
1860-61-62. Compiled in the Office of the 
Registrar-Greneral. Brisbane : 1861-62-^, • . 305 

II. — Greschichte der Stadt Bom im Mittelalter, vom 
fiinften Jahrhundert bis zum sechzehnten Jahrhun- 
dert Von Ferdinand Gr^orovius. Vols. L — IV. 
Stuttgart : 1859—1862, 342 

IIL — 1. Account of the Principal Triangulation of Gieat 
Britain. London: 1858. 

2. Extension of the Triangulation of the Ordnance 
Survey into France and Belgium. By Colonel Sir 
Henry James, B.E. F.B.S. London : 1862. 

3. An Account of the Operations carried on for Ac- 
complishing a Trigonometrical Surrey of England 
and Wales ; from the Commencement, in the x ear 
1784, to the End of the Year 1794. By Captain 
William Hndge and Mr. Isaac Dalby. London : 1799. 

4. Report of the Select Committee on the Cadastral 
Surrey, ordered by the House of Commons to be 
printed. 1862 378 

IV-— The Life of Henry St John, Viscount Bolingbroke, 
. Secretary of State in the Reign pf Queen Anne. 
By Thomas Macknight London : 1863, . • 404 

^V.— 1. Lectures on Jurisprudence ; being the Sequel to 
* The Province of Jurisprudence Determined.' To 
which are added Notes and Fragments, now first 
published from the Original Manuscripts. By the 
late John Austin, Esq., of the Liner Temple, Bar- 
rister-at-Law. Two vols. 8vo. London : 1863. 
2. On the Uses of the Study of Jurisprudence* By 
the late John Austin, Esq., of the Inner Temple, 
Barrister-at-Law. Reprinted from the Third 
Volume of * Lectures on Jurisprudence.' London : 
1863, 439 

VX — 1. The History of the Royal Academy of Arts from 
its Foundation in 1768 to the Present Time, With 


Biographical Notices of all iU Members. By 
WiUiam Sandbj. Iq tw^o volumes. London : 1862. 

2. Report from the Council of the Royal Academy to 
the Greneral Assembly of Academicians. 1860. 

3. Report of the Royal Commission appointed to 
enquire into the Present Position of the Royal 
Academy in relation to the i^lne Arts, together with 
Minutes of Evidence, ftc. Pk'esented to ^th Houses 

of Pariiament by command of Her Majesty. 1863, . 483 

YII.— -1. Travels in Peru and India, while superintending 
the Collection of Chinchona Plants and Seeds in 

South America, and their Introduction into India* 

By Clements R. Markham, F.S.A^ F.B.6.S. 1862. 

2. Notes on the Propiagation and Cultivation of the 
Medical Chinchonas or Peruvian Bark Trees. 
(Printed and published by order of the Government 
of Madras.) By William Graham M^vor. Madras: 

3. Two Letters from W. G. M'lvor, Esq., to J. D. 
Km, Esq., Secretary to Grovemment. Madras: 

4» Report on the Bark and Leaves of Chinchona 
Socciraba, grown in India. By J. E. Howard, Esq. 

5. Memorandum on the Indigenous Cotton Plant of 
the Coast of Peru, and on the Proposed Introduction 
of its Cultivation into India. By Clements R. 
Markham, Esq. 1862. 

6. Memorandum by Dr. Wight on the bitroduction of 
the Cottxm Plants of the Peruvian Coast Valleys into 
the Madras Presidency. 1863, • • . .507 

YIII. — EListory of England during the Reign of George the 
Third. By John GeOTge Phillimore. London: 
1868, 523 

EL — Tara: A Mahratta Tale. By Captain Meadows 
Taylor. Author of ' The Confessions of a Thug.* 
3 vols. Edinburgh : 1863, 542 

Report of the Incorporated Society for the Pro- 
pagation of the Gospd in Foreign Parts. 1863. 

2. I)ocuments relative to the Erection and Endowment 
of additional Bishoprics in the Colonies, with an 
Historical Preface. By the Rev. Ernest Hawkins. 
Fourth Edition. 1855. 

8. Judgment of the Lords of the Judicial Committee of 
the rrivj Council on the Appeal of the Rev. W. 
Long V. the Right Rev. Robert Gray, D.D., Bishop 
of Cape Town, from the Supreme Court of the Cape 
of Good Hope. 1863, 552 



JULY, 1863. 

jyo' ccxiLi. 

Abt. I. — 1. Memorials and Letters illustrative of the Life and 
THmes of John Graham^ of Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee. 
By Mark Napier. 3 vols. 8vo. Edinburgh : 1859-62. 

2. TTie Case for the Crown in re the Wigton Martyrs proved to 
be Myths versus Wodrow and Lord Macaulai/y Patrick the 
Pedler and Principal Tulloch By Mark Napier. Edin- 
burgh: 1863. 

HPhb first volume of the * Memorials of the Viscount Dundee* 
was given to the public three years ago ; and as the two con- 
cluding volumes have appeared more recently, we have now the 
work before us as a whole, and are able to judge fairly of its 
merits. It is confessedly designed as a sequel to the author's 
* Life and Times of Montrose,' a compilation of a Protean kind, 
which appeared at different times under four different titles and 
as many different sizes, reminding us, by the ingenuity with 
which the same materiab were made to assume a great variety 
of shapes, of the transformations of the kaleidoscope. The two 
works embrace the fifty troublous years stretching from 1640 
to 1690, and they are designed not merely to clear the fame of 
the two Scotch Royalist leaders from the mists of prejudice and 
passion, but to throw a new light upon the history of events in 
Scotland prior to the Revolution. According to Mr. Napier, 
all previous histories of these times have been written wrong : 
Charles I. was a saintly martyr, Charles II. a perfect gentle- 
man, James 11. a good-natured, kindly man ; and the Cove- 
nanters, who were hunted, hanged, drawn, and quartered, got 


2 Napier's Memoriak of Claverhouse. July, 

only what they deserved. These opinions, conspicuous enough 
in die Life of Montrose^ are stated with double energy in me 
Memorials of Dundee ; and Mr. Napier, as we shall presently 
see, is at all times peculiarly energetic in his manner of speaking, 
excelling almost all living authors in his rich vocabulary of 
complimentary epithets. 

As Mr. Napier differs from all previous historians of these 
times regarding historic truth, ao does hedifier from all previous 
bookmakers in the art of making his book. He is eminently 
original in his manner as well as his matter. Order and arrange* 
ment he has evidently regarded as beneath the notice of a man 
who has brought forth old documents from charter chests, and 
published them for the first time to the world. His volumes are 
a chaos, without form and void. We can trace no plan in them'; 
and, in the midst of the confusion with which he envelopes us, 
it is only at distant intervals we can get a hold of the thread of 
his narrative. More than half of the first volume is devoted to 
lavish abuse of Wodrow, Lord Macaulay, and even Sir Walter 
Scott, which he speaks of as clearing the way for the advent of 
his hero in unclouded glory ; and when at last the history is 
begun, it is so often interrupted that the author may indulge 
his peculiar instincts, that it seems like a slender streiun of 
water slowly finding its way through waste land, and constantly 
hid from view by the useless sedges and thickets which grow 
upon its brink. He has no dread of redundancy or repetition. 
He will print the same letter three times at full length, and tell 
the same story half a dozen times, and allude to it again as many 
times more. It is thus that a life containing very few memorable 
incidents is swollen out into three volumes ; and it reqiiires a 
patience that will fag without hope of reward to read through 
them all. If we might venture to compare his method, or 
rather want of it, with that of any one else, it would be with 
Wodrow's, a writer whom he cordially hates, but whom he has 
nevertheless carefully studied ; and in doing so may have become 
infected with his faults, as a man may catch contagion from an 

But Mr. Napier has high pretensions as a historian. He ia 
no retailer of other men's goods, — no parrot repeating other 
men's tales, — no vendor of old fables, embellished and fitted for 
the modem market by a tinsel eloquence. He has dug for 
himself into the depths of antiquity, and disclosed its treasures^ 
He has ransacked the archives of noble families, where no 
meaner scribe would be allowed to enter, and brought hidden 
things to light Forty letters of Claverhouse has he rescued 
from oblivion* and from these, it is his proud boast, posterity will 

1863. Ni^ier's Memorieda of Claverhcuae. 3 

be able to judge of that hero by a truer test than what he calls^ 
in a striking aUiterative cUmax, ' the fanaticism of a Wodrow^ 

* the fancy of a Scott, or the ferocity of a Macaulay !' Nor let 
lis be 8o nnjnst as to deny to Mr. Napier the merit of research, 
although it will appear befcMre we have done with him that he has 
prodigiously overrated his own achievements. It is certain he 
has no lack of zeal for the cause to which he has devoted him- 
self. He evidently feels that he is engaged in a religious work. 
He evidently believes that he has a great mission to perform in 
setting the world right by showing that the bloody Claverhouse 
of tradition was the most humane of men, and that the Came- 
roniao^ whom he hunted on the hills, were ^ Thugs,' ^ assas- 

* nns,' ^ruffians,' and * wild cats.' He believes in his paradox, 
as thoroughly as the Covenanters believed in their covenant ; 
and we suppose that, like them, he would cheerfully die for it. 

The first portion of the Memorials ^f Dundee is taken from 
an unfinished MS., left by the late Mr. Charles Kirkpatrick 
Sharpe. This Mr. Sharpe was an Edinburgh celebrity in his 
day. He was a Ariend of Sir Walter Scott; fond of anti- 
quarian research; possessed of some wit; an ardent high- 
churchman and Tory, and regarded with proud disdain all 
Presbyterians and Whigs. Scott spoke of him, in compli- 
mentary fashion, as the Horace Walpole of Scotland. He 
took a curious way of showing his contempt for the Covenanters ; 
he carefully edited and published two high-flying covenanting 
manuscripts. The first was 'Kirktbn's Secret and True 

* History of the Church of Scotland ; ' and the other was 

* Law's Memorials of Memorable Things.' The text of these 
devout believers in Presbytery and the Covenant he illustrated 
by notes of his own ; and it is amusing, though not edifying, to 
read the sneers of the editor at what he conceives to be the 
fanaticism of his author. The note§ often display much out-of- 
Ae-way reading, but they are always designed to cast discredit 
on the historian, or to exhibit in a ridiculous light the heroes of 
the history. For scandalous stories he had an especial affection ; 
and every piece of filthy gossip retailed by the pamphleteers and 
libellers of the time in regard to the preachers and leading nobles 
of the kirk, he has piously preserved for the instruction of the 
readers of Kirkton and Law. Such a man was quite after Mr. 
Napier's own heart \ and as he had begun a Life of Claverhouse, 
but died, leaving rt in an unfinished state, the MS. is now printed 
and made to form the first part of the Memorials of Dundee. 
Having thus seen something regarding the composition of the 
book, we must now hasten on to examine its contents. 

John Graham, the subject of the * Memorials,' was born in the 

4 Nupier'fl Memoriah of Claverhotise. July, 

year 1643. According to the Scotch fashion, he was usually 
called by the name of his paternal property of ^ Claverhouse,' 
in Forfarshire, a designation which was sometimes abbreviated 
into Clavers. In 1665 he matriculated at St. Leonard's College, 
St Andrew's, where he probably picked up a little learning, but 
which he never afterwards turned to account. Sir Walter 
Scott, in criticising one of his letters, remarked that he spelled 
like a washerwoman ; and others have caught up and echoed the 
pointed expression. But the truth is, the rules of spelling were 
not fixed in Scotland in his time, and Claverhouse spelled 
neither better nor worse than his contemporaries. After finishing 
his university education, which appears to have been at an age 
much riper than was or is usual in Scotland, he repaired to 
France and served as a volunteer under the banners of the 
^ grand monarque.' France was the land to which Sicotch 
military adventurers had from time immemorial resorted to seek 
for glory and pay ; but in Germany and Holland a new field for 
enterprise had been recently opened up. William, Prince of 
Orange and Stadtholder of Holland, was at the head of the 
Dutch armies, and the young Scotchman probably thought that 
by his patronage he might obtain more rapid promotion than 
he could in Catholic France, no longer the ally of his native 
country. For this, or some other reason, he changed sides, 
passed from France into Holland, and managed to secure the 
place of a cornet in one of William's own troops of horse-guards. 
The battle of Seneff was fought two years afterwards, and there 
is a story, — though not very well authenticated, — that during 
the changing fortunes of that eventful day, the comet was the 
means of saving the Prince's liberty, if not his life. His 
charger had floundered in a bog, and in a few minutes more he 
would have been surrounded by the French cavalry, when 
Graham dismounted and brought him off on his own horse. 
Mr. Napier groans deeply over this incident in the opening 
career of his hero ; for, bad he only left the Dutch Stadtholder 
to perish in his marsh, there had been no revolution, — no 
claim of right to secure our liberties, — and we should still have 
been 'living under the benign sway of the Stuarts. *This 

* brave action,' says the biographer, * was performed in an evil 
^ hour for himself and his native monarchs. Had it not been for 
^ his luckless aid, the persecutor of his family, the evil genius of 

* the unfortunate James, the fiend of Glencoe, might have sunk 
^ innocuous and comparatively unknown in the depths of a 

* fiatavian marsh.' The cornet, as the story goes, received the 
command of a troop of horse for his gallantry ; but, presuming 
on the obligation under which he had laid the Prince, he shortly 

1863. Napier's MemoriaU of Claverhouse. 6 

afterwards solicited a regiment which had become yacani. The 
Prince pleaded a previous promise as an excuse for declining to 
grant the request ; but our ambitious cavalier thought himself 
slighted^ and left the service in disgust^ which, of course, gives 
occasion to his biographer to declaim f^inst Dutch ingratitude. 
In 1676, or 1677, he returned to his native country to seek for 
employment there. Let us glance at the state of Scotland at 
the period of his return. 

Scotland had never renounced, as England had, its allegiance 
to the Stuarts. On the death of Charles I. it proclaimed 
Charles II., and psdd for its loyalty by the disastrous defeats of 
Dunbar and Worcester. At the Restoration the rejoicinzs were 
as universal as they were insane. A day of thanksgiving was 
proclaimed, sermons were preached, barrels of ale and wine 
broached; and in rude fire-works Oliver Cromwell was seen 
pursued by the devil, to the immense delight of .the people. 
The new monarch wrote a letter to the Presbytery of Edinburgh 
promising to protect the Church established by law. The 
Presbytery enclosed the precious document in a silver shrine. 
The Earl of Lauderdale, who was known to have the royal 
confidence, wrote to an eminent minister, named Douglas, assur- 
ing him that no alteration was designed in the government of ' 
the Church, and that at the Sling's request he had already 
drawn up a proclamation for the calling of a General Assembly. 
It had been well if the King had kept by his pledged word, 
for if he had done so he would have preserved for ever the 
hearts of his Scottish subjects. And Presbytery now was 
different from what it had been twenty years before, when the 
Assembly domineered over the Parliament, insulted the King, 
and sent an army over the border to extirpate prelacy and sec- 
tarianism, according to the solemn l^gue and covenant The 
frenzy of these high-handed days was gone. The fever had 
consumed its own strength ; moderation of sentiment had re- 
turned; and had the Presbyterian clergy been preserved and 
fostered by the King's breath, if they did not become obsequious . 
they would at least have been loyaL 

But there were soon indications that this was not the policy 
of the Government. So soon as the monarch felt himself firmly 
seated on the English throne, he knew he might do with 
Scotland as he pleased, and in his heart he had no liking 
for Presbytery. The Marquis of Argyle and James Guthrie, 
an able but a somewhat violent Presbyterian minister, were sent 
to the scafibld, for causes which would have consigned the advo- 
cates who conducted their prosecution, the jury who tried them, 
the judges who condemned them, and indeed one half of the 

6 Napier's Memorials of Claverhouse. July, 

whole Jcingdom, to the eame fate* The Parliament passed the 
famous Becissory Act, and thus destroyed by one stroke of the 
pen the whole legislation of the last twenty years. That period 
was to be a blank in the history of the country — a desolation 
and a warning. This was followed by the restoration of Episco- 
pacy — a thing as hateful as Popery to the covenanted Scotchman 
of two centuries ago. Still the nation was weary of contention 
and longed for peace, and had a particle of moderation or 
coounon sense guided the counsels of the King, the change 
might have been effected without the State being convulsed. 
But it M'as resolved to make the ministers who had been inducted 
into their parishes during* the Commonwealth^ feel the yoke. 
They were required to seek presentation from the patrons, and 
institution from the bishops, under pain of the forfeiture of their 
benefices. They hesitated to comply with what seemed to them 
not only a personal humiliation but an open abandonment of 
their most cherished principles; and in consequence of this 
three hundred of them were driven from their manses, their 
livings, and their parishes. The whole west of Scotland^ had 
scarcely a single minister left The Koyal Commissioner, the 
Primate, and the Privy Council were themselves aghast at the 
ruin they had wrought 

It was not so easy to supply the vacancies which had been 
made. Bishop Burnet says that a hue and cry went out over 
all the country for ministers ; but at a period when the educated 
class was comparatively small, qualified ministers could not 
easily be found ; and in the hurry of filling so many pulpits, 
many men of low origin and no literature, and some of grossly 
immoral life, got access to- the church. Few of them were dis- 
tinguished for their piety or accomplishments, and the people 
contemptuously called tbism the bishops' curates. The seed was 
already sown which was to spring up and bear such bitter 
fruit The deed was done which was to deliver Scotland to 
the horrors of persecution and civil war. The people could not 
desert in their day of need the pastors whom they loved, and 
devoutly wait upon the ministrations of men who had unjustly 
supplanted them, and were in their eyes the representatives of 
tiie black prelacy which they had solemnly abjured in their 
covenimt with God, as an accursed thing. The ousted ministers 
secretly came into their parishes and held religious meetings in 
any convenient place they could procure — in a kitchen, a bson, 
or the hall of a gendeman's house. When no such place could 
be procured, they met on the hill-side. The people flocked in 
crowds to hear them ; they brou^t their children to them to be 
bq^tised ; they received from them the sacrament of the Holy 

1863. Napier's Memorials of Claverhouse, 7 

Sapper. The parish churches were deserted. This was the 
origin of the series of legislatiye Acts against conventicles, 
increasing in severity till it was made death to be present 
st one. 

One should think it would be difficult even to apologise for 
such barbarous legislation, but Mr. Napier is not abashed. He 
is ready to defend even greater horrors than this. It was, he 
Bays, a mere piece of legislative threatening — never meant to 
be carried into execution — a brutum fulmen. It is straoge 
to hear of the Parliament being in sport, erecting bugbears to 
frighten the people, passing Acts which they never intended 
to execute ; but it seems stranger still when we read these Acts 
by the light of the times, — when we read of the hundreds who 
were fined, imprisoned, outlawed, banished for contravening 
tfaem, till at last they were fairly goaded into rebellion, and 
dien the hangman came and did his office. It were insulting 
to the character of the Scotch to suppose that they could be thus 
oppressed and trampled on without being indignant. Their first 
outbreak ag^nst their oppressors took its rise in Gulloway, from 
pity for a poor man who was being maltreated by some soldiers 
fer not paying his church fines, and resulted in the rout and 
daughter of the Pentland Hills. Upwards of thirty executions 
followed the fight, striking terror and dismay into every district 
of Scotland. 

Such was the state of matters when Claverhouse returned 
from the wars to his native country. His country might be 
said to be in profound peace. No foreign foe was upon her 
borders. No schemes of conquest were revolved : but conven- 
ticles were increasing. The Presbyterian population persisted 
in loving their Presbyterian pastors, and wherever they preached 
they flocked to bear them. The flagitious Government of 
Lauderdale, a renegade from Presbytery and the Covenant, 
attempted to make the gentry responsible for their tenants, and, 
fiuling to manage this, let loose upon the western shires, where 
die PTesbyterian spirit was strongest, a horde of wild caterans 
from the highland hills. These, settling upon the richest 
districts of the country like a flight of locusts, left a wilderness 
where there was a garden. The barbarous experiment failed ; 
hundreds were ruined ; but conventicles were not put down, and 
another plan was resolved upon. Several troops of horse were 
raised, to be constantly employed in scouring the southern and 
western counties, levying fines, seizing outlaws, and above all in 
suppressing conventicles. Claverhouse managed to get the 
command of one of these troops, and now at last we find him 
in the field of his fame. 

8 Napier's Memorials of Claverhouse. July, 

We can partly trace his progress and see his heroic achieve- 
ments in some of his letters to the commander-in-chief, which 
have been preserved. ^ On Tuesday was eight days, and Sunday,' 
he writes, in December, 1678, * there were great field conven- 

* tides just by here, with great contempt of the regular clergy, 
' who complain extremely when I tell them I have no orders to 
'apprehend anybody for past misdemeanours.' In his next 
letter he narrates at length the great feat of having demolished 
a barn which had served for a meeting-house. In February fol- 
lowing, he is happy to be able to report that he had seized a 
number of prisoners. His notice of one is illustrative of the 
man and the times. ' The third brigadier I sent to seek the 

* wobster. He brought in his brother for him. Though he, may 

* be, cannot preach as his brother, I doubt not but he is as well 
' principled as he, therefore I thought it would be no great fault 
' to give him the trouble to go with the rest.' The next day he 
writes, * Mr. Welsh and others preach securely within twenty 
' or thirty miles off, but we can do nothing for want of spies.* 
Shortly afterwards he reports that he had seized several persons 
suspected of attending the conventicles, and then adds, to 
account for his failure in capturing yet others among whom 
was a lady, ' There is almost nobody lays in their bed that 
' knows themselves anyways guilty, within forty miles of us ; 
' and within a few days I shall be upon them three score of 
< miles off, at one bout, for seizing on the others contained in 

* the order.' Such was the commencement of the first campaign 
of this great cavalier of the Jacobites ; but this was child's play 
compared with what was to follow. 

As Claverhouse and his troops were specially commissioned 
and employed to put down conventicles, Mr. Napier thinks it 
necessary to say all he can in condemnation of these. He has 
devoted a long chapter to the subject, but, notwithstanding the 
great prolixity and virulence of his abuse, it is very difiicult to 
understand what he would have us to believe. He says the 
Government required the people of Scotland to frequent the 
parish church, not in testimony of their faith, but as a proof of 
their peaceable disposition and submission to the law of the 
land ; and hence obstinately to refuse to conform became a state 
crime, deserving the severest penalties. If we are not mistaken, 
Mr. Napier is himself a dissenter from the church established 
by law in his country — in fact an obstinate Nonconformist. 
Is this any reason why he should be regarded as wantin^^in 
submission to the law, and so fined, imprisoned, or shot ? But 
in the case of the Presbyterians, he argues, * it was not an 
' innocent and conscientious Nonconformity.' We apprehend 

1863. Napier's Memoriah of Claverhouse. 9 

that siinple Nonconformity, if innocent in one case, most be inno- 
cent in another ; if innocent in an Episcopalian mast he inno- 
cent in a Presbyterian ; and we think it impossible to read the 
history of those sad times without being convinced that though 
the Covenanters were fanatical, they were at least conscientious 
— ^perhaps only too sternly conscientious. But then they were 
traitors and firebrands who preached at these meetings — sowers 
of sedition, stirrers up of rebellion ! The men who preached at 
these meetings were simply the three hundred parish ministers 
who had been driven from their parishes because they could 
not bring themselves to seek anew institution from the prelates 
who had been thrust upon them, and there is no proof whatever 
that they preached sedition. We may freely allow, however, 
that they would not preach such loyal doctrines on the hill-side ' 
as they would have done in the parish church. But Mr. Napier 
has the authority of the State proclamations of the time for de- 
claring that these gatherings were the ' rendezvous of rebellion.* 
The only foundation for this widely trumpeted accusation is 
that after six or seven years of suffering, during which the 
Presbyterians saw their regions meetings dispersed by ruthless 
dragoons, their ministers compelled to skulk as outlaws among 
the hills, their best families ruined by exorbitant fines, hundreds 
of all classes imprisoned, banished, or hanged, they resolved to 
meet with arms in their hands to defend themselves in case of a 
surprise by the troops, which were constantly riding over 
mountain and moor in search of them. But it was only for 
defence that they armed themselves, or why seek the loneliest 
places for their meetings? why have so peaceably dispersed 
when their worship was done ? why have only twice come into 
serious collision with the military, and that when they were 
attacked amid the marshes of Drumdog and Airsmoss? In 
truth all Mr. Napier's reasons against conventicles are as absurd 
as the concluding one, though not so comical. Such pro- 
miscuous meetings, he says, were a great attraction to the sex, 
more especially as ladies of distinction were placed on high 
chairs in front of the crowd, which, he gravely observes, were 
just * towering thrones of female turbulence, fo)ly and vanity.' * 
The month of May 1679 was made memorable by the murder 
of Archbishop Sharp. The act was applauded by the few 
whom oppression had made mad, but condemned by the great 
bulk of the Presbyterians, although they regarded the murdered 
man as the Judas of their church. On Sunday, the first of 
June^ when Claverhouse was as usual scouring the moors in 

♦ Vol. ii. p. 37. 

10 Napier's Memorials of Claverhouse, JvAjy 

search of conyenticles, he suddenly came upon one, as he him- 
self tells us, ^ little to his advantf^e.' Worn out with his rapid 
flight from Drumclog, where he was shamefully beaten, the 
mortified hero sat down that night in Glasgow and wrote to his 
conunander-in-chief how the rogues sent their women and 
children to the rear, kept the ground manfully with fusils and 
pitchforks, brought a comet and captain quickly to the ground 
and many dragoons and guardsmen besides, ripped up the belly 
of his own sorrel horse so ^ that his guts hung out half an ell ; 
^ and yet,' says he, ' he carried me off a mile, which so dis- 
' counted our men that they sustained not the shock, but fell 
' into disorder' — from which it would appear that Oraham and 
his charger fled first, and that the odiers, beholding this, 
' followed pell-mell. The Battle of Bothwell Bridge rapidly 
followed* Claverhouse was present at the head of his troop 
of horse-guards. He took no part in the fight, but endea- 
voured to wipe out the di^race of Drumclc^ by sabering 
the fugitives, till ordered to desist from the butchery by the 
gentle Monmouth. 

But Bothwell was not over when the fanatical rabUe was 
dispersed and the slaughter stayed. Several large landed pro- 

Srietors had been present in arms against the Oovemment. 
?heir estates must be confiscated. Four or five thousand men 
had got safely off from the field ; they nuist be ferreted out in 
their homes or hiding-places and brought to justice. No betto 
man for such work than Claverhouse could be found ; and he 
was soon in the saddle ^ain hunting down the fugitives from 
law, who were now almost as plentiful as moorfowl on the 
western moorlands. But in doing the work of the master whom 
he served, he did not forget himself. Lord Maoaulay has 
charj?ed him with beinr rapadoui. Mr. Napier has vehemently 
denill it. but in makifg Z denid he has'famished the ptoo^ 
One of the largest estates confiscated was the barony of Fret^h 
in Galloway. Claverhouse obtained a grant of it from the 
Crown. He had been long employed in levying fines ; and the 
Lords of the Treasury complained to the King that they had 
never got any account of them. The King hinted the matter 
to him, and, like other guilty men, he dented he had a farthing 
to account for. Not content with what he bad already obtained, 
two years afterwards he writes to Queensberry begging that 
he ' would speak to the Duke, and represent the thing to the 
' Lords of the Treasury that he mighi have the gift of any that 
^ were not yet forfeited, that he could find probation agiunst.' A 
monstrous proposition for a public servant to make— he was to 
seize upon the estate so soon as he found sufficient proof to 

1863. Nufiei^B Memorials of Claverhouse. 11 

secure its forfeiture ! An excellent spur to diligence ! an ad- 
mirable incentive to justice I And Graham .was now not only 
a Captain of Horse^ but Sheriff of Dumfries, Kirkcudbright, and 
Wigton, — the law being joined to the sword, that he might 
make short woik with delinquents. . He must have known that 
the people believed he was growing rich by their plunder, for 
we find him on one occasion eiideavouring to persuade them 
that though &e fines had been doubled, he did not wish ' to 
^ enrich himself by their crimes.' But the full price for which 
lie had sold himself to despotism was not yet paid down. On 
the death of the Duke of Lauderdale, the ruin of his broths 
and heir was resolved on« He was accused of peculation as 
General of the Mint ; and Clav^ouse, forgetting former favomrs 
and friendship, and scenting the carrion from afar, was moving 
heaven and earth for a portion of the Lauderdale estates before 
any sentence of a court had been pronqpnoed. He ultimately 
obtained Dudhope, which lay conveniently near his paternal 
e^ate, together with some valuable heritable jarisdictions con- 
nected with Dundee. 

In the charter chest of the ducal house of Bnccleugh and 
Queensberry Mr. Napier found a number of letters addressed 
by Claverhouse to the Duke of Queensberry, who succeeded to 
the chief place of power in Scotland after the downfall of 
Lauderdale. Upon the discovery of these he sets prodigious 
store. The recovery of the lost decades of Livy.were nothing 
to it. Most of the letters are in truth worthless ; they tell 
us nothing which we did not know before ; but as Mr. Ki^ier 
dedares a hundred times that his hero is everywhere misrepre- 
sented by that ^ low*minded Dominie,' ' brutal calumniator,' and 
'idiot' Wodrow, who has been again repeated by the novelist 
Maoanlay, we shall read his doings in 1679 by the light which 
he has himself let in on them. 

* The country hereabouts,* he writes, 'is in great dread. Upon 
cor march yesterday, most men were fled, not knowing against whom 
we designed. . . The first ^hing I mean to do is to fall to work 
with all that have been in the rebellion, or accessory thereto, by 
giving men, money or arms; and next, resetters; and after that, 
field conv^iticles.' (Vol. ii. p. 260-1.) * I can catch nobody, they 
are all so alarmed.' (P. 263.) ' On Sunday last there was about 
dOO people at Kirkcudbright Church, some that for seven years had 
never been seen there, so that I do expect that within a short time I 
could bring two parts of three to the church. But when I have 
done, that is all to no purpose ; for we will be no sooner gone but 
in come their ministers, and all repent and fall back to their own 
ways.' * Here in ihe sHre I find the lairds all following the example 
cf a late greirt man, and stiil a considerable heritor among them 

12 Napier's Memorials of Claverhouse. Julj, 

[Lord Stair], which is to live regularly themselyesy but have dieir 
houses constant haunts of rebels and intercommuned persons, and 
have their children baptised by the same, and then lay the blame on 
their wives ; condemning them, and swearing they cannot help what 
is done in their absence. But I am resolved this jest shall pass no 
longer, as it is laughing and fooling the Government.' (P. 268.) 
* I sent out a party with my [^brgther Dave T] three nights ago. The 
first night he took Drunihui^ and one Inklellan, and that great villain 
McClorg, the smith at Minnigaff, that made all the Clikysy and af^er 
whom the forces have trotted so often. It cost me both pains and 
money to know how to find him. I am resolved to hang him.* 
(P. 270.) * This country now is in perfect peace. All who were in 
the rebellion are either seized, gone out of the country, or treating 
their peace ; and they have already so conformed, as to going to the 
church, that it is beyond my expectation. In Dumfries not -only 
almost all the men are come, but the women have given obedience ; 
and Irongray, Welsh's own parish, have for the most part con- 
formed; and so it is oirer all the country.' (P. 273.) * We are 
now come to read lists every Sunday after sermon of men and 

women, and we find few absent I have examined every 

man in the shire, and almost all the Stewartry of Galloway, and 
fixed such a guilt upon them, that they are absolutely in the King's 

After this we need not go either to Wodrow or Macaulay 
to learn the character of Claverhouse, and of the ruthless 
government which he served. What a melancholy picture do 
we get a glimpse of in these letters, and only a glimpse ; whole 
districts fleeing from their houses on the approach of the man 
whose name is yet mentioned in the same places with such deep 
detestation, husbands resorting to the subterfuge of blaming 
their wives for having their children baptised by Presbyterian 
ministers, ultimately the majority of the people dragooned into 
a sulky attendance at the parish church, and the captain of the 
troop, at the end of the service, calling the roll and marking the 
absentees. Even Mr. Napier appears to feel that this was no 
great work for a hero to do, and that he must have cut a very 
ridiculous figure in doing it, but jie consoles himself with the 
thought that the covenanted ladies, whom he had marched to 
church, could not bat turn away their eyes from the parson to 
admire his smart uniform and handsome face I- But for his zeal 
in this work, such as it was, he was made a colonel and a privy 
councillor, admitted to the confidential friendship of the King 
and the Duke of York, and enriched out of the wreck of the 
fortunes of Lauderdale by the house of Dudhope and the con- 
stabulary of Dundee. 

The author of the Memorials frequently speaks of the 
humanity of his hero, and the following extracts from his letters 

1863. Napier^s Memorials of Claverhouse. 13 

are the chief proofs which are produced in support of this newly- 
discovered feature in his character : — 

' I was going to have sent in the other prisoners ; but amongst 
them there is one Mr. Francis Irvine, an old and infirm man, who is 
extremely troubled with the gravel ; so that I will be forced to delay 
for ^yre or six days.' (Dumfries, April 2l8t, 1679.) *I hope your 
Lordship will pardon me that I have not sent in the prisoners that I 
have here. There is one of them that has been so tortured with the 
gravel it wets impossible to transport him. Besides expecting 
considerable orders, I had no mind to part with thirty or forty 
horses. And the Sunday's journey has a little jaded our horses.' 
(Dumfries, May 6th, 1679.) * We have already,' says Mr. Napier, 
' afforded a striking illustration of the disposition of bloody Clavers 
to care for the suffering poor. . . . And this sympathy, being the 
natural impulse of his disposition, he extended to every rebel prisoner 
under his charge, '' even a Whig," whose case seemed to require it.' 
(Vol i. p. 138-9.) 

Marvellous humanity ! Exquisite sympathy with suffering I 
This old infirm minister, a prisoner in the hands of Claverhouse, 
^ was so tortured with gravel that it was impossible to trans- 

* port him ' for some days, and besides, the horses were jaded, 
and could not be spared ; therefore our captain must have been 
a man of very fine feelings, caring even for his prisoners, and it 
may be added, still more for his beasts ! Surely such an old 
diseased man could not be very dangerous to the Government, 
but he was nevertheless despatched to Edinburgh, and from 
Edinburgh sent to the Boss Bock, there to die. The tender 
mercies of the wicked are cruel ! 

Among the most amusing things in the letters of Claverhouse 
are his frequent outbursts of wrath against the Presbyterian 

* wives.' They were the head and front of the offending, they 
seduced their husbands, they sheltered the outlaws, they were 
mad for their ministers, they could hardly be brought to church. 
But these outbursts arc rendered doubly amusing by the fact 
that the indignant dragoon was at last himself led captive by a 
covenanted maiden. Lady Jane Cochrane, a daughter of one of 
the leading Whig and Presbyterian families in the west of 
Scotland. The mother opposed the union of her daughter with 
the persecutor of her faith, and the lover thought it necessary 
to write the Duke of York that * neither love nor any other folly ' 
would seduce him from his loyalty. The marriage took place at 
Paisley ; and though the bridegroom protested that his bride 
was ^ well principled,' his connexion with the family of Dun- 
donald was afterwards made the pretext for excluding him from 
the Privy Council, as it was thought state secrets might be 

14 Napier's Memorials of Claverhoute. Jolj* 

wormed oat of him bj bis Presbjterian Deltlab« In justice 
to Claverbouse we can say that there was not the slightest 
symptoms of relenting after his marriage ; no female blandish- 
ments coold touch his hard hearty and on the very day of his 
nuptials he was in the saddle in search of a conventicle. 

in order to understand some of the events which are to 
follow, we must glance at the state of Scotland about the year 
1684. By fourteen years of cruel persecution the great bulk of 
the people had begun to exhibit an outward conformity with 
the bastard episcopacy which the King had determined by fire 
and sword to thrust upon the country. But there was a 
remnant whom no fear of torture and death could force into 
compliance. They were called * society people,' ^ Cameronians,' 
' wanderers,' ^ wild whigs.' Their principles were those of the 
Solemn League and Covenant, in their fullest extent, and burned 
into their souls by the persecutions they had endured. Th^ 
believed it to be their most sacred duty, to extirpate all forms of 
faith but their own, for theirs alone was divine. Even in their 
hour of greatest need they never weakly preached toleration, tor 
they regarded toleration as a deadly sin. The King must be a 
covenanted king; the whole nation must be a covenanted 
nation. For that they struggled, and for that they were willing 
to die. After years of oppression such as no people with a 
particle of spirit could tamely submit to, they published their 
famous Sanquhar Declaration, in which they solemnly renounced 
their allegiance to Charles Stuart as a perjured and apostate 
man. Four years later they published their Apologetic Declara- 
tion, in which they made it known that they would no longer 
allow themselves to be butchered in cold blood, but would visit 
upon all who took an active part in their persecution the just 
judgments of God. They had been driven to the wall, and now 
they stood at bay. About the same time two troopers who were 
quartered at Swine Abbey, and the curate of Carsphdm, were 
assassinated in their beds, by whom it was never known, but it 
was suspected that it was by some of the * wild whigs ; ' and it 
is only surprising that notwithstanding the unparalleled provo- 
cation the peasantry of Scotland had received, these three mur- 
ders, and that of the primate, are the only ones which can be 
laid to their charge. But the Declarations, emphasised -by these 
murders, created a universal alarm among the officials of the 
Government, and new severities were resorted to. An oath was 
framed solemnly abjuring the Apologetic Declaration; the 
military were empowered to administer it to whomsoever they 
pleased ; and if any refused to take it he was to be shot upon 
the spot, without further form of trial. 

1863.. Na[»er'8 MemoriaU of Claverhouse^ 15 

But, it may be said, did not tbe ctrcumstanoes warrant the 
aeveiily ? Was not the weet of Scotland in a state of chronic 
rebellion ? Were not the principles of these men BubTersiye of 
all society ? In answer to this it is enough to say that the 
peasantry of Scotland were eminently loyal till they were 
goaded to rebellion. We do not hesitate to affirm that after all 
they had endured they were right to torn upon their oppressors. 
We should ha^e despised them as unworthy of their country 
and their blood if they had continued to crouch and whine 
under the iron rod with which they were smitten. It is true 
their religion was not that of the New Testament ; but they 
were profoundly conscientious, though somewhat gloomy and 
fitnatioil ; and their very gloom and &natiobm were in a great 
OKasure the result of die wild life which they were compelled 
to lead, and the pitiAil suffidrings to which they ^vere exposed. 
They delighted to call themselves ^ the suffering remnant of the 
' anti-prelatical anti^Erastian, true Presbyterian Church of 
* Scotland.' Their c^nions r^arding civil and ecclesiastical 
Grovemment are undoubtedly ridiculous, but they were not 
dangerous ; this was shown by th^ condtict before the Restora- 
tion and after the Revolution ; and all history proves that men 
may hold opinions which they never dream of acting on. The 
members of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in Scotland hold 
the same opinions still, but the Queen has no more peaceful or 
dutiful subjects. 

It was while things were in the state we have described that 
two inddents occurred^ not worse than many others, but which 
httve been more frequently quoted as stamping perpetual 
in&my on the Government of James IL, who had now as- 
cended the throne. The first was that of John Brown of 
PriesthiU, who was shot by Claverhouse, at his own door and 
in presence of his child and pregnant wife, for refusing to take 
the Abjuration Oath ; ike second, that of the two women who 
were drowned in the Blednoch for the same ciime. If these 
stories were true — true as they were told — it was felt there 
could be no apology for such atrocities ; and accordingly recent 
Jaeobite scepticism has gone so far as to deny them both, and 
through this denial not only to throw discredit upon Wodrow 
and Macaulay who narrate them, but on the whole Scottish 
martyrology. We shall say very little regarding the first case^ 
as the world is now pretty well wearied of the controversy 
about John Brown, and as we discussed the case fiiUy in our 
concluding review of Lord Macaulay's History of Engltmd (Ed. 
Rev. No. ccxxzii., Oct. 1861), and showed that the letter pub- 
lished by Mr. Napier did not, notwithstanding all his vapouring. 

16 Napier'« Memorials of Claverhousc. July, 

contrndict the narrative which Macaulaj had ^yen. In a few 
sentences we shall simply refresh the memory of our readers, 
and enable them to have a full-length portrait of the man whom 
Mr. Napier delights to honour. 

Lord Macaulay relates that on May Ist, 1685, Brown ^was 

* cutting turf when he was seized by Claveriiouse's dragoons, 

* rapidly examined, convicted of nonconformity, and sentenced to 
^ death.' As the troopers, accustomed though they were to 
scenes of blood, hesitated to carry the sentence into execution 
before the wife and little one, Claverhousc himself raised a 
pistol and shot him dead while he was yet in the act of prayer. 
Such is the story as told by Macaulay ; but Professor Ay toun, in 
a note appended to his * Ijajb of the Scottish Cavaliers,' endea- 
voured to show that Claverhousc could not possibly be present 
in the district where this military murder was said to have been 
committed at the date specified, and therefore that the whole 
story must be a myth. Many people with whom the wish was 
father to the thought, were settling into this belief, when 
Mr. Napier discovered in the Queensberry Charter Chest a letter 
of Ciaverhouse, in which, under his own hand, he confessed the 
murder. This letter, appearing at this time, was as if Claver- 
housc himself had risen from the dead to proclaim before the world 
his blood-guiltiness. Nor does Claverhouse's own account of 
the murder essentially differ from that of Wodrow or Macaulay, 
though of course he softens some of its features, and says 
nothing about the pitiful accompaniments of wife and child, 
or of his having been his own executioner. To the Lord 
Treasurer Queensberry he writes that he had pursued a long 
way over the hill-mosses two unarmed men, and in the end had 
seized them. The elder, called John Brown, refused to take 
the Abjuration Oath, declined to swear that he would never rise 
in arms against the King, but said he knew no king. His house 
(to which he had been dragged), being searched, there were 
found some bullets and matches in it, and also some treasonable 
papers ; but what these papers were we are not told, and most 
probably they were a copy of the Covenant or of the Westmin- 
ster Confession. ' Upon which,' says Ciaverhouse, ' I caused 
' shoot him dead.' The younger man, a nephew of Brown's, 
agreed to take the oath, but would not swear he had not been 
at Newmills, where some prisoners had recently been rescued 
from the military ; and accordingly Ciaverhouse told him also to 
say his praye^^ and prepare for death. When the carabines 
were presented at his breast, be was told that if he would make 
an ingenuous confession his life might be spared. The poor 
youth, with death before his eyes, yielded to hb fears, and 

1863. Napier's Memorials of Claverhouse. 17 

declared that his uncle had been at Bothwell, and he himself at 
the rescue at Newmills. Such is Graham's own official account 
of tUs bloody affitir, and we appeal to any unprejudiced reader 
if his yerdon of the story is not quite as revolting as that of 
Wodrow or Macaulay. For no crime but refusing to take the 
Abjuration Oath he blew out the brains of the poor man at his 
own door, and was on the eve of murdering his nephew too ; 
and yet there are people enjoying the liberties which these men 
bought with their blood, who talk of this Claverhouse as a 
hero ! 

We turn now to the case of the Wigton martyrs, and we 
shall examine it with some minuteness, as Mr. Napier has fol- 
lowed up his ^ Memorials ' by a ^ercely controversial pamphlet 
on this matter, and as his assertion that this martyrdom is as 
l^endary as that of St. Ursula and her 11,000 virgins, has 
been the cause of much premature Jacobite jubilation. The 
story as told by contemporary writers, and stripped of the con- 
cretions which have grown upon it, as upon every tale of the kind, 
is shortly this : — In the year 1685, known in Scotland as the 
' killing time,' an aged widow, named Lauchlison or M'Lauch- 
lane, and a young girl named Wilson, were tried for noncon- 
formity and refusing to take the Abjuration Oath, and condemned 
to be downed, and they were drowned accordingly, tied to stakes 
fixed in the sand of the river Blednoch, where the tide of the 
Solway overflowed. It is admitted on all hands that they were 
tried and condemned, but it is now, after the lapse of nearly 
two centuries, maintained that they were pardoned, and not 
drowned. In order to understand the argument upon this 
simple issue we must trace the story from its beginning. 

On March 27th, 1685, a royal commission was issued by the 
Privy Council, appointing Colonel Douglas to be the King's 
justice in all tiie southern and western shires, and associating 
with him as assistant commissioners. Viscount Kenmure, Grier- 
son of Lagg ; Dunbar of Baldoon ; M'Culloch of Mireton ; 
and David Graham, Claverhouse's brother and substitute as 
sheriflf of Galloway. The most ample judicial powers were 
conferred upon the commission ; they might try persons for any 
crime connected with nonconformity, and inflict upon them 
any punishment known to tbelaw ; and, according to the law at 
this time, to attend a conventicle was a crime to be punished 
by death. This commission was ^ to endure in full force until 
^the 20th day of April next, unless the same be further pro- 
* longed or r^^led.' Among the instructions eiven to Colonel 
Douglas for the proper exercise of his justiciary powers, we 
find the following : — 


18 Napier's Memoriah of Claverhause. Joljf 

' If any person own the principles [of the *^ Cameronians,'* or 
<' wild whigs," who had published the Apologetic Declaration], or do 
not disown .tiiem, they must be judged at least bj three. And jou 
must immediatelj give them a libd, and the names of the inquest 
and witnesses, and thej being found guilty^ are to be hanged imme- 
diatelj in the place according to law. But at this time you are not 
to examine any women, but such as have been active in the said 
courses in a signal manner^ and these are to be drowned.' 

Mr. Kapiet is loud in his laudation of this instruction as 
showing the extremely humane maxims by which the Grovem- 
ment of James II. was actuated, more especially towards the 
gentler sex. While the men who had scruples of conscience 
about taking the oaths which the Government had framed were 
to t^e hanged ^ according to law,' that is, as he Is careful to 
explain to us, were to be hanged, drawn and quartered ; the 
women who were troubled with the like scruples, were merely 
to be drowned — a decent and agreeable kind of death (vol. 
iiL p. 450-1.; vol. ii. 59, 60.) to which none but the most un- 
reasonable would object ! Moreover, according to the instruct 
tions, only those women who had been active in their wicked 
courses, and that in a signal manner, were to be dismissed from 
the world in this pleasing manner,— upon which legal text we 
have the historical commentary that the two victims were a 
widow of seventy years of age, and a girl of eighteen. 

Before this royal commission, so constituted and instructed^ 
Margaret LauchUson and Margaret Wilson were brought to 
trial on the 13th of April, for nonconformity, for not disown- 
ing the Apologetical Declaration, and refusing the Oath of Abju- 
ration, and, being found guilty, were condenmed to death by 
drowning, although, as it turned out afterwards, the poor 
women did not know the nature of the oath, for refusing which 
they were to die.* They were now thrown into the gaol of 
Wigton to await their doom. When there the heroic fortitude 
which had sustained them at their trial forsook them, or per- 
haps some humane lawyer managed to persuade them that their 
scruples were needless, and the Oath of Abjuration was not such 

* The, records of the Justiciary Court held at Wilton have not 
been preserved, and we know its procedure only from the petition of 
Margaret Lauchlison, to be afterwards quoted. In this petition 
Margaret Lauchlison acknowledges that she was ^justly condemned ;' 
but it must be remembered the petition was written by a * notary 
' public,* who would employ the form of language ordinarily used in 
such circumstances; and that very probably the old woman, who 
' declared she could not write,' knew very Uttle of the contents of 
her petition.' 

1868. Napier's Memorials of Cktverhouse. . 19 

as they had fisuuned it to be ; at all events, they must have felt 
tiiat life was dear to them, and the fate whioh awaited them 
horrible to contemplate, for no Mr. Napier was there to tell 
them how much more pleasant it was to be drowned than to be 
hanged. Under some sudi circumstances as these the elder 
prisoner petitioned for her life. The petition has been pre- 
seryed, and is as follows : — 

* Unto his Grace, mj Lord High Commissioner, and remanent 
Lords of his Majesty's most Honourable Privy Coundl — The humble 
supplication of Margaret Lauchlison, now prisoner in the Tolbooth 
of Wigton. Sheweth : that^ whereas I being justly condemned to die 
hj the Lords Commissioners of EEis Majesty's most Honourable Priyy 
Council and Justiciary, in a court held at Wigton, the 13 th day of 
April instant, for my not disowning that traitorous Apologetical 
Declaration lately affixed at seversd parish churches within this 
kingdom, and my refusing the Oath of Abjuration of the same, 
which was occasioned by my not perusing the same ; and now I 
having considered the said Declaration, do acknowledge the same to 
be traitorous, and tends to nothing but rebellion and sedition, and 
to be quite contrary unto the written Word of God, and am content 
to abjure the same with my whole heart. May it therefore please 
your Grace, and remanent Lords, as said is, to take my case to your 
serious consideration, being about the age of three score years and ten, 
and to take pity and compassion on me, and recall the foresaid sentence 
so justly pronounced against me, and to grant warrant to any your 
Grace tbinks fit to administer the Oath of Abjuration to me, and upon 
my taking of it, to order my liberation; and your supplicant shall 
live hereafter a good and faithful subject in time coming, and shall 
frequent the ordinances, and live regularly, and give what other 
obedience your Grace and remanent Lords may prescribe thereanent ; 
and your petitioner shall ever pray.' 

Snch is the petition of Margaret Lauchlison : it is probable 
that Margaret Wilson, her companion in tribulation, may have 
petitioned, too ; but if so, her petition is not to be found. It 
will be observed that the petitioner states that she had refused 
to take the Abjuration Oath because she had never perused it, 
and was, therefore, ignorant of its contents ; and it b a matter 
of perfect certainty that the Cameronians in general — many of 
whom were very ignorant and bigoted — regarded ihe Test and 
Abjuration Oaths as tantamount to the abjuration of their faith 
and hopes for eternity. And there was some ground for their 
scmples. It is not quite plain that the Apologetic Declaration 
is contrary to the written Word of God, as this poor woman 
was forced to say that it was. It is not quite clear that 
men, when crushed by an intolerable tyranny, may not take 
arms into their hands and right their wroqgs. The truth is, 
the questions generally put to the peasantry were purposely 

20 . Napier's Memorials of Claverhouse. July* 

designed as traps. Do you renounce the Covenant ? — do you 
think the rising at Bothwell was rebellion? If any poor 
wretch thought that the rising (which ended in the disastrous 
defeat of Bothwell Bridge) was for Christ's crown and cove- 
nant, and therefore not rebellion, he paid for his faith by his life* 
Everyone remembers the laughable story in * Old Mortality,' 
where Cuddy Headriggs saved the life of his old deaf mother 
by shouting into her ear that it was the ' covenant of works' 
which the dragoons wished her to renounce^ and which she 
renounced most heartily, to the entire satisfaction of her mili- 
tary examiners, who were not very deeply read in theology. 
But it must be noted that Margaret Lauchlison had been con- 
demned for nonconformity as well as for refusing the Oath of 
Abjuration, for her pardon is made to depend upon her promise 
henceforward * to frequent the ordinances.' 

The petition, which would be regarded as a full recantation^ 
was followed by a reprieve for both the prisoners, dated at 
Edinburgh on the last day of April. It is as follows : — 

• The Lords of His Majesty's Privy Council do hereby reprieve the 
execution of the sentence of death pronounced by the Justices against 
Margaret Wilson and Margaret Lauchlison, until the ^»- day of 
■ And discharge the magistrates of Edinburgh for putting of 

the said sentence to execution against them until the foresaid day; 
and recommend the said Margaret Wilson and Margaret Lauchlison 
to the Lords Secretaries of State, to interpose with his most sacred 
Majesty for the royal remission to them.' 

A great deal of unnecessary fuss has been made about this 
reprieve as if it had now been discovered for the first time. 
Wodrow, as Mr. Napier is forced to confess, mentions it and 
quotes it almost verbatim^ and every reader of Scotch history 
was perfectly aware of it, before the author of the Memorials 
arose to instruct him. It is at this point, however, that opi- 
nion begins to diverge. Mr. Napier and his followers maintain 
that the reprieve was tantamount to a pardon, and that the 
women never were drowned : we shall follow the much more 
common opinion, and show that the reprieve was not a pardon 
and was never followed by one, and that the original sentenoe 
was carried into execution. Let us see the facts and arguments 
on the one side and on the other. 

Mr. Napier affirms that the reprieve was a virtual pardon ; 
but he does not prove this. No doubt, reprieves at that time^ 
as now, were frequentiy followed by pardons, but certwily 
not always. In 1688 the celebrated outiawed preacher, James 
Benwick, was condemned, reprieved, executed, just as these 
women were» for refusing to abjure the Declaration of which be 

1863. Napier^s Memorials of Claverhouse. 21 

was the author. He argues that the prisoners must have been 
removed from Wigton to Edinburgh, as it is the magfstrates 
of Edinburgh and not of Wigton who are discharged from 
putting the sentence into execution^ and that, therefore, they 
could not afterwards be drowned in the Solwaj. We cannot 
admit this conclusion. When the women petition they are still 
in Wigton gaol, and though it is difficult to imderstand why 
the magistrates of Edinburgh should be discharged from put- 
ting the sentence into execution, we must expect to meet with 
difficulties of this kind in regard to events which happened 
nearly two centuries ago. It is absurd to suppose that every- 
thing should be easily explicable. Edinburgh may be a clerical 
error for Wigton. Or, it is quite possible they may have been 
taken to Eidinbui^h when a pardon was expected, and sent 
back to Wiffton to be drowned when a pardon was denied. 
But it is mamtained that there was not time between the 30th 
of April and the 11th of May to have an answer to the Privy 
Coundl's application for mercy to the King. Certainly post^ 
oonununication was very different then from what it is now ; 
but it was quite possible to have an answer from London 
within less than tne twelve days referred to. The Govern- 
ment, at that period, kept up its commtmication with Scotland 
by what were called ' flying packets,' and these travelled from 
Edinbui^h to London in three or four days.* There is at 
least one instance of the journey having been performed on 
horseback, and by the same rider, from metropolis to metropolis 
in less than three days. The moment Queen Elizabeth expired 
early on the morning of Thursday, a young courtier jumped 
into the saddle, and he was in Holyrood Palace late on Satur- 
day night kneeling before James and saluting him King of 
England, France, and Ireland. After this it must not be pro- 
nounced impossible to have had, even then, an answer from 
London in eleven or twelve days. But though we maintain 
that this was possible, we think it far more likely that the 
answer was not waited for, and likeliest of all that the secre- 
taries of state never made the application for a pardon. It is a 
&ct that though many of those who were condenmed at this 
period were undoubtedly spared, only one or two pardons are 
recorded, from which we miiy infer that pardons were seldom 
obtained, and that the reprieved were thus kept in the mercy 

* We learn from Eushworth^s Collections, that in 1635 the Post- 
master of England was commanded ' to settle one running post, or 

* two, to run day and night between Edinburgh and London, to 

* go ihiiher and come back again in six days.* 

22 Napier^s Menwriab of Gaverhouse. J^Jy 

of tiie Govemment to be spared or executed as it afl;orward8 
ibongfat fit. As it 80 happens, however, three condemned men 
were pardoned in the verj year in question, and there is special 
mention of their pardon in the registers : and as there is no 
such notice regarding the Wigton martyrs, we may conclude 
that for them no pardon ever arrived. What more probable 
than that the women, who in a moment of weakness recanted 
their principles and begg^ for their lives, recovered their 
fortitude and resolved to die rather than renounce what appeared 
to them equivalent to their hopes of salvation? All martyr- 
ologies are full of such cases ; and it is very certain that if th^ 
did so lapse into their covenanting principles, the Govemment 
would find a way of having the judicial sentence passed against 
them carried into execution, notwithstanding the technical 
difficulties now raised up by legal subtlety. The executive of 
that day — of which almost every soldier in the service was an 
arm — did not stick at trifles. Why shonld they strain at a gnat 
while they swallowed a camel ? 

But Mr. Napier has still other grounds for his opinion* 
Lord Fountdnludl, a judge of the Court of Session, he tells us, 
kept a diary, in which he entered the most interesting events of 
his day ; and yet he never once alludes to this drowning of 
women in the Solway. The author of the Memorials must 
have been hard pushed for an argument when he resorted to 
diis one. Wigton was at that period so remote firom Edinburgh^ 
and communication so imperiect, that it is very possible the 
Lord of Session may never have heard of the martyrdom* 
Political murders were not so rare that every one of them was 
noised over the whole country. Is it maintained that we are to 
discredit every military and judicial execution but those which 
Fountiunhall has entered in his diary ? K so, we must disbe- 
lieve one half of those which are proved by evidence beyond 
suspicion. Fountainhall does not mention John Brown : are we 
to disbelieve that he was shot, though Claverhouse confesses tiie 
miurder in his own hand ? What would be thought of a man 
who should refuse to believe that Palmer was executed at Stafibrd 
because a gentleman living in Edinburgh had not entered tiie 
event in his diary ? 

But Mr. Napier has another negative witness — Sir George 
Mackenzie, of Bosehaugh, the Lord Advocate of Scotland at 
the time iJie execution is said to have taken placb. Li his 
^Vindication of the Government in Scotland, &c.,' published 
in London in 1691, he says : — ' There were indeed two women 

* executed, and but two in both these reigns [those of Charles 

* II. and James II.], and they were punished for most heinous 

1863. ^Swfk^^ Memorimk of Oiwerh&use. 23 

' cnmes^ vhick no sex ehould defend ' (p. 20.). It is eenendlj 
undciratood that Mackenzie here rrfers to Isabel Alison and 
Marion Harvey, who were hanged at Edinburgh in Jannarj, 
1681, and the 'most heinoos crimes' for which they were 
ezeeuted was simply confessing their Cameronian principles in 
presence of the ccMirt, though tiiey were also accusal of having 
given belter to some of thdr outlawed co-religionists; and, 
strange to say, Mr. Niqner- thinks they well deserved to be 
hanged* But it is necessary we should know something more 
of Sir €reorge Mackenzie and his pamphlet. 

Sir George Mackenzie was Advocate for Scotland during the 
latter part of the reign of Charles IL and the earlier part of the 
reign of James IL He was a highly accomplished and scholarly 
man, a fiiend of Dryden's, and regarded as one of the wits ef 
the day ; but he was a man of ungovemaUe temper and extreme 
royalist principles, and conducted the public prosecutions during 
the bloodiest part of the two reigns to which we have referred 
with sudi violence, that of all the public men in Scotland next 
to Ckverhouse himself, he was most hated and feared. After 
the Sevolution he retired to Oxford, but even there he felt he 
could not hide himself from the finger of detestation and scorn 
whidi was pointed at all who bad taken a part in the hideous 
misgovemment of Scotland for the last twenty years. In these 
dicumstanoee he resorted to the somewhat deq>erate exj^edient 
of attempting a vin(£cation of his Government and himself; 
but dying suddenly, his pamphlet was not published till three 
months iSter his death. It is written with all the address 
of a consummate special pleader; but we think we may 
r^eat of it now what was said of it at the time : — * Were 
^ tiiis gentleman's piq>er dtrictly canvassed, it might be justly 
' quesdoned whether there wa^ more lies or sentences in 
* it.' * * No man in Scotland,' says he, * ever suffered for 
'his rdigion,' — a startling statement! but no doubt justified 
by the Advocate on the ground that to attend a field preaching 
was a state crime; ev^i to think that it was allowable in 
certain drcumstanoes to take up arms against the Grovem-^ 
ment (an article in both our religious and political creed 
now) was a state crime, and therefore those who suffered for 
these things did not suffer for their faiilL * No man,' he proceeds 
to say, * was executed in his reign [that of Charles IL], who 
*woidd say " God bless the King," or acknowledge his authority.' 
What! would this simple prayer have saved the thirty-five men 

* A Vindication of the Presbyterians in Scotland, &c London: 

24 Napier's Memariak of Claverhouse. July, 

who were hanged immediately after tlie rout of Bullion Green ? 
— ^^ would it have saved the six men who were hanged immedi- 
ately after the rout of Bothwell ? — is there the shadow of a 
proof that it would have saved one of the hundreds who died 
under the hands of the executioner? * * Nor did there die upon 
^ any public account,' he proceeds, * twelve in all that reign so 

* excliumed against as bloody.' If Mackenzie here refers to the 
reign of James II. he may not be egregiously far from the truth ; 
for very soon after that monarch ascended the throne, he began 
to tolerate the Presbyterians, that he might have some plea for 
tolerating the Boman Catholics ; but if he refers to the far 
more bloody reign of Charles II., in which he played a far more 
conspicuous part, he is best answered by this statement in a 
paper attached to his pamphlet, and in fact forming a part of it. 
^ But to show the clemency of the Government, strangers would 
' be pleased to consider that though above two thousand had been 
' guUty of public rebellion, yet two hundred died not by the crim- 
'mal court' [of course this excludes all who perished by the 
military lynch-law of those melancholy times], 'and above one 
' hundred and fifty of these might have saved their lives by 

* saying ^* Gtod bless the Eing."' Two hundred is a very different 
figure from twelve, and besides it is here acknowledged that at 
least fifty of these could not have saved their lives by introducing 
royalty into their devotions. The recantation extorted from 
Margaret Lauchlison and embodied in her petition, is some- 
thing very different from merely saying * God bless the King.' 

After these specimens of the Advocate's accuracy, — and we 
might quote many others, — we will not put much stress upon 
his allegation that onlv two women suffered death during the 
reigns of Charles and James. After all, amid the two hundred 
executions which are acknowledged to have taken place. Sir 
George may have forgotten the two Wigton women, more 
especially as they were not tried by the Supreme Court, where 

* We are quite aware there are several instances mentioned by 
Fountainhall and other writers of persons being offered their lives if 
they would say — * God save the King.' But we are also aware that 
when this was complied with, as it was in some cases, other tests 
were used, in the form of such questions as this, * Do you renounce 
' the Covenant ?' 'Do you promise never to rise in arms against the 

* Government ? ' * Will you take the Abjuration Oath ?' And the scru- 
pulous Covenanter, who had prayed for the King, but could not give 
satisfactory answers to these interrogatories, found he had 'sold him- 

* self for nought' But do not such facts only make matters worse ? 
to hang poor people for their scruples ! to make their lives depend on 
their praying for the King I 

1863. Napier's Memoruds of Claverhouse. 25 

he acted as prosecutor, and were executed in a remote dbtrict of 
the country. If he did remember the case, we think he would 
be slow to confess and vindicate it in London, where his pamphlet 
was published. It is not many years since the Austrian General 
Haynau was mobbed and hooted and half-murdered by the 
brewers of London because it was said he had caused some 
women to be whipped ; surely there would have been men in 
London, even in 1691, who would at least have cried shame I 
upon the Advocate of the Scottish Government by which 
women had been drowned. 

So much for Sir George Mackenzie. But Mr. Napiet has yet 
another negative proof. The records of the burgh of Wigton 
have been searched, and no mention of the execution has been 
found. This will appear astonishing only if it be certain that 
the magistrates of Wigton were the proper parties to carry 
out the sentence of the royal commission. But this is by no 
means certain, more especially as the commissioners were ap- 
pointed to punish as well as to try, and the sheriff of the county 
was one of them. It is true the commission expired on the 20th 
of April ; but though the commission expired, its sentence would 
live, and the sheriff would be the proper party to see it carried 
into effect. Moreover, on the veiy day following, a similar 
commission was granted to General Drummond. W hy is Mr. 
Kapier so silent about this commission and its powers? It 
was simply a continuation of the previous one, with General 
Drummond put in the place of Colonel Douglas, and would 
undoubtedly take care that its sentences were executed. But 
though the magistrates of Wigton do not appear to have had any 
jurisdiction in the matter, it is very significant that on the 15th of 
April — just two days after the trial — they called the hangman 
before them and * posed ' him as to why he had absented him- 
self, * when there was employment for him.' It is evident that 
the fellow had some feelings of honour and humanity, and felt 
that he could not drown women, though he could hang men, 
and so had taken himself out of the way when he knew the 
sentence of the royal conmiissioners. In the presence of his 
superiors, however, he acknowledged he had done wrong, said 
he had been seduced to it, and ' promised to bide by hb service.' 
To make sure that he would not bolt again the bailies locked 
him up in the prison, and gave him an allowance of four shillings 
a day. Who can doubt that he was kept there till he could be 
placed at the service of the commissioners to carry out their 
barbarous sentence ? 

This closes Mr. Napier's proof. We acknowledge he has 
raised difficulties which we have not been able entirely to lay ; 

26 Ni^M^s Memariab of daverhause. July, 

but as it ofbai happens that we cannot explain every ciroam- 
atanoe connected with eyents not a week old, we must not 
expect to be able to explain every circiunstance connected with 
events which happened nearly two centuries ago, and in a period 
of violence and lawlessness. With no unprejudiced person will 
such difficulties weigh a feather against the immense amount of 
positive evidence which we shall now produce to show that the 
two women were really drowned in the Bay of Wigton. We 
know no historical fact better established — not excepting the 
existence of Napoleon Buonaparte, upon which Archbishop 
Whately has cast far more plausible doubts than Mr. Mark 
Nuiier has cast upon the Wigton martyrs» 

It is certain the women were sentenced to death — certain 
they were reprieved — and almost as certain they were ney^ 
pardoned. If they were pardoned the pardon would have been 
recorded in some way or other — let it be produced. Mr. Napier 
has been praised fdr his industry in searching the public registers : 
in all his searches has he found this pardon ? The truth is, no 
pardon has heext found, just because no pardon was ever granted, 
and dierefore the sentence may have been carried into eS6cL 
We have evidence that it was. 

The first notice which we have of the martyrdom is in Shield's 
' Hind Let Loose,' a work published in 1687, just two years 
after the event. In this book it is said : — 

* Neither were women spared ; but some were hanged, — some 
drowned, — tied to stakes within the sea-mark, to be devoured 
gradually with the g^wing waves ; and some of them very young ; 
some of an old age.' 

Here the reference to the TVlgton martyrs is obvious enough, 
but it is made more certain by a rude woodcut attached to the 
first edition, in one of the compartments of which we have two 
women suspended on a gibbet, and other two bound to a stake 
and the tide rising round them. These are the four women who 
sttfiered death for their religion. 

The next reference to the fact which we have found is in the 
Prince of Orange's Declaration for Scotland, which was widely 
circulated, especially in the western counties, notwithstanding 
the efibrts of the Scottish Privy Council to suppress it, imme- 
diately after his landing in 1688. In that document it is sidd, 
in reference to the sufferings to which the people had been 
exposed: — 

* Empowering officers and soldiers to act upon the subjects living 
in quiet and full peace the greatest barbarities, in destroying them by 
hanging, shooting, and drowning, without any form of law, or respect 
had to age or $ex* 

1863. Nqner^s Memoriab of Claverh<nue. 27 

Mr. Napier does not seem to have been aware of tins eyidenoe 
i^ainst him ; nor are we aware of its haying been previondy 
pointed ont in what may be called the Wigton Martyr contro^ 
▼ersy. Who will beEere that in snch a state paper there would 
have been such a reference unless the fact alluded to had been 
wdl known? 

The next Knk in onr chain of eyidenoe is fnmidied by a yery 
rare pamphlet, entitled ^ A Short Memorial of the Sufferings 
^and Grieyances, past and present^ of the Presbyterians in 
' Scotland, particularly of those of them called by nick-name 

< Cameronians/ printed in 1690.* This pamphlet was drawn 
up by authority of the Cameronian Societies, and was originally 

* This pamphlet is rare, but not so very rare as has been supposed. 
There are oth^ copies in existence besides the mouldy ones in the 
Adyocate's Library ; and we happen to have one before us while we 
write. Mr. Napier pretends to be yery learned about it ; but he is 
in truth profoundly ignorant both of its contents and of its histcnry. 
He has learned from Patrick Walker*8 'life of Peden ' that Alexander 
Shields was the reputed author of it; and from the preface that it 
was originally designed to be laid before the Prince of Orange in the 
form of a memorial of grievances ; and he asserts positively but erro- 
neously that it was subsequently laid before the General Assembly o£ 
1690. Had he read < Faithful Contendings Displayed/ he might have 
traced the history of this Memorial from its origin to its end. We 
shall venture to instruct him ; and, as we shall speak * from book,' 
we hope he will not be tempted to utter bis favourite ejaculation,— 
a £alaehood ! a lie ! At a general meeting of the societies, held at 
Douglas, on the 3rd of January, 1689, 'It was moved by some that 

* the meeting might consider upon the drawing up and sending an 

* address, with an account of our grievances sustained by us under 
' the hite tyranny, to the Prince of Orange, which the circumstances 

< seemed to call for at our hands ; whereupon it was resolved that the 
' same should be written and brought to the next meeting, who were 

< to consider upon the time and method of sending them ' (p. 369.). 
At the meeting at Sanquhar, on the 24th of January, among the 
matters deferred to next meeting, there was * likewise our address to 

* the Prince, with our grievances, to be drawn up, and then and there 
' to be deliberated upon and condescended unta' Accordingly, at the 
meeting at Crawford John, on the 13th of February, * the paper 

* containing a memorial of our grievanees to the Prince of Onmge, 

* agreed upon at the last meeting to be drawn up, was presented to 

< the meeting and read (which because of its length, and the same 
^ being to be seen in a paper by itself, I here omit). When it was 
*read they were inquired at what they would do with it, who unani* 
'mously resolved that the same should be sent with an address to the 
' Prince, with all diligence, and some fit persons chosen to go with the 

* same. They appointed Keraland and Mr. Alexander Shields to go 

28 Napier's Memoriah of Claverhotue, July, 

designed to be laid before the Prince of Orange, but this design 
was subsequently abandoned. Mr. Napier, though labouring 
under a strange delusion regarding its history, is quite aware of 
its existence, and has criticised its contents, but his eyes haye 
been closed to its double reference to the Wigton Martyrdom. 
But as one of his admirers has somewhat quizzically sdd. 
Homer sometimes nods. In page 16» of this pamphlet it is 
written : — 

* with the address and grievances, and Dr. Ford or James Wilson to 

* go with them.' (P. 380.) 

At a subsequent meeting, held on the 4th of March, ' it was con- 
' eluded that 30/. sterling should be given to the three men who 
*were to go to the Prince of Orange with the foresaid address, 
< which sum was to be presently borrowed and [afterwards to be 
'collected in the societies and paid again' (p. 386.). We are 
informed afterwards how circumstances occurred which created 
delay ; ' So that time and season passing over, the Prince was pro- 
'^claimed King ; after which the doing thereof became doubtful to 
'some, yet others, notwithstanding, were desirous that the same 

* might be set about for the same reasons that moved them at first to 

* agree therewith ; but still new things occurring (which produced 
' matter of new thoughts, resolutions, and actings), that business was 
' laid aside ' (p. 387.). Mr. Napier says the Memorial was written 
by Shields, and it may have been so, bat if so, it was revised by the 
Societies and stamped with their authority. Mr. Napier says the 
Memorial was laid before the Prince, and chuckles over the supposed 
rebuff of the memorialists. Here we learn it was never presented to 
him at all. Mr. Napier says it was afterwards presented to the General 
Assembly by the three Cameronian ministers, when they sought adnds* 
sion to the church, and not allowed to be read because it contained 

* several peremptory and gross mistakes, unseasonable and impracticable 
' proposfds, and uncharitable and injurious reflections, tending rather 

* to kindle contentions than to compose divisions.' Mr. Napier assumes 
that the paper rejected by the Assembly and the Memorial of Griev- 
ances are identical,' because Walker spoils of the * hard and bad treat- 
^ment Messrs. Shields, Lining, and Boyd met with, their paper 

* containing their [not ^, as Mr. Napier writes] grievances only read 
in a committee.* Simplyfrom the introduction of the word ^grievances* 
here, Mr. Napier jumps at his conclusion, as if the Presbyterians of that 
period were not constantly speaking of their grievances, and of their 
grievances only. We have the most decisive evidence that the paper 
rejected by the Assembly was a totally different production. It 
was afterwards published as a pamphlet^ entitled ^ An Account of the 
'Methods and Motives of. the late Union and Submission to the 

* Assembly, 1690;' and a very full abstract of it is given in the 
Epistle to the Reader appended to Wdker's ^Life of Renwick.' So 
much for Mr. Napier's Imowledge of the literature of that period 
upon which he plumes himself so greatly ! 

1863. Napier's Memorials of Claverhouse. 29 

^ Thus a great number of innocent people have been destroyed 
vitbont respect to age or sex. Some mere boys bave been for tbis 
banged ; some stooping for age ; some women also banged, and some 
drownedy because tbej could not satisfy tbe council, justiciary court, 
and tbe soldiers witb tbeir tboughts about the Government.' 

And again in a list of some of the most noted murders in 
the western shires^ we have at page 35. the following : — 

^Item, Tbe said Colonel or Lieut.-General James Douglas, 
together witb tbe laird of Lagg and Captain Winram, most illegally 
condemned and most inhumanly drowned at stakes, within tbe sea- 
mark, two women at Wigton, viz. Margaret Laucblane, upwards of 
sixty years, and Margaret Wilson, about twenty years of age, the 
foresaid fatal year 1685.' 

These decisive and specific statements, originally intended to 
be laid before the Prince of Orange, and pubushed to the whole 
world only five years after tbe events to which they relate had 
occurred, are stamped with the authority of the Cameronian 
Societies, to which the martyred women belonged. 

In 1691 a pamphlet was published, entitled ^A Second 
^ Vindication of the Churdi of Scotland,' in which we have the 
following passage : — 

' Some gentlemen (whose names out of respect to them I forbear 
to mention) took two women, Margaret Laucbland and Margaret 
Wilson, tbe one of sixty, the other of twenty years, and caused them 
to be tied to a stake within the sea-mark at Wigton, and left them 
there till tbe tide overflowed them and drowned them ; and this was 
done without any legal trial, 1685/ (P. 128.) 

Mr. Kapier speaks of this as the first specific mention of the 
martyrs^ but we have seen that in this he is utterly wrong. 
But as tbe pamphlet is against him, he remarks of it, with that 
refinement of diction for which he is so highly distinguished^ 
that * tbe plan of it is to rake together in tbe most slovenly 
' and reckless form, all the rubbish of unvouched scandal and 
' calumny agidnst the Government that could be gathered from 
< the gutters of the Covenant.' (Appendix.) We read in Eastern 
story, of an unfortunate pastry-cook of Damascus, named Bed- 
redoin, who was threatened with crucifixion for having made 
Us cream-tarts without pepper. Mr. Napier need not dread his 
fate, for most certainly he has not committed tbis fault. 

Sir George Mackenzie's Vindication of his Government called 
forth an answer in the following year (1692), entitled * A Vin- 
' dication of the Presbyterians in Scotland from the malicious 
' Aspersions cast upon them in a late pamphlet written by Sir 
'Creorge Mackenzie.' Mr. Napier triumphs in the thought 

30 Napier'fi Memorials of ClaoerhouMe. July, 

that in this pamphlet there is no answer to the advocate's asser- 
tion that but two women were executed for state crimes during 
the reigns of Charles and James. We ventore to think he has 
triumphed widiout having conquered. In that pamphlet we 
have the following notice : — 

* Nay it is sufficientlj known that women were not exempted from 
their cruelty (persons, one would think, that could never either by 
their policfr or strength undermine the Grovemment, and a sex that 
might have expected at least some protection from the severity of 
the faiws, from such a prince as Charles 11. was), but were imprisoned, 
fined, and some of them executed.' (P. 15.) 

And afterwards the passage from the Prince of Orange's 
Declaration^ regarding the drowning of womQn, is quoted at 
length. Mr. Napier is singularly blind when reading Presby- 
terian pamphlets. 

But every year has its own witness to this great crime. In 
the ^ Answer to the Scotch Presbyterian Eloquence/ published 
in London in 1693, it is recorded that Colonel Douglas, 

'Together with the Laird of Lagg and Captain Winram, did 
illegally condemn and inhumanly drown Margaret Laudilan, up- 
wards of sixty years old, and Margaret Wilson, about twen^, at 
Wigton, fastening them to stakes within the sea-mark. This in 

Thus in 1687, 1688, 1690, 1691, 1692, and 1693, we have 
notices of the martyrdom. We must now overleap a period of 
eighteen years, but notwithstanding the increasing dbtance of 
time, the evidence gains rather than loses in force, from the 
peculiarly reliable source from which it is obtained. In the be- 
ginning of the eighteenth century there was a very general 
desire throughout Scotland that the different Kirk Sessions 
should collect and preserve in their registers an account of the 
martyrdoms which had taken place within their bounds under 
the despotism of the Stuarts, while the memory of them was 
still fresh. In accordance with this desire, expressed throtkgh 
the General Assembly and Synod, the Kirk Session of Kirkinner, 
the native parish of Margaret Lauchlison, entered the following 
notice in their minutes on the 15th of April> 1711 : — 

* Margaret Lauchlison, of known integrity and piety from her youth, 
aged about eighty, widow of John Milliken, wright in Drumgargan, 
was in or about the year of God 1685, in her own house taken off 
her knees in prayer, and carried immediately to prison, and from one 
prison to another, and without the benefit of light to read the Scrip- 
tures, was barbarously treated by dragoons, who were sent to carry 
her from Machermcre to Wigton, and being sentenced by Sir Robert 

1863. Ni^er'a Memorimb of Claverbnue. 31 

Orier of Lagg to be drowned at a st^Le within the floodmarkt jnst 
below the town of Wigton, for conventicle keeping and alleged re- 
bdlion» wasy according to the said sentence, fixed to the stake till the 
tide made, and held down within the water bj one of the town officers, 
bj his halbert at her throat, till she died.* 

The E[irk Session formally attests its belief of these partiGulars 
* partlv from credible information, and partly from their own 
' Knowledge.' The neighboiiriagj)arish of I^enninghame was 
the native parish of Margaret Wikon, and its record, dated 
25th February, 1711, is still more minute: — 

'Upon the 11th day of May, 1685, these two women, Margaret 
Lauchlane and Margaret Wilson, were brought forth to execution. 
Tliey put the old woman first into the water, and when the water was 
oveifiowing her, they asked Margaret Wilson what she thought of 
her in that case ? She answered, *' What do I see but Christ wrest- 
*' ling there ? think ye that we are the sufferers ? No, it is Christ in 
** us, for he sends none a warfare on their own charges.'' Margaret 
Wilson sang psalm 25 from the 7th verse, read the 8th chapter of 
the Epistle to the Romans, prayed, and then the water covered her. 
But before her breath was quite gone, they pulled her up and held 
her till she could speak, and then asked her if she would pray for the 
Sing ? She answered that she wished the salvation of all, but the 
damnation of none. Some of her relations on the place cried out she 
was willing to conform ! they being desirous to save her life at any 
rate. Upon which Major Winram ofiered the Oath of Abjuration to 
her, either to swear it or return to the water. She refused it, saying, 
** I will not ; 1 am one of Christ's children, let me go ! " And then 
they returned her into the water, where she finished her warfare ; 
bang a virgin martyr of eighteen years of age, suffering death for 
her refusing to swear the Oath of Abjuration, and hear the curates.' 

Here then we have a narrative almost identical with that to 
be found in the glowing pages of Macaulay. It is followed by 
this attestation : — 

' The Session, having considered all the above particulars, and 
having certain knowledge of the truth of the most part of them from 
their own sufferings, and eye-witnesses of the foresaid sufferings of 
others, which several of the Session declares, and from certain in- 
formation of others in the very time and place they were acted in, 
and mant/ living thai have all these fresh in their memory, they do 
attest the same.' 

We know not what better evidence could be had than that 
here given. The Kirk Session is a judicatory of the Church of 
Scotland, and consists of those parishioners who are most dis- 
tinguished for their probity and piety. In country parishes 
like Kirkinner an^ Penninghame, the largest proprieton and 

32 Napier's Memorials of Claverhouse. *f^7f 

most respectable farmers are generally members of it** These 
are called elders*, and have ordinarily reached middle age before 
their election. As a matter of certainty men of forty or fifty 
in 1711 must have remembered with accuracy what happened 
in the parish in 1685, twenty-six years before, more especially 
so remarkable an event as the drowning of women. But in 
addition to their own personal knowledge, they had the evidence 
of persons still living who had been eye-witnesses of the fact — 
and those who saw the sight would never forget it. What 
more than this could be required ? 

But if this be not enough, surely the graves of the women in 
the churchyard of Wigton should convinca the most sceptical. 
And we speak not of graves existing now, and pointed out by 
the vague finger of tradition, but of graves and tombstones 
existing before the generation which had witnessed the martyr- 
dom had passed away, and while many of the relatives and 
friends of the martyrs must still have been living, and every 
Sunday mssing through the churchyard where the tombstones 
stood. We know from the ' Cloud of Witnesses* that previous 
to 1714 there was a stone with an epitaph upon it in memory 
of Margaret Wilson ; and in the churchyard of Wigton at this 
day there is to be seen a stone, of undoubted antiquity, on which 
the names of both the martyrs are engraved. But here we 
may be allowed to ask, if these women were not martyred, what 
was done with them, what became of them ? In the course of 
nature the widow of three score and ten must soon have dis- 
appeared from the world ; but Margaret Wilson, the maiden of 
eighteen or twenty in 1685, would be a woman of only forty- 
five in 17ll ; and thus, if not really drowned, must have walked 
upon her oWn grave, read her own epitaph, and been amused at 
the inquiries of the Kirk Session regarding her drowning scene 
twenty-five years before. But what of the relatives of these 
women, be they dead or alive ? Our information is so minute 
that we can tell sometlvng even of them. In 1711 the mother 

* The following are some of the lay elders who attended the Synod 
of Galloway at the time this inquiir was proceeding. Sir Charles 
Hay of I'ark, Sir James Agnew of Lochnaw, Heron of Bargallie, 
M'Culloch of Barholm, McMillan of Brockloch, Cathcart of Glen- 
duisk, Halliday of Marl^ M'Dowall of Culgroat, M'Dowall of Logan, 
Martin of Airies, Grordon of Largmore, Blair of Dunskey, M'Dowall 
of Glen, Gordon of Garery, M*Lellan of Barmagachan, &c. The 
present clerk of the Synod of Gralloway, who famishes these names 
from the records in his possession, in a letter to the * Kirkcudbright- 
* shire Advertiser,' states that the mansion houses of some of them 
overlook the bay of Wigton. 

1863. Napier's Memorials of daverhome. 33 

of Margaret TVHson was still living, 'a very aged widow/ 
Her younger brother too was alive, and was ready to attest 
all tnat the minister of Penninghame had written regarding 
bis sister's martyrdom. In 1718 the daughter of Margaret 
Lauchlison was still living, and is described by the minister of 
Kirkinner, who had known her for sixteen years, as ^poor 

* but pious, a widow indeed, the worthy daughter of such a 

* martyred mother.' 

If all this is not to be regarded as sufficient evidence, there 
are not ten facts in the history of the world which may not be 
denied. Accordingly from this period the martyrdom finds a 
place in every history of the time. De Foe mentions it in his 

* Memoirs of the Church of Scotland,' published in 1717. Wod- 
row relates it at great length in his ' History of the Sufferings of 
'the Church of Scotland,' published in 1721-2, and at which he 
had been patiently toiling for the previous seven years. Patrick 
Walker tells the atory in 1727. And last of all Lord Macaulay 
in our own day has given it a page in his imperishable history.. 
The most remarkable thing of all *is this, that no writer till now 
has ever denied the fact. In not one of the countless letters, 
pamphlets, diaries, histories, which have been published from 
the year 1685 down to the year 1862, has there been any 
specie denial of the facts stated in the host of authorities which 
we have now quoted. It has been reserved for Mr. Mark 
Kapier to make the astounding discovery that all previous 
history is false, and the most perfect chiun of evidence con- 
ceivable no better than a rope of sand. But it may be said that* 
Wodrow himself acknowledges that even in his day * the advo- 

* cates for the cruelty of the period had the impudence, some of 
' them to deny, and others to extenuate, the matter of fact' We 
can quite imderstand this. No doubt there were men then 
living who would fain deny this atrocity and many others 
beside. Grierson of Lagg was still living, and, in the change of 
times, would be as reluctant to confess it as the murderer is to 
confess his midnight crime. Others through ignorance might 
deny it, hardly able to believe anything so dreadful. But this 
n^ative evidence can have no weight against positive evidence 
to the contrary, and again we repeat that till Mr. Napier arose, 
no writer was found so reckless as to dispute the fact. 

And how does Mr. Napier get over the immense accumulation 
of evidence which we have produced, of the existence of most of 
which he is fully aware ? Sunply by disbelieving and calling by 
bad names everything which has been written on behalf of 
Presbytery and the Revolution. King David said, ' in his haste, 
' all men are liars ; ' Mr. Napier has said at his leisure, that all 


34 Ni^Ler's Memoriait of Claverkoute. July, 

FveBbyteriaDs axe liars. The manner in wfaicli he speelcB ef 
some of our best historical authorities is most scandalous and 
perfectly unparalleled. He calls Dr. Burnet, Bishop of Salifr- 
bury, a ^ systematic calunmiator,' ' a historical libertine/ ^ by 
' nature rather fitted for the stews than the church.' De Foe is 
spoken of as ^ a virulent collector of calumnious fables ; ' but 
his choicest epithets are reserved for Wodrow, one of the 
worthiest of men. He is ^ an idiot,' ^ a low-miiided domanie/ 
^ a vulgar glutton of coarse and canting gossip.' We are 
told he believed in witches and apparitions and dreams, as if all 
the world did not do the same. We are informed half a dooen 
times that his uncle was hanged ; as if it were any disgrace to 
die in the same cause as Algernon Sidney and Bussell, and 
Jerviswood and Argyle. In all seriousness we say, that in 
almost every page of these ^Memorials' we find language 
which we had thought scholars and gentlemen had long ago 
abandoned to harlots and fishwives. But Mr. Jfapier aideavouxs 
to damage the evidence not only by deffuning the authors of the 
narratives, but by showing that the narratives differ from one 
another. In answer to this, it is sufficient to say that independent 
testimonies necessarily vary. Let a hundred trutiiful witnesses 
witness the. same event, and they will relate it in a hundred 
different ways. The horrified crowd who beheld the drown* 
ing of the women in the Blednoch, would not be all impressed 
in the same way with the same drcumstances, and would not 
therefore in telling the tale dwell with the same emphasis upon 
the same particulars; but, while the narratives vary in the 
details, we hold they are singularly at one in r^ard to the 
mwi tsLCtdy — that in the fatal 1685 two women were drowned 
in the Blednoch, on account of their religious opinions, 
by the agents of the Government. It is highly probiri>le 
that tradition added mythical circumstances to the genuine 
narrative. A mythical halo naturally gathers around every 
martyrdom ; but this does not prove the whole story to be a 
myth. The story accounts for the myths ; the myths do not 
account for the story. How did the story to which the legendary 
interest attaches arise? Mr. Ni^ier thinks the trial of the 
women may account for it, but it requires a faith that could 
remove mountains to believe this^ 

Claverhouse was connected with the Wigton Martyrdom only 
through his brother, who acted as his substitute, taid was one of 
the royal commissioners who condenmed the women. His work 
as a ^ persecutor of the saints ' was now nearly done ; but for 
his achievements in this chivalric field he was raised to the rank 
of major-general In 1686, Eong James> by virtue of his own 

IMS. Napier's MemoriaU of Claverkouse. 35 

fOftH prerogfftive, abrogated all the penal laws in tlie statute* 
bode agmnst Reman Catholics ; and, to appear consistent^ he, at 
the same time^ issued a series of edicts by which he suspended 
the sanguinarj Acts which had been passed by the Scottish 
Parliaxnent against the Pre8b3rterian nonconformists, and allowed 
them to meet and wordnp their God in their own fashion, pro- 
vided the J did not disseminate disloyal doctrines, or assemble in 
the open fields. Othello's occupation was now gone. The 
chnrdieBhad peace ; sosd the spirit of rebellion which the perse* 
cution had proroked) submded the moment the persecution was 
at aa end ; but it was only a temporary lull ; and the storm was 
now ready to burst which was to drive the Stuart dynasty from 
the thiDDe. James, blinded by his bigotry, began to meddle 
with tbe dignities and emolmnents of the English Church ; the 
naticm took alarm,* — and his fate was sealed. Had he left the 

n Protestant hierarchy of the south alone, he might have 
his worst with Scotland, md Presbyterianism must soon 
httve been trampled out under the hoofs of his dragoons. In 
September, 1688, James himself announced to fiie Secret 
Committee of the Scottish Privy Council the anticipated inva- 
snon of the country by tbe Prince of Orange. Shortly after- 
wards all the troops in Scotland were ordered to march south to 
meet the invader, and Graham of Claverhouse received the 
command of the cavalry. While he was yet on his march, he 
received his patent of Viscount Dundee from a monarch who 
nnist now have felt that his only hope was in the military. 
Happily the military were not required to act ; the demented 
Jam^ became a fngitive ; a&d a revolution at once glorious and 
bloodless ensued. 

The horse whom Claverhonse had led into England, after the 
ffight of the monarch whom they had come to serve, made a 
gallant though foolish attempt to return to Scotland, but 
Ulaverhouee was not at their head. He returned to Scotland, 
attended by only a few troopers as an escort. He came to 
attend a convention of the Scotch Estates, which had been 
summoned by the Prince of Orange to settle the affairs of the 
kingdom. But be soon found himself uncomfortable in the new 
companionship which the change of affairs had forced upon him. 
Edinburgh was filled with Presbyterians from the western and 
southern counties, the retainers of Hamilton, and the other 
Whig noblemen who sat in the Convention. Among them must 
have been some of the relatives and friends of the numerous 
victkos of his cruelty. He was insulted in the streets ; scowling 
visages met him as he entered the Parliament House close ; infor- 
mation reached him that a plot w;ae being hatched to assassinate 

36 Napier's Memoriak of Claverhouse. July, 

him and Sir George Mackenzie. He brought the matter before 
the Convention ; and Mackenzie exerted his eloquence to per- 
suade the assembled nobles and burghers to take steps for their 
safety. The Convention took the deposition of a dyer, who 
declared he had heard two men say ^ that they would use these 
^ two dogs as they .had used them.' Here the matter rested. 
The deposition was not very definite ; the Convention probably 
not very hearty in its desire to throw its shield over men who 
were universally detested ; and farther procedure was rendered 
unnecessary by the flight of Dundee two days afterwards. 

He fled to his castle of Dudhope, attended by Lord Living- 
stone and about fifty troopers, in a few days he was followed 
by a herald, who summoned him to disarm and return to the 
Convention. In answer to this he wrote a letter to the Duke of 
Hamilton, the president of the Convention, pleading that he had 
been obliged- to leave Edinburgh, attended by armed followers, 
as his life had been threatened, begging to be allowed to remain 
at Dudhope till his wife should be brought to bed, and offering 
^ in the meantime either to give security or parole not to 
^ disturb the peace.' With this letter before him, Mr. Napier 
has ventured to challenge Lord Macaulay's account of this pas- 
sage in our chevalier's history. ^ He declared himself,' says 
Macaulay, ^ ready to return to Edinburgh, if only he would be 
^ assured that he should be protected against lawless violence ; 
* and he.offered to rive his word of honour, or if that were not 
^ suflScient, to give oail that he would keep the peace.' What 
is * parole ' if it be not a soldier's * word of honour,' and what is 
the difference between * security ' and * bail ' ? The truth is, at 
*he very moment Dundee was writing tliis letter he was plotting 
treason, impatiently expecting a commission from the fugitive 
James as commanoer-in-chief of the forces in Scotland, and in 
a month afterwards, notwithstanding his promises and preten- 
sions to the president of the Convention, he was in the field 
gathering the Highland clans around the royal standard. The 
battle of Killiekrankie soon followed. The savage screams and 
fierce onset of the Gaels carried terror into the Lowland 
soldiery unaccustomed to such a mode of battle, and they were 
driven in confusion down the defile from which they had 
emerged. During the short struggle, however, Dundee re- 
ceived a musket-shot, of which he died on the foUowihg 

Having thus traced the history of Claverhouse to its close, 
we are now able to form an estimate of his character. He was 
not the monster which the alarmed imagination of the Scotch 
peasantry pictured him to be. Bullets did not rebound harm- 

1863. Napier's Memorials of Claverhouse. 37 

less from his body, nor was the charger which he rode imper- 
Yious to steel. He hunted conventiclers on the hills rather on 
account of the commission he held from the king than of any 
covenant he had entered into with the devil. His many portraits 
give him a handsome countenance, but in some of them there is 
^ betrayed a decidedly forbidding and sulky expression. That he 
was proud, self-willed, and of a violent temper is allowed even 
by his apologists. On one occasion he so far foi^ot himself as 
to threaten to strike Sir John Dalrymple in presence of the 
Privy Council ; and in truth the best defence which can be made 
for many of his actions is to say that they were done in hot 
blood. But to say that he was hot-tempered is very different 
from saying that he was a man of warm affections. The very 
opposite appears to have been the case. So far as we can judge 
from the history of his marriage and of his married life he was 
of a singularly cold temperament, insensible to love and careless 
of domestic happiness. His ruling passions were ambition and 
greed. To rise in the army, to get possession of a forfeited 
estate, no matter though it were a former friend's, he would do 
anything, and sacrifice anything. No one will accuse him of 
sloth in the discharge of his military duties. He was one of the 
most active officers in the service, and as such he was valued bv 
the Grovemment, and correspondingly hated and feared by the 
people. The work he had to do was such as would now be en- 
trusted to police agents or worse, but he not only did it but had a 
pleasure in doing it. He left his nuptial feast to search for a con- 
venticle, he would ride night and day over waste moorlands to 
come upon the * wanderers ' by surprise, and if he caught an 
ignorant ploughman returning from hearing a sermon by Cameron 
or Cai^l, and had him hanged on a tree, he regarded himself 
as sufficiently rewarded for his toil. 

Mr. Napier delights to speak of him as ' The Great Dundee ; ' 
but it almost seems to be in mockery. It is like putting a royal 
robe on a beggar's back. We cannot discover the shadow of 
greatness in anything he did. Almost his whole military life 
was spent in dispersing field-preachings, — no very heroic work ! 
He fought two battles ; in the first he was disgracefully beaten 
by a handful of undisciplined but determined Covenanters at 
Drumclog, and was himself the first or among the first to leave 
the field. In the second he conquered though he fell, but the 
victory was due to the rush of the clansmen, and not to the 
dispositions of the general. Fifty-five years afterwards the 
Pretender gained a victory from precisely the same causes at 
Prestonpans ; but who has ever dreamt of speaking of the 
Pretender as a great general? Yet the one, so far as we may 

38 Napier's Memoriali cf Cliwerh^use. Joty* 

i«dge by battles and vietories, has a better elaim than the other. 
Dundee's greatness is to be found only in the imagination of 
aertain Jacobite poets and writers of fiction^ who have thrown 
a l^endary interest around lum which he does not deserre. 
Mr. Napier is fond of conparing him widi Montrose. He is 
guilty of foul injustice in making the comparison. Montrose 
had some of the elements of greatness ; he wanted judgment 
and stability, but he had quiclaiess of pereeptioo, fearlessness, 
and above all things, dash. He made marvellous marches, and 
came down upon his enemy with tiia sudden swoop of an eagle 
from the hills. He fot;^ht battle after battle against high^ dss<- 
dipline and superior numbers, and was always the victor. After 
ibe battle of Kilsyth all Seotland lay at his feet ; and even in 
his surprise and defeat at Selkirk his gallantry was conspicuous. 
Besides all this he had a taste for letters, and fought not for op^ 
preasion and power, but on the weaker and the losing side. To 
compare Claverhouse to such a man is to compare the jackdaw, 
which loves flesh, to the £dcon which will fight for it. 

We have now given our readers our estimate of the man 
whose Memorials Mr. Napier has written. We can see no 
heroism in hunting down and shooting poor peasants who 
thought that salvation depended on hearing their Presbyteriaa 
preadiers, and we can have no sy mpnthy with a biography whieh 
cakieavours to whitewash the ruthless tools of an intolecable 
tytaany, and take fr<Mn martyrs their crown of martyrdom. It 
is Ugh time the mawkishnessof our Jacobite writers were come 
to an end. We hold it is criminal even in a poet to confound 
virtue and vice, and to invest with the attributes of a hero the 
MMi who is deserving only of our abhorrence. But Mr. N^^ier 
has at least the excuse that he has done it in ignorance, for we 
are convinced he really believes that Claverhouse was deserving 
the i^peUation of ' great ; ' and thus can only be spoken of as a 
fliagular instance of a Tory gentleman, in the nineteenth century, 
ezhibitii^ a more extraordinary phasis of faiwUactwn than the 
Covenanters and Boundheads of the seventeenth. A non- 
oenf^Mtnist himself, and happy in the abounding lib«i;y whidi 
the Bevoltttion has secured fior him, he yet approves of men 
being hanged and wooaen drowned for absenting themselves 
from church, and groans aloud because the Revolution haa taken 

The ^Memorials' have no literary merits to redeem their 
general dulness and their betrayal of truth and right feeling. 
There is sometinaefl an attenpt at wit, but it is of the Bcootkn 
and not of the Attic kind. An eflfort is made to make the 
HMTtyrs ridiculous by attadung 'Saint' to their naoMs; the 

1863. Napier's MgmariaU cf Clavei'house, 39 

Presbyterian ministers are honoured with the title of ^ Mas/ 
— the sarcastic humour of which is not very apparent ; and 
Lord Macaulay's statements are called ' Macaulese,' not once, 
but a dozen times» as if the jd^ were worth repeating. We 
have already spoken of the (^aotic oonfosion of the book, and 
the shameful language with which it abounds. It is simply a 
violent partisan pamphlet in three volumes, and belongs rather 
to the century to which it relates than to the present one. We 
think we can express no better wish for Mr. Napier than that 
his * Memorials ' may speedily go down to the depths of forgetful- 
ness, leaving, when they disappear, a few of the letters which 
they contain floating on the surface; for so long as they are 
remembered,, it will only be as a reproach to himself and to the 
polite literature of the nineteenth century. 

We have not considered it necessary to review Mr. Napier's 
pamphlet upon the Wigton Martyrs, quoted at the head of this 
lurtide, apart from his * Memorials,' for it contains nothing of 
importance which he had not already written and rewritten in 
the ' Memorials,' unless it be an attack upon Principal Tullodi, 
whom, we think, we may safely leave to defend himself, if 
indeed defence be at all necessary. The small book will not 
fierve as a buttress to the large one ; the reiteration of bad 

2^Knents will not make them good ones ; but we joyfully 
Jiowledge, and we are glad to have a word of grace to say 
at the close, that Mc Napier is much greater as a pamphleteer 
than as a histcHaao. 

40 Druids and Bards. July» 

Abt. IL — I. The Druids Illustrated. By the Rev. John B. 
Pbatt, M.A. Edinburgh: 1861. 

2. Brut y Tywysogion^ or the Chronicle of the Princes. Edited 
by the Rev. John Williams ab Ithel, M.A. Published 
by the authority of the Lords Commissioners of Her 
Majesty's Treasury under the direction of the Master of the 
Rolls. London: 1860. 

3. The Celtic Druids ; or an Attempt to show that the Druids 
were the Priests of Oriental Colonies who emigrated from 
India, and were the Introducers of the First or Cadmeian 
System of Letters and the Builders of Stonehenye, Carnac, 
and other Cyclopean Works in Asia and Europe. By 
GoDFBEY HiOGiNS, Esq. 4to. London : 1829. 

THEBE are few departments of knowledge in which a clearing 
from the foundation is not a desirable achievement, although 
it is a disagreeable operation : for it may have the effect of re- 
lieving the overburdened intellectual faculties of the age from a 
heap of ponderous and worthless lumber. It has happened to 
us — no matter why — to have attempted to perform this fiinc- 
tion towards the persons who figure so conspicuously in the 
historical and other departments of literature as Druids and 
Bards. Passing behina those books which assume the rank of 
* the latest authorities ' regarding them, we have looked back 
into the original evidence of their existence and character, and 
the following is the result 

First and chief of all evidence of the existence of the Druids, 
is the celebrated passage in Cassar.* So freshly is it associated 
with schoolboy days and ways, that to bid the experienced 
man look into it seems almost like asking him to resume his 
kite and bat. Having false recollections of its extent from 
the difficulties experienced in the first contest with it, he 
will perhaps be astonished at the brevity of the passage 
which has given matter for so many enormous volumes — it 
occupies about a page of the Delphin octavo. The Druids, 
as we are there told, preside over religious observances and 
sacrifices; they teach youth; they decide controversies, en- 
forcing their decisions by interdicting or excommunicating 
the disobedient; they have a president chosen by election; 
they hold a great annual meeting within the territory of the 

* Caesar de BeU. Gall vi. 12, 13. 

1863. Druids and Bards* 41 

Camutes; they make gigantic osier images, in which they 
bom human beings by way of sacrifice ; they have traditions 
about astronomy, the power of the immortal gods and 'de 
* rerum natura.' It is thouffht that their * disciplina ' was 
first invented in Britain and thence propagated, and those who 
desire to be adepts travel thither to acquire it. There remains 
still one trait on which there is dispute as to the meaning of 
Caesar's words, or rather as to the words which he intended to 
use. The Druids are described as exempt from military service, 
but bound to the severer drill of keeping a public school. 
^ Multi in disciplinam conveniunt et & prbpinquis parentibusque 
' mittuntur. Magnum ibi numerum versuum ediscere dicuntur.' 
The words are applicable to Eton at this very day. Caesar 
adds that the pupils learn an immense number of verses in the 
course of their ^ disciplina,' which hence sometimes extends to 
twenty years. They must not commit it to writing, yet both 
in their public and private affidrs they use the Crreek characters, 
and he conjectures that there are two reasons for this — ^the pre- 
servation of the secrets of the order, and the cultivation of the 
memory. The word Orcecis is printed within brackets as an 
imperfection supplied by the guess of a commentator. It was 
perhaps suggested by Caesar's statement a few pages before 
that he had written in Greek characters to Cicero the younger, 
in order that the Grauls, if they intercepted his letter, might not 
read it. Though this supplied word, as well as all the un- 
doubted words used by Caesar on this topic, has been a prolific 
source of comment, controversy, and what may be termed 
archaeological castle-building, it is of little importance. But a 
moment's reflection may lead us to suspect that this description 
of a learned class existing throughout Gttul, in the state in 
which Graul then was, is, to say the least of it, improbable. 

No doubt if we were to take this as a mere outline or 
analysis of a work on the constitution and functions of the 
Druidical order, it woul4 be capable of comprehending within it 
a body of detail both extensive and remarkable. The misfortune 
to the world is that the completion of the picture has come not 
from persons who had the opportunity of seeing and knowing the 
details, but from those whose power of intuition has been strong 
enough to divine them, with the aid of certain ancient monu- 
ments which they have assumed to be relics of Druidical 
temples and altars. As some have thus liberally supplied the 
missing details to Caesar's outline, it is equally competent to 
others to take this outline to pieces and see what it consists of. 
The Celts were but too well known to the Romans long before 
Caesar's day, but no earlier author, Boman or Greek, speaks of 

42 Druids and Bmrdz. July, 

Druids; and ms we shall see, little of a distinct character is ssid 
about them after Cassar's time. Being the first and almost tbe 
last to describe diem, his statement, if accurate, b very yakir- 
abLe ; but at the same time, its unsupported solitude exposes 
its acouracj to suspicion. No doubt it is very distinct What 
makes the Commentaries so useful a book to sciioolboys — and 
would make it so pleasant a book to men, had they not been 
saturated with it at school — ^is the transparency of the style and 
the distinct simplicity of the narratiye. Unless where there is 
dbviously a defective transcripi;, no cme can doubt what Caasar 
means to say. It is another question whether what he says 
must of necessity be true — Bobinson Crusoe is perhaps l^e 
dearest narrative in the English language. As we read on, the 
very next phenomena described after be has done with the Druids 
show that Caosar could give a very dear account of what 
never existed. In the Hereynian forest he tells us that there is 
an ox resembling a stag with a mngle horn in its front, which 
after growing to a certain height, brandies out like a palm tree. 
Also that in the same district, there are creatures called aloes, 
Tery like goats, but having no jdnts to their knees ; so that they 
sleep leaning against trees, whence it comes to pass that when 
they fall they cannot rise again, and are caught by sawing through 
the tree of repose, so that bodi fall togemer. Nothing can be 
more distinct than the account of IJieee animals. A more 
dMCure writer's statement might have been explained as an 
atteoQ^t to describe a known animal, bat C»sar's very disttnctneas 
enables us to know tiiat he has described what never existed* 

Then he was thoroughly imbued with the haughty feeling 
of tlie true Boman, that it was beneath his dignity td take 
notice of minute distinctions among tJioae nations who, to the 
imperial people, were all alike classified under the generic title 
of Barbarians. This repulsive disdain bore some resemUanoe to 
the feeling occasionally pervading people in a certain grade of 
rank or iashion, that it is bei^th .them to take notice of 
the genealogical hirtory or sod^ condition of persons in a 
humbler rank unless these be their own immediate dependants, 
and then only, births marriages and deaths among them become 
worth noting. Very briefly ckws he condescend td notice the 
fact tiiat the Germans diiered from the Gauls in having no 
Druids at all — no sacrifices — and indeed no gods except the 
Sun, yulcan,and the Moon. We know a great deal of tl^ con- 
dition of thdr slaves, bat the Boman writers have never said a 
word to hdp ns in our researches after tiie origin of modem 
languages, not even so moch as to diow the diffimnce between 
the CeUc and the Tartonia That C«nr is accucate ta d^ 

1S6^ Druuli and Bards. 48 

wkautest partieular in hie desoriptioiis of Roman warfare or 
engineering cannot be doubted, but in describing the taetics of 
bis eneoues he does not Tarj his conventional method taken 
firom his Roman training. The reader is provokinglj unin- 
fcrmed as to die taetios and arms of the barbarians, who, for 
all that CsBsar deigns to explain, raieht have been trained in 
legions, cohorts, and maniples, like their conquerors. In the 
very passage where the Druids are described, the other portions 
of the Grallic population are divided into Equttes and Plebs. 

But CsBsar has left a stiU more signal testinoony to that 
Roman oonvenluonality and carelessness about facts in barbarian 
social life, under the influence of which he dropped his casual 
sketch of the Druids. Having described the priests, he comes 
next to the rdigion which they professed; and just as a 
cockney might distinguii^ the officers of an Oriental court 
as the Secretary of State, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, 
and the President of the Board of Trade, he tells us that 
Mercury is their chief god, honoured with mf^ny images, and 
'&»t next t<» him in their devotion stand successively Apollo, 
Mars, Jupit^, and Minerva. This has been a hard passage for 
the Druidites to get over, but with nrare than iJieir usual 
prudence they have generally contrived to keep it out of sight. 
They eould not fail to see that if this be a true account, and if 
the Grallic priest had wekomed and served the deities of the 
Roman Pantheon, Druidiflm must be stripped of its claims to 
nak with the reli^oos sjrstems of E^pt, Hindustan, and 
C^tna :^ an ancient and obdurate institution, pushing its origin 
bade into unknown antiquity, and living on from century to 
century inscrutable and invulnerable. On the other hand, if 
Caoaar, as is likely enoi^h, had no sufficient warrant for su<^ an 
aaaertion, this would only confirm the casual and Aigitive 
character of the whole of his brief account of the Druids, as 
referring to a matter wludi was in his eyes of Mttle moment, 
and scarcely worth bemg aecurate about. 

We have next thue younger Pliny, who handles them in his 
own pecuUar slyle. The passage in Caosar, no donbt, presented 
a sufficiency of the atrai^e and mysterious to awaken his love 
of the marveMooa. It is Pliny — and he alone — who tells of 
tibe misletoe, and the eeremenios used in catting it with a golden 
sickle in a white robe. It comes in as appropriate to the medi- 
cinal virtues of ihd mieJetoe, and because the Druids treated that 
ent as a panacea or umversai remedy.* If one half of the vast 
k of the writings of the Drai^tes has expuided from the 
passage in Caosar, tiie other half may trace its inspiration to the 

• PHn. Nat. Hist. xvi. 95. 

44 Dritids and Bards. 3vly, 

still shorter morsel of Pliny ; and so a large department of human 
knowledge has no better foundation l£an one of the minor 
marvels told by one of the most credulous writers of the ancient 
world. But Pliny has something to say about the Druids as 
appropriate to the medicinal virtues of animals, and so their name 
again occurs in conjunction with dragons and bsisilisks^ as the 
owners of a great medicine, called the An^uinum^ or serpent's 
egg. Pliny had seen one of these about the size of an apple. 
It was a sort of corporate deposit, being the produce of the joint 
parturition of a group of serpents, who held it in so much value 
that he who would deprive them of it must needs take to flight 
on a fleet horse to escape from the deadly consequences of their 

Among other writers, such as Strabo, Ammianus Marcellinus, 
and Pomponius Mela, we may find that kind of stale, in- 
animate recasting of Cassar's account, which gazetteers and other 
elementary books of reference are apt to exhibit in the present 
day, when one after another they repeat the marvels or pecu- 
liarities which some great traveller has attributed to any part of 
the world. On whatever item, however small, any early writer 
may add or appear to add to these faint touches of Cssar and 
Pliny, we may be certain that some large and complex theory, 
aflecting the whole history and condition of Europe from the 
days of Csesar to those of Charlemagne, if not for some time after- 
wards, will have been erected by the busy hive of Druidical 
antiquaries. To pass over any one of these traces would expose 
us to be treated with the chastisement due to an impostor or a 
forger; and as the traces themselves are sometimes so minute as 
to be hardly visible to the naked eye, the critic who would do 
justice to them and escape the charge of omission must be 
exceedingly careful and circumspect. For instance, it will never 
do to pass by the sacred groves of oak which spread their vast 
shade over the wide tracts of Druidical literature. These groves 
are spoken of by Lucan, in the first book of the Pharsalia, 
in that rather turgid flight of his redundant muse, in which 
he summons up all the released powers of barbarism and misrule 
that will take wing beyond the Alps on Caesar passing the 
Bubicon, and leaving the Gauls to their own devices. The passage 
is the climax of the author's invocation, and he imparts a grand 
tone of mysterious awfulness to that strange barbaric priesthood, 
now that the master spirit has departed, resuming their weird 
mysteries in the dark recesses of their groves. It would be a 
small foundation, one would think, for a systematic exposition 

♦ Plin. Nat Hist. xxix. 12. 

1863. Druids and Bards. 45 

of the creed of the red nationa of America, were it reared on 
nothing more than Pope's lioes about the Indian, whose un- 
tutored mind sees God in clouds and hears him in the wind, and 
expects that his faithful dog will accompany him to the world of 
spirits. To refer to the grove in which they were celebrated was 
the conventional way of giving a local habitation and a name to 
religious rites among the Boman authors, just as a modem mis- 
sionary poet, accustomed to worship in an edifice or church, 
would talk about the idol and its temple. The grove is 
mentioned, and just mentioned only, some years later in 
Roman literature by no less a prose writer than Tacitus.* 
Our readers will remember his vivid and picturesque de- 
scription of the invasion of Mona or Anglesea by Suetonius, 
when the Roman soldiers were appalled by a crowd of female 
furies rushing about with streaming hair, uttering wild yells, 
and by a row of Druids with their hands stretched upwards, 
uttering their dreadful prayers, and invoking the vengeance of 
their gods. When the island was subdued, Tacitus says, in his 
brief way, that the groves sacred to savage superstitions were 
cut down. It might be maintained that Tacitus wrote here for 
effect rather than truth as much as Lucan; but the term 
grove, in that form which the Romans applied to one that was 
devoted to an object of worship, is certainly written in the bond, 
and, in Parliamentary language, stands part of the question. 

If we are to believe that in ancient Europe a spiritual 
hierarchy ruled over countries pretty nearly as extensive as 
those which now adhere to the See of Rome, — a hierarchy not 
merely rivalling the civil power, but exercising an established 
supremacy over it, — history, in the latter days of the Roman 
empire, is sadly mutilated of its usual proportions, when it fails 
to give us any symptoms or indications of the presence of so 
powerful a body. We hear nothing of statesmen endeavouring 
to conciliate them, and use them as an instrument for poli- 
tical ends, nor, on the other hand, are we told the history of any 
long contest with their influence, or any weighty blow struck at 
their existence. For all the formidable powers attributed to 
them by Caesar, they seem no more objects of consideration 
and anxiety in his military career, than the branching-horned 
oxen and the kneeless sti^ which are their next neighbours 
in his Commentaries. One author, indeed, refers to political 
transactions in which they were involved, but treats them with 
an off-hand brevity as remarkable as the silence of the others. 
Suetonius tells us, in the compass of a line and a half, that the 

* Ann, xiv. cap. 30. 

46 Dndds and Amb. JjbSj, 

penieioiM rel^oii of the DmidS) partly represeed by Angastira, 
was altogether abo&hed by Clandhie. Even tJiis inch of 

rnnd haa not been occupied without anxiety and difficulty, 
baa not been, properly speaking, contested, hot a previons 
occnpani had to be ejected. A reading of the passage which 
made it not the reU^on of the Droids, but the worship of the 
Dryads that was suppressed, received the sanction of so emi- 
nent a critic as Salmasius. The context, however, is in finvour 
of the Druids, and the triumph of securing it seems to have 
so dazzled their votaries, that they have been unconscious of 
the more than insignificance of the acquisition. If the passage 
be correct, a body of men whose suppression accidentally sie^- 
gests so brief a notice in one of many histories, cannot have 
been possessed of very formidable influence. On the other hand» 
if the statement made by Suetonius is inaccurate, it is only a 
further instance of the vague indifference with which the Bomans 
treated the whole affitir. 

Another historian affords us some glimpses bto Dmidical 
transactions which have been wisely overlooked by the later sages 
of Druidism. In bringing them forward, a preliminary remark 
occurs as to the difficulty in some instances of establishing the 
sex of the persons spoken of Druidically. They are sometimes 
called Druides and at others Druidse. The latter is a feminine 
termination, but it may be common gender, and is sometimes 
used with a masculine adjective, showing that male Druids only 
were referred to. In some instances the sex, undetermined by 
the context, might appear to be feminine, but in others women 
Druids are specifically brought forward, not merely as no rarity, 
but as if the order generally were of that sex. Though they 
appear thus at home in Roman literature, they are by no 
means so easily received into the hierarchical system which 
modem ingenuity has constructed for Druidkm, to which, indeed, 
they are hardly less unconformable, as the geologists say, than 
Pope Joan in the Pontificate. 

Last in order in the collection of the miscellaneous Augustan 
historians, are some lives by Flavins Vopiscus. They form 
a small book, but it is in good esteem, fr<Hn the author's op- 
portunities of acquiring authentic information, and bis simple 
unaffected method of communicating it. He says he was 
told by his grandfather, who had it on the very best autho- 
rity, how Diocletian, in his early obscure days, frequenting 
a tavern among the Hercynians in Belgium, had some in- 
tercourse with a Dmidical woman ('cum Druide quadam 
' muliere,') who twitted him with greed and parsimony. He 
said, in banter, that he would be more open-handed when he 

1863. Druid$ and JBonfa. 47 

became emptfor, wlKTeoii the Draidess, rebnkiag Um f<Mr bk 
levity, said to him, in the spirit of propheej, ^ Yon will be em* 

* peror, cwm mprum eecideris,* ^ when y oh shall have slain the wild 

* boor,' a» the natural meaniag of the prediction niight seem. 
Dioeletiaii went on hmfttng and slaying great numbers of wild 
boarsy bnt as be saw Anrelian, Tacitus, Probas, and others suc- 
cessively assume the purple, he 9aid that he killed the bpars, but 
others eat the flesh. When he afterwards statbbed Arius Aper, as 
the mnrderer of Numerian, he said to himself, ^ At het I have 
' killed the fated Aper/ and took the eoamumd of the imperial 
gsMrds as the child of destiny. Aper would have suffisred ihe 
penalty of his offence in the due course <»f the administration of 
justice, bnt Diocletian admitted, as Yopiscus's grand&ther re- 
ported, that he seized the opportunity of doing this deed witb 
his own hands, for the purpose of fulfilling the prophecy of the 
Dmidess. It is odd enough that this story contaons two 
incidents of that remarkable legend of Macbeth on which 
Shakspeare founded his tragedy — the pn^hecy of a crown, and 
tbe slaught^, by his own hand, of one charged by him with the 
mnrder of the monarch to whom he succeeded. In the usual 
estinBates of Diocletian's character the parallel goes no furth^, 
but still some accused him of slaying the innocent to conceal 
his own guilt. Yopiscos tells another story, how the Emperor 
Aurelianns, called Clfudius, consulted female Druids on the 
question whether the empire would continue in his posterity, 
and got for answer, that no name would be more illustrious in 
the republic than that of the posterity of Claudius, a prophecy 
wbich, as Yopiscus remarks^ was in one sense fulfilled; here, 
too, we have a resemblance, a faint one it is true, to the pre^ 
diction about Banquo's o&pring. These Druid women seem to 
have been a sort of Sibyls or Pythonesses^ who succeeded to 
the older oracles. Their occupation is an instance of a phe- 
nomenon often noticed, that the more civilised nation goes 
to the more barbarous to find the gift of prophecy — hence 
the fortune-telling Gipsies and second-sighted Highlanders of 
modem times. Tacitus tells us that the Druids, after the burning 
of the Capitol, predicted ftrom it the ruin of the empire, although 
all proper auspices were engaged to inaugurate the new building, 
and it would seem, though the sex is not apparent from the 
grammar, that the Druids he refers to were also women. 

It seems worth noticing, that these Druidic women of Vopis- 
cus come forward much more distinctly in connexion with the 
actual, transaction of business than any male members of the 
order. So abstractly and indistinctly are these referred to, as 
to render it safe to maintain, tJnvt in so daasie author does a 

48 DrmkU amd Bards. SxAj^ 

word occur importiiig the ringnlir nwaciiHiie of the title. They 
are always mentioned Tagoely in the ploral — the Druids. 
Cioero, indeed, according to a passage in his work on Divina- 
ti(»i9 seems to have met in society a Dmid — a rather clever 
fellow, well educated and acquainted eq^edally with jAy- 
mology — named Diritiacus the .Sduan, yet Cicero does not 
style hifn a Druid, but mentions circuitoiuly that he belonged 
to their order. A point might be made, could thb be proved to 
be the same Divitiacus whom Cssar found so influential among 
the Gauls. This, perhaps, is the nearest approach to the actual 
identification of a living male Druid made by any ancient 
author, though in reading some modem books of eminence, 
one might imagine that the members of the order were nume- 
rous, eminent, and well known to the public in generaL 

Mr. Godfirey Higgins, in the full tide of his extravagant 
speculations on the Celtic Druids, startles us by the heading 
of a chapter, * Virgil a Druid.' The reader is left to find in 
the original the process by which this metamorphosis is accom- 
plished, and we prefer, in the meantime, citing a passage in 
which the lovers of Herodotus will find an <dd fnend, who 
made in his day a considerable sensation in heathen society, 
coming as he did from the countries at the back of the North- 
wind, in possession of the silver arrow which Apollo had buried 
there, and taking an occasional ride ugpn it through the air, 
after the manner of the witches of later days on their broom- 
sticks. The personage described is the mysterious Abaris, who 
has for centuries perplexed the commentators : — 

'He appears to have been a priest of Apollo, and an Irish or 
British Celtic Druid. He first travelled over Greece, and thence 
went into Italy^ where he became intimate with Pythagoras. To 
him that great philosopher imparted his most secret doctrines, and 
especially his thoughts respecting natore, in a plainer method and in « 
a more compendious form than he communicated them to any other 
of his disciples. This is the account of the Greeks, but judging from 
what we have read just now from the works of their authors, I think 
it likely that Pythagoras might receive as much instruction as he 
gave. Most assuredly I would say this if it were before he travelled 
into the East. But I think it probable that a community of sentiment 
and knowledge existed between them, derived from the same foun- 
tain. Apollo was reported by Erastothenes to have hid the famous 
arrow with which he slew the Cyclops amongst the Hyperboreans. 
When Abaris visited Greece, he is said to have carried this arrow in 
his hand, and to have presented it to Pythagoras. Under this story 
there is evidentiy some allegd^ concealed, which I do not pretend to 
understand— or perhaps this arrow was the magnetic needle.' 

So^ too^ Mr. Toland argued in his history of the Druids, 

1863. Druids and Bards. 49 

that Abaris was a Druid of the Hebrides, because the arrow 
formed part of the Druidical costume. If any reader is satisfied 
by this mode of reasoning that Abaris was a distinguished 
member of the Druidical order, and that all his motives and 
conduct are authenticated and satisfactorily accounted for as 
natural to his position, and becoming in a distinguished Druid, 
it is well ; and we are not inclined to debate the matter. In 
the attempt, however, to discover whether there is anywhere 
in literature a passage identifying an actual individual male 
Druid as -having been engaged in any practical transaction, or 
as having spoken or been spoken to, there is another passage 
in the same book which looks more like reality, though it refers 
to a less important personage. 

* There is a story told by Lucian, and cited by Mr. Toland, 
which is very curious. He relates that in Gaul he saw Hercules 
represented by a little old man, whom in the language of the country 
they called Ogmins, drawing after him an infinite multitude of per- 
sonsy who seemed most willing to follow, though dragged by extremely 
fine and almost imperceptible chains, which were fastened at one end 
to their ears, and held at the other, not in either of Hercules's hands 
which were both otherwise employed, but tied to the tip of his 
tongue, in which there was a hole on purpose, where all those chains 
centred. Lucinn wondering at this manner of portraying Hercules, 
was informed by a learned Druid who stood by, that Hercules did 
not in Graul, as in Greece, betoken strength of body, but force ol 
eloquence ; which is thus very beautifally displayed by the Druid ia 
his explication of the picture that hung in the Temple.' * 

Here now is a Druid so far coming forward as a man of this 
world as to have an actual chat with Lucian, a person able to 
hold his own with most men of his day on matters of practical 
life. Mr. Godfrey Higgins, whose account of the interview we 
have cited, was a man of curious and discursive learning. His 
books contain so much strange and out-of-the-way know- 
ledge, especially in matters inconceivably remote from those 
which he professes to have under discussion, that they have 
served better even than the Anatomy of Melancholy as quarries 
of old stones to literary builders ; their frequent use for this 
purpose has been noticed in the reading-room of the British 
Museum. There can be little doubt that Mr. Higgins was quite 
as well acquainted with Lucian as with the Common Prayer 
Book. There must be some reason, therefore, why, instead of 
being himself the interpreter, he should, with trusting modesty, 
refer to Lucian through the prosy pages of Toland's history of 
the Druids. The r^er who has no recollection of meeting 

* Higgins on the Geltic Druids, p. 20. 


50 Druid$ and Bardt. Jnljt 

■oythiog about Druid§, either in Lccian or any other favourite 
Greek author, perhaps gueaees the reason. Luoian says nothk^ 
about a Druid. The person he had his chat with waa 
fCfXrot TO wapitrnot — a Celt standing by. Tofamd boldly sub- 
stitutes the wiwd Druid, and Higgina innocently accepts hii 
translation. If charged with perverting the passage, he ooold 
answer, with Mact^th, ' Thoa canst not say I did it 1 ' 
Aa^ this, by the way, is a fair specimen of the manner in wbkAi 
a considerable portion of oar archnologioal literature is con- 

Doubtless there was a strong temptation to commit, in this 
instance, a small juous fraud. That Lucian had not, as he oi^ht 
to have, used the word Druid was all the more provoking and 
unpardonable that in his use of the term Ogmios, aa the name 
of the GauUo Hercules, he bad afforded the one wanting link 
to connect together two great sections of Druidicol scholfuahip. 
There are, perhaps, some people in the woiid so ignorant as to 
reqnire to be told what is meant by the Ogham Alphabet. It 
may be as well to inform these tfaat some scratches upon stones, 
which our ignorant grandfathers passed unheeded, or if they 
noticed them, attributed to natural or accidental causes, have 
lately, thanks to the advancement of archraological science, been 
found to be the secret characters in which the Druids recorded 
their esoteric doctrinea or other secrets for the purpose of 
effectually concealing them from mankind. We are told by 
the Koyaj Irish Society, in a paper presently to be referred to, 
that the term Ogham ' is derived from Oc, C^b, or Ogha, a circle, 
' because its fundamental rules were deve^ped in five circles 
'drawn at certun intervak within each other' — a derivation 
whicli, whether it be assented to or not, cannot be very eaaly 
ooafutcd. Dr. O'Connor, the really learned editor of the great 
sources of Irish history in the libra^ of the late Duke of 
Buckingham, appears to have been the first to discover the 
similarity of the name of the secret alphabet to the term used 
by Lucian, and the partiality of a discoverer and sole possessor 
seems to have in this instance led that cautious antiquary into 
some extravagances. 

The Ogham Alphabet comes far more genially to the hand of 
the egregious Colonel Yallancey, who, never perplexed by any 
doubts or difficulties, hits off the most recondite mysteries ot 
antiquarianism with the precision of a profi^sor of one of the 
exact s^enees, and provides you ivith a set of umple rules, by 
means of which the humblest tyro may read with ease those 
records in which the simple Dnuds believed that they had for ever 
hidden tbor knowledge. The first paper in the archnological 

1863. Druids md Bards. 5 1 

eenes issued by the Boyal Irish Society is a report on an Ogham 
inscription deciphered on Colonel Yallanoey's method. It was 
found enCTaved on a stone on Mount CaUan^ in the county of 
Clare. That one of the several misuonaries to the spot who 
was most successful in solving its mysteries said that ' he was 
' not sure that the indentures on the stone were not natural, but 
< on observing them carefully, and their r^ularity^and comparing 
'them with the natural impressions which were irregularly 
'indented in the other stones and in some parts of this, be con- 
' vinoed himself beyond a doubt that they were artificial.' 

When the nussionaries had concluded their labours, they 
foqnd that they had made out five different readings of tlie 
inscription, quite difierent from and irreconcilable with each 
other. It was fiurther discovered that while some of them, after 
the barbarous fashion of the modem European nations, had read 
the inscription from left to right, one adept, foimding on 
opinions for which he was no doubt ready to suffer martyrdom, 
bad persisted in reading it in the opposite direction, from right 
to left. These discrepancies, which would have sadly dis- 
oouraged investigators in any other science, seem only to have 
awakaied the Oghamites to the beautiful simplicity and flexi- 
biUty of their system. The inscription was intended to be read 
hoih ways, and all the five seemingly discordant versions, with 
an indefinite number of others imdiscovered, were of necessity 
quite correct. The five different readings, when placed one 
after anodier in a particular order, made a sort of epos or story. 
The Ogham Alphabet was thus found to resemble one of those 
ingenious toys in which certain pieces of wood or painted card 
may be so shifted as to produce one after another 'the separate 
figures of a group — although to compare this sublime andent 
mystery to any produce of vulgar modern ingenuity is apt to 
remind one of the remarks of the Persian Embassy, when, ac- 
cording to Haji Baba, they saw midshipmen taking bearings at 
sea, and compared such a paltry achievement as tibe discovery 
of the ship's position with the feats of their own astrologers, 
who, by consulting the stars, could predict her safe arrival or 
discover the propitious hour for unloading her cargo. 

Lucian, we may easily believe, was innocently imconscious 
of the mighty discussions he was raising by that little sketch of 
his, called the Celtic Hercules. He spent, it is true, a good 
part of his life in Gaul, and might have been an authority about 
the Druids, if they existed or were deemed worthy of his notice. 
But he was as slippery a person for anything like fact or 
seriousness as Rabelais or Dean Swift. The story, in fact, had 
no more claim to be cited as an authority upon uie customs of 

52 Druids and Bards. July, 

I people beyond the Alps than Addison^s * Vision of Mirza,* 
Colhns's ' Oriental Eclogues/ to stand as an authority for 


the religion or government of Eastern nations. Lucian in- 
tended to write an all^ory, satirising some person or persons 
unknown, and no doubt he made what in his own day was 
counted a capital hit 

Of all the men of genius of the Old World none could have 
had a better opportunity of knowing something of the Druids, 
had they been the mighty hierarchy they are supposed to have 
been, than Ausonius, an author not to be excluded from the 
pale of classical literature, though he lived somewhat remote 
from the Augustan age. He adorned the things and men around 
him with a touch of sentiment akin to much of the literature of 
the present day. Aspiring neither to the grand march of the 
heroic, nor to the glittering Epicureanism of the lyric style, he 
found a little world of poetry within the circle of his own 
attachments and emotions, devoting his muse to ' the amiable 
qualities of his relations and his social circle, and to the scenery 
with which he was familiar. 

He was a Gaul or Frenchman, a native of Bordeaux, in 
fact, where his father had been a physician. He seems to have 
travelled a good deal, dropping poetical tributes to the places 
which interested him. He was, no doubt, familiar with that 
town in the centre of Graul commonly supposed to be the 
modem Dreux, which, according to Csesar, or, more properly 
speaking, his Druidic commentators, was the veiy Vatican of 
the great hierarchy of the Druids. If these were mentioned by 
Ausonius, he could not, of course, fail to let us know, through 
the expressions used by him, that they were a great dominant 
power in the state, then flourishing or but recently deposed, if 
either condition had been theirs. Ausonius does refer to them 
in his commemoration of the Burgundian professors. They are 
mentioned as the ancestry of Attius Patera of Bayeux, who 
derives his name of Patera from that bestowed on their priests 
by the ApoUinarian mystics, and again they are mentioned 
where, among the group of grammarians, Ausonius calls up the 
venerable Phoebicius, also an Apollonic name.* It will be seen 

* Tlie first passage occurs in the lines to Attius Patera, Rbetor : — 

' Tu Bajocassis stirpe Druidamm satus, 

Si fama non fallit fidein, 
Beleni sacratam ducis e templo genus : 

Et inde vobis nomina : 
Tibi Pater» : sic ministros nnncupant 

Apollinaris mystici.' {Auson. 194. 7.) 

1863. Druids and Bards. 53 

that in these passages, where they are mixed up with the 
Belenites or ApoUonites, the Druids are spoken of in anything 
but a {nractical spirit, as undefined and semi*mythical persons of 
the ohecure past. Descent from them is spoken of as if it were 
from Hercules, or Apollo, or Boreas — something vaguely com- 
plimentary, but far from distinct. One thing is dear, however, 
in Ausonius, that his idea of the Druids, whether as a myth or 
a reality, was the idea of a race or caste. This is totdly at 
variance with that perfectly distinct statement of Caesar, which 
is the origin of everything since said about them. He states 
that they were a priesthood created by education and training, 
and that their ranks were recruited from without by young 
men amlntious of participating in their powers and privileges. 

We conclude this sketch oi the evidence found among classic 
authors for the existence of the great system of Druidism with a 
feeling of considerable responsibufty, since it is quite reasonable 
that where structures so vast have been raised out of materials 
80 meagre, the omission of any element, however minute, will 
be set down as a suppression of all that the inventive genius of 
our antiquaries would have made out of it. As nothing farther 
presents itself, however, we propose to pass from the meagre and 
motley notices of the Druids left behind by their fellow-heathens, 
and endeavour to discover if there are any traces of their contact 
with primitive Christianity. 

In the first place, we believe that Eusebius and other primary 
ecclesiastical historians may be searched in vain for any allusion to 
them. The indefatigable Diefenbach, in his alphabetical work on 
the manners of the early European nations, which serves as a sort 
of supplement to Ducange, announces the discovery of a passage 
in St. Chrysostom in which the Druids are mentioned ; in this 
passage, however, they are not spoken of practically as heathen 
priests coming in contact with Christian missionaries, but they 
are included in a general enumeration of the superstitious priest- 
hood of heathen nations, the Magi of the Persians and the 

The second passage is addressed to Phcebicius, one of the Latin 
grammarians of Bordeaux : — 

' Nee reticebo senem 
Nomine Fhcebicium 
Qui Beleni sdditaus 
Nil opis inde tulit. 
Sed tamen ut placitum 
Stirpe satus Druidum, 
Oentis Armoricie 
Burdigalad cathedram, 
Natl opera obtineris.' {Ausan. 200. 17.) 

54 Druids and Bards. July* 

Brahnnns of the Hindoos^ aide by ride with a list filled tip from 
Strabo, Diodorus Siculos, and other like authorities. In Ae 
aocountB of the martyrdom of St. Alban and his fellow-snffisrerv 
we hear nothing of the omelty of the Dmids. Bede leads one 
to infer that his persecutors were Roman heathens, and Nenios 
distinctly says so. It is true that the accounts we have of this 
martyrdom, as well as of everything connected with Christianity 
in Britain under the Romans, belongs to dubious history. It 
may also be said that, granting it to be quite true and distinct^ 
^ area over which the Christianity of the Roman emporors 
prevailed had been previouslv cleared of Druidism, and com- 
pelled to adopt the Roman polytheism. Let us go on, therefore, 
to the second dawn of Christianity over those natioiis from 
which the destroyers of the Roman empire had swept the empre 
and Christianity away t(^ether, a wakening which qyread beyond 
Ihe old bounds of the empire* over vast territories where the 
Roman arms had never prevailed. In both classes of districts 
the Christianity which made progress from the sixth oentoiy 
onwards encountered the fr^ primitive heatiienism of im 
barbarians unsophisticated by dasrical polytheinn. 

It is absolutely necessary to the theories of the Dmidites tliat 
their system was in full force throughout all the Celtio tribes 
when they were converted to Christianity by the eariy saints or 
missionaries of the North. The most lively accounts of the 
idols, the priesthood, and superstitious observuices of baHMuroos 
heathen tribes in modem times are to be found in the records of 
misrionarv enterprise. No one can ffive so distinct an account 
of the e^erm^it^Biipentition <i8 ^ ehainpion who 1»8 Men 
it in full observance, has examined its character and influence 
with an eye to its stronger and weaker points, and has at 
last prevailed against it. The worid may generally rely oq his 
taking advantage of the opportunities thus presented to Um. 
He will not underrate the power and influence devefeped 
in the worldly soise of the term by the system of heathen 
priestcraft which he has been the cbosen instrument of destroy- 
mg. And certdnly, if he has found in existence a subtie 
and unscrupulous hierarchy, who for unknown ages have 
exercised an absolute sway over the minds of the people, through 
influences founded on ancient traditicmal authority, and sup- 
ported by majestic ceremonials and mysterious rites, he will 
not pass over such a phenomenon as something too trifling to be 
remembered or mentioned. It may safely be pronounced, 
however, that not one word about the Druids is to be found 
in that great collection of Htemtmre, sraoe we may be assured 
that had the northern hagiok^y contained anything to assist in 

1868. Druids and Bards. 56 

supporting the qpinions of the modem Druidites^ this numerous 
and indefatigable body would to a certainty have discovered it. 

The eulogistic biographies of saints do not, of course, entirely 
pass overall allusion to the defenders of heathenism, over whom 
Uieir heroes triumphed. What is here maintainedi however, is 
that there is nothing in them about Druids,and that wherever they 
idlude under another name to heathen priests, there is nothing to 
lead to the inference that these personages belonged to any vast 
ymmetrical hieraichy exercising a ^irituai domination over all 
uie Celtic nations. When the holy man encounters in his path a 
spiritual enemy in the flesh, he is generally called in the Latin 
biographies a Magus. Sudi a person will come forward to pky 
his tricks like his fellowHsiagicians of Egypt, always, of course, to 
be oAt-mixacled by the saint and eat (Urt as the Persians say. 
St. Columba had some transactions with a Magus named 
Bxoichan, and the Saint's biographers let us so &r into the 
domestic history of this Magus, as to infimn us that he possessed 
a young Christian female dave. We are told nothing, how- 
ever, about has golden sickle, his white robe, his serpent's egg, 
or other establidbed ensignB of Ihmidical authority. 

Look, on the other hand, fitmi tiie Celts to the Teutonic or 
Scandinavian tribes and ti^ heathenism. Both in their own 
Sagos and in the accounts of the struggles among them of the 
Christian mosaionaries, the whole system comes forth with more 
vitality and distinctness than even the Pantheon of the Greeks 
or "Romans. There is Odin, the great Father, Thor with his 
red-4iot hammer, ever fbimdering into scrapes and battering his 
way out of them by sheer physical force and strength of 
character; There is that lovely hoyden Freya, who gives a day 
to our Christian week like her two great m^e relations. Next 
comes the frolicsome Loki with his practical jokes, which shake 
heaven and earth, that prince of good fellows Balder, and the 
huge, lTunpi3h, lazy tenants of Giant-land. It is not for us to 
say why it is that in comparison with the bold and distinct 
d^riptions of these and ower members of Valhalla, so little 
should be conveyed to us about the forms of heathenism among 
the Celtic tribes. But the fact stands by itself, that we hove 
no account of Drmdism in its latter days, either by its votaries 
or its enemies. * 

* We offer as a free gift to any <me who wiH accept of it, the 
fbUowiog soarces of information, to which we have not observed any 
relerence in modem Droidtcal literature. In < Martini Hameonii 
' Frisia sen de viris rd>usqae Frisiis iUustribus ' ( 1620), p. 106 et seq., 
il is set forth that Hareo, Pontiiex sen Prnfectas Ihniidam, who 
lived in Holland in the fourth century, wrote on the immortality ef 

56 Druids and Bards. July, 

So stands the question as to the knowledge we should have of 
the Druids, without the assistance of the multitude of volumes 
of all sizes which have in later times professed to tell the world 
their origin and developement, the extent of territory over 
which they held spiritual rule> the connexion of their hierarchy 
with the Boman Emperors and the later European governments, 
their influence over early and late Christianity, the special mya- 
teries, pomps, and cetemonies of their religion, their^emTrkable 
architecture, their colleges and schools, their views of astronomy, 
physical geography, ethics, and metaphysics, and many other 
things besides. Instead of attempting an exposition of any 
portion of the extensive field of Druidical literature, we shall offer 
an extract from an impartial abridgement of its principal fea* 
tures. In quoting a passage from the 'Encyclopedia Britannica,' 
it implies no reproach on that excellent work that we do not 
accept the accuracy of its statement. It is the nature of an 
encyclopedia not so much to criticise the received state of 
knowledge, as clearly and tersely to represent it. The article 
' Druids ' in the 'Encyclopedia Britannica,' is a concise and clear 
digest of the principal features of Druidism, as dispersed over 
the affluent pages of the * best authorities ' ; and the brief passage 
now quoted from it will afford a tolerable idea of the distinct 
information, commonly received by educated persons who have 
not closely examined the subject, as to the manner in which the 
religious rites of the Druids were performed. 

* They considered the oak as the emblem, or rather the peculiar 
residence, of the Almighty; and accordingly, chaplets of it were 
worn both by the Druids and the people in their religious ceremonies^ 
whilst the altars were strewed with its leaves and encircled with its 
branches. The fruit of it, especially the misletoe, was thought to 
contain a divine virtue, and to be the peculiar gift of heaven. It 
was therefore sought for on the sixth day of the moon, with the 
greatest earnestness and anxiety ; and when found, it was hailed with 
raptures of joj. As soon as the Druids were informed of this fortu- 
nate discovery, they prepared everything for the sacrifice under the 
oak, to which they fastened two white bulls by the horns ; then the 
Arch-Druid, attended by a prodigious number of people, ascended the 
tree, dressed in white ; and, with a consecrated golden knife or 
pruning-hook, cropped the miseltoe, which he received in his sagum 

the soul ; and that another Dutchman, Foppo, the most distinguished 
heathen author of the eighth century, left, among other works, 
treatises ' De offidis Druidum ' and ' De ritu sacrificiorum ; ' also that 
Occo, a ferocious fellow, the last of the Frisian Druids, vrrote on the 
doctrines and the lives of the chief Druidical priests. See Seelen's 
' Selecta litteraria,' printed at Lubec in 1726, where (p. 428.) this 
department of literature is noticed. 

1863. Druidi and Bards. 57 

or robe» amidst the rapturous exclamations of the people. Having 
secured the sacred plant, he descended the tree ; the bulls were sacri- 
ficed ; and the deity invoked to bless his own gift, and render it 
efficacious in those distempers in which it should be administered. 

' The consecrated groves in which they performed their religious 
rites were fenced round with stones to prevent any persons entering 
between the trees except through the passages left open for that 
purpose, and which were guarded by some inferior Druids, to prevent 
any stranger from intruding into their mysteries. 

*' These groves were of different forms ; some quite circular, others 
oblongy and more or less capacious, as the votaries in the districts to 
which they belonged were more or less numerous. The area in the 
centre of the grove was encompassed with several rows of large oaks, 
set very close together. Within this lai*ge circle were several smaller 
ones, surrounded with large stones; and near the centre of these 
smaller circles were stones of a prodigious size and convenient 
height, on which the victims were slain and offered. Each of these 
being a kind of altar, was surrounded with another row of stones, the 
use of which cannot now be known, unless they were intended as 
cinctures to keep the people at a convenient distance from the 
officiating priest.' 

Here we are introduced to those great masses of stone pro- 
jecting here and there from the surface of the earth, which, as 
Dmidical stones, Druidical circles, Druidical altars, and so forth, 
are considered a permanent and convincing testimony to the 
wide influence of the order with whose name they are as- 

Familiar as people are in topographical works with the never- 
bentating assertion about the use of these monuments by the 
Druids, it is almost startling to reflect that there is not one word 
in any ancient book to connect the two things together. The 
ancient authors who speak of groves say nothing about stones, 
while naturalists tell us that around Stonehenge and several 
other circles no timber can have ever grown. Mr. Godfrey 
Higgins dwells with a sort of wistful tenacity on those passages 
in ocripture in which it is set forth that Jacob rose up early and 
took the stone he slept on and set it up for a pillar ; and that 
Joshua took a great stone and set it up under an oak that was 
by the sanctuary; and that Samuel took a stone and set it 
between Mispeh and Shem, and called the name of it Ebeneser. 
But even his far-stretching ingenuity is at a loss to connect 
these statements with Stonehenge and Kitts Cotty House. 

Before passing 6n from the assertion that there is not one 
word in any ancient book to connect the monuments commonly 
called Druidical with the heathen priests described by Csesar 
and Pliny, it may be necessary, if we would avoid the charge of 
treacherous suppression, to notice Sir Richard Colt Hoare*s 

58 Druids and Bards. Julj, 

glorious discoTerj of the ritea to which Stonebenge was 
dedicated in the old heathen dajs. He finds it stated bj 
Diodorus Siculus, on the authority of Hecataeus, that over 
against Gaul there is an island as large as Sicily^ inhabited by 
the Hyperboreans and containing a circular temple dedicated to 
Apollo; farther that the supreme authority over this temple 
and its oonsecrated precinct is vested in the Boreads or de- 
scendants of Boreas. One feels almost sorry that Diodorus had 
not, by the alteration of a letter or two, given a more solid found- 
ation for a satisfactory conclusion. Had he but written Druids 
instead of Boreads, how vast would have been the congratula- 
tion and exultation which he would have bequeathed to distant 
generations. As matters now stand, it is sad to reflect that 
even the possession of this dubious morsel of comfort is not un- 
disputed, since some antiquaries have maintidned that the 
circular temple, where the desoendants of Boreas officiated, waa 
a certain small stone dome in the county of Stirling, popularly 
named Arthur's Oven, imd better known by the execrationB 
which antiquaries have heaped upon the barbarous owner, who 
todc it to pieces to line a mill-dam with its ^ones, than by 
anything discovered concerning its origin or original uses. 

There are some who will perhi^ maintain that the universal 
acceptance of the belief, that the connexion of these monuments 
with Druidieal worship must have been cansed by a tradition to 
that effect, and that such a tradition must be founded on tmfcfay 
as taidition invariably is. In the instance of <me Druidieal 
temple, and that the most illustrious of them all — Stonefaeage 
itself — the tradition of Druidieal ori^ is impaired by the itmst 
that a totally different tradition existed several hundreds of 
years aga Giraldus Cambrenos tdls us, that in his day it was 
called the Giants' Dance, and was reputed to have been brought 
over from the flat meadow in Ireland, now used as a race-course 
at the Curragh of Kildare ; and Geoffrey of Monmouth narrates 
drcumstantialiy how, through the mechanical genius of Merlin, 
the stones were raised and removed to Salisbury Plain, where 
they may now be seen. For GeoflSrey's history of Stonehenge, 
which is worth reading for its picturesqueness, it can at least 
be s^d thiU; none with any more sure fiMindatioa in fact 
has been given by any other writer; and we are not prepared 
to accept Mr. Fergusson's theory that the whole &bric dates 
frmn a period subsequent to that at which the Bomans 
withdrew from Britain. Camden is as remarkably in con- 
trast with his ambitious and feeble followers as he is in harmony 
with the inductive system of his illustrious contemporary, 
when he tells his followers not to exhaust themselves in baselees 

1863. Drvids and Bards. 59 

qieoulations as to the (mgin of the fiibric^ but to be content 
with expressing their regret that the history of so magnificent 
an effi>rt of human power is lost in impenetrable darkness. 
This conclusion is as tme as it is huiniliating; and it is 
perhi^ all the more provoking that one science should be 
utterly baffled as to both the i^ and origin of a structure 
evidently from the hand of man, while another groping bendith 
affords us a lucid hbtoir of the arrangement of those strata 
in the crust of the earthy deposited there long ere man came 
into existence. True, geology^by an eruption or upheaval here 
and a subsidence there, occurring at perfectly convenient inters 
vals, has an easy method to adjust the science to the phenomena. 
But in the successions of the fossiliferous strata, and even 
their oonn^on with the uninhabited chemical rocks, there is a 
beautiful predsion of established science which seems to put to 
shame the efforts of the archsoologbt to deal with the most 
familiar f^enomena of pur daily walks. Nor is this all the 
humiHation that archaeology is simering from the same quarter. 
Geology has been encroaching upon its parish, by asserting 
possession over the curious earthen mounds, called raths and 
barrows, which have heretofore afforded nearly as good a scope 
fisr Dmidieal speculation as the stones themselves. 

Sir Bichard Colt Hoare, after a laborious analysis, has daso^ 
fied these monuments as * The long barrow, the bowl barrow, 
* the conoid barrow, the Druid barrow, the encircled bar- 
<row, ihe enclosed barrow,' &c.; but all this fine classifica- 
tion becomes lost if the geologists have their way, and make 
out the barrows to be £luvial formations left by the lakes 
and other waters. Nor have the geologists been frightened by 
the discovery of human remains within these earthen mounds. 
They hold that this only shows a disposition to bury under 
conqpicuous objects, wheuier natural or artificial, as an arrange^ 
ment more economical thm the erection of fresh monuments. 
And here it has to be noted tiiat the Druids have obtained 
some compensating consolation from this principle, since it 
enables them to rebut the inference frequently drawn against 
them from the discovery of human remains under their favourite 
stones, that these were erected as monuments to the dead, and 
not as altars for the celebration of Druidieid worship. 

A heavy censure would, however, be incurred by leaving the 
supposition that all the monuments reputed to be relics of 
Druidism lure shapeless masses without utterance. Besides the 
O^iam inscriptions, there are many stones inscribed wiA 
figures that would tell us an articulate history, could we find a 
key to it These sculptured stones are chiefly found in the 

60 Dndds and Bards. July, 

North of Scotland. They contain ornaments which the pro- 
fime and yulgar-minded common people speak of as spectadeSy 
cocked-hats, combe, and looking-glasses, but which the learned 
have found to be the symbols of some ancient and mysterious 
worship. The latest of those authorities, where the matter is 
treated of in the mos( recondite and transcendental form, 
diseoTcrs a partnership between those great dissenters from 
Brahminism called the Buddhists on the one part, and the 
Druids on the other. We are told that 

* When the enthusiastic Buddhist missionaries reached the extreme 
West, they found themselTes among a rude race, at enmity with their 
ndghbouTS, and menaced by the great Roman pow^ whidi had sub- 
jugated their more pow^ful Southern neighbours. These mission- 
aries with the Druids, many of idiom had fled firom the cruel perse- 
cutions <^ the Romans, would unite the diffisrent tribes to oppose 
their cruel invaders. This could only be done by aymbds, as they 
had no written language, and upon the erect stones already probably 
venerated, they traced figures to ^explain their Trinity, the great 
doftma of their religion. 

'As their influence extended, other obelisks were erected and 
adorned with devices to stimulate the pride of the Caledonians, while 
they awakened their fears and humbled their zeal for their religious 
<^Mnions ; and they w^ne exeeuted in a st]^ which proved their in- 
telligence and th^ knowle^e of the arts which tli^ had brought 
from the East. 

' As introdttctcny to a qiedflc descriptmn of the fruits of this por- 
tentous alliance, we must believe;, as a leading first principle, that 
^the great doctrine of the Bhuddist religion consists in a Triad, 
*^ Tri-raimOj or three jewels, or three precious ones ; that is, Buddha, 
** Spirit or God; Dkarma^ the Law; and Sangka, the Buddhist com- 
^ munity, or brotherhood." This was the genuine sense of the words 
to certain <^ the initiated ; but a more doir or inteUigiUe explana- 
tion was that BuddJka signified the Sptrxtual or the Divine intellec- 
tual Essoice <^ the Worid, or the eflicient underived Cause of All ; 
Dkarwui, the material essence of the Worid, the plastic underived 
Cause ; and Sangka^ which was derived from and composed of the 
two others. The third member is therefore the collective energy of 
spirit and matter in the state of action, or the embzyotic creation, the 
type and sum of all specific fwms spontaneous^ evolved fitm the 
union of Buddha mnd DharmuiJ 

These sublime and lucid doctrines are iq[^plied in this 

< In the great temfOes of Ekura, and several other Buddhist caves, 
Cokod Sykes found three cirdes traced in the same order as <m 
the coins, two forming the basement, and one the apex. This is the 
sjmbolical representation of the Buddhist Triad, which is still more 
aeearately traced —- •^ ^^nneUar Standing Stcme in Abodeeadure, 

1863. Druids and Bards. 6 1 

which has three circles phiced in the same order as in the temples of 
Hindostao, and to mark still more intelligibly the Trinity in Unity 
they are connected by another circle. This is the simplest form of 
the representation of the Trinity in Unity, and the crescent orna- 
ment underneath the circles in the Kinif^llar Stone proves it^ identity 
with the other sculptured stones of Scotland. The most frequent 
form, however, of the Trinity on these stones is two circles, symbob 
of Spirit and Matter, united by a belt and crossed by a bar, to the 
extremities of which two sceptres were joined, to indicate the 
supreme power, according to the Buddhist creed the coordinate and 
all-originating principle. This formed what has been called the 
spectacle ornament upon the stones of Scotland ; while the third 
member of the Trinity, organised matter (Sangha), was represented 
near the others in the form of a crescent 

* Sometimes this third member is crossed by sceptres, to indicate 
the sovereignty of the laws which organic matter follows.'* 

With like Oriental profiision are illustrated monuments bear- 
ing such homely northern names as Dunnichen, Norislaw, 
Kintore, Meigle, Newton^ Glaromis, Aberlemno^ Eassie, and 
FameL What a scientific body like the Royal Society of 
Edinburgh had to do with the puolication of a document stand- 
ing in such motley contrast with the scientific precision of its 
neighbours, it is difficult to imagine, though one is tempted to 
look to the precedent of the exhibition of the tipsy Spartan 
Helots. It was perhaps no bad policy to take from a quarter 
which could bring no scandal on their own pursuits a document 
exhibiting in so lively a way the melancholy results of any 
departure from the sober path of rigid investigation and satis- 
fiactory proof. 

And now a word or two about the Bards who profess to be 
the historical descendants and existing representatives of Druid- 
ism, baying been the literary and artistic branch of the old 
Pagan hierarchy, and thus entitled and enabled, without scandal 
to Christianity, to keep alive and even practise with renewed 
activity in the nineteenth century the functions of their peculiar 
department. In strict chronology, the first allusion to the 
Bards is in the passage in Lucan, previously mentioned, where, 
without reference to their race or country, ne enumerates them 
among the other devotees of barbarous practices who will be left 
free to exercise them by CsBsar's return to Italy. It would be 
but a few years later that they are more distinctly discussed 

* Notes on some of the Buddhist Opinions and Monuments of 
Asia, compared with the Symbols on the ancient Sculptured Standing 
Stones of Scotland, by Thomas A Wyse, Esq, M.D., F.A., S.E., 
Transactions of the Boyal Society of Edinburgh, voL xxi. p. 262. 

62 Druids and Bards. Joij^ 

bj Tacitufi; who plaoes them not among the Celte^ but the 

DifBculties of this sort are, however, immediately got over 
by that prerogative method of reasoning which^ in all questions 
about languages, counts the Celtic as the giver and never as the 
receiver. Pliny, having supposed that Druid, like Dryad, was 
derived from the Greek for an oak, is censured by Higgins, for 
going to a modem language like the Greek for a word still used 
m an ancient language like the Welsh. When we find that 
dam is Gaelic for a house, leabhr for a book, ughdar for an 
author, while what we call writing is expressed by sgriobham and 
ffraipfutm, we are not to suppose that any resemblance of these 
to words of corresponding meaning in the classical languages 
shows that they are derived from that source. If the inhabitant 
of Wales, Kerry, or the Isle of Skye speaks of literature in 
words which e^ently bear a relationship to those employed by 
the Grreeks and Bomans, it must be set down without question 
that these latter were the pupils, not the instructors. So, pro- 
bably, etymologists in some future age will show us how the 
realway thrane and the aylaecthrik thtloygraf are words of 
purely Celtic origin, brought into use in a corrupt shape to 
serve vulgar Saxon purposes. Like most things handled 
by a supreme authority, there is a simplicity about this 
method which has its attraction, as the reader will perhaps 
acknowledge in the following short passage, which, in the 
etymological a(^usUnent of their relation to the Druids, at the 
same time points out, with a happy precision, the title of the 
Bards to represent that order in the present day. It may be 
necessary to mention that Strabo, Ammianus, and others speak 
with vague brevity of certain Eubages, otherwise read Euhages, 
Ovates, and Yates as co-operators with the Bards. All 
difficulties, however, about the distribution of the functions 
are removed in the passage referred to, taken from the 
* Musical and Poetical Belies of the Welsh Bards,' by Edward 
Jones, who held the appropriate office of Bard to George IV. 
when he was Prince of Wales. In showing how * the bards 
^ were originally a constitutional appendage of the Druidical 
' hierarchy, which was divided into three classes, priests, philoso- 
' phers, and poets,' Mr. Jones proceeds as follows : — 

* Derwydd means the body of the oak, and by implication the name 
of the oak, formed from Derw, oak, and ydd^ a termination of nomis, 
as Llyxogdd and DarUenydd\ answering the English terminations in 
governor, reader, and the like. 

' Bardd signifies the branching, or what springs from, derived from 
B^, a Imtnch on the top ; as Cardd from Car ; Tardd frtmi Tar and 

1863. Druids and Bards. 63 

Taren ; also the misletoe of the oak is called UcheUfar^ the high or 
loftj shrub. 

* Ovydd implies the sapling or unformed plant, from ov, raw, pure, 
and ydd^ above explained ; bat when applied to a person, Ovydd 
means a Noviciate, or a holy one set apart. 

* Thence it appears evident that Derwydd^ Bardd, and Ovydd were 
emblematical names of the three orders in the system of Druidism, 
rery significant of the particular function of each. The Derwydd 
was the trunk or support of the whole, whose prerogative it was to 
form and preside over rights and mysteries. The Bardd was the 
ramificati<m firom that trunk, arrayed in foliage which made it 6on- 
spicuous, whose office waa to rec<u*d and sing to the multitude the 
precepts of their religion. And the Ovydd was the young shoot 
growing up, ensuring a prospect of permanency to the sacred grove ; 
he was considered as a disciple, and consequently conducted the 
lightest and most trivial duties appertaining to the spreading temple 
of the oak.' 

There is no intention on this occasion of denying that the 
Welsh have had bards among them. It would be difficmt^ indeed, 
to find any community existing at any time on the face of the 
earth as to ^hom it could be proved that they were destitute of 
that coQunodity. Everywhere man has been found giving 
utterance to his musical impulses, not only by means of his own 
lungs, but through a ceaseless variety of mechanical devices, 
including organs, harps, sackbuts, dulcimers, trumpets, drums, 
flageolets, bagpipes, fiddles, trom'bones, oboes, and hurd^rdies. 
Of an art so universal, and so varied in its developement, it is 
^fficolt to say how much or how little of it any one nation 
possessed, and we are willing to admit that the Welsh may 
have been, and may still be, a very musical people. That they 
have had good music, or even good poetry, for centuries will 
not, however, secure for their Bardic system the historic^ posi- 
tion claimed for it. The proposition is, that the British who 
sought refuge in Wales, retaining only their Christianity, abjured 
all the other elements of Koman civilisation, and re-adopted 
another and, of course, a higher civilisation possessed by the 
Celtic nations anterior to the Boman invasion. The religion of 
Druidism they could not re-adopt, consistently with their Chris- 
tianity ; but the secular part of the system was renewed in 
full glory, and was even enabled to rejoin the threads that had 
been broken by the intrusion of the Bomans, and carry back 
a continuous history of heroism and civilisation through many 
hundreds of years before the Christian era. Let us see how 
such a proposition tallies with the ordinary known facts of 
British history. 

Before looking to their political position, it should be men- 

64 Druids aiid Bards. July, 

tioned as a diflSculty not satisfactorily cleared up, that the Welsh 
afford us much less assistance towards the real history of 
Christianity in Britain than either the Saxons or the Irish. It 
is true that to those who have sufficient faith to tinist to the 
Welsh authorities alone, their contributions to the history of 
religion are found to be superabundant A list of British 
saints given by Mr. Bees, on the authority of Cressy's 
* Church History,' but from which Mr. Bees carefully with- 
holds his own authority, commences in this manner : ' Joseph 
^ of Arimathea, Apostle of the Britons and founder of the 
^ church at Glastonbury. 2. Mansuetus, a Caledonian Briton, 
^ disciple of St. Peter at Borne, and afterwards Bishop of 
^ Toul in Lorraine. 3. Aristobulus, a disciple of St. Peter 
' or St. Paul^ sent as an apostle to the Britons, and was the 
' first bishop in Britain. 4. Claudia, supposed to have been a 
^ daughter of Caractacus, and the wife of Pudens.' And so 
the list can be carried on, until it expands into St. Ursula 
with her eleven thousand virgins, and the twenty thousand 
saints buried in the Isle of Bardsey. It is curious to notice 
a little bit of external assistance of which this rich Hagiology 
condescends to accept. Martial, in one of his epigrams, having 
mentioned a certain Pudens married to a British lady named 
Claudia Bufina, the passage has been seized on as an. identi- 
fication of the daughter oi Caractacus, and of her domestic 
Eosition as the wife of Pudens. A great deal of learning 
as been devoted to this very small item, and when compared 
with the large results drawn from purely Welsh authorities, 
one cannot help being reminded of Caleb Balderstone, who, 
after enlarging on the abundance and luxury of the contents 
of his larder at Wolfscraig, yet puts himself to earnest exertion 
to get possession, in a manner not strictly justifiable, of the leg 
of mutton which he finds roasting before the humble fire of a 
neighbouring skipper. 

Another desperate attempt to connect the native literature 
and traditions of the Welsh with something accepted within 
the pale of general knowledge, attaches itself to the name of 
Gildas, known to most people as the reputed author of one of 
the earliest books on British ecclesiastical literature. How 
much hope there may be of establishing such a connexion on a 
sure basis, may be inferred from what is said of Gildas by Mr. 
Stevenson in his edition of his book printed for the English 
Historical Society. * We are unable to speak with certainty as 
' to his parentage^ his country, or even his name ; the period 
' when he live^ or the works of which he was the author.* 
Yet the Welsh antiquaries have succeeded^ not only in estab- 

1863. Druidt and Bards. 65 

lishing him as one of their aunts, but in identifying him with 
their favourite poet Aneorin. Had both these been sub- 
stantial realities, the union would have seemed as prepos- 
terous as that Drjden should be identified with Bishop 
Hoadley, or Bmms with Dr. Blidr; but shadows are more 
easily amalgamated than substances. It is when we pass on to 
the age of real and well authenticated saints-— or rather distin- 
guished missionaries among the Saxons and the Irish, that the 
essential poverty of the Welsh hagiology is felt. The names of 
Aidan, Cuthbert, Columba, and many others, are as securely 
based in ecclesiastical history as those of Alfred and Canute 
in our civil annals. But unless their claim to St. Kentigem 
were admitted, which it cannot be, none of the crowd of saints 
enumerated by the Welsh themselves have any authentic stand- 
ing in the histories of the early Christian world. 

Though we have just seen on what poor encouragement they 
will seek confirmation from other sources of evidence, the 
WeMi are of course, both in their ecclesiastical and their civil 
history, a law unto themselves, seeking #io support from what 
may be said about them in external historical literature, and 
admitting no difficulties dther from its silence, or its incon- 
sistency with their own. When the outer world is told that no 
translation can convey the faintest impression of the powerful 
descriptions, the subUme metaphors, and the innumerable deli- 
cacies of sentiment pervading Celtic poetry; when it is also 
intimated that no extent of study will enable the stranger to 
master the intricacies of the language, and all its graces and 
* enjoyments are limited to those who have had the fortune to 
acquire it as their native tongue, there is nothing for it but 
submission to the hard fate which throws us back upon the 
common world of literature, ancient and modem.* But when 
we are told on the same exclusive authority that certain wars, 
treaties, codes of law, and sodal institutions existed in Britain 
hundreds of years before the Christian era ; that we are to 
believe it because the Welsh sages, who are the only persons 

* The last and most enthusiasUe of the cbampioDS of Welsh litera- 
ture and Welsh Bards is Mr. Greorge Barrow, whose strange book, 
entitled *Wild Wales,' is a very dreary counterpart of his Komany 
adventures and his ' Bible in Spain.' Mr. Barrow traces the descent 
of tiie Bards down to a recent period ; and as he also ascribes to 
them the faculty of second sight, it is not wonderful that these all- 
knowing men predicted in their 'englyn' the construction of the 
Henai bridge and the North- Western Railway ! ( WUd fFales, u 
p. 341.) 


66 DruidM and Bards. Joly^ 

oqiable of judging, say it u so ; that to qnestbn them in this 
their peculiar province, is as presumptuous as for an mileamed 
person to question the professional opinion of a surgeon or a 
uwyer, — we think fit to rebut the assumption, and maintain 
that Welsh history must be tested by its adi^tability to that of 
the rest of the world, and to the ordmary rules of human belie£ 

Let us just see the gulph that has to be got over to bring the 
bardic literature dear down from a time anterior to the Boman 
invasion. Before the final breaking up, the Bomans had been 
&ur hundred years among us, nearly as long as the Saxons had 
been before the Norman conquest* The vestiges of the roads 
and military works by which they held a hostile and turbulent 
peqfde for some time in subjection mav be traced as far as 
Inverness. In the province of Valencia, between the walls, thm 
left many testimonies of the luxury and magnificence in whidk 
Aey lived. The wide territory to the soutii of tiie wall of Severus, 
— England, in short, with the exception of one small comer, 
— ^was thoroughly Bomanised* It had ceased to be the scene of 
ecmtention, and in a great measure to be even a land wh^re one 
nation ruled and ano&er obeyed, although, doubtless, the slave* 
market was chiefly supplied from among the natives. Britain 
was, like Spain and Gaul, a powerful department of the Empire, 
possessing many municipalities and an extensive commerce; 
and in London, York, and other conoderaUe cities, probaUy 
exhibiting better spedmens of good Boman society than the 
northern districts of Italy. It was a centre of intrigue and 
ambition in the later struggles for the purple. One empenv, 
Constantius Chlorus, died at York; nor was such an event ' 
spoken o^ like the death of the late emperor Alexander dT 
Busda, at Taganrog, as occurring in a distant and uncivilised 
province. One of the competitc»rs for the imperial throne, 
Caransius, obtained his object through the political influence 
which he hdd in Britain, and was as undoubtedly Cftsar as any 
of the later emperors. 

The Boman language, government, and manners naturally 
disappeared before uie self-willed Saxons ; yet not so utterly but 
that in such names as Manchester, and other places ending 
in Chester or caster, we have a relic of the imperial times; and 
from the readiness with which the Saxons amalgamated the 
municipal system of the Bomans into their own institutions, there 
is reason to suppose rather that they took them as they found 
them growing on the spot, than that they went for them to the 
pages of the dvilians, or copied them from continental practice. 
In Wales, where one would naturally suppose that the dvilisa- 
tion ^^ *'^'^ ^"npire would have long lingered, it seems to have 

1863. Druidi and Bards. 67 

dkappeared faster than it fled before the nordiem conqueror. 
Yet dcfwn to a period later dian the Norman conqueRt the 
material remains of Boman magnificence were yet visible, and 
Grixaldas CambrensiB gives a rather gorgeous description of the 
palaces with gilded roofs, ike temples, and the hot baths of 

Y^ we are caUed on to suppose that, about the time when 
Ae Saxons began to come over, all the thorough Romanism of 
Britain was abolished, and the ancient constitution restored by a 
vote as it were of some comprehensive kind, perhaps by resolu- 
tioDB at a great pubUo meeting. The Bup^tion, considering 
it for a moment as if it were a rational one, is not complimen- 
ttry to the spirit of liie people ; for instead of leaving undisturbed 
tiie natural supposition that the Britons assimilated to the 
dvilisi^ion of die Italians, it demands the condition that the 
Britons merely submitted for liie time being to their superior 
strength, and went back to their old ways whenever external 
drcumstancee removed the pressure of the conqueror. But if 
we are to believe the Arthurian literature, as it is termed — ^if 
we are to admit liie reign of Arthur as rendered to us by the 
Welsh authorities, to be a reality — we must suppose, not merely 
that his contemporaries entirely and at once threw off the 
Roman laws, institutions, lansui^e, and social usages, but that 
they also at once adopted, and in its fullest developement, that 
social code of chivalry whidi did not dawn upon the rest of 
Europe until some centuries afterwards. Without some miracle 
of th» sort, Arthuv and his Knights of the Round Table could 
have had no existence. If we suppose that those warriors, who 
fought against the hordes of Scottish invaders, and next agdnst 
the Saxons, retained but a remiumt of the manners in which they 
were brought up, then we know that there were among them 
none of the institutions of feudality and chivalry. There were 
no great casties like those afterwards built by the Normans, 
where tiie chief and his guests and retainers held knightly 
wassail in the great stone hall ; no fortified towers, no dungeon, 
or moat, or drawbridge, where the challenger sounded his defiant 
bugle. Knight-errantry and demonstrative courtesy to women 
were alike unknown, and there could, therefore, be no legends 
of damsels held in durance by dragons or cruel giants, until the 
destined champion comes to their rescue. There were no 
tournaments, or other gratuitous encounters, where men fought 
without the impulse of military duty, or of hatred, or of money 
as hired gladiators, or of coercion as slaves. There was no fairy 

* Itinerary through Wales, Hoare's translation, b. i. chap. v. 

68 Druids and Bards. July, 

island of Avalon for the djing Arthur to be taken to by the 
Ladies of the Lake — ^nothing, in short, of that medissval ehivalry 
which adorns the expansive pages of Sir lliomas Malony, and 
glows with concentrated lustre in Tennyson's ' Idylls.' Without 
all these attributes, not only what is palpably fable, but what 
is told in the form of grave history concerning the reign of 
British Arthur, loses its form, its substance, and all the ele- 
ments of material existence, and it becomes absolutely necessary 
that King Arthur should pair off with his rival Odin to join 
Hercules, Apollo, Bomulus, and a few other eminences in 

The powerfully chivalrous tone of the Arthurian literature 
naturally suggests that we should look at those great founders 
of chivalry, the Normans, as likely to be connected with it if any 
surrounding conditions justify such a supposition. Without 
undertakings according to the established practice of antiquaries, 
to present for this difficulty an absolute solution, sacred both 
from confutation and from doubt, we ofier it as on the whole a 
rational conjecture, that after the severance from Home, and 
the arrival of the Saxons, the Welsh sank rapidly into bar- 
barism, both secular and religious, and were resuscitated by their 
connexion with the Normans, to whose attractive influence the 
impulsive inhabitants of Wales appear to have been peculiarly 
susceptible. A resuscitated civilisation under their new leaders 
would account for those characteristics which are held to stamp 
an extreme antiquity on Welsh literature by a reference to bar- 
barous and even heathenish customs. Wher« civilisation is new, 
matters of recent ori^ will possess the attributes that confer a 
hoar antiquity in old countries. When the New Zealanders 
reach the standard of civilisation to be fairly anticipated from 
their rapid progress, men meeting in good society will betray 
very recent traces of the darkest usages of savage life, 
when they adjust with each other genealogical questions as to 
whose grandfather was the eaten and whose was the eater. 

Of the connexion of the Normans with the Welsh, before the 
final annexation of their territory and its fordble subjection to 
the English judicatory and executive, we have a pleasant and 
•expressive picture in the Itinerary of Ginddus Cambrensis, or 
Du BarrL He was himself the representative of a Norman 
family, but with plenty of Welsh blood in his veins, and his story 
is of a progress through Wales along with Archbishop Baldwin, 
for the purpose of recruiting for the Crusades. Family and 
district contests then abounded, but there is no trace of a 
national hatred between the Welsh and the Norman. That 
seems to have come afterwards, with the final annexation. 

1863. Druids and Bards. 69 

And that the hatred of the oppressor should have obtained its 
tone and empha^ from himseff is not unexampled in history. 
The oppressions of the Edwards made Scotland show a 
thoroughly English independence in her hatred of English 
dominadon^ and the most restless and unquiet of Irishmen have 
arisen even among the descendants of the English settlers* 

It is worth noting that the earlier entries in the ^Brut j 
^Tjwysogion, or Chronicle of the Princes/ speak of the 
Normans or French in a spirit of neutrality^ if not of amity. 
That work is now accessible, edited to perfection, and with an 
excellently distinct English translation — a mighty addition to 
its general usefulness — among those chronicles and memorials of 
the empire which are printed under the auspices of the Master 
of the Bolls. This Brut is no Arthurian romance, b«t a sober 
chronicle, the bulk of it written by contemporaries, and only a 
very few brief entries earlier than the Norman conquest We 
mention these j)eculiaritie8 because, desirous of furnishing the 
reader with a typical passage exhibiting the preposterous daims 
to antiquity of the Welsh romantic literature, we find, and it is 
widi regret, an easy choice of such a morsel in the preface to 
this offidal edition of the * Chronicle of the Brut.' Here 
is a summary, to* understand the significancy of which it is^ 
necessary to remember that the era of Prydain, son of Aedd 
the Grreat, is variously dated from the year 1780 to 480 before 
the birth of Christ:— 

* The summary of the preceding authorities then, so far as they 
bear upon the question we are investigating, is this : that previous 
to tlvB time of Prydain there was no uniform and regular method of 
recording occurrences ; that subsequently periods of time were com- 
puted from his era ; that this mode was continued until after the 
introduction of Christianity into the island, when, to some extent, 
the year of Christ was adopted ; that the bards for the most part 
adhered to the old rule of Cov & Chy vriv until the time of Arthur, 
when events that occurred before the Christian era were enjoined to 
be dated according to the age of the world, and subsequent events 
from the Nativity; that Howel the Grood ordained chronological 
records to be dated from the year of Christ's coming in the flesh ; 
and that, until a comparatively late period, the bards were in the 
habit of dating the holding of their congress sometimes simply from 
the era of I^dain, sometimes from that and the era of Christ 
conjointly, though it would seem that other events have been 
chronicled by them invariably after the Christian mode, and there 
is every reason to believe that a few of the historical Triads are 
genuine memorials of Druidic times ; for though they might not have 
been committed to writing until perhaps the twelfth century, yet it is 
very probable that they were respectively compiled when the last 
event of each was still fresh in the memory. Internal evidence 

70 Druids and Bards. July* 

points to the remotest antiquity. Being thus framed, they would be 
publicly recited at the periodic festivals of the bards, and the 
repeated recitation would be the sure means of preventing all inters 
polation and corruption. Indeed, written literature might be more 
easily tampered with in those days than oral traditions, thus, as it 
were, nationally stereotyped. The only circumstance that would 
affect their transmission would be the impracticabUity of meeting iti 
a national convention, as, no doubt, was the case during parts of the 
Roman domination. Whenever that difficulty offered itself, the duty 
of preserving such records devolved upon individual members of tfa^ 
Bardic Institute, meeting in groups of twos or threes, and inter- 
changing communications couched in the language of secrecy.' — 
{Brut y Tywysogiotiy p. xii.) 

The Bey. John Williams Ab Ithel, Bector of Llanymowdd wy, 
who is th# author of these remarks, draws largely on our credulity. 
But Scotland has resigned a long catal<^e of fictitious kings, and 
Ireland has thrown adrift a still larger bulk of fabulous lustory. 
Wales will have to follow the example, although she holds her 
precious deposit of marvels, not only for herself, but in trust, as 
it were, for the whole island of Britain. There are few instances 
where the resignation of cherished historical fable has so am^e a 
compensation in literary glory. That the gorgeous collection of 
romance invented or repeated by Geofirey of Monmouth went at 
once to the heart of chivalrous Europe, and spread over the 
literature of almost every Christian land a sjurit which had its 
origin in Wales, cannot be doubted. Whoever de^res to 
behold the fiill efficiency of this influence, brought to his com- 
prehension in translations alike remarkable for their learning 
and their genius, let him go to the three volumes of, the 
Mabinogium of Lady Charlotte Gruest. 

But the inference to be drawn from the facts we have been 
collecting, and from the absence of all tangible contemporary- 
evidence, compels us, however reluctantly, to efface from the 
pages of history those stately and shadowy forms which have 
flitted for centuries through the groves of Avalon, and peopled 
the sanctuaries of an extinct religion. Had the Druids and 
Bards really existed in those periods in which they have been 
described, had they really exercised the powers imputed to 
them over the religion, the literature, and the arts of a great 
people or of immense tribes, it is scarcely possible to conceive 
that all positive evidence of their authority would have disap- 
peared. We think ourselves justified, then, in concluding that 
the place they really fill in history is indefinite and obscure ; 
and that the attempt to give a more precise form' to these tra- 
ditions by ingenious conjectures has oeen for the most part 

1863. Modem 8iyU$ of Architecture. 71 

Abt. Ill,— History of the Modem Styles of Architecture: 
being a Sequel to the Handbook of Architecture. By James 
Fergusson, Fellow of the Boyal Institute of British 
Architects. London: 1862. 

"ji/fB. Fergussok has worthily completed an important 
work. He has traced the history of architecture in every 
country of the worlds from its crude infan^ through the 
several stages of its greatness and decay. Few will deny 
that the undertaking required great courage and no scanty 
measure of judgment^ taste, and learning ; but none, perhaps, 
will read his History of the Modem Styles without feeling 
that, although it fully sustains his reputation, Mr. Fergusson 
has fouAd the sequel of his work the less congenial portion of 
his iaak. In his * Handbook of Architecture ' he had to deal 
with styles which were the result of a real growth and a 
geniune developement of art : but it was not this drcumstance 
alone which imparted to his earlier volumes their peculiar 
charm. In a series of brilliant sketches he displayed the 
characteristics and the spirit which marked the art of Greece 
and Bome, of Assyria, Persia, and Egypt; and his pictures 
were, on the whole, no less truthful tluui brilliant, tf, while 
reviewing his Handbook *, we diq>uted the theory which afl^ 
liated Greek architecture on that of Egypt, and if we objected 
still mcnre strongly to his account of the Christian styles as 
the least satisfactory portion of the work, we wdcom^ with 

r'tude the admirable treatise on Eastern Art, in which 
Fergusson has had no rivaL With the Asiatic styles 
in general, and preeminently with those of India, he is 
thoroughly familiar; and the only regret in the minds of 
English readers is, that he had not examined at greater 
length buildings of which they know so little. If in his volume 
on ChriiBtian Art we found much valuable criticism, in his 
chapters on Asiatic architecture we were indebted to him for a 
real addition to our stock of knowledge. In his present volume 
Mr. Fergusson goes over no such new ground. Benaissance 
works are scatte^ about over well-nigh the whole face of the 
civilised globe. We may see entablatures and pediments and 
peristylar temples, without the trouble of going to the coun- 
tries in which these forms were first adopted. The change 
in his subject has had its effect on the author's feelings. The 

* Ed. Bev.. Na ccziii. 

72 T^T^xxfOOVL^ History of the July* 

tone of the Handbook was more than cheerful ; the tone of the 
present volume is not altogether inspiriting. A melancholy 
catalogue enumerates the signs of a disease weU-nigh past curing; 
and the only remedy proposed is one which it seems impossible 
to apply. It is no exaggeration to say, that he has allowed his 
artistic taste to make him needlessly censorious, and led him to 
treat the whole subject in a way which barely escapes the charge 
of being crotchety. His general survey of modem art has 
brought him to the conclusion that all architectural styles, iu- 
cluding the first stage of the Renaissance, were truthful, while 
all later styles have been imitative or copying. In the former, 
ornamentation * either grew naturally out of the construction, 
' or was such as was best suited to express the uses or objects 
' to which the building was to be applied ; ' but since the Be- 
formation, with the exception of mere utilitarian designs, pro- 
bably not one truthful building has been erected in Europe. 
Still ornamental forms, although avowedly borrowed, may be 
rightly applied. The classical shaft and capital, used as a sup- 
port, is as much in its right place as a Gothic pier. Attached 
to a wall, where it supports nothing, it is put to a use for which 
it is not adapted, and which is therefore wrong. The applica- 
tion of this test draws a broad line between the first stage of the 
Beniussance and all later styles. As long as the architects 
applied classical ornaments rightly, their art was in a healthy 
and hopeful condition : as soon as bits of entablature were thrust 
in where they were not wanted, or columns were converted into 
mere ornamental appendages, the doom of the style was sealed. 
But the era of the Beniussance opened with the sojourn of 
Brunelleschi in Bome during the early part of the fifteenth 
century. If this date enables Mr. Fergusson to treat as be- 
longing to this style some of the finest palaces of Florence and 
Venice, it cuts down the true Benaissance to a short life indeed. 
Brunelleschi returned to Florence in 1420: he died in 1444. 
During the interval he erected buildings in which pieces of en- 
tablature were thrust between the pier and arch, and so left 
to his successors ^ the most fatal gift of Classic Art to modem 
' times * (p. 42.). A period of twenty years leaves for the trae 
Benaissance, as for the Geometrical Gothic style, littie more 
than a philosophical existence. But the scanty limits within 
which alone he can find buildings deserving genuine praise, 
widen proportionately the field ror trenchant criticism. Mr. 
Fergusson is a severe censor, and he is impartial in his severibr. 
To copy a Greek or a Boman building is in his eyes scarcely 
less abominable than to copy a Gothic one. Columns and 
entablatures, pediments and pilasters, are almost as vehemenUy 

1863. Modern Styles of Architecture. 73 

Eroscribed by him as cliiBtered shafts and pointed arches. To 
uild now as Englishmen built four centuries ago is only more 
absurd than to follow the fSuhions of classical antiquity. The 
number of modem Gt>thic churches in England rouses his in- 
dignation : — 

' There is not a town, scarcely a village, in the length and breadth 
of the land, which is not furnished with one of these forgeries : and 
so cleverly is this done in most instances, that, if a stranger were 
not aware that forgery is the fashion instead of being a crime, he 
might mistake the counterfeit for a really old Mediasval church.' 
(P. 342.) 

The new Houses of Parliament are still more severely 
criticised: — 

* Here it was determined to go a step further. Not only the ex- 
terior, but every room and every detail of the interior, was to be of 
the Tudor age. Even the sculpture was to be of the stiff formal 
style of that period ; Queen Victoria and her royal uncles and an* 
cestors from Queen Elizabeth downwards, were all to be clothed in 
the garb of the earlier period, and have their names inscribed in the 
illegible characters then current. Every art and every device was 
to be employed to prove that history was a myth, and that the British 
Sovereigns, from Elizabeth to Victoria, all reigned be fore the two 
last Henrys ! Or you are asked to believe that Henry Vli. foresaw 
all that the lords and commons and committees would require in the 
nineteenth century, and provided this building for their accommoda- 
tion accordingly. The Hindoos were actuated by the same childish 
spirit when they wrote their past history in the prophetic form of 
the Puranas. The trick hardly deceives even the ignorant Indian, 
and does not certainly impose on any Englishman.' (P. 343.) 

There is, of course, the simple answer that no deception or 
imposition was intended ; but the censure is in part deserved. 
If we have no national architecture, there may be no shame in 
adopting older forms which we find suitable for given purposes ; 
but the attempt to disguise the conditions of society at the present 
day in a classical or a Gothic garb is beneath contempt. In the 
northern aisle of the nave of Westminster Abbey, the visitor is 
attracted by a memorial brass, representing a knight and his wife^ 
who may have lived under the later Plantagenet kings. If he has 
not seen the Abbey for some time^ he may wonder that it never 
caught his eye before, until, on spelling out the archaic charac- 
ters of the inscription^ he finds that the knight, to whose was laid down, fought under Abercromby in Egypt. 
In the same aisle, a coloured window representing in mediteval 
guise certain mechanical works and feats of engineering, of 
which no one in the middle ages knew anything, may in like 

74 Fergusson's Hutory of the July, 

manner perplex him until be learns that the window is a memo- 
rial to die greatest railway engineer of the present age. But 
while in matters relating to oar ocHnmon life we are becoming 
more truthful, we are not, apparently, much nearer to the 
origination of a new style of architecture. In proportion as 
they depart from mere naked construction^ our architects seem 
unable to escape from the magic circle of copying or adaptation. 
Mr. Fergusson denies tiiat tiiere is the slightest reason for a 
state of things which they have accepted as a necessity. His 
opponents will probably turn to this very volume for the justi- 
fication of the existing practice. 

In the fifteenth century the Italians discarded Grothic in 
fiivour of classical ornamentation. When in the seventeenth 
century classical forms found their way into England, the 
triumph of the new fadion was complete ; and from that time 
to the present the designs of all architects have been more 
or less imitative. But when Mr. Fergusson states broadly, 

* that there are in reality two styles of architectural art, one 

* practised universally before the sixteenth century, and the 

* other since then ' (p. 4.), he has passed over one exception, 
which would tell inconvenientiy agtdnst this sweeping rule. 
If the architects of the Cathedral of Dijon took to copying 
when they clothed its western front with pilasters and en- 
tablatures, the ancient Boman architects were guilty of the 
same offence when liiey disguised their genuine arched oon- 
struction under forms borrowed from Greek art, or cast that 
construction away altogether. Of the two, the latter were 
incomparably more blameworthy. In the principle of their 
national architecture the Bomans possessed a mine of inex- 
haustible we.alth. From it sprang directly the Bomanesque and 
then the Teutonic* developements of Christian art; and all 
the effect which the introduction of Grreek forms had, was to 
arrest for several centuries this growth of the really living style 
which they cramped and stunted. With the Gothic ardbitects 
of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the case was wholly 
different. The goodly tree which had yielded its fruits for a 
thousand years was withered and dead. The exaggerated 
richness of the chapel of King's College at Cambridge had 
been eclipsed by the prodigal magnificence of the Chi^l of 

* We use this term as expressing in a single word the fact that 
Gk>thic^ KKt pointed architecture, is the art really of only the Teutonic 
as distinguished from the R<nnanee nations of Europe. It seems also 
to keep the religions reformation more thoroughly distinct finmi the 
revolution in art 

1863. Modem Styles of Arclutecture. 75 

Heniy YII. at Westminster ; and this transient blaze of false 
glory was succeeded by a contented acquiescence in the poorest 
and the most debased fcMms, long before John of Padua designed 
Longleat) or Inigo Jones drew out his plans for WhitehalL 

The result was inevitable. The intrusion of any new fashion 
was sure to thrust aside what was now nothing more than an 
effete tradition ; and the Benfussance forms came in with all the 
force which- could be imparted to them by the revival of classical 
learning. The Italians had never really loved or understood 
Gothic To them, therefore, the classicid architecture of their 
forefathers was a style not only more congenial, but, as it seemed, 
not thoroughly developed. Taken up with enthusiastic devotion, 
this style a^>eared, at first, likely to realise their brightest 
anticipations. How soon this prospect was clouded, the reader 
will best learn from Mr. Feigusson's pages. He will there see 
that the Italian or ' common sense ' style, which Mr. Fergusson 
upholds as the only possible means for extricating us from our 
habits of servile imitaticm, has itself been exhausted, scarcely 
less than the Gothic. 

The possibility or likelihood of future progress is, there- 
fore, a question altogether distinct from the history of the 
modem styles ; and Mr. Fergusson is perfectly right in saying 
that, from whatever point of view it may be regarded, that 
history must be to us a subject of very deep interest. * Either 
' it is wrong in us to persevere in copying, in which case we 

* ought to despise the history of this style ; or, if we are 
' justified in our present practice, we cannot be mbtaken in 

* studying the steps by which we have arrived at its principles, 

* and, by an impartial criticism, attempting to estimate their 
' value ' (p. 4.). The inquiry may reveal me real cause which 
prevents the immediate invention of a new style; it must 
remove very much of the mystery with which we are apt to 
invest the introduction of the Renaissance designs. The results 
of that change are before us ; but we are too commonly dis- 
posed to assume not only that the revolution was sudden, but 
that it encountered the real resistance which any living style of 
art must (^[>pose to any other which may assail it. The countries 
which most eagerly tock up the cause of the Reformation were 
the last to be invaded by the spirit of Renaissance art ; and 
in England generations which had not known by experience the 
yoke of the Papacy adhered, however feebly or ignorantly, to 
the architecture of their forefathers. Precisely because their 
adherence was so weak, the victory of classical forms when once 
introduced was rendered certain and lasting. The uncouth 
splendours of Egyptian art were no temptation to the men who 

76 Fergu88on*s History of the July» 

bailt and adorned the Parthenon; and the beauties of the 
dassical orders would have been displayed to little purpose 
before those who were rearing the noble piles of Westminster, 
or Salisbury, or Lincoln. A perusal of Mr. Fergusson's pages 
would scarcely convince the reader, that the introduction of 
foreign forms could not in England or in France have been 
effected in the days of William of Wykeham or Wilars de 

But an examination of the causes which rendered that pos- 
sible in the time of Inigo Jones which was impossible in the 
days of the great Bishop of Winchester, must throw some 
light on the conditions under which we may look for the 
invention of a new style of architecture which not by a 
metaphor, but in strictness of speech, shall deserve the name of 
national If in this, the most practical of all questions con- 
nected with the art, Mr. Fergusson's judgment is not so clear 
or so decisive as it might have been, we impute it simply to the 
want of that phUosophical view which somewhat marred his 
account of the Gothic styles in the ' Handbook of Architecture,' 
and which, in spite of the correctness of his taste, and his 
general impartiality, renders him a less authoritative judge of 
Gothic than of other forms of art 

That the inadequate treatment of these two points involves 
some important consequences, we do not attempt to deny. But 
having said thus much, we have no further abatements to make 
from the expression of our hearty concurrence with the spirit 
and tone of Mr. Fergusson's criticisms. His * History of the 
' Modern Styles ' displays the same honest appreciation of the 
beauties of every form of art, it has the same uncompromising 
exposure of their faults. Of the clearness and force with which 
he has everywhere laid bare the conditions of all architectural 
excellence, it would be hard to speak too highly ; nor is our 
opinion on this point in any way modified, because we do not 
altogether concur in his practical suggestions for the removal of 
inconsistencies which we cannot disdaim and absurdities which 
we cannot conceal. It is, indeed, impossible that such a book 
should be published without doing great good ; and probably 
there is no architect now living who will not be grateM to 
Mr. Fergusson for the method m which he has discussed the 
present state and the prospects of architecture throughout 
Europe. But, beyond this, there is much in the mere history 
of Benaissance art to make such a volume welcome. We cannot 
question the fact that there is now scar^ly such a thing as 
really original design. Some centuries ago there was no desira 
whidi was not original ; but the changes which have brought 

1863. Modem Styles of Architecture. 77 

about a result so marvellous by no means exhibit a constantly 
increasing degradation. The character which Renaissance 
architecture came to bear is widely different from that with 
which it started ; aud from lime to time in its history there has 
been> especially in this country^ a return to older forms. If 
Mr. Fergusson has not given a due weight to the protest which 
has left us such works as the chapel of Wadham College^ 
Oxford, the distinction between the elder and later Renaissance 
in Italy and elsewhere has furnished him with a philosophical 
clasdfication of later styles which unfortunately he has not 
attained in treating of tiie Gothic styles. The minute care- 
fulness with which this distinction has been traced out con* 
stitutes the great merit of the work ; and a better prospect 
will open before us when we honestly accept his conclusions^ 
and confess that the most exquisite of the Gothic buildings, 
which have risen, or are rising around us, are copies not 
less than the Boman porticoes which are made to do service 
in our halls and palaces. But this confession will, in its turn, 
involve a charge of inconsistency in the view which Mr. 
Feigusson takes of Gothic and classic purism. If, without 
reference to the forms which they employ, our architects uni* 
formly speak in a dead language, it is not easy to see why the 
retention of Italian forms should show greater fireedom of 
thought or more of common sense than the retention of forms 
which at one time unquestionably met every want of our 
English forefathers. In one sense it may be said that the 
Anglo-Saxon is a dead language for us, but our present speech 
stands in a nearer relation to it than to the Bomance dialects of 
Southern Europe. 

In such questions as these, palpable exaggerations will serve 
no good purpose ; and Mr. Fergusson is scarcely consistent with 
the general principles of his book when he tells us that since 
the Beformation there is no building, ' the design of which is 

* hot borrowed from some country or people with whom our 
' only associations are those derived from education alone, wholly 

* irrespective of either blood or feeling * (p. 3.). If we borrow 
from Uie choir of Lincoln or the nave of Lichfield, we copy, 
but we copy from the works of those from whom we are 
lineally sprung, and who dded in no slight measure to rtuse the 
fair and goodly fabric of our English freedom. 

If, however, the Beformation was not immediately connected 
with the introduction of Benaissance forms into Northern 
Europe, Mr. Fergusson is right in saying that it had the effect 
of arresting or repressing the passion for church-building which 
continued unchecked in Italy. But in Italy, the stronghold of 

78 FergusBon's Histcry of the July, 

the Papacy, the revival of classical learning had already effected 
what it was long in achieving elsewhere. It had imbued all 
classes with a love of architectural fonns which were certainly 
more congenial to them than those which they beheld in the 
great churches of Assisi, Vercelli, or Milan. The shell of the 
building might continue to be Gothic, but the ornamentation 
must be borrowed from the gifted people oyer whose recovered 
lore they hung with rapt attention. At first, however, there 
was an honest effort to adhere to the truthful construction of 
liie mediseval architects; and so long as ihey did so, the re- 
turn to classical forms was no subject for regret. At no time 
was the Italian filled with a r^ love for clustered shafts 
and groined vaulting. Still less had he any genuine ap- 
prehension of the principles which determined the course of 
Northern ardiitecture. He was utterly unable to see in what 
way Westminster Abbey differed from the minsters of Peter- 
borough or St. Albans, or to determine the stages in the art 
which are marked severally by the cathedrals of Salisbury, 
Amiens, and Cologne. The employment of Northern architects 
was a natural consequence of diis inherent distaste for an art 
which was alien to his soil. The magnificence of the great 
Northern churches inspired a wish to see buildings not wholly 
imlike them at YerceUi or Milan ; but when the Italian took 
to building Gothic himself, the result was seen in such structures 
as the church of Santa Maria della Spina at Pisa. It was 
better to discard outright a system of decoration which, in his 
hand, issued in a series of fantastic vagaries ; and the few 
examples which exist of the truthful application of classical 
forms serve at least to show that a genuine architecture might 
have been matured, if its growth had not been arrested by ob- 
stacles which it was almost impossible to avoid. Yet, if ever so 
real a style had been produced in Italy, we may at once confess, 
and Mr. Fergusson's admissions will ftimish ample grounds 
for concluding, that the style so invented could never have 
ftilfiUed all the conditions of a national style for the countries 
north of the Alps. 

But in reality the genuine Benaissance was so evanescent 
that it must be regarded more as a sign than an accomplish- 
ment of a genuine architectural reformation even in Italy. The 
Christian styles had come into existence by casting aside the 
entablature from all disengaged columns * : for the Italian of 

* This essential distinction between Christian styles and the earlier 
Roman architecture is clearly laid down in Mr. Okely's valuable 
work on * Christian Architecture in Italy.' {Introduction^ p. 3.) 

1863. Modern Styles of Architecture. 79 

the fifteenth century there was an irresistible temptation to 
return to it. In England^ as in France and Germany, the true 
growth of the art had produced a system of ornamentation 
which was at once constructively truthful and boundless in its 
Teeonroes. The Italian, for whom the exterior of the early 
basilicas furnished no decorative features whatever, could only 
repeat on his walls the columns and entablatures which graced 
the temples of ancient Rome. In other words, the archi- 
tecture of the North arose by discarding from the genuine 
forms of Boman construction the ornamentation which had 
been absurdly borrowed from Greek art. The Italian Renais- 
sance reverted almost immediately to the bondage with which 
Rome voluntarily cramped and fettered her own enormous 
constructive powers. 

Hence, as the Renaissance ceased, almost at the outset, to 
exhibit the working of a living principle applicable to all build- 
ings, whether ecclesiastical, military, or domestic, the history 
of modem styles resolves itself into little more than the history 
of modem architects.* The system of Inigo Jones, Wren, or 

* Mr. Fergusson has, however, greatly overstated his position in 
saying that no names of medisdval architects have come down to us. 
£ven if we had no records, we should not be justified in conduding 
that ' probably nobody knew even then who the architects were, more 
* than we know now who designed the " Warrior." * But there is no 
such dearth of records, and it is unfair to write as though we had 
never heard of Geofirey de Noyers at Lincoln, or seen the sketch 
book of Wilars de Honconrt, which also contains some of his 
original designs. These drawings illustrate most forcibly the great 
distinction between the constructive decoration of the mediaeval 
builders and the superficial ornamentation of modem architects. A 
glance at the sketches of Wilars shows at once of what building they 
are the designs ; but we receive from them a general notion of the form 
and proportions of the edifice, and nothing more. Probably not one 
single ornamental detail in the sketch accurately represents the actual 
detidls of the building ; but neither architect nor builder needed such 
exact drawings. The edifice literally grew under their hands ; the 
modem architect has his building ready dressed on paper at the 
shortest notice. Nothing can be more detrimental to genuine archi- 
tecture than the pictorial character it has acquired from the eleva- 
tioos or designs on flat surfaces relied on by modern architects. 
Hence the notion has sprang up that the ugliest conceivable form can 
be beautified by the addition of superficial ornament. But for such 
a notion we should never have seen a design for improving buildings 
so utterly wanting in every condition of architectural beauty as the 
South Kensington galleries. The most lavish decoration could not 
hide their real character, while it would probably render the absence 
of all the tme principles of art stiU more apparent. 

80 Fergusson'a History of the July, 

Yanbnigli, does not exhibit the same sequence from that of 
Bninellesdii or Bramante, which marks the growth of the 
Continuous or Flamboyant from the earlier stages of Gothic 
architecture. We are concerned^ therefore, not so much with 
the deyelopement of particular principles,* as with the works 
of particular men ; and we are at once thrown back in our 
criticisms on certain canons of taste, which may be made 
subjects of controversy. If it is impossible to ayoid this when 
we compare the works of any one style v/iih those, of another, 
the difficulty is increased when one of these is a true and the 
other a copying style. We may be at a loss to determine 
whether the Presbytery of Ely is more beautiful than the 
Chapel of King's College, Cambridge ; but we can at once say 
whether they are or are not inconsistent with the laws of con- 
struction and decoration which r^ulate their respective styles. 
It is quite another thing, if we compare the Temple of Theseus 
with the Minster of Beverley, or even the details of the one 
with the details of the other: nor do such comparisons appear 
likely to lead to any ultimate agreement. Wnen San Gsllo 
made bis designs for St. Peter's at Bome, he was deliberately 
applying a system of ornamentation to uses for which it 
was not primarily intended. But the clustered shafts and 
continuous lines which seem to give infinity to the nave of 
Winchester, are the direct result of principles involved in that 
massive Romanesque construction which tnese clustered shafts 
do but encircle. When, therefore, Mr. Fergusson says, that 
^ with the simpler lines and more elerant details of classic art, 
' a far more pure and majestic building would ' (with a slight 
alteration of San Grallo's dome) ' have been the result than any 
' Gothic cathedral we have yet seen' (p» 57.), he seems to us to 
beg not one question only, but three or four. It is very possible 
that he may be right, and they who differ from him wrong ; 
but there is little profit in a debate on the abstract beauty of a 
Corinthian or a Gothic capital 

But there is indisputably both beauty and grandeur in many 
Benaissance buildings ; and it becomes a subject of no slight 
interest to determine how that grandeur and beauty wa&obtuned. 
Mr. Fergusson has approached, as nearly as any writer, to that 
impartialitv in the examination of all styles, without which a 
reid knowledge of any style becomes impossible. And if hb 
criticism tells little in favour of the principles which have 
guided the Benaissance architects, they furnish but slender 
consolation for those whom he delights to set down as Gothic 
purists. If the former have not invented any genuine style^ 
the latter seem scarcely on the road to do so now. In copying 

1863. Modern Styles of Architecture. 81 

the cathedrals of Wells or Ely, we may be imitating the works 
of our fore&thers, but we are no more producing anything of 
our own than if we build a fac-simile of the Erechtheion. 
And if, while doing the former, we anathematise the latter as 
involving the essence of heathenism, we show our absurdity not 
less than our bigotry. Mr. Fergusson has an honest horror of 
all copying ; and if he seems to think that to masquerade in a 
classical dress is less absurd than to masquerade in a Gothic 
garb, this has not withheld him from rating at their true 
value the achievements of Renaissance architects. When he 
proves that their whole apparatus for the exterior and internal 
treatment of buildings was confined to the classical, order with 
its entablature and pediment, and that these were almost always 
misapplied, his censure is as severe as any that could be pro- 
nounced by the most partial lovers of Gothic architecture. 

But the irresistible tendency of the Benaissance to absolute 
copying is still more forcibly brought out by the fact, that of the 
greatest Benaissance structures many are classical in their details 
alone, while their forms are reproductions of early Christian basi- 
licas or of Gothic or Byzantine buildings. Mr. Fergusson has 
carefully noted the facts ; it maybe re^tted that he has not as 
prominently set forth the inference which must be drawn from 
them. In the hands of the Greek architect the column was a 
strictly constructive feature. However scientific may have 
been the rules which determined the length of the shaft or the 
swell of the entasis, it remained the representative of the 
wooden post thrust into the ground to support the roof which 
was nused above it. By an utter departure from its original 
purpose it became in Bioman hands the appendage of a wall 
where it supported nothing. The Benaissance architects 
followed eagerly the example thus set them, and from the use 
of semi-detached columns went on to employ pilasters, 'one of 
' the most useless as well as least constructive modes of oma- 
' mentation that could be adopted,' which, in Mr. Fergusson'a 
judgment, not only gave a character of unreality to the style^' 
but 'betrayed that continual striving after imitative forms^ 

* which is its bane * (p. 9.). From the employment of such 
columns and pilasters on useless porticoes, the step was inevitable 
which led to their employment on the walls of houses, where- 
they give no support whatever. This was, in Mr. Fergusson'^ 
words, a further step ' in the wrong direction ; it was employing^ 
' ornament for ornament's sake, without reference to construo- 

* tion or the actual purpose of the building ; and, once it was 

* admitted that any class of ornament could be employed, other 

* than ornamental construction, or which had any other aim 

TOL. oxyni. KO. ccxli. g 

82 Ferguaflon'e History of the Julj^ 

^ than to express — while it beautified — the prosaic exigencies 
^ of the design, there was an end of all that was trnthful, or 
^ that can les3 to perfection in architectural art ' (p. 26.). Thus 
the columns, which ought always to be independent supports, 
and which, eyen if engaged, should suggest the idea of buttresses, 
served at length simply to indicate internal arrangement, and 
were separated into dbtinct layers by large entablatures which 
utterly preclude all real unity of design. More than any other 
cause, probably, this want of connexion between the parts led 
to that exaggeration of the orders, which, as Mr. Fergusson 
rightly asserts, marks the worst stage of Renaissance archi- 
tecture. It would be invidious to depreciate the graceful 
beauty or the solemn grandeur of many of the pakices in 
Venice or Florence ; but it is impossible to view the fronts 
of the Biccardi (p. 84.), the BucelUu (p. 86.), and Guadagni 
(p. 88.) palaces in the latter, or the Grimani palace (p. 27.) in Sie 
former (if these may be regarded as Renaissance buildings), 
without feeling that there is no reason why, instead of having 
three or four stages, they should not have either less or more, 
and that the design would not be essentially afiected by the 
change. It is true, indeed, that some of them exhibit no 
orders, or, it might almost be said, no classical detuls at all, 
and make no pretension to classical uniformity of arrangement, 
whil6 others show more of Gothic than of classical feelinff. 
The extent of this Gothic feeling in the courtyard of the Dog^s 
Palace (p. 91.), is attested not only by the presence of pointed 
arches in the second tier, but by banded shafts and lut^hes 
springing straight from the capitus (without the intervention 
of an entablature) in all the stages. But here, after the some- 
what oracular fasnion which in a treatise on copying styles is 
perhaps unavoidable, we are told that this use of the pointed 
arch is not happy, as in itself it is not a plea sing feature, and, 
when nakedly used, always unpleasing. We will not further 
complicate the subject by giving any judraient of our own. 

On the whole, it is not easy to determme precisely what was 
gained, when Brunelleschi designed the Church of the Holy 
Spirit at Florence, or Bramante built the church at LodL In 
the former, the classical detuls are used, to adopt Mr. Fergusson's 
words, * with singular elegance and purity ' (p. 42.). But the 
design is in fact a return to the simplest form of the Basilican 
church. The windows are mere round-headed apertures^ while 
the clerestory is separated from the pier-arches by what is practi- 
cally nothing more than an exaggerated stringcourse. Were 
it not for the presence of a single feature, it might fairly be 
classed among buildings of the Basilican age; but that feature 

1863. Modem Styhs of Architecture. 83 

stamps it as belonging to a class essentially different, and the 
firagment of entablature interposed between the capital and the 
arch was the pledge and sign of the coming passion for mere 
imitation. We cannot add to the strength of the oondemnation 
-which denounces in this tjpical form of the Renaitsanoe * the 
^ most fatal gift of claraical art to modem times, as nine-tenths 
^ €£ die difficulties and clumsinesses of the revived art are 

< owing to the introduction of this fSoature ' (p. 42.). In the 
diuroh of St. Andrew at Mantua, the piers are square masses 
fiioed with Corinthian pilasters — a mode of ornamentation on 
winch Mr. Fergusson's opinion has been already cited. The 
church of Lodi is altogether more striking and more note- 
worthy. It is rightly said that * this building is more truthful 
^ in its construction than any Gothic building we are acquMUted 
' withy there beix^ no false roof or false construction of any 
^ sort ' (p. 47.). But here agun, * the ornamentation consists 

< almost wh<my of ranges of pilasters which cover the walls 
^ both externally and internally, and by tiieir email size and 
' want of meaning detract much from what would otherwise 
^ be really a very beautiful design.' His judgment, in this 
instance, is almost too severe. The pilasters have much of the 
effect of mere aieading or panelling. But, whatever mav be 
thought of the decoration, the Sfurit of the design is essentially 
Byzantine. As in the great church of Justinian, four semi- 
domes cluster round the< cupola which soars above them. The 
only real differenoe is in the comparative height of the central 
don^ Otiierwise it departs as little from the Byzantine idea 
as some of the Renaissance churches do from that of Ae 
Basilica. But many even of those Imildings which exhibit 
dassical detail in the greatest purity or with the most lavish 
abundance, betray the working of ideas which are not classical 
at alL The magnificent front of tlie Certosa at Pavia (p. 51.) 
may show the misapplication of ornamental forms which are 
fit onlv for internal use; but the front itself is one which could 
never have suggested itself to the merely classical student. The 
nave is divided from the aides by massive buttresses. A bold 
triforium marks the separation of the pier-arches from the 
clerestory, while a large circular window over the central door- 
way .calls for some tracery to complete the general resemblance 
to the front of a Gothic cathedral. A portion of the wall must, 
it is true, be set down as a sham : but it shares this fault with 
the western fronts of Exeter, Wells, Salisbury and Lincoln. 

Still more striking, owing to its greater purity of detail, is the 
absence of a really classical character frtnn the exquisite church 

84 FergVLBSon^s History of the July, 

of the AonuQciata at Genoa.* Here no fragment'of entablature 
is thrust between the Corinthian capital and the arch, while 
vertical lines run up from the former, and make the space be* 
tween the stringcourse and the cornice practicallj a trifoiium. 
Over the whole rises a semicircular vault, divided longitudinally 
into three compartments, thus admitting the insertion of the 
windows ' as artistically as it could be done in the best Gothic 
* vaults ' (p. 80.). It may well be regretted that for the archi- 
tects of St Peter^s at Borne such truthfulness of decoration 
had lost its charm* The masking of piers with flat pilasters, 
the insertion of heavy entablatures above the capitals, and the 
exaggeration of orders had become settled practices, before the 
great architects were summoned to the work which has pro- 
duced the mightiest, if not the most beautiful church in 
Christendom. If it is difficult to criticise any building which 
is the result, not so much of genuine growth in art as of 
individual design, this difficulty is greatly increased in dealing 
with a structure with the dimensions of which no other can 
compete, and on which all that money and zeal could furnish 
has been lavished without stint or measure. In the eyes of 
some it is the proudest and most glorious achievement of all 
architecture; with others it is the crowning deformity of a 
degenerate art. But if we reject as worthless and absurd either 
of these extreme opinions, there is truth in the general admis- 
sion, that the first impression on entering the buUding is one of 
disappointment. If many virits are needed to convince the 
stranger of the vast size of St. Peter^s, while a single glance 
leaves the impression of enormous height in the cathedrals of 
Amiens, Beauvab or Cologne, there must be a reason for the 
difierence. This reason may be found partly in the greater 
sjMce occupied by the huge masses of the piers, as compared 
with the slender banded shafts of Gothic churches (a aefect 
from which the plan of Bramante was comparatively free), but 
still more in the gigantic size of the internal order, which 

^Required a corresponding exaggeration in every detail of the 

^ The peculiarities of this building are simply the result of a 
departure from prevalent fashions. There is no real ground for 
doubting that it was built in the latter part of the seventeenth cen- 
tury ; but the purity of its design furnishes Mr. Fergusson a power- 
ful temptation to question the date. In the controversy about the 
church of the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem, the same sort of afgu- 
ment was applied to show that the Golden Gateway could only have 
been built in the age of Constantine. See < Ed. Rev./ October 1860, 
p. 430. 

1863. Modem Styles of Architecture. 85 

dmrch. The Baldaccbino, for instance, over the altar rises to 100 
feet in beight, and bas an order 62 feet bigb ; but eren with these 
dimensions it is hardly tall enough for its situation. ' But it is even 
worse with the sculptured details. The figures that fill the spandrils 
of the pier-arches throughout the church would, if standing upright, 
be 20 feet in height. The first impression they produce on looking 
at them is, that they are little more than life-size ; and the scale 
they consequently give to the building is, that it is less than half the 
size it really is. When the mind has grasped their real dimensions, 
this feeling is succeeded by one almost of terror, lest they should fall 
out of their places — the support seems so inadequate to such masses ; 
and what is worse, by that painful sense of vulgarity which is the 
inevitable result of all such exaggeration. The excessive dimension 
given to the order internally is, in fact, the key-note to all the defects 
which have been noticed in the interior of this church, and is far 
more essentially their cause than any other defect of design or detail.' 
(P. 64.) 

This is strong censure ; but the exterior draws forth criticbms 
still more severe. Bound the whole building runs an enormous 
order of Corinthian pilasters which bas 'dreadfully marred' 
the triapsidal arrangement to the west of the great dome^ — an 
arrangement in itself one of * the most beautiM that can be 
' conceived.' These pilasters are 108 feet in heighti from the 
base to the top of the cornice, and being surmounted by an 
attic of 39 feet, make up with the basement a wall 162 feet in 

'Between these pilasters there are always, at least, two stories of 
windows, the dressings of which are generally in the most obtrusive 
and worst taste ; and there is still a third story in the attic, all which 
added together make us feel more inclined to think that the architect 
has been designing a palace of several stories on a gigantic scale, and 
trying to give it dignity by making it look like a temple, rather than 
that what we see before us is really a great basilican hall degraded by 
the adoption of palatial architecture.' (P. 62.) Thus the * worlds 
greatest opportunity has been thrown away,* and 'the result has 
been a building which pretends to be classical, but which is essen- 
tially Gothic. It parades everywhere its classical details, but the 
mode in which they are applied is so essentially mediaeval that 
nobody is deceived. We have two antagonistic principles warring 
for the mastery— the one Christian and real, the other sentimental 
and false ; and in spite of all the talent bestowed upon it, it must be 
admitted that the failure is complete.' (P. 65.) 

With this glorious, if not faultless, church, the great work of 
Sir Christopher Wren fitly challenges a comparison. From 
the existing Cathedral of St Paul's his original design was in 
almost every particular different It bore, in fact, a close 
i^eeemblance to the Boman St Peter's. There was the same 

86 ' Fexgussoa's Mstory of the J^y^ 

r^titioa round, the wholq boildmg of exaggeraied CorinAka 
pilaaterBj suniKHiiited by an attic^ with the same aj^oximatioii 
in the plan to a Greek croes. Altogether, Mr. Fergusson is 
of opinion that the design of the present church is much to 
be preferred to that which it has displaced, while he believes 
that the arrangement of the earlier was better adapted for the 
purposes of a Protestant cburcb. But he betrays a singular 
credulity or a curious misapprehension of the state of reli^oua 
feeling m the seyenteenth century, when he asserts that the 
change in plan. * waa insisted upon by the Duke of York, who 
' wanted a building more suited to the Catholic ritual than this 
' church would haye been ; but more, perhaps, is due to that 
' strange conseryatiya feeling of the nation which made them 
' spoil Inigo Jones's church in Coyent Garden* in order that the 
' altar mignt be at the east end, and which maJces us now erect 
' Gothic churches, not because they are either more beautiful 
' or oonyenient than others that might be designed, but because 
' our forefathers built in that numner ' (p. 269.). The Dean 
and Chapter of St. Paul's had doubtless little sympathy with 
the Duke of York, but they had scarcely more agreement with 
the notions which in Mr. Fergusson's mind determine the idea 
of a Protestant church or a Protestimt worship. This mia- 
apprehension would haye been a matter of little moment, if it 
had not influenced his^.whole estimate of reyiyed GK)thic as com* 
pared with reyiyed classical architecture. To this point we 
must hereafter rayert, whik for the present we may note the 
perfect aceocdance of the exiatiBg plan with tibat of the great 
Enj^eh mi8di»yal cathedrals. Tms agreement entiuled thfr 
erection of naye and aisles with a clerestory, supported by 
buttresses which it became necessary to hide, because thrar 
i^earance would not harmonise well with the spirit of 
Benaissance art. A wall was therefore built up to conceal 
them, and Mr. Fergusson cannot, of course, approve a coa- 
struction which was a sham. Yet, with some little inconaistencyj^ 
he proposes, by waar of giying the repose and breadth which ia 
now lacking to the lower story, to flU up the int^nrd betwee» 
the propyI«a and the transept. It seems a costly sacrifice o£ 
trutnfuiness for the sake of hiding 'the windows in the 
' pedestals of the upper niches ' (p. 273.). How many build- 
ings, raised while the art which we call Gothic was still growings 
haye windows let into the pedestals of niches ? 

Eyen on the dome, the distLoctiye glory of the great Be** 
naissance churches, Mr. Fengusaen's criticisms are seyere> and 
perhaps a little inconsistent.. Between the massiye naye and 
the graceful choir of Ely rises its glorious octagon; oyer 

1863. Modem Styks of ArchiUcture. 37 

the obdueh of St. Sophia at Constantinople soars the still 
more glorious Byzantine cupola. But in the latter, the dome 
is the church ; and the former exhibits externally no domical 
form at all. The application of the dome to the Latin Cross 
is a distinct aehieyement of the Renaissance architects. But 
if in tftis sense Mr. Fergusson is right in saying that to 
the Italiana belongs exclusively the merit of inventing that 
dass of domical churches oi wluoh St. Peter's at Rome is the 
^rpieal example (p. 239.), there is no warrant for the assertion 
^t the central dome itself was invented by them (p. 139.). 
The churdi of Lodi is little more than the reproduction of the 
ByzanctiDe plan ; and if the idea here followed had been faith^ 
ftdly worked out, we might have seen more splendid domes 
than those which crown St. Peter's at Rome and our own 
St» Paul's. Unfortunately, few examples of Renaissance domes 
exbibil any attempt at real truthfulness of construction. In 
this point the idiurcb of Lodi and the Liebfrauen Kirche of 
Dresden are mrivalled; but when Mr. Fergusson says that 
this is a merit which the latter shares with ^ no other medisval 
' or modem dmrch ' (p^ 333.), he nmst have forgotten that in 
his judgment the church of Lodi ' is more truthfiil in its con 
' stmction than any Oothic building we are aequidnted with ' 
(p. 47.). Like the latter^ however, the dome of the Liebfrauen 
Sirehe is too high, and in place of supporting semi-domes, as 
at Lodi, it has subordinate turrets, which betray the working 
oi Teutonic ideas. Li fact, the whdie design translates into 
Renaissance lai^uage the apsidal forms common to the Rhenish 
churches. Both, again, like the dome of St Paul's, have the 
merit of showiDg their supports externally, and so of avoiding 
the faok which mars the grandeur of the dome of St. Peter's, 
the external effect of which ' is in a great measure lost, from 
' its being placed in the centre of a great flat roof, so that its 
' lower part can nowhere be properly seen, except at a distance ; 
' and it nowhere groups synmietrRsaily with the rest of the 

* architecture ' (p^ 62.). But the dome of St. Paul's is not 
without firalts of its own. However splendid its form may be 
eztanoidly, the outer cupola is so far from representing the 
internal dome, th^ in Mr. Fergusscm's judgment, ' it would 
' have been far better to have admitted at once that the external 
' dome waSr lUce the spires at Satisbury, Norwich, imd eke- 
^ where, merely an ornament of the extmor of the building, 

* and then have amused his interior whdly irrespective of its 

* external form' (p. 272.). It is the natural result of employ'* 
ing wood and iron to raise a buikling to a height which in 
stone it was either difficult or impracticable to reach ; but W9 

88 FergosBon's History of the July, 

have some hesitatiou in admitting that a feature so essentially 
constructive can be fairly treated as a mere ornamental 
appendage.* The form itself su^ests a stone construction, 
and an impression of weakness is left on the mind» when, as 
at St. Paul's, the diameter of the dome is smaller than that of 
the colonnade beneath it. Of the other great domical churches 
which have been built in Europe during the last three centuries, 
there are none with merits which are not shared by some one 
or more of the examples already mentioned, while many of 
them (as the church of the Invalides and the Pantheon at 
Paris) exaggerate the difference between the external and in- 
ternal vault. But in all alike, the Tault is, in Mr. Fergnsson's 
opinion, too high. In St. Peter^s, it is not merely painful to 
look up at, but it dwarfs every other part of the church (p. 63.). 
In St. Paul's, the eye, looking along the aisles, never reaches 
beyond the great void of the dome, and fails to see that the 
little passage beyond is in fact a continuation of the aisle (p. 269.). 
In short, in all these buildings the dome is misplaced ; and thus 
regarded, the dome of the Cathedral of Mexico is in better 
proportion to the rest of the church, where there is a chancel 
beyond. And thus his conclusion is that, ' if the dome ends 
* tlie vista, it may be of any size, but in the middle of a 
^ cruciform church it throws every other part out of proportion, 
' if its dimensions are not kept moderate ' (p. 432.). In other 
words, the Senaissance architects have failed in adapting the 
dome perfectly to the Latin cross; and the octagon of Ely 
answers better to the cupola of Justinian than the domes of 
St. Peter's or St. Paul's. 

It would be a curious and perhaps not an easy task, to 
determine the exact reuduum of resX merit which, in Mr. 
Fergusson's judgment, belongs to a style which, except in its 
earliest stage, exhibits only the genius, the wisdom, and the 
whims of individual architects. It has not achieved a complete 
success in applying the dome to the Latin cross ; it has failed 
in working out a new idea, when it has dressed out Gothic 
towers and spires in a classical garb. It has erred in introducing 
pieces of entablature between piers and arches. It has used 
columns where they are not constructively necessary ; and, 
finally, it has restricted itself to a scanty architectural apparatus, 

• No one, on viewing a Gothic church externally, could ever 
suppose that the spire covered a corresponding construction within 
the building ; but the sight of an external dome must suggest to the 
eje a domical form for the intmor. To treat the latter as a mere 
ornament is, therefore, a deception. 

1863. Modem Styles of Architecture. 89 

and applied to every conceivable purpose the only method of 
ornamentation which the canons of Yitruvius and Palladio left 
at its disposal There may be instances in which the orders 
are gracefully applied^ and produce a most pleasing effect, but 
the very application of them is generally unsuitable. In the 
church of the Invalides at Paris, it was necessary to save the 
dignity of the dome by cutting up the body of the building 
into two orders, and, by thus making it appear of two stories, 
to add ^ one more to the numberless instances which prove how 
' intractable the orders are when applied to modem purposes ' 
(p. 173.). Kecent designs of houses in Paris give some 
grounds for hoping that, although 'the orders are the only 
' ready-made means of enriching a design of the present day ' 
(p. 232.), we may now expect a change for the better. The 
defects of Yanbrugh's works arise chiefly from the fact that 
he ' had no idea of how to ornament a building, except by the 
' introduction of an order, and to have had the greatest horror 
* of placing one order over another' (p. 285.). The Badcliffe 
Liibrary of Oxford is one of innumerable examples in which 
the order is made to include two or more ranges of windows, 
and the columns in the church of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields, 
like those of Bramante's basilican church at Florence, exhibit 
the fragment of entablature between the capital and the 
arch (p. 288.). 

But the problem was to become more complicated, and 
its results curiously perplexing. If in any cases the architects 
adhered scrupulously to truthful construction, there was some 
reason for thinking that their system might in time give birth 
to a new style. The church of Lodi seemed to give this pro- 
mise for ecclesiastical, and the palaces of Genoa and Yenice 
for secular architecture. But however grand and imposing may 
be the fronts of such buildings as the more celebrated palaces 
at Florence, we cannot fail of seeing that they belong to a 
period of transition, and that that period could be but brief. 
In their designs there is absolutely nothing to connect one stage 
with another. The horizontal tendency, which Mr. Fergusson 
claims as a distinguishing feature of classical art, has here in- 
deed asserted its supremacy. But the engaged pillars of the 
Grimani palace at Yenice, and the flat pilasters of the Bucellai 
at Florence, show the irresistible tendency to the universal 
employment of the order; and the introduction of vertical lines 
cutting the stringcourses led naturally, whether in ecclesiastical 
or secular designs, to the employment of orders, under which 
two or even more stories were comprised. In Italy, where the 
art of the Northern nations had never become naturalised, the 

90 Fergtieson's History of the Julj, 

temptation to run into such fiJse construction was not so 
powerfuL The villa of Pope Julius (p. 107.), and the pdace of 
Cf^rarola (p. 108.) near Rmne, stand out in fayourable contrast 
with the Museum, built hj Michael Angelo, in the Capitol 
(p. 105.). At Milan, where the work of Teutonic architects 
could not be without its influence, the Great Hospital (p. 125.), 
with its magnificent quadrangle, is a Gothic building in a 
Renaissance dress which scarcely disguises its real character. 
In Spain, there was the same reluctance to adopt the spirit, 
tc^etner with the forms, of classical art The piers of the 
Cathedral of Jaen (p. 155.) may be separated firora the arch by 
a piece of eBtablature, but the character of the imposts and the 
clustered shafts is unmistakably Gothic. The court of the 
Archbishop's palace at Alcala de los Hernares (p. 148.), and the 
dcnster in the monastery of Lupiana (p. ISO.), are not less 
thoroughly Romanesque. They belong practically to the 
same stage of art with eariy Christian designs ; nor is it easy 
to determine what is gained by thus returning to a point long 
since left behand. In truth, there was in Spain very little 
carefulness in the application of classical detail. The sombre 
but magnificent pile of the Escurial (p. 143.), exhibits a series 
of scdecisms which would have shocked the d^iples of Y ignola 
and Falladio; but the whole design shows more of Grothio 
character than the masterpieces of Wren and Michael Angelo. 
But, this 'grandest and gloomiest failure of modem times,' 
with its fordible outlines and massiye groupings, puts utterly 
to shame the miseraUe monotony of tiie still more modem 
palaee oi Madrid. In France the spirit of the national tradi- 
tions was stronger than in Spain ; and we hare accordingly, in 
French buildings of every class, a more real adaptation of 
classical details to forms of which the use had become habitual. 
The west front of the cathedral at Dijon (p. 163.), and the church 
of St. Euetache, at Paris (p. 167.), are in their general structure 
so Gothic that they cannot be classed with pure Renaissance build- 
ings* The chateaux still preseryed the forms of feudal grandeur. 
In that of Chambord (p. 191.), which in its details can bear no 
serere critidsm;, the pibMters, as in the church of Lodi, are so 
employed as to give much of the effect of Grothic panelHng, wlule 
the general character of the Bishop's palace at Sens (p. 196.), 
and of tile house of Agnes Sorel at Orleans, is wholly alien to the 
forma employed in their decoration. But the i^e of Louis XIY. 
witnessed a greater modification of the old French plan; 
and such dengna as the eastern facade of the Louvre (p. 214.), 
altiiough by no means servile in their imitations, betray a 
tend^icy to adopt not merely the ornaments but intend features 

1863» Modem Styles of ArekUecture. 91 

of okflsieal buUdings. The portico, which was eesential to a 
Boman temple^ was stuck on to palaces and houses idieie it 
was oonstroctively unnecessary and for all purposes useless^ 
But for the full deydop^aoient of this mistaken system we must 
look yet further North. The dweUings pf the French nobles 
and gentry still preserved in no slight degree their ancaent 
outlines, and the fashion of mere imitation never permanently 
affected their domestic architecture. In England, the resistance 
to the new style lasted longer than in France, but it waa 
altogether more passive. ' iSe foundations of St. Peter's wecei 
^ laid a full century before we had a classical building of any 
' kind in thils country ; and the Escurial and the Tuileries baid 
* been long inhabited before we thcnigfat it necessary to try to 
' rival thraa ' (p. 242.). But the new fashim, when once 
introduced, gained a wider and moie undisputed sway. The 
Boman portico was transferred bodily by Inigo Jones into his 
design for the Duke of Devonshire's villa at Chiswick (p. 162.); 
and the example set here and in the house of Amresbury in 
"Wiltdiire (p^ 264*), became the staple of the designs for En^pish 

Whatever, then» may have been the causey the Benaissanca 
architects had neither in England nor elsewhere produced a 
new and living style. They had adapted and combined, in 
almost every possible form, the scanty materials which the 
canons of Yitruvims and Falladio had left at their disposal ; 
and the comparative pov^y of the result led naturally to a 
mose complete devotioa» not merely to classical details, but to 
genuine classical designs* It was easy to see that the Faithencm 
m its outlines, and in every feature, was faultless ; it was not 
less obvious that its front, when transferred to the fia^^e of a 
palace,, altogether lost its chann. An almost unconscious 
feeling was springing up, that claasical forms were deprived of 
their life when adapted to buildings of anoth^ cuiaracter. 
The reaction was inevitable. Thus far bouses and churches 
had presented the features of Greek or Boman art. The 
window, which had had its dripstone, now had its pilasters and 
pediment; the engaged column had taken the place of the 
buttress, and the prominent stringcourses had been si4>erseded 
by entflJblatures. The fronts of laiger buildings had been 
graced with c(donnades or with porticoes, which might have 
served aa entrances to heathen temples; but no one could 
mistake the buildings themselves for anything ancient. The 
proposed palace at Whitehall, the castles and houses of Frendi 
kines and nobles, were utterly unlike anything that had been 
built by Greek or Boman architects. No one who looked on 

92 FergiiaaoxCa History of the tTuljj 

Wren*8 steeple at Bow Church, or the Tower of the Seo at 
Zaragoza (p. 140.), could ever mistake them for buildings of an 
older style. The change which was promoted hj the works of 
Wood and Stuart, still more perhaps by the acquisition of the 
Elgin Marbles, substituted a dead copying for a style which had 
shown some life, however feeble. 

' Once the fashion was introduced, it became a mania. Thirty or 
forty years ago no building was complete without a Doric portico, 
hexastyle or octastyle, prostylar or distyle in antis ; and no educated 
man dared to confess ignorance of a great many very bard words 
which then became fashionable. Churches were most afflicted in 
this way; next to these came gaols and country-halls — but even 
railway stations and panoramas found their best advertisements in 
these sacred adjuncts ; and terraces and shop fronts thought they 
had attained the acme of elegance when either a wooden or plaster 
caricature of a Grecian order suggested the classical taste of the 
builder. In some instances the founders were willing to forego the 
commonplace requisites of light and air, in order to carry out their 
classical aspirations ; but in nine cases out of ten a slight glance 
round the comer satisfies the spectator that the building is not 
erected to contain a statue of Jupiter or Minerva, and suffices to 
dispel any dread that it might be devoted to a revival of the impure 
worship of Heathen deities.' (P. 299.) 

Mr. Fergusson's pleasant satire echoes somewhat faintly the 
biting sarcasms of Augustus Welby Pugin. 

But if at first the inappropnateness of windows under 
a Greek colonnade was scarcely felt, the discovery of the 
solecism gave the spur to an imitation still more strict. 
The church of St Pancras (p. 299.) may be a costiy 
absurdity, but it is impossible to find fault with the detuls 
of St George's Hall, at Liverpool, or to question the cor- 
rectness of its design. Like the Bi^varian Walhalla and the 
church of the Madeleine at Paris, it might have been built by 
Greeks or Boroans two thousand years ago. Being an exact 
copy, the Walhalla must in one sense be as beautiful as the 
Parthenon ; but it has not even the originality in the arrange- 
ment of parts, to which at the least St. George's Hall may 
fairly lay claim. In short, all these buildings, however beautiful 
or magnificent (and it is absurd to deny their elegance or 
splendour), are neither French, nor Bavarian, nor English. 
The more earnest the striving after correctness, the more serious 
must be the batUe to hide the necessities of modem life. 
^ This has been nearly accomplished at St George's Hall, but 
' hardly anywhere else ; and after all, supposing it successful, 
' is this an aim worthy of the most truthful and mechanical of 
' the arts ? ' (p. 309.) 

1863. Modern Styles of Architeettire. 93 

The question applies with as mach force to the Gothic 
revival as to the classical. But to the former Mr. Fergusson 
has applied the test with less than his usual fairness. In his 
hatr^ of all mere copying we heartily concur. Of the impos- 
ability of any genuine invention in architecture as long as this 
system of imitation prevails^ we are not less convinced than him- 
self ; but we cannot see why it should be more monstrous to copy 
in one dead language than another, or bring ourselves to think 
that the Teutonic forms are quite so dead for us as those which 
Yi^ola and Palladio consecrated with their canons. He has 
still farther departed from his general impartiality, by allowing 
religious or theolo^cal considerations to have weight in deter- 
mining a question of art. The Walhalla and the Madeleine, 
although examples of direct imitation, never receive from him 
the crowning stigma which brands as forgeries the new church 
on the glacis of Vienna, or that of St. Nicolas at Hambui^. 
The feeling which has unconsciously prompted this distinction 
is closely connected with what we conceive to be his defective 
view of Gothic architecture in eeneraL Until a genuine style 
comes into existence which shall be applicable to every building 
raised by every Englishman, without reference to his politicid 
or his religious creed, it is quite possible that one style may be 
more suitable for one class of structures than another.* In 

* We can do no more than touch briefly on this, as on other ques- 
tions of interest arising out of an examination of modem buildings. 
The subject of the appropriateness of styles for different purposes 
has been more fully discussed in an article on Public Monuments in 
a previous Number of this Review (April, 1862). It was there 
stated that, as a monument to the dead, no memorial could compete 
in beauty with the Eleanor Cross, or admit in an equal degree the 
application of sculpture and painting without the slightest traditional 
conventionality. We welcomed therefore with sincere pleasure the 
announcement that the memorial to the Prince Ck)nsort was to 
assume this form. When the idea of a monolithic obelisk was 
abandoned on account of its costliness, there remained the alterna- 
tive of placing the statue of the Prince, habited in the garb of 
Perides, within a Greek temple, or to represent him, as he really 
lived, on a monument of which the character might be strictiy nationaL 
The former was felt to be intolerable ; and it was no slight relief to 
think that a monument worthy of the Prince might at length be 
raised by the architect of the Martyrs' Memorial at Oxford. We 
confess our utter disappointment. The design is not an Eleanor 
Cross at alL Its character is purely Italian Gothic ; and the shrine 
is in fact a gigantic exaggeration of the ciborium or tabernacle 
which frequentiy covers the Holy Sacrament in continental churches. 
As a monument, the idea would seem to be taken from the tomb of 

94 FetgUBSon's History of the July, 

either case it mast of necessity be a qaestion of adaptation or 
of copying. Whether we use Italian or Grothic designs and 
details^ we are in either case speaking a language which is not 
really our own ; but where or in so far as it may be necessazy to 
condemn, the measure in which mther may be congenial to us 
must be the measure of our criticism. When the Itidian 
architects consciously abandoned the details of Teutonic art, 
they deserved but little blame for casting aside architectural 
forms which they had never entirely mside their own. The 
same indulgence should in all fairness be extended to those who 
in this country have reverted to the forms which are as con- 
genial to us as eva: the features of Boman art could be to 
Brunelleschi or Bramante. This Mr. Fergusson seems xmable 
to see. For him a medissval cathedral is the work of men who 
lived a long time ago, and fix)m whom we are separated by a 
vast gulf in religion, tiiought, and feeling. He can only think 
of lliom as ^ our ignorecnt and hardfisted forefathers ' (p. 484.) ; 
nor can he bdieve it possible that an educated man can appre- 
ciate the English architecture of the Middle Ages, as he can 
that of republican Athens or imperial Borne. Anyone who 
is at once educated and impartial vnll thoroughly appreciate 
both; but it is in the nature of things impossible that an 
Englishman should really feel the same patriotic enthustasm 
for the latter, winch it is at least possible that he may feel fur 
the former. The Parthenon will bring to his mind the glorious 
^g^ of Ictinus, of Phidias, and of Pendes. For the student of 
l&glish history, the noblest works of our Teutonic architecture 
freshen the remembrance of that memorable century to which 
we owe all that essentially dbtinguishes our English constitu- 
tion from even the most advanced in continental Europe. The 

tiie Scaligers at Verona ; but the scale of the proposed structore is 
ludicrously exaggerated. The upper part is out of all proportion 
with the lower : and the height of the whole monument is dwarfed 
by the colossal statuary on the advanced pedestals. The result would 
be the same, if such sculpture were placed round an Eleanor Cross ; 
bat a height of 150 feet is in itself as great an absurdity fbr this 
exaggerated Italian shrine as would be a height of 800 feet for an 
English cross. In all probability, the faults which strike us most in 
the design will be brought out still more painfully on the scanty site 
allotted to it, which leaves a clear space of only a few feet on each side 
of the monument Whatever be the merit of an architectural design, 
the first condition of effect is that it should be adapted to the area in 
which it is to be placed, and to the points fhnn which it can be seen. 
In all these respects, the erection of a Gothic, tabernacle in one 
comer of Hyde Park is to be deprecated. 

1863. Modem Styles of Architecture, 95 

Boman ritualistB of the pres^it day have little more liking than 
Protestants for the endless vistas whioh open before us in the 
naves of York or Windiester* When^ tmrefore, Mr. Fei^ps- 
8<Hi speaks of St* Stephen's, WalbrooJs, as 'far more appro- 
^ priate to Protestant worship than any of the Grothio designs 
'recently erected' (p. 276.), he says what may be perfectly 
true, bat it altogether b^ the point in question. As a fact, 
during the whole existence of the English Church since the 
fieformation, there have been those who have adhered to a 
different idea, and we have no right to demand the general 
aooeptanoe of our own notion of what may be suitable ' for the 
* proper celebration of Divine worship in a Protestant com- 
' munity in the nineteenth century.' But this is precisely iiriiat 
Mr. Fergusson does, when he asserts that in the recent Gbthic 
revival, chancels were thrown out ^mply for ^eot (p. 320.). 
He might have learnt that the dia&cei is no superfluous orna- 
ment in Mr. Hope's ideal of the nineteenth century cathedral ; 
yet, with his chaiacteristic. inability to throw hims^ into forms 
of thought different from his own, he attributes to the younger 
Puffin a spirit of forgery, because for ecclesiastical buildings he 
wu£ed to revive the gei^eral plan of mediaeval churches. The 
insinuati<m is unfieur ; and no good can ever be done by forcing 
any part of this discussion into so false a dianneL Mr. Fer- 
gusson in great part misapprehends his meaning, when he tells 
OS that 'every page of Pugin's works reiterate, ''Give us 
"'truth, — truth of materials, truth of construction, truth 
' "of ornamentation," &c. &c.; and yet his only um was to 
^ produce an absolute falsehood. Had he ever sucoeeded to the 
' extent his wildest dreams desired, he could only have produced 
' BO perfect a forgery that no one would have detected that a 
' work of the nineteenth oentury was not one of the fourteenth 
' or fifteenth ' (p. 318.). So far as this charge is true, we have 
no wish to qualify it, or to make light of the hindrances which 
it puts in the way of any developement of genuine art. We 
will grant that the perfect Gothic church of Pugin or of 
Mr. Scott, might have been built in the Middle Ages. But 
we must be just. Mr. Fergusson has himself admitted that 
the Walhalla reproduces the Parthenon, and that anyone, 
juc^ng from the exterior, might ftdrly set down the Madeleine 
at Paris as a work of the same age with the Maison Carrie 
at Nismesy or the Erechtheion as belonging to the same period 
with St. George's Hall at Liverpool. If there is foigery in 
the one case, there is forgery also in the other. If it is absurd 
to make barometers and thermometers look like the works of 
the diurk ages, long before ' those impostors Toroelli, or Galileo, 

96 'Fergaaaoiie History of the Julj, 

< or Newton are said to have invented them ' (p. 328.), is it I^s 
absard to put upon them ornaments which might make us 
fancy that they were invented in the days of Pericles or Julius 
Cassar? To speak thus is to deal in useless exaggerations. 
Anyone who has read attentively the works of Pugin wiU see 
that in his demand for truth he was crying out mainly for 
truthfulness of construction and decoration. With him the 
plan of a church was not a subject for debate ; it is not easy to 
see how from his point of view it could have been. Tt^e 
Renaissance architects had spread a taste for large halls and 
oratories; but the ritual of the Roman Church had never 
varied, and with the continuance of the same wants it seemed 
illogical to infer the necessity of different arrangements. TVliat 
Pugin resisted with all his energy was that system of false 
construotion and ornamentation which no one else has con- 
demned with erea^ vehemence than Mr. Fergusson. It was 
ludicrously false to place buttresses and crockets on chairs 
and tables, or to make the butler clean his plate in a bastion. It 
was in Pugin's eyes scarcely less false to make up a tower, as 
at St Pancras, by placing one Temple of the Winds on the top 
of another, or to produce a steeple, as Wren did at Bow 
Church, by plagiarising every form of a Gothic tower and 
spire, and translating them into the Renaissance dialect. If he 
could see little merit or originality in substituting a balustrade 
for an open parapet, and an obelisk in place of a pinnacle, it 
needs some assurance to say that he was wrong. 

In truth, with all his correctness of taste, Mr. Fergusson 
has in this volume chiefly laid himself open to charges 
of inconsistency. It could hardly be otherwise. In his own 
words, it is 'difficult to write calmly and dispassionately 

* in the midst of the clamour of contending parties, and not to 

< be hurried into opposition by the unreasoning theories that 

* are propounded on both sides ' (p. 242.). Hence, perhaps, it 
was to be expected that he should impute especially to the 
Grothic revivalists that vice of applying ornamentation without 
thought which he had previously (pp. 22-48, &c), denounced as 
the 'inherent tendency,' or rather ' the bane,' of the Renaissance 
styles. It may be true that ' in using the classical style, it 
' required the utmost skill and endless iJiought to make the 

* parts, or details, adapt themselves even moderately well to 
'the purposes of Modem Church Architecture' (p. 319.): 
but as a fact, this thought had rarely, perhaps never, been 
bestowed on the subject When the Renaissance architects 
availed themselves of pillars and pilasters, ' their real recom- 
'mendation was that they covered the greatest amount of 

1863. Modern Styks of Arehiieeture. 97 

^ space with the least amount of thought ' (p. 48.). But it is 
a mere assumption to tell us that one of the most important 
advantages of the Gothic style is its cheapness. ' In a Gothic 

* bmlding, the masonry cannot be too coarse^ or the materials 
' too common. The carpentry must be as rude and as un- 
^ mechanically put together as possible ; the glazing as clumsy, 
< and the glass as bad as can be found ' (p. 319.). The charge 
is curious when applied to Gothic, as dbtinguished from a style 
which, except in actual paintings, allows no treatment which is 
not conventional. The rules of the great Renaissance architects 
have stereotyped the forms of capitals, entablatures, and cor- 
nices ; but the sculptured foliage of Cologne Cathedral is faulty, 
as being far too naturaL With ourselves, it seems to be for the 
present a question of adaptation or copying, whether the forms 
chosen are classical or Gothic We do not deny the beauty of 

• St Paul's Cathedral, we are not blind to the demerits (such as 
they are) of the Palace of Westminster. The British Museum 
may be a finer building than the museum recently completed by 
the University of Oxford. But while Mr. Fergusson minutely 
criticises the Houses of Parliament and the Oxford Museum, he 
omits (it would almost seem of set purpose) to notice a large 
number of buildings which really belong to another class. 
He can scarcely be too severe on the spasmodic straining after 
every imaginable eccentricity which is betrayed by such designs 
as those of All Saints', Margaret Street, or the chapel of 
Balliol College, Oxford. But buildings which appear stu(Uously 
to avoid every English form must not make us forget that the 
works of Mr. Scott are in general examples of purdy Teutonic 
art. It would be absurd to suppose that he has invented any 
new style, and perhaps presumptuous to imagine that his designs 
may lead directly to any such developement. But none who 
examine the chapel of Exeter College, Oxford, will discover 
there either falsity of construction or misapplication of orna- 
ment, while all will see (what no Renaissance design can 
exhibit) capitals and corbels, brackets and bosses, of which no 
one example is like another, and all of which were patiently 
worked out on the spot by the artist who had before him the 
living foliage of nature. If the careful and earnest elaboration 
of details is likely to lead hereafter to a better condition of 
art, then Mr. Scott has contributed more than any other living 
man to the result so eagerly desired by Mr. Fergusson. 

Conventionality is, indeed, no essential characteristic of the 
architecture of Teutonic Christendom. The foliage which graces 
its piers and arches may be strictly natural. The drawings which 
fill its windows may, and ought to be, as true as those of Benjamin 


96 Fatffumm's Obt^rf rfAe Juiy, 

West or Sir Jothoa Bejmddfi.* TbeqMndribofthedMHraidies 
of C<dogne hsye funuBbed ms £ur a field for the fi^eeeoeB of 
Deger as the baolicas of Bramante oonld affnrd to the painten 
of Italy. But it is useless to speeiiy its capabilities if the 
whole system of modem Grothic design is oondemned, and perhaps 
rightly condemned, already. Mr. Feigosson will have no 
coi^^ing whether Grothic or classical; — 

^ For the pbHosophieal student of srt it is of the least possible 
eoDseqnence whi^ may now be most sucoottM in eneroaebkig on 
the domains of its antagonist. He knows that both are wrong, and 
that neither can, consequently, advance the cause of true art His 
one hope lies in the knowledge that there is a iertium quid, a style 
which, for want of a better name, is sometimes called the Italian, but 
should be called the conunon-sense style. This never having attained 
the completeness which debars all nirtber progress, as was the case 
in the purely classical or in the perfected Gothic styles, not only 
admits of, but insists on, progress. It courts borrowing piincifrfes 
and forms from eitiier. It can use either pillars or pinnadea^ as 
may be required. It admils of towers and spires, or domes. It can 
either indulge in plain walls^ or pierce them with innomerahle 
windows. It knows no guide but common sense ; it owns no master 
but true taste. It may hardly be possible, however, because it 
requires the exercise of these qualities; and more than this, it 
demands thought, where copying has hitherto sufficed ; and it courts 
originality, which the present system repudiates. Its greatest merit 
is that it admits of that progress, by which alone man has hitherto 
accomplished anything great or good either in literature, in science, 
or mart' (P. 529.) 

There is an apparent clearness and a very real obscurity 
about this singular passage. What is this Italian or common- 
sense style ? If it means nothing more than the employment 
of certain constructive forms, it scarcely deserves the name of 
a style at alL If it implies the use of Italian decorative 
features, it becomes again a mere question of adaptation. We 
cannot escape from the magic circle ; and, although it is quite 
possible that a new style may be developed from the use of 
Italian forms, it is not less possible that the same result may be 
attmned by employing an ornamentation which is not Italian. 
If, however, we may judge from any existing works, we should be 
loth to yield to this Italian style the credit of all those powers 
which Mr. Fergusson claims for it For pinnacles it has given 

* The designs of the Munich glass can scarcely be condemned on 
the score of conventional drawing. But few who have compared 
the windows in the southern aisle of the nave of Cologne Cathedral 
with those of the choir will defend the theoty which makes the 
picture independent of the mullions and tracery of the window. 

166S. JMem Ayies of Archiiteture. 99 

WB ebelidcs, or fonns still more noDdaeoript ; for towers it has 
piled one triumphal arch on another ; for spires, it presents a 
serieB of pilasteored octagons with bulbous battresses. It may 
have windows; bnt these are mere apertures. Of tracery, so 
long as the style remains Italian at all, it seems to be utterly 
incapable. Vast semicircles yawn ondar the vault of die 
' InTalides' Cburdi at Paris ; and in place of the exquisite rose 
windows of Amiens or Westminster, a huge eye, hoUow as the 
aoeket of the blinded Polyphemus^ stares out from the front of 
ibe Certoea at Pavia (p. 51.). It may raise domes ; but these 
ate in idea Bysantine; and the octagon of Ely approaches 
nearer to this idea than any Renaissance example. In short, 
unless we confine ourselves to absolutely naked construction^ 
we most, whether with one form or another, commence with 
adaptetaon ; and we thus reach the simple conclusion that Mr. 
F cjg w w on piefers the language oi Ghreeoe and Italy to that of 

StaU, to the adaptation of what ure called Gothic forms, 
tkere remains an objection more serious tiian any which Mr. 
Fei]gnsaon has spedfied. From the first dawn of Roman archi- 
tecture down to the time when Teutonic art yielded to the 
inroads of the Renaissance, every stage is a link in a series of 
continuous and inseparable developements. To adopt any one 
staffe as our starttng-pcHnt is to make an arbitrary selection 
wiuiout any regard to its philosophical connexion with all that 
went before or followed it. When the builders of the early 
hanilifafl oast aside the entablature, it was an honest return to 
the architecture of Rome ; and a genuine arched construction 
inevitably suggested the relation of the arcades to the parts 
above them. The perception of this relation led a^ inevitably 
to the employment of the pointed arch. Within each bay the 
windows, which had been mere openings let into the. wall 
without ^stem, fell into groups, whose tracery follow^ precisely 

* Nothing can more clearly show that Mr. Fergusson has not 
thrown himself as thoroughly into the spirit of Giotkic as of other 
architecture, than the assertion that, ^in so £ur as the system of 
< ornamentation is oonoerned, the Saracenic style is identical with the 

* &oihic Both use pointed arches, clustered piers, vaulted roofs, and 

* they claim other features in common.' (P. 416.) It would be true 
to say that they exhibit some likeness in details of ornament ; but 
the Saracenic system of mere surface decoration is utterly alien to 
the subordination of the Gothic ; nor is it too much to say that if 
the Romanesque styles had started with the decorative system of 
Saracenic art, Grothic architecture could never have come into 

100 Feigusflon's HUtory of Modem Architecture. July, 

the same laws which regalated every other part of the design. 
The transition from a suoordination of distinct parts to a fusion 
in which all parts were merged, maj be traced as clearly in 
the one as in the other. And when the continuous styles suc- 
ceeded to the geometrical, the principle which had produced 
all these developements was completely exhausted, and the 
victory of any inyading style assured. Nor can the signifi- 
cance of this fact on the future history of the art be well over- 
rated. If we assume with Mr. Scott, that we may build in the 
style of the Ste. Chapelle at Paris, and if we are not to go on 
so copying and building for ever, in what is our work to issue? 
Is any new application of its principles practicable, or even 
conceivable? If we cannot see our way to an affirmative 
answer, it may be no reason for resorting to the common-sense 
Italian style ; but it is a grave reason for not making arbitrary 
selections from a series which is philosophically complete, and 
whose principles have been thoroughly woi^ed out 

Nor does this remark apply with less force to the Italian 
style, unless it be taken to mean nothing more than the use of 
the pier and arch without reference to Greek or Roman details. 
This, however, is to revert to mere naked construction*; and 
possibly under no other conditions can the rise of a genuine 
style be looked for. If thus, or in any other way, a really 
living architecture should spring up, it must be one which wiU 
be applicable to all buildings whatsoever. It will be as suitable 
for tlie synagogues of Jews as for the churches of Christians, 
for commercial storehouses as for royal palaces. There will no 
longer be any question of the appropriateness of different styles 
for different purposes. There will be no need to discuss 
whether a .church should be Gothic, or a club-house classicaL 
It will suit every want, ecclesiastical or secular, of our age, not 
less than the style which we call Gothic met the needs of our 
forefathers. In a greater degree it could not do so ; and much 
of the perplexity and absurdity of our present practice arises 
from our failing to see how marvellously flexible that architec- 
ture was. Because Englishmen in the fifteenth century built 
houses with narrow mullioned windows, the same thmg is 
done now, and the cry is raised that Gothic is inconvenient for 

* Mr. Fergusson has, indeed, reduced the question within a very 
narrow compass. If all copying of ornamental forms is utterly con- 
demned, we can but do one of two things. We may use the column 
with the round arch, or the column with the pointed arch. In the 
one case we take up the Romanesque, in the other we adopt the 
Grothic principle ; and still more it may be urged that the former, if 
taken as the starting-point, must lead on to the latter. 

1863. Lonis Blanc's French Revolution. 101 

domestic buildings* The traih is^ they had what they wished 
to have* If there had been need of wider openings, they would 
have pierced them as wide as any that are now filled with plate 
glass. The idea is^ but of recent growth that the purpose of a 
window is not merely to let in light, but to give as wide a 
view as possible of the landscape without. For those who 
adopt this idea, a genuine architecture will provide what is 
wanted as readily with Gothic as with Greek or Renaissance 

We* can do no more than touch on this point of practical 
interest, which involves the whole question of domestic archi- 
tecture ; nor can we enter on the ethnological discussions with 
which Mr. Fergusson brings his work to a close. There is the 
less need to do so, because we do not profess to have any 
deeper knowledge of Pelasgians and Turanians than Mr. Grote 
or Sir Cornewall Lewis. Here, as in his former work, Mr. 
Fergusson dogmatises, where they are silent, and he has seen 
reason to attribute to the primitive Aryans a belief the very 
reverse of that which seems to be indicated in their mythology. 
These, however, are matters of less moment than the practical 
questions with which the future progress of architecture is 
bound up. If in treating these questions Mr. Fei^usson has 
not been altogether consistent or impartial, he has examined 
them with a fullness and a force which commands our gratitude. 
If we have differed from him on some points, we have agreed 
with him on more ; and we gladly express our hope and our belief 
that his labour will not be in vain. 

Ari^. IV. — 1. Histoire de la Revolution Frangcdse. Par M. 
Louis Blanc. 12 vols. Paris: 1847-62. 

2. Histoire de la Terreur^ 1792-4, d^apres des doeumens authen" 
tiques et inidits. Par M. Mortimer-Ternaux. 2 vols. 
Paris: 1862. 

X>T the publication of the twelfth and coiiduding volume of 
his * Histoire de la Kevolution Fran9ai8e' (the first of 
which appeared iu 1847), M. Louis Blanc has now completed his 
chosen labour of many years. Never, perhaps, has a great lite- 
rary undertaking been conceived, proceeded with, and executed^ 
under circumstances so various and so singular. When first he 
addressed himself to the subject, he was a young and almost 
imknown literary man, an unit among the many thousand 

102 Louis Blanks Frenck EeoohUum. Jvfyy 

ardent spirits of Paris who were urging on their own deatiiiy 
and that of the State towards the great abyss which, fike 
Bossuet's precipice5 lay before them, without possibility of retnnL 
Guizot was then Prime Minister of France -, Louis Philifqpe 
was apparently at the height of his power ; the question of 
farther progress towards democracy seemed, for the moment, 
adjourned; c^ rather, a stationiary period had inierTened 
between the perpetual oscillations of flux and reflux in that 
agitated society. But when his first two volumes appeared, 
the air was ilready *dark with the signs <^ an approaching 
catastrophe. Then came the crash, and the unknown author 
was himself elevated, by one of the strangest of Fortune's sports, 
into the position of an arbiter of the fortunes of that great 
community whose former revolutionary struggles he was engaged 
in depicting. How the man of a * rare mais &pre &natisme,' as 
Lamartine designates him, comported himself in that hour of 
giddy elevation, future historians will have to say, for the tale 
of 1848 has not yet been jtold. Driven into exile, he resumed 
his pen after a few years ; the next volumes appeared in 1852, 
und^r the shadow of nascent Imperialism, the lfl»t in 1862, after 
ten years of that system have pruned down to the very root 
the luxuriance of liberal sentiment, and left the memories of 
Republicanism and of Pariiamentary government alike to &e 
keeping of an elderly generation. These ten years the author 
has ^nt in exile. And there is something both of dignity and 
of good sense in the manner in which that Utter trial has 
been borne, which commends him to the sympathy of the 
reader. Faithful to his principles — erroneous as most deem 
them, fanatical as most deem his addiction to them — he has 
never appeared to despair of their success, and of the rege- 
neration of France through their means. But he has held 
them usually in calm reserve ; never gone out of his way 
to obtrude them, or himself in conjunction with them, on 
public notice ^ never joined, so far as we are aware, in the 
schemes of those succesuve conspirators who have at times 
rendered the maintenance of our ancient ri^t of political 
asylum a matter of no small difficulty; never vented his passions 
in ignoble abuse df hostile power from a safe distance. Among 
us he has lived as one of ourselves, cherishing political principles 
in utter discordance with those which prevail with the mqority 
here — not disguising, but not obtruding them ; never Endea- 
vouring to use for his own personal purposes the popularity 
which those principles might have earned him with a zealous 
minority ; never xsompromising his own dimity, eith^ by noisy 
complaint or boastings, but quietly defending his conduct and 

IMS. LoiUB Blanc's French BevobOicn. 103 

prindplet when personal! j atta^ed, and kaving tbo ultimate 
iaeae of bk csoise m the hands of Time. 

Thus much we have allowed ourselves to say ; for there is no 
taciai of temper and of personal dignity mcnre searching than that 
of lai^ obscure p<ditical exile, and he who has borne it well 
desires the tribute ci respect, however little we may approve 
fan political conduct. As far as the purposes of the present 
work are concerned, this exile, whkh at first seemed likely 
to prevent ahogetber the completion of the present woik, 
turned out, singularly enough, of the greatest possible advantage 
ta the author* Deprived of the resources of the public and 
private libraries of his own country, his residence here intro- 
dveed him to those possessed by the British Museum. What 
he found there, and how he used it, is described in the preface 
to hia seventh volume, published in 1855. ' J'ai de grandee 
' actions de gr&ce k rendre k mon ezil,' he ssys, ' qui m'a mis en 
* €tat d'approfondir mon sujet beaucoup mieux que je ne raurais 
' pu il Paris mSoae.' The late Mr. Croker was an msatiable col- 
lector of pamphlets, newspapers, records of every sort, respecting 
the first French Bevolution; and on two different occasions 
(unless we are misinformed) he parted with $J1 which he possessed 
in this way to the British Museum.* These masses of matt^, 
being added to the coUectioBe made and stored by the establish^ 

* To give some idea of its value and extent, we quote the descrip- 
tion which Louis Blanc himself has left on record of it in the ' Avis 
' aa Lecteur ' which precedes his seventh volume : — 

* £n relations contemporaines, brochures pour ou centre, discours, 
rapports, pamphlets, satires, ehansons, statistiques, portraits, proo^ 
verbaux, proclAmations, placards, &c, &c, le catalogue comprend : sur 
la seule affaire da Collier, 3 ^normes dossiers ; sur les Farlements, 6 ; 
sur les Etats-G^neraux, 75; sar la Noblesse, 8; sur le Clerg^ 86; 
sur les Travaux Publics pendant la Revolution, 7 ; sur le Commerce, 
3 ; sur FAgriculture, 2 ; sur les Clubs, 22 ; sur les FStes Civiques, 
9 ; scnr la Police des Cultes, 62 ; sur les Poids et Mesures, 1 ; sur les 
Sdeaeee pendant la B^votutioD, 3 ; sur la G^de Nationale, 3 ; sur 
les Sections de Paris, 5 ; sur I'Education^ 9 ; sur la Philosophie, 16 ; 
sur les Monuments Publics, 3 ; sur les Emigres, 28 ; sur les Colonies, 
45 ; sur la Mendicity et les Hospices, 4 ; sur les Prisons, 5 ; sur 
Bobespierre, 12 ; sur Camille Desmoulins, 13 ; sur Brissot, 5 ; sur 
Harat, 13 ; sur Baboeuf, 10 ; et ainsi de suite. . . . Inutile d'ajouter 
qa% chaque ^v^nement notable de la Revolution correspond une 
masse de documents proportionn^s k son importance. C^est ainsi, par 
exemple, que I'ensemble des pieces diverses relatives aux affaires 
d^ Avignon va du n^ 591 au n^ 599. Quant aux histoires proprement 
dHesy la oottectioA s'6lend dn nnm^ro 1208 au num6ro 1340! * 

104 Louis Blanc's Frenoh Bevolution. J^Jy 

ment and by George IIL during the period of the Revolutkni 
itselfy complete the unrivalled repository of which Louis Blanc 

By the dd of these means, envied by his French critics 
themselves, and with his literary ability sharpened by political 
experience, M. Louis Blanc has produced a work of a very 
high order. But a History, in the highest sense of all, we dare 
not call it It is in truth another contribution to that series of 
eloquent and voluminous essays, framed on preconceived ideas^ 
which their authors have entitled Histories of the French 
Revolution. Its peculiar merit lies in the unity of thought 
and purpose which prevails throughout the whole. The 
casual reader, who will merely take it up to peruse his ac-> 
count of particular scenes and characters, though he may find 
much to interest and strike him, will not be able to appre- 
ciate this its highest characteristic — the mode in which the 
sequence of facts is brought powerfully and distinctly out ; in 
which it is shown how each mistake, each injustice committed 
by the several parties, as well as each bold and successful poli« 
tical stroke, depended on its antecedent, and produced its results; 
how one day was the father of another, and each incident only 
to be understood by dose advertence to that which preceded 
and followed it This is Louis Blanc's greatest achievement ; 
and, for historical purposes, it is one of no common order. 
And it exhibits itself, very markedly, in the dramatic part of his 
work, in the delineation of character. It has been said that 
Shakespeare differs from almost all other dramatists essentially 
in this, that his characters are not figures introduced complete 
into the canvas ; they alter, grow, and develope under the eye. 
So it is, in due proportion, with ike personages brought forward 
in the pages of Louis Blanc. Unlike most Fren<£ writers of 
equal power, he does not seem to us to excel in the artistic 
finishing of elaborate portraits, where he attempts it But his 
characters draw themselves. Mirabeau, Brissot, Bobespierre, 
Saint-Just, seem to grow out of their indistinct beginnings into 
definite individualities, chapter by chapter, and to assume by 
d^prees, as they did in life, their due proportion to the scene 
which they fill. 

It is evident how considerable, and rig^tiy so, are the ad- 
vantages which the historian who deals with a great work in 
this complete way has over those who exercise their ingenuity 
on the production of 'monographs,* as some term them — 
historical e«says on special subjects, diaracters, or scenes, 
forming ^Kutions of the great whole. We have been much 
struck with this ciroumsiance, when comparing the history 

1863. Louis Blapo's French RevohiHon. 105 

before us with the recent special works of anti-revolutionary 
writers who have obtained success in France, and in some 
instances deservedly; Granier de Cassagnac (^Histoire des 
^ Grirondins'X and die more solid, but not less onensided, De 
Barante (' Histoire de la Convention '). We must add to these 
the work of M. Mortimer-Temaux, which we have named at 
the head of this article. Although full of valuable and hitherto 
unknown or unappreciated materials, it comprises, at present^ 
merely the history of Paris during the three summer months of 
1792. Its chief merit consists in the large amount of original 
written evidence it has brought to light, M. Mortimer-Temaux 
having had the patience to disinter and examine several hundred 
thousand documents and entries of the time, which in many 
cases correct the loose statements of contemporary narrative 
by irrefragable evidence. The impartial reader wUl no doubt 
often agree with the corrections which these authorities make 
in the facts, and the disproof which they administer to the 
theories, of our republican. But their accounts of each parti- 
cular crisis and action seem mutilated by the want of ' suite ' 
— the want of that connexion with things before and after^ 
which, he on his part traces with such clearness and ability. 
Conduct which seems absurd, or ignoble, or inconsequent, 
becomes often intelligible and in a sense justifiable by com- 
parison with some other and distant series of facts. 

We have in our time felt indignant with Bamave and the 
Jacobins of 1791, for their spiteful detraction of their own 
great leader Mirabeau, who had set in movement that devo- 
lution by which they lived ; we now know clearly, what they 
doubtless knew darkly, that Mirabeau had sold the Bevo- 
lution and them to the Court, through ascertained brokers, for 
ready money. We have probably judged according to pre- 
conceived opinions tha^ passage in the life of Rooespierre^ 
where, in the beginning of 1792, he sets himself with all his 
force to oppose the declaration of war against the Coalition ; 
contrary to the views of all the various sections of the friends 
of liberty, and in contradiction also to the expressed and 
enthusiastic feeling of the country.* We may have attributed 
it to personal jealousy of opposite leaders — to a sense of his 
own civil importance, which a state of war would nullify — to 
fear of the extbguishment of liberty by military chiefs, and so 
forth. We now know that whatever effect these secondary 

* This passage of history is treated with great force — allowing for 
bis partisanship wherever Kobespierre is concerned — ^by Louis Blanc, 
vol. vi. chap. 7. 

106 Louis Bhnc't French RevobiiiaiL Jvij, 

oomes may have had, Robespierre was ia his own sense perfitatlj 
right, and the more impuktre liberals were decer?ed; that 
the Court and a portion of the constitutionabsts actually ttiter* 
iained the intention of using that war, and the miUtary fbroe 
which it would call out, for the direct purpose of cottnter- 
revolution. We have all read, perhaps with admifation, but 
most* of us certainly with some disgust, Ver^niaiid's fiunous 
apostrophe to his outraged, impotent sovereign, m daily peiil of 
liberty and Kfe : — * Tu n'es plus rien pour ce peu{rfe que tu aa 
' si l&chement traU,' and so forth ; and may have deemed it, as 
M* Temaux would still apparently have us deem it, a ^eoe of 
cruel rhetorical pedantry, a base attempt to earn populazity 
by appealing to iJie worst feelings of the mob. But Time, the 
great rectifier, has revealed to us what Yergniaud knew well 
enough in a general way, though he could not prove it as we can 
— that in tbit very month of July, 1792, the Eang's ageni. 
Mallet du Pan, was haunting the doors of the ministers of 
Austria and Prussia at Frankfort, with the King's own proposi^ 
tions, inviting their masters to mandi to Paris in order to save 
the monarchy. And thus it ia that in judging dtber a man 
or a cause by insulated hcts or expressions occi^rring in the 
course of a career, one is almost inevitably unjust; and this 
is the peculiar injustiee which the study of special portions 
of history, otherwise so attraotave, is calculated to promote^ 
the study of connected and dalmate histories cak«ilated to 

But if calculated to correct this error, it is ui^rtanatdy 
calculated to involve the mind of the reader in far more binding 
and durable error, unless he is fortified hj that amount of 
scepticism which only the cooling of the passions and the slow 
acquisition of much knowledge produce in some, and which 
no discipline seems to produoe in othi^s. ^ L'histoire de la 
' Revolution/ Louk Bbmc over and over again declares to us, 
^ est encore i faire.' The era for impartial histiMry, that is, has 
not yet begun. And bis own work certainly furnishes bo 
exception. It is a remarkable achievement : but no more a 
history, in the higher sense, than those of Thiers, or Michelet, 
or Lacretelle, or Mcmtgaillard* It is, firom beginning to end, 
simply an advocate's defence of a client. The causes of revo- 
lution against conservatism, of the popular party against the 
Court, of the Jacobins against the fiBuillaiM, the Mountain 
against the Gironde, Bobespierre against Danton and against 
the Committees, and his disciples against the * Thermidorians' — 
these are the causes, or rather the successive phases of the 
same cause, to the establishment of which he devotes himself 

1863. Loms Blane'9 French SevciiUum. 107 

aflsidnotisly, perticacioiidy, without yieMiiig and r&tmyne, with- 
out a single looking' back, with hardly a single deviation into 
the rice of candour. He may, indeed, blame askl inveigh 
against the excesses of his friends; but he never admits t^ 
they were wrong as against their immediate opponents. In 
general, his object is sufficiently attained by^ a bold and lucid 
developement of the case which he wishes to make, honestly 
exposing its weak side but arguing with all his force in favour 
of its strong. But he is by no means above the more ordinary 
arts of the advocate. This is especially manifest where he 
has to deal with what in modem phrase we must call the 
' sensation ' portions of his subject. It is never his tendency to 
shir over, or to colour in undertone, the horrors which he has 
to depict : his own thorough love of humanity, his tendency to 
take on all occasions the weaker side, preserve him sufficiently 
firom all such temptation. But having fEuthfuUy brought out 
the daiic side of his picture, he hurries to dart in as many 
patches of light — often with very little authentication — as the 
subject will admit of. He does not soften the crimes of 1^ 
revolutionary tribunals, of the chief i^nts of Terror, or of the 
'men of September;' but he brings into as much prominence 
as he can their fits of human weakness, th^ acquittals> 
their connivances at escape. In the same style of pleading 
— and it is an employment of it which we more r^ret — 
heroic acts, or persom^e^ on the wrong side, are not indeed 
suppressed, but all that can be said in detraction of them is 
brought fbrward with a judicial air. L^uis XVL dkd a 
martyr, no doubt — in bis own cause — but he lost his patience, 
was noisy, and struggled with his executioners. CharloCte 
Corda^ was a heroine, but she had a certain M£gdret6 de 
' caract^ ; ' was by no means free from afEeetation, had a 
'preoccupation de ^oire toute payenne,' and was not particular 
about tVuth* ; and, though descended from the great Comeille, 
Ae was not perfect in her spelling. But the more effective 

* Nothing is more unjust, at times, than a minute dissection of 
words. Charlotte Corday admitted that she lefl Caen with the design 
of killing Marat Nevertheless, she says in her letter to Barbaroux 
that Marat's threats, in his conversation with her, to have the Giron- 
dins sent to the scaffold, * ont d^id^ de son sort* Louis Blanc thinks it 
worth his while to quarrel with this contradiction as indicating a want 
of truthfulness. Who cannot reconcile the two 'statements in the 
mouth of a determined but impulsive girl? 3f. Vatel, in his carious 
republication of the 'Dossiers du Frocks de Charlotte Corday,' 
seeais to make out that this letter to Barbarottx was written at 
intervals and in fragments. 

108 Louis Blanc's French Revolution. ^uXj, 

and more constant artifice which he employs is that of carefully 
constructed parallels of crime. On each several occasion he 
applies himself to show, not by argument so much as by 
effective juxtaposition, how the misdeeds of his clients were 
occasioned, or paralleled, or avenged by those of their enemies. 
The early excesses of the Revolution are shown as nearly as 
may be in the same light with the occasional violence of the 
clerical faction, with the bloodshed of Nancy and of the Champ 
de Mars; the tale of Lyons, Avignon, Toulon, Nantes, in- 
geniously intermingled with accounts of the ferocity exhibited 
by Catholics in the South, and Vendeans in the West ; and 
the tragedy of La Terreur itself immediately followed by a 
special and most vigorous chapter, in his last volume, headed 
* La Terreur Blanche : ' a chapter which deserves to produce 
great effect, and would be calculated to produce more, could 
not the experienced eye detect thus much, — that though the 
author rarely hazards a statement without authority, he relies, 
when Royalists are to be accused, on such slight authorities as 
he would demolish with the most merciless criticism if they 
had been adduced against Republicans. And, in truth, with 
regard to many of the leading events of the Revolution, the 
art of the advocate lies neither in inventing nor concealing;, 
but simply in giving his own turn and colour to well-known 
materials. ' Tout est optique,' says Mercier, in one of the most 
requently quoted passages of his ^Nouveau Paris ' (a work, 
by the way, which, after having reposed in peace for many 
years on the shelve of bouqumistes, has lately acquired a certain 
fashion as an authority), everything depends on the point of 
view from which we regard it. Compare the narrative of the 
popular intrusion into the Tuileries on the 20th of June, 1792, 
as given by Louis Blanc and by Mortimer-Temaux : each uses 
the same materials, and uses them honestly, and yet how 
entirely opposite are the impressions conveyed by the one 
narrative and the other I Or compare the account given by 
Louis Blanc of the return from Varennes with that which, 
unluckily for the austere Fetion, Mortimer-Temaux has 
disinterred from that patriot's papers, and printed in the 
appendix to his first volume. None of the facts are materially 
different ; but under how different a colour they appear to the 
Republican writer, who gently rebukes the shade of Potion for 
having exhibited to the royal captives a little too much of 
patriotic austerity, and acted the * paysan du Danube ' in too 
marked a manner, and to us, who are now in possession of the 
secret, that Potion had the ineffiible coxcombry to imagine 
Madame Elisabeth in love with him, and dreaded, in the dose 

1863. Loub Blanc's French Revolution. 109 

and protracted contact of that travelling-carriwe^ to have his 
virtue compromised bj a premature declaration itom Her Boyal 

But having expressed our opinion of M. Louis Blanc's intense 
partisanship, we must hasten to say that we hold him to be one 
of those advocates whose entire mind is coloured and absorbed 
bj the cause to which they have devoted themselves. From 
the vnlgar trickery of misstating facts, of inventing friendly 
or concealing hostile authorities, he is, so far as we have ob- 
served, entirely exempt We have been constantly struck with 
bis boldness, not only in referring to authorities, but in citing 
them, where, to our comprehension, they seem to contradict 
his conclusions and reduce to absurdity his theories. Others 
have written as philosophers, patronising the people from a 
serene distance ; he is ' le peuple ' himself — not so much an 
adherent of the popular side as the very incarnation of so-called 
popular views and doctrines. If we can conoeive the people 
(using the word as our neighbours do, to signify at once some- 
thing opposed to the higher classes and the bourgeoisie, and 
something distinct from the nation at large) engaged in the 
task of recording its own great Saturnalia by the hand of its 
own confidential secretary, these volumes might be the result, 
and Louis Blanc the instrument 

Li nothing has this essentially popular kind of temperament 
more forcibly struck us, than in the strange credulity which he 
exhibits as to all rumours of that class which are sure to have 
currency with minds heated by party and in periods of storms, 
though they usually lose it again, in the minds of reasonable men, 
as soon as the storms subside. Critical to excess in exposing 
fictions of hostile import, there is nothing he does not seem 
prepared to receive as an article either of faith or of serious 
suspicion, when it tallies with the course of his theories. He 
believes that Gunganelli was murdered by the Jesuits. He very 
much inclines to believe that Mirabeau was poisoned — and the 
Emperor Leopold. He believes that Gamain, the locksmith, 
was poisoned ; not, he says, by the King or Queen — but who 
else could have done it? He believes that Desault the phy- 
sician, and Chopart the chemist, who were the last to minister 
to the supposed Dauphin in the Temple, were both poisoned by 
the Government He believes that the Count de Provence 
(Louis XVIII.) was throughout the Revolution intriguing 
against the King — ^that * il usa de sa position, de son influence, de 
' son cr^t, dans un sens & la fois funeste & son frdre ain£ et 
' favorable & lui-mdme ' (ii. 161.); that he systematically calum- 
niated the Queen ; that he got rid of his nephew, the unfortu- 

lie Lkhub Bkne'e Frtnch BeoolmtiotL Juljt 

nate DonpkiiL He bdieveB^ apparently, in the coandal of the 
* Collier ; ' tlie ooiwpiracy of Favrae (liL 404.), that of Maillebois 
(iv. 189.). His faith is potent in all the charges thrown out of 
underhand devieee for mining the Revolution by making it 
unpopular ; in ' unknown men cutting open sacks of flour with 
^ their knives,* in order to enrage the populace ; in the bands of 
^•w^-mounted and well-dressed' counter'^revolutionists, who 
went about in the autumn of 1789 encouraging the peasants to 
destroy the ohftteaux (iv. 53.) ; in the legen&ry pair of English- 
men who were seen drinking, and prompting the massacres, at the 
prison of the Abbaye (viL 167.). He execrates the ^ commerce 
' assassin ' of ^ accapareurs ' (forestallers, as our ancestors called 
them) to the very top of the popular bent against them ; believes 
that they murdered Pinet (ii« 472.) for denouncing them ; that 
in 1792, ' in order to ruin die manufEictures, to leave tiie work- 
' men idle and force them to curse the Revolution,' they ' mono- 
^ polised everything, — ^yea, everything, down to paper, roofing 
' slates, and pins ' (vi. 274«) ; that the counter-revolutionary capi** 
talists systematically 'refused work' to the people (to their 
own ruin) with the same dark object ; that landlords forbore to 
ask for their rents when due, in order that fiurmers might hold 
back their com instead of selling it, and so starve the populace 
into discontent (x. 403.). We by no means place all these 
instances of credulity, to which many similar might be added, 
on tiie same footing: some are cases in which reasonable 
suspicion might well be entertained, others appear to our judg- 
ment mere mideummer madness ; but we array them together 
as affording proof of that robust superabundance of faith whidi 
is so eminently characteristic of the vulgar mind everywhere, 
and of those peouliar minds which, like Louis Blanc's, though 
critically and even fastidiously polished, retain at bottom ^e 
instincts, the reasoning, the sentiments of the multitude. 

As might be suspected, a mind so tenacious of the old revolu- 
tionary suspicions nnds ample food in the dark machinations of 
England, or at least of the British Oovemment ' Pitt et 
^ Cobourg ' scarcely played a more monstrous part in Barrdre's 
^ Carmagnoles,' than in the sober pages of our historiRn. This 
, is really bard upon us ; for Louis Blanc can be both just and 
generous towards us. Of our people, and of our institutions, 
rounded though these are on principles entirely opposed to his 
own, he speaks with uniform respect ; he fully appreciates what 
we esteem our good qualities, and shows even more than due 
indulgence to our failings ; and, which is still rarer with his 
countrymen, is at once acute and merciful in his judgments on 
our public men* And yet he appears actuated throughout by 

186& Ifoais Bkao^ I^enek S^olutim. Ill 

the belief that Pitt, his 'Ooremment, «nd hia PorliameDts, were 
inspiyed hj the very gentos o£ Madbda^el himeelfy throughout 
tbcnr defldinge with the ingexittOiM patnots of the Reyolution* 
He eennot make the allowance for the natural heaitations of a 
free GrOFemment, embarrassed by m penseTeriDg opposition, but 
mIb down every appamnt inoonsi^enej to some deefi^ if inex«- 
]dieable, manoravre. Ete canned see that for many years of the 
straggle Enghmd had no idea whatei^er of seeking to reesta- 
UishUoyaUst goTernment in Frasoe, simply because to impose 
any govemmeot en a foreign nation through w«r was contrary 
to Ei^fish ideas; that we fought Fnuiee to conquer France if 
we eonld, regardless of the form of government which France 
BHght afberwardfi assume, except so*&r as the security of peace 
might seem to require. He persists in supposing that the 
lekictaiiee of England to dictate political lessons to the Yen- 
deans^ or to interfere in behalf of the royal family, was simply 
tiie daik caloulataoii of minds bent on seeing France perish by 
the mutual Tioleiioe of her sons, and anxious to prolong her 
agony as €ur as possUde through a specious, but designing, for- 

♦ We place together in a note two carious instances of the very 
loose assertions into whioh Louis Bkne's prcgudtce against Pitt and 
his associates occasionally hurries him. 

1. In 1790 England was embracing strongly the party of the Stadt* 
holder against the democnats in the United Provinces. The English 
Minister, Lord Harri% writes home : — * If this ' (an insurrection in 
favour of the Stadtbolder) ' should not happen, we might then look 

* forward to the reduction of this country to a state of insignificancy 
' as the best event which can befall England.' This our author ren- 
ders as follows : — ' S*il n*en va pas de ce sorte, nous aurtms d voir de 

* r^uire eeUe contree k un ^tat de parfaite insignifiance ; car, en 
^ pareil cas, c'est ce qui arriverait de mieux il 1 Angleterre ! ' (iv. 
9.) Now M. Louis Blanc knows English almost as weil as French, 
and we venture to brieve him incapable in cold blood of so gross a 
mistranalatioB ; his honesty is shown, indeed, by his printing the 
English text along with his translation ; and we are therefore reduced 
to Qke conclusion that his habit of scenting a plot in every line of an 
English minister's despatch has for the moment warped his under- 
standing of a very few plain words. 

2. * In the sitting of the House of Commons of the 19th of March, 
1794' (he says, v. 386.), 'Sieridan cried out with indignation, 
''Would you believe, gentlemen^ that there exists in England a 

* null employed :for the manufaetmre of paper to make false French 
' assignats ? " On which, Mr. Taylor declared that he was able to 
' name such mills, and had seen with his eyes the false assignats. 
' The generous denunciations of Sheridan threw on the jpolicy of Pitt 

112 Louis Blanc's French JRevoIution. July, 

To deal with a work of this magnitade and importance in the 
compass of an ordinary article, so as to bring fully before the 
reader its characteristic excellences and defects, would be a 
task to which we feel ourselves unequal. We shall content 
ourselves, on the present occasion, with directing attention to 
the manner in which Louis Blanc has treated a few remarkable 
scenes and incidents in the course of his history ; because these 
have appeared to us to furnish striking instances of his pecu« 
liarities, both of manner and substance. They illustiate, better 
than any general criticism of ours can do, the sources firom whidi 
he derives his strength and his weakness, the extent and variety 
of his knowledge, the acuteness with which he applies it, the 
fixed predetermination with which it is made to serve the purpose 
of the one-sided, yet not dishonest, advocate* 

1. Nothing can be more characteristic of our author than 
the way in which he deals with that untoward passage of 
history for writers on the Revolutionary side, the massacres of 
September. * He has not deliberately Iwrdened his conscience 
to apologise for them, to find in them great but melancholy 
acts of vigour, violent convulsions of a people seeking to 
deliver itself of its enemies, and so forth. He sees them, as 
they are seen by all men of unperverted moral sense, as crimes 
of the deepest dye ; and he judges them with especial severity, 
as having more than any other event rendered the final success 
of his favourite cause impossible. And yet he cannot refrain 
from using every art of the advocate, not in palliation, but in 
mitigation — by diverting the reader's attention to other parallel 
historical facts — by dwelling on alleged or imagined provocation 
on the part of the victims — i>y detailing, with complacency, 

* more light than it was capable of bearing ; the discussion was 

* stifled.* Now there is nothing improbable in such a debate 
having taken place, but the only authority cited for it is the ^ Moni. 

* teur ; ' and Louis Blanc adds : * It is remarkable that the report of 

* this debate appears to be amiiied in the collection of Parliamentary 

* Debates.' The implication, of course, is that the Grovemmcmt 
suppressed it ! An Englishman can only smile at so curious a suppo- 
sition ; a foreigner imbued with Louis Blanc's views must believe that 
Pitt succeeded in gagging the newspapers also : we at least have been 
unable to find in them any notice whatever of the supposed debate, 
and on that particular Wednesday the House is reported to have trans- 
acted only private business. Surely a mistake, or mystification, on 
the part of the ' Moniteur,' was a solution which might have presented 
itself. Communication was at that time so interrupted, that the news 
of Robespierre*s fall was not published in the London papers until a 
fortnight after it happened. 

1863. houia Bhno^s Frertch Revolution. 113 

the inBtanoes in which the satiated murderers let go their prey, 
or in which they halted in their work to give vent to some 
momentary outburst of sympathy or pity. He endeavours, 
above all, to relieve the established revolutionary authorities, 
and in especial the knot of Kobespierre and his friends, from 
ignominy, by representing the whole as an irresistible popular 
outburst, instead of a deliberately planned execution. He 
heads the chapter in which they occur, ^ Souviens-toi de la 
''Siunt-Barth^l6my.' What had Maillard and his bloody jury to 
do with the crimes of Charles the Ninth ? Nothing ; but this 
is a rhetorical artifice to shade off something of the dark colour 
in which the scene must be painted by representing it as a kind 
of £ated retaliation for the wickedness of kings in other ages. 
And the same artifice reappears in the final passage, in which 
he sums up his judgment : — 

* It is false that the Commune traced out beforehand the plan of the 
massacres, and had it executed by a handful of hired assassins, in the 
middle of Paris, motionless and mute. Ah ! if the system of history 
which has prevailed up to this time were well founded — a system 
maintained by the Girondins from hatred of the Montagnard^, by the 
Royalists from hatred of the Be volution— could there be contempt 
cnoagh, execration enough, for these Ro3ralist8, Girondins, ministers. 
Assembly, for all this nation itself, which, seized with horror^ but 
ti-ombling with fear, allowed all this blood to be drunk by some fifty 
vampires ? To what epoch of history must we then ascend to find 
an example of universal cowardice comparable to that of which France, 
the land of courage, would then have afforded the spectacle ? No, 
no, it was not thus. The days of September had that character of 
contagious excitement which in the thirteenth century distinguished 
those Sicilian vespers, in which eight thousand Frenchmen were 
slaughtered in two hours. . . . They had that characteristic which 
has been only too often met with in the annals of nations ; a character 
of irresistible spontaneousness, which associated itself, lamentable 
and terrible as the truth may be, with the most ardent burst of patriot- 
ism which ever took place.* (vii. 196.) 

Probably Louis Blanc is the last writer who will deny the 
premeditation of the massacres; * systSme (as he stmngely says) 
* que je me flatte d'avoir renversfi sans retour.' He is certainly, 
in our judgment, the ablest. But there have been of late 
many new researches made among the mass of original docu- 
ments which still remains after all the havoc which caution, 
and shame, and neglect, have made among the records of the 
time, in which, as M. Ternaux says, ^chacun a efface les 
' marques de son courage et laiss^ les traces de sa honte.' And 
these researches have only too uniformly pointed to the same 
conclusion — that which patriotism and loyalty to revolutionary 


114 Loiuft Blano'd French Bevolution. Jvly^ 

principle are naturally 86 reluctant to admit — that of guilt, with 
malice aforethought.* 

On this supposition, who were the arch-culprits? There 
are three bodies on which the responsibility must especially 
weigh — the Ministry of Justice (that is, Danton), the Commune, 
and the Sections. Let us examine how these are dealt with in 
the history before us. 

Against Danton the evidence is so weighty, that Louis 
Blanc appears rather to undertake his defence as part of his 
general thesis, that there was no premeditation at all, than from 
any hope of rescuing him individually. He ^ participated,' he 
says, in the guilt of these days, but will not admit tliat he 
planned it. But it is difficult to maintain such a distinction 
in the case of a minister of justice, who had the very prisons 
in which the massacres occurred under his especial <)harge. 
We can but refer — not having room for entering on the sub- 
ject in detail — to his conduct at the Conseil*G^n6ral of 
the Commune on the 29th August — his conversation with 
Louvet, recounted by the latter as early as November in a 
narrative not impugned by Louis Blanc himself — his interview 
with Prudhomme the bookseller on the 2nd of September 
(viL 145.) — his address to the Assembly at one o'clock of that 
day, followed by the commencement of the massacre at half- 
past two — as affording evidence all but conclusive that the whole 
series of atrocities were part of a scheme preconceived and 
arranged in his mind. Even Louis Blanc himself, with an in- 
consistency for which we can hardly account, says of him, some 
days later, ' Danton commen9ait k etre embarrass^ de son coup 
' d'etat.' If there was a ^ coup d*4tat,' what becomes of the 
theory of ^ contagious excitement ' ? 

Next, as to the share taken by the Commune. The reader 
of Revolutionary history is aware of the steps by which this 
usurping body had got into its hands the largest share of 
executive power, not in Paris only, but in the neighbouring 
provinces, at the time of the destruction of the monarchy on 

* This volume of M. Louis Blanc's work was printed in 1865. M. 
Granier de Cassagnac's ' Histoire des Girondins et des Massacres de 
' Septembre,' appeared in 1860. The author's temper and spirit are 
anything but impartial, but the proofs of design which he adduces are 
formidable. A recent monograph by M. Sorel, on ' Le Couvent des 
' Carmes en 1793,' gives much help to the reader, by enabling him to 
fix his eye steadily on the course of events daring the massacre in one 
particular locality — the deliberations of the Section of the Luxem- 
bourg and their immediate connexion with the murders at the Carmes 
as cause and efiect. 

1863. Looit Bhuio'g French IkvobOUm. 1 15 

the 10th of August^ and is familiar with the circnmstanoey 
that its operations were all this time directed by the enei^tio 
party of the Montagne, while its feebler riyal, the Assembly, 
was controlled by Brissot and the Girondist rhetoricians. The 
Town*Council, or Conseil-G^n^ral de la Commune, was the 
central seat of power. Now it is trqe enough — and Louis 
Blanc makes the most of it — that the procds-verbaux of this 
council, which are preserved, contain no direct authorisation of 
the massacres. It would be strange if they had. But the 
ibllowing are the outlines of its proceedings. By the 23rd of 
August, the prisons had become full of political victims : — 

* On that day' (according to Potion), * one section vint en deputation 
au Conseil de la Commune, et d^clara, formellement, qne les citoyens, 
iatigu^, indign^ des retards qae Ton apportait dans lea jogemens, 
fcMrceraient les portes de ees asiles et immoleraient k leur vengeance 
les coupables qui y 6taient renferm^ Cette petition, con^ae ^ns les 
termes les plus d^lirants, n'^prouve aucune censure ; elle re9ut memo 
des applaudissemens.' 

On the 29th, the motion of Danton, already alluded to, *for 

* arming the necessitous citiiisens,' was carried, ' domiciliary 
visits * ordered, together with the closing of the barri^res round 
the city, to sweep into the prisons as many suspected as could 
be found, with the object — say those who insist on premedita* 
tion — of making clean work of alL Louis Blanc shows, no 
doubt, that the first order for these visits came from the 
Assembly. But the proposition was Danton's ; it was seized on 
with ominous energy, and appropriated by the Commune ; and 
it is remarkable, as Louis Blanc himself shows, that from that 
xught the expectation of approaching massacre became general 
in all the prisons. On the 30th, the Commune threw on the 
Sections the responsibility ' d'examiner et de juger les citoyens 
^ arrSt^ cette nuit.' On the 3l8t, Tallien, in the name of a 
deputation from the Commune, declared at the bar of the As- 
sembly, ^ Nous avons fait arrSter des conspirateurs, &c Nous 
' avons fait arrSter les prStres perturbateurs ; ils sont enferm^ 
^ dans une maison particuli^, et sous pen de jours le sol de la 

* liberty sera purg6 de leur pr&ence.' On the 1st of September, 
the Conseil-G^n^ral of the Commune decreed the reopening of 
the barrifires round the city : they had been closed for forty-eight 
hours — time enough to enclose all the destined victims in the net. 
Aiid, lastly, on the evening sitting of the 2nd, when it was an- 
nounced that the massacres had commenced, the same body took 
its measures, not to stop them, but to * provide for the safety of 

* all the debtors, and prisoners in civil causes!' 

Such were the proceedings of the Conseil-G^n^ral. But we 

116 Louis Blanc's French Revolutimu July, 

must not omit to notice that, on the morning of the 2nd, just 
as the massacres were about to commence^ it had constituted 
that terrible body, the Committee of Surveillance — better known 
to the people as the Committee of Execution — which^ on the 
next day (the 3rd), addressed to all the municipalities its famous 
circular^ announcing 'qu'une partie des conspirateurs f6roces, 
' d^tenue dana les prisons, a ^t^ mise k mort par le peuple/ 
signed by Duplain, Panis, ' Marat, I'ami du peuple/ and eight 
others, * constituls & la Commune, et si^geant a la Mairie.' 

Next, as to the part assigned to the Sections.* That these 
bodies were in constant correspondence with the Commune, 
and, as it were, affiliated to it, is well known. We are disposed 
to agree in M. de Cassagnac*8 view, that they were employed by 
the leaders of that body in part ^ pour ^carter d'elle la reaponsa- 
' bilite, ou au moins la dlameur publique.' We have seen 
that on the 30th of August, as soon as the prisons were full, 
the Commune had thrown on the Sections the responsibility of 
further action. In the morning of the 2nd of September, most 
of the Sections answered the appeal, as if by common consent ; 
the most patriotic demanding in direct terms the death of all 
the * conspirators' in the prisons, in order to ' secure Paris' from 
their ferocious violence during the absence of its defenders on 
the frontier I To render the scene more intelligible, let us 
observe the proceedings of one section only, that of the Luxem- 
bourg, in which the old Convent des Cannes, then a prison for 
priests, was situated, as they are recounted in M. SorePs little 
volume already quoted. We find the Assembly of that section 
meeting on the morning of the 2nd of September, at Saint Sul- 
pice. A discussion as to the fate of the prisoners in the Cannes 
IS immediately opened. A member proposes * de se d^barrasser 

* des prisonniers, et surtout des prStres.' Ceyrat, president, 
said, ' Tous qui sont detenus aux Carmes sont coupables, et il 
' est tems que le peuple en fasse justice.' On this three mem- 
bers are sent to the Commune, * pour lui communiquer ce voeu, 

* €tfin de pouvoir agir dune maniere uniforme.^ Just as they are 
starting on this errand, one of the three, M. Lohier, asks, 

* Comment on entendit se d^barrasser des prisonniers ? Par la 
' mort, s'^criSrent k la fois plusieurs 6itoyens, et le president 
' lui-mSme.' At two o'clock the same president, Ceyrat, goes 
to the convent, has the list of prisoners called over, and orders 


• Very complete accounts of the character and composition of these 
bodies in 1792 are given by Mortimer-Ternaux and by De Cassagnac. 
They form a curious chapter in Revolutionary history, and one not 
generally understood. 

1863. liOWA Blaxkd'B French Bevolution. 117 

them to assemble in the garden. At four, Maillard and his band 
enter, and the work of death is done. 

We must say that we consider the case of premeditation 
proved, as far as mere circumstantial evidence can prove such 
an issue. The compilers of the ' Histoire Parlementaire,' MM. 
Cuchez and Boux, were themselves revolutionarj doctrinaires 
of the stiffest order ; they really hold the massacres justifiable 
on the fatalist theory (xvii. 322.), and they had not the 
benefit of the fuller evidence since adduced by De Cassagnac 
and others. And yet even they are compelled, by a sense of 
historical duty, to adopt the same conclusion. After balancing 
for a while the arguments in favour of and against premedi- 
tation, they thus sum up the case, fairly enough, to the effect 
that the massacres were organised ; that ' ce fut Fun des trois 
' derniers jours d'ao&t que Tex^ution dont il s'agit fut arrdt^e. 
^ . . . Que le Comit^ de Surveillance ait €t€ Tordonnateur 
' des massacres, c'est sur quo! il ne pent rester ancun doute.' 

Such is, as it seems to us, the fundamental error of this 
portion of Louis Blanc's history. But his treatment of the 
details of the subject is still more paradoxicaL As we have 
said, his reprobation of the whole proceeding, and his rejection 
of the sophistries by which his fellow-politicians have tried 
to palliate it, is manly and uncompromising. But, having 
offered this sacrifice to virtue, he then devotes himself to using 
the materials before him in such a way as to soften as far as 
possible every horror, and give the murderers the benefit of 
every favourable interpretation which can be suggested of any 
of their actions. He finds in Maillard and his jury a tribunal 
terrible indeed, but on its own principles calm and just as Kha- 
damanthus, * en pr^ence duquel la meilleure protection £tait 
'de n'en point avoir, et oil toutes les ressources de Fesprit 
'^taient nuUes si elles n'^taient fondles sur la v^rit^.' He 
finds in the hideous formulas ' A la Force ' and ' £largissez 
* Monsieur,' with which the victims were delivered over to the 
murderers, the dictates of a delicate sympathy, * comme pour 
^ 6pargner k la victime, jusqu'au dernier moment, la certitude 
' de son sort I ' He believes in the absurd, though no doubt 
attested, story that the massacres of the prisoners in their transit 
from the Mairie to the Abbaye, on the 2nd, was provoked by 
the act of one of them, a priest, in thrusting his arm out of a 
carriage window and striking an nrmedjederi on the head with 
a stick I It is true that the Abb6 Sicard, one of the prisoners, 
says nothing of this; but then, observes Louis Blanc, the 
abb6 being in the leadingcarriage might not have seen what was 
going on behind him. He omits altogether to state what the 

118 L<MU6 Blanc's French RevohUhn. Jal7> 

abb£ doe» say — namely, that the work of blood commenced by 
wanton thrusts and cuts at the prisoners within the carriages : — 
^ Un de mes camarades. re9Ut un coup de sabre sur T^paule, un 
^ autre fut bless^ cl la joue^ un autre au-dessus du nez,' and so 
forth ; so that if anything like the event of the stick did occnr^ 
it was evidently in some desperate or mechanical attempt at 
self-defence against outrages sdready begun. He tries to show 
that the priests were killed by their guardians as a measure of 
precaution, because they endeavoured to escape from the car- 
riage ; and that ' Tabb^ Sioard et deux de ses oompagnons, qui 

* n'essayaient pas de fuir, furent ^pargn6s.* But what the abb6 
actually says is, that four occupants of his own carriage having 
been killed or wounded, * les figorgeurs s'imaginent qu*il n*y a 

* plus rien tl faire dans cette premiere voiture ; ils ne croient pas 
' qu'il y ait un de plus, et ils se portent avec la m^me rage sur 

* la seconde voiture,' and that he thus escaped unobserved We 
are compelled to notice this discrepancy, because any one merely 
noticing Louis Blanc's foot-notes would suppose that he was 
following the abba's narrative, when he is in fiict only using so 
much of it as suits his purpose, and dovetailing this into 
fragments of other narratives which please him better. 

A few pages farther we find, to our astonishment, the mon- 
sters who, according to the common story, forced Mademoiselle 
de Sombreuil to drink a glass of blood, converted into gentlemen 
of polite attentions : — 

' Mademoiselle de Sombreuil (after begging off her father), appear- 
ing on the point of fainting, one of these barbarous men, seized with 
a sudden emotion, ran to her, and offered her a glass of water, into 
which, at the moment when it approached her lips, there fell a drop 
of blood from the murderer's hand. Such is the origin of the hideous 
fable which represents the daughter as forced to drink a glass of blood 
as the price of her father's safety. I have this fact ' (he adds in a 
note) * from a lady, who herself was informed of it by Mademoiselle 
de Sombreuil, whose friend she had been. And the curious thing is 
that the latter used to recount it in order to show that the men of 
September, cruel as they were, appeared by no means inaccessible 
to pity.' 

Such is Louis Blanc's version of the tale. Now for Granier 
de Cassagnac's (' Histoire des Girondins,' voL ii* p. 225.) : — 

*To doubt the truth of the received story becomes impossible in the 
face of the following attestation, which has been addressed to us 
by the son of Mademoiselle de Sombreuil (who became Countess de 
Yillelume) :^ 

< « My mother, sir, did not like speaking of those terrible times. I 
have never question^kl her, . . . but I have heard her often say that at 

1863. Loois Bhnc's French Revolution. 119 

the time of tbe massacre M. de Saint-Mart went out from the tribunal 
before her father, and was killed by a blow which cleft his skull ; 
thttt she then covered her father with her body, wrestled long with 
the murderers, and received three wounds. . . . After a long 
struggle, one of the men, taking a glass, mixed in it the blood from 
M. de Saint-Mart's head, with wine and gunpowder, and then said 
that if she would drink it to tbe health of the nation, she should 
save her father. She did so without hesitation^ and was then carried 
in triumph by the same men."' 

To borrow an exclamation frcmi M. Louis Blanc himself, 
< Ce qui pr^cdde suffit pour montrer s'il est vrai que I'histoire 
'de la B^volution est faite, unsi que tant de gens se Fima- 

One fact more, which, though of a trifling order in itself, 
illustrates the peculiar readiness of M. Louis Blanc's mind to 
Bcepticisni, or to credulity, according as each may favour the 
particular object which he has in view. He takes upon himself 
to discredit the h(»rrible murder of the woman known as * la 
' belle Bouquetidre,' at the Condergerie — an event told with a 
Tariety of details by all the historians of the Revolution. ' Le 
' fiiit,' he says, * n'est pas trds-siir. Le nom de la victime ne se 
' trouve pas sur le r^stre d'^crou de la prison oil on a pr^tendu 
' qu'elle 6tait renferm^e.' Nor is her name, he adds, in Prud- 
homme's list. The ulterior purpose of this little piece of incre- 
dulity is plain enough — that, nauiely, of diminishing the horrors 
of the scene by representing it as the result of a fit of popular 
terror and fanaticism, and not aggravated by mere lust of blood. 
There can, however, be no doubt of the truth of the common 
atory. The evidence may be read in Granier de Cassagnac 
(voL ii. p. 343.). It is quite true that the name of the wretched 
woman in question, Marie Grredeler, does not appear in the 
&srou, or in tbe r^istre des entr^ of the prison, preserved in 
the archives of the police ; but the reason is given in the follow- 
ing * declaration' by the concierge, annexed to the latter: — 

* Toutes les femmcs ont ^t^ mises en liberty. II y en avait soixante 
et quinze ; et la houquetiere settle a peri. On ne pent ^alement donner 
la liste des femmes : le r^stre qui contient leurs noms ayant ^t^ enlev^ 
le 3 septembre dernier, du greffier ; et depuis ce terns, malgr^ les in- 
stances du citoyen Richard ' (the concierge), * il n'a pu parvenir it 
Tavoir.' (P. 367.) 

It is strange, after all, that our author should not perceive 
how seriously these attempts to put the best colour on parti- 
cular acts of the Septembriseurs interfere with his general argu- 
ment, that the massacres were unpremeditated. K the murderers 
were not a mere mob of excited ruffians, but organised execu- 

120 Louis Blano'a French Revolution. Jaly» 

tioners^ doing their work under a perverted sense of public 
virtue — if they did not kill at random, but constituted tribunals 
respectable fcr their impartiality, though blameable for their 
severity — if they had regular forms of proceeding and words of 
order — ^if they condemned with reluctance, and acquitted with 
enthusiasm — if they respected the property of their victims — 
all this is convincing proof that they were not the agents in a 
casual work, but regularly enrolled, instructed, and drilled for 
the dreadful service required of them. 

Of course, adopting the theory of non-premeditation, Louis 
Blanp also acquits the leading revolutionists, one by one, of the 
share which they were respectively supposed to have had in the 
grand design. When public indignation began to direct itself 
against the ^ Septembriseurs ' as early as the November follow- 
ing, one and all of these pensonages (even Marat inclusive) 
sought to exculpate himself from the charge by positive denial — 
denial which M. Louis Blanc surely cannot expect us, as he 
seems to do, to take as disproof. We will, however, only say 
on this head, that it seems to us that the three on whom the 
memory of those days weighs most heavily are Danton, to whom 
the massacres were a necessary revolutionary measure ; Marat, 
the monomaniac, who saw in them the realisation of a long san- 
guinary dream ; and Panis, the lawyer, Santerre's brother-in- 
law, who seems to have planned and executed his share of the 
business with complete professional sang-froid — who was, there- 
fore, perhaps the worst of the triumvirate, and who died in his 
bed at nearly eighty years of age. 

With regard to Bobespierre, Louis Blanc has a better case ; 
but he overstates it. That Robespierre knew beforehand of the 
intended massacres we have no doubt, as did every leading Mon- 
tagnard. But there is no evidence that he had any share in plan- 
ning or executing them ; and to suppose that he had, is to imagine 
that he acted contrary to his ordinary practice of allowing others to 
pull the chestnuts out of the fire for him. But we cannot agree 
that ' son rdle se r^duisit a g^mir et k ne rien faire. Deux fois 

* seulement il apparait k la scSne ' (he means, apparently, at the 
Commune, or in its concerns'), * le soir du 1 septembre, pour de- 
' mander que le Conseil-G^n^ral soit modifi6 par voie Elective . • . 

* qu'en un mot le pouvoir soit remis au peupU ; le soir du 2 sep- 

* tembre, pour d^plorer I'fetat de la France, en mettaut au 
'nombre de ses perils la conspiration en faveur du due de 
^Brunswick, &c.' No doubt Kobespierre protested all this 

^ J'ignore les faits ; je ne les nie, ni ne les crois. Je n'ai jamais ^te 
charg^ d'aucune esp^e de commission, ni ne me suis mel6 en aucune 

1863. Louis Blanc's French Revolution. 121 

mmni^re, d'saeane operation particnli^re. • « • Ceux qui out dit que 
j'avais eu la moindre part aux ^v^nemens dont je parle sont des 
homines ou excessiyement cr^dules, ou excessiyement penrers^' &c &c.* 

But, unless M. Granier de Cassagnac absolutely inyents the 
documents which he quotes (* Hist, des Girondins,' voL ii. ch. 2,), 
Sobespierre not only introduced the two motions mentioned 
aboye — ^the second, at all eyents, stispicious enough, for it was in 
reality an attack on Brissot, the object at the time of his peculiar 
hatred and jealousy, who yery nearly got massacred in conse- 
quence t — but he was constantly present at the sittings of the 
Conseil-G^n^ral at the Commune, throughout the massacres. 
On the 3rd, Robespierre, Manuel, and Delroy were named 
by that body Commissioners to protect the Temple, where 
the royal family were imprisoned : it seems false, therefore, 
that he 'accepted no commission.' In truth, as soon as the 
public conscience had become a little awakened on the subject 
of these horrors, Robespierre seems to haye proposed to himself 
two objects — to disclaim all personal participation in them, and 
at the same time to apologise for the perpetrators. ' Le calme 

* impudent,' says Granier de Cassagnac, * ayec lequel Robes- 

* pierre decline toute complicity dans les massacres de septembre, 
^ ne saurait Stre compart qu'au calme fSroce dont il en parle.' 

2. The following is an extract from the yery powerful chapter 
which comprises the execution of Louis XVI. (vol. yiii. p. 80.): — 

* The procession arrived at the place of execution preceded by a 
sound of wheels and of horses. Louis was reading in his breviary 
the psalms of the dying, while his confessor, his soul entirely occu- 
pied with the thought of the abortive plot for rescue, was counting 
the minutes in' silent anxiety. A hope as vain as those rapid flashes 
of light which render the night blacker after darting through it ! An 
implacable y igilance has foreseen all, and of those 600 persons 
whom a compact of intrepid fidelity attaches to the King, five-and- 
twenty only have reached the rendezyous. At ten minutes past ten 
they arrived at the foot of the scaffold. It had been erected in front 
of the palace of the Tuileries, on the place which had been called 
after Louis XV., on the spot where had stood the statue of the most 
profligate of kings, deceased tranquilly in his bed. The condemned 
man took three minutes to get out of his carriage. At the moment 

* Robespierre, Lettres ^ ses Commettans. 

f On the evening of the 3rd, at eight p. m., we find Robespierre, 
with other chiefs of the Revolution, at Danton's, discussing the 
events of the day. Mandar, an honest man, not at all deep in their 
deliberations, pressed them to put an end to the horrors which were 
passing by getting the Assembly to establish a dictatorship for the 
crisis. *Garde-t'en bien!' exclaimed Robespierre, 'Brissot serait 
' dictateur.' 

122 Lome Blanc's French Revolttiian. Jidy» 

of leaving the Temple he had re(tified his over-coat, which C^^rj had 
presented him ; he wore a hrown coat, white waistcoat, grey breeches^ 
white stockings. His hair was not in disorder; no change vru 
remarked on his countenance. The Abb^ de Firmont was in a plain 
black coat. A great empty space had been left roond the sca^old, 
fenced off with artillery ; beyond, as far as the eye could reach, was 
a multitude without arms. When the executioner came to open the 
door of the carnage, Louis recommended his confessor to his care ; 
and that in the tone of a master. When he had descended from the 
carriage, he fixed his eyes on the ranks of soldiers which surrounded 
him, and cried with a terrible voice, " Be silent ! " The drums 
stopped, but having begun again, on a sign from their chief, he cried 
out> '* What treachery ! I am lost, I am lost ! " — for it seems that op 
to this moment he had preserved some hope* The executioners sur- 
rounded him to take off his upper dress ; he repulsed them haughtily, 
and himself undid his collar. But when they attempted to bind his 
hands, all the blood in his veins appeared to kindle. " Do you mean 
" to tie my hands ?** A struggle was about to take place — ^it did take 
place. ** It is certain," says Mercier, " that Louis had a kind of 
" battle with his executioners." The Abb^ Edgworth remained un- 
certain, terrified, speechless. At last, when his master seemed to 
question him by his looks, ** Sire," said he, '* in this new outrage I 
*' only see a last feature of resemblance between your Majesty and 
*^ that God who is about to be your reward.*' At these wiNcds, the 
anger of the man giving place to the humility of the Christian, Louis 
said to the executioners, " I will drink this cup to the dregs." They 
tied his hands, they cut his hair ; after which, leaning on his 
confessor's arm, he proceeded to ascend the steps of the guillotine 
(which were very steep), with a slow step and air of exhaustion. 
But on reaching the last step, he suddenly rouses himself, crosses 
rapidly the whole breadth of the scafibld, advances to the left side of 
it, and commanding the drums to be silent by his gesture, cries, *^ I 
*' die innocent of all the crimes which are imputed to me." His face 
was very red ; and, accordiug to the narrative of his confessor, *^ his 
*^ voice was so loud that it could be heard at the Pont-Tournant." 
Some others of his words were very distinctly heard : *^ I pardon the 
" authors of my death, and I pray Gcd that the blood which you are 
" about to shed may never lie on the head of France." He would have 
continued, but his voice was drowned by the roll of drums, at the 
signal, it is said, of the actor Dugazon, without waiting for the order 
of Santerre. " Silence ! keep silence ! " shouted Louis XVI., beside 
himself; and he was seen to stamp violently on the scaffold several 
times. Bichard, one of the executioners, had seized a pistol, and 
aimed it at the unhappy man ; it was necessary to drag him down by 
force. No sooner was he bound to the fatal plank, than he uttered 
dreadful cries, which the fall of the knife interrupted by severing his 
head from his body. Sanson, the executioner, took up the head, and 
showed it to the people ; and the people shouted, " Vive la Rdpub- 
*^UqueI"'(vol. viii. p.80.) 

In short, according to the statement of Louis Blanc^ the un- 

1868. Louis Bkno*0 French RevobUion. 123 

hrtamkte Kin^ instead of djing with the remgnatioQ nsuaflv 
ascribed to him^ exhibited both Tear and fury — struggled with 
his execntioners^ and. endearoured to prolong the scene in the 
expectation of a rescue. Now^ when we come to examine the 
authorities which Louis Blanc has very profusely cited in his 
foot-notes^ we find that his tale is made up in the following 
manner. The authorities in question are the well-known nar- 
rative ascribed to the Song's confessor, the Abb^ Edgworth de 
Finnont (printed in the collection of Memoirs of the Bevolution' 
as * Les Demises Heures de Louis XVL*) ; the newspapers, 
and official reports of the day ; Mercier^ in his ' Nouveau 
' Paris ; ' and an account said to have proceeded from Santerre, 
and to be contained in certain MS. memoirs of Mercier du 
Bocher, a deputy, to whom the writer has had access. Of the 
last of these authorities we cannot of course speak, but the 
name of Santerre does not inspire much confidence, still less his 
alleged narration at second hand. Now the abb^ says that the 
King died with calmness and dignity ; but he mentions some- 
thing of the plot whidi had been confided to him. Mercier (a 
careless though picturesque writer, who either felt or affected 
a £matical hostility to the dethroned race), and one or two of 
the political scribes of the day, affirm the stru^le on the 
icaffold; but they say nothing of the plot. By ingeniously 
comlHning the features of one story with those of the other, 
Louis Blanc has made a plausible whole : reasonable enough, if 
stated only as a theory ; but this is not history, fairly told. 

But we are forced to add, that the charge of over-ingenuity 
is not the only one to which this part of his story is open. The 
manner of Louis's death — whether he did or did not struggle 
on the scaffold — was a good deal questioned at the time of the 
occurrence. The dispute brought forth a letter from Sanson, 
the chief executioner himself, which appeared in the * Thermo- 

* mitre du Jour,* a newspaper, of the 21st of February, 1793. 
We quote it from Croker's ^ Essays on the. Early Period of the 

* French Revolution,' p. 255. If that letter be genuine, there 
is an end of all discussion. Sanson distincdy says that the King 
met his fate ^ with a sang froid and firmness which astonished 
^ us all,' and that the only thing approaching to a struggle 
which took place was the momentary difficulty which he made 
when ordered to take off his coat, ^ saying that they might as 
' well execute him as he was ;' and when his hands were to be 
tied, to which he submitted on the persuasion of his con- 
fessor. To suppose that Sanson, though. he is said to have 
been a Royalist at heart, could have misrepresented so public a 
scene^ when his own ^ valets/ and every one else on or near the 

124 Louis Blanc*8 French Revolution^ Sxlj, 

scaffold could at once have contradicted him (and that in oppon- 
tion to the popular feeling), would be simply absurd. Why, 
then, does Louis Blanc not quote or allude to this decbive 
document? Even if he doubts its authenticity, why does he 
not say so? It cannot be from ignorance, for he cites Croker's 
curious compilation over and over again, and has evidently 
studied its details with attention. We can only say — and we 
say it with regret — the whole of this piece of tragic romance 
is an instance of what a partisan history seems inevitably to 
become, even in the hands of an honest man. 

3. Our next example shall be from the account of the death 
of the Hector of Louis Blanc's Iliad — the much misunderstood 
Kobespierre. Everybody is aware that, according to ordinary 
history, he shot himself; but a certain M^a afterwards claimed, 
or was said to have claimed, the honour of firing the shot. * Few 

* believed M^da,' says Carlyle, pithily, * in what was otherwise 
'incredible.' But a reader thus slightly forewarned will feel 
somewhat astonished at the simple positiveness of the following 
narrative, in which the common story is not controverted, but 
boldly ignored altogether : — 

' ProfitiDg by the confusion, and finding the road free, a gendarme 
called M6da, who had served in the Constitutional Guard of Louis 
XVL, and who was, therefore, called '* Veto " among his comrades, 
glides secretly up the staircase of the H6tel de Yille, swarming at 
this moment with a crowd of distracted people, penetrates into the 
Salle de Conseil by declaring himself to be despatched with secret 
orders^ reaches the door of the secretaries* office, knocks, and has the 
door opened to him by means of the same falsehood. The assauin 
carried two pistols hidden in his shirt. Among fifty persons, who 
appeared extremely agitated, he recognises him of whom his eyes 
were in search. Robespierre was seated in an arm-chair, his left 
elbow resting on his knee, his head leaning against his right hand. 
The assassin aims at his breast, but the ball reaches Robespierre €U 
the level of the mouth and breidu his jaw. The bystanders disperse, 
horror-stricken. Some of them steal down a back staircase, carrying 
off Coutbon. The as'sassin takes up a torch, hastens after them, and, 
the wind having extinguished his light, fires his second pistol at a 
venture, and wounds in the leg one of the bearers who carried Ck>u- 
thon.' (xi. 256.) 

This narrative, given with so predse and authentic an air, 
has been in fact mainly adopted from the so-called * Precis 

* Historique de M^da,' although our author says himself (p. 272.) 
that this precis is full of falsehoods, and * suspects it to be a 
^ fabrication I* Let us look nearer. 

The only particulars, or nearly so, recorded by contemporary 
authority of the capture of Bobespierre and his followers are to 

1863. Louis Blanc's French Revolution. 125 

be found in the document styled the second ' Beport of Citizen 
* Ck)urtois to the Convention.' From this we learn that, when 
Leonard Bourdon, with a few armed men, burst into their 
last retreat in the H6tel de Ville, at two in the morning, 
liie following were the fates of the chiefs of the party: — 
Sobespierre the younger sprang from a window, complaining 
that he had no pistol to kill himself with ; Lebas shot him- 
self dead ; Saint-Just, when arrested, had a knife in his hand ; 
Henriot either threw himself out of a window or was thrown 
by CoflSnhal; Couthon only (paralytic) had taken no part 
in yiolence agidnst himself or others. Everything points to 
the conclusion that these bold savages, tracked to their den, had 
resolved to die a Boman death together, after a fashion which 
better men than they had adopted in various critical moments 
of the Bevolution, both before them and after them. Now, 
among these Kobespierre the elder is found, wounded by a 
pistol-ball through his jaw. Two witnesses (Dulac, whom 
Louis Blanc calls a spy, and Bochard, a porter, on whom no 
suspidon seems to attach) depose positively that he shot 
himself; and their testimony, when fairly examined, contains 
only that amount of slight inconsistency and vagueness which 
might fairlv be counted on in such a scene of confusion. 

Now, wnat is the evidence to contradict this simple account ? 
None whatever, except the story of M^, the gendarme. 
This person, then a lad of eighteen, either preceded (as he 
says himself) or accompanied Leonard Bourdon into the room. 
He had no doabt some hand in seizing the ' rebels ; ' and it 
seems probable that he fired a pistol in the mSl^e. Soon after, 
he is said to have boasted, first, that he had shot a ' con- 
'spirator or two/ afterwards, that he had shot Kobespierre. 
Four years later, he urged his services done on that day as a 
ground for special recompense, but advancing his claim in very 
guarded language, without mentioning Kobespierre by name ; 
while the certificate of Tallien, which accompanies his memoriid 
(discovered by Louis Blanc in MS. in a collection of auto- 
graphs) only says * qu'il s'empara de Kobespierre.' And thb 
is all. For the narrative, published after M^da's death in hb 
name, is, as we have seen, justly discredited by Louis Blanc 
himself (as well as by Croker in his * Essays ') as a mere tissue of 
impudent lies, and probably (to do M^da justice — who fell at 
Borodino, a colonel and a baron) the fabrication of some book- 

This, we say, is all, with the exception of what is really more 
important than all the rest — the deposition of the two surgeons. 
Verger and Marriguier, who examined and dressed the wound. 

126 LouU Blue's Frmtch Bevdutim. Jviy^ 

That report is ^ absolutely conclusive in favour of the soicide/ 
says the author of the article * Robespierre ' in the ' Biographie 
^ Universelle ' (Michaud). That report ^ is an unansweraUa- 
^ argument against the supposition of suicide/ says Louis Blanc, 
triumphantly. Which is right? Of course^ the surgeons' report 
ought to speak for itself. But, unluckily, it will not speak iot 
itself — it is full of that scientific ambiguity which has so often 
been the despair of a lawyer engaged in investigating a criminal 
case: — 

^ Le coup de pistolet ' (so it runs) ' avait port4 an niveau de la booche^ 
^ un pouce de la commissure des l^vres. Comme sa direeUon itait 
oblique, de dehors en dedans, de gauche ^ droite, de haut en bas, et 
que la plaie p^n^trnit dans la bouche, elle int^ressait ext^rieurement 
la peau, &c. &c. Mais il nous a 6t^ impossible de suivre le trajet da 
plomb, et nous n'avons trouv^ ni contre-ouverture, ni indice de la 

It is impossible, exclaims our author, to imagine a man dis- 
charging a ball at himself at the level of the mouth, from left 
to right, and from above to below. Certainly ; but that is not 
the supposition. Thus far is clear : the orifice of the only 
external wound was in the left cheek, so near the eye, ap- 
parently, that * il y avait ecchymose k Toeil du meme c6t€.' if 
Robespierre shot himself in the mouth, then this wound was 
made by the ball in coming out. If Robespierre was shot, 
then it was made by the ball in entering. Now on the first 
supposition all is consistent, and we have only to get rid of an 
ambiguity in the language of the surgeons, occasioned, ap- 
parently, by their having described the wound as they had 
probed it, namely, from without (at the place of exit) to 
within (at the place of discharge). On the second supposition, 
the following questions have to be answered — What became of 
the ball ? — did it come out without making a second wound any- 
where ? And, how could such a shot possibly be fired, unless, 
indeed, by a left-handed man ? — as to which, the wonderful 
account given b^ the real or supposed M6da himself may be 
received by those who can receive it : * A ces mots, je prends 
^ de la main gauche un de mes pistolets, et, faisant un & droite, 

* je tire. Je croyais le frapper tl la poitrine, mais la balle le prend 

* au menton et lui casse la m&choire gauche infifirieure.' And, 
lastly, Courtois' * Rapport ' was got up, according to Louis 
Blanc, in order to favour the official supposition of suicide: 
how came Courtois to insert, and to lay stress on, a sui^cal 
report which proves incontestably (according to Louis Blanc) 
that there was no suicide ? or how came all the world, at the 
time, to understand that report in the sense of Michaud, and 
not in that of Louis Blanc ? 

1M3. Loois Bkiic'a French lUwduHm. 127 

If tiie question were really worth farther inquiry^ it would 
be interesting to know what object the leaders of the Convene 
ti<m had in framing a false report, and foi^i^ several docu- 
m^its, in order to make out iJiat Kobespierre shot himself 
instead of being shot by a gendarme. Niot to inflict additional 
disgrace on the victim ; for in that fierce day suicide brought 
none. To clear themselves of the disgrace of profiting by an 
' assassination/ says Louis Blanc ; and repeats, rhetorically, this 
}jiniae of * assassinat,' as if mere reiteration could produce the 
slightest efiect on any reader acquainted with the patent facta 
of the case* Robespierre and his associates were in open re- 
bellion against the Convention, and s(»ne of them armed. If 
the first gendarme who made his way into their room had fired 
a pistol at Bobespierre, it might have been an act of unneces- 
sary violence, but to call it an * assassination ' is an outrageous 
abuse of words. The political enemies who had just been pro- 
didming Robespierre an outlaw^ a monster, and a tyrant, and 
invoicing public vengeance on his head, must have been seized 
with a strangely squeamish fit, if they were so shocked at his 
meeting his death from the hand of an armed officer of the 
peace, as to resort to all kinds of fictions in order to substitute 
a story of suicide. 

We will add one word only on the details of this gloomy 
scene. As Robespierre lay wounded on the table at the H6tel 
de Ville, the poor wretch, not having a handkerchief to apply 
to his bleeding face, was seen to use for the purpose ^ a little 
^ bag of white leather, on which were inscribed the words, ^' Au 
'''grand monarque, Leccmite, fourbisseur du Roi et de sea 
' ** troupes,'' ' &C. Of course, the inference was that this was the 
bag which had held the pistol used by Robespierre. Will it be 
believed that Louis Blanc indulges so far in childish suspicion 
as to believe that ' somebody had slipped the bag into his hand 
' in order to accredit the supposition of a suicide ?' and not only 
this, but — at four in the morning, in the confusion of that 
fearful crisis — ' had taken care to choose an inscription proper 
' to suggest the idea that the chief of the Jacobins had been 
* overthrown because he wanted to make himself king ?' How 
the mysterious bag could suggest both ideas at once — that of 
suicide and that of tyrannicide — Louis Blanc does not con- 
descend to explain.* 

* It is a trifling but not altogether insignificant circumstance, that 
Robespierre (according to Louis Blanc) had amused himself a good 
deal in his later days with pistol-shooting, and attained considerable 
skill in the practice (vol. xi. p. 178.). 

128 Louis Blanc's French Revohtdmu July, 

4. An entire chapter, appropriately headed ' Les Mystdres du 

* Temple/ is devoted in our author's latest volume to the fate 
of the young Dauphin, styled, in Legitimist remembrance, 
Louis XYIL And it would not be easy to find a more inge- 
nious display of the talent for weaving into a specious fabric a 
confused assemblage of loose hints, indications, and surmises. 
^ L'enfant qui mourut dans la Tour du Temple, le 20 Prairial, 
*an III (8 juin 1795) 6tait-il le Dauphin, fils de Louis XVI., 
^ou bien un enfant substitu^?' This question Louis Blanc 
does not categorically answer. He does not endeavour to carry 
the reader's conviction by force ; but he gradually developes his 
case of suspicion, with every appearance of fairness, until the 
most commonplace reader feels his imagination half roused, 
and his reason half seduced into acquiescence. While he does 
not adopt in the slightest degree the pretensions of any one of 
the false Dauphins, he entices us towards the belief that their 
common story had its negative basis of truth in the fact that 
the child was removed from his prison. On the 19th of January, 
1794, mysterious noises were heard by the Princess Boyal, pro- 
ceeding, apparently, from her brother's room — * Nous rest&mes 
< persuad^es,' she says in her narrative, ' qu'il ^tait parti.' On 
that day, accordingly, the evasion is supposed to have taken 
place. ' La femme Simon,' the widow of the savage keeper 
from whom the child had so much to suffer, is said to have 
affirmed the same to her dying day. On that date, at all events, 
Simon was removed. For some months afterwards the impri- 
soned child, whoever he was, had no special keeper ; he was 
visited only by commissioners, constantly changed. He was con- 
demned to absolate silence, absolute solitude — ^precautions 

* incompr^hensibles, a moins que leur but n'ait ^t^ d'emp^her 

* l'enfant d'etre vu.' In July, 1794, after the fall of Robespierre, 
a new keeper (Laurent) was appointed. On the 3l8t of that 
month, several members of the Committee of General Safety 
visited the Temple. What did they find? A child, almost 
motionless, his back bent nearly double, arms, legs, and thighs 
of unnatural size. But, what was most remarkable of all, this 
child never spoke. ^ Cent questions lui furent faites, il ne re- 
^pondit k aucune.' His guardianship was now changed, his 
condition ameliorated ; but he was slowly dying, and in all the 
course of his decline he remained mute. When a deputation of 
the Commune visited his cell in February, 1795, 'il ^tait impos- 
' sible de tirer un mot delui.' This mysterious silence was said, 
by his attendants, to have lasted ever since his mother's trial, 
in 1793, when an attempt had been made to force him to give 
evidence against her — a tale which no one but a romantic 

1863. Loais Blanc's French Bevolutiofu 129 

Legitimist could believe of so mere a child. At last, on the 
6th of May, 1795» the Conventioii sent him a physician. This 
was the famous Desault He was as silent to Desanlt as he 
had been to othera On the 1st of June, Desault himself sud- 
denly died. It was immediately reported that he had been 
poisoned because he refused to kill the Dauphin. That, says 
our author, b a fable. But Desault had visited the royal 
fiunily in 1790. Desault must have been in a condition to 
aflSrm that the dumb child in the Temple was not the Dauphin. 
That was the reason of Desault's sudden death. Choppart, the 
chemist, who had made up Desault's prescriptions, might have 
learned the truth from Desault. Therefore Choppart died sud- 
denly also, six days after the phvsician. And in two days more, 
on «fune 8th, the unhappy cluld died also. But his death, not- 
withstanding the suspicious coincidence, was certainly natund. 
His *acte de d&es' was, however, only drawn up on the 12th. 
Why this delay ? ' Y eut-il hesitation sur la question de savoir 
' s^il valait mieux avouer I'^vasion ou faire un faux?' 

Where, meanwhile, was the real Dauphin, who had escaped 
in January, 1794? Who can say? Our author believes in 
none of the pretenders : — 

* We have reason to be surprised/ he says, ' at the utter disap- 
pearance of the Prince ; but our surprise may perhaps be dimiQished 
when we remember that at the dat^ of the escape the Dauphin was 
only nine years old ; that he was consequently given op, without 
defence, to every kind of treachery ; that all Europe was at this time 
in a state of frightful confusion, that the Royalist party was a nur- 
sery of intrigues .... that the Count de Fiwence^ called upon to 
wear the crown in default of direct heirs, joined to profound 
cunning a violent desire to reign ; that he had a powerful interest 
In leaving, under the clouds with which events had enveloped it, 
the destiny of his nephew ; that after the Restoration, which placed 
Louis XYIII. on the throne, the discovery of a Louis XVII. would 
have once more placed the whole destiny of the country in question, 
and created incalculable embarrassments ; that under these circum- 
stances a somewhat unscrupulous government might have made 
family considerations yield to exigencies of what is otUed ^ la raison 
^d'l^tat," or^ if it was ignorant of the truth, determine not to learn 
it* (xiL366.) 

We must hasten to say, that the above romantic narrative is^ 
not ours, but a summary of that suggested as persuasively as 
possible by Louis Blanc. We are appalled by the abyss of 
crime, worthy of Caesarean or Oriental history, which this cun- 
ning mixture of story and argument seems to reveal. And it 
is quite a relief to find the tale end with only one murder more> 
of comparatively little consequence. 


130 liOQifl Blanc's Frenich BevohUioB. July^ 

< On the 4th of March, 1820, a certain Caron, who had been em- 
ployed in the kitchen senrice of Louis XYL, who had suoceeded in 
getting himself admitted to the Temple after the transfer of the 
royal family to that prison, and who possessed, or affected to possess, 
important and secret details concerning the escape of the son of 
Lonis XVL, disappeared suddenly, immediately after a series of visits 
fitmi a great personage of the Court ; nor could his family ever 
recover a trace of him. How is this diottppearance to be explained? ' 
(P. 867.) 

But the reader may be reassnred, if it is in the power of 
mere critics like ourselves to reassure him. We are tlM>roughly- 
persuaded that the whole story of this 'evasion,' and the catalogue 
of woes whidi is made so ingeniously to depend on it, is as 
complete a romance as any creation of Dumas or Victor Hugo. 
It is impossible, within our limits, to attempt the disproof, 
but we will confine ourselves to one leading feature in the case. 
The whole fabric rests on the suppontion that the substituted 
child was dumb. It was necessary he should be so ; otherwise 
the trick must have been found out Now, in the first place, 
Ae diflSculty of finding, and appropriating, a dumb child, not 
deaf and dumb, nor imbecile, which this one certainly was not, 
of the exact age, could have been no slight one. But let this 
pass. When we come to the evidence of the few eye-witnesses, 
we find it entirely agunst the supposition. Some' Bay that he 
did not speak in their heariiig ; some, that he spoke seldom ; 
one or two, that he spoke often ; not one, that he cauU not 
speak. The advocate can, therefore, only make out his case by 
discrediting those very witnesses on whom he is at the same 
time forced to rely in the absence of all other testimony. A 
very false position, as advocates accustomed to their task are 
well aware. Louis Blanc rejects the story of the particular 
words said to have been addressed by the boy to Doctor 
Pelletan (p. 359.). Nor are they probable. Does it follow that 
the boy said nothing to the doctor? He rejects the positive 
testimony of Gromin, oile of the attendants. He does not even 
mention the words said to have been addressed by the child to 
the commissioners who visited him on the 3l8t of July, 1794 
(see Croker's * Essays,' p. 281.), nor the more doubtful ones to 
the * two or three persons whose unexpected kindness obtained 
* firom him a whisper of acknowledgement * {lb. p. 288.). 
Another attendant, Lasne, on one of the several trials to which 
the pretensions of the false Dauphins gave rise, testified, in 
1834, that the child could not only sp^dc, but held conver- 
sation with him and his fellows of a character far above his 
years; evidence which was no doubt much too complacently 
accepted by Croker, whose anatonusing incredulity as to stories 

1863* LoinB Blane'f French RevohOion. 131 

wliidi did not suit liim was combined at times with a singular 
facility in adopting sacfa as did. Beine again examined on the 
same subject in 1837, Lasne departed altogether from bis former 
statement, and said that he neyer heard him speak but once. 
Because an old witness^ forty years after the events designedly 
or forgetfully contradicts himself as to whether the child spoke 
<iflen or spoke once, Louis Blanc concludes — that he was 
dumb I 

We bdieve that we can set the reader's mind at ease on 
s u io ifa cr serious point in the case — the tragical death of Desault. 
It so happens that this eminent mim was at the head of the 
most distingnished medical school of Paris ; that scTeral of his 
scholars were aware of his illness, and some present at his 
death ; and that the most celebrated among them all, the famous 
Bichat, inserted the following notice of his teacher in Millings 
' Magasin Encyclop6iique ' for 1795, only a few months after 
the event : — 

* Les troubles du premier Prairia], demi^res agitations des agens du 
crime, affect^rent profond^ment son &me. La craiute de voir les 
p tose rip tiODS se renouyeler le saisit ; . . . • et d^-lors on le vit 
tratnar une rie langoisaante. . • . Tons les sympt6me8 d'une fievre 
maligne se d^lar^rent dans la nuit du 29 mai ; bientot leurs rapidss 
accroisiemenSy Fimpuissance des moyeus que leur opposaieot des 
mains habiles, firent pr^sager quelle en seroit la fin. Les ^i^ves im- 
prirent en mSme temps sa maladie et le danger oil 11 ^toit* Bs 
accoururent, . . . mais d^ja il ne pouvoit plus les distinguer. Un 
d^Hre presque continuel, depuis Finvasion de sa maladie, lui ^pargna 
le sentiment p^ible des approches de la mort, qui vint terminer ses 
jours, entre les bras de ses Sieves^ le 1 juin 1795. Le vulgaire se 
persuade qu'il aroit 6iA empoisonn^; le bruit, accrediiS encore 
atffaunTkui dans Fe^rit de qnelques personnes, eut pour fondement 
r^poqne de sa mort, qui ne pr^c^daque de quelques jours celle du fils 
de Louis XVL, qu'il vojoit malade dans sa prison du Temple. On 
publia qu'il mourait victime de son refus constant de se prater & des 
Tues eriminelles sur la vie de cet enfant. Quel est Thomme c^l^bre, 
dont la mort n'a pas €t6 le sujet des fausses conjectures du public ? ' 

Bicbaty we may add, was a man whose personal honour is 
spoken of almost as highly as his professional genius ; and, as 
he could not be deceived in such a case, he must, if Desault 
was murdered, have deliberately falsified his account. And, 
lastly, Louis Blanc's story — which rests on no evidence whatever 
except popular belief, and the notions afterwards expressed by 
certain old women of Desault's family — supposes the leaders of 
the Convention to have been the most daring, as well as 
masterlv of murderers, since they first poisoned the ablest 
doctor in Paris, and then allowed nim to die ' entre les bras de 
* ses £ldves ! ' 


132 Louis Blanc's French RevoluUon. July, 

5. Perhaps the most characteristic chapter in the whole 
work before us is the fourth of volume eleven, entitled * History 
' of the Maximum.* It is curious from the vigour with which it 
is written, from the obstinate nature of the paradoxes which it 
involves, above all from its connexion with llie marked though 
brief part which the author had to play in the great theatre 
of the world. Visions of the Luxembourg of 1848 and its 
extraordinaiy tenants, of the attempted organisation of labour, 
and of all the follies of that mock Revolution, rise before the 
x'eader's ima^nation as he peruses these pages. He sees clearly 
that, for the moment, the author was not the humble student of 
a London lodging, but was carried back to his ephemeral popular 

* AXL mliDg fate itself hath not the power 
To alter what hath been ; and he hath had his hour.* 

The assignats, as is well known, began to be extravagantly 
issued in 1792, and by the middle of 1793 had reach^ the 
formidable amount of five ' milliards ' of francs, the ordinary 
circulation requiring probably two milliards only. Of course 
coin disappeared, and prices rose. Thus far Louis Blanc is 
in accordance with former authorities; but, in his charac* 
teristic way, he keeps out of sight as far as possible the ob- 
vious cause of depreciation, namely, over issue, and makes as 
much as he can of all sorts of minor causes — dark plots 
of the enemies of the Bepublic— systematic forgeries, the de- 
liberate and traitorous competition of tiie old assignats ^k 
^ face royale; ' traitorous opposition to the sale of public lands 
on which the assignats were based, and so forth. The Ck)n» 
vention, however, fought their way as well as they could 
through the difficulties of depreciation, until these affected 
the lower classes. By a law of political economy, often de* 
veloped, the price of labour, when the currency is in excess^ 
rises more slowly than that of articles of consumption. Thus,, 
in 1795 (to anticipate a littie), when a day's labour was worth 
forty francs in assignats, a pair of shoes was worth two hundred, 
and a cup of coffee ten. The representative body, in 1793,. 
was already besieged with complaints. To meet these, the 
* Maximum,'* or law fixing the highest price of articles of 'first 
' necessity,' was not only devised, but, with the almost incredible 
daring of those times, actually carried into execution, in June, 
1793. Some represent it as a tyrannical act of confiscation; 
others as a measure which encountered such difficulties in the 
execution that its practical effect was slight Not so Louis 
Blanc He sees in it the powerful though irregular remedy 

1863. Louis Blano's French Revolution. « 133 

which stopped the depreciation of assignats, and thereby saved 
the BcTolution ! 

* Whatever we maj think of it,' he says, ^ this much cannot be 
too often remarked — that until the 9th Thermidor (that is, August 
1794), assignats remained almost always at par. The Maximum 
supported the assignat and gave it life ; and the assignat, thus sup- 
ported, confounded all tindd reasonings, created almost incredible 
resourceSi nourished fourteen armies, and made the Republic strong 
enough to place her foot on royal Europe. It was only after the 9th 
Thermidor that the depreciation presented those characteristics which 
the detractors of the Bevolution have not failed to attribute to an 
earlier period.' (xi. 414.) 

We will not quarrel with the theories of our writer; but we 
believe him in this instance to be entirely misled as to the facts. 
We do not believe the Maximum had in truth anything what- 
ever to do with the movement in the value of assignats. Louis 
Blanc is wrong, we think, in having fixed his attention on a 
very curious but temporary reflux in their value, which was 
occasioned by other causes — causes which his predecessor, Thiers, 
had expounded very clearly. The ' Maximum ' lasted, at least on 
paper, from June, 1793, to October, 1794. In the earlier part of 
that period, Cambon and the Convention tried some bold measures 
to check the fall in the value of assignats ; and a forced loan of 
a milliard, the severe collection of taxes, and above all a rise in 
men's spirits and in the funds, owing to the high popular 
courage and confidence engendered by a series of marvellous vic- 
tories, did, for a short time, e&able a great reduction in their 
number to be effected. But (to quote M. Charles Cocbelin, in 
his article' Assignats' in the ' Dictionnaire d'^conomie Politique') 
^cette r^uction ne fut pas de longue dur£e, et n'alla pas bien 
' loin : bientot les Amissions recommenc^rent, d*autant plus fortes 
' que les assignats, de plus en plus d^pr6oi&, representaient une 
' valeur moindre ; au conunencement de 1794 ' (and therefore in 
the very middle of the empire of the Maximum), ' le ohiffire 
-^ d^passait de nouveau 5 milliards,' — ^that is to say, it reached an 
^ufd height to the greatest attained before the Maximum. In 
June, just before the fall of Robespierre, the number was 6,536 
milliards. (See also Louis Blanc himself, xiL 100.) The mea- 
sure of the Maximum was therefore demonstrably insufficient 
to arrest their multiplication, and of course their depreciation. 

But what if that measure had been maintained? Could so 
ample and severe a regulation have lived on in our artificial 
modem society ? The true * men of the Bevolution,' says Louis 
Blanc, ^ set themselves indeed in dogged opposition to the regime 
< of ** Ifusser-faire," and to that theory of the economists, in virtue 

134 . IjOfmBimesFr€mekBi90bai0m. July^ 

« of whidi the only r^akiiioa of priee is the rdation of deaumd 
' to supply ; ' bat they set themselves against it in Yain^ beoaBie 
they did not see far enough^ and were not aware that their 
Tiews^ founded as they were in justice and in truths could not 
coexist with those modem notions of int>perty by which the 
boldest of them were still enslaved. 

* They saw that the rale of unKBiited oonpetition ofiere no means 
of T^"taifiing at the proper ferel the proportion between labour and 
capital; that it is in no degree in the power of the liU>oarer, eiUier 
to arrest the growth of popnlation, and to prevent the fall of wagesy 
or to direct towards prodnction a larger portion of the national 
capital, and so to effect a rise in wages; that, consequently, the 
labourer has not the slightest control over those circumstances, on 
which nevertheless hang, as by a thread, his existence, and that of his 
wife and children ; that, on the other hand, the action of demand 
and supply is confused, blind, the child of chance and night, no in- 
dividual producer 4>eing able to know even approximatively the extent 
of the market, and the STStem of " laisser-£ure " impelling every one 
to rush into it with his eyes shut, without troubling himself to find 
out whether there is room enough for new comers, and in the hope 
of expelling from it in any case some of those who have preceded 
him ; at the risk of a glut of labour, an enormous waste of capital, and 
the placing ** en coupe r6gl^ " of poor labourers suddenly deprived 
of their daily bread.' (xi. 407.) 

All this, and much more of the horrors of competition, de- 
scribed with equal eloquence, the philosophers of the Convention 
saw and would have prevented ; but they did not estimate the 
resistance which the law of property, and the love of property^ 
offered to their great reform. 

* Their measures had the defect of being unable to coincide, excq>t 
by the aid of violence, with a social order founded on the principle of 
^Mndividualism," a principle opposed to that from which those 
measures derive their origin. They were accordingly too much or too 
UttU. ... At the bottom, the idea of replacing the action of the rela- 
tion of supply to demand by a scientific fixation of the remunerative 
price of every commodity, following out in their successive changes 
the variable elements of which this price is composed, impHed a vast 
social revolution ; and the authors of the Maximum were marching 
towards it, without knowing well to what end the road led which the 
Bevolntion had opened before them.' 

And thus — ^if we may add our own commentary — ^e vast 
economical experiment of 1794 broke down precisely where the 
experiment of every little cooperative society is Mipt to break 
down : it was found that partial experiments in socialism are 
not practicable — that it cannot eust side by side with 'in- 

* dividualism.' The latter must be deared out of the way, before 
the former can have a fair ohanoe. 

1863^ LouiB Blanc's French BevohUian. 135 

Sadi, in fiict, is the practical oondtiaion^ not only of this 
particular chapter, but of the whole work. Its author lives in 
the firm belief that the famous Bevolution which he describes 
formed only a single stage in the great struggle of Equality 
agidnst Privilege. He believes that the main reason of its tem- 
porary failure lay in the fieu^t that none of its leaders — ^none save 
a few of its less important, but more far-seeing, supporters — ^rose 
to the real height of thrir great argument. They wanted political 
equality ; they did much towards achieving it ; but they did not 
perceive that it was unattainable except in company with Social- 
ism. ' La B^olution ne pouvait pas 6tre, et n'a pas ^t^, le point 
' d'arrdt de I'esprit humun ; elle n'a pas subitement rendu im* 
' muable ce monde moral qui, de mSme que le monde physique, 
f Be meut d'un mouvement ^temel ; elle nous a laiss^ en heritage 
* un sol, ind^finiment fertile, iL agrandir.' Sudi are the words 
in which Louis Blanc may be said to resume the moral of his 

We have ventured to speak of the short narrative entitled 
^ Les Demidres Heures de Louis XYL,' as * ascribed to ' the 
Abb^ EdgwortL It has been invariably received as his ; and 
we should be sorry to arouse needless suspicion of one more 
mystification, in addition to the many contained in Revolutionary 
literature. But the circumstances are curious. The Abb^ 
Edgworth de Firmont (i.e. of Firmount, County Longford) is 
made by lively French historians a legendary example of the 
pious, obscure anchorite, called from his. cell to a great work. 
Malesherbes, says the romantic Lamartine, carried from the King 
' un message secret k un v6n6rable prdtre Stranger, cach6 dans 
^ Paris. II d^couvrit la demeure de ce guide de la consdence 
' du roi, et lui fit parvenir la pri^re de son maitre,' and so forth. 
Who would conjecture, from his or any other French * history ' 
which we have 8een,gtbat this secluded saint was in truth an 
active ecclesiastic, of middle age, acting at the time as Vicar- 
General of the diocese of Paris, the most important post in the 
* refractory' Church of France, and much consulted by Royalists 
in general ? — that the King, in fact, when he asked for his assist- 
ance, prayed him, in case he declined on account of the danger, 
to select some clergyman ^ less known than himself '? But the 
abb6, though not the hermit he is usually painted, was an 
excellent and devoted man, one entirely absorbed in his duties, 
down to his death from hospital fever, taken in attending 
Napoleon's wounded soldiers in Prussia, in 1807. Of himseff 
and his own fame he had no thought, and scarcely seems to 
have realised the greatness of the scenes which he had witnessed. 

136 Louis Blano*8 French Bevolutwn. 3vly, 

He never published anything, nor left anything for publication- 
Bat after his death, his friends searched eagerly for almost every 
scrap of his correspondence which could be found, and printed 
these remains. Two documents only among them are of any 
general interest 

These are : First. A letter^ in English, to his brother, Ussher 
Edgworth, dated London, September 1st, 1796, in which he 

?'ve8 an account of his own personal adventures and escapes in 
aris during the Bevolution. This letter was apparently 
destroyed by the receiver ; but the Bev. Mr. England included 
it in the abba's correspondence, which he published in 1819, 
from a transcript by the Bev. Dr. Moylan, B. C. Bishop of 
Cork. Independently of the respectable character of this 
authority, it carries strong internal evidence of genuineness, 
being full of Grallicisms, such as the abba's style had naturally 
contracted from his long residence in France. In this letter he 
gives the usually-received account of his receiving a message to 
attend the King, and then proceeds as follows : — 

* Here, my dear Ussher, you will doubtless expect a full account of 
the most woful day that ever shined over France, and of the dismal 
night that preceded it. But part of this account, I suppose, is well 
known to you ; and what still remains unpublished, I cannot commit 
to paper until I have seen the unfortunate remains of the Bourbon 
family, with whom I have never corresponded since.' 

He then resumes his story at the moment when the King's 
head fell ; describes his own descent from the platform of execu- 
tion, and his subsequent adventures in France and flight from it. 

Secondly. The narrative in French, commonly called the 
* Demidres Heures de Louis XVL' We have seen that the 
abb£ delayed the composition of any record of the execution 
until he should have seen the royal family. This purpose he 
accomplished, joining them at Blankenburg, not hng after the 
date of the above letter. And in April, 1199, he writes thus to 
Bishop Moylan from Mittau : — 

' Monseigneur Erskine is ill-informed. I have no publication in 
view. The little I can add to what has been printed over and over it 
hng ago in the hands of the King (Louis XYIIL), and of his brother. 
They are masters to make what use they please of my manuscript; but 
for my, part, I shall publish nothing.' 

It seems clear, therefore, that if the narrative is genuine, it 
must have been communicated to the public, directly or indi- 
rectly, by Louis XYIIL It was first published by the abba's 
nephew, Charles Sneyd Edgworth, in 1815. He says that he 
copied it from a transcript in the British Museum. That tran- 

1863. Loub Blanc's French Beoolution. 137 

script is still there. It professes to be taken firom the abba's 
MS. It is contained, with other pieces, in a large volume of 
calligraphic writing and designs in penmanship, purporting on 
the title-page to be the work of the Marquis de Sy, an emigrant 
noble. Some of the designs are portraits of members of the 
royal family, and ornamented with locks of their hair. The 
volume is magnificently bound, and stamped with the arms of 
France, and is enclosed in a table of pecuUar construction, with 
the arms of the Marquis of Buckingham engraved on it It is said 
to have come to the Museum from HartwelL Nothing, certainly, 
seems more probable than that the use of the original MS. 
should have been permitted by Louis XVIII. to the loyal 
transcriber. But farther evidence there is none. And it is 
singular that although the letter which we have quoted, and 
the * narrative,' scarcely cover two pages of the same ground, 
yet in so short a space there are several discrepancies. The 
letter mentions that the abb6 received the message at five 
o'clock of the 20th of January — the narrative, at four. In the 
letter, the abb6 says, * As soon as the fatal blow was given, I 
' fell upon my knees, and thus remained until the vile wretch 
' who acted the principal part in this horrid tragedy came with 
' shouts of joy, snowing the bleeding head to the mob,' &c In 
the ^Demidres Heures,' it is said, on the contrary, that Me 

* plus jeune des bourreaux (il ne semblait pas avoir plus de dix- 
*huit ans) eaisit aussitot la t£te, et la montra au peuple, en 
' faisant le tour de I'^chafaud.' In the ^ DemiSres Heures,' the 
abb4 particularly mentions that Louis XYL, on the scaffold, 
recommended him, the abb6, to the care of two of the gen- 
darmes; one of whom answered, ^ ^ Oui, oui, nous en aurons soin ; 
' laissez-nous faire." ' In the letter, the abb^ makes no mention 
whatever of the Bang's recommendation ; but simply says, that 
finding himself left on the scaffold when the head fell, he endea- 
vourea at once to pierce the crowd and escape. * All eyes were 

* fixed on me, as you may suppose ; but as soon as I reached the 
^ first lines, to my great surprise, no resistance was made. The 

* second line opened in the same manner,' and so forth. Dif- 
ferences of little importance, no doubt; and yet it is hardly 
natural that they should occur in two accounts composed by 
the same man, and almost at the same time. But, in additi(^n 
to this, the ^ narrative' seems to us to have a certain semblance 
of literary handling which is wanting in the letter. We offer 
these remarks as the mere scruples of readers rendered perhaps 
over suspicious by the enormous amount of plausible fabrication 
which encumbers the materials of Eevolutionary history. A 
little further inquiry might probably dissipate them. 

138 Sit George Cornewall Lewis July, 

Abt. V. — A Dialogue on the But Form of Government By 
the Right Honourable Sir Geoboe Cobnewall LbwiSj 
Bart, M.P. London : 1863. 

Tt is seldom that the title of a book prefixed to an article in 
this Review suggests reflections so mournful as those which 
will arise in the minds of our readers in connexion with this small 
volume. It may not be wonderful that the death of one 
who was a frequent contributor to these pages, and who himself 
for some time superintended their issue, should be a source of 
ffrief to scholars and literary men ; but it is not often that the 
K)6S of the same man is at least as deeply felt by the Cabinet, 
the Parliament, and the people of Great Britain. Yet such is 
the case at the present moment. Whilst literature mourns 
an acute and accomplished scholar, the whole nation laments 
a statesman in whose good sense, sagacity, and integrity 
it could place implicit confidence. As the Dean of St Paul's 
has truly said, in the graceful note prefixed to the recent 
edition of his * History of the Jews :' — ' It is rare that a man 
' who might have aspired to the very highest dignity in the 
* State might have oone honour as professor of Greek to the 
' most learned University in Europe/ It does not belong to us 
to dwell on the feelings of domestic sorrow, or the bitter regret of 
intimate friends, who know how he never failed in affection and 
considerate kindness for those immediately connected with him. 
Our present intention is to lay before our readers a concise 
account of this Dialogue, which was Sir George Lewis's last 

Eublished work, and we hope to add a few words illustrative of 
is character and position. Any attempt at a biography (pro- 
perly so called) would be out of place in these pages : the time 
has not yet come for such a work, and it would require mate- 
rials of a different kind from those which are now before us. 

The intention and form of this little book is best described 
in the author's own words. He says : — 

'I have supposed the dialogue to take place in our own time and 
country, between four Englishmen, belonging to the educated class. 
My object has been to conceive each of the three recognised forms. 
Monarchy, Aristocracy, and Democracy, as represented by a sincere 
partisan, and to attribute to him such arguments as a judicions 
advocate might properly use. I have attempted, in discussion, to 
place each government in the light in which it would be regarded by 
an enthusiastic admirer, and to suggest all the strongest objections 
to the other governments which the advocates of each would naturally 
urge. My aim has been to conduct the controversy in such a manner 

186S. M Forma cf Chvemment. 189 

MB to re|>reeent the strength of each ease ; bat I have not endeavoured 
to exhaust the subject. A difdogue is not fitted for sTstematie in- 
struction, or for strict scientific treatment' (P. yi.) 

We think that Sir George Lewis hae snceeeded admirably 
IB attaining the limited object which he had in view. The 
Dialogue is well written and well constructed, and the whole 
treatment of the subject is eminently characteristic of hie fair 
and candid mind. It is probable that Crito, who opens tiie 
oonversation, represents the author's own sentiments more 
nearly than any other speaker. He proposes the discussion, 
and at the same time questions whether there be such a thing 
as a best form of government in the abstract : — 

'I cannot admit,' he says, Uhat there is any one form of govern- 
ment which is best for every community under every variety of 
circumstances. Compare the useful arts. Can it be said that there is 
a best ship, a best gun, a best knife, a best spade, independently of 
all the various purposes to which these instruments can be applied? 
Why are we to suppose that one form of government is the best 
adapted for all communities, whatever their moral and intellectual 
fflate may be ?' (P. 5.) 

He then asks how the difference of race can be passed over ; 
and whether this abstract form of government is the best equally 
for all those who differ to the uttermost in civilisation and in 
origin ? The supposed representative of each form replies by 
asserting that the particular government which he advocates is 
an end to be sought for its own sake and under all circumstances. 
Democraticus maintains that there are many sorts of bad go- 
vernment, but only one good government : — 

tffSXol fitv yap inrXHi irarroBairCfC 2e ccuco/. 

Monarchicus xmdertakes to prove that a best form is not only 
possible, but actually exists, and he lays especial stress on what 
may be called the universality of monarchy, as a proof of its 
excellence. Aristocraticus reproaches him with calling those 
governments * monarchies ' which are in reality of another cha- 
racter, and thus claiming credit for what does not really belong 
-to -diot form. He refuses, for instance, to allow that the go- 
vernment of England is properly called a * monarchy,' and 
says 'it may not be a democratic republic, but it is a republic 
* nevertheless. By a republic I unaerttand every government 
^ in which the sovereign power is, both in form and in sub- 
' stance, distributed among a body of persons.' (P. 17.) 

Monarchicus replies by pressing as the characteristic of 
sovereignty the civil and criminal irre^nsibility of the king 
of England, and contrasting it with the position of a doge of 

140 Sir George Comewall Lewis JTuljr, 

Venice or a republican president ; and this limited question is 
argued with great force and ingenuity. 

Monarchy is attacked as a rude and unimproved system of 
government characteristic of barbarism and social ignorance. 
The universal adoption of pure monarchy in the East is 
ascribed to the backward and stationary character of Oriental 
society, which is well, and in the main, truly stated.* Aristo- 
craticus contrasts with this the corporate or plural principle of 
^vemment^ for which he gives the Greeks credit as inventors. 
His opponent answers that there is no plural government 
without a decision by the majority, and that — 

* Decision by the majority is unquestionably one of the clomnest 
contrivances for securing rectitude of decision which can be devised. 
You may talk of the rudeness of monarchical government, but I de^ 
you to point out anything in monarchy so irrational as counting votes, 
instead of weighing them ; as making a decision depend, not on the 
knowledge, ability, experience, or fitness of the judges, but upon their 
number. Nobody, in forming his individual opinion, ever resorts to 
such a test. No historian in commenting on the vote of an assembly, 
ever says, that the decision was made by the majority, and therefore 
it was right' (P. 33.) 

The reply is, that decision by a majority is no doubt open to 
theoreticiu objections, but that it is the necessary condition of 
corporate government, and that corporate government is the 
only way of escaping from the perils of absolute sovereignty, 
wiUi all its evils of occasional violence and assassination, and 
the corresponding cruelties on the part of a king who is in 
constant fear for his life. Monarchicus rejoins by referring to 
the cruelties of the Greek oligarchies and of ancient and 
modem democracies. 

The evils and advantages of the rule of a single individual 
are then dbcussed, as well as those which attend on party 

A very striking passage on the working of the old French 
Monarchy and its consequences is worth quoting at length. 
Aristocraticus is made to say : — 

* We are sorry that Sir George Lewis made Aristocraticus express 
in such very broad terms his contempt for Eastern literature. He was 
not himself an Oriental scholar, and it can be scarcely just to say 

* they have never produced any scientific or literary work worthy of 

* mention, except the '< Arabian Nights'" (p. 29.). Our Sanscrit and 
Persian scholars must read these words with indulgence, and re* 
member that they are put into the mouth of a professed advocate 
who is making out a case as shortly and as forcibly as he can, without 
dwelling on details or qualifying what he says. 

1863. on Forms of Oovemment 141 

'Hostility to the intellectiial eminence, to the personal independence, 
and to the honest pride which ought to characterise every aristocracy 
18 a natural attribute of an absolute monarchy ; and it may accord- 
ingly be discerned among the various bad qualities of the old fVench 
government The Monarchy of France, from Louis XIV. down to 
1789, prevented the formation of a good aristocracy. It maintained 
the nobles in possession of their civil privileges ; and at the same 
time, deprived them of political power. It preserved their exemption 
from direct taxes, and kept up the barriers between them and the 
tiers^tat; it thus rendered them odious to the rest of the communi^. 
It hardened the mass of the people by its habitual severity, by its 
cruel punishments, and by its system of judicial torture, which were 
continued until the Revolution. The frightful punishment of Damiens 
was in 1757 ; the breaking of Galas upon the wheel took place in 
1762 ; the horrible execution of the young Chevalier de la Barre 
occurred in 1766. The men who in July 1789, soon after the taking 
of the Bastile, murdered Foulon and his son-in-law, Berthier, in the 
streets of Paris ; who hung them from lamp-posts, cut off their heads^ 
and carried them on pikes, thrust Foulon's head in his son-in-law's 
£Ace^ tore out their hearts and entrails, and even devoured them from 
savage joy — ^these men had acquired their ferocity under the teaching 
of the dd Monarchy ; they had not learnt it in the school of Robes- 
pierre and Marat. Moreover, the old French Monarchy, by its 
mquent recourse to coups cTSiai, trained the people to a systematic 
disr^ard of fixed constitutional and legal rules. By this mode of 
government it prepared the way for the Revolution of 1789, and for 
^Bonaparte, the two great scourges of modem Europe. The genera- 
tion of Frenchmen which had grown up to manhood in the year 1789, 
was the creation of the old Monarchy, not of the Revolution. The 
Revolution was made by men whose character and opinions had been 
formed under the Monarchy, and who owed to it their training. If 
the French nobles had not been, by the short-sighted and selfish 
jealousy of the Monarchy, withdrawn firom all political life, and from 
all the realities of business, they would not have shown the feebleness, 
the mutual mistrust, and the incapacity to combine, which charac- 
terised them, as a classy during the storms of the early part of the 
Revolution. Instead of emigrating, they would have organised a 
resistance to the Convention i acting as a body, they would easily have 
put down the handful of ruffians who worked the Paris guillotine 
during the Reign of Terror.* 

It is not easy to sum up the indictment agidnst the French 
Monarchy more completely and more forcibly than is done in this 
passage. The feebleness and incapacity resulting from it which 
marked the conduct of the nobles^ was. seen also in the fall of 
the Girondins. We confess that our pity for these men has 
always been blunted by the double consideration, that they had 
lent themselves to all the cruelty against the Royal Family, and, 
that they exhibited in their fall the most contemptible want of 

149 Sir Gaofge CDrnewatt Lewis Jotyi 

power to combine aiid avert Adr own firte. Monarehioos npholds 
Bulge's view of the French Revolution^ and attributes it to 
the writings of Voltaire, Rousseau, Diderot, and others. To 
tins Aristocraticus replies that Rousseau's ^Contrat Social' 
certainly furnished the political creed of the Revolution, but 
that it was the Church which was the prindpal object of attack 
to writers such as the Encyclop^distes. Voltaire, forinstanoej 
was a professed admirer of the old Monarchy. He adds;^ 
that if Louis XVL had had the force of character and the 
sagacity required for supporting Turgot in his reforms, be 
m^t have laughed at the Encydop^die and the ^ Contrat 
^ Sodal ; ' a proposition which we tinnk very questionable, and 
which we may pause a little to consider. 

Speculations as to what might have been the fate of France, if a 
different course had been pursued by her government, are curious 
and interesting* To go oack even to an earlier period: if the 
Duke of Burgundy had lived, and the country had been spared 
tiie imbecility and profligacy of tiie Regmit Orleans and of 
Lonis XV., — ^if States General had been summoned as St. 
Simon desired, smd a sincere attempt made to iniiise strengtii 
and honesty into the territorial aristocracy, — would it have 
been then too late to repair the mischief done by Louis XIV. ? 
Even this may be doubtful, when we consider the wrongs in- 
flicted on the Protestants, the religious discord which raged in 
the bosom of the Roman Catholic Church itself in the matter of 
the Jansenists, the centralisation of power by the Int^idants in 
the {m>vinces, and the utter prostration of tiie spirit of the 
nobles. In a letter written in 1840 Sir Oeorge Lewis 
said: — 

' There is no doubt that the terror excited by the atrocities of the 
democratic and infidel party in the French Revolution has given 
great strength to Uie anti-popular and clerical party. Still, it. is 
difficult to be too grateful for the utter annihilation of the old aristo- 
cratic institutions and opinions in France and a large part of 
Germany, and a peaceable reform would not have effected this. A 
peaceable reform in 1789 would probably have produced in Franee 
the same ultimate effect as the Revolution of 1688 in England. It 
would have curtailed the power of the king and the privileges of the 
nobles; and it would ultimately have transferred the governing 
power from the court to the territorial aristocracy.' 

But the correctness of these last views appears to us very 
questionable, and it must be remembered that they were ex- 
pressed before Tocqueville had thrown a flood of light on the 
real character of the old French Government. They are hardly 
perhaps consistent with our present knowledge on the subject 

1863. &n Fermi of GavemmenL 14S 

We oonelves doubt whether any vigour on the part of Louk 
XYLy united even with the prescient intellect of Turgot, could 
have postponed the Bevolution for longy though it might some- 
what have moderated its violence, ^l^is violence indeed was 
greatly aggravated by the interference of foreigners. The 
pretext, and periiaps the cause, of the massacres of September 
was the necessity for striking terror into * Pitt and Cobourg.' 
Bat we believe that the streun which finally burst over the 
precipice with such terrible fury, had long be^ pouring down- 
wards with a deep and steady current, such as no virtue or 
wisdom on the part of Louis XYL could have barred or diverted* 
We have mentioned Tocqueville's name: let us now quote 
from the argument of Aristocraticns a passage which contains a 
tribute to him, and expresses, briefly, the auth<»r'B sentiments 
with reference to Napoleon i — 

* Alas I poor Toequeville I would Ihat he had lived to execute his 
projected survey of Napdeon's policy. A history of Ni^leon, 
affording a correct estimate of his character and infiaencey is the 
great desideratum of modem political literature ; and no such work 
would produce any impression on the opinion of France, unless it 
were written by a Frenchman. An unfavourable judgment of 
Napoleon — the only judgment consistent with truth — would, if 
proceeding from an EInglishman, be infallibly attributed to national 
prejudice and jealousy.' (P. 56.) 

There follows in the Dialogue a most instructive discussion on 
the character of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and the 
&l8e position assumed by the EInglish Tories under George IIL : 
they are charged with betraying their own order and making 
themselves mere monarchists, when they * were willing to lay 
' the liberties of the country at the foot of the king.' 

Up to this point the advocates of aristocracy and monarchy 
have be^i allowed to ai^ue their respective cases one i^inst 
^ other ; but now Democraticus comes forward, and whilst he 
concurs in all that Aristocraticns has urged a^nst kingly 
power, calls on him to show why he would exclude the bulk 
of the people from all share in the government. The reply is 
that the models of ancient democracy were based on slavery as 
a necessary* conditbn, and that stability and permanency have 

* Mr. Freeman, in his able work ('History of Federal Go- 
*vemment)' 1863), says: — <The real special weakness of pure 
< democracy is that it almost seems to require slavery as a neces- 
' sary con(Ution of its existence. It is hard to conceive that a large 

* body of men, like the qualified citizens of Athens, can ever give so 

* large a portion of their time as the Athenians did to the business of 
^ruling and judging {apxnv koI diKaigtv) without the exigence of an 

144 Sir George Comewall Lewis Svly, 

ever been the attributes of aristocratic govemments^ as in the 
cases of Sparta, Carthage, and Venice. The rejoinder is given 
that common plunder of the people no doubt secures harmony 
among the oppressors ; but when they have become so strong as 
to fear no resistance from without, they quarrel among them- 
selves, as the feudal barons of England and the free ' Bitter- 
^ schaft ' of the empire used to do. Democraticus alleges that 
the interests of the minority are separate from those of the 
community, and often hostile to them ; that abuse of power 
by a minority is certain, and can only be prevented by vesting 
it in the people at large. His opponent grounds his exclusion 
of the working class irom authority on their practical unfitness 
for its exercise, which is such as to require that they should be 
placed under tutelage. ' Moreover,' he adds, * they are deficient 

* in the proprietary feeling, which is one of the great safeguards 
*of society.' The advocate of popular government on the 
other hand assumes that no credit must be given to any man 
for good intentions, and that the onlv security against the effect 
of sinister interests is the absence of power to do mischief. 

We will now lay before our readers the arguments used by 
both disputants on the subject of the ballot : — 

* ArUtoeraHcus. — The expediency of the ballot, as a system of 
secret voting, now rests principally on the example of the Austitdian 
colonies. It is admitted that the American ballot is practically a 
system of open voting, and that in the American elections votes are 
not concealed. Now, I have no hesitation in sa3ring that, in my 
opinion, the inflaence exercised at elections by the landlord over the 
tenant, by the employer over the workman, is one of the legitimate 
influences of property, and ought not to be disturbed. Like other 
moral influences, it may be abused ; but public opinion is, in the long 
run, a sufficient safeguard against its abuse. It is one of the indirect 

* inferior class to relieve them from at least the lowest and most 

* menial duties of their several callings. Slavery therefore is com- 
' monly taken for granted by Greek political thinkers.' The author 
goes on to show, however, that slavery was no special sin of demo- 
cracy in ancient times : — ^ it was an institution common to the whole 
^ancient world, quite irrespective of particular forms of government.' 
(P. 38, note.) This last observation is quite true, but at the same 
time the objection to pure democracy remains unanswered; other 
forms might exist without slavery : pure democracy in the Greek 
sense could scarcely do sq. The only possible solution of the diffi- 
culty is by means of a representative system, which virtually does 
away with the personal share of each citizen in the management of 
the government, and thus negatives those advantages of the direct 
political training of each individual citizen which are so much relied 
on by the advocates of the Athenian Agora. 

1863. on Forms of Government 145 

means by which a preponderance is secafed to intelligence in an 
electoral system, without resorting to the contrivance of plural 

* DemocroHcui. — ^I admire your candour in spurning all subterfuge, 
and in putting the aristocratic argument against secret voting on its 
true ground. I know of no legitimate influence of property, except 
Hs direct economical uses ; I cannot consent that it should be em- 
ployed for a political object. It seems to me to be sheer hypocrisy 
to give a roan a vote and to deny him the only means by which he 
can obtain its full and free exercise. It is only by secret voting that 
the working classes can give a genuine expression to their opinions, 
and can secure the return of representatives really devoted to their 
interests.' (Pp. 83, 84.) 

We have extracted this passage, not because we are about to 
enter on the discussion of the ballot, but because it affords a 
good example of the fairness and precision with which our 
author states a political issue. It is not necessary for our 
present purpose to follow closely the thread of the argument 
in the Dialogue; but it appears to us that more might be 
said by the supporter of democracy than Sir George Lewis has 
put into his mouth, especially with reference to the political 
education of the people. Aristocraticus maintains tnat the 
representative system is * the philosopher's stone of politics,' and 
that it is essential the relation between the executive and the 
representative body should be well organised. The argument 

Sadually passes on to the subject of the Oovemment of the 
idted States ; and Democraticus attacks it thus : 

* The American plan of electing an irremoveable prime minister 
for a fixed term of four years, of making the cabinet ministers his 
elerks, and of excluding them firom the legislative body, s^ms to me 
to be founded on a weak mistrust of the democratic influence. It is 
a contrivance, and a foolish contrivance, for counteracting the demo- 
cratic tendency to changes, and for giving to the executive a 
stability with which, it is supposed, the pressure of democratic forces 
would be incompatible ; but I do not share those apprehensions, and 
am quite willing that the prizes which can be safely contended for in 
£ngland by a selfish aristocracy, should, under a democracy, be con- 
tended for by the representatives of the people at large, who must in 
general be actuated by pure and disinterested motives.' (Pp. 90, 91 .) 

There is, we think, much good sense in this criticism of the 
American system, as viewed by a thorough and consistent 
advocate of democracy ; and the passage which follows is still 
more important and interesting at the present moment. He 
goes on to say : — 

' Admiring as I do the character and opinions of the great men 
who founded the government of the United States, and believing that, 

14(1 Sk Greorge Comewatt Lewis ^ufy, 

1^ to the preeent depiohMe diviflioii, it leoiiTed more lutppineae to 
the people then the government of any other oonntrj upon the earth, 
I yet cannot consent that democraj^ should be judged by the working 
01 the Americftn Constitution, llie American Constitution is an 
intricate system, compounded of federal and state elements; the 
soTereignty is partitioned betweoi the central federal power aod the 
separate state governments. Both are indeed fashioned upon demo* 
eratie principles ; but the constant conflict between fed^vi powers 
and state powers^ and still more between federal interests and state 
interests^ prevents the democratic dement from having a perfectly 
free play. This conflict has been particularly manifest^ during the 
present civil war. If the United States had 4>een a nation under a 
simple democratic government, the civil war would either never have 
arisen, or, if it had arisen, it would not have assumed such gigantic 
dimensions, and it would have been brought to an earlier termination. 
American politics have chiefly turned on a set of compromises between 
Hie North and the South, worked out through the medium of the 
Federal Grovemment These compromises have infected the whole 
pml^life of America^ md have influenced the character aadeondact 
of all its sUtesmen.' (Pp. 91, 92.) 

The speaker then ascribes the low character of paUic men in 
America, not to ' the jealous and lev^Ung sfnrit of demoeraoy/ 
but rather to the waking of the federal system, wUdi he 
conriderB as tiie uneound part of the whole con^tutioo. 

We are rather disposed to agree with Aristocraticos in attri- 
batii^ this last defSsct to the * Caucus system,' which pervades 
the action both of the federal and state governments* It is as 
if a body like the Marylebone Vestry irere einpowered to select 
the sovereign and the great functionaries. The conditions of 
pqpularity and the canvass for power are made distast^ul in 
the highest d^pree to those who are highly educated and who 
possess means of their own. Full scope is given to sodi petty 
jealousies and enmities as attsfeh themselves to every man of 
eminence or distinction in public life. The eyes of those who 
seek to lead the public are naturally turned to the men who« in 
mediocrity and narrowness of views, most resemble themselves. 
They are not only jealous of any superiority, but they fear that 
such superiority will enable a man to throw off the trammek of 
party and the influence which they hope to exercise over him 
when he is in office. They think that they themselves may 
thus £ul to secure their share in the plunder which is distributed 
once in four years to the supporters of a new President and his 
ministry. The spirit of Ostracism becomes quickened by a 
sense of self-interest ; and the result of the whole is what we 
now see exemplified — that the government of a great country, 
and the guidance of great armies, fall into the hands of the men 
who are least fitted for the charge of either. 

1863. m Fonts rf GowmmimL 147 

We are wdl aware tint it may be argued ia reply^ ai it is bj 
SemooradciiB, that the indirect effects of democratic uniy^rsal 
soffirage are far more than a compensation for the disadyantage 
of second-rate rulers; and that its tendency to elevate the 
podtion and intelligence of the individual man makes up for 
these defects in administration ; but it must be remembered 
that the eadstence of the body politic — that for the sake of 
which all govormnent is valuable — is thus placed in perpetual 

Moaarckicus interposes as the advocate of the federal princii^e. 
He says: — 

* It is an error to attribute the late secession to federalism. If 
the ^ittre country from Canada to the Gkdf of Mexico had been 
under a natioaal government, the conflicts of interests between the 
North aad South, and the differences on the subject of slavery^ 
might equally have produced a separation and a rebellion.' (P. 95.) 

On this point we must pause a little^ and offer some observa- 
tions of our own. 

Mr. FieeBian,in the book to which we have already referred^ 
has defined a federal commonwealth, in its perfect fonn» as one 
which is a flongle State in its relation to other nations, but which 
oondsts of many States with regard to its internal govenunent. 
He says Tp. 90.): — ^Federalism is essentially a compromise: 

* an artificial product of an advanced state oi political culture.' 

This is assuredly in one sense true, for the parts must exist 
before the whole can be constituted. Sqiarate States must 
have been organised, considerable political experience acquired, 
and each must be in a condition to exercise, as a ccnnmunity, a 
free-will of its own, before they can combine, and agree on the 
ocfliditions and modifications necessary to consolidate their imion. 
In discussing the American question the same author admits that 
secession is the mildest form which rebellion can take, and that 
it is sometmies necessary ; he says that, as the Federal Govern- 
ment is entitled to full obedience in its own sphere, the refusal of 
diat obedience, whether by States or individuals, is essentially an 
act of rebellion. He adds, that a seceding State may be fully 
justified, but that it ought to be provided with at least as good 
a case as the original States had for their secession from Great 
Britain.* But, together with these doctrines, Mr. Freeman 
admits that ^ a federation, though legally perpetual, is something 
' which is in its own nature essentially voluntary.' He even 
says: — * There is a sort of inconsistency in retaining members 

* against their will.' Does it not almost i^pear that, on these 

♦ Freeman*s * History of Federal Government,' pp. 116, 119. 

148 Sir George Comewall LewU July, * 

principles, ike question whether secession is or is not ' rebellion ' 
becomes one purely of words? A rebellion, the repression of 
which by force is contrary to the essence of the supreme govern- 
ment, and which in itself may be justifiable, mu8t, if there be 
any plausible cause at all, be ' rebellion ' in the very mildest 
sense of the term. Who is to judge of the sufficiency of the 
cause ? 

We have thus referred to Mr. Freeman's yiews for the purpose 
of connecting them with the observation of Monarchicus, quoted 
a few pages back, to the effect that, if the United States had 
been a democratic nation, the war now raging would never have 
arisen. It is, indeed, quite clear that in such a case it could 
not have arisen in its present shape, and it is exceedingly 
probable it would never have broken out at all; but it becomes 
necessary here to reflect for a few moments on the origin and 
conditions of all Federal Governments. 

No Federal Government which deserves the name has ever, 
we believe, been formed except for the purpose of resisting 
foreign aggression or external violence. The Achsoan League 
' was the result of the pressure of the Macedonian kings on 
Greece. The Swiss cantons united against their feudal neigh- 
bours, and against the power of Burgundy. Their union would 
have perished long ago, were it not that they are hooped to- 
gether by the interests and mutual jealousies of European 
nations. The United Provinces became a Power for the purpose 
of resisting Spain and the House of Austria. The United 
States were driven to form their federal tie for the purpose of 
securing their freedom against George IIL 

Moreover, as foreign aggression and foreign wars have created 
all federal governments, so the fear of foreign aggression and 
foreign wars is, we fear, essential to their long-continued existence 
in their original shape. Look at the politics of America for the 
last fifty years. Whenever the body politic has been threatened 
with weakness or discord at home, the statesmen of the Union, 
with an instinctive sense of the fundamental principle of all 
federal governments, have always restored the tone of the con- 
st^itution by the stimulating action of a foreign quarrel, actual 
or impending. Whenever the single States became troublesome, 
or domestic discord threatened to break out, some politician like 
Mr. Seward was ready to bid for popularity, and revive the 
failing sense of unity, by declaiming against the perfidy and 
insolence of England. The proi*pect of a foreifi^n war, at 
however great a risk, has always been like a spark of life to 
the Union ; and certainly, in reliance on our moderation, the 
remedy has been at all times unsparingly and unscrupulously 

1863. on Forms of Government 149 

Now^ if such be the ori^n and such the vital principle of all 
federal governments, we are tempted to ask, in the first place, 
whether that class of governments is to be looked on as the 
most mature product of political wisdom, which requires the 
constant pressure or threat of foreign aggression as the condi- 
tion of its lengthened life ? In the second place, we think that 
it becomes easy to see whv secession (or rebellion) should be 
constantly apprehended under a Federid system, and why such 
secession, whatever may be its technical character, must differ 
in its moral aspect from rebellion against a national govenx- 

What are the great safeguards against rebellion and tumult 
in a State such as France or Prussia ? In the first place, no 
doubt, there is always the dread of the material force wielded by 
those who administer the existing Government; but, behind 
this, there is a stronger sentiment, which makes a would-be rebel 
hesitate to rely on the support of the people around him. There 
is the fear of anarchy on the part of the rich and the middle 
classes — the dread that when the Government which exists, bad 
as it may be, is broken up, all that men care for will be cut adrift 
and floating in confusion on a troubled sea. It is felt that 
security of life and property is bound up with the existence of 
laws and of the tribunals which administer them. A peaceable 
dtizen must, in general, be stimulated by atrocious tyranny, 
before he runs the risk of the plunder and bloodshed which may 
probablv follow rebellion. 

But IS this so in the case of a Federal Government? By no 
means. Each State is an organised community, with its own 
laws, its own administration, and its own courts. If the Federal 
capital, the President, Congress, and the Federal army, were to 
be swallowed up by an earthquake, each State of the Union 
might transact its own business and carry on its own industry 
just as if nothing had happened. Secession, whether it be 
technically ' rebellion ' or not, implies in itself none of those in- 
ternal dangers and risks which necessarily attend on rebellion in a 
centralised State. It does not involve anarchy, because each 
State possesses in itself all the machinery of government, which 
has in fact regulated the daily life of its citizens while it re- 
mained a member of the Federation. The safeguards of life 
and property will, so far as internal danger is concerned, be 
neither less nor more after secession than they were before 
it. We do not say that these considerations as to the real 
origin and principle of federal government, and the conse- 
quences of 'rebellion,' justify the secession of the South ; they 
may do so, or they may not, but they appear to us to account 

160 Sir QeoTgd Gcmtewall Lewis Jaly^ 

for many phenomena, and moraUy diey place the separation of a 
State from a federation in a yery different light frt>m the insnr- 
lection of a province against a national government. 

With reference to this whole subject, we are permitted to 
insert here an extract from a most interesting letter of Sir 
George Lewis, written in July 1856. It is ounous to see how 
distinctly he then appreciated the relative position of tiie different 
sections of the American Union : — 

* Dana's lecture on Sumner is very interesting. It illustrates the 
relations of the South and North, and their feelings to one another. 
People here speak of the outrage on Sumner as a proof of the 
brutal manners of the Americans, and their low morality. To me 
it seems the first blow in a dvil tear. It betokens the advent of a 
state of things in which political differences cannot be settled by 
argument^ and can only be settled by force, K half England ¥ras 
in favour of a measure which involved the confiscation of the pro- 
perty of the other half, my belief is that an English Brooks would 
De equally applauded. If Feel had proposed a law. which instead of 
reducing rents had annihilated them, instead of being attacked by 
a man of words such as Disraeli, he would probably have be^i 
attacked with physical arguments hy some man of hlows. I see no 
solution of the political differences of the United States^ but the 
separation of the Slave and Free States into distinct political coni» 
mnnities. If I was a citioen of a N(»them State I should wish it. 
I should equally wish it if I Was a citizen of a Southern State. In 
the Northern States the English race would remain unimpaired : 
but I cannot help suspecting that it degenerates under a warmer 
sun, and that a community formed of Anglo-Saxon masters within 
the tropics and of negro slaves would degenerate. I see no reason 
why the pure English hreed should not be kept up in the Northern 
Provinces and the Northern States. It may also be kept up in 
Australia, which has a icHmate suited to our race, and has fortonately 
been kept imtainted hy the curse of coloured slavery.' 

A similar view of the subject is expressed in a later letter 
(November 5th) of the same year, 1856 : — 

' The United States seem to me to have come nearer to a separa- 
tion of North and South than they ever were before. I take for 
granted that Buchanan will win. The Southern States are 
tiiorougbly in earnest. They are fighting for their property. The 
Northern States have only a principle at stake ; they will he less 
united and less eager. At tiie same time it is not at all clear that 
ihey can continue to form one State, or rather one pditical body; 
and they may reach a point when, like a married couple who cannot 
agree, they may part by conmion consent. Each may find his 
account in a separation.' 

At a much later time (May 15tfa, 1861), he wrote as 
follows : — 

186S. oil Farms tf Om^emmeffd. 1£1 

* The Nortbem Stales have drifted or r»thar pUmged into war 
without having any iat^igible aim or policy. The South fi^t te 
independence* bat what do the North fight for, except to gratify 

passione and pride? in his acurious letter talks of averting 

anarchy, but if the North had remained quiet they had nothing to 
fear firom anarchy/ 

In an earlier letter of the same year, before the war had 
t»*oken out, he said: — 

*The refusal laf Tennessee and Arkansas to join the new c<m- 
IMeracy may give some hopes of a compromise, bat I eannot see 
how it can be expected that men who have committed themselves so 
far as the leaders of the Secession movement, can be expected to 
come back, except upon such terms as they themselves would 
dictate. They would not only lose their present position, but they 
would scarcely be safe from proscription, if they acquiesced in the 
reestablishment of the old Union, and thus to a certain extent pot 
themselves in the power of a republican executive.' 

We must return for a moment to the Dialogue ; but it is 
only for the purpose of laying before the reader an extract 
from the concludW i^ech of Crito, which is most charac- 
teristic of the author's calm moderation and cautbns good 

*I am so unfortunate as to be unable to agree altogether widi asy 
one of you. I must hold to my original faith as to the impossibility 
of establishing any best form of government, applicable to all com- 
munities. But difficult as I must maintain it to be, to mould any 
constitution of government upon an ideal standard, without reference 
to existing circumstances and historical associations — unless, indeed, 
the conditions necessary for permanence are disregarded— -yet I am 
conscious that legislative science has made great progress, and tiiat 
the labours of jurists and political economists have fumi^ed the 
rtatesman with a large number of true general principles, whidi, if 
properly oonverfeed into maxims or rules of conduct, and i^lied to 
£icta, will lead to some practical conclusions. 

'If we take any particular department of legislative scienee— 
Budi as criminal law, education, relief of the poor, finance^ trader 
public works, military and naval organisation — we shall find tlui;t 
theoretical writers have established many good general principles, 
which will guide the path of the statesman, and which he will be 
able with advantage to apply in practice. But when we asoend 
above these departments, and arrive at the abstract question, what is 
the best form of government for all communities ? it seems to me 
that we aare attempting the solution of an insoluble problem. • • 

*' But even if I were to decide in favour of one of these £mM, 
and against the two others, I should not find myself nearer the 
solution of the practical ftfoblem. A nati<m does not change its 
form of government with the same facility that a man changes his 

152 Sir Geoige Comewall Lewis Jotf^ 

coat. A nation in general only changes the form of its govemment 
by means of a violent revolution.' (Pp. 113-*5.) 

We think that the reader will have learnt from us enough 
of this thoughtful and interesting little book to tempt him to 
its perusal. It will suggest for his reflection far more than is 
presented by its pages. 

We now turn to consider shortly the career and character of 
Sir George Lewis as a politician and a scholar. We cannot 
add to his well-deserved reputation, or do justice to his merits 
but this Review is the last work in which these merits should 
be unnoticed, or his death unlamented. 

He was descended from an old family in Badnorshire, who 
are mentioned as early as the middle of the fifteenth century. 
One of them was sheriff for that county in the reign of Edward 
VI. Another held the same office in 1658 and 1659. Thomas 
Lewis of Harpton represented the Badnorshire boroughs for 
fifty-three years, that is from 1715 to 1768. It is scarcely 
necessary to speak of the merits of Sir Frankland Lewis, who 
sat for the same boroughs, and who received a baronetcy in 
1846. His eldest son was bom in 1806. Having passed 
through Eton he became a member of Christ Church, Oxford, 
of which body he was an honorary student at the time of his death. 

When be wfis a young man great fears were entertained for 
his health, and precautions were taken against pulmonary weak- 
ness by sending him to a warmer climate. On one of these 
occasions he formed the idea of writing his excellent littie book 
on the Komance Languages, of which a new edition has lately 
appeared. When it was first published there was no work on 
the subject familiarly known to the English reader : even now it 
is difficult to name another in our own language, although much 
has been done by Diez and others on the continent of Europe* 
In 1830 Mr. Lewis attended the lectures on Jurisprudence, 
delivered by Mr. John Austin at the London University, in a 
class which comprised the present Master of the Bolls, Mr. 
John Mill, and other distinguished men. The vigour and clear- 
ness of Mr. Austin's mind acted powerfully on that of his 
pupil, and had, we have no doubt, great influence in forming 
his habits of thought. Li 1832 he conducted an important 
inquiry into the condition of the Lish Poor in England. Li 
1836 Mr. Austin and Mr. Lewis were associated in a com- 
mission of inquiry into the affairs of Malta, where they resided 
for some time. 

We give the following extracts from letters written from that 
island at the close of the year 1836 and the beginning of 1837, 

1863. on Forms of Government 153 

because they are interesting in themselves^ and because thej 
convey an idea of the writer's correspondence : — 

* At Marseilles we embarked on board a frigate, which had come 
from Smyrna and therefore subjected os to the necessity of perform- 
ing quarantine on our arrival at Malta. I found it a great mistake 
to suppose that there is no motion in large ships ; a small vessel has 
moreover this advantage, that it is worked without there being a 
crew of 450 men to walk over one's bead during the chief part of 

* the night. We had all kinds of foul winds and calms, and were ten 
days in reaching Malta. We saw the southern point of Sardinia^ 
the north-west coast of Sicily, and a part of the coast of Africa near 
Cape Bon. We also remained about two days in sight of a hatefbl 
little island called Pantellaria. 

'Yaletta is on the whole the most striking and beautiful town 
I ever saw : the indentations of the harbour, the extent and 
grandeur of the fortifications and their combination with the rock, 
and the terrace-like arrangement of the houses, form a collection of 
objects which no town that I know can equal. It resembles Edin- 
burgh in some points — viz. the mixture of buildings and rock, and 
the rising of the streets in stories over one another. In other 
respects it is, of course^ very different. 

* The French, of course, did much mischief in Malta, as in all 
other places which they occupied : among other things they stripped 
the leaden roof off the '* Baraccas " — large porticoes in which the 
knights used to walk in hot weather. They now serve for the same 
purpose in cold weather, as their uncovered walls exclude the wind 
while they admit the sun. 

* We found ourselves on our arrival much to our surprise floating 
down the full tide of popularity. We made a sort of triumphd 
entry (of course against our will) into the town. The streets were 
illuminated at night, and we were annoyed with all kinds of marks 
of respect. This state of things however has not been of long 
endurance ; and we are already beginning to think of rotten eggs 
and dead cats. The people evidently thought, or were told, that we 
came out with a Maltese Magna Charta in our pockets ; and when 
we summoned the chief complainants, and began to talk of inquiry, 
they were manifestly quite surprised, and seemed to think that we 
had merely to give a grind or two, and out would come a whole 
code of laws ready m^e. After three days of inane declamation 
on the part of the complainants, and of '^ damnable iteration *' on our 
part, they have at last begun to perceive that it will be necessary 
for us to investigate a subject before we report on it, and that in 
order to investigate we must take evidence. This sequence of pro^ 
positions, which in England may seem tolerably clear, has only 
become manifest to our gentlemen by means of a long succession of 
the severest intellectual throes. It would have edified you to see 
the gravity which we maintained during the most ludicrous parts of 
the touching patriotic pathos addressed to us. I have seen Hook- 
ham Frere, who found himself in Malta fourteen years ago at his 

154 Sir OteorgQ CornewttU Lewis Jolj^ 

wife's death, and has forgotten to return to England. He has 
translated four plajs of Aristophanes, and vill, I imagine;, pafaliab 

* There is nothing in this island either ancient or remarkable in 
the way of art The knights appear to have thomght of nothing bat 
btulding new forts, and enlarging the defences oi Yaletta. They 
have b^n so successful in this ambition, that the very extent of the 
fortifications is a source of weakness, inasmoch as it would take 
20,000 men to man the works, if the town were r^nlarly invested. 
This contingency, however, is most improbable, one may say almoet • 
impossible, so lone as Elngland retains the command of the sea. 

' Nevertheless, the Ordnance are not satisfied unless they keep the 

S ice in a parpetual state of siege ; and I hear that orders have 
ely come out from England to cut down some mulberry trees in 
one of the ditches. A weU-fortified town may be an exceilaLt con- 
trivance in time of war, but it is an excessive inconvenience in time 
of peace. It takes between a quarter and half-4Ui*hour of walking 
through narrow gates, and across ditches, and up ste^ steps^ ana 
und^ covered ways, to get clear of the defences, whenever one 
wishes to breathe some air. Tou can conceive ElhrenlNreitsteui on 
the scale of a town large enough to contain ^0,000 people. 

* The native language of the Maltese is an Arabic dialect, whioh 
agrees pretty nearly with the Arabic spoken on the coast of Barbary, 
as far as Egypt It has never been written and cannot even be 
said to have an alphabet There are not, as far as I am aware, any 
literary compositions in it preserved by tradition. 

* The people are an Arab race des<$ended firom the Saracens who 
obtained possession of the island. Their physiognomy bears a 
striking resemblance to the Jewish. They are a gloomy people; 
they never seem to laugh, or sing, or dance ; their amusemente, if 
such they can b^ called, are of a rdigious cast, such as prooooaJono 
on saints' days, ^dc I hear that the country people pass the chief 
part of their Sundays and ^^giomi di festa " in the churches. They 
are exceedingly ignorant ; and not unnaturally, as there has been no 
education for the poor, very little for the rich, and no free press. 
They are, however, by no means wanting in acnteness and ability. 
Their practical talent is, indeed, remarkable ; and in this respect 
they appear to great advantage even by the side of the English, 
who (with their descendants) exceed all other nations in this quality. 
There is a pernicious race of nobles, who transmit their titles to lul 
their sons, together with fortunes varying from 500/. to 401 or SOL 
a year, and a self-imposed inability to follow any money-making 
occupation. These people are ignorant, narrow-minded, stupid, and 
rapacious of public money; and it would be well if their titles 
could be abolished. As, however, they are now excessively pocur, 
and they have no means of recruiting their fortunes by rich marri- 
ages, a few more descents, and divisions of property, must confound 
them with the middle and working classes. There is also a 
numerous body of priests, more than 1,000 (including the regulars) 
to a population of 120,00a The priests are for the moat part 

186L mFamu rf GavemmeKL IS6 

IngoCed and ignorant; bot tiieir influence hm considerably dedined 
of late years, and their incomes are most pitiful, varying from 101 
to 30/. or 40^ a year. The merchants, the advocates, the doctors, 
and the government employ^ form the really valoable part of the 
population. The misery which prevails among the mass of the peo[4e 
is caused by the excess of their numbers. The great and unnatural 
commerce drawn into Malta by the Berlin and Milan decrees gave a 
stimulos to population, and also accostomed the working classes to a 
holier standapd of living, from which ibey have now fidlen.' 

In a subsequent letter (October 3^ 1837) the writer says : — 

' The government has lately been snakittg some changes in their 
dtaritable institotions, which we had recommended. The espendi- 
tnre in charities is now 16,000/. a year out of a revenue of less than 
100,0001 One of the institutions which we recommended to be 
gradually abolished was what in Italy is called a *' Conservatorio," 
^at is a charity boarding-school for girls, who remain in it till they 
can get places or are married. On examining the girls in the con- 
servatorio somewhat more dosely than had hitherto been done, it has 
recently turned out that, although they have been regularly taught to 
read Italian, they never learnt the meaning of the words; and 
ahhough tli€t*e are some (who have been ondOTgoing this process for 
several years) who can pronounce Italian to perfection, they cannot 
understand or speak a word of it. I hope this is not the way in 
which English is taught in Welsh schools.' 

By its results^ the Malta Commisaon^ although it was un- 
justly and unwisely decried in England at the time^ entirely 
justified ihe policy of the Government and the prevision o£ 
the eminent men oy whom these measures were recommended. 
The admmiste^tion of Malta, since it bad passed into the hands 
of Great Britain, was the military discipline of a fortress en- 
grafted on the obsolete legislation and ordinances of tJie Ejiights 
of St. John. The people were impoverished and discontented ; 
Uie taxes onerous ; and the rights of the Maltese overridden 
by English authority. These grievances were removed by the 
juridicsd wisdom of Mr. Austin and by the practical sagacity of 
Mr. Liewis ; and we remember to have henrd one of the most 
£stinguished members of the Maltese bar observe^ many years 
afterwards, that there has seldom been an instance in which a 
well-considered scheme of reform has so efiectually fulfilled the 
intentions of its authors and the hopes of the people. 

In 1838 Mr. Lewis succeeded his father as one of the com- 
mieeioners under the Poor Law Amendment Act What his 
ability and honesty were in the administration of this depart- 
ment can be known only by lliose who worked with him and 
under him ; but there was at least one eminent statesman who 
ioOj appreciated these qxialities. We know no point in 

156 Sir Qeorge Cornewall Lewis July^ 

which Sir James Graham showed his acateness and sagacity ia 
judging of men more clearly thsn in his estimate of Mr. Lewis. 
In 1841 Sir James came into office as Home Secretary. He 
had a certain temptation from party motivesy and from the fact 
that the topic had been largely used on the hustings by his 
supporters, to cavil at, perhaps to interfere with, the adminis- 
tration of the Poor Law. He had moreover, as we believe, 
rather a prepossession aminst Mr. Lewis, of whom he knew 
little or nothing. He tooK a certain time to satisfy himself as to 
the qualifications of those who were then at the head of the 
department: he tested them by requiring explanations and 
reports on all cases which arose, and abstained entirely from 
confidential communications with them. Afler this time, how- 
ever, bad elapsed he made up his mind as to Mr. Lewis's ability 
and trustworthiness, and at once placed unreserved confidence 
in him. Many years afterwards he seemed to exult in the 
foresight which had led him thus to appreciate Mr. Lewis'is 
high qualities, and in 1857, he observed, with a sort of pride, to 
one who knew all the drcumstances, lliat ' Lewis was Chan* 
' cellor of the Exchequer I ' as if his elevation to that histh post 
confirmed the anticipations formed by himself so long beiore. 

After the change in the Poor Law Commission, Mr. Lewis 
became secretary to the Board of Control, and held other offices. 
He sat for Herefordshire, but at a subsequent general election 
lost his seat for that county, mainly on the ground of the Com 
Laws. He was afterwards defeated at Peterborough, and after 
his father's death, although quite satisfied with the tranquillity of 
a literary life, and perhaps unwilling to embark again in politics^ 
he obtained the seat for the Radnorshire boroughs which his father 
and his ancestors had often held before. How he discharged 
his duty as their representative, and what were his merits as a 
Rindlord and a friend, is best shown by the feeling now exhibited 
in his own county and in Herefordshire — a feeling such as 
to overpower all discrepancy of political party. He accepted 
the editorship of this Review on the death of Mr. Empson at 
the close of the year 1852, and conducted it successfully until 
he became Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1855. In 1853 he 
had been offered the Grovernment of Bombay, and wrote thus 
in relation to it : — 

* India is an interesting field, especially at the present moment ; 
but it would have cut short a great many threads which I have begun 
to spin. I therefore remain constant to the ** Edinburgh Review," 
and am just about bringing out another number.' 

The reader will, we are sure, pefuse with interest the 
following extract from another of his private letters, dated 

1663. on Farms of Government 157 

March 18th, 1855, with reference to his acceptance of the post 
of Chancellor of the Exchequer : — 

* Events have succeeded one another so closely with me of late, 
that I reallj have had no time to write to you. Soon after my 
return to London after my election, I received quite unexpectedly 
the offer of the office of Chancellor of the Exchequer in Lord 
Palmerston's Goyemment. I had just returned from the country : 
I had had no time to look into my private affairs since my father's 
death. I had not even proved his will. I had the "Edinburgh 
^ Beview " for April on my hands, and the last part of my volumes 
on the Roman History. I had been out of Parliament for two years, 
and I did not know the presf^nt House of Commons. I had to follow 
Gladstone, whose ability had dazzled the world, and to produce a 
war budget with a large additional taxation in a few weeks. AU 
these circumstances put together inspired me with the strongest dis- 
inclination to accept the offer. I felt, however, that in the peculiar 
position of the Grovemment, refusal was scarcely honourable, and 
would be attributed to cowardice, and I therefore most reluctantly 
made up my mind to accept. I remembered the Pope, put in heU 
by Dante, 

*^Che fece per viltade il gran rifiuto." 

'My re-election passed off without difficulty. I went down to 
Harpton for two nights and made a speech in the Town Hall at 
fiadnor. Since my return to London I have been engrossed with 
the business of my office, and have hardly had a moment to spare. 
There is an awkward question about the newspaper stamp, which 
I have had to plunge into. There are also all the preparations to 
be made for the impending budget, and measures to be taken for 
providing sufficient sums to meet the enormous extraordinary expen- 
diture which the war in the Crimea is causing. Gladstone has 
been very friendly to me, and has given me all the assistance in his 

To all who knew Sir George Lewis well the extracts from 
these two letters will appear most characteristic: they will 
know that the simplicity with which he comments on his refusal 
of the Indian Government^ and states his embarrassment at the 
offer of the Chancellorship of the Exchequer, is of a piece with 
the whole tone of his feelings: in any other man affectation 
miffht be suspected, but in him it was impossible. It is, we 
believe, well known that when the present Government was 
formed. Sir George Lewis did not allow the claim which he 
had for his former office to interfere with the formation of a 
strong and effective Cabinet ; although it was not forgotten that 
his qualities as a Finance Minister were of the highest order, 
and had commanded the respect and confidence of the city, 
during his tenure of the Exchequer, to a remarkable degree. 

158 Sir Grtorgt ConiefwaM Lewis ^^Js 

His principle was, lliat any man who embarked in public life 
ought to take that office which, in the opinion of his coUeaffues, 
he could hold with most advantage to the GoYemment and the 
country. In whatever position he was placed, his sole thought 
was what he could do for the office and the public — not what 
the office could do for hinu This entire foi^etfulness of self — 
this absolute indifference to the conmiOQ incentiyee of vanity, 
profit, or ambition^ marked to an unexampled degree the cha- 
racter of Lewis. He brought into public life no irritability, 
and no envy. His halnt was to dinniss, as unworthy of his 
notice, those adventitious circumstances which are apt to mag- 
nify political questions by personal pretensions ; and to perform 
simply his duties, in whatever relation he might stano, to the 
service of the Crown. Thus it was that on the lamented death of 
Lord Herbert of Lea, Sir Creoi^ Lewis consented to pass from 
the Secretaryship of State for the Home Deputment to that of 
War, although the latter office was evidently the office least 
oongeniid to his own studies and pursuits. By a melancholy 
coincidence, this same office of War has twice been vacated 
rince the formation of tiie present Administration, by the death 
of two of the most efficient members of it I 

Indeed, the striking feature of his character in politics, in 
literature, and in private life was this honest and straightforward 
simplicity. Trick (mt contrivance of any kind was so utterly 
alien from his naiure as never to cross his thoughts. He never 
suffered party or personal motives to tiunt or warp his judgment 
on any question, whether of literature or statesmanship. He 
would not have thought of outwitting an opponent in public 
life by subterfuge or stratagem, any more than he would have 
tampered with a Greek quotation for the purpose of supporting 
a favourite philological theory. There is a passage in the 
preface to the littie Dialogue now before us, which, like the 
whole tone of the book, marks well the (sir and deliberate 
diaracter of his mind. He says : — 

' It 18 a controversy consisting of a debtor and creditor account ; 
the difficulty lies in striking the balance fairly. The weights in one 
scale may be less heavy than the weights in the other scale, but they 
are nevertheless weights. Sach is the nature of nearly all m<nal 
and political problems.' *(P. viL) 

This is no doubt an obvious truth ; but there are few men who 
practically keep this truth before them to the same extent as 
the author himself did. He never failed to take ' a weight ' 
into account because it was offered to him by an opponent, 
though he might differ as to the proper value to be assigned to 
it. Personal feelings and personal enmity had as little to do 

1863. Ml F&rmt of Qanwmment 159 

with Ilk opisioiis or eondsct as peraoiml httereBt. He rarely 
fcNrmed an opinion without looking at all sides of the question 
befove hin; and ¥ritlK)ut having recourse to all aooessible sources 
of infimnatioi]^ which he knew where to find better than most 
men. He was deluded by iu> prejudices and jumped at 
no conclusions^ without testing them by the application <^ 
sound common sense* When be had thus formed an opinion, 
he adhered to it steadily, but not obstinately. He was always 
open to argument, and he never refused to listen to it because 
it conflicted with his own view of the case. We cannot confirm 
Aese last assertions better than by inserting the following extract 
from a letter written after his death by a highly cultivated and 
intelligent American to a friend in Enghmd, and recced whilst 
thia article is in oar hands: — 

* I knew him but little, but there was one quality in his mind of 
vast consequence to him as a statesman, and to his country, which 
was quickly apparent; I mean his instinctive fairness. He was 
singularly able and willing to change his opinion, when new facts 
came to unssttie his old one. He seemed to do it too without regret. 
This strack me the first time I saw him, which was at breakfast at 
LcNrd Stanhope's in July 1866, and it was still more strongly apparent 
the next m<M*ning at breakfast at his own house, the conversation <m 
both occasions having been much on American afiairs, at the period 
just before Buchanan's election, and when Walker was making his 
wild filibustering attempts on the isthmus. And so it continued, 
I think, every time I saw him that summer and the next, down to 
the last dinner at his house, when we were together. I remember 
I used to tlunk he had the greatest respect £ot facts of any man 
1 ever saw, and an extraordinary power of determining from in- 
ternal evidence what were such. I suppose this meant that the love 
of truth was the uppermost viaibU qualify in his character.* 

Above all, his temper in private and in public life was calm and 
unru£3ed, and he bore no malice against any man. All his inr 
stincts and leanings were on the side of gentleness and humanity^ 
but without any taint of morbid sensitiveness. He felt strongly 
the misery of others^ but he never permitted feeling to weigh 
down reason in the discussion of practical measures. With 
all this he was conciliatory in his demeanour, and his frankness 
and openness were the genuine results of his personal character. 
Oflice made no change in him. With his old friends he ever 
remained the same, for his afiectionate and kindly nature was 
unaltered by his accession to the highest place. The scholar 
and the man of letters with whom he had discussed a point of 
philology or history always found the same ready attention 
and the same free intercourse of thought, as if he had still 
been exclusively occupied with subjects common to both of 

160 Sir George Come wall Lewis ^^y, 

them. His keen sense of humour and his genial disposition 
made his society delightful to those who Knew him welL 
Nor did he show any indisposition to mix in conversation 
or ordinary talk of a light and humorous kind. His own relaxa- 
tion^ indeed, from the cares of office was a return to studies 
apparently to many men the most dry and uninviting, but which 
were to him a source of constant enjoyment. Within a few 
months of his death he beguiled the tedium of a temporary 
illness by reading the Greek tragedians with the keenest delight, 
in the intervals of pain ; this indeed other scholars might have 
done, but few would have sought recreation after the labours 
of the Home Office and of Parliament in writing the * History 
' of Ancient Astronomy.' Every moment was occupied, and 
his industry was unceasing, so tnat it may truly be said, few 
men have lost so little time between their births and deaths* 
It should be added that he was singularly methodical in the 
arrangement of his papers and correspondence. 

As a public man, his loss is one of the greatest which the 
country could have sustained. He was listened to with attention 
in Parliament, not because he was eloquent, but because he 
never spoke except when he had something to say. He always 
expressed sincerely and plainly a view of the subject under 
discussion, which was the result of information and inquiry 
digested by common sense and entire honesty of purpose. 
A good example of the value of his Parliamentary powers 
may be found in his speech on criminal appeals. There 
was, moreover, in his mind no tendency to exaggeration of 
any kind. He never knowingly over-estimated a danger or 
an advantage, and his wishes and sentiments were evidently 
controlled by his fairness and his reason. This was especially 
visible in the consideration of questions connected with the 
present crisis in America, on which he spoke his mind freely 
and courageously when he thought there was a danger of pre- 
cipitate action on our part 

We have left ourselves but little space to dwell on the literary 
labours of Sir George Lewis, numerous and important as they 
are. It is not our intention to pass judgment on his writings, or 
to discuss them critically. Many of them indeed have already 
been the subjects of articles in this Review and in other periodi- 
cals. We begin with those of his productions which appeared as 
distinct works. His book on the Romance Languages has already 
been mentioned : a second edition of it was called only a short 
time before his death. The original work was reviewed in the 
sixty-second volume of this Journal. In 1836 he published a 
book on Irish Disturbances and the Irish Church. In 1839j 

1863. on Forms of Government 161 

Mr. Murray printed an excellent little glossary of words used 
in Herefordshire and the adjoining counties, which was put 
together entirely by him. In 1841 appeared a volume 
on the Government of Dependencies, which was noticed 
in the eighty-third volume of the * Edinburgh Review.' 
Mr. Parker, of Oxford, published in 1846 his edition of the 
'Fables of Babrius;' the work of a finished scholar. His 
'Essay on the Influence of Authority in matters of Opinion,' 
printed in 1849, was reviewed by a distinguished contributor 
to this Journal in our ninety-first volume. The following extract 
from a letter of the author written in that year, is character- 
istic and interesting, inasmuch as it shows how little he looked 
to the temporary popularity of his writings: — 

' I thought I had mentioned to you some time ago that I was 
writing on the subject of Authority. My book has been favourably 
reviewed in the " Examiner," " Athenceum," and some other news- 
papers ; and nearly 230 copies have been sold, which, as the subject 
is not a very attractive one, and the mode of treatment is not 
intended to be popular, is quite as much as I could hope for.' 

In the same letter he stated that he was meditating a work 
on the Methods of Political Reasoning, which would take him 
several years, if he was ever able to complete it. His idea 
was that such a book would dispose of a host of political specu- 
lations, by showing that the method of reasoning on which 
they were founded was radically unsound, without separately 
refuting the conclusions of each author. This book appeared 
ill two volumes in 1852, under the title ' A Treatise on the 
^ Methods of Observation and Reasoning in Politics.' It is not 
often that a philosopher who writes on the theory of such sub- 
jects has shown that he himself is capable of applying that theory 
successfully in public life. 

In November 1854 he thus described the object and cha- 
racter of his forthcoming work on Roman History : — 

' I have been engaged at review work, and in revising my book 
on Koraan History, and getting it through the press, which is very 
tedious work, on account of the number and length of the notes. I 
expect to complete the printing of the first volume (above 500 pages) 
by the beginning of next month. My criticism is purely negative. 
I set up nothing of my own. One of ray objects is to show that 
Niebuhr's reconstructive theories are untenable, as well as the 
accounts which he sets aside.' 

In a later letter he said : — 

* I have been working steadily at my Roman History, and been 
following Niebuhr through all his wonderful perversions and distor- 
tions of the ancient writers.' 


162 Sir Geoige Cornewdl Lewis Joljy 

TIus book was reviewed in the 104th volume of oar Journal bj 
a living historian of acknowledged eminence. The first extract 
given above is extremely important^ because it defines accurately 
the negative character of the work, which has been by the 
Germans accounted its defect, but which in our opinion is its 
great and paramount excellence. Sir George Lewis may pos- 
sibly be wrong in underrating the amount of historical evidence 
which existed at Rome in the days of Pyrrhus, but the principle 
against which he has contended is the one usually acted on oy 
the German writers in dealing with such subjects. If the details 
of a history are incredible in themselves, or supported by insuf- 
ficient testimony, a German historian will assume the duty^ 
first, of sweeping away the old narrative, and then of framing 
a new scheme or theory of his own, which has no foundation to 
rest on except those very authorities whose credibility he has 
destroyed. Thus, as it has been well put in a memorandum 
before us — 

* Momnisen, who does not recognise at all the history of the 
kingly period, and does not mention the names of the kings except 
incidentally, still relates the amalgamation of the Palatine and 
Quirinal cities, and describes at length the earliest constitution^ 
according to his own ideas ; though the only materials which he 
possesses for such a reconstruction are the very authorities whom he 
regards as untrustworthy. Against this system Lewis strongly 
protests. He refuses to believe an event unless certified by the 
testimony of credible witnesses. He will not reject, for instance, the 
history of Servius Tullius, and yet accept the Servian constitution as 
an enactment of that king. He denies the right of a historian to 
proceed upon internal probability when all evidence is wanting. 
This demand for strict evidence is distasteful to most men. Tbos 
Mommsen, in conversation in England, complained that Lewis treated 
Livy as a policeman treats a criminal — drags him, as it were, into 
court, and causes him. to be questioned as to the evidence for each 

It is truly added by the writer of the passage just quoted, 
that when a man of Mommsen's eminence complains of such 
reasonable rigour, the corrective influence of sound English 
sense on the treatment of history did not come too soon. Sir 
George Lewis's book has been translated into German and has 
reached a second edition in that country, and more copies of the 
translation have been sold probably than of the original work. 
We trust the scholars of that country will profit by the les- 
sons which it inculcates. 

The * History of Ancient Astronomy ' has appeared so 
recently that we need only mention it, more especially as it 
was reviewed in the 116th volume of this Journal. Fault 

1863. cm Fomu of CrmfemmenL 163 

has been found with the Bweeping character of Sir Qeorge 
Liewis'e eritieiBins in this work on the interpretation of 
hierogljphicfl and the cuneiform inscriptions. It may be 
that Mb want of Oriental scholarship makes his observations 
on this subject of less valne than his judgments on such 
matters in general^ but we think that the difficulties stated 
in the sixth chapter respecting the interpretation of an un- 
known language written in an unknown character, and the 
fallacious imalogy of such a process to that of deciphering, 
require yet to be answered fuUy and completely, if any sudi 
answer can be given. Sir George Lewis may have underrated 
the exact amount of what has been done, but his arguments are 
such as ought to make us, in all such cases, require the most 
stringent proof. The little^ i^rit published by him lost 
▼ear was intended to apply more particularly to the attempts to 
interpret the inscriptions in the old languages of Italy and 
Assvria, and it is excellent in its way. The thought of a serious 
work on this subject had long before crossed his mind. So far 
back as 1868 he said, in writing to a friend : — 

* I am thinkiDg of writing an essay to prove the recent German 
attempts to interpret the Eugubine tables and other Italian inscrip- 
tions in unknown tongues to be frivolous and vexatious/ 

We have omitted to mention that English scholars owe to 
our lamented friend the translations of Miiller's Dorians (exe- 
cuted jointly with Mr. H. Tufnell), and of the same writer's 

* History of Greek Literature,' as well as of Boeckh's ^ Public 

* Economy of Athens.' 

But Sir George Lewis's literary activity, and his influence 
on scholarship, history, and philosophy would be very imper- 
fectly estimated by a reference to his larger works alone. 

In the year 1831 or 1832, the periodical called ' The Philo- 
' logical Museum ' was started at Cambridge by the present 
Bishop of St. David's, the late Ardideacon Hare, and others. 
Sir George Lewis was an early contributor. His first paper 
is, we believe, a short review of Goettiing's edition of Aris- 
totle's Politics. This was succeeded by an article on Babrius ; 
then followed a notice of a blunder made by the Journal 
of Education in confounding the lot in Greek elections 
with the ballot ; and a paper on English Diminutives. The 
second volume contains a review of Arnold on the Spartan , 
Constitution ; a discussion on English Preterites and G-enitives; 
and some observations on Micali's ' History of the Ancient 

* Nations of Italy ' — all by him. The circulation of the 
' Philological Museum ' was a limited one, and it was given. 


164 Sir (jeorge Cornewall Lewis Juljf 

up in 1833. In 1844, Sir Greorge Lewis assisted in starting 
the * Classical Museum/ to which he was a contributor for some 
time. Amon^ his papers in this journal there was one on 
Xenophon's Hellenics^ another on the English verb ' to thirl,' 
and a curious note on some remarks of Napoleon on the Si^ 
of Troy. To the * Law Magazine/ then so ably conducted 
by Mr. Hayward, he contributed largely, and some of his 
articles are of great and permanent value. Among them 
were several on Secondary Punishments, and more than one 
paper on the Penitentiary System; one at least on Pre- 
sumptive Evidence, another on Capital Punishments, and one 
on the Trial of La Bonci^re. More recently he published in 
a separate form an Essay on the Extradition of Criminals, 
in which he discussed, with great legal acuteness, the con- 
flicts of jurisdiction which have on several recent occasions 
assumed a high degree of public importance between civilised 

In the ^ Edinburgh Review ' he wrote frequently on subjects 
of modem history and politics, and these contributions were 
not interrupted by the labours of official life. A series of seven 
articles especially, on the political memoirs of the last and 
present centuries which have appeared within the last few years, 
forms a connected narrative of political changes from the time 
of the Rockingham Administration to the Reform BilL 
We earnestly hope that these papers will appear .as a 
separate work, and thus become more accessible to the general 
reader. But if the variety of his writings in the periodicals 
already mentioned is such as to astonish us and defy enume- 
oration, the number of his contributions scattered through the 
•volumes of * Notes and Queries' is still more surprising. 
Taking only the second series of this publication, we find 
-articles from him on the following subjects — they are signed 
sometimes with his name, sometimes with his initials (G. C. L.), 
and sometimes only L. : — ^ Niebuhr on the Legend of Tarpeia' 
"(vol. iiL). On this question we believe that he was, through a 
friend, corresponding with Dr. Pantaleone, of Rdme, whilst 
he was actually engaged in the preparation of his budget as 
Chancellor of the Exchequer ; ' The Tin Trade of Antiquity ' 
{vol. v.); *The Amber Trade of Antiquity' (vol. vi.); 

* Tartessus ' (vol. vii.); *Tbe Vulture in Italy,' <The Lion in 

* Greece and Italy,' * Ancient Names of the Cat ' (vol. viiL) 

* On the Bonasus, the Bison, and the Bubalus ' (voL ix.). ir 
connexion with the subjects of these last papers, we may add 
that he was extremely anxious to promote the publication of a 
Dictionary of Greek and Roman Natural History, and had 

1863. on Forms of Government ' 165 

communicated with his friend Dr. Wm. Smith on the matter. 
He wished to secure the proper completion of such a book^ which 
does not in fact exist either in English or German^ and which 
would be one of extreme value to the classical student. A very 
short time before his death he inserted in * Notes and Queries ' a 
most interesting paper on ^ The Presidency of Deliberative As- 
' semblies.' We do not mention the numerous pamphlets which he 
wrote on various occasions, though some of them were of great 
merity and had much weight at the time of their appearance. In 
these productions of his laborious pen, and also in his Parlia- 
mentary Speeches, the style of Sir Greorge Lewis was eminently 
characteristic of his powerful mind and unpretending character. 
With a true relish for the correct beauty of the highest order of 
composition, he disdained all rhetorical display, and held very 
lightly to those artifices of words which are apt to mislead the 
judgment though they please the imagination. His own chosen 
form of expression was full, clear, and strong; — seeking no 
ornament, and admitting of no variety of illustration beyond 
that which the matter in hand naturally suggested. A writer 
who adhered to these principles, and who sought to instruct 
rather than to please — to convey a thought rather than to shape 
a sentence — ^might be dry, and could not hope to be popular. 
But we doubt not that ^e contributions of Sir George Lewb 
to the political, historical, and philosophical literature of Europe^ 
will outlive many of the performances of his more brilliant con- 

Lord Macaulay, in those beautiful lines written after his 
defeat at Edinburgh, in 1847, represents the Muse or Fairy 
Queen, who presides over the destinies of literary men, as 
addressing her infant proteg6 in the following words :- - 

* There are, who while to vulgar eyes they seem 

Of all my bounties largely to partake. 
Of me, as of some rival's handmaid, deem, 

And court me for gain's, pow Vs^ fashion's sake : 

' To such, though deep their lore, though wide their fame. 

Shall my great mysteries be all unknown : 
But thou, through good and evil, praise and blame. 
Wilt thou not love me for myself alone ? ' 

If there ever was a man who * loved her for herself alone,' 
that man was Sir George Lewis : his pursuit of literature was 
free from the smallest taint of low or sordid motives, but he 
did not on account of his love of letters abandon the paths of 
politics, nor did that rulingpassion impair his influence in Par- 
liament or the Cabinet. His official position and his share in 

166 Xavier Baymond on the Navies of Joly^ 

pablic affiiirs were not lowered at diminished by his Ktenuy 
laboorB : on the contrary, men of idl parties who look fcNrward 
to the fature, now think that they foresee the time when a single 
man of tried ability, sound judgment, perfect uprightness, md 
immense resources of knowledge, round whom floating and 
wavering politicians might safely group themselves, will be 
sorely missed in the councils of England. It is unfortunately 
useless to speculate on the fruits which the country might have 
reaped from that peculiar union of solid learning and honesty 
with so many brilliant and kindly qualities, which we have with 
a sorrowful heart attempted imperfectly to sketch. 

Art. VI.-— 1. Les Marines de la France et de tAngletenre. 
Par M. Xavier Bathond. Paris : 1863. 

2. Iron-clad sea-going Shield Ships. A Lecture delivered on the 
25th March, 1863, at the Royal United Service Institution, by 
Captain Cowper Phipps Coles, R.N. London. 

^HE prosperity, and perhaps we might add the safety, of this 
country has been recently threatened by two events widely 
different in their nature, but to some extent suggesting the 
same train of thought, and bringing to view the same national 
characteristics. We have seen our staple manufacture suddenly 

!)araly8ed, and those wooden walls which we have trusted in 
or centuries rendered useless. There are many Englishmen, 
and still more foreigners, who may have thought that our 
commercial prosperity, to say the least, and with it much of our 
internal peace and onler, depended on so great a branch of our 
national industry as the cotton manufacture. It was still more 
a national tradition, and the general belief of foreigners, that to 
our ' wooden walls ' we owed our security at home, and our 
consideration abroad. And if these two great sources of national 
strength were separately of importance, few persons would have 
doubted that the simultaneous loss of both would have been a 
most serious calamity. 

Yet, since 1860 we have seen that industry which brought 
us so much wealth almost swept away, and our vast and costly 
array of war-ships superseded. To add to the importance of 
thb latter fact, the superiority at sea whicii we had possessed 
with our wooden walls was for a time at least transferr^ to the 
rival who had invented walls of iron. The genius of a French 
naval architect had given to his country a temporary grasp 
of the trident which we considered our inheritance. 

1863. Framoe and England. 167 

We have all witneseed these things, and their results up to 
the present time are well known. We have had local distress 
but no commercial ruin, no bankruptcy, no disaffection or 
sedition, no extra taxes, no panic in the funds. The cotton 
crisis is probably at its worst, and has shown that we are one 
people, and not the ' two nations ' of a political novelist The 
cdlapse, to use a popular expression, of our wooden navy has 
been in its way more complete than that of the cotton manu- 
fSactore ; but even the f^ct of our inferiority to France in the 
only ships which can now enter the line of battle has caused no 
alarm at home, nor speculation upon the possibility of invasion 
abroad* The extinction of our wooden fleet (for it amounts to 
that) did not cause a fractional decline of the funds, and our 
hopes of success with untried weapons are almost as great as if 
we had already conquered with them. 

This contrast between what is and what might have 
been expected by the most sagacious, is certainly a strange 
phenomenon. It would be very interesting to examine the 
causes of so great a discrepancy; but we do not propose to 
dwell upon the cotton crisis here, further than to observe 
certain points which it has in common with the naval crisis. 

It is a common fiillacy to mistake some results of our com- 
mercial greatness or of our naval strength for th^ cause. Thus 
our cotton manu&cture has been assigned as the cause of that 
prodigious activity which embraces the whole globe. If it had 
been so, of course our whole commercial system would now be 
under an eclipse, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer would 
have presented us with a very different budget : but the fact is, 
that the cotton manufacture was only one of the outlets which 
our productive industry made for itself; and if that outlet be 
permanently stopped, the same energies which first made it, will 
make others. It is the same with our naval strength, of which 
our late navy was a developement and very powerful expression, 
but by no means the cause. The sources of our naval as well 
as commercial strength lie deep in the genius and character of 
the people, and are, as we may hope, more indestructible than a 
particular industry or a particular weapon of war. 

That national habit of self-help and popular co-operation 
which distinguishes England from her continental neighbour 
proved of great value in the cotton crisis. Private charity, 
organised and directed by capable persons, sufficed to meet the 
first difficulties ; and while its immediate effect was to alleviate 
the distress, it also tended to promote concord at home, and to 
raise our character abroad. We may trace the good effects of 
this same national characteristic in a very different field of 

168 Xaviqr Baymond on tlie Navies of July, 

action, re-establishing our reputation for military spirit, and 
making the temporary loss of our fleet a very different matter 
from what it would have been some years ago. Ten years have 
hardly elapsed since we scarcely had the name of an army at 
home — no militia and no volunteer force. Our sole defence was a^ 
fleet which previous and subsequent experience has shown to be 
least aviulable when most wanted. Even that fleet, moreover, we 
have learned, upon official authority in 1859, had no longer 
any practical superiority over the French fleet. A well-known 
Treasury minute, dated in December of the previous year, re- 
vealed the unpleasant fact, that while we were building ships of 
an obsolete class, our rivals had constructed an efficient fleet. 
Other mistakes of the same kind had weakened public confi- 
dence in the administration of naval affairs, and, in the absence 
of a sufficient land force, we had experienced what Mr. Cobden 
has designated as ' The Three Panics.' But happily in England 
we do not look to Government alone for help. A most singular 
instance of popular action supplying the supposed deficiencies of 
a public department followed our last alarm — let us hope our 
very last — and created a volunteer army in the midst of peace. 
That army was the truest expression of popular feeling in 
England, and wins rightly appreciated in Europe. It had been 
alleged that, in becoming manufacturers, we had lost all military 
spirit as a nation ; but the volunteer movement contradicted the 
theory. Thenceforward the invasion of England ceased to be a 
favourite topic abroad, for the question was no longer whether 
our fleet could be overmatched or evaded, but whether a people 
who had not lost all the military virtues would be likely to tall 
an easy prey even if invaded. 

That this revival of military spirit in England made some 
difference in the feelings wiUi which we heard the doom of our 
wooden walls in 1861 cannot be doubted. Our outer defences 
had been effectually breached by M. Dupuy de Lome when he 
built a French iron-cased frigate that would have made short 
work of our finest three-deckers ; but the breach served to show 
a gaUant arrav within ; and there certainly was no panic this 
time, though the facts were alarming and instructive enough. 
A second time within a few years French genius had made our 
whole fleet obsolete, and, for the purposes of European warfare, 
useless : but this time we had a competent inner intrenchment, 
and could proceed more leisurely to repair the breach. 

The task before us was a most serious one : nothing less than 
to build a new fleet upon entirely new principles, and to surpass 
if possible the models of a great master in the art of naval con- 
struction. We had this time to build from the foundation ; and, 

1863. France and Eiyland. 169 

in fairness to the Adotiiralty, it must be remembered that it was 
not always their part to strike out new systems. To use a 
shop-keeping illustration very much to the pointy we were like 
a tradesman already provided with a Marge assortment of 

* goods/ but not of the * newest patterns. ' It was not our busi- 
ness to introduce new fashions which would make our stock on 
band unsaleable. Perhaps^ indeed^ we were slow in moving, 
and did not always move in the right direction when we did 
move; but this time^ as has been said^ the ground was clear 
before us : let us see how we have acquitted ourselves in a fair 
race. • 

From the moment that experience proved the possibility 
of casing sea-going or cruising ships with iron-plates capable of 
resisting such artillery as was then known, the doom of our 
wooden bulwarks was pronounced. It was clearly as necessary 
to meet iron with iron as it would have been to discard bows 
and arrows in favour of modem artillery had we not already 
done so. France had previously had the honour of proving the 
efficacy of armour-cased floating batteries at Kinburn, in 1855 
(our own, built at the French emperor's suggestion, had arrived 
too late). In 1858 the first real iron-clad ship of war was laid 
down in the same country, and designed by the same eminent 
architect who had produced the * Napoleon/ the first really suc- 
cessful screw line-of-battle ship. The new iron-clad, which even 
exceeded the hopes entertained of her, was appropriately named 

* LaGloire ; ' and thus to M. Dupuy de Lome belonged the honour 
of having twice within ten years devised the means of totally 
changing the nature and conditions of naval war. The * Gloire ' 
was launched in 1859, and France then possessed a ship, as 
she had in 1852, which had no equal afloat. As this first 
attempt produced an admirable model which it only remained to 
copy^ thirteen more iron-clads were ordered on the same lines, 
to maintain the start which had been so fairly gained ; and 
although we followed in the wake, the balance of strength was 
against us in 1861 : of course we speak of iron-clads alone. It 
is to this date we would have the reader turn, bearing in mind 
that, with the advantage already gained by France, it was a 
matter of the first necessity for England to make up lee-way, 
and acquire an equality in actual strength before venturing too 
much upon purely experimental constructions. Whether we 
have succeeded in redressing the balance in all respects, as we 
certainly have in numbers, must be matter of opinion. The 
correct data for forming such opinion we are able to supply ; and 
leaving the reader to ouraw his own conclusions as to our iron- 
clad fleet, we must now present him with those of M. Xavier 

170 Xavier Baymond tm the Navies of July, 

Baymond on naval matters in general, and the relative strength 
of England and France as maritime Powers. 

There are probably veiy few French writers who conld have 
reviewed the history of tLe French and English navies since 
1815 in the same fair and candid spirit as M. Raymond has 
done. He feels (and warmly too) as a Frenchman, but thinks as 
an Englishman, or at least argues upon principles more gene- 
rally accepted among ourselves than among our neighbours. 
M. Raymond was attached by M. Guizot to the mission of M. de 
Lagren^e to China, some twenty years i^o, and in the course of 
that and other voyages he acquired a great love of the sea, and 
a deep interest in naval affairs. He also visited India, and there 
conceived a strong and lasting r^ard for England, and a high 
respect for her national power. When the French press still 
enjoyed freedom of discussion, M. Baymond was distinguished 
as a writer in its most powerfiil organ ; and the work now 
before us was published in part last year, in a series of papers 
which appeared in our highly valued contemporary, the * Revue 
* des Deux Mondee.' We gather from it that, though not a 
seaman, he has for many years lived much with naval men, and 
has studied for the last twenty-five years what may be called the 
Naval Question. So far as a strong interest in his subject, 
industry, candour, and rare truthfulness, can qualify him, M. 
Baymond may be considered to have the necessary qualities for 
the task he has set himself. When it was in his power to 
ascertain the facts upon which he reasons, he did so conscien- 
tiously ; and when he failed to satisfy himself, he tells us so 
honestly. On the one hand, his pride in the French navy, 
and his regard for the French sailor, make him a good champion 
of maritime France ; on the other hand, his sympathy with 
liberty, with representative government, free trade, and com- 
mercial pursuits, make him just towards England. While 
handling a delicate subject — especially delicate tor Frenchmen 
— he is never betrayed into a sneer or illiberal censure. What- 
ever would be praiseworthy in France, M. Baymond finds 
praiseworthy in England; and he can praise without such a 
qualifying addition as often amounts to covert censure. We 
would especially recommend to notice the just and reasonable 
view of England's maritime preponderance taken by M. Bay- 
mond. He accepts that preponderance as an existing fact, 
which it is England's interest and duty to herself to per- 
petuate, but he -denies that such preponderance is any part 
of European law or obligatory on other Powers; in other 
words, M. Baymond thinks it a fact to be quietly main- 
tained in deeds but not in words. The distinction is a real and 

1863. France and England. 171 

practical one^ which meets us in everyday life. We 'cheerfully 
concede the precedence which social usages have given to our 
more fortunate neighbour, but we don't expect him to parade 
that precedence in an offensive manner, nor to demand our 
formal recognition of it. Those who value a good understanding 
with France may learn something from M. Raymond's remarks 
upon our Parliamentary discussions on this question. He con- 
tmda that France is blamed there for the inevitable results of her 
more efficient naval administration, and that this is the more 
unreasonable on our part, inasmuch as France obtains these results 
1^ a less cost than our own naval expenditure. It is as a par- 
tisan of the English alliance that M. Raymond dwells upon the 
danger to which it is exposed by what he considers the short-^ 
sightedness and inefficiency of our Admiralty system. Defending 
himself against those amongst his own countrymen who mi^ht 
say that if we are satisfied with a barren and unproductive 
system, it is our own business, he adds : — 

' The constant failures of the English Admiralty may often 
cause regrets, because in England they tend indirectly to promote 
that distrust of us which mars a good understanding, while in France 
they are the sources cf dangerous mistakes. It is not in human 
nature to admit a fault willingly ; the Admiralty, therefore, when it 
meets with some fresh mishap, when it finds itself palpably distanced 
by some invention which we have carried into practice, adopts a method 
of excusing itself which, although answering the purpose, is not cal- 
culated to promote mutual good-will . . . Instead of honestly confess- 
ing its mistakes, it exclaims against French ambition, accuses us of 
plotting, and of plans of invasion which nothing bears out ; it stirs up 
the public feeling against us, and at the same time obtains some hun- 
dred million, of francs (from Parliament) to repair past errors . . • • 
Would it not be better for ourselves that tlie Admiralty should 
never be placed in a position so false as well as dangerous ? ' (Pp. 

' On the other hand, when we see the English Admiralty struggling 
with one of those mischances with which it periodicaHy embarrasses 
itself, we see a host of people in France also (honest people enough, but 
rather ill-informed), whose notion of the highest patriotism consists in 
slandering a neighbour and possible adversary : we see them hasten to 
draw from circumstances which they cannot appreciate, conclusions 
that are quite erroneous. Judging other countries by what they see 
at home, they take the Admiralty for the true representative of 
England's naval power ; they believe her to be decrepit and weak, and 
indulge in the most extravagant fancies. The truth is, however, that 
England is still the greatest naval Power in the world, that it is 
absurd to measure that power by the acts and deeds of the Admiralty, 
seeing that the Admiralty, as it now stands, is but a detail, a fraction 
of the budget, a first stake in the game ; it is but the staff or the 
advance of a force, that in case of a serious struggle would draw in- 

172 Xavier Baymond on the Navies of July, 

exhaustible resources — if anything be inexhaustible in this world — 
from the nation itself. In France the naval administration represents 
by far the largest share of that strength which entitles us to be called 
a naval Power.* (P. 416.) 

The objects aimed at by M. Baymond, as we gather from 
his preface, are to refute the claims of England to limit 
the naval forces of other Powers ; to trace the causes of the 
ill-will which he thinks that we entertain towards the French 
navy; to support the influence and prestige of France by 
showing the steady progress of her navy since 1815 ; to warn \ns 
countrymen against the danger of underrating their rivals ; and, 
lastly, to point out a great error in the naval system of France. 
Though that part which relates to the assumed claims of 
England is addressed especially to this country, and occupies a 
large portion of the book, we need not follow M. Raymond 
through his argument. We readily concede that England can 
have no right to dictate to France what naval force she shall 
create or maintain. But, in fact, no one does assume such a 
right. The only reason why there may apparently be such a 
pretension on our part is, that the discussion of a delicate topic 
is transferred from the cabinet and the sphere of diplomacy, to 
the outspoken debates of Parliament. Here and there (but very 
rarely) an independent member may have expressed himself 
rashly upon this subject, and so may also some writers in the 
press. It is clearly not a topic which can be judiciously 
or usefully treated in such discussions, and they are a bad 
result of the distrust which our naval administration has in- 
spired. Still it does not follow that two friendly Governments 
may not come to an amicable understanding as to the relative 
strength of their navies. Some approach has already been made 
in principle by the appointment of naval attach^ to the re- 
spective embassies of England and France. As these officers, by 
keeping their Governments well informed of the naval move- 
ments on each side of the Channel, will leave no room f9r such 
suspicions or surprises, as we have experienced of late years. 
If we further admit that, in her past exertions to improve her 
navy, France has given us no just cause of complaint, there will 
remain little ground of di£ference with M. Baymond upon the 
question of armaments. 

Before entering upon the great question of iron-clads (we 
owe our American cousins thanks for the word), it may be well 
to follow M. Baymond in his retrospect of naval affiiirs since 
1815 : the review is not so gratifying to our national pride 
as it is to that of our neighbours, but it may be profit- 
able. From 1815 M. Baymond dates that revival of FrencJi 

1863. France and England. 173 

naval genias which has produced such striking results — invul- 
nerable ships being only the latest product of it. Nor can we 
conceal from ourselves that it is France who has taken the lead 
in these improvements^ which have completely changed the 
nature of naval war. We are accustomed to admit the supe- 
riority of French genius in certain arts, but in maritime affairs 
we should not have been prepared to accept France as oiu: 
teacher, our ^ institutrice,' as M. Raymond calls it Let us 
hear him on this point : — 

* In 1815, after so many glorious victories, England seemed to be jus- 
tified in regarding herself as the instructress of all other Powers in naval 
matters. Now, since 1815 she has in that respect received everything 
from others, and given them almost nothing in return. The improve- 
ments in sailing ships, in the first place, improvements which she has 
heen forced to copy, and which include every part of a ship of war, 
are all of French origin ... At a later time, when the application of 
the screw allowed of building real steam ships of war, it was from 
France again that the model came which England had to copy — the 
'' Napoleon." And still later, when the experiment made ai Kinburn 
by France upon her own idea proved the value of iron armour as 
means of defence, it was France again which produced the first type 
of fighting ship and cruiser which ever appeared upon the waters 
cased in iron ; and that model still maintains its superiority both as a 
sea-boat and as a weapon of war over all the copies thnt have been 
designed. The English begin by depreciating and questioning her 
good qualities, but the lesson given by the ** Merrimac " having come, 
the " Times " exclaims suddenly, " We must not deceive ourselves, our 
whole navy is reduced to two ships, the " Warrior " and " Black 
" Prince ! " Then the same paper, and very soon many others both in 
America and England, adopt the phrase of M. Dupuy de Lome, in the 
Council of State ; when asking for the funds to build the " Gloire," he 
exclaimed, " One ship of the kind pushed into the middle of a whole 
** fieetof your old wooden ships would there with her 36 guns be like 
** a lion among a flock of sheep." 

^ If the art of defence produced such results, the means of attack 
and destruction make equal progress on their side. Rifled cannon 
appear ; France, which had already furnished the Paixhans's gun against 
wooden walls, is the first to employ the rifled gun as an ordinary 
weapon.' (Pp. 22-4.) 

The merit of originality no one will deny to the master* 
piece of M. Dupuy de Lome, but we may have something to 
say as to the continued superiority of that undoubtedly great 
effort of genius. 

Nor was it only by inventive enterprise that France signalised 
the reviving spirit of her navy* M. Baymond recounts a long 
Ibt of very considerable warlike achievements, either wholly due 
to the French navy or shared by it 

174 Xavier Baymond an the Navies of J^fy, 

< In 1828, the jeer which may be considered the date of its regene- 
ration, the French nayj blockaded Cadiz and the Onadalqainr, and 
reduced the fortress of Santi Petri. In 1828, it carried an army to 
the Morea, and commenced that long and trying blockade which was 
to terminate, in 1831, by the capture of Algiers, In 1831, it took 
possession of Ancona, and forced the entrance of the Tagus. In the 
following years it had many engagements on the coast of Africa. In 
1834, it went to Carthagena and St. Domingo. In 1839» it reduced 
the fort of St. Jean d'Ulloa^ after a brilliant action. In 1841, it took 
possession of the Comoro Islands, the Marquesas, and Tahiti. In 
1844, it destroyed the batteries of Tangiers and Mogadon In 1849, 
it transported the army to Civita Yecchia. In 1859, it supported at 
Genoa and Venice the operations of the army of Italy, and at the 
same time commenced in Cochin China the operations which were to 
afford Admiral Chamer further opportunities of victories. All these 
enterprises succeeded: in none of them did we sustain a single 

Beodes these operations of a force solely French, M. Bay* 
mend (p. 82.) recounts those in combination with Englai]^> 
' always yielding to France an equal share of honour except 

* when her flag obtained special distinction.' 

This recapitulation of naval achievements is worthy of atten- 
tion, as showing how much French writers identify tiie last 
startling productions of their naval power with its general 
and steady advance in efficiency. A brief sketch of the English 
navy during the same period (which we need not quote here) 
contrasts unfavourably with that which has been given of the 
French, yet the comparison is not drawn in an offensive spirit 
M. Raymond traces the greater relative progress of his coun- 
trymen to the better constitution of their naval administration ; 
and if he be right in his view, the same cause may continue to 
produce the same effects. But in most respects the naval 
history of the past may indeed be compared to 'an old 
' almanack.' We have entered upon a new career in naval con- 
struction, an unlimited field for ingenuity is before us, and tiie 
prize of success awaits the most 'judicious innovator.' As a con- 
sequence of the change in the material of naval war, there must 
be an equally great change in the mode of fighting and the 
training of the combatants — in short, there must be a new 

* personnel ' for a new * materiel' 

It might be interesting though useless to speculate on the 
effects of such a change upon our maritime supremacy. The 
British sailor, our ancient boast, and the article of which we 
had most (and could get least when wanted), will have lost 
much of his value, and so far the change may seem unfavourable 
to us. But M. Baymond, who has studied the question with 

1863. Prance and England. 175 

much aeuteness, thinks that England has nothing to fear from 
the naval revolntion. In a very practical chapter on the condi- 
tions of naval power, he argues that, under the new as under the 
old order of things, we have all the elements of strength — 
wealth, mechanical skill, vast manufacturing and ship-building 
establishments, great commercial enterprise, a numerous and 
hardy seafaring population, and, above all, the unity and 
patriotism that liberty produces. 

In M. Raymond's chapter upon the conditions of naval 
power, though there may be nothing new to those who have 
thought much upon the subject, there is a breadth and justness 
of view, which will strike the English reader forcibly. Had 
Mr. Cobden written upon the same subject, he would have 
treated it probably in the same manner, though not exactly in 
the same spirit. Having told us (p. 369.) that the three 
elements of naval power are: — 

'Wealth, flourishing manufactures, and a population of sailors, 
which 18 itself, again, a result proportioned to the merchant navy of 
each people/ M. Raymond adds, 'Money, it has been said, is the 
sinews of war, and we need not go far to prove that this is as true 
of a naval force as of any other. There are, however, some data 
of the proposition which it may be well to lay before the reader, to 
convince him that at sea still less than elsewhere, could the place of 
money be supplied by individual' energy or popular enthusiasm ; nor 
would such revolutionary proceedings as some people believe in, be of 
more avail. The serious expenses of the improved engines of a 
modem navy, the cost of what we now consider its commonest 
operations, will serve to show the distance at which the very nature 
of things has placed the different flags, and the chance which any 
one Power has of changing that order of procedure in its own 
favour. Thus, at the commencement of this century, in Nelson's 
days, the English, by dividing the total expense of a fleet by the 
number of its guns, calculated that each gun, which may be consi- 
dered to represent the military strength of sliips, cost 1,000/. For 
steam line-of-battle shi{)s the estimate varied from 5,000i. to 
6,000/. *, it is now above 10,000/. per broadside gun in the iron- 
cased frigate " Warrior," which ship, according to the statement 
made by Lord Clarence Paget„ secretary to the Admiralty, in the 
House of Commons, cost 367,000/.* In many countries the total 
expenditure upon the navy is less than the sum required for a single 
one of these ships. Add to this, that the least estimate for redemp- 
tion of capital, maintenance, repairs, 8cc., is 20 per cent, on the cost ; 
consider, again, that the '* Warrior " cannot steam even in fine 
weather at a less expense than 21s. to 30«. for each league 

• The * Gloire ' cost only 188,000/. ; but it is right to add that she 
carries 86 guns instead of 40, and the engines are of 900 horse power 
instead of 1,260. 

176 Xavier BaymoDd an the Navies of July* 

run. Now these armour-plated ships, haying entered into our line of 
battle, how many second-rate navies which once played an honour- 
able, even glorious, part now find themselves distanced by the mere 
question of finance ? Treating the question from the other side, we 
arrive at a similar but more unfavourable result for the secondary 
Powers. At the commencement of this century England had to fit 
out a great fieet to reduce Copenhagen. How many armour-plated 
frigates would be required now-a-days to produce fully as much efiTect 
as the great fleet of Nelson and Sir Hyde Parker ? Would not two 
be enough, and three perhaps too many ? And let it not be thought 
that, by devoting all the money spent upon her navy to building iron- 
cased frigatefi, Denmark could nt least retain her ancient position ; it 
would not be so : the fortifications which contributed to her defence 
in 1801 have lost nearly all their value against iron-cased ships.' 
(Pp. 370-3.) 

M. Raymond observes, that while without a large budget 
there cannot be a naval Power, yet, though money be an essen- 
tial point, it is not the only one: Uhere cannot be a naval 
* Power without extensive trade.' Formerly, he observes, the 
strength of a naval Power consisted in the supplies which had 
been accumulated in the naval arsenals, and this partly because 
the insufficient means of transport rendered such previous ac- 
cumulations necessary. Of this difficulty M. Kaymond gives 
some striking instances, but railways have altered matters. 
It would be cheaper and easier, now that there is a continuous 
line of railway from St. Petersburgh to Toulon, Kochefort and 
Cherbourg, to draw timber for masts from Russia, than it was 
under the empire to draw them from the Vosges or from Switzer- 
land ; but, further. It was only in the naval arsenals formerly 
that any of the larger articles used in the navy could be made. 

' Now, the largest anchors, the most powerful engines, and iron 
armour plates are made in the private establishments of France, and 
still more in those of England. These foundries which make the 
large cjlinders, the ponderous shafts for engines of 1,000 horse 
power, would make light work of cannon of the largest calibres, of 
anchors,' &c. 

The increased consumption of i^'on, M. Raymond truly says, 
adds another tie between the navy and the manufacturer, of which 
Russia had a proof when her army, in spite of numbers and 
valour, was overwhelmed bv the immense material which the 
workshops of England and France vomited forth from so far 
and so fast against her. It must, M. Raymond says, have 
embittered the last moments of the emperor Nicholas, who 
disliked the commercial classes for their liberalism, and was fond 
of calling them those ^ perruquiers,' to know how large a share 
they had in his humiliation. 


1868. Frandlb and England. 177 

M. Baymond expects that the chief charaoteristio of every 
fiitare contest will be the inexhaustible supply of all the 
material of war which private industry will furnish to the belli- 
gerents, and the strength and suddenness of the blows which 
with such aid may be struck. The supplies sent to the Allies 
in the Crimean war, contrasted with the supplies so painfully 
drawn by Russia, give some notion of this, and the campaign 
of Italy in 1859 no less so* In all the military operations of 
the Second Empire^ the French navy has taken a distinguished 

Grt: and in none more than in the present campaign in 
exico, in which 50,000 men have been thrown across 
the Atlantic and supported in a hostile country by French 
ships of war. Steam, he considers upon these grounds, 
has added to the naval strength of England ; and although her 
line-of-battle ships, which lately outnumbered the combined 
navies of the world, have been superseded by iron-clarls, of 
which France, having got the start, now possesses an equal 
number, ^ who can doubt that the same causes which had pro- 
< duced so great a disproportion in the number of line-of-battle 

* ships, will operate with equal strength in very shortly bringing 

* about the same results in armour-c^sed ships ? ' (P. 389.) 

As to steam-power, then, M. Baymond differs altogether 
firom those who say * it will re-establish an equality at sea ; and 
' though as to armour-cased ships, which, having, so to speak, no 

* masts, will present themselves in battle as bare as pontoons, it is 

* undeniable that we do not require as much as our predecessors 

* did those picked men, those topmen, who were the type of the 

* sailor in former days,' still, M. Baymond thinks a special 
class of seamen will not the less be required, and that the im- 
proved engines both of locomotion and destruction, the rapidity 
and power of evolution in modem ships, demand no less skill, 
experience, discipline, and courage than was needed of old. It 
may be observed here that the great extension of French com- 
merce is assumed to have given France the second place among 
maritime Powers. 

Two incidental remarks of M. Baymond, while treating upon 
thb subject, will strike the naval reader. In reference to the 
enormous range of modem artillery, he speaks of 1,200 metres 
(1,312 yards) as the 'normal regulation distance' for engaging 
in former times. If there had been any regulation upon the 
subject in our navy, a nearer approach than three quarters of a 
milje would certainly have been commanded. Upon the power 
of evolution possessed by steam fleets, it is said by M. Bay- 
mond that even Admiral Hugon, who * had a special repu- 
' tation for his daring and able evolutions^ when he directed the 


178 Xavier Raymond &n ike Navies of Jnljj 

* movemeiits <^ the Mediterranean squadron, would never, not- 

* withstanding all his energy and ability, have dreamed of doing 
' a number of things which are considered mere amusements in 
' the present day. But these things can only be done because 
' our officers apply themselves to the duties of their jn^fession 
' with no less vigilance and activity, with no less skill and ex- 

* perience, than their predecessors. Whatever may be done, the 

* efficiency of ships will always be in proportion to the talents 

* and other qualities of the seamen on board of them.' (P. 395.) 

The ' daring manoeuvres ' of Admiral Hugon here referred 
to, included the difficult and tiding practice of manoeuvring in 
the closest order, a thing never attempted in our squadrons. It 
seems from the above extract, and still more from another 
passage, at p. 394., that the French fleet of the present day greatly 
excels that of their celebrated * Squadron of Evolutions ' in the 
power of executing rapid manoeuvres in the closest order, 

* shoulder to shoulder, like infantry.' Our officers will do well 
to note these facts, for although the more homogeneous nature of 
a French fleet giving more uniform speed to the ships must 
facilitate their movements, something also must be attributed 
to assiduous practice, 'and probably to the French naval admi- 
nistration having devised a system of naval tactics adapted to 

It would be unjust to M. Raymond, whose strictures upon 
our navy we have quoted, and shall have to quote, were we not 
to ^ow that he can praise in as honest a spirit as he can blam^, 
and no doubt with more satisfaction. It may be observed, too, 
that while the objects of his praises are essential features in our 
national life, his blame is principally bestowed upon a depart- 
ment in no very high favour among ourselves — our naval adminis- 
tration. M. Raymond must not imagine that the English, 
generally speaking, are 'touchy' on that point, for most of us 
could listen with considerable equanimity to any strictures 
upon our Admiralty system. There is nothing offensive in 
M. Raymond's censures on this subject, for they clearly ema- 
nate from goodwill rather than enmity to this country, and have 
nothing personal in them. It was necessary to the view he had 
taken of the English and French navies to explain why our 
apparent inferiority on several points, and various occasions since 
1815, does not really imply the decrepitude which some French 
writers suppose. It is not every Frenchman that would search 
out the hidden causes of a rival's inferiority when a more obvious 
and agreeable solution offered itself; but M. Raymond is a 
sincere lover of English liberty, and a believer in those prin- 
dples of which he had seen the good results among us. Hence 

1863. France and England. 179 

he IB unwilling to admit that tbe defects of a single department 
eho«ild be alleged in proof of degeneracy in that country where> 
if anywhere, we must look for the advantages of self-govern- 
ment. As a Frenchman also deeply interested in the maritime 
developement of France, he sees danger in underrating the naval 
strength. of England. In his opinion the facts to be accounted 
for can be satisfactorily explained by supposing a badly- 
organised administration of our navy. He had seen British 
fleets inferior to French fleets in the ships comprising them, in 
their internal organisation, in their efficient performance of 
certain duties (see pp. 81-2., 94-9.,* 103-14., &c), and even 
in their discipUne (p. 413.), for French eyes were not shut 
to the discreditable mutinies of late years. He had seen 
us since then building ships of a class wisely discarded by 
France, and twice in three years giving her a dangerous aa- 
vantage. In short, he had seen brilliant success follow the 
efforts of his own country to revive their navy, while the results 
of much larger naval estimates in England were, to say the 
least, very unsatisfactory. With a laudable industry, and not 
less praiseworthy freedom from prejudice, the author of * Les 
* Marines de la France et de I'Angleterre ' traces these facts to 
their cause ; and if we reject his theory, we must adopt one far 
more mortifying to our national pride. It is to be remarked, 
too, that the same chapter which most strongly condemns our 
Admiralty system, contains also the most flattering proofs of 
sincere r^ard for those qualities which constitute our national 
greatness. Nor does tluit writer confound the system itself 
with those who administer it — if he did so, he would find few 
Englishmen who concurred with him in decrying the merits of 
the nobleman who now presides over the Admiralty, and the 
many distinguished officers who have bad seats at that Board. 

We may, in proof of this view, quote M. Raymond's 
concluding remarks upon the constitution of the Admiralty, 
notwithstanding the merits of those who compose it : — 

* We cannot accept tbe accuracy of M. Raymond's assertion as to 
'certain violence' used by tbe French Admiral to drag his English col- 
league beforp Cronstadt without some proof; the anecdote mu«t be of 
French origin, and both the officers concerned have now passed away 
from among us. But although the appointment of Sir Charles 
Napier, when time and gout were well known to have impaired his 
nerve, was injudicious, the French Admiral was not their best officer. 
At least, such was the opinion of the distinguished French Grenertd 
employed in the Bahic, who, in reply to the Fmperors question 
about the allied Admirals, is reported to have answered : ' Sire, they 
' were two old women, but otfri was at least a lady.' 

180 Xavier Raymond on the Navies of July 9 

* It 18 an inert indolent body gifted with inordinate powers of con- 
sumption, and with productive faculties proportionately small ; it is 
condemned by its very constitution to improvidence and surprises, 
and, in short, possesses very little capacity for keeping its afiairs in 
order. One remarkable fact among the many may be cited that would 
justify this opinion ; namely, that with estimates frequently double the 
amount of ours, the English navy, administered as it is by the Admi- 
ralty, has not for the last fifty years given in material produce (ships) 
much greater results than we have derived from our Ministry of 
Marine,' (P. 411.) 

Elsewhere, M. Raymond, looking at the constitution of a 
Board of Admiralty, calls it ^ the least rational constitution of 
' an administrative body which exists in any country * (p. 399.); 
and tells us, at p. 403., that it is * one of the most singular insti- 
* tutions in the world, and the most fatally condemned to con- 
' sume immense resources in producing comparatively trifling 
< resolts.' 

So far then as the results actually obtained or theoretically to 
be expected from a governing body wanting in unity and re- 
sponsibility, M. Raymond, as we have seen, thinks very un- 
favourably of them. But the Admiralty is not England, he 
tells us : we need only turn to the activity, intelligence, and 
progress of our commercial marine in private builders to see 
where England's strength lies. Of this he gives us instances, 
when — ; 

* The English, feeling dissatisfied with the part tliey had played in 
the Crimea,proposed to take their revenge in the Baltic. They wished 
to destroy Cronstadt, which they had had leisure to study during 
the two preceding campaigns. Whether their plan was good or bad 
we need not discuss here, but they conceived the idea of crushing or 
burning it under a shower of projectiles thrown from small craft, 
gunboats, and mortar vessels, to be built for that special service. For 
the construction of these small vesseb recourse was had to private 
builders, and, amongst others, to the celebrated builder Mr. Laird, 
M.P. for Birkenhead, where his building yard is situated on the 
Mersey, opposite LiverpooL It was the 25th of October when the plan 
of the first gunboat reached him, and when consequently he could only 
begin his work. On the 11 th of the next November, the gunboat, fully 
fitted except her engine, entered Portsmouth under sail. We don't 
know the tonnage of this vessel, but for the reader's information we may 
mention that these gunboats were of several classes, from 212 to 8^ 
tons each : she must, therefore, have been above 200 tons. After 
giving this proof of activity, Mr. Laird sij^ned a contract with the 
Government authorising him to build on plans supplied to him, and 
at prices agreed on, as many gunboats as possible until the day when 
notice should be given of terminating the contract. The Govern- 
ment on its part engaged to take until the contract was fulfilled 

1863. France and England. 181 

whatever there should he in the jard. On this understanding 
Mr. Laird organised his works, where they laboured daj and night 
with such effect that, when he received the order to stop work, he 
was delivering one vessel daily, to Grovernment/ (P. 419.) 

Extraordinary as was this feat of private enterprise, we are 
told that Messrs. Penn, of Greenwich, equalled it in the 
conetractlon of the engines, turning out eighty between De- 
cember and April, and thus enabling us to make the great 
Spithead demonstration in that month. 

At this demonstration M. Raymond was present, and says : — 

' We saw there 60 bomb vessels, all ready for service, 140 steam 
gunboats, completely armed, rigged, and stored, sailing, mancsuvring 
and firing before 100,000 spectators. This was the creation of the last 
winter ; it was the vanguard of the fleet which already possessed im- 
posing reserves, and which could easily have been doubled within the 
year. It was also a great lesson to the world, which Lord Palmerston 
summed up in a significant sentence, when, on the following 8th of 
May, he said in the House of Commons, '* We began the war (Feb. 
^ 1854) with 212 ships in commission, we had at its close (in March 
*« 1856) 590." ' (Pp. 419-21.) 

Of our resources in seamen, M. Kaymond says — 

' The power of England displays itself in figures no less eloquent 
than those which we have cited : she does not possess statistics as well 
arranged or accurate as are ours, but everyone agrees that, exclusive 
of 80,000 men which she maintains under the flng of her royal navy, 
the merchant service of England employs 230,000 men at least, 
in what we call long sea voyages and the coasting trade ; and if she 
applied to all her population who live by the sea the laws of our 
'* Inscription Maritime," she might include in it, counting the small 
<M>asting trade, fishermen, boatmen, workmen in the public and private 
dockyards, 700,000 or even 800,000 men. This would be sa3ring 
everything ; and yet, to be just, we must add that the quality corre- 
sponds to the quantity. Let not the blunders of the Admiralty lead 
us to think that maritime genius has abandoned the English. They 
follow maritime pursuits with an energy and with talent which may 
well compare with those of former times, and which have even, per- 
haps, developed themselves in our days with a grandeur never before 
witnessed.' (ibid) 

Of the number, size, and excellence of our merchant ship- 
ping — of the enterprise of our merchants, and the public spirit 
which encourages all great experiments in ship-building — M. 
Kaymond speaks almost with enthusiasm, adding : — 

' The sea is especially the national business of Englishmen ; it is the 
focus towards which all the ardour of a patriotism vivified by the 
pure and wholesome spirit of liberty converges : this is not the least 
cause of her power. The superiority which England possesses 

182 .Xavier Bajmiond mt the Navies of Svlj, 


fitianciftllj, her means of material production, and the numb^ of her 
maritime population, are also but small matters in our eyes, compared 
with the moral force imparted to her as the most free and united 
nation in the world.' 

From this view of our national unity even our aristocracy is 
not allowed to detract. But we have only room for one more 
extract, which deserves attention, as showing the writer can 
honestly applaud a patriotic feeling in England, even when 
originating in suspicions of France. After alluding to the co- 
operation of all classes in the cotton distress — 

' And at the same time with these occurrences in Manchester and 
Lancashire, what has been called the Volunteer Movement follows its 
steady developement. The motives which determined this national 
arming do not appear to us well founded — in our eyes the alarm was 
imaginary ; it is not the less true that we should be impressed with 
the sincerity and ardour of that patriotism which arms itself even to 
resist chimeras.' 

He adds that there are very few countries where an army of 
170,000 men so formed would be safe or would be trusted. 

The French writer who can express himself thus upon such 
topics may well be allowed to criticise some of our institutions. 
If we think his strictures of our Admiralty system rather too 
harsh, we must remember that that department enjoys little 
credit abroad, and has. not been in good repute at home; that 
the faults of its constitution, in theory at least, are undeniable, 
and have not been redeemed by good results in practice. But if 
M. Raymond condemns our naval administration, and thinks it 
has obtained less favourable results than the French Ministry 
of Marine, he is no bigoted admirer of the latter. He stronglv 
condemns a French institution which certainly gives much 
present strength to their navy, though possibly at the expense 
of its future welfare. The Inscription Maritime is declared to 
be a grievous hardship and injustice to the French maritime 
population; and as it compels the whole of that class of the 
nation to serve for a portion of their lives on board the ships of 
the State, it evidently imposes on them a burden far exceed- 
ing that of the military conscription, and therefore tends to 
dnve them to seek other modes of gaining a livelihood. 

It is time, however, to turn to the important and interesting 
subject of those iron-clads, which have taken the place of our 
wooden walls. Upon the relative value of this new force our 
future place in the scfile of nations must greatly depend ; and 
very lately we were behind our French rivals in the race, The 
writer whom we have quoted seems to think that, judging from 

1863. France and R^and. * 183 

pA8t administratiTe failures, our new ehipe themselyes must par- 
take of the same character as our systems. But here^ possibly^ 
the French strictly logical turn of mind may carry him too far. 
We may admit, indeed, that, as M. Raymond asserts, we produced 
(in the ' Warrior ') a horse too Ing for our stables (p. 147.), and 
that want of adequate dock accommodation is one of our. official 
oversights ; but the building of a ship once decided upon, her 
construction passes out of the hands of the Admiralty proper 
into the Controller's department ; and it is only justice to the 
present First Lord to say that in Admiral Robinson he has 
made a most judicious and happy selection. It is true that the 
Controller is not a naval architect of world-wide reputation, 
like M. Dupuy de L6me ; but it is also true that no English- 
man is more capable of appreciating M» de Lome's genius, or 
admiring its wonderful results. That we have no such great 
light of naval architecture in England may be the result of 
administrative error, f<»r we deliberately abolidied, in 1832, the 
only school of the science we possessed. Our unscientific ship- 
building during many years cost us vast sums of money and 
many ludicrous failures. The reason assigned by Sir Jam^ 
Graham for abolishing the School of Naval Architecture was 
that it had not produced satisfiEU^tory results — a good reason, 
perhaps, for imiMX>ving it. Our experience of the opposite 

2 stem has not been more favourable, and we sincerely hope 
at the Duke of Somerset will restore the institution. 

But while giving the honour justly due to M. de Ldme, 
who struck out a new line and led the way, we are able to 
show that we have ndther been idle nor unsuccessful in the 
reconstruction of the* navy. It was no light or unimportant 
task, for while its most successful execution involved the expen- 
diture of many millions, failure would have been alike dis- 
creditable, wasteful, and dangerous. An impartial review of 
what has been done in both countries will show that, if the 
initiative was taken by France, we have neither servilely imi- 
tated her, nor yet run too rashly into untried experiments. 

In 1861 we were far behind in the race: where are we now? 
Our iron-plated fleet is confessedly experimental, but it contains 
the germs of each system whidi has been proposed upon any 
competent authority. We have broadside-armed ships properly 
60 called, others concentrating their broadside guns within a 
portion of their space amidships. We have ' shield ' or cupoia 
ships, with one or more turrets or cupolas ; and, lastly, we have 
lighter, partially armed ships for distant foreign service. Any 
or none of these may prove the best type, but we are ready for 
making the experiment 

184 * Xavier Baymond an the Navies of July, 

As it is necessary to choose some period as a point of de- 
parture in our comparison, let us see how matters stood in 
February 1861. We had then building, or contracted for, in 
private yards six iron vessels to be partially plated. These 
were the * Warrior * and * Black Prince,' contracted for in May 
and October 1859 ; the ' Defence' and ' Besistance,' contract^ 
for in December 1859; and the 'Hector' and 'Valiant,' in 
January 1861. The 'Warrior' had been recently launched, 
and was completing her fittings afloat, and she was the most 
advanced ship of the six. The ' Black Prince ' was launched 
in February 1861, but in a very incomplete state. There was 
evidently no hope that more than one of these six could be got 
to sea within the year ; and it was probable that it would be 
late in the following year before the ' Black Prince,' ' Besist- 
'ance,' and 'Defence' would be ready for sea, and that the 
year would elapse before the ' Hector * and ' Valiant ' would be 
available for service afloat. Let us now say a few words as to 
the progress of ship-building in France at the same date. 

France had preparing or prepared sixteen ships, which, for the 
sake of distinction, may be called ships of the line^ inasmuch as, 
though very different from our old line-of-battle ships, they are 
yet the ships which would now form the line of battle, and by 
which a fleet action or general naval engagement must be fought. 
This fleet is to be composed as follows : — Twelve ships of wood, 
armour-plated throughout ; that is, carrying 30 guns on a single 
deck, protected from end to end by armour-plates ; of immense 
scantling, laige stowage, and a speed which, judging from those 
that have been tried, is not less than 12^ knots when at their 
deepest immersion. These are the — 













Two, the ' Couronne' and ' Heroine,' are similarly armed and 
similarly protected as to their batteries ; the combination, how- 
ever, of the iron hull with the armour-plating, and its backing, 
differed considerably from what we have adopted in England, 
and is probably no improvement upon it. Of these vessels, 
however, only four are as yet at sea, and the greater number 
are far from completion. 

Two other ships, the ' Magenta ' and ^ Solferino,' are, as b well 
known, on quite a different system. These two iron-clads are real 
two-deckers, armour-cased for a certain portion of their length. 

1863. France and England. 185 

bat leaying the extremities above the lower deck battery entirely 
unprotected. They carry in their two batteries 50 guns, pro- 
tected, and have realised a cfpeed of upwards of 13 knots under 
favourable circumstances. 

.^.Thus the line-of-battle force of France, prepared or pre- 
paring, was of a very homogeneous character ; the ships com- 
posing it being, except the two last-named, nearly of the same 
dimensions, horse power and armament, capable of bringing 
into action, when completed, 520 guns protected by armour 
plating. From this recapitulation everything but the line-of- 
battle force has been excluded. The floating batteries which 
either Power possessed form another part of the history of our 

Thus, in March 1861, we stood in relative numbers, prepared 
and preparing, six to sixteen. The odds were large ; nor could 
we hope that the individual superiority of the English ships 
might have redressed the balance. Let us fairly and impartially 
examine where that superiority existed, and compare the ships 
of the two rival Powers, first singly, and then collectively as a 

The * Warrior' was our first creation. The * Gloire' has the 
honour of being the first iron-dad sea-going ship, not only of 
France, but of the world. What advantage has one over the 
other ? 

The * Warrior ' is built of iron, is as a whole very much 
stronger and more rigid, to a certain extent less inflammable, 
has greater speed (when at her best, with a clean bottom) by 
more than a knot and a half per hour, carries her battery three 
feet six inches higher out of the water than her rival, will be 
much more durable as a whole, has much more fighting space 
between her guns, and her sides, where protected by armour- 
plating, will probably resist shot better than the ^ Gloire,' sup- 
posing that the armour plates of each ship are of equal quality. 
The * Gloire,' on the other hand, built of wood, carries 30 guns 
protected by armour-plates, against her rival's 26 ; her armour- 
plates surround every portion of her structure, and defend her 
steering gear and her rudder. Both extremities of the * Warrior' 
are exposed above and below the water, and she trusts to water- 
tight decks and compartments for safety, should these unde- 
fended extremities be shattered by shot 

The * Gloire ' has facilities for manoeuvring not possessed by 
the ^Warrior;' she can turn completely round the circle in 
something over six, the * Warrior ' in something over eight, 
minutes. The ^ Gloire ' is so lightly rigged that her masts, 
&C., can be no danger to her in action; the ^ Warrior ' has the 

186 Xayier Baymond mi the Navies of Jtil7» 

dpnrs and wis of an old 90^n ship. The ' Gloire ' i0 about 
255 feet long at the water line ; the * Warrior ' 380. The 
' Warrior ' can cruise under sail^ and keep a position off a ^ven 
point better than the ^ Gloire/ We may hope that both caen 
keep off the rocks ; but if such a misfortune as grounding on 
a rocky bed befel either of them, the damage to the thin platea 
of the * Warrior's' bottom would imperil the-ship, in spite of 
water-tight bulkheads and compartments, more seriously than 
any ordinary thumping and grinding would affect the mass of 
solid timber forming the bottom of die ' Gloire.' 

Setting, therefore, impartially the advantages of one ship 
against that of the other, supposing the artillery and the crews 
to be of equal quality , on whose side would be the superiority 
on the day of battle? Sanguine Englishmen, looking to the 
' Warrior's' admitted advantages-— speed, height of ports, more 
roomy decks, more invulnerable sides (where defended), and 
the less inflammable nature of the materials of which she is- 
composed — will back her as the winner ; they will make light 
of the superiority in number of protected guns, of the wholly 
protected ship, of the defended rudder, of the facility for turn- 
ing, of the immunity from falling qpars, and greater safety 
therefore of the screw from fouling, possessed by the * Gloire.' 
There are not wanting others whose convictions would be 
entirely the other way. Perhaps, however, it is but wise to 
admit that such a duel as has been supposed offers certain 
chances to each anti^onlst, and that the result could not be 
foreseen. And if we adopt this view as a safe middle course 
between opposite opinions, ' what,' it may be asked, ' has Eng- 
' land got in return for the nesu^ly double expense of the ** War- 
* rior," as superiority in combat is, after all, the true test of 
'value?' We should reply that, assuming equal chances of 
victory, there will still remain to the * Warner's ' credit greater 
durability, and the power of adapting such heavier ordnance as 
the progress of artillery may require. A smaller ship would 
not have this power. But still we suspect that the * Warrior ' 
would not have emanated from the office of the present Con- 
troller of the Navy. 

If, however, the * Warrior ' and * Black Prince ' could engage 
the * Gloire ' and her consorts on equal terms — ^in the opinion of 
some persons with manifest advantage — ship to ship — the 
same could not be said of the ^ Resistance ' and * Defence : ' 
14 guns under the protection of armour-^pIates could not 
be a match for 30. The superior speed in this case would 
be on the side of the French ; tiie difference in the height of 
battery would still be in favour of the English ships, bat 

186S. Premce €tnd England. 187 

eveiT other disadvantage mentioned in die 'Warrior's' case 
would be fonnd in these ships also. 

In the spring of 1861 , both nations looked forward to baring 
by the close of 1862 two more iron-dads at sea — ^the * Hector' 
and * Valiant ' on onr side, the * Magenta ' and * Solferino ' in 
France. Had our hopes been realised, we should have had 
a reinforcement to our iron«cIad fleet of 64 guns wholly 
protected, to match the * Magenta ' and * Solferino's ' 100. 
Our ships exposed at their extremities at and below the water 
line, theirs defended by armour at and below die water line, 
but exposed to destruction by shells and other projectiles 
above the lower deck battery. Our two ships of iron, theirs 
of wood ; greater speed on their side, but more danger of de- 
struction from fire than on ours. Singly the ' Magenta ' and 

* Solferino' were at least equal to the * Warrior,' * Black Prince,' 

* Hector ' or * Valiant,' and unquestionably superior to the 
' Defence ' or the * Resistance ; * collectively the six ships of 
France would have been more than a match for the six ships of 
England, for the total number of protected guns on their side 
would have been 220, on ours 144. 

In thus recapitulating what were the prospects of our iron- 
dad fleet at Ihe commencement of 1861, it is but right to 
mention that in the autumn of 1860 it had been intended to 
construct a similar ship to the * Warrior ' (the * Achilles '), at 
Chatham, in the dockyard ; designs were prepared for this 
purpose, but owing to circumstances not necessary to refer to 
in this paper that intention was in abeyance ; in fact, not even 

* the one horizontal and three vertical bars of iron doing duty 
' for H.M.S. ^ Achilles," ' with which the daily press amused the 
public, were then in existence. 

This being our state in the spring of 1861, and our prospects 
for the next two years being such as we have described, it 
was evident that a most serious efibrt was necessary to place 
us simply on an equality with the most powerfol nation in 
Europe. It was patent to everybody that we were not equal 
to France in that arm by whidi a battle at sea was * to be 
dedded ; and it was resolved by all that that inequality should 
'disappear as rapidly as circumstances would permit. 

Great efibrts were made to hasten the completion of the 
iron ships then in hand ; but it soon became evident that, for 
from getting the ships under construction by private firms 
sooner than had been anticipated, the time for their delivery 
would be greatly exceeded. The contractors pointed out that 
the nature and quality of the woi^ were of such a superior 
standard of excellence that they could hardly get it done, and 

188 Xavier Baymond on tlie Nadies of Joly^ 

that the cost of this superior work was ruining them. They 
one and all declared that iron of the required quality was not 
to be had. Few manufacturers of iron-plates could be found 
who could make armour-plates capable of standing the test of 
shot ; and though trusting in the enterprising spirit of private 
firms overcoming many of these difficulties, the Government 
clearly foresaw that long delays and many disappointments 
must attend such novel and difficult constructions, and that the 
painful consciousness of being manifestly inferior to our power- 
ful rival at sea must be removed by some other and additional 

Eight line-of-batde-ships of the largest class and newest 
design were then in the course of construction in the different 
public yards, some more, some less advanced. The timber for 
these ships was provided, and tolerably well seasoned; their 
construction had been commenced in 1858 and 1859^ and had 
been proceeded with as opportunities offered until this time. 
The further progress of these ships, as originally designed, was 
at once stopped ; and it was resolved to adapt them for armour- 
plated single-decked ships of the ^ Gloire's ' class as rapidly as 
possible. This measure was adopted to cause as little ex- 
pense as possible, and, above all, to lose no time in procuring 
a powerful addition to the armour-clad navy of England. 
It never was supposed that the ships designed for one purpose 
could be as efficient for another, and tottdly different, purpose 
as if originally designed for it. But here we had the means 
under our own hands of employing a mass of material useless 
in its then shape, to construct a most powerful warlike weapon, 
not so good, perhaps, as one forged and made for the express 
purpose, but still of great value, at little expense, and without 
loss of time. 

Five of these partially-built ships were accordingly selected 
to be turned into armour-plated ships. Notwithstanding the 
jokes of the Secretary of the Admiralty, surgical operations 
were performed upon them: they were sawn in two, and 
lengthened to give them the necessary flotation for the increased 
weights they had to carry ; they were immensely strengthened. 
Iron was freely used whenever it was necessary to give in- 
creased rigidity ; armour-plates were ordered for them. Such 
alterations in their bows and sterns as were doubly necessary 
to enable them to carry their batteries completely protected, 
were undertaken, and preparations were thus made for an 
addition of five wooden armour-plated ships to the six iron 
ships constructed, and in the course of construction. This 
reinforcement, being in the hands of the Government, could be 

1863. France and England. 189 

accelerated or retarded as circumstances rendered necessary. 
Increased activity on the other side of the water could be met 
by greater efforts on this^ and abated activity there would give 
us more time for deliberation. Our Grovemment did not relax 
in its intention to place the armour-clad fleet of England on an 
equality with that of France ; but it did not for that purpose 
interrupt all other work, as it might have done : it kept its 
resources well in hand, prepared to accelerate its pace when- 
ever the necessity for so doing became apparent. All these 
ships could have been launched in August 1862^ and fitted for 
sea before the end of the year. The only difficulty — and it is 
one which energy and a large expenditure of money could 
have overcome — would have been procuring armour-plates of 
the best quality ; but this, though an admitted difficulty, would 
have been overcome if necessary. 

It is as well, before going further, to say a word as to the 
qualities of these five ships. The principal features of their 
construction are, that they are armour-plated from end to end, 
that they carry 34 guns under armour on their main deck 
battery, that their rudder and steeri^ig gear are carefully pro- 
tected, their bows and structure generallv as much strengthened 
as their flotation would allow; that their speed will be be- 
tween 12 and 13 knots, their rig very much lighter than the 
' Warrior's,' though heavier than the French ships; their battery 
higher out of the water, and their guns further apart than- the 
French ships; their powers of resisting shot, supposing the 
armour-plates of both to be equally good, somewhat less than 
the * Warrior's,' and about equal to the * Gloire's.* 

These ships are the first English ships armour-plated from 
end to end, and wholly protected, which have been constructed : 
their behaviour at sea will be anxiously watched, for none of our 
iron ships have yet been subjected to the severe strain of carry- 
ing armour-plates at their extremities. The * Gloire,' indeed, a 
wooden ship, has passed through some severe trials in the Gulf 
of Lyons, and the ^ Normandie,' also armour-plated from end to 
end, has crossed the Atlantic and done service in the Gulf of 
Mexico ; but a winter cruise in the North Atlantic will be a 
severer test of the power of wooden ships to carry heavy armour. 
Neither the * Gloire' nor the *Normandie,' however, have 
shown any symptoms of weakness up to this time ; nor have the 
partially armour^ased iron ships which we have^sent to sea. 

The necessary preparations for altering these ships were 
completed in the beginning of June, and they were commenced 
early in that month. The preparations which had been inter- 
rupted at Chatham for building the ' Achilles ' of iron were 

190 Xflvier Raymond ou the Navies of ^vlj, 

resumed : a new design was prepared to give the ship increased 
flotation, and in August the building of this new iron*clad ship 
in our dockyard was put in hand. The miun features of the 
design were those of the ' Warrior,' with modifications of im- 
portance at the bow and stem. 

Meanwhile plans for building three additional iron ships to be 
armour-plated were under consideration. It was wished to avoid 
the exposed extremities of the ^ Warrior ' and ' Black Prince,' 
and to retain. the maximum of speed obtained or expected in 
these ships. To enable the new ships to carry the additional 
weight of armour required to protect them from stem to stem, 
(upwards of 800 tons\ and still to retain the extreme speed which 
was expected from the lighter ships, was a difficult problem to 
solve. Large as was the ^ Warrior,' serious as were, the diffi* 
culties as to docks and harbours involved in that great size, 
manifold as were the disadvantages attending manoeuvring in 
ships of the ' Warrior's ' length, it was necessary still further to 
enlarge the new design. The plan proposed, and ultimately 
decided on, was that of a ship 400 feet in length, of increased 
sectional area and greatei;, horse power, to meet these require- 
ments. These three ships, the ^ Minotaur,' ' Northumberland ' 
and ^ Agincourt,' were to be built in private yards ; and earlv in 
September the contracts were s^ed, and the work upon them 

This then was the state of our iron-dad fleet present and 
prospective, so far as r^arded ships which we may call ships of 
the line, in the middle of 1861. We expected on the 1st ol 
January 1863 to find ourselves with six iron armour-clad ships 
ready for sea, furnished to us by private builders, and with five 
wooden ships, armour-plated, bmlt in our own dockyards. One 
iron ship, armour-plated, the ^ Achilles,' which should have been 
three quarters built in our dockyards at Chatham, and three 
iron ships, which should also have been three quarters built by 
private companies, represented the progress we had a right to 
expect, in addition to what has already been referred ta But, 
in fact, the progress of the French iron-dads did not demand 
extraordinary haste in completing our own. 

The two iron ships contracted for in January 1861 were not 
delivered, both were many months behind the time agreed upon ; 
onlv half the amount of work which had been calculated on 
haa been accomplished on the three iron ships ordered in Sep- 
tember 1861 ; and the 'Achilles,' building in the Government 
yard at Chatham, had not advanced towards completion with any- 
thing like the rapidity originally contemplated. In the month 
of January 1863 England had, however, four iron-dad iron ships 

1863. France and Emgland. 191 

actually at sea ; France had the same number of wooden sbips^ 
armour-clad, in commission ready for service, and two more 
nearly ready for sea : England had also one wooden armour-clad 
ship about to go to sea, and one iron armourKslad sliip nearly 
ready. In addition to this prospectiTe reinforcement, England 
had two wooden armour-cased ships, which could be completed 
sooner than the most advanced iron-cased ships of France not yet 
launched. Thus, in the number of iron-clad ships of the line 
ready for hostilities, there is practically no great difference 
between the two navies at present, though as much can hardly 
be sud for their equality in other respects. 

From what has preceded, it will appear that the whole of our 
iron-dad navy originated in 1861 and in the two years preceding. 
And this date has a most important bearing on all that has l)een 
said of the quality, powers of resistance and of offence of these 
ships in two ways: First, the ships were designed to resist the 
powers of artillery as known at that time ; Secondly, they were 
dengned to supply an immediate want, which events might at 
any mcnnent invest with an urgency anid importanee not easy to 

When these ships were designed the artillery to be resisted 
consbted of spherical cast-iron shot and shell — the most 
effective of the former being the 68-lb. shot, and of the latter 
the 8 and 10-inch shells, fired from smooth-bored cast-iron 
guns. Sir W. Armstrong was, it is true, making rapid progress 
with wrought-iron rifled guns ; the 40-pounders were recognised 
as valuable guns, and began to be us^ in all our ships. His 
100-pounder was under trial, and had so far succeeded that its 
projectiles, consisting of 110-pounde^ and 120-pounder solid 
wrought and cast-iron shot*, besides various kinds of shells 
from the same gun, were also to be provided against ; and, indeed, 
a very general opinion prevailed that these projectiles were far 
more to be feared than any which could be discharged from a 
smooth-bored gun of the old construction. 

The French had made considerable progress in rifling their 
cast-iron guns, which they strengthened and adapted for elon- 
gated projectiles driven by very moderate charges of powder : 
but at that time this artillery had not succeeaed in piercing 
good iron plates of 4^inches thick, as has been done since. 

Such experiments as had been made against iron plates 

* As some readers may be pnzzled by the different weights of shot 
thrown by the same gun, we may explain that the difference arises 
from the more or less elongated form which may be given to the 

1 92 Xavier Baymond on the Navies of July, 

fastened to the sides of wooden ships or representative taints 
had established the invulnerability of an ordinary ship's side if 
protected^ with good 4^inch plates against any known pro- 
jectiles, and a special committee of officers charged to inquire 
into the subject had ratified this opinion by a report dated 
March 1860. 

The Whitworth projectile had, it is true, shown greater powers 
of penetration than those of the ordinary description ; but much 
difficulty having been experienced in loading, and the gun 
itself havine burst af^r a very few rounds, the ireneral con- 
dusion arrived at ^as the following, from the report above 
referred to : — 

That vessels clothed in rolled iron plates of 4^-inch thickness 
are to all practical purposes invulnerable against any projectile 
that can at present be brought to bear against them at any 

The example of our precursors in armour-plating ships had 
pointed in exactiy the same direction — ^viz., that 4^inch good 
plates, with a thick wooden side behind them, constituted a suffi- 
cient defence against ordinary guns, and a complete protection 
agiunst shells, the infallible destroyers of any purely wooden 

All the iron-clads therefore, six in number, designed prior to 
the spring of 1861 were, as far as the armour-plating was con- 
cerned, conceived on the same principle ; that is to say, 4^-inch 
iron plates were applied against a strong backing of solid teak 
18 inches thick outside the ribs and iron skin of the ship 
proper, and, as will be shown subsequently, the protection 
thus given was perfect against the power of ordinary gun& 
But our authonties, not blind to the progress making by 
artillery, nor to the necessity of thoroughly investigating the 
nature and properties of iron plates, and the powers they pos- 
sessed of resisting projectiles, named in January 1861 a com- 
mittee of scientific and practical men, to inquire thoroughly 
into the latter subject, and gave directions for such experiments 
to be made by actual artillery practice as should tend to throw 
light on the whole subject. 

It is out of place here to give any history of the proceedings 
of that committee, of the valuable additions to our knowledge 
of the properties of iron which followed the elaborate experi- 
ments they have ever since been engaged in making. It 
will be sufficient to state that, on the 21st of October 1861, 
a target representing a portion of the side of the * Warrior * was 
fired at by the heaviest guns and largest charges of powder at 
that time used both from smooth bore and from Sir W. Arm- 

1863. France and England. 193 

strong's rifled guns^ and that no shots penetrated through the 
target. * The verdict had gone emphatically for the defendant/ 
as was observed by an eminent person who witnessed the awfud 
pounding the target had received. This trial had established 
two important points : firsts the practical invulnerability of the 
six iron ships ordered up to January 1861, and of the ' Achilles,' 
commenced in August 1861 ; secondly and incidentally, that 
the Armstrong projectiles had proved, on the whole, no more 
destructive to the armour-plates than the 68-lb. shot. The 
five wooden ships ordered to be plated were sufficiently pro- 
tected, inasmuch as 4^-inch^plates attached to ships' sides had 
over and over again, at a distance of 200 yards, resisted the 
penetration of 68-lb. shots, provided the plates were ordinarily 

There remained, however, the three ships ordered from private 
builders in September 1861, whose armour-plating was on a 
different principle, and the soundness of which was not tested by 
this experiment. The experiments of the Iron Plate Committee 
had led them to the conclusion, that up to a certain thickness 
of plate, which appeared to be limited solely by the difficulty of 
manufacturing very thick plates of as good quality as thinner 
plates, the resistance to projectiles increased as the square 
of the thickness. If, then, 5^inch plates of good quality 
could be procured, it was certain that an equal amount of pro- 
tection would be afforded to the ship with a smaller amount of 
wood or even iron backing behind the armour-plate. It was in 
every way desirable to dispense with as much wood behind the 
armour-plate as possible, and so, by diminishing the absolute 
thickness of the ship's side, to obtain important advantages in 
working the guns of the ship, provided always the same amount of 
invulnerability was maintained. The three ships above referred 
to were designed therefore to carry S-^inch armour-plates over 
9 inches of teak backing outside the skin and ribs of the ship 
proper, instead of the arrangement adopted in the * "Warrior ; ' 
but as some uncertainty still prevailed as to whether good 5^- 
inch plates could be manufactured, the Admiralty reserved to 
themselves the power of reverting to the * Warrior/ system at 
the end of three months from the date of signing the contract, 
without incurring any additional charge from the contractor, if 
subsequent experience should make such a course appear de- 
sirable to them — the difficulty to be got over during the 
interval being the proper manufacturing of 5^-inch plates. At a 
later date the report of experiments carried on at Portsmouth 
by Captain Hewlett agiunst 5i-inch plates was to the effect 
that the indentation produced by shot on 5^inch plates was 


194 Xavier Raymond on the Navies of Jwly^ 

shallower than on 4^inch plates, and the injury done to the 
fibre less ; upon which grounds he suggested the adoption of 
the thicker j^tes, with less backing. But after the memorable 
victory of the ^ Warrior ' target over its assailant on the 21st of 
Octofcler, 1861> two classes of men resolved to devote dieir 
powers to reverse the triumph of what may be called the 
defence: one class represented the iron interest^ waging im- 
placable war against wood in all shapes ; the other represented 
the powers of destruction embodied in the scientific and practical 
artillerists of the day, who, stimulated by defeat, looked angrily 
at the ' Warrior ' target, declaring ' Delenda est Carthago.' 

The ^ iron men ' advocated iron backing to the armour-plating 
denied the use of wood, exaggerated the evils and imperfections 
of the mode of attaching armour-plates to the ship proper, and 
were very wisely allowed to put their theories to the proof. 
Three of the most ingenious and most confident amongst many 
eminent ^ iron men ' were allowed to erect tai^ets at the public 
expense, to represent what they considered the proper method of 
constructing the armour-protected side of a ship, all three agreeing 
on one point only, that nothing was so bad as wood or so good 
as iron. These three parties were the Iron Plate Committee, 
represented by Mr. Fairbaim and Mr. Samuda, an eminent 
civil engineer and iron shipbuilder, and Mr. Scott Russell, also 
an iron shipbuilder and naval architect of high reputation. 
But while these able men were preparing their several designs, 
the artillerists were not idle. A 300-pounder gun had been 
constructed on Sir W. Armstrong's plan, and before the com- 
pletion of the last-named experimental targets, this monster 
stood grimly confronting them. It had been subjected to proofs 
and experiments of no ordinary nature, the charge of powder 
had be^ of exceptional magnitude, the initial velocities obtained 
by the projectile startling to think of, and the chance of resisting 
such blows as the iron plates would be exposed to small indeed. 
The Committee's plan of a target had been tried on the 29^ of 
June, 1861, and again with some modifications on the 4th of 
March, 1862, without giving any results at all superior to the 

* Warrior' plan. An improved plan by Mr. Fairbaim was 
finally tried on the 8th of April, 1862 ; it represented iron upon 
iron, and was a somewhat lighter construction, foot for foot, than 
the * Warrior ' target : it also failed to show any superiority to 
the original wood-backed tai^et. 

On the 20th of May, 1862, a target (iron upon iron) designed 
by Mr, Samuda, slightly heavier than an equal one of the 

* Warrior's ' pattern, was brought under the fire not only of the 
guns smooth-bored and rifled, used against the ' Warrior ' and 

1863. France and England. ] 95 

tbe Committee's target^ but of the formidaUe 300-poiinder, 
the projectile bdng a soUd shot of 150 lbs., fired with 30 lbs. of 
powder. The ordiaarj fire did more mischief to this target 
than to the * Warrior's' — tiie extraordinary fire penetrated i^. 

The third tai^t (iron npon iron), phumed by Mr. Scott 
Bussell, nmch heavier than the ^Warrior's' target, asea for area, 
was more completely ruined than the other t<u^ts, though the 
penetration of the exceptional projectile was not so complete, 
owing to the extra thiclmess of the iron backing to the armour- 
plates ; and so far against ordinary projectiles the victory clearly 
remained with the ^ Warrior ' target. But against this shattered 
and sorely-tried * Warrior' it was resolved to bring the full 
power of the new gun ; and four shots were fired at it, two with 
40 lbs. of powder, and two with 50 lbs. The two first struck 
close together ; and at the edge of two adjoining plates, the target 
representing the ship's side was fairly peuetrat^ by the second 
shot : the other two shots struck on portions of the side where 
the structure was firmly supported by baulks of timber, and did 
not penetrate the ship, though the contrary was affirmed at the 
time. But though the target so far yielded to the unforeseen 
power of the new and exceptional gun, its proved superiority 
over its iron rivals vindicated the propriety of the course 
followed in constructing the armour-plated ships, and established 
still more firmly the advantage of a backing of wood. We 
need not follow the progress of the artillerists, for it was evident 
that they could build guns faster than anyone could build the 
ships, and that if they could overcome the manufacturing diffi- 
culties attending the making of such powerful ^ns, the verdict 
of October 1861, for the defendant, must infallibly be reversed. 

One other experiment, as bearing directly upon the ship- 
building part of the question, must, however, be referred to. 
It has been stated that in the three iron ships ordered in Sep- 
tember 1861, acting upon such knowledge as was then possessed^ 
the thickness of the iron plates was increased from 4^ inches to 
5^ inches, and that the wood-backing was decreased by the 
weight equivalent to that additional inch of iron : that is to say, 
from 18 inches to 9 inches. A target representing a section 
of the ships so designed was fired at on the 7th of July, 1862. 
It offered less resistance to the 150-lb. shot than the * Warrior' 
target, but greater to the 68-lb. shot; on the fourth round, 
however, the so-called 300-pounder burst, and it seemed as 
if ship and gun had mutually destroyed each other. 

It was only natural that a ship*s side designed to resist what 
was known to be the power of 68 lbs. and 110-pounder guns in 
1861, should be penetrated by a 150-lb. shot propelled by 

196 Xavier Raymond on the Navies of July, 

50 lbs. of powder^ and no disappointment should have been felt 
at the result. But though the improved target was unable to 
resist the 150-pounder, those who witnessed the experiments 
felt no doubt that against such guns as it was originally intended 
to resist, the 'Minotaur' target was an advance upon the 
* Warrior,' and further advantage also was to be expected in the 
improved manufacture of S^-inch plates, which would result 
from mere practice.* 

Thus, then, it may be assumed that, so far as our knowledge 
of artillery and armour-plates then extended, and, we may add, 
so far as the judgment of those whose attention had been 
specially directed to the subject can be relied on, the course 
pursued in preparing our iron-dad fleet in the year 1861 was 
eminently judicious. It was guided by the experience carefully 
obtained as to the power of artillery $ind resistance of iron 
armour; the way was felt by careful experiments before 
running into unnecessary expense ; private enterprise and in- 
ventive power were extensively used, but without entirely 
relying on those over whom Government could exercise no 
effective control. A reserve of ships was wisely kept in our 
own dockyards, to be hastened forward or delayed, as circum- 
stances might require; and whatever may be said of these 
converted Une-of-battle ships being inferior to iron-built ships 
originally designed for iron-clads, by no other means could we 
so speedily have attained an equality with our rivals. There 
was also the great advantage, that the ships building in our own 
yards could be altered and improved as experience might 
suggest, without the evils attending every deviation from a 

It must not be forgotten that neither France nor England 
made anything like the same progress with their iron-clad fleet 
that was anticipated, or that either Power might have done had 
all their energies been directed to this point alone. It is 
enough to say that, such being the case, the efforts made 
by the latter have been sufficient not only to keep pace with 

• We have reason to believe that the progress of artillery in 
France, under the able direction of Colonel Treuille de Beaolieu, is 
at least equal to our own. The French are now trying a heavy 
rifled cannon of twenty-two centimetres bore, weighing fourteen 
tons, and throwing a 160 pound shot 6,000 yards with perfect accu- 
racy. This enormous piece is provided with a revolving plat- 
form, so arranged that a single gunner can direct and point it as 
easily as a fowling-piece. The projectile can also be converted into 
a shell loaded with eight pounds of powder. Guns of this calibre 
are intended for the defence of the French coast. 

1863. France and England. 197 

the former, but to render it easy in future years to redress the 
balance of inequality which has for some time existed. But 
this is only one half the task that the administration of a nayal 
Power like Great Britain had to perform. It had not only to 
provide for a great naval action to be fought perhaps for its 
existence, but to guard the national flag and colonial possessions 
in every part of the world, and to protect a commerce of un- 
equalled magnitude and importance. Supplementary to the 
line-of-battle force which France and England were creating, 
each Power was considering how its own ports might be secured 
from hostile attacks by sea, and how best it could annoy and 
disturb its neighbour's preparations in their own arsenals. For 
each Power, then, floating batteries became a necessity — vessels 
of great powers of offence and defence, not necessarily capable 
of proceeding further to sea than a short trip across the narrow 
waters of the Channel, or a coasting voyage in the waters of 
the Mediterranean. In the preparation of such vessels France 
was, in 1861, far ahead of us. In that year she had five 
floating batteries built during the Crimean war, and reported as 
being still in a good state, and fit for service. 

Two smaller ones,' recently built, were receiving their engines 
and armour-plating. Two more of the same class were on the 
stocks building, and were ready for plating. Four others were 
designed, though no progress had been made in their construc- 
tion. There were, however, nine of these ships in actual 
existence, besides some iron-clad gunboats in -course of pre- 
paration, and exclusive of the four batteries designed but not 
commenced. At this time England had afloat eight of these 
batteries, constructed for the Crimean war. Four were of wood 
and four of iron. Three out of the four wooden ones were in 
so bad a state as to be unfit for service without large repairs ; 
the fourth was in so rotten a state that she was taken to pieces 
during the year. The four iron batteries might be considered 
serviceable, but one was at Bermuda. 

As it was evident that this inequality could not safely be 
allowed to continue, and that preparations must be made 
to replace the old not very efficient batteries by vessels 
of a superior class, the attention of the Government was 
called to the invention of a most ingenious and able naval 
officer. Captain Cowper Coles, who had long turned his atten- 
tion to placing heavy guns on a turn-table, and surrounding 
them with a shield or cupola, armour-plated, and capable of re- 
sisting the heaviest projectiles of the day. He had laboured 
indefatigably at his invention, which had been for some 
time under the consideration of the War Office, for it was 

198 Xavier Raymond on tlu Navies of July, 

equally adapted to a fixed fortification on land as to a moving 
battery afloat In April 186 1, the Admiralty directed a Bhield, 
originally intended for land defence, to be erected in one of tlie 
floating batteries^ with a view of testing its capabilities by as- 
certaining both the actual facilities for working and fighting a 
gun so mounted and protected^ and its powers of resisting 
the heaviest guns that could be brought against it. In August 
the shield had resisted effectually such artillery as was then 
ready for service, and it had also been ascertained that the gun 
on its turn-table worked with the greatest ease, and was pointed 
with remarkable rapidity. 

Captain Coles, having thus established the principle of Ms 
revolving shield or cupola, even in its imperfect state (for this 
diield was not designed for a ship but for a fort), now proposed an 
enlarged plan of cupola which should contain two 100-pounder 
Armstrongs, then considered the most formidable artillery 
known ; and it was resolved to make a trial of this shield with 
the guns. A design was meanwhile in course of preparation for a 
floating battery &at should carry six of these shields, armour- 
plated from end to end, have considerable speed and not excessive 
draught of water, to be built of iron, and to be for harbour and 
coast defence. If upon further trial this invention should be 
found to realise what was expected of it, a vessel so armed would 
prove herself as a moving battery for smooth water superior to 
everything afloat. Many unsuitable and impossible designs were 
proposed with this object. The arrangements required were 
novel and complicated, and considerable time was occupied in 
perfecting them. A most favourable report of the trials of the 
^eld at sea was received March 1862, and in the same month 
the design above referred to was put in hand. 

Captain Coles exhibited the greatest ingenuity in overcoming 
all the difficulties of adapting a ship to carry these constructions, 
and by his perseverance and the skill of the Constructor's 
Department of the Admiralty, all obstacles were got over ; and 
the * Prince Albert,' an iron ship, armour-plated all round up 
to her deck, and at that time intended to carry six shields of 
the same size, and armed in the same way as that which had 
been so favourably reported on by Captain Hewlett, was con- 
tracted for. 

The original design has been departed from ; the experiments 
made at Shoeburyness, in the course of 1862, showed that the 
100-pounder Armstrong gun was not the limit of the artilleristB' 
power — 300 and 600-pounders were looming in the distance. 
The former had, it is true, after smashing some targets, blown 
itself to pieces ; yet it was clear that larger and more powerful 

1863. France and England. 199 

guns were soflSdently near tbeir realisation to make it inoum- 
bent on the Constructor's Department to provide for their use. 
This, at Captain Coles's earnest request, was accordingly done. 
He enlarged and altered the shape of his shields, added greatly 
to their strength, and of course to ^eir weight ; and the * Prince 
^ Albert ' will now carry four shields instead of six, and be 
armed with the best gun that the artillerists shall have provided 
in the course of the ensuing year. 

The Government, however, though proceeding cautiously, 
and satisfying themselves by actual experiment of the soundness 
of the principles on which they were acting with regard to thwr 
floating batteries, had seriously considered whether some of the 
large line-of-battle ships built of wood, of which we possessed 
so many, could not be turned to some useful account. Ob- 
viously, in their present condition, they were little else than mere 
bundles of matches, which would infallibly be destroyed after a 
few broadsides by incendiary projectiles. It was true that upon 
any similarly constructed wooden ship they could inflict a similar 
destruction to that which they were certain to undergo; re- 
serving therefore a certain number of such ships to meet any 
vessels of this nature which might be opposed to us, there 
remained a large surplus available for other purposes ; and plans 
were under consideration for turning some at least of these 
ships either into ordinary armour-plated block ships, or into 
superior floating batteries, armed with Coles's revolving shields. 
At this moment the news of the action between the ^ Monitor ' 
and ' Merrimac ' arrived, and produced such an impression on 
the public mind, that there was no longer any hesitation about 
converting any suitable wooden ship into an armour-clad vessel 
of war. 

The * Royal Sovereign ' was accordingly selected, cut down to 
her lower deck beams, strengthened and prepared to carry five 
of the largest shields, and the heaviest guns that could be put 
into them. An outline of the plans ultimately determined upon 
for this ship may prove intere^ing. The * Royal Sovereign ' 
was a new three-decked ship of 130 guns, and engines of 800 
horse power; her tonnage was about 4,000, her mean draught 
of water at her load line was 26 feet, and her estimated speed 
was about 12 knots. The difference between the weights removed 
and those added to the ship would, it was calculated, lighten the 
ship, and diminish her mean draught of water by about 3 feet. 
She was to be entirely armour-plated with 5^ inches of iron; and 
after various modifications of the original design, it was settled 
that she should carry four shields capable of fitting the lai^est 
guns that wete in course of construction. 

200 Xavier Bajmond on tlie Navies of July> 

In both of these floating batteries two important results were 
arrived at and obtained — dialler draught of water than any of the 
iron-clad ships, and dimensions which would render the different 
docks and basins in the Government establishments available for 
their use. To obtain these results high speed was dispensed with, 
and only such dimensions were insisted on as would enable the 
structures to be as strong as possible, and to give flotation to the 
requisite weight. When these ships shall have been tried 
at sea, many points about which there is still some doubt and 
hesitation will be cleared up ; and it is not impossible that the 
great object of Captain Coles's ambition, the construction of a 
sea-going shield-ship may be found to present no insurmountable 

But while thus providing the materials for the line-of-battle, 
both in wood and iron, and thb addition to the armour-clad 
floating batteries, the wants of our coounerce in distant seas, 
and the protection necessary to afford to our colonial possessions, 
naturally turned the attention of our Government to the con- 
struction of iron-plated ships, which should be as fitted for 
cruising or ocean navigation as our former unprotected wooden 
men-of-war. It was soon evident that the difficulties of con- 
structing such ships would be very great, the problem being 
to carry great weights on very restricted dimensions, to ensure 
perfect sea-going qualities, and yet to protect the ship in such 
a manner that, while she could scarcely be injured herself by any 
thing but an iron-clad ship, she should be able to destroy any 
wooden unprotected ship that she might come across, and finally 
to provide for her crew air, light, and health as completely as in 
an ordinary ship. None of these objects could be secured with- 
out placing the deck as high out of water in proportion to the 
vessel's length as experience in ordinary ships had proved to be 
absolutely necessary. In none of the iron-clad ships of either 
France or England had this most necessary result as yet been 
obtained ; and without it all ships of war are imperfect cruisers, 
and in a greater or less degree unfit for distant and protracted 

Various plans were proposed to the Admiralty, but all had 
the same tendency to those enormous dimensions, excessive cost 
of time and money, which it was so desirable to avoid ; but a 
design prepared by Mr. Reed, a naval architect, not in the em- 
ployment of the Government, but well known for his writings 
on professional subjects, and secretary to the Institution of 
Naval Architects, seemed to meet all the difficulties and satisfy 
the requirements of the case. The general plan consisted of 
two features — one was that it turned to account the number of 

1863. France and England. 201 

small vessels on the stocks in different stages of preparation^ 
instead of absolutely condemning them^ and wasting the material 
already prepared ; the other was the mounting a limited number 
of large guns in the centre of the ships> to protect by armour- 
plates the battery, the engines, magazines, rudder, and all the 
vital parts of the ship above and below the water line. It was 
intended also so to distribute the weights that the great mass of 
them should be centralised in the ship, and that the general 
immersion of the whole body should be no greater than before. 
By this plan ships of less than 1,000 tons could be protected 
in the manner described, and yet carry a battery of four guns of 
the largest size also protected. Other details, both novel and 
ingenious, may be passed over, as they are of a technical nature ; 
but the plan was accepted by the Admiralty, and the superin- 
tendence of its execution entrusted to Mr. Keed. On this 
design two sloops of 4 guns each, the ^ Enterprise ' and 
' Research,' are constructing, which are intended, like armour- 
plated ships, for a distant service. A corvette, the ^ Favorite,' 
of 8 guns, and a frigate, the ^ Zealous,' of 16 guns, are also 
rapidly advancing, both designed upon the principle referred to. 

All these ships are building from materials already prepared 
and paid for ; they are adaptations of ships partially built to a 
new purpose, and compared with the other iron-clads are of small 
dimensions and moderate draught of water. 

The new work, therefore, undertaken in 1862 relative to the 
preparing of our iron*cIad fleet may thus be recapitulated: 
Two powerful floating batteries on the shield principle, and four 
cruising sea-going armour-plated ships, intended for any service 
that a wooden ship can perform — a force, it may be said, which no 
other maritime Power as yet possesses. 

In looking back through the brief history of armour-plated 
ships, we see that the progress of penetrating — we will not say 
destroying — force has been greater than that of the resisting 
power ; and the result as regards land artillery versus ships is # 
inevitable, for the size and power of guns cannot be easily limited, 
while there are all but insuperable obstacles to a great increase 
in the thickness and consequent weight of a ship's armour. We 
mean, of course, a real sea-going ship, subject to all the force of 
a tempest-tossed ocean, and requiring the speed and ready 
steerage essential in naval warfare; we may add, having to 
carry the coals, provisions, stores, armament, and crew of an 
efficient ship of war. 

Late experiments have shown us good plates of 7^ inches in 
thickness pierced not only by shot but by shell. Mr. Whit- 
worth, in the autunm of last year, exploded shells with facility 

202 Xavier Raymond on the Navies of July, 

through a representation of the ' Warrior's ' side. It is true 
that cast-iron shot and shell will not do this, but the q>ecial 
weapon will do the special work ; and the navid architect may be 
sure that, if he clothes his ship in 11 -inch armour, the artil- 
lerist will at a given day, and at a given expenditure of money, 
pass a shell through it. 

Are we then to return to unprotected ships ? By no means ; 
these experiments of artillery against armour-plates are to be 
considered exceptional, or, at the most, as showing what guns on 
a fixed fortress are likely to be able to do against those on a 
floating fortress. It is not said that exceptional guns, excep- 
tional projectiles, and exceptional gunpowder — for it must be 
understood that these results have only been obtuned by the use 
of all three of these exceptional means, involving a cost by no 
means accurately ascertained — may not in process of time 
be the ordinary means of warfare, though hitherto, at any rate, 
the victory that the guns have obtained over the target has in- 
variably been closely followed by their own destruction. Bat 
at present these guns exist only as specimens, and as speci- 
mens utterly deficient in endurance. It is more than probable 
that the gun and the projectile which the ' Warrior ' will have 
to resist, if she meets an iron-dad of any other maritime Fewer 
afloat, wQl be adequately resisted by her side. The ordinary 
French gun on board their ships is a ^ canon de 30,' rifled, 
throwing 100-lb. shot * with no very great initial velocity and 
penetration, nothing more formidable than what we are prepared 
to encounter. There are, doubtless, some breach-loading rifled 
guns in the ^ Gloire ' of exceptional power ; they are on their 
trial : it is premature to speak of what will be the future of this 
armament. M. Baymond gives a very favourable account 
of them. We hear, too, of the 15-inch guns of the Americans, 
but we also hear that structures every way weaker than the 
* Warrior ' resist the projectiles thro wn by those guns. But what- 
ever may be the power of artillery afloat — and it is that with 
which we are principally concerned ; however hard the struggle 
may be to maintain the balance between the attack and defence, 
we have no alternative left — that struggle must be made, our 
path is clear before us. If thicker plates and heavier sides are 
necessary, they must be given; if giganticdimensionsare required 
for this purpose, the sacrifice must be made. 

Few and hea\y guns mounted in the centre of a ship, with the 

* M. Raymond tells us that the shot thrown by these guns weighs 
99*180 pounds with a charge of 16*530 pounds of powder, and that at 
40 yards they penetrate 4^inch plates easily. 

1863. France and England. 203 

water-line and vital parts protected^ will still enable ns^ at a cost 
of perhaps 50,000/. per gun, to carry these floating structures 
wherever there is water enough for them to swim: but let not 
die public be deceived — gigantic guns •mean gigantic ships, 
gigantic docks, harbours, basins, and gigantic annual bills, and 
DOW and then gigantic losses. If the object of a navy like that of 
England is to defend her commerce and protect her possessions on 
every side, these gigantic and costly guardians must be multi- 
jrfied in proportion to the spread of commerce and to the number 
of possessions. 

The * Warrior ' ready for sea represents 400,000i. of the 
public money, and this only defended partially by 4^-inch 
plates ; the * Minotaur,' wholly protected by 5^ -inch plates, 
when ready for sea, will represent 500,0007. ; and both 4^ and 
5i*inch plates have been pierced and shattered by guns already 
in existence. What then will be the cost of ships where 8 
or 10-inch plating should be adopted ? Limit the number of 
guns as we may, immense dimensions will be required to float 
such structures, immense cost to complete them, and the days 
when a large reduction of the navy estimates shall be practicable 
seem farther than ever from our reach. 

It may be true that the iron-clad ships of France are less 
adapted for cruising than ours, and that they seem to have been 
constructed wholly for the purpose of fighting a great naval 
action for supremacy at sea, so that so large a multiplication of 
our iron-clad ships as has been hinted at for the protection of 
our commerce and colonial empire may not be requisite ; yet 
the power France undoubtedly possesses of detaching these ships 
has just been exemplified by the proceedings of the * Normandie,' 
and is instructive in pointing out to us that, in distant regions of 
the world, the honour of our flag and the safety of our posses- 
sions cannot be trusted to unprotected wooden ships. 

What is passing on the shores and in the inland waters of the 
great American Continent must add impressiveness, if any were 
needed, to this lesson. That country resounds from one end to 
the other with the din of preparation and construction of iron- 
clad ships. Those ships, it is true, were built for a special 
purpose, and are not formidable, except on their own waters. 
But sea-going iron-clads are building, and will before long be 
ready to carry the flag of the stars and stripes wherever the 
policy of their Government may choose to send them. The 
American practice differs essentially from that pursued in 
Europe, and in nothing more than the great sise and weight of 
the guns deliberately adopted. Although the first contest 
between two iron-clads took place in their waters, and has 

204 Xavier Kajmond on the Navies of Julj, 

been commented on again and again, less has been practically 
learnt from the engagement between the 'Merrimac' and 
' Monitor ' than could have been supposed. We know, it is 
true, how the * Monitor ' was constructed, but we do not 
know what that construction had to resist, what was the 
weight of those projectiles that did not harm her, with what 
velocity they were discharged, nor of what substance they were 
composed. On the other hand, we do not know of what ma- 
terial the armour-plating was composed, nor exactly in what 
manner the ^ Merrimac ' was protected by it ; though we do 
know exactly with what projectiles she was battered, and very 
nearly what resistance she offered. The report of Captain 
Dahlgren, presented to Congress in December 1862, gives 
some interesting details of this action, and confirms what has 
been stated above. We also know that both ships were entirely 
unfit for navigating the open sea, and that the ship or ships 
which the American Government will send to sea must infallibly 
partake of the type of such ships as England and France have 
constructed for this purpose. The Americans are confident 
that they can carry and work at sea 15-inch guns, throwing 
450-lb. shot with charges of powder sufficient to pierce ana 
destroy a ship's side composed of 36 inches of solid oak and 
1-inch iron lining, protected by 5^ inches of solid armour-platii^ ; 
they have in this way destroyed a target at 100 yards' dis- 
tance, and they have done this with cast-iron guns and cast- 
iron shot. 

However exceptional all this may be at present, however 
impracticable it may at present work such guns in a 
ship in motion, it will not do to shut our eyes to these eventu- 
alities. In designing those additional iron-clads, which it is but 
too evident England will be compelled to build, the increasing 
difficulties of the question must be fairly considered, and the 
magnitude of the cost boldly conixonted. 

Whether these ships shall be built of wood or iron, it is not 
the object of these pages to discuss. From what has been sud 
in Parliament and other places, it does, however, appear desirable 
that iron ship-building should not be confined to one govern- 
ment establishment only, or that, in so vital a matter as the 
power of constructing a fleet, the public safety should be en- 
tirely confided to private firms. Contracts between Govern- 
ment and such firms cannot in all cases, as, for instance, in cases 
of insolvency, be enforced by Government, but they preclude 
any deviation except at an immense expense to the publia As 
auxiliaries, private firms are invaluable, but it might be a fatal 
error to regard them as principals. 

1863. France and England. 205 

Our past experience shows that constructing ships of war in 
private yards often ends in bitter disappointments to both 
parties^ and in enormous cost to the country. The very fact 
that the men to whom the buildinc]^ of iron ships has been 
entrusted are amongst the most eminent and trustworthy in 
the country, the z^ and perseverance with which they have 
contended against all difficulties, and the superior excellence 
of the work they have accomplished, coupled with th^ delays, 
the disappointments, and the totally unforeseen cost of these 
ships — a cost so lai^ely in excess of what either the Govern- 
ment or the builder foresaw — warn us clearly against too 
great an extension of such a system. When we see that 
such firms as Messrs. Napier of Glasgow, the Thames Ship 
Building Company, Messrs. Laird of Birkenhead, and others 
who are decidedly at the head of their profession, with all their 
energies, with all the means at their disposal, have taken so 
long and incurred such cost to accomplish what they have done ; 
and when we see that other contractors have wholly failed in 
what they had undeitaken, we are warned against an entire 
surrender of such national work as fleet building to private 
enterprise. It is true that the former want of system and of 
organisation in our dockyards caused a general wish to see the 
work transferred to those enterprising companies who so success- 
fuUy managed their own affairs. But, in the first place, what- 
ever were the faults of our dockyard system, or of any other 
part of our naval administration, they were surely capable of 
remedy by a well-considered reform ; and, in the second place, 
to entrust to ordinary ship-builders the whole work of our 
dockyards would be to impose upon a dwarf the work of a giant. 
The experience of the last three years has shown that the 
same firm which derives credit and profit from undertakings in 
which it has experience will fail to obtain either in the costly 
and exceptional work of building ships of war. The materials 
of our iron navy must still be supplied by private enterprise ; but 
even to obtain them of the necessary quality is exceedingly diffi- 
colt,. and no better proof can be given than the immense pro- 
portion returned as being below the required standard. Thus, 
of iron building plates (technically called ship plates and boat 
plates) varying from ^ths to l^ths in thickness, which form the 
principal part (-j^ths perhaps) of a ship of war, the total supply 
IS immense ; but the proportion capable of bearing the different 
trials is very small The best iron of the kind will bear a 
tensile strain with the fibre of 23 to 45 tons per square inch, 
and across the fibre of 15 to 25 tons. Now, as it is a well-known 
axiom that the strength of a fabric is equal to that of its 

206 Xavier Raymond on Navies of France and England. July, 

weakest part. Government very properly have fixed a standard 
to ensure a fair average quality of iron. That standard is a 
strength equal to 22 tons lengthways of the grain^ and 19 tons 
across it per square inch, being far below the average of the best 
iron : there are also certain smithery tests of heating, bending, 
and punching, when hot and when cold, which good iron ought to 
stand. But the custom of the iron trade is to produce large 
quantities of these plates which will only bear a strain of 14 
tons in one direction and 8 or 9 in the other. It is with iron of 
this quality that our markets are stocked, and that many packets 
and merchant vessels are built ; but to use them in our iron-clads 
would be madness.* Nor is it only the low-priced iron that is 
found to be so weak, for hundreds of tons of the high-priced 
material have been from time to time rejected both at Chatham 
and in the contract yards. This will explain why, notwith- 
standing the vaunted (and justly vaunted) powers of private 
enterprise, much is promised or offered to Government, but little^ 
comparatively, is done. It would also still further justify, were 
that necessary, the course taken in converting useless wooden 
ships into very serviceable iron-clads. The attacks made upon 
the Controller of the Navy upon this subject during the present 
session were clearly unjust, for, although it was boldly asserted, 
it was by no means proved, that without these ships we could 
occupy the position we now do in reference to the French navy. 
If it was a blunder on the part of oiu* naval authorities to per- 
sist in laying down wooden line-of-battle ships when the days 
of such ships were numbered, it was a happy idea which turned 
that blunder to such excellent purpose as has been done in the 
case of the ' Boyal Oak.' That success, guaranteeing as it does 
similar success with the other ^converted' ships, is a great 
triumph for the building department, and extricated this country 
from a position of inferiority alike dangerous and discreditable. 
But although with an able and energetic man in the Controller's 
OflBce, we can build good ships, and meet an emergency with 
credit and success, as we have just seen, there is something harder 
to build up and to maintain than a fleet, and fully as essential. 
There is the moral strength which grows out of discipline— out 
of confidence in, and respect for, the ruling powers — there is 
the zeal for the public service, the contentment, the esprit de 
corpsy the conscious power and the general smooth working of 
the whole machine, which a wise organisation at headquarters 
can alone produce. 

♦ We would again call attention to the article on * Iron ' published 
in this Journal, No. 235., p. 204. The subject is one of the gravest 
national importance, especially to the navy. 

1863. The Sources of the Nile. 207 

Abt. VIL — 1. Memoirs communicated to the Royal Geographical 
Society, June 22nd, 1863. By Captain Sp£K£. 

2. Anniversary Address, May 25th, 1863, By Sir Roderick 
Impet Murchison, KC.B,, President of the Royal Geogra- 
phical Society. 

3. Papers communicated to the Ethnological Society, June ^Oth, 

1863. By Captain Augustus Grant. 

HPhe two captains sent by the British Government, at the 
solicitation of the Royal Geographical Society, to discover 
the sources of the Nile, have been more fortunate than the two 
centurions despatched by Nero on a similar errand. There may 
exist doubts as to the exhaustiveness of their search ; there may 
prove to be other tributaries of the Nile flowing from the east 
or from the west, from more distant fountain-heads than Speke 
and Grant have seen ; but this much appears certain, that these 
explorers have traced the trunk stream of the river of Egypt 
to its exit from the Lake Nianza, and that a southern limit of 
latitude has also been determined, within which the tributaries 
of the lake must necessarily lie. 

The nM)st striking popular fact to be deduced from the present 
exploration is, that the Nile is far the longest river in the 
world, at least in one of the two senses of that epithet. 
When we measure its deposed predecessor, the Mississippi, in 
a direct line between its mouth and the head of its remotest 
tributary, we find the distance to be about 1,740 miles; the 
corresponding measurement of the Nile is no less than 2,380. 
If, on the other hand, we care to measure the course of either 
stream in its main features, by following their principal bends 
with a pair of compasses, we obtain 2,450 for the Mississippi, 
against 3,050 for the Nile. We have not patience to inquire 
into the minute meanderings of either stream ; indeed, the ex- 
ceedingly tortuous course of the upper part of the latter river 
is still unmapped with accuracy. There is no other river on the 
globe that links such different climates as the Nile, none that is 
so remarkable for its physical peculiarities, none that is clothed 
with equal historical interest, and none that has so attracted or 
so baffled the theorist and the explorer. Let us state, in a few 
words, the slow steps by which its investigation had hitherto 
advanced, before we narrate the adventures of the party by 
whom it has, at length, been accomplished. 

All the world knows that tourists may sail readily up the 
Nile from its mouth, if they wish it, to the second cataract, a 
distance of 750 miles, neglecting the meanderings of the river ; 

208 ' The Sources of the Nile. July, 

and they also know that a further course of 700 miles, partly 
navigable with ease and partly with great difficulty, takes the 
traveller to Khartum, where the Blue and White branches com- 
bine. Their united volume forms the identical stream that 
intersects the whole breadth of the Sahara with a thread of 
habitable land ; for not a single tributary, except the Atbara — 
and that is almost dry in summer, while its mouth is barely 
180 miles below Khartiim — ^adds anything to its volume. Bruce 
reached Abyssinia at the end of the last century. He acted 
upon the erroneous conclusion that the Blue Kiver was the more 
important of the two arms. He accordingly devoted himself 
to exploring the Lake Dembea, whence it derives its source, 
and therefore he claimed the honour of having discovered the 
fountain head of the Nile. The Blue River was certainly the 
more important stream of the two, speaking socially, for it led 
to Abyssinia, and its banks were populous; while the White 
Nile led due south into morasses, and to the haunts of bar- 
barians. There is life in the waters of the former, as they 
swirl past Khartum, clear, blue, and sparkling, like a vast 
salmon-stream; but the huge White Nile has a forlorn and 
mere-like character. The size of its mouth is masked by an 
island ; and when its undivided waters have been entered, they 
seem so stagnant as to suggest the idea of a backwater to the 
Blue Nile, rather than a sister affluent. But its breadth and 
depth more than compensate for the sluggishness of its current ; 
and we now know, by better measurements than the contem- 
poraries of Bruce were enabled to take, that its greater volume 
of water, as well as its far superior len^h, justly mark it to be 
the parent stream of the river of Egypt. 

The White Nile was wholly neglected until M. Linant made 
a short expedition up it for one or two hundred miles, in 1827. 
His report of Its size, and of the ivory, gums, and other savage 
products that were procurable on its banks, inflamed the curiosity 
and the greed of the Egyptian Government, who were then 
bent on extending their dominions. They sent out expeditions 
during three successive years, in which Amaud and Weme took 
part, and explored the river for far more than 1,000 miles of 
water-way, terminating at or about Gondakoro, which we have 
at length ascertained, through Speke's observations, to be in 
lat. 4** 54' N. and long. 31** 46' E. Fifty or sixty miles above 
Gondakoro, the navigation of the river is absolutely interrupted 
by rapids and rqcks. 

Henceforward, and by slow degrees, the White Nile became 
a highway for competing traders, who formed stations near its 
banks, and trafficked in ivory and slaves. They had little 

1863. The Sources of the Nile. 209 

power to convey geographical knowledge, and, for the most 
party thej had strong pecuniary interest in withholding what 
they knew ; so that our acquaintance with the river, in a scien- 
tific point of view, was out of all proportion inferior to its 
value andaccessibility. 

Praiseworthy attempts have been made by individuals, who 
were munly incited by the earnest appeals of the French 
Geographical Society, and especially of its late venerable 
President, M. Jomard, to explore beyond Gondakoro, and to 
map the neighbourhood of the river ; but they met with scanty 
success. Our maps of the high Nilotic countries are compromises 
of ezceedinffly di£ferent representations, mostly devoid of any 
astronomical basis ; and the farthest exploration of the most 
successful traveller, Mi^i^i^ reached only to a point which Speke 
has now ascertained to be in lat 3"^ 34f N. As for the extra- 
ordinary sketch of Petherick's route, which that traveller Idd 
down upon paper with a free hand, and without the slightest 
astronomical check, we dismiss it from our consideration. It is 
wholly unproved, and is, in many respects, improbable. 

The failure of travellers from Gondakoro was mainly due to 
the distance of that place from Ehartiim, whence all supplies 
had to be drawn, to the wretched quality of Ehartiim servants, 
and to the disorganised and poverty-stricken character of the 
country immediately beyond Gondakoro. A traveller could 
obtain no porters at that place, beasts of burthen did not 
exist, yet a strong party was essential to security and progress. 
Success was only possible to an able leader, who could command 
means to take out with him an imposing expedition, so com- 
pletely organised as to be independent of the natives. 

While progress languished on the White Nile, and geographers 
were periodically tantalised and disappointed by scraps of intel- 
ligence published in the bulletin of the French Geographical 
Society, an entirely new base of operations was suggested to 
future travellers. Two missionaries, Krapf and Rebmann, 
directed by religious caprice, selected a small town on the east 
coast of Africa as their station. It is called Mombas ; it lies a 
little to the north of Zanzibar, and in lat. 4° 4' S. They esta- 
blished themselves there, learnt native languages, made journeys 
to the interior, and published an account of what they bad seen 
and heard. They astonished European geographers by the asser- 
tion that they had found two snow-capped mountains, whose 
position they fixed at an extravagant distance from the coast.- 
iJnfortunately for their credit, their narratives were too loosely 
recorded to endure a searching criticism ; their itineraries were- 
discussed, and their journeys were shown to have extended only 


210 The Sources of the NUe. July, 

a half or a third of the distance they had claimed to ha>re 
accomplished. Fanciful conclusions were also interwoven with 
their statements of fact In consequence of these serious in- 
accuracies^ a misgiving unjustly attached itself to the whole of 
their story. They were bitterly assailed on many sides ; some 
persons asserted the mountains to be myths, and others believed 
them to exist as peaks of moderate altitude, whitened by 
quartz or dolomite. There were but a few who, while they 
acknowledged the missionaries to be unscientific, recmled from 
accusing them of intentional misstatement, and refused to 
believe that a native of German Switzerland, like Rebmann^ 
should mistake the character of so familiar an object as a snow 
mountain, when he had spent many days in its neighbouriiood, 
and walked partly round it We now know that the latter 
view was the correct one ; but, at the time of which we are 
speaking, discussions grew exceedingly warm, and further ex- 
ploration was urgently called for in Eastern Africa. 

The next incident that bears upon our subject was the appear- 
ance of a map, wholly compiled from native information by Mr. 
Sebmann, with the assistance of another missionary, Mr. Erhardt 
It included a vast territory, reaching from the eastern coast to 
the medial line of Africa^ and was founded on the statements of 
travellers by several caravan routes, which were said to run pa- 
rallel to one another, from the coast to the interior, at 150 miles 
apart, and to end, in every case, on the shores of a lake. Other 
information connected the routes by cross sections, and made 
it probable that the three lakes were one continuous sheet of 
water, prolonged into the Lake Maravi of the older maps. The 
memoir that accompanied the missionaries' sketch was composed 
with great ability, and could not fail to convince readers that, 
notwithstanding the improbability of the existence of a sheet of 
water of the egregious dimensions and unnatural outline ascribed 
to it in the sKetch, there was undoubtedly a Jake country of 
great extent at some sixty days' journey from the eastern coast, 
and that more than one road to it lay perfectly open to any 
traveller who chose to make the effort 

The labours of Mr. Cooley are too well known and too 
numerous to need recapitulation here. He had advocated a 
long narrow lake, stretching down Eastern Africa; but his 
arguments were based on travels that were little known to the 
English public, and were raised on an almost too ingenious 
critical basis. The same may be said, with more or less truth, 
of the arguments of the Abyssinian traveller. Dr. Beke, and of 
a crowd of others who entertained various hypotheses on the 
geography of various parts of Eastern Affica. They had not 

1863. The Sources of the Nile. 211 

the inflaeooe thej deserved. It was perhaps natufal that the 
ninple statements of men writing from Africa itself, who were 
able to converse with numbers of travellers, including the 
native captains of caravan parties, who were, of all negroes, 
the best qualified informants, should impress the majority of 
geographers with a greater air of reality than learned disous- 
nons, elalxnrated within the sound of Bow Bells. 

The discoveries, speculations, and maps of Krapf, Rebmann, 
and Brfaardt, obtained a wide circulation, and induced theorists 
to suppose that the snow mountains of the missionaries were 
identical vnth the Mountains of the Moon, spoken of by 
Ptolemy, whence the Nile was said to rise ; and they argued, on 
that hypothesis, that an expedition should be sent from Zanzibar 
to seek the souroes of that river. On the other hand, there were 
many who urged an investigation of the Lake question, as one of 
great geographical interest and apparently easy solution. In 
fine, the Geographical Society successfully exerted itself to pro- 
cure the despatch of an exploring party to Eastern Africa, to find 
out what they could: hence. Burton and Speke^s expedition 
to Lake Tanganyika in 1857-9. It will be recollected that 
Burton, the leader of the party, suffered severely from an 
illness during the whole of the journey, against which he gal- 
lantly but unsuccessfully struggled. Consequently, on his arrival 
at Kazeh, the half-way station between Lake Tanganyika and 
the coast, and an entrepdt of some importance, whence a trading 
route diverges to the north, he despatched Speke on a solitary 
expedition. He was to follow that route, and to visit a great lake 
called Nyanza, which was clearly one of the separate lakes which 
tfae missionaries had believed to be united in one continuous sheet 
of water. Speke went, and reached the southern shores of an 
enormous inland sea in lat 2^45^ S. and long. 33^ 3(/ E., and 
therefore at a distance of 480 geographical miles from Gon- 
dakoro, and about 400 from the highest point to which the White 
Nile had been ascended by Miani Recollecting this fact, and 
being informed that the lake extended some 400 miles in that 
direction (it actually does extend more than 200), and that it 
had a northern outlet in a river frequented by white men, 
Speke came to the conclusion that that river must be the Nile, 
and therefore that the Nyanza (or as he was pleased to call it, 
with questionable taste, the Victoria Nyanza) was, in a proxi- 
mate sense, its long-sought source. 

The present expedition of Captains Speke and Grant was 
planned to investigate that hypothesis. It was undertaken 
with the help of Government aid, granted at the earnest soli- 
citation of the Geographical Society, and has proved the truth 

212 The Sources of the Nile. July, 

of Speke's theory. We will now proceed to relate the chief 
incidents and the geographical results of their protracted 

Captains Speke and Grant left Zanzibar in October, I860, after 
haying despatched a carayan of natives in advance, to form a depdt 
of goods and travelling necessaries at Kazeh. The expedition was 
arranged on a liberal scale, though it was prepared under serious 
disadvantages, owing to the delays that always intervene between 
the time when hope is held out of Government support, and 
the day when it is finally given. Speke's preparatory arrange- 
ments were thrown sadly out of gear by the procrastination of 
officials at home, and his start was unduly hurried at the last 
moment. It was, in fact, retarded until the most favourable 
season of the year had passed. They started with a motley 
caravan, consisting, first, of sixty armed men from Zan- 
zibar, who were engsiged to serve them throughout the journey, 
and who carried tne travellers' personal luggage; next came 
an army of local porters, laden with goods oi exchange, such as 
beads and calico ; and to these was added a curious detachment 
which had been pressed upon them, with the kindest intentions, 
by Sir George Grey, then Governor of the Cape. It c6nsisted 
of a number of Hottentot soldiers. They were an utter and a 
costly failure ; for the difference of climate between their native 
droughts and the steaming vegetation of the coast opposite 
Zanzibar, was too great for their constitutions to withstand. 
Many died, and the others were useless from ill-health, as well 
as from their ignorance of the language, habits, and methods of 
locomotion of Eastern Africa, and they had to be sent back. 
Some mules and donkeys were taken, but they also proved a 
failure. The great journey had to be performed on foot. 

No African caravan-track could have been less obstructed 
than the road to Kazeh, when Spekc travelled along it in the 
company of Burton : on the present occasion, the face of For- 
tune seemed steadily set against him. A drought and famine 
of remarkable severity afflicted the whole extent of Eastern 
Africa, and produced tlie well-known fruits of disorganisation 
and political troubles among the native tribes. It also hap- 
pened that a chief of importance had died, and the question of 
his succession was disputed by arms. In short, the two tra- 
vellers pushed through far more severe impediments than they 
had reckoned upon, before even Kazeh was reached ; and, on 
attempting to proceed farther, they were attacked and plundered. 
Speke became seriously ill, and Grant, who at that time was 
detached from him, with a portion of the remaining stores, could 
barely hold bis own. Communication with Zanzibar was ex- 

1863. The Sources of the Nile. 2 1 3 

pected to be cut off, and matters wore for a time a very alarm- 
ing aspect. However, the two friends effected a junction, and 
contrived to fall back on Kazeh, and to reorganise their party 
by obtaining a new set of porters and fresh interpreters. They 
then recommenced their journey in October, 1861, just one year 
after leaving Zanzibar, with restored health, better prospects, 
and lighter hearts. Thus far we had heard from them vid 
Zanzibar, but not a scrap of intelligence of their subsequent 
fate reached even the confines of the civilised world, until the 
two travellers emerged at Gondakoro, on the White Nile, on 
February 15, 1863. 

Of the two routes from Kazeh by which the northern end 
of Lake Nyanza may be reached, a person who was merely 
guided by his map, might conclude it was a matter of indiffer- 
ence whether a traveller should follow the eastern or the 
western shore of the lake. But when political causes are taken 
into consideration, it is found that the eastern route is wholly 
impracticable. It passes through the territory of a warlike and 
disunited people, tne Masai, with whom no traveller has yet 
succeeded in making friends. They possess no paramount chief, 
whose goodwill can shield the explorer throughout an extensive 
country, but every tribe is independent in its own domain, and 
probably on ill terms with its neighbours. Thus, the Baron 
Yon der Decken, who measured and ascended the missionaries' 
snow mountain, Kilimandjaro, to a height of 13,000 feet, has 
recently been driven back by the Masiu, on attempting to enter 
their territory from the eastern side. The western and north- 
western shores of the lake are subject to very different political 
conditions. They are included in the territory of Uganda, and 
one despotic sovereign holds them under his strict control. He 
also maintains a fleet of war-canoes on its waters. He is, there- 
fore, all-powerful to aid or to thwart a traveller, and it was to 
his court that Speke and Grant intended to proceed, in order 
to gain his assistance. 

Thus far, say 120 miles north-west of Kazeh, the travellers 
had journeyed among the Wanyamesi and other uninteresting 
negroes, who are said to have been formerly included in a 
kingdom of some importance. They are now scattered in tribes 
and families, where each man does what is right in his own 
eyes, subject to no restriction beyond the self-imposed restraint 
of superstitious customs and the personal interference of his 
neighbours. The single principle they possess, that attains to 
the dignity of a national policy, is a tacit understanding that 
travelling parties should be taxed and robbed by individuals, 
only 80 far as will fall short of putting a stop to the caravan 

214 The Sources of the Nile. July> 

trade altogether. It is cold comfort to acknowledge that this is 
an advance upon the doctrines of the Masai. Now, however, on 
the western shores of Lake Nvanza, Speke and Grant came 
upon a series of strong governments, including that of Uganda, 
and found their history to be of considerable interest. 

Scattered among the Wanyamesi, and other neighbouring 
races, are found families of a superior type to the negro. 
They exist as a pastoral people, but in other respects they 
adopt the customs of the races of Africa. They bear dif- 
ferent names in different places, but we. will desmbe them 
by that which has the widest currency, namely, Wahuma. 
Speke considers them offshoots of the Grallas of Abyssinia, and 
of Asiatic origin. He believes they migrated in somewhat 
ancient times in bands from Abyssinia, and met with variouB 
fortunes. In some countries, as in Uniamesi, they were simply 
mingled with the natives ; but in those he was about to visit 
they had achieved the position of a ruling caste, though quite 
insignificant in numbers, when compared to the negroes whom 
they ruled. Such was first found to be the case in Uzinli^ 
a small country governed by a robber, the terror of Arab 
traders, which lies 80 miles to tiie west of the south end of 
Lake Nyanza. Speke and Grant traversed Uzinli with* the 
greatest difficulty, and thence made their way to the capital of 
the hospitable Wahuma'king of Karagw6, which lay 250 miles 
from Kazeh and 70 miles west of the lake. Uganda lies north 
of Karagw^, and is rarely visited by traders from Zanzibar. 
It was Speke's aim to make a favourable impression on the 
more accessible king of Karagw^, and to avail himself of his 
good will in obtaining a satisfactory introduction to his powerful 
neighbour. Bumanika, the King of Karagw^, keeps up his 
state with some magnificence, and has the bearing and the 
liberal ideas of a* gentleman. His country is a fair undu- 
lating land, partly 6,000 feet above the sea, and elsewheire 
sloping to the lake. His cattle cover the hills in tens of 
thousands. His rule is strict, and his people are thriving ; 
but as the peculiarities of Wahuma governments were more 
noteworthy in Uganda, we will reserve the description of them 
just at present 

Speke quitted Elaragwe on the 1st of June, 1862, escorted 
by a guard sent by Bumanika, and carrying a friendly letter of 
introduction to M't&e, the King of Uganda. 

Many are the difiiculties of African travel, due to physical 
and other causes, that readily suggest themselves to any one, 
such as heat, rains, privations, and unruly attendants ; but these 
may be overcome by any man who is gifted with a strong c(m- 

1863. The Sources of the Nile. 216 

stitation, determination, and patience. The greatest difBcalty 
of all depends on other causes, over which no traveller, how- 
ever well qualified, has more than a limited control. There 
is the accident of the tribes among whom he travels, being at 
peace or at war with each other, and that of a despot's caprice 
being favourable or unfavourable to his progress. Wherever 
active warfare is carried on, the road is almost hopelessly closed 
between the contending parties ; wherever there is peace, the 
suspicion of a ruler is aroused by the arrival of a stranger, on 
a doubtful errand to traverse his territory. He suspects his 
mission to be espionage, he trembles lest enchantments should 
ensue, and is quite sure that covert danger of some kind or other 
is to be apprehended, if the traveller is allowed to move about as 
he pleases. Land journeys of great extent, in Africa, can only be 
made, either when the road is freely open to caravans, as was 
the case in Burton and Speke's expedition to Tanganyika, or 
when the goodwill of a chief has been obtained who enjoys 
such power and prestige that his escort, or even his name, is a 
sufficient passport. The latter was the good fortune of Living- 
stone, and such was also the happy luck of Speke, whose 
power of managing natives seems to be unsurpassed by any 
recent traveller, and unequalled save by Livingstone. It also 
happened that the Wahuma kings, especially the King of 
Uganda, bad a motive in letting him pass ; they desired the 
establishment of trading routes with the stations visited by 
white men. They live in considerable semi-barbaric state, 
and have, as we shall presently see, a more refined taste than 
is usually heard of in negro Africa. Their wants are in 
advance of the productive skill of their people, though these 
are mised many degrees above barbarism : for instance, to show 
their advance in mechanical arts, the native blacksmiths have 
sufficient skill to inlay iron with copper. The King of Karagw^ 
has not unfrequently received European manufactures by way 
of Zanzibar, though his rascally brother of TJzinli lays an 
almost prohibitive black mail on whatever passes his terri- 
tory. The king of a yet more northern Wahuma State than 
Uganda, by name Unyoro, of which we have not hitherto 
spoken, but which abuts on the negro tribes in the neighbour- 
hood of Gondakoro, occasionally obtained goods that had been 
conveyed by whites on the Nile ; but none of these ever reached 
M't^e, the King of Uganda, except as noteworthy presents 
from his neighbouring brother-sovereigns. It naturally fol- 
lowed that he felt an eager desire to open a commercial route 
in both directions, and was thrown into a ferment of joy at 
the news of Speke's arrival. Little did M't^ know of the 

216 The Sources of the Nik. July, 

evil of uncontrolled traffic with a powerful and unscrupulous 
race. When Speke saw the doings of the Turkish traders 
at Gondakoro^ and w^itnessed their plunder, their insolence, 
and their cruelty, he regretted bitterly that the word * trade * 
had ever passed his lips to tempt his kind-hearted host ia 

Speke's route lay through vast reedy plains parallel to the west 
shores of the Nyanza. He crossed deep stagnant channels every 
mUe, and one ^eat river, which seemed to him as full of water 
as the White Nile itself, flowing swift and deep between banks 
qf dense stiff reeds, impenetrable except through certain tor- 
tuous paths. This river may therefore be reckoned as the parent 
stream of the Nyanza Lake ; or, in other words, the river of 
Karagw^ is the true head-water of the Nile. 

Uganda occupies the whole of the north-western shoulder of 
the lake, whose shores are of the shape of a schoolboy's 
peg-top. The peg-end is directed due south, and looks on 
the map very like an ancient outlet, in a southern direc- 
tion, into an adjacent tributary of the Tanganyika Lake. 
Its geographical position is 2"" 3(/ S. lat. and 33"" 30' £. long. 
The flat upper boundary of the lake closely coincides with the 
equator, and from its very centre, and also at. the frontier 
of Uganda, the Nile issues in a stream 150 yards wide, 
with a leap of twelve feet Numerous other outlets of the 
lake (if in truth they be not independent rivers,) converge upon 
the Nile at various distances, one of which does not jom it till 
after an independent course of ninety miles from the lake. 
Ond hardly knows where else to find an example of such 
hydrographical conditions. When a river runs into a lake or 
the sea, it has always a tendency to divide itself in numy 
ehannels, because it deposits mud and forms a delta; but Speke's 
map presents that same appearance of many channels, in con- 
nexion with an outflow of the river, which is certainly a very 
unusual, as it is an unintelligible condition. The lake is 
heavily bordered by reeds, and continues exceedingly shallow 
far from shore; no boats venture to cross it. Uganda is 
bounded by the main stream of the Nile, which Speke fol- 
lowed, more or less closely, the whole way from the Nyanza 
to Gondakoro, a distance of near 5^, say 350 miles, with the 
exception of one part where it makes a great and remark- 
able bend. At the middle of the bend we river b said to 
dip into the northern shoulder of the Luta Nzig^ a narrow 
laKe of some 200 miles in length, and to reissue immediately. 
There is some confusion about this name, though none about 
the water it refers to. Luta Nzig6, which is said to mean 

1863. The Sources of the Nile. 217 

neither more nor less than * dead locust/ was applied by the 
natives to many sheets of water, including the Nyanza itself. 
Speke identifies the lake of which we are now speaking by the 
phrase * little Luta Nzig6.' The travellers were compelled by 
circumstances to cut across the chord of the above-mentioned 
bend, a distance of eighty miles, and to leave the Luta Nzig^ 
unvisited ; but we are exceedingly glad to hear that this single 
deficiency in their exploration, is in a fair way of being supplied 
by the zeal of an excellent traveller, Mr. Samuel Baker, to 
whose proceedings we shall shortly recur, and who has started 
from Gondakoro for that purpose. It is the more necessary 
that this interval should be examined, as there is an unac- 
countable difference of altitude of the river before and after 
the bend, amounting to 1,000 feet If there be no error of 
observations, a vast system of rapids and waterfalls must 

It aids our conception of numerical data to measure them by 
simple standards ; those that refer to the Nile are thus to be 
easily disposed of. That river spans, from south to north, 
very nearly one fifth of the entire meridional arc, from |)ole to 
pole ; and its general course is so strictly to the north, that 
its source in the river of Karagw^ is due south of Alexandria. 
Khartiim is the exact half way between the sea and the exit of 
the Nile from the Nyanza, which lies almost exactly under the 

Having thus far anticipated the narrative of Speke's personal 
adventures by alluding to some of the main features of the 
country, we will proceed to fill in the picture by further 
details. Karagw^ occupies the eastern slope of a plateau 
6,000 feet above the sea. Conical hills, of which MYumbiro 
is the highest and most central, are scattered about the plain, 
but there are no mountain giants and no continuous range. 
Westward of the plateau the watershed is into a small lake 
called the Rusizi, lying between the parallels of 1^ and 2^ and 
in about the 30° E. long. An affluent of Lake Tanganyika 
proceeds due southwards from this lake, consequently the 
amphitheatre of mountains that has been pictured in some maps 
round the northern end of the Tanganyika must be removed, or 
be so far cut away as to admit of the river's entry. An east and 
west distance of 150 miles separates the Busizi from the 
Nianza. The next tribute to geographical science, collected by 
Speke from native information, is that the Tanganyika has a 
large outlet at its southern extremity, which feeds the Niassa 
of liivingstone, and therefore reaches the sea by way of the 
Shir6 and the ZambesL This new fact, if fact it be, ranks as 

218 The Sources of the Nile. July* 

a signal triumph to common sense, in the faoe of the former 
observations of Burton and Speke, who navigated some distance 
down the Tanganyika, but never were within 150 miles of its 
supposed end. They insisted, upon native evidence, that a 
river ran into it at that place, not out of it. Consequently^ 
the Tanganyika, though a fresh- water lake, was described as 
resembling the Dead Sea, a sheet of water without any outlet 
whatever that gets rid of the water poured into it by means 
of evaporation only. It was objected, on their arrival in England, 
that two facts were also stated, irreconcilable with such an hypo- 
thesis ; namely, that while, on the one hand, the periodical rains 
fell heavily and continuously during half the year, when no eva- 
poration took place, so, on the other hand, there was no 
variation in the level of the lake, as ascertained at the wharves 
of the fishermen. It was wholly impossible that a half-yearly 
supply and loss of water should be accompanied by an unvary- 
ing leveL The statement now brought back by Speke is in 
accordance with physical science, as well as with the maps of 
Cooley and of the missionaries. 

We have thus far arrived at the fact, that the high table-land, 
120 miles across, of which M'fumbiro is the centre, is drained 
on the east by the tributaries of the Nyanza, and therefore of 
the Nile, and on the south-south-west by those of the Tanganyika, 
and therefore of the Zambesi. There is also strong reason to 
believe, from the information brought by Speke, as well as 
from the appearance of the map and the conclusions of previous 
African geographers, that the sources of the Congo are to be 
found there also. Hence we may conclude that from this cir- 
cumscribed district the waters drain into the Mediterranean, the 
Indian Ocean, and the Atlantic, and that the M'fumbiro 
plateau is the key-stone, the omphelosy of African geography. 
We consider this fact, if fact it be, as the greatest discovery 
made by Speke and Grant.* 

• It deserves observation that De Barros, one of the best informed 
of the Portuguese geographers, whose work was published in 1591, 
and is quoted by Dr. Beke in his ' Essay on the Sources of the Nile, 
(p. 40.}, speaks of a great lake in the interior as sending forth three 
rivers, namely, the Tacuy or Nile, the Zaire or Congo, and the 
Zambesi or Cuama. He says, ' The Nile truly has its origin in this 
' first lake, which is in 12° S. latitude, and it runs 400 miles due 

* north, and enters another very large lake, which is called by the 
' natives a sea, because it is 220 miles in extent, and it lies under the 

* equator.' The people on this lake are described as more civilised 
than the people of Congo. Though not strictly accurate, this ancient 
statement is an approach to what has now been ascertained to be the 

1863. The Sources of the Nile. 219 

The theory of Sir Roderick Murchison, that the interior of 
Africa ia an elcTated watery plateau, whence rivers escape by 
bursting, through a circumscribing mountainous boundary, must 
now be received with some limitation. It was literally true in 
the case of the Zambesi, but facts are still wanting to test its 
strict applicability to the Congo ; and, as to the Nile, the fol- 
lowing remarks were made by Sir Boderick in his Anniversary 
Address to the Koyal Geographical Society : — 

* Modem discovery has indeed proved the truth of the hypothesis, 
which I ventured to suggest to you eleven years ago, that the true 
centre of Africa is a great eleya^d watery basin, often abounding in 
rich lands, its large lakes being fed by numerous streams from ad- 
jacent ridges, and its waters escaping to the sea by fissures and de- 
pressions in the higher surrounding lands. It was at our anniversary 
of 1852, when many data that have since been accumulated were 
unknown to us, that, in my comparative view of Africa in primeval 
and modern times, I ventured fo suggest that the interior of Africa 
wonld be found to be such an unequally elevated basin, occupied 
now, as it was in ancient geological- periods, by fresh-water lakes, 
the outflow of which would be to the east and' to the west, through 
fissures in subtending ranges of higher mountains near the coast. 
While this theory was clearly verified in Southern Africa by Living- 
stone in the escape of the Zambesi, as narrated by himself, and is 
well known to be true in the case of the Niger, so does it apply to 
the Nile, in as far as the great central lake, Victoria Nyanza, occu- 
pies a lofty plateau of 3,500 feet above the sea. In this example, as 
the waters flow from a southern watershed, and cannot escape to the 
east or the west, there being no great transversal valleys in the 
flanking higher grounds, they necessarily issue from the northern 
end of the Lake Victoria Nyanza, and, forming the White Nile, take 
advantf^e of a succession of depressions, through which they flow 
and cascade.' 

We, therefore, see that the watery plateau which was de- 
scribed as extending to the Niger, in western longitudes, is 
terminated by the equator in the eastern portion of Africa. 

We learn, in addition, that the exceptional character of the 
Nile is shared in a very much more remarkable d^ree by 
the Tanganyika, Niassa, and Shir^ valleys. The Tanganvika 
occupiee a crevasse of some 300 miles in length, comparable in 
its narrowness and abruptness to the Valley of the Dead Sea. 
In exactly a similar way, the Niassa and the Shii^ occupy a 
continuous north and south chasm, that has already been traced 
by Livingstone to a distance of 450 miles. Now that we hear 
of a connexion existing between the Tanganyika and Niassa, 
we may reasonably suppose that its channel runs through a 
similar fissure. The length of the entire series, from the 
Busizi to the Zambesi, is nearly 1,400 miles in a direct line. 

220 The Sources of the Nile. July, 

Bearing these extraordinary facts in mind, the great feature 
of Eastern Africa consists in a more or less marked groove, occu- 
pied by water^channels. It runs right through ^e continent 
from north to south, beginning at Alexandria and ending where 
the land narrows into the promontory that terminates with the 
Cape Colonies. It cleaves the eastern shoulder of Africa from 
the rest of the continent, much as Arabia is cleft from Africa 
by the long and narrow Red Sea/ So, i^ain, to adduce another 
example from a neighbouring country, the deep and continuous 
Valley of the Jordan, Dead Sea, Wady Araba, and the Gulf of 
Akaba, is formed by an abrupt fissure possessing no less than 
three watersheds, — that of the sources of the Jordan in the 
north, and those of the Wady Araba, whence the drainage is 
to the Dead Sea on the one band, and to * the Gulf of Akaba 
on the other. It is remarkable that our globe presents 
so close a repetition of the same peculiar fissures in several 
neighbouring places, and it strongly tempts us to refer their 
production to the same class of physical agencies. 

Another important acquisition in geography, for which we are 
indebted to thb and the previous expedition, consists in a greatly 
improved knowledge of the water-supply of Central Africa. 
It is undeniable that, owing to the great majority of travels, in 
recent years, having been confined to the Sahara, the Karoos, 
and the Kaliharri, an impression has forced itself on the popular 
mind that the whole interior of Africa is arid. But it is an 
error to suppose that this opinion was current among educated 
geographers ; their fault lay in the opposite direction. The only 
approach, in recent times, to a belief in the aridity of any part 
of Africa, which subsequent facts disproved, lay in the question 
of the northern boundary of the Kalihafri Desert It was a 
surprise to geographers when Livingstone showed them that it 
was abruptly bounded by a swampy land, full of large rivers ; 
but in reference to the general question of the moisture or 
drought of equatorial Africa, the exceeding hiunidity of its 
coasts has unduly influenced opinion, as to the character of its 
more distant interior. 

To take a single example, we will quote a few lines from a 
masterly sketch of African geography in the first volume of 
Bruce's * Travels,* which appeared at the be^nning of this 
century. It was written by his editor, Dr. Murray, and will 
be found in the appendix on the Gtdla races — those peojde from 
whom Speke theoretically derives the Wahumas :— 

* The scanty knowledge we possess of the eastern and western 
shores of Africa, in the region of the Line^ would lead us to sup- 
pose that the central country is mountainous intersected with deep 

1 863. The Sources of the Nile. 22 1 

and extensire valleys and large Btreams^ whose banks have all the 
wild luxuriance of warm rainy climates. All the kingdoms that lie 
round the Gulf of Guinea are well watered, and, consequently, fer- 
tile in a high degree. South of these, the countries of Loando, Congo, 
Ngolo, and Benguela, where the Portuguese have settled, merit a 
similar character, which undoubtedly may be extended across the 
interior to the countries of Mozambico, Querimba, and Zanzibar, on 
the opposite eastern shore. • . . All the interior of Africa between 
the tropics must be full of rivers, woods, and ravines, on account of 
the rains which inundate it during the winter season* Accordingly, 
we observe abundance of streams in these latitudes^ which enter the 
ocean on either side.' 

The error of more recent geographers has lain in the same 
direction. Thus, in Keith cfohnston's 'Physical Atlas/ the 
chart of the dbtribution of rain ascribes an amount of precipi- 
tation in equatorial Africa, little inferior to that observed in 
rimilar latitudes elsewhere in the world. The humidity of the 
coasts of Africa corroborated this view, and the outpour of water 
from its interior did not disprove it. The river drainage of 
Africa was known to be large, while our imperfect knowledge 
of the river mouths along its coasts, made it probable that the 
outpour was still greater than had actually been ascertained. 
Africa used to be oescribed as a land in which we knew of the 
existence of vast rivers, but were ignorant of their embouchures. 
The Niger of a generation back, the Zambesi, the Limpopo*, 
and the great river of Du Chaillu, are all instances where the 
streams were known by exaggerated reports, but their mouths, 
where nautical surveyors might gauge the water they poured 
into the sea, were undiscovered* 

The hydrology of Eastern Africa is now pretty well under- 
stood ; it depends upon well-marked geographical features. A 
narrow coast-line is bounded by the rampart-like edge of a high 
plateau : the rain-bearing monsoons blow parallel to this ridge, 
and not across it ; consequently there are heavy rains on the 
coast-line, and a comparative drought to a considerable space 
beyond. On passing about a quarter of the distance across 
Africa, and on arriving at the meridian of the lakes, rain again 
begins to fall freely, but its amount, as measured by Grant's 
rain-gauge, bears no comparison to the deluge that descends in 
similar parallels, either on the great oceans, or on the islands 
that lie within them, elsewhere in the world. 

Whatever water the rivers of a country may pour year by year 
into the sea, must have been derived from it, on the average, 
within the same periods. Now it is clear, from geographical 
considerations, that Africa is unfavourably disposed to receiving 
rain-bearing currents from the ocean. The existence of the 

2^ The Sources afthe Nile, July, 

Sahara to the north, and the Kaliharri Desert to the sondi, makee 
it impossible that vapour supplies should reach the interior in a 
straight line from the sea in either of those directions. Again, 
we have already said that the monsoons blow parallel to the 
east coast, and we should add, that the trade winds blow 
parallel to the west coast; consequently, the vapour that 
reaches the interior must be derived from limited directions^ 
and can only be conveyed by the comparatively in»gnificant 
channel of upper atmospheric currents* We consequently fiad 
that the vegetation of Central Equatorial Africa is, on the 
whole, not so moist and steaming as that of its coasts, but that 
it is largely characterised by open plains and scraggy mimosa 
trees ; and though the flatness of laige portions of its surface 
admits of the r^y formation of great lakes and reedy plains, 
there is an absence of that vast amount of suspended vapour 
which would ensue from African temperatures, if the air were 
saturated with moisture. The chief cause of the rise of the 
White Nile must not be looked for in the swelling of the 
Nyanza Lake. The rain-fall was found to be too continuous 
throughout the year to make any veiy marked alteration of its 
level ; but south of the latitude of Gondakoro, the division of 
the rainy and dry season b^ns to be sharply defined. We 
should therefore mainly ascribe the rise of the White Nile to the 
rain-fall north of about 3"" N. lat 

We wiU now turn from consideratione of physical geography 
to the history and character of the races among whom Speke 
and Grant have been so long familiar. It seems clear to «s 
that in no part of Africa do the negroes present so few pointa 
of interest, as in the country which stretches between the lakes 
Tanganyika and Nyanza and the eastern coast. But on ar* 
riving at the three Wahuma kingdoms, which enclose the wes^ 
em and, north-western shores of the latter lake, a remarkable 
state of social and political life arrests the attention. Two at 
least of these Wahuma kingdoms have the advantage of being 
ruled with a firm hand, and, as we have already stated, the 
three are governed by a stranger dynasty, of a hi^er race 
than the people who compose the bulk of theii: respective 
nations. This is no exceptional occurrence in Africa : the great 
kingdoms of North African negroland which now, or formerly, 
stretch in a succession of blocks below the Sahara, from the 
Niger to the Nile, have been for the most part founded by 
alien races. It is hard to overrate the value of such a political 
condition to a negro population, who are servile, suscep- 
tible, and little able to rule themselves. The negro is plastic 
under the influence of a strong, if it be a sympathetic, govern- 

1863. Tlie Sources of the Nile. 223 

moat, to an extent of which our northern experiences can afibrd 
DO instance* The recent growth of national dignity among the 
ItaKans is a feeble parallel to what may be effected, in the same 
time, by the conversion of a barbarian chief to the Mahometan 
creed. The impressionable character of the negroes is snch as 
may be seen in a school of European boys, which is imme- 
diately infected by bad example and negligent discipline, and 
almost as rapidly raised in moral tone by the influence of a 
capable master. We Anglo-Saxons stand too far from the 
negroes, socially, morally, and intellectually, to be able to in- 
fluence them like the Arabs, the Tawareks, or these Wahumas. 

The eagerness of the African to be led, and his incapacity to 
lead, is such thi^ any able and energetic man, who can hold his 
own for a few years, appears to have a good chance of founding 
a kingdom and originating new customs and names. The 
political state of tlie African negroland seeths with continual 
agitation. The Niger countries have been known to us little 
more than forty years, yet that short space of time has witnessed 
the introduction of an entirely new race, the Fellatahs, and the 
construction of an enormous aggregate of Fellatah kingdoms, not 
only on the foundation of previously existing governments, but 
also by the annexation of barbarian races. So in South Africa, 
\he Kaflir tribes of the earlier travellers, have changed their 
names ; they and their Hottentot, Negro, and Negroid neigh- 
bours dwell within largely modified frontiers; half-caste 
breeds of the Hottentots have flourished and become ab- 
sorbed, while another somewhat adulterated Hottentot race, 
the Namaquas, are become the most powerful of any native 
race. The remainder of Africa is known to us so lately, that 
we have nothing but recent tradition and circumstantial evidence 
to guide us ; these, however, suffice to confirm our assertion. 
The negroes are continually grouping themselves in fresh com- 
binations, to an extent that may remind us of a pack of cards, 
variously dealt over and over again into different hands. The 
story of the Wahuma nations is quaint and characteristic ; we 
will describe that of Uganda. 

Many generations ago, a great kingdom of negroes, ruled by 
Wahuma chiefs, was established in the country now divided 
among Kan^w^, Uganda, and Unyoro. That portion which 
bordered the lake, and is now called Uganda, was considered 
as the garden of the whole, and the agriculturists who tilled it, 
were treated as slaves. Then a man named Kim^ra, himself 
a Wahuma, who was also a great hunter, happened to fre- 
quent for his sport, the Nile near its outflow from the Nyanza. 
The negro natives flocked to him in crowds, to share the game 

224 The Sources of the Nile. July, 

he killed, and he became so popular that they ended by.makme^ 
him their king. They said their own sovereien lived far off 
and was of no use to them. If any one sent him a cow as a 
tributary present, the way to his judace was so long that the 
cow had time to have a calf on the road, and the calf had time 
to grow into a cow and to have a calf of its own. They were 
therefore determined to establish a separate kingdom. Kim^ra 
became a powerful and magnificent king, and formed the King- 
dom of Uganda. He built himself a vast enclosure of large huts, as 
a palace ; he collected an enormous harem to fill them. He made 
highways across the country, built boats for war purposes on 
the lake, organised an army, legislated on ceremonies, behaviour, 
and dress, and superintended hyaihie so closely, that no house 
could be built in his country without its necessary appendages 
for cleanliness. In short, he was a model king, and established 
an order of things which has continued to the present day, 
through seven generations of successors, with little change. He 
was embalmed when he died, his memory is venerated, and his 
hunting outfit, the dog and the spear, continue to be the armorial 
insignia of Uganda. 

Kim^ra left at his death an enormous progeny, to whom his 
people behaved as ruthlessly as if they had been disciples of Mr. 
Carlyle, or as a hive of some imaginary species of bees might 
be supposed to treat their too numerous royal grubs. We do not 
learn what became of the girls, but the boys were sumptuously 
housed and fed, and when they grew up were royally wived ; 
but they were strictly watched and kept asunder, lest they 
should intrigue. The most promising youth of the lot was 
elected king ; the two proxime accesserunt were set aside as a 
reserve in case of accident, and then the people burnt to death, 
without compunction, every one of the remaining princes. The 
people have certainly been well ruled under this strict system 
of artificial selection, and the three Wahuma kings are every one 
of them more than six feet high. 

Uganda is described as a most surprising country, in the order, 
neatness, civility, and politeness of its inhabitants. It would be 
a pattern even for Zanzibar ; but M't^se's reign is a reign of 
terror. It is an establbhed custom that there should be one 
execution daily. The ceremonies and rules of precedence of 
the Court of Uganda, as in that of the other Wahuma courts, 
are minutely defined, and are exacted under penalty of death. 
The first among the dignitaries of State is the lady who had the 
good fortune to have acted as monthly nurse to the sovereign's 
mother. After this Mrs. Gamp, follow the Queen's sister and 
the King's barber. Then come governors of provinces and 

1863. The Sources of the Nile. 225 

naval and military commanders ; then the executioners (who 
are bnsy men in Uganda)^ and the superintendents of tombs ; 
lastly, the cook. In a lower grade are juvenile pages to look after 
the women, and to run upon errands : they are killed if they 
dare to walk. In addition to these is an effective band of 
musicians, who drum, rattle gourds with dry peas inside them, 
play flutes, clarionettes, wooden harmoniums, and harps, besides 
others who sing and whistle on their fingers. Every person of 
distinction must constantly attend on his sovereign, or his estates 
are liable to be utterly confiscated. He must be decorously 
dressed in a sort of toga, made from the pounded bark of the fig- 
tree, for he is fined heavily or killed outright if he exhibits even 
a patch of bare leg. What a blessing trousers would be to them I 
These bark cloaks are beautifully made, and look like the best 
corduroy; they are worn over robes of small antelope skins sewn 
together with the utmost furrier's art. Every courtier's language 
must be elegant, and his deportment modelled upon established 
custom. Even the King is not free ; Wahuma taste exacts that 
whenever he walks he should imitate the gait of a vigilant lion, 
by ramping with his legs and turning from side to side. When 
he accepts a present from a man, or orders a man a whipping, 
the favoured individual must return thanks for the condescending 
attention, by floundering flat on the ground and whining like a 
happy dog. Levees are held on most days in the palace, which 
is a vast enclosure full of life. It occupies the brow of a hill, 
and consists of gigantic grass huts, beautifully thatched. The 
ffronnd is strewn with mats and with rushes in patterns, and is 
kept with scrupulous care. Half-gorged vultures wheel over it, 
looking out for victims hurried aside to execution. The three 
or four thousand wives of the King inhabit the huts and quizzed 
Speke's party. There is plenty to do at these levees, both in 
rad work and in ceremony. Orders are given, punishments 
adjudged, presents are received. Military commanders bring 
in the cattle and plunder they have taken ; artisans bring their 
chefs d^oBuvre; hunters produce rare animals, dead and alive, 
Kim^ra, the first kine, having established a menagerie. Pages 
are running about, literally for their lives, and the band of 
drummers and pea-gourd rattlers, and artistes whistling on 
their fingers, with the other accompaniments, never ceases to 
play. The King has, however, some peace. He sets aside 
three days a month to attend to his religious ceremonies. 
He possesses a collection of magic horns, which he arranges 
and contemplates, and thereby communicates with a spirit who 
lives deep in the waters of the Nvanza. He also indulges in the 
interpretation of dreams. At otner times he makes pilgrimages^ 


226 Tlie S&uTces of ike Ntte. Juty, 

dragging bis wives after him ; on which oocasionB no oomnoa 
man dare look at the royal proceeBion. If any peeping Took 
be seen^ the inevitable pi^es hunt him down and rob him of 
everything. Occasionally the King spends a fortnight yaohting^ 
on the lake, and Speke was his companion oa one <^ these oo- 
casions. MH^^ the King, is a yonng man of twenty-five, who 
dresses scrupulously well, and uses a pocket4iaadlDerohief. He 
is a keen sportsman, and became « capital shot at flying game, 
under Speke's tuition. He told Speke that Uganda was h» 
garden, and that no one misht say nay to him. Gnmt, we 
may mention, had been ill, and remained five monthi ol 
Elaragw^, while his colleague had gone forwards to feel tbs 

Speke established his position at the Court of Uganda by 
judicious self-assertion and happy audacity. He would irot 
fiounder on his belly, nor whine like a happy dog. He would 
not even consent to stand in the sun awaiting the King's leisure 
at the first interview, but insisted on sitting in hb own chair 
with an umbrella over his head. The courtierB must have 
expected the heavens to fall upon such a man, but they did not ; 
and, in the end, M't6se treated him like a brother, and the two 
were always together. Savage despots have to be managed like 
wild beasts. If the traveller is too oompliaat, he is oppressed, 
thwarted, and ruined; if he is too audacious, the autoocat 
becomes furious, and the traveller is murdered, like Yogel ia 


Though Speke was treated with the utmost friendliness si 
Uganda, living entirely at the King's expense, his movements 
were narrowly constnuned, and he never seems to have left the 
immediate neighbourhood of the palace, except on the one ooc»» 
sion when he was yachting with M^^se, who would not allow 
him to explore the lake more thoroughly. He was detained 
month after month, according to the usual fate of Africaa 
travellers, and finally efiected his departure with difficulty. 
Other reported facts on the geography of the land hid 
now transpired. The southern end of the Lake Lata Nzig€ 
was 100 or 150 miles due west of the northern end of the 
Nyanza, and therefore on the equator ; and another small lake» 
the Baringo, was described due east of the Nyanza, and so far 
connected with it that the canoes of the Ugaiida people sailed 
there for salt Its outlet was said to be by the Asua, a small 
river which joins the Nile above Gh>ndakoro, near the farthest 
point reached by Miani. It would appear from the map, that 
If Kenia and Kilimandjaro send any of their drainage waters te 
the White Nile, it must be by way of the Baringo. Hence, 

18681 Tie Saurce$ of tlu Nik. 227 

irimtever snow-waier may be contributed to the White NUe 
miiBt be poured iato it thiOQgh the Asna Biver. 

After Speke and. Grant hm left the capital of Uganda, thej 
travelled with an escort ; Speke diverged directly to the Nile, 
which he struck fifty miles from the lake. Speke then ascended 
the river, and traced it to its exit from the Nyanza, and after^ 
wards returned down its stream in canoes. We pass over the 
partieulars of his journey, though it was, personally, eventful to 
him. His boats were unexpectedly attacked, while he was still 
in Uganda, and he forced lus way through considerable dangers. 
Finally, he reached the capital of Unyoro, the third and last of 
the great Wahuma kingdoms. 

His reception by the Eang was unfriendly. The Unyoro 
people are suUen, cowardly, and disobliging, and their habits 
afibrd a disagreeable contrast to the sprighUy wajrs and natty 
dress of their neighbours in Uganda, whom Speke compyes to 
the French. He and Grant spent many dreary months at Un- 
yoro, in lat 1^ 40^ N., before they were allowed to proceed. The 
King would never permit them even to enter hk palace: he 
was always at his witchcrafts. They were first threatened 
by the Unyoro peoide and then by their Uganda escort, who 
endeavoured to take them back. Half of their porters 
deserted them. It would weary the reader to fi>llow the travel- 
lers' narrative of their truly African miseries in this inhos- 
pitable land. They were felt the more acutely because the 
bourne of their journey was close at hand, and many things 
denoted the neighbourhood of the races and localities known to 
travellers from the north. Negroes were seen in Unyoro, 
speaking an entirely new class of languages, which Speke's own 
interpreters could make nothing of. One single language 
in modified dialects, had carried the travellers the whole way 
from Zanzibar to Unyoro; now they were on the frontier 
of the n(»rthem toi^ues. These new races were barbarians, 
absolutely naked in their own land, and wearing a mere 
scrap of clothing in Unyoro, out of deference to Wahuma 
habits. Humours reached the travellers of white traders at no 
great distance from diem, on the river, and they chafed at their 
detention. They sent forward the chief of their Zanzibar men, 
Bombay by name, who has already figured in Burton's and 
Speke's writings. He returned firing his gun, frantic with 
delight, and dressed in new clothes. He said he had been to 
the Turks, who were encamped eight marches south of Gon- 
dakoro. At length, after daily anxieties and heart-sickness, 
a partial permission came for their departure, and the explorers 
.made a joyful escape. It was impossible for them to follow the 

228 The Sources of the Nile. July, 

river, for a brother of the King of Unyoro occupied it8 banks, 
and was at war with him ; they took a direct line across country, 
to Gondakoro, which led them along the chord of that bend of 
the Nile, to which we have already alluded. When they again 
struck the river, they found themselves in a Turkish camp, at 
3^ 10^ N. lat. It was an ivory station, made by men in the 
employment of Debono, and established a short distance south 
of the farthest point reached by Miani. They were rapturously 
received, and Speke's men abandoned care and got drunk for a 
week. The Turks were preparing to start for Gondakoro, with 
the ivory they had bartered, and Speke waited till they were 
ready, for he was absolutely unable to get on without assistance. 
The Bari people among whom they were residing, are so dis- 
united, that no village possesses a body of porters sufficient in 
number to travel securely by themselves; nor could they be 
spared to go, for, if they attempted to do so, the comparative 
weakness of the villagers who staid at home would invite 
the attack of their neighbours. The Turks moved in a great 
caravan ; they wanted some 2,000 porters, so they exacted a 
certain quota from every village, by which means they got 
their men, and the balance of power among the natives was 
not disturbed. In this despotic, effective way, Speke was 
enabled to reach Gondakoro. He was, however, thorouehly 
shocked by the recklessness with which stolen cattie and plun- 
dered ivory were bought, and with the exactions and terrorism 
that are made to administer to the demands of the Turkish 
ivory trade. The Arab traders of Uniamesi were perfect gen- 
tlemen compar^ to these Turks, whose conduct was inhuman to 
the last degree. He thoroughly confirms what has been so often 
repeated of late by various travellers to Gondakoro. 

The discovery of this great river springing from two lakes, 
does certainly confirm the belief that the ancient knowledge of 
the Nile was more advanced than that of recent times ; but the 
want of circumstantial precision with which the ancient ac^ 
counts are conveyed, left an impression adverse to their truth. 
They stride in one great leap from KharttLm to the sources, with- 
out any description of the intervening land, unless we except 
Strabo's, which is as follows, if we understand it aright. After 
clearly describing all the Kile, down to the Atbfira and Blue 
Biver, he says, * But the Astapus is said to be another river 

* which issues out of some lakes in the South, and this river 

* forms nearly the whole of the Nile ; it flows in a straight line, 

* and is filled by the summer rains.' When we speak of geo- 
graphical discovery, we rarely, if ever, mean the first sight of 
what no human eye had previously seen, but the visit or men. 

1863. The Sources of the Nik. 229 

who could observe geographically, and describe what they saw, 
80 as to leave no obscurity as to their meaning. These conditions 
had never previously been satisfied as regards the Nile; for 
geographers, working with the fairest intentions upon the same 
data, came to diverse conclusions, and no map made by any one 
of liiem bore other than a rude and childish resemblance to 
what is now ascertained to be the truth. 

The first person Speke saw when he reached Gondakoro was his 
old friend Baker, who had just arrived there, bound on a self- 
planned journey of exploration and of relief to Speke. The inter- 
view, to use Speke's own words, intoxicated them both with joy. 
Baker gave him his return boats, stored with corn, and supplied 
him with every delicacy he could think of, and thus the journey 
ended. Mr. Consul ^Petherick, who had been furnished with 
1,000£, the proceeds of a private subscription to bear relief to 
Speke, and who had undertaken to arrive at Gondakoro a year 
previously, had wholly failed in his mission. Strangely enough, 
he too arrived at Grondakoro, previous to Speke's departure from 
that place, but not in a condition to render that succour which 
Baker had so happily and gratuitously afibrded. 

Gondakoro does not seem to be quite such a desert as 
Fetherick had represented, where Speke must necessarily have 
starved had no expedition been directed to meet him. On the 
contrary, a polished Circassian Turk, Koorschid Pasha, had 
been governor of the place for fourteen months : he instantlv 
gave the travellers a dinner of a fat turkey, concluded with 
claret and cigars. 

Thus closes the tale of a journey that involved a walk of 
1,300 miles through the equatorial regions of Africa, and has 
solved almost the only remaining geographical problem of im- 
portance. It has been the Matterhom of the Geographical 
Society, the grandest feat and the longest delayed. If Speke 
himself, or Baker, would cross from the Luta Nzig6 to the 
Atlantic, and if some Gregory or Stuart would traverse Western 
Australia, the great secret chambers of the habitable earth 
would all be unlocked. 

230 The ScoU in France: J^j, 

Abt. Yin. — 1. Lez JEcossais en France^ lee Frangaie en Eeoeee^ 
Par Fbancibque-Migh&l. 2 vols. 8vo. Londres : 1862. 

2. Pajners (TJEtat relatifs it THistaire de VEooeeeau 16~ SAde; 
Hrie des BAUoth^ques et dee Ardiwee de France, et jnASie 
pour le Bamiatyne Club d^Edimbaurff. 3 vols* 4to. Paris. 

3. Papers relative to the Royal Guard of Scottish Archers in 
France. (From Original Documents.) Printed at Edin- 
burgh for the Maitland Club. 1 vol. 4to. 1835. 

Tn the midst of international questions of every shape and 
shade, and when the value of every conceivable form of 
international relation is daily submitted to the test of fresh 
experience, it is interesting to turn to the history of an alli- 
ance, the direct effects of which have ceased for three cen- 
turies to be appreciable to politicians, hut which is still ao 
important in the eyes of men of learning and ability as to 
entitle it to a literature of its own. The alliance of France 
and Scotland was, indeed, a memorable friendship, standing out 
from all merely political arrangements not only by intimaoy 
and warmth whilst it endured, but by the lasting effects which 
it left behind it These M. Francisque-Michel has traoed, — in 
the public history, and still more in the private and domestic 
annals of France. In Scotland they meet us at every turn, — 
in the institutions, habits, and speech of the people, from the 
oiganisation of the Court of Session, the terminology of the 
law, and the constitution of the Presbyterian Church, to 
the baking of ' kickshaws ' (quelquechoses) and ' pettiooat- 
' tails ' (petits^&teaux), and the opening of an oyster.* The 
high-rool'ed gable and the pepper-box turret of the French 
chateau gave to Scotland a style of architecture which became 
domestic amongst us in the sixteenth century, and which haa 
been revived in our own days with great propriety and taste. 
We claim for the popular cookery of Scotland, distinguished 
by an enlightened use of vegetables and of broths, a marked 
superiority over the barbarous culinary preparations of South 
Britain ; but it must be confessed that we owe that superiority 
to the lessons of our French allies. And, as we write, we are 
informed that in more than one Scottish village lingers the 
tradition of a French tambour-stitch, which was probably 
imported when the newest fashions came from the Court of 
Blois or Fontainebleau. 

* In Scotland, as in France, oysters are opened with the hollow 
side undermost, so as to retain the juice— a process which is too often 
reversed in England. 

1863. The FmuA in Scotland. 231 

M. Michel says that a sense of the disproportion between the 
small spaoe aoccnded to the Scottish alliance in the ordinary 
histories of France, and the magnitude of the part which it 
really played in the history of his country, was one of his 
motires for undertaking the work to which he has devoted so 
considerable a portion of his life. Howevar the matter may 
have stood when M. Michel commenced his labours, five and 
twenty years ago, onr countrymen will be extremely un- 
reasonable if they are not more than satisfied with the 
mmende honorable which has now been made to them. Of 
the class of writers — archndogists and compilers, rather 
than historians — by whom the task of reviying this curious 
and interesting page in the Ustory of the two countries has 
been accomplished, M. Michel has beoa the most industrious, 
and he is consequently the most esdiaustive. In the good 
work of restoring, as it were, to eadi other, two old school- 
fellows and conrades in arms, whom the chanses and chances 
of life had drifted asunder, he holds, and probably will continue 
to hold, the first place. He is so far from a faultless writer, 
that, — taking into account that he is a Frenchman, and 
remembering the precision with which Frenchmen distribute 
their matter, and the deamess, sharpness, and brevity with 
which they write^ — it b almost incredible that he should have 
produced so disorderly and dull a book. But the merits 
of M. Michel's performance altogether outweigh its defects ; 
and, of the former, one of the greatest consists in the extent 
to which it has rectified and widened our conception of the 
subject of which it treats. 

Hitharto this alliance between the most polished court of 
continental Europe and our ruda* forefathers has been viewed 
chiefly in relation to two or three well-known historical events; 
for to say die truth the league of Scotland and France grew 
up und^ the shadow of England, and was strengthened by 
common hatred or common fear. In the popular conception of 
it, in France more especially, these passions centre in the single 
person of Mary Stuart. Everybody knows the ties which bound 
the beautiful and unhappy Queen to France, — that her mother 
was a Frenchwoman — that France was the land in which her 
own happy girihood was spent — that for a brief period she sat 
upon the French throne (France and Scotland being then united 
by what would now be called a personal union) — that when she 
ultimately returned to her paternal kingdom she was accom- 
panied by French attendants, and continued to be surrounded 
by them during her whole life, and that up to the last she herself 
always both spoke and wrote by preference what was indeed 

232 The Scots in France : July, 

her mother's tongue. So constantly are these facts present to 
the minds of Frenchmen^ that they regard her less in the light 
of a beautiful exotic that flourished for a time in the rich soil 
of France, than as the fair and fragile emblem of their country 
transplanted, by an adverse destiny, to arid and sunless Scot^ 
land But the rouffh unkindness of Scotland is forgotten, and 
the lily is seen omy as crushed and broken at last by the 
jealousy and bigotry of England. M. Mignet has with^ entire 
justice and incomparable skill combated the prepossesuons of 
his countrymen; but no Frenchman can' forget that on 
the scaffold at Fotheringay Mary Stuart reminded her execu- 
tioners that it was on the Queen Dowager of France that they 
were about to lay their sacnlegious hands. 

What has been said of the powerful and indelible character 
of the influences of ballad poetry, might bo sud with equal 
truth of the sympathies and antipathies which arise from^ occur- 
rences that appeal very strongly to the national imagination. 
Scottish auxiliaries fought by the side of Joan of Arc, under the 
banner which, according to M. Michel, a Scotchman had painted ; 
and Scotchmen stood around as sympathising spectators of her 
last sufferings at Rouen. In like manner Scotland shared the 
insults offered to France in the person of Mary Stuart. It is 
quite surprising to how great an extent these facts, and the many 
pathetic incidents with which they are connected, dwelt upon 
as they are in early youth, still colour the feelings with which 
Frenchmen in general regard the two divisions of tins island. 

But the marriage of Mary Stuart, and the occurrences which 
arose out of it, down to the latest generation of her male heirs, are 
not the only links which, even in the popular imagination, bind 
Scotland to France. Many other royal marriages which pre- 
ceded it are for the most part forgotten — even that of the fair 
and tender Madeleine de Yalois. But the institution of the 
Scottish Guard, for example, is popularly remembered; and 
Quentin Durward has as many readers in France as in Scotland, 
^en, by a more limited class of persons, the Scottish colleges, 
and the numbers of Scotchmen who held learned appointments 
in the Universities of France, are called to mind ; and the 
intellectual relation between the two countries which extended 
down to a very recent period, if it does not still exist*, is supposed 
to be the source at once of their national sympathies and of 
their political ties. 

♦ Whilst M. Victor Cousin lives, — the pupil of Royer-Collard, 
the friend of Hamilton, and the eloquent expositor of the Scottish 
school of philosophy, — we may surely hold the chain to be unbroken. 

1863. The French in Scotland. 233 

On all of these subjeets the researches of M. Michel have 
thrown a flood of light. The general information which most 
persons possessed has beeh enriched by details, till the skeleton 
has become a portly figare once more. We see how each 
public transaction d^w after it a mass of private occurrences 
and arrangements, not very important separately, but extremely 
powerful in the aggregate, as fostering the relation between 
the two countries. Mary of Guise, for example, no sooner 
finds herself in interesting circumstances than she writes to her 
mother to send her a physician and an apothecary — the Medical 
School of Edinburgh not having then, it would seem, attained 
to the eminence which it has long enjoyed. A decent portrait, 
however, could be painted in Edinburgh even in those days; 
for the old Duchesse, in thanking her daughter for one of the 
King which .she had sent her, says, in the true spirit of a 
Frenchwoman, ' Je Pay trouv6 sy beau en sa painture, que sy 
' vous savy ^ combien je I'ayme, je pense vous en series jallouse.' 
(Vol. i. p. 431.) Though Mr. Innes informs us that ' the hortus 
* olerum was an appendage of our better dwellings from the 
' earliest records, and that some kinds of ** kail " have been used 
' in Scotland by all classes, as far back as we have any knowledge 
'of,' we learn from another passage in M. Michel's book, that 
Mary of Guise caused fruits udd vegetables to be sent her from 
France, 'sans doute parce qu'elle iven trouvait pas d'aussi bons 
' dans son royaume.* The letter from the Vlcomte de Longue- 
Ville, in which he ^ves an account of the manner in which he 
discharged his commission, and of the contents of the various 
barrels, is quoted by M. MicheL The articles sent consisted of 
medlars, white peas, green peas, and pears. Of one kind of 
fruit, the name of which cannot be deciphered, he says he 
has been able to procure only about a hunchred, in consequence 
of the disease which had attacked it everywhere that year ; but 
he had caused the barrel to be filled up with pears, of which 
the Queen might procure more if she liked them. ^P. 455.) 
Mary of Lorraine had her shoes sent her from Pans — as a 
French lady might very well be pardoned for doing still, not- 
withstanding the numbers of French shoemakers whom M. 
Michel found in Edinburgh — and we have Marie Ck)urcelles's 
letter to the valet de chambre, Baltasar, who seems to have 
been then in Paris, ordering them both for her mistress and 

These, and hundreds of similar facts which the industry of 
M. Michel has collected, give a life and colour to the well-known 
incidents of the connexion between France and Scotland in the 
sixteenth century, which they never possessed before. They 

884 The Scoi» m France t JvXy, 

bring them nearer to us, render them more intelligible, and whilst 
they remove them from the sphere of tradition to that of wdl- 
authenticated history^ they add to, in place of dimininhing, their 
interest. On the otiier hand, however, they do not in the 
slightest degree account for, or even convey to us a conceptian 
of, the extent and importance of this connexioa> as an inter- 
national relation, not only during the sixteenth century, whea 
it reached its culminating point, but for two eaituries at least 
previously, and e\ea for uie whole of the first century after the 
fieformation. It is in supplying thb inforBiation from other 
sources that the great value of the work bef<»e us, as compared 
with others not less interestii^, really consists. As it is now 
presented to us, we see that the peculiar and very intimate 
relation which so long subsisted between the two countries did 
not arise from a few royal marriages, or even from ,the occasional 
aid whidi the nations afforded to each other against a ooaMnnM 
enemy. Royalty, no doubt, couated {<x more in the sixteenth 
thui in the nineteenth century. Still the royal marriages of 
those days do not seem to have differed very widely in thdr 
political or social effiscts from those which in our day have bev 
oontracted between our own royal family and the Protestant 
Houses of Grermany, and wUch quite rec^tly have been 
£(mned with the Houeee of Prussia and Denmark. No vecy 
mariced diflference has occurred in ourrclationn with theseoowir 
tries in consequence of those events, and none sudi woald 
have occurred between France and Scotland from ttiat canae 

M. Michd .finds tnaces of bands of Scottish merooaariaa 
in France as early as the twelflh century; and from the 
appendix to his second volume (p. 5S8.) it appears that so lale 
as 1642, there were enlisted for the service of Lonis XHL 
no less than 9,600 Scotchmen. But it was not to Fxanne 
alone that Scotland's soldiers of fortune went ; nor were the 
Scotch the <mly people whoae surplus manhood was drafted off 
to foreign wars. The same for ages has been the case with the 
Swiss; and as regards the Scoteh, when their servicea w«ne oo 
long^ required in France, they swaimed over into Italy and 
Spain. M. Michd asserts that at a very early period their 
wandering propensitiea had carried them in great numbers mUi 
Germany ; and it is wdl known, at any rate, that they wece 
extensively engaged in the Thirty years' war, on both sidaa. 
In Sweden, to thu day, names so sUghtiy altered as to leave no 
doubt of their Scottiflli origin are quite common. Along the 
southern shores of the Baltic, Yon Don^asaa and V on Gordons 
are to be met with, whose Scottish pedqpms ace psdbaUy 

1863. The French in ScoOand. 235 

k^t with all ibe pride of those noble families. There is a 
quarter of the city of Danzig still called SchaiHand, in memory 
of a colony of Scotch weavers who settled there in the four* 
teenth centnry. From such works as the ' Diary of General 
^ Patrick Gordon/ * we learn that at a later period' vast nnmhers 
of Scotchmen flocked to the shores of the Baltic and the banks of 
the Vistula for trading purposes^ often in the humble capacity 
of pedlars ; and there is^ perhaps^ no continental blood more 
largely impr^nated with our own than iJiat which is again 
poured out at this day in Poland in the genuine spirit of 
martyrs for national freedom. 

But to none of these countries did Scotland ever stand in 
a relatimi in any decree resembling that in which for three or 
four centuries she stood to France* Many Scotchmen, it is true» 
went to all of them who never returned, and whose descendants, 
it is said, still dierish the memoir of their origin. But for 
ill practical puq)oses these individuals eeased to be Scoteh* 
men altogether, and their continsed existence and prosperity, 
and even their fre<iuent reception into the ranks of the no- 
tnUty in the countries in which they settled, produced no more 
effect on their native land than if they bad been shipwrecked 
in their first voy^e, or had fallen on their first battle-field. 
Scotland borrowed nothing from Poland, and -very little from 
Germany; and into the lands of their adoption the emigrants 
to these countries carried nothing that was Scotch. But such 
was very far from being the case with those who went to France, 
or even with those who permanently settled in that country. 
Their connexion with Scotland continued, and the whole insti- 
tutions of Scotland, political, legal, and even ecclesiastical, were 
modified by French influences. Nor is this result at b\1 sur- 
prising when the facts are fairly before us. The constant and 
uninterrupted intercourse between the two countries to which 
M. MichePs pages bear witness, is surprising even in this 
railway generation. Over and over again he adduces a flood of 
testimony in support of this assertion. Speaking of the period 
of the regency of Mary of Guiee, above all, he says that * if one 
< were to register the names of all the persons of noto who 
^ passed from France into Scotland, or who took the opposite 
* ronto, one would arrive at the conclu^on that never did a 

■ ■ i» 

♦ Since we reviewed, in July 1856 (Ed. Rev. civ. p. 24.), the 
Grerman translation of this very carious work by Prince Obolenski 
and Dr. Posselt, we rejoice to find that a great portion of the original 
has been printed by the Spalding Clab ; and it is one of the most 
tnteresting volumes in that valuable collection. 

236 ITie Scots in France: Jvly, 

* more intimate relation subsist between two countries.' He 
then proceeds to give two pages of names, concluding with the 
statement that hundreds of others might be discovered. If 
hundreds could be discovered, it is obvious that thousands must 
have ceased to be discoverable. 

The fact is, that whereas the relation of Scotland with the 
other countries to which we have alluded arose from accidental 
and exceptional enterprises, that with France was the result of 
a habit which was gradually formed, and very slowly abandoned^ 
and which arose from a great variety of causes. Scotchmen 
of all ranks, conditions, and avocations went to France for all 
sorts of purposes. Soldiers of fortune, ecclesiastics, invalids 
in search of health and of medical and surgical treatment, — 
of these M. Michel gives many instances, — men of lettersj 
men of fashion : some went in pursuit of fame, many in pursuit 
of gain, not a few with that nobler thirst for intellectual 
culture which no country in Europe was then so much in a 
condition to satisfy. To the higher classes of Scotchmen in 
the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, Paris was very much what 
London has become to their descendants since the Union of the 
Crowns, and what indeed it probably was to their ancestors in 
the eleventh and twelfth centuries, before the rupture between 
the two divisions of the United Kingdom. 

To assign all the causes which took Scotchmen to Paris in 
those days would be as difficult as to mention those which take 
them to London now. Many, no doubt, went merelv because 
others had gone, because it was the fashion, and their friends 
were there. Many remained because they had formed habits 
which rendered Paris indispensable, and — Scotland impos^ble. 

It is very easy to view these facts simply as indications of the 
necessities of the Scots, and of the poverty and rudeness of 
their native land. But the question as to whether or not this 
French connexion was creditable to the Scotch — ^if it be neces- 
sary to discuss it — must be determined by the manner in which 
they conducted themselves, and the position which they assumed 
in their adopted country. Viewed in this light, it seems to us 
that a more unequivocal compliment could scarcely be paid to a 
nation than that which the pages of M. Michel's book contain* 
Taking into account the very large number of instances he has 
given — the energy displayed by the emigrants, and the splendid 
success which so often attended their exertions in what then 
was, far more imquestionably than it is now, the most luxurious, 
refined, and magnificent capital in Europe, are marvellous proofs 
of their abilities, whilst the small number of crimes and acts of 
meanness, or even violence, which he enumerates^ is a not less 

1863. The French in Scotland. 237 

Taluable testimony to their good conduct Notwithstanding the 
general charge of insolence perpetuated in the proverb, Jier 
eamme un Ecossais*, against the highly paid and gaily accoutred 
soldiers of the guard, even they, up to the time at which the 
kindly relation between the countries began to be affected by 
the Reformation and the Union between Scotland and England, 
enjoyed an amount of popularity very rarely accorded to foreign 
troops, and which the Scotch did not always reciprocate towards 
those Ghillic allies who from time to time were quartered in 

Then it is said f that, from first to last, besides a great number 
of professors and doctors in all the faculties, not less than thirty 
Scotchmen held the office of Rector in the University of Paris. 
Just let the reader reflect to what an amount of intellectual 
activity, and of personal respectability and worth, this single 
fact testifies. If we consider what Paris was then, and what 
the office of Bector of a University, putting it at the lowest, 
is at all times, it would have been very noteworthy if three 
Scotchmen, in place of thirty, had attained to so high a dignity I 
In like manner, the halls of the University of Padua, in 
which Galileo taught, were thronged by young Scotchmen of 
family in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries ; their names 
and well-known escutcbeons may still be seen upon the walls, 
and we have in our own possessidh the diploma of a ^nobilis 
* juvenis Scotus' — a Wallace — who graduated there in medicine 
in 1614. 

We have said that the stream by no means ran with equal 
force in the opposite direction. If we except the regency of 
Mary of Guise, and the earlier years of the reign of her 
daughter, when the Court was really French, and when French 
tradesmen established themselves in Edinburgb in great num- 
bers, the influx of Frenchmen into Scotland has been, compara- 
tively speaking, very limited. Still, there were many — apart 
from the military expeditions, of which alone we hear anything 
from the public historians — who came to Scotland, both for 
private and public purposes. Subsequent to the Reformation, 
the emigration of Scotch Catholics into France was pretty 

* Jurercomme un Ecossais, it would seem, was the French equiva- 
lent for our phrase * swear like a trooper.' In the beginning of his 
second volume, M. Michel has given some amusing specimens of the 
jargon with which these men of the sword affligeaient les oreilles de 
nos ancStres, It is itself a proof of the extent of the connexion, that 
the langaige escosse-frangois is spoken of by the writers of the period 
as a well-known patois. 

f Miscellanea Scotica, vol. iv. p. 19. 

238^ The StaU iu France : Julj, 

well bak&eed by that of French Prolestuitfl into Scotkund. 
Janes Melville, in his diary, mentions that snbecriptions were 
raised for French Protestants in indigent oireumstaaoes in 
1575; and Calderwood has a similar notice in 1622. After 
the revocation <^ the Edict of Nantes^ a ecdony of Frencb 
weavers^ mostly Scorn Pieardy^ was established in the locality^ 
where Picardy Plaee now stands. Under the year 1597, 
the same James Mriville records that, * owing to the fasie of 
^ Andrew Melville, the University of^St. Andrews was this year 

* attended by a considerable ntmiber of foreign youth, Polea^ 
' Danes, Belgians, and Frenchmen, ^^ whilk (^rabbit the King 

* mickle/' Andrew being no favourite c^ his.'* So lately aa 
1861, three princes of the House of Orleans sat on the fomoe 
of the High School of Edinburgh. They were distinguished 
for ability amongst their schoolfeUows, and much beloved and 
cherished by the inhabitants as the last and noblest representa- 
tives of the old friendship of the two kingdoms. 

It is not so easy a matter as it at first i^pears to determine 
when the speciid relations between France and Scothmd 
originated, or what were the causes which led to the formation 
of the habit amongst Scotchmen of which we have spoken. The 
common opinion is, that the connexion arose entirely after the 
attempted conquest of Scotiand, wluch they viewed as a sepa- 
rate Saxon kingdom, by the Norman kings of England, and 
that it was fostered mainly by the part which the Scotdb took 
in what is known in France as the hundred years' war. 

We are quite willing to put out of account at once the treaty 
between Charlemagne and l^ing Achains^thou^ it figures in tlie 
jMreamble of almost every subsequent treaty, down to the timee 
of Louis XIV., on the ground that neither France nor SooUaad 
existed in the sense of separate treaty-making countries at that 
day. To account for the connexion by a treaty of which 
nothing can be either affirmed or denied, reminds us of MiiUer's 
ingenious solution of the difficulty of fixing responsibility on 
poor humanity by ascribing sin to a free act of self-determina* 
tion anterior to oonsdousness. If the propoeitimL did not admit 
of being very satisfactorily established, it was one which no 
subsequent theologian was very Ukely to disprove; and the 
treaty in question, we presume, is equally safe from any search 
that will ever be made into the archives either of France or 
Scotiand. We are aware, moreover, that the four treaties 
which M, Michel ascribes to the twelfth century rest upon 
evidence which is not only questionable, but which has been 

* Chambers' Domestic Annab, voL i. p. 290. 

1863* The Frenek m Scotland. 239 

gravely questioned onoe he wrote ; and we admit tliat the fact 
of Alexander III. Jmying sworn hk cocxmation oadis in French 
10 Boffieiently accounted for bj the Normanising fashion which^ 
la his time, had extended itself to the Scottish Court. StiB, 
there are facts croppii^ out, here and tiwre^ which do not 
seem to adodit of much doubt, and which ane scarcelj ezfdicable 
on any other assumption thim that the oonnauon existed 
antericv to the war. Let us try the effect of a slight con^ 
paffison of dates. The deadi c^ Alexander III., and the 
accession of the Ibiden of NorwiCy, took place in 1286 ; the 
date of the famous conference of Xoriiam is the 10th of May, 
1291, and it was not till 1314 that the battle of Bannockbum 
was fought. Now, M. Mi^l informs us that, in 1313, there 
was a street in Paris in which the Scotch students Irred in such 
Bombers that it was known as the Bue d'£cosse ; that a street 
bearing a similar name existed at Dieppe, and that in 1292 
there were sixty persons of the name of S(X>t, (yaruHnly spelt) 
mentioned in the jUsre de la TaUk^ for that year, as permanent 
readents, and of coarse persons of some means, in Paris* As 
surnames by this time were common, and as Scott never was a 
wertf common surname in Scotland, sixty Sootts in a condition 
to pay taxes speak for a considerable resident population of 
Scotchmen. It is probable, howeyer, that in a foreign country, 
the national titie 'Scot' was sometimes used in place of a 
surname. In a subsequent passage M. lifichel says, that at the 
commencement of the fourteenth century, there were numbers 
fji Scotchmen to be found in many of the smaller towns of 
France, at a great distance from the places of their usual dis- 
embarkation. As an example, he mentions a Scotch colony at 
M4zin in 1327. Nor is M. Michel the only antiquarian who 
has collected facts bearing in the same directicm. Tytler, in his 
history, and more recenSy Mr. Innes, botii following Mathew 
Paris, whom the latter characterises as an 'intelligent and 
' unsuspected testimony,' mentions the curious fact, that when 
Louis IX. set out on his memorable expedition to the Holy 
Land, one of the ships used for the transport of the horses of 
the men-at-arms was built for a great French lord, the Earl of 
St. Pol, at Invemeas. Taking into account the heterogeneous 
character of which the crusading hosts consisted, the fact of a 
French nobleman builcUng a ship at Inremess is far more 
significant of a connexion between the countries than even the 
large number of Scotchmen who joined that disastrous ex- 
pedition. Then, as indicating the extent of the continental 
trade of Scotland, and the tendency of the Scotch to form con- 
tinental connexions generally, it is not unimportant to bear in 

240 The Scots in France : Julj, 

mind that daring the twelfth and thirteenth centuries Flemish 
colonies have been traced in Berwick^ St. Andrews, Perth, 
Dumbarton, Ayr, Peebles, Lanark, Edinburgh, and in the 
districts of Renfrewshire, Clydesdale and Annandale. These 
strangers lived under the protection of a special code of mercan- 
tile law; and recent investigations have established the fact, 
that, a hundred years before the great Baltic Association came 
into being, we had a Hanseatic league in Scotland, small and 
unimportant comparatively, but known by that very name. This 
was in the time of David I., towards the middle of the twelfth 
century. A hundred years later the chronicler of Lanercost, 
speaking of the now insignificant town of Berwick-on-Tweed, 
informs us that it was ^ a city so populous, and of such trade, 
^ that it might justly be called another Alexandria, whose riches 
' were the sea, and the waters its walls. In those days the 
^ citizens, being most wealthy and devout, gave noble alms.' In 
confirmation of these remarks, Mr. Tytler mentions that the 
customs of Berwick under Alexander III. amounted to 2,1 97L 8«. 
sterling, while the whole customs of England in 1287 produced 
only 8,411/. 19^. II ^d. The trade of Berwick was unques- 
tionably a continental trade, carried on with Flanders, and to 
a large extent, probably, with the coast of France. Now if we 
take into account that cities that can by any stretch of the 
imagination even of a monkish chronicler, be likened to Alex- 
andria are not built in a day — ^that it is not just after the first 
few wanderers arrive that streets are called by their name in 
towns like Paris and Dieppe, where there are a good many both 
Scotch and English residents to whom no such compliment is 
paid in our day, and that it must have taken some little ac- 
quaintance with Scotland to enable a French noble to fix upon 
so strange a place as Inverness for ship-building — ^we may 
conclude, with some confidence, that, however it may have 
arisen, there was in point of fact a dose connexion between 
France and Scotland, of long standing, previous to the War of 
the Succession. 

Nor are we at all shaken in this belief, which the mention of 
long-standing friendship and goodwill in the treaty of 1326 
strongly confirms, by the reflection that till the war broke out 
there was no very special reason for the continuous intercourse 
of which we seem to find traces between France and Scotland. 
There is nothing in general that seems more surprising to us 
than the amount of international intercourse whicn existed in 
Europe in the middle ages. We regard it now as a new thing 
for an English monarch to have travelled as much as our own 
Prince of Wales. But King Alfred had made the journey to 

1863. The French in Scotland. 241 

Some twice before he was seven years old ; and the proceeding 
was by no means an exceptional one in his day. On the subject 
of the intercourse which our Saxon ancestors mdntiuned with 
Borne, Dr. Fauli, in his excellent ' Life of Alfred,' has the 
following remarks : — 

'Ever since the arrival of AuguBtin, the islanders had preserved 
an uninterrupted commanication with Rome. No long period 
elapsed till a house was established for the reception of their pilgriins 
and the instruction of their clergy. We have already seen two kings 
of the West Saxons die there. It was from the hands of the chief 
shepherd of Borne that the English archbishops received the pallium, 
and many bishops their consecration. Offa's name was as familiar at 
St. Peter's as in the Court of Charles.' 

It was by Offa, Kinpc of the East Saxons, that the hospital or 
college over which Cardinal Wiseman presided in our own times, 
and the Church of the Holy Trinity, subsequently known as 
that of St. Thomas of Canterbury (Sto. Tommaso degli Inglesi), 
were founded in 775. 

Nor WAS it Italy alone that was familiar with English faces 
and English tongues. Every reader of Count Bobert of Paris, . 
even if he should have neglected to dip into Ducange, or should 
have forgotten his Gibbon, is famiTiar with the Varangian 
Guard — that body of our countrymen with whom the em- 
perors of the East surrounded themselves, from the battle of 
Hastings down to the taking of Constantinople, pretty much 
as their predecessors had done with the Prsetorian guards, or 
as the kings of France did with the Scottish archers. 

When was there a merrier ^ excursion train ' than that which 
started from the ^ Tabard ' in South wark one April morn- 
ing, somewhere about the year 1383, on a visit to Canter- 
bury ? The object of Chaucer was to exhibit the social habits 
of his time, and, with this view, the characters of the pilgrims 
whom he has brought together are, as a learned editor has 
remarked, ^ as various as» at that time, could be found in the 
' several departments of middle life ; that is, in fact, as various 
* as could, with any probability, be brought together, so as ta 
' form one company ; the highest and the lowest ranks of society 
' being necessarily excluded.' * But what we wish to caA 
attention to is not the habit of home travel to which such an 
expedition testifies, but the extent to which that of foreign 
travel is revealed by the account which is given in the prologue 
of the various members of the party. First we have the 
knight, who had ridden 

* Sir Harry Nicolas, Pickering's edition, vol. i. p. 261. 


M2 . Tke ScatM m France: J^Jj 

'ABwdin ChristendemaiiiiHeUiawaaey 
And ever honoured for his worthinease.* 

The next few lines contain a catalogue of his voyages : — 

* At Alisandre be was whan it was wonne. 
Fal often time he hadde the herd begonne, 
Aboven alle nations, in Ptuce. 
In Lettowe hadde he reysed and in Bnce, 
No cristen man so ofte of his d^re. 
In Gremade at the si^e eke had^ he be 
Of Algesir, and ridden in Behnarie. 
At Lejes was he, and at Satalie, 
Whan they were wonne ; and in the Grete See, 
At many a noble armee had he be. 
At morUd bataiUes hadde he ben fiftene. 
And foQghten for our faith at Tramissene, 
In listes threis» and ay slain his foe. 
This ilke worthy knight hadde ben also 
Somtime with the Lord of Palatie, 
Agen another hethen in Turkie,' Src. 

Then there is bis son^ * a lusty bacheler ' of twenty, who has 
already been 

. * * in chevachie» 
In Flaunders, in Artois, and in Picardie.* 

The merchant and the slupman are travelled men, of coarse ; 
and we are not sarprised to bear that the pardoner is ' sti^t 
' comen from the Court of Rome.' But it does surprise us a 
little to learn that the wife of Bath has been thrice in Jerusalem, 
and ' hadde passed many a strange streme.* 

^ At Rome she hadde ben, and at Boloine, 
In Galice at Seint James, and at Coloine*' 

The fiction, however, is not stranger than many weU-autben- 
ticated facts. A yery learned friend told us, Uie other day, 
that, in his historical researches, he recently came across the 
traces of a bailie of Peebles, who was just setting out on a {ol- 
grimage to Jerusalem I 

Even as regards the mere amount of locomotion, Aere can 
be little doubt that we deceive ourselves in supposing it to be 
so very greatly in favour of modem times. But the increase in 
the quantity has unquestionably far exceeded that in the quality 
of travel, if by the quality we understand not its lazy ease, but 
its efficacy for purposes of human culture and devel(^>^nent. 
In former times, when scarcely any organised means of land 
tomsport existed, so ordinary an afiair as a journey from London 
to Borne was itself a positive school of instruction.. It was im- 

U§3. The French in Sc^dand. 243 

po089)le for « man to travrf oy«r the in^ of Europe on borae- 
\mAy or in a litTter^ still more 80 to peiform the pilgrimage on 
foot, without going through what amoonted to a aeoond edu- 
cation. The most intimate contact with human character, 
and wMi external nature, under the greatest variety of circum- 
stances, was perfectly inevitable. There was &tigne to be 
uadeigmie, unquestionably, and very possibly danger to be 
encountered ; but at the end of the journey the traveller must 
have felt himself inv%erated in body, and filled with new 
thoughts and fedings, to a very* different extent from the 
modem weakling who is shot along a nulway, the noise of 
wiueh drowns conversation, and the rapidity of which renders 
vin<m indistinct. In a marvellously short space of time, no 
doubt, he finds himself in the Piazza di Spagna, in the midst 
of a littie knot of his countrymen, as ignorant and inexperienced 
as himself. He gaiins little by the diaage of place that he 
might not have guned by looking at a few photogiwhs, and 
reading the letters of a newspaper correspondent The more 
perfectiy travelling is organised, the lees instructive and even 
enjoyable it becomes — a feet which experience brings home 
ratfier painfully to those of us who are old enough to contrast the 
Continent now with what it was even twenty yours ago. But 
it was not only the mode of transport which brought men into 
more intimate contact in those days. The same efiect was 
produced by the modes oi living. The poorer pilgrims were 
accommodated, M. Michel informs us, from a very early period 
in France, in hoepiees, free fixMn charge ; those whose circum- 
stances were better, or who travelled for secular purposes, 
enjoying hospitality probably on v^ much the same terms as 
at the Grande Chartreuse or the Great St. Bernard at the 
present day. In the towns, of course, there were hostelries and 
tavenis for passers by, whilst those who r^nained made ar- 
rangements with the citizens, perhaps not differing very greatly 
from those with which we are familiar. But what were aJtogeth^ 
peculiar were the educational establishments, where the stranger 
youth could avail himself of the advantages of fore9gn|^instruction 
in languages and manners without altogether losing the society 
of his own countrymen. Of institutions of this class the Scotch 
possessed several in France ; and it is very much to be regretted 
that M. Michel has not presented us with a xhore complete history 
of them. Of the famous establishments in Paris and at Douai, the 
latter of whidi, for a period, was transferred to Bheims, he has 
told us scarcely anything beyond what was popularly known ; 
and though he states that when the ecclesiastical committee o£ 
the National Assembly presented its report on the 23rd of Oc- 

244 The Scots in France : Jvlj, 

tober, I79O9 on the English, Scotch, and Lrieh reli^oas establish- 
ments in France, their number, including monasteries, convents^ 
and colleges, amounted to twenty-four, he does not say even 
what were the numbers of the different kinds of establishments 
respectively. Many of them, probably, were mere dependencies 
of each other. For instance, in the village of Arcueil there 
was a house belonging *to a community of Scotch priests,' 
which community M. Michel conjectures to have been the 
college of the Bue des Foss^s-Saint-Victor, the Scotch 
college in Paris, which, he says, had other properties in other 

Crts of the country, the most considerable, as Uie first in date, 
ing that of the estate of Gtisy-Suines, near to Brie-Comte- 
Bobert, in the Brie-Parisienne. The total revenues of these 
establishments amounted to 329,000 livres, and the number of 
individuals who subsisted on them at the period of the Bevolution, 
professors, students, and reUffieux, was about a hundred and 
fifty. * The assembly passed a decree to the effect that these 
' establishments should be continued in their existing condition, 
* with certain modifications. In the same sitting, the demand 
' for an allowance of 6,000 livres by l&e Irish college of St. 
' Omer, was remitted to the finance committee.' With thia 
very unsatisfactory extract irom the * Scots Magazine ' for Oc- 
tober, 1790 — no very recondite or trustworthy source, surely — 
this very interesting and important branch of M. Michel's subject 
is permitted to drop. Of the unsuccessful attempts that have 
been made, from time to time, by various bodies — the University 
of Glasgow, the Advocates' Library, and the British Museum — 
to recover the documents of the Scotch colleges in Paris and at 
Douai, M. Michel, following for the most part Mr. Innes, has 
given a full, perhaps we might say a tedious account. Like so 
much else that was valuable, it is to be feared that tl^pse 
treasures perished during the frenzy of the Bevolution, which 
confiscated their property, as well as that of the numerous 
Irish endowments in France.* 

But though their archives may be mostly irrecoverable, it 
could be no very difiScult matter to retrace the general outline, 
at least, of the history of these institutions ; and it is scarcely 
possible to imagine a work which, if executed with reasonable 
care, and presented in an intelligible form, would be likely, 
even in a popular sense, more richly to reward an archssologist. 

* Under the treaty of Paris in 1814, compensation was made by 
France to England for the seizure of British property in these estab- 
lishments, and their claims were subsequently investigated by the 
Privy Council, in whose records some account of them may be 

1863. The French in Scatlatid. 245 

It was not in France alone that they existed, and consequently 
they were not all subjected to the fury of the Bevolution. The 
Benedictine monastenr at Ratisbon, for example, is or was re- 
cently a flourishing institution.* It never belonged to the 
wealthiest class of ecclesiastical establishments, and to its 
poverty it was probably indebted for its immunity from plunder ; 
but its possessions, such as thev were, have been guarded with 
loving care ; and, within these last few years, we are informed 
that all the latest improvements in Scottish agriculture have been 
introduced on its farms, and the newest implements imported 
from Aberdeenshire by the worthy Superior. This report we 
give on the authority of an Aberdeenshire gentleman, who 
enjoyed the hospitality of the Prior some eight years ago. But 
a recent writer in 'Notes and Queries' (March 21, 1863), 
states that the monastery has now been finally dissolved, and 
the buildings and funds applied to the foundation of a Roman 
Catholic seminary. At Nuremberg there was a similar esta- 
blishment, founded bv Conrad III., about 1160, and now known 
as the Gideon Kirche ; there was another at Vienna, situated 
near the Schotten-Thor; and, if we are not greatly mistaken, 
there were others at Cologne, and Wiirtsburg, and elsewhere. 
That at Rome, of course, is still well known ; but its modem 
date — (it was founded in 1649 by the Marchioness of Huntley 
and Coimt Leslie) — renders it an object of less interest than 
that at Ratisbon, which dates from the days of Macbeth. 
As the oflicials of all these institutions were no doubt in 
frequent communication with each other, the archives of those 
which remain would probably throw much light on the history 

* The' Rev. James Robertson, who was sent by Sir Arthur 
Wellesley and Mr. Canning in 1808, on a secret mission to the 
Danish Islands, for the purpose of inducing the Marquis de la 
Romafiia to return to Spain in British ships with the Spanish troops 
then quartered in the Isle of Fiinen, was a Scottish Benedictine of 
this monastery of Ratisbon. The Duke of Richmond, in his travek 
through Germany towards the end of the last century, had become 
acquainted with the Abbot Arbuthnot and several other members of 
that community; and it was through his Grace^ then Lord-Lieu- 
tenant of Ireland/ that Mr. Robertson was recommended to Sir Arthur 
Hyellesley, then Irish Secretary. The service he performed was of 
the highest importance ; and we do not remember to have read a 
more romantic and captivating narrative than the simple account 
of it which has recently been published in Mr. Robertson's own 
words, by his nephew Mr. Alexander Clinton Fraser. It was thus 
that one of these Scotch Benedictine monks successfully defied and 
defeated Napoleon and his police, when they were at the height of 
their power. 

24S The Seait m France : J«ly^ 

of the others, and a pictane of the external educational mati- 
tutions of Scotland might still be produced with tolefaMe 

But the relations in which Scotland stood to the native educfr- 
tional institutions of almost all the countries of Europe^ mate 
particularly of France, were even more important for the national 
developement than the institutions which she herself [Janted and 
maintained abroad. We have already referred to the surprising 
number of Scotchmen who attained to the office of Bector in 
the University of Paris. There is scarcely a single Freadi 
university of which a tale more or less similar might not be 
told. M. Michel's pag^ are thiddy studded with notices to 
this effect ; but in place of gathering them together, we shall 
c<Mi8ult at once the interest of our readers and our own con- 
venience, by presenting them with the following spirited sketch 
of ^ scholarly knightr-errants' by Mr. Innes, a writer the clear- 
ness and felicity of whose style is not one of the least of his 
attractions* It refers to the period subsequent to the Be- 
formation and the Union o£ the Crowns, when all special cause 
for a French alliance, or for continental leanings on the part of 
Scotchmen had ceased ; and still it shows how tenacious the 
continental habit proved. 

^ The want of emplojrment, the insecuritff , the poverty at homer 
only in part explain the crowd of expatriated Scotchmen who wer«^ 
during those centuries, teaching science and letters in every school cf 
Europe. There was something in it of the adventurous spirit of the 
country — something of the same knight-errantry which led their un- 
lettered brothers to take service wherever a gallant captain gave hope 
of distinction and prize-money. It was not enough for one of those 
peripatetic scholars to find a comfortable niche in a university, where 
he might teach and gain friends and some money for his old age. 
The whole fraternity was inconceivably restless, and sncoeasAil 
teachers migrated from college to college, from Paris to X^ouvain, 
firom Orleans to Angers, from Padua to Bologn% as wam iflL later 
times completed their education by the grand tear. The nmveisily 
feeling and the universal language of that day conduced somewhat to 
this effect. A graduate of one university was '^ free " of alL Hia 
qualifications were on the surface too, and easily tested. A single 
conference settled a man's character, where ready Latin and subtle or 
vigorous disputation were the essential points. But whatever weae 
the causes, ^e student of the history of those centuries most it 
struck with the facts. The same period which saw Fkur^ice Wilso% 
Scrymger, the elder Barclay, received among the foremost sebelars of 
Europe, in its most learned age, witnessed also thres Scotsmen pro- 
fessors at Sedan, at one and £e same time, and two» if not three, to^ 
gether at Leyden. John Cameron, admirably learned, lecturing 
everywhere, everywhere admired, moved in 1600 from Glasgosr to 

18C3. The French in Scotiand. 347 

Bei^erM, from Bergerae to Sedan, from Sedan to PariSi from Paris 
to BMrdeanz, to Gr^ev% to Heidelberg, to Sanmur, to Grlaagow, 
again to Saumur, to Montaoban, there to rest at last But the tjrpe 
of the class was Thomas Dempster, a man of proved learning and 
ability, but whose adventures in love and. arms, while actually 
''regenting ^ at Paris, at Tournaj, at Toidouse, at Nismes, in Spain, 
in England, at Pisa, at Bologna, were as romantic as those of the 
Admirable Crichton or Cervantes* hero. Incidentally to his own 
history, Dempster makes us acquainted with four Scotchmen of 
letters whom he met at Louvain. He visited James Cheyne, a Scotdi 
doctor at Tournay, succeeded David Sinclair as Begent in the 
College of Navarro at Paris, and was invited 1^ Professor Adam 
Abemethy and Andrew Currie to join them at Montpeilier.* * 

Every one'a experience or desultory reading must have 
fhmifihed him with examples of the phase of Scottish enterprise 
which Mr. Innes has commemorated. They are by no means 
confined to the period of which Mr. Innes has spoken. On the 
contrary^ they stretch from the beginning of the thirteenth down 
to the end of the eighteenth century. It was not till the French 
Bepnblican army entered Holhind that the last resident Scotch- 
man quitted the University of Leyden. Nor is the race, as 
regards students, by any means extinct in our own day. But 
the latest 'scholarly knight-errant of the t>ld stamp, wnom we 
imrselves haTO encountered, is poor Ludwig Roes, so well known 
at Athens, first as conservator of antiquities, and afterwards as 
a professor in the University, and whose premature death at 
Halle, in 1859, was deplored even in learned Germany as a 
serious loss to philolo^cal learning. In the 'interesting sketdi 
of lus life which his friend Otto Jahn has appended to a post^ 
humous ooUeotion of his more ephemeral writings f, he informs 
Qfrthflft Boss's family, which had oeen settled for several genera- 
tions in Hoktein, sprang from the North of Scotland, and that 
many traits in his own character and bearing constantly re- 
caQol Ins or^in. Maternally he was a German, and German 
was his mother tongue ; but by the Other's side of the house 
he seems to have been a twig of that vigorous branch of the 
well*grown tree of the Bosses, or Boees, of which the genial 
king of riflemen is the head, and Ludwig, it seems, was accus- 
tomed, like a good Scotchman, to boast that his chief was a 
member of the Beformed Parliament, and that* his shield dis- 
played ^ee water^ougeti, in token of the crusading exploits of 
nis ancestors. 
*~^— — -- — — ^ ..- . . -■■-■-_- — 

* Sketches of Early Scottish History, p. 280, et seq. 
t Erinnerungen und Mittheilungen aus Griechenland. Berlin: 

248 The Scott in France : Julj^ 

Boss's case, however, is a complete illastration of what we 
have already mentioned — viz., that, whereas those who went to 
France preserved for many generations their connexion with 
Scotland, those who went to the North of Europe almost im- 
mediately ceased to be Scotchmen. For practical purposes, 
the fact of his origin bound him as little to Scotland as the 
fact that his ancestor was a Crusader bound him to Palestine, 
and neither Scotland nor Holstein was the better or the worse 
for his accidental transference from the one to the other. Some- 
thing very doselv analogous, no doubt, o(x^urred in many of the 
cases mentioned by M. Michel, where Scotchmen were entirely 
absorbed by the population of France. With those who were 
members of the greater families of Scotland, the Stuarts, 
Douglases, Hamiltons, Lindsays, Crawfurds, Setons, and the 
like, — who fought in the hundred years' war, who conquered at 
Bauges, or fell on the fatal fidds of Crevant or Yemeuil, this 
would not readily occur. Even those of them, like the 
Douglases Dukes of Touraine, the Stuarts Lords of Aubign^, 
and the Hamiltons Dukes of Chatelh^rault, who became the 
possessors of great estates in France, for the most part retained 
property in Scotland, or their near relatives did so; and, at 
any rate, their connexion with the Court which, both in 
France and in Scotland, had a very cosmopolitan character, 
would readily keep up their intercourse with their country- 
men. But of the ^ dix mille chevaliers et braves soldats,' 
for example, who took service under the banner of Archi- 
bald, second Earl of Douglas, in 1422, and of whom the 
colonists who still exist at La ForSt, in the neighbourhood 
of Bourges, are very probably the descendants, it is natural 
to suppose that but few would maintain a Scottish connexion 
after me second generation. The same may very likely have 
been the case with the vast majority of those soldiers of fortune 
of a somewhat higher rank who married French wives, and 
settled down in the provinces, and whose family histories M. 
Michel has succeeded in disinterring. Of their Scottish origin, 
their names leave no possible doubt, for they are just the 
common names of Scotland at the present day, — Boyds, Cham- 
bers's, Cunninghams, Moncreiffs, Tumbulls, Gorries, Doddses, 
Crichtons, Foulises, Monipennys, Lockharts, Morrisons, Pat- 
tullos, and Thomsons, the last being the founders of the matMon 
noble de Thomesson ou Tonneson t Those of our countrymen 
who have a taste for orthographical distinctions, may find their 
account in consulting M. Michel's pages. There is not one of 
the Scotch names that we have mentioned which is not spelt 
in half a dozen ways ; and this for the most part so as in no- 

1863. The French in Scotland. 249 

^ise to obscure its identity. In other respects, too, our readers 
may discover what will be ' to their advantage.' The members 
of the great house of Thomson will be gratified to learn, * that 
* there is not the slightest reason to doubt that that family was 
' considered as belonging to the good old nobility/ that Geofiroy 
de Tennesson was Seigneur de Bemenecourt, that ' Marie de 
' Tonesson married Antoine des Armoises, Seigneur de Neu- 
' ville, whose daughter Henriette married Fran9ois de Nathan- 
^ court. Seigneur de Passavant and of other places, who died in 
^ 1660,' &C. Some families that never gave proof of the prolific 
qualities to which that just mentioned may certainly lay 
claim, had a wonderiuUy brilliant career in France. Of these, 
the PittiUochs, or Pattullos, of whom some representatives 
atill exist in Fife and Angus, are a prominent example. In 
the eventful year 1424, in which the battle of Yerneuil was 
fought, Robert Pittillooh, of Dundee, landed in France, accom- 
panied by a brave band of followers, and rendered such service 
to Charles YII., chiefly in the south of France, that he received 
and long retained the name of h petit roi die Gascogne. He 
was a mere soldier of fortune, but he rose to be Governor of 
Castelnau, in M^doc, and ci4)tain of the Scottish guard, an 
office of the very highest distinction, in which we afterwards 
find another David JPitulo, no doubt his descendant, to whose 
honour, we are told, a statue was erected by Louis XI. Later 
still, in 1758, another member of the same family dedicated to 
Madame de Pompadour an Esscd $ur rAmilioration dee Teires. 
But though individuals of this class, for all directly political 
purposes, were no doubt entirely merged in the population of 
iFrance, it is evident that their existence in the very great 
numbers in which they are even now traceable, must, consid^- 
ing the strong feelings of kindred and of country for which 
Scotchmen have always been distinguished, have given, for 
many generations, a home feeling to all other Scotchmen in 
France greatly beyond what any Briton experiences in any 
continental country at the present day. 

Previous to the Beformation, the Church was everywhere the 
g reatjb indinf link between difierent nations, as it was between 
aiA^kt dac i of society. In both senses it was emphatically 
^^^^ "^' o\ rte, and between two countries bound together 

Scotland were by so many other ties, this was 

^ase. It was to promotion in France quite as 

cotland, that an ambitious young churchman 

would be no difficult matter to produce a long 

len who attained to French ecclesiastical prefer^ 

iry distinguished kind. John Carmichael was 

2S0 The SeeU m France: Jvfy, 

Bishop of OrlesBfl, Andrew Foremaa was ArcMneimp of 
Bouiges, David B^buie waa Bishop of Mirepoix^ and it was 
*at the instance of Francis I. that be received the Cardinal's 
Hat; James Bethune, bis nephew, the Archbishop of Glasgow^ 
was Abbot of L'Absie, an office which was alsobdd hy anedier 
Scotchman named David Panter^ or Panton. Jolm Beaton, 
James's brother, was Canon of €t. Qoentin* It was the Jamee 
Bethnne, just mentioned, who lefb to the Scots College what 
was then considered the enonnoos sum of 80,000 livies, saved, 
it was said, during his long residence as ambassador at Paris, 
from the benefroe we have mentioned, and other eccksiastical 
preferments which he hdd in France. To these conspiciioiis 
and well-known instances it would not be difficult to add many 
others of Scotdimen of less note who bdd minor prefermenta 
in the French Church. In proof of the fiftct that the Ingfaer 
ecclesiastical dignitaries, at all events, preserved their connexion 
with Scotland unimpaired bv tiieir French appointments, it 
may be sufficient to remind the reader that during Andrew 
Foreman's diort tenure of the arohbkhoprio of Bourges he con** 
tinned to be Bishop of Moray, and that the resnk of those 
complicated political and ecclesiastical intrigues between popes, 
emperocB, and kii^ which M. Michel has recounted, was tint 
he became Ardibishop of St Andrews ; whilst David Bethnne 
was at one and the sune time Rector of Campae, Abbot of 
Aberbrothick, Bishop of Mirepoix in Fraoee, Archbishop of 
St. Andrews, Cardinal of St Stephen in Monte Calio^ and 
— Chancellor of Scotland I 

After the Beformatiom, the ties which had been contracted 
under ihe influence of a common futh were riveted by perse- 
cution. The Boman Catholic fiumhes of Sootknd, fierocAy 
opposed by the leaders of -the Scottish Natkmal Chincb, natir- 
rally learned to look for sympathy and support to their oo*re- 
Binaries of France. The Stuarts themselves were guilty of 
this offence against iike majesty and independence of England, 
and it cost them the throne : and down to the fatal ^pedition 
of the Pretender in '45, buoyed up to the last by false hopes 
of French assistance, the capricious patroimge of tiie Conrt of 
Yersailles kept alive this old traditional ddusion of the Jacolnte& 
But it is no sUriit proof of the influence of Soot^men in 
France, that a Berwidc commanded her armies, a Law ad> 
Bunisto^ her finances, and a Macdonald rose to be one of die 
marshak of Nap<deon L 

It used to be said that the establishment of peraaaent 
embassies in Europe took phu^ subsequently to the Peace of 
Westphalia, in 1648; mi even the ktest edition of Mn 

1863. The French m SoMmd. 251 

Wheat<«'8 ^Eloneatft' pves ccHmtenance to tfais -riew. By 
tbose who dttm for th«m a BCHnewluit greater annuity, their 
introduction (with the exception of the nandoB and le^^tttes of 
the popes, who oonfessedly resided peraMaently at an earlier 
period) is generally aaerib^ to Ferdinand the Ca^<diCy aa we 
had occasion to show from Dr. Puebla's despatches in our last 
Number* The statement is one which anything approaching 
to an intimate acquwitance with the earlier history of any one 
of the older Eunqpean countriee will equally s^n^e to invalidate* 
The works before us^ at all events, place it beyond questiim 
tha^ long before the lattw period, and probaUy before the 
former, the intimate relation which subsisted between France 
and Scotland had led to the custom of roaTntaining resident 
political agents at bodi Courts. M. de la Motte, for example, 
m Scotland, and Andrew Foreman in France, seem each to 
have been intrusted with a general mission. It is well known 
that Cardinal Bethune, or Beaton, as he is cidled in Scotland, 
resided at Paris fr<Hn 1519 to 1525, and on two snbeequent 
occasions, for shorter periods^ in the charaetor of an ordinary 
ambassador. Somewhat later, his nephew, James Beaton, sue* 
oeeded him in that capacity. He served not only before the 
Beformation, but was subsequently employed by James Y I. ; 
and when he died in 1603^ in nis eighty-sixth year, he had been 
ambassador to three generations of the royal family of Scotland, 
had seen six kings of France, and transacted business with 
five of.thenu M* Teulet's ^ Papiers d'Etat,' indeed, are mainly 
composed of instructions to and letters from resident ambas- 
sadors, and he mentions expressly their discontinuance during 
the troubled years which succeedea the imprisonment of Queen 
Mary in Lochleven, when the English mfluence was in the 
ascendant, as a departure from the ancient usage. * After the 
^ imprisonment of Mary Stuart at Loch Leven,' he says, * the 
^ ambassador Du Croc returned to France, and during nearly 
^ twenty years there were no more resident ambassadors in 
^ Scotland^ mats seulement des envoyes chargis de miuions tem^ 
* poraire$.^ 

There was an old house in the Cow^te of Edinbuigh, 
traditionally known as the residence of the French Ambassador, 
and in Wilson's ^Memorials' will be found an engraving of 
the edifice called the French Ambassador's Chapel, which was 
pulled down so lately as 1829. When not actually at war with 
England, both France and Scotland maintained constant diplo- 
matic relations with that country. We friequently come upon 
Spanish ambassadors also, resident in all the three countries, 
and hear of Frenchmen, Englishmen, and Scotchmen, who were 

252 The Scots in France : ^ July^ 

resident in Spain. The extent to which Spain was mixed up 
in the transactions of England^ Scotland, and France in the six- 
teenth century, has received very important additional illus- 
tration from a portion of M. Teulet's very interesting and 
important collection. Speaking of the 44th section of hb work^ 
he says : — 

* The pieces collected in this section are all taken from the same 
register (Anglet'erre XXI), in the Archives of the Miniature des 
Affaires Jutrang^res. It is a contemporary collection of the greatest 
authenticity, which comprises principally the correspondence of the 
Dachess of Parma^ the Duke pf Alba, Perrenot, and the Baron de 
GlajoD, with Philip II., relating to the intervention of Spain in the 
disputes between France and England on the subject of Scotland in 
1669 and 1660, when Francis IL, become King of France and Scot- 
land, resolved to send into his new States sufficient forces to reduce 
his revolted subjects. This correspondence, which extends from the 
22nd of August, 1669, to 21st of May, 1660, seemed to us the more 
important because historians do not mention this intervention of 
Spain between France and England. It is curious to study, in the 
documents it contains, the opinion of the Spaniards on the respective 
strength of the two States, and to see how they came to the profound 
conviction that England was absolutely incapable of offering any 
certain resistance to an invasion by France. These documents were, 
therefore, sufficiently interesting to be published ; but they exhibit all 
the faults of Spanish diplomatic correspondence in. the sixteenth cen- 
tury, being almost always long, diffuse, and wearisome to the reader. 
We could not modify the text itself; but we have suppressed the 
despatches which were mere repetitions of the others.' * 

It is not very clear to what extent the envoy of those days 
was surrounded by the ambassadorial staff of later times. The 
mission seems, however, generally to have consisted of several 
individuals ; and that amongst these was included a secretary of 
legation, results from such facts as that Throckmorton's 
secretary wad bribed, and furnished to the French Ambassador^ 
La Forest, a portion of the documents published by M. Teulet I 

These facts conclusively dispose of the common opinion that 
the permanent embassy is a modem institution, which took the 
place occupied by the Church as an international link in Euro- 
pean society, down to the period of the Reformation. Long 
before the Beformation, the embassy existed alongside of the 
Church; sometimes, though by no means necessarily or con- 
stantly, in connexion with it ; and its existence is one more 
proof, added to the many we have adduced, in support of the 
view that the relations between neighbouring European States 
were in general quite as intimate, and those between France 

• Teulei, Preface, p. xiv. 

. 863. The French in Scotland. 258 

and Scotland far more intimate, in earlier than in modem 

There can be little doubt that Henry II. entertained the 
hopeless and irrational project of incorporating Scotland with 
France. M. Teulet has given, from a document in the Dupuj 
Collection, a decision of the Parliament of Paris, by which it 
was declared that, Mary Stuart having entered her twelfth 
year, Scotland should henceforth be governed in her name by 
French delegates, — a decision which, as M. Teulet justly re- 
marks, could have been competently arrived at by the Parlia- 
ment of Scotland alone. Such was probably also the object of 
the government of Mary of Guise, and of her indiscreet em- 
ployment of French officials, — a measure which more than any- 
thing else tended to alienate the affections of the Scotch. But 
such was not the object of the Parliament of Scotland in reci- 
procating the general letters of naturalisation which Henry had 
issued, nor does there seem any ground for alleging such an 
intention agfunst the kings of France, either before this period 
or after — from Louis XIL in 1513 to Louis XIY. in 1646 — 
almost iJl of whom adopted similar measures. In conferring 
the right of possessing all benefices, dignities, and ecclesiastical 
offices, lands, and seigneuries, of acquiring and holding heritable 
and moveable propertv, of transmitting it, free from the Droit 
iPAttbaine^ and of bemg ^ treated, favoured, held, deemed, and 
* reputed for ever, as true originals of the kingdom,' the object 
was not incorporate union, but firm and intimate alliance ; and 
we have already seen how well that object was accomplished. 
One of the most immediate and inevitable results of such rela- 
tions as these, and one which does not follow at all from the 
exchange of mercantile commodities, however extensive, is in- 
termarriages. We find, accordingly, that the Scotch who settled 
in France almost invariably married French wives, leaving 
behind them a pxogeny who were bound to both countries by 
stronger ties than either of their parents. It is thus that 
elements of national repulsion are overcome, and bonds of 
national union artificially created. How much more powerful 
these bonds are than any which arise from common interest, or 
mere political arrangements, the modem history of Europe 
most abundantly testes. 

254 Lyell ^n Ike AnHquUy efMcm. J^J^ 

Abt. IX. — 1. T*he Geoloffical Evidences of the Antiquity tf 
Meaty with Bemarks on Theories of the Orwin of Species by 
Variation. By Sir Charles Ltbll, F.TLS., &c. 8Ta 

2* Antiquites Celtiques et AntMiluviennes. Par M* BouCHEE 
DE Perthes. 8vo. Paris. VoL L 1847. VoL IL 1857. 

3. Machoire humame dicauverte h AhbevUk dans wn terrain «oii 
r4manU; Note de M. Bouoheb ds Perxhes, prisemiie 
par M. Dfi QnATREFAOEB ( Comptes Bendus de PAoadimie 
des Sciences). 20 AttU, 1863. 

4. Note sur VauthenHeiU de la deoouver^ iPime tnaehmre hu^ 
maine et de hackes de silex dans le tsrredn dibanen de Momlm 
Qmmunu Par M. Milne-Epwabds {Cmnptes Bendwe^ 
18 Mu 1863). 

5. On ihe Oecmrrenee of Flint ImplementSj associated wiA the 
Remains of Animals of Extinct Species^ ^e. By Joseph 
Prbstwich, Esq., F.R.S. {Philosophical Trdnsactione, 

6. Prehistoric Man^ Researches into the Origin of CiviUzatimi 
in the Old and New World. By Daniel Wilson, LL.D. 
8ya 2 vols. 1862. 

C nt Charles Ltbll has aot only been the witness of an 
'^ amottBt of progress aad change in the soienee of Greology, 
fbrmerly nnpreoedented In the life of one man — we might 
perhaps also add, nnpreoedented in the case of any other 
science — bnt he has personally contribsted in no slight or 
indirect manner to this progress and to this change. Bom 
shortly bdbre the dose of last century, and educated at 
Oxford, where he was the pupil of Bnokland, his after life 
has been diiefly spent in liondon, where he has been the 
interested and indefiitigable observer of what was passing in 
&e world of science. The inflnenoes of an Oxford education 
acted upon his acute and highly roeculative mind by a kind of 
antagonkm. Mr. LyeU w«b no granter of propoeHions. He 
was soon ^ led to reflect on the precept of Descartes, that a 
' philosopher should once in his life doubt everything he had 
'oeen taught;'* an amount of philosophical scepticism of 
which his writings from first to lost give ample proof. Passing 
over some comparatively juvenile papers, his first work — * The 
^Principles of Geology ' — appeared, a volume at a time, com- 

* Preface to vol iii. of first edition of * Principles of Greology.' 

1M3. Jjj^mO^Jmiifmfy^MmL 2S5 

menoiiig m 1880. The earliest yolnme was, however, mainly 
Tfrittea iu 1828. The Tiffoar of its style, Uie origiiudttj and 
novelty of its contents, and -the importaiiee of the conclusions 
sought to be deduced fvon the facts detailed, secured for it at 
once a measure of popular and sdentific attention attained by 
no geological work — hardly excepting even Cnvier's researches 
on foesil remains, — perfaiqM by no odier scioatific work of the 
period. What b equally remarkable, the popularity of the 
^Principles of Greology' has continued neuly unabated for 
thirty years, amidst the incessant and restless progress of the 
seiesee of which it treats. This arose in part mm the fact 
that Mr. Lydl had the sagadty and good fortune to antidpate 
the track in which tiie study of geology was about to be 
pursued. Unlike his master, Bucklimd, whose most systematic 
and original work, the ' Beliqui» Diluviaiue,' was the represen- 
tative of a geological school even then oa the wane, Mr. 
Ijyell courageously maintained opinions at the time and {ox 
long after to some extent unpopuhur, not so mudi in tfiemselves 
as in the consequences which they were supposed to involve. 
He had the advantage, however, of seeing adherents year bv 
year resorting to his standard, instead of deserting it; and if 
he has from time to time frankly abandoned earlier expressed 
opinions, it has almost always been in the direction of carrying 
out further than he had ongmally felt entitled to do, the con* 
sequences of his own early principles of inquiry and argument. 
But Sir Charles Lyell could not have maintained his very 
conspicuous ]dace amon^ the geolcmsts of Europe, had he 
not united with his fiicdity and fearkssness in forming con^ 
captions from which many men would have shrunk, an ability 
a^d perseverance in maintaining, illustrating, and difiusing 
them, which have ofben been wanting in the most eminent 
thinkers, and in the most diligent cultivaUMrs of the physical 
and natural sdences. Himself one of the earlier members and 
most zealous promoters of the Geological Society of Limdon, 
he selected a position considerably diflfereat from that of most 
of his compeers. Instead of writing elaborate monographs on 
certain formations and on certain features of local geology, he 
stored up the facta which he accumulated as well by judicious 
study as by personal intercourse with otber geologists, and by 
his own powers of observation; at one and the same time 
collecting and classifying ; and referring each fact, to which he 
devoted his special attention, to its place in that system of 
which he had previously formed a theoretical conception. 
Living in the midst of the scientific activity of London, his 
time was yet saved from die distraction and anxiety which the 

256 Lyell en Ae Antiquity of Man. Jcdy» 

rapid .production and publication of detached memoirs are apt to 
produce; as well as from the attendant controversies, and the 
other claims on the time of those who are deeply engrossed ia 
the management and support of scientific associations. Sir 
Charles Ljell could afford to dispense with the flattering popu- 
larity and seductive sodal influence whidi such surrenders of 
ersonal independence and tranquillity are expected to attain, 
e adopted the dignified position at once of the student and of 
the methodical teacher, and he has no reason to regret his 
choice. In this respect he may be fitiy compared with another 
eminent Englishman, not less distinguished in the exact than 
Sir Charles Lyell is in the natural sciencesi whom he also 
resembles in the lucidity of his style and the admirable method 
of his systematic writings. 

The * Principles of Geology,' as well as all the subsequent 
writings of our author, were mainly devoted to the develope* 
ment of the idea that contemporary changes in the distribution 
of the materials of the earth's surface are the same in kind, 
and probably also in d^ee, as those which obtained in past 
ages, which, acting through absolutely indefinite periods of 
time, have brought about those changes of which we trace 
the undeniable records in the succession and accidents of the 
strata of the upper portion of our globe. Properiy speaking, 
there was nothing absolutely new in the attempt to collect 
evidence of the changes going on concurrently with the 
present order of the world, or to estimate their amount and 
efficacy. Nor was it any novelty to invoke the aid of vast 
periods of time in expluning, by the analogy of the Present, a 
greiftt number, if not all, of the chan^ manifest in the records 
of the Past In the interesting historical chapters of the 
' Principles,' Sir C. Lyell enumerated most of his predecessors 
in this line of thought; scarcely, perhaps, giving due pro- 
minence to the industry of Yon Hoff* in the collection of the 
facts of contemporary change, or to the bold speculations and 
memorable labours of Huttonf and Play fair |, in educing a 
system of dynamical geology, very similar to his own, from the 
comparatively meagre data which were available at the time 
they wrote. But after allowing all credit to the geologists of 
the 18th century, we may fairly admit that the time had 
arrived when speculation on the {)rihdples of the sdence could 
be advantageously renewed with the light of fresh researches, 

* Geschichte der Natiirlichen Veranderangen der Erdoberflache.' 
I. TheiL 1822. 
t Theory of the Earth. 2 vols. 1795. 
X Illustrations of the Huttonian Theory of the Earth. 8vo. 18Q2. 

1863. Itjell on the Antiquity of MaTL 257 

eepecially that derived from the study of fossil organic remains. 
The battle of Wemerianism and Huttonianism had been pretty 
well fought out within the sphere of the original controversy — - 
but new data had arisen which tended to give the whole subject 
a fresh aspect. 

Nothing contributed more to this result than the opening 
of the continent to British .men of science, and it is plain 
upon the face of Sir C. Lyell's work that, though not in its 
origin the result of his journeys to the south of Europe (com- 
mencing in 1828), these and his visits to the museums of Paris 
gave their characteristic impress to every part of the * Prin- 

* ciples of Geology.' It was a splendid success, and secured 
for the author permanent fame. Successive editions showed 
that he had determined to make it the repertory of his most 
original observations, and the authentic expression of his 
matured conclusions. As year by year he extended the circuit 
of his journeys, sedulously observing himself, and treasuring 
the facts communicated by resident geologists of various 
countries, it is needless to say that the materials of his work 
largely increased. Oermany and Scandinavia were diligently 
explored, and twice he crossed the Atlantic with his eye ever 
fixed on the class of phenomena — those connected with exist- 
ing physical change — forming the nucleus around which all 
his geological system was to cohere. The study of volcanoes, 
which he commenced in Central France, he extended to Spain, 
Sicily, and the Canaries. Of these various widely-spread 
investigations he published some of the methodised results 
apart; as, for example, on the changes of level of the land 
in Scandinavia, in a paper in the * Philosophical Trans- 
^actions,'* on the numerous facts observed in America in two 
series of published * Travels* in that country f; and on the 
formation of volcanic cones, especially of £tna, in the * Philo- 

* sophical Transactions ' again.^ But the pith and substance 
of all that he saw and inferred was compressed into his 
methodical writings. Each new edition of his great work was 
in some sense a new book. Notwithstanding all possible cur- 
tailments, so much original matter could not be introduced 
without unduly increasing its bulk ; and in a few years, the 
work was judiciously subdivided into two: one portion retain- 
ing the name of * Principles,' in which the phenomena of geology 
are considered chiefly with reference to existing causes, or in 

• Phil. Trans, for 1835. 

t Publislmd in 1841 and 1845. 

i Phil. Trans, for 1858. 


258 TjjtVL on the Antiquity of Man. " July^ 

their dynamical aspect ; the other, or the ' Manual,' embracing 
the systematic geology and palseontology of the entire forma- 
tions of the globe* It is to the unusnal care and ability with 
which these works have been from time to time re-edited and 
brought up to the level of the science of which they treat, that 
their permanent popularitjris justly attributable* 

We have already seen that the fundamental idea in Sir 
Charles LyelFs mind is, that the events of the Past are to be 
viewed by the light of the Present* We might almost have 
said, to be viewed exclusively by the light of the present* And 
here, no doubt, is the weak point of what has justly been 
called the Uniformitarian School, as opposed to Catastrophats^ 
We do not enter upon this discussion at present* All are 
agreed that the analogies of existing causes ought to guide ua, 
as far as is possible or reasonable, in the interpretation of the 
past. And since we find in those strata of the globe which 
are nearest to its surface and to the chief scene of present 
change, the most striking analogy in materials, in disposition, 
and in imbedded organic remains, to strata either forming 
under our eyes or known to have been deposited in historic 
times, it requires no circumlocution to show that the argument 
from analogy is applicable with the greatest force to these 
upper formations. From these strata, agwi, analogies may be 
established with those a little more removed from modem age 
and existing life, and so on downwards, until a connected chain 
of analogies may be made to connect even very ancient and pro- 
foundly-seated rocks with the subjects of recent change. It is 
very easy to see that an argument of this kind may be skil- 
fully elaborated, of which it may be difficult to show the 
defective connexion at any one point, but which, nevertheless, 
demands more in the way of cordial assent than most readers 
may be prepared to grant. 

The Newer Formations, then — those deposited anterior 
to historic record, and constituting the less consolidated portion 
of the earth's crust — rarely, indeed, entitled to the name of 
rocks at all — became the favourite scene of Sir C* Ly ell's 
researches. They had been almost ignored as subjects of me- 
thodical gcoloffLCsl treatment^ until the generation arose to 
which our author may be said to belong* Under the vague 
names of diluvium and alluvium, they were hardly ever classi- 
fied as members of geological formations down to the time of 
Cuvier and Brongniart, and were r^arded, if not as properly 
speaking modern^ at all events as belonging to the physical 
monuments of the present aye of the world, the very oldest of 
them being attributed to a date which^ if not Historical, at least 

186& Lyell on the Acuity of Man. 259 

miffht be so* In a word, a very large class of well-infonxied geolo- 
gists admitted that these beds of clay, gravel, sand, and similar 
movable materials, bad been deposited by the Noachian deluge, 
whilst others, waiving the Scriptural qoestioo, left it open te 
attribute these unconsolidated formations to at least a period so 
comparatively recent as to belong rather to history than geology. 
As Tertiary geology may be held to have commenced with 
Cuvier, Quaternary, or the latest formations preceding the 
present age, became a fixed part of geol<^ nuunly through the 
labours of Sir Charles Lyell and a few of his contemporaries. 

We are thus brought step by step nearer to the inquiry 
which has called forth the work at the head of this article, 
'The Antiquity of Man.' This momentous and interesting 
question is in fact one portion only of a wider subject — the 
theory and dassificatioii of the most veoent formations of our 
globe* Sir Charies Lyell's new volmne is a dissertation upon 
the geology of the upper formations. Mueh in it has no direct 
reference to human antiquity, jti the question of tiiat antiquity 
is, 00 to speak, the dominant question of this inquiry, because 
when we talk of the present age of the w(»4d, and of the His- 
torical Period, we refer, tacitly at least, to tl» presence of Man 
upon the globe, as the intelligent spectator and possible chronicler 
of the changes to which his species has bten the witness. 

Before geology could be said to have become a science, the 
tendency of the uninstrueted mind wae to see human remains 
in every chance fossil, as for example, the kcmee dilmmu testis of 
Scheuchzer, which was shown by Cuvier to be a species of 
salamander* Elephantine bones dug up near Luoeme were 
described as those of a giant 18 feet high, and even Spallan- 
sani erred in supposing the osseous breccia of Cerigo to contain 
hmnan relics* 

As a knowledge of anatomy became more genend, and the spoils 
of the strata were more attentively consUered and ccdlected, 
the more enlightened belief of gpolog^aito turned to an opposite 
conclusion, and the occurrence of fossil human retaains was 
altogether denied. Such was tiie deliberate conviction of 
Cuvier and other great men of his time, the only important 
apparent exception, that of the Ouadeloupe skeletra, being ac- 
oounted for by the feet that the calcareous rook in which it 
occurred is in the process of actual formation* It is remark- 
able that little should have occurred to disturb this belief during 
the thirty years of indefatigable research — more, fer more, in 
amount than that of a whole preceding century — which elapsed 
from the time of the publication of Cnvier^s memorable work, 
^Becherches sur les Ossemens Fossiles*' In the celebrated 

260 ILjell on the Antiquity of Man. July 9 

Introduction on the Bevolutions of the Globe^ Cuvier dearly 
lays down, as the result of his researches, that since the earth 
was sufficiently free from water to support terrestrial animals, 
four distinct ages or great periods followed in succession — the 
age of reptiles, that of palasotheria, that of the mammoth and 
mastodon, and lastly that of Man. This belief, we say, has 
continued, with scarcely an exception, to be the universal geo- 
logical creed until now. The tendency of the discoveries 
which have given rise to Sir C. LyelPs new work (founded 
mainly on the observation of other geologists verified by him- 
self) is to make' the last two ages of Cuvier graduate into one, 
or at least to extend the human period back to the later portion 
of the mammoth age* This is a view important, certainly, and 
requiring careful proof, because anterior research had led to 
contrary conclusions, and thrown the date of Man to the latest 
vei^e of the geological record. But it is not in itself ante- 
cedently improbable, and need occasion no violent surprise. 
Cuvier himself, in the discourse already cited, quotes the fact 
as the result simply of observation, and even in that respect as 
by no means conclusively proving that Man did not exist along 
with the mammoths. He believes that Man might have in- 
habited limited territories, and after a series of catastrophes 
have re-peopled the earth.* 

We shall consider presently the few cases which throw any 
real doubt on the assertion of Cuvier, which in his time was 
unquestionably correct. Alleged fossil human bones have been 
and are justly regarded with considerable scepticism. 

But a discovery of little inferior interest has been made. 
Implements of flint, which appear to have been fashioned with 
evident design, have been found abundantly at depths of at least 
twenty feet below the surface of the soil, and tJtat (as is main- 
tained) not in strata belonging to the formations of the present 
day, such as peat and recently-washed sands and gravels, but 
in strata, incoherent, no doubt, and unconsolidated, yet whose 
ancient deposition is marked by their relations to the present 
physical configuration of the country and position of existing 
river-beds, and also by the occurrence of numerous imbedded 
fossils of extinct animals of characters thoroughly identified by 
Cuvier, and which belonged to the mammoth period. Indeed^ 
it fortunately happened that the identical beds, in the valley of 
the Somme, near Abbeville and Amiens, which first yielded 
flint implements in such abundance, had been, so to speak, made 

* < Osseroents Fossiles* (edit 1834), i. 217. ; and Jameson's Trans- 
lation, p. 120. 

1863. Jjj^W on the Antiquiiy of Man. 261 

classical by Cuvier on account of the abundant and charac- 
teristic remains of extinct species of elephant, rhinoceroSy 
bear, and hyaena, which they had contributed to his celebrated 

We shall leave for a little while the work of Sir Charles Lyell, 
to make the reader acquainted, from original sources, with the 
history of the interesting discovery of these flint weapons. 
The credit of it is unquestionably due to M. Boucher de 
Perthes, of whose work we have given the title at the head of 
our article. It consists of two volumes entitled ^ Antiquit^s 
' Celtiques et Ant^diluviennes.' The first volume was printed 
in 1847, but only appeared in 1849 ; the second in 1857. In 
both we have the history of the Abbeville fossil relics. 

M. de Perthes is a gentleman of fortune, who also holds (or 
held) an oflBicial position under government. It appears that 
twenty-five years ago he was already devoted to antiquarian 
pursuits, and that he had then made spedal inquiry into the 
origin of Man and the probable date of his appearance on the 
globe. In his first work (which we have not seen), und^ the 
title of ^ De la Cr^tion, Essai sur I'Origine et la Progression 
'des J^tres,' published at Paris in 1838, it appears that he 
boldly, though somewhat hypothetically, maintained his con- 
viction that human fossil remains would be eventually found 
amongst those of the great mammifera. The grounds of this 
inference might not be sufficient to satisfy geologists now, but 
as in numberless other instances which the history of science 
offers, inadequate or not, they sufficed to engage the author in 
a course of persevering research, which in tmie led him to 
nearly a full realisation of his early ideas. Mo doubt it may 
be said that a discovery preceded by a hypothetical prediction 
must be received with hesitation. Certainly the fact justifies a 
sceptical inquiry into the drcumstances and the proofs. This 
inquiry has been made. For more than twenty years, M. de 
Perthes was in some measure a victim to the incredulity, 
whether reasonable or the reverse, of his countrymen and of 
geologists generally. No one, however, we think, can read his 
book — independently even of recent testimony — without a 
thorough conviction of M. de Perthes' entire veracity and good 
faith ; and that, moreover, he used every precaution which skill 
and caution could suggest to prevent imposition from being 
practised on himself and others. 

The facts, then, are these. In the gravel pits which abound 
near the town of Abbeville, where M. de Perthes resides, flint 
implements more or less rude, but unquestionably fashioned by 
human hands, were first recognised at a great depth below the 

262 JjjeBi on tiu AnHfuity 9f Mmu July, 

surface of die soiL The geolo^eal rektioiiB »od position of 
these beds we will by-ond^by oonsider. In 1840 cur 1841» 
M. de Perthes was colleeting mammalian fossils from this 
ancient gravel for M. Cordier of Paris. The locality^ as we 
have said^ was already wdl eharaeterised by the r^eandies of 
Cuyier on similar fiwsils long before procured for him by li. 
Baillon. In order to accompany the bones with a portion of 
the matrix or gravel in which they were embedded, the wotkr 
men were desired by M. de Perthes to bring to bis house a 
quantity of it. On pouring out the gravel he noticed amongat 
it an unpc^ished (Hnt axe (hache Celiipie), very r^ulariy foiiMd 
by chipping. The workmen had not noticed it; but on havitig 
it pointed out to diem they siud that they frequently met with 
such^ but had taken Kttle account of diem (ik n'en avaiemt point 
fait de eas). This nanrative * appears to be perfeody satisfao- 
tory. The evidence for the authenticity of diese c»rly di»» 
coveries is indeed far more convincing dian any which can now, 
or could for the last dozen years, have been easily obtained. It 
taUies^xfiotly with what occurred to Mr. Preetwich on his firafe 
visit (at a much later period) to the analogous Englkh depodt 
at Hoxne in Suffolk ; the workman tbere, on being diown am 
implement from Abbeville, at once said that he had often fbiuMi 
sueh in the pit, and had thrown two away reoendy, one of 
which he recovered in the rubbi8h.t At the same place sixty 
years before, when these weapons were far more abundant^ 
found than now, Mr. Frere was told by a workman that ' before 
^ he knew that they were objects of curiosity he had emptied 
' baskets full of them into the ruts of the adjoining road.^ 

Subsequendy to 1841, the implements weie seen at Abbe- 
ville in the matrix, by M. de Perthes (and also by others), aai 
removed with his own hands. It was in vain, however, that he 
attempted to extend a convieti<m of the contemporaneity of 
these weapons or tools with the relics of exdnct animals, beyond 
the circumscribed limits of the Soeiiti dEmulatiam at Abbeville, 
and the friends or rare passing travellers who could be induced 
to visit his museum, and there judge for themsdvee. Of thoee 
who did so, M. de Perthes leads us to believe (and we have ao 
doubt of it) that few left it unconvinced. But the just ambition 
of a Frenchman is to obtain the recognition of his diaeoveriea 
and their results by the Academy of Sciences. Like other 

* 'Antiquity Cdtiques,' &c., torn. L p. 256., where farther details 
are given. 

t PhiL Trans, for 1860, p. 306. 

X *' Ardueologia,' voL xiii., quoted by Mr. Frestwich. 

1863. Ljell m the Antiquity of Man. 263 

great incorporations^ it is, however, proverbiallj diffieult to be 
moved, most of all bj persons of slight or of merely provincial 
reputation. At last, in 1847, a mixed Commission was appointed 
by the Academies of Sciences and of Inscriptions, to inspect the 
evidences of M. de Perthes' allegations. M. Jomard, on the 
part of the latter, reported as to the weapons being almost all 
true antiques, but it seems to be indicated that the report of 
the Geological Committee represented by M. Constant Prevost, 
if it was ever made, was not so favourable as to the matter of 
their association with fossil bones.* 

We may also safely allow that in every such inquiry a large 
amount of scepticism in admitting a fact such as that which we 
are now considering, and which involves some nice points of 
evidence, is both excusable and just. First of all, do these alleged 
antiquities hear certain evidence of design in tJieir construction f 
Any doubts which may have existed, even till recently in the 
minds of some, on this fundamental question have been, we con- 
ceive, so completely set at rest by full investigation, that we 
shall for brevity's sake accept the fact as proved. 

But admitting the human character of these tools, we next 
inquire whether they are true antiques or modem fabrications ? 
There can be no doubt that the temptation to make spurious 
imitations has been considerable ; nay, it is difficult to deny that 
in too many cases deception has been practised. The fashioned 
flints have had from the first a commercial value. M. de 
Perthes, twenty years ago, gave from two to five francs for a 
specimen. He prudently added the farthw inducement of a 
double price were he apprised of the discovery of a specimen 
before its removal from the matrix. To do him justice, he seems 
from the first to have had a just suspicion of imposture. As a 
collector and antiquary, he had already been subjected to the 
tricks of the designingf , and he took every precaution against 
error. He believes that the labour of constructing an ela-^ 
borately formed * hache' from a rough flint would not be repaid 
by the sums which he was in the habit of paying for them4 
He relies with most confidence on having seen numerous 
tools still imbedded in the firm matrix, from which he removed 
them with his own hands, and especially on the stain which the 
surface of the flint receives from the yellow gravel in contact 

* We have searched the ' Comptes Rendas ' in vain for any notice 
of the Heport of the Commission having been brought up. 

t ^Antiquit^s Celtiques,' ii. 456.» and elsewhere. 

This was probably true formerly, but it may be doubted whether 
it applies since the £nglish market has been opened to the terrassiers 
of Abbeville and Amiens. 

264 Lyell on the Antiquity of Man* July, 

mrith it in the true foasil beda*, which penetrates to a eeneible 
depth into its substance, and which M. de Perthes well detscribes 
as a true patina, such as antiquaries value in ancient coins, being, 
in the one case as in the other, inimitable by art and a real safe* 
guanl against forgery. 

It is satisfactory to add that in this conclusion the eminent 
English geologist, Mr. Prestwich, entirely coincides. ' This 
' staining,' he adds, / is so strong and permanent that no subse- 
' quent ejcposure can remove it'f There are two farther tests of 
antiquity to which Sir C« Lyell (Antiq. of Man, p. 116.) attri- 
butes much importance as incapable of artificial imitation ; first, 
a ' vitreous gloss as contrasted with the dull aspect of freshly 
' fractured flint ;' and secondly, presence of dendritic crystallisa- 
tions on the fashioned faces* 

The next question is, are these remains not only andent, but 
do they belong to the beds characterised by t/ie remains of extinct 
animals 9 On this point doubts have also been raised, and they 
have probably been the last to be removed in the minds of 
sceptical inquirers. Were these hatchets obtained by the work- 
men from Celtic graves or comparatively recent deposits of peat 
and alluvial soil, and then represented to have been found in the 
old gravels ; or again, without presuming fraud, might they not 
have become mixed up witli an older formation by land slips or 
rents caused by artificial excavation ? In answer to the former 
supposition, M. de Perthes pertinently remarks; first, that 
the form and finish of the implements of the later or true Celtic 
age, and even from the peat formations, are quite distinct in 
character from those of the ancient deposits; secondly, that 
their colour is also different in conformity with what has been 
stated under the last head, corresponding to the difierent 
characters of the matrix ; thirdly, that the flints of the older 
type are actually more abundant in the district than those of the 
newer type, so that he has habitually paid the workmen more 
highly for the more modem article, and yet has accumulated in 
his museum only one fourth of the number compared to the 
ancient. Lastly, that he has extracted weapons with his own 
hands from the lower gravels nearly in contact with the inferior 
chalk. Later writera coincide generally with these conclusions.^ 

* It may also be brown or simply dull white, in accordance with 
the character of the matrix. 

t Prestwich, Phil. Trans., 1861, p. 297. 

\ See, for instance, Mr. Flowers' detailed account of the extraction 
with his own hands of a flint implement sixteen feet below the surface 
at St. Acheul, near Amiens. {GeoL Socieiy*s Journal^ voL xvi. 
p. liK).) Mr. Prestwich, who was present on the occasion, says that 
the depth from tha original surface was twenty-two feet. 

1863. Ijj^ on the Antiquity of Man. 265 

The second and more difficult question as to the possible casual 
introduction of the flint weapons into the old gravelt can hardly 
be answered by spedfic disproof; and for those geologists who so 
long withheld their assent to M. de Perthes' conclusions this 
has been the stronghold of scepticism. Certainly no one would 
lightly admit the contemporaneity of any extraneous bodies in 
strata which by their very nature have been since their de- 
position in a mobile and comparatively incoherent state. But 
die evidence and the arguments which satisfied Cuvier and all 
contemporary geologists that the mammoth, the rhinoceros, the 
cave-lion, and many more extinct animals, survived to the 
period of the catastrophe which entombed them in these strata, 
applies without variation to the presence amongst these very 
bones of the human relics of which we are now speaking. Nor 
can we, without an evident paralogism, accept in the one case 
a conclusion which we reject in the other, merely on account of 
an alleged antecedent improbability. We have shown from his 
writings that such an improbability would not have weighed 
with Cuvier had the evidence which we now possess. been pre- 
sented to him. At the same time we desire to record that it is 
the habitual occurrence of these implements in a certain stratum 
which gives its main force to the evidence ; and that had the 
discovery only been made in a few instances, or in a single 
locality, it might have been Justly received with doubt, and 
judgment suspended until confirm^ by repeated instances and 
in various places. The careful researches of Mr. Prestwich in 
particular, as well as of M. Rigollot and other French geolc^ists, 
have given all the consistency of which this kind of evidence 
admits to the particular deductions of M. de Perthes in his 
own locality, but by extending it to others in France and to the 
similar formations in England, they have removed, it seems to 
us, any reasonable doubt that the entombment of the flint 
weapons corresponds exactly in point of antiquity to that of 
the Mammoth Age of Cuvier. But these considerations lead us 
naturally to a more direct consideration of the nature and age 
of the geological formations characterised by all these remains, 
especially as they occur in the valley of the Somme. 

It is with the post-tertiary beds that we have here princi- 
pally to do. Though they may be called in a geological 
sense extremely modern, they manifestly do not conform to the 
meaning of that phrase in a popular sense. They are sub- 
divided by Sir C. Lyell into two groups, which admit of con- 
sistent interpretation in respect of the fossils which they contain. 
The older member of the post-tertiary beds (to which, as we 
shall see, the bone and flint implement beds of Abbeville and 
Amiens belong) is characterised by the fact of the shells which 


Lyell on the Antiquity of Man. 


it containe being all of recent specieSy whilst the fossil mammalia 
belong partly or chiefly to extinct species* This Sir C. Lyell 
calls Post^PKooene. The upper member of liic post-tertiary 
series, termed Recent^ mclndes both shells and fossil bones be- 
longing entirely to existing species. Till within a few years the 
last or recent period alone has been tiiought to include human 
works or remains. The question now agitated is, whether we 
are justified in placing the appearance of Man on the surface of 
the globe one stage eariier, or in the Post-Pliocene age ? 

That the reader may have clearly before him the rellitions of 
these upper deposits and the nomenclature actually adopted, we 
borrow, mainly from Sir C. LyelFs works, the following abridged 





H < 

9 S 



Peat — deltas of rivers 
and alluvia generally. 
Newest raised beaches. 

^ Loess of the Ehine -^ 
Terraces of the Valley 
of the Sorame — Older 
raised beaches — ^Bone 


Entirely of existing 
species. Relics of hu- 
man art and of Man. 

Shells all of living spe- 
cies, but bones of maaj 
extinct quadrupeds-^ 
Flint implements of 
Abbeville, &c 





/PLIOCENE CBoulder clay — Glacial \ Include a small pro- 
newrrI drift or diluvium. [ porrion of extinct spe- 

oi;dbb Crag of Suffolk. / cies of shells. 

laocsNE (Two sabdi visions) living species rarer. 

r Three subdivisions, tojLiviBg speotes of shells 
1 London clay inclusive. ( very rare. 

The gravel beds at Abbeville and at Amiens, as well as those 
in the valleys of the Seine and Olse, and of Ae valley of the 
Waveney, in Suffolk (near Hoxne), in all of which flint imple- 
ments have been fouua, belong decidedly to what, in the above 
table, are termed the Post-Pliocene beds. Their age is deter- 
mined alike by superposition and by their fossil contents. As 
to the former — in Suffolk, for example — they are seen to 
overlie the * boulder clay/ or glacial drift, which belongs to the 
* newer pliocene * formation, while they are evidently older than 
the peat formation contained in the valleys. With respect to 
fossils, they perfectly exemplify Sir C. Lyell's criteria of the 
post-pliocene age. The shells are, without any exception, those 

* The dates of these raised beaches and bone caves have only 
lately been ndvanced from the Bould^ Clay era to the Post-pliocene 
period, principally on the authority of Mr. Ftestwich and I>r. 

1863w hy^ on ike AnHquihf ^ Mm. 267 

of living spertae ; \mt the bones of quftdrupeds, where Booh are 
£6«ind, bel<MEig usuaUj^ or almost always^ to extinct spedes. 

The evidence deduoible as to tke climate which prevailed at 
this very early stage of the history of Man is remarkable enough* 
The presence of hones of the elephant^ rhinoo«N)s, hif^potamns, 
and lion, naturally eonvey the idea of a i^arly tropical climate* 
But this seemingly reasonable conolumon has been long abandoned 
witb reference to other examples. It is not necessary that we 
should here recall the facts which establish that the geographical 
range of even existii^ species of most of these genera was 
formerly greatly underrated *, and that the drcumstances under 
which such remains have been found in Siberia and elsewhere 
conclusively show, first, that these animals (ele|^nt and rhino- 
ceros) lived and died on the spot — secondly, that the climate 
was then certainly very cold, most probably as cold as at present. 
Had not this been the case, these remains — which include flesh 
and skin as well as bones — conkl mot possibly have been pre- 
served, free from putrefaction, to modem times ; and the woolly 
oovmng with which diey were invested proves that they in- 
habited an arctic or sub-arctic dimate. The evidence from 
shells, as to the climate of the drift period in the north of France, 
is not altogether deoisiye. Their species almost invariably 
accord with those which now belong to the same region. But, 
with a single exception (the Cyrena flummeMB^ an inhabitant of 
the Nile), they abd prevail in the northern or sub*arctic parts 
of Curope.t The mode of deposition of the transported sand 
and gravel in these beds, with the contorted forms which they 
present, giv« a colour to the idea entertained by Mr. Prestwioh, 
as well as Sir Charles Lyell, that the winter climate of the 
Somme, at the early human period, was some 20^ at least colder 
than at present ; and that the habits of life of the people may 
have resembled those of the natives of Hudson's Bi^. It maj 
be added that, though the entire detritus whidi composed these 
important beds has been found to be atriotly composed of 
materials comprised within the present outline of the drainage 
of the valley where they oeour, they include massive blocks of 
hard tertiary sandstone, which, according to the present views 
of geologists, are believed by many to have required the ageni^ 
of ice for their removal; another confirmation, it is thought, of 
the great antiquity of these de(>08its, and of their showing a 

* The Indian lion has been found alive in the Asiatic continent, if 
we recollect rightly, as far north as latitude 52° ; that is, to the north 
of London, and in a winter climate incomparably more severe. 

t Prestwich, * Royal Society Proceedings,* 1862, p. 44. ; LyeH, 
'Antiquity,' p. 142. 

268 Ljell on the Antiquity of Man. July, 

gradation in respect of climate between the modem state of 
things and that of the deposition of the boulder clay, a tme 
pliocene deposit which is held to be purely marine and of an 
arctic character. We confess that these deductions (as regards 
the drift of the Sorome) seem to us to rest on rather slender 
analogies; and we are glad that the paper in which Mr. 
Prestwich ingeniously considers them (Royal Society Proceed* 
ings, 1862) has been kept wholly distinct from his original 
investigation of the facts of the case (Phil. Trans. 1860). 
This last-mentioned paper appears to be a model of cautious 
observation and le^timate inference. 

Mr. Prestwich, whose previous labours in geology had given 
weight to any expression of opinion connected with the pliocene 
and post-pliocene formations, was first induced to visit Normandy 
by the report of Dr. Falconer of what he had seen in M. de 
Perthes' museum. In 1859, Mr. Prestwich made most of the 
observations contained in his paper in the * Philosophical Trans- 
' actions,' and was followed by Sir Charles Lyell, who gave in 
his adhesion to the views of M. de Perthes on the antiquity 
of Man, at the meeting of the British Association at Aberdeen, 
in the autumn of that year. It is only just to say that Sir C* 
Lyell found little to add to what his accurate predecessor, Mn 
Prestwich, had done, either in confirming the genuineness of 
the antiquities or their precise relations to the beds in which 
they are found, and the geological and topographical positions 
of these beds. Dr. Falconer and Mr. Prestwich have thought 
it necessary to vindicate for themselves a more prominent 
position, with reference to these and other collateral dis- 
coveries, than they think Sir C. Lyell has assigned to them. 
But in the matter of the Abbeville antiquities, at least, we 
think that Sir 0. Lyell really intended to give Mr. Prestwich 
full credit for what he had done — which, in fact, was nearly 
all that the case admitted of — before Sir C. Lyell had 
published at all on the subject. Indeed, in the 'Evidences 
* of the Antiquity of Man,' we do not observe a claim on the 
part of the author to special originality of investigation. But it 
is inevitable that a systematic writer, methodising for the first 
time a subject mainly new, and viewing it from its popular side, 
should obtain credit for having originated much of what he 
relates on the authority of his predecessors, or of which, at 
least, he is. merely a confirmatory witness. Unfortunately, it is 
too common a case that such writers are even less liberal of 
citations from their precursors than in this case Sir Charl/ss has 
been. We think we may f^rly acquit him of any ungenerous 
intentions in the matter. 

1863« JjjeH on the Antiquity of Man. 269 

In the course of an address to the Boyal Society of Edinburgh, 
in December 1860, the Duke of Argyll very justly observes, 
with reference to the question of the relics of Man in the 
valley of the Somme» that — 

* The reluctance to admit the contemporaneity of Man with those 
animals [extinct mammalia] results from the reluctance to admit 
Man's priority to such physical changes as are supposed to separate 
US from a fauna typified by the mammoth and the elk. If therefore 
the fact of such priority be proved from the stratigraphical position 
of the flint relics, wholly independent of any argument derived from 
organic remains, the importance of the question of the human age of 
the great mammals will be much diminished.'* 

This is quite correct ; and as we have dwelt chiefly on the 
evidence from fossils, we must just indicate the 'Stratigraphical 
' Evidence ' here alluded to. It is tolerably simple, and may be 
found in the writings and instructive sections of Mr. Prestwich 
and of Sir C. LyeU. We confine ourselves to the valley of the 

At Amiens and Abbeville, this valley is an excavation of 
great width — from one to two miles — in the chalk strata 
covering this part of France* The height of the rising grounds 
adjoining the viUley is about 200 feet above the level of the sea ; 
and at Abbeville, the height above the river Somme is only a 
little less. The lowest part of the excavation of the chalk, or 
bottom of the valley, is lined with gravel, on which rests a bed 
of peat thirty feet thick and in part below the sea level, and 
through that peat the Sonmie makes its way. In it are found, 
from time to time, hatchets of a more modem character than 
those of the older formations called Post-Pliocene. These last 
beds occur in contact with the chiUk slopes of the sides of the 
▼alley at two different levels above the bed of the river. One, 
about forty feet above the sea, occurs at the now well-known 
locality of Menchecourt, near Abbeville ; a second terrace, from 
80 to 100 feet above the sea, at Moulin Quiff non. These may 
be called, respectively, the low4evel gravel and high-level gravel. 
Similar phenomena occur at Amiens and elsewhere. It is to be 
clearly understood that these terraces are horizontiUly stratified 
masses of loam or brickearth (above), and of angular or slightly 
worn flint gravel (below), abutting against the slopes of chalk 
which form the sides of the valley ; that they are abruptly cut 
off on the side nearest to the river, and that, acconiing to 
appearances, they once stretched from side to side of the 

• Proceedings of the Royal Society, Edinburgh, Dec 3rd, 1860, 
p. 363. 

270 L jell on the AnHquity of Man. July, 

valley, like a horizontal floor, whiofa has sinee been cut into and 
excavated by a moving power sufficient to form the modem 
bottom of the valley* Moreover, this process was again repeated, 
after an interval, — ^which may be assumed to have been a long 
one — a second and narrower floor having been formed across 
the valley, at the lower level, and that again cut into terraces 
by a fresh excavating power. Still later, the gravel and peat 
must have been deposited where it now filb up the lowest 
portion of the excavated chalk valley. 

It is further to be understood that the flmt implements of 
which we have so often spoken are found both at the 40 feet 
and the 80 feet terrace, in each case at the depth of 20 feet, 
move or less, from the modem surface, chiefly in the lower 
portion of the flint giavds, near where tjiey rest on the chalk, 
sparingly in the brickearth or loam above, and not at all in the 
superficial soil which covers both, and whieh conforms to the 
sloping sides of the valley. The mammaKan remains are 
deposited in a similar manner. It is important to add that, 
with the hw^Uod pravdt are associated some marine, as well as 
a preponderance of fresh-water shells, showing that, when they 
vrere deposited, the tide reached condderably above the present 
mean level of the sea at the mouth of the Somme, giving to 
these formations the estuary character ; but, on the other hand, 
the higk-leoel graveb show no trace of the presence of the 
ocean, nor do marine deposits extend up the valley beyond 

On the whde, then, considerable physical changes must have 
ooourred since these deposits of the human age occurred. As- 
suming the uppeMevel gravel to be the oldest in date, a force 
— apparently of water — surely very diflPerent from that which 
the present stream of the Somme eould exert, carried along 
with it the flints washed out of llie smromiding chalk forma* 
tions, and disposed ihem in stnkta extending frtmi side to side of 
the then spacious valley. Next, the stream must have cut 
through this deposit, and excavated* a cavity, still wide, though 
somewhat narrower than before, in which, meeting the waters 
of the sea, it deposited the low^level gravel in the same manner : 
at this time the level of the tide must have been 15 or 20 feet 
higher than at present, or the land must have since been elevated 
so much. It appears to us to be a strong presumption that 
the deposition of the high and low level gravels was not 

* It is not necessary to assume that the solid chalk was washed 
out at this period. That may have been the result of older and 
more violent denudation, the ancient bed being afterwards filled with 

1863. Lyell on the Antiquity of Man. 271 

separated by a vast chasm in time, that their composition^ 
arrangement^ and orgimic and artificial contents exhibit such a 
marked unity of character^ the sole exception being the oc- 
currence of marine shells in the lower beds of the lowest gravels. 
We say that this uniformity of character and of products seems 
to be a more convincing argument for the periods of deposition 
not being very remote from one another, than any difficulties 
which such a supposition involves are sufficient to counteract. 
We have lUready mentioned that the occurrence of great trans- 
ported blocks of tertiary sandstone has been thought to require 
the introduction into these valleys of glacial agency. Might 
not this or some coordinate cause have aided in the formation 
of these terraces, and especially have given to the now puny 
stream which meanders through the extensive valley, a power 
of excavation which even the attributed aid of tens of thousands 
of years wholly fails to confer upon it ? 

Having considered at some length the most &mous of the 
implement-bearing deposits, we will not stop to detail the par- 
ticulars of others more or less similar. The discovery of 
fashioned ffints in the valleys of the Ouse and Waveney in the 
East of England is chiefly interesting, Jirst, as showing that 
their occurrence in France was not exceptional — thus removing 
all doubt as to the genuineness of the relics ; secondly ^ as proving 
(what the sections in Picardy did not establish) the posteriority 
of these gravels to the ' boulder clay ' or ' glacial drift' (a deposit 
of newer Pliocene age); and, thirdly, as having recalled to 
memory the fact that such discoveries had been made and re- 
corded nearly two generations since. The flint implements 
found deeply imbedded in ancient gravels at Hoxne, in Suflblk, 
were fully described in the ^ Archseologia ' for 1800, in a paper 
by John Frere, Esq., read in 1797 to the Society of Antiqua- 
ries. The specimens are still preserved in the Antiquaries' 
and in the British Museums. Their association with the bones 
of extinct animals is distinctly stated, and their date referred 
* to a very remote period, indeed even beyond that of the 
' present world ;' a conclusion as definite as any at which even 
in the present day we seem able to arrive. The idea of Frere 
that the strata were formed under the sea appears to be the 
only mistake ; the shells indicate a fluviatile origin. It appears 
also from the statements at p. 161. of the ^ Antiquity of Man,' 
that a flint weapon was found in 1715 near Gray's Inn Lane, in 
London, associated with the remains of an elephant. 

Before quitting the valley-deposits of the Somme, we must 
refer to the alleged discovery, since the date of Sir C. Lyell's 
publication, of a fossil human jaw in the neighbourhood of 

272 lijell on tlie Antiquity of Maru July, 

Abbeville, closely associated with characteristic flint weapons. 
Such' an occurrence had been anxiously anticipated by M. 
Boucher de Perthes from the very dawn of his investigations, 
of which indeed it may be said to have constituted the very 
goal and object. Sir Charles Lyell and other geologists equally 
regarded it as a probable and very desirable sequel to the whole 
inquiry. Cuvier had long since stated that human bones are 
not more perishable than those of the lower animals, and Sir 
C. Lyell has taken pains to account for their absence by showing 
that in draining the Lake of Haarlem, and in other cases where 
such remains must certainly have existed, the chances are so 
multiplied against their fortuitous recovery that they are wholly 
undiscoverable. However, in March last, the workmen at 
Moulin Quignon, near Abbeville, brought to M. de Perthes 
a human tooth, which they declared they had found in the 
usual site. . Having directed that special care should be taken 
to report to him the first appearance of further relics, on the 
28th of the same month a workman named Y&sseur announced 
that a bone projected about an inch from the matrix. This was 
extracted under the eves of M. de Perthes himself, and proved 
to be one half of a human jaw. A flint axe was not many 
inches distant. The exact depth of the jaw from the surface 
was 4-^ mdtres, or 15 feet. The bed in which it lay was a 
sandy one in contact with the chalk, and dark-coloured from 
the admixture of iron and manganese. There were found by 
M. de Perthes on the same day in the yellow sand belonging 
to the same bed, and 3-^ metres from the surface, fragments of 
mammoths' teeth. When the discovery was published, geologists 
flocked to the spot both from Paris and London, especially M. 
de Quatrefages, professor of anthropology at the Paris Museum 
of Natural History, from the former, Messrs. Prestwich and 
Evans, Drs. Carpenter and Falconer, from the latter. The 
verdict given on the spot seems to have been entirely favourable 
to the genuineness of the relic The jaw-bone was conveyed 
to Paris, and one tooth and some hatchets to London. 

It appears that at the time no doubt was entertained by any 
of those who virited Moulin Quignon on the 14th and 15th of 
April that the jaw was authentically found in the locality 
described, and where it was seen by M. Boucher de Perthes. 
The Englishmen, however, moved partly by the subsequent 
opinion of skilled antiquaries that the hatchets were forged, as 
they presented no palpable proofs of antiquity,and partly by the 
fresh condition (when sawn open) of the interior of the single 
tooth in their possession, surrendered their first opinion. Dr. 
Falconer, in a letter to ' The Times * of April 25th, declared 

1863. Lyell on the Antiquity of Man. 273 

that M. de Perthes had been deceived by the men. He 
further added that the undoubted osteoloc^c^ peculiarities of 
the jaw, which led the most skilful naturalists to cousider it as 
bearing internal evidence of remote antiquity — ^in fact, of belong- 
ing to a different race of men from the European — were merely 
accidental, though presenting an extraordinary coincidence with 
the alleged circumstances of its discovery. The Parisian natu- 
ralists, however, and especially M.. de Quatrefages, who had 
possession of the jaw, firmly adhered to the first opinion. 

Under these circumstances, the controversy might have been 
hopelessly prolonged, had not the happy idea been entertained 
and acted on of holding a meeting of savans of both nations, 
which took place at Paris, under the able presidency of M. 
Milne-Edwards, froto whence it was adjourned on the 12th of 
May to Abbeville. The assembly consisted of MM. Milne- 
Edwards, de Quatrefages, Lartet, Delesse, and Desnoyers 
from Paris ; and Drs. Falconer and Carpenter, Messrs. Prest- 
wich and Busk, from London. Fresh excavations were under- 
taken beneath the very eyes of the Commission, and were 
attended with the discovery of several hatchets which were 
believed to be genuine, though not possessing the patina or 
other proofs of antiquity formerly relied on. These results, 
together with a full investigation of the circumstances attending 
the discovery of the jaw, terminated in the conviction of every 
individual present at the inquiry on that occasion that no fraud 
had been practised.* 

The reader must not, however, suppose that with the admission 

• To speak rigorously. Dr. Falconer, while perfectly satisfied of 
the authenticity of the flint tools exhumed in the presence of the 
Commission on the 12th of May, and also of the jaw itself, declined 
to commit himself to the authenticity of the tools discovered near the 
jaw and on the 28th of March. Mr. Evans, who did not take part 
in the Conference either at Paris or Abbeville, and who therefore 
was not a witness to the extraction of the five ' haches ' in presence 
of the Commbsion, still denies the authenticity of those not possessing 
the criteria of patina, dendrites, or worn edges: and it is proper to 
add that the strong doubts he has expressed on this subject are still 
entertained by many geologists of eminence. The facts stated in 
the text are based on documentary evidence. But we are informed 
that at recent meetings of the Geological Society of London more 
than one of the English Commissioners has seen reason to retract 
the opinion he formed at Abbeville. These frequent alternations of 
judgment have thrown doubt on the whole transaction. It is certain 
that many genuine remains have been found at Abbeville; but it is 
not less certuin that many spurious objects have been introduced 
into the beds of gravel there. 


274 Ljndl cm the jkUiquify of Man. Jvljy 

of the relic8 being tvuly found as alleged in an undisturbed bed 
at the depth of fifteen feet, coincidenoe of opinion as to the an^ 
of the foeeil was thereby attained* Dr. Falconer and Mn Busk 
re-stated the doubts they originally entertained as to the abso- 
lute age of the jaw, which was now sawn across and displayed 
an amount of freshness inconsistent, in their opinion, with its 
being coeval with the remains of the extinct quadrupeds. These 
doubts do not seem to have been shared by the French membera 
of the Commission ; but the eminent physiologists who belonged 
to it, especially MM. Milne-Edwards (who as preudent, brought 
the detailed report before the Academy of Sciences on the 18th 
of May), and M. de Quatrefages expressly held themselves 
uncommitted to any opinion as to the geolc^icaL age of the 
Moulin-Quignon beds. This reserve was the more prudent 
and necessary, because at the same sitting M. Elie de Beau- 
mont, who, so far as is known to us, had hitherto studiously 
avoided any expression of opinion, made a statement so positive 
and so unexpected, as, to judge by the contemporary reports, 
produced an unusual and almost electric sensation on the 
scientific auditory. His opinion or decision was to this effect — 
that the Moulin-Quignon beds are not ^ diluvium ; ' they ace 
not even alluvia deposited by the encroachment of rivers on 
their banks ; but are simply composed of washed soil deposited 
on the flanks of the valley by excessive falls of rain, such as 
may be supposed to occur exceptionally once or twice in a 
thousand years. A week later this eminent geologist reiterated 
his opinion in the same illustrious assembly, adding that the age 
of these formations belonged, in his opinion, to the ^ stone period,' 
or is analogous to that of peat mosses and the Swiss 'lake- 
* habitations.' 

Such is the position of the question at the moment we write. 
We do not think that the English geologists who have 
with so much industry and care established their conviction of 
the ^ diluvial ' or ^ post-pliocene ' age of the terraces of the 
Somme, will readily give in even to the justly respected au- 
thority of the veteran geologist of France. They will no 
doubt require him to produce ample evidence that they have 
been wrong, and that he is right. And we think that the 
scientific public will do well, while withholding a final assent 
to either view, not rashly to pronounce for that which relieves 
them from the necessity of embracing the new doctrine of the 
contemporaneousness of Man and the mammoth.* 

♦ We have drawn the history of the recent proceedings at Paris and 
Abbeville from the French journals 'Cosmos ' and ' Les Mondes,* from 

1863. Lydl an the Antiquity of Man. 275 

The surprise wliich M. E. de Beaomont's verbal state- 
meDt is said to have excited was perhaps greater than the 
oocasion warranted. His doubts are the same as those which 
we may believe fifteen years ago caused the Academy of 
Sciences to turn a deaf ear to M. Boucher de Perthes' claims to 
have made a discovery. To that scepticism the Viscomte 
d'Archiac, author of an admirable compilation on the history of 
geology, and Mr. Mantell^ well known on this side of the 
Channel, gave distinct expression. It was one of the first 
difficulties which on the re-agitation of the question in 1859, 
met the English visitors to the valley of the Somme, and it 
was we think fairly and fully met by Mr. Prestwich in his 
admirable paper.* He still continues to hold that the Moulin- 
Quignon beds belong to the diluvium or quaternary formation. 

Among the difficulties presented on the very threshold by M. 
Elie de Beaumont's view, is the question where to look for the 
true mammoth diluvium whence these remains were washed and 
mixed up with the relics of Man. Had flint weapons been 
found at one point only of the terraces of the valley of the 
8omme^ and not at numerous and detached points, and also in 
distant valleys of France and England, a local disturbance 
might be suspected. But this, as we have seen, is not the case. 
Further, it is known that the fossil bones of Abbeville are not 
severely rubbed as if carried from a distance^ and in one most 
remarkable instance (the more striking because it occurred long 
ago), M. Baillon found the bones of the hind leg of a rhinoceros 
so accurately in their relative positions that they must have 
cohered by their ligaments when interred : the entire skeleton 

the * Comptes Bendus,' especially those of the 18th and 25th May, 
from Dr. Falconer's letters to 'The Times/ of 20th and 25th 
April, and 21st May, and from the letters of Mr. Evans and 
Mr. Prestwich in the 'Athenffium.' A collateral argument urged 
in favour of M. Elie de Beaumont's views, derived from the absence 
of ivory ornaments in association with the worked flints, which it is 
argued roust have been abundant had the aborigines been contem- 
porary with the mammoth, seems to us, as being merely negative 
evidence, to be undeserving of great weight in the face of positive 
arguments of an opposite kind. Dr. Buddand found a quantity of 
ivory rods and rings associated with human female bones in the 
cave of Faviland in Wales (to which we shall have again to refer), 
yet he did not conclude (as with much better reason he might have 
done) that the woman in question was contemporary with the 
elephants whose remains lay near her. However, we feel quite 
entitled to use this positive fact against the negative one of the 
French antiquaries. 

• Phil Trans., 1860, p. 300, 801. 

276 lijeW on the Antiquity of Man. July^ 

was also at no great distance.* The horizontal terrace-like 
stratification of the bone-bearing beds and their uniform cha- 
racter apparently extending over great distances, as shown in 
the sections of Mr. Prestwich and Sir C. Lyell, are also in 
opposition to the views of M. Elie de Beaumont. 

We now come to the class of evidences of human antiquity 
most nearly allied to the preceding, arising from the occur- 
rences of fiint weapons, and also of human bones associated in a 
more or less unequivocal way with relics of extinct animals 
in limestone caverns. 

The difficulties which have always beset this investigation, 
or rather the uncertainty to which the conclusions are liable, 
place the results decidedlv one de^o'ee lower in the scale of 
proof than in the case of the stratified post-pliocene deposits 
which we have been discussing. Instead of having an onierly 
succession of deposits occurring in a uniform manner over con- 
siderable areas, and capable of excavation to an unlimited extent, 
we have in the bone-mud of caves entirely local and, so to speak, 
accidental accretions, disconnected with ordinary geological 
causes and devoid of position in the recognised strata of the globe. 
These caves have in many instances remained accessible for ages 
after the mud deposits were made, or may have even served for 
occasional concealment or shelter down to modem times. At 
all events, they were tenanted for long periods by successive 
races whether of animals or men, and the record of their 
antiquity was not, as in the case of strata geologically super- 
imposed, sealed up and verified by a succession of later de- 

It is quite impossible for us to enter upon the difficulties 
which beset the interpretation of the well-established asso* 
ciation of the remuns of such extinct animals as the elephant, 
rhinoceros, the cave-bear, hyieua, and lion, and of the 
reindeer with human bones, and especially with stone imple- 
ments. Dr. Buckland, to whom C«vier acknowledged himself 
to be deeply indebted for light thrown on these problematical 
deposits, disbelieved the contemporaneousness of the relics of 
Man and those of the lower animals. This was not merely 
Buckland's opinion in 1823 when he wrote his ^ Keliqui» Dilu- 
* vianse,' hut also when he published the second edition of his 
Bridgewater Treatise in 1837 f; and it remained probably 

* See extract from M. Baillon's paper of 1834-5, quoted by 
Mr. Prestwich in 'Philosophical Transactions,' I860, p. 313. 

f Supplementary Notes, p. 602., where the researches of Schmer- 
ling in the Belgian caves are referred to. 

1863. JjytM on the Antiquity of Man. 277 

unchanged to the close of his life. Sir Charles Lyell allowed 
also to these difficulties their full force. He says in an early 
edition of his ^ Principles/ (after enumerating the sources of 
confusion in classifying cave deposits)^ ^ It is not on such 

* evidence that we snail readily be induced to admit either the 
' high antiquity of the human race, or the recent date of certain 

* lost species of quadrupeds.'* His views^ indeed, remained un- 
changed down to the date of the last edition of the ^ Principles/ 
as he candidly allows in the following passage of the ^Antiquity 

* of Man/ where he also mentions the occasion of his altering 
it: — 

' I came to the opinion that the human bones mixed with those of 
extinct animals in osseous breccias and cavern mud were prubably 
not coeval. The caverns having been at one period the dens of wild 
beasts, and having served at other times as places of human habita- 
tion, worship, sepulture, concealment, or defence, one might easily 
conceive that the bones of man and those of animals whicli were 
strewed over the floors of subterranean cavities, or which had fallen 
into tortuous rents connecting them with the surface, might, when 
swept away by floods, be mingled in one promiscuous heap in the 

same ossiferous mud or breccia. But of late years we have 

obtained convincing proofs . . . that the mammoth and many other 
extinct mammalian species very common in caves occur also in undis- 
turbed alluvium, embedded in such a manner with works of art, 
ns to leave no room for doubt that Man and the mammoth cot*xisted. 
Sncli discoveries have led me and other geologists to reconsider the 
evidence previously derived from caves brought forward in proof of 
the high antiquity of Man.' {Lyelty p. 62.) 

Tlie most critical fact which seems to have influenced Sir C. 
Lyell as well as many other geologists, was observed in the 
course of an excavation of the previously unexplored cave of 
Brixham in Devonshire, in 1858 or 1859, under the direction 
and personal superintendence of Dr. Falconer and Mr. Pen- 
gelly. Many flint knives were obtained from the lower part of 
a bed of ' bone-earth ' often of great thickness, which occupied 
the chambers of the cavern. Above the bone-earth was a layer 
of stalagmite (calcareous deposition) which for ages has sealed 
up and secured from the air or from casual intrusion the beds 
below it. This stalagmite covered the entire humerus of a 
cave-bear ( Ursus spelcsus, an extinct species). Moreover, • in the 

* bone-bed and in close proximity to a very perfect flint tool * 
lay the entire left hind leg of a cave-bear. Every bone of it 
was recovered, down even to the patella : intimating that when 
entombed along with the flint implement, these bones had not 

• Principles; vol. ii. p. 233 (ed. 1833). 

278 Lyell on the Antiquity of Man* July, 

been washed out of an older deposit^ but were probably cbthed 
with flesh, or ^ at least had the separate bones bound together 
^ with their natural ligaments ' {Lyell^ p> 101.). It seems difficult 
to resist so reasonable a conclusion, and thoi^h it is plain that 
the man and the bear could not have lived in the cave together, 
it may be that they disputed its occupation^ or that the ursine 
remains were washed in after the cave was deserted by man. Ho 
human bones have, we believe, been found in the Brixham cave. 

After citing this, perhaps the latest, best established, and 
most satisfactory of the arguments as to human antiquity Tet 
derived from cave evidences, we will not stop to inquire wheUier 
Professor Schmerling of Li^e in 1833, and Mr. M'Eneiy of 
Torquay about the same period, had not already arrived with 
equal right at the same conclusions long before, which the 
former at least had confidently but vainly announced to an 
unbelieving generation. We now acknowledge that they wore 
in all probability justified in their conclusions Yet these were 
difiScult to establish, and isolated facts nuist ever be regarded 
by geologists with the utmost distrust, especially when they are 
of a nature to disappear from subsequent verification. The 
evidences of the integrity and superposition of cave deports, 
and of the exact conditions of association of the remains, are of 
so fleeting and so nice a description, as to demand the most 
circumspect caution m accepting them. Mere reports of work- 
men avail nothing here. It is on the personal testimony of the 
explorers of the Brixham cave alone, that we are inclined to 
accept their important conclusions. 

In truth, it is difficult to dispense with ocular proof in such 
cases ; and, failing that evidence, we fall back upon concoirent 
testimony firom many impartial quarters. It was the indepen- 
dent proof from the valleys of Picardy of the associatioQ of 
implements with extinct mammalia, which gave Sir C. Lveil 
confidence in accepting the results of the Brixham exploratioDs; 
and, precisely conversely, it was the personal conviction wluch 
he acquired at Brixham which induced Dr. Falconer to revisit 
in 1858 the Abbeville museum, and there find proo& of the 
same facts, which he seems in 1856 to have seen unconvinced. 
All this is natural and reasonable. It is the normal progress 
of science towards the admission of truth by the progresdte 
elimination of legitimate doubts. It may be eom{Hired to the 
hesitation with which the extra-terrestrial origin of meteoric 
stones was at first received. 

Until recently it has been very generally held that the age 
of bone-cave deposits coincided with, or preceded, that of the 
^ boulder clay,' making them more ancient therefore than the 


1863. Lydl on the Antiquity <ff JKnu 279 

flmt beds of the Somme and Ouse. But at timt time the true 
flge of those beds had not been clearly ascertained, and the fossils 
which they contain were assumed to belong to the newer 
Pliocene series. It appears that the researches of Dr. Falconer, 
in oonnexion particularly with the varieties of the extinct 
elephant, have gone far to establish that the bone caves are 
of t^e same geological era with those post-pliocene dcpo»ta 
Ghranting this, we are met with difficulties in making even a 
remote approximation to the chronological antiqnity of cavern 
deposits. These difficulties are the same in kind, and almost 
greater in degree, than those which we met with in contem- 
plating the vast energies which must have been expended in 
excavating the valley of the Somme in the cases of Ainiens and 
Abbeville. The situation of the limestone caverns is in a great 
number of cases most remarkable. They open npon inac- 
cessible, or nearly inaccessible, precipices. The expressive sec- 
tions in Dr. Buckland's ^ Reliquiee DiluvianaB' give us a lively 
conviction of the difficulty of accounting for how animals 
entered these dens, and how they were Mterwards subjected 
to alluvial processes. We are assured that in many cases no 
dtemative remains but to suppose that the configuration of the 
country has altered nnce those times, and that clifie, now sixty 
feet high, must have been formed at Brixham since the time 
when floods found access to the caves, in the valley of the 
Mouse, the diflb upon whidi the caves open are said to be two 
hundred feet in vCTtioal height. The difficulty of accounting 
for such changes by any conceivable duration of existing causes, 
staartles even Sir Charles Lyell from his uniformttBrian tran- 
quillity. After stating the last-mentioned fact, he adds: — 

* There appears also in many cases to be such a correspondence in the 
openings of caverns- on opposite sides of some of the valleys, both large 
and small, as to incline one to suspect that they originally belonged to 
a series of tunnels and galleries which were continuous before the 
present system of drainage came into play, or before the existing valleys 
were scooped out. Other signs of subsequent fluctuation are uflbrded 
by gravel containing elephant's bones at slight elevations above the 
Meuse and several of its tributaries. The loess also in the suburbs' 
and neighbourhood of Li^ge, occurring at various heights in patches 
lying at between 20 and 200 feet above the river, cannot be explained 
without supposing the filling up and re-excavation of the valleys at a 
period posterior to the washing in of the animal remains into most 
of the old caverns. It may be Ejected that, according to the present 
rate of change, no lapse of ages would sufiice to bring about such 
revolutions in physical geography as we are here contemplating. 
This may be true. It is more than probable that the rate of change 
was once far more active than it is now, {Antiquity of Man^ 
p. 73, 74.) 

280 Lyell on the Antiquity of Man. July, 

It is almost unnecessary to insist on the fact that the last 
sentence annihilates the argument for excessive antiquity — in 
fact, puts the claimant out of court There can be no calcula- 
tion of secular change when violent catastrophes are invoked 
for the division of the Gordian knot The case reminds us of 
the practice of those homoeopathic professors who, whilst no 
crisis threatens, continue to administer with firm composure 
trillionths of a grain to their trusting patient ; but when emer- 
gencies occur, lose confidence in their globules, and resort with 
precipitation to the vigorous remedies of the orthodox physician. 

Before quitting this part of the subject, there are two dis- 
coveries in connexion with bone caves which we cannot wholly 
pass over, since Sir C. Lyell gives them each a prominent 
place ; namely, the skulls of Engis and Neanderthal, and the 
sepulchre of Auriffnac. 

Amongst the human relics detected many years ago by 
Schmerling in the Belgian caves, we ought perhaps to have 
mentioned sooner that flint implements were so abundant as to 
have excited comparatively little attention, whilst the bones of 
Man were rare. Of the latter, we believe that but one skull 
has been preserved, that of the Engis cave. More lately (in 
1857), a skull was found in the cavern of the Neanderthid, 
near Dusseldorfi**, whose peculiarity of form, rather than the 
geological proofs of its great antiquity, has attracted to it much 
notice. Sir C. Lyell has devoted more than an entire chapter 
to the description of these remains, regarded chiefly from an 
anatomical point of view. It is, in fact, an episode in the treat- 
ment of his subject, and belongs rather to the concluding por- 
tion of the volume on Darwin's ' Theory of the Origin of Spe- 
cies,' thah to the geological argument of the 'Antiquity of Man.' 
Sir C. Lyell relies on the authority of Mr. Huxley in the purely 
anthropolc^ical discussion. A reader unacquainted with the 
author's predilection for the Darwinian hypothesis might be 
rather puzzled to account for the iusertion in this place of the 
chapter on the form of these old skulls. But he who knows 
already the conclusion — which may almost be called aforeffOTU 
conclusion — in the writer's mind, is struck, on the other hand, 
with the failure in establishing the desired proof which is the 
tendency of the whole inquiry. It is a curious instance of the 
struggle, which we often meet with in Sir C. Lyell's very 
agreeable writings, between the intensity of his prepossessions 
and the natural candour which is continually making itself seen. 

There is little or no dispute about the facts. Of the two 

* See < Antiquity of Man,' p. 92. 

1863. Ijjell on the Antiquity of Man. 281 

skulls that of Engis is the more certainly ancient. It was foiind 
associated with the bones of the rhinoceros; though, as we 
have already observed, this alone is in caves no sure evidence 
of contemporaneousness. The skull from Neanderthal might 
apparently be of almost any date, so far as its geological position 
is concerned. It was carelessly extricated by workmen from 
the cavern mud, along with other parts of a skeleton which 
were not recognised as human until after several weeks.* The 
skull is admitted to be of a very low type of humanity, re- 
sembling in some degree the Australian races, yet in cubical 
capacity it is far superior to certain modem skulls, and has more 
than double that of the highest order of monkey. Its form is 
no doubt very strange (surely the shading in the figure, p. 82., 
of the * Antiquity of Man,' must give an unintentional exa<rge- 
ration of the superciliary ridge !). The Engis skull, on the 
other hand, presents no anomaly of great moment, and is 
readily referred by anatomists to the ordinary European raccf 
It appears, therefore, to be a somewhat unreasonable preix)sse8- 
sion to wish to maintain (for we can hardly affirm that Sir C. 
Lyell directly maintains it), that the less certainly ancient 
skull is any proof of the gmdation of Man into the ape, while 
the more certainly ancient one in the same district contradicts 
such an inference. At page 92., Sir C. Lyell puts his argument 
in a form hardly logical. It seems to amount to this. This 
skull (of Neanderthal) may either be very ancient or not very 
ancient. If very ancient, it was a normal skull of the period 
when Man was nearer the ape than at present; if not very 
ancient, it was an abnormal skull of that period simulating a 
return (called * atavism') to the structure of the owner's 
monkey-like progenitors. Thus, whether normal or abnormal, 
it is to be quoted on Mr. Darwin's side. In other passages, 
however. Sir C. Lyell, and also his anatomical guide. Professor 
Huxley, are fairer in their conclusions. On the geological 
antiquity of the Neanderthal skull, the former says (p. 78.) : — 

* I think it probable that this fossil may be of about the same age 
as those found by S(shmerling in the Li^ge caverns ; but, as no other 
animal remains were found with it, there is no proof that it may not 
be newer. Its position lends no countenance whatever to the suppo' 
sition of its being more ancient,* 

• Schaaffhausen in « Natural History Review,* i. 156. 

f Professor Huxley elsewhere describes it as 'a fair average 
* human skull, which might have belonged to a philosopher, or might 
' have contained the thoughtless brains of a savage.' {Mans Pktce 
in Nature^ p. 156.) 

282 Lydi OH Hie Jmtiqmty cf Mcuu Julr, 

Professor Huxley siqrs : — 

' The fact that the skulls of one of the purest and most homoge- 
neous of existing races of men can be proved to differ from one 
another in the same characters, though perliaps not quite to the same 
extent as the Etigis and Neanderthal skulls, seems to me to prohilnt 
any cautious reasoner from affirming the latter to have been neoes- 
sanlj of distinct races.' {LyeUy pp. 88, 89.) 

And again, — 

*The comparatively large cranial capacity of the Neanderthi^ 
skull, overlaid though it may be by pithecoid [ape*like] bony wall% 
and the completely human proportions of the accompanying limb- 
bones^ together with the very fair developement of the Engis skull, 
clearly indicate that the first traces of the primordial stock whence 
Man has proceeded need no longer be sought, by those who entertain 
any form of the doctrine of progressive developementy in the newest 
tertiarieSy but that they may be looked for in an epoch more distant 
from the age of the Elephas primigenius than that is from us.' * 
(Antiquity of Many p. 89.) 

Sir C. Lyell, in his resume of his arguments on the antiquity 
of Man, in chapter xix., gives the following conclusions on the 
subject of these skulls, which it will be seen are in conformity 
with Mr. Huxley's, and betray none of the leaning to the Dar- 
winian inference which we have already abridged from bis fifth 
chapter : — 

' The human dteletons of the Belgian caverns, of times coeval with 
the mammoth and other extinct mammalia, do not betray any signs 
of a marked departure in their structure^ whether of skull or limb» 
from the modem standard of certain living races of the human 
family. As to the remarkable Neanderthal skeleton, it is at present 
too isolated and exceptional, and its age too uncertain, to warrant us 
in relying on its abnormal and ape-like characters, as bearing on the 
question whether the farther back we trace Man into the past, the 
more we shall find him approach in bodily conformation to those 
species of the anthropoid quadrumana which are most akin to him 
in structure.' (P. 375.) 

The prominent place given in the ' Antiquity of Man ' to 

■ " ■ !!■ I -■ ■ ■ 111 I ■ — ^-^-^^— i^^».^^^— ^-^■^■^— ^■^■^^.i^W^^"^^^^^™^^^^^^^"^— ^^^^■^^^— ^■^^^^— 

* In his work on ' Man's Place in Nature,^ Professor Huxley says, 
with equal candour : * In no sense then can the Neanderthal bones 
' be regarded as the remains of a being intermediate between men 
*and apes. At most they demonstrate the existence of a man' 
[observe, not of a race of men] ' whose skull may be said to revert 

* somewhat to the pithecoid type.' And again, ' The fossil remains 

* of Man hitherto discovered do not seem to me to take us appreciably 
^nearer to that lower pithecoid form by the modification of which he 
'has probably become what he is.' (Man^s Place in Nature^ pp^ 157* 

1863. Lyell on tlie Antiquity of Man. 283 

this cranial discussion closer therefore^ in an absolute negation 
of evidence as to the points which the author evidently wished 
to establish. It was fitting and right that the anatomical in- 
quiries should be vigorously pursued, but as they have ended 
in no. result, so far as the argument of Sir C. Lyell is concerued, 
we should have preferred seeing them less prominently brought 
forward than has been done^ as if some weighty conclusion was 
to result from them. 

The other question regarding the burial-plaoe of Aurignac 
demands also a brief notice. 

Of the many interesting statements and discoveries included 
in the descriptive pages of Sir C. Lyell's work, none ap|)ears 
more piquatit to curiosity, or more suggestive of speculation, 
than those respecting the sepulchral cave of Aurignac, 
situated in the department of the Haute Garonne, on one of 
the spurs of the Pyrenees, some forty-five miles south-west 
from Toulouse. All the extant details of this most ancient of 
recognised places of sepulture we owe to M. Lartet, a French 
palsBontologist of recognised character and ability ; but veiy 
unfortunately he was a personal witness to only a portion of 
the facts. We have not room to detail tiie particulars, im- 
portant though they are in drawing any conclusion from the 
narrative. For them we must refer to M. Lartet's paper in 
the fifteenth volume of the ^ Annales des Sciences Naturelles,' 
Off a fuU translation in the first volume of the ^ Natural History 
^ Heview.' A very clear and faithful abstract is given in the 
* Antiquity of Man,' pp. 181-193. The cave was accidentally 
discovered in 1852 by a workman, in the face of a limestone 
hill, at an inconsiderable height aboye the brook Bpodes. The 
entrance was entirely concealed by a talus of natural debris ; 
and the cave-proper was effectually closed by a vertical slab of 
stone, which was removed by the discoverer Bonnemaison (a 
labourer), but subsequently broken up and lost It was not 
till 1860 that the circumstances of the discovery were investi- 
gated by M. Lartet. Within the stone barrier just mentioned, 
at the time when it was opened, lay relics of seventeen indivi- 
duals, which were counted by the Maire of Aurignac, a medical 
man, and by his order entombed in the chnrchf^yard. The 
made ground constituting the soil of the cave was, however, 
then left untouched. It was first excavated, eight years after 
its discovery, under M. Lartet's personal inspection. More 
human bones were found, tools of flint and bone, the greater 
part of the skeleton of a cave-bear, teeth of the cave-lion 
and wild boar, and numerous bones of the rhinoceros, and other 
extinct, and of some recent graminivorous, animals. 

284 Lyell on the Antiquity of Man. July, 

Exterior to the stone door a similnr deposit was found, with 
the peculiarity that marks of fire were abundant underneath, 
and that the bones (amongst which those of the camivora were 
less frequent than within the cave) were almost invariably split 
open in the manner which savages use to do for the extraction 
of the marrow. Since undergoing this process they had 
evidently been gnawed by the teeth of animals, probably hyaenas, 
from the marks of which the bones within the cavern were 
entirely free. On the whole evidence M. Lartet and also Sir 
C. Lyell arrive at conclusions which may be thus summed up : 
1. The chamber in the rock (a natural cavity) was unquestion- 
ably a place of sepulture used when Man was contemporary 
with the great cave-bear, cave-lion, rhinoceros, &c. 2. The 
implements of flint found in the cave resemble those of the 
terraces of the valley of the Somme, but are (we infer) some- 
what more carefully formed. The tools and weapons in bone 
and horn (both of roe and reindeer) resemble those found in 
so-called ^ Recent' deposits of the stone age, and are well pre- 
served. 3. The remains of beasts were (most probably) intro- 
duced within the cave hy design ; either as spoils of the chase 
in honour of the deceased, or as a viaticum for hb passage into 
another state. The weapons were introduced for a similar 
purpose. Both these usages are in conformity with the known 
habits of rude nations in all parts of the globe. 4. The ex- 
ternal area in front of the stone door was no doubt the scene 
of feasts succeeding the funerals, and includes not a single 
human bone. No trace of fire or of the teeth-marks of wild 
animals are found within the chamber, and there also the bones 
are not split up for the marrow. 5. According to M. Lartet 
the evidence from fossils gives to this tomb an antiquity at 
least as great as (if not greater than) that of the Amiens and 
Abbeville deposits.* 

* There are many analogous features in the Cave of Aurignac 
and that of Paviland in South Wales, described long since by Dr. 
Buck land. (Beliq. Diluv. pp. 82-98.) The female skeleton 
found in the latter, accompanied by numerous ivory rods and rings, 
and a skewer of wolf- bone, was associated with the bones of extinct 
animals of species almost exactly coinciding with those of Aurignac, 
also with ashes and apparent culinary remains. All these things, as 
well as the general position of the cave on the sea-shore, seem to 
point to a somewhat similar antiquity. No doubt Dr. Buckland 
refused to entertain the idea of the contemporaneity of the human 
with the elephantine remains, but he gives no convincing proof to 
the contrary. The remains at Paviland appear, however, to have 
been previously disturbed. 

1 863. Lyell an the AiMquity of Man. 285 

Sir Charles Lyell gives an apt citation from a ballad of 
Schiller, translated by Buhver, describing the faneral rites of 
North American Indians in terms which correspond closely 
with the phenomena of Aurignac. We are sorry not to make 
room for the lines, but quote some concluding remarks of our 
author in a tone of sentiment which his writings rarely 
display: — 

* The Aurignac isave adds no new species to the list of extinct 
quadrupeds which we have elsewhere and by independent evidence 
ascertained to have once flourished contemporaneously with Man. 
But if the fossil memorials have been correctly interpreted — if we 
have here before us at the northern base of the Pyrenees a sepulchral 
vault, with skeletons of human beings, consigned by friends and 
relatives to their last resting-place — if we have also at the portal of 
the tomb the relics of funeral feasts, and within it indications of 
viands destined for the use of the departed on their way to the land 
of spirits ; while among the funeral gifts are weapons wherewith in 
other fields to chase the gigantic deer, the cave-lion, cave-bear, and 
woolly rhinoceros — we have at last succeeded in tracing back the 
sacred rites of burial, and, more interesting still, a belief in a future 
state, to times long anterior to those of history and tradition.' 
{Lyell, pp. 192, 193.) 

Assuming all the conclusions from the observations of M. 
Lartet to be correct (and from the great majority of them 
we see no cause to dissent), it appears to be almost incontest-' 
able that the result is unfavourable to the idea of assigning an 
almost measureless antiquity to those numerous deposits which 
are proved to be coeval with extinct mammaliaj and of which 
we nave treated in this article. It goes a long way to con- 
vince us that the existence in Europe of the cave-bear, 
cave-lion, rhinoceros, and mammoth must be approximated 
much more towards recent times, rather than that the creation 
of Man must be drawn back into a region of quite hypothe- 
tical remoteness, on account of his association with extinct 
species. But Sir C. Lyell and M. Lartet (who appears to be 
a tliorough disciple of his school) try to persuade us that 
absence of any mark of important change in the physical 
condition of the surface of the country about Aurignac, is no 
proof that the antiquity of the tomb may not be indefinitely 
great. Great no doubt it must be : but every fact connected 
with its position and discovery seems to show that it belongs to 
what we may (somewhat vaguely, no doubt) call the present age 
of the world. There is nothing unreasonable in assuming that 
these mammals survived to a later period of the world's history 
than geologists have usually allowed. Even the evidence of 
change of climate which they were once considered to establish 

286 Ljell an the Antiquity of Man. Julj, 

has disappeared as a difficulty. In a word, it seems to us to 
be repugnant to all rules of probable inference^ to suppose that 
we have before us intact relics of sepultures which occurred 
tens of thousands of years ago. 

The length to which this article has already extended, warns 
us to abridge within the shortest compass the consideration of 
the evidence adduced by Sir Charles Lyell for the antiquity 
of Man in connexion with volcanic deposits, and with * Becent' 
formations, especially the deltas and other mud deposits of 

In 1828, our countryman. Dr. Hibbert, had the merit of 
discovering near Langeac the first fossil bones connected with 
the volcanic formations of Central France, and unquestionably 
antecedent to the latest eruptions of that wonderful country.* 
They belonged to animals of the class of rhinoceros, hyena, 
and cervus, probably coincident with those of the post-pliocene 
period. L^ter, the number of these remains has been gready 
increased.! In 1844, at the Montague de Denise, quite near to 
the town of Le Puy, remains of two human beings were found, 
including a skull in tufa, believed by many geologists to be oJf 
the same age with the last basaltic eruption of that volcana 
The genuineness of these remains has been very thoroughly 
investigated by Messrs. Scrope, Pictet, Lartet, Sir C. Lyell, and 
others. It seems quite reasonable to believe that the specimens 
originally found were genuine, whatever may be the case with 
some alleged to have been discovered since the notoriety of 
the first specimens became general. The certainty of their 
anteriority to the last basaltic outbreak of the Mont Denise is, 
however, questioned by some geologists. Admitting that the 
fact is so, it confirms the testimony of the Abbeville beds as to 
the age of Man, and was so accepted whilst the researches of 
M. Boucher de Perthes were comparatively unknown or dis- 
credited. Such a discovery can hardly surprise those who have 
visited the volcanoes of Auvergne and the Vivarais, The wonder 
has always been that of phenomena so apparently recent and 
stupendous, no record or even tradition should have reached 
modem times. 

We need hardly dwell upon the fossil man of Natchez, nor 
upon some others referred to in Sir Charles Lyell's eleventh and 
sixteenth chapters. These human remains were found in a clayey 
dcjjosit which appeared to have fallen from old alluvial cliffi of 

• Edinburgh Journal of Science, 1830. New series, ii. 276. 
t Scrope's 'Volcanoes of Central France;' edition of 1858, 
p. 223, &c. 

1868. LyeU an Hie AaHquky of Man. 287 

great heigbt adjoimng the modern deltii of the Mifleissippi, 
«nd, as Sir C. lijell believes, more anoient than it It is need- 
lees to go into tiie proofs of the exact geological position of the 
human bones, of which no one was really a witness ; and the 
determination appeared to Sir C. Lyell in 1846, when he saw 
the specimen in a collection, to be so unsatisfactory, that after 
investigating the circumstances on the spot, he thought it quile 
possible that it might have ^ been dislodged out of some old 
^ Indian grave,' near the top of the cliff in question, and had 
fidlen to its base, though he also gives the alternative of assign- 
ing to it the same antiquity as the remains of the Mastodon 
occurring in the lower beds of this old alluvium.* In the latter 
case. Sir C. Lydl infers that it ought to be considered as of 
an age anterior to the formation of the entire modem delta of 
Ae Missisnppi, a mud deposit of great thickness, and extending 
over 12,000 to 14,000 square miles. He supposes (both in his 
earlier and later writings) that this depont may have required 
100,000 years for its formation. 

The age of deltas (those of the Nile, the Po, and the 
Granges, for example) has been a matter of speculation, not 
only since phenomenal geology became a science, but even as 
£Eir back as the days of Herodotus. That shrewd though 
often credulous historian ascribed the delta of the Nile to its 
true cause, the deposit of river mud; and went so far as to 
estimate that it would suffice in from 10,000 to 20,000 years 
to fill up the Erythnean Sea. But during the last sixty or 
eighty years, since the period^ of Deluc, Dolomieu, and Hutton, 
the accumulation of data on this subject has been very con* 
eiderable, although, perhaps, little certainty has been given to 
the attempts to affix a chronological value to the progress or 
age of these deposits. The results, it may be briefly said, vary 
80 widely as to prevent us from placing great reliance on any 
of the estimates. We have the high authorities of Playfair 
and Lyell, on the side of almost indefinite antiquity, to set 
against the more moderate estimates of not less eminent 
naturalists, such as Dolomieu, Cuvier, and Elie de Beaumont. 
The three last-named authors have emphatically given it as 
their opinion, that, so far as maybe reasonably judged from 
the rate of encroachment of river deltas into the sea, and 
especially from the well-known instances of the Po, the Nile, 
and the Mississippi, the period when they began to transgress 
the natural pre-existing margin of the coast is to be reckoned 
at a few t/iouf and years only. The evidence has been discussed 

/ See • Lyell's Second Visit to the United States,' ii. 197. 

288 Ijyeh on the AfUiquity of Man. July* 

with great fulness and iDgenuity, and from the best sources of 
information then extant, by M. Elie de Beaumont, in his un* 
finished and too little known work, 'Lecons de Geologic 
^Pratique.' He arrives distinctly and aeoidvely at the 
general result which we have just noted as to the age of river 
alluvia, and also of that of downs of moving sand thrown up 
on many coasts, which he considers to give coincident evidence 
on this point. Misled, we believe, by an erroneous measure- 
ment (350 metres) of the present annual growth of the delta of 
the Mississippi, he deduces a period for its growth so short 
(1,300 years) as manifestly to show (as M. de Beapmont him- 
self remarks) that little dependence can be placed in any 
estimate involving the uniform progress and great periods of 
time of such changes. According to the latest observers the 
advance of the principal mouths of that great river toward 
the ocean is not more than a fourth of that above stated 
This allowance would give a period of growth for the delta 
between 5,000 and 6,000 years. The prodigious contrast J 
the estimate even when thus enlarged, with the 100,000 y b 
of Sir C. Lyell, illustrates the caution with which such e u- 
lations are to be received. 

Intimately connected with this subject, and liable t/ .ven 
greater uncertainties, are the calculations by Mr. Horn as to 
the age of the alluvial deposits of the banks of the Nil tvhich 
have covered more or less many ancient buildings, and which 
at great depths certun works of man, particularly po .t.jry, are 
said to have been disinterred^f This occurred, it ia stated, at 

* See Dana's < Manual of Geology' (1863), p. 647 . This work 
contains the latest measurements of the enlargement of the delta, 
and of the amount of solid matter carried down by ' \ Mississippi 
annuaUy into the Gulf of Mexico. The latter is e: nnted to be 
equivalent to a cake of solid matter a mile square and ' ■ ^ feet thick. 
This includes what the river carries in suspension, ai^ \lso what it 
pushes before it. The amount is between three and four ' 3es greater 
than it was estimated by Sur C. Lyell (* Second Visit,' \ 250.), and 
consequently diminishes the alleged antiquity of the delta \ the same 

t ' Philosophical Transactions' for 1855 and 1858. In tl instance 
principally dwelt on by Mr. Horner as the best authenticai a frag- 
ment of pottery was brought by the boring implements of the . **'wt i r 
engineers from a depth of 39 feet ; so that allowing the ac .aiu- 
lation of Nile mud to have been effected at the rate of 3^ inches per 
century (which is Mr. Horner's estimate), this fragment is presumed 
by him to be a record of the existence of Man 13,371 years before 
A.D. 1854, or 11.517 years before the Christian era. {Philosophical 
Transactions, 1858, p. 57.) 

1863. Ijjell on the Antiquity of Man. < 289 

depths of even sixty and seventy feet^ indicating an antiquity of 
at least twice as many centuries^ on the allowance (which Mr. 
Homer considers to be much too liberal) of six inches of deposit 
per century. Very serious doubts have been thrown upon these 
calculations : as, for example, from the uncertainty of the alleged 
works of art having redly been found at those depths, their 
excavation having been witnessed by no European ; from the 
hesitation of antiquaries to admit that burnt brick or pottery 
was employed in any circumstances under the old Egyptian 
dynasties ; from the anomalies which occur in the beds of all 
rivers from frequent changes in their course, and the filling up 
of some channels and opening of new ones ; and from the great 
uncertainty universally admitted to prevail in the estimates of 
the Nilotic accumulations within distinctly historic times. But 
we are absolved from the task of analysing these considerations 
by the frank avowal of Sir Charles Lyell (f Antiq. of Man,* 
p. 38.), that ' the experiments instituted by Mr. Homer, in the 

* hope of obtaining an accurate chronometric scale for testing 

* the age of a given thickness of Nile sediment, are not con- 
' sidered by experienced Egyptologists to have been satis- 

* factory.' 

The consideration of deltas and river deposits brings us to the 
period strictly called 'Recent,' in which all geologists have 
allowed that relics of Man are frequently found, though even 
here comparatively rarely, in the form of bones or skeletons. 
To such relics peculiar interest attaches, and will more and 
more continue to attach, as it serves to connect the geological 
or unrecorded history of the globe with its strictly human and 
in part recorded history. 

The technical distinction of deposits belonging to geolc^cal 
and historical periods of time has, we have seen, been held to 
be, that in the last no remains of extinct species of animals are 
found. The mammals, as well as the shell-fish, are those of 
our own age of the world. Into this wide and interesting field 
it is quite impossible that we should here enter. As treated by 
Sir Charles Lyell, it includes two chief classes of facts — those 
connected with modem * raised beaches ' undoubtedly marine, 
and those connected with lake deposits, peat mosses, and the 
like, as well as all casually interred traces of Man, evidently 
anterior to the period of recorded history. Each of these classes 
of facts furnishes our author with a species of chronology based 
on the principle of ' uniformity,' and subject to all the doubts 
and difficulties of that hazardous principle of computation. 

The r^sed beaches, or marine terraces, or sea margins denoting 
the former presence of the ocean, at levels relative more or less 


290 Itjdl an the AnHqtdty of Man. Jolj^ 

above the present one, belong to widely different periods, all, how- 
ever, included within 'the extensive limits of Newer Pliocene, 
Post^Pliocene, and Recent deposits: to the first belong the 
marine part of the boulder days of Scotland and the South-East 
of England ; to the second, the lower flint implement beds of 
the Somme, and probably many of the marine deposits both of 
Scotland and Scandinavia'; to the last, the ' twenty-five feet,' 
and possibly the 'forty feet' terraces of Scotland, and the 
lower marine beds of Sweden* The old coast-lines imder the 
second and third head are now well known from the accurate 
description of Sir C. Lyell (for Sweden)^ and of Mr. Smith of 
Jordan Hill*, the late Mr. Bald and Professor Edward Forbes, 
of Mr. Chambers, Mr. Geikie, and many others (for Scotland). 
They are in many instances shown to be coeval, not only with 
Man, but with Man advanced beyond the ruder or savage stage, 
including relics of the ' bronze ' or even the ' iron' period. The 
most frequent and notable relics of the less elevated beaches are 
canoes, usually cut out of the solid, of which, as an instance, no 
less than seventeen have been found within the last eighty yeavs 
on the site of the city of Glasgow. {Lyell, p. 48.) These 
canoes give evidence of having been formed by tools of metaLf 
Opinion is divided as to whether this latest sojourn of the 
sea at a higher level can be traced to within the period of 
written history. Mr. Geikie and Sir Charles Lyell incline to 
the opinion tl^t the last rise has partly or chiefly occurred by 
a gradual elevation since the Boman occupation of Britain ; and 
relying on this somewhat contestable datum, Sir C. Lyell 
(^ Antiq. of Man,' p. 55.) attempts to establish a chronometric 
scale amounting to about 1^ foot of rise in a century ; and 
forthwith applies it to assign the age of a rude ornament of 
cannel coal, described by Mr. Smith as found 50 feet above the 
sea associated with marine shells. This by an easy piece of 
arithmetic he finds to be 3,400 years old, or contemporary with 
the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt No doubt Sir C. 
Lyell excuses himself from being committed to this estimate 

* To Mr. Smith belongs the merit of pointing cat the partially 
Arctic cbaracter of a considerable per-centage of the shells found in 
the raised beaches. Though all of existing species^ many must be 
sought for as living in high latitudes. This deduction was the more 
interesting because it preceded the geological developement of the 
Glacial theory, with which it remarkably harmonizes. Mr. Smith 
has collected in a small work his papers on this subject. {Researches 
in Newer Pliocene and Poet-Tertiarjf Geology, 1862.) 

t See also Wilson's ' Prehistoric Han/ vd. i., and Chambers' 
^ Sea Margins,' p. d03., he. 

1868. Ljell on the Antiquity of Man. 291 

of age by the following immediately succeeding paragraph 
{Antiquity y p. 55.) : — ^But all such estimates must be con- 
' sideredj in the present state of soiencci as tentative and 
' conjectural, since the rate of movement of the land may not 
^ have been uniform, and its direction not always upwards ; and 
' there may have been long stationary periods, one of which, of 
' more than usual duration, seems indicated by the 40-foot 
^ raised beach, which has bc^n traced for vast distances along 

* the western coast of Scotland.' But if the argument be thus 
worthless, to adduce it at all seems to be not only unnecessary 
but calculated to mislead. Besides, the alleged rise of the coast 
since the time of the Romans, upon which the chronometric 
scale is based, is seriously entertained by few geologists. 

Here we must enter a firm but respectful protest against 
this the most favourite of all Sir Charles LyelPs scales of geolo- 
gical time — a specific rate of the elevation of continents, 
doubtless going on at present in some cases, but assumed to have 
regulated in all, or many other cases, the process of the emer- 
gence of .land from the deep, and applied to the evaluation of 
almost indefinite ages of past geological change of level. 

We cannot state how often in the present and in former 
writings of Sir Charles Lyell we find the particular amount of 
rise of continents at the rate of two and a half feet in a century ^ 
assumed as a basis of calculation of the age of marine deposits 
lodged at different levels over existing continents. It is ex- 
pressly based on his own investigations, and those of his 
predecessors, on the rise during historic times of the Scandi- 
navian peninsula, of which the results are to be found in the 

* Philosophical Transactions' for 1835, and in the ' Principles 
' of Geology.'* As a sort of average from data by no means 
certain or consistent, he adopts three feet for the secular rise of 
Norway and Sweden as a whole. But admitting this average, 
it appears to afford not even the slightest clue to the laws of 
subterraneous energy acting at othor epochs, and in remote 
parts of the globe. When, therefore, we find Sir C. Lyell 
applying his Scandinavian chronometer to the age of the most 
ancient alluvial deposits of the Mississippi t^ to raised beaches in 
Sardinia, including pottery (to which on this ground only the 
author assigns an antiquity of 12,000 years):^, to the possible 
obliteration of Behring's Straits by elevation §, as well as attri- 

* Ninth edition, p. 519. 

t Second Visit to the United Butes, iL 259, 263. 

Antiquity of Man, p. 178. 

Ibid.y p. 368. 

292 LyeU on the Antiquity of Man. Jttly> 

buting an antiquity of 24^000 years to the post-tertiary strata of 
Norway *, we feel bound to say that the author is giving a numeri- 
cal value to periods of time calculated upon vague and inappli- 
cable analogies. For amongst other objections to these estimates^ 
it is evident, (1.) that the phenomenon of the changing level of 
the Baltic has now for a century and a half attracted attention as 
an exceptional fact, and not as the normal condition of the sorfkce 
of the globe, or of even any one of its continents ; (2.) that in 
some localities subsidence of the land seems to be the well 
established law of actual change, as on the Italian shore of the 
Adriatic, at Disco in Greenland, and in the case of some of the 
Coral Islands of the Pacific; (3.) that, according to Sir C. 
LyeU himself, the measure of rise even within the limits of 
Scandinavia varies from five feet per century at the North 
Cape, to zero to the south of Stockholm ; and in the extreme 
south of Sweden it becomes negative, for there the land has 
been sinking for at least 800 years. The movement is, there- 
fore, rather one of tiUing than of simple vertical change. (4.) In 
Sweden, in Scotiand, and we may add generally, we have no 
ground for asserting that it has been uniform even in historic 
times; while we are certain from geological evidence, that 
in remote times the movement of the land was interrupted 
by long periods, which are marked by the formation of ter- 
races and beaches, and by succesnve submersions and eleva- 
tions of land, such as geolo^ts have traced along the coast of 
Norfolk, the mouth of the Somme, and in many other places. 
(5.) Even could we venture to assume that one prevalent cause 
is at this period of our globe's existence elevating the land of 
continents unifomdy, and in all directions suffering the sea to 
subside into its bed (which is contradicted by history and 
analogy), it would be most illo^cal to apply the same chrono- 
metric sode to long past periods of the earth's unknown history. 
The longer we msd^e the periods, in conformity with the 
Lyellian doctrines, the more does the excessive improbabili^ of 
such an assumption appear. To carry back arithmetically the 
deductions of 100 or 200 years' experience to the condition of 
the globe 200,000 or 300,000 years agot> seems an abuse of 
logic and of the rules of evidence. As one of Sir C. LyelTs 
numerous critics happily suggests, it is ' pretty much the same 
* as if a man finding that an individual nearly dx feet in height 

* Antiquity of Man, p. 58. 

f Mr. Darwin has had the temerity to estimate on similar princi- 
ples a period of 306.662,400 years ! (Philip Address to Geological 
Society, 1860.) 

1863. Lyell on the Antiquity of Man. 293 

' had grown only half an inch last year^ we were to conclude 
* that he must be 140 years old.' (6.) On the other hand, 
numerous evidences go to prove (as our author is himself occa- 
sionally constrained to admit) that there are independent 
grounds for thinking that our earth has gradually been passing 
om a condition of more violent change to one of comparative 
tranquillity ; and that during the pliocene and anterior times, 
upheavals, depressions, and fractures of every kind, with con- 
comitant waves of disastrous energy, were more frequent and 
far more intense than now. 

It makes it a somewhat provoking task to argue against Sir 
Charles Lyell's defence of his peculiar uniformitarian views, 
that he every now and then makes admissions in general terms 
which simply negative the particular conclusions at which he 
has almost in the same sentence arrived. It would be easy to 
show from his writings that there is not one of the six objec- 
tions just stated to his chronological scale which he has not 
somewhere or other, in language more or less guarded, ad- 
mitted to have a real foundation, or to be an accurate expression 
of the truth. Yet he manages to leave the reader always im- 
pressed with the arguments on the side to which his own con- 
victions lean. * Definite and numerical statements will ever 
leave an impression of greater conviction than vague admissions 
of the uncertainty of the data will serve to undo. Beds of peat 
30,000 years in forming, shells or pottery found at elevations 
or at depths hinted to measure thousands of years anterior to 
the reputed date of the creation of Man — these are inferences 
which fix themselves in the memory, and cannot be obliterated 
by feeble and reluctant qualifying clauses. 

Sir Charles Lyell skilfully commences his work on the 
^ Antiquity of Man* by tracing archaeological monuments back- 
wards beyond the limits of historic annals, and thus familiaris- 
ing the mind with unquestionably long periods of unrecorded 
human history. On those remote times the researches of 
Danish and of Swiss antiquarians have thrown considerable 
light. The age of iron, the age of bronze, and the age of stone 
peem to indicate the receding stages of civilisation as we grope 
our way backwards through those obscure periods of human 
existence. The lake habitations of Switzerltmd and the shell- 
mounds or refuse heaps of the Danish islands, unquestionably 
reveal, with surprising distinctness, the way of life of the rude 
primitive inhabitants of those countries. But we have so 
recently devoted an entire article to these Lacustrine remains 
(Ed. Bev., vol. cxvi. p. 153.) that it is needless to revert to 
this part of the subject. 

294 JjjeXl an the Antiquity of Man. Joly^ 

In the absence of archaeological grounds for measuring the 
antiquity of the remains of the ancient inhabitants of Switser- 
land and Denmark, we turn to geological or at least pby* 
sical evidences. We have both there and in the New World 
probable proof that successive generations of forests may have 
flourished over the graves of ^e men of the Stone Age. There 
is a probability al80«(perhaps nothing more) that in Denmark 
the surface was then cloth^ with pine> next replaced by oak, 
and finally by the now prevailing beech; corresponding pre* 
sumably to an amelioration of climate, which again fits in with 
the sul>-arctic character of some of the fossil shells of the driflL 
Again, we are told that the oyster shells of the Danish mounds 
have a more oceanic character than those inhabiting the some* 
what brackish waters of the Cattegat ; and hence an inference 
that Jutland may then have been an island — indicating of 
course a considerable though not necessarily remote antiquity. 
But the numerical estimates of the date of the stone and bronze 
periods are usually based on the thickness of lacustrine depoeits 
or of peat, under which they are often imbedded, and on the 
distances IVom the ancient shores of the lakes at which the 
remains of 'lake dwellings' are found contrasted with their 
present margins. There are so ofiany assumptions —indepen- 
dently of the general assumption of the uniformity of these 
encroachments over long periods of time — that they convey, to 
us at least, scarcely any conviction of even approximate accuracy. 
They are liable to more than all the doubts which we have seen 
to attach to the chronology of the Nile deposits, and of the delta 
of the Mississippi. 

We have now considered, to the best of our ability within 
the limits of our space, those portions of Sir Charles Lyell's 
work which bear most directly on the subject of its title, the 
* Antiquity of Man.' There are two other topics discussed in 
this volume only slenderly connected with the main question. 
These we have designedly omitted, or but slightly touched 
upon : the one is the state of the world in the Newer Pliocene, 
or as it is now often called the Glacial Epoch, into the detmls 
of which Sir C. Lyell enters at considerable length ; but as no 
trace of Man has ever been even suspected in that formation, 
they seem to us to be hero a little out of place. The other 
topic is the Darwinian Theory of Species, which, if true, car- 
ried Man's existence back to a time when he was not man ; but 
this has been so recently and so fully discussed in this Review, 
that we feel the more at liberty to pass it over. 

Glancing at the work of Sir C. Lyell as a whole, it leaves the 
impression on our mind that we have been reading an ingenious 

1863. Lyell on the Antiquity of Man. 296 

academical Theme, rather than a work of demonstration by an 
original writer who is firmly and of his own knowledge con- 
vinoed of what he maintfdns. He seems eTer to aim at inducing 
the reader to draw an inference for himself, which the author is 
unwilling to state in definite terms, or to commit himself by 
entirely and ex animo affirming. This is the case with reference 
to the age of the Human Race, which is nowhere in this book 
stated with the slightest precision^ but, as we have said, is rather 
insinuated than proved. We should have felt more satisfaction, 
whether in agreeing or in difiering with the author, had he 
given us to understand what his own conviction is on this 
subject : — whether, for example, he reckons the human period 
by hundreds^ or thousands, or tens of thousands of centuries. 
On this point, notwithstanding an occasional array of figures, 
we can draw no clear conclusion. Agun, his belief in Darwin- 
ism, so significantly to be inferred from almost every part of the 
volume, is, we believe, nowhere positively stated ; and in what 
regards the men ^f the cave period we have seen that the de- 
ductions are vacillating and incomplete. The argument from 
the analogy between th^ time required to introduce a new word 
into a language, and a new species into the chain of being, 
is rather rhetorical than apposite, and is not, we believe, even 
new. Lastly, even the doctrine of the uniformity of natural 
agencies, which forms the basis of anything approaching to a 
chronology in these pages, is never litersdly and definitely 
avowed ; on the contrary, as we have already shown, its uncer- 
tainty is being continually allowed, whenever a difficulty in its 
application arises. 

The ' Antiquity of Man ' cannot be considered, and does not 
claim, to be an original work. There is no argument in it, and 
only a few facts which have not been stated elsewhere by Sir 
C. Liyell himself (sometimes in the same words), or by others. 
By combining the whole in a consecutive and popular form, the 
author has opened the discussion to a wider circle of readers than 
were likely to seek for information in the scattered volumes of 
the * Philosophical Transactions,' the * Geological Society's Jour- 
^ nal,' or the works of foreign naturalists and antiquarians. In 
doing this Sir Charles Lyell has done a service both to his 
readers and to science — to his readers, because he has placed in 
their hands a very pleasing and instructive volume; and to 
science, because, though open to the criticisms we have already 
made, it marshals in orderly array the elements of a subject 
which must henceforth occupy a great deal of attention, — 
the pre-historic yet comparatively recent annals of the globe. 

Niatural curiosity is justly excited by the attempt to de- 




«cal ' 



is a I 

the .- 








1863. Lyell an the Antiquity of Man. 297 

Roderick Murchison has done for the Silurian and other palieozoic 
rocks, by establishing the subordination of the members of each 
series, and the number and order of succession of the beds bj the 
^d of zoological classification, — all this is but just commencing 
for the newest formations, beginning with the boulder day. It 
must be phun to the reader even of the condensed view of the 
more recent deposits given in Sir C. LyelFs volume, and still 
more when he turns to the numerous memoirs of which a few 
only have been referred to in the course of this paper, that anyone 
who should know only what was done respecting them twenty-five 
years ago will have to reconsider the whole. In the vague term 
of * drift ' have been included formations widely differing in age, 
material, circumstances of deposition, and imbedded organic 
remains. These have still in a great measure to be classified 
and distinguished, their order of superposition definitely fixed, 
their relations to tiie rising or sinking of continents established, 
and, perhaps above all, the fossils which characterise them 
properly distinguished and recorded. All these legitimate 
directions of geological and palseontological investigation are 
now fairly open. The patience and acumen which elsewhere 
have overcome so many similar difficulties are certain in time 
to be rewarded witii success. We shall have an accurately 
defined succession of beds, marine or fluviatile, subdividing the 
boulder clay from the recent formations. These will be dis- 
tinguished, some by the character of the shells which they 
contain, which will also lead to certain inferences as to pro- 
gressive change of climate, if such there was : the still ques- 
tionable evidence of the relative age of ' beaches ' at different 
levels, and the changes of sea-level in historic times will, with 
increasing opportunities of observation, be reduced to something 
like consistency : the finer gradations of mammalian species or 
varieties, which in the case of the elephant are yielding to Dr. 
Falconer appanentiy trustworthy proofe of successive chronologies 
of the beds in which these varieties occur, promise perhaps more 
than any other recent discovery to aid in the subdivision of the 
quaternary beds*, and in the distinction of casually inter- 

* Bet^^^l et species Elephas primigenius and Mctstodon 

J^orxnni^^^ has already enumerated ^twenty-six species, 

' 6 as far back in time as the miocene period, 

< ) the Indian and African forms. He has dis- 

bban four species of elephants were formerly 

under the title of Elephas prtmigeniuSy 

ubiquity in post-pliocene times, or its wide 

habitable globe.' (See Antiquity ofMan^ pp. 

298 Lyell on the AntiquUy of Man. Jnly^ 

mixed materials from strata of properly defined age. That the 
existing fmidamental opposition should have arisen oetween such 
eminent geolo^sts as M. Elie de Beaumont on the one hand, 
and Sir C. Lyell and Mr. Prestwich on the other, as to the nge 
of the Abbeville ' drift/ is sufficient evidence that the very 
grammar of this part of geology requires yet, if not to be 
written, at least to receive an adequate sanction. It is plain 
enough that this question (one example out of many which 
must be expected to arise) cannot be dedded brm manu^ still 
less by a mere appeal to authority. Till M. Elie de Beaumont 
has an opportunity of displaying his proofs in detail of the 
^ recent ' character of the flint drift containing tools and fossil 
bones, judgment must be suspended. Whilst hesitating, bow* 
ever, we incline to think that the more probable result will be 
to confirm the contemporaneity of Man with the mammoth and 
rhinoceros. Evidence pointing in one direction from so many 
quarters seldom fails in possessing some reliable basis. Chrono- 
logically speaking, the result will probably be that the current 
vague prepossession as to the excessive antiquity of these 
extinct quadrupeds will on the one hand be much diminished, 
while on the other the age of Man will be carried farther back. 
Secondly, these discussions will necessarily bring to a more 
distinct issue than hitherto the hypothesis of Qeological Unio 
formity. On the admission or otherwise of the principle that 
the rate of change observable on the existing surface of the 
globe — whether in the way of atmospheric waste, marine and 
fluvial degradation, volcanic deposition, or continental elevation, 
— is to be considered to be applicable to all the periods of past 
time, and all the changes which have occurred on its sur&ce, 
however vast ; on this principle, we say, wholly depends our 
power of estimating in years or in centuries the probable dura* 
tion of geological and zoological revolutions; and amongst 
others, the date of the appearance of Man upon the globe. We 
have given some reasons in the course of this article for believ- 
ing that the hypothesis of geological uniformity must ere 
long be wholly abandoned. We have even shown that 
Sir Charles Lyell himself is not unfrequently compelled to 
dissent from his own principles as leading to absurd results. 
Geological phenomena, so fkr as they depend on mechanical 
agencies, require for their manifestation and accomplishment 
hoth force and time. They depend on the ^combined effect of 
both. If a laige effect is to be accounted for^ the time may be 
supposed short it* the force be great ; if the forces ore small, the 
period of their continuance must be long. In the pr^pant 
language of Dr. Whewell, * Time inexhaustible, and ever aoou- 

863. JjjeXL on the Antiquity of Man. 299 

* mnlatiiig hk efficacy, can undoubtedly do much for the theorist 
' ia geology ; but Force, whose limits we cannot measure, and 
' whose nature we cannot fathom, is also a power never to be 

* slighted ; and to call in the one to protect us from the other, is 
' equally presumptuous, to whichever of the two our superstition 
' l^ns.'* In G^logy there are certainly many fiicts which can- 
not, without extravagant improbability, be supposed to have 
been accomplished without the lapse of immense periods of 
time. Such are the deposition of the coal measures, taking into 
account the time requisite for the growth and mineralisation of 
their vegetable contents ; and the formation of highly fossili- 
ferous coralline limestones. Generally, the element of organic 
life introduces into geology the necessity of long periods and 
occasional catastrc^hes. On the other hand, the truly gigantic 
revolutions indicated by the faults, elevations, marvellous plica- 
tions and contortions, and even complete inversions of the strata 
which compose the vastest mountain chains of our globe, betoken 
subterranean forces quite unexampled in history. They also 
bear evidence to ha^ng been effected with considerable rapi- 
dity, and towards their accomplishment an eternity of dura- 
tion allowed to existing forces could make no approximation. 
Even in the more intelligible field of the denudation caused 
by water, with its subsequent deposition of alluvia, the 
Coryphteus of the uniformitarian school of Geology is him- 
self forced to admit that rivers, such as the Thames for 
example, ^ could never, not even in millions of years, have 
^excavated the valleys through which they flow.'f Now 
all these things are standing evidences that natural causes 
have, during the vast epochs of geological operations, had fre- 
quent remissions and exacerbations of intensity. Only a little 
consideration is necessary to show that the uniformity of the 
planetary motions offers no true analogy to the case of the far 
different agencies concerned in geological dynamics.^ With 
reference to the newest formations which in this article we 
have chiefly had to consider, there seems little or no ground for 
maintaining a uniform scale of dynamic eneigy. 

We should have been glad, had our already exhausted space 
permitted us, to refer fully to a very able and striking paper by 
Sir Roderick Murchison, on the * Drift of the South-east of 

* History of Inductive Sciences, book xviii. chap. viii. 

t Lyell's Principles, edit 1884, vol. i. p. 500. 

I ^ We find in the analogy of the sciences no confirmation of the 
'doctrine of uniformity, as it has been maintained in geology/ 
( WheweU, « Hutwry,' ^c, book xviii. chap, viii.) 

300 Lyell on the Antiquity of Man* July, 

'England '* — a formation geographically and geologicalb^ (as it 
seems to us), the counterpart of that of tiie valley of the Somine. 
In the valleys of Kent, Sussex, Surrey, and Hampshire, we 
find the same denudations of the chalk, the same angular flint 
terrace accumulations, accompanied by and enclosing remains 
of the same species of extinct animak, and which we can 
hardly doubt will on further search yield specimens of flint 
weapons or tools. Now in this district Sir R. Murchison per- 
ceived in 1851 evidence that the 'flint-drift' was not the linger- 
ing deposit of ages of comparative repose, but bore witness to 
short though turbulent agencies, performing, we may imagine, 
in a few years, the work for which the uniformitarian demands 
his hundreds or even thousands of centuries. In the first place 
he points out that the denudation of the vast area of the Weald 
of Sussex and the neighbouring counties must have been the 
result of upheavals, fractures, and accompanying denudations, to 
the intensity of which existiii^ nature offers little or no analogy. 
He shows that the configuration of the steep slopes of the North 
and South Downs facing the Wealden Valley cannot possibly 
have been formed, as some theorists suppose, oy ordinary diur- 
nal action prolonged through countless ages. He next recog- 
nises the results of an agency of vast intensity, and clear proofs 
of a great force that drifted the flinty materials to the flanks 
of the denuded country in this district He speaks of ' ancient 
' mounds of drift arranged irregularly and at different altitudes 
' upon their banks from twenty to a hundred feet above the 
'present rivers' — the counterparts, therefore, of the Menche- 
court and Motilin-Quignon beds at Abbeville. And, he adds, 
' a glance at any of these materials at once bespeaks the tumul- 
'tuary nature of their origin, for none of them contained 
' waterwom or rounded pebbles. At Peppering, about eighty 
' feet above the Arun, bones of an elephant were found ' (p. 
360.). And to quote but one sentence more from this very in- 
structive paper, ' By no imaginable process of the longest con- 
' tinned diurnal action could any portion of this detritus have 
' been gradually derived during ages from the low chalk hills '(p. 

The advocates of uniformity also are too apt to forget 

* Journal of Geological Society, vii. pp. 349-398 (1851). 

f We must make room for one passage out of many in Sir R. 
Murchison's memoir, bearing upon M. Elie de Beaumont's idea of the 
casual deposition of elephantine remains from an older formation 
amidst the gravels of the Somme (which we take to be incontestably 
the equivalent of the drift-beds of Kent here spoken of). ' With the 
' fact before us that these fossil bones [near Folkestone at 80 to 110 

1863. lijell on the Antiquity of Man. 301 

that ancient physical changes are admitted by them, which, 
though less tumultuary than gigantic earthquakes or great 
oceanic waves, are, through the wonderftil sympathy of the 
powers of nature, capable of producing enormous mechanical 
effects. A depression of temperature of 20"^ of Fahrenheit 
seems to them to be a deviation from the existing state of 
things to be readily conceded. But if this resulted in clothing 
the sur&ce of France and England with glaciers, we have a 
new mechanism of vast power introduced to wUch they readily 
appeal as the cause of the transport of enormous blocks of stone, 
for which 'existing causes' are in the same districts wholly 
inadequate. Indeed, far less changes of temperature would 
suffice to produce a condition of sur&ce very different from the 
present one ; and it seems impossible to maintain that the mete- 
orology of the globe has endured as it is for hundreds of 
thousands of years. An increased rain-fall and a depressed 
temperature, followed by a rise sufficient to melt the ice-cover- 
ing of the table-lands, might produce local floods of any re- 
quired amount without violating the existing analogies of the 
globe. Indeed, if the geologists of the unuormitarian school 
will only compare the ideas of the present day with those of 
twenty-five years since, they will find that in the single word 
' ice,' which forms the text of one-third of Sir C. Lyell's present 
volume, there has been added a vast armoury of Force to that 
which they previously could command. Its discovery has 
really metamorphosed pliocene and post-pliocene geology ; and 
can it be conceded that no such farther agencies remain to be 
discovered consistent with existing analogies but throwing 
light upon the more gigantic and rapid operations of nature 

' and even 222 feet above the sea] lie at once upon the bare rock in situ 

* without any deposit between it and the drift in which they are com- 
' mingled, it seems impossible to explain their collocation. ... by 
^ supposing that they were tranquilly buried under d lake or fell from 

* the banks of any former stream To my mind the circum- 

' stances of the same drift being placed at such different levels at 
' Folkestone, and of its sloping up from the sea-board to a height of 
^222 feet inland, are good evidences that these creatures were 

* destroyed by violent oscillations of the land, and were swept by 

:^nts of water from their feeding grounds into the hollows where 
now find them, and where the argillaceous materials which 
sred them have favoured their conservation.' (Murchison, 
36.) At no time does a doubt seem to have entered the mind 
lis distinguished geologist that the elephantine bones were other- 
) than contemporary and characteristic fossils of the fiint drift in 
ich they are found. 

302 Lyell on the Antiquity of Man. July, 1863. 

in the later as well aa older geological epochs? It would 
appear to us pedantic and illiberal in a high degree to disallow 
that such are not onlj conceivable, but far more intrinsicallj 
probable than a monotony of physical operation, the evidence 
for which seems to us to exist principally in the turn of thought 
of those who advocate it. These very glacial agencies have, 
even now, as we think, been too much relied on by the 
youngest school of our geologists, and we are not prepared to 
say, with Mr. Geikie, that Mt is superfluous at the present 
^ day to raise the ghosts of old floods and debacles, which after 
' playing so active a part in geology have now for a good 
* many years been quietly consigned to oblivion.' * All these, 
with glaciers, may have acted in succession, and in con- 
gruous relations to one another, producing the alternations of 
effect to which the strata of the globe bear such clear evidence. 
And inasmuch as these agencies were all apparently intensified 
modifications of the present ones, they diminish m the same 
ratio the periods of time requisite for filling up the intervals of 
the geological calendar ; and amongst other such intervals, the 
duration of Man's existence upon the globe. Professor Phillips, 
a writer of singular moderation, and perhaps even excessive 
caution with reference to geological controversy, has in one of 
his addresses from the chair of the Geological Society expressed 
the views which yre hold with such predsion and firmness that 
we willingly close our article by citing his words : — 

^ Do not geologists sometimes speak with needless freedom of the 
ages that have gone ? Such expressions as that " time costs Nature 
'< nothing" appear to me no better than the phrase which ascribes to 
Nature ** the horror of a vacuum.^ Are we to regard as information 
of value the assertion that millions on millions of ages have passed 
since the epoch of life in some of the earlier strata ? Is not this 
abuse of arithmetic likely to lead to a low estimate of the evidence in 
support of such random conclusions, and of the uncritical judgment 
which so readily accepts them ? * f 

* On the Glacial Drift of Scotland, p. 73. ( Trans. *Geol SocUiy 
of Glasgow, 1863.) 

t PhiUips* Address to the Geological Society, I7th Feb., 1860, 

p. 111. 


(Note to No. CCXL.) 

Mb. Eingulke, coDceiviog that the note in page 309. of our last 
Number implies that his services were professionally retained in the 
defence of Sir Richard Airey before the Chelsea Board of Enquiry in 
1855, wishes us to state that this was not the case, and that the part 
he took in that defence was gratuitous. 

He also informs us that access to the unpublished political cor- 
respondence relating to the causes of the war was not refused to 
him by the Foreign Office (as we had been led to believe), in as 
much as he made no application to obtain it 

As Mr. Kinglake has expressed to us his desire that these two 
points should be explained we readily comply with his request. The 
anonymous strictures, which have appeared in several forms, but 
apparently from the same pen, upon the criticisms of Mr. Kinglake's 
History, do not appear to us to require any notice. 

No* CCXLIL vnll be published in October. 



OCTOBER, 1863. 

JVo' €€XL1I. 

Abt. L — 1. Queensland — a highly eligible Field for Emigra" 
tian, and the future Cotton-field of Great Britain. By John 
DuNMOBE Lang, D.D., Bepresentative of the City of 
Sydney in the Parliament of New South Wales. London : 

2. JPugKs Queensland Almanac, Directory, and Law Calendar 
for 1863. Brisbane : 1862. 

3. Statistical Register of Queensland for the Years 1860-61-62. 
Compiled in l£e Office of the Begistrar-GeneraL Brisbane : 

nr^E Royal Botanic Gturdens at Kew are chiefly indebted for 
•^ their Australian flora to the researches of Alan Cun- 
ningham, a gentleman sent to Sydney by the British Govern- 
ment for the purpose of procuring specimens of the various 
productions of the Australian Continent, who so endeared 
himself to the inhabitants of that city by his amiable qualities, 
and his indefatigable zeal in the cause of geograpliical discovery, 
then of vital importance to its mountain-locked population, that 
his virtues and early death are commemorated by a public 
statue adorning their own very beautiM public gardens. In 
1828, Mr. Cunningham, returning to Sydney from a botanical 
exploration conducted in the previous year, brought to its 
inhabitants the very welcome intelligence that upon an immense 
plateau, situated fdmost within the tropic, he had found the 
boundless waving pastures, the perennial streams, and the cool 
breezes so long sighed for by the flock-owners of New South 
Wales. He proposed to call this region the Darling Downs, 


306 Queensland. Oct. 

in honour of General Darling, then Governor of the vast and, 
as yet, undivided British territories of the Western Pacific 
Dr. Leichhardt, whose fate is still involved in inscrutable mys- 
tery, pushed discovery with equally happy results still further 
to the north only a few months previous to that expedition of 
which all trace has been so strangely obliterated. Subse- 
quently, Sir Thomas Mitchell, then Surveyor-General of New 
South Wales, reached the Fitaoroy Downs, the MaatuaB Downs, 
the Peak Downs, and various other portions of this vast table- 
land — advancing everywhere through a network of cool streams, 
and finding ' delicious breeMS weleomiog us to the Torrid 
^ Zone.' And in 1845, Dr. Lang, whose work we have placed 
at the head of this artide, visited for the first time these newly- 
discovered territories, and was chiefly instrumental in procuring 
their more direct settlement from the mother-country by three 
shiploads of emigrants. The eeene of these discoveries, passing 
for several years under the name of the Moreton Bay District^ 
is now known as the Colony of Queensland. 

This latest addition to our Colonial Empire, and the fifth of 
the offshoots which the vast and vaguely defined colony of New 
South Wales ha«, from time to time, reluctantly suffered to 
assume an independent form of government, differs so materially 
in soil, climate, and capabilities from all the other Australasian 
settlements, that it may not be uninteresting if we devote to it 
some separate consideration — without, however, entirely losing 
sight of its Australian sisteriiood, with whidi it must needs 
possess many common institutions and characteristics. It might, 
indeed, at first sight appear that the vast slopes and table-lands 
which constitute Queensland would most closely resemble thote 
districts of the cokmies of New South Wales and Victoria, 
through which the Great Coast iUstge of Eastern Australia 
continues its course. In reality, however, they have scarcely 
a natural feature in common. The hilly districts of Victoria, 
without soil or stream, and worthless if they did not yield gold, 
as well as the oontorted, broken, and impassable ranges of New 
South Wales*, offer« each in its way, a strange contrast to this 
more tropical extension of the Australian CordlUera, as it ex- 
pands into richly-clothed and well-watered table-lands^ plains, 
and downs. 

In availing ourselves of the researches and considerable oolo- 

* A Government surveyor, sent to examine a portion of 
moontainoos district of New South Wales, concluded his report to 
the Grovernor of the colony by * thanking God that he had got out of 
' it with his life.' 

1863. QueenskuuL 307 

nial ezperienee of Dr. Lang, as we propoee to do in tbe oounse 
of the present article, we must do that .gentleiaaQ the justice to 
acknowledge the ki^e share of merit to which he is entitled in 
the fonnatioa of the new colony. While Aian Cunningham 
must be ooosidered as the disco¥er«r of Queentlaud, Dr. Lang 
may claim the credit of having wrested it from the tenacious 
gctt^) of New South Wales, as will be seen irom the following 
sesolution, unanimously adopted in the new Parliament of the 
colony: — 

^ (1.) That tbe thanira of thk House be given to the Bev. John 
Doamore Lang, D.D., for his able and sncoessfol efforts for tbe sepa- 
ration of MoteU>n l^iy ^m New fiooth Walea, and to found the 
odony of Queewdand. (2.) Thut this resokition be transmitted to 
His EzceUeocy the Governor, with a request that he ivjill be pleased 
to forward a copy of the same to Dr. IahqJ 

Hitherto^ fortunatdy, the graduid disintegration of the vast 
territories comprised within the lioiits of tbe Boyal Commission 
iesoed to Captain Phittip in 1787, as first GovemcMr of New 
Bonth Wales, has been accompltsbed wil^ut any more violent 
commotion than the demolition of a few election hustings, 
and an occasional shower of stones directed against the daring 
candidate venturing to represent hk somewhat neglected 
province in the distant Parliament of New Soath Wales. The 
extreme reluctance, however, wiih which the parent colony has 
eoneented to the erection of each independent State, and more 
especial^ the impediments placed in the way of the Port 
Phillip Dirtrict in establishing its independence as the colony 
of Yiotoria, have left an amount of intercolonial jealousy which 
18 Tcry little understood in Europe, -and wbich still retards the 
formation of that bond of union which should unite the Austra- 
Uaa provinces. Indeed, grudgingly as Queensland has been per- 
mitted to assume her rights as ODe of these independent States, 
we must think that she has not yet come into the full enjoy- 
noent of them« The due administration of Australian afl^irs 
would certainly seem to favour the claun of her settlers — ^and, 
more e^cially, of a large body of settlers now excluded from 
her boundariee — to a further extension of territory towards the 
south from her niggard parent. 

The case of QneenslaQd against the parent colony of New 
South Wales iq>pear8 to stand thus. In an Act of the Imperial 
Parliament, passed in 1850, * ior the better government of the 
' Australian Colonies,' 4i^attse had been ins^ted, reserving to 
Her Majesty the r^t to eeparate from New South Wales, and 
to erect into an independent colony, the territory situated to the 
north of the thirtieth parallel of south latitude — ^that parallel 

308 Queensland. Oct. 

being indicated bj some very marked natural features^ extend- 
ing from the sea-sfaore to the western boundary of New Soatli 
Wales, and the country along its whole line being of so broken 
a character as to impede all overland communication between 
that colony and what was then the Moreton Bay District In 
accordance with the terms of this clause^ numerous petitions^ 
extending over several years, were forwarded for presentation 
to Her Majesty bv the settlers throughout the Moreton Bay 
District, praying for separation at the specufied parallel ; BXko, 
more especially, one petition, dating so far back as the 30th of 
December, 1850, from the settlers in the Clarence and Rich- 
mond Bivers District, the territory now in dispute.* Owing 
to some representations — or, as the later petitions boldly state, 
misrepresentations — from New South Wales, which never will- 
ingly parted with a foot of her vast territories (the old Com- 
mission of 1787 extending over Van Diemen's Land, New Zea- 
land, and more generally uxe whole of the Western and Southern 
Pacific waters and islands), this reserved right of Her Majesty 
to fix the boundary line between the parent colony and the new 
ofishoot was not exercised, and the matter was referred to the 
decision of the Governor of New South Wales. By him a 
line was chosen coinciding with the twenty-eighth parallel from 
the coast to the culminating table-land of the Great Bange, and^ 
from thence to the west, with the twenty-ninth paralleL In 
this manner, the whole of the Clarence and Bichmond Biven 
District now remains within the colony of New South Wales. 
It is well watered by these two navigable streams and by 
several smaller ones. Settlement, too, having grown from 
the south northwards, its pastures contain more numerous 
flocks and herds, and bear evidence, in public and private 
improvements, of a longer occupancy than more northern 
tracts. These, and other considerations, render its poasfwion 
of considerable importance to either colony. Indeed, thoo^ 
small in comparison with the huge territories with wUdi we 
are now dealing, the district itself is larger than En^and» and 
contains some of the most fruitful land in the world. Omiltiag, 
however, the rival claims of the two colonies — if, indeed. New 
South Wales has any better claim than possession — omittin g , 
too, all consideration of the natural features of the coontiT, the 
mere element of distance would appear to be strongly in ummr 
of the Clarence and Bichmond settlers in their deaxe to aancx 

• Hei4 lAtc»f IVlUion to the Oueen, from the inhabttaate ef the 
Ctaronce tttitl Hl^hmo*^ annexation to 

Septvttib^r^ 10<^> 

1863. Queensland. 309 

themselves to Queensland. Grafton, their central town, is 470 
nules firom Sjdney, while it is only 180 miles from Brisbane, 
the capital of the new colony. Indeed, these settlers now 
transact all their private aflfairs with Brisbane, though, in the 
case of the public improvements of their district, they exhibit a 
woful balance-sheet agunst the Sydney Exchequer, into which 
their custom duties, assessment on stock, and the proceeds of 
their land-sales necessarily go. The annexation of this district 
to Queensland would place Sydney in the middle of a seaboard 
of 600 miles in extent, as the crow flies, while she would still 
remain the capital of a territory three times as large as Great 
Britain. Unless, therefore, it should be thought desirable that 
a new colony should insert itself between Queensland and New 
South Wales — an event which, in the extremely unsatisfactory 
position of Australian land tenure, and the difficulty of fairly 
apportioning the expenditure on public works among the more 
outlying districts, is almost certain to occur unless some such 
proposition as the Clarence and Richmond settlers suggest 
should be adopted — ^it would seem more generally advantageous 
to the settlers of this great eastern seaboard of the continent 
that the Imperial Act of 1850 should be more strictly inter- 

But though we are of opinion that the internal administration 
and improvement of the Australian group of colonies demand 
the annexation of the Clarence and Bichmond Rivers settlers 
to Queensland, yet the colony of Queensland itself is at present 
of gigantic proportions, and must be prepared, in its turn, to 
throw off large and early northern o&hoots. According to the 
present Parliamentary boundaries of the new colony. Queens* 
land extends from the termination of the Clarence and Rich- 
mond Rivers District to the extreme northern point of Australia, 
and from the shores of the Pacific to the 138th meridian of 
east longitude. She thus possesses a length of 1,300 miles, 
and a mean breadth of 900 miles, with a Pacific and Torres 
Stndt seaboard of, as the crow 'flies, 2,250 miles. In other 
words, she is somewhat larger than Great Britain and Ireland, 
France, Spain and Portugal, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, 
and the new Kingdom of Italy, all put together. And yet such 
is the rapidity of Australian squatter settlement, that our latest 
information leads us to expect its extension to the shores of the 
Gulf of Carpentaria ere these pages have passed through the 

Indeed, as it may be very shortly necessary to bring the new 
cdony within more reasonable bounds, we shall here briefly 
point out what we conceive her permanent, limits ought to be. 

310 QueenslafuL 0<st, 

They were suggested so eariy as 1846 by Sir Tbomas MitdieH, 
BO incompetent anthorityy in the course of his exploration 
within tropical Australia. Advancing beyond the twenty^fiftti 
parallel of latitude, he found the broad, fdmest terel table^landB 
of the Grreat Range interrupted by a natural barrier, running 
at right angles to its nudn axis, and, in other xespeets, similar 
to the broken line of countty we have already mentioned a» 
crossing die same Range to the soudi of the Clarence and 
Richmond Rivers District. The territory to tiie north of Aw 
Batumi barrier he proposed to ereet into a new and indepentfent 
colony, under the n»ne of * Capricomia — to express the country 
' under the tropics, from the parallel of 25^ south, where Mature 
^ haB' set up her own landmarks not to be disputed.' This broken 
tract of country quickly terminates towfords the north, and the 
table-lands again reonme their broad and undulating character* 
Dr. Leichhanh, however, who pushed discovery ertiU furth^ to 
the north, found anotiher and a similar break crossing the Range 
at the eighteenth parallel, after which the country again opens 
into Captain Stokes-' Plaine of Ihromise, round the shores of the 
Gulf. Thus, giving * Capricomia ' an extent of seven degrees 
of latitude — ^that is, close on 500 miles of Pacifie seaboard — there 
would still be abundant material for a third new colony on the 
iboree of the Gvtlf. Aocording to tfaifr arrangement, coineiding 
witli strongly-marked natural features, the Great Coast Range 
and its P^fic seaboard would be divided into the fbHowmg 
sections : — New South Wales, 6^ or 5^ degrees of latitude, a^^ 
cording as her preeent hold of the Clar^ice and Bichmend 
Rivers settlers is confirmed or otherwise; .Queensland, 5 
or 4 degrees of latitude, according to ^tte same condition ; 
^ Capricomii^' 7 degrees; and a new colony on the Gulf, 
10 degrees. Such an arrangement would certainly aUot to 
Queensland a lese extended seaboard than her neighbours ; but 
this would be more than compensated by her much greater 
breadth inland, while it would place her capital and chief seB-* 
port in the middle of her maritime district. Indeed, it would 
still leavo her a territory quite aa large as the parent colony of 
New South Walea This arrangement would, however, be 
strongly opposed by Queensland herself, rince it would deprive 
her of the Fitzroy River and the Port Curtis District ; and 
young colonies are quite as tenacious of their unexjrfored terri- 
torial privileges as the oklest States of Europe. 

As we have so far postponed our examination of the gencraP 
resotirces of the new settlement, in considering its poiHfcal 
boundaries, perhaps we may be excused if we take a pamng 
ghmce at the relative positions of the other membera of the 

1963. QueewfSxnii 311 

group. TSew South Wales, even sfaotdd sht? lose the CJlarence 
and xticfamond' Rivers District, would still possess an extent of 
upwards of 300,000 square miles; though whether she shall 
continue to preserve these very ample territories must mainly 
depend upon her skill in managing her outlying districts. At 
the present moment the settlers dwelling Between the rivers 
Darling and Murrumbidgce, both in New South Wales and 
Tictoria, are desirous of separation, on the old plea of neglect, 
and have already forwarded petitions to the Imperial Parliament, 
prayin^for recognition of their claims. We cannot, however, 
r^ard very hopeftilly the prospects of a new crfony some 300 
mueff removed firom the seaboard in a country so deficient in 
internal water communication ; and^ in the interest of the setders 
themselves, we should prefer an extension of those powers of 
local self-government which have been sm^cessfully introduced 
ind estabfished in the gold-fields of Victoria.* . Should the 
Murray and Mmrumbidgee settlers adopt this view of the 
matter, we may fairiy infer that the colony of New South 
Wales has now arrived at its Ikst stage of dismemberment, and 
tlrat its present territories will be left intact — unless, indeed, 
under some more violent disruption of the cotmtry. The colony 
of Victoria, the wealthiest and most compact, though far the 
smallest of the group, contains 86,831 square miles — an extent, 
however, which, notwithstanding her diminutive appearance 
among her sisterhood, closely coincides with the area of Great 
Britain. Her next neighbour, however, the colony of South 
Australia, again expands into giant proportions. Its present 
area is about 300,000 square miles; and, in all probability, it 
win shortly*receive a further accession of territory from a neutral 
strip of the continent lying to the north of it, between the 
138th meridian, or western boundary of Queensland, and the 
I^l^t meridian, or eastern boundary of the colony of Western 
Australia, Much of this area, however, consists of trackless 
dtesert; and though recent explorations have shown it to be 

• By later intdlfgence, we perceive that the colony of Victoria is 
extending a somewhat simiiar principle^of local self-government to 
her vanous other outlying districts, includrng her alHoveHoaentioiied 
texvitories- between the Murray and Murrumbidgee. By her new 
Local Gt^nemment Aet, each dista^et bMomes entitled to 2L ftoim 
the State Eevenue for each 1/. raiaod by taxation under its Local 
Board, with the further addition of 200/. for each mile of main road. 
The more general extension of some such measure throughout the 
whole of the Australian Colonies would, most probably, check any 
too minute disintegration, to which at present there appears a 

312 Queensland. Oct, 

interspersed with large tracts of pastoral and even agricultural 
country, the isolated position of these oases, and thdr depen- 
dence on the Port of Adelaide for imports and exports, will in 
all probabilitj avert any dismemberment of this colony for very 
many years to come. But the palm of size must faie awarded 
to the colony of Western Australia. Its present area exceeds 
a million of square miles — an extent whidi its population, not- 
withstanding the extraordinarily expansive powers of squatter 
occupancy, is wholly unable to overrun. The time, however^ 
cannot be very far distant when the excellent soil and tbe broad 
navigable rivers of its north-west portion, and, above all, its 
propinquity to China, India, and the Indian Archipelago, will 
attract settlement thither, destined to a more rapid progress 
than has attended the Swan Biver colonists. Indeed, a project 
is now on foot throughout the more eastern Australian colonies 
to form a British settlement round Cambridge Gulf and ita 
streams ; and other equally favourable tracts along this vast 
north-west coast have more than once attracted the attention of 
both home and colonial enterprise. With the execution of these 
schemes will commence a disintegration of the vast territories 
over which the Grovemor of the Swan Biver settlement now 
nominally holds sway. 

This breaking up of a whole continent into distinct States, 
independent of each other, but under the light and delicate rule 
of one Imperial Government, is an exceedingly curious movement 
in the history of civilisation. It is essayed under singularly 
favourable circumstances ; and though the nature of our subject 
will oblige us to lay bare some of the minor difficulties of 
Australian colonisation, yet there would certainly appear to be 
no inherent defect to mar the success of the experiment upon 
which the Australian people are now entering. 

One blemish, indeed, now ahnost erased by the very great 
efforts of the colonists of the eastern group, it is proposed by a 
late Boyal Commission to perpetuate on Australian soil; and we 
cannot proceed to the more immediate subject of this article with- 
out here recording our strong protest against the recommenda- 
tion to continue and extend transportation to Western Australia. 
The views of the Convict Commission on this subject have, we 
believe, taken wholly by surprise everyone who has watched 
the progress of Australian settlement and the singular promise 
which that portion of our colonial empire gives of a great and 
glorious ftiture. Nor can the willingness of the colonists of its 
western quarter to receive convicts afford the least pretext 
for so wide a departure from the principles of justice and 

1863. Queeniland. 313 

the common weal. These coIonistSi nambering but a few 
thousand, have hitherto earned little pretension to fix the 
fate of the vast regions which they still leave an untrod 
wilderness; nor, whatever may be the undeveloped resources of 
that portion of the continent, have its settlers as yet made it 
sufficiently attractive to retdn among them the convict after his 
term of penal servitude has expired. Transportation to Western 
Australia amounts practically to transportation to Eastern Aus- 
tralia, with the very unconsdonable addition that the eastern 
colonists must treat as free men the cutthroats whom their 
own feirly-eamed prosperily draws to their shores. Indeed, 
how the past expenence of some of those eastern colonies could 
have been so wholly overlooked in an inquiry of this nature, 
we are at a loss to understand. The most wealthy of them, 
the colony of Victoria, was never a convict settlement. The 
Acts of its Legislature to restrain convicts from landing on its 
shores exhibit perhaps the utmost violation of the liberty of 
the subject whicm a British Parliament could be found to assent 
to. They condenmed to penal servitude every person unable 
to ffive proofs of possessing lawful means of support. They 
condenmed to penal servitude for life every ticket-of-leave 
person entering within its territories. Yet, notwithstanding 
these and other exceptional acts of legislation, it is matter of 
world-wide notoriety that the colony of Victoria became the 
resort of the most daring desperadoes of Norfolk Island, Van 
Diemen's Land, and Botanv Bay, and that its gold-fields, 
public roads, and even the leading streets of Melbourne were 
for some years the scenes of their lawless and appalling deeds. 
By the construction of costly prisons — by the organisation of a 
large and enormously expensive police system, the colonists of 
Victoria have now succeeded in rendering innocuous the vast 
number of tiiese trespassers on their fair domains, and in 
making them as safe as any portion of the British Islands. The 
task we may well take to nave been no light one for a young 
State possessed of no superabundant supply of labour, and 
engagM in the various public improvements of a new land. 
Indeed, its colonists received their chief encouragement to its 
accomplishment in the closing of the various neighbouring 
penal depSts we have just enumerated, and the belief that 
the supply from these sources had finally ceased. We cannot 
wonder, therefore, if the contemplated opening of a. fresh source 
of supply should fill this colony with ' the utmost alarm,' and if 
' it would be disheartening beyond endurance were she again 
* forced to combat the same dangera from which she has been 

' rescned at snob a oost.'^ Indeed, lest by any meoiw tbese 
most iramerited oalamaties of thk^ and other free neigfabofiru^ 
oolomcsy. should h»re esosped the recotteotion of the late Com- 
miseioa, they aire again brought before tiieu> notiee in the 
strong but ctignified piotest from whieh we have just quoted ; 
and we would earaestly seeomoMind ite eoosidenitimi) aad that 
of the ehint portion' of Austndian history to whicb it mkam^ 
before Parliament prDoeede to leeiskte oit< the subject A go- 
^emoient whidi shodd deliberately leselve to eoaeign the fUwa 
of En^and to the diores of Australia^ agfrinst the will of tfa« 
AnstraJians themselToa^ would deserve to rank with that govern* 
ment whioh attempted to tar the Noi^ AHsman ooloniea 
without their consent: and we do not doub^ that the restftt 
would be eidMF a hnmliating defewt to ourselves, or a de- 
plorable ruptace between the coloni9t» and Qreat Britain. 

With thra glance at the relative position of ike whole of the 
Australkn group of colonies^ we shall now confine ourselves to 
the colony of Qaeensland, a» eontaiaed between ite present 
Parliamentary boundaries. 

The 'natural fbiture» of this tmci of Auetraliatt soil are 
strongly masked. They consist (!•) o^ a^seaboaivd from 06' to 
100 miles broad ; (2.) an elevated tiftble^ftnd^ (nr, more striotly 
speaking, a succession of undulating downs or plains^ situated 
some 2^000 feet above the sea-level, and stretdiing back to 
the west for 400 or 500 miles^ wi^ut continuous rise or Mi ; 
and (3.) a succession of terraces descending, generally with 
sapidity, but in some places less perceptibly, until the more 
extended level of the interior of Ae eoniiBent is reaehedL 
There are tfavs three poitimM-of t err i tory , widely diffaing' in 
their peculiar cnpahilities^ which it may^be of interests to examine 
ft little nior» closely. 

This seaboard owes its origin tee th» action of a network of 
streams^ issuing fitmt the more elevated table-4and, and bringing 
down with them the disintegrated' particles firom the flanks of die 
Great Bonge. Indeed, the ptoeess- may be still seen going- on 
in, the immediate neighbourhood of the sea-shore, and on a series 
of muddy and sandy ishnds lying off the eoai^, which are thus 
yearly growing in size. The more uphind' portions^ howerver, 
nearer the Ghneat Kange, have long ceased to derive any addition 
from this source^ and now form most excellent chetriets for the 
growth of wheat, moiae, and other eereale, whioh they prudvm 
in great luxuriance^ yielding geneially two crops in the year, 

♦ Address to the Queen by the Legislative Assembly of Victoria, 
March 25, 1863. 

1M3. QlMMMfafUf. Slfl 

and at mweh as 80 and 100 binbek ta tkftaora*^ lailaed) tin 
de^ aUaTial obavaeter of the 8<h1 aad tiMt pWntifQl supfiyoi 
warm ehowets^ oaused by the influenee ef tke Great Range, 
« oombine to prodnce a yerj remarkable degree of fertility^ while 
the well-sustained slope of the whole seaboard prevents diat 
aeenmulatioa of stagnant waten wluob oonmumQates so- nn- 
keakby a feature to many niMlariy luxuriant regions within the 
tropies* . The aoeneiy throu^^ut thisi whale tract, and move 
especially ^^ng the cesrse of it* munerous streaoH, is of tka 
■seat d^ghtful diacacter. 

^'Glese to the water's ee^^e rises a complete wafi of hixiiriant 
fcAimgeL Fig^tress^ bsan^trees, pinei* and a variety of other tre^ 
aland thickly set and overhang with a riek daapsry of ersepersy pre- 
sentiDg the forms of turrets, buttresses, festeeB% aad stalaciiteiv in 
endless variety, and bespangled with flowers and fruit. There is a 
purple convolvulus, wild roses, tulips, and some yellow, flowers, sca^ 
tered high and low ; and, close to the water's edge, a pure white lily. 
Cherries, figs,, and mulberries overhang the water.' {Langj p. 43.5 

More often, however, the course of these streams lies through 
a succession of tEinly-treed plains. 

^ The principal featase of this day's journey is at series ef beaatifol 
flatsy or plains ^ lionied extent, each sariiounded with aa amphi- 
theatre of bills, with the river, flunked with tall trees, and occasion- 
ally with lofty cedars, stealing silently along in its deep bed. When 
the country gets settled with an agricultural population, each of these 
flats or plains will doubtless have its smiling cottage, farmyard, and 
eomfertabie gardeo, where the pine-apple, the sugar-cane, and the 
bamana will be fsimd in willing aiseciation with all the frotts of 
Northern Baropeb- For there is nothing mors remarkable ia this 
part of our ookMiaal territory than the way in wMeh the firuits ef the 
temperate and torrid aoBssigrowharmooiaasly togather in the- same 
garden<j)kty and fboetify and eeme to matmnty each in its proper 
season.' (Lam^ p. 47.) 

Not, however, to dwell longer on the luxuriance of a region 
to which we shall have ecoasion to retnm in examining the 
gpnoral fitness of Qoeendand for the production of ootton^ 
sugar, and tobacco, we shall here eonlent ourselves by mentaeii» 
ing the following almost incredible example of healthy and 
rapid growth^ as reported by the same writer :< — 

. ^ I may also mention, as a remarkable instance ef the e x tra a nUnary 
fertility of the distriet^.that a young peaeh*tvee, ahonl eight feet Ugh, 

* In the neighbeuihood of Adelaide, colony of South Australia, 
the ordinary crop attains to 45 bushels per acre. The English 
crop, in the best wheat counties, averages 26| bushels; that of 
Canada seldom attains to 15. Australian wheat is probably the best 
in the world. 

316 Queensland. Oct. 

and oovered with blossoms, happened to attract my notice in the 
garden of the Rev. James Collins, Tyrone Villa, near Grafton ; and 
Mr. Collins informed me that the peach-stone, from which that tree 
had grown, had been planted by himself in the month of January 
preceding, only eight months before/ 

As we descend this slope, boweyer, to the immediate borders 
of the sea-coast^ much of the land assumes a more dreary 
aspect, consisting chiefly of mangrove-swamps, sand-banks, 
and 'drowned land,' in actual process of formation. Bul^ 
though less refreshing to the eye, there is reason to suppose 
that these tracts will prove highly valuable for the cultivation 
of those varieties of the cotton plant which love ' salt swamp.' 

The shore is well supplied with bays, some of very consider- 
able extent, as Moreton Bay, Wide Bay, Port Curtis, and 
numerous others. These bays, however, are not so much in- 
dentations of the coast-line as enclosures formed by the islands 
we have already mentioned. Moreton Bay itself is some 60 
miles long and 20 wide ; and they are all supplied with rivers, 
navigable for 50, 60, and 100 miles inland. Moreton Bay 
possesses no less than five such valuable rivers, besides some 
smaller ones. One of these, the Brisbane, gives its name to 
the capital city of the colony, situated 22 miles from its mouth. 
At this distance, however, the mangrove-swamps are entirely 
passed, and the dty stands upon a scene of surprising beauty. 

' The noble river, which winds almost under foot, and appears 
and disappears, and appears again, as it pursues its tortuous course 
through the dark forest to the bay, or is traced upwards to its 
sources, presents, ever and anon, points of view surpassingly beauti- 
ful ; the thick brushes on its banks, with the majestic Moreton Bay 
pine overtopping all the other giants of the forest, merely indicating 
the spots of extraordinary fertili^ where the hand of man is perhaps 
erecting hb future dwelling, and transforming the wilderness into 
smiling farms and fruitful fields.' 

The river here is a quarter of a mile wide — a width which 
it preserves for several miles upwards : indeed, the Brisbane is 
navigable for 150 miles inland, and steamers now daily ply up 
its course. The population of the city amounts to 8,000, 
and numerous handsome villas are rapidly rising on a succession 
of terraces overlooking the town and commanding splend^ 
views of the surrounding country. The city itself stands con- 
siderably above sea-level, and has, up to the present, been dis- 
tinguished for its very healthy climate, both during the summer 
and winter months. Indeed, excepting the neighbourhood of 
Sydney, which is perhaps the most beautiM city-site in the 
world, it would be difficult to select a more charming scene 

1863. Queensland. 317 

than that which has been chosen as the chief shipping port of a 
vast and wonderfully productive region, destined doubtless to 
supply the Old World with most of its wool, if not also of its 
cotton and other commodities hitherto slave-grown. As these 
bays, too, abound with fish, turtle* (o^ an excellence long 
known throughout the neighbouring colonies), and crabs of 
three and four pounds' weight and very superior quality, and as 
the deep fisheries off the coast teem with several varieties of 
large fifiui of peculiar and most delicate flavour, it is difficult to 
assign bounds to the great natural resources of this whole line 
of seaboard. 

From it we shall now ask the reader to accompany us to the 
great table-land constituting the flat back of the Great Coast 

This Range, as we have already stated, attains to its mean 
elevation, or almost to its mean elevation, at a distance of from 
50 to 100 miles from the sea-shore. .Nor does it b^n to 
descend into the interior, with any marked or continuous de- 
pression, until the sources of Mitchell's Victoria Biver, about 
the 147^ meridian, are passed. We have thus, commencing from 
the southern bounds of the colony, an elevated r^on some 
400 or 500 miles broad, stretching away thence to the shores 
of the Gulf of Carpentaria— a distance of over l/KK) miles, 
giving an area of more than 400,000 square miles. The whole 
of this area, with the exception of the two partial interruptions 
we have already mentioned, may be described as a succession of 
wide open downs, enclosed each within small subsidiary basaltic 
ranges traversing the great plateau. These downs are each of 
immense extent, and^contam deep and most excellent agri- 
cultural soil, at present clothed with the richest grasses, grow- 
ing in wonderful luxuriance. They are in a great measure 
destitute of trees, but the bases of their enclosing ranges are 
iumished with a very handsome and stately description of pine, 
behind which, and retiring into their recesses, are found some 
very valuable cedar-trees. These recesses are very plentifully 
supplied with numerous springs and rills, which, trickling down 
the slopes of the ranges, and traversing the enclosed plains, 
unite, and form the abundant networx of rivers by which 
this immense plateau is watered.* Some of these rivers — as 
the Clarence, the Richmond, the Brisbane, the Fitzroy, the 
Burdekin, the Maranoa, the Balonne, the Warrego, the Victoria 
— are of considerable extent, and traverse in their windings, 
peculiar to all Australian watercourses, immense tracts of 
country. Indeed, the Victoria, without taking into considera- 
tion its windings at all, possesses a curiously protracted length 

318 QueemUmi. Oek 

of 0ome 1,SOO miles, «t which it may net be iraiiitefvetiiig to 
take a glanee when conBiderin^ the third or westera portion of 
the colony. These streams, according as their main coarse 
tends to the east or ^he west, discharge themeelres into the 
Pacific or the interior of the continent, and hence the term of 
^ the Great Dividing Range ' whidi has been applied to this 
yast tableland, as parting the eastern and western waters of 
the continent ; though, as the Range is entirely confined to tiie 
eastern seaboard, the term itself is somewhat misleading. Qf 
course, we m?^ look in yain throughout Australia for anything 
approaching to the stupendous water system of America, bot 
it is difficult to exaggerate the importance of these streams to 
settlers dwelling on, and even within, the tropic Indeed^ 
they draw from Dr. Lang the following somewhat indignant 
protest: — 

' In short, notwithstanding the generally received calumny to 
which the great " South Land •* has hitherto been subjected in Europe, 
as being destitute of ** springs of water," and to a vast extent hope- 
lessly barren and unavailable for the purposes of man, it would per- 
haps be difficult to point to any tract of country of equal extent, and 
within the same parallris of latitude in either hemisphere, in whtoii 
there is a greats number either of atoeams of water or of rivers 
available for navigation.* 

Travellers throughout these vast plains all concur in their 
admiration of the luxuriance of the soil, the coolness and 
salubrity of the climate, and the loveliness of the entire 
landscape. We could fill pages with descriptions of count- 
less rills issuing cool and limpid from their pine-clad slopes — of 
deep rivers stealing through waving meadows — of the golden 
sunlight, the rosy atmosphere, and the songs of imramerable 
birds which give an additional charm to each scene. We shall 
content ourselves, however, with a more late extract, in which 
it will be seen how rapidly the hand of man ie turning to 
advantage these bounties of Providence. We take the following 
from a speech of the new Governor of Queensland, Sir Greorge 
Bowen, delivered to the inhabitants of the town of Drayton on 
the occasion of His Excellency's visit to the Dariing Downs, 
amid which the township has been recently erected : — 

* I wish to avail myself of this opportunity to state publicly that 
my recent journey over the Darling Downs has filled me with surprise 
and admiration. Even before I left England, I knew by report the 
rich natural resources and the picturesque beauty of this district, the 
scenery of which vividly recalls to my mind the general aspect of the 
classic plains of Thessaly. But I confess that I was not fully 
prepared for so wonderfully rapid an advance in idl that can promote 

IMS. Qitemtimd. 319 

and adorn civilitaUon — an adyanoe wbich hat taken place dnrtn^ the 
foartb part of an average lifetime. Not oslj have I seen vast herds 
of horses and oattle, and countless flocks of sheep, overspreading thq 
valleys and forests, which, within the memory of persons who have 
yet scarcely attained to the age of manhood, were tenanted only by 
wild animals and by a few wandering tribes of savages, — not only 
have I travelled over roads beyondi all compai'isofi superior to the 
means of communication which existed less than a century ago in 
many parts of the United £ingdom,^-not only have I b^eld 
flourishing towns arising an apots where, hardly twenty years baek, 
the foot of a white luan had never yet trodden the primeval wildeor- 
ness, — ^not only have I admired these and other proofs of material 
progress^ — but I have also found, in the houses of the long chain of 
settlers who have entertained me with such cordial hospitality, all the 
comforts and most of the luxuries and refinements of the houses of 
country gentlemen in England. The wonderful advance of this por- 
tion of 'tiiG colony during the last ten years is due to no sudden and 
fartuitooa disoovery of the preMons metals ; it is derived wholly from 
the blessing of Providence on the skill and energy of its inhabitants 
in subduing and xeplenishiBg the earth. Assur^y, I have observed 
during the past week very remarkable illustrations of the proverbial 
genius of the Anglo-Saxon race for the noble and truly imperial art 
of colonisation.' 

The whole of this Almost boundless plateau— extending 
within the tropica^ but elevated 2,000 feet above aea-level — is 
peculiarly fitted for a wide range of crops. Indeed, as vegetation 
IS continued during the whole year, the farmer has only to ohooae 
his various seasona for bringing most of the productions of the 
temperate and tropical zones to maturity. Thus, wheat, oats, 
barley, miuze, potatoes (and more eapecmllj the sweet potato, 
which here grows to the immense weight of twenty and even 
thirty pounds), arrow-root, indigo, md, more generally, all 
the productions of the kitchen garden, have already been 
cultivated with great suooess. At present, however, with the 
exception of some half-dozen inqipient townships and their sur* 
rounding &rms, l^ese tablelands are clothed throughout their 
vaat extent with the rich and luxuriant natural grasses of the 
country, and are roamed over by the fiooks and herds of some 
widely scattered sheep and cattle owners. And here, indeed, 
for many years to come, the squatter — ^that peculiar feature of 
AuBtralian settlement — will find a secure and ample stronghold, 
if forced to retire before the growing wave of more crowded 
centres of population. Nor can we conduct the reader to still 
more western regions, forming the third and last portion of our 
geographical sketch, without dwelling for a while on this marked 
and powerful characteristic of antipodean ooloniaation, pro- 
mising, as it now^ does, to contribute vast stores of wealth to the 

320 Queensland. Oct. 

colony of Queensland as a wool-growing country, and, more 
generally, lying at the very root of that most all-absorbing of 
colonial topics, the tenure of land. If the reader would seek 
some explanation of that strange cry of a mere handful of 
people, tninly sprinkled on the borders of a vast continent, for 
a little land to grow cabbages and potatoes, he must seek it in 
the hbtory of the Australian Squatter. 

The term is indeed to be found in the United States of 
America. Nor is the humble pioneer of American settlement, 
yielding to the ever-advancing tide of population, and con- 
structing some more distant ' dearing ' in the deeper depths of 
the primeval forest, without his influence in the peopling of 
those vast western regions. Yet the contrast is indeed 
curious between the American squatter and his Australian 
namesake. The former is poor and illiterate : the Australian 
squatter is wealthy, and, in nine cases out of ten, a scholar and 
a gentleman. The law scarcely deigns to recc^ise the small 
patch on which the American squatter raises com and vege- 
tables for the support of his family : the Australian squatter holds 
tracts as large as English counties, but is forbidden to break the 
sod. The very negro of the Southern States affects to despise 
the ' mean whites ' who ' locate,' in sufferance, on the borders 
of his master's vast domains. The Australian squatters com- 
pose the aristocracy of the land ; they have for years convulsed 
the whole structure of colonial society, they have driven ship- 
loads of fellow-colonists to seek more distant homes in climes 
far less favoured by nature, and they have continued, almost 
from their origin, to overawe the very Representative of the 
Crown. It the reader would trace the introduction of that 
curious American institution,' the stump-orator, into our 
Colonial Empire, — ^if he would inquire into the strange insecurity 
of Australian Treasury Benches, — ^if he wonders why each 
successive Ministry and each successive Parliament should so 
hopelessly toil over that Sisyphean stone, a * Land Bill,' — if he 
asks the meaning of those indignant demands, ' Unlock the 
' lands,' — he may find them all in the fierce strife which has 
now for some years been waged between the squatters and their 
fellow-colonists throughout the Australian settlements. How 
a few gentlemen, many of whom had passed from the Bucolics 
of Yirgil to the more practical, though equally peaceful, clipping 
of sheep, could effect all this, may be no uninteresting inquiry 
in connexion with those vast tracts of pastoral country to which 
our task has conducted us. 

That impure stream which flowed into Botany Bay from its 
opening as a convict depdt, continued, for several years, to deter 

1863. Queensland. 321 

any more eligible source of colonising its sunny shores. Each 
GK)yemor» indeed, generally succeeded in bringing out in his 
own ship a few of his family adherents or more humble fellow- 
townsmen. Yet, though a free passage and various other en- 
couragements were offered to all such persons, and though those 
who availed themselves of them rapidly rose to affluence, still the 
distance, then immense — a ship seldom making the voyage in 
less tlian six months — ^and, above all, the black pall of crime 
which hung over the new settlement in European eyes, made the 
number of these free settlers exceedingly limited. About the 
year 1821, however, Australian society began to be supplied 
from a widely different source. Unexpect^ discoveries in ex- 
ploration were then opening lai^ tracts in the more inland 
districts, scantily supplied with trees, but bearing natural crops 
of luxuriant ana most nutritious grasses. On these, sheep were 
fonnd to thrive wonderfully, and even to improve in their wooL 
The great salubrity of the climate, with, perhaps, the Arcadian 
beauty of the scenery — the failure in inducing agricultural 
labourers to emigrate to Australia — and the little prospect there 
was of a near market for perishable agricultural produce, pointed 
out these plains as natundly suitable for sheepwalks ; and into 
sheepwalks the Colonial Executive, under the guidance of 
Governor Brisbane, made an effort to turn them. A statement 
of their advantages was drawn up and sent home, free use of 
lands, proportioned in extent to the amounts of real and available 
capital to be used in stocking them, being offered to all intending 
sheep-farmers. The minimum sum was fixed at 5002., suffi-' 
dent proof of the possession of which was to be the sole condi- 
tion of the transfer of ' a run,' or sheep-station. Small as the 
sum was, it fixed, at an early period, the respectability of the 
dass which availed itself of the offer. Officers retirinc: from 
the army and navy, younger sons of wealthy and even titled fami- 
lies, university graduates who had not yet selected professions, 
with a sprinkling of those already dissatisfied with the professions 
they had selected, flocked into Sydney^ and began to compose 
chiefly the new Pastoral Tenants of the Crown — the term 
Squatter being then wholly unknown.* The Colonial Government 

* The term squatter was originally applied to a class of men — 
Donald Beans of the antipodes — who, chiefly escaped convicts and 
outlaws, dwelt on the outskirts of the runs of the more legitimate 
pastoral tenants of the Crowni and committed depredations on their 
sheep and cattle, thus accumulating flocks and herds of their own. 
When these tenants of the Crown lost their early popularity, the 
term was transferred to themselves, and gradually crept into tho 
phraseology of colonial legislative enactments. 


322 QueensloHd. Oct 

made no <lediioti(m fnTin ikm capital fSur tbe use of Ike land*^ 
nor was any leai charged until a later period; but tbe faaiib 
were still to be Crown lands, merely placed in the temporary 
possesGRon of ^e tenant, nntil needed for other public pvrpoeea. 
In other words, the Colonial Executive * kt the grase/ and made 
no chaise for tbe use of it 

A few years afterwards, this movement received a great and 
somewhat novel necession ^ strength. Among the pieiUiful osop 
of jointHstock companies which distinguished tbe first 4fKurttr ef 
the present century, there was one started in 1'825, under the name 
of the Australian Agricultural and Wool^growtng Company, 
which received a gmnt of a million of acres, in the immediate 
neighbeudiood of Sydney, from the imperial Govemment, add 
commenced opemtims under other and very attractive <mum- 
Btance& These operations necessitated, in the firat instance, 
the purchase of a large quantity of stock ; and tiie demand, 
arising unexpectedly among a small oommunity, faroed up the 
price of oattte and sheep to a most preposterous amount obeep 
which, in ordinary years — euch was the rapidity of their ninlti- 
plication — were worth little more thim the couple of pounds of 
wool on their backs*, suddenly rose to five guineas a head, and 
the pricesof horses and working ballocks xecerved a pw y ortionaL 
increase. Nevertheless, the raana<]:er and his agents, undaunted 
by such difficulti^, purchased all that came in their way. 
Though settlement ia the interior was still slow, the stapoit cff 
Sydney had already risen to the pnqx>rtions ef a large and 
' flourishing city, and the calculations put ferwaid by the new 
company were now more minutely examined by its ifftbabitanpts. 
If shareholders, residing at the other side of the globe, could 
find profit from an outlay at first appearance so extravagant, it 
was not vareasonable to svqppose that a private capitidist, snpen- 
intending bis own afiairs, might obtiiia equally favourable 
retuma A sheep and cattle mania seined the whdie popnlation 
of New South Wales. The citizens of Sydney walked about 
with their pockets stuffed with samfdes of odonial wools. 
Barristers, doctors, and even clergymen, fought in Ibe cattle- 
markets for the possession of a tottering calf or a broken-^need 
horse. Sheep became as valuable as Dutch tuUps, and sheep^ 
fiirming took the position of Boman usury. To possess ^ a run ' 

* The fleece of an Australian sheep weighs from two to three 
pounds, or little more than one-third that of the English Southdown. 
Whfle, however, the English fleece averages about one shilling per 
pound, that of Australia ranges from two shillings and sizpenoe to 
three shillings. 

1863. Qtteenslcmd. 323 

became the essential qtralification of every one aspiring to the 
rank of an Australian Gentleman. Kor, owing to the over- 
whelming pressure upon him, was the Governor long able to 
mamt^n the proposed condition of 500/. From 500f. it gra- 
dually dwindled to the more vague condition of ^sufficient 
•capital ; ' from sufficient capital it fell to the still more vague 
^eondition of 'Tespect ability.* It was loudly complained that 
<TOvemment officers and the personal friends of the Governor 
each possessed several runs in various separate districts ; wh3e 
the Govcmer himself Tvta subjected to insult and even violence, 
yn the public streets, from rejected daim^its for land. The 
gambling, too, quickly esctended from the sheep and cattle to 
tfie runs. Every available territory was soon appropriated, and 
the scene of each new discovery in exploration was overrun as 
quickly as it became known. 

With occasional interruptions from drought, disease, over- 
trading in paper currency, &c, the new sheep-farmers met with 
a success scarcely to be expected from the early rashness of 
their speculations. Sheep multiplied wonderfully ; their wool 
wtis eagerly sought in Europe, and fetched the highest price in 
the market ; and the nature of the country rendered necessary 
no preliminary, and very little current, expense. Indeed, we 
may learn somewhat of the profits of this pursuit from one 
of the earliest debates in the new Parliament of Queent»land. 
On a motion to raise the Govemor^s salary from 2,500f., as 
originally proposed by the Secretary of State, to 4,000?., a 
member observed that * 2,500£. a year was only equal to the 
^ income of a second-rate squatter.' The new class, too, which 
tfnis so rajwdly overran the Australian colonies, was composed 
erf' men of considerable energy and intelligence, untiring in their 
efforts to forward their interests, and ever ready and wiHing 
to fight their own battles against the landless classes which were 
now beginning to grow on Anstratian soil. But, above all, 
their education naturally brought tliem to form an overwhelming 
portion, if not the whole, of each of the various * nominee* 
councils and legislative assembfies which assisted the Colonial 
Governors up to the formation of Australian representative 
constitutions in later years. The rapid growth of so powerful 
a class, practically holding every known territory, necessitated 
the issue of various * squatting regulations' from time to time. 
By these, the squatter was to hold his run under a yearly 
licence ; he was to be limited to the possession of one single 
nan, proportifoiied in extent to the number of his stock — a 
regulation, however, which was notoriously set at nought, 
many persons holding several runs in various districts, and all 

324 Queensland. OcL 


runs being vastly larger than the anoiount of stock on them 
absolutely required. He was also to pay a yearly licence-fee 
of 10/. — a merely nominal sum, as, in many instances, it did 
not amount to the tithe of a farthing per acre. Indeed, the 
liberality with which the public domain was appropriated to 
this, the only landholding class, was extravagant in the extreme. 
It was asserted that ten acres were necessary to the support of 
each sheep ; and, though it has since been abundantly demon* 
strated that sheep can thrive on less than one acre per head, 
yet instances were rare indeed in which the squatter, had not 
a very agiple margin for the future multiplication of his flocks. 
When it is borne in mind that the squatter numbers his sheep 
by fifties and even hundreds of thousands, some idea may be 
formed of the vast principalities passing under the humble 
appellation of ' runs.' 

let the squatters were by no means satisfied with their many 
advantages, and their efforts with the Imperial Government to 
obtain more firm possession of the public domain were unceas- 
ing. They complained that their tenure was insecure — that 
they were denied the ordinary advantages of traders and 
capitalists in pledging their holdings as security in the purchase 
of stock, the raising of loans, and other means of improving the 
position of themselves and the Australian colonies — that they 
had no inducement to execute various desirable improvements on 
their runs — and that they were even debarred from developing 
the agricultural and mineral resources of the land.* These argu- 
ments, skilfully and persistently urged, were not without their 
effect on the Home Grovemment, and at length, in 1846, resulted, 
to the astonishment of the Australian Colonies, and somewhat 
to the surprbe of the squatters themselves, in the famous Orders 
in Council. These Orders may be summed up in two most 
important concessions to the squatters. Their tenure from year 
to year was to be changed into Crown leases of fourteen years* 
duration, renewable at the option of the Colonial Governors 
— which meant, of course, their own option ; and they were 
to possess a Pre-emptive Bight entitling them to purchase 
the fee-simple of the whole or any portion of their runs at the 
fixed price o£ \L per acre. It is almost imnecessary to draw 
attention to the immense importance of these changes. Vir- 
tually, they handed over the Australian Colonies to a mere 
handful of gentlemen farmers. Yet the Home Government 

* For a more detailed enumeration of the arguments of the 
squatters, see * Petition to Queen and Parliament of Pastoral Asso- 
* ciation of New South Wales 1844.' 

1863. Queensland. 325 

was not without its show of argument against the charge of a 
too ready compliance. Wool had become the staple commodity 
of the Australian Colonies^ and wool-growers were^ beyond dis- 
pute, the leading and most successful class of colonists. Commis- 
sions (unfortunately for the argument, appointed by squatters 
and composed of squatters) had pronounced the Australian lands 
unfit for any other purpose, ' and not worth the smallest coin 
' in the realm per acre.' It was, too, carefully kept from the 
knowledge of the British Ministers that the claims of the squat- 
ters had already begun to excite strong indignation among their 
fellow-colonists, whom they hemmed in within a few towns, and 
whose want of success they turned into a very plausible argu- 
ment in their own favour. But, aboye all, the gold, which was 
to mark a new era in the world's settlement, still lay imdis- 
turbed in the Califomian millstream. 

Yet we cannot but think that even then the Australian 
Colonies promised a brigh'ter future than the Home Govern- 
ment thus marked out for them. So certainly it appeared to 
the Australian Governors, who received these Orders in Council 
with dismay, and hesitated from month to month ere they issued 
the fourteen years' leases which their tenor imposed upon 
them. Indeed, these leases have never been issued up to the 
present day, though the terms of the Orders leave no doubt but 
that the squatters were legally entitled to them. More mature 
reflection and personal inquiry convinced the Governors that 
their issue, without any sufficient provision for the growing 
wants of the agricultural and small-farmer class, would raise a 
storm of opposition, if not an actual rebellion, throughout their 
vice-royalties ; and while they temporised with the squatters, 
and expostulated, in a necessarily tedious correspondence, with 
the Home Government, the Califomian discoveries of 1849 
took place, and were followed by Mr. Hargreave's announce- 
ment of gold on Bathurst Plains. Of the thousands who daily 
poured into the ports of Sydney and Melbourne — most, indeea, 
to dig for gold, but all with some ulterior hope of obtiuning 
tiiat desire of iJie human breast, a freehold home —few were 
prepared for the astounding discovery that the whole of the 
Australian Colonies were held in firm possession by the squat- 
ters and their flocks. The discovery, when it was made, was 
not without imminent danger to the peace and order of that 
portion of the British Empire; though it is no small proof of 
the fitness of the Australian colonists for their most liberal 
powers of self-government, that the long and tedious struggle 
on which they then entered has been conducted on strictly 
oonstitutional principles. Gt>ld-digging, though not unprofit* 

a26 Qfuensland. OcL 

able during its earlier years, was soon ibnnd to be a laborious 
and peculiarlj comfortless eoyployraent. Thousands of di^ersy 
who had saved some two or three hundred pounds apiece at the 
mines, sought to purchase farms and to become permanent colo- 
nist& But there was no land to be had* Many left the shores 
of Australia, and obtained what they sought under the more 
fortunate land-laws of the United States of America. Many 
drank themselves to death. Many listened to the windy orators 
who harangued them from every stump and market-{^ace, and 
overlooked bad grammar and worse logic in a keen sense of 
their own injury. The efforta of the various new represents- 
tive Colonial Parliaments were incessant to remedy so un- 
satisfactory a state of things. Laad Bill after Land Bill was 
introduced, discussed, and q^uashed. Ministry after Ministry 
took the helm, and abandoned it in despair. The ^s^uattixig 
' members ' in the House (whose constituencies consisted of 
little nK>re than themselves and theiif shepherds) uwsted on the 
fulfilment of ^ their rights;^ the anti-squatters insisted that 
hanging was too good for t^em. It is almost incBedible that 
the fourteen years originally named in the Orders in Council 
dragged their slow length along without one single Land Bill for 
the sale and settlement of the waste lands of the colonies making 
its way successfully through any one of the new Colonial Par- 
liaments. In the meanthne the varioue Executives did almost 
nothing, hoping that each proposed measure would confer ^n 
them more ample powers. The original land regulations did, 
indeed, enable the Governor to enter on a squatter's vnufor 
public purposes ; and this provision was made use of in the coi^ 
struction of roads and townships, and, though to a much mom 
limited extent ^ in the proclamation of building and suburban allot- 
ments opened for public salt. Miserable as was the driblet of 
land which this occasionally brought into the market, its benefits 
were much restricted. The squatter could tdways avail himself 
of his pre-emptive right, if he had the money. And, where 
the land came into the market, the Government were strictly 
obliged to sell by auction, at an upset price not lower than \L 
per aere. Practically^ tl)ere£bre> pre-emptive right, competition, 
and the extseme hesitation with which Government availtd 
itself of a provision by no means clearly worded (and, indeed,, 
pressing most nnequally on individual squatters), raised the 
price of building and suburban allotments to extravagant 
amounts, and aU but excluded snudl farms and country kome«^ 
steads from the soiL The position of the Australian colonists 
during those years, more especially as regards the great oentres 
of population assembled on the vsvious gold-fields of New South 

1S«3. ^ietndamd. 327 

Wdes and Vietoris, was most unsstisiactory. In a conntry 
praetieally bounifleee in its snpply of exeelleiit land, the gold- 
field'b digger, shopkeeper, or mechanic could not obtain the 
smdlest patch to cultivate a few vegetables for himself or his 
familj ; and if his horse strayed a few yards from his tent, it was 
impounded by the neighbouring squatter. 

But» indeed, these evils were not by any means restricted to 
more crowded localities, but spread tfiemselves throughout th^ 
whole of the Austndian Colonies. And, to cosfine ourselves 
more perticulariy to the colony of Queensland, we extract the 
following remarks of Dr. Lang, suggested during a visit made 
to some of its districts most &vouied by nature, no longer ago 
than 1856. They will serve to show that these evils had already 
extended themselves to territories whose vast extent would seem 
to set all land difficulties at defiance. 

* One should have theagbt that^ with so numereos a population as 
there has been for so many years past on the Lower Richmond aiMi 
Nor^ Ann, some interest would have been .taken by a paternal 
Grovemment [that of New South Wales, Queensland b^ng then its 
Moreton Bay dependeney] in their welfare, and some effc^s made for 
their social advancement. Here were hundreds of people, many of 
them earniDg for years together from 5L to 7/. a week, and not a 
few of them with wives and children, leading a sort of vagabond 
Irfe, like gipsies, in this naturally rich district. Surely, in such cir- 
cmnstHBces, the first duty of a government would have been to 
provide these people with the first requisite of civilisation — a home 
— by laying off townships f(»r them in suitable locaHtics, and holding 
out to them the opportuoity of purchasing town and suburban allots 
ments, and of thereby settling themselves as reputable and industrious 
citiaens, bringing up their families like a civilised and Christian people. 
A surveyor might have done aU this in a few months, and his 
surveys of particular towns and villages might easily have been 
wrought into a more general survey at any time thereafter. What, 
then, will be thought of the absentee Government of the Richmond 
Biver District wh^i I state it as a positive fact that up to the 
period of my visit to the Richmond Rtver, in the month of August 
1656, there had never been one town or suburban allotment sold on 
the rivor ? Land for purehase had been applied for, both by squattevs 
under their pre-emptive r^lits, and bf tiia better class of cedar* 
cutters, for many years past ; but to no purpose. Not one town 
allotment was sold, not one acre of land was measured, for years and 
years in succession ! And what has been the consequence ? Why, 
hundreds of people who would gladly have purchased town allo^ 
ments and bailt good houses for their families if they could, and 
hundreds of others who would have purchased small portions of land 
to rear a few head of cattls or a horse w two for their househelds, 
were dkaied every opportunity of doing ao^ and, as their oaly resoorae 
ia the eiroumstaaces, were dri/ren perfime to the p«blie4ioa0e, to 

328 Queensland. Oct. 

expend their earnings there in riotous dissipation, and to reduce 
their wiTes and families to misery and ruin. Cases of this kind — of 
cedar-cutters who had saved up one, two, three, and even five hun- 
dred pounds, and who in a fit of desperation had spent the whole 
of it in the public-house — were mentioned to me as having been of 
frequent occurrence ; and a respectable inhabitant of the district 
mentioned to me the case of a person who had saved up eight hundred 
pounds in this way, and had spent the whole of it at one bout of 
frenzied dissipation, simply because he could get no opportunity of 
purchasing even a town allotment in the district, and because the 
squatter on whose run he had erected his hut had been threatening 
to dispossess him as a trespasser/ 

We are happy to state that, owing to more improved land 
regulations, to which we shall presently revert, no less than four 
townships have been thrown open within this district on the Lower 
Richmond, and, under a more healthy system, we may naturally 
expect it to assume those evidences of progress so favourably 
described by Sir George Bowen in his late visit to the Dariing 
Downs, as already transferred to our pages. Indeed, more 
generally, our task in thus sketching this curious episode in the 
history of Australian colonisation would be but an ungracious 
one were we not also able to add the steps which are now 
being taken to bring the squatter element within more moderate 
bounds, and to facilitate the more permanent settlement of all 
classes on the lands. To the new Parliament of Queensland is 
due the merit of having first carried a Land Bill successfully 
through its several stages. The new Land Act of Queensland, or 
rather Acts (for the whole subject affecting the occupation and 
purchase of Crown lands is dealt with in four separate measures), 
received the royal assent in September, 1860. And, as the 
example of Queensland was soon followed by similar measures of 
the other Australian Parliaments, it may not be uninteresting to 
examine the position of ' the Land Question,' at the present mo- 
ment, throughout the Australian continent. It will be borne in 
mind that aU Acts of the parent colony of New South Wales are 
in force throughout each Australian colony until repealed by its 
own Parliament; and also that, under the Constitution granted to 
each of these colonies, the Crown transferred all ownership in the 
soil to the colonists themselves. In using the term * Crown lands,' 
therefore, we apply the shortest, as hitherto the more general 
name, to all Australian soil undiscovered, lying absolutely waste, 
or occupied by squatters, in contradistinction to all portions of 
the public domain already sold, or otherwise alienated, to private 
individuals. We may also state that, while the extreme squatter 
party demanded the complete fulfilment of the Orders in Council, 
the extreme opposite party of anti-squatters insisted on the 

1863. Queensland. 329 

right of all oolonistfi to free selection from Crown lands prior 
to their actual sarvey hj the Government, at a fixed price per 
acre. These remarks may enable the reader to see with what 
success the several colonies have now endeavoured to steer a 
mean course between two parties which, for some years, com- 
prehended almost every Australian colonist. 

The chief features of the Queensland Acts may be thus 
summed up. The Orders in Council are repealed. All land 
open for purchase must be previously surveyed, and delineated 
on the public maps of the colony. The auction system, with 
its upset price of 1/. per acre, is still allowed to be in force. 
But — and here is the distinguishing feature of these regula- 
tions — from the auction system are excluded certfun agri- 
cultural reserves, which the Grovemment is to proclaim in all 
suitable places, at its discretion — with a guarantee, however, 
that half the extent of each reserve shall be continuously kept 
in excess of the demand ; such reserves being, of course, pro- 
claimed over runs, waste lands, and generally wheresoever 
population may show a tendency to' extend itself. On these 
reserves the intending settler may purchase farms of from 40 
to 320 acres, at a fixed price of 1/. per acre; the purchaser of 
each farm being allowed to rent a contiguous allotment of three 
times its extent at 6d. per acre, with right to purchase such 
allotment, at 1/. per acre, within five years. In general, there- 
fore, the agricultural farmer can rent land at something equiva- 
lent to 5s, per acre, and purchase it at IL per acre. Subject to 
these chances of dispossession, the squatters are thus dealt with. 
Squatters actually in occupation shall obtain leases of five years' 
duration, at a yearly rent to be fixed by valuation. Where 
such valuation is objected to, the vacated run is to be let to the 
highest bidder at public auction, the new lessee paying over 
(through the medium of the Treasury) to the outgoing occupant 
the value of all actual and real improvements, under Govern- 
ment appraisement. Squatters taking up new runs, in outlying 
or unexplored districts, are to be allowed leases of fourteen 
years' duration. These new runs are not to be less than 
25 square miles, nor greater than 100 square miles in extent, 
and they are to be subjected to the yearly rent of lOs, per square 
mile (640 acres) fbr the first four years, with a slight increase 
during the succeeding years. As a strong counterbalance, how- 
ever, the squatters lose all power of pre-emptive right, which is 
now wholly abolished within the colony of Queensland. Besides 
these provisions for the agricultural classes, each immigrant, 
unless arriving at the expense of the colony, receives a land 
order entitling him to a free grant of 30 acres. British scddiers 

and 8ailo» ase also entitled to land •Mkra of 50 aeies apieee ; 
and cemfniRaioaed officers of tlie British amy and navj coo^ 
tiDue ta receive the same renyaeioA (one-third) of purchaae«^ 
money originally established under the <M colony of New Sooth 
Wales^ but sinoe abolished in it and its other offahootsu 

The neighbouring cdLooies of New South Wales and VictoriA 
succeeded in passing nearly similar Acts shortly afterwaids. The 
colony of South Australia had, with her foundation, introduced 
a somewhat more liberal land system ; while the exodus whick 
took place from her territories during the earlier period of the 
g(»ld discoveries relieved her from aU pressure for some years. 
More lately, the large tracts tfasown open within her boundaries 
by recent ezploratieiis have given a very eoesiderable impetus 
to squatting pursuits; and the South Australian squatter still 
continues, to a great extent, to enjoy, with the free consent of 
his fellow-colonists^ the easy regulations of the old colony of 
New South Walesycre 'Free Selection before Survey' came 
to be ag^ted by its landless cksses. The colony of Weetem 
Australia, however, stands alone for its rigid maintenance of 
the squatting syuitm in all its early arrogance, and this huge 
wilderness^ with an area of a miUion square miles, and its 
handiiil of squatters and their convict stockmen, still oontinnes 
to be locked up to all intending purchasers. 

To sum up, then, the present position of the land question 
throughout the whde of these colonies. The vpset price of 
land has been maintained at 1/. per aere throughout the whole 
continent* The auction system has been abolished throughout 
New South Wales^ Victoria, and, practically, in Queenfibnd ; 
and the intendmg purchaser is subject to no competition. In 
these colonies, a supply of agricultural land, probably sufficient 
for several years to come, is now fJaeed in the market. The 
tendency of legislation has been (1.) to exact from the squatters 
aretum, in the shape of rent, or assessment on stock, more com- 
mensunate with the value of their rune; and (2) to confer on. them 
a security of tenure incieasing with their distaaee firom the chief 
centres of population. Both tiiese elements are conducing to 
the ocmipancy of large tracts of more distant and nnezpkured 
country by this dass of settlers ; and, genemlly, the termination 
of this long strife appease to have given a very eonaiderable 
stimulus to squatting pursiuts, while relieving the more crowded 
dbtriets of their pressiurcL Thus a method of relief while 
donbtless pressing with great and unequal sefrerity on indrvid&al 

• In the United States it is a ^llar ; in Canada from two to six 
aUlBiga; in New /laaland ten sinllings. 

1£63. Qu^mslaakL SSI 

sqpiatters whose runs happen to oome wilhiit the oompMs ef 
lands proclaimed for sale^ ia not wkha«kl Us advantage in giTiag 
increased attraction to outlying di«trieiii and jb thus eonducing 
to interior coloniaatioa by theae pioneani of Auatralian settle- 
oaent. • 

Descending now from these Taat tabk*Iand8» we dntt 
endeavour briefly to place before the reader the veauks of kte 
explorations within the tract lyiag between the western ^pe 
of this elevated plateau and the I^th neridian (the western 
boundary of the colony )» forming the third aad last portion of 
Queensland territory. Our late review of Australian ExpUcatioiL* 
will have enabled our readers to follow in the course of the inceB« 
sant efforts — under Sturt, Mitchell^ Leiohhardt^aiid Gregory — 
of which this and the more w^est^m regtona, formtng Central 
Australia^ have been the field, coaeluding with theaimoltaneoiHi 
expeditions of Mr. Stuart and Messrs. Burke and Wills* Imme- 
diately after the return of Mr. Stuart, tho three colonies of flotrth 
Aubtndia, Victoria, and QueenshuicC alarmed for tba mfety of 
Messrs. Burke and Wills, despatohed three independent expe* 
ditione in search of them. Mr. Wsdker's p«rty started from 
Port Curtisj and, creasing ov«r the Great OMist Bange, enteved 
the tract we are now examining, and sncceMfully crossed 
through to the shores of the Gulf i^' Carpentania. Ab:. Landfr- 
borough, about the same time, left the akoree of the Gnlf, and, 
descending through the whole of the tract, reached its southern 
boundary in June, 1862. And Mr. McKinlay, Btartiog from 
the north of the Torrena Basin, entered it from the south- 
west, and was equally successful in effecting a northern passage, 
returning in the following August. Thus, strangdy enough, a 
region which for years had de£ed the attacks of such pevsisten^ 
and daring explorers as Sturt, MiteheU, and Leichhardt, was 
crossed, almost simultaneously, by no lets tkan five sepande 
and wholly independent routes. More straingefy, and omre 
lamentably, ere any of the aearehing parties had left their starts 
ing-points, Messrs. Barke and Wills had alreadj solved the 
great problem of crossing the ccmtinent, and had returned te 
their depot to find it abandoned by those thej had left in charge 
of it The informatioh collected by these thsee searchmg par- 
ties will, of course, need nuioh further addition eve we can learn 
the more full capabilkies of this bage tract of country; but 
there iaaloeady sufficient to guide us to a rough sketch. It is 
certain that Stmrt'^ desert does, not exi«id much further than 
his extreme point ia 1845 (lat. 26°), and that 'm ks iamediate 

• Edinburgh Review, No. ccxxxv., July, 1862. 

332 Queefuland. Oct. 

yidnity there are numeroos and apparently permanent fresh- 
water lakes. And though worthless tracts of country occa- 
sionally recur — in far smaller, however, and less rude patches 
—yet the whole territory promises to be a valuable addition to 
the pastoral r^ons of the continent, interspersed even with 
excellent agricultural districts. None of it would appear to 
attain to the elevation of the table-lands on the summit of the 
Coast Range, though the mean depression of the interior is 
by no means so low as had been previously supposed, and is 
considerably relieved by the occurrence of short, and apparently 
imconnected, ranges of hills. If a conjecture might be hazardea, 
in the present supply of information, we should attribute the 
gradual formation of this whole tract of country to the action 
of the numerous streams descending down the western slope of 
the Oreat Coast Range, and depositing portions of its detached 
soil on an original foundation of sandy desert. Indeed, Sturt 
himself regarded his Stony Desert as the vast bed of some 
watercourse, filled at certain seasons of the year with a torrent 
so strong as to carry all detritus over its natural pavement, and 
to deposit it further in the interior. The Mud and Clay Plains, 
and tracts .'resembling boundless ploughed fields on which floods 
' had settled and subsided,' would seem to indicate portions of 
this territory more slow in their formation. Each stream and 
rivulet, too, when followed down, was found to expend itself on 
wide grassy plains, while its banks, raised high above the sur- 
rounding country, served to show its method of protruding itself 
through the soil. Indeed, the distance to which some of those 
streams have crept into the interior is wonderful, considering how 
frequently they exhibit every indication of exhaustion. The 
Victoria, or Cooper's Creek, has been followed for 1,500 miles ; 
and though it reaches at length within a few miles of the sea, it 
does not effect any junction with it ; and some of the fertilised 
districts which it leaves behind it in its course are of very cond- 
deraUe extent. As an immense network of streams descends 
into the interior down the slopes of the Coast Bange, and 
as no outlet has hitherto been discovered, the evaporation must 
be enormous. But, indeed, the whole of this extensive tract 
presents many subjects of curious inquirv. At present, we must 
rest satisfied with the assurance that it contains many lai^e 
districts suitable for the pasturing of sheep and cattle ; and that, 
should the squatter ever nave to retire from the vast table-lands 
of the Great Coast Range, we may here calculate on new 
and extensive fields for the growth of wool With which, we 
may here conclude our geographical sketch of Queensland 

1863. Queef island, 333 

With these numerouB and varied advantages of soil and climate, 
we should feel fully justified in anticipating for this young 
colony a great and distinguished position among the new settle- 
ments of the globe. They combine, indeed, almost every natural 
facility that is to be found within the temperate and tropical 
zones with a fertility and readiness of adaptation which seem 
peculiar to the Australian continent But we have not yet 
brought the account to a close. It is not at all improbable but 
that Queensland may, in addition, help us to the solution' of a 
social problem of great and pressing importance. It is asserted 
that Sugar, Tobacco, and Cotton, the three great slave- 
grown articles of commerce, can be safely and proS;ably culti- 
vated by Europeans on these shores of the Pacific ; and when 
we consider the very lai^e extent of territory lying within the 
influence of the Great Coast Range, said to be free from the 
evils of other tropical and semi-tropical climates, the statement 
is not unworthy of careful examination. 

With respect to salubrity, the case would appear to stand 
greatiy in favour of Queensland. Queensland and Egypt oc- 
cupy similar positions respectively on the southern and northern 
tropics ; but while the Valley of the Nile necessarilv presents a 
concave surface, the whole eastern coast of Austraha id convex 
throughout its extent, the greater portion of territory lying 
some 2,000 feet above sea-level. This elevation greatiy moderates 
the heat of the tropical sun, while the surface of the soil is 
further cooled by a very large rainfall, reaching as high as 
forty-three inches annuaUy (or nearly double that of London), 
and by the prevalence of cool sea-breezes during the night. 
Notwithstanding these advantages, however, the midday heat of 
the sun is somewhat unpleasantly warm, during the summer 
months, for field labour. No injurious effects, however, have as 
yet been traced to it. Indeed, the entire work of the colony — 
almost wholly, of course, out-of-door work — and of the Moreton 
Bay settiement while for many years it was a dependency of 
New South Wales, has been carried on by Europeans without 
the least appearance of unhealthy results. On this subject. 
Dr. Lang writes: — 

'In regard to the ability of Europeans generally to stand field 
labour of any kind with impunity in the climate of Queensland, I 
was enabled, from having visited Moreton Bay repeatedly in the 
months of November and December, the hottest season of the year, 
to form a pretty correct judgment on the subject from my own feel- 
ings and observation. At that season, therefore, I found European 
carpenters, bricklayersi and other handicraftsmen, whose occupations 
required them to be much in the sun, pursuing their accustomed 

Queenshmd. Oct 

labonrs just as tiiey-do kt- ^imej. On con^6r0isg*w{t1i some df^hem 
wIm had been £»r ^wavs in Ntw Sou^ Wales, tb«y told roe tbey^ knew 
no difference in the cliraale, aa fer a» their abiiily to {nirsue their 
usual occupations was coneemed, from that ef Sjrdnej and Hmter^e 
Elver ; while others admitted that thej felt it hot at first, but soon 
got used to it, and the heat did them no harm. I found a vespeotaUe 
^rmer's sons regularly at the plough, whenever the weather, which 
was very much broken at the time from the commencement of the 
rains, permtited tbera, in l^e middle of December ; and they told me 
they eoukl work as freely aed with quite as Cttie risk in the open 
air at their station, m iatitode 27^, «e they eoald in any part of the 
old colony.' 

To whklh we may add the following testimony of Dr* Bartoa, 
House- Surgeon of the Brisbane Hospital and Metearologicai 
Observer to the Queensland Govemotenti — 

' The dimate of this colony Is salvbriotis and very favoarable to 
the European constitution. Peraona, particaku-ly, who have arrived 
at or passed the middle age in the mane tshospitaMe climate of 
Britain, often have their health aad vigour aurprtsingiy renewed ia 
this genial climate. Instances of persons arriving at great age are 
common, persons nearly or quite one hundred years eld being not 
unfrequently met with, and these generally retauning an amooni of 
strewgth and activity to the last.* 

Indeed) aa a move general testisony of the aaiobrity of the 
Australian CohHiieB^ we give the adbjobied illuetratioo of the 
mean average mortality of bodiea of nsen eubjeet to the eame 
duties, discipline, and jregulations. The mean avenge mortality ' 
of British troofps has now atood for several years at 10 per cent, 
in Bome of the West India IsbHsde; in Jaitoaica, it reaches as 
high as 14? per 1,000; wktte^ throu^ovt the AuetraKaii 
etalions, it fi^as low as 15 per 1,000. While, tlierefore, field 
work is not mnacoompanied with aeme personal incoovenieBce 
during midday of the summer mentfas, eapeeially to immigrantB 
more newly arrived within the eolony,tliere would appear to be 
an entire absence of any mere aeriena or detrimental efiecta on 
the European frames aick tax on the conatitntion being amply 
compensated for by cool nights, and the dry and braoing 
character of the atmosphere. 

Nor are the soil and climate of the colony leaa &vonjrabIe to 
the growth of these articles of eommeitte than to hmaan lifia* 
Indeed, tobacco is aa indigeooiaa prodoot ef ike Anstraiian 
oontineat. plant, ef gr«ai ru»»i«oe fceiog feand aknj? the 
banks of a(une of the New South Wales rivers, as also in 
Queendand. Its cofciTation has already been tried to aome 
extent in Queenslattd^ and the manufactured product has been 

18S3. Quemdmtd. 335 

pronounoed s^Msrior to the American artide. Similar «xperi- 
menta h%vm been tried 00 tbe sogar-eaae^ on a eomewhat more 
extended scaler On the Clarenoe Bivet, two degrees souA of 
Brisbane, tbe canes have yielded four ions of sugar to tbe acre. 
At Bric^ane itself^ three tons have been fN^ooared from the aicve; 
■and at Ckv^and, a x«j^ar sagar phmtatien, eontainiag 'fifteen 
acres, is now oa tiie point of raalnrHy. But as eettlememt will 
advance to Wide Bajr, Pert Cwrtis, and Boekbampton^ it <is 
aonticipated that tliese more tropical reg^s will be rottnd eiMm 
better adapted to its suoceBsiM e«lti^«tioa, far which llanf 
possess extensive traeto of suitable eeil. 

6ef<M%, he^^ever, examiniog the fitness of Qoeensland for the 
cnltav^ition of the third and meet important product of eoknired 
labour, it may be as well to say a few worids on ihe generd 
ooDipetition of white kbour with coloured labour, as bean- 
ing OB the profitable o^ivaition of sugar and tobaooo. Doubt- 
le^, at first view, the impression nriees that the employer of 
wiiite laboor is unfairly matched agjtinst negro or coolie ooi»- 
potition. Hitherto it has been exceedingly difficult to bring 
the matter to a practical test In colder ktitudes, it is tttie, 
BO description of Afriean or Astatic labour has ever been able 
to maintain ground against European competition; but then, it 
may be argued, these races are unable to withstand the rigofmr 
of the North. CVa the other hand, a Eoropean out«of-door 
labourer in the Scmthem States of America, the West Indies^ 
tiie Mauritius, Ceylon, or India, woaid be worth little <yr 
nothing to his employer, and w^ould most certakily undermine 
his own health. Perhaps t^ gold^mining Austndian eolotties 
ofier the nearest example of a hk test There are now about 
100,000 Chinese on tiie gold-fields of Victoria and New Sooth 
Wales, all qvite wUKng to hire themselves out as labourera at 
wages far below the E^aropean rate. Yet, though the Ekiropeaa 
sate is as high as 3iL and 4/. per week, and though minii^ 
operations are, of late years, almost adi oonducted by tiveans -of 
hired lateur, it is a most rare occurrence to fad a Chyiese in 
European employment, and then only in seme l^fat and eubsi- 
diary occupation. They are to some greater extent enployed 
by the Yiotorian and New Soadi Wales farmers and squattem 
fi^r shephofds and fa r m -e eivants , though this arises chiefly from 
the scarcity of European labour in the coaatry dietriels ; and at 
harvest-*time Enn^Mane are procured at any price. These Ohi- 
aese are abort, stout, aotrre neo, temperate in their habks^ 
intelligent, and greedy of English money. They are capable 
of a much greater amount of sostnned bbour than either nqproes 
or coolies, yet their infiuence on the European labour-market 

336 Queensland. Oct. 

is scarcely appreciable. These and other instances afford a 
strong presumption that free, well-fed, high-priced English 
labour is, under fair circumstances of competition, more profit- 
able to the employer than nominally cheap African and Asiatic 
labour.* It is certain, too, that coloured labour has been un- 
favourable to the introduction and developement of machinery, 
the most profitable of all labour. Indeed, this receives a curious 
illustration in the case of the sugar-cane. No two processes 
could be kept more perfectly distinct than those of cane-grow- 
ing and sugar-making. Excluding the requirements of coloured 
labour, there is no more necessity for combining them than for 
combining on one farm the business of the wheat-grower, the 
miller, and the baker. The economy resulting from a division 
of labour in this case has been repeatedly urged on the planters 
of the West Indies and the Mauritius ; but as coloured labour, 
to be rendered available, must be kept iminterruptedly employed, 
the sugar-grower is still obliged to be alternately a farmer and 
a manufacturer. In the Brazils, too, the process of sugar- 
making has not advanced beyond the rudest application of the 
water-wheel and hand-labour, though a more economical system 
of steam machinery is quite as applicable to cane-crushing and 
sugar-refining as to corn-grinding and sifting. Queensland 
seems peculiarly fitted for the production of this ^reat article 
of commerce on more advantageous principles. The cane has 
been found to thrive excellently in the immense tract lying 
between the Pacific and the Coast Range : indeed, a lai^er 
and, it is asserted, a more profitable description of cane is indi- 
genous to some of the islands off the coast, and can be procured 
with little difficulty. The small farmer can grow his 'cane 
'patch' with less outlay of time and money than is expended on 
a similar plot of wheat or potatoes, the roots lasting for several 
years, and nothing being necessary beyond an occasional hoeing 
until the shoots are cut in October. Here it is possible, as it is 
certainly desirable, that his labours should cease as a sugar-maker 
— the. uninterrupted succession of the seasons, as the various 
productions of temperate and tropical zones come to maturity, 
enabling him to combine cane-growing with other agricultural 
pursuits. With a sufficient supply of such cane-growers, pri- 

• The reader, too, who would more generally follow out the sturdy, 
dogged, beef-eating English labourer in his competition with other 
European labour, will find much to interest him in Mr. Senior's ex- 
cellent treatise on Political Economy, under the heading of * ATerage 
* Bates of Wages/ and more especially in the evidence collected by 
Parliamentary committees and quoted there. 

1863. Queensland. 337 

yate enterprise would quicklj establish supcar-mills ; the Aus- 
tralian colonist being no whit behind the Yankee in his love of 
' speculation/ and the quantity of money lying in the Austra- 
lian banks, and awaiting 'openings/ being unprecedentedly large 
in proportion to the population. Not to talk of the immense 
European trade in this article, the 1,200,000 Australians — 
themselves great consumers of sugar — would afford no bad 
market at starting. The ordinary ' rations/ issued to all shep- 
herds, stockmen, and * Bush hands,' throughout these colonies, 
includes three pounds of sugar per week ; and if we suppose it 
to be not much above the ordinary consumption, which affluence 
has made somewhat extravagant, there is already a local demand 
of close on 100,000 tons annually. The reader will find some 
further information on this subject in Dr. Lang's work ; and 
we shall here conclude with his remark on the separate erection 
of sugar-mills as a profitable undertaking: — 'In short, I am 

* quite confident there is no speculation which at this moment 
' would be attended with less risk, or would offer a more certain 

* prospect of success, than the one of which I have thus sketched 

* out the details.' 

Nearly similar remarks will apply to indigo (also indigenous 
to the soil*), arrow-root, tea, coffee, ginger, all of which have 
been already tried in Queensland, and found to thrive re- 
markably well. Indeed, with regard to almost all the pro- 
ductions of slave labour, and those from which the nature of 
tropical climates has hitherto excluded Europeans, it may be 
confidently asserted that an opportunity is now offered in 
Queensland of bringing white labour into competition for the 
markets of Europe, under peculiarly promising, and, indeed, 
elsewhere unattainable, conditions. With regard to tea, the 
Director of the Queensland Botanical Gardens, in his Annual 
Report, dated July, 1862, writes: — * This experiment, in con- 
' nexion with the tea plant, is the largest which has been made 
* in any of the Australian Colonies. The result proves the per- 
' feet adaptation of our soil and climate to the successful culti- 
' vation of this product.' 

But curiosity with regard to this very important experiment 

• Indeed, the indigo plant would have furnished us with an 
equally curious illustration of the rude and elementary state in which 
coloured labour keeps machinery, and mechanical appliances in 
general. The Indian coolie still descends up to his neck in the 
indigo vat, and triturates and stirs up the heavier portions from the 
bottom by the action of bis feet, though there can scarcely be a doubt 
but that, under white labour, steam machinery could be brought to 
bear on the process in a quicker and cheaper manner. 


338 QueensiancL Oct. 

will, at the present momentj naturally centre itedf in Cottov. 
And it may not be uninterestiog to the reader to lay before' 
him the actual pnospeots of Que^island asta £eld for its pvodiM- 
tion. It had been ascertioned for several years that a variety 
of the cotton plant, known as the Sea Island cotton, was 
a^Ule of being ocdtivated with great auocess in the Mcnreton 
Bay settlement : indeed, this variety of cotton, if not indigo-* 
nous to the Australian continent, as there is reason to suppose, 
is fixind in great luxuriance on some of the islands adjoining the 
mainland. It was also^ascertained that the shrubs contiimed to 
imfMrove up to their third and fburih year after planting, therebj 
effecting a considerable saving ever the American plantationa, 
where they are obliged to be renewed every year. Sam|^ of 
tills cotton were, from time to time, and as eariy as 1846, ssb- 
mitted to Manchester firms, and were most highly spoken of, 
their market value betng esddnated at from Is. to Is. 3d, and 
even 2s. per pound — the common 'New Orleans' variety then 
fetching about 6d. But it was not until 1858 that Anstialian 
cotton made its appearance in Liverpool as an artide of com- 
merce. It then realised }s. 9d. per pound. 

* I saw at once,' says Mr. Bazley, M.P. for Manchester, in a speech 
delivered on the ' subject of cotton-growth, * that, with such vastly 
superior cotton, jwm could be prodaced €ner than any that could be 
manufactured in India or (xreat Britain. I bought that cotton, 
carried it to Maaekester, and span it into exquisitely fine yarn. I 
found that the weavers of Laneashire oould not produce a fhhnc 
from it, it was so exceedingly delicate; the weavers of Scotland 
could not weave it; nor could even the manufacturers of France weave 
this yarn into fine muslin. It occurred to me to send it to Calcutta, 
and in due time I had the happiness of receiving from India some 
of the finest muslin ever manufactured, the product of the skill of 
the Hindoos with this delicate Australian cotton.' 

Small consignments of this cotton continued during succeed- 
ing years to arrive in England ; and at the International Exhi- 
bition of 1862^ no less than seven medals were awarded to 
Queensland growers, while the distinction of ^ honourable men- 
^tion' was conferred on five more. In a Report of the Man- 
chester Chamber of Commerce on these exhibited samples, it is 
remarked — * The samples of Sea Island cotton from the Austra- 
* Han colonies are (mt superior to cotton from any other part of 
^ the world.' 

Incited by such testimonies as to the excellence of Queens- 
land cotton, the colonists have taken vigorous steps to place a 
large quantity of land under cotton, and the Colonial Govern- 
ment have further encouraged its growth by oSering a bonus 

1863. QwMMkmd. M9 

of 102. (i88«ied as a kmdK>rder) on ewerj\kBle o{ Sea Island 
oottco> wd^uDg 300 lbs., grown wiAmrAbe^Dolony^ and of 6L 
'OH the coarser Tajrieties. The follom^gvisy^As searly as ean 
he astimaiedy the total quantity of kod^filafed under cotton 
«rop, down totheSlstof December, ISS&z — The Cabulture 
Cotton Company, 4m the Cabnlture ffiirer, <L50 A^es under 
orop ; on the Liogan, 1,280 acres poepated, i of which ISO 
.are under crop; the English Company (Mr. Badey's), on 
^enmg Creek, 2,000 acres, of which 100 just sown ; eevecal 
^amaller companies on the Logan Kiver, Mwirmnt planted not 
^stated ; Victorian Company, on the Hotham Biver, 3,000 acres, 
.1,000 ready for sowing ; Ipswich Cotton Company, IM acres 
ttnder crop ; the Maryborough Cotton-growing Aasociation, 35 
Acres under crap ; several small private growers around Ipswieh, 
300 acres under x^rop ; at Port Curtis, scMme pluilations under 
C0Dp, amount not stated. In addition to these, a large number 
of oompaniea are mow forming, and several private farmers Are 
adding a few acres of cotton to their ordinary crops. 

Of these new plantations, the first bales have already reached 
Xiiverpool from the Ipswich cotton-growers, and will naturally 
give increased activity to the movement. The cotton has 
raised 3^. per pound, and produced 323 lbs. to the acre. 
The result, indadMig sale of cotton, cotton-seed, and land- 
orders, shows a clear profit of 437^ 11^ 6d. on ten acres of 
land, accor^ng to a return published in tho Queensland news- 
papers. Mr. Panton, the chief of these Ipswich eotton-grow^srs, 
ostimates that llie total expenses may be brought within 
10/. per acre. One a)[de4>odied man can keep ten acres in 
cultivation, and, with the assistance of some of the junior 
members of his family, can gather in the crop. The picking 
season ranges between May, June, and July (the Australian 
winter), whm the weather is almost invariably fine, and the 
climate cool. Under present circumstances, the return we have 
just given, showing a clear profit of over ML per acre, and 
enabling an ordinary labouring man to realise an income of 
437/. lis. 6d, does not appear an exceptional one. There are, 
however, some material deductions to be made for future years. 
The local demand for cotton seed, wjiich is produced in the 
ratio of 11 oz. of seed to 4 oz. of cotton, may be expected to 
decline. The 10/. land-orders on each bale of cotton will be 
reduced to half that amount at the end of three years, and cease 
jdtogether at the ^id of five. And the present high price of 
cotton is exceptional i though ni)t to such an amount in the 
case of this *Sea Uand variety as might at first sight be thought. 
The Sea Island cotton, as grown in the S(mthem States, has 

340 Queensland. Oct. 

hitherto^ before the outbreak of the American civil war, com- 
manded prices ranging from Is, 6d. to 2s, per pound; while all 
testimony goes to prove the superior excellence of the Queens- 
land growth. Indeed, some of the samples we have already 
mentioned as shown at the London Exhibition were valued as 
high as 4s. 6d. per pound, though what share the present ab- 
normal state of the cotton market had in this calculation we 
are not aware. Even at this price, its annual consumption, in 
normal years, amounts to about 47,150 bags, or, at 400 lbs. to 
the bag, 18,860,000 lbs. In America, however, as well as in 
Egypt, it has been found not nearly so prolific as the coarser 
descriptions, to which it has greatly given place — ^New 
' Orleans' cotton, at 6d. per pound, being considered a more re- 
munerative crop than * Sea Island' at Is. 6d., or even 2s., unless 
under peculiarly favourable circumstances. This defect in the 
Sea Island cotton is, it is stated, on authority which we have 
no reason to doubt, in a great degree obviated in Queensland, 
where it is said to be capable of a production little, if at all, 
inferior to the coarser descriptions of America. Indeed, the 
return we have just given, exhibiting a return of 323 lbs. per 
acre, fully bears out these anticipations — the produce of the 
Sea Island variety in America seldom averaging higher than 
225 lbs., and this only on particular plantations; while Mr. 
Panton, and other Queensland growers, speak confidently of 
raising the produce to 400 lbs. Its superior excellence, more- 
over, will enable it to command the market. 

Doubtless our readers will have already seen that Queens- 
land cotton-growing, in its present phase, promises no solu- 
tion of the Lancashire problem — cotton at 3«., or even 
1^., affording little hope of taking the place of the hitherto 
all but universal sixpenny ^ short staple;' though, under 
the data we have just sketched, the colonists and their 
Government have, in their own interests, given no undue 
preference to the Sea Island variety. However, even on the 
extreme — though, to all appearance, not unlikely — supposition 
that Queensland should wholly displace the finer varieties of 
cotton hitherto in the market, the comparatively small amount 
of 50,000 acres under crop would oblige her to resort to new 
tactics — an amount which, in the continuance of the present 
rapidly increasing movement, may shortly be expected. In the 
meantime, her prospects of engaging in the coarser descriptions 
are by no means unfavourable. So early as 1852, Queensland 
samples of the New Orleans variety were submitted to the 
Manchester Chamber of Commerce, and after careful examina- 
tion by its President — the present member for Manchester — 

1863. Queensland. 341 

were valued at 5Jrf, — a trifle over the ruling price of 'short 
' staple ' American cotton of similar kind. Some of the sam- 
ples, too5 shown at the late International Exhibition were of 
the New Orleans variety, and in the Beport to the Manchester 
Chamber of Commerce^ drawn up by Mr. Wanklyn, we find 
the following remark on them : — ' I do not desire in the least 
^ to discourage the cultivation of Sea Island cotton, but the 
^ samples of New Orleans are so particularly good, that I would 

• recommend the Queensland people to try both the New Orleans 

* and the Egyptian, for it is quite possible that the return per 
'acre of those sorts may be even more profitable than Sea 
' Island.' From the few specimens of the coarser varieties 
already grown in the colony, the more experienced planters 
anticipate a yield of 600 lbs. per acre, which is somewhat in 
excess of the ordinary American crop. And, indeed, considering 
the wonderful luxuriance which almost all introduced plants 
and shrubs have attained to under Queensland soil and climate, 
it is not unreasonable to suppose that other and coarser varieties 
of the cotton-tree may be found to exhibit a fertility corre- 
sponding to that which has brought into favour the Sea Island 
cotton. The latter and finer species would then be speedily dis- 
placed by the kinds for which there is the largest demand, as has 
already happened in the Southern States of America, Egypt, 
and other long-established cotton countries. 

On every account, from its vast extent, from its fertile soil, 
from its delicious climate, from its extensive seaboard and 
abundant watercourses, from its judicious institutions, and from 
the wise and teimperate spirit which has hitherto prevailed in its 
administration, Queensland deserves to be regarded as one of 
the most interesting and promising of those youthful States with 
which the maritime and colonial genius of England has studded 
the globe. Seven years have not yet elapsed since the province 
of Moreton Bay assumed the rank of an independent colony. 
The terms of service of its first Governor, Sir George Bowen, 
and of its first Minister, Mr. Herbert, have not yet expired : 
but these accomplished and fortunate rulers have already founded . 
a State which cannot fail to rank amongst the freest and most 
prosperous communities on the face of the earth. 

342 GregorovioB' Medimval Borne. Oct* 

Akt. II. — Geschichte der Stadt Rom im Mittelaltery vom 
fanften Jahrhundert bis zum sechzehnten Jahrhundert Von 
Ferdinand Gkegokovius. Vols. L — IV. Stuttgart: 1859 

Tn a wdl-known passage of bis «iitobiograpIi7> Gibbon bas re-> 

covded to as boir the first idea oi bis immortal w(Mic presented 

itself to his mikd as ba sai ' muting amdst the ruins of the 

* Capitol^ while the barefooted friars were raiging vespers in the 

* Temple of Jupiter.' But his original pbu^ asfae himself addsf 

* was cifoomscribed to the decay of the city rather than of th» 

* empire^' and it was -only by degrees thai bis views expanded s» 
as to comprise the whole extent of the more important sttbjeet* 
No one certainly will regret the change^ to which we are i**- 
dsbted for the greatest historical work of modera times. But 
there are soooe readers who will ' have fdt that the original 
ohject of his aspirations has been too much lest «ght of in the 
progress of the more extensive plan ; or rather that the pio* 
portions to which the history of the city was necessarily reduced 
in order to keep it in due subordination to the main design, did 
not allow of its receiving so full a developement as it deserved* 
The condttdiBg chapter of Gibbon's history contains indeed a 
masterly sketch of the decay of the city itself and the cansoo 
which gradually reduced it to the condition in which it is de» 
scribed to us by Poggio Braecidini in the fifteenth centnry^; 
while the revolutions and fortunes of Borne, though occupying 
bni a smaU place in the more extended {Hctiure after the fall of 
the Western Em{»re, are traced out in b<dd and vigoroua oolv 
liaes from the time of Alaric^ to that oi Nicholas V. 

It is not too mnch to say that whateiver may be sleaned bgr 
the industry of later students in this field wUl do little more 
tlian fill up the outlines already dtawn by the ma^er-hand of 
(ribbon ; but the task is not the less a desirdble (me, and one 
that has remained toe long unfulfilled* Every oae wIkv like 
Gibbon himself, has visited the ruins of Beme and mused over 
their vicissitudes — and who is there at the present day that has 
not been at Borne? — must have felt that there was a great 
chasm in his associations with the scenes around him — that be* 
tween the period of their imperial splendour, and that of their ^ 
renewed ma^ficence under the Popes of the sixteenth century, 
there was a lon^ interval with which he was comparatively tm- 
familiar : he wiU have desired to trace in more detail the progress 

1863* Gregoroyins' Mtdicsval Rome. 343 

of tbe varied cbanges that swept over the city in the couree of 
a thousand years^ that gradually raised up a new Borne in the 
place of the old one, and established the ' barefooted friars ' on 
the roiiiB of the CapitoL 

To supply the deficieney thus existing in historical literature 
is the task thai M. Gr^orovius has proposed to himself in the 
volumes now before us, a task whioh a long-eontiHued residence 
aft Rome, with free access to the valuable stores of materials 
aecauHilated in the libraries there, has enalded him to execute 
i» a satisfactory manner* The task was indeed one that re** 
quired in no ordinary degree that minute and searching diligence 
for which the histerical writers of Grermany are so eminently 
diBtingoiehed. The materials were often scanty and imperfect, 
and tlra few meagre notiees that have been transmitted to us 
are scattered through ammnber of different writers, or have to 
be gleaned from the barbaroue charters and documents of the 
laost obscure period of history. It is but justice to add that 
while M. Grc^;oraviu8 has shown the most praiseworthy industry 
in aecumulaling his materials from aU available sources, he has 
besftcmed more pains than is commonr with his countrymen upoif 
the form in which he Ims ppcsented them to the reader, and has* 
produced net only a 'woric of vakie to the antiquarian student, 
bat a readable and inAereetkig book* 

It is obviously impossible to* draw any marked line of separa- 
tion between the bistery of the Bomnn city in the more* 
restricted sense in which alone M. Gregorovius has undertaken 
to write it, and that of the Papal power of which it was the 
centre. The revolutions of the Papacy were intimately con- 
iieeted with the fortunes of Borne itself ; the rise of the temporal 
power of the Popes, their long contests with the Emperors of 
Germai^, and still more their internal struggles with the Romans 
nobles and popubce, ate essential portions of the history of the 
city ; and it is impossible to* write a connected narrative of the 
Utter that does not involve to a considerable extent the history 
of Latin Christianity. M. Gregorovius has, however, en** 
d^avonred^ and in general with success, to steer between the 
two extremes, and while- relating the history of the Popes, so 
far as this was immediately connected with, or directly in^ 
fluoiced, the local history of Bome^ to avoid digressing too 
widely into^ the general ecclesiastical or political history of 
Western Europe. In the foUowing pages we shalf confine 
ourselves almost eKelnrively to those portions of his work 
which relate more immediately to thet local and (if* we may 
venture- to- use the term) maiterial history of Rome. The eccle- 
riastical and political revolntioiis of the cify wfll idready be 

344 Gregorovius' Medicsval Rome. Oct. 

familiar to most of our readers from the works of Gibbon and 

It is not very easy to determine the exact period when the 
ancient city may be considered as haying reached the highest 
point of greatness and splendpur^ Even after the glorious 
works of Trajan and Hadrian, great additions were made to its 
architectural magnificence, and many of the most remarkable 
edifices belong to a time when the empire was already in a de- 
clining condition. Severus and his son Caracalla were among 
the emperors who contributed the most to the adornment of the 
city ; the Septizonium continued throughout the middle ages to 
bear testimony to the magnificence of the former, as the gigantic 
ruins of his Therms still do to that of the latter. Again at a 
much later period, after the empire had been shaken by a long 
series of wars, of revolutions, and disorders of every kind, its 
political restoration under Diocletian and Constantine saw the 
imperial city once more enriched with important additions to 
its splendour. The Thermse of Diocletian surpassed in vast- 
ness and extent, if they did not equal in magnificence, those of 
Caracalla ; the Baths of Constantine were on a scale hardly 
inferior to them; while the Basilica dedicated by the same 
monarch, though in fact the work of his rival Maxentius, still 
attests the grandeur of its conception by the imposing character 
of its existing remains — the three gigantic arches or vaults which 
are familiar to all visitors to Rome under the misnomer of the 
Temple of Peace. 

The removal of the seat of empire to Constantinople must 
have given a severe, as well as a permanent, shock to the ma- 
terial prosperity of Rome ; but it would naturally be some time 
before its effects were apparent in the external aspect of the 
city, and there can be no doubt that the architectural magnifi- 
cence of Rome was little, if at all, impaired when it was visited 
by the Emperor Constantius in A.D. 35Z. The contemporary 
historian, Ammianus Marcellinus, has left us a striking, though 
pompous, description of the efiect produced on the imperial 
visitor by his first progress through the city — a description the 
more interesting, as it may naturally be supposed to reflect the 
impressions of Ammianus himself, a Greek native of Antioch, 
who had visited Rome for the first time much about the same 
period. With every allowance for rhetorical exaggeration, it is 
evident from this account that all the more important buildings 
of the city were still standing in all their original magnificence ; 
and we may well sympathise with the sentiment attributed to 
the emperor, that, as he passed through the splendid series, each 
successive edifice appeared to him to surpass all others, until be 

1863. G]:egoroviu8'' Mediaval Rome. 345 


came to the Forum of Tngan : * a work,' says the historian, 
'without a parallel in the whole' world, which surpasses all 
< description, and will never again be rivalled by mortals.'* 

Less than fifty years after this time (a.d. 403), the Emperor 
Honorius made his solemn entrance into the city, which now 
for the last time witnessed the spectacle of an imperial triumph. 
Claudian has celebrated the event, as well as the victories of 
Stilicho which it was designed to commemorate, with the usual 
amount of courtly panegyric ; and it is evident from the terms 
in which he extols the glories of the Capitol, the Imperial 
Palace, and the Forum, that these still retained all their orna- 
mental decorations substantially unimpaired.f A great change 
had indeed come over the city in the interval since the visit of 
Constantius; the temples of the heathen gods had been finally 
closed and their worship interdicted by Theodosius, but these 
measures were too recent to have as yet produced any efiect on 
the external appearance of the capitaL The shrine of the 
Capitoline Jupiter was deserted, but the ^ded roof of his 
temple still gleamed in all its brightness; the statues that 
crowded the Forum and the adjacent buildings were as yet 
imtouched ; and the adherents of the ancient religion might still 
delude themselves with the belief that the gods of Home had not 
yet abandoned the city. But a few years later a fresh edict of 
Honorius himself (in 408), commanding the destruction of all 
images within the temples, may be considered as giving the 
deaSi-blow to the pagan idolatry. Yet even this edict did not 
apply to any other than the idols consecrated in temples, while 
it was expressly prescribed that the buildings themselves should 
be preserved and placed under the charge of the imperial officers, 
in order to be applied to useful purposes. 

There can be little doubt that the zeal of many of the new 
converts to Christianity would outstrip the injunctions of the 
imperial edict ; the internal administration of the city was feeble 
and inefficient ; and there is every reason to believe that a 
considerable amount of damage had been already done to the 
pagan temples and shrines before the capture of the city by the 
Gothe. The triumphant terms in which St. Jerome and St. 
Aueustine exult over the downiall of the heathen monuments are 
doubtless strongly tinged with exaggeration, but we cannot sup- 
pose them to be altogether without foundation. The partial demo- 
lition of ancient bmldings had indeed begun long before. The 
edifices of Constantine himself were decorated with the spoils 

* Ammian. Marcellin. lib. xvi. cap. x. §§ 14, 15. 
f Claudian de YI. Cons. Honorii, vv. 35--58. 

346 Gr^osoviuft' Mtdimval Ramf. Oct. 

of those of earlier emperors ; and though a series of edicts under 
his sons imd their soccessers prohibited such acts of spoliation^ 
the yerj repetition of these decrees shows the contiMuaiice of 
the practioe^ It is probable, indeed, that it was as yet confined 
to the less conspicoous edifices and the remoter quarters of the 
city. It was here only that the signs of incipient decay could 
as yet be mamfest ; ajid it was only in such quarters that 
the Christian, churches were beginning to raise their heads im 
riralry with the ancient temples. All the celebrated basilicas 
and churches erected by Conalaniine and his immediate' 
successors were situated either in the suburbs of Borne, 
without the walls, as St- Peter's, St. Paul's, St. Lorenzo^ and 
Sta» Agnese, or, if within the limits of the city, still on its 
extreme vei^, as the Basilica of the Lateran and Sta. Crooe 
in Gernsalemme. Already, indeedy before the time of HonociuSy 
they had crept on tewavds the interior of the city ; but the 
pagan temples stiH held undisputed sway over the Forum and 
the Capitol ; no Christian church had yet ventured to obtrude 
iteelf upon; the Sacred Way ; and as Honorius looked down 
from the* palace of the Caraars upcm the ancient. heart and 
centre of the life of Borne, there would have been little, if 
anything, to remind him that it was not stiU a pi^aa city. 

A very few years only elapsed after the triumfrfiant entry of 
Honorius, befi)re the Bonums beheld their city and themselves 
at the mercy of a foreign invader. The capture of Borne by 
Alarie, in 410, is chosen by M. Gr^orovius as the inwaodiate 
starting-point of his history ; and the selectioa is undoubtedly 
a judicious one. As fSur as the history of the city is concerned, 
that event marks an era of far more consequence than the finid 
extinction of the We^ern Empire. It was the ficst of thai 
long series of cakmities- which was destined to bring down the 
imperial cafntal from its * pride of place ' to the lowest depths 
of desolation. It waa the first startling proof to the world 
that the Eternal City was yet mortal, and revealed to saeceediiig 
swarms of iav a d cro the secret at once of her weakness and her 
wealth. They were not slow in piK>fiting by the lesson. 

The actual amount of damage done to the buildingB of Borne 
by the Geths under Alacic hae been indeed the subject of much 
controversy, and the diseussioa has no doubt been coloured by 
partialiiy and prejudice. L<Nrd Byron has enumerated im one 
pregnant line the chief of the destructive agents that have 
ooneummated the rutn of ancieiit Bome — 

* The Goth, the Chrislian, Time, War, FTood, and Fire;' 

but the respective proportions to be assigned to the two classes 

1863. Gregorovhif' MedicBwtl Ihwm. 347 

first enumerated have been vehementlj diaputed. 'The ex->~ 

* culpalion of the Grothe and Vandals' (says the oomwentater oo 
the noble poet) * has been thought prejudioial t& the. Christians, 
' and the praise of the latter regarded as an injustiee to the 

* barbarians.' An able and diqMisaooate reyiew of the whole 
question will be found in the work just oited ; and we think- 
that everj unprejudiced reader will aequiesee in the conchisioa 
that 'both the one and. the other have been moce actiyef 

* despoilers than has been confessed by their nyutual apolo-- 

M. Gr^oroTius has espoused the caiase of the- Gothsy the 
Yandab, and odier German race? of barbariani invadersj with all* 
the zeal oi patriotism* But Ins concfaKions wit& respect to tiie 
capture by Alaric do not differ materially from those of Gibbon,* 
who says briefly : ' The edifices of Bocne, though the damage 
baa been much exa^erarted, recdTed some inpiry from thei 
^ violence of the Godn.'t It is indeed certain tha4 they co«dd ne^h 
hare attempted any systematic dsstructiont of the massive build- 
ings and monuments during the very short peciod ihey remained 
in possession of the city— only three days^ according to naost 
of the contemporary writers, though one chromder prdongs it 
to six. Even fire itself would . have had little effect on the 
massive structures of stone and brass with which the city 
abounded ; but it is certain that there was no ext^isive con- 
flagration. The Goths^ indeed, on first entering 1;be city by the 
SaJ^rian gate, set fire to the adjoining houses, and a portion o£ 
tiie neighbouring quarter was thus destroyed. The palace and 
gardens of Sallust, whicb had become a favourite imperial villay 
perished on this occaaon,.and thehr blackened ruins were seen 
by the historian Prooopius a hundred and forty yeavs after- 
wards. X But there is notUng to lead us to suppose that any 
other public buildiDgs of importance shared the same fate*. 

The indirect eflfoct of the first capture of Borne was, however^ 
far greater than its imme(Hate results^ in< a material as w^ as 
a moral pom*' of view«. Had such an event been an isolated 
catastrophe!, like the sado of Borne by the Constable of Bomrbon 
in 1527, the damage would doubtless have beea soon repaired 
Bat Borne was at thia period already in a state of constant^ 
though as yet silent and uaperceived, decay ; and all the caneea 
which contriJ»«ted to the decline of its material pvoeperily were 

• Hobhouse's Historical IHustrations of the Fourth Canto of 
Childe Harold, p. 59.' 
t Gibbon, vol. iv. ch. xzxL p. 105. 
X Procop. de BcM. Vand. lib. i. c ii. 

348 Gregorovius' MeditBval Rome. Oct. 

from thenceforth left to act with accelerated force. The 
general dispersion of the Roman nobles, many of whom on 
this occasion quitted the city never to return, left their di&serted 
palaces and villas to sink gradually into ruin. With them 
departed also the last influential supporters of the ancient 
religion ; and it has been justly remarked by Dean Milman 
that the Gothic invasion gave the final blow to paganism. The 
funds destined for the repair and support of the hei^then temples 
had been already withdrawn by Theodosius, and henceforward 
there was none to protect them. ' The deserted buildings had 
' now neither public authority nor private zeal and munificence 
' to maintain them against the encroachments of time or 

* accident — ^to support the tottering roof, or repair the broken 

* column.'* 

Some attempt was indeed made to repair the damages of the 
Goths ; and the poet Kutilius, who visited the city seven years 
after the catastrophe, might delude himself with the poetic fancy 
that Rome was rising again after her misfortunes with even 
increased magnificenccf But the fatal blow was struck ; the 
progress of decay was never again arrested ; and, however little 
apparent might be the immediate effects of the Gothic invasion 
a few years afterwards, it is certain that Rome never recovered 
its plunder by Alaric. 

There is no reason to suppose that the sack of the city by the 
Vandals under Genseric (a.d. 455) was more destructive than 
that of the Goths, so lar as the mere edifices were con- 
cerned. We are indeed expressly told that the barbarian 
leader vielded to the representations of the Pope — Leo I., the 
same wno had already averted the threatened invasion of Attila — 
so far as to promise to protect the buildings from fire, to 
spare the lives of the unresisting multitude, and to exempt the 
captives from torture; and though it is probable that these 
conditions would be imperfectly observed, we may reasonably 
believe that the barbarians in general inflicted no injury upon 
the public edifices, beyond such wanton mischief as would 
naturally arise in a period of indiscriminate licence and rapine. 
But the pillage of the city was far more complete than on the 
previous occasion : during the space of fourteen days the Vandals 
ransacked alike the temples of the gods, the Christian churches, 
the public buildings, and the private palaces, in search of booty, 

* Milman's History of Christianity, voL iii. p. 181* 
f 'Llud te reparat quod csetera regna resolvit: 
Ordo renascendi est crescere posse mails.' 

{Rum, Itinerar. lib. i. v. 140.) 


1863. Gr^oroyins' Mediceval Rome. 349 

and whatever objects attracted their cupidity were carried off 
without distinction. A great portion of the vast wealth pre- 
viously accumulated in the city^ especially in the precious metab, 
had been carried ai^ay by the Goths, and could have been but 
partially replaced ; yet the Yandals are said to have still found 
immense stores of gold and silver. All the treasures of the im- 
perial palace fell into their hands ; but, not content with this, 
they are said to have carried off the ornaments, and even the 
vessels, of bronze. The temple of the Capitoline Jove, which 
had been spared by the Goths, was plundered of all its statues, 
and halfot its celebrated roof, which was covered with bronze 
thickly overlaid with gold, was stripped off and carried away to 
Carthage.* The historian does not explain why the whole was 
not taken. 

When we remember that, in addition to all this wealth, many 
thousand Romans of both sexes — many of them persons of the 
highest rank — were carried off' into captivity, it is difficult to 
estimate too hishly the effect produced by such a calamity upon 
the declining city. There can be no doubt that the population 
of Rome must have already greatly diminished: the occupation 
of the rich provinces of Africa by the Vandals had cut off one 
of its chief sources of supply and of revenue ; the impoverished 
nobles were unable to repair their losses, or restore their crumb- 
ling palaces; and if the splendid monuments of her former 
greatness still towered proudly over the decaying city, it is 
certain that in many parts of Rome they already looked down 
upon deserted streets and ruined habitations. 

Under such circumstances it was in vain that a fresh edict of 
Majorian — an emperor worthy of better times, whose name 
sheds a temporary lustre on the last miserable years of the 
Roman Empire — endeavoured with praiseworthy zeal to check 
the continuiJly increasing practice of demolishing ancient edifices 
in order to apply their materials to the repair or the construc- 
tion of recent ones. The evil was one that was inherent in the 
existing state of things ; and whatever efforts to arrest its pro- 
gress may have been made from time to time by an enlightened 
ruler like Majorian or Theodoric, it continued to operate, more 
or less openly, during a period of ten centuries. It is no doubt 
with justice that Gibbon ascribes to the slow and silent operation 
of this practice the gradual destruction of those massive struc- 
tures which * the Goths and Vandals had neither lebure nor 
* power, nor perhaps inclination, to overthrow.' f 

* Frocopius, Bell. Vand. i. c. v. 

I Gibbon, eh. xxxvi. p. 269. ed. Smith. 

3d0 Grr^gonmae' MedicBval Rome. Oct 

The anaroby fnkd oonCiiaion of the last £ew jean of the 
Western Emfore, in the couiise of which Some was for the 
third time taken laad okindered 1^ Ridraer . (juD, 472), was 
followed bj an interval of tranquiUitj and repoee under tbe 
Gothic king Theodoric During his long reign of thirty-three 
years Italy enjoyed absolute freedom, firom all foreign invasion, 
while the mild, jtnd at the -same time vigorous, adninistxation 
of her barbarian ruler restored her in some measure to lier 
former prosperity. Nor can it be doubted that Borne partici- 
pated to a OQOsiderable extent in the i^eneralimproyem^it. It 
was no mere flattery that dictated the phrase of ^ Felix Homa,' 
which is found on linseriptious addressed to Theodoric If, 
indeed, we may reour to the wellnknown expression of the 
satirist, and believe that the wants of the Roman people were 
still confined to the ^ panem et ci^censes ' of an earlier period, 
these were fully auppiied under the Gbthic Idiig. The public 
distributions of br^d, wine, and bacon among the populaee 
of Home were renewed with tbe return of plenty ; and the 
games of the Cioeuswere agwi exhibited amid the general en- 
thusiasm of the multatikie. Theodoric liimself, Uke the later 
Roman emperors, took up his permanent residence at Ravenna, 
and only once viated the ancient capital ; bnt his e^try into 
Rome upon this occasion was celebrated with a pomp and 
magnificence that called forth from a pious African monk, who 
was present, the wondering exdamation, 'TVliat must be the 
' gl^es of the heavenly Jerusalem if they surpass those of the 
' earthly Rome I' Such was the impression stUl made upon the 
stranger by the imperial city, even after the ravages of Alaric 
and Genseric 

Great care was bestowed by Theod<»ic and his enlightened 
minister, Cassiodorus, upcm the maintenance and restoration of 
the public edifices in the city. An architect was specially 
appointed to superintend their repairs, and funds assigned htm 
for tike purpose ; the prefect of the city was charged to watch 
with vigilance over the ancient monmnents; while separate 
officers were appointed, the one to the care of the aqueducts, 
which still poured their abundant streams of water into the city, 
the other to protect from wanton injury and violence the 
numerous statues of bronze and marble that still adorned the 
streets and open places of Rome. It is evident, therefore, that 
neither the zeal of the Christians nor .the cupidity of the 
Vandals had done more than diminish the numbers of that 
' vast population ' of statues * which had long formed one of the 

* 'Populus copiosissimus statuaram.' (Cassiodor. Var, lib. vii. 13.) 

1803. Gbregorovnis' MeditBval Rome. 351 

ifioet coBspicuous and cbanteteristio onuimenis of the aaieient 

We must not^ bowever^ fonn to ourselves an exaggerated 
estimate of the actual condition of Borne voder Theodoric. 
Thirty years of peace and good order may liave done much for 
the material wdfare of the population, but^they undoubtedly 
did very little towards the restoration of the city. Even from 
the epistles of Cassiodorus himself^ we may glean Jibundaat 
evidence of its decayed and dilapidated condition. All the most 
conspicuous monuments -were indeed still standing, if not un- 
injured, at least substantially entire ; but of these, ^e imperial 
pidace -and the massive Theatre of P<»ipey~-^<me of the most solid 
wad imposing structures at Rome — ^were in need of considerate 
repairs. On the other hand, we' hear inoideiitally of buildings 
faUing into decay for want of inhabitants, of masses of stone and 
marble lying scattered about from neighbouring ruins ; and even 
Theodoric himself took advantage of the rained state of 'a palace 
on die Pineian hill to provide materials for his own palaoe at 
Ravenna. We have already seen that tiie mischief done to the 
Villa of Sallust by Alaiic was nev^r repaired. There is indeed 
no doubt tiiat wlule the more conspicuous monuments in the 
centre of the city would be the first objects of the care of the 
imperial officers, many buildings in the ontsldrts must have been 
left to the natural progress of decay, or to the depredations of 
unscrupulous neighbours. 

But even if the reign of Theodoric had produced far more 
beneficial effects upon the city of Rone t&an we can safely 
ascribe to it, all such improvement was much more than com- 
pensated by the destructive period that followed. It is to the 
wars of the Gothic kings with Belisarius and Narses that we 
must attribute the final ruin of Rome. During a period of 
seventeen years (536-553), almost all the evils wmtdi it is pos- 
sible for war to inflict were accumulated on the devoted city. 
Twice did ^e hold out against the Gh)thic armies with despairing 
energy, until her inhabitants had suffered the last extremities of 
famine, and thousimds had perished of hunger ; twice did she 
see her almost deserted streets occupied by the loctorious bar- 
barians, and all her remaining wealth at the mercy of their 
ravages. On the first of these occasions, indeed, we are told 
by the contemporary historian that Totila had actuaUy deter- 
mined to level the city to the ground, and ' convert Rome into 
' a sheep walk ;' but the more generous feelings of the barbarian 
hero were awakened by the remonstrances of Belisarius : he 
abandoned the project, and contented himself with destroying 

352 GregoTOviua' Mtdiaval Rome, Oct 

a confflderable portion of tlie external walle.* Partial con^a- 
gratione, however, had already laid waste several quarters of 
the city ; and bo complete was its desolation that (if we can 
believe the express statement of Procopiue, who bimeelf visited 
Rome in the following year) when Totila entered the city, he 
found but ^e hundred innabitaots remaning, all the reA 
having either perished by famine or made their escape bv 
flight. Of this miserable remnant, some were put to the bwot^ 
ouiers led away into captivity, while the rest were driven out 
into the neighbouring country; so that we are assured that 
when Totila finally quitted Ilome in the spring of 547, be left 
not a living soul within its walls It However much we may 
Buspeot this statement of exaggeration, the very fact that bucd 
a report should have been current shortly after the event is 
suffituent proof to what an extremity of misery the Romans bad 
been reduced. 

When Belisarius recovered possession of Rome, he hastened 
to restore its fortifications, by rebuilding the portion of ibe 
walla that had been destroyed by Totila ; and some parts of 
the still existing circuit hear evidence of their hasty recon- 
struction at this period. But we have no account of his 
attempting the restoration of the city itself, which he bad 
doubtless neither time nor means to undertake. Totila him- 
self is said to have endeavoured, after his second capture oi 
Rome, to repair in some measure the evils inflicted during hi* 
former siege, and to have collected together the fugitive and 
scattered population of the city once more witbin its nails. 
But it was impossible for him to do much within the fevr 
months that he remained master of Rome ; and the games tbat 
he exhibited for the last time in the Circus Maximus must have 

nrRRRnfprl a mplnnr-linlv nnnr.miit trt thf. mii1t!tndpji that once 

1863. Gregorovius' Medmval Rome. 353 

by the Gothic wars, the most serious and irreparable was the 
destruction of the aqueducts, which were broken down by 
Vitiges during the first siege, and never again restored. 'A 
comparatively small supply of water would indeed have sufficed 
for the diminished population of .Rome during the middle ages ; 
and it appears that three out of the fourteen aqueducts were at 
some later period partially repaired, and continued to furnish a 
scanty supply even as late as the ninth and tenth centuries. 
But die noble arches that still stretch in long lines across the 
Campagna have been continually mouldering into ruin ever 
since they were first broken by the Gothic king. 

The last capture of Rome by Totila may be considered as 
terminating the series of the barbarian invasions. From that 
time for nearly three centuries and a half her walls were not 
entered by a foreign enemy; for although the Lombards re- 
peatedly ravaged iJae surrounding country, their attacks on the 
city itself were always unsuccessful. But from the brief view 
which we have been able to eive of the actual results of the 
barbarian ravages, it will sufficiently appear how enormous was 
the injury really inflicted. The Goths and Vandals undoubt- 
edlv d^d not, as asserted by the earlier Italian historians, and 
believed by popular tradition, deliberately destroy the public 
buildings and monuments of the city, or involve them in one 
common conflagration; but the calamities entailed upon the 
unhappy city by their means were such as to reduce it from a 
fforgeous and opulent capital to a scene of ruin and desolation, 
m the midst of which the magnificent monuments of former 
greatness were become altogether things of the past, which the 
scanty and decaying population had neither the spirit nor the 
means to repiur. 

The half-century which followed the recoverv of Rome by 
Narses was a period of manifold suffering and misery ; and the 
accession of Gregory the Great in 590 may perhaps be taken as 
the point at which the unhappy city had sunk to the lowest 
state of degradation. An old prophecy, ascribed to Benedict 
of Nursia, at the time when Totila was thundering at the gates 
of Rome, had foretold that the city would not be destroyed by 
the barbarians, but would crumble away by gradual decay and 
the destructive influence of natural causes, of tempests and 
lightning, of whirlwinds and earthquakes ; and when the first 
of the Gregories ascended the pontifical throne, he himself 
believed that the prophecy was on the point of fulfilment. 
While the feeble rule of the exarchs of Ravenna and the 
supine negligence of the Byzantine emperors opposed scarcely 
any barrier to the ravages of the Lombards, it seemed as if all 


354 Gregoroviue' Medimval Rome. Oct. 


the natural causes of destmction were oombining their efforts 
against the devoted city. An extraordinary inundation of the 
Tiber, during which the waters rose to an unprecedented 
height, is expressly said to have caused the ruin of many- 
ancient buildings; and this was immediately followed by a 
pestilence, whidi threatened to sweep off the whole of the 
scanty population that had again gathered within the walls. 
St. Gregory has himself left us a fearful picture of the ravages 
caused by this plague, during which the excited imagination of 
the Bomans fimcied they saw the arrows of destrtieticm shot 
down from heaven, as they had before seen gigantic dragons 
floating down the stream of the Tiber dimng the recent 

To the same state of feeling we are indebted for one of the 
most striking and picturesque of the medieval legends of 
Borne. It was while the plague of 590 was still raging that 
Gregory, then just elected Pope, ordered a general processioD 
of «all the clergy and inhabitants of the city. Three days long 
did the whole population of Rome, in the gaib and attitude of 
penitents and supfdiants — the nnmerons clergy and still more 
numerous monks and nuns at their head — deflle in solemn pro- 
cession through the silent and half-deserted streets ; <uid such 
was the unabated virulence of the plague that eighty persons 
(we are told) dropped down dead as they were thus moving 
along. But as the head of the long train was crossing the 
.^ian Bridge, on its way to St. Peter's, the figure of the 
Archangel Michadi was seen to hover in the air over the 
monument of Hadrian, brandishing in his hand a flaming sword, 
which he returned to its sheath as the procession drew near — a 
sign that the Divine wrath was appeased and the pestilence was 
at an end. The memory of this celebrated vision was preserved 
by the erection of a small church dedicated to the Archangel on 
the summit of the mausoleum itself, which has ever since borne 
the name of the Castle of St Angelo. 

The age of Belisarius and Nsirses may be considered as 
closing the history of Imperial Kome ; with that of Ghregory 
the Great begins the history of the Papal city. To the energy 
and ability of that remarkable man may undoubtedly be ascribed 
the foundation of the Papal power, and indeed of the Papacy 
itself, in the modem sense of the term. To him also was Rome 
indebted for all its subsequent greatness. Seizing with a firm 
and vigorous grasp the reins of government, which had been 
allowed to drop from the listless hands of the exarchs of Ra- 
venna, he raised up on the banks of the Tiber the standard of 
a power around which other nations might cluster ; and Rome 

;i863. Gr^gorovius' Medlmval Rome. 355 

waa once more elevated from a provincial city of the Byzantine 
Empire to be the capital of the Western world. Yet there is 
hardly any memorable name throughout the long series of the 
Koman pontifia which is associated with so few material monu- 
ments of his greatness : Gregory devoted all his energies to the 
political and ecclesiastical interests of the pontificate^ and the 
iimes were sueh as to leave him little leisure for other occupations. 
He was content to leave it to succeeding Popes to adorn the 
city with churches and mosaics worthy of the capitid of Chris- 
tianity ; it was enough for him to have raised it to that proud 

It is scarcely necessary to say that there is no foundation for 
the popular tradition wluch ascribed to Gregory the Great the 
deliberate destruction of the ancient monuments, any more than 
for the similar story of his having wilfully burned the still 
extant remains of ancient litemture. But there is no doubt 
that his austere and monastic spirit would regard both the one 
and the other with indifference, if not contempt ; and the purely 
ecclesiastical character henceforth imparted to the government 
of Rome could not fail to prove detrimental to the remains of 
antiquity. Nowhere was this tendency more strongly shown' 
than in the increased number and impcortance of the churches 
with which Borne was adorned during the seventh and the two 
ibllowing centuries. Honorius I., who ascended the Papal 
throne lees than twenty years after the death of Gregory, was 
one of the most active of the pontiffs in this respect. During 
a reign of thirteen y^ars, besides large additions to the deco- 
ration of the Basilica of St. Peter's, be rebuilt or restored the 
ancient church of Sta. Agnese without the walls, that of the 
Quattro Santi Coronati,and of Sta. Lucia in Selce; and erected 
for the first time that of St. Adriano, remarkable as being the 
jEu*8t Christian church of any importance that occu{ued a position 
inunediately on the Boman Forum. 

Whether from some remnant of respect for ancient memories^ 
or 0im{dy from the solidity and perfection of their original con- 
struction, it is certain that the pagan edifices which clustered 
around the Forum were long spared from destruction ; and it 
was only by slow degrees that the Christian churches established 
themselves in its immediate precincts. Honorius himself de- 
serves the reproach of being the first to strip the gilded roof 
irom the splendid temple of Venus and Borne, m ordir to adorn 
the Barilioa of St. Peter's — an act of spoliation ibr which he 
with difficulty extorted the necessary permission from the 
Emperor Heraclius. The Byzantine emperors, indeed, still 
(daimed a shadow of authority at Bome, and appear to have 

356 Gregorovius* Medicsval Rome. Oct. 

been still recognised as the guardians of the public buildings. 
Hence we find them^ in 609, granting a similar permission to 
Pope Boniface IV., for the more laudable purpose of conse* 
crating the Pantheon of Agrippa as a Christian church — a 
measure to which we are indebted for the matchless preservation 
of that noble monument. 

But the cases of such direct transformations were few. Far 
more frequently it happened that a Christian church arose on 
the site of some half-ruined temple, and was built in great part 
out of the materials of the pagan edifice. Not less than fifty- 
six churches in the modern city are supposed to have thus suc- 
ceeded to ancient temples on the same sites, and though this 
number is probably exaggerated, there can be no doubt of the 
frequency of the practice. In all such cases it was sought, as 
far as possible, to conciliate the pagan feelings, which still 
lingered among the lower orders of the populace, by adapting 
the choice of the sunts to whom the new churches were conse- 
crated to the old traditions connected with the sites. Thus the 
twin-brothers St Cosmas and St Damianus succeeded to the 
twin-heroes Romulus and Remus. The two warlike saints, 
St Sebastian and St George, took the place of Mars himself; 
and the Temple of Romulus at the foot of the Palatine hill 
was dedicated to St. Theodore, a foundling and a warrior like 
the Roman king, who has succeeded also to the reputation 
enjoyed by his royal predecessor as a healer of sickly infants, 
which are now brought by Roman nurses and mothers to the 
shrine of the Christian saint, as they were in the days of 
Augustus to that of the warrior-king. 

It is obvious that the stimulus thus imparted to the building 
of churches must have operated, in th